I strongly bear witness with this testimony and message. May those who are seeking a deeper work of the Spirit in their lives, read these words with open hearts.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson
WHAT HAPPENED to THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT?
-by Wayne Greulich.
A number of people have decried the Pentecostal/ Charismatic
movement as being the doorway through which the current
corruption has entered the modern church. There is an element
of truth in this, but it is not entirely accurate.
I was born into a Pentecostal church 56 years ago, was raised
there, was educated in one of their colleges, and pastored 3 of
their churches. I think this gives me a degree of knowledge and
familiarity with the movement and its history… I also had the
privilege of meeting with and conversing with some of the
Pentecostal pioneers while they were still alive. In addition, I have
owned a number of Frank Bartleman’s books for years. This is not
to put myself forward as an expert, but to let you know that what I
say next is not said from a vacuum of ignorance, assumption, and
The Pentecostal movement was born out of the holiness movement.
Many of those who were involved in its birth were people of holiness
who had died to self, had picked up their crosses and were
following Jesus Christ as He directed them by His Spirit and His
Word. The multitudes of transformed lives, the miracles, and the
persecution were very real. We can thank God for those pioneers
who – under the move and hand of God – paved the way for a
renewed freedom and move of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s Church.
The problems which arose were not with the move of the Spirit or
with many of those who sought the Lord and came into the
Baptism and life of the Spirit. Mostly the problems arose – as
they do today – from those who wanted to avoid the cross. These
were people who wanted the blessings of life in the Spirit, but who
did not want to die to sin, flesh, and themselves.
As early as 1907, Frank Bartleman wrote of his dismay over these
types of people who infiltrated the Pentecostal movement. Many
flocked to Pentecostal movements all over the continent seeking
the blessings of the spirit, but not wanting holiness, confession of
sin, brokenness before the Lord, and taking up of the cross. We
have the same root problem with us today. The modern church is
filled with selfish, sinful people who want God’s blessings, but who
do not want to go the way of the cross.
The problem has been further compounded by those false
preachers, prophets, and teachers who refuse to preach the cross
and what it costs to be a follower of Christ. Instead today’s
“Christian” heaps to himself preachers, teachers, and prophets
who tickle his flesh and make it feel comfortable – those who have
become experts at creating a brand of “christianity” which seems
to marry the flesh with the Spirit. This CANNOT be, however, since
the flesh and the Spirit are enemies against each other. Scripture
makes it clear that one must follow one or the other – God or mammon.
It is the shame of many Pentecostal/ Charismatic churches –
although, not all (… the mistake of generalizing) – have abandoned
the preaching of the cross, holiness, separation from the world,
and the true full Gospel. Much of the modern church has
abandoned the Christ of the Bible in favour of a “new and improved
Christ” who has no cross, but only “love;” who has no holiness, but
only “grace;” who has no justice, but only “blessings;” and who is
not Judge, but merely a cosmic Santa Claus.
How we need those who will die to self, take up the cross, and be
witnesses of the true Christ! How God longs for those who will live
godly in Christ Jesus – in spite of the persecution! How we need
those who choose to reject the world, who hate sin, who fear none
but God; those who will do what He wants, speak what He says,
and be molded into the image of Christ by the Word and the Spirit
that Christ may have human representation of Himself to a lost and
dying world. This is the Church of Jesus Christ
May God help us. Brothers and sisters, work while it is yet day,
for the night is coming when no man can work. Labour faithfully
with Him. Fear not what man thinks or what man can do unto you,
but fear Him who is your Redeemer and your King.
I also have been pastor in a “pentecostal” church for 44 years. We
do not like the handle “pentecostal” because in most people’s mind
it conjures up all the excesses and extras introduced by by wolves
who have not spared the flock…”
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