Signs and Wonders, Heresy, and Love for God


 

As I researched Todd Bentley and Bob Jones and the “Lakeland, Florida Revival” over the last several days  it soon became apparent that the supporters of this are completely convinced that there is a legitimate “outpouring” from the Holy Spirit going on. They are vocal. They are adamant. The number one reason that these people become apologists for Todd and this movement, that I have seen, is the signs and wonders performed on stage supposedly by the Holy Spirit through Todd.

They believe that since people are genuinely healed then this is undeniable verification that this is legitimate. I read dozens of comments on various blogs today in which an apologist for Todd would suddenly appear within the discussion proclaiming in a very sincere tone that all of those pointing out Todd’s inconsistencies and lack of Gospel focus and the speaking of heresy are wrong. Why? Because people are healed miraculously through him.
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Give Up Your Childish Ways


by Mike Ratliff

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV)

Sometimes I marvel at how easy it must be to draw professing Christians into serious error since it seems that masses of them are in bondage to some form of “Christianity” that is not biblical. For example, watch this video post from Soli Deo Gloria. I have pondered what the reason is for any genuine Christian to be involved in something like that. I believe this is why we are exhorted throughout the Bible to disciple new believers for it seems that those professing Christians involved in error are either not genuine or they are not very mature spiritually. I fear that there are large numbers of Christians who have a misunderstanding of Christ’s words that refer to saving faith being as that of a child. Continue reading

Unity Through Humility


by Mike Ratliff

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV)

I just finished listening to an interview with Bob Dewaay on a radio program called Iron Sharpens Iron in which he discussed the Purpose Driven Church model and the Purpose Driven Life as well as his recent meeting with Rick Warren. He also responded to several phone call in questions. I found it very interesting that all objections to the message from Bob had no Biblical basis or the contention took scripture out of context. However, through it all he remained calm and replied graciously to everyone. That spoke volumes to me. Continue reading

Revival or Reformation?


by Mike Ratliff

Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the LORD our God. They have forsaken him and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD and turned their backs. They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. (2 Chronicles 29:1-7 ESV)

We must admit that the spiritual condition of the 21st Century Church in this country and in most of the West is generally or mostly apostate. Thankfully, God always has His remnant of faithful believers even in the worst apostate periods. Over the last several posts we have been looking at righteousness, repentance, sanctification, Antinomianism, and the nature of salvation. The resistance to some of these teachings has been quite eye-opening. There are some who see any call to walk righteously as hypocritical because they associate it with self-righteousness. Is walking in right behaviour hypocritical? Continue reading

Perfectionism and the Second Blessing


by Mike Ratliff

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50 ESV)

It is a very dangerous thing to interpret things extra-biblically that occur in our spiritual growth. For instance, in my own walk I was in a very stagnant spiritual state for over a decade from around  1990 until 2004. I had some growth spurts during that time, but they were always followed by years of mediocrity. Then in 2004 God took me through about 8 months of spiritual boot camp. I emerged a changed man. I really thought that I had come across some sort of ‘second blessing’ in which I had entered into a new level of spirituality that was easily accomplished simply following some sort of plan or formula. Continue reading

Pilgrim’s Progress – Journey to Heaven – a Review


by Mike Ratliff

One of my favorite books is John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. I became very excited this past Fall when I found that a new movie based on this wonderful allegory was being made. I contacted Danny Carrales who is the writer of the screenplay and the director of the film. He promised to let me know when the movie would be ready for me to view in order write a review. He contacted me a few weeks ago via email, telling me that I could order the DVD, which I did. I have viewed it three times since the mailman delivered the movie. Continue reading

The Eschaton and Joyful Endurance


 

by Mike Ratliff

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. (John 16:21 ESV)

eschaton 

noun ( the eschaton) Theology

the final event in the divine plan; the end of the world.

ORIGIN 1930s: from Greek eskhaton, neuter of eskhatos ‘last.’

 

Confession of Faith:

Q. Which is the ninth Beatitude?

A. The ninth Beatitude is, Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Q. What is required in the ninth Beatitude?

A. The ninth Beatitude requireth living out the laws of Christ in all aspects of life, before all men, and bearing public witness to Him in word and deed.

Q. What is forbidden in the ninth Beatitude?

A. The ninth Beatitude forbiddeth concealing our loyalty to Christ, either by action or inacation, so that we might have the approval of this world in the present age.

Q. What is the reason annexed to the ninth Beatitude?

A. The reason annexed to the ninth Beatitude is that, while open allegiance to Christ and profession of his witness will draw spite from the world, our reward will be great in the age to come, like unto the prophets who have gone before us.

The positive confession ministries, health, wealth, and prosperity ministries, and ministries  such as that of Joel Osteen have one thing in common. They all focus on salvation being a deliverance unto blessings in the here and now. Some even go so far as to teach that we do a disservice to people if we preach or teach that Man is lost and separate from God because of sin. They teach that this drives people away from the Church. Some water down the Gospel and refuse to ever mention repentance as of primary importance in the genuineness of ones salvation. What did our Lord teach about this? Continue reading