Recently I was asked by a person who is in the United Pentecostal Church system what my thoughts are on the New Birth, the Trinity (mainstream Pentecostalism denies the Trinity) and Speaking in Tongues, and how to reconcile the fact that Pentecostals believe anyone who doesn’t speak in tongues, or believes in the Trinity, or is baptized unto the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are lost.
What is stunning, and normal all at the same time, is that this person came in secrecy, knowing, like Nicodemus did, what the repercussions would be if their peers in Pentecost knew the questions this person was asking. Fear of man is the kingdom of Satan and any church system that uses fear this way is the daughter work of Satan.
Basically, the Pentecostal doctrine of salvation looks like this, and each step is required or it is of no effect. Meaning, you can repent, and be lost. You can be baptized, and be lost. You can speak in tongues, and be lost. They take salvation as a scripted ideal for all humanity from Acts 2:38.
- Repent (throw away your sinful ways and conform to Holiness(legalism), defined as their dress standard, casting out television, Hollywood, makeup, women wearing pants, jewelry, hair dye, etc., and obedience to the pastor no matter what he says.)
- Be Baptized in Jesus Name – Only an Authorized minister may baptize you, and according to Pentecostals, you only get wet if the minister says ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’. Baptism only works if the minister says, ‘I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ’.
- Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost which is only valid if the recipient, at the time of reception speaks in other tongues. This is not tongues and interpretations, Pentecostals believe that the initial evidence of receiving the seal of the Spirit (2 Corinth 1:22) is a separate and required act of speaking in tongues. This is due to multiple instances in the book of Acts where people spoke in tongues after believing the Gospel.
Added to the doctrine of Salvation post Acts 2:38 experience are these, and counted equal to the requirements and costs of salvation.
- Accepting Holiness and maintaining Holiness, which as stated in Repentance, is primarily a dress and conduct standard. No pants on women, no cutting of women’s hair, no jewelry, no makeup, no ball games, television, alcohol, etc.
- Rejection of the Trinity – While there are still some Pentecostals that are Trinitarian, Pentecostalism at its core and beginning and the bulk of the denomination is based on the denial and strict rejection of the Trinity – to the degree that if anyone believes the Trinity, they cannot and will not be saved, even if obeying Repentance, Baptism, and Speaking in Tongues formulae as interpreted via Acts 2:38.
This ideology means everyone from around 300 A.D. (The Nicean Council time frame and the Pentecostals belief of when Pentecostalism was crushed) to 1945 A.D., had no hope of Salvation, as Pentecostals claim to be the only true church of the book of Acts, that was shrouded or hidden to man, lost in time, known only to a few pockets of people across the planet in obscurity, and that it did not re-emerge until the early 1900’s in what is now known as the Azusa Street Revivals of Charles Parham.
The problem with this ideology? Scripture.
You see, everyone and many have can take a scripture or two, ignored its context and hermeneutical meaning, and the rest of Scripture around it, and morphed a denomination into reality. A wise man told me many, many times, that whatever you believe with emotion, becomes reality, even if it isn’t.
Oddly enough, most of these people will quote ‘there is no private interpretation of Scripture’ and then go on to create their own private interpretations. Enter the United Pentecostal Church, International., an organization that was created from the rejection of their heretical teaching by early Assemblies of God denominations.
For instance, and as I wrote about in Men and Women’s Apparel in Ancient Days and Today Pentecostals and other Holiness groups have taken an Old Testament Scripture, completely out of context, completely ignored ALL surrounding Scriptures, and formed a modern doctrine out of it.
This doctrine is women wearing pants. Because Deuteronomy 22:5 says ‘Women shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man…’, Pentecostals have created the doctrine that says that what pertaineth unto a man is pants. Our study proves by the cultural definitions that this has nothing to do with pants or breeches, but more importantly, that Pentecostals are denying and ignoring the surrounding scriptures. We talked about this in the article Are We Cherrypicking the Scripture.
This concept is true of the following topics of this study, being the New Birth (Born Again), the Trinity vs. Oneness, Speaking in Tongues as required for Salvation (New Birth), and whether or not anyone is saved who does not follow the Pentecostal denominational positions.
You can find a debate between David K. Bernard, the current general superintendent (leader) of the United Pentecostal Church, International., and James R. White about whether or not speaking in tongues is required for salvation here. You’ll notice, all throughout the debate, that David K. Bernard at once confirms the requirement and at the same time refuses to say it outright.
I want to end this introductory article to the lesson series by asking you to watch a message from Francis Chan, a preacher who founded a 5,000 member mega-church who gave it all way, realizing that God wasn’t able to work in a structure where 5,000 people came to sit silently and listen to him, cancelling out the Gifts of the Spirit that are supposed to work directly in each human being. Ritual, tradition, works, and judgmentalism was crushing God’s work.
Pentecostals have created a structure whereby your salvation and faith is in obedience to a man, and man’s commandments, or false doctrines. You are supposed to abide in Christ (1 John 2:27) not in Man! The man takes the focus off Jesus and places it on themselves. They will judge you and discourage you unless you obey them and their rituals.
In doing so, you lose your Joy of Salvation and your focus is on man and not Jesus Christ. You’ll start judging people for not being just like you when your focus is on man and not Jesus Christ.