Define Church – Spirit Fullness II – Mark Brand 05162020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church, I talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts.

My latest podcast episode

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.

The Death of the Mega-City?

This is a fascinating article that I encourage leaders and anyone interested in broad social trends to take the time to read.
 
“As of this writing, the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain. But one possible consequence is an acceleration of the end of the megacity era. In its place, we may now be witnessing the outlines of a new, and necessary, dispersion of population, not only in the wide open spaces of North America and Australia, but even in the megacities of the developing world.”
 

Define Church (Act 1-2) – The Fullness of the Spirit

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church in the heart of downtown Dallas, Texas, I talk about the infilling of the Holy Spirit in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts. Click here to listen online or subscribe via Spotify or iTunes.

A Sobering Thought

In times past, we preached that sinners were wretched and that grace was amazing. Today we tell sinners they are amazing, making grace a needless afterthought.

In times past, we preached a gospel of salvation. Today we preach a gospel of self-improvement.

In times past, we preached death to the flesh, death to self and death to sin, pointing to a brand-new life in and under Jesus. Today, we preach that Jesus came so you could fulfill your dreams, that He came to make you into a bigger and better you.

We used to preach the gospel of self-denial. Today we preach the gospel of self-realization.

And sadly, it is Pentecostals and charismatics who have often led the way in preaching this so-called gospel message.

Michael Brown in Charisma Magazine

 

The Value of Trust in Time of Change

This is an excellent, excellent, excellent (did I say that enough to pique your interest?!) audio podcast every leader could benefit from listening to right now.

Mark Labberton (President of Fuller Seminary) and Andy Crouch (past Editor of Christianity Today).

A Word for Leaders in This Season – John Bevere

Earlier this week, John Bevere shared a word with a group of pastors regarding what he believes the Holy Spirit is doing during this season. If you are a spiritual leader serving the Body of Christ in any capacity, I encourage you to take the time to watch this recording of that Zoom video meeting. It will be worth it!

Camera Masterclass – Craig Groeschel

Many of us who are pastors have been thrust overnight into an online streaming environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If ministering in front of a camera instead of a live audience is new to you, I urge you to watch this short video by Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life.Church. He shares some simple, yet very effective tips on how to connect with an online audience as a speaker. He does it as effectively as anyone I have ever seen, so this video is well worth your time!

Defining Church – The Book of Acts

I began a new sermon series yesterday dealing with the New Testament Book of Acts. In this introduction, I highlighted the single, most common mistake people make when reading and/or interpreting this part of the New Testament. This is a clip from our livestream from our Antioch Church campus in the heart of downtown Dallas, Texas. If you would like to watch the service in its entirety, including our worship and prayer, click on the following link instead: https://youtu.be/34NUM9n6cIo.