Friday, 10 September 2010

Our Supernatural “Grace-Thing!”

Our Supernatural “Grace-Thing!”

“Yet grace (God's unmerited favor) was given to each of us individually [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ's [rich and bounteous] gift” (Ephesians 4:7 AMP).

There is much attention given to this subject of Grace; it gets different types of press: good, bad, indifferent and confused! So let’s investigate it a little and focus more on what grace IS rather than what grace is not! Let’s start with the fact that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ altered mankind’s relationship with God forever. It was grace that caused God to make a personal sacrifice and then offer the “fruit” of that sacrifice directly to us! This makes grace much more than a mere “free-gift” and can be defined by using this simple illustration.

Let’s just say that one day while minding our own business someone came up to us and pushed something into our hands saying, “Here are the keys to my Rolls Royce!” This would be a pretty large gift to most people! BUT let’s also say that our normal circumstances meant that we could already purchase this gift if we had chosen to, making the Rolls Royce – a handsome “gift” - but NOT a “gift of grace.” On the other hand when it is totally “impossible” for us to obtain this type of “gift” through our own efforts, only then it can be considered a “gift of grace” with no possible way of returning the favor. Then all that is left to say is “Thank you,” and accept the gift!

What this illustrates mostly is that we can never “earn” grace! If God had not given us salvation, could we have obtained it any other way? No, impossible! This is why Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one doth come unto the Father, if not through me” (John 14:6 Young's Literal Translation). There are no alternatives! If salvation was possible by any other means other than “grace,” then perhaps “Krishna’s” idea, that there are “many” ways to God, could be true and then several world religions would work! But according to the Bible there is only “one” way to God. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. His death and resurrection alone have made “grace” available to us.

This covers more than “forgiveness” of sins and the “new birth,” (when we were “born again” and became Christians), the same applies to whatever we receive from God – it is by grace. This means that when He gives something to us by grace – we don’t receive the glory for it and nor does He have to override our free will to give it to us. It is only possible to receive such a free gift of grace by faith: not of ourselves; “…it is a gift of God: Not of works, least anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” (Ephesians 2 v 8-10).

Grace can be seen as undeserved and supernatural favor as in the Old Testament Joseph was someone who experienced “supernatural” favor; “But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor (chên) in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Genesis 39:21). This tiny Hebrew word chên (pronounced khane); #H2580 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; fundamentally means; graciousness, kindness, favor, beauty, pleasant, precious. And then in close relation the word chânan (pronounced khaw-nan) means; to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to show favor and to have mercy.

However grace is much more than this of course especially in the New Testament. But first we must look in the Old Testament where chên, “favor,” is the unmerited favor of a superior to an inferior. In the case of God to man; chên is demonstrated usually in temporal, though also occasionally in spiritual blessings; within deliverance in both physical and spiritual senses (Jeremiah 31:2; Exodus 33:19). Also in the Old Testament chêsêd; “Loving-Kindness,” is the firm loving-kindness expressed between related people and particularly in the covenants into which God entered with His people and which His chêsêd firmly guaranteed (11 Samuel 7:15; Exodus 20:6). “But my mercy (chêsêd) shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee” (2 Samuel 7:15).

Moving on into the New Testament - Greek literature gave charis the following meanings: a) One that causes attractiveness, such as grace of appearance or speech. b) Favorable regard felt toward a person. c) A favor. d) Gratitude. d) It was used adverbially in phrases such as “for the sake of a thing,” charin tinos.

This little Greek word χάρις charis (pronounced khar'-ece), used in the New Testament “…the law was given by Moses, but grace (charis) and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1: 17) Strong’s #G5485 “graciousness - divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; gratitude, acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace, joy, liberality, pleasure, thankworthy.”

Although it was not until the coming of Christ that grace took on its fullest meaning. His self-sacrifice was grace itself (11 Corinthians 8:9) and absolutely free (Romans 6:14; 5:15-18; Ephesians 1:7: 2:8-9). When it is received by the believer, it governs his or her spiritual life by compounding favour upon favour. It equips, strengthens, and controls all phases of the believer’s life (11 Corinthians 8:6-7; Colossians 4:6; 11 Thessalonians 2:16; 11 Timothy 2:1). Consequently, the Christian gives thanks (charis) to God for the riches of grace in His unspeakable gift (11 Corinthians 9:15).

The Apostle Paul was the principal human instrument to convey the fullest meaning of grace in Christ. The New Testament offers grace to all, in contrast to the Old Testament which generally restricted grace to God’s elect people Israel. Grace in its fullest definition is “God’s unmerited favor in the gift of His Son, who offers salvation to all and who gives to all those who receive Him as their personal Savior, added grace for this life and hope for the future.”

Important to remember is that God’s sovereign grace is not arbitrary (random or by chance). In order to “receive it,” man must “believe.” In order to “enjoy it,” the believer must be “obedient.” Grace also provides the following: acceptance (Romans 3:24), enablement (Colossians 1:29), a new position (1 Peter 2:5, 9), and an inheritance (Ephesians 1:3, 14). Then at least three motives are indicated in the New Testament as to why God “acts” in grace, especially in salvation. He does it to: express His love (Ephesians 2:4; John 3:16), to display His grace in the ages to come (Ephesians 2:7), and so that redeemed man will produce good works (Ephesians 2:10). This concludes that sovereign grace is always purposeful; the life that is “under grace” is a life of good works.

Here I want to quote Ulf Ekman from his book Doctrine which is very fitting here: “Man now enjoys a position in Christ before God as though he had never transgressed. He has no sense of guilt, shame or lack, only an overwhelming consciousness of having ‘come home,’ along with gratitude and love for Jesus, who has so graciously done it all for him. Since God has accomplished this in Christ Jesus, it is a matter of grace, rather than self-effort. Man has nothing of which he can boast. Those things in which he does boast are his cardinal sins—pride, personal achievement, self-importance and rebellion toward God’s ways. Every route to self-exaltation and ‘self-salvation’ for man is effectively sealed!

No grounds for bartering exist between him and God where God must do His part and man his. No, it is all God’s work! God took the initiative, He made the plans, He initiated them and completed them. God saved man, who was deep in sin, without his suggestions, efforts or help at all. Salvation is entirely due to God’s grace. No religious, idealistic, political or philosophical ideas or deeds will take you to God. No rituals, ceremonies, pilgrimages, fasts, donations or other so called good deeds or religious habits will bring you nearer to Him.

God will only accept your admission that you can do nothing, that you are spiritually bankrupt. Then, as you receive by faith, His gift, His grace and all that He has done for you in Christ Jesus, you will be saved. Your sins will be forgiven as you are cleansed in the blood of Jesus. Then the Spirit of God will come to you and you will be born again. You will become a child of God and find peace with Him. Then you will be a Christian who, by faith in Christ Jesus, is pardoned, forgiven and justified by grace: * Ulf Ekman

Paul wrote, “…know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because observing the law no-one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16 NIV).

We have discovered the grace of God is so much more than mere charis and is sourced both in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus (Rom 5:15; 1 Cor 1:12; Gal 1:3, 6; 2 Thess 1:12) and therefore we must reject any confidence that we may have in ourselves, recognising that we are incapable of pleasing God on our own and must entrust ourselves completely to Him.

On the other hand grace is “active” and is what we need in order to “operate” in God, with God and for Him. As Paul wrote to Timothy; “...I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands... ” (2 Tim 1:6). Something we must prize and value because this grace (call or gift) of God should be the motivation power for our whole life and work. We are saved by grace and called into grace. Grace is more than particular gifts of the Spirit, it is more like the hand of God coming upon someone’s life to single them out for the particular work or area of ministry.

Finally, we may have looked at charis but the word for “gift” is charisma... and these two words come from one another: charis meaning “grace” and ma meaning “thing;” literally translating not merely as “gift” but as “grace thing” or “thing of grace!” So when the New Testament talks about “spiritual gifts” it is talking about the “expression or manifestation” of the grace of God in our lives. Now on the other hand there is charismata which is plural for charisma which are the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the entire body of Christ; and made available to each and every member. We could call them “body-gifts” and these are manifested through specific or chosen individuals as the Spirit determines - as seen in 1 Cor 12: 7, 11. These gifts operate occasionally and are used to meet specific needs as the Spirit directs.

We see this again in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God's many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]” (AMP).

To close; every believer needs to be open to these “gifts” of the Holy Spirit in their lives and learn how to operate in the power and authority of these gifts. Because we are not only “called BY grace” and “called INTO grace” just as we see that Paul the apostle was not only given “grace” but specifically given “a grace” with which his whole life was controlled and directed. Not by mere graciousness (charis) but by (charis-ma) the “authority” of that grace (specific gift, grace-thing) given him by God.

This applies to us. We must constantly submit our lives to the grace of God. Not just the divine favour of God over our lives but also to His choice of gifting – grace thing – that He chose for us to “operate” in. Grace is often times made synonymous with “we can do whatever we want and get away with it” but of course this is erroneous.

Yes! Grace is favour but it is also the power and authority to “operate in obedience” to God.

Father thank You for grace and Your choice of “grace-thing” bestowed on me so that which you desire to “operate” through me (by Your Spirit) can be for the entire benefit of the Body of Christ. Therefore help me always submit myself to Your specific choice. Forgive me when I have ever despised that choice of gifting in order to prefer another and when I have ever confused “grace” with a life of “ease” with no restraint. Help me not to use my freedom as an occasion to sin (1 Peter 2:16) but instead allowing You to use me as You want day by day – moment by moment. Amen.

I am the Lord’s property. I was purchased at Christ’s expense. My life is available to be used by Him as He chooses by His Spirit and not by the dictates of my flesh or self-seeking emotions. The “grace-thing” on my life is without restraint: meaning that whenever, wherever, whatever I am available to God who can use me for His Body and for His Glory. Hallelujah!

* Ekman, Ulf. Doctrine. Uppsala, Sweden: Published by Word of Life Publications. Copyright © Sweden 1995, Copyright © England 1996 (p.185)


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Marginalizing Faith is not Pro-active

Marginalizing Faith is not Pro-active

“…Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” Romans 12:3 (NLT).

As we discovered in the last Truth for the Journey, history only serves us well when we take stock of the truths gained throughout the ages. As we glimpse into times past particularly during the Churches’ brief history we can easily conclude that a general type of faith is by no means equal to the challenges that present themselves! We can discuss faith in very general terms by saying that ALL faith is supernatural and ALL faith is a gift from God.

Although faith as we know it has very specific elements, it has not been my endeavor in this particular Truth for the Journey to discuss the ins and outs of faith and all its particulars. Rather, my focus here is resting upon the realities of “living” by faith. Just the very word “living” poses the fact that it’s something we must do “everyday” – not dissimilar to breathing! In fact in order for us to “live- by-faith” effectively – it then must be as consistent as our breathing! Consider that!

Main-stream or “nominal-Christianity” would suggest that faith is something we just step “into” only when necessary or when a miracle is required. They focus on different “strengths” of faith opposed to looking at faith in terms of something we are meant to “live-by.” God never gave us our faith-equipment simply for “occasions and events” but for “life!” We must allow faith to have the priority it deserves in “everyday-life” or should I say “life-style?” And as our title above suggests; marginalizing faith is simply not pro-active, because we should never “trivialize” faith – ever!

Where the Old Testament told us that men would live by their “own” faith (Hab 2:4), Paul in the New Testament spoke of living not by his own faith but by the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20). So in the New Testament things changed a little where faith was concerned (except where the New quotes the Old!) Therefore it’s vital that we have a “revelation” about this that no longer does a great and arduous “onus” rest on our shoulders but rests on Christ! Simply because “our” faith is “feeble-stuff” and lacks terribly! Jesus recognized this in his own disciples, whom He referred to on more than one occasion as having “little faith,” sometimes asking them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25; Matt 14:31; Matt 16:8).

This was not a compliment that Jesus was paying them and we can argue about the “size” of faith – like when Jesus spoke in Matthew 17: 20 about faith being as a mustard seed. But I will suggest to you that He was explaining - in natural terms - to natural men – who were still at that time limited in their understanding – about something that was supernatural. He was helping them to see that even when they try to “measure” the “God kind of faith” with natural limitations; it will still achieve mighty exploits because the God kind of faith is “limitless!”

Those who walk with God today have been given this kind of faith (the faith of God or the God kind of faith- as seen in Mk 11:22-24), which is given us by His Spirit, as it tells us in Romans 12:3, “…according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith...” and in 1Corinthians 12:9 “…faith by the same Spirit.”

When the Lord Himself ever gives something to us – we can be sure that it is totally complete – (not broken or missing anything) this includes the faith that He measured to us. I do not want to wade too deep into vague waters here by over generalizing a huge subject such as this, but I am intrigued by the lack of concept that many Christians have concerning the fact that they are meant to LIVE by faith.

If we just focus on the word LIVING we can safely conclude that our everyday experience should testify of our continual walking and living by the Holy Spirit and the Word; showcasing that our experience of God is a LIVING reality – not mere isolated incidences; opposed to a daily WALK. This is NOT LIVING BY FAITH but occasional experiences of faith only; usually brought on by necessity or emotion!

More to the point; we were neither designed nor hard-wired to do any exploits for God in our “own” strength much less live by our “own” faith. Likewise living out the fruits of the Spirit is not a test of our agility or spiritual prowess - dare we take the credit?!

“God wants yielded vessels and not golden ones…” was the time famous adage from the much loved Kathryn Khulman. How well she knew that no amount of (personal) talent could adequately prepare or equip her for the task God had placed in front of her. Therefore she chose a posture of perpetual preparedness – a lifestyle of unrelenting yieldedness and surrender! “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

ALL things pertaining to life have been bestowed on us – including the faith of the son of God. Not any old faith but specifically HIS faith. Scripture could not have been more specific! Would he really have gone to such lengths to give us His own blood yet spare us His faith…? I am convinced not!

We can choose to live by our own faith if we want to, in text book fashion (I call this textbook Christianity!), but treating the Bible like a technical manual only produces impersonal robots! However we know this thing is much more a LIVING PRACTICE than it ever was a THEORY only to be studied or agreed with! Sadly many Christians only ever offer “mental-assent” to their bibles; rather than stepping into its pages and allowing it to become a LIVING reality! Far be it that we just commit our lives to well told stories…!

So then, all considering history’s widest portals the greatest achievements were made by those who chose to allow faith to come upon them not just for the sake of occasion but chose to live by an unrelenting faith (for decades) securing victories and breakthroughs we still celebrate to this day.

True is the fact that even in his own strength, man has been able to achieve magnitudes! The tower of Babel is a testimony to that fact. As created beings we are able to co-create and with various levels of intelligence we have proven unquestionably ingenious! Nevertheless we have divine commission upon us and only a supernatural faith is capable of achieving this. I would like to go even further and suggest that no matter how collectively talented we may be; ONLY THE “FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD” CAN PERFORM THE VERY “WORKS OF GOD!”

According to faith teachers, the gift of faith defined in 1Cortinthians chapter twelve only “…comes upon us only at specific times for specific purposes, as a supernatural gift from God to receive miracles.” Dare I revise the point that ALL faith is supernatural and ALL faith is a gift from God? Not only did Paul tell us to live by the faith of God but also Mark 11:22 told us to have the GOD KIND OF FAITH.

The specifics of faith vary of course and are much broader than discussed here, along with the fact that the “GIFT” of faith as discussed by the many Faith preachers does “lift…” I still maintain that we must LIVE by the faith of the Son of God DAILY (is it any less supernatural or prepared?) with immersed lifestyle; not just for occasion!

Jesus’ faith was not just for “effect or occasion” either. It was not a three year road-show! Instead Jesus was ready IN SEASON AND OUT, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

I will finish by concluding that although we live in this world, we are certainly not possessed by it! As finite being we have been given the right to operate successfully in both realms; the supernatural and the natural. However it is clear that only the GOD KIND OF FAITH can facilitate our success in “both.”

Our success in the Kingdom of God is measured primarily by our OBEDIENCE (Isaiah 1:19; Matthew 6:33) nevertheless any “success” that we might enjoy within the boundary of our heavenly commission (Mark 16: 15-18) can only be legitimate when LIVED OUT BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD. Then the credit is all HIS! So let us live synonymous with Paul’s timeless statement; “...the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20).

Father thank you for giving me “the God kind of faith” because I need more than what I am alone – I want to be successful for You but more importantly successful “with” You. I know that my natural faith will eventually fail me, and is no substitute for the “faith of God.” I can only ever get so-far in my own ability and strength. This is why you said in Your Word, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD... ” (Zech 4:6 KJV) Therefore help me Father to honour Your Word by no longer looking to live by my own merits - strength, substance or wealth – but by Your Spirit and by Your faith – amen.

Today I declare that while my own faith is undependable - God’s faith in me has overcome the world! He always has the ability to do the impossible and everything about Him is limitless, including His-faith-in-me. Today I am living by the faith of the Son of God. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 3 September 2010

Passing the Baton between Generations

Passing the Baton between Generations

“One generation will praise your deeds to the next.
Each generation will talk about your mighty acts” (Psalms 145:4 GW).

For this “Truth for the Journey” let’s look in detail at recent church history in order to view how the “baton” was successfully passed from one generation to the next. Knowing that through the perseverance and obedience of others – History as we know it was altered forever! In particular we are going to look at how things progressed from the “Azusa Street Revival” onwards and how certain individual’s effected their own era, while still affecting our lives today.

To begin with and in addition to the ministers who received their Pentecostal experience at Azusa Street, thousands/millions of others were indirectly influenced by the revival in Los Angeles. Among them was Thomas Ball Barratt of Norway, a Methodist pastor who became known as the Pentecostal Apostle to northern and Western Europe. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit and receiving tongues in New York City in 1906, Barratt returned to Oslo where, in December 1906, he conducted the first Pentecostal services in Europe. From Norway, Barratt traveled to Sweden, England, France and Germany where he sparked other national Pentecostal movements. Under Barratt, such leaders a Lewi Pethrus in Sweden, Jonathan Paul in Germany and Alexander Bobby in England were brought into the movement. From Chicago, through the influence of William Durham, the movement spread quickly to Italy and South America. Thriving Italian Pentecostal movements were founded after 1908 in the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Italy by two Italian immigrants from Chicago, Luigi Francescon and Giacomo Lombardy.

In South Bend, Indiana – near Chicago - two Swedish Baptist immigrants, Daniel Berg and Gunnar Vingren, received the Pentecostal experience. Believing they were called prophetically to Brazil, they embarked on a missionary trip in 1910 that resulted in the formation of the Brazilian Assemblies of God. The Brazilian Assemblies developed into the largest national Pentecostal movement in the world and had some 25 million members by 1990. Also hailing from Chicago was Willis C. Hoover, the Methodist missionary to Chile who in 1909 led a Pentecostal revival in the Chilean Methodist Episcopal Church. After being excommunicated from the Methodist Episcopal Church, Hoover and 37 of his followers organized the Pentecostal Methodist Church, which has some 1.5 million adherents in Chile.

African Pentecostalism owes its origins to the work of John Graham Lake (1870-1935), who began his ministry as a Methodist preacher but who later prospered in business as an insurance executive. In 1898 his wife was miraculously healed of tuberculosis under the ministry of Alexander Dowie, founder of the religious community called Zion City near Chicago. In 1907, Lake was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Zion City also produced almost 500 preachers who entered the ranks of the Pentecostal movement. After his Pentecostal experience, Lake abandoned the insurance business to answer a long standing call to minister in South Africa. In April 1908, he led a large missionary party to Johannesburg where he began to spread the Pentecostal message throughout the nation.

Lake succeeded in founding two large and influential Pentecostal churches in South Africa. The white branch took the name Apostolic Faith Mission in 1910, borrowing from the name of the famous mission on Azusa Street. David du Plessis, known to the world as ‘Mr Pentecost,’ came from this church. The black branch eventually developed into the Zion Christian Church, which had six million members by 1993. Soon after Lake returned to the United States, the movement reached the Slavic world through the ministry of a Russian-born Baptist pastor Ivan Voronacv, who received the Pentecostal experience in New York City in 1919. Through prophecies, he was led to take his family with him to Odessa, Ukraine in 1922. There he established the first Pentecostal church in the Soviet Union. Voronacv was arrested, imprisoned and martyred in a communist prison in 1943. The churches he founded survived extreme persecution and have become today a major religious force in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Pentecostalism reached Korea through the ministry of Mary Rumsey, an American missionary who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit at Azusa Street in 1907. At that time, Rumsey believed that she was called to Japan and Korea. It was not until 1928, however, that she landed in Korea. Before World War 11, she had planted eight Pentecostal churches there before being forced out of the country by the Japanese. In 1952, those eight churches were turned over to the AG, whose missionaries immediately opened a Bible School in Seoul. One of the first students to enroll was a young convert by the name of Paul Yonggi Cho. After he graduated from Bible College, Cho pioneered a Korean church that became the Yoido Full Gospel church. By the time it had over 700,000 members it was heralded the largest single Christian congregation in the world.

As for the Neo-Pentecostals, Charasmatics & Third Wavers - the first wave of the Pentecostal pioneer missionaries produced what has become known as the Classical Pentecostal Movement, with more than 14,000 Pentecostal denominations throughout the world. This phase was followed by organized Pentecostal denominational mission efforts that produced fast growing missions and indigenous churches. The final phase was the penetration of Pentecostalism into the mainline Protestant and Catholic churches as ‘charismatic renewal’ movements with the aim of renewing the historic churches.

It is worth noting that these newer ‘waves’ also originated primarily in the United States. They included the Protestant Neo-Pentecostal movement, which began in 1960 in Van Nuys, California, under the ministry of Dennis Bennett, Rector of St Marks Episcopal (Anglican) Church. Within a decade, this movement had spread to all the 150 major Protestant families of the world, reaching a total of 55 million people by 1990. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement had its beginnings in Pittsburgh in 1967 among students and faculty at DuQuesne University. After spreading rapidly among students at Notre Dame and the University of Michigan, the movement spread worldwide.

In the subsequent years since its inception, the Catholic movement not only has gained the approval of the church but also has touched over 90 million Catholics in 120 countries. The newest category that was added to these was called the ‘Third Wave’ of the Holy Spirit. It originated at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1981 under the classroom ministry of John Wimber, founder of the Association of Vineyard Churches. This ‘wave’ comprised mainline evangelicals who experienced sign and wonders but who disdained labels such as Pentecostal or charismatic. The Vineyard was the most visible movement of this category. By 1990, the Third Wavers were credited with some 33 million members worldwide.

Evangelists & Healers: Throughout the previous century, Pentecostals produced many evangelists who were known for their mass healing crusades. These included Maria Woodworth-Etter, Aimee Semple McPherson (Founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in 1927), Oral Roberts, Kathryn Khulman, Reinhard Bonnke, Benny Hinn and Peter Youngren. Beginning in the 1950’s with Oral Roberts, the ‘televangelist’ genre appeared bringing healing, tongues, prophecies and other spiritual gifts into living rooms across the nation. Some of the most successful ones included Pat Robertson’s Christians Broadcasting Network and Paul Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting Network. Notable evangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker fell in the televangelist scandals of the 1980’s.

Most religious and secular press carried news of the renewal. This was paralleled by the publication of millions of books and tapes sold in conferences and crusades internationally. New periodicals spawned by the movement included Dan Malachuk’s Logos magazine and Stephen Strang’s Charisma and Ministries Today magazines. In the late 1970’s a newer movement of ‘faith’ teachers drew national attention. These included Kenneth Hagin Sr., Kenneth Copeland and Fred Price. In this 1990’s millions of people tuned in to the teachings of Copeland and Price, while others enroll in Hagins’s Rehema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and a host of other Spirit-filled Bible schools. Overseas, the crusades of the German Pentecostal evangelist Reinhard Bonnke regularly drew crowds of up to 500,000 in cities throughout Africa; (then later on up to one million in one crusade; truly phenomenal!) the same is true of Rev. Peter Youngren’s crusades in India

Major educational institutions arose during the 20th century as well. Healing evangelist Oral Roberts founded a university under his name in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1965, and Pat Robertson founded Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1978. In addition, liberal arts colleges and Bible colleges were planted worldwide. In a sense, the charismatic movement in the United States reached a peak in 1977 when 50,000 people from all denominations gathered in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, for the General Charismatic Conference led by Kevin Ranaghan. Planners for this conference were confronted by the major controversy of the era, which involved the ‘shepherding’ teachings of four charismatic leaders from Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson and Don Basham. This movement fell apart after the four separated in 1986.

In the 1990’s, Pentecostals and Charismatics were re-invigorated by new waves of revival that featured such Pentecostal spiritual manifestations such as ‘holy laughter’, ‘falling under the Spirit’, and other ‘exotic’ manifestations. Leading in this new wave was the South African Pentecostal evangelist Rodney Howard Browne. Beginning in 1993, manifestations appeared at the Toronto Airport Vineyard church led by Pastor John Arnott. Although Arnott’s church was disfellowshiped by John Wimber and the Vineyard movement, the force of the revival has continued throughout the decade.

Another wave came in 1995 when a notable revival began at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida. Led by Pastor John Kilpatrick and evangelist Steve Hill, the Brownsville meetings have attracted more than two million visitors, and recorded almost 200,000 conversions. Those resulting ‘times of refreshing’ revealed at the end of the Pentecostal century that the movement was far from over and poised itself when entering the new millennium with undiminished power. Only time can reveal the true impact on the world that the Pentecostal movement had throughout the 20th century.

Finally - from the likes of Rev. Charles F. Parham, William J. Seymour, John Wesley, , Thomas B Barratt, John G. Lake, Alexander Dowie, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Aimee Semple McPherson, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Khulman, Reinhard Bonnke, Benny Hinn and Peter Youngren, Kenneth Hagin Sr., Kenneth Copeland and Fred Price, John Wimber, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, John Kilpatrick, Steve Hill to the infamous Rodney Howard Browne; everyone of these above mentioned gifts to the Body of Christ had a responsibility to “catch” the baton held out to them… Had they dropped their baton, then life as we know it today, just wouldn’t be the same! These men and women of God, epitomize what it is to RUN WITH THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD in our time.

Father in Daniel 4:3 it says that Your “...kingdom is an eternal kingdom” and that Your “...power lasts from one generation to the next.” Thank You that I can be a baton passer by the Help of Your Holy Spirit and that I will never drop that baton all the while I allow Him to guide my steps totally. I ask you Father to continually help me so that I can leave a mark for You on my generation which will help mark the next - for your Glory. Amen.

Today I am used by God to help bring progression to the things of His Kingdom. I invest my life in His Kingdom and deposit my life completely. Nothing will be “stalled” or “delayed” because of me. I flow with God’s Spirit and keep in step with His infinite timing. His divine plan for each generation supersedes all that I am or aspire to be. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries