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Category Archives: Spirit Baptism

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What These Preachers Are Spewing Could Kill You
By Bert Farias

There is an increasing measure of unbelief in today’s churches. Weak faith, little faith and no faith is at an all-time high. Strong faith, exceedingly great faith, and the kind of faith that causes Jesus to marvel (Matt. 8:10) is at an all-time low.

The first reason faith is now at an all-time low is because many believers don’t read or hear the pure Word of God. There’s a great mixture in our churches today. People put more faith in what the popular elevated teachers in the Christian culture say. They put more faith in man. They place their trust in logic, reasoning and the wisdom of men. Continue reading “Your Spiritual Diet Could Be Killing You!” »

How Long Will We Be Satisfied With Happy, Shallow Revivals?

By Bert Farias

Charismatic-worship

Many of our so called modern revivals are happy but shallow. This is of deep concern to me for I am not seeing the old anointings any more. My heart grieves especially for the young people who have never witnessed the real power of God.

Honestly, some things I see today are appalling. That old teaching that we are free from the Law has raised its ugly head again. Certainly, we are free from the Law written on stone, but we are not free from the Law that is written in our hearts. Continue reading “How Long Will Shallow, Spiritless Revivals Suffice?” »

What George O. Wood Really Thinks About Pentecostals Speaking in Tongues
By George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God

Several decades ago, I visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Looking up to Michelangelo’s great fresco of The Last Judgment, I thought to myself, Why is everyone raving about this work of art? It’s very occluded and dark.

What had happened is that over the last four centuries, there have been so many candles burning in the Sistine Chapel that the smoke had gradually put a layer of gray over the painting. So when I saw how dark it was, I wasn’t impressed at all. Now, many years later, it has been restored. All the smudge is gone and the colors are radiant and alive, and it’s as though the painting had just been done yesterday.

That’s what Pentecostalism, in its purist form, tries to do. It tries to erase the smudges on the church for the last 20 centuries and get back to what the early Christians believed and practiced. That is our goal—to get back to biblical, original Christianity.

I have been asked a number of times by national reporters about speaking in tongues. I was talking with a reporter from the New York Times and told him there’s nothing unusual about what Pentecostals are doing today. If you look at the first-century church, all the writers of the New Testament spoke in tongues and the Early Church spoke in tongues. So Pentecostalism, at its roots, is basically a restorationist movement. We believe that we can cut through 20 centuries of church tradition and get back to the original church. It doesn’t mean that we do everything like the original church, but we’re trying to have the same doctrine and experience of the Early Church.

In so many of our American churches today, little emphasis is placed on the Holy Spirit. Those of us in leadership, out of concern over this neglect, urge our pastors and churches to pray and provide opportunities for people to receive Spirit baptism with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. But, we must not stop there.

Pentecostals have always believed and taught that speaking in other tongues is the initial physical evidence.

But it is initial. We must have the initial evidence, but we must also go past the initial to the enduring work of the Spirit. The seventh doctrine of our Statement of Fundamental Truths declares that with the baptism in the Spirit “comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.”

This tenet also states: “With the baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, a deepened reverence for God, an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, and a more active love for Christ, for His Word, and for the lost.”

We believe the baptism in the Spirit brings the delight of initially speaking with other tongues, but if we stop there, this Pentecostal experience will have no ongoing fruitfulness. I grew up in the Assemblies of God when it was preached that the baptism of the Spirit is for the empowerment of believers for life and service.

In short, the enduring evidence of the baptism in the Spirit results in our fulfilling Acts 1:8. Evangelism and outreach is enduring evidence of the Spirit’s work. If we are not seeing this evidence—fruitfulness—we’re in trouble.###

This article was originally published on CharismaNews. Republished by permission.

Dr. George O. Wood currently serves as the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, headquartered in Springfield, MO.
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Dunamis-Power! By Dr. Steven LambertThe Baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced initially by the gift of tongues, is a separate and distinct experience to salvation that God offers to all believers. Both salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, however, are a work of the Holy Spirit. In salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer — this is the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. In the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the believer is enveloped by and immersed in the Holy Spirit; that is to say, the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer in contrast to into the believer. These facts are clearly supported by Scripture and are exemplified by the experience of Jesus Himself, who is our supreme Model. Dunamis! Power From On High, is available in both print and ebook formats. To learn more or order your copy, click on the cover image on the left. Ebook & epub format are available for immediate download.

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This article is part 4 of 5 in the series Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Dr. Steven Lambert, bio at: www.slm.org

Multitudes of sincere believers around the world at this very moment are earnestly, and in some cases, desperately, crying out for God’s help in real overwhelming needs in their life, on the premise that it is divine intervention they need to bring answers and resolution to those problems.

But, the real truth is Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you,” that is, within every believer who has been immersed, or baptized, in the Holy Spirit! Continue reading “Dunamis! Power From On High!” »

John MacArthur—Strange Fire
By David Ravenhill

David Ravenhill, son of late prophetic sage Leonard Ravenhill

David Ravenhill

John MacArthur’s recent attack against the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement has certainly put him in the cross hairs of many. What possessed him to lash out against us is unknown. Was it sheer arrogance, ignorance or was he tempted or troubled by an evil spirit of some sort?

I can well understand some enthusiastic young buck zealously overstating his belief about some pet doctrinal belief he adheres to; but there is no excuse for a father in the faith to do the same.

What grieves my heart and the heart of many I know is the untold damage done to the young of the flock. Jesus warned us about this very thing when He said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” It is only when you consider the severity of the punishment that you realize how great this sin was that Jesus was referring to.

Only this morning I was reading again the story of how a handful of men successfully thwarted God’s purposes. This unbelieving minority caused the majority of God’s people to believe that what God said was possible, wasn’t for them. For the next forty wasted years they wandered aimlessly in the Wilderness. Then they died, never seeing the gifts that God had promised them. Why would anyone follow their example, and in so doing rob God’s people of the very gifts He purchased for them at the cost of His precious blood! “When He ascended on high…He gave gifts unto men” (Eph. 4:8).

You recall the day when the disciples were returning from one of their numerous field trips and began to tell the Lord what they had encountered. “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us. “Then a few verses later we are told that they wanted to call fire down from heaven and consume those who rejected the Lord. Jesus turned and rebuked them saying, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” One would have to wonder the same about John MacArthur.

While I will freely admit that the Charismatic movement could stand a little weeding in its own garden, I can also testify to the reality of the Holy Spirit’s power. The FBI does not have a host of undercover agents working tirelessly to track down the counterfeiting operation of criminals churning out millions of thirty dollar bills. The reason is simple, there are no genuine thirty dollar bills. The fact that there is false fire is a testimony to the real fire.

One of the sure proofs that the Holy Spirit is at work is evidenced by the presence of the enemy at work. In the parable of The Sower we are told that as soon as the seed was sown, then Satan cometh immediately. Many people mistakenly believe that any demonic or fleshly activity gives them the right to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The scriptures tell us that where there are no oxen the manger is clean, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest (Pro. 14:14). Some pastors would rather settle for a clean church with no life, than deal with the aftermath of the Spirit’s activity.

Let’s face it, if you are going to have children, expect spilled milk and dirty diapers. If on the other hand you want a perfectly spotless house, then don’t have children.

My father would often say that he would rather pour water on a fire than try and raise the dead. Some pastors would rather minister in a morgue than a nursery. The former seems to be John’s preference.

The best cure for a cessationist would be to fly them into some heathen jungle where they are surrounded by every form of demonic activity. Only then would they see the need for the Holy Spirit’s power to be manifest. It is a known fact that numerous evangelicals who have gone to the mission field believing that the gifts of the Spirit have been withdrawn from the church; have returned with the very opposite belief. Being confronted by the reality of the demonic, their only hope was to cry out to the living God and see His miraculous intervention through healings, deliverance, signs and wonders. Only when the people see that the God of the missionary is greater than their god, will they believe.

Can you imagine John MacArthur confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel? It takes more than fine expository preaching. It takes the God that answers by FIRE. Perhaps it’s time for him to climb down from his ivory tower of spiritual intellectualism and take a trip to the jungle for a season.###

This article was first published at on David’s blog (see link below).

Be Careful Whom You Damn

It is true that the Scriptures often warn us against deception, and it is true that some preach “another Jesus” (who is not Jesus at all) and “another gospel” (which is no gospel at all; see 2 Cor. 11:1-4; Gal. 1:6-9). And it is true that many false converts will be shocked when Jesus says to them on that great and dreadful Day, “Depart from me” (see Mat. 7:21-23; 25:31-46).

All of us should examine ourselves to be sure that we are “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5) and all of us should be diligent to “confirm [our] calling and election” (2 Pet. 1:10), and this does mean falling into performance-based religious exercises but rather living out our calling to be God’s children (see 2 Pet. 1:3-11; this is our response to what God has graciously done for us).

At the same time, we need to be very careful about setting ourselves up as the ultimate judge of who is saved and who is lost—meaning, among those who claim to be followers of the Jesus of the Scriptures. Continue reading “Condemn Not! You May Be the One That’s Wrong!” »

By Charles Carrin

The False Theory of Cessationism

To absolve itself of power failure, the contemporary Church has invented an escape hatch called cessation theology. This pleasant-sounding expression declares that God has withdrawn the Holy Spirit’s miraculous power from the Church. It says the Church’s power is in a book—the Bible—and nowhere else. This doctrine also says if we have no power it is because God has removed it, that the fault is not ours. (Yet, astonishingly, the Lord did not cause Satan’s power to be removed at the same time ours supposedly was.)

Modern Christianity has convinced itself that Jesus provided two distinct Gospels and two distinct faiths—one for the First Century Church and one for the Church that followed after. Cessationists say the first Church was miraculously empowered while the second was not; the first had the baptismal gift of the Holy Spirit, while the second was merely given a book telling what the Holy Spirit had achieved in the past. Continue reading “Are You An Apollos Or A Paul?” »

This article is part 3 of 5 in the series Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Why the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is Needed
By David Servant

How desperately we need the help of the Holy Spirit to minister to others! Without His help, we can never hope to make disciples of all nations. That is, in fact, the very reason Jesus promised to baptize believers in the Holy Spirit—so the world would hear the gospel. He said to His disciples:

Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, emphasis added).

Luke also records Jesus as saying:

It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:7-8, emphasis added).

Jesus told His disciples not even to leave Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.” He knew they would be essentially powerless otherwise, sure to fail at the task He had given them. We note that once they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, however, God began to use them supernaturally to spread the gospel. Continue reading “Why The Baptism In The Holy Spirit” »

This article is part 2 of 5 in the series Baptism in the Holy Spirit

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced initially by the gift of tongues, is a separate and distinct experience to salvation that God offers to all believers. Both salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, however, are a work of the Holy Spirit. In salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer — this is the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. In the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the believer is enveloped by and immersed in the Holy Spirit; that is to say, the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer in contrast to into the believer. These facts are clearly supported by Scripture and are exemplified by the experience of Jesus Himself, who is our supreme Model. Continue reading “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit & How to Receive It” »