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Get access to the full version of this article. View access options below. You previously purchased this article through ReadCube. Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. We read, "This Holy Ghost is love, power, joy, blessing, wisdom and holiness. He will guide you and open the Scriptures to you. Consisting mostly of logical theological argument, the article changes direction and tone at the end and concludes with a declaration of the wonderful benefits of Spirit baptism.
The final paragraph, which features the quotation from Ps , constitutes an appeal to the affect:. The most wonderful thing a man or woman can receive after being sanctified is the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in their heart. He is fire and rivers of salvation in you [sic] inmost being. Isaiah prophesied, speaking of the Holy Ghost as floods of water: "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.
O it is so sweet and precious to receive this almighty baptism with the Holy Ghost in our souls. In His days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. The quotations from Isaiah and the psalms demonstrate the writer's ability to utilize the affective dimension of the biblical text. The figurative language in this concluding paragraph creates in the reader a desire to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Through the use of emotive metaphor, the writer shows that Spirit baptism is not only theologically orthodox, but it is "the most wonderful thing" a person can receive.
Furthermore, it satisfies the "thirsty;" it makes wilderness fruitful; it is "sweet and precious;" it is "like rain;" and it produces flourishing and "abundance of peace. The promise of "rain," which satiates the thirsty ground, causes the reader to hunger and thirst for the Holy Spirit. The hope of "peace" - in "abundance" no less - creates a longing in the hearts of those who suffer in the midst of conflict. It seems clear that the quotation of Ps functions rhetorically as an affective argument, but the interpretation of the text as a reference to Spirit baptism requires further comment.
On one level, the choice of texts is based upon the well-known metaphor of the Holy Spirit as water. For example, Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to "rivers of living water" John , a metaphor that would have influenced the interpretation of early Pentecostals. The texts cited here Isa and present the Spirit metaphorically as life-giving water.
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Pentecostal writers would be familiar also with the image of the Spirit as "early" and "latter rain" e. After Joel promises a "latter rain" that will generate abundance , he declares next v. Another hermeneutical key to the writer's interpretation is the fact that Ps 72, attributed to Solomon, is a Royal Psalm that praises the attributes of God's righteous king. The king is said to have dominion "unto the ends of the earth" v. He shall redeem their soul The descriptions are so extravagant that the psalm is traditionally viewed by Christian interpreters as a Messianic prophecy.
The king is said to be so great that "His name shall endure forever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed" v. The references to blessing recall the promise to Abraham Gen ; that in his "seed" all the nations would be blessed, a promise that, according to Paul Gal , is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. If the psalm describes the reign of Jesus Christ, then the references to life-giving rain, fruitfulness, and peace which, after all, is a fruit of the Spirit could be interpreted legitimately as allusions to the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The fifth category consists of citations from the psalms that serve as encouragement to believers. Within what Brueggemann calls "the life of faith," these texts would function similarly to the psalms that he classifies as "Psalms of orientation. Psalms of orientation tell us that God is sovereign, God is good, and God is faithful to his covenant people.
Regarding the psalms of orientation, Brueggemann writes,. God is known to be reliable and trustworthy. This community has decided to trust in this particular God. These psalms insist that evil is punished and good is rewarded. When life gets messy, the psalms of orientation remind us to trust in God because he will make things right. Like the Israelites, early Pentecostals used the psalms of orientation to create a world of "no fear.
It is not surprising that they would look to the psalms for comfort and assurance in their times of great need. Psalm 91 is a psalm of trust that promises protection for anyone who will dwell "in the secret place of the Most High" Ps Because the Lord is a "refuge" vv. Moreover, "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee" v. Thus, Brueggemann asserts that Ps 91 is. But none will prevail against this God John Goldingay observes what we all know - that the promises of Ps 91 "do not work out" in real life.
The Israelites were also fully aware of life's unpleasant side, but they chose to confess an unwavering faith in God through texts like Ps For example, Ps 22 begins with the cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Psalm 91 is quoted frequently in the early Pentecostal periodicals. I located 16 references to Ps 91 in the Wesleyan-Holiness literature and 7 in the Finished-Work periodicals for a total of 23 references. These quotations functioned in most cases as encouragement to believers who were exposed to some kind of danger, such as contagious disease or contexts of violence.
Near the middle of the report, we find a brief narrative about a deadly epidemic. It reads:. When the plague in Portland was taking the children off at a fearful rate, the Lord healed all the Pentecostal flock as soon as it put in its appearance. Not one of them lost one of their family.
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The people were told to read the 91st Psalm, stand on the Word, and keep under the Blood, and fear nothing. The psalm uses hyperbole to emphasize God's power to protect those who trust in God.
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Although some early Pentecostals may have used Ps 91 as a "magical" text that guaranteed both physical and spiritual protection from all harmful forces, the writer of this article recognizes that Ps 91 cannot be taken literally. Although the psalm states that the pestilence "will not come nigh thee. Some of the Pentecostals became ill and "the Lord healed all.
I would suggest that the Pentecostal reliance on Ps 91 is fully consistent with the psalm's rhetorical character and corresponds with Israel's stubborn confession of trust in God, even in the face of impossibilities. The second citation of Ps 91 comes in a letter from China.
The heading reads, "A Chinese brother writes of the plague," and the letter states,. The plague is raging in Hong Kong, but we have the lintel and two side posts of our doors covered with the Blood of the Lamb.
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As yet none of us have caught the plague, not a single soul, but please look at Deut. May the Lord have mercy. The total number of cases of the plague here have been near a thousand, and all fatal, except about Not one of us are a bit afraid. Praise the Lord. If the Israelites were saved by the blood of the lamb; then, in the same way, the Pentecostal believers could be saved by their faith in the blood of Jesus the Lamb of God.
If God would put no diseases upon faithful Israel, then neither would God put any diseases upon faithful Christians. The promises of Ps 91 were efficacious for the psalmist and for the twentieth-century believer. Just as in the previous citation of Ps 91, this writer betrays the possibility that the psalmist's promises are not absolute. We read, "As yet none of us have caught the plague. Furthermore, notice the poignant petition: "May the Lord have mercy.
In the psalm and in this letter from China, there remains an unresolved tension between complete trust in God and the ambiguities of life's dangers. One thing is resolved, however: the people of God should not be afraid. Therefore, in this letter to The Apostolic Faith and in the earlier one as well the use of Ps 91 is related to the Pentecostal affections of gratitude and courage.
I claimed my Pentecost through that precious Blood, and stood firm on the blessed promises of Luke xi. Oh, that glorious night when Christ came into my heart in all His fullness.
Pentecostalism in Mission and Evangelism Today
It was about twenty minutes to nine when I went into the meeting and they were singing "Rest in the Lord," the message He gave me on Thursday, Psalm xxxvii. During the process of seeking God for the baptism in the Spirit, this teacher leaned heavily upon Jesus's promises as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Firstly, Jesus promises that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. Jesus declares, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
These two texts explicitly mention the Holy Spirit. Apparently, while the writer was praying for the Spirit and trusting the promises of Luke and , God "gave" Ps as a word of assurance: "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. The implication of the writer's use of Ps is that Spirit baptism is a work of God that cannot be forced or attained by human effort; the seeker must rest from personal effort and surrender to the Spirit. Although this study of the function of the psalms in The Apostolic Faith explores only 25 of the references to the psalms in the early periodicals, it has shown that the function and interpretation of the psalms in Pentecostalism were neither monolithic nor simple.
On the one hand, the language of the Psalter was taken quite literally for the purposes of establishing doctrine; but, on the other hand, the language could also be taken allegorically, especially in relation to the Royal Psalms and others that are commonly known as Messianic Psalms. The practice of listing a number of biblical texts as support for doctrines - often without commentary - is consistent with Kenneth Archer's argument that early Pentecostals used the "Bible reading method. In addition to speaking of Christ, the OT speaks of the Father and of the Spirit; it speaks of the patriarchs and prophets; it speaks of Israel's long and tumultuous covenant relationship with God.
Therefore, in many respects, the OT speaks with its own voice. Through the analogical use of the psalms, the early Pentecostal understanding of reality was shaped by the biblical text, and Pentecostals saw themselves as living within the world of the text. The past, the present, and even the future were fused together by the Holy Spirit.
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The writer of Hebrews, for example, compares the experience of the Hebrew Christians to that of the Israelites who, in Num , heard God's command to go forward. Those Israelites allowed fear and unbelief to cloud their judgment; and, therefore, they disobeyed God's command and subsequently died in the wilderness. The analogy is stated clearly: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" Heb ; and "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief Heb The Hebrew Christians faced the same questions of faith and challenges from the enemy as the biblical Israelites.
Their use of the OT as analogous to Christian experience is based upon a theological interpretation of Scripture that recognizes the commonality of all human lives that are lived by faith in the presence of God, no matter the location in time or geographical space. A number of conclusions can be reached from this exploration of The Apostolic Faith.
Secondly, they emphasized the overall unity of Scripture and downplayed the diversity of Scripture.
In the fifth place, they appreciated the affective dimension of the Psalter and made wide use of it. Sixth, the early Pentecostal hermeneutic was thoroughly confessional. Finally, I would suggest that the early Pentecostal approaches and contemporary scholarship might mutually inform one another to produce a genuinely Pentecostal approach to the psalms. Firstly, the use of the psalms as support for doctrine can be refined through critical engagement with exegetical and theological methods.
Thirdly, the use of the psalms as analogies and as words of encouragement can be improved by giving attention to the theology, context, genre, and purpose of the psalms and by more thorough exegesis of our own situation, particularly in the area of Pentecostal spirituality and the affections. Fourthly, the use of the psalms as affective argument can be expanded by a broader appreciation of the rhetorical function of the affective language in the Psalter.
It is hoped that this kind of approach can benefit the Pentecostal movement by integrating the study of the psalms with Pentecostal spirituality. Achtemeier, Elizabeth. Preaching from the Old Testament. Philadelphia: John Knox, Alexander, Kimberly E. Pentecostal Healing: Models in Theology and Practice.
JPTSup Apostolic Faith, The. Archer, Kenneth J. Archer, Melissa L. Baumgartel, Friedrich. Edited by Claus Westermann. Richmond: John Knox, Bridegroom's Messenger, The. Bright, John. The Authority of the Old Testament. Nashville: Abingdon, Brueggemann, Walter. Minneapolis: Augsburg, The Bible Makes Sense.
Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, Bultmann, Rudolph. Castelo, Daniel.