The Holy Spirit vs. An Assortment of Pastors, Theologians, and Scholars!

The Holy Spirit

VS.

An Unsavory Assortment of
Pastors, Theologians, and Scholars!

"Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come."
Matthew 12:32 NKJV


It has been happening for a long time -- actually it can be traced back to a moment when the second human on earth engaged in a conversation on the subject of what fruit was acceptable to eat and what was not as revealed by the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

The conversation was initiated by an intruder in the Garden of Eden as he approached Eve with an intriguing question -- "Has God said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

Eve then explained that God said she and Adam would die if they ate the fruit of a certain tree to which the ancient version of a skeptical pastor-theologian-scholar responded by saying, "You shall not surely die…" (Genesis 3:3,5).

For centuries the battle has raged over a very basic and fundamental issue -- has God provided a totally reliable record of information which is the final authority regarding the Christian faith and the practicing of that faith in a world saturated with sin and rebellion?

Unfortunately from the time of the initial rebellion in Eden until now each generation has been plagued with the sinister question, "Has God really said…?" That question has too often come from those who claim to be members of what purports to be the "community of faith."

Here's how it is -- we are clearly informed that God the Holy Spirit inspired individuals to provide a body of information to which we humans must be exposed and thus have the undeserved privilege of coming into a personal knowledge of Almighty God. In this experience we quickly discover sin to be our basic problem and what God has done about it as He chose to visit this world in human form in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ!

Jesus made a lot of significant statements during His stay here on earth. A number of these dealt with forgiveness, including one which spelled out the unforgivable offense of speaking against the Holy Spirit. Here is how Jesus said it -- "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come." (Matthew 12:32).

What's this about? The volume of information for which the Holy Spirit is responsible is commonly referred to as the Bible or the holy Scriptures.

Therefore to speak against events (i.e. deny happenings and moral instructions) as revealed in the Scriptures is to speak against the Holy Spirit and in essence, call Him a liar!

The Christian faith over a period of 2,000 years has been plagued with too many pastors, theologians, and "scholars" who have created chaos and destroyed the faith of persons of all ages by their "speaking against the Holy Spirit!"

Want examples? Then try these…..

    The Holy Spirit says there were an Adam and an Eve. Further, we are given details as to what they did after they were created and due to their initial rebellion against God, sin and death have invaded the entire human race.

    But an assortment of pastors, theologians, and scholars (hereafter referred to as the PTS crowd) say they didn't really exist -- that Adam and Eve are simply part of a myth which attempts in "story form" to explain the origin of the human race!

    The Holy Spirit says there is a powerful spiritual being originally known as Lucifer but now commonly identified as Satan or the Devil. This vicious being is the archenemy of God and he succeeded in persuading 1/3 of the angels to follow him in his effort to dethrone God and rule the creation! (Isaiah 14; Revelation 12).

    The PTS crowd says there is no such individual existing. Depending on who is doing the talking, there are different explanations as to the non-existence of Satan and why there is something called "evil" in this present world. As is often the case when dealing with the assortment of PTSers, it takes a heap more faith to believe it their way than the way the Bible tells it!

    The Holy Spirit says there was a mighty judgment in the form of a universal flood in which only 8 humans and a selected group of animals and fowl survived.

    The PTS bunch says no such thing ever happened. In fact this group of skeptics in most cases writes off the first 11 chapters of Genesis as being pretty much myth and fairy tale stuff. In their view only those of a very low-brow intelligence take those events as actual historical happenings.

    The Holy Spirit says the children of Israel crossed through the Red Sea after God divided it and when Pharaoh and his army attempted to follow them, God then allowed the waters to flow back to the original position, drowning the Egyptian army.

    The PTS people say no -- what ACTUALLY happened was that the Israelites made their way through a swampy marsh area. If you believe that one, they have a lot more wild ones to tell as you have seen already and will see ahead!

    The Holy Spirit says God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and as a result Jonah was in the belly of this fish for 3 days and 3 nights before it vomited him up. Even Jesus made reference to this incident.

    The PTS group says this is just another "fairy tale" type thing which is supposed to teach us something -- it's anybody's ball game when you start down that trail and usually you confront some pretty off-the-wall stuff! Never forget -- when an unregenerate mind gets into overdrive in dealing with God's revelation, you never know what putrid material will be produced.

    The Holy Spirit says Jesus was conceived in a supernatural act and was born of a virgin named Mary. That is, Jesus had no biological father as is the case in the natural process of producing children by the mating of a male and a female with the result that the female is impregnated by the male!

    The PTS bunch says no such thing happened and once again they take you down a trail with so many weird twists and turns that you are shocked to learn that the taillights you see ahead of you are actually your own!

    The Holy Spirit says that Jesus fed some multitudes with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. There are still some who insist that when you deal with Jesus Christ, you are dealing with the Creator Himself Who has the power to multiply a very limited source of food into a more than sufficient amount in order that thousands of people of all ages have food to satisfy their hunger.

    The PTS "intellectuals" have this one all figured out as they do all reported miracles in the Scriptures. One of the more popular heresies on this is the idea that a small lad offered up his lunch for sharing and when all the others saw this, then they brought out their lunches which they had kept concealed until the moment of that little boys' generosity! And so the "miracle" was the change from selfishness to an attitude of wanting to share on the part of thousands of people.

    The Holy Spirit says that Jesus was crucified and paid the penalty in full for every sin committed by every member of the human race in order that we could be forgiven of all offenses, restored to righteousness, and brought into an acceptable relationship with a God Who is totally pure and holy.

    The PTSers are really screwed up on this one, which simply underscores how sin messes up the unregenerate mind. A number of them deny the reality of sin to start with and this thing of Jesus' crucifixion was more His own fault than anyone else's -- if He would have backed off and not stirred up so much controversy He could have avoided the cross and kept on teaching.

    The Holy Spirit says that Jesus was resurrected from the dead 3 days after crucifixion and that He eventually ascended back to heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.

    Ooooooh! The PTS boys and girls practically become a basket case over Jesus' resurrection -- at the worst they flat out deny Jesus was literally raised from the dead -- at best they may go so far as to say that it really doesn't matter -- if you believe Jesus was resurrected, and that helps you a bit in your faith journey, then good for you. But if you don't, you can still climb on board the Christianity band wagon -- it just doesn't matter -- what is important is to try to follow Jesus' noble example and practice His teachings.

    But for those of us who have made our personal acquaintance with Him through repentance of our sins, receiving Him into our lives as Savior and Lord, and walking in fellowship with Him each day, it does make a very significant difference -- after all, it's pretty hard to get personally acquainted with a corpse, much less enter into conversation with that corpse, is it not?

    The Holy Spirit says Jesus Christ is going to return to planet earth at some point in the future. He will take complete control of it and rule it, which means that some very major changes are going to be taking place in how things are done in this world.

    Ouch! The PTS crowd can't tolerate this truth either. There may be a variety of fancy dance steps performed on this in an effort to twist and distort what is clearly said not only by Jesus Himself but others regarding His personal return to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. The thought of Jesus' return is simply too troubling -- it blows our "we can bring in the kingdom ourselves" ship right out of the water -- we are living lifestyles that are diametrically opposed to God's standards for righteous living -- His return suggests personal accountability and we'll do anything to avoid that! Or any number of other "intellectual" rumblings which question or deny the hard fact that Jesus at some point in the future will return to earth and take full control of it.

    Among other things this means the end of all human government structures as they presently exist! For the United States it will mean the complete end of politics and broken promises which we've had to endure ever since the demise of true statesmanship a long time ago in the history of our republic.

    The Holy Spirit says there is a hell which was originally prepared for the devil and his angels. Jesus revealed quite a number of details about this horrible place of torment and the fact that not a small number of humans will end up there due to rejecting God's offer of mercy and grace.

    The PTSers deny the truth that hell is a real place of eternal destiny where torment and anguish never end. Some employ a very warped line of reasoning that says a God of love just could not send anyone to hell. They fail to realize that God doesn't "send" anyone to hell -- if you end up in hell, you are there by your deliberate choice of rejecting Jesus Christ as the One alone Who makes avoidance of hell and entrance into heaven possible!

    Another wrinkle in the heresy of denying hell's existence is the teaching of the false doctrine of universalism. Members of the PTS club relish telling people that everyone is going to heaven, no matter what, because God is a God of "love" and He could never tolerate even one person being in a place of eternal torment.

So there you have it -- a few areas where an unsavory assortment of pastors, theologians, and scholars have spoken against the Holy Spirit.

There are those who attempt to justify the positions of such heretics by saying it's just a matter of interpretation -- it's all in how you see it in your personal view and life's experiences and how you then proceed to interpret the Scriptures in light of all that.

Which brings up a real major problem here -- Jesus indicated that the Author of the Scriptures is the One Who teaches us, guides us into truth, and shows us things to come! It goes without saying that we must be teachable and be willing to be guided if we are going to experience the eternal truths of God. There will be a real sense of unity among those who have met Jesus' demand to become as a child and by faith explore the Scriptures in total dependence upon the Holy Spirit for understanding and clarity regarding God's ways and purposes.

In regard to some past miracle events -- if God wanted to split the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans all at the same time at a width of 100 or 500 miles wide, He could do it -- if He wanted to preserve a man alive in the belly of a big fish for 30, 300, or 3,000 days, He could do it -- if He wanted to feed a million or 10 million people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish, He could do it! And all that with no obligation to spell out scientific formulas and rational explanations as to how and why He did it to our intellectual satisfaction.

It sort of boils down to this -- just how big is the God you claim to believe and what is this God capable of doing when He chooses to take action? That assortment of PTSers to which reference has already been made has proudly expressed their "intellectual superiority." In the process they have assassinated the child-like faith which Jesus said is absolutely necessary in order to enter the Kingdom of God. As a result they have come up with a god of their own making who is quite impotent and only permitted to operate within boundaries of flawed human reasoning established by their very limited minds!

Now in these days as heretics are often made welcomed in a lot of denominations under the pretense that we a "diverse" group and we need to "celebrate" our diversity, there will be those who will say that the above comments are coming from a narrow minded fundamentalist who takes the entire Bible literally and who is very intolerant of the many "diverse" views which make up today's church. In response, I protest -- I am not a strict "literalist" -- for instance, when Jesus said, "I am the door," I don't think of a panel on hinges with a door knob protruding from it! Honest, I never have, but if I were a strict literalist, then that's how I would picture Jesus in light of such a statement!

Anyway, be blessed as you search for treasures in the Scriptures and depend on the Author for instruction, guidance, and application. Bear in mind this important statement:

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
--- 2 Timothy 3:16,17 NKJV

W A R N I N G S

And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many...Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many...For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.....

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

"Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works."

Matthew 24:4,5,11,24; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:1,2; 2 Timothy 4:3,4; 2 Peter 2:1,2; Jude 1:3,4;
Romans 16:17,18; 2 John 1:9-11; 1 John 4:1-6; Revelation 2:20-23 NKJV

AND an appropriate prayer....

It is time for You to act, O LORD, For they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments More than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way…. I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, because they do not keep Your word.
Psalm 119:126-128, 158 NKJV

October 14, 2004

by Clayton D. Harriger
Retired Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church
Presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy PA


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