Pertinent Pentecostal Perversions of Pentecost
Larry Ray Hafley
1) In Acts 2, miraculous events, viz., "a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind," and "cloven tongues like as of fire," in addition to Holy Spirit baptism occurred (vv. 2, 3). However, nothing like these marvelous, puzzling and perplexing sights and sounds accompanies a modern day Pentecostal service. Why not, if, as they claim, they exemplify the "Pentecostal experience?"
2) In Acts 2, the recipients of Holy Spirit baptism spoke tongues or languages which the audience could hear and understand (vv. 4, 6, 8, 11). Pentecostals of today babble like a baby and chatter like a chimp. None speak a language which the audience speaks as they did in Acts 2, yet they claim the "Pentecostal experience."
3) The ones who received Holy Spirit baptism delivered a dignified discourse in Acts 2:14-41. Pentecostals shout, cry and moan incoherently. Their preachers deliver unorganized speeches which are full of philosophy and clever witticisms, but they rarely present an arranged speech on a given topic for any length of time as was done in Acts 2. Still, they avow, aver and avouch that they have the true "Pentecostal experience."
4) The speakers, the preachers received Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2, not the audience, but Pentecostal preachers urge the audience to "get the Holy Ghost" at their services. This is the reverse of Acts 2, yet they claim they are duplicating the "Pentecostal experience."
5) No one in Acts 2 was urged to "come to the front" and "pray through for the Holy Ghost." This is always done at Pentecostal services, yet they claim they are imitating the "Pentecostal experience."
6) Sinners were exhorted to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins in Acts 2:38, but Pentecostals urge people to "reach out" and "feel the Spirit of God come into your heart." Why not say what the apostles said if they are indeed reenacting the "Pentecostal experience?"
7) In Acts 2, the ones saved were added to the church of the Lord (v. 47; Acts 20:28). Pentecostal converts become members of various Pentecostal Holiness groups and sects which are unknown to the New Testament, yet they claim they are the direct result of the "Pentecostal experience."
8) Not one of the recipients of Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2 told how he felt when he received it. None of them described it as a "thrilling, refreshing sensation that made me tingle all over." They did not mention a single physical feeling, but one of the first things a Pentecostal wants to tell is how he felt when he "got the Holy Ghost." Is this truly comparable to the original "Pentecostal experience?"
9) None of the ones who received Holy Spirit baptism on the day of Pentecost ever said that their experience transformed their drab, dismal life of sin into one of joy, beauty, happiness and forgiveness. Pentecostals of today often make this claim for what happened to them when they discuss their alleged "Pentecostal experience."
10) No one in Acts 2 was told to "expect a healing." No one was asked if he wanted to give his "testimony of healing," but this is done at nearly every Pentecostal service today as they attempt to relive the "Pentecostal experience."
11) In Acts 2, the miracles that transpired served to confirm the word preached (v. 33). But Pentecostal preachers expect that their word will confirm their claims of miracles. The apostles confirmed the word with miracles, but Pentecostals "confirm" their miracles with words; the exact reverse of the "Pentecostal experience."
12) Those who received Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2 performed "many wonders and signs" that even their enemies could not deny (Acts 4:16). Pentecostal preachers say they cannot work miracles "because unbelievers are present with us." Certainly, this is not the genuine "Pentecost experience."
Truth Magazine XX: 32, pp. 501-502