Thursday, July 15, 2010


People are drawn to the charismatic error because error is easier to believe than the truth.

I ended part one of this series with an explanation of the Biblical doctrine of holiness. The "holiness" which draws the charismatic initiate is not the holiness of the Bible. The so-called "holiness" to which the charismatic erroneously clings is an emotional high that is not Biblical and ends up being an up-and-down roller coaster, addictive emotional experience.

In the issue of sanctification that I covered at the end of part one, the error of the charismatic movement is that you need something more than just Christ's death on a Cross. You need the "power which is from on high." They call this "the baptism of the Holy Spirit." (This phrase and its accompanying idea are not found in the pages of Scripture.) And, this emotional experience comes to you over and over and over again. This is their doctrine of holiness. The draw is a hyped-up emotional experience.

The means to the Biblical doctrine is harder. It involves death on a cross.

As I said in part one, a true test of whether or not someone has sincerely come to faith and trust in Christ as Lord and Savior is whether or not he or she wants most earnestly to walk as Jesus walked. This desire to walk like Christ, in the Spirit, is not found in the seeking and eventual finding in a "second blessing" or "a second work of grace" or "in something more than Christ's death, burial, and resurrection on the cross." You want to follow Christ?

"When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it."" (Mark 8:34-35 NKJV)

The truth of what it means to walk in holiness in Christ is to take up your cross daily. It is to "put to death the deeds of the flesh." (Colossians 3: 1-11)

You "put to death the deeds of the flesh" by engaging in a vigorous "walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5: 16-18).

Walking in the Spirit is antithetical to walking in the flesh.

One walks in the Spirit by letting the Word of Christ dwell in you.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16 NKJV)

Notice in Ephesians 5:18-20, the command to be filled (controlled or empowered) with the Spirit results in the same thing as "letting the word of Christ dwell in you."

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:18-20 NIV)

The reason for this is the Colossian text tells you exactly what it means to be filled with the Spirit (or to walk in the Spirit so you don't fulfill the desires of the flesh.) Those things, which equal the same things, equal each other. To be filled with the Spirit is to let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.

To let the Word of Christ dwell in your richly is to obey what the Word tells you. For example, if the Word tells you to confess your sins (1 John 1:9), each time the Spirit convicts you of sinning and you consequently confess your sin, you have yielded to the Spirit of God using His Word to control and empower you.

To expound this further, when you feel the temptation to tell a lie, how do you know this is sin? Because the living Word, Christ, tells you so in the 9th commandment, among other verses, that to lie is sin. You cry out to God in your heart, "Establish my footsteps in thy Word and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me," (Psalms 119:133) and you yield in faith to what the Word tells you to do. Or, you cry out in desperation, "Have mercy upon me, Oh God, a sinner and take this temptation from me."

Many people are drawn to the charismatic error out of desperation.

There are those desperate for an emotional spiritual or religious experience.

There are those desperate from some sort of intense emotional problem or crisis and seek relief with a religious label on it that relief.

There are those desperate to find something "more" than what their traditional mainstream denomination has to offer.

There are those desperate to find something that meets their psychological need to walk by sight and not faith. They have to have something "concrete" in their lives.

Many people are drawn to the charismatic error out of a desire to put their personal experience above truth.

I can remember the endless talks, some lasting well into the next day, with charismatic roommates who could not get past, "But I had the experience of speaking in tongues and therefore it is true." If you try to reason with charismatics, they will insist that the basis upon which they know speaking in tongues is valid and true is because they experienced it.

They elevate human experience as on par with Biblical truth. Because they experienced it, therefore it is true and this lies at the heart of the charismatic heresy. But, the epistemology of the Bible goes from Truth to Experience. This is how God deals with us. It is Biblical Truth we believe and that results in an experience. God never moves in our life based on an experience. He does not deal with us from Experience to Truth but from Truth to Experience.

"It is not an experience, no matter how unusual or miraculous it appears, that determines whether or not a doctrine is true. There is only ONE thing which determines if something is true, and that is the Bible rightly divided!" -

Someone claims to have spoken in tongues as the result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit - WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

Don't be deceived. Everything we need to live the Christian life is found in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What Christ bought for us on the Cross is complete, sufficient, and without anything lacking.

We are complete in Christ

"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV)

We need nothing more.