Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience

Baptism with the Holy Spirit
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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A positive call for discernment and engagement, providing healing for those confused or wounded by their uneven charismatic experiences from an insider in the movement. Get A Copy. Published January 1st by Bethany House Publishers. More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Strange Fire, Holy Fire , please sign up.

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Charismatic Chaos

Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Dec 18, Jim rated it really liked it. I have found that,the pentecostal Doctrine of Holyspirit Baptism as a second experience after salvation and the continuance of the gifts of the HolySpirit have strong evidence and support from the bible. But unfortunately, I am yet to hear a clear exposition of the same from the church in common forums such as pulpit messages.

But i am yet to hear a single sermon specifically denouncing any of these teachings. Its unfortunate that those who know the truth dont teach it Authoritatively while So called Annointed Dreamers and myth mongers teach the people lies with Authority….. And now i Am even further saddened to See john McArthurs seminars attracting so much attention. When it comes to Cessationism, He is wrong.

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It is high time Pentecostals, Stand up and teach Pentecostal theology systematically in church pulpits and Sunday Schools…. Thank you for your post! It is always good to hear from a Christian brother from across the world. One of the missionaries my church supports is based in India Tamil Nadu, I believe.

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Marc A. I have felt this way for years. Scripture alone is the stan- dard against which all things must be measured. Significantly, these deviations are not relegated to the fringes of the movement. This book has helped me put my finger on some of the things I had been feeling about the charismatic movement.

I agree that we as Pentecostals need to preach authoritatively the deep doctrine you are discussing. Please e-mail me at jbat07 hotmail. I was at a home bible study that was instrumental in my receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. One evening the young minister was praying over a woman whose back was to me. The minister signaled me with his eye movement, to hurry and stand directly behind the woman.

What I did not know or expect was the woman was about to fall backwards quickly and like a stiff log, without trying to protect herself. I barely had time to get my hands out of my pockets to seemingly assist her to the floor. She would not have been hurt at all. The woman was totally under the influence of the Holy Spirit and being blessed. If I am at an event and see things that are strange to my eyes and ears, I will count on the Holy Spirit to tell me if it is His supernatural work or something the flesh of man has developed outside of our Lord Jesus.

Sadly, you seem to think that God is involved in this self-confessed dillusion. It is also scary that you seem to think you have some sort of infallible means of knowing which experiences are true and which are not. Doug, whatever you are into — it is not Christianity. If you do know, can you be sure that the Holy Spirit will not let the fall injure that person? Daniel, John is right! And by the way, anyone who misrepresents the true doctrine and teaching of scripture are to be exposed, according to Paul…Jesus certainly did so with the Pharisees because of their false strongholds of enslaving, religious apostasy 2Cor They never required human assistance or contribution, of any nature!

It is blasphemy to say that God, the Holy Spirit requires human involvement to do the ministry work assigned to Him by God the Father. It is dangerous to misrepresent what scripture clearly says is His ministry work Ephesians ;John ,27; , ; Matt ;Rev Have been PCA ever since. I still believe in non-revelatory gifts I find myself in agreement with Grudem on this point , but Pentecostal practice needs to be deeply reformed in accordance with the Scriptures. I would love to see all Protestants reform in a way that resulted in more theological consistency and clarity, perhaps resulting in more organizational unity.

Thank you for this humble, well thought post. I am appreciative of your willingness to agree that damage is being done. I am a casualty of this damage. The spiritual excesses were evident then, also. While testing the spirit was preached, it was never practiced. As kids attending AG Bible camp, the more you cried, screamed and flailed at the altar, the happier God was because you were receiving His Spirit.

Growing up under this erroneous teaching caused deep emotional damage. I am now Reformed and am finding spiritual stability in doctrines and theology that have roots and clarity. I have learned that the Spirit is subject to the Word. Every situation. My fear of offending the Spirit has diminished greatly. So thank you. Dawn, thank you for sharing that. I believe there are many more Pentecostals and Charismatics who recognize the abuses, but who are scared to speak out against them.

Well put. The best next thing to do is to reject Pentecostalism and join a Bible based church, as I have done. As a Pentecostal pastor from South Africa where the Spirit of God is moving with great power your comments are strange indeed and I agree with Andrew that you must look for a non Pentecostal Church to join where you will feel more at home. To be under the influence of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful experience you will sense every time you are slain in the Spirit and you will be drunk from the Holy ghost like our brothers in Acts 2.

The things of the Spirit cannot be fathomed with the intellectual mind:. It is very clear that one cannot understand the things of the Spirit regarding the ministry. It makes perfect sense to me that the Holy Ghost told Tod Bentley to kick that old Lady so that she can receives her healing as this is in line with many other crazy Biblical examples. One very concerned member told our staff that there are hardly any members left as they cannot stand this nudity in the pulpit:. He clams that the holy God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forced him to married this harlot and by doing so leaving his fiance of two years absolutely devastated.

Where ever He goes he upset the scribes and priests by breaking the strict Sabbath rules and they claim that this man are from the devil because no one send from God will break the commandments of Moses. This time he spit in the mouth of a poor man who was deaf and could hardly speak, it seems to us that the arrogance of this man is boundless. The ink of our previous edition was hardly dry when he done the very same thing. This time the victim was a poor blind beggar. Surely theirs nothing of God in this lunatic as a snake is the one animal that is obsessed with spitting and we all know that the snake is a symbol of the devil.

It is about time that one of our respected scribes convene a conference to warn the religious world of this very dangerous spitting snake from the pit of the hell. Show me just one verse in the Bible that claims that God changes, He is the same yesterday, today and to all eternity and the same God that instructed Isaiah, Hosea, Jesus Christ and Tod Bentley to do crazy things, He still instruct others on numerous occasions to do even more weird stuff.

Never tries to fathom the workings of the Holy Spirit with your intellectual mind, you will end up talking nonsense like many others. That is why we now have eastern mysticism creeping into the charismatic churches. Palm reading to determine Pastors! I kid you not.

I have no doubt you have experienced something but if its not Biblical than its not from God and if its not from God its one of 2 things either its your own hysteria or its demonic. God specifically operates within Biblical parameters so that we know if it is from Him. That is our safeguard. Regarding baptism in the Spirit, it most definitely is biblical 1Corinthians Even cessationists like John MacArthur and R.

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Sproul believe in baptism in the Holy Spirit. The question is not whether there is a baptism in the Holy Spirit, but how and when does this take place?

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MacArthur would say at conversion, classical Pentecostals would say it is separable from though not necessarily subsequent to conversion. The two camps are discussing two completely, and totally different things. Interesting conversation, as someone who was in the pentecostal movement for approx 12 years and who has left recently, this conversation between Daniel and Josiah, is only confirming to me that pentecostalism is in an uncontrolable mess. Daniel have you read or watched the sessions led by the African pastor,conrad mbewe at the Strange Fire Conference?

I urge you to do so. Here are the links:. One of you has a more biblical world view than the other. Josiah, your biblical worldview is keeping you more orthodox, but it is unable to provide the much needed discipline and boundaries within the movement as a whole. This is one of the most reasonable, accurate and kind exhortations I have read on this topic. Thank you and God bless you for writing that which The Lord has placed upon your heart. About eight years ago our pastor allowed teachers under the tuteledge of Larsen and C. Peter Wagner into our church.

The result has not been good and now there is only small minority of us who hold to sola scriptura. God help us. The onlookers on the day of Pentecost could have entertain the same thoughts of what was happening in front of their eyes. But there is a order in disorder as strange as it might sound. I think Josiah is more frustrated than myself regarding this. Some cessationists believe that all the gifts have seized, others believe that there are still a few gifts in operation.

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There are those among them that were baptized in the Spirit and they talk in tongues knowing well that they cannot refute what happened to them, while others next to them disagree with their experience. There were Spirit filled, tongue talking, gift bearing women in my church that decided to marry cessationists and end up in their churches and they told me since that they are dying in this dead and dry spiritual environment and they are tired to listen to those there trying to convince them that Pentecost is something of the past.

It is like trying convincing a pitch black guy that he is lily white. No use to listen to a Calvinist named Conrad Mbewe as it will be a waste of time as we are on different planets. How can I inform you what is schooling about if I never attend school in my whole life? Pentecost is not an theory, it is an experience and I like Josiah can never refute this experiences of our life. Therefore it is sad to read and hear that some believers left Pentecostal churches before they could have experience the experience, before they met Jesus as the fire Baptizer.

It is futile to listen to someone telling you there is not a sun while you are basking daily in the heat and light of that very same substance. The only thing that can change the view of a cessationists is that God must baptize him with the Holy Spirit and gave him utterances in a strange language.

Therefore it is an waste of time to argue with each other as how do you explain to a guy the taste of a double thick toffee shake that never have a drop on his tongue? Many of us that are Pentecost use to be cessationists, but after a real life encounter with the fire Baptizer our whole life have changed we can never go back to the dead environment as the life in us craves for more of the Spirit.

That is why I told Josiah that the devil is the only winner in the strange fire conference as the television preachers and teachers who were in their focus will ignore everything that was said. If they could have change the way that only one of them thinks and act, then everything was okay but not one of them will alter their ways. The only thing that MacArthur and friends achieved was to grieve the Spirit of God because of His deep desire that their must be a strong spiritual bond of unity in the body of Christ:.

Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that their unity may be like ours. Eph Through the peace that ties you together, do your best to maintain the unity that the Spirit gives. Therefore the tender and gentle Holy Spirit was grieved. Even many leaders within Pentecostalism recognise this problem. Your comparison with Acts 2 is a false one. What you see in the modern charismatic movement, is nothing like that which took place in Acts 2.

The tongues which were spoken, were actual languages which were understood. The gospel was preached. There was not the en masse confusion whih characterises charismania today. I think you will find there is a vast gulf, theologically between you and Josiah. Josiah understands the problems, you do not. A waste of time? Listening to a brother in Christ is a waste of time? Because he is a calvinist? Do you not know your history?

If there was no calvinism, there would be no pentecostalism! It was calvinists who brought justification by faith alone, still technically a core doctrine within pentecostalism. Anything solid that pentecostalism has comes from the historic catholic church the trinity for example or the protestant reformation.

I would argue that people like Mbewe, have more in comparison with biblical prophets, than the charlatans of the charismatic movement. To shut your ears to truth is to seal your own condemnation. You make a lot of assumptions. You made the same assumption about Josiah,until he corrected you, and you are now making the same assumption about me.

I spoke in tongues for most of my Christian life 12 years or so. But your argument proves nothing.

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Mormons speak in tongues. Hindus speak in tongues. Have they been baptised by the Holy Spirit? You argue that you must experience something before you can understand it. According to this logic, you cannot speak against the experiences of the cults and false religions, because you have not experienced it. You are also proving that you have been caught in a snare. Classical pentecostalism, argues that experience must always be subject to scripture. This is not what you are arguing. I see very little in your arguments that bear any resemblance to classical pentecostalism which I still have a lot of respect for.

I would urge you to read the transcript by Conrad, and test what he says against scripture, rather than rejecting it on the grounds of prejudice. It is sad to sense a acrimonious spirit in your reply, it is the same loveless harsh spirit that was reflected from this strange fire conference.

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I would like you to substantiate your allegations regarding the uncontrollable mess concerning Pentecostalism. Maybe you know more about this in America than I do here in Africa. They are Charismatic leaders, not Pentecostals. There was not the en masse confusion witch characterises charismania today. You have to read Acts 2 again. The scripture is clear about this:. Act All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak the words of God in other languages as the Spirit spoke through them.

But you guys just adhere to the scriptures that suits your point of view. You said that the gospel was preached. Are you kidding! Because he is a calvinist. I am honest with you that I will not wasting my time listening to his ramblings regarding Calvinism and their unbiblical theology. I do not agree with that and for this reason it is a waste of my time. If I ask you for example to listen to a teaching regarding a Pentecostal or Charismatic leader and you know that they cannot convince you to follow their way of thinking will you do it? If Mbewe will give a teaching regarding a neutral subject like the longsuffering of God then I would love to listen to him.

Pentecostalism can be traced back to Acts 2 and later the Holy Spirit revives the Pentecostal flames in Azusa street. Anything solid regarding Pentecost comes from the Bible.

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You accused me of endorsed a heretic and false prophet Todd Bentley when I gave four scriptural references to prove a statement. But you proclaim that Mbewe have more in comparison with Biblical prophets than the charlatans of the charismatic movement. Look what the Bible said and how he contradicts this scripture while claiming that he as a Reformer and Calvinis are the only ones that can be trusted to police the Church of Jesus Christ because he is the only voice in the dessert that can be trusted.

What a joke and you follow this guy like other uninformed Calvinist reformers. Rev If you worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name, you will be tortured day and night. The smoke from your torture will go up forever and ever, and you will never be able to rest. The scripture is clear that everyone that received the mark of the beast will receive eternal torture, but not according to John MacArthur. He stated that those that receives this mark will receive a second change to repent. Read and listen how he contradicts the scriptures and everyone who have a solid background in scriptures can also see how he force the scriptures to suit his man made theology by reading his commentaries on 1 Corinthians.

Your hero is a false prophet because he twisted the scriptures but according to you that is fine. It is fine if one in your own camp twist the scriptures, but what a hel of a noise do you make if someone in the Pentecostal or Charismatic camp twist the scripture and then you accusing me of pride and sectarianism? In which camp do you feel right at home, in the Pentecostal, Mormon or the Hindu camp?

I was talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. At least you know it was genuine if I can believe you? If you never spoke in tongues you would always have doubted the relevance of that. You have at least an experience regarding that and no one can tell you that you lie. Where my tone lacks patience and gentleness, I apologise. But I want to touch on one aspect. You said:. We are at risk of hijacking the blog topic here, so perhaps it would be good to turn our atention back to the main points identified by the blogger in the above post.

If what Josiah claims is true, we are dealing with a movement which is an uncontrolable mess. Thank you brother we all err and I has also apologize to Josiah for entering the discussion pool with a wrong attitude from a wrong angle, but hey, we are all in the business of forgiveness. I want to ask a question here, and perhaps this will help us as we seek to evaluate our movement. My question is, suppose it were definitively shown from Scripture that the cessationists are right. If this were the case, would we abandon our Pentecostalism?

Would we even say that our own experiences had been errors? But you and I both know that large segments of our movement would give a negative answer to this question. As you pointed out, classical Pentecostals do seek to ground our beliefs and practices in Scripture. But we classical Pentecostals are not the public face of the movement.

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In fact, in the United States at least, that public face tends to be people of the sort you listed, the Benny Hinns and Todd Bentleys and Joel Osteens. Bentley seemed to be under the impression that this would happen soon. To this day, I am aware of no great awakening taking place in Finland. Bentley made a prediction, and it has not come to pass. This means he is a false prophet. And let us not forget that many false prophets will come Matthew , even claiming to do miracles and drive out demons Matthew Our method must not be to assume someone is a true prophet and exempt them from criticism on that basis; it must be to evaluate their teachings according to the Bible and determine on that basis whether they are a true prophet or not.

I will subject myself to the scriptures. I will change my mind and focus if I realize that I was wrong in my judgement and opinion of the scriptures. Yes I will do it because I must stay true to myself and I cannot pursue anything if I know that it is not the real McCoy. The second half of your question is verrrry difficult to answer because I have experienced the most wonderful encounters with God in my life and I cannot retract from that because I will make myself and the Holy Spirit a fraud and liar. Can you turn your back on encounters with God? Concerned Pentecostals like us may between sixes and sevens at the moment but the only way forward for me is the scriptural way:.

Mat Jesus used another illustration.

Strange Fire Panel Question and Answer, Session 2 (Selected Scriptures)

Mat But while people were asleep, his enemy planted weeds in the wheat field and went away. Mat When the wheat came up and formed kernels, weeds appeared. Where did the weeds come from? If you pull out the weeds, you may pull out the wheat with them. Mat Let both grow together until the harvest. When the grain is cut, I will tell the workers to gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned. He instruct us specifically to leave the weeds, the disappointments and embarrassments for Him as He will sort them out. The reason why we see this leaders keeps on embarrassing us is that they keep failing the tests for purity, self control and righteousness time and again.

If we run to another camp to avoid this we will find in due time that those guys have the same cancer in their midst because we are all human and fallible. The only difference will be that ours will be more visible than theirs. But their is no difference between a person that have cancer in his face and everyone can see it, or having cancer on his chess and hide it under his cloths, cancer is cancer and we all live in this era of iron and clay feet where the integrity, ethics, morals and values goes faster and faster down the drain.

There are different understandings of repentance so I am not quite sure to what you are referring to. I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, patient, and always ready to forgive and to reconsider your threats of destruction. We both know that adultery and divorce are not the unforgivable sins. This is my take on this. If he repented before God, went to his ex- wife and ask her to forgive him, ask the body of Christ to forgive him and then ask God to forgive him, he is a forgiven man.

This is news for me and I was not aware of this. I mean that is the reason why they associate with a Pentecostal church. It is also not fair to you and your wife as I think that this uncertainty at present gnaws at both of you as I sense that you are not a jackal and Hyde type of person that want to delude your overseers, your church leaders and your members.

Dear Daniel, It is not reformed theology, which is a creation of men, howalbeit sincere Godly men at that. But what the word of God, the Bible says that really matters. Pentecostals can have valid spiritual experiences, but often use the wrong biblical terminology. The experience can be genuine, but it is just understood wrongly from a theological perspective. In reality, pentecostalism has started to recognise this with the emergence of tcharismatic movements who do not hold to classical pentecostal doctrines on Spirit baptism.

So, recognising a wrong doctrine, does not mean we have to deny every experience we ever had. It just means we grow in knowledge. On the other hand, some experiences may have been false. Maybe we are unsure.

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But we do not build on experience. We build on Christ. I have had many deep experiences of the Spirit. Moving towards a non-pentecostal position has not caused me to deny these experiences. I have spoken in tongues most of my Christian life, however having studied the texts — I now believe that biblical tongues were known languages. Therefore I think this experience was false. What was it then? I believe it was a psychological activity. Consequently, I now pray more in my native tongue than I did before — this can only be good.

I have experiences where I have known things and they have happened — and I have also made mistakes. Do I deny all the genuine things now? Again, I realise that I was assigning them to the wrong theological category. Has this led to a less spiritual walk? If anything my walk is far more Christ centred.

Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience

I have also found that the Reformed tradition has a far more robust theology of the Holy Spirit. They also have a history of genuine revivals — not revivalism — but real, deep Christ exalting revival. I would argue, the way for pentecostals and charismatics to reform — is to get back to the theology and practice of the reformers. So you have to wait for an answer but I will just touch here and there. It is my experience with cessationists that they refuse to accept scriptures that refute their argument although they boast to adhere to the scriptures.

Unlike you I can never move to the reformers camp and although there are people in my camp that have lost their values and integrity I will be more at ease with them, than with those that denies the virgin birth of Christ, that denies His resurrection and even denies that He is God the Son. Praising God for your wonderful response and heart for your people!

Praying that God blesses you and that you can help those that are being led astray by error.