A Response to Strange Fire

ImageJohn MacArthur has stirred the Charismatic/Pentecostal world with allegations of heresy in his book, Strange Fire. Today, I spoke with Dr. R.T. Kendall, who has written a book in response to these allegations entitled, Holy Fire: A Balanced Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in our Lives. Are modern-day prophesies and the charismata of the Holy Spirit legitimate expressions of the Spirit-filled life? Should we view manifestations of the Holy Spirit (as demonstrated in modern revivals) as heretical or acceptable? What is cessationism and why is it a danger to the spirit-led life? The entire audio file of this conversation with Dr. Kendall is available, here, at the Defining Words Podcast. Enjoy!

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31 thoughts on “A Response to Strange Fire

  1. Thank Goodness The Lord is the same yesterday, today & tomorrow ! I couldn’t care less what the naysayers say about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are for perfecting the Church. Jesus, on the cross said, ” it is finished “. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to perfect the church. I lose patience with those who deny the power of the Holy Spirit. They are in for a shock when they reach their reward.

  2. I’m with you on this Cene for you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! These people who speak evil against the Holy Spirit will have A RUDE awakening when the Lord comes back! They had better watch what they say against Him for God doesn’t take lightly to that. For WITHOUT the Holy Spirit we as God’s Children are “Dead in the Water” and going NO WHERE AT ALL! I think those who speak against the Holy Spirit show us that they do NOT really know Him at all!

    • Kate: I, too, often wonder how it is possible to worship The Lord & not believe He is a Supernatural, Wonder Working, Holy God- who cares & assists His children throughout the day & night ! How can one profess a relationship with a cessated God ? My Lord instructs me in the night as I sleep & shows my spirit mysteries – guides me throughout the day- lights my paths; answers my questions of scripture HE’S ALIVE !!!! And HE’S ALWAYS TALKING. I love Him so deeply- my heart cries out to Him – MARANATHA, my Beloved ! Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices. (Song of Songs 8:14 NLT) Thank You, Kate !

      • You’re welcome Cene! I recently read when Jesus died and was resurrected in Matthew 27:45 to 28:15(NIV Holy Bible). I was rather stunned to notice this time what the Pharisees, Chief Priests and Elders did and said to the Guards who guarded Jesus’ body as all these miracles were happening in their midst. Ie; Sudden darkness that fell on the land at the ninth hour, the earthquake, the temple curtain being split in two, the many holy people who were raised to life walking around town appearing to folks there, the 2nd earthquake Matthew 28:2, and the angel appearing at the tomb and freaking out the roman guards there.
        And then look what these religious folk said in Matthew 27:63 – they called Jesus “A Deceiver”! They then devise a plan in Matthew 28:12-13 and they pay off the guards to shut them up and get them to lie about what happened to Jesus.
        So the Leaders of that day acted as if they were totally BLIND in the midst of all these miracles! They were accusatory (calling Jesus a deceiver), conniving and devising plans, and controlling and bribing folks with money. So what they had accused Jesus of doing (deceiving) they themselves were doing.
        I believe I’ve just read examples of “the flesh gone wild” whereby man attempts to EXPLAIN AWAY the miracles of God, and the evil spirits of deception & blindness that keep people from seeing, experiencing and knowing the truths of God for themselves.
        When we’ve experienced the Goodness of God for our own selves and have been touched by His awesome love and His wonderful Holy Spirit it leaves us so deeply thankful and tenaciously prayerful and warriorfully warriorful that others might also enter in and know Him for themselves too!
        I speak from experience for I’ve tried and tried and tried to explain God’s love and His wonderful Holy Spirit to others who have NOT A CLUE, and I am now thoroughly convinced that PRAYER is the ONLY ANSWER for them. It is good to vent but I save my ULTIMATE VENTING to God who answers prayers FULL OF PASSION! Always remembering Miracles happened WHEN Jesus WAS MOVED WITH COMPASSION! God answers prayers like that! Pour your heart out to THE ONE who loves you and HE WILL HURRY TO ANSWER THEM! And as you are praying over there remember I’m praying over here too, for there is a real spiritual war going on!

      • Amen Amen Amen !!!!! Somehow ( yeah right ) , Baptist folks are always put in my path, & I’ve come to realize how impotent their god is & how ignorant of the Word they are. I’m not speaking of baby Christians- but of 30 -40 year believers. It breaks my heart. It shuts me down & I don’t want anything else to do with them. I cannot bear it. There. I’ve confessed my sin. My friends always say The Lord is giving me an opportunity to share with them. But- they never are able to receive. I know they are Born Again – my question is: how is it they just don’t believe the Bible ? Cause they’ve never read it ? I really don’t like to brawl about the scriptures. And I won’t with a believer. I’ve concluded that it will be near impossible to serve The Lord in the very near future without the baptism of the Holy Spirit with power. It really does open your eyes to the war that IS going on – where we are to occupy, hone our gifts & talents, be salt & light, prayerfully do battle- declare DECLARE with our authority in Him that it be on Earth as it is in Heaven. I have enjoyed this “forum” & bless Melissa so much for letting us chat here. So love her & her work & so delighted I found her while googling a scripture !

      • Remember, this battle is not against flesh and blood. Dane is a he, but i forgive you for that and by the way baptist in my background too. Grew up Brethern- methodist union church. Been a follower of Jesus for some time now. And i am convinced our Lord would have returned already, except His own can’t get along with each other. When upon The Lord Jesus Christ the church is built, the gates of hell can not prevail. When we focus on Him, most of our differences are small matters. Some foundational truths have to be upheld. But only the Truth will last and prove Himself.

      • I think DANE has some VERY insightful words that she wrote above. I’m considering them now and am reminded of how I use to be. I had NO real revelation of God’s love for me and only acknowledged it in my mind because it was written in the word, and it was only after my life began to fall apart because of illness that God got the time with me that He needed to show me how much He did love me. Thank God that He is SO PATIENT with “heart-hearted numbskulls”…. and now I can only laugh for I was one of them! And who knows but Him what else I need to yet have heart revelation of! I’m SO THANKFUL that He is the One in charge and that He has such patience with all of us no matter where we are at! tee hee hee….

  3. This will most likely never be fully understood. But I am reminded of how I was for most of my life. I had a form of religion but did not know The Power of His Word. Only God reveals things to us when we spend time with Him. I am not saying that I have reached a level of understanding better than anyone else. I am saying that scripture does come to life for me sometimes now that The One who leads us to The Truth has come to live in me. I have maybe received a drop from the ocean of His Wisdom and a hunger for more and more. Thank you for this place for us to come together.

  4. My mother wrote & I quote ” unregenerate man will always in pride & self righteousness try to reduce the All Holy, All Righteous, Almighty God to a tangible, lifeless form, devoid of the Holy Awesome Spirit. Religious man will even try to reduce the eternal Logos, full of grace & truth, life & light of God, which is in essence Spirit to mere letter and empty form contrived in the image of man’s own inflated ego.”

  5. I’m SO SORRY DANE! My sincere apologies to you, for I didn’t know and just assumed you were a female! Thank you for Correcting me on it! I’m so glad that you are on here and ready to put your comments on here too! I’m also so thankful to Melissa for allowing our exchange and feel sort of “naughty” since last time I put a lot of writing on here. I’ll try not to do that now.
    I really enjoyed what Cene put on here, “I really don’t like to brawl about the scriptures. And I won’t with a believer. I’ve concluded that it will be near impossible to serve The Lord in the very near future without the baptism of the Holy Spirit with power”, for I am having the same feelings on these things too!

      • Ahh, thank you Cene! I love you too! And to Dane I’m glad you thought it was funny! Interesting you mention the Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit has in past times been poured out over here, but now I have a hunger that just can’t be satisfied! The other day I laughed when I happened to read someone who wrote this, “Once you have tasted Him nothing else will satisfy!” Tis soooo TRUE! And I’m so hungry and I want more, more, more and more of Him. I just recently got a book called “Understanding the Anointing” by Kenneth E. Hagin, for I figure I better become more alert to His ways so that I can help others better. (I’m being used in many Divine Appointments when I shop. And I lovingly call my shopping trips now “Shopping for Souls!”) Not sure if Cene and you are feeling as if He is ready to move in a Major way but I’m feeling like that?

      • Taste and see, for He is good. It is a very special time, and yes many times in the past few years i have felt like we are sitting on the edge of something Big About to happen. The first time i heard the voice of God, i did not know what i was supposed to do. He has been teaching me it is all about the daily walk.When we are just living life, He puts people in our path. Some help us to learn and some we can help in some way. My prayers include, Lord please knit us togerher, to accomplish Your will for our lives. Are you amazed how you have been able to connect with someone like minded? I have been, so Blessed to find people and places to learn and worship. My wife and i have had some challenges for a while now. We purpose to serve Him daily. She became ill a while back and through this she has been so strong that many people have drawn near to find how she can go through it all. I find strength in His Word and He brings us to a place of dependence upon Him. Thank you for allowing me to share. I also find a lot of comfort in fellowship but am always trying to keep things in proper order. Him, wife, then family (both) church and blood. While being ready if anyone wants to hear some Truth. GodBless!

      • Dane you are so right in what you are saying! I know the challenges also for I’ve been struggling with health issues as well. Various other challenges are also causing me to fellowship closer with the Lord many times daily. The other day whilst looking for something in my purse in a store I said under my breath as I realized that Holy Spirit was with me, “Thank you so much Holy Spirit for always being with me constantly!” Many will come and go in one’s life and I was so thankful to know that no matter what we go thru He will NEVER leave us. And without Him I would’ve fallen apart a long time ago! So thank you for your writings for they are helpful to me. I shall lift you and your wife up in prayer!

  6. Cene, Kate, Dane, I have so enjoyed reading your interactions. I feel this is part of the purpose of this blog, to connect folks in spiritual, fun and meaningful ways. Talk amongst yourselves anytime you wish! Love love love it.

    • We all thank you. I was reading your post on dreams. I recall two different dreams that i believe The Lord sent me. Both were in color and both had specific parts where a color was brighter than anything else. I think to point out a certain special part. Maybe even the context of the dream. As for the color black. The common thought is related to something bad. Sin, death, ect. The sun will turn black one day i quess. But i kept remembering in Revelation the horses and one is black. And i think Zechariah said about the four spirits of heaven. So we will keep an open mind. Thank you again.

      • Dane – right after Rev 6 -10-11 comes your dream- I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. (Revelation 6:12 NLT)

      • There was a season in my life when The Lord withdrew from me- of course it coincided right after a 7 year deception – when in the midst of my deception – he kept warning me; sending church folk to guide me… I kept denying the truth- it had to do with a man- I was blind. When I finally conceded- I thought The Lord would help me lick my wounds & I’d be honky dorey. But…. Nooooo. I went through a year of torment, suicidal tendencies, utter grief & separation. It was so gruesome & lonely- I relate it to the Song of Songs- I HAD to return to my First Love- my God – He Must relent from his separation from me- of course He finally did ! That is why I LOVE HIM SO ! Because He let me FEEL Himself again ! He will not tolerate idolatry – even if you convince yourself that the idolatry is His blessing. He disciplines those He loves. It makes a lasting impression & conforms us His image. I cannot wait to be free from this horrendous flesh !!!!!!

  7. Melissa thank you SO MUCH for allowing us to meet and chat on here, and I am relieved to know that you don’t mind for I was sorting of feeling guilty about chatting here. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AND THANK YOU- It is so kind of you! I love everything you write on here, for it is so spiritually mature and very insightful and I just can’t get enough of it! I’m also looking forward to next years prophetic insight too, so I hope you do that sometime. Love you and your words and sense that God moves thru you MORE THAN you realize! Thank you for your kind words to us!

    • It was so nice to chat with Kate & Dane. Just think ! We will have all eternity to carry on chatting about the goodness of The Lord & his excellent kingdom !!!! His government will be righteous !!!!! WooHoo !!!! I can’t wait MARANATHA. Let us continue to lift up the martyrs – that The Lord will send His grace & mercy to them. He’ll send his angels to minister to them. May we never forget to lift them up in prayer ! They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters —their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them. (Revelation 6:10, 11 NLT)

  8. Cene; i have read your comment a few times before commenting. Thank you for your honesty. There is great freeing power in open sharing. I pray that God will continue to fill you with spirital wisdom and knowledge of His will. For we all do need this daily. A while back, several years ago A loving Heavenly Father met me along the road one day. He loved me too much to let me like i was. He revealed Himself to me. I now know i was lost before that day but i did not know it. I have prayed many many times that if i was the only one, thats ok. But if there are others. Please Please Lord pour out The Holy Spirit upon us all, so the Truth can be heard and received. It looks to me like there are many spiritalbattles being fought in our area. Thank You Lord Jesus for saving us, for such a time as this. Behold The Holy Lamb of God. He took the sin and still baptises with The Holy Spirit today. I was not worthy, but He still found me.

  9. Yes we were NOT worthy but He still found us! And thank God He did eh! Like Cene says, “We will have all eternity to carry on chatting about the goodness of the Lord and His excellent Kingdom” and I’m so looking forward to that!
    The other day I read from Journals of the Heart’s website a God thought which was this, ” My unfailing love and goodness will never allow Me to forsake you, abandon you in any situation, from the minuscule to the larger than life itself.
    The only safety sheep have is within the bounds of their shepherd’s care and tender compassions. This is the way it works. Outside of My protection wolves in sheep’s clothing lie in wait to deceive even the most careful ones. It isn’t always the most blatant of sins My sons and daughters find their selves enmeshed in. It could be busyness, unkindness or just trying to please Me in your own strength. This is where My goodness and My mercy come in.”
    I was then shown how last week the enemy was attempting to put a wet blanket over my heart for the Lord by telling me small little lies. These lies came from well meaning TV preachers and from thoughts within.
    I tell you there is a very real war on, and I have to remind myself about this too, for the enemy wishes to steal from us our true knowledge of the Lord and replace that with his own wicked self. They say the devil will show up and pretend to be God before the day of the Lord, and I quite believe that now, for he is always misrepresenting God.
    Busyness and this world are truly distractions from meditating upon the word and spending time with the Lord.

    • You are right Kate. We were created for worship. I had never been able to understand that. But as we draw near Him, He reveals our purpose in life. I am still not sure what i will be when He grows me up. I just know where i will be one day. But until the time we are together in heaven, i think we need to watch and pray continually while reaching out to those around us. In our circle, many have been under spirital attack. We are walking daily according to His Word. But many times a day we are faced with the reality of another challange. I face the truth every morning as i accept His new mercies putting on armour and thanking Him for saving my soul. That i serve a living Saviour who paid a debt i could not pay. And freely gave the gift to me. Yet some of the promises He tells us to stand on, i still am waiting and asking Him daily if its still His will for total restoration of my family. I thank Him for who He is and everything He has done for us. Really, i just Love Him back. God Bless you friend.

    • I am quite terrified of wandering outside of the protection AGAIN – & as the oldest of 4 ( grown ) children- find myself on occasion holding my siblings accountable. Yes, Kate, It’s a wicked time in which we live & for such a time as this- here we are. Yes- constant prayer – and you know- I’ve noticed The Lord is quick to act on those prayers- but they have to keep going up. It’s as if the Holy Angels are waiting to act on our prayers in those instances. I see small but definitive changes for the good ! So – I stand with you, Dane, for your family. There is a great attack going on against God’s chosen families. Our God is greater ! Love to you both !

  10. Yes Love to you Cene and also to you Dane. I feel a kinship to both of you, and I appreciate you both so much also! It reminds me somehow of the “Comraderie of Soldiers” and indeed we are soldiers in the Army of God. I can identify with what you are saying Dane when you mention about “being faced with yet another challenge each day”. I have been thru 23 years of illness and now 2 straight years of mind boggling difficulties which just don’t make sense to me, but the spirit part of me says, “You are in training for the day I will use you to pulverize the enemy!”
    My flesh dislikes what I am going thru for it is SO absurd and hard at times, but inside my spirit is saying, “When you stand on the word of God you have to IGNORE everything you see, hear, think and feel.”
    I have found the ability to laugh, and outright frank discussions with the Lord, and especially speaking in tongues very beneficial when I’m not sure what to do or even what to pray and see that it tunes me up spiritually to be in sync with the Lord. I also found a helpful and encouraging prophetic website online at http://www.fathersheartministry.net/ that has been a God send to me at times. I requested a personal prophecy and was impressed with the accuracy of it and felt the Holy Spirit coming on me in waves whilst I heard it. I am awed by the Lord and how He knows what we need when we need it. Encouraging one another, prayer and using the gifts of the Spirit as He wills are definitely required these days. I’m going to be doing some praying for both of you! God Bless you both and lift up your heads with encouraging waves of His wonderful presence and unconditional love!

    • There are no words to express the Love of God. Thank you both, and feel free to speak into my life if lead to. From a distance in Christ’s Love. Bless you both.

  11. Dane you are SO RIGHT when you say that there are No words to describe God’s love for it is overwhelmingly past our human minds to figure out. God showed me His love one day and I had to tell Him “to please stop” for it was so overwhelming powerful and boundlessly unconditional. It went way beyond what I could fathom at the time. All I could do was sob uncontrollably and thank Him for it.

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