Monday, October 1, 2018
Signs and Wonders?
It is ironic that Charismatics, who consider themselves experts on the Holy Spirit, completely misunderstand the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. Does the Bible teach that the Holy Spirit came so that we could have a wonderful, subjective experience? So that we could have wonderful religious sensations? So that we could feel electric current in our bodies? So that we could have an exciting, mind-blowing experience? So the our worship services would make people go, “Wow, how thrilling”? Does the Bible teach that the Holy Spirit came so that people would focus on the Holy Spirit? So that people would hang banners with representations of doves in their churches and have seminars on Spirit-baptism, etc.? No, not at all. Listen carefully to what Jesus Christ says about the Spirit’s ministry: “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come…He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (Jn.16:13-14). The Holy Spirit came to point me to Christ and to glorify Christ. After Peter was baptized in the Spirit, did he stand up and tell the crowd about his wonderful experience? Did he say, “Men and brethren, I have just received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and I want to tell you how wonderful it is. When it came upon me, it was like being thrilled with a vital electric current. I felt such a beautiful love and peace course through my whole body, right down to the balls of my feet”? On the contrary, Peter made no reference to himself or his feeling. His message was Jesus Christ and Him crucified: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God…” (Ac. 2:22). . . .
The Bible teaches that signs are public, visible, miraculous events. Their purpose was not to give believers exciting worship services or a wonderful experience but to authenticate a divine message or messenger, to prove publicly that the person performing miracles was sent from God.
Brian M. Schwertley, The Charismatic Movement: A Biblical Critique, pg.10-11, 30-31.