Sunday, July 12, 2020

Charles Finney's Conversion and Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Our recent ministry update includes a few recent divine appointments, as well as an account of a recent outpouring where the Holy Spirit moved powerfully. We also have a link in our update to a powerful historical podcast we recorded on Charles Finney’s Conversion and Baptism in the Holy Spiritwhich is one of our latest uploads to our SoundCloud page and offers fairly easy access for listening on demand.

A Little About Charles Grandison Finney

Charles Finney was a powerfully used evangelist and minister in America in the early part of the 1800’s. He also ministered in England. In fact, he is considered to be the forerunner to those who did mass evangelistic campaigns later like D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, and Reinhard Bonnke.

Like Martin Luther, Finney also studied law, however it was after becoming a lawyer that Finney went on to experience a dramatic conversion and soon after a very powerful baptism in the Holy Spirit…which he says “took place before he even knew what that was.”

His baptism/filling of  the Holy Spirit also touched several other people right as it took place and included some manifestations that have been seen in many different revivals, such as profuse weeping, holy laughter, and God’s overwhelming presence!

Finney is in many respects a product of the Reformation; similar to Martin Luther he received a revelation by the Holy Spirit regarding the grace of God. Finney was given a revelation from his experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit that: “Justification by faith through grace is a present reality and something to be received now.” Not just something to hope for at the end. This was the effect of the Reformation as it fanned out through history, it brought forth evangelism.

Our friend Harald Bredesen, a Lutheran that got filled with the Holy Spirit himself and who also recaptured that original Lutheran revelation of "justification by grace" via the filling of the Holy Spirit, said when he witnessed to others: The problem with religion versus the Gospel, is that religiosity often leaves one stuck in limbo not knowing if you will be hung or acquitted on the Day of Judgement, hoping the rituals one did will be enough, which they never can be. The Bible however makes it clear that the Gospel saves and brings forth eternal security: salvation was brought forth on the cross through Christ and all you need to do is receive Christ as Savior and Lord. Then you have peace with God having been justified by His grace through faith (Romans 5:1-3).

Finney took that revelation he received into the harvest fields. And while Luther’s revelation resulted in the Reformation, Finney’s revelation resulted in pioneering campaigns of evangelism. Though they may have differences in some respects regarding the way they looked at things, the truth they received by revelation of the Holy Spirit about God’s grace brought great impact.

Finney also worked tirelessly to bring an end to what he called “the vile sin of slavery.” Many other believers like him worked hard to do the same in this respect as well. It is important to learn about historical figures like Charles Finney, a Holy Spirit-filled warrior who battled for souls, as well as to free those in slavery.

His conversion and filling of the Holy Spirit is an extraordinary power encounter. Check it out, I’m sure you’ll get a renewing touch of the Holy Ghost by just listening to that powerful Baptism in the Holy Spirit that Finney experienced!

Here’s the link to our podcast on Charles Grandison Finney:

The Need for Programs Like This

After graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary, and while ministering in different situations, I began to see the need to share certain aspects of Christian History, a lot of which was rarely covered in general and basically flatly ignored, particularly by secular universities. (I attended a few of those before my graduate studies at Fuller and they were biased against, and edited out, much of the Christian History of the US and other places then, and have only gotten worse now!)

The many contributions made by Christians like Finney—who was quite a well known and popular figure during his time—are often purposely ignored in the secular school system today. This is especially pronounced in the secular universities, with the modern zeitgeist that willingly embraces a collective historical amnesia and biased slant. One of the axioms of Stalinism and Marxism was: If we rewrite history then we can control the people.  We can see this happening today throughout the land.

Learning about believers like Finney helps to give us perspective and is a step in seeing beyond the historical revisionism of our day. 

We have put out lots of different programs, including those on historical Christian figures, which are amongst some our own more popular topics on some sites. I see now more than ever the dire need for programs like ours that tell the history that has largely been, and is being, ignored by secular institutions. Moreover, our programs do it from a uniquely Spirit-filled perspective. We appreciate your prayers and your prayerful consideration towards financially contributing to us in this seriously needed work!

Here is an endorsement of our ministry from a historical figure himself, Harald Bredesen, a Lutheran that got filled with the Holy Spirit who was one of the fathers of the Charismatic Renewal, and some of what he had to say in his endorsement of our ministry: 

"Of all the ministries I’ve worked with, there is none that I have the greatest confidence in the purity of the motivation and the fact that it was the Holy Spirit who gave birth to it than Grace World Mission, led by its founders, Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux...I’ve seen the sacrifice; I’ve seen the zeal; I’ve seen the Spirit-ledness…and I am so happy to be a part of it—I hope you will be and will support it...I’m sure He’ll bless you for it."

God Bless!
Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux

Grace World Mission—Useful Links
Donate Online:
Blog Grace Notes:
Blog Reflections from the Road:
Podcast: Grace Alone on Apple Podcasts
YouTube Channel:

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