Pentecostalism is a form of Christianity founded on the belief in the work of the Holy Spirit as a direct experience of the presence of God. This is based on a key event in the life of early Christians as recorded in Acts 2:1-4. During this event, known as the day of Pentecost, the 12 disciples received the Holy Spirit.
In John 14:16, Jesus promised the disciples a helper, teacher and comforter. Pentecostals believe that the Holy Spirit gives power and that through faith, miracles may occur. The direct experience of God through the Holy Spirit is manifested through gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing.
The power and boldness described in Acts 1:8 makes Pentecostals energetic and dynamic because they believe they are driven by the power of God through the Holy Spirit moving within them.
Pentecostal followers believe in baptisms of water and the Holy Spirit. Water baptism symbolises the death of sin and birth of a new creation, while the Holy Spirit baptism helps the new believer to do good. However, Pentecostal churches do not baptise infants. Since young children are not able to make decisions to recognize their need for salvation or choose to follow Christ, they are instead presented to a pastor for dedication to God.
As of 2015, over the last 50 years, the Pentecostal movement has experienced a big revival and growth, forming some of the largest Christian congregations in the world. Notable Pentecostal revivalists include Smith Wigglesworth, Oral Roberts and Jimmy Swaggart.