Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Hyper-Pentacostal Movement

We have all seen them on TV.  "Preachers" such as Benny Hinn and churches like Faith Fellowship where their services are filled with "signs and wonders" and void of much Scripture.  People in those churches are caught up in waves of emotion and often give lots of money to these churches.  But is any of this Scriptural? Are these really movements of the Holy Spirit?  I will show you today that the answer is "No!" 

Before I get into specifics, I want make some general points. The argument usually given about these churches is that we are not to question the move of the Spirit and that God can move any way that He wants to.  I also heard it said that I am putting God in a box.  Well, I am not putting God in a box, I am holding Him to His Word.  And I can hold God to His because God and His Word are inseparable:  
IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 NKJV
Not only are God and in Word inseparable, but God's Word is eternal:
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8 NKJV
We can hold God to His Word.  It is eternal. It is unchangeable.  It is inseparable from God.   And not only that, we are to use this Word to judge whether something is of God or not. 
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
We have addressed their first argument, now let's address their other argument.  I have also been told not to judge how someone else is worshiping and that is just their way of worshiping God.  What does God say about worship?
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  John 4:23-24 NKJV
You say you are worshiping God in the Spirit, but is it also in Truth?  God seeks you to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.  What is Truth but the Word of God?  Therefore, your worship must be under the direction of the Holy Spirit and in the boundaries of His Word.  Furthermore, if you are not worshiping in Truth, you are not worshiping God in Spirit.  Remember, they are inseparable and God will not act outside His Word.  If you can not back up your worship with the Word of God, you are not worshiping in the Spirit of God. 

Now let's address the specific issues regarding this movement.

Being Slain in the Spirit

The Biblical defense for this is the example of such experiences as Adam being put into a deep sleep, the guards at Jesus' tomb being put into a deep sleep, the experience of Saul on the road to Tarus, etc.  God has put people to sleep and the power of God has knocked people off their feet, but it was always either for a specific purpose or when someone was actually in the presence of the Lord.  It was always a very limited experience and it had nothing to do with a minister.  There is no example in Scripture where Peter or Paul or any of the other Apostles slew anyone in the spirit.  There is also no example of someone pressing someone on the forehead to accomplish this.  There is no example of any sort of slaying in the spirit that we see in church today.  When tested against Scripture it fails. 

What's worse, is that it blasphemes against the Holy Spirit.  I have seen preachers slay people in the spirit with their coats, hands, or by simply "throwing" the spirit at people.  The "spirit" that these preachers claim to be slaying people with is the Holy Spirit.  Is the Holy Spirit a toy?  Can you direct the Holy Spirit? Of course not! The Holy Spirit is part of the Holy Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is GOD! You can not direct the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit directs you! Would you hit people with the son of God?  Would you pick up and throw the Father at others?  Of course not, but that is what ministers are claiming they area doing when the slay people in the spirit. 

Drunk in the Spirit

Being drunk in the spirit is actually acting intoxicated by being under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 

One verse used in their argument is in Acts 2 when just after the Pentecost the Apostles began preaching to those gathered.  Some scoffers made the claim that they were drunk.  From that passing inference by SCOFFERS it is assumed that the Apostles were behaving like they were drunk.  Considering the strong sober message preached by Peter, the fact that only a small minority in a large crowd perceived something, and with no other inference in Scripture, there is no basis to assume that they were "drunk" in the spirit. 

Another verse used for this is as follows:
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,  Ephesians 5:18 NKJV
That verse is making a contrast and not making parallels between being DRUNK on wine and being FILLED with he spirit.  If there is any confusion on the matter, you just need to read the rest of the sentence. 
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:19-21 NKJV
That is what it means to be filled with the spirit.  Does any of that mention acting drunk?  If you still aren't convinced, read this:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
If a fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control, how can you possibly believe that being "drunk" in the spirit is possible? 

Speaking in Tongues

These churches place a huge emphasis in speaking in tongues.  I do believe that speaking in tongues is a gift even for today, but these churches are not doing it in a Scriptural way.  First of all, most have as part of their Statement of Faith that all who are baptized in the spirit will speak in tongues.  That goes against what the Bible says:
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?  1 Corinthians 12:28-30 NKJV
God decides who speaks in tongues. And how does God decide?
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV
The Spirit gives gifts according to His will.  The Spirit decides who speaks in tongues and not all will speak in tongues.  They also use the Biblical accounts of so many early believers speaking in tongues as a sign of their salvation.  We need to put that into context.  Those early believers did not have the Word of God, only the words of men.  Their needed to be some affirmation for those pioneers of our faith to speak with authority.  We now have the Word of God and the accounts of those early saints. 

These churches also use tongues incorrectly.  The preacher will oftentimes ask the congregation to "pray in the spirit" or during worship many will start speaking in tongues.  That goes directly against what the Bible says:
If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.  1 Corinthians 14:27-28 NKJV
There is no interpretation and there are many speaking in tongues.  It is not of God because it is not consistent with His Word. 



Holy Laughter, Convulsing in the Spirit, Barking and animals sounds, etc.

I will not spend much time on these.  There is no Scriptural basis for these in any way shape or form whatsoever.  They are not listed as any kind of the fruit of the Spirit.  And there is not even a verse to take out of context to imply this sort of thing.   They are heresy plain and simple. 

Word of Faith / Wealth

And now we come to the grand finale.  After all the slayings and laughing and other lying signs and wonders we come to the wealth message.  Its a pretty good scam when you think about it - preachers who are wealthy teaching that Christians should be wealthy thereby making themselves appear more spiritual.  They act humble and tell you that they take no salary.  And while that is technically true, the ministry pays for their mansions, their luxury cars, their private jets, their expensive clothing, and their food.  In fact, anything they want the ministry provides meaning everything they want is given by their followers who "give sacrificially" to show their "faith" in order to attain the same wealth.  It is a damnable scam and a lie and those preachers will have to give an account. 

This is really the crux of it all.  This is why they have the lying signs and wonders and dubious healings.  It gives the preacher credibility.  Notice they all claim to be prophets (and in some cases even Apostles claiming that to be their God-given office).  This also gives them credibility because they claim to speak for God.  Some even go so far to say that they have the power of God where if they pray for something, they have enough faith to make it a reality.  That can be healing, wealth, anything. They claim the power to create.  They deceive many and are leading so many poor lost souls right into Hell. 

We live in perilous times.  I believe that if not now we are close to the Great Apostasy.  I believe that the end is coming.  I believe that us who adhere to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ must reach out to those being led in a lie.  It is hard to speak with someone under that kind of deception, but we must plant the seeds of Truth.  We must pray for them and even for the preachers.  We must also be vigilant to not fall into the same errors or deception.  We must be in His Word and know the Truth in order to recognize the lie.  I will conclude today with a warning from Scripture:
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 NKJV
and again:
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. " Mark 13:22-23 NKJV

10 comments:

  1. God bless you for holding forth the truth my friend...

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  2. "And there is not even a verse to take out of context to imply this sort of thing. They are heresy plain and simple." LOL! So very true. I was wondering if you were going to address those.

    Also you got to use the word "slew" which I think is very cool.

    All in all a nice post, NJBen. Glad to have read it today.

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  3. But is any of this Scriptural? Are these really movements of the Holy Spirit? I will show you today that the answer is "No!"

    Ben, you referred to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirt in a prior post. When Jesus spoke about this, it was right after the religious elders threw scripture at Jesus because he was moving in love and healing the people by the hand of God..this produced emotion in the people. He warned them because they were saying this was not done by the Spirt of God and used scripture to support their blasphemy. I believe this produced righteous anger in the Lord.

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  4. I am familiar with that verse. I was not referring directly to it in my post. Perhaps it was too similar to a popular Bible verse, but what I meant by blasphemous was that those preachers were promoting a wrong teaching regarding the Holy Spirit by giving themselves control over Him. I would agree that improperly using Scripture to manipulate people into believing a blasphemy would produce righteous anger in the Lord.

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  5. Just so we are clear...I do not know ..."that improperly using Scripture to manipulate people into believing a blasphemy would produce righteous anger in the Lord.", as you state.

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  6. Would you hit people with the son of God? Would you pick up and throw the Father at others?

    I cracked up when I read this...this is what I think you are doing in your posts!

    It may be more efficient to describe your successes in the areas that you speak about:

    1) Being a role model to YOUR child
    2) Sending YOUR child to public school
    3) YOUR VAST successful understanding of wives and how to handle them...good luck with this one if you think you know it all...I am on 11 years and I haven't even scratched the freaked surface..but that excites me!

    You can't deny that you are coming across as knowing it all. Also, you mention fixing your errors but your posts are still riddled with them. :)

    but hey! we don't get it all right the first time around! I am not sure what round I am on right now! :) constant process of refining.

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  7. I am not writing my own opinion, I am showing what the Word of God says. If you disagree with me, show me where the Word says differently. Its not me knowing anything, but about me taking the time to read and study the Word. I recommend doing the same, and if you see something different, please bring it to our attention.

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  8. James, I am sorry I had to delete your reply. Vulgar language will not be tolerated on this blog. This is a blog of the things of God, there is no place for filthy language. Here is your post cut and pasted with my comments added and with the bad language deleted:
    ----------
    Jkel112:

    Ok, for example:

    These churches also use tongues incorrectly.
    The preacher will oftentimes ask the congregation to "pray in the spirit"
    or during worship many will start speaking in tongues.
    That goes directly against what the Bible says:

    If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn,
    and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church,
    and let him speak to himself and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 NKJV
    There is no interpretation and there are many speaking in tongues.
    It is not of God because it is not consistent with His Word.

    I am totally missing your point here...
    Are you saying that this is not of God? What is not of God?
    Speaking in tongues or the preacher asking everyone to speak in tongues or...?
    Also, what do you mean by "there is no interpretation"?
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    Ben:

    The whole thing is not of God. The preacher asking the congregation to speak in tongues en masse and the congregation complying. It is how God instructed the gift to be used and being that speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit will not act outside the bounds of His Word, that expression of tongues is not of God. As for interpretation, God said that you are not to speak in tongues unless there is interpretation.
    --------------
    jkell1112:

    Also, do we know why Paul addressed the Corinthians about this?

    ----
    Ben:

    Because they had an overemphasis on the use of the gift of tongues. The same exact kind of church I was addressing.

    ---

    jkell1112:

    I think you are taking this out of context...If I were to stoop to taking this one scripture and state what
    I think it would mean simply by reading it...here is how I would take it:

    I would think Paul says that anyone who speaks in tongues(without an interpreter)
    is to keep silent in church..that includes the preacher...
    if he speaks in tongues then he is to keep quiet too!
    And not just the preacher, if anybody speaks even ONE word in church(if they have this gift),
    then they are DIRECTLY AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD AND SHALL BE DAMNED TO HELL! (The scripture says to KEEP QUIET)

    ---------------

    Ben:

    I do not understand this statement at all. In its context, Chapter 14 talks about God's plan for a church service. It speaks of men, women, gifts of the spirit, and how to have an orderly service. I did not take anything out on context. How do you make the leap from disobeying God's instruction for the proper use of tongues to "shall be damned to Hell!" I never said that in my post. I never said that in any of my posts in reference to anyone who has accepted Jesus as Lord. I have spoken about consequences and chastisements for those in the Lord, but that is not damnation.

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    jkell112:

    I am so freaked tired of people inserting rules\law into the New Testament...

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    Ben:

    What rules or laws have I added to the New Testament in any of my posts? I have backed up each and every thing I have said with Scripture. I am teaching God's Word as it applies to living a Godly life. I have not added anything, I am just sharing from God's Word. If I added something that has no bases in Scripture, I again invite you to let me know, but please provide Scripture as to how I am wrong.

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  9. Ben,

    It is amazing how you take one word that means "crap" and state that I was posting vulgar and filthy things and continue to allow these heretical teachings to remain for everybody's digestion.

    I can see this can go a hundred different directions... I would invite you for a night that we can discuss this along with your other posts.

    Thanks,
    James

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  10. Heresy is a big charge and if I am heretical in anything I wrote, I would like to correct it. Pleas show me what I posted that would count as heresy. I think a discussion could be a good idea as this is becoming personal and contentious and there is no place for that between 2 Christians.

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