Young Leaving Churches That ‘Abandoned Belief in Authority of Scripture,’ Says Head of World’s Largest Pentecostal Denomination

Spirit-Empowered Leaders Gather for What Could Be Largest Christian Pentecost Celebration in Israel’s Modern History

Dr. George O. Wood

JERUSALEM May 21st, 2015 — George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church (USA) and chairman of the World AG Fellowship, considered the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination with more than 67 million adherents, said Wednesday that young people are leaving traditional churches that have “abandoned a belief in the authority of Scripture.”

Responding to a question asking how the Empowered21 movement is doing among young people, considering reports that many are moving away from the church in general, Wood explained that it’s not the case for Empowered21.

“All I can do is tell you our statistics in the USA,” began Wood.

“We (AG USA) have 3.1 million young people in the USA and 34 percent of them are under the age of 25. … The young people that are moving away from traditional religious structures in the U.S. typically belong to churches which have abandoned a belief in the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness and centrality, and exclusiveness of Jesus Christ,” said Wood.

“They have no belief to hang on to since that has all been gutted by those who have chosen, under the guise of religion, to reject the very claims of the founder of the religion,” he said.

“This movement is very attractive to young people around the world because it believes we can experience God. We don’t just talk about Him, we don’t just think about Him, we actually can experience Him,” said William Wilson, co-chair of Empowered21.

“There is a whole generation of young men and women who are looking for purpose and really want their life to count and the radical message of Jesus Christ gives them that opportunity. In an expression, they can experience God in reality, so we’re seeing explosive growth in many parts of the movement among young people. It’s exciting,” said Wilson

JESUS CHRIST believed the Bible (Scripture) infallible.

picture of open bible

There is considerable debate these days concerning the inerrancy (infallibility) of Scripture. The authority of God’s Word is the main issue. But, if one yields to the authority of Jesus Christ, he must, in turn, yield to Christ’s view of the Scripture itself. Anyone and everyone who claims to be a Christian (a believer under the authority of Christ) must hold to the same view He did! What was it?

  1. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, even to words and verb tenses. He obviously had either memorized vast portions or knew it instinctively: John 7:15.
  2. He believed every word of Scripture. All the prophecies concerning Himself were fulfilled, and He believed beforehand they would be.
  3. He believed the Old Testament was historical fact. This is very clear, even though from the Creation (cf. Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4, 5) onward, much of what He believed has long been under fire by critics, as being mere fiction. Some examples of historical facts:
  4. He believed the books were written by the men whose names they bear:
    • Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Torah): Matthew 19:7, 8; Mark 7:10, 12:26 (‘Book of Moses’—the Torah); Luke 5:14; 16:29,31; 24:27, 44 (‘Christ’s Canon’); John 1:17; 5:45, 46; 7:19; (‘The Law [Torah] was given by Moses; Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.’)
    • Isaiah wrote ‘both’ Isaiah’s: Mark 7:6–13; John 12:37–41 [Ed. note: Liberals claim that Isaiah 40-66 was composed after the fall of Jerusalem by another writer they call ‘Deutero-Isaiah’. The only real ‘reason’ for their claim is that a straightforward dating would mean that predictive prophecy was possible, and liberals have decreeda priori that knowledge of the future is impossible (like miracles in general). Thus these portions must have been written after the events. However, there is nothing in the text itself to hint of a different author. See The Unity of Isaiah. In fact, even the Dead Sea Isaiah Scroll was a seamless unity. But as Dr Livingston said, since Jesus affirmed the unity of Isaiah, the deutero-Isaiah theory is just not an option for anyone calling himself a follower of Christ.]
    • Jonah wrote Jonah: Matthew 12:39–41
    • Daniel wrote Daniel: Matthew 24:15
  5. He believed the Old Testament was spoken by God Himself, or written by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, even though the pen was held by men: Matthew 19:4, 5; 22:31, 32, 43; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37.
  6. He believed Scripture was more powerful than His miracles: Luke 16:29, 31.
  7. He actually quoted it in overthrowing Satan! The O.T. Scriptures were the arbiter in every dispute: Matthew 4; Luke 16:29, 31.
  8. He quoted Scripture as the basis for his own teaching. His ethics were the same as what we find already written in Scripture: Matthew 7:12; 19:18, 19; 22:40; Mark 7:9, 13;10:19; 12:24, 29–31; Luke 18:20.
  9. He warned against replacing it with something else, or adding or subtracting from it. The Jewish leaders in His day had added to it with their Oral Traditions: Matthew 5:17;15:1–9; 22:29; (cf. 5:43, 44); Mark. 7:1–12.

    Destroying faith in the Bible as God’s Word has opened the door today to a ‘new’ Tradition.

  10. He will judge all men in the last day, as Messiah and King, on the basis of His infallible Word committed to writing by fallible men, guided by the infallible Holy Spirit:Matthew 25:31; John 5:22, 27; 12:48; Romans 2:16.
  11. He made provision for the New Testament (B’rit Hadashah) by sending the Holy Spirit. We must note that He Himself never wrote one word of Scripture although He is the Word of God Himself (the living Torah in flesh and blood, see John, chapter 1). He committed the task of all writing of the Word of God to fallible men—guided by the infallible Holy Spirit. The apostles’ words had the same authority as Christ’s: Matthew 10:14, 15; Luke 10:16; John 13:20; 14:22; 15:26, 27;16:12–14.
  12. He not only was not jealous of the attention men paid to the Bible (denounced as ‘bibliolatry’ by some), He reviled them for their ignorance of it: Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24.
  13. Nor did Jesus worship Scripture. He honored it—even though written by men.

The above leaves no room but to conclude that our Lord Jesus Christ considered the canon of Scripture as God’s Word, written by the hand of men.

Although some religious leaders profess to accept Scripture as ‘God’s Word,’ their low view of ‘inspiration’ belies the fact. They believe and teach that Scripture is, to a very significant degree, man’s word. Many of their statements are in essential disagreement with those of Jesus Christ. From the evidence of their books, we conclude that some Christian leaders are opposite to Christ in His regard for the authority, the inspiration, and the inerrancy of Scripture.

And now, the most important point.

Jesus Christ was subject to Scripture

Jesus obeyed the Word of God, not man. He was subject to it.

In all the details of His acts of redemption, Jesus was subject to Scripture as God’s Word. He obeyed it. It was His authority, the rule by which He lived. He came to do God’s will, not His own, and not man’s. Note how all of His life He did things because they were written—as if God had directly commanded. He fulfilled Old Testament prophecies (300) about Himself. The passages are found all over the Old Testament. We cite here only a very few quoted in the New Testament: Matthew 11:10; 26:24, 53–56;Mark 9:12, 13; Luke 4:17–21; 18:31–33; 22:37; 24:44–47.

He Himself is the Word of God. All the words from His lips were the Word of God. (John 3:34). If He had desired, He could have written a new set of rules and they would have been the Word of God. But, He did not. He followed without question the Bible already penned by men.

We need to do the same. May all who read this adopt Jesus’ attitude and become subject both to Him as Living Word (living Torah) and to the Bible as the infallible, written Word of God.

http://www.creation.com: article by Dr David Livingston – Jesus Christ on the infallibility of Scripture

What is the Holy Spirit to you?

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Whilst Dr Walter Wilson was saved December 21st, 1896, he did not personally become acquainted with the Holy Spirit until January 14th, 1914. After he was saved, Walter had a deep love for the scriptures yet it bothered him that his life did not seem to bear spiritual fruit. In 1913 he was challenged by a missionary with the question  “What is the Holy Spirit to you?” Wilson answered “He is one of the persons of the Godhead, a Teacher, a Guide; the third person of the trinity”.

“He is just as great,” the missionary said, “just as precious, just as needed as the other two Persons  of the Trinity. But you still have not answered my question, What is He to you?”

“He is nothing to me”, Wilson said, surprised at his own candour. “I have no contact with Him, no personal relationship, and get along quite well without Him”. His visitor replied, “it is because of this that your life is so fruitless even though your efforts are so great. The missionary’s words taunted Wilson into the next year. He wanted to bear the fruit of the Spirit but feared becoming a fanatic, giving an inferior place to Jesus Christ by overly exalting the Holy Spirit. On January 14th, 1914 everything changed when Wilson heard Dr James Gray, later to become President of Moody Bible Institute preach a sermon on Romans 12:1

Gray asked, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus…..He has his own body. It is not God the Father….He remains upon His throne. Another has come to earth without a body….God gives you the privilege and indescribable honour of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth”.

Wilson reported later that he said to the Holy Spirit, “My Lord, I have mistreated You all my Christian life. I have treated you like a servant….I shall do so NO more. Now I give you this body of mine ; from my head to my feet……………., I hand over to YOU for YOU to live in it the life that YOU please.

Walter Wilson , the “beloved physician” often testified, “With regard to my own experience with the Holy Spirit, I may say that the transformation in my life on JAN 14th 1914, was greater , much greater than the change that took place when I was saved DEC 21st 1896.

Dr Wilson died in 1969 after a life of amazing service as a physician (1904 – 1912), General Manager (1912 – 1920) and then President (1926 -1928) of a major corporation. He founded the Kansas City Bible Institute in 1932 which became the Kansas City Bible College when he became President. He hosted a daily Bible exposition broadcast on two radio stations in Kansas City 1933-1944, one rated the most popular radio program in the area. But above all he considered Holy Spirit guided “soul winning” his prime task since handing over his life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in 1914.

What is your answer to the question, “What is the Holy Spirit to you?”