Is Speaking In Tongues For Endtimes?

By Pastor pam Sheppard

To discern the signs of the times, I believe that we need to comprehend “what went on yesterday, about 100 years ago. So this article  is dedicated to sharing a historical perspective and to let you, the reader decide. I myself try all supernatural occurrences from the words of Jesus: A good tree doesn’t bring forth bad fruit and a bad tree doesn’t bring forth good fruit.  Furthermore, you shall know them by their fruit.

Remembering the fervor of the early 80’s, the word of faith movement clearly “took off” primarily because of tongues. Everyone was seeking the initial sign of the baptism in the Holy Ghost, as word of faith preachers, pastors and teachers all concurred that tongues was the initial evidence. At times, seeking after uttering a tongue seemed higher in priority than salvation, as the leaders taught that being saved was only a beginning step to being “filled.”

Consequently, those who proclaimed to be “born again” did not settle for conversion alone because being filled with the Holy Spirit meant that “you spoke in tongues.” History was my least favorite subject in high school, probably because what was past didn’t seem important to me. When we are young, we live in the present moment. Many misunderstand that just because being born again involves “old things being passed away,” how will we be able to measure our spiritual growth if we don’t consider “how we used to be?”

To illustrate, as a black person in this country today, I no longer allow the slavery of my ancestors to control either my emotions or my behavior. Nevertheless, remembering my roots encourages my compassion for all human suffering and injustice around the world. The racial past of my people as former slaves contains clues relative to the spiritual, economic and societal ills that we continually face today as a people, and so it is crucial that we remember, “from whence we came.”

Along these same lines, I believe that the truth about tongues can be found in its historic roots, that go back a century or so ago. Prior to the early 20th century, history would suggest that the speaking in tongues actually DID cease for 19 centuries. While the Middle Ages constituted long years of spiritual darkness, the Protestant Reformation exemplified a revelatory outburst of light regarding the doctrines of sin, salvation, justification by faith and holiness. This period marked the interpretation of scripture by some of the finest minds in church history. Even though there were some instances of “the ecstatic” among a group called the Anabaptists, for the most part, the Reformation was silent about the speaking in tongues.

Moreover, within the founding days of America, neither the Pilgrims, the Puritan leaders, nor any other Christian group indulged in speaking in tongues. Times of great emotional conviction were recorded and believers were moved to show their convictions through their fervency of feelings and emotions. Yet, even though thousands were convicted of their sins in frontier revivals, the speaking in tongues found no expression.

Earnest Christians and ministers in this period of history set themselves to rediscover truth. Literary Christian scholars produced excellent essays and formulated insightful scriptural interpretations, yet not one spiritual leader of the Reformation period in the USA even intimated that the doctrine of speaking in tongues had any role at all in the spiritual life of that day.

 In the third decade of the 19th century, a pastor in London by the name of Edward Irving made a public declaration of healing, prophecies and tongues, including them in his worship services. Upon visiting Irving’s church, contemporary essayists wrote in the London Times, “God was working miracles by hysterics.”

Though Irving was ousted from the Presbyterian Church, he started the  Catholic Apostolic Church. In various parables, Jesus gave us a simple tool of discernment. He tells us that good trees produce good fruit, bad trees produce bad fruit, and that we “know them by their fruit.” The Lord made it clear that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. As I continued to study, I found that the precursors of the Pentecostal movement which centered itself in the speaking in tongues was filled with “bad fruit.”

Let’s look at the lives and work of each outstanding leader, one at a time. It is interesting to note the significant influence of women in the tongues movement and the establishment of the denomination of Pentecostalism.

 Mother Ann Lee” the founder of the Shakers, 1736-1784: Mother Lee was the charismatic founder of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as the Shakers. After a difficult early life, she joined a group of Christians in Manchester, England, who had split from the Quaker movement. Their unorthodox views and impassioned convulsions in worship drew ridicule and persecution, along with the nickname “the Shakers.”

While imprisoned, Mother Ann received a revelation that she was the embodiment of the second coming of Christ, in feminine form. Lee claimed that she could also discourse in 72 tongues. Lee settled in Watervliet New York, a town about a 15 minute drive from where I now live.

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons,1805-1844: Smith was among the first to advocate for the speaking in tongues. He believed that tongues opens the door to visions and revelations. After all, this is the way that the book of Mormon had come to him. Taken from a chronological history of the Mormon church, I found this:

History of the Church 2:428, 27 March 1836: [at the end of the temple dedication] “President Brigham Young gave a short address in tongues, and David W. Patten interpreted, and gave a short exhortation in tongues himself, after which I [Joseph Smith] blessed the congregation in the name of the Lord, and the assembly dispersed a little past four o’clock, having manifested the most quiet demeanor during the whole exercise…. During the evening of the same day, Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place. This continued until the meeting closed at eleven p. m.”

Bare in mind, readers, what John Smith and the Mormons believe about Jesus Christ of Nazareth: They preach that Jesus is the brother of Satan, an elder brother of all people on this planet. Mormons teach that Jesus was born on an unnamed planet near the star Kolob through God the Father having sex with one of his many wives. In short, that the Lord was born on Earth through God manifesting a body and having sex with Mary. They claim that Jesus was married to three women at the same time, and had children. Consider the outrage of teaching that Jesus saved himself by obeying the principles of Mormonism and that the Lord is an example for all good Mormons to follow. John Smith also claimed that Jesus received godhood after he rose from the dead and that He is now one of many gods over his own planet with his many wives making spirit babies and populating that planet.

So consider this. The founder of this doctrine is one of the first Americans to proclaim that he “spoke in tongues.” Assuming that what John Smith wrote in the Mormon history book about the supernatural manifestation that occurred in his gatherings, ask yourself this. Based upon John Smith’s blasphemous doctrine, ask yourself, “was the Holy Spirit and the angels of God the author of that experience on March 27, 1836????????

 Marie Woodworth Etter, faith healing and evangelist: (1844-1924) is one of the best known Holiness preachers of the pre-Pentecostal era. From around 1885 onwards she began to use the charismatic gifts in her meetings, and was known for healings, trances and visions. Licensed to preach in 1884, Etter was the mega preacher of her day in tent revivals. Her critics called her “the Voodoo Priestess.” She was known for speaking in tongues, along with strange and sundry manifestations that were attributed to the movement of the Holy Ghost. She was also known for preaching texts out of context, preached regularly for the Mormons, and seemed to be the person who started the phenomena known today as “slain in the spirit.”

Most of the manifestations common in present day meetings like the Toronto Blessing were experienced in the Woodworth-Etter meetings, so much so that some critics of the current movement trace The Toronto blessing back to Etter. Etter was certainly faithful to her calling and it appears that she was honest and sincere. But as I point out in “Faces of the Religious Demon”, I believe that “we are now living in an era when the Lord will turn over those with a religious demon to a reprobate mind. At that moment, the captive’s thoughts will be permanently darkened to the degree that he becomes incapable of receiving the truth. (pg 47) Considering her dedication, I hope that Etter escaped our era.

Charles Parham, founder of Pentecostalism, 1873-1929 An extremely controversial figure, I recommend to those who are interested to search with his name and read about him for yourself. There are rumors of homosexuality, racism, ( membership in the Klu Klux Klan) and freemasonry. He was actually arrested for lewdness in a public place, attempting to solicit sex from men. There are also several allegations and reports concerning his strange doctrinal interpretations. In regards to tongues, in the fall of 1900, after leading his students through a series of Bible studies on repentance, justification by faith, sanctification, and healing, Parham instructed them on Spirit baptism. By the end of December, they were prepared to encounter the day of Pentecost in a new way. After the revival commenced on New Year’s Day, Parham announced that the students had spoken many languages. He himself claimed he had received the capability of preaching in German and Swedish. On January 1, 1901, Agnes Ozman spoke in a tongue that sounded like “Chinese,” though never actually verified. She is renowned as being the first Pentecostal person to ever speak in tongues.

The problem with her tongue speaking is that it is claimed that she spoke non stop for 3 days in Chinese, actually unable to speak in English until she was “released” to do so. Others among Parham’s students were alleged to have spoken in a variety of languages including Japanese, Hungarian, Syrian, Hindi, and Spanish. Parham noted that “cloven tongues of fire” appeared over the heads of the speakers. Sometimes interpretations followed such as “God is love,” “Jesus is mighty to save,” and “Jesus is ready to hear.” Parham anticipated that he could send out missionaries all over the world who would supernaturally speak in the native tongue of the land, without having studied it. It never happened and Parham was extremely disappointed that his missionary plans were thwarted.

Although Parham was accused of being a racist, he preferred to consider himself a separationist, as exemplified by the fact that he allowed a black man to participate in his bible study classes, sitting in a restricted and separated part of the study hall. That man was William Seymour. William Seymour, a waiter and the Azusa Street leader (1870-1922) went to Los Angeles and taught the Holy Spirit baptism in a warehouse on Azusa Street. On April 4, 1906 a revival began and thousand’s of people came to 312 Azusa to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This revival lasted from 1906-1913, and during this time, thousands of Pentecostal missionaries went forth establishing missions throughout the world.

Seymour’s work at Azusa is regarded among most Pentecostal historians as a genuine move of God in restoring the church to true power and authority. However, it has also been reported that the Azusa Street meetings were filled with spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others who had a deep interest in the occult. There are reports of fits, babblings, moral compromise with people falling on top of each other, jerks, twitchings, shakings, ie. mass hysteria. In fact, the spiritual pandemonium of the meetings became more than Seymour could handle, and so he sent for his teacher, Parham to come and help out. When Parham arrived, he was outraged and appalled.

As a result, Parham and Seymour had a rift that was never reconciled. Parham publicly denounced both the revival and Seymour in October 1906 for the emotionalism displayed in the worship at the Azusa Street revival, and for the intermingling of blacks and whites in the services. Seymour had sought Parham to help him control these “ecstatic” excesses. But visiting the mission for the first time and observing what Parham believed to be “manifestations of the flesh,” Parham stood up and declared: “God is sick at His stomach!”

Even so, it is reported that emotionalism played a strong part in Parham’s own worship services. This unfortunate incident and his judgmental nature alienated Parham not only from Seymour, but others as well. It is alleged without substantiation that Seymour “stole Parham’s Pentecostal movement” by blackmail as Seymour was privy to Parham’s secret sex life. Shortly, the Pentecostal movement had now begun to move well beyond both men. Indeed, Pentecostalism emerged in India in 1906 among holiness believers without ties to Azusa Street.

 Evan Roberts and The Wales Revival of 1904-1905; Part of the appeal of this wide scale revival lay in Evan Roberts himself, a charismatic and sincere preacher. Although he came from the Welsh Methodist tradition, he wasn’t a theologian, and he never finished his training to be a minister. His message was for all the people of Wales, regardless of denomination, and it was immensely appealing. Meetings would be a mixture of prayer, self-examination and singing, and they could last for hours.

The most outstanding aspect of the revival was its impact upon everyday societal life. Crime dropped, saloons closed, in short, the entire community was affected. It is believed that at least 100,000 people became Christians during the 1904-1905 revival, but despite this, the revival did not put a stop to the gradual decline of Christianity in Wales, only holding it back slightly. It has been argued by some Christian historians that the 1904-1905 revival lacked depth in terms of nurturing the newly converted Christians in biblical teaching. Evan Roberts admitted that wildfire erupted “from the very outset.” He reported that the physical, mental, and spiritual wreckage resulting from the baptism in the Holy Ghost was appalling in its effect upon the revival’s leaders and workers, to say nothing of the new converts. It is reported that “thousands,” and, “nearly all,” were “wrecked.”

Evan Roberts himself suffered a severe mental breakdown at the end of the revival, from which he never recovered. As a result, his public ministry was finished. He recuperated at the home of Jessie Penn Lewis and he assisted her in writing “War on the Saints.” When the book was denounced by critics in that day, it is reported that Roberts denied co-authoring the book. Jessie Penn Lewis, author of “War on the Saints.” ((1861-1927) was an English evangelical speaker and author of a number of Christian evangelical works. Her father was a Calvinist Methodist minister. Along with Evan Roberts, Penn Lewis was significantly involved in the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival. As previously noted, the revival was abruptly shortened with the mental and physical collapse of Evan Roberts.

Penn-Lewis traveled internationally to take her spiritual warfare message to audiences in Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S., and India. She has remained a controversial figure among Christians for almost 100 years, primarily because she declared the failure of the Welsh Revival to be the work of Satan. Emphasis is centered in “War on the Saints” of the danger that comes to believers at the point of baptism in the Holy Ghost, yet little reference is made to tongues.

In a subtitled called “The Counterfeit Presence is Sensual,” Penn-Lewis writes:(War on the Saints, pg. 130-131)

“The counterfeit presence of God is given by deceiving spirits, working upon the physical frame, or within the bodily frame, upon the senses. We have seen the beginning of this, and how the first ground is gained. It is deepened by these sense-manifestations being repeated, so gently, that the man goes on yielding to them, thinking this is truly ‘communion with God’—-for believers too often look upon ‘communion with God’ as a thing of sense and not of spirit—and here he commences praying to evil spirits under the belief that he is praying to God. The self-control is not yet lost, but as the believer responds to, or gives himself up to these ‘conscious’ manifestations, he does not know that his WILLPOWER IS BEING SLOWLY UNDERMINED. At last through these subtle, delicious experiences, the faith is established that God Himself is CONSCIOUSLY IN POSSESSION OF THE BODY, quickening it with felt thrills of life, or filling it with warmth and heat, or even ‘agonies’ which seem like fellowship with the sufferings of Christ, and travail for souls, or the experience of death with Christ in the consciousness of nails being driven into the bodily frame, etc. From this point, the lying spirits (demons) can work as they will, and there is no limit as to what they may do to a believer deceived to this extent. (Jessie Penn-Lewis)

For those readers who are becoming angry, I did not write those words. I don’t know about you, but almost a century ago, this woman wrote words that describe ME! From the agonies and travail for souls, the feelings of warmth and heat, the consciousness of nails being driven into my bodily frame, I experienced all of this–some of it before I even heard about tongues, before I was even introduced to charismatic teachings or mega preachers.

There is nothing new under the sun where the religious demon is concerned. He just reworks the same ole stuff. Just recently, I happened to be browsing “War on the Saints” for the umpteenth time and I found a short paragraph accompanied by a specific footnote toward the end of the book regarding tongues in small print which is quoted below, in red. As much as I read and value this book, I only noticed this small paragraph and footnote last week: “A question arises here as to whether believers may now speak in unknown tongues, as the disciples did at the time of the Holy Spirit’s in filling at Pentecost.”

There are those that say ‘Yes” but the truths set forth in preceding chapters, show that until the spiritual section of the Church of Christ are more acquainted with the counterfeiting methods of the spirits of evil, and the laws which give them power of working, any testimony to such experience AS TRUE, cannot be safely relied upon. (pg. 298) And here is the footnote in fine print: The subject of speaking in tongues is not further dealt with, as the counterfeits in connection with it are only a fraction of the countless counterfeits being forced upon the children of God AT THE PRESENT TIME, numbers of which are not referred to in these pages. A believer not deceived by counterfeit speaking in tongues can be deceived and possessed by accepting other counterfeits. An understanding of the BROAD PRINCIPLES showing the basic differences between the way of God’s working, and the deceptive imitations by Satan, will enable spiritual believers to discern for themselves all the counterfeits they meet with today.

Clearly, Jessie Penn-Lewis was more concerned about “her day and time” then she was about ours. Having ministered in the greatest revival that has occurred in recorded church history since the days of the early church, much of her wisdom comes from experience. Likewise, my own reservations about tongues is primarily connected to counseling professing Christians for deliverance, the vast majority of whom speak in tongues, yet they are also tormented and some have been seriously demonized.

Evidently, Penn-Lewis was not a prophet and therefore, the Lord did not show her “our times” or perhaps she would have spent more time on the speaking in tongues–a practice that has evolved in our times into a major controversy.  In this regard, I hope that those readers who speak in tongues will not allow their feelings and emotions to override their good sense.  My concern is not for the bona-fide manifestation. In 30 years, I have not personally witnessed one.  My concern is for the counterfeit. As such, I agree with my contemporary, Dr. Rebecca Brown’s warning concerning counterfeits manifested through the speaking in other tongues. Her comments were made relative to charismatic Catholics but I believe that Dr. Brown’s words apply to word of faith followers and those within pentecostal denominations as well:

“Christians have made the terrible mistake of assuming that ALL tongues are from God. How wrong they are!…It is well-known that many occulted rituals are done in tongues….The fact that Catholics speak in tongues is not proof that they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Too many of these precious Catholic souls assume that because they are speaking in tongues, they are saved. How can the Holy Spirit be operative and manifesting  of idolatry?”( Prepare for War, pgs 182-3)

In a nutshell, Dr. Brown’s rhetorical question is the bottom line of this blog, and in a nutshell, she has written what I believe to be the overriding issue. Therefore, I must concur that I do not believe that tongues and its interpretation can be a gift from God within an idolatrous system. The degeneration of this system in the last two decades or more has now gone wild with the prosperity gospel. The amount of money ciphered from unsuspecting, faithful people in tithes and offerings is beyond my imagination to sum up. Furthermore, the current segment of the charismatic/Pentecostal system’s preaching of faith has seriously injured and caused premature death to countless of people who have refused needed medical attention that could have spared their lives.

Tragedies of today are actually influenced by the ministries of Parham and another 19th century minister whose name is John Alexander Dowey. Called the Father of Healing Revivalism, Dowey was arrested and charged with manslaughter in the death of his own daughter, who died from a severe burn due to Dowey’s refusal to seek medical attention on her behalf. The beat goes on as I have recently watched video clippings of people whose deceased relatives believed in error that they were healed at a Benny Hinn crusade.

Only God Himself knows how many of his children on their death beds suffered needlessly. Simply put, many became depressed  because some word of faith preacher taught them that anyone who becomes sick has either failed God or that their faith in God was too weak to be healed by Him. No, I no longer trust a system that has been replete with error for 100 years. I have searched the scriptures and now I have reviewed the history of tongues. I have some strong impressions as to why I have been suspicious of manifestations that I have either experienced or witnessed.

This research has confirmed for me that what we see operative today in tongues is counterfeit.

If there is a true gift of tongues in operation, we should be privy to how to discern the true gift from the fake one. Moreover, if tongues has actually ceased by the hand of God, we should not attempt to restore it. I personally

Today is August 28, 2017. This article was originally written in 2007. I personally spoke in tongues for 25 years.  Within the last  ten years, I continue to NOT speak in tongues because today I am convinced that this religious practice is a result of a false doctrine of seducing spirits under the authority of the spirit of the Anti-Christ.

To learn more on this and other subjects, click here

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The Day of Pentecost vs. Azusa Street…Part 2

In my last article, I stated that the Azusa Street ‘Revival’ was not of God.  I know I shocked many of you with that statement.

I say that because all I have to do is look at the FRUIT of each event to determine if its God or not.

What got many people all caught up in Azusa Street were the signs and wonders.  It was 1901…the country was recovering from the war and the Emancipation Proclamation.  Things were still in racial and economic upheaval.  Jim Crow laws still permeated the land.  People were looking for answers in uncertain times.

People started cropping up seemingly with some answers, Parham being one of the first ones.  Yet, no one has taken the time to find out WHO was Charles Parham?

Charles Parham came from the Methodist and Holiness background, started preaching at a young age, about 19 or so.  He was one of the first preachers to teach the ‘Joel’s Army’ doctrine, and he did NOT believe in eternal punishment, or hell.  (Joel’s Army is a movement where the followers believe that they are the end time warriors that will avenge God’s church thru bloodshed, if necessary. They are linked with the Dominionist movement).

Charles Parham was a full fledged member of the KKK in 1910…9 years after the Azusa Street ‘revival.’ How can the father of a spiritual movement be a member of the KKK?

Charles Parham was a free mason, a member of the Baxter Springs Masonic Lodge 12.

Charles Parham was arrested for having sex with boys in 1907, six years after the revival.

Charles Parham was documented to ‘mental, emotional, psychological and sociological disorders…’

Clearly, Parham didnt exhibit any fruit of salvation and deliverance in his own life-before OR after Azusa Street.  So one can only conclude that whatever he taught or introduced was NOT of God.

And who was Williams Seymour?

He was a one-eyed black man who wanted more of God than what he was raised with…but more importantly, I believe Seymour was a frustrated black man in the midst of the Jim Crow era who sought to unify believers, but he could not do that.  ‘The apple does not fall far from the tree’ applies here, for sure.

And since Parham was his mentor, Seymour was limited in what he could do.  It is reported that Seymour only put blacks and hispanics in positions of authority at the Apostolic Mission.

His greatest error was that he went ahead of God.  Instead of trying the spirits to see if they be of God, he ran to Los Angeles and started a movement that would sweep the world, but NOT with truth…but with gross error!

Being hungry for God and having gifts is not enough.  Many portray Seymour as this humble man who started a revival, but I present to you he had a religious spirit and false humility.

It is reported that witches and warlocks frequented the Apostolic Mission….often.  We only hear of the people speaking in tongues, being healed, slain in the spirit, etc. regarding Azusa Street.  We all assumed that EVERYTHING that went on at Azusa was God.  And it was not.

Seymour often wrote Parham for counsel and advice on how to handle the witches coming to services, holding seances and trances right in the middle of service.  Parham left him hanging and didn’t answer him.  I dont believe it was intentional: I believe it was because they both began to realize they opened up a spiritual can of worms and could not close it.  So now evil spirits were manifesting in the midst and NO ONE knew what to do to stop it.

All of the charismatic movements today involving holy laughter, rolling all in the floor, strange bodily contortions, etc during services had their birthplace…..AT AZUSA!!!

Seymour reminds me of the many preachers I see today who (prematurely) start a church, believing that God told them to do it.  The enemy sends some supernatural signs and because we all respect the supernatural, it is normally accepted that all supernatural signs in the I.C. MUST be of God.

NOTHING CAN BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

The sad part is it has taken over a century for us to realize that!

The following is an excerpt from ‘The Life of Charles F Parham’ by Sarah Parham. Garland Publishing. 1985.

“Parham could not shift this awful pestilence. He was ‘repelled’ by what he witnessed and when he attempted to rectify the situation, Seymour and his followers split from him. They did not like it. This is exactly how Toronto Blessing leaders reacted to rebuke and help from faithful Christians. Parham saw hypnotists (occultists) practicing hypnotism at the altar. Later, he confessed that it was all of Satan, for he saw “hypnotic influences, familiar spirit influences, spiritualistic influences, mesmeric influences and all kinds of spells and spasms, falling in trances etc….” He refuted them as being of God, as his own wife testified.  It transpired that Parham was “not wanted” at Azusa Street. Why not? Because one of the elders was himself a hypnotist, who passed on the power to speak in tongues to others! Or as Parham put it: “chattering, jabbering, speaking in no language at all.”

He couldn’t stop the monster he created, in other words.

The spiritual portals that had been opened could not be shut.  Widespread deception just kept on breeding, and multiplying.  Much like a plague…

One more thing I want you guys to consider…

The word ‘azusa’ has an engineering meaning.  It is a wave, a tracking system of sorts, used in telecommunications to track the location of a device.  It operates in what is called the C-band of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Plainly put, it is a wave that operates in a radar.

I don’t think it’s an accident that the enemy chose Azusa to implant his tracking system for the masses.

You see, one has to ask WHY would the enemy do this?

It is because he wanted to impart, implant a wave in the spiritual ear of the masses so that when HE speaks, they will hear.

The enemy wants to cut off your hearing FROM GOD.  So he will mimic the voice of God.  He will send a spiritual movement even to mimic the Day of Pentecost, to throw off millions of people.  Make them THINK they are hearing from God, when they are NOT.  To do HIS bidding.

This is a day and a time where we MUST examine and RE-examine everything we may have believed was God, present it at the feet of the REAL Jesus and see if we be of the faith or not.

It is time to tear down our own self made religious and spiritual idols so we can see JESUS and HIM CRUCIFIED, RESURRECTED with ALL POWER in HIS HANDS.

If your allegiance is to a church, a man, a denomination, an experience in this hour…you are in danger.

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References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fox_Parham

http://www.cephas-library.com/pentecostal/pentecostals_neo_evangelical_movement.html

http://www.scionofzion.com/azusa_street.htm

http://www.seekgod.ca/fatherparham.htm

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Azusa

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…