Charismata, Tongues-speaking, Healings? ...

Is there a false Spirit of Pentecost?

Sweeping the Christian world is what has been described as a "new spirit of Pentecost". What does it herald? Is this a movement of the Spirit of God?

The Apostle John instructs us "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God." (I John 4:1). The Holy Spirit is real and powerful, but so are false imitations. We must be alert - we must let no man deceive us. We must discern where true spirituality ends and deceitful emotionalism begins.

The "charismatic movement", also known as the "tongues movement", is on the ascendant across the denominational divide. It unites Protestant and Catholic and indeed non-Christian faiths. Is it always a unifying thrust of the Holy Spirit? How does it relate to the Bible?

Christianity is fragmented. Literally hundreds of denominations professing the name of Jesus Christ make up the world's near two billion Christians. Surely anything that unifies them must be good, and from God? The new spiritual buzz-words are "unity and love in the Spirit". In other words - emotion and experience. But the test is not unity, not numerical growth or superiority. The true test is whether a movement conforms to the Word of God!

A Universal Faith

The Bible prophesies that at the end time there will be one great all-conquering universal religion marching under the banner of the name of Jesus Christ. But it won't be the religion Jesus founded! The end-time universal church will have swallowed whole the "oneness" doctrine - unity at any price.

What is the "glue" that could bond together the current variety of belief? According to proponents, it's the gifts of the Spirit - charismata. And foremost of these is the gift of "tongues" - a practice shared with non-Christian religions, even animists!

The Spirit of Pentecost

The true Spirit of Pentecost leads in a different direction! As our article last month [Revival - Now?] pointed out, God's Church in the end of the age will be scattered, persecuted, hounded - a minority faith.

Note a result of that first Pentecost: "...they were cut to the heart and said ... What shall we do? Peter said, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin ... So those who received his word were baptized ... and they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching" (Acts 2:37-42).

The churches today, apart from the remnant who cling faithfully to that teaching, ally themselves with the monstrous political entity being hastily flung together in Europe. Destined to dominate the world for a brief three years, the world church and the world government will be utterly destroyed at the coming of Jesus Christ!

Inexorably Christianity is being drawn into the vortex of an evil spiritual whirlwind. Every professing Christian must examine himself, herself, to be sure they are of the true faith of Jesus Christ.

To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.

For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Issue 9, May/June 1998. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.

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