North American Youth Congress, Thursday Night
The second night of NAYC kicked off with great excitement and worship from Christian Life College in California. A new category of the North American Talent Search was judged of those presenting a variety of worship arts. These included a skit, painting, singing, spoken word, a guitar solo, and ending the talent search was a violin solo. Only one talent wins the contest, but it is refreshing to know how diverse our worship can be, and how our unique talents testify of the special design involved in all of our lives!
As we assembled the first night, anticipation was based on hope. All were believing God
was going to do an amazing work, but there is something about the second night that puts to
rest all doubt. This night there is no wondering whether God will speak to every individual or not. We have already witnessed God’s interest in moving among us in the Thunder Dome and
overflow arena. There is now more than hope; there is confidence.
Following the first few worship songs, Bro. Matthew Johnson took the platform with a
testimony of the powerful demonstration of the Spirit on this past summer’s American Youth
Corps trips. With a record-breaking number of Apostolic students going to minister across the
world, it is no surprise the impact they had on the missions field. The Lord physically healed 183 people, 15 men and women were baptized in the name of Jesus, and 304 were filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. As if that was not enough to fill the arena with a shout, the General Youth Secretary continued to tell us of some young people on one of the trips who prayed over a man possessed with a demonic spirit. Of course, we already know what happens to devils when the name of Jesus is proclaimed; the man left that service completely delivered! The challenge is
still given to all for next year as AYC plans to go on a record-breaking 13 trips worldwide. We can make a difference and be involved in this lost world.
However, the testimony service wasn’t over. Bro. Allen Rodriguez, the Youth President
of Mexico, took the pulpit with Bro. Bruce Howell to interpret. He was most sincere in his worship as he told of the 2014 Mexico General Conference where 11,000 were baptized and 1,029 spoke in tongues as the Spirit filled them. As Bro. Rodriguez closed his testimony he lead us in a powerful, one full minute of praise to Jesus Christ culminating in a shout of victory giving thanks to God for His blessings.
The worship was perfect, like an usher bringing the audience into the presence of the
greatest King. As Bro. Stan Gleason approached the pulpit there was a sense of security in the
room, the audience was not only ready for the word, but knew that the remainder of this service
would be a message from God specifically for this generation. The text was taken from 2 Kings
13, with an emphasis on the king of Israel smiting the ground with arrows, and then the bones of
the prophet Elisha still involved in the miraculous after his death. The message was this: “Is It In
You? The DNA of Oneness Pentecostalism.”
Bro. Gleason began with a profound word of advice, that for us to know what we are
living for, we need to know what we will die for. There are choices we make trying to secure our
future, but the key to living right is not contemporary comfort, but rather, we need to be aware of
what we are willing to sacrifice all for. There are four things our NAYC preacher told us he would die for: the oneness of God, the New Birth, Apostolic identity, and finally our mission to go into all the world and make disciples.
It is apparent that God is interested in our generation establishing spiritual authority,
since this was the third general session message we have heard this concern and burden from
the minister. We need to be submitted to our pastors because it is they who will lead us safely
in life and show us what is worth dying for. We need to be under submission for the anointing to
flow down to us, and we need the anointing to accomplish our callings.
He continued on encouraging us to begin our acting careers. Not as a game, but in
pursuit of our destinies. His advice was simple: “At some point in your life and ministry you must begin acting like what you want to become.” This was followed by the story of Elisha behaving and acting like the man he was submitted to. Elisha smote the water and called for the God of Elijah, Gleason stating, “It’s time for us to pick up our mantels and start acting like what God wants us to be.”
The text of the message concerning the bones of Elisha is where the heart of the
message resonated with the audience. As a dead man was thrown on top of the bones of Elisha
the man came back to life. This miracle happened because inside a bone is marrow, and in the
marrow is blood, and in blood is DNA. The blood of the lamb is in our DNA! You want to know why Jesus was called a lamb? The lamb is the only four footed beast that can survive the venomous bite of a serpent. And yet, the more venom you put in a lamb, the stronger its blood becomes! That is the DNA inside Oneness Pentecostalism. However, this is a packaged deal as the anointed preacher said. Our movement is not “a buffet, we do not get to cherry pick what we like,” we cannot pull on one thread we do not like because we do not know what that thread is connected to and what intricate pieces that thread has been weaved through.
Four men were honored by presenting them as the Mt. Rushmore of our movement.
These anointed men, C.M. Becton, G.A. Mangun, J.T. Pugh, and T.W. Barnes. As Bro. Gleason
began to close, it was declared to us that our generation would operate in the spirit and shake
Hell as these men did because it is in our DNA. We must smite the ground for a complete
victory, we need to take our calling seriously and understand that we are the future. We cannot
afford to take our callings and DNA lightly.
The message concluded as General Superintendent, Bro. David Bernard, Bro. Bruce Howell, Bro. Lee Stoneking, and Sis. Marlene Gleason joined Bro. Gleason on the platform carrying mantels and casting them into the crowd. The spirit of God began to rush the auditorium as those in the audience took the message to heart, calling on the God of our heritage, and recognizing the
DNA we are responsible for, and that is present in us. The DNA, the blood of the Lamb, that
becomes stronger with every attack is what this generation is armed with and we are ready to
take Hell by force.
View the photos from this service here.