By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
The title of this article is not a typo.
Instead, it is motivated by a very interesting headline in the newspapers which described a supposed “movement” of the Holy Spirit.
Supposedly, the Spirit of God was taking people’s cavity fillings and turning them into gold!
“Wednesday night, before Dutch Sheets delivered a powerfully anointed message, there was a short video clip shown of JohnArnott ministering in a South Africa meeting ing where people’s teeth were being filled with gold. After the clip, John asked for anyone who wanted this miracle to stand and believe for it while touching the sides of their faces. After the prayer he asked that we check each others’ mouths and about 10 people went forward, ward, some yelling and all excited because they now had gold teeth and fillings which they did not previously have! So John let a couple testify and we prayed again …. this time more people received the miracle. A third time of praying came, as did more miracles!! IT WAS AWESOME!!! Then, at just about every meeting there was prayer for this miracle and every time there would be many who would discover their mouth filled with gold! Last count that I heard was over 198 people who were leaving ing the conference with some gold in their mouths! … One woman who had been on welfare most of her childhood had 8 new gold teeth! Another woman had 4 gold teeth and/or fillings on Wednesday and by Saturday day she had 11! (I saw her at both stages of this miracle.) One man had two beautiful, perfect, shiny, gold teeth and one of them had a cross engraved on it! … The drummer of the worship team received gold teeth as did one of the pastors on staff there at TACF [Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship] and while officially cially collecting these testimonies from the saints, the man who was recording them received gold teeth as well! … And on Saturday … the wonderful “gold dust” started showing up on people’s hands and in their tears as they worshipped!” (Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival: Looking For God In All The Wrong Places,,131-143 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN: Word Publishing)
Hanegraaff provides documentation later in the chapter that shows these were fraudulent claims made by “disciples” of these movements.
However, the disturbing dimension of this report is that many people actually believed that the Holy Spirit is in the work of Divine dentistry and not Divine discipleship.
This demonstrates a gross and quite frankly frightening ignorance regarding the Nature and work of the Holy Spirit.
Notice several things with me.
First, the Holy Spirit’s primary mission in regards to the world is to convict the world of sin.
Jesus declared of this work of the Spirit when He told His Apostles:
John 16:8-And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
The Holy Spirit is interested in giving people the in searchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8), not in providing them gold fillings!
We have in our world today a slew of false teachers who promote the “health and wealth” gospel, I.e., the supposed “good news” that God will grant us physical health and monetary riches if we will follow Him.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
While God is the Author of every good and perfect gift from above (James 1:17), He has not promised us health and wealth in this life; instead, He has promises blessings in this world that will come “with persecutions” (Mark 10:29-31).
He teaches us to lay up treasures in Heaven, not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21). The Spirit is working in our world to try and prepare people for these blessings-not for the mammon of this world.
Second, we must realize that something which is ‘strange’ is not necessarily of God.
I have worked with many people who have told me that the Spirit leads them to do all kinds of wild and outrageous things.
People have told me that the Spirit promoted them to run around church buildings, speak in gibberish and call it “tongues,” bark like dogs, and twitch uncontrollably.
I once had a conversation with a lady in South Charleston who informed me that the Holy Spirit had motivated her to punch out her sister “in Jesus’ Name!”
When I questioned the true source of this prompting with her, I wondered for a moment if something wasn’t encouraging her to give me a beating!
We must realize that the Spirit does not lead people to do these wild and reckless things. Apparently, there were some at the church in Corinth who had similar ideas as many of our charismatic friends today.
Look at what the Apostle Paul told them:
1 Corinthians 14:32-33-And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
1 Corinthians 14:40-Let all things be done decently and in order.
If someone says that the “Spirit” makes them bark like a dog or dance around in a pew, we can know that this isn’t true; for the spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets.
In other words, the Spirit will not take someone over and force them to do something; that simply is not how the Spirit of Christ works.
Third, it is important that we realize the Bible teaches the chief way that the Spirit of God works: through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is identified as the “Spirit of truth” (John 16:13).
We are told by Jesus that there is a powerful link between the Holy Spirit and the words of God:
John 6:63-It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
When Paul writes to the Corinthians and reminds them of the Spirit’s work, he teaches them about the Divine Standard of the Holy Spirit:
1 Corinthians 2:13-These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 14:37-If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.
The Word of God is the Standard by which we judge whether or not something is truly of the Holy Spirit.
If some practice does not add up with what the Word of God authorizes, then it should not be practiced.
When Paul talked about what was to take place in the assembly of the saints (Colossians 3:16), he emphasized that whatever we do must be that which has been authorized by Christ Himself (Colossians 3:17).
In many ways, the confusion over the Holy Spirit we are seeing in our culture today has been the result of decades of ignoring the subject of Bible authority and the silence of the Scriptures by many in Protestant churches.
When we throw out the authority of Scripture, we leave ourselves open to any kind of error.
The Apostle John reminds us:
1 John 4:6-We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Finally, we need to realize that while the Holy Spirit is working in the world, so are many false spirits that would lead people away from God.
Many seem to believe that if there is anything “beyond the ordinary” which takes place, then this must mean that it is “of God.”
However, we need to realize that Satan and his workers have throughout time had the ability to produce some things which appear to be ‘signs” and ‘wonders.”
Matthew 24:24-For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
2 Thessalonians 2::9-The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
Revelation 13:13-He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
Revelation 16:14-For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
While the false spirits and false prophets can do many things which appear to be “miraculous,” they fail in comparison with the miracles wrought by Jesus and His Apostles (cf. Matthew 11:1-6; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Revelation 2:2).
How are we to know the difference?
Very simply, compare what the prophet or preacher is saying with what the Word of God teaches (1 John 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).
If they do not add up, then do not accept what they teach!
If anything, we should see again the need for every sincere disciple of Christ to return to the Word of God. God calls upon us to learn from His Word that we may have life (John 5:40; Matthew 11:28-30; Acts 2:40; Romans 1:16).
We need to return to the authority of Scripture in all of our teaching and practice. May God help us to do just that!
The work of the Spirit in convicting the world of sin revolves around His testimony regarding Jesus Christ:
John 15:26-26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
My friend, the Son of God loves YOU and was crucified to pay for your sins at Calvary (1 Timothy 2:6). He was buried, and three days later, He arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
He calls upon believers to repent of their sins and to be baptized into Christ to have their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).
Will you not today accept His gracious invitation?
If you are a child of God who has left the Lord, I implore you to return to Him in repentance of sin and in prayer (1 John 1:9).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.