Thank you for your recent replies to my e-mails.
I just want to ask you something, as you know my former pastor and friends are so involved with this Toronto, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Pensecola thing.
I have tried to talk to these people, but they just seem so caught up with it all that the truth means nothing to them anymore, and they have lost all sense of discerning. I have tried to show them from the Bible that what they are doing is wrong, but they always come back with Joel 2:28, 29:
And to be quite honest I do not know how to answer this one, because they say to me that it is prophesying about these days and this is what is happening at Toronto etc.
Please help to shed some light on this for me.
STEVE VAN NATTAN ANSWERS:
Get the context of the prophecy in Joel by reading more of the chapter, or even all of it, indeed, the whole book. It is NOT prophecy to the Church..... It is to Israel.
These twinks you struggle with only take a couple of verses and use them out of context. Add the following
This did NOT happen at Pentecost. Nor can these Rhema boys produce verse 30-31.
The reason these Charismatic boys use the verses they use is because they do not know what was happening at Pentecost in the upper room. The people there were ALL Jews. They were ALL believers in Jehovah. They were ALL "saved" in the Old Testament context. I fully believe that if Israel would have received God the Holy Ghost by faith in Jesus Christ, their Messiah, Jesus Christ would have returned in short order and fulfilled the rest of Joel 2. Rome would have collapsed, and the Kingdom would have been installed.
Since Israel as a nation rejected the Holy Ghost in a short era of about two years (Acts 1 through 8) of the Jewish Church in Israel, God scattered the witnesses, and withdrew the offer. Then, with the conversion of Cornelius, the Church Age to the Gentiles (that is us) began and continues.
The fulfillment of Joel started in the upper room has been set aside, and it will be finished in the Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ when he returns to restore Israel. Joel is all about what that will be like, but Joel has NOTHING to do with the Church Age.
Here is another way to watch these pabulum sucking boys blunder. Tell me, do they not teach about the Church in Matthew 24. The Old Testament, as a dispensation, does not end until AFTER Matthew 24. Check it out. Nothing in Matthew 24 is for the Church. Jesus is teaching Jewish believers what the end will be like FOR ISRAEL, and the Church Age was not introduced until Acts 9 or 10. If you try to get Church Age doctrine from Matthew 24 and Acts 2, you will live in doctrinal chaos, as Benny Hinn does.
God the Father offered himself to Israel through the end of the Old Testament era, and Malachi terminated Jehovah's offer to Israel. God the Son offered himself to Israel during his three and a half years of ministry, and Israel again rejected it. Can you see how consistent it was with God's nature to give Israel another chance. God the Holy Ghost offered himself to Israel in the early part of Acts, and Israel again rejected it. Israel then was condemned to dispersion with no further offer of blessing until Messiah comes in power and great glory and takes command of Israel, whether they like it or not. In between Acts 2 - 8 and Revelation 6, we live in the Church Age when we are grafted in.
Signs and wonders are for whom:
Signs and wonders are for the Jews, as in the upper room at Pentecost.
The Greeks, and the rest of us Gentiles, receive wisdom and preaching. Only those who believe by faith WITHOUT SIGNS AND WONDERS are born again.
I hope this little discussion helps you see how utterly foundational it is to get Joel 2 and Acts 2 in perspective as God worked with Jews and Gentiles.
God does not have two contracts in effect at the same time. Two contracts in effect at the same time in everyday life make for chaos and legal issues which cannot be enforced. Thus, God is the inventor of order also.
Israel's promise and covenant expectations are NOT being honored while the Church is ongoing. The Church Age ENDS at the rapture, and the Covenant to Israel again comes into effect. To confound these two and claim prophetic promises of Israel for the Church is blasphemy. Why? Answer: Because God himself does not WANT them run together.
Also, you can not see the chaos of the Hebrew Roots people. They are doing the same, but in reverse. They are claiming the covenant matters to Israel while living out their Church Age liberty. This mixture, no matter how hard they work at giving it order, ends in chaos and confusion. This also tells you why the Charismatic heretics and the Hebrew Roots heretics get along so well. They love mixture. God hates mixture.
However; don't kid yourself into thinking these Charismatic boys will listen to you. Their very existence depends on feeding the frenzied masses with signs and wonders, and to recant would mean to lose the following and to have to go sell insurance to sustain their bellies. They will NOT work for a living-- they would rather make lies and beg for their millions. Slow bellies!
God bless as you stand fast in the battle for truth.
In Christ Jesus
Steve Van Nattan
John Whitcomb on spiritual
and Wonders Versus Biblical Prophesy