WORKERS TOGETHER WITH GOD
Beware of False Teachers By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
The false teachers who seek to justify their unbelief and lack of ability to help the sick and needy, have formulated a most unscriptural position on the matter. By taking individual scriptures out of context and totally misinterpreting the Word of God, they have built their private doctrine. Here is their teaching:
"When that which is perfect shall come", does not mean the coming of Christ to rapture the Church and glorify the saints, but rather when all the New Testament Scriptures had been compiled, the Word of God was perfect.
Therefore, we don't need any more miracles in the church
As scriptural proof, they quote James 1:21-25. "…. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed".
By taking the words of St. Paul, “When that which is perfect shall come”, and tying them with James’ words regarding the Word of God, “The perfect law of liberty”, they have formulated a doctrine that is contrary to God’s Word, that is an abomination and a lie!
Any Biblical scholar using proper hermeneutics would refuse to even consider such an unscholarly approach to Bible interpretation! St. Peter warned of simple, unlearned men who "twist the word of God to their own destruction". (2 Peter 3:15-16)
PREACH NO OTHER GOSPEL!
1). The Perfect Law of Liberty had already been given by St. Paul himself, which was namely the law of grace, as an opposite to the law of works.
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1). He continues, "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty: only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Gal. 5:13-14)
Finally, it was the teaching of the Law of Grace that caused St. Peter to write of “the unlearned”, who were taking St. Paul's deep profound teaching of the Law of Grace and twisting it into the 'once saved-always saved' doctrine! Some have used this doctrine as an excuse- turned the grace of God into a 'disgrace'.
Other “unlearned ones” have twisted St. Paul’s writings concerning the ‘Rapture of the Church’ to promote their own doctrines!
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Peter 3:15-17)
2). If anyone had the final word on the scripture, it was St. Paul, to whom God revealed "the mystery of Christ" (Christ in the believer). These false teachers contradict St. Paul, whom God used to write more than one-half of the New Testament? "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints." (Col. 1:26)
St. Paul declared, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed". (Gal. 1:8-9)
Interpreters of scripture must follow the "law of Bible interpretation" and proper "disciplines of hermeneutics”. Dishonest Bible interpretations and maneuvering, with the intended purpose of pushing or forcing a scripture to mean something different, to benefit a man-made church doctrine, is extremely wrong and erroneous!
BECAUSE OF YOUR UNBELIEF!
In the last days - before the Coming of Christ - the powers of Satan shall be unleashed upon the earth in every conceivable opposition against the Church, as well as against humanity at large. To this agrees the Revelator: "Woe to the inhabitors of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
The Church, however, will overcome Satan even if it means Martyrdom! “And they (saints) overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Rev. 12:11,12)
Dr. A.B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian & Missionary Alliance said virtually the same thing. Regarding Divine Healing, he declared that as we approach the end, Satan will bring upon the Church all manner of sickness and demon oppression, but the Church will be filled with the Holy Spirit and power to bring healing and deliverance to the people. Praise God!
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, declared, “The only method of physics employed by the Early Church for the first 400 years of her existence was the Prayer of Faith. Miracles were to remain in the Church for the entire Church Age, but have been lost to the Church, because of unbelief"!
This agrees with the Scriptures. When answering the disciples as to why they could not cast out the devils from the deaf and dumb boy, Jesus said, "Because of your unbelief"! (Matt. 17:20). He also stated that “prayer and fasting" are pre-requisites to obtaining power with God!!
The problem in the church today, it appears, is that those who have done away with miracles, divine healing and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, have also done away with prayer and fasting. They major mostly in modernism and UNBELIEF,
APPROACHING THE END OF TIME!
A great sweeping revival will definitely touch the lives of multitudes more, before our Lord Jesus returns, as we are now seeing! Note the words of St. Peter, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which was preached unto you: Whom the Heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things..." (Acts 3:19-21)
All prophetic Scriptures point to an increase of God's power within the Church before the Coming of Jesus, instead of less!
The Bible says, "The glory of this latter house (the Church) shall be greater than the former..." (Hag. 2:9) And if the former rain that fell at Pentecost was only "moderate", how much more powerful will be the Latter Rain in this End-time? (Joel 2:23; Acts 2:16-17)
To this agree the Words of Jesus Christ: "The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works that these shall ye do. Because I go unto My Father". (John 14:12)
He promised to send the Holy Spirit who would Work through Christ’s followers and disciples universally. Jesus could only be in one place at one time when He walked upon the earth - in His flesh and blood body - but the Holy Spirit works universally. He called the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, “the promise of the Father”! (Acts 2:33) Jesus said, "...It is expedient (necessary) for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you..." (John 16:7)
What are some of the Greater Works? Jesus did not preach to millions of people on TV like we do today. It is estimated His total aggregate crowds never exceeded 30,000 persons and He only travelled about 100 miles away from His home!
German Evangelist Reinhard Bonke preached to crowds of more than one million people in Africa, winning millions of souls for Jesus!
By God's grace, I have personally preached the Gospel to great multitudes on many occasions during the past 45 years and seen staggering miracles simply by people receiving an anointed cloth, thousands of miles away. Jesus is doing the promised 'Greater Works' today through the Blessed Holy Spirit.
GREATER WORKS BY HOLY SPIRIT!
Certainly, the influence of the Holy Spirit in the Church today is the single most important factor in producing the greater works Jesus spoke of. None of Jesus’ disciples spoke with tongues until after He had ascended to Heaven, even though they had healed the sick, cast out devils and raised the dead!
God, the Holy Spirit, worked miracles through Paul's handkerchiefs, Peter's shadow and today through the radio, T.V. and many other ways! There is no greater miracle, however, than raising the dead, which Jesus did!
The Bible says, “The last enemy which shall be destroyed is death”. (1 Cor. 15:26). It is impossible to do more staggering miracles than JESUS did! What did our Lord mean, then?
He was referring to the Holy Spirit's descent upon the Church, and His followers taking His Gospel to the nations of the earth with great power! The greater works He was referring to are the Gift of the Holy Spirit operating through His church!
Sceptics will say, "You believe all that stuff about the Greater Works? Where are the Greater Works? Have you raised the dead? The greater works are Non-Existent"!
Unbelievers will say, "I don't need tongues; I don't need the nine spiritual gifts; I have love"! Well, to begin with, love is a fruit of the Spirit, not a gift of the Spirit! (1 Cor. 12:7-11; Gal. 5:22)
Then they say, "Of all the nine spiritual gifts, tongues is the least since it is mentioned last! To answer that statement, let me say three things:
1) - Just because tongues is mentioned last, doesn't make it the least. However, if it is the least, St. Paul says it should receive special attention! (1 Cor. 12:22-23)
2) - According to the Bible, tongues together with the interpretation of tongues is equal in value and importance to prophecy. (1 Cor. 14:5)
3) - If tongues are in fact the least of the Gifts, then everyone should at least have the least! I say to these people, "You've got to start at the bottom and at least, have the least"!
Then, they counter by saying in the words of Paul, "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret"? (1 Cor. 12:29, 30)
Of course, the answer is “no”! All do not have the gifts, but some do have one or more of the gifts of the Blessed Spirit of God in their lives! God gives the gifts severally as He wills or chooses. (1 Cor. 12:11). However, we are admonished to desire spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 14:1)
HERE'S THE BIBLE PATTERN!
Some church organizations have taken the position that the gifts of the Holy Spirit died with the last apostle. They say that God introduced the mighty artillery of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Divine Healings, Miracles of all kinds and Supernatural Signs and Wonders only to get the Body of Christ to function.
And when the Church was set in order, He took away the healing power of the Holy Spirit and said, "You have begun in the Spirit, Now continue in the Flesh"! (Modernistic Theology)
Do we consider ourselves so intellectual, that what St. Paul could not do intellectually and naturally, we can do? Is it because we are so learned, understand psychology, and have a degree in human behaviour? Out with such sick philosophy from among us!
St. Paul declared, "I have made the heathen obedient (not by debate or discussions) by signs and wonders...by the Full Gospel"! (Rom. 15:18-19).The learned man Paul, said, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God". (1 Cor. 2:4-5)
He also declared: “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them that are puffed up, but the power! (1 Cor. 4:19)
Again, this intellectual giant stated, "I count all things but dung (garbage) that I might win Christ". (Phil 3:8). Finally, St. Paul emphasized, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power”! (1 Cor. 2:4)
DO NOT ERR BELOVED BRETHREN!
The humanistic, man-made teachings of our carnal (in the flesh) evangelical brethren would be tantamount to sending our troops into battle against a highly trained enemy with all the sophisticated weapons of modern warfare, fighter aircraft, atomic powered submarines, anti-tank missiles and up-to-date surveillance units.
Then after we had won a few skirmishes, established our positions, demolished some enemy targets, we would withdraw all the explosive fire power and tell our officers; “The rules have now been changed. You must now talk your way out of every situation. You must win the battle, but only be conversing with the enemy! You must crush the enemy through negotiation only”.
How utterly ridiculous that sounds and yet that is the psychology, theology, and position of many ignorant, deceived church leaders. Jesus declared, "Ye do err, not knowing the scripture, neither the power of God". (Matt. 22:29)
Jesus asked His disciples "Who do men say that I am? They answered, some say you are John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets"! Then Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am"? Peter anointed by the Holy Spirit declared, "...Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God". (Matt. 16:16)
If you take the supernatural power of Christ out of the church, you are left with nothing! How ridiculous - in the natural - to believe that the son of Joseph and Mary was the Son of God! Many believed that Joseph was the father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that Jesus was a bastard, conceived out of wedlock.
The Jewish Talmud (for nearly 2000 years) have not refuted their original blasphemous statement, calling Jesus Christ “Ha Taluy” - The Hanged One, and “Ben-Pantera”, the son of a Roman soldier named Pantheras!
Many believe - even to this day - that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead. That the soldiers fell asleep and His disciples broke the Roman seal, rolled away the 2,000 lb. stone and carried away the dead body of Jesus!
It is more difficult to believe such blasphemous garbage than to believe the truth that God supernaturally sent His Son into this world! That He was born of a virgin woman, lived a righteous life, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead for our justification!
These questions trouble atheists and agnostic: Who broke the Roman seal and rolled the stone away? Why were the guards lying unconscious on the ground? Where was the body of Jesus? Why did He leave without His clothing? Why did Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Jesus' followers, convert and become their leading evangelist and theologian?
Other Church leaders say strange and unscriptural things. For example: “Yes, the gifts of the Spirit are genuine, and some receive them but if you do, please don't tell anyone. And use them only sparingly”. Their policy is "Forbid not - Seek not"!
That, my friends, is totally unscriptural. It is true that St. Paul stated, "...Forbid not to speak with tongues", (1 Cor. 14:39) but he did not say, seek not the gifts. To the contrary, the great apostle stated:
No. 1 - Be not ignorant of the gifts (1 Cor. 12:1)
No. 2 - Covet earnestly the best gifts (1 Cor. 12:31)
No. 3 - Use the gifts for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the congregation. (1 Cor. 14:3)
No. 4 - Operate the gifts with love and consideration for others. (1 Cor. 13)
No. 5 - Desire Spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 14:1)
Now, that is the scriptural way to operate in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit of God!
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation (showing forth, expression, revealing) of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; To another prophecy; To another divers kinds of tongues; To another the interpretation of tongues:
"But all these worketh that One and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will." (1 Cor. 12:4-11). God is a Worker! He is the Creator and He is unique in the Universe because He is original. His designs are found everywhere because His Work shows forth His glory!
The uniqueness of His universe, the perfection of His designs in nature, earth, heavenly bodies, seasons, and man himself, is enough to cause intelligent people to worship Him as the Eternal God.
Man is His greatest creation, made in His own image! Man, who was created without sin until he fell by disobedience and rebellion is given the ability to work with God, when he receives new life in the Spirit by the New Birth.
Man is then lifted into Heavenly places in Christ and given an opportunity to labour with Him by the nine supernatural Spiritual Gifts, which are resident in the Blessed Holy Spirit! The Baptism of the Holy Spirit sets the stage, opens the Treasure house and gives the believer the KEY to Power with God! (Acts 2:4)
Here are some things we should know about God and His nine Spiritual gifts as found in 1 Corinthians chapter 12.
No. 1 - God does not want us to be ignorant concerning His power, gifts, or operations. He wants us to become enlightened. (1 Cor. 12:1)
No. 2 - God has given us the operator's manual to effectively use His Divine Tools correctly. He does not want us to abuse His gifts. (1 Cor. 13)
No. 3 - The pre-requisites for receiving the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are five-fold:
a) Availability - James 4:7, 8
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
b) Obedience - Acts 5:32
"And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him."
c) Hunger & Thirst - Matt. 5:6
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
d) Faith - Heb. 11:6
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
e) Appropriation of Scriptures personally - Luke 11:13
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"
1) His gifts are designed to work - To do the job that they are designed to do! His gifts do work, and God is a worker!
“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." (1 Cor. 12:6, 11)
2) The Holy Spirit manifests Himself audibly and visibly through His gifts operating in the lives of believers, unlike the gods of wood and stone which the heathen worship; that do not see, hear nor speak.
St. Paul makes a comparison - in his letter to the Corinthians - between their former “dumb (mute, silent) idols” which could not speak or hear, with the Living God Who both speaks and hears! (v.2)
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." (vs. 7)
3) Every believer can have some gift or manifestation of the Spirit in his life. (vs. 7): “...is given to every man...”
4) God gives the gifts to believers "severally" or as He (the Holy Spirit) wills.
God knows which gift or number of gifts would be best operated through us and grants that gift or gifts. (vs. 11)
5) Every member of the body of Christ is important and we are all members of the body of Christ irrespective of our office, calling or gifts, which God has allowed us to use for His Glory. (vs. 12-24)
6) God wants us to honour Him, prefer one another and be in the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of love. Also, to care for one another while operating His gifts. (vs. 25-27; 1 Cor. 13:1-3)
7) God commands us to covet spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:31), operate the gifts with love in our hearts and have concern for the Church body (1 Cor. 14:1), "...God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues". (1 Cor. 12:28)
What God has set in the Church is there to stay until the end of the Church Age!
To this agrees St. Paul in another scripture, "The gifts and callings of God are without repentance". (Rom. 11:29)
YOU CAN'T PUT GOD IN A STRAIGHT JACKET
God cannot be placed in a mold, but you can rest assured that He will confirm His own Word. He and His Word agree totally, as does the Blessed Holy Spirit!
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the Water (the Word), and the Blood: and these three agree in one". (1 John 5:7-8)
Some false cults ask their followers to pray about certain teachings, such as the cursed "serpent seed" doctrine. When you pray, they say, "God will reveal the truth (in fact, treacherous error) to your heart".
You do not need to pray to learn the will of God about something that you already know! God’s will for you is in His Word, and His Word is His will! Read the Word of God and you will know His truth.
If a doctrine is opposed to God's Word, do not pray for Him to show you if it is right or not. You know it is wrong when His Word has already condemned it as false! If you do, you are questioning God's Word as much as Eve did in the garden of Eden, and you will be deceived!
YOU ALREADY KNOW BY USING SOUND BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION & HERMANUETIC PRINCIPLES, THAT IT IS FALSE! DON’T PLAY THE DEVIL’S GAME!
If you pray to receive more truth, (error) when you already know that a teaching does not line up with the Bible, evil spirits from hell will take over and deceive you! You will open the door to the devil who appears as an Angel of Light to deceive you and damn your soul.
St. Paul warns: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)
The Mormons say, "Why don't you pray about it? God will show you. It will be revealed to you. You will feel a burning in your bosom!" The "burning in the bosom" which Joseph Smith wrote about is a manifestation of an "evil spirit coming as an angel of light to deceive the unsuspecting".
St. Paul warned, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8-9)
Some evangelicals who oppose the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Divine Healing - by the stripes of Jesus Christ - do so because at one time they sought God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit without success. Or since an acquaintance or loved one failed to receive Divine Healing after prayer, they have concluded that there is nothing to it, or it is not for today!
Usually, they will tell you that they sought God about these truths and received word that, "It could be dangerous; it is not for today; the devil makes people speak in tongues; they might get a foreign spirit"!
You can mark it down, my friend, that the devil has whispered in their hearts and lied to them in order to make them ineffective, cause a schism in the body of Christ and keep them in a state of fear!
We do not need to pray about the reality of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. We don't need to pray about God's Will to heal the sick, for by His stripes, we are healed! (Isa. 53:5):
"...Himself (Jesus) took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses." (Matt. 8:17; 3 John 2; Ps. 103:1-2; James 5:14; Acts 2:22; Heb. 2:4; Mark 16:15-18). Hallelujah!
The Word of God is the Will of God. Before He died and arose from the dead, Jesus gave us His last will and testament. It is still good today!
No one can change a person's Last Will or Testament after his death! Anyone who tampers with a person's last will becomes a forgery, has broken the law and committed a criminal act! Such a person should be incarcerated or fined!
The Holy Bible is Christ’s Last Will and any addition or later revelation is a forgery and a Lie! Therefore, the Book of Mormon is a diabolical counterfeit!
God’s Word warns those who refuse the Baptism of the Holy Ghost: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
“But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isaiah 28:11-13
DIVERSITIES OF GIFTS & OPERATIONS!
In the Divine Economy of God, there are five ministry gifts, as well as nine spiritual gifts. There are also nine fruits of the Spirit. Then on the negative side of the ledger in the world, we find seventeen works of the flesh. In the subsequent chapter, we will cover the fruit of the Spirit versus the works of the flesh. Let us now consider the Nine Spiritual Gifts:
St. Paul reminds us that although there are nine supernatural, spiritual gifts available for the Church of Christ to use, in the edifying, comforting, exhorting, caring and healing of the body of Christ, they are all operated by the believer in the power of the One and self-same Holy Spirit.
1) There are diversities of gifts: Nine individual, separate gifts (all different but all working together).
2) There are differences of administration: (may be administered differently by different believers in various areas of the world; different people and cultures with different needs. No two people are alike, however the Holy Spirit uses them according to their ability, faith and the need of the hour.
3) There are diversities of operations: The nine spiritual gifts are divided into three groups of three. Their operation depends on the personality of the individual, the yieldedness of the believer or believers as well as the mentality, culture and knowledge in the Word, faith and practice of the believer.
God is limited in His gifts, only by:
- our availability to be used of God, or lack of it.
- our reliability or lack of it.
- our faith or lack of it.
- our response to the need or lack of it.
- our response to the moving of the Holy Spirit or lack of it.
- our spiritual attitude during the worship service.
Notice: - the gifts are operated only by believers in Christ! (1 Cor. 12:3)
The basic, central truth is that God works His operations by His gifts through various human agencies, for the benefit of the people, the winning of precious souls to Christ, the upbuilding of God's Kingdom and for His glory alone!
No one that calls Jesus accursed, disbelieves the Bible or the authority of the Son of God, can know Christ, be a part of His Kingdom or operate His gifts. And no one can truly say, "Jesus Christ is Lord" and mean it - by a dedicated sold-out life to our Saviour - without being inspired by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:3)
THREE GROUPS OF THREE
The nine supernatural gifts are divided into three groups of three. (diversities of operations)
GROUP 1: Gifts of Divine Inspiration & Revelation.
1) The Gift of the Word of Knowledge (v. 8)
2) The Gift of the Word of Wisdom (v. 8)
3) The Gift of Discerning of Spirits (v. 10)
GROUP 2: Gifts of Divine Power & Creative Ability.
4) The Gift of Faith (v. 9)
5) The Gifts of Healing (v. 9)
6) The Gift of Miracles (v. 10)
GROUP 3: Gifts of Divine Utterance or Speech.
7) The Gift of Diverse Kinds of Tongues (v. 10)
8) The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues (v. 10)
9) The Gift of Prophecy (v. 10)
--To be continued.