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The Powerless Church at Pentecost - Biblical VS Apostate Manifestation of the Gifts

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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 most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them 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. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.1Corinthians 14:26-33 (ESV)

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Usually during the season of Pentecost Sunday we start to see defenses of Charismania pop up everywhere. Cessationists and continuationists start sharpening their swords for their annual dance about how the other side is so wrong when in reality, they both are. I believe any sane reading of the bible cannot support cessationism. It simply does not pass the commonsense test. The above verses were written by the Apostle Paul in 54 AD. They are just some of the detailed writings from Paul, describing how we are to have church service. Now, a cessationist believes the gifts, described in these key verses, ceased in operation after the death of John, in 99 AD. We all believe in divine inspiration, so we know it was actually God who wrote these detailed instructions for Christian church services. Why in the world would God do that if it would only be relevant for 45 years and during that time few would have these Pauline letters to begin with? Why would God do this when He knows full well that these letters would make it into the canon of scripture, but the bible would not be decided for hundreds of more years? Simply put. He wouldn't. That said, I understand why people want to become cessationists and that is because the gifts are largely abused today and utilized by scam artists and charlatans. So, the continuationist is correct that the gifts are for today but mostly wrong in how they manifest them. The above linked article is from J Lee Grady. I have always respected much of what Grady has written but have always been troubled by his affiliation with Charisma News and the extreme elements of Charismania. Let us reason through his article on Pentecost and the gifts to sort through what the problems are with the Charismata today.

"A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in California. During one of my messages, the Lord showed me that a woman in the auditorium was struggling with infertility. When I made the announcement, a young woman in the back of the room burst into tears.

I didn't know this woman had endured three miscarriages or that she was depressed because she feared never having a baby. She came to the front of the auditorium with her mother by her side, and I briefly prayed for her. There was nothing sensational about that moment; all I remember was asking Jesus to break the spirit of barrenness. A year later I returned to that city, and when the pastor picked me up at the airport he said: "I forgot to tell you that a woman in my church wants to talk to you. She said last year you prayed for her to have a baby!" I learned that this woman went home from the conference and got pregnant a month later. She now had the baby, a girl named Esperanza, and she wanted me to meet her. That was not the first or last time I've received a "word of knowledge" while ministering. It is one of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. But I've often wondered what would have happened if I had ignored the Holy Spirit's promptings during that conference in California. Would Esperanza's mother have received her miracle?" - J. Lee Grady

I will assume Grady is telling the truth. This is a great story and testimony. I am curious what "the Lord showed me" means. Let me explain how this is also a template for the problem with this gift expression today. God is not vague. If God wanted to use Grady to show this woman the gift of knowledge, He would have specified which woman it was. Let's be fair here, Grady called out to the entire room claiming someone there had a problem that 26% of women who could get pregnant suffer from. There was a high likelihood that SOMEONE would answer, especially in a Charismatic service. We see this nonsense all the time in the false apostate church system. The false prophet claims God is showing them someone with back pain, or diabetes. If no one answers they just blame it on someone being too scared to admit it was them. So, while this nice story is wrapped in a bow most similar scenarios are entirely fabricated.

"One simple word of knowledge changed that family. But what if I had let fear stop me from flowing in the miraculous? What if I had just decided to stick to my notes, preach a nice sermon and play it safe? I'm afraid that's what many of us are doing today. We say we believe the Bible, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit's gifts, we are either too timid to step out in faith, or we don't believe we need miracles anymore. If we really want to be a people of Pentecost, the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 should be manifested regularly through our lives. Few Christians today have even heard of these gifts; fewer have seen them in operation. We need a refresher course in the ways the Holy Spirit works:" - J. Lee Grady

I am not sure if Grady is really suggesting that God would not have figured out what to do if he was disobedient. This trespasses into the area of God needing us and let me assure you - He does not. He does not need J. Lee Grady to give a word of knowledge anymore than he needs to me to explain why it could not be true. Because He is God, all alone, by Himself. God sees all time, so He knows full well that Grady was going to respond and thus give this woman a reason to believe. The problem remains that the vast majority of people expressing the gifts are simply dishonest. The regularity of the gifts is determined by the Holy Spirit I might add, not J. Lee Grady. Let us continue into the gifts:

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 
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