Gifts Of Judgment
GEORGE L. FAULL
Dear Brother Faull,
I heard you say that the men who teach that the apostolic gifts continue today are inconsistent, for if the good gifts exist, the judgmental gifts continue, too. I do not understand what you mean by that. Would you explain?
The apostolic gifts were not merely the gifts of tongues, and healings, raising the dead, making the deaf to hear, the blind to see and the lame to walk. That is only half of the story. There is another side to the coin. Namely, the apostles had the power to bring judgment or even death on the disobedient.
God did not only empower His Old Testament prophets with the ability to do miracles of supply, He also endowed them with the ability to bring judgment on rebels. In fact, in a crisis when God's man was questioned, or their authority suspect, God empowered them to defend their office. Remember Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and how they were swallowed alive by the earth for questioning Moses and Aaron?
Numbers 16:30-32, "(30) But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. (31) And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that [was] under them: (32) And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods."
When Elisha was mocked by the children who inferred that if he had the power of Elijah, he should be able to be translated as Elijah was, bears came out of the woods and devoured them.
II Kings 2:23-24, "(23) And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. (24) And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."
Again, Uzziah the king was smitten with leprosy for usurping the priest's role.
II Chronicles 26:18-21, "(18) And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, [It pertaineth] not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither [shall it be] for thine honor from the LORD God. (19) Then Uzziah was wroth, and [had] a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. (20) And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he [was] leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. (21) And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, [being] a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son [was] over the king's house, judging the people of the land."
Other such examples could be given to demonstrate that God secures the honor of His specially appointed servants. The New Testament, likewise, bears out this truth.
1. When Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter, they soon lay in death. (Acts 5:1-12)
2. Herod, who killed James and imprisoned Peter and sought his life when Peter escaped, was eaten of worms and died. (Acts 12:1-ff)
3. Peter also must have threatened Simon the sorcerer, for he said,
Acts 8:24, "Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me."
4. When Elymas the sorcerer withstood Paul, Paul cursed him to be blind for a season, and he instantly became so.
Acts 13:8-12, "(8) But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. (9) Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, (10) And said, O full of all subtility and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (11) And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.(12) Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord."
5. Paul ordered the Church to deliver the incestuous man at Corinth over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
I Corinthians 5:5, "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
We do not know if a physical malady came upon him, but Paul did likewise to Hymenaeus and Alexander.
I Timothy 1:20, "Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."
When Paul wrote the Corinthians who questioned his apostleship, and some affronted him, Paul said he was quite prepared to revenge all disobedience with action and not just words. His boast of having such power was not an idle boast. He preferred, however, to build them up, not destroy them.
II Corinthians 10:6-13
He reminds them again in chapter 12 that they may find him unfavorable when he comes with power to execute judgment on the disobedient. Likewise, he says that he may use severity according to the power which the Lord gave him.
II Corinthians 13:10, "Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction."
His argument in these chapters are: "If you seek proof of Christ in me, I shall come with the power of God and 'proof' will be given."
6. The apostle John also says of Diotrephes, who resisted him, "Wherefore if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth." What was he going to do, "tickle him with a feather?" Not hardly.
Those in the apostolic office were not as those who merely walked in the flesh. Listen to Paul:
II Corinthians 10:2, "(2) But I beseech [you], that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. (3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (6) And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (7) Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ's, even so [are] we Christ's.
(8) For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: (9) That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. (10) For [his] letters, say they, [are] weighty and powerful; but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech contemptible. (11) Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such [will we be] also in deed when we are present.
II Corinthians 13:1-2, "1 This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2) I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare."
Again, I Corinthians 4:21, "What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and [in] the spirit of meekness?"
If the prophetic gift continues, and God is still revealing His Word, why do not these "so-called" apostles and prophets have the power to blind and strike men dead? Why aren't those who oppose them miraculously eaten of worms or swallowed alive or made lepers or devoured by bears? One fourth of the miracles in Acts were judgmental!!! Even our Lord cursed a fig tree so that it miraculously dried up in one day.
The truth is, these false apostles, prophets, and miracle workers no more have the ability to miraculously do evil than they do to do miraculous good. They do not reveal truth for they cannot confirm their authority by miraculous judgment any more than they can confirm their words by raising the dead.
Question: Has there been any one this century that Christians should have feared, lest these terrible judgments come upon them? If so, I know of none; least of all the leaders of the charismatic movement: Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Jones, Jimmy Baker, Jimmy Roberson, Oral Roberts, Robert Tilman, Earnest Ansley, Kathryn Kuhlman, Amiee Semple McPherson, A. A. Allen, Pat Robinson, W. V. Grant, and all the other professionals who have made a fortune at pretending the gifts. Those of this group that are dead, have died from alcoholism, cancer, or suicide, and almost every one of the above has been involved in shameful scandals, not for the cause of Christ, but their own sins.