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The Works of Miles J Stanford

The Line Drawn

The Line Drawn

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A textlet in which Miles J. Stanford is seeking to share the doctrinal and experiential explanations of the onrushing charismatic four horsemen- the Baptism, Tongues, Healing, and Demonism, so-called.




THE PROBLEM- Like many Christians today, it may be that you are confronted by the following questions:

-What about the "baptism of the Holy Ghost" that is being so forcefully propagated?

-What about the "gift of tongues" that many claim to receive and enjoy?

-What about the "healings" one hears described?

-What about the "binding and casting out of demons"?

Perhaps one of your family or friends has had "the baptism," and it has seemed to make a drastic difference in his life. You are impressed.

Another may have continued for a time at fever pitch, only to lose the experience. This resulted in depression and despondency, with the feeling of having been forsaken of God. Hospitalization may have become necessary. You are shocked.

Perhaps you have heard of those both in liberal and even Roman Catholic churches who, though not professing to be born again, suddenly receive "the baptism and the gifts." Immediately they seem to have a far more effective testimony than you do. They confidently confront Christians, causing some to question whether or not they really have the Spirit.

Perhaps you have been strongly urged to seek "the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the gift of tongues." Although you have a fear of not receiving all that God has promised, and your heart is hungry for His very best, you question the scriptural basis of this experience.

You may have been repelled by what you have seen and heard in Pentecostalism, but are drawn by those who are intellectual and claim to enjoy "the baptism and the gifts" in a more quiet and refined way.

You are impressed by the stories and testimonies of many who have had "the baptism"-tremendous healings, signs and wonders, multitudes of souls saved (mostly "recycled"). You are disturbed by the seeming contrast between this and your own life and church.

Perhaps a Christian leader whom you have respected and admired for his exemplary life and service is reported to have had the baptism and to speak in tongues during his private devotions (never in public). You find it difficult to understand how anything like that could be wrong.

You may have confided in a friend concerning a personal problem such as discouragement, pride, or envy, only to be confidently informed that this the work of discouragement, pride, or envy demons. All will be solved, you are told, when they are "bound and cast into the pit of hell." You don't know what to think about such claims.

This brief list is typical, but by no means exhaustive. If you are being confronted by any of these questions and don't know the answers to them, you can be sure that there is a snare on your pathway.

"Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird" (Prov. 1:17). This book is shared in order to provide clear biblical answers to these errors. so that the carefully laid snare may be seen and avoided. We cannot remain neutral. Error is aggressive. We have a responsibility to others, as well as to ourselves.


Before moving into scriptural explanations we should understand how and why the so-called baptism, the so-called tongues and healing, and the so-called demonism have welled up in our midst and become a critical issue today. The word charisma means "divine gift." We will therefore refer to those who claim to have these gifts s "charismatics."

(1)  The years following World War II have brought many changes. One of the most significant has been the emergence of charismatic teaching and experience within man sound churches, Christian schools, and organizations. Through the years the charismatics have been diligently promoting and establishing their erroneous doctrines and practices in these circles.

(2) Coupled with this undercover work has been the trend, especially on the part of sound leaders, to be more brotherly and to fellowship more freely with the Arminian "holiness" people. This has been carried out through ministerial associations and other cooperative ventures, as well as individual fellowship. "A broad path is not a broad heart, but a broad conscience."

(3) As a result, charismatics have gained acceptability with and access to sound school faculties, missions, broadcasts, and even pulpits. Many Christian bookstores have contributed to the infiltration of these errors - either because of ignorance, or business - by carrying and promoting literature that is unorthodox and therefore dangerous.

(4) Another reason for the encroachment of holiness teaching is the general carnal condition and spiritual barrenness of fundamental churches in this country and elsewhere. The emphasis is on evangelism, without adequate balance of food for spiritual growth: Romans 1 to 4 in abundance, with little or no Romans 5 to 8. Starving believers in these churches are beginning to awaken to their need and to yearn for growth and maturity in the Lord Jesus Christ. If a hungry-hearted believer does not find adequate food in his church, he is likely to forage for it elsewhere and may thus be caught in a snare. He longs for something tangible and effective, and that is what seems to be proffered by the charismatics.

(5) Another avenue for the spreading of this error is through believers who are learning the deeper truths for growth and spiritual maturity, but who become impatient with the process and the time the Holy Spirit requires for true development and fruitfulness. They seek to avoid the Cross by turning aside to the seeming "instant holiness" offered by the baptism.

THE LINE- The line must drawn, here and now. For too long the protective barrier between self-centered experience and Christ-centered experience has been trodden down. It is time to draw the line double, uncrossable, and to abide and grow on the scriptural side. On that ground of growth there will be spiritual fulfillment and increasing maturity in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently, there will be no need whatever to so much as look in the direction of self-centered experience.

In these pages we aer seeking to deal not with pentecostal-type people, but rather with the errors they hold and so aggressively promote. Our responsibility is to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) The issue is truth versus error.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind...Hold fast the form of sound faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 1:7, 13)


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