Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Is the Holy Spirit Merely One Phase of God?

One huge mistake certain sects make is Modalism. According to the Christian Research Institute, this heresy began in the third century. Men such as Sabellius and Paul of Samosata claimed that God switched modes of being. First, he was God Almighty. Then he became Jesus Christ. After the resurrection, he became the Holy Spirit.

A sect called Oneness Pentecostals claims that God manifested himself in three phases by quoting Matthew 28:19 (Bible in Basic English) which reads, "Go then, and make disciples of all the nations, giving them baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:. "

They also claim this idea is expressed in Acts 2:38 (BBE) which says, "And Peter said, 'Let your hearts be changed, every one of you, and have baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will have the Holy Spirit given to you.'"

If this is so, what about the other two members of the Trinity being present at Christ's baptism? Luke 3:22 (KJV) reads, "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape  like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said,  'Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.'" How could God be in three modes at once?

And what about 1 Corinthians 15:27 -28 (KJV) which reads, "For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

Poof! There goes the Modalism argument. I intend on writing about this and other errant views of the Godhead in a book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? In order to be saved, people need to have a proper understanding about who they've rebelled against and the magnanimous gift Christ offers to wretched sinners like us.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Whatever Happened to the Gift of Tongues?

Continuing on with my discourse on the Holy Spirit, I must explain about the gift of tongues. Sects such as the Pentecostal Church believe that the jabbering they do is some sort of heavenly language. This is a recent movement in Christendom. But are tongues, angelic or not, real speech?

If people speak in a heavenly language today, where is the interpretation? The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:26 (KJV), "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying." How can others be edified if there is no interpretation?

Charismatic Christians often babble away together, as they did in the sick house church I once attended. Nobody seemed to apply 1 Corinthians 14:27 (KJV) which plainly says, "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret."

If Christians must speak in what they believe is an angelic language, shouldn't they do it in private? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:2 (KJV), "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."

The reason Paul prefered that congregants spoke in a known language is so others could be edified. Look at what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:4 (KJV), "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."

God willing, I plan to expand on this subject in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I'll explain how the gift of tongues has ceased and that what people call tongues today is bogus. Many Christians will disagree ardently with me but from what I've studied, people often fake tongues to fit in with others at meetings.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

How Does the Holy Spirit Manifest Himself in Us?

Sanctification is another work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He helps us avoid sin and show forth the truth to sinners. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV), "But have renounced the hidden things of  dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God  deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves  to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

Certain Christian sects believe that the Holy Spirit is chiefly manifested through the gift of tongues. As I pointed out before, tongues means languages. It isn't blathering away in a supposedly angelic language.

As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:7 (KJV) "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." How does it profit us, others, and God if we natter on in a language which nobody understands?

But some folks might quote 1 Corinthians 14:4 (KJV) which says, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church." They miss the fact that if somebody is praising God in a language which the congregation doesn't know, it's wasted effort on the congregation's part.

Instead, Paul advised in 1 Corinthians 14:2 (KJV), "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." Therefore, if you believe you have the gift of tongues, don't use it to teach others with unknown languages.

As Paul wisely advised in 1 Corinthians 14:9 (KJV), "So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air."

In charismatic congregations, what is often missing is the interpretation of the words spoken. Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 14:13-14 (KJV)  "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful."

I could write so much more in this post about this topic. Instead, I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People in the sick house church I once joined thought they were speaking angelic languages but it was all just jabber. Many people, myself included, faked tongues just to get people off my back. I didn't know back then that I was actually insulting the Holy Spirit by ascribing to him my phoney gift of tongues. May all believers realize it if they made this terrible mistake.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

How Do People Blaspheme the Holy Spirit?

Worse than grieving and quenching the Spirit is blaspheming him. But what does that mean?

Jesus said that there would be no forgiveness for anybody who blasphemes the Holy Spirit. In Mark 3:28-29 (KJV) he declared, "Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:"

Hank Hanegraaff explained that the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is ascribing to him satanic works. Mark 3:22 KJV) says, "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, 'He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.'"

Jesus let them know in no uncertain terms that the Kingdom of Heaven had come in their midst because Christ cast out demons. He said so because the scribes and Pharisees refused to acknowledge the power of God in Christ publicly.

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the one who calls people to repentance. He does so through believers on Christ's behalf. As Peter explained to the crowd at Pentecost, and is recorded in Acts 2:39 (KJV), "For the promise is unto you, and to your children,  and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall  call."

This is because it's the Spirit who regenerates spiritually-dead sinners. Ephesians 2:1 (KJV) says, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:" Paul explained in the previous chapter how sinners are saved. It isn't by anything we can do, being dead, but what the Holy Spirit does to raise us up from spiritual deadness toward God.

I'm certainly looking forward to writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I'll have room to explain in depth about such wondrous processes such as salvation and spiritual quickening. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

How Do People Grieve the Holy Spirit?

Here is another contentious subject. Many Christians either don't know or think they know what this expression means. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:30 (KJV), "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

To get the real meaning of this verse, read the previous verse and the following verses to the end of the chapter. The grief we cause the Holy Spirit is a result of our churlish and childish behaviour.

Instead of having sharp words with one another, we should speak gently. Instead of envy, we must encourage one another. Instead of bragging, we must be humble. Instead of boasting of how talented we are, we must appreciate the accomplishments of others.

How sad it is that people misunderstand this wonderful verse. I've been taught that it meant restricting the manifesting of the Holy Spirit by not speaking in tongues. The word "tongues" actually means human languages. As we read in Acts chapter two, people didn't hear "angelic languages" but the dialects of those attendees at the temple.

The Holy Spirit is also grieved by our wrong actions. More than just slander, our unreasonableness and fractious actions are what quenches the Spirit. Again, it isn't resisting tongues which grieves and quenches him.

Neither do we prevent the Spirit's work by not performing signs and wonders. Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (KJV), "Quench not the Spirit." I once was taught by errant teachers that it meant preventing him from doing miracles through us. Reading the whole chapter shows that Paul was writing about fleshly misconduct which is fueled by our pride. The Christian life is others-centred and Christ-centred, not self-centred.

I'll be writing more about this abysmal misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work in us in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? My Psalms 37:4 heart's desire is to proclaim the Lord's truth regarding each member of the Trinity. Please pray that I can write and publish this highly important book while there is yet time to do so.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

When Does the Holy Spirit Come Into Us?

Now that we know what the Holy Spirit does, when does he enter a believer? Christians have quarreled over this matter down through the centuries but here's what the Bible, the final and ultimate authority, says.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Angel of the Lord came upon select individuals. This selective indwelling changed at the first Pentecost feast after Christ's resurrection.

Some Christians have become fixated on speaking in tongues but that isn't what Peter urged people to do on that awesome day. Luke wrote in Acts 2:38 (KJV) about the real question, namely what must people do to be forgiven and follow Christ. "Then Peter said unto them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'"

But does this happen immediately? Some Christians argue that the infilling of the Holy Spirit comes separately from the surrender we make to Christ's rule in our lives. They cite Acts 8:15 (KJV) which says, "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:"

Additionally, the "second blessing" proponents point to Acts 9:17 (KJV) which states, "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.'"

In actual fact, it's belief which saves people and they receive the Holy Spirit at that time. Look what Luke wrote in Acts 10:44-47 (Bible in Basic English). "While Peter was saying these words, the Holy Spirit came on all those who were hearing the word. And the Jews of the faith, who had come with Peter, were full of wonder, because the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles, And they were talking in tongues, and giving glory to God. Then Peter said, 'Will any man say that these may not have baptism who have been given the Holy Spirit as we have?'"

This is a deep subject and one which I intend to expand upon in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Since so many people teach error regarding the Holy Spirit, I feel compelled to present the Bible truth of the matter. I was a victim of faith preachers and now I want to save naive believers from the fate I suffered.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

What is the Holy Spirit's Job?

Now that I've explained the Holy Spirit's job, what does he do in us? I know that whole books could be written on that topic so I'll just sum up a few of his duties to the Father and Christ.

First and foremost, he's our teacher. As Jesus told his disciples in John 16:13 (KJV), "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

The Holy Spirit also comforts us by strengthening us. Jesus' disciples felt as if he was about to abandon them so he promised to send the Holy Spirit. As John 14:26 (KJV) states, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Both promises were fulfilled at Pentecost.

And if we must testify in front of officials for our faith, the Holy Spirit will put his words into our mouths. Look at what Mark 13:11 (KJV) says. "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."

Additionally, the Holy Spirit emboldens believers. Christ's disciples were suffering horrendous persecution from the Pharisees soon after Pentecost. They wisely took the matter to the Lord in prayer. Look what Acts 4:31 (KJV) describes. "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

I could list more verses which outline the Holy Spirit's job description but this post would be far too long. Instead, I'll save that information for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Far too many Christians know little or nothing at all about this neglected third person of the Trinity. I hope I can partially rectify this deficiency.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Who is the Holy Spirit?

This month, I want to concentrate on the third member of the Trinity. Many people either don't know who he is or have incorrect ideas about him. Some folks don't believe he's a person at all.

The Holy Spirit is the companion who Christ sent to his disciples and to all who repent and surrender their lives to Jesus. In John 15:26 (KJV) Jesus told his disciples, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"

So the Holy Spirit is a comforter of believers but he's also a teacher. Christ said in John 16:13 (KJV), "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

Jesus was about to be arrested and sent to the cross so he told his shocked disciples about how he wouldn't leave them comfortless. The Holy Spirit would inhabit them and transform them. We saw an example of this when the day of Pentecost came. Peter, usually the one to stick his foot in his mouth, became a bold and powerful preacher of the gospel. Acts chapter two says that three-thousand people joined the disciples that day.

John also told his beloved believer friends how the Holy Spirit helps them to tell real Christians from phonies. In 1 John 4:6 (KJV)  he wrote, "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."

I'll be writing in greater detail about this third member of the Trinity in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Many Christians, deliberately or inadvertently, are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I want everybody to know the truth about him, the Father, and the Son. For decades, bogus teachers misled me about the Trinity and their roles in our Christian walk. I don't want anybody making the same blasphemous and stupid mistakes which I once did.