Why I Left Pentecostalism
Jeremy Hiltz wrote the following presentation in true kindness yet direct honesty. The article has no intention to create division or hurt in any way but is simply sharing some sincere thoughts about the need to examine the doctrines
of Pentecostalism more deeply for some very harmful fruits have arisen from some of their doctrines. Jeremy made his teachings into a video and I am simply sharing his main points about his concerns about modern day Pentecostalism. Jeremy was a Pentecostal
preacher for a season, but as he studied their teachings more deeply he knew the Lord was calling him to leave Pentecostalism and the following article will explain the reasons why. I too attended a Pentecostal church for a few months. At first, I was impressed
by their enthusiastic services since most churches I'd ever attended seemed to have no real life for the Lord. But after a few months, I could sense that some of the doctrines they focused very heavily on were not right and I felt compelled to leave there
for the exact same reasons that Jeremy left Pentecostalism. I hope and pray that the following article will be an eye opening blessing to you as it was to me. ~ F. A. Butler
I. Understanding the two fundamental and foundational doctrines of Pentecostalism.
There are two major doctrines that are the foundations of Pentecostal preaching and beliefs:
1. The first major doctrine that they hold onto is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate and additional part of salvation.
2. The second major Pentecostal doctrine is that they believe that speaking with other tongues is the initial evidence of this baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecostals arrive at this interpretation primarily through the book of Acts, and they claim to be just like the people in the book of Acts and that they have followed the book of Acts pattern. However, they are incorrect about this and do not follow the book of Acts pattern as we see in this book. The primary accounts in the book of Acts are found in: Acts 2, Acts 4, Acts 8, Acts 10, and Acts 19.
But if you read and pay attention closely to these Scriptures and read them slowly and carefully, you'll realize that none of these Scriptures teach that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate and additional event to conversion, and also NONE of them teach that speaking with other tongues is the ONLY physical evidence that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has occurred. Pentecostals (such as the Assembly of God/AOG Pentecostals), teach that unless someone speaks with other tongues, then this person has not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and other Pentecostals (such as the United Pentecostal Church/UPC), teach that unless a person speaks in tongues then they do not even have the Holy Spirit at all!
II. Let's examine the Scripture in the book of Acts to determine if these Scriptures truly teach that tongue speaking is the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism.
Do the Scripture in Acts truly teach that unless a person speaks in tongues that they have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Please read the following chapters on your own, and I believe you will find that they do not teach that a person must speak in tongues or they have not received the Holy Spirit.
Acts chapter 2: Jesus had commanded the disciples to wait and tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. Pentecostalism teaches today that each individual Christian must tarry and wait until they too are endued with power from on high. Yet Jesus did not tell the disciples to wait INDEFINITELY for this power, but the day of Pentecost was a specific chosen day for the disciples to receive this. We read in Acts chapter 2 that thousands were converted on this Pentecost day, and the Bible never mentions that these thousands all spoke with other tongues. The tongues in Acts chapter 2 were actually a supernatural attention getting SIGN to proclaim the mighty works of God to people of many different languages in Jerusalem at Pentecost. These people then heard the full Gospel preached to them by Peter, and thousands were cut to the heart and saved! What good news!
Acts chapter 4: In verses 29-31 it shows us that speaking God's truths with BOLDNESS as the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not speaking in tongues.
Acts chapter 8: In verses 14-19 of this chapter it never mentions speaking in tongues as one of the evidence of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit even though they HAD received the Holy Spirit.
Acts chapter 10: In verse 46 it gives the evidence of speaking in tongues PLUS magnifying God to help Peter know they received the Holy Spirit baptism.
Acts chapter 19: Here we read in verse 6 where they spoke in tongues AND prophecied.
So WHY do Pentecostals ONLY mention tongues as evidence, when the Bible mentions OTHER evidence of Holy Spirit baptism such as boldness, magnifying God, and prophesying? WHY do they ignore this OTHER evidence?
III. Pentecostals teach that each individual Christian must seek a second experience known as Baptism of the Holy Spirit - but is this true according to the Word of God?
Acts 1:8 gives us a key to understanding the book of Acts. Here we read:
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in JERUSALEM, and in all JUDEA, and SAMARIA, and to the END OF THE EARTH."
This scripture shows us that there were 4 places mentioned (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth), where the Lord wanted the Gospel witnessed to. As we read through the book of Acts, when the disciples arrive at each of these four places, God sends a supernatural sign in each of these 4 incidences. When we read the book of Acts where God is initially accepting people from these 4 major regions, we read that EACH TIME God gives a supernatural sign.
The reason for the supernatural signs in each of these 4 areas is because God wanted the apostles to know beyond the shadow of a doubt, in an undeniable supernatural type way, that God ACCEPTS these different groups all the same! The apostles did not care for the Samaritans and were prejudiced toward the Samaritans, but God LOVED the Samaritans and wanted them to be witnessed to, and showed the apostles this truth in a supernatural way- What glorious news!
So the book of Acts is NOT teaching through each of these 4 accounts that each individual Christian must seek an additional and separate experience known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit by speaking in other tongues, but RATHER that God was trying to show us something FAR MORE MARVELOUS, which is that God has ACCEPTED people from EVERY nation....PRAISE GOD! God has POURED out His Spirit upon the WHOLE EARTH, and ANY nation that truly believes, God will give them the Holy Spirit freely! THIS is the wondrous message of the book of Acts and not some man-made doctrine that says that tongues are the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism.
IV. The deep pain that results from preaching/teaching Pentecostalism's two main doctrines.
Jeremy discovered that as he searched the Scriptures for truth and sought the Lord earnestly on these matters, that Pentecostalism's main doctrines which they repeatedly sought to reinforce were simply not true. Jeremy said that he deeply regrets that in his past he once preached Pentecostal doctrines.
He said he knew that one day that he would have to stand before the Lord and explain to the Lord why he taught these false doctrines/heresies concerning that speaking with other tongues is the initial evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jeremy made a video which kindly and patiently explains these thoughts and discoveries of his so that others might not fall into the same trap and deception that he fell into, but rather for our hearts to be established in faith and in the truths of Christ.
V. 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 gives a death blow to the idea that tongue speaking is the initial evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 12:28-31 gives a death blow to the idea that tongue speaking is the initial evidence of baptism in the Holy Ghost. Here we read:
"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
Here it is explained to us that God has set SOME in the church (not all) to fulfill various positions. God had only given SOME to be apostles, teachers, etc. and only SOME to have diversities of tongues and not everybody. Are ALL prophets and workers of miracles, and do ALL speak in tongues? The answer is "no!" and the Greek version of these verses makes these truths even more emphatic.
Pentecostals are therefore at odds with the Apostle Paul, for they elevate tongues to being the only sign that someone has had the Holy Spirit baptism. Folks, this is WRONG, and it is heaping needless condemnation and rejection on believers who've been born-again by the Spirit of God.
Romans 8:9 tells us that if ANY man has NOT the Spirit of Christ, then he is not His. In other words, if you don't have the Holy Spirit, then you are not saved according to this. The United Pentecostal Church invented their "tongues or hell" doctrine from this verse because of the heresy of regular Pentecostalism that teaches that speaking in tongues is the only initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Error begets error and heresy breeds heresy. The United Pentecostal Church/UPC has become a true cult due to this false doctrine.
Friends, Do not be discouraged or deceived by those who teach that if you do not speak in tongues then that means that you don't have the Holy Spirit or that you're not filled with the Spirit of God. There's no evidence in the Bible that teaches that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's a lie and a doctrine of man, and we should be angry with this doctrine because it destroys people's lives and their faith!
I have spoken with people after church services who felt so condemned because they had sought tongues for their ENTIRE LIVES and they were elderly and had never spoken in other tongues before, and they felt condemned! Some of these people even believed they were going to hell because of this. The Lord rebuke any man who preaches or teaches this Pentecostal doctrine when it destroys and hurts people so much! It's a false and hurtful doctrine.
The two foundational doctrines of Pentecostalism are wrong and are heresy. Jesus told us to judge a tree by its fruit and we can also see that the fruit of Pentecostalism is bad fruit. The fruits of Pentecostalism has brought forth the fruit which teaches that the Trinity is of Satanic origin. Plus look at the fruits of TBN and other such popular ministries who teach damnable heresies like the prosperity gospel, lying signs and wonders and so on. Nearly every damnable heresy of the 20th century came from Pentecostalism to include nuns and priests speaking in tongues and supposedly "filled with the Holy Spirit" yet still remaining in Catholicism and doing things like praying to Mary and so forth. It's disgusting to even think that such people are "filled with the Holy Spirit", while men who've DIED for their faith yet never spoken in tongues, were NOT filled?! Friends, this is ridiculous and damnable HERESY! Also, the Emergent church was birthed from the Pentecostal/charismatic movement and you can trace this back to some church movements in Australia. So if we are to judge a tree by its fruits, then I'd say this tree is corrupt and promoting false doctrine worldwide.
Lastly, NO ONE in the history of the church taught that tongues were the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism until around 1900. None of the great revivalists taught this, nor the early church. It's a doctrine of men and not of God. I pray that this article will open many eyes and help them to come out from among the lies and stand up for the truth.
Article by Jeremy Hiltz