Posts by Carl Willis
Learn more about Pentecostal Churches San Antonio TX
Are you new to Pentecostalism and want to know more? Are you new to Christianity and searching for the right Church fit for you? Are you in or near San Antonio Texas and looking at Pentecostal Churches San Antonio TX? We are here to help. This article will give more insight about Pentecostalism and its role in the Christian faith, as well as some history of Pentecostalism and why it is still thriving today.
Birth of Christianity
In order to understand Pentecostalism, it is important to have a solid foundation of the beginnings of the Christian faith. Christianity, as we follow it today, began after Jesus ascended into Heaven. Shortly after this, a period of about ten days, was the day of Pentecost.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended onto the disciples and thousands Jews gathered to hear the disciples speak. You may recall the day of Pentecost as being a crux of not only the Pentecostal doctrine, but the Christian faith in general. On this day, the New Testament Church began in earnest. Filled with the Holy Spirit, thousands upon thousands heard the Truth of the Word of God that day and many gave their lives to Christ and obeyed the Apostle’s preaching and teaching as a result. From here, the believers spread out and began to form Apostolic Churches in their own cities and among their native peoples. The message of Christ spread like wildfire in the years following His ascension and Pentecost, and Apostolic Churches were established in many of the major cities across the European, Asian, and African continents. From there, the Apostolic Church continued to spread and grow into many different bodies.
When and Why Did Pentecostalism Start?
In concept, Pentecostalism was founded on the day of Pentecost, shortly after the ascension of Jesus. The word “Pentecost” roughly translates from Greek as “fiftieth day”, marking fifty days since the Passover and the Hebrew Feast of Weeks. The core values and truths of what Pentecostalism entails and Pentecostals believe has been valid ever since that day when the Holy Ghost descended upon disciples. In other words, the practices and beliefs shared by Pentecostals aren’t new.
Before the organization of modern Pentecostal organizations, the same practices and beliefs shared by those who might consider themselves Pentecostals existed since the very day of Pentecost. One of the largest Oneness Pentecostal groups in the Unites States of America is the United Pentecostal Church International or UPCI. When the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and assembled followers of Christ on the day of Pentecost, they began to speak in tongues. Those gathered who had accepted the preaching of the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and as a mark of that reception, they began to speak in languages foreign to them.
As Pentecostals, we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, many of us have undergone a physical baptism by water in the name of Jesus Christ just like believers did in the book of Acts of the Apostles.
Similarly, once we accept and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ as out line in the Holy Bible and choose to follow Him, we can be baptized by the Holy Spirit as well. Recall how the Holy Spirit descended on the believers on the day of Pentecost and utilized the speaking of tongues to broadcast to the world that those affected by the Holy Spirit were not only believers but were filled by the Holy Spirit of God Himself. The speaking of tongues was a sign for the other believers and for the world that each individual had truly accepted Christ and that His spirit had in turn filled them. As Pentecostals, we believe that this connection between Christ, the Spirit, and believers is of the utmost importance.
The importance of having this connection isn’t one that has always been stressed in popular Christianity. In fact, several denominations overlook the significance of a believer being filled by the Holy Ghost entirely. That is why the many Pentecostal movements were established in many Churches in the early 1900’s. Many believers and Pastors felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and knew that they were not in an environment that encouraged an individual connection with the Holy Spirit, and so they decided to create an environment where the movement of the Holy Spirit was not only welcomed but encouraged.
Though young in name, Pentecostalism is a movement that stretches as far back as the New Testament Church does. The Holy Spirit is a tremendous gift from God, and we are blessed to be connected to Him so intimately. As Pentecostals, we encourage you to seek out this gift, to listen to what Jesus asks of you to do with it, and to let the Holy Spirit truly work through you.
If you feel the tug of the Holy Spirit, but are unsure of how to react, then please note that the doors of Pentecostal Life Church are open to you. We encourage you to come and to seek out the answers. Don’t let the Holy Spirit’s call remained unanswered, but truly take the time to understand the gift that it is and the role that it plays in your faith journey.
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Who is Peter? How is Peter relevant to Pentecost?
Before we discuss Peter’s relevancy to Pentecostals and the Day of Pentecost, it is important to have a clear sense of who Peter is. When Jesus came to Peter he was a fisherman. Jesus also healed Peter’s Mother-In-Law, as depicted in Matthew 8: 14-15, and in the gospels of Mark and Luke.
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
Peter is often depicted in the Gospels as one of Jesus’ closest and most trusted disciples. Peter was present for most of Jesus’ miracles, sermons, and otherwise noteworthy acts. One of the more famous of these miracles involving Peter is the story of Jesus walking on water. The Gospel of Matthew recounts Peter beginning to walk on water to meet Jesus, but sinking as his faith waivers.
Peter was present for the last supper, and initially refused to let Jesus wash his feet, as he felt that his master and leader was too important to be doing such for a lowly fisherman. Peter was one of three disciples with Jesus when He went to pray on the eve of His crucifixion. When Judas arrived with the Roman soldiers and Jewish leaders to arrest Jesus, Peter sliced the ear off the servant of the priest in his fervor to protect Jesus. Perhaps one of Peter’s most famous stories occurs throughout that night as he fulfills Jesus’ prediction of denying Him three times before the rooster crows. Upon realizing that He had betrayed Jesus, Peter broke down weeping.
Later, when Jesus is resurrected, Peter is the first disciple to run directly into the tomb to see the evidence of the resurrection. Upon Jesus Christ’s ascension into Heaven, Peter became one of the most influential Church leaders and some of his writings to the early churches make up a portion of the New Testament. This reflects Jesus claim that Peter, also known as Cephas (Rock), would be the rock upon which Christ intended to build His church.
What is Pentecost?
Acts 2: 1-4
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in the upper room. This meant that many spoke in languages that they neither personally knew or understood. This speaking in tongues serves as a sign that those present on the day of Pentecost received the Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of.
John 14: 15-17
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 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[a] in you.
The descending of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is important for several key reasons. First, it provides key evidence for the resurrection and ascendance of Jesus Christ. To many alive at the time, the sight of many speaking in foreign languages and the nature of which the Holy Spirit descended on them is living proof of the power of Jesus Christ. If the God that these disciples spoke of was powerful enough to impart an entirely unknown language into them, then He must be powerful enough to have raised Himself from the dead.
Second, the day of Pentecost illustrates what the Holy Spirit is and what it is capable of. While, the Holy Spirit is not confined only by what occurred on the day of Pentecost, it is important to understand that it is capable of these kinds of miraculous events. God imparted language and the ability to speak it into His followers through nothing but the sincerity of their faith, obedience, and the power of His being. If he can do this, then what can possibly be a challenge for Him?
Why is Peter Relevant to Pentecostals?
So, the question remains, why is Peter relevant to the day of Pentecost and to Pentecostals?
The answers to the first part of this question come directly from the Bible, and specifically from portions of the scriptures referenced above. After the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost, Peter delivered a sermon to all of those present. In this sermon, he reiterated His belief in the truth about Jesus Christ, and He clarified the nature of the Holy Spirit which many in the crowd had just witnessed.
In this clarification, Peter clearly describes the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Peter adds that the Holy Spirit is a promise to all and that believers should repent and and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. As Pentecostals we believe that the events that transpired on the day of Pentecost are not a one-time deal. We believe that the power of Jesus Christ is real, and that He acts in us through the Holy Spirit. Though the act of miracles and speaking in tongues, we know that God is capable of anything and that those miraculous events still occur today. We believe these to be evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit and affirmations of the faith that anyone can hold in Jesus Christ.
Peter is relevant to the Pentecostal Church because He is clear about what the Holy Spirit is and who it is from. Peter gives us the knowledge needed to understand and to fully utilize and appreciate the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ via his sermon on the day of Pentecost.
If you are looking for a Pentecostal Church San Antonito Texas area you are invited to Pentecostal Life Church. It is the desire of Pentecostal Life Church to be an Apostolic Church San Antonio and shine the light of Jesus.