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Baptism in the Spirit is not a conversion experience; a person must already have been converted before they can receive baptism in the Spirit. Pentecostals believe that baptism in the Spirit is an essential part of salvation. Traditionally this is a second baptism that follows conventional water baptism, although some passages of scripture reverse this sequence. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience in which the believer gives control of themselves to the Holy Spirit although not in a way in which they lose their own identity and autonomy.

Through the experience they come to know Christ in a more intimate way and are energised with the power to witness and grow spiritually. Spirit baptism is believed to be an action of God's grace, but one that is available only to people who put themselves forward to receive it:. Analogous with water baptism, a person baptised in the Spirit feels themselves to have been totally immersed in the Holy Spirit.

But the analogy fails at that point, because a person who is baptised in the Spirit is also completely filled with the Holy Spirit, in the same way as the disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost. The proof of having been baptised in the Spirit is speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is the only consistent event associated with baptism in the Spirit in the various Biblical accounts of the phenomenon. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a temporary state of affairs; a person who has been baptised in the Spirit is believed to have the Holy Spirit within them to empower and guide them for the rest of their life. The Baptism is the entry experience introducing the believer to the beauty and power of the Spirit-filled life.

The Holy Spirit will enable the believer to turn away from their old worldly life and live a new Christian life. As St Paul put it:. But as well as giving a new beginning to the believer, baptism in the Spirit gives them gifts of the Spirit which they are expected to use to bring others to faith, and generally to further Christian work.

The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural abilities given to believers by God.


These gifts demonstrate the power of God and are used for particular purposes such as healing the sick, and generally helping the believer in their Christian ministry. St Paul listed the gifts of the spirit as love, prophecy, healing, wise speech, faith, miraculous powers and ecstatic speech. In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, "as the Spirit gives utterance". It first happened to the disciples on the day of Pentecost. Speaking in tongues can be either evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or a demonstration of the gift of tongues. Theological texts also use the word glossolalia to refer to speaking in tongues. This word is sometimes restricted to ecstatic speech in non-existent languages. They do, of course, have rituals and ceremonies like communion and water baptism that other churches treat as sacraments, but Pentecostals refer to these as ceremonies or ordinances.

Ordinances, like sacraments are visible representations of invisible realities. Some Pentecostal churches practise foot-washing as an ordinance of humility in their services. In doing so they follow the instructions of Jesus, who washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. Prayer cloths are small cloths like handkerchiefs that are used in healing. The practice is based on this passage of scripture:.

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. The healer prays over the cloth which is given to the sick person, who may bring it close to the afflicted part of their body.

The famous American Evangelist, Oral Roberts, had a "ministry of prayer cloths" in which he sent anointed cloths to anyone who asked for prayer. Each cloth carried this message:. I prayed over this cloth for God to deliver you--use as a point of contact Acts Oral Roberts, Tulsa 2, Oklahoma. It is not necessary to wear the cloth unless you feel you should.

It can be used more than once or for more than one person. If you wish to request more, I will be glad to send them to you. The important thing is to use the cloth as a point of contact for the release of your faith in God, so that when you pray and put the cloth on your body, you will believe the Lord will heal you at that moment. I have prayed over this cloth in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and asked Him to heal you when you apply it to your body. An American Life, Prayer cloths were particularly popular in the first part of the twentieth century, but they are still used today.

Prayer cloths are also used by Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists. Latter rain is a term referring to the new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on today's Pentecostals. The events of Pentecost are known as the former rain. The idea of latter rain comes from this Old Testament text, which precedes Joel's prophecy that God will pour out his Spirit on all people:. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.

The early Pentecostals were keen to connect their own experience of the Spirit with that of the disciples, so they interpreted Peter's quoting of Joel's prophecy in Acts 2: They interpreted the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost as the early autumn rain, and the second pouring out of the Spirit, that they were experiencing, as the later spring rains; the Latter Rain.

The idea of latter rain is found throughout Pentecostalism, but the Latter Rain Movement, founded in , teaches that the second coming of Jesus is due to happen soon and that latter rain is evidence for this.

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They justify this using scripture. Some Pentecostal churches engage in the dangerous practice of handling poisonous snakes during services; teaching that doing so successfully was a gift of the Spirit. They base this practice on Mark Although this practice has been given sensational publicity in the media, it was always extremely rare, restricted to small sects, and largely disapproved of by the larger Pentecostal denominations.

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Pentecostalism began among poor and disadvantaged people in the USA at the start of the Twentieth century. Although the movement is a modern one its foundation is usually taken to be the American Azusa Street revival in the first decade of the 20th century , its roots go back to the 18th century Wesleyan Holiness tradition, the 19th century Holiness movement and the late-Victorian Keswick Higher Life movement. The Wesleyan Holiness movement was a reaction against the formality and ritualism of the traditional Christian churches of the time.

It taught that Christians needed to be transformed by a personal experience of the truth of Christ which they could only get through the power of the Holy Spirit. Members of this Methodist tradition experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit which was given that name in by John Fletcher. Baptism in the Spirit was an important feature of all the Holiness churches. The difference between these earlier traditions and the Pentecostal movement was, on the surface, speaking in tongues as a physical sign of baptism in the Spirit.

The theological conflict underlying this was that members of the Holiness tradition believed that the Pentecost story did not need to be interpreted absolutely literally in modern times, while the early Pentecostals were committed to seeing baptism in the Spirit as an absolute re-enactment of the day of Pentecost.

Parham's Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, spoke in tongues actually, the story is that she spoke in "Chinese", and did not speak English again for several days. On January 3, Parham and a dozen other students also spoke in tongues. In Seymour preached that God would "send a new Pentecost" if people prayed for one, and was rewarded when he and his congregation began speaking in tongues. This event, greatly helped by apocalyptic thoughts prompted by the San Francisco Earthquake which happened soon after, sparked a powerful religious revival driven by the three doctrines of salvation, sanctification and baptism in the Spirit, and in which the gifts of the Spirit were seen on a large scale.

Over 13, people are said to have spoken in tongues in the first year. At first the Pentecostal ideas flourished in individual church groups across North America, and it was not until that the first Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God in Christ, was founded. It became the headquarters of a network of Pentecostal churches which became known as the Apostolic Faith Church.

Pentecostal worship is less formal and more emotionally expressive than that of other Christian traditions. Participants worship with body, heart and soul, as well as with their minds. Much Pentecostal worship is designed to bring about an experience of God's presence, and to this end the atmosphere, worship-leading and music encourage openness to the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible teaches us that God wants the best for us: Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6: However, many Christians can't find their soul mate in church, and many singles are simply too busy to maintain an active social life. This is why we want to help unmarried Christians to meet other Christian singles — for a serious relationship, but also for fellowship and spiritual growth.

Jesus spoke about marriage in Mark Sadly, it also shows our brokenness, when we review the divorce rate, even among Christians. Therefore we believe every relationship is worth fighting for.

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This is why you can only join cMatch if you're truly single — it means you can't join if you're 'almost divorced' or separated. Many Christians are hesitant to write a personals ad, since they want to wait for God's guidance. After all, choosing your spouse is a choice for life. However, one does not rule out the other. The monks used to say "ora et labora" — pray and work.

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