Let me say this from the onset…I’m a tongue talking Holy Spirit believing Charismatic Pentecostal and love to move with flow of the Spirit of God. I love it when Holy Spirit moves in a service but it grieves my heart when I hear of the rise of strange manifestations in the name of the Holy Spirit….manifestations that are certainly not of God. Wild fire or strange fire is what it’s often referred to. Let me tell you right from the start…. Holy Spirit is a gentleman, He doesn’t come to make us spiritual fruits, flakes and nuts. He’s not into making fruit cakes! The Holy Ghost comes to convict us of sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of judgment. He comes to comfort us, to counsel us, to help us. Holy Spirit makes us more stable, not less stable. He keeps us under control, He doesn’t make us lose control.
Please don’t misunderstand me…. I’m all for experiencing the authentic power of God. I’m all for valid manifestations of the Holy Spirit. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit. I love to witness signs, wonders and miracles and I hope to see more of them in the days to come. But I am concerned that so many are ill-equipped to discern the difference between the Spirit of God and strange fire. My heart breaks for these innocents!
Without calling names I know of ministries where people bark like dogs and make other bizarre animal noises. Where people have been known to wiggle around on the floor and hiss like snakes. Crediting these sorts of manifestations to Holy Spirit makes Him look like a fool and it grieves me to the deepest part of my soul.
I’ve heard of people “toking” imaginary marijuana cigarettes and passing it down the line as if Holy Spirit is some sort of drug. And the pastors do nothing. People meow like cats, grown men lay on the floor in a sweaty huddle for hours, either unconscious or in some sort of funky haze, and teenagers twitch and shake uncontrollably as if having a seizure. And the pastors stand by and do nothing!
Let me ask you something….should we automatically put our stamp of approval on hissing, writhing and barking just because John said many things Jesus did weren’t recorded in the Bible? Shouldn’t we test the spirits, like the Bible says?
Some of you will probably get mad at me for saying these things but before you start throwing tomatoes let me make something crystal clear. I am not coming against signs that were recorded in the Bible. A talking mule…OK. But a person who grunts and bucks like a mule? I doubt it. Praying over handkerchiefs and giving them to sick people. I’ve done it. Dancing in the Spirit. I’ve probably danced in the Spirit more than any for you so I say go for it. Let’s keep the topic on the topic. This note is about none of those things. My note isn’t about biblical manifestations. It’s about manifestations that, instead of glorifying God and producing good fruit, appear more like a side show in a circus.
When all is said and done, I look at Jesus. You don’t get any fuller of the Holy Spirit than Jesus. And I never read where the Jesus I know was seen rolling around on the ground pretending to smoke imaginary weed or rolling His eyes in the back of His head or making animal noises. I haven’t seen one record of Spirit-filled saints acting that way in the Bible. You would think if such mad manifestations were genuinely of Holy Spirit and fell on those who were desperately seeking God’s face, we would see them recorded in the Book of Acts. Yes, we see strange miracles, but they didn’t include hissing, barking, writhing, and the likes.
Now, I did read about an encounter Jesus had with someone who offered some strange manifestations. Indeed, a boy was experiencing some strange manifestations that got worse in the presence of God. Scripture reads, “When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth” (Mark 9:20, NIV) Sound familiar?
What did Jesus do in the face of these strange manifestations? He rebuked the evil spirit and cast it out so when I see people attributing animal noises, hissing, and other strange manifestations to the Holy Spirit, I find myself wanting to do what Jesus did…cast out that evil spirit.
The apostle Paul said, “If the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” (1 Corinthians 14:23, NKJV) The Amplified translation says “demented.” The New Living Translation says “crazy.” The King James version says “mad.” And the Message translation puts it this way: “If you come together as a congregation and some unbelieving outsiders walk in on you as you’re all praying in tongues, unintelligible to each other and to them, won’t they assume you’ve taken leave of your senses and get out of there as fast as they can?”
Get out of there as fast as I can. That’s exactly what I’d do if I saw these strange unbiblical manifestations and that’s what I would suggest you do if you see people hissing, foaming at the mouth, and writhing on the floor in the middle of a church. If Paul offered this warning about praying in tongues, what in blue blazes would he say about barking like dogs, meowing like cats, wiggling around like snakes and the like? I have to tell you when I think of someone writhing and wiggling around on the floor on their belly like a serpent….sweet gentle Holy Spirit is not who comes to my mind. Think about it darlin’…
In His love,