The denominational world is filled with the teaching and conviction that the Holy Spirit personally and literally dwells within the Christian. Many of these people do not propose to know how this indwelling takes place, nor do they seem to care how it takes place. They are just comforted by the presumed “fact” that it does happen.
This belief in a literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not limited to individuals in various denominations. Some of our own brethren believe in a personal, literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This view is held by some who are sincere and very knowledgeable in the Scriptures, but it is a view with which I do not agree. Continue reading » The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
There are individuals in the religious world today who claim to possess the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Religious programs portray televangelists speaking in tongues and healing the sick. However, excitement over these gifts is no longer limited to “charismatic” churches. In recent years, I have heard members of several different mainstream denominations claim to have the ability to speak in tongues.
No one can deny that the apostles and some other Christians in the New Testament possessed the ability to perform miracles. The question that we will address in this article is whether or not the Bible teaches that these same gifts exist today?
Continue reading » The Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Spirit
(Evidently, our comments on the Pentecostal who died while handling a snake last Easter have struck a nerve. Here is yet another response.)
I am not interested in having a bible study with you. I am a snake handling preacher and did not appreciate the way you talked about our religion. Serpent handling is very much real. I have handled serpents and never been bitten. I sometimes go to the church that brother Wayne pastored at. Poorvalley, in Virginia, is the church he preached at. Wayne Long was a very generous man and a true man of God. Why do you consider our faith to be false? Why do you insist on slandering and putting down someone’s religion? You’ll be hearing from me again.
Rev. Kamron Guin
(For further information, go to our web site, biblework.com. There you may order video or audio tapes of, “Holy Spirit Baptism, Tongues, and Miracles,” preached in 2001, and a copy of, “If They Have Received Holy Spirit Baptism,” preached in 2002.)
Continue reading » Dead Snake Handler’s Friend Responds
What follows is an exchange with a Pentecostal Pastor who wrote regarding our recent article on a snake handling preacher who was bitten and died. The bulk of the correspondence appears in my second response to Mr. Bradshaw. It includes material from an article written more than thirty years ago which dealt with the same question.
Continue reading » Belief, Baptism & Signs Following – Still Today?
We take no joy in recounting the death of yet another Pentecostal preacher, Dwayne Long, who died while handling a rattlesnake during Easter Sunday church services. Said the Richmond, VA, Times-Dispatch:
“Snake-handling preacher dies after bite from rattler. The pastor refused medical treatment after a venomous bite during Easter services.
“Long, whose father was also a snake-handling preacher for more than 30 years, died at his home Monday after refusing medical treatment….‘There have been other members of that family who have died of snakebites in the past 30 to 40 years,’ added…Sheriff Gary Parsons….
“Snake-handlers defend the practice by citing Mark 16:17-18: ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.’
“The movement began in the early 1900s, and a Tennessee native, George Hensley, is considered the father of modern snake-handling. According to some accounts, Hensley was preaching when someone dropped a box of snakes at his feet. Hensley picked up the snakes and continued his sermon, and soon snake-handling spread to other churches.
“According to other accounts, Hensley brought the box of snakes to the pulpit himself as he preached from the book of Mark. He died in 1955, of a snakebite.”
Another report of the incident from Roanoke, VA, said, “Serpent-handlers believe that when people die of a snakebite they receive during a service, it was simply their time to go….
Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Another Snake Handling Preacher Died
Presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, is not the only one who recently had surgery to remove a cancerous prostate gland. Pat Robertson, he of the 700 Club, a socio-politico, religious television news program, had prostate surgery on February 22.
Mr. Robertson often has endorsed modern day miracle claims and has featured faith healers on his television program. One wonders why this man, who believes in the miraculous, divine healing power of the Holy Spirit today, needed to have surgery for his ailment. Seems to me that this would have been the perfect time for one of his miracle working preacher friends to have laid their hands on him and healed him. Since he surely had sufficient faith to be healed, why did he not call one of the prominent healers of this generation (Oral Roberts, for example), and ask them to rid him of his malady?
Continue reading » Pat Robertson’s Surgery
A reader asks for clarification:
"The Bible speaks of two baptisms – baptism with water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Both are referred to on several different occasions, so both are essential (a few examples include Matt. 3:11, John 1:3, John 3:4, Acts 10:34-38).
"Ephesians 4:5, however, speaks of there being one baptism. Since the Bible actually mentions two of them, then this must mean that one of the baptisms takes precedence over the other. …which baptism is referred to here? Explain what it means to have [either] one superior to the other."
Baptisms Of The Bible
Actually, the Bible speaks of more than "two baptisms." It speaks of a baptism of suffering (Mk. 10:38, 39; Lk. 12:50), "the baptism of John" (Matt. 21:25), a baptism of fire (Matt. 3:11), and a baptism "unto Moses" (1 Cor. 10:2), as well as the aforementioned baptisms of water and the Holy Spirit.
Continue reading » There Is … One Baptism
(The anonymous note below arrived via e-mail. It is published as it came to me. –LRH.)
To someone who has never experienced speaking in what we as Pentecostal some time call an unknown tong.It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t believe. I could give you vers,but I am sure you would counter them with other vers.
I speak from experience. I was not raised Pentecostal. But I can tell you it real and when I speak in that heavenly language it not jibes it the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in me and through me to edify the Church. In my life time of be used in this gift of God it has never brought harm are confusion to the Body of Christ
I have never see Jesus face to face. But I know he real and he has saved me from death and given me hope of an eternal future with him.
Seek and you to will fine that some things are not debatable but excepted that we may better serve God.
Reply: First, since the author did not say, I do not know what I have said that has brought his reaction. It would help this reply if I knew the material to which he is objecting.
Second, it should be noted that, whether right or wrong, I have set forth my views openly and plainly, not anonymously. If the author truly has the spiritual gifts he claims to have, why should he be afraid? Why should he hide behind the cloak of anonymity? Of what does he have to be ashamed? Those who had certain miraculous gifts in the New Testament spoke "with all boldness" (Acts 4:29, 33; 14:3; Eph. 6:18-20). If he has what they had, why does he not do the same?
Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Speaking in an "Unknown Tongue"
The following request recently came to me:
Would you mind sharing your thoughts on 1 Corinthians 13:1; 14:2 and the issue of speaking in tongues. My brother is a Pentecostal, and we have discussed this issue (along with several other issues) at length. I have pointed out that tongues is being able to speak in other languages, which he agrees with but then he says it is also speaking in the tongue of angels — saying his spirit is speaking to God — as he points out in the verses above. Can you offer some insight on what the "tongues of angels," 13:1, and "For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries," 14:2?
First, though Paul is using hyperbolic (exaggerated) language to stress a point in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, he gives no comfort to modern Pentecostalism. Men do have tongues, or languages (Acts 2:4, 6, 8, 11; 1 Corinthians 13:1). Those tongues, or languages, are not incoherent, multi-syllable jibber jabber. Rather, they are coherent, comprehensible languages, as Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14 clearly show.
(Compare Cornelius and his household who spoke in tongues. Those present knew the languages spoken, for they knew they were magnifying God [Acts 10:46]. However, they could not have known if they were magnifying or maligning God if they had not understood the languages. See 1 Corinthians 14:9, 16 — "except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken….how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned [‘the unlearned’ one is simply the one who does not know the language spoken-LRH] say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" Further, we know the languages spoken by Cornelius ["the Gentiles"] were understandable, for Peter said it reminded him of "the beginning" at Pentecost, and we know those languages were understood by those who heard them [Acts 2:4-11].)
Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Thoughts on Speaking in Tongues
Editor’s Note: The following is an email discussion between Larry Hafley and a man by the name of Donald M. Haas. In order to preserve the exact discussion, the exchange is published as received by brother Hafley, with no attempt made to correct spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.
we better stop praying “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
there are musical instruments in heaven
Thank You Lord Jesus for filling this brothers heart with Your version of Your word.
The Lord won’t agree with my version of “nothin.”
Message text written by donald m haas
Where did you learn that there are “musical instruments in heaven”?
Please cite the source of your information.
Thanx. Larry Continue reading » Contending for the Faith: Correspondence with a Charismatic