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Strange Fire

October 9, 2018 Pastor: John MacArthur Series: The Holy Spirit Today

Topic: Midweek Sermons

GS-051

Don asked me if I would kind of slide into a series that he is doing on the Charismatic Movement, the issue of the cessation of signs and wonders and gifts, and I'm more than happy to do that. This is going to be a pretty intense and involved lesson tonight so get your Bible and I want you to follow along as we look at this. It's important, it's a critical issue to deal with because the Charismatic Movement has virtually redefined Christianity for our generation and its gotten away with murder, to put it mildly. It's very important for us to have a correct evaluation of that. When people ask me what is the biggest problem in the church, my standard answer is a lack of discernment and a lack of discernment is like having a deficient immune system. If your immune system doesn't operate in your body, you can die of a thousand diseases, and the church's immune system, its discernment is deficient and so it can die of a thousand heresies. Having discernment comes from understanding the Scriptures and the word of God, that's the only protection that we have, and where that discernment isn't applied, there will be rampant error and heresy and subsequent sin and disaster in the church.

So it's important for us to look at this issue and I want to begin by having you turn in your Bible to the book of Leviticus and we'll get to it in just a moment. While you're turning there, the highest duty and privilege, the highest responsibility, the most essential behavior, the supreme responsibility for all humanity is to worship God. Worship is priority Number 1. The Father, according to John 4, seeks true worshipers who worship him in spirit and truth, as you heard Don say earlier. Believers are the only true worshipers. Now to show you what a priority this is, essentially that's what we will do forever in heaven. When you have a scene in heaven such as you do in Revelation 4 and 5, what you have is every being in heaven worshiping. If you look at Psalm 103 which begins, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits," and you follow that, you have a worshiping soul down through verse 5, and then in verse 6 he calls on everyone to worship, then as you come down toward the end of that Psalm in verses 19 and following, he calls on the angels to join the worship and he calls on the creation to join the worship, even the sun, the moon, the stars, and everything that God has made, as is indicated in places like Psalm 146 and others.

So the supreme priority is to worship God. We are those, Paul says, who worship in the Spirit, who worship the Lord Jesus Christ in the Spirit and have no confidence in the flesh. Above all, we are worshipers, we are true worshipers. The whole world is engaged in some form of false worship. We are the true worshipers. We are to worship in spirit, which means with all of our faculties; and in truth, which means according to accurate doctrine. And our worship is to be motivated by love, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and out of that love for God we worship him with all our faculties and capabilities, basing that worship on a response to his divine revelation in Scripture. Our whole being is to be filled with love for God and, therefore, expressing adoration to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit as God wants it to be according to how he has prescribed it in Scripture.

Early on in redemptive history as we find ourselves in the Pentateuch and the writings of Moses, early on the Lord identified worship leaders and the earliest worship leaders were the priests. Starting with Aaron and the Aaronic priesthood, they were first called in Exodus 29 and they were consecrated in Leviticus 8 and they were not only to be the mediators between the people and God but the leaders of worship.

Now the consecration of these priests as leaders of worship which was the primary duty of the people of God, is followed by a sacrifice in the ninth chapter. Let's look at that as we start chapter 9, verse 1,

1 Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel; 2 and he said to Aaron, "Take for yourself a calf, a bull, for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before the LORD [as had already been prescribed]. 3 Then to the sons of Israel you shall speak, saying, 'Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both one year old, without defect, for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD, and a grain offering mixed with oil; for today the LORD will appear to you.'" 5 So they took what Moses had commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the whole congregation came near and stood before the LORD. 6 Moses said, "This is the thing which the LORD has commanded you to do, that the glory of the LORD may appear to you."

Worship according to this prescription, follow these instructions and the glory of the Lord will appear to you. Verse 7,

7 Moses then said to Aaron, "Come near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, that you may make atonement for yourself and for the people; then make the offering for the people, that you may make atonement for them, just as the LORD has commanded."

Now we pick up the account by going down to verse 22 of that same chapter.

22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people [just as God said it would]. 24 Then fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

Aaron was obedient and the glory of the Lord appeared. God was pleased and put his glory on display. The sons of Aaron, that is a different story. Immediately in chapter 10 we read,

1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

Fire came, first of all, when the sacrifice was offered by Aaron as God prescribed it to be offered and burned up the offering and the glory of the Lord appeared. When Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire which God had not commanded, the fire came down and burned them to ashes. Verse 3,

3 Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what the LORD spoke, saying, 'By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'" So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Really a frightening moment. Two sons of the high priest, they were honored among the people, they were respected, they were priests of the one true God. Nadab would have been next in line to be the high priest as the oldest son. Moses was their uncle. Their names are included in the list of the nobles of Israel in Exodus 24, and apart from Abraham and Moses, they are the only ones named the first time Scripture refers to Israel's 70 elders in Numbers 11. So Nadab and Abihu were highly honored priests, nobles of Israel among the 70 elders. They were not sinister men. They were not wicked men. They were not usurpers. They had the priesthood by inheritance. With the 70 elders of Israel, they were given the privilege of coming up Mount Sinai partway to watch at a distance, according to Exodus 24, as Moses went all the way up to the mountain and God spoke with him. The nation had to stay far away, far away with the animals but Nadab and Abihu were among those who could go partway up the mountain. From the desert far away, the people saw only lightning and smoke on Mount Sinai but Nadab and Abihu were invited to come up and it says in Exodus 24:11, "they saw God, and they ate and drank." Highly privileged men, closer to God than anyone but Moses. They seemed so secure. Then verse 2 says God literally incinerated them. Why? For not treating the Lord as holy. For not treating the Lord as holy. They offered strange fire.

They offered a sacrifice of their own design, of their own making. It's very possible that they were drunk at the time because if you go down to verse 8 of chapter 10,

8 The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die

Perhaps in their drunken stupor, they concocted some kind of offering of their own imagination. They failed to make a distinction, according to verse 10, "between the holy and the profane, the unclean and the clean." Failure to reverence God cost them their lives. God first burned up the altar in chapter 9, verse 24, and then burned up the priests.

The most serious crimes against God occur in corrupt worship. The most serious crimes against God occur in corrupt worship. You would have thought they might have learned something from back in Exodus 32. You will remember the scene of the golden calf. The people, verse 1,

1 …. saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2 Aaron said to them, "Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." 3 Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."

They were not worshiping a false god, they were worshiping the true God in a false way. They were worshiping the true God in a false way.

Verse 5,

5 Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD."

They look at the golden calf as if it's a representation of the true God.

Verse 6,

6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play [a euphemism for, no doubt, immoral behavior]. 7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'"

Now keep this in mind: they were not worshiping a false god, they were worshiping the true God in a false way; transforming the glory of God into a blasphemous, blasphemous misrepresentation.

Verse 25 of that chapter says,

25 Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control--for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies-- 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!" And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him. 27 He said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.'" 28 So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day.

Now they weren't worshiping a false god, they were worshiping the true God in a false way. God will be worshiped, and God alone, and in the way that God has prescribed to be worshiped.

Here I see the primary error in the Charismatic Movement. The Charismatic Movement dishonors the Father and the Son but most specifically dishonors the Holy Spirit, and one could wonder why they don't have a kind of Ananias and Sapphira experience every so often when some people engaged in that are consumed or killed by power from heaven. Irreverent ideas, irreverent actions, irreverent beliefs, irreverent claims, irreverent promises, irreverent behaviors ascribed to the Holy Spirit that have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit whatsoever. More strange fire. That is grounds for judgment. God the Holy Spirit, like God the Father, is dangerous to all who offer strange fire. You'd be better off to stay away from God than to come near him and offer him strange fire.

The radical seriousness of dishonoring God and particularly the Holy Spirit, apparently escapes Charismatics. The Holy Spirit of the Charismatic Movement bears no resemblance to the true Spirit of God. It's more like the Kundalini sect of Hinduism because it features identical behavior, and the Kundalinis are demonic-possessed people. It's really a tragic and agonizing irony that those who claim to be the most devoted to the Holy Spirit and to be able to experience his power and his presence the most, are following patterns that are characteristic of demon-possessed people that blaspheme his name. They really are the reverse of Matthew 24. You remember Matthew 12:24, they attributed to Satan the works of Christ. The Pharisees attributed to Satan the works of Christ and the Charismatics have reversed that and they attribute to the Holy Spirit the works of Satan. They have thrown their fantasies into the strange fire of mystical experience and demonic power and they have worshiped the golden calf that came out.

Now take a breath because that's pretty strong language. Am I discrediting everyone in the Charismatic Movement? Yes, in a sense. The Charismatic Movement – listen – has made no contribution to biblical interpretation and no contribution to sound doctrine. None. Some in the Charismatic Movement believe the Bible is the word of God and they hold to the true Gospel, but none of those understandings that are accurate have as their source that movement because that movement has made no contribution to sound doctrine. Most people in that movement have no clue about sound doctrine, they don't even understand the nature of God and the nature of worship, and I'm afraid many of them don't even understand the essence of the true Gospel. Nothing coming from that movement, nothing coming from that movement has provided recovery or strengthening of the biblical Gospel. Nothing coming from that movement has preserved the true church and true teachers. It has produced distortion, confusion and error.

The faith of the biblical Gospel has to survive the Charismatic Movement. There are people in the movement who are true believers, who know the Gospel, who love the Lord. They are orthodox on the Gospel but they are heterodox on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Such people need to escape from strange fire. The movement in addition to those true believers that are there, the movement, of course, is loaded with non-Christians who are in there because of carnal desires and emotional experiences.

Costi Hinn is the nephew of Benny Hinn. Costi has written a book called "Defining Deception" in which he writes about his Uncle Benny. I said to him one day, a basic question, "Is Benny Hinn a Christian?" He said, "Oh, my, no." And he would be considered among the super-anointed in that movement.

I am grateful for people in the movement who have come to know the Lord, and there are some, I know that. I am grateful for those who believe the Gospel and endeavor to honor the Lord, but for them, the movement is a very very difficult environment to be in because they can't restrain the flesh with a false paradigm of sanctification. They are not fed the word so that they can grow. They don't know how to walk in the Spirit, to live in the power of the Spirit on a day-to-day basis. Their faith is weak; it's not really faith, it's doubt looking for proof. They have been given false promises after false promises after false promises after false promises about miracles and signs and wonders and healings and prosperity, and eventually you begin to doubt God.

No movement supposedly based on an orthodox Gospel has done more damage in the church, to the church, to the Bible, to the Holy Spirit than this movement. Its success comes from its connections to the kingdom of darkness. Its success comes from its connections to the kingdom of darkness and it demands to be accepted in the mainstream of evangelicalism, and to be accepted with open arms. It dominates evangelical media, radio, television, publications, books. Evangelicals have thrown open the city gate and let the Trojan horse in and its troops have taken over the city and placed an idol in the city of God, a golden calf, distorting the truth and corrupting worship.

Just as a footnote, if the Lord was going to give somebody miracle power, he wouldn't give it to heretics with bad theology. Why would the Lord authenticate them? If the Lord was going to do supernatural things to affirm his word, he would do them for the true, pure teachers of the word of God. He wouldn't do miracles to authenticate people who claim false miracles, visions, prophecies, anointings, who generate mindless, blind pandemonium, shaking, babbling, falling over. So this is a very serious serious issue.

Take another breath for a moment. In 1657, John Owen, the great English Puritan theologian, wrote an analysis of communion with God. Here is the title, this is a typical Puritan title, "Of communion with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each person distinctly in love, grace and consolation." Subtitle, "The saints' fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit unfolded." Owen in that work talks about Trinitarian communion being the essence of worship. We receive from and we respond to all three persons of the Trinity. Our covenant relationship is initiated by the Father, ratified by the Son, and communicated by the Spirit, right? Initiated by the Father, ratified by the Son at the cross, communicated by the Spirit. The Father gives us divine sovereign love, the Son gives us divine sovereign grace, and the Holy Spirit gives us divine sovereign life. Scripture is rich ascribing the unique elements of the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When it comes to the Holy Spirit, I understand that they are more likely to affirm God and the Father and the Son and get fairly close to what is an accurate biblical representation than they are the Holy Spirit. They have created an idol with the name "the Holy Spirit." When we look at Scripture, what does the Holy Spirit do? Convicts. Regenerates. Justifies. Illuminates. Cleanses. Converts. Sanctifies. Adopts. Baptizes. Indwells. Endows. Empowers. Guides. Delivers. Secures. Produces fruit. Nothing about knocking people over. Nothing about silly laughter. Nothing about body heat, or spiritual hiccups, or convulsions, or a stupor, or falling down, or gibberish, or primal sounds, or jumping or rolling on the floor. None of that is the work of the Holy Spirit. That is blasphemy.

Owen says, "The Spirit's ministry consists in his bringing the promises of Christ to remembrance; glorifying him in our heart; shedding abroad the love of God in us; witnessing with us as to our spiritual state and condition; sealing us to the day of redemption; being the earnest of our inheritance; anointing us with consolation; confirming our adoption; and being present with us in our supplication. Here is the wisdom of faith, to find out and meet with the Comforter in all these things, not to lose their sweetness by lying in the dark as to their author, nor coming short of the returns which are required of us." How are we to respond to the work of the Spirit? We are not to grieve him. We are not to quench him. We are not to resist him. Owen goes on to say, "Regular communion with the three persons of the Godhead in meditation, prayer, and a duly ordered life, is full-orbed communion with God."

Another Puritan, Thomas Goodwin, said, "Our worship is sometimes with the Father, and then with the Son, and then with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes his heart is drawn out to consider the Father's love in choosing, and then the love of Christ in redeeming, and then the love of the Holy Spirit in searching the deep things of God and revealing them to us, and the Spirit takes all the pains with us. So a man goes from one witness to another distinctly which, I say, is the communion that the believer must have." Writes Goodwin, "We should never be satisfied until all three persons lie level in us and we sit, as it were, in the midst of them while they all manifest their love to us. This is the highest that ever Christ promised in this life."

Rather than that, the Holy Spirit being treated reverently, turn to Hebrews 10 and we are given an insight here into how the Holy Spirit is treated. Hebrews 10:29,

29 How much [sorer or] severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

People rarely insult the Father, they rarely insult the Son, they regularly insult the Spirit of grace. It's a Greek verb "enybrizo." The noun is "hubristes" from which we get the English word "hubris; audacity." "Hubris" means "audacity or insolence; or to violently insult someone; outrageous insult." The Holy Spirit is of the three members of the Trinity most frequently insulted in this contemporary form of Christianity. Insulting the Spirit of grace, he is Yahweh's Ruach, he is Yahweh's Pneuma, the breath of God. "Ruach" means "air in motion"; "pneuma, the blast of God." He is the life of God, the power of God, the very essence of God. In fact, in Psalm 33:6 it says that the host of heaven was created by Ruach, by the blast of God's Spirit. The New Testament work of Ruach Yahweh creating life, transforming life, purifying life, conforming sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ, equipping, empowering, sealing, securing, illuminating; and again, the Father initiates salvation, the Son validates salvation, the Holy Spirit activates salvation. The Holy Spirit does not do things other than what the Scripture prescribes to him, and the last thing he would do would be to validate false teachers.

The greatest satanic deception comes inside the church, right, because Satan is disguised as, what? An angel of light. And this deception is rampant. Just on the doctrine of the believer's security, here's a quote from Benny Hinn, "No, no, never, ever go to the Lord and say, 'If it be your will.' The acting of the Holy Spirit is dependent on my words. He will not move until I say it." The hubris there is stunning. This from a man who says he has the anointing from God and he received it by visiting the graves of two dead women preachers, Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman.

So again, we come back to where we started. The most fundamental duty of man, the highest of all responsibilities is to worship God and to worship him for who he is, in the way that he has revealed and commanded that he would be worshiped. Exodus 20, one of the 10 Commandments, "Don't take the Lord's name," what? "In vain." Most people think that means don't swear. Well, that's really not the point. It could include that obviously but what is it to take his name in vain? It's to speak of God in any irreverent manner; in any way that misrepresents his nature, misrepresents his attributes, misrepresents his words, misrepresents his work. That is one of the 10 Commandments right at the very beginning. You take the Lord's name in vain if you ascribe something to him that is not true of him. To think of God or conceive of God, Father, Son or Holy Spirit as other than he is, is taking his name in vain, and according to Deuteronomy 28, another passage which warns us about the danger of false worship, I'll read you a couple of verses out of that chapter. Deuteronomy 28, a long chapter. Verse 58,

58 If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear [or to literally reverence] this honored and awesome name, the LORD your God,

Alright, if you don't fear, honor, reverence, worship God according to the revelation of his word, verse 59,

59 then the LORD will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you.

Such will not go unpunished.

Scripture doesn't need to be any clearer. We don't need to create a golden calf out of the Holy Spirit, a misrepresentation of him, because there is a broad and rich panoply of titles and revelation about the Holy Spirit. He is the breath of the Almighty. He is the eternal Spirit; the generous Spirit; the good Spirit; the Spirit of the living God; the Spirit of God; the Spirit of the Father; the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit of the Son; the Spirit of life; the Spirit of grace; the Spirit of wisdom; the Spirit of counsel; the Spirit of might; the Spirit of understanding; the Spirit of knowledge; the Spirit of fear; the Spirit of truth; the Spirit of holiness; the Spirit of glory; the Comforter; and in Luke 1 he is called the power of the Most High. As holy as the Father, so holy is the Son. As holy as the Son, so holy is the Spirit. As powerful as the Father, so powerful is the Son, so powerful is the Spirit. They are one in perfection. All of that calls us to the restoration of true worship in the church. The church today instead of defending the Holy Spirit, led by the Charismatic Movement is busy defending false teachers who misrepresent the Holy Spirit.

Just to kind of wrap things up, I've said a lot, there are about a half a billion Charismatics in the world, from 0 in 1900. Faster growing than Mormonism or any other religion. The Charismatic Movement has successfully demanded acceptance and, therefore, corrupted the church; cultivated emotionalism to the extreme; confused people on the meaning of worship, the meaning of prayer, the meaning of praise, the meaning of faith, the meaning of contentment, the meaning of humility, the meaning of even salvation. One would think that the church would have rejected such dangerous corrupting influence, but it hasn't. It's really tragic.

What is the real ministry of the Holy Spirit? I'll close with this, turn to Romans 8 just to sum it up. Romans 8:28,

28 ... we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

So what you have there is a statement of the objective of all God's redemptive plan. Verse 29: to conform the predestined to the image of his Son; to make us like Christ.

To make us like Christ, whose work is that? Listen to 2 Corinthians 3:18,

18 ... we all, with unveiled face [unlike Moses who had a veil over his face], beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord [we look into the glass which is the word of God and we see the glory of the Lord revealed in the person of Christ], are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory [from one level of glory to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next; in other words, as we gaze at the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into his image, moving from one level of glory to the next, to the next] just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

That is the Spirit's work. The Spirit's work is to conform us to the image, the likeness of Christ.

So if the Spirit was powerful in that movement, what would we expect to see? False teachers? Health/wealth preachers? Deceivers? No, we would expect to see, what? Christlike people because that's the work of the Holy Spirit. His work is not to knock them down, make them roll over, laugh, shake, bark, faint, appear drunk, babble. His work is to make them like Christ.

You know, the Holy Spirit was a constant companion of the Lord Jesus, right? From the womb to the tomb. He was conceived in the womb by the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit was with him to the tomb. The Son of God gives us a pattern. He emptied himself of his divine prerogatives and voluntarily submitted to the will of the Father and the power of the Spirit. That is how we must understand the Incarnation, and all that was going on in the Lord's life was the work of the Holy Spirit. That's why he says in Matthew 12, "The word spoken against Me can be forgiven but spoken against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven," because everything happening in his life was the work of the Holy Spirit and he said, "That's blasphemy of the Holy Spirit." When they rejected him, they were blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Look at his life. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us life. He was matured by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us growth. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit at his baptism, Mark 1. The Spirit baptizes us into Christ. He was sustained by the Holy Spirit in his temptation. The Spirit strengthens us in our temptation. He was empowered by the Spirit in his ministry. The Spirit empowers us in ministry. He was filled with the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the believer's gift if we walk in the Spirit. He was holy by the power of the Holy Spirit. The holy Son of God walked perfectly in the Holy Spirit, displayed all the fruit of the Spirit and all the characteristics of divine life. The Spirit produced that in him, the Spirit produces that in us, though not, obviously, to the level of perfection. He faced death triumphantly in the Spirit's power. In Romans 1:4 it says the Spirit raised him from the dead.

So if you want to know the ministry of the Holy Spirit, look at Christ's life. You don't see any nonsense. As the Spirit was to the Son of God, he is to us. That is why Jesus said in John 16:7, "It is better for you that I go away because when I go away, I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit. Better to have Him in you than Him in Me with you." Did you get that? "He has been with you in Me. He will be in you. Better to have Him in you than with you in Me."

The Spirit has no interest in making people act like fools or subscribe to bad theology or misinterpret Scripture and create golden calves that don't represent God. The Spirit's work is a magnificent work inside providing holy knowledge, holy doctrine, holy deeds, holy attitudes, holy words, holy character, holy actions. It is just horrible hubris to insult him and make him responsible for the chaos in that movement. God demands acceptable worship, right? And it is that worship which we give him in the power of his Holy Spirit.

Father, we thank you for giving us your word. We have run the breadth of it and we are just overwhelmed at its unity, its consistency, its glory. Father, you have glory, blessed Son of God, you have glory, blessed Holy Spirit, you have glory, and consequently your word which is your very breath, has a glory all its own. We see that glory even as we look at it again together tonight. We don't need to defend it. It has an innate glory because it is your very word. Father, we ask that you would bring your church to a place of true and pure worship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May we commune with the Triune God and may all three sit level receiving from us equal adoration and equal reverence. For this privilege we give you thanks and we'll do it forever in your presence with joy. In Christ's name. Amen.

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