29 September, 2009
When we consider the Holy Spirit as a Person in His office for the church, we can never detach Him from Christ and His work of redemption. That is His role for us.
The Holy Spirit is Eternal God, not equal but co-equal with the Father and the Son in the Trinity who is One God. He is said to proceed from the Father and the Son eternally. The first verse in the Bible records, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. The Hebrew word for “God” is “Elohim” that is a plural word meaning “in covenant and in relationship with”. The three dwell together in covenant and in relationship with each other. Together, they created the world.
He does not operate for Himself as His own Entity when it comes to this earth and mankind. This is the revelation of Scripture that is our only source of knowledge about Him. We must accept this revelation and if we do not, we have “another Holy Spirit” as occurred in 2 Corinthians 11:4, “someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different Spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted”.
Therefore the undiscerning in the church, can receive through preachers, the wrong Jesus, the wrong Holy Spirit and the wrong gospel. All these would be false and thus demonic.
Unfortunately, it is an inbred custom amongst Pentecostals and Charismatics to believe that this could not be possible amongst them. This is due to the persecution they received from the church world whereby they were said to be of the Devil or some such thing, because they spoke in Tongues. Speaking in tongues is clearly in the New Testament. Thus we have been prone to blindly receive those preachers who preach falsity. We could not imagine we would have such things occurring in our midst and possibly neither could the American Assemblies of God or Oral Roberts, both of whom have favoured Benny for their own ends.
There needs to be a knowledge of 1 Timothy 4:1,2 where the true Holy Spirit speaks – “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times, some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demon through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron”, and 2 Timothy 4:3,4 “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths”.
Jesus reproved churches in Revelation 2,3 for holding to the teaching of Balaam, the teaching of the Nicolaitans and for tolerating a woman, Jezebel who called herself a prophet, her teachings being called “the deep things of Satan”. The church in Thyatira was condemned because of allowing these things to persist. Christ commended the church in Ephesus as one that had “tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false”. Churches today are no different. The possibility of a false gospel, a false Christ and a false Spirit is there.
A person who preaches other than what the Gospels and Epistles declare about the gospel is preaching a false one. Those who prophesy falsely are false. Also, any who preach a Christ different from portrayed in the Scriptures or a Holy Spirit who is different from the Word of God, should be treated with discerning judgment. We are not to “know Christ after the flesh” but according to the Word of God.
Do the Scriptures show that Jesus ever visited anyone in Person after the Day of Pentecost? When He revealed Himself to John it was as he was “in the Spirit” and not with a visit. No one ever had a visit from the Person of the Holy Spirit.
There are certain verses in the New Testament that indicate the office of the Holy Spirit in this day of the gospel. Jesus promised He would come in John 14-16.
He said He spoke the words of the Father so He is the One who directed Jesus in these chapters in particular. The Father is to be glorified in the Son, Jesus. This Son said He would ask the Father and He would “give them another Advocate, or Comforter” to be with His disciples, thus His church, forever. The Holy Spirit is the gift and promise of God the Father as asked for by Jesus, the Son. The world cannot receive Him. He is the Spirit of truth and as Jesus said, “He will be ‘in’ you”.
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon them. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost was poured out and the were filled. Today the Holy Ghost does not come upon us but into us.
Jesus said the Advocate or Comforter, the Holy Spirit was “another” One. The Holy Spirit has come because Jesus has been glorified and is in heaven. Jesus is still our Comforter and Advocate, but it is in heaven where He is our Great High Priest before the Father on our behalf. On earth, we have this other Advocate, the Holy Spirit.
In chapter 15 there is a discourse about Christ being the true vine. We must always remember that Jesus Christ is the One in whom we abide and not in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit rather, abides with us or more specifically, within us. At the end of the chapter, Jesus said plainly about this Advocate, “whom I will send to you, from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify of me.”
This is the work of the Holy Spirit as the Advocate. He is the Consoler or Intercessor for us. It is to be emphasized that He has come to testify of Jesus and not of Himself. If there is a situation where the glory and testimony goes to the Holy Spirit, it is not of God. The testimony of the Spirit is always of Jesus.
Verses 13, 14 show He will guide us into all truth and this is as we read and listen to truth. Truth comes through the Spirit from the Word of God as it is, without its being out of context or contrary to the body of the Scriptures. It is not revelation knowledge. The revelation knowledge has already been given by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to the apostles who wrote the New Testament. In fact, the writers of the Old Testament were given revelation knowledge by the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit within us then teaches us, guides us, inspires and leads us into the Truth. We are to be given a “Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ”, Ephesians 1:17.
Kenyon has it all wrong as do his followers, Hagin and the Copelands. We can understand about Kenyon, who was not a Pentecostal or Evangelical and who studied at the Christian Science Seminary. Christian Science teaches differently from the Bible and the Gospel. Hagin, however, was a former Baptist who became a Pentecostal, A.O.G., whereas Kenneth Copeland studied at the rather conservative Pentecostal Oral Roberts University. Despite this background, they swallowed the errors of Kenyon and have taught them to many millions . Where is the discernment of the Word?
Jesus is our Saviour, our Redeemer, our souls’ Shepherd, and Guardian, our only Mediator, our High Priest and our heavenly Bridegroom – not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has come to bear witness that this indeed is the Son of God, Hebrews 2:9.
He always works in us through the Word of the Gospel and to effect the salvation work of Christ. He convicts unbelievers of sin. He is the Spirit who renews us in the new birth and lives within us. He is the Sanctifier, the Comforter and the Advocate through us when we pray in the Holy Ghost, He magnifies the work of Christ and glorifies Him. He does not speak of Himself but only of Christ. Christ leads us to the Father.
Does Benny Hinn preach the Holy Spirit like this? Rather, he exalts Him above Jesus. As God, the Holy Spirit is to be worshipped and adored along with the Father and the Son, the Three in One. Contrary to what Hinn says, the Holy Spirit is not separate. None is separate. Neither as he says, is the Holy Spirit equal with the other Persons. He is co-equal. He has the same Divinity and Attributes of each Person in the Godhead but His operation for us is different.
The Father gave the Son who died on the Cross and then was glorified, sending the Holy Spirit down to us. Also, He is not diverse in operations to the extent of acting contrary to what the Word declares. The manifestations of the nine gift of the Spirit are His and are said to be “by the Spirit”.
Benny is correct when he speaks of some manifestations as being of the flesh and not of the Spirit. If the manifestations of falling over and healing are of the flesh they are not of the Spirit. However, if the individual looks to the Lord, He can touch him. What does the Bible say about these things? It is possible for there to be those who bring healing only to have Jesus say, “I never knew you”. Does this not mean that what they did was not of Him?
There can be the danger of going off into mysticism in the extreme and into the metaphysical, both of which are not from the Holy Ghost. There can be healings not of God. If we follow the Scriptures we have nothing to fear.
An instance of hundreds of healings that needed a question mark was the display of such at the large tourist-centred Roman Catholic Church near Pondicherri, India. There were many testimonies on view in English to healings, miracles, supernatural deliverance and safety, supernatural prosperity and such like. Sometimes such were accompanied with displays of for example, a silver leg or gold object – because the person had been healed in that part of the body. All of these testimonies were of miracles done by Mary. They were for Mary and in honour of Mary. We thought, “It makes you wonder where the healings in various places we have seen, come from!”
Hinn says the Spirit is the power. Psalm 68 “He (the Lord) gives strength and power to His people”. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of power giving but He is not the power. In fact Hinn contradicts himself as he does often. If the Holy Spirit is the Power, in relation to him, that makes Him an “it” and Hinn points out correctly the Spirit is not an “it”!. Even Hinn says He is not an it but a Person. If Hinn thinks he has a power on him said to be the Holy Spirit in Person, this is wrong. What power is it, then, because this is what he said.
“Christ is the power of God and Christ is the wisdom of God”, 1 Corinthians 1:24, We should not instal the Holy Spirit in the place God says belongs to Christ.
Obviously, Hinn’s doctrines are not primarily based on the Word of the Gospels, the Scriptures but on his own and on Kathryn Kuhlman’s experiences. Doctrines must have as their base the entire Word of God, not experience. Experiences must line up with the Word of God and not be the foundation. Experiences cover that which is of God, of Satan and of self, even of the mind and of the emotions. In doing this, Hinn is at variance with Ephesians 4:14, “We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming”. These are strong words indeed!
It seems that Benny Hinn bases his doctrines first of all on the experiences of Kathryn Kuhlman, whom he emulates and on his own experiences that follow hers.
In fact, even with regard to the anointing, 1 John 2:27 is the only verse that speaks of the anointing we have received. This anointing is within and it is in connection with that anointing of the Spirit within regarding salvation. The sick can be anointed with oil. However, it is God who “has anointed us, by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first instalment”, 2 Corinthians 1:21,22.
This is not an impartation from any person, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor teacher or any other such. Hinn exalts the office of apostle above what the Scriptures do today. The church is built upon the prophets and apostles but they are the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament, of which there were at least eleven original ones.
Rather, Paul speaks of himself as having been given grace as in Ephesians 3:7, when he says, “Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power” – “this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone (Jew and Gentile believer) see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God”.
Benny mentions the next verse, “so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places”. I think he thought this was the Holy Spirit, but the Bible says God, who is the Father in the New Testament.
He says if you want restoration of the “anointing” you have to go to a certain location. If God can be found there, he says, that is where God is. Strange indeed! “God does not dwell in temples made by hands”, in places. Incidentally, neither does He dwell in our praises. He is above our praises but the reality is that He dwells in us gathered together, as His Temple. The real translation is that “God dwells between the Cherubim, on the praises of His people” and that was under the Old Covenant which is totally removed and finished. Under the New Covenant, we holy redeemed are the temple of the living God. Benny Hinn saying that the Sheckinah is the Holy Spirit, unknowingly perhaps, is stating a myth placed in among millions of Christians by Judaists as were in Galatians. Sheckinah was never in any Hebrew Scriptures but in the Talmud/Kabbala and is a goddess of the sephirot tree of the Kabbala, with sexual connotations and to be worshipped. We must undo this deception and throw it out.
In any case, we do not worship in a Temple or Tabernacle of the Old Testament. There are no cherubim above the Ark of the Covenant with the created glory of God there and such never again will be. We are under the New Covenant. Our worship is not in a place, or temple, or church specifically, but as we are indwelt as the Temple of God, we are to worship in the Spirit. We approach the throne of grace in the Spirit and we need to understand spiritually what this is. Found in Ephesians 2:18, we approach Him in the Spirit, or the Holy Spirit, that always involves some aspect of chapters 12-14 of 1 Corinthians. This we have failed to comprehend and pursue. So we all stay short of the real glory of God in our prayers, our lives, our churches because we fail to heed that portion of scripture. Even Barnes’ Commentary suggests this despite his never having been a Pentecostal or Charismatic; yet he knew the truth of what many of us are supposed to do.
Also as he mentioned the Holy Spirit is the life, let us consider some verses that say Christ is the life. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me”. Colossians mentions, “When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we appear with Him in glory”.
John speaks of handling the Word of life in his epistle. He declared “the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us”, He at whom they looked and touched with their hands, “concerning the word of life”, Jesus. I think perhaps he was inciting the people to always go to where he is because he has the anointing.
Kathryn Kuhlman spoke of herself in relation to her ministry as being the significant one. He follows Kathryn and even has gone to her grave, as well as Aimee Semple MacPherson’s, to get the anointing. That of course is forbidden by God. It is necromancy.
He tries to be a Kathryn, thinking he has her anointing. Therefore he endeavours to impart this anointing to others. One may well ask. What anointing is it? One marvels that on the platform of Kathryn’s meetings were priests, Jesuits and R.C. Bishops. What place do these have in a gathering that promotes Jesus Christ and His gospel – if such was the case.
We heard an American R.C. Bishop in Cairns at a F.G.B.M.I. meeting say, “You Protestants can come to our church but the Catholics cannot go to yours” – and the place was full of Protestants supposedly baptized with the Spirit. That is the inborn rule of that Church.
We have preached in churches pastored now by men who were Jesuits, having studied with them for the priesthood, one actually having been a priest. They cut all ties with their former priests, knowing that Jesus made a sacrifice, “once for all” and not every Sunday at the Mass.
Paul is not an apostle of the Holy Spirit but the apostle of Christ by the will of Father God. He preached Christ crucified. He exalted Christ. Christ was the centre of all of His preaching – as made effective by and witnessed also by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus promised us “out from your innermost being (not belly as KJV wrongly translates) shall flow rivers of living water”. The same word is used in this verse for innermost as is used by the Septuagint in the verse in the Old Testament where God made water flow from within the rock. It is a hollow place within. Does not that speak to us of our spirit and not our human belly? Jesus spake this about the Holy Ghost. This is the promise for every believer in Christ. It comes with speaking in other languages or tongues.
Benny never emphasizes this truth. In fact, once I saw him on Television in a huge African meeting, where he invited folk forward to receive the Holy Spirit. Maybe it was thousands who came. They stood. He waved his arm and they did not speak with other tongues but just fell to the ground. Was that the Holy Spirit? Is that the Bible way?
Reinhart Bonnke is at the end of the DVD. He comes across as a man of God, as one with the passion of the Holy Spirit burning within. He spoke truth. Actually, without his realising it, possibly, he spoke contrary to many of the things Hinn had preached in the previous sections of the DVD from the Ukraine meetings. He spoke of the baptism with the Holy Ghost, as Benny never seems to. He even said “I cannot give my anointing” to another. True words! He cannot give an anointing to anybody. Such cannot be imparted.
Summing up, the Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. He has the same attributes as the other Two. His attributes and characteristics are Divine and eternal. He is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He has eternal Being, Personage and thus has a mind, emotions and He is Spirit. As God we worship and adore Him.
The function of the Holy Spirit for us is different from that of the Father who planned or the Son who came to die. He was poured out by the Son, whose work as the Mediator He effects. Christ builds His church. The Holy Spirit is here to effect it.
He is in us. He is our Comforter and Advocate, the latter through our prayer in the Holy Ghost. He does not speak of Himself but of Christ. He leads us into the truths of the gospel, in particular. He manifests the gifts of the Spirit. We are edified as we pray in the Holy Ghost, we speak mysteries and it is speaking to God, the Father. Christ, our Mediator or Advocate in heaven, intercedes for us to the Father and He sent this other Advocate or Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with and in us on earth.
As Jesus received the Holy Spirit without measure even from conception as Saviour, He being God, the Holy Spirit now for us has Jesus Christ as the Source. Thus the Spirit also is aware of our humanity and our human frailties because He comes to us through Christ who is still now God and man.
Our house must be built on the Rock, who is Christ Jesus. If we build on the sands, even of a false Christ, a false Holy Spirit or a false gospel, all will collapse. Let us follow the Word and Truths of the gospel as the Holy Spirit opens them to us and teaches us.