There are values that we have as Pentecostals that must be kept at all costs. These are pillars of our expression. We do not hold these over non-Pentecostal or think of ourselves as “superior in faith.” It is just who we are and we celebrate those who are in a different “camp.”
For the purpose of this article, being Pentecostal is someone believes in the infilling of the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues and that miracles are for today. This includes the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland), Church of God of Prophecy, Foursquare Gospel, and Open Bible to name a few.
What about the Charismatic churches? While many of them do have Pentecostal doctrine, many do not in these areas of essentials. For example, many Charismatics deny that praying in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We love them and are friends with many but they do believe a little different.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the cornerstone of all we hold dear as Pentecostals. We hold that the infilling of the Spirit that happened in Acts 2:1-4 is for today and is for all believers. Jesus told us when the Holy Spirit comes on us, we would have power to witness…. That is for all believers and it is a second work of grace.
While many confuse the difference between being born of the Spirit and be baptized in the Holy Spirit; it is important to understand the difference between them. We are born of the Spirit at conversion (salvation experience) when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit can happen at the same time but normally does not.
The purpose of the Baptism is to make believers to be witnesses to the lost and dying world. Being a witness is to be a martyr. It is a people committed to the cause of Christ to the point of death. Any less commitment is not the biblical norm.
Praying in Tongues
How can one know if they are baptized in the Holy Spirit? The New Testament shows us the model that when the Holy Spirit came on a believer, they prayed in tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:4) There is also a case for prophetic ministry in Acts 19. The connection here is both tongues and prophecy have a revelatory nature to them.
There is different types of tongues in the Bible. There is praying in tongues and there is the gift of tongues for the churches. This is where someone gives a message in tongues and someone else give the interpretation. It does need to be another person that is not related to the speaker.
While many will go “but what about….” on praying in tongues; our authority is the Holy Spirit and the written Word left for us. God does not change the gospel because your mother, cousin or neighbor does not like this or that. The same is true when it come to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues.
As Pentecostals, we hold that divine healing is not secondary to the gospel but it is part of the gospel. We believe the same blood that saves us also heals us. The gospel is presented with signs, wonder, and miracles following. Anything less is not the biblical presentation of Hope of Glory, Christ in you.
Healing the sick is a primary goal of the Kingdom and God loves to heal. This is something that Pentecostals should never back down from. It is who we are. We will always present the healing power of the Holy Spirit to a sick world with broken people gripped with fear.
With healing of the body, there is also emotional healing or the casting out of devils. Deliverance is just as important and as Pentecostal as seeing someone come out of a wheelchair. We must always believe there is a place for casting out demons. We do not believe that sitting on a therapist’s couch is the answer for the believer!
End Time Revival
We hold that the God has saved the best for the last. The greatest outpouring of human history will come in the last days and it will only end when the Blessed Hope or “rapture” happens to take us to Heaven. There is no place in the life of the Pentecostal for doom and gloom.
Miracles will only increase as we draw closer to the end of the Church Age. The closer that we get, the more powerful and more often we will see outbreaks of revival around the world. Revival is not just a product of American Evangelicalism.
As Pentecostal, we expect the power of the Holy Spirit to break through and for many to come to Christ. We admit that our cause for living is that every person of every tongue, tribe and people will experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
Statement about the Pentecostal Essentials
These are what makes us who we are. If you say, ” I do not believe in one of these but I do the others,” that is perfectly fine. The Charismatic movement is amazing and it is full of people who say I believe part of Pentecostalism but not other parts. There is nothing wrong with being a Charismatic.
To be fair, the story of Azusa Report has deep roots in the YWAM movement that is a Charismatic missionary movement. We celebrate everyone that believe in the power of the Spirit…even if they believe a little different.
These essentials are not salvation issues and people who believe none of these are born again and going to Heaven. Before we are Pentecostals, we are the Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We can not forget that.
I hope this little guide helped someone understand what it and is not a Pentecostal believer.