Dr. Bill Bailey
In Numbers 26:61, it says, “And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD.” We are told that our God is a jealous God. (Deut. 4:24) He expects us to worship Him, in His Way, and not get pulled away by distractions of bad (that is, un-sound) doctrine. We are also told that the immature are often “carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Eph. 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” We have already spoken in past articles, of the fact that these “last of the last days” are perilous times. 2 Timothy 3:1, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” So, we must be ever more vigilent and serious about keeping the purity of the Word of God in our lives and in our worship!
There are many things afoot in the Body of Christ in these days that have no basis in Biblical history, doctrine, or fact. Some of these teachings come from cults, some come from other religions, but ALL are are from the devil! He is trying to draw believers away from sound doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2-5 says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” We are to preach the Word! We are to preach and teach “sound doctrine.” But, we are also told that there will be those that will not endure sound doctrine, but will be turned unto “fables.” What kind of fables? Well, look at what is happening in certain circles around the Body of Christ. There are various “revivals” that are occurring around the country today that are following doctrines that have no basis in scripture, they are not teaching sound doctrine. They endorse speaking with angels for guidance, and direction, and ask them (angels) directly for help. Angels are God’s “agents” to bring about His will, and they are called “ministering spirits” that are to function “for us.” (Hebrews 1:14) However, we are not to speak TO angels, we pray to God, and God will dispatch them to aid us as necessary. To pray to them, or invoke their (supposed) names instead of God’s is not scriptural! We are to pray to God, in Jesus’ Name! John 14:13, 14 says, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” The Biblical pattern is to pray in Jesus’ Name to the Father God. Not to angels, not to people who have died, not to Mary, or John, or Peter… but to the Father God in Jesus’ Name! Notice the admonition in 2 Timothy 4:5, to “watch thou in all things.” To put it in more modern vernacular, “Watch out!”
This is just one of many examples, there are those that perform “magic tricks” in God’s name, producing feathers, gold dust, and other physical manifestations that are not Biblical. Show me a case, just one in the Bible, where Paul during his travels, for instance, manifested gold dust to prove his own piety, or demonstrate supernatural power! Or, where he spoke and feathers appeared. Can’t find it? That’s because it is not in there! However, there are followers of Jewish mysticism (the Kaballah) that speak of it, and there are some so called Charismatic “revivals” that involve this kind of “strange fire.” What are these things to believers that are determined to do what God has commanded and preach the Word and teach sound doctrine? They are distractions. They are flashy and look and sound “different” and interesting… but they are not what God wants us interested in. He wants us to be true to His Word. He wants us to follow sound doctrine.
I remember a time when a very well known pastor of a large church had a speaker come and speak at his church. This speaker was a lady that was drawing large crowds and getting invited to many large Charismatic churches, no doubt with very large offerings as well! People flocked to see her produce feathers! “Wow, ooooh, ahhh!” People, Jesus said, seek signs. (Luke 11:29) But not for the right reasons. Anyway, this pastor invited the lady to speak. After the service many were asked, “What did she teach?” No one could remember what she said, but they were all talking about the “supernatural manifestations!” Another minister that attended this same service, which was broadcast via satellite to hundreds of other churches, videotaped the lady as she ministered. He was able to show that she was pulling the feathers out of pockets sewn in her her sleeves. A simple “sleight of hand” trick. Her “ministry” was disgraced. She got fewer and fewer invitations after that. In another incident, a minister had the “gold dust” that was “supernaturally” manifested examined, and it turned out to be iron pyrite dust… so, in fact, it wasn’t even real gold! You would think God would manifest real gold! The bottom line is… the ministry of God is not a show… it is not entertainment! We are to preach the pure Word of God, not “perform!”
A minister does not “perform tricks” and spectacular acts to elevate themselves! Most often these folks are seen to be, and often proclaim themselves, as “more spiritual” than others… after all, they are specially “touched of God.” Now, don’t get me wrong, there are unique, special anointings. But, those that God uses in special anointings know that it is NOT them, it is God that does the work! As Peter said, “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” (Acts 3:13) It is not YOUR personal power that is involved in ministry. In fact, personal power, and seeking such, is the hallmark of the occult! It is not that you are more “spiritual” or “holy!” I believe that this scripture is, in fact, recorded in God’s Word to show us this truth! It wasn’t Peter’s own power, or holiness, or spirituality, that caused special healings to happen in his presence. Acts 5:15, 16, “Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.” What did the work? Jesus told them to preach the Word, and as Mark 16:20 says, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” The Lord worked WITH them… confirming the Word they preached with signs following. What kinds of signs? Gold dust? Feathers? Using “angel’s names?” No! The sick were healed, demons were cast out, the lame were made whole, and the blind saw! Those are God’s kind of signs! And, they didn’t need weird manifestations or paper “barf bags” to do it! They simply preached the uncompromised Word of Faith, and God performed the work! They acted on the Word, and the Word worked!
Why bring these things to your attention? Because as we are told in the Word, in Eph 4:14-24: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Brethen, it is time to be grown-ups! Not to be easily distracted… not seeking “strange fire!” We are to “watch out!” Watch out for these things and avoid them! Rom 16:17, 18 says, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; (we could say “their own self interests”) and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Preach and teach only the purity of God’s Word!