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5- Occult in the Post Apostolic Church 

And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead (Isaiah 8:19)? Regardless of how one twists truth, an evil seed will never produce good fruit. Such is true of Montanism, the evil seed of post-apostolic Charismatic Pentecostalism.

Montanus was a 2nd century gibberish speaking, false prophet. He was also a rabid promoter of unbiblical “new revelation” which he often spoke as if it was coming directly from God. This heresy originated with Satan in the Garden and links Pentecostal Charismatics to Romanists, Mystics, Babylonians, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Children of God, Jehovah’s Witnesses, SDAs, Moonies, New Agers, and myriads more. Although Montanus fancied himself a great Bible teacher, he was declared by the early church as a heretic and eventually hung himself.

Here’s a short list of seedling heresies from Montanus that are now taught in Charismatic Latter Rain churches as new truth today:

 

  • The belief that his personal prophecies and those of the Montanists superseded the Apostles
  • The encouragement of ecstatic utterances and prophesying
  • The view that Christians who fell from grace could not be redeemed
  • The prophets of Montanism did not speak as messengers of God: “Thus saith the Lord,” but rather described themselves as God, and spoke in His person. “I am the Father, the Word, and the Paraclete,” said Montanus. According to Montanus, the prophet was incapable of resisting being possessed by this god spirit by which he was compelled to speak
  • The teachings of Montanism also stated that the Father was the Son. (impetus for Oneness Pentecostalist heresy like the late William Branham, Tommy Tenney and TD Jakes espouse)
  • According to Philastrius (Hær., xlix) they baptized the dead (later became a Mormon doctrine).

 

GOD’S WORD SAYS:

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment (Isaiah 59:15)

Birth of a Mutant Movement: Montanism

As we’ve seen from nature and in history, the seed produces the tree which bears the fruit. Before the fall, all seed was biogenetically perfect. However, after man sinned, a distinction was created in seed that didn’t exist before: the potential of and tendency toward corruption (Gen. 3:15).

 

If we look at church history the way it is- not how certain doctrinal predispositions paint it- we’ll by necessity have to evaluate a mutant Neo-Montanist seed [i] re-appearing over one-hundred years ago. The foundational teachings of this movement were derived from a 2nd century heretic named Montanus. It festered, and then revived over two-hundred fifty years ago under the leadership of a holiness teacher and friend of John Wesley named John Fletcher. Fletcher, was determined to prove the unfeasible: “perfectionism” was possible when accompanied by a second blessing he referred to as the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Now please understand. Up until then, spirit-baptism had been properly understood in context of its intended meaning as taught by Paul in 1 Cor. 12:13. Although unknown at the time, this was bad seed in the making.

 

In 1901 the spirit baptism doctrine was hijacked by another holiness Bible teacher and reputed sodomite named Charles F. Parham [ii] who attached “the evidence of speaking in tongues” [iii] to it. A few years later, tongues and Spirit baptism caught the attention of an upstart African American Parham pupil named William Seymour.[iv] While Seymour had never experienced tongues personally, he began preaching about these ecstatic utterances [v] to crowds around Los Angeles that started experimenting with what he claimed was possible. As word of this strange phenomenon spread it soon drew spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others with occult ties. This, my friend was the Azusa Street revival that you read about and for which supportive historians glibly cite as the seed of every Pentecostal denomination and every Charismatic “revival” since. Regardless of what their apologists suggest, this was not good seed.

 

The Azusa Aftermath

If we want to understand the birth of the Pentecostal movement, we must understand how it was viewed by its contemporaries. Parham although a wild eyed heretic himself, repudiated Azusa Street revival after visiting there. [vi] Sound Bible teachers like G. Campbell Morgan described the Azusa Street activities as   “the last vomit of Satan.” R.A. Torrey declared that this new Pentecostal movement was “emphatically not of God, and founded by a Sodomite.” [vii] H. A. Ironside said in 1912 AD both the holiness and Pentecostal movements were             “disgusting . . . delusions and insanities. Pandemonium’s where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes (were causing a) heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity.” Clarence Larkin wrote:    “But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement’s of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in “Perilous Times,” and that all about us are “Seducing Spirits,” and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray.” [viii]

 

Were Morgan, Torrey, Ironside, and Larkin merely behind in the times, or so unspiritual they couldn’t recognize a new  move of God? Preposterous! They saw it for what it was and what it is!

 

The Charismatic Chaos

Orthodox Christians have always maintained Sola Scriptura- “the Scriptures alone”- however, in practice, Charismatics do not. They contend men and women exist today with the “gift of prophecy” that are “pregnant” with a new word and a new revelation adding freely to it whenever they gather (see warning Rev. 22:18). While this generally leads to confusion, chaos, and contradictions to Scripture, Charismatics sell it to  their followers with all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23). This refusal to try the spirits brings us face to face with two major problems in the church today: ignoring truth, and embracing lies. Here are a few questions to consider when trying these spirits as God’s Word demands (1 John 4:1):

 

First, do you know what Charismatics really teach about God? That He has given over His Sovereignty to man and He is now at the mercy of humans? Second, do you know what they teach about Jesus? That He gave up His deity and took on Satan’s nature in order to die for our sins. Third, do you know what they teach about Christ’s atonement? That He died spiritually and had to be born again in Hell? [ix] Fourth, do you know what they teach about faith? That it is merely positive confession and that words become incantations much like voodoo, [x] and that negative confession brings bad luck and is strictly forbidden (which of course would include confessing sin). Oh dear friend, what will it take wake the church to the influx and influence of seducing spirits that are corrupting it?

[i] One of the first known heretics of the second century church rejected for his false prophecies and Charismatic teachings.

[ii] Parham is the recognized founder of Pentecostalism even though weirdly heretical in many respects. He did not believe in the doctrine of Hell and taught annihilation, and Anglo-Israelism. He taught that there were two separate creations, and that Adam and Eve were of a different race than people who allegedly lived outside of the Garden of Eden. The first race of men did not have souls, he claimed, and this race of un-souled people was destroyed in the flood. Parham believed that those who received the latter day’s spirit baptism and spoke in tongues would make up the bride of Christ and would have a special place of authority at Christ’s return. He believed in a partial rapture composed of tongues speakers. Parham was the first to begin mailing handkerchiefs and maintained that healing was guaranteed under the New Covenant so medical doctors should be shunned. One of Parham’s own sons died as a result of this. http://www.tribwatch.com/parham.htm

[iii] Incidentally, Parham actually taught that these tongues were existing languages not the gibberish passing for tongues today.

[iv] There is evidence that both Parham and Seymour were staunchly committed racists, the former being a KKK member. Parham also was a Freemason, which he returned to in 1928 after a brief hiatus. http://www.seekgod.ca/fatherparham.htm

[v] Nowhere in Scripture are tongues supposed to be what Charismatics suppose them to be today. They were “glossa,” which Thayer defines as the “language or dialect used by particular people distinct from that of other nations.”

[vi] Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements at quoted on: http://www.letusreason.org/Pent57.htm

[vii] Among most Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians, Azusa is revered as a genuine move of the God in restoring the Church to true power and authority. However, it is also true the Azusa street meetings were also filled with spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others who had a deep interest in the occult. In 1907, Parham was arrested and charged with sodomy in Texas and lost all credibility with the neo-Pentecostal movement he started! http://www.bible.ca/tongues-neo-montanism.htm

[viii] Above found in Brown, Michael; From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire.

[ix] Both Copeland and Hagin have spearheaded these heresies.

 

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