From: John the Baptist TV (Andrew Strom)

PENTECOSTAL PASTORS SPEAK OUT

WHAT HAPPENED to THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT?
-by Wayne Greulich.

A number of people have decried the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement as being the doorway through which the current corruption has entered the modern church….

There is an element of truth in this, but it is not entirely accurate.

I was born into a Pentecostal church 56 years ago, was raised there, was educated in one of their colleges, and pastored 3 of their churches. I think this gives me a degree of knowledge and familiarity with the movement and its history I also had the privilege of meeting with and conversing with some of the Pentecostal pioneers while they were still alive. In addition, I have owned a number of Frank Bartlemans books for years. This is not to put myself forward as an expert, but to let you know that what I say next is not said from a vacuum of ignorance, assumption, and speculation.

The Pentecostal movement was born out of the holiness movement. Many of those who were involved in its birth were people of holiness who had died to self, had picked up their crosses and were following Jesus Christ as He directed them by His Spirit and His Word. The multitudes of transformed lives, the miracles, and the persecution were very real. We can thank God for those pioneers who  under the move and hand of God  paved the way for a renewed freedom and move of the Holy Spirit in Christs Church. The problems which arose were not with the move of the Spirit or with many of those who sought the Lord and came into the Baptism and life of the Spirit. Mostly the problems arose  as they do today  from those who wanted to avoid the cross. These were people who wanted the blessings of life in the Spirit, but who did not want to die to sin, flesh, and themselves.

As early as 1907, Frank Bartleman wrote of his dismay over these types of people who infiltrated the Pentecostal movement. Many flocked to Pentecostal movements all over the continent seeking the blessings of the spirit, but not wanting holiness, confession of sin, brokenness before the Lord, and taking up of the cross. We have the same root problem with us today. The modern church is filled with selfish, sinful people who want Gods blessings, but who do not want to go the way of the cross.

The problem has been further compounded by those false preachers, prophets, and teachers who refuse to preach the cross and what it costs to be a follower of Christ. Instead todays Christian heaps to himself preachers, teachers, and prophets who tickle his flesh and make it feel comfortable  those who have become experts at creating a brand of christianity which seems to marry the flesh with the Spirit. This CANNOT be, however, since the flesh and the Spirit are enemies against each other. Scripture makes it clear that one must follow one or the other  God or mammon.

It is the shame of many Pentecostal/ Charismatic churches  although, not all ( the mistake of generalizing)  have abandoned the preaching of the cross, holiness, separation from the world, and the true full Gospel. Much of the modern church has abandoned the Christ of the Bible in favour of a new and improved Christ who has no cross, but only love; who has no holiness, but only grace; who has no justice, but only blessings; and who is not Judge, but merely a cosmic Santa Claus.

How we need those who will die to self, take up the cross, and be witnesses of the true Christ! How God longs for those who will live godly in Christ Jesus  in spite of the persecution! How we need those who choose to reject the world, who hate sin, who fear none but God; those who will do what He wants, speak what He says, and be molded into the image of Christ by the Word and the Spirit that Christ may have human representation of Himself to a lost and dying world. This is the Church of Jesus Christ

May God help us. Brothers and sisters, work while it is yet day, for the night is coming when no man can work. Labour faithfully with Him. Fear not what man thinks or what man can do unto you, but fear Him who is your Redeemer and your King.

10 thoughts on “WHAT HAPPENED to THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT? — Much of the modern church has abandoned the Christ of the Bible in favour of a new and improved Christ who has no cross, but only love; who has no holiness, but only grace; who has no justice, but only blessings; and who is not Judge…. Work while it is yet day, for the night is coming when no man can work.

  1. Very well put my brother. there is a false spirit taking over many mainline denominations. Their is no holiness or a reverance of God. thier cannot be a true rivival of The Holy Spirit unless their are people broken, with a true repentance, then The Holy Ghost will be poured out. ( Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set )..Proverbs 22:28-29..

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  2. Hello,

    I appreciate your writing about this. It has been very hard for me to see the massive change in even Pentecostal churches.

    I have been a minister for 34 years, and live near Seattle.

    One must totally distinguish, between Pentecostal and Charismatic. They are vastly different from each other.

    I met Johnny Bartleman, a few times, in about 1991, the son of Frank. Johnny told me, how backslidden he (Johnny) was, for many decades, but eventually repented. He was a fine brother, when I knew him.

    This is not meant to criticize him, but merely to say, that even the great Azusa revival, saw a massive falling away, and within about ten years.

    I have traveled to 35 states, and 10 countries, and have met thousands of Christians, and about 300 ministers, and can count the number of holy, pure believers, on one hand.

    It is exactly as you wrote:
    People want the blessings, but do not want to die to self, no interest in the cross.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frank,

      I just now reread your comment. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s so sad that the few churches that are said to be alive are even mostly dead. The degree of falling away is amazing!

      Also, it seems to me that fewer and fewer pray in tongues, which I believe helps deal with the demons that I believe directly affect most believers, once the sin door is opened, largely because of the once-saved-always-saved teaching.

      Many have been diverted into seeking political solutions instead of spiritual too. I cover politics in my other blog and on Facebook. I think America is so far gone now, having not seen a serious revival for decades, that we need one group to seriously seek God and truth. And the true prophetic people need to be listened to for a change, instead of prayed against, what James says not to do in James 3.

      You wrote:

      People want the blessings, but do not want to die to self, no interest in the cross.

      You may relate to this. I just shared this with someone else too:

      “My 7 Years Working for The Elijah List” — Ear-tickling messages coddling people into deceptive slumber: Positive-encouraging-words-only philosophy; the misinterpretation of Matt. 7:1-5 (not judging); the misuse of the term ‘Grace’ …. The end result of prophecy should be God’s people repenting.

      It’s all a big party, which James addresses: “grieve, mourn and wail…. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Which hardly anyone is doing.

      I actually think that most pastors don’t want truly anointed worship leaders because the true presence of God makes them uncomfortable.

      Most now teach it’s all about what Jesus did, and what we do doesn’t affect our eternity. “All we have to do is say the little prayer,” which is a great deception, ignoring dozens of specific warning verses.

      One group of people somewhere have to get serious so the prophesied by Seymour and others greatest revival will get going.

      We all need to be able to say what Paul could, who worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling:

      “Herein I also practice *always* having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16)

      Personally, I can somewhat understand when people are ignorant, but when they are willfully ignorant, actively resisting listening to what is true, that makes no sense to me — especially when it comes to where they will spend forever. I don’t get that.

      There is a peace and a joy of being right with God and another. Few have that, and are going for the cheap thrills instead, having a guilty conscience.

      Some are afraid of what others think if they openly confess their sins. But many need to openly confess because they’ve openly hurt people.

      If a number of us hear and obey, God will orchestrate this.

      William Seymour would actually pound his foot on the floor, when he could tell from the floor above that the meeting below was getting carnal in some way. We need sensitive people like that. Once people stop caring about what God thinks, which is abandoning doing Jesus’ greatest commandment, demons take over and drive sin. And then the people don’t want to hear the truth. The sweetness of Jesus is forgotten.

      The world is very enticing right now. Everything glitters. The wide-screen TVs mesmerize. People are glued to their iPhone, which is radiating their brains.

      Lust sells. Most “Christians” are no longer careful.

      And look at what has happened to the USA and every country. People are getting mean. It’s not working.

      Will people finally seek God and do whatever it takes, taking up our crosses and following Him, not giving into the demons anymore.

      Most probably don’t even know that what drives them are demons. I wrote this, if you’re interested:

      Can a Christian Have a Demon? Absolutely! Most Have Many!

      One of the false doctrines has been that demons cannot affect born-again believers. But a number of NT scriptures prove otherwise.

      It’s time to get serious, eh, and put it all together — doing all we know to do until ‘ONE’ happens, “that the world will know” (John 17)!!!

      Jeff

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  3. Mostly, I believe————– is that the “Church of God” (inclusive) has abandoned the “olde tyme” God praising, soul blessing Gospel Hymns (that we used to sing) that would “make the rafters ring”. Songs such as “The old rugged cross, Are you washed in the Blood, Oh, the Blood of Jesus, Jesus hold my hand, Jesus on the main line, and many others. Praise songs that offer up praise to our Savior God, that thrill the very soul and somehow bring us closer to God. Gospel songs that seem to carry us through the next week, and so much more. Now, I know that I am an Alabama born and bred, “red-dirt-kickin’, cotton pickin’. born again, Holy Ghost baptized, tongue talkin’, old tyme Gospel preaching “old man. But that doesn’t alter the fact that “in those days” the Holy Ghost moved in a mighty way, in individual lives, as well as in all our worship services. It is difficult to put into words, just the “way it was”, but it was right and it was good. I know! Sure, I’m a “old-duffer”, but i still have all my faculties about me, and I still declare that if “it was good for Paul and Silas”, it is certainly good for the Children of the Living God TODAY !

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    1. Wesley,

      I do think music is a factor. I’ve led worship hundreds of times, and have a good idea what connects people to God and what does not.

      The ‘worship’ music nowadays is mainly entertainment, instead of direct-to-God “I love you,” “I honor you,” “you are holy” songs.

      Most “Christians” (especially pastors) aren’t right with God and people, so they don’t even want to really get close to God, or they’d feel guilty and ashamed. So pastors find worship leaders who give the appearance of worshiping, but they’re mainly entertainers, not worshipers.

      Also, if today’s worship leaders do sing direct-to-God real worship songs, they usually play them too fast, so people can’t really concentrate to enter in.

      But if the people are right with God and each other, like Paul made sure he *always* was (Acts 24:16), then worship can happen pretty easily regardless of the type of music.

      Most “Christians’ today are taught OSAS (once-saved-always-saved), so they’re not even hardly trying to be led by the Spirit anymore. Most don’t guard their hearts and eyes from lust, etc.. God resists the proud, and only gives grace to the humble.

      All it will take is for one church somewhere to actually take Jesus’ greatest two commandments seriously and we’ll have major revival, some say the biggest ever.

      When people finally realize “without holiness no one will see the Lord” is true, they’ll get holy, and ‘ONE’ with each other in Christ will happen, “that the world will know” (John 17), I believe.

      May we help this revival happen in Jesus’ name, for His glory.

      People have a right to see the real thing before they die.

      Jeff

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  4. Jeff,
    California is a “ripe” harvest field. especially the “North Coast’ (Redwood Empire). I have contacted a number of “Church Planters”, but to no avail. What do we do to implement a ‘Rebirth” of the Church of The Living God in this community? This country is in miserable condition, and most certainly needs the Power of the Living God (in the Church, as in “days of old”). The Holy Spirit must be welcomed back into the Church/Praise services. One can hardly “enter in”, when there is nothing to enter in “there”. I fondly recall “those” days when men and women welcomed the Holy Spirit in the church services. Folks were healed, saved’ baptized (in the Holy Ghost, “Holy Spirit, if one prefers) and many other ares of praise/worship. Where dose one find a “church planter’ that is actually “called” to such a work? Unfortunately, I am “aged’, on a low, fixed income, and know not the two or three families that it seems to be needed to “plant a church. Is there a dedicated man or woman of God that is willing to “answer-the-call”. Contact us, C. Wesley & Beatrice Taylor, 3370 Donahue Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401-707-575-6977 or ChristJesusNeverFails@Gmail.com…………God Bless!

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    1. I love northern California, especially because of the Redwoods, but I visited Jim Durkin’s church in Eureka years ago, Gospel Outreach http://www.jim-durkin.tlchrist.info , because he was an apostle who influenced our church in Anchorage, Abbott Loop Christian Center, now called Abbott Loop Christian Church, founded by Dick Benjamin.

      I don’t know what happened in northern California, but watched what happened here. People were hurt and were never apologized to. The leaders reinterpreted Paul’s ‘blameless’ elders’ qualification to not really mean blameless.

      Instead of repenting, we had a major church split. Our leaders said that everyone needed to be submitted to someone, but our head refused to submit to anyone, including other apostles.

      Instead of reconciliation happening, the son took over, and tried man centered, seeker service programs instead. The preservice prayer room emptied, the presence of God stopped being able to be felt. Our current pastor got rid of the prophecy mic, but it had been so strongly censored it was almost worthless anyway.

      The son, our current pastor and an imported teacher brought in the false doctrine of once-saved-always-saved, and now ‘Christian’ feminism.

      The church is currently on life support where God resists the proud, while wanting to give grace to the humble.

      The founder is 92-years-old. I’m praying that he’ll get right with those he’s hurt and help doctrine become sounder than ever before it’s too late.

      Revival can happen anywhere, and reconciliation was the key at Asbury and Wales, and I believe now too.

      I believe the heart of the problem is doctrinal, which relates to actually doing Jesus’ greatest two commandments.

      When we draw near to God He’ll draw near to us.

      Most churches are just playing church right now.

      It’s good to have home meetings in the meantime, if possible.

      My site here is dedicated to revival happening. Jesus prayed that we’d be ‘ONE’ with each other “that the world will know.”

      A great revival should have happened decades ago, but God won’t draw near to us until we draw near to Him, worshiping in Spirit and in truth.

      God bless,

      jeff

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  5. Saddens me so much that the Pentecostal church as disappeared., I live in the UK, recently I felt the need to return to my Lord & follow his teaching,(Saved in the 60s) but backsliden. I tried to find a Local Pentecostal church but failed. A family member who was also a saved Pentecostal, now tells me He as joined another Movement it’s name is Faith Life. He says it is more Grace based, He says Pentecostal are somewhat Law based, I do not understand what he means.

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    1. “Grace based” usually means the false doctrine of once-saved-always-saved, which is destroying the church in the USA right now. Almost all pastors, charismatic or not, now teach OSAS.

      On the other extreme, traditional pentecostals sometimes taught legalistic rules like women can’t wear pants.

      Now, it’s shifted to “anything goes,” because “it’s all about what Jesus did.” “We don’t have to do anything except say the little prayer.” Sin is rampant among most churches in the USA, especially sexual sin. Most ‘Christians’ currently are willfully sinning without repenting, because of this false grace teaching that is much worse than the legalistic teaching of some pentecostal churches.

      Holiness is definitely required to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. “Without holiness no one will see the Lord,” and that includes now also. Only when we worship in Spirit and in truth will God draw near to us, because we drew near to Him with pure hearts, wanting to follow Him no matter what.

      There are very few churches that still follow Christ and teach the necessity of holiness, which may require people doing home meetings instead, until real Christianity is taught and practiced.

      No wonder the world is falling apart so fast as the church is no longer salt and light, salt being a preservative.

      I was shocked to see how carnal England had become, when I visited in the ’90s. Now, the USA has descended too.

      I hope you find some type of truly Godly fellowship there.

      jeff

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