No announcement yet.

This is NOT the first time we have seen the New Apostolic Reformation Movement

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • This is NOT the first time we have seen the New Apostolic Reformation Movement

    Interesting. I knew of Asuza Street and other fishy revivals in America. I was unaware of this: Montanism in the second century.
    Length 11 minutes
    Watch and listen to full episodes of Wretched Radio & TV for FREE: https://wretched.orgFollow Wretched:Facebook: ...

  • #2
    The Azusa Street Revival of 1906 – 1915 was characterized by spiritual experiences accompanied with testimonies of physical healing miracles and speaking in tongues. The following is edited from

    The message that attracted multitudes to the Azusa Street Mission was considered new, novel, and revolutionary. Modern Christians could receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit as the apostles did on the Day of Pentecost with the Bible evidence of speaking in tongues. The theological father of this message was Charles Fox Parham, a former Methodist pastor who had joined the Holiness movement. At the Bethel Bible School (founded in Topeka, Kansas, 1898), Parham’s students affirmed that speaking in tongues was the evidence of this Pentecostal blessing. The first person to receive this phenomenon at Bethel was Agnes Ozman, whose experience on New Year’s Day, 1901, became the prototype for modern Pentecostalism.

    In 1905, Parham mentored William J. Seymour at another Bible school in Houston, Texas. Seymour then brought the Pentecostal message to Los Angeles when he came to pastor a small Black Holiness church. Church members quickly rejected his message. After a month of home prayer meetings on Bonnie Brae Street, Seymour and several others spoke in tongues. This drew large crowds to the small house. While searching for a larger building in downtown Los Angeles, Seymour and his flock found an abandoned African Methodist Episcopal Church on Azusa Street. In April 1906, the historic services began.

    Reverend William J. Seymour was a soft-spoken pastor known in the African-American church as a teacher rather than as a dynamic preacher. He was a deeply spiritual man who impressed all who met him.
    William Durham said Seymour was “the meekest man I ever met,” a man who maintained a “helpless dependence upon God” and a man who was “so filled with God that you felt the love and power every time you got near him.”
    John G. Lake said,” I do not believe that any man in modern times had a more wonderful deluge of God in his life than God gave that dear fellow, and the glory and power of a real Pentecost swept the world.”

    As to his preaching style, Arthur Osterberg said he was “meek and plain spoken and no orator. He spoke the common language of the uneducated class. He might preach for three-quarters of an hour with no more emotionalism than that there post. He was no arm waving thunderer by any stretch of the imagination.”
    In contrast to critics who described Seymour as “dirty, collarless and uneducated,” he was an effective leader and entrepreneur of revival. His articles in Apostolic Faith,the Azusa Street paper, reveal him dealing with the historical and theological challenges of the Movement that was being unleashed from his church. Christian History Magazine listed Seymour as one of “the 10 most influential Christians of the 20th Century.”

    The Movement spread around the world under the exciting ministries of the Azusa Street Pilgrims who received their Pentecostal experiences at Azusa Street. Among them were G.B. Cashwell (the American South), C.H. Mason (The Church of God in Christ), William H. Durham (Chicago, the American Midwest, and Canada), Mary Rumsey (Korea), A.H. Argue (Canada), and John G. Lake(South Africa). Later, those indirectly influenced by Azusa Street took the Pentecostal message and experience around the world. These included Thomas Ball Barratt (Western Europe and Great Britain), Daniel Berg and Gunnar Vingren (Brazil), Luigi Francescon (Italy, Argentina, and Brazil), and Ivan Voronaev (Russia and the Slavic nations).

    The first Pentecostal denominations were located in the American South where Pentecostalism initially gained a mass grassroots following. Most of these denominations had been formed before 1900. They were made up of churches that added the Pentecostal experience as a third blessing — an addition to salvation and entire sanctification. These included: the Church of God in Christ (Memphis, Tennessee), the Pentecostal Holiness Church (North Carolina), The Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the United Holy Church (North Carolina), and the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church (North Carolina).

    Later American Pentecostal churches from non-Wesleyan backgrounds included the Assemblies of God (Missouri), the Pentecostal Church of God (Missouri), the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (California), as well as the Oneness denominations: the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (Indiana), and the United Pentecostal Church (Missouri). Every classical Pentecostal movement around the world can trace its spiritual roots, directly or indirectly, to the humble mission on Azusa Street.

    In 1960, the Pentecostal movement entered the mainline Protestant churches led by Los Angeles Episcopal pastor, Dennis Bennett. Afterward, the Movement made rapid headway in major Protestant traditions under the name charismatic renewal. By 1967, Pentecostalism made major inroads into the Roman Catholic Church growing to more than 100 million participants by the year 2000. By 2005, statistician David Barrett estimated the number of Pentecostals and charismatics in the world at about 600 million. This massive movement is the major legacy of Azusa Street.

    After only one century, the Pentecostal/charismatic movement had grown at such an amazing pace that by the year 2000, they were second in size only to the Roman Catholic Church as a worldwide family of churches.
    Without any doubt Pentecostalism is the most successful religious movement of the 20th century. By codifying the speaking in tongues as the sole evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, Pentecostalism has created a vehicle wherein the participants control the experience and are, thereby, assured of their spirituality. The recognized problem from outside Pentecostalism is that such exhibitions as speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit are easily produced through the power of suggestion or just faked. There have been numerous Pentecostal preachers whose fakery has been exposed.

    In other cases, as the power of the Spirit has waned some Pentecostals have created new but false doctrines to seduce believers. One of the most egregious is the teaching of the Word of Faith where faith is a power through which the believer can have whatever. In some instances “"In Jesus’ name"” is a magic incantation to affect the power.

    In spite of all the exposed faults of 21st century Pentecostalism, consideration must be paid to the phenomenal growth and with its similarities when compared to the first three centuries of Christianity. Pentecostalism did what none of the other more established denominations did not do, and the question must be asked why and how?


    • #3
      That is a well done, non-sensational synopsis, Glen. What I tend see in all of these is a glossing over of what it was like in many, if not all of these assemblies. There was a lot of strange behavior at the services, not just speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit. There were other phenomena like we see in Charismatic circles today: holy laughter, drunkenness, rolling and thrashing on the floor, uncontrollable wailing and weeping. Not at all orderly. If you look at what goes on at many NAR and IHOP meetings, it is very similar to accounts of the Azusa Street movement; which is very similar to African ministries (note that IHOP has Africa missions); which is very similar to Hindus and their Kundalini impartations.

      In the Welsh Revival, going on at the same time as Azusa Street, many were disturbed or afflicted emotionally and/or physically. I haven't read first accounts of the Azusa Street movement, only synopses. But it would be an understandable assumption that similar signs accompanied the other manifestations. Reading Penn-Lewis' recount of the Welsh Revival, which includes a mountain of do's and don'ts, did not help my faith; it encouraged confusion, because no solid ground was offered. What can one do but run away? Seems most did not have the sense to run.

      These downplayed details are appearing and proliferating again in increasing numbers of churches today. I'm glad for the response from mainstream Protestants at the Strange Fire Conference who rightly identify it as a crisis, deceiving and captivating many, many young people looking for spiritual experiences. The message of that conference is that these things are not biblical, they're pagan. I think we all remember what happened to the sons of Aaron who offered strange fire instead of holy fire.

      There is also in the last decade the related stuff with Rick Warren inviting New Age (pagan) "health and well-being" experts into his church. And others are following in those footsteps. Different vector but related topics. Attacks are coming hard and fast from many directions, including papist ecumenism, the corporate sector, and social activism. And many professing Christians have a spirit of slumber.
      Last edited by Baruch; February 2, 2018, 12:45 AM.


      • #4
        Excellent Baruch.
        I am making an effort to understand Pentecostalism objectively because of its success (600 million). There is a comparison to the success of premillennial dispensationalism. Most, if not all Pentecostals are premillennial dispensationalist.

        From childhood I have been bias against the holiness and pentecostal movements due to experience and the doctrine of my congregation and denomination. On the other side, I have witnessed, as an adult, what is not of men or demons.

        You provide examples of strange things. I have been there and seen that. The holiness pentecostal church next door to my grandparents in the little crossroads of Ringgold, Texas was my first scary experience. My age was between 5 to 11. The town is on a sparse land prairie of sandy red soil close to the Red River. The church was just walls of red clay tiles with a tin roof. The floor was the red dusty dirt. Some of the ecstatic women, after dancing and jiggling, would fall to the dirt and trickle hand fulls of the red dirt through their hair. Such was my spiritual vaccination. Oh, I forgot to mention the Oral Roberts tent revivals and the staged cripples.

        My grandparents were as godly as any you could find, especially my grandfather. He was a disciple of whose life was so consistent that how every one who knew him just considered it his character. It is his life which has been the greatest human influence on me. He had a third grade education and worked and made his own way from age 10. Neither of my grandparents ever exhibited openly the pentecostal signs but both believed in Wesleyan holiness. It is from their practice of the faith that I review my take on Pentecostalism as a movement by believers and not as a TV spectacular for the rich con men.

        My only first hand exposure to Kenneth Copeland was in my early 20's about 1965. He was invited to my congregation, but after three days was invited to leave. James Robinson came about the same time. His egotism was obvious, too. Crazy antics and exaggerated tales.

        For me, it is not caution about Christian extremism which is needed as I search for a more vibrant and effective presentation of the gospel.
        As I have studied revivalism in Church history it appears to me to be associated with healing which authenticates the message. From such occurrences all the other false manifestations occur because these do not need be supernatural but may be performed by deluded men.

        From missionaries I hear the effects of Pentecostalism on indigenous peoples. It is efficient to transfer the antics of demon activity or pagan ritual into ecstatic language and dancing. From Pentecostalism teachings indigenous people think of faith as a new magic where saying "in Jesus name" becomes an incantation. All false religion focuses primarily upon manipulating the deity or deities. Everything from human sacrifice to Christian tithing have been presented as ways of manipulating the divine. Separating authentic from false is the issue. Presented with this difficulty motivates some to deny the modern appearance of gifts and signs. This is a safe position, but one of receding power. False signs accompanied by faked miracles result in large numbers but also leaves a world unchanged. As I have said above, I have witnessed power which changes the world and yearn daily to know that once more. Whatever the nature of false signs and faked miracles, the many who respond fall away, but the remnant remain knowing in whom they have believed. Might such misguided and deluded ministries still find those who are called of God? When mature, the wheat can be determined from the tares.
        Last edited by glen smith; February 2, 2018, 03:02 PM.


        • #5
          Thanks for that, Glen. I found myself nodding often as I read it.

          It's curious that you were present but didn't receive the strange anointing. (I'm sure you thank the Lord for that as often as you think of it. I would!) I notice too in videos where this is happening, some are just sitting around like normal; while some of it may be pretense, plants in the crowd to sell the show; others may be genuinely bedeviled. They are not all the same. From a remote observation point, then, one can do some sorting.

          I received this timely article today from Banner of Truth, a Reformed ministry: Holy Spirit: The Only Effectual Reformer. This article discusses reform, not revival. But the two are in my mind the same work, in that the Holy Spirit is required, and there is no substitute.

          When the Holy Spirit comes, His own receive Him. If another spirit is permitted to come, the deceived will receive him. A key question regarding the deceived is: how do spirits get in?

          Pro 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
          Pro 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
          ...and similar truths are meant to be applied spiritually.

          Men are by nature sinners, and lack self-discipline. Their spirits are breached by sin. Being in an unregenerate condition, they do not belong to Christ; they belong to the evil one, who will not heal them and build up their walls and hedges. The agents of Satan enter and ransack, as much as God sovereignly permits under His restraining hand, and set up their strongholds. These are the ones I would expect indiscriminately receive foul spirits when they appear as angels of light, and manifest the aberrant behaviors which are the hallmark of demoniacs. (My sympathetic heart hurts for the ones who are attending church and hope to receive the truth, light and life of Christ. But salvation is of the Lord, not the will of man.)

          Christ's people fare better, because He is their stronghold. God causes them to will and to do His good pleasure; and the blood of Christ cleanses them continually. It sounds like your grandparents may be a great example of this benefit of our relationship with the Son, and walking in His grace.

          I recently discovered this book, Revival and Revivalism by Iain H. Murray. This looks very good.


          • #6
            Much of American church history deals with revivalism and missions as well as the denominational divides. While not a resource for revivalism I have read somewhat along with this seminary course. Much of this course or reading related books is much like a hen sitting on an egg that never hatches. We just keep on hoping.

            Baruch posted: The agents of Satan enter and ransack, as much as God sovereignly permits under His restraining hand, and set up their strongholds. These are the ones I would expect indiscriminately receive foul spirits when they appear as angels of light, and manifest the aberrant behaviors which are the hallmark of demoniacs.

            Reply: I firmly believe, for what that is worth, that if one has the Holy Spirit no other spirit may conquer.
            I believe that there are those who have the Holy Spirit that because of emotions or what they believe, that they will manifest actions unbecoming to the Holy Spirit or actions accepted by the congregation as genuine. This might be speaking in tongues, dancing, falling backwards, or shaking, etc. Remember the shakers? The feeling of ecstasy has many possible physical expressions relevant to environment, personality, race, education, and community. This is not intended to say any particular manifestation is bogus in everyone.

            Additionally, some exhibitors of manifestations are just worldly enthusiast. Watch football fans.

            I have sanctified Christian friends and family members who speak in tongues. I have more sanctified Christian friends and family who do not speak in tongues. In the past we have discussed this openly without concluding any type of doctrine. The few people in my experience who have been the far best examples of the Lord Jesus have not spoken in tongues. Missionaries have noted the martyrdom of missionaries who did not speak in tongues. I know missionaries who speak in tongues.

            During my life time, the Christian discussion on signs, gifts, and particularly speaking in tongues has been constantly debated. Even if I had direct divine revelation on the subject, no one would take my word for it just like I don't accept the expertise of others - but I just listen.

            The only signs of which I have interest are those which can not be faked and cannot be reproduced. My interest is in that such signs might serve as authentication of the gospel message in such places where the message is new or not allowed.

            My brother recalls the reoccurring dreams and visions given to Moslems leaders in villages before his arrival. Authentication of the gospel message is much different than what is meant in the USA as a healing ministry or that healing should be expected by new converts. My speculation is that God will at times bring signs to produce renewal and evangelism which serves His plan of redemption for particular people or places. Accordingly, man can never be the catalyst for true revival or renewal, and this is the experience of all Christians I know who are honest about these things.

            Baruch referenced: Banner of Truth, a Reformed ministry: Holy Spirit: The Only Effectual Reformer.

            Reply: John Murray struck out the side on this one. Just as the title states he makes that point, but he displays the necessary path to redemption also. He also finds reason for the "hellfire and brimstone" preaching of a bygone era. Sinners must know who they have offended and why.
            Last edited by glen smith; February 3, 2018, 02:09 AM.