WE ARE NOT PENTECOSTAL, BUT WE RELY ON GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
(A Study Outline)
1)Think of where it is recorded that Jesus explains the most about the Spirit and His work. It was on Maundy Thursday evening recorded in John 14-16. There Jesus does not refer at all to miraculous gifts but exclusively to the Word that the Spirit would give showing how this is the most important.
• Jn. 14:15 commandment, 17 truth, 24 My words, 26 teach all things, bring to remembrance what I said.
• Jn. 15:10 My commandments, 12 My commandment, 20 word, 26 truth, bear witness.
• Jn. 16:8 convince of sin and righteousness and judgment, 13 truth, speak, declare.
The pentecostals will say that Jesus does speak of miracles in Jn. 14:12. But not so. If it said there ‘signs, wonders and works’, they would be correct. But it doesn’t. Jesus disciples would do greater works than His. This cannot be greater miracles. Feeding 4000 and 5000, giving sight to a man born blind and so on are not matched or exceeded by His apostles. The ‘works’ are the preaching and teaching of the Word. Jesus in 3 ½ years was to work mostly in the confines where God’s people were in order to fulfill Scripture. But His apostles went far afield and exceeded His preaching and teaching in this way. Think of Paul and the others who spoke to more people than Jesus did.
2)Miracles were given through the apostles and their associates.
• 2 Cor. 12:12 Paul says miracles were a sign of an apostle of which he was one
• In Mt. 10:8 many miraculous powers were cited as given to the apostles, while to the seventy one is mentioned, Lk. 10:17.
• Miracles through the apostles are evident – Acts 2:43, 5:12, 6:6
• They laid on their hands to grant these powers – Acts 8:17-18, 19:6. And two of the seven had this power conferred – Philip, Acts 8:7-8, Stephen, Acts 6:8
3)Think now of all the miracles we have in the New Testament. But today only some of these the pentecostals claim to be able to do. Why? Why not all as in the days of the apostles?
• Speaking in tongues, healing, casting out demons, seeing angels, drinking poison, snake bite not harming, raising the dead, foretelling the future, talking direct to God/vision Acts 18:9, pronouncing a judgment Acts 13:11
• We have to remember that the devil has power also and in the days of the apostles he worked his miracles also. Mt. 12:27 by whom…cast out, Acts 19:13 sons of Sceva, Acts 16:16 spirit of divination. Today also the devil can use his power.
4)Gifts – Higher and Lower
• 1 Cor. 12:27-31 – Paul points out the gifts in connection with the Word which are listed as ‘first…second…third’. These are pointed out as the higher gifts. These we are to ‘desire’ v. 31.
• Eph.4:11 The men who are the ‘higher’ gifts to the church are in connection with the Word.
5)“Filled with the Holy Spirit” is favorite expression of the pentecostals. They mean by it that one can do miracles. But in Scripture most of the time it means to speak the Word, to have boldness of faith to tell.
• On tongues/miracle – Acts 2:4
• On speaking the Word with a bold faith – Acts 4:8, 31, 9:17, 13:9, 52
6)The pentecostals basically develop two classes, those who can do miracles and those who can’t, maintaining that those who can are better Christians with higher faith…so on. But that is not what Scripture teaches – Eph. 4:4-7, Rom. 8:9.
7)Today pentecostals claim to speak in other tongues that are not known. At the first Pentecost it was known languages and all examples after that should follow it. Acts 2:4,8, 1 Cor. 14:1-3, 19.
8) Warnings are given about not desiring/seeking miraculous signs.
• Lk. 11:29-32 The Word is what counts. The queen came to Solomon to hear. Nineveh heard and repented.
• Mt. 12:27 …by whom do your sons…
• Mt. 7:21-23 …great signs…I never knew you.
• Mt. 24:3-14 In v. 14 the Word is stressed and in v. 24 the false do great signs.
• 2 Thess. 2:9-12 the antichrist will do…
• Those who claim to do some signs may be doing so: by the devil’s power, by deceiving, healings maybe done to psychosomatic ailments.
• The pentecostals have added to NT signs which are not in the Bible and should point out how they are deceiving. We measure all by the Word. They now have fainting in the spirit and holy laughter.
10)The miraculous signs and wonders were given as the Word was being given. They confirmed and testified to the Word, pointing at it. Now we have the complete Word from Genesis to Revelation.
• Mk. 16:19 The Lord “…confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”
• Heb. 2:4 God “bore witness(to the Word) by signs, and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His own will.”