Issuu on Google+

Till Christ Be Formed in You:

EDITORIAL

Spiritual Disciplines The World’s Most Wanted Words By Simeon Young Sr.

The Doctrine of God in Early Church History By David K. Bernard

Meditation:

A Work of Gladness

In Jesus’ Name: The

General Superintendent’s Message December 2013 11-12.indd 1

11/12/13 1:18 PM


December 2013 11-12.indd 2

11/12/13 1:18 PM


EDITORIAL BY SIMEON YOUNG SR.

The World’s Most Wanted Words everal years ago Vital Ministry—a preacher’s magazine—printed the results of an unusual Gallup poll in which the participants in the poll were asked, “What word or phrase would you most like to hear sincerely uttered to you?” Here are the words people most want to hear sincerely spoken to them: “I love you”; “I forgive you”; “Supper is ready.” Vital Ministry said those words are “the most wanted words in any language.” Everyone needs to hear God speak those words. The gospel message is embedded in the world’s most wanted words. The gospel says the very things humans long to hear. God says, “I love you.” The gospel is first and foremost the grand message of God’s love. William Barclay said, “All great men have had their favorite texts; but [John 3:16] has been called “Everybody’s text.” Someone famously said this verse is the Mount Everest of the Bible. This northstar verse of the Bible points us to several crucial things about God and about salvation. For one thing, God took the initiative in our salvation. John said, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10). John also said, “God is love” (I John 4:8) and “We love him, because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). Our salvation started with God. Before a person takes his first halting, hesitating, faltering step toward God, God has already taken the first step toward him. John Wesley called this “prevenient grace.” Prevenient grace is grace that goes before any human action. Paul said, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath

through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:6-10). Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, was one of the most brilliant intellectuals of the twentieth century. A reporter once asked Barth if he could summarize what he had said in all his massive volumes on the meaning of life and faith. Barth thought for a moment and said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” John said, “God so loved the world.” Not just a nation. Not just the good people. Not just those who love Him. An encyclopedia of meaning is packed into the little two-letter, one-syllable word so. So in this context means “to such a great extent, extremely, very much.” Augustine said, “God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love.” Love is more than a mere characteristic of God; love is the very essence of His substance, the core of His being, the reality of His existence. Jesus said, “I love you” on the cross, and He’s still saying it two thousand years later. God says, “I forgive you.” John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (I John 1:8-10). The story of the woman caught in adultery is one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible. I was disturbed when I heard several years ago that this story was not in some of the early manuscripts. The omission of this real-life story is regrettable. I discovered the reason for its omission was that some of the post-apostolic church fathers were afraid its inclusion in the canon of Scripture would encourage adultery. How dare anyone gut the gospel of this redemptive story of forgiveness! Who has the right to diminish God’s gracious forgiveness? If we start down that dangerous road,

where do we stop? If we start editing out examples of mercy and forgiveness, it won’t be long before our own sin is excluded from God’s grace. The story of the forgiveness of the adulterous woman belongs in the Bible. God is “faithful and just to forgive.” Paul said, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:23-26). I awoke one Sunday morning several years ago with the words, “the evidence of forgiveness” on my mind. Throughout the day I pondered the possible meaning of that incomplete sentence: “The evidence of forgiveness …” I asked myself, “What is the evidence of forgiveness?” I eliminated my own human feelings as the evidence that I have received God’s forgiveness. And then I eliminated human forgiveness as the evidence that God has forgiven me. Before the end of the day, I knew that the proof of forgiveness is the promise of forgiveness. John said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). God says, “Supper is ready.” At the end of a long work day, the call to supper is filled with the promise of rest, food, and fellowship with those we love. As John wrote, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9), the child of God hears one of the world’s most wanted phrases and is thrilled with the promise of sharing supper with Jesus.

Simeon Young Sr. is the editor of the Pentecostal Herald.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 3

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

3

11/12/13 1:18 PM


PENTECOSTAL HERALD | DECEMBER 2013 Fundamental Doctrine

EDITOR

Simeon Young Sr.

The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. We shall endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith, at the same time admonishing all brethren that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.

The One True God

PRODUCTION MANAGER Larry Craig PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jina Crain CREATIVE DIRECTOR Abraham LaVoi DESIGN SUPERVISOR Tim Cummings GRAPHIC DESIGNER Laura Merchant EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Brooke Rosser COPY EDITOR Patrica Bollmann The Pentecostal Herald (USPS-427-240) is published monthly by the United Pentecostal Church International, 8855 Dunn Road., Hazelwood, Missouri 63042-2299. It is the official publication of the United Pentecostal Church International. Periodicals postage paid at Hazelwood, Missouri, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Pentecostal Herald, 8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, Missouri 63042-2299. ©2013 by United Pentecostal Church International. Web address: www.pentecostalherald.com Single Subscriptions (USA) $25.00 Single Subscriptions (Canada) $35.00 Single Subscriptions (Foreign) $44.00 Bundle Subscriptions (USA) $2.00 each for 2-5 copies; $1.75 each for 6 or more copies Bundle Subscriptions (Canada) $3.00 each for 2-5 copies; $2.50 each for 6 or more copies Bundle Subscriptions (Foreign) $4.00 each for 2-5 copies; $3.50 each for 6 or more copies

We believe believe in inthe theone oneever-living, ever-living,eternal eternal God: God: infinite infinite in in power, power, holy holy in innature, nature,attributes, attributesand and purpose; purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father; through His Son, in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit, by emanation (I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; II Corinthians 5:19; Joel 2:28).

An international publication published monthly. VOL. 89, NO. 12. Periodicals postage paid at Hazelwood, Missouri, and additional offices. Official publication of the UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH INTERNATIONAL

Our Vision:

The Pentecostal Herald in every Pentecostal home

Our Mission:

To publish a Pentecostal magazine that strengthens the hands of Pentecostal pastors, encourages and challenges Pentecostal believers, and reaches beyond the doors of Pentecostal churches

Disclaimer:

The Pentecostal Herald (or UPCI) assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of claims of advertisers or for the quality of their service or products.

WetoWant We Want Hearto from You Hear from You Letters to the Editor Send for possible publication to: Letters toletters the Editor

syoung@upci.org, brosser@upci.org, Send letters for possible publication to: or to: syoung@upci.org, brosser@upci.org, Pentecostal Herald or8855 to: Dunn Road Pentecostal Herald Hazelwood, MO 63042-2299. 8855 Dunn Road Hazelwood, MO 63042-2299.

Customer Care

Send subscription, renewal requests and Customer Care inquiries to pentecostalherald.com Send subscription and renewal requests and or emailtoBrooke Rosser at brosser@upci.org. inquiries pentecostalherald.com or email Brooke Rosser at brosser@upci.org.

Advertising

Advertising Go to pentecostalherald.com and follow Go toprompts. pentecostalherald.com and follow the prompts. the Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

HOW TO REACH US: Pentecostal Herald, 8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, Missouri 63042-2299 Telephone: 1.314.837.7300 Extension 411 Email: brosser@upci.org, main@upci.org Web address: www.pentecostalherald.com

USPS 427-240 United Pentecostal Church International GENERAL OFFICIALS

GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT David K. Bernard* ASSISTANT GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT Stan O. Gleason* ASSISTANT GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT Paul D. Mooney* GENERAL SECRETARY-TREASURER Jerry Jones* DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL MISSIONS Bruce A. Howell* DIRECTOR OF NORTH AMERICAN MISSIONS Carlton L. Coon Sr.* EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Johnston GENERAL SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR Steve L. Cannon GENERAL YOUTH DIRECTOR Shay Mann SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION Dan Batchelor

GENERAL PRESBYTERS

Dennis L. Anderson, Elvin Anthony, G. Terry Brewer, Ronald L. Brown, Steven Carnahan, Steve D. Carrington, Brent Coltharp, Mike Conn, Carlton L. Coon Sr., Kevin Cox, Jack Cunningham, Steven D. D’Amico, J. Stanley Davidson, Devon Dawson, Dean M. Dickinson, Andrew Dillon, Daniel Fleming, Edward Goddard, Scott Graham, Percel T. Graves, Ken Gurley, Billy Hale, John W. Hanson, Arthur E. Hodges III, Gary Hogan, Jerry T. Holt, David Hudson, Wayne Huntley, Darrell Johns, J. Mark Jordan, Ron Lichtle, Arnold MacLauchlan, Daniel McCallister, Richard McGriffin, Scott D. Marshall, Matthew Martin, Mark Morgan, Arthur Naylor, Trevor Neil, Gordon Parrish, Kevin Prince, John E. Putnam, Stephen P. Spite, Jesse Starr, Jay Stirneman, Rick Stoops, Robert Stroup, David Tipton Jr., Jerry Tipton, David Trammell, C. Patton Williams, Richard A. Wittmeier, Raymond Woodson Sr., Chester Wright

GENERAL EXECUTIVE PRESBYTERS Clifford Barnett* Brent Coltharp* Bernard Elms* Daniel Garlitz* Stephen T. Willeford* Marty Johnson* Anthony Mangun* Bryan Parkey* Raymond Woodward*

HONORARY PRESBYTERS

Like us on Facebook pentecostherald ThePentecostalHerald ThePentecostalHerald

J.R. Blackshear, Ernest Breithaupt, W.L. Clayton, B.S. Cole, Daniel Garlitz, Arless Glass, John Grant, Tommy Hudson, James Kelley, Carrol D. Kennedy, Carl Lagow, Roger Lewis, R.J. McIntyre, John D. Mean, James Merrick, Paul Price, Paul Reynolds, J.M. Russell, Harry Scism, Scotty Teets, T.F. Tenney, B.J. Thomas, Wayne Trout, G.L. Vittitow, Ted Wagner, David O. Walters, R.D. Whalen, Jesse Williams, Jack Yonts * Member of the Executive Board

EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Johnston

4

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 4

|

ASSISTANT EDITOR

Lee Ann Alexander

DECEMBER 2013

11/13/13 10:07 AM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES] 8 Search the Scriptures Brian Labat

14 Sanctification for Service James E. Boatman

18 Meditation: A Work of Gladness Columns 3 | Editorial Simeon Young Sr.

7 | The General

Superintendent Speaks

David K. Bernard

13 | My Hope Radio

Tiffini Countaway

17 | Faith & Culture

Eugene Wilson

23 | Worldline

B  ruce A. Howell

33 | New Start

Raymond Crownover

Pentecostal Life

24 In Jesus’ Name:

The General Superintendent’s Conference Sermon David K. Bernard

Centrality of Jesus through Communion 38 In Jesus’ Name:

2013 General Conference Report Brooke Rosser

46 | The Verb

of God Keith Hawkins

34 Present Remembrance: Recovering the Jason B. Estes

21 | Forty Probing Questions

48 | Gifts That Last Darrell Johns 50 | A Risk Worth Taking

Kerri S. Wilson

42 Missing the Upper Room Lee Ann Alexander

Carlton Coon

37 | Multicultural Ministries

Kash Nathan

49 | Launch Your Ministry

Sylvia Clemons

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 5

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

5

11/12/13 1:18 PM


ALL-NEW

BREAD Bible

This new Word Aflame Bible presents a convenient way to read the entire Bible, chronologically, in one year. Following the BREAD program endorsed by the General Sunday School Division, the BREAD Bible provides a selection of Scriptures to read each day in an easily accessible format.

• Now in chronological order • Coordinated with the annual BREAD program • Focused thoughts by Apostolic authors to begin each reading 25346 25347

Paperback Case of 24

$9.99 $167.76

25343 25344

Paperback Case of 24

$8.99 $143.76

• Daily reading to complete the Bible in one calendar year • A certificate for recording your completion of reading the Bible • King James Version

To order, visit www.pentecostalpublishing.com or call 866.819.7667

BreadBible2013 December Ad Nov 11-12.indd Herald.indd 6 1

• Also available: Children’s Bread Bible

10/11/13 1:18 11/12/13 3:18 PM


3:18 PM

THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT SPEAKS BY DAVID K. BERNARD

The Doctrine of God in Early Church History postolic Pentecostals teach that there is one personal God and that Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the one God in human identity. This message contrasts with the traditional Catholic and Protestant doctrine that God consists of three eternally distinct persons. There is a scholarly consensus among theologians and church historians that the Bible does not explicitly teach the modern doctrine of the Trinity. Rather, this doctrine resulted from a historical process and did not attain general acceptance until the end of the fourth century ad. In the Bible, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three manifestations of the one God to accomplish the work of human salvation, and Jesus Christ is the fullness of God incarnate. (See Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16.) Much like the New Testament, the early post-apostolic writings (c. ad 90-140) proclaim the oneness of God, the deity of Christ, and the humanity of Christ. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, frequently spoke of Jesus as “our God.” In a letter to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, he described Jesus as “the Timeless, the Unseen, the One who became visible for our sakes, who was beyond touch and passion, yet who for our sakes became subject to suffering” (Pol. 3:2). Clement, bishop of Rome, described Jesus as “the scepter of God’s majesty” (1 Clem. 16:2). A sermon from this time says, “We ought to think of Jesus Christ as we do of God” and describes Jesus as both Father and Spirit (2 Clem. 1:1.4; 14:4-5). Later writers began to draw from Greek philosophy, which made a sharp distinction between spirit and matter. According to Plato, the visible, material world is an imperfect reflection of the pure, spiritual world of ideas or forms. He conceived of God in abstract, impersonal terms as the first principle or first cause of everything. In the typical Greek view, then, God is intrinsically unknowable, impassible (incapable of emotion or suffering), unapproachable, and

uninvolved with the lesser world of matter. A group known as the Gnostics taught that spirit is good and matter is evil. They identified the Father as the “fullness” of God. He was too pure to become involved with matter, but many lesser deities emanated from Him and did interact with the world. Jehovah was a lowly deity who created the material world, while Christ was a high deity who came to redeem humans from matter. Their most prominent teacher was Valentinus (c. 100-160). He allegedly wrote a book in Greek called On the Three Natures in which he “was the first to invent three hypostases and three persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he is discovered to have filched this from Hermes [Trismegistus] and Plato” (Marcellus of Ancyra, On the Holy Church, 9). (“Hypostases” originally meant “natures” or “substances” but was later used for “persons.”) In the mid-second century, apologists wrote in Greek to defend Christianity against pagan detractors. The most prominent was Justin Martyr (c. 150), a converted philosopher. These apologists explained Christianity using philosophical concepts. They identified the Father as the supreme God and characterized God as unmovable, impassible, and not directly involved with the material world. They also drew from the Platonic concept of plurality within the one first principle. Apologists used the popular Greek concept of the Word (Logos) to describe the interaction of the transcendent God with the world. Originally the Word was impersonally inherent in God as His reason. In order to create the world God first brought forth, or begot, the Word out of Himself. The Word is thus God’s Son and God’s agent in creation and in appearances to humans. To act as God’s intermediary in human salvation, the Word came in flesh as Jesus Christ. Jesus is not the supreme God but “another God” who is “numerically distinct” from the Father and subordinate to Him in time, essence, and power (Justin, Dial. 56).

In the early third century, writers such as Tertullian and Origen expanded this thinking into an early form of trinitarianism. Around 210, Tertullian was the first writer to describe God by the Latin term for “trinity” (trinitas) and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Latin phrase for “three persons” (tres personae). While the Son and Spirit are subordinate to the Father in time, rank, and power, the three persons share one “substance” (substantia). Origen said believers should pray only to the Father and not to Christ (Or. 10) and those who considered Jesus the most high God were in error (Cels. 8.14). As Tertullian conceded, the vast majority of believers opposed his new concept; they insisted that trinitarianism compromised the most ancient Christian confession, specifically the historic beliefs in one God and the full deity of Jesus Christ (Prax. 3, 20). Like the Jews, they retained the biblical concept of God as absolutely one, transcendent, yet fully engaged with creation, and fully capable of emotion. Tertullian charged his opponents with the “absurd” conclusion that in the experience of Christ’s death the Father “suffered,” and he rebuked them for reverting to a deficient Jewish concept of God (Prax. 29, 31). Later trinitarians such as Athanasius taught that the three divine persons were coequal, coeternal, and of the same substance. This view was partially endorsed in 325 by the Council of Nicea, and it ultimately prevailed in 381 at the Council of Constantinople. For documentation and discussion, see David K. Bernard, Oneness and Trinity, a.d. 100-300 and A History of Christian Doctrine, vol. 1. David K. Bernard is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 7

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

7

11/12/13 1:18 PM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES]

Search the

Scriptures B R I A N L A B AT

earch the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). These are the words of Jesus to the unbelieving Jews who sought to kill Him because He healed on the Sabbath Day and claimed to be God. His accusation concerning them was simply, “Ye have not his word abiding in you” (John 5:38). His admonition to “search the scriptures” would reveal He truly was who He claimed to be. If you want to live for God it is not enough to be a casual browser. The word search in John 5:39 means to seek, hunt, probe, explore, and investigate. Without a diligent searching of the Scriptures we are prone to a false faith or no faith at all. All the answers to life and death are found in the Word of God, and if we read the Scripture we can discover that it testifies, confirms, and gives evidence of Jesus and His will and purpose for our life. The written Word was written to be read. Certainly, the preached word is necessary. Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2). We must have a preacher preach to us because there are some things we will never preach to ourselves. We need an anointed voice to speak the Word of God on a continual basis. How shall we hear without a preacher (Romans 10:14)? God still calls and uses God-ordained messengers to preach the Word under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to minister to the church. However, the preached Word was never intended to take the place of our reading the Word daily. In Deuteronomy 17, God gave instruction concerning the time when the Israelites would enter Canaan and spoke directly to those who would sit on the throne as kings. In 8

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 8

|

the Old Testament only a select few would be king, but in the New Testament we have all been made kings and priests (Revelation 1:5-6). God said that any king who reigns must read the law daily: “It shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests and Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life” (Deuteronomy 17:18-19). The reason the kings were to read the Scripture daily was fourfold: first, to learn to fear the Lord and obey all the terms of the law; second, to prevent them from becoming proud; third, to keep them from turning away from His commands in even the smallest way; fourth, to prolong theirs and their children’s days in the kingdom. Their continued success and longevity in the kingdom was dependent on their daily reading and obedience to the Scripture. Reading and obeying the Scripture are essential to our salvation. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” I believe He was teaching that praying and reading the Word are things that have to take place in our life every day. Getting into the Word and getting the Word into us is so imperative that without it we will eventually die spiritually. Physical life and health depend on a daily intake of food. If we do not eat every day we will grow weak and faint. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). More important than eating every day, we must get into His Word for it is spirit and life (John 6:63). The longer I live the more I realize I am no good without prayer and the Word every day. Deception is too strong to resist without daily prayer and the Word. The hour in which we live demands that kind of committed relationship and not just a form of godliness. While our relationship with the church and other believers is important, none of that will keep us.

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

The word search in John 5:39 means to seek, hunt, probe, explore, and investigate. Without a diligent searching of the Scriptures we are prone to a false faith or no faith at all. All the answers to life and death are found in the Word of God, and if we read the Scripture we will discover that it testifies, confirms, and gives evidence of Jesus and His will and purpose for our life. A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 9

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

9

11/12/13 1:18 PM


The only thing that will hold us is our daily walk with the Lord. We need to get into the Word daily because of what it does for us. It guards against deception (Psalm 119:11), creates faith (Romans 10:17), brings understanding (Hebrews 11:3), guides and directs (Psalm 119:105), reveals (Romans 3:20), feeds (Matthew 4:4), furnishes light (Psalm 119:30), purifies (I Peter 1:22), operates as a weapon (Ephesians 6:17), cleanses (Psalm 119:9), and saves (James 1:21). Several years ago, during our installation service in Addison, the church presented our girls, Brielle and Ashlyn, with a Bible. A few days later Brielle said, “Mom, can I have my Bible?” My wife said, “No, I do not want you messing it up.” Brielle said, “But Mom, it tells me everything I need to do.” If a four-year-old child can figure it out, what is wrong with us? The Bible tells us everything we need to do to be saved, live holy, and please God. There is no way to accurately articulate the need to read, know, and hide the Word of God in our hearts. Among many other things it is the Word that helps keep our lives focused and in check. The first Apollo space flight to the moon was off course much of the time. The only way they made a successful journey was by making corrections all along the way. On our journey to Heaven, sometimes we take a wrong turn and lose our way, but daily reading the Scripture helps us make the necessary changes to get our lives corrected. If we are going to read the Word every day there are several things we must do. First, we must recognize its value and importance in our life. Second, we must make a daily appointment with the Word. Third, we must make it a matter of priority and then just do it. Everyone needs to develop a plan to read the Bible every day. It takes only seventy-one hours to read the Bible from cover to cover. An average reader can read the Old Testament in fifty-two hours and forty minutes and the New Testament in eighteen hours and twenty minutes. You can read the entire Bible in just one year if you will read it for twenty minutes every day.

10

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 10

|

Concerning the Scriptures, an anonymous author once wrote the following: It is quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. It is the mind of God, the state of man, and the way of happiness of the believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, and its histories are true. You can read it and be wise, believe it and be saved, practice it and be holy. The Word contains light to direct you, food to sustain you, and comfort to cheer you. It is a traveler’s map, a pilgrim’s staff, and a Christian’s charter. When you open the Word you open up heaven but you also close the gate of hell. I love to open this book and read it because its main character is Jesus Christ. The glory of God will be its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth and its river of pleasures has never been tapped. It is given to you here in this life and will be opened at the judgment. It is forever settled in heaven. It will reward the greatest laborers and condemn those who trifle with its sacred contents. It is supernatural in origin, eternal in authorship, universal in readership, personal in application, powerful in effect, and it is without error. Read your Bible every day. Make it a habit. Carve out time for it. Get into its pages. Let it speak to you. Apply the words you read and let it shape who you are. There is a blessing for those who do, for it has a power unlike any other. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein” (Revelation 1:3). Brian Labat is the pastor of Calvary United Pentecostal Church in Addison, Illinois.

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM

2013


General Conference 2014

September 30 - October 3 St. Louis, Missouri America’s Center

December 2013 11-12.indd 2013 GC Directory.indd 92 11

11/12/13 1:188:28 PMAM 8/20/13


Assisting church planters in North America

Don’t miss this year’s Christmas for Christ stories! You’ll hear inspiring testimonies that show the tangible results of Christmas for Christ. Here are some of the stories you’ll find at namupci.com:

A History of CFC

Marion, KY

A Personal “Thank You”

Teens are Church Planters Too!

with Jack Yonts

CFC Story

CFC Update

December 2013 11-12.indd 12

11/12/13 1:18 PM


t.

MY HOPE RADIO BY TIFFINI COUNTAWAY

Three Minutes with Amber James

ell us a little about your family. I am the older of two children. I have a younger sister who is a pastor’s wife in Kentucky. My parents live in Indiana and have always been involved in ministry, pastoring, and starting home missions churches. My husband and I are full-time evangelists. We just celebrated fifteen years of marriage and ministry. The newest addition to our family is our precious gift from God, Carson Slade. Our home feels complete and is filled with all the sounds a new baby brings, from “Twinkle, twinkle little star,” to playing on the swing, to the sweet cry when always encouraged me to follow my dreams he wakes from a nap. and made sure music study and opportunities were afforded to me during my younger Describe your spiritual journey. I was raised in the church and received years. I began piano lessons at age five and the Holy Ghost at age five. My parents began started singing in school programs and plays working in the ministry during my teen years. from kindergarten on up. I loved singing in The training and opportunities for ministry that church. My family used to say if I had a miI received during these years are invaluable crophone in my hand I was happy. I majored to me. I also attended Indiana Bible College. in music at Indiana Bible College and the These years were also key in establishing min- training and opportunities I received there istry goals and discovering the plans God had have helped to make me who I am today. I for my life. I strive daily to grow closer to the continue to play the piano and minister in song every weekend. Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord, knowing His coming is very soon. Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart What is your favorite Scripture verse trusted in him and I am helped: therefore my in the Bible? heart greatly rejoiceth; with my song will I My favorite Scripture verse is Matthew praise him.” My prayer is that for the rest of 19:26: “With men this is impossible; but with my days I will be able to praise Him in song. God all things are possible.” I have leaned on this verse many times throughout my life. In the What is one of your favorite songs to process of my most recent recording I turned to sing? Why is it your favorite? this verse several times because I knew it was I have been singing the song “Guide not in my own strength that it would be accom- My Feet” by Tim Pedigo for many years now. plished. During the adoption of our son, I turned I love the words and have found that I need to this verse because only God could move the Him to guide my every step. When I can’t see mountains that stood in our way. Many times the way, I will trust His hand. on the evangelistic field I have turned to this verse. Not one time has He let me down. I know Do you write your own songs? (If so, disthat with God all things are possible. cuss your usual songwriting process.) Yes, I have written songs; however, I did What is your music background? Who innot record any of them on this album. On my fluenced you; when did you start singing? next project I would love to record some of I began singing into my hairbrush at age my husband’s songs. He is actually the songthree. LOL. My parents, my biggest fans, writer of the two of us. He usually comes up

with the words and an idea of the melody and I help fine-tune the music. Where can we listen, purchase, and connect with you? You can find my CD on our ministry website reach-ministries.org, pentecostalpublishing.com, iTunes, and kennamberjames on facebook. Fun stuff What would you do with a million dollars? I would do a lot of things with a million dollars. Pay our church off, vacation for a month, buy a new car, record three more CDs—a contemporary CD, a children’s CD, and a Christmas CD. What time in history would you like to visit for a week? I would visit the ‘40s because I love how the ladies dressed back then—so classy, and they looked like women. What is your favorite breakfast cereal? Cookie Crisp. I know I should like something healthier like Special K, but what can I say? I’m a kid at heart. What is your dream vacation spot? A castle in Ireland. Who do you want to send a shout out to? My wonderful husband, Ken, and precious baby, Carson, my number one fans, to all of my family who I love so much, the Leggs (my pastor and his wife), and the saints at Apostolic Holiness Church in Hannibal, Missouri. Tiffini Countaway is the producer of MyHopeRadio.com.

myhoperadio

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 13

|

myhoperadio

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

13

11/12/13 1:18 PM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES]

Sanctification for Service J A M E S E . B O AT M A N

anctification is the grace of cleansing and separation for acceptance of that which is holy. It is the function and process by which the Lord picks, prepares, and presents objects or individuals for service. That which God chooses He sanctifies and that which He sanctifies He uses for His glory. Sanctification is an essential element for all Christian life and experience. It is a privilege to serve the Lord and an honor to be sanctified for His service. Those selected to serve the Lord in special ways and times are at the Lord’s bidding and pleasure. He alone sanctifies for service in His kingdom. He alone has the ability to match the need in the Kingdom with the person to accomplish the task. One cannot call and sanctify himself, but one can prepare and present himself before the Lord. This is the appropriate path to service and it is acceptable to God.

Sanctification of Things and People Sanctification can be identified in both the formal and the ethical senses. Formal sanctification is that of separating something from the world to be consecrated to God. It is to make it holy so it belongs to God exclusively. It is to declare God’s glory, power, and authority through something. Different materials and inanimate things were sanctified by the Lord in the Bible. The Tabernacle and its furniture were sanctified (Exodus 29:43-30:29). Houses, fields, and property were sanctified (Leviticus 27:9-29). The temple of Solomon and its furniture (II Chronicles 7:16; 29:17-19), the gates of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:1) and even Herod’s temple (Matthew 23:17) were all spoken of as being sancti14

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 14

|

fied, as were many other things. And if something such as a house or field were not already separated by the Lord for His glory, an individual could sanctify those things to the Lord as well (Leviticus 27:26). Ethical sanctification is a focus on the hallowing of the Christian believer so the believer can be free from sin and prepared for service in the kingdom of God. It has to do with people rather than things. The Lord sanctifies both things and individuals for His glory, but this article will focus on the sanctification of the believer in three areas: sanctification for salvation, sanctification for fellowship with Christ, and sanctification for Christian service. The purpose of the Christian experience is not that of salvation only, but rather service. It is in service that the believer expresses his appreciation and love for Christ. It is in service that the believer experiences the peace and joy of sanctification, and it is in service that the bond of love between Christ and the believer is the greatest. The heartbeat of the true believer is to serve the Lord with gladness, joyful song, and thanksgiving (Psalm 100) so the will of God can be fulfilled in his life. For love gladly gives. Love joyfully serves. And love seeks sanctification.

Sanctification for Salvation Salvation was purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is applied to our life through repentance, baptism, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall … perish” (Luke 13:3). The old man must die (Romans 6:6). Except you are baptized in the name of Jesus, your sins are not washed away (Acts 22:16). Except you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are none of His (Romans 8:9). One must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3-7). Since the Spirit is holy, the vessel it fills

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


Sanctification is the grace of cleansing and separation for acceptance of that which is holy.

A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design. DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 15

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

15

11/12/13 1:18 PM


must be holy (sanctified) in order to receive the “Holy” Ghost. Sanctification begins with salvation through the Spirit (I Peter 1:2). It is this sanctification that makes believers saints. “Saints,” “sanctification,” “hallowed,” “holy,” “holiness,” and “consecrate” are all from the same root words (Hebrew, Kadhash and Greek, Hagiazo) and should be treated collectively with inherent respect to each other. To be saved is to be sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints (I Corinthians 1:2). It is to be set apart and hallowed for that which is holy—the Holy Spirit. Therefore, sanctification is not a place of attainment, but rather a state of sainthood where the believer begins his or her walk with Christ to fulfill the will of God for his life. Saints have not ascended to perfection with salvation; rather they have assumed the role of the Christian in pursuit of disciplines.

Sanctification for Fellowship with Christ Initial salvation is followed by a sanctified walk with Christ known as fellowship or discipleship. It is imperative that the saint remain holy in order to walk with Christ. Two must agree if they are to walk together (Amos 3:3). Because He is holy, those who walk with Him must be holy also. Thus, sanctification is a continuing state of being. The period of discipleship or fellowship consumes most of the believer’s experience with God. It is a lifelong experience of continual sanctification. The will and the ways of the Lord are learned in this time of fellowship. Saints mature in understanding and wisdom as they entertain the Spirit of Christ and abide in His Word. It is in the daily walk with Christ that the mind of Christ is formed in the disciple, and the disciplines of Christian experience become apparent. Without the Word, there is no victory over sin (Psalm 119:11); no light for the path (Psalm 119:105); no understanding of the Spirit (Colossians 1:9); no fellowship with Christ (I Corinthians 1:9); and no formation in the believer of the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). The Word is the source of understanding and wisdom in all spiritual things. The believer is washed by the Word and sanctified by the Spirit so truth can reign and set free (I Corinthians 6:11). To have fellowship with Christ requires walking

16

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 16

|

in the Spirit (I John 1:3-7) and abiding in the Word (John 15:4-7). Fellowship with Christ is possible only because of sanctification, and sanctification is made fresh and viable through repentance and obedience to the Word.

Sanctification for Service to the Lord The ultimate purpose of Christian life is service, and the ultimate preparation for service is sanctification. True born-again believers want to serve and express their love to Christ for the blessings of salvation. Their sanctified walk with Christ and faithfulness to church is a light to the world. Their testimony for Christ is their greatest act of normal service. Through this they walk worthy of their calling in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:1). It is a privilege to be used in any service for the Lord, small or great. It is biblical and acceptable to desire deeper service to the Lord beyond the normal Christian life and witness. However, God alone separates for service. Believers cannot call themselves to service, but they can purify their heart and present themselves to the Lord for service. Isaiah saw the need, purified his heart through repentance, and said to the Lord, “Here am I; send me.” And the Lord accepted his desire and sent him (Isaiah 6:8-9). Presenting oneself to the Lord for more committed service must come out of a faithful walk with the Lord and an understanding of His kingdom and will. Believers must maintain love out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith (I Timothy 1:5). There must be a desire and willingness to sacrifice and separate for service (II Corinthians 8:12). Last, there must be a preparation for service through humility, knowledge, prayer, experience, and the development of abilities, skills, and talents (II Corinthians 8:7; II Peter 1:5). When patience is added to diligent preparation, it is plausible to expect that the Lord will accept the believer’s desire to be sanctified for service. James E. Boatman is the pastor of First Pentecostal Church of Kilgore, Texas

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


FAITH & CULTURE BY EUGENE WILSON

The Other Twelve ecently, while speaking to a diverse audience of Christian business and church leaders, I was reminded of the importance of cultural awareness. One lady, who attends a Greek Orthodox Church, repeatedly referred to church leadership as the priest. A corporate leader shared insight from his recent coming to Christ—he was previously an agnostic. Another corporate leader, who is Methodist, presented with me during one of the sessions. Among others was the spouse of a Baptist music pastor who expressed desire in connecting with my wife and me in his pursuit of healing and restoration in his marriage. The setting for the retreat was a conference center, not an Apostolic church. My wife and I were the only ones who, to the best of our knowledge, have experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit and have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. And yet we were blessed and honored to have spent the weekend with believers who expressed desire to grow in their relationship with God and with one another— believers who may not have an understanding or an experience like that of my wife and me, but disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ nonetheless. Luke writes in Acts 19:1-2, “Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” These individuals had not yet received the Holy Ghost. They had not even heard about it. And yet they were disciples, believers, followers of Christ. The scriptural context suggests that Paul acknowledged them as disciples, and in doing so validated them. He then led them to deeper understanding. He baptized them in the name of Jesus, and when he “had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:6).

The next verse says, “And all the men were about twelve.” Not the twelve disciples we often hear about, but twelve disciples nevertheless. These followers of Jesus Christ, believers, had yet to experience the fullness of Jesus Christ. But Paul did not disregard their level of understanding or experience; he did not devalue or tear them down in any way. Furthermore, he did not act in an egotistical manner, as though he was better than they. Instead, Paul understood his audience’s desire to know and experience Jesus, and thus, he led them to encounter Christ in a greater way. What if we were like Paul and led other believers who had yet to experience Jesus as we have, to a fuller sense of scriptural and spiritual enlightenment? What might we want to consider? Here are a few thoughts that come to mind. Do we value the beliefs of others although they are different from our own? Do we seek first to understand, then to be understood? Or are we just concerned with telling them what we know? Are we willing to listen closely so we can minister effectively? I am sure there are other questions worthy of consideration, but perhaps these will get us thinking. Cultural awareness is central to effective communication and involves the mindfulness that our values, beliefs, and perceptions may not be the same as others. A person’s ability to effectively interact with others is largely dependent upon cultural awareness. It does not require a person to change his principles or beliefs to accommodate another, but it does require sensitivity as to when to express what, and how to express what. A person must be cautious so as not to offend his audience with ignorant behavior or communication. Discipling the other twelve requires an awareness of one’s own preconceptions. Don’t assume that just because a person lacks your level of understanding means he or she does not understand anything. Likewise, we should not assume a person who has yet to experience Christ as we have, has

not experienced Him at all. Our preconceptions might be unfounded notions of little substance. Two days after the leadership retreat I received an email from my new friend, the former agnostic. He said, I want to thank everyone for making the retreat special for me. I have been so very blessed to have been shown the light after so many years of denial and self-centeredness. I recently changed from choosing to serve “my needs” to choosing to serve “His will.” I fail frequently to understand His will mostly due to my attachments, which He is slowly teaching me to recognize and let go of. This weekend was so special because you showed me what is possible. The presentations were great. But, the inspiration derived from the brilliance of your lives shining on me for a day was breathtaking. I want to particularly thank Barbara, Eugene, and Kerri. You all showed me what it means to follow Him wherever He leads. I am better for having gotten to know you even a bit. Our attitudes, our speech, how we carry ourselves in the presence of those who may not know or have experienced Jesus as we have, goes a long way in leading the other twelve to Christ. Eugene Wilson lives with his wife, Kerri, and two children, Kade and Jaelyn, in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 17

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

17

11/12/13 1:18 PM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES]

Meditation: A Work of Gladness R AY M O N D C R O W N O V E R

ometime between ad 70 and ad 130 an early Christian wrote, “We ought to join ourselves to those that fear the Lord, those who meditate in their heart on the commandment which they have received, those who both utter the judgments of the Lord and observe them, those who know that meditation is a work of gladness” (Epistle of Barnabas, X:19). At least since the time Isaac went out into the fields to meditate in the evening (Genesis 24:63) meditation has been recognized as an important spiritual discipline. However, modern Christians often confuse meditation with prayer or with Scripture memorization or attempt to incorporate pagan meditation methodologies. Like any tool, meditation can be used incorrectly, and it is not the appropriate tool for every purpose. However, it is a powerful implement that has increasingly been missing from the tool chest of the modern Christian. It is time that the people of God once again discover that meditation is a work of gladness. Perhaps the major reason for neglecting the spiritual discipline of meditation is the modern trend of a diminished life of the mind in favor of a life of activity and diversion. The modern human is surrounded by distractions. Quietude, an essential element of meditation, has nearly ceased to exist. We live our lives against a background of man-made noise: the roar of engines, the whine of machinery, the banging of construction, the chatter of radios, and the blaring of music from nearly every conceivable place. We have gotten so familiar with this background that silence has become uncomfortable to us. Even our church services are often organized around the premise that “dead air time” is to be avoided at all costs. People feel uneasy when they have no external stimuli to occupy their attention, even if only for a few moments. Fortunes have been made from the invention and distribution of technology that allows 18

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 18

|

us to constantly carry our distractors with us. The natural quietness of the mind is in a constant state of bombardment. As a result, the inner meditative voice has become the voice of a stranger. Meditation is the intentional practice of quiet contemplation, deep thought, and focused reflection. It transpires as an inward dialogue of the mind. In the New Testament text, meditation is translated from a word that means to give attention to, rehearse, or give deep thought to. Unlike many New Age and Eastern meditation practices, biblical meditation is not intended to empty the mind or to seek truth within. Rather it is directed toward building appreciation, understanding, and skill concerning those things related to righteous living. Meditation is a tool that requires discipline, practice, and the mastery of cognitive skills such as logic and rationality, in order to use it effectively. Thankfully, one need not be a master carpenter to use a hammer. All of us can benefit from meditation if we will only make it a consistent part of our Christian life. The word meditate has often been said to be derived from a word that means “chew the cud,” but that is actually the derivation of the English word ruminate. In the context of meditation, rumination means to repeatedly bring to mind some idea or fact in order to seek more mental nourishment from it. Ruminate can therefore be used as an English synonym for meditate, but the two words do not share any connection in the biblical text. In the Old Testament, meditate is translated from a word that means unintelligible muttering, sighing, or moaning. This expresses the intensity that can cause the one who is meditating to unintentionally sub-vocalize his or her thoughts. When Psalm 71:24 says, “My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long,” it is referring to the unintelligible mutterings of a person deep in meditation. The first psalm tells us that the blessed person meditates on God’s law day and night (verse 2). The psalmist declares, “I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings” (Psalm 77:12).

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 19

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

19

11/12/13 1:18 PM


The process of meditation can take many forms, but Christians must be careful that the steps they take are not influenced by pagan mysticism. Biblical meditation is focused on mental content that is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, reputable, virtuous, and praiseworthy. It uses reasoning skills to look for interconnections, insights, and deeper meanings in the subject of the meditation. “I meditate on all thy works” (Psalm 143:5) echoes, “I muse on the work of thy hands.” Meditation builds our familiarity with, insight of, and appreciation for the Word of God and of the God of the Word. This is accomplished not just through memorization but through contemplation, which allows patterns of meaning to emerge. Joshua was commanded to meditate on “this book of the law” day and night, so that “thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.” The result of such frequent meditation would be “thou shalt make thy way prosperous” and “thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Although meditation is not mentioned as frequently in the New Testament, it is clearly the intent of Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” When Colossians 3:2 commands the Christian to “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” it uses a Greek word that means to direct one’s mind toward or have understanding about. Paul specifically commanded Timothy to “meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them” (I Timothy 4:15). In this passage “these things” refers at least to reading, exhortation, doctrine, and Timothy’s gift of ministry (verses 13-14). Meditation can also be used for the purpose of evaluating current or anticipated situations and planning an appropriate response to them. This is the meaning conveyed in Proverbs 15:28: “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer.” However, this use of meditation is most often connected in the Bible either with anxious worry that does not demonstrate a trust in the Lord or with the human propensity to devise evil. Thus, Jesus told the disciples that when they were called

before persecutors they were not to meditate on what they would say, but allow God to provide their answers (Luke 21:12-15). The process of meditation can take many forms, but Christians must be careful that the steps they take are not influenced by pagan mysticism. Biblical meditation is focused on mental content that is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, reputable, virtuous, and praiseworthy. It uses reasoning skills to look for interconnections, insights, and deeper meanings in the subject of the meditation. Christian meditation should not be just abiding in the presence of the Lord or being still before the Lord (although that is a good first step to help initial concentration). Engaging the mind in contemplation and analysis is often assisted by relaxing the body in stillness and solitude. This usually requires a physical and mental place free from distractions. One should not seek for visions, revelations, or heavenly manifestations. If such things do occur, apply I John 4:1. Gather your thoughts and make them work rather than wander afield. Paper and a pen are helpful to write down the results of the meditation before they can fade away. Test any new insights, understandings, and meanings against the Bible. Do not seek proof texts to verify your ideas. Rather seek God’s ideas to correct your errors. Discuss your meditations with brothers or sisters who are trusted Christian mentors. Think on these things. Raymond Crownover is associate pastor of The Cross UPC in Troy, Missouri. He is also a professor and director of assessment at Urshan Graduate School of Theology and Urshan College. He is no stranger to the life of the mind and has been blessed to learn the gladness of meditation.

Coming soon from Word Aflame Press:

Listen to the Quiet a women’s devotional journal

Scan the code for a video preview 20

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 20

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

Forty Probing Questions Adapted from an article in The Rebirth of America

earch me, O God, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Read this list of forty probing questions during your devotions or quiet time. As you read these questions be honest with yourself and with God. Confess and repent of every sin that is revealed to you. Purpose that, with God’s help, you will make the needed changes. I suggest that you keep this list in your Bible and prayerfully review it periodically.

1. Have I ever genuinely repented of my sin? 2. Did I ever really receive the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance? 3. Have I ever totally surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? 4. Do I enjoy reading and meditating on the Word of God? 5. Do I read and meditate on God’s Word daily? 6. Do I apply the Word of God to my life? 7. Is it easy for me to mourn and confess all known sin to God? 8. Is it easy for me to apologize and make restitution when I have wronged or hurt others? 9. What are my feelings when others are recognized or promoted and I am ignored? 10. Do I find it easy or hard to obey the human authorities that God has placed over me? 11. Do I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? 12. Do I give money for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom cheerfully or grudgingly? 13. Is my family second only to God in order of importance? 14. Are my affections set on things above or on things on the earth? 15. Is there really an element of sacrifice in any area of my life? 16. Am I filled with the Spirit at this moment? 17. Is there any evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my life? 18. Do I earnestly covet the best spiritual gifts? 19. Do I love Jesus as much now as I ever loved Him?

20. Do I care more about what God thinks of me than about what others think? 21. Do I pray, fast, witness, worship, and give to be seen of men, or because I love Jesus? 22. Which is more important to me: pleasing God or pleasing men? 23. Do I read books or deliberately feast my eyes on things that cause me to lust or have impure thoughts? 24. Is my conversation always pure? 25. Is my behavior always above reproach? 26. Do I try to settle differences with others as quickly as I can? 27. Is it easy for me to forgive others who wrong me? 28. Is my heart tender and sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit? 29. Do I quickly obey God’s directions and leadings in my life? 30. Do I have a burden for lost souls generally and a lost soul specifically? 31. What am I doing to reach the lost for Christ? 32. Do I pray daily for revival in my life, my home, my church, and my nation? 33. Is there anything I am doing that hinders revival? 34. Is there anything I am doing that will hasten the reality of revival? 35. If God showed me anything that I should get rid of or stop doing would I be willing to obey Him? 36. If God revealed to me some specific duty that I should perform would I be willing to obey Him? 37. If my pastor called for sacrificial prayer and fasting and giving for the advancement of revival would I be willing to follow his leadership? 38. Am I willing for God to use me in any way He sees fit (including making me invisible)? 39. Am I willing to forego my plans and rearrange my schedule and do without things for the promotion of the kingdom of God? 40. Is God dealing with me now about anything in this list? DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 21

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

21

11/12/13 1:18 PM


NEW RESOURCES FROM THE GENERAL YOUTH DIVISION! THE CORE This eight lesson series mixes interaction and humor to help you teach your students essential Apostolic doctrine. Includes free digital components.

Leader Guide - $14.95 Student Guide - $6.00

THE GOSPEL The Gospel is a short five lesson Bible study that covers topics like sin, redemption, repentance, baptism in Jesus’ Name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Media resources are available for download that feature apostolic students and young adults setting up key biblical principles. Get yours today!

A 5 PART BIBLE STUD

Y

Booklet - $3.00

GENERALYOUTHDIVISION.COM 22

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 22

|

AVAILABLE THROUGH THE PENTECOSTAL PUBLISHING HOUSE

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


WORLDLINE

925-1000 word article INCLUDING THE BIO.

BY BRUCE A. HOWELL

A Savior, Christ the Lord “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). he Christmas message is a message of hope and redemption for every nation and people group today. Jesus came to save! The following reports are made possible because Jesus came and gave. They also are made possible because you gave and because missionaries went. Join me on a quick trip around the world. Rusty and Adriane Riddick wrote to me from Cameroon: “We are truly glad to be back and working in the vineyard. We were happy to see Mom and Dad, and Terry and Cheryl Riddick, again and we are thrilled to see their excitement and burden for the French side of Cameroon. I was able to preach in a couple of services while we were there and was excited to witness the Lord pouring out His Spirit. Several received the Holy Ghost. While in search of a home, we were able to visit and preach at a few of the local churches. I am pleased to report that the Lord moved in these services. One church reported that four received the Holy Ghost and three were baptized in Jesus’ name. Another church reported that one received the Holy Ghost and two were healed.” Dwayne and Linda Abernathy reported from Belize: “We had a very busy and productive month here in Belize. The Lord was with us and helped us see some great victories. During one weekend Sterling Busby from Mississippi preached at our Stann Creek district conference. Six adults and several children received the Holy Ghost. Mid-month we began our next trimester of Bible school classes here in the city, with eight students continuing their studies. Thank God for those who want to prepare their lives for the work of the Kingdom. Revival is coming to the English-speaking Creole people of Belize!”

Let me take the opportunity to highlight some of our lady missionaries. Lynne Jewett sent me a report from Guatemala: “Our orphanage project, H.O.M.E. International, has taken off. Things have happened much faster than we could have ever imagined. We have the perimeter wall up, one building renovated, four homes roofed, doors and windows, and the administrative building erected—with a roof on. Since the beginning of the year, a total of six groups from Florida, Louisiana, California, and Alabama have come to work on the project. These past few months it has felt like the windows of Heaven opened and poured out multiple blessings upon blessings. The Bible school certainly is the heart of the work in this country. We have 368 students enrolled throughout the country in nine schools.” Crystal Reece wrote from Tonga: “I received news that my book, Island Splashes, is being published by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson. I pray this new adventure will bring glory to the Lord as well as promote missions in story form, while deputation continues and while I am in Tonga. After one recent deputation service I had the privilege to sit down with two young ladies who aspire to missions. I was able to talk one-on-one, answering their questions about AYC, the Next Step program, and AIM. I promote each of these programs everywhere I go, because I counted it an honor to have served on AIM for seven years. Anytime I have the opportunity to talk about missions, especially to young people, I count it a joy.”

sage. I was impressed by the Lord to invite him to Korea to strengthen our brethren with that kind of message. Right after the service I invited him to Korea for our pastors and wives seminar next year. He was happy and willing to come. On the last night Superintendent Coltharp called me to the pulpit to present my needs. He did not know what I was going to do. I did not talk about raising my PIMs. Instead, I asked the people if anyone wanted to send their district superintendent to Korea to teach and preach to our Korean brethren. I gave a short testimony and then told them that I would like to raise A photo caption could go here, if the round trip airfare for him to go. Since I needed. Can be changed to white was asking, I was the to image. give. and first placedperson over a dark Just depesnds on the design. Within about five minutes more money than I asked for was raised; it turned out that they could send his wife also.” Thank you for giving to Global Missions and helping to make all of this possible. Thanks for taking the time to read about the fruit of your giving. Wherever this Worldline column finds you, let me say a heartfelt Merry Christmas to you. May the Savior we celebrate on Christmas Day bless you and your loved ones during this season and throughout 2014. Bruce A. Howell is the general director of Global Missions for the United Pentecostal Church International

E.J. Kim (missionary to Korea) wrote from the deputation trail: “During the Illinois District family camp meeting, District Superintendent Brent Coltharp preached a firm, strong, and beautiful Apostolic mesDECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 23

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

23

11/12/13 1:18 PM


[THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT’S CONFERENCE SERMON]

This year we are celebrating the centennial of the

Jesus Name movement. Our message goes back to the New Testament church, but one hundred years ago there was a great renewal and revival of the Apostolic Pentecostal message and experience. It is important for us to celebrate and reaffirm our identity as a movement. We should never tire of preaching about the name of Jesus, the Apostolic doctrine, and the Apostolic way of life. Recently I received a letter from a Trinitarian Pentecostal pastor lamenting the loss of anointing among various organizations and urging our fellowship to maintain its Pentecostal identity. (See sidebar on page 27.) We’re not here to attack or condemn anyone else. We recognize that God moves around the world in many ways and in various groups. But this is no time to change who we are or to imitate somebody else. This is time for the Holy Ghost filled, Jesus Name, holiness, Apostolic Pentecostal church to be what God has called us to be.

Invoking the Name of Jesus We read from the story of the lame man at the gate of the Temple: “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The lame man was healed and began walking, leaping, and praising God. A crowd gathered, and the apostle Peter explained what had happened: “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know” (Acts 3:16a). The name of Jesus is more than a label or a magical formula. We have power in the name of Jesus, but as Peter explained, God’s power is active specifically through faith in His name. 24

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 24

|

This sermon, “In the Name of Jesus,” was delivered by General Superintendent David K. Bernard at the 2013 United Pentecostal Church International General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:18 PM


A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design. General Superintendent David K. Bernard spoke on Tuesday night of General Conference 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 25

11/12/13 1:19 PM


In Acts 19, some Jewish exorcists tried to cast out a demon by imitating the apostle Paul. They said, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” They had the right name, but the demonpossessed man beat them, stripped them, and caused them to flee naked. The demon said, “Jesus I know.” Demons believe in the one God and tremble at the thought of God’s judgment. The demon also said, “Paul I know.” Demons know the people who know Jesus. They respect the power of apostolic ministry. Then the demon asked, “But who are you?” They had no power with God because they did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They did not have faith in His name. The existence of the early church was based on the identity of Jesus Christ. The Jews believed strongly, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The early Christians were committed to that truth, but they were different from other Jews because their lives were transformed by Jesus Christ. When they repented of their sins, they were baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with His Spirit. They were not pagans, because they served the one true God; but they were not merely another sect of Jews, because they bore the name of Jesus. The Jewish leaders admonished them not to preach or teach in that name, but the name of Jesus was their mark of identity. They moved from the ethnic monotheism of the Jews to a universal mono-

The Significance of the Divine Name

God’s name represents His identity and character. To know God’s name is to know who He is and what He is like. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He gave Moses a revelation of who He was. In order to forge Israel as a nation and establish His covenant with them, He commanded Moses to confront Pharaoh, the mighty king of Egypt, and deliver the Israelites from bondage. To Moses, this task seemed impossible so he responded, “Who am I to do such a thing?” God did not try to boost his self-esteem but answered, “I will be with you.” Moses then asked to know who God was and how to identify Him to the people. At that point God gave Moses a revelation of His name: “I Am That I Am” (Exodus 3:14). In the Old Testament the unique covenant name of God is Jehovah, or Yahweh, which comes from the Hebrew verb “to be,” meaning “He is.” When God identified Himself, He said, “I Am.” The meaning is, “I am and always will be. I am the eternal one.” All other beings must qualify their existence, but God is the self-existent one, the ever-living one. He is His own source of life and power. He doesn’t need anything or anybody else. He simply says, “I Am Who I Am.” Every human title is a limitation. One of the most powerful titles in the world today is that of president of the United States. But when we say, “Barak Obama is the president of the United States,” it is a limiting designation because it reveals that he is not the president of Russia, Syria, or Iran. God is not so limited. He simply says, “I Am.” We could put a blank line after these words for God to fill, because He can be whatever He wants to be. He can be whatever His people need Him to be. He is our Savior, our Healer, the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Light of the World, the Rock, the King, the Judge, the First, the Last, and everything in between. In short, when we know God’s name, we know who He really is. God also told Moses: “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. . . . Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord [Jehovah], and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments” (Exodus 6:3, 6). According to Genesis, Abraham used the name Jehovah, but he never had occasion to understand the full redemptive significance of that name. When he thought of Jehovah, he knew Him as Almighty God, Jonthan McClintock and Lindsey Bernard as part of the worship team on Tuesday night at General Conference 2013. the Creator, the Lord of all, but he was never in bondage and never experienced God’s deliverance. But from the time of theism. They recognized the one true God of Israel had come into the the Exodus onward, when the Israelites spoke of Jehovah they would realm of humans and was now accessible to the whole world. Jesus think of the God who delivered them from bondage, who redeemed Christ made the early church what they were, and He makes us who them out of Egypt, who made them a new nation. To know God’s name is to know that He is the Deliverer, the Redeemer, the Savior. God aswe are. The key to our identity is the name of Jesus. 26

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 26

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


Letter From a Trinitarian Pentecostal Pastor Worship team from Tuesday night of General Conference 2013.

sociated His name with a new revelation of His redemptive character. God’s name represents His power. God gave a message to Pharaoh through Moses: “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Exodus 9:16). When the Israelite spies came into the Promised Land, Rahab told them, “We’ve heard about how Jehovah delivered you from Egypt and what He has done to all your enemies.” When the Canaanites heard God’s name, they associated it with His power. God’s name represents His authority. God told Israel He would send an Angel to lead them into the Promised Land; evidently this was a divine manifestation. God instructed, “Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him” (Exodus 23:21). To possess God’s name is to possess the authority to act according to His will. God’s name represents His glory, His manifested presence. When Solomon prayed the prayer of dedication for the Temple, he said in essence: “God, I know You can’t be confined even to the highest heaven, much less to this house I have built for You. But of this house You said, ‘My name will be here.’ Therefore, when we come into this house and pray in Your name, I ask You to turn Your attention here, manifest Your presence, reveal Your glory, and hear our prayers.” When we gather in His name and call His name in faith, we have the very attention of Almighty God. His glory fills the house, even as it did at that dedication prayer. (See I Kings 8:27-29.) Saul of Tarsus was a Jew who believed in one God, and he believed he was doing God’s will by persecuting Christians. But on the road to Damascus God struck him with a light from Heaven and blinded him. Saul knew he was dreadfully wrong in his thinking, so he went back to the basics. He asked, “Who are You, Lord?” The Lord did not say, “The premise of your question is wrong. You think there is only one Lord, but actually there are several of us up here, so let me introduce you to them.” Saul was correct in thinking there was only one God, but he needed a revelation of who God was and how He had manifested Himself under the new covenant. God answered from Heaven, “I am Jesus.” The very one he was persecuting was the one he needed to worship. (See Acts 9:5.) A careful study of the three accounts of his conversion in Acts indicates that Saul (Paul) had a vision of the resurrected, glorified Christ as the revelation of God. That is why he affirmed with such confidence: “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). “God . . . hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).

Dear Brother Bernard, You do not know me, sir. I am not a member of your organization. I have been an ordained minister with [a Trinitarian Pentecostal organization] for almost forty years, and pastored [a] fine church for the last 37 years. … I am writing you today to do more than express my appreciation for the many occasions that your organization permitted us to participate in [certain] special events, but to state an observation which your leadership may not fully comprehend. .… Every Pentecostal organization is in a state of upheaval because of an escalating trend. … Leadership in these denominations, as well as my own, has been deluded into believing that the “faith once delivered to the saints” is increasingly irrelevant in the modern era. Consequently, all the Pentecostal distinctives are vanishing from the religious landscape in America. … The rush is to imitate the success of … pastors who built their religious enterprises on compromise, accommodation, and political correctness. … I am certain that in your position, you are far more informed of the current apostasy than I am, but I wanted you to know that there are many of us who look upon the UPCI as the last holdout of Pentecostal worship, Pentecostal prayer, Pentecostal preaching, and Pentecostal anointing. The only reason for this letter is to encourage you as a truly Pentecostal leader to resist the trends, methodology, and philosophies which have corrupted so many. I pray that the UPCI will always be Spirit led … , evangelistic instead of entertainment centered, and always more spiritual than intellectual. I pray that your movement will never replace the preaching of the Word with a motivational lecture from a would-be pop-psychologist or life coach peddling the latest verbal therapy for raising a person’s self-esteem. Truly, the time left for us to minister is fading fast, and if the UPCI is the only remaining vessel which refuses to be polluted with the popular godlessness of the times, may the Lord freshly pour out of you the pure oil of His Spirit on a church culture and lost world in desperate need of revival. May the Lord continually guide you with supernatural wisdom for these Last Days.

Letter is dated July 17, 2013. Comments that identify people or groups have been omitted. DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 27

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

27

11/12/13 1:19 PM


All that God revealed Himself to be in the Old Testament is incorporated in Jesus, and added to that is the greatest revelation of all: the God of the Old Testament, our heavenly Father and Creator, has become our Savior in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The church was founded on the revelation of the almighty God through the name of Jesus Christ. The name of Jesus represents God’s character, God’s power, God’s authority, and God’s presence.

The Name of Jesus The name of Jesus literally means “Jehovah Savior,” or “Yahweh Is Salvation.” All that God revealed Himself to be in the Old Testament is incorporated in Jesus, and added to that is the greatest revelation of all: the God of the Old Testament, our heavenly Father and Creator, has become our Savior in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is in the name of Jesus. Peter preached, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). He quoted from the prophecy of Joel, in which the Lord is Jehovah. In other words, the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New. Peter also proclaimed: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). To the Gentiles he preached: “Through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). We must preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, for people are saved in the name of Jesus. Holiness is in the name of Jesus. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and

Attendees worship during the evening service on Tuesday of General Conference 2013.

28

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 28

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


Connie Bernard, wife of David K. Bernard, sings during the Tuesday night service at General Conference 2013

the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). When we exalt the name of Jesus, we are exalting “God and the Father,” for God has chosen to reveal Himself in the name of Jesus. As a pastor I had guidelines for leadership and public ministry very similar to our Articles of Faith, only more detailed in certain areas. Those guidelines were intended as a model for every mature saint. Similarly, the UPCI has guidelines for ministers. We need guidelines; we must be specific about what we expect. At the same time, no rule can solve the problems of the human heart. But there is something higher than any rule: the name of Jesus. When we have a conversation, read a book, surf online, or watch a DVD, are we doing so in a way that is compatible with the presence of Jesus? Can we invoke His name over our activities; can we ask for His blessing on them; are we glorifying the name of Jesus in them? If we apply this principle to our lives, it will be stricter than any rule. It is relatively simple to live by specific rules, but it is more challenging to live up to the name of Jesus. True holiness is not found in a formula but in knowing who Jesus really is and having a relationship with Him. Evangelism is in the name of Jesus. “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Why are we so intent on reaching every nation with the gospel? Why do we push so hard to reach every city, town, and individual? Because every human being needs to know the name of Jesus; everyone needs a personal relationship with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe in carrying “the whole gospel to the whole world by the whole church.” The motivating factor is the name of Jesus. When Frank Ewart and Glenn Cook baptized each other in Jesus’ name in April 1914, a mighty revival began in Los Angeles. Ewart wrote: “One of the greatest, most startling characteristics of that great revival was that the vast majority of the new converts were filled with the Holy Ghost after coming up out of the water. They would leave the tank speaking in other tongues. Many were healed when they were baptized.” We are here because of that kind of re-

vival a hundred years ago. If we will preach the name of Jesus in its full significance, we will see the same thing happening today. I have seen many people healed, delivered, and filled with the Holy Ghost as they came out of the waters of baptism.

The Power of the Name Today Let me give you a few contemporary examples of the power of the name of Jesus. In 2012, Venezuela, our second-largest mission field, added 199 churches and 200 preaching points. In Pakistan, our fourth-largest field and a Muslim country, we now have over 160,000 constituents. In a certain Middle Eastern country, we did not have any works because it is illegal to convert to Christianity or to try to convert someone. An immigrant from that country was converted in Canada, and he now preaches online in his native language. Many people have been converted in their homes and have traveled to neighboring countries to be baptized. In a recent online crusade in that language, 42 received the Holy Spirit. A follow-up tour to several countries resulted in 58 baptized in Jesus’ name and another 55 receiving the Holy Ghost. In September 2013, I preached to 15,000 people in the national conference of Madagascar, our third-largest field. We ordained 46 ministers, and by careful count 2,075 people received the Holy Ghost. The Malagasy people sing, dance, and worship with great fervor. Various national leaders took turns leading in worship and dance, and finally even the international general superintendent took a turn. We can talk about Compassion Services International and our humanitarian efforts. The UPCI is one of the first responders to some disasters because we have 40,000 churches and preaching points through which we can distribute assistance. We can talk about New Beginnings, which is doing an amazing work with international adoptions. We can talk about the North American Youth Congress, which had over 18,000 in attendance. DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 29

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

29

11/12/13 1:19 PM


30

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 30

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


“One of the greatest, most startling characteristics of that great revival was that the vast majority of the new converts were filled with the Holy Ghost after coming up out of the water. They would leave the tank speaking in other tongues. Many were healed when they were baptized.” In Quebec, 2010, we prayed for a crippled preteen girl whom the doctors said would never walk. Two weeks later she was completely healed. In Alaska, 2011, we prayed for a young woman with severely crossed eyes who had endured a botched surgery. God instantly healed her. In Tennessee, 2012, a woman who was deaf in one ear received healing during the ministry of the Word. In 2013, in a home missions church in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, a number of people were delivered from addictions, and three received the Holy Ghost in one service. In 2013, I was privileged to preach in the four largest cities of the United States as well as the nation’s capital: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Washington. In each place we are having strategic revival, and God has raised up large multicultural churches. We now have about 200 churches and daughter works in the greater Houston area. We now have a church building inside the District of Columbia within sight of the Capitol. In 2013 I also spoke at gatherings of other Apostolic groups in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Fort Lauderdale, and Hartford— specifically for those who desire an emphasis on Apostolic identity. Some are asking for teachers from Urshan Graduate School and for literature from Pentecostal Publishing House. Recently one group told me, “In a day when some organizations are backsliding, we are looking to the UPCI to stand strong for Apostolic identity.”

The People of the Name Today In Acts 15 the first general conference of the united apostolic Pentecostal church international voted to let Gentiles join the church. Bishop James announced, “Simon Peter has told us how God visited

the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.” (See Acts 15:14.) We are those people! Most of us are Gentiles, so we are the people they voted to accept. We are the people of the Name. Many of us have imagined what it will be like to meet Peter, Paul, and the other apostles in Heaven. We will listen in awe as they talk about preaching on the Day of Pentecost, baptizing thousands in one day, writing inspired Scripture, debating with philosophers in Athens, witnessing before governors and kings, casting out demons, and raising the dead. But perhaps the apostles are eagerly waiting to talk to us. I imagine them asking what it was like to be part of the great end-time revival, to see thousands receive the Holy Ghost in Latin America, to observe thousands of Africans worshiping in the Spirit, to raise up great churches in urban North America. In these last days, we are the people of the Name. Let’s call on the name of Jesus for salvation, healing, deliverance, and apostolic revival!

David K. Bernard is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International. He is the founder of New Life United Pentecostal Church of Austin, Texas, and the founding president of Urshan Graduate School of Theology and Urshan College. He holds the JD with honors (University of Texas), MTh (University of South Africa), and BA with high honors (Rice University). His more than thirty books have been published in about forty languages. He and his wife, Connie, have three children and several grandchildren.

Purchase a DVD of the General Superintendent’s address and all other General Conference events by visiting www.upcimedia.com.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 31

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

31

11/13/13 10:07 AM


ALL NEW

FEATURES:

Apostolic Study Bible

• Notes written exclusively by Oneness Pentecostal scholars • Special emphasis given to Scripture passages that are important to the Apostolic message • Feature articles on Pentecostal distinctives of holiness, the new birth, living in covenant, miracles, and more by scholars such as David K. Bernard, Daniel Segraves, and David Norris • Concordance created with emphasis on Scriptures significant to Oneness Pentecostals

Scan this code with your mobile device to see a video.

Coming Spring 2014 32

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

ASB AD Dec2013 2013.indd 1 December 11-12.indd 32

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/4/13 1:19 12:29PM PM 11/12/13


12:29 PM

NEW START BY CARLTON COON

Did Ya Know? — About Christmas for Christ? he title is bad English grammar, but it really was (and is) the way many people talked in much of the Deep South. “Did ya know” would also not pass muster with my college speech teacher. Still, the term “Did ya know?” captures the grassroots setting where Christmas for Christ (CFC) makes a great impact. It is a blessing to know how CFC is being used to benefit those who are birthing baby churches. Christmas for Christ is the giving opportunity that encourages each of you to invest your biggest Christmas gift in helping establish more churches. Forty percent of these funds stay in the district. This is only a sample of the way CFC is put to work. Did ya know that in fiscal year 2012-2013 North American Missions reduced our operational cost by $40,000? Every penny of this cost reduction was allocated to a church planter. Did ya know that Christmas for Christ 2012 was the largest CFC offering in history? The amount of the offering was 2.9 million dollars. Thank you! Did ya know that every dollar of Christmas for Christ increase over the 2011 offering was allocated to a church planter?

coaching for church plants and smaller churches? After the assessing and coaching, Ontario’s leadership brought in prospect evangelist Billy Hughey to help each church move to the next level. It worked! Did ya know that the Georgia and Florida Districts use CFC funds to register the children of church planters for summer camps? Did ya know the Virginia District uses CFC to cover the cost for a Relief Corps to help when a missionary is on vacation or has some other situation causing him to need help?

and camp meeting? Imagine the benefit to a bi-vocational pastor! Did ya know that the Mississippi District uses CFC funds to purchase marketing tools for a church planter to use? Did ya know the Florida District uses CFC funds to help any church planter who is in his fifth year of service to attend General Conference? Did ya know the New Jersey Metro, Southern California, North Carolina, South Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Washington Districts (and probably others) spend CFC monies for an annual training seminar for church planters?

Christmas for Christ is the giving opportunity that encourages each of you to invest your biggest Christmas gift in helping establish more churches.

Did ya know that in many districts a church planter can receive a CFC investment to allow them to have an evangelist to come and help? Did ya know that in Virginia missionaries can apply for a grant of district CFC funds? These are allocated to the missionary on a monthly basis. Did ya know that the Ontario District invested CFC funds in assessment and

Did ya know that the Minnesota District invests $5,000 in CFC funds toward a church planter buying a building? Did ya know the Atlantic District spends CFC funds on at least four outreach weekends per year? A team goes to young or smaller churches to expand their visibility and outreach into the community.

Did ya know the Atlantic District invests CFC funds in a token offering for young preachers to get acquainted with church planting by going to preach for a baby church? Did ya know that you can be a help to both your district and the North American church planting effort by giving your largest Christmas gift to Jesus?

To learn more about Christmas for Christ visit namupci.com and watch the CFC videos. To learn more about North American Missions and North American missionaries visit www.namupci.org. Carlton Coon is the general director of North American Missions.

Did ya know many districts use CFC to help fund a church planter and his family to attend district conference, ladies conference, men’s conference, prayer conference, DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 33

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

33

11/12/13 1:19 PM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES]

JASON B. ESTES

Present Remembrance:

Recovering the Centrality of Jesus through Communion eginning with Jesus and His twelve disciples in an upper room, Christians throughout the ages have observed this ancient meal that we have come to know as the Lord’s Supper, or communion. Despite such prominence throughout Christian history, our only canonical witness of communion celebrated in the context of congregational worship is found in I Corinthians 11:17-34. In writing to the Corinthian church, Paul solidifies the continuation of this ritual meal that was originally observed on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. Paul says, “I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you” (I Corinthians 11:23, NKJV). He continues, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup” (I Corinthians 11:26, NKJV). It is clear from Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians that communion is more than an optional ecclesiastical tradition created for liturgical Christian worship. Paul received the tradition of the Lord’s Supper directly from Jesus and expected it to be observed on a regular basis. As such, worship at the Lord’s table is distinctively apostolic. We must, therefore, ensure the communion celebration does not become a neglected or devalued aspect of twenty-first century Apostolic worship.

34

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 34

|

Paul’s reasoning behind this act of worship appears simplistic at first glance as he quotes the words of Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (I Corinthians 11:24-25, NKJV). On the surface, it appears that we are to remember the historical moment of Jesus’ sacrificial death as we consume the physical elements of bread and juice. While remembering Jesus’ physical suffering and death is essential, Paul’s description of this ancient meal suggests that remembering extends beyond the historical event of Calvary. At the heart of this celebration is the “new covenant,” which encompasses the task of proclaiming “the Lord’s death till he comes” (I Corinthians 11:2526). These phrases imply a present aspect to remembrance. This concept of “present remembrance” permeates Jewish tradition. In recalling God’s past victories, Israel incorporated the transformative power of such events into its ongoing life and worship (The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X, 935; The Emergence of the Church, 223). In other words, the remembrance of past events should impact how life is lived in the present. The invocation of the “new covenant” in the Lord’s Supper captures the ongoing importance of Christ’s transformative power in our lives and worship. Covenant implies relationship, a relationship in which God blesses us with promise and requires obedience (cf. I Corinthians 10:14-22; II Corinthians 6:14-18). Furthermore, this covenant relationship entails proclaiming “the Lord’s death till he comes.” Jesus emphasized the crucified life

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


925-1000 word article INCLUDING THE BIO.

A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

It is clear from Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians that communion is more than an optional tradition created for liturgical Christian worship. Paul received the tradition of the Lord’s Supper directly from Jesus. As such, worship at the Lord’s table is distinctively apostolic. in His teachings, where self-denial and cross bearing contributed to abundant and eternal life (Mark 8:34-37; John 6:51-58). Partaking of the Lord’s Supper is symbolic of this proclamation, but the proclamation itself requires living out the Lord’s death on a daily basis. Thus, the Lord’s Supper serves as a physical guidepost that continually reminds us of the centrality of Jesus in our life and worship. According to Paul, the Corinthians had lost this centrality of Jesus in their life and worship. He writes, “Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper” (I Corinthians 11:20). Paul cites various factions among the congregation. Some members arrived early to church for a time of feasting and drinking, and by the time others arrived, there was no food left (I Corinthians 11:17-22). Most likely, those arriving early with their personal stash-

es of food were rich Corinthians who could afford such amenities while those arriving late were from the poor and slave classes (The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X, 934; Unity and Diversity in the New Testament, 179). Perhaps those who arrived early ate all of the food, making it impossible to eat the Lord’s Supper. Despite the details, it is clear that the Corinthian church replaced a Jesus-centered vision with a self-centered vision. To correct the situation, Paul admonishes the Corinthians to wait for everyone to arrive and eat the Lord’s Supper in fellowship and unity (I Corinthians 11:33-34). Such divisive behavior within the congregation does not reflect the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus regularly shared fellowship with publicans and sinners. Jesus taught that the love of God and neighbor encapsulates the message found in the Law and Prophets (Matthew DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 35

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

35

11/12/13 1:19 PM


22:36-40). In response to the abuses at Corinth, Paul warns that those who eat and drink in an “unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (I Corinthians 11:27). Weakness, sickness, and death plagued the congregation because some had failed to examine themselves and properly discern the Lord’s body (I Corinthians 11:27-30). So we may ask, “Why does a seemingly small occasion incur such strong judgment from God?” After all, there is nothing magical or supernatural within the physical elements of bread and juice. As stated earlier, the Lord’s Supper serves as an event for the church to proclaim “the Lord’s death till he comes.” Attempting to proclaim Jesus’ death through communion without proclaiming Jesus’ death in daily living displeases God. Those who fail to live the crucified life and engage in such self-centered behavior despise God’s church and shame its other members (I Corinthians 11:22). Perhaps this self-centered behavior is the reason the Corinthians failed to discern the Lord’s body and proclaim His death. Throughout Paul’s writings, the church is often depicted as the body of Christ, of which Jesus is the head. It is possible therefore that discerning the Lord’s body refers to the church itself and not the physical bread. In this context of the Lord’s Supper, daily fellowship and communion with Jesus and His church are greatly emphasized, more so than the communion meal itself (The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X, 939). Paul signifies such a parallel between the meal and daily fellowship when he writes that the cup and the bread point toward us as “one bread and one body” (I Corinthians 10:16-17). It is only through Jesus that we become that one bread and one body. In an age of spiritual privatization and religious consumerism, we need continual reminding that Jesus must be at the center of our lives and worship. Without Jesus at the center, we fail to be the church. Without each other, we fail to be the church. As with Corinth, God is calling us to forsake self-centeredness and self-dependence. Calvary must continue to influence how we live our daily lives. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we are confronted with Jesus’ sacrifice of pride and self-centeredness, and we are called to do likewise. It is only when we examine ourselves, thereby sacrificing our pride and self-centeredness, that we can truly demonstrate Christ to the world. As Jesus was broken for the

world, we must also become broken before God and the world. Through the partaking of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus calls us to this ministry of brokenness. In doing so, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Jason B. Estes serves as the youth secretary for the Washington District as well as the assistant pastor of Lakewood United Pentecostal Church, Lakewood, Washington.

COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE Due to overwhelming response to the January 2013 Pentecostal Herald celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Jesus Name Message, the Pentecostal Herald has released a special commemorative issue. This keepsake issue contains all the content from the original January issue plus additional content relating to the centennial celebration published in Pentecostal Heralds throughout 2013.

To purchase a copy of the Commemorative Issue, visit

WWW.PENTECOSTALHERALD.COM

or call PPH customer service at World Evangelism Center at 314.837.7304 ext. 390. Herald_Commemorative.indd 1

36

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 36

9/17/13 2:55 PM

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


MULTICULTURAL MINISTRIES BY KASH NATHAN

Opening Your Heart to Multicultural Harvest ome churches increase the length of their fences while God is calling them to broaden their hearts and hands with compassion. Ethos—is the transliterated Greek word for nations in Matthew 28:19). It has in view groups, tribes, or ethnicities. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. It still is the plan and will of God for His church to seek and reach all cultures. We need a variety of ethnicities in preachers, pastors, and soulwinners to reach North America in the twenty-first century. There are about 120 million unchurched North Americans and approximately 150 different ethnic groups. It is a new era. America and the churches in America have never dealt with such a high influx of immigrants. Since the year 2000 our country has received over 20 million immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers at an average annual rate of 750,000. This nation has never experienced such a great opportunity for multicultural evangelism as we have today. Anyone who has a burden for foreign missions will be a perfect fit for this much-needed ministry. The love of Jesus that should reside in the hearts of true believers will break through all fences and penetrate into all cultures. I’ve heard it said, “The best time for conversion is during transition.” Many churches that house twenty to thirty different cultures have great revival and liberty in the presence of God. But what if that church starts to equip leaders from those various nationalities to reach out to their own culture and start building daughter works and home groups? The answer is, we will reach our nation more effectively. We have the message, we have the open door, we have the resources, but the Apostolic church of today must start seeking for ways to connect with different cultures. Find the occasion, the purpose, and the plan to build relationships. During the past year we have helped plant four multicultural daughter works for churches that saw the burden for a multicultural harvest. As a result of our own burden

we have set up a ministry called “Harm 2 Hope” whose purpose is to give you carefully designed plans to seek after different ethnic groups. Multicultural Evangelism is the twentyfirst century end-time revival where you’ll see all nations and “every tongue confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord!” The church must be persistent, determined, and intentional in breaking into other ethnicities within the community. Prepare to consistently reach other cultures for Christ. Practical Steps Your Church Can Take to Connect 1. Begin an English Second Language (ESL) class in your home or your church. 2. Host tutoring for children or conduct night business/financial classes. 3. Engage other ethnic groups by projecting their language on your church screen. 4. Translate sermon notes (using Google translate) and music selections into their language. 5. Spend an evening at their home with your family. Try their food. Bring your favorite dish too. 6. Organize a block party or children’s event in their neighborhood. 7. Donate gently used items to help fill the home of a new family; or donate clothes for their children. 8. Support their businesses (eat in their restaurants, shop at their stores, use the same gas stations, hotels/motels, and so forth). 9. Learn their language; purchase language software or let them teach you. 10. Mentor their families into ministry or to serve in the church. Testimonies A Chinese business owner was won to a local church in South Carolina by a simple conversation. God had been working on her heart for years and she is ready to be baptized and commit to Christ. The pastor now

visits her restaurant regularly and teaches her Bible studies. A Hindu Sri Lankan refugee was shown the love of Jesus through the local church in San Francisco and experienced the new birth even though he could understand very little English. He realized there was only one God and began taking the idols down in his home. A family of asylum seekers fled from Egypt due to religious persecution for their orthodox faith. They are now members of the local church in Greenville, South Carolina, and are in weekly Bible studies. God is opening their understanding to the Apostolic truth. A Muslim waiter was won to the Lord, baptized, and filled with the Holy Ghost by consistent contact through the restaurant he works at in Alexandria, Louisiana. A newly arrived Muslim family from Iraq was helped by a local church to move into their new home and buy groceries, household items, and furniture. The Iraqi family asked the pastor and his wife, “Why are you so kind to us?” They replied, “Because we are Christians and our Bible teaches us to show love to one another.” The husband of the Iraqi family said, “My people and my country would not have done this for us.” There are some challenges in multicultural evangelism, but they can be overcome when the church is ready to invest into building others up. The same process used to build the Hispanic churches (home group/preaching point/daughter work) can be repeated to build Apostolic Chinese churches in China Town or Eritrean churches on a Saturday evening, maybe even a Burmese home group. The possibilities are endless when you open your heart to multicultural harvest!

Kash Nathan is a full-time evangelist who ministers out of the Pentecostals of Alexandria, Louisiana. He is also the founder of Voice in the Wilderness Ministries and Harm 2 Hope Multicultural Ministries.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 37

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

37

11/12/13 1:19 PM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES]

In Jesus’ Name:

2013 General Conference Report BROOKE ROSSER

n 1913 the Arroyo Seco camp meeting forever changed the face of the Oneness Pentecostal movement. During a baptismal service, Robert McAlister, a minister from Ottawa, Canada, posed the question of baptism in Jesus’ name. Little did he know his desire to baptize the way they did in the Book of Acts would be the catalyst to a mighty revival among the people of God. This defining moment for the Oneness Pentecostal movement has shaped the fundamental doctrine of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). It is the essence of who we are—people of the name of Jesus. In October 2013 the United Pentecostal Church International hosted its sixty-eighth General Conference in the city of Saint Louis. Men and women from around the world came to celebrate one hundred years of the Jesus Name message. This milestone for Oneness Pentecostalism served as the theme for the conference, and special efforts were made to celebrate the heritage of the UPCI throughout the event. Although the General Board had been conducting business earlier in the week, the conference officially began on Tuesday morning. That morning as hotel lobbies began to fill and registration lines formed in America’s Center, excitement filled the air in anticipation of what God would do that week. Tuesday evening during the first service, General Superintendent David K. Bernard delivered the keynote sermon, “In the Name of Jesus.” During the course of his message, he read a letter written by a Trinitarian Pentecostal pastor recognizing the United Pentecostal Church International as the last holdout for Pentecostal worship, Pentecostal 38

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 38

|

prayer, Pentecostal preaching, and Pentecostal anointing. What a moment! What an honor! What a challenge to the UPCI to preserve our precious faith. On Wednesday, licensed and ordained ministers started their morning in America’s Center as the annual business meeting began. While elections took place and resolutions were voted upon, across the street in the Renaissance Grand, Connie Bernard hosted a special breakfast honoring UPCI female ministers and ministers’ wives. The fellowship had begun! Later that evening, Ric and Vicky Gonzalez shared their burden for reaching the city of Chicago in a service hosted by North American Missions. As the service concluded, the auditorium was filled with prayers for cities all across North America. What a power-

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


ful move of God we had that evening and what a blessing to pray together for our continent! On Thursday, we kicked off our first morning of iChurch seminars in America’s Center. Conference attendees were given a list of different sessions they could attend in three categories: church leadership, life and family, and worship arts and technology. Following the seminars, a general session was hosted by the General Sunday School Division. Urshan College choir ushered in the presence of God with a time of worship, and Jerry Dean spoke on Third John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” It was so exciting to see the effort the General Sunday School Division is making to invest in the lives of our children—the future of our church! Thursday evening began with an array of color as flags from nations across the world filled the auditorium in a service hosted by Global Missions. That evening, we commissioned five missionaries to return to their field. As a result of Global Missions giving, the John Hemus family was able to return to the United Kingdom; the John Guidry family to Colombia; Kevin Vacca family to the Philippines; the David Doan family to Japan; and the David Kline family to Lesotho. As efforts continued to raise funds for overseas missionaries, Norman Paslay introduced the crowd to the Bruce Howell bobble head. As laughter filled the room, thousands of dollars were given to the cause of Global Missions. Later in the service, we were blessed to receive the biblical teaching of Raymond Woodward DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 39

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

39

11/12/13 1:19 PM


on the name of Jesus. People were baptized in Jesus’ name, healed in Jesus’ name, and received the gift of His Spirit in that service. What an amazing way to end the conference! Changed by the presence of God, we left the auditorium that evening with renewed passion and vision. Saturday morning, feeling blessed by the week’s events, excited about the future of the UPCI, and in desperate need of a nap, we packed our bags and headed home until next year. As I enjoyed a day of rest after a busy week, one memory seemed to keep replaying in my mind. On Tuesday evening as David Bernard appealed to the congregation, men and women who desired to be used of God came to the altar. As the front of the auditorium began to fill, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy to be a part of something so beautiful. Tears began to well up in my eyes as I dreamed of all the things that I feel God has and inspired to pray for an outpouring of revival around the world. Our final day of the conference began with a second round of break-out seminars. Ladies were invited to join in Ladies Talk Time, and there was a special service for the men in the auditorium. The General Youth Division hosted the general session that day, where they took the time to honor the 2013 Youth President of the Year, Brian McCoy, from the Texas District as well as runners up, Andrew Cox from Louisiana, Tony Puckett from North Dakota, and Russell Drake from South Carolina. Brocc Chavis preached the message for the service entitled, “The Lions in Daniel’s Den.” That evening, our final service of the week, Luke Levine and Sam Emory preached powerful messages 40

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 40

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


called me to do for His kingdom, and ever so suddenly the reality of all the hopes, dreams, and burdens represented by each individual in the altar that night weighed heavy on my heart. This year we have honored those who have gone before us— heroes—men and women who gave their all for the kingdom of God. The legacy before us is great, yet this year of remembering comes with the pressing reality of the future. The G.T. Haywoods, Maria Woodworth-Etters, and Glenn Cooks of this generation live among us today. During this General Conference, home missions churches were planted, missionaries were commissioned, prayers were prayed, and callings were revealed. Just as in the days of the Arroyo Seco camp meeting, God did a mighty work in the hearts

of His people. As we move forward, I pray that we are inspired, burdened, and empowered to carry the torch of the Jesus Name message with the same vigor and zeal as those who have gone before us and that our hopes, dreams, and burdens will inspire us to spread the truth of His Word until His return. See you all again next year in Saint Louis! Brooke Rosser is the editorial assistant for the Pentecostal Herald and a member of the Division of Publications staff. She currently serves as the director of Guest Care for the Sanctuary UPC, where Scott Graham and Timothy Dugas are the pastors.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 41

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

41

11/12/13 1:19 PM


[TILL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES]

Missing the Upper Room LEE ANN ALEXANDER

’ve been blessed with many wonderful opportunities in my life, but few compare to the privilege of experiencing the Holy Land alongside a team of Christian journalists from various denominations. Describing the trip to all my eager friends back home clamoring for details has been challenging. How do you express what it’s like to press your hand against the smooth-hewn stones of the Western Wall and hear the sound of your voice get lost amid the prayers of people from around the world? To add, “Oh, and then we walked down the Via Dolorosa where it is believed Jesus walked to the crucifixion,” as a side note seems somehow too flippant for what is such a profound experience. How do you adequately bear witness? And yet I was there. I saw it all. I have the quintessential snapshot in front of the old city of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the background. I left blood in Masada where I scraped my elbow climbing through that legendary mountaintop fortress—an incident not lost on me and my affinity for history. I prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and took communion in the Garden Tomb. I saw portions of the Western Wall underneath the city in water tunnels Hezekiah dug centuries ago. I sailed on the Sea of Galilee, and I saw Bethlehem, Joppa, the Jordan River, and on the list goes. And yet I missed something—something cardinal and almost unpardonable. I missed the Upper Room. I admit it to my chagrin. Consider the irony: a van full of journalists on the trip, and the 42

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 42

|

On the way up to Jerusalem

Pentecostal representative misses out on the upper room. In my defense, we had been six days hiking through caves and tunnels, weaving our way through bumpy cobblestone streets, and trying to process the wonderful deluge of corresponding historical and biblical information. And on that sixth day after trekking all morning and afternoon through the city, our journey led to a brief stopover in an empty vaulted chamber not far from a location believed to be King David’s tomb. Our tour guide began an explanation about the history of the room and where we were situated in the city, but I had lost the faculty of focus. I got distracted by a group having some type of worship service or prayer meeting in the opposite corner. Shortly a fellow journalist called my name and we were on our way again to continue our full schedule.

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


That night as I reviewed our itinerary for what awaited in the remaining two days, it suddenly occurred to me something was missing. There had been sites for the nativity, the crucifixion, and the tomb, but where was the upper room? I looked to my reference books, and there on a balmy Jerusalem evening, two days before Pentecost Sunday, I realized I had missed the upper room. That vaulted chamber, wedged among a long list of stopovers in our tight agenda, had been the place I could’ve paid homage to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts and the birth of the church. And I had missed it. Oh, I’m sure the current room is not identical stone-for-stone to the upper room in Acts 2. Much of the architecture of the city in the time of Christ has been layered over in the construction and development of ensuing centuries. In fact, many take issue with definitively assigning any specific locale as the site of the upper room. At that point my disappointment suffocated me, and even now in hindsight, my interest is not in pinpointing or debating the cartographic details. What presses on my mind is the regret that I walked in some approximation in the paths of those early apostles as they too journeyed to a simple room unparalleled in the course of the New Testament church’s history. They waited prayerfully in that room until something unprecedent-

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

ed happened. Luke described it as “a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind” (Acts 2:2). Those diligent, passionate, unified Christians “were all filled with the Holy Ghost” as indicated by their speaking in languages not their own (Acts 2:4). It happened in a special place—a place Pentecostals should acknowledge. But I missed it. I saw it, but I missed it. DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 43

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

43

11/12/13 1:19 PM


And yet my experience did not taint the trip or leave me feeling cheated. Even in what is a huge personal regret, Jerusalem gave me a lesson I hope shapes the rest of my life. I missed the upper room not by coincidence or factors beyond my control but for reasons I could have changed. As I mourned what should have been, I recognized my own culpability in the situation, and slowly a spiritual application seeped out and took root. I missed the upper room because I didn’t know to look for it. I hadn’t educated and prepared myself to recognize it. And as I realized that problem, I had to ask myself if such factors could affect my relationship with God as well. Could it be that there are upper room experiences God invites me to, but in my insensitivity or my lack of spiritual understanding, I miss divine appointments with God? I also missed the upper room because I was tired and inattentive and shuffled right through it in the busy agenda of activities. I wonder how many times I have arrived at church or my personal prayer time exhausted and mindlessly plodded along to the next item on the day’s schedule. What encounters with the Holy Spirit have I missed in those instances? The very setting of the upper room was a place of focused, purposeful pursuit of Jesus. There was no other agenda, only dedicated Christians fixated on an experience with Him: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). Jerusalem taught me that the journey of a Christian is one of intent. No matter what crowds the agenda, no matter how tired or distracted we are, we must actively look for those upper room encounters with Jesus. I wish I had a snapshot of me standing in the middle of the upper room to post on Facebook right beside my Dome of the Rock picture. I don’t have that, but perhaps the missing picture and its lesson will last even longer.

A baptismal site on the Jordan River

The cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered

Lee Ann Alexander is a senior editor for the United Pentecostal Church International. For information about experiencing Israel, visit www.mjrupci.com.

The Western Wall with the Dome of the Rock

44

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 44

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


The 2013 Ministry of Jewish Relations conference was held in Chicago. Pictured left to right are: David Sagil, director of Jewish Relations for the UPCI; Omer Eshel, director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism’s Midwest region; David K. Bernard, general superintendent of UPCI; Don Hanscom, director of Multicultural Ministries of the UPCI.

UPCI Represented In Israel Interdenominational Trip

T

he United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) was among church organizations represented on an interdenominational press trip to Israel May 7-16, 2013. The trip came at the invitation of the Israel Ministry of Tourism in February when the United Pentecostal Church International was asked, among other Christian denominations, to send a journalist to join the trip and report to the UPCI constituency. The nine-day trip included journalists from the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and Moody Bible Institute. These correspondents broadcasted pictures, videos, and articles about the trip through social media, video programs, and flagship magazines to a wide audience of religious followers. The UPCI’s inclusion in the trip represents a significant chapter in its history and reflects the organization’s international presence and recognition among major religious groups. The invitation is also the result of the growth of the Ministry of Jewish Relations (MJR), directed by David J. Sagil, and its ongoing dialogue with the Israeli government. About the Ministry of Jewish Relations The Ministry of Jewish Relations began in 2008 under the auspices of the UPCI Multicultural Ministries Department directed by Donald D. Hanscom. Pursuant with MJR’s mission to connect to Jewish communities, many opportunities have arisen for the UPCI to be represented in diverse forums including the City Hall in Chicago, Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Knesset in Israel. As a member of AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee), CUFI (Christians United For Israel), PJTN (Proclaiming Justice To Nations), SWU (Stand With Us), and AI (Apostolic Initiative), Director Sagil has lobbied for pro-Israel causes, affording the opportunity to speak to a broad spectrum of politically pro-Israel groups. Recently, Director Sagil met with a high-ranking Cabinet member of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office and shared the UPCI doctrinal position using the Book of Isaiah as a gospel. The Cabinet member has asked to meet General Superintendent Bernard

and Director Sagil again. Additionally, in the summer Director Sagil spoke to one hundred leaders of major Jewish foundations at a luncheon in New York City sponsored by the WZO (World Zionist Organization). These networking opportunities continue to expand the UPCI’s reach in the Jewish community. On the religious front, the Ministry of Jewish Relations has connected with Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Evangelical, and Jewish rabbinical leaders and had opportunities to present the Pentecostal message. In particular, during an Israeli government-sponsored interdenominational tour for Chicagoland Christian leaders, Director Sagil was asked to officiate in the baptism of an Anglican leader, an Assembly of God leader, and a senior producer of a major Christian broadcasting network. They were baptized in the Jordan River in Jesus’ name, and two received the Holy Spirit. Relationships with chief rabbis in Israel and North America have led to recurring Bible studies with religious leaders. Consequently three of the preeminent chief rabbis in the world pray for the UPCI and the Ministry of Jewish Relations specifically. In conjunction, Yeshiva University has extended invitations for study arrangements with UPCI students. MJR’s work within the UPCI entails creating coalitions of UPCI ministers of Jewish heritage and ministers who support Israel and Jewish laity within the church. MJR also equips UPCI churches for outreach to Jewish enclaves. At national and regional conferences, MJR addresses Jewish issues and provides training on becoming politically active, engaging Israeli officials, supporting pro-Israel organizations, and developing Jewish fellowship groups. These efforts are aimed at sharing the fact that Yeshua Ha Moschiah Et Nazarit is the Messiah, and these seminars include teaching sessions on the Hebraic roots of Pentecost. Director Sagil adds, “All of this could not be accomplished without the support of Dr. David Bernard, our esteemed general superintendent, Donald Hanscom, our visionary MCM director, and the great constituency of the UPCI we humbly try to represent. For this, we thank you.”

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 45

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

45

11/12/13 1:19 PM


[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

The Verb of God K E I T H H AW K I N S

ohn 1:1—“En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.” John 1:14—“Y aquel Verbo fué hecho carne, y habitó entre nosotros (y vimos su gloria, gloria como del unigénito del Padre), lleno de gracia y de verdad.” John 1:1—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14—“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Psalm 107:20 — “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Matthew 8:16 — “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.” Mark 4:39, 41 — “He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. … And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” John 7:46 — “Never man spake like this man.”

When comparing these two versions of this passage, you will see the use of the Spanish Verbo. This literally means Verb. Read the English version again, making this substitution, and you will see this Scripture verse in a new light. John 1:1—“In the beginning was the Verb, and the Verb was with God, and the Verb was God.”

People made such a statement about Jesus because they noticed, sensed, and experienced a difference about Him and His Word. He spoke with a heavenly authority because He had the backing of Heaven. As the King of kings and Lord of lords, His power and authority are unequalled. Ecclesiastes 8:4 — “Where the word of a king is, there is power.”

John 1:14—“And the Verb was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” A verb denotes action. God is a God of action. He is not a passive God. We expect that when God speaks, something is going to happen. Consider how the Bible begins: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be … and there was …” (Genesis 1:1-3). The universe was created by the spoken Word of God—the heavens and the earth, the light, the land and the seas, plants and trees, the sun, moon, and stars, fish and fowl, cattle and beasts; all of it was spoken into existence. The words “Let there be” put everything in motion. When God said, “Let there be,” there was. When God speaks, it is with purpose. There are no vain or idle words with God. When He speaks, He expects. Isaiah 55:11 — “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that 46

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 46

|

As our heavenly Father, sovereign Lord and Savior, He has all power in our lives. He also has given us authority and anointing to speak His Word, and He has promised to confirm that Word. Since He is the all-powerful King, and since we are His children, we too have authority. Therefore, we have a commission from God. II Timothy 4:2 — “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

When we speak His Word, we can expect results. When we speak the Word of God in prayer, we bring down principalities and powers. Chains begin to loose, walls begin to fall, and hearts begin to change. We must believe that when we speak there will be healings, miracles, deliverance, peace, signs, and wonders. Speak to your situation and expect. Speak to the infirmities and expect. Speak to the storms in your life and expect. Speak the Word and expect, and you shall receive. Keith Hawkins serves as the Spanish pastor at Emmanuel Pentecostal Church in Mesquite, Texas. Richard Flowers is the senior pastor.

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


Hope. Help him find it again.

New this year!

We are excited to offer certification in CPF Para-Professional Chaplaincy, CPF Anger Management, and CPF Substance Abuse and Recovery Certification.  Certification will be available at the end of A photo caption could gowho have here, if the conference to participants Can be changed to white attended all theneeded. classes.  Our noted panel and placed over a dark image. depesnds the design. of of speakers willJust offer theonCertificate Training.  These speakers include Chaplains, PhD Counselors, Professional Authors, Ministers and Trainers. Hotels: Holiday Inn Express • 770-465-8847 • $85 Country Inn and Suites • 770-465-6515 • $85

2014 Christian Prisoner Fellowship National Conference and Seminar Expo February 19- 21, 2014 | Stone Mountain, Georgia Pentecostals of Stone Mountain, Pastor Dave Henry 6212 Memorial Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 • (770) 879-0205

A photo caption could go here, if needed. Can be changed to white For more information or to register go to christianprisonerfellowship.net or call (314) 837-7300 ext#348 and placed over a dark image. Just depesnds on the design.

47

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 47

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

Gifts That Last DARRELL JOHNS

he Christmas of 1971 is one that I have never forgotten. It was the gift. It was huge. It filled our Florida family room. It was an army green, twelve-foot long, aluminum jon boat. When Darla, Darrin, David, and I walked out that Christmas morning, we were in awe. Dad and Mom were all smiles. How did they get that thing in the house? Where did they hide it? How long have they hidden it? When can we get it in the water? What a gift! As I’m writing about the gift that our parents gave us forty-two years ago, I’m reliving the excitement of seeing that boat for the first time. We powered it with an older 12-horsepower outboard motor that my dad had repaired. I remember it for its long shaft and the amazing speeds it would push on that light-weight boat. The thing about the gift of the boat that just struck me recently is that we used it over and over again for years. The weather in South Florida is mild year-round, and fishing is never out of season. The boat took us to many places, including the brackish waters and unspoiled beauty of the Fox Lakes in Everglades National Park. I re-

member the day we were trolling lures in a lake near our house. I was driving, and suddenly David’s rod bent over. A huge tarpon shot out of the water, revealing a fish that was about half as long as our boat. What a memory! There are rumors that my brothers skied behind that boat. Maybe that’s why the transom had to be repaired. But the reason our family jon boat Christmas gift was an inspiration for my article is that it lasted such a long time. Not every gift has that kind of life span. Some Christmas gifts never make it to the new year. Others go out of style before spring. Many gifts are useful or are used for a short time, but the gifts that lodge in your memory and become heirlooms are the ones that last. As we approach Christmas 2013 and a new year, please consider the types of gifts you will be giving to those you love. Are they last minute stocking stuffers bought to meet your gift budget? Are they gifts that will be forgotten in a few days or weeks? Why not think about giving memories and not just gifts? More important than the gifts you might give at special occasions like Christmas, what gifts are you giving to those who mean the most to you? Are you giving them the time of day? That gift of your time and attention will last. Are you giving them every opportunity to find the gift of eternal life? If so, that means you are building your life and home on the Bible and making your church the center of your universe. Think about this carefully. In forty-two years, if the Lord tarries His coming, will your family be talking about the gift you gave them this year? What about a million years from now in eternity? Will your family and friends thank you for giving them the most lasting gift of all? I will never forget the Christmas of 1971. But, let me assure you, more than any material gift my parents ever gave their children, I will forever be grateful that they raised us in the shadow of an Apostolic church. The gift of their faithfulness allowed me to receive the grace of God and the gift of the Holy Ghost. That is a gift that will last forever. Oh, and that jon boat; it is still being used today on the lake at my youngest brother’s house. The paint has faded, and the pop rivets have been repaired. It’s not pretty, but it floats and fishes. If you bought that same basic boat today it would set you back about six hundred dollars. It was about one hundred dollars in ‘71, but it was a BIG gift for our family. Even at today’s prices, the cost of that boat works out to about fourteen dollars a year, and it’s still giving more memories. Not a bad investment for my parents, who were smart enough to give a gift that lasts. Darrell Johns is senior pastor at Atlanta West Pentecostal Church and Georgia district superintendent.

48

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 48

|

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM


LAUNCH YOUR MINISTRY BY SYLVIA CLEMONS

Bridging the Generations n chapter 2 of Titus, Paul instructs Titus about the need for older men and women to teach the younger. He emphasizes that older generations should not only teach with words, but by example as well. Launch Your Ministry follows this same principle of “mentoring for ministry.” Pastors have the opportunity and privilege of teaching and mentoring, helping to launch young people into a ministry in line with God’s calling on their life. One of the challenges can be what is called the “generation gap.” The World English Dictionary defines it as “the years separating one generation from the generation that precedes or follows it, especially when regarded as representing the difference in outlook and the lack of understanding between them.” Although some generational differences have existed throughout history, our more modern generation gaps are generally attributed to the rapid cultural changes in the postmodern period, especially in music, fashion, culture, politics, and technology. Obviously, the Word of God stands strong and true throughout generations and its interpretation is not the issue here. But capturing the heart of, ministering to, and mentoring the more current generations is. It quite simply boils down to communication. Just because there is a generation gap of differing perspectives does not mean there have to be problems. Problems really arise when someone of one generation tries to make someone of a different generation “wrong” in their viewpoints and ways of doing things. If people can get past this obstacle and refrain from having to be “right” or make the other person “wrong,” then communication can remain positive and productive. Understanding is a key to bridging the generations. Most recently, Generation Y has some unique characteristics that are helpful to understand to more effectively mentor them for ministry. Generation Y includes those born mid1980 and later and are estimated to be 70 million strong. Also known as Millennials, they are the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce and are different from any

generations before. They have generally been pampered, nurtured, and programmed with many activities since they were toddlers, meaning they are both high-performance and high-maintenance. Their parents told them they were special and winners for no other reason than they are who they are. As a result, they believe in their own worth and are much less likely to respond to the traditional command-and-control type of management. They have grown up questioning their parents and are just as likely to question other authority figures, with a “speak-your-mind philosophy” that challenges the status quo. They have high expectations of themselves and others, seek out creative challenges, and want to learn. They are goal oriented and will take responsibility, wanting to make an impact quickly. They are very tech-savvy, plugged in 24/7, and prefer communicating through email and text rather than face-to-face. They prioritize family over work, striving for a work/life balance. They are both team and achievement oriented, as well as attentioncraving. They seek the input and affirmation of others, want feedback and guidance, and look for frequent praise and reassurance. According to researcher Sally Kane, “Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop” them. So, how does all this translate into mentoring this generation for ministry? The LYM committee recently surveyed UPCI district youth presidents and asked, “What is the most effective program to develop young people that you know of?” Responses reinforced LYM’s belief that the local pastor’s role is critically important. Jeremy Moore, Indiana, said, “The most effective training a young minister can receive is from his local church and pastor regularly mentoring him.” Shawn Morris, New York, said, “Mentoring. One-on-one training. There is no substitute for the interaction of an elder with a younger person.” Regular meetings between the pastor and the young people to discuss issues of ministry should include reinforcing messages of ethics and professionalism, while summarizing their progress. The pastor should generally take a strong, directive role, not dissimilar to

the parent role, where rules are clear and firm. Millennials want an environment where the lines of communication and rules are explicit and firm. They dislike ambiguity. Because this generation is so technologically adept, the pastor should recognize their need for a variety of techniques when teaching by utilizing technology whenever possible. These young people thrive with hands-on teaching, group discussion, collaborative learning, and active problem solving. Immediate feedback is key for them. They generally do not look at an organization to see how they will fit into it; rather, they look at how that organization will fit into their lives. This can be a challenge for an older generation to understand and respect their desire to create a better balance of their work/ ministry with their family life. However, a successful mentor will set expectations and patiently work with Millennials to achieve their goals. What might feel like “micromanaging” to a seasoned pastor actually produces the close relationship that is the Millennials’ comfort zone. The pastor/ mentor in a sense becomes the “in loco parentis” to help the Generation Y’er succeed. That close relationship provides a safe environment for nondefensively hearing and growing from the feedback they desire. Generation Y wants to have a close relationship with caring authority figures in their lives, just as they did with their parents. They want to feel special and prefer to work with superiors who are approachable, supportive, good communicators, and motivators. Overall, the young people of Generation Y can offer great energy and perspective to the work of ministry. Learning to bridge the gap to access that energy and their God-given gifts can reap great rewards for the Kingdom and also for the pastor working with them. Sylvia Clemons is an ordained minister with the UPCI and a licensed counselor on staff at Hope Center Church in San Antonio, Texas.

DECEMBER 2013

December 2013 11-12.indd 49

|

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

49

11/12/13 1:19 PM


[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

A Risk Worth Taking KERRI S. WILSON

t is difficult to live as though I am dead to the world if my faith and hope are constantly distracted by the entanglements of human validation. Yet every time I follow through with what God has called me to do, in spite of what others think, I die to self and bring glory to Christ; I live as though I am dead. Opening myself up so the rivers of living water can flow out of me allows others the opportunity to increase their faith and place their hope in Him. This chance for another person to enjoy real life is what motivates me to die daily, regardless of what it may cost me. James said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Throughout the New Testament, Jesus told people their faith had saved them. Faith has saving power because it is born out of one’s reliance on God as the source that produces faithful responses. Hebrews 11:6 explains that we cannot please the Lord unless we have faith. Consequently, if God has given to all a measure of faith, in order to please Him that faith must be activated. While dead faith makes one destitute, active faith saves and heals. When I do the will of God as the result of my faith in Him, I am saved and healed. Additionally—and incredibly—as His living water flows from within me, my very life, as it bears witness of my faith, offers salvation and healing to others. In turn, those to whom God has sent me must also believe in Him and then reach out to others. This is what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Is it worth the risk to allow rivers of living water to flow out so someone else can obtain life? What about my cross? Can I lay down my desires and opinions in obedience to Him and lift Him up and draw others to Him? It is interesting to see the extent to which my faith reveals how it is really not about me but about Him. What the world thinks about me matters not, but what it thinks about Him through me matters a great deal. If I attempt to point others to the Cross through 50

P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

December 2013 11-12.indd 50

|

the works of my flesh or what is convenient for me, I have offered only tepid water that is good for nothing and without the power to heal or refresh the soul. Consequently, my selfishness will cause the Lord to spit me out of His mouth, and the world where I live will continue to remain without faith, hope, healing, and salvation. Yes, discipleship is a costly call. Serving others through Christ will cost me my life. But it is worth that risk. In the end, after I have lost my life I will have saved it. Better yet, Christ will have saved others through my willingness to go and make disciples. Kerri S. Wilson lives with her husband and two children in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

DECEMBER 2013

11/12/13 1:19 PM

Nov P


y o j s a m t ris

Spread

Ch

Children

with these great gift ideas

Wise and Silly: The Reason for Christmas by Wilmer Rowland 23887

Hardcover $11.99 | 24158

Coloring Book $2.99

Wise and Sily: In Jesus’ Name by Wilmer Rowland 25326

Family Bibles Fiction

Paperback $11.99 | 25327

Coloring Book $2.99

Devotions with Dad: Home-Made Disciples by Daniel J. Koren 24575

Paperback $13.99

BREAD Bible by Word Aflame Press 25346

Adult $9.99 | 25343

Children’s Bible $8.99

Mystery at Peabody Manor by Jonathan George 24577

Paperback $9.99

Visit pentecostalpublishing.com for descriptions or more gift ideas! Nov PPH Christmas December 2013 11-12.indd 13.indd 51 1

10/18/13 1:19 11/12/13 9:42 PM AM


December 2013 11-12.indd 52

11/12/13 1:19 PM


Pentecostal Herald December 2013