Strange Fire Conference Set To Confront Biblically the “God Told Me” Syndrome

Leviticus 10

1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2  And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

Grace To You Ministries recently announced the gathering of evangelicals October 16-18 2013 to speak out against the damage being done for many decades in the church by those who have shamefully misrepresented the true work of the Holy Spirit and turned it into a chaotic world of dreams, visions, false prophecy, false healings, being slain in the spirit, holy laughter, and all kinds of unbiblical practices.

http://www.tmstrangefire.org/

In the words of John MacArthur of the host church:

The Lord calls His people to honor Him, to treat Him as holy. Leviticus 10 pictures the consequences of not doing so—of offering to Him strange fire.

For the last hundred years, the charismatic movement has been offering a strange fire of sorts to the third Person of the Godhead—the Holy Spirit. And evangelical churches have chosen to be silent or indifferent on the matter.     This hasn’t served the church or the Spirit of the church with honor.

So what should be our response?

Strange Fire is a conference that will set forth what the Bible really says about the Holy Spirit, and how that squares with the charismatic movement.  We’re going to address in a biblical, straightforward manner what many today see as a peripheral issue. On the contrary, your view of the Holy Spirit influences your relationship with God, your personal holiness, and your commitment to the church and evangelism.

The conference is already sold-out completely, so we see the real hunger in much of the church today to know what God’s word really tells us about his revelation and the true works of the Holy Spirit in contrast to these strange manifestations seen in many ministries today.

Already the naysayers are out in force, denouncing both MacArthur and the conference as an attempt to “quell the spirit.” But is standing up for scripture as the inspired word of God himself, and his sufficient, inerrant, and complete revelation quelling anything?

Charisma magazine, one of the flagship vehicles of the charismatic movement, ran an article by Michael Brown, challenging MacArthur’s conference:

…….And it is only fair to ask whether Pastor MacArthur, in his rightful zeal to correct excesses or errors in the charismatic movement—what he calls “strange fire”—is also guilty of rejecting the true fire. Does he embrace the glorious things the Holy Spirit is doing worldwide, resulting in the salvation of tens of millions of souls, or does he write them off as the result of emotionalism and deception?

In a textbook “straw man” argument, he builds up a clearly erroneous case of MacArthur denying that the Holy Spirit works today, only to shoot it down in flames. He fails to mention that not one of the tens of millions of souls referred to actually received salvation by listening to a modern day prophet give new extra-biblical revelation from God, nor by being blown over backwards by a puff of air blown at him by a minister, nor by any form of being “slain in the spirit”, engaging in “holy laughter”, speaking in tongues, or barking like a dog. Not one. Every single one of the tens of millions if they indeed received salvation, did so through the authentic work of the Holy Spirit, which is convicting us of our sin and need for a savior, and opening our hearts to hear the truth contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is clearly obfuscating the truth to claim the issue is whether or not the Holy Spirit is active today. Jesus told us clearly he left us with the Spirit, so who doubts that? The issue is whether Christian ministers have the authority and the credentials to use the Holy Spirit to meet the ends they have chosen for their ministries, often for financial gain, based on a foundation of manifestations which come from human experience, emotion, and thought processes. These manifestations are not confirmable by, or even related to, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and thus they meet the criteria set down by God’s word to be false prophecy.

Since prophecy is said in scripture  (1 Cor. 12) to be proclaiming the truth of God, anything that falsely proclaims what God is doing or saying today is a form of false prophecy. Claiming God is bringing healing through a ministry when such healing is not taking place is falsely proclaiming God. Passing on a dream to a congregation which is labeled to be from God when it is not is another form of false proclamation, which is false prophecy. And how did God view false prophecy in the Old Testament? Death was ordained. Death was the punishment because it is such a serious offence. It remains a serious offence in the New Testament. There is no indication God has softened his approach to false prophets in the current age.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Bible is the only guide needed to know what are the true works of the Holy Spirit. We need not rely on any man to show us how the Spirit works, and in fact it can be dangerous to do so. Despite the charismatic and Pentecostal claims that the Spirit’s work today is to bring signs and wonders to whoever calls out for such manifestations, scripture tells us something quite different.

Ephesians 2:1-6

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

Clearly Paul is telling the church at Ephesus that it is the Holy Spirit who works in us to bring about our spiritual rebirth from the death state brought about by our transgressions. This is the truly awesome, mighty work of the Spirit, which causes us as Christians to stand in awe and worship of our Creator, that such a wondrous transformation could take place. Does it glorify God to reduce this mighty work to the petty and trivial workings that the charismatics claim for him? Are these glorious works of the Spirit to be downgraded to such a degree that they become nothing more than commentaries on current news events and idle, mostly undated, and therefore unverifiable predictions about the secular future for a certain nation?

Romans 8:12

Sanctification

 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ  is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.  11 And  if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.  12 Therefore,  brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

The Spirit who lives in  us is the resurrection power – the same power that raised Jesus from death raises us from spiritual death in our sins to a new life in Christ. Is this not far beyond the power we see claimed by some of the doom and gloom ministies today, who teach that the true power of the Holy Spirit is a working to impart dreams and visions about what the American government or the New World Order is plotting against us? Is it not the true work of the Spirit far beyond the power claimed by a “healing” ministry to lay hands in an apostolic fashion and declare a person to be physically healed without any apostolic authority or credentials at all?

Healings and predictions of the future are not works of the Holy Spirit today. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and its teachings concerning the eternal destiny of the soul is depicted in the bible to be the proper Christian focus, greatly overshadowing in importance concerns about physical afflictions of the body, or what degree of safety and comfort lies in the future for the people of a nation. (Matt. 10:28) Even Paul could not heal his own affliction nor that of his friend Trophimus at Miletus. (2 Tim. 4:20). Sufferings in the world have a divine purpose. We can safely leave all worries about these physical things in the hands of the Father, who knows our every need and will furnish us with every good thing completely, without any plotting, second guessing, or intervention on our part.

Where Are the Signs?

The first thing we need to ask any modern day signs and wonders ministries is for them to show their credentials, that they are truly agents of God’s word. These credentials come in the form of miracles. This was always historically the case with true apostles or prophets. To the prophet or watchman ask: where are your signs, to tell me you actually hear from God?

Popular internet watchman Nathan Leal recently was asked how any of his followers could determine if he was actually hearing from God. The reply was that after each prophetic dream he has, he goes into his prayer closet and asks God for confirmation of that dream. This is a kind of circular reasoning being used here. If he was mistaken about God giving him a prophecy in his dream, wouldn’t he likely also be mistaken about God giving his blessing of the dream in confirmation? Is any kind of confirmation required in prophecy? Is God required to repeat himself when giving revelation? Wouldn’t it be abundantly clear the first time if you had heard from God? If God speaks a word to you, and your first reaction is to question whether it was actually the Lord speaking, I would think that would not be something which should be preached about to the congregation next week.

Misleading Claims of Fulfillment

He went on to state that his confirmation also lies in the fact that his prophetic messages come to pass. As one example, he stated that he had a prophetic dream that pensions were going to be stolen by the U.S. government. His confirmation? The financial crisis in Cypress. For another proof, he said the Lord gave him information in 2009 about a coming drought, and that this was fulfilled “in the past 2 years.” Another prophecy came to him in 2008, about the “poisoning of the waters.” Of course, his ministry claims that the Gulf Oil Spill fulfilled that. Is it suspicious that some of his proofs are clearly unfulfilled, and that others either were received in an untimely fashion or are so general and lacking in detail that they amount to little more than word games? Yes it is. Stage magicians do feats of mental magic using this same kind of word play which creates the illusion of having foretold a future event.

To further buttress his conviction that there is new revelation being given today by God, he claims:

“There is too much track record now of individuals throughout time who have been shown things by God. Mary and Joseph – Jesus himself as an infant was saved in a dream. We can go on and on about that” *

So if Mary and Joseph, the worldly guardians of the infant Jesus, got a prophetic dream, we should too. The pomposity of this escapes many who should be more discerning. Some Christian ministers act like little kids showing off, like the little boy at the local swimming pool constantly engaging in newer and louder, more energetic activities as if pleading to whoever will listen “Look at me! Look at me!” Far more often a work of the Holy Spirit appears over a period of time as an ongoing function which is progressive. Its not “Look! Here it is! Bam!!! It came to me last night! I can’t wait to reveal this game-changing news!”

The point is, even if the healing ministries were actually healing, of which we have zero verifiable evidence, and even if the self-appointed watchmen and prophets were actually giving verifiable information which came to pass, which is undeniably not the case, would not the main mission of the Christian minister in this age remain the same as it has historically been: to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in its pure, unadulterated form? Would not the sanctification and regeneration of the new person in Christ be the Spirit’s work, and the leading of the unregenerate mind to see the truth contained in God’s word and become part of the flock of Christ?

It is astounding how many Christian ministries today make predictive prophetic foretelling the main core and foundation of their ministry. In O.T. times, the foretelling function of prophecy was at best a very small part of the prophet’s overall ministry. True prophets were very active preachers, and active students of scripture. Their life’s work amounted to much more than just the relatively small body of work of their prophetic writing recorded in scripture. For example, when Jonah was in Nineveh he wasn’t just echoing over and over the warning that the city had 40 days to repent. He went about as all prophets did, preaching about the Lord of heaven and earth, the fall of man, repentance, faith, and trust in God’s promises.

Modern Day Prophecies – How They Do the Evil Work of Weakening Scripture

Belief in modern day prophecy always has the effect of weakening the authority and influence of scripture in the lives of Christians. John MacArthur has rightly said “Whenever personal prophecy has been stressed, scripture is weakened.”

We see this happening so clearly with ministries of the internet prophets and this new breed who prefer to be called “watchmen.” Every week they bring us a new story line, usually concerning American politics, which is presented to be the Lord’s latest word. The intense reaction by all of the seer’s followers to each “new revelation” from God can be tracked on various internet forums, chat rooms, and discussion groups. The buzz is euphoric as the excitement electrifies the followers in their wild enthusiasm to discuss what God has supposedly told the prophet in his dreams and visions. This is highly reminiscent of the same kind of euphoric buzz generated at neo-Pentecostal signs-and-wonder revival meetings.

But the greater glory of God, the end game of every true Christian, surely takes a back seat today to the sensual experience of being told what the future will hold in America. (Oddly, the vast majority of “new revelation” said to be sent out by the Holy Spirit concerns the USA. Other countries are seldom if ever mentioned, other than Israel.) Lets face it – preaching about what the future holds is felt by these ministers to be a flashier, more hip thing to do than preaching the Gospel.

Whenever God Speaks We Need To Write It Down

But if we look at present day prophets, we see a contradiction which is hard to get around. If indeed God reveals new information, then surely most would prefer to focus on this new, up-to-date data than to settle for what God was saying 2000 years ago. Surely, the modern prophets will tell you, scripture as it was written by the apostles will not satisfy the hunger of your souls to get words from God that are truly revelant and updated to reflect the grave present concerns God has concerning perils enveloping this world.

If God is indeed still giving revelation to prophets today, wouldn’t every word need to be carefully recorded for all time in a new book of scripture, or appended to our existing bibles? Surely it cannot be said that there are different levels of authority when God speaks. I don’t think there’s room for any gray areas in respect to whether its God speaking or some other spirit giving the revelation.

In the same interview Mr. Leal disclosed that there are many more revelations he has received from God which he has not disclosed and has kept to himself. So God is telling Mr. Leal certain things which are only for the prophet’s personal edification, and not for the rest of us to hear? Or is he doing this because he thinks it will give him a position on the cutting edge of prophetic revelation, knowing things about God which no one else knows ?

Scripture Receives A Downgrade

This downgrade of scripture can be see in the following excerpts from an interview given recently by this same modern day Christian “watchman” concerning prophetic revelation today in relation to what is written in scripture:

“…………..So its up to us to be able to see, to be able to dissect, to see under the layers that are on the printed page.

We have to fight the regular philosophies of some men. They are not able to see some of the hidden truths in scripture. The people who do not rely on listening to the Holy Spirit speak to them, there’re going to be limited in the amount of knowledge, teaching, and training that they can obtain when they’re reading the bible.

In order to come to the scriptures and leave with our appetites satisfied, it entails, it requires that the Holy Spirit plays a role with us while we’re reading, while we’re studying, because the Holy Spirit helps us to see below the layers.” *

The Holy Spirit illumines our minds to see the truth contained in the inspired writings of the 66 books, but there are no mystery layers of understanding that require special revelation whispered to the reader’s ear about what the message is. The bible is not a secret code book and the Holy Spirit is not a decoder. One does not need modern day prophetic revelation from the Spirit to understand the bible, but the Spirit will guide us in prayerful and diligent study to come to its truth.

Even the most atheistic and heretical scholars understand the bible, they just reject its truth. If prophetic revelation was required for biblical understanding, then only modern day prophets could understand the bible. So in this scenario, the false prophet’s followers would be dependent upon him not only to hear what God is saying in these days through the prophet’s dreams and visions, but his poor disciples would also need their prophet to tell them what God has already said in the past through scripture! Surely a comfortable position for the false prophet, but a very dangerous thing for the followers.

It is a testament to the great amount of apostasy which has crept into Christian ministries today but also to the general lack of even basic scriptural discernment being applied, that this man could hold sway over a large audience of Christian believers. Certainly this illustrates the great need in the church today for gatherings like the upcoming Strange Fire Conference. It is an example of extreme gall for a Christian minister to announce to his congregation that he receives new revelation in his dreams from the Holy Spirit, and that these messages received through dreams and the “still small voice” in our heads are required in order for any of us to understand “the deep mysteries” of the bible. If we don’t listen to that still, small voice in our heads and in particular the still, small voice in their heads, the false prophets teach, we’ll be overwhelmed and lost in reading the scriptures.

When we read scripture, we marvel at the great providence and divine guidance which protected and preserved these words which are God-breathed and were handed down to the inspired writers to be our guide for all time by an all-knowing Creator. What God moved the writers to record in scripture was produced in the form of literature which requires simply the normal rules of reading. It is foolishness in the extreme to think God left scripture with a missing ingredient which he now needs us to have to understand what he said. No dream or vision interpretation is required to fill in any missing pieces in scripture. Scripture comes with a “no modern day prophet required” guarantee. What we add to the formula is faith, prayer, and a serious, studious approach to learning its truths.

Here in the claims that new revelation is being delivered by God today we have the grievous, heretical teaching that scripture is lacking in the kind of breadth and substance needed to be our sole guide and instruction book for today. Man is always striving for newer, more up to date things, the latest model car, the newest electronic device. And this is unfortunately true with scripture as well. The modern world, with all its inherent deceit and conspiracies, real or imagined, brings to the fore false prophets who convince us we need something more up to date and relevant. We simply won’t make it through the coming judgment of America, these false prophets tells us, only with the word of God contained in the bible. We need to tune into what God is saying today.

Christians with a strong scriptural foundation and a true respect and love for the awesome power of the word of God will have no trouble seeing through this delusion, but how many new in the faith will get taken off the path of scripture by teachings like this? How many souls will be put at risk by telling them the bible is weak and deficient, and to have true power the word of God given once and for all to the saints must be supplemented by the modern day dreams and visions of men and the thoughts inside their heads?

We need only to look at Jude Chapter 1 to see the folly contained in the teachings of the modern day prophets:

Jude 1

3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.

Clearly, scripture itself tells us of its own sufficiency, and it does this in so many places. There wouldn’t be space to list the numerous verses which speak clearly of the sufficiency of the word, but this passage from Paul’s exhortation to his young student Timothy is an example:

2 Tim. 3:16-17

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

“Equipped for every good work.” That covers it all. If this is so, and our Christian faith hinges upon this truth, then we must reject any teaching which tells us otherwise. If its a good work you are doing, the scriptures have you covered. If its an evil work you do, to involve others you have to take their shield of protection away from them by undermining their trust in God’s word. Then, when the flock is in a defenseless state, you can prey on them, even convincing them that your words are the words of God. And then these false teachers have their flocks exactly where they want them to be: totally dependent on hearing their voices in order to know what God is saying about the past, present, and future.

I have debated doctrinal issues with Christians who are convinced that these new revelations from God are genuine and important to listen to, and fully support these “God told me” ministries. When I hold up scripture which speaks against their position, they often reply in this manner: “oh, not to worry, I have the Holy Spirit in me to point out any error I may come across.”  Sadly, as Dr. MacArthur points out, these are not minor, peripheral issues we are dealing with, but it is falsehood that strikes at the very core of our faith, with countless thousands of souls at stake.

This underlines the need for evangelicals to gather together as one and affirm allegiance over and against all demonic powers, and that we hold up scripture to be the inerrant, all-sufficient word of God, which stands until the end of time as God’s true and complete revelation to us.

It is truly encouraging to see the great amount of interest in the Strange Fire Conference. God bless Pastor MacArthur and the speakers in attendance, who include the following:

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Conrad Mbewe, Dr. Steven J. Lawson, Tom Pennington, Phil Johnson, Nathan Busenitz, Justin Peters, Todd Friel, Joni Eareckson Tada.

It would be wonderful to see some momentum come out of this conference, and hopefully, God willing, this can lead many out of the wilderness of these ungodly ministries and into the saving grace of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All blessings in Christ,

JD Ellis

*all quotes from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkVSZOJU7iI  Hagman and Hagman broadcast May 2nd, 2013 2:05 to 2:09 time marks.

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53 Responses to Strange Fire Conference Set To Confront Biblically the “God Told Me” Syndrome

  1. Doesn’t surprise me. The more sensational the story the more Leal likes it because it attracts more listeners and donations. The biblical warnings about teaching false doctrine and putting false words in the name of Almighty God don’t scare him a bit.

    He seems to think that one who follows Christ comes to arrive at the truth through “research”. Nothing could be further from the truth. All the research of man will lead to nothing but death. The word of God alone will give life. What a pity so many follow this man right off into the abyss, totally missing the truth of scripture and our commission to preach the gospel to all nations.

    Blessings,
    JD Ellis

  2. K K says:

    JD Ellis,
    I differ with your notion that ‘It was not from God if it is not in the Canon. Agubus and Philip’s daughters were clearly prophets. You may insist that all they did was to proclaim the scriptures, but I wonder why they are identified as such and not every other preacher of the church. I have examined arguments for and against cessation of the gifts of the Spirit and I have concluded that they are available today. Apostles from my reading of Acts 1 were temporary as their role was to be witnesses of the resurrection. None of them made it to the second century. One does not need to hold a cessationist position to see the errors of the modern church. This as you admitted is a view that has been debated for centuries

    I insist it is wrong logic to argue poor or fraudulent application of the gifts means they are wrong in themselves. The very same ‘ faith, prayer, and a serious, studious approach to learning its truths.’ has birthed Jehovah’s Witnesses among others yet nobody in his right mind would advocate for ignoring the scriptures study because of the risk of erring.

    You have shrewdly supported McArthur’s views probably because they rhyme with yours. You have presented those attacking him as bitter and defensive. That’s a trait I observe with ALL critics. They view criticism as vindication of their job, are often as rigid as their subjects. If McArthur attacks other ministers and you are happy with it, why do you appear surprised when he is targeted? Not that I support this, but I believe in consistency of thought

    One final question; did demon possession/oppression cease together with the gifts?

  3. K K says:

    And finally, about your exposition of Joel 2:28. I find it flawed.
    The thrust of your argument is ;
    1. Whatever Joel spoke of was fulfilled at Pentecost
    2.Any subsequent manifestation of the same can’t be fulfillment of Joel
    3. Therefore modern manifestations can’t possibly be from God

    Joel 2:28- the prophecy
    28 And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

    Acts 2:17- the fulfillment
    17 And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh

    if the LAST DAYS spoken of by Peter were restricted to first century, what days are the last 1900 years?

    Hebrews 1:1-2
    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 hath in these LAST DAYS spoken unto us by his Son

    I find it strange to argue that the LAST DAYS are historical.LAST DAYS is the key to 1 & 2. What are LAST DAYS? Before you move onto other scriptures to support cessation,if Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 are not sufficient in and of themselves to demonstrate cessation, then neither should they be flagrantly waved as evidence of the same.

  4. K K says:

    JD Ellis.
    “Therefore one who falls away, after seeming to be a partaker of the Holy Spirit, either falling from taking a mark or any other cause, was not one of the elect in the first place”

    About Hebrews 6 and falling away, I wonder then if the guy falling away was not part of the elect whether he would be guilty of crucifying Christ again…This is a difficult passage however one understands it but I highly doubt the author was talking of election and non-election. It is to me a clear warning to believers of the risk of falling away and the consequences

  5. Your comment:

    “You have shrewdly supported McArthur’s views probably because they rhyme with yours. You have presented those attacking him as bitter and defensive. That’s a trait I observe with ALL critics. They view criticism as vindication of their job, are often as rigid as their subjects. If McArthur attacks other ministers and you are happy with it, why do you appear surprised when he is targeted? Not that I support this, but I believe in consistency of thought”

    You are here doing the exact same things you are condemning me for doing. All points in your comment about me are what you are doing yourself.

    And which specific ministries has MacArthur attacked? He is against the main sweep of the Charismatic movement because of its many excesses and putting focus away from scripture and onto the spiritual elevation of different flavors of human experience. The movement itself for years claimed it policed their own excesses, and because this proved not to be the case, he held the Strange Fire conference and it was important that he did so. It drew needed attention to the dangers of putting all one’s spiritual stock in what one experiences and one’s feelings and revealing what God has to say “today”, when Hebrews 1:1-2 clearly states he speaks to his church in these last days only through his son, when in former times he spoke through his prophets. Since it is eminently obvious we are in the “last days” now, there cannot be prophets handing down revelation to the church from God today. This in no way means that God is prevented from giving us personal guidance in our lives, nor does this restrict God’s ability to answer prayer and heal someone. It just means the human offices are closed, because Jesus has finished his work, and we are to rest on the completed Canon as our sole guide.

    Quote:”If McArthur attacks other ministers and you are happy with it, why do you appear surprised when he is targeted?” …….Again I would like specific references with exact quotes about these ministers he has attacked. Do I anywhere describe myself as “surprised” that MacArthur is attacked? Please show me where I said that. Why would I be surprised about something that the New Testament warns us about so many times? Its scripturally clear that in the end times, good will be called evil, and evil will be called good.

    Quote: “The very same ‘faith, prayer, and a serious, studious approach to learning its truths.’ has birthed Jehovah’s Witnesses”……….What? Study of Scripture has birthed false doctrinal beliefs and movements? No, false application and blatant misunderstanding of Scripture has birthed false movements. The evil “Word of Faith” movement was directly birthed from the Charismatic movement, and it wasn’t because they were spending “too much” time with the scriptures. It happened because they relied too much on their “feelings” and not enough on God’s written word.

    I think you are not reading these articles very carefully, because you are more focused on your put down of my writing than you are in accurately portraying what I actually wrote.

    Blessings,
    JD Ellis

  6. Yes, scripture warns all of the danger of falling away. Phil. 2 urges us to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” Some in Arminian churches have taught that this means the true elect of God can be saved one day, but lost the very next day. I don’t believe this is the message here or in the chapter in question in Hebrews, or anywhere in scripture.

    I don’t think we can know who is elect and who is not, so we are to preach the gospel to all nations without trying to tailor the message to what we think about any particular person’s salvation status. But in no way does this mean that the sheep of the Good Shepherd’s flock can permanently fall away to perdition. This would make for something far less than a perfect shepherd. In fact most of John Chapter 17 is a prayer to God from Jesus asking that none of those given to him by the father shall ever be lost.

    Would a non-elect’s falling away from the faith be crucifying Christ again? No, because Christ didn’t die for all the people of the world, including the Pharaoh, Judas, etc. He died for those given to him by the Father. To think otherwise makes a mockery of what would then become a failed and futile death on the cross that completely missed its objective for the vast majority of those for whom it was supposedly intended to save.

    I don’t wish to get into a lengthy and futile discussion on the five points of the doctrines of grace because I don’t have the time, but I think if you are truly interested there are plenty of books available on the five points. Also, most of the sermons found on sermonaudio.com will give you the scriptural foundation backing up all the doctrines of grace.

    Blessings,
    JD Ellis

  7. The last days have been here for more than two thousand years. Pentecost occurred in these “last days”. The spirit was poured out to people from all walks of life on that glorious day. Young men, old men, young daughters, even the servants and handmaidens received this outpouring. It was not restricted to only certain members of society.

    To announce this outpouring would come to very diverse sections of society in no way, shape, or form says it will continue to be outpoured for 2 thousand more years on a daily basis. This idea many have that because God did something once, he is under some kind of obligation to repeat what he did over and over again, is false and completely made up. This is actually what amounts to “putting God in a box”, not cessationism as many will tell you.

    Peter in his famous speech on this Pentecost day, clearly enunciated what Joel had prophesied: “THIS is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel”. Acts 2:16 Would he use the word “this” to describe a future series of ongoing events, or is it more likely he meant what was happening right there on that day?

    “Pentecost is EVERY DAY”, some claim, but alas, it is not so. These are so many things that mitigate against the notion that Pentecost is a repeatable event. Where are the visible tongues of fire over everyone’s head today? Where is the rushing wind? Pentecostal churches exhibit none of the true signs of a recurrence of what happened on that single day which saw many miraculous events because it marked the commencement of Christ’s church. 3,000 people were added to the church that day alone. Truly a remarkable day, but nothing in scripture tells us it is repeated over and over again.

    Your quote: “if Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 are not sufficient in and of themselves to demonstrate cessation, then neither should they be flagrantly waved as evidence of the same.” …………..I believe Joel 2 and Acts 2 demonstrate cessation, and that cessation is demonstrated by examining the reason that the apostolic gifts were given in the first place. Tongues, for example, were given as a sign for unbelieving Israel. They were not meant for believers at all. Why should they be in our church today?

    The site wayoflife.org puts it this way: …….”The Corinthians were abusing the spiritual gifts and were particularly enamored with tongues. As spiritual infants (1 Cor. 3:1), they were “showing off” to one another. Paul tells them to stop being children and to be men, by understanding the true purpose of tongues. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 28:11-12 that was directed to the Jews.”

    As to the gift of healing, I have personally witnessed many divine acts of healing, but all of these were in answer to prayer. Not one was performed by a healer who called everyone to congregate in an auditorium or church to be healed at a specific pre-ordained time. Another huge mitigation against people having today the apostolic gift of healing is the total dearth of evidence. In this day and age of YouTube and the internet, would it really be so hard to simply post these wondrous acts that healers are supposedly performing, not just curing lower back pain and mild headaches, but APOSTOLIC healings. You know, restoring lost limbs, raising from the dead, curing the sick by merely casting your shadow upon them or by touching your handkerchief, etc. I guess these wondrous powers are just “too difficult” for the modern day healers to exhibit. Or maybe all the healers are just “shy.” That would certainly set them apart from today’s “prophets”, who thirst for attention anywhere they can get it.

    In the end, you are welcome to your continuationist views, but you have not shown how they are supported by either scripture, or modern day evidence of their continuation.

    Blessings,
    JD Ellis

  8. who ever says:

    No ministry but a smear ministry….how pathetic.

  9. No ear-tickling, just what scripture says, and you can call it “smearing” all you want, and it doesn’t make it so. The people I write about smear God’s name. That’s truly “pathetic.”

    The scoffers will scoff. That is their calling. As for me and my house, I will praise the Lord and uphold his scriptures. And that includes warning people about demonic ministries who claim to have an inside track on what God is saying today, and if you send them enough money, they’ll let you in on the “revelations”. You know, those vital pieces of information that we absolutely need to survive as Christians, which God somehow “forgot” to include in his Word, and is now passing on to the chosen few egotists who claim the “prophetic anointing.” How shameful.

    May God lift the veil from your eyes, Mr. Who Ever.

    JD Ellis

  10. looking at your discussion with kk. i was amused by some of the comments, i am a simple man who was saved by the grace and love of Jesus Christ in 1980,i was an hopeless alcoholic who was not looking for God,yet His love found me through a man preaching the good news of Jesus Christ,i joined a Baptist Church and became involved. One Sunday the Pastor preached about the baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT and how it,s not for today.Later that week Iran into another believer who ask how I was doing with the lord, I said fine but a little about confused about references to the HOLY SPIRIT and why it,s not for today if it,s the same gospel that Peter preached or John or that Paul why is it not for today? So we we went to his house later that week we had breakfast that his wife prepared and we looked into the book of john 14 @16 chapters, the book of acts where you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you,which is also quoted by john the baptist in matt. 3. I know i,m not saying anything new here as i can see your well versed in the scriptures neither am i trying to be argumentative.I was like those in chapter 19 of acts,have you received the Holy Ghost since you first believed, all i said was if it,s of Jesus i want it……they laid their hands upon me and immediately we all began speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave us utterance, we prayed flat on our faces before God for over 2hrs. leaping and praising God. That happened over 30 years ago and i,m still believing , still walking in that great grace and joy and fellowship of the Holy Spirit ,for He dwells with you and shall be in you. My brother I want you to know in all sincerity that He the Holy Spirit is real and cannot be denied He is for today, still working miracles in peoples lives . please excuse grammar . love Pastor John b. Branson

  11. Hello John. thanks for your comments.

    Let me ask you something: do you feel that those of the faith who do not speak in tongues are less complete or fulfilled in their walk with Christ? In other words, is one who speaks in tongues a more elevated Christian than a believer who does not experience this? I don’t see the scriptural warrant for this.

    Did you ever do some research in the bible as to what the purpose of tongues was? I see the Apostle Paul very clearly stating that tongues were for the unbelieving Jew, not the Gentiles. They were a sign of the judgment of the Jewish people who were cut off for their unbelief in the Messiah. The languages of many different lands were heard on Pentecost as a sign that the Gospel would now be sent out to Gentiles from all over the world.

    Also I would wonder if you still practice tongue speaking, do you do it in the biblical way? That is, are there two or three persons always present to interpret? Otherwise, it is not biblical tongues you are engaging in.

    Please let me clear up the misunderstanding you and many others have that people like me don’t believe that God performs miracles today. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have witnessed many miracles. But all were done by the sovereign will of God, sometimes in answer to prayer. None of the miracles I have seen were called or ordered from God by a human miracle worker or a human healer who was exercising his calling in the office of “healer” or “prophet”. It is the office of prophet and healer that I believe is closed since the death of the last Apostle. You can even witness the miracle power fading away near the end of Paul’s life, as he is simply unable to heal Timothy’s stomach ailment.

    Surely in these days of YouTube and the internet, many videos of people being raised from the dead or having missing limbs regrown would be available to watch if the true Apostolic signs and wonders were still in effect today. I see none. Absolutely NONE.

    Many blessings go out to you John, and thanks for visiting the site.
    In Christ,
    JD Ellis

  12. Thank you for your response JD. The answer to your question is no we are not elevated Christians nor do we even think that way,Isaiah wrote,with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to his people.To whom he said this is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest,and this is the refreshing, yet they would not hear. Praying in an unknown tongue brings a refreshing to the soul and brings answers to prayer..as Paul said in romans 8:26,27..Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities for we no not what we should pray for as we ought ; BUT the Spirit itself itself makes intercession for us with which cannot be uttered.For He searches the hearts and knows what is the mind of the Spirit for He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. May i say this type of prayer does not make you feel elevated , but humble…. remember John the apostle RECORDED the Words of Jesus I will pray the Father and He shall give you another comforter that may abide with you forever.. He is our helper, our comforter, our guide in this darkened world.The Holy Spirit is here to Glorify Christ Jesus , to Glorify the cross of Christ, to reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgement, also to bring the body of Christ into the unity of the Spirit, that there be no division among.If we have repented,if we have called upon the Name of the Lord, if we have believed in our hearts on the Lord Jesus and that GOD has raised Him from dead,then we are believers together ,I was baptized into Johns baptism back in 1981 in a cold river in Wyoming which was very real to me,likewise being baptized in the Holy Spirit was just as real. If God is the same yesterday , today , and forever then I for one need His loving power for today. keep on singing. love P.J.B.

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