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Azusa St. and modern Pentecostalism

The 100 year celebration of what?

This year marks the 100th anniversary of a Los Angeles-based revival which is known  as one of the 20th century's most significant religious events. The Centennial celebration is scheduled for April, 2006. Attendees from more than 30 countries have registered for the centennial celebration, and about 60,000 to 100,000 people are expected at the event.   

The Azusa Street Revival began in the spring of 1906 in a former stable in downtown Los Angeles where up to 1,000 a night came out to experience this new revival. It lasted from 1906 to 1913. At one point Frank Bartleman described it as the second shower of the Latter rain. By 1915 the numbers visiting an involved waned. But what took place inside was spread elsewhere. Thousands of Pentecostal missionaries went out establishing ministries around the world. During this time period it was noted that the meetings also began to fill up with spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others interested in the occult.

Even Parham when he visited the mission in 1906 repudiated what here found (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements). A year after it began Parham (the teacher of Seymour the leader) was arrested (1907) and charged with sodomy in Texas, he lost all credibility with the neo-Pentecostal movement he started! Yet today he is still remembered as the originator.

There is no question, Azusa street meetings had spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others who were interested in the occult.  It was known that Parham who taught Seymour rejected several of the central tenets of the Christian faith.  

They were unable to resolve their doctrinal differences. By 1913 the divisions were evident, this resulted in several independent Pentecostal organizations to be formed from the Azusa street revival. Four organizations came out that are still with us today: The Church of God in Christ  formed 1907; The Assemblies of God formed in 1914; The United Pentecostal Church (UPCI) formed in 1914; The Pentecostal Church of God formed 1919 at the Sharon Bible school which later became the area of the Latter rain in 1948 through William Branham’s anointing (another man who denied the pre-existence of the Son of God and the Tri-unity of God).

"A handful of people in Los Angeles, led by a one-eyed black man who was the son of former slaves, has turned into a movement of over 600 million people around the world who claimed to be filled with the Holy Spirit," said Billy Wilson, executive officer for the Azusa Street Centennial.
    The revival, which lasted three years, was "critical" to Pentecostalism becoming the world's fastest-growing form of Christianity, said Robert Graves, president of the Atlanta-based Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship.
 "Without the 1906 Pentecostal revival in Los Angeles, there would have been no Pentecostal movement," Mr. Graves said.

    Pentecostalism is named after experiences Jesus' apostles had on the first day of Pentecost, when His followers experienced supernatural "gifts" of the Holy Spirit, such as prophecy, healing and speaking in tongues.
    Termed by some theologians as Christianity's "third force" because of its association with the Holy Spirit, Pentecostalism's U.S. adherents range from actor Denzel Washington to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

When this revival began in the early 1900's it was accepted as a genuine move of the God in restoring the Church to its true power and authority, many identified this as the beginning of modern Pentecostalism. Today many still question whether there were genuine gifts manifested, a mixture or a complete counterfeit. No matter where one stands on its beginnings one should be aware of its participants today.

On their website we read- The Azusa street centennial exists--To bring together all the various streams of the movement.

- To lift up the diversity while demonstrating the unity of the movement.

 -To celebrate the dynamic progress of the movement’s first 100 years.

Pentecostal churches are what is thriving in the third world.

Lets see the people involved- word faith, prosperity teachers that insist on tithing and seed faith giving, false prophets... that’s progress, but to where is the question!

While many of the groups severed  from the movement because of great doctrinal differences, the UPCI is welcomed back to participate. The oneness Pentecostal group was severed out of the Assemblies of God in 1914 insisting that one must be baptised in Jesus' name only. Like Parham who rejected several of the central tenets of the Christian faith. We should not be surprised that one of their keynote Pentecostal speaker would be T.D. Jakes – (who denies the Trinity, believes they are three manifestations), On Tuesday April 25, 2006, the Faith Dome at Crenshaw Christian Center (that’s Fred Prices church) will host the Azusa Street Believers Convention. Keynote speakers are Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Benny Hinn.

What do these men believe- Non- christian teachings that hey have affirmed over and over again. Copeland who completely distorts God's nature and mans Adam was just as much the Son of God as Jesus, God’s reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself.”Adam was as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus when he came to earth, ...Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh” “Every Christian is a god” “You don't have a god in you; you are one.” He says, “Pray to yourself" "When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, 'I AM,' I say. Yeah, I am too!” “You are all little gods” speaking of Jesus “But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me.”

 Benny Hinn who stated When you say, 'I'm a Christian', you're saying... 'I am mashiach,' “You are a little god on earth running around “God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods” “we are now divine” “you are god” “We are 'little gods.” Who said “Kenneth Hagin has a teaching. .. Yet it is absolute truth. Kenneth Copeland has a teaching. Many Christians have put holes in it, but it's divine truth. Hagin and Copeland say: You are god.

Hinn  has prophesied falsely and has not been held to any accountability- “the Lord also tells me ... about '94 or '95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America ... by fire “Fidel Castro will die - in the 90's.” He has instructed people who had loved one die to “take my dead loved ones and place them in front of the TV set for 24 hours” (Watch TBN) so they can be resurrected.

Other speakers are: Cesar Castellanos who began G-12 from a vision that is contrary to the word. Where reports are coming in of abuse of authority and manipulation of Scripture taking place. Bill Hamon who is an apostle and prophet under Peter Wagner's false apostolic reformation to restore the government to the church. Jerry Savelle, another word faith teach that teaches we can have what we say by the words of our mouth and faith. David Yonggi Cho who thinks we can tap into a 4th dimension of the spirit and use visualization to change ones reality. Creflo Dollar another word faith teacher who thinks he is a little god that can create reality. Juanita Bynum called THE prophetess to the nations, who is always telling us what God has told her- promises prosperity to those who obey her words (TBN uses her in their telethons). Brian Houston of Hillsong who is another prosperity teacher, tells people to believe God for wealth because Money answers everything. Ed Silvoso who is also part of Wagners apostolic network who has promotes a false spiritual warfare completely separated from the Bibles teaching to solve the worlds problems. He also is promoting the marketplace evangelism that is the new trend. There are more but this should be sufficient for a  conclusion that involves discernment.

If these are the men and women they pick as the leaders of the Pentecostal movement today is it any wonder the church stays in disarray. Is this what Pentecost bought? Men who believe they are little gods, that can speak things into existence; who deny the Trinity; who believe that we are all to possess prosperity and healing or one is in sin, lacking faith, bringing guilt to the body of Christ- this is shameful. Where are any of these teachings from the apostles who did experience Pentecost?

Scholarly preachers spoke up about these meetings; such as R.A. Torrey who declared that this new Pentecostal movement was "emphatically not of God, and founded by a Sodomite."   G. Campbell Morgan called it, "the last vomit of Satan." H. A. Ironside said it was "disgusting ... delusions and insanities."  Clarence Larkin and many others had nothing good to say, by the time it ended some  stated it  was the result of spiritualism. This is because many occultists and spiritists attended the meetings and were comfortable in their midst.

What would these men who formerly spoke out and even the apostles think of the Pentecostal movement now? 

Many Christians are asking for a revival that can effect the world. There is a growing sense that this Centennial may well be the catalyst that sparks the beginning of that revival.

How can this happen unless they deal with the obvious leaven among them? The whole church needs to do this otherwise we will not have the favor of the Lord work in and through us to this extent. Instead of the church cleaning up their act - it becomes worse as they esteem leaders like these.

One more note: The Church Report is the leading monthly business news magazine for Christian leaders  January 16, 2006 - The Church Report magazine and its publisher and CEO, Jason T. Christy, are pleased to announce that Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas has been chosen the Most Influential Christian for 2005 in a three-month survey of its readers http://www.earnedmedia.org/tcr0116.htm see online www.thechurchreport.com.

T.D. Jakes (and probably others who hold to his view) are accepted at Azusa. So not believing in the trinity- Jesus, the Only Son being pre-existent as God does not matter anymore to most people, even those who celebrate a modern Pentecost.  This is the state of the modern church that claims to have the gifts active in their midst-how sad.

(source of article- Pentacostalists to mark centennial By Julia Duin The WASHINGTON TIMES January 1, 2006)


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