Years ago, we taught in all of our Churches that Pentecost was “an Experience.”
This experience was the same thing that happened on the Day of Pentecost in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts.
We taught that this Holy Ghost experience could fall on anyone, anywhere and that it did.
People got The Holy Ghost at home, in their car, excuse me, in their denominal Churches, under tents or in storefronts and absolutely any place the heart was ready to receive it, right then and there.
We had no problem recognizing this and were filled with great joy that someone was filled with The Spirit, no matter where. That is a fact of our history whether some remember or know that.
You see, we could see The Holy Ghost on people, it was unmistakable. The glow of The Spirit was all over them and I’ll have to remind some of us that it did not matter what they had on or what they looked like, you could tell it.
Their face radiated with the joy of The LORD. Well, so did ours at that time. They had this Pentecostal experience and to deny that, would have been equal to blaspheming against The Holy Ghost to us.
You did not do such a thing. Someone would have thought of us that if you could not recognize The Spirit in someone else, you likely did not have it yourself.
We were far more careful about the things we said and what attitude we portrayed in days gone by. Besides, we did not want to look ignorant or be considered so by our peers.
We could recognize The Holy Ghost. Our spirits agreed with their spirit and that automatically made us brothers and sisters in The LORD. What happened later was what changed everything.
We expected them to come to our Churches and get in line with the rest of us and many of them did. But somewhere along the way, if they did not come and join our group, or practice everything we understood, they must have lost their Holy Ghost or something, because we didn’t have need to fellowship with them, or know them anymore.
Most of you know that there was another outpouring of The Spirit in this country around 1970 and people began to receive The Holy Ghost in about every Christian Church in this land; a tremendous move of The Spirit.
Frankly, most of those people were driven out of their denominal Churches, because the majority did not want people talking in tongues and acting such a way in their services.
Sadly my kindred in Christ, because these people did not immediately begin to dress, act and believe like we did, we absolutely rejected perhaps an entire new generation of Pentecostals.
We turned our backs on them. So, they started worship centers and Churches where they would worship God, and be blessed in The Spirit without someone casting nets over them and forcing them to comply with rules they did not understand, or even know about.
We were very caustic about their standards and dress codes and threw them down the road, because their doctrine did not match ours.
Some of the innocent souls did not even have a clue about doctrine or which way to baptize.
May I say, the same thing was going on in the New Testament Church. They didn’t know any better. They had not been taught.
Many were absolute babies in Christ and the first thing we hit them with was a ton of commandments and traditions they neither understood or even recognized.
So, maybe many of them are not where they want to be in God today, yet they still desire to know Him in a much fuller manner.
But what has happened to us in the meantime? I’m not going there. It’s not my point and it wouldn’t do any good anyway.
Some of us will argue over doctrine and baptism until Jesus comes and continue to deny the Pentecostal experience that abides in all of us, these people included.
It’s past time that we began once again to see what The Spirit sees in people, not just what they look like on the outside.
They either have The Holy Ghost or they do not. If we are not manifesting the fruit of The Spirit ourselves, then I promise you, they are questioning whether we have the real thing either!
If we could all strive to recognize, appreciate and celebrate the most important thing we have in common, that is the experience that was poured out on the day of Pentecost, that was poured out upon us also, there is no telling what The Spirit could teach us all in this hour.
There is something we all must never forget. Pentecost will continue to be poured out upon this Earth until Jesus comes back, with or without us.
We are not the only ones going to Heaven. It’s not our message that’s driving so many away from us, it’s our attitude.
When the absolute Glory of The LORD begins to shine on our faces again, as it once did, people will want to hear what we have to say and wish to sit down at the feet of Jesus with us together and learn whatever it is He has for us in this day.
If Pentecost has become a religion, we have lost The True Spirit of that Day that changed the world forever.
We knew them by the look on their face and our spirits agreed together for there is only one Holy Spirit.
May it be so again. Let The Spirit say, Amen.
First Published: November 16, 2010.
~ Robert Blackburn