The “Strange Fire” conference ended recently, hosted by John McArthur and Grace Community Church, in which the conference made the case against the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement as a whole, as an overall very negative phenomonon. I tend to agree, but sometimes, it seemed to me, that McArthur and others went overboard in some statements, but qualified and clarified later on in the conference. But there are still some good and balanced Charismatics and Pentecostals who repudiate the heretical Word of Faith movement. But I genuinely like Dr. Michael Brown, a good Charismatic, and his approach, (his debate with Dr. White against Anthony Buzzard and Joseph Goode was excellent, his 5 volume, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus is excellent; and his argumentation and spirit and attitude of dealing with homosexuality is also very effective, godly, and Biblical. Even so, I cannot understand Michael Brown’s endorsement of the Brownsville Revival. Hank Hanegraaff’s book, Counterfeit Revival, seemed to really expose the problems with that and the Toronto Blessing and Kansas City Prophets and similiar so called “revival movements”.
Here are some good summaries. You can look around for other summaries of certain sessions at the Cripplegate blog.
The Case for Cessationism, by Tom Pennington. (summarized by Mike Riccardi)
A Call to Respond, by John McArthur. (summarized by Mike Riccardi) (with links to summaries of all the sessions)
James White made some good comments in the last 2 Dividing Line programs,
one here, and in
the earlier one, he encouraged the cessationists to at least talk to Dr. Michael Brown (Messianic Jewish believer, sincere Charismatic, but a good man who repudiates the Word of Faith movement), who has been asking John McArthur and others for an honest and open discussion of the differences.
The videos and book are set to come out later.
It seems to me that the speaking in tongues of Acts 2 are real human languages that exist in the world that God gave people the ability to speak and hear without going through the time consuming process of learning another language.
5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” (Acts 2:5-11)
It was a miracle done by God, both of speaking (Acts 2:4 – they were speaking, as the Spirit was giving utterance) and hearing (verse 8, “how is it that we each hear them in our own language?”).
1 Corinthians 14:10-11 and 14:21 (quoting Isaiah 28:11 about the judgement of the coming Assyrians – points to a real human language in the world that the Jewish people did not understand.) also point to real human languages. Those clear verses seem to me to control how we should understand 1 Corinthians 14:4. I am skeptical of all claims of prophesy and foretelling of the future. Benny Hinn has been exposed as a fraud and false prophet many times. I am skeptical of anyone who claims to have the gift of healing. Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, most of the Trintiy Broadcast Network (Paul and Jan Crouch), and their friends who preach the same message are obvious frauds and full of greed. Genuine miracles by God and healings by God in answer to prayer have not ceased, but the special giftings of healings, miracles, prophesy, tongues – special grace gifts that dwell in a believer in Christ, who can use the gifts in times of ministry need, as the apostles seemed to have done, seems to have ceased with the close of the canon of Scripture at the end of the first century. What we see today mostly in the Charismatic movement does not seem to be the same kind of miracles or healings, or tongues (languages) that Scripture records for us.
So, it seemed to good to also post some specifics on Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, others in the whole heretical Word of Faith movement.
Here an overview of the whole “Word of Faith” Movement or also known as “The Prosperity Gospel” or “Name It, Claim it”, or “Health and Wealth Gospel” or “Positive Confession teaching”.
Here is another one, specifically on Joyce Meyer. (analysis by Tim Martin of Watchman Fellowship)
Tim shows that Joyce has updated at least one of her books to not include some things she used to teach, namely that Jesus went to hell and one must believe that Jesus went to hell in our place, in order to be saved. She has not publicly repudiated that doctrine, but just quietly took it out of her books.
These quotes below are from Victor Stephen’s web-site.
At one time Joyce taught this:
“There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.” (Joyce Meyer, “The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make”, Page 37)
This is an amazing statement! Jesus did not take our place in hell, rather He took our place on the cross, so that those who repent and trust Him would not go to hell.
Justin Peters and Todd Friel discuss problems with the Word of Faith movement. Justin Peters has an excellent ministry and his DVD, “A Call for Discernment” (now updated and renamed, “Clouds without Water”) is a comprehensive exposure of the whole Word of Faith Movement.
“Words are containers for power.” (Joyce Meyer, “The Name, The Word, The Blood”, Page 37)
“You got a storage bin, a storage locker in heaven that has a lot of stuff in it that needs to be claimed.” (Joyce Meyer, “What Does Your Future Hold”, May 21, 2004)
“Did you know that you can change the very course of your life by the type of words you speak?” (Joyce Meyer, Enjoying Everyday Life Magazine, “Think Before You Speak”, May 2004)
As if man is sovereign and in control, rather than God.
“But you cannot throw out positive confession, and you cannot throw out all the faith teachers, and you cannot throw out positive thinking. And you cannot get rid of those kinds of things because they’re in the Bible from end of it to the other.” / “We need to have faith filled words going out of our mouth.” (PFO Quarterly Journal, April-June 2002, Pages 6,14)
“Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ And He meant the Old Covenant. The job He had to do was just getting started. He really did the job the three days and nights that He was in hell. That’s where the job was done”. / “He was pronounced guilty on the cross but He paid the price in hell. / “All the hosts of hell was [sic] upon Him. Upon Him. They got on Him. They got Him down in the floor and got on Him. And they were laughing and mocking.” / “Sunday morning, here comes the Son. Sunday morning, God gets Himself together. Ho, hoooo. Justice has been met, somehow the thing’s been taken care of. And ol’ God gets His voice together and He hollers out three words and they go roaring through the universe and entering the gates of hell. He said, ‘It is enough! It is enough!” (Joyce Meyer, From the tape: “From the Cross to the Throne.”)
“During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin…He paid the price there.…no plan was too extreme…Jesus paid on the cross and in hell….God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, “Let Him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus…He was resurrected from the dead the first born-again man” (Joyce Meyer, “The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make: A Complete And Thorough Understanding Of What It Means To Be Born Again”, 1991, pages 35-36)
Joel Osteen’s false teachings: