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   October 2000 Pneuma Informer

In this Issue:

  • Note from the Editor
  • Be sure to see the Pneuma Foundation Website
  • Pneuma News
  • Excerpts from the Fall 2000 issue of the "Pneuma Review":
    • From "That Glorious Day When Tongues are Not Needed: Until Then . . ." Part 2, from the Praying In the Spirit series by Robert Graves
    • From the article "The Ninth Hour" By Kevin Williams from the Messianic Foundations Series
  • Prayer Requests

Note from the Editor

Greetings members and friends of the Pneuma Foundation.

I would like to express my appreciation for the many kind and encouraging notes we receive about our efforts through the Pneuma Foundation. You may have noticed that there was no September issue of this E-newsletter. To keep it simple, I will say that we have been very busy. You can also read some of the reason why in the Pneuma News department below. Thank you for your patience and support.

This issue of the Informer is longer than usual because of the listing of the contents of all previously published issues of the Pneuma Review. This issue also includes excerpts, as you have come to expect, from our most recent issue of the Pneuma Review journal. I think you will enjoy these.

Hearing back from our readers is always an encouragement. If you can take a moment after reading this issue, please drop us a note and let us know what you like or what you think we could improve.

Rich blessings in Jesus,

Raul Mock, Executive Editor


Be sure to see the Pneuma Foundation Website

Just a reminder to go and see the new Pneuma Foundation website.

Although the new site is still under construction, as of September 1st, find us at:
http://members.truepath.com/pneuma [This site is no longer valid]

Would you like your page added?

We have a links page that lists a number of excellent online resources and websites of a number of members and friends of the Pneuma Foundation. If you would like to see your website added, send a note to the Web Servant

Please include your URL, your webpage title or summary (Such as: "this is the personal homepage of Jane Smith" or, "Evangelist John Doe's Outreach for Jesus Ministry"), and why you would like have us add your site to out list of friends.


Pneuma News

The volunteer staff of the Pneuma Foundation has been working diligently to produce the Fall 2000 issue of the Pneuma Review. We have been working through a number of production and printing issues that have carried over from the Summer 2000 issue (which was delayed significantly due to technical problems). The Fall 2000 issue should be to all domestic and Canadian subscribers in early October.

Thanks to the generous contributions of our members and friends, we were able to purchase a duplexing laser printer. Already this addition to the Pneuma Foundation office has increased our efficiency and quality of output. Thank you for your support of this ministry!

A friend of the ministry has also been discussing with us the possibility of hosting the Pneuma Foundation website on their server. This would include a domain name such as www.PneumaFoundation.org which has already been registered. Having our site hosted by a ministry partner would be of great benefit because of the long term possibilities of virtually unlimited space and site enhancements.


Excerpts from the Fall 2000 issue (Vol 3, No 4) of the Pneuma Review

From the article "The Origins of the Pentecostal Movement" by Vinson Synan

Introduction

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. With over 200,000,000 members designated as "denominational Pentecostals," this group surpassed the Orthodox churches as the second largest denominational family of Christians, surpassed only by the Roman catholics. In addition to these "Classical denominational Pentecostals," there were over 200,000,000 "Charismatic" Pentecostals in the mainline denominations and independent charismatic churches, both Catholic and Protestant, which placed the number of both Pentecostals and charismatics at well over 420,000,000 persons in 1993. This explosive growth has forced the Christian world to pay increasing attention to the entire movement and to attempt to discover the root causes of this growth. Although the Pentecostal movement had its beginnings in the United States, it owed much of its basic theology to earlier British perfectionistic and charismatic movements. At least three of these, the Methodist/Holiness movement, the Catholic Apostolic movement of Edward Irving, and the British Keswick "Higher Life" movement prepared the way for what appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America. Perhaps the most important immediate precursor to pentecostalism was the Holiness movement which issued from the heart of Methodism at the end of the Nineteenth Century. From John Wesley, the Pentecostals inherited the idea of a subsequent crisis experience variously called "entire sanctification," "perfect love," "Christian perfection", or "heart purity". It was John Wesley who posited such a possibility in his influential tract, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (1766). It was from Wesley that the Holiness Movement developed the theology of a "second blessing." It was Wesley's colleague, John Fletcher, however, who first called this second blessing a "baptism in the Holy Spirit," an experience which brought spiritual power to the recipient as well as inner cleansing. This was explained in his major work, Checks to Antinominianism (1771). During the Nineteenth Century, thousands of Methodists claimed to receive this experience, although no one at the time saw any connection with this spirituality and speaking in tongues or any of the other charisms. In the following century, Edward Irving and his friends in London suggested the possibility of a restoration of the charisms in the modern church. A popular Presbyterian pastor in London, Irving led the first attempt at "charismatic renewal" in his Regents Square Presbyterian Church in 1831. Although tongues and prophecies were experienced in his church, Irving was not successful in his quest for a restoration of New Testament Christianity. In the end, the "Catholic Apostolic Church " which was founded by his followers, attempted to restore the "five-fold ministries" (of Apostles, Prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) in addition to the charisms. While his movement failed in England, Irving did succeed in pointing to glossolalia as the "standing sign" of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, a major facet in the future theology of the Pentecostals. Another predecessor to Pentecostalism was the Keswick "Higher Life" movement which flourished in England after 1875. Led at first by American holiness teachers such as Hannah Whitall Smith and William E. Boardman, the Keswick teachers soon changed the goal and content of the "second blessing" from the Wesleyan emphasis on "heart purity" to that of an "enduement of spiritual power for service." Thus, by the time of the Pentecostal outbreak in America in 1901, there had been at least a century of movements emphasizing a second blessing called the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" with various interpretations concerning the content and results of the experience. In America, such Keswick teachers as A.B. Simpson and A.J. Gordon also added to the movement at large an emphasis on divine healing "as in the atonement" and the premillenial rapture of the church.

. . .

From the article "How the Prayer Language Comes." From the Praying in the Spirit series by Robert Graves

You Can Have This New Testament Experience

Although books have been written outlining "steps" to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, there is no simplistic x + y formula that, with scientific inevitability, guarantees this spiritual manifestation. God's workings are not so mechanical. We are not on a celestial scavenger hunt through which we can obtain this and that and finally win the prize. We do not win; we do not earn. We simply believe. My Calvinist friends may even teach that this belief within me is God's doing and not my own, further stressing that this spiritual manifestation is not a result of living a holy life or meeting certain conditions. Let me say, first, that it is impossible for a non-Christian to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to His disciples, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (John 14:16-17). The baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs within the context of salvation. If you are a Christian, you are all that you have to be to experience the baptism in the Spirit. If you are not a Christian, you need to pause here and simply confess your belief in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You may faithfully attend church, you may regularly give money to worthy causes, you may lead an exemplary moral life, you may even fast and pray and read the Bible, but if you have not sacrificially submitted your self to the will of Christ, you have not been made regenerate, that is, a Christian. This you must do. Stop and pray now. If you do not know what to pray, use the following prayer as a model:

Heavenly Father, I know I've sinned. I need a Savior; I need Your Son, Jesus. He is the light of the world; He is the light that I need because I walk in darkness. Come into my life, Lord Jesus. I believe that You died on the cross and rose again to wash me clean of my sin. Come into my life and take control; I commit myself to You. Thank You for coming into my heart and saving me, Lord Jesus. In Your name I offer this prayer. Amen.

This prayer may sound simplistic to you-too easy to be true. That's because Christ Jesus has taken all the complexity, all the work out of the salvation event. Once you begin studying the Scriptures you'll discover more about God's salvation; you'll discover the magnitude of the cost of your salvation and the cosmic struggle. Even now, unfathomable powers of evil are working (and have been for millennia) to keep men and women, boys and girls from repeating with sincerity the above prayer. On the other hand, angels in heaven are rejoicing over those who have repented and entered into eternal life with God (Luke 15:10). Only a very foolish person would not give up what he cannot keep (the pleasures and wealth of this world) to get what he cannot lose (spiritual blessings, even eternal life). Some of you are not Christians and did not pray the above prayer; I urge you now to defy the forces that would turn you away from life with God and return immediately to that prayer of salvation and rejoice with the angels of heaven, now and forever! As God has taken the labor out of our salvation, so He has taken it out of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. There was a time when the disciples of Jesus had to tarry for the coming of the Holy Spirit, but now He has come once and for all. There need be no tarrying for Christians today. If you are a Christian, the experience of the Holy Spirit is your birthright. As a Christian, the Spirit of God has taken up residence with your spirit and awaits to be released into the rest of your being-soul (mind, will, emotions) and body. I said earlier that the salvation event is the context of the release of the Spirit. Salvation is indeed the only prerequisite for this experience. This is not to say, however, that the Spirit preempts or overrules a Christian's will and forces the experience upon him. The Holy Spirit would never do this. He looks for believers who are willing to participate in this faith experience. There is no danger of a Christian with a bias against this experience finding himself speaking praises unto God in a heavenly language. Furthermore, there is little possibility that a person will express himself in tongues while harboring even honest doubt about the experience. You need to declare a moratorium on your doubt. Set aside any preconceived negative notions that you might have. Rest assured, your heavenly Father will not allow you to receive anything that will do you harm, especially when you are asking for something for the benefit of the Kingdom of God, and not for yourself. Jesus said,

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:11-13

Since the Pentecostal baptism comes by faith, doubt and disbelief must be left behind. If the Spirit is to find release within you, faith must become desire, not only desire to be used of God but desire to communicate with Him on a higher plane. Naturally, your desire will be controlled by some motive, and if you desire to speak in tongues for the wrong reason, you are setting yourself up for a sad experience. Dennis Bennett has written that "the first purpose of the baptism in the Spirit is simply joy (Bennett, How, p. 94), that it is the Christian's joy that motivates him to witness. The baptism in the Holy Spirit brings joy, for service. The words of Jesus to His disciples were, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). In Acts 4 a group of Christians "were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly" (verse 31). This filling resulted from the prayers of Peter, John, and others who, facing threats of the Jews, had refused to be silenced (4:18-31). The highest purpose of Spirit baptism is witnessing to our Savior's love; therefore, to want to be a better representative of Christ Jesus is the purest motive for desiring the charismatic experience.

. . .

"How to Work toward Racial Reconciliation" by Cecil M. Robeck, Jr.

The "Memphis Miracle"* was a triumphant moment in the history of Pentecostal race relations in North America. But it was only a moment. Pastors and other church leaders returned to their places of ministry with a great deal of good will. They wanted to do the right thing, but they have not always known how to translate their mountain-top experience into action. This is understandable. Our histories and experiences are all different. They require different approaches as we move along the process of racial reconciliation. Some pastors and congregations have extensive experience promoting racial reconciliation. Others do not. The following suggestions may be helpful as you consider your next step in this healing process.

  1. Acknowledge that there is a problem of how we relate to one another across racial and ethnic lines.
  2. Personalize the problem. Ask your self what role you play, implicitly or explicitly, that contributes to the present situation, then offer it to the Lord.
  3. Seek God for wisdom in addressing the problem in your own life.
  4. Begin to pray regularly for a specific pastor or a local congregation that is of another color or race. As they become part of your regular prayer life, your attitudes toward them should begin to change.
  5. Seek out one or more individuals of another race and build a relationship. Do not assume that this is a relationship that will only benefit the other person. Open yourself to receive as much as you give.
  6. Listen to the other person as a peer. Be willing to learn from him or her. This is critical. Do not assume that you have all the answers or that money is the real issue. Move past the level of rhetoric and hear the heart.
  7. Begin to share with your congregation those things you are learning in your new relationships.
  8. Be willing to enter into a pulpit exchange across racial and/or ethnic lines. Exchanges may be extended to include a food festival, music, youth activities and cooperative efforts in the community. Together Celebrate their significant cultural events (e.g. Cinco de Mayo, Martin Luther King Day, Chinese New Year).
  9. Adopt another congregation as a sister congregation. Ask them what contributions you can make to their lives. Ask them what they would like to do for your congregation. Act on those things that are possible to do. Do not over-commit yourself or your resources. It can lead to disappointment. Prioritize.
  10. Share with other pastors what you are learning and how it has blessed your church.
From the Summer 1998 (No. 1) issue of Reconciliation, published by the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA). Used by permission of the author.

* The Memphis Miracle was a meeting of North American Pentecostals in October of 1994 where the Racial Reconciliation Manifesto was drafted and signed and the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) Task Force was formed. See the Spring 2000 issue (Vol 3, No 2) of the Pneuma Review for more information on the "Memphis Miracle" and comment.


Prayer Request:

  • The Executive Committee and the Board of Directors still covet your prayers regarding long term direction about publication and printing needs. Few methods of printing a journal such as the "Pneuma Review" are available at a price that is affordable at our present level of circulation.
  • There is a special financial need that has arisen in the Pneuma Foundation office. Even after the generous contributions received to help purchase a much-needed laser printer, purchasing the needed supplies and necessary 'extras' has exceeded our budget. Please pray with us for the Lord's provision. The amount is approximately $200 USD.

  • Please send us your prayer requests and praise reports. We have a great God who always meets our needs.
  • If you would like more information about how you may help in meeting these needs, please contact Member Services.