Charismatics and Pentecostals are Disobedient to the Bible

The Charismatic movement is an important force in modern Christianity.  In many places, Charismatics are the only Churchgoers with any enthusiasm or fervour. The movement promises encounters with the Holy Spirit who does miracles in your life and changes your life which gives you assurance that Christianity is true.

Like every apologetic for the Church it fails.
A book THE TORONTO BLESSING (Dave Roberts, Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne, 1995) defends the wave of charismatic or Pentecostal lunacy called the Toronto blessing. It had dour people hysterically laughing like lunatics and quiet people roaring. People jump up and down and roll over the ground and floor. No faith has the right to encourage people to behave worse than raging drunks. Jeremiah 23:9 has the prophet of God declare that he is like a drunk man because he is so high on the word of God. It was concluded by supporters of the phenomena that if people behaved very oddly that we should not judge it by this but by the general good fruits they produce.
In Joel 2, God promises that before the end of the world he will pour out his Spirit on all flesh causing young men to have dreams from God and young women to prophesy and there would be visions.

Charismatics think they fulfil the prediction – without reason. They can see from the context that it is to happen after Israel returned to their land and renovate it into a paradise. This hasn’t happened yet. The prediction can be reconciled with the New Testament doctrine that there will be no charism until God is united with his people so fully that he extends Heaven to earth. This would indicate that the Charismatics are self-deluding frauds.

Charismatics might object that Peter said the Pentecost experience of the early Church was the beginning of the fulfilment of the prophecy (Acts 2:16). This allows them to say that the rest of the prophecy will be fulfilled later. But if it was really the beginning then why did the Charismatics disappear from the Church for centuries only to reappear in the latter days?

Charismatics take some verses or supernatural gifts out of context to make them say the opposite.

Matthew 10:1-23: Jesus gives the seventy the power to do marvels like healing the sick and casting out demons. But he did not say that these healings and exorcisms were to be miracles. He may have just been telling them to help others in the same way a non-Charismatic Church would do it which is by praying and good deeds.

Mark 16 is supposed to promise Charismatic powers to all who believe. Jesus told the eleven apostles: “Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well” (16:15-18).

This one is rich for Jesus could only speak Aramaic and we are told to believe that he had the Holy Spirit!   And this is the Holy Spirit he promised that would help others to speak in languages they never learned to communicate with Gentiles!  He supposedly made the apostles able to talk to every tongue on the day of Pentecost.  Did Jesus have the Holy Spirit at all?  He could not speak his own language for at times his talking was impossible to make sense of.

Charismatics say that it promises miraculous powers to all who believe in the apostles’ word. Some however maintain that Jesus does not say that all will have these powers. Even most Charismatics believe that they cannot drink weed-killer and be unaffected.

Notice that the text does not say that some of the people will have the charisms but all. The persons who get them seem to be those who actually got the word from the apostles directly. It cannot mean all Christians since the Christians directly converted by the apostles as well as these original converts because it is plain to be seen that they cannot all pick up serpents and drink poison without harm. Charismatics cannot do it either. The believers Jesus has in mind are those who believe as a result of the mission of the apostles meaning that generation back then.

It does not state that the charisms will last until the end of time.
The canon of the Bible is the official list of books believed to be authored ultimately by God. Many orthodox preachers deny that Mark 16:9-20 which is where the promises occur belongs in the canon thinking that it is a heretical forgery. If it was, then it was written by one who hoped that people would read the absurdity of it and go off Jesus. It may not have originally been part of the gospel. Many ancient manuscripts don’t know of it. The Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus don’t have it. It seems that Mark ends abruptly at 16:8.

In John 14:12 where Jesus reveals that he who believes in him shall do greater wonders than he did. But this is the present tense so it refers to those who believed then. Modern Charismatics cannot do better miracles than Jesus. We cannot even know if Jesus meant miraculous wonders. A person who spent longer doing missionary work than Jesus did could be said to have been doing greater things.

Jesus allegedly promised his Church that the Holy Spirit would be with his Church forever and lead it into all truth (John 14:16; 16:13). Charismatics claim to have this enlightening presence. They claim that the promise of Jesus proves that they are right to claim to have spiritual powers. But the promise would still be fulfilled by the Holy Spirit guiding people without obvious miracles. It does not say that everybody will be infallible.

Being indwelled by the Spirit does not mean you are a miracle working Charismatic. When Paul recorded that some Charismatics can do things like speak messages from God or heal unlike others he showed that you can have the Spirit but no charisms (1 Corinthians 12).

The Bible says that Jesus is always the same (Hebrews 13:8) and Charismatic appeal to this teaching to argue that if Jesus gave charisms once he does it still. It just means that Jesus is the same kind of good person not a person who stubbornly takes no account of changing and even immoral attitudes. A good person has to make changes for the best.

Nowhere in the Bible is there proof that the charisms are still to be practiced. To try and practice them is to add to the Bible which is forbidden.

The Bible never says that there is any other way to receive the charisms of speaking in tongues and doing miracles except through the laying on of hands by the apostles. In Acts 8, we read that the Samaritans had to do without the gifts until the apostles laid hands on them. Simon Magus sees the miraculous results at the apostles’ hands though he was a Christian for a while himself meaning that he saw nobody else doing it. So in all probability nobody else could really do it. And this is proven by the fact that Acts details that they did everybody one by one rather than getting the people who received the power to pass it on themselves to save time. Then Simon goes and offers Peter money to acquire the power to give the gifts by laying his hands on people. The fact that Simon Magus had formerly been popularly regarded as the power of God and a powerful miracle-worker (which the Bible attributes to magic and occultism thus giving what must have been tricks a supernatural status) before his conversion which shows what kind of innocent and naïve and gullible mentality existed in those days among the people of Jesus. We don’t have anybody like that now! That Simon had any money to offer is strange since the Bible says the apostles insisted on a communistic system in which nobody owned anything. The apostles must have given him special treatment and let him be exempt because he would not have let them know he had money otherwise. Then he is severely reprimanded. So since the apostles are not around anymore nobody can have charismatic powers that are really from God.

Some object, "Nobody laid hands on the apostles. The apostles received the Charismatic powers at Pentecost when the Spirit came down on them. God can give the charismatic gifts without requiring you to receive them through an apostle laying hands on you. God was not strict about the laying on of hands being the method of transmission."
This is the reply. The apostles may have received the Holy Spirit by him directly descending upon them. But that doesn't mean that the laying on of hands on people to give them the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit may not be confined to the apostles alone. The apostles received the Holy Spirit and the charismatic powers in a very obviously supernatural way that day. Acts says that only the apostles were able to speak in tongues that day. Laying on of hands is only a method of transmission but God worked the same effect through sending the Holy Spirit on the apostles. There was nobody to lay hands on them. If laying hands is the only method then God had to make an exception for there was nobody to do it. The exception proves the rule. The way the Holy Spirit came down first does not imply anything about how the Spirit's powers should be transmitted. The spirit can only be transmitted to give magic powers through the authorised divine channels who have to lay hands to transmit it. Nothing in the Bible conflicts with this interpretation.
None of the verses that speak of the Holy Spirit being received by faith say that we can receive the charisms that same way.

Jesus in Mark 16 where he promises gifts to believers does not say they will last forever. The fact that no charismatic can drink poison these days and go on as if nothing has happened which is one of the gifts it promises proves that they were temporary. James 5 which says that the sick man will be raised up by anointing with oil says nothing about curing. Raised up means spiritually healed. The pastors were to heal the sick spiritually by praying for them and not physically. And even if it were physical the shall be raised up promise means only if it is God’s will. The Bible says the charisms were granted to confirm the message of the apostles and show that it was from God (Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 13; Hebrews 2:3,4) so once the message was clear their purpose was served and they would be no more.
The New Testament book of Acts speaks of the apostles curing everybody who came to them. Yet we read later that Paul complains of sickness and advises Timothy to take a little wine to help his stomach! This supports the belief of many that the apostles had powers to heal only to get attention drawn to the gospel and to help them establish Christianity firmly. Later these powers faded and disappeared altogether.

The Christians cannot claim to have Pentecostal powers when the Bible does not confirm it. They are adding to the Bible.

The lowest charism which is speaking in tongues is abolished according to tradition. St John Chrysostom said that the gift of tongues was no longer around in his day. St Augustine made the same observation. For hundreds of years after the apostles heretics who were not even Christians and the heretical fanatics, the Montanists, spoke in tongues and impressed society with their charismatic gifts. Scripture and tradition are against the modern tongues-speakers.


Helge Stadelmann, a young theologian at the Dallas Theological Seminary, USA, wrote to me, Regarding glossolalia (speaking in tongues) Paul's choice of words in I Corinthians 13:8-11 seems to me significant: prophecy and knowledge will be taken away (katargethesontai). Both are described as "in part" (ek merous). This imperfect revelation (propheteia + gnosis) will be taken away (katargethesetai) when the telos (clearly the future consummation, not the canon, as we are often told here in America) comes. Amid this consistent usage, we find the short phrase "eite glossai pausontai." Paul here uses a quite different word (pauomai) and moreover does not say that this gift will be "taken away" when the "telos" comes. Is it permissible to draw the exegetical conclusion that glossolalia will have ceased to some extent on its own initiative (the verb is in the middle voice!) before the coming of the telos? This interpretation would leave open the question of when Biblical "speaking in tongues" will end, for the Bible gives us no information on that point; but a certain tendency toward the disappearance of glossolalia would be confirmed.

From Occult ABC: Exposing Occult Practices and Ideologies.

My note: We should not be confident that the person with such gifts really has them.  The gift may be so rare that we can consider it abolished. 

Charismatics and Pentecostals are deluding themselves are are playing ouija board but with their brains and hearts and certainly not with their logic!
BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND CHURCH DOCTRINE, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
CHARISMATIC CHAOS, John F MacArthur, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1992
CHARTING A COURSE THROUGH CHARISMATIC WATERS, Cecil Andrews, Take Heed Publications, Belfast, 1990
CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS, Hank Hanegraaff, Harvest House Publishers, Oregon,
COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, BB Warfield, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1995
FOUR GREAT HERESIES, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1975
LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
NO LAUGHING MATTER, Stanley Jebb, DayOne Publications, Kent, 1995
SPEAKING IN TONGUES, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1971
THE CHARISMATIC CHALLENGE Seamus Milligan, Evangelical Protestant Society, Belfast, 1987
THE HOLY SPIRIT TODAY, Leith Samuel, Pickering & Inglis, Glasgow, 1978
THE TORONTO BLESSING, Dave Roberts, Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne, 1995

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