Things That Have Done Great Damage To The Cause Of Truth: Reinterpreting Death, The Word “Church,” Making Judgment mean Punishment, and Pentecostal Imitations
I look back in history and I read in my Bible and I know a lot of things happened that did great damage to the truth of God.
One thing that did great damage was when Satan said to Eve, ‘Thou shalt not surely die.’ She believed it. You won’t die, there’s no such thing as death, you can’t die. You’ll just move into a larger and a fuller life. That was the first lie that was ever told and the first lie that was ever believed.
I believe also that is was a terrible thing when men took the word ‘ekklesia’ and said it meant what our word ‘church’ means. I think that was a terrible mistake from which we still suffer today. Take any definition of the word ‘church’ and that is not what ‘ekklesia’ means. Ekklesia simply does not mean church and church does not mean ekklesia. It was a tragedy that this was imposed upon the Word of God.
Then another mistake was made when the word ‘judgment’ was made to mean ‘punishment.’ Instead of seeing that God’s judgments are good and greatly to be desired, that they are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, and that when the day comes when the earth will be filled with God’s judgments that this will be the greatest possible blessing that men can ever enjoy, and when God causes judgment to be heard from heaven and the earth be filled with His judgments – Yet men took this word and made it to mean punishment and you can still hear evangelists talking about how God is pouring out His terrible judgments and His frightful judgments upon the sons of men. That was a great error which still persists with us today and is hard to get away from.
And then another error that was imposed upon men which came out of America’s frontier days, and this was just about as bad as any of them. People began to imagine that the work of the Holy Spirit was to get people worked-up emotionally and enthusiastically, to get them shouting and screaming and running up and down the aisles – they said this was the work of the Holy Spirit. I know that the established Churches in those days were so sedate, so high-bound, and so creed-bound that when people began to have their ‘store-front’ meetings, or their brush-hopper meetings, or their tent meetings they felt more liberty there and began to let their emotions run riot and as a result they began to think that this is the work of the Holy Spirit. But that isn’t what the Holy Spirit does. You just couldn’t find that stuff in the pages of the Word of God.
(I transcribed these words from an audio of Otis Sellers – good stuff!!)