THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT (part 2)
THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT: IS IT OF GOD?
The real issue, that which is being missed in all the din of false accusations and warnings and fear-mongering that the blasphemy may be being committed, is the primary question, which is of paramount importance: ‘Is that which is taught and occurring in and through the Charismatic movement of God? Do we accept the claims of this movement simply because they say ‘Jesus is Lord’ and have several of the fundamentals of Christian teaching, such as the Virgin birth and the historical fact that Christ died, was buried and is resurrected, correct in their theology? Then why not accept Roman Catholicism and all her ‘miracles’ and ‘apparitions’ as being of God? For they, too, are correct in many of the fundamental doctrines of true biblical Christianity. No, my friends. Do not be fooled by that which looks and sounds just like the real thing. If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, LOOK CLOSER, it may be a decoy! Moreover, there are plenty of people who have been misinformed about what the ‘duck’ actually is and what it looks like. Satan is a master illusionist and he continues to keep millions in his kingdom of darkness by using a vast array of spiritual decoys including counterfeit gospels. Be wise and search the Scriptures, and you will discover what the genuine article really is.
No one has ever proven from the Bible, nor has anyone from the Charismatic movement ever convinced the movement’s enemies, that her practices and so-called ‘miracles and signs’ are indeed of God. In light of this, how can anyone with any confidence feel comfortable in believing that the charismatic gospel is the Gospel of God. If its signs and wonders are not of God, how could its message of salvation be, and vice versa? From the Bible, we learn that one of the chief signs that a miracle was of God was that even His enemies were convinced and could not deny it. Jesus’ enemies were convinced: "...What do we? For this man doeth many miracles" (Jn. 11:47) and the apostles’ enemies were likewise convinced that their miracles were indeed of God: "...What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it" (Acts 4:16). If these men were really of God, why would they want to deny it? But the enemies of the Charismatic movement are far from convinced, be they secular or Christian, that what is happening in and amongst the Charismatic churches and people is of God, not because of any ill feeling towards the people, not from any prejudice or biased views, not from any jealousy or envy, but from the glaringly obvious fact that, to the Christian at least, their claims, let alone their gospel, just do not match that which is portrayed in the Scriptures.
It is at best high presumption and at worst utter blasphemy against God to accept and believe that merely because the name of Jesus is being proclaimed and praised and apparent ‘healings’ and ‘prophecies’ etc., are being performed in His name, that this automatically means that all is being done by the hand of God and that this, in turn, is verification that the doctrinal teachings of the Charismatic movement are all correct and above board. The attitude is, ‘I love God, I worship God and therefore whatever happens once I have prayed or laid hands on someone or have hands laid on me, must be of God. How dare anyone say it is not so. I say I love God and therefore that is the only prerequisite I need to assure me that anything that happens to me, and in our meetings, is from the true God!!!!!!!!’ In other words, sincerity is the force-shield of life. No one can touch you, let alone can you be wrong, as long as you are sincere!! The Scripture that is often employed by those so persuaded, is Luke 11:11: "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?" It is presumptious, to say the least, to automatically infer from this verse that what the charismatic is praying for is in fact bread! It has yet to be proven that it IS bread they are asking for. If they are asking for the gift of tongues, which has ceased, how could it possibly be the true gift they are receiving? To ask for bread is to ask for what the will of God is for a person, so to ask for something that is no longer available is simply not asking for bread. And how, for that matter, can any charismatic be calling on the true God for bread when they have not even heard of the true God, not having had the true Gospel taught to them? "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?..." (Rom. 10:14). If the gospel the Charismatics have been taught and believe is a false gospel, how then can it be the true God they are calling on and to whom they are making their requests? They haven’t even gotten to step one yet—knowing God and believing His Gospel—so how inappropriate of them to presume to use the true God’s Scripture to justify what they are asking their god for. The Charismatic movement is a movement of high presumption. Its followers, like the followers of any false christian organization, have assumed so much and taken for granted that which they should have examined. There is no doubting that Charismatic people do evince a certain zeal, but it is misplaced and not according to knowledge. A zeal which is founded on ignorance is of no benefit to anyone. Remember, just because you disagree with a teaching does not automatically mean that what you believe instead of it is the truth. The gospel of the Charismatic movement is another gospel and not the Gospel of God, so it is not even the Baker they are addressing when they ask for what they perceive to be bread. They are living in a fantasy world, a religious Disneyland of delusion and illusion. The Gospel of God is what God says it is, not what the Charismatic movement claims it is. Bread is that which the Baker calls bread, not what the buyer insists it is.
No doubt, many Charismatics who read this book will say that once this author has explained the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, he then goes right ahead and commits it himself by saying that the Charismatic movement is not of God! I would encourage those people at this point to go back to the commencement of the book and re-read everything up to this chapter in the hope that, upon a second reading, they will come to a clearer understanding of what the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit really is.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENTS
There are many good and reliable books which provide a detailed study of the history of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, including a biblical study of their teachings and practices. However we shall, as space permits, proceed to give a brief general overview of these two movements and similar groups which have appeared throughout history, which have so heavily relied upon signs and wonders as evidence that they are indeed of God. Religious movements and groups may be easily and readily identified as not being of God simply by an examination of what gospel they teach. One can look at the signs and the wonders emanating from a group and study these closely to see whether or not they coincide with those of Holy Scripture, but the quickest way to learn if what is happening in a religious organization is of God or not is to look at the gospel they promote, for one can be assured that if the gospel they teach is false, then it cannot be God Who is behind the signs and wonders of that group.
Firstly, let us return to the days of the early Church. Jesus Christ, in Acts 1:8, told the apostles, "...ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..." Once this had occurred, as may be seen in Acts chapter 2, the apostles were enabled by God’s Holy Spirit to speak in unlearned but recognizable human languages (tongues), thus making it possible for those who were not familiar with Hebrew or Aramaic to hear of the wonderful works of God pronounced in their own language. The apostles were also enabled by the Holy Spirit to perform instantaneous healings and miracles and the casting out of demons. These signs and wonders were always, and only, accompanied by the true teaching of God’s Holy Word (Mk. 16:20 cf. 1 Cor. 2:4,5; Heb. 2:3,4) for they were in fact, the evidence, or sign, that the men speaking were of God. The only other people who were able to perform the same signs, by the same Holy Spirit, were those upon whom the apostles had laid their hands. It is important to note that the Scriptures have no record of these men ever having laid hands on others, thus conveying to them the gifts of the Holy Spirit which they had received at the beginning through the laying on of the apostles’ hands. This is possibly the strongest argument for the cessation of the gifts. Perhaps an even more forceful argument is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is never to be heard where the Charismatic-type ‘healings’ and ‘miracles’ have occurred. It is always a false gospel, and not God’s one and only Gospel that is preached. Only a fool would insist that God would be working His signs and His miracles through the hands of accursed men preaching an equally accursed gospel and not God’s only Gospel.
Ever since the passing away of the apostles and those upon whom they conveyed the gifts, and even during their own life time, there have been many who have claimed to have the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the ability to perform miracles. Some even claimed to be apostles themselves (Rev. 2:2). There are even people today who claim to be apostles of God. These claimants all have an affinity with a man described for us in the Book of Acts. In Acts 8:9-11 we learn of a man during the apostles’ time, named Simon, a sorcerer who, unbeknownst to him, was in league with Satan, yet of whom "...all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, THIS MAN IS THE GREAT POWER OF GOD. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries" (Acts 8:10,11). How could so many be so wrong? Quite easily!! Here is the biblical precedent, here is the evidence that no charismatic person can afford to ignore, that proves that a man working sorceries by Satan, CAN be construed BY THE VAST MAJORITY NO LESS, as actually performing miracles through the power of God! Now, imagine a whole religious movement filled with such men. How powerful and influential it would be, and how utterly convinced its followers would be, of its Godly origin. But no matter how convinced its followers, or how abundant and powerful its signs, a movement cannot rightly be judged to be of God unless it preaches and promotes the only true God by means of His one and only Gospel. So many throughout the history of the world have labelled men of Satan as ‘men of God’ who worked the ‘work of God’, when all the time their works were being performed by the Devil himself whilst being indoctrinated into believing false gospels! Such men would have instantly been recognized for what they were had the Gospel been known among their followers, for by it they would have recognized the gospel that accompanied the signs and wonders as counterfeit and not at all of God.
One man has stated in response to those who claim that charismatic gifts continued after the apostles for several centuries, that: "There is little or no evidence at all for miracle-working during the first fifty years of the post-Apostolic Church; it is slight and unimportant for the next fifty years; it grows more abundant during the next century (the third); and it becomes abundant and precise only in the fourth century, to increase still further in the fifth and beyond". The more time that has elapsed since the days of the apostles and those whom they laid their hands on, the more claims of miracles of healings etc. Every one of these groups and individuals espoused a gospel other than the one God teaches His people. Erroneous teachings—in particular false gospels—and counterfeit signs go hand in hand and are equally repugnant. Satan wants to be as God. And what he sees God do he tries to emulate. What better way for Satan’s false gospels to gain acceptance with the people, even the majority who profess and believe themselves to be Christians, than by signs and wonders that all have the appearance of the genuine, but in reality are inspired by the prince of demons!
As time went on, there was an ever-increasing number of heretical cults who claimed the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The more time that had elapsed people became less familiar with the truth, and so in came the false signs, the false visions and counterfeit healings and miracles, etc., all supported by gospels which contained truth to varying degrees, but never the whole truth. It is vitally important to note that all these groups taught heresies, which, of course, the Holy Spirit would never bless and confirm with His true signs and gifts. It is also of great import to realise that of all the claims being made today by the Charismatic movement, there is nothing new; nothing which has not been claimed by various other erroneous and heretical groups throughout history. The Charismatic movement’s claims are nothing new, for the Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has had a continuous claim on the miraculous since its inception. The history of the Roman Catholic Church is replete with claims of the miraculous. Though not necessarily doubting the actual occurrence of such things, no true believer will for a moment entertain the possibility that even one of the signs or miracles performed at the hands of Roman Catholic leaders and ‘saints’ was actually from God. For God would then be a God who works true miracles through men who lead people into false gospels that have never saved anyone.
The reality of the situation is that the claims of the Charismatic movement, far from being what the Church has been waiting for, are in direct contrast with what the Lord Jesus prophesied would attend the last days. Jesus did not say that there would be a restoration of the sign gifts and of revival in the Church, but that the last days would be signified by apostasy, false signs and lying wonders (Matt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22). Multitudes would be swept away with such signs, which perhaps is what led the Lord to ask: "...when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Lk. 18:8). What is interesting to note is the fact that these last days are witnessing a monumental revival of paganism and the occult, and the professing church is as much a part of this revival as is any other group. None of the seducing and deceptive signs and wonders today are leading anyone to the true Gospel. "Today, in spite of the warnings by both Jesus and Paul (see 2 Tim. 3:7,8), there is scarcely any thought that today’s signs and wonders might be part of the very spiritual deception which the Bible foretells." Numerous occultic practices are being embraced by those within the walls of professing christendom. New Age techniques and the customs of the East, such as Yoga and meditation, are now being practised in the ‘christian church’ all in the name of Jesus! All the while, this occult revival in Christian clothing is aiding and abetting the rising tide of ecumenicism, which continues to engulf more and more who at one time wanted nothing to do with it. The leaders of this Tsunami-like wave of occultic driven pseudo christianity are the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements.
"The intense religious experience which is being induced in Charismatic-Pentecostal circles is no different to that being induced in countless world religion circles and New Age Communities. Only the terminology is different. As far as the Yogic practitioner, Tantric Buddhist, Neo-Gnostic, Navajo ‘hand-trembler’ or Asiatic Shaman are concerned, the modern charismatic practices (which are very different to the original New Testament practices laid out in Scripture) are immediately identifiable with their own. Such a ‘second blessing’ and the attendant supernatural occurrences are not only common in these cultures but are counted as something to be eagerly sought after. In the pathway of the Indian mystic on his way to enlightenment, for instance, such psychic powers are known as ‘Siddhis’. He seeks to achieve a state which is known in Sanskrit as ‘Nirvana’, the literal meaning of which is ‘a blowing-out-of-the-mind’— hence the drug user’s phrase which refers to a ‘mind-blowing’ experience. This blowing out of the mind is precisely what the Charismatic phenomenon is all about. These are the facts which account for the huge success of the Charismatic movement in the so-called Third World countries, where magic and superstition holds sway."
Now, if false miracles were only occurring outside of what is recognized as the Church, they would be far more identifiable and easily avoidable. But the fact is that these false signs are occurring within the walls of professing christendom. They are false signs for they are always, always, always accompanied by erroneous doctrine, other gospels which cannot save. Just how clear the source of modern-day Charismatic signs and wonders is can be seen in the fact that there is more than one former witch and former occultist who has left the Charismatic movement because what they witnessed therein was exactly what they had escaped!
The following is advice which no person can do without: "THE FIRST AND MAJOR TEST OF THE SOURCE OF ANY MIRACLE IS TO ANALYZE THE DOCTRINE OF THE MIRACLE WORKER. If the doctrine attested to by the miracle opposes any fundamental truth of Scripture, (in particular the Gospel), the person working the wonder is either deceived or a deceiver (however wide his smile and however loud his professed love for Jesus is). The source of such miracle working power is demonic. God will not and does not oppose Himself. THOSE PERFORMING HIS WORKS WILL TEACH HIS DOCTRINE... The Incarnate Word and the Written Word never contradict each other. THEY ARE BOTH THE REVELATION OF GOD. Wherever Christ and His Word are opposed, denied or compromised, THERE is the work of evil. No divine miracle can grow out of that soil....the connection of alleged miracles with erroneous doctrine invalidates their claims to be genuine works of God." Like oil and water, false signs and the true Gospel, or a false gospel and true signs, simply will not mix.
A very clear warning against ‘miracle workers’ is presented in Deuteronomy 13:1-5: "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul..." "The people were not to believe or obey him ( the miracle worker), if he taught them anything contrary to what God had taught them. The false prophet’s appearance among them was a test of their love of God. Would the people of God follow the false prophet, mesmerized by his acts of power, or would they continue in the commandments of the Lord? IF THE PEOPLE WERE IGNORANT OF GOD’S WORD, THEY WOULD HAVE NO SAFETY AGAINST SUCH EVIL WORKERS. They would not have a standard by which to test his teaching. Also, if they forgot that a miracle could be caused by an evil source, their souls would be in great danger. The same rule applies today." The charismatic person is in an extremely perilous situation because he is part of a group that claims to be Christian and is surrounded by signs and experiences which all seem to be leading people to God and enhancing their lives, yet unbeknownst to him the charismatic has embraced a false gospel which, far from having saved him, has only served to deceive him. Religions the world over have done, and continue to do, the very same thing whether in the name of Christ or not. People are following particular religious beliefs based on their experiences, and the new ‘peace’ they now feel and how improved their lives have become, rather than examining the gospels these groups are teaching. Gospels identify the gods they promote. False gospels promote false gods and only the true Gospel reveals the true God. THE GOSPEL IS THE ISSUE and not improved peace-filled lives and an abundance of experiences that make a person feel ‘spiritual’.
The first century Church witnessed various erroneous cults that insisted the gifts, including tongues and miracles, were still in existence and operating through them. The second century saw the rise of a man named Montanus, a self-proclaimed prophet from Phrygia, who gave utterances as if God Himself were speaking through him, not unlike the false prophets of the Charismatic movement that abound in our own day. Montanus believed that he was a prophet sent from God to reform Christianity through asceticism, tongues and prophetic revelation, which he believed to be equal to that of Scripture. Many of today’s Charismatic ‘prophets’ also claim that their words are coming directly from God and should be adhered to accordingly. Such ‘prophecies’ are often published and can be purchased, and are often placed inside Bibles as if they were equal to the Word of God. "Montanus opposed formalism in the Church and boldly intimidated Christians by claiming his followers were more spiritual than those who had only the ‘dead letter’ of the Scriptures. In most respects, Montanists were orthodox. But the movement was schismatic, believing only themselves to be the true Church. The rest of professing christendom branded Montanism as a serious heresy to be rejected (cf. Rom. 16:17). Augustine wrote against the movement, and the Council at Constantinople decreed that Montanism was tantamount to Paganism." Much of what history has taught us has been lost, and most Charismatics today have absolutely no idea of what has preceded their movement, or of how indistinguishable the practices of universally recognized cultic and heretical groups of the past were to their own group. Charismatics need to become informed, just like this author was over a decade ago, of the origins and spiritual forefathers of the Charismatic movement.
The prophecies of Montanus were false, and the tongues that he spoke were not the biblical gift but the mere ecstatic speech which prevailed in many pagan tribes or cults. This, coupled with the fact that he did not preach the Gospel of God but another, showed clearly that he was not a man of God. None can be of God if they abide not in the Gospel of God (2 Jn. 9). No true miracles and signs can ever come from one who promotes a false gospel, just like black can never be white and white can never be black. "The contemporary Charismatic movement is in many ways the spiritual heir of Montanism. In fact, it would not be at all unfair to call today’s Charismatic movement neo-Montanism. At least one leading Charismatic writer, Larry Christensen, agrees, and even claims the Montanist movement as a part of the Charismatic historical tradition." (L. Christensen, ‘Pentecostalism’s Forgotten Fore-runner’, from ‘Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins’ by V. Synan, ed., pp. 32-34).
Two brief quotes from early ‘Church’ fathers Chrysostom and Augustine, both of whom lived in the fourth century, provide some interesting insight into what was occurring in their day. Firstly, Chrysostom, commenting on 1 Corinthians 12:1,2 and specifically alluding to the gifts, states: "This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place". Augustine asserted, "For who expects in these days that those on whom hands are laid that they may receive the Holy Spirit should forthwith begin to speak with tongues?" This latter quotation has been used in a most cunning and deceptive way by some in the Charismatic movement, being purposely misquoted so as to show that Augustine testified that there were genuine signs of the biblical gifts, including tongues, being performed in his day. The first three words of Augustine’s statement have been changed from ‘For who expects...’ to, ‘For we expect...’
Throughout the following centuries there arose a cavalcade of claimants to the gifts. Many of these were from the Roman Catholic Church. All such signs and wonders that occurred in the Roman Catholic Church then, as now, were attended by false teachings and therefore could not possibly have come from God. Moreover, the very characteristics of Roman Catholic ‘miracles’, as with those of the Charismatic movement, show clearly that they are not of the same type, they do not have the same characteristic features as those that Jesus or the apostles performed. For example, ‘Transubstantiation’ is a miracle, according to the Roman Catholic Church, in which the bread and the wine of communion literally become the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, though it remains indiscernible to the human senses! No miracle of this type is recorded in Scripture. In contrast to this, every miracle of God was obvious and apparent to all, believer and unbeliever alike. It had tangible evidence to support it. One could readily see that a change had occurred: the blind man could see; the crippled man could walk; the deaf could hear and even the dead became alive again. One did not merely hear about a true miracle of God; people were not forced into believing it with some blind ‘faith’ at the threat of being excommunicated or by fear of committing the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit if they did not believe, for they could all see it for themselves. Even the enemies of God could not deny a miracle of God. Such is the evidence of a true miracle from God (see Jesus turning the water into wine in John 2).
There are multiplied millions of people who are now on the broad way that leads to destruction whom Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7, who are following leaders or movements that promote false gospels and which titillate and seduce them with signs and wonders that could not possibly be coming from God, lest God be found to confirm doctrines of demons with true signs and wonders. We should not be surprised at this, for the Bible says that in the last days "...there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders..." (Matt. 24:24) and, "...some shall depart from THE faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1).
The late Seventeenth century saw the emergence of a group known as the Cevennol prophets. This "...group of militant protestants in the Cevennes region of southern France began to prophesy, experience visions, and speak in tongues. The group...are remembered for their political and military activities, not their spiritual legacy. They were rabidly anti-Catholic, and advocated the use of armed force against the Catholic Church. Many of them were consequently persecuted and killed by Rome. At the other end of the spectrum, the Jansenists, a group of Roman Catholic loyalists who opposed the Reformers’ teaching on justification by faith, also claimed to be able to speak in tongues in the 1700's. Another group that practised a form of tongues was the Shakers, an American sect with Quaker roots that flourished in the mid-1700's. Mother Ann Lee, founder of the sect, regarded herself as the female equivalent of Jesus Christ! She claimed to be able to speak in 72 languages. The Shakers believed sexual intercourse was sinful, even within marriage. They spoke in ‘tongues’ while dancing and singing in a trance-like state".
Edward Irving, whom many consider to be the fore-runner of the modern-day Charismatic movement, led a church in the 1800's which practised so-called speaking in tongues and included those who also claimed to be prophets and prophetesses. Irving not only preached a false gospel, but he also taught erroneous tenets such as the heretical concept that Christ’s flesh was sinful. Many at the centre of Irvingism believed in the restoration of the sign gifts but later recanted and confessed that they had been deceived and used by the Devil. One such person, Robert Baxter, a confidante of Irving’s, experienced many things that he initially deemed to be of God, but later renounced. His lengthy testimony states in part: "The whole work is a mimicry of the gift of tongues—and so of prophesying and all the other works of the power. It is Satan as an angel of light, imitating as far as is permitted, the Holy Spirit of God". (’The Charismatics and the Word of God’, p. 219).
THE ROOTS OF PENTECOSTALISM AND THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT
The Pentecostal/Charismatic movement owes a very great deal to the early Black Holiness Churches. Black Holiness Pentecostalism, which formed between 1885 and 1916 "... is not a denomination but rather a movement encompassing several denominations professing belief in Spirit baptism accompanied by several signs including speaking in tongues, with historic roots embracing, but not always restricted to, both a Wesleyan-Arminian and finished work of Calvary orientation. Participants believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a normative postconversion experience available to all Christians for the purpose of becoming more effective witnesses in carrying out the Great Commission" (‘Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements’, p. 77). This is rather ironical to say the least, since the true Gospel of God was never preached by this movement. These Black Holiness Churches were the breeding ground from which sprang the modern-day Pentecostal/Charismatic movement: "Perhaps more than any other twentieth-century religious movement in the West, Black Holiness-Pentecostalism is regarded by many as a highly significant catalyst and spawning ground for scores of denominations including the Charismatic renewal, all emphasizing the centrality of the Holy Spirit. So little attention had been given to Black Holiness-Pentecostalism by historians that Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, while visiting the U.S. from Germany, referred to its participants as the ‘step-children of modern church history’" (‘Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements’, p.77).
Very few publications, be they Christian or secular and for reasons known only to them, have ever touched on the curious connection between those early Black Holiness Churches, from which Pentecostalism and Charismaticism emerged, and the Voodoo religion of those very black men and women that made up these early gatherings. The word Voodoo is derived from a West African word for God. The above mentioned Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, a pro-Charismatic and Pentecostal publication, admits: "...it appears from the evidence that Black Holiness-Pentecostalism shares the legacy of black slave religion, whose historic roots are anchored deep in African and Afro-Caribbean religion" (p.77), the most prominent African and Afro-Caribbean religion being Voodoo. And this is the movement that fathered the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements of today! Not only was the Black Holiness movement filled with false signs and lying wonders, it also promoted the satanically inspired gospel of John Wesley’s Arminian way, and had within its constitution all sorts of traditions and practices carried over from the Voodoo religion.
Several years ago a little-known, yet highly significant, article entitled, ‘Hear That Long Snake Moan’, appeared in the progressive L.A. Weekly. Written by Michael Ventura in the Spring of 1987, it shed much light on the origins and ancestry of the modern-day Pentecostal/Charismatic movements. Here are some extremely revealing excerpts from this article: "W.E.B. DuBois described black Christianist religion as a meeting of three elements: ‘The Preacher, the Music, and the Frenzy.’ It is in the frenzy that, with both black and white fundamentalists, we find African Voodoo absolutely intact, with merely the symbols changed. The object of the Voodoo ceremony is possession by the god. Possession by the Holy Ghost is as much ‘a formal goal of the religion’ in Holiness and Pentecostal churches as possession is in Voodoo. Writes Paul Oliver in his ‘Songsters and Saints’: ‘Placing himself in the hands of God, the supplicant sought possession by the Holy Spirit...Glossolalia, or uttering unintelligible syllables believed to be the language of the Holy Ghost, was evidence to many that the speaker was possessed by the Holy Spirit...and this was an essential part of the process of sanctification. People possessed of the Spirit in church might ‘fall out’ in a trance and might even require to be forcibly held down or controlled until they came around.’"
Ventura adds that one man named Metraux, "...observed the relationship, too, saying that ‘a pentecostal preacher describing his feelings when ‘the spirit was upon him,’ listed to me exactly the same symptoms as those which I heard from the mouths of people who had been possessed by the ‘loa’ (gods)...Undeniably the ecstasy which breaks out during the ceremonies of certain Protestant sects in the South of the United States reflects a survival, if not of the rites, then at least of religious behaviour" (p.43). Voodoo customs and traditions were kept very much alive by the black slaves who had been shipped to America in the nineteenth century. They would often drum the voodoo rhythms in the cotton fields and sing. When the slave masters discovered what they were doing, they outlawed the drumming. In place of this, the Voodoo-devoted black slaves turned to tapping out the voodoo beat using their feet through what we know today as tap-dancing. This satanic, beat driven music is continued today in Charismatic assemblies through its use of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a style of music which has indisputable links with Voodoo, as is attested by some of the world’s leading secular musicians. It was from this very Voodoo slave religion that a "...’black style’ of worship developed in an unstructured way....It was the slave’s adaption to Christianity without being completely divested of his native religious worship style that later proved to be significant in its impact on black religious lifestyle" (‘Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements’, p.77).
Michael Ventura makes a further comment on the disturbing similarities between the manifestations and occurrences during Voodoo ceremonies and early Black Holiness-Pentecostal gatherings: "The wild movements of the ‘horse’ mounted by the godly ‘rider’; the wild speech, including speaking in tongues which in Haiti is sometimes referred to as ‘talking with Africa’; the unpredictability of the possession, how, excited by the music, the frenzy can strike people who don’t want it and don’t believe in it (this is a common occurrence in Charismatic meetings, especially the Toronto Blessing meetings where many who doubted and disbelieved the veracity of the phenomena occurring in those meetings suddenly found themselves rolling about on the floor in hysterical and uncontrolled laughter), you find all of these central Voodoo phenomena in most black and white fundamentalist churches (needless to say the author here is referring to those Pentecostal and Charismatic Fundamentalist churches). Maya Deren tells of first resisting and then being overpowered by a god during a ceremony she was observing..." (p. 43). Interesting to note that it has been reported by some people who have been present with those who were experimenting with drugs such as LSD, but who had not themselves partaken of it, that suddenly and without warning they, too, began to experience the effects of the drug which others had taken but which they had refused, showing that a spiritual experience was taking place. This same phenomena is reported by many who have attended charismatic meetings as mere observers. Suddenly, they too experienced being ‘slain in the spirit’ or speaking in ‘tongues’, unable to control their mouths (one woman needed to have a towel stuffed in her mouth in order to stop her ‘tongues’ speaking!), or rolling about on the floor in hysterical laughter, some people even trying to divest themselves of their clothing. A spiritual experience is taking place, but the spirit behind it all is NOT the Holy Spirit of God.
In more recent times, there appeared on the scene a woman named Agnes Ozman who, on January 1, 1901, whilst enrolled at the Bethel Bible College of Pentecostalism co-founder Charles F. Parham, in Topeka, Kansas, claimed to have received the gift of tongues just as it was given on the day of Pentecost. What ensued was what would later become known as the Azusa St. meetings, which began in 1907 and were attended by people from all over the world, much like the infamous ‘Toronto Blessing’ meetings in our own day to which people foolishly flock. Even now many, if not most, Charismatics believe that the series of meetings at Azusa St., which were held three times a day, seven days a week and went on for years, was a second Pentecost, but as the following quotes from the very founders of Pentecostalism no less and other eye-witnesses will show, these venerated meetings were far from godly and in accordance with biblical order or precedent. The following is an eye-witness account of what occurred at Azusa St. one evening: "When I visited the Azusa St. Mission, the first person to attract my attention was a woman with a thin, white silk waist on, who stood shaking from head to foot...There were several rows of chairs in front of her that were filled with seekers. The coloured leader, Seymour, was preaching; but I could not keep my eyes off the woman who continued to shake until a man in front of her slid down out of his chair and became unconscious. I then lost sight of the woman. The man who fell in a vision was pale and thin, and under high nerve pressure, and continued in the same position on the floor until after a number of seekers had gathered around the altar. Then he arose, staggered to them and began to shake his hand in front of their faces and wave his arms over their heads and moan. He was still apparently in a half-conscious state. Then he put his hands on the heads of the women and began to shake their hair. Some of them lost control of themselves and went under a hypnotic spell. He rubbed a man’s jaw until the victim tumbled over on the floor and lay for half an hour, then suddenly began to jabber. Those who had received their ‘Pentecost’ cried out, ‘He has the baptism, he has the baptism!’" I challenge anyone to find for me a biblical precedent for any of this that was Holy Spirit-inspired and not a display of demonic-inspired lunacy! Only the naive, the gullible and the ignorant could possibly be deceived by such madness into thinking that they were in the presence, and under the influence, of the Holy Spirit.
The eye-witness account continues: "A young colored woman, doing her best to get the gibberish, went through all kinds of contortions in her efforts to get her tongue to work. While work among the seekers at the altar was going on, a colored woman had her arms around a white man’s neck, praying for him. A man of maturer years leaped out of his chair and began to stutter. He did not utter a distinct syllable, but as fast as tongue would work, he said, ‘tut-tut-tut-tut-tut.’ This was evidence he had his ‘baptism’. The woman who had on the silk waist appeared again, this time singing a far away tune that sounded very unnatural and repulsive....When the altar call was made, a woman walked up to the front and kissed a man...kissing between the sexes is a common occurrence in the tongues meetings." (‘Demons and Tongues’, pp. 71-73, A. White).
Another witness to these meetings, where disorder and confusion reigned, had this to report: "Our missionaries have been stationed at Los Angeles (where the Azusa St. meetings were held), during the whole history of the Tongues movement, and have watched it closely from the very first outbreak in Seymour’s meetings; and truly, conditions have been such that it would be impossible to publish the things that have occurred there. The familiarity between sexes in the public meetings has been shocking, to say the least. Hell has reaped an awful harvest and infidelity has become more strongly rooted on the Pacific coast than ever before." (‘Demons and Tongues’, p. 82).
The ‘Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements’, reporting on William J. Seymour, co-founder of Pentecostalism and pastor of the Azusa St. Mission, said, "Seymour moved away from a theology of tongues as the initial physical evidence of baptism in the Spirit. In point of fact, Seymour ultimately repudiated the 'initial evidence' teaching (speaking in tongues) as providing "an open door for witches and spiritualists and free-lovism" (p.36). Strange, those who spoke in tongues in the Bible did not have any trouble with witches or the like at their meetings. "Azusa was typically described by the press as a ‘colored’ congregation that met in a ‘tumble-down shack’ and made the night ‘hideous’ through the ‘howlings of the worshippers’..." (p.36). Seymour’s co-founder, Charles Parham, concluded the following: "Never were God’s servants surrounded with more deceptive counterfeits of real divine experience than in this day and age...the magician’s work is so well nigh perfect, that it often is indeed hard to distinguish the true and the false...I have witnessed great dangers in the work here in Los Angeles, and in pointing them out I shall not refer to individuals, but to the work itself as a whole, so that we all may see the error of our way and get back to God." (‘The Life Of Charles Parham’, pp. 166-167). And this from the leaders of events that are held in as high regard today as those which occurred on the day of Pentecost, by those who have perpetuated such ungodly events. Now it is one thing to shrug off the critiques of those exposing Pentecostal or Charismatic movements, but to ignore, or choose to remain ignorant of, the very warnings of the leaders who co-founded Pentecostalism and to choose to continue the traditions and practices, which these leaders themselves condemned, is utter stupidity.
One of, if not the most, disturbing aspect of these meetings at Azusa St., which many today ignorantly and blasphemously hold to as equal to the events of the day of Pentecost as recorded in the Scriptures, may be seen in the following accounts: "...spiritualists and mediums from the numerous occult societies of Los Angeles began to attend and contribute their seances and trances to the service. Disturbed by these developments, Seymour wrote to Parham (his spiritual father) for advice on how to handle ‘the spirits’ and begged him to come to Los Angeles and take over supervision of the revival". (‘The Holiness Pentecostal Movement in the United States’, p.110). "W.J. Seymour was still writing urgent letters appealing for help, as spiritualistic manifestations, hypnotic forces and fleshly contortions as known in the colored Camp meetings in the South, had broken loose in the meetings." (‘The Life Of Charles Parham’, p.156). Does any of this sound even remotely like a description of meetings between true Christians in the Bible? Of course not! Unlike the Azusa St. meetings, which not only attracted spiritualists and mediums and the like, but saw them actually take an active and not insignificant part in the meetings, we see that the outpouring of God’s one and only Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost resulted in the following, as is recorded for us in Acts 5:12,13: "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them." No medium or witch dared to approach the Holy Spirit who was resident in the apostles who were performing genuine miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than be a place to avoid, the meetings at Azusa Street were, in reality, a Mecca for spiritualists, witches and mediums alike! Merely because these facts are little known and rarely reported does not alter the fact that they are all documented and verifiable, historical FACT!!
The final comments from the pen of Azusa Street founder, Charles F. Parham, should resound in the minds of every charismatic today as they begin to see, and come to terms with, the corrupt foundation upon which their movement is based: "Let me speak plainly with regard to the work as I have found it here. I found hypnotic influences, familiar spirit influences, spiritualistic influences, mesmeric influences and all kinds of spells and spasms, falling in trances etc. All of these things are foreign to and unknown in the movement (the Apostolic Faith movement) outside of Los Angeles, except in the places visited by the workers sent out from this city". (‘The Life Of Charles Parham’, p. 168). Parham added: "After preaching two or three times, I was informed by two of the elders, one who was a hypnotist (I had seen him lay his hands on many who came through chattering, jabbering, speaking no language at all) that I was not wanted in this place" (‘The Life Of Charles Parham’, p. 163). I doubt whether there are very many Charismatics at all who are aware of the controversy and very un-Christian occurrences which characterized the infamous Azusa St. meetings.
The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements informs us that: "There is now historical evidence to suggest that the Azusa St. revival was no more than confirmation of a phenomenon that had already begun among Black Holiness-Pentecostals" (p.80).
"Many former charismatics, including pastors, have renounced what they had at first believed were true gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is seldom realized that there are many former charismatics and pentecostals who have reassessed the whole issue in terms of Scripture, experience and history and have turned their back on the claims of a modern-day revival of biblical gifts." A former Pentecostal pastor of 25 years, G.E. Gardner, declared, "I have heard hundreds of messages in tongues, and interpretations. Not one has ever added anything of value to the meeting" (‘The Corinthian Catastrophe’, p.53). Gardner adds that the seeking of these modern charismatic experiences is ‘never harmless’ (‘The Corinthian Catastrophe’, p.55).
One of the most moving testimonies in this regard comes from a man who spent over 20 years in the pentecostal atmosphere of the Apostolic Faith Mission, Full Gospel Church and Assemblies of God, attending and assisting major campaigns by various leaders. He wrote: "I laid hands on the sick. I rebuked death. I prophesied. I spoke in tongues. I interpreted. I would say now, in all sincerity, that I saw and experienced nothing which would lead me to believe that Pentecostalism offers ANYTHING along the lines of the New Testament Church’s experience" (‘Reformation Today’, Oct/Nov. 1973, K. Haarnhof, p.20). The above quoted Pentecostal minister acknowledges that there are many sincere people in the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements, but his conclusions and his exposure of the ‘faulty doctrinal basis, manipulative indoctrination’ and ‘charged atmosphere’ remain firm. Sincerity can never be the evidence that substantiates what one is zealous for as being of God. And a zeal without right knowledge can never be of, or lead to, the true God (see Rom. 10:1-4). No one is saved because of zeal alone, or by sincerity alone, but only if one has been given the gift of the love of the truth that is revealed by God in His mighty Gospel.
As can be clearly and immediately observed by the discerning believer in whom God’s Word and Spirit reside, these meetings at Azusa St., which initiated the first wave of modern-day charismania upon the world, were far from God-ordained. The meetings were clearly a satanic counterfeit of the wonderful events that occurred on the one and only birthday of the Christian Church: the day of Pentecost as described in the book of Acts. The Azusa St. meetings were not only a hive of satanic experiences and a spiritual free-for-all, but importantly, these experiences, which millions of people are seeking even today, also gave credibility to false gospels and the acceptance of such in the minds and hearts of their recipients. God’s Gospel was never preached at Azusa Street and the Holy Spirit, therefore, never performed any work there. Nevertheless, the facts and the Scriptures were thrown to the wind as, from this unsightly and unscriptural mess, the Pentecostal movement grew and grew and later became popularly referred to, in the mid-1960's, as the Charismatic movement.
One New Testament scholar has made the following observation: "Too long Christians have assumed that the noncharismatic must produce incontestable biblical evidence that the miraculous sign gifts did cease. However, noncharismatics have no burden to prove this, since it has already been proved by history. It is an irrefutable fact admitted by many Pentecostals. Therefore the charismatics must prove biblically that the sign gifts will start up again during the Church Age and that today’s phenomena are this reoccurrence. In other words, they must prove that their experiences are the reoccurrence of gifts that have not occurred for almost 1900 years". (‘The Cessation Of The Sign Gifts’, p. 374). While this is a very good point, it would be a rather futile exercise seeing that the Gospel has never once been preached by these charismatic groups, who place so much emphasis on their signs and wonders rather than on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. The signs and wonders are really only the tip of the iceberg. What the even greater evil in all this Pentecostal and Charismatic chaos is, is the fact that amid all the excitement and smiling faces and the ecstatic experiences, the Gospel is not being preached and therefore no one is being saved. People have simply been hoodwinked, by all the activity and ecstatic hullabaloo occurring within Pentecostalism and Charismaticism, into believing that because all is being done in the name of Jesus, these movements are sanctioned by God Himself and all involved are Christians. Nothing could be further from the truth! If there is no Gospel, that is, God’s Gospel, then it is not a Christian gathering and any phenomena present is anything but Christian. The Scriptures state clearly in 2 John 9 that "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD..." If individuals who hold not to God’s Gospel have not God, what makes anyone think that a gathering of such people is attended, ordered and supported, by God? The math is quite simple: NO GOSPEL - NO GOD!!
In light of all the evidence presented thus far, we can only conclude that though there are many sincere people in the Charismatic movement, the movement itself cannot be of God, for all the ‘gifts’, all the ‘signs’, all the ‘wonders’ it lays claim to are just as flawed and riddled with imperfection as those that are common to every like cult that has preceded it. This movement is nothing new, just the largest of its kind. There is no true Gospel accompanying any of these lying signs and wonders, so how can God be the one behind them? What would be the point of all these signs and wonders if the people experiencing them are not being taught the truth and being saved? I suggest that, rather than tearing this book up in anger and frustration at this point, the charismatic have courage enough to continue into the next chapter and learn some more startling facts about the movement he so zealously seeks to defend and be a part of.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT
There is so much that Charismatics are ignorant of concerning the movement they follow, not the least of which being the fact that the Roman Catholic Church—the mother of all harlots—has welcomed this experience-centred movement whose subjective theology is akin to her own, and perceived it as the vehicle that will bring so-called Protestants and Roman Catholics together, and eventually a one-world religion wholly based and united over identical experiences, irrespective of individual doctrinal belief. Even the Pope has given his official blessing to the Charismatic movement.
1971 was the year which saw the emergence of what was to become a very influential book. Entitled, ‘The Pentecostal Movement In The (Roman) Catholic Church’, it was authored by a Roman Catholic priest named Edward D. O’Connor. The book became recognized as a classic and is still considered so by the Vatican and Roman Catholic activists. The following excerpt from the book, which may shock some Pentecostals and Charismatics, highlights the rather eyebrow-raising compatibility between Roman Catholicism and Pentecostalism: "(Roman) Catholics who have accepted Pentecostal spirituality have found it to be fully in harmony with their traditional way and life. They experience it not as a borrowing from an alien religion, but as a connatural development of their own" (p.28). The word connatural means to have a similar nature in origin, allied or associated in nature or origin.
Two further quotes taken from the book reveal additional evidence of the harmony which existed over 40 years ago between the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements and Roman Catholicism, a harmony which is even stronger today: "The spiritual experience of those who have been touched by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal movement is in profound harmony with the classical spirit of theology of the (Roman) Catholic Church" (p.183) And, "...the doctrine that is developing in the Pentecostal churches today, seems to be going through stages very similar to those which occurred in the early Middle Ages when the classical doctrine was taking shape" (pp.193,194).
We learn from this the curious fact that the Roman Catholic Church sees no threat posed to it by the Charismatic movement, a supposedly Protestant movement I might add, but has officially approved and embraced it and is receptive of its ‘blessings’. However, Roman Catholic doctrine is NOT changing! Roman Catholics who have become involved in these charismatic experiences are more than ever remaining faithful to the teachings of the Vatican and in their prayers and devotions to Mary, the use of the Rosary beads, and other pagan and unbiblical Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. But how can this be if the spirit behind Charismaticism is the Holy Spirit of God? Wouldn’t there be a revolution occurring in the Roman Catholic Church among its leaders and followers who are experiencing the charismatic gifts and signs? Obviously, the spirit behind the gifts and signs is quite happy for Roman Catholics to remain in their error and false gospel, and following a man who dares to call himself the ‘vicar of Christ’. This clearly evidences the fact that the spirit at work in the Charismatic movement is not the Holy Spirit of God, for God’s Spirit does not for a moment tolerate erroneous doctrine that makes up a false gospel that speaks of another christ. The Holy Spirit was sent to guide God’s people into truth, not to make them more comfortable in their error. The saved man is brought out of darkness and into the Light of God—the Gospel—upon his rebirth. His understanding does not remain in darkness, therefore he does not continue walking in the vanity of his mind. His life is not surrounded by false signs and lying wonders because he has been led into truth.
For decades many have believed that true revival has been occurring, firstly through the Pentecostal movement and later the Charismatic movement, and that these two groups have witnessed the great move of God in these last days. And yet we see these ‘great movements’ walking hand in hand with Romanism—the perpetuator of paganism—and other proponents of erroneous doctrine like the Mormons, through movements such as the Promise Keepers. They have become great friends. Some would even call it a family reunion. Roman Catholicism and the Charismatic movement, in particular the Assemblies of God churches, have played a major role in the on-going formulation of the one world church via the Ecumenical movement. In addition to this, there are Charismatic renewal movements in such varied and doctrinally conflicting denominations as the Lutheran Church, United Methodists, Mennonites, Episcopalian, Anglican, Baptist and even Presbyterian churches. Doctrine is laid aside to make way for the god of experience, which is the slave master of all involved in signs and wonders movements.
Wilson Ewin, author of the book, ‘The Pied Piper Of The Pentecostal Movement’, informs us of the fact that: "Untold millions of Catholic Pentecostals are now among the faithful of the Vatican. They are distinguished not only by the Pentecostal experience but also by their unswerving loyalty to the dogmas and teachings of the Roman Church. Medieval Catholicism as defined by the Council of Trent, remains intact in their hearts" (p. 25)". Ewin adds: "The very powers of classical Pentecostalism are now being shared with Roman Catholic Pentecostalists. And this, of course, without conversion to Christ. The exploits of Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman, Rex Humbard, Aimee Semple-McPherson, David Du Plessis and other mainline Pentecostal stars are even being outpaced by some Roman Catholic Pentecostalists" (p.26).
A little known fact is that approximately half of all Charismatics in the world just happen to be Roman Catholic! The Charismatic movement is the ultimate ecumenical machine, for it is not focussed on doctrine but on experiences. It is as much for the Roman Catholic as it is for the ‘protestant’, with no need for doctrinal change. In an atmosphere charged with the loud and various styles of popular music today, such as rock ‘n’ roll and even hip-hop, and punctuated with all sorts of signs and wonders etc., what need is there for doctrine? This movement has gone ‘beyond’ doctrine and is now in the ‘higher realm’ of full-on spiritual experiences and direct communication with ‘God’. It does not matter what doctrine you believe, because everyone gets ‘blessed’ with the charismatic experience. One can believe in Purgatory and the worship of Mary and yet be as much a part of the Charismatic movement as those who deny such beliefs, calling them heretical!! There can be no true biblical unity unless it is a unity bound by doctrine that reveals, rather than obscures, the true God. Scripture says that a man is not of God if he does not abide in the doctrine of Christ. The Bible speaks of true Christians not only enjoying fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer time with one another, but that they also "...continued STEADFASTLY in the apostles’ DOCTRINE..." (Acts 2:42). Among true Christians there is a unity of faith. They have all been given the same faith from the same God to believe in the same Gospel. Christians do not believe in several different gospels whilst being bound together by their experiences. This is not what Scripture teaches. Christians believe the same Gospel because they have been given the same faith, the faith that is given by God to His people, which cannot and does not believe in any other gospel but that of God’s. Can you imagine for a moment God giving His faith to His people so that they would believe different gospels? Of course not. If it is the same faith then it must believe in the same Gospel. The gift of faith that comes from the true God is given so that all to whom it is given will believe the same Gospel—GOD’S GOSPEL! Not only does the Christian not believe in any other gospel but he rejects them one and all as having any power to save.
Throughout his book, Ewin tells of large combined meetings being held by Roman Catholics and Pentecostals: "Meetings have been carried on for many years between Vatican authorities and Pentecostal leaders. Cardinal Leon Suenens, usually involved in this, spoke at the 1977 Congress in Kansas City. He and Thomas Zimmerman (A.O.G.), J.O. Patterson (Church of God in Christ) , and Archbishop Bill Burnett (Anglican) stood together before the vast multitude in an unprecedented demonstration of unity" (p.34)." In another of his books, Ewin writes: "Today, the Charismatic renewal within the Roman Catholic Church is the fastest growing and by far, the greatest numerically of all Pentecostal groups. Millions are found within its ranks and the phenomenal growth continues unabated. Pope John Paul I told the Charismatic Renewal’s International Leaders’ Conference in Rome, July, 1981 that the future of the Roman Catholic Church lies in their spiritual renewal movements and groups". (‘You Can Lead Roman Catholics To Christ’, p.151).
There still exists somewhat of a doctrinal gulf between Roman Catholics and Charismatics, but these have been irresponsibly, and with indifference, put to one side as they bathe together in an insipid orgy of experience-based unity. The Assemblies of God churches and the Vatican both agree that it is God’s Holy Spirit who is at work in both the Charismatic movement and Roman Catholicism. And yet, when we examine the testimonies of Roman Catholics who have gone through the charismatic experiences such as ‘tongues’, ‘the slaying’ and the ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’—a term not found in the Scriptures—we see that they are not consequently being led out of the errors of Romanism but deeper into them! The Scriptures proclaim that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (Jn. 16:13). But how can the spirit which inspires and leads the Roman Catholics and the Charismatics be God’s Spirit of truth, when many of the doctrines of these groups are contradictory and when neither group teaches the true Gospel of God? How can it be the Holy Spirit leading these people, when some are being led to believe one thing and others are being led to believe the opposite? Adding to this confusion is the fact that many former Roman Catholics, upon becoming Charismatics, abandoned Romanism as a work of the Devil! These are vital questions and issues that Charismatics must not ignore, but face up to in the cold light of day.
One testimony specifically records that one ‘back-slidden’ Roman Catholic actually began to pray the Rosary, "A practice", they said, "I have taken up since the baptism in the Spirit" (‘Catholic Pentecostals’, p. 68). Another Roman Catholic wrote of his renewed allegiance to Mary since experiencing the charismatic renewal. A Roman Catholic priest declared after his ‘baptism with the spirit’, "Never before had I such a sense of Mary’s role in leading me into the fullness of Christ and the Spirit" (‘The Charismatic Renewal And The Irish Experience’, p.92). How can the Holy Spirit, Who according to Christ Jesus the Lord would glorify Him, be the one who is turning such people’s attention towards Mary and not the Lord? Christ says: "...when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself...He shall glorify Me (not Mary!)..." (Jn. 16:13,14). The Holy Spirit is sent to speak of Christ, to lead people to Christ. He will not speak of Mary, or even Himself, but of Christ Jesus the Lord and Savior. In following the Charismatic spirit, some nominal Roman Catholics who were not amongst those who prayed to Mary or prayed the Rosary or even attended Mass, now eagerly take part in these non-biblical practices as a direct result of the charismatic experience! This spirit, far from being the Spirit of truth, is fully approving of Roman Catholic doctrines, which are nothing but ancient pagan teachings with a Christian veneer! This spirit is NOT the Holy Spirit of God!! He does not lead people to the true Gospel. Nor is he leading people into biblical practices, but those with a heathen origin.