Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pentecostals are Saved By Grace, Through Faith (Ephesians 2:8)

Grandma Jones with Mother and Dad at the General Assembly
Indianapolis, Indiana

Mom and Dad
As I write these words it occurs to me that many may take it that we are saying we are more deserving of God’s blessings than others.  Not so.  Let me state two things here.  Number one, You do not receive salvation (nor any other gift of God) by doing good works.  It is by grace, through faith that we receive from His bountiful hand.  Number two, speaking in tongues is not as important as being sanctified.  God demands a lifestyle of holiness.  That does not mean we are perfect but that we strive for perfection.
But then, why would God give one person such blessings and not give the same to others?  Is it because one is perfect and the other is flawed?  Is it because one is doing a myriad of good things?  Why would one individual’s life be so full of good and another’s be filled with nothing but turmoil and strife?  I know from personal experience that it is not because of one’s goodness.  And I’m reminded that the Psalmist said, “3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  (Psalm 14:3)   A man came to Jesus in Matthew 19 and – calling him “good master” – asked what he could do to inherit eternal life.  I believe Psalms 14 was in Jesus’ mind when he asked the man, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”   (Matthew 19:17 )  Now all believers know that Jesus was good.  So what did these words of Jesus mean?  I believe that Jesus was saying to him, “If you recognize that I am God, then you have your answer.”
          I learned some years after my spiritual crisis from some well-meaning folks that a person could not even be saved until they were at least 12 years of age.  They just came too late to tell me that because I knew beyond any shadow of doubt that God had saved, sanctified and filled me with the Holy Spirit. I have thanked God for that experience many times in my life as I went through times of doubt. Thinking back to that time even as I write these words gives me strong assurance that God is real. As wonderful as my experience was = there were many other things which I was told later that would have negated all of my experience had my faith not been based in the Bible. Of course I have had questions. I have doubted. I have failed the Lord and had to repent again (more than once) – but I KNOW that God changed my life that night in 1946 and that I’ve never been the same since.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just A Quick Note

Good Morning!  I have a busy day today but will take time to give you the most inspirational blog I have read in the last few days.  Go to  and be encouraged.

The Brannen Boys and Brother Wil's 1930 Model A Ford

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pentecostals Speak with “other tongues” (2)

Pastor Lula Lee Pearce Jones ca1938-40
Lacoochee, Florida

Here's the Beauty which Daddy saw through the Church Window
(She was 15 years old)

Louis Alton Brannen
(Recently Converted Saw-Mill Worker ca1938/39)
1 Corinthians 14:21 says, 21In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.”

          In 1946 - At the age of eight years, while Dad was pastor of the Church of God at Morristown, Tennessee, I received the “baptism in the Holy Ghost” or Holy Spirit in the "old time way" with the initial evidence of speaking in other (un-known) tongues. The old time way was that after a person was saved from sin, he/she was encouraged to seek to be sanctified and to “pray through” to the experience of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance.  John Calvin had preached the experience of “salvation by grace” through faith.  John Wesley had preached the doctrine of a “second definite work of grace” in a person’s heart which was called “sanctification”.  Since the late 1800's and the renewed out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, we were encouraged to have the “fullness” of the Spirit in our hearts and lives by seeking for the same experience that fell on the 120 believers in the upper room in Acts 2:4.   I’ll never forget the time and the great feelings of exuberant joy which came over me that night in the altar. I remember praying and hearing others praying for me as I knelt at the bench in front of the pulpit which was called the altar.  Those praying for me were saying things like, “Hold on, son. Hold on.” “Turn loose, son.  Turn loose.” “Don’t turn loose.” “Give up.”  “Don’t give up!”  “Keep on praying.”  I  understood their intent.  They were suggesting that I surrender everything to Jesus, and that I should allow God to have His way in my heart and life. 
Maybe you have heard someone else testify to an experience like this before and think that I'm being a Magpie or a parrot – but this is actually how it happened with me. In those days most everyone seeking an experience with the Lord was prayed for (out loud and fervently) by the faithful. This was all done by the most devoted believers, all speaking their words of encouragement at the same time. The encouragers were also patting the seekers on the back enthusiastically.  Some called it "slapping them on the back".  Plus, the musical instruments were playing and the people were singing in the background, something like, “Oh Lord, Send The Power Just Now” or "Send Down The Rain, Lord" or "Jesus, On the Main Line (Tell Him What You Want)". Confusing? No! Not to me. I knew exactly what they meant. So I did exactly what they were suggesting: I held on in prayer until I could not hold on any longer and then I turned loose. I "let go" and gave everything I had (or would ever have) to God until tears of joy mingled with my tears of repentance. I kept on praying and giving everything to God until total deliverance from sin came! I was overcome then with the joy of salvation.
          "Ah...just an emotional experience," someone said. "He'll be the same tomorrow that he was yesterday," said another. God was so good to me that he gave me an “out of the body” experience similar to the passage of scripture from the hand of the Apostle Paul that says, “Whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell.” (2 Corinthians 12:2)  No - I'm not claiming any of Paul's excellence - but I am claiming that the same Lord that transformed him also transformed me. Anyway, as I prayed that night at the altar, the last thing I remembered before being filled with the Spirit was praying and leaning forward and slightly to the right while earnestly asking God to fill me with His Spirit. The next thing I remembered I was standing at the back door of the church with both hands raised while tears of joy were flowing down my cheeks and I heard myself speaking in a language I had not learned! I do not know how I moved from the front of the church to the back of the church. My soul was singing praises to the Lord Jesus Christ who had forgiven me of my sins. I was elated.  After only a few moments I closed my eyes again and next thing I knew was when I opened my eyes and stepped over someone who was lying prostrate in the floor. I was speaking in tongues. I know that I walked (or ran) to the front of the church while under the Spirit’s influence…but I was not aware of what was happening until I was already back down front. I cannot explain why, or how, this happened – except that I knew I had been filled with the Holy Ghost.

William Edward Jones, ca1945
(My Maternal Grand-father)

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton