Monday, July 24, 2023

5 MODERN DECEPTIONS CONCERNING JESUS - PART 2


Continued from Part 1

The Malleable Jesus of Modern Liberalism

Liberal theology begins with skepticism and an a priori commitment against the possibility of miracles. They, therefore, deny the inspiration of Scripture, the deity of Jesus, His miracles, and His resurrection. In their attempts to explain away the miraculous character of Jesus and the Gospel record, they have created a false dichotomy between what they call “the Jesus of history” and “the Christ of Faith.”

Liberal theologians insist that the Gospels were written, not by the traditional authors, but by later writers who embellished the original historical account of Jesus with mythical stories of miracles and His claims to being the Messiah and Son of God. This they claim is the “Christ of faith” of a later generation. This is the position of the Jesus Seminar, a group of liberal scholars, some of whom are atheists, who have decided that only 20% of the sayings of Jesus in the Gospels are really from Him.

This, of course, is a modern and novel theory rooted in skepticism and a pronounced anti-supernatural bias. Because they have never seen a miracle, they insist that miracles do not happen. This is neither science nor good scholarship. The well-known New Testament scholar, Dr. Gregory Boyd, who is known for debating atheists and liberal theologians, has been devastating in his critique of the Jesus Seminar, saying,

The Jesus Seminar represents an extremely small number of radical-fringe scholars who are on the far, far left wing of New Testament scholarship. It does not represent mainstream scholarship.[1]

Sadly, this distorted, liberal thinking about Jesus has filtered down into the culture and even the Church. Bill O’Reilly wrote a book entitled Killing Jesus. I heard him emphasize that in the book they do not talk about the miracles of Jesus because, he said, “the book is about history, not about faith.” I immediately realized that he had naively accepted this false dichotomy between the “Jesus of history” and the “Christ of faith,” created by modern liberal theologians.

With no moorings of faith in Scripture, the Jesus of post-modern, liberal theology is like a malleable piece of material that can be twisted and shaped into an endless variety of shapes and forms. Lee Strobel was right when he said that the liberal Jesus is a “symbolic Jesus who is impotent to offer the world anything except the illusion of hope.”[2]

The “Nice” Jesus of Popular Culture

Thousands of pastors and directors of Christian education were trained in liberal colleges and seminaries during the 20th century. Liberal professors and theologians taught an entire generation of Christian leaders that the Bible is unreliable and that they must “demythologize” the New Testament in order to discover what may remain of the Jesus of history.

As this malleable Jesus of liberal professors and theologians was adopted by pastors and communicated to their congregations, what has emerged is a milquetoast Jesus who is “nice” and accepting of everyone and neither challenges or judges anyone. This is the “nice” Jesus of popular culture that we encounter in daily conversations on the internet and on radio and TV.

For example, I recall listening to a discussion concerning same-sex marriage on Fox News. The person being interviewed brought Jesus into the conversation and it was soon obvious that she had embraced the “nice” Jesus of popular culture. She insisted that Jesus would never judge or confront anyone. Her mantra that she repeated over and over, was, “He was all about love.”

This, of course, reflects a misunderstanding of both Biblical love and the person of Jesus Himself. If you asked the temple money changers and merchants about their perception of Jesus, they would not describe him as “nice.” He walked into their midst with a whip in his hand, a somber and fierce look on His face, and began turning over their tables. He shouted that they had turned His Father’s house into a “den of thieves” as He drove them from the temple area (Matthew 21:12-13).

Neither would the religious leaders in Israel describe Jesus as “nice,” for He was continually rebuking them for their pride and misuse of Scripture and people. His language sounded particularly harsh when he called them “hypocrites” and compared them to whitewashed tombs that appear beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead people’s bones. He rebuked them, calling them snakes, and saying, Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the damnation of hell (Matthew 23:33)? 

On the other hand, Jesus was very tender and compassionate toward the desperate who came to Him in faith. The compassion of Jesus toward the distressed is illustrated in the story of the woman brought to Him by the Pharisees whom they said had been caught in the very act of adultery (John 8:3-11). They set her in front of Jesus, reminded Him that the Old Testament law said that such should be stoned, and then asked, “But what do you say?”

This was, of course, an attempt by the Pharisees to entrap Jesus. They knew that He was very compassionate toward women and the oppressed. Would He defend her from being stoned according to the Old Testament law?  If so, they could then accuse him of being a lawbreaker. They thought they had Him in a corner.

 Jesus did not immediately answer but stooped down and wrote in the sand. He then stood and said, Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone (John 8:7). Now, they were the ones entrapped by their own words. They too were sinners; only their sins were hidden from the public but would be known by their closest friends. There must have been an uncomfortable silence as no one moved forward to pick up a stone. Then they began to quietly leave the scene until every accuser was gone.

Jesus, left alone with woman, then said to her, Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?  She replied, No one Lord. Jesus then spoke words that must have been music to her ears. He said, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

Jesus did not condone her sin, for His final words were, Go, and sin no more. (John 8:11). What He did was give her a new beginning, free from the guilt and pain of her past. Only Jesus can do this, for as is demonstrated in the book, Discovering the Real Jesus, forgiving sins was a sign of His Deity, for only God can forgive sin and give a new beginning.

Jesus loves everyone in the sense that His intentions toward everyone is for their good. He does not, however, fawn over everyone with sugary sweet accolades and affirmations. Because He desires the best for us, He is willing to point out the attitudes and sins that are destroying us. To the members of the lukewarm church in Laodicea, He said, As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:19).

The Distorted Jesus of Religious Cults

In her excellent book, Another Gospel, Ruth A. Tucker, defines a “cult” as a religious group that has a “prophet”-founder who claims to have a special message from God, not found in the Bible. The leadership style of the leader is authoritarian, and they tend to see themselves as the only ones possessing the truth. They also inevitably distort the person of Jesus.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded in 1884 by Charles T. Russel under the name, Zion’s Watch Tower and Tract Society. The movement arose in a milieu of great emphasis on the second advent of Jesus and speculation as to when it would occur. Russel accepted a widespread teaching that Jesus would return in 1874. He and others were very disappointed when the year came and went, and nothing happened. However, in 1875, Russel claimed that it had been revealed to him that Jesus did return in 1874, but “invisibly.”

Russel later predicted that Jesus would return in 1914, based on his study and interpretation of the Old Testament Book of Daniel. When Jesus did not return in 1914, another explanation was necessary. It was decided that this was the time when Christ’s kingdom began on earth and the Jehovah’s Witnesses were chosen as His official organization. According to one writer,

What expressly distinguishes their teachings from any other denomination is the keystone doctrine centered on 1914. This is the date when Christ’s rulership began, his commencing judgment then and, above all, his selecting the Watchtower organization as his official channel (Hyatt, Discovering the Real Jesus,

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny both the deity of Jesus and salvation through faith in Him. I once confronted two Jehovah’s Witnesses on these two issues. It happened while Sue and I were visiting family in Ontario, Canada. It occurred one Saturday when we visited a massive outdoor market attended by thousands of people.

As we entered, we noticed that two Jehovah's Witness women had stationed themselves near the entrance with a small tent and racks of books and pamphlets. When we passed them for the second time on the way out, I sensed a compassionate drawing toward them and so retraced my steps and politely opened a conversation with them.

I began by asking them how, according to their beliefs, a person can know they are saved and will go to heaven. The one who was obviously the leader answered that we cannot know if we are saved until we die. She then quoted Jesus’ words, He who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 24:13).

I responded with the question, "Does that mean that at the end of our life, if our good works outweigh our bad works, we will be OK?" She replied, "Yes." I then asked, "So what was the need for Jesus to come and die for our sins?" They did not have an answer.

The conversation then turned to who Jesus is when they mentioned the name "Jehovah." I asked, "Do you believe Jesus is Jehovah?" She answered with an emphatic "No!" When I pointed out Scripture that clearly point to the deity of Jesus, the leader politely brought the conversation to a close. Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jesus was Michael the Archangel before His birth in Bethlehem. Their doctrine is very similar to the Arian doctrine of the 4th century that was condemned by the Council of Nicaea.

Realizing the leader did not want to hear anymore from me, I kindly exhorted them to follow Jesus and went on my way with a sense of knowing I had obeyed the Lord and borne witness to His name.

Mormons

Mormons are another group founded by a self-proclaimed prophet by the name of Joseph Smith. I have a chapter on the origins of Mormonism in my book, Prophets and Prophecy, which shows how the early Mormons naively accepted everything Joseph Smith said, including his claim to finding the golden plates on which were written The Book of Moroni in an ancient hieroglyphic text. Smith also claimed that John the Baptist, as well as Peter, James, and John, appeared to him and a colleague and ordained them to the Priesthood of Melchizedek (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 92).

Mormons teach that God was once a man and that men can become gods through adhering to Mormon doctrine and ritual, particularly “celestial marriage.” With their wives they will populate the various planets in the universe. This teaching is summed up in the Mormon eternal law of progression: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”

Although Mormons claim to be orthodox Christians and use Christian terminology, the words obviously have a different meaning for them. They also balk at the exaltation and preeminence of Jesus that is so clear in Scripture. For example, in the 1980s, there was a movement on the campus of Brigham Young University encouraging students to develop a “personal relationship” with Jesus. Mormon leadership, however, opposed this movement.

Bruce McConkie, one of their Twelve Apostles at the time, spoke against the movement and condemned the creeds of Christendom, particularly the Apostles and Nicene creeds, which clarify the deity and preeminence of Jesus. He went so far as the say that these creeds are what Lucifer wants so-called Christians to believe so they will be damned. As far as Jesus is concerned, McConkie insisted, “We worship the Father and him only and no one else.”[3]

Where to Find the Real Jesus

It is obvious that we will never discover the real Jesus in New Age seminars, fictional novels, liberal theology, popular culture, or religious cults. Neither will the real Jesus be found in many Christian churches and seminaries that have been affected by these teachings.  If we want to know the real Jesus, there is only one reliable source, and that is in God’s word, approached with a prayerful heart and teachable spirit.

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s new book, Discovering the Real Jesus, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.



[1] Strobel, The Case for Christ, 152.

[2] Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 167.

[3] Tucker, Another Gospel, 88.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

5 MODERN DECEPTIONS CONCERNING JESUS - PART 1

A headline in the Dallas Morning News seemed to jump off the page at me. It read, “New spirituality: one part Jesus, two parts Buddha . . ..” The author described the growing trend in modern America wherein people are concocting their own personal religion by borrowing what they like from various religious traditions. This combining of different belief systems is known as “syncretism.”

In this subjective, self-centered approach to faith, people view the religions of the world, and the Bible itself, as a great smorgasbord of religious ideas from which they are free to choose what suits their feelings and desires. If something does not appeal to their tastes, they consider themselves free to discard it.

This approach is based in post-modernism, which is the prevailing philosophy being taught in America’s educational systems. They are called post-modernists because they deny the existence of any objective truth. The modernists, who emerged out of the Enlightenment, rejected the Bible and religious dogma as sources of objective truth but insisted that objective truth could be discovered by human reason.

For the post-modernists, however, objective truth does not exist. Truth, therefore, is not something to be discovered, but something to be created. For the post-modernists, truth is very “I” or ego centered. It is all about me and what feels good and right to me.  This was clearly expressed by one couple that was interviewed in the above article. They said,

We discovered the God within. That’s why we need God. Because we are God. God gives me the ability to create my own godliness.

This, of course, is the lie of the serpent to Adam and Eve that if they would ignore what God had said and follow their own desires, you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:1-5). In other words, they did not need God to know good and evil.  They could become like God and create their own moral and religious system. 

Sadly, this kind of thinking has become mainstream in American culture as is indicated by the following examples of spiritual counterfeits that Jesus predicted would come. In Matthew 24:4-5, He warned his disciples, saying, Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many.

Here are 5 deceptive views of Jesus that have emerged in the modern world: (1) the New Age Jesus of Oprah Winfrey, (2) the Fictitious Jesus of the DaVinci Code, (3) the Malleable Jesus of Liberal Theology, (4) the “Nice” Jesus of Popular Culture, and (5) the Distorted Jesus of Religious Cults.

Deception #1
The New Age Jesus of Oprah Winfrey

This post-modern way of thinking has opened the door for a spiritual, New Age Jesus to emerge that has its roots in Eastern mysticism and ancient Gnosticism. This concept of Jesus, which has been popularized by Oprah Winfrey, is not the real historical Jesus of Scripture but a mystical Jesus, waiting to be discovered within every person’s consciousness.

Winfrey has helped popularize the New Age author, Eckhart Tolle, and his book, New Earth, in which he presents Jesus as a Spiritual Master, along with Buddha and others, who have helped humanity discover the “Christ consciousness” that he says is already residing within every person.

Tolle has also promoted an ancient heresy about Jesus called Gnosticism. Somewhat like the modern New Age movement, ancient Gnosticism emphasized the “spiritual” over the material and went so far as to even deny the reality of the material, physical world. Gnostic “Christians” denied that Jesus had a real physical body and claimed He only appeared to have such a body. John the apostle confronted this false teaching in I John 3:2-3, saying,

By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.

In this same vein of post-modern, New Age thinking, Deepak Chopra, the well-known Indian medical doctor and purveyor of Eastern mysticism, published a book entitled Jesus. Chopra admits that the Jesus of his book cannot be found in the Bible. Where did he get information for his Jesus? He says that he researched the cultural, political, and religious contexts of Jesus’ time, “Then I went into incubation, meditation, and I allowed this story to unfold.” His Jesus is a product of his own mind, thoughts, and imaginations.

This New Age Jesus is completely divorced from the Jesus of Scripture and any rational thought. This New Age Jesus is based in feelings, emotions, and over-active imaginations. This New Age Jesus is just one of the many counterfeits that Jesus warned would appear and deceive many. 

Deception #2
The Fictitious Jesus of The Davinci Code

The very popular novel, The Davinci Code, made fantastic and false claims about Jesus that impacted many people. We must remember, however, that the author does not claim his work to be “history.” On the title page are the words, “A Novel.” The Davinci Code is a genre of literature known as “historical fiction.”

The author of “historical fiction” sets their story in a real historical setting with real people and events. He then inserts his own fictional characters and creates his own fictional but intriguing story. This is exactly what Dan Brown did with The Davinci Code. His story includes Leonardo Da Vinci, his painting of the Last Supper, Jesus, the Bible, the Council of Nicaea, and more. For the na├»ve, it comes across as very believable. It is, however, a novel. It is “historical fiction.”

The Davinci Code presents fictional accounts of Jesus and of how the Bible came into existence. Concerning Jesus, Brown has one of his fictional characters saying that His followers considered Him a mortal prophet, and not the Son of God. This fictional character goes on to say that Jesus was given Divine status by Constantine for political purposes and by the vote of the Council of Nicea in a.d. 325.

This is blatantly false as is demonstrated on the pages of my latest book, Discovering the Real Jesus. The truth is that the Council of Nicaea merely affirmed what the Church had always believed about Jesus. The Council of Nicaea was convened because a Christian leader, named Arius, was teaching that Jesus was a created being and not fully God. This was contrary to what the Church had always believed and preached.

Because Arius was causing so much confusion and leading many astray, this Council met together, deliberated, and issued the Nicene Creed by which they affirmed what the Church had believed from the beginning. Concerning Jesus, the Creed says,

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

The Da Vinci Code is an intriguing novel, but it does not convey historical facts. More than anything, it conveys the liberal, agnostic worldview of the author who is a gifted storyteller. To be continued . . .

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s new book, Discovering the Real Jesus, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

WHY THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION WAS WRONG TO EXPEL SADDLEBACK CHURCH

The Southern Baptist Convention recently expelled Saddleback Church in southern California because of a woman on their staff who carries title of “teaching pastor.” According to Baptist Press, Saddleback was declared to “not be in friendly cooperation with the necessary credentials under the Southern Baptist Convention.”

This is an example of how “institutionalism” quenches the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit. “Institutionalism” is defined as “an emphasis on organization at the expense of other factors.” In the church, institutionalism always comes at the expense of the freedom and life of the Holy Spirit expressed through all members of the body of Christ.

In her book, In the Spirit We’re Equal 2nd Edition, Dr. Susan Hyatt documents how every genuine revival in church history has led to the elevation of women. This happens because in revival the church tends to give more emphasis to the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit than to organizational and institutional concerns.

John Wesley, for example, began commissioning uneducated men and women to preach the gospel although opposed to it at first. When asked why he changed his mind about commissioning women preachers, he replied, “Because God owns them in the conversion of sinners and who am I to withstand God” (Hyatt, In the Spirit We’re Equal 2nd Edition, 253).

I appreciate the Southern Baptist Convention’s commitment to the authority of Scripture. However, I pray that they will open themselves to the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit in their midst and consider the following Biblical truths.

Women Included in the Leadership Gifts of Ephesians 4:11

The English noun “pastor” is found only once in our English Bibles and that is in Ephesians 4:11 where Paul includes it in that list of leadership gifts, along with the apostle, prophet, evangelist, and teacher. That women are included is made clear by how Paul introduces this list of ministry or ascension gifts.

In 4:8, Paul speaks of Christ’s ascension and says, When He ascended on high He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men (NKJV). The word “men” in this passage is translated from the Greek word anthropoi, which is gender-inclusive and literally means “people.” This is why the NIV, NLT, and NRSV have all translated the word as “people.”

If Paul had wanted to confine these gifts to males only, he could have done so by using the gender-specific Greek word for man, which is aner. Instead, he used anthropoi, which left open the possibility of women also functioning in these leadership gifts, including that of pastor.

I Timothy 2:11-12 Does Not Restrict Women from Pastoring

Some will surely protest and point to I Timothy 2:11-12 where Paul says he does not allow a woman to teach or have authority over a man. However, a close examination of this passage makes clear that Paul is addressing a particular situation with Timothy in Ephesus where he is dealing with false teachings in that city.

This is indicated by Paul’s use of the word authentein, which is translated “authority” in this passage. It is of utmost importance to note that this is not the normal Greek word for “authority.” In fact, authentein is found only here in the entire New Testament. Neither Paul nor any other writer ever uses it, except for Paul’s use of it in this one passage.

The normal New Testament word for “authority” is exousia and it is used by Paul and other New Testament writers over 100 times. Nowhere are women told they cannot exercise exousia.

If Paul were here addressing the normal exercise of “authority” in the church, he would have used exousia. His use of authentein indicates that he is addressing a unique and local situation in Ephesus and is not giving instructions for all women and churches everywhere.

Concluding Thought form the Early Pentecostal Revival

At the beginning of the 20th century, the great Pentecostal Revival exploded in growth all over the world. In a conversation many years ago with Dr. Harvey Cox, who served as Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, he commented that a key to this explosive growth was what he called the “quasi-chaotic” character of the movement.

He used that expression in a positive sense to emphasize that the movement was not hampered and weighed down with bureaucratic, organizational structures. The movement relied primarily on the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit for its life, mission, and direction. In this milieu, women flourished as evangelists, teachers, church planters, and pastors.

The early Pentecostals were also a people committed to a Bible orientation and sought a healthy balance between Word and Spirit.  In the January 1908 edition of the Apostolic Faith, the official publication of the Azusa Street Revival, William Seymour and the publishers gave a biblical basis for their acceptance of women pastors and leaders. They wrote,

Before Pentecost, the woman could only go into the ‘court of the women’ and not into the inner court. But when our Lord poured out Pentecost He brought all those faithful women with the other disciples into the upper room and God baptized them all in the same room and made no difference. All the women received the anointed oil of the Holy Ghost and were able to preach the same as men. They both were co-workers in Eden and both fell into sin; so they both have to come together and work in the Gospel.

Let’s pray that the Southern Baptist Convention will experience genuine Holy Spirit revival and that their leaders will realize that in this new and better covenant God is calling women as well as men to serve Him in every area of ministry and leadership in the Church.  

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian, and ordained minister. This article is derived primarily from In the Spirit We’re Equal 2nd Edition by his wife Dr. Susan Hyatt, and is available from Amazon and their websites at http://eddiehyatt.com and http://godswordtowomen.org. For more information on institutionalism and how it has affected the church throughout history, see Eddie’s book, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, published by Charisma House.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

WHY I HAVE NO FEAR OF WITCHES, HEXES AND CURSES

In the early days of our ministry, a well-known witch attended services in the church Sue and I were planting in eastern Canada. Several people came to me concerned about the presence of this witch. They wondered if she was trying to work some spell or sorcery on our fledgling congregation.

Several of us met together to pray about the situation. While praying, I saw a vision of smoke (representing the devil) and then a wind (representing the Spirit of God) that came along and blew the smoke away. The smoke had no substance or strength with which to resist the wind. It was suddenly gone.

At the very same time another person saw a similar vision and then a powerful, prophetic word came forth that gave me a new perspective on the devil. God said, “My power is so far surpassing any power possessed by the devil, he is not worthy of the attention you are giving him.”

Satan is a Defeated Foe

When it comes to spiritual warfare, we must realize that there was a tremendous shift that took place at the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Satan was not annihilated but he was stripped of his authority. He is like a 5-star general who is court-martialed, stripped of his authority, and drummed out of the army.

The general still exists but no longer has any authority. If, however, the general puts on his uniform with all his military medals, he will be able to exercise authority over those who do know the truth of his court-martial. But for those who know the truth, even a private can tell the former general to “get lost.” So it is with even the newest babe "in Christ."

The overwhelming victory of Christ over Satan is delineated by Paul in Ephesians 1:15-23. He speaks of Christ being raised from the dead by the mighty power of God and then being seated at His right hand in the heavenly places.

The “right hand” in Scripture is symbolic of authority and power. Psalm 98:1, for example, says of God, His right hand and His holy arm have gotten Him the victory. When Paul says that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, he is saying that Jesus is seated at the pinnacle of the universe, in the place of ultimate authority and power.

This place where Christ is seated is far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Eph. 1:21). It doesn’t matter what kind of principality or power it may be–even Satan himself–-the place where Christ is seated is far above them all.

And here is what is incredible! Paul says that the same power that raised Jesus from dead and seated Him in that place of ultimate authority, far above any power possessed by the devil, is now at work in you and me. No wonder Satan trembles at the child of God who knows his/her position and authority in Christ.

T.L. Osborn Understood Satan’s Defeat

I had the privilege of working with the elder statesman of modern, miracle evangelism, the late Dr. T. L. Osborn. T. L was a firm believer in the absolute victory of Jesus over Satan and demonic forces, and he expressed this in his overseas crusades where much fear and superstition existed concerning Satan and demons.

He told, for example, about a miracle crusade his ministry sponsored in Africa. Among the many thousands that had gathered in the open air were hundreds of witch doctors who had come there with their fetishes to cast curses and spells on the foreign preacher.

Knowing this, the supporting pastors wanted to lay hands on him and pray for his protection before going on the platform. T. L. emphatically refused their prayer. He said, “I would not insult my Lord in that way.”

T. L. focused his attention on preaching the good news of Jesus and His victory over all the powers of darkness and hell. Many came to Christ that day and many were miraculously set free from all kinds of illnesses and bondages. And some Christian pastors realized that they did not have to be afraid of the devil.

This New and Better Covenant

Even under the Old Covenant the enemies of God could not cast spells and curses on His people. Balak hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel but after seven attempts he had to admit he could not do it. How shall I curse whom God has not cursed, Balaam asked (Numbers 23:8).

If this were true under the Old Covenant, how much more is it true under this new and better covenant based on the shed blood of Jesus Christ! Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19. After emerging from the tomb as a mighty conqueror over death, hell, and the grave, He said to His disciples,

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . ..

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the founder of Hyatt Int'l Ministries, the "1726 Project" and The Eddie Hyatt Podcast. His books are available on Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.

Friday, June 3, 2022

THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT


The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

By Eddie L. Hyatt

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11).

i.        The baptism in the holy spirit is an enduement of power for effective life and service.

A.      The word “baptize” comes from the Greek word baptizo which means to “immerse” or “soak;” therefore, to be “baptized in the Holy Spirit” is to be completely under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

B.       In the book of Acts, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is used interchangeably with expressions such as they received the Holy Spirit or they were filled with the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit fell upon them.

C.       The baptism in the Holy Spirit is given to empower the believer to be an effective witness of Jesus Christ.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Jesus in Acts 1:8).

Ii.      in the book of acts there are 5 instances of people being baptized in the holy spirit, and in 3 of those it explicitely says that the recipients spoke in tongues, and in the other 2 it can be implied.

A.      The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4).

1.       And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4).

2.       When Peter was asked the meaning of the speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost, he replied that it signified (was the sign) of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:15-16).

B.             At the House of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48).

The skeptical Jewish believers, who accompanied Peter to Cornelius’ house, were convinced that these Gentiles had truly received the Holy Spirit the same as they had, For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God (Acts 10:45-46).

C.       In Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6).

In Ephesus Paul found certain disciples and asked them if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. When they said they did not even know that there was a Holy Spirit Paul gave them further instructions and when he had laid hands on them, The Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:1-6).

D.      In the Samaritan Revival (Acts 8:4-17).

Philip saw great response to his preaching in Samaria with many miraculous healings, water baptisms and great joy in the city. But in spite of all these manifestations, Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit for as yet He had fallen upon none of them. After praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit, Peter and John laid hands on them, And they received the Holy Spirit. Although speaking in tongues is not mentioned, it is obvious that Peter and John had a criterion by which they determined if the people had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and that criterion must have been speaking in tongues.

E.       Paul’s baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17).

At the time of Paul’s baptism when Ananias laid hands on him that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit, there is no mention of speaking in tongues. Nonetheless, it may be assumed, for Paul later wrote to the Corinthians, saying, I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all (I Corinthians 14:18).

III.     HOw is the baptism in the holy Spirit received?

A.      Ask. Jesus said in Luke 11:13, How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.

B.       Believe. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, Whatever things you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

C.       Receive or “Actively Take.” Luke says in Acts 8:15, 17, When they (Peter and John) had come down, [they] prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. . . . Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

D.      Allow to Flow Out. Jesus said of the one who is thirsty and comes to Him and drinks, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water, but this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive (John 7:37-38).

The Holy Spirit comes in for the purpose of then flowing out to others. Once you have asked, believed and received, then open your heart and mouth in praise to God and allow the Holy Spirit to flow out in that initial sign of speaking in tongues. In their book, The Holy Spirit and You, Dennis and Rita Bennett say, “We are convinced, from the Scripture and after praying with thousands of people to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit over the past ten years and more, that there is no believer who cannot speak in tongues, if he or she is properly prepared, and really ready to trust the Lord” (Bennett, The Holy Spirit and You, 75).

Thursday, June 2, 2022

NEW BOOK BY SUSAN HYATT COULD SPARK A MASS MOVEMENT FROM ISLAM TO CHRISTIANITY

Dr. Susan Hyatt’s latest book, the 2nd edition of her classic, In the Spirit We’re Equal, has the potential to ignite a Reformation that will transform how the Church thinks about women and thereby ignite a mass movement from Islam to Christianity.

This was made very clear to me about 12 years ago when the Lord visited me in an unusual manner and instructed me to “identify” with Sue and her two-fold vision to articulate the Biblical basis for the equality of women with men "in Christ" and to “write God’s women back into history.”

It began early one morning around 3 a.m. when I suddenly found myself wide awake. Desiring to pray, but not wanting to disturb Sue, I quietly slipped out of bed and made my way to another room where I sat on a couch. The only light in the room came from a streetlight just outside the window. It was an incredibly quiet and tranquil setting.

As I quietly communed with the Lord, I had a very unusual experience. My soul seemed to become supernaturally quiet, and I heard the voice of the Lord in my heart, saying, “I want you to be more identified with Sue and what she is doing.” There was a moment of silence and then I heard words that astounded me. “This message has the power to begin a mass movement from Islam to Christianity, beginning with the women.”

As I sat in the darkness contemplating what I had just heard, an African woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, came to mind whom I had heard speak boldly about the inherent dangers of Islam. She had grown up in a Muslim family in Africa and when barely a teenager her father arranged for her to marry a Muslim man in Canada. She escaped to the Netherlands where she received a college education, became an atheist, and was then elected to the Dutch parliament where she was an outspoken critic of Islam.

When I heard her story, I had wondered why she did not become a Christian when she left Islam. As I sat quietly that morning pondering what I had just heard, I suddenly knew the answer. Why would she leave a hard form of patriarchal oppression in Islam for a softer form in Christianity? If she had known the truths in this book, I believe she would have become a Christian.

From that moment, I knew that the message contained in this book is vital for world evangelism and for the Church to truly be the Church—a fully functioning body where people function, not according to their gender (man or woman) but according to their God-given gifts and callings.

It is my prayer that God will use this book to awaken his Church to the fact that the Holy Spirit empowers women as well as men to leadership in His body and to any and every sort of ministry and function.

I am convinced that this book, In the Spirit We’re Equal (2nd Edition), has the power to ignite a Reformation on the scale of the Protestant Reformation that Luther ignited when he nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Church door.

This article was derived from The Foreword, written by Dr. Eddie Hyatt, for the 503 page book, In the Spirit We're Equal (2nd Edition), by Dr. Susan Hyatt. The book is available from Amazon and their website bookstore at www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html.

     https://amzn.to/3mevKlm





Sunday, February 6, 2022

OVERCOMING THE GIANTS IN YOUR LIFE

5 Lessons from David's Takedown of Goliath

I.                BOLDLY CONFRONT THE GIANT

Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. (I Sam. 17:32).

So it was when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. (I Sam. 17:48)

II.              DON’T TRY TO BATTLE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S ARMOR

So Saul clothed David with his armor and put a bronze helmet on his head. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. (I Sam. 17:38-39)

III.           USE WHAT YOU HAVE AND ARE COMFORTABLE WITH

And he took his [shepherd’s] staff in his hand and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook . . . and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. (I Sam. 17:40).

IV.           FACE YOUR GIANT IN THE NAME OF THE LORD

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (I Sam. 17:45)

V.             DECLARE YOUR FAITH IN THE FACE OF THE GIANT

Then David said to the Philistine, This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the LORD’S. (I Sam. 17:45-47).

Dr. Eddie Hyatt will teach this message on The Eddie Hyatt Podcast beginning Wednesday Febrary 9, 2022. The episodes can be downloaded on demand by going to https://dreddiehyatt.podbean.com/. Check out Eddie's website at www.eddiehyatt.com.