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Open Letter to Pentecostals and Charismatic's.

Historical Perspectives

The modern Pentecostal movement commenced in the early 1900s in the USA and England. At the very start "uplifted hands" was characteristic and the music was loud and rhymatic. Devotees claimed to experience 'electric shocks', 'unconsciousness', 'healing', 'uncontrollable laughter', 'holy dance', speaking in tongues and to be 'slain in the Spirit'. The claims of common miracles were offered as proof God was at work. The Times April 18 1906 -

"Mouthing.... (what) no sane moral could understand... devotees of the weird doctrine practice the fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement... the howlings of the worshippers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking attitude...

'Criticism and opposition' from Press or public was rebuffed as "the work of the Devil" and from "wicked men" but "free advertising". The pioneer leaders defended the bizarre stories, insisting Luther's doctrine of "justification by faith" would have been 'extravagance and fanaticism' in Luther's day. So their experience was similar. What might be considered "error" could be "the refraction of some greater truth". Frank Bartleman, (leader Azusa Street gathering) mentions uncontrollable shaking and shivering, and speaking in tongues for "five hours". Unable to sleep 'every night for three months'. He said people went into 'trances' and unconsciousness "for hours"... and "some for three or four days". Others "forgot to eat or sleep for nights and days". One occasion God came "so near... two thirds of the people" ran out of the house "scared out of their senses". He said people "would fall all over the house, like the slain in battle...the scene often resembled a forest of fallen trees". Many, "...prostrate on the floor for hours" (1)

Criticism raged when Pentecostal pioneers insisted the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was God's judgment on that 'wicked city' (3,000 died). This criticism was claimed to have come from "hell... to stop the message". While critical Christians were said to be "grieving the Spirit", devil controlled and deserving God's judgment. Speaking in Tongues was regarded as "absolute perfection" and God's "rebuke to the 'jazzy' religious songs of the day" (C Parham 1901). And a "real missionary language" like those at Pentecost (Acts 2) "through which the heathen shall hear in their own language the wonderful works of God". So "missionaries" went "forth... to all nations". But in remote lands they soon discovered nobody understood their ‘tongue’. Without money to return home or unable to work resulted in some starving to death (2)

There was no organ or hymn books used in these first services at Azusa Street. Lack of church order was considered "divine order" and 'godly'. Any service arrangement was considered disgraceful, requiring "apologies". 'Tongues' was described as "the climax in abandonment" and only after "complete abandonment" of self, can God work in a "new way". So from the height of "God-control" came the total loss of self-control. Pioneers looked back on these as the 'good ol days'. As the movement grew they said, 'divisions multiplied' and services became "fake".

We can admire the zeal of Frank Bartleman traveling extensively preaching 'revival' regardless of his constant sicknesses. Sickness, he believed, was the devil trying to kill him. Numerous miracle and healing claims fueled the whole affair. Yet Pentecostals "were no healthier than those of any other church". Taking medicine was was regarded as 'disobeying God' and healing claims were hounded by "instances of failure". (3) Pentecostals were "constantly looking for miracles" and anything not "easily explained" was considered "miraculous".

Bartleman compared Azusa St., to the Walsh Revival (which was absurd). Tongues was not apart of the Walsh Revival. That revival added to all denominations and "embodied Christian unity". Whereas Azusa St., was not a revival as such, it was apart from the "ecclesiastical establishments". Mainstream Christianity knew little, or rejected it as heresy, expelling Pentecostals at least until 1928. The Walsh Revival had nothing of what characterized Azusa Street "The Holy Spirit descended upon us not indeed as a rushing mighty wind yea as a gentle zephyr..." And "without any effort upon our part to create excitement". (4)

Mormons at this time also claimed "similar things" to Azusa St. And followers of Edward Irving (1792-1834) in Scotland and London as early as 1830 also claimed tongues, prophets and healing. They taught sickness and death was a Satanic attack or God's judgment. Irving had three children sicken and die and his wife unwell for years. But belief that sickness was Satanic or God's doing was cruel. "When healing did not come" people "lingered in agony". The Cholera epidemic in England (1831) was claimed to be "sent by God as his judgment" and only "prayer and fasting" could bring deliverance.

In England (as Azusa St) "Much of the strength of this charismatic activity arose from the fact that the tongues were widely believed to be actual languages" (5) And so limited, "except in the case of missionaries going to a foreign land".

They did not urge missionary candidates 'to study languages', tongues would be a new way to preach to "foreign lands". As tongue speakers increased this became untenable. Tongues were easily proven false and opposition increased. So the emphasis shifted, that tongues can only be known by a Holy Ghost 'interpretation'. Some speakers disturbed by this felt the genuineness of the whole concept was at stake. Then another emphasis shift was the idea tongues were for 'joy and strength.' That was questionable, eye witnesses described tongue speakers -

"The speaker, or to be more correct, the roarer..."
"but so loud, revolting and unnatural...."
"like a shock from which I could not recover..."
"she screamed on till from exhaustion..."
"suddenly an appalling shriek..."
"we could hear the wretched creature raving like one possessed..."
"as one would a print of brandy..."
"nothing so shocking...."

Those with the "gift" wanted all controls removed, but lack of self-control caused 'differences' and 'divisions'. When the 'power' came upon some, they left the building so as not to offend other worshippers. While some would "put a handkerchief to the mouth to stop the sound" not to 'alarm' others.

These early Pentecostals claimed all must "bow to the utterances of the Spirit of God", as the "authority of a prophet". They had "infallible directions", the "voice of God" and it was "equal in authority to the bible". They were so "overwhelmed with the certainty that God was commanding" they did "incredibly extreme" and "extraordinary" things. (6) On reflection they were considered absurd, and some "uttered heretical" doctrine. Yet information received while "in the power" was treated with utmost respect. If an utterance proved incorrect it was claimed to be "misunderstood". Anything true was 'of God', anything false 'of Satan' and this added to confusion. Some utterances would "often contradict one another", others were "meaningless". So the idea of recording them was quickly dropped.

A "willingness to believe that new revelations were being given by God" has been the foundation of numerous heresies throughout Church history. A failure to understand 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. The dogmatic assurance tongues and prophecy was 'the voice of God' ruined the career of Edward Irving. And will ruin the faith of any who adopt it. It robs the scriptures of their finality and authority and strikes at the very foundation of Christianity. It robs any man any definite 'Thus saith the Lord' on any subject.

"There are miraculous dealings which lure to destruction the tongues movement, the seeking for signs and wonders. Almost without exception the people who have been told to fast and concentrate for something for themselves whereby the Lord many show how marvelous He is". (Oswald Chambers 1874-1917). (7)

Today Pentecostalism is the norm for millions of churches'. Is this of God? Are the miraculous 'sign gifts' given to the early New Testament church for today? One thing is for sure, in the bible they fulfilled a purpose and were genuine. But to answer these questions, I suggest the answer is all about a crisis of authority.

It's your choice. Either you base what you believe on the bible, or the claims, experiences, stories and feelings of yourself or men. Do we see in Pentecostalism today uncertainty, deception or division? Why would any "movement of the Holy Spirit" cause division? (even within itself). Would the Holy Spirit cause people to behave like drunkards? Believers and unbelievers came to Jesus. There's not one example where He touched someone and they fell down, or into a trace, or spoke in tongues. When people came to Him, did any -

a) lose body control (Shaking, fall-over, couldn't stand-up, carried away)
b) lose tongue control (Gibberish, animal noises, laughter, shouting)

So would God's Spirit do that? Pentecostals claim He does. They say -

– these are signs God is doing a NEW work
- People are converted, with deeper relationships with God – as never before.
- If you criticize, you criticize God; He wants all to have these things.
- God's performing numerous miracles in approval.

The idea "God is doing a new work" can excuse anything as 'worship'. For example at “Life Church” Kent St., Frankton in Hamilton, I was told certain furniture was not accepted in the church foyer, as it damages the “ascetics of the place”. Yet the church service was more like a deafingly ‘night club dance’ rather than a church. “Rock n’ Roll” style music is now called ‘worship music’. Often with horrendous decibels and mindless lyrics -

Rein down on me ...Rein down on me .... Rein down on me.... Rein down on me

Loudly repeated over like a stuck record. No scripture is accepted as contradicting this "new work of the spirit".

Pentecostals often mention second or third hand experiences, stories and feelings. And on those base their belief. Yet experience shouldn't formulate doctrine. Experience is not the test of genuineness, for it can mislead. Something can 'feel-right' but be wrong. Scripture must judge experiences and determine truth.

Jesus warned of 'signs and wonders' that deceive, if possible the very elect. John warned, "don't believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them…" If Bible is THE test of truth, it must have authority greater than all the claims of men and have the final say. God's Word and the Holy Spirit go together. The "Sword of the Spirit" is "the Word of God" (Eph.6:17) When reading it, is one "slain" to the ground? No! But it does reveal the truth about the work of God's Spirit -

(a) - to magnify Christ, not draw attention to Himself (He's a hidden worker Jn.16:13)
- Fill believers daily (not with religion but Christ-like behaviour)
- Produce the Fruit of Spirit, ie - "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL" (Gal.3:5)

Those under the Spirit's CONTROL (or POWER) should display "self control" not loss of "control" over tongue, legs or bodily functions. What an insult to God's Spirit to contribute that to Him.

(b) The Filling of the Spirit is not mystical. It is pagans who are carried away and over come with their gods (1 Cor.12:2). That is, they are not guided by reason or truth, but by passions and senseless worship. All "calculated only to excite and gratify animal propensities" (Clarke's Commentary NT Vol.6a 1 Cor.12.2).

(c) The evidence of spirituality is the Fruit of the Spirit, not spiritual gifts (Corinthian's had all the gifts yet were "carnal" 1 Cor.1:7, 3:1 3-4). Evidence is seen in behaviour, habits, commitment, words, character. But anyone can speak in so-called "tongues" (Mormons, Roman Catholic, Buddhists, Jesuits, Muslims, Quakers) The Tongues practice fits anywhere, requires no doctrinal modification, only doctrinal acceptance.

Consider 1 Cor.14:21. If you can understand why the Gift of Tongues was given, you know why it ceased.

"In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, says the Lord. Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not… but prophecy is for believers".

"A sign" is not for its own sake but teach a truth. God use it to reveal His plan. It was prophesied Isa.28:11 “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people….” Clearly, “this people” are Israel. Tongues had special significance to Israel (not Gentiles). Why? Israel was often in captivity, and God had spoken to the unbelieving scoffing Israelites through an Assyrian foe. At Pentecost there were Jews who spoke other languages (Ac.2:8-11). Paul wrote "For the Jews require a sign…" Tongues indicated -

- Jesus was their Messiah and He sent the Holy Spirit.
- God wanted Israel to know the gospel, and confirmed it by a miracle.
- they had rejected God's Word - Isa.28:11-12
- tongues were a sign of impending doom, discipline by those of other languages.
- but Gentiles will receive the message.

Knowing OT history Israel could understand, “Yet they would not hear” [1 Cor.14:21] and rejected the Messiah, apostles, the Holy Spirit and signs. As the church became more Gentile, the need for this sign ceased.

Now lets trace this "sign" through -

Book of Acts

Acts 2, First Christians were Jews. Tongues was a sign the Holy Spirit was given vs.2-3. Before the unbelieving Jewish people vs 2:7, 12-13. Note they said, "Do we not hear them speaking in our native tongues where we were born"? vs.2.8. They heard "the wonders of God" vs.2.11. These were real languages with meaning, a real miracle, linked to the Messiah. Believing Jews returned home with the Gospel.

Acts 8 First Samaritans became Christians (Acts 8:14). Jews had no dealings with the despised Samaritans (Jn.4:9). If tongues occurred, (no mention) it silenced Jewish-unbelief that Samaritans received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10 First Gentiles became Christians. Gentiles were despised by Jews. Here tongues was a sign to the Jewish people that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit (vs.44-46). It silenced any unbelief Gentiles received God's Spirit "For they heard them speak in tongues and magnify God" (10:46). Such a sign isn't needed today. And note also, again they understood what was spoken.

Acts 19 John's Disciples who were Jews and representatives of Old Testament saints. In the face of Jewish unbelief signs were done (Acts 19:9-12). Tongues would have silenced unbelief that Jesus sent God's Spirit, and He did NOT come by Jewish Law (Gal.3:2). It also confirmed Paul as an Apostle. So what do we see -

[1] The events in Acts were historical and encompass all mankind. Acts covers the transition period (30 yrs) from Judaism to Christianity (from Jew to Gentile). We can't repeat history -

[2] None were individuals 'coming forward' seeking tongues (they were groups).
[3] None were church services seeking a 'Spirit Baptism'
[4] None were 'slain', or experienced uncontrollable laughter.
[5] None were a 'Second Blessing'. 1st time they received the Spirit
[6] Never again do we read of Gentile, Samaritan or Jew becoming Christians evidenced by tongues.

Scripture doesn't -

[1] Distinguish between Christians Spirit Baptized and those not.
[2] Tell us to wait for the Spirit's coming.
[3] Tell us to seek a Spirit Baptism.

But Christians receive the Spirit at the new birth, (Jn.1:13 3:3, 5-6) and are placed into Christ's body ("baptized" 1 Cor.12:13). Today neither Jew nor Gentile experience tongues at conversion. So tongues was a sign NOT for believing Gentiles but unbelieving Israel. No signs are given for the Jew today. Seeking "signs" would indicate unbelief. There are other reasons Tongues ceased.

The Church at Corinth.

At the sea-port at Corinth Christians faced opposition from Jews, so Tongues may have served as a sign. BUT it didn't fit into the church gathering (1 Cor.14:4-5, 28). "Believers" don't need signs (1 Cor.14:21 2 Cor.5:7). Tongues wasn't significant to Greek Christians (1 Cor.1:22) and likely few languages were used in their gathering. So it solved little and created problems. Paul said it was useless without interpretation; you can interpret a real language (1 Cor.14:6-12) Just as in Acts -

"God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven...each one heard their own language being spoken. Amazed they asked, 'Aren't all these Galileans? Then how is it each one of us hears them in our native language?" (Ac.2:5-8, 11)

So we come back to the crisis of authority. Some will claim tongues is 'an angelic language they speak in heaven'. Yet whenever angels spoke it was always a known language. Some disagree, 'no it's a private language between you and God'. Others say 'no its a real but unknown earthly tongue'. This won't do. In NT times the bible describes tongues as real languages. Speaking gibberish today won't make anyone closer to God and has no value for a church gathering.

Why 'tongues' today –

(a) Why would God give His Word (the Bible) in a language we all understand? (b) Then select someone to speak to us in a language no one understands? (c) Then select one who thinks he understands and speak to us in the language we all understand? But wait there's more. It must agree with God's Word – or God hasn't spoken to us in any language we understand at all. Now if it must agree with God's Word, then God's Word is what we need, not tongues.

So New Testament Tongues weren't incomprehensible, but had information.

So gifts of Apostleship, Prophecy, Dreams & Visions, gifts of knowledge were given for information and a special reason. The early church had a disadvantage without the New Testament. So God gave special revelation gifts and confirmed the message with signs. Paul says these revelation gifts only mirrored/truth and weren't permanent.

1 Cor 13:8 "prophecies will cease; tongues will cease; knowledge, will pass away. We know in part and prophesy in part but when that which is perfect is come (God was sending it) the imperfect shall be done away."

Three things cease – Prophecy Tongues, Gifts of Knowledge the means by which truth was proclaimed in the early church without the New Testament. (1 Corinthians is a book written in the transition period of Acts, no one had a New Testament 'bible'). These gifts were "in part" (partial illumination) an imperfect situation compared to "that which is perfect". This relates to scripture, or we are still in the "dark", an imperfect situation. Our mode for receiving truth in this time would be via prophets, tongues, and gifts of knowledge. And that is simply not true for we receive truth via scripture not by those. In bible times, the appearance of a prophet always signified a failure among God's people.

Paul does NOT refer to a sudden change. 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke as a child; when I became a man, put away childish things." That's a slow transition, not a sudden Rapture. It's not "when we go" but “when it is come".

Note, the words "mirrored, darkly, childhood-manhood, know in part, know fully, face to face," are consistent with illumination. When the whole is come, the part is "done away". Isn't it amazing!! It just so happens that Scripture is vital for illumination. It has the answers to all the big questions about God, life, death, right and wrong, where we came from, who we are, Christian conduct, etc. The bible is God's revelation to all this and for knowing God, its a face to face revelation.

1 Cor.12-14 is the last mention in the chronological order of the gift of tongues eg –

(1) "And among the Jews of Ephesus (19:11) and the Christians of Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:10) there were miracles, as doubtless elsewhere also. But there were no miracles seen by Felix or Festus or Agrippa; and, as already noticed, when Paul stood before Nero the era of miracles had closed. The miracles of Acts 28:8, 9 are chronologically the last on record, and the later Epistles are wholly silent respecting them". (8)

(2) "The gifts of healings, like the other sign gifts, were temporary given to the church for authenticating the apostolic message as the Word of God. he Great Commission does not include a call to heal bodies but only the call to heal souls through the preaching of the gospel." (9)

(3) Mk.16: "These signs have followed the preaching of the gospel. But they are not signs to continue the preaching of the gospel. They disappeared even in the early church..... Even before the end of the first century, the sign gifts were no longer the credentials of the apostles. The test was correct doctrine (see 2 John 10). It is the Word of God that is the great sign in this hour." (10)

(4) "There is no evidence of the continuance of this gift (tongues) after apostolic times nor indeed in the later times of the apostles themselves; this provides confirmation of the fulfillment in this way of 1 Cor. 13:8, that this gift would cease in the churches, just as would “prophecies” and “knowledge” in the sense of knowledge received by immediate supernatural power (cf. 14:6). The completion of the Holy Scriptures has provided the churches with all that is necessary for individual and collective guidance, instruction, and edification." (11)

(5)"But that gift of healing, like the rest of the miracles, which the Lord willed to be brought forth for a time, has vanished away in order to make the new preaching of the gospel marvelous forever." (12)

(6) "Tongues, they shall cease'. The significance of the Greek word (pauō) indicates that tongues would soon be “cut off” as their necessity in the process of New Testament revelation ceased. It is important to note that tongues are never mentioned again in the New Testament after this warning. Paul employs the neuter because he does not contemplate an individual. Thus, that which is perfect cannot refer to the coming of Christ Himself." (13)

So historically that’s what happened. Part-gifts began to vanish even before the New Testament was complete.

That’s why Tongues are not mentioned in Joel's prophecy – they were temporary.

That's why the writings of the early church fathers show miracle SIGN gifts had vanished. Anyone can check that. The only tongue speakers or prophets in the first five hundred years of church history were regarded as heretics.

That's why the rest of Church history doesn't give us thousands of examples of miracle SIGN gifts. We would expect to find these, if they continued. Yet with any miracle claim, scripture has authority over history and tells us what we should expect, regardless.

What Do We Find?

"97% of languages in Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia do not have the full bible in their language. The cost of bible translation is very high – both in terms of time, human effort and money” (Bible Society Iss.199 2012). Isn’t it about time that among the ‘millions’ of tongue speakers we can find at least one that can really miraculously speak in one of these languages and get the job done?

"There are 6,909 languages in the world. The full bible has been translated into 476 of those languages. 6,433 languages are still wanting to receive the bible". (Bible Society Iss.199 2012). Yet NOT ONE Pentecostal has come forward with their supernatural spiritual gift that could reach these ‘millions’ of lost souls. Why? Because what people speak today has no intelligent communication.

[a] Bible translators must study languages they don't have a gift of interpretation. No Bible version has been translated by such a gift. It's been that way since the days of the church fathers.
[b] Missionaries don't have a tongue gift. They must study languages. Its been that way since the church fathers.
[c] Students don't have a miracle gift of knowledge, they must go to college, read and study - since the church fathers.
[d] Preaching the gospel isn't confirmed by signs and miracles - since the church fathers. But it was so with the Apostles -

Mark 16:18-20 "These signs shall follow them….[they did] they shall speak in tongues, they shall take up serpents; when they drink anything deadly it shall not hurt them they shall heal the sick, and they will recover…. (Parallel statements, can't select one and ignore others). Today -

You can fool anyone about tongues 'Oh it's an unknown language, you don't know what it is'
You can fool anyone about the gift of healing, 'Oh they didn't have enough faith'
You can fool anyone about the gift of prophecy 'Oh you must wait a few years before its disproved'.
But you can't fool anyone about "drinking anything deadly" Try it once and you are dead.

Mark 16 - "They went forth preaching, the Lord working with them, confirming the word with signs" (they shall, future-tense).

Hebrews 2:3 "the Lord confirmed to us by those that heard him; God giving them (the apostles) witness, with signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Spirit…" (they had, past-tense)

That's what happened. God confirmed the Apostles with signs as they "went forth preaching". Today all kinds of people are claiming miracle gifts. Is God giving His stamp of approval on them? Yes or No? If you answer "no". But wait, that's the very reason WHY the signs were given in the first place. To confirm their message.

So if we believe they are given today, we should join a church with the most miracles Some will reply, 'Oh no, we can't do that'. Why not? Because "they might contradict the bible in practice and doctrine". So the bible is the test of correct doctrine – not the signs gifts? Yes! So God WILL not and CANNOT give such miracle sign-gifts today.

If He did, that would {a} detract from the testimony of scripture, already confirmed by miracles. And {b} belittle the miracles God gave to authenticate scripture.

Today if one drank poison and lived – it might indeed be a miracle, but wouldn’t prove the bible. God doesn't expect us to believe miracle claims today but does expect us to believe His Word which has greater authority than miracles. Note the real gift of healing in bible days -

Peter's shadow was enough for healing (Acts 5:15-16) Paul's handkerchief or apron was enough (Acts 19:11-12) Peter could say "In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk. And immediately he was healed…" Ac.3:6

(a) Without prepared atmosphere, immediate – permanent.
(b) Complete – not partial – all sicknesses (paralyzed – could be easily be proved)
(c) Enemies couldn't refute/deny the healing.

Yet numerous examples can be given of well-known Word-faith preachers whose faith failed them.

E.W. Kenyon died in a coma with a malignant tumor

John Wimber and his son Chris both died of cancer

A.A. Allen died from alcohol abuse

John Lake died of a stroke

Gordon Lindsey died of a heart condition

Kenneth Hagin’s son-in-law Buddy Harrison died of cancer

Kenneth Hagin’s sister died of cancer

Hagin’s wife was operated on and Hagin himself wore glasses until the day he died.

Kathryn Kuhlman died of heart disease

Daisy Osborn died of cancer from which she claimed was healed

Jamie Buckingham died of cancer

Fred Price sought chemotherapy for his wife

John Osteen sought medical help for his wife Dodie’s cancer

Charles Capps’ wife sought medical treatment for her cancer, as did Joyce Meyer

Mack Timberlake treated for throat cancer

R.W. Shambach a quadruple bypass

Prophet Keith Grayton died of AIDS complications

What Does Paul Mean? - "Prophecy is for believers"

Firstly, the difference between - illumination (given today) and revelation (not given today).

Illumination – The Holy Spirit reveals what scripture says, He expounds it, opens our eyes.
Revelation - God speaks directly with new information/His word (always right, never wrong).

(1) A Bible prophet received direct revelation of truth apart from scripture and they expounded scripture and reveal the future. As God revealed truth to them, they passed it on (1 Cor.15:3 Gal.1:11-12). It was like a miracle of knowledge. We preach what we know but they had information no one else had.

(2) After scripture was complete AND Apostles and prophets died, their office ceased. Scripture took their authority.

(3) In these days, scripture only refers to false prophets. Real prophets would conflict with the bible's authority/sufficiency and suggest its "imperfect" and we see "darkly".

(4) Modern day prophets are notorious for getting it wrong. They say we must "test them according to the bible" but if so, it proves if we have the Bible, we don't need them. God doesn't need them to speak, but when He speaks, it must be according to His Word, never part from it.

(5) When one today says, "Thus saith the Lord…." he's pretending God is speaking. Either it's deception, imagination, self-deception, or a lie. And the Apostle John warned, such may not necessarily even be Christian. Cults and false doctrine start with those pretending to be "prophets" or to speak as God -

Gnostics (direct knowledge of God)
Aum Supreme Truth Cult -- S Asahara
Manichaens -- Mani (comes the word ‘maniac’)
Montantists --- Montanta
Rosicrucian’s - - Christian Rosenkreutz
Theosophical Society - - Helena Petrovna
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn - - W.W. Wescott
Ordo Templi Orientis - - A. Crowley
The Process Church of the Final Judgement - - R.S. DeGrimston
The Family -- C. Manson
The Swedenborgians -- E Swedendorg
Mormons - - J Smith
Seventh-day Adventists --- W.Miller, H. Edson, E.G. White
Christian Science - - M. B. Eddy
Jehovah’s Witnesses --- C. T. Russell
The Moonies -- - S. M. Moon
The Jesus Freaks --- D Berg
The Jesus Army --- N. Stanton
The Peoples Temple - - J. Jones
The Davidians -- - V. Houteff
The Solar Temple - - - L. Jouret
Heavens Gate - - M.H. Applewhite
Islam --- Mohammed


The answer to whether the sign gifts are given today is found in scripture, if so then once again we don't need to seek the answer from the claims of men. Another evidence for their absence is the huge mess in churches that claim them today - the deception, trickery and confusion. There are no advantages or benefits. While this is only an observation, its reasonable evidence why God wouldn't give them today (we couldn't handle them). To blame their absence on unbelief goes against God's sovereignty – it's God who gives gifts, not men who get or take.

You disagree? Write and tell me why. mpp@xtra.co.nz


[1] Azusa Street. The Roots of Modern Day Pentecost. F Bartleman. Logos Inter. 1980. p.34, 36, 45 56, 87, 88, 104.

[2] A Study of the Gift of Tongues. CW Shumway A.B Thesis, Univ. of Southern Cali. 1914 pg.43-44
The Toronto Blessing and Slaying in the Spirit. N Mikhaiel publ. by Mikhaiel 1996 pg.241-242.
Azusa Street F Bartleman Logos Int. NJ 1980 p.66.
The Life of Edward Irving. A Dallimore Banner of Truth Trust. 1983 pg.115-117, 157.

[3] The Life of Edward Irving. A Dallimore. Banner of Truth Trust 1983. pg.160, 165.

[4] The Welsh Revival. T Phillips Banner of Truth Trust 1989. p.1-3. 23, 42, 44, 72.

[5] Ibid., A Dallimore. p.115. 131.

[6] Ibid., A Dallimore. p.131, 133

[7] Oswald Chambers. The Best from all his books. p.326 vol.2. Thomas Nelson publ. 1989

[8] THE SILENCE OF GOD p.87 Sir Robert Anderson.

[9] 1st Corinthians. NT Commentary. MacArthur, J. Thomas Nelson.

[10] Thru the Bible commentary.p.236.Vol.4. McGee, J. V.

[11] Expository Dictionary Bible Words. p.636 Vol.2 Vine, W. E.

[12] Institutes of the Christian Religion. p.463. Vol.4 Calvin J.

[13] KJV Bible Commentary 1 Cor.13:8. Hindon, Kroll ed.