So How Did the Church Lose Its Power? (Part 1)

For many years I wondered how the dynamic church of the 1st century has been watered down to a non-relevant social organization. Jesus did extraordinary healings and miracles, and his message was so powerful it caused grown men to forsake everything they owned to follow Him. These men became apostles, and boldly did the same powerful works as Jesus. The dynamic message of Christ was spreading like wildfire all over the Earth. It turned the entire Roman Empire upside down (see Acts 17:6). But then something happened. It became a religion, devoid of power, relationship, and truth. What happened to the Holy Spirit?

So I desperately wanted to know how this happened and how we could restore it back to what Christ intended it to be. Many books have been written on this topic, so I will not bore you with 2000 years of Christian history, but I will attempt to briefly sum it up. Christianity spread around the world quickly, mostly because it was considered ‘forbidden’ and Christians were greatly persecuted. Yet in the face of persecution, Christians were filled with love, and freely gave up their lives. However in the year 313, persecution of Christianity ended with emperor Constantine, and shortly afterward became the official religion of Rome. Slowly buy surely, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts (healing, tongues, prophecy, etc) all but faded away.

Constantine was known as the ‘Emperor of Christianity’ and made many changes to it. He built large buildings, (known as cathedrals),  created offices in the ‘church’ for his high ranking political friends, appointed them as priests, bishops, and other titles. Church became an event, in which people began to dress up to impress Constantine and his powerful friends. (This is why in some traditional churches people still dress up). Over the next few hundred years, the church became a highly organized structure, in which the ‘common’ man did not go to God directly, but had to see a priest, who would talk to God on your behalf. Then the church, (or the Roman Catholic church as it was called) banned Bibles, so the ‘common’ man did not even know how to approach God, or even know what Jesus actually taught.

Banning the Bible plunged Europe into a period known as the ‘Dark Age’ in which innovation ceased, sickness plagued the land, and a class of people steeped in poverty arose (with no chance of escape). During this period people used religion (not the Word of God) to justify war, slavery, and every evil work. The religious leaders even made the ‘common’ people pay a fee for forgiveness of their sins, known, as ‘indulgences’. If you did not pay ‘indulgences’, the leaders taught, then God did not forgive your sins and you were going to hell. The church became rich off making people ‘pay their way out of sin’.

This was probably the lowest point of the church. But it was at this low point that God began to restore the church back to glory. He began to place it in people’s hearts to get the Bible back to the common people. Many people were killed in their attempt just to translate the Bible so that every person could know the Word of God. (Today we have it freely and people still choose not to read it). There will come a day in the near future where the enemy will again try to ban all Bibles. It will be classified as ‘hate speech’ because the Word of God does not favor homosexuality, and a great move will take place to have it banned. But I digress, back to history. Things became so bad in the 16th century, with the church creating ‘buy your way out of hell’, that Martin Luther wrote a 95 point thesis in which he explained how it was flat out wrong and against the Bible.

Martin Luther’s letter began the Reformation in 1517, in which the church began to slowly get back to the Word of God. It was revealed that you could NOT buy your way into heaven, or become a Christian because your family is one. You are saved only by faith. This was groundbreaking. More and more people began to split off from the ‘church’ and denominations began to spring up based upon Biblical teaching. These were known as Protestants (Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc). Yet the church was still a long way away from the Book of Acts.

In 1900, the next great move of God took place in which minister Charles Parham began to search the scriptures and discovered the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. As intensely as him and his followers desired tongues, only a few actually experienced it. One of Parham’s followers, an African-American preacher named William Seymore who also desired tongues, but because he was black he was not allowed inside the meetings, so he would listen outside the door. Seymore would eventually take what he learned and travel to Los Angeles, California. It was in Los Angeles where the baptism of the Holy Spirit began to flow like a mighty wind, eventually expanding to the 4 corners of the globe.

Since this period there have been several moves of God, such as tongues, healing, the prophetic word; as God is restoring the church back its glory. In 1909, Charles Parham and William Seymore prophesied the exact same word on the exact same day, on opposite ends of the country, that “100 years from now, the greatest outpouring that this earth has ever seen will be upon us. It will not just be in one location, but all over the world.”

This next great move of God is upon us now. If you have found my website and have read all of this info, most likely you are a part of it too. In the next great move of God, it will not be lead by a single man or woman of God, or tied to a certain geographical location. It will be the People’s Movement, in which ordinary people begin to read the Word and be convinced that they can do the works of Christ. They will not be hindered by traditions of men or religious obligation. They will understand that Christ is in them, the hope of Glory.

Be sure to read Part 2 where I explain more on this move of God…

Troy Anthony Smith is a Pastor, author, and the founder of Demonstrate It, an organization that believes in healings, signs, and wonders. Pastor Smith currently resides in Los Angeles,CA, where he can be found at the grocery stores, malls, and street corners, laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.

Do you desire to learn more about healings, signs, and wonders. Check out my latest book Demonstrate It? On Sale atAmazon.com

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9 Responses to “So How Did the Church Lose Its Power? (Part 1)”

  1. Great article, but just one small clarification: Baptists, like Mennonites, are not Protestants at all. They are Anabaptists.

  2. BECAUSE TRUSTING MAN INSTEAD HAVE GOD AND OUR FAITH WAS WEAK

  3. Cynthia Smith Says:

    Yes.
    Keillor be a part of heaven to earth.
    Thank You for the history lesson and what God is “doing” Now.

  4. Theresa Martin Saint James Says:

    Enlightening…

  5. As children of Christ we can’t move forward with wisdom and power if we don’t know our history…so thanks Pastor Smith for this enlightening article…blessings on you as you continue to help us realize the full power of having Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us….

  6. GodsaysGo Says:

    I am “All In”.

  7. Very true! Amen

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