Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 29, 1998
Last Updated :
April 15, 2018
Micaiah, Jeremiah And The False Prophets Of Peace, The Withdrawal Of God's Spirit And Judgment, Child Chastisement And Temporary Abandonment, A Spiritual Vacuum, The Prophecy of Joel, The Promise Of The Comforter, Endtime Warnings, Final Revelation Of Evil, No Second Pentecost, The Gospel Is Preached, The Final Harvest, The Changing Tide, A Lack Of Faith?, A Holy Or Unholy Spirit?, Is It Good Fruit?, The Lord Liberates And Lifts Up, Godly Conviction Or Satanic Condemnation?, Lift Up Your Praise To The Lord
As you may know, in ancient Israel, the Lord had His true Prophets who prophesied destruction and doom to a rebellious unrepentant nation, while Satan had his many false prophets who countered them with prophecies of victory, peace and safety. A primary example of this can be found in 1 Kings chapter twenty-two. This story revolves around the death of Ahab, who was one of the rebellious kings of Israel during the years of the divided kingdom. At that time, Jehoshaphat, who was the king of the southern kingdom of Judah who ruled from Jerusalem, went to see Ahab, who ruled Israel to the north from Samaria.
As earlier chapters reveal, the Lord was very upset with Ahab and his wicked wife, Queen Jezebel, due to their many evildoings, such as persecuting the Prophet Elijah. In the story, Ahab reveals his plans to attack Ben-hadad, the king of Syria. King Jehoshaphat asks Ahab if he had first sought the Lord concerning the matter. In order to appease King Jehoshaphat so that he would join him in the planned battle at Ramoth-gilead, Ahab calls for his prophets. What did these politically-correct false emissaries tell the king? Consider the following verses:
"Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king."
1 Kings 22:6, KJV
King Jehoshaphat obviously felt that something was amiss with this prediction, so he makes further inquiry. Ahab then informs him that there is another Prophet by the name of Micaiah, whom he doesn't particularly care for because he never prophesies anything good for the king:
"And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."
1 Kings 22:7-8, KJV
It did not matter to Ahab that Micaiah was a true Prophet of God. He preferred to be lied to by his false prophets due to the fact that his mind was already made up. Regardless of what the Lord thought, Ahab was determined to fight against Ben-hadad. At first, Micaiah was very hesitant to reveal the truth to Ahab; perhaps because he feared for his life. But, after being prodded by King Jehoshaphat, Micaiah finally told them that Ahab would be defeated and killed, as we see by the following verses:
"And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace . . . Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee."
1 Kings 22:17, 19-23, KJV
Naturally, King Ahab wasn't the least bit pleased that this one lone Prophet of God would dare to insult and contradict his four hundred politically-correct prophets by calling them liars, and then prophesying defeat for the king. Thus it should come as no surprise that Ahab rejected the words of this true Prophet of God by saying the following:
". . . Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?"
1 Kings 22:18b, KJV
Because he was faithful to obey the Lord instead of worrying about the opinions of men, Micaiah was cast into prison by this evil king of Israel. Ahab and Jehoshaphat then went up to war against the king of Syria. During the course of the battle, one of King Ben-hadad's archers shot an arrow up into the air by chance. In precise fulfillment of Micaiah's prophecy, the arrow found its mark; and Ahab was mortally wounded and died that same day. As had been prophesied, Ahab's blood was licked up by the dogs when it was washed out of his chariot. Later, his evil wife, Queen Jezebel, was also eaten up by dogs. Thus, Micaiah was vindicated as a true Prophet of God, while the four hundred false prophets were exposed, precisely as Moses had admonished hundreds of years before when the Lord spoke through him saying:
"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
Deuteronomy 18:21-22, KJV
At this point, some of you might be wondering why the Lord would purposely allow someone to be deceived, even to the point of sending one of His own ministering spirits to bring about the deception. Perhaps the answer can be found in an old proverb which states that a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still. In other words, the Lord knew that it was useless to try to change King Ahab's mind. Just like stubborn King Saul, Ahab was determined to do what he wanted to do.
No doubt the Lord could have easily forced the situation, but that would have interfered with Ahab's free will and personal choice. Thus, the Lord gave the king exactly what he wanted, and chose Ahab's delusion for him by sending the spirit to lie through the mouths of his four hundred false prophets. This is why we find the Lord saying the following through the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah:
"I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not."
Isaiah 66:4, KJV
In the article "The Office of a Prophet", another classic example I mention concerning a true Prophet of God being persecuted and ridiculed by the false ones, is that of the Prophet Jeremiah. From the very beginning of his prophetic ministry, due to his sharply-worded message which pierced the hearts of the wicked, Jeremiah was not well-received by his idolatrous countrymen. Unlike the politically-correct false prophets of peace of yesterday and today, he was not afraid to speak the truth; despite the persecution which it brought upon himself. Consider the following harsh words which were spoken by this fiery Prophet of the Lord:
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"
Jeremiah 5:31, KJV
"Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed."
Jeremiah 14:14-15, KJV
"Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 23:32, KJV
"For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 29:9, KJV
For a full forty years, the Prophet Jeremiah faithfully warned the Israelites to humbly submit themselves to the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, and to accept the invasion as a chastisement from the Lord. But, as had occurred with Micaiah years before, Satan raised up his false prophets who ridiculed, persecuted and contradicted Jeremiah. Consider, for example, the following incident concerning the false prophet Hananiah:
"Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way . . . Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month."
Jeremiah 28:10-11, 15-17, KJV
This wasn't the only time that Jeremiah had confrontations with the false prophets of Israel. Shortly after the above event occurred, the Lord further exposed the demonic delusion of these deceptive liars when He spoke through Jeremiah saying the following:
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 29:8-9, KJV
As the Apostle Paul would write over six hundred years later in his Epistle to the Hebrews, the Word of the Lord is like a powerful, sharp sword which pierces the very hearts of wicked and rebellious men, as we see here:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
Returning to the Book of Jeremiah, later, a foolish plan was developed whereby some of the rebellious Jews thought to escape from the Babylonian forces by fleeing into Egypt. In other words, they were trying to flee from the chastisements of the Lord. Jeremiah again tried to warn them not to do this as it would not fare well with them. However, once again he was accused of being a liar and a false prophet by the very people he was attempting to save. Consider these verses:
"And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words, Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:"
Jeremiah 43:1-2, KJV
Of course, we know from both the Bible, as well as from secular history, that all of the words of the Prophet Jeremiah came to pass exactly as they had been stated. For in approximately 587 B.C., Jerusalem was indeed invaded and destroyed by the forces of Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. Thus, just like Micaiah years before, Jeremiah was likewise vindicated as a true Prophet of God; thus fulfilling the words of his fellow Prophet, Ezekiel, who was inspired by the Lord to speak the following:
"And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them."
Ezekiel 33:33, KJV
This attitude of the ancient Israelites is very typical of some people today -- such as many hard-hearted Americans -- who likewise hate God's true messengers, and accuse them of being false prophets of gloom and doom. Despite this verbal, and sometimes physical, persecution, rather than go along with all of the other false prophets of peace of this modern era, who strive to be politically correct, and who paint a rosy picture of the future, the Lord's true messengers are not afraid to speak the whole counsel of God; even if they are words of coming destruction and judgment.
In contrast to this, consider what the Apostle Paul wrote regarding the Jewish false prophets who would deceitfully lull their countrymen to sleep with their false words of comfort, peace and well-being, even though their very own destruction would soon be upon them:
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
1 Thessalonians 5:3, KJV
It is because of these examples that I have given, as well as the verses which I have quoted, that I personally am greatly concerned about all of these spiritual leaders in the United States of America, who are currently speaking of a second day of Pentecost, of some coming American Prophet Elijah, and of a time of great revival in America in which many Apostles and Prophets will arise and inspire people to repent of their sins and return to the Lord. In my view, all of this talk seems totally contrary to what we find in the Scriptures. I am reminded of the following verse that is found in the Book of Genesis:
"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
Genesis 6:3, KJV
In the previous verse, the word "strive" is derived from the Hebrew word "diyn", or "duwn". This word means to judge, to contend, or to plead with someone. In this particular case, if we consider what the rest of the verse has to say, as well as what happened right after this in the Book of Genesis, I believe that the appropriate meaning in this verse, is to plead. In other words, it appears that what the Lord may be saying, is that He was slowly running out of patience with the wickedness of man; and that the time was soon coming when He would simply withdraw Himself from the Earth, in order to execute His righteous judgments upon the wicked. You may recall that in the very first chapter of the Book of Genesis, we find the following verse:
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Genesis 1:2, KJV
Whereas God's Spirit had previously moved close to the Earth in order to create life, with the above statement, it appears that the Lord is saying that He was soon going to withdraw Himself, and thus remove His life-giving Spirit -- that is, the breath of life -- in order to destroy everything that He had previously created. Some people -- myself included -- are of the opinion that Genesis 6:3 is stating that the Flood was going to occur exactly one hundred and twenty years after this statement was made; thus fulfilling the Lord's Words. The main point to consider is that when it finally came time for judgment, the Lord withdrew Himself and His Spirit, and that is why we are told that everything with breath died, as we see here:
"And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die . . . All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."
Genesis 6:17, 7:22, KJV
This goes hand in hand with something that the Apostle Paul said in Acts chapter seventeen when he stood on Mars' Hill and preached to the ancient Greeks in Athens:
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
Acts 17:28, KJV
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul dwelt on this very same topic when he penned the following lines as well:
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
Colossians 1:16-17, KJV
What does this have to do with our current discussion? Quite simply, Jesus clearly said in His Endtime discourse found in three of the Gospels, that at the end of the world, the situation would be exactly as it had been in the days of Noah:
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."
Luke 17:26-30, KJV
As I have explained in other articles such as "Selfishness: A Prophesied Sign of the Endtime", the above verses tell us two things. First of all, they tell us that in the Endtime, many people will be living selfish, spiritually-blind lives; totally indulging themselves in the things of the world, and the things of the flesh. The Apostle John perfectly described this kind of decadent life when he admonished the Lord's children with the following words in his first Epistle:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
As we saw earlier with the verse from Paul's first Epistle to the Thessalonians, the second thing that Jesus' Words tell us is that, as in the days of Noah, the destruction of the wicked will come quickly. However, I am now going to propose a more hidden meaning. Might it also be that Jesus was hinting that just as God abandoned the Earth during the Flood in Noah's day, that He, and thus His Spirit, have for the most part abandoned the people of the world in these Last Days as well? This is not to say completely; after all, the Lord was surely with Noah and His family in the Ark. To help you to better understand this concept, consider how we act at times as parents when we are upset with one of our children. Let's face it; kids are kids. Sometimes they do things which so totally irritate and upset us, that we don't even want them around us; because we are afraid of what we might do to them in our heated moment of anger. So what do we do? Well, we might send the child to his room in order to get him out of our sight while we think of an appropriate punishment.
In a way, this act of sending the child to his room is like a temporary form of abandonment. We haven't really abandoned him, but we want to let him think that we have, so that he will seriously consider the gravity of whatever the wrongful act was which brought down our wrath upon him. If that child has been brought up correctly, if he has any reverence for his parents, while he is waiting in his room, knowing that judgment is soon in coming, he is going to be fretting quite a bit. He is going to be seriously thinking about what he has done wrong. He will probably even be thinking of words to say in order to make things right once the chastisement has been meted out. As I explain in the article "Beholding the Evil and the Good", this act of temporary abandonment is fully supported by the Scriptures. God does this with His own children when they have rebelled against Him. Allow me to share the following verses with you from that article:
"We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through."
Lamentations 3:42-44, KJV
"Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods."
Deuteronomy 31:17-18, KJV
"When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:"
Job 34:29, KJV
"Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings."
Micah 3:4, KJV
"And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith."
Deuteronomy 32:20, KJV
"[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?"
Psalms 13:1, KJV
"Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation."
Psalms 27:9, KJV
"LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled."
Psalms 30:7, KJV
"And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily."
Psalms 69:17, KJV
"Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily."
Psalms 102:2, KJV
"Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit."
Psalms 143:7, KJV
"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee."
Isaiah 54:7, KJV
"Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."
Ezekiel 39:29, KJV
If you are interested in my views concerning Jesus's words on the Cross when He said "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?", that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?", I encourage you to read the aforementioned article. The main point I wish to emphasize with these verses is that in His moment of anger, while He metes out His judgments, God does indeed abandon His rebellious children. In fact, as in the case of ancient Israel, quite often He abandons them years before the judgments even begin to fall. In American slang, we refer to this as allowing one to "stew in his juice". In other words, God sometimes allows people to suffer in their sins for a while so that they really learn the lesson that He is trying to teach them. He lets Satan buffet them about a bit in order to sober them up. The Lord simply turns His Face away, He withdraws Himself, and His Spirit, as if behind a cloud, even though we are whining for help. But don't worry; because He is a good Father; and He also knows when enough is enough. If you doubt that God can even remove His Spirit, consider the desperate plea of King David during a time in his life when he greatly sinned against the Lord:
"Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."
Psalms 51:11, KJV
At this point, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with being "slain in the spirit". As my regular readers know, my approach to researching and answering an issue, is to build my case one step at a time. I want to make sure that you fully understand how and why I arrive at particular conclusions. It would be very easy for me to tell you what I believe without going into all of the details, but how is that going to help you? This is what some Christians writers do. They tell you what they believe, but they don't tell you why they believe it. They don't point you to the Word of God. In my view, this is what being a Bible teacher is all about. It isn't about uplifting the man, or the man's words; it is about lifting up the Lord and His Word; for as King David wrote:
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalms 138:2, KJV
To join all of these different thoughts together then, contrary to all of these false American prophets who talk about a great revival, and a tremendous outpouring of God's Spirit during a second Pentecost which will result in an Endtime Elijah, as well as in many other great Apostles and Prophets rising to the fore, I believe the exact opposite is predicted in the Scriptures. In like manner, while some of them predict peace, prosperity and safety for the United States of America, based upon her many crimes against God, against humanity, and even against the Earth itself, I can't possibly see how these deluded people can make such claims. We have already seen through the Scriptures, that prior to, and during judgment, God does not outpour His Spirit; He does the exact opposite; He withdraws it, Himself, and His Divine Protection. You will also find this topic discussed in "The Children of God and Politics"; as well as in 'The Fruits of Disobedience". Personally, I believe that this is the point at which we are at with both the United States of America, as well as with the world in general. God is poised to let His judgments fall, and possibly very soon! While the little boy has already been sent to his room in order to think over the matter, he is by no means in a state of repentance!
I am reminded of something I have shared in such articles as "Nature of the Alien: ETs, Demons or a Government Plot?" and "The Battle is Not Yours Alone!". When people begin to reject God in their lives, whether as individuals, or as an entire nation, they create a spiritual vacuum. Under normal conditions, a vacuum cannot remain a vacuum for very long. It must be immediately filled with something else. Just as God's Spirit will not go where it is not wanted, Satan and his demons will indeed go where they are not only wanted, but where they are also consciously invoked by those who are foolish enough to do so through various means. This may even include people who are young in their Christian faith, who don't really know how to differentiate between the Voice of the Lord's Spirit, and the voice of Satan or one of his evil cohorts. I have warned you many times in my articles that Satan is one deceptive fiend! He, his demons, and his worldly children, are much wiser than most of us could ever hope to be. That is why Jesus even said:
"And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."
Luke 16:8, KJV
It is only by staying close to the Lord, and by faithfully studying His Word, that we can possibly hope to recognize the wiles of the devil; for as the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
As I mentioned in part two of this series, some of the key verses which are used by these people who talk all about a revival and a great outpouring of God's Spirit in America during a second day of Pentecost, are the following, taken from the Book of the Prophet Joel:
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."
Joel 2:28-32, KJV
For quite a long time, I have also believed, and perhaps mistakenly so, that these verses are referring to a final outpouring of God's Spirit in the Last Days; however, I am now beginning to wonder if this is truly the case. Is it possible that just as some people have misinterpreted the timeframe of the verses in the Book of Malachi, so that they erroneously believe in an Endtime Elijah, that the above verses from the Book of Joel have also been misunderstood? Could it be that the phrase "the great and the terrible day of the LORD" is not referring to the Lord's Second Coming, but rather to His previous coming two thousand years ago? If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must admit that this is a distinct possibility. Due to the lack of a complete record of the events which occurred back then, we honestly do not know what celestial or Earthly signs the Lord may have performed. The sun being darkened, and the moon being turned to blood, could easily have been a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse during that age. Additionally, deliverance did in fact come from Mount Zion and Jerusalem; not only because Jesus preached in the very Temple, but because it was also there where He was crucified; and it was from there that His Apostles began to spread the Gospel message. As to this deliverance, when Jesus began His Ministry, one of the first things He did was to quote from the Prophet Isaiah:
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Luke 4:16-19, KJV
These are not the only things which cast doubt upon this belief in a second day of Pentecost as is proposed by the Latter Rain people and quite a few other charismatic groups. Peter's words found in the Book of Acts also indicate that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled on that day when there was a great outpouring of the Lord's Spirit on all of the Disciples in Jerusalem; exactly as Jesus had promised a short time before. As you read the following verses, bear in mind that Peter had just received the Holy Ghost; thus, he was speaking by the power and influence of God Himself. He was not leaning to his own understanding when he said these things. After His Resurrection, Jesus even opened up the Old Testament Scriptures to His Disciples; so I don't see how Peter or anyone else could have been mistaken when he said that this was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel. Consider now the following verses:
"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Acts 2:14-21, KJV
"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"
Luke 24:25-32, KJV
Notice that we are specifically told that Peter stood "up with the eleven". I don't know how you understand these words, but I understand them to mean that they were all in unison with Peter. This act of standing up together was a sign that, doctrinally speaking, they were in agreement with Peter; that is, they agreed that the words of the Prophet Joel were being fulfilled that very day. They had no doubt about this whatsoever. They had all seen Jesus after His Resurrection. He had opened up the Scriptures to them. They knew exactly what they were talking about. They weren't mistaken. They weren't deceived. They hadn't misunderstood the Scriptures. According to Jesus' own words, which were in fact a repetition of what is found in the Old Testament, they were establishing a principle doctrine of our Faith:
"But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
Matthew 18:16, KJV
"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
2 Corinthians 13:1, KJV
"Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,"
Romans 16:25, KJV
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
1 Peter 5:10, KJV
Despite this clear affirmation by the Founding Fathers of our Faith, today there are many spiritual leaders who make the false claim that the words of the Prophet Joel have not yet been fulfilled; or else they twist them and say that it is going to happen again. If you are one who believes in this idea of a second day of Pentecost, or in the coming of a second Prophet Elijah and other great Apostles and Prophets, then I ask you to please seriously consider the following. As we all know, the first Pentecost in Jerusalem was an extremely important part of God's Plan which greatly contributed to the spread of, as well as the survival of, our Christian faith. It was so important, that during the course of His Ministry, Jesus made mention of the coming promise of the Comforter, that is, the Holy Ghost, on a number of occasions. Following are some of the key things He said about it:
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
John 14:16-17, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"
John 15:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
Now let me ask you something. If the Lord had planned for a second day of Pentecost in the Endtime, just prior to His Second Coming, doesn't it seem likely that He, and His Apostles, would have made mention of it somewhere? Doesn't it seem likely that Jesus would have surely mentioned it in some of His Endtime sermons? Doesn't it seem likely that Peter, James, John or Paul would have mentioned it in one of their Epistles? Despite all of these false claims by these modern spiritual leaders, no one, not even the Lord Himself, made mention of such an important event. If not, then we are forced to ask ourselves, "Why not?". To me, the answer is rather obvious. As I stated earlier, rather than pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh in some great final American revival as some of these deluded people would have you to believe, it seems to me that the Lord might actually be withdrawing His Spirit from the Earth, as more and more people turn away from Him in sin and disbelief in these Latter Days. Isn't this the true pattern we have seen throughout the Bible? I have clearly supported this view with many Scriptures.
Tragically, that is not the end of the story. Remember a point I made earlier. When God's Spirit is removed, thus creating a spiritual vacuum, something else must come in to take its place. While neither Jesus, nor His Apostles, spoke of a Latter Day outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh, or of a wonderful appearance of many Endtime Prophets and Apostles who will perform mighty miracles -- other than the two sackcloth witnesses in Jerusalem -- the New Testament abounds with verses which clearly describe an extremely evil and totally deceptive presence upon the Earth in the Last Days. Following are some of the key verses which ought to wake up some of you to the real Gospel Truth, whether you can receive it and believe it or not:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:15-20, KJV
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Matthew 24:24, KJV
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
1 Timothy 4:1, KJV
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away . . . But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13, KJV
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
When the positive influence of God's Spirit is finally and totally removed from the Earth, whether it be through the removal of His Church as some people believe, and/or through the removal of any angelic beings who are currently keeping the tide of evil in check, what does the Bible tell us will happen next? The Apostles Paul and John provide us with a very clear answer. Following are some of the key verses from some of their writings:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, KJV
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
Revelation 13:11-15, KJV
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."
Revelation 16:13, KJV
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Revelation 19:20, KJV
Now that is the real picture of the Endtime described in the Holy Bible! It isn't this phony pie-in-the-sky scenario which is being preached by these false prophets of peace who talk about a revival and another outpouring of the Spirit. Why does there even need to be a second Pentecost? Did God's Spirit just run out, or run low somewhere during the past two thousand years so that we His children now need a refill? Hasn't the Holy Spirit been freely available to us ever since the day of Pentecost almost two thousand years ago? Isn't this whole idea of a second outpouring of the Spirit starting to sound unScriptural to you, not to mention being silly as well? These people who preach these things are in essence saying that the Holy Spirit is not currently available to us. They are basically saying that this is why we need another outpouring of the same. Well, I am sorry to disagree, but that isn't what Jesus Christ taught by any means. Quite to the contrary, He said:
"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?"
Luke 11:13, KJV
While God's Holy Spirit had previously been limited to selected people whom the Lord could trust with it, such as Moses, Aaron and his successors, King David, the Prophets of the Old Testament, Mary, Elizabeth, Ana, Simeon and John the Baptist, following Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross, and the day of Pentecost, it became freely available to all flesh; that is, to everyone who accepted the Lord Jesus Christ; beginning first in Jerusalem, and then spreading out to all around the world. We see this throughout the Book of Acts. Consider the following examples. There is no doubt in my mind that the Spirit was indeed poured out on all flesh exactly as had been prophesied by Joel:
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Acts 2:4, KJV
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 2:38, KJV
"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."
Acts 4:31, KJV
"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."
Acts 5:32, KJV
"Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:"
Acts 6:3-5, KJV
"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
Acts 8:14-17, KJV
"And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost . . . Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,"
Acts 9:17, 13:9, KJV
"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 10:44-45, KJV
"And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."
Acts 11:15-16, KJV
"Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord."
Acts 11:22-24, KJV
"And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost."
Acts 13:52, KJV
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;"
Acts 15:8, KJV
"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
Acts 19:6, KJV
Now, if God truly stopped pouring out His Spirit somewhere along the way since the day of Pentecost, so that we need a new outpouring, I would like to ask those of you who believe in this totally unScriptural doctrine, to tell me exactly when and where this occurred. Furthermore, since I have now conclusively shown that the words of the Prophet Joel have indeed already been fulfilled, and continue to be fulfilled to this very day, what other verses can you point to in order to continue supporting this wayward belief of yours? Because of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached for the past two thousand years; and it is being preached more and further today due to the innovations of our modern day. In fact, if we are as close to the very End as some people believe, then my guess would be that the time of preaching is about over, and God's Final Harvest of souls may soon begin. Why do I say this? Consider the following verses:
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Matthew 24:14, KJV
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped."
Revelation 14:14-16, KJV
Anyone who pays close attention to the news and to different evangelical endeavors, can readily tell that the Gospel has indeed been preached to the entire world, and by many different means at that. If anything, this world has been glutted with the Gospel. In fact, the world has been so filled with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that in our current day, it appears that the situation is now in reverse. From the stories and reports I have read, if they are to be believed, it appears that Christian missionaries are being persecuted to some degree, and even killed, in more nations than ever before. As different nations succumb to fanatical religious elements within their societies, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being less and less welcomed in some of these places. This is particularly true in countries where Islam is the predominant religion. It is now claimed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today; even in the United States of America; and not Christianity as one might be led to believe. The tide is truly changing. As the Light of the Gospel is extinguished, spiritual darkness will prevail.
This poses a very interesting question. Considering the true state of Christianity today, and the true state of the world in general, why is it that some of these charismatic leaders continue to express belief in this outpouring of the Spirit of God? While I cannot prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, could it possibly have something to do with the fact that some of these powerful leaders, who have set up themselves as Apostles and Prophets in some of these churches and organizations, need a reason to keep their followers under their control? By promising them some kind of a revival, and a coming baptism of the Spirit in which their flocks will also be wonderfully transformed into great Apostles and Prophets just like their leaders, these people give their followers a reason to keep believing in them as anointed shepherds of the Lord, whether they truly are or not. In other words, the idea is, "Keep believing in us, because it is going to happen!".
As I have already clearly shown, the problem with this is that it has already happened; and it has continued to happen for the past two thousand years. God has been pouring out His Holy Spirit upon His evangelists, missionaries and other faithful servants for almost twenty centuries now, in order that they might take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the Earth. This is precisely what Jesus said the Holy Ghost was for, and this is exactly what has happened:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
So again, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon all flesh, that is, upon all believing flesh, on the day of Pentecost; and the Lord has continued to pour it out upon those who love Him and obey Him ever since. It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that we have continued to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this very day. Thus, there is absolutely no need for a second outpouring of the Spirit. There is no need for a second day of Pentecost. As I pointed out in part two of this series, I think that one of the reasons that some of these people want this to happen, is because they want and need to see the signs; they need to see something physical; because they have lost the faith; and they need something to boost their faith once again. They need physical proof, physical signs, and feelings in the flesh in order to help them to keep believing; but as the Apostle Paul wrote three different times in his Epistles:
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Romans 1:17, KJV
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
Galatians 3:11, KJV
"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
Hebrews 10:38, KJV
Aside from the reasons that I have already mentioned in this series, as I point out in "Are the Gifts of the Spirit for Today?", if we are not currently seeing many great miracles, signs and wonders being performed by God's children, it might not be due so much to the absence of God's Spirit in our lives, but rather due to our own lack of genuine faith; for as the Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Hebrews:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen . . . But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Hebrews 11:1, 6, KJV
If we truly have the faith, then one would think that He would reward us with the miracles; for as the Lord said, if we have the faith of even a grain of mustard seed, we could remove mountains and cast them into the sea. Of course, metaphorically-speaking, we have already done this, because many nations, or mountains, have indeed been moved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, if we are not seeing very many genuine miracles, such as instant healing, then perhaps it is because as the Lord said:
". . . Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:8, KJV
I think it would be absolutely great if all of a sudden the Lord's children around the world began to perform all kinds of miracles due to a renewing or a refreshing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I think it would be fantastic if I could walk up to a sick person, or to someone missing an arm or a leg, and immediately heal them on the spot. Just think of how many people could be won to the Lord, or how many people would re-dedicate themselves to the Lord, by such a wonderful miracle and testimony of the Power of the living God. If these things are not happening, either it is due to our own lack of faith, or else because, as I pointed out in part two, this is simply not what the Lord has in store for the world right now. Instead of pouring out His Spirit in great quantities, He is beginning to withdraw it in order to allow the revelation of the Final Evil. It is this very possibility that makes this desire for a second day of Pentecost all the more dangerous. The time may be coming when there will indeed be a great outpouring of the spirit; but it won't be the Holy Spirit; it will be a extremely deceptive unholy spirit with manifestations which will deceive many!
This brings us to another equally distressing and very critical question. If some of these leaders are preaching a false deceptive message, could it be that their so-called spiritual manifestations are also false? After all, in order to prove that God is really with them, they would need all of these "wonderful" signs in order to convince people of this fact, regardless of the true source of these different manifestations. The question we all need to ask ourselves then is which god are we really talking about here? Which one is causing all of these odd manifestations to happen? As I have repeated over and over again in my articles, the acid test is in the fruit. This is the criteria that Jesus Himself gave us; and it is the one which we should follow without a shadow of a doubt if we really want to stay out of spiritual trouble. For those of you who are convinced of the Divine Nature of being "slain in the spirit", or "falling in the spirit", allow me to ask you a few questions. When you have these experiences, what kind of positive remaining fruit is it bearing in your life and in the lives of others? After all, this is our whole purpose for being here; to love God and our fellow man; and to bring forth fruit that remains:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV
Are these experiences drawing you closer to Jesus? Are they drawing you closer to His Word? Are they drawing you closer to other Christians? Do they help you to be a better witness to others? Are they bearing positive fruit by bringing more souls to Jesus Christ? How are you feeling inside after these incidents occur? Exactly what does falling down, or being pushed or knocked down to the floor do for you that is in anyway positive? These same questions can also be applied to any of these other odd experiences and manifestations that some of you are having. As I have already shown quite clearly, Biblically-speaking, the act of falling down, or more specifically, being knocked down, or cast down, or pushed down, is not a positive experience. It involves some form of rebellion, and is usually a chastisement from the Lord; however, there a few rare exceptions where falling down has been the result of a positive experience. I will be discussing these in the final part of this series.
On the other hand, as I explain in the article "The Lord Will Lift You Up!", when we are close to the Lord and obedient to His Word, rather than knocking us down to the ground, and in some cases even being held there by some unseen force as we see occurring with some of these charismatics, the Bible very explicitly tells us that He will lift us up. God's Spirit is not a heavy oppressive or suppressive force; it is an uplifting liberating force. It frees us mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and fills us with joy unspeakable. Allow me to share a few verses from the aforementioned article:
"Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great . . . He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man."
Psalms 18:35, 48, KJV
"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock . . . When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up."
Psalms 27:5, 10, KJV
". . . I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me."
Psalms 30:1, KJV
"I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room. Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly."
Psalms 31:7-9, KJV
". . . I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD."
Psalms 40:1b-3, KJV
"Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever."
Psalms 41:9-12, KJV
"But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving."
Psalms 69:29-30, KJV
"Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up."
Psalms 94:17-18, KJV
"Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually."
Psalms 119:116-117, KJV
So you see, while the Lord will knock us down if we become too proud and rebellious, He is primarily in the business of lifting up His children, and not knocking them down, either spiritually or physically. If we are knocked down, it is either because of our own pride and personal sins; or else because of the condemnation and oppression of the enemy. As I told one of my readers recently, there is a very big difference between Godly Conviction which points out our errors to us and then encourages us to do better, and satanic condemnation which only condemns and criticizes us and makes us feel like we have done something wrong which can never be forgiven. The Lord's Spirit will convict us through His Word and then give us hope, while Satan just harshly condemns and accuses us, and fills us with despair, and never offers any positive solution. If you are having this problem, consider the words of the Apostle Paul:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 8:1, KJV
So again, the Lord wants to inspire and lift us up in a spiritual sense, and not knock us to the floor by some invisible overpowering oppressive presence. In fact, right now, we His children are currently waiting for the greatest "lift up" of all time! The Apostle Paul spoke about it in the following inspiring verses:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, KJV
This whole idea of being "slain in the spirit", or "falling in the spirit", just does not seem very Scriptural to me whatsoever. Maybe some of these people are getting inspired, but are they really getting inspired by God's true Holy Spirit, or is it merely some fleshly, or even demonic, spirit? While I am not in the habit of talking too much about my personal walk with the Lord, I do feel that the following might be of a help to some of you. Just like many other Christians, there are times when I also get extremely inspired by the Spirit. This is particularly true when I am working on a certain article, and the Lord is giving me all kinds of great verses and showing me some precious Truths in His Word. When this happens, do you think that I am all of a sudden knocked or pushed to the floor by some unseen force? Do you think that I get all giddy as if I am drunk? Do you think I start howling like a dog or stomping my feet or laughing uncontrollably? Definitely not!
My natural reaction, my automatic reaction, is to get up out of my chair and walk around the room in utter amazement as I say "Wow! Thank-you Lord!" a few times. Then I lift up my hands and praise the Lord a bit in thankfulness for the wonderful things He has just shown me. Those few minutes of praise are so refreshing. It is like being lifted up and transported to some other place. When I open my eyes again, I think to myself, "Oh, I am still here". That is how real and out-of-this-world it can be at times; but I am sure that some of you have probably experienced the very same thing. I don't get knocked down; I get up and lift up my hands in praise to Him. That is my natural reaction; and not being pushed down by some unseen force. I am not "slain", I am lifted up spiritually. I am edified. I am rejuvenated. I sit back down with new strength and inspiration to keep working until the project is done. In short, my praise sessions with the Lord bear good positive fruit. This lifting up ourselves in praise is precisely what the Scriptures tell us to do. As we lift up our hands to Him in praise, He strengthens and encourages us. Consider all of the following verses:
"Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle."
Psalms 28:2, KJV
"Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."
Psalms 63:4, KJV
"Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul."
Psalms 86:4, KJV
"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD."
Psalms 134:2, KJV
"O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!"
Isaiah 40:9, KJV
"Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens."
Lamentations 3:41, KJV
"Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold."
Psalms 68:13, KJV
"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Isaiah 40:29-31, KJV
"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;"
Hebrews 12:12, KJV
This is the kind of praise that the Bible talks about. We are clearly told that it will strengthen us, encourage us, and lift us up. Godly praise does not attract a spirit which knocks us down, or pushes us to the floor as if it is trying to oppress us. Whatever spiritual force is causing that kind of reaction and behaviour is simply not of the Lord in my view, and should be rebuked immediately.
In the final part of this series, we will be taking a look at some of the specific verses which are used to support the doctrine of being "slain in the spirit". Topics discussed will include the Garden Of Gethsemane, Solomon's Temple and the Shekinah Glory, the awe-inspiring encounters of the Prophet Daniel, John's vision of Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelation, the Mount of Transfiguration, deceptive dreams and visions, strong delusion and lying wonders during the Endtime, more on the joy of the Lord, trying the spirits, and a few questions to test the temperature of your church or fellowship. I hope that you will join me.
Please go to part four for the conclusion of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .