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JOY

Some well-meaning people have attributed the composition of the Laughter meetings to an unholy union of "x per cent God, y per cent flesh and z per cent Devil". It frightens me to even entertain such a thought! My friends, God does not yoke Himself with demonic beings- the anointing is either WHOLLY from Him or WHOLLY from the Devil...

2 Cor 6:14-15
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? (NIV)

IT IS NEVER THE CHARACTER OR NATURE OF GOD TO SHARE HIS GLORY WITH ANYONE (INCLUDING US)......

Isa 42:8
8 "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. (NIV)

Then there is the argument that if the counterfeit exists, the genuine should also exist. This statement holds some truth. The genuine, contrary to popular belief, is not "spiritual laughter" from God. It is called the `Joy' of the Holy Spirit. This `Joy' is produced by the Spirit of God and is found in Galatians Chapter 5 verse 22. It is one of the nine members of the Fruit of the Spirit. Look at what Nelson's Bible Dictionary has to say about this kind of `Joy'.....

"The joy required of the righteous person is produced by the Spirit of God . This kind of joy looks beyond the present to our future salvation and to our sovereign God, who works out all things for our ultimate good, which is Christlikeness . This kind of joy is distinct from mere happiness. Joy like this is possible, even in the midst of sorrow <1 cor. 12:26; 2 cor. 6:10; 7:4>." Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

There are several Biblical characteristics of this `Joy' which distinguishes it from the counterfeit Joy seen in the Laughter meetings.

CHARACTERISTICS OF JOY AS A MEMBER OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

1. LIKE ALL THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IT TAKES TIME TO MATURE AND CANNOT BE IMPARTED BY LAYING OF HANDS, BLOWING OR WAVING, ETC.
This `Joy' is therefore, different and distinct from the so-called instant joy encountered in the Laughter meetings. I have heard of a testimony of a well-known evangelist from New Zealand who after being prayed for, fell to the ground for 2 hours and woke up with a sense of incredible joy. Such an experience is unbiblical and contrary to what is being taught in the Scriptures. As in the natural, it takes time for a fruit to mature from its budding stage.

2 IT IS AN INNER ATTRIBUTE, A PART OF OUR CHARACTER LIKE SELF CONTROL AND PATIENCE
Like all the other nine members of the Fruit of the Spirit, Joy becomes a part of our patient and Godly Walk with the Lord.

3 IT IS INDEPENDENT OF CIRCUMSTANCES
Acts 13:50-52
50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with JOY and with the Holy Spirit. (NIV) Emphasis Mine.

2 Cor 7:4
4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my JOY knows no bounds. (NIV) Emphasis Mine.

This `Joy' is equated with PERSECUTION not hysterical laughter.

4 LIKE THE OTHER EIGHT MEMBERS OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT THERE ARE NO EXTERNAL MANIFESTATIONS

Gal 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

We cannot see self-control or patience or even faithfulness (or any of the other members of the Fruit of the Spirit) on the face of a person. So likewise `Joy' does not manifest itself externally but remains an inner Godly attribute of a person.

5 JOY IS ONLY ONE OF THE NINE MEMBERS OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. ONE MEMBER OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT ENOUGH TO TRANSFORM OUR CHARACTER. WE NEED ALL NINE.
Yes, the Fruit of the Spirit comes as a nine member package. Notice that in Galatians Chapter 5 verse 22, the word FRUIT is used in the `singular'. Joy as a member of the Fruit of the Spirit cannot be acquired separately from the other eight members of the Fruit of the Spirit because they all belong to one Fruit. We become more God-like and Godly when we acquire ALL NINE MEMBERS OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. Counterfeit `joy' on the other hand, can be acquired on its own and produces an instant spiritual high which makes a person desire more and more of it.
From the discussion above, we find that the genuine does exist. It is Joy as a member of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and not spiritual laughter from God as is being taught. If fact, there is not a single shred of Biblical evidence to support any form of spiritual laughter from God. The people of God need to know God's Word so as to be able to distinguish the real from the counterfeit. Just as a bank-teller is trained to distinguish a genuine dollar bill [by handling enough of these] from a counterfeit one, so should God's children be adept in distinguishing between a real move of God and a counterfeit spiritual move, through a diligent study of HIS WORD.

A QUOTE

Does the Lord have a purpose in permitting the Toronto Blessing to be let loose on His Church?

[First,it is].....To drive His true people to flee to Him alone for comfort and consolation. They will do this through prayer and through the study of the Scriptures.....
Alan Morrison, Crich Baptist Church, Matlock, United Kingdom

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 06 March, 1996

 


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