The demands of the Evangelist!

The great commission of Jesus demands our response. It takes more than having an idea; it takes making an action for the cause of Christ. While many are happy with big events and talking about what we should do; the rubber meets the road when being an evangelist demands your lifestyle!

As Ralph M. Riggs says in So I Send You, ” Every Christian should be prepared through training and experience to turn casual encounters into soul winning opportunity.”[1]Ralph Riggs, So I Send You, p.54

An evangelist will travel anywhere, preach to anyone, at any cost for people to be saved, healed and deliver. It is not about what we want but taking the gospel to the ends of the earth as the Lord commanded.

The history of the Church is the history of the evangelist. Those who preached the gospel with miracles confirming the message. Zinzendorf, Wesley, Woodworth-Etter, Wigglesworth, Coe and Allen all point to one truth: When Jesus is preached, miracles happen.

The price for evangelism has not changed in the last century. The methods have changed to a degree but the price has not. The cost for soul winning never goes on sale and there is not a bluelight special for it. It will cause you your life as you know it.

The Testimony of the Moravians

They lived with a motto of “May the Lamb be worthy of His suffering!” With that vision, a group of refugees became mighty evangelists to the world. Within five months of revival starting, they had missionaries going to the ends of the earth.

After a year of revival, they had 26 missionaries and when Count Zinzendorf died(1760), there was over 220 missionaries. Many of them would sell themselves in slavery for the gospel to be preached.

Every move of God is missional in focus or it is not a move of the Spirit. These missionaries knew the price and they paid it. When a group of them arrived in Jamaica, they had a third of the island baptized within a matter of months. This is just one example of many.

One of the more famous conversions that they had was on a boat from America to Europe when they met a young and confused John Wesley. After meeting the Moravians, he said that there was a “strange warming of the heart.” it was at this point that he started the road to true conversion.

David Zeisberger was a missionary to the Indians in the United States and saw such a move of the Spirit that leaders had him thrown in prison for preaching the gospel. When the gospel destroys wicked business, revival has come!

Everywhere they went; they didn’t teach theology, doctrines, or biblical theory. They only proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ which was the preaching of the Cross. The message of the Cross was the “diamond of the golden ring of the Gospel” to them.

For more about the missionary calling of the Moravians, Check out The Moravian Principle: The secret of revival by Dr. Brad Allen.

The evangelism of Azusa Street Revival

In the quake of the revival in downtown Los Angeles, many believed they had encountered the very finger of God when they were baptized in the Spirit and as an overflow of that, they wanted to share the gospel with sinners around them.

By the end of 1906, the evangelism work of the believers had caused the formation of 12 new churches in Los Angeles that preached similar messages to that of the revival and William Seymour.

One of these were People’s Church in Boyle Heights. The leader, a woman named Bell White reached the street kids of Los Angeles as well as any one that was down and out. She, at one point, had a tent revival in a poor area about a half a mile from People’s Church and within a few months, had 125 people gathered.

By the time, the revival was a year old, there was missions all over what we know as Metro Los Angeles. It was only a matter of time people gave us everything to preach the Pentecostal message in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, and Ohio to name a few places. Everything they had known was surrendered to the Lord for the gospel to be preached.

If you are interested in more about the missiological views of the Azusa Street Revival, I recommend The Azusa Street Mission & Revival: The Birth of the Pentecostal Movement by Cecil Roebuck as a great starting point.

Peter Vandever and team outside of Pentecostal church in Suva, Fiji

What is the price for evangelism?

It is more than possibly leaving your family, friends and job to preach in another city or country. It can be giving everything you owe away and preaching the gospel on a one way ticket never to return to your hometown.

In some cases, it may cost you your very life to preach the gospel with power.


1 Ralph Riggs, So I Send You, p.54

Awaken the Dawn & Tent Revivals

The last few days, Awaken the Dawn has been in Kansas City doing what they are calling “The Flood.” As an evangelist, what are my thoughts? Namely, the claims of being a “tent revival.” Is it really or just hype?

In this movement of prophetic ministry, intercession, etc; there has been much hype. There is no getting around the issue of false hopes. There has been a lot of failed prophecies. I am not talking about they misinterpreted something. I am talking about things that point blank didn’t happen! The hype is a big problem in this “stream.”

Awaken the Dawn is about worship. Having a week of worship under a canva tabernacle does not equal to revival. There is also a challenge of doctrine. The group does not have a theological statement and only points to the historical creeds. This is problematic at best and can lead to some very dangerous teaching left unchecked.

We are in a time that teaching and even our songs are not rooted in scripture but in emotionalism and the latest dream or vision of some popular speaker. Much of the theology of the current movement is rooted in violation of Colossians 2:16-23.

Now, is Awaken the Dawn leading a tent revival?

Is Awaken the Dawn a tent revival?

When I heard people claiming this in the meeting, it made me stop. As a Church history minor in Bible College and having spent most of my education with an emphasis on missiology; it made me take a step back.

The healing revivals that came in the aftermath of the Civil War was connected to traveling tents. The focus was connecting healing and holiness in the proclamation of the gospel. Out of this, came many Pentecostal ministries that kept the Methodist emphasis on using tent revivals for missiology.

All through the 1920’s to the 1970’s, having extended meetings under the gospel tents were common with a strong emphasis on healing, casting out devils and prophetic utterance to confirm the gospel presentation that focused on repentance, sanctification and faith.

In order for Awaken the Dawn to be consider a tent revival, it would have to answer a few questions:

  • Is the gospel being preached?
  • Is there a strong emphasis on healing?
  • Are demons being casted out?
  • Is the Word of God being taught?

While the worship under the tent is not a bad thing (theology of the songs aside), the answer to these questions confirm that this is not a tent revival and therefore is left to be hype.

What I have heard in these meeting is not the gospel. It is the “latest” dream, prophetic experience, or open vision. The gospel is timeless and there has been no preaching of the Cross, the blood or the anointing. Prophetic dreams does not save us, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what saves.

Doing tent revival is still a very important part of the missiology of Pentecostalism but it must be centered in the proclamation of the triune gospel, deliverance from demonic oppression and healing the sick. Revival is always rooted and grounded in the teachings of scripture.

Modern Gnosticism?

As with much of the modern prophetic movement, the questions become about the issue of the second century heresy, Gnosticism. Is what we are seeing just a rebranding of the ancient false teaching.

The idea that people can have “high knowledge” or what some call “revelation,” leads to the questioning of the ancient heresy. The truth is that there are people who do claim to be closer to the Lord and as a result knowing more than others because “The Lord told me…” This is central to some teachings of people relating to Awaken the Dawn.

At the core of the doctrine is “acquisition of divine knowledge.” In other words, they are more spiritual than people are not part of their “stream.” This was known by them in their time as having “the divine spark.” In modern terms, this is known as “remnant.” Any group that promotes understanding by “revelation,” and not careful study of scripture is becoming Gnosticism in nature.

Much like the modern prophetic movement, the Gnostics used a series of books they consider to be important and called them “lost books.” To them, they had “the spirit of revelation” and was treated as important as the book of Isaiah. This was their version of When Heaven invades Earth (Johnson) and The Harvest Vision (Joyner).

The bottom line is the mystics of the desert fathers is destroying any truth within the modern prophetic movement and the Awaken the Dawn is a great example of where it is currently.

Restoring the Apostolic Missiology

There is a recovery of tent revivals to happen. We will see the miracles of old and we will see the dramatic salvations that we once did. When we preach the gospel that was once preached, we will see the miracles they once saw. The challenge for revival is not on God’s end. (As if God doesn’t want to change people’s lives!) The problem is on our end.

The Soteriology of groups like Awaken the Dawn is rooted in a false image of how we are to view God, sin and ourselves. It is a message of love without repentance. The biblical view is without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin. Jack Coe, A.A. Allen and Gordon Lindsey would ask “This is a tent revival, how?”

Sadly, much of the current prophetic movement is wrapped up in their worldview and eschatology. Out of their Dominionist ideals flows everything else. The lack of missiology is actually based in their view of the things to come. When a group believes they have an extended time before Jesus comes back, there is not an urgency for completing the Great Commission.

Now, we are faced with a giant in the camp. We have people that are scoffers of the rapture of the Church as well as full blown Gnostics within our ranks. The vision of the Dominionists is to have people “worship” before they are even biblical saved.

This is all about worldviews and biblical truth.



Why the gospel matters!

Jesus is the desire of the nations. He is the hope for humanity. No matter which side of the Cross you look at, the hope of the nations is Jesus Christ and the gospel of the Kingdom. Without the gospel, we are doomed to hell without a chance.

Michael Green in Evangelism in the Early Church makes it clear that we must be saved from our paganism, or our worldliness.The gospel is partly redemption from ourselves. We want to live in our own paganism or worldliness.

We want to claim we that we love Jesus but we do not love sinners. You can not love the Lord of the Harvest and not love the sinners. We are not allowed to determine the harvest by the size of the barn but rather the size of the field that is ripe. How big is your field?

The reason that we do not see more revival in the Church is not a problem on God’s end. It is because we do not want to pay the price for revival. We do not want to die to ourselves so the gospel can be preached to the sinner. Christianity is our Sunday fix.


Completing the Great Commission

As Ralph Riggs, the great Pentecostal statesmen put it, “When Spirit-filled people have the courage and the faithfulness to obey our Lord and follow the apostolic pattern in spreading the true gospel, we will see the whole world evangelized in this generation.”[1]Ralph Riggs, So I send  You, Preface We are still waiting for a missional church to finish the Great Commission!

Jesus left us with one thing to do: proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. That means every tongue, every tribe, every nation. No one in excused of hearing the gospel with miracle confirmation. They can accept it or reject it but they must make a decision about the Savior.

Wonsuk Ma, the Korean theologian says, “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was taken as a sure sign for the end of the end time, the last opportunity for the greatest harvest of souls before the return of the Lord.”[2]Wonsuk Ma, The Theological Motivations for Pentecostal Mission, International Journal of Pentecostal Missiology, 2014 Many of us believed that from Azusa Street, we would take the gospel to the ends of the earth then the end will come!

For them, the call of Matthew 24:14 was litteral. They believe the gospel of the Kingdom would be preached to all nations (people group) then the end will come. 

Jesus is coming back soon and very soon. We are in the eleventh hour. How much longer to finish the only thing Jesus told us to be about is not promised. He could come for the Church tonight. Have we been faithful?

If we call people to a prayer meeting for the lost, we can pack a stadium. If we want to have a worship gathering, convention centers are full. If we want to evangelism, everyone is busy and full of excuses.

The gospel must matter

We have to come a realization that the gospel really is not that important to us as believers. We are glad that we got it, sucks for those who haven’t heard it yet. The Great Commission is not the great suggestion.


1 Ralph Riggs, So I send  You, Preface
2 Wonsuk Ma, The Theological Motivations for Pentecostal Mission, International Journal of Pentecostal Missiology, 2014

Ukraine conflict and PTSD

The images of the military conflict in Ukraine is all over the news and social media. It is not good for the people in traumatic events in Eastern Europe or for Americans that have traumatic encounters from combat related to that area of the world.

Many people are posting images from the conflict and nothing twice about it. However, they could be triggering people with images that remind me of a very dark place. The media, especially in the United States, is about making money; not what is best for the people or even reporting the events without a bias.

Consider those with PTSD

Well say, Sgt. Johnson served in Afghanistan, he was in combat and saw many of the same images and sounds that are being recorded right now out of Ukraine. As a result, he is now having flashbacks because of it. The people who do not understand tell him to get over it, it is just the news.

What they do not know is he is starting to consider suicide because of it and could be reaching for the bottle of Jack to cope. The desire to push the images and sound of war in front of his eyes and ear has now made him start to drink and consider suicide.

Addressing Ukrainians with Trauma

Many Ukrainian-Americans are being traumatized by this conflict.  They have emotional ties to the country and in some cases, they have family still in Ukraine. As the battles go on, the people thousands of miles away are being triggered because places they have connection to are destroyed and the images are filling the newsfeed and TV waves.

Pray for the Pentecostal pastors across America that will have members and people in the community look for answers. Many of them will have hard discussion about why war happens if God is in control? They are never easy to discuss. These men of God will need your prayers.

Is Mark 16:9-20 inspired by Holy Spirit or man?

Depends on your translation, Mark 16:9-20 will have a statement such as “The earliest manuscripts and some ancient witnesses do not include these verses.” So should the last dozen verses of Mark be your bible?

10 Megachurches that did not compromise Pentecost (mostly)

Pentecostals are known for megachurches. Of the top 10 largest churches in America, 7 of them are Pentecostal (or Charismatic). This is not saying anything about the largest church in the world that is also Pentecostal. There are a dozen countries that have less people that that one church does.

For the sake of this article, the questions that have to answered are as followed:

  • Do they value the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do they value praying in tongues?
  • Do they pray for the sick regularly?
  • Do they reach their community for the cause of Christ?

The list of churches that have exploded without compromise are in no order. Here they are 🙂

James River (Assembly of God)

When I was in bible college, I attended James River Assembly. They had just moved to the location in Ozark and they were quite a bit smaller those days.

Pentecostals of Alexandria

Family Worship Center

Sheffield Family Life Center

North Cleveland Church of God

Church of His Presence

Community Family Church

Times Square Church

First Assembly, Fort Myers

Angeles Temple

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