"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VI No.VI Pg.12b-13a
January 1944

When The Spirit Misleads

W. Curtis Porter

Sometime ago it was my privilege to speak to an audience to which some Pentecostal preachers had just spoken. I had hardly begun till the leading Pentecostal preacher jumped in for an argument. Rushing up to where I stood he said excitedly:

"So you claim that only the twelve received the baptism of the Holy Ghost?"

"Yes," I replied. "The apostles were the only ones thus baptized."

"But I'll show you that others received the baptism of the Holy Ghost."

"All right," I said. "Let us have the proof."

"Read the 19th chapter of Acts," he demanded.

"But the 19th chapter of Acts says nothing about the baptism of the Holy Ghost," I replied.

Yes, it does," he said.

"But I know that it does not."

He insisted that is does and I insisted that it does not. So he further said: "If it does say anything about it, will you take it?"

"Yes," I replied. "But if it does not, will you give it up?"

He agreed that he would and shook hands with me in testimony of his promise. I turned to the 19th chapter of Acts and read the record concerning the twelve men at Ephesus. When I came to verse 6 I read it this way: "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the baptism of the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." Another Pentecostal preacher standing by shouted: "Amen!" "Now," I said, "Your brother preacher over here has shouted Amen' to something that is not in the book. It does not say the baptism of the Holy Ghost came on them' but The Holy Ghost came on them.' The word Baptism' is not there. I read into it what you claimed it said in order to show that it said no such thing, and your brother preacher shouted Amen'..

"Well, if you misread it," he replied, "you sinned."

"If I sinned in so reading it, then your brother over here sinned too when he said Amen' to it. The fact is I did not purposely read it that way to deceive anyone but to show that such is not in the divine record. Your brother, who is led by the Holy Ghost, thought I had read it aright and said `Amen' to it. Thus he got himself into a trap."

"But you didn't catch me," he replied.,

"No," I said, "I didn't catch you. You knew it was not that way, although you tried to make the people believe awhile ago that it did say it. Yet you knew all the time that it does not read that way."

During the further discussion I made some reference to something that Paul had said. Immediately the Pentecostal preacher said: "But Paul backslid." I asked him to tell us when Paul backslid. He said it was while on his way to Damascus. I replied:

"You say that Paul backslid on his way to Damascus. He was not then even a Christian, but a persecutor of Christians. Paul did not backslide before he was converted, did he?"

"No," he said; "I meant to say that Peter backslid." "Friend," I replied, "Are you inspired?"

I have been baptized with the Holy Ghost," he said. And the Holy Ghost guides you into all truth?"

"Yes," he answered.

"But the Holy Ghost led you to say that Paul backslid

when it was Peter who backslid. So the Holy Ghost misled and deceived you, did it?"

This put him in a difficult spot. And he was willing to change subjects. In the course of the investigation the subject of water baptism came up for discussion. They had publicly preached that water baptism is not for the remission of sins, but that people obtained the remission of sins before they were baptized. I read the statement of Peter in Acts 2:38. The record says: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." So I said to the preacher:

"You have claimed that baptism is not for the remission of sins, but the apostle Peter says to be baptized for the remission of sins.' Do you believe in doing what Peter said to do?"

He replied: "I believe you have to repent first."

"So do I. But that is not the question I asked. Regardless of what has to be done first, do you believe in baptizing men for the remission of sins as Peter said to do?"

"I won't baptize men for the remission of sins," he said.

"Then you don't believe in doing what Peter said to do? Is that right?"

"That's right," he responded.

I demanded that he say it loudly enough that the audience could hear him. He said, with enough force that the audience could hear, that he did not believe in doing what Peter said in Acts 2:38 to do. So this is the straits to which men are driven who claim the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They say they are inspired and led by the Holy Spirit in all their preaching. But they deny emphatically what the Holy Spirit led Peter to preach on the day of Pentecost. Certainly the Spirit, if their claim is true, has misled somebody, for it makes them preach a doctrine in conflict with what it made the apostles preach as recorded in the New Testament. The fact is, of course, that the Spirit misleads no one. The apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance. But these modern day fellows have not received the Holy Spirit at all. The Holy Spirit is not leading them, but they are following the doctrine and commandments of men. They are not inspired. They are deceived and deceivers of men. They are "blind leaders of the blind." Do not follow after them."