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Old 01-01-2009, 11:12 PM
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Three Generations

This is from pages 2 and 3 of the Issue March 1968 of The Pentecostal Herald
It is from a sermon preached by Robert W. Taitinger, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the Eighth Pentecostal World Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


THREE GENERATIONS
There are some alarming tendencies in the
Pentecostal church. It has happened to every
church before it. If we are to survive the vicious
ordeal, it will be because each generation realizes that
victory and continuance must come by each individual
having a personal encounter with God and receiving
a personal Pentecost, being filled with the power of
the Holy Spirit.

According to statistical surveys, a generation is 25
years. The Pentecostal church has thus produced its
third generation. Our teen-agers represent a most
decisive generation of this Pentecostal revival.
Let me illustrate by using three interesting generations
of Biblical history. The lives of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob can be fittingly compared to the brief history
of the Pentecostal church.

ABRAHAM-THE FIRST GENERATION
Abraham prayed for everything he received. His
walk with God was a lifetime of communion with his
Maker. He was the predominant man of prayer in the
Old Testament.

Abraham built seven altars during his lifetime. An
altar always speaks of sacrifice and selflessness. At an
altar personality differences and conflicts are forgotten
as men seek God. At an altar the Blood of
cleansing is applied, and men are clean and free and
new.

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him
for righteousness. So monumental was the character
of this man that Paul painted his portrait in Galatians
and declared that by faith we too are the sons of
Abraham.

. Because Abraham was first and foremost a man of
prayer, he became a great man of God.

Over six decades ago God visited the earth with
Pentecostal revival. In an old mansion used as a Bible
school in Topeka, Kansas, a class studying the Book of
Acts concluded that the Early Church received its
dynamic power through the baptism in the Holy Ghost
when they were visited by the phenomenon of speaking
with other tongues. In a sovereign and salutary manner
God began to pour out of His Spirit on hungry, seeking
hearts-with revival bursting forth in every comer
of the earth.

Whether in Sweden or England, the USA or Brazil,
the Orient, or the islands of the sea, the most predominant
feature of these early meetings was the
emphasis on prayer. The fathers of the Pentecostal
fellowship were men who knew how to pray. They
had to know how to pray. They prayed for mast
everything they had. They prayed for rent money, for
fuel for the fire, for the food they ate. They had to
pray for clothing to wear and for courage to 'survive
the criticism and contempt leveled at them because
of their new-found experience. And they prayed men
through to the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

If there is anything that has made the fellowship
of Pentecostal believers what it is today, it is prayer.
It was born at an altar of prayer where the Holy
Ghost came upon men and filled them with a burning
desire to serve Christ. At those altars men were endued
with power from on high. The Word of God was like
a fire burning in their bones, as they preached and
the Lord worked with them, confirming His Word
with signs and wonders.

The first generation of Pentecostal believers set
before us an enviable example of Spirit-filled, victorious
living. They gave birth to an organization that has
circled the globe and now claims over 10 million members.

As Abraham prayed for everything he received, so
that first generation of praying Pentecostal leaders
brought forth a church that has become perhaps the
greatest force in the religious world today.

ISAAC-THE SECOND GENERATION
Isaac inherited what he received. In Genesis 25:5
we read: "And Abraham gave all that he had unto
Isaac."

One who inherits a thing cannot appreciate it like
the one who has earned it. The boy* who inherits the
home his father built with his own hands can never
know its real worth. He knows nothing of the late
hours of toil and of doing without that made the house
a reality. No stress or strain, no amount of sacrifice
is required to inherit something.

Isaac was fortunate to be the son of a great man
of God. He knew the things his father stood for.
But being born the son of Abraham had not made
him a spiritual character. Isaac had inherited a spiritual
atmosphere and many privileges, yet in his life
there lingered no memory of a personal encounter with
God.

Later Isaac traversed the very places where his
father Abraham had dug wells of water many years
previously. He found the wells were stopped up, so
he dug the wells of Abraham again. He removed the
debris that had quenched the flow of life-giving water.
He drank from the wells of his own digging. There
he had his own experience.

Many of us were born as second-generation Pentecostals,
knowing little or nothing of the real worth of
the spiritual blessing we had inherited. We never had
a drunkard and a brawler for a father, and we knew
not what it means to have a socialite for a mother.
As children we were taken regularly to church where
gospel choruses and personal testimonies .were an integral
part of the service. We were never shocked when
we heard someone speak in tongues; our parents had
done it for years. They attributed their constancy and
fervency to the fire of the Spirit that they received
as they fasted and prayed and met God at an old fashioned
altar of prayer.

Then came the day when some of us discovered that
although we had inherited much, we could not claim to
be Pentecostal for we had never been to the Cross or
to the Upper Room. I was one of them. I learned a
solemn truth. You can teach a child the Bible. You
can encourage him to memorize the Scriptures. You
can take him to Sunday school. You can give him
the rich heritage of a Christian home. But you cannot
transmit or transfer a religious experience. The child
has to dig his own spiritual well. He has to make
his own personal contact with God. Only then will
he burn with such an intense glow that men will
recognize he has been with Jesus.

continued in part 2
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:13 PM
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Sam Sam is offline
Jesus' Name Pentecostal


 
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Re: Three Generations

continued from part one

JACOB-THE THIRD GENERATION
Abraham prayed for everything he received. Isaac
inherited most of what he received. Jacob schemed for
much that he received.

The third is often a perilous generation. Church .
history reveals it is usually a generation of nonconformists
and rebels. Jacob was no exception. His
life was marked by deceit. With goats' skins on his
arms and neck he stepped into the presence of his aged
father and deceitfully accepted the blessing that was
not rightfully his.

He fled from the wrath-of his father and his brother
Esau. At Bethel he drove a hard bargain with God.
He said, "If You will bless me, I will pay You a
tithe of all I possess." He was a schemer.
In Syria Jacob schemed for his cattle and there he
became rich. He took two wives, reared a family, and
became a prosperous man.

Then one day God told him to go home. Now the
picture became different. He thought about Esau. He
recognized that his easy way to fame and fortune was
catching up with him. So, realizing the shallowness of
his life, he began to see how destitute he was of the
noble characteristics and spiritual experiences that had
motivated his forefathers. Sending his wives and belongings
ahead, he remained alone to seek the God
he had met at Bethel so many years before.

During the long hours of the night he battled in
prayer and tears, and was visited by a heavenly messenger
who wrestled with him. The visitor struggled
to escape. In desperation Jacob cried, "I will not let
thee go, except thou bless me." In that victorious moment
he received a new name, Israel, "prince with
God." The third-generation schemer had a personal
encounter with the only One who could make him like
his father and his grandfather. It had to come.

I am afraid that too often the third Pentecostal
generation is far removed from the praying men of
faith and power that shepherded the formation of the
church as we know it today.

Church history informs us there are certain hazards
to the survival of a spiritual organism. The first
generation of any religious movement is generally one
of inspiration and revival. The second includes periods
of building and numerical advances. But with the third
generation there is the inevitable drift to social ac-
ceptance, materialism, and dependence upon human
means. This generation knows little of the calloused
hands, the ridicule, the blinding tears of travail, the
price it cost to bring the church into being.

Like Jacob, our third generation must meet God for
themselves. There is no shortcut to Pentecostal blessing.
It has to come in the same way it came to
Abraham and Isaac, to your father and mine. In the
final analysis, it's not what you know, it's whom
you know-God. It's not what you possess but what
you really are that counts. All the modern inventions,
all the religious entertainment, all the beautiful facilities
money can provide can never take the place
of .the Pentecostal power that fostered the church.

It isn't enough for a teen-ager to hear his father
pray. He must learn to pray for himself. It isn't
enough to hear his mother speak in tongues. He must
have a personal Pentecost. It isn't enough to go to
church. This third generation of Pentecostals must be
the Church. When like Jacob he cries, "I will not let
Thee go, except Thou bless me," then God will come
and revolutionize his life as He did the lives of our
pioneers.

In the third generation we see some alarming tendencies
The spirit of this distinctive group is to
depart from the traditional paths. But let me say
that we also have great cause to be encouraged. We
have seen Pentecostal teen-agers and young adults rise
with a determination to serve God with a burning
passion, to know Him and make Him known. They
have prostrated themselves at the altars of our camp
meetings and wept tears of commitment in the prayer
rooms of our churches. They have taken a hold on
Pentecostal truth. Like Jacob they have cried for a
revelation of that truth in their own hearts.

The future is as bright as the promises of God. We
rejoice in the prospect of a victorious Church that will
move on like a mighty army until the Lord Jesus
returns. It is "not by might, nor by power, but by my
Spirit, saith the Lord."
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:37 AM
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Falla39 Falla39 is offline
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Re: Three Generations

Bro. Sam,

Your posts are very interesting to me. Have you ever read "The Last
Generation of Truth", by Daniel L. Butler. It is interesting also. The
Pentecostal Publishing House carries it.

Brother, being further down the road and by comparing the generations
we have seen, and now the present, can't help but cause us to be con-
cerned about the future generations.

I wasn't an eye witness to the early days of my grandmother, Lizzie Blakey,
and her young son, my late father. I do recall hearing over and over the
accounts they gave and it was stored in my mind as many things are being
stored in my computer memory today.

My generation began in 1939, and there are two generations following behind
me. My children and grandchildren. If our 25 yr old, (eldest) grandson and his
bride of almost 5 yrs (Jan 17th) has a child (none in sight), that would be the
beginning of the fourth generaton since mine began in 1939.

Everyone of those following us are in the church. (Children (6) and their original
spouses,(6). Grandchildren (20), 15 boys, 5 girls and one granddaughter in law.)
I believe that would be, counting husband and I, 35 souls.

The younger following and respecting the older they are following. Paul speaks
in 1Cor.15:20-23 of the order of the resurrection. In verse 22, For as in Adam all
die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive". vs.23, " But every man in his own
order: Christ the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.

We are born one at a time and we shall die one at a time. Christ comes for each
of us, in our order. There is God's Will and there is man's will/desires. If man is out
of the Will and order of God, it can be disasteous. If the order of the home is not
according to the Word of God, it won't turn out right. If the church is out of order,
it doesn't matter how many or few you may have, it will not turn out right. From
the home to the church, to the White House and all in between, there is DIS-order.
May look like for a while that everything's going well, but give it time. "Time changes
everything but those things which are eternal". Quote by my late father.

This is not a negative post and should not be seen as such, unless what you
are responsible for, is out of order!

These are my thoughts and not intended for offense.

Blessings,

Falla39
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:13 PM
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Sister Alvear Sister Alvear is offline
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Re: Three Generations

"Time changes everything but those things which are eternal".

I loved that, Sister Falla...and so true...thank you.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:36 PM
RandyWayne RandyWayne is offline
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Re: Three Generations

Interesting article, but there is also another key variable that needs to be added. Not only is the church dealing with a 3rd and 4th generation situation but on top of that we also have greatly increased technology/communication. Until the advent of the internet and modern email and message boards, everyone lived in their own little church/universe knowing only what was going on in THAT building -and perhaps hearing some rumors about other churches in nearby cities.
Now, when something happens in a church across the country, "we" hear about it. And on the flip side, "we" also realize that we're not the only ones to feel a certain way.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:46 PM
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Falla39 Falla39 is offline
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Re: Three Generations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Alvear View Post
"Time changes everything but those things which are eternal".

I loved that, Sister Falla...and so true...thank you.
Thank you, Sis. Alvear,

My late father was traveling to his mother's home for a visit. As he rode
along in his car, he looked at the once familiar sights along the highway.
He saw the barns and the farmhouses that had once stood strong and
proud, and in good repair and useful. Now many of these sites TIME had
taken a toll. Now they stood weatherbeaten and in much NEED of repair.
These landmarks were good but had been abandoned for newer and more
desirable places of abode, etc. They could have been useful for many more
years had the residents been more aware of their worth and usefulness but
so goes the folly of man. Leave the old, the new is better, etc.
Then it came to Daddy's mind, "Time changes everything, except those
things which are eternal. They change not". They never lose their value,
except in men's minds.

Hold to God's unchanging Hand,
Hold to God's unchanging Hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging Hand.

Hugs,

Falla39
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:13 PM
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Sister Alvear Sister Alvear is offline
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Re: Three Generations

Thank God for a Changeless Christ in an ever changing world....
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:18 PM
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Falla39 Falla39 is offline
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Re: Three Generations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Alvear View Post
Thank God for a Changeless Christ in an ever changing world....
Amen, Sis. Alvear!!

Hugs,

Falla39
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