Updated: Nov 19, 2020

The enigma which is John MacArthur continues to capture the attention of many in the United States and abroad. How can this man who doesn’t even believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost today, who doesn’t believe that the gifts of the spirit are for today seem to be exercising so much power and authority in the church and the nation. He is embarrassing the Governor of California and state officials with his heartfelt convictions that He’s willing to pay a price for, to stand against unconstitutional madness and tyranny. Even if you don’t agree with this man’s manner and doctrine at times you have to be inspired by his boldness and courage to stand for his beliefs in the face of being threatened with jail.


One of the fundamental powers of the Holy Spirit in scripture is found in his name: “Holy Spirit”. He is holy and his power is holy. Why is this so hard for so many charismatics to get?

In (Rom.1:4) the power of his holiness is said to have raised Jesus from the dead. It doesn’t say it was the gift of the working of miracles, or the gift of faith, but the spirit of holiness. Not that I would ever diminish the importance of the gifts. I do think the gifts are important and very much needed for the church to be equipped to fulfill her purpose, but we need this power that I’m referring to as well. We need the power of Christ’s own holiness. We need the power of godliness in the charismatic church again.

In (2 Tim.3:1-5) the scripture declares that in the last days the hearts of many would grow cold and perilous times would come. It says that men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. This would all be representative of people “having a form of godliness but denying its power”. The bible declares “from such people turn away!” (2 Tim.3:5).

Many times when I’ve heard the above scripture about the power of godliness re-quoted in charismatic circles I’ve heard it quoted as more of the general power of God rather than the specific power of God’s holiness. But read the verse closely, it actually says that “its” power, referring to the power of godliness.

(2 Tim.3:5)

“Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

The fact is there is more power in the evangelical church, churches like John MacArthur’s (which are ironically considered the dead powerless churches) than many of the power house charismatic churches  today. I believe this because many times there’s more godly people in the evangelical church than in the charismatic church, which is being overrun by doctrines of demons and scandal. We’re inundated with greasy grace, serial adultery from the pulpit, lying, cheating, stealing, and terrible financial malfeasance. Lord have mercy on us.

The way God is using John MacArthur should be a wakeup call to the entire charismatic church. Our ministers are weak and useless during this time of crisis being tied up with scandal after scandal, and all John MacArthur does is preach the word and live his life according to his biblical convictions, and look at the fruit of it. Yes, I admit that I am very much opposed to many of the things that John MacArthur has both said and done over the years. I do think there is a religious spirit that works through him at times to discredit and even attack the work of God in other movements. But I also think now, having seen much of the corruption and demonic garbage firsthand in the charismatic church, that He’s been more right with his critiques of the charismatic church over the years than we’ve cared to admit.

So may we be stirred again to not just be tongue talkers but godly men and women who serve others and our families well, who are satisfied with ministering to the Lord in secret as priests of the Lord, and who take great delight in going above and beyond to stay pure in regards to finances, relationships, and how we reach the lost with the truth. As I’ve often said, the same Holy Spirit that makes you roll around on the ground ought to make you live holy. It’s not by our own strength it’s by his own grace. Let’s use that grace which He has abundantly poured out on us to live fully for the Lord, not just with our gifts but with our character and conduct as well.

In His Service,

Stephen Powell


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