The Coming Counterfeit

The Mask, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

THE warning in my heart continues to grow about a coming deception, which may in fact be the one described in 2 Thess 2:11-13. What follows after the so-called “illumination” or “warning” is not only a brief but powerful period of evangelization, but a dark counter-evangelization that will, in many ways, be just as convincing. Part of the preparation for that deception is knowing beforehand that it is coming:

Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets… I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. (Amos 3:7; John 16:1-4)

Satan not only knows what is coming, but has been planning for it for a long time. It is exposed in the language being used…Continue reading

Charismatic! Part VII

 

THE point of this entire series on the charismatic gifts and movement is to encourage the reader to not be afraid of the extraordinary in God! To not be afraid to “open wide your hearts” to the gift of the Holy Spirit whom the Lord wishes to pour out in a special and powerful way in our times. As I read the letters sent to me, it is clear that the Charismatic Renewal has not been without its sorrows and failures, its human deficiencies and weaknesses. And yet, this is precisely what occurred in the early Church after Pentecost. Saints Peter and Paul devoted much space to correcting the various churches, moderating the charisms, and refocusing the budding communities over and over again upon the oral and written tradition that was being handed on to them. What the Apostles did not do is deny the often dramatic experiences of believers, try to stifle the charisms, or silence the zeal of thriving communities. Rather, they said:

Do not quench the Spirit… pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy… above all, let your love for one another be intense… (1 Thess 5:19; 1 Cor 14:1; 1 Pet 4:8)

I want to devote the last part of this series to sharing my own experiences and reflections since I first experienced the charismatic movement in 1975. Rather than give my entire testimony here, I will restrict it to those experiences one might call “charismatic.”

 

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