Now, well into the 21st century, we have reached a crisis in the Pentecostal/charismatic movement. Although there have been many good ministries birthed in the last few decades, with them also have come a deluge of unsound beliefs, erroneous practices, and extreme and excessive teachings, along with a glaring absence of the moving of the Holy Spirit and a diminishing of the real power and presence of God.
From a defective and cross-less gospel, to a dumbing down and a cheap imitation of the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit to the gross overemphasis on personal prophecy and prophetic ministry to New Age gobbledygook and psychic themes to a hollow "apostolic" movement, we have witnessed an entire spectrum of unfruitful cycles of spiritual junk.
When the Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul, foretold of the departure from "the faith" (1 Tim. 4:1), and in a similar admonition wrote through Jude to "contend earnestly for the faith" (Jude 3), He was not referring to saving faith but to the entire corpus of New Testament Christianity, which entails doctrine, experience, belief and practice. In other words, when the Holy Spirit speaks of "the faith," He is referring to the entire package of Christianity.
Too many of us have lacked the wisdom, neglected the light and failed to pick up what our godly forefathers and spiritual giants passed on to us, and instead, have built weak "spiritual" sandcastles that will not pass the test of time, and whose quicksand will suck down its victims.
Many of us have been unskillful at taking the old and blending it into the new. We have neglected the ever-increasing light of the revelation of the Word and the genuine flow and true manifestations of the Holy Spirit from the past and failed to bring them into the new. Some have stayed in the candlelight of the truths of centuries past. Others have moved on from the candlelight age to the lantern of a brighter glow of Spirit and truth. But the wise householder has combined the foundation of the progressive light of the Word of God from days of old and the pure, strong move of the Holy Spirit to bask now in the light of God's greater glory (Matt. 13:52).
A Facebook friend of mine wrote me the following concerning the Word and the Spirit that men of old carried:
"The men and women of old knew nothing of the extensiveness of error in the cotton-candy gospel of today. They nipped it in the bud. They stated without apology that without holiness we won't see the Lord. They knew Scripture far better than today's Bible professors. Sister Pauline Parham, the daughter-in-law of Charles Parham, told me in Dallas in the early 1980s that the old preachers knew the Word far better than the new generation, and powerful moves of the Spirit not seen today were common." [Charles Parham (1883-1929) was the first preacher to articulate Pentecostalism's distinctive doctrine of evidential tongues and to expand the movement.]
Like the days of old when the new temple was being built in the time of Haggai, while the young men were rejoicing in what they thought was a great glory, the old men wept because it did not compare with the former glory they knew.
"Now many of the older Levitical priests and chiefs of the fathers' households who had seen the first temple wept with a loud voice as the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes, though many others shouted exuberantly for joy" (Ezra 3:12).
The weeping of the old men was probably a result of the disappointment over the temple's lack of splendor compared to that of Solomon's temple.
Is this attitude not being repeated today when the younger who were not a part of the great past moves of God boast of the glory of the Lord that is incomparable to what the older have witnessed? In fact, to those who've experienced the former, the "new" or the latter, is as nothing in their eyes.
"Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not, in your eyes, as nothing in comparison?" (Hag. 2:3)
All hope, however, is not lost, for the promise of the Lord, indeed, is that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former.
The following prophecy, given to F.F. Bosworth's (1877-1958) granddaughter concerning the ministry of her grandfather's day, gives us hope for the greater glory to be restored to the church once more.
"The ministers of your grandfather's day lit a Pentecostal fire that swept the world in their generation, but that fire has now died down to where only ashes and embers are left. But I am going to use your grandfather's recordings to breathe on these embers with the wind of My Spirit, and that fire will rekindle and sweep the world again in a new Pentecostal revival."
May you hear the Spirit's cry that will give birth to a rekindling of holy zeal for authentic revival and reformation in our day.
May the baton of the glory of the move of God be passed on to ensuing generations.
This is the introduction to Rev. Bert Farias' new book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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