Azusa Street and Modern Pentecostalism

Dr. Mike Johnston

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11).

Kind produces after kind. Therefore, evil seed never produces good fruit. Keep this in mind as you read this tract. While all neo-Montanists- aka Pentecostals and Charismatics- proudly claim the Azusa Street Revival as the birth of their movement, very few of them know it was born from occult practitioners.

The recognized founder of modern Pentecostalism was a gibberish speaking sodomite  named Charles Parham. Parham had a contemporary named W. J. Seymour to whom he taught a new theology of “spirit baptism, tongues, and accompanying manifestations.” Armed with this strange information, Seymour haphazardly launched the Azusa Street Revival in the spring of 1906 in a former stable in downtown Los Angeles.


Attendance at these events grew and soon rose to 1,000 or more a night as curious men and women sought the ecstatic experiences in Seymour’s meetings. Attendees included spiritualists, hypnotists, and mediums from the L.A. occult community who gladly added séances and trances to the chaotic services. [1] Non partisan historians reveal that the reason Azusa Street attracted the attention of occultists wasn’t that God was present in the movement, but the fact that He was NOT! As word spread of the bizarre meetings, well known fundamentalists began to weigh in. R.A. Torrey declared that the new Pentecostal movement was “emphatically not of God, pointing out that it was founded by a Sodomite.” G. Campbell Morgan called it “the last vomit of Satan.” H. A. Ironside labeled it “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.” At some point, even Seymour himself became a bit troubled, lamenting that the weird manifestations seemed to have provided an open door for witches and spiritualists. [2] In lieu of that, he pleaded with his mentor Parham to come to Azusa to help him distinguish which manifestations were of God and which were not. When Parham [3] arrived, he exposed the meetings as satanic which ultimately caused him to part ways with Seymour.


Nothing lasts forever and by 1913 divisions within the camp were so great splinter groups of Pentecostals were formed that are still infecting us today: The Church of God in Christ  (COGIC) formed in 1907; The Assemblies of God formed in 1914; The United Pentecostal Church (UPCI) formed in 1914; The Pentecostal Church of God formed in 1919 at the Sharon Bible school which later became the area of the Latter Rain in 1948 through William Branham’s [4] “anointing” (another man who denied the pre-existence of the Son of God and the Tri-unity of God).

Pentecostal Leaven

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). The far reaching impact of Parham and Seymour’s leaven can be seen nightly on “Christian” television. While most of the Pentecostal and Charismatic teachers still maintain the original heresies, their depraved teachings have sunk to new depths of unorthodoxy that Parham and Seymour both would no doubt recoil from.


False prophet Kenneth Copeland [5] claims Jesus never asserted His deity, and that He died spiritually and had to be born again. Add to that the fact that Copeland also completely distorts God’s nature and man’s by assigning deity to Adam: “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.” Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg as “new truth” is allegedly being revealed to Charismatics claiming they’ve held personal conversations with the Lord or His angels. As I close this section it’s important to note that all the occult manifestations Seymour was terrified of, have now risen to become desirable manifestations of the spirit expected to be present in the life of God’s most “anointed” servants.


Last Days Deceivers

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect  (Mark 13:22). When Shirley Maclaine goes public with “I am God, I am God!” the church rightly proclaims her a sign of the end times.


Yet when well known “Christian” leaders say the same thing, we smile and applaud their heresies as new light. When are we going to wake up and try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1)?


  • John Avanzini: “[The Spirit of God] … declared in the earth today what the eternal purpose of God has been through the ages … that He is duplicating Himself in the earth” (John Avanzini, “The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God,” Morris Cerullo World Evangelism tape).
  • Morris Cerullo: “You’re not looking at (me); you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.” (The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God,” Morris Cerullo World Evangelism tape)
  • Kenneth Copeland: “Adam is God manifested in the flesh” (“Following the Faith of Abraham” tape # 01-3001 “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” (The Force of Love tape).
  • Paul Crouch: “Christians are little gods . . . I am a little god” (TBN-July 7, 1986).
  • Creflo Dollar: We are gods, in this earth, and it’s about time we start operating like gods instead of a bunch of mere powerless humans” (April 17, 2002 Changing your World, LeSea Broadcasting).
  • Kenneth Hagin, Sr: “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was…the believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth”. (“Word Of Faith” Dec. 1980, p. 14).
  • Benny Hinn: “Are you ready for some revelation knowledge? You are God!” (“Our Position In Christ”, tape # AO31190-1). “You are a little god on earth running around”. (“Praise-a-thon” broadcast on TBN, November, 1990).


Please, please, listen. These “mini messiah’s” appear nightly on “Christian” television bragging about “new moves” of God that simply cannot be supported by Scripture. They are provably Azusa Street false prophets and teachers; deceptive, deadly, and dangerous. If you can’t see them for what they really are, it is because you too have been deceived (2 Cor. 11:3).


Now you might try apologizing for them by saying: “Well you just don’t understand them or what they really meant.” Well, let’s cut to the chase with Someone who knows full well, the Lord Jesus:


And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ . . . go ye not therefore after them (Luke 21:8).


It’s time for us to try the spirits (1 John 4:1) and warn the saints: The seed from the Azusa Street Revival has produced a forest of bad trees and rotten fruit- avoid it at all costs.

[1] The Holiness Pentecostal Movement in the United States’ by Vinson Synan. Grand Rapids. 1971.

[2] Dictionary of P & C Movements.

[3] Pentecostal’s father Charles Parham lost all credibility when arrested in Texas in 1907 and charged with sodomy.

[4] Write for info on Occultist William Branham.

[5] For more info, write for our tract on the Heresies of Kenneth Copeland.

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