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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Holy Spirit: Not Everything Done in God's Name Has His Stamp of Approval

Even though there is flexibility and freedom, our experiences with God must align with the Scriptures and the character of God. "We should not interpret Scripture in the light of our experiences, but rather, interpret our experiences in the penetrating light of Scripture" (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones).

Feelings can be good and God-given; however, we cannot forget the prophet Jeremiah's words, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (17:9). Profoundly moving experiences do stir emotions, and they may "feel" right; however, emotions are primarily a vehicle for expression, not a gauge for Truth. Scripture clearly supports the miraculous work of the Spirit today. I'm open but cautious. We need sound doctrine and the power of the Holy Spirit without checking our brains at the door

Sadly, some of the disturbing behavior we've seen in Charismatic circles has been excused, and some of the leaders are rarely challenged. They can divorce their spouse and remain in leadership using 1 Chronicles 16:22 as a proof text, "Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm." This is an abuse of grace at the highest level and a twisting of Scripture. We should forgive, but reinstatement raises several questions. In our zeal to defend the Holy Spirit, we sometimes run the risk of defending wrong behavior.

To counter this criticism, some of the followers of this movement say that those who oppose them will suffer the judgment of God. When in reality, those who refuse God's offer of salvation will suffer judgment. Not everyone who says to Jesus "Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of the Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). God's will is that people truly repent of their sin, and turn to Him as Lord and Savior. The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (cf. 2 Peter 3:9). A person is not judged for seeking discernment, they are judged for rejecting the truth (cf. Romans 1:18). Although some well intentioned Christians are anxious to hear from God, many seek signs and wonders rather than seeking the Lord. We can become unstable, confused, and deceived when spirituality hinges only on signs, wonders, and manifestations.

I have seen many Christians, including pastors, get caught up in false manifestations and it never turns out
good, unless repentance takes place. Instead, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will fall in place (cf. Matthew 6:33). The "signs and wonders" gospel is not the real gospel, nor is the "prosperity gospel" the real gospel. God may prosper us, and miracles do happen, but these are secondary—Christ is primary.

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