It seems to me that whatever field you work in, extreme views, at either end of a spectrum, will cause problems and possible division. It is not always that the basis of the view held is wrong, but thefervourin which the belief is held, and, more importantly, the way those who do not hold the belief are treated, is the heart of the problem.
In the area of charismatic gifts, there seems to be no end of scope. I remember growing up in such an atmosphere where I believed, as a young Christian, that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was not of God. I can remember arguing vehemently with anyone who would think otherwise. It took a work of God to change my heart and, having experienced that, I can now understand where others are coming from, when they oppose me in my belief.
It is obvious from this testimony where I stand with regard to the basic theme of charismatic gifts, but that is not the issue under consideration here. Whereas the central ‘battle’ as to whether or not gifts exist still goes on today and, indeed some would still claim that you are not really saved unless you have experienced the Baptism of the Spirit; the battle lines are often drawn in quite a different place, with the debate over what gifts are being used and how they are expressed. I want to look at a number of issues that can easily go to excess and seek to see what Scripture has to say. With some of the items we will look at, there is a ‘real’ way for them to be expressed but, when we get into excess, we begin to move away from God’s gifts and into man’s manipulations.
Reading Scripture, you cannot help but wonder if today’s Christians, in general, have their emphasis in a different place from the Lord. The modern church seems to major on the gifts, and the minor gifts at that, while the Bible seems to major on the fruit. This can be illustrated by the contrast between the modern church’s emphasis on the spectacular at the beginning of Acts 2 and the Bible’s emphasis on the conduct of the church at the end of Acts 2.
Yes, the church was brought into being via a supernatural experience and the gifts were manifested in many incidents but the balance of this was the instruction in Acts 2:
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42
We are not to ignore the miraculous gifts but if they are not in balance with the study of God’s Word we can easily be led astray. How do we test prophecy? By bringing it in line with God’s Word. If we do not know the Word of God, we cannot test prophetic utterances.
We see that even Paul, who probably knew more about miraculous gifts than any other, wanted to keep this balance. The early verses of 1 Corinthians 14 show this and especially verse 19,
“However, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
We should also note that the Bereans were commended, not for their zeal in experiencing the gifts, but in examining the Scriptures.
“The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” – Acts 17:10-11
With this foundation in mind, let us look at several areas where we can easily fall into excess and what Scripture has to say to help us on these issues.
Gifts from God?
Please understand that we are not arguing to do away with gifts, nor are we looking at whether the gifts are for today. As I have already said, I do believe there are, and there is a right way of expressing them under God’s authority and enabling. What concerns me, though, is that we have the gifts in the right perspective; there are so many ‘fads’ that blossom for a short while, with the claim that this is God’s latest gift, and then the band wagon starts rolling for everyone to get on board. Some that cannot ‘get on’ feel they are missing out, and others feel persecuted because they do not want to get on.
I believe that the Bible shows that the true gifts of the Holy Spirit will bring glory to God and no one else. Indeed attention will be diverted away from man and onto God. That, clearly, is the ministry of the Holy Spirit as we read in John 16:13-14.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”
1 Corinthians 13 talks of the gifts passing away, when that which is perfect comes. To me ‘that which is perfect’ is not the Scriptures, as some would claim, but what the Scriptures point forward to – God’s Kingdom being set up in power. Those that claim it is the Scriptures, of course, believe that the gifts have passed away but, if you accept it is God’s Kingdom, we see how necessary gifts are for today. When God is ruling and sin is dealt with, we will see God face to face and commune with Him just as Adam did in the Garden of Eden; until then the gifts are necessary. Gifts which reveal Him and His will; gifts that bring the reality of the kingdom of God to earth now.
Anything, therefore, that is claimed as a gift of the Holy Spirit must:
1. Centre our attention on the Father and the Son
2. Bring Glory to God and not to man.
3. Reveal Heaven and what heaven is doing.
Did the “holy laughter” served up by God’s bartender do that? Did the miraculous “Gold Fillings” do that? Or how about collecting “Angel Feathers”? I would suggest, when you look back and view these events, that in the most part have disappeared from Christian life today, they brought no lasting Glory to God and I seriously question if they revealed what heaven was doing.
Former Mormon Mike Thomas compared the ‘holy laughter’ to some of the things he had experienced in the Mormon Church; he made some interesting observations:
“Discouraging people from thinking about the phenomena that accompany their ministry, Christian leaders like Rodney Howard-Brown have declared the analytical mind redundant in the task of understanding the things of God. Only the heart can guide you they claim. Delighted by this and following their lead local pastors now point to laughter, shaking, crowing, barking and even vomiting as a sure sign of God’s manifesting himself to his church. Even the preaching of hell draws laughter from the crowds as both for God and man it seems no humiliation is too great. At least my burning in the bosom left me with some dignity.
“Of course it is to be expected that the wheat and the tares will grow together. You cannot be involved in ministry to those in error and remain naively ignorant of the constant threat to truth from inside the church. It is frustrating and dispiriting, however, when the very people who carefully taught me sound judgement throw out the rules so faithfully passed on, exchanging the knowledge of God for mere experience; scripture for anecdote; Paul at Berea for Gamaliel in the darkened councils of the Sanhedrin, and the God who says ‘Come let us reason together ‘for a god who says “don’t think, don’t pray, don’t question s
imply receive”. Their “don’t question, don’t touch the Lord’s anointed” reminds me of a Mormon teaching; When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan – it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. My wife and I devote our lives to encouraging Mormons to relinquish such abusive counsel and think for themselves only to find that when they join the Christian Church they are getting the same manipulative message.”
I would suggest that this shows, from two perspectives, that such phenomena are not recorded in Scripture, and do not follow Scriptural grounds, are at the very best man-made excesses.
As for angel feathers – where does the Bible say that angels have feathers?
Gold fillings and gold dust stories also abound but little if any conclusive evidence is provided, and the glory either goes to the preacher or to the person receiving the ‘blessing’ but little if any Glory goes to God.
The word “prophet” is found over 400 times in the Bible. The Hebrew word literally means, ‘an inspired man’ and the Greek word ‘a ‘for teller’. Deuteronomy 18:18 shows us that the Lord gives the words!
“I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”
This is talking specifically about the Lord Jesus, but the principle for us is the same. The words of a true prophet must come to pass because they are put there by the Lord and His word does not fail.
The next verse also makes it clear that the person hearing the words has a responsibility to listen and obey them.
“It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.”
In the New Testament this again is underlined by the exhortation to test and hold fast that which is good.
“Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21
However, if we are to hold fast the good, we must have rejected the bad!
Back in Deuteronomy, most of us are aware of the next verse showing that false prophets were to be stoned. I would not advocate this today, but let’s note exactly what it says.
There are two types of prophecy that are condemned – the presumptuous prophecy which has a sense of the deliberate about it; being proud to give it. This would come out of the spirit of man that was not given to God.
Then there is the one that speaks in the name of other gods – this is a demonic utterance.
When either of these two is present, I do not think we should stone the prophet but they must be challenged publicly because they have given the word publicly. And we need to show why we believe that the prophecy has been given in either of these ways.
“But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”
These verses go on to say (vv21 & 22), what I believe is more relevant for today:
“You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”
If the prophecy does not come true within the timescale given – it is NOT from the Lord. We are not to accept the man or woman as a prophet, and are not to be afraid of them. The word ‘afraid’ comes from a Hebrew root word meaning to turn aside (to lodge somewhere, etc.). In other words, the root meaning is that we should not turn aside and dwell with the person – very interesting!
In the modern-day church scene I feel we can put ‘prophetic utterances’ on 3 levels:
Prophetic utterances which are more words of encouragement than real prophecy – nothing untrue about them but nothing of real ‘prophetic’ substance either. They can indeed be uplifting but do not seem to come in to the ‘thus saith the Lord’ category.
Prophetic utterances which are statements that are prophetic and true. They do not have to end, ‘thus saith the Lord’ – indeed it is better if they don’t – but you know it is from God. There may be a time factor to be worked out but eventually what was said happens.
‘Thus saith the Lord’ prophetic utterances that have passed their expiry date and have not happened. These are false prophecies and the person who gave them is a false prophet!
Such men and women need to be brought face to face with these statements that are recorded on tapes and videos and be challenged that they are false prophets. We need to see repentance on their part and we need to be aware that their words cannot be trusted.
Many of those branded as ‘men and women of God’ are false prophets and yet they continue as though nothing happened. Remember, if they lived in the Old Testament, their ministry may have been brought to an abrupt end.
We quote two examples of Benny Hinn to show what we are talking about.
“The Spirit tells me – Fidel Castro will die – in the 90’s. Oooh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God.” – Orlando Christian Centre, 31 December 1989.
“The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90’s, about ’94-’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. But He will not destroy it – with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed.” – Orlando Christian Centre, 31 December 1989.
Neither happened and both are out of time.
There are many other examples and here are just a couple of other websites that you can check up to see what we are talking about.
If men and woman are going to prophesy publicly and make it part of the attesting that their ministry is anointed of God, then they must also face the consequences of that. We are not trying to say we are better than they and anyone that says, “I think this might happen….” is not a false prophet. However, in this realm, I think we are seeing excess today and a belittling of the gift of prophecy that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Direct Revelation – Divine Leading or Divination?
Direct Revelation into an individual’s life and circumstances or into the life of the whole gathering of people being addressed can come in several ways and it is not always wrong. Sometimes the excess may be as much in the life of the receiver as the giver. First, many Charismatic leaders today will have personal divine revelation. I have heard tapes of testimony from these men where they tell of their dream like revelations, sometimes almost personal tours of heaven, and the words that God told ‘only me’. We are then led to believe that this is God’s word without any reference or pos
sibility of testing it out.
The more, of course, that the hearer trusts the messenger, the more the message is trusted without question but this is the danger. Often the men and women speaking have international ministries and a long ‘pedigree’ however, nowhere in God’s Word are we told to accept without reservation what someone speaks out even if they are well known and they assure us that it is from the Lord. The words should be tested out in the same way as we indicated for false prophets in part one of this article. Second, we have so-called, words of knowledge. I have to say that having seen some men and women working in this way I wonder whether we are dealing with God’s Holy Spirit or another sort of divination spirit. An article by Joseph Chambers entitled Lying Wonders asks the same question in the first paragraph:
“Many different manifestations previously known almost exclusively to the occult are sweeping the church world. Is it the Holy Spirit or is it ‘psychic activity?’You will eventually have to answer that question for yourself, hopefully after you finish this article. Sharp division between the real and the false will soon be a requirement for Christian living and church attendance, if not already. For too long the church has drifted like a ship without a rudder. In many congregations, Biblical truth has been treated lightly, while social and emotional matters have demanded attention. This closing hour does not allow for such carelessness, neither does it allow a light treatment of the ‘spirit of discernment.’ Those who do not have a firm and conscious hold on Biblical values and Biblical truth will not be able to survive.”
Third, another phrase that is used today is “speak into your life”; I have had people ask me specifically, “Do you have a word for me?” This can be very tempting to show just how ‘spiritual’ you are and if you accept the man you are likely to accept the word.
I remember listening to Mike Bickle and Paul Cain many years ago and the reaction I had in my spirit as Bickle said that we do not need cult busters who question everything, we need to accept the word of the prophet. I am still convinced today that he looked at me in the balcony as he said it! Cain went on to show how dreams are always God speaking to you and that you should interpret them every morning and work them out in your life. I dread to think what some of those young people there did in the following weeks if they accepted that word without question.
When Cain got on to the words of knowledge I felt it was no different to a psychic show. Reading the following, which I feel can only be a misuse of a ‘gift from God’, from p.30 of David Pytches book Some Said It Thundered, only makes me even more nervous over the ‘gift’.
“On one occasion after Mike Bickle had been complaining to his wife that he had ‘a bit of a sniffle’ or a slight cold — something he rarely had — the phone rang. Bickle picked up the receiver and heard Paul on the line. He had heard about Paul’s gift so he said by way of a joke, ‘Hi, Paul! You’re all right today! How am I?’ Immediately Paul answered him, ‘Why, Mike, you’ve got a bit of a sniffle and you are all wet. Your hair is standing up on the left side of your head.’
“Bickle called his wife Diane to look at him. ‘Sweetheart, Paul says I have a “sniffle,” I am all wet and my hair is standing up on one side. Am I all wet?’
“‘Yes,’ she said. ‘You’ve just come out of the shower.’
“‘And is my hair standing up on one side?’
“‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘on the left side!'”We need to show extreme caution in accepting an unconfirmed word into our lives if it is going to have a profound effect on us or others. Please refer again to I Thessalonians 5:20&21.
Methods abound in spiritual warfare and we are encouraged to pray this way and that way – bind this and lose that – watch out for territorial spirits and much, much more. But Spiritual Warfare is not gimmicks or methods (Satan uses those) it is the practical outworking of the ministry of Christ in me. Spiritual Warfare is vital in my daily walk, whatever I am doing and not just when I am helping someone who is involved in cults or occult – the foundational understanding as outlined in the armour in Ephesians 6 is vital.
It is no accident that the foundational garment of the armour is TRUTH. Anything that is a lie or an exaggeration of the truth will not be an effective weapon against Satan. Therefore methods that are not Biblical and do not have their foundations within the Scripture will not be of any use! Do not have the same problem as Pilate by asking, “What is truth” (John 18:38). Jesus has already answered the question before it was asked. See verse 37.
1. Jesus always was a clear witness to the truth – what He did and what He said.
2. If we desire the truth we will hear His voice.
Many other voices will shout and scream to try and mask the words of Jesus but is our desire great enough to search out what He has said.
It seems to me that there are 4 things that Spiritual warfare is not:
1. Spiritual Warfare is not something that is an optional extra in the Christian Life.
2. Spiritual Warfare is not just about dramatically casting out demons
3. Spiritual Warfare is not all about certain methods
4. Spiritual Warfare is not about Satan having the centre of attention
And 4 things that Spiritual warfare is:
1. Spiritual Warfare is a state of heart and mind for every day
2. Spiritual Warfare is more about Christ than it is about Satan
3. Spiritual Warfare is about relationship
4. Spiritual Warfare is about the position of our Lord Jesus Christ
Anything that teaches a gimmick or that gives Satan the centre of attention is definitely not the Spiritual Warfare that is taught in Scripture.
Just one example would be the teaching of binding and losing. We read this in Simon Page’s, An Examination of the Popular Contemporary Teaching on Territorial Spirits and its Scriptural Evidence.
“The popular contemporary view amongst those who practise ‘strategic level spiritual warfare’ is that one must bind the principalities and powers over a city before evangelism can become effective. The term ‘binding’ is generally understood by authors such as Wagner, White, Silvoso and Bernal to mean ‘restricting the power of evil on all levels’… This is a clear sign of the Spirit of God at work, clearly dividing those who recognised God at work and therefore stood with Christ, as opposed to those who attributed the work of God to the arch-enemy himself. The binding of Satan has taken place in stages, beginning with Jesus’ public ministry and decisively guaranteed by the death and resurrection of Christ… Therefore, the practice of ‘binding’ territorial spirits and the methodology employed, do not find their parallel in any of the New Testament. The correct way to fight this war is highlighted in Ephesians 6:10-18, where honesty, righteousness, witnessing, prayer, assurance of salvation, relationship with God and proficiency with the Scripture are seen as effective ways of combating the Kingdom of Darkness.”
Interestingly Tony Campolo dealt with this issue at Spring Harvest this year (2005) when he said that “Jesus has been made into a ‘prosperity fiend’.”
His call comes after churches in the UK launched a report entitled “Prosperity with a Purpose” which extolled the virtues of wealth creation and economic growth. Campolo said
“Do we worship the Jesus of the Scriptures? Every generation gets rid of the biblical Jesus and creates a new one in His place. The Jesus of our culture is a prosperity fiend, a God that promises health and wealth. But Jesus spoke with clarity – if you are going to follow Him, it is going to cost you everything that you have.”
One example of the teaching that Campolo was talking about, that many in Britain have faced is John Avanzini. Back in 1996 we first brought this man to the attention of our readers and unfortunately he has not changed since then. At that time we were commenting on his book Unanswered Prayer… Answered, which at that time had sold over 250,000 copies. The heart of the book was the fact that the he had discovered, by a direct revelation from God (see earlier) that the reason prayers were not answered was that they were not accompanied by a gift or memorial offering as he calls it.
This theme is developed for tens of pages and in the final chapter, on page 89, he deals with where you give such an offering because obviously you cannot give it direct to God. Well, once we have made our request known to God and have determined the amount of the “memorial offering” we are going to give, we are to earnestly pray over it and send it to, wait for it, John Avanzini. We can accept his subtle suggestion to give a thousand dollars (p.84) or else promise to transfer funds, sell stock or sell property (p.83).
The only people that prosper in such prosperity are the leaders.
Avanzini displays other examples of the way we have ‘got rid of the Biblical Jesus’.
In January 1996 Avanzini published an article entitled Was Jesus poor?, this taught what others in this field also repeat. He said that if we don’t believe that Jesus was rich then we can’t be rich either. This is the problem which stops us prospering fully; we have been duped by the traditionalists into believing that Jesus was poor. Avanzini then seeks to show from a handful of Scriptures that perhaps Jesus wasn’t as poor as some ‘traditionalists’ want us to believe, and finally introduces us to “A Powerhouse Operation”, which had so much money that they could buy everyone lunch, ride the best donkeys and strut around in designer-clothing. Jesus had a nice house, a big house.
Finally we give an example of the publicity of the John Avanzini Ministries, which is in a mass produced ‘Reader’s Digest’ style letter that unfortunately many others also use today. Avanzini writes:
“The Lord directed me to get this letter to you as quickly as possible… This morning as I was praying… I sensed in my spirit that you or someone close to you is facing a financial crisis. Is this true?”
Surely, this sort of statement is more at home in clairvoyance than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed many mediums send out similar letters. Avanzini then begins to relate the story of the feeding of the 5000 and ends with this advice:
“When you take what you have… give it to God, and ask Him to bless it… you are taking your problem of insufficiency out of the natural realm and releasing it to the supernatural for a solution.”
We can see where this is leading and surely it does not come from the Lord. However, before he blatantly tells them to give the money to him, we read one more scripture:
“Just as I finishing this letter to you, I felt impressed of the Lord to look at Matthew 16:19: ‘…and whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.’ Right then, I saw that the word ‘whatsoever’ includes YOUR MONEY!”
Not only is he taking words out of context, he is saying that God says things He does not – this is nearer blasphemy than God’s ministry.
I wonder what Avanzini does with all the money sent to him from people who cannot afford it, and who end up further in debt because they are relying on a spoof rather than the Word of God.
Healing for Everyone
The teaching that everyone must be healed if prayed for, and if nothing happens, it is the receivers, “lack of faith” is common today. However is there one Scripture that tells us this will be so? There is no question that God allows trials within our lives to test us and develop our character (see James 1:1-4) and sickness is not excluded from this as a trial.
I do believe we should be positive in seeking God for healing but at the same time to teach that we must be healed if we are prayed for only gives the sick person a further problem and does not help them at all.
Big Band Entertainment
Talk about worship today and many think of the big meeting with the ‘big band’ led worship. Let me say immediately that I am not against these instruments being used in worship; personally I really enjoy the saxophone, trumpet and drums. It is not so much what is used but how it is used that concerns me.
Have we got to a place where we often lose sight of Who we are worshipping and are tied up with the who is leading the worship?
I often tell the story of my youngest son, many years ago, asking me after I had returned from a weekend seminar, “How did the cinema go?” It may have been funny at the time but God spoke to me through it. At the cinema you pay your money, get into your seat and watch what is going on up the front, without having to be involved. So many churches are like that today; massive congregations that you can get lost in with great music that you can listen to without getting involved with the worship. Ephesians 4:16 reads, referring to the body of Christ
“… being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Growth of the body is not all being in the same room at the same time even singing the same song, but it is the inter-reaction of at least two members (the smallest number of pieces to make a joint). This, I submit does not go on in most of the large led worship services today; nor indeed in the smaller meetings where all the hymns have been chosen etc.; but there is another way. Smaller groups with open worship where each member is allowed to bring what they have.
We read in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that we are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. We are not to be individualistic but we are to be an individual before the Lord. Paul speaks much of this in 1 Corinthians 12 to 14 and please note especially 14:26;
“What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”
That just does not happen in many churches today.
Bill Burkett in part 2 of a 4 part article Pentecostal but not Charismatic raises another issue:
“Worship Has Become Entertainment. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 4. The word lasciviousness is aselgiea in the original text and means unbridled lust, excess, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence. The entertainment format going on in Charismatic churches fits Jude’s description of the apostates perfectly. The sacrilege being displayed on modern church stages as anointed ministries is not Pentecostal. Pentecostals do not host worldly celebrities in their pulpits. Everything from karate to body builders, soap opera stars and athletes, are brought out onto the stages of Charismatic churches… Hebrew dancing got its start in the churches because the Charismatics said, “its in the Bible.” There are many things “in the Bible” that do not belong in the church! Study dancing carefully in the Bible and you will note it was never done in the temple, inside the church, as a part of church worship. The people rejoiced in the victories gained in the field of battle, and the triumphs of God over their enemies in a spontaneous and public display of jubilee – but never was there dancing carried on as a form of worship in the house of God. David danced before the ark as it returned to Jerusalem, in the streets, but this urge to dance before the Lord was not an orchestrated musical production. The Hebrew dancing going on in Charismatic churches today is not even similar to the dancing recorded in the Old Testament. If Hebrew dancing was to be in the church you would read all about it in the book of Acts and, or, it would be mentioned in the New Testament by the apostle’s in their writings. Hebrew dancing is just another idea that was picked up on because it resembled something mentioned in the Bible but certainly not taught as it is being practiced by Charismatic churches. To know we are pleasing God we simply stay within the Biblical boundaries of revelation. We must keep things in the Biblical setting and study them carefully. That’s why God gave us His Word! Keep the practices of worship you allow in the setting of Biblical precedent and you will never start something that will ultimately get out of control and become a dangerous slide into excesses that violate the real work of the Holy Spirit. We, as ministers of the gospel must not allow the taste of carnal people in the church to dictate to us the program of the church. Ministers often tolerate compromise thinking they will gain people, and you will while at the same time experience a moral and spiritual decline. You may begin by thinking you can save them and end up with a lot of people but with a spiritual decline. Go by the Word! Live by it! Die by it! The raptures of heavenly visions and the manifestations of God were with our Pentecostal Daddies who taught that holy life. Scripture is the final authority and the only authority to govern the church by.”
What are the conclusions that we can draw from all this.
1. Ensure our Christian lives are centred in Christ. Not so much trying to ensure that all the fruits are right – that can tie us up in an everlasting ‘witch hunt’; but ensure that the roots are right and the fruit will be of the right type too.
2. Ensure that we know our Scriptures and they are the foundation of our decision making.
3. Put aside anything that is purely extreme and for entertainment. We do not need the multi-media presentations but the exposition of the Word of God.
4. Do not be just outward in our Christian Life but ensure there are inward resources.
5. Glorify and centre on Him not on ME.