ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colin Graham has been actively, engaged in Evangelism for the past 25 years, conducting fruitful Crusades throughout New Zealand and Australia. He trained at the N.Z. Bible Training Institute (now the Bible College of N.Z.). In 1966 he was invited to attend the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin and in 1968 the Asia, South Pacific Congress on Evangelism in Singapore. He attended both as an observer. He has also visited U.S.A., Great Britain, Rome, the Holy Land and India, preaching in each country. Mr Graham is married with a family of four, the older members being actively involved in Christian youth activities. In addition to Crusade work Mr Graham is engaged in Youth Camps, Conventions and lectures on Evangelism at the N.Z. Assembly Bible School, Auckland. He fellowships and works with Christian Brethren Assemblies (Open Brethren). He is an Elder in his own local Church at Marton, N.Z.
Mr Graham has many friends in the Charismatic movement but feels they are mistaken in their views. He writes in a charitable way to help them and the Christian public at large. His motive is not controversy but clarity concerning what he feels the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit, Tongues, Healing and the Spirit-filled life.
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION
We have been very encouraged by the response to our first printing of 6,000 copies. Letters on our files tell of help and blessing to God's people everywhere. Current orders and requests make it imperative for us to reprint the booklet. Some additions and slight alterations have been made.
We repeat that the booklet exists to teach the truths of God's Word in a day when confusion abounds. Every week we still hear from young Christians many led to Christ in our Crusades - wanting help on this subject because of approaches being made to them by those propagating the charismatic viewpoint.
We feel obligated to help all such, and it is largely for their sakes that there exists a continuous need for a booklet written in plain language for all to understand. This is our motive. We have no desire to attack or hurt any of our Christian friends in the charismatic movement. A glance at the list of books recommended on the back page will show that the views of the author are upheld by many recognised Bible teachers from various denominations and Christian groups.
These notes were written originally for group studies at the Marton Easter Camp Convention, New Zealand, 1972. They were studied by some 800 campers and day visitors. A panel discussed various points and questions arising from the notes. Since then requests have come from all over the country and from overseas to have the notes printed in booklet form. Many wish to use them in Bible Classes and Camps - others as a basis for group discussions or private study.
They are not intended as a personal attack on any group of Christians. They were written because of the confusion that abounds, and because many believers have asked for help on this subject.
Many converts won for Christ in our Gospel Crusades, have in recent times been subjected to strong pressures from people in the Charismatic movement. They have been given literature of a certain type, urged to attend meetings, tarry for the "baptism", go in for the "experience", speak in tongues, get anointed, etc. They have been told to pray for their elders and friends, that they may also get the "blessing". They have listened to words of pity and disparagement concerning those who do not go along with tongues, etc. All of this can be most upsetting to young Christians who want the best God has for them. The excitement and apparent "life" in the meetings as well as the personal testimonies have in some cases made an appeal to those who deplore the deadness and formality in some church gatherings. Naturally enough they have wondered if this movement has the answer to their own sense of defeat or ineffectiveness. It is largely for their benefit that these notes have been prepared. I have no desire to hurt anyone or to enter into controversy - I am too busy for that - but I feel I would be failing in my responsibility if I refused or neglected to give what to me is the plain teaching of the Bible on this subject. I have aimed to do so in a positive way, though sometimes it has been necessary to expose what I feel to be error. However it is apparent that Paul did the same in his writings, e.g. Galatians and Colossians.
The Charismatic movement which embraces all the different Pentecostal groups, and individuals with various Pentecostal beliefs within the established churches is NOT new. I have watched its sad history for 35 years. I know something of the division caused by it, in families and Evangelical Churches. I have attended meetings of various types, including a healing mission conducted by a world leader in this field. As a young Christian I was given a book on the "Baptism of the Spirit" which disturbed me. Fortunately I had a Godly, well-taught Bible Class leader, in whom I could confide. He was wise in his dealings with me. I still have his letter dated 6th April, 1937. It is a lengthy type-written document that analyses the error of the book, in the light of the Scriptures. The sound doctrine imparted to me at that time has stood me in good stead and kept me from being influenced by a movement which is now sweeping the world. Some of my unhappy experiences touching the movement, are recorded in the appendix of this booklet. Sufficient here to say, that what we are seeing today is not new. These people have always taught that the Baptism in the Spirit is an "experience" to be sought, and that tongues, healings, prophecies, etc., are for today. One has only to read Sir Robert Anderson's book, "Spirit Manifestations and the Gift of Tongues", to realise that 140 years ago, when the Assemblies known as Open or Christian Brethren commenced their witness, the Irvingite tongues visitation was in full force in London. Although it bore many marks of being inspired by the Holy Spirit, it disappeared in ignominy 10 years later, leaving its most ardent adherents completely disillusioned. The main difference today seems to be that members of the various groups are divided as to whether the tongue is a language or that of an angel. Also today it is customary, not to leave one's denomination in favour of a recognised Pentecostal group, but to remain within it and proselytise by meetings, literature and personal witnessing to the "experience" then say you are not "Pentecostal" but belong to such and such a Church. Resulting from this new practise, almost every denomination, Evangelical, Liberal and Roman Catholic alike has become infiltrated with divisive groups all contained within the broad scope of the Charismatic movement. These events have strong prophetic significance as will be seen in the Appendix.
Twenty years ago, the confusion of today was not experienced. Neither the Evangelical nor the Conformist Churches would countenance the phenomena. People who embraced these views left their Denomination and joined a Pentecostal group. People belonged where they believed - which surely is a right and honest principle to follow at all times.
In today's bewildering situation it is imperative that every Christian knows for himself what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit - and indeed all the great fundamental Doctrines of the faith. As an Evangelist my heart goes out to young people facing the present dilemma and I pray that these notes written in simple, non Theological language will assist them and Christians everywhere to discern the mind of God on this subject. I trust they will also help Christian workers and elders whose task it is to teach and shepherd the flock, remembering that a Shepherd has a duty both to protect the sheep and to provide good pasture for them. The answer to this and every other problem facing the Church lies in the clear unfolding of positive truth from the Word of God.
In conclusion, may I ask you the reader to approach these notes prayerfully, in humble dependence on God that He may teach you His truth as you "search the Scriptures" with the aid of the verses given to you in each section. May the Holy Spirit Himself use the studies to the blessing of all who read them - saving some from the errors that abound today and leading all into a fruitful Spirit filled life is my earnest and expectant prayer.
34 Pukepapa Road, Marton, N.Z.
We live in a day of confusion regarding the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of these studies will be to ask and answer some important questions from the Scriptures so that we will all be informed and be able to live a spirit filled life to the glory of God.