Worldwide revivals around the turn of the twentieth century resulted in the establishment of more than a dozen “denominations” commonly called Pentecostal. While some divergence of doctrine exists, one basic position unites Pentecostals—their common belief that “the baptism in the Holy Spirit” is a distinct experience which all believers may and should have following conversion.

During their formulative years, Pentecostals came from various backgrounds. Revivals of the late 1800s and early 1900s touched individuals in the old-line denominations, as well as many who had no previous affiliation. Early congregations often faced opposition from the community and the established churches. Far from stamping out the groups, hard-hitting opposition fanned the small flame that had a doubtful future.

As the various Pentecostal denominations grew, each established its own program of world evangelism since lack of communication had separated most of the groups during their infancy. However, 15 years ago, recognizing more similarities than differences, ten of the denominations formed the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America. Though each has retained its own organization, their common position on the Holy Spirit serves as a rallying point for united fellowship.

This backdrop provides but a brief history of the work and advancement of Pentecostals. Time has brought changes, but no modification in the emphasis, teaching, and experience of the baptism of the Spirit.

The Promise Of The Spirit

Just before the dark days preceding the birth of Christ, Joel prophesied of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, ...

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