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Old 03-24-2008, 11:54 PM
Connie
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Default The Gifts of the Holy Spirit for today?

I would like to see a discussion of the claims of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement since it has come up here and there but never been fully pursued.

I answered a post by Bibleprotector in which he made the claim that the gifts of the Spirit are an advanced form of Christianity, but I answered him on the wrong thread so I would like to start a thread now for that purpose only.

The relevant parts of Bibleprotector's post are:

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Did the KJB translators believe in "the true doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Ghost"?
The Church has been growing in knowledge, so that through time, there has been a growth toward being grown up in Christ. That growth is occurring right now, despite the appearances of smallness, weakness, lack and troubles of Christians. . . .
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Has the baptism failed them?
As I said above, many Pentecostals are fake, therefore, many are of another spirit. But I would that all God’s people went forward, in accepting one Word as foundation, and coming together in one proper and true doctrine. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Cor. 1:10).
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Most Baptists do not reject the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is when that takes place, and how it is manifested that is different.
There is much confusion concerning being baptised into Christ by the Holy Ghost, and being baptised into the Holy Ghost by Christ. These are two different baptisms. If you are baptised into Christ by the Holy Ghost, you are born again. Surely then even certain Baptists have the Holy Ghost. But John the Baptist showed that Christ would also baptise people into the Holy Ghost. If being born again is evidenced by having a new heart, there must also be an evidence of being filled by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The evidence of this baptism is power, a new degree or level of things in the Christian's life. And it must be evident to others: "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." (Acts 19:6).

Since a person needs to believe the Word of the Gospel to be born again, this is more important than the advanced doctrine of tongues. I am thankful that there are people who do believe the pure Word, and have even promoted it, and helped others in the truth of it.
Gifts of the Spirit differently understood

I haven't heard before the distinction you make between the Holy Spirit's baptizing us into Christ and Christ's baptizing us with the Holy Spirit, which is something to think about, but I have heard of a difference being made between being baptized in the Spirit, as a one-time event, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, which can be shown from Scripture to be something that may occur many times in a person's life. I wonder if you are aware of this way of looking at it and what you think of it.

I personally believe that we do need a distinction, because clearly there have been individuals and whole revivals in which God came in more than usual power, and this way of looking at it explains it for me. I believe there is a filling that can or does occur in some Christian's lives above and beyond the Holy Spirit baptism at salvation,

Luke :41
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Luke 1:67
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 4:8
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
Acts 4:31
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Acts 9:17
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 13:9
Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.


and I yearn for God to bring this to us again in revival.

At the same time I've also come to believe that the most conspicuous of the supernatural "gifts of the Spirit" embraced by the Pentecostals and Charismatics are not part of this filling since the early church. It's simply a matter of historical fact that they stopped, and unfortunately what has "resumed" is not a resumption but in most cases demonstrably a fake. David Cloud has done probably the most thorough and convincing study of the history of Pentecostalism, and I wonder if you are familiar with his work and what you think of it.

When even Charles Parham, who started the tongues movement in America, denounces the majority of tongues -- "three-fourths" I believe he said, at Azusa Street and subsequently -- as demonic manifestations, I think it's a fair conclusion that they ALL are demonic, since Parham himself was clearly deceived. And I say this as one who presumably had, or even still has, this "gift," which I've been uneasy about for a long time now, in fact even from the moment I received it. Besides obviously fake tongues, I heard countless obviously fake "prophetic words" when I was still part of the movement. Also, David Cloud has shown that the supposed "gift of healing" (such as practiced by Aimee McPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, William Branham, Oral Roberts and now Benny Hinn), has racked up an impressive record of total failure.

I believe the burden of proof of the legitimacy of any of these supernatural gifts of the Spirit is with the believers in it, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, and I haven't seen anything that adds up to legitimacy yet, plenty of declared healings or tongues or prophecies, no actual evidence of legitimacy. (I'm certainly not arguing that God may not heal miraculously today, in answer to prayer, I'm merely saying that the GIFT of healing has stopped. I'm also not saying that God does not communicate with His people in private ways, but they ARE private ways, they are not prophecy given to the church at large. And I see no reason whatever for the gift of tongues any more).

The hard thing for those of us who ever accepted the charismatic gifts as for today, and especially if we've experienced what we think are those gifts, is how to explain their cessation and the lack of clarity in the scripture one way or the other. Many have no problem simply claiming that the church after the days of the apostles was somehow at fault for losing the gifts, while others point to the historical fact of their dying out as evidence that they are not meant for today, or they claim that I Corinthians 13:8 means that the gifts of prophecy and tongues would cease with the establishment of the canon. None of these answers is very convincing, or never was to me.

It is only recently I finally found a satisfactory answer to this for myself, and unfortunately I'm not remembering where I first ran across it as I'd like to refer to it. First there is that the supernatural gifts were signs of an apostle,

2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds

indicating that if the church at large went on possessing these gifts they would no longer be the special signs of the apostles,

and Second, since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was announced by Peter as the fulfillment of the prophecy by the prophet Joel, yet clearly all the conditions of that prophecy were not met at that time, the best understanding of why the gifts of the Spirit did not continue past the apostolic generation was that the prophecy predominantly refers to the period of the Second Coming, in fact the period of the Great Tribulation, which is described in Joel:

Joel 2:31
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.


That didn't happen in the first century or any time since, so it must still be future. The gifts at Pentecost were given as signs that the true Messiah had come, and they had a clear purpose during the period when the church was just born and beginning to spread into the world, but once the church was established they were no longer needed. Their purpose at that time was fulfilled. But Joel's prophecy as a whole remains unfulfilled, so that the reasonable expectation is that its complete fulfillment is yet future.

The gifts had a purpose in the early church-- they were given to establish the supernatural foundation of the church in God, through the apostles -- and they will have a further purpose just before Jesus returns.

The purpose specifically of the gift of tongues, however, was as a sign to the Jews:

1Co 14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not . . .

Perhaps at the very end, which is no doubt very close, when Jews are expected to come to Christ in great numbers, the gift of tongues will again have a purpose, but tongues is not part of the prophecy of Joel, it refers back to Isaiah instead, so its purpose may already have been fufilled in the early church which went first to the synagogues.

I doubt the Lord would bring true revival wherever the gifts are believed to be for today because they are not from Him, certainly not without convicting such churches of that very error first.

Last edited by Connie; 03-25-2008 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:34 AM
Connie
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Thought I’d post some references on this subject. A striking thing about the Pentecostal movement is that there are many critics within the movement of what they consider to be “excesses,” while the real cause of the supposed excesses is the very belief in the gifts for today which they also share.

Here is David Cloud’s discussion of the history of the Pentecostal movement, The Strange History of Pentecostalism . http://wayoflife.org/fbns/strange1.htm He pretty much sums up his point here:

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From its inception the "latter rain" Pentecostal movement has been characterized by doctrinal heresy, exaggeration, and deception. I realize these are hard words, but the documentation is irrefutable. This is because the first century messianic and apostolic miracles simply are not being performed by Christians today. Those who claim that the apostolic Pentecostal signs have been restored are forced to accept occultic/hypnotic phenomenon such as spirit slaying and drunkenness and soothsaying (which they often call "the word of knowledge) as apostolic signs, or they are forced to exaggerate and prefabricate the alleged signs. This is exactly what we see occurring in the latest manifestation of the latter rain movement, the Laughing Revival. The latter rain movement of the 20th century is literally strewn with the wreckage of spiritual confusion, error, and deception.

Some will protest that we are using exceptions to paint the entire movement. Please note, though, that the following people are recognized leaders within the Pentecostal movement. They are not exceptions. All of them are listed in the authoritative Dictionary of Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements and in many other histories of Pentecostalism which are in my library. Further, the Lord Jesus Christ warned that we are to judge teachers by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-18). A movement which claims to be the very fullness of the Holy Spirit but which is literally strewn with false teaching, duplicity, immorality, and lunacy is to be rejected.

I readily acknowledge that there are many godly Christian people within Pentecostalism. I was led to Christ by just such a man. . . .
Another article on Pentecostalism, Azusa Street, the Birth of a Lie, http://www.scionofzion.com/azusa_street.htm notes the fact that many in the gifts movement have the discernment to recognize the wrong spirit of others in that movement, but argues that it all comes from the same root and should all be renounced:

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Some Pentecostalists distance themselves from charismatic ‘excess’ as found in the Toronto Blessing. Some even distance themselves from various leaders such as John Arnott (Toronto) and/or John Wimber (Vineyard). Do not be fooled by this! All they are doing is shifting the furniture around on the deck of the Titanic! They are still Pentecostalists and still believe the same things as they always did, and still practice the same errors. They are like the kettle calling the pot ‘black’....but, sadly, most of them are unaware of this failure and would not dream of being unfaithful.

In general they do not do or say what their more adventurous charismatic cousins do or say. But they do or say other things, which, though less dramatic, are of the same stock of heresy. By saying what many reformed folk want to hear (a denunciation of Toronto-style manifestations etc), they appear to be different from charismatics. This, friends, is a big mistake. As we have already said – they are only different by degree, not by type. That is, their virus is exactly the same; it just manifests itself in a modulated form. In this way, even if Satan is detected in charismaticism, he can still maintain his presence through old-style Pentecostalism without fear of being recognized by most Christians.

He has succeeded admirably and we must admit to his cleverness. Even so, he has been recognized in Pentecostalism! Not just by me, but by a number of other watchmen, who also warn the Church of the charismatic heresy. Those who wish to be truly faithful should now take heed, for their souls’ sake.

There is a very good reason for old-style Pentecostalists to abandon their beliefs and to repent. Some ministries supported by non-charismatics are headed by Pentecostalists. Yes, they denounced the Toronto Blessing. This led many to believe they must be ‘sound’. But this cannot be so. I say this without animosity toward these men or their ministries. A man who remains – and likes to call himself – ‘Pentecostalist’, but who has publicly castigated the Toronto Blessing is still, nevertheless, of the same root. That root is described in these pages. You will see that a man who denounces the Toronto movement must also denounce his own past, which is of the same kind. . . .
The following two quotes are from a “prophetic” blog called End Times Prophetic, Prophecy, Visions, Dreams, Revelation hosted by a woman whose discernment is very sharp – except about her own supposed “gifts of the Spirit.” http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpr...-from-history/

It was her entry quoting an article written around 1910 by Aaron Merritt Hills, the President of Texas Holiness University, along with a short statement by Charles Parham, that finally set me free from any last clinging to the possibility that tongues are for today. I was particularly struck by Hills’ observation that the presence of tongues interferes with the useful work of Christian life:

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Moreover, word comes to us from all over the world-from England and Germany and the United States, and the mission stations of Japan and China and India-that it is a distracting and disturbing force that is most injurious to the work of turning people from sin to righteousness. Instead of aiding revivals, it puts an end to them. Instead of increasing the power and effectiveness of hitherto noble Christian workers, it wrecks their power and their usefulness, and sometimes even their Christian experience.
It was at this same blog that I found the quote by Charles Parham that the majority of tongues are counterfeit:
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Charles Parham, a Pentecostal pioneer said:
‘Hear this: three-fourths of the so-called Pentecosts in the world are counterfeits, the devil’s imitation to deceive the poor earnest souls. . . . Many hundreds, in seeking Pentecost, were taught to yield to any force, as God would not permit them to be misled; under those conditions they were ripe for hypnotic influence. . . . Two-thirds of the people professing Pentecost are either hypnotized or spook-driven, being seized in the first place with a false spirit or coming under the control of one afterward. We cannot be too careful to try or test the spirits and any person unwilling to have their experience tested by going to God for themselves or with the brethren, reveal the fact that they are demon-controlled. . . . They plead the blood, and claim to be Jesus, giving messages, and imitate every gift of the Holy Spirit and Pentecostal tongues.’
I believe a sincere and prayerful reading of this material should end any lingering belief that the gifts are for today, and convince the reader that the Pentecostal movement as a whole is part of the Harlot Church, in which there remain some true believers to whom the Lord says "Come out of her, My people."
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:38 PM
Pastor Mikie
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Suffice it to say I believe the gifts are for today. Both my wife and I have been part of all 9 of the gifts given in 1st Corinthians chapter 12. We've both received healing of illnesses and infirmities. I was healed of heart trouble which almost killed me in 2004. I'm not on any medication for it either.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:20 PM
Connie
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Certainly the Lord heals, usually in answer to prayer such as prayer by the elders of a church according to James 5:14, and there's no reason why He couldn't choose to heal miraculously either, and praise and thanks to Him for all healings. But this has nothing to do with the gifts of the Spirit which are given to individuals for the good of the church. Could you please explain your situation further?

Last edited by Connie; 03-25-2008 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:34 PM
jerry
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There is a big difference between God Himself healing someone through prayer (which He did throughout history) and God giving a person a gift to be able to heal someone by laying their hands on them. There is a big difference between man being able to receive wisdom and knowledge through studying the Word of God and in answer to prayer (which again has happened in both the OT and the NT), and someone having a gift of wisdom or knowledge - which would seem to be wisdom and knowledge apart from the Word of God. The same goes with discerning of spirits - there is discerment based on the Word of God, available to every single believer (and referred to in various places in the Bible), and some kind of spiritual discernment given by the Holy Spirit apart from the Word of God.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:12 PM
Connie
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I would think at least any wisdom or knowledge or discernment "apart from" the Word of God would nevertheless have to be consistent with it, certainly not contradict it if it was truly from God.

The scariest question is whether one has been believing demons or not. I've had to face that the supposed gift of tongues I received was just that. It is a very disturbing thought. You can have good Biblical discernment on many things and yet remain in deception on others. The quote I posted from Charles Parham shows that even a major leader of the tongues movement could see that most of the results of it were demonically inspired, and yet not stop believing in his own experiences of tongues. This is also demonstrated by that blog I linked to where the woman well recognizes many errors in some areas of the movement but believes there are God-given tongues today and that her own visions are from God. I read a few of her visions and found them to be at best superfluous -- her Bible-based knowledge of the situation the vision supposedly addressed was sufficient to expose it and the vision added nothing, or it added distraction.

I personally needed to see the ungodly offenses committed at Azusa Street and hear Parham call it demonic to be set free from the last shred of belief that tongues are ever from God today. But I had other supernatural experiences since I became a Christian and I don't know whether to throw them all out or if some of them were really from the Lord. A major charismatic warning is against blaspheming the Holy Ghost by attributing something from God to the devil instead. It's a very distressing position to be in. There doesn't seem to be a clear Biblical standard for testing the spirits that can answer every such question that comes up.

Last edited by Connie; 03-25-2008 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post
A major charismatic warning is against blaspheming the Holy Ghost by attributing something from God to the devil instead. It's a very distressing position to be in. There doesn't seem to be a clear Biblical standard for testing the spirits that can answer every such question that comes up.
I know exactly what you are talking about. I was involved in a Pentecostal church many years ago and you raise some very good points I wish I could answer, and I hope some others can shed more light on them.

One thing I'm positive of is that neither you nor I have blasphemed the Holy Ghost. I'm not even sure that's possible today as I understand it it involved telling Jesus to His face when He was in the flesh that what He did was evil. I can't even imagine either of us as believers doing that. If one of us had commited that sin I don't think we would even be interested in the things of the Lord at all, or seeking fellowship with other believers at all.

You're right, no "words of wisdom" or anything else can contradict the Bible. That's why study is so important. And, of course, prayer to have God guide us to make the right decisions and applications. In fact, with the completed Scriptures, why do we need a "word of knowledge?"

The Holy Spirit is in no way limited today, but I don't believe He works through the sign gifts today, but by prayer as you already mentioned. I think we're looking for miracles while ignoring the miracles that are being performed around us.

Just tonight we were studying John 6 where Jesus fed the 5,000. Then the people came up to Him and asked Him for a sign (verse 30). When they didn't receive whatever miracle they were looking for many turned from Him (verse 66).
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:22 PM
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George George is offline
 
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Aloha Connie,

You came real close to answering your question near the end of your first post on this thread. And much of the material that you quoted is very informative and has some value, but “what saith the scriptures?”

Please read 1 Corinthians Chapter 14 (the whole Chapter). I attended an Assembly of God church for nearly 3 years (1963-1965) – not once in all of the time that I attended that church did I ever see the “gift of tongues” ever practiced or used in a “scriptural” manner (according 1 Corinthians Chapter 14). Nearly all of the people (90%+) that supposedly had the “gift” were women – in direct contradiction to the “commandment” of God. [1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.]

I was a young Christian at the time – ignorant of most of “the manifest wisdom of God” and searching for the “truth”. I never did speak in tongues, but at the same time I didn’t know whether they were real or for me, since I had so little spiritual understanding.

I didn’t use any other bible than the King James Bible, but I had not yet settled the matter of God’s Final Authority for another 3 years. My wife and I left that church (and Pentecostalism) when the pastor put his Bible on the floor of the platform and declared: "I’m standing on the promises of God” – and promptly stood on his Bible right there and then!

I didn’t realize at the time, but I believe that God was teaching me to judge – to judge “righteous judgment” and to judge, not according to a person’s (or a church’s) words or works, but to judge according to their “fruits”. Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

This is a very “thorny” issue, but here is what the scriptures say: 1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: According to the testimony of scriptures – the Jews didn’t only look for signs, they REQUIRED them. And even a cursory examination of the scriptures will bear this out.

Abraham (The first Jew {Hebrew}) had signs; Isaac saw miracles; Jacob saw both signs and miracles; Moses couldn’t convince the Jews (Hebrews) that he was called of God to be their deliverer until – he produced signs (and later the miracles & wonders); and so it goes throughout the history of Israel the prophets produced signs, wonders, and miracles in order to convince the people of Israel that they were come from God and were legitimate prophets.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came and dwelt among men he proved to the people of Israel Who He was by signs, wonders, and miracles also: John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

Remember 1 Corinthians 1:22 – “the Jews require a sign”? And the Lord performed all kinds of signs and miracles for over 3 years and yet they still refused to believe Him or receive Him!

And so we come to Peter, James, John, Phillip, Steven, Paul and others (Notice – all Jews!) performing signs and miracles. Why did they have signs? – because at the start of the church God was still calling out “Jews” and in order to keep His word (His promise to perform signs for the Jews) He performed these signs through those men so that the Jews who lived throughout the Roman Empire would believe that these men were from God.

And so to the issue of tongues: 1 Corinthians 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

At the end of Paul's ministry the greatest Apostle (Paul), the man who could heal people with pieces of cloth from his clothes; the man who raised the dead; the man who was bitten by a deadly snake and felt no harm - could NOT heal Timothy of a simple stomach ache and "often infirmities"!

What happened? The "sign gifts" (only) ended with the apostles (as church history bears out) and are now in abeyance until God picks up with Israel again (soon - and I hope to be gone).

Christians cannot REQUIRE signs. We shouldn't be looking for signs or for "sign gifts". We do not believe by sight our salvation is based on FAITH in the word of God to be true and in the FINISHED WORK of ou Lord on Calvary.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

This is very short post - there is a lot more to this "thorny" issue - I hope I have been of some help to you.

Last edited by George; 03-25-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:42 PM
jerry
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Originally Posted by Connie View Post
A major charismatic warning is against blaspheming the Holy Ghost by attributing something from God to the devil instead. It's a very distressing position to be in. There doesn't seem to be a clear Biblical standard for testing the spirits that can answer every such question that comes up.
Don't worry - that is their fear-based tactic to make you back off from Scripturally critiquing something. What are those passages actually referring to? There were some Pharisees that actually saw Jesus work miracles and heard His testimony - yet they willfully attributed His works to the Devil when they clearly knew otherwise. These were lost folks - a true believer in Christ cannot do that today. Questioning some spiritual manifestations based on the Word of God is not going to get you in trouble with God - it will get you His approval and blessing, because of your obedience. It is God Himself that states the following:

1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings (ie. preaching). Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Philippians 1:9-10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Revelation 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:17 AM
Connie
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Thank you Jeff, George and Jerry. I appreciate your thoughtful replies but they are going to take me a while to digest. Meanwhile, I'd like to ask you a specific question to see if you have a biblical answer to it. What if you had the impression of the Lord speaking to you within yourself? Let me try to be very clear. I have on two occasions in the past heard a voice inside my head I immediately knew was a demon. One said "she is praying to Jesus Christ," and that was before I was saved, the other, years later, said the name of a woman my whole church was praying for, as if to insist that I pray for her, although I was already doing that. In any case, whatever the message, I knew immediately they were demons. I had no doubt whatsoever. At one point I even sought exorcism, but in the charismatic context that's rather like sending the fox to the hen house I'm afraid. Others simply reassured me that if I have the Holy Spirit I can't have a demon inside me. Well, can they then project their voices inside a person's head from outside? I don't know the answer to any of this. I haven't had such an experience for many many years, but the demons may just be keeping a low profile.

I wasn't even going to write about any of that. I only did so you'd know I am making a distinction between those experiences and another kind of "voice" I heard on a few other occasions, but it's not quite accurate to say I "heard" anything in these cases. It was more like words etched on my soul, written rather than spoken. They were very brief messages of wise instruction about my current situation, and I took them as from the Lord, as I did not take the other voices.

I think now that I'm writing this that they too couldn't have been from the Lord, but I'm not sure biblically why not. Well, I think the answer might be that they produced no good fruit. As far as I know they didn't produce any bad fruit, but I would expect a true instruction from the Lord to have an impact on me that these didn't really have. Maybe I'm answering my own question. They didn't inspire me to greater obedience, or humility or any Christian virtue, they didn't provoke awe or any appropriate emotion in me. Hm. They were EMPTY. That is how I've been coming to see demonic communications lately, as empty. Now I have to admit that that describes this different kind of voice too.

This kind of experience isn't part of the gifts of the Spirit, but it is certainly a supernatural experience, which can only be from the Holy Spirit or the demonic spirits.

What about the experience I had once of having a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door and I prayed for an answer to them, and "I will not give My glory to another" from Isaiah came immediately to mind. Now THAT has to be the Lord, surely.

But that's not a voice inside me, or a writing inside me.

Well, I didn't have all this in mind when I started this thread, and I'm afraid it's the sort of thing people probably don't have a clear answer to, but there it is. I do associate it with the charismatic movement although these particular experiences are not the gifts of the Spirit.

There is a young man who gives what he calls a Bible Study which he posts at Sermon Audio, and he's said a lot about how exposure to certain kinds of teachings bring demons to a person. I feel I need to deal with all this somehow and I'm not sure how.

It's very upsetting because it makes me wonder if the Lord is with me at all.

Perhaps just more intensive study of the Bible will do it.

Last edited by Connie; 03-26-2008 at 01:22 AM.
 

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