Ask Your Preacher
In just about every service in Pentecostal churches, there are what the brethren claim to be the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in forms of people constantly speaking in tongues, people running around, people shaking (often aggressively), people jumping around, and people fainting to the ground when they are prayed for. It makes me wonder if they are really feeling the Holy Spirit or if they are simply acting on their emotions. My question is: aside from speaking in tongues, are these type of manifestations of the Holy Spirit biblical? And if they are not biblical, are these people committing a sin for saying that it is the work of the Holy Spirit?
Dear Overly Spirited,
The Pentecostal church believes that the Holy Spirit works by aggressively taking over people’s bodies and minds… this isn’t how He worked in the past, and it definitely isn’t how He works today. 1 Cor 14:40 says that the church should do all things decently and in order... not chaotically with people howling and jumping around madly. It also says that the real prophets that spoke through the Holy Spirit had the ability to control when and with what demeanor they spoke. They were never out of control – their spirits were always subject to dignified restraint (1 Cor 14:32). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit stopped giving the church miraculous abilities (gifts of healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc.) after the Bible was completed. Read “Gifts That Stop Giving” and “What The Holy Spirit Does” for specific details on this subject.
What the Pentecostal church is doing isn’t biblical, and anything that can’t be found in your Bible is sinful (Rev 22:18-19). They are teaching the doctrines of demons instead of the Scriptures (1 Tim 4:1-2). Since these behaviors aren’t from God, they are from the devil, and the Pentecostal church is lying to people.
I was wondering if it is possible to ever lose your salvation? And what verses back up your answer?
Looking For A Guarantee
Dear Looking For A Guarantee,
Yes, you can lose your salvation – but not by accident. There are two extremes when it comes to discussing salvation.
One extreme is the Calvinistic view that your salvation is never in jeopardy, regardless of what you do. This view is called ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ – the belief that if you are saved, you will always persevere without ever needing to worry about your salvation. This view is simply not biblical. Consider several verses from the book of Hebrews. Heb 6:4-6 talks about ‘enlightened partakers of the Holy Spirit’ (certainly this refers to saved christians) who then ‘fall away’ and ‘crucify afresh the Son of God’. There can be no doubt that this is talking about people losing their salvation. Heb. 10:26-27 talks about knowledgeable christians rejecting the gospel and the terrifying expectation of judgment to come upon them. Paul said he feared that his preaching had been in vain to the Galatian brethren because they were turning away from the pure word of God (Gal 4:11, Gal 1:6). Yes, we most certainly must watch how we live and act so as to not miss the prize of heaven (1 Cor 9:25-27).
The other extreme is to have zero confidence in your salvation. This is the attitude of “unless I am living perfectly, I am going to be lost.” This view is also wrong. Christ died to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15), and it is His blood that pays the price for your entrance into heaven (1 Pet 1:18-19). Your salvation is not dependent upon perfect living but FAITHFUL living (Eph. 2:8): hearing God’s word (Rom 10:17) and then living by that Word (Jas 2:14-18) to the best of your ability. Perfection is not a requirement of salvation in Christ – commitment is. A committed christian, though he often may fall short of who he wants to be, can be confident in his eternal reward.
The fourth commandment clearly states to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. Why do so many churches not keep this command?
For The Fourth
Dear For The Fourth,
The Sabbath was a holy day for the Jews, not for Christians. The Old Testament has a myriad of laws that are no longer binding in the New Testament: animal sacrifice, clean and unclean foods, and various festivals… just to name a few. 2 Cor 3 is an entire chapter devoted to explaining how the Old Law has been surpassed by the New Law. 2 Cor 3:3 especially clarifies the issue when it states that our law is “not in tables of stone”, a direct reference to the Ten Commandments that were written on stone tablets.
Gal 3:24-25 makes it clear that the Old Law was a tutor to bring mankind to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we are no longer under that tutor. The Sabbath is a part of that Old Law. In the New Testament, christians meet on the first day of the week to worship, take the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), and take up a collection (1 Cor 16:1-2). In short: different covenants, different days.
The Old Testament law given by Moses was a covenant with the Jews (Deut 5:1-5). The New Testament law given in Christ is for all of mankind (Acts 2:38-39).
Who changed the law? God did.
When did it change? When the church began.
I want to know what spirit most charismatic preachers operate by since they claim to operate in the prophetic ministry. Some people have said that some of the things they said about them came to pass. What must I know? I know a preacher who says he can line up fifty people and give them prophecies. What is really happening??
Testing The Spirits
Dear Testing The Spirits,
Charismatic preachers are false teachers that take advantage of the vulnerable and play verbal tricks to come across as prophets. Many people believe that fortune tellers are able to tell their future… but that doesn’t mean they actually can. It is all a game of smoke and mirrors meant to deceive.
The charismatic tent meetings that started the charismatic movement (the big tent meetings where people fall over, start randomly speaking gibberish, and supposedly are healed) are infamous for being rigged. Many journalists have investigated these tent meetings and found that they are specifically designed to work people into a frenzy. During that frenzy, the evangelists will tell people they are healed, give them a vague fortune cookie prophecy, and the adrenaline of the moment gives some the momentary feeling of being healed and the action of the meeting leaves people thinking they have heard a real prophecy. There are documented cases of patients going to these meetings and being told that they had been cured of their cancer only to have the doctors diagnose them as terminally ill days later. Other “healed” people are deceivers planted within the audience that pretend to be sick and throw their crutches away to add to the charade.
The charismatic churches create a highly charged atmosphere that sucks in those vulnerable to false teaching and they are consequently deceived. They are seeking a cure, purpose to their life, or a religious experience and the false teachers know what to say to grab their attention (2 Tim 4:3). The faith healers are false teachers, and they will be judged by God for their wicked deceptions (2 Pet 2:1-2). A teacher is more strictly judged (Jas 3:1), and therefore, these preachers will be held accountable for their lies. It is our duty to try and undo their deception by bringing the truth to those who have been deceived.
Once saved, always saved. True or false?
The idea that you can’t ever lose your salvation is a warping of Christ’s message in Jhn 10:27-29. “Once saved, always saved” is a basic doctrine of Calvinism (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on the errors of Calvinism). The Bible clearly says that you can lose your salvation. Heb 3:12 says that we must be wary and protect our hearts because an evil, unbelieving heart can fall away. 2 Pet 3:17 says that we can lose our salvation if we get caught up in false teaching (1 Tim 4:1 also states this). If we return to a life of ungodliness, then we crucify Christ again (Heb 6:4-6).