Why I am no longer a Pentecostal
There were no miracles, no power, no gifts, no
healings, nothing but the theatrical antics and
delusions of men. What was claimed for the great
power of God was nothing more than musical hype
and psychologically induced emotionalism.
I would like to begin by giving some background information concerning my roots
in Pentecostalism. I believe it is important for anyone reading this to understand
that I am not someone new to the Pentecostal or Charismatic movement. My
roots go down deep into Pentecostalism. I was a third generation Pentecostal. My
maternal grandparents were old time Pentecostals and my grandfather was a
Pentecostal preacher of the old style. As a matter of fact, I was a Pentecostal
before there was anyone known as a charismatic.
Actually, in the old days most people did not call themselves Pentecostals, they
called themselves Holiness or Full Gospel. I never remember my Dad calling
himself a Pentecostal. He always said he was Holiness. This is one reason
Pentecostals in the old days were branded as holy rollers. The point I am trying
to make is that I am no stranger to Pentecostalism, its doctrines, its worship and
its experiences. Neither am I a stranger to charismatic doctrines, worship and
I was in Pentecostalism over 50 years of my life. As a boy I can remember the old
camp-meeting days when we worshiped under a tin roof and sawdust on a dirt
floor. My familys roots were originally in the Congregational Holiness
denomination - a group that splintered off from the Pentecostal Holiness. I grew
up in Jacksonville, Florida, a fairly large city, where you could always find a variety
of Pentecostal churches to attend. While attending the Arlington Church of God at
the age of twenty, I believed I was being called into the ministry and so I started
preaching. The following year I was married. In time, my wife and I eventually
ended up in the Assemblies of God where I was a licensed preacher for 27 years.
There are those who might speculate as to what caused me to change my mind
about being a Pentecostal. Did someone talk me out of it? Did I read someones
book? What happened? I would say it has been a journey. Even though I was
exposed to and had learned many incorrect methods and views of Bible
interpretation (hermeneutics), I did know, believe and understand that the Bible
was/is the word of God and we needed to read it and follow it. For some time, I
had recognized certain problems and inconsistencies within the Pentecostal
church. These were difficult to overcome at first. But as time went by, I would
discover bits and pieces of truth. The problem was, I still couldnt put it all
together. I couldnt get the full picture.
During my 50 plus years as a Pentecostal, I had been involved in countless
Pentecostal and charismatic influences. It would be safe to say that I have been in
hundreds of various meetings or gatherings in one form or another. I attended
several meetings involving the Prophetic Movement. In one conference we
were taught how to prophesy to people. They call it being activated. My wife
and I made two trips to Toronto for Catch The Fire conferences. This is where
the famed Toronto Blessing took place.
We spent five months attending the Brownsville Revival. When I say five
months, I mean we didnt miss a service unless we were having a service at our
church. We were there night after night, often times not leaving until midnight or
later. During that period I also served on the Brownsville prayer team. A short
time after this five month period at Brownsville, we too started holding similar
services at our church. These meetings lasted for a whole year. Various
charismatic speakers came and held meetings, praying and prophesying over
people night after night, week in and week out. We initially started these
meetings with a woman who claimed to have a gift of healing as well as being a
preacher, teacher and prophetess. I found out later that she actually believed
herself to be an apostle. Our services with her lasted around three months. A
variety of speakers came in, each claiming to have their own unique gift or
calling. When we did not have any special speakers, my wife and I conducted
the meetings ourselves. During this time a lot of people were prayed for,
prophesied over, claimed to see visions and angels, laid in the floor, spoke in
tongues, shook, vibrated, laughed, cried, wailed, made animal sounds and of
course claimed to be healed. However, after a year of this our church was no
better off than before. After all the claims of healings, salvations and miracles, no
one was any different. After the scores of people who attended and our building
being packed night after night, our attendance was less and our finances
depleted. By this time, my wife and I felt depleted ourselves. We had put our
hearts and souls into these efforts because we believed it to be God-approved;
and who doesnt want to experience the same power and miracles we read about
in the New Testament? I cant tell you how many hours we spent in prayer or the
number of meals we fasted, all because we wanted nothing more than God. But
after all of this, it wasnt God that we saw, it was man. From Toronto, to
Brownsville, to Cottage Hill, and many more places I could name, there were no
miracles, no power, no gifts, no healings, nothing but the theatrical antics and
delusions of men. What was claimed for the great power of God was nothing
more than musical hype and psychologically induced emotionalism.
In time, as I reflected over the past two years and then over all of the years I had
been in Pentecostalism, I slowly began to realize I was in error. I began to see how
deceived I was. Then one night something happened that
caused me to completely change course. I kept a Bible by my bedside and would
usually read a few verses before going to sleep. As I was reading, I came to John
3:5 where it says, Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The
phrase, born of water stood out to me. In the past I had always read over these
words, mentally dismissing them on the basis of what I had heard or been taught.
The teaching usually went something like, the word water here doesnt actually
mean water. For some reason water always meant something other than the
obvious. That evening I finally decided to accept what I read in the Bible like it was
written. I accepted the simple fact that Jesus said what He meant and meant what
He said. I realized there was nothing in the context that suggested the word water
was anything but water. There was no reason to believe Jesus meant anything
other than what He said. It was also obvious that to be born of water referred to
water baptism. I found this could be confirmed by other New Testament
references such as Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-
6,17-18 and 1 Peter 3:21. From that point on I knew I had to find a people who
taught the Bible just like it is written without any man-made religious additions.
A person has to be a realist when it comes to the Bible. As long as people
continue to make excuses for the flaws and inaccuracies of their respective
denomination, they will never come to the knowledge of the truth. We have to be
honest as students of Scripture. If not, the religious discrepancies we see will
vanish in the haze of feeble excuses and unsound explanations by false teachers.
Sometime later, after coming to the Lords church, I discovered a saying that had
been coined generations ago: The Bible only, makes Christians only. Theres one
thing for certain, if you follow exactly what the New Testament says without the
input of any outside religious source, you will end up being simply a Christian -
nothing more and nothing less. You cannot strictly follow the teaching of the New
Testament and end up being in a denomination because they all are creations of
men. You can only end up a Christian.
Please understand that what I have to say is not meant as an attack on people.
There are many sincere, misguided souls in the Pentecostal and charismatic ranks.
I know because I was one of them. However, I will attack the lies and heresies of
men. False doctrine(s) should always be exposed. We must be willing to earnestly
contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
PENTECOSTALISM TEACHES FALSE DOCTRINE
Through the years I saw how Scripture was often misunderstood, taken out of
context and misapplied. As a Pentecostal, I noticed how we would greatly
emphasize some passages and completely ignore other passages. Some verses
seemed to hold great authority while others were insignificant.
PENTECOSTALISM TEACHES FALSE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE GIFT OF
Pentecostals fail to accept that New Testament tongue speaking was an
understandable language. Acts 2 describes what happened on the day of
Pentecost. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4).
There is nothing in Acts 2 that would indicate they spoke an unintelligible
language or gibberish. The word tongues in this passage is glossa ... the tongue;
by implication a language. The word utterance means to enunciate plainly, that
is, declare: say, speak forth.
The continuing context reveals that understandable languages were being
spoken. Acts 2:6-11, Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came
together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his
own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another,
Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in
our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and
the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and
strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them
speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
The word language in verse 6 and the word tongue in verse 8 is the Greek
word dialektos which means a discourse, that is, a dialect; a language or tongue.
We can see from the Greek as well as the context that these were known, human,
I must say in all fairness that nowadays due to education, many Pentecostals have
accepted the fact that tongues in Acts chapter two means a known or
understandable language. However, every other place in the New Testament
where tongues are mentioned they still hold to the idea that it is a
non-understandable language, something mysterious. How Pentecostals or
charismatics arrive at this conclusion is based on a misunderstanding of 1
Corinthians 14. They misunderstand Pauls meaning of unknown tongue. They
believe the meaning of unknown tongue is something different from the
tongues spoken in Acts chapter two. They believe it to be something mysterious
and non-understandable. They fail to recognize that the word unknown is not in
the Greek text and the word tongue is the same Greek word as in Acts chapter
It must be remembered that the miraculous gift of speaking in tongues was that a
man could speak in a language he had never studied or learned. Nonetheless, it
was still an intelligible language because those in the audience who spoke that
language could readily understand what he said. What is amazing to me is the fact
that Pentecostal and charismatic missionaries, without exception, all either
attend language school or work through an interpreter when going to a foreign
country while all the time claiming to have the New Testament gift of tongues!
When we sum it up, it is easily concluded that Pentecostalism makes three
mistakes concerning speaking in tongues:
1) Pentecostalism ignores the law of first mention. This simply means that once
something is initially established to be a certain thing or way, there is no reason
to believe it changes and becomes something different unless the context reveals
it to be different.
2) Pentecostalism fails to understand the meaning of unknown tongue in 1 Corinthians 14. It forces an interpretation on the text that is inconsistent with Acts chapter two and the entire New Testament. The word tongue in 1 Corinthians 14 is the same Greek word (glossa) as in Acts 2:4.
3) Pentecostalism fails to understand the context of 1 Corinthians 14. Paul is not
praising the Corinthians for their use of tongues, he is correcting their use of
tongues. He is basically saying, Youve got it all wrong. Tongues are not for
personal use or personal satisfaction. When no one was present to interpret for
others to understand, they were to remain silent (1 Cor. 14:27-28).
PENTECOSTALISM IGNORES THE PRINCIPLE OF ORDER IN A WORSHIP SERVICE
Growing up in the Pentecostal Church, I saw that chaos and confusion were
eagerly encouraged in worship. This disorder was not only encouraged, but was
the gauge by which a worship service was judged. Everyone was encouraged to
speak in tongues - all at the same time! This was and is considered to be a
spiritual apex in a worship service; a sign of spirituality.
However, 1 Corinthians 12 clarifies the fact that not everyone would have the gift
of tongues. When Paul begins to enumerate the gifts, he starts by saying, to one
is given... (v.8) in order to indicate that not everyone would have that respective
gift. Nor would everyone in the church have a spiritual gift at all. Paul went on to
make this clear in the closing verses of chapter 12 where he asked rhetorical
questions. Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all
interpret (1 Cor. 12:30)? The obvious answer to these questions is in the
Every Christian during New Testament times did not have the gift of tongues.
However, when tongues/languages were spoken, there was to be a proper order
to their functioning. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or
at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no
interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and
to God (1 Cor. 14:27-28). They were to take turns when they spoke, with no
more than two or three taking their turn. There must also be someone to
interpret so everyone in the audience could understand what was spoken.
The idea in Pentecostal worship was that the more people there were speaking in
tongues at the same time, the more spiritual your church was - the greater the
moving of the Spirit. But this concept is never taught in the New Testament.
Notice what Paul says; For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in
all churches of the saints (1 Cor. 14:33). And then in 1 Cor. 14:40, Let all things
be done decently and in order.
The Holy Spirit did not come to give an emotional experience. He did not come to
excite, stimulate or cause anyone to flail, thrash or whirl about uncontrollably.
PENTECOSTALISM PLACES A PRIMARY IMPORTANCE ON EXPERIENCE
The Bible has a secondary place with Pentecostals as compared to experience.
This does not mean they do not claim to love and honor the Word of God. They
do. However, they constantly show by their actions that experience is far more
important than what Scripture says.
Pentecostalism is all about feeling good. Charismatics speak about celebrating
where worship is concerned. They all want an emotional high when they come
together for worship. They believe these positive emotions are an indicator of the
presence of God and that presence takes priority over what is written.
Listen to one of the leaders in the Assemblies of God. George O. Wood writes:
As Pentecostals, we intuitively approach the biblical text in a manner
different from most of our evangelical brothers and yes, sisters. We factor in
the element of experience as a lens through which we look at Scripture.
The problem with this is that it leads to subjectivism. When experience is your
highest priority, truth becomes subjective, Scripture is ignored.
Steve Hill of the Brownsville Revival said: In these latter days preaching and
simply teaching the word is no longer sufficient, the Spirit has to get involved,
through signs and wonders due to much sin that abounds. (Brownsville,
John Wimber of the Vineyard movement stated: Theres nothing in Scripture that
supports these kinds of phenomena that I can see, and I cant think of anything
throughout the church age that would. ... So I feel no obligation to try to explain
it. Its just phenomena. Its just people responding to God. (Holy Laughter, Albert
James Dager, 1996). Its interesting that Wimber openly admits that the
charismatic phenomena that was taking place (such as in Toronto) had no Biblical
authority or historical precedent.
During the Toronto and Brownsville revivals it was not uncommon to hear many
of the leaders and teachers make the declaration, God will offend your mind in
order to reveal your heart. Since they could not justify what was taking place in
those meetings by the Scripture, they felt this statement gave the phenomena
approval. So even though they deny it, Pentecostals openly disregard the
Scriptures and appeal to feelings or experience as their ultimate source of truth. It
becomes evident that going by emotionalism leads people into fanaticism.
Pentecostals wrongly believe that their precedent for emotionalism was
established on the day of Pentecost. They believe the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit on Pentecost was more about an emotional experience than anything else.
They stumble over the simple truth that the apostles spoke foreign languages
by the operation of the Holy Spirit in order to communicate the wonderful truth
of God (Acts 2:11). The context of Acts chapter two never reveals that the Holy
Spirit came as an emotional experience as we see Pentecostals encouraging
today. Emotionalism was not the purpose of the Spirits coming. There is nothing
bizarre taking place in Acts two or any other place in the New Testament. The
Holy Spirit did not come to excite anyone. He did not come to stimulate anyone.
He did not come to cause anyone to flail, thrash or whirl about uncontrollably.
The Spirit came sovereignly, filled the apostles and they spoke in languages they
had not learned.
You may ask then: Where do Pentecostals get this idea? They go by what was
said by some who observed the apostles speaking in languages they obviously had
never learned. Acts 2:13 says, others mocking said, These men are full of new
wine. From this simple statement an entire theological philosophy has been
constructed. They use this statement in order to encourage all types of strange
and bizarre behavior during worship, even to the point of people making animal
sounds while they go into a trance-like state. Statements are often made like,
Were drunk in the Spirit. Or, This is the new wine. Rodney Howard- Browne
often encourages flippant, foolish and silly behavior by saying This is Joels
Bar...belly up to the bar!
Notice what the apostle Peter says as he sets the record straight. For these are
not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day (Acts 2:15).
Peter emphatically denies their mockery. But Pentecostals have been led to
believe the opposite. They believe the apostles were drunk, inebriated,
intoxicated - falling down drunk. Sadly, they teach this is what the Holy Spirit
does to people. Had the apostles been drunk, Peter would have admitted it. He
would have pointed out that the apostles were made drunk by the Spirit and not
We can no more take what outsiders (enemies of the church) said on the Day
Pentecost as fact than we can take what the enemies of Christ said about Him (cf.
Luke 7:33-34). If we did so, we would have to believe that Jesus was a glutton and
a drunk. Proper hermeneutics is the key to understanding the Bible.
PENTECOSTALISM TEACHES FALSE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE ROLE OF
WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Pentecostal and charismatic churches believe in women pastors and teachers
over whole congregations. They believe Joels prophecy quoted by Peter in Acts
two gives them the license they need. Acts 2:16-18, But this is that which was
spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I
will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream
dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days
of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. They believe that when the text says
daughters and handmaidens would prophesy, that it justifies women as
pastors, as elders, etc. This, of course, is a gross misunderstanding of the text.
The significance of the pouring forth of Gods Spirit upon all flesh is that the
Gospel was to go to all mankind just as Jesus said in the great commission (Mark
16:15-16). Prophecy (inspired teaching) was one of the spiritual gifts during the
first century (cf. 1 Cor. 12:8-10); but, once its purpose was served (the inspired,
complete, perfect, written word delivered), it was/is no longer in operation - it
ceased (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-10). However, even during New Testament times when
spiritual gifts were exercised, women never assumed the position of preacher or
teacher over a congregation. There is nothing in Joels prophecy that indicates a
woman can serve as an elder or be put in charge over a congregation. There is
nothing any place in the New Testament that suggests women can serve in the
eldership or leadership of the church. Actually, the opposite is true. Paul writing
to Timothy said, Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer
not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence
(1 Tim. 2:11-12).
When we were in Panama City, a preacher friend of mine called one day and
asked me about this verse in Timothy. He wanted to know what I thought it
meant. I paused for a moment and said, It probably means what it says. He
wasnt too pleased with that answer because his wife taught the adult Bible class
at his church. As a matter of fact, he completely rejected that meaning of the
passage because it wasnt what he wanted it to mean. But the Scripture is clear
on this subject. Notice what Paul said in 1 Cor. 14:34, Let your women keep
silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are
commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
Some Pentecostals contend that Paul was dealing with a cultural issue that has no
bearing on todays society when he gave this prohibition. Of course, to make such
an assumption is to play fast and loose with the integrity of the text. Actually,
postmodernists use this ploy on any biblical text they desire to change.
PENTECOSTALISM TEACHES FALSE DOCTRINE CONCERNING SALVATION
They teach an incomplete plan of Salvation. It is some combination of just
believe or repent and believe or pray the sinners prayer and ask Jesus to
come into your heart.
However, in the old days, Pentecostals did not believe in the sinners prayer. The
old Pentecostals came out of the early holiness movement, so they believed in the
mourners bench. They believed you were to come down to the altar and pray
through to salvation. Basically, you prayed through for everything; salvation,
sanctification, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, etc. A person prayed through until
they felt like God had saved them. But due to the influx of various denominations
through the Charismatic movement, Pentecostals have now adopted the more
common or popular style.
The Assemblies of God web site states concerning salvation: WE BELIEVE...Every
Person Can Have Restored Fellowship with God Through Salvation (trusting
Christ, through faith and repentance, to be our personal Savior). [1 of 4 cardinal
doctrines of the Assemblies of God]
The International Pentecostal Holiness Church in their doctrinal statement says:
We believe, teach and firmly maintain the scriptural doctrine of justification by
faith alone (Romans 5:1).
How is it that both of these denominations claim the personal indwelling of the
Holy Spirit and His guidance and yet they dont agree with each other? And, how
is it that the Holy Spirit inspired James to say Ye see then how that by works a
man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:24)? Yet, the Pentecostal Holiness
claim a person is justified by faith alone? Obviously, both cannot be inspired by
the Holy Spirit. They cant both be right. The Holy Spirit didnt inspire James to say
one thing and the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal Holiness something
else! They treat the Holy Spirit as though He has Alzheimers!
Denominational churches make a mockery of God in their doctrinal statements. If
divine healing is such a privilege and readily available to Pentecostals, then why
isnt it happening among them? Why do they run to the doctor at the first sign of
a sickness? Why are so many on prescription drugs? Why do they have surgery
and other costly medical treatments just like everyone else?
PENTECOSTALISM TEACHES FALSE DOCTRINE CONCERNING DIVINE, MIRACLE
They are confused over the purpose of miracles. The purpose of miracles was not
to make our lives better or free from care. In this world, a Christian lives a normal
life just like anyone else. When people are taught they can have a miracle and it
doesnt happen, they often become angry and bitter against God. Flamboyant
preachers constantly promise the people health and wealth. Without fail, all of
these preachers become wealthy by the donations of their followers and
consequently receive quality medical care from the best doctors! These teachers
make outlandish claims and promises which are neither backed by Scripture nor
substantiated by facts.
In a foolish attempt to try to promote modern-day miracles, one famous
individual wrote a book called, A Miracle a Day Keeps the Devil Away. However,
what many people call a miracle is nothing more than something good happening
or things going their way. Its this kind of nonsense that causes an unsaved world
to mock the Bible and scoff at the existence of God.
The serious student of Scripture will find that miracles did not happen all the time
throughout the ages. They have always had a limited operation. They were not
being doled out like candy at a childs birthday party every time someone had a
cough or a migraine. Jesus illustrates this fact in Luke 4:25-27 when He said, But I
tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the
heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was
throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta,
a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in
the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman
the Syrian. Jim Sheerer states of these passages; Jesus uses two stories to show
that God has always been selective with his miracles. The miracles were not to
amuse people, but were to confirm Gods prophets and further Gods plan of
salvation. (Sheerer Commentary on the New Testament)
A careful study of the Scriptures reveals that miraculous gifts were given to serve
the purpose of confirming Gods Word. Even in the days of Moses, the miracles
that were performed confirmed what the prophet said as well as Gods purpose
for the Israelite nation. In the days of Christ, miracles confirmed His ministry and
Messiahship. Jesus challenged the unbelieving Jews to examine His miracles when
He said, But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the
Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that
the Father hath sent me (John 5:36). Jesus does not beat around the bush. He
draws their attention to the works He had performed without hesitation. He
clearly states their purpose by saying the...works ...bear witness of me.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells the Jews that if they did not believe his words
that he was the Son of God, they should believe in Him because of His miracles. If
I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not
me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me,
and I in him (John 10:37-38). His miracles were the evidence that He was
speaking the truth.
Jesus pointed the disciples to His works as proof of His divinity when He said,
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for
the very works sake (John 14:11). The works of Christ were the confirmation that
He was the Messiah (John 20:30-31).
Miracles also served the purpose of confirming the Gospel after Christ ascended.
The apostles were to continue in the ministry of Christ for the purpose of
establishing the church. As Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He
that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than
these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14:12). These works were
for the purpose of confirming their apostleship and that the words they spoke
were from God. Notice what the Scripture says: And they went forth, and
preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with
signs following (Mark 16:20). How shall we escape, if we neglect so great
salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed
unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs
and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to
his own will (Heb. 2:3-4)?
Paul makes reference to the apostles special ability in miracles by saying, Truly
the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and
wonders, and mighty deeds (2 Cor. 12:12).
Once the Scriptures were complete (i.e., there was no more divine revelation to
be given), miracles ceased (1 Cor. 13:8-10; Jude 3). Pentecostals dont understand
the purpose of miracles and this lack of understanding leads to confusion and
But notice the official doctrinal statement of the Assemblies of God: Divine
healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for
in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.
According to the dictionary, the word integral means, necessary: being an
essential part of something or any of the parts that make up a whole. Synonyms
are: essential, vital, basic, fundamental, central. (Encarta: World English
Dictionary & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved)
According to their doctrinal statement, receiving divine healing should be no
harder than becoming a Christian. But, if divine healing is such a privilege and
readily available, then why isnt it happening among their members? Why do
Pentecostals run to the doctor at the first sign of a sickness just like everyone
else? Why are so many Pentecostals on prescription drugs just like everyone else?
Why do Pentecostals have surgery and other costly medical treatments just like
everyone else, if divine, miracle healing is their privilege like they teach?
Logic demands that if you teach that divine healing is for today, then it must of
necessity take place. Notice what the Bible shows when Peter and John stood
before the council: If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the
impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to
all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye
crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here
before you whole. ... And beholding the man which was healed standing with
them, they could say nothing against it (Acts 4:9-10,14). The Apostles had proof
of the miracle working power of God. They were not just claiming something that
never happened or could not be proven. The man was genuinely healed and
standing there for all to see. This was a fulfillment of Mark 16:20.
Pentecostals teach that divine healing is just as much a part of the atonement as
forgiveness of sins. But none of it can be backed up. No one anywhere sees it
taking place. There are many claims of miraculous, divine healing taking place, but
they cannot be either seen or substantiated. There are a lot of people who claim
to be healed of something internal, something unseen. Even then, most of these
(if not all of them) receive some type of medical assistance or treatment.
At the churches where I have been, there were people who went to doctors all
the time, but when they got better, everyone claimed divine healing. Thats not
divine miracle healing. Three surgeries and eight prescriptions later is not divine
healing! Thats nothing out of the ordinary. Friend, I spent over 50 years in
Pentecostalism and never saw one genuine miracle! Just before I left the
Pentecostal church I went to visit and pray for an elderly woman who was in her
80s. She said to me, You know Bro. Davis, after all these years Ive never seen a
miracle! She had probably been in Pentecostalism longer than I had, but in a
moment of honesty, as she struggled with her physical weakness and sickness,
she had to admit the absence of miracle healings in the Pentecostal church.
Miraculous gifts have been done away because the canon of Scripture has
reached perfection - completion (1 Cor. 13:8-10). They are no longer needed.
PENTECOSTALISM IS A CREATION OF MAN
Pentecostals themselves admit its beginnings were in America around the turn of
the 20th century. Oral Roberts University makes this claim: The Pentecostal
movement is by far the largest and most important religious movement to
originate in the United States. Beginning in 1901 with only a handful of students
in a Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, the number of Pentecostals increased steadily
throughout the world during the Twentieth Century until by 1993 they had
become the largest family of Protestants in the world.
The Assemblies of God official statement says that the beginning of the modern
Pentecostal revival is generally traced to a prayer meeting at Bethel Bible College
in Topeka, Kansas, on January 1, 1901. http:// www.cai.org/bible-studies/history-
It is only fair to mention the fact that the Church of God claims tongues speaking
around 1896 even though the group did not call themselves Church of God until
The point is this: these groups were clearly started by men in America during the
early part of the twentieth century. That makes them nearly nineteen hundred
years too late to be the Lords church (Matt. 16:18). And, even though they may
try to claim relationship with the Christians in Acts chapter two, it doesnt work.
No Christians in the book of Acts or during the first century ever called themselves
Pentecostals. As a matter of fact, no one throughout church history ever called
himself a Pentecostal. The actual term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost,
the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. It commemorates the anniversary
of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount
Sinai. True Christians do not attempt to identify with Jewish feast days, they
identify with Christ. The book of Acts tells us the disciples were called Christians
While I was still a Pentecostal I remember listening to a preacher friend get all
emotional about being a Pentecostal and how we should act like Pentecostals. As
I sat there, my mind began to reflect on the book of Acts and how that no one in
the early church ever referred to himself as a Pentecostal and how that no
one was ever called a Pentecostal. I thought, Why are we calling ourselves by
something different than the first century Christians? And then I realized, if we
are calling ourselves by something different, it must be because we are something
different than what they were. My friends, I dont want to be something different
than what the early Christians were. I dont want to be a part of some modern
concoction of man. I just want to be a Christian!
William (Bill) Davis
This article appeared in the June, July & August 2013 issues of "Seek The Old Paths." www.seektheoldpaths.com
Formated copy for printing
Published in The Old Paths Archive