The Day of Pentecost vs. Azusa Street

Every one of us who has ever labeled ourselves pentecostal or charismatic at one time knows about these two key, pivotal moments in history.  The Day of Pentecost occurred around 50-60 A.D.  It is described in Acts 2 in detail.  ‘This is THAT!’ is frequently quoted when someone asks about speaking in tongues.  Acts 2:4 is often used to propagate the doctrine of the infilling of the Holy Ghost.

I remember the very first time I heard of the phrase ‘being filled with the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in other tongues.’ I had already gotten saved, yet I ‘hungered’ for more of God, so I sought out bible school.  On the bible school application is where I first read that phrase:  I was 20 years old, and yet I had never heard of that before.  The bible school wanted to know if I ‘got it;’ since I didn’t know what ‘it’ was, I answered no.

Many of us on our spiritual journeys came across this question.  And many felt the pentecostal peer pressure to endeavor to speak in tongues or you were not saved.

Recently, I just was sitting and thinking about the FRUIT of both events: the fruit of the Day of Pentecost and the fruit of Azusa Street.

I thought about the fate of the ‘founders,’ if you will, of each movement and what happened to them.

I thought about a lot of this and God began to show me some things.

The Day Of Pentecost

On the day of Pentecost-on the days leading up to the Day of Pentecost-people were unified, in one accord, one mind seeking God.  They were following the instructions from Jesus Christ to go to the Upper Room, until they be endued with power from on high.

On the day of Pentecost, they did speak with new tongues (different languages that were understood by their native tongue speaking people).

The fruit of that move of God was people were saved.  Many were brought TOGETHER, UNIFIED in the faith.  Every race and creed was represented at the Day of Pentecost.  All together worshipping God in spirit and in truth.  The real gospel was spread.  Some were martyred for THE faith.  Royalty and politicians of their day were witnessed to.  Some even were converted.  A group of scared, wet- behind-the-ears men (and women) were converted to movers and shakers that turned the earth upside down with the truth of the gospel.  MANY were delivered.  There was NO greed in what was known as the church after the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:43-47

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Signs and wonders-while they were performed as the Spirit of God saw fit to do them-were NOT emphasized and stressed.  That would be in direct contradiction to the word when Jesus said ‘a wicked and evil generation seeks after a sign.’

I underlined key points that I believe are grossly lacking and missing in today’s so called church.  There is no healthy fear of God anymore.  There is no unity.  And NO ONE shares anything anymore.  The prosperity gospel has made people greedy and selfish, only looking out for themselves.  The early church had favor.  They were NOT mocked.  Kings and priests called upon the apostles to give them counsel, prayer and advice on issues pertinent to that day.  The early church was a thankful church-‘eating their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.’

Read the book of Acts.  You will be utterly AMAZED at the fruit of the Day of Pentecost!

The only way the early church could be ‘stopped,’ not that it was….really-was to try and kill off the founding fathers & their followers AND try to infiltrate and corrupt the early church with religious doctrine.

Azusa Street ‘Revival’

At Azusa Street, yes, folks spoke in some kind of ‘tongue.’  Most of the ‘tongues’ spoken were not interpreted, unintelligible to most. Many signs and wonders took place.  And all pentecostal, charismatic and even non-denominational AND catholic churches (that believe in charismania, or call themselves ‘charismatic catholics’) have been borne out of the Azusa Street experience.

But since we have no bible to tell us what was going on before or after Azusa, we have to do our homework…and research.  Not only should we research the events of Azusa, but we need to research WHO were the people who we call the founders of Azusa of the pentecostal movement.  The two that come to mind are William Seymour and Charles Parham.  Before I get into what happened at Azusa, allow me to present a brief history of who these two men were.

Charles Parham is known as the father of the pentecostal movement.  He started out teaching bible studies on speaking in tongues and infilling of the Holy Ghost in the church. William Seymour, a black man, actually heard his first lesson on this while sitting OUTSIDE of the classroom because whites and blacks could not fellowship together at that time.

Right away, I have to say…if people of all nations and ethnicities were ‘allowed’ in the upper room prior to the Day of Pentecost with no problem or confrontation, then how is it that a black man could not sit in on a bible study on ‘the Holy Ghost’ prior to Azusa Street?

Anyway, since it was not ‘allowed’  for blacks and whites to congregate together, Seymour started his own thing.  In a little house on Bonnie Brae Street during a prayer meeting, Seymour and others began to speak in other tongues.  They soon moved to Azusa Street to the Apostolic Mission above in the picture….and the movement grew from there.

Now…

If you do your research, you will find that every church that speaks in tongues today traces its roots back to Azusa Street, either directly or indirectly.  But I can tell you what happened immediately afterwards.

Division.

The coming together of the races never took place after Azusa Street.  There were reports of factions of believers breaking off from the Mission because they didn’t believe in one point or the other.  There was NO unity, but constant bickering of who started the movement, Seymour or Parham?  (Reminds me of the scripture where the Corinthians were boasting, ‘I am of Paul, I am of Apollos..’)

No one could agree on anything.  Not on baptism.  Not on race relations.  Not on anything.  So people started their own churches.  Their own denominations.  According to the World Christian Database, today there are hundreds of millions of pentecostals and charismatics combined, dispersed among thousands of different denominations.

That does not sound like unity to me.

The early church was ONE church.  They were unified.  They had ALL things in common.  They were together.

The modern church is anything but unified.  No one shares what they have, and if you are taught to do so, you are accused of being a socialist (I have actually heard a mega preacher say this in one of his sermons).  In DIRECT contradiction to the word of God.  It’s this selfishness that is breeding like puppies in the so-called church that causes so many in the modern day church to eat up this prosperity message.  Which leads me to my next observance.

Greed

In the modern day ‘church’ as we know it, greed is celebrated.  It is encouraged.  People flock to cathedrals week after week and are taught to not care about their fellow man; its each man for himself.  The prosperity message is widely accepted because no one cares about the poor anymore.  As a matter of fact, church folks treat the poor like they have the leprosy….’don’t come near me, I might catch being broke…’ And they will not lift a finger to help out their brother or sister man.

Perversion

Ok.  We all know that perversion has hit an all time high in the modern church world.  In the early church, there were no homosexual preachers or priests.  There were no pedophile pastors.  The apostles were not laying up with anything and everything….everywhere.  I can honestly tell you I never knew what perversion was until I entered into the ministry while in the I.C.  I got to see up close and personal the vilest of the vile.  Truth be told, I STILL see it.  And it troubles me… I wonder if Peter and Paul had to deal with perversion in the pulpit???

Public Mockery

Ok.  The Word of God says that the early church had favor WITH ALL MEN.  Yet today, the modern day church is mocked.  Turn on SNL or any comedy act, and you will find a comedian mocking church folks, preachers especially.  ESPECIALLY preachers who speak in tongues!  I think of Rev. Lonnie Love from the 90s hit sitcom ‘Martin.’  All three of these traits are mocked…Rev. Lonnie Love likes his women, his money and operates in the ‘gifts’ of the (or A) spirit.  People do not take the I.C. seriously.  It has lost its relevance.  Even with all her attempts to become impactful and relevant, people still don’t trust the I.C.  Politicians only come to the church when they are trying to buy votes to win the next election.  The schools won’t allow the church in. And the government?  The government controls MOST of the churches today, when it should be the other way around…the CHURCH is supposed to impact the world!  But instead, the I.C. is mocked.  And truthfully speaking, it should be.  The I.C. is a caricature of what GOD intended for it to be.  Man came in and mixed it up and messed it up…so now the world has little or no respect for the I.C.

We have to look at what we call the founders of pentecost to see some other things.

Charles Parham was not a clean cut preacher who was looking for holiness.  Neither was William Seymour blameless in the division that took place.  And the entire Azusa movement was sent FROM THE DEVIL!

What?

‘How can you say that?’

Read part 2 and you will find out why I say that…

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False Prophets, the Charismatic Movement and the Python Spirit

False Prophets, the Charismatic Movement and the Python Spirit
By Pamela Sheppard

DID “THUS SAITH THE LORD?”

 A python spirit is a spirit of divination as portrayed in Acts 16:16, the woman who foretold who the Apostles were. Even though she told the truth, Paul cast that demon from her. He was grieved,

Only the Holy Ghost knows how many in Christendom who claim to be prophets by declaring , “thus saith the Lord,” or “God told me,” or “I was led in the spirit”—are really the messengers of Satan sent to control your life in God by the python spirit. Today, in the 21st century, churches are filled with soothsayers and charismatic hype masters whose message from the pulpit is merely a gratification of the flesh. There is a seductive spirit of divination sweeping across churches of all persuasions, seeking to control the lives of the un-suspecting. Laity leaders serve as divination foot-soldiers,forearmed “with a word” to maintain the power and authority of those in the pulpits. Demons help out also as they whisper into congregant’s ears, “give a $1000 dollars.”

I can recall that one of my associates, Minister Kellie,  completely delivered depression  in record time by the power of God, was approached by a member of her former church. Although Kellie’s  progress is quite  remarkable, the former church member approached her with a “thus saith the Lord.” “I had a vision of you and I saw you have a python snake attached to your spirit.  Are you okay? Since you left the church, we’ve all had concerns about you. We’ve all been praying for your return to the fold.”

In one of our mentoring telephone  conversations, Kellie casually mentioned this but I could tell that she was shaken by it. I yelled through the telephone “NO! STOP. THAT WORD CAME FROM THE HEART OF A DEMON ASSIGNED TO STEAL YOUR RECOVERY FROM YOU! DO NOT RECEIVE IT!!!!”

Certainly, professing Christians without knowledge may seem to have good intentions.Yet, when you find yourself in bondage to what they claim God has said about you to them, what does it matter whether they had either good or bad intentions??? The results are the same.Your spirit has been penetrated and the enemy has successfully planted his desires into YOUR spirit to cause you confusion and ultimate harm!!!!

Take it from someone who knows. I am well insulated by God from face to face contact with people who allow demons to use them as messengers of Satan to control my life . I have even learned how to block out my dreams. So when the enemy cannot “reach me,” he’ll make a phone call, send a Facebook message or send an email.

Now I know that’s right!

I have personally  received “thus saith the Lords” in emails and over the telephone on quite a few occasions. Now when I personally receive “a word” about someone else, I have learned to “keep my mouth shut.” Control freaks can’t do this. They are under too much compulsion to blurt out knowledge obtained by supernatural means to prove that “they are anointed of God.”

Here is how divination works. The enemy has difficulty “putting a spell on you” unless he first informs YOU about it. Then he will use your self-induced anxieties, doubts and fears to bring his plans about in YOUR life. In other words, devils and demons are skilled at making YOU your own worst enemy. You see, it is easier  “do what they do,” with your cooperation and consent. In order to control our lives, the enemy has to “plant his desires” into our spirits.

Recently,someone sent me a message. He had a vision that witches were trying to bring harm on me because of my website and that they were attempting to put a spell on me. I didn’t scold him. Wouldn’t make any sense cause the damage was already done. Coincidence or not, at that very moment,I was involved in a situation with someone who had “witchcraft in her background.” So of course, my eyebrow was raised but I didn’t panic. I was just extra careful and observant.

The thing to do is to “watch and pray.”

Keep your mouth shut until the crisis, if there is one, has passed. Don’t let the enemy use YOU to plant fear into someone who you care about.Pray and rest in God. If God showed him  that someone was praying against me, then the Holy Ghost was calling him  to pray. Fallen angels are extremely skilled at using friends, the people even of your own household, to speak evil into your life. So wisdom is certainly necessary. I learned the hard way to “be slow to speak.”

Therefore, when someone comes to you with a “thus saith the Lord” and it does not compute with you, you must become verbally aggressive.I do it regularly. People may think that I am crazy but I am quick to get animated and boldly declare, “no. I rebuke that. I don’t receive that.”

Sometimes I get worst and like the Lord, I’ll speak directly to that demon and say “get thee behind me.” I don’t care what people think. It is too important that I guard my spirit.

YOU MUST DO THE SAME!

If you have left the church or you are considering leaving, perhaps you would like to be assigned one of our ministers to mentor you.  If so, give us a call at 518-477-5759

 To know more about the python spirit, divination and the charismatic movement, you need “the New Idolatry.”  Here is a short quote:

Like New Age mysticism, charismatic witchcraft is the practice of white magic.  For the sake of comparison, consider how both a new age practitioner and a Charismatic Christian would approach a typical problem, namely, a woman seeking to stop the infidelity of a lover or husband. 

 From the occultist, the woman might be required to purchase a defense enchantment like burying her man’s shirt at full moon, while pronouncing a curse or magic formula 7 times.  As the shirt wears out and disintegrates in the ground over time, so also will the man’s love for the other woman fade and dissolve. 

 What does the Charismatic Christian advise in a similar instance? 

 Pray over the man’s side of the bed, anoint it with oil or holy water, name it and claim it by sending forth evil prayers against her husband’s  lover, in unsavory ways, unfitting to Jesus Christ, and pray controlling, manipulative prayers to change the man’s behavior.

  Rather than deal openly with the issues of infidelity, sin and spousal abuse, Charismatics are infamous for seeking “the supernatural solution.” (page 16)

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I want to take the opportunity to introduce a new writer, Wenona Russ, author of ‘The Makings of a False Prophet.’  I highly recommend this book if you want to further guard your spirit against false prophets and false prophecies.