Most of us know the names like William Seymour and Charles Fox Parham but another leader that you might not know about is a man by the name of William Durham. Continue reading William Durham and the impact on Pentecostalism
One things that grieves me about Pentecostals is we don’t want the Holy Spirit in our ministries. We want to talk about Him and have doctrines about Him but we do not Him. The days of guys like A.A. Allen and Jack Coe are long gone. Pentecostal is a theological position, not the awakening it was a century ago.
As a student of church history, this grieves my heart. I know that revival is our heart beat as a movement but I also realize that some Pentecostals are happy with good music from Hillsongs, a great hour of their pastor’s opinion, and hearing about what God did a generation ago at a Kathleen Kulnman meetings. Just remember, Irseal loved their dead prophets too.
I remember growing up hearing the stories of the great healing revival on the early 1950’s. God moved through people like A.A. Allen. He was just a simple man with said yes to the call of the Holy Spirit to invade this world with the power of God. He answered the commission to bring heaven to earth. I do not believe that A.A. Allen was anyone special, have a stronger anointing or have a unique set of spiritual gifts. I believe he just was willing to say “Here I am, Send me!”
A.A. Allen was a man of the Holy Spirit
Recently, I downloaded again his old book, Visitation of God. It is a great book and I highly recommend that any one who wants to used by God should grab it and read it. In fact, they should read again after reading it. It is that good.
The power of the Holy Ghost may be readily likened to the power of electricity. When one is filled with the Spirit, it is as though he has had his house wired, and established connection with the “power house”. Many people use electricity for years just to provide light! They never take advantage of the great possibilities that are available through using the appliances which electricity will operate. The gifts of the Spirit may be likened to the appliances. As new gifts are added more work can be done, with greater ease. The power has not changed, but it is made more effective. God never intended to STOP when he had filled his people with the Spirit. This is just the beginning. “Covet earnestly the best gifts.” I Cor. 12:31. This, I found, is the path to greater accomplishment for God.
This is one of the best definition of the baptism of the Holy Spirit I have seen in a while. The power is there if you are filled and you can just add anointings to that power. It is the will of God that you be filled with His Spirit to the point that every spiritual gift flows through you as needed when needed. A.A. Allen believed that and I believe that as well.
Most Pentecostals are filled with the Holy Spirit seems to be cool with just using it to light up a church meeting with tongues and interpretation a few times a year. They never plug into the television (creativity) or use the oven (transformation). They are happy with their light bulbs and Christmas lights in December.
Wasn’t AA Allen a drunk?
I know this does not sit well with our legalistic “holiness” people in the Pentecostal movement, but yes AA Allen was known to have problems with the bottle. Guess what? God still used him despite his own struggles. We do not have to be perfect to be used by God. Pentecostal history is full of people who didn’t match up to the legalist’s list of “must haves” but they changed the world. We seem to forget the bible is full of screwups that had all type of flaws. Only Heaven knows what we would do if Elijah, John the Baptist and Stephen walked in our churches!
The fact that AA Allen was anointed but still had issues with drinking does not bother me at all. I realize that when people are anointed, they are anointed. I also realize when they are not, they are not at all. It is like a prophet and their opinion. Just because they are prophetic does not mean their opinion of everything spiritual is the view of Heaven. Same thing goes for the anointing.
I have seen some of the most broken people do some of the most amazing things for God. I have seen a man in the middle of a divorce lead a revival that went around the world and was aired on international television for weeks. I have seen a prophet that was actively involved in a homosexual relationship give detailed words of knowledge. Being anointed is not being perfect. In fact, some of the most anointed people I know are also some of the most broken people I know as well.
Tapping into God’s power
The power of the Holy Spirit and all the anointing (gifts) that come with it are for you and they are through you. They will empower you to be the agent of transformation to the world around us. However, we are expected, even commanded to “desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy.” If we are told to desire the gift of prophecy, it must be for everyone, not just a select few. Right?
One bad teaching in the Pentecostal Church today is that Tom has a prophetic gift and Jane has a healing gift while John has a tongue gift. If there a man that is dying with cancer, he doesn’t need to find Jane to pray for him. Tom can do it too! The Holy Spirit lives in us, His anointing is on us, and because He is the giver of the gifts; we can operate in any gift at any time as needed for the challenge in front of us.
Everything that it is in heaven is also in you. The Kingdom of God is in you and it wants to manifest itself through you to a dying and lost world.
After leading behind the teaching of Methodism, William moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and at some point met Martin Wells Knapp that preached entire Sanctification.
What is not known is the reason for the move. It could have been a falling out with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, it could have been struggles with much freer Northern United States or more probable lack of jobs for an African American.
For whatever reason it was, we know that did end up in Cincinnati and he did met Knapp and spend some time about a group called “The Evening Light Saints.” The things that led up to this are unknown.
One of the challenges of Church history has always been to piece together many things with more time than not, many blanks where little is known. William Seymour’s life has more of those than some.
However, to be fair, we have many blanks in the life of Paul as well. We know he went to Iconium and stayed there “a long time.” What we do not know why he stayed or what exactly he was doing there.
History is the highlights on the News so to speak.
What is entire sanctification?
Many hold that the heart of the regenerate (born again) Christian may attain a state of holiness in which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and where there is a total love for God and others wrought by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
We are not sure how radical that Martin Wells Knapp was on the issue but many around this time was teaching that “holiness” was a requirement for salvation. It seems from my studies that believe that coming to Christ was a process and putting faith in Him as Savior was only the first step. (Latter Rains completely rejects this position)
One thing we do know is William Seymour would struggle with believing in the finished Work of the Cross for decades because of his time under Knapp. Much of the legalistic bondages that Seymour wrestled with was due to the teaching that he received in Ohio.
There was a major division in the Church around sanctification too. Some of the movement believes that holiness was needed for salvation. In other words, salvation came as a process. Others hold that it was after salvation but you have to have come to a experience of sanctification. Most teachers believe this.
In the 1800’s, this teaching was very popular because people live very conservatives lives in general. Besides racism, the biggest sin for most American was drunkenness. Most people lived pretty conservative lives. You can know there was no controversy over gay marriage back then.
I am not sure many believe it today, many in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tn) reject it, some in the Church of God of Prophecy reject it, and it seems that even the Nazarene Church is starting to change their views on the issue.
Personal Holiness is important but it is not a salvation issue.
Evening Light Saints and Seymour
Beside learning what teachers of the entire sanctification camp was teaching; he attended the Reformation Church of God.
The Church of God Evening Light believes the following about salvation,
While all have sinned, Jesus Christ died on the cross that the power of sin might be broken in the hearts and lives of mankind. There is power through redemption to enable sin-free living on a daily basis. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). To live acceptably before God and to make Heaven, one must live without sin. There is a definite experience of salvation that all can have when they believe in Christ, repent of committed sin, and walk in newness of life.
It can an assumed that they had this position at least in part in 1900 when William Seymour was a member. It also worked out very well with his growing subscription to entire sanctification.
It would seem that they believed in entire legalism as well. Even today, they hold that holiness can be known by “attitudes, meditations, motivations, actions, where one goes, how one dresses.” It would have only been stronger in 1900.
Another thing that Seymour learned about from the Church of God Evening Light was revival. It was the Evening Light Saints that first told him about a mighty revival at the end of the Church age that would only end with the Rapture of the Church. This is why they became known as the Evening Light Saints.
What this did was create a longing, a desire, a passion in William to see revival sweep the earth and he wanted to see revival first hand. He wanted to be part of it. He wanted a revival of holiness, not a revival of Pentecost at this point. He could only believe for what he understood.
What can we learn from sanctification thinking?
As a rule, Azusa Report hold a Finished Work view of the issue. When Jesus said it is Finished, He meant it is finished. Everything you need, you have at salvation. You are holy by the blood of Christ at salvation.
Alot of the holiness theology leads people into dead works of trying to please God that will get them nowhere. There is nothing more you can do to get God to love you anymore than He does. God is a good mood and He smiles over you. Nothing will change that.
The great end-time harvest is coming but it is not going to be a revival of wearing skirts to the ankles, throwing away televisions, preaching KJV only, quitting the local basketball team and believing the local doctor is a witch doctor from satan himself.
The Great Harvest will come from faith for what the Holy Spirit will do, not returning to legalism from 200 years ago. Legalism is bondage and Jesus came to set us free. Whom the Son has set free is free indeed. When the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!
Brownsville Revival was no revival.
Those was the words of this older man in Negros today. He saw that I had a bible and was reading it. We talked and he proudly told me he was a former professor at Pensacola Christian College. I do mean proudly. Continue reading Brownsville Revival was of the DEVIL!