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Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 532
America's Heartand

 David Ravenhill's (Son Of Leonard) Response To MacArthur

I thought I had seen this on the site a few days ago but I evidently was mistaken as I can't find it anywhere.

This is David Ravenhill's (Sone of Leonard Ravenhill) response to MacArthur's "Strange Fire Conference" Message.

John MacArthur’s recent attack against the Charismatic / Pentecostal movement has certainly put him in the cross hairs of many. What possessed him to lash out against us is unknown. Was it sheer arrogance, ignorance or was he tempted or troubled by an evil spirit of some sort?

I can well understand some enthusiastic young buck zealously overstating his belief about some pet doctrinal belief he adheres to; but there is no excuse for a father in the faith to do the same. What grieves my heart and the heart of many I know is the untold damage done to the young of the flock. Jesus warned us about this very thing when He said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” It is only when you consider the severity of the punishment that you realize how great this sin was that Jesus was referring to.

Only this morning I was reading again the story of how a handful of men successfully thwarted God’s purposes. This unbelieving minority caused the majority of God’s people to believe that what God said was possible, wasn’t for them. For the next forty wasted years they wandered aimlessly in the Wilderness. Then they died, never seeing the gifts that God had promised them. Why would anyone follow their example, and in so doing rob God’s people of the very gifts He purchased for them at the cost of His precious blood! “When He ascended on high He gave gifts unto men.”

You recall the day when the disciples were returning from one of their numerous field trips and began to tell the Lord what they had encountered. “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us. “Then a few verses later we are told that they wanted to call fire down from heaven and consume those who rejected the Lord. Jesus turned and rebuked them saying, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” One would have to wonder the same about John MacArthur.

While I will freely admit that the Charismatic movement could stand a little weeding in its own garden, I can also testify to the reality of the Holy Spirit’s power. The FBI does not have a host of undercover agents working tirelessly to track down the counterfeiting operation of criminals churning out millions of thirty dollar bills. The reason is simple, there are no genuine thirty dollar bills. The fact that there is false fire is a testimony to the real fire.

One of the sure proofs that the Holy Spirit is at work is evidenced by the presence of the enemy at work. In the parable of The Sower we are told that as soon as the seed was sown, then Satan cometh immediately. Many people mistakenly believe that any demonic or fleshly activity gives them the right to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The scriptures tell us that where there are no oxen the manger is clean but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest. (Proverbs 14:14) Some pastors would rather settle for a clean church with no life, than deal with the aftermath of the Spirit’s activity. Let’s face it, if you are going to have children, expect spilled milk and dirty diapers. If on the other hand you want a perfectly spotless house, then don’t have children. My father would often say that he would rather pour water on a fire than try and raise the dead. Some pastors would rather minister in a morgue than a nursery. The former seems to be John’s preference.

The best cure for a cessationist would be to fly them into some heathen jungle where they are surrounded by every form of demonic activity. Only then would they see the need for the Holy Spirit’s power to be manifest. It is a known fact that numerous evangelicals who have gone to the mission field believing that the gifts of the Spirit have been withdrawn from the church; have returned with the very opposite belief. Being confronted by the reality of the demonic, their only hope was to cry out to the living God and see His miraculous intervention through healings, deliverance, signs and wonders. Only when the people see that the God of the missionary is greater than their god, will they believe. Can you imagine John MacArthur confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel? It takes more than fine expository preaching. It takes the God that answers by FIRE. Perhaps it’s time for him to climb down from his ivory tower of spiritual intellectualism and take a trip to the jungle for a season.

End Article

Amen, Well said!

Just once more for good measure I emphasize his words

Can you imagine John MacArthur confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel? It takes more than fine expository preaching. It takes the God that answers by FIRE. Perhaps it’s time for him to climb down from his ivory tower of spiritual intellectualism and take a trip to the jungle for a season.

Original article can be viewed at

 2013/10/31 12:29Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: David Ravenhill's (Son Of Leonard) Response To MacArthur

It has been posted a couple of times

 2013/10/31 12:34Profile

 Re: David Ravenhill's (Son Of Leonard) Response To MacArthur

I find it so disappointing then men like David Ravenhill take the time to publicly take a brother like MacArthur to task without taking the time to understand his position. MacArthur said nothing new. His "Charismatic Chaos" said much the same thing; and his biography (by Iain Murray) goes over the same material.

David Ravenhill says: ///Can you imagine John MacArthur confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel? It takes more than fine expository preaching. It takes the God that answers by FIRE. Perhaps it’s time for him to climb down from his ivory tower of spiritual intellectualism and take a trip to the jungle for a season.///

I can imagine it... MacArthur confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. He has confronted the prophets of Baal and look at the opposition he has faced. Imagine the courage to speak out as he did!

Of course, it takes more than expository preaching. The authors of the Westminster Confession knew as much, as did the rest of the puritan and the many men used in revival in past generations... And so too does MacArthur. But believing in the need for the Spirit of God and the need for men to be filled and more filled with Spirit is so very different from holding that the sign gifts are still in operation as they were in the days of the Apostles.

But listen to MacArthur's biographer, "MacArthur is careful to show that the issue is not for or against more experience of God. It is about how that experience is gained"...

Later he writes, "When MacArthur argues that the purpose of the miracles was to make it clear that Jesus was the Christ, he means we should not therefore expect this kind of healing ministry in the church today."

MacArthur stands in a long line of men including Jonathan Edwards and Robert Murray M'Cheyne and Charles Spurgeon who believed in the need for believer's to walk in the Spirit's fullness and who rejoiced to see season's of refreshing during which the Spirit of God worked in an exceptional way to revive the church, but who believed a significant change had taken place so that the sign gifts were no longer operating in the same way. This is not a denial of the demonic, not a denial of the miraculous, and not a denial of the need for greater Holy Ghost fire!

Perhaps MacArthur overgeneralized, but two wrongs don't make a right. I said elsewhere I believe both sides are talking past each other to a certain degree. Before you take on MacArthur and cessationism ask yourself, Do I understand what historic cessationists have believed? Have I read Iain Murray's Penecost Today? Have I read Jonathan Edwards and Spurgeon?

If based on this conference we are going to conclude that MacArthur needs to get out of his ivory tower of intellectualism then we must admit the same of men like Spurgeon and host of other men who believed just like him.

 2013/10/31 13:19

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1484


How are the gifts a sign? If they are a sign, why are we commanded to ask for them? If the miracles of Jesus were to show that He is the Christ, then why did He give the disciples power to do the same, not only when they were sent out to tell of the Kingdom but also when they were back with Him (see Mark 9)? If miracles were limited to showing that Jesus is Christ, then why was the faith of those in Nazareth a limit to His ability to perform them there? MacArthur is Scripturally and intellectually dishonest on this matter and because of the public nature of his ministry has doubtlessly been reproved countless times by those The Lord has sent. As a personal anecdote, I was called to confront the pastor of a large church God put me in about speaking in Truth. It was difficult because respected him but after I had shared with him I was told that I was fourth person who had confronted him about this but he did not listen or turn.

 2013/10/31 14:07Profile


Jeremy221, when was the last time you walked on water, stilled a storm, healed the blind, raised a cripple? In fact, here is my challenge - and I mean this in humility - to my continuist brothers and sisters:

When Jesus and the apostles did miracles the whole world knew. There was no mystery... and part of the reason was the nature of the maladies that were healed. It wasn't hidden tumors that were disappearing. Rather, a man who had been born blind now could see; someone who had never been able to walk was now leaping about. If these things were happening today CNN would be talking about it. What's happening today (for the most part!) is that we are hearing reports that are not verified. I have known people healed of all kinds of things but I've never seen healing like what Jesus and the apostles did. I've never seen someone with authority healing like Peter did. Rather what healing I have known has come by way of prayer and fasting. But, again, I am not seeing healing like Jesus did: Someone with missing limbs who grows them back, someone like Joni Eareckson Tada running around, someone mentally challenged cured... tell me where this is happening - and then let CNN know because I think they would be very interested.

I don't doubt God can do these things!! Don't misunderstand, but He simply doesn't do it like He did. The idea of someone having THE gift of healing not only contradicts the purposes of the signs in the NT it is also inconsistent with the facts of Church history. I hear people talk about what's going on in third world countries. I lived in Africa and I can tell you that there is much in the way of demonic activity, and people were healed, and God made seeing eyes blind (!), but I never saw there the things I've named above...

And - again - God can do it. But, I assure you, no one is walking around today with that same gift of healing that marked out Jesus and the apostles.

 2013/10/31 14:39

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


RE: ///I don't doubt God can do these things!! Don't misunderstand, but He simply doesn't do it like He did.///

Lets remember that even Jesus was limited and could not do any mighty work in his own country with the exception of laying His hands upon a few sick folk, and healing them. because of there spirit of unbelief.

God has not stopped working we have just stopped believing.

When the disciples where unable to not cure the lunatick, Jesus said of that entire generation that they where a 'faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?'

how much more faithless is our generation today ?

edit add : An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it

 2013/10/31 17:05Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


I think what Stephen is saying is that when men like Jesus, Paul and Peter performed miracles and healed in scripture, the events were publically witnessesed and often took place in the midst of huge diverse crowds, in synagogues full of skeptics, etc. A familiar cripple would be raised up, a corpse would sit up in his coffin in the middle of a city funeral procession and everyone attending would see it and report it. This is not happening anywhere in the open world today (only secretly in jungles and behind closed doors where nothing can be officially substantiated), for agencies like Reuters and CNN would certainly catch wind and jump in, especially if the dead were being raised in a public sector and before a mixed bag of unbelievers and skeptics, like we see often in scripture.

The explanation for this absence seems to be that there is no sufficient faith among the people and so the men with the gifts of the Holy Spirit can't operate these miracles. But I can't help but think, can we not we find just one person in the United States, out of all the millions of professing Christians, who can restore eyesight to a man born blind, and have that man's doctors and family and all who know him publically aver to it? Or does it only just happen in the jungles of Africa and the desolate, poverty-stricken areas of S. America and Mexico? Blindness is blindness; death is death. There are no reversible cures for these anywhere in the world, and so it shouldn't be a matter of the third-world underprivileged not having enough money for medicine and God showing mercy and stepping in.

I think it is a valid point. I've thought about it myself, spending more than a decade as a Pentecostal in the Assemblies of God, and hearing about fantastic miracles and healings and signs and wonders in other places but never actually seeing one with my own two eyes. Not in the grand, public manner of New Testament scripture, that is.

I do believe that God works genuine miracles through prayer. My son has been healed, and I and my wife have been healed through prayer. But I have yet to see a man walk as Paul and Peter in the apostolic miraculous and work a wonder in Cleveland or Memphis or somewhere else that staggers an entire village and silences all the skeptics and naysayers like we see almost regularly in the Book of Acts.

Paul Frederick West

 2013/10/31 18:14Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


I actually listened to the audio of MacArthur's message that almost eveyone here criticizes and he adresses the true nature of the Holy Spirit - as found in the Bible - not in a denomination. However none of his critics responds to that at all. Because they are unable to listen to what he actually says, they prefer to stay on the outside of that discussion. Talk about cessationism and the like, what is not even the content of the discussion - they are not adressing the meassage at hand because they seem to have absolutely no ear to hear it. Absolute & Total deafness.

David Ravenhill wrote a straight polemic, and one of the worst quality ones I have ever read. In one line with Grady, that writes this sort of spiritual guesswork for a living, and almost never gets a point right, or would be able to discern a Satanist from a Christian if his life depends on it, in typically 8 out of 10 reviews.

MacArthur in reality is very calm and concise, not the "angry watchman" as portrayed here. Everybody wants to go with the idea that he attacts Christianity, because he seemingly speaks against the mainstream understanding in America of the Holy Spirit. I personally think you make it too easy for yourself, this all goes much deeper and sounds very much like it would be connected with:

Matthew 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

No other religion that uses the name of Jesus is so centered on subjective personal experience as is Charismatism. Yes many works and things happen, and many people "come under the power" - But what power? Authority comes not from what you feel, it comes from what God says. That's not intellectual spirtualism, that's absolute truth and observable when you pay attention to the scriptures and recognize God as God, and not as a moveable part of your ideology.

I'm not pro or contra MacArthur, it's the first audio of him I ever listened to, but it looks like he hit a nerve at a very late time in history, measured by the number of Charismatics that respond to it. Did you ever consider the possibility it could be the last call for the Charismatic Movement to evaluate themselves, before the general economic fall of America that hangs silently in the air right now, that will leave that movement not untouched because it depends so much on the dollar-god to function.

"While I will freely admit that the Charismatic movement could stand a little weeding in its own garden" Ravenhill notes,

a little weeding won't help much here, he simply ignores MacArthur's message in full, and was not available for it at all,

maybe time to read some other personal experiences with Charismatism to understand this is not about MacArthur, this goes much deeper:

The Cults and the Charismatic Church

Charismaticism: fraud, lies, arrogance and deception

The Charismatic Movement Is Dangerous ...Watch Out For It!

 2013/10/31 19:14Profile


Men such as John MacArthur and Steve Lawson are not aware of the reality of the Spirit moving in the 10/40 window. To tell of Moslems coming to Christ through dreams and visions does not fit their Calvinistic cessionist framework.

There are first century style miracles taking place in the 10/40 window. But even if brought to this forum the rationalustic Calvinistic mindset would not accept it.

People in the 10/40 window are already plugged into a spiritual paradyne. But it is a domain of darkness. When confronted with the marvelous gospel of light those in darkness do see the miracles taking place as in the first century. Of course this will not make front line news in America.

I have talked with humble nen of God from third world countries who preach the gospel and they see people marvelously converted. They lay hands on the sick and they get well. They cast out demons in the name of Jesus. This men are humble and make no big deal about what they do. It is their normal walk with Christ. What these brothers are surprised at is the lack of faith in America to believe God for miracles. To discuss cessionism with these third world pastors would make no sense. They would say what are you talking about? We walk in miracles everyday.

I am reminded of Jesus praying to His Father in Luke 10. The 72 had returned and were joyful the demons were subject to them. But Jesus cautioned them to not rejoice over the spirits submitting to them but to rejoice that their names were written in heaven. But then He prays I thank you Father that you have not revealed these things to the wise and intelligent. But these things were revealed to infants. What things was Jesus speaking of. Healings, raising the dead, driving out demons etc.

It is the same now. Men of the mindset of John MacArthur or Steve Lawson will never operate in apostolic power. They are wise and intelligent. Fine theologians. But they will never have the true spiritual power of a third world pastor. For they are not infants.


 2013/10/31 20:33

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


I have heard many reliable sources, make mention of 'Erlo Stegen' of South Africa when speaking about the topic of healing.

sermons of 'Erlo Stegen' :

 2013/10/31 21:21Profile

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