We Prayed for Healing. God Brought a Pandemic. | Christianity Today

I urge you to take the time to read this interview about the impact of COVID-19 upon the church led by my friend, Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt and Pastor Claude Greder, that has been so unusually used of God over the years in divine healing. In my view, it resonates with some very important truths that every Christian (especially spiritual leaders!) needs to embrace.

 

A coronavirus outbreak at France’s biggest Pentecostal megachurch changed their view of providence, judgment, and fellowship.

Source: We Prayed for Healing. God Brought a Pandemic. | Christianity Today

Define Church – How Jesus Still Heals Today – Mark Brand 06282020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church in the heart of Downtown Dallas, Texas, Pastor Mark Brand talks about how Jesus still heals through His church in the modern era. This is part of a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts. Find out more at: www.MarkBrand.org / www.TeamAntioch.com. Antioch Church – Helping People Everywhere Know Jesus and Love Others…!

NOTE: This message was recorded via a Zoom during a period of COVID-19 quarantine, so the audio quality is degraded.

My latest podcast episode

Define Church – Why Jesus Still Heals Today – Mark Brand 06212020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church in the heart of Downtown Dallas, Texas, Pastor Mark Brand talks about why Jesus still heals through His church in the modern era. This is part of a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts. Find out more at: www.MarkBrand.org / www.TeamAntioch.com. Antioch Church – Helping People Everywhere Know Jesus and Love Others…!

My latest podcast episode

Define Church – What is the Church? – Mark Brand 06142020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church in the heart of Downtown Dallas, Texas, Pastor Mark Brand talks about the significance of what the Church is, in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts. Find out more at: www.MarkBrand.org / www.TeamAntioch.com. Antioch Church – Helping People Everywhere Know Jesus and Love Others…!

My latest podcast episode

Define Church – The Day of Pentecost II – Mark Brand 06072020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church in the heart of Downtown Dallas, Texas, Pastor Mark Brand talks about the significance of the Day of Pentecost in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts. Find out more at: www.MarkBrand.org / www.TeamAntioch.com. Antioch Church – Helping People Everywhere Know Jesus and Love Others…!

My latest podcast episode

Early Pentecostal Hermeneutics and Female Empowerment

Early North American Pentecostals allowed women to engage in a wide spectrum of spiritual leadership activities, including the public preaching and teaching of Scripture when men were present in the audience. My research for my M.A. Dissertation at the University of Birmingham (U.K.), which included a thorough review of all of their extant newspapers (1906-1908), led me to conclude that the right of women to minister in these ways was so widely considered to be a desirable and godly form of praxis that the authors and editors of these journals did not feel any particular need to defend or explain their position.

This was the result of several factors:

First, experiential evidence of the Holy Spirit’s sovereign gifting carried tremendous weight as Pentecostals evaluated all manner of manifestations and issues, including questions pertaining to biblically appropriate female empowerment.

Second, understanding the mechanics of embodied Spirit fulness and gifting as something more akin to actual Spirit possession than to mere Spirit influence confirmed and strengthened Early North American Pentecostal belief that God had clearly chosen to empower women for ministry functions.

Third, the initial perception of gender-inclusive xenolalia as a God-given means for missionaries to overcome linguistic barriers to the communication of the Gospel was taken as added proof that women could be called to preach.

Fourth, the widespread conviction that the Pentecostal movement was the fulfillment of Joel’s end-time prophecy pre- disposed early North American Pentecostals towards gender-inclusive ministry and provided them with an identity framework that linked all of the above factors together in a synergistic relationship.

These realities were undergirded by a pneumatologically-centered hermeneutical method that accorded great value to legitimate spiritual experience, both externally in the acts of God in human history and internally through supernatural illumination of the human mind and spirit during the consideration of the biblical text. The pattern within the early North American Pentecostal newspapers and the interpretive models advanced by both Archer and Thomas parallel the approach taken by the Early Church in its evangelistic efforts and are supremely biblical.

Simply put, the faith of the first Christian disciples and the Gospel they preached were grounded in historical events rather than in concepts or ideas. At its heart were the narratives of human experience connected to the birth, life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. These experiential testimonies carried such weight in early Christian thinking that it caused them to reevaluate and, in some instances, totally change the way they viewed the Hebrew Scriptures. They wrote the New Testament in order to document, understand, defend, and ultimately communicate these experiential truths. Since their faith flowed out of and rested upon a foundation of experience, it is not surprising that experience also weighed heavily in their hermeneutical thought processes, including during the Council at Jerusalem. Similarly, when the earliest North American Pentecostals became convinced that the risen Christ was deliberately and actively pouring out the Holy Spirit upon them, distributing gifts as a function of His divine prerogative, this profoundly informed the way they viewed and interpreted the Scriptures relative to the question of women in ministry and leadership.

If you would like to find out more about my research in this area, you can obtain a free copy of my entire dissertation by clicking here. It is entitled, “Theological and Hermeneutical Considerations Regarding Female Empowerment Within Early North American Pentecostalism (1906-1908).”

God’s Plan for Women in the Last Days

I have been asked by a Christian university abroad to record five hours of teaching explaining what the Bible says about women preachers and leaders. In the attached series of YouTube videos entitled, “God’s Plan for Women in the Last Days,” I set forth my understanding the biblical basis for this by means of an overview of what the Scriptures say about this subject. Please note that these videos were recorded “live-to-tape.” Although they are unpolished and contain thoughts that I want to develop further, they represent the essence of my thinking this issue.

I received the invitation to undertake this project against the backdrop of my having written my Master’s degree dissertation in a related area. You can click here to read a copy of that online. I feel a sense of calling from the Lord to write a book on this subject that presents a balanced biblical foundation but that also gives practical counsels as a “father in the Lord” to young women who sense God calling them to preaching, teaching, and/or leadership ministry and who do not know how to respond. While other people are very capably tackling these issues within the academic realm, I want to write a popular, but theologically and exegetically sound book that includes sources and documentation, along with suggestions for further reading. Once I am finished, I want to get this translated into as many languages as I can and disseminate it without concern for profitability to as many nations as possible, including inside Iran. That nation now has the fastest growing church in the world and features a very large proportion of women pastors and church planters.

I just finished uploading the first four videos in the series. I also plan to do a fifth video that deals specifically with 1 Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 14, and Ephesians 5 in the biblical text. I have uploaded these videos without any post-production and/or edits, so if you watch them, you may notice a few times where I mispronounce a biblical name or mistake a Scripture reference, etc., but since this is the kind of thing that can happen in a live classroom presentation, I offer them to you “as is.” I also intend to share these recordings in audio-only format via my podcast. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions, but please understand that I am unable to invest any time in extended debates about these issues if you happen to hold a position in contrast to my own.

John Wesley’s Ecumenism

“By these marks, by these fruits of a living faith, do we labour to distinguish ourselves from the unbelieving world from all those whose minds or lives are not according to the Gospel of Christ. But from real Christians, of whatsoever denomination they be, we earnestly desire not to be distinguished at all, not from any who sincerely follow after what they know they have not yet attained. No: ‘Whosoever doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.’ And I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that we be in no wise divided among ourselves. Is thy heart right, as my heart is with thine? I ask no farther question. If it be, give me thy hand.”

+ John Wesley (1703–1791), the founder of Methodism, played a leading role in the development of the Holiness and Pentecostal movements. He wrote prolifically on diverse subjects such as salvation, the power of music, and anti-slavery, and his tracts were widely distributed. In “The Character of a Methodist” he refers to the “marks” of a Methodist as loving God and loving neighbor, praying without ceasing, rejoicing always, giving thanks in everything, and desiring only to please God. At his death Wesley was considered by some the “most loved man in England.”

Source: Ways Forward for Western Evangelicals – Fuller Studio

God’s Way With People

“God sees according to his wisdom, so he can make an impression on each soul in the best, that is, most effective, way. The methods, occasions, and hours are different for all so that one cannot determine it. The Lord takes hold of one in preaching, another in his house, overcomes a third in the street, another again out in the field, and seizes a fifth in the very act of sinning. Therefore, it is not in accordance with the gospel to lay down fixed rules, or to set forth methods and forms in which souls must first be situated, or to expect a coincident method in the seeking and gathering of souls. One must entrust to the Savior’s free grace and judgment how he can and will reach souls.”

+  from Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf (1700–1760) in Christian Life and Witness: Count Zinzendorf’s 1738 Berlin Speeches. Zinzendorf was a reformer of the Moravian church, an acclaimed hymnwriter, and ultimately was named an Anglican saint.

Source: What Does Fuller Mean by “Evangelical”? – Fuller Studio

Evangelism in a Day of Revolution

This article is a little lengthy, but WELL worth taking the time to read. It was written by Leighton Ford (Billy Graham’s Associate Evangelist) fifty years ago during the tumultuous 60’s. It is as relevant today as ever.

“The Church stands with all mankind at a crossroad, sharing a common concern: Which way do we go to make a new world? There are some who say, ‘Learn’—education is the way. Some say, ‘Earn’—economic development will solve our problems. Some voices are crying, ‘Burn’—society is so corrupt we must destroy it. There is truth in all of this. But Jesus Christ says, ‘Turn. Be converted. Put your trust in God. Seek first his will. Then you can be part of the new world God is making.’ Most revolutions fail because they are not revolutionary enough. They fail to grasp the fundamental problem, the problem of the human heart.”

Christianity Today, October 24, 1969