Frenetic Friday


So let’s talk about hairstyle:
HT: Billy Leonhart

Now just because this is the haircut my father and uncles wore when they enlisted and fought against the Nazis in World War II doesn’t mean anything.  Because history who needs it! However let me suggest some alternatives.

The Staliny yes comrades there is nothing that say antifa like the haircut of a man who slaughtered between 20 to 40 million people. (Accounts vary)

Ah the Che Che for the rough urban social justice warrior.  The head of Castro’s La Cabaña prison and responsible for over 1000 firing squad executions and the forced labor camps which imprisoned Jehovah witnesses, homosexuals, Afro-Cuban priests, and anyone else who opposed the revolution. And of course the Mao, the Pol Pot, and the Kim Jong Il.  You might want to select by the number of people they had executed.

Switching to the Evangelical world have you heard about the Nashville Statement?  Click on the link if you want to read it.  Needless to say this has caused the liberals/progressive “Christians” an apoplectic fit. You can read some of the responses:


We go to Iceland for some breaking news from the Culture of Death!

Down Syndrome disappearing in Iceland because of Abortion

Speaking of Science this is a few weeks old but worth noting:

Man plays God

In a news report from the MIT Technology Review scientists have reported that they have successfully modified human DNA and created a genetically modified human embryo.   Soon despite what scientist say won’t happen will.  Designer babies have entered the first stage soon the dreams of eugenics will take on reality.  And just so you know the method they are using known as CRISPR doesn’t create “mules” no these children will pass on their changes to future generations. Last year this technology was call a weapon of mass destruction by top US Intelligence services.

Finally I am taking a brief hiatus from the blog.  A minimum of a month a maximum of two months.  The catechism posts will continue to occur on Sunday.  Look for changes coming to the blog.

 

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Frenetic Friday: Friendly Fire


So tonight’s Frenetic Friday is a rant.

Let me preface this by saying that when I was being discipled in the faith by a former marine he had a saying that as a young Christian I didn’t really understand at the time.  That saying was that Christians are the only army that shoot their own wounded.  As I have grown older in years and in the faith I have come to the conclusion that my dear brother was wrong.  We don’t just shoot the wounded we engage in “friendly fire”, case in point Dr. James White of Alpha Omega ministries.

Now I am a great admirer of Dr. White, I make no effort to hide that fact at all.  He and I are of a similar age, although I believe I am older by one or two years, and when he mentions things like “Modems” or “Bulletin Boards” I know exactly what he is talking about.  In fact I am fairly sure that I saw his nick on some of the BBS’s that I used to log into while reading the religious/theology debate section.  It was his passion for and logical use of the Word of God that impressed me the most and when he came out with the book against K.J.V. Only cult I picked the book up because I had met a few of them.  Later when he came on the internet I listened to him every chance I could  and when podcasting came about his was one of the first podcasts I subscribed to, not to mention buying his books and devouring them.

Yes I learned a lot from Dr. White and so when I learned that he was attempting to preach the gospel to the followers of Islam and debate them in their mosques I knew there couldn’t be a better person for the job than Dr. White.  Indeed I would say that for such a time as this God raised up and prepared Dr. White for this role to be the one to preach the Word of God, the Gospel, to the followers of Islam so that as many are appointed unto eternal life will have their hearts changed by this preaching.

Unfortunately like Alexander the coppersmith, there has risen certain so called brothers in Christ that want to do harm to Dr. White’s ministry to the followers of Islam.  Their agenda is one of fear, and hatred.  They appear to say and think that it is wrong to preach Christ to the followers of Islam.  Or that to dialog with Imams makes you a useful idiot.

Well all I know is this no one can be saved unless they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and the means of this is the preaching of the Gospel.  And to deny that preaching is to be like the Pharisees who told the apostles not to preach  Christ.  And like the apostles we have to we must obey God rather than men.  And Dr. James White is obeying God as he preaches the Gospel to the followers of Islam.  And I and this blog stand with Dr. White and Alpha and Omega Ministries.

Frenetic Friday


Yes it’s true, at long last the first Frenetic Friday of the year.

So as regards to politics well frankly I am waiting until the old president leaves and the new president is sworn in before I start paying attention too much to all of this however, I do want to point you to this podcast by Mike Rowe.  He’s the dirty jobs guy in case you didn’t know and he has a podcast called The Way I heard it with Mike Rowe.  But I would especially point you to Episode 36 titled: “Oh Brother” it does put a few things in perspective.  Give it a listen.

So have you’ve heard of Camille Pagilia right?  She is famous or infamous for her critic of feminism but here in this video she points out that transgender mania is actually a sign of cultural collapse and points to history that shows this what happens before the culture ends.

Speaking of marriage let me introduce to the newest couple, I mean  single, I mean couple, okay I am confused what is going on here?  Erika Anderson stands on rooftop in Brooklyn and marries herself to herself.  What?  Yep it seems that the latest trend in marriage is not a same sex couple, not  multiple partners (polygamy/polyamory), nope the latest trend is marrying yourself.  Instead of two becoming one, the one is becoming one.  And as Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation says:  “It’s not a legal process — you won’t get any tax breaks for marrying yourself. It’s more a “rebuke” of tradition.”  No kidding.  But it appears to be a semi lucrative business as “on the website I Married Me, you can buy a DIY marriage kit: For $50, you get a sterling silver ring, ceremony instructions, vows, and 24 “affirmation cards” to remind you of your vows over time. For $230, you can get the kit with a 14-karat gold ring.”  <source>

BTW in 2013 in an blog post on the Pyromaniac’s Blog Frank Turk predicted this very thing based on the rise of same sex marriage.  See here

Also a sad good by to one of the more articulate and erudite bloggers Frank Turk.  He has decided to close shop and leave blogging and twitter.  His farewell post is here:  The End  I owe much to Frank he along with Phil Johnson and Dan Phillips alway made me think deeper and clearer even if I didn’t agree with them.  Farewell sir, God speed.

And good night to you all.

 

Frenetic Friday


Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past comes Frenetic Friday!

Thirty non points to the person who can name that phrase.

Politics!

Okay I said it. Now I make no bones about not being a Trump supporter I backed another horse in the race but now he is the official Republican Party’s nominee.  And frankly this guy said it better than I ever could so take a look at this:  You Wanted Trump, You Got Him  ht:  Dan Phillips

Speaking of my horse let’s take a look at what the nominee said about him.

So he is right Ted Cruz did add to what he originally submitted.  In fact let’s take a look at what he submitted for review:

Thank you. Heidi and I are honored to join you here in Cleveland, where Lebron James just led an incredible comeback victory. I’m convinced America is going to come back too.

I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night. (rest of submitted text here)

Now let’s take a look at what he changed when he actually spoke to the crowd:

Thank you, and god bless each and every one of you.

Heidi and I are so honored to join you here in Cleveland where LeBron James just lead an incredible comeback victory, and I am convinced America is going to come back too.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.

(APPLAUSE)

And, like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November. (transcript of entire Cruz speech)

All I ask is that you compare the two speeches and judge for yourselves if what Trump is ballyhooing about is actually that significant?

So now let’s talk about the Presbyterian Church in America.  One of the reasons that the PCA and the PCUSA split was over women’s ordination.  The PCA taking the correct stance said that the Word of God doesn’t teach such a thing nor does the Westminster Confession.  So why would the PCA now form a committee to look into women’s ordination?   I can’t say but what I have seen is this:  One of the first signs a denomination is taking that slippery slope toward liberalism is changing whom are suppose to be the elders and pastors in the church.  The scripture plainly state who is to lead the church and who isn’t and changing that shows a lack of belief in scripture as the word of God.  And once that step is taken then that cliff edge comes a lot sooner that you can believe.   Read:  PCA goes back to where it started  and A troubling turn:  PCA General Assembly 2016

You know it has been a long time since we have had a Robotic Over Lord alert so heads up it is a Dalek!

Whoops silly me this is just a security robot.  Meet the Knightscope K5 a security robot that is used to patrol the Stanford Shopping Center.  Unfortunately the five foot 300 pound robot knocked down a young child and then ran over his foot!  This has upset the mother of the child and she has asked that the robot be decommissioned before more children get hurt.  There is no truth to the rumor the robot said “Exterminate!”  as it ran over the child’s foot. <source>

Well that is it for tonight! Tune in next week.

Frenetic Friday 


The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated besides it is Frenetic Friday!  Void where prohibited by law.

First pray for what is happening around the country regarding the police and the African-American community.  Pray that the gospel will be preached and that God changes the hearts of the people.

Carl Truman writes in First Things about Chad Vegas a Reformed Baptist Pastor who resigned from the local school board in Bakersfield California over the new transgender law that has been mandated for all public schools.  As a member of the board he was the only one that voted against enacting this into policy.   In his words:

As you know, CA has mandated this [school transgender policy] for the whole state. I have served on the largest high school board in CA, and the nation, for 12 years. I basically lead that board. Our board voted to adopt the new law into policy. I voted against it. I was breaking the law for doing so. I could be personally sued and our attorney tells me the board insurance won’t cover me because I am breaking the law and I am a bigot. Anyway, I announced I would not seek reelection. The community came unhinged when I announced that. I remain the most popularly elected official in the history of our school board. Thousands of parents filled our board room in protest of the law. Thousands are pleading with me to reconsider and keep fighting. My elders are still considering what to have me do…. [T]he board and administration, and even some leaders in the liberal teacher’s union, are asking me to reconsider. <emphasis mine>

In the letter from Pastor Vegas to his congregation he mentions this:

As I considered the many requests I became increasingly dogged by the concern that staying on the board would be giving Christian parents false hope. Why? I do not believe this battle can be won at the school board level. It is lost. The State and Federal governments have co-opted your local schools. They mean to indoctrinate your children in their radical secularism. They mean to cause your children, and Christian teachers and administrators, to bow to their sex gods. I simply can’t be part of enforcing that.

It is now law in CA that your children must be taught how to have safe homosexual sex, how to obtain an abortion, and that gender does not correspond to biological sex. Think of that! It is legally required to teach your children the LGBTQ sexual mores while simultaneously illegal to mention God. I can’t and won’t enforce that foolishness.<emphasis mine><source>

Carl Truman in his article has this very interesting last word:

And it is time to face that fact and abandon the myth that the world is run by people who respect difference and diversity, and that all we need to do is behave decently in order to win their respect and earn their favor. They do not think that way. They will never think that way. And they will crush those who do. By any means necessary.<source>

So there is a new Star Trek movie coming out and speaking of that it has been decided that Sulu, played by John Cho, will come out of the closet and reveal that he is gay.  This is done as a tribute to the original actor and gay activist George Takei.  Only George is saying thanks but no thanks.  When learning of the news Takei is quoted as saying:

“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”<source>

And that is all I’ve got to say about that.

Next up is two videos first one is a bit of dark humor that points out how really little the abortion industry cares about the life of the baby or the mother.  The next one is a video that shows how a woman who is pro choice changes her mind when shown exactly what an abortion looks like.

 

Good Night.

 

 

Frenetic Friday Night


And now coming to you live from the secret cave underneath Superman’s fortress of solitude in the Arctic it is the Frenetic Friday show!  Accept no substitute, void where prohibited by law.

A Charlie Brown’s Winter Holiday.

It seems as we get closer to Christmas the grinchier the secularists become.  Case in point:  In Johnson County, Kentucky the school district has censored a stage production of a Charlie Brown’s Christmas.  Seems the portion where Linus steps out on the stage and quotes the second chapter of Luke is verboten.  In other schools in the district they were told to remove any “religious” content from their Christmas productions.  Silent Night became Whip/Nae Nae.  But I have a question, what will they have Charlie Brown say at that critical juncture?  Will it be “Can anyone tell me the true meaning of Winter Holiday?”<source>

Going from Kentucky to the land of Israel.  Archaeologists have found a 1500 year old marble slab that has Hebrew on it saying “Remembered for good” where the slab was found is the city of Kursi, where they believe the Gadarene demoniac was healed by having the demons cast from him into swine.  A church was built on the site around 500 A.D. but destroyed in 614 A.D. by the Persians and lost until 1970’s.   Because Christians tended to build churches where important events in the life of Christ occurred the church found there is another indication that it is where the miracle occurred.   <source>

Now on to England where a hospitalized convert to Christianity illustrates what it means to count the cost.

Nissar Hussain a convert from Islam to Christianity was beaten by his Muslim neighbors because they consider him an apostate, but this is just one incident in fifteen years of being persecuted for his faith.

n the UK, three weeks ago, Nissar was beaten to within an inch of his life by Muslim neighbours to revile him as an apostate and a blasphemer. “They split my kneecap,” he told Breitbart London. “The doctor told me that’s the hardest bone in your body, it takes a lot of force to break it. But when they were beating me I kept my arms around my head and kept moving. One blow like that to my head and I would have been a gonner.”

“I never thought in my wildest imagination this would happen” he said. “When I first converted I knew I knew I’d be shunned. I’d get a few name calls, maybe angry reactions through confrontation here and there, but I never thought it would come to this – years of physical, verbal, criminal abuse and then suddenly almost my life being snuffed out. All because of their taking offense to me being a convert.”

Read more of his inspiring story here:  Hospitalized Christian Convert

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Recognize that?  It is the first amendment of the United States Constitution.  Now watch this:

Think about that.  Makes you wonder how many other rights they would petition away.

Men every so often we are confronted by the need to do something special for our special someone on the holidays.  Being men sometimes we need some instructions to get it right so with that in mind here is a PSA from the Art of Manliness.

Grab those hammers!

And that is it for Frenetic Friday Night!  There will not be a Frenetic Friday Night next week because it is Christmas.

Good night!

 

 

Catechism


Q. 31 Why is he called “Christ” meaning anointed?
A. Because he has been ordained by God the Father and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief prophet and teacher who perfectly reveals to us the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance; our only high priest who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body, and who continually pleads our cause with the Father; and our eternal king who govern s us by his Word and Spirit, who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.
Luke 3:21-22; 4:14-19; (Isa. 61:1); Heb. 1:9 (Ps. 45:7)
Acts 3:22 (Deut. 18:15)
John 1:18; 15:15
Heb. 7:17; (Ps. 110:4)
Heb. 9:12; 10:11-14
Rom. 8:24; Heb. 9:24
Matt. 21:5 (Zech. 9:9)
Matt. 28:18-20; John 10:28; Rev. 12:10-11

Q. 32 But why are you called a Christian?
A. Because by faith I am a member of Christ and so I share in his anointing. I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a good conscience against sin and the devil in this life, afterwards to reign with Christ over all creation for all eternity.
1Cor. 12:12-27
Acts 2:17 (Joel 2:28); 1John 2:27
Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 13:15
Rom. 12:1; 1Pet. 2:5, 9
Gal. 5:16-17; Eph. 6:11; 1Tim. 1:18-19
Matt. 25:34; 2Tim. 2:12

Catechism


Q.9 But doesn’t God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do?
A.No, God created humans with the ability to keep the law. They,however, tempted by the devil, in reckless disobedience, robbed themselves and all their descendants of these gifts.
Gen. 1:31; Eph. 4:2
Gen. 3:13; John 8:44
Gen.3:6
Rom. 5:12, 18, 19

Q.10 Will God permit such disobedience to go unpunished?
A. Certainly not. He is terribly angry about the sin we are born withas well as the sins we personally commit. As a just judge hepunishes them now and in eternity. He has declared: “Cursed iseveryone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law

Ex. 34:7; Ps. 5:4-6; Nah. 1:2; Rom. 1:18; Eph. 5:6; Heb. 9:27
Gal. 3:10; Deut. 27:26

Theology Thursday: Holy Spirit Baptism, Part Four


This is Part Four, the last of a series on Holy Spirit baptism. Until now it has only touched on a couple of the doctrinal issues which are ordinarily raised in any discussion of the topic, or of the related topics of spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, and/or the offices of prophet and apostle beyond the first century AD. Be sure to read the previous parts to get a full sense of the topic and why I write as I do about it.

Part Three left off at West Lauderdale Baptist Church, where very few kids were left in the youth group after the mass departure of our former youth pastor and the majority of the kids and young adults who followed him to “the church in Fort Lauderdale.” A few of them returned within a year or so, broken and confused; and many more appeared to leave the Christian community entirely. The fruit of the Shepherding / Discipleship movement was horrific and damaging to those who got caught up in it, and many strayed far from the Lord after a period of exuberance followed by massive, cultish exploitation.

But we were not entirely safe from exploitation even in a somewhat accountable Southern Baptist church that strayed far from the word of God to embrace ear-tickling charismatic fables. Following the exodus of many members to the new “church in Fort Lauderdale,” West Lauderdale was left at less than half its former size and still dealing with spillover from the excessive of charismania in the larger movement. There was, for example, a “prophecy” given by “a reliable, proven prophetess” that a great tsunami would wipe out South Florida in the following year, as God’s judgment against the cities for the explosive growth of homosexuality there. Her prophecy was published in a couple of charismatic magazines and caused quite a stir. The only defense our new youth minister could come up with was God’s promise following Noah’s flood never to destroy the earth with water again. Really? There have been countless tsunamis and floods since that was written, so that verse was little comfort to us. What did provide some comfort, though, was a “vision from God” that our pastor shared with the congregation:

“God has shown me what the future holds for West Lauderdale Baptist Church,” the pastor said. “Five buildings will occupy these grounds and the surrounding property. At the center will be a huge sanctuary and administrative offices to oversee ministries in the other four buildings: A Christian school, a home for unwed mothers, a theological school like Samuel’s ‘school of prophets,’ and a music ministry school for psalmists” that would produce a great wealth of new songs, hymns, and spiritual songs for the Church. So at the very same time that some were fleeing the city to escape a prophesied tsunami, our church was fund-raising like crazy and buying up homes and real estate for about a square mile around the church. The year was 1973. Forty years later, this is what West Lauderdale Baptist Church looks like:

The property surrounding the church was purchased and either demolished or used for meetings or whatever, and then abandoned. The entire neighborhood was ruined. And the original sanctuary on Davie Boulevard still stands. The grand vision never became a reality. But like most groundless “visions from God,” this one wasted thousands of dollars and destroyed the credibility of the church.

I graduated from high school at 17 and got the heck out of there as fast as I could. Too small and delicately built (at the time) to qualify for the military, I determined to take the first job that offered room and board, preferably in another city. That job was on a sailing ship – a three-masted schooner – as a member of the crew, and the only kid aboard with a bunch of 30-something guys who couldn’t make it in “real” jobs. Another perfect setup for another tragedy. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. Following that whole mess I attempted college, and when the money ran out I found a job with an ambulance company back in Fort Lauderdale again, which was still there. No tsunami had destroyed it and nothing was ever said about the “prophetess” whose “vision” must have been at least as damaging to others in South Florida as my pastor’s “vision” had been to his church and the surrounding neighborhood. It’s curious in the extreme that when prophecies fail to come true, especially with all the damage that they often cause, that nothing is said; and if you say anything then you’re “being judgmental and condemning.” What?! In bible times, these false prophets would have been put to the sword (see Deuteronomy 18:20)! And I’m judgmental and harsh if I simply ask about false prophecies? Yet for all that, I still didn’t open my bible much, except in church, or when I wanted to impress someone with how spiritual and knowledgeable I was.

I had prided myself on instructing others in seeking Holy Spirit baptism, and even in my backslidden condition I continued to do so, and when someone told me had “the gift of discernment” because I hadn’t followed Andy and dared to ask questions about failed prophecies, I fed off of that little bit of affirmation and taught whoever would listen. I had passed my state tests and got certified as a firefighter and began what would become a 30-year career. I met a Pentecostal girl and “converted” her to my charismatic beliefs, and we got married at West Lauderdale Baptist Church, attending there until the fruit of the pastor’s failed “vision” gave us cause to move to a new Charismatic (Presbyterian) church in Pompano, just North of Fort Lauderdale.

In the lessons I taught on Holy Spirit baptism, I liked to use examples from the Old Testament as well as the New. Saul, for example, became “a Charismatic” when Samuel anointed him as king of Israel, and received the gift of prophecy (1st Samuel 10:1-12). Verse 6 is pivotal:

Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophecy with them and be changed into another man.

I simply failed to mention that Saul’s appointment as king was an act of judgment against Israel for rejecting God and desiring a king like the other nations (see verse 19 of the chapter), and that the prophesying was a sign of that coming judgment. When Samuel anointed David as king in Saul’s place, “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward (1 Samuel 16:13),” and “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him (verse 14).” It looks like Holy Spirit baptism was revocable in those days, doesn’t it? But in neither of these examples is the term “baptized in or with the Spirit” employed to describe the Lord’s anointing on them. I simply misapplied the term to those Old Testament examples. I did the same with Elijah and Elisha in 2nd Kings chapter 2. The other prophets witnessing the sign said, “the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha (verse 15).” This was God’s anointing for a specific office for a specific time. The ministries of Elijah and Elisha also represented God’s judgment upon those in rebellion against Him.

“Jesus had the anointing in His day,” I taught. “Just as Elijah threw the mantle on Elisha, so Jesus, ascending to heaven, ‘threw His mantle on the Church!’ See it fall upon them in the second chapter of Acts!”

Now doesn’t that sound all scholarly and feel all “anointed?” In truth, though, only the examples in Acts 2 and Acts 11:16 are described as “baptism in/with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:5).” Subsequently there were many “fillings” with the Spirit (4: 8 and 31, 7:55, etc)) and people described as “full of the Spirit,” like Stephen (Acts 6:3). But for Charismatics, Acts 8:14-17 is among the proofs that “receiving the Holy Spirit” is a separate and distinct experience from conversion to Christ.

For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they [Peter and John] began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:16-17).

The text doesn’t say for sure that these people were genuine converts to Christ, but it is a safe assumption because “they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” The text also specifically states that “He had not yet fallen upon any of them,” so one might rightfully assume that these baptized converts to Christ did not, in fact, have Holy Spirit baptism as in Acts 2. But since regeneration precedes faith (John 3:3-8, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 12:3, Eph 2:4-5), it is safe to say that they were born of the Spirit and thus “had” the Holy Spirit living within. What was “missing” was the peculiar powers conveyed by the Holy Spirit which were available only through the laying on of hands by an Apostle. Otherwise Philip the evangelist would have done so himself, having brought the gospel to Samaria and harvested many souls there. None of the Samaritan converts had given evidence of the gift of tongues, which most frequently (but not always) accompanied the laying on of the Apostles’ hands (see 10:45-46). This “impartation,” or anointing, was only at the hands of the Apostles; and only they had authority from God to do so. Acts 19 demonstrated Paul’s Apostolic authority when the Ephesian converts received the sign-gifts of tongues and prophecy by the laying on of Paul’s hands. It was distinctly a sign of apostleship (2 Cor 12:12) and did not continue after the Apostles died.

As in the Old Testament examples I used above, these special powers were conveyed to a limited number of people for a limited amount of time and for a specific purpose. In Acts we see Spirit baptism among non-Jewish converts as a sign to the Church that God was making no distinction between Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10:47, 11:15-18, and 15:9), and the gift of tongues as a sign to the single generation of unbelieving Jews (1st Corinthians 14:21-22) that had betrayed and murdered their Messiah.

All believers have the Holy Spirit, dwelling in their hearts by faith (2 Corinthians 1:22, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 3:17). Indeed it is not even possible to become a Christian unless one is born of the Holy Spirit. “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” with accompanying signs and gifts, was a strictly first-century phenomenon with a strictly first century purpose. It was a sign of the end of the Old Covenant, superseded by the New. It was a sign of apostolic authority; and the oft-accompanying covenant sign of tongues portended the destruction of the Temple and the end of the Jewish sacrificial covenant. These were prophetic signs, warning of events that occurred in 70 AD. There was no reason for the warnings to persist after the judgment they warned about had come to pass!

When I see “signs and wonders” performed by such hucksters as Benny Hinn, Jesus’ tragic words, recorded in Matthew 7 come instantly to my mind:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness (Matt 7:21-23).”