Subscribe via RSS Feed

John MacArthur’s Strange Fire, Reviewed by Charles Carrin

“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.  Instead of heeding Paul’s instruction, the modern Church has engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in spite of Paul’s exhortation that we:

1. “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 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.

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.

On the Day of Ascension, Jesus 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, Acts8:14-17, 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. I had been preaching nearly 30 years before it happened to me.

We are told seven times in the New Testament to “be not ignorant.” The same Greek word for “ignorance,” agnoeo, is used in all seven references though the King James version is probably the only one that translates it consistently. If you listen carefully you can detect the similarity between agnoeo and ignore (agno/igno). It simply means “not to know;” that ignorance can come from lack of information, inadequate intelligence, or willful rejection of truths. These seven topics are fundamental to the Church. Notice they are in pairs. Two concern Israel, two concern the gospel, two foretell the end of the earth, and the final topic, # 7, the Church’s spiritual gifts. Quoting from the King James Version, the seven are:

1. Israel’s rejection and restoration; Gentile fullness:  “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25.

2. Israel’s dual baptism in the cloud and sea: “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” I Corinthians 10:1. Israel’s baptism unto Moses in the cloud and sea portrays Christian baptism unto Christ in the Spirit and water. The parallel is exact.

Pin It
Page 3 of 41234

Tags: , ,

Category: Spirit

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at www.charlescarrinministries.com/about-charles.php.

  • Connect with PneumaReview.com

    Subscribe via Twitter 1258 Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Listening for God’s Voice and Heart in Scripture: A conversation with Craig S. Keener

    William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major w...

    Evangelist of Pentecostalism: The Rufus Moseley Story

    Wolfgang Vondey, Ph.D. (Marquette University) and M.Div. (Church of God Theological Seminary), is Reader in Contemporary Christianity and Pentecostal Studies at the Universit...

    Steven Felix-Jager: Pentecostal Aesthetics