Video available here: http://youtu.be/HTFNHD8fcgM
Around the year 1914, only ten years after the Azusa Street
Revival, a group of Pentecostals severed themselves from the original movement
to create a division that would later become known as the “Oneness
Pentecostals” or the “Apostolic Faith.”
This new Pentecostal denomination of faith disagreed on not only the
Godhead, but also upon the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross.
The original movement, spearheaded by Charles Parham and
William Seymour, started with the foundation of the Christianity teaching that
the Grace of God was sufficient, and that the blood of Jesus Christ upon the
cross covers all sin. Many were
accepting of the original movement during the first ten years, and it quickly
grew in number and spread.
From Azusa Street, this looked like the Day of Pentecost
from the Bible. All were of like mind,
like faith, and it looked like the power of the Holy Spirit fell directly on
the flesh. They were speaking with new
tongues, and those tongues seemed to be on fire for God.
Seeds of division and separation were planted before the
movement started. Followers of John
Alexander Dowie from Zion, Illinois were watching as a new movement started drawing
more attention in the events leading to the Revival. When Parham was accused of sodomy and
homosexual relations that led to his arrest, the Zion City Herald ran a juicy
article describing Parham’s fall to sin.
This sparked a rival for power that was a tug-of-war between Parham and
Zion City’s Wilbur Voliva, a battle for leadership that would continue long
after Parham had seemingly lost his position as founder of the movement.
Consequently, after only ten years into the movement, that
“like mind” and unity of faith that the early followers experienced quickly
turned into conflict and opposition.
Those conflicts created division, and caused the Pentecostal faith to
splinter like a piece of glass dropping from the sky.
When we hear the term “Oneness Pentecostalism” today, we
generally think on terms of the Godhead, specifically the teaching that Jesus
of the New Testament was Jehovah of the Old.
We associate this type of Pentecostalism with those that denounce the
triune nature of God.
But the divisions created by the followers of the false
prophet John Alexander Dowie of Zion City and the followers of the homosexual
deviant Charles Fox Parham had much deeper roots. Parham and Voliva were in a leadership contest,
and both battled to make their followers become more “holy” in the eyes of
their fellow man. The doctrinal beliefs
that these two men implanted would later become the foundation for the
doctrines in the movement teaching that these things made the people more
“holy” in the eyes of God – though these divisions were political in nature
instead of religious changes of the heart.
The root of the division started with the change of
focus. While most of the Christians in
the group placed their focus on Jesus Christ, the movement itself started focusing
on the Holy Spirit and the “gifts” that they associated with the Spirit. These “gifts,” over time, became known as the
“evidence of the Holy Spirit,” and without this “evidence,” the leaders of the
movement would proclaim that the poor follower’s soul was lost and bound for
Then, within each “splinter group,” these groups splintered
off into an even smaller group of people, and again into smaller ones.
The cult of William Branham has numerous groups, none
agreeing with each other on doctrine or prophecy. There is the “Return Ministry” group, those
that believe Branham will rise from the dead just as Jesus Christ did – before
the resurrection. There is the “Thunders”
groups, those that believe they have the special “mystery” of the Seven Thunders
of Revelation. There are those that
believe William Branham was god, and a splinter cell thriving locally that
believe that Branham’s son, Joseph, is god.
So many divisions from so many splinter cells – and their original root
is not William Branham. Their roots come
from the Azusa Street Revival. Branham
was part of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
Many people do not realize this, but the reason for error
was not the works-righteous faith or the signs and wonders. In the original revival, there were many who
still held strictly to Bible teaching.
The underlying reason the movement quickly became a hotbed of division
and conflict was because the Apostolic Faith splinter group denied the Word.
Many are familiar with the opening of the book of John:
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS
God. He was in the beginning WITH God. All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the
life was the light of men. – John 1:1-4
While the words of John proclaim the “Word was WITH God,” and that “He
was in the beginning WITH God,” the new breed of Pentecostals began
teaching that this “Word” was the “mind” of the Invisible God. They started teaching that this Word was the
“thoughts expressed” by a being that was very similar in nature to a human.
For this doctrine to find growth, the new breed of Apostolic
also had to change the nature of Jesus Christ, inventing a “new and different
Jesus.” No longer was the “Word made
flesh to dwell among us” in their teaching.
The Christ that the movement invented claimed that Jesus was an
incarnation of God, the Father presenting Himself in the form of human flesh.
But when you deny the Word, and deny the Word was WITH God,
and deny that the Word WAS God, there will be conflict.
The Gospel according to John describes the very same thing
the Book of John lays out plainly for all to read:
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our
eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word
of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and
proclaim to you the eternal life, which was WITH the Father and was made
manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so
that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the
Father AND with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so
that our joy may be complete.
It is interesting, because if we continue reading into the
first chapter, John tells us the very reason that the many splinters of the
Pentecostal faith could never fellowship with one another.
These new Apostolic Pentecostals started proclaiming the
many “sins” that the other Pentecostals had in their lives, from the way they
dressed to the things they enjoyed. They
started teaching that they were better than the other splinter groups, because
they did not have this sin.
John tells us that if we do must walk in the true light of
the Word, Jesus Christ, if we want to have true fellowship. And that if we say that we do not have sin,
we have just made that Word a liar:
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one
another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness. If we say we have
not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. – John 1:7-10
In fact, if we continue reading the Book of John, we find
that the new splinter groups placed themselves directly under sin when they
denied that Jesus Christ was the Son of God for their Oneness teaching. John says that anyone who denies that Jesus
was the Son of God cannot overcome:
who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who
loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of
God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God,
that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For
everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory
that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world
except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
That Son, remember, was the Word. The Word that was WITH God, and the Word that
John makes it very clear, driving the point home that there
are Three – not One. He compares the
Three in heaven with the representation of those Three here on earth
there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and
the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and
the blood: and these three agree in one. – John 5:7-8
The splinter groups that follow the Oneness teaching have
denied the first part of these two points.
If we were to re-write the words of the scriptures according to their
faith, it would be something like this:
For there is only ONE that bears record in heaven, Oneness
god. And Oneness god is the ONLY one.
But there is a second half to this statement, remember? There are Three that bear witness in heaven,
but there are also three that bear witness on earth. Not only did they deny the Three in heaven,
but by placing their “evidence” of the Holy Spirit on these “gifts,” they have
denied the three here on earth.
John does say that the Spirit bears record here on
earth. That part is correct. But there are three, remember? We can’t forget the blood! We can’t forget the water!
Our baptism is the outward expression of our faith in Jesus
Christ, the Word. And that Word was made
manifest and died on the cross for our sins.
There is nothing that we ourselves can do to become more “holy,” He has
already done it for us!
says: For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God -
Many have asked me, what harm is there in believing this
Oneness Pentecostal faith that was created by the political agendas between the
followers of a false prophet and the followers of a homosexual deviant. Because the god they serve is named “Jesus,”
they ask “What does it hurt you to believe it anyway?”
Those were the exact words spoken to me when I asked the
very first question regarding failed prophecy to the pastor at the Branham
Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
As this pastor was excommunicating me, shunning me before others could
find out they were following a man proclaiming to be a “prophet” who had failed
prophecy, he asked that question: “What
does it hurt you to believe it anyway?”
I wish that I had been in a home that was centered around
the Word of God, the Word that was WITH God and the Word that WAS God. I wish I had studied the Word, instead of the
words of a false prophet.
Had I been filled with the Word, I would have simply read
the next paragraph of this chapter from John 5:
believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a
liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne
concerning his Son. And this is the
testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does
not have the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
that you may know that you have eternal life.
Ask yourselves: Which
is more important? The Word? Or faith in your “splinter group?”