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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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HOME CALL
Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
PNEUMATOLOGY - PENTECOSTALISM

PNEUMATOLOGY

(A study on the Holy Spirit)

Dr. Silas C. Nair

 

PENTECOSTALISM

 

 

There is only one Church. It is called the Catholic Church. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “Catholic” as “of the original Christian Church before the schism between East and West”. “In the patristic period catholicity pointed to the fact that the one church of God was a universal society, confessing one faith, with one baptism and engaged in God’s mission in his world because it was united to Christ the Lord” (Catholicity, New Dictionary of Theology, IVP). Therefore all born again believers are in this Church of God. But Roman Catholic Church is different.

 

Likewise, all Christians are Pentecostals in the sense that they are of Pentecost. It was on this day the Church was formed and all Christians (born again believers) are members of this Church. But Pentecostalism is different. Though detailed discussion of Pentecost was done earlier, without a mention of “Pentecostalism” abc-of-Pneumatology will not be complete.

 

“Pentecostalism is one stream within Arminian evangelicalism with distinctive emphases upon a further experience after conversion, namely, the baptism in the Holy Spirit as an endowment of power signified by speaking in tongues (glossolalia); and upon the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12.8-10” (New Dictionary of Theology, IVP, p.502).

 

John Wesley taught that in this life itself God roots out all sin from an individual’s life. Peter summarized the biblical injunction to holiness in the words, “As He which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet.15, 16). Certain teachers argued that this perfection is attainable in the present life. Wesley argued that as justification is received by faith, sanctification may also be received by faith in like manner, instantaneously in response to earnest seeking. The Keswick Convention in England founded in 1875 made “a fourfold modification of the Wesleyan position:

 

1. The ‘second blessing’, while increasing one’s love and transforming one’s life, does not eradicate one’s sin.

 

2. The blessing itself is essentially a matter of being filled with the Spirit for the ongoing battle with inward corruption.

 

3. A single decisive act of trustful self-surrender brings the blessing automatically: one may ‘take it by faith’, whether one feels it or not.

 

4. In the moral battle one must not strive against one’s sinful impulses directly (‘in one’s own strength’) or defeat will follow. Instead, one must prayerfully remit them to Christ to counteract, looking to him in trustful and expectant passivity” (New Dictionary of Theology, IVP, p.314).

Pentecostalism historically is a mutation of Wesleyan holiness teaching. They equate the ‘second blessing’ with the “baptism of the Spirit”.

 

Originated with Agnes Ozman in 1901 this movement spread widely in the USA especially through the influence of the Azusa Street Apostolic Faith Mission in Los Angels. Their teaching that the supreme sign of being baptized by the Spirit would be speaking in tongues and the availability today of supernatural gifts of the Spirit gave rise to considerable controversy among evangelicals. Many in the holiness movement itself rejected this.

 

In support of the doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit they adduce the following arguments.

 

1. The disciples of Jesus were spiritually clean and regenerated (Jn.13.10; 15.3). Hence they were sent out to preach and heal the sick etc. (Matt.10.1, 8).

 

2. They were baptized with the Spirit and filled with power (Acts 1.5, 8) and spoke in tongues (Acts 32.1-4).

 

3. The Samaritan converts and the Ephesian disciples were also regenerate but they were baptized with the Spirit later (Acts 8.6,8,12,15; 19.4-6).

 

4. Indwelling of the Spirit and the outpouring of the Spirit are two distinct operations. The former is the source of saving faith and the latter the enabling for Christian witness (Rom.8.9; Acts 1.5-8).

 

5. Supernatural gifts abounded during through the apostolic period and are still the will of the Lord for his people (Acts 2; 4; 28; Jn.14.12-14).

 

6. Supernatural gifts only will cease when the perfection comes, i.e. when we see God face to face (1 Cor.13.10, 12).

 

They regularly practice praying for the sick and laying hands on them in their evangelistic campaigns. They adhere to the doctrine of healing in the atoning work of the Lord Jesus.

 

Regarding gifts of the Spirit they argue that the “absence of these gifts in the past life of the church is because of a failure to desire, pray for and expect God’s working in these ways”.

 

But whatever one may argue the New Testament cautions us the need to test every spirit and the spiritual gifts. Do they conform to Scripture? Apostle John warned of the spirit of Antichrist already in the world. These demonic spiritual powers seek to mislead the Church. Therefore Scripture demands that these gifts should be properly regulated and overseen but not quenched or forbidden.

To be continued.....

 
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