Table of Contents for: Criticising the Holy Spirit. Test all things
- Table of Contents for: Criticising the Holy Spirit. Test all things
Too scared to question things which might be criticising the Holy Spirit
Have you ever seen bizarre Christian behaviour but are too scared to ask whether this is right or not, because you may be seen to be criticising the Holy Spirit?
This is a series of articles, it’s probably best to take them in the correct order.
You could start with: Toronto Blessing review: laughing shrieking shaking falling over
When it comes to the area of the Holy Spirit it can be quite a scary thing to suggest that something is wrong.
Jesus did say:
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”Matthew 12:32
After reading the verse above it seems to be a very reckless thing to speak against, or doubt, or question spiritual things.
If it is of God and it is the work of the Holy Spirit then we could put ourselves into an area of never being forgiven.
But that is misunderstanding the verse.
Matthew Henry in his commentary says:
We have reason to think that none are guilty of this sin, who believe that Christ is the Son of God, and sincerely desire to have part in his merit and mercy:Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1674). Peabody: Hendrickson.
and those who fear they have committed this sin, give a good sign that they have not…
As in the then present state of the Jewish church, there was no sacrifice of expiation for the soul that sinned presumptuously;
so neither under the dispensation of gospel grace, which is often in scripture called the world to come, shall there be any pardon to such as tread underfoot the blood of the covenant, and do despite to the Spirit of grace:
there is no cure for a sin so directly against the remedy.”
So hopefully we can see that anybody criticising the Holy Spirit and who speaks against the Holy Spirit is in the group of people who despise his work of saving souls and who trample the only cure that could save them.
When is it right to question things that might be seen as criticising the Holy Spirit?
We are told to question things for our own spiritual safety.
In the verse below, we are encouraged in the things of the Spirit, but we are also told to test everything:
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil.”
* dokimazo (δοκιμάζω, 1381), “ ‘to test, prove’ with the expectation of approving.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.
Testing and proving the things of the Spirit and prophecies, etc is expected from all believers for our safety.
In fact, test and prove everything in our lives.
On a similar note, this verse uses the same Greek word:
Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test* the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”1 John 4:1 English Standard Version 2016
Yes we are greatly encouraged to test the spirits, it’s for our spiritual safety, and it isn’t criticising the Holy Spirit!
Don’t think: ‘Oh that was then when false teachers were around’.
Satan is continually trying to deceive, derail, confuse and destroy even in the 21st Century!
Jesus said, speaking of Satan as the thief:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;John 10:10
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
The Lord won’t judge us for testing things
So the Lord has said ‘test the spirits’ therefore he won’t judge us for questioning and investigating any bizarre behaviour – even when it carries the ‘Christian’ label.
He wants us to do this for our own spiritual safety and for the spiritual safety of others.
You may think that I am wrong , but I question the extreme things that have been seen with what is known as the ‘Father’s Blessing – Toronto Blessing – The River and the Fire – Third Wave’.
I want to see the Lord performing miracles, and pouring out His Spirit upon people, and for His Presence to cause weeping or joy, because Jesus’ followers cried out:
.. enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.Acts 4:29-30
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
But we must not force God’s hand (as if we could!), we mustn’t use coercion and suggestion to push people into unreal situations.
I started on my Faith Journey in 1976 whilst on my sandwich year from college.
Since then I’ve not been restrained to any one denomination – believing that local Church is always important. Through career moves and life changes this has enabled me to play a part in the Assembly of God Church, Elim, various New Church Groupings, Brethren, Anglican and Baptist Churches.
I am married to Jackie and we live in Cambridgeshire in the UK.