“The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity.“
~Charles Spurgeon, The Immutability of God
Is your pride drowned in the infinity that is Holy God? I hope so. I hope mine is! What helps dampen down my pride is simply contemplating Him.
I’m reading 1 Kings. I am up to chapter 18, the tremendous chapter where God displays His power over the false prophets of Baal. In the chapters leading up to the climactic moment, the power of the LORD is displayed in many ways, and it builds and builds. He spoke to Elijah and commanded him to go to Zarephath. Yes, that is mighty power, that the Holy God of heaven would speak His word to a man, the prophet Elijah. Don’t let that become mundane. He is LORD over men! Then He fed Elijah by the brook by commanding the ravens. He is LORD over creation!
And Elijah drank from the brook. But the brook dried up. (1 Kings 17:7). Stop there. The LORD had told Elijah that he would feed Him by ravens bringing him bread and that he could drink from the brook. (1 Kings 17:4). I wonder if the brook dried up slowly, and Elijah could see it going, getting smaller by the day until only mud was left. I wonder what he thought. Or did the brook dry up overnight, and when Elijah went to drink from it in the morning, it was gone. I wonder what Elijah thought then. We know Elijah was a mighty man in the LORD, but he was still human. Did he muse aloud, “Aw, man. What now?” The next verse said that “the word of the Lord came to him” (1 Kings 17:8), but it doesn’t say when. Was there a lag between when Elijah spotted the dried up brook and the word came? Was Elijah thirsty? How long did he wait?
Anyway, next was the miracle of the widow’s never-ending jar of flour. He is a LORD of provision! And then came the resurrection of her dead son. He is LORD of life and death!
And then the LORD told Elijah to gather the false prophets of Baal and He manifested His great power over them and their notion of a false god.
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38)
The fire consumed the stones. So great is his power. It consumed the dust. So precise is His power.
The next verse says that the false prophets fell on their faces. And yet we have so-called Christians, one after the other, coming out of the woodwork saying that Mighty Jesus, descends from heaven and pals around with them at the zoo, or while they are shaving, or runs around going ‘woop woop’ with Gumby arms. That THIS Jesus, does those things:
“and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.” (Revelation 1:13-16)
That this Jesus who said He was not coming again until the time, appears to them in visions…
“I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)
“See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” ” (Matthew 23:39)
…and they DO NOT FALL ON THEIR FACES, but joke around with a buddy Jesus of their imagination. FALSE is the Charismatic movement. They make up a god of their vain imaginings. He is immutable and His hand is mighty and His Son is coming again in power and glory.
Please take some time to listen to the live stream of the powerful preaching at the Strange Fire conference going on now. And if you are reading this and cannot listen live (as I can’t) or the conference is concluded, then be sure to listen to the uploads which will be on the website when the conference concludes. Dr John MacArthur explains why he and his elders & peers put together the conference:
The conference came about as a result of my escalating concern about the charismatic movement. While claiming to represent a special work of the Holy Spirit, many in charismatic ranks—joined now by many in mainstream evangelicalism—are actually guilty of blaspheming Him. Out of a love for God’s people, and more important, for the sake of His glory, some hard things needed to be said.
I opened with Spurgeon and his sermon on the immutability of God, let’s close with him and another quote from that sermon. We do not need pale and flimsy man-made so-called miracles attributed to the wispy smoke of strange fire, not when we have the Holy Godhead to contemplate in spirit and in truth. We do not need visions and miracles and ridiculous speeches and claims when we have the power and might to contemplate from His word. Spurgeon encourages us:
“Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatary. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.“
It’s very simple. The Charismatics who claim physical, ecstatic, and visionary experiences diminish their souls and besmirch the Godhead. Pure worship from His pure word expands the soul and honors the Godhead. Listen to the Strange Fire lectures and sermons to learn how to distinguish between the two.