Holy Ghost

Charismatic Gifts

"What had been frustrating this guy was that Juarez could never be pinned down.  He was more of a ghost than the Holy Ghost, nobody knew where he was except his own tight circle.  Sometimes even they didn't know."
--J.F. Freedman, Above the Law131

I think the Holy Ghost is like a high-ranking drug lord: "nobody knew where he was except his own tight circle.  Sometimes even they didn't know." I read in Acts that when believers wanted to get in touch with the Holy Ghost, they sent for the apostles, like the apostles had the Holy Ghost in their pocket.  But when it came to Cornelius' house, it seems like the apostles were at least a step behind.  Maybe gasoline isn't the best analogy.

    "This man was like quicksilver.  He was impossible to pin down, locate.  If we hadn't tried to catch him that night, we might not have had another chance. This was our best, and most likely our only, opportunity to get him.

It just seems to me that if demonstrable baptisms of the Holy Spirit are so hard to come by, then one might want to take any opportunity that presents itself.  Even with the gasoline analogy, the signs representing the cessation of such manifestations once the apostles were gone would correspond to the "LAST CHANCE" signs one sees on gas stations at the edge of town as one heads out into the desert.  But I remember my parents' account of their vacation in Arizona, "All the gas stations said, 'Last Chance.'"

I remember when I was a new Christian hitchhiking to Pennsylvania from Oregon to visit my parents for Thanksgiving.  I was going the southern route through Arizona, the Texas panhandle, and then Oklahoma.  I ended up riding with an old man who was out of money and almost out of gas.  But someone would give us enough money to drive a little ways and then someone else.  Finally we were taking a shortcut through farmland and were about to run out of gas miles from any town or major highway.  There was no way we were going to encounter a gas station before we ran dry, even if we had money to pay for it.  Then we looked out the window to see a gas pump next to a farmhouse.  The farmer gave us all the gas we needed, a full tank.  I didn't know that farms had their own gas tanks, and most of them don't, but we sure stopped when we saw it.

In Tulsa some Christians took me to a big assembly where I was introduced to the charismatic movement.  Finding the baptism of the Spirit here was like finding a gas pump in a farmer's field.  Only gas stations dispense gas, and apostles the Holy Spirit.

In the 2002 April Fool's edition of the Oregon Daily Emerald is a story, "The ghost of University track star Steve Prefontaine is to blame for the campus attacks and a recent attempted armed robbery, Jaggers said, and DPS officials seem satisfied with his explanation. ... 'Basically, we're willing to accept that premise--it would certainly explain why no one's been able to catch him,' Klink said.  'The most we can do right now is tell students to carry mace and keep to well-lit paths.  This seems like a culprit that can't be caught.'" It seems to me that this current sermon series contains an implicit warning to steer clear of the charismatic movement, and if it should cross our path, the preacher has given us ammunition to use against it.  I remember the words of our Lord, (Luke 11:13) "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." It's not so much that I'm afraid of the Spirit, but think that sometimes Charismatics hold too elevated an opinion of their gifts.


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Earl Gosnell
1950 Franklin Bv., Box 15
Eugene, OR 97403

Contact: feedbackatbibles.n7nz.org

Copyright © 2002, Earl S. Gosnell III

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