Archive for the ‘Old-Time Pentecost’ Category
Wikipedia notes that William James (1842-1910) is the first person known to mention the lack of ability to detect change. He noted this in his book written in 1890, Principles of Psychology.
Researcher John Grimes began to use actual photographs in 1996 in his change blindness studies.
“A study by Rensink, O’Regan, & Clarke demonstrated that change blindness can have an effect even if the eye was fixated on a scene. In this study, a picture was presented followed by a blank screen or “masking” stimulus, which was followed by the initial picture with a change. The masking stimulus almost acts like a saccadic movement of the eye which makes it significantly more difficult for individuals to detect the change. This was a critical contribution to change blindness research because it demonstrated that a change can remain unnoticed with the smallest disruptions.
Old men are known to fuss about change. Young men are known to laugh at the old men. I understand that. I too have been young, and now I am old.
There have been way too many who have refused to see or admit change in our churches today.
While some cannot see the change in what is ‘accepted’ and ‘permissible’ in Apostolic circles… a great many of us can.
If you are a Senior citizen that has been in church all your life, then you should know about:
Change that brings carnality to the forefront
Change that substituted rhythm, for worship
Change that is comfortable with programs instead of a move of the Holy Ghost
Change in what is now considered modest or holy
Change that wears form-fitting clothes
Change to the current acceptance of Hollywood
Change in attitude about faithful church attendance
Change in respect for the ministry
Change to not preaching against sin
Change in sermon content, from doctrine to pop psychology
Change in sermon content from including discipleship to outreach only
Change in attitudes about submission to the Word or to the man of God
Change to acceptance of organized sports
Change that is uncomfortable with services longer than an hour
Change to believing a prophet is only to prophesy blesses, healing and prosperity
Change that mocks the holiness minded
Change that loves jewelry and makeup
Change that doesn’t feel a need to pray all the way through
Change that is happy with change
My critics might suggest that I think that I am the only one that can see change. That’s not true. It’s just that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by saying that I see what I see. I truly believe there are some precious people who are not purposely trying to change the good to the bad. They are not maliciously trying to put light for dark. I am submitting that even good people just have a case of Change Blindness.
Change Blindness is alive and well in Pentecostal churches today. That truly scares me when I think about what the future could hold if Jesus tarries.
Remember the Homeland Security Slogan… If you see something, say something. I just did.
I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.
The old preacher sat on a rock at the fork in the road. The many years of struggle showed on his face, and in the stoop of his shoulders. He watched as travelers passed him by.
Some of his preacher friends and acquaintances stopped a moment or two to chat before continuing their journey. Many came in groups, others by themselves, but they all walked down the road.
The children of his friends walked the road too, some of them walked with their parents, others walked alone.
Most everyone nodded in acknowledgement and smiled at him while continuing on their journey. A few stopped and sat on the rock beside him to visit for a while before walking on.
The old preacher noticed that a large number did not hesitate when they came to the fork in the road. They as if by some predetermination chose which path to walk.
There were those who paused and stared at the signposts, as if unsure. One or two fumbled for their map as if to verify which road would be best.
Those who still seemed unsure of which path to choose, changed from looking at the road signs, to looking at the other travellers. If by chance they happened to see a friend that looked like they knew what path to choose, they simply followed without further ado.
Every now and then one of the young travellers that stood reading the signposts turned to the old man for advice.
“Which fork in the road should I choose?” They asked.
The old preacher would look up at their sincere faces and without hesitation point in the direction that he knew was best. Some sneered, and walked down the other road anyway. Some followed his advice.
Occasionally travelers would return to the fork of the road to look at the signs again, as if to confirm their choice.
One young preacher who had walked down the wrong path quite a ways returned to the old man and began to chastise him.
“Why didn’t you stop me? Why didn’t you tell me that was the wrong path? Why didn’t you tell me how much I would lose if I walked down that path? Why didn’t you tell me I was in delusion to believe it was a better road? I thought you were a friend to my family, and me but you didn’t stop me and tell me which road to go! Why?
The old man didn’t get offended. He looked at the son of his friend, and then began.
“You know I love you, I love your father too. You know what road he walked down, but you felt comfortable in ignoring that fact because your friends and popular people have influenced you.
“I noticed you watching me as I pointed out the right way to others. You chose to ignore this old man’s advice.
“The reason I never told you personally which road to walk down is because you never wanted to know bad enough to ask. Maybe you didn’t want to hear the word, NO! I didn’t tell you because you didn’t want me to.
“If I had told you which path to choose without you asking, you would have taken that as an insult to your intelligence. You would have felt I was interfering in your business, so I held my peace as I held my breath.
“Those who ask for direction really want help. Those who don’t ask will soon need help. It’s a mistake of youth to reject the paths of their fathers in serving the Lord.
“You once believed your choices to always be accurate. Your delusion made it feel that it was God that was guiding you, now you have fear and regret because of your great losses. It’s the mercies of the Lord that you have returned to this point.
“The bad news is there are some things you will never regain. But, the final chapter has not been written. Remember hearing your father singing the song, “It’s Not the First Mile”?
“The real question my son, is now that you know which road is right, which one will you choose?”
With a thankful embrace and a sincere apology, the young man turned and walked back to the fork. This time he chose the one marked, “The Old Path.”
Brother Van Winkle Takes A Trip To The Pastor’s Office!
No one recognized him, nor had they ever seen him before. His clothes, although clean and pressed, definitely were way out of style.
After shaking his hand, someone handed him a Visitor’s Card to be filled out, and asked him his name.
“I’m Brother Van Winkle,” was the old man’s answer. He looked bewildered.
“And, I’m not a visitor!” he said as he looked at their unfamiliar faces. “I started attending this church when I was thirty. I got baptized here and received the Holy Ghost in 1959 soon after the church was first started. Who are you people?”
The Greeters exchanged confused glances with each other.
“Where’s Pastor Reynolds?” The old man continued, “He can vouch for me!”
There was a long pause. Finally the oldest Greeter said, “Brother Reynolds died in 1988, and we’ve had two more pastors since then.”
“Oh my! Oh my! My nurse told me that I had fallen into a deep sleep or something for a long time. But, I had no idea how long. The last thing I remember was when John F. Kennedy was voted in as President. What year is it now, the old man inquired?”
“Today is October 21, 2012.”
“Somebody help me sit down, this is too much for my heart,” was all he could say.
The old man was almost in a state of shock. They led him to a pew so he could sit down.
Everyone seemed friendly and attentive. Before church even started, many came by and shook his hand and welcomed him. He looked around carefully to see if he could find a familiar face. He wasn’t sure. He saw nothing he recognized in any of their faces. An Usher eventually took his Visitor’s Card from him, and laid it on the pulpit.
The worship was very lively, and the musicians played with great expertise. There were six young people on the platform singing the choruses. Every singer had his or her own microphone. There weren’t even any cords attached to the microphones either, and yet they worked! That amazed the old man.
The words of each chorus appeared as if by magic on the wall. No one seemed surprised or thought it amazing. Brother Van Winkle could not imagine how it was happening.
The service leader made a point to welcome their new visitor, ‘Brother Van Winkle.’ Everyone clapped their hands and made him feel welcome. But, the whole thing had a hollow feeling, nonetheless. This was his church, yet somehow it was not the same. He realized he really did feel like a visitor.
Brother Van Winkle enjoyed the worship and was also very impressed with the ‘new’ pastor… Pastor Shields. He preached a wonderful and stirring message.
At the end of the altar service, Brother Van Winkle started for the door. His mind was still awhirl trying to sort out all of his emotions and reconcile them with his memories. As he was entering the Foyer, Pastor Shields intercepted him.
“The Lord bless you Bro. Van Winkle! I am so glad you came today. One year ago when I became the pastor here, someone told me that you had been a member here many years ago and had fallen into a coma of some sort. So, I came occasionally to visit and pray for you. I am happy to see that you got your miracle!”
“Thank you so much! It feels like I just went to sleep and woke up the next morning. But the reality of it is, I’ve lost over fifty years of my life.”
“If you can spare a moment or two,” the Pastor said, “I would love to have you step into my office and talk to me about some of the differences you can see in the church today, as compared to back then.”
The two men walked a short distance into the Pastor’s Office and Brother Van Winkle was seated in a comfortable chair that he could get out of, without much ado.
“Thank you for that wonderful message this morning, Pastor. I will feast on that one for a long while.”
The Pastor modestly nodded his thanks and smiled. He motioned with his hand as if encouraging the old man to begin.
“Well, the first thing I noticed was that there are no song books in the church anymore. The singers on the platform really did a great job though.
We never had singers up on the platform like that when I got in church. We only had one song leader. Seeing a group up there was new for me.
I looked around at the congregation a bit, and was very surprised to see that many of them were just looking at the words on the wall and not singing at all. It was almost like they were being entertained.
The Pastor made grimace and shook his head as if in agreement.
“I only knew one song out of the seven that we sang today. They all were very nice songs though, and the people seemed to enjoy them. But in the 1950’s we sang songs about the Blood, the Old Rugged Cross, the Holy Ghost, Baptism in Jesus Name and about Heaven. I guess I’ll get use to the new stuff, but I sure like the old.
“I noticed too, there was no testimony service this morning. You do still have testimonies don’t you?”
Again Pastor Shields made a slight grimace, and this time shook his head sideways.
“I was really hoping there would have been some prayer before the service started today, like there used to be. I really missed not hearing the saints pray out loud. And the Altars! The Altars are missing!
“I know,” the Pastor said with a sad sound in his voice.
“The facial hair on some of the men in the church, and especially on those that were on the platform, really confused me. I’ll have to say; I never saw that when I was young. Then too, not many of the guys dressed up for church today. Where do they have to go that’s more important than God’s House? Don’t they dress up for God anymore?
“I am an old man. But, I was caught off guard today when I looked at the lady folks. Many of the young women and girls here, evidently aren’t very careful about how they dress in public. I especially can’t believe they would dress for church like that if they’ve got the Holy Ghost. The clothes the ladies wore today were much tighter and much shorter than they used to be here in this church. Why would they do that?
“The old saints were very careful about modesty. Back in the day, Moms and Dads wouldn’t have let their kids leave home looking like that! They wouldn’t have even allowed them to buy those clothes in the first place. Some of those outfits didn’t leave much to the imagination.
“I was shocked when I saw some women and girls wearing slacks and jeans! Some had cut hair too! If they claim to be members, and are not new converts, do they even have the Holy Ghost? Really? They don’t look like the saints use to look around here. The saints of old use to get convicted of things like that.
“Then, because of the jewelry and makeup I saw, here and there, I thought we had a number of visitors today until they recognized me, from the pulpit, as the only visitor. The others, I guess, consider themselves members here too.
The Pastor looked down at his desk, as if too ashamed to look the old man in the eye.
“Some of the boys’ hair styles looked like they just got out of bed and they didn’t comb their hair for church this morning.
But, I think what got me the most, was overhearing some of the young people laugh and talk about movies and TV shows. That would have never happened back in the old days.
“I am sounding like a tattler, and I sure don’t want to be. I know that science has improved so much since I was here last. I guess what the kids had in their hands during the church service are some kind of telephones they can carry in their pockets now. The ones by me were fascinated with them most of the service. I could see some of them showing each other pictures or something, and laughing.
“None of them had a Bible, either. They just played with their phone. I wondered why their parents didn’t stop them.”
Then, as if the thought suddenly struck him, he asked, “Pastor, I looked around today to see if there were still any of the Williams family in the church. They were some of the pillars in the church when I was young. Are there any left?”
“No, not any more. The old ones, of course, have died off. The girls married guys from other churches. Larry the oldest boy backslid years ago.”
“What about Bobby?”
“Bobby,” the Pastor continued, “moved to Texas about ten months ago because he could get a job there that paid more pay, than he could earn here.”
“What?” Bro. Van Winkle was astounded! He moved away from his church to make more money? Why, I’ve never heard of such! That is unbelievable. He should have known better. He should have stayed right here and put the church first. God would give him a good job right here where He had planted him. Have you heard anything from him?”
“He stayed in touch with some of his old friends here for a while. The last I heard, he wasn’t going to church anywhere, and him and his wife were getting a divorce.”
“That doesn’t surprise me. God doesn’t lead you away from your church to a place where you will lose out with him. I’ll sure pray for Bobby. He was very young last time I saw him.”
Now, the old man put his head down trying to sort out all the news. These kinds of things made his heart hurt some more. There was a long pause in the conversation.
Bro. Van Winkle finally lifted his head and with a warm smile on his face, and a kind sound in his voice, he said, “Pastor?”
The Pastor raised his head and smiled back.
“Pastor, I am an old man, and I don’t like change. I am so surprised, and even shocked, by some changes I have seen today. I know that most things change over a lifetime. I know too that some changes are for the good and there is nothing bad about them, but some of these changes scare me to death.
“This is still my church and I am happy to call you my Pastor. You should know however, there are some areas that I don’t ever plan to change!”
“Some of these changes I don’t like either,” said Pastor Shields. “It is easy to get use to gradual changes. I know. Some of these have happened over a lifetime, and then some have happened within the last fifteen years or so.
“Regardless, we are THE Church. We should ACT like God’s Church and we should LOOK like God’s Church. That’s my goal here. I haven’t been Pastor here very long. It takes a while to turn some ships around, but with God’s help, I would like to see this church get back on course.
He came around his desk to shake hands with the old gentleman.
“Thank God I have a few good men like you in this church to stand behind me. I would like to invite you to join me in prayer right now for a God sent revival in our church and in our town!’
He picked up his Bible from his desk and turned the pages until he found what he was looking for. He began to read aloud.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The two men stood and prayed for God to bless them and to bless their church, then they shook hands in a bond of agreement before walking out the door. Each man fully committed in his heart to be Apostolic in every area, and to seek God’s blessing and approval on the future of The First Pentecostal Church!
Earlier the year, I was honored to be with Pastor Shannon Burgess and the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church of Chehalis, Washington. Bro. Gabe Baker, the Youth Pastor, took time from his busy schedule to interview me. He asked many questions about my life and ministry. I am humbled by his interest and efforts. I also thank him from the bottom of my heart for including me in his passion to help other young ministers.
For additional media, follow this link to the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church website.
The New Math Of Pentecost
When the Russians sent up Sputnik, American educators panicked. The National Science Foundation was expanded in 1957 to promote changes in science and math beginning with the Middle Schools.
The main thrust was to switch from the teacher, “instructing” the student”. Now, the pupils were encouraged to “discover” on their own. No more student recitations were necessary. The New Math was born.
- Teachers didn’t like it and the parents were up in arms.
- Books began to hit the shelves decrying the changes found in the new math.
Morris Kline, in Why Johnny Can’t Add: The Failure of the New Math, wrote that “with near perfect regularity, [teachers] applaud the return to tradition content [and] instructional methods, and higher standards of student performance.”
Parents were concerned that they did not understand what their children were learning and could not help them with their studies. In the end it was concluded that the experiment was not working, and New Math fell out of favor before the end of the decade, though it continued to be taught for years thereafter in some school districts.
- Why the need to change from the old Arithmetic to the New Math?
- What was to be gained?
- Was the change because one generation didn’t like the answers they got from the older generation?
- What it because they were sick of be told what the answers were to the problems and wanted to discover them for themselves?
- Arithmetic is about numbers, and New math is about concepts.
The basic difference between the new math and the old arithmetic might be explained this way.
1962: (Arithmetic) A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost in raising the hay is 2/3 of this price. What is his profit?
1972 (Arithmetic): A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost of raising the hay is $100. What is his profit?
1977 (New Math): A farmer exchanges a set H of hay for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 150 and each element is worth $1.
- (a) Make 150 dots representing the elements of the set M
- (b) The set C representing costs of production contains 50 fewer points than set M. Represent the set C as a subset of the set M.
- (c) What is the cardinality of the set P of profits?
1990 (Dumbed-down math): A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost of production is $100 and his profit is $50. Underline the number 50.
2010 (New Math): By cutting down a field full of hay, a farmer makes $50.
- (a) What do you think of this way of making money?
- (b) How will the birds and animals be affected?
- (c) Draw a picture of the field, as you’d like it to look.
Some Americans felt we were falling so far behind in the Space Race, so we had to do something to catch up. Evidently, (they thought) the old way isn’t working. So they changed. It took many years to realize their reaction to the problem only made things get worse.
How Does This Math History Lesson Apply To Pentecost?
To the older generation, looks at it this way…
The New Math Concept Of Not Wanting To Be Taught, Is Deeply Embedded In This Newest Generation Of Pentecost.
They freely flaunt words like, “relationship.” At they same time, they scorn the words, “commandments” and “rules”.
- They say they love the Lord; but they just don’t want to be bogged down with any rules.
- The New Math people do not welcome standards. They resent being told “NO”.
The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Every Time Jesus Met A Hurting Person He Chose A Relationship, Over Rules & Regulations.”
Really? Every Time?
- Jesus once said, “You are of your father the devil.” How did that relationship turn out?
- He called some, “Hypocrites? Did that hurt the relationship?
- He turned over the tables and drove them out of the Temple for turning His House of Prayer into a den of thieves? He made a whip and thrashed it at the people? Really now, does that sound like a normal relationship?
- Why would Jesus do that? Could it be those Jews were doing something wrong? Surely not.
A relationship with Jesus begins with our accepting His ways, not Him accepting ours.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
There cannot be ANY Relationship with God without Obeying His Commandments.
Brothers and Sisters, we MUST have a relationship with God. It’s imperative. It’s necessary. It’s extremely important.
- But if we do not obey His word, we have NO relationship.
- If you receive correction, you’ve just proved your sonship.
- And if you resented and rejected correction, you showed who you really are.
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
- What kind of relationship can we have with Him if we don’t want to do what He wants us to do?
- What kind of relationship can we have with Him if we reject His correction?
- Can you figure that out with your New Math?
Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Rules & Regulations Have Nothing To Do With Sin.”
What is considered sin today anyway? What? Name it? Not much. Adultery? Fornication? Don’t make me laugh. Like you, I can read some Pentecostal’s Facebook pages too. There are some that openly flaunt the fact that they are in a Domestic Relationship. Yet they still go to church. Yes, they have a relationship, with God and they also have a relationship with who ever else is willing to have one.
- How many “Spirit filled” women in your church wear slacks?
- How many cut their hair?
- How many wear make up?
- How many have on more jewelry than a Dillard’s Christmas tree?
How many of these still feel they have a true Relationship with Jesus?
If rules have nothing to do with sin, then how do you know when you have done something wrong? Or is there any… ‘wrong’ anymore?
The New Math Of Pentecost dislikes the concept of being told anything. They desire to discover the things of God on their own. If they are not convicted, then it must not be wrong.
The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Rules Can’t Save You.”
They don’t have to give up much to live for God, since they they’ve been studying this “New Math of Pentecost Doctrine.”
Every Jake-leg in Pentecost now knows more than their pastor about the things of God. They’ll argue with him. They look for every scripture they can twist, to get out of living like a Holy Ghost filled person should. They are quicker to take what some compromiser on the Internet has to say about Salvation, than their own pastor.
New Math believers resent being told anything by a preacher, but they have no reservations about getting on Facebook and hollering at the top of their voice to all who will listen, saying that “Rules” are not necessary.
- They don’t want to be told. They just want to tell.
- Evidently, their condemnation makes them defensive.
- Rebellion, is what this whole thing boils down to.
The New Math of Pentecost Says: You Can Have A Relationship With God, Without Rules
My friend, Pastor Kenneth Bow said it well:
- ”The Ten Commandments represent the two great relationships in man’s world.
- The first four commandments are about man toward God.
- The second six commandments are all about how to exist with our fellow-man.
- To love God and to love our fellow-man is the basis for the Ten Commandments. It provides the foundation for all man’s relationships.”
The Kenneth Bow Blog
New Math? What Answers Did It Change?
- Tithe is still 10%
- Holiness is still required, no matter how hard you try to get around it.
- God’s Word hasn’t changed for this generation.
- He is still going to require of this generation, what he has always required… Being separated from the world. Not just separated from the world, but separated unto Him.
- It is still Holiness or Hell.
- The Bible didn’t change, just because you did.
- Well, one thing it did change. It seems, most New Math “teachers” don’t even own a suit. They dress very causal in the pulpit.
Man’s Interest In New Math Was Prophesied In The Bible
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
The New Math of Pentecost Proudly Proclaims That To Win The Lost:
- We should not teach Standards at our church.
- We should not teach, we should let you discover convictions on your own.
- We should not teach standards. It is easier to win the lost by dressing like them.
- We should not teach against Women to cutting their hair.
- We should not teach against Women wearing man’s apparel.
- We should not teach against wearing shorts in public.
- We should not teach against women’s low necklines and tight clothes.
- We should not teach against mixed swimming.
- We should not teach against Hollywood.
These New Math folks don’t want an old-time preacher to preach where they are living. They have a negative reaction to any Holiness preaching.
Why Don’t They Want To Be Told?
They are like a toddler about to do something Mommy already told them not to do. Then turning to their parent say, “Don’t you tell me don’t.”
Americans doing the New Math finally figured out that it was a mistake, and they quit.
Those doing the New Math of Pentecost may not be so fortunate. They may not find out they were doing it wrong until they get to the Judgment.
One thing for sure, you can’t tell them that. They want to find out for themselves.
*My personal thanks to Bro. Bow for making me think about the New Math, and how it applies to Pentecostals today.
The Old Oregon Trail, And The Apostle John
No, the Apostle John never travelled the Oregon Trail. Yet, there is a common thread here and a simple truth worth sharing, found in their stories.
In the early 1920’s Ezra Meeker, the world-famous wagon train master, walked into my grandfather’s Oregon City Art Studio. My mother’s father, Turner Hubble Gleason, had been commissioned to paint the portrait of one of the most prominent citizens of the state of Oregon. A copy of his portrait remains in our family to this day.
By now, Mr. Meeker was a very old man. His beard was full and long and his hair white. His steps were still steady. His life had been filled with more adventure than most men could ever dream about. He had seen his life’s dreams come true.
“Before his death in 1928, just a few days shy of his 98th birthday, Ezra Meeker had not only walked the Oregon Trail several times, he’d ridden along it in an automobile and aboard a train, and flown over it in an airplane: he’d come a long way, and for many his story symbolized the opportunities that had been available on the frontier.” - http://www.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/frontier/local/case8.html
He had met with Indians. He had become friends with Indian Chiefs and had even driven his ox team to Washington to meet with President Teddy Roosevelt and several congressmen. The President had even walked out of the White House to see Ezra Meeker’s ox team and to talk of his future plans for him.
Unscrupulous men for years had side-tracked the unsuspecting traveler on the trail with their bogus signs. Signs with arrows proclaiming such things as “Custer’s Last Stand.”
In reality, the side trails took the weary and naïve off the true trail. To their dismay, they found that this was just a trading post or curio shop.
There was much confusion for the unsuspecting traveller. Something had to be done to straighten out the true Oregon Trail.
The President commissioned Ezra Meeker to guide surveyors, engineers and project managers to show them the original trail… The Old Oregon Trail.
Regardless of what the current signs said, Meeker ignored them and fully trusted his memory of the trail. He had spent a lifetime climbing every mountain and crossing every river. He knew the trail. That’s why they had chosen him.
Meeker, would say things like:
- “We crossed the river right here.
- “We went up the mountain on this side.
- “Over there is where we made camp.
- “Right here is the trail, ignore what that sign over there says.”
He then would remark the trail with his own signs that said. “Old Oregon Trail”
Because of Ezra Meeker’s life experience with the trail, the United States government trusted only him to lay the trail out right.
When the final stake was driven, they began construction of the famous east-west highway. Today, they call it, U.S. Highway 30. It remains as true as possible to the original trail.
The Apostle John
Mr. John Phillips in his commentary on the Gospel of John, starts his preface with something similar to this…
Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all dead. Peter, the Prince of Apostles had died too. John was the first, and now the last Apostle. He alone of all the Apostles remained alive.
He was approximately 90 years old. Banished on the Island of Patmos, he began to write to his children in the Lord. He wrote as if he was the last defender of the New Testament doctrine.
Already the church was beginning to drift. They were deviating from the old paths in doctrine and in separation from the world, among other things. Grievous wolves had entered the flock.
His Epistles were the last known attempt to set the record straight. He had traveled the Trail of Truth from the very start. He wasn’t about to let anyone pervert this glorious message.
He drove down verbal markers and stakes, fearlessly proclaiming the message. It was the message that Jesus had given to the Disciples. The only message the Apostles ever preached.
John was prepared to die. But before dying, he was making sure that generations to come would know the Truth. As he made each point and drove it home, he would say: “This is…” He left no room for error.
“This Is Our Message”
- He Began His Gospel and Epistles Saying, This Is The Most Important Revelation.
- That There Is Only One God. His name Is Jesus!
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
He then went on to proclaim in his epistles to the churches, the true Message.
1.) “This is the Promise.”
1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
2.) “This is the Message.”
1John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
3.) “This is His Commandment.”
1John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
4.) “This is the spirit of the Antichrist.”
1John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
5.) “This is the Love of God.”
1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
6.) “This is the Victory.”
1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
7.) “This is He.”
1John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
8.) “This is the Witness of God.”
1John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
9.) “This is the Record.”
1John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
8.) “This is the Confidence.”
1John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
9.) “This is the True God.”
1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
10.) “This is Love.”
2John 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
11.) “This is a Deceiver and an Antichrist.”
2John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
If you ever plan to drive to the state of Oregon and arrive there safely, one of the men you can thank is Ezra Meeker. He did everything he could to make sure that generations to come would follow the “Old Oregon Trail.”
If you ever plan to go to heaven and see Him who is God manifested in the flesh, one of the men you can thank, is the Apostle John. He did everything he could to keep the New Testament Church following “The Apostolic Message.”
Obey Acts 2:38
Received in an email today from Brother Kenneth Bow. He is Pastor of The First Pentecostal Church of Puget Sound, Lake Tapps, WA.
Used by permission
“Old Time Pentecost”
This is a big subject and not easily defined.
I will begin with the people. We were poor. Cars were used, jobs were menial. No one, literally had an education.
Our music was a piano, organ, accordion, and guitar. It was a big day when we got the first set of drums in the church. Lots of tambourines. Lots of hand clapping.
Simple buildings and store fronts. No carpet, wooden benches.
People did not pray out of obligation, they prayed out of desperation. We had no savings, no insurance, nothing but God and each other. When we were sick we touched God or we suffered.
Revival had no competition. We had no TV, no vacation (no money to go), no hobbies. Church was our life. We had nothing else but church. We knew no different.
We had few clothes, and wore our best to church. We expected to stay for church a long time. We had no where else to go and no money to spend if we went anywhere.
Our meals were at home. We had prayer at home, and family devotions. When a neighbor came by we all came in the front room and talked.
After school we worked our garden and took care of our cows and chickens. We raised most of our food and lived very simple lives.
God had NO competition!
When we went to church it was just straight forward straight to the throne. Shouting over I’ll fly away and Jesus hold my hand. It was singing loud and long and praying in the altar sometimes till midnight.
The messages were so simple and uncomplicated, exactly what the crowd needed, many of which did not have even a high school education. We worked in the fields in the hot sun for minimum wages. Our tithes were 6-7 dollars a week.
There was no air conditioning, no sophistication, no real comfort for our bodies, so we sought solace for our weary souls.
We sang of a land far away beyond the river and dreamed of a land where we’ll never grow old. Heaven was a place we longed to see, and we sang of it, dreamed of it, lived for it, and nothing else.
Life was simple, God was real, and life was hard. We asked God for everything, even the food we ate that day and the rent that was due with no way to pay.
To me it was hard, but in many ways it was better than today where we do not need God. We have plenty, we have fine things, we have goods laid up for many years…..but we do not have God like we once did!
Some Did, Some Didn’t
By this time of year, most crops have already been harvested. Well, except for maybe soybeans, pumpkins and the field corn.
The average crop of field corn is beautiful when it is harvested. Trucks can be seen hauling the yellow corn to the ethanol plants and to the local Co-op.
For the most part, all the ears of corn look very much alike. But what catches the eye, are the ears of corn that don’t look like the others. Some cobs are full with golden kernels; others are not. There are ears of corn of varied lengths and descriptions. In every truck load.
What these ears of field corn have in common, is that:
- They all were planted by the same farmer.
- They all were purchased at the same feed store.
- They all were planted in the same field.
- They all received the same amount of fertilizer.
- They all received the same amount of sunshine.
- They all received the same amount of rain.
- They all received the same amount of wind.
- They all received the same amount of weeding.
- They all received the same amount of irrigation.
- They were all planted the same day.
- They were all harvested the same day.
- They didn’t all turn out the same.
Was it difference the farmer’s fault? Was the problem with the seed, or was it the soil? I’ll never know. The harvest shows the disparity of each ear.
There is another harvest that comes to mind. That one is a Harvest of Souls.
Apostolic churches are beautiful in spirit and worship. They are lovely in holiness and truth. Their love and fervor for the name of Jesus is without equal.
Yet, not every church member looks and acts the same. Here and there exceptions are found in every congregation.
- Some don’t pray like the rest.
- Some don’t worship like the rest
- Some don’t pay tithe like the rest.
- Some won’t dress like the rest.
- Some won’t live like the rest.
- Some won’t be faithful like the rest.
- Some won’t witness like the rest.
- Some don’t love holiness like the rest.
- Some won’t obey God’s Word like the rest.
What made them different from all the others? How come others connected with God, the church and the pastor and they didn’t? I can’t answer that, and you may not be able to either.
- They all went to the same church.
- They all sang the same songs.
- They all prayed at the same time.
- They all had the same pastor.
- They all heard the same sermon.
- They all received the same encouragement.
- They all received the same correction.
- They all were given the same love.
- They all were given the same hope.
- They all attended the same revivals
- They all came forward to pray at the end of the service.
Yet some got on fire, and others did not. Some submitted to God, and others did not. Some got a good experience of the Holy Ghost, and others… who knows?
Some lived a life of carefulness. Others did not. Some looked godly. Others did not. Some dressed modestly. Others did not. Some knew God. Others… who knows?
Some women had uncut hair. Others did not. Some men were clean-shaven. Others were not. Some always said ‘Amen”. Others did not. Some had a fiery testimony. Others did not.
Some day, some will hear Him say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Others may not.
When Pentecost Was Off The Charts.
Remember when Pentecostal teaching was off the charts? Today, Bible Teachers have become a rare commodity.
My Father told me, “If you have a choice between being a ‘feeder” or an “exhorter” be a “feeder” and you’ll build a church.”
An exhorter will lift our spirits high for the moment, but a feeder will give you something to last a lifetime.
Pentecost has such a rich and full heritage. Today we are blessed with technology and electronics. A generation ago, there were no overhead projectors like we use today.
No one ever heard of a computer much less a PowerPoint. Chalk boards and Charts were common. Old time traveling Bible teachers often carried their charts with them. In numerous churches one could often see a wire running from wall to wall on the platform. Those wires were put in place to hang charts.
Most of the men either hand painted their own charts or had someone else do it for them. Each was an original and unique.
I got to hear Brother A.W. Buie, Bro. Clyde Haney, Bro. Curts, my Father, Bro. Carl Ballestero and others teach from charts. While I am glad for the modern-day advancements, part of me misses the old school.
“Brother Curts was the author of the widely distributed book “The Tabernacle In The Wilderness”. This book described the foundation of the Tabernacle that God directed the Children of Israel to build as they journeyed though the wilderness on the way to their new home in Palestine. This book clearly showed the similarities between the Tabernacles and Jesus’ plan of salvation.
Brother Curts also became district superintendent for the state of Ohio as well as serving on the executive board of the International United Pentecostal Church with headquarters in St Louis Missouri.
In those early days of our church there were 13 members in the congregation that were full of enthusiasm but they had very little solid knowledge of the Bible. Then Brother Curts came and became their pastor he began to instill in the congregation a solid Bible teaching and knowledge. With this solid Bible knowledge, the church began to grow and reach out for other people who were seeking a way to reach God. By the time the church moved to 4828 Vine Street some members were going out to other communities to teach what thus says the word of God.
Through the teaching of His ministers, God was shaping and remodeling his people as quickly as we were remodeling buildings using Bible knowledge in accordance with 2 Timothy 2:15. Times change the appearance and purpose of many structures just as it changes people but the church held fast to its ideals and doctrines as described throughout the New Testament. The Message we preach today is still the same basic doctrine that the pioneers of our local church assembly preached under the direction of Brother Curts. This message is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the soon coming of Jesus again to catch his bride “The Church” away to meet him in the air so shall we for ever be with him. This message is described in 1 Thes. 4:14-18. Upon this Bible belief the church in Cincinnati was born and remains firm today in its beliefs.”
(Copied from their website. To read more, click on the link.)
These were the days when Pentecostal teaching was off the charts. Literally. Would I like to go back and visit some old-time Bible classes taught from a chart? In a heart beat!