Truth Matters April 2014

30 04 2014


William McLoughlin summarized Finney’s major contribution to revivalism by saying that, both he [Finney] and his followers believed it to be the legitimate function of a revivalist to utilize the laws of mind in order to engineer individuals and crowds into making a choice which was ostensible based upon free will. The rationale for all that Finney did during revival services was the gaining of converts. The numerical success of his methods was his vindication. As he stated in his Memoirs, “Show me the fruits of your ministry and if they so far exceed mine as to give me evidence that you have found a more excellent way, I will adopt your views.1

Charles Finney’s new measures were nothing “new” per se but can be traced to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Finney’s approach can be reduced down to the following statement: do whatever works to achieve your goal in the service. Both the old Serpent Lucifer and Finney place the emphasis on the will of man versus having faith in God and His promises.

Finney was an unrepentant follower of Pelagius in his view of the free will of lost humanity to make a decision (hopefully) for Christ and invite Him into their hearts to be their Savior. Where his “new” measures came into play was in the methods he used and those who have followed him use in manipulating people into making the right decision. Finney and all his followers (most of today’s evangelicals, most mega-ministries and ALL televangelists) believe that people can be either emotionally or intellectually moved into becoming a Christian.

Christians cannot be “made” by force of sword (as in Islam) nor are we born-again by the will of man but by the Spirit of our God (John 3:5). They are not brought into the Kingdom on the wings of being emotionally tricked into “answering” the altar call for salvation. Yet this is exactly what Finney and his predecessors have been doing —- trying to “trick” people by various psychological means into the kingdom. Who among us would welcome into our fellowship people who had literally been hypnotized into receiving Christ, as if such a thing were possible? Would you believe their “conversions” to be valid and the work of God? I would not! Read what the great revivalist had to say about his results at the end of his life and those of one of his associates:

I was often instrumental in bringing Christians under great conviction, and into a state of temporary repentance and faith …. [But] falling short of urging them up to a point, where they would become so acquainted with Christ as to abide in Him, they would of course soon relapse into their former state [cited in B. B. Warfield, Studies in Perfectionism, 2 vols. (New York: Oxford, 1932), 2:24].2

During ten years, hundreds, and perhaps thousands, were annually reported to be converted on all hands; but now it is admitted, that real converts are comparatively few. It is declared, even by [Finney] himself, that “the great body of them are a disgrace to religion” [cited in Warfield, 2:23].3

Finney had to admit in the end that his new measures actually did not produce lasting fruit. What they did produce were (1) great publicity before and during the revival, (2) large crowds of people, many of whom would make a profession of faith for a little while (see Mark 4:19) and (3) funding to take the revival onto the next town. History records the following results of Finney’s revivalism:

Evangelical Christianity virtually disappeared from western New York in Finney’s own lifetime. Despite Finney’s accounts of glorious “revivals,” most of the vast region of New England where he held his revival campaigns fell into a permanent spiritual coldness during Finney’s lifetime and more than a hundred years later still has not emerged from that malaise. This is directly owing to the influence of Finney and others who were simultaneously promoting similar ideas. The Western half of New York became known as “the burnt-over district,” because of the negative effects of the revivalist movement that culminated in Finney’s work there. These facts are often obscured in the popular lore about Finney.4

In spite of Finney’s own admissions of failure and those of some of his co-workers and in spite of the historical record of FAILURE on Finney’s part he is still regarded today as a “great revivalist” and some consider him an excellent theologian.

The Fruits & Family of Finney

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gal. 5:9

Due to Finney’s apparent immediate success his theological beliefs and methodology were received by many others and expanded by them (as leaven does when left unchecked) and today it is virtually impossible to escape some manifestation of Finney’s new measures. All of the emotional singing with loud music, handclapping, waving banners, dancing, liturgical dancers, praise bands, big screens, testimony time, altar calls, and revivals are all the gifts from Finney that keep on giving . . . false hope and broken lives.

Without burdening the reader with those who came after Finney, allow me to cite a couple examples and then move onto the specific ingredients used to manipulate God’s people today. Aimee Semple MacPherson was an early traveling evangelist, possibly one of the first radio evangelists. She used music and huge theatrical plays to try to move people into receiving Christ. She built the first
mega-church in our age of technology (from the first radio transmission to this very day) in Los Angeles, California. Her end? She committed adultery, faked her own kidnapping and later died of a drug overdose. Billy Graham certainly is the “poster-child” for Finney today. Billy held massive revival meetings, scores of decisions for Christ, famous singers moving the emotions and equally famous people giving their “testimonies.” Today? The last time I heard Mr. Graham speak on television with Larry King he pointed to his “good works” as his hope to get into heaven and not the merits of Jesus Christ on the cross for him! Space does not permit me to mention people like Billy Sunday, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, Kathryn Khulman, William Branham and R.W. Schambach, all of whom were master manipulators of souls.

Techniques Used by the Puppet Masters

Music

Music is a wonderful gift that can lift the soul of man and the songs we sing can express our innermost feelings. Music has great emotional power to move us in a wide variety of ways depending upon the type of music being played or the songs being sung. Psychologists have long researched the impact of music on people’s emotional state. Something I have recently learned is that Dr. Martin Luther wrote extensively about music and its role (something I do not think most charismatic song leaders know about either).

For whether one wishes to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate (and who could number all these masters of the human heart, that is: the emotions, inclinations and affections that move people to do evil or good); what more effective means than music could one find?5

Music also can be an effective coping strategy. We can listen to music that elicits emotions we want to feel in a given moment. If we feel lazy and unmotivated, maybe a playlist of up tempo, energetic songs would be a helpful way to change our mood. It could be interesting to create playlists based on various emotions so they’re within reach as desired.6

Because of this “power” inherent in music, whether secular or spiritual, people have long used music to direct the hearts of the hearers in the direction they (the musicians and SINisters) deem necessary for the goals they want to achieve. It is somewhat important to keep a little historical perspective too; back in Luther’s time virtually all the arts were directed towards religious purposes. People painted biblical scenes, sculpted biblical figures and wrote religious music and songs for The Church. There was “popular” music but much of that was broken down into disseminating news events, and a few ballads.

Today’s sign-gift enthusiasts have made music and singing as integral as the proclamation of the Gospel itself. Luther would have no issue with this sentence on its own, in fact he said:

For Luther, the final category of ‘natural music’ was the music of heaven, musica caelestis. Heavenly music offered humankind a glimpse of heaven in the world around them. It communicated something of God and, just as God’s Word was able to direct the human will, so musica caelestis also had the capacity to influence people profoundly. For that reason, ‘music, next to the Word of God, deserves the highest praise‘, Luther famously held.7

Sadly much has changed in the “worship” music in virtually all “evangelical” (a term coined by Luther) gatherings and Luther WOULD NOT be pleased at what he sees and hears. He knew that people would remember the songs much longer than any sermons preached —- THUS the songs people sung had to have THEOLOGICAL CONTENT that would (1) teach them God’s Word, (2) reveal who they are (sinners) and (3) point to whom God has provided as the remedy for their eternal problem(s) — Jesus Christ. Some of these hymns have 10 distinct stanzas that tell the entire story of our fall and redemption. Most early hymns are “sung sermons” contain spiritual meat whereas songs today in most congregations are at best 2% milk, 98% water.

While Tracy and I were members of Jubilee Christian Center (JCC) in Detroit, MI. under the leadership of Rhema graduate and “restored” apostle Ellis Smith we became very aware of the latest role of “music.” JCC was known in our circle (Prophetic movement {aka pathetic movement} at that point in time) for our musicians and our praise & worship.

It was during the Prophetic Movement (approx. 1986-1996) that music became more and more of a tool, a device used to literally create an almost tangible spiritual atmosphere in the services. Music became more solidly codified into two categories (1) praise and (2) worship music.

Praise Music

Praise music/songs are vibrant, declarative, foot-stomping hand-clapping tunes more or less thanking God for what He has done for us. The songs in either category are often described as having 1 or 2 lines and then 25 repetitions of a chorus such as “Abraham’s Blessings Are Mine” or “Satan We’re Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down.”

A major portion of the psychological manipulation occurs during this initial sonic assault (and it is very loud). The songs that are sung are chosen by the music SINister based on what he or she wants to accomplish, i.e. taking the people up “higher” leading them to cause a “breakthrough in the heavenlies,” etc. I’ve witnessed many a music leader make the people (1) stand, (2) clap, (3) dance, (4) shout, (5) be silent, (6) weep ALL based on the type of music being played, the songs being repetitiously sung/shouted at full volume for 45 minutes to an hour non-stop. There is a thing as a crowd
mentality as well as the natural human desire to fit-in, both of these aspects are played upon by these manipulators. After close to an hour of charismatic-calisthenics the people are suitably prepared emotionally to enter into what I’ll call Phase Two of the Psychological Operation —

Worship Music

Tones are equally important as rhythm. A “major key” music piece signifies cheerful communication to our brain, while “minor key” pieces closely mirror the sighs and soft keenings of lamentation. This all has a powerful effect on our brain, which directs our psyche to actually feel what’s being communicated to us.8

The old saying “what goes up must come down” was partially true in our services. We did not consider it “coming down” per se but going deeper in the spiritual realm. Everything changes at this point. The music goes from a loud thumping rock beat to a soft sweet sound best described as either a ‘jazz-fusion’ or ‘new age’ tonal quality. The song focus also shifted somewhat. Now we were to focus on who God is (versus as to what He has done). You might say praise music sings about God and worship music sings “to God.”

At JCC and other places, during the worship phase not only is the music lowered down in tempo and volume but the lights were also lowered down at this point, to the degree the room looked like an almost like a movie theater. The songs are just as repetitious but slower and these songs also contain no solid doctrinal content. This portion may also go on for a protracted amount of time; it really just depends on how the people respond.

During the “worship” portion is when the BIG SCREEN(s) really does its work. Virtually every charismatic group and mega church makes use of some form of television/video projection throughout its production.

The Big Screen(s)

Kudos to the sign-gift folks for being willing to make use of all the most advanced technology to spread the Gospel. I’ve heard more than a few Lutheran pastors says “the charismatics are ten years ahead of us when it comes to technology.”

They were among the first to use radio, later television, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassettes, CD’s and DVD’s to get out their message. They were among the first to use computers to compile huge money-making mailing lists, to incorporate electric instruments in their services, to broadcast their services “live-time” via satellite (Robert Tilton was the first, I attended his “Bible School” live via satellite back in the 80′s, graduated with a 4.0 GPA in heresy, I kid you not). Charismatic congregations were the first to enable their people to “swipe” their credit cards at the offering time and/or ATM kiosks in the ‘narthex’ (naturally they make $1-2 off the fees these machines change as well, sweet deal for the money hungry). The problem is, they have great technology but what does it profit them and The Church without a solid biblical message? All they have done is export their aberrant beliefs and practices to the world via high technology.

Allow me to for a moment attempt to put ‘the best construction’ on the use of Big Screens in sanctuaries. Many congregations do not have their own property, so they set up and tear down each week. It is easier to set up some screens in a gym then it is to haul 200 hymnals (if they had such books) 2-3 times a week. It allows for instantaneous change on the part of that group, new songs, and announcements, whatever can be projected. Big Screens are what many “Americans” have come to expect in their meetings places; hymnals are seen as “religious” and or even worse “traditional” versus trendy hip and contemporary. Hymnals by their very presence seem to say “I am stolid, unchanging and boring.” Whereas Big Screens shout out “we’re cutting edge, exciting, obviously tech-savvy and somehow participatory.” Americans (because of the manipulation of advertisers) always want what is judged as new, trendy, hip and contemporary.

Now allow me to explain to you the far darker side of watching any televised images at all. From its inception “motion pictures” (they are not really moving at all, they merely appear to be) were used for propaganda purposes (one of the first movies was the 1915 “Birth of a Nation” which was originally titled “The Clansman”). The early attempts were flawed and the technology was just getting started but from the very beginning people realized the power to move large groups of people through the use of both sound and motion. Early films seen today show us the slower flicker rate making the “movie” appear to be a “flip-book” series where each still image when flipped faster “seems” to move. By 1927 the first talking film, “The Jazz Singer” was released and the flicker rate was increased to give the appearance of seamless motion. “The FCC adopted NTSC television engineering standards on May 2, 1941, calling for 525 lines of vertical resolution, 30 frames per second with interlaced scanning, 60 fields per second, and sound carried by frequency modulation.”9 This became the standard for American television.

Danger #1 Subliminal Manipulation

What scientists learned very quickly was that the human eye does not actually transmit to the conscious part of the brain everything it sees. They learned that even though we visually “take-in” everything presented before our eyes a portion of what is “seen” can be hidden from the person watching and yet the unconscious mind has received the message!

This new psychological/physiological discovery began a whole new field of endeavor in advertising and the government called “subliminal” research and programming.

A subliminal message is a signal or message embedded in another medium, designed to pass below the normal limits of the human mind’s perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious mind and importantly, the unconscious mind, and can negatively or positively influence subsequent later thoughts, behaviors, actions, attitudes, belief systems and value systems. The term subliminal means “beneath a limen” (sensory threshold). This is derived from the Latin words sub, meaning under, and limen, meaning threshold. You can see it but not notice it.10

People in control of the motion picture industry learned that they could sell more popcorn or Coca Cola during movies by simply adding in a film frame that said something like “buy a coke” or “eat more popcorn” and sales went up! The people never knew they were being manipulated. Ever since then various messages have been placed overtly, covertly and subliminally in virtually all “moving” pictures, whether it is a Hollywood movie or your local T.V. news. Various politicians, as recently as Senator McCain’s11 last run for President, have been caught placing subliminal statements in their political ads, so yes this secret manipulation is ongoing. The thing is, you and I will never see it when it is done to us. You would for example never see “give more” or “tithe” on one of Joel Osteen’s or The Potter’s House of T.D. Jakes big screens but it could be there. Subliminal messages do explain a great deal of our personal buying habits and may explain why some televangelists are so seemingly successful in fleecing the flock.

Danger #2 Flicker Rate & Hypnotic Suggestibility


Believing the best (1 Cor. 13:7) let us hope that people are not abusing the sheep of Christ’s flock via encoded messages being flashed on the Big Screens for several hours during each service. Nonetheless, psychological manipulation is still taking place. It begins as soon as the projector is turned on. With over fifty (50) years of television and closer to 100 years of motion pictures experience the social scientists and global elitists have mastered this medium. Here are just three comments by experts in this field:

Dr. Ernest Hilgard, from Stanford University’s research program in hypnosis and the author of the most widely used texts in the field, agreed that television could easily put people into a hypnotic state if they were ready for it.12

Watching television is participatory only in the way the assembly line or a hypnotist’s blinking flashlight is. Eventually, the conscious mind gives up noting the process and merges with the experience. The body vibrates with the beat and the mind gives itself over, opening up to whatever imagery is offered. — He said that, in his opinion, the condition of sitting still in a dark room, passively looking at light over a period of time, would be the prime component in the induction.13

A team of researchers headed by psychologists Merrelyn and Fred Emery at the Center for continuing Education, Australian National University at Canberra reported decades ago showed that when we watch television, our usual processes of thinking and discernment are semi-functional at best. The report says: “The evidence is that television
not only destroys the capacity of the viewer to attend, it also, by taking over a complex of direct and indirect neural pathways, decreases vigilance, the general state of arousal which prepares the organism for action should its attention be drawn to specific stimulus.14


One does not need to insert hidden messages into the messages being seen in order to manipulate the viewers. The simple act of watching the screen for just a few minutes (in our over televised society experts say it takes less than 2 minutes to become entranced) will change the actual brainwave patterns in the viewer’s physical brain from the awake “Alpha” state to the more passive and receptive “Beta” level of wave pattern in mere moments. The mechanism that causes this is the flicker rate being projected:

The light emitted from computer screens and TV’s is not steady, but has flicker. This is true for all monitors, of all types. The flicker is usually invisible, at least to the conscious mind. Flicker is invisible when it consists of pulses or waves of light that repeat one after the other so rapidly that they appear to fuse together into steady light. Our flicker fusion frequency (the frequency above which we no longer consciously see flicker) ranges from about 25 to 55 Hz (Hz means times per second)…
Optic nerve signals proportional to flicker at frequencies far above the conscious flicker fusion frequency do reach our brain from the eye (as shown by EEG and other studies)15

It does not matter what the content is (although content does help in manipulating the viewer) because the hypnotizing effect comes from the devices themselves.

Combine the well documented effects of the flicker rate with very loud music, clapping, shouting, dancing and verbal encouragement from the music leader the participant and it becomes very clear that the poor sheep is being manipulated by sensory overload on several levels simultaneously and does not even recognize the manipulation.

The level of hypnosis deepens during the worship portion of the song service as I alluded to previously. Now with the lights down the Big Screen becomes the focal point. The musicians can’t generally be seen; perhaps the song leader may have a small Klieg light on him or her. The flicker rate is still working its magic. However, the tonal quality of the music has changed, the images on the screen have changed to bucolic scenes, and even some Bible passages may be thrown up on screens.

The darkening of the room acts psychologically on the people’s minds. It helps “create” an atmosphere that is more hushed, mysterious and mystical. It was always during this worship portion of the song service that people would as a group sing in “other tongues.” This singing in the spirit could go on for a few minutes or longer, it just depended on the service that day. Whether for a long or short time speaking/singing in other tongues is an activity of the subconscious mind and it demands a shutting down of rational abilities while so engaged. This is another ingredient in the manipulation process. After close to 2 hours of singing, dancing, clapping — all while seeing/being led by the leader via the Big Screen(s) the lights slowly are brought up to a certain level [never too quickly or the trance is broken just like at the movies] and presto there would be our SINister, apostle Ellis Smith standing behind his Lucite podium with the brighter light on him (draw your own conclusion as to why). We the sheeple would be sitting there literally in a numbed state of mind, our minds vacant and open to “receive” whatever the speaker had to say.

The flickering rate of TV effects the brain in a negative way, causing brain activity to drop somewhere between the alpha and theta state (2). This change in brain activity puts the mind in a dreamlike state and thus it turns off the higher critical functions of the brain. Being in this trance state can be disempowering, because your mind can easily be manipulated into accepting any message as truth. This is why TV is so effective at manipulating your mind. (P.I. Chang)

The Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Holy Spirit did not say “faith comes by seeing.” In fact, we are told the opposite, that which we SEE is temporary (2 Cor. 4:18) and that we “live by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). I admit that Paul did not have television in mind when this was written, but I believe it can be fairly applied to Big Screens in general.

Preaching requires only a man with a message. Televised anything requires some form of electricity (gas generators, solar, etc.), projectors, suitable screens, programming to show and vast amounts of money to pay for all of these extra devices which does not seem like a wise investment of our time or money.

Televised anything on a screen has no place in Christian worship. It is by nature a manipulative device that directly effects our mental discernment. 1 Peter 4:7 tells us to be sober-mindedBut the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” so it seems antithetical to me to use a device which places you in an altered state of mind. Perhaps a screen may have some limited value in adult education (I would not use television to show the kids “videos” etc.) but it can easily become a “crutch” for the pastor. It’s easier to show a film than prepare an in-depth teaching. Truth Matters and as for me I am not into any form of deception being used in the Church and projected images on Big Screens are manipulative and deceptive.

The first effect of this is to create a passive mental attitude. Since there is no way to stop the images, one merely gives over to them. More than this, one has to clear all channels of reception to allow them in more cleanly. Thinking only gets in the way. There is a second difficulty. Television information seems to be received more in the unconscious than the conscious regions of the mind where it would be possible to think about it. The retina collects impressions emanating from dots. The picture is formed only after it is well inside your brain. The image does not exist in the world, and so cannot be observed as you would observe another person, or a car, or a fight. The images pass through your eyes in a dematerialized form, invisible. They are reconstituted only after they are already inside your head.16

The Deepest Cut of All – The Bible in Manipulating Souls

Everything written about thus far can be used by any group on any group of people. The use of sound and flickering lights, darkened rooms and emotionalism are psychological techniques that “work” on human beings regardless of their religious proclivities and beliefs. Thought control and brainwashing procedures have been honed to a high degree by non-Christian public and private entities.

Yet the “bedrock” of spiritually controlling a group of professing Christians is to use the Bible to place them in bondage. DMI receives reports on a regular basis on spiritual manipulation; here are two that became international “news.”

In a wildly unorthodox demonstration of how humans can be controlled by the Holy Spirit and eat just about anything to feed their bodies, a South African pastor made members of his church eat grass. A video of him commanding a demon out of a woman’s stomach might also give you the chills. According to a report in African Spotlight, Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries had his followers eating grass after explaining in a sermon that Jesus had many other disciples other than the 12 listed in the traditional Bible who were doing new things which were considered unconventional at the time as well. “There were many disciples and you don’t know others. Let God show you as they were deliberately not revealed in the Bible because God wanted someone to do them, new things. Nathanael was a disciple yet there is no book of Nathanael, what about the miracles, signs and wonders, what about how they them who were not mentioned, taught,” said the pastor.17

In the case of the SINister actually having his people go out and get on all fours and eat grass like an animal, the people all got very sick from doing this. You might wonder how is it that people can be so manipulated (take heed lest ye fall, my friends) as to be made to eat grass? Who would do such a thing? What we have is an example of the power of the Word of God in the hands of evil people who seek not to bless the people of God but to control their lives. All the leader needs to do is preach about being “obedient” to God’s anointed leader and the consequences of not obeying him/her. Consequences are usually preached from O.T. examples such as fire coming down and consuming rebel sons (Lev. 10:1), the earth opening up (Num. 16:32) or worse. A simple technique to use on people is to tell them that to NOT OBEY is THE sin against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). This false shepherd might have used the example of King Nebuchadnezzar, whom God PUNISHED and made to “eat grass” like a cow until he acknowledged the God of Heaven (see Dan. 4:33) as biblical precedent. The point here to recognize is that these people were manipulated and humiliated via nothing more than a man using his usurped biblical authority and the writings of Holy Scripture.

Kenyan pastor bans females from wearing underwear to Church. According to The Kenyan Daily Post, the pastor’s reasoning was that the undergarments are “ungodly” and people need to be “free in ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ to receive Christ”. The pastor added that women who continue to wear undergarments to church will suffer “dire consequences,” and encouraged mothers attending his services to check their daughters to make sure they had obeyed the new rule. The GuardianLV.com one eyewitness who attends Njohi’s church reported that many of the women who were in attendance did obey the rule of their pastor and showed up without any undergarments on whatsoever. Many people are questioning why the women in worship need to be “free” in their body and spirit when coming to church while the men are not required to do the same.18

Next we read of a pastor who has convinced the women in his congregation to stop wearing panties and brassieres to worship! What I find interesting about this account is that (1) the men were not told to do the same and I wonder why this is and (2) that the women obeyed their shepherd and submitted to this demeaning manipulation.

Women are often the target of spiritual manipulation due to their submissive role in marriage and most cultures. A SINister can always point to mother “Eve” (Gen. 3:12) as the reason for mankind’s ills (scripture twisters capitalize on the biblically ignorant) or the prostitute/adulterous woman in the Proverbs (see Prov. 5:20; 7:5; 23:27). Naturally St. Paul telling women to “keep silent” in the church (1 Cor. 14:34) can become a real spiritual “bludgeon” in the hands of a manipulative leader. A leader can always control questioning sheep by pointing them to Romans 12 and remind them that this is a “new” understanding/practice and they need to renew their minds and submit to God’s direction through His anointed leader.

In closing this short article out we must not forget the tragic example of Jim Jones and The People Temple mass murder. Clinical studies and several books have been written about Mr. Jones and the consensus is that he was a master manipulator. He used fake sign-gifts, including speaking in other tongues, being slain in the spirit and fake healing miracles along with “charismatic” preaching using the Bible to secure his role as a pastor in the minds of the members. He also used other mind control techniques including sexual abuse of members, public humiliation, deprivation, etc. to mold the wills of his followers to his. The end was 913 people dead by suicide and outright murder (although all were brainwashed to a tremendous degree when they assumed room temperature).

Had I space I could have included some insights into NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) — which is also commonly used by mega-church and small fry’s alike; here is a quick definition:

while classical hypnosis depends on techniques for putting patients into suggestive trances (even to the point of losing consciousness on command), NLP is much less heavy-handed: it’s a technique of subtle meaning into spoken or written language so that you can implant suggestions into a person’s unconscious mind without them knowing what you’re doing.–Go to: ultraculture.org/blog/2014/01/16/nlp-10-ways-protect-mind-control/#sthash.rVQ7pc8n.dpuf.19

This is now commonly known in some circles as the “NPR radio” voice, or one might say the soft winsome “Joel Osteen” voice is a vital ingredient to those who use NLP techniques and many pastors are experts at the techniques involved. [If you have time I would advise you go online and LEARN about NLP, especially if you watch television]. Satan plays upon the Christian’s sincere desire to please their Lord and that does involve obeying those He has placed over us as His under-shepherds. The same texts can be used by godly and ungodly men. One produces life and spiritual fruitfulness in the lives of those who hear and do the Word proclaimed. The other produces bondage and human works. The first is when the Gospel is rightly taught —- liberty reigns in our hearts and lives. Yet when twisted the Gospel can quickly be turned into Legalism, an aberrant misuse of God’s holy Law.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many
shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1-3

The Bible warns us abundantly of those who would “make merchandise” of the people of God. Many preach the Gospel as simply the best way to get rich and exercise power over others:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Timothy 6:3-6

From the research I have just begun to do combined with our own prior sign-gift enthusiastic experiences there is no doubt in my mind that multitudes of God’s people are being manipulated spiritually and mentally by unscrupulous men and women and the results are never good. Whether they have purposefully studied mind control techniques or not remains unknown. The results are well known and easily observed. How does a Christian known whether or not they are sitting under a “controlling” and “abusive” pastor? As I have shared many of these techniques are covert and thus hidden from us and so how can we know if we are being “played” or not by our leaders? That is an issue for next month. STAY TUNED CAMPERS!

End Notes

1.Obtained from http://www.founders.org/journal/fj09/article4.html

2. Obtained from http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/finney.htm

3. Ibid. Underlining added for emphasis.
4. Ibid.

5. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/26/how-music-impacts-helps-our-emotions/

6. Obtained from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/26/how-music-impacts-helps-our-emotions/

7. (WA 50: 371, 1-2: ‘Musicam esse vnam, quae post verbum Dei merito celebrari debeat’; 370, 36-38: ‘Das nach dem heiligen wort Gottes nichts nicht so billich vnd so hoch zu rhümen vnd zu loben, als eben diese Musica’.)

8. There are no real hard and fast dates to exactly when some of these sub-movements within the big tent of charismania began. Certainly William Branham was considered to be one of the first genuine restored prophets and his dates were pre-WWII barely. Until Branham Pentecostalism did not express much of a belief in restored prophets or apostles. This phase of restorationism did not really take hold until the charismatic movement (say 1950 via Episcopalian Bennet) became ecumenical and by the 1980′s many began to claim God was restoring the prophetic office, naturally after God restored prophets He had to finish up by restoring apostles. Now there is nothing left for us to do apart from swallow N follow these restored leaders directives and usher in the Kingdom and hand it over to Jesus — that is what is taught in a nutshell.

9. Obtained from http://bestbinauralbeats.org/how-music-affects-our-mood/

10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_television

11. Obtained from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Definition_Subliminal_Messages.html. Bold type and underlining added for emphasis.

12. Xi http://www.innermind.com/outerlimits/info/olopen.htm

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2008/051308_mccain_subliminal.htm

http://www.numbers1317.org/file_23_television_01.html

13. Ibid.

14. Dr. Richard Conrad SUBLIMINAL FLICKER Part I: Computer screens, TV’s and Flicker Sensitivity

15. http://www.numbers1317.org/file_23_television_04.html

16. http://www.christianpost.com/news/south-african-pastor-makes-members-eat-grass-watch-him-command-demon-out-of-womans-stomach-112320/

17. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/world/2014/03/07/kenyan-pastor-bans-females-from-wearing-underwear-to-church

18. http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/01/16/nlp-10-ways-protect-mind-control/





Truth Matters March 2014

29 04 2014

Speaking In Other Tongues
Blessing or Babble? (Conclusion)
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

 

    Several months ago I embarked in attempting to answer a seemingly simple question regarding whether or not mainline Pentecostal congregations were not speaking in tongues as much as they did years ago in their services. In order to arrive at a simple “yes” or “no” answer it was necessary, and hopefully somewhat profitable to you as the reader, to explain how all nine of these supernatural gifts worked in the life of the nascent Church. This has been in keeping with Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Cor. 12:1).

 

to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor. 12:10-11

 

This is the only spiritual gift that requires another gift to be in operation to be rationally understood. Giving a verbal message in other tongues must be interpreted by someone who has been gifted with the gift of interpretation.

The Gift of Other Tongues defined

Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor necessarily always understood by the hearer. Speaking with tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with linguistic ability; it has nothing to do with the mind or the intellect of man. It is a vocal miracle of the Holy Spirit.

Supernatural utterance in languages not known to the speaker; these languages may be existent in the world, revived from some past culture, or “unknown” in the sense that they are a means of communication inspired by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 28:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; I Corinthians 12:10, 13:1-3, 14:2, 4-22, 26-32).The spiritual gift involving ability to speak in foreign language(s) not previously studied or to respond to experience of the Holy Spirit by uttering sounds which those without the gift of interpretation could not understand. At Pentecost the church [Apostles initially] received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages (Acts 2).

The enthusiasts have their definition mostly correct. In the Greek texts the word “divers” is not there, the text actually reads “to another kinds of tongues” (αλλω δε ερμηνεια γλωσσων). Tongues are translated from the Greek word “glossa” from which we get our words glossolalia and glossary. The word glossa (γλωσσῶν)
simply means languages.

    This gift, as with all the others is a supernatural endowment by the Holy Spirit which enabled the individual to speak languages that were completely “unknown” to the speaker.

    These were real languages being supernaturally spoken we know this from the written testimony in the book of Acts. On the day of Pentecost the men gathered outside the upper room heard the apostles declaring the works of God and giving Him glory in known languages to those assembled:

They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each
hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabswe hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:7-12

Note that the apostles were given the ability to communicate in languages
known to the hearers, not ecstatic gibberish that made the hearers scratch their heads in wonder. What made them wonder was how these (later to be noted as “ignorant and unlearned” see Acts 4:13) Galileans were able to speak any language but their local dialect and/or Aramaic. Why make note of this event? Simply because there is no biblical reason to believe that this gift changed over time. The apostles were gifted to speak real languages that were known to the hearers or could have been translated/interpreted by someone of their time.


 

 

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues

Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue. The interpretation of tongues is the supernatural showing forth by the Spirit the meaning of an utterance in other tongues. Also, it is not translation of tongues; it is the interpretation of tongues.

By definition the Interpretation of Tongues is a supernatural utterance inspired by the Holy Spirit, which interprets an unknown Tongue.

This is where Pentecostal equivocation begins. Hagin, and most sign-gift enthusiasts teach that this gift is not the supernatural ability to translate what is said in an unknown tongue into the vernacular of the locals. Hagin is guilty of simply taking the KJV translated word “interpretation” and redefining it to mean something it does not. The Greek for interpretation is as follow:

1448 διερμηνεία (diermēneia), ας (as), (): —interpretation, translation, explanation (1Co 12:10) not in
1449 διερμηνευτής (diermēneutēs), οῦ (ou), ὁ (ho): — interpreter, translator (1Co14:28)
2058. ἑρμηνεία hermēneia, her-may-ni´-ah; from the same as 2059;translation:—interpretation.
2059.    ἑρμηνεύω
hermēneuō; from 2060; to interpret:—translated(2), translation(1).

    Interpretation and translation are synonymous terms. When you go to a foreign country to speak you use an “interpreter” a person who understands and reveals your “foreign” tongue being spoken to the listeners.

    Modern practitioners of speaking in tongues believe that the gift of interpretation is akin to “interpretative dancing.” The message is spoken by one person with the gift of other tongues. Someone else, hearing the message is quickened by the Holy Spirit with the interpretation of the message. The interpretation will be based on “where” that individual is “at” in the Lord, i.e. their maturity, their experience in the gift, etc. Charismatics view translation as sort of a hard-and-fast precise scribal activity whereas interpretation does not necessarily have just one exact meaning.

    Making this false distinction in terminology allows the sign-gifter to try to explain away the problem of various completely different interpretations. Messages in other tongues and their interpretation have been recorded and played back to others without the interpretation and those claiming the “gift of interpretation” gave completely different interpretations of the message in tongues! My dear friends, our God is not a God of confusion (see 1 Cor. 14:33). Our God does not say one thing to this group and then through the same message something completely different to another. This makes God out to be a liar (see Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Our God is not a liar, He does not mislead His people, nor does He deceive them or send them false shepherds. He means what He says and He says what He means —- and He does not leave it up to “interpretation.”

Both Gifts Operate Together

    Things get a lot murkier and confusing from here on out (or in). Somehow these gifts become bifurcated into (1) public and (2) private ministry. Sign-gifters divide the use of tongues into corporate use (public) and private prayer times (private). Is this a sound biblically based understanding of these two gifts?

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Cor. 14:4-5

NEVER FORGET THIS — the gifts are for the profit of others, not the individual gifted by God.

The main purpose of tongues, as already pointed out, was to give a sign to unbelievers. Self-edification was a side effect that the believer enjoyed for merely exercising his gift of tongues (true of every believer who exercises his gift). The modern day Pentecostal movement, on the other hand, stresses edification for the individual believer and the Church never as a sign to unbelievers.

Most people who are advocating tongues for today have quoted 1 Corinthians 14:2: “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” There are some problems here. In chapter 12, the purpose of the gifts in general is edification of other believers. God does not need to be edified (built up to further maturity).

First Corinthians 14:2 is not encouragement to speak to God in tongues (a different language), for He will understand whatever language I use, including English. The advantage of my using English is that you and other believers will understand and that is the purpose of spiritual gifts — to communicate, to serve and to build up other believers.

    God’s gives us each gifts to bless and benefit the household of faith first (see Gal. 6:10) then our neighbors. Paul entire emphasis is on building up the church not the individual whom God has given a gift of grace to.

Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Cor. 14:13-19

It seems that one who does possess the gift of other languages ought to pray for the accompanying gift of translation. Both gifts must be in operation or the Church will not be built-up. Every commentator I have researched on the above pericope agree that when Paul is speaking of spirit he is not referring to the Holy Spirit.

Paul first applied the principle of understanding to the speaker himself (1 Cor. 14:12–15). Again, he reminded the Corinthians that it is better to be a blessing to the church than to experience some kind of personal “spiritual excitement.” If the believer speaks in a tongue, his spirit (inner person) may share in the experience, but his mind is not a part of the experience. It is not wrong to pray or sing “in the spirit,” but it is better to include the mind and understand what you are praying or singing. (Note that the word spirit in 1 Cor. 14:14–15 does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the inner person, as in 1 Cor. 2:11.) If the speaker is to be edified, he must understand what he is saying.

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 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. 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. 1 Cor. 14:20-22

The apostle tells the Corinthians basically to “grow up!” “In selfishly exalting unintelligible tongues assign for believers, they were babes in understanding, babbling like selfish infants. The unbelievers were not being convicted, and the believers were not being edified–the Corinthians had only been “mature malice”–albeit unwittingly.”

The Corinthian believers were formerly pagans and thus unfamiliar with the prophetic text that Paul is citing and possibly do not get the connection that Paul is making. Isaiah 28:11 reads “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”

He is basically saying, “You are just like the rebellious drunkards from Isaiah’s time. You speak to each other in incoherent babbling, and none of you can understand it. Instead, you should listen to the clear message of Scripture.” God can speak through any tongue that he wants—either tongues in Corinth or foreign tongues in Isaiah’s day. But, God desires that we understand his clear message in our own tongue first. Like the Jews of Isaiah’s day, Paul is pointing out that the Corinthians are not listening to the clear teaching of Scripture. Instead, they want to hear an even more difficult message through strange tongues. Paul is rebuking this attitude.

Paul, by quoting Isaiah 28:11-12 in 1 Corinthians 14:20-22, rebukes the Corinthians for not understanding the Old Testament Scriptures in their use of “the gift of tongues.” Charismatic “Christians” today should tremble in fear of the Lord as they read the passage Paul used to instruct the first generation of Christians. It seems the worship services of the Corinthians were very “free” in that we get the idea that people were gathering together speaking out in tongues together, with no interpretation, women shouting questions across the aisle to their husbands, folks getting drunk at communion, etc. Paul brings correction in all of these areas in his letter.

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27–28

Paul sets the bounds for them, if some people have this gift let it be no more than 2 or 3 messages and someone must interpret what is spoken. If no one has the accompanying gift of interpretation/translation then, obviously, the foreign language speaker MUST remain silent, because both gifts must operate together or not at all in the church. What is more Paul sets the same limit on those gifted with the prophetic gift, 2 or 3 utterances and then these are to be JUDGED. Paul’s directives regarding the use of these 3 spiritual gifts in the church are very straight forward.

Two examples of the abuse and foolishness that masquerades as the gift of other tongues can be seen and heard via the lips of Mr. Kenneth Copeland on YouTube videos. The first case shows Mr. Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne (RHB) God’s Holy Ghost Bartender in a conference. Mr. Browne comes up to Mr. Copeland and begins to speak in gibberish to him. Copeland looks at him, then he begins to chuckle and speak in gibberish back to RHB. We see RHB sagely nod his head as if UNDERSTANDING exactly what Copeland is saying, he responds in gibberish, they both laugh and then Kenny lays hands on RHB (the greater laying hands on the lesser light) RHB falls down.

 

The whole episode was an INTENTIONAL fraud from start to finish and virtually NONE of the people there saw it for what it was. Tongues MUST be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:28) or KEEP SILENT. This never happened. There was no interpretation. No other person understands what is uttered apart from the subsequent gift of interpretation. NO MAN understands what is being said (1 Cor. 14:2). These two men, in front of 1,000′s of people perpetrated a fraud on those assembled in an attempt to make themselves appear to be on such a supernatural plane that even their communication was transcendent. Naturally, this act reached its zenith when Mr. Copeland laid his highly charged hands on RHB who swooned under the might deluge of demonic delusion into the waiting arms to the “catcher” behind him.

The next example is with Mr. Copeland again in February 2014 in a conference. He had received a video letter from the Pope of the Church of Rome. The Pope is also a sign-gift enthusiast along with being a member of the Jesuit order. The Pope actually reached out to Mr. Copeland and asked him to pray for Christian unity and his “eminence.” So what does Copeland do? He shows the video to the 1,000′s gathered and he leads them in prayer for their new buddy. How? He lifts his hands and begins to “pray” in tongues and he has all those gathered to join him. A cacophony of voices begins to shout out passionate drivel. Again, no interpretation was given or expected. This was public, but everyone was encouraged to use their personal prayer language together, ergo no one had the slightest idea of what was being said, to whom (other than a hopeful thought it was reaching God). Truly if an unbeliever had entered in at that part, as in Paul’s day with Corinthians —- they would have thought these people “mad” and rightly so for all their speaking was indeed only “into the air” (1 Cor. 14:9).

Linguists have studied recorded examples of glossolalia for years and they have yet to come across legitimate examples of languages being uttered. No examples of someone speaking perfect Urdu, Hittite, Hebrew, Croatian, etc. How do the enthusiasts respond to this?Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). When challenged by the COMPLETE LACK of any legitimate languages being spoken they simply respond “it is an angelic tongue.” In EVERY biblical example of men encountering angels (even fallen angels) they angels ALWAYS converse in the known language of the person they are addressing. There is not one example anywhere of angels speaking anything but known languages. Paul was speaking hyperbolically in vv. 1-3, his point was that the love of God trumps all the gifts, because as we know folks, God is love and the gifts are not “God.” There is absolutely no biblical support whatsoever for any human being to claim they have an “angelic tongue.”

While exhorting these enthusiasts on the excellences of love the apostle goes on to tell these super-saints that “guess what, these gifts you exalt are passing away.”

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 1 Corinthians 13:8–10

I find it interesting that sign-gift teachers all agree that tongues + interpretation = prophecy and in this passage we are informed that both of these gifts are temporary; however the love of God (agape) never fails.

Prophecies they shall fail2673. καταργέω
katargeō; from 2596 and 691; to render inoperative, abolish:—abolished(4), abolishing(1), bring to an end(1), did away(1), do away(1), done away(4), fades away(1), fading(1), fading away(1), nullified(1), nullify(4), passing away(1), released(2), removed(1), render powerless(1), severed(1), use(1).

Tongues they shall
cease3973. παύω
pauō; a primitive word; to make to cease, hinder:—cease(4), ceased(4), finished(2), incessantly, keep, kept right, stopped(2).

Knowledge it shall vanish away
2673. καταργέω katargeo, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally:—abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.

Love is eternal, the gifts are temporary and when their purpose has been fulfilled they will cease altogether. This fulfillment is achieved with the coming of the perfect.

13:9–10. As Paul explained it, the gift of knowledge (v. 8), and essential as it was, was not exhaustive. The ability to prophesy, however crucial for the church’s life, was of limited scope. The gifts were temporary blessings in an imperfect age. One day they would give way to perfection, toward which all the gifts pointed.

There is debate over what exactly was Paul referring to when he mentioned the perfect. Enthusiasts parse this to refer to the return of Jesus Christ, since He has not yet returned these gifts are still in operation. Others view this in the light of the completion of the revelation of God through His apostles.

I agree with the latter view because it makes sense and fits in with the history of the Church. Tongues+interpretation = prophecy. What was the purpose of prophecy? To reveal to His people His will for their lives. Once the last word was put to paper by the last apostle (or his scribe) the canon was closed and the revelation complete.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge
of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:2-5

My dear brothers and sisters we have no need of any man or woman standing up and declaring “thus saith the Lord” from their own impassioned darkened hearts. God gave us His Word in a written form so there would be no confusion as to exactly what He said. It is His record of objective truth versus what flows out of the hearts and minds of sinful people who presume to stand in an office where their words are actually God’s!

We do not need to run hither thither and yon to hear the “now” Word of the Lord. Those who do so PROVE by their very seeking after more than has been divinely revealed in the Bible their lack of faith in God. The Bible is NOT sufficient for such as these, no they need their ears tickled and they need to hear some great swelling words of glory proclaimed over their faltering lives.

From Montanus to this very day of your reading these words —- I can testify that nothing of theological consequence has come from those declaring themselves recipients of restored gifts and offices. In our time today in America and around the world the vast majority of heresy, shocking falls from grace, aberrant practices are the “fruit” from so called sign-gift enthusiasts. Let us remember them in our prayers this Lenten season and humbly thank our merciful Lord for opening up our eyes and granting us faith in Him through His Word alone.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2

 

Works Cited

1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 129

2. Obtained from https://www.christcenteredmall.com/teachings/gifts/diverse-tongues.htm

3. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 137

4. Obtained from http://www.johnhamelministries.org/gifts_of_the_holy_spirit_interp_tong.htm

5. James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

6. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 32.

7. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

8. Obtained from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/char/areview.htm

9. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 613–614. Underlining and bold type added for emphasis.

10. David E Lanier, With Stammering Lips and Another Tongue: 1 COR 14:20-22AND ISA 28:11-12, Criswell Theological Review 5.2 (1991)

11. Obtained from http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/nt-difficulties/romans-2/1-cor-1421-why-does-paul-quote-isaiah-2811/

12. Obtained from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/char/biblical.htm

13. Mr. Browne is responsible for much of the sinful excess, fraud and abuse of the saints that transpired as a result of his “Holy Laughter” revival that he brought over to America from S. Africa, after he had received this “new gift” via the laying on of hands by Benny Hinn.

14. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

15. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 536.

I created the word “gifter” okay, non-standard English, but Paul did it on occasion too.

 

A Refutation
of Kenneth E. Hagin
Ten Reason Why Every Believer Should Speak in Tongues

by Rev. Robert Liichow

The now deceased pseudo-founder of the Word of Faith1 cult false prophet and false teacher Kenneth E. Hagin gave the Church ten reasons why we all should speak in tongues. Each numbered “point” is quoted from Mr. Hagin’s book “The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.”

#1Speaking in tongues is an initial evidence or sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

Speaking in other tongues supernaturally by the Holy Spirit IS NOT evidence that one has received the Holy Spirit, a subsequent “baptism” after salvation. The verse Hagin abuses we covered in the first part of this series several months ago. The text is referring directly to the apostles NOT the 120 gathered. The apostles were the ones who initially received the Holy Spirit not anyone else. Through the apostles ministry, the gifts of the Spirit were administered and as the Spirit willed, distributed to other saints.

How does a Christian know they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Simply through the free exercise of their faith in God’s Word. The Word of God informs what we believe, teach and confess. James 4:5 says “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” Romans 8:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Ephesians 5:18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” At the moment of redemption the Christian receives the Holy Spirit and is sealed by Him unto the day of their full redemption (see Ephesians 4:30).

#2He also encouraged them to speak in tongues in their individual prayer lives as a means of spiritual edification or building up. The Bible says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongues edifieth himself . . .” (1 Cor. 14:4).
The primary use of this pseudo-gift today (I say pseudo, because what takes place today is simply not the biblical gift) is as a means of private devotion and prayer. We covered in this issue the fact that Paul was not encouraging private edification. This was an abuse. Every tongue uttered was to be interpreted by the individual or someone else who possessed that gift. The gifts are to profit others who are in need. The “edification” comes from simply being used by God to meet those needs —- it IS more blessed to give than to receive. I am not exaggerating when I write and tell you that I used to “pray” in other tongues for anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours straight at times. Easily 95% of our prayer time privately or corporately was in other tongues. This was all wasted time. To begin with I now admit to not ever having any recognizable language nor did anyone else I have encountered, so I was at best gibbering away. Secondly, I and no one else had any idea what we were gibbering on about. Thus, thirdly, I had no way of knowing that whatever it was I was gibbering about was answered.

Lastly, the most harmful aspects of this practice were manifold. When you pray for a protracted period of time in such a manner, virtually shutting off your conscious mind you release endorphins (feel good chemicals in your brain) and you “feel” super great, i.e. proud. We were told when we prayed in tongues we were “speaking mysteries” to God that the devil could not understand; ergo he could not interfere with the tremendous inroads we were making in the heavenlies. People who speak in tongues all feel a secret degree of “pride” or being just a little cut above the non-spirit filled saint. No genuine fellowship with the Lord is developed through this type of prayer. Your conscious mind is disengaged, it is incapable of communicating fully with God, but our spirit with the Holy Spirit can . . . .or so they say. The reality is that it was not until seminary and going through 1 Corinthians line by line that I was delivered from this spurious practice. I went into a slight depression for a while upon learning that I had (1) wasted years of my life saying nothing to God, (2) if I did say anything I had no idea what it was, I was never given the gift of interpretation and I have met only 2 people who publically exercised this gift. (3) Thirdly, I realized I really did not “know” my Lord nearly as well as I thought I did. I mistook feelings for reality (always a DANGEROUS mistake). (4) I learned that it is much more difficult to pray to our Lord with my conscious mind, it is far more demanding of my concentration, focus and calls for discipline. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians encouraged to pray privately in other tongues to God.

#3The third reason people should speak with other tongues is that tongues keeps us continually aware of the Holy Spirit indwelling Presence.”

Early Pentecostals believed that once they “received” the Spirit, spoke in tongues once, that was enough. The emphasis on praying and singing congregationally in other tongues did not become popular until the charismatic renewal movement back in the late 1950′s. I know that my Lord is with me because HE SAID He would never leave or forsake me (see Hebrews 13:5). I am a Christian, I have been baptized in water (1 Peter 3:21), I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13), I am one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). I need no experience beyond God’s Word to assure me that I am His dear child and am filled with the Spirit.

#4 Hagin says that “speaking in tongues eliminates the possibility of selfishness entering our prayer life.

It is the very height of self to “pray” on your own in gibberish, it is nothing but spiritual masturbation in that you have done nothing but excite your ignorance and feel good about it.

#5 “. . .believers should speak with tongues is that it helps them learn to trust God more fully. . .Speaking in tongues stimulates faith and helps us learn how to trust God more fully.”

Hagin’s fifth reason does not make any sense biblically. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith does not come or grow by speaking in other tongues. That was NEVER the biblical purpose of this gift. Again, this and all the gifts are for others — not the one possessing the gift. As one who prayed in tongues for several thousand hours, I can attest it does not build up your “faith” in God or His Word per se at all, since there was no direct communication with Him in tongues and He uses His Word as the instrument through which He imparts and grows our faith in Him!

#6 “. . .is that speaking in tongues is a means of keeping us free from the contamination of the ungodly and profane elements of the world.

Some of the most egregious and horrendous tragedies to impact the Church has come through the SINistries of so-called sign-gift restorationists. Here are just a few examples of tongue-talking cults: The Shakers; Father Divine, Daddy Grace, The Way International, Jim Jones, The Family of Love and all Oneness Pentecostals. The sad history of Pentecostal “super-stars” is that upon even a half-hearted glance at their lives indicate the grossest of sinful behaviors. Speaking in other tongues does not create some sort of “divine shield” of protection around the speaker. They believe that by speaking gibberish (turning off your active mind) you can keep yourself from being effected by sin around you. Their own lives prove this to be a false path to take when it comes to living the “sanctified life.”

#7In addition, the Holy Spirit, who knows everything, can pray through us for things about which our natural mind knows nothing.”

Yes, this much is true but what Hagin did not understand is that when the Bible speaks of the Spirit “groaning” in us it is not a reference to other tongues:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26.

Nothing is mentioned about praying in tongues here or in the entire chapter for that matter. We do not always know what we are to pray for as we should, we do not know the fullness of any given situation but our God does. Note that the Spirit makes intercession for us; He is called alongside to help us and He does so at times in a manner that cannot even be uttered (ἀλάλητος) in words — tongues are “words” of some variety. We can trust that even if our prayers seem weak and ineffectual we can rely on the fact that the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf —- based on our speaking in tongues? No. Based on the fact that God does not lie (Number 23:19).

#8And this passage in Isaiah gives us the eighth reason that every Christian should speak in tongues.”

Hagin again demonstrates his willful ignorance of the context of Isa. 28:11-12. Every accepted Bible commentator interprets the Isaiah 28 as evidence of God’s judgment on His backslidden children. Tongues were a sign of judgment, they were not a blessing.

#9The ninth reason we are to pray in tongues is to give thanks to God.”

The emphasis of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 14:17 is that the other person
IS NOT EDIFIED (you are just playing with yourself). Hagin says praying in tongues is the “best way to give thanks” —- if this were true way doesn’t the Bible emphasize it as such?

#10The tenth reason why every believer should speak with tongues is found in James 3:8. . .Yielding your tongue is a big step toward being able to fully yield your members to God;”

Hagin thinks that if a believer can speak in tongues then he can control his whole body. James seems to be under the impression that “no man can tame” their tongue, yet Hagin believes yielding our tongue to the practice of gibberish will enable us to control our whole bodies. If this were the context of James 3:8 then why didn’t James follow through and tell us “control your flesh by speaking in tongues.” In fact, James never mentions these sign-gifts in his letter at all.

Hagin is desperately wrong in all of his ten reasons why every believer should speak in tongues. To begin with not every Christian in the early Church spoke with other tongues as the Bible clearly states. This gift was not common. It was approximately ten years after the Day of Pentecost until the event at home of Cornelius and when the Gentiles spoke in tongues it surprised the Jews in attendance. As far as the gifts went, Paul considered it the least, yet the Corinthians exalted it above the others. Paul said this gift would cease, it was temporary in nature. From the letters of the New Testament these specific gifts may have ceased very early on. THINK ABOUT THIS — only Paul deals with these sign-gifts no other writer mentions them. Why not? Did everyone except the Corinthians understand the proper use of the gifts, thus they needed no instruction? I think not.

Lastly, we have the written history of the Church. Tongues “shall” and did cease and logically so. We learned previously that it was through the hands of the apostles that these supernatural gifts were imparted. So if John the beloved, was the last apostle to die, say approx. 90 AD (give or take). On his deathbed John is laying his hands on disciples to the end. These would have probably been (1) males and (2) elders. So if these folks received the “gift” and spoke in tongues when they died that was it — zip, nada goodbye. With the death of the last apostle there was no one left who was divinely authorized to bestow these gifts and NONE PRESUMED to do so until the Church’s first restorer of the sign-gifts a monk named Montanus!    

For over fifty (50) years linguists have been tracking the phenomena of speaking in tongues. To date from my research I have yet to come across a scientist who has recorded someone speaking in a genuine language that they did not learn or have any exposure to. In all their studies they have yet to find a biblical example.

What they did discover was really nothing new, beyond some gleanings into some of the mechanics of the mind itself. What they discovered is the ability to utter gibberish or ecstatic speech is universal to all human beings who can vocalize. In this sense everyone can speak in ecstatic speech — BUT — this is not the biblical gift at all.

Ecstatic speech has been found in a wide variety of pagan religions and cultic groups. It was not even uncommon in the entire region of Phrygia where Montanus came from, and ecstatic speech was a long held practice by the Sibyls (female soothsayers).

The fact that these “unlearned” Jews were speaking fifteen different dialects was astounding to those gathered. Had the disciples gotten up and did what transpires in charismatic services today under the guise of “other tongues” it would not have impressed those gathered, the pagans did that stuff, big deal. Everybody knew something out of the ordinary and supernatural was taking place and in the end souls were added to the Church with Peter’s preaching (in a known and understandable tongue).

My brothers and sisters I openly acknowledge that there are many dear and devoted Christians who think they have the ability to communicate with God via a private, personal prayer language. For many years I thought I was one such saint. I’ve laid hands on around 1,000 people specifically to impart to them the “baptism in the Holy Ghost.” The majority left the prayer room smiling and uttering a smattering of syllabic nonsense. My advice was “keep praying in tongues, you’ll see as you use what God gives you He will give you more” (I meant in reference to an expanded prayer language). In this life, I will never “get over” the fact, well intentioned as I was; that I led people astray.

In dealing with people who are currently ensnared (look, the Lord delivered Bob Liichow, and I actually believed their lies and became more extreme than my ‘Rhema’ breed of teachers; I was of the Dr. Hobart Freeman and Elbert Willis sect of the Word of Faith cult, He can deliver anyone) go gently with them. As brothers and sisters let us present God’s Word in context and in love (Eph. 4:15) to those who have been misled.

In closing this series out please remember this — only the Word of God in its proper context has the power to set us free. Our Master said, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word,ye my disciples indeed;ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you freeJohn 8:31-32. Only The Word when properly delivered has truly supernatural power to redeem and liberate the soul of fallen man. This same Word when it is twisted and made to mean something unintended by the Author can place one into the deepest of bondages (because after all “it’s in the Bible”).

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God

peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; Andthatthey may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Timothy 2:25

End Note

1. E.W. Kenyon is the actual “father” of the Word of Faith cult, Hagin plagiarized extensively from Kenyon and other earlier writers. It is sad enough for a writer to steal from another without citing them; but when a “Christian” author steals heretical material and claims it as his own now that is really really sad.





Truth Matters February 2014

23 03 2014

Prophecy, the Gift that “Says” Something Part Five

By Rev. Bob Liichow

1 Corinthians 12:10 (KJV 1900) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: Of all of this listing of nine spiritual gifts the vocal gifts are the easiest to be abused and frankly “faked” by people.  When it comes to the working of miracles or divine healing either things actually happen that can be quantified or they do not.  For example, when Benny Hinn commands people to “be healed” or “rise and walk” and the people do not (nor have they ever done so due to Hinn’s SINistry) then a decision must be made; either Hinn is to blame or the sick person.  If someone stands up and declares that the Lord has “shown them” three people in the audience that need deliverance (a word of knowledge) — and no one comes forward or if someone does and they are not “delivered” what does that demonstrate?  It is impossible to fake a healing (apart from the use of shills, which does happen), just as it is impossible to reveal something about someone to the individual that is not true, i.e. “The Lord says you have a daughter” and the person is not married and chaste. However, when it comes to the vocal gifts can people discern if in fact: (1) they actually possess such vocal gifts and (2) that others are genuinely being used by the Holy Spirit to speak?  After all, if a person is speaking in an “unknown tongue” how is anyone else supposed to be able to understand it?  Thus, who is to say authoritatively that one does not have the genuine gift apart from knowing all languages? Concerning these specific gifts the apostle Paul goes to greater lengths to bring correction to the people regarding speaking in tongues because it seemed to be problematic to the congregation whereas the other gifts are simply cited.  For some strange reason these vocal manifestations have proven “problematic” throughout the entire history of the Church.  As has been the pattern let’s begin with some definitions.

The Gift of Prophecy

Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in a known tongue. Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue.  Interpretation of tongues is a supernatural showing forth of that which has been said in an unknown tongue.1 But the gift of prophecy is when words of English are given to an individual’s spirit, by the Holy Spirit—as the Spirit wills.  And words of English in a known language begin to boil up out of your spirit, supernaturally.  That is when the gift of prophecy comes into operation. . .The spiritual gift of prophecy comes boiling out of an individual, and sometimes, it will nearly lift you out of your seat.  It builds up, and it comes to you supernaturally. . .Brother Kenneth E. Hagin was sitting in the congregation, and he said, ‘Boy! Norvel, I tell you, that blasted against the wall.  I said, ‘I know it, Brother.  It didn’t even sound like me.  I could not believe what was coming out of me.2 DMI has covered in prior writings that according to the sign-gift enthusiasts there are various degrees of the expression of the prophetic gift.  Hagin, Hayes, Copeland et al. declare that there is the so-called “simple gift” of prophecy, which any Spirit-filled Christian can utter to one another personally or maybe in a small group.  Also there is the gift as expressed by a pastor and/or one in the “prophetic office.”  In their belief system both types of prophecy, personal and corporate come from the Holy Spirit but it is only the secondary type of utterance by “God” that carries true gravitas.  Is this what the Bible teaches regarding the prophetic gift?  Is there a lessor and greater manifestation of prophecy depending upon the human mouthpiece?  What does the apostle Paul have to say about this gift? As we have covered in the previous issues Paul’s approach in this letter is one of correction.  The Corinthian Church was a carnal group in every area whether it was having a divisive spirit, suing one another, sexual immorality, and abuse of Christian liberty causing weaker brethren to stumble.  For some reason most sign-gift folks seem to think the Corinthians got it “right” somehow when it comes to these spiritual gifts.  Paul’s tone in his writing does not change one iota (or any “alphas” either I suppose, a little Greek humor) and after listing the gifts he brings yet further correction to the Church at Corinth. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:11–12 (KJV 1900)

GIFTS DO NOT EQUAL MATURITY!

The people in Corinth ranked people’s value and/or spirituality by the charismata he or she manifested.  Some people desired the gifts that others had (envy), those possessing such gifts saw themselves as superior (pride) and others felt of no value at all (despair).  Paul addresses all of these attitudes when he describes the Church as a body in 1 Cor. 12:27-30. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:27–30 (KJV 1900) The Church is one Body but many diverse parts.  Just as in the human body each part is vital to the overall health of the body, even so in the Church.  The gifts and callings are initiated by God (Romans 11:29).  It is God who calls a man into the holy ministry, the role of the people is to validate that divine call by acknowledging and accepting the ministry of Christ through that servant.  The Church is built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner stone (read Ephesians 2:19-22).

The fact that Paul assigned ordinal numbers (first … second … third) to the first three gifts suggests that these may have been relegated to a lesser role by the Corinthians (cf. 1 Cor. 12:21–24). Those three kinds of gifted members—apostles … prophets … teachers—probably were rated lower than those who had the more spectacular gift of tongues. But the first three gifts may have been greater (v. 31) because of their extensive value to the whole body of Christ. This may be why he listed them first and then said that the church should eagerly desire (v. 31) the exercise of those gifts in the assembly (cf. 14:1–5). Gifted apostles, prophets, and teachers characteristically ministered to a whole church, and so would engender unity and mutual edification. The gift of tongues, on the other hand, suited the Corinthian penchant for self-expression and the pursuit of personal freedom. This self-centeredness also afflicted the church in other areas (e.g., eating sacrificial foods, women in worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper). Love for others was an essential need in the Corinthian church, and to that fundamental attribute Paul then turned to pay eloquent tribute.3

It seems the Corinthian’s were exalting some gifts and gifted people are downplaying others.  Paul continues his exhortation by asking a series of rhetorical questions — “Are all apostles? Are all prophets . . .?”(v.29) NO.  “Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (v. 30) NO.  As the citation by Walvoord and Zuck states it seems the Corinthian’s were coveting what was dramatic and self-directed over the gifts which were really needful, such as the foundational work of the apostles and prophets.  Paul tells them if they must “covet” spiritual gifts, at least covet the “best” (most profitable for the church) gifts.  Higher than all these gifts is manifesting the love of God. Some Bible commentators try to “punt” on the issue of prophets by simply relegating them to the Old Testament and the Apostles to the New Testament birth of the Church.  As tempting as this approach may seem (it does simply things a lot if you go that route) it does not represent the plain teaching of the New Testament concerning the prophetic ministry. Paul tells the Corinthians that God has placed in the Church first apostles and then prophets (v.28).  To the Ephesians he writes:

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20 (KJV 1900)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Ephesians 3:5 (KJV 1900)

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:10–12 (KJV 1900)

At the beginning of the Church there were recognized God-sent prophets, such as Agabus who is the only named “prophet” in the N.T (Acts 21:10).  We also read of an example of some young women who prophesied (Acts 21:9) but were not designated as female prophets per se .  The only N.T. reference to a female “prophetess” is found in Rev. 2:20, and she is a false prophet whom the church is rebuked for listening to! The two specific “ascension gifts” of apostle and prophet were given by our Lord to lay the foundation of the Church.  Once the foundation of a “house” has been laid what happens next?  The superstructure is then built upon (up on) the foundation that has (past tense) been laid.  There is no longer any need to rebuild the foundation once it has been laid.  This is exactly what every restorationists group, sect or cult has attempted to do —- re-lay the original foundation, as if this was even possible! We know from the O.T. what the role of the prophet was and there is no reason to believe that it changed in nature during the founding of the Church. What is fascinating in the N.T. is that the prophetic ministry was not written down for us.  Unlike the O.T. the Church does not have any “major and minor” prophets.  It seems that a portion of what the prophetic gift did was to reveal things to people that only God, certainly not some “stranger” would know:

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 1 Cor. 14:24-25

At this point in time there was no canon of scripture collected for the Church; apart from the O.T. writings which Corinthian Gentiles would not be familiar with.  This fact may help explain the supernatural manner in which God was working by His Spirit in and through His servants. The Bible tells us the prophetic role was indisputably foundational and important but it is the writings of the apostles that were preserved by the Holy Spirit and nothing remains of anything (apart from Agabus) of the N.T. prophets. Of all the three categories of gifts here (basically, those that do something, reveal something, or say something) it is the vocal gifts that Paul spends the most time on correcting.  The gift of prophecy garners much of his attention:

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 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. 1 Cor. 14:29–34

In this pericope Paul is addressing the public use of the gift of prophecy.  If several people have been graced with this gift, fine and dandy, but the underlying principle is the revealing of God’s will, the instruction and comfort of the people gathered. Note also that just because someone may have the gift of prophecy does not give them carte blanche to say anything and mislead the people.  Whatever is prophetically spoken is to be judged (30.109 ἀνακρίνω; διακρίνω: to make a judgment on the basis of careful and detailed information—‘to judge carefully, to evaluate carefully.’)4 as to whether or not what is being shared is from the Lord. As to the who are the “ye all can prophesy” refers to is simple — Paul is still speaking of those prophetically gifted NOT all Christians.  We know this because he continues to speak to prophetic “order.” In v. 32 he lets them know that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. This is a crucial point to keep in mind.  In the pagan world then and now people worked themselves up into ecstatic frenzies and while out of their minds but into the spirit they would speak.  The Corinthians were no doubt influenced by the various cults and oracles in their city and may have believed that those who had a prophetic gift were “expected” to behave in certain ways under the influence of the ‘gods.’ Paul says not so, The Living God is a God of order and not confusion.  He does not speak through His vessels giving conflicting messages (as is very common today among the so-called restored prophets), nor does He shout over the top of several others engaged in “revealing” something.  God’s ways are those of order, clarity/certainty and peace in ALL church congregations. The comment regarding the role of women is also still within the context of prophesy and public ministry.  The women simply were to keep silent during the service.  They were not to prophesy publicly or teach the men of the congregation.  Paul mentions the women because the Corinthians had problems understanding their proper roles as men and women in the totally new social family called the Church. We are told of the future of the gift by the apostle when he states: Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 1 Cor. 13:8-11 After showing the excellency of walking in love (God is love) over expressing the gifts of the Spirit we read that these gifts are temporary in nature and they will come to an end when they no longer serve the purposes of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (Col. 1:18). Prophetic utterances in the Church will be done away with —- 2673.  καταργέω katargĕō, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless) –abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.5 The purpose of prophecy (and to some degree other tongues + the interpretation) was to reveal a portion of the mind/will of God to those gathered.  At that time they had no canon of scriptures; at best they had Paul’s letter(s) and their own leaders.  What the Corinthians had then was a partial revelation, which Paul did not denigrate, but he tells the people they are moving towards (teleos) the “perfect” or full revelation and when that has come, all these partial bits of understanding will cease.  We know that Paul was speaking of the time when God’s revelation would be a complete record.  How do we know this?  Because of what Peter says in his second letter the following: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:16-20 The more sure word of prophecy is that which is recorded for all time and for all people in the writings of the Holy Bible.  Personally I believe the perfect (complete revelation) ceased the moment the last word was spoken & transcribed by the last living apostle.  True, the letters were not gathered and agreed upon until many years later, but they were completed much earlier and I believe that was all that was necessary.  The chart on page nine gives us a little idea of the various gatherings of the writings of the New Testament. Paul makes it abundantly clear that these dramatic gifts will cease but that the power of God’s love, which is superior, will never cease. Love will always “trump” gifts because love is the fruit of the spirit.  Fruit is produced over time, it requires patience, pruning at times and fertilizing and it is FRUIT that we have been appointed to bear (see Matthews 13:23; John 12:24) in our lives: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-24 God has commanded all of His children to be fruitful and multiply, both literally and spiritually.  He does not command us to be “gifted” supernaturally.  Jesus said that the world would know we were His disciples by our love (John 13:35) not by our alleged giftedness. When it comes to the prophetic gift/office the New Testament has more to say to the Church by way of warning us about the inherent danger associated with the pseudo-prophets. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15–20 (NASB95) Jesus warns His disciples to beware, i.e. BE AWARE of the reality of false prophets. They dress up just like the followers of Jesus, they will look like sheep not something else.  How will we know them?  Discerning these frauds does not come by looking at their gifts which can be counterfeited to some degree by Satan but at their fruit, which cannot be faked because it comes from within the heart, which is either dead or alive unto God.  Death produces nothing alive, it produces only more death.

The Inherent Danger in the Restored Prophetic Voice

If I can get you to believe that I have been called to hear from God on the behalf of the Church and individuals such as your “needy” self then I can (and often will) absolutely control your life.  Some of the most tragic events in the history of the Church have occurred when people relied on people claiming to be restored prophets sent to guide their lives.

All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:8–12 (KJV 1900) In speaking of the end of time our Lord reinforces His earlier message concerning these tares among the wheat —- “and MANY false prophets SHALL rise.” ‘Many’ in the Greek (πολλοί/polloi) refers to a great number and He uses the same word regarding those who will be led astray.  From these two statements alone the Church it seems should expect numerous false prophets and that hosts of people will be deceived by them. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before.  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. Matthew 24:24–26 (KJV 1900) In the same discourse our Master gives further insight regarding the danger these SINisters (pseudo-Christs and pseudo-prophets) will pose for His people.  Not only will there be a whole bunch of these frauds released upon the Church but they will be fueled with demonic powers.  The word for ‘great’ is megas in the Greek from which we get our word “mega” — mega signs and wonders will be such an astounding nature that they could potentially deceive even the elect (but they will not). I think it is fair to translate “false Christs” into meaning more than just individuals who proclaim themselves to be Jesus Christ (DMI has covered several of these blatant idiots in the past) but it also can refer to those who are “falsely anointed,” i.e. the unseen power operating in and through them is not from the Holy Spirit but a demonic influence. Jesus has warned us repeatedly that these counterfeit ministry “gifts” are coming (beware 7:15, I have told you 24:25, believe it not 24:26) and not to fall prey to them.  Our Lord’s warnings have largely gone unheeded by the Church from its inception. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1–3 (KJV 1900) Here the Holy Spirit through the apostle Peter warns of false prophets and false teachers (I have yet to meet a restored prophet who does not also teach).  As his Lord told him “many” polloi, SHALL follow their direction.  Their words will drip with honey and they will teach the people doctrines the people want to hear for the purpose of transferring the hearer’s money into their pockets.  It is because of these tares and their way of life/lifestyles that the Gospel is spoken evil of.  The world sees people like Paul Cain, Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn and Rev. Ike (all call themselves prophets) and wants nothing to do with the “Church” because of their foolishness.  Isn’t it odd how the world does not seem to be fooled by these people, only the Christians? Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (KJV 1900) At the end of his life on earth John the beloved warns His Master’s flock not to blithely believe everything that is being proclaimed.  We are told to test, to examine what is offered as to whether or not it is genuine (remember Paul’s exhortation earlier for those “sitting by to judge” the prophecies).  Why does he tell us this?  Because MANY false prophets were already alive and active in the world and attacking the Church at the time of John writing this letter. John’s direction was for the Church to test the prophecies and do not believe what every spirit is saying through whatever yielded/gifted vessel.  How were they to test the spirits and the words delivered?  Does what is being shared agree with the teachings that have been handed down?  When he penned this letter John’s life was almost over and the “faith” had been delivered to the saints. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3 Jude, often considered the brother of James the Just was not an apostle and wrote this letter later on when the foundational doctrines of the apostles were in place.  How were people to test “prophetic” utterances and those bringing them?  They were to look to the teaching of the apostles which the people had an understanding of or some access to the texts.  I believe my argument is buttressed further by the example of the Bereans: 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. Acts 17:11 Once the cannon of scriptures was set down there was and is simply no need for a “prophetic” word from the Lord.  God has already spoken what more needs to be said? God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1–2 (KJV 1900) Yes, God once spoke through the prophets, but now He has spoken to us directly through His Son and the apostles have recorded all that the Spirit brought back to their remembrance to share (see John 14:26) with the Church.  The eternal Word of God is totally sufficient for the Christian to live a fruitful life of godliness in service to their neighbors. The Church does not need anyone to stand up and declare “thus saith the Lord” when we have in our laps, the complete revelation of what God has “said” to humanity. The gift of prophecy and the role of prophets are over.  The foundation has been laid 2,000 years ago and God, the Master Builder, has been building on this foundation ever since. In closing, The Church does not need a “now word” or a “new word” from the Lord.  The Church needs simply to be faithful to the faith that has been delivered unto us.  We need to be doers of the Word, not chasing after some other highly suspect and uncertain proclamations.

Athanasius (b. 296) Origen (b. 185) Irenaeus (b. 130) Marcion* (b. 85)
Matthew Matthew Matthew
Mark Mark Mark
Luke Luke Luke Luke
John John John
Acts Acts Acts
Romans Romans Romans Romans
1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Galatians Galatians Galatians
Ephesians Ephesians Ephesians Ephesians
Philippians Philippians Philippians Philippians
Colossians Colossians Colossians Colossians
1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy
2 Timothy 2 Timothy 2 Timothy
Titus Titus Titus
Philemon Philemon Philemon Philemon
Hebrews Hebrews Hebrews
James James James
1 Peter 1 Peter 1 Peter
2 Peter 2 Peter 2 Peter
1 John 1 John 1 John
2 John 2 John 2 John
3 John 3 John 3 John
Jude Jude Jude
Revelation** Revelation Revelation

End Notes

1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.  Faith Library Publication, Tulsa, OK. 1991, p.121

2. Hayes, Norval. The Gift of Prophecy. Harrison House Publishers, Tulsa, OK. 1980, p. 6, 7, 8

3. David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 534.

4. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 363.

5. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament

A Current Example of the Prophetic Madness

This deluded soul, David E. Taylor told his congregation and the world that “God” had revealed to him the winner of the Super Bowl.  Even with a fifty-fifty chance he guessed wrong and ended up (1) lying in the name of the Lord he says he serves, (2) embarrassing the Church which he represents as a public minister by being exposed as one deceived and deceiving others. For whatever reason he decided to promote this specific revelation from “God” on a global basis.  One can only surmise that he did so in the hopes of expanding his influence among the hugely competitive prophetic marketplace.  Here is a statement from his website: David E. Taylor is first and foremost, a friend of Jesus Christ, which allows him to serve in all the five-fold ministry offices, in which the offices of apostle, prophet and healing evangelist are the most notable. These offices enable him to conquer spiritual territories and dethrone demonic princes and their principalities in different cities and regions he goes to on behalf of a breakthrough for God’s church the Body of Christ.  They serve to equip, empower and launch sons and daughters into God’s vineyard, to minister Jesus Christ and demonstrate His Latter Rain Glory to this generation. This man, who was completely wrong about his word from “God” would have people believe that he is an omni-competent healing evangelist!  Folks, it is people like this who bring shame and ridicule upon the Body of Christ and rightly so in cases like these if we, the Church, do not do all we can to rebuke this man in love and bring correction to him. Much of the foolishness taking place in the Church today is due to the tolerant attitude and silence on that part of those who are orthodox Bible believing Christian leaders.  Many solid pastors vacillate between on of the following three men: Wonderfully pious words to try to live by if you are an ostrich.  The love of God compels us to warn our brothers and sisters of the grave spiritual danger they are facing by listening to the myriad of false teachers and false prophets. ious words to try to live by if you are an ostrich.  The love of God compels us to warn our brothers and sisters of the grave spiritual danger they are facing by listening to the myriad of false teachers and false prophets.  Pastors especially are charged with guarding their portion of His flock by feeding them the pure Word of God.  It is only through a steady diet of sound teaching that we will become equipped to discern truth from error.  This implies first that pastors must teach sound doctrine and secondly, that the flock will be faithful not only to hear but to act upon the glorious truths shared!





Truth Matters January 2014

9 03 2014

Part Four on Ecstatic Speech
by Rev. Robert Liichow

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles…”
The Apostle Paul

This has been somewhat of a longer rabbit trail than I usually take our readers down but it is important to have some working knowledge of the so-called “sign gifts” of the Holy Spirit, since so many people are claiming divine abilities on a global basis. As Christians we are called to give an answer (apology) for what we believe (see 1 Peter 3:15). I admit the context of Peter’s statement is directly pertaining to our hope within us, eternal life; however, we should be able to defend all of our beliefs regarding our faith. Last month we briefly considered the three gifts that supposedly “reveal” something, yet as we discovered two of these three gifts are never defined for the Church and thus no one can honestly claim to possess gifts which we cannot even define according to the Bible itself.

The Gifts that Do Something

    The next triumvirates of gifts are often referred to as the “power gifts” or supernatural abilities to perform various tasks.

The Gift of Faith

As with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, these are supernatural abilities and not mere human abilities on steroids or something. Thus the “gift of faith” is not the gift of believing the Gospel; although the ability to believe is not a human endeavor either (see Eph. 2:8) it too is a gift. Yet the gift of faith to receive Christ Jesus is not the same as the gift of faith spoken of here by Paul. All Christians are recipients of the gift of faith in Jesus Christ by God’s grace. This gift of “faith” is an additional gifting that enables the recipient to believe God with an unshakable resolve. The enthusiasts among us define this gift as follows:

The gift of faith is a gift of the Spirit to the believer in order that he might receive miracles . . . Those who operate in special faith, the gift of the Spirit, can believe God in such a way that God honors their word as His own, and miraculously brings to pass the desired result.

God gives a believer a gift of power because there is something that He wants to do. It is always to bless somebody or help somebody. Or, God can give a believer the gift of power to stop something that is evil . . . He will give you the gift of faith: the amount of power to get the job done. . .

The gift of faith may be defined as the special gift whereby the Spirit provides Christians with extraordinary confidence in God’s promises, power, and presence so they can take heroic stands for the future of God’s work in the church. The spiritual gift of faith is exhibited by one with a strong and unshakeable confidence in God, His Word, and His promises.

Πίστις is the Greek word for faith in this text and it simply means to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance in God and His promises. The book of Hebrews the eleventh chapter gives us a plethora of examples of Old Covenant people who overcame through the gift of faith. In simplest terms the gift of faith would be the divinely granted ability to believe the unbelievable in the face of all adversity based upon nothing more than faith in God and His promise(s).

The Gifts of healing

    This gift, like all the others, is supernatural and has nothing to do with medical science or serving in the vocation of a doctor or nurse. The reason I stress the supernatural facet of these charismas is because there are those among us who would relegate these gifts and many supernatural biblical events to really “natural” occurrences, i.e. there is an anti-supernatural vein in our Body.

    The gifts of healing —

The gifts of healings are manifested for the supernatural healing of sickness and disease without any natural source or means.

It’s a plural gift because many things cause sickness. Some sicknesses are caused by accidents. Some are caused by personal neglect. Some sicknesses are caused by bodily abuse. Some sicknesses are caused by organic ailments. Some are caused by a spirit of infirmity or actual satanic oppression.

Tracy and I were taught by Mr. Hayes (above), Robert Tilton and many others that there was a specific “gift” of healing for every disease and ailment afflicting mankind. Robert Tilton claims to have a “gift” for healing people’s back problems. T.L. Osborn claimed to have a divine healing gift for people with deafness. He once claimed to have healed 99 deaf people in one village (naturally this occurred somewhere overseas). The gifts of healing is the second most abused of these nine gifts cited here by Paul, the first being speaking in other tongues (I promise we will get to this gift eventually). The following is a more theological consideration:

23.138
ἴαμα, τος: (derivative of ἰάομαιa ‘to cause to be well again, to heal,’ 23.136) the capacity to cause someone to become healed or cured—’the power to heal, the capacity to heal.’ ἄλλῳ δὲ χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ πνεύματι ‘and to another man the same Spirit gives the power to heal’ 1 Cor 12:9. In some languages it may be difficult to speak of ‘giving the power to heal.’ A more natural form of expression is ’cause to be able to heal.’

The Bible is filled with examples of how our God healed people supernaturally. We naturally read of our Lord Jesus Christ HEALING ALL who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Peter and John on their way to the temple to pray healed a lame man who was over 40 years old (Acts 4:22). In Acts 5:12-16 we read the account of the people in Jerusalem and surrounding towns bringing their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits — and ALL of them were healed. Acts 9:32-35 shares the account of the man with paralysis whom God healed via Peter. Paul healed the father of Publius of a fever and dysentery in Acts 28:7-9. We see in the founding of the Church a great display of the power of God and a careful examination of the healing accounts will demonstrate that many of them were part of the redemptive history of God towards a specific people group. For example the people of Lydda and Saron “turned to the Lord” through the signs confirming Peter’s preaching. Healing(s) as with everything our Lord does is not without a purpose, everything that happens is a part of the tapestry of our existence in this life, including sickness and healing.

Why This Gift Is Abused

Two forces work together to cause this gift to be abused by unscrupulous people. First, sickness and death are universal to us all. There is absolutely no one born of man that has not suffered the ravages of sickness and eventually succumbed to death itself. Secondly, the Bible seems to be replete with examples of God’s divine healing and miracle power setting people free from the ravages of sickness and death.

People who are very ill or have dying loved ones will virtually do almost anything, believe anything and give whatever is asked of them in order to receive their healing. What is it worth to see your wife healed from Lyme’s disease or your child delivered from leukemia? Is a donation of $50, $100, $5,000 enough to “prove God” of the sincerity of your faith when the healer asks for it?

    By taking biblical examples and inserting stories (lies) of the tremendous outpouring of healing in the last meeting in the other town the SINister works the people up into an altered state of consciousness rendering them devoid of critical thinking. Loud music, lighting, the psychological dynamics of masses of people in confined spaces, the subtle manipulation of wish fulfillment and the natural smarmy charisma of the SINister him or her all work together forming a synergy of deception on those in need and a huge payday for the fake healer.

    The question really is, does God still heal people today? My answer is, simply yes He does, but He does so according to the sovereign good pleasure of His will and not at the command of any man or woman. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

    Does God heal through healing evangelists? No. To begin with there is no such ministry in the Bible. There is the ministry of an evangelist (see 2 Tim. 4:5), but even Timothy, the evangelist, needed to take some wine for his stomach ailments (see 1 Tim. 5:23) but there is no such designation as “healing evangelist.” Aimee Semple MacPherson, Kathryn Khulman, A.A. Allen, William Branham, Oral Roberts, T. L. Osborn, Peter Popoff, W. WV. Grant, R.W. Schambach, Benny Hinn, etc. are ALL FRAUDS, LIARS and DECEIVERS. They possess no healing gifts at all.

    What is miraculous about the so-called “healing” evangelists is that NONE of them can offer any independent verifiable PROOF that people have been or are being healed under their SINistries and yet still have huge followings and reap millions of dollars each year they are in existence! One would think after a year or two of non-miracle crusades people would have quit listening to Mr. Hinn or others. Yet almost 20 years later, they still flock to his false promises and lies, leaving sick and much poorer spiritually and financially.

The Working of Miracles

One can “fake” healing by simply paying shills to claim they have been healed in the meeting. Miracles are a different manifestation altogether.

Although they are often lumped together healing and miracles are not the same. A healing is when someone is sick, say with cancer and after prayer it is totally gone, no trace, nothing on the X-ray. A miracle might be someone without an arm or a leg that suddenly has a new arm or leg appear on their body, they were not sick, merely missing a limb in this hypothetical case. A better example might be when the dead are raised. Paul raised a young man (Eutychus) from the dead who fell out of a third story window due to Paul’s long sermonizing (see Acts 20:7-12). Eutychus received a miracle, not a healing.

When the working of miracles is in manifestation, there is a divine intervention in the ordinary course of nature.

What is the working of miracles? Well, there are a lot of different kinds of miracles, but it’s a power gift, where power from God is sent from heaven down to earth to do something that’s beyond the natural, beyond the natural thinking of a man.

BUBBLE BURSTING ALERT!!

Very few people were ever used by our God to work miracles, the list is very short. Start at Genesis and go through to The Revelation and jot down: (1) who God used and (2) what was the miracle about, you end up with a pretty short list. What is more, when you consider the nature of the miraculous events in the Bible they are all of significance to the redemptive history of God’s people.

If you listen to any of the “purveyors of power” on the circuit today you will be given the false notion that miracles were occurring left and right in the daily lives of the believers. There are many books in circulation concerning miracles, let me cite just a few:

“I Believe in Miracles” – Kathryn Kuhlman
“Miracle Signs & Wonders” – Marilyn Hickey
“The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power” – A.A. Allen
“Chaos of Miracles” – LaDonna C. Osborn
“Miracles Just Don’t Happen” – Lester Sumrall

What the above books attempt to do is basically to reduce the definition of what is a miracle according to biblical standards, by watering down the definition the miraculous becomes commonplace. I have heard Marilyn Hickey say many times how she “prays” for a closer parking space at the mall and then when a space opens up close to the door she proclaims it a “miracle.”

Bible miracles include manifestations like parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), blindness coming on a blasphemer (Acts 13:11), etc. Can Mr. Hinn, Dollar, Copeland, Meyer, Price or anyone else point us to an actual miracle in their SINistries? NO, they cannot do so because despite all their testimonies of the great things “God” is doing through them, they can produce NO evidence of any divine healing or miracles.

In the New Testament miracles either validated the personal ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ or authenticated the ministry of the apostles:

I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in
all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 2 Cor. 12:11-12

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:4–5

But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.  For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:19–20

Only those divinely authorized by God can perform miracles. I agree with what fellow I.O.H.H. member, Dr. R.C. Sproul says on this topic:

If anybody can perform miracles, if a person who’s not an agent of divine revelation can perform a miracle, then obviously a miracle cannot certify an agent of revelation. Let me say it again. If a non-agent of revelation can perform a miracle, then a miracle cannot authenticate or certify a bona fide agent of revelation. Which would mean that the New Testament’s claim to be carrying the authority of God Himself, because God has certified Christ and the Apostles by miracles, would be a false claim and a false argument.
So what’s at stake here is the authority, the authenticity, and the truthfulness of the Bible itself. That’s why I have this tight definition, and why I don’t expect miracles, because I don’t expect to find Apostles running around today. So the narrow miracles, they stopped at the end of the Apostolic age.

This is why we are warned several times about the danger of being misled by those proclaiming the ability to work miracles which are really nothing but false signs and wonders:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22–23

And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:21–22

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. Acts 8:9–10

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:13–16

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9–12

What is truly amazing to me is how desperate the extremist “faith” people are in seeking to either feel or see something or be involved in doing something phenomenal and sadly, they often base their faith on these tangible experiences. Yet the Bible plainly teaches that our faith is based on what we have not
seen or felt. I agree with Sproul that the time of those performing biblical miracles ended with the death of the apostle John.

As was stated earlier miracles were performed to validate Jesus earthly ministry and those of His chosen apostles. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven; He sent the 12 and at the death of the last apostle there is nothing more to validate miraculously.

How can anyone hold a “miracle crusade” due to the divinely sovereign act in manifesting a miracle? It is the height of PRESUMPTION (not faith) to declare what the Holy Spirit is going to do on any evening or moment for that matter. The Spirit gives His gifts as HE WILLS (1 Cor. 12:11) not when Mr. Hinn or Copeland demand an appearance or manifestation of them.

I openly challenge any of the living self-proclaimed miracle workers to please provide DMI with just one independently verifiable example of a miraculous event tied directly to their organization. I know the atheist James Randi has a $1,000,000 prize for the first person who can perform a miracle in his laboratory, as of today (12-30-13) the money still sits in Randi’s account.

In closing this section out, please understand I am not saying that our Lord does not move supernaturally on our behalf or in our lives, He most certainly does. When my daughter and I were T-boned by a semi at about 60 mph, destroying our very small Saturn and we got out without a scratch that was the mercy of God. That was not a “miracle” it was an answer to prayer as I cried out to our Lord immediately and He spared our lives. If we loosen our definition, then we lose biblical authority. So yes, our Lord answers prayers, heals people, grants faith in the impossible at times, but there are no godly miracle workers roaming the land today, only wolves in sheep’s clothing. Selah.

Endnotes

  1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publications, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 102
  2. Hayes, Norvel. The Gift of Faith. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 16
  3. Obtained from http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-faith.html#ixzz2oyhSZ27l
  4. One of the almost impossible positions to attain in this life is that of BALANCE!  We tend to make everything supernatural (charismatic extremists) or we deny the power of God and make everything natural (some neo-evangelicals).
  5. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publication, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 115
  6. Hayes, Norvel. The Gifts of Healing. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 5
  7. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 268.
  8. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publication, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 108
  9. Hayes, Norvel. The Gifts of Healing. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 5
  10. The International Order of Heresy Hunters, is a small elite by invitation only cadre of truth-tellers.  One can be invited by submitting a check for $25 to DMI and a certificate suitable for framing will come your way.
  11. Obtained from http://www.ligonier.org/blog/does-rcsproul-believe-miracles/. Bold type added for emphasis




Truth Matters December 2013

31 12 2013

Part Three on Ecstatic Speech
by Rev. Robert Liichow

The apostle Paul continues bringing divine correction to the young church at Corinth. Last month we noted how Paul’s entire letter has been one of rebuke concerning many issues in their midst (see 1 Cor. 8:12; 10:6, 7:14; 11:17) and for some strange reason sign-gift enthusiasts want to take the church at Corinth as the example of how the sign gifts are to be used. As we shall see the Corinthians were as wrong about the spiritual gifts as they were concerning the Lord’s Supper, the role of women, their own carnality and divisiveness.

He begins his discourse by saying he does not want them to be ignorant (ἀγνοέω, to lack information) implying that they did not possess the correct information about the Holy Spirit and His gifts. In vs. 3 Paul lays out what I consider a governing principle regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts will always glorify Jesus Christ and not curse His holy name.

It may well seem amazing that the Corinthians should need instructing that such awful language could not be uttered by any one speaking “in the Spirit of God.” It is evident, however, that such expressions had been uttered by persons who were, or seemed to be, carried away by the impassioned impulse . . . So terrible an outrage on the conscience of Christians could never have passed unchecked and unpunished, except from the obvious inability of the young community to grapple with the new and perplexing phenomena of an “inspiration” which appeared to destroy the personal control of those possessed by it. . . They would not like to call any one to task for things spoken in a condition which they regarded as wholly supernatural.1

Obviously some of the Corinthians while in some state of ecstatic bliss were calling Jesus accursed. Such statements never came from the Holy Spirit and never will. Proclamations like these come from the demonic realm or from some fleshly pretender aping what they think is spiritual.

In vv. 4-8 Paul begins to give some clarity to the Corinthians concerning how the Holy Spirit operates and why the gifts exist and he does so in beautiful Trinitarian language. In verse 4 we see there are various (diversities) gifts but they all come from the one Spirit. There are various (differences) of serving others (administrations) but the same Lord. Lastly, verse 6 informs the reader that there are various ways God’s power operates, but it is always the same God who makes it possible.

Verse 7 is very important and is easily lost sight of — the purpose for any spiritual gift is right here: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (the common good).” Before Paul even begins to list the gifts he has informed his readers that the gifts in all their variety come from God and anyone under the power of the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus Christ in what is said (I might add what is done as well). The reason God gives His children gifts is for the benefit of others! It is not to “bless” the one who has been entrusted with a gift, nor is said gift supposed to be used to “lift up” the gifted individual by that person or those who fawn over him or her.

Something to Think About

The temptation for self-aggrandizement or hero worship is a genuine danger regarding the “sign-gifts.” Consider in our times people like Oral Roberts or Benny Hinn. These men profess to possess healing gifts and yet neither can independently verify any miraculous healing due to their SINinstry. They have gotten wealthy off the desperate needs of people seeking relief by a fraudulent claim of being gifted when they clearly are not. Imagine what manner of men they would be if they possessed the genuine gift of healing via the power of the Holy Spirit?


Before we consider the gifts themselves, let’s not ignore the underlying context in vv. 8-12 which points to the Person of the Holy Spirit as Initiator. Three times Paul uses the phrase “same spirit” (8, 9, and 11) to emphasize that the gifts and their manifestations are up to the Holy Spirit. It seems that Paul is emphasizing the centrality of the Holy Spirit’s role in disseminating the gifts and then their operation through those He has given them too possibly due to some people claiming that their gift(s) came from Jesus or maybe the Father. This is speculation on my part, but considering the Corinthians earlier claim to be of “Apollos” or of “Paul” (see 1 Cor. 1:12).

The Sign Gifts Themselves

I am willing to give our sign-gift enthusiastic brethren credit where it is due when considering these gifts specifically. They have spent one hundred (100) years trying to discern and define these gifts, more so than any other movement within the Church’s history. However, as an evangelical catholic (aka LCMS) I must confine my comments to the Bible Itself as the authority. Where I agree with the Pentecostals is in the following chart breakdown of the nine sign gifts. It would seem that these nine gifts do seem to fit into a pattern of 3 gifts X 3 categories per se. I love the symmetry, but the Pentecostals depart from the Scriptures in defining some of these gifts.

The Nine Sign-Gifts As Shown in 1 Corinthians 12
The Gifts that Reveal Things
V.8 The word of wisdom Revelation Bible is silent?
V.9 The word of knowledge Bible is silent?
V. 10 The discerning of spirits Reveals the inner spirit motivating a person. Or demonic activity
The Gifts that Say Things
V.10 Prophecy Verbal To reveal, inform, proclaim
V.10 Divers kinds of tongues Speaks an unknown message
V.10 Interpretation of tongues Reveals what was said in an unknown tongue
The Gifts that Do Things
V.9 Gift of Faith Power Ability to believe the unbelievable
V. 9 Gifts of Healing Healing(s)
V. 10 Gift of Miracles Miracles are not just healing

When considering ANY of the gifts of the Spirit we must first acknowledge that these gifts are divine in origin. These are not normal human abilities, nor are they nascent seed gifts which develop over time and use. When the genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit are in manifestation, “God” is working immediately in that context of ministry through His chosen vessel.

The Gifts That Reveal Something

The Word of Wisdom

In this listing of the gifts we read about the three gifts that would, logically, seem to reveal something. First we read of the word of wisdom and that is all he ever has to say about this gift! No one knows exactly (1) what this gift was or (2) how it was manifested at Corinth.

Fortunately, Pentecostalism has supplied some definitions to the Church that God seemed to have left out of the bible. These gifts, which have hitherto remained undefined and seldom referenced in two thousand years of recorded Church history . . . came back into the Church via Alfred Howard Carter. Carter was a Pentecostal minister who was in prison in Wormwood Scrubs England as a conscientious objector in 1917. While there he claimed the Holy Spirit revealed to him all nine gifts cited in 1 Cor. 12 and bestowed all nine of them on him. In his books, Questions and Answers Concerning Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Gifts and Their Operation he shares with his readers what each gift is and how is operates. This insight was supernaturally bestowed on him at a time when he admits to almost going insane in prison. Mr. Carter’s definitions were accepted by Pentecostals and to this day his definitions have been parroted by all the other sign-gift teachers:

“The gift of the word of wisdom is a word of God’s knowledge of what is going to take place in the future, a divine revelation of future events.”2

“On the other hand, the word of wisdom always speaks of the future.”3

“this is a direct supernatural act of the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom to a specific believer at a specific time to deal with a specific situation. So there is that kind of general wisdom that we all have, but there are times when God grants unusual wisdom, it’s a spiritual thing.”4

“The definition of The Word of Wisdom is: A Supernatural revelation of the plans & purposes in the mind of God that deal with the future. This is not a Gift of human wisdom or the “wise” kind of wisdom. With this Gift only part or a fragment of information is given. God is all knowing but he only gives us what we need to know at any given time.”5

Pentecostals seem to agree that the gift of the word of wisdom is a revelation by the Holy Spirit of some future event. This is pure speculation on their part. Honestly, we are not told what this specific gift was or what its purpose was. According to their definition this spiritual gift differs little from the gift of prophecy which can be either a (1) foretelling or a (2) forth telling or proclamation. Once Carter came up with a definition then some enthusiastic people began to claim they had this gift; again based on his novel classification.

The Word of Knowledge

Dovetailed with the word of wisdom is the word of knowledge. As with all the spiritual gifts, this gift is spiritual not a natural ability. It concerns itself with some form of supernatural knowing (γνῶσις/gnosis) that is not available under normal circumstances.

“The revelation of the word of knowledge brings is always present tense or concerning something that has happened in the past.”6

“It is part of God’s knowledge, a supernatural manifestation from heaven to a believer that comes into us. It lets us in on information and shows us things the way they are RIGHT NOW. It deals with facts.”7

“The definition of The Word of Knowledge is: A Supernatural revelation of certain facts in the mind of God that deal with the past or present. This is not a Gift of human knowledge or the “smarts” kind of knowledge.”8

This is the only time this phase is also used in the entire Bible. We are given no examples of its use or manifestation in or out of a worship service. Everything written since the death of John the Apostle about these two gifts is conjecture. There is no biblical proof that proves the word of wisdom is insight into the future nor is there anything indicating that the word of knowledge is a revelation of a past or current event.

Let’s confine ourselves to the FACTS. We know these gifts existed and were understood by the recipients of the letter from Paul. We know biblically that there is a distinction between wisdom, knowledge. Wisdom is basically the proper application of knowledge to bring about the best outcome. One cannot be “wise” without the information to discern and act upon. Knowledge is simply raw data, it is the facts. One can possess knowledge but not possess wisdom (i.e. the educated “fool”).

These two gifts of the Holy Spirit granted (as He willed) believers wisdom and/or knowledge for the “profiting” of the entire congregation. How these insights were given is not shared. We do not know if God revealed His wisdom/knowledge in a vision, like Peter or in a dream like Joseph or simply “dropped” the revelation into their minds immediately during the service. Since we do not know really what or how these gifts operated it seems to be the height of hubris to claim that one possesses such gifts! How do they know? What is the authority upon which they base their claims? This much is certain, it is not biblical authority.

The Discerning of Spirits

Many people err from the get-go with this gift. It is not the “gift of discernment,” there is no such “gift” it is called the discerning of spirits.

“The discerning of spirits gives supernatural insight into the spirit world. ‘To discern’ means to perceive by seeing or hearing. Therefore, discerning of spirits is the same as seeing or hearing in the realm of spirits.”9

“Sometimes the person actually physically sees the evil spirit at work in the person or situation.”10

I concur with the above definitions for the most part because they seem to fit the language Paul uses. This gift, when in operation, is the supernatural ability to correctly judge the spirit behind what is being done or said. Unlike the word of wisdom/word of knowledge we have some biblical examples of discerning of spirits:

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!  Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? John 1:47

For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Acts 8:23

How did Jesus “know” the inner condition of Nathanael? Jesus discerned his spirit as did Peter with Simon the sorcerer. Another example is when Paul, after several days turns to a possessed woman and casts out the spirit of divination (Acts 16:18).

This gift when in operation enables the person to discern between what is of the Spirit of God, the human spirit or a demonic spirit. It is obvious that currently within the ranks of our sign-gift enthusiasts this gift is NOT in operation. If it were, then how do they explain Benny Hinn, the Crouch’s and all the nonsense that is believed and followed by the multitudes of sheeple?

End Notes

1. The Pulpit Commentary on First Corinthians 12:3.

2. Hayes, Norvel. The Word of Wisdom, Harrison House, Tulsa Ok. P. 3 1979.
3. Hagin, Kenneth E. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts, Faith Library Publication, p. 88, 1991
4. Hocutt, Brad. Obtained from http://seatedprophetic.wordpress.com/the-holy-spirit-his-gifts/gift-of-the-word-of-knowledge-the-word-of-wisdom-the-discerning-of-spirits/

5. Hagin, Kenneth E. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts, Faith Library Publication, p. 88, 1991.

6. Hayes, Norvel. The Word of Knowledge, Harrison House, Tulsa Ok. P. 3, 1980.

7. Obtained from http://seatedprophetic.wordpress.com/the-holy-spirit-his-gifts/gift-of-the-word-of-knowledge-the-word-of-wisdom-the-discerning-of-spirits/

8. Hagin, Kenneth E. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts, Faith Library Publication, p. 89, 1991.

9. Obtained from http://hannahscupboard.com/ST-discerning-spirits.html

10.





Truth Matters Dec. 2013 TBN

31 12 2013

Wasted Opportunity?
The Death of Paul Crouch Sr., Founder of T.B.N.
By Rev. Robert Liichow

Crouch died Saturday November 30, 2013, he was 79 years old. Pastor Jack Hayford, whose services at the Church on the Way in Van Nuys were broadcast on TBN for more than 30 years, said: “It is no exaggeration of terms to describe Dr. Paul Crouch’s contribution to global Christianity as incalculably broad.” DMI disagrees strongly with Hayford’s assessment of Mr. Crouch’s influence for the good of the Church on a worldwide basis. There can be little doubt that Crouch was possessed by a business acumen that excelled many others when it came to television broadcasting.

At the time of his death, some estimate the value of all of TBN’s holding at close to a billion dollars and there is little doubt that over the forty (40) years of broadcasting the Crouch Empire syphoned off close to two billion dollars from legitimate Christian ministry. The last reported figure DMI has found states that TBN was bringing in over 100 million per year in donations currently. Pro-rate that over forty years, with even gradual growth over the years, plus interest, yeah it is 100′s of millions at least.

The massive holdings and opulent lifestyle of the Crouches has been well documented over the years. DMI has to our knowledge currently the only book in publication exposing TBN and the Crouch family. It is titled “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About TBN *(But Were Afraid to Ask)” is a full color, 8.5 X 12 inch spiral bound “coffee table” book available for $25.00 per signed copy (this publication is limited to 250 copies period). Each copy is compiled and signed by me the “heresy-hunter” himself. My honorary title “heresy-hunter” comes from a “curse” uttered on TBN by dead Paul Crouch against those who dared to speak out against Dad Hagin’s teachings on television in 1990.

TBN’s Televised “Footprint”

TBN owns 35 full-power television stations serving larger metropolitan areas, and, at its peak, 252 low-power television stations in the United States, which are mixed among stations serving medium-sized cities and rural translator stations in order to maximize the network’s reach as much as is permissible. TBN also has several hundred affiliate stations throughout the United States, although just 61 of these stations are full-power UHF or VHF stations. The rest are low-powered stations, requiring a viewer to be within several miles of the transmitter to receive the signal. According to TVNewsCheck, TBN was the third largest over-the-air television station group in the country as of 2010, besting the station groups of CBS, Fox, and NBC, but behind Ion and Univision.

Back in 1971 Mr. Crouch began with one weak station, by the end of his life he had purchased 35 full-power stations and 252 low-power stations. TBN owns them outright folks, they do not buy time for them, and this is a HUGE deal in broadcasting. What is more they are able to “buy time” on several hundred “affiliate stations” as well.

TBN is now the world’s largest Christian television network. Across America and around the world TBN is carried by TV stations and cable systems to millions of homes. As a matter of fact, TBN is featured on over 5,000 television stations, over 70 satellites, the Internet and thousands of cable systems around the world. And the number continues to grow! Programs are translated into numerous foreign languages at TBN’s state-of-the-art facilities at the International Production Center in Irving, Texas.

If you are virtually anywhere in the world and have access to a television signal or internet capability you can watch TBN! Twenty four (24) hours, seven (7) days a week you can see and/or listen to the stable of TBN shills exclaiming the glories of what TBN is doing and will be doing in the future . . . if only “God’s” people will support the vision!

Praise to Pry Partner Money Loose

Here is the dirty little secret concerning Mr. Crouch’s empire. Each station was simply a steppingstone to the acquisition of the next available station. With the very first station Crouch instituted the ubiquitous and infamous Praise-a-thon’s. These fund-raisers were supposed to mimic “revivals” of yesteryear. Filled with emotional music, sung and played by famous Christian artists, all of the stable of preachers would be brought forth to twist the Holy Word of God into nothing more than a “bless me” device for the SINisters and their deluded followers.

The secret is this —- these Praise-a-thons existed for one purpose only: to transfer money from the current viewing audience in order to buy more stations to get more viewers to get more money and buy more stations to get newer viewers (untapped) to get more money.

The purpose of this empire was NOT to lift up our Lord Jesus Christ and boldly and in an unfettered manner (which when one OWNS the stations one can do) proclaim the full fury of the Law and the sweetness of the Gospel in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. How do I know? Regardless of whatever TBN says about proclaiming the Gospel the FACT remains that for the last forty (40) years THEY HAVE NOT DONE SO.

What has the purpose been then? TBN existed for the self-aggrandizement and financial enrichment of Paul and Jan Crouch. How do I know? Again the FACTS are patently obvious. Here is just a small “peek” into their holdings (a wee bit dated):

Paul, 70, collects a $403,700 salary as TBN’s chairman and president. Jan, 67, is paid $361,000 as vice president and director of programming. Those are the highest salaries paid by any of the 12 major religious nonprofits whose finances are tracked by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The Crouches travel the world in a $7.2-million, 19-seat Canadair Turbojet owned by TBN. They drive luxury cars. They have charged expensive dinners and furniture to TBN credit cards.
Thirty ministry-owned homes are at their disposal — including a pair of Newport Beach mansions, a mountain retreat near Lake Arrowhead and a ranch in Texas.
The Crouches’ family members share in the benefits. Their oldest son, Paul Jr., earns $90,800 a year as TBN’s vice president for administration. Another son, Matthew, has received $32 million from the network since 1999 to produce Christian-themed movies such as “The Omega Code.”
Overseeing these expenditures is a board of directors that consists of Paul Crouch, Jan Crouch and Paul’s 74-year-old sister, Ruth Brown. Control resides primarily with Paul. In a 2001 legal deposition, Jan said she did not know she was a corporate officer and could not recall the last board meeting she attended.
TBN’s declared mission as a tax-exempt Christian charity is to produce and broadcast television shows and movies “for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to the world.”

The biblical Gospel has not been preached by Crouch, or by those he had paraded before the world for forty (40) years. In fact, he is accountable before God for every person and what they said on his programs. Did Mr. Crouch every bring correction publically to anything that was taught from a TBN stage? NO! So, either he agreed with what was being taught or he was afraid of offending the speaker and possibly losing some potential income based on the current popularity of the speaker.

Keep in mind that Crouch had a regular “stable” of speakers and none of them is doctrinally sound. This stable includes Mr. T.D. Jakes, a Oneness Pentecostal heretic; Benny Hinn, a false prophet, false teacher and fake-healer; Joyce Meyer, false teacher; Kim Clement, another false prophet, Creflo Dollar, false teacher, child abuser and Jessie Duplantis, another documented liar and fraud just to name a few “stars.”

In every TBN production utilizing these SINisters, they always make sure and bring whatever the “message” is around to giving money to TBN. Although DMI has no proof yet, it seems that the speakers may possibly be given an “honorarium” based upon the take that evening. The triumvirate of money-makers for TBN over the years have consistently been Rev. R. W. Schambach, John “the bagman” Avanzini, and Benny Hinn. These three alone have brought in multiple millions to TBN and are in their own rights multi-millionaires.

Sadly, to date TBN has NOT been a godly influence. It has frankly been a canker on the Body of Christ due to its self-serving motivations, their ungodly lifestyle, their demonic doctrines and aberrant practices. Now that Paul has assumed room temperature and Jan is not getting any younger either; perhaps the next generation of Crouch’s may repent and actually use their capacity to proclaim God’s Truth. If they do, it will be a FIRST for TBN and actually something that will glorify the God they claim to serve.

Audio clip of Jan Crouch during a Praise-A-Thon around 2009:

Its always been the little women who caught the vision of giving, Some of you precious little ones have that little grocery money some of the little money set aside assure tonight the blessings of God on your family by giving it to God and speaking that say it ‘God this is for blessings on my family’ I love that.”

Jan actually asked for women to give TBN their little grocery money that they have saved for FOOD. Keep in mind, TBN has been sitting on interest bearing cash reserves in the millions of dollars for many years, yet they still wanted more.





Truth Matters October 2013

11 11 2013

Supernatural Speech In Acts
Part One

By Rev. Robert Liichow 

The 40-member church is among many nationwide that are reducing or cutting out speaking in tongues as they become more popular and move to the mainstream. It’s a shift that has unsettled some more traditional Pentecostals who say the practice is at the heart of a movement that evolved out of an interracial revival and remains a spontaneous way for the poor and dispossessed to have a direct line to God.

Last month on Issues Etc. radio I was asked, along with our discussion of Mr. Copeland’s measles outbreak at his compound to share my insights regarding recent articles that had come out stating that the defining mark of Pentecostalism, ecstatic speech, was not being practiced openly in many Pentecostal denominations and in some cases was no longer being emphasized. Harvey Cox, a Harvard religion professor said “This is a long-developing phenomenon . . . they don’t want what appears to be objectionable to stick out or be viewed with suspicion.”

First of all, we must begin with the biblical
evidence. Once we know what this expression of speaking in other tongues was biblically, then and only then can we determine if any Christian body is following the biblical practice or not. If on the one hand their practice has indeed been biblically correct, then why are they compromising their stance? If however, their practice has not been in accord with the Bible, then it is a good development that it is decreasing. What doth the Bible saith regarding what actually happened on the Day of Pentecost and throughout the history of the Book of Acts?

Prior to that Day – - -

Although many times sign-gift enthusiast proclaimers will begin their message on the validity of speaking in other tongues with this passage of text (which is probably as well known by Pentecostals as John 3:16 is to Baptists) they are already building on a faulty biblical understanding.

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. Luke 24:46-53

Only the 12 NOT the 120    
Our Lord Jesus was with the twelve. He is addressing His hand-picked witnesses moments before His ascension back to the Father and they are told that they, they who? The eleven disciples/apostles are the ones being addressed. This is a crucial point, do not forget it. They are the ones who will be initially clothed with power from on high and our Lord lifts up His hands, blesses them; they worship their Lord, and being filled with great joy return to Jerusalem.  Before the tongues as of fire rested upon the apostles they (the apostles) had to select another man to replace Judas. The qualifications are stated very clearly for all succeeding generations: First, Jesus said His men were witnesses of His ministry in Luke 24 and then again in Acts1:

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a
witness
with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22

The eleven prayed and sought the will of the Lord and they chose by lots between Matthias and Justus, with the result being the selection of Matthias. Remember in Luke 24 our Lord said they (the apostles) would be “witnesses” this is the same masculine term used again here for “witness.” The witnesses were the 12 apostles according to the context of this thought. After the number of apostles was restored to twelve and the “day of Pentecost” had fully come:

Pentecost or Shavuot has many names in the Bible (the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Latter Firstfruits). Celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, Shavuot is traditionally a joyous time of giving thanks and presenting offerings for the new grain of the summer wheat harvest in Israel. The name “Feast of Weeks” was given because God commanded the Jews in Leviticus 23:15-16, to count seven full weeks (or 49 days) beginning on the second day of Passover, and then present offerings of new grain to the Lord as a lasting ordinance.

Keep in mind that during this celebration Jerusalem would have been packed with people from all over the known world. “The Law of Moses required that all men make a pilgrimage to the temple three times a year to celebrate the feasts or festivals of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.” The city was already filled due to the major Passover and now 50 days later most people were still in the city and surrounds to fulfill their next obligation. This helps explain the wide divergence of languages in evidence during this observance.

When the Day of Pentecost Had Fully Come

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:1-4

The “they” being spoken of are the same “they” Luke referred to in his Gospel account. There is nothing that indicates that the 120 other people gathered in that room were also recipients of that vocal gift. There is nothing stated anywhere in the Book of Acts that states or intimates anyone other than the apostles initially received this spiritual ability.

It is a question whether only the Twelve spoke in tongues or all 120. Several factors support the idea of only the Twelve being involved in this phenomenon: (1) They are referred to as Galileans (Acts 2:7; cf. 1:11–13). (2) Peter stood up with “the Eleven” (2:14). (3) The nearest antecedent of “they” in verse 1 is the “apostles” in 1:26.

We do read that it was the apostles who went outside and began to glorify God supernaturally in a genuine language unknown to them as the speakers, but known to the one being addressed hearer(s).

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Acts 2:4-8

    The ones filled were the same ones who went outside and began to speak intelligently and the ones speaking were Galilaeans (male verb, male adjective in the Greek), the apostles were all male. We know that there were women that comprised a good part of the 120 people with the apostles but none of them is mentioned as receiving this gift at this time.

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. Acts 2:9-13

    The apostles amazed their hearers because they were extolling the “wonderful works of God” in their own native languages. Languages that “ignorant and unlearned men” (see Acts 4:13) would not have known how to speak. The purpose of this gift was evangelical in that it got the attention of the people by proclaiming the wonderful works of God, which is simply another way of telling people about what God has done for us all in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. From this account we know: (1) Jesus told them to go and wait, they did not know what to expect, i.e. they were not seeking the “gift of tongues.” (2) The apostles were the ones initially empowered with the Holy Spirit. (3) The gift was for the benefit of others not the personal edification of the speaker. (4) The messages were spoken to other people in their own language by a man who did not know the language he was speaking in, i.e. it was a genuine supernatural experience. (5) The content of the messages was clearly understood and glorified the works of God. (6) Lastly, this unusual manifestation was also a duel fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy:

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; And this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Isa. 28:11-12

The context is God’s judgment against Judah and foretold their going into Assyrian captivity, a people whose language they did not understand. “Men who mock God’s servants and message will ultimately be mocked in turn: delivered into the captivity of people who speak with what seems to be a stammering or mocking tongue (Isa 33:10). This was fulfilled as Isaiah prophesied, yet the apostles seem to apply this past event to what was now taking place in the Church.

The extreme enthusiasts today claim that because some of the mockers (Judeans) said the apostles were acting like people totally out of control on alcohol that we should expect the same drunken manifestations today when we are “filled” with the Spirit. The entire “holy laughter” movement was buttressed on this faulty concept.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. Acts 2:14-14

Peter corrects the Judeans who were the ones casting aspersions. There is nothing in the text that indicates the apostles were “acting” drunk at all. The Judeans heard them, did not understand the languages, knew they were from Galilee (hicks) and thus mocked them. Peter says “these are not drunk” and dismisses the notion altogether and begins to explain what is transpiring.

Peter begins to preach what is taking place, in his own native tongue, and he tells them (and us) that what is taking place is THE fulfillment of the prophecy given by Joel [not "a" fulfillment]:

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Acts 2:16-18

“This” is a demonstrable pronoun pointing to what was taking place right then and there. It was prophesied to come to pass and it CAME TO PASS on that Day. The grammar is always important in Bible study and many people have missed its importance here. Peter stated unambiguously that “this,” what is transpiring in their midst is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. Enthusiasts through the ages have tried to claim that their movements were birthed out of additional fulfillments of Joel’s prophecy.  Montanus claimed “Joel” as did the people at Azusa Street in 1906, later on the New Order of the Latter Rain declared their movement a fulfillment, as did the Roman Catholic Charismatic renewal movement in the mid 1960′s at the University of Notre Dame. All of them are wrong. That specific prophecy in Joel was fulfilled in the Church then, period.

Without going into the meat of Peter’s sermon we do learn one thing virtually all people fail to mention. When the 3,000 hearers are pricked to their hearts and are brought to faith in Christ Jesus and baptized —- NONE of these men began to speak in other tongues upon believing and baptism.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:38-41

The “promise” of the Holy Spirit is given to all (note also, Peter included children) who are brought to repentance and are baptized into Christ Jesus. Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit at their new birth, but not all Christians spoke with new tongues. Speaking in other tongues is not “proof” or evidence that an individual is “filled” with the Spirit per se. The “proof” of being indwelt by the Spirit is found in the waters of holy baptism. If you were baptized into Christ, then you are indwelt by the Spirit of Grace, like everything else in our walk, this is an article of faith and it is not based on whether we feel His presence or not.

What we should focus on in this event is that the Spirit had just been poured out on the apostles; they were not seeking this gift of other tongues, yet they received it — why didn’t these newly minted “Christians” also speak with new tongues as well? Peter just preached that the gift of the Holy Spirit was for all God’s children . . . so why are not all reported to be glorifying God wonderful works supernaturally? Obviously, this supernatural ability was not given to all believers, then or now. About five years after the Day of Pentecost (DOP) the Gospel message begins to make Its way outside of the converted Jews. In the following event we read of Phillip preaching Christ to the Samaritans. They received the Word of God and were converted (see Acts 8:11).

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:14-17

 Phillip shared the Gospel with the Samaritans, yet he was not authorized to impart the gift of the Spirit, only the apostles had this ability. They had to send for the apostles Peter and John. The apostles prayed for them, laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. There is no mention of these believers speaking with other tongues when they received the Holy Spirit. We are not given many details of how the Spirit manifested Himself among them, but something was evident by reading the account of Simon the sorcerer:

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:13, 18-20

Simon became a believer, he was baptized into Christ and he continued with the evangelist Phillip. Simon saw that through the laying on the apostles‘ hands the Holy Ghost was imparted and he wanted to do the same thing as the apostles and even offered to pay for this ability, which probably made perfect sense to his yet carnal mind. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT EVENT! We read of a believer who tried to TRESPASS into a ministry arena that he was unauthorized to engage in and Peter rebukes Simon and calls him to repentance for his presumptuous sin, he repents (vs. 24). Here are the vital points; first of all, we read that the Holy Spirit was imparted/given via the ministry/authority of the apostles alone. Secondly, one cannot purchase the gift of God. Thirdly, it was (and is) God alone who determined who and what gift they shall receive. What we are reading about is not the unique gift of speaking in other tongues, instead we are privy to reading about the unconquerable spread of the Gospel, the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18) are indeed no match for the power of God (Romans 1:16) and now the Samaritans are united in one Body with the Jews.

From the DOP nothing is mentioned about speaking in other tongues until the event with the Centurion Cornelius in Acts 10. If the gift of other tongues was the be-all and end-all of Christian spirituality why isn’t it mentioned as taking place more often in the account? We know Peter goes with John and he preaches in the temple and this time 5,000 men are converted (see Acts 4:4). As with the earlier 3,000 converts, these 5,000 also did not speak in other tongues at their conversion either.

If one is honest with the Book of Acts then one MUST admit that speaking in other tongues was not a universal experience for Christians. As we shall read, it was in fact a unique and surprising infrequent occurrence. The next citation of this specific gift is almost ten years later after the DOP at home of Cornelius!

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. Acts 10:44-48

    Years had passed since that DOP was initially celebrated. Many Jews have been converted, for even as Paul said later that the Gospel was to “the Jew first, then the Gentiles” (see Romans 1:16). The divine encounter between Cornelius and Peter was completely orchestrated by God. The Lord spoke to Cornelius by an angel (Acts 10:3) and gave hardheaded Peter a vision and brought them together defying tremendous racial animus between the Jews and Greeks.

    While Peter was still preaching to those gathered (Cornelius, his household and devout friends, v. 24) the hearers were brought to faith and the Spirit of Grace fell upon the Gentiles for the first time. How did Peter and those on his ministry “team” know they had received the Spirit? “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (v. 44). There are several very salient facts in this account to keep in mind when it comes to the issue of ecstatic speech.

    First, Peter as apostle was present and conducting the service which was his calling as a “witness” (that word again from Luke 24, Acts 1, Acts 10) — apostolic presence and authority. No one in the book of Acts received the gifts of the Spirit apart from the presence/ministry of the apostles. Secondly, some years had passed since the birth of the Church and Peter, Cornelius nor anyone else gathered were expecting (seeking) this capability. At this point in the Acts account we have no proof that anyone spoke with other tongues again after the Day of Pentecost. There is nothing in the text to indicate that speaking in tongues was in evidence in the worship services in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria at this (or any other for that matter). Thirdly, this manifestation was the same as occurred on the Day of Pentecost. The Gentiles did not receive some other demonstration of this gift than the Jews. We know they received the same experience as the Jews by Peter’s own testimony:

And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? Acts 11:15-17

    Upon returning home Peter is questioned by the circumcised believers and he recounts to them the entire event. Peter clearly states that the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles as on us at the beginning (Pentecost). They received the same expression “as he did unto” the Jews. Peter and those with him at the home of Cornelius heard the Gentiles magnify God, and although the text does not state it, it is very safe to conclude that some people in attendance could interpret/translate what was being vocalized or else they would not have known they were “magnifying God.” Also, it makes perfect sense that since the Gentiles received the same manifestation of the Spirit as the Jews, then the gift would have been the same, i.e. in this case Gentiles speaking supernaturally and someone being able to understand that they were in fact glorifying God. In this case it seems that the manifestation of other tongues was to convince the Jewish believers of the validity of the salvation of the Gentiles, even as tongues were used to help convince the pious Jews and proselytes of the reality of Peter’s sermon. What we see on the Day of Pentecost is the outworking of “to the Jew first” and then a few years later the Gentiles are brought in – “then to the Greeks.”

    First we read of the dramatic birth of the Church, the Church being opened to the Samaritans (Acts 8) and now in Acts 10 we read of the Church doors being opened to the Gentiles and the beginning of global evangelism. On these occasions nobody was expecting and thus not seeking the gift of tongues. On these occasions the vocalization of this special gift was spoken in a known language by people who did not know that language but a language that could be understood. Initially the apostles were the recipients and from that point on the apostles were always present when spiritual gifts were imparted. In Acts we read of no accounting of the Church gathering together to speak in tongues as part of worship, nor of any lay people going about distributing the gifts of the Spirit.

    For almost another ten years the Book of Acts is silent about the use of this gift until we come across the apostle of untimely birth (1 Cor. 15:8) Paul in Acts 19:

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. Acts 19:1-7

    Paul and Apollos are on their way to Ephesus and they encounter a group of John’s disciples. Beyond them being disciples of John the Baptist we know very little about them. We know they were baptized with John’s baptism and they did not knowing that the Holy Spirit had been given by Jesus Christ who came baptizing with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matthew 3:11). The apostle Paul corrects their theological ignorance and they received the Word and were baptized into Christ Jesus. Then Paul the apostle laid his hands on these men and the Holy Spirit came upon them and these twelve men both spoke with tongues and also prophesied. Again, let us focus on what we do know, not what we speculate about! The Holy Spirit was given/imparted/bestowed through the ministry of an apostle to believers who had no idea of what to expect, they did not even know of the Spirit’s ministry through the Church at this point, again they were not “seeking” an experience or encounter with God. We read that the “gifts” given are according to the will of God, they spoke in tongues and also prophesied, two of the nine gifts Paul delineates in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. This encounter is the last mention of speaking in/with other “tongues” in the Book of Acts.

    The fact is there are only three actual texts that deal with speaking in other tongues —Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6—are the only instances regarding speaking in tongues in the book of Acts. Some Pentecostal and sign-gift enthusiasts assert that tongues also occurred in Acts 8:4 but, there is no textual support for their belief, it is pure speculation. All three events treat the gift of speaking in tongues as the public and intelligible (understandable) communication of truth about God. Each event also show the gift of speaking in tongues as a verifying sign of the unique coming of the Holy Spirit upon a new group of people, thereby incorporating that group into the church.

    In conclusion let us also remember the examples of when people were converted and filled with the Holy Spirit without any evidence of speaking in other tongues. In Acts 2:41-42 we read where the three thousand were converted and baptized. Phillip preached and men and women were converted and baptized in water and filled with the Spirit, no mention of other tongues however, Acts 8:12. When Phillip witnesses to the Ethiopian eunuch who converts and is baptized does not speak in other tongues, Acts 8:26-40. There is no evidence at his conversion and baptism that the apostle Paul spoke in tongues (Acts 9:17-19), although later he thanks God he speaks in tongues “more than ye all” in 1 Cor. 14:18. It is obvious that the gift of speaking in other tongues was not a universal experience or practice. When the Spirit manifested Himself in such a manner He did so through apostolic authority and not the laity. Lastly, it was not an experience to be sought, nor did it seem to be for personal edification. Then how did the sign-gift movement get to be the largest segment of the Church? Stay tuned as by the grace of God DMI will continue to endeavor to unscrew the inscrutable.

ENDNOTES & REFERENCES:

An important FACT to remember when you read the Book of Acts is that what we read in an hour covers many years of Church history.

This is one of several recent stories on this topic http://bigstory.ap.org/article/messages-tongues-down-among-pentecostals. The underlining and bold type were added by the author for emphasis.

Christian people need to regain their objectivity.  It matters not how long a group of Christians has done something nor does it matter how many millions embrace a practice or dogma that does not make it true.  Our first and foremost authority is the Bible itself.

Obtained from http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefeastsandholidays/p/pentecostfeast.htm on 9/24/13

http://emp.byui.edu/SATTERFIELDB/Rel211/TEMPLE.html

Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts,” ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 357–358.

Walter C. Kaiser, “1118 לָעַג,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 481.

When Pentecostal/sign gift folks teach the Book of Acts the people are given the impression that all of these “supernatural” events take place one after another quickly and that all the members of the early Church were all supernaturally empowered by the Spirit and that the rank-N-file believers were imparting gifts, working miracles, having a revival time in the Lord per se.  This is simply invisibly written into the account.  There is nothing that indicates this sort of hyper-Pentecostalism was transpiring at all in the lives of the people.








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