This question is often asked by those the Lord has humbled to see the faulty foundation of the Charismatic movement. They often ask, “If I leave the Charismatic movement and their churches, what hope is there for me?” “If I should renounce my membership and fellowship with the Charismatic churches and follow the truth I have found, what next? What will my Christian life be like?” It is chiefly for the help of such people that I have prepared this article? Having experienced the depths of the Charismatic movement myself, before the Lord graciously delivered me from it, I seek to be of help to those who are concerned about the truth.
God comforted me while he gently drew me out of the Charismatic movement, and I seek to comfort those who have been so badly wounded and hurt by their involvement in the Charismatic movement. Truly, God “comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor. 1: 4).
Reader, before you go further, the question before you is “Have you been convinced that the present Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is un-scriptural? Have you been brought to see that the present movement that lays much claim on having the gifts and power of the Holy Ghost as the First Century church had is a fraud, and a counterfeit of the original Christianity?” These questions are of utmost importance, and if it be that you came across this article by chance(if chance it can be called), then I ask you to see our article “Few questions for the Spirit-filled Charismatic?”
As in our salvation from sin, so it is in our conversion from false religions and un-scriptural movements. As the cross of Christ holds no admiration for the sinner until he has been brought to see his sinfulness and his total inability to save himself, and his need for a Saviour, so this article will be of little or no importance to you until you are convinced that the present Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is a counterfeit of the original and historic Christianity. It was the wisest man on earth that said, “The full soul loathed an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet”(Proverbs 27:7). The soul that is full of his own righteousness and satisfied with his good works has no interest in a bleeding saviour; the man that is full of speaking in tongues and laughing in spirit has no delight in a bible study such as this. But if you, my reader, is a hungry soul, hungry for the truth and sound doctrine, assuredly, the truth that was once bitter to you at one time, you shall soon discover to be sweet.
God’s ways are totally opposed to man’s. Men serve the sweet before the bitter, but God allows the bitter to run its course, after which he brings in the sweet. Thus in the wedding at Cana of Galilee, the Lord allowed the bitter wine, the false doctrine and counterfeit to run its course before he gave them the sweet wine of sound doctrine and truth. While his mother Mary besought him, his reply was, “My time has not yet come.” And so it is with you my reader. You might be wondering, “Why did God not keep me from joining the Charismatic movement at first? Why did he not bring me to see the truth on time? Why did he wait till I had spent so many years in the false movement?” My dear, I asked the same questions as well. I wondered why the Lord had waited till I spent whole 8 years of my pastorate in the Charismatic movement(you can read my testimony here). Then, it was not clear to me, but now, I see that God, in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty, waited until the bitter wine of false doctrine and heresy had run its course in my life! My beloved, God never comes late!
God’s ways are higher than ours and we often wonder why it is so. This truth is fully brought out in the words of the ruler of the feast who “tasted the water that was made wine and knew not whence it was.” His words bear testimony that God’s ways are not man’s ways. He said, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, that that which is worst, but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:1-10).
Men advertise their best in the beginning and their worst at last. Not so with the all wise and all knowing God; he has kept for his children the best at last.
Thus the words of Solomon in Proverbs 27:7 is inspired, proving without fail that men who are full with what they have and with what they are into do always abhor the precious truth of God’s word which is as honey comb; but when they become hungry for the truth, that precious sound doctrine which was once bitter to their taste becomes sweet. A closer look at the words of the ruler of the feast will help us understand why the lord keeps the best at last. He said, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse.” Three things here worth our observation: 1) every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, 2) And when men have well drunk, 3)Then that which is worse. Many start with the good wine but end with that which is worse. But glad for you my reader that you started off at the beginning with the bad wine of false doctrine and unscriptural practices of carnal Christianity that has invaded the land, but are now(by God’s grace) ending with the good wine of sound doctrine. Glad for you, that after many years in the “counterfeit Christianity”, the Lord is drawing you into the authentic Christian faith!
As you apply yourself to the means of searching the scriptures daily, and proving all things, and not believing every spirit but tring the spirits if they are of God, you will soon exclaim like the governor of the feast, “O Lord, thou hast kept this best till now!”
Your many years in the Charismatic movement( or any other false practices) should not weigh you down, but rather, it should bestir you up to lay hold to eternal life, renouncing your involvement in them, and asking God to lead you in the way of his truth.
Look at Paul, for example, after spending many years in a damnable course, he could still boldly say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to me at that day”(2 Timothy 4:7-8).
How did Paul overcome his discouragements and challenges after his conversion from the damnable movement wherein he had been actively involved? The answer is this, “And straightway, he preached CHRIST in the synagogue, that he is the Son of God”( Acts 9:20). Will you do the same? Will you gird yourself with strength, and straightway(without further delay), preach it boldly that Jesus is the heart and limelight of the gospel, and of the Christian faith.
Satan besets the souls of genuine converts with the lie that there is no future and hope if he should leave the false movement. The convert often ask himself this question, “If I leave the Charismatic movement, what next?” to this and other similar questions we shall provide encouraging answers.
Question 1: “I have been brought up to believe that speaking in tongues is the evidence of extra-ordinary power endowed upon the believer, so if I leave the Charismatic movement, and stop speaking in tongues, won’t I be vulnerable to Satan’s attack?
Answer: This was the first lie Satan told me. The truth is that when we become true Christians and separate ourselves from the false practice of speaking in tongues, we do not become vulnerable to satan’s attack. The truth comes to light when we understand that, in the early church, not all spoke in tongues. the bible said it clearly that not all had the gift of speaking in tongues. “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all speak in tongues? do all interpret?”(1 Corinthians 12:29,30). Not all were apostles; not all were prophets; and not all spoke in tongues. were those who didn’t speak in tongues vulnerable to satan’s attack? No, it is not “speaking with tongues that protects us but the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:9-11).speaking in tongues is not a tower of refuge for the saints, but the name of Jesus: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe”(Pro. 18:10).
Reader, believe the truth that the name of the Lord alone is a strong tower. It was by that name that you came to experience his saving grace, “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”(Acts 4:12). No where in the Holy Writ is it written that tongues was given to protect the apostles from satan’s attack, rather, it was given them to aid them communicate the gospel in the languages of the foreigners. Christianity knew nothing of this false practice until Charles Parham came up with it in 1901.
Question 2: If I stop speaking in tongues, won’t I lose the anointing?
Answer: This is another lie which satan uses to keep men in bondage by telling them that they will lose the anointing. But what anointing? Is it the anointing which is given to all Christian so that they can understand God’s word easily, and to keep them from error(1 John 2:18-27), or is it the charismatic anointing which throws people backwards, and make them roll on the floor? If it is the former, it cannot be lost, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”(Romans 11:29); but if it is the latter, that is the charismatic anointing, then you are going to lose it because it is not of God. The Lord gives his people a sound mind(2 Timothy 1:7), he does not throw them into a fit.
Question 3: If I stop speaking in tongues, and leave the Charismatic movement, I will lose my salvation, or I will no longer be sure that I am saved.
Answer: the evidence of the New Birth, and of true grace in the heart is bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit as written in Galatians 5:22-23), not by speaking in tongues. a tree is known by its fruits, not by its gifts. Good fruit is the evidence of a good tree. Read Matthew 7:15-20.
Question 4: If I leave the Charismatic movement, and stop their false practices of speaking in tongues, and laughing in spirit, is it true I won’t have the power and authority to bind the devil again?
Answer: I used to think so as well. I used to wonder how I can have power to bind Satan if I should stop speaking in tongues. but the truth is that there is noit one single passage in the bible where we are told to bind the devil, or to pray and destroy Satan. The CP, in their blind claim to having the gifts of the Holy Spirit pervert the Scriptures and make it say what it does not say. Let us take a closer look to the passages upon which the CP lay build their doctrine of binding the devil.
Matthew 16:17-19: and Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood have not revealed this to thee but my father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever thou shalt lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The CP always pervert this glorious passage of the bible to mean that Peter was given the keys and authority to bind the gates of hell so that they will not prevail against his ministry. They come very close to the Roman Catholic blasphemy that the Church was built on Peter! What is this verse of the bible saying. Needless to beat about the bush, let me just say what J. C. Ryle commented on this passage. He wrote:
“But what are we to understand when we read the promise which the Lord made to Peter, “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven”? do these words mean that the right to admitting souls into heaven were placed in Peter’s hand? The idea is preposterous. Such an office is the special prerogative of Christ himself(Rev. 1:18). Do the words mean that Peter was to have any primacy or superiority over the rest of the apostles? There is not the slightest proof that such a meaning was attached to the words in the New Testament times, or that Peter had any rank or dignity above the rest of the twelve. The true meaning of the promise to Peter appears to be, that he was to have the special privilege of first opening the doors of salvation, both to the Jews and Gentiles. This was fulfilled to the letter, when he preached on the day of Pentecost to the Jews, and visited the Gentile Cornelius at his own house. On each occasion, he used “the keys” and threw open the door of faith. And of this he seems to be sensible himself—“God”, he says, “made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the words of the gospel, and believe”(Acts 15:7). Finally, what are to understand when we read the words, “Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven”? does this mean that the apostle Peter was to have any power of forgiving sins, and absolving sinners,(or binding Satan)? Such an idea is derogatory to Christ’s special office, as our great High Priest. It is a power which we never find Peter or any of the apostles once exercising. They always refer men to Christ. The true meaning of this promise appears to be, that Peter and his brethren, the apostles, were to be specially commissioned to teach with authority the way of salvation. Beside this, they were to be specially inspired to lay down the rules and regulations for the guidance of the church on disputed questions. Some things they were to “bind” or forbid; some things they were to loose or allow. The decision of the council at Jerusalem, that the Gentiles needed not be circumcised, was one the example of the exercise of this power (Acts 15:19). But it was a commission specially confined to the apostles. In discharging it they had no successors. With them it began, and with them it expired. We will leave the controverted words here. Enough, perhaps have been said upon them for personal edification. Let us only remember that in whatever sense men take them, they have nothing to do with the Church of Rome [nor the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement.]” – J. C. Ryle, Expository thought on the Gospels.
Question 5: If I leave the Charismatic movement, will I still have believers to fellowship with?
Answer: Yes! Yes! There are many dear saints who have not bowed thee knee to baal, nor kissed his feet: saints who have not bought into this lie of the Charismatic movement. They still stand firm, and love the Lord Jesus Christ and his word. It may take you a long time to find them. Some of them might be near you and you won’t know it, because their servces are always very quiet and reverent, unlike that of the Charismatics which is known for its loud noises and heavy Christian rock and roll music. God still has his remnant on earth. So I advice you withdraw from the Charismatic movement. Give yourself first to God, and search the internet to see if there is any true Bible believing church around you. The Lord usually leads his people in the right place. The scripture is true, “Ye shall seek me and find me when ye seek me with all your heart”(Jeremiah 29:13).
Question 6: I have read and heard that those who reject the Charismatic practices try to explain away the existence of evil spirits, and they do not believe the devil exists?
Answer: that was what I read in Kenneth Hagin’s books, and all of the rest of them. Satan and his works is all that these heretics talk about. And to be sure that they make people buy into their heresy, they paint black those who practice the truth. I used to believe these liars until I came across the true Christians.
Reader, remember what the wise Solomon said, “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just, but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him out”(Proverbs 18:17).
Here is what true Christians believe: they believe that Satan, demons and unclean spirits exist, and that they carry out there evil operations here on earth. These evil forces are responsible for many evil that happen here on earth, like diseases, sicknesses, strange untimely deaths, accidents, etc. the woman who was bent over, and could in no wise raise herself up for 18 years was deformed by an evil spirit which our Lord identified as “the spirit of infirmity”(Luke 13:11-13), an evil spirit was sent to afflict Paul, and Satan hindered Paul twice from visiting the Thessalonian brethren. We do not try to explain away the existence of Satan and evil spirits. We know he exists, and he seeks to destroy men’s lives. He is the “roaring lion seeking for whom to devour”(1 Peter 5:8). But we believe that Satan and all the hosts of evil spirits do not and cannot lift up a finger, nay, they cannot even blink an eye without the permission of our Almighty God. Satan is like a worm before our Omnipotent God, and for this reason we do not make Satan the object of our gospel preaching. We walk worthy of the Lord who has called us to worship him, committing ourselves and our loved ones into his hand, and through the eyes of faith, we look down on Satan, yea, even ignoring him as though he does not exist. Faith does not magnify the power of Satan but the power and the work of God. We have set they Almighty God before our eyes, and we cannot buy into the Charismatic lie that Satan is Omnipotent. Our God is able to keep his people, and he does keep them.
Reader, as powerful and wicked as Satan is, he cannot even harm a sparrow in flight without our Father’s command. If the sparrow feels safe in the air, why can’t you throw yourself into the Omnipotent arms and feel safe there. Alas, false prophets have sowed the seed of fear into your heart. Reader, with God you are safe! The God who made the world rules the world he has made. Glory! Dare to believe God!
Those days when the Lord was convicting me of the heresies of the Charismatic movement, one area that disturb me most was the “binding and loosing of devil” in prayer, the Lord dropped a passage of the scriptures in my heart, “We know that whosoever sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not”(1 John 5:18). This passage helped me understand my responsibility, and it gave me the right understanding of what some call “spiritual warfare”. Spiritual warfare, to me, is to keep yourself from sin, and keep yourself in the commandment of God. If you do this, God’s sure promise is that the wicked one will touch you.
Again, “He that is born of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not.”