Matthew 7:15 - 18 says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit".
The modern day Pentecostal and Charismatic movements both began on New Year's Day in 1901 in Topeka, Kansas. A woman named Agnes Ozman at a small Bible school "received the baptism of the Holy Ghost" and prayed in tongues for 3 days. (During that time she was unable to speak in English.) Her Bible school teacher, Charles Fox Parham formulated the doctrine that speaking in tongues was the Biblical evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Later in 1905 Parham taught another student named William J. Seymour. In 1906 Seymour was invited to pastor a black holiness church called the Sante Fe Mission, in Los Angeles, CA.by an African American pastor named Julia Hutchins. Seymour didn't have the gift of tongues but he preached it from Parham's teachings and Julia Hutchins, (who had previously been kicked out of the Second Baptist Church in L.A. for teaching a holiness second experience of sanctification), was horrified and shut Seymour out of the church. She later recanted and became a full-hearted supporter of Seymour's message that tongues is the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. Seymour held a series of prayer meetings that "broke out in revival" now known as the Azusa Street Revival. Seymour held 3 services, 7 days a week for 3 1/2 years and thousands of visitors came from around the world to "receive a touch from God". Thousands received the "gift of tongues" and went back to their home churches around the world to impart their "new anointing" with their congregations. So, what began as a small group in 1906 grew into over 500,000,000 Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians around the world by the end of the century. (The Charismatic movement didn't officially begin until 1968 but it spun off the Pentecostal movement out of the Azusa Street Revival).
Now I need to back-track a little in time to include the Welsh Revival of 1904 under Evan Roberts. You see there was a man named Joseph Smale who was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Los Angeles who went to Wales in 1905 to see the Welsh Revival first-hand and he came back to L.A. and held 19 straight services that were in the same fashion as how Evan Roberts conducted his meetings. The leaders of the First Baptist Church felt he had gone extreme on revival so he left that church and started a new one called the First New Testament Church in Burbeck Hall. Now to understand how he led these meetings at his new church you have to know something of Evan Roberts. Evan Roberts' services would consist of singing for an hour and waiting on the Holy Spirit to move before he would preach. He taught the people to totally surrender and be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly. There was very little preaching in any of his services. Sometimes it would take hours for the "spirit" to move through his services and other times it would be instantaneously. And when "the spirit" would come there would be manifestations such as the people swooning and falling under "the power of God". (Of course there was more that took place in these meetings besides swooning that even Evan Robert's right hand woman minister, Jessie-Penn-Lewis, admitted were not of God. She wrote a book called War on the Saints that is supposed to sort out what was of God and what was of Satan, but the book left me totally confused.) Evan Roberts was known for telling people to pray four prayers: 1) Send your Spirit now, 2) Send the Spirit powefully now, 3) Send the Spirit more powerfully now and 4) Send the Spirit still more powerfully now for Jesus Christ's' sake. The Welsh Revival, which is known for "winning 100,000 souls" only lasted two years and by the end of it, Evan Roberts was a wreck and the only ministry he had for the rest of his life afterwards was a quiet one of prayer. But that didn't stop Smale from holding his church services just like Evan Roberts did and many thousands flocked to his services too, and yet Smale never did receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues. It was once said of Joseph Smale, "he was God's Moses to lead the people as far as the Jordan, though he himself never got across; brother Seymour led them across".
Revival and rapid church growth sounds good IF it really is God moving amongst His people, BUT we need to inspect the fruit of these movements, Pentecostalism and Charismaticism, which going forward we will treat as one movement, (will be written as P/C going forward), since they both sprang forth from the same tree. First lets start with the very beginning pieces of this story: the first person to speak in tongues was a woman and the first person to invite Seymour to L.A. was a woman pastor. What does the Bible say about women's roles in the church? I Corinthians 14:34 says: Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience; as also saith the law." And I Timothy 2:12-14 says: But I suffer (allow) not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." You might say Agnes Ozman was in a prayer meeting, not a church service, so it was alright for her to speak in tongues. However, as the Bible warns, women are deceived more easily than men and so the devil could've caused her to speak in tongues easier than a man. Parham followed her lead, just like Adam followed Eve's lead to eat of the apple of the forbidden tree. Then you have a woman pastor in Julia Hutchins who invited Seymour to her mission church. She was repulsed initially from his tongues message but she must've known he was preaching something new when she invited him, because she had been kicked out of her Baptist church for preaching about a second blessing that was to be sought. So, here we have again a woman not obeying the Bible by being in a leadership position over men and initiating a new movement by inviting Seymour to leave Houston to come preach in L.A. This is very important to put in perspective because God does not bless people who go against His Word and yet the Azusa Street Revival has two women, out of line with Scripture, leading the movement.
If you talk to people who believe Azusa street was from God you will hear that these were supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit. But there were and are others that oppose the goings-on at Azusa such as Parham himself. (Remember he taught Seymour at his Bible college.) Parham went and visited the services and he denounced it totally! He said the tongues sounded like chattering, jabbering and no language at all and the confusion and chaos of people falling all over each other made him say, "God is sick in his stomach over the things that have occurred at Azusa. He never changed his mind, to the end of his life he said that Azusa was 'spiritual power prostituted'. Seymour had asked Parham to come and help him sort things out because spiritualists and mediums from various occult groups in Los Angeles were attending and contributing with trances and seances. Seymour wanted to know what was of God and what was of Satan but he never thought it just might all be of Satan. To quote a man named Nader Mikhaiel: “How could an outpouring of the Spirit of God attract the witches, the mediums and the spiritualists? Fragrance does not attract flies - a decomposing carcass does. Mediums and spiritualists are attracted to the spirit that is at work in them, that is, the Devil.” How else could these evil people participate in what was supposed to be a ‘revival’ meeting? The only answer is that the events at Azusa Street were not of God at all, but were of Satan. That has a serious ramification – that Pentecostalism is based not on the work of God, but on the work of Satan. As we have said many times before, this has nothing to do with how ‘nice’ a person is, or how ‘holy’ he claims to be, or how much he says he ‘loves Jesus’, etc. What matters is how he obeys the Lord’s commands as found in scripture. Azusa Street did not obey the Lord, but propagated perversions of truth. What followed, therefore, was also a perversion – which continues to this very day.
In P/C church services the emphasis is always "experiencing God", even when Scripture contradicts the personal experiences. P/C pastors and preachers may say (and they do continually) that the Word of God is their authority but extra-Biblical revelation is approved of a good deal of the time and religious wildfires are sought after. In some P/C churches it is encouraged that the parishioners should come to church "expecting something from God" which actually translates into expecting God to perform for us, like He is the one serving us, instead of us going to church to bring our humble worship to Him. My former Pentecostal preacher used to say when I was talking to him about theological matters "precept upon precept and concept upon concept" but the Bible only talks about precept upon precept, (Isaiah 28:10 says "precept must be upon precept and line upon line" but there is no mention of concept at all) so let's take a look at what concept is versus what precept is. "Concept is an understanding retained in the mind, from experience, reasoning and/or imagination; a generalization or abstraction (mental impression) of a particular set of instances or occurances, while a precept is a rule of principle, especially governing personal conduct." So, did you get that? Precept is based on God's rule or standard (as written about in the Bible) and concept is based on experience or imagination, so if that preacher is allowing concept upon concept to be part of his theology, he is going outside of Scripture to do so. Also, II Corinthians 10:5 says we are to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and we are to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. So, his theological addition of "concept upon concept" is going against II Corinthians 10:5 too.
All Pentecostal churches (and some Charismatic churches) teach that tongues is the evidence of a person getting the Holy Spirit when that is not what the Bible teaches - it is at repentance and acceptance of Christ that a person gets the Holy Spirit. There may not be any physical evidence of salvation since salvation is based on faith not signs. (See John 3:8) Some Pentecostal denominations go as far as to say a person is not saved if they do not pray in tongues. Others teach the health and wealth theology which is that it is God's will that everyone be healthy and financially well off. The pursuit of worldly success has been the fruit of the wealth theology and with the health theology there is a guilt that attaches itself to a Christian when they don't get healed. Those who pursue worldly success, ie: money and materialism, are in danger of losing the true faith of Christianity and those who don't get healed and feel like it's their fault for lack of faith can go into a deep depression and may lose their faith and may even take their lives. Another danger is how P/C's emphasis on experience has led them to be aligned with, and even embrace, other religious groups who share the gift of tongues such as the Roman Catholic Charismatics and Mormons. (Satanists also pray in tongues, so one has to wonder does that make P/C's aligned with Satanists? And if P/C's say Satan is a counterfeiter, our tongues are real and his followers have a false tongue. How do they know what is a true or false tongue when most of the time they don't know what they are saying? Sometimes there are interpreters in a church but even still how do we know that person is hearing from God in their interpretation of the jabbering tongue message?) But Satanism aside, Mormonism and Catholicism are not true Christian denominations and the Bible tell us in 2 John 1:10 "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed." So, this shows we are not to be unequally yoked with other religious groups that have deviated from the true faith written about in the KJV Bible. (See 2 Corinthians 6:14) Also in P/C circles, dreams and visions are held up as "words from God" to share with their congregations and several P/C preachers have stories of them going to heaven and talking with Jesus. Some of these stories do not even line up with what Scripture says about heaven. Following in their preachers and teachers foot-steps, many P/C's now see themselves as Prophets and Apostles that are more highly anointed of God than other Christians, which is contrary to Scripture. Jesus says in Revelation 2:15 that He hates the practice of the Nicolaitanes, which is the practice of a hierarchical religious system. Remember how Jesus served man even to the lowly act of foot washing and admonished his followers to do the same? Some P/C churches will have Foot Washing Services but ultimately what is produced in P/C churches is Pride. That's because of the heavy influence on "the gifts of the Holy Spirit" rather than "the fruit of the Holy Spirit". Parishioners are led to believe God needs them in order to "have church". It doesn't take long for parishioners to grow in boldness under P/C leadership/teachings to where they feel their Word of Knowledge, or Prophecy, or Message in Tongues, or their Interpretive Dance or their Song, or their Running the Aisles, is adding the touch from God that everyone needed to experience in the House of God that day. They are disappointed to not have something supernatural take place in their church that day so thereby the Word of God is not held in the highest regard, (as they tout it is), in those denominations. The teaching of the Word of God is all we need to grow in our faith and the Holy Spirit works in subtle ways sometimes much more powerful than in the grand displays that go on in P/C churches.
Another obvious problem with P/C churches is you will hear a lot "the Holy Spirit told me this or did this" and you will hear a lot about the devil attacking in this way or that but you will not hear as much about Jesus Christ. They will preach Jesus but more often than not you will hear more about the Holy Spirit and how He is moving amongst the church in signs and wonders. It becomes a goal to know the Holy Spirit more intimately rather than the Lord Jesus Christ. And this is wrong because the Bible says the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus so why do P/C parishioners talk more and more about the Holy Spirit than Jesus Christ? And why is the devil focused on so much (in how he is attacking Christians and in the world itself) instead of Jesus being lifted up as sovereign in all matters? Again, to be fair, P/C churches do lift up Jesus in their sermons (some) and in worship (some) but an apparent sign of a P/C congregation as compared to a non-P/C congregation is how much you hear about the Holy Spirit and the devil to where you begin to think Jesus needs His people to move in supernatural ways to fix the world.
I have listed a few ways that P/C churches are dangerous to one's faith and no matter which of these deviations I have listed take place in someone's P/C church, the bottom line is their church services become about the human beings in the church rather than the lifting up of Jesus. P/C denominations end up mixing Humanism with Mysticism and they create a form of Idol Worship of Man. These denominations are growing by leaps and bounds because people feel good there because their egos and self confidence are stroked and the flare for excitement is there with the supernatural happenings. In other words, their flesh gets fed at equal to sometimes greater degrees than their spirit (and their spirit will only grow if they preach the Word correctly, if they don't, then their spirit isn't growing at all.) For more insight into these denominations please check out the links below and read what I have written about Revival Fires which explains some of what I have personally been exposed to and also please go to the "About the Author" page (2) and read my journey into and out of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.
Pentecostal History by Tim Naab: http://www.seeking4truth.com/pentecostal_history.htm has two interesting points at the top of the page that I will post here:
"The loud speaker or singer believes that
his self-induced hypnotic trance is *enthusiasm
believes that this means that god is within. He
doesn't know that Philo coined this word to describe those afflicted, as in
Corinth, with enthus o mania
- just momentary insanity.
Philo "developed a doctrine of ecstasy
or ek-stasis, which means standing outside oneself.' This is the highest
form of piety which lies beyond faith. This mysticism unites prophetic ecstasy with
a word which comes from en-theos-mania, meaning to possess the divine.
From this there comes finally the fully developed mystical system of the Neo-Platonists,
for example, of Dionysus
the Areopagite. In this mystical system the ecstasy of the individual
person leads to a union with the One, with the Absolute, with God." (Tillich,
Paul, A History of Christian Thought,
Quakers, Shakers, Pentecostals and Charismatics: http://www.seekgod.ca/quakers.htm
What's Wrong with Modern Day Tongues? http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/bible/tenproblems.html
What's Wrong with Being Slain in the Spirit? http://www.scionofzion.com/slain.htm
A woman tells how she was attacked by the Kundalini spirit in a Pentecostal revival service: http://www.velocity.net/~edju70/test1.htm
A Mormon explains how he got tongues, (which proves it is not Biblical for today)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc-ti5Y8n2QWord of Faith (Health and Wealth) Preachers: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/word-faith.html
Joel O'steen, The Smile of Deceit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v32-j-NQUqk
Benny Hinn's response to NBC Dateline's investigation into his ministry: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/hinndatelineresponse.html
TBN Exposed: http://www.tbnexposed.com/index.html and http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/2012/03/tbn-exposed.html and http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/tbn_exposed.htm and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFx2-ErL28k
Pat Robertson's 700 Club or 7000 who have not bowed their knees to charismatic ecumenism: http://letusreason.org/Popteach49.htm
Inside the 700 Club testimonial by a former Co-Host: http://fair.org/extra/inside-the-700-club/
(If any of these hyperlinks don't work, please copy them and paste them in the URL because these web addresses are for websites that are online. I do check my links periodically due to videos and websites that get removed).
I use to go to a Pentecostal church some years ago. Speaking in tongues and jerking and shaking was so common. They said it was the Holy Spirit. My mom never wanted to go but she accompanied me one day and when they started doing that, she practically dragged me out. She said she saw smoke and a creature that looked like a demon up towards the front. Thank you for sharing and God bless ❤️
I grew up in Pentecostal. As a teenager saw someone...supposedly filled with the holy spirit. screaming spitting writhing and jumped up banging both shins on the alter. blood pouring everywhere. pple saying Amen. I was terrified and knew it wasn't righteous!
Here are some videos of women who are explaining how there is a false spirit in the church today that claims to be the Holy Spirit (Christians claim it's manifestations are from the Holy Spirit) but it is the Kundalini spirit from Eastern religions and the New Age movement. It is highly seductive because it knows how to imitate God by making people feel extreme love and joy and a person has to really want truth over feelings to recognize how it's not the Holy Spirit. God is faithful through His Word to deliver a person entrenched in Kundalini because He delivered me from it as He led me out of my Pentecostal church "revival" experiences. The last video demonstrates what a person, the young lady, is like when under the control of the Kundalini spirit. Of course her whole group is deceived in it, one man standing on his head in a yoga position on the curb and none of them can say when they were saved.
But some of you might be saying right about now: But the Apostle Paul spoke about tongues to the Corinthian church and he said he prayed in tongues more than anyone, so how can it be wrong? Please read through these articles specifically going over the tongues chapters found in the book of I Corinthians.
When Did the Gift of Tongues Cease? by Pastor Dennis Kiszonas - https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/when-did-the-gift-of-tongues-cease/
Commentary on I Corinthians 12 - 14 by Matthew Henry (English minister and Bible commentator who lived 1662-1714) - https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/1Cr/1Cr_012.cfm
Here is a Wikipedia outline of a preacher who was a Quaker, (see my link on Quakers and Shakers) and then Assemblies of God charismatic preacher before turning atheist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Barker
This former Pentecostal website used to have a blog where I personally read stories of people who not only left the Pentecostal denomination but becamse atheist. It seems there is a problem with their website because the only page other than the home page that has any information anymore is this one I want to post because it shows some famous ex Pentecostals. In my opinion these people on this list went onto to live for the devil in the entertainment industry. http://www.expentecostals.org/famous.htm
Here's a guy who was a Pentecostal parishioner who turned atheist who made a documentary film telling people why. I won't pay to see it but I am providing the link so you can see this guy exists: http://www.joshpreville.com/losinggod
Here's a guy who was doing fine in his Christian walk until he met some Charismatics and their influence on his life caused him to lose his faith and become an atheist: http://www.skeptimusprime.net/2015/09/06/that-time-pentecostals-turned-me-into-an-atheist/
This young lady says the opposite, that Pentecostals don't just become atheists but they usually take some unilateral steps into other religions before turning atheist but she is a former Pentecostal who is now a non-Christian. But she explains what I say above, how there is so much supernatural in Pentecostalism that these Christians often go into Wicca or Shamanism and then some onto atheism. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=pentecostals+turn+atheist&qpvt=pentecostals+turn+atheist&view=detail&mid=71AF78066EBA436FE03571AF78066EBA436FE035&FORM=VRDGAR
At this point you might be thinking that I don't believe Pentecostals or Charismatics are Christians or that God helps people in supernatural ways. That would be incorrect because I believe there are true Christians in every denomination but I feel they will suffer (their faith in the Word and then finally in God will derail) and they will mislead others if they don't eventually leave their false denominations. My concern is for them, I don't want them to suffer like I did. But I am not against God moving in supernatural ways because salvation itself is a supernatural act! And I do believe God does miracles today and I do believe He can choose to work through signs and wonders BUT I believe He does these supernatural workings when He decides to move in that way, (and it's usually in times when a person is without any other way to get help), but it is NOT when Christians are taking authority and commanding signs and wonders, especially in weekly or nightly church services full of entertainment. And I believe sometimes God's supernatural power is so subtle that the circumstances change (ie: someone's cancer goes in remission) but there may not be an immediate outward physical manifestation of it, so no big show is put on for an audience. I do believe Scripture gives us the authority to cast our demons in Jesus name and that this is the compassionate thing to do when and if we meet someone bound up in torment but I believe people need to be careful though in this type of work, they need to just pray in Jesus name over the person and help the person to repent of their sin(s) which led to the person's demonic possession/oppression. If you teach the person to realize that Jesus conquered the devil at the Cross of Calvary and tell them to bring everything to the Cross in prayer, the devil will flee from them eventually. However, if the person praying deliverance over others gets big-headed and thinks they "have a gift" for deliverance, they will get bound up in demon-chasing and find they are more bound than the person(s) they are trying to help. I am against the Deliverance classes that group up supposed demons by their categories and the deliverer prays over the possessed/oppressed with a list of names of demons and their categories of strongholds. These lists are not in Scripture and no where do we see any of the Apostles doing this kind of work. And since we are not Jesus, all we can do is lean on the Holy Spirit to guide us as we pray over someone and to use the principles of the Word, such as Jesus conquered everything at the Cross. I also believe a Christian can be bound up in sins that can cause them to be oppressed and I would suggest that person read their Bible (KJV) a lot and even listen to it on CD throughout the day or at night while they sleep. This will allow the Holy Spirit to bring that person's sinful areas to their knowledge so they can repent and get set free. They can take their sinful attitudes or belief systems (such as idol worship or any kind) to the foot of the Cross and repent and ask the Lord to forgive them and fill them with the Holy Spirit in a deeper way. I am very against what is called Territorial Spiritual Warefare, which is where people supposedly discern or hear from God about demonic powers in the heavenlies that are supposedly keeping people or cities or this nation from getting saved and they work in teams to "pull down these strongholds". We see none of this in Scripture and there have been many reported incidents in Christian's lives who practice this of very bad things happening to them. It seems to open doors for Satan to directly attack them. Sure, there will be problems for Christians when they do God's work, but it is wise to know the difference of persecution for the sake of the Gospel and all-out evil attacks in the spirit realm or against one's health - if you are overwhelmed by the latter, then you are most likely operating in occult realms and are outside of the safety of Scripture.
I do believe God appears to Muslims in visions and dreams when they are living in countries where the Gospel is forbidden to be preached and He may even do something supernatural to help a person get saved where the Gospel is preached. God is in the saving business but it does not allow for Christians to call themselves Apostles and go around claiming the Apostles' power For Muslim testimonies please visit: http://www.muslimjourneytohope.com/watch.php
I do believe God does miraculous healings and that Christians should pray for Divine healings, with faith that God can heal a sick or dying person but that sometimes its God's will for that person to die. God has a planned amount of time that each of us has down here and while He may grant more time to someone as we see with King Hezekiah in Isaiah 38, we also have to accept that sometimes He will not act in the way we ask Him to. This is contrary to what the Faith Healers teach and I would never advise a sick person to attend a Faith Healers meeting! I also would warn Christians of having anyone lay hands on you and speak over you if the minister deems himself/herself as having a gift of healing.
Out on the mission field, I know God sometimes heals a person as they accept Christ and/or right afterward, because I have heard many true accounts of this. I am sure this happens here in America and in Europe too, not just the remote places of the world. But often times God moves supernaturally out of compassion for someone who does not have the means to get medical help and/or if it is someone the doctors could not help such as the woman who had an infirmity of blood for 18 years found in Luke 8:43-48
So in conclusion I do believe God does miracles or signs and wonders but NOT for church congregations on a weekly basis (as some form of performing for believers), and I believe that to seek for the miraculous, for signs and wonders, and/or to put them ahead of the Word or equal with the Word , allows Satan to come in through his demonic forces and make chaos out of the Christian faith. The Bible says that those who seek a sign are an adulteress generation. It is very, very dangerous for a person to seek experiences because the devil is a great counterfeiter and can easily deceive a human, causing them to literally spin off-course from the straight and narrow path! And the oppression they will bring on themselves will take a lot of Word soaking and repentance (turning from the sin that caused the oppression) for the Christian to get free.
There are some Charismatic churches that are very toned down and are more like regular Protestant denominations but you still have to be careful because there will be some form of liberalism such as ecumenism (accepting of Catholicism and Mormonism as equal to Christianity) or the ministry may all center around the preacher and his egotistical goals. One television minister who I've watched over the years at times is Leslie Hale. I never was a die-hard fan, but thought of him as someone trying to preach the full truth of the Word of God, and he does preach against the Catholic church which made me feel he's pretty safe to listen to. (Out of all of the preachers on T.V., he would be the only one I would listen to at times - sometimes just for a few minutes but sometimes for the full hour if I though he was preaching right. I especially liked how he railed against all of the phony T.V. evangelists with their "prosperity gospel" of asking for money with promises of people getting rich from their giving to them.) However, I did find it suspect when he began his "Wilderness Tabernacle" construction project that would cost $2 million dollars. It turned out to cost $3 million and the money was raised by his asking for donations from television viewers for 5 years! I found this to be excessive and unnecessary since you can teach the significance of the Old Testament Tabernacle through a film showed in a designated movie room next to the church sanctuary for a minimal cost. And now that the Tabernacle is built and open for guests, he is now making a plea for $200,000 to help save his television ministry - if he is unable to raise it, he will never be on T.V. again. This latest request of his prompted me to google him and read some articles written about him in his homeland of Belfast Ireland. It turns out when he was in his 20;s he had a grand plan to build the largest church in the UK since WWII and he failed with only two small buildings begun and $180K in debt to banks and faithful parishioners. He moved to the United States and bought a home and church in Tarpon Springs, Florida so he could start over, leaving people in his homeland confused, hurt and angry by his actions. It further turns out that he got into this trouble because he subscribed to the teachings of Oral Roberts back in that day, who you know had a vast empire of buildings such as a Christian college and hospital etc. The ironic thing is that out of all of the times I have heard Leslie Hale railing against the "prosperity preachers", he has never once said "I used to believe like them and I got into trouble by following it and I hurt people and I regret that". No, he acts like he was always too wise and grounded in Scripture to believe any of that, and that he is outraged "by these T.V. evangelist charlatans", which I feel, in light of his past, is pretty dishonest. Not only does he need to come clean about his past, he needs to see that he is still the same, using other people's donations to make his ministry a larger visible accomplishment. One visitor of his church has said there is no Cross or the words Church on his church building, it only displays his name. This is what I mean about the Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations, they are dangerous because somehow, in some way, large or small, they become about man and not God. Of course I would be re-miss if I didn't say this could happen in other churches too, it's just, I believe, it happens more prevalently in P/C churches.
So in conclusion, if you are looking for God, don't be fooled that you will know Him best by being in a Pentecostal or Charismatic church because of all of the experiences they have. This type of thinking is actually rooted in pride and leads to denominational snobbery and it lacks faith because you are actually looking for constant reassurance that God is approving you. And maybe its because you have failed to understand that it's repentance and belief in Christ that is your assurance - once you turn from living for self and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior - you are in the family of God for eternity - whether you ever get a supernatural confirmation of that or not. Trust Christ's promises, not the supernatural!
If you want to get born again in Christ Jesus, please take this time now to talk to God. You can say something like this: God I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior and I believe Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. I believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He lived a sinless life because He was God in the flesh, and that He was crucified as the once for all sacrifice for mankind's sins. I believe he was buried and rose from the grave and was witnessed alive before ascending to heaven where He now sits on the throne as King of Kings. I repent of my sins and accept Jesus' gift of salvation today and I ask Him to be my Savior and Lord. I ask the Holy Spirit to come and make a dwelling in my heart and to lead me into all righteousness. Thank you God for hearing my prayer and for sending your Son to save me by dying in my place at the Cross so I can be in the family of God. And Father, I understand that while I am saved by my confession of faith, it is also Your will for me to get water baptized to show my private confession in a public way, and so I ask you to lead me to the church or baptismal situation you have for me so I can get baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!