THE NEO-PENTECOSTAL VIEW
1. It is claimed that in the sovereignty of God, He can today give any of the miraculous gifts of 1 Cor. 12, and has in fact done so, to those "currently involved in the movement of God's Holy Spirit".
I do not feel that this contention can be substantiated from Scripture. It gives a lop-sided view of the sovereignty of God and of the purposes of God in relation to miracles and gifts. Let us ever remember that God in His sovereignty can both bestow and withold gifts.
The sign gifts were not merited or prayed for, but a sovereign God bestowed them at Pentecost and in Corinth (1 Cor. 12 v. 11). 1 Cor. 10 v. 11 says, "All these things happened unto them (Israel) for examples and they are written for our admonition and learning, upon whom the ends of the world are come." Clearly then, what happened to Israel has lessons for us.
TWO GREAT DISPENSATIONS
This verse refers to the two great Dispensations - the Law, headed by Moses, and Grace, headed by the Lord Jesus Christ. One is the "Church in the Wilderness", the second is the "Church of the first born". Both dispensations were ushered in by miraculous signs. When their purposes were fulfilled, in the sovereignty of God, they were withdrawn. When God sent Moses down to Egypt, He put His Divine stamp of authority upon him by many mighty miracles to convince the Egyptians and unbelieving Israel that God had sent him.
Miracles followed during the 40 years in the wilderness, e.g. The Manna - Bread from Heaven - Water from the rock - Fire by night - Cloud by day - Shoes and clothes that never wore out - Walls that fell flat at Jericho. However when Israel entered the promised land, the miracles ceased in the sovereignty of God (Joshua 5 v. 12). No prior notice was given. Suddenly there was no manna. Israel must now plough, sow and reap, build houses, dig wells, weave materials, make sandals - in fact, do everything in a normal way. How foolish it would have been for any man or group to say, "God didn't tell us the miracles would cease. I am not going to plough and sow. I believe God can feed us if we exercise faith. Let's get together in our homes and hold some secret prayer meetings. Let's tarry and seek the miraculous gifts we once enjoyed. God in His sovereignty can give them again." How absurd this would have been - how out of the mind and purposes of God. What havoc and discontent it would have produced. Yet this is exactly what we see happening today - people praying for manifestations God has in His sovereignty withdrawn.
Come now to the New Testament. Christ has been a carpenter for years, then His public ministry begins. God attests Who He is by miracles, like He did with Moses. In Acts 2 v. 22 Peter says, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and words and signs which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."
Let us recall some of these supernatural events.
The Father's voice from Heaven at His baptism - the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Him in the form of a dove - blind made to see - lepers healed - lame made to walk - dead raised to life. Then came the last and greatest miracle - His own resurrection, by which He was declared to be the Son of God (Rom. 1 v. 4). Fifty days later marked the day of Pentecost and the Lord's promise of the coming Holy Spirit was fulfilled. The Church dispensation was ushered in by miracles, a rushing mighty wind, tongues of fire, fifteen nationalities heard the message of God in their own tongue.
LAW AND GRACE INTRODUCED BY MIRACLES
The Law period was introduced by miracles and so was that of Grace. Both the message and the messengers were authenticated by miracles. Likewise the Gospel was attested in the same way. The first apostolic miracle (healing the crippled man) was for this very purpose. See Acts 3 v. 12-19. Verse 19 clearly states the reason, "Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out." Likewise the Gospel to the Samaritans was authenticated by miracles. Acts 8 v. 6, "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, when they heard him and saw the miracles that he performed." N.E.B.
V. 7 states the nature of the miracles - unclean spirits came out of them, many taken with the palsies and that were lame, were healed. These are not being repeated today. Even if they were, conversions do not take place today on the basis of miracles. c.f. Our Lord's words in Luke 16 v. 31, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets (the authenticated Word of God) neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" - the greatest miracle of all! Note well that statement. The greatest authority is the Proven Word of God. If men won't listen to it God has nothing further to say by way of miracles.
If God's earthly people needed miracles to authenticate Moses and the dispensation of Law, how much more the apostles - Jesus Christ had died in weakness, the disciples were ignorant and unlearned men. The death of Christ was a stumbling block to the Jews, they had expected a mighty king. It was foolishness to the Greeks, because all of their gods were powerful. The resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit, with the signs that followed, were all given to compel attention and confirm the authority of Christ, His apostles and His gospel (Hebrews 2 v. 4). In Romans 15 v. 18, 19, Paul says, "I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God . . . . I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." The mighty signs were to authenticate the gospel as being of God.
But these miraculous gifts soon passed away once their purpose was fulfilled. Within 40 years Paul lost the power to heal his own thorn, Trophimus, Timothy and Epaphroditus. Note also, that prison doors which opened miraculously to Peter at the beginning (Acts 12) were later closed to Paul.
Since that apostolic age, God in His sovereignty has not authenticated any of His mighty men with sign gifts, e.g. Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Whitfield, Moody, Torrey. Why? Because the signs have served their purpose and therefore have been withdrawn. Admittedly attempts have been made to revive them by all sorts of questionable means, but the results have been disheartening and divisive. As I said earlier, what we are seeing today is NOT new. Men of God in each generation have been confronted with these phenomena.
STATEMENTS BY CHRISTIAN LEADERS
Here are statements made by some of them, whose spirituality, ability in the Scriptures and Godly wisdom could never be doubted.
Mr Harold St. John. "The sign gifts of 1 Cor. 12 v. 9, 10, 28-30, and the men gifts of Eph. 4 v. 11 are given as needed. Apostles and prophets, miracles, tongues and healings are not seen (today) nor have they been seen since Century One."
W. E. Vine, author of the Greek English Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, says in his commentary on 1 Cor. 12 and 13, page 168, "After the Scriptures were completed, these supernatural signs ceased. Attempts to renew them have been deceptive. The professed possession of them is attractive and imparts a glamour to a so-called 'movement' which claims these powers." Then Mr Vine quotes the Scriptures, "Many false prophets are gone out into the world" and Satan even "fashioneth himself into an angel of light".
Dr R. A. Torrey, the world renowned evangelist and Bible teacher who visited New Zealand in 1902, said, "It is a movement that everyone who believes and obeys the Word of God, should leave severely alone, except to expose, as there may be occasion, the gross errors and evils connected with it," (Although Torrey's book "The Baptism of the Holy Spirit" uses confusing terms and is not recommended, Torrey was opposed to the "movement" of his day.)
Dr Campbell Morgan, acknowledged world-wide as a careful, scholarly Bible teacher, says, "We must remember that these signs were initial, they were incomplete; they produced no final result. They were necessary to arrest the attention of Jerusalem. They were Divine, direct and positive, but they were transient, never repeated, because never needed. The Church of God, all over the world, is confronting a very subtle period, that of putting the Spirit of God in a place of prominence that is entirely unwarranted by New Testament teaching. The movement associated with the gift of tongues at the present time, has upon it the HALLMARK OF HELL. Let there be no mistake about this! The terror of it to my heart is that some of the sweetest saints of God, the very elect, are being deceived because they lack that fundamental intelligence of what the mission of the Spirit really is. If the emphasis of any movement is on the Spirit, know this, that according to the teaching of Christ, that movement is out of harmony with the work of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is to reveal Christ. The Spirit is the hidden worker, making Christ Himself, the supreme and overwhelming consciousness of believing hearts, the one and only Saviour of man." Westminster Pulpit, volume 4, page 77.
Let the reader be warned for his own good, by such statements. Wise people will profit from them.
In our own land of New Zealand, men like Robert Laidlaw, the author of "The Reason Why" whose spiritual worth and weight was acknowledged everywhere, warned against the neo-Pentecostal unequivocally that the Charismatic practices were not of God. His stand against them was particularly marked during the early 60's when men from overseas began to preach these things in private house meetings. I cannot believe that such a spiritual giant missed the mind of God on this score. He was utterly dedicated and ever open to the voice of the Spirit through the Word of God. Many at this Convention will remember his powerful messages and give God praise for the blessing received from them.
Similar comment could be made concerning Joseph Kemp, founder of the B.T.I. (now the Bible College of N.Z.) and many other worthy servants of God who have been used by Him in this country. Mr Kemp's booklet on the subject shows where he stood on this matter.
When the so-called "early brethren" assemblies were confronted with the same sort of thing in the "Irvingites" without exception men such as Darby, Kelly, McIntosh, Sir Walter Scott and Sir Robert Anderson gave the movement a wide berth. Yet they left behind them a spiritual heritage in their writings which are still being reprinted and quoted today. Could this have been the case if they had missed out on something God had for them in the so-called Holy Spirit Baptism and exercise of miraculous gifts. We think not and one can be thankful to God that Assemblies and their leaders have down the years followed the Godly teaching of such men, and not permitted Pentecostalism in their gatherings.
MISSIONARIES NOT GIVEN "TONGUES"
The last proof I offer, in support of the fact that God in His sovereignty does not bestow the gift of tongues today, is as follows.
(a) In the last 150 years, tens of thousands of missionaries, at the call of the Holy Spirit, and in obedience to our Lord's command, have gone to the uttermost parts of the earth, to preach the Gospel to foreign speaking people; but there is not one authentic instance where the Holy Spirit has given any of His obedient self-sacrificing servants the gift of tongues (which He bestowed in His sovereignty at Pentecost) to enable these missionaries to preach at once in the language of the people to whom He the Holy Spirit, had called them to go. All have had to go through the same slow, arduous process of learning, word by word, spending one or two precious years, before they could intelligently present the Gospel to lost souls.
BIBLE TRANSLATORS NOT GIVEN "TONGUES"
(b) The Bible, which is of such absolute importance for the spread of the Gospel, and the building up of converts, has been translated into over 1200 languages, but not one has been by the gift of tongues. All have required years of study and arduous labour.
Surely, therefore, it is a slander on the intelligence of the Holy Spirit, to suggest He would withhold this gift from those He calls to do His missionary and translating work, but induce others to indulge in unintelligible utterances in the privacy of their own room for their own gratification and for no practical use whatsoever.
WHAT DOES THE WORD "TONGUE" MEAN?
"But," says someone, "then what does 1 Cor. 14 v. 4 mean? - He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself, but he that prophesieth edifieth the Church."
1. The word "Church" occurs at least nine times in this chapter. The whole setting is that of a church gathering - not of an individual in his room, on his own, exercising some gift.
2. The burden of the chapter is the edification or building up of the congregation.
3. The word "unknown" is in italics, and therefore not in the original. It should be simply read thus, "He that speaketh in a tongue", etc.
4. The word "tongue" is only translated in two ways and refers either to a language or the physical organ in one's mouth.
So what Paul is saying is this, "If you speak in a language unknown to others, without an interpreter, no man will understand you. God will, but men won't. Therefore your understanding (or communication) will be unfruitful. You will edify no one except yourself. If no interpreter is present you should remain silent, or pray that you may interpret to the profit of all." If you look back to 1 Cor. 12 v. 10, 11, you will see that in those apostolic times, along with the miraculous gift of languages, was the miraculous gift of interpretation. However, for the reasons advanced above, we believe these gifts have ceased. It is not that God has lost any of His power to repeat these events, but in His sovereignty He chooses not to do so, because His purpose in relation to them, has been fulfilled. He does not give manna from Heaven today, or any of the other signs given to "the Church in the wilderness", because these too have fulfilled His purposes, and in His sovereignty they have been withdrawn.
It would be the height of ignorance and folly to tarry for their renewal today and just as wrong to apply to our day the statement of 1 Cor. 14 v. 39, "Forbid not to speak with tongues" when tongues were for the Apostolic age alone. We must "rightly divide the Word of Truth", or end up in endless confusion, as many are doing today.
CAN MEN WITHSTAND GOD?
I have heard it said that the reason why God is not bestowing the gifts in some churches today is because their leaders are opposed to tongues. But if gifts are bestowed on the basis of God's sovereignty and not our spirituality, what man could withstand Him? That the gifts are not bestowed on the basis of spirituality, is plainly evident from the state of the Corinthian church. It was carnal, not spiritual. E.g. Ch. 1 indicates four divisions in the church; Ch. 3 states they were carnal; Ch. 5 tells of some, practising immorality of the worst kind, and the assembly didn't mourn over it; Ch. 6 tells of Christians going to heathen judges to settle disputes; Ch. 11 mentions drunkenness at the Lord's Table, and the judgment of God on them because of it, "Many weak and sickly and many sleep (dead)"; Ch. 12 and 14 indicate tongues in confusion; Ch. 15 tells of some denying the resurrection. Yet they came behind in no gift! 1 Cor.1 v. 7.
It is sometimes claimed that Neo-Pentecostal people speak in a heavenly language - an angel's tongue, based on 1 Cor. 13 v. 1. Please note that Paul never makes this claim. He uses the word "though" five times and gives five hypothetical cases in verses 1 to 3. This is the language of supposition, not of something which actually happened. E.g. He didn't understand all mysteries, nor possess all knowledge, or have all faith, nor bestow all his goods to feed the poor, nor give his body to be burned, nor speak with the tongues of angels. The word "though" should be read as "although" to give the proper understanding of these verses.
THE MAN WHO BLASPHEMED IN "TONGUES"
Again and again it has been demonstrated, that men claiming to speak in ecstacy under the power of the Holy Spirit, have given utterance to filthy and blasphemous statements, which are clearly of demoniacal deception. In 1961 while I was preaching the Gospel in our Te Awamutu crusade, I was interrupted by a man speaking in tongues. Part of his utterance was in Maori, though he was a white man and did not know the Maori language. The other part of his utterance was a gutteral noise and quite unintelligible. Immediately, a Pentecostal man rose to give the interpretation. He said this was as follows, "God is among you, of a truth. Hear ye the Word of God, my people." In the providence of God, Mr Elias Kerr, a missionary to the Maoris and one who knows their language well, was present. With him were two Maori Christians. When Mr Kerr was asked what the message was, which was spoken in Maori, he replied that it was a mixture of the vilest filth and blasphemy, and he would not translate it. When asked to give some indication of the purport of the message, Mr Kerr said that the speaker was pronouncing the curses invoked by a Maori chief, upon his opponent, when going into battle against him (in the days of the Maori wars).
This terrible message was directed against me, for preaching the Gospel. But perhaps the saddest fact of all, was that the young man who spoke in the tongue, was a professing Christian who said he was delighted with my message. When the spirit came upon him, he felt he wanted to help me! Needless to say this incident is well authenticated. I have the names of all the people concerned and plenty of witnesses.
When I recounted this incident in Oamaru a Pentecostal pastor was present, and in private he said to me that it was obvious this tongue was of Satanic origin. But he hastened to assure me that his tongue was different. I asked by what law I could be expected to judge the truth of his claim. He said he just "knew" he was right.. What confusion! The man in Te Awamutu also "knew" and evidently was Godly and sincere.
It is not asserted that all tongues speaking is Satanic. Some are induced by hypnotic methods, e.g. many non-Christian hypnotists have put people into tongues. Some enter the experience as a result of emotional pressure, intense desire for the gift in private prayer or in special meetings designed for the purpose. Sometimes the "release" comes hours afterwards, apparently unexpectedly and is therefore thought to be of God. However the evidence submitted from the above incident ought to be a solemn warning that tongues can result from the influence of an evil spirit.
ROMANS 8 AND TONGUES?
In recent times the Neo-Pentecostalist has fastened onto Romans 8:26 as a supposed authority for his tongues speaking, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Such an interpretation of Scripture is obviously erroneous when the verse is viewed in the light of its context and of sound Biblical exegesis.
In the first place Tongues are never mentioned anywhere in Romans, so that the Pentecostalist has no right to read into this verse something Paul never discusses in this letter. Certainly he never stated that the experience of believers in this verse is that of Tongues.
Secondly, the Apostle states the experience as something which is common to every believer - not a select few who have supposedly attained the so called "Second Blessing", "The Holy Spirit Baptism" or spoken in Tongues.
Thirdly, it is submitted that it is an insult to Godly men and women of all ages who have never spoken in Tongues to suggest that through some failure on their part they have missed out on something this verse is supposed to teach. Powerful preachers, soul winners, such as those referred to earlier ad infinitum, as well as persecuted Saints or those confined to a bed of sickness who because of their Spiritual reaction have been exhibits of the Grace of God, have all alike tasted the gracious ministry of the Holy Spirit indicated in this verse.
A study of the entire Chapter will show that every believer has the Holy Spirit - or else "He is none of His." V. 9. Provision has been made for his victory over sin, death and the flesh. V. 2, 3, 13. He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. 9, 11. He is a child of God and enjoys the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. 14, 15. He is assured of his Salvation by the witness of the Spirit within him. 16. In this life he awaits the redemption of his body which gets sick, suffers from infirmity and age and causes him to "groan" and long for his ultimate
Redemption at the Second Coming of Christ. 23. (At that moment "we shall all be changed" 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.) Likewise the whole Creation "groaneth and travaileth" awaiting the same Divine intervention. 22.
In the meantime the believer is subject to human limitation. He has the Blessed "Hope" within him with all its longings and desires yet unfulfilled. He cannot fully enter into their realisation while in the body. 24, 25. However the Holy Spirit helps his "infirmities" (weaknesses) - and his prayer life - knows his mind and heart and as the intercessor within He translates the Spiritual desires of the believer to the Father "according to the will of God". 26, 27. This I repeat is the common experience of every believer - it is not reserved for the Neo-Pentecostalist alone.
That this cannot possibly be a so called tongues experience is further proved by the assertion of the Apostle that the intercession of the Spirit is said to be with groanings that "cannot be uttered" - not are uttered! When a person cannot utter he is silent, not noisy and talkative.
IS THE GIFT OF "PROPHECY" WITH US TODAY?
II. The second claim of the Neo-Pentecostalist is that the gift of prophecy, as practised in the New Testament, is with us today. It will be clear from what we have said thus far, that this cannot be the case. The prophet was a man who received a Divine message, direct from God, before the revelation of God in the Scriptures was completed. Those who claim this gift today are adding to the Word of God and come under the judgment of Rev. 22 v. 18. In spite of this warning, in recent times I have seen printed, some of the so-called revelations of Neo-Pentecostal people, also their claim to be able to speak "God's infallible word", i.e. by direct revelation from God apart from the Scriptures. One man is reported as saying, "I don't need God to speak to me through the Bible - He speaks directly to me." His favourite statement is, "The Lord told me so." It is true that God does guide His people today but never contrary to His Word, nor apart from it.
THE "PROPHECY" THAT FAILED!
In 1953 I conducted a Gospel Crusade in the city of Palmerston North, N.Z. At that time the Pentecostals were active in their attendance and in the distribution of their literature to other people who were attending. Each night, questions were being placed in the "Question Box" on the subjects of the Holy Spirit, tongues and healing, until finally I felt it necessary to have a special meeting to deal with Pentecostal teaching. It was advertised in the newspaper for a certain evening. That morning I received a phone call from a Pentecostal pastor who said God had revealed to him, that if I went ahead with the advertised meeting, I would be taken next day by an ambulance to the Porirua Mental Hospital. He further warned that this had happened to C.L., a Baptist minister, "who had dared to lay his tongue on the Lord's anointed". I replied that while I knew of his hypnotic practices in meetings, I had never dreamed he would try it over a telephone! I assured him the meeting would go on and I invited him to attend. Whether he did so I know not, as the hall was packed to capacity and some were delivered from error. Needless to say, the prophecy was erroneous and the prophet stood condemned, in the light of Deut. 18 v. 20-22.
The following Sunday, another Pentecostal pastor in the city attempted to reply to the teaching I had given concerning Pentecostalism. I was unable to attend, but my wife did so and noted that out of the 30 present, 17 wore glasses, including the song leader. The pianist was a partial cripple and was brought up to the piano in a wheelchair! All this in a so-called Healing movement! How subtle is the delusion and how gullible are some Christians who cannot see the futility of such a thing and are "soft" towards it.
Claims to prophetic insight and God given prophetic messages, prove by their failure, that they are not of God. They are the work of Satan, disguised as an "angel of light". Read for yourself 2 Cor. 11 v. 13-15.
If the prophetic gift of the New Testament is with us today, then along with the Pentecostal "revelations", we must also admit the writings of Ellen G. White, the prophetess of Seventh Day Adventism, and those of Joseph Smith in the Mormon Bible.
God forbid that we should ever fall into any such errors. With the completion of the New Testament there no longer was a need for prophets - but simply for men - Evangelists, Pastors, teachers - to proclaim what God has revealed. Ephesians 4 v. 11-16. Let us "cling to the Bible" as the one full and complete revelation of God. Perhaps we can sum it up this way - the Scriptures are the limit of revelation but there is no limit to what God can reveal through the Scriptures. In fact, the believer who lets the Word of Christ dwell in him richly, in Col. 3 v. 16, parallels with the Spirit-filled man of Eph. 5 v. 18-20. Both are found to be full of psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord. Could any experience be more wonderful and satisfying! Unfortunately this is not the experience of every Christian, but it can be, if you let the Word of Christ "remain as a rich treasure in your hearts" - Weymouth.
It is argued that Pentecostalists are joyful and God uses them, therefore they must be right. Firstly I would say that multitudes outside the group are also joyful and effective. Also God blesses His Word and the Gospel when it is preached by these people as He promised in Isaiah 55:11. Rom. 1:16. Phil. 1:15-18. I know people saved through unconverted friends quoting the Bible to them - others through the cults - but God doesn't approve their doctrine.
Secondly we must never base our experience on that of others, but on the Word of God. If, as we have shown, the Baptism in the Spirit is an historical fact, never to be repeated, and nobody, since Pentecost, has been told to seek it or tarry for it, then plainly it is wrong to do so. If tongues and similar miraculous gifts have served the purpose for which God gave them and in His sovereignty He has withdrawn them, it is plainly wrong and dangerous to seek them today. No amount of "joyful" experiences can make it right to do so. Further, no "experience" can be right if it is not based on a sound Scriptural foundation.
Thirdly, I have noticed that usually when a person becomes involved in these things, his doctrinal ground begins to slide. I think of two men, who live in different cities of New Zealand. Both of them were once effective Gospel preachers and pillars in the Church. They became involved in Pentecostal practices. Soon they denied the Eternal security of the believer, then became doubtful about the sinless character of our Lord. Later they denied the Eternal punishment of the finally impenitent. Today they both believe in universalism. One runs a small "church" of his own, the other while still holding to his Pentecostal beliefs has left that group and linked himself with a well-known denomination in New Zealand. Seldom are these men ever heard of, yet they were once so full of spiritual potential.
Fourthly. The fruit of this movement as a whole, leaves much to be desired. I have seen it cause
(a) Division in Churches,
(b) Distress and Disunity in others,
(c) Disrespect for elders and church leaders who haven't got the "blessing" (in spite of the tremendous contribution they have made to the work of God in this country),
(d) Demon possession or influence as must have been the case with the man at Te Awamutu,
(e) Doctrinal error as in the case of the two men quoted above,
(f) Deceit, I don't want to be uncharitable but it puzzles me why some who indulge in tongues try to hide the fact or say they are not Pentecostal. Others hold meetings in secret, etc. Surely if a work is of God it will manifest His character - "LIGHT . . . no darkness at all" 1 John 1 v. 5, 6.
(g) Disturbed personality - no longer the same. In others a complete breakdown occurs, caused by constant emotional strain and excitement, or by utter despair when the cherished victory, power or healing is not realised.
"IT'S LIKE A DRUG"
I well remember spending two hours (at their request) with a man and his wife, who were caught up in this movement. They were dissatisfied with their spiritual lives, in spite of the tongues and so-called "baptism experience". We went over the Scriptures together and finally they professed to see the error of Pentecostalism. We had prayer together, in which they thanked God for showing them the truth and in prayer they renounced their Pentecostal beliefs. However, four hours later they were back in the group again! Later the man confessed to me, "You don't understand - this thing is like a drug. We are hooked on it and can't give it up. Last weekend we were at a convention and became drunk with the Spirit - so drunk that I don't remember driving home in the car. But by Wednesday we had lost the blessing and had to have a half night of prayer, with the others to get it back again. Yesterday we had lost it again and this is why we were so dissatisfied - we had to go back and get it again."
Happily I know of many who have been truly delivered from the movement, but here was a couple addicted - hooked as if by a drug. One who has recently been delivered, said she found the tongue speaking in her room a "great emotional release". It offered her physical and psychic excitement, which she interpreted as spiritual. Now she finds her satisfaction in Christ alone as He is made increasingly real to her by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
FASTEST GROWING MOVEMENT?
Another contention which deserves a straight answer, is the fact that in some countries "the Pentecostal movement is the fastest growing of any group". However similar claims can sometimes be made by the Jehovah Witness and Mormon Churches, so the argument proves nothing. In fact I expect it to grow far more rapidly in days to come. Already it is being referred to as the "3rd great force" to unite in one great world church, the other two great forces Roman Catholicism and Apostate Protestantism.
In addition to some evangelicals, it is common knowledge that R.C. Priests and liberal Protestants are speaking in tongues. "Time", the world's greatest weekly magazine, and "Eternity", a well known religious monthly magazine, frequently report the growth of tongues in various denominations. All are part of the Charismatic movement. Various Pentecostal leaders now have full acceptance in the Ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches.
THE COMING WORLD CHURCH
I believe that Revelation chapters 13 and 17 make it quite clear that the Apostate church of our day with its members drawn from 198 denominations including Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Unitarian, and all the modernist churches of the earth, with its invitation to Rome to join, is rapidly readying itself to receive and endorse the Antichrist when he is presented by Satan, as the embodiment of the real Christ, and as the world's longed for Prince of Peace. He will unify the nations of the earth and the unsound churches of the world, and even enforce peace on the Arabs and guarantee Israel security for seven years - a contract he will break after 3 and a half years. Our Lord said to the Jews in John 5 v. 43, "I am come in my Father's name and ye receive me not; if another come in his own name him ye will receive."
Speaking of him for whom the apostate church and the Godless world are now preparing, 2 Thess. 2 v. 9, 10, 15, says: "Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders - and with all deceivableness . . . . Therefore brethren stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle."
Though the Antichrist will come from the pit, he will nevertheless "do great wonders so that he maketh fire come down from Heaven (not up from Hell - it will look as if it is of God) and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he has power to do."
While God describes the Anti-christ as "the man of sin", the world will see him as an "Angel of light and a minister of righteousness, as God manifest in the flesh" (2 Thess. 2 v. 4).
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR
The manifestations in the Charismatic movements are already the common denominator to unite in one, people of every belief in Christendom and it will continue to do so increasingly as the rise of Anti-christ draws near. The basis of fellowship in some quarters is no longer that of fundamental belief, in the Deity of Christ, the Inspiration of the Scriptures, the bodily Resurrection, but the common "experience" of tongues, etc. This is the great uniting "3rd force" in the world. This contention is proved by the fact that today we frequently see advertisements in our papers of combined "praise" meetings- for members of the R.C., Protestant and Pentecostal groups! This would never have happened 10 years ago!
MY FINAL APPEAL
In conclusion, my appeal is to all Christians who see the errors of the Ecumenical movement and the Charismatic movement, to seek, not the spectacular gifts but rather the fruit of the Spirit which will build us up and bind us together. Don't let us sacrifice this for "tongues", the least of all the gifts. How much better are the gifts of Ephesians 4, which God has given to every sizeable local Church - Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.
These are far more wonderful than the ability to raise a dead body, which will die again in a few months or years. The greatest thrill of all is to sit down with the living Word of God in your hands, beside a man dead in trespasses and sins, on the way to an everlasting Hell, and see him literally born again - become alive in Christ with the life of God Himself imparted, to be to the everlasting praise of Christ now and for all eternity.
How tragic if we should become divided over a minor issue. May God unite us all on this mighty major issue of Evangelism, pastoral care and wholesome Bible teaching and grant us all individually to know the blessedness of the Spirit-filled life, as outlined earlier in our notes.
A PERSONAL WORD TO THE READER
The issues of this booklet are tremendous. If you want further help, write me a letter, or get in touch with a good Bible teacher not involved in the Charismatic movement. If you want further copies of this booklet for friends you wish to help, you can obtain these direct from us or from Christian Bookshops.
If you are not sure you are a Christian I pray you will settle that important matter now by taking the following steps:
Having taken these steps it is important for you to know How to Succeed in the Christian Life as follows:
(1) Don't rely on your feelings. Rest on God's Word. If you have received Christ you have "Become" a child of God. John 1:12. You have "Eternal" life. John 10:28. Remember - Union (relationship) with God your Father can't break. Communion (friendship) can, but is restored on confession of sin. 1 John 1:9. The Work of Christ for me makes me Safe (Hebrews 10:10). The Word of Christ to me makes me Sure. John 6:37, 10:9, 27-29, 14-6. Read through the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs before other Old Testament Books. Keep marking, memorising verses that help you. Obey them. Remember this is God's Word to you.
(2) Read your Bible every day - thoughtfully, slowly. Ask God to speak to you through it. Begin with John's Gospel. Mark or memorise 1:12, 3:16, 5:24.
(3) Pray every day. Simply talk to God your Father (reverently). He has promised to hear you. John 14:14. Thank Him for blessings. Tell Him your problems. Ask Him for help and strength. Say Grace for meals.
(4) Witness for Christ - by actions and words. Confess Him in Baptism. This is His command. Mark 16:15, 16, Acts 8:35-40, 40-48, Romans 6:4, John 14:15.
(5) Make friends with keen Christians. Their friendship will help you. God ordained Church fellowship for this reason. Attend as often as you can. Give a portion of your income to God's Work. 1 Corinthians 16:2, Philippians 4:15-19. Ask about the Lord's Supper where you can remember your Lord. Luke 22:19-20, Acts 2:41-42, 20:7, 1 Corinthians 11:26.
(6) Avoid anything that might hinder your Christian Progress. If in doubt ask yourself, "What would Christ do?" "Will it please or grieve Him?" "Can I pray about it and ask God to bless it?" If not, it's wrong. Proverbs 10:22. When tempted look for "the way of escape" and take it. 1 Corinthians 10:13.
(7) Serve Christ. Become involved in some definite work for God. Pray for your friends. Try to win them. If married bring up your family for God. Have reading and Prayer together each day. Make it interesting. If children are young read them a Bible Story book. The Holy Spirit indwells you - count on His help and power. 1 Corinthians 6:19, Philippians 4:13. Christ will reward you at His coming. Expect Him at any minute. Revelation 22:12. Set a goal before you. Philippians 1:21-23.
Read over these suggestions often. Practise them and with God's help success and fulfillment will be yours.
Printed by G.P.H. Society Ltd.
P.O. Box 74, Palmerston North, N.Z.
(Please note that this book you are reading has long been out of print)
BOOKS RECOMMENDED BY THE AUTHOR
The Holy Spirit in Today's World
-W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., D.D., Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.
(A very comprehensive work)
-Marshall, Morgan & Scott.
The Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit
-Merrill F. Unger, Th.D., Ph.D., Professor Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas.
-Van Kampen Press.
The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit
-John R. W. Stott, Rector of All Souls Anglican Church, London.
(A lucid and helpful booklet)
The Pentecostal Error
-Cyril H. Maskrey, former Apostolic Pastor.
-Light Publishing Company, Adelaide, Australia.
The Mission of the Holy Spirit
-H. A. Ironside, Litt. D., late Pastor Moody Memorial Church, Chicago.
-Loizeaux Brothers, New York.
Holiness - the false and the true
-H. A. Ironside.
The Other Comforter. 12 Studies on the Holy Spirit.
-Emmaus Bible Schools.
Box 1526, Palmerston North, N.Z.
25 Ray Road, Epping, N.S.W., Australia.
Box 980, Oak Park, Illinois 60303, U.S.A.
-Henry W. Frost, D.D.
(Deals fully with the subject of Healing)
-Marshall, Morgan & Scott.
The Bible and Healing
(An excellent booklet by a widely read N.Z. Bible Teacher)
-G.P.H., Box 74, Palmerston North, NZ