Miller Thomas in an article for Pneuma retraces the issue on the doctrine of subsequence. He draws attention to the fact that it is not merely a modern debate among Evangelicals and their Pentecostal/Charismatic counterparts. It reaches into the roots of Roman Catholic faith, and was debated among the Wesleyans, their Puritan predecessors, and their Holiness descendants. It was a subject of contention between Keswick and Holiness teachers. “In time, it became a major issue between Pentecostals and non-Pentecostals, as well as, among Charismatics.” This paper will also evaluate views presented by various writers relevant to the discussion.
Pentecostals have always believed and taught that the purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is primarily power for missionary endeavour and Christian service, states Myer Pearlman. To prove the doctrine of subsequence, Gordon Fee notes that Pentecostals go to the book of Acts and believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit only happens to those who seek after it diligently, passionately, and zealously. This is explicitly stated in their Articles of faith that:
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church…This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46).
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