Nothing had done more damage to the people involved in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches than false teachings related to activities of the Holy Ghost. The Bible-believing Pentecostals cling clearly to the Word of God and the sovereign work of the Holy Ghost in each manifestation of the Spirit. Let’s deal with five particular aspects and try to show the difference between the Biblical foundation and the Charismatic deception. These five subjects are listed below:
- Fortune Telling Called “Personal Prophesying”
- The Prayer Language Deception
- Paranormal Praying: Casting Spells Misinterpreted As Praying
- Charismatic Worship
- The Charismatic Spirit
Fortune Telling Called “Personal Prophesying”
There is no such thing as private prophecy. The charismatic world has promoted a false idea of private prophesying for at least two decades that has now become a nightmare in many churches. Men like Pat Robertson and Paul Couch, have amassed a fortune and changed the face of the church with this spirit of fortune-telling. Probably the greatest force to thrust their television networks into the limelight has been this false hold on others with personal fortune-telling, while calling it the gift of prophesy or word of knowledge. It is as false as Lucifer himself and has no value but to deceive.
The believer is guided in his godly walk by the Holy Scripture and the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost, not by private prophecies. What a Pandora’s box it is with ten thousand expressions of different ideas private prophecies create. Men and women by the thousands are chasing rainbows because some flaky person uttered words over them in some ecstatic fashion. I have known a few of these confused souls. I specially remember one such person who was a minister. His whole life was controlled by what someone supposedly prophesied. His ministry was a disaster.
The Bible Is Plain – “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet 1:19-21).
Apostle Peter had enjoyed the glory of the transfiguration and spoke of the witness the Father had given of His Son Jesus. Yet, Peter said, “We have a more sure word of prophecy,” and clearly identified that word as the Bible. Then, he adds fire to the dependable truth of Scripture by stating, “that no prophecy of the Scripture is of private interpretation.” In other words prophecy is a gift in the church and for the church and must not be used to control, direct, or manipulate people’s private lives. The individual is to receive the Word of God and apply it to themselves. Another person is never to try to take authority over someone else’s life.
Usually, those “private utterances” serve to create a false level of knowledge on the part of the speaker. It is like the person doing the fortune telling has some kind of inside knowledge or a special link to God. There are a multitude of those individuals that go from weary soul to weary soul uttering their babble. Do not give these misguided people the privilege of using your ears. Worse, of course, is the soul that listens to this kind of thinking and allows the direction of their life to be affected. Every individual that is “born again” has the person of the Holy Spirit within them and He is present to give direction and inspiration. The Holy Ghost takes the Word of God and gives application and guidance. To even consider the babble of a seer as guidance for the believer’s walk is courting disaster. These “fortune tellers” usually offer nothing but good words of assurance, favour, and blessings. Every Christian has all of God’s promises of such blessings, but to give an over emphasis on them creates a false sense of well-being. The Word of God is correction, instruction, and often rebuke. Only the honest believer can properly apply the truth day by day to their life. Ecstatic utterances have an emotional hold over people that is paranormal. God Has No Grandchildren – Remember, your Heavenly Father is a personal God who cares for all of His children equally. He knows your name and keeps a record of the very hairs on your head.
To even consider that you need a seer or guru to make your decisions or utter ecstatic words at every crossroad is to bring yourself under bondage, not give you the Biblical liberty of truth. People who live by this kind of hope are weary souls always looking for a “word”. I’ve had people say to me, “Do you have a word for me?” My answer is, “Yes, the Word of God. Read your Bible and meditate on the Scriptures and you will have a Word from God.” Remember, when you close your Bible, you shut God’s mouth; but when you open it you open His mouth.
The Gifts Are Given To The Church – The gifts of the Holy Ghost are given to the church and function to give inspiration and power to the “Word of God.” The Holy Ghost never operates outside of Scripture. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph 6:17). He has no other sword and to dare suggest these ecstatic utterances as His voice is to stumble blindly. The gifts are given to operate for the corporate body and never for private control over individuals. Yes, they may operate when as few as two or three gather together, but never to give private direction apart from plain Bible truths. The gifts of the Holy Ghost will enlighten truth, magnify Jesus Christ, and provide supernatural wisdom to the body of the church. Personal application of those truths will always be an individual’s responsibility.
The Lord invites you to “Come now, and let us reason together . . .” (Isa 1:18a). Do not be a couch potato in the church, but know the will of God for yourself. The True Gift Of Discernment Or Word Of Knowledge – Do not confuse the false “fortune telling” that I am exposing with the true gift of “discernment” or even the “word of knowledge”. In a spirit-filled church body, a godly pastor or godly leader in the church may often know the needs of their struggling members as soon as the struggle develops. We are indeed to bear one another’s burdens…. Our love for each other will cause us to feel the burden and to know the care of one another. Incredible ministry of the Holy Ghost will occur. While there needs to be a senior pastor, there are often under shepherds among the laity that share the load of the pastor and do so without ever being independent of Him. In such an environment the gifts of the Holy Ghost will be manifested. They will be totally subjective to the Word of God and never invade private responsibility for each member to find and do the will of God. The gifts of the Holy Ghost and the body of Christ are inseparable. What a safe haven for the Lord’s disciples and children!
The Prayer Language Deception
One of the key deceptive teachings that was at the foundation of the Charismatic Wave is what they call their “prayer language.” As most false doctrines are, there is a genuine Biblical truth about “praying in the Spirit” that has been evident all the back to Apostle Paul’s teaching used to justify these false ideas. Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian saints said, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” (1Cor 14:14-15).
Jude also spoke of this truth when he said, “But, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” (Jud 1:20). We also need to look at what Apostle Paul said to the church at Rome. This is incredible language that shows the beautiful potential of the Spirit-led and anointed prayer in the Holy Ghost-filled believer. His words were, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom 8:26-27).
There is a true reality of “praying in the Holy Ghost” that the church should and must understand. The difference between the Bible truth and the Charismatic deception is very easily understood. In the Bible message the Holy Ghost is Sovereign and He gives the utterances to the spirit-filled believer. They cannot and will not pray in the Holy Ghost at their own will or choice. In the Charismatic deception the Sovereignty of the Spirit is bypassed and the whole idea become nothing but human or soulical babble. To even imagine the very person and powers of the Holy Ghost being subject to a person claiming to pray in the Spirit when they please is totally false. Every work or ministry of the Holy Spirit must be His Sovereign manifestation. The Bible was given as “Holy men of God spake (wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet 1:21). “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come . . . suddenly there came a sound from . . . and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Act 2:1-4). Each detail of this inaugurating event was clearly a Sovereign move of God by His Holy Spirit. The men and women were yielded vessels and He manifests Himself in them as they made themselves totally available for God’s glory.
All the spiritual gifts of the Holy Ghost are always His gifts. They are gifts of the Holy Ghost, not gifts of the saints. He possesses the totality of these spiritual gifts as the word “spiritual” would certainly require. We are natural creatures until His anointing rests upon us for His manifestation. Our spirituality is the outworking of His spiritual gifts and He acts sovereignly each and every time there is a manifestation of any and all of His gifts. Speaking in other tongues is certainly no exception. When you hear people using what they call their “prayer language,” it is empty and powerless. It is nothing but babble and does nothing but religious harm to the speaker and the hearers. A religious experience void of truth creates a religious spirit in everyone connected to that person or the church or place where it occurs. The deeper an individual goes into this kind of mystical manifestation, the more they become bound to all kinds of strange manifestations. Having watched the Charismatics slide from their early days to the present has been a picture of growing deception. One of the few early strange ideas was this simple fact of the unbiblical “prayer language.” Now, the end results is spirits of serpents, insane drunkenness, apostate doctrines, and a movement driven by the wild world of devils.
Let’s look at what Apostle Paul stated in Romans. “Likewise the Spirit . . . maketh intercession for
us with groanings which cannot be uttered . . . He maketh intercession for the . . . ” (Rom 8:26-27). This sovereign work of the Holy Ghost is indeed His action, using our spirit and lips to utter His words to the Heavenly Father. To suggest this can be manipulated by flesh is totally contrary to His supernatural power. This is either a work of the Holy Ghost or it is a sheer soulical and fleshly jargon akin to the babble of a possessed witchdoctor. We must reject any religious mysticism and cling only to clean Biblical truth.
Paranormal Praying: Casting Spells Misinterpreted As Praying – The new approach to prayer in our modern churches is little more than casting spells and using voodoo tricks. Paranormal powers are available to any soul that will sell out to the deception that works in the adamic nature. We are spiritual creatures and there are powers in each of us that can be used for evil or surrendered to God depending on our heart. Demon spirits are going throughout the earth seeking whom they may devour. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet 5:8). While our Father manifests Himself in our human spirit, Satan and demons manifest themselves in our soul.
Satan loves to use soulical praying to hinder the true church of Jesus Christ. The majority of believers have no understanding of this form of Satan’s attack and, consequently, have very little defence. The modern Charismatic prayer style being manifest at Toronto, Pensacola, and most Charismatic type churches is nothing but paranormal deception. Are there powers involved? Absolutely! Do they get results? Absolutely! But, what kind of results? They get paranormal results that cannot convert to Jesus Christ or the true born again experience. The results are the same as the powers being used and promoted. It is paranormal conversion to a false Jesus that masquerades as the Lord Jesus Christ.
These groups using paranormal powers of prayer are extremely militant and approach anyone that disagrees with them in a sharp judgment of condemnation. This is the first sign that their approach to prayer is totally false. Biblical prayer is first and foremost a total surrender to God and His perfect will in any matter named in our prayer life. When we surrender to God in prayer, we have no need to force our way in anything. We do not need to try to answer our own prayers because we trust a Sovereign God.
The god of paranormal praying is not a Sovereign God, but gods that operate by the whim of the petitioners. These soulical forces use paranormal powers to create their own answers. They do get results but, as in all areas of the paranormal world, their answers are fleeting and turn easily on the persons themselves. Jude described these powers in his little book of exceptional truths. “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jud 11-13).
Paranormal Prayers Used To Punish The Resisters
The Toronto, Pensacola, and copycat churches are punishing their resistance by paranormal prayer powers. Some people are actually being forced to join the deception by these strange forces of the soul and often demons. Many have called me by phone to share the strange, depressing powers they have encountered when they resisted their church’s descent into this spiritual nightmare.
Apostle Paul was acquainted with these powers in his day and addressed them directly. He wrote to the Ephesians, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:11-12).
Note that he called these powers “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Study these two words, “spiritual wickedness”. “Spiritual” as used here is different from a positive spiritual idea and is rather a man ruled by his sinful nature, but in a spiritual form. The word “wickedness” here is a malicious person using malicious power to affect others. We have a clear picture of paranormal spiritual powers used to punish or affect other persons against their own will. This is an exact copy of casting spells and using voodoo tricks.
Resist Such Powers By Total Trust In The Blood – Satan cannot cross the blood line of Jesus Christ. He can cast darts that come in the form of fear, doubt, or depression. Resist these powers by casting yourself at the complete mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. Do not answer or fight back, but go on singing in the joy of the Lord and wait on Him. Remember the rod of Moses was quick to consume the rod of the magicians of Egypt. It has not changed. God is still the same faithful Father that watches over you all day and all night.
“Filled with the Holy Ghost” is a familiar term in the New Testament, especially in the Book of Acts. On the Day of Pentecost they were “filled with the Holy Ghost.” Peter said later that day, ” . . . and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off . . .” (Act 2:38-39). The devil has imitated this wonderful experience and some have rejected it, but every great revival has experienced a sovereign work of the Holy Ghost. The current Charismatic revival makes much of being filled with the Holy Ghost. The experience they claim is promoted more like a drunken stupor than a baptism of the person called the Holy Spirit. Many solid churches in the past are moving into this insane claim of possession and impartation. How can people quickly discern the difference between a wonderful and sovereign work of God and this deception that is spreading like wildfire? I believe the Holy Spirit has given this unworthy servant a simple Biblical picture of the basic difference.
Possession Versus Lordship – Satan wants to possess his subjects and use them at his will. The Holy Ghost comes to manifest the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives. Satan will control your emotions and titillate your flesh with wild and uncontrolled excitement. The Holy Ghost is a guest at your house and will inspire you to worship and praise your Heavenly Father with sincere obedience. Let me explain as simply as possible the difference: Satan is a possessor, while our Father will inspire and anoint us.
Satan Is A Possessor – Anytime a person becomes possessed and falls under a control beyond their own power, something is wrong. Satan offers his counterfeit spirits to keep people from the real and sovereign work of God. Any spirit that makes you act outside of Biblical conduct is to be rejected. There is absolutely no record of people acting like drunks in the New Testament church.
The critics suggested that in the Book of Acts, but these men acted more intelligent when they were baptized in the Holy Ghost, not less intelligent. Remember that the Jews were overwhelmed because these “Spirit-filled” Galileans were speaking, “the wonderful works of God” in languages they had never learned.
The Holy Ghost Wants Lordship For Jesus Christ – “The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet.” (1Cor 14:32). On the Day of Pentecost the 120 disciples “began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance.” He is a guest at our house and we yield to all His activities everytime He touches us. We are forbidden to act uncontrolled and out of order.
He commands the church, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1Cor 14:40). The order He commands is perfectly described in I Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14. Biblical Pentecost will make a church powerful, orderly, anointed, and soul winning. Charismatic nonsense will make a church giddy, wild, and worldly. Paw Creek is a Classical Pentecostal church and we soundly reject the devil’s substitute.
The Charismatic Spirit – “Soulical Worship verses Spiritual Worship”
A totally new style or method of worship has invaded the church world. Its appearance may be similar and the people involved are certainly sincere, but something profound is missing. Mankind is a trinity of creative beauty, consisting of body, soul, and spirit. The spirit within this triangle is the very life of God and is the only avenue by which we can worship and praise the Lord. In an unsaved person (someone that has not been born again) this life from God is dead and must be revived by the power of God’s Spirit, this occurs when we are born again.
The soul of each of us is also capable of a form of worship, but it is the false form and arises from our fallen nature, called the adamic nature. This realm of our life is the area where the occult can find expression and is very active in a witch, wizard, or any individual that gets involved in familiar spirits. False religions all operate by influence within the soul and the result is soulical activity. The worship of this participant is unacceptable to God and is rejected exactly as Cain’s worship was rejected. “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” (Gen 4:4-5).
The most apparent form of this false worship has flooded today’s Charismatic churches. It has also become acceptable in mainline churches and is usually labeled as “contemporary worship.” Often these churches will have two services, one contemporary, and one traditional. Usually all standards of dress, platform demeanor, music styles, etc. has been made totally free. Everything
is come as you are and do as you please. It’s the natural man set free to approach God/god in a clearly soulical atmosphere. Once a church goes this route, theology becomes a problem and the basic theme becomes, “God is doing a new thing.” In some churches that want to maintain theology, they will justify the approach “as the end justifies the means.” “We are finally getting the X generation back in church” would be a familiar response.
This form of worship is going to vary from tradition to tradition. The charismatics are mainly the ones I have had to deal with, so let me explain their style. First, let me describe the real Pentecostal worship. Speaking in tongues in a classical Pentecostal church is a very beautiful reality. No person can just speak words in the Spirit, but must walk humbly and holy before God to be a Spirit-filled believer. These Spirit-filled believers cannot just speak in the Spirit, but only speak when the Holy Ghost Himself gives the utterance. (Act 2:1-4). Just chattering in some incoherent jargon is absolutely not acceptable.
Messages may be given by the Spirit, but must be interpreted and the order of this is clearly defined by Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 14). When our people worship with hands raised or dance in the aisles, it is Spirit-inspired, beautiful, and orderly. The worship in a classical Pentecostal church is beautiful, Christ- honoring, and an inspiration to everyone in the house. You will never think we act like pagans and mindless guru worshippers. God never bypasses our mind, our honourable demeanor, or our orderly respect for the sacred.
Charismatics are usually extremely different. The worshippers often appear to be in an altered state (trance), with eyes rolled back, giddy, and even silly. There will likely be a consistent muttering of incoherent babble. The facial expressions are sugar sweet, but lacking in purity and Godly simplicity. The flippant way these worshippers dance about and flip around has the appearance of being cheap and prissy. Many of these individuals will go into a jerking or twisting state that lasts for hours and, sometimes, days. One big characteristic is falling out and becoming so heavy that one cannot get up and, sometimes, two or more adults cannot lift the person.
Sometimes these worshippers will go into a fetal or birthing position and act like they are birthing someone, who they label as “lost souls”. These descriptions are certainly incomplete because the actions in these churches can be bizarre beyond words. It is possible for a genuine believer to be deceived for a period and fall into this soulical realm. Evangelicals vary in their contemporary worship, from the description above to much more
traditional kinds of behavior. The spirit is nevertheless one of Eastern mysticism, rather than a genuine minister of the Holy Ghost. When the true ministry of the Holy Ghost is manifest, it will absolutely be according to the Book of Acts, the ministry of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, and the twelfth and fourteenth chapters of 1Corinthians. God never departs from His Word and He never acts out of character with His nature. God’s people that genuinely love the Lord may misdiscern, but they will soon see the truth and go back to the Book. Jesus said plainly that we must worship Him, “in Spirit and in truth.” “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Joh 4:19-24).
These two elements are absolute when we come before the God of Heaven. Soulical worship by unredeemed men will be rejected today exactly as in the past. Worldly and unclean lives cannot be brought before God as an acceptable sacrifice. Worship that has rejected the infallible Bible and all its truth cannot appear before His Holy of Holies, which is made possible by His Son’s Blood. Entertainers cannot lead you into the realm of Holy Ghost manifested praise and worship.
God has already rejected the majority of today’s soulical religions. He is still receiving, and blessing the humble soul that has been redeemed and renewed in Spirit. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit” (Romans 8:16) and by His Spirit and His inspiration in our Spirit we can approach God. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
You Can Be Free! You Can Be Free!
Any person caught up in these false doctrines needs deliverance. The first thing to do is to cease every expression of these ideas. Second, claim the Blood of Jesus to free you of any bondage that relates to this activity. Then, stay out of Charismatic New Wave churches, where these activities are constantly promoted.
by Joseph Chambers
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