Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


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and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement Part 2

These posts stem from a series of fifteen studies conducted, in our Youth Fellowship meetings, at the request of the young people who attend, dealing with the errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement

Study 1 - Introduction

Study Two - The Infilling of the Spirit
The whole basis for the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement is the claimed 'infilling' or 'baptism' of the Holy Spirit. It is argued by them that this infilling of the Spirit, as outlined in the New Testament, manifests itself in the supernatural 'gifts', ie. tongue speaking, faith healing, prophecy, etc. These gifts are to be sought for and displayed in the life of those who follow the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement.

Before going on to consider individual aspects of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement we want first to understand what the Scriptures have to say about the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This will help us to test whether what purports to be of God in the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement is really agreeable to the Scriptures.


I. There is a marked difference between the 'indwelling' and the 'infilling' of the Holy Spirit. 


1. A believer is indwelt by the Spirit at conversion. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in the life of the sinner that He brings unto Christ and our bodies become the temple of the Holy Ghost, 1 Corinthians 6:19,20: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. No one can be saved without the Spirit indwelling them.

This is why the Bible speaks of being born of the Spirit, John 3:5-8: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who regenerates a dead sinner making them spiritually alive and therefore now able to exercise the gifts of faith and repentance given by the Lord.

2. The infilling of the Holy Spirit however is something entirely distinct. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is never to be equated with the infilling of the Holy Spirit or vice versa. They are two entirely distinct things. Sadly in some circles the infilling of the Holy Ghost is not given the place that it ought to have. It might be deemed too charismatic. However, the Holy Spirit has a distinct work which He performs as part of the Trinity in the lives of believers. It is very important to give the Holy Ghost His rightful place.

Maybe this lack of emphasis is a reaction to the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement and the mistaken teaching and practices which surround their understanding of this topic. 

II. Neither is this infilling of the Spirit an one off, second blessing, type of an experience. 
In considering the Scriptures we discover that the same Apostles were repeatedly filled with the Holy Spirit:

1. The Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. These Apostles were already converted men at this stage. They had also engaged in a degree of service for the Lord by this stage. 

2. These same Apostles were filled again, individually and collectively, Acts 4:8,31: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel & And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. These were separate occasions to the day of Pentecost. This illustrates the point that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is something to be sought and repeatedly known throughout our Christian lives, after our conversion. 

3. The same thing happened with PaulActs 9:17; 13:9: And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost & Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. These are separate occasions in the life of Paul and separate infillings of the Holy Ghost.

III. The Scriptures clearly emphasise what the primary feature is of someone filled with the Holy Spirit. 
The Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement will tell us that speaking in tongues is the defining characteristic of being filled with the Spirit. That is most definitely not what the Scriptures teach!

1. The infilling of the Holy Spirit relates to a divine power to serve Christ. The 'indwelling' of the Spirit relates to redemption and our life as a child of God. The 'infilling' of the Spirit relates to power and our lives as servants of God.

The Scriptures teach that the infilling of the Spirit is an infusion of divine power into the life of an individual believer so that they may serve Christ acceptably and effectively in this world, Hebrews 12:28: Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. There is an acceptable way to serve God and an unacceptable way. The only acceptable way is, never in the energy of the flesh but, in the fulness of the power of the Holy Ghost.

In the early New Testament Church this power of the Spirit manifested itself in an authority and an ability to be an effective witness for Christ, Acts 4:31,33: And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them allOn this particular occasion the power that came from the infilling of the Holy Ghost manifested itself in a holy 'boldness' to speak the word of the Lord. 'Great power' manifested itself in great 'boldness'. 

2. These features were also present in the ministry of Paul, 1 Thessalonians 1:5: For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…. Is this not the power that we need to seek today for our service for God? 

3. There is a clear connection made between the infilling of the Holy Ghost and the reception of power to witness for Christ in the instructions given by the Lord to the Apostles after the resurrectionLuke 24:49: And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high Acts 1:8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth

4. There are also interchangeable terms observable in the life of StephenActs 6:5,8: And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch & And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the peopleWe are to equate being full of the Holy Ghost with being full of power.


Power to witness for Christ then is the defining characteristic of being filled with the Holy Spirit and not tongue speaking, or any other supernatural gift, as is often claimed by the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement. 

IV. The infilling of the Spirit must be sought for.
In Ephesians 5:18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit, Paul is exhorting existing believers in Ephesus to seek for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The form of the verb in this statement is in the continuous tense. Again indicating that it is not an one off but a continuous experience to seek. We are to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to keep on seeking continually, day by day, to be filled with the Holy Ghost. We must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

V. The infilling of the Spirit must be renewed for each new challenge. 
It is not sufficient to rely on past help and blessing from God the Holy Spirit for each new and fresh challenge that we meet. Each and every new challenge must be met with a fresh infilling of the Holy Ghost.

1. We read that the Apostles were filled afresh with power to do what was basically the same work for God, Acts 4:31,33: And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. This was no more or less than what they had done on the day of Pentecost. Yet they needed, sought for and received a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit to enable them to do so on this subsequent occasion. 

2. Hence we can now easily understand Paul's exhortation to the EphesiansEphesians 5:18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. He was teaching them the need to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Let us learn what the infilling of the Holy Spirit really is and then seek God for that infilling. 

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