What is a Pentecostal? According to the top leader of the worlds largest Pentecostal denomination, there are seven characteristics that define a Pentecostal believer.
He or she is one who has been called by God, to be a voice before God, said Thomas E. Trask, the General Superintendent of the 53-million-member Assemblies of God.
Trask was sharing his message during the opening ceremony of the 51st A/G General Council on Tuesday. The Council, held every two years, is the business session of the church, and this year, some 5,000 delegates and 30,000 visitors came out to Denver, Colo., for the weeklong event.
From the start of his message, Trask reminded the audience that while the A/G has been growing, the task for this church is not complete.
The Assemblies of God is at a critical juncture in its 91-year-old history, he said. The Church as grown by over two million in the last year alone however, let me remind us all there are over two billion men and women around the world who have yet to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
After listing the challenges the church is facing in an ever-secularizing culture, Trask urged each participant to return to the roots of Pentecostalism by becoming a Pentecostal believer.
He said there are seven characteristics of a Pentecostal.
The first is a person who is called by God to be his voice. We are men and women of God, called by God. God has laid his hand upon you. God has called you out of the workplace to be a messenger of light, he said.
Secondly, we are men and women of prayer and fasting. You cant speak for God, if you are one who doesnt talk to God, he exclaimed. Im not talking about talking about God; Im talking about men and women who are known for their prayer life.
This church has moved under the dynamics of prayer and fasting for 91 years, he said, adding that miracles can happen if we are willing to pray the price.
Thirdly, Trask said Pentecostals are men and women of integrity who tell the truth and live the truth.
The next thing he listed was about the spirit. We are a church of the spirit, he explained, with the people of the spirit. Men and women of God will have a passion for God a passion for this Book, he said, referring to the Bible. You will live in the word of God.
Fifth, he said, men and women of God will be of sound doctrine.
We will know of what we preach, he exclaimed, encouraging the congregation to watch your life and doctrine closely.
Sixth, he said, men and women of spirit are living in the spirit and walking in the spirit. In other words, Trask said, Pentecostals do not fulfill the works of the flesh because they are a holiness people.
We are known as people of Godliness, and people of the spirit are people of faith, patience and the supernatural.
Finally, Trask said, people of the spirit are those of Pentecostal priority.
God raised up the Assemblies of God to be heralds of this blessed infilling of the Holy Ghost with the initial physical evidence of speaking of tongues. The word says the tongues are assigned to the unbelievers, he said. And thats what the book says. Im convinced that the churches that are growing in the Assemblies of God are led by men and women with Pentecostal priority and Pentecostal passion.
He finished his keynote message with a challenge to the attendants.
Is there a man of God in your city? Is there a man of God in you village? Is there a man of God in your community? Are you that man of God or woman of God? I pray that somehow, the spirit of God will come upon you.
Trask is now in his 12th year at the helm, and will likely be re-elected for another four-year-term at this years council.