In a previous post I shared prophetic warnings of a coming civil war in the church. That war ignited this week with a major assault on charismatic Christians coming from John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA.
MacArthur hosted a three-day Strange Fire Conference, October 16-18, 2013. The conference is tied to next month’s release of his new book, “Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit With Counterfeit Worship.”
MacArthur’s new book accuses charismatic Christians of blaspheming the Holy Spirit saying, “As a movement, they have persistently ignored the truth about the Holy Spirit and with reckless license set up an idol spirit in the house of God, blaspheming the third member of the Trinity in His own name” (Source: Charisma News).
MacArthur’s accusation is as serious as it gets because Jesus taught that anyone who commits blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32). Therefore, by claiming charismatics are blaspheming the Holy Spirit MacArthur’s accusation is like telling them they are doomed to eternal hell.
His book goes on to accuse charismatic leaders of being “Satan’s false teachers, marching to the beat of their own illicit desires, gladly propagat[ing] his errors. They are spiritual swindlers, con men, crooks, and charlatans.”
MacArthur argues, “The ‘Holy Spirit’ found in the vast majority of charismatic teaching and practice bears no resemblance to the true Spirit of God as revealed in Scripture,” even accusing the modern charismatic movement of “attributing the work of the devil to the Holy Spirit.” (Source: Charisma News)
At the Strange Fire Conference, MarArthur made the following comments:
“If the Charismatic movement was being produced by the Holy Spirit, the glory of Christ would prevail everywhere,” said MacArthur during the morning session Thursday. “It would be Christ dominated and everyone in the movement would be bowing the knee to the true Christ in belief of the true Gospel.”
He continued, “The people would be humble. They would be joyful. They would be sacrificial. They would be confessional. They would be declaring Jesus as Lord and themselves His slaves. They would be denying themselves, taking up their cross and following Him wherever He led.” [Continue reading]
By the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit, we were warned that attacks like MacArthur’s were coming, as documented in my previous post: Civil War Coming to the Church in America. Neville Johnson saw it coming and said, “It is going to be very vicious. It is going to center around moving in the realm of the spirit.” Bob Jones saw it and described it as a war between the gray matter of the brain and the blue matter of the spirit.
Launching attacks against God’s people is a serious offense because God takes it personally. Jesus warned us that whatever we do to one of His brothers, even the least of them, we are doing it to Him (Matthew 25:40). His warning applies to good deeds as well as evil deeds. In effect He is saying, “When you mess with them, you are messing with Me!”
The Bible warns us that Satan is the one who accuses the brethren (Revelation 12:20). Since Satan does not have a physical body on the earth, he uses the mouths of people to speak forth his accusations. From my experience, he almost always uses people who claim to be Christians to spew vile attacks against the people of God. These people think they are serving God, while in reality they are being used by the devil.
At Z3news.com I silence the voice of the accuser by deleting all comments that make personal attacks. I welcome comments about the topics discussed, but I delete comments that attack people. In some cases I have sent emails to these people to explain why their comments were not posted. I thought it might help them to realize they need to stop attacking God’s people. However, my efforts have so far proven to be a waste of time because these accusers have all responded back to me with even more vile comments than before. I no longer bother sending them any explanations.
Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these people revile the things, which they do not understand; and the things, which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! (Jude 1:9-11)
Here is the crux of the issue. No matter how smart we think we are by human standards, God is still much smarter than us. We might know some things, but we do not know everything. We might understand a few things, but we do not understand everything. The Bible teaches us we only know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). There are many things about God that are beyond our ability to comprehend.
Since our human abilities are so limited, we must relate to God by our spirit and not by our own understanding. Jesus taught us that God is a spirit and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:22). He also taught us to humble ourselves and come to Him as little children. He said, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all” (Mark 10:15). This is how His kingdom works.
So when we see things happening that we don’t understand, we must humble ourselves to realize that even though it is beyond our experience, beyond our knowledge, and beyond our understanding that does not necessarily mean it is not real or true or from God. God has warned us in His word that He purposely confounds the wisdom of the wise, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside” (1 Corinthians 1:19).
The Bible is filled with supernatural events. It is a supernatural book about a supernatural God. By definition that means it is beyond the realm we live in. God did not have to present Himself in this way, but He chose to do so on purpose because our response to things that are beyond our ability to understand exposes the condition of our heart. Those who are filled with pride and think they already know everything will dismiss the supernatural realm. Their search for God ends where their own understanding ends, revealing that they really were not very hungry to know the Lord. Those who are truly hungry for God will humble themselves to seek God even when it requires looking past things they can’t understand. The realm of the supernatural is the acid test that separates the prideful from the humble. God gives grace to those who humble themselves, but He opposes those who are filled with pride (James 4:6).
The following 4-minute video presents the testimony of a pastor who was tempted by the devil and fell into sin. Rather than repenting, He continued to commit sins. Eventually this man started holding conferences to teach against the Holy Spirit. At that time he was killed in a car accident and he died and went to hell. Mary K. Baxter encountered this man in hell when the Lord took her there to see and record what she saw.
This video is posted here as a warning. Speaking against the work of the Holy Spirit is a serious offense. We should fear God enough to allow Him to be the one who corrects His people if He thinks they need it. They are His servants, not ours. In the meantime, we can focus on doing what God has given us to do.
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is an author, business owner, husband and father of two children. His vision is to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ through blog sites and other media outlets.
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