Spiritual Encounter As A Path to Truth

Going through some of my past papers, I came across this paragraph from one of the essays I wrote during my Master’s degree at the University of Birmingham, U.K. I believe this now more than ever concerning those of us who are Holy Spirit-friendly Christians:

Pentecostal theology is inherently pragmatic, focused above all else upon fostering, understanding, and commending a personal, transformative encounter between the individual and Almighty God through the agency and power of the Holy Spirit that results in a life of fruitful activity. In contrast to the Westminster Catechism which answers the vital question, “What is the chief end of man?” by replying, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” a full-throated Pentecostal response to the same query might be, “To encounter God and serve Him forever.” While human beings in some instances are of course prompted to seek the Lord or to dedicate their lives to furthering His purposes on the earth as a result of learning some particular truth or truths about Him, Pentecostals believe the human journey towards understanding and serving God ideally begins in a personal, supernatural encounter with Jesus by means of Holy Spirit baptism. In other words, while many non-Pentecostals tend to believe right gnosis is the surest path to right praxis, most Pentecostals intuitively sense that authentic spiritual experience provides the best fuel to power any quest for spiritual truth.[1]

[1] Brand, Mark. “Spirit Baptism – Historical Distinctive or Essential Doctrine?”, University of Birmingham, 2018.

Author: Mark Brand

Born in 1960, Mark was raised by ministry parents in the USA and South America. A fourth generation pastor, he sensed his own call at a very young age. Before coming to Dallas in 2003, Mark ministered as an itinerant preacher, Bible school instructor, and career overseas missionary in partnership with Teresa, his best friend and wife of more than thirty years. While living in Paris, they helped lead a French-language congregation and trained emerging spiritual leaders throughout Europe and in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In 2011, the Antioch Church family embraced Mark’s vision to relocate into the heart of downtown Dallas. Mark and Teresa’s greatest earthly joy is their two children, Charity and Jean-Marc, who were born to them as answers to prayer following many years of infertility. In addition to serving as a Team Antioch ministry volunteer, Teresa home-schooled their children in partnership with the Coram Deo Academy where she teaches elementary school while she pursues her MA in Teaching at Dallas Baptist University.

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