The following is a pre-recorded program. Well, you know that I believe that the gifts and power of the Spirit, as mentioned in the New Testament, are for today as well. Many of you differ.
We'll find out why today. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown.
Hey friends, welcome to The Line of Fire broadcast. We're going to have a lot of fun today, constructive, edifying fun in the best sense of the word, as I'm going to interact with some of you explaining why you don't agree with me on the gifts and power of the Spirit. I've had days where I've opened up the phones and said, hey, call in and explain why you don't agree with this or why you hold to this position or you differ with me on this. And some days we'll get flooded with calls, some topics we'll get flooded with calls, others people won't call for whatever reason. So I post it on Twitter and on Facebook.
I already did this so don't respond now. I post it on Twitter and Facebook and I ask for responses. So I want to interact with these now because many of those responding will speak for you and I want to give you my feedback, all right? I want to give you my reasons for believing what I believe. In my book, Authentic Fire, so I'm not taking calls today, so I'm not giving the number out. In my book, Authentic Fire, which was a response to Pastor John MacArthur's Strange Fire, written with respect and honor of a senior man of God and senior leader in the body with whom I differ on the gifts and power of the Spirit for today. In the book, I have a chapter called Sola Scriptura and therefore Charismatic. Now if you're familiar with the term Sola Scriptura, it's a term that says that our faith is based on the written Word of God and not on outside tradition and not even on outside experience but based on nature. So as Paul says in Galatians 1, if I or an angel come and preach any other gospel to you than the gospel you've heard, then let that person, that angel, whoever it is, be accursed. And under the law in Deuteronomy 13, God said that he would test Israel, right? That someone might come who is a prophet or dreamer of dreams or a miracle worker and they might prophesy something or work a miracle and would come to pass and they'd say come follow other gods. No, God's testing you, right? So if an angel comes down with power and glory and everything in your room shakes and that angel says throw out the Bible, it's not God's Word and based on the Word, we're to rebuke that Spirit in Jesus' name.
Say get behind me, you don't have to say those exact words but you know what I'm saying, reject that as counterfeit. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians the 11th chapter verses 13-15 that Satan himself comes as an angel of light. So it's going to be the same with false apostles. False prophets. Paul specifically speaking there are false apostles.
That they're going to come looking like real apostles, like the real thing. Remember the counterfeit on some level has to look like the real. No one counterfeits a three dollar bill because there are no three dollar bills. So it has to look real in some way, it has to look authentic in some way. This has to have some resemblance, some deception in it that makes you think it's the real thing. No one calls you on the phone and says hey, I'm a con man and I want to steal all your money. Will you give it to me?
No. The notorious stereotypical used car salesman of old, yeah, this vehicle only had 4,000 miles on it. His grandma just drove it to church and that was it. They got to have something that at least looks good to tell you that story. So Satan's going to come as an angel of light. There's going to be deception. 2 Thessalonians 2 talks about the man of sin, the antichrist, working all types of counterfeit miracles. In the book of Revelation there are pictures of these demonic powers working counterfeit miracles. We know that the magicians imposing Moses were able to work some counterfeit miracles but they could only go so far, right?
The true miracles of God crushed theirs. But in point of fact there are counterfeits out there and there are many people who question the reality of miracles, healings today and they say well look, I'm soul of the scripture. Well I'm soul of the scripture also which is why I embrace the gifts and power of the Spirit. It's why I hold to healing for today. I don't hold to divine healing today primarily based on what I've seen.
I've seen some miracles and I know many others have seen many more miracles than I have of healing but my primary reason for believing in divine healing for today that we can pray for the sick with expectation of healing and believe to see miracles taking place in our day is based on scripture, not experience, based on scripture. When I found very interesting after I wrote Authentic Fires I began to hear from people who said I have to admit I rejected the things of the Spirit because of bad experiences. Reading your book and that chapter in particular convinced me of what the Word says, now I have to process what to do with that. Alright so here's what I tweeted. I tweeted this, please post here, I did this a week ago, why you are not continuationist charismatic. I'll do my best to interact with your post in the coming line of fire broadcast.
The sooner you post the better, thanks. I did that on Twitter and then I did that on Facebook. So I'm just gonna read through some of the responses as they came in and I understand that any of these people responding if they called in or if they had their own broadcast could articulate in much more depth, right? They could say much more than what they're saying in a tweet. So I'm not claiming that they gave the best fullest argument they came, this is primary thing that they tweet, right?
That's what they're communicating. So Kyle said this, Charismatics often de-emphasize scripture and boast of visits to heaven, angel visitations, head jerking, twitching, physics of heaven, healing on command, really here suffering on the cross, too many verses are taken out of context, rarely are spirits tested, need more balance. On the one hand I agree with a lot of that, on the other hand I would absolutely say some of it is overstated. For example, I know a handful of people that speak of visits to heaven, but it's certainly not the norm. Remember I've been in this in Charismatic circles for the better part of 50 years, right? There was a season where I was not in Charismatic circles as much for a few years, right?
For four or five years. But otherwise, 51 years in the Lord now, going on that, I've been in Charismatic Pentecostal circles, all right? So I know a handful of people who speak of heavenly visitation or a regular basis, it is certainly not the norm in the circles in which I travel. Angel visitations, I've never had an angelic visitation that I was aware of, that too is fairly rare, all right?
Fairly rare. Head jerking, they don't boast of head jerking or twitching. Even the head jerking thing.
I've seen that here and there. The one prominent example in the Brownsville Revival that Hank Hanegraaff, when we became friends, he said, I'm genuinely concerned about this woman's health, a woman named Valerie in the Brownsville Assembly of God. And she was in the choir and you just see her head shaking like that the whole time. And Hank said he talked to a doctor about it, he was genuinely concerned. He didn't think it was real, certainly didn't think it was God.
I mean, didn't think it was really from God, I should say, and was concerned. So I asked her about it. And she said that she was a believer, but was living in rebellion, I believe was living with a guy. And she got in a bad car accident.
She was a school teacher teaching children with special needs, if I recall, or at least she was getting her master's degree to help teach children with special needs. And she got in a bad car accident and her neck froze as a result of it. So if she had to talk to you, if you were next to her, she had to turn her body because she couldn't turn her neck at all. And God was dealing with her to repent of her sin. The night that she repented, she was instantly healed. And as a sign, her neck began to move and moved like that for years when she was in services and felt the presence of God, pain-free and injury-free and trauma-free.
So interestingly, it was a sign, whether you like it or not, that was her story. But people, both men, head jerking, yeah, I've been in plenty of meetings where people are, quote, twitching, but this is not, no one's boasting about that. Physics of Heaven, that's one book. I would dare say that if you talked to 100 million, did a representative sampling of 100 million charismatics around the world and asked how many are familiar with what's in the book Physics of Heaven, you'd find maybe one out of 100, maybe, if that many.
To me, that would be a very, very high number. Going on command, yeah, we do believe that we pray in faith for healing, absolutely, because of scripture, because of the explicit teaching of scripture to do that, in particular James the fifth chapter. I really hear of sufferings in the cross, too many verses taken out of context where your spirit's tested, need more balance. I absolutely agree with these other concerns, Kyle, absolutely, that often we don't have a good theology of suffering.
We don't have a good theology of the cross and how that applies in our lives. I don't see scriptures de-emphasized. I see charismatics in the word a lot, preaching, teaching, out of the word, but often with bad methodology and often things are taken out of context.
Now, of course, everybody does. Everybody has error that other groups can expose, but yes, more balance is needed, but that's not a reason to reject the things of the spirit. That's a reason to say let's deepen the charismatic Pentecostal movement. That's why I wrote, for example, in 1991, Whatever Happened to the Power of God as the Charismatic Church Slain in the Spirit or Down for the Count. That's where I wrote in 2018, Playing with Holy Fire, a wake-up call to the Pentecostal Charismatic Church. That's why some of the correction in the authentic fire book, that's why the prophetic standard statement that we put out, what, a couple years ago, Bishop Joe Matera and I and then with many other signers putting that out.
Now it's probably over 900 signers around the world, many of them denominational leaders, movement leaders, church leaders. Absolutely, yes, yes, yes, we need more discernment. Our horrible track record with the COVID prophecies, getting that wrong, and it's going to dissipate by Passover 2020, and then the terrible failure with the Trump prophecies.
So little discernment amongst so many in the body. Yes, I'm aware that major prophetic movements like Bill Hammond's and those with, Bill Hammond, those with Cindy Jacobs never prophesied Trump's re-election. I'm aware that Bill Hammond's guidelines would have argued against even making prophecies in that way. But the loudest voices that were heard and many of them were wrong and millions of believers were deceived by them.
The worst deception I've seen in my life. So yes, yes, yes, more discernment is needed. More being based in the word is needed. There are flaky things done in the name of the Spirit. Yes, I agree.
But that's why I just want to see the movement deepen. God forbid we throw out what the Spirit is doing because of the errors of others. Is that what Paul did with Corinthians? Did he throw out the things of the Spirit or did he commend them for moving in the things of the Spirit? 1 Corinthians 1, the seventh verse. The seventh verse, did he commend them for those things? Verses six to seven in that context there.
And then does he bring serious correction and say, now get it right. So that's what we need to do. Embrace, embrace what the Holy Spirit's doing. And get deeper in the word. Get more grounded in the word.
And let it be the character. Learn from the errors. Don't let it just be the non-charismatic critics that come with the correction.
Let it be the charismatic that come with the correction because we love the word and we love the Spirit and we love Godly character. All right, we'll be right back. This is how we rise up. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. I am continuing to interact with your posts about why you don't believe in the sign gifts for today, tongues, prophecy, healing, why you are not continuationist or charismatic or Pentecostal.
Interacting with posts on Twitter that I'm going to go to Facebook and the next part of the broadcast. But here's what JD posted. I'm not completely sold on cessationism but continuationism gives me pause. One, not convince modern glossolalia, speaking in tongues, is biblical tongues. Interpretation of tongues appears non-existent. Two in the Bible, times of miracles seem to come in waves. Perhaps there will be an end time one. Well, JD, first let me suggest that the last hundred plus years has been a time of great outpouring of the Spirit. That around the world the Pentecostal charismatic movement has grown from literally a handful of people to well over 600 million.
Some have put the number even higher. And yeah, I know there's a mixture in that number in different ways but just in terms of those who believe in the gifts and power of the Spirit for today and profess to be followers of Jesus. And that if you look at Randy Clark's book Eyewitness to Miracles or you look at Craig Keener's two volume Work on Miracles or the one volume Condensation Just Sharing Miracle Testimonies, you'll see that God's been doing amazing things around the world for many years now in ways that we did not see in previous generations.
So I would say that there is something happening and even more is going to happen. In fact, excuse me, I personally believe that one reason for the housecleaning, one reason for divine judgment on charismatic excesses, one reason that these errors are being exposed is because God is wanting to pour out the Spirit in unprecedented measure but the wineskins are not ready, the vessels are not ready. We need to deepen our character, we need to deepen our walk with the Lord, we need to deepen our discernment. And by the way, some of you are saying well if you believe in divine healing, how come you cough sometimes? Because I live in a body in this world and we're not going to see 100% perfect results in this world and maybe I need to take care of certain things better. But either way, let me ask you this, doesn't the Word say that we died to sin and we should no longer live in it, right? And there are verses I no longer live but Christ lives in me and you died, your life is not hidden in Christ with God, do you ever struggle with sin still?
Right, I mean we're in this world, these things happen. But as to your first point, not convinced modern glossology is biblical tongues, so how would you know? How would you know? In other words, Paul says to the Corinthians about speaking in tongues that no one understands you, that unless an interpreter is present, no one can understand. So it needs a supernatural gift, someone with a gift of interpretation, that you're speaking mysteries in the Spirit to God. So how would you test it, right?
How would you test it? To me the test is, Jesus said if you ask your Father for bread, he won't give you a stone. If you ask him for fish, he won't give you a snake. If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? Right, Luke 11. So, and I just quoted the last verse, Luke 11, 13, so if that's the case, and I say, Father, I'm asking you to fill me with your Spirit so I can glorify Jesus, and that I can be more strengthened and edified so I can serve this dying world.
And you begin to speak a language you've never spoken before, and as you speak, you're edified and built up, and it's not something that you're making up, I mean you're consciously not making it up. You can pick up a book and start reading it while speaking in tongues and realize, wow, this is coming from another part of my being. Wouldn't that be the best proof? Anything could be manufactured, but same in Paul's day. People could have been doing scat singing, ba da ba ba da ba da, and claiming it was tongues, right?
Anything, people can make a claim. So it's a fair question, but again, go back to what the Word says, and the Word clearly says these things are to continue until Jesus returns and we see him face to face and we should earnestly pursue them. Alright, let's see, Donna, that's a cute one. Well, I'm just gonna sit this one out since I first thought your tweet said constitutionalist charismatic. Jules, why aren't you charismatic? Just for the same reason I will not criticize people who believe in Yeshua Jesus and worship on a Saturday or Sunday. It will not make for them more a Christian than someone who does not, just like Paul was telling everyone you do not need to do the works of the law, no advantages. Okay, if I rather understand you, what about Paul earnestly desiring and telling us to earnestly desire the things of the Spirit and talking about the importance of the Holy Spirit in his own ministry?
Why would he be emphasizing that if it isn't an advantage? In other words, if someone is operating the gifts of healing and people are miraculously healed in Jesus' name as a result of which they realize he's risen from the dead and hear the gospel and repent of their sins and are following the Lord, isn't that a good thing that God is doing that we should want for others? So one charismatic leader said the gifts are for others, so shouldn't we want it out of love to serve others? When I pray for God to manifest himself more powerfully, I mean, it's not so people say, Dr. Brown, you're amazing, wow.
No, it's quite the opposite. So they won't see me, they'll see God working through me to his glory. Edgar, though I become more open to the idea of the gifts still happening, I'm not yet convinced of the arguments of my continuation as brethren to apply in the 99.99% of cases in this part of the world, I'm more open in parts which lack of easy access to God's biblical revelation. Note when I say the gifts, I'm talking about the gifts that make it a controversy between continuationists and cessationists. Of course, I believe that God still gives us gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Right, right. So clearly, the debate is not does God still save today? Does God still transform today? Does the power of the Spirit work for sanctification? No one's disputing that among us as believers.
The dispute is is tongue still for today or prophecy or can we pray for the sick with expectation of healing? So I appreciate that your openness and I can't speak to what you're saying in terms of 99.99% of cases. So let's talk about in other parts of the world. Often, that's where you hear the greatest testimonies, where the gospel's being preached for the first time. I was reading, oh, some months back a pastor in Nepal, which is a Hindu nation, saying that people would bring to the church those that couldn't be cured by the hospital.
And often, you know, you're in places where there's not the best health care either. And they would bring them to the church and they pray over these people. And when they were healed, the whole family would become Christian.
They'd realize this is real, Jesus is alive. You say, we're just supposed to believe the Word. The Word tells us that Jesus heals today. The Word tells us to pray for the sick. The Word shows that as a pattern in the book of Acts. And we're called to have that ongoing demonstration in the church, according to James Jacob, the fifth chapter, right?
So these things should be happening according to the Word. That's why I pray for the sick. If I was to write this theology of healing based on my experience, I would say, on rare occasions, God heals cancer. God heals people who are physically disabled, blind, unable to walk. On rare occasions, He does that. Many, many, many times, He removes pain. He heals more minor diseases. And lots of times, He doesn't respond to our prayers for healing. That would be my theology of healing based on experience. Based on the Word, I set the standard much higher. But Edgar, thanks for your honesty.
And let's see here. Eric, the charismatic gifts, sign gifts in particular, are associated with the verification, authentication of new revelation. In light of Hebrews 1, that was a past activity that passed away at the same time that the Jewish ion passed away, that is the destruction of the temple age. Okay, number one, the promises to Israel remain. The promises to Israel remain. The Jewish ion has not passed away.
God forbid. In fact, after God gives the new covenant in Jeremiah 31, verses 31 to 34, keep reading verses 35 to 37, where He emphatically says, no matter what happens, no matter what Israel says, as long as there's a sun and moon in the sky, as long as the earth is still here, my promises to Israel remain. To paraphrase what's there.
It's laid out incredibly clearly. And Paul explicitly speaks of the future, national turning of the Jewish people, and says that although they may be enemies for the gospel's sake, now they're beloved because of the Father's, for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. That's what Paul says. He's talking of the promises to Israel. And he's explicit in Romans 15, that the Messiah does not cancel the promises to Israel, but confirms them. So Jews now need Jesus. Jews who are outside of the faith are lost like everyone else.
But there will be a future national turning, because the promises remain. So that's one thing. It's bogus to say the Jewish ion stopped with the destruction of the temple.
That's a predator's view that is absolutely wrong. And I see it as a real assault on the integrity of God, because He keeps His word. With that being said, why do miracles continue right through the end of the New Testament period? Why are they still continuing? Why, in the book of Acts, the last chapter, is Paul healing the sick?
Why is that still happening? And why do church leaders for centuries attest to the miracles of God? Why does Augustine, in the midst of writing his magnum opus, The City of God, reverse his theology of healing? And say that he didn't believe in this, but they've documented over 70 healings in the last two years.
So based on his experience, he reevaluated the word and realized he was wrong on that. And what about the people who've never heard? So you're going to come on the Bible, we have a holy book? Well, Muslims will say, we have a holy book. This other group will say, we have a holy book.
Why are they going to believe, well, 2,000 years ago it was proven. Well, show me today. My father's demon-possessed, show me today. My child's dying of disease, show me today.
Right? That's why, in point of fact, the miracles happen very often when the gospel's going in new territory into the unreached, because it is God in an ongoing way verifying that Jesus is risen from the dead. The pattern continues, and if you accept a longer ending, if more, it's a specific commission that these signs will follow those who believe. All right, we'll be right back. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back, friends, to the Line of Fire.
I'm interacting with your comments in terms of why you don't believe the sign gifts, tongues, prophecy, healing, those things are normative in the church today. I want to respond to one or two more on Twitter and then come over to Facebook. Don't post now.
I solicited these actually a week ago. There's a correct reply to a previous point that was made. This is from Earps Canoe. Scripture says that the gifts won't pass away until we know God as he knows us. Right, 1 Corinthians 13, do you think the completed canon accomplishes that?
If not, all gifts remain. If so, you're flat out wrong. Those points are absolutely true. Jim says this, I think it's dangerous to assume subjective feelings and experiences are on the same level as Scripture, as many charismatic leaders lead their flock to believe the written word should trump all else in teaching and discipleship. Of course, Jim, I agree with you, absolutely. I don't know charismatic leaders who teach that what you feel and you sense, what you experience is equal to Scripture.
I'm sure there's some that do, either by neglect the way they teach or by wrong emphasis, but certainly not the norm. We certainly understand. Look at any Pentecostal or Charismatic doctrinal statement, study at any seminary or Bible school. We certainly understand the word is supreme and we're teaching and preaching the word day and night. In fact, a survey was done, a global survey a few years ago that I cited in my authentic fire book that found that Pentecostal Charismatics read the word, studied the word regularly more than non-Pentecostals, non-Charismatics. Also put a greater emphasis on holiness and a greater emphasis on sharing the faith, which is what I would expect if the Holy Spirit is really moving in these vibrant ways. But for sure, absolutely, everything must be tested and sifted by the word. But to say it again, I'm Charismatic Pentecostal because of the word.
When I tried to get away from these things in the late 70s, early 80s, I couldn't because the word was too clear. When I bought books against the gifts of the Spirit for today, when I tried to talk myself out of it, the study of Scripture convinced me, no, these things are for today. Jacob, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God for many false prophets who have gone out into the world. 1 John 4, yes, and embrace the true spirit, yes, embrace the true prophetic spirit. Do what Paul says, 1 Thessalonians 5, test everything, hold fast to the good, don't put out the Spirit's fire, don't suffice prophecy.
Let's go over to Facebook. Now a lot of people are posting, yes, these things are for today. Brandon said this, I believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available today but what we're seeing from churches like Bethel and others who are not the gifts fall into the floor and screaming and not being able to control one's body is demonic. The tongues and the disorder doesn't line up with 1 Corinthians 14. So you're talking about, I'm not going to comment on what happens or doesn't happen at Bethel because I'm not there in services.
I prayed for thousands, tens of thousands of people and seen many fall under the power of God, overwhelmed by a spirit. You say, well, they should be able to control that. Well, when Jesus appeared to John in John, in Revelation 1, and he falls on his face like someone dead, let's say it happens to Ezekiel or Daniel with divine appearances, shouldn't they have been able to control themselves?
Self-control is moral self-control. When Moses and the children of Israel are shaking at Mount Sinai, shouldn't they have been able to control themselves? So demonic possession is going to make you do ugly wrong things and it's going to hurt you but for someone to be trembling in the presence of God does not mean it's not the presence of God or for someone to fall to the floor because the presence of God. I can't tell you how many people I prayed for and they fall flat on their face. People say if it's really God, they'll fall on their face.
I've seen that thousands of times, thousands of times. I prayed for people that didn't believe in any of this and next thing they were, they were flat out on their face and they got up a half hour later, shaking, said if I encountered God, this is real. But that being said, the fact that there are abuses, you're right, the Holy Spirit is moving, there are abuses. So let's test everything by scripture.
We agree, we agree. Again, I'm not at Bethel to say what happens or doesn't happen but in many charismatic Pentecostal places, things are abusive, things are wrong and there are claims that this is the Spirit when it's not. Sure, that happens but let's embrace the real, the true without reacting because of that. Justin, people are leery when it comes to them because they've been abused on a dramatic scale.
Yes, I believe they are for today. So that's the key thing. Embrace the, don't be leery of the Spirit, embrace the Spirit. Lord, I want everything you have by your Spirit. When you know it's real, dive in.
I talked about that a week ago on the air. When you know it's real, dive in. All your heart, all your soul, everything, dive in. If you know it's really God, dive in.
But let me ask a question. There are cults that base their teaching on the Bible but twist it, right? Jehovah's Witnesses even put out their own translations, terrible translation, but they even put out their own translation and guides for Bible understanding and Bible teachings and all this, right? And the Mormons want to come and teach you scripture. And then there are plenty of churches, a lot of times they're weird doctrines, bizarre doctrines. Are you cautious of the Word because of false doctrines and false teachers?
No. You embrace the Word wholeheartedly. Do your best to understand what it really says. So we embrace the Spirit enthusiastically and test and discern to make sure that things really are of God. Tim, no, magic gifts are needed today, just the miracles that God chooses with or without request.
Why, Tim, would you call them magic? Why would you denigrate what the Word of God esteems as workings of the Holy Spirit? And didn't Paul say in 1 Corinthians 14 twice that we should earnestly pursue the gifts? And he doesn't say at the end of 1 Corinthians 12 that we should earnestly pursue the higher gifts of which the one he emphasizes most particularly is prophecy? Didn't Jesus tell us to ask and seek even in terms of asking for the Holy Spirit?
So why denigrate it? Why quote magic? Why not thank, Paul says I thank God I speak in tongues more than all of you. This is Paul.
Maybe there's something about it. I can tell you that my own life and ministry has been empowered by praying in tongues and shaped by praying in tongues because I've often communed deeply with God and got insight and his calling, clarification as I prayed in the Spirit and then deep burdens to pray for others out of that. Let's see. And Tim also says this, those who need signs and wonders are condemned and it's easy to see why by their persistence. Who's not needing signs and wonders, Tim? Why, here, there are hundreds of verses in the New Testament that talk about miracles, healings, deliverances from demons, gifts of the Spirit, operation of the Spirit.
James Jacob 5 says, Is anyone you're sick? Let him call for the elders of the congregation. Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer for the faith will make the sick person well. If he's committed sins, they'll be forgiven. Therefore, pray one for another, confess your sins one to another, you may be healed.
It's a good, important thing. It's supposed to be something even with the anointing of all the sacrament in the church. Why denigrate that? And Jesus is glorified through it. You know how many millions of people Jesus has healed over the centuries? You know how many people have come to faith because he healed them?
Why denigrate that? I believe God is the healer if I never see a person healed because it's in the Word. I believe the gifts and power of the Spirit are for today if I never spoke in tongues or never prophesied or never received a prophecy because it's written in the Word.
So it's not a matter of people needing it. Let me say this, in fact. You put yourself in a place of challenging your faith once you say these are for today. Why?
Okay. If you say God no longer heals, God no longer works miracles like this, so it's a tragedy. A friend of yours dying of cancer, it's a tragedy. Lord, if it be your will, heal, but it doesn't happen, okay, no big deal, right? It's a terrible loss. It's an agonizing loss.
It's your friend. But no big deal in terms of, hey, it's not promised in the Word. We can't expect it and so on. But when you are praying for it and believing for it and it doesn't happen, that challenges your faith. It's actually much more challenging to one's faith to believe for miracles today than to not believe for them today. It's much easier on one's faith to not believe for them today. It's true. Think about it.
Think about it. But see, it's the judgmental magic gifts. Those who need signs and wonders are condemned. It's really a tragic twisting of what the Word says because these are beautiful, wonderful things in Scripture. And Paul says, I don't want you ignorant of them. Yeah, so I keep seeing people saying we don't believe or people don't believe because of abuses and things like that rather than saying it's not in the Word. The Word says there will be abuses so deal with them. Have we as Charismatics adequately dealt with them?
No. Look, I've said this and I can say it publicly. I've said it to Justin Peters and one of his colleagues, to Jim Osmond.
This has been my sentiment. I believe I said this directly to them when we interacted that if we Charismatics did a better job of correcting and discerning that they wouldn't have to do what they do. Now, of course, I differ with them doctrinally on some of these points and sometimes with the extent to which things are rejected, right? But I respect the fact that there's a lot of garbage out there. And as much as I differ with Justin on things, I respect the fact that he's gone after it.
Somebody's gotta do it, right? Somebody's gotta address some of the junk out there being done in the name of the Spirit. I do it as I feel to do it.
It's not my primary focus but it's absolutely something that I do and I've addressed in writing for years and in video and teaching and publicly openly for years. So yeah, we Charismatics, we Pentecostals have done a poor job of correcting, of policing in the right sense of the word because of which many abuses are rampant because of which people are driven away from the Spirit. But Paul dealt with the abuses in Corinth and said, I commend you for not liking any gift.
Now here's where you need correction. He didn't reject the Spirit. He said, hey, this is the Spirit and I commend you for not liking any gift but there are some abuses. Now let's deal with those abuses, right? Let's see. Abuses, yeah, again, so I'm just looking for Charismatics.
Normative, most don't have an understanding of the practice of them nor do you most pray for others to see healing or miracles. Yeah, I mean, I'm finding a lot who agree and are just adding their testimony. In fact, I'll tell you a quick story. So when I first went on radio, live talk radio, 2008, I was asked to fill in one day for Stu Epperson, Jr., who's the one who asked me to come on the air, felt I was to do it. And I had journaled, by the way, speaking of the Spirit, I had journaled earlier that day that he was going to ask me to go on the air. I really felt it was the Lord, that God had set this up and that God was, he'd been speaking to me for years about being on live talk radio. And now I just felt someone's going to come to me and say you should have your own radio show. So I prayed, Lord, that's your will, let it happen.
And during a break on the show, he said, Doc, you got to have your own show, you got to be on the air. So I filled in for him one day, on his show, and I said, hey, I want you to call in and explain, tell me why you don't believe in healing and miracles today. Instead, I got flooded with phone calls and people saying, you know, I didn't believe in it in the past, but then I saw miracles on a mission strip, or I was healed miraculously, or this woman was healed miraculously. Then I went back and I saw, wow, this is really in the Bible.
It's like, okay, wonderful, but I'm not asking for that today. I'm asking, tell me why you don't believe these things. Yeah, I used to not believe, but I saw a miracle and I believed. So they saw the miracle, then they saw, ah, this is in scripture.
This is in scripture. Isn't that the real issue? We'll be right back. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.
Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks so much for joining us on the Line of Fire broadcast as I'm interacting with comments posted on Facebook and Twitter. Often I get a better response for that than when I ask people to call in and say why they differ with me. Sometimes it's just easier to type it out.
Some people don't like to call or they're not able to call them while the show is live, or they just don't like the setting where I control the mic, you know, they're afraid of that. So I respect that. I understand that. So many times I'll ask people to post why you differ with me on a given subject because people sometimes will speak more freely or feel they can articulate things better. So when you post something, maybe that's a line long or a paragraph long, and then I take three or four minutes to explain why I differ with your point, I don't make it like, I won.
See, I won because I have, it's my show. I can take a lot of time and interact. Take it as me honoring what you posted and honoring that, now sometimes I'm going to disagree very strongly, okay? But otherwise if I'm taking time to interact, it's not like, see, I won. No, I got, you posted something for one paragraph and now I'm talking for five minutes.
That's not an equal battle there, okay? The point is, if I take time to read your comment and interact with it, that means I'm treating you with respect as opposed to trying to prove you wrong, right? But it's my show, I'm responsible to God for what I teach and speak, therefore I'm laying out what I believe.
And I said, I want to interact with what you say. So, Tim, no, Jimmy, I believe in the gifts but offices of prophet and apostle have ceased, they were given for the foundation we built on Christ. Now that Christ is here, what we need to do, what need do we have for prophets and apostles? Charismania sweeping Christian churches with people claiming to be seer prophets or apostles chosen by God, they're revealing things above and beyond scripture which are not biblical. Right, there are abuses in the name of apostles and prophets, absolutely, but there are abuses in every area of ministry. There are charlatans who are evangelists, there are false teachers who are pastors, there are all kinds of abuses with all the gifts. But I would just encourage you, Jimmy, read through Ephesians 4, right, up through verse 16, just read through the chapter and ask what was the purpose of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors slash teachers. Look at that, right, ask yourself that, listen, in Ephesians 4-11, and ask have we come into the fullness of the knowledge of the Son of God as spoken of there. If not, apostles and prophets continue as ministry functions. Sure, that's why others are called apostles in the New Testament, quite a few outside of the 12. So the 12 stand with unique authority, right, apostles today, prophets today are not like Jeremiah, Isaiah or Matthew or John, we understand that. And there are abuses for sure, but just reconsider that, all right. Tim, I realize statements like this are often used as cheap shots, but if people have the gifts of healing, that's as miraculous as what we read about them by the apostles in the first century, why aren't these people visiting hospitals?
At least why am I not hearing about it? The healing was so strong and apparent that there was no dispute that it was anything other than a miracle. Tim, yeah, it's not a cheap shot, and it's totally fair. Number one, Christians that believe in healing are visiting hospitals all the time, all the time, praying for the sick all the time. That's a common thing. There are people who even get jobs as chaplains in hospitals so they can have access to people that are hurting and say, hey, I'm a follower of Jesus, I'm a Protestant chaplain or whatever, and would you like prayer? And we believe in prayer for the sick. So it happens all the time.
They're doing it. You say, why aren't they clearing out hospitals? Ah, I don't know that that was the norm in the New Testament either. We do have some occasions where everyone's healed, right? And I've asked, why aren't we seeing more of that? Yes, so I agree, why aren't we seeing more of that?
There's a chapter in my book, Whatever Happened to the Power of God, which came out in 1991, a chapter entitled Has the Gift of Healing Hit a Brick Wall? Sure, God heals, sure, there are miracles, why don't we see more? I believe we should see more. Perhaps with the state of the church today, especially in the West, a greater outpouring of miracles would bring all kinds of other abuses and pride and deception and sin, perhaps we're not ready, I don't know. Perhaps there are other issues, lack of good doctrinal foundations in many of our churches. I'm only speculating, I'm wondering, I'm asking as well.
I do believe we should see more. But let's not think that everybody was always healed in the early church, right? When Paul tells Timothy to drink a little wine medicinally for his stomach ailments, 1 Timothy 5, why didn't Paul just heal him if it was automatic? Certainly Paul had the gift of healing, you would say, right? If all were healed through him in the Isle of Malta in Acts 28 and other instances he references healings and miracles through him, signs and wonders through him.
In 2 Timothy 4, why does he reference leaving Trophimus sick in Miletus? And for those who think that Paul's thorn was sickness, that's not my own view, but those who think that, then why wasn't he healed? So I don't believe it was automatic all the time, but I do agree that we should be seeing more. There are plenty of miracles that are indisputably God, indisputably God, well-documented, well-documented, indisputably God, no other explanation, no other rational explanation, and it's a miracle in Jesus' name, but yes, we should be seeing more. Let's see, okay, this is a long explanation.
It's just about our motivation and things like that. I see the Spirit moving differently than when I was first saved over 40 years ago. I believe they should be normative. Okay, so the more I'm looking at this, the more I'm seeing a lot of this is, I agree, but there are abuses.
Mike, I think they are, but there are so many nor self-proclaimed prophets out there claiming that they're declaring things in the name of the Lord, and the same are making unbiblical claims, fake words of knowledge. Now they're gonna list people by name, so I'm just not gonna read all that because I'm gonna agree with something different with others, but yeah, no question whatsoever. Okay, let's say you're a cessationist, right? You're non-charismatic, and you hear me speak over someone. I command healing to come in Jesus' name, and nothing happens.
Well, what was I doing? That's a fair question. We break the power of Satan over this person's life, and nothing changes. Did we do it or not? Did we speak in faith or not? I declare that the weather will change and COVID will stop. That doesn't happen.
What will we do? Is the whole thing bogus? So yeah, a lot of that stuff does bring reproach to the name of the Lord, and that's why we need to be very careful before speaking for him, right? And then even so, we ask someone to test what we say. You know, I've had words for people not like, hey, I'm gonna try this out.
Maybe I'm gonna try this out. If that's the case, then you tell somebody. I was praying, and this thought came to mind that you're having real problems now with one of your limbs and about to go to a doctor. Is that accurate? Yeah, that's incredible. Oh, okay.
Wow. I have to learn to understand the voice of the Lord better, but wow. But you don't go up to someone and say, well, the Lord told me this. No, you don't just do that without a proven track record and accuracy and knowing the voice of the Lord clearly. But I have given prophetic words to people, felt the urgency of the Lord to do it, and spoken to them, and then said, is that relevant to you?
And they'll break down, yes, the situation of that. You know, I remember ministering one time, and I saw a woman being beaten. I saw an angry man on top, and he was smashing. I saw terror in her eyes, and God wanted to minister to her. It wasn't a large group of people. God wanted to minister to her, and I described the thing.
This woman comes up, and her husband was a Muslim and was violent with her, and the mother-in-law was there, and they were crying. It was a beautiful thing to get to minister to them, and that was the confirmation when they came. But yeah, a lot of stuff, we're just speaking in the air, speaking in the air. There's no divine authority behind us, and I understand that we try, right? You know, we believe God's moving, so we try certain things, but we gotta do a better job. We gotta do a better job. I understand a cessationist watching that, or someone who's just not sure.
I think, what is this? This bogus, just words. So let us be more careful in what we say, yet without quenching the Spirit, without giving away to a spirit of fear, without despising prophecy. So yeah, my brother and his assembly use Hebrews 1, 1, and 2 as the reason gifts don't exist anymore.
I never heard anyone teach him why this wouldn't be true. I believe in the gifts, but would love to hear an argument why this isn't a reason the gifts aren't for today. Right, so I interacted with this a little bit earlier in the show, but in the closing minutes here, the closing minutes here, Hebrews 1 says this, Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, and we appointed the heir of all things through whom we also recreated the world. So there's no need for prophets and prophecy anymore because the Son has come. Well, Hebrews is written in the midst of all kinds of prophecy taking place in the New Testament church, right? Didn't Paul speak about prophecy and encourage people to prophesy? This is the same time that Hebrews is being written that this prophecy all over the early church, and according to Acts the second chapter when the Holy Spirit is poured out, it's for the last days and your sons and daughters will prophesy.
So the last days outpouring, which is from now when Jesus died and rose from the dead until he returned, so it's for now, includes prophecy. The point here is that the prophetic words that came were now pointing to the Son, and now it's the Son who speaks, so it's the Son who's speaking through the prophets. It's the Son who says whoever believes in me, the works that I do, will he do also because I go to the Father. It's the Son who says ask and I'll do it. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what you will and be done. One of the things that we get abiding in the word is to ask for healing. So it is all about the Son.
That's the point. The prophets now pointing to the Son. Now he's come, so by his Spirit he's working miracles. By his Spirit he's healing. By his Spirit he's doing all these things, and it's all about him. It's all to his honor.
It's all to his glory. So cessationist, charismatic, let's unite together here. We base our faith in what is written in the word. We welcome the moving of the Holy Spirit as he moves today, and we do it all for the exaltation of Jesus as we seek to live godly lives before him, and let God decide how that works. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
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