God wants to be worshiped for who He is, for what He has done in the way He has declared.
It is open season on abusing the Holy Spirit, outrageous dishonor of the Holy Spirit claiming He is saying things and doing things and generating things that have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit at all. It is a reckless kind of movement.
It is a shameful and dangerous sin to heap such abuse on the Holy Spirit. In fact, the idea of bringing dishonor on the Holy Spirit ought to make any thinking person tremble.
People think less interested, I think, in claiming that God is doing certain things, or saying certain things, or that Christ is doing things or saying certain things then they are at saying the Holy Spirit did this, the Holy Spirit said this, the Holy Spirit is producing and generating this that there just seems to be no restraint on the things that are blamed on the Holy Spirit.
A way to perceive this would be to see it as a contrast to what we see in Matthew chapter 12, for example. The leaders of Israel committed the unpardonable sin and what was that unpardonable sin? It was attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit. You remember that? It was attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 12:31-32.
What’s going on today is the opposite, attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. That’s what’s going on. Attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. Satan is alive and at work in deception, false miracles, bad theology, lying visions, lying dreams, lying revelations, deceptive teachers who are in it for the money and power and influence. Satan is alive and well and the work of Satan is being attributed to the Holy Spirit, that is a serious blasphemy just as attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit is a serious blasphemy.
I couldn’t even begin to give you all the illustrations, you have enough of them in your own mind. You can turn on your television and see any litany of them that you would choose. And in order to give credibility to all these things, all these lies, they attach them to the Holy Spirit as if it’s a freebie, as if there’s no price to pay for that kind of blasphemy.
The latest wave of this, I’ll just give you one illustration, the latest wave of this that is gaining traction and has entered into the sort of national news is a new form of Charismania, bringing reproach on the Holy Spirit called the New Apostolic Reformation, NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. It is not new, it is not apostolic, and it is not a reformation, by the way. It is like Grape Nuts, it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts, it’s like Christian Science, it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic and it isn’t a reformation.
But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams. Peter Wagner, the Kansas City prophets, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle(??), and on and on and on it goes. In fact, this is exploding so fast that they have a 50-state network that are now involved in this.
This is a new kind of a Charismania, it’s sort of on steroids. One writer said it’s Charismania with shots of adrenalin. And here’s what their basic claim is, that the Holy Spirit has revealed to them that in the year 2001, we entered into the second apostolic age…in the year 2001 we entered into the second apostolic age. What does that mean? It means that the long-lost offices of New Testament prophet and New Testament apostle have been restored, that the Holy Spirit has given the power of prophecy and the power and authority of an apostle to certain people in this generation of the church since 2001. It seems very odd to me that the Holy Spirit would give that to people whose theology is unbiblical and totally aberrant…
Of all the ages in the history of the church, this is the one most capable of feeding pride. Why? Because they’re so many ways to stick yourself in front of people’s faces across the planet. This is an easy time for proud people to make the most of themselves. There just doesn’t seem to be interest in the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is even a toleration of a view of the Holy Spirit that’s downright heretical and that is what, I guess you could call modalism, I know that’s a technical term but that’s simply to say that there’s only one God, He’s not three persons, He’s one God who appears in three modes not at the same time but separately.
Sometimes He’s the Father, sometimes He’s the Son, sometimes He’s the Spirit, He’s never three in one. That’s the view, for example, of T.D. Jakes, Sabellianism, Modalism. It doesn’t seem to bother lots of folks that he has a God who is not the God of the Bible. That his view of the Holy Spirit is a heresy. His view of the Son and the Father equally heretical. We have to get the Trinity right and we have to give due worship to the Holy Spirit, equal to the Son, equal to the Father.
So these things have been on my mind and a lot of things in addition, but I think you get the picture. And we haven’t really looked down hard at the ministry of the Holy Spirit to see what it is that we need to worship Him for and what we need to be focused on in terms of giving Him the praise and the honor that He is due.
The disinterest in the Holy Spirit is what gives rise to pragmatism. We have replaced supernaturalism, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, with pragmatism. We’ve committed the sin of the Galatians, Galatians 3 Paul says, “Having begun in the Spirit, are you made perfect by the flesh?” In other words, there’s no way to get saved except by the work of the Holy Spirit. Now that you’re saved, have you now taken over with the flesh?
You’re going to accomplish everything through the flesh. Pride has defeated humility and that’s always an affront to the Holy Spirit. Where are the meek? And where are the humble? And where are the lowly? Where the Holy Spirit is, Christ will be exalted. It will be Christ and it will be Christ again who receives all the praise and all the honor and all the glory. The Holy Spirit is grieved if Christ is not exalted. His work is quenched and the flesh is elevated.
So we could have done this perhaps through the years and we have touched on, of course, all the New Testament teaches about the Holy Spirit. Eventually we would have covered it all over the last 40 years or so. But I want to take a look at the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the next few weeks. (The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit)