There are a lot of people today who are
saved and want to serve their Saviour Jesus Christ in a greater capacity - but they don't know what to do.
Many churches today are offering cartwheels, barking, swooning, running in circles, falling over backwards, roaring, grunting, quacking, yelling, screaming, babbling, painted faces, swords, armor, chanting and
good old rock ‘n roll
as a way to become more full of the Holy Spirit with the aim of becoming a more powerful witness for Jesus.
WHERE.... OH WHERE.... DID THE WHEELS FALL OFF?
It comes as a shock to many to find the emperor really has no clothes on!
We'll look at the above topics and see what God's Word (KJV) says.
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
TONGUES is the supernatural ability to speak in previously unlearned, identifiable human languages. This was their purpose at Pentecost where unbelieving Jews heard Peter speak in their own language.
Paul outlines very clearly the purpose of tongues: "Wherefore tongues are for a sign (of judgement), not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.." (1 Cor 14:22).
BIBLICAL TONGUES WERE A
SIGN TO UNBELIEVING JEWS THAT THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD WAS FALLING ON ISRAEL.
The Jews should have known that when they heard foreign languages, this meant they were in for judgment, which came 38 years later in 70AD.
Paul was condemning the Corinthian church for using unknown languages by insisting they had interpreters. At Pentecost they didn't need any. Speaking in unknown tongues has been the hallmark of heathen religions. They increase Alpha-Wave activity working with `Broca's Area' of the brain to induce "good feelings". Transcendental Meditation achieves the same result.
NEVER IN THE BIBLE ARE TONGUES MENTIONED IN CONNECTION WITH PRAYER! Ordinary believers who pray are praying in their spirit and it is the Holy Spirit that issues "groanings and utterings" not the
"TONGUE SPEAKERS" PRAY IN VAIN. (MATT 6:7). Many earnest Christians today are deceived.
People look for new prophecy because they don't understand what's already there in the Bible. What new revelations could there possibly be? What would God be wanting to tell us that He hasn't already laid down in His Scriptures?
The present day church has fallen into error by not recognizing the three distinct groups mentioned in the Bible - The Jews, the Gentiles and the Church (1 Cor 10:32). The church today is guilty of committing acts of "vampirism" upon the Old Testament and the promises given to the Jews.
The Bible actually teaches about the remaining time of this age. Scripture doesn't foretell a revival of miracle sign gifts in the churches - just the opposite. The Scripture foretells of a leavening apostasy which will grow within the lump of Christendom until the whole is leavened (Matt 13:33).
APOSTLES AND PROPHETS
Are there any Apostles and Prophets today?
Eph 2:20 tells us they were used to lay the foundation of the church with Jesus Christ being the cornerstone.
Question: How many foundations can a building have? Answer: Just one.
What is then built on the foundation is the framework, walls, rooms etc. What the church has today are Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers to complete what the Apostles and Prophets started. False Apostles and Prophets with inauthentic doctrine (Acts 2:42) were detected by elders in the early church, by their lack of accompanying signs, wonders & mighty deeds (2 Cor 12:12). Where are the mighty Apostles today that can drink deadly things, take up deadly serpents, speak in tongues and lay hands on the sick?
Also, there were strict criteria to be an Apostle - personally chosen by Jesus Christ and witness to His ministry, death & resurrection. How can these requirements be fulfilled today? They can't!
With the church established and doctrine put down in written form, there was no further need for apostolic & prophetic work. Indeed Peter tells Timothy to do the work of an evangelist note: not a Prophet or Apostle). Why? That work was finished. Peter also warns the church to be on the lookout for false teachers of doctrine. Why? They weren't looking for prophets anymore, they'd come and gone!
1 & 2 Timothy warns us 12 times about distortion of doctrine (not prophecy) by false teachers.
SIGNS AND WONDERS
A look at Scripture shows us that they are no longer needed today. Acts 2:22 and Matthew 9:6 gives the reason Jesus performed signs and wonders - to show that He was approved of God as the Son of God.
The Apostles were given mighty deeds to authenticate themselves so as people would know that the correct doctrine of Christ was being preached. (Acts2:42; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4).
The Great Commission given to the Apostles in Mark 16:15-18 comes on the heels of a stern lecture given to them by Jesus a few verses earlier, upbraiding them for their unbelief and so finishes with verse 17 "And these signs shall follow them (the Apostles) that believe...".
BEING SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT
Misunderstanding of what baptism with the Holy Spirit is has led to gross mockery, heresy and pagan practices in the contemporary church.
The purpose of baptism with the Holy Spirit is clearly set out in 1 Cor 2:13 and Eph 4:5 and that is to unite the forgiven sinner into Jesus Christ.
A believer's fellowship with the holy Spirit has them both looking to Jesus Christ with the latter conforming the believer into the image of Jesus. It's never the believer & the Holy Spirit enjoying each other's company for its own sake.
By falling over backwards, getting "drunk in the Spirit" and barking like dogs, believers think they are more spiritual. It's either flesh or demonic.
What they are demonstrating is God's judgment upon themselves as falling backwards and drunkenness’ are signs of judgment in the Bible. "Being filled" in (Eph 5:18) means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Not many fillings but one baptism and the Spirit's control. Lazy people want to have the Holy Spirit drown their sin by remote control - with no effort on their part!
The misunderstood verse of Isaiah 53:5 "...and with his stripes we are healed." reveals that it has nothing to do with physical health at all (1 Peter 2:24). The healing that comes from Jesus' stripes is from sin - not physical disease or ill-health.
God heals today though and believers are to ask for health ACCORDING TO HIS WILL!
God didn't always heal in the 1st century as is seen in the cases of Timothy (1Tim 5:23); Trophimus (2Tim 4:20); Epaphroditus (Phil 2:26-27) and indeed Paul himself (2 Cor 12:7-10)
The word "heal' (therapeuo) is used 45 times in the Gospels and Acts & 3 times in the rest of the New Testament & 2 of these 3 refer to the Antichrist. "Wonder" (teras) is used 16 times, referring to the special signs of Christ and His apostles, and only once in the rest of the New Testament, being attributed to the false prophet.
WHY DIDN'T GOD HEAL THE FOLLOWING?
William Tyndale, the giant of English Scripture translation, suffered dreadfully with perpetual head colds and catarrh, from imprisonment and GREAT HYMN WRITERS SUFFERED DREADFULLY FROM SICKNESS. Charlotte Eliot was sick all her life. Fanny Crosby was blind from birth and for 95 years. She wrote "Saved by Grace" and "Safe in the Arms of Jesus". William Bradbury ("He Leadeth me"), August Toplady ("Rock of Ages"), Philipp Doddridge ("Oh Happy Day"), Sarah Adams ("Nearer my God to Thee") - all of them had tuberculosis all their lives and finally died of it. Isaac Watts ("When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" "Marching to Zion" "Joy to the World") had acute suffering all his life from a frail body. John Knox was sick all his life. John Bunyan was sick from the diseases he got while in prison. Joseph Scriben ("What a Friend We have in Jesus') had tragedy and sickness all his life. Frank Graff ("Does Jesus Care") was sick most of his life. Robert Murray McCheyne and David Brainerd, two of the holiest men of their time, both died of lung trouble at the age of 30.
Are men today that talk about healing more spiritual than those listed above?
We would think not!
God's word does not guarantee physical healing for Christians! Sometimes He heals; sometimes not. This is the clear example of the New Testament and is the honest experience of godly Christians of every century.
God has a purpose in our sicknesses, and as long as we are in this body we will be subject to infirmities, weaknesses, disease, old age & death.
AFTER ALL, DEATH IS THE RESULT OF THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BODY & DISEASE.
There are miracles for today, but and let's refuse to force the Bible to say what we want it to say. The Bible tells us that God doesn't always heal and that sickness and trouble can be blessings.
One way to increase our faith is to have it tried and tested under tribulation!
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"
Many Christians want to ignore this verse. Why?
They want everything to work out their way. They want to help God their way. Strange isn't it after God has reduced some to wheel chairs, they realised that God wanted them to spend more time in prayer.
YOU WANT TO BE FULL?
"For in him (Jesus Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are COMPLETE in him..."(Col 2:9-10) (the meaning of "complete" _ "having all its parts; entire; finished).
This verse literally means:
"YOU AREN'T MADE FULL IN HIM, BUT
IF YOU ARE IN HIM YOU ARE MADE FULL."
i.e. Our fullness comes from His fullness and His fullness is transfused into you by virtue of your incorporation into Him.
TONGUES + HEALINGS + PROPHECIES + FILLINGS + WONDERS WON'T MAKE YOU FULL IN A MILLION YEARS!
Looking for tongues, healings, prophecies, signs and wonders detract from Jesus - not what He is going to do for us, but what He has already done on the cross!
What Paul says is that in Christ the saints find the satisfaction of every spiritual want.
By Harley Hitchcock