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Why I Don't Agree with Being “Open But Cautious” When It Comes to the Holy Spirit

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2022 4:30 pm

Why I Don't Agree with Being “Open But Cautious” When It Comes to the Holy Spirit

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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October 4, 2022 4:30 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 10/04/22.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. You know, there are some folks who say, well, when it comes to the things of the Spirit, I'm open but cautious.

Is that a biblical mentality? 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. We are going to have a good biblical and theological discussion today. Yeah, we're going to get into the Word. We're going to talk about some practical issues. We talked yesterday about moral, cultural, social issues. Today we're going to focus on biblical issues, but your calls on all subjects are welcome.

And in particular, I'd love to hear your interaction with me on these points today that we'll be talking about. Here's another call, 866-34-TRUTH, 866-348-7884. Another reminder, if you haven't visited our completely revamped website, if you haven't signed up to get our email notifications, take a moment today and do it.

If you're able to do it right now, that's great. AskDrBrown.org, A-S-K-D-R Brown.org. We want to put you in our welcome tour, send you more info on my personal testimony from LSD to PhD, more about the three R's of our ministry and how we're here to serve you and equip you and infuse you with faith and truth and courage so you can stand strong for the Lord. So, visit the website, sign up for the e-blast, and take advantage of all the resources. They are there for you. Every night as I'm writing articles, every day as we're doing radio, every effort that we're making, putting out videos and material, we're doing it to minister to you, to be a blessing to you, to strengthen you, and for those of you who differ or you're seeking or you're wondering or you're challenging, check out the resources. They're there for all of you to help you discover the truth and deepen your stand for the truth. And may you follow the truth wherever it leads, regardless of cost or consequence.

That's been something very dear to my heart for decades, and by God's grace, that's what I'm determined to do for the rest of my life. Okay, what about this idea of being open but cautious? I was talking to the leader of a large Christian school one time and he said, oh, we've changed our stance now.

We are officially open but cautious. Another pastor said to me, pastor of a major church, he said, well, we are charismatics with seatbelts. Well, I wonder about those mentalities. I wonder how biblical that is. If the gifts of the Spirit, like speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, are still for today, if they are still normative in the body today, which I'm convinced based on Scripture, they are. Scripture is what matters to me here. This is the authority, the Word of God. If we're convinced that therefore today, shouldn't we embrace them fully, heart, soul, mind, strength? Shouldn't we say, amen, Lord, and we are earnestly pursuing these things according to your word?

You say, yeah, yeah, but we're supposed to use discernment. Of course we are. And we're to test spirits? Of course. But when you determine that it's genuinely the Holy Spirit, shouldn't you dive in with both feet, both hands? Just totally dive in?

And let me ask you this. When it comes to your relationship with the Father, your love for God, your serving God, your relationship to Jesus, your love for the Savior, serving Him, are you cautious in that? Or when it comes to the Word of God, do you read the Word of God with seatbelt on?

Or do you embrace, Lord, whatever you say, I fully embrace? You say, whoa, there's a big difference there. Because the Word of God is perfect, but there are a lot of flaky, charismatic things done. Well, there are a lot of flaky things done in the name of the Word. There are a lot of flaky teachings, there are a lot of false doctrines.

You say, well, you're comparing apples with oranges. No, I'm comparing the Word with the Spirit. The Word is perfect, the Spirit is perfect. When you recognize the Spirit is at work, don't you jump in fully with both feet? When you recognize the truth of the Word, don't you jump in fully? When you recognize something is the voice of God, don't you jump in fully?

I mean, isn't that a biblical mentality? So, I appreciate folks who say, I'm not sure yet. I'm not sure what the Word really says on this.

I'm not sure if the Word does say that these things are perfect for today. So, I'm open but cautious. Okay, well then, be sure. Study until you're sure one way or the other. Come to conclusions as best as you can.

Study the claims out, study the evidence for ongoing miracles, compare that to the Word of God. By all means, be sure. But once you're sure, shouldn't you in that sense take this seatbelt off? Unless you wear a seatbelt in your whole relationship with God. When it comes to loving Jesus, I'm open but cautious. When it comes to following the Scriptures, I'm open but cautious. No! We don't live like that, do we? Do you think once someone realized Jesus is the Messiah when he was on the earth and they run after him to follow him, it's like, Jesus, I'm following you, but I'm cautious.

No! What about the parables in Matthew 13, the treasure hidden in the field and the pearl of great price? When the man discovers his treasure in the field, he sells everything he has to buy that field for the treasure.

Yeah, and when he finds this pearl of great price, he sells everything he has to get that pearl. You run after the Lord, you throw yourself in. When Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus, right, and revealed himself, and Saul says, who are you, Lord? I'm Jesus whom you're persecuting. Did Saul then say, all right, I'm going to follow you, but be cautious because there are a lot of false messiahs out there.

No! Once he realized it was him, he dove in heart, mind, soul, strength, everything. So, I'm just talking about being biblical here. I'm talking about having a New Testament mentality. When the Holy Spirit was poured out and the believers in Acts the second chapter, were they open but cautious? Well, his tongue is new.

His tongue is a fire. We've never seen that before. So, I know Jesus said it was coming, but let's be cautious.

No! They said, this is the Spirit. This is what Joel prophesied. They knew it. They knew it.

And then the fruit came to demonstrate it. Isn't that a scriptural mentality, friends? Again, you want to be sure of what scripture says, but once you're sure and you realize this is the Holy Spirit at work, you embrace it wholeheartedly. So, here's what I tweeted out over the weekend. This was praying and this came to mind.

So, I tweeted this out. When it comes to the gifts of the Spirit for today, some believers say they're open but cautious. But is that a biblical mentality? Are we open but cautious when it comes to the Word or to our relationship with Jesus? Why, then, should we be open but cautious with the Spirit?

And then I began to interact with some folks and I said this, of course, I know what people mean by open but cautious. I just don't see that as a biblical mentality. There are plenty of false teachers and false doctrines out there, yet we're not open but cautious with the Word because of that.

Are we? And when people respond, yeah, but the Word is perfect, yes, but the Spirit is perfect as well. Let's see, yeah, you know, people posted 1 John 4, test the spirits.

So, I posted this in response. We test the spirits. We embrace the Holy Spirit. We eagerly pursue spiritual gifts as the Word commands us to.

We reject all counterfeits. So, isn't that the biblical mentality, friends? Isn't it? So, let's take a look in the Scriptures, alright? Let's go to the Word. We'll start in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. And Paul writes this, Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. So, this is important, right?

I don't want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore, I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says Jesus is accursed and no one can say Jesus is Lord except in the Holy Spirit. Now, there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. Spirit, Lord, God, Trinitarian formula. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. So, this is a good thing.

This is a positive. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge, according to the same Spirit. To another, faith by the same Spirit. To another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit.

To another, the working of miracles. To another, prophecy. To another, the ability to distinguish between spirits. To another, various kinds of tongues. To another, the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit who appoints to each one individually as he will. For just as the body is one and its many members, and all the members of the body though many are one body, so it is with Messiah. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and all were made to drink of one Spirit. So, the activity of the Holy Spirit is very important here in Paul's teaching. And nowhere does he say, nowhere does he hint at all, even in the slightest, that this is just something that is only for the first error. No, it's clear in Paul's mind this will continue until Jesus returns.

You find that in 1 Corinthians the first chapter, where he commends them for not lacking any spiritual gifts, despite all the mess in their midst and the abuse of spiritual gifts, he commends them for not lacking any spiritual gift, even as they eagerly await the return of the Lord. And in 1 Corinthians 13, he's quite explicit, quite explicit, saying that these things will continue until clearly the Lord returns. That's what he's speaking of, until we see him face to face, until we know as we are known.

The very fact that we still have debate about these things means we have not reached that point yet. Paul said, they're important. In fact, on the other side of the break, we're going to look at 1 Corinthians 14 to see how Paul told us we should relate to these things. Laying out the way of love as the most important way of all, he doesn't say, therefore get rid of the things of the Spirit. No, exercise the gifts of the Spirit by love and through love and for love. Then we come into the fullness of God's purpose.

Then we see why these are so important, so life-giving, so life-changing. I have watched the Spirit work for decades and seen lives dramatically, gloriously changed for the honor of the Lord, for the honor of the name of Jesus, for the deepening of the foundation of the Word in people's lives. We should embrace joyfully what the Spirit's doing. Take off the cautious seat belt and dive into the things of the Spirit because that's what the Word tells us to do. Throw out the counterfeit, test everything, and embrace that which is true.

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 for joining us, friends, on The Line of Fire, 866-34-TRUTH. By all means, call in and differ with me.

By all means, lay out your reasons why you think I'm wrong. I'm serious. I love to interact. It's helpful. It's useful because you may call and you may speak for many others.

They may feel the same way that you do, but maybe you can articulate it a little bit better. And then I can say, hey, good point, or no, here's why I don't agree. We can have a friendly discussion for the benefit of everyone listening and watching. Fair enough?

All right, just try to give opportunity. You know, I always look for opportunity to discuss dialogue. You may know this, but if I'm invited to speak on a college campus on a controversial subject, which is generally why I'm invited on a college campus and also generally why it's so rare that people actually do invite me on a college campus or if they do invite me, manage to actually get me in. But I always propose, can we do a debate? In other words, if you want me to speak on topic A, can we get someone who holds a different viewpoint? And this way we can have a public debate on it and people can see and hear both sides. Of course, generally speaking, we'll draw more people for a debate format, many times that's the case, but I want it not just to draw more people, I want it to be fair. I want people, especially on a college campus, hear both arguments, hear both sides. And if that fails, and normally it does, it's hard to get someone to do a debate, to debate me on particular subjects, I should say, then what I say is, right, can we have open mic Q&A afterwards?

Can we open things up for people to express their differences and challenge me and raise questions? I love that. I welcome that. If you love truth, then you have nothing to fear. The results may hurt, they may be painful to deal with, but if you love truth, you have nothing to fear.

All right, so I'm a word guy, right? I love the things of the Spirit. I love the moving of the Spirit. I love the gifts of the Spirit. I want to see the Spirit move more and more in me, through me, to minister to others, absolutely. But I, everything that I believe has to be based on Scripture, the foundational things.

I'm talking about the fundamentals. They must be based on Scripture. If they're not based on Scripture, then I must question them.

I must challenge them. If they're in harmony with Scripture, and I feel overwhelmingly that the Holy Spirit is speaking these things and they're in harmony with Scripture, wonderful. But if it's contrary to Scripture, I don't care if there are ten angels that come down and earthquakes and whatever, and if it's contrary to Scripture, I reject it, right?

So, I'm real simple about these things. So, let's go to 1 Corinthians 14. After Paul expresses the glorious beauty of love and importance of love and what true love looks like, he says this, 1 Corinthians 14.1, pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy. Prophecy is not preaching. Prophecy is not just preaching the Word or teaching the Word.

Prophecy is different. It's speaking inspired utterances by the Spirit. It's speaking the mind of God and the power of the Spirit. So, here again, 1 Corinthians 14.1, pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy.

All right, let's stop there for a minute. That's a command in Scripture. That's the Word of God. Where does Paul rescind that? Where does Paul take that back? Where does Paul say that's only for a season?

Where? Now, there are people who claim that when he wrote 1 Corinthians 13, that he was conscious that he was writing Scripture and he wrote all of 1 Corinthians, he was conscious that he was writing Scripture and that he allegedly spoke of the closing of the canon of Scripture. When the canon is complete, then the gifts will cease. So, it's a bogus interpretation and it hardly has any ongoing academic support. It's obscure through church history and it's a bogus interpretation. I'm sorry that you may have held to that and feel insulted by it, but it's weak, it's unscriptural. You'd never dream it up just reading the Bible by yourself, okay?

I seriously doubt that. And let's just go with the argument, though, that Paul was consciously writing Scripture, right? He wasn't just writing a letter to the Corinthians. In his mind, he knew I'm writing Scripture, it's going to be part of what we call the Bible or added to what we call the old, now we refer to as the Old Testament, right?

He's conscious of that. And he's now said that the gifts will continue, prophecy, tongues, et cetera, will continue until the canon is closed. It's completely self-defeating for him now in the very next chapter. So, the words that follow, because originally there were chapter divisions, to now begin to say, pursue love earnestly, desire the spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy. And then to teach, teach, teach, teach, teach without saying, now of course, this is just for you guys because soon enough the canon is going to be complete and the gifts will cease. You'd think he would say that, especially when the alleged reference to the closing of the canon was something that they would have no conception of, they don't know what, there are more Scriptures being written, there's a canon of the Scriptures being added to, what? They'd have no conception of it. They'd have no clue he's talking about that in 1 Corinthians 13.

Not only is it bogus to think he was saying that writing it, it's more bogus to think they would have understood that. They're getting a letter. They're getting a letter from Paul. They're not thinking now this letter from Paul is going to be part of an ongoing canon of Scripture that we will now refer to as the New Testament and the Bible and one that is complete, then the gifts will cease.

They never would have thought that in a trillion years, nor should they have thought that. I'm just being honest, friends. Just being honest and doing my best to be exegetically sound. So, now, so he goes on about the purpose of prophecy, he goes on about the purpose of tongues, and he's not anti-tongues, he says, I thank God I speak in tongues more than all of you. Yeah, Paul spoke in tongues a lot, more than all the Corinthians and they were tongue talkers. And he said, you speak mysteries in your spirit to God, you edify yourself, but in public I'd rather speak five words in a known language than 5,000 words in an unknown tongue. Because in public, if I'm up here speaking, right, just like on radio now, I could speak in tongues, I could begin to speak in tongues now, I could speak in tongues for an hour or two or five or ten straight, and I'd be super edified. And my heart would be connected to God and then God would begin to reveal things to my mind as I pray, but nobody else would be edified, right? That's why he's saying love, but love first, edify others, okay? So, he goes on with the purpose of tongues, the purpose of prophecy, right?

And then he says, you know, don't be children in your thinking. And then he says this, let's go down to verse 26, 1 Corinthians 14, 26. You know what an ideal meeting looks like according to Paul? That's what he says, 1 Corinthians 14, 26. Are we word people? I go to a Bible church. Okay, are we word people? What then, brothers, when you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.

Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at the most three, and each in turn let some one interpret. But if there's no one to interpret, let each one keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. If you can all prophesy one by one so that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets, regardless not of God of confusion, but of peace, right? And then, how does he end the chapter? Verse 39. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues, but all things should be done decently and in order. I'm going to go to the phones after the break, all right? So, you're welcome to join in, differ with me, agree with me, that's fine, or raise any other Bible-related question that's perfectly fine.

Phone lines are wide open. 866-34-TRUTH. But I'm a word person. I'm a word guy. This is Paul giving us a directive. So, my brothers and sisters – that's included in the Greek for brothers – earnestly desire to prophesy. This is separate from preaching and teaching. Paul uses distinct words for these.

The New Testament uses distinct words for these. Earnestly desire to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues. If you forbid speaking in tongues, you're going against Scripture. Not against me, against Scripture. If you're not earnestly desiring to prophesy, you're not following Scripture.

Show me where this is taken back. We're not Mormons with an additional book that gives us more information. We don't believe church tradition can overrule Scripture. And we don't believe some revelation that someone gets today can overrule Scripture.

So, there it is. Tell us to do it. The same in 1 Thessalonians, the fifth chapter, where Paul says, don't despise prophecy. You might be tempted to. There might be some erroneous things or some weird things. Don't despise prophecy.

Test everything, hold fast to that, which is good. Don't put out the Spirit's fire. So, be careful. Don't put out the Spirit's fire. Don't quench the Spirit. And don't despise prophecy. But test everything. And then, hold fast to that, which is good. It's God. Grab hold of it.

Pursue it. Lord, we want to see more of this. Yeah, there's so much everything. Well, there's so much false doctrine out there. There are cults that use the Bible, right? There are cults that use the Bible for all kinds of abusive, destructive things.

Satan quotes Scripture. But I'm not cautious about the Word because it's the perfect Word. Yes, people do weird things in the name of the Spirit. But I'm not cautious about the Spirit because the Spirit's perfect. I embrace the Spirit wholeheartedly and pursue everything that God has for me by His Spirit to serve you and to reach the lost and to glorify the name of Jesus.

The Spirit always comes to glorify Jesus. So, let's be discerning. Let's be wise. Let's trust everything. Let's expose the counterfeit. Absolutely. And let's wholeheartedly embrace the things of the Spirit because of what the Word says.

Because of what the Word says. Alright, 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, friends, for joining us on The Line of Fire.

Hey, check out the website, AskDrBrown.org, ASKDRBrown.org, and do a search for cessationism or cessation or charismatic gifts or Holy Spirit and you'll find lots and lots of resources. Alright, to the phones we go. We'll start with Jan in Indiana. Welcome to The Line of Fire. Hi, Dr. Brown.

Hey. I agree with you in so many ways, but let me point something out. If you go to Corinthians, what you were reading, if you go up, now this is what I've learned from the Lord. If you go up to chapter 12 where it starts to tell, it's 27, verse 27, where it says, you're the body of Christ, individual members of it. And then he goes on to say, God is appointed in the church, first apostles, prophets, you know, we've read that. But then if you go down here to verse 30, do all possess healing, do all speak with tongues, do all interpret, but desire earnestly the higher gifts. Then Paul says, he says this, he says, and I will show you still a more excellent way. Well, when I was a young Christian, I didn't know what that meant. And then he goes on to read about love is patient, kind. Well, that's the character of God, it's the character of Jesus. Well, I believe we have a lot of this stuff kind of backwards, some anyway. We need God's character in order to move correctly in the Spirit. Well, that requires us letting Jesus take us through life experiences, or like you were saying, experiences we've never been through before.

Let me give you an example. When I was a nurse's aide, as a young girl, I walked into right after I got born again, I walked into the nursing home, there was this lady that they had brought in, she couldn't speak. But she was she was very much there in her mind, because you could see it through her eyes. Well, my eyes connected with this lady when they told me what her story was that she had had a stroke, and she wasn't able to talk. Well, my eyes connected with this woman, I guess, really, as far as caring for elderly people, so deeply for the first time, being a nurse's aide, that I reached my arm to her shoulder. And when I did, electricity hit my body like you would not believe. It went from the top of my head, it went through my shoulder, down my arm, into this woman. That woman's eyes lit up, she blinked them. Well, she went back to bed.

I come back to work the next day, they tell me this woman's talking. I knew it was Jesus, because it freaked me out when it happened. My point to what I'm saying is, if we would concentrate more on trying to develop the character of Jesus in us, when we are in situations, the Spirit's manifestation of these things that people are desiring, it will happen naturally, because it was natural for Jesus. But it doesn't feel natural to us, because we are yet struggling with the character of Christ within us.

We are this mixture of people of the world or people of the kingdom, if that makes sense to you, because I know I haven't arrived yet, and I'm in my mid-sixties. Yeah, Jen, what you shared is beautiful, and it is what Paul is saying. In other words, it's not either or, it's both and, and everything we do, even when Paul speaks elsewhere, say in Galatians, he talks about faith working by love. So, everything should be about being more like Jesus. The problem is that many people take what you're saying, but they forget the other part, that if we really become more and more like Jesus, then the Holy Spirit will work through us in these supernatural ways more and more as well.

In other words, it's not a matter of, well, I'm going to be either a flaky charismatic or a godly non-charismatic. No, we should be godly people who are full of the Spirit, and I want to be clear, and Jen, thanks for sharing that, and thanks for sharing that testimony of a miracle as well. I've often said that we want the gift of healing without a heart of compassion.

Remember how many times Jesus healed when he was moved by compassion? Or we want to get prophetic words without the burden of the Lord. Or we want to have a powerful evangelistic ministry without a broken heart for the lost, right? So, God wants to share his heart with us and his character with us so that we can represent him better, be in closer fellowship with him, and be used more powerfully by him, right?

So, it's not either or. And look, there are godly people full of compassion carrying the character of Jesus who do not operate in prophecy or healing or miracles. I am not saying that you don't have the character of Christ, and if you have the character of Christ, then miracles will automatically follow. I'm not saying that. I am saying that the ideal, according to Scripture, is the character of Christ, thus the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, with the power of the Spirit backing our words and testifying to the resurrection of Jesus.

Hey, Jan, thank you very much for the call and for the way you articulated that. So, I agree. Many just want to pursue the things of the Spirit, right? Pursue the hand of God rather than the face of God, the character of God, deeper relationship with God, going to the cross more deeply.

But it's both and. So, here, let's read this. It's just so glorious, such incredible passage. So, clearly not all are apostles, not all are prophets, not all are teachers, not all work miracles, not all possess gifts of healing, not all speak with tongues, not all interpret, but these are things throughout the body. But earnestly desire the higher gifts, which is emphasized prophecy, right?

And I will show you a still more excellent way than 1 Corinthians 13. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong reclanging cymbal. If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. For many, many, many months as a new believer, every night I would pray over these verses, among others. And I would ask God, help me to have this love. Of course, quoting from the King James as it was written there, charity, as I memorized the verses. Every day I'd pray over them. It's one of the last things I did before going to sleep at night with real focused prayer on my knees. I would pray through a number of key verses and say, Lord, help me to walk this out.

Help me to have this character. May this be part of my life. Right, then he says this, love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away. As for tongues, they will cease. As for knowledge, meaning the limited knowledge we have, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

Well, what is the perfect? You'll see in a moment. When I was a child, I spoke like a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.

When the canon of the scriptures calls, no, when Jesus returns. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three. But the greatest of these is love. Next verse, pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. That's how Paul brings it all together.

And that's the mandate to us. You say, well, what's more important, being grounded in the Word or being full of the Spirit? Why do you make it eat or roar? To me, if you're grounded in the Word, then the Word will tell you to be full of the Spirit. Why is it eat or roar? What's more important, to have godly character or to have the power of the Spirit work in your life?

Why should it be eat or roar? Oh, if I had to choose one or the other, if I had to choose godly character or being anointed by the Spirit, of course I'd choose godly character because the anointing without character is going to destroy you. But character alone is not going to be a witness to the Gospel. Here, there are many nice people who are not saved. There are religious people who live very devoted lives and put some of us to shame in terms of their devotion, in terms of their integrity, in terms of their conformity to outward standards of holiness and their sincere desire to please God and they're not saved.

They're people of other religions and they put many of us to shame. That alone is not testimony to the power of the Spirit. I remember talking to a Hebrew teacher, an Israeli woman that was teaching a Hebrew class I was taking and I shared my testimony with her. She said, well, I've never done drugs, I've never drunk, I've never done this, I've never done that. She was an Orthodox Jewish woman.

She had always lived a very clean life and was devoted to God and so on and just the fact that I lived a certain way, well, she never did the bad things I did, alright? And here, what does Paul say? 1 Corinthians 2. Why was this important for Paul but it's not important for us in ministry today? And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom, for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ in Him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling. And my speech and my message were not in persuasive words of human wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Why was that a good method for Paul? Why was that something that he found essential but we don't think is necessary today? Aren't we concerned about people putting their faith in our wisdom, our knowledge, our great speech as opposed to putting their faith in God because of the demonstration of His power? Don't the Word and the Spirit work side by side? Didn't Jesus rebuke religious leaders saying, you err or you err because you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God?

Didn't He say that God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth? Alright, back with more of your calls. Stay right here. 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, welcome to the Line of Fire. Great to be with you today, everyone listening by radio, everyone listening by podcast, everyone watching on YouTube or Facebook or elsewhere. So glad to have you on the broadcast today.

Alright, let me go back to the phones here and we'll go over to Washington, D.C. Kevin, welcome to the Line of Fire. Hi, Dr. Brown, it's nice to talk to you. Thank you. My question, this is something I rarely bring up because I know it's such a subject and I love people. It is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What do you believe is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and when somebody mocks speaking in tongues or says it is demonic or calls the works of God, the works of the devil, what do you think that is? Right, so it's a question we've been asked many, many times if folks go to our website Ask Dr. Brown. But I know what it is.

Yeah, yeah. If folks go to our website AskDrBrown.org and just type in blasphemy, they should find a video teaching we've done on it. The only place where Jesus explains it or where the gospel author explains it is in Mark the third chapter.

And there Jesus does a teaching. He's been accused of driving out demons by the power of Satan, right? And Jesus does a teaching and says every sin that's been committed will be forgiven except the blasphemy of the Spirit.

It's an eternal sin. And then the following verse says he said this because they were saying he has an unclean spirit. So, what Mark is telling us is for someone to knowingly attribute the works of the Holy Spirit through Jesus to Satan is blasphemy of the Spirit. Now Paul, remember, he openly persecutes believers, right?

And he has people put to death. But he says in 1 Timothy 1 that God had mercy on him because he acted in ignorance and unbelief. And in Acts 3, as Peter is preaching to Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and others, he said, look, you killed the author of life, but you did it ignorantly.

You didn't realize what you were doing. So, there are many people who mock the things of the Spirit, but they don't understand what they're doing. There was a move about 15 years ago where people would post these videos saying the words that they blasphemed the Spirit, even little kids doing it. And I remember watching it thinking I wonder how many of these people are going to get saved in years ahead, and their testimony will be, I was one of those on this video.

In other words, they did it ignorantly, right? I had two Mormons over, and I waited for a long time to have two Mormons come over to my house to be my theologian. And I had them come over, and I did it in front of them. I said, ask the Holy Spirit, right? Because all the sins of all the sons of men will be forgiven, but he who blasphemed the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, but is forgiven in eternal terms.

And I did it to them, to shock them into life, you know? And I didn't think they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. And I was just talking to these young Mormon men, lovingly, and I asked them what they believed the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was. And they didn't know. And I asked them what the gospel was. And they went through their, this is the Latter-day Saints, you know, Joseph Smith, all of those things. And that was not necessarily the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit at the same time, you know, believing in the Mormonism was not the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But they, they understood that if you replace the devil with God, or if you put the devil on God's throne, therefore you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Um... Pete Slauson Yeah, Kevin, the thing that, the key thing in all of this is to understand someone has to do this with their eyes wide open. There has to be a knowledge and understanding of what they're doing. And this person crosses a line that is so clear, that is so definite, it requires a certain degree of hardness of heart and determined will that there's no way back. And that's the key thing. People say, did I blaspheme the Spirit? If you're worried about it, obviously not.

Or if you didn't know better, obviously not. And again, and thanks for raising in this context because many people that speak in tongues today that God uses in various gifts today, many people did not believe that prior in the past and maybe they even mocked. And they, and look, there are stupid things that many Charismatics have done that are worthy of being mocked. You know, stupid things we've done in the name of the Lord. We're claiming that it was the Holy Spirit. And it's worthy of being mocked.

They say, oh, did I mock the Spirit? And people are concerned about it. So, let's go to Mark 3. And this comes up a whole lot.

In fact, normally, if we get a call on that, we just refer folks to the website because it comes up so much. It's more relevant to today's show. So, Mark the third chapter and this is the only time where there's an explanation given, all right? So, Mark chapter 3, I'm going to start in verse 22. And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, he is possessed by Beelzebul, so by Satan himself. And by the prince of demons, he casts out demons. They couldn't deny he was doing something. They couldn't deny he was genuinely healing the sick. They couldn't deny he was driving demons out of people and now as a result, they could hear, they could see, they could speak, they were set free from torment.

They couldn't deny that, so they had to say, well, he's doing it by another power. And he called them to him and said to them in parables, how can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided itself against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand. But it's coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man.

Then, indeed, he may plunder his house. Now, I'm going to come back to the rest of that passage in a moment, but let me say this. During the Brownsville Revival, many critics would say, well, it's not real.

It's not real. They would say, well, it's demonic. It's the flesh. And I would say, okay, if someone is genuinely turning from sin to God, if they are going from unbelief to putting their faith in Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, and I'd go through what that meant, if they are now coming under the authority of Scripture and loving the Word of God, and they now have a burden to reach the lost, and this continues for months, now I can say for over 20 years, in some cases for over 25 years, then it has to be God behind it. If this is the overwhelming fruit we're seeing, then it has to be God.

Yeah, you're always going to have bad fruit here and there. You're going to have flakes and, you know, finest church in America. You're going to have people with weird beliefs.

You're going to have people that leave the church and bring a bad report. But what's the overwhelming testimony of the fruit? What do you see? So, when you see that, it has to be God. Otherwise, Satan's divided against himself. He's producing true converts in order to deceive people. Into what?

He doesn't do that. Satan cannot produce true converts. The flesh cannot produce true converts. So, now Jesus says, end of the passage, Truly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man and whatever blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin, for they were saying, He has an unclean spirit.

So, the works of the Holy Spirit done through Jesus in front of your eyes, demonstrably, clearly, God, to the glory of God and in conformity with the Word, someone sees that and their heart is that heart. They are so bent on rejecting Jesus. They are so committed to rejecting the purposes of God. For whatever reason, be it pride, be it authority, be it power, be it unwillingness to let go of certain sin, they are that committed to attribute that to Satan, to say that Jesus, through the works of the Spirit, has a demon and is doing it by demon power, to do it knowingly with your eyes wide open because Jesus says elsewhere to the Pharisees that rejected him in John 9, you say you see, so your sin remains. That is blasphemy of the Spirit. Now, there are plenty of people I've met that don't know the Lord at all, that have no clue who Jesus really is, that speak evil of him. And God-willing when they get saved, they'll regret what they said. But no, it's not blasphemy of the Spirit. There are plenty of God-mockers they could say every day around the world.

Plenty of people who spoke against Jesus that get saved all the time around the world. But this is crossing a certain line, requiring a certain level of hardness of heart. If you wonder, did I blaspheme the Spirit? If you're wondering about it, you didn't do it.

If you feel terrible about it, you obviously didn't do it. My friends, study the Word. Study the Scriptures.

Get on your knees alone with God and whatever posture you get and to just focus on him, just with the Bible. God, I just want to follow you and your Word, whatever the cost, whatever the consequence. It's not about being popular. It's not about doing what a lot of people do or don't do. It's about honoring the Lord with humility. So, I'm saved now, going on 51 years. I realize how little I know and how absolutely dependent on God I am. I haven't figured it out any better than what the Word says, so I will go with the Word as best as I can. I encourage you to do the same. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-26 22:21:34 / 2022-12-26 22:39:55 / 18

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