THE CHURCH HISTORY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Pentecost Experience During GREAT SPIRITUAL RENEWALS THROUGHOUT 2000 YEARS OF CHURCH HISTORY-
Over THE PAST two thousand years of Christian history, there have been many renewals, refreshings, revivals, and reforms.
Without the intermittent spiritual awakenings from The Spirit of God, the church alone without guidance, would have drifted into corruption, ritualism, prejudice, superstition and ignorance, and ultimately, of unimportance.
However, during the centuries, devout talented scholars and teachers who were Spirit empowered people, continually challenged the legalistic, philosophical and theological heresies that were not aligned with The written Word of God.
The early church knew that Jesus intended the work of the church be done in the power of The Holy Spirit.
All the original Apostles and disciples at Pentecost and Christians throughout the first century identify themselves with the first experience of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4) as recorded on the Day of Pentecost, being a Gift from God sent to believers by the ascended Jesus.
They all recognised the Gifts and Manifestations of The Holy Spirit were ongoing to all believers from God and always available and applicable, as stated in the Bible.
Acts 2:38,39 “Peter replied, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
God gave His Spirit to all His people to witness and prophesy.
This promise of God has never been withdrawn from any believer of Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit is here in the world today, He, as a representative of Jesus in His place on earth has never been taken away from the presence of God’s people. God does not take back a gift once He has given it, and because of Jesus, He sent the Holy Spirit, with His gifts and manifestations over 2,000 years ago.
The Holy Spirit was evident and spiritually active in the lives of the Early Church Fathers, who have been included in an abundance of written and historical testimony as well as other prominent Christian leaders who experienced the same manifestations of God’s supernatural gifts such as utterances and prophesies and recognized the operation of all spiritual gifts among average Christians.
There are different gifts but only one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-11). Each gift serves to unite the church. Even during the despondency of the Middle Dark Ages there are repeated testimonies of special spiritual visible gifted qualities that had given individuals influence and ability for the Christian church awakening and renewal.
During The Reformation Era the major Reformers and their successors also recorded evidence that referred to the supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit which equipped them during their lifetime for church ministries. Many had personal spiritual occurrences.
During the spiritual transformation of the 18th Century, many outstanding Christian leaders wrote of their deep religious experiences and demonstrations of The Holy Spirit‘s work.
The 18th century offered followers a “second blessing,” which was called “entire sanctification,” an instant crisis experience that was also described as “perfect love” or “Christian perfection.” History tells of a meeting where ministers were 'thrown to the floor in a dramatic visitation of divine power.'
In both the 18th and 19th Centuries the revivals of this era saw great manifestations of the Holy Spirit and in the 19th century the holiness movement often called this second blessing a “baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
In the early years of the 20th Century, the refreshings of The Holy Spirit’s outpouring was called the Modern Pentecostal Movement. On both sides of the Atlantic there were expressions of The Holy Spirit accompanied by 'speaking in tongues' and other expressions of Spiritual Gifts as had happened in previous generations.
Coming from the holiness association, a new enthusiastic faction appeared that continued to emphasize the supernatural Gifts of the Spirit including signs and wonders and became known as Charasmatic, that is one who believes and receives divine equipment for the renewing of the Body of Christ. There were many Protestant Charismatic communities who shared the experience of the power of The Holy Spirit.
This Charismatic Movement was also birthed in the Roman Catholic Church and was officially endorsed by Pope John XXIII at the Vatican II Council (1962-1965).
Many of the great revivalists and evangelists of the 19th and 20th Centuries spoke of their personal relationship with The Holy Spirit and the manifestation of speaking in tongues. This group included many Spirit filled men and women.
Followers who are baptised with The Holy Spirit called themselves Pentecostals, since they looked back to the Day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room.
The world today of the early 21st Century, in which a high percentage are Pentecostals, the number of those receiving God’s Gift of The Holy Spirit given to believers of Jesus Christ, is growing at three times the world population growth.
The Holy Spirit’s work is to direct, energise and equip the Church in its endeavour to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The accomplishments of the church, its growth and particularly its permanence is attributed to The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s role in History will continue until that which is perfect has come, being the return of Jesus Christ, as promised.
ABDA ACTS Art and Publishing C
|SCRIPTURES Acts1:1-4, Acts 2:38
QUESTIONS 1] Who promised The Gift of The Holy Spirit? 2] Who sent the Gift? 3] To whom was this Gift promised? 4] Does God have favourites to whom He gives gifts?
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