I received the following communique from a FB friend not too long ago. This exchange encouraged me and confirmed once again that my observations on the present state of many of our Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are indeed accurate and something every true minister needs to be concerned about. I deal with all these things in great detail in my new book, Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation. These kind of comments/exchanges with other leaders in the body of Christ further assures me that we are hearing the heart of God in this matter, and have touched something very dear and important to the Lord in this hour of Spirit apostasy.
Here then is the exchange.
“I just finished reading your excellent article about the diminishing use of tongues in the church. Thank you for stating what so many of us are sensing.
A few years ago, I was emailing back and forth with Jack Hayford about this subject. Jack said he was concerned with the same issue you address. For some reason many in the current generation of Pentecostal/Charismatic pastors are not making room for these demonstrations of the Spirit. This has created a generation of young leaders who are not opposed to the things of the Spirit, but have simply not seen it demonstrated in the life of the church.
As a young man during the Jesus Movement, I attended a conference at Bethany Bible College in California. During worship an old saint left the platform and walked up to me and embraced me. He began speaking in tongues in my ear. To a Baptist boy this was something strange and new, but it felt so right. That experience was so profound it changed the course of my life.
I wanted to simply connect to affirm your astute observation. I hope you and I see the return of this powerful gift to a wider audience within the church.
My response: You echo my sentiments exactly when you say that young leaders are not seeing the demonstration of the Spirit. This is because much faith is being placed on the wisdom of men (1 Cor. 2:4-5).
PASSING ON THE BATON
And then, as often happens from reading one of our articles, another minister in Australia, who personally knew a man who walked and ministered with Smith Wigglesworth, contacted me and shared a dream this man had of the importance of passing on the baton of the move of God to the next generation.
The dream featured a funeral of a former Olympic athlete all dressed up in his coffin, having already been prepared for burial. Like a final clue to an unsolved mystery, a closer look in the coffin revealed a baton resting by the athlete’s hand. The symbolism of it is so compelling. The dead man never got to hand the baton off to the next runner. Likewise, we have ministers and generals in the body of Christ that have not been able to pass on the things they’ve seen and learned because the younger ministers did not receive it.
We must understand that there is not only an apostasy from sound doctrine in many of our churches today, but there is now a growing apostasy and/or neglect of the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God.
I received another message recently from a couple in their 50’s who had to leave the “deadness” of their church because its leaders are not allowing the Holy Spirit to move. They are presently looking for another church and they asked me if I knew of any Spirit-filled churches I could recommend in their area. It is surprising to me that they cannot find another Spirit-filled and Spirit-led church anywhere in the area where they live. We have received such requests like this before.
And finally, as further proof of this Spirit apostasy that has spurned from a new methodology (seeker-friendly churches) and philosophy in mainstream Christianity today, we just received news of a mega church in a large city in America that has dwindled to almost nothing because they chose to go this route (many others going this route are actually growing numerically). Although this was disheartening to hear, it was encouraging to know that many believers are finally waking up and realizing that something is wrong. What a grave mistake it is to close the door and limit the workings of the Holy Spirit in the local church. This mega church paid a big price for following in the way of Baal. The devil has our nation in his grip and now he’s coming after the church.
I’ve poured out my heart in my new book. I hope you get a copy. This is not about the sale of a book, but about the Holy Spirit NOT being for sale.