We (still) Believe In The Holy Spirit…Charismatic Post Mortem pt 10

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.(Acts 1:7-8)

I have taken you, my readers on a very truncated tour of what I believe to be the causes of the death of the Charismatic movement. I have no problem believing that God did indeed send His Holy Spirit into the secularized, spiritually dry Western World in the early 1960’s and awakened millions to the reality of salvation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The problem entered in early, as Peter and the other apostles warned us, “There were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you…”( 2 Peter 2:1).

That false teaching led to false prophecy and false experience, mostly done in the name of Jesus, the Father and the Holy Ghost.For more than thirty years, the terms Pentecostal and Charismatic have become synonymous with error, emotionalism, false prophecy, fanaticism, man worship(Touch not my anointed!), Spiritual abuse, superstition and mysticism, and in its final stages, occultism.

We have scriptural precedent in the story of Saul, who was anointed and given a measure of the Holy Spirit in the beginning. But he always insisted on “doing his own thing”(Iniquity), almost every time he was tested.Saul was warned time and again, by Samuel and by circumstances involving his own son,Jonathan, and his servant David.But he cut himself off from all of that input, and was alone in the end.

When God quit speaking to Saul, he went into the occult, (The witch of Endor) . It should be obvious to any spiritual person, that God isn’t speaking to Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, Todd Bentley, Che Ahn, Joseph Prince, John Arnott, Benny Hinn and the host of other “Charismatic leaders” that have been raised up. Like Saul they ignored Dave Wilkerson, and Dave Hunt and other servants sent to warn them. They were marked as ‘heresy hunters’ and shunned.

I think I have demonstrated that people are being led into the occult by these new leaders. “Grave Soaking”, “Dream interpretation”, “Aura Reading” and fanciful encounters with “Angels” are all occult experiences and not true Pentecost.

The ironic thing is , the church needs the power and reality of the Holy Spirit more now than at any other time! We need to ask God for the Holy Spirit, as Jesus taught us in his teaching on prayer,

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?(Luke 11:11-13)

The answer to the disappointment of the “Charismatic experience” is not cessationism, rather it is repentance, and a greater commitment to seeking God for the true experience of being filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit. What does scripture say about the fulness of the Spirit? We Christians desperately need the ministry and empowering of the Holy Spirit in order to carry out our task of evangelism and confronting the Spirit of our Age.

We need to undergo a rigorous process of repudiating the false doctrines and erroneous practices many of us had embraced, (such as slain in the Spirit,sins of the fathers doctrine, naming the “strongman” and “Binding and Loosing and a host of others).We must humbly acknowledge that our former lust for power, or for “Words” that go beyond scripture, or our  man-worship, i.e. the lust for “the great man of Faith and Power”to arise, are all examples of our own forms of idolatry and alienation from the only true God.

But it still stands that the church needs to have the Spirit, and to constantly be filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit, as in the book of Acts. There was nothing static about the Apostles and early church’s experience of the Spirit, for we read many times over that even after Pentecost, the apostles and even the church were filled with the Spirit again and again.

We must have the Spirit in our preaching and exhortation, and in out evangelism we must also realize that we are utterly dependent upon God to get the message out with full conviction and much assurance. Otherwise we are in danger of merely being academic or mere critics of that which we once (rightly) saw as false.

I do not advocate any particular practice, rather that we recognize our need,  and seek the LORD with all of our hearts. I do not believe in the much prophesied “Great Last Days Revival” for we are told that the last days are marked by an apostasy.

However, I also believe it always a possibility in localized settings, that wherever God’s people see their own poverty of Spirit and paltry results, if they seek the LORD, they will find Him if they seek for Him with all of our hearts. Whose heart breaks over the apathy and seeming powerlessness of the churches? In this hour where the need is most desperate, and the end is in sight(The judge stands at the door), Can we not cry out to God with all of our being for a Holy Rain of the true Spirit of God, the Spirit who can and does “Convict the World of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment”?

Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,  As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!  When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.  For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.(Isaiah 64:1-4)

 

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14 Responses to We (still) Believe In The Holy Spirit…Charismatic Post Mortem pt 10

  1. ali says:

    Powerful word of truth. Thank you.

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  2. Paul says:

    Thank you for this. May I ask a question. Why is “dream interpretation” wrong?

  3. billrandles says:

    Thanks Paul. Dream interpretation ala Joseph and Daniel is not wrong. God can and does speak to us in dreams and reveals the interpretation. But books teaching how to interpret dreams (John Paul Jackson et al) in which the symbolism of elements in a dream are catalogued, is of the flesh and can be demonic. Hope this helps…

  4. midrashcreed says:

    This has been your best series ever Bill, now get it into book form!

  5. Thank you! It is such a relief to read that there are some out there who get it. I too see the rush to the golden calf for the camp that believes in the work of the gifts, with a false prophetgallery and hall of fame with the likes of Kim Clement, leading the flock in the opposite direction. And I see what I think are genuine believers who get scared away into the denial of cessationism as a result. But neither is correct.
    In the times before the fall of Jerusalem, there were many ‘good fortune’ prophets going around giving a false message full of false peace and false security, false assurance that ‘all would be well’, and disdaining the true prophets with the true message of doom, like Isaiah and Jeremiah who were persecuted as a result of their ‘doomsday message.’ People wanted to hear that all would be well. It was okay to buy and sell, build a house and have a family, etc. And repentance, that could wait another day.
    It is no different today. In Revelation 16; 6, it states that those in power will “pour out the blood of God’s prophets and saints,” and they get judged for it, it is speaking of the end times. That alone refutes cessationism, there are prophets up until the end of the age. (I will refrain from my argument against pretrib here, but… think it through. Either way, prophets are there.)

    Anyway, I can confirm this about the Holy Spirit. I had the initial baptism, and there are subsequent ‘fillings.’ True believers can backslide, and can repent. There are responsibilities we have that do depend on our will to surrender to God. Anyone can come back to this place. All you have to do is repent. I don’t mean a ‘yeah, I should stop doing______, I know…’ sort of thing, but real repentance. If you get down on your knees and seek the Lord and truly repent, He will meet you and give you all the strength you need to repent of anything, but you must be willing. As a Christian, if you walk in obedience to Him and truly live for Jesus and not for yourself, you get those refills. It is when you seek your own agenda that things dry up. It is all upside down, the more you have, the more you want, the more you get, the less happy you are, and the cycle goes on. But when you surrender to Him and follow Him, He fills you with the joy of the Holy Spirit and there is nothing that can satisfy you like that. It’s that river that you swim in, no dry places left. If you’ve lost ‘the feeling,’ it is because you have strayed in some way. There are seasons, don’t get me wrong. But sin will separate you from fellowship with God, and will keep you from the peace that can only flow from the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we all have times we need to get on our knees and turn to God, there is that one first time, but we must continue in that way and there may be many times we repent of things along the way and get restored anew. The important thing is that you keep going, in the right direction, following Jesus. If you fall, don’t just stay there sulking. It’s how you finish that race.

    There was a time that this happened to me. (And guess what? I’m still not perfect! But He’s brought me a long way.) I consecrated myself to God and tuned out everything else and went into a time where I was seeking the Lord and as I was reading the Bible and praying and filled with the Holy Spirit, God was showing me things. He started teaching me things, and showing me what was happening with the current state of apostasy in the church at large. He showed me wolves that most don’t spot by the gift of discernment. He discipled me when no one else was able to. He lead me out of many things and into where He wanted me to be. And, He started showing me what was to come. I don’t care what anyone wants to call it, but it started to happen, and the things that were shown to me started to happen also. It all took me in the opposite direction that the modern church is going in, because they are headed for destruction on that broad road. All the things are unfolding and I know it is just a matter of time for the rest to come to pass. It would take a long post to share all the things that were revealed to me, I have been sharing things over time here and there as possible to warn people. This is available to anyone who comes to Him for it.

    “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16; 12-13
    “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10; 32-33
    “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” Luke 21; 12-15

  6. Onesimus says:

    G’Day Bill,
    Above you quote Luke 11:11-13 that relates to asking the Father for the Holy Spirit, and that “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?”

    Sadly those verses have been misused by many charismatics to justify their excesses and their strange practices. I’d suggest that promises like that given in Luke are conditional, and that condition also applies to so much more related to Christian belief and actions.
    An indication of that condition is found in 2 Thess 2 which speaks about the need for a love of the truth. Those without that love can be susceptible to a delusion that God Himself will send to them.

    So if the asker doesn’t have that love of the truth, God may give something much worse than stones, serpents or scorpions.

    Tim, Australia.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks Tim, I agree. Having said that , every promise of scripture must be qualified that way, and it would be impossible to cover all of the possible qualifications in an article. But the scripture still stands, that Believers should ask the Father for the Holy Ghost, in expectant faith. Just because the false teachers I referenced in the articles I wrote , misused those scriptures doesn’t mean we can’t rely on those same promises. I agree with you also about the urgency of receiving the “love for the Truth”. Grace and Peace-

      On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 6:50 PM, Pastor Bill Randles Blog wrote:

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      • Onesimus says:

        Hi Bill, yes we can rely on His promises. But sadly some don’t recognise that His promises are given within a context and therefore become susceptible to those who justify their teachings with isolated scriptures.

        My earlier comment wasn’t intended to question YOUR use of Luke 11:11, but was offered as a caution that others often use that quote to justify practices that have no scriptural legitimacy.

        I’ve had several people quote those verses to “prove” that the strange things they accept are ok, including one local pastor whose church had experienced the appearance of gold dust.
        While I saw problems with his confidence in the legitimacy of that experience, I also found it difficult to challenge his assurance based on the fore-mentioned promise, until I found examples of when man’s error and disobedience had led to God giving something other than what had been asked for.

        In the case of present day charismatics, is it REALLY the Holy Spirit they are seeking, or are they seeking manifestations and experiences promoted by their teachers, that have no biblical legitimacy.

        As with all areas of teaching, and with our own bible study, we need to be motivated by a genuine desire for the truth.

        bless you and thank your for this excellent series of posts.

  7. mywordlikefire says:

    Reblogged this on My Word Like Fire.

  8. mywordlikefire says:

    Pastor,
    I really appreciate this series. It seems many of us have battled so fiercely to warn about contemplative prayer etc. that now there is a fear of “experiencing” (this word elicits a strong response from some) the Holy Spirit.
    John

  9. James says:

    I used to know someone before we were Christians. We met in an Elim church & I was so pleased to see him. I went to shake his hand & he said to me, “What are you doing here?” I didn’t know what to say.
    He has become a leader of popular growing churches in the south of England. By “Friending” him on facebook I read that he was expecting a great man of God to preach at his church. I pointed out that it’s better to be a man of the Great God. Soon after, he “defriended” me because I pointed out that the pastor he used to promote his new book was Ray Bevan, who divorced his wife to be with another woman. He became involved with “Catch the fire” ministries.
    I’m just stating factual events, that’s all. I will leave you to make your own mind up.

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