Have the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased in the church today? In this article in our examination of Joel McDurmon’s badly misguided article on the charismatic gifts, we want to examine a critical admission by McDurmon. Remember that he denies that the charismatic gifts have ceased to function. He emphasizes the individualistic focus of those revelatory gifts, insisting that the gifting is all about achieving the spiritual maturity of the believer. Thus, not until individual believers reach a point of personal spiritual maturity do the gifts cease to function in their lives, but, the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to function in the lives of other individuals in the corporate body.
Not One Manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Five Years!
We must point out however, that McDurmon says he was a member of the charismatic movement for over five years. In that five years, he says that he did not witness even one genuine manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Do you catch the power of that? This is stunning! Follow along.
The miraculous, revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to bring individuals (not the corporate body of the church) possessing those miraculous revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit to personal spiritual maturity– Joel McDurmon.
When personal spiritual maturity was achieved in the life of individual believers, gifted with the miraculous revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit, the miraculous, revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit would cease to function in the life of that particular, now spiritually mature believer– Joel McDurmon.
In five years of membership in the charismatic movement, Joel McDurmon never experienced and never witnessed a genuine miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit being performed– Joel McDurmon.
Why No Gifts of the Holy Spirit– In Five Years?!?
There are only two possibilities here:
1.) Not one single member of the charismatic churches where McDurmon attended truly possessed and performed the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit.
2.) If not one single member of any of the charismatic churches attended by McDurmon actually ever performed (or demonstrated) the miraculous revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit, then every single member of those churches had reached such a state of personal spiritual maturity that the gifts had ceased to function in their life. How incredible would that be! I mean, no church in Scripture was more “gifted” than the Corinthians, and of course, Paul had to chide them for their immaturity (1 Corinthians 3). So, if there was not one single genuine miracle in any of the charismatic churches that McDurmon attended, and we have no clue how many churches that was, then every single member had arrived at spiritual maturity! Methinks this is too much to believe.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit– My Personal Experience
Just for the record, over the years I have personally attended many, many charismatic services. In only one of those many occasions were there no claims of the operation of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. And what is so interesting is that before the services on that one occasion, the pastor got up and said that services that night were going to be “different.” They were not going to be “seeking the Spirit” in the services that night. Instead, the visiting minister was going to give a special lesson on the book of Hosea (and it was a fantastic lesson, I might add!). So, the point was that for this one night, they would not be asking for the Spirit to demonstrate tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy, etc., so that they could focus instead on an exegetical lesson from Scripture. To say that I found that ironic is a huge understatement, of course.
Our point here is that McDurmon is affirming the continuance of the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the while admitting that in years of membership in the charismatic fellowship, he witnessed not one miracle!
The question is fair to ask: If you were a member of the church in the first century, would you have been able to attend worship over a period of five years, in the church at Jerusalem, Corinth, perhaps Ephesus, or Thessalonica, and never witness even one single manifestation of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit? It is ludicrous to suggest such a thing.
So, McDurmon’s own admissions, coupled with his theological claims, are self defeating. But, in our next and final installment, we will see even more problems created by his claims. Be sure to stay tuned. I think what we will share with you will be very powerful. And, be sure to read my book, Into All The World, Then Comes The End, for a fuller discussion of the issue before us.