Search This Blog

25 December 2011

Bishop James A. Johnson - The Importance of Properly Identifying Jesus

Merry Christmas! 

Here's one of my favorite sermons preached during an Anniversary Service to the congregation of Zion Tabernacle (Kokomo, IN) sometime between 1991-1995 when Nathaniel Paul Urshan was my pastor.  It's Bishop James A. Johnson, pastor of Bethesda Temple in St. Louis, MO, and the former presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, preaching The Importance of Properly Identifying Jesus.

I hope you and yours have a great day celebrating the birth of our Savior.

09 December 2011

On Quitting -Edgar Albert Guest

I have been living for some time now by the simple motto: "Don't Quit." I still hold to that mantra, but I read a great poem the other day by Edgar Albert Guest entitled "On Quitting."  I hope you get as much from it as I have.


How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it’s an easy word,
And where’er you go it is often heard;
But can you tell to a jot or guess
Just how much courage you now possess?

You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
But have you tackled self-discipline?
Have you ever issued commands to you
To quit the things that you like to do,
And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
Those rigid orders have you obeyed?

Don’t boast of your grit till you’ve tried it out,
Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
For it’s easy enough to retain a grin
In the face of a fight there’s a chance to win,
But the sort of grit that is good to own
Is the stuff you need when you’re all alone.

How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
Have you ever tested yourself to know
How far with yourself your will can go?
If you want to know if you have grit,
Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.

It’s bully sport and it’s open fight;
It will keep you busy both day and night;
For the toughest kind of a game you’ll find
Is to make your body obey your mind.
And you never will know what is meant by grit
Unless there’s something you’ve tried to quit.

04 November 2011

Are You Ready for the Rain?

Right now, while you’re reading this, someone received the Holy Ghost for the first time...in just a few seconds someone else will as well.

In 1999, Pastor Gary Gilley, of Springfield, IL, reported that Pentecostals were “growing at a rate of 13 million a year, or 35,000 a day.”  If this statistic continues to hold true, in the time it takes for a regular scheduled church worship service to begin and end (about 2 hours) around 48 people will have received the gift of the Holy Ghost for the first time somewhere in the world in those 120 minutes.  Jesus is so good!

Truly we are seeing God’s Word fulfilled as we witness the continued restoration of Apostolic ministry and the unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all mankind (Joel 2:22-30).

We must shake off the lethargy accompanying the satisfaction derived from past moderate outpourings and seek to become part of the Holy Ghost deluge that God is bringing to pass right now.

22 September 2011

When Home Is Not There - J T Pugh

Here's another Sunday morning message preached by Rev. J T Pugh to Zion Tabernacle (Kokomo, IN): When Home Is Not There.


This sermon was preached on November 12, 1995, and it was another moment of destiny for many of the people in that house of worship that morning.

Try this alternate site if needed, or to download: When Home Is Not There.

08 September 2011

Bishop E. S. Harper - Introduction to the Book of Romans



Here's the full length introduction to Pastor Harper's 13 DVD series on the Book of Romans. 

You can order the series by contacting the ALC Media Dept. via email (media@lifecathedral.com), or by phone: (304) 781-2525.

You can also order the series online through the Pentecostal Publishing House: Romans DVD Set

01 September 2011

Bishop Edwin S. Harper - Pain


Bishop Harper preaching on the topic "Pain."

Text: Rev. 21:4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

22 August 2011

Bishop Norman L. Wagner - Shekinah II: Trapped In Transition



Bishop Norman L. Wagner preaching on Nov. 6, 2009 at the Original Mantle Conference: "Shekinah II: Trapped In Transition."

17 August 2011

Pre-1900 Examples of Apostolic Doctrine in North America

The following is derived from a symposium paper co-authored by Stewart A. Bertram and Stephen E. Kuntzman in the Spring of 2005 and presented to Parkersburg Bible College (Parkersburg, WV).



History undeniably records various elements of distinctly Orthodox Apostolic doctrine in North America as early as 1677, which was only 70 years after the first permanent settlement was established in Jamestown.[1]  What we will attempt to show is a chronological outline of these various apostolic doctrines and practices as they appear in the index of North American history.  While many will view this as a restoration of Apostolic Pentecostal experience we maintain that it actually proves the continued existence and growth of the orthodox teaching of the book of Acts.  We further assert that there have always been pockets of true believers in every century following and obeying the true message of the New Birth.  Some examples record partial alignment with the Apostles’ doctrine, the following is a list of some of those instances:

  • Society of Friends (Quakers) – “…our tongues loosed and our mouths opened, and we spake with new tongues as the Lord gave utterance, and as His Spirit led us.”[2]
  • John Wesley (1703-1791) – “What so impressed and encouraged John Wesley and his followers, what so shocked, startled, and bewildered his contemporaries, is no mystery to the modern psychologist, to whom it is known as glossolalia…”[3]
  • Charles G. Finney (1783-1875) – “I received a mighty baptism in the Holy Ghost…No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart.  I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart.”[4]
  • John Miller – a Presbyterian minister wrote Is God a Trinity in 1876 and “believed that the doctrine of the trinity was not biblical and that it greatly hindered the Church….He emphatically declared the full deity of Jesus Christ.”[5]
  • D. L. Moody (1837-1899) – According to R. A. Torrey, Moody’s friend and associate, he once witnessed Moody walk to the pulpit to preach but instead of addressing the crowd in English he began to speak in another language.  This occurred one more time before he was able to gain control and preach to the audience, but “only after much prayer and praise.”[6]
  • Lowell, Ohio (1835) – a group of Camisards and/or French Huguenots establish an Orthodox Apostolic Acts 2:38 believing Church, but article IX of the church constitution changes the baptismal formula from Jesus’ name to the trinitarian formula in 1847.  In 1980 Dr. Nelson preaches the Apostolic message to the congregation and they convert back to the orthodox message of Acts 2:38.[7]
  • Dan Huntington (1850) – baptized people in Boston, Massachusetts in Jesus’ name.[8]
  • Canada (1854) – “There was an organization of Acts 2:38 clergymen in Canada.”[9]
  • America (1865) – More than 160,000 Americans spoke in tongues.[10] [11]
  • Alvin E. Velie (1884-1904) – all pre-1900:[12]

1)      Wrote the book Safety First Acts 2:38.

2)      Baptized over 1,500 people in Jesus’ name in Wisconsin.

3)       Preached in various locations along the Mississippi River.

4)      Preached a considerable amount of the time in the Salvation Army.

  • Charles Fox Parham – “the first leader in the twentieth century Pentecostal movement, began to administer water baptism in Jesus' name, although he apparently did not link this practice with an explicit denial of trinitarianism.”[13]  Parham also “formulated the basic Pentecostal doctrine of ‘initial evidence’ after a student in his Bethel Bible School, Agnes Ozman, experienced glossolalia in January, 1901.”[14] 



[1] Weisser, Thomas. After the Way Called Heresy. 1981.
[2] Bresson, Bernard L. Studies in Ecstasy. New York: Vintage Press. 1966. p. 48-52.
[3] Bowen, Marjorie. Wrestling Jacob: a study of the life of John Wesley. London: Watts & Co. 1948.
[4] Finney, Charles G. Memoirs of Charles G. Finney, being an Autobiography. New York.
1876.
[5] Bernard, David K. The Oneness of God. Hazelwood: Pentecostal Publishing House. 1993. 31 May 2005.

[6] Darbee, Lennard. Tongues: the Dyanmite of God.
[7] Nelson, Joseph. Church History. Parkersburg Bible College. Lecture given and Church Constitution shown to class on 18 November 2002.
[8] Synan, V. Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, NJ: Logos. 1975.
[9] Arnold, Marvin M.  Apostolic History Outline. Arno Publications, Inc. 1985.
[10]Ibid.
[11] Blunt, John H. Dictionary Of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical Parties, And Schools Of Religious Thought. Ann Arbor: Gryphon Books. 1971. 
[12] Nelson, Joseph. Church History. Parkersburg Bible College. Lecture on 18 November 2002.
[13] Bernard, David K. The Oneness of God. Hazelwood: Pentecostal Publishing House. 1993. 31 May 2005. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pentecostal/One-Ch10.htm.
[14] Synan, V. Pentecostalism. 16 April 2005. http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/pentecos.htm.

13 July 2011

It's All In Him



If you've ever been to an Apostolic church, that has been around for any length of time, you'll hear this song at some point.  It's still one of my favorite hymns to sing.

10 June 2011

J. T. Pugh - The Removal of Humiliation

J. T. Pugh addressing Zion Tabernacle
There are moments in a believer's life when a sermon is preached and received in such a way that the individual leaves changed, and not just moved. The event stays lodged in the mind as a watershed moment.  Such was the message delivered by the late Rev. J. T. Pugh to the congregation of Zion Tabernacle in Kokomo, IN, on Sunday morning, November 7, 1993.

His Text: Joel 2:26-27
His Title: The Removal of Humiliation
Alternate URL: http://kiwi6.com/file/qttwty566g


For me, the moment holds infinite benefit.  I witnessed lives changed, healed, and restored as that man of God delivered the Word of God.  My own life-course was altered that morning as I sat in the pew listening to Bro. Pugh deliver his heart.

So, for your benefit, I am posting that message here in the hope that someone else will be as blessed as I was so long ago.





18 May 2011

The Power of the Name -T. W. Barnes

T. D. Jakes once wrote, “The devil may be out to defeat you, but God is out to defeat the devil.”[1]


In fact, He has already done more than that: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8).


Jesus Christ has all power (Mt. 28:18, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”) and we have access to that power through the Name of Jesus.


Acts 3:4-7
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.


“Look on us” - - you’ve got to be focused to receive your miracle.  This is the way to deal with people in pain and in need of the touch of God.  Get their attention.  You have what they need.  You have JESUS!


Give your total attention to Jesus and look Him in the eyes with eyes of faith and expectation.  Get so close to Him that you don’t see anybody else, hear anyone else, or are aware of anyone but Him.  Strive to only hear and see Jesus.


Peter and John had everything they needed to minister to the man.  They had a Name:
  • It was stronger than the devil’s name
  • It’s stronger than your problem
  • Greater than your need
  • More intoxicating than your pain


That name is Jesus!


The name of our Lord Jesus Christ is higher than any other name and it “is holy, harmless, undefiled…and made higher than the heavens” (Heb.7:26).

Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


Only the Name of Jesus can heal you and make whole that which is crippled in your spirit, soul, or body.


Why is there so much power in the Name of Jesus?  T.W. Barnes attributed it to the following reasons: 


  1. His Word is in itJohn 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word…”
  2. His Blood is in it – Jesus is a blood name that redeems all people from sin and the effects of sin (sickness, disease, mental disorders).
  3. His Spirit is in it – The Holy Ghost that you received when you spoke in tongues the first time was that Spirit of Christ in you.
  4. The authority of heaven is in it – All power in Heaven and earth belongs to Jesus Christ.
  5. His faith is in it – He made every by the power of His own Word.  He spoke it and it happened.[2]


When we speak the name of Jesus the devil sees all these things coming at him and he runs.  Satan cannot stand against the Name of JESUS.


Are you tired of shouting and nothing happens?  Do you ever “Amen” the preacher but no change happens in your life?  Are you aware of the people all around you every day in need of this Name and not experiencing the power of Jesus, His Blood, mercy, the Holy Ghost, peace, deliverance?


We’ve go to learn to put that name in action.  All that man needed once the Name was spoken into his life was for somebody to put it into action and help him get to his feet so he could stand, walk, and leap.


There are people in the church and in the world who need you to speak the right name into their life.


That name is JESUS!


Reach out your hand in faith, call upon that Name, and put your confidence on Jesus, not the person praying for you. 


Place your trust in Jesus and He will heal your sickness/lameness, He’ll strengthen you in your areas of weakness and give you boldness.





[1] Jakes, T.D. (1997). So You Call Yourself A Man? Bethany House Publishers: Bloomington, MN. p. 40.  (**Much of this is taken from pages 56-58 as well**)
[2] Freeman, Nona. (2007). A Prophet in our Time.

08 May 2011

Confession To Momma


My Momma
Today is Mother's Day, God has commanded us to honor our Father and Mother (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4-6; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20), and it is the first commandment of the Decalogue with a promise attached to it (Ephesians 6:2). 

I love my Mother, LouAnne Kuntzman. 

However, I am unable to be with her this year on Mother's Day. So, I decided to write her a poem, which is not one of my strengths, to try to convey to her my love and appreciation. 

I know it falls short, but I’m trying…So, read at your own risk.
_____________________________________


Confession To Momma
Stephen Kuntzman

The calendar today is marked “Mother’s Day,”

So, here are some things I need to say:

I’ve burned down a barn, crashed some cars,

Smarted off, smoked cigars,

Fought my siblings, cheated in school,

Couldn’t swim then jumped in a pool.

I’ve been late, don’t much date,

And I hate to say, I sometimes obfuscate.

I’ve drank beer, and bleach as well,

I told a lie, and Dad spanked Phill.

I was awake that night on Poplar Street,

Fred won’t think that was neat.

I’ve been mean, sometimes cruel,

Told dirty jokes, and acted a fool.

I’ve been a bully, full of pride,

I know sometimes it was for me you cried.

One thing’s constant, one thing’s sure,

You’ve loved me despite all these quirks.

I never doubted I could come home,

Or call you late on the telephone.

They say confession is good for the soul,

But it’s my experience you’ve already known.

So, with midnight here, and the calendar in sync,

Here’s one last declaration upon which to think:

I LOVE YOU more every day, and know you feel the same way.

30 April 2011

One True God - David K. Bernard


It's been a busy month with little time to post anything. So,  enjoy these great clips of Dr. David K. Bernard teaching in Singapore on the topic "One True God."

Thank you, ApostolicHub2, for posting on YouTube.  :)
Part 2: http://youtu.be/N2rQLDAH3TY
Part 3: http://youtu.be/SfxX_DFi3UY
Part 4: http://youtu.be/WRvR52X3Qg8
Part 5: http://youtu.be/7Aa-T6pSQ70
Part 6: http://youtu.be/qnu42GjUZDM
Part 7: http://youtu.be/DxaTPJOs2m4
Part 8: http://youtu.be/xO81rPYVHyk

09 March 2011

Tithing Your Time

Ephesians 5:15-16, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

It is healthy for a soul to want to do more for God and to be in a perpetual state of personal improvement and spiritual maturity.  There are 168 hours in a week, and if you tithe your time to God as you do your monetary increase then that leaves you with nearly 17 hours a week that you can dedicate solely to God.

Assuming you are faithful in your church attendance, an average service is 2 hours, then you have 11 hours left to invest in your relationship with God in a week, and the real question becomes: "What do you do with these 11 hours of great Spiritual potential?"  Consider these suggestions:


1.      Pray.  You don't have to start out praying an hour a day, but whatever time you invest in prayer will bring results.  Prayer is essential to growing in the Lord.  Learn to intercede, but don't let intercession overwhelm you and rob you of joy.


2.      Read.  Read the Word of God.  Some people spend so much time studying and chasing down rabbit tracks in the Bible that they fail to simply read the Bible.  Pray, clear your mind, then read.  Let His written Word be as food to your spirit and absorb it. Remember: The greatest and final source of self-examination is the Word of God.


3.      Study.  This is the time to follow those rabbit trails. This is the time to look into the deeper meaning of the Scriptures. This is the time to search the Scriptures.


4.      Listen.  Invest time in active listening.  Many people talk to God in prayer, but ignore the richest half of prayer time -- listening to what Jesus is saying to them.  He hears your prayer, but do you hear His?  Prayer is dialogue, not monologue.


5.      Fast.  You want to draw closer to God? Fast one day a week, one meal a day, or three days (typically, 3 days is what it takes to crucify the flesh). You can also fast by setting aside time spent on things that you enjoy (other than food), like the Internet, movies, Starbucks, chocolate, etc.


6.      Praise.  There needs to be some time in your week, or day, where you loudly and demonstratively praise God.  Dance before Him in secret prayer; sing in the Holy Ghost loudly as you're sweeping the carpet; let tears of praise flow. We praise God for what He's done. Shout! Clap! Jump! Sing! Extol!


7.     Worship.  Worship is different than praise.  Study the difference and then apply it to your life.  We worship God for who He is. Lie prostrate before God.


8.      Obey.  Whatever God tells you to do in His Word, in prayer, or by His messengers (Pastor, preachers, teachers...) do!  Remember: God will never ask/tell you to do something that violates His written Word.

Of course, there will be days when you feel like you’ve been with God all day, and others when He seems to be unavailable, but every day is full of potential investment opportunities in your relationship with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as you tithe your time to Him.

01 March 2011

The Longest Valley In the World - Edwin S. Harper

Audio of Pastor Edwin S. Harper preaching  The Longest Valley In the World

Text: Joel 3:14, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."

World Population Clock

Pursuing the Beloved of the Lord

Matthew 5:21-22, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."


Raca comes from an old Chaldean word meaning “O empty one, that is, thou worthless (as a term of utter vilification).”[1]

In a time of prayer, I heard the Voice of God speaking to me these words:

Raca. I said, “Don’t call that word on anyone’s life. My children are not Raca. My children are not cast away. My children are not forgotten just because they are not present. Pursue the absent as you sow for new.”

I believe that we are being reminded and called to once again go to the loved ones of God, and the Church, who’ve fallen and restore them.

As we plant seed hoping for a new harvest of souls it is important that we not forget those among us who are weaker.  Just as we put up stakes in a tomato patch to strengthen the plant and keep it from falling, or breaking, we also must remember that what may appear to be a falling member is really a fellow planting of the Lord that we who are spiritual need to edify and reinforce.

The safest place in town should be with the saints of Jesus Christ, and the safest place is with the saints of Jesus Christ.  His love compels us to not only fulfill the great commission, but to also make sure that everyone in the body of Christ makes the trip.

We don’t cutoff a leg because it is broken, or pluck out an eye because it has an irritant in it, and we don’t marginalize people who may be weak among us. In fact, it is in our weakness, the weakness of the body, that our strength is realized for “we then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).

It is the will of God that we pursue and then bear the infirmities of the weak as we restore the fallen among us. 

What rights have we to condemn, judge, or to cast aside the children of our Lord, when He came into the world, not to condemn His children in it, but to save them? He has provided Himself a ransom for many. He has shown us His mercy, and having believed we walk in grace being patiently taught how to live a sober and godly life.  So, pass those lessons of love on to others who have fallen.

Who among us will strive to not only win a new soul to Jesus, but to also look for our missing brothers and sisters and speak words of love and restoration to them? They're missing, but not forgotten, and just as the father looked for the return of his beloved younger son, we elder brothers should go with the same fervency and intensity that we put into the work of the field to find and bring our missing home.

Determine today, with me, that you will pursue the beloved of the Lord.





[1] According to Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries (Entry # G4469)

07 February 2011

Jeremiah 2:3

Rembrandt's Jeremiah
Jeremiah 2:3, “Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.”



Israel was set apart by God for a holy purpose and thus he held a special position with God. God’s expectation for Israel was delayed by his idolatry and so God chose to discipline him by using as His instrument, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar.


When you value a relationship you will do what you can to keep it strong. God is saying here that although He is allowing the destruction of Jerusalem in order to bring Israel to repentance He will bring distress, misery, injury, punishment, and calamity upon all those who attack, capture, waste, or fall upon the firstfruits of His increase (1).


When we think of the words “firstfruits” and “increase,” in connection with this scripture, we understand that in the eyes of God Israel was the choicest and chief of all God’s revenue (2). As such, Israel was the best of all God’s wisdom. Yet, sin brought about her chastisement.


Also, when we include Leviticus 23:10-14 and Deuteronomy 26:1-12, we realize that Israel was God’s special portion or “firstfruits” that He was to receive before the remaining harvest could be brought in. This indicated Israel’s dependence on God (3). By not depending on God, Israel opened himself up for discipline and God did so through captivity, but those gentile kings and nations who were the instruments of God were also judged for their cruel actions against the Israelites.


-----------------------------------
SOURCE:
(1) http://bible1.crosswalk.com/OnlineStudyBible/bible.cgi?word=Jeremiah+2%3A3§ion=0&version=str&new=1&oq&NavBook=jer&NavGo=2&NavCurrentChapter=2
(2) Ibid.
(3) http://www.searchgodsword.org/dic/sbd/view.cgi?number=T2652