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What These Preachers Are Spewing Could Kill You
By Bert Farias

There is an increasing measure of unbelief in today’s churches. Weak faith, little faith and no faith is at an all-time high. Strong faith, exceedingly great faith, and the kind of faith that causes Jesus to marvel (Matt. 8:10) is at an all-time low.

The first reason faith is now at an all-time low is because many believers don’t read or hear the pure Word of God. There’s a great mixture in our churches today. People put more faith in what the popular elevated teachers in the Christian culture say. They put more faith in man. They place their trust in logic, reasoning and the wisdom of men. Continue reading “Your Spiritual Diet Could Be Killing You!” »

Recently I heard a great prophetic teacher (Thamo Naidoo from South Africa) mention in his message that there is a difference between apostles of churches and apostles of Christ. He said that while there were many apostles of churches, there were only very few true apostles of Christ on the earth today. That one statement exploded on the inside of me and gave me much illumination.  I had never heard anyone make this delineation before, but it makes a lot of sense to me. The following is what I have unpacked in the scriptures since Thamo made this statement.

Essentially, the word apostle means a person who is sent to represent another, whether a king, kingdom, or entity like a church. 1 Corinthians 12:28 teaches that God places first in the church apostles, since they are sent by God to represent Him in a city to pioneer a beachhead (a church or ekklesia as shown in Matthew 16:18-19) for city transformation.

Apostles are the “sent ones” who represent the essence of what the church vision or mission is all about. In John 17, Jesus constantly referred to the fact that He was sent by the Father to the world, which is one reason why Hebrews 3:1 refers to Jesus as our Apostle. Jesus was God’s Apostle sent into the world to redeem it. In Revelation 22:14 we see the term “the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” There will never be another apostle added to that list since there were only twelve. However, it seems evident (at least to me) that Paul was also an apostle of Christ, which means this general category was not limited to merely 12 in total. Paul qualified his apostleship not only by planting churches but also by seeing Jesus (1 Cor. 9:1), which means that apostles at this level must have experienced a dynamic encounter and intimate walk with the Lord.

In the New Testament there were dozens of people identified as apostles. It is my view that since Paul was an apostle of Christ his apostleship transcended the churches he founded. Although Paul did not found the church in Rome, he was respected enough by the general body of Christ that he was able to write the letter to the Romans with apostolic weight and authority as if he was the one who planted it. Hence, apostles of Christ garner a high level of respect beyond the borders of their own church networks, even though they would never attempt to supplant the authority of an apostolic leader who is the founder and/or leader of another network (unless there was heresy or a gross violation of biblical ethics).

Also, Paul warned that there were some who were masquerading as apostles of Christ (2 Cor. 11:13), which probably means that this term (apostle of Christ) was used to identify some significant apostles who were not one of the original twelve. Furthermore, in 2 Cor. 8:23 Paul identified some as “apostles of the churches” (not “apostles of Christ”) which I believe refers to the fact that these leaders only had limited recognized apostolic authority related to representing a particular constellation of churches. Since apostles of Christ directly represent the Lord Jesus, they have a burden and calling for the whole body of Christ and/or a large expression of the global body of Christ. Apostles of Christ are also trans-cultural, trans-generational, and are more loyal to the Kingdom of God than to a specific geopolitical affinity.

The following are ten characteristics of apostles of Christ:

1. Apostles of Christ Build the Kingdom.
Oftentimes, church apostles are just focused on their local church and/or their network or denomination. One of the reasons is because their assignment is limited to those works they personally oversee or have founded. They do not have the grace or leadership capacity to go beyond their particular church system, doctrine and/or culture. On the other hand, apostles of Christ have an ambassadorial call that transcends any one church, movement or denomination. Hence, even if they try to focus on one group or movement, God will constantly pull them into other church communities and/or nations to build apostolic foundations related to doctrine or Kingdom life.

2. Apostles of Christ Are Not Hierarchical.
Generally speaking, church apostles can be caught up in titles, measures of influence within their movement, and/or church politics. Apostles of Christ do not personally crave titles (they will use them when appropriate) and do not need institutional church structures to validate their ministry or calling.

3. Apostles of Christ Don’t Strive For Recognition.
Philippians 2 teaches us that Jesus made Himself of no reputation. Apostles of Christ are often hidden and do not seek public attention, since they are already rooted strongly in their identity as sons of God and have no innate need for public acclaim.

4. Apostles of Christ Are Not Driven by Money.
Apostles of Christ have so much faith in their assignment from God, they trust God will provide all their needs as long as they are in His will. They do not go to a place to minister only because the offerings are good but will go only where the Lord is leading. Paul said he did not peddle the word of God for money (2 Cor. 2:17) and the apostle Peter warns shepherds not to minister for dishonest gain (1 Peter 5:2). Although I believe those who labor in the word full-time are worthy of double honor and should make a living from the gospel (1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Cor. 9:14), the bottom line for apostles of Christ is the will of God, not material gain.

5. Apostles of Christ Lay Down their Lives for the Gospel.
All of the original 12 Apostles (except John) as well as the apostle Paul were martyred for the gospel. As Jesus laid down His life for the sheep (John 10) those who represent Him are willing to die daily (Revelation 12:11; Acts 20:24; Galatians 2:19-20) whether it is to their own will or to literally lose their lives.

6. Apostles of Christ Have a Servant’s Heart.
Apostles of Christ are unassuming, do not have an entitlement mentality, have a servant’s heart, and do not lead with a top-down autocratic approach like the rulers of the Gentiles (Mark 10:42). They mimic Jesus’ words when He said that the greatest in the Kingdom is the one who serves (Mark 10:43-45).

7. Apostles of Christ Have Divine Influence and Calling Beyond their Network of Churches.
Although the apostle Paul strove not to preach where Christ was already named (Romans 15:20) his greatest epistle was to the church at Rome, where he endeavored to go in spite of the fact he was not their founding apostle. Paul had vast influence way beyond the primary sphere of activity he was focusing on (Read 2 Corinthians 10:10-14). His influence has even reached to us 2,000 years later through his inspired New Testament writings.

Since apostles of Christ represent the Lord Himself, by nature they have to be trans-national, trans-cultural, and multi-generational and have a desire for Kingdom advancement, not just the enlargement of their church networks.

8. Apostles of Christ Have an Intimate Walk with God.
Since apostles of Christ have to represent Jesus and not merely a church or denomination (of course all believers are called to represent Christ but apostolic callings have a greater measure of responsibility), they are obligated to know God intimately and walk in His presence and power.  All of the original 12 apostles walked with Jesus personally for more than three years before they were launched into their ministry, and Paul the apostle had a personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). All true apostles of Christ will have a driving passion to know God and to make Him known.

9. Apostles of Christ Endure Great Hardship.
Paul validated his apostleship by the immense hardships he endured, not just by signs and wonders and church planting (2 Corinthians 11:17-12:8). Paul said (1 Cor. 4:9) that apostles live like those condemned dying in the arena (or have the sentence of death upon themselves). This kind of apostolic leader must have the capacity for high-stress leadership combined with the kind of emotional maturity to deal with all kinds of difficulties that the average person could never endure.

10. Apostles of Christ Live in Simplicity.
Apostles of Christ do not need or desire to live a life of extreme luxury and opulence. Their spiritual and psychological needs have already been met through their deep and abiding relationship with Christ. They have been so satisfied with living with the person and presence of God that they count all things as dung compared to knowing Him (Philippians 3:8-14)! Their greatest desire in life is to fellowship with Him, meditate on the scriptures, and serve God’s people and Kingdom. Consequently they do not need to drive the most expensive cars, live in the largest houses or make a huge salary in order to be satisfied in this life. Consequently, they live in simplicity, are content with little and are not driven to pursue material possessions and pleasure.

After seeing these 10 traits, we can see how there are only very few apostles of Christ in this world. May the Lord raise more up in these days so the body of Christ can fully advance!

PRAISE, INC
By Rev. James L. Snyder

When the Crystal Palace Exhibition opened in 1851, people flocked to London’s Hyde Park to behold the marvels.

The biggest attraction was steam. Displayed for everyone were steam plows, steam locomotives, steam looms, steam organs and even a steam cannon. Steam captured the imagination of that generation.

Of all the outstanding exhibits the first-prize winner went to a steam contraption with seven thousand parts. When turned on, its pulleys, whistles, bells, and gears made a lot of noise, but, ironically, the contraption didn’t do a thing! Seven thousand moving parts making a lot of commotion . . . but having no practical use.

It’s easy to smile at a former generation’s fascination with steam. Nobody thinks much of steam today. We have many more things to hold our attraction. In today’s high-tech age, however, it’s easy to confuse activity with accomplishment. Many are fooled into thinking that the sound of gears and pulleys is the sound of something important being done.

The latest craze in the church is directed toward worship and praise. No matter where you go these days you cannot help running into WORSHIP CELEBRATION which can mean anything from a Christian band to repetitious singing of praise choruses. To the careful observer the obvious focus in much contemporary worship is how it makes the individual feel. This represents a shift in emphasis from former Christianity. The purpose appears to leave the worshiper feeling great and uplifted. Nothing’s wrong with that. Certainly, worship should make a person feel encouraged and inspired. This is just the thing needed in many congregations.

Not all worship, however, should make us feel wonderful. The saints of another generation spoke often of the “dread of the Lord.” What they meant by that few Christians today seem to understand. Often, in times past, a terrific fear of the Lord would come on the congregation resulting in a wonderful, overpowering sense of conviction. People would line the altar pouring out their soul to God, pleading for mercy.

That holy dread is a rarity in these days of self-assertive Christianity. The lack of the fear of the Lord permeates contemporary worship to such an extent that anything goes without the slightest regard of how it sets with God who we are supposed to be worshiping. This mixed bag of worship is glibly accepted with no discerning regard for God Himself.

On becoming more familiar with God the worshiper begins to understand that some things are acceptable to Him while other things are repulsive. To go by what is in vogue these days you would think nothing offends God and He accepts everything without discrimination. Forgotten are the awesome lessons found in the Old Testament, lessons that cost the Israelites dearly in their struggle to become acquainted with Jehovah. All of the rules and regulations in the Old Testament pointed to one astonishing truth: the holiness of God. When Aaron’s sons burned “strange fire” on the altar they were consumed by a holy God, intolerant of insubordination from His people. Some things God will not tolerate and to worship Him I need to know what they are.

Worship is serious business as far as God is concerned and He wants His people to so consider it when they approach Him. A superficial attitude only reveals a basic unfamiliarity with God on the part of the worshiper. By bringing into the worship experience things incompatible with the nature and character of God can only bring reproach upon the congregation and leadership. The trend today to drag elements of our culture into a service set apart for the worship of God must displease Him. With all the detailed instruction in the Bible concerning the character and nature of God it should be easy to see what He likes and dislikes. Could this be one reason Christians suffer defeat in many areas of their life?

An atrocity affecting our assemblies today is entertainmentism. This proliferation of entertainment in churches can only point to the stark fact that we have lost the wonder and the delightful sense of God’s presence among us. Entertainment centers on some performance which has no place in the solemn and exhilarating worship of God.

According to the Scriptures, the “arm of flesh” cannot serve God.

Performance always suppresses the Presence. The goal of each worship experience should be the manifested presence of God. Therefore, anything affecting this should be rooted out of our assemblies. Those are wonderful times when the Presence of the Lord is experienced in a worship act but it is not a frequent thing among most evangelical churches. Some believe the high energy and excitement produced in some religious services is the Presence of the Lord. And, if a person does not know the real thing, the mistaken identity is understandable.

In the clatter and clutter of some worship services it is quite impossible to really get to know God. The noise is enough to give the angels around the Throne a headache. This essential acquaintance with God cannot be done in the bright lights of exhibitionism. The calisthenics and commotion created in such circumstances are rarely of God. At the core of all authentic worship is a revelation of some aspect of Deity never realized before or seen in such light. Out of that revelation comes a deep sense of admiration which leads to adoration.

The worship of God, whether private or public, centers on the Presence of God becoming increasingly apparent. This is more than just thinking about God although that is a beginning. It is being aware of His Presence right in the place where you are, not just knowing God is omniscient. God is everywhere, but the conspicuous Presence of God is something else. God delights in showing Himself to His people and the Old Testament is full of such remarkable instances. Whether it is Moses or Abraham or Isaiah or David, God delighted in surprising them with spontaneous glimpses of Himself.

This level of worship crosses the threshold of human consciousness where personality meets personality, God mingling with the individual worshiper resulting in fellowship and communion. This is not something stagnant. Rather, it is a growing and delightful sense of becoming conversant with God. Not with the intellect alone, but with the spirit, that marvelous instrument of spiritual recognition and investigation. For it is only by our spirit that we can truly come to the knowledge of God in any degree. That is why a person must be “born-again.”

This “new creature in Christ” can recognize the Presence of God. It is important to cultivate that, or Practice the Presence of God, each day. As a person is able to recognize God in the various situations of life, the greater will be his ability to express to Him the appropriate praise and worship which He rightfully deserves. As this interior life develops in the Believer he becomes less and less occupied with external things.

What is meant by the “manifested Presence” of God? It is a moment when God shows some aspect of His nature to a prepared worshiper through revelation. The human spirit then becomes aware of the Divine Spirit as actually present. This happens only through revelation and not by any exterior manipulation. This is God doing what He does best for those He loves.

To become acutely aware of the Presence of God is not the casual thing some have made it. This awareness of God not only reveals the nature and character of God it also exposes, in the worshiper, any resident sin. In other words, anything that is out of sync with the Divine nature will be exposed and often in an unpleasant manner. One person put it this way, “The more aware I become of God the more aware I am of my own imperfections and sin.” It is a glaring contrast for the worshiper.

It was Dr. A.W. Tozer who once cautioned, “To seek high emotional states while living in sin is to throw our whole life open to self deception and the judgment of God.” What God cannot cleanse and purify, He cannot allow into His Presence. What cannot stand in God’s presence cannot serve Him.

Christian worship cannot be marketed like dry-goods and yet that is what is taking place. This represents a complete misunderstanding of the character and nature of spiritual worship. Giving people what they want may get increased crowds for a time. In the end, however, it will not prepare them to face God nor worship Him as He deserves to be worshiped.

The emotional gymnastics practiced by some leave little or no room for the Holy Spirit to negotiate in the person’s life. Motion and commotion have replaced the quiet afflatus of the Holy Spirit coming on a person manifesting the Presence of Christ that is so real and wonderful and delightful. The religious props in vogue are not necessary to the humble person bent on simply worshiping God. In fact, these props hinder the true process of worship. The religious toys and joy bells are not only unnecessary but they take the focus of the individual from Christ and put it on something exterior.

Anything placed before the soul instead of Christ is an idol and will lead away from Christ. Warning must be given to those who are in danger of this idolatry. More is at stake than a simple style of worship preference.

Worship services today must get back to the simplicity of the New Testament church and again direct the worshiper to Christ. All the claptrap must be carefully eliminated so the Holy Spirit can again reveal to entire congregations the magnificent beauty of Jesus Christ in His manifesting Presence.

When Charles Finney came to a community the conspirators of hell trembled and ultimately fell under the power of God. The purveyors of PRAISE, INC. have little in common with such a man. Let’s not be fooled into believing the noise and the lights so prevalent today have any practical or spiritual significance. We may have seven thousand moving parts but accomplishing nothing.###

How Long Will We Be Satisfied With Happy, Shallow Revivals?

By Bert Farias

Charismatic-worship

Many of our so called modern revivals are happy but shallow. This is of deep concern to me for I am not seeing the old anointings any more. My heart grieves especially for the young people who have never witnessed the real power of God.

Honestly, some things I see today are appalling. That old teaching that we are free from the Law has raised its ugly head again. Certainly, we are free from the Law written on stone, but we are not free from the Law that is written in our hearts. Continue reading “How Long Will Shallow, Spiritless Revivals Suffice?” »

What George O. Wood Really Thinks About Pentecostals Speaking in Tongues
By George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God

Several decades ago, I visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Looking up to Michelangelo’s great fresco of The Last Judgment, I thought to myself, Why is everyone raving about this work of art? It’s very occluded and dark.

What had happened is that over the last four centuries, there have been so many candles burning in the Sistine Chapel that the smoke had gradually put a layer of gray over the painting. So when I saw how dark it was, I wasn’t impressed at all. Now, many years later, it has been restored. All the smudge is gone and the colors are radiant and alive, and it’s as though the painting had just been done yesterday.

That’s what Pentecostalism, in its purist form, tries to do. It tries to erase the smudges on the church for the last 20 centuries and get back to what the early Christians believed and practiced. That is our goal—to get back to biblical, original Christianity.

I have been asked a number of times by national reporters about speaking in tongues. I was talking with a reporter from the New York Times and told him there’s nothing unusual about what Pentecostals are doing today. If you look at the first-century church, all the writers of the New Testament spoke in tongues and the Early Church spoke in tongues. So Pentecostalism, at its roots, is basically a restorationist movement. We believe that we can cut through 20 centuries of church tradition and get back to the original church. It doesn’t mean that we do everything like the original church, but we’re trying to have the same doctrine and experience of the Early Church.

In so many of our American churches today, little emphasis is placed on the Holy Spirit. Those of us in leadership, out of concern over this neglect, urge our pastors and churches to pray and provide opportunities for people to receive Spirit baptism with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. But, we must not stop there.

Pentecostals have always believed and taught that speaking in other tongues is the initial physical evidence.

But it is initial. We must have the initial evidence, but we must also go past the initial to the enduring work of the Spirit. The seventh doctrine of our Statement of Fundamental Truths declares that with the baptism in the Spirit “comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.”

This tenet also states: “With the baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, a deepened reverence for God, an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, and a more active love for Christ, for His Word, and for the lost.”

We believe the baptism in the Spirit brings the delight of initially speaking with other tongues, but if we stop there, this Pentecostal experience will have no ongoing fruitfulness. I grew up in the Assemblies of God when it was preached that the baptism of the Spirit is for the empowerment of believers for life and service.

In short, the enduring evidence of the baptism in the Spirit results in our fulfilling Acts 1:8. Evangelism and outreach is enduring evidence of the Spirit’s work. If we are not seeing this evidence—fruitfulness—we’re in trouble.###

This article was originally published on CharismaNews. Republished by permission.

Dr. George O. Wood currently serves as the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, headquartered in Springfield, MO.
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Dunamis-Power! By Dr. Steven LambertThe Baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced initially by the gift of tongues, is a separate and distinct experience to salvation that God offers to all believers. Both salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, however, are a work of the Holy Spirit. In salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer — this is the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. In the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the believer is enveloped by and immersed in the Holy Spirit; that is to say, the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer in contrast to into the believer. These facts are clearly supported by Scripture and are exemplified by the experience of Jesus Himself, who is our supreme Model. Dunamis! Power From On High, is available in both print and ebook formats. To learn more or order your copy, click on the cover image on the left. Ebook & epub format are available for immediate download.

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This article is part 4 of 5 in the series Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Multitudes of sincere believers around the world at this very moment are earnestly, and in some cases, desperately, crying out for God’s help in real overwhelming needs in their life, on the premise that it is divine intervention they need to bring answers and resolution to those problems.

But, the real truth is Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you,” that is, within every believer who has been immersed, or baptized, in the Holy Spirit! Continue reading “Dunamis! Power From On High!” »

John MacArthur—Strange Fire
By David Ravenhill

David Ravenhill, son of late prophetic sage Leonard Ravenhill

David Ravenhill

John MacArthur’s recent attack against the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement has certainly put him in the cross hairs of many. What possessed him to lash out against us is unknown. Was it sheer arrogance, ignorance or was he tempted or troubled by an evil spirit of some sort?

I can well understand some enthusiastic young buck zealously overstating his belief about some pet doctrinal belief he adheres to; but there is no excuse for a father in the faith to do the same.

What grieves my heart and the heart of many I know is the untold damage done to the young of the flock. Jesus warned us about this very thing when He said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” It is only when you consider the severity of the punishment that you realize how great this sin was that Jesus was referring to.

Only this morning I was reading again the story of how a handful of men successfully thwarted God’s purposes. This unbelieving minority caused the majority of God’s people to believe that what God said was possible, wasn’t for them. For the next forty wasted years they wandered aimlessly in the Wilderness. Then they died, never seeing the gifts that God had promised them. Why would anyone follow their example, and in so doing rob God’s people of the very gifts He purchased for them at the cost of His precious blood! “When He ascended on high…He gave gifts unto men” (Eph. 4:8).

You recall the day when the disciples were returning from one of their numerous field trips and began to tell the Lord what they had encountered. “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us. “Then a few verses later we are told that they wanted to call fire down from heaven and consume those who rejected the Lord. Jesus turned and rebuked them saying, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” One would have to wonder the same about John MacArthur.

While I will freely admit that the Charismatic movement could stand a little weeding in its own garden, I can also testify to the reality of the Holy Spirit’s power. The FBI does not have a host of undercover agents working tirelessly to track down the counterfeiting operation of criminals churning out millions of thirty dollar bills. The reason is simple, there are no genuine thirty dollar bills. The fact that there is false fire is a testimony to the real fire.

One of the sure proofs that the Holy Spirit is at work is evidenced by the presence of the enemy at work. In the parable of The Sower we are told that as soon as the seed was sown, then Satan cometh immediately. Many people mistakenly believe that any demonic or fleshly activity gives them the right to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The scriptures tell us that where there are no oxen the manger is clean, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest (Pro. 14:14). Some pastors would rather settle for a clean church with no life, than deal with the aftermath of the Spirit’s activity.

Let’s face it, if you are going to have children, expect spilled milk and dirty diapers. If on the other hand you want a perfectly spotless house, then don’t have children.

My father would often say that he would rather pour water on a fire than try and raise the dead. Some pastors would rather minister in a morgue than a nursery. The former seems to be John’s preference.

The best cure for a cessationist would be to fly them into some heathen jungle where they are surrounded by every form of demonic activity. Only then would they see the need for the Holy Spirit’s power to be manifest. It is a known fact that numerous evangelicals who have gone to the mission field believing that the gifts of the Spirit have been withdrawn from the church; have returned with the very opposite belief. Being confronted by the reality of the demonic, their only hope was to cry out to the living God and see His miraculous intervention through healings, deliverance, signs and wonders. Only when the people see that the God of the missionary is greater than their god, will they believe.

Can you imagine John MacArthur confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel? It takes more than fine expository preaching. It takes the God that answers by FIRE. Perhaps it’s time for him to climb down from his ivory tower of spiritual intellectualism and take a trip to the jungle for a season.###

This article was first published at on David’s blog (see link below).

Be Careful Whom You Damn

It is true that the Scriptures often warn us against deception, and it is true that some preach “another Jesus” (who is not Jesus at all) and “another gospel” (which is no gospel at all; see 2 Cor. 11:1-4; Gal. 1:6-9). And it is true that many false converts will be shocked when Jesus says to them on that great and dreadful Day, “Depart from me” (see Mat. 7:21-23; 25:31-46).

All of us should examine ourselves to be sure that we are “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5) and all of us should be diligent to “confirm [our] calling and election” (2 Pet. 1:10), and this does mean falling into performance-based religious exercises but rather living out our calling to be God’s children (see 2 Pet. 1:3-11; this is our response to what God has graciously done for us).

At the same time, we need to be very careful about setting ourselves up as the ultimate judge of who is saved and who is lost—meaning, among those who claim to be followers of the Jesus of the Scriptures. Continue reading “Condemn Not! You May Be the One That’s Wrong!” »

By Charles Carrin

The False Theory of Cessationism

To absolve itself of power failure, the contemporary Church has invented an escape hatch called cessation theology. This pleasant-sounding expression declares that God has withdrawn the Holy Spirit’s miraculous power from the Church. It says the Church’s power is in a book—the Bible—and nowhere else. This doctrine also says if we have no power it is because God has removed it, that the fault is not ours. (Yet, astonishingly, the Lord did not cause Satan’s power to be removed at the same time ours supposedly was.)

Modern Christianity has convinced itself that Jesus provided two distinct Gospels and two distinct faiths—one for the First Century Church and one for the Church that followed after. Cessationists say the first Church was miraculously empowered while the second was not; the first had the baptismal gift of the Holy Spirit, while the second was merely given a book telling what the Holy Spirit had achieved in the past. Continue reading “Are You An Apollos Or A Paul?” »

This article is part 3 of 5 in the series Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Why the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is Needed
By David Servant

How desperately we need the help of the Holy Spirit to minister to others! Without His help, we can never hope to make disciples of all nations. That is, in fact, the very reason Jesus promised to baptize believers in the Holy Spirit—so the world would hear the gospel. He said to His disciples:

Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, emphasis added).

Luke also records Jesus as saying:

It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:7-8, emphasis added).

Jesus told His disciples not even to leave Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.” He knew they would be essentially powerless otherwise, sure to fail at the task He had given them. We note that once they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, however, God began to use them supernaturally to spread the gospel. Continue reading “Why The Baptism In The Holy Spirit” »

IS IT “STRANGE FIRE” -OR- “HOLY FIRE”?
Charles Carrin

You will soon be hearing about two books: Strange Fire by Dr. John MacArthur and Holy Fire by Dr. R.T. Kendall. Dr. Kendall has written only in the emergency to defend Scripture and Charismatic Christians from Dr. MacArthur’s attack.

John MacArthur is a man of significant Christian stature. He is the author of more than 150 books, a study Bible, other best-selling material, and a college president. R.T. Kendall is equally a man of great achievement. He holds a PhD from Oxford University, authored more than 60 books, for twenty-five years was pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel near Buckingham Palace, and a leading voice in Reformed theological circles around the world. More recently he has become an outspoken defender of the plenary inspiration of the New Testament, including spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12,13,14). Unlike Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Kendall does not believe that portions of the New Testament or miraculous gifts of the Spirit have passed away. Continue reading “STRANGE Fire or HOLY Fire?” »

Dr. Mark RutlandJohn MacArthur, Cessation Theology and Trainspotting for Cave Dwellers
By Mark Rutland

The arrogance of making experience into a theology that trumps Scripture is exceeded only by the arrogance of making lack of experience into a theology that trumps Scripture.

In Irvine Welsh’s dark Scottish novel Trainspotting, a bum living in an abandoned train station tells others he is watching for trains. Of course it is useless. It is useless there, at least, in that abandoned station. Trains still run elsewhere in Scotland. Just not there.

Here is a simple truth: Just because trains don’t run past your house doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as trains. Furthermore, if there are no trains where you are, why not check out other, more active train stations? Trainspotting for cave dwellers is dismally disappointing business, and train denial is absurdly arrogant. Continue reading “Rutland Repudiates MacArthur’s Attack of Charismatic Theology” »

[Editor’s Note: Fundamentalist Baptist pastor and author John MacArthur has always been an outspoken critic of Pentecostal/Charismatic beliefs, particularly those regarding the continuation of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit following the original Day of Pentecost upon “all flesh” as Joel prophesied and Peter affirmed, which outpouring of the Water of the Holy Spirit distributes upon all recipients the supernatural “charismata” or Manifestation Gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11). Recently, MacArthur conducted a “Strange Fire Conference” that he publicized widely devoted entirely to denounce the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Gifts of the Spirit, and the innumerable myriads—now and through the previous twenty centuries—who have received of the Baptism in the Spirit and the precious and powerful Gifts He distributes to whoso He wills. MacArthur is a vehement proponent of “cessationism,” which is a theological proposition that maintains that Pentecostal outpouring was for the First Century church only, which the fundamentalists regard as “The Apostolic Age,” and the Gifts of the Spirit ceased with the death of John, the last of the Apostles of the Lamb to die. This entirely unbiblical belief has been adamantly held by myriad fundamentalists despite the fact that many more myriads of Born Again believers have been partakers of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and personal operators and beneficiaries of the Gifts of the Spirit in their lives, proving by personal and pragmatic experience that the naysaying view of the cessationists is simply wrong. A number of leading Pentecostal/Charismatic voices have recently published articles to refute the anti-biblical theories of MacArthur and the cessationists he represents and to appeal to MacArthur and his allies to desist from their public diatribe against and broad-brushed condemnation of Pentecostals and Charismatics, as well as their venomous rantings against the Holy Spirit and His Gifts that comes dangerously close to actually being blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the one and only sin which Jesus Himself said would never be forgiven (Mat. 12:31,32). This article is an excerpt of the writings of the late A.W. Tozer, well known for his prolific and masterful monographs regarding personal intimacy with the God.] Continue reading “REPROOF: Tozer to John MacArthur & 21st Century Fundamentalist Cessationists” »

Charles Carrin Preaching at Westminster Cathedral in LondonIn His first sermon Jesus told the people in Nazareth, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me because He has ANOINTED Me to preach the gospel…” (Lk. 4:18) As with Jesus, so with us: There can be no authentic preaching of the gospel without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

My 60+ years of ministry can be divided into two equal parts. For the first 27 years of pastoral work I was a hardline nonbeliever in the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit. My denomination insisted that miraculous works of the Spirit vanished when the Apostle John died and I wrongly carried that error to my congregation. During that period I never saw an alcoholic, drug addict, suicidal person, or someone with similar problems, be miraculously delivered by the power of God. It did not happen nor did I expect it. My ignorance of Scripture was very costly to me and my flock. Continue reading “Power For Preaching Through the Spirit’s Anointing” »

Dr. Steven LambertFriends, we believe God is leading us (SLM, Inc—Publisher of Spirit Life Magazine) to start an Internet Radio Station (aka, webcasting or netcasting) in order to take Spirit Life Magazine, the Real Truth Radio Program and many other teachings of Dr. Lambert (Founder/Editor of Spirit Life Magazine) as well as other outstanding Bible teachers to the world. In fact, we also believe that God is leading us to acquire an existing broadcast radio station as well, but we are starting with the Internet Radio Station in the meantime until that happens. We have no doubts about this being God’s leading for this ministry at this time. And this is by no means an impetuous thing. Fact is: He’s been speaking to us about a radio station for nearly 40 years! We believe NOW is the time!

 

NOW PLAYING: Special Message from Real Truth Radio Program Host, Dr. Steven Lambert:

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The Internet Radio Station will be available around the world 24/7, programmed with the finest available cutting-edge Spirit-anointed teaching programs focused on advancement of the Kingdom by some of the top teachers in the world, spiritual development of Body of Christ, and “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.” PLUS, all of that great teaching programming will be nested in between and surrounded by blocks of the best Christian Music of several different Gospel genres available! There’s nothing currently in existence like what we have planned for this 24/7 Internet Radio Station that people around the world will be able to access whenever they want!

Another important part of the daily programming will be a radio version of Spirit Life Magazine featuring news and commentary taken from many of the articles published on this website!

Real Truth Radio ProgramMoreover, this will actually only be the beginning of what we believe the Lord’s longer-term plans are, which includes FM/AM broadcast and short-wave radio stations to reach around the world, as well! Continue reading “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: The Real Truth Radio Network!” »

With all the proliferation and promotion of the prophetic that is happily taking place now in some streams and camps of the Church, it is critical that we understand what the true Purpose of the prophetic really is. Some prophetic novices and new prophetic groups appear to think that prophecy itself, whether in the form of personal prophesying over people or publishing prophecies on the Internet, for example, is the goal of the prophetic. Moreover, the actions, attitudes, and speech of some regarding the prophetic seem to indicate that they think that the prophetic is an end in itself. But, it’s not.

Though it may seem enigmatic to say, prophecy is not the Purpose of the prophetic. The true Purpose of the prophetic is not the prophetic itself as an end in itself. It’s not just prophesying. It’s not seeing who can prophesy the most, the loudest, the longest, the most authoritative sounding, or the most profoundly. It’s not to use the prophetic to build a name for oneself, or to promote and proliferate a ministry, a minister, or a movement, or to develop a means of support or income for a ministry, or to sell books, or to become well-known or famous, or to build a church, a following, or a prophetic organization, or to achieve personal ambitions. The true Purpose of the prophetic is none of those things. Continue reading “Prophetic Purpose” »

John MacArthur

John MacArthur

Pastor John MacArthur has announced a “strange fire” conference to be held this October, claiming that part of the charismatic movement “offers to God unacceptable worship, distorted worship. It blasphemes the Holy Spirit. It attributes to the Holy Spirit even the work of Satan.”

If these charges are true, this means that many leaders in the charismatic movement have committed the unpardonable sin and are therefore hell-bound. If these charges are not true, Pastor MacArthur has seriously overstepped his bounds and misused the Word of God.

And it is only fair to ask whether Pastor MacArthur, in his rightful zeal to correct excesses or errors in the charismatic movement—what he calls “strange fire”—is also guilty of rejecting the true fire. Does he embrace the glorious things the Holy Spirit is doing worldwide, resulting in the salvation of tens of millions of souls, or does he write them off as the result of emotionalism and deception? Continue reading “John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference” »

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, (Heb. 6:4-5)

Stephen, ‘Being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'” Acts 7:55-56

Dr. Eben Alexander1, neurosurgeon, faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a graduate of that University, contracted a vicious E-coli bacteria that plunged him into a seven-day coma. During that time the neocortex of his brain was shut-down. Mentally, he was dead. The medical team had no hope for his recovery. While in that state Dr. Alexander experienced a journey into the afterlife. There, he saw realities he never thought possible. Other doctors have since ridiculed his claim but Dr. Alexander held fast to the truth of his Heavenly encounter. In Newsweek Magazine, he wrote1:

“As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.” Continue reading “Powers of the Age to Come” »