Encounterz is a faith-based endeavor. It is a by-product and development of the ministry God has entrusted to me. During academic studies at the Master’s level I came to the conclusion that there are several items necessary for the Church to continue in successful Christian ministry. Among these items are Scripture based Theology, Effectual Prayer, Evangelism, and Discipleship and nurture. Though other items may be essential, these four items are what impacted this minister’s life and are an outgrowth of my own spiritual development and formation.
During one of my classes in seminary the Lord spoke a single word into my spirit. That word was “discipleship.” Since that time it has been my purpose to disciple and train from the pulpit ministry, in Bible college and Bible Institutes. For this website, information has been gleaned from diverse locations, which I want to share and make available to anyone who can use it. Most of the materials are free. Depending on what the visitor to the sites are looking for, some materials may have a small price attached. A greater majority of the materials are FREE.
In addition, all of our sites: word.encounterz.org, prayer.encounterz.org, evangelism.encounterz.org, discipleship.encounterz.org and the site you are visiting now are promoted for the use of viewers from all over the world. We are making every attempt possible to ensure everything on these sites is translatable by using Google Translator or other translator software.
There is a saying, “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” Technically, don’t throw everything away just because it doesn’t fit your theological position. My earliest spiritual training came from the Baptist church. However, my conversion took place in a Pentecostal environment. My theological position is Pentecostal. Any articles that are written personally by me will reflect that theological stance. It is my belief that God intended for the entire Church to be Pentecostal and I do believe that there is scripture to validate my position. If you have questions, please, check it out. There are Pentecostal scholars who write concerning Pentecostal theology. However, as in all strands of theological study, not every Pentecostal is in agreement one hundred per cent. If there were total agreement we would not have diversification even within particular denominations, let alone all the denominations you find in Christendom today. There is a plethora of theological information available for study. If we honestly and sincerely seek for Truth much can be found in various persuasions that can be adapted. One Christian writer gave this analogy concerning Predestination. A river flowing has two banks. From one side there flows into the stream the idea that only predestined or specifically chosen persons can be saved. From the other side enters the idea that anyone who believes can be saved. A careful word study will provide enough evidence for either persuasion. But the Truth lies in the middle of the river where the two ideas are conjoined and flowing together. When we get to Heaven everything will become clear.
In my experience that covers over 46 years it has been my privilege to study many and varied writings on theological subjects. Some of these writings provided greater insight into particular subjects. No one persuasion was wholeheartedly agreed upon. However, broadening my understanding by researching other opinions has helped me to grow spiritually and of course mentally. One thing that all born-again believers have in common is that Jesus Christ is the only Savior (1Tim 2:5). He was born of the virgin (Matt 1:23, Lu 1:27-35), conceived by the Holy Spirit (Lu 1:35), lived a totally sinless life (Heb 4:15), was the sacrifice for our sins at Calvary where He was crucified (Heb 9:26), then buried in a borrowed tomb (Matt 27:59-60). His resurrection on the third day (Matt 20:18-19), according to Paul proved Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, with Power (Romans 1:4). After His resurrection Jesus continued on this earth for forty days teaching His disciples (Acts 1:3). At the end of the forty days, before ascending to Heaven in a cloud, Jesus instructed His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high (Lu 1:49; Acts 1:4, 5). On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended upon the chosen disciples (at least 120 of them, Acts 1:4, 15; Acts 2:2). They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance (Acts 2:4). Since that time many interpretations, thoughts, teachings have come forth. It is not the purpose of this particular page or this website to address all of those issues. Presently it is sufficient to say that materials are available for every minister and Christian who has a computer and internet connection, almost anywhere in the world, to find study aids and information. STUDY!! AND PRAY!! Study with a hunger that cannot be satisfied. Pray with a passion and perseverance that cannot be denied. Ask God for the truth! Seek God for the truth! It is His truth, and He will reveal truth to any honest seeker. Do not settle for what someone else has said is truth. Seek until you are satisfied in your own heart that you have discovered the truth. Then do not be so dogmatic as to think that you, a finite being, could not possibly be wrong. Depend upon God’s Spirit, power and presence to bring the conviction that you need.
Remember, it is the Spirit of God who reveals and convinces of all truth! My first pastor, already gone to his reward now, told me after hearing me preach in my beginning as a young preacher, “The Lord told Noah to build an ark. He didn’t tell him to float it.” In other words, you can preach the truth, but you can’t make people accept it. That is up to the Holy Spirit and the individual. If you remain humble and teachable, God will teach you and use you. You cannot change others opinions or convince them in your own strength. You can only relate what God has put into your heart. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to take care of the rest. Most of us believe pretty much the same things. Because we are human, weaknesses of the flesh, our own pride, etc., issues of grammar, syntax, semantics, our background, and scores of other things get in the way and we lose the ability to communicate effectively. Charles Finney implored his theological students at Oberlin College in Ohio to pray even until the point of exhaustion, prevailing before God, until the Holy Spirit filled them with the understanding of His Word. The Word of God is Truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. They always work in agreement.
At one time a young fellow who was attending a small Bible college that came from a different theological persuasion than I came from was trying to convert me to his way of thinking. My response to him was this: “If you want to dialogue, I am interested. There are things we probably will never agree on. I won’t try to persuade you to take up my views. Please don’t try to convince me to agree to yours. We can talk about it.” It is indeed, sometimes useful to share our thoughts and convictions with others without pressing others to agree to our persuasion. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to guide into all truth and bring conviction. Where Truth is at work, the One who is Truth will do the persuading. If His persuasion be denied, do not think that yours can in any wise be successful.
With these things in mind I want to provide some links that you may go to and find a plethora of information that I am sure will help you grow in grace. You will find Bible studies, helps in sermon preparation, and basically just about anything you could imagine in spiritual resources. It is my goal that every post include links, references, or resources to help anyone who will research them. Personally, I may not wholeheartedly agree with everything propagated on every site referenced. Our goal is to facilitate study. So, let this statement govern every encounter with these sites: “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.” Check out the origin of the statement. Pray with all your heart. Study with all of your ability. Seek God for direction. Obey the Holy Spirit.
Remember – sometimes when you go to a link there will be other links. Then when you click on that link there is no translator available. A simple way to remedy this is to copy the website URL address, insert the website URL address into the Google Translate Box, then the page will be translated into the language you have chosen. Almost always a page or document can be translated by posting the website URL address for that particular page into the translator.