As I came into fulltime ministry over 60 years ago God began to train me for international ministry. First he dealt with my prejudice. As I got into ministry God led me into the charismatic movement to minister where I spent 20 years, preaching in Catholic churches, monastery retreat houses. Had people come to me. Man with a strong word of knowledge from Presbyterian background came to me. I didn’t know what was happening but God was preparing me for the time when God was preparing me for a church full of every kind and every color.
Told story about how he got into missions. Joined AoG went to do crusades in Hong Kong and India. Then invited to take the ICA church. And then I’m in Egypt preaching and saw a BBC documentary on a lady from Hong Kong – very important lady –Jackie Pulager – Church of England that had a burden to help someone someplace, got on a boat, worked with drug addicts in HK. They would accept Christ but wouldn’t last. Met a couple who was having victory. What is your secret? They said, ‘the power of the Holy Spirit by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
So I took the church in Hong Kong. I knew God had prepared me for healing people with prejudices against different colors, nations, denominations.
What is our deposit of truth to the body of Christ. History: third generation of every move of God (loses it). Met guy from southwestern in Texas who said he’d heard about us – AoG. First generation: power generation; second generation: institutional generation; third generation: museum generation. We were asking in the seminary today ‘what are the AoG going to do in the third generation?’
I said ‘we’ll never do that.’ But sadly I see that in my years I’ve seen it.
The GS in Thailand said he’d never preached on the baptism of the HS. Been there 8 years and never heard anyone preach on it. Been in two countries where pastors opposed that.
Talked about the outpouring of Azusa Street. The deposit of truth that started the Pentecostals was the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s our reason for being. One of best places to put it in is the international church. When I first got to ICA – had 150 people, most from Episcopal, Anglican backgrounds. We led many into the baptism.
We have pushed people away in Pentcostalism with our language. I was told the errors of the Pentecostals. Maybe we pushed them away by our language.
You’ll never have more of the Spirit than when we’re saved. You received the Person of the Holy Spirit – not half of the Person. We’ve turned away many. ‘Baptism’ means you in the water – or Spirit – not the water in you or the ‘spirit’ in you.
Taught in India about the errors of the Pentecostals. Man said to me: ‘Thank you, you’re the first Pentecostal who ever let me in heaven.’
We have all these people coming to an international service. I’m so proud of Ed – growing. Started by Otis Keener – up on the mountain God told him what to establish. By the time I got there it had gotten off track. In the last 100 years the Pentecostal movement has been the fastest growing movement. No longer is it in every denomination but in every group.
There are ways to do it. With Catholics – many of them are Catholic because they were raised Catholic. Haven’t made real decision. I said the oil only comes on the blood that’s been applied. They’re so open, prayed the sinner’s prayer, then open to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. To be baptized in HS not to make you super Christian but to make you humble.
My district in Northern California…
If He doesn’t come, nothing will happen. Not because of us. The baptism is the outflow of the Holy Spirit. In the international church and I wished in other churches of our movement, I think you can get by with it. Please don’t use the word ‘physical initial evidence’. In everything else we talk about the step of faith – we don’t hear that with the baptism.
Take a step of faith…’praise God with all your heart’ and when you run out of words to speak with go from your head to your heart. We have this great privilege and we see people from all denominations.
Was preaching at a retreat. They asked me to speak to a Chinese lady who wasn’t a Pentecostal. She didn’t want to be there because they didn’t think she was a Christian. They told her ‘I need the spirit’. ‘I told her, I can look at your face and tell you have the Spirit.’ She was surprised. When I made the altar call three days later, I heard her speaking in tongues during the altar call.
Because she heard the truth. People aren’t as resistant as you think they are.
Our general superintendent saw so few in our churches in America, he called for all of our ministers who had a doctorate degree in theology to Springfield; they were trying to figure out how to change this theologically. ‘Preach truth and lay hands on them.’
I’m 80 years old and don’t have many years left. But I want to see His glory come.
I was saved as a 5 and one-half year old child and I saw the glory come. People were falling under the power of God. My father said it was a bunch of foolishness and was going to say something; he stepped on the platform, was slain in the Spirit and became a believer.
I close with this…I’ve always tried to network with other pastors. In Arizona, began to meet with other pastors – Catholic charismatic community; Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopals. Scottsdale is rich part of Phoenix. One Sat. morning got a call from his wife – would you come and pray for Conrad, he wants to quit.
I said, ‘Conrad, you don’t need to retire you need to refire.’
Then he started crying and speaking in tongues.
He told his church, lost a third of his people, but eventually did better than he’d done before.
We need a new Pentecost. Not one that says ‘I’m better’. We know the HS is in you, but He wants to come through us because it’s Him who is going to touch the world.
Story: India – meeting- saw a man in a wheelchair who was twisted. Before my daughter’s eyes, he was untwisted and got up and started walking. She knows God does miracles.
If we want to share what God has done we need to share it in a way that people will accept it.