I received an email a while back in response to the mailing of our weekly bulletin. The email was entitled, “Kyle and his Religion from Satan.” The man responsible for the email is Robert Bufkin, a man from Jonesboro, Arkansas who operates Robert L. Bufkin Ministries. He states on his website that he can heal AIDS, cancer, and other afflictions. It says, “After my wife and daughter both died of cancer, I fasted 43 days for the Gift of Healing against cancer, aids, and all other diseases and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me during the sixth week of that fast and invested me with that Gift and instructed me about the gift.”
He never said to what article he was referring, but stated, “Jesus said, All things are possible to them that believe but Satan says…NO Jesus doesn’t work miracles any longer. No more power over satan and cancer and sickness etc. etc. Jesus said, Don’t go preach until you receive the Holy Ghost power..but Kyle says…Jesus doesn’t give the Holy Ghost any longer… Jesus changed … John the Baptist said…I baptize you with water but Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Ghost. But Kyle says.. Jesus does not baptize with the Holy Ghost…Jesus quit that.. No more baptism of Jesus by the Holy Ghost.” Moreover, on his website, he states, “The greatest lie and misrepresentation of all the ages is to say that Jesus does not heal or work miracles for people today. What a deception. And from the very persons claiming to represent the Lord Jesus.”
Jesus did not change. Mr. Bufkin cannot see that the promise of the Holy Spirit was only for those in the first century. Where is the baptism of the Holy Spirit promised for Christians today?
- First, the promise cannot be found in John 14-16. The promise was given to the apostles (John 13:1; Matthew 26:20). The Holy Spirit would remind the apostles of the teaching of Jesus (John 14:26). They were with Him from the beginning (John 15:27).
- Second, the promise cannot be found in Acts 1:2-8. If you carefully follow the pronouns throughout the paragraph, you will see that the promise was not given to all, but simply to the apostles. Luke goes back to Luke 24:46-49 to show that the ones being spoken to were the apostles. To think otherwise and believe that this was referring to Christians now completely disregards the rules of grammar.
- Third, the promise cannot be found in Acts 2:38-39. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit Himself. He cannot be the gift and the giver at the same time. Peter told them what to do to be saved in v. 38. He then said they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. They would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit because it was promised to them (v. 39). The promise has to do with the promise of salvation involved in the text. The promise is stated in Acts 2:21. “Calling on the name of the Lord” does not mean prayer. It means invoking God’s blessing by doing what He says. Thus, the Holy Spirit will give one salvation who complies with God’s commands.
The purpose of the miracles listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 was to confirm or establish the word (Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:3-4). They proved that the people working the miracles spoke the truth (cp. 1 Kings 17:24). Failing to see the purpose of miracles, and then pretending to heal people of AIDS or cancer makes one a false teacher. To give people this kind of false hope is truly devilish in my opinion.
If Mr. Bufkin really believes that he can work miracles because he is endowed by the Holy Spirit, then why does he not offer to work miracles as Jesus and the apostles did in the first century? They worked various miracles such as restoring limbs (Matthew 12:9-14) and raising dead people (Luke 8:40-42, 49-56; John 11:1-46). They also worked these miracles immediately, not over a long period of time (Matthew 8:3; 20:34).
Not meaning any disrespect to Mr. Bufkin, but I know a lot of people here who have faith and would desperately love to be healed. I would personally offer to arrange for Mr. Bufkin to come here and heal the people of Lufkin. If Mr. Bufkin does not think that I have faith, Jesus healed people without the virtue of faith, but they undoubtedly had faith after He healed them. The same would be the case with me if he could like Jesus and the apostles did in the first century — I promise!
He closes his email by saying, “Kyle…if God is merciful to you and you haven’t blasphemed the Holy Ghost…then repent and be baptized in water by total immersion in the only name given…Jesus Christ..and then receive the Baptism of Jesus in or with the Holy Ghost (which is the Spirit of Christ) and you will speak in unknown tongues.” Many years ago, I was baptized in water “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” I know this is not good enough for Mr. Bufkin, but I hope it is good enough for God, for it is He who told me to do it (Matthew 28:19-20).
We will see if Mr. Bufkin accepts my offer. I am very sorry for the loss of his wife and daughter to cancer, but if he is truly endowed by the Holy Spirit, then he can show us so that we will believe and follow his teaching. This was the exact reason for miracles in the first century times.