Pentecostal beliefs are a subset of Apostolic beliefs, for that reason we are including a definition on our website. In some cases pentecostal and apostolic churches are one and the same, but more often that is not the case. A review of your church’s doctrinal statement would give you complete understanding of how your church fits these definitions. We highly recommend the experience, knowledge is a good thing, always.
Many churches today call themselves Pentecostal, this series of definitions should help in understanding what it means to be “pentecostal”. We start with the dictionary definition of the Jewish holiday, followed by the Bible event that Christians associate with that holiday.
Websters Unabridged Second Edition
Pentecostal: a. Pertaining to or taking place during Pentecost.
Pentecost: n. [Gr. pentekoste (hemera) the fiftieth (day), from pentekonta, fifty, from pente, five]
- Shabuoth, the Jewish holiday
- a christian festival on the seventh Sunday after Easter, celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles; Whitsunday.
Whitsunday: n. [ME. kwitresunedei; AS. hwita sunnan-daeg. White Sunday: so called from the white garments worn by candidates for baptism.]
- The seventh Sunday (fiftieth day) after Easter: a festival of the church in commemorations of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
- In Scotland, one of the term days (May 15, or May 26, Old Style), in which rents, annuities, ministers’ stipends, etc. are paid.
BIBLE – New King James version (Acts chapter 2 verses 1-4)
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
A “pentecostal” church believes that the experience described in Acts 2 applies to modern day Christians, not just those living during the time of the Apostles. This usually includes expectations that it’s members experience the Holy Spirit infilling experience combined with the speaking in other tongues that this chapter describes. This provides evidence to the church membership they were truly filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
- Acts 10:44-47 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
- Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
- Joel 2:28-29 And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.