Purpose of this Session
Just as previous movements restored what was lost to the church, the Pentecostal movement in the early 1900’s controversially restored many powerful characteristics of the early church.
Forerunners of the Next Wave of Restoration
A B Simpson was instrumental in training many of the men and women who would be instrumental in the coming Pentecostal movement, and was himself involved in the outpouring in his latter years. He also raised up pioneers like Maria Woodworth Etter, who is considered to be the grandmother of the Pentecostal movement. Her ministry demonstrated the power of God’s Spirit, with people falling into trances in her meetings, weeping, falling under the power, and notable signs and wonders.
How it Began – New Year’s Eve 1900AD
Charles Parham was an instrument in God’s hand in the formation of the modern day Pentecostal movement. His ministry profoundly touched the lives of men like William Seymour, John G Lake and F F Bosworth, all significant leaders in the years that followed.
One particular incident in Parham’s ministry took place on New Year’s Eve, 1900. Although there are records of believers speaking in other tongues throughout church history, they are few and incidental. Parham and his students had set themselves specifically to grasp what the Holy Spirit spoke concerning the baptism and tongues for their day and generation. He had encouraged students in his Topeka, Kansas, Bible School, to search the Scriptures regarding the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That night, Agnes Ozman was filled with the Spirit and spoke in other tongues, an experience that sparked the move that broke into flame in the years that followed. Miss Ozman was unable to speak in English for the next three days, and even when she wrote she did so in Chinese characters. The other students, upon seeing this happen to Agnes, likewise received the baptism with tongues as evidence. Parham too was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to teach and preach it wherever he went.
Six years later, in 1906, the Pentecostal movement was released upon the world through a revival in Azusa Street, Los Angeles. A former student of Parham’s schools, half-blind black man William Seymour, was God’s chosen vessel to escalate the truth and send it to the world. During three years of continuous Pentecostal revival people came from all over the world to see what God was doing, and took the flame back with them. The spark became a flame that roared around the world, and within 50 years Pentecostal experience had transformed the church landscape beyond recognition. Today there are over 500 million Pentecostal and Charismatic believers throughout the nations, and the number is rapidly growing.
Revival in Wales 1904-06
One year before the move of God in the United States a nationwide revival swept Wales once again. The primary figure in the revival was Evan Roberts. The fire of God that burst upon Wales in 1904 spread to the four corners of the earth. Within one year over 100,000 souls had been saved in Wales alone. Churches were crowded to overflow, meetings lasted from 10am to midnight - infidels were converted, theatres and bars closed for want of patronage, and the entire nation was awakened to the reality of God. The fire of this revival was instrumental in igniting the Pentecostal flame in America the following year.
All nine gifts of the Spirit, as outlined in 1 Cor 12:7-11, were demonstrated from the outset of the Pentecostal movement. Ministers such as Amy Semple McPherson, F F Bosworth, Smith Wigglesworth and John G Lake, exemplified the gifts of healing, working of miracles and faith. Literally multitudes heard and experienced the gospel preached and demonstrated with notable signs and wonders. By the third decade of the movement however, much of the early raw power and glorious manifestation of the earlier years had disappeared, with only pockets remaining. The Latter Rain outpouring was God’s answer to this sad circumstance.
Restored during the Pentecostal movement
- Speaking in tongues
- Multiplied manifestation of the nine gifts of the Spirit
- Use of musical instruments in worship
- Lifting hands in worship
- Shouts of praise
- Regular fasting
Many manifestations occurred during decades of the Pentecostal movement, encompassing all that had been restored in the Protestant and holiness moves prior to it. The primary addition was speaking in tongues.
Also restored during this time to the form of worship was the lifting of hands in worship to God, hand clapping to fast songs, and rounds of corporate applause and cheers when victories are won in the spiritual realm, shouting out praises to God, fasting as a regular spiritual discipline, dancing in the Spirit (supposedly completely under the influence of the Holy Spirit, a wild excited outburst of praise, not a graceful dance of worship as introduced in the next move of God). The Pentecostal churches also introduced musical instruments into church worship. Use of instruments prior to this had been limited. The Salvation Army also introduced the use of drums, trumpets and other instruments in their street evangelism, and hijacked popular songs of the day, changing them into Christian choruses.
Churches and denominations started at this time
Churches and denominations started at this time included the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Assemblies of God, The United Pentecostal church and many Black Pentecostal denominations such as the Church of God in Christ.