God is the ultimate and the quintessential Giver. He is “The Giving God
.” It is the nature of God to give. Nobody comes close to giving like God gives! Nobody comes close to giving as much as God gives. Nobody comes close to the continuance of giving as God continues to give. He is the only perfect definition of “Giver
” and of “Giving
As a matter of fact, man by nature is not a “Giver” but a “Taker.” For God so loved the world that He gave. Man so loves himself that he takes. In short, God is the gracious giver, while man is the greedy taker. Corporate CEO’s, who abscond with multi-millions of dollars while the company and shareholders go bankrupt, are today’s show-and-tell greedy monster-takers. It is worse than repulsive, it is damnable!They may seem to be getting away with it. They won’t. The day of Divine reckoning will soon be here.
And everything that God gives to us is a “Good Thing
” and a “Perfect Gift
.” God never bestows or gives junk. Have you ever received something that proved to be a piece of worthless junk? Of course, all that material stuff turns into junk in the end. God never gives defective gifts. Have you ever had to return a defective gift? With God there need be no money-back guarantee.
of all, we don’t buy gifts from God, even though media-Christianity and media-religious hucksters are selling and retailing God’s grace gifts seven days a week. Because Judas Iscariot was a purse hugging materialist, it was just a matter of time before he sold Christ. Because much of the modern church are purse hugging materialists, it is no wonder that it too sells Christ for 12 easy payments and calls it seed faith.
, God Himself is the perfect Guarantor of each and every one of His perfect gifts. The perfect guarantee is in the perfect Guarantor. Top that! And His gifts never decrease in value, and never wear out!
God never bestows bad things or imperfect gifts. We might at times question that statement, because what we may consider to be good for us God knows it to be bad, and what we consider to be bad for us God knows it to be good for us. God alone completely and exactly knows good from bad, and perfect from imperfect when it comes to gift giving. He never finds Himself in a quandary as to what it is that we really need, and what would be the best for us. I stake my life on that.
Truly God is the one and only Giver to Whom you can say about each and every one of His gifts, “Thank You Father so much, this is so good, this is just perfect. It is exactly what I needed.” This is what James writes in James 1:17,
“Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from
the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow
Did you notice? Ever good thing and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights. What can we say about God’s light-gifts of the sun, the moon and the stars? Good! Perfect! Just what we needed! Those are just few of the perfect gifts from God that man found under God’s “Creation Tree.”
God has been giving and giving ever since, because He never varies from His giving heart. The dark shadows
have never once dimmed the giving Father of lights. “Get-Take-Man
” is casting those long dark shadows across America as never before.
Not only that, but man casts dark shadows over God good gifts. God gave us the airplane through the Wright brothers. Then Hitler got ahold of it and cast a dark shadow all over Europe. Such good gifts fall into such bad hands. That is true with all gifts, whether man’s or God’s. God’s gifts so often are used and abused for man’s profit and glory. Hear what I am saying! This is sadly true of His physical and spiritual gifts. But we may not and must not throw out the gifts because of the gift abusers. If you will, we may not throw out the baby with the bath water.
1. THE CREATOR-GIVER GLORIOUS
Allow me for a moment to bask in some of my favorite gifts received from God. I write this teaching in the early autumn of 2008 as we now come into my most enjoyable season of the year. Football plays its exciting part for me! (Maze and Blue has faded this year!) The leaves have just begun to burst forth into multi-color. We live in the forest, and each year it is breathtaking. Each season is a gift from God. Every year He gives the same spectacular gifts to everyone indiscriminately. He lavishes us with a panorama of splendor which exceeds the human eyes’ ability to drink it all in. God is truly “The Creator-Giver Glorious
Eventually, seemingly all too quickly, as if a parable of life itself, the foliage on the trees and bushes runs its course. The leaves then whither, die, fall and are dissolved into the very earth that gave them life.
Then faithfully arrives the stunning pristine whiteness of winter. The barren earth and branches are clothed with glistening snow-white garments that no clothing designer can compete with. In every season anew, God seems to outdo Himself in giving again and again.
To my way of thinking, then springs into being the greatest of all of the seasonal gifts of God. It astonishes me. Everything in Michigan appears dead. Then spring comes, and the old decrepit looking trees regain their youth and begin to bud. The grasses recapture the greenery of new life. Everything appears as if it is only awakening from a long winter’s sleep, rather than rising from a cold, barren death. The sun in the sky rises higher and turns up its heat to give all of creation a warm welcome back. The heavens join in the celebration as they rain down their showers of blessings.
The long awaited summer comes, and the trees, the bushes and the flowers lift up their heads high in jubilant celebration. All of nature appears as if it is once again immortal. Who doesn’t love those endless days of summer? Even though they do end, and the non-shifting Giving God starts it all over again. God is indeed is the Giver of every good thing and every perfect gift, isn’t He?
2. THE GIFT OF GOD’S SON
Just as God lavishes His good and perfect natural gifts upon all of creation, so even much more does He lavish us profusely with His good and perfect spiritual gifts! The gracious Giver-God is constantly at work doing what He loves doing in the natural and the spiritual – THE GIVING OF GOOD AND PERFECT GIFTS!
This is nowhere else demonstrated so powerfully as in the most extravagant gift of all of God’s gifts – the gift of His only begotten Son for our salvation, as we read in John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world, that he GAVE His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life
And in that unspeakable gift of His Son, we find a plethora of good and perfect gifts. All of our striving to find meaning and fulfillment in life ceases, for in Christ we find everything we have been looking for and infinitely more. The striving and searching is over. Jesus put it this way in Matthew 11:28,
“…I will give you rest.”
He is not talking about a nap or a vacation. He is talking about the fact that the restlessness in man’s heart gives way to good and perfect rest (completeness) in Him and only Him.
God is the multi-gift Giver. Always examine His gift boxes thoroughly, for there are more gifts in them than you think, and you don’t want to and cannot afford to miss one of them. The Bible is not a cafeteria where people can saunter through and pick and choose what they want, and skip over what they do not want. No optional Giver is God
! Christianity is not a grab bag!
When God gave us the unspeakable gift of His Son, He gave with Him the desperately needed treasures of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. We read in I Corinthians 1:30 the Apostle Paul speaking about Jesus Christ:
“…who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification,
Amazing! There is much more in His gift box of salvation that first meets the eye. Jesus is our only Redeemer, but He also is alone our wisdom and He alone can make us wise. He only can put us in that one place from which we can understand life and death, Heaven and earth, time and eternity. Apart from Jesus, no university or college in this world can give us a lick of true understanding or wisdom. He alone can make us righteous before God as if we never sinned. He alone can set us apart as holy unto the Lord. Without Jesus we would be dumb as rocks, guilty as Hell before God, and indistinguishable from the heathen Gentile world.
Keep on unwrapping the gift of God’s Son, for there is always more. Jesus is truly the only gift that keeps on giving! It will take us an eternity in Heaven to discover all the gifts in this One extravagant gift.
Neither should we ever forget the condition of the world that God so loved. We read in Romans 5:8 the unforgettable words,
“But God demonstrated His love His own love toward us, in that while we were
yet sinners Christ died for us.”
The incredible facts are these:
“WHILE THERE WAS EVERYTHING BAD AND IMPERFECT IN US, THERE WAS
ONLY THAT WHICH WAS GOOD AND PERFECT IN THE
GIFT OF HIS SON.
“WHILE THERE WAS ONLY HATRED IN OUR HEARTS, THERE
WAS ONLY LOVE IN GOD’S HEART
Loving those who hated Him! (Romans 8:7) What wondrous love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul, what wondrous love is this!
3. THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
When Jesus Christ had completed His redemptive mission of love on earth, He ascended into Heaven, exchanged His crown of thorns for the crown of glory, and sat down at the right hand of His Father. God, true to His Word and true to Himself, seeing that He is always in the giving mood and mode, went into giving-action once again. This time He sent the awesome gift of the Holy Spirit.
On that great and unforgettable first Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached these words of powerful promise in Acts 2:38,
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name
of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall
receive the GIFT of the HOLY SPIRIT.’”
When God gives, He creates quite a stir. He is not only “The Most Liberal Giver,” He is also “The Most Spectacular Giver.” When He gave the law to Moses, He did so with thunder, lightning and a quaking, dancing mountain. He is not a plain-brown bag, plain-wrapping-paper Giver!
The gift of His Son was accompanied with a moving and brightly shining GPS star in the heavens, as well as with celestial choirs of angels singing praises to God on the Judean hillsides. God’s incredible sound-and-light Christmas when He gave to the world the greatest gift it has or ever will receive.
The gift of the Holy Spirit was accompanied with head-dancing cloven tongues of fire and the sound of a mighty rushing wind. Wind! Fire! They all spoke in unlearned languages! Tongues! That figures! God “The Giver Par Excellence” being “The Giver Magnificent” that He always is!
And when God the multi-Giver gave us the awesome gift of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit Himself came laden with gifts too. Wouldn’t you just know by now that this is the way it would be? The Holy Spirit came with stunning supernatural gifts
that would super-enable
His people to fulfill their Divine callings with far more than just natural imprecision and limited power. These are the gifts that would fortify them and give to them super-intendency
over their spiritual enemies.
We read in I Corinthians 12:8-10 of just a few of these gifts as follows:
“For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another
the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit
to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by
the one Spirit,
and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to
another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various
kinds of tongues,
and to another the interpretation of tongues
Wrapped up in the “Gift of the Holy Spirit
” are “Nine Supernatural Gifts
” that He gives to the body of Christ. The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, effecting of miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues!
Pentecost is more like another Christmas, though far less celebrated in many churches! In fact, for far too many, Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and His gifts, has become nothing more than a post-Easter mirage. Much of the modern church has never unwrapped and embraced the gifts of the Holy Spirit. That continues to be the greatest tragedy in church history.
When God gives, there is never scarcity, but always abundance. We haven’t even mentioned the equipping gifts in Ephesians 4:11-12, or the ministry gifts in Romans 12:6-8. Those must be dealt with in separate studies.
4. GIFT WARS
Of all of the gifts listed above, the Christian Church down through history gratefully and joyfully received most of God’s gifts, but not all of them. All of them except the “Supernatural-Manifestation Gifts
” of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 12:8-10. The Holy Spirit and His gifts have been universally snubbed. How terribly tragic!
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 (KJV) of the church that He would build,
“THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HER.
My, My! Them are fightin words! War cries! Fix your spiritual bayonets! Charge! Which means that Christ’s church will knock down the gates of Satan’s strongholds on earth and set the prisoners free. I used to think that Matthew 16:18 was bout the gates of Hell chasing the church as she runs for her life. Yikes! Sound the retreat. The last one out turn off the lights. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Matthew 16:18 is about the Holy Spirit empowered and gifted church knocking down the doors (spiritually speaking) and devastating the hellish haunts that Satan has set up in the societies of the world. Pornography hell-holes on the internet and street corners! X rated theaters! Hollywood’s smut movies! Crack Houses! Prostitution boulevard! Abortatoriums! The homosexual lobby! Street gangs! Anti-God courts! Anti-God congresses! Anti-God education! Anti-God media! On and on the war rages.
For the church to destroy Satan’s networks, this cannot be a do-it-herself project. She will absolutely need the Holy Spirit’s supernatural gift-weapons against the forces of darkness. In these last days, she cannot do spiritual warfare without the supernatural enablings of God. Only with the the Holy Spirit’s full arsenal will she have the courage and capability of facing the front lines. If she is to war successfully, she must move like a might army fully fortified and armed with all that the Holy Spirit has for her. Otherwise it is like shooting paper wads at vastly superior forces.
“MANY CHURCHES ARE CONTENT WITH BEING SUFFICIENTLY RELIGIOUS
RATHER THAN BEING SUPER-ARMED BY THE SPIRIT.“
Believe it or not, the Holy Spirit’s supernatural-manifestation gifts, also called “Charismata Gifts – Grace Gifts” for the most part have been summarily dismissed by the Christian Church not only, but often vehemently opposed, hatefully renounced, and even declared to be demonic at times. Yes, you are reading me correctly. The horror is this, that in many cases the church has warred against the gift-giving Holy Spirit rather than against that soul-damning Satan, and spit on the Holy Spirits gifts as if they were the hated weapons of the enemy.
That very same hostility against the supernatural-manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 12 exists to this very day. I have seen and been part of church wars over the Holy Spirit and His gifts. There is nothing worse than religious wars! There is nothing more foul. If they don’t spill blood, they drown their victims in ice water! It sends shivers down my spine just to think about it. Board rooms become battlefields. When it comes to church wars, I borrow and agree with the words of W. C. Fields, “On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia.”
I for one bear the scars of that violence. The scars have healed over mostly, and yet are still visible as badges of truth. Since then, some churches have seemingly dropped their hatchets, but alas, they have never buried them.
5. HOLY SPIRIT’S GIFTS DIE WITH APOSTLES
What is all of this anti-Holy Spirit and anti-spiritual gifts venom based on? Bogus theory #1! The first reason for rejecting the Holy Spirit and His gifts that was given by my boyhood church, to state it in the simplest way, was that miracles, healings, tongues, prophecy and such categorically all ended when the last of the apostles died
. In other words, the apostles took the gifts of the Holy Spirit with them to their graves. They didn’t exactly put it that way, but that was in fact what they were preaching to us and teaching us.
That, we are told, was the last the church or the world ever saw of the apostles and the supernatural-manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit. Dead and buried! This of course implies the following:
“THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WERE NOT ANIMATED BY THE ETERNAL
BREATH OF THE SPIRIT, BUT BY THE TEMPORAL BREATH
OF THE APOSTLES
So that when the last apostle breathed his final breath, the gifts of the Holy Spirit breathed their last as well. When the apostles expired, the gifts of the Holy Spirit expired with them. If you will:
“THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WERE ONLY TEMPORARY
However, to validate this alleged expiration and demise of the Holy Spirit’s gifts, certainly at the least, one Scripture should have been found to substantiate the death notice of the supernatural-manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sorry! No Scriptural obituary has ever been found to substantiate the claim that the gifts of the Holy Spirit passed away with the passing of the apostles. None! Zilch! Zero! Nada! Why? Because there is none!
Oh, they did try to manipulate I Corinthians 13:8-9 into meaning that the gifts of the Holy Spirit had been done away with. Huge problem! What the Apostle Paul is talking about there is that the gifts of the Holy Spirit will no longer be needed when we come into Heaven’s perfection. Why would we then need an occasional supernatural word of knowledge or wisdom for instance when we shall be in a Heavenly state of perfectly and eternally knowing even as we are known by God? Why we would we need gifts of healing when all sickness and death have been removed forever? It was nothing but a rape of Scripture to substantiate a false premise. And what is even worse, when one builds upon a false premise, he erects a weak and tottering structure.
It is and has been a false and concocted obituary down through the years. No dead “Holy Spirit Gifts” or their graves have ever been found. No dead supernatural gift grave-markers have ever been found either. What have been found are a lot of stone-cold-dead churches that rejected them! Just a lot of dead seminaries
that have become cemeteries
because they conveniently exclude and even aggressively forbid them!
6. THE WEAKENED CHURCH – THE LOST WORLD
They were all together in one place. 120 of them! Then suddenly they had the overwhelming sensation that they were being literally immersed (baptized) in a power they had never known before. In fact, it was so intoxicating, that bystanders groping for some kind of explanation as to what they seeing in these first century Christians, wrote it off as too much to drink. (Acts 2:13)
The first century Christian Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit and His gifts, was catapulted out of its fishing boats, tax booths and carpenter shops and unleashed the Gospel’s power upon the world with signs and wonders (spiritual gifts) following.
The Holy Spirit’s first miracle healing surgery through the disciples was performed upon a cripple who had been lame from his mother’s womb. The gift of healing manifested itself through Peter as he looked at this poor beggar and said in Acts 3:6,
“I do not possess silver or gold, bu what I do have I give to you: In
then name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk!
The fella jumped up with a leap, went into the temple dancing all over the place and praising God. The people who had known this pathetic wretch for years were filled with wonder and amazement. That was only the beginning of the biography of the Holy Spirit that is still being written to this day.
That power spread throughout the Roman Empire and quickly engulfed the inhabited earth. It literally knocked down the gates of Hell wherever the gospel was preached. Those early Christians were no longer the same, and wherever they went, everyone and everything was changed too. There was no other way to explain it except that is was all by the Holy Spirit through His giftings.
But when the church began to dispute and turn away the Holy Spirit and His gifts; when she began to write papers on the Holy Spirit and His gifts rather than strongly desiring and fervently praying for the Spirit and His gifts, she became a faint and emaciated shadow of her former glory. Since the Holy Spirit’s gift of healing through Peter for the cripple, she has for the most part turned everything over to the hospitals and science.
As a result of the giftless church causing no amazement, land after land has been lost to false religions and pagan ideologies. And today as comfortable and mammon-centered impotent Christianity lures to itself the materialistic tens of thousands, immorality and violence spread across America and the earth like a tsunami of sewage sweeping millions to their eternal Hell.
By sneeringly assigning the Holy Spirit and His gifts exclusively to the Apostles, and now to Oral Roberts, the Pentecostals, the Charismatics and the Holly Rollers, the church has stripped herself of the supernatural powers and enablings that alone can overcome the growing powers of Satanic darkness. Without the gifting of the Holy Spirit, she has become a burnt-out case.
What is even more hideous, the very supernatural powers that vitalized first century Christianity she now claims to be victimized by. But the early Christians in that upper room were not victimized by but made victors through the Holy Spirit and the gifts!
What follows cannot be overstated or overemphasized:
“WHILE THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE NOT DEPENDENT UPON THE APOSTLES
FOR THEIR LIFE, THE CHURCH IS TOTALLY DEPENDENT UPON THE
HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS GIFTS FOR ITS LIFE.
The Holy Spirit’s gifts are not some fancy frills thrown in for glitz and pizzazz. Everything from tongues to miracles to words of knowledge and wisdom to the distinguishing of spirits are mandatory for a dynamic, powerful and world-changing Body of Christ.
As we have already seen, the Greek word for gifts in I Corinthians 12:1-11 comes from the Greek word charis which means grace. Since when is any part of God’s grace optional or dispensable? God’s grace in whatever form is our lifeline, not only for individual Christians but for the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole. If God would ever pull back His grace gift of salvation we would all be damned. If God would ever pull back His supernatural grace gifts from the church, she would be doomed. If you will:
“THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT GIVE OUT GRACE ACCESSORIES, ONLY
Without the Holy Spirit’s grace gifts of supernatural enabling, both the work and the workers of the impotent church are left in disgrace by opportunities for powerful ministry left unfulfilled. The sick are left to suffer and die, the demon-possessed are left in torment, and those who need a miracle are deprived as the situation turns into a disaster.
Again and again I have seen people come into the church from the world, people who were being brutalized by the Devil, and there was no one in the churches to help them in the spirit-anointed and discerning-ministry-gift of deliverance. No one! Tragic! If you will, without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the common good is being left unmet. (I Corinthians 12:7) Fact:
“THE CHURCH WITHOUT THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS GIFTS
BECOMES THE DEFINITION OF IMPOTENCE AND FUTILITY
George Barna once asked a group of pastors how they believed Christ would rate their church if He were to return today. Fifty-three percent of those pastors said Christ would rate their church as having little or no positive impact on souls or society. There is nothing more pathetic than a church that is stone cold dead and doesn’t know it. How devastatingly sad!
You see, we as believers are the Church of Christ in this world. We are the Body of Jesus Christ and he is the Head of His church. Even as the condition of the world reflects directly upon the the church, so the condition of the church reflects directly upon the Head. That is why Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit made sure that we would be a credible, honorable and powerful representation and reflection of Himself throughout the earth. If you will:
“THROUGH THE GRACE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, CHRIST WOULD HAVE
HIMSELF ON DISPLAY BEFORE THE WORLD THROUGH A CHURCH
WITH THE FULLNESS OF HIS DIVINE WISDOM
7. BOGUS THEORY #1 SHREDDED
What then is at the core of the church’s being in so many cases a burnt over case and a burnt out wick? Simply this, that the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12 have been tied in tradition exclusively to the 12 Apostles
. This is the major and devastating fallacy that many churches are still existing with and laboring under today.
When the fact of the matter is that the Holy Spirit gives His gifts to whomsoever He sovereignly wills in the Body of Christ. So we read in I Corinthians 12:11,
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each
one individually just as He wills.”
It does not say, “Distributing to each apostle individually as He wills.” The Apostles did not have a corner on spiritual gifts, or have exclusive rights to them whatsoever. Fact:
“ALL OF THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE FOR ALL OF THE
BODY OF CHRIST.
Nowhere in the Bible are the gifts of the Holy Spirit designated as exclusively “Apostolic
.” Nowhere! That is a myth! Much of this misleading and faulty tradition has come from the fact that the book of Acts has been traditionally called “The Acts Of The Apostles
,” when in reality it should be called “The Acts Of The Holy Spirit
.” The result has been that Christians throughout the ages have looked upon “The Apostles” as giants all the while looking upon themselves as dwarfs in comparison. You generally remain what you define yourself to be.
Because of this fallacy, there are tens of thousands of churches across the landscape whose parishioners have never once in their life heard a series of sermons on I Corinthians 12:1-11. I know. because I pastored some of them. They still look upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit as enemies rather than friends, as riddles rather instructions, as contrary to reason rather than super-rational.
Furthermore, so what if the original apostles have passed away. Who doesn’t? But their inspired writing has never and will never pass away. They were simply the Holy Spirit’s conduits of truth. The apostles themselves are not normative for anything. The truth that God gave us through them is normative for everything and everyone.
Yes, the 12 apostles died! God the Father lives! Jesus lives! The Holy Spirit lives! God’s Word lives! We no longer and we never did have to look back covetously upon the apostles. When it comes to gifts, we do not have to compete with them. For we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:35,
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”
8. COMPLETED BIBLE REPLACES SUPERNATURAL GIFTS
Bogus Theory #2! The next reason that my boyhood church gave for the termination of the gifts of the Holy Spirit was even more irrational and mind-boggling. I was told that the second reason we didn’t have or need tongues, healings, miracles, and all of that other supernatural stuff, was because now we have the completed Bible. I remember scratching my head on that one for years, and as hard as I scratched, the itch never went away. It just got worse!
If you will:
“NOW THAT WE HAVE THE COMPLETED HOLY SPIRIT INSPIRED WORD, WE NOW
NO LONGER NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERED GIFTS
Poor Holy Spirit! He can’t win for losing. His Word canceled out His gifts. Well at least there was still a substantial net gain, for while He lost 9 gifts, He still had 66 severely shredded books, for an overall net gain of 55 severely cut and rewritten scriptures. Yes I know, this sounds like the mathematics of exegetical insanity! It is!
What is being said here is that God inspired His Bible and then imprisoned His gifts. He revealed His omniscience and then restrained His omnipotence. His Gospel has been declared and His gifts have been deactivated.
What this notion of God’s Word replacing God’s Word means then is that God is positively negating Himself. God is replacing God! This of course is absolutely absurd. What man does is often counterproductive, to be sure. But not God! Never! God never counteracts or contradicts Himself.
If this were a political campaign, many would accuse God of flip-flopping. Or, that God does not mean what He says. He changes His mind! It all comes close to saying that God is lying. To which He responds firmly in Numbers 23:19,
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent;
has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and
will He not make it good?”
This of course surfaces a dramatic and obvious truth. It is this:
“GOD CANNOT GO BACK ON HIS WORD.”
It is a Divine impossibility! If God says it, you can chisel it in granite. God cannot deny Word. Human beings may go back on their word, but not God. Never!
Another way of stating my boyhood church’s bogus teaching that we are dealing with here is as follows:
“NOW THAT WE HAVE ALL OF THE TRUTH, WE DON’T NEED SOME
OF THE TRUTH.”
“NOW THAT WE HAVE ALL OF THE SCRIPTURE, WE DON’T NEED
SOME OF THE SCRIPTURE.”
Or more pointedly still:
“NOW THAT WE HAVE ALL OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, WE DON’T NEED
SOME OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Crazy stuff! That means then because we have Revelation 12 for instance, we don’t need I Corinthians 12. When I was young, I heard Revelation 12 preached about, but I never once heard I Corinthians 12:1-11 preached about. Never! Why? Because according to my church, now that we had the whole Bible, that part of the Bible was not necessary any longer. My church was in fact writing her own partial Bible, and substituting it for the entire Bible.
That is sort of like me saying to my wife when we were first married that since we now finally can be together every day, which we had forever passionately long for, I am now going to eliminate Saturday so that we can be alone. But why would I eliminate one day when all the days of the week were wonderfully and ecstatically ours now?
So too, why eliminate I Corinthians 12:1-11 and dozens of other related Scriptures
, when we can have all of the Word of God and all of God in the Word? Why pick I Corinthians 12:1-11 for elimination and not some other passages in the New Testament? After all, there is so much to pick from if you are going to eliminate some things.
Religious Humanists in the modern Christian church eliminate all of the passages that explicitly condemn abortion, homosexuality, and same sex marriage. They are clipping and cutting the Bible to shreds to be able to call themselves citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and yet live and act like Hell at the same time. They erase truth to be able to advance an agenda of their sin sick, sensual pleasures and fleshly corruptions in the name of Christ.
But why more specifically did the church erase I Corinthians 12:1-11 and act as if it isn’t even there? I’ll tell you why. Two reasons very briefly, though there are more.
First, they cut it out of the Bible, and dozens of other related passages throughout the New Testament, because they insisted and still insist today on a rational and scientific explanation for everything. That keeps everything and everyone comfortably in the realm of human reason and understanding, which by nature man is totally addicted too, completely reliant upon and hugely proud of.
Not only that, but they consider human reason and understanding to be the highest and noblest perfections and powers on earth
, and they cannot allow themselves to bow down to the supernatural and the super-rational in action. The positive-thinking philosophy
in the modern church is at the center of this, for it believes, preaches and writes books stating that the positive-thinking mind is the greatest power on earth. Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller write and teach exactly that. You will never find in churches that major in the positive-thinking philosophy the supernatural and super-rational gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation.
In short, everything must be kept inside of the borders of the intellectually manageable and understandable. Don’t get into that spooky, supernatural stuff, even though the Bible is a supernatural book about the supernatural God and His supernatural works. Hear me:
“BY REFUSING TO ALLOW GOD TO MYSTIFY HIS PEOPLE, THE
CHURCH IS MISLEADING HIS PEOPLE.
Dear Lord, to demystify You is to deface and degrade You, and to deceive your people and the world. I agree to a point with Alfred White North when he says:
“EVERYTHING MUST BE MADE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, BUT
NOT MORE SO.“
, when they allow the supernatural to function fully in the church, they are no longer in control, and there is the rub
. God is then in control! Horrors! He can interrupt liturgies, orders of worship, and even the scheduled sermon with a word of knowledge that He wants something else done in the service that morning, and even something else preached about. How awful, for the worship and liturgy committee has worked all week long on this, and it is all printed as an insert in the bulletin. They are in control. They would never dream that the God they worship could on location change the worship of God. I recall in my rookie pastorate repositioning the Apostle’s Creed in the liturgy during an evening service and I just about got lynched at the next board meeting. Enough said!
You see, when it come to those who believe in and welcome the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they really should have written over their church entrance:
“FOR THOSE WHO WANT GOD TO BE IN CONTROL.
But when it comes to those who reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they really should have written over their church entrance:
“FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO RUN THE SHOW.“
Before moving on to the third bogus theory for rejecting the supernatural-manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit, I must point out the incredible irony of this entire thing. The day came in my spiritually sterile life and ministry that I cried out to the Holy Spirit to fill me with Himself and all that I might be missing in the Lord of the Word and the Word of the Lord. I knew that something was terribly wrong, for neither my church nor myself resembled the New Testament Church. We were both sterile and stymied.
When I did that, it was as if I saw the Bible for the first time in my life. I for the first time was fully invaded by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit began to lead me into all truth, much of which I had never before seen, let alone understand in my life. Instead of shrinking the Word, He expanded the Word before my very eyes.
At that moment, I permitted the whole Bible to be and to be that fully lit lamp unto my feet and that fully burning light upon my path. While my church was busy hiding parts of the Scripture, the Holy Spirit got real busy in revealing every part of the Scripture. It was then that I for the first time celebrated the full Bible – “Full Gospel.” It is wonderful! Now:
“IT IS NO LONGER PICK AND CHOOSE FROM THE WORD. IT IS NOW GET
FILLED AND OOZE WITH THE WORD .”
( “SPIRITUAL GIFTS ENDED – THREE BOGUS THEORIES” Pt. 2 WILL
BE AVAILABLE IN DECEMBER 2008’s WHOLE TRUTH HELP)