Are You Pentecostal?

By | Articles

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).


This is out of my character to ask the question, “Are you Pentecostal?” The reason it is not normally a question I ask is because I don’t like to use labels to describe factions of Christianity. Whenever a label is used to describe a particular brand of Christianity, it leaves with it the impression that there are other options to pick from. This, of course, causes great division in the body of Christ.

The early church had no options to pick from. The early church was Pentecostal. What do I mean by Pentecostal? Well, it doesn’t mean what many have made it out to be in this present day, by participating in many crazy antics that you don’t find in the Bible. There are false doctrines that have been connected with the term Pentecostal. It has even taken on a denominational identity. Real Pentecostal is a term used to describe those Christians who believe that the experience the early church had on the day of Pentecost, when she was filled with the Spirit and went out to change a world, is still available to the church today. They more than believe it, they have experienced it. They believe this is exactly what the Lord expects from His church. This is what I believe because I don’t have any other choice but to believe what the Bible clearly teaches about the true church. To be truly Pentecostal means to continue on in the same manner, same unity and the same power that those upper room saints had. It means to be a living demonstration today of what the early church was then. It means to duplicate, or in our case, reproduce in our day, what the early church was. Most of all, it means we too have to be filled with the Spirit.

There was no such thing back in the early church to not be in the Pentecostal church. I am sure they never used the term “Pentecostal” to describe themselves, because they did not need to make a distinction. It is just what the church was. If you weren’t in the Pentecostal church, then you weren’t in the church. Today, there are too many options. Even if there were only two options, it would be one too many. No one, no matter how many degrees they have, no matter how high on the church leadership ladder they are, has the authority to say that the church no longer has to exemplify the early church. No one has the right to say that the church does not have to fit the mold of the early church. The church in the Book of Acts is our pattern. How is it, that Christians don’t see that? They shouldn’t be so quick to spout off that if anyone takes away words from the Bible that they will be cut off. Don’t they see, they are doing that when they deny that power for this day? Don’t they see, especially when they are trusted teachers of the word of God, that they are giving believers permission to not believe some of the Bible? Sure they may believe it happened, but they don’t believe it for our day.

The Apostles were commissioned by Jesus to take the gospel to the whole world. However, they were by the same Jesus, forbidden to go until they received the promise of the Father. “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5). Jesus wasn’t wishy-washy, telling the disciples to go into all the world and then another time telling them to wait. The call of God for the disciples to make disciples out of all nations was still on them, but they just needed one more thing before they were fully authorized to go. They had the best training any Christian could ever want. They walked with Jesus daily for about three and a half years. They heard many things that He taught. They had seen many great things that He did. They had the privilege to ask Him, right to His face, many questions. There is no Bible College that could offer you such training. But this training was not sufficient. A head full of knowledge is not enough. They needed one more thing. They needed to be baptized in the Holy Ghost. They needed the baptism of fire. This is the mark of true Pentecost.

There is one main reason the term Pentecostal has been used as a name to be given to a certain sect of Christians. It is because the day of Pentecost was the day that one of the greatest events in all the history of the world took place. It was the day when God poured out His Spirit on the church in that upper room. It was the day that many teachers say was the day the church was birthed. I won’t argue with that teaching even though I believe it was birthed when Jesus breathed on the apostles on the day He rose from the dead and said, “Receive the Spirit.” I believe the day of Pentecost marked the day the church was completed by giving her the power to take the gospel to the world. The day of Pentecost was the day that the baptism or the filling of the Spirit was made available to all born again believers. After all, it fell on ALL of them who were in the upper room.

This outpouring of the Spirit, happening on the day of Pentecost, had a greater significance than some may realize. The day of Pentecost was a feast day that took place fifty days after the Passover. It was a festival where the first fruits from the first harvest were offered up to God. So God, who does everything for a reason, chose this specific day of harvest to be a symbol to the church that there is another harvest to gather. It is as if God was saying to them, “Today starts the day of a different harvest, from now on it will be a harvest of souls.” Then He poured out the Spirit on His church, and before the day was over they gathered a harvest of three thousand souls. Hallelujah! This harvest of souls on Pentecost has become a much more powerful festival, so much so that, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Because of Pentecost, heaven erupted with rejoicing.

Can you be saved and not be Pentecostal? Absolutely. We are saved by faith, not Pentecost. However, if we as a church want to continue with the Great Commission in our day, then we have no choice but to go forward in the power that was given on the day of Pentecost. To be in a church that rejects this power from on high is to be disobedient to the demands of God. This is why the church is in the mess she is in today. She has decided that her own wisdom, knowledge, ability and techniques are sufficient to impact this world. If they were, Jesus would have never said, “Wait for the promise of God.” Saints, don’t reject the promise of God. Don’t reject the Pentecostal power God has provided for you. The world needs more Pentecostals.

The Deeper Experience

By | Articles

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Corinthians 2:9-10).


Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him” (Daniel 2:20-22).


If you want the deep and secret things of God, you can get them no other way than to go to God. God and man have this in common that they like to tell secrets. Men often tell secrets that destroy the character of people and bring destruction to their lives. God tells secrets about Himself to those who want to hear them. Oh, how He is looking for those He can tell His secrets too.


A favorite hymn we sing at our church is called, Higher Ground. Here are the words to the chorus of the song:


“Lord lift me up, and let me stand, by faith on heavens table land.

A higher plane than I have found; Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”


If anyone would care to ask me what I think seems to be one of the things most lacking in the church in America, I would say it is the lack of desire amongst Christians to walk on higher ground with God. There is a lack of desire for the deeper experience with God. Before my youngest son, Aaron, experienced a powerful revival in his life, we would have little discussions about the current methods that were being used to attract people to church. I told him that I thought many of the common strategies the church used to attract people were worldly. No doubt some, if not many churches, have pure motives in using worldly attractions to try to draw people into the church. They do it with hope that those who were drawn to the church would get saved thru the preaching of the gospel. I hope those churches do preach the true gospel.

There are churches who have lost sight of their reason to exist and think their main objective is to fill all the pews, whether it is with Christians or not. It has always been hard for me to understand how using the world to attract the world will somehow result in people becoming spiritual and heavenly. It still is true, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:8). Any real work of God has to be of and by the Spirit of God. Anyway, one day while Aaron and I were again having a talk about churches using worldly attractions to draw people, he asked me, “But Dad, isn’t it all about souls?” I said back to him, “No Aaron, church is for Christians to be challenged to go deep in Christ.” I still see it that way today. Let me clarify that I do believe we are to preach to the lost and see souls saved. This is the work and mission the church is called to do. Imagine how effective the church would be in her mission if her members had deep experiences with God.

Where are those who have a deep love for God and want to have their feet planted on higher ground with Him? Where are those believers who will lay down everything for the high call of pursuing Christ? Why is it that a believer will sacrifice much to gain many material things, but will sacrifice very little to gain more of God? Why is it that believers will pursue the many opportunities this world offers them, but have very little interest in pursuing a deeper experience with God? Paul wrote his epistle to the Philippians in the later years of his life. He wrote it sometime around the early sixties AD. This great man of God, who we all know had great revelations from God, wrote in that epistle, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). The word “press” means to pursue. So here is a man who knew God like few ever have, and yet he is saying I am still in pursuit of my God. Paul definitely was a man who desired a deeper experience with God.

Today you find those who pursue salvation and receive it, but then they quickly put that salvation off to the side because of the inconvenience it is. Instead they settle for fulfilling a little, but not too much, religious obligation. Of course, they still want salvation at the end. You will even find those who pursue the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but when they receive the infilling and speak in tongues once, they just go back to customary religious duties at church. Those who desire the deeper experience with God never quit their pursuit of God. Though they may be filled with the Spirit, they are daily asking for a fresh filling. They don’t view salvation so much as a way to get into heaven, but as the right and privilege to draw close to the Father.

The person who finds himself content to live at a low level mediocre Christianity will never find himself content with his God nor anything else in life. The believer who is in constant pursuit of God, though it may seem that they are not content because they always want more of Him, will find themselves the most content. Not just with God, but with everything in life.

I am sure that some of you readers may have had the thought, just as I have, that those who seek to achieve a deeper experience with God are opening themselves up to pride. Isn’t that what brought Lucifer down to his dark kingdom? We learn from Paul, who had such a high experience with God that a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him. “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (II Corinthians 12:7). Be confident that God has ways to keep us humble. Seek God with all your heart and then trust God to keep you humble. At times you may not like the way He keeps you humble, but you must be willing.

It is in that higher place in God that you will grow more familiar to the voice of God. It is in that higher plane with God that you will learn the perfect will of God. It is in that deeper walk with God that you will have no problem letting go of everything that hinders your relationship with God. If your mind is made up to just live a low level, just get through another day Christianity, your life will be something less than exhilarating. Will you sing with me?


“Lord lift me up, and let me stand, by faith on Heavens table land.

A higher plane than I have found; Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”