Sin Filled Foundations

Many record that tongues were originally received at Charles Parham’s school. However, history reveals there was a precursor to Parham. That was Frank Sandford.

“records Parham as having first heard tongue speaking when Sandford’s students emerged from the school’s Prayer Towers during his visit to Shiloh in the summer of 1900.” 21

“This chronology would indicate tongues “breaking out” at least six months prior to Agnes Ozman’s experience.”22.

Like the Quakers, Quietists and other mystics with their extended periods of silence and waiting, Parham took his Year end New Year’s Eve “Watch Night” services? from Sandford. 23.

“Shiloh’s New Years Eve prayer and praise service lasted from 9 PM till midnight following 10 days of prayer, December 31, 1900, Sandford insisted to the newspaper that “speaking in tongues” meant foreign tongues, not glossalalia, six months before Parham’s arrival at Shiloh to study.” 24.

Vinson Synan, a Pentecostal  who is Dean of Regent University School of Divinity and was a member of the Working Group on A Kaleidoscopic Global Plan, states that Parham’s first disciple to receive the evidence of the Holy Spirit was the touch felt around the world and the event which made the Movement. 25.

Agnes Ozman had actually been waiting and trying to receive the Spirit since October. After spending many days prior to  the ‘touch’, she finally had Parham lay hands on her head and received “the Spirit.” Ozman believed, “that the Holy Ghost was yet to be poured out in greater fullness and stated, ‘my heart became hungry for the promised Comforter’ 26.

Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you”

The Holy Spirit is received once and since we already have the Holy Spirit when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to ask for another manifestation is to ask for another spirit as Paul wrote in, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Ozman herself had known cult leader Frank Sandford. She named [A.B.] Simpson as well as his colleague, Steven Merritt, as two of her more esteemed spiritual teachers. Merritt is credited in Sublimity of Faith, as the chief mentor and influence in leading Frank Sandford to his understanding and acceptance of the Holy Spirit” 27.

Like Dominionists, Restorationists and British Israelites of today,  Sandford was closely drawn to A.B. Simpson’s religious fervor, his vision of global spiritual conquest and his hope that the millenium was within reach. Likewise, since the millenarians were looking for a worldwide catastrophe, they generally did not approve of the notion of American or English manifest destiny which appealed to optimistic millennialists; Sandford would successfully merge the two doctrines by viewing Anglo-America as the “lost tribes of Israel,” stiff-necked, rebellious, deserving of God?s punishment, yet still God’s chosen people and rod for the nations.” 28.

Alexander Dowie influenced Sanford, Parham and Agnes Ozman.  Renowned faith healer, John Alexander Dowie of the International Divine Healing Association of Chicago, Illinois had since the mid 1890’s garnered Mr. Sandford’s attention. He was also founder of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, Illinois in 1896, and eventually it too took on the name of “Shiloh”.  Frank Sandford had twice heard Dowie speak during travels in the mid-west, and cited him in a March 1, 1897 issue of Tongues of Fire…”

29. The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements states that by 1901 Dowie had claimed that he was Elijah the Restorer. Towards the end of his career Dowie was accused of sexual indiscretions, showing he was no more perfected and sinless than other Holiness and Keswick teacher’s advocating the same fallacy.  By 1904 he “told his followers to anticipate the full restoration of apostolic Christianity and revealed that he had been divinely commissioned as the first apostle of a renewed end-times church” 30.

Vinson Synan wrote of Parham?s, Dowie’s and John G. Lake’s association and influence. African Pentecostalism owed its origins to the work of John Graham Lake (1870-1935) who began his ministry as a Methodist preacher but who later prospered in the business world as an insurance executive. In 1898 his wife was miraculously healed of tuberculosis under the ministry of divine healer Alexander Dowie, founder of a religious community called “Zion City” near Chicago, Illinois. Joining with Dowie, Lake became an Elder in the “Zion Catholic Apostolic Church.” At one point, Lake testified to an instant experience of entire sanctification in the home of Fred Bosworth, an early leader in the Assemblies of God. In 1907, he received the pentecostal experience and spoke in tongues under the ministry of Charles Parham, who visited Zion while the aging Dowie was losing control of his ministry. Out of Zion also came a host of almost 500 preachers who entered the ranks of the pentecostal movement, chief of whom was John G. Lake. 31.

Entire sanctification means completely sinless and perfected no different than Sandford’s or other Holiness or Manifest Sons of God false teachings. If we become entirely sinless and perfect upon acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, there is no need for the New Testament. There would be no need for the warnings, rebukes, correction and teaching throughout the Word of God.

Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Examining reports on Lake’s conversion and “baptisms” reveals the same manifestations as found with William Branham, Azusa Street, Quakers, Wimber and other mystics. Vinson Synan relates the spread of Dowie?s, Parham?s, and Lake?s theology into Africa. While acclaimed as one of the great Pentecostals, Lake had originally believed, “…one could only be healed in Dr. Dowie’s Healing Home.” 32.

After his pentecostal experience, Lake abandoned the insurance business in order to answer a long-standing call to minister in South Africa. In April 1908, he led a large missionary party to Johannesburg where he began to spread the Pentecostal message throughout the nation. Coming with him was his wife and seven children as well as Holiness evangelists Thomas Hezmalhalch and J.C. Lehman.

Lake succeeded in founding two large and influential pentecostal churches in Southern Africa. The white branch took the name “Apostolic Faith Mission” (AFM) in 1910, borrowed from the name of the famous mission on Azusa Street. This is the church that eventually gave David duPlessis to the world as “Mr. Pentecost.” The Black branch eventually developed into the “Zion Christian Church” (ZCC)  which by 1993 claimed no less than 6,000,000 members and, despite some doctrinal and cultural variations, was recognized as the largest Christian church in the nation, in addition to the AFM and ZCC churches, the Pentecostal Holiness Church in South Africa was founded in 1913 under the leadership of Lehman who had come with Lake in 1908. In 1917, the Assemblies of God entered South Africa when the American church accepted the mission already established by R.M. Turney. The Church of God, (Cleveland, Tennessee) came to the country in 1951 through amalgamation with the Full Gospel Church. In retrospect, the work of Lake was the most influential and enduring of all the South African pentecostal missions endeavors. According to Cecil Rhodes, the South African “Empire Builder,” “His (Lake’s) message has swept Africa. He has done more toward South Africa’s future peace than any other man.” Perhaps the highest accolade was given by no less a personage than Mahatma Ghandi who said of Lake, “Dr. Lake’s teachings will eventually be accepted by the entire world.” 33.

Luke 16:15:  “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

The purpose of mission activity wasn’t necessarily dictated because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone, but for some was a matter of economic necessity and radical reformation.

“A decisive factor for mission as for other work during these thirty years was the discovery of the gold mines around Johannesburg in 1885. The “Witwatersrand became not only the gravitation point of African labour but also an important centre for missionary activity… Most of the new mission organisations were the outcome of radical revivals in Europe and America of the ‘Holiness”, Pentecostal and Apostolic Faith type; others belonged to the Seventh Day Adventists (from 1892)…” 34.

Historian, Dr.Vittorio Lanternari investigated the cults and churches that have formed in Africa in a militant struggle against alien rule. He states that their often found gospel to be a mixture of the Christian and the pagan.

“African Zionism is patterned on the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion founded in 1896 at Zion City, Illinois, by John Alexander Dowie and Wilbur Glenn Voliva, using Mount Zion as a spiritual symbol of liberation and presaging a New Jerusalem. From the American church the Africans have taken the basic belief that physical and spiritual health are divine gifts to be attained through baptism. Performed by a threefold immersion in a stream or pool always called ‘the New Jordan’. In a new guise, this continues the tradition of the southern Bantus, who practiced ritual bathing to attain spiritual as well as physical purification. A symbolic repetition of the baptismal ceremony, used mainly to admit new members to the church, occurs during regular worship services when the celebrant washes the feet of the faithful Zionist liturgy also reflects the continuing attachment to exorcism and magic and culminates in the coming forward of the sick?Each one in turn is vigorously shaken by the celebrant to expel the demons from the ailing body. After which two other practitioners, having repeated the first ritual, perform aspersions and the imposition of hands on the postulant, while the congregation intones hymns. Healing is part of the oldest Zulu tradition and is so appealing to the natives in these newer forms that a Zionist preacher once described his church as ?more like a hospital than like a chapel.” 35.

In his book “Bantu Prophets in South Africa,” B.G.M. Sundkler described the Bantu or Ethiopian independent churches as having such names as, “Zion”, “Jerusalem”, “Apostolic”, “Full Gospel”, “Pentecostal.” He acknowledges the source of their beliefs to have been Dowie.
“The initial force behind this movement was an apocalyptic Church in the United States, the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, founded in 1896 by John Alexander Dowie, “First Apostle and General Overseer.” The main teaching of the church was “divine healing”, “triunne immersion”, and the conviction that the second coming of the Lord was “near at hand”. In 1906 this “theocracy”, as they called it, in Chicago…Dowie’s second-in-command,  W.G. Voliva—described in a sermon by him as “that scoundrel Voliva, miserable little cur, traitor and thief”–took the lead. He is known for his predictions of the Return of the Lord on certain recurrent dates and for the fervour with which he opposes Copernicus: the earth is flat according to Voliva’s Bible. The Zion “theocracy” in Chicago eventually split up into six different American groups. And that was the kind of Church which was to attempt to save the Africans lingering in utter darkness…” 36.

Sundkler related an example of the reverence African Zionists had for Dowie :

“In 1942, the Lord Bishop T.M. Msibi of the “Congragational Catholic Apostolic Church of Zion in South Africa” made the following pronouncement on the faith of his church:…we believe in the doctrine and teachings of our former leaders John Dawi and Wilbur B. Voliva who extracted their doctrine from Zion name of Books.” 37.

Sundkler explained the formation of independent churches in Africa and their theology, with reference to the Zulu people.

“…To the main type belong most of the organizations which call themselves by some of the words “Zion”, “Apostolic,” “Pentecostal,” “Faith” (this word sometimes misrepresented as “Five”, “Fife”, “Fifth”). I describe these organizations as Zionists, which word of course has nothing to do with any modern Jewish movement. The reason for the use of this term is simply that the leaders and followers of these Churches refer to themselves as “ama-Ziyoni”, Zionists.

Historically they have their roots in Zion City, Illinois, United States. Ideologically they claim to emanate from the Mount of Zion in Jerusalem. Theologically the Zionists are a syncretistic Bantu movement with healing, speaking with tongues, purification rites, and taboos as the main expressions of their faith. There are numerous denominational, local and individual variations… they may yet combine a general dislike of the Whites as being ritually unclean, with a high esteem of some American Zion Church leaders. John Alexander Dowie, “First Apostle”, and to a lesser degree, W.G.Voliva, are on their way to becoming modern church fathers in Zululand. As far as their attitude to the Zulu heritage …they combat the use of the inyanga’s medicines and they fight against the diviner’s demons of possession. But the weapons with which they fight the struggle belong to an arsenal of old Zulu religion. One strong section of the Zionists is deliberately nativistic, and Churches of this kind in the end become the bridge back to the old heathenism from whence they came” 38.

The Ethiopian churches were tribal or nationalistic churches, with many of the founders evangelists, preachers, teachers and lay members of the Wesleyan Church. The first “Ethiopian” church was founded on the “Witwatersrand in 1892.” To some who embraced their theology, it meant the promise of the evangelization of Africa. To many natives, it meant the self-government of the African Church under African leaders. 39.

Explaining the difference between Zionist and Ethiopian Churches, Dr. Lanternari states:

The principal difference between the Zionist and Ethiopian churches is in the fulfillment of their messianic hopes: the Ethiopians promise a united Christian Africa ruled by the Lion of Judah, King of Kings, whereas the Zionists look to the Judeo-Christian land of Palestine, to which Moses and John the Baptist will lead them. The Ethiopian churches are governed by men who fulfill the traditional role of king in an aristocratic hierarchy, whereas the Zionists?choose their religious heads from among the preachers, healers, clairvoyants or sworn enemies of witchcraft.? 40.

A tenent common to Zionist churches expresses the need for revolt from within against the present status of native society in order to make way for the New Jerusalem. 41.

Dowie believed that salvation in Christ meant a complete deliverance from illness and no use of medicine was allowed. This too was embraced by the Africans, who already believed that all illness was demonic or part of witchcraft. That is why the ‘ministries’ of pentecostals or charismatics were and are today well received. The physical manifestations, trances, convulsions, tongues and slaying in the spirit are no different than what was seen regularly in sorcery, magic, shamanism and other paganism.

Quoting Sundkler, Dr. Vittorio Lanternari agrees with the belief that the natives are drawn to the Zionist churches chiefly by their eagerness to be healed sickness, caused by the presence of the devil in the human person or by the evil spell of a sorcerer.

“By waging vigorous battles against witchcraft, the Zionist church is relieving native society of one of it most painful  burdens—the fear of black magic and sorcery. Incantations, chants and incomprehensible words, with which the Zionist service is replete, satisfy the people’s atavistic love of mystery and heighten their faith in the invisible power of God. The use of emetics, which combine ordinary local beverages with imported cathartics, soap, and salts, is an important part of the ritual, they drink the potions and they vomit. All of this is accompanied by prayer and singing and finally by a state of trance. The many taboos which govern the lives of the faithful Zionists, as they do the lives of the Ethiopians, affect sexual relations, food (pork is prohibited to them as it is the Jews) and all medicines dispensed by the Europeans, which are described as ‘the work of the devil.’ “worship of the Christian angels and of the Holy Ghost, whom the natives regard as the spirits of the dead. In many pagan cults the living become possessed by the spirit of a deceased person, who acts through them, but in the Zionist doctrine it is the Holy Ghost who works in the believer, thereby carrying on the tradition, the angels demand animal sacrifices in return for their aid, the Zionist movement assures its followers of God’s imminent coming to earth to redeem the faithful. 42.

The fact that Cecil Rhodes and Ghandi thought the embracement of Lake’s teachings to be wonderful should be an indication that this was neither good nor the true gospel. People who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ will not evaluate its advancement in this manner. Cecil Rhodes, of the Rhodes/Milner Roundtable, had an ambitious goal for the extension of British dominion, control and increased wealth, not obedience to the Word of God.

Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly on Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” John 3:13-15

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Posted in John Alexander Dowie

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