I have already detailed in my article entitled ‘The Tongues of Demon-Angels‘ how I experienced physical and supernatural feelings during the summoning of a spirit at a ‘Jesus only’ Pentecostal church in 1990. At the time I was led to believe that I had received something holy. When I studied the bible in earnest some short weeks later I was able to see that there was no such holy experience in the church. This process of bible study was challenging for me. I actually went round in circles a couple of times in a few studies during a number of hours over about a week. It was an investigation I had to invest effort into and to which I had to be committed. The power that the feelings I had experienced had over me was strong. I was like a victim of unrequited love. Once I understood the Scriptures, I still felt that I wanted those powerful feelings but the realisation that I could no longer interpret them the way I wanted to was difficult. The saving grace that I had was that I followed the advice of my teacher, an Englishman named Alex,  to hold to my view, only if the bible supported it. The ‘Jesus only’ Pentecostals were deepening my confusion by repeatedly telling me in urgent tones that Alex was from Satan. It was difficult having these pentecostals pleading with me to trust in my feelings. I kept coming to the point that my understanding was based on my feelings and supernatural experience (as real as they were). To make the decision to reject the false interpretation of my feelings and experiences, I came to a decision more than once to trust entirely in God’s Word and reject my own personal and private and learned interpretation.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

If I had not followed Alex’s calm, patient and wise advice and gentle encouragement with the Scriptures I would probably be dead right now. Though I had partaken in the ‘Pentecostal’ worship experience I had not repented of my drunken drug binges and I was getting more and more addicted to my lifestyle of parties.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

I had trusted in my worldliness for a pleasurable life before attending pentecostal church. I simply continued in this self trust as a pentecostal. I was unconcerned about doctrine (1 Tim 4:16) as a pentecostal. I simply followed pastors as a sheep without checking (Acts 17:11) the plentiful teachings against their interpretations of the supernatural experiences they have at their services. I had  my own private interpretations (2 Pet 1:20-21). 

Proverbs 28:26 He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

By God’s grace, I escaped the clutches of demonic influence.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

I have spent 6 months of 2017 writing my series on the Charismatic/Pentacostal mindset. Each time I finished one of the 12 articles I sent it out to 100s of people I have studied the bible with or met in the course of my life. It speaks volumes that in spite of very careful study and time spent to initiate with these friends, not a single one to date has committed to bible study with me. Indeed, part of the reason I have written these articles is that I have found it hard to get a lot of people from these churches to even listen to the teaching in face to face bible study without becoming offended and aborting the studies. The following account describes a religious mindset I believe is at least partially responsible for the hard heartedness of my pentacostal friends.

1 King’s 13

The Man of God From Judah

1By the word of the Lord a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. He cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord: “O altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’” That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”

When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.

Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.

The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift.”

But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here.For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’” 10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.

11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king.12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he replied.

15 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”

16 The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”

18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

 

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20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back.21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.’”

23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who defied the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.”

27 The prophet said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they did so.28 Then he went out and found the body thrown down on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey. 29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him. 30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, “Oh, my brother!”

31 After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the message he declared by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true.”

33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.

So what can we learn from this account? Both these prophets mess up badly. The old prophet gets really excited about the revival in the miraculous gifts in the Northern kingdom. His excitement leads him to lie to the young prophet. His love of the miraculous is not matched by his love for the Word of God.

I have found this same excited condition to be prevalent in pentecostal and charismatic circles but equally matched by their unwillingness to study the revealed and binding Holy Scriptures.

It is so alarming how God reveals the old prophet’s heart! He had desired God’s power without God’s Word and God gave him just that. In the middle of a forbidden dinner God allowed him to accurately predict the details of the death of the young prophet.

The young prophet was blinded by sentimentality and disillusioned by the apparent contradictory nature of God’s favour. His response was simply to finish his dinner! God had been true to His Word throughout however. In spite of this, neither the old or young prophet repented. The young prophet is not deceived from without, by the Northern King’s offer of wealth but by a simple dinner invite from what he saw as a fellow minister of the truth. What a tragic account.

I have meditated on this passage many times over the last 27 years. Last week I had a crucial insight. I realised that the young prophet made a fatal mistake when he considered the old prophet in light of their previous relationship. Before the old prophet’s Northern kingdom fell into apostasy the young prophet would have regarded him from a position of threefold respect. Firstly he was a prophet and deserved respect as a peer. Secondly he was an older man and the law commanded (Leviticus 19:32) respect for the elderly. Thirdly these first two reasons would have been combined and compounded as an older prophet from the company of the prophets (2 King’s 2:3, 5, 7, 15, 4:1, 38, 5:22, 6:1, 9:1) the older prophet would have been due double honor (1 Tim 5:17). This gross misapplication of respect to a man who had not challenged the despicable regime in the Northern Kingdom led to the young prophet’s downfall. He wrongly assumed that the grace that had been in the previous relationship before the kingdom had divided a short time earlier, was still present in his relationship to the older prophet.

He would have done well to have known the politics of the situation more accurately. He should not have been so sentimental. He should have stuck rigidly to the Word of the Lord. He should have had the heart of Asa (2 Chron 15:16). The sentimental feeling aroused by the previous relationship was not sin in and of itself. Feelings are true but feelings are not Truth. The Word of God is Truth (John 17:17). 

The young prophet’s sentimentality is far exceeded by the blatant disregard my pentecostal and charismatic friends have for the revealed Word of God. Here and now I offer again, to study out the issue of salvation with all my friends. I will show the gospel verses and the false teaching of ‘salvation by miracle’.

In the first century there were members of the church who succumbed to the spirit, but it was not the Holy Spirit. There were visits to the church of ‘older prophets’  who claimed to be able to bring about the receiving of an entirely different spirit. These disciples were easily deceived owing to a leaning toward supernatural experiences! (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). They were ignorant of the Scriptures and spiritually unstable due to their propensity to be led by misplaced feelings (2 Pet 3:15-16). They were deceived by Satan just like Eve. These older prophets that travelled to churches preaching different gospels or the reception of different spirits were welcomed and put up with easily by some disciples. Time and again we must argue against denominational pluralism when we meet religious ‘Christians’ on the street saying that doctrine and denominational differences in interpretation of Scripture do not matter. These people seek to merge all the false gospels in an oversimplified ‘group hug’ gospel that ignores both scripture and glaring fundamental differences in the doctrine of salvation taught by various churches.

There is little else that can be done to bring about unity between ‘Christians’ than to lay out the truth plainly from the scriptures. Meet me for a bible study. Not an argument. Let’s do this without concerned pastors and family members. Just the Scriptures. You are free to take notes and go away and check again for yourself. By this process of study you will see what we actually teach and not what members of one party or another accuse us of teaching.

Jude 1:19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Let’s study the bible together!

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