Charismatic Doctrine In The Light Of God’s Word


  We have now worked through the Pentecostal/Charismatic doctrine on the "baptism in the Spirit," and the miraculous gifts; and it has been shown to be a false doctrine. Gifts which were given by the Lord either to authenticate the ministry of the apostles until they passed from the scene, or to edify the Church until the New Testament Scriptures were complete, are, it is claimed, still being given today to those who truly desire them, even though such a teaching has absolutely no support in the Word of God. Multitudes eagerly seek a supposed "second blessing," having hands laid on them, sometimes crying, screaming, falling down, shaking (or being shaken), until they either go home disappointed or succeed in uttering some strange syllables which, they are told excitedly, are "tongues." Multitudes more eagerly line up to be prayed for by some Charismatic "faith healer," and wonder why they do not "receive their healing".

  All this is bad enough. But the most dangerous part of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement is this: it is a denial of 2 Tim.3:15-17. It is a denial of one of the fundamental doctrines of the faith: that Scripture is all-sufficient; that it contains all that the Lord has been pleased to reveal; that no further revelation is to be given. However much many within the movement seek to deny this, it is nevertheless true. For in the early Church, tongues, and prophecy, and words of wisdom and knowledge, were revelations of the Holy Spirit! They came with a "Thus saith the Lord!" And if they are still given to men today, then new revelations are still being given. The Bible is not sufficient!

  And what are the evil results of such a false and heretical doctrine?

  When the only divinely-given rule of faith is removed, then any excess of doctrine and conduct is possible! Remove the only standard whereby teachings can be judged, and it is possible to believe anything; any "fables" (2 Tim.4:3,4); any "wind of doctrine" (Eph.4:14); any "damnable heresies" (2 Pet.2:1); any "commandments of men" (Matt.15:9). And this is precisely what has happened in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement. It is the proud boast of many within the movement that they are not concerned with doctrine: "Doctrine divides; we don't want to know about doctrine! Love is what matters: love, and unity, and the power of the Holy Spirit!" This attitude has led Charismatics to embrace one heresy after another (and this attitude is itself a heresy). As long as a man speaks with tongues, or supposedly has some other "gift," that man is received as a "brother in Christ"–even if he denies the Trinity, or the true doctrine of Christ's atoning death, or the true doctrine of the new birth, or anything else!

  Increasingly, the only "doctrine" that really matters is the Charismatic doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as analysed above. As long as there is agreement on that, any heretic, regardless of how damnable his heresy, is welcomed as a brother in Christ. There have always been exceptions, but increasingly this has become the rule. For when the spirits are not tried by the Word of God (this having been set aside as an all-sufficient standard), but by those who claim to possess a miraculous gift of "discerning of spirits," then increasingly the ones who are "discerned" as being led by false spirits, or as denying the Holy Spirit, or even as committing the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, are those who reject Charismatic subjectivism, believe the Bible to be the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and allow Scripture to interpret itself. Those who are orthodox in doctrine are, increasingly, being viewed as the heretics by those within the Charismatic Movement.

  The Pentecostal/Charismatic rejection of the true doctrine of Scripture leads to other extremely serious doctrinal errors: the Holy Spirit is glorified, not Christ–contrary to the Word of God (Jn.15:26; 16:14); and regeneration, saving faith, the gift of repentance, the forgiveness of sins, justification–all these great and glorious spiritual blessings are played down as being only "step one": much more is supposedly needed–the "baptism". These are matters that have to do with salvation itself. The "gospel" of Charismatism is a false "gospel".

  And this rejection of sound doctrine–indeed, this rejection of the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures–has also, step by step, led the Charismatics along the path of Ecumenism: a path that ultimately leads to the doors of Rome. Having jettisoned sound doctrine, they were able to embrace Roman Catholics as "brethren in Christ" when the "Charismatic Catholic Movement" began. Having made "the baptism" the test of orthodoxy, they opened their arms wide in welcome when they beheld Popish priests, nuns, and others "speaking with tongues", "prophesying", performing "miracles of healing", etc.

  They are blissfully ignorant of the fact that Romanism has always produced its "new revelations" and its "miracles."

  They are blissfully ignorant of the fact that the Charismatic Movement and Roman Catholicism are one in their rejection of the written Word of God as the sole and all-sufficient authority.

  They are blissfully ignorant of the fact that, just as it is not the Holy Spirit of God who is at work in Romanism, but the spirit of Antichrist, a false spirit, a lying spirit, a seducing spirit, so it is in the Charismatic Movement! For the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" (Jn.14:17). The Scriptures, which he moved men to write (2 Pet.1:21), are the Scriptures of truth (Jn.17:17). He does not work contrary to the Word. If, then, the Holy Spirit is not the author of the doctrinal errors of this movement, which have such serious consequences, we are left with only one conclusion.

Lying spirits are behind the false doctrines of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement.

The Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement is not of God.

May the Lord be pleased to open the eyes of many within this movement, to the truth of God's holy Word.

Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel.  He lives in South Africa and runs Bible Based Ministries.  For other pamphlets (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, tapes, news articles, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, please send your details.

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