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Joined: 03/16/2005
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Posted: 05/19/2012 at 6:00pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

JESUS YOU AND THE BIBLE'S BIG BATTLE

Charles Carrin


Galatians 1:6-9. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

Since the beginning of the written Word, Scripture has been the battle-ground for religious wars. In Jesus' day, the Pharisees and Sadducees fought among themselves and with Him about their personal interpretations. If we examine their struggle closely however we discover the issue was not so much to protect Scripture as to preserve their personal identities that were dependent on it. The same struggle exists among Christians today. Then–as now–the basic motivation in many theological battles is self-preservation. This is sometimes true of pastors, local congregations, and/or large denominations. In such situations the “Kingdom identity”of the parties involved is totally sacrificed for the sake of protecting their religious ambitions. I do not say this to be unkind. Not at all, I love all Christian bodies and the people in them. It is my desire to help correct problems–not cause them.

While the Pharisees and Sadducees bitterly opposed each other in some issues, they were welded together in their opposition against Jesus. His seeming-disrespect for the Sabbath united their anger. Simply stated, the conflict was between their religion and His spirituality. This fact boiled to the surface immediately after He raised Lazarus from the dead. In an urgently-called Council of the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees said of Jesus, "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." John 11:48.

The issue of whether or not Jesus was the Messiah was no longer the major concern. The fear was that "everyone will believe in Him;" that is, Jews and Gentiles will universally accept the same spiritual leader, ethnic and religious differences will disappear, personal identities will be lost, and "the Romans will come and take away both our place and (our) nation." This is identical to what happens today when church leaders are confronted with truths that threaten "their place and their nation." Those parts of Scripture that jeopardize denominational identity are quickly anesthetized. It is done theologically, yes, but the result is absolutely the same. The threatening parts are no longer the real threat. The change that is necessitated by new truth is the threat. Even when confronted with truth, religion does not want to convert.

In our day, a major one of these doctrines has the official name of “Cessation Theology”. It claims that God withdrew the Holy Spirit’s miraculous gifts from the church when the New Testament was fully written. Any passage which speaks of such gifts is now invalid and should be ignored. Consequently, the church is no longer to blame for its failure or the absence of miraculous power. God is to blame. That settles it with some Christians and any further discussion is not tolerated. Anger flares if their opinion is challenged. Even though no one can provide a list of the scriptures which have become invalid–discussion of the subject is not allowed.

But, does Scripture say that about itself? Jesus said: “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My words will by no means pass away." Matthew 24:35.

God the Father said: "My Covenant I will not break nor alter the Word that is gone out of my lips." Psalm 89:34.

Jesus said to the Father: "For I have given to them (the disciples) the words which You have given Me, and they have received them ..." John 17:8.

Peter said: "But the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you." I Peter 1:25.

Peter said again: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." II Peter 1:21.

Paul said: "Be diligent ... rightly dividing the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15.

Paul said again: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable." II Timothy 3:16.

Paul said once more: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8.

David said: "Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven." Psalm 119:89.

Do I believe in the inspiration and continuing validity of all New Testament scriptures? Absolutely! Every church, every pastor, is accountable to God for preaching the full New Covenant message. But we cannot do that without the same power-source on which Jesus depended. On the Day of Ascension, He told the disciples at the Mount of Olives, "John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. That wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the blessing. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost experienced the same empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Identically, today, multiplied millions around the world have stepped into the Spirit's wondrous baptism.

The Apostle Paul, was born-again on the Damascus road and later received the Holy Spirit's impartation by Ananias’ laying-on-of-hands in the Damascus room. As an Apostle, this man later wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine Authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.

The Apostle begins his dissertation with the plea: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant." 12:1. Interestingly, this appeal that we "not be ignorant" appears seven times in the New Testament; once by Peter, six times by Paul. Each time, the request reveals an especially deep concern of the writer. Its appearance here should command the attention of every conscientious believer. The Apostle then proceeds carefully to detail the operation of nine grace-works of the Spirit. These are the direct result of the Spirit's baptism. Having defended the need and purpose of the gifts, Paul then concludes his discourse with the stirring rebuke, "But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant." 14:38. In other words, he says, "After this careful explanation of spiritual gifts, if anyone refuses to learn, I have nothing more to say to him. Let him remain illiterate!"

Paul seemingly anticipated that some believers would reject his teaching on miraculous works of the Spirit and added this harsh warning: "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." I Corinthians 14:37. What are the "commandments" of which he speaks? The answer: The Apostolic teachings on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12 and 14 speak with God's authority as much as any other of Paul's writings. We are no more at liberty to reject these Biblically mandated instructions than any other commandment of the Lord.

Until recent years, there was probably no other subject about which the Church was more ignorant than that of spiritual gifts. Instead of heeding Paul's instruction, the Church engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in full view of Paul's exhortation that we: "Earnestly desire spiritual gifts." I Corinthians 12:31.2."Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." 14:1.3."Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel." 14:12. These admonitions do not indicate the reluctance that typifies the modern church's attitude against spiritual gifts.

There was no such lukewarmness on the part of Paul or the Corinthians. Identically, believers today are encouraged to exercise the gifts for the benefit of everyone: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills ... But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant." I Corinthians 12:1;4-11;38.

The argument immediately arises, "These gifts passed away." Paul did not believe that. Nor does the New Testament teach it. In the introduction of his Corinthian letters (29 chapters and longest of all New Testament writings) Paul exhorted believers to " ... Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:7. In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church's waiting for Jesus' return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said. There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of Jesus' offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. What a tragic loss to contemporary Christianity!!!

The most common attack against Scripture centers upon the reliability of ancient manuscripts and their having been copied numerous times. Since we have only copies and not the original works of the apostolic writers, how can we intelligently defend a book that is thousands of years old? Our defense of the Bible academically can begin with this observation: There are no original copies of any of the following ancient manuscripts. For example,

1. Plato: Greek philosopher. His writings are found in a mere seven manuscripts, the oldest copy written twelve hundred years after his death.

2. Aristotle: Greek philosopher, student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great. Only five copies of any one work of Aristotle exist, and none of these were written less than fourteen hundred years after his death.

3. Herodotus: Greek historian. Only eight manuscripts survive; these were copied thirteen hundred years after the original.

4. Euripides: Greek playwright. Nine manuscripts exist, dated thirteen hundred years after they were first written.

One is immediately struck by the scarcity of copies of these authors and the vast time lapse between the originals and today's reproductions. Yet no one questions their authenticity. Contrast the scarcity of works done by these secular writers to the abundance of  New Testament copies. Renown scholar and professor, Dr. F.F. Bruce, verified approximately 4,000 ancient Greek New Testaments still in existence. Two complete manuscripts are dated less than three hundred years after the original. Most of the New Testament is preserved in copies written less than two hundred years after Jesus. Some existing books were composed about one hundred years after the originals. Part of one book came within a generation of the first-century. Recently, earlier fragments have been found.

If approximately four thousand ancient New Testament manuscripts survived the ravages of time, we are overwhelmed with this question: How large was the original number of others, now lost, that exploded upon the public in the first centuries? What was the motivation–the power–that excited early believers into mass production of this book? The answer, of course, is that the book itself was composed by the Holy Spirit and contained His miraculous anointing. Those who read it became motivated to copy and preserve it. The Bible's claim to authenticity is totally beyond the reach of all other writers of antiquity. As believers, we stand secure in its reliability.

But, someone asks, why do I need to believe all the New Testament scriptures and to experience spiritual gifts? Here are a few of the many reasons:

1.Jesus said you needed them.

2.Without them, you are an incomplete disciple.

3.Good as you presently are, your personal life will be better with them.

4.You need to be moved out of "carnal" effort into spiritual effort.

5.The Spirit’s baptism releases power in your life which can be gained no other way.

6.The baptism will bring astonishing, remarkable information to you personally.

7.The Bible mandates the gifts. Early Christians depended on them. You want all God has for you!

A Final Question: Dare we edit the book that "holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit?” God forbid that we dare raise our hand against the truth God has spoken! Heaven help us! I repeat a statement made earlier in this article. I believe it with all my heart:

The Apostle Paul’s explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject of the Scripture’s authenticity. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine Authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.

Hallelujah!

   
MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!

As soon as you learned of my wife’s passing you responded with cards, calls, prayers, flowers, attendance at the funeral, and contributions. That blessed me in ways you will never know. I never felt alone but perceived God’s presence and your prayers. That wonderful sense of your kindness has stayed with me in the weeks that followed her death. Thanks to your donations to Laurie’s Memorial Fund, all funeral bills are paid and some needed repairs are being made to our house. I miss her terribly–frequently entering the house and calling “Darling, I’m home!” Now, there is no reply. Even so, I have not grieved for her. We were married 60 years and she is finally with the Lord. One of her last audible prayers was to thank Him that she was “finally going.” Thank you for helping and being with me when I needed you most. God bless you. Charles
  
OUR NEW WSP BOOK IS OUT!

Chosen Books, a subsidiary of the Baker Publishing Company, has published the new book written by R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, and me, and entitled Word, Spirit, Power. R.T. wrote about the “Word”, Jack about the “Spirit”, and I about the “Power”. We each give our testimonies, telling about the challenges we faced in early life and the changes that later came through our encounters with the Holy Spirit. We believe you will be blessed in reading it. There are more than 200 pages, sells for $16.00, and is available through all Christian bookstores.


ITINERARY:    Thank you for praying for my itinerary. Appointments are subject to change.  Please verify. More engagements will be added.

April 29-
MAY
2 Cornerstone Assembly
 Danville, Kentucky    859-236-9058

27 Cornerstone Baptist Church
 Arlington, Texas    817-468-0083

JUNE
3 Healing Rooms
 LaQuinta Hotel
 Coral Springs, Florida    954-755-3787

10-13 Christian Life Assembly
 Columbia, South Carolina   803-798-4488
 Word, Spirit, Power, Conference
 R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, Charles Carrin

22 Resurrection Life Fellowship
24a.m. Albany, New York
 Word, Spirit, Power, Conference
 R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, Charles Carrin

24p.m. Elim Gospel Church
26 Lima, New York   585-624-5560
 Word, Spirit, Power, Conference
 R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, Charles Carrin

JULY
5 Marcus and Joni Lamb Show
 Daystar Television Network, Dallas, Texas
 Television recording promotional for book,
 Word, Spirit, Power, by
 R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, Charles Carrin

SEPTEMBER
2 Healing Rooms
 LaQuinta Hotel
 Coral Springs, Florida    954-755-3787

7,8,9 Christian Training Center International
 Franklin, North Carolina   828-524-5741

30 Our Fathers House
 Satellite Beach, Florida   321-777-0057

OCTOBER
7-10 Cornerstone Baptist Church
 Arlington, Texas
 Word, Spirit, Power, Conference
 R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, Charles Carrin
 and Lance Wallnau, Kenneth Ulmer


WORD, SPIRIT, POWER CONFERENCE
TORONTO, CANADA   JANUARY 15 - 18, 2013

John Arnott and the staff at Toronto’s “Catch The Fire” Church have invited R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, and me, to hold our Word, Spirit, Power Conference in conjunction with their annual Pastors Conference.
The last time the three of us held our event at this Pastors Conference more than 60 nations were represented. Church leaders came from numerous denominations around the world and crowded together to experience the presence of God.

The Holy Spirit fell in awesome ways upon every one. Pray that it will be so again!

Charles Carrin
carrinmin1@aol.com

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