I get messages on Facebook and email every few days about Mike Bickle, IHOPKC and the complete prophetic movement about Gnosticism. Most people do not even have a clue what that is, why it matters and how it plays out in the world today. It is mainly something reserved for theologians and historians. Oddly, I fit in both of those roles so let’s take a look! Continue reading…
Tagged in: Soteriology
I used to be part of the IHOPKC (International House of Prayer-Kansas City) ministry. It is what Mike Bickle calls an “apostolic community.” I was there from day one actually. Mike gave the call to content for stadium Christianity and power that no disease known to man will stand against. That is what I signed up for. Continue reading…
T.L. Osborn was one of the most humble men I know and one of the most anointed I know. He had been all over the world and led more people to Christ than anyone in history but you would not know it chatting with him at a coffeehouse in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was just that humble.
The man is known as the grandfather of mass evangelism for a reason though. He lived for the gospel. He believe the soul winning was the chief calling of every believer. He is right too. We might not like the fact that we are to preach the gospel but that does not change the great commission. Preach the gospel and you must use words!
The purpose of a spirit filled life is to demonstrate the supernatural power of our living God so that the unsaved multitudes will abandon their dead gods to call upon the name of The Lord and be delivered. (T.L. Osborn)
I remember the last time I saw him before he checked out for his heavenly reward. He was decicidating the new ministry center on Memorial in Tulsa. (The famous old one was part of the new highway project). I was struggling with doing a conference in Congo at the time. I have every reason to go but I also had every reason to not to go. He talked to me and with a smile on his face, “If you do not go, who will? They need the gospel.” It was the tipping point for me to go to Congo.
TL Osborn was a man of faith & action
We all know that without works, our faith is dead but most of us still have a life void of any real works for the Lord. We do not do the great commission. We do not feed the hungry. We do not see visit those who are locked in their homes or in prisons. We know we should but we don’t.
Brother Osborn was always the sweet, loving, and compassionate guy that would kick up in the backside to remind us what the Bible told us about the gospel. I am not sure I have seen a person with a better grip on the issue on soteriology (doctrine of salvation) in my life. He had some serious revelation and it was all scriptural based.
He is the man you could not help but love. He has passion for the things of the Spirit, cared about people and have a devotion to the New Testament. He is everything a man of God should be.
He lived with a deep concern that we have preached faith, destroyed hope and ignore love in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. We pushed faith so much because lost hope if they did not see their naming did not become claiming.
The hallmark of TL Osborn was his commitment to preaching the compassion of Jesus, not the fire of hell. He did not have a problem with people preaching hell, fire, and brimstone but he focused on compassion as his niche of the gospel.
Every time I met him, I walked away with a deeper love for people, a deeper commitment to the great commission, and a deeper understanding of soteriology. That was the TL Osborn that I knew.
He understood the Pentecostal mission
There is only one purpose of pentecost; that is to effectively evangelize lost souls. (TL Osborn)
Those words would give us the heartbeat of Pentecostal ministries from Azusa Street and even since. The problem is many of the Spirit-filled ministries today are worried about everything but actually doing the Great Commission. Pentecost was always about reaching the lost at any cost. He has a deep conviction that signs and wonders must confirm the gospel. The good news is Jesus had the same view on the subject.
The message was always at the core of anything that he did: the gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not try and make it creative. He believed the gospel presented just as it was powerful. He led more people to the cross that any man in history, including Billy Graham, in the process as well.
It was the simplicity of the gospel that was his hallmark. He did not live like most of the faith preachers of his era. He put as much money as he could in the gospel work around the nation. Until his day, his publication were made very cheap (and you could tell) so he could give away books to people in Africa.
TL Osborn changed the world
I had the privilege of standing next to him in Manila, Philippines when he came with Mike Francen for a gospel crusade in 2000. I was a young, big, buff guy that told to run “security” for him. I was more interested in impartation than security to be honest. After all, I though the angels were provided a hedge of protection pretty well myself.
The time I spend with him in the Philippines was a great time and it really changed some of my focus in life. It was not until years later that I was freed up to just do evangelism but one of the prophetic moments that made that happen was the four days I worked security for TL Osborn.
The people that he touched are many and I am happy to say I am in that company. I have many friends that also was touched over the years by him. He carried a mantle for evangelism that few have. That mantle has yet to be picked up. I wonder if the burden is too much for one man to bear.
I believe we need a movement of crusade evangelists that will answer the call to preach the gospel from the stadiums of the world and reach the lost at any cost. Men (and women) who will stand up and declare the saving, healing, delivering and touching power of the Holy Spirit to a world that is broken and downcast.
I was on Facebook and a friend asked me “Are United Pentecostals christian or are they a cult?” This is an honest question that many have actually.
You may or may not know that Tommy Tenney, the God Chaser guy, is a member of the United Pentecostal Church International. His father just recently retired as the leader of UPC churches in the state of Louisiana.
As far as Tommy Tenney, I know there is an ongoing discussion just how much of the theology of the United Pentecostal still has. Well, I am not sure it matters. What you will not read in this article is throwing stones at them or calling them a cult.
David K. Bernard is the current President that is back in Hazelwood, Missouri. He doesn’t seem like a dumb guy from what I can tell. He preaches what he believes well and is pretty educated. Graduate of Rice University and Doctorate from University of Texas.
I have been to many services at a few United Pentecostals churches. I loved the passion of the believers at The Pentecostals of Saint Joseph in Missouri. Really sad that they lost their facility that was overlooking I-29 out by Brian Zahnd’s Word of Life Church.
United Pentecostals do believe different
They do hold a winner takes all view of salvation. They believed that you are either baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues or you are not saved at all. They take the passage where Jesus talked about being baptized with water and spirit literal.
Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. – Jesus
One issue that I see first out the gate is they confuse being born again and the Kingdom of God. The government of God and Soteriology is no quite the same. That is a common mistake among alot of churches though.
In United Pentecostal theology, you have make a confession of Lordship, be baptized in water and be baptized in the Holy Spirit in order to be saved.
One other way that they differ is you have to be baptized in the name of Jesus only. No Father, Son, and Holy Spirit baptism.
The other passage that is used alot in their Soteriology is Acts 2:38,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I have heard some of the leaders in the Church say this is the gospel, not the Romans Road. I disagree but I still love them as brothers of the faith.
The position that is hold officially by United Pentecostals on a prayer language or praying in tongues is not all that different besides one thing: they believe it is a salvation issue. Most other Pentecostals do not and see it as a second grace from the Lord.
The things that really divide Pentecostals
Now the two areas that make them very different that modern Pentecostals in the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland) and the Charismatic movement. One of them is quite silly but a major divider among the Pentecostal movement; the one is only serious about of the damage it does to the people involved.
Back in 1914, the Assemblies of God was formed and only two years later, it was under attack. You have most people believing in the Trinity but you also had a minority that demanded that there was only Jesus, no Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It became such as issue that at the General Council of the Assemblies of God in 1916, also a third of the assemblies were kicked out and they formed what became knows as the 16 Fundamental Truths with right off the top being the Trinity.
As a result, they formed the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies that later became the United Pentecostal Church International.
Isn’t the United Pentecostal pretty legalistic?
The other issue is their holiness ideals. It goes way past anything the the Bible even remotely teaches. Things like how to wear your hair, how long a dress should be, what type of suit to wear, television were not allowing in your home, no jewelry or makeup for the women to name a few.
Legalism is a real bondage that still is alive today in the United Pentecostal Church. It destroys lives, family and ministries. There is nothing positive that comes out of legalism.
The other thing about it is when someone does come out of the bondage, they go to the extreme and live in complete sin. I have seen women leave the United Pentecostal movement and just become a nymphomaniac. They do not know how to handle freedom after so much legalistic bondage.
So why don’t I call them a cult?
This is where I struggle. I see all the problem with the United Pentecostal movement and even the biblical areas that they have departed; I also see a pure desire to love Jesus and move in the Spirit in them.
Outside of the Trinity issue, they do believe in the gospel. They have all of that right. They only add things that are not there and misunderstand the place of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.
I do receive them as brothers in the faith with some theological reservation. They have serious error but I receive the Baptist, Church of God (Cleveland) and the Calvary Chapel that all have some theological issues as well.
One thing I do know is a group of United Pentecost people can pray and they can get the devil of people. They do know how to tarry and war in the Spirit. They don’t mind praying all night for someone to get set free from bondage.
Call a prayer meeting, the UPC people will be there until you lock the door; the Assemblies people will give you about trinity minutes than they will be out back playing basketball for the next three hours.
I just saw an older debate with my former pastor, Brian Zahnd and my former Bible College professor, Dr. Michael L. Brown on Youtube. To top it all, it was hosted by another former pastor, Mike Bickle at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri.
I would say that all three of these men, among others, have formed my faith to where I am today. All helped this radical guy saved in the fires of the Brownsville Revival that went to Central Bible College and ultimately finished up at Oral Roberts University. They all mark a time in that my path. Continue reading…