Outrageous claims by John McArthur


John McArthur, as you may have heard, has organised a conference called Strange Fire, which will basically attack the charismatic section of the Body of Christ.

In this video clip from the Strange Fire site, McArthur makes some claims which are so far from the truth it gives an indication of what lengths he will go to with his conference in demonising charismatics.

He starts the video clip with an incorrect premise based on a half truth. Because he is a Reformed theologian, he is a believer in Sola Scriptura, which is, officially, the doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness, but is interpreted by some, including  McArthur in this clip, as the notion that every single word in the Bible is written by God, and that Scripture is elevated above the Spirit. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable, but the inspiration is of the Spirit – God-breathed.

Word vs Spirit or Word and Spirit?
Reformed Theologists have more of a relationship with the Word of God than with the Spirit. In reality the Word and Spirit are complimentary, but Reformists set one against the other when speaking of charismatic ministry. The first part of this clip is an indication of this doctrine of the Word where McArthur tells us we are solely saved by the work of the Word of God.

Whilst it is true that we are born again through the Word, the Holy Spirit also plays a massive part in salvation.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:7-14

The Helper is the Paraclete, the One Called Alongside, the One exactly like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Christ. So, whilst we are born again through the preaching of the incorruptible Word of God, we are born of the Spirit, according to Jesus. We cannot separate the two.

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”  John 3:5-6

As well as this, it is the Spirit who convinces us of our need of salvation, and it is the Spirit who leads us into all truth, confirming the Word preached. The reason for this is made plain by Paul, when reminding us that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

The Word without the Spirit is deadly. It is the Spirit of the Word which is our sufficiency. And, as I have said, we are born through the preaching of the Word, but of the Spirit.

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25

The Reformed attitude is often hardline. It also tends to legalism. As we have seen the Word is important, because it produces faith in the hearer, but we are born of the Spirit. The Reformed emphasis is on the Word at the expense of the Spirit. They make the Spirit dependent on the Word, when in truth they are of equal substance and of God.

Reformists will talk of the Spirit, but in a legalistic way which subordinates the Spirit. Apart from this the Reformed teaching is classically wary of the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, and their attacks on the charismatic movements demonstrate their aversion to a sound understanding in regard to the Spirit.

Seeking God for the Spirit
It is because of the absence of accurate teaching on the Spirit in the Church for so long that those who studied their Bibles and read of the Spirit sought God, resulting in the various revivals or moves of God which gradually brought the correct understanding of the role of the Spirit back into the Church, but the legalist Word-only people have a hard time accepting that the Holy Spirit of today is the exact same Holy Spirit of Jesus’ day and of the Apostles’ day, and is still alive and ready to work through the Church.

The Spirit was sent by the Father at Jesus’ request as evidence of His resurrection, according to Scripture. We can no longer deny the work of the Spirit as current and vital. It is true that some charismatics have not followed the exact instructions of the Word, but that is not the case in every instance, and the movement must be allowed to be drawn into correct doctrinal understanding of the Word and Spirit rather than be demonised and targeted as unsaved or not required through a negative conference.

Inexcusable attack
But McArthur commits to an inexcusable attack on the charismatic movement.

He says, first of all that the charismatics ‘do not have this’ – that is, the understanding that we are saved through the Word.

This is an outrageous claim, and unsustainable. I have been involved with charismatic ministries for years and the emphasis is on the teaching I have just outlined that we are saved through the preaching of the Word and by the new birth through the Spirit.

Much of the charismatic movement came into being through Baptists reading their Bibles, being curious about the Spirit, seeking God, being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues, praying for the sick, being earnest to prophesy, and recovering the teaching on the manifestations of the Spirit. Their Baptist background means they have a fundamentally evangelical doctrine which also took on a more lively understanding of the ministry of the Hoy Spirit.

Amazingly, McArthur adds to his first claim by stating that “they’re not even saved!” This is an outright lie. They are as saved as any evangelical. They have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

He goes on, “They’re in the movement struggling to be sanctified but without the means!” Well, he makes the claim but gives no reason for his baseless conclusions. This is a preposterous assumption. If they have received Jesus as Lord, they have been born again, they have been justified, they have been sanctified. Sanctification is through the new birth, not through works. We cannot sanctify ourselves. We are justified through faith and sanctified by the Word and Spirit.

But wait, there’s more. He goes on that there are “people in the movement looking for hope and comfort and they can’t find any!” Well this is an unbelievable slur on the movement. Here McArthur sets himself as expert enough to set up an entire conference dedicated to sowing discord amongst the brethren by attacking the charismatic movement, and he doesn’t even know the doctrine of salvation himself, then presumes to claim things which are simply not true.

And his conclusion – “Therefore if they don’t have it themselves, they can’t give it to anybody else!” Presumably he is referring to salvation. Well, this is an utter nonsense. the fact is that the charismatic churches have been thriving on preaching salvation for at least 40 years and are part of one of the fastest growing movements in the Christian fold. Their teaching is basically evangelical with an advanced understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But McArthur’s teaching of the Word sans Spirit means he teaches a legal gospel devoid of the Spirit, including the notion that only an exclusive elect will be saved anyway.

Salvation is by grace through faith
In fact, we are saved by grace through faith, not through a legalistic application of the Word of God. We are saved because we hear the preaching of the gospel, faith comes, and we acknowledge our need of a saviour through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When we confess Jesus as Lord, we are born again – born of the Spirit.

Charismatics know this and teach this throughout their assemblies. It is the basis of doctrine that a man or woman must be born again as Jesus said. The also teach that we cannot receive the Spirit without the new birth, which only coms through accepting Jesus as Lord and saviour. This alone refutes McArthur’s claims

I am not ignorant of the fact that in some charismatic circles there are excesses which bring a bad taste to the whole movement, but they are a vocal minority and the majority of charismatic churches quietly go about their work without rocking any boats. Sadly, the growth of the charismatic movements have troubled the legalists and liberals alike, and there is a growing antagonism resurfacing not unlike in the beginning days of the movement.

This conference is a set up designed to tear down a growing group of Christian churches. I predict it will cause division and that the attacks on charismatics will increase through blogs and in pulpits in Reformed churches, but that the charismatic and Pentecostal church will continue to grow exponentially despite the undeserved attacks of men like McArthur.

Paul had this to say about schisms and division – that they were the work of immature Christians and have no place in the Body.

121 thoughts on “Outrageous claims by John McArthur

  1. It will be intriguing to see what evidence is actually presented at this upcoming conference.

    My suggestion to my Charasmatic friends would be to hold a refutation conference a couple of weeks after “Strange Fire” at Bethel Church with Bill Johnson leading.

    Now THAT would allow both sides to have their “equal time”, present their arguments and let the brethren decide for themselves.


  2. John MacArthur comes across like a Masonic shill – like so many, ahem, “Church leaders”, especially from the USA. I have been on both sides of this divide and both have their truths and their perspective but both are inmates in the same prison clanging their cups to be heard above the din of Babylonian discord. Remember how God confused our tongues so people would not understand each other, even though they may ostensibly speak the same languages? This is in part why folk bicker instead of debating, and that they prefer their own opinion and perspective, but you have to die, in order to see from the Right on High.

    In 2001, the Holy Spirit connected me with a fellow I had known from my WOF days. I was searching for answers and he seemed to have something going on with God that (the religious) part of me wanted in on. I started attending the meetings at what seemed to be the prompting of the Lord. I would wonder at the strange manifestations going on around me but kept hearing in my inner man, “Just keep your eyes on Me!” I know the voice of Jesus so I know it was He, but as to this other stuff…sheesh, I thought they were in la-la land…

    At the third meeting, again they started their carry on and again I heard, “Just keep your eyes on Me” and I responded inside by just resting in Jesus and wham, I was granted a vision of Jesus crucified. I was looking straight at His face, the image was pixel perfect, I could see the thorns piercing his beautiful brow, a shock of the most beautiful wavy black hair, but the eyes, the eyes looked right through to the pit of my being and ‘spoke’ a sermon of love and redemption and MERCY! I jumped up and let out a “WOW” and from then on it was all on. For months I enjoyed the most profound experiences in God, and those around me were amazed at the sudden “growth”. It was like God turned my lights on and the gifts began to get stirred up and it got really amazing…for a while…

    Then it all turned to custard.

    The Holy Spirit had told me that He was going to show me what was “wrong” with Church. I began to see things which came from both sides of the divide, and the wrongs in both, and that no matter what, Jesus was at work bringing people to redemption in spite of their errors and sins as long as love ruled their heart.

    One of the most profound things that happened was the night the folk I had fellowship with were talking about going to Auckland to catch Creflo Dollars. I asked within “Should I go?” being still very tender and naive as to what was going on. Immediately I had an open vision of being in an open fronted freight elevator, in the corner of a the ground floor of a huge building, with the leader of the house church who was next to me.

    In front of me were what I “knew” were Catholics – thousands of them, and then the elevator began to ascend through varying levels of the evolution of Christendom until it came to the “10th level” and there before me was Creflo and his Church. The Word came, “This is where he has established himself, where he has spread out, however this is not for you” and at that, the elevator took off like a rocket and came in a place where there was a prairie like field that went on forever, and it was bare and undeveloped but pristine and I heard, “This is where I want to take you”.

    It has taken 12yrs of study and inquiry and prayer to become confirmed in the conclusion that the Church (Kirke) is not the answer but in fact is a very big part of the problem which is why it needs to be not just re-formed, but reborn. Too few Christians understand the origins of religion, and that the reason why religions share so many similarities is that they all come from the same root of organized rebellion against God – the Babylon of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz. Unfortunately this leavening has meant that what is called the Body of Christ is the Pharisaic system co-mingled with the corruption of the Empire into a burgeoning world system of Government, Religion and Commerce – to wit, the resurgent World Empire of Babylon the Great, Mother (genesis) of all harlotry.

    When it seemed that I had seen so much of what was wrong with Church, I despaired and just gave up on the inside, it was all too big for me, and at that moment of abject defeat, the Holy Spirit lifted up something like a full length mirror in front of me and in an instant, I was given to see all of the things that I had seen in others and where they were in me, and the inescapable conclusion was that for my part, I was what was wrong with Church. In that kairos moment of that epiphany I saw for the first time my part in the mess that is called Church, and heard, “Do you want Me to fix it?” I said yes and heard, “Good, now we begin…”

    12 years later it is beginning to feel like I am actually getting it…to die…to walk in the resurrection instead of resurrecting my own flesh…raising the “dead” as it were…

    Jesus only gave us one commandment and one goal: To LOVE, one to another as He first loved us, and to become perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. I have found most Xians skip over that scripture and put in the “what the hell – that’s impossible” file, along with raising the dead. Jesus meant for us to become mature, perfected in Love, even as your Father is – in other words, the more that you become one with the Love of the Father, the more that His Love will work through you and you will do as you see your Father do and the Father within, He and you will do the greater works as you do only what you see Him do. That is how the Power works, now that he is “gone” to be with the Father.

    Love is both the ‘problem’ and the answer. Love is the key which opens the door to the Power House, the Strong Tower of Jesus. Loveless, we loiter and languish in Babylon, looking for a Way out…preaching kingdom living and fretting about our pay check and tithes…putting on a smiley face for our fellow parishioners (anagram ‘ah prisoners’).

    I write out of concern and love for my fellow ‘Roman’ inmates who are asking why it is as it is, why did God set it all up this way, knowing that Man would go astray.

    32. For God combined all human beings in non-communion, so that He may be merciful to every human being.

    33. Oh, the depth and wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God, that no human being can wipe out their debt and follow on the heels of his ways.

    34. “For who understands the Omniscience of the Lord?
    Or who can be His councilor?
    35. “And who first gave him righteousness and received it back from him?”
    36. For all is from him and everyone is through him and everything is in his hands,
    To him glory and blessing, to [the end of] the universe, of all the universes, amen.

  3. Is this conference REALLY about tearing down, or more bringing some Word-based balance to the angel feathers and golden dust crowd? The ever-growing demand for a manifestation, or stimulation of the senses, on Sunday morning and at the conferences is unhealthy, but the magpies of this world will ever be drawn to the bright baubles of ‘spirituality’.

    Ian, you have been asked this before probably, but I have been away. What’s with ‘xtians’? A play on words with the cross letter? Criss-cross, or just can’t be bothered to write it out in full despite several A4 pages of information per post? Just curious 🙂

  4. If you view the video you will see for yourself at it is tearing down, and using incorrect evidence.

    Whatever happened to dialogue between Christians? We spent years in our city working through various issues of difference between various theologies, including charismatics, evangelicals, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Uniting Church, Anglicans and catholics.

    The dialogue brought unity, stopped church-hopping, encouraged ministers, built a better Christian community. No one is perfect, that’s why we need Christ. We need each other. The sign of unity amongst believers and that we are true disciples of Christ is that we love one another, not tear each other to shreds. That is when God commands the anointing.

    Just looking at what people in McArthur’s clan say about charismatics tells a charismatic that he doesn’t really understand charismatics, looks for the most sensational and fringe ministries for examples of excess (and they are very much there, which I do not deny), and uses the contrived, inaccurate, typical historical view of how the charismatic movement began (which has been proven to be incorrect, but conveniently not rectified by opponents), has an unscriptural view of speaking in tongues, prophecy, the manifestations of the Spirit, the gifts and correct procedures for engaging with the Spirit in them. Some of the critics are cessationists who deny the present day work of the Holy Spirit.

    So, unless there has been a major change, the same old criticisms will surface, old scars will be reopened, the same errors will be made and the same false accusations levelled at the brethren.

    Don’t forget, of course, the new book which McArthur will have on sale (already available on his site), the audio and video available on sale afterwards, and the rest of the showtime peripherals which people can tap into. Maybe he’ll make them available gratis.

    One of the first ministries to attack the charismatic movement in this way was Pentecostal Jimmy Swaggart, who tore into charismatic preachers week after week, in his TV shows and in magazine articles in between condemning the porn magazines he was researching. He still does attack charismatics, now he is ‘restored’ intp ministry, and son Donny is still having a go.

    Charismatic thought it has subsided over the years as their ministries matured and became more mainstream, but the Reformed preachers will always have a go at the ‘holy rollers’ (LOL) and Spirit-filled mob, because, if it is true about the work of the Holy Spirit for today, as portrayed by charismatics, some of the Reformed preachers will have to repent big-time.

    No matter. If, as Gamaliel said, it is of God, who can stop it?

  5. I understand where you are coming from and don’t seek to defend one side over another. I would hope that Macarthur is not tarring every charismatic church with the same brush. I have been around charismatic leaning churches for most of my believing life, and can attest to the ease with which people decouple their brains and get caught up in various manifestations, feelings, and extra-biblical experiences. I have seen much froth but often no depth, substance or evidence of lives changed. Maybe this conference is a timely call for change.

    When focussing on spiritual things, charismatic ministers often ask the audience to not allow their thinking to get in the way of the experience or manifestation. As Macarthur would state, this is based on a poor knowledge of the scriptures, which clearly, unambiguously and directly call on believers to example Christ by the ‘renewing of their minds’, not ‘toke the Ghost’ or collapse in hysterical laughter/animal noises (I know, these are easy extremes to quote and don’t figure during an average Sunday at charismatic churches). But you get my point, I hope. Our minds engage with the Word; it is brought to life by the Spirit; we are changed from glory to glory into the likeness of Jesus, who knew his scriptures back to front, upside down and every which way.

    His ‘outrageous’ claims are more to give the conference some hype and profile I expect, taken out of his broader contextual thinking. It is no bad thing to bring an emphasis back on expounding the bible over the higher profile glitterati’s methods. Finally, he may well be challenging charismatics to get back in their Word, because the thin self-help gruel dished up from the pulpits (my experience, not yours perhaps) all too often isn’t enough to satisfy. Perhaps that’s why an experience is so much more appealing to these folks than working out our faith in fear and trembling under conviction of the Spirit through the teaching of the Word.

  6. a shock of the most beautiful wavy black hair

    Well if we ever required proof that your visions are bullshit, there it is. Beautiful wavy hair…had his own hairdresser as they hoisted him up did he? Jesus in al probability had short wiry hair…dark brown…and certainly not long and wavy.

  7. Xians was coined by C S Lewis. I was deeply moved by the Lewis apologetic Mere Christianity, from where I got it, I guess it is short hand and the X represents the Tau or Cross of Jesus. Remember, He was (in Aramaic) the Alap and the Tau, the Ox and the Mark, the Head and the Consummation, the Beginning and the End. I also like it as a play on words, as I have had to die and be reborn, so I have a new name in heaven that only God knows, just as Jesus does, and so in reality I am an Ex Ian as it is no longer I(an) which lives, but Christ which lives in me, my hope or image or ‘Tau’ goal of glory. I guess you could say He is my Strong Tau. 0(:->)

    (If yuou want to see a real tear jerker that will challenge the depths of your faith, watch Shadowlands, with Anthony Hopkins sublime in his portrayal of a Love lorn Lewis coming to terms with heart rending loss.)

    I saw and experienced amazing manifestations during the period in question. One particular time, I was instructed to go to a particular church quite a long way off, and to be there at the exact time of 10am. In the morning when I was getting ready, I had pretty much left myself about exactly enough time to get shaved, showered, dressed and there by 10. But God had different ideas – and He bade me and made me pray in gut wrenching intercession before Him on the cold bathroom floor, it was agonizing intercession for those of you who know of such things.

    When I got up I was told not to look at any clocks, not to speed, just focus on your objective. When I got to the fellowship the clock in the foyer ticked 10am – exactly – I was impressed – God did something with time. There was no other explanation for what had happened, except maybe their clock was about 20 minutes out.

    The place was packed, and I stood right at the back and heard to put out my hands palms up, and immediately a golden orb appeared in each hand, a little smaller than a golf ball. Right now Greg and co will be spitting sparks if they are reading this but it happened TO ME guys, not by me. I heard to cast the one in my right hand over the congregation and to swallow the other. As i did, the first one shattered like mercury into a myriad of droplets, each one “touching” a person and the praise hit the turbo button and went from average to extraordinary in a heart beat – and my voice, and I have got what I am told is a very good singing voice – went like that of an Angel – I have never sung quite like it – I went up two full octaves from my “normal” two octave range.

    Either I God did a miracle on my larynx or my pants were too tight. When the meeting had finished and the folk were mingling, the pastorette came up and asked me “Hi Ian, what are you doing here? Great service huh?” and wandered off.

    About eighteen months later, I was told to go back to this place, but just to observe, and the pastorette (who in a former life was a professional muso of sorts) was pumping the congregation exhorting them to try harder, to push harder, yeah we can get it again, remember when the Shekinnah came into the meeting and the praise went through the roof, remember, push in, try harder…(cue Hillsongs songs…)

    Afterward she came up and said, “Hi Ian, what are you doing here…?”

    He came to His own and His one knew Him not – for as surely as you have done it for the least of these my Brethren (who are My Brethren but they that do the will of My Father?) you have done it for Me and to Me. This too is why in these last days, many who call themselves Christians will be much more about John 16:3 than John 3:16.

    If Jesus says, “If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to of for Me, then it seems that Jesus identifies even the least as a being “Him” – the Word made flesh, and to not be a doer of the works is to be antichrist, but His brethren are they who do the will of His Father and they who are not counted as Brethren do the will of their father.

    During that time, I saw amazing manifestations, and I also saw the flesh furiously latching on them, trying to get in on the action, which made me very cautious. I saw very real things, had times when the presence of God was so strong I could not speak but was dumb with awe – amazing things – so many I could write many books on it – and then Jesus showed me that this is but a foretaste of the world to come – that people will walk in the Power of His Spirit as they put on their true identity from heaven, from the beginning, who they were created in Christ to be.

    But it also a drug, and an escape from the world rather than developing the maturity and the means by which to reign in Life through the One, Christ Jesus.

    He also showed me how people psychologically and soulishly reproduce what have been at times real manifestations, but they shortcut the process and leave out the repentance needed to really involve God in your circumstances and instead settle for a counterfeit in a religious compulsion to feel justified, to be seen to do something “pleasing” to God. And how others mimic what is going on so as not to feel left out…

    He also showed me that even the real manifestations are NOT where it is at, and the real gold of His Glory is so that we will be filled with Him and made complete in Him so that he may be fulfilled in the fulfillment of His servants and sons and daughters. Not only is His joy our strength, but our strength is His joy, for His strength is perfected in our weakness and His grace is sufficient for us.

    It is the Orbis Vita, the Circle of Life – it begins in God and ends in God.

    Don’t you know that you must be born from above? It pleases God to bring us as dear children to completion in Him.

    When a man dies, his body returns to the dust, and his Spirit returns to the Lord who gave it. Ecc 12:7 That is OT too…go figure…where’s the part about hell?

  8. Let’s be real. Everyone is a heretic or false Christian to someone. Because most Christians define themselves by who’s out than who’s in.

    The Confusing World of Dr. John MacArthur

    Pastor John F. MacArthur is a dangerous man doctrinally, and a false prophet.


    So we have Steve: Defender of the Faith admonishing John MacArthur: Defender of the Faith.

    Don’t really see much defending going on.

    More like attacking others.

  9. Come on Gregorius, you have seen Jesus already or you are going by that bad joke on Jesus, ape man looking image promoted in the media? You speculate as to what He looks like? Have you asked Him to show how He really is?

    And Jesus does not look blonde Aryan or Anglo Saxon either – He looks very Jewish – and as I have seen Him in many manifestations and at many times I think maybe you should just run it past Jesus before running me through with your sword – you may just be wrong! And don’t select the seat of the scornful when you are to be seated from the Right of Majesty on High.

    Why don’t you ask instead of just dismissing me as it has never happened to you and really, truth be known,you are probably jealous of God and how He could grant experiences to others which have been kept from you, yes?

    I asked God once what the devil’s real sin or weakness was, and He said “He wanted me to himself.” He is envious of any whom God bestows gifts upon – his is the heart of avarice – he does not want followers or adherents, he wants only to kill, to rob and to destroy. Never, ever forget that. Like the Blues Bros, he is on a mission from God…to sift Mankind, and what is more, he was “Mr Music”, and when God releases His New Music it will really antagonize him, and make HillSongs and Hymnals redundant…thank God…

    The difference between you and me Greg is that to me, nothing is impossible with God, and no one is irredeemable, and all things are possible to those that believe that all things are possible. That is why I experience and minister miracles and I suppose, you do not. But the same God will answer all who call upon Him whose heart is after God.

    10. To us, however, God revealed it through His Spirit, for the Spirit can fathom anything, even the depths of God.
    11. For which human being knows what it is to be human, if it were not for the human spirit within them. Likewise no human being knows about God, except for the Spirit of God.
    12. We, however, did not receive the spirit of the world, except [we received] the Spirit from God, in order that we may know the endowment we received from God.

    13. Even these things that we speak, are not through the knowledge of words, by human wisdom, except through the enlightenment of the Spirit, and regarding spirits we have contemplated spiritually.
    14. For the human being is a lone soul and [human beings] cannot receive that which is spiritual, for that causes contention in them, and they cannot comprehend how to judge the spiritual.
    15. The holy Spirit, however, judges everything, and He cannot be judged by any human being.
    16. For who understands the Lord’s perception, so as to teach Him? We, however, have Christ’s perception.

  10. Ian you said, ”When a man dies, his body returns to the dust, and his Spirit returns to the Lord who gave it. Ecc 12:7 That is OT too…go figure…where’s the part about hell?”

    I didn’t honestly understand what point you were making with respect to the rest of your post. You seem to be saying that everybody’s spirit (not that scripture expresses the nature of man those Grecian terms) goes to God – so ALL are saved? Where indeed is the part about hell (and its mythological Dantean imagery)? In that one quote you hit upon 2 of my pet peeves about so called ‘orthodox’ traditional beliefs.

    Anyway, yes spiritual activity happens, but it is gifted for the building up of the saints, not their entertainment. That is a key point of reference when discerning what is happening in a meeting, I would say.

  11. All of these people are exposing each other in love.

    Yeah a bit like someone on here saying they couldn’t even stand the photo of a certain minister/theologian.

    In love of course.

  12. Btw wazza thanks for the David Stewart exposè. Not that I have a clue who he is but in all these instances when there’s finger pointing, there’s always three fingers pointing back.

  13. Its a little strange having a seminar and book about how some other branch of the church is wrong.

    No stranger I suppose than the anti-Catholic series of posts that were here a while back.

    The ‘bible-based’ fundmentalist crowd are more likely to point fingers at one another because they think they have the ‘truth’. They can’t stand it when someone who claims to be biblical comes to a different conclusion or interpretation. Which they do, often.

    There are a million little split-off churches who all claim to be based on the Bible.

  14. Wazza – ”The ‘bible-based’ fundmentalist crowd are more likely to point fingers at one another”.

    I assume then you’re inferring that the non-bible based liberal crowd wouldn’t point fingers at each, probably on the grounds that they are quite happy believing they are all correct (if it even matters) in their vague, non-precision, fluffy ‘interpretations’ of Christianity 😉

  15. I don’t have an issue with pointing out error if it is on a scriptural basis. Liberals will always have a problem with this because they don’t, in general, have any trust in scripture and are more likely to attack the authenticity of scripture than use scripture to define or defend doctrine.

    They almost exclude themselves from the argument altogether by their own determination to shoot the messenger – the Word itself.

    Catholics, on the other hand, left the scripture long ago and have traditions which often contradict scripture, as Luther and others pointed out, some to their own deep and deadly cost.

    McArthur has set himself as the chief antagonist of charismatic doctrine. I am not a charismatic. I am defending their right to be allowed to develop a theology which defines their various movements and stands as a defence against hardline Reformists like McArthur, whose beam prohibits him from seeing the speck he perceives.

    Having read McArthur I see no defence of the faith from him in regard to his aversion to the charismatic movements, which are varied and have developed from a divers section of traditional denominations, including Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, well the number of doctrinal influences is huge and wide spread.

    But it should be simple to see from this assortment that the basic doctrines of their denominations, behind the move of the Spirit which drew them into a charismatic belief system, will not have changed in regard to beliefs on how salvation takes place and what it means to be a Christian.

    What McArthur is calling ‘strange fire’ is in fact the moving of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

    This is a far more serious attack than a mere attack on the excesses of a movement still in a development stage. McArthur is taking on the Holy Spirit Himself.

    We’re not talking about Pentecostalism here, which is different again, but the manifold charismatic movements which comprise of people from traditional mainstream churches who have been filled with the Spirit and embraced the teaching that the Holy Spirit and His gifts are still available to the Church as ministry tools today, and have not ceased.

    Many of these people remain in their denominations. Others have been pressured to leave to join the growing contemporary church movements which have created mega-churches.

    Sadly, the resistance of the traditional denominations to the Spirit have caused this division, but in recent times there has been some healing as denominations relaxed their antipathy towards the Holy Spirit’s manifestations.

    Now McArthur wants to revisit this and rather than help repair the breach, widen it as far as he can.

  16. Ian. Last warning. Stick to the subject. You have your own page for divergent ideas. Not here.

  17. In other words Johnny Mac, like other possessors of the ‘truth’, says I’ll defend my faith – by attacking yours.

  18. If you look at what McArthur claims he is attacking the faith. He is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

    He is not one to defend the outpouring on the Day of Pentecost as current and vital, or the promise, manifestations and gifts of the Spirit as contemporaneous, essential and active.

    Rather he calls them ‘strange fire’. He groups the genuine manifestations and outpouring with things which are excessive and wrong and, in so doing, disputes the actual work of the Spirit.

    I would say he is on trouble.

    That is is business. I merely put up a video he has on his website which clearly says things which are inaccurate.

    If he wants to train his own adherents in Reformed theology let him go ahead, but to claim that charismatic are not saved, nor could be, nor know how to be, have no hope, etc, in this video, is either very careless or callous.

    The truth is he doesn’t even believe this, and has other videos on his site which completely contradict what he says in this one.

    I’m not a charismatic, but I know people who are and I have a good handle on their basic doctrine of the Spirit. As I have said, they come from many different denominational backgrounds. This mean there are variations on their doctrinal understandings in different areas.

    What I say or McArthur says isn’t the issue. What the Word says is. But you can’t deal with that one because you don’t actually believe most of the Word.

  19. I have had unusual seasons of spiritual activity in my life, many times fiery hot, but never below a smoulder. It is not something I chose just as I am not my own Genesis.

    As you say, the manifestations are for our sakes, to prepare us for service, and not for our entertainment. But we know people love to have their ears tickled and God grants leaders and teachers after our own hearts, to wit, we choose our own masters, or we choose God – God does not choose them for us. Think Saul the master King and King David, the Master’s servant. The leaders we choose enslave us and because we invest our faith and authority in them, we then relinquish it to the beast.

    God’s chosen are leaders by they who lead by an example of SERVICE and hold oversight to be a profound responsibility and a sacred office in Christ’s stead, rather than instead of Christ.

    Where the confusion over salvation arises is out of the failure to discern temporal and eternal salvation, and the use of verbs which are not seen in proper context as we tend to project our image of God onto Him and so “hear” Him according to what is in our heart and so speak abundantly too from the same resource.

    Our salvation was established by God in Christ before the foundations of the Universe – it was always God’s INTENTION to SAVE to the uttermost – He is a LOOSER, not a loser – and His INTENTION, His PLAN is the restoration of all things both in heaven and in the earth from the Head.

    God does not have a plan B, but He has a plan that involves, and evolves, all the “B’s”

    Jesus gave me a revelation of being one – body, mind and spirit – and in that revelation my body was not my earthly tabernacle or body but the heavenly which co-exists in Christ with God. We are so attached to our flesh and bone being that we tend to see from a carnal perspective and it is in the limitations of the carnal mind we are imprisoned by our own judgments and harried by our own tormentors – sounds sort of like a living hell.

    Your Ruach or breath returns to God – it is your life – it is Christ – it always was and is. Without it you could not have been born or lived, and when faith came, that eternal SEED sown in your heart sprang into Life, and Life more abundantly. Another image is of the Life of the Tree, or the Tree of Life, in the MIDST of the garden which you are. You are God’s garden if you but knew it, His kingdom if you could but see. He is everything, he owns everything. This is much bigger than you think.

    The Church has sold a message that says you hear the Word, the seed is sown and then faith comes and voila, your God shaped hole is filled and you are saved and heaven bound, unless of course you miss it and go to hell or don’t get saved and so are damned for being ignorant of God’s great love! It does not make sense. Though I do believe that God loves me so much he would send me to Gehenna if that is what it takes, and even fiery lakes, to bring me to completion in Him, I would prefer it not to die in my sins and not have to suffer such agonies of correction.

    Man is not an animal waiting to be enlivened; flesh and bone Man is a living Tabernacle which is inhabited by a human being waiting to be reconnected to the Source, The Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, the inner man which is Christ in you, your image of glory, the part of you made in the image and likeness of God. But there is a base nature in Man too, that of the Serpent of old (think of the imagery of a sperm entering an egg – the serpent entering the world). The Serpent sin nature has a voice, and it is the nature of the flesh, and it is old and nasty and ugly and needs to die – but it leaves a stain of sin upon our eternal being which only the washing of the water of the Word can cleanse, and for now, Jesus presents us as being already spotless before God as He pleads on our behalf before the Father.

    Man becomes as a god by following satan and rebelling against God by grasping at their inherent god-likeness, and being sold the Brooklyn Bridge by the Serpent – I mean, they were already made in the image and likeness of God as all sufficient works of grace that they should walk thereby, yet they thought that there must be more and so fell into the condemnation of the devil.

    I asked God to define sin and holiness to me and the answer was “It is simple, holiness is separation TO Me, and sin is separation from Me.” Like salvation, sin is both a state of being and an effect.

    When our eternal security, our eternal provision, and God’s eternal Love and Mercy become our experience as the practical outworking of the salvation secured for us in Christ before the Universe and to the extent of the Universe of Universes, it comes as we work out our salvation serving God unconsciously as sheep, forgiving so that we may be forgiven knowing that we are forgiven.

    So too sin is both a state of being and an act, and the sinner serves himself unconsciously and becomes his own genesis, his own creator, denying God as God, not being fulfilled as is our eternal purpose as He brings the many Sons to maturity.

    The flesh lusts after the Spirit and the Spirit resists the flesh. We are resistance fighters, and to strain the metaphor for all its worth, resistance creates heat, and the heat burns the grass which is the flesh. No flesh inherits the kingdom, all flesh burns, all flesh dies, all flesh is as grass. Only the Gold, Silver and Precious Gems, aka, Faith, Hope and Love, remain.

    It all comes down to which Father, or witch father we follow, and whose works we do, and in the first instance it means walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and in the second it means being nailed to the tree of your own judgment, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, like a serpent instead of a Son. See how it works? See why you feel imprisoned, powerless, and the ever present obsessive compulsive need to improve yourself? To be a good person? David was not a good person, but he was a God person, and he understood the inner conflict between flesh and Spirit. Sin lies at the door and its desire shall be for you and you should rule over it. But Jesus came to give us the WEAPON of His WORD to reign in Life as Kings and Priests of a New Covenant, and that of the Spirit and not of the Law. Aa-meen.


  20. Sorry, should have caught that.

    God’s chosen leaders are they who lead by an example of SERVICE and hold oversight to be a profound responsibility and a sacred office in Christ’s stead, rather than instead of Christ.

  21. Ian, I’m probably not the first here to note that your streams of conciousness contain a good dose of mixed messages, non-scriptural observations, unqualified visions and words and almost new age themes spoken in christianese. A few quotes to illustrate:

    ‘discern temporal and eternal salvation’ THERE IS ONLY SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE
    ‘Jesus gave me a revelation of being one – body, mind and spirit – and in that revelation my body was not my earthly tabernacle or body but the heavenly which co-exists in Christ with God’ WE DO NOT OPERATE SPLIT BODIES OR PERSONALITIES, NOR DO WE LIVE IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE. THE EPH 2 LINE IS OUR INHERITANCE BUT SEEN IN THE HERE AND NOW IF WE ARE IN CHRIST
    ‘Your Ruach or breath returns to God – it is your life – it is Christ – it always was and is’
    ‘Without it you could not have been born or lived, and when faith came, that eternal SEED sown in your heart sprang into Life’ CHRIST IS NOT MY LIFE OR SUSTAINING BREATH BEFORE I BELIEVE IN HIM. WHAT ETERNAL SEED? – THAT IS EXTRA-BIBLICAL
    ‘Though I do believe that God loves me so much he would send me to Gehenna if that is what it takes, and even fiery lakes, to bring me to completion in Him,’ SO DO THE CATHOLICS. IT’S CALLED PURGATORY.
    ‘Man is not an animal waiting to be enlivened; flesh and bone Man is a living Tabernacle which is inhabited by a human being (WHAT??) waiting to be reconnected to the Source, The Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, the inner man which is Christ in you,’ CHRIST IS ONLY IN ME BY THE SPIRIT AFTER I BELIEVE.
    ‘I mean, they were already made in the image and likeness of God as all sufficient works of grace that they should walk thereby,’ I THINK WE HAVE DIVERGENT VIEWS OF FALLEN MAN
    ‘it comes as we work out our salvation serving God unconsciously as sheep,’ WE SERVE IN FULL CONCIOUSNESS GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN US AND THE WORD
    ‘The flesh lusts after the Spirit and the Spirit resists the flesh.’ FLESH LUST AFTER FLESH
    ‘second it means being nailed to the tree of your own judgment’ WHAT DOES THIS GEM MEAN?

    ‘See how it works?’ NO.


  22. Comments 17 & 18 on this Grace to You blog are worth a read in the context of the original post http://www.gty.org/blog/B130618 . In sum, ‘That’s point of Strange Fire. We don’t want anyone to believe a lie because we didn’t speak up about the truth.’

  23. Although the previous day’s blog entry http://www.gty.org/blog/B130617 is piece of warmed up error. We will not land up in heaven, nor has it ever been God’s intent to allow his human creatures access to it. He made earth for man, will make it anew and dwell in visible form there with his new creation. It’s in the bible John.

  24. Johnny Mac’s arguments aren’t anything new.

    The same clanging bell was ringing when I was part of the charismatic movement in the 80s.

    Not quite sure how Johnny Mac and Steve define charismatics as opposed to pentecostals. The charismatic or renewal movements in mainstream churches are a whole lot less radical than Pentecostals. Charismatics are also under the authority of their bishop/ authority so they just can’t make up rubbish like the prosperity doctrine or Toronto Blessing.

    Being told you’re not saved, a false Christian or satanic is par for the course and water off a duck’s back.

    I’m used to it.

  25. Sadly, the growth of the charismatic movements have troubled the legalists and liberals alike,

    Maybe where you live.

    They’ve died out where I live and gone to the Pentecostals or nowhere.

  26. I wouldn’t class the Toronto movement as Pentecostal. It is out of the experimentally charismatic Vineyard movement, which was a child of Fuller Seminary as much as anything. There have been some good and some not so good things come out of it. As with many of these things, the bad reports have tended to be as sensationalised as some of the testimony, so it’s hard to say whether these are cults per ce or if they are evangelicals who have gone into excess in some aspects of their seeking for the Spirit. I do not think they are as strong on the Word as they should be.

    Some of the Pentecostal movements have used the Old Testament as a launching pad for poor exegesis. Often preachers give a scripture from the Kings or Prophets then proceed to minister a message which is unrelated. The actual information given is often OK, but the means of delivery and attempted exegesis is awry.

    Yes, these things happen in both movements. But the subject is salvation on this thread and McArthur’s claim, in the posted video, that charismatics are not saved, and have no hope. The very nature of the Charismatic Movement being amongst traditional and mainline church members silences that false argument, or, if it doesn’t, then we would have to say that none of the mainline denominations preach a correct salvation message.

    That would be a separate post.

    Another would be to assess whether the a Reformed and Calvinist churches and ministers, such as McArthur, preach an accurate salvation message, given that they claim an elect from the foundation of the earth, which excludes all who are not of this predestined elect, and, therefore, logically, negates the requirement of the cross, the gospel, and preaching of any kind.

    I have stated many times on this blog in the past that the main clash in the Body in the immediate future will come from the Reformed/Calvinist hardliners. Here is the growing evidence of the potential schism.

    Instead of working for peace, dialogue and understanding, influential ministers like McArthur seek condemnation and separation. If they had no faults or flaws intheirnown doctrine we could say they had a voice, but their doctrine is weak in many areas and they need to see to their own backyard before digging up the charismatic garden.

  27. And, on another matter related to the videos McArthur posted, he is also guilty of brazen sheep-stealing, to my mind, and should be called out on it by charismatic ministries. Sheep-stealing, but with a wolf-pack mentality.

  28. MacArthur is not far off from sound Catholic teaching (yet his organizations’ beliefs do have some errors compared to Catholic doctrine/dogmatic teaching). I think that your analysis misses his point: that you won’t know which “spirit” is talking/moving you unless you know God through the Scriptures first. I think you have stretched MacArthur into someone he is not.

  29. I think you will find that it is flesh and blood which shall not inherit the kingdom, and that the kingdom is a state of being, defined by Paul as being peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit.

    As to knowing God according to scripture, did not Jesus say in vain yous search for me in scripture and I AM NOT TO BE FOUND THERE?

    As to the manifestations, on one of the most intense nights at a Toronto inspired houses church, I witnessed some people who were so deeply in therapy with the Holy Spirit that they could barely talk, while others were trying to join in an acting out, and yet others were wondering what the heck was going on. I saw the real thing and the counterfeit in the same room at the same time and the difference became very obvious – it cured me of ever wanting to work anything up in the flesh.

    If people are fooled by the likes of MacArthur or Sid Roth they only have themselves to blame for not being good Bereans. If you know Jesus you will know His disciples by their fruit, and you will know the messengers of Satan by theirs…and the Living Word will reside in your heart and be written upon the tables thereof…and the Spirit within teach you of all things and will lead you into all Truth.

    Vicar means “In place of” as in vicarious, or “Instead of” Christ. Paul warned that wolves in sheep’s clothing would come in and make a spoil of folk – and lead them astray, but My sheep hear My voice said Jesus, and the voice of another THEY SHALL NOT HEAR. So if J M is a sheep rustler, whose sheep is he stealing? That are obviously NOT of Jesus, otherwise they would not heed the false shepherd, would they?

    [Ian, I’ve edited this to things which barely stay on thread, because I’ve warned you to keep on track and not meander. You’ve also been accusative, which is not on in every comment you make.]

  30. FP,
    I think that your analysis misses his point: that you won’t know which “spirit” is talking/moving you unless you know God through the Scriptures first.

    So if you are not yet saved, according to you, you must know correct doctrine before you are saved? That’s preposterous. That would be works-based salvation. But we are saved by grace through faith, and it is not of ourselves.

    It is the Spirit, according to Jesus, who convinces us of sin, righteousness and judgment, as I made clear in the post. It is the preaching of the gospel which causes faith to come and leads us to confess Jesus as Lord.

    We are not saved by knowing doctrine.

    What is the gospel? The preaching of the cross. The preaching of Christ and what he has done for us to be saved.

    We cannot know or understand doctrine until we are born again, born of the Spirit.

    If we were saved by doctrine without the Spirit we could all go to McArthur’s seminary and be saved by knowing Reformed theology. But I think not!

    According to Catholic doctrine people can be saved by being sprinkled as infants. I don’t think McArthur would agree to this.

    According your dogmatic teaching, people can be saved by a priest without knowing the first thing about scripture. Up until the 1970s people had to listen to everything in Latin and had to go through Catholic tradition and dogma to become a Catholic. Mary was/is just as important to salvation as Jesus Christ. This is not salvation in a Biblical sense, but membership of an organisation.

    At least the reformists teach that the scripture is of utmost importance. The Catholics buried it behind dogma and catechism for centuries.

    What do you think of the charismatic movement within the Catholic Church?

  31. Ian,
    So if J M is a sheep rustler, whose sheep is he stealing? That are obviously NOT of Jesus, otherwise they would not heed the false shepherd, would they?

    According to Paul, wolves enter in and some even rise up from within the assemblies and do lead sheep astray, which is why shepherds have to be vigilant and guard against them.

    “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”
    Acts 20:28-31

    McArthur states that charismatics should go to his conference, basically so that he can rope them into his church. This is sheep-stealing, or drawing away disciples to himself.

    For this reason shepherds will now have to warn their flocks against McArthur’s attack on the sheep God has given them care of by exposing the false nature of his intentions.

    He should know better, but he is so convinced of his own self-righteousness he has taken it upon himself to pillage the flocks.

    He will have some success, because a host of blogs will miss the significance of what he is doing and continue to promote his works and they will assist him in pulling new sheep and those who are wavering out of the flocks.

    The same thing happened to small and large charismatic churches when Dave Hunt was on the rampage. He, along with his pack, did more damage to real families in the Body of Christ than he knows, until it is pointed out to him by God, that is.

    But McArthur, the new Hunt, won’t stop the move of God. Churches will continue to thrive despite his folly.

  32. Jesus said MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE – is the word of Paul to be elevated above that of Jesus or perhaps there is a harmony we have missed in assuming somewhat from what Paul wrote and conveniently dismissing or over-looking what Jesus had to say about the matter? You will note perhaps that Paul had issues too – his Jewishness, his vows, his, “Care” for the congregations and his thorn in the flesh. He was not Jesus.

    Some of what Paul said in his earlier writings has to be seen in context of a man who was being processed to perfection – who had not “got it” yet but was getting there.

  33. It’s ironic that Steve laments the lack of unity and Johnny Macs attack on fellow Christians then launches into his own anti-Catholic tirade.

    Lol at the way Steve sweeps Pentecostal excesses under the carpet yet still wants to fight the Reformation with the Catholic Church from 500 years ago.

    Steve, the modern Martin Luther. (Except of course Martin Luther was a raving liberal antisemite)

  34. Bones,
    It’s ironic that Steve laments the lack of unity and Johnny Macs attack on fellow Christians then launches into his own anti-Catholic tirade.

    I was discussing the issue with a Mary worshipping Catholic, so of course it is relevant. I haven’t set up a Conference with people like Justin Peters to spin off the old errors invented by McConnell and such like.

    I am defending the charismatics against wolves. If Catholics want to take me on I am here.

    Lol at the way Steve sweeps Pentecostal excesses under the carpet yet still wants to fight the Reformation with the Catholic Church from 500 years ago.

    I said there are things Pentecostals need to sort out but it is not for McArthur to demonise them simply because he can’t believe that the Holy Spirit is who He says He is.

    The Catholic Church was still keeping its adherents in the dark with Latin liturgy until the 1970s. That is hardly 500 years ago.

    But, of course, you want to conveniently dismiss the Inquisitions and the torture, burning and murder of people like Tynedale, whose only crime was to produce a Bible in the language of the English.

    Incidentaly, we’re still paying for the papal Crusades today.

  35. If Catholics want to take me on I am here.

    Yes, I’ll be sure to advertise that. I’m sure Francis Phillip is spreading the word to his mates and they’ll be keen to ‘take you on’.

    Good to see you’re not demonising Catholics by reminding them of their past or of their errant theology.

    That sounds familiar. What was thread about again?

    Francis Phillip have you repented of burning William Tyndale yet?

    Steve have you repented of the excesses of Pentecostalism which has done more harm for evangelism than any Catholic has done?

    You are of course doing the same thing as Johnny Mac. Using the Bible to beat people over the head with.

  36. Ian – you are a nutter…plain and simple…nothing surer

    Some of Ian’s bizarre comments are none other than extensions of Hislop’s tomfoonery. Some of it sounded familiar as Steve recommended I read Hislop’s book ‘Mystery Babylon’.

  37. The Catholic Church has never repented and it never will, ‘cos it is right, right? One thing common to Catholics, Protesting, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Charismatic, Cultish or otherwise, is that they all think that they are fundamentally right.

    [You were warned to stick to the point and not meander or insult people. If I have to edit anymore unrelated commentary I will simply take you off the roll of commenters for this thread.]

  38. The Catholic Church has never repented and it never will,

    List of apologies made by Pope John Paul II

    Pope John Paul II made many apologies. During his long reign as Pope, he apologized to Jews, Galileo, women, people convicted by the Inquisition, Muslims killed by the Crusaders and almost everyone who had allegedly suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years.[1] Even before he became the Pope, he was a prominent editor and supporter of initiatives like the Letter of Reconciliation of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishops from 1965. As Pope, he officially made public apologies for over 100 of these supposed wrongdoings, including:[2][3][4][5]

    The conquest of Mesoamerica by Spain in the name of the Church[2][3][4][5]
    The legal process on the Italian scientist and philosopher Galileo Galilei, himself a devout Catholic, around 1633 (31 October 1992).[2][3][4][5]
    Catholics’ involvement with the African slave trade (9 August 1993).[2][3][4][5]
    The Church’s role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation (May 1995, in the Czech Republic).[2][3][4][5]
    The injustices committed against women, the violation of women’s rights and for the historical denigration of women (10 July 1995, in a letter to “every woman”).[2][3][4][5]
    The inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust (16 March 1998)[2][3][4][5]
    For the execution of Jan Hus in 1415 (18 December 1999 in Prague). When John Paul II visited Prague in 1990s, he requested experts in this matter “to define with greater clarity the position held by Jan Hus among the Church’s reformers, and acknowledged that “independently of the theological convictions he defended, Hus cannot be denied integrity in his personal life and commitment to the nation’s moral education.” It was another step in building a bridge between Catholics and Protestants.[2][3][4][5]
    For the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating “the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [for showing] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions”. (12 March 2000, during a public Mass of Pardons).[2][3][4][5]
    For the actions of the Crusader attack on Constantinople in 1204. (4 May 2001, to the Patriarch of Constantinople).[2][3][4][5]
    On 20 November 2001, from a laptop in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II sent his first e-mail apologising for the Catholic sex abuse cases, the Church-backed “Stolen Generations” of Aboriginal children in Australia, and to China for the behaviour of Catholic missionaries in colonial times.[6]

    An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.
    — Pope John Paul II [7]

  39. The Catholic Church is the Universal Church, right? There is only one Universal Church, right? Only one family tree of Churchianity, right? So lets drop the Catholic bit and use something people can understand, UNIVERSAL.

    Now Jesus said my SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE and the voice of another shepherd they shall not heed.

    So who then are the “heeders” of the false leaders?

    Who are they who are lead astray?


    Underwater goats, with snorkels and flippers…

    (That is Monty Python in case you don’t know – they are nuts like me!)

    Those who are under the authority of Jesus hear His voice, those who are not, don’t.

    The Pharisees said Jesus had a demon and his power came from the Prince of demons, and Festus told Paul he had gone mad with much learning. What makes one feel mad is the sensation of bashing one’s brick against a head wall.

  40. Apologising is an acknowledgement that you were wrong; that you caused hurt and pain to someone.

    It’s a bit hard to repent (“change of mind or heart, repentance, regret” or, in rhetoric, “afterthought, correction”) of something you aren’t actually doing anymore. One would say that the Catholic Church has had a change of mind and heart and behaviour (ie repented).

    Interesting comment about the Aborigines. I take it the apology to the Maoris and subsequent treaties meant nothing to you as well.

    Btw on what basis were the sheep and the goats judged in Matthew 25:31-46?

  41. If I wanted to launch an anti-catholic tirade, Bones, i know I’d have a large pot of evidence to dig out, but I merely reminded FP that there was no comparison whatsoever between the Reformists and Catholicism. Perhaps you agree with him, which is why you defend both the Reformists and Catholics simultaneously.

    You say that 1700 years of Catholic dogma is not relevant to the criticism I have made in five articles on their various dogmas, but I don’t see that they have apologised for any of them, or changed them, or renounced them.

    In fact they are about to add the fifth dogma of Mary. I predict it will be under the present pope’s tenure, since he is an abject Mary worshipper. He mentioned Mary before and much more fervently than Christ in his opening speech, and his first mass was held in the Mary chapel. Nothing changes inwardly of substance, only the PR.

    I did’t bring the Catholics into this discussion. So who did? It was you and wazza! Oh, What a surprise! The Diversionary Twins send us on another roundabout tour away from the actual questions posed in the post. Mr and Mrs Moral-Equivalency seek home away from current subject in case they have to say something in agreement with current post.

    If you’re going throw such things into the pot, you can’t expect to get away with no smoke in your eyes once the fire is lit under it. But on and on you go, fanning the flames of your own distraction away from the actual subject in hand, regurgitating arguments from other threads.

    The only difference between what you do and Ian does is that we can make head and tale of what you’re saying most of the time, but it doesn’t make you any better.

    The subject, however is McArthur’s attack on charismatics where he claims that they are not saved, cannot be saved, and have no hope.

    Do you agree with Mr McArthur?

  42. I remind everyone that the articles I wrote on Catholic dogma were based on their own teaching sourced from their own Vatican files and Catechism, and compared with Scripture.

    If Mr McArthur wants to take the teaching on the Holy Spirit and His gifts and manifestations, on the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, including prophecy and speaking in tongues, and compare that to Scripture, then let him go ahead. That is valid Biblical practice.

    Let him do so on his own stated standards that ‘the only place to stand is on the written word of God’.

    But he is going to use himself and several known cessationist teachers to deny the Holy Spirit. That in itself is error enough to level a charge of blasphemy by McArthur and his fellow cessationists against the Holy Spirit.

    See how key speaker Steve Lawson completely leaves out the Holy Spirit and His work from this brief explanation of why the Strange Fire crew are cessationists to the core:

    The Cessationist philosophy:

    Lawson claims that the written Word of God is the only mediator between men and God. This is incorrect.

    The written Word of God is important, and Scripture is God-inspired, but it is Jesus Christ Himself who is the only Mediator between men and God.

    Scripture is not our mediator.

    Jesus told us that the One He would send Who would be just like Him for believers in the earth was the Holy Spirit.

    He is our Helper, Advocate, Comforter, Counsellor, Strengthener and Guide. We are led by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are the sons of God. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise until the redemption of the body.

    The Holy Spirit confirms the Word, and will not operate outside of the Word, but one cannot say that we are led by the Word only under the New Covenant. It is the Word and the Spirit, because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    These people do not preach liberty. They preach law. A new law. The Reformist law of Word-only litigation.

    They deny the Holy Spirit by claiming the manifestations and the gifts have ended, but there is no Scripture for this, nor any reason to preach it.

    The irony is that they claim that ‘the only place to stand is on the written word of God’, yet they deny the very Scripture which reveals the present day work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

  43. [You were warned, Ian, several times. Yet you persist. This comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the post or thread, and I will not let it be derailed like this. And you are insulting people’s intelligence, in more than one way. Cut it out. Or I will. This is the last time I’ll even tell you why I’ve removed a comment. Ed]

  44. If one has no Power, then the simple way to explain it away is to say that it is the way it is meant to be. But Jesus IS the POWER of GOD – He is the Power of the gospel.

    These Church Circus Clowns are saying the GOSPEL is the power, and that is why they have nor power, for they are denying the Power, they are denying Jesus – they are, without putting too fine a point on it, at best brain washed legalists or at worst calculating occultists.

    They think the Bible is the Word of God when it is (some of) the words of God. Jesus said you search the scriptures vainly for Me, vainly searching for the TRUTH, which is Jesus, who is also the Way, and the Life and the Word.

    Ignatius Loyola figured, “Give me the child until seven and we will screw him up for Life.” But brainwashing requires continual reinforcement – every Sunday – plus mid week Bible studies…

  45. [If it’s not on thread it goes. It makes no sense, waffles on, points to Ian, and distracts from the actual conversation.]

  46. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe, Ian, but it is the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment as the gospel is preached.

    You can’t leave out the work of the Spirit.

    That’s my point and what the Strange Fire crew miss.

  47. [Very slow learner. If you can’t follow the very simple rules of men, how can you follow God’s law to love them?]

  48. Jesus was talking to His disciples in John 16, yes?

    He told them that the Holy Spirit would come in His stead, and would only say what he was told as our teacher advocate, yes?

    He is a Teacher, not a Lawyer Steve.

  49. He is called the Advocate, another name for a defence lawyer. It’s a primary meaning of Paraclete.

  50. Paraclete comes from the Koine Greek word παράκλητος (paráklētos, that can signify “one who consoles or comforts, one who encourages or uplifts; hence refreshes, and/or one who intercedes on our behalf as an advocate in court”). The word for “Paraclete” is passive in form, and etymologically (originally) signified “called to one’s side”. The active form of the word, parakletor, is not found in the New Testament but is found in Septuagint in Job 16:2 in the plural, and means “comforters”, in the saying of Job regarding the “miserable comforters” who failed to rekindle his spirit in his time of distress.

  51. Sorry, need to correct a typo….

    Without the Law there is no knowledge of sin, for sin is the strength of the Law.

    But it is the Law of God writ upon our hearts which convicts us.

    If it is covered over with the stony tables of the law of sin and death, then the law of Life in Christ Jesus, the foundational Law of the Universe and the One Foundation of Faith, is covered over and tradition renders the Word inactive.

    There are two laws – the Law of sin and death and the Law of life in Christ Jesus. The hard heart is the stony heart of Man’s Law, the Mosaic Law, the law added for transgressions which evolves the knowledge of sin. Without the law there is no knowledge or awareness of sin, but this does not stop sin killing people, it just makes them ignorant of sin. However if they follow the dictates of their heart then they become as law unto themselves, being justified by obeying their (God given) conscience. The Law is the schoolmaster which brings us to Christ, or to the Law of Life in Christ Jesus written in our hearts. But if we are satisfied with the stony tables of the law then we become hard-hearted and legalistic, and so seek to be justified by law.

    If the stony tablets of the Law are so set that the soft heart of the inner man cannot leave the tomb so to speak, then Christ is “dead” in or to us and we are dead to righteousness and alive to “sin” or separation from God. We come alive when that deep to deep connection is made, and the spirit in you reconnects with its Genesis, its Father, the eternal Spirit of God and you are born anew, as a child, knowing nothing except Jesus.
    Then the Pharisees pounce, and how do know? Cos Jesus by the Holy Spirit pulled me up about it and told me about 14yrs ago that I had become a hypocritical Pharisee.

    He also sent a messenger to me to tell me that “We do not really understand the new Birth, but one day we will.”

    He must really love me, for whom He loves, he corrects. Did you like that bit about John 16 Steve, did you “get it?” I thought it was brilliant – I was sitting there wondering how to address what you said and that occurred to me, that Jesus was talking to disciples about the ministry of the Holy Spirit with respect to disciples – our helper – our advocate – our teacher – but not our prosecutor…and then Jesus reminded me about winning people with love…but you seem to take the Spirit of Truth and make Him out to be something akin to God’s prosecuting attorney?

    My point Steve is that the world is not for the most part getting the good news of the Power of God to salvation, Jesus, it is not getting a “cake”, but rather a recipe for spiritual failure and imprisonment. It is the WORD which is the Power, not the words – the words are as the vessel, it is the Water of the Word which fills he word vessels that quenches the thirst. Otherwise it is dry, dry, dry….

    That is why Jesus said that we will be accountable for every empty or idle word, for if we do not imbue our message with meaning and it is void of meaning then others will fill it with the meaning that suits them. You know, like when you say something and your wife jumps down your throat and you wonder what the hell happened – empty words – idle words – words which want for meaning – they are just ready reservoirs for rage and strife.

  52. well now … against my better judgement, since my words carry no weight here, I would like to mention the fact that the Strange FIre conference, in my understanding, is to show up and expose these so-called charismatic leaders with the gold dust and the faeries.

    You know the ones I mean … the demonic looking ones. The women that make Linda Blair in the exorcist look relatively normal.
    The Men that make Pornstar Ron Jeremy look like a paragon of Moral Virtue.

    If John has overstepped the mark and included all Charasmatics, then that is unfortunate. Are you sure that these links above are not merely edited sections to make him look bad?

    In the end, we all want the same thing. To expose charlatans, stage illusionists and cynical money grubbers along with the truly demonic.

    Expose False Teachers like Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Shane Hipps, Steven Furtick, Joel Osteen, Rick Joyner, Perry Noble, Benny Hinn, John Bevere, Cindy Jacobs, Brian Houston, Phil Pringle, Joseph Prince, Kong Hee, Modalist TD Jakes.

    The Christians … you know … those people who believe that the Bible is God’s Word, are expected to test everything they see and hear through the Word of God. If something doesn’t stack up, we are to correct and rebuke false teaching. How? It’s really easy. Compare what people say to the the Bible and if there is a disagreement you tell them what God’s Word says. Then you are attacked.

    Shoot the messenger rather than repent and acknowledge you didn’t get your theology from the Bible but from somewhere else.

    Still, it isn’t nice to be told to clear off.


  53. Bull,
    Are you sure that these links above are not merely edited sections to make him look bad?

    They’re from his own website.

    If John has overstepped the mark and included all Charasmatics, then that is unfortunate.

    He said that charismatics were not saved, and could not be, nor had any hope.

    Even he doesn’t believe this, and, on another video, says almost the opposite. He is a pied piper calling people to dance to his tune.

    Secondly, he is not just exposing the excesses of charismatic ministries, of which, as I have said, there are several examples, he is claiming that all charismatics should come to his church and become Reformists like him.

    Not only Reformists, but cessationist Reformists.

    The second video I put up is by one of the key speakers at the conference, and he explains why they are cessationists, and claims that the reformation produced cessationist theology.

    There is no scriptural basis for cessationist teaching. None at all. Not one single verse confirms this theological position.

    I am not saying we do not follow the Word. I am a believer in the canon of Scripture as it is presented to us.

    But these people say it is the Word only. They do not acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church today. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    In denying the work of the Holy Spirit they are guilty of the same thing as the Pharisees, who said Jesus cast out demons by Beelzebub.

  54. Ian,
    you seem to take the Spirit of Truth and make Him out to be something akin to God’s prosecuting attorney…

    No. I said he convicts, or rather, convinces us of sin, righteousness and judgment. I was quoting Jesus.

    “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:8-11

    He brings things to the light that we have need of salvation. Through the preaching of the gospel people hear what Jesus has done for them and why – that it is because of sin that we need salvation through faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit is at work on our heart telling us that we are sinners and that the only way out is through faith in Christ.

    It is at this point of conviction that men either receive Him or reject Him.

    Two reactions to the preached gospel…

    Acts 2:37
    Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

    Acts 7:54
    When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.

    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16

  55. The Christians … you know … those people who believe that the Bible is God’s Word…

    Well there’s a definition of Christian that places all people before about 350CE out of the picture!

  56. Steve, they were Jews who had killed their God and the scales were lifted. They were believers, but blind and led by the blind until God opened their eyes to what they had done.

    Jesus was explaining to His disciples about he ministry of the holy Spirit, the Teacher and instructor in all matters pertaining to sin, righteousness and judgment, to the Body.

    Now read this trans of Mark 16.

    14. Finally, however, he was seen by the Eleven as they dined, and he reproached them for their little faith, and the hardness of their heart, since they did not believe those who had seen him risen.

    15. And he told them,

    “Go to all people and preach my faith in all creation.
    16. “Whoever believes and declares it, shall Live,
    And whoever does not believe, will be held accountable.
    17. “Signs then to those that believe, they who adhere to us,
    In my name, they will cast out demons,
    and they will speak in new languages (tongues),
    18. “And they will handle snakes (deal with evil people),
    and if deadly poison they drink, it will not affect them.”

    And they will consecrate their hands on the sick and they will be restored.”

    As to strange fire, I believe the more acceptable translation given that we do not really speak Bacon’s (aka Shakespearean)English any more, is “Unauthorized sacrifice”. They were trying to swindle God into action.

    But it is to be God’s will which will be done, not man’s.

  57. well now … against my better judgement, since my words carry no weight here,

    It’s always good to start your comeback post with a bit of a pity party…woah is me, no one listens to me…waaaa waaaa waaa

  58. 14. Because of this [Scripture] says,
    “Reawaken, O sleeper, and rise from the dead,
    let Christ shed His light upon you.”

    R E A W A K E N. As in, at the beginning…

    Or the alternative translation, “Repent your dirty rotten sinners, obey your leaders, pay your tithes or go to hell!

    And Greg, it is WOE IS ME, but for you Greg, and Mr Ed, “Woah” is probably more apt…LOL…delete, delete, delete, waaaaa waaaaa waaaaa…

  59. Ian,
    delete, delete, delete, waaaaa waaaaa waaaaa…

    Yes, but your contributions have improved immensely.

    I suspect you were a difficult child with concentration issues, or wilfully disobedient, or had parents who didn’t or wouldn’t bring correction, or tried but gave up, or you are simply a naughty boy who hates authority figures. IN short, untrainable, unteachable and full of yourself.

    It doesn’t hurt to have people around you who are able to shape you. Maybe you should try it some time.

    I hear people say, ‘but I don’t need men’s ways when I have Jesus to shape me’, not realising that God always uses people to shape others. That’s why we have parents, mentors, Pastors and authorities appointed by God.

    He even used Israel’s enemies at times.

  60. I suspect you were a difficult child with concentration issues, or wilfully disobedient, or had parents who didn’t or wouldn’t bring correction, or tried but gave up, or you are simply a naughty boy who hates authority figures. IN short, untrainable, unteachable and full of yourself.

    I thought you were talking to me for a bit!

  61. Greg,

    it is possible to construct almost the entire canon of scripture as it is known from about 350AD from the letters of the early church fathers. Indeed, Pauls writings and the 4 canonical gospels predate 100AD.

    And, of course, you are ignoring the old testament.

    Since we ‘share’ the faith of Paul, Peter, John, James … it is not difficult to imagine that the writers of the New Testament can be called ‘Bible-Believing Christians’ and the the early church, which followed their teaching can be called the same.

    The Bible wasn’t written in 350AD. The New Testament was gathered together with the Old Testament. This was necessary in order to throw out the garbage pretending to be christian writings and thought.

  62. I didn’t know Bull was Catholic?

    There was a remarkable amout of fluidity in the Early Church as to what was an inspirational book. They weren’t interested in canonicity and some had very open ‘canons’.

    Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, and Revelation were all disputed and rejected by some (yet to dispute them now brings harrowing cries of ‘unbeliever’). Even Paul was rejected by some.

    Barnabas, Didache, I Clement, Revelation of Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the Gospel of the Egyptians, the Preaching of Peter, the Traditions of Matthias, Sibylline Oracles, and the Oral Gospel were accepted by various early Christians as inspirational as the canon we have now. They certainly didn’t consider them as “garbage pretending to be christian writings and thought.”

    Origen (d. 253/4 CE) actually wrote that Paul “did not so much as write to all the churches that he taught; and even to those to which he wrote he sent but a few lines.”

  63. I’m an avid believer in the essential nature of the canon for us today, but there is no way that, on the Day of Pentecost, for instance, the reported 3000 people who were saved had anything like the New Testament writings we have today. Most of the New Testament wasn’t written yet.

    But they were saved. How? By faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Reformists, in their attack on charismatics, have, as evidenced in the videos I put up here, claimed that people could only be saved because they have correct doctrine as expounded through the canon, but this does not explain how the people of the Book of Acts could possibly be saved without this canon, which they clearly were.

    In to alone yet are in serious error.

    Further, Jesus firmly instructed His disciples that they should go nowhere until they had been endured with power form on high. He told them to wait at Jerisalem until they had received the Promise of the Spirit, with which, He said, they would be empowered to become witnesses from Jerusalem to the uttermost.

    Added to this, on the Day of Pentecost, there was a great outpouring of the Spirit, evidenced by the disciples speaking in other tongues, followed by Peters amazing revelation of what was taking place, and that it was the prophesied outpouring, which was for all who would believe in The Lord Jesus Christ, near or far, in time and distance.

    The canon had not yet been constructed, and yet people wee saved and filled with the Spirit. This is how the Church began. The canon came later. It is still important, but the Reformists are refuted by these facts alone.

    On this basis the charismatics are far closer to the origins of the Church than the Reformists.

  64. Sorry fellas,

    if the Bible cannot be relied on then all we have is subjective truth.

    Therefore, I’m off to have a skinfull of “skull attack”. While I am halfcut I’ll pick up some women for a bit of fun. … why not? I could be dead tomorrow. Besides, how do I know Jesus said anything about Moral behaviour?

    I wish you all the very best of luck with the future.

  65. In the end, we all want the same thing. To expose charlatans, stage illusionists and cynical money grubbers along with the truly demonic.

    I wouldn’t buy a book or PAY to go to a conference (How Hillsong of Johnny Mac!) of how bad the mob down the street are. That would be like reading a book on how the Catholics are wrong. Oh dear.

    I spent years in the charismatic movement without once hearing of tithing, financial prosperity or Toronto Blessing. For Johnny Mac to tar all churches with the same brush smacks of sectarianism.

  66. Exactly, Bones. If we preach the truth, the lies will be taken care of. It’s backwards logic to excentuate the problem when what we need is the cure or the solution.

    Bull, you misunderstood and misrepresented what I said. We are not saved by doctrine. We are saved by grace throug faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. No one on the Day of Pentecost had the canon.

    I said I believe in the authenticity of the canon, and, as we grow in Christ, we need the Wordd to help us grow up in Him, but there are cults who would say the same. Ritzy dividing the Wod of God is crucial, and we need to be led by the Spirit in this regard, and not legalistic in our approach, or we recreate the letter of the law.

    We need the Word and the Spirit, brother, or we as in deadly trouble.

  67. By the way Steve, is the highest earthly authority the internal ruler-ship of the God given conscience, or the rule of Law? Are we to obey the Spirit or the letter? Ought we obey Man or God? You seem to say that until I learn to obey man I can not obey God – which to me is arse-about-face.

  68. One last question Steve, was Saul by the will of God or the will of the people? God gives us leaders after our own hearts – if you are internally led by the Spirit, then you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, which is the sin unto death.

  69. Ian,
    You seem to say that until I learn to obey man I can not obey God

    Not at all. That is how you received it because you cannot allow yourself to follow simple direction.

    It is important to me to keep a thread reasonably on subject. You seem to be so indisciplined that you feel it is acceptable to wonder off into any subject you choose. You usurp the authority of the author of the post, then whinge because you are moderated for it.

    If you do that with a Christian brother who is trying to help you stay on track for the sake of other Christians on tis simple little blog, you will do it against God in all aspects of life. That is why your theology doesn’t match His. That is why you go further off tangent.

    Self-centred, not God-centric.

  70. So Margot, according to Jonathan Fisk, when you were attending C3 you were under the influence of satan.

    How do you know you’re not under satan’s influence now?

  71. Margot walks in, drops a stink-bomb, and retreats back to blondedom over at Jake’s Library of Discord.

    Not just a stink-bomb, but a coffee-induced cacophony of self-centred criticism from a Word-only cessationist on steroids.

    Honestly, this motor-mouth sensationalist accusing the Holy Spirit’s gifts and manifestations of being ‘ju-ju’ is somewhat risky for the caffien-crazed chap and anyone who votes for his vain illusion.

    Thanks, Margot. Hope you can get a license for the hairdo soon!

  72. Of course, the Pharisees said the same thing of Jesus.

    Matthew 12:24-33
    Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
    But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them:“ Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
    “ Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

    In this and or in the age to come!

    Are cessationists saying that the Holy Spirit, being God, has forgotten how to heal the sick, deliver the demonised, speak through men, speak to men, lead people, prophesy through them? Has the gift of tongues ended? Where does it say this? Has the perfect come?

  73. Good luck with Johnny Mac, Margot, and the angry young Lutherans driving out sin out of the church.

    After you tell the charismatics how bad they are (ergo how right you are) you can work on non-Charismatic Baptists.

    Here’s one:

    How to abuse your congregation ……..in love (and without speaking in tongues or asking for money)

    I hate to think of the mental state of people who attend that church.

  74. Does Jesus care more about what we do or what we believe? (I’m going with the first option)

    This question came to mind a few weeks ago as I was sitting in church, thinking more highly of myself than I should.
    This isn’t a new question, by any means, but it’s still a deeply meaningful and relevant question for me.
    Upon what does God look more favorably: loving others, even those who may believe differently, or prioritizing right thinking about God?

    Now, you veterans of this sort of question are no doubt rolling your eyes right now, wondering how I can miss the obvious: “Hey Enns, go back to seminary. Everyone knows that right thinking and right behavior are not an either/or but a both/and. Jesus wants both.”
    OK. Got it. That may be, but–if you’ll forgive me–if I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen that theory not put into practice, I wouldn’t have to work.
    Once we leave the classroom and step out into the every-day, does not “right thinking” among followers of Jesus–though theoretically the flip side of “right living”–too often overshadow common decency toward others (even toward fellow followers of Jesus), let alone the kind of love Jesus talked about?

    So, let me ask it this way. What pleases Jesus more?
    Loving those we disagree with, enemies, strangers, and other inconvenient people who wander into our lives while we also have unsettled theological issues about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity, the universe, humanity, etc., or…
    Focusing our energies on establishing, maintaining, and defending “sound doctrine” to the extent that we either do not have time or it does not enter our mind to show loving kindness to others–or, we justify sacrificing loving kindness in our efforts to establish, maintain, and defend proper thinking about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity the universe, humanity, etc.
    This is not a false dilemma. I am not setting up a straw man.
    Neither is this an academic exercise. This choice is ever before us.

    I am not against pursuing right thinking. And, again, I get that, theoretically, right living and right thinking are at home with each other.
    But I am not asking a theoretical question. I am asking about a real choice each of us is confronted with more often in the course of a day than we might realize.
    If we’re honest with ourselves,
    Does the perceived “wrong thinking” of the other erect a barrier to our ability to “be Jesus” to them?
    Is there a quiet check list, a test of some sort, the other has to pass first?
    Do we shun, shame, or hate–openly or subtly–those who think differently?
    Do we justify those behaviors because, practically speaking, doctrine trumps love?
    And, what do we think God thinks about all this? Is God more concerned with us getting the ideas right or with living right?

    I know what some of you eye-rollers are thinking: Jesus and Paul got plenty mad and “unloving” toward those who thought differently.
    No, not really. Jesus got mad at hypocrites–the religious leaders who said one thing and did another…those who put right thinking over right behavior.
    And Paul definitely had his moments, but his anger (e.g., Galatians and 1 Corinthians) was directed toward both wrong thinking and wrong living, and with respect to those in whom he had made a huge personal investment and over whom he had spiritual responsibility.
    So we can’t use Jesus or Paul as an excuse.

    For me, I am answering my own question with a yes.
    Not in theory, but right here, right now: Jesus cares more about what we do than what we believe.


  75. What we do should reflect what we believe. Faith without works is dead, but we can’t please God without faith.

  76. Going back to Jonathan Fisk’s video. I guess he can’t help who he is if he is being led by people to believe in the Reformed or Lutheran idea of cessation of the gifts, manifestations and work of the Holy Spirit, as revealed in Scripture. He is a product of his seminary, church and/or denomination.

    Fisk makes the assumption that we, the Pentecostals, and our friends the charismatics, look for experiences outside of the Word, which, of course, is nonsense.

    I have had countless discussions with our more liberal (or catholic, methodist, emergent) friends about the importance, as I see it, of the canon, compared to the idea of the Bible being basically men’s thoughts on God, some of which are flawed, allegorical, mythical, poetic or apocalyptic, which is the view of those others. My dependence on the Word and defence of it is well known.

    There are a great many Pentecostals, and charismatics, in fact, who hold that the canon is of great importance, and without Scripture we cannot discover the importance of the modern day work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the life of the Church. The patronising claims, in this regard, of the Reformists represented here are insulting.

    The fact is that the Reformists, cessationists and Lutherans have a limited understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit, especially when it comes to the outpouring, gifts, manifestations and anointing of the Holy Spirit, mainly because they are, well… cessationists, people who believe the work of the Holy Spirit as witness in the ministry of Jesus and His Apostles, particularly in the Book of Acts, has ended.

    Fisk goes on to say that the works of the Holy Spirit in the Church today are merely juju. Now juju is a form of demonic magic. Fisk can’t believe that God works miracles, heals people, speaks to people, uses believers to prophesy, cast out demons and operate in the manifestations of the Spirit, so he calls it juju, the works of the devil, which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit, as I have already shown. It is called the unforgivable sin.

    This tactic of denouncing the works of the Spirit in the Church is also used by Steve Lawson and John McArthur. They say that the only way to be saved is to hear the Word, and consider that any reference to the work of the Spirit is adding to the Bible, but this is nonsense teaching.

    Paul clearly states that we need the Word and the Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives life. The written word without the Spirit, he says, tends to legalism.

    Margot, who dismissively calls all charismatics ‘charismaniacs’, video-bombed the thread with the youtube contribution. She is on record as believing that pointing out this cessationist and Word-only error is mocking, but in fact the Reformists are hindered by their insistence on their Word-only approach, and are, therefore, applying to the Word the same principle Paul criticised as the letter which kills.

    Paul himself declares that the people he ministered to in Corinth were his living epistle – the living Word filled with the Spirit – and it is in this context that he tells us that the letter of the law, that is the Mosaic law, killed, but the Spirit, that is the Word of the New Testament revealed through the Holy Spirit, gives life. Jesus Himself confirmed this.

    “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

    If the words spoken by a minister are not after the Spirit they are after law. Jesus was led by the Spirit. How much more should we be?

    It is just as easy to create law out of the New Testament writings as through the Old Testament. Just ask women who have to wear head coverings in certain churches. Are they free in the Spirit? Or bound by law created out of Scripture?

    The Pharisees placed impossible laws on people based on the Old Covenant. They did not apply the Spirit but the letter, and bound people, which was one of Jesus’ main criticisms of them.

    Both Paul and Jesus are telling us that we need to live according to the Spirit of the Word, not by the law of the Word. According to Paul all things are lawful, but not all are expedient. I need to be led by the Spirit to know how to apply the Word. If i am going to perform by rote and by legalistic rules, I will have the form of godliness but deny the power of it.

    From a Pentecostal perspective, it is patently clear that Reformists, especially cessationists, do not have a clue about the work and ministry of the Spirit in and through the Church today.

    I invite Margot to come out of hiding and discuss this with us on this site in an adult way, where we are all free to have a different opinion (as long as they remain reasonably on thread) and will not be banned from contributing for asking awkward questions or producing counter arguments to the prevailing sentiments.

  77. Margot won’t come out from behind her protective wall…she thinks she’s the only one with the whole truth, you Steve think you are the only one with the whole truth, Bones and I know we are the only ones with the whole truth! 🙂

    See how that works…we’re all reasonable and intelligent people and we all think our version if the truth is the whole truth…but we are all wrong! Now I don’t know where we are all wrong and where we are all right…so in willing to accept that the things I hold as truth may not be so, and I might think differently in 10 years…just as I thought differently 20 years ago (I was like you then Steve).

    I’m not right, you’re not right…only Jesus is the truth…of that I’m certain…but perhaps I’m wrong.

  78. Bones you are right in that what we believe is not as important as what we do.

    It matters not so much what you believe but that you believe, and that Love covers for the multitude of sins. I am minded of Whitfield preaching the night before he died, proclaiming the efficacy and superiority of grace over works, when suddenly he boomed out “A man shall reach heaven by his works” and ceased preaching, dying the next morning. Go figure. Yea, faith without works is dead, and so is Whitfield.

    Steve offers that without faith it is impossible to please God. But what is it that pleases God? Our works? It is the Father within, He does the works of faith through human agencies, co-laborers. If the Father within does the works, then how might our works, except that they be His Working, even figure in the equation?

    Now the Father spoke on this wise of His Beloved Son, “In Him I Am well pleased”. In the Aramaic, the word is “fulfilled” – “By whom I Am FULFILLED”.

    God takes pleasure in the prosperity or fulfillment of those who serve Him. This is what pleases God, us being fulfilled in Him and He in us. It is not OUR works of faith which PLEASE HIM, how could it be if it is the Father within who does the real works of faith? Is God therefore pleasing Himself?

    What we do of our own volition in our vain attempts to please a God who is already fulfilled within Himself and is complete, entire and lacking nothing, must by definition be in vain and incomplete.

    So simple logical exegesis reveals that we are really very silly if we think that we can bring anything other than our lives to the God who holds Everything in the palms of His Hands and is complete, entire and lacking nothing. What is the only fit sacrifice you can offer to the God who already has everything? Everything, of course; your life, which is no longer you own but Christ in you, for you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God (manifest God) in your bodies which are the Lords.

    6. Without faith, then, no human being can glorify God. For a person is responsible for what is offered to God, that is an indication of faith and a proof that those who love Him, He repays.

    To glorify God is to manifest God, to become immersed in Him, so that when people look at us they may see the Lord Himself and not us. I have seen this very rarely in my life but when it happens, it is unmistakeable, incontrovertible and Powerful.

    The first time I saw it was with South African preacher Anne van Nieukirk, a powerful woman of God, at a tent meeting about 14yrs ago. It got my attention. I had been “told” to go to the meetings on a particular night which coincided with my son’s Air Training Corps program. When I entered the tent, I was met by all sorts of manifestations – some might call strange fire – but at the time I thought that perhaps the folk were the inmates from the nearby mental institution. The noise and activities were unlike anything I had ever seen, but I had heard to go there to receive the direction I had been seeking. I was also aware that I had to pick up my son at 9pm and these folk looked set to party all night.

    I asked within what to do and was instructed to go toward the front, get on my knees and command from within peace and order. Suddenly the racket stopped and Anne strode purposefully up onto the stage and declared that the Lord had told her she was to stop everything and minister right away. As she turned and looked at me, I saw the unmistakable visage of Christ overlaying her face, and she called specifically for people who had been told by God recently that they were to write on His behalf, to be scribes for Him. Seven people, 6 women and me, went forward, and I was made to wait to last. When my anxiety about the time turned to rest that Gog was in control, I got my blessing, my word and picked up my son bang on time. And also the distinct impression that while God had honored my faith, that he was not so pleased with how I had expected everything to accord with my wishes and timetable. Eh Steve?

    As to that oft abused blasphemy of the Spirit, sin unto death deal, it is relatively simple to understand if Jesus tells you what it really means, but for now it is a worth its weight in condemnation to preachers, vicars and curates alike, who like to aver dissent and criticism while binding up heavy burdens to prevent the people entering in because they do not want to themselves, for it would entail bringing their own works into the Light to see if by God they are wrought. Its in the Book, take a look.

    Its the Father, He does the works – we are merely co-laborers in Christ, who are not to grasp at our righteousness in Christ but to lay down our life (which is Christ in us), a living sacrifice, wholly and acceptable to God. Are you getting this? I am.

    May we be transformed into that same image, from glory, to glory and so please God.

  79. Greg, that was the best postings I have read from you. Doubt is healthy, but unbelief is deadly.

    We may seek to know everything ABOUT the One, or seek to know the One who is EVERYTHING. To know Him is to have His Mind, to count each days as new and to count the past as loss.

    We should doubt ourselves and what We know, but never doubt the one who knows all, and who very conveniently, is inside you and me – the DNA of God – Christ in us. What stops us from entering in is that we have to be cut free from the DNA of flesh to do so, hence the sword bearing messenger who guards the Tree of Life – that sword is to circumcise your hearts, if you can receive it, and to allow you to enter into ALL TRUTH. But you have to be led there by the Truth – the Truth is the RNA so to speak – the Messenger of God.

    Why we seem to bicker is that we are upholding our own opinions, works, faith,and dare I say it, our own righteousness, instead of exposing our works to the Light to see if by God they are wrought. 0(:->)

  80. By the way, I sometimes leave a “Wheres Wally” typo toward the end of a message – that way when it gets pounced on I know that you have at least read that far…LOL..

    But even if you focus on the apparent glitch, you have read the rest, and the Word has gone forth…and it shall not return void…and if your intent is to search out mistakes and pounce on me, then I can live with that, at least you have read the words that count…

  81. Greg, I have never thought I have the only handle on truth. Only God does. But I do think Scripture is pretty clear on most things.

    3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
    4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Reformed people have crept in and denounced the work of the Holy Spirit. They need to be exposed by Scripture, which shines the light on error.

  82. Greg,See how that works…we’re all reasonable and intelligent people and we all think our version if the truth is the whole truth…but we are all wrong!

    Yet Margot places a video which attacks Pentecostalism and the charismatics with false allegations, which is characteristic of the modus operandi of the site she now frequents. I think Pentecostals and charismatics should have a right of reply, even if she hides away. There was nothing reasonable about her approach, I’m sad to say.

  83. totally agree – but we are all at each other and think the other groups don’t have to right and that only we do. I think I’m totally right…you think you’re totally right…but we can’t both be can we…or can we? I think we are both right and both wrong…at the same time and all of the time.

    Margot is gutless and not worth a debate with..she is shallow and vacuous and finds it difficult to string an idea together that is entirely her own and not John Mac’s, or Chris Rosebroughs, or some other reformed hero of hers. She swallows the reformed line, hook and sinker…yet feels as a woman she can come on here and tell us men what’s what…quite disturbed that woman is

  84. Well there’s different ways to be at each other. I guess we’ve had a few barny’s over time and slapped each other around, but there is, I think, some level of respect underlining the the debates. I wouldn’t have a problem with meeting up with any of you for a cuppa and a chat. Q and you can have a beer if you prefer!

    But what Margot’s crew are doing is beyond the pale. I’m so glad that nastiness in the commentary against ministries is largely gone from this site and you have been dealing with that ugliness by sealing off the offending posts by Jake.

    Jake, of course, continues the spite on his new sites, of which Margot is matron and chief cheerleader. I have no respect whatsoever for their hideous and often speculative attacks on ministers, which smacks of bitterness and bile, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Christ, the gospel or even apologetics.

    The religiously hard line Reformists are a scurge on the Body. As long as they deny the Spirit they are in error.

  85. Lots of fine commenting going on around here lately. I’ll make sure Q doesn’t spoil it.

  86. Greg,
    ‘I totally agree with you…’

    Sorry to put you under that pressure. I’m sure normal service will be resumed shortly!

  87. Friends, Romans, Churchmen, lend me your ears. In my time exposed to the so-called Toronto blessing, I witnessed both the divine and the demonic happening – note how the work of the Holy Spirit always brings the demons out. Its like wherever God is in manifestation, Gog is not far away – the flesh and the demons like to get in on the action and the operation of the Spirit stirs them up. It is meant to.

    I note none of you commented on that kick ass revelation about the Father within doing the works and what is really pleasing to God. Never mind, unless The Holy Spirit gives the revelation it is just information and if you have another file int he places where the Truth should be, then you simply will not have eyes to see. This is why the world is going down the dunny, the people who ought have the Power are mostly playing church and are so consumed with their doctrinaire opinions, dogmas and curious creeds which owe more to Babylonian mystery religions than to the substantive Truth which shines in the face of Jesus.

    The simple reason why people explain away the gifts is that they do not have access to them themselves so to them they do not exist, and because if they are really of the household of faith, that these signs will follow those who believe – ergo, they do not follow those who do not believe. And they will move heaven and earth to convince themselves and anyone else void of understanding that their way is the only way. As soon as you hear that then you know one thing for sure, they are deluded. There is only One Way, and that is Jesus, and if you are a co-laborer together with Him, then you have the assurance of faith, otherwise you will be a tower builder, exalting your knowledge above that of the most high. We are meant to build one another up on our most Holy faith.

    The gifts are Christ’s. The Aramaic brings this out beautifully.

    13. You were called to His freedom, brethren, however, let not your freedom be for the sake of the flesh, except let your submission to each other be in love.
    14. For all the Law is fulfilled by one manifestation, that you love your kin as yourself.
    15. If, however, you grind one another down and chew each other out, see that you do not eliminate (sift) each other.
    16. I am telling you then, walk in the Spirit and never be a slave to the pleasures of the flesh.
    17. For the flesh enjoys what lowers the spirit, and the spirit enjoys what lowers the flesh, and both of them are a hindrance to each other, so that you can never do what you wish.
    18. If then you were fetched by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
    19. For you know the manifestation of the flesh, fornication, evil doing, dissolution,
    20. The making of idols, witchcraft, hostility, destructiveness, backbiting, resentfulness, stubbornness, divisiveness, apathy,
    21. Killing, murder, drunkenness, [outrageous] singing and the like. And those who devote themselves to such things, as I told you from the start, I tell you now as well, they shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
    22. The fruit of the Spirit, however, are love, joy, peace, compassion, fulfillment, grace, faith,
    23. Gentleness, hope — the Law does not consecrate these.
    24. These belong to Christ, they crucified the flesh together with all its wounds and lusts.
    25. To live thus is by the Spirit and in submission to the Spirit.
    26. And [those that live so] are not lacking in bliss that they should torment one another and cut down each other.

    It is the fruit OF THE SPIRIT. THESE (the fruit) belong to Christ, THEY (the fruit) crucified the flesh – walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The word manifestation in Aramaic is milta – it means the essential nature of a person or thing – its essence. So we have the manifestation of the flesh, but the FRUIT of the Spirit in contrast. The manifestation of the flesh is the innate nature of the flesh, but the FRUIT of the Spirit belongs to and only comes from Christ (in you), the FRUIT of the TREE OF LIFE which is the everlasting Life, and the treasure of heaven.

    And how is that last line? 0(:->)

    But guys, I have to thank you again – I got such a buzz out of the revelation about the Father within doing the works, I got the pleasing God one some years back, now I have the set. Oh the joy of fresh manna every day! Not that preserved rubbish…

  88. Greg the Explorer, Ian the Implorer here. I could not help but feel that this statement might strike at the very seat of your “problem”.

    “Margot is gutless and not worth a debate with..she is shallow and vacuous and finds it difficult to string an idea together that is entirely her own and not John Mac’s, or Chris Rosebroughs, or some other reformed hero of hers. She swallows the reformed line, hook and sinker…yet feels as a woman she can come on here and tell us men what’s what…quite disturbed that woman is”

    Besides being incredibly judgmental, and she may well be all of what you say (after the flesh), it surprises me that you take me to task over my apparent attitudes yet feel fit to vomit up this little pavement pizza that will feed no one nor so any measurable good.

    It would seem that the more we are squeezed and pressured, the more the puss – or the peace – comes out…

  89. If you knew Margot you would know I was being ironic…she swallows the reformed doctrine that women should not teach men, but feels she can teach Steve, or any other man on this blog.

  90. It’s the Reformed way of dealing with questions they can’t answer.

    Wipe your feet and call them heretics.

    But like I say they like pointing the fingers at others but can’t hack it when people point back at them.

  91. Ian, the unforgivable sin, according to Jesus, is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

    “ Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

    So you can blaspheme the Father, and, amazingly, you will be forgiven, blaspheme the Son (and many do when they use His name in vain), and you will be forgiven, but to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.

    This kind of elevates the role and importance of the Holy Spirit, don’t you think?

    The context is also clear. The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons through the devil. In essence, they called the Holy Spirit ‘Beelzebub’.

    Ironically, this is exactly what Jonathan Fisk does when he says that the ministry of the Spirit through Pentecostals and charismatics is juju magic. McArthur and Lawson come to the same conclusion with their cessationist theology, especially when they attack the gift of speaking in tongues, which, according to Scripture, is given by utterance of the Holy Spirit.

    These people are on shaky ground with their denial of the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not just ignorance which is driving them, but arrogance.

    A second thing they say is that Pentecostals consider themselves elitist because they believe in the modern day ministry of the Holy Spirit, but this is a pure fantasy on their part, based on the fact they do not believe themselves, but perceive that, because Pentecostals do believe, and consequently enter into the gifts, then they must be being prideful.

    In fact, the pridefulness is on the part of those who refuse to acknowledge that the work of the Holy Spirit continues today, and seek to deny access to the Spirit’s available gifts to those who reject this notion.

    The truth is that most Pentecostals would rather help those who do not believe with their unbelief than be prideful about what they believe in. It is perfectly natural for a believer to want to assist and unbeliever to see what it is that is available to them through faith.

    That is not elitism, that is grace, obedience to the call, and the desire to see all believers enter into what is available to them through the Spirit.

    Besides, it is is a bit rich for the Reformists, who teach an exclusive doctrine of the elect, to speak about others being elitists.

  92. She is then perhaps confused and contradictory, and we all know who the author of confusion is. I know I am repeating myself but this bears another airing, yes?

    1. Brethren, if one of you comes forward with some foolishness, you who are of the Spirit, win them over with a gentle spirit, and beware that you are not tempted yourselves [to commit the same foolishness.]
    2. And bear each other’s burden, so as to fulfill the law of Christ.
    3. For if a human being thinks of themselves as something special (expect they are something which they are not), they lose (sight of) their soul (inner Life).
    (And their second estate is worse than their first.)
    4. Except a human being should weigh their own actions, and their pride should be within themselves and not by what others think.
    5. For every human being is responsible for their own conscience.
    6. However, the one who hears the Manifestation (Word) becomes a partaker with the one who tells him about all the blessings.
    7. Do not be misled. God cannot be mocked. For whatever a human being sows, that is what he reaps.
    8. Whoever sows in the flesh, shall reap through the labor pains of the flesh. And whoever sows in the spirit, shall reap the everlasting life of the Spirit.
    9. And as we do well, it will not be sufficient. For the harvest season will be upon us and we will not be able to finish up.
    10. So now while there is still time, let us be good to every human being, especially toward the children of the Faith. Aa-meen?

    And guys, the next time you hear some preacher use Galatians 6:6 to wring money out of cash strapped congregations, just remember what the Aramaic says and have quiet chuckle, before you knuckle the Nicolaitan nincompoop snake oil vendor with the Truth.

  93. Steve, I agree, I have no issue with the Holy Hegemony of the Holy Spirit. What I have been taught by that same Spirit is what to blaspheme the Spirit means, how it is done, what it entails and what the outcomes are.

    Simply put, the sin unto death is lust – which is why you are not to pray for it (be a rescuer) and keep the prodigal from the pigsty.

    James 1. The sequence; desire, sin, death.

    13. Let no human being who is tested, say that I am being tested by God, for God does not test human beings, and He never tested any human being.
    14. Except each human being is tested through their desires; they are tempted and tormented by their own desire.
    15. And this desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin. When sin matures, it gives birth to death.

    To blaspheme means to contradict – you can contradict both Father and Son and “get away with it”, but not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the creative Genesis of God, it is rendered in the Aramaic in the Feminine gender as “He” is the “womb” of God so to speak. It is by which means birth is given – and those who have had the privilege to birth things in prayer and in the Spirit should ken just what I mean.

    In contradicting the Holy Spirit by playing god (knowing good and evil) we may ignorantly involve the Creative Genesis of God in contradiction to the same, so we “create” chaos.

    These judgments, when we judge good and evil, are in contradiction and it should be that the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. These judgments become like landmines in our field, and the only way to walk through them is in the Spirit.

    The fact that they are not forgiven means that as this is the domain where we have played god, the “Universe of Sin”, we have set in place immutable judgments which cannot be changed, which is why God keeps His kids down here in the kindergarten while they learn to grow up and stop trying to be as gods, knowing both the good and the evil. The more you become servant to God the more you see that He is in Truth the Servant of All.

    30. “Whoever is not with me, is against me. And whoever does not congregate with me, will be utterly scattered.*
    31. “Because of this I am telling you, that all sins and blasphemies may be forgiven to mankind; however, blasphemies against the Spirit shall not be forgiven to mankind.
    32. “And whoever says a word against the Son of Man, may be forgiven. However, whoever speaks against the Spirit, shall never be forgiven, neither in this realm*, nor in the realm* that is destined [to come.]
    33. “Either you are a beautiful tree and produce good fruit, or you are a bad tree and produce bad fruit. For a tree is known by its fruits.
    34. “O, offspring of vipers, how can you speak of blessings when you are evil? For the mouth utters what the heart exudes.
    35. “The good man produces blessings from a foundation of blessings, and the evil man produces evil from an evil foundation.
    36. “For I am telling you, that for every idle word spoken by human beings, they will be answerable on the Day of Judgment.
    37. “For according to your words you shall be blessed and according to your words you shall be held responsible.”
    *12:30 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “He will scatter his scattering.”
    *12:32 Lit. Ar. id.: “Universe.”

    But remember with whom Jesus is talking – blind Pharisees – and He calls them serpents, so He is addressing the carnally minded coldly covetous calculating cabal of the self-serving synagogue of Satan (and to be carnally minded is DEATH). Lets at least get the context right. The 37th verse then becomes very telling as He is addressing their very own core beliefs, that according to THEIR words they will be blessed (justified) and according to THEIR words, they would be accountable – the Pharisees loved to trap people with words – they still do – and Jesus was turning the tables on them, yet they continually tried to catch Jesus out AT HIS OWN WORD – my God, just weigh the implications of THAT!

    Its amazing what you may see when taking a fresh look at the scriptures, as a child, as if you have never read them before – approach them anew every day – expect to be blessed and to be filled with Godly wisdom in all things.

  94. The unforgivable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit by denying His ministry and power and attributing it to the the devil, plain and simple.

  95. So I guess you are saying that you have never blasphemed the Holy Spirit then? Yes, these people who say that by Satan things are done when it is evidently the Holy Spirit are blaspheming the Holy Spirit and they will reap their own judgment. But do remember that it is usually done out of ignorance – remember – Pharisees are what? BLIND guides to the blind. The JUDGED good as being evil.

    Steve, maybe you live out of a doctrinaire 2 dimensional world called a Bible, I do not. The Bible trap, it snares so many Christians. Try putting your Bible down for a while and getting in touch with the Author and Finisher of your faith. I am not being disrespectful, I am giving you the best advice you will ever get.

  96. I don’t see how John McArthur, Steve Lawson or R. C. Sproul are respecting their congregation members by denying the fulmess of the Holy Spirit and preaching a cessationists doctrine, which they clearly are.

    If they really did respect the Body of Christ, they would first read the Word and accept it as they claim, as Sola Scriptura, and see that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ in the earth working through the Body of Christ, demonstrating that Jesus is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever that, through the Spirit of Christ, God is the Healer, the Deliverer, the Saviour. He changes not.

    They would know that the Holy Spirit is the representative of the Godhead in the earth showing forth the excellency of God through the Church.

    They would agree that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit are still available to those who are obediently zealous to prophesy and enter into the best gifts, those that are needed in each situation, as led by the Spirit, to bring healing, deliverance, comfort, care, edification, confirmation and exhortation to the saved and especially the unsaved, demonstrating the more excellent thing, and greatest need of all – the love of God and love for the people he sent Jesus to save, as revealed by the Apostle Paul to all saints.

    They would then repent for having told their congregations falsely that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit had ended. What a slap in the face of the Eternal, Almighty, Never-Changing God that error is. As if He ever had to change Who He Is, or What He Does. He is God!

    They would then begin to teach and preach the truth about the work of the Holy Spirit in the earth today. They would encourage their congregants to enter into the baptism with the Holy Spirit. They would not forbid prophecy. They would not forbid speaking in tongues. They would not grieve the Holy Spirit for one second longer.

    Then they would repent of accusing other members of the Body of Christ, including from the Pentecostal and charismatic movements, of being in error because they teach and preach that the Holy Spirit has not changed, that He is still filling saints today, and that he is still empowering saints today, that the outpouring of the Spirit has not ended, he is still distributing his gifts and manifestations to every man severally as he wills.

    They either believe Scritoure, or they do not. They cannot rightfully make up things about Scripture to suit their own doubts, theories, or error, and then claim to be teaching from Sola Scriptura.

    They need to repent and seek God’s face for an understanding of who the Holy Spirit is, what he is doing with the Church, and how they are supposed to be teaching the flocks they have been given charge of.

    They cannot possibly respect a single person on earth if they deny the Spirit, his work, and his interaction with the Church.

  97. R. C. Sproul, one of the speakers at the Strange Fire Conference, shows, despite his obvious standing in the Reformed camp, just how pompous and preposterous Reformists can be about things they don’t understand or believe.

    This is snobbery at it’s worse. And downright gossip. No Scripture used in this backbite, just innuendo and supposition disguised as opinion.

    Sproul is apparently concerned because charismatics, according to his theory, enter into things which are outside Biblical understanding. This, of course, is a fabrication of what charismatics actually believe doctrinally.

    The reality is that charismatics take the Word of God far more literally than Reformists when it comes to the gifts, manifestations and interaction of the Holy Spirit with the Church, including His guidance, leadership, ministry and the operation of His own Gifts through believers.

    Charismatics go to the Word for their information, believe it, and act on it, contrary to what Reformists like Sproul claim.

    Reformists are, in the main, cessationists, and deny what charismatics teach on the Holy Spirit – that He is working amongst us today.

    This makes the Reformists exclusive, not the charismatics, who are traditionally open and inclusive when it comes to teaching on the Holy Spirit, furtherance of the gospel as laid out by Jesus, who spoke of the endowment of the Spirit for all believers, and of being empowered as witnesses to take the message to the uttermost.

    Sproul, amazingly, calls charismatics exclusivist and elitist, but there is no group as elitist and exclusive as the Reformists, whose doctrine of the elect has never allowed for all to come to The Lord Jesus but only a prearranged, select few.

    In fact, the charismatics, far from being exclusive, would like all believers to enjoy the ministry of the Holy Spirit as much as God intends them to, are less likely to deny the ministry of the Spirit, are more likely to believe God’s Word on the gifts and manifestations and enter into God’s grace for the gifts.

    Charismatics are not puffed up or pompous about the gifts, but encouraging and embracing of all people to enter in. The real elitists here are the Reformists, who, rather than read the Scriptures and believe them when it comes to teaching on the Holy Spirit, choose to attack those who do.

  98. Sorry Steve – your reply to me about a week ago doesn’t make much sense; you stated a conclusion according to my statement but which was not based on anything I wrote.

  99. [These are just general attacks on the Body, not comments about the subject in hand. And mostly stuff we’ve heard from you before.]

    [Followed up with a line of personal attacks, since edited out.]

  100. Not really Wichita lawyer.. I had a look at your web-site and I really love it. I was wondering if you wanted to change it around a bit so that you had a bit more content and less of the pretty pictures? Oh and I wouldnt trust any law firm that uses sneaky comment bots to try to increase its ranking on google. Anyway all the best to you and your defendents.

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