And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.Matthew 12:27-32
The problem we face in living free and authoritative lives in Christ is that Christians have stopped ministering the Holy Spirit to people; and those who do, do it for money.
The blasphemy of teaching that there is no baptism of the Holy Spirit is only matched by saying a few people have a monopoly on it.
We are both saved and sanctified by faith.
My salvation is only now because it will be. The Holy Spirit is an advance on a future reward. He is “the guarantee” of what we’ve been promised in Christ.
We have been freed. However, that doesn’t mean that the enemy doesn’t push back on that freedom to see if it’s real. This is what James calls: faith being proven and perfected by trials.
If you have been under a generational curse and now you’re not anymore by faith, you will still come toe to toe with that curse from time to time. You must face it down in Jesus’ name, because you’re under the banner of the Name and the Blood that breaks every curse and has given you new spiritual DNA. But you see, being free does not mean that the strength of that freedom won’t be tested. The strength of your freedom is faith. Your faith will be tested for perfection every time the old man, the curse, or the past tries to knock on your door and see if you’ll let them in.
Our lives are characterized by facing the world and overcoming. In Revelation, Jesus calls His own “those who overcome.” We overcome false teaching, offense, persecution, loss, poverty, rejection, abuse, demonic opposition, temptation, apathy, injustice; we overcome unto a victor’s crown. We share in everything Christ accomplished on the cross.
It is all ours now as the Holy Spirit ministers it to us.
However, there are at least two ways today that people are deprived of the Holy Spirit by teachers of the law. Teachers of the law propagate:
1) Teachings that the Holy Spirit doesn’t actively operate in and through us. People are misled into believing that they should not ask continually for the Holy Spirit, even though Jesus explicitly instructs us to (Luke 11:13).
2) Teachings that you can only be ministered to by the Holy Spirit through a select few, special individuals; who should be compensated royally for it.
There is a real problem I see— and it isn’t reckless abandon in pursuing the manifestation of sign and wonder giftings! It is that charismatic false teachings separate out a priestly class who have ultimate authority over others. In some cases that authority and class is even considered heritable. They commodify people’s sins, shame, and oppression rather than leading them to freedom and a one time endowment of Living Water. And that endowment is through, not water immersion, but by laying on of hands. There has been a propensity to lead people into situations where they are afraid to operate without a leader’s covering.
This constricts the freedom of individuals to follow God’s authority– or husbands’ leadership– directly in their lives. There is an explicit chain of command: God, man, wife. Notice denomination isn’t in there. Neither is pastor, prophet, apostle, author, thought leader, or YouTube sensation. We are told that Christ is the head of the church, and man the head of his wife. We are also told that there is no mediator between God and man except the man, Jesus Christ.
We honor our elders and deacons as decision makers and guardians of our communities. Church laypeople must not disrupt the functioning of the church by trying to usurp the organizational authority vested in church leaders. The Book of Acts is explicit in explaining that elders were appointed to oversee the organizational duties of the church– in the text’s scenario, the position of elder was created to ensure impartiality in food distribution to Jewish and Gentile widows.
Church leaders do not replace the Holy Spirit in our lives, nor the responsibility of men to lead their households spiritually. We are warned in the letters written by Paul that false teachers seduce vulnerable widows away from the true gospel. For this reason, Paul instructed Timothy to gather older widows under the covering of the church, and to encourage young widows to remarry. Paul’s recommendation to Timothy insinuates that false teachers always seek to avoid, interrupt or dismantle godly order, and the remedy to their schemes is maintaining a chain of command that protects people from imposters. Specifically, Paul was trying to protect women who do not have the benefit of a husband.
False teachers propagate an alternative covenant to the New Covenant. It is Oholah, as Ezekiel pejoratively names the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It’s a name that means “a tent.” This is in contrast to Oholibah meaning “my tent is in her.” In other words, when we convince people that the only way to operate in the Spirit is under the confines of specific people’s ministries, we end up worshipping God in a temple but not the Temple. And the alternate temple is for some reason very expensive to maintain…
We are in a Covenant body of complete equity and merit, submission and honor, orderliness and freedom— and it’s free; costly to Jesus but free to me; and it comes with the riches of His glory.
The reputation of the operative gifts of the Holy Spirit is very important right now. We are calling and crying for revival, so we need to repair the nets. “The nets” are those things that have empowered the evangelist to spread the gospel and rebuke unbelief in revivals of the past. People have come to attribute these nets to Beelzebub: speaking in tongues, word of faith, sowing finances, submission, covenant, and Sabbath.
We blaspheme the Holy Spirit when we denigrate these operations, which non-charismatic false teachers do with enthusiasm. We blaspheme the Holy Spirit when we abuse and misuse these operations of the Spirit, just the same as when we dismiss them.
- Do not speak against things you don’t understand (Jude 1:10)
- Do not exploit the principles of heaven for filthy gain (Numbers 22-24; Titus 1:11; Revelation 2:12-17)
Purify your desires in this season, because where your heart is will determine your harvest. When there is a harvest, everyone harvests– the godly a godly reward, and the wicked the reward of the wicked, the blasphemous the reward of blasphemy.
UPDATED: February 27, 2021