Pentecostal/Charismatic/Word of Faith Concepts Refuted (Compilation)



A large percentage of churches, especially those influenced by 20th century Pentecostalism (i.e. the Azusa Street Movement), and the Purpose Driven and Seeker Sensitive church movements, practice a man-centered emotionalism where the church services themselves are hype-driven productions calculated to put those in the audience on an emotional roller coaster as much, or more than, secular concerts and political rallies attempt to do.  Experience and feelings are worshiped practically, though Christ and the Holy Spirit are invoked, and these experiences are attributed to them.  This describes most megachurches and many of the most influential churches out there, as well as much of what is seen on the allegedly Christian television networks.  Many of the teachers in these environments preach a health and wealth gospel appealing to man’s desires for financial security, bodily comfort, and hopes to actually live their best life now (one of the most popular ones, Joel Osteen, actually wrote a book called “Your Best Life Now”).  Even those who think they have received something truly edifying while in such environments need to get away from them quickly lest they be turned from the Lord due to the many falsehoods, and the overall ungodly atmosphere, that the concepts which reign in these environments foster.  

I’ll also note in relation to these environments: If Biblical tongues were a heavenly, angelic language, then they would not cease- even in eternity.  But 1 Corinthians 13:8 makes it clear that tongues will indeed cease.  This proves that Biblical tongues are the languages of men on earth.  The verses in 1 Corinthians 14 which might seem to say otherwise (when taken out of context) are actually a reference to someone in a congregation who speaks a different language than everyone else there praying, speaking, or singing out loud in his own language.  In that case the speaker is edified, but the rest of the congregation is not edified- because they don’t speak his language. That is one potential instance where the genuine spiritual gift of tongues might have a place if God were to give a person such a gift.  This is proven well by the summary of spiritual gifts, and their relation to love, which the Apostle Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 14:12: “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”  Every instance of the gift of tongues from God being exercised in the Bible involved the speaking of a language on earth, which could be verified as such by those who spoke that language naturally.  Likewise, the gift of interpreting tongues from God would involve translating a language of earth into another language of earth- all of which could be verified by natural speakers of the same languages.  So, what is all this babbling in unintelligible tongues among many in churches now and in private prayers?  It is deluding evidence that wrongly convinces people that they must have Christ’s Holy Spirit and/or (at best) a massive waste of time!

First Corinthians is a book which has many sections due to how Paul addressed several issues which the Corinthians had asked him about or which Paul otherwise saw the need to address.  In chapters twelve to fourteen he addresses spiritual gifts.  The three chapters together are one continuous treatise on spiritual gifts.  Since this is a topic over which there is so much confusion and controversy in our time, it is critical to consult what the Word of God actually teaches about it through a divinely inspired Apostle of Christ addressing this matter.  I will read these chapters and give concise analysis occasionally as we go through them.

12:1- This is something which it is not right to ignore, and it is not right to be closed to correction on this.

12:2- Heathen worship corresponds to going with the flow of things like the flow of one’s culture and one’s senses.  True Christianity crosses natural desires and demands that the passions and lusts of the flesh be crucified.  No one can enter into it nor remain in it in God’s sight who just basically does what is expected of them by others or seeks to appease others or is overpowered by the charisma of a religious leader.  Labeling worship as Christian doesn’t make it Christian.  Heathen elements can be mixed into what is labeled as Christianity, thereby corrupting it.  Our messages “The Curse of Emotionalism” and “Why Preachers Should Not be Regularly Screaming at their Audience” are related to these things.  

And consider going forward that even though idols are lifeless and therefore cannot speak nor impart life, it was (and is) nevertheless common for people in Pagan Temples to speak in unintelligible tongues and give allegedly prophetic utterances.  Therefore, it should be evident that speech can be labeled as having divine origin that in reality stems from human contriving, human conditioning, or possibly even demonic influence.  Keep this in mind going forward as the Apostle Paul deals with the things which he deals with in these chapters.

12:3a- This may be a reference to (alleged) Jewish prophets that the Corinthians had been exposed to who seemingly spoke under divine inspiration, and maybe even said some things which sounded holy, yet these nevertheless rejected Jesus as the Messiah and called Him accursed.  Whatever the case, note the principle.

12:3b- Anyone can call Jesus the Lord, and Jesus made it clear that not every one that says to Him Lord, Lord will enter into His kingdom, but the Apostle means here that there is indeed a supernatural aspect of true Christianity which indeed stems from the true and living God.  Those who say that Jesus is the Lord with adequate understanding of His person and His work of redemption, and who have truly received Him for all that He is, including His Lordship or authority over themselves based upon His Word, these have been led to confession of Jesus Christ through the influence of God’s Spirit (which they could have resisted but they nevertheless arrived at this confession through the Holy Spirit); and they are indeed indwelt by God’s Spirit through their reception of Jesus Christ in truth.  His Spirit is given to all them that obey Him (Acts 5:32).  Therefore, they are indeed eligible for genuine spiritual gifts from God; and they could indeed grieve His Holy Spirit by not exercising the spiritual gifts they’ve received or by adopting and using a counterfeit spiritual gift.  

12:4-7: Any genuine spiritual gift from God is given for the profit of others.  Period.  A mass amount of confusion is cleared up, and much deception is detected by simply knowing and receiving this basic truth.

12:8-9a- We must all live by faith in God’s Word and believe in its promises, its threats, and all that it guarantees.  In regard to faith as a special gift which some Christians have, but not others, this is a reference to confidence in God to work in certain ways for the glory of His name in a way that is more specific than the generalities given expressly in His Word.

12:9b- It is not proper to have an entire church lay hands upon a sick person to pray for their healing.  I’ve seen that happen.  It doesn’t glorify God.  It is not in line with His Word.  His Word does not guarantee healing to even faithful Christians, but if it were God’s will to heal someone supernaturally through the intervention of another, that is not something which every Christian is gifted for.

12:10: Note that it says diverse kinds of tongues.  To many, tongues are a heavenly language which no man understands (that would all be one language).  Biblically, tongues are rather languages of earth.  This will bear out more as we go forward.

12:11-13: THIS is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit being poured out upon an individual through an authentic faith in Jesus Christ.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not tongues.  If you are born again in Christ, you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.  And speaking some unintelligible alleged language which some have labeled “tongues from the Holy Spirit” does not prove that you are baptized with the Holy Spirit nor prove that you are in Christ at all.

12:14-21: Yet there are such things as foreign elements to a body which the body does not need, and which can even be downright destructive.  And there are things a sick body does which a healthy body does not do.  And there are foolish things which one should not do with their body.

12:22-25: When the leader or leadership of the church is consistently the center of attention in a congregation, something is wrong.  That is not a healthy church.  Churches can also easily become places where those who speak (besides the established leader or leadership) are constantly looking towards the leader or leadership for approval.  The focus should rather be identifying the real needs and weaknesses in the church from a Biblical perspective; and ministering to those from a Biblical perspective.  We hear about the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 and we can easily assume that the goats kept their physical distance from the least of Christ’s brethren.  Yet you can fail to minister to the least of these by being insensitive to the true needs of your Christian brethren, and those you see in real need whom you do not minister to.  They might be right next to you.  This can be a failure to help materially, but many come to church and hear sermons and interact with other church members who perhaps never really even seek to help the same with the spiritual issues in their heart.  They never even seek to identify those needs and address them skillfully from a Biblical, Christian perspective.

12:26- That is, if the body is operating as it ought to.  However, related to what was just said, this is often not the case- except maybe on the surface in the most obvious catastrophic life events.

12:27- I have heard of times where the Pastor of a church (who was not repentant and born-again) did repent (though already the Pastor of the church), got born again, and started preaching Biblically in simply the most basic things like true repentance and faith in Christ, and started addressing the obvious sins among the congregation.  The church was reduced to almost nothing within a short time.  To genuinely even get to this point for a congregation is a lot- and that is only the beginning; the arrival at the starting line regarding a true Christian church.

12:29-30: If these are not rhetorical questions which have an obvious answer to each being “no”, then we’d have to foolishly conclude that every Christian is an Apostle.  Not all speak with tongues!  And since there are no Apostles now like there were in the first century, then perhaps some of these other things, including speaking with tongues, are extremely rare now.

12:31: That more excellent way is to seek to meet the needs of others and to edify others.  Covet earnestly the best gifts on that basis.  

Luke 11:5-13: “And he (Jesus) said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?  And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.  I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity (great persistence) he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

If you have an alleged spiritual gift, consider how that gift is actually helping anyone else.  The unintelligible tongues which multitudes equate with the Holy Spirit and His gifts do not help anyone!  Most needs of others are things we don’t need a special spiritual gift to meet, we just need to walk in line with God’s Word ourselves and identify that need as a true need (especially when it’s not obvious) and need to walk obediently in faith to give what we already have to meet that need.  Sometimes though special help is needed to minister to the needs of others.  Yet man’s tendency is to focus on the gift itself and glory in it.  And this is why Paul goes where he goes in chapter thirteen, commending charity (or simply love) in accordance with God and His Word.  And this is why he gives some examples of the spiritual power, as well certain sacrifices which in themselves are not proof of genuine Christianity- things that people get impressed by, glory over, and tend to seek for vainglorious ends.  Note that as we go through chapter 13 and get into chapter 14 that the thought has never changed from the note which chapter 12 ended on.

13:1: “tongues of angels” is probably a reference to eloquence.  More on how people tend to abuse this phrase when we come to verse eight.

13:2-4: “vaunt” equals boast or show off

13:5-6- Doesn’t take pleasure in the sins of others.  There are many angles on verse six since rejoicing in iniquity can be done in many ways.  Perhaps the principal thing intended here is not rejoicing in another’s sin due to how this can make the one who has committed iniquity seem spiritually inferior to oneself.

13:7: This is all in relation to long suffering in accordance with God’s Word; not giving up on godly pursuits nor giving up on others due to personal pain, frustration, inconvenience, etc. which is involved in seeking the good and overall well-being of others.

13:8: Proving that when Paul is speaking of tongues in these chapters, he is speaking of the languages of men on earth; not some angelic heavenly language.  If such a language existed, it would not fail like all things pertaining to earth will.

13:9-14:1: Chapter 13 is one big parentheses (practically, even though the parentheses haven’t been put in the Bible) between 12:31 and 14:1.  The thought in 14:1 has never changed from 12:31.

14:2: He speaks in mysteries to his hearers who do not understand his language.  We are commanded to always pray with understanding in verse fifteen of this chapter.  We should not pray or otherwise speak before others in a church congregation when they cannot understand us.  This is all proven going forward.

14:3: Note the definition of prophecy here.  It is not necessarily a prediction about the future or bringing to light things which were never known before or necessarily anything like that.  It is bringing forth and articulating the mind of God, which is revealed through His Word, for the benefit of others. 

14:4: Again, a reference to praying in a language the one praying understands but which the rest of the congregation does not understand.

14:5: Paul wished that everyone in the church spoke many languages.  Consider how convenient and potentially productive that would make everything.  Sometimes at the store I work at there’ll be a call over the intercom for a Spanish speaking employee to come to a certain place to help with a Spanish speaking customer.  An interpreter is needed.  And just knowing English and Spanish, or just knowing any two languages in which speakers of both languages commonly interact, is a productive skill and potential benefit.  And yet, speaking the Word of God faithfully for the benefit of the church is an even greater thing.

14:6: Paul is basically saying  “If I don’t edify you by God’s Word through my multilingual abilities, then what profit is it for me to even demonstrate them among you?  I am just showing off and wasting your time in that case.”

14:7: Accidentally skipped in the audio portion (my apologies).  See the comment on verse 9.

14:8: This applies to our communication in a language we are fluent in with others who speak that language too.  Some preachers, many preachers I believe, try to preach about how damnable sin living in sin is, but they also preach unconditional eternal security doctrine.  No one is going to fight the Christian war and run the Christian race successfully because of such preaching!  

14:9: And some things are hard to receive even though they are easily understood.

14:10-12- Back to 12:7 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is for every man to profit withal.”  

There is no such thing as a genuine Christian spiritual gift which is only for the edification of the one who receives it.  

14:13: Not just speak to the congregation in a language which is foreign and hope that somehow someone will be able to interpret what he says.

14:14: Meaning that the one praying understands his prayer, but that understanding is unfruitful to those who don’t understand the language they are praying in.  Those who speak in unintelligible language, thinking that’s the gift of the Holy Spirit, have no understanding at all of what they are saying since they are speaking nonsense.  What they are saying cannot edify anyone else since it cannot even edify themselves!  But when it comes to a language of earth, someone who speaks it can pray out loud in that language and be edified on a personal level, yet their prayer is unfruitful to those who hear them who cannot understand the language which they are praying in.  

14:15: If anyone had any doubts about what Paul meant before.  He is not validating some nonsensical prayer language- even in private!

14:16-17: Remember that spiritual gifts are given for the edification of the church, so just allegedly exercising them in private is out of bounds here too.

14:18: Paul knew more languages than any of the Corinthians knew.  He was truly a highly educated man.

14:19: He is going to seek to edify others at the church, not waste their time speaking in a language which they don’t understand.

14:20-21: The Hebrew Scriptures are foundational to Christianity.  The principles taught therein are eternal, even though there are certain rituals and ordinances which were for Israel as a nation and are not imposed upon Christians now (this is detailed much in several of our other studies).

14:22-24: Because truth is going forth with precision that inevitably speaks to his own heart.

14:25-26: “All things” are to be done unto edifying.  It’s amazing how many churches don’t even get this, let alone actually succeed at being edifying.

14:27-28: The one who is to interpret should be identified as able to do so beforehand.

14:29-32: The meeting should not be a free-for-all.  Only a few people should be speaking at it; no one needs to interrupt anyone (unless it’s the leadership protecting the flock and interrupting someone saying that is just plain destructive and significantly misleading).  If someone is going to speak, they should let the previous speaker finish.  The speaker shouldn’t ramble, especially to the point where people have lost the ability to listen to the next speaker.  Not more than one person needs to speak at once.  

Basic, but then and now people get deluded on these matters.

14:33-37: What Paul said is based on the principles already set forth in the Bible (the Hebrew Scriptures).  It’s the Word of God.  Yet not all speech is necessarily taking authority through giving directions and teaching the church.  There’s always a ditch on the other side of the road opposite the ditch which is more commonly driven into.  I’ve seen it where women couldn’t even share prayer requests when the leadership invited the church to share prayer requests.  The woman literally was whispering into the husband’s ear so he could relay what she said to the church word for word.  That seems unnecessary.  And I sure don’t want any church I’m part of to not have the benefits of insights which the faithful women in the church have.  There must be a way for the church to get those yet not violate what is said here.  (Our message “A Few Really Obvious Ways to Spot Certain False Teachers” deals with this topic in detail).

Verse 38: Paul is obviously not saying to let anyone violate these principles in the church.  That would contradict everything he had been saying!  I think it’s reasonable to conclude he meant something more along the lines of “Don’t go chasing people who refuse to follow these sound principles of Scripture.  Let such start their own churches and prove what is being said by the mess that their churches become.”  Also, beware then that many churches now are the products of such people.  It’s pathetic.

14:39-40: According to the principles and boundaries which the Apostle has just taken the time and effort to set forth.

Counterfeit faith in Jesus is produced in multitudes through so-called faith healers and others who teach that Christians are promised bodily healing in this life through Christ’s atonement.  This supposed promise may seem to exalt the power of the Gospel, yet in reality it subverts those influenced by this concept from the actual goals and promises of Christ’s Gospel.  It it also a subtle attack on the validity of the Christian faith itself, since the entire foundation of Christianity would be shaken if any aspect of it were proven to be invalid.  By regarding bodily healing as something guaranteed through faith in the promises of God in Christ, it is only logical that Christianity would be false if anyone with faith in Christ was in poor bodily health.

Though Jesus healed on earth to demonstrate His true identity and to encourage others to believe in Him as the Christ, the Son of God, He also never promised that everyone who truly believes in Him will be in good health.  His own Apostles, who wrote the Gospels, as well as the rest of the New Testament, experienced prolonged sickness and saw prolonged sickness in their faithful Christian co-laborers.  They didn’t miraculously heal all these illnesses, nor claim healing for them, as if that were some guarantee for anyone with faith.

Note in Philippians 2:25-27 that Epaphroditus was indeed was sick near to death.  According to some healing in the atonement people, he should have confessed that he was never really sick at all.  And according to all the healing in the atonement people, he should at least have immediately claimed healing- thus he would not have remained sick for any significant length of time like he did.

2 Timothy 4:20: “Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.”

It sounds like the Apostle Paul considered sickness a normal thing for a Christian- as if Christians, even genuine, faithful ones who believe and follow what the Bible actually teaches, are actually still subject to the pains, toil, and hardships of life.  And that is because they are!  In the resurrection, if they continue in a living, obedient faith in Christ until the end (Matthew 24:13), they will inherit the glory of God’s kingdom in a redeemed, perfectly whole, incorruptible body.  Then; not here and now.

What about 1 Peter 2:24?  “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Is the context here bodily healing or another type of healing?  Consider the verse of 1 Peter 2:24 itself.  The healing he is speaking of is described right in that verse.  Christ bore our sins on the cross that we should be dead to sins and live unto righteousness.  The Christians whom he was writing to had already known this in reality by their reconciliation to God through Christ (which is alluded to in the next verse, 1 Peter 2:25).  What type of healing could be more important than this?  Was Peter somehow writing about another type of healing?  Consider also the context of the verse within the epistles of Peter.  Peter writes nothing in his epistles regarding how Christians should be free from bodily infirmities.  His focus is on following Christ in faith unto righteous living, even and especially when this is not beneficial to one’s earthly interests.  He even makes clear that having a righteous Christian walk of faith is something which could very well result in rejection and even more suffering. 

The warning given earlier in 2 Timothy about a certain prevalent vain and profane babbling going around in the first century applies very well to the healing in the atonement teachers who say that faithful Christians should never be sick or physically damaged in any way.  This profane and vain babbling also applies very well to the Once Saved Always Saved teachers (OSAS) who teach that eternal life in its fullness is a Christian’s possession from the moment they are born-again and that they can never lose it between now and the resurrection.

2 Timothy 2:16-18: “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

Fake faith healers have bilked the naive out of unspeakable amounts of money and misled multitudes, this doctrine being foundational to their scam.  Sick and injured people are tormented by these thieves who preach a misguided, counterfeit faith in Jesus.  Their methods of getting mildly and moderately ill people, as well as mildly and moderately disabled people, to briefly think they have been healed through hypnosis, other psychological techniques, and subtle tricks have been well documented.  Many others are hassled, given false hope, and brought further despair by the Bible twisting and naive prayers of their followers who lay hands on them and pray to claim their healing.  And then the sick or injured person usually gets blamed when they turn out to not actually be healed!  All of this stems from a lie implying that Christians ought to have the benefits of a blessed resurrection- before the resurrection.  

Counterfeit faith in Jesus is also produced in many through the prosperity gospel preachers (which are often healing preachers too- logically the two would always be connected, though occasionally they may not be).  Multitudes upon multitudes listen to these, as proven by how prosperity preachers like Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White etc are among the most popular preachers altogether today.  Their doctrine is deadly poison and they rob multitudes of eternal life.  Though people follow them for a reason and are guilty to some degree for doing so, these deceivers mix truth with error and confuse multitudes, they scam, destroy, wound, and ultimately leave those who follow them spiritually dead despite invoking Jesus with their lips and falsely attributing their wicked folly to the pure wisdom of His Word.

Yet Jesus warned that it is impossible to faithfully serve God and mammon at the same time (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13).  His Word also warns about how the double minded are unstable in all their ways and cannot be in fellowship with God in their double minded state (James 1:5-8).  This makes it clear that the pursuit of mammon and the pursuit of the true God are rival pursuits.  Though there are some who do not pursue either with much diligence at all, there will surely be enmity in pursuing both.  And despite that, we need to live in a world where we need to use money and material possessions.  Jesus didn’t teach against obtaining money nor rebuke any and all financial success.  He rather taught a value system- a value system at odds with the heathen values of the world.  As the Apostle Paul warned of the danger of setting one’s heart upon becoming rich, he emphasizes how that pursuit is incompatible with the pursuit of genuine godliness.  And he proceeds these things with a rebuke to, and a very harsh description of, those who equate Christianity with the gain of mammon (1 Timothy 6:3-10).

Emotionalism can be seen with the Prophets of Baal, in 1 Kings chapter 18, as they sought the false god Baal to prove himself and bring fire down on their offering which they made to him at Mount Carmel.  This offering was made in response to the Prophet Elijah’s challenge regarding whether the Lord (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Moses; the God of the Bible) is the true God; or whether it is Baal, the Canaanite fertility god whom Israel was whoring after (with the exception of 7,000 people). Leaping, screaming loud, and even cutting themselves to get their god’s attention was in the mindset of these idol worshipers.  The mindset that the hype, exhibition, and imagery which they generated would somehow affect or obligate their god to hear their prayer was inherent in their religion.  When emotionalism then is mixed (that is, attempted to be mixed, that is; God doesn’t accept such a mixture), with the God of the Bible’s worship, then that is evil and it causes confusion, misrepresenting the true God and what proper worship is in His eyes.  You cannot mix emotionalism with Christianity without violating Christian principles. 

Jesus gave a warning related to this in the Gospels, especially in relation to the things which the prophets of Baal were doing in their attempt to be heard by Baal.  Matthew 6:7-8: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Thinking that our prayers will be heard for our being long and/or loud in making them, for excessive crying, for exhibitions we display, and for the overall hype we generate when we pray is a heathen concept.  And yet this mentality is evidently common in Christendom (i.e. the realm of professing Christianity) due to the Pagan emotionalism which has significantly influenced many segments of it.

Pursuing emotional experience is a way of the heathen, whether it is labeled as Christian or not.  And people who don’t even claim to be Christians will regularly say that a concert they attended was like a religious experience; or was the closest thing that they’ve ever had to a religious experience.  Likewise, other environments and venues where emotional highs and lows are experienced can cause the same.  People at sporting events, political events, and game shows (like the Price is Right) will experience emotions which can make it seem like they are having a spiritual experience.  And sometimes, even real spiritual experiences can be downright evil and harmful.  The Bible speaks about other spirits besides the Spirit of God (in 1 John chapter 4, 2 Corinthians chapter 11, 1 Timothy chapter 4, etc).

Music is often consciously calculated to move people’s emotions in a certain way.  Through the means of music, other media, and various exhibitions people can be moved emotionally in a powerful way.  Often this is so powerful that the emotional experience can masquerade as a spiritual experience and easily be mistaken as such.  Those who are skillful in psychology, and who also seek to manipulate people, know these things and seek to control people by deception related to this.  Don’t think that churches are off-limits to such operations.  It is quite the opposite.

Pre-planned emotional movements of a church congregation through the means of song selection, methods of preaching sermons, lighting, and/or in other ways are manipulative and a curse to those who are affected by such.  It is especially common for such means to reach a climax which is centered around, or happening especially near to, the time of the collection plate being passed (or other means of collecting the offering).   And this problem of  infiltration of emotionalism into Christendom is especially common in mega-churches.  A few of the most glaring examples are the extremely popular Bethel-Redding church (and its associates) and the Hillsong churches.  

Music, when played to honor God and not calculated to appeal primarily to man’s feelings, can be a powerful tool for praising and worshiping God- which might perhaps generate emotional experiences in people hearing it- as a by-product.  Music might also be selected to reflect healthy emotions related to commonly known circumstances which are greatly affecting many in the congregation.  That is not wrong.  Yet when the music is written or selected to deliberately alter man’s psyche in a given way, then it is controlling, manipulative, and used for evil ends.  It is a strange fire.

Environments where this strange fire is offered confuse the simple, as they are taught to label their altered emotional states as “the presence of God.”  Such environments may even deeply harm an already psychologically damaged person even worse than they are already hurt or make a grieving person’s grief even worse.  An example would be a fast-paced environment where everyone is implicitly pressured to tap their feet and act happy.  When the psychological pressure of the environment is strong enough, people feel compelled to do this even when it doesn’t reflect the state of their present psyche.  This is not appropriate in their circumstances (the Bible says to rejoice with them that rejoice; and to mourn with them that mourn in Romans chapter 12; certainly not to act excessively the opposite around them, hoping that emotion will spread to them contagiously).  This can also tempt and provoke people to put on an act to fit in with, and conform to, whatever heightened emotional state the congregation is being pressured to conform to.

Hype is also not compatible with authentic Christianity.  By hype, I mean deliberately generating excitement and seeking to get people to move or act based on that excitement.  Hype is ultimately an expression of emotionalism.  Churches and charismatic leaders will try to get people on board with them, and subservient to the methods they’ve contrived, through hype (like a lot of other institutions, as well as ideological and political movements).  It is especially bad and deceptive when Jesus and Biblical terms are attached to hype.  

The term soul power has to do with such emotionalism when applied by someone with a strong personality or through an environment of human pressure and/or intimidation.  Many people are pressured and manipulated into making professions of Christ in this way (coming to the altar, saying a sinner’s prayer, getting baptized, etc), as well as into doing other things to conform to the demands of the group and the individuals in it exercising strong soul power.  Such power, a prevalent extension of emotionalism, cannot produce genuine Christian faith and righteousness.  It leaves those who have responded based upon its influence especially deceived and confused.

Simplistic propaganda slogans are an example of how the world influences us to act on emotion rather than upon truth and logic.  Those who promote abortion give slogans advocating women’s health care which are ultimately emotionalistic propaganda.  Those who fall for it respond by saying things like “Yeah! Who do those pro-life people think they are to deny a woman her right to health care!”  They conveniently don’t talk about the baby which is gruesomely killed in their message.  For every woman who had an abortion for whatever reason, a woman can be found who was in similar circumstances that had the baby- and was fine.  Yet in every case where an abortion was performed, a baby died- and the woman was not always well afterwards either (often not even physically and/or emotionally either).  Abortion promoters have to resort to emotionalism through sob stories of women “who just had it so hard”, and allegedly needed to have the abortion, to try to make their case.  And then they must resort to rage and profanity or more crying when anyone dares to logically question the validity of their claims and/or states the obvious regarding the dead baby, whose life was most certainly destroyed- possibly much more so by the pressure of the father, or another influential person in the mother’s life, than by the choice of the mother herself.  To make abortion primarily an issue of women’s rights indeed glosses over the obvious fact that often the woman would rather have the baby, yet is strongly influenced or virtually forced by another to have the abortion.  It is operating on emotionalism, and an overall lack of resorting to truth and logic, which causes many to never even consider things like this in deciding their stance on the matter.

Emotionalism also has a lot to do with the Jezebel spirit.  Manipulating through emotional appeals and emotional displays is a skill which Jezebels thrive on and are among the best at.  Find our message on “Warring Against the Jezebel Spirit” to learn more about the curse of emotional manipulation, as the two topics are very closely related.  In fact, it would be hard to find an environment, especially a church environment, where emotionalism reigned, without finding women leading outside of their God-ordained Biblical roles- or at least without finding Jezebel-type women influencing the male leaders away from Biblical commandments and order.  

God has designed mankind so that emotions matter and play a key role.  Yet they should never lead.  They should be regarded as a servant, not as a master.  The Bible often relates being righteous and faithful towards God with soldiers and military discipline.  It is well known that soldiers are trained not to respond to situations according to their emotions.  That is an essential part of their discipline and training.  And that is no less true of disciples in the service of the King of Kings.

Emotionalism does not hold up when one is actually faced with the real life demands of true Christianity.  The pursuit of emotional experiences, operating upon hype, and the general leading of emotion don’t lead to the walk of righteousness, and consistent faithfulness, which we need to have to please God and inherit salvation.  Emotionalism may however lead to, or be compatible with, a flowery apology which sounds really good.  Yet anyone with much experience knows that emotional apologies are not always followed through on.  Those who resort to emotionalism lack real wisdom and power from God.  Make sure that you have an authentic faith in the Jesus of the Bible which will hold up, causing you to trust God and work righteousness before Him, in the darkest and loneliest hour when emotional satisfaction is out of reach for you; and there is no one there to hype you up nor cheer you on.

The problem of the infiltration of emotionalism into Christendom is the norm in Bethel-Redding church  in California and other NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) churches.  The NAR is basically the prototype of a movement based upon emotionalism, seeking experience in seeking signs and wonders, and it is also filled with occult practices.  Any and all occult activity is demonic darkness which the real Jesus of the Bible has no fellowship with.  NAR teachers are smooth talking manipulators.  Going into all that is evil which the NAR promotes would be a message in and of itself.  

A key lie which the NAR teaches and deceives people with is a concept called Kenosis.  Kenosis is the doctrine that Christ put aside His divine nature when He was on earth.  Kenosis is a perversion of the truth taught so wonderfully in Philippians chapter 2 showing how Christ was fully human and did not use His power as God while He was a man on earth for His own self-benefit.  Kenosis actually teaches that Christ put aside His divine nature on earth, which is another thing altogether.  The NAR people then basically teach that Christians have the potential to do any miracle, sign, or wonder and basically live on earth as little gods by (supposedly) following Jesus.  This is very wicked.  It has always been of the devil to persuade man to seek to be as God.  And anyone who believes that they have a right (as a Christian, supposedly) to tap into God’s power as if they have the same authority and power as a human being which Jesus had on earth is following the devil- to an extreme.  And it is no wonder then that Satan might empower NAR teachers and their followers with demonic power to spread this evil deception and give validity to it in the eyes of men.  Much more could be said about the NAR, but this should be enough to cause anyone to know that this is indeed a satanic movement which no one should not have anything to do with.  Some popular NAR teachers are Reinhard Bonnke (who is dead, but his influence is still great), Lou Engle, Todd White, Kenneth Copeland, Rodney Howard-Browne, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, and Bill Johnson.  

Marjoe is a documentary released in 1972 about a man named Marjoe Gortner who was a preacher in Pentecostal circles (i.e. circles related to the Azusa Street so-called Revival of 1906).  Marjoe had been a preacher since he was a child.  His parents trained him as a preacher in order to make money off of him from naive people who thought that a child preacher was an amazing and cute thing.  Marjoe stopped preaching in his teens after his parents had gotten rich off him, yet he claims they had not improved his own life by the money he made them.  Marjoe returned to preaching in his twenties.  He did not believe what he was saying, yet he went back to preaching to make an income for himself.  Nevertheless, he eventually decided to discontinue the act.  He agreed to let a film crew follow him throughout a final tour of revival meetings in 1971.  On this tour he gave behind the scenes interviews explaining his methods of deception.  The documentary also contains a lot of money counting backstage.  Its release after this preaching tour was essentially Marjoe’s confession to the world that he had been a fraud as a preacher.  Whatever it was intended then to be by the filmmakers, the documentary Marjoe does expose the falsehood of the Pentecostal movement and the movements which have sprung out of that.  And that is what we are going to focus on here.  

Marjoe even gave a testimony in the film of a woman he prayed for who (he says) discovered the next day that she was healed of cancer.  No one in the crowd disputed with him or asked to see solid evidence of this.  It is so easy to tell stories like this.   Marjoe also laid hands on people for healing at his meetings.  He explains at one point how he gets people’s adrenaline up before he lays hands on them by things like surprise shouts.  This adrenaline rush makes them feel better.  And as the person proclaims that they feel better, others around them start to feel better too.  “It is 90 percent psychosomatic,” he says.  And you can see at the meetings that people think they are getting healed as Marjoe, the admitted shyster, prays for them.  And Marjoe wasn’t even screening those he prayed for like Benny Hinn and many other alleged healing evangelists are known to do.  I’m not saying God never supernaturally heals anyone anymore, but certainly don’t listen to these claims from the television preachers, the “revival tent” showmen, and anyone else connecting their alleged healings to a financial offering.  These people are devils.  

Marjoe also talked about the radio trick that many use, where preachers on the radio talk about things like how they believe the Lord has shown them of someone with ten dollars stashed away that they know ought to give in for “the Lord’s work.”  They’ll say that person should send that money in immediately and God will bless them.  There might be 200-300 people in the radio audience who think this applies to them.  The preacher will thus make an easy $2,000-$3,000 like that.  Marjoe says “This is a business.  You don’t get meetings or you don’t get booked unless you have a gimmick… and the guys that have the gimmicks get the big meetings.”  What does that say about the people who get uber-rich from their preaching like the Benny Hinns, the Kenneth Copelands, the Paula Whites, the Joel Osteens, Rodney Howard-Brownes, Creflo Dollars, and the big money, den of vipers,  allegedly Christian networks like TBN who preach the humanistic health and wealth gospel?  Consider also here the big-money megachurches who treat Christianity as a business and get rich off of their big meetings.  And by the way: The Pope and the Vatican are evidently fit to be included in this category as well.  Look at the wealth which their religious business has generated and the luxury that they live in as a result.

Something else which Marjoe did in his charade at his meetings was lay hands on people so that they’d get ecstatic, fall down on the floor, and speak in nonsensical tongues.  Marjoe was obviously not doing this by the power of the Holy Ghost; and what he did was no different than the Pentecostal/Charismatic type preachers on television, at the big healing crusades, and at the local Pentecostal/Charismatic/Word of Faith/NAR-type churches.  Marjoe was rather, like them, a fairly skilled hypnotist who knew how to work a crowd.  

Multitudes actually think that a preacher must be of God because they are laying hands on people and getting them to fall down and/or jabber in nonsensical tongues.  And yet in Marjoe we have an admitted shyster doing this on film to unsuspecting people.  Yet still, other shysters continue to make money by such methods and won’t admit that they are shysters.  

It is quite blasphemous actually to equate Christ entering an individual through the Holy Spirit with the blabbering nonsense that is Pentecostal/Charismatic/Azusa Street tongues.  You see in Marjoe how these tongues are commonly marketed as “The baptism of the Holy Spirit” for people who are saved.  Yet there are multiple potentially damning errors in this false label.

  • Nonsense tongues are not from the Holy Spirit.  God is not the author of confusion.  Pagans have been known to speak in nonsense tongues from ancient times.  It is blasphemous to attribute to God’s Spirit something which is sensual and can be induced by hypnosis and/or demon-possession.  Sometimes though the nonsense tongues are produced though simply through learning.  People who want to do it, or who think they ought to do it, can simply learn it from others.  That is why children and parrots can be taught to speak in these nonsense tongues.
  • The inducement of these tongues in an individual under a Christian label gives them the impression that they have been truly born-again by a living faith in Jesus Christ when that is simply not necessarily the case.  
  • Even if the one who acquires these nonsense tongues has already been born again through exercising a living faith in Christ, these nonsensical tongues are a subversive experience, causing the Christian to trust that they are abiding in Christ and continuing on the right track because they are doing this.  This also causes the Christian to become experience oriented and hinders them from actually seeking the Lord and becoming anchored in Christ through real, conscious prayer and the application of the guidance of the Word of God in their practical decisions.  
  • The emphasis of this experience in relation to Christianity can be strong enough to practically preach a false gospel-and false gospels damn those who preach them as well as those who believe them, whether they had been authentically born again before or not (see Matthew 24:9-13, Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, etc).  

In relation to this, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is when one receives the Holy Spirit through a real, living faith in Christ.  When someone truly repents and believes in Christ, they will receive the Holy Spirit as a witness from God that He has accepted that person’s response to the Gospel and made them His child.  

Acts 2:38-39: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Acts 5:31-32: “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.   And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” 

In Acts chapter 8 God chose to have the Apostles lay hands on the new Samaritan Christians so that they’d receive the Holy Spirit, but this was not the norm.  And that must have had to do with how the Samaritans historically had a religion that competed with Biblical Judaism which was centered at Mount Gerizim in Samaria.  God established the authority of the Apostles at Jerusalem by requiring the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands.  That would be a strong rebuke and preventative measure to keep the Samaritans from establishing their own brand of “Samaritan Christianity.”  And you never know, maybe if that had happened it would have looked a lot like modern Pentecostalism and its variants:)  

The only other time in the Bible where men received the Holy Spirit by laying on of hands is in Acts chapter 19.  The Apostle Paul found men at Ephesus, who had repented and submitted to the baptism of John the Baptist, but had not yet been informed about Jesus being the Messiah whom John preached.  After Paul preached Jesus to them and they had taken Christian baptism they received the Holy Spirit after Paul laid his hands on them and prayed.  This may have been another matter of establishing Apostolic authority so these men would not think they could go be Christians without following the Apostles.  This occurrence was a matter of faithfully transitioning from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, so it’s not a situation which anyone could even be in today.  And there are no Apostles today like there were in the 1st century.  We are to still follow Christ’s Apostles from the 1st century- by hearing and obeying God’s Word in the Bible.  The Apostles of Christ were involved in the writing of the entire New Testament, including the four Gospel accounts.  

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is related to pouring out; and thus involves the identification of the one receiving the pouring with the element poured out upon them.  Note the connection in these verses.

Acts 11:15-16: “And as I (the Apostle Peter) began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

So in receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, that is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which makes an individual a part of the body of Christ.  Those who say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is tongues are greatly in error (and they almost certainly don’t even define tongues right- they rather believe in the nonsensical tongues).  

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”  

The very chapter that these verses are found in emphasizes that not every member of the body speaks with tongues.  

When people talk about a born-again Christian needing to get a separate experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are misleading people.  Inform them better and if they still won’t listen, rebuke them.  Don’t heed them and warn others not to heed them.  Christ’s Spirit is given to them that repent and obey Him, as we saw from Acts 2:38-39 and Acts 5:31-32.  We need to abide in Christ continually, and thus continually be renewed in Him by being filled with His Spirit, growing in grace and in the knowledge of Him.  But we do not need a separate “baptism in the Holy Spirit experience” after being born again by faith in Christ; and we sure do not need the counterfeit tongues.

These counterfeit tongues were popularized under the label of Christian through the Azusa Street meetings in Los Angeles in 1906.  These meetings took emotionalism to an insane level.  The Azusa Street people took the doctrines of another man named Charles Parham and ran with them (the leader of the Azusa Street meetings, William Seymour, had previously been one of Parham’s students).  Parham was a wacko deceiver teaching things like the concept that Christians are promised healing through Christ’s atonement and teaching that babbling in unintelligible tongues is the evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  But ironically, Parham himself did not endorse the Azusa Street meetings, seeing them as disorderly and overly emotional despite these meetings being based on his very own doctrines.  Parham though had his own mad events which even involved followers of his actually killing some people in their attempts to supposedly drive demons out of them.  Like many who preach the promised healing in the atonement doctrine, Parham died of an illness when he was not that old (not that I believe Parham had any saving interest in Christ at all- but those who teach healing in the atonement doctrine are condemned by their own words when they get sick and don’t get better since they preached such a thing should never happen to someone with faith in Christ).

How do we avoid the way of the hypocrite?  It is not best done by fleeing from Christianity and fleeing from organized Christian meetings.  Hypocrites have done their work for Satan successfully when they turn people away from genuine Christianity.  You can do like Marjoe did at the end of the film and just admit you’re not a Christian and go forward wanting nothing to do with Christianity.  That is better than when he was a fake Christian minister.  Yet people like that are still going to hell.  And hell will still be utterly unbearable, unending torment for these- even if it won’t be as bad for them as it would have been had they stumbled others, or continued to stumble others, by claiming to follow Jesus while living in sin.  Hell will be much worse yet for those who profited as false ministers of Christ’s Gospel and all who deliberately opposed others from following Him in truth.

The only right and logical thing to do then is wholeheartedly follow Jesus Christ according to the truth of His Word.  

Can you imagine Jonah using music, dimming the lights, using hype, smooth talking or any form of emotional manipulation, altar calls, and/or enticing people into saying the sinner’s prayer as he went through Nineveh preaching what God told him to preach?  Then don’t do such things or be involved in such things either

Following Jesus in truth means diligently, honestly reading the Bible to understand who God is, what He requires of us, and following what we know in a good faith effort having the principal aim of our lives to please Him and know Him as the Almighty God that He is.  He is the Eternal God who created us, He sustains our life in His hand, and whom we all must bow before and give an account to on the Day of Judgment- with eternal consequences to face as a result of our choices before Him in this life.  He sees all and none can escape out of His hand.  Don’t despise His salvation in Jesus Christ.  Rather, take refuge in Him with no sin in your hand and no confidence in anything or anyone else.  Since others have, and do, and will treat Him contemptuously, foolishly, and disregard the instructions of His Word (which are exceedingly more precious than gold) then let those who treat Him like this be examples to inspire you to do the thing which you know you ought to do- the very opposite!

Revelation 1:7-8: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.  Even so, Amen.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]