The ‘good’ Church must be one that believes and teaches correctly about the Holy Spirit.
The theologian Frances Turretin (1623–1687) warned us of those who think God speaks outside of His written word, in the name of the Holy Spirit: “The Holy Spirit does not make the Scripture less necessary. He is not given to us in order to introduce new revelations, but to impress the written word on our hearts; so that here the word must never be separated from the Spirit”. (see Is. 59:21).
Later he explains the blessing of the written word . God’s word is sufficient; the Bible gives us all that we need. We don’t need tradition, a pope, or any modern day “prophets” and “apostles.” We need the Word of God. Turretin explains: “Three things particularly prove the necessity of the Scripture: (1) the preservation of the word; (2) its vindication; (3) its propagation. It was necessary for a written word to be given to the church that the canon of true religious faith might be constant and unmoved; that it might easily be preserved pure and entire against the weakness of memory, the depravity of men and the shortness of life.’
Many parts of today’s Church have forgotten the Holy Spirit’s true role.
The Neglect of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has often been neglected by the Church in its understanding of how God works. The Holy Spirit is probably the least understood person of the Trinity.
He has been quenched and not allowed to do things He would do, He has been blamed for doing things He has never done and He has gone unthanked by the Church when He has been responsible for so much good in our lives.
It is not surprising that so much confusion exists among Christian leaders and lay persons, because we often misunderstand what He does or deny it.
Some of the newer songs circulating through the Churches certainly reveal a real lack of knowledge and understanding about the Holy Spirit. He will certainly not respond to some clown pretending to be a worship leader who commands ‘Come on down, Holy Spirit!’, just like a raucous TV game show host.
Theologian Turretin goes on to explain that the Holy Spirit does not exist in a vacuum and basically works through the written Scriptures. Why?
‘ … that it [the Scripture] might be more certainly defended from the frauds and corruptions of Satan; that it might more conveniently not only be sent to the absent and widely separated, but also be transmitted to posterity.’
The Scriptures and the Holy Spirit agree on everything.
Manipulated by False Prophets
Too many modern false prophets seem to treat the Holy Spirit as their own personal plaything, a ‘force’ that can be manipulated, used or conjured up to impress the gullible and the biblically illiterate. Some of the theologies about the Holy Spirit are weird and bizarre to say the least.
He is treated flippantly and impersonally by flagrant showmen like Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke, Todd Bentley and the others whose exploits are often emulated by local Pentecostal leaders to their great shame.
The depravity to which those leaders have sunk is clear for all to see in the terminology they use when describing the so-called effects of the working of the Holy Spirit:
‘Getting drunk in the Spirit’, ‘the holy bar tender’, ‘doing carpet time’, ‘anointing backwash’, etc, etc, are terms used frequently which have no Biblical connection and certainly nothing to do with the real Holy Spirit or His work of interpreting God’s Word to us.
If this is not the ‘blasphemy of the Holy Spirit’ [Mark 3:29] I don’t know what is. The words of Jesus and His apostles leave me with no other option but to warn all who might be at risk.
The Real Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a Person of the Godhead, not to be ignored or mocked or slandered. He is co-equal with the Father and the Son, and co-eternal with them.
Watch out also if a Church or leader treats the Holy Spirit as ‘it’ rather than ‘Him.’ It could say all.
Since He is truly God, He is involved in a number of activities. The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin [see John 16:8]. He imparts the new birth by God’s grace [John 3:5]. He lives within individual Christians and stirs us to holy living, if we do not hinder Him [Phil 2:12-13].
Because He is with us all the time we can rely on Him for all these things, and we can progressively be sanctified and have victory over our sinful nature as we mature physically and spiritually.
The real Holy Spirit does not make people act drunk, make animal noises, lose self-control or do anything which would bring dishonour to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sheep Dressed as Wolves
We are seeing this happening now on a massive scale – a clear indication that we are in the Last Days. Christian leaders posing as harmless sheep but in reality ravening wolves. Jesus warned us in Matt 7:15.
We have seen the ravening wolves who distort the Holy Spirit’s work for their own profit; then we have seen the local pulpit ‘wannabees’ who are playing the same trick on the masses of pew warmers, who, through their own ignorance or laziness, do nothing but allow the leaders to get away with it.
Please be a Berean – search the Scriptures, listen to the Holy Spirit who doesn’t act contrary to the Scriptures, and put on your walking shoes if need be.