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Speaking In Tongues

“And these signs shall accompany the ones who believe: In My Name they shall cast out demons, they shall speak with renewed tongues, (Mark 16:17)

Many Christians believe that speaking in tongues is the key evidence to receiving the Holy Spirit. Scripture will show that speaking in tongues was one of the signs (manifestations) of the spirit; But we will also find, the tongue speaking that is spoken about by Christendom is very different then what we find in scripture.

First if speaking in an unknown tongue (language) is the evidence for receiving the Holy Spirit then John the baptist must have missed the boat. He didn't speak in tongues, raise the dead, or lay hands on people and heal the sick, yet were told in scripture he was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mothers womb.
    “For he shall be great before YAH, and shall drink no wine and strong drink at all. And he shall be filled with the Set-apart (Holy) Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15)

We will look at what Christianity promotes as a sign of the spirit and compare it to what is in scripture.

    Pursue love, and earnestly seek the spiritual gifts, but rather that you prophesy. For he who is speaking in a tongue does not speak to men but to Elohim, for no one understands, but in the Spirit he speaks secrets. (1 Corinthians 14:1-2)

This is one of the scriptures used to get the doctrine of a prayer language specifically given to speak to Elohim, that the adversary cannot understand? Lets keep scripture in context and continue the study.

    But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you, either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by teaching? (1 Corinthians 14:6)

What is the purpose of speaking in a unfamiliar language (tongue) if you don't receive understanding, knowledge, or teaching? So tongues would have to be a language that someone understands to be fruitful. Lets go to the next verse where Paul clarifies his statement.

    Nevertheless, lifeless instruments making a sound, whether flute or harp, if they do not make a distinction in the sound, how shall it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? For indeed, if the trumpet makes an indistinct sound, who shall prepare himself for battle? So also you, if you do not give speech by the tongue that is clear, how shall it be known what is spoken? For you shall be speaking into the air. There are, undoubtedly, so many kinds of sounds in the world, and none of them is without distinct soundIf then I do not know the power of the voice, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks be a foreigner to me. (1 Corinthians 14:7-11)

A horn blower who plays notes haphazardly will get no one to respond to his battle call. A voice that doesn't speak a recognizable pattern, and doesn't follow basic grammatical rules of a language is confusing to the hearers. Lets go to Torah to see what trumpet Paul is speaking of.

    And YAH spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Make two silver trumpets for yourself, make them of beaten work. And you shall use them for calling the congregation and for breaking camp. “And when they blow both of them, all the congregation shall meet before you at the door of the Tent of Meeting. “And if they blow one, then the leaders, the heads of the thousands of Yisrael, shall gather to you. “And when you blow a shout, the camps that lie on the east side shall depart. “And when you blow a shout the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall depart – they blow a shout for them to depart. “And when the assembly is to be assembled, you blow, but do not shout. (Numbers 10:1-7)

So to reiterate, if trumpets are blown and they sound like a flute, will you know to march to war, take a journey, or attend the assembly? The trumpet makes a specific sound, yet if it is blown and is not recognizable wouldn't the hearer be confused? This is what point Paul is trying to make, but why? Lets continue where we left off in 1 Corinthians:

    So also you, if you do not give speech by the tongue that is clear, how shall it be known what is spoken? For you shall be speaking into the air. (1 Corinthians 14:9)

If we speak an unknown language we speak into the air! Doesn't scripture say that YAH fills heaven and earth?

    “If anyone is hidden in secret places, would I not see him?” declares YAH. “Do I not fill the heavens and earth?” declares YAH. (Jeremiah 23:24)

The only one who hears your words and understands them is YAH, if you are speaking to someone and they don't understand what you are saying. Perhaps now we can better understand what Paul is saying in I cor 14:2:

    For he who is speaking in a tongue does not speak to men but to YAH, for no one understands, but in the Spirit he speaks secrets.

Now perhaps it becomes clearer, follow with me as we continue to clarify this gift.

Unknown Tongue or Known Language

Paul is saying that if you speak in a tongue (language) that is not understandable you are speaking into the air and only YAH can understand you, because he understands all languages having created them. I'm going to combine the following two scriptures to clarify the actual message being presented.
    So also you, if you do not give speech by the tongue that is clear, how shall it be known what is spoken? For you shall be speaking into the air. (1 Corinthians 14:9)

    For he who is speaking in a tongue does not speak to men but to Elohim, for no one understands, but in the Spirit he speaks secrets. (1 Corinthians 14:2)
    So also you, if you do not give speech by the tongue that is clear. how shall it be known what is spoken? For you shall be speaking into the air. For he who is speaking in a tongue does not speak to men, for no one understands, but in the Spirit he speaks secrets. [But YAH understands him] (1 Cor 14:2,9)

The point that Paul makes in scripture is there is only one tongue. Christianity has taught that there are two types, one which we use to speak directly to Yah and the other where we are speaking to men. There is just one type but many different styles. If you are speaking in a language that no one understand by default you are only being understood (heard) by YAH.

    There are, undoubtedly, so many kinds of sounds in the world, and none of them is without distinct sound. If then I do not know the power of the voice, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks be a foreigner to me. (1 Corinthians 14:10-11)

Paul is saying there are many different kinds of languages in the world and none of them is without distinction. So Paul is saying if someone is talking in Greek it is easily distinguishable from another language like English, Russian, German, etc.... All of the voices or languages have a distinct and significant interpretation and dialect. If you are speaking in a foreign (another) language (tongue) that no one understands then you appear to be a barbarian (foreigner) and vice versa. Christianity is promoting the unknown (tongue) language in there churches, which does not agree with what Paul is saying. But lets continue and see what else scripture says.

    Therefore, he who is speaking in a tongue, let him pray that he might interpret. (1 Corinthians 14:13)

So if you speak in an unknown tongue, pray that you can interpret (understand) the language you have spoken. Hmmm. if this is the case it will no longer be a secret language between you and YAH! Why would Paul tell you to interpret your secret to someone, if your speaking to God? This should only be your business no one else's right? Sounds like there is a problem with the secret language teaching, but lets continue.

    For if I am praying in a tongue, my spirit is praying, but my understanding is without fruit. (1 Corinthians 14:14)

If you pray in an unknown tongue your spirit is praying. Man is not a spirit he is a flesh and blood being. So what is Paul saying?

    If I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels (messengers), but do not have love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

What is the tongue of man? Isn't it languages that men speak according to their country? So what would tongues of Angels be? Isn't an angel a spirit? When Paul says "Your Spirit Is Praying" he is specifically speaking about what the angel is saying or doing! Not you. Lets prove this in scripture.

    And when the Day of the Festival of Weeks had come, they were all with one mind in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from the heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and settled on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Set-apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them to speak. Now in Yerushalayim there were dwelling Yehudim, dedicated men from every nation under the heaven. And when this sound came to be, the crowd came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to each other, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? “And how do we hear, each one in our own language in which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Eylamites, and those dwelling in Aram Naharayim, both Yehudah and Kappadokia, Pontos and Asia, both Phrygia and Pamphulia, Mitsrayim and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Yehudim and converts, “Cretans and Arabs, we hear them speaking in our own tongues the great deeds of Elohim.” (Acts 2:1-11)

Now lets analyze this carefully to see if it agrees with Paul's writings and explanations on speaking in other languages.

    Acts 2:1-4
    (1) And when the Day of the Festival of Weeks had come, they were all with one mind in one place.
    (2) And suddenly there came a sound from the heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
    (3) And there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and settled on each one of them.
    (4) And they were all filled with the Set-apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them to speak.

First we have 120 followers of Messiah coming together to adhere to the commandment to keep the feast of Pentecost, as written by Moses in Torah. The scripture says their was a rushing wind from heaven and there appeared cloven tongues as fire. Angels are likened to fire aren't they?

    Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to attend those who are about to inherit deliverance (salvation)? (Hebrews 1:14)

    “For look, YAH comes with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His displeasure with burning, and His rebuke with flames of fire. (Isaiah 66:15)
    And Elisha prayed, and said, “YAH, I pray, open his eyes and let him see.” And YAH opened the eyes of the young man, and he looked and saw the mountain covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)
    Making His messengers the winds, His ministers a flame of fire. (Psalms 104:4)

These were messengers (angel) that came on the day of Pentecost and rested on the one hundred and twenty Nazarenes who were being obedient to the commandments of YAH in keeping the feast day.

Luke says once they received the spirit "they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit Gave Them Utterance". The spirit gave them utterance, the spirit (messenger) had something to say to the people who came to Jerusalem to keep the feast of Pentecost. This is one of the reasons the spirit took possession of there bodies and spoke through them. Didn't the spirit speak in tongues?
    Acts 2:5-11
    (5) Now in Yerushalayim there were dwelling Yehudim, dedicated men from every nation under the heaven.
    (6) And when this sound came to be, the crowd came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
    (7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to each other, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?
    (8) “And how do we hear, each one in our own language in which we were born?
    (9) “Parthians and Medes and eylamites, and those dwelling in Aram Naharayim, both Yehudah and Kappadokia, Pontos and Asia,
    (10) both Phrygia and Pamphulia, Mitsrayim and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Yehudim and converts,
    (11) “Cretans and Arabs, we hear them speaking in our own tongues the great deeds of Elohim.”

When the spirit showed up on Pentecost it showed the gift that was about to be given to each person there. A cloven or forked tongue symbolizing different real languages that were only unknown to those who did not normally speak them. This was not a secret language given specifically to speak to God, but a language used by YAH to speak to people. The scripture says the Hebrews were confused because all of them heard the 120 speak in his own language, every man in his own tongue. Scripture goes on to tell us who was there in verse 2:9-11; Approximately 14 different countries from which Hebrews were coming from, Heard other Hebrews in Jerusalem speak in a language they thought they were the only ones that spoke it. This was the miracle sign to give evidence to the wonderful works of Elohim that were being spoke about by the 120 in the tongues of there kinsmen from different countries. The tongue was only unknown to the ones that spoke, they were just vessels used by the spirit to speak to the Hebrews from other countries in there own tongue.

    And having heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Men, brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each one of you be immersed in the Name of Yahshua Messiah for the forgiveness of sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Set-apart Spirit. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as YAH our Elohim shall call.” (Acts 2:37-39)

After they heard the word of YAH being spoken in their tongue, they asked what they must do in order to receive eternal life. Peter explained to them what they must do so they too would receive the spirit. But notice, the spirit did not come just to hangout with the apostles; the spirit came to do a WORK which was to minister to the Hebrews through the apostles. This is the gift that would also be given to the other Israelites so that they would be able to teach others in another tongue (language) and would also be the sign that they had received the spirit. This is why Paul was explaining to the congregation at Corinth when foreign languages (tongues) should be used. Not that it was a secret tongue between them and God as Christianity teaches! Let’s continue:

    What then is it? I shall pray with the spirit, and I shall also pray with the understanding. I shall sing with the spirit, and I shall also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how shall he who fills up the place of the unlearned say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you say? For you truly give thanks well, but the other is not built up. (1 Corinthians 14:15-17)

Paul in verses 16 and 17 is simply reiterating what he has been saying all along. If one prays in another language, how can one say he agrees seeing that he does not understand the tongue or language you have just spoken? If you speak English and someone prays over the food you are about to eat in Latin and you don't understand what was said”. Why would you say amen to this prayer when you do not know what he said? Lets continue:

    In the Torah it has been written, “With men of other tongues and other lips I shall speak to this people. And even so, they shall not hear Me, says YAH.” (1 Corinthians 14:21)

Notice, it says in Torah (law) it is written, "With men of other tongues and other lips I shall speak to this people". Yah said in the Torah he would speak to his people with other tongues (languages). This was quoted from the book of Isaiah and called Law (Torah)! Since Yah knows the beginning from the end, He knew His people would be scattered and that he would have to speak to them in another tongue (language) so they would fully understand and receive the message. Tongues is a New testament gift, why do you think that is? Because Israel was one nation with one language in old testament times. There was no reason to speak in other languages to communicate amongst the Hebrew people, they had not yet been scattered to other lands where they were raised speaking a foreign language. After the scattering's that occurred, by other nations driving Hebrews out of Israel by taking over there country through the victories of war. Hebrews were being raised in other nations with foreign tongues. As the generations passed the Hebrews adopted the language of the nation they were born and Hebrew was no longer there main language. In order for YAH to reach these people with a message that could be understood, he had to speak to them in there own languages (tongues). Lets look at the same verses in Acts again with some extra commentary in brackets.

    Acts 2:5-11
    (5) Now in Yerushalayim there were dwelling Yehudim, dedicated men from every nation under the heaven. [They were from every nation because they had been scattered in 721 BCE and 606 BCE by the Assyrians and Chaldean's and other nations YAH brought against the children of Israel for there disobedience.]
    (6) And when this sound came to be, the crowd came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. [These people who were Hebrew Israelites that had been scattered hearing the word of YAH in there own tongue (language)]
    (7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to each other, “Look, are not all these who speak Galilean's? [The Galilean's were Hebrews who would have spoken Hebrew and or Aramaic, The Visiting Hebrews were amazed they could speak there tongue also]
    (8) “And how do we hear, each one in our own language in which we were born?
    (9) “Parthians and Medes and eylamites, and those dwelling in Aram Naharayim, both Yehudah and Kappadokia, Pontos and Asia,
    (10) both Phrygia and Pamphulia, Mitsrayim and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Yehudim and converts,
    (11) “Cretans and Arabs, we hear them speaking in our own tongues the great deeds of Elohim.” [YAH said in Isaiah 28:11 with stammering lips and another tongue I will speak to this people]

The word of YAH has been presented as it is read not as some would interpret it. Many say they speak in tongues, and are using the tongue to speak to YAH. But YAH says in his word he will speak to you with another tongue, not that you will speak to him in and unknown tongue. This practice cannot be found anywhere in scripture so the false doctrine surrounding its practice needs to be corrected. Contemplate this; What can you possible have to say to YAH that you cant think in a thought you understand? Lets continue:

    Isaiah 28:1-11

  1. Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephrayim, and to the fading flower of its splendid comeliness that is on the head of the fertile valley, to those who are overcome with wine!
    Wine is the false doctrine and lack of true doctrine according to the fulfillment of YAH's word.
  2. See, YAH has one who is mighty and strong, like a downpour of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, who casts down to the earth with the hand.
  3. The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephrayim, is trampled under foot;
  4. and the fading flower of its splendid comeliness that is on the head of the fertile valley, like the first fruit before the summer, which, when one sees it, he eats it up while it is still in his hand.
  5. In that day YAH of hosts is for a crown of splendour and a head-dress of comeliness to the remnant of His people,
  6. and a spirit of right-ruling to him who sits in right-ruling, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
  7. And these too have gone astray through wine, and through strong drink wandered about. Priest and prophet have gone astray through strong drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they wander about through strong drink, they go astray in vision, they stumble in right-ruling.
    Again, strong drink is false doctrine, and the doctrine promoted by the adversary himself. The false doctrine is that which teaches against the ordinances of YAH and describes a different plan of salvation.
  8. For all tables shall be covered with vomit, no place without filth.
  9. Whom would He teach knowledge? And whom would He make to understand the message? Those weaned from milk, those taken from the breasts!
  10. For it is: command upon command, command upon command, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.
  11. For with a jabbering lip and a foreign tongue He speaks to this people

Whom would He teach knowledge? And whom would He make to understand the message (doctrine)? Those who have put behind them the carnal things of the flesh, and have advanced in spiritual maturity.

    For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim. (Romans 8:5-8)

If we are to hear and understand the spirit, we must then be spiritually minded not carnally minded.

    So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers, and prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. (1 Corinthians 14:22)

First off it is clear here that tongues are a sign for the unbeliever, not because they are hearing gibberish but because they are hearing a language they know by someone who could not normally speak it. So what would be the purpose of speaking in tongues in any church that is supposedly filled with believers? Think about this! Now it says the second reason is for prophesying which is for the believer not the unbeliever. Prophecy, which is nothing more than articulating the word of YAH in an unknown tongue or by a known tongue induced by the spirit Himself to edify those who are already believers. So unless some one can translate the unknown tongue (language) to the assembly there is no profit to the body and should not be done. To reiterate, tongues are how YAH speaks to us, it does not say we should use it to speak to YAH. Christendom teaches otherwise, this is not what scripture teaches.

    “After that go to the hill of Elohim where the Philistine watch-post is. And it shall be, when you have come there to the city, that you shall meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, and a tambourine, and a flute, and a lyre before them, and they are prophesying. “And the Spirit of YAH shall come upon you, and you shall prophesy with them and be turned into another man. “And it shall be, when these signs come to you, do for yourself as your hand finds to do, for Elohim is with you. (1 Samuel 10:5-7)

Here Samuel a Judge and Prophet is telling King Saul that he will receive the Spirit of Elohim (Messenger, Angel) and should prophecy with the prophets he sees. Why? As a sign of His anointing to the people and that he was indeed chosen by YAH and blessed with the skills needed for his new office as King. This is why Samuel said that he would "Be turned into another man"

    And it came to be, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that Elohim gave him another heart. And all those signs came on that dayAnd they came there to the hill and saw a group of prophets, to meet him. And the Spirit of Elohim came upon him, and he prophesied in their midst. And it came to be, all who knew him formerly looked and saw that he prophesied among the prophets. So the people said to each other, “What is this that has come upon the son of Qish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” And a man there answered and said, “And who is their father?” That is why it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Samuel 10:9-12)

"Became a new man" - Sounds like what Christendom calls a born again experience, In the Old Testament! how can this be? But this is a study for another time.  We can see in this verse Saul received the spirit and the ability to prophesy just as Paul spoke of in 1st Corinthians, and it convinced all the people he was a different man and that he to was among the prophets. This was a sign to the people because they heard him prophecy and understood what he said and were edified. If he had prophesied in an unknown tongue would the people still have been edified, or perhaps thought he was off his rocker? Lets look at 1 Corinthians 1-6 again only with additional commentary in brackets:

    1 Corinthians 14:1-6
    (1) Pursue love, and earnestly seek the spiritual gifts [Didn't Saul receive a spiritual gift?], but rather that you prophesy.[So you may edify, didn't Saul do this as well]
    (2) For he who is speaking in a tongue does not speak to men but to Elohim, for no one understands, but in the Spirit he speaks secrets.
    (3) But he who is prophesying speaks upbuilding and encouragement and comfort to men. [That's what happen with Saul, he edified the people when he prophesied]
    (4) He who is speaking in a tongue builds up himself [He edifies himself because no one understands what he is saying], but he who is prophesying builds up the assembly. [Because everyone understands what is being said.]
    (5) Now I wish you all spoke with tongues, but rather that you might prophesy, for he who is prophesying is greater than he who is speaking with tongues, unless he interprets, so that the assembly might receive upbuilding. [If you have the gift to speak in a foreign language and there are a mixed multitude among you, pray that you also have the ability to interpret your words so that everyone can be edified which are those who speak the language and those who don't]
    (6) But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you, either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by teaching? [If Paul comes to you speaking tongues you will either receive, A revelation that he received from the spirit, Knowledge that he was blessed with by the spirit, prophesying of events that are to take place by the spirit, or the explanation and the clarity of doctrine which is of YAH. How would you know any of this unless you could understand the tongue (language)?]

Holy Spirit

Before we move on lets take a moment and look at some scripture that helps show the Holy Spirit is a Angel who is assigned in order to execute the commands which YAH had given them.

When King Saul received the spirit he was receiving the power and support of an Angel (Messenger, Agent of YAH) through possession or association. This is what happened to the apostle's at Pentecost.
    And the Spirit of YAH turned aside from Saul, and an evil spirit from YAH troubled him. And the servants of Saul said to him, “Look, now, an evil spirit from Elohim is troubling you. “Please, let our master command your servants who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skilled player on the lyre. And it shall be that when the evil spirit from Elohim is upon you, that he shall play with his hand, and you be well.” (1 Samuel 16:14-16)

    And it came to be, whenever the evil spirit from Elohim was upon Saul, that David? would take a lyre and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the evil spirit would leave him. (1 Samuel 16:23)

If you recall we showed earlier that when Saul received the spirit he became a new man and prophesied. Wasn't this the Holy (Set-Apart) Spirit that Saul received, just like the apostles received it? Doesn't this sound like the exact same experience?

Now, what do you think this evil spirit that came upon Saul was? Wouldn't it be just the opposite of the Holy Spirit, which would make it a unholy Spirit? Lets look at something that may surprise you:
    And it came to be on the next day that an evil spirit from Elohim came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house, while David? was playing the lyre with his hand, as usual. And the spear was in the hand of Saul. (1 Samuel 18:10)

Pay attention, Saul no loner has the Holy Spirit and he is still able to prophesy under the influence of an unholy spirit (demon). We have just learned that the gifts of the spirit can come from either a Holy or Unholy spirit. Yes, Unholy spirits known as demons can give gifts.

    And an evil spirit from YAH came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David? was playing the lyre with his hand, (1 Samuel 19:9)

    Then he said, “Therefore hear the word of YAH: I saw YAH sitting on His throne, and all the host of the heavens standing on His right and on His left. “And YAH said, ‘Who shall entice Ahab? sovereign of Yisrael to go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ And one said this, and another said that. “And a spirit came forward and stood before YAH, and said, ‘Let me entice him.’ YAH said to him, ‘In what way?’ “And he said, ‘I shall go out and be a spirit of falsehood in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And He said, ‘Entice him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ “And now, see, YAH has put a spirit of falsehood in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and YAH has spoken evil concerning you.” (2 Chronicles 18:18-22)

The spirit or spirits that we entertain are Angels and they are either Holy Angels, which are Holy Spirits, or Unholy which are demons or unclean.

We can see that YAH has sent a demon to entice Ahab, he also used the prophets. Notice the demon spoke through the prophets. It was actually the demon speaking but the mouth that was used was the mouth of a man, one whom you can see. You can’t see a spirit; this is why the scriptures call it the manifestation of the spirit! We will piggyback on this point a little later. And if you believe that YAH will not use demons, then you need to consider this verse:
    And again the displeasure of YAH burned against Yisrael, and moved David? against them to say, “Go, number Yisrael and Yehudah.” (2 Samuel 24:1)

Yah is still angry with Israel for their disobedience, and now David is moved to number the people which was against the will of YAH. Lets look and see how YAH moved David to number Israel in order to bring wrath on the nation.

    And Satan stood up against Yisrael, and moved David? to number Yisrael. (1 Chronicles 21:1)

We see that YAH was able to bring wrath on the children of Yisrael through David’s transgression, which was provoked by Satan, whom YAH instructed Satan to fulfill. The point is simple, YAH is in control of all the spirits whether they be good or evil and he uses them to fulfill his will whatever it might be! It's obvious that the gift of the spirit can come by Angel or Demon. Remember, Moses cast a rod and it turned into a serpent and so did the Egyptians. How would the Egyptians know to cast a rod on the ground unless they new they had the gift to do the same thing but more importantly who gave them this GIFT?

Thus far we have paralleled an old testament account with the new testament accounts. The only difference between them is one was in a known language the other in a foreign (unknown) language. But the objectives were both the same, which was to make non believers, believers through communicating in a tongue that was understood by the listener. Lets continue and look at further accounts:
    And it came to be, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Shaul, having passed through the upper parts, came to Ephesos. And having found some taught ones, he said to them, “Did you receive the Set-apart Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Set-apart Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you immersed?” And they said, “Into Yohanan’s immersion.” And Shaul said, “Yohanan (John) indeed immersed with an immersion of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the One who is coming after him, that is, in Messiah Yahshua.” And when they heard this, they were immersed in the Name of the Master Yahshua. And when Shaul had laid hands on them, the Set-apart Spirit came upon them, and they were speaking in tongues and prophesying. And all the men were about twelve. (Acts 19:1-7)

We can see these disciples received the spirit and spoke in tongues. But what did they say? Paul was in the area of Corinth and Ephesus where Paul was writing to the Corinthians about tongues. There were many Gentiles (Indo-Eurasians) and the language was Greek. Luke said that the disciples received the Holy (Set-Apart) Spirit and spoke with tongues, it must have been a tongue Paul understood in order to for him to know they had Prophesied!

    I thank my Elohim I speak with tongues more than you all (1 Corinthians 14:18)

Paul thanked Elohim that he spoke in more languages than all. Look at this:

    And as Shaul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “Am I allowed to say somewhat to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? (Acts 21:37)

The Chief captain was amazed that Paul could speak Greek, a Foreign Tongue. Most Hebrews spoke Hebrew. Speaking Greek was very common amongst the Hellenist (Hebrew converts to Grecian culture). Paul was not a Hellenist although he could speak the tongue.

    But Shaul replied, “I am a Yehudite (Jew) from Tarsos, in Kilikia, a citizen of no mean city. And I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” And having given him permission, Shaul, standing on the stairs motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke in the Hebrew language, saying, (Acts 21:39-40)

    “Men, brothers, and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept greater silence. And he said: “I am indeed a Yehudite, having been born in Tarsos of Kilikia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamlil, having been instructed according to the exactness of the Torah of our fathers, being ardent for Elohim, as you all are today, (Acts 22:1-3)

Paul spoke Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and perhaps another Syrian language. The point is this, Paul new exactly what the disciples at Ephesus had prophesied because he was familiar with whatever tongue they prophesied in. The purpose for the disciple’s speaking in tongues was to show Paul that they had been endowed with the spirit and that they would spread the word of the New Covenant in Ephesus. What's important is Paul knew what had been prophesied! Now lets look at another example:

    While Peter was still speaking these words, the Set- apart Spirit fell upon all those hearing the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Set-apart Spirit had been poured out on the gentiles also, for they were hearing them speaking with tongues and magnifying Elohim. Then Peter answered, (Acts 10:44-46)

The Hebrews were astonished that the gentiles received the holy spirit. They knew they had received it because they spoke in tongues (a language foreign to the gentiles) but understood by the Hebrews, for it says "Hearing them speaking in tongues and Magnifying Elohim". If they could not understand the tongue they would not have known they were magnifying YAH, so most likely the gentiles (Greek speaking Eurasians) were speaking Hebrew as a sign of receiving the spirit. Again.. when they spoke in tongues we see they were speaking a language that was understood by someone present.

    If then all the assembly comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are unlearned or unbelievers, shall they not say that you are mad? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an unlearned one comes in, he is reproved by all, he is discerned by all. And so the secrets of his heart are revealed. And so, falling down on his face, he shall worship Elohim, declaring that Elohim is truly among you. What then is it, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all be done for upbuilding. (1 Corinthians 14:23-26)

Paul is saying that if you are endowed with the spirit and speak in tongues without having an audience that can understand what your speaking, directly or by interpreter, then those who hear you would think your mad. Paul continues and says but if all are prophesying , and people come to hear you and you are speaking in a language that they understand, then they will praise YAH and say that the truth of YAH is being spoken through you. So again we see if you are speaking in a tongue that can be understood then you will have edified those who have come to hear.

    So also you, if you do not give speech by the tongue that is clear, how shall it be known what is spoken? For you shall be speaking into the air. (1 Corinthians 14:9)

    If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. And if there is no interpreter, let him be silent in an assembly, and let him speak to himself and to Elohim. And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern. And if there should be a revelation to another who sits by, let the first be silent. For you are all able to prophesy one by one, so that all learn and all be encouraged. (1 Corinthians 14:27-31)

Paul is giving clear instructions for those who speak in a unknown tongue (foreign language) induced by the holy spirit. He says those who speak in an unknown tongue; let him also have an interpreter so those who are present may be edified. But if there is no interpreted than don't speak out, keep silent and speak to Elohim if you desire, in a language that no one in the assembly can understand.

    And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 14:32)

This is important, because Paul is telling us that the Spirit (Messengers, angels) are subject to you, and will do what you desire if it is the will of YAH. In this case it is speaking in tongues by the spirit.

    If I speak with the tongues of men and of messengers (angels), but do not have love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

This is what Paul spoke of when he said the Spirit of the Prophet is subject to the prophet. The Spirit Paul was speaking of was a messenger (Angel, agent of YAH) who would empower you with a foreign tongue or whatever gift he would confer upon you.

    And there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of services, but the same Master. And there are different kinds of workings, but it is the same Elohim who is working all in all. And to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for profiting, for to one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, and to another belief by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, and to another operations of powers, and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits, and to another kinds of tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these, distributing to each one individually as He intends. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

Paul says that there are many KINDS of gifts but the same spirit gives it. Then Paul says that the manifestation of the spirit is GIVEN to Everyman to profit everyone! Manifestation is defined as:

  1. The act of manifesting. The state of being manifested.
  2. An indication of the existence, reality, or presence of something.
  3. One of the forms in which someone or something, such as a person, divine being, or an idea, is revealed. The materialized form of a spirit.

Excerpted from American Heritage Dictionary.

So we see manifestation is the act of manifesting or the state of being manifested. The indication of the existence or presence of something. A form of someone being revealed.

So Paul is telling you that the Spirit (Angel) manifests HIMSELF through you by giving you a gift that he is actually doing. Didn’t we see this earlier with the lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets and the evil spirit that Saul had? The work or action that the spirit is doing is a gift, because he is manifesting his actions through you while YOU receive the credit for his performance. This is why Paul told you that he spoke with the tongues of Angels (Spirit). In all actuality it is the spirit that speaks, but your mouth is the vessel that is used and is heard by man, seeing that the spirit himself is invisible; it manifests itself through you.

Now lets look at examples of a manifestations by divine possession and then by demonic possession.

Divine Possession
    And when the Day of the Festival of Weeks had come, they were all with one mind in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from the heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and settled on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Set- apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them to speak. (Acts 2:1-4)

This is the first account in the New Testament of the Spirit, which was a messenger [Angel, YAH's agent] taking possession and using it as a vessel to speak the word of YAH just as the prophets did.

    for prophecy never came by the desire of man, but men of Elohim spoke, being moved by the Set-apart Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

Demonic Possession

    And it came to be, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination, did meet us, who brought her masters much profit by foretelling. Having followed Sha’ul and us, she cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High Elohim, who proclaim to us the way of deliverance.” And she was doing this for many days. But Sha’ul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the Name of YAHshua Messiah to come out of her.” And it came out that same hour. (Acts 16:16-18)

Here are two examples of Spiritual Possessions, one by the Holy Spirit and the other by an Unholy Spirit called a DEMON. Notice in the aforementioned scripture Luke said that HE (The demon) came out of HER (the woman who was the fortune teller) the same hour. The gift that this woman received was the gift to foretell future events, which is guess what? That’s right prophesying by an unclean spirit or Demon! The same that King Saul received when he was entreated with an evil spirit! Demonic possessions by demons and divine possessions by angels (Holy Spirit) are all the same. The only thing that changes is the duties that they have. If a person is possessed with a Holy Spirit it is for the purpose of edifying the servants and worshippers of YAH. Maybe it is for prophesying, speaking in tongues, healing or teaching doctrine.

If a person is possessed by an Unholy Spirit it could be for the purpose of sorcery, witchcraft, speaking to the dead, trickery, deceit or fortune telling; all forms of LAWLESSNESS (To Violate the Commandments and processes of YAH).

So in other words if someone is possessed by an Unholy Spirit it is for the purpose of wickedness. Either way you are able to see the manifestation of that spirit by its work. Let’s continue to dissect and analyze more scripture.
    for to one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, and to another belief by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, and to another operations of powers, and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits, and to another kinds of tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these, distributing to each one individually as He intends. (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

Paul is describing what the spirit will do through you; included are Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecies, Ability to discern, Various kinds of tongues, and Interpretation of tongues.

Paul goes onto say the spirit gives to every man as he (the spirit or Angel) will. The question we should be asking at this point is there any prerequisite to receiving these gifts? Lets continue and see what scripture says.

The Purpose of The Gifts

The purpose for speaking in tongues and receiving gifts from the spirit was so that the New Covenant Assemblies would be established in the name of Yahshua the Anointed. The Hebrews were sacrificing for 1,600 years in order to cover their sins. But when the Messiah came, they no longer had to offer such sacrifices. This is how YAH convinced everyone to believe in the Messiah? Why would someone listen to and believe Paul and Peter’s testimony of Yahshua unless they where able to perform some miracle that could only be performed supernaturally. These ACTS were used to magnify YAH and where convincing enough to convert thousands of people daily.
    Then those, indeed, who gladly received his word, were immersed. And on that day about three thousand beings were added to them. And they were continuing steadfastly in the teaching of the emissaries, and in the fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers. And fear came upon every being, and many wonders and signs were being done through the emissaries. (Acts 2:41- 43)
On the day of Pentecost, 3000 Hebrews were converted from animal sacrificing to the belief of Yahshua the anointed, because the Spirit had given the apostles and disciples a gift to speak in tongues, a language that all of the Hebrews that came from various countries heard and was convinced that they had been endorsed by YAH!
    And through the hands of the emissaries (Apostles) many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one mind in Solomon's Porch. But of the rest no one had the courage to join them, however, the people made much of them. And more believers were added to the Master, large numbers of both men and women, (Acts 5:12-14)

Through the 30 years the book of Acts represents the Apostles continued to do signs and wonders.

    So they remained a long time, speaking boldly in the Master (Yahshua), who was bearing witness to the word of His favour, giving signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3)

Notice it was the Master Yahshua that granted the signs and wonders to be done by the hands of the Apostles (emissaries). Lets see who was doing the works:

    And Elohim worked unusual miracles through the hands of Shaul (Paul) (Acts 19:11)

We see it is YAH that does the work, through the hand of one of His emissaries. Furthermore it is a Messenger (Angel, Agent of YAH) that does the work of showing the visions so the future can be foretold (Prophesying), its the messenger that Speaks in the appropriate tongues. But it is up to you, the emissary to use the gift to win people to the New Covenant. Lets look at and example of a Angel being sent:

    Revelation of Yahshua Messiah, which YAH gave Him to show His servants what has to take place with speed. And He signified it by sending His messenger (angel) to His servant John, who bore witness to the Word of Elohim, and the witness of Yahshua Messiah – to all he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and guard what is written in it, for the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)

Lets break down this scripture into the process that occurred, then you will see how Yahshua granted these signs and wonders to be performed by the apostles:

  1. The Revelation or Vision that Yahshua received. Where did Yahshua receive the vision?
  2. Which YAH gave to Yahshua to show (Future events, Prophesy) unto his servants. How would Yahshua show it to his servant?
  3. And Yahshua sent an ANGEL or SPIRIT to communicate these words unto John
  4. The apostle John was the last known prophet who received the spirit of prophecy just as Paul had explained in 1st Corinthians. Yahshua sent his angel to him, and the spirit told John what Yahshua communicated to him from YAH. John used this spirit of prophecy to write to the 7 assemblies in Revelation the 2nd chapter and to all mankind.

This has been the process for all gifts in the Old Testament and the New Testament and this has not been changed!

    “And we are His witnesses to these matters, and so also is the Set-apart Spirit whom Elohim has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32)

The Holy Spirit is an Angel (Agent of YAH) that gives gifts as he will, according to the will of YAH and his son Yahshua. Peter is clearly telling us that the Spirit is given to those who obey! What should we obey? The word of YAH, His Commandments! Here is a quick summary of key items:

  • Weekly 7th day Sabbath
  • Other Sabbaths, Passover & unleavened bread 1st & 7th day, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles 1st & 8th day.
  • Clean and unclean food ordinances.
  • Having no other gods means not celebrating holidays created around pagan gods such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and New years.
  • No graven images means no crosses, Crucifixes, Symbols, etc... the list goes on.

These are just a few of the laws being broken in Christendom.

Can you truly say you are obeying YAH?

If Christians are not being obedient, would YAH give the gift of the Spirit to them? The answer is clear, so what Gifts are being manifested? Let me answer this by asking a question, When Moses cast down his staff as a Sign to Pharaoh it turned into a serpent by the power of YAH, When Pharaohs Magicians cast down there staffs and they turned into serpents who's power counterfeited what Yah had done?
    This is not the wisdom coming down from above, but it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and self-seeking are, there is confusion and every foul deed. But the wisdom from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, ready to obey, filled with compassion and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (James 3:15-17)

Now you be the judge on what has descended from on high. Here is the history of the start of the Pentecostal Movement which is now responsible for just over 2000 new denominations.

In 1901 a Holiness preacher named Charles Parham who lead a small 40 group organization called Bethel Bible School led a revival on January 1st in Topeka Kansas called “watch night” to pray for the Holy Spirit. Go figure that out. meeting on New Years Eve! Well according to sources the Holy Spirit showed up and endowed a lady named Agnes Ozman with the ability to speak in tongues. According to sources, which you will read in a moment, she spoke Chinese! Who was edified? Were any Chinese people in the congregation? No. Could this have actually occurred? Or was it a staged incident in order to increase the organizations popularity and to recruit new members? Here is the direct quote for you quoted from the American Religious Biography and the Holiness –Pentecostal Tradition by, Synan Vinson.

You will find a complete over view of the history of Pentecostalism in the article following this one.
“Parham led his students through a study of the major tenets of the holiness movement, including sanctification and divine healing. Baptism by the Holy Spirit is spoken of in the New Testament and Parham wondered, what was its evidence? He asked his students to examine the issue over a period of three days, while he had to be away, and see what they thought. Upon his return, he found the students unanimously agreed that speaking with other tongues was the proof that the Holy Spirit had fallen upon an individual. Four times in the book of Acts the Spirit is recording as falling on people. Each time, they spoke in tongues. The students of Bethel Bible School and their mentor planned a New Year's eve "watch night" service to pray for the Holy Spirit. After midnight, on the first day of 1901, Agnes asked Parham to lay his hands on her and pray specifically that she might be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in another tongue as evidence of the filling. According to the others, his prayer was heard. Agnes began speaking in Chinese. Those with her reported that a halo seemed to surround her head and face. Soon afterward, the remaining students also spoke in unknown languages and later Parham himself did too. It is said that Agnes could not speak English for three days and was only able to write in Chinese characters".

The first question we need to ask is how is Charles Parsham going to lay hands on this lady to receive the Holy Spirit when he does not have it himself? According to scripture those who laid hands and transferred the spirit were those who had it themselves. Lets look at some examples:
    And Yehoshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Mosheh had laid his hands on him. And the children of Yisrael listened to him, and did as YAH had commanded Mosheh. (Deuteronomy 34:9)

    And it came to be, when they had passed over, that Eliyahu said to Elisha, “Ask what I am to do for you, before I am taken away from you!” And Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” (2 Kings 2:9)
    And when the emissaries who were at Yerushalayim heard that Shomeron had received the Word of Elohim, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them to receive the Set-apart Spirit, for He had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been immersed in the Name of the Master Yahshua. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Set-apart Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17)
    And when Shaul (Paul) had laid hands on them, the Set-apart Spirit came upon them, and they were speaking in tongues and prophesying. (Acts 19:6)

Laying on of hands is the transference of the spirit or commanding the spirit to endorse whomsoever you (the leader) approve. Notice, Moses approved Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the promise land by laying on of hands (transferring the spirit). Elijah endorsed Elisha by agreeing to give him more power than he had. Peter and John who received the spirit on Pentecost by approval of YAHshua when he breathed on them. Paul laid hands on disciples and approved them to receive the spirit. The common denominator with these occurrences is that they all had the spirit to give!

Here are some question and points we should consider about the events in 1901 which lead to the Azuza street revival 1906.
  • Why wasn’t there any documentation of speaking in tongues by the Catholics and Protestants in the 2nd century AD all the way up to the 19 century AD?
  • Why was Agnes Ozman not in control of the Spirit she received? It says she could not speak anything but Chinese for three days. Scripture is clear in telling us the Holy Spirit will only work according to are will.
  • Why would a language that could not be understood by the assembly be given by the Spirit? Scripture makes it clear that the gift is for the edification of the assembly, which means the language would have had to be understood. There is no way we can say Agnes was magnifying YAH, she could have just as easily been magnifying Satan.
  • Again, why are these tongues which are spoken in churches different from what is found in the bible? And why do people who profess to speak in tongues not know the true name of the Father, neither do they (Christians) practice the laws and commandments of the Father as did the assemblies and congregants in the bible, which is a prerequisite for receiving the spirit?

Notice what Paul says:

    For such are false emissaries, deceptive workers, masquerading as emissaries of Messiah. And no wonder! For Satan himself masquerades as a messenger of light! It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works! (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

Paul says this about the Torah:

    In the Torah it has been written, “With men of other tongues and other lips I shall speak to this people. And even so, they shall not hear Me, says YAH.” (1 Corinthians 14:21)

Notice other tongues was a way for YAH to speak to his people. Isaiah tells us who YAH will use to speak his word to his people in either a foreign tongue or a known tongue.

    Bind up the witness, seal the Torah among my taught ones. (Isaiah 8:16)

YAH's disciples are those who keep his commandments and obey His Torah.

    Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of YAH and the belief of Yahshua. (Revelation 14:12)


The origins of Pentecostalism

Although Pentecostals trace their origin to the Apostles, the modern-day Pentecostal movement has its roots in the late 19th century, a time of mounting indifference to traditional religion. Denominations that were known for revivalistic fervour became subdued. Emotional modes of religious expression­enthusiastic congregational singing, spontaneous testimonies, prayer in unison, and extemporaneous sermons on simple biblical themes by lay preachers­gave way to ordered, formal worship services that were conducted by “reverends,” ministers trained in homiletics (preaching skills), who were influenced by higher biblical criticism. Lecture centres and elegant sanctuaries replaced camp meetings and crude wood- frame tabernacles.

As the large popular Protestant denominations became the churches of the upper-middle class, people of limited means began to feel out of place. They yearned to return to a “heart religion” that would satisfy their spiritual desires and their emotional, psychological, and physical needs. Pentecostalism, like its precursor, the Holiness movement (based on the belief that a second work of grace following conversion would “sanctify” Christians and remove the desire to sin), fulfilled these needs for church goers and nonchurchgoers alike. Moreover, Pentecostal churches, though open to all levels of society, spoke to the special needs of the disaffected.

Notwithstanding the charismatic outbursts in some 19th-century Protestant churches, the watershed of contemporary Pentecostalism came in the early 20th century at Bethel Bible College, a small religious school in Topeka, Kansas. The college's director, Charles Fox Parham, one of many ministers who was influenced by the Holiness movement, believed that the complacent, worldly, and coldly formalistic church needed to be revived by another outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He instructed his students­many of whom already were ministers­to pray, fast, study the Scriptures, and, like the Apostles, await the blessings of the Holy Spirit.

On January 1, 1901, Agnes Oznam became the first of Parham's students to speak in an unknown tongue. Others soon had the same experience, and Parham claimed that glossolalia (The phenomenon of apparently speaking in an unknown language during religious worship, regarded as a gift of the Holy Spirit.) was the “initial evidence” that one had been truly baptized with the Holy Spirit. Parham and his students understood these recurrences of Pentecost prophetically, interpreting them as signs of the imminence of the last days, or Endtime. Imbued with this sense of urgency, they set out on an evangelical mission.

Their initial efforts were unsuccessful, and the movement nearly collapsed as it encountered disbelief and ridicule. In 1903 its fortunes were revived when Parham returned to the practice of faith healing. Borrowed from several Holiness churches, notably the Christian and Missionary Alliance, faith healing became a hallmark of Pentecostalism. Parham was the first in a long line of Pentecostal evangelists (Mary B. Woodworth-Etter, Charles Price, Aimee Semple McPherson, and, more recently Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhman, and Benny Hinn) who taught that Christ's atonement provides deliverance from sickness and is, therefore, the privilege of all who have the requisite faith. Attracting new converts, the movement enjoyed success in the American South and Southwest, especially in Texas, Alabama, and Florida. In Texas alone, 25,000 people had embraced the Pentecostal faith by 1905, according to Parham. Kansas and Missouri also became hotbeds for Pentecostalism.

Wider national and international expansion, however, resulted from the Azusa Street revival that began in 1906 at the Apostolic Faith Gospel Mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Its leader, William Seymour, a one-eyed Holiness church pastor and former member of the African Methodist Episcopal church, had been exposed to Parham's teachings at a Bible school in Houston, Texas. Under Seymour's guidance, the old frame building on Azusa Street became a great spiritual centre that for many years attracted rich and poor, blacks and whites, Anglos and Latinos, as well as many preachers whose own ministry had become staid.

Spiritually energized and convinced that they had been charismatically endowed, scores of men and women from Azusa and other Pentecostal churches began extolling the reality of speaking in tongues. Pentecostal Christians were linked only by an amorphous “spiritual union,” in part because no thought was given to forming a separate “Pentecostal” branch of the Christian church. As members of the historic Protestant churches embraced Pentecostal beliefs and practices, they did so without any intention of withdrawing from their own churches. They merely wanted to be agents of reform and revival, helping to rid their churches of formalism and worldliness. They strove to transform their congregations into Spirit- filled communities like those described in the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles. Moreover, they fully expected the prophetically promised “latter rain” (from the Book of Joel, an outpouring of the Spirit of God before the final judgment) to fall upon their churches and make them wholly Pentecostal.

In one or two cases did sever their mainstream ties and became Pentecostal. But the triumphant conquest of the Protestant churches by Pentecostal ideas during those early years never materialized. In fact the movement became the object of widespread opposition. Pastors who endorsed Pentecostal practices were relieved of their pulpits; missionaries who were sympathetic toward the charismatic movement lost their financial support; and parishioners speaking in tongues were expelled from their churches. Resolutions were passed and anathemas (the harshest form of excommunication) were pronounced against Pentecostals in traditional churches. Charismatic Christians found it increasingly difficult to practice their faith within the institutional framework of conventional Protestantism; consequently, many Pentecostals withdrew from their churches to form new ones.

By the beginning of World War I, new congregations had emerged as storefront missions, small tabernacles in sparsely populated rural areas, and upper-story lofts in squalid urban neighbourhoods. These modest dwellings, found across North America, housed poor but lively groups of Pentecostal believers under such names as the Pentecostal, Apostolic, Latter Rain, or Full Gospel churches. Although many Pentecostals were wary of administrative institutions and unwilling to subject themselves to external ecclesiastical control, various divisive issues drove them into denominational fellowships.

International growth of Pentecostalism

Inspired by Acts of the Apostles 2:1–13, which speaks of God pouring out his Spirit in the last days, many Pentecostals believe that their revival is a sign of the Endtime, and hence a call to bring the world to salvation before Christ's Second Coming. Like the Apostles who spoke to people from many nations in their own tongues on the first Pentecost, Pentecostals believe that speaking in tongues facilitates the conversion of the world's peoples. Thus, Pentecostalism developed into an international missionary effort almost immediately. The movement spread first among ethnic communities in North America and was quickly transferred to Europe. By the end of 1906, missionary work had begun in Norway, and in 1907 it reached the rest of Scandinavia and Germany, Italy, and Holland. Latinos who took part in the Azusa Street revival helped spread the movement to Mexico, and a vital Spanish- speaking church movement developed there and in the southwestern United States. The Assemblies of God and the Church of God developed large Spanish- language branches, and completely new autonomous denominations formed in both Mexico and Puerto Rico. From these groups, Pentecostalism spread into the rest of Latin America, where it became especially popular in the latter decades of the 20th century.

Pentecostal missionaries reached South Africa in 1907 and found a home in the mission established only a few years earlier by representatives of the Christian Catholic church, an American church that emphasized healing. They were joined in 1914 by Assemblies of God missionaries. Nicholas B.H. Bhengu, a former Lutheran who joined the Assemblies of God, was the first great African-born Pentecostal evangelist. With the emergence of the African Independent church movement after World War II, Pentecostalism became a mass movement across sub- Saharan Africa.

Pentecostalism grew throughout the 20th century in North America, even though it was dismissed by mainstream denominations and denounced as heresy by conservative Evangelical groups that rejected the notions of faith healing and speaking in tongues. As segments of the movement became comfortable in their new faith and settled into less spontaneous worship, speaking in tongues and faith healing became somewhat routinized. In reaction to the loss of fervour, revitalization efforts periodically appeared that generally led to the creation of new Pentecostal denominations, more than 100 of which now exist. The growth of Pentecostalism in the late 20th century was not limited to its traditional constituency, however, and included members from the larger Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. This success with mainstream Protestants and Roman Catholics in the 1970s was one of the more important events in Pentecostal history and led to the formation of Charismatic (from Greek charis, “gift”) fellowships in most of the major American denominations. While many welcomed the new life these fellowships represented, denominational leaders saw them as disruptive. As a result, most Charismatic members of mainline churches left to form new denominations.

Attempts to limit the multiplication of Pentecostal denominations and to heal divisions within the movement began with the Pentecostal World Conference, first held in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1947. The initial international gathering highlighted the need for a similar meeting in North America and led to the formation of the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America (PFNA) in 1948. The PFNA was limited to the larger, predominantly white Pentecostal churches until the 1990s, when an effort was made to build relationships with the major African American Pentecostal churches. In 1994 the PFNA formerly dissolved and was replaced by a new interracial organization, the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America.

Although statistics on Pentecostalism are difficult to obtain, it has been estimated that there are more than 10 million Pentecostals in the United States, including 5.5 million members of the Church of God in Christ and 2.5 million members of the Assemblies of God. There are a number of Pentecostal denominations with more than a million members in Latin America and Africa. The Assemblies of God probably constitutes the largest Pentecostal denomination worldwide with more than 25 million members and with congregations in more than 150 countries.

John Gordon Melton

Additional Reading

The primary reference work on Pentecostalism is Stanley M. Burgess, Gary B. McGee, and Patrick H. Alexander, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (1988, reprinted with corrections 1993). Other important surveys include Walter J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals (1972, reprinted 1988; originally published in German, 1969); and Karla O. Poewe (ed.), Charismatic Christianity as a Global Culture (1994). During the 1970s an effort to make sense of the very diverse Pentecostal movement resulted in a number of new histories, including Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States (1971, reissued 1987), and his more recent The Twentieth Century Pentecostal Explosion (1987). A major research sourcebook was compiled by Charles Edwin Jones, A Guide to the Study of the Pentecostal Movement, 2 vol. (1983). Fred J. Foster, Their Story: Twentieth Century Pentecostals, rev. ed. (1981, reprinted 1998), addresses the Apostolic Pentecostals.

Closing Comments

I believe it is very clear that the primary reason for the gift of Tongues is to provide YAH a way to speak to people of diverse languages and edify them. The few references that refer to speaking to YAH using an unknown tongue are secondary to the primary reason set forth by the prophet Isaiah and explained by Paul. It was the message being spoken through the spirit that was of primary importance, the ability to speak in diverse languages was the tool to accomplish it.

We also started to lay a foundation to show how YAH used both Holy and Unholy spirits to serve His purpose. In subsequent studies I will present a more detailed scriptural understanding of the Holy Spirit from both the old and new testament.

Lastly I think it is no small matter, how the current Pentecostal movement was started and what doctrine and spirit it was founded upon. I believe it is very clear the gifts that were demonstrated by a lawless (In violation of Torah) assembly in 1901 and 1906 has no bases of fact in scripture. It has all the signs of the unholy spirit.

Not only do we see it could not possible have been a Holy Spirit that is subject to the prophet that possessed Mrs Ozman, since she lost control of some of her faculties, there was absolutely no edification or message that went forth to the assembly. Where was YAH magnified like we see in all scriptural accounts? The answer is obvious he wasn't.

If a false revival started the movement can there be truth to any of the gifts that have been propagated in the last 106 years? Can a movement that started under a false premise all of a sudden become one of truth? Sadly, I think not. The reason there was no evidence of the operations of the Gifts for approximately 1800 years is because the Christian church has been lawless since the early second century, which started with the teachings of Ignatius. If we want to see the true gifts that were operating in the first 75 years of the ecclesia we must walk in obedience to YAH's word, and put are faith in YAHshua the anointed, and only then will we have qualified to receive the Gift Of The Spirit.

 

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