“These Stones”

It must have been some sight when the priests stood in the middle of the parted Jordan River holding the Ark of the Covenant. Joshua led the people across on dry ground as the whole of Israel took their first steps into the land of Canaan. Their promise came by way of yet another miracle. Before the priests left their post, Joshua commanded the leaders from each tribe to gather large stones from the middle of the river’s bed and build a monument along the shore. Joshua said, “When your children ask you the meaning of these stones, tell them how we crossed this river and how God brought us into this land of promise.”

The meaning of “these stones” was Heritage. It was the inheritance of the Lord in the form of a land flowing with milk and honey and a God Who saved them from their own unbelief. Israel’s identity with God became their Heritage. God’s salvation was their Heritage and so much more. Traditions rooted them and connected them to what the Lord had accomplished. He brought them out of Egypt and brought them in to the land of Promise so that both God’s power and this new land became their birthright. It was Heritage that connected them to the wonders of the past.

Perhaps an underlying weapon against the next generation of Pentecostals is the absence of connection to those who came before. It is well documented that America’s families are seeing the effect of an absence of a physical heritage. Family traditions are almost nonexistent. Financial inheritances are quickly diminishing. Even the ideas of home-life, work, and church are now in a constant state of flux. This all matters to the next generation of believers. We must know our Spiritual heritage, honor, and build upon it.

Our Apostolic Heritage is rooted in prayer and fasting. It is the baptism in the name of Jesus. It is demonstrative praise and worship with singing and dancing. Our heritage is the Covenant brought by way of the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Paul called it “the earnest of our inheritance” Ephesians 1:14. Therefore, whether you are new to the Gospel or grew up in the church, the Holy Ghost, which is the Holy Spirit of promise, is your Heritage.”

Today we recognize and honor those faithful saints who sacrificed for the sake of the Gospel and for our sake. Countless prayer meetings and days of fasting have already taken place. Men and women, most of which we will never meet, have given their lives so that we can have a place of worship. Our entire church stands on the commitment of the saints. They established a Kingdom mindset so that we could be here. This is our heritage.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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