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Today’s Pentecostal-Charismatic-False-Heretical Teachings

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Before I begin I would like to state that I knew that this article would not generate any comments. This is because to speak against a charismatic is to expect to be shunned by the church world of today. I stated in my previous post that Charismatics are not just in a Pentecostal denomination now, but have crossed lines infiltrating all denominations. Therefore if I speak against Charismatics, then it’s as if I am speaking against all denominations. I also want to restate that I was among Charismatics for sixteen years and therefore can speak by ‘experience.’ This is the key word among them ‘experience.’ They are always speaking about feeling God, experiencing God, being led by God, but what I want to ask: Is why don’t they listen to God?

 Is Experience a Test of Truth?

Charismatics are big on experience. They elevate experience above the scriptures and actually interpret the word of God by their experiences. Many of them today claim to be getting new revelations from God. Their revelations are so outrageous and a complete distortion of God’s word. It does not take long to identify whether are not these false charlatans are actually speaking by God or not if one studies his scripture.

For instance Oral Roberts once made the fantastic claim that a 900 ft. tall Jesus appeared to him and told him that he would die if he did not raise 8 million dollars in the next twelve months:

 

“I felt an overwhelming holy presence all around me. When I opened my eyes, there He stood …some 900 feet tall, looking at me … He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600 foot tall City of Faith. There I was face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. I have only seen Jesus once before, but here I was face to face with the King of Kings. He stared at me without saying a word; Oh! I will never forget those eyes! And then, He reached down, put his Hands under the City of Faith, lifted it, and said to me, “See how easy it is for me to lift it!” Oral Roberts: An American Life, p. 415.

 
Many today are duped into believing the outrageous claims of the Tele-evangelist. So much so that their doctrines trickle down into the charismatic movement and take over the minds of those who follow their teachings. But as the title of this edition indicates; I will ask: “Is experience a test for truth?” Let’s look at a few of the apostles in the word of God and see what their reactions to experiences were.

Peter was a disciple of Christ that had a problem with emotions when he experienced certain things. He was very outspoken and was quick to rush to conclusions upon finding out about Jesus’ death in Jerusalem. But did he base his faith in Christ on his experiences? We remember the glorious experience that he had when he was on the mountain and saw the transfiguration of Christ. He was so astounded that he wanted to build three tabernacles on the mountain and stay right there forever. But this was not God’s will. But as we read in his epistle about this experience we see that Peter does not focus on his experience, but on the word of God.

2 Peter 1:16-20

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

Peter’s experience was not the test for truth, but we see that he tested his experience by the sure word of God. He realized that many of his readers had never seen Christ, but knew that they loved him. 1 Peter 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

But in today’s charismatic congregations there is no test of truth by scripture. Each and every fantastic claim that comes forth is believed to be from God. I have seen individuals mess up singing a song and restart it several times and then they began to speak to the sound equipment commanding spirits to come out of it. They will claim that the devil is trying to hinder them from singing their song. This is nothing more than animism. Animism is a belief that inanimate objects have souls or spirits.

What about Paul?

Did Paul base what he believed about Christ on his experiences? Paul definitely had an amazing experience. Here he is on his way to Damascus and he sees a blinding light and hears a voice and is knocked to the ground. Now if anyone could boast of an experience it would have been him, but he did not focus on his experience when he went into the synagogues, but as scripture states he would reason from the scriptures.
Acts 17:2-3

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.”

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul also gives us an account of his experience of being caught up into heaven and hearing words that are not lawful for a man to even speak. Matter of fact he never makes known what those words are. When he writes to the various churches he constantly reminds them that their focus should be on scripture. For instance: Rom. 4:3 “For what saith the scripture?” Rom. 9:17, “For the scripture saith…” Romans etc… Gal. 3:8 “and the scripture saith…” Gal. 4:30, “Nevertheless what saith the scripture?” Matter of fact he goes on to tell Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

Paul told Timothy that he should give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine 1 Tim. 4:13. But I have sat in Pentecostal churches expecting to hear a sermon and instead a prayer line will break out and everyone will dance around for an hour. Then the Pastor will tell everyone that God has been in their midst and he will dismiss the service without even opening the word of God. I want to know how God has been in the midst if no one even gave him a chance to speak through his word.

But what it boils down to is that there are several different religions competing in our congregations for supremacy over the church. One is true Christianity, but the one I am describing here is mysticism. Mysticism is the doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding. In other words the Pentecostals believe that the only way to understand truth is through some kind of mystical experience and not with our minds. This is why so many Pentecostal Charismatics reject knowledge or reject seminary training because they think that they are the ones in the “know” as the Gnostics of old.

Yet Jesus commanded us to love the Lord our God with our heart, soul, and mind. Today all of these are neglected when it comes to loving God; especially the latter.

Stay tuned for another article next Thursday.   Link to my first article on the Pentecostal heresy here.   

Written by Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.                                                                                

The Agony of Deceit can be purchased here.

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