Tuesday, November 13, 2018

There Are Two Sides, You Have To Choose One, Not Straddle Both, And This Has To Do With Everything

The Lord Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:24:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Related to this is something the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:22-23:
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.  Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Furthermore from Paul comes Romans 6:16:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
From these three passages or verses we get some basic, simple truths for all of life.

To put everything above together, every person has one master or lord, just one, and he is a slave to one or the other.  He cannot love them both.  He loves only one of the two and then hates the other.  If the master is Christ, then He is owner, based on the reality that he bought the person.  The slave obeys His master, whichever one it is.  Obedience will occur one way or the other.  This obedience to the master is yielding to the particular master, whichever one.

A person chooses his master or lord.  If he chooses Jesus as his Lord, this is faith.  He believes in Jesus.  The belief is a belief in reward or goodness (Rom 2:4; Heb 11:6).  If someone doesn't think he will be better off, he will not choose that master.  For Jesus, it is a matter of faith, based on evidence (Heb 11:1-3).  God's Word is true, so someone can trust what it says about his present and future.  He turns from the other direction, what would be an idol, to Jesus Christ.

Satan and the world system interacts with someone's flesh to persuade him to take a different master than Jesus Christ.  The world offers someone things that seem like a lot to a person, feigning competition with God.  Paul calls it dung, whether it be possessions, positions, passions, or popularity (Philip 3:8).  The trade is nothing for everything, which is why Jesus said (Mark 8:36):
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
A person loses everything the world offers.  It is short term only.  Even then it doesn't satisfy, which is why Solomon said it was all vanity.  It is about volume.  More and more.  Enough is never enough.

The choice is stark and plain.  You go one way or the other.  There is no middle ground.  That is reality.

A different picture is depicted than reality.  The false portrayal, that the god of this world and his world system present, is that both sides can be straddled.  You really don't have to choose.  Many, if not most, churches participate.  People want the world, because of the short term benefits it offers, and because they don't want what Jesus might offer in and for the short term, so churches turn the world into a church, so they'll want the church.  The problem, of course, is that it isn't exactly the church anymore, but it is a way of straddling the two masters.

In the end, there is still one Master.  It is Jesus.  It's all true all the way to the end, that Jesus is Master.  Those who reject Him do not get the other way.  The world doesn't have anything to offer.

The problem with blending the two Masters is that it confuses the world and the church about the One, True Master.  It's true that no man can serve two Masters.  The people fooled aren't serving Jesus.  They just think they are.  They are even being told they are with explanations that they are and how they are.

The people that make their way through to the kingdom relinquish themselves to Jesus Christ.  They choose Him as Goodness.  Jesus is the Master, but they are saved because they believe He is.  That is Who He is and they are acknowledging it and acquiescing to Him.  They gain everything.  Those who don't, lose everything.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Virtue of Nationalism

Wikipedia says concerning Yoram Hazony:
Yoram Hazony is an Israeli philosopher, Bible scholar and political theorist. He is President of The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem. Hazony is known for founding The Shalem Center in Jerusalem in 1994, and leading it through its accreditation in 2013 as Shalem College, Israel's first liberal arts college.
Hazony's book, The Virtue of Nationalism, released on September 4, 2018, a few months before French President Macron used the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I to bash nationalism in contrast to the views of President Donald Trump.  He said:
Nationalism is rising across Europe, the nationalism that demands the closing of frontiers, which preaches rejection of the other.  It is playing on fears, everywhere. Europe is increasingly fractured.
I wrote the following for our bulletin for Veteran's Day, Sunday, November 11:
Scripture shows stable and cohesive national  identities are the will of God.  This is one means God has used to preserve the truth and His way of living in this world.  There is no unifying factor in the whole world and there never will be until the Antichrist takes it by force, and then more preferably, Jesus rules over the entire world according to His will.  Our soldiers fought for our nation and for principles that Americans had in common, which were worth dying for.  We can be thankful for them and those men and what privileges we still hold dear, that allow us to meet in freedom to worship God today as a church.
Christians should never be "country first," but also should support nationalism.  God separated men into distinct lands at the Tower of Babel in response to something close to globalism.  Genesis 11:8-9:
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The founding fathers of the United States saw wisdom in separation reflected in God's divisions into nations.  Hazony in an October 19 interview said:
Nationalism is a principled standpoint that sees the world as governed best when nations are given their independence and freedom to chart their own course on the basis of their own unique national, religious, and constitutional traditions.
I believe that nationalism is one of the most fundamental conservative ideals.  It is foundational to the protection of life, liberty, and property.  Conservation of ideals occurs within the borders of a nation.  I call on all professing Christians to support nationalism and reject globalism.


I noticed at RCP today an article with the exact same name as this on The Atlantic, which isn't a review of Hazony's book, just making the same point with the same title.  Interesting.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Historic Fundamentalism: What is it?

Do you claim to be a Christian fundamentalist?  If, by this term, you mean that you seek to militantly defend all the truths of the Christian faith, and militantly stand against and separate from all error, well and good—you will then, if your confession is true, be a servant of Christ in a historic Baptist church.  Do you think that such a line is too strict, for “historic fundamentalism” was a para-church movement that only recognized a handful of “fundamentals” that were worthy of separation?  If that is truly “historic fundamentalism,” then you should reject such fundamentalism for the God-honoring true separatism only possible within a Biblical Baptist church that is unaffiliated with denominationalism, associationism, and all other humanly devised denominational structures. 

However, was there actually ever a unified “historic fundamentalism” in the first place?  The classic series The Fundamentals, for example, printed an essay by George Sales Bishop, who believed in the dictation of the original manuscripts and in Scripture’s perfect preservation—including the perfect preservation of not the Hebrew consonants alone, but also the vowels that were originally given by inspiration—in the Hebrew and Greek Textus Receptus.[1] So is “historic fundamentalism” opposed to the Greek critical text—is it King James Only?  Why or why not?

However, The Fundamentals also reprinted articles by Edwin J. Orr, who “was unconcerned to defend a literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis, and [who] took the view that an insistence on biblical inerrancy was actually ‘suicidal.’”[2]

So who represents “historic fundamentalism”—Bishop or Orr?  Does “historic fundamentalism” defend an inerrant autographa, an inerrant autographa that is perfectly preserved in the Textus Receptus, or errant autographs and apographs?

Indeed, while cessationists are amply represented in early fundamentalism, the writings of Jessie Penn-Lewis appear also in The Fundamentals.[3]  So does “historic fundamentalism” follow Scriptural cessationism and the sole authority of Scripture, or Mrs.Penn-Lewis’s fanaticism, radical demonology, Quakerism, date-setting for Christ’s return, and allegedly “inspired” extra-Biblical writings—one of which is condensed in The Fundamentals?

So which portion of the authors in The Fundamentals represent “historic fundamentalism”?  Is it the “Inner Light” that is allegedly equal to Scripture, as taught by the Quaker Jessie Penn-Lewis?  Is it the inerrant original manuscripts perfectly preserved in the Textus Receptus as affirmed by George Sayles Bishop?  Is it the recognition that verbal, plenary inspiration is a false and indeed a “suicidal” position, as affirmed by Orr?

Is it whatever the person speaking about “historic fundamentalism” wants it to be?

A unified “historic fundamentalism” is a chimera, and even if it had existed, it would possess no independent authority—the Christian’s sole authority is the Bible alone, and the Bible teaches that every religious organization on earth in this dispensation, if it wants to have the special presence of Jesus Christ, must be under the authority of one of His churches.  Fundamentalist para-church institutions are not churches.  Do you value the Lord’s church in the way that One does who bought her with His blood (Ephesians 5:25)? If you do not, but are following some movement, whether evangelical, fundamental, or by any other name, your organization does not possess the promises Christ makes to His church alone.  Beware lest Christ say to you, and to your organization, “cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” (Luke 13:7).

The Bible teaches that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)—the church, the local, visible, Baptist congregation, is the place of God’s special presence, His special protection from Satan and his kingdom, and His promises of perpetuity and blessing until the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18).  No promises of Christ’s special presence or protection are made to the mythical universal, invisible church, parachurch institutions, human denominations, or inter-denominational movements such as evangelicalism.

There never was a unified “historic fundamentalism,” and, even if it had existed, it would have no authority whatever to determine what are Biblical doctrine and practice for the Lord’s churches.

[1]           See the “Inspiration of the Hebrew Letters and Vowel Points,” pgs. 43-59 of The Doctrines of Grace and Kindred Themes, George Sayles Bishop (New York, NY:  Gospel Publishing House, 1919;  note as well his “Relative Value of the Old Testament” (pgs. 88-100) and “The Testimony of Scripture To Itself,” pgs. 19-42).  The KJV-only, Landmark Baptist periodical The Plains Baptist Challenger, a ministry of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Lubbock, TX, on pgs. 3-8 of its July 1991 edition, reprinted George Sayles Bishop’s defense, based on Matthew 5:18, of the coevality of the vowel points and the consonants.  Bishop was a contributor to the epoch-making volumes The Fundamentals (“The Testimony of the Scriptures to Themselves,” pgs. 80-97, vol. 2, The Fundamentals, eds. R. A. Torrey, A. C. Dixon, etc., Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 1970, reprint of the original 1917 ed. of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles), writing:  “We take the ground that on the original parchment . . . every sentence, word, line, mark, point, pen-stroke, jot, tittle was put there by God” (pg. 92, The Fundamentals, vol 2.).
[2]            Pg. 492, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, “Orr, James,” ed. Timothy Larsen, referencing Orr’s Revelation and Inspiration [1910], p. 198.  See, e. g.,  “The Holy Scriptures and Modern Negations,” “The Early Narratives of Genesis” (Chapters 5 & 11 The Fundamentals, ed. Torrey, vol. 1;  Orr wrote other articles also).
[3]           Pgs. 183-199, Chapter 13, “Satan and his Kingdom,” The Fundamentals, ed. Torrey, vol. 4.  Her chapter is condensed from The Warfare with Satan and the Way of Victory.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Audio and Video of 2018 Word of Truth Conference -- The Gospel (Part Four)

At THIS LINK you can listen to what is downloaded in audio at the Word of Truth Conference for 2018.  This is our fourth year and last on The Gospel.

When video arrives for the sessions, it will be at THIS LINK and music will be at THIS LINK.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The War Against Biblical, God-Ordained Child Discipline

How many "social scientists" do you think would be allowed in state schools who support spanking children as a form of child discipline?  The Bible without doubt teaches spanking as a method, a required one, for child discipline, so for successful child discipline.  Parents, who would obey God, are required to do it this way.

Elizabeth T. Gershoff is a professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and CNN published just yesterday, November 6, 2018, an article she authored against spanking children, entitled, "The era of spanking is finally over."  Gershoff gave her opinion, but was also reporting that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in a new policy statement published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, November 1, 2018, that "parents not spank, hit or slap their children."

I believe the Bible is the Word of God and what Gershoff wrote clashes with scripture.  It also contradicts what I see with my own eyes with years of experience.  As spanking has diminished good behavior in children and adults has also decreased.  She says, however, in her first line that "years of research have shown that spanking children is ineffective and potentially harmful," and later that "spanking does not make children better behaved in the long run, and in fact makes their behavior worse."  My instant thought is, "what planet is she living on?"

It is easy to see that Gershoff is spewing her own propaganda for whatever reason, especially evidenced by both this statement,
[W]e need to stop hitting our children in the name of discipline. And yes -- spanking is just a euphemism for "hitting children." We do not allow adults to hit each other, but for some reason American society has decided it should be legal and even desirable for adults to hit children. We need to end this double standard and provide children with the same protection from hitting that is given to all adults.
and these ones,
We consistently find that the more a child is spanked, the more aggressive he or she will be in the future. 
Spanking also teaches children that it is acceptable to use physical force to get what you want. It is thus no surprise that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to be aggressive or to engage in delinquent behaviors like stealing.
These are false statements.  Calling spanking, "hitting children," and comparing adults hitting each other, are atrocious, abhorrent lies.  It is a serious attack on God, the Bible, the Christian faith, Christian parents, and religious freedom.  Spanking is not hitting children.  It does not encourage or cause violent behavior.  It is just the opposite.  Children, who are not spanked, are far more greatly out of control, and more likely to get violent with others.

I don't trust the studies.  They are disputing scripture, flying in the face of God.  I do. not. think or believe that children, who are not spanked as a form of child discipline, are better behaved.  A lot of the "studies" or "research" of psychiatrists and in the social scientists are junk science.  I'm saying they are not science.  They are fake.  This has been proven many times.  Very often the "studies" or "research" contradicts each other.  There are many examples, but even the Smithsonian in a massive project proves that more than half of psychological studies, when replicated, got different results.

It's actually worse than "they're wrong."  When they've been wrong, people have moved to follow their "science."  They've been given the respect of science.  People have to change now, because their studies show.  They don't, and they can be proven wrong.  Most of the time, their false results proceed from their own presuppositions.  They want to find a result, so they do.  People don't want a God, so they use "science" to prove He doesn't exist.  Studies show.  Studies showed that self-esteem was important and we entered the self-esteem era, ruining children and people, and now they say, we were wrong, so we live in a narcissistic society.  Ooops.  A generation of parents did it wrong, telling their children how great they were, speculating about every possible problem due to low self esteem.  Meanwhile, horrific damage.  No children think they are as great and wonderful as American children.

"Studies" have to be done.  People have to prove they are studious and students.  It helps if someone can come up with something new that no one has heard before.  It proves how smart the student is.  He found this.  No one else had.  It doesn't make you look smarter to say, this is something people have known for centuries and it works, so keep doing it.

Gershoff is a progressive.  This is the curse of progressivism, where people think that they will progess, in their own depraved, proud thinking.  They think we're evolving and we need to progress to evolve further.  It is also at the base of Marxism and almost entirely of these "social sciences."  They have been given the elevated status of "science," what scripture calls "science false so called" or how we would put today, "so-called science" (1 Timothy 6:20-21).  Observations of men are not superior to revelation of God.

I do believe that parents abuse their children in the name of spanking and religion.  They don't follow the biblical pattern.  I believe far more unbelievers, who don't believe in spanking, actually abuse their children and do not get in trouble for it.  Their children become criminals and murderers and they take no responsibility, because they did the favored thing of not spanking and trusting the government institutions for the behavior of their children, "taking a village," code language for "not taking responsibility."  They're fools.

Enemies of the biblical way latch a hold of any parent who does a bad job of parenting, that uses spanking as one of the methods as proof that it's a bad way.  No, it's one bad parent, who really isn't following the biblical way.  Abusive methods abound, even abuses of spanking.  Yes, parents can "beat" their children and "hit" them, but this is not related to biblical spanking.

Something Gershoff is very happy about is that there is less spanking today, giving her encouragement that the world can be rid of spanking totally, even as the title of the article explains.  She seems to be encouraging the forces against spanking to keep up their good work, their war against spanking.  There is less of it.  Governing regions and institutions have done away with it, made it illegal.  She celebrates that and is calling for more regulation against.  She wants to stop it.  She wants to take away the right, criminalize it.

Why is there less spanking?  It's not because the state has done a good job of persuading.  It hasn't.  There is less of it, because there is less obedience to God, less Christianity.  It's hard to be a good parent.  It takes discipline of the parent to discipline of children.  There is more laziness.  In general, there is more sin, and that's why there is less spanking.  I foresee more sinning and less good parenting, less spanking.  It is a symptom of more falsehood, turning away from God, more apostasy.  It does not portend for anything good in the future, only evil.

Monday, November 05, 2018

DOING JUSTICE: Weighing Problems in a Just Manner

We do not know how many people to whom Peter preached in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, at least 3,000 and likely ten plus thousand.  That mammoth number of people was told that the one they had killed in fulfillment of Psalm 110 was now sitting at the right hand of God the Father, ready to make His enemies His footstool.  A large number in the crowd sought what to do in order to deal with this problem.  They should have been, and likely were, afraid of the consequences, but it seems that they also were affected by their knowledge that they had so offended God.  If they thought about how good God had been to them, it would have seemed like a gigantic injustice to have offended Him in so many ways.

Their problem, as they should have seen it, was akin to what the people had when Noah was preaching.  There was the physical problem for them of being physically destroyed, but the worse one was eternal punishment.  It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27).  Their problem was not high rental prices in Jerusalem.  Peter wasn't even making the problem mistreatment by the Romans, who very often would kill massive numbers of people for no good reason.  Their problem was their problem with God.  They were already disobeying Him and then they murdered their Messiah.

All injustice is bad, but justice itself requires judging problems as to their most severe.  People should think of this as a judicial triage.  Not doing this is not just.  If there were three people in the emergency room, and the severity of the problems were paper cut, sprained ankle, and tourniquet on artery bleeding.  Getting to the paper cut or the sprained ankle first isn't just.  I say this only as an illustration, so please don't try to ruin the illustration.  I'm asking you to get the point.

The eternal problem is a greater one than the temporal one.  In most cases at least and maybe all the cases, the solution to the eternal problem solves the temporal one too -- I'll come back to that.  Eternal death is worse than temporal death.  On top of that, eternal death results from offenses directly against God.  It's worse to offend God than it is some person on earth.  It's not that offending a person isn't bad.  It's just that it is worse to offend God.  Making a bigger deal about offending people than offending God itself is not just.

Temporal problems, and we know this from God in His Word, so it is right, come either from direct or indirect consequences of sin.  Their best solutions are biblical ones that relate to sin.  Men are blinded by sin and deluded by sin.  They have reprobate minds, because of sin.  The bigger solution takes care of the smaller solution.  Solving the bigger problem really isn't ignoring the smaller one.

Justice, as I wrote in an earlier post on justice, and what many know, is based on equal retribution, the so-called scales.  Scales weigh.  The problems must be weighed.  Offending God is of greater weight than offending a person.  Eternal problems are bigger than temporal ones.  However, the just weighing of problems relate also to judging between only temporal ones.  Again, as a reminder, this doesn't mean that temporal problems aren't also eternal ones.

In an act of injustice, a black man is shot down in a criminal way by a white police officer.  Let's say this is the worst case scenario for the thought experiment on justice.  It's not true though.  In 2016, the FBI statistics say that 2,570 black people were killed by other black people.  243 black people were killed by white people.  On the other hand, 533 white people were killed by black people.  169 total unarmed people were killed by police (of any race) in 2016.  53% of those unarmed killed by police were white and 24% were black.  That is 90 white people and 41 black people.  If the killings were not justifiable, then those were unjust.  2,570 weighs more heavy than 41.  That is without bringing up the matter of abortion and the killing of the most vulnerable and innocent of human beings.  926,200 abortions occurred in 2014 in the United States.  In 2014, 28 percent of abortions were black, which is 259,336 people.

Murder is an offense to God.  The more murder the worse it is to God and offending God is the worst problem.  That is an eternal problem.  41 police officer killings of unarmed blacks (not assuming they are all murders) and then 2,570 black on black murders and 259,336 murders through abortion are different in weight.  If you are a person for justice, you have to look at the latter more seriously than the former, and then apply most efforts to the latter.  When the latter are ignored to look at the former, then justice is not the motivation any longer.  Justice is not being done.  It is such a vast difference, a just thing to say is that it is unjust to put much time at all into the 41, let alone focus on it.

With everything that I have written about temporal and eternal problems, the greatest justice issue is the offense of God and the eternal punishment of Hell.  When professing Christians are more concerned about the 41 killings of unarmed black men by police in the United States in one year than the 2,570 black murders and 259,336 murders through abortion, this is not doing justice, because it is giving greater weight to the wrong problem.  The scales of justice are moving down on the wrong side.  This is unjust.

Even further, if professing Christians are more concerned about physical death than eternal death, as seen in less effort given toward evangelism, than, say, feeding impoverished people, whether spiritually saved or lost, this is also unjust.  It is ignoring the eternal offense of God.  It is also not making the connection between temporal impoverishment and the effects of the lack of conversion.

Even Christians are moved by the idea of orphans or starving children in third world countries.  This physical concern surpasses in many instances the offense of God and the eternal detrimental effects of the lack of salvation.  Most often the two are related.  People are physically suffering because of spiritual problems, but even professing Christians would rather try to deal with the physical problem first, as if a spiritual concern is less credible when it starts with a spiritual concern and not a physical one.  All of this is not to understand justice.  This is not to do justice.  This is injustice.

Why the actual injustice posing as justice?  I think it is pandering.  It is about looking compassionate, because reprobate minds judge justice in a corrupt manner.  People attempt to impress them or try to fit in with them. They don't really care about justice because this isn't that complicated.  The people who really care are not focusing on the police.  They are looking at people of every race as to whether they are hearing a true gospel.  Preaching the gospel will not be rewarded by society or culture.  People who do so will not be judged as to care more than those who focus on the relatively minor problems.

Trying to look good is also corrupting the problem.  The problem is an internal one, not an external one.  It is a form of self-righteousness.  It is proud, thinking of what one looks like, looking compassionate to a crowd, who cannot really judge in a just manner.  It is Pharisaical, acting like a Pharisee, who put the external problems ahead of internal, spiritual ones.  Not caring about poor people, not caring about starvation, that's a problem, but it is evidence of a spiritual problem, and the spiritual problem is a bigger problem than it's symptoms.  People need to be saved.  This is bigger.

What else happens?  Social do-gooders, social justice warriors guilt people into temporal problem focus.  This includes evangelicals.  They try to get you to take your eye off the ball by making the eternal problem look less than the temporal one.  They mock people who spend almost all the time preaching, because they don't care.  They might even "not be saved," is also how it is being presented today.  Those "saved" are putting massive effort into short term social problems, whether they are even solving them or not.  They look like they "care" (if it is even care in light of the eternal problem).  The people who care, really care, know what the biggest problem is, the weightiest.  They also know that more temporal problems would be solved long term with the emphasis on the eternal ones.

Jesus, the Apostles, and Paul did not attempt to change societal or social structure.  They didn't give their lives to change economic status of people.  They were pedal to the metal attempting to get the truth out, spread the gospel.  They went just the opposite direction.  Jesus said you'll always have the poor with you.  Paul said servants submit yourselves to your masters.  It wasn't that injustices weren't being done, but that it wasn't just to focus on temporal things, when the eternal issues were far more important.  The solution was a kingdom where Jesus reigned for 1000 years.  He would change the world.  This is the justice of weighing problems in a just manner.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Rise of American and Continental Pentecostalism II, Part 18 of 22

Frank Bartleman[1] was likewise profoundly impacted by the Welsh holiness revival on his journey to becoming an Apostle of Pentecostalism.  He was born to a Quaker mother and adopted the Gospel of Wealth form of pseudo-Christianity, a form of religion dependent on Social Darwinism.[2]  Further, the movement possessed similarites to the Word of Faith doctrine that all believers should be rich, an idea expounded in the preaching of Russell Conwell, “author of the gospel of wealth classic, Acres of Diamonds.”[3]  Conwell baptized Bartleman and licensed him to preach, at which time Bartleman “decided to ‘trust God’ for his body.  A lifelong devotion to the doctrine of divine healing followed,”[4] although Bartleman was, “in his own words . . . a ‘life-long semi-invalid[,]’ who ‘always lived with death looking over my shoulder’”[5]  and lived in “poor health to the end.”[6]  Furthermore, as an unregenerate person, Bartleman was able to reject the Trinity and the true gospel by working with and accepting the modalism and works-salvation of the Oneness Pentecostal movement, becoming an important leader in the “Jesus-only” heresy shortly after it began.[7]  Nevertheless, Bartleman, “[s]tirred by the revival in Wales in 1904 . . . quickly became part of the Azusa Street meetings and the new movement.”[8]  After hearing F. B. Meyer testify to the marvels going on in Wales through the work of Evan Roberts—a work which Meyer associated with the presence of the miraculous gifts of 1 Corinthians 12,[9] where tongues are included—Bartleman’s heart was passionately stirred to see the same marvels take place in Los Angeles also.  He read chronicles of the Welsh holiness revival and began to distribute many thousands of copies of such works, which were used to “spread the fire in the churches wonderfully.”  He “spoke . . . on the revival in Wales” in religious organizations such as the “Friends Church” and other congregations committed to the Higher Life continuationism.[10]  He also received the ability to prophecy from supernatural spirits, and he “prophesied continually of a mighty outpouring” that was to come.[11]  Indeed, among those brought under the influence of Evan Roberts, the “spirit of prophecy began to work . . . on a large scale,” as people prayed for the gifts of “discernment of spirits, healing, [and] prophecy.”[12]  Through testimonies about what was going on in the Welsh holiness revival, the expectation of a soon-coming mighty restoration of all the sign gifts spread rapidly through the already very sympathetic Higher Life assemblies.  Evan Roberts and his holiness revivalism brought a widespread expectation of the restoration of all the sign gifts, including tongues.[13]  Bartleman began to correspond with Evan Roberts, exchanging letters “which linked us [in Los Angeles] up with the revival there [in Wales].”  Roberts and Bartleman rejoiced together that in Wales and Los Angeles many a “soul [was] finding its way to the White Throne.”[14]  Roberts called the prophesying, marvel-working Bartleman “[m]y dear brother in the faith” and his “comrade” in the “terrible fight” with the “kingdom of evil,” as both engaged in the warfare with spirits described by Roberts and Penn-Lewis in War on the Saints. Following the pattern of Evan Roberts,[15] Bartleman plunged into “a constant conflict in prayer with the powers of darkness,” experienced much “Soul Travail,” was “deal[t] with . . . much also about the ‘blood,’” and learned much about “‘the fellowship of His sufferings’ in prayer,” with the result that, again following the pattern of Evan Roberts,[16] his “nerves were getting very worn.”[17]  Roberts wrote to Bartleman concerning the marvels that were taking place in Los Angeles:[18] “I was exceedingly pleased to learn the good news of how you are beginning to experience wonderful things.”[19] A vision of a being that Bartleman and another wonder-worker thought was Jesus Christ confirmed that an outpouring was going to come.[20]  “Slowly but surely the conviction is coming upon the saints of Southern California that God is going to pour out His Spirit here as in Wales. . . . Wales will not long stand alone in this glorious triumph . . . ‘Pentecost’ is knocking at our doors . . . in the very near future . . . a deluge . . . will sweep all before it.”[21]  Although the Lord Jesus repeatedly warned:  “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,”[22] nonetheless, while working with Smale at the New Testament Church, where both men were charter members,[23] in February 1906 Bartleman began to “ask the Lord to pour out His Spirit speedily, with ‘signs following.’”[24]  It became evident what was coming:  “A final call, a world-wide Revival.  Then judgment upon the whole world.  Some tremendous event is about to transpire.”[25]  “It was into this charged atmosphere that Seymour came, early in 1906.  In his first sermon . . . he preached on Acts 2:4,” declaring that the initial evidence of Spirit baptism was speaking in tongues to those who already believed that tongues were “one of the gifts that were to be poured out upon sanctified believers”[26] because of Higher Life continuationism and the Welsh holiness revival.  The soil was ripe.  Very shortly thereafter tongues—or at least gibberish claiming to be tongues[27]—had broken out in Los Angeles.  “Sunday Morning, April 15, [at] the New Testament Church . . . [a] colored sister was there and spoke in ‘tongues.’ . . . It seemed like Pentecostal ‘signs.’ . . . [A] few nights before, April 9,” at a “little cottage on Bonnie Brae Street . . . the Spirit had fallen” and a “number had spoken in ‘tongues.’ . . . The pioneers had broken through, for the multitude to follow.”[28]  The spiritual warfare taught and modeled by Roberts and Penn-Lewis had come to its fructifying point.  “Demons are being cast out, the sick healed, many blessedly saved, restored, and baptized with the Holy Ghost and power.”[29]  The Power behind the marvels of the Welsh holiness Revival had moved into Los Angeles. The signs that had been sought for had come.  The Welsh holiness revival had given birth:  the world-wide Pentecostal movement had come forth in Los Angeles.
Pentecostal pioneers, influenced by the Welsh holiness revival to the restoration of tongues, rapidly spread Pentecostalism from Asusa Street in Los Angeles, California to the rest of the world.[30]  Hence, the spirits that authored the confused Welsh meetings brought not only the babbling alleged to be the restored gift of tongues but also many other heretical doctrines and practices found at Asusa Street and in budding Pentecostalism.[31]  British Israelism, the partial-Rapture theory,[32] modalism, and practices such as unmarried men and women kissing each other, all accompanied with many supernatural marvels, were blazed abroad everywhere.[33]  Bartleman and Smale[34] were not by any means exceptional in their transition from Welsh holiness revival and Keswick influences into Pentecostalism; vast numbers of men in Higher Life and “holiness leadership . . . promptly took places of leadership in the pentecostal revival.  It was the Kings, the Tomlinsons, the Seymours, the Bartlemans, the Barrats, the Pauls, the Parhams, the Masons, the Ebys—all of the holiness movement . . . that dominated the pentecostal revival’s formative years.”[35]  Throughout the American “south . . . there were significant shifts of groups of holiness churches to the new movement . . . other holiness bodies were also affected.”[36]  First in Los Angeles,[37] and then in the rest of the world, huge numbers of Higher Life churches and individuals moved into Pentecostalism.  For example, all but three members of the Southern Florida Holiness Association became Pentecostals in the Church of God, and their camp meeting became a Pentecostal center, while all the Nazarene churches in Florida, except one, turned Pentecostal.[38]  Entire Higher Life denominations, such as the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Fire Baptized Holiness Church, the Church of God, the United Holy Church of America, and the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church, entered the charismatic fold wholesale after receiving the strange fire arising from Asusa Street.  The majority of the Church of God in Christ turned Pentecostal after its leader became a charismatic at Asusa Street.[39]  “Most important for the rapid dissemination of the Pentecostal message was its propagation at convocations of Holiness people gathered from all across the nation and around the world. . . . From these places the Pentecostal evangel was carried . . . back to the innumerable religious groups and locals from which they came. . . . Initially, the use of Holiness resources and institutions was of enormous, perhaps crucial, significance for spreading the Pentecostal movement.”[40]  The supernatural spirits that led Evan Roberts throughout the Welsh holiness revival unleashed an incalculable impact on the United States and the rest of the world through the rise of worldwide Pentecostalism.  As people came from all over the world to see the marvels in the work of Evan Roberts, and took from Wales the same strange fire to their own countries, so people came to Asusa Street from across America and from other continents, and took the Pentecostal fire with them.[41]  Returning home, they brought countless others, especially those already prepared for Pentecostalism by the continuationism of Keswick and the Higher Life theology, into the Pentecostal fold.[42]  “The Welsh Revival” was “the last ‘gap’ across which the latest sparks of the holiness enthusiasm leapt igniting the Pentecostal movement.”[43]  Pentecostalism was the true child and heir of the Welsh holiness revival work of Evan Roberts.  It is historically certain that the “world-wide . . . Pentecostal . . . revival was rocked in the cradle of little Wales . . . becoming full grown in Los Angeles.”[44]

[1]              Bartleman’s book is the “only extant narrative by a participant in the April 1906 events” associated with the founding of the worldwide Pentecostal movement in Los Angeles (pg. 49, A Theology of the Holy Spirit:  The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness, Frederick Dale Bruner.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1970).
[2]              Pg. 31, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Mapes Anderson.
[3]              Pg. xii, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  While Paul defined preaching the gospel as proclaiming the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and salvation for sinners through faith in Him (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), the Gospel of Wealth preached a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).  “Exhorting his audiences—who paid for admission—Conwell, in his ‘Acres of Diamonds’ address, said: ‘I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich . . .  to make money honestly is to preach the gospel’” (pg. 174, Who’s Who in Christian History, ed. Douglas & Comfort).  Conwell may have held to the true gospel; but his writings and sermons are either entirely devoid of it or almost entirely so.  If he believed in it at all, he failed to preach it with anything close to the clarity with which he preached the need to get rich.
[4]              Pg. xii, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[5]              Pg. xii, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  Bartleman’s father, in keeping with his Roman Catholicism, was also a continuationist.  Despite Bartleman’s belief in the Faith Cure, he wrote in 1925:  “My health had been poor, from a child” (pg. 1, Ibid.  Bartleman’s grammar leaves not a little to be desired throughout his book.)  Nor was Bartleman able to heal his own child, who tragically died in 1905 (pg. xv, Ibid).  As well, despite Romans 13, Bartleman “occasionally ran afoul of the law” for regularly creating what was essentially Christian graffiti (pg. xiv, Ibid)—if one can call law-breaking and producing graffiti Christian, which is very highly dubious.
[6]              Pg. xxiii-xxiv, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  “Frank Bartleman, like Parham, was afflicted with ailments from infancy:  gastric fever, double vision, varicose veins, frequent toothaches, and almost daily sick headaches and dyspepsia” (pg. 102, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson; quote marks in the original source, Bartleman’s From Plow to Pulpit:  From Maine to California, pgs. 6-12, have been removed).
[7]              Pg. xxii, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[8]              Pg. 74, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan.
[9]              Pg. 172, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
[10]            Pg. 29, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[11]            Pgs. 7-12, 19, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[12]            Pg. 19, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[13]            See pgs. 63-68, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[14]            Pg. 33, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  Since only the damned, not the saved, will be judged at the White Throne judgment recorded in Revelation 20, many souls appearing before the White Throne would also be something that would cause Satan and his demons to rejoice—if anything can cause them to rejoice.
[15]            E. g., pg. 22, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[16]            “I can sympathize with Evan Roberts’ nervous breakdown, after the revival in Wales,” Bartleman wrote, after being forced to a period of extended rest himself from doing the same sort of work as Roberts (pg. 93, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan).
[17]            Pgs. 39-40, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  Bartleman misinterprets the passages of which he speaks, in the same way that Roberts and Penn-Lewis misinterpreted them.
[18]            It is noteworthy that Jessie Penn-Lewis’s Overcomer magazine was also being read in Los Angeles, and that “Los Angeles” was recognized as “the centre of this country [the USA] for Occultism of all kinds” (cf. pg. 2, The Overcomer, January 1910).
[19]            Pgs. 15, 22, 25, 31, 33, 64-65, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[20]            Pg. 17, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[21]            Pg. 37, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[22]            Matthew 12:39; 16:4.
[23]            Pg. 27, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[24]            Pg. 40, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[25]            Pg. 42, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[26]            Pg. 65, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[27]            Robert Anderson notes:
In the earliest years of the Pentecostal movement, the German scholar Mosiman carefully investigated many cases of Pentecostal tongues-speech . . . [n]ot once did he hear any foreign language, nor was he able to authenticate a single claim that any tongue-speaker had spoken in a language previously unknown to him. . . . [N]early every non-Pentecostal observer of tongue-speakers has recognized its non-linguistic, ‘gibberish’ character. . . . [S]tudies now completed or in progress have concluded that speaking in tongues is incoherent, repetitive syllabification having neither the form nor the structure of human speech. . . . [L]inguistic analysis of speaking in tongues . . . . [indicates that Pentecostal] tongue-speech . . . lacked all of the elements essential to any language, even a hypothetical or newly created one:  vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and a systematically related phonological-semantic structure . . . speaking in tongues bears no systematic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead[.] . . . Where it is asserted that non-Pentecostals confirmed the real linguisticality of tongue-speech, these witnesses are either unnamed, cannot be found, or are incompetent to judge.  The only reliable evidence is the growing volume of recorded tongue-speech which in every single instance flatly and unambiguously contradicts Pentecostal claims to xenoglossy . . . speaking in a language unknown to the speaker. (pgs. 16-18, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson)
Anderson discusses and provides further sources for numbers of scientific studies, not one of which gives a shred of evidence that Pentecostal “tongues” are anything other than meaningless babbling.
                It is also noteworthy, in light of the claim by modern gibberish-speakers that they are speaking a “heavenly language,” that one who was caught up to heaven and heard a real heavenly language declared under inspiration that “it is not lawful for a man to utter” on earth the heavenly speech he heard (2 Corinthians 12:4).
[28]            Pgs. 42-43, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  The fanactical meetings were held at the Bonnie Brae Street cottage before the Azusa Street location was acquired.
[29]            Pg. 64, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[30]            Compare the description on pgs. 71ff., Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[31]            E. g., a well-documented summary of some of the extremely numerous, bizarre, and stomach-turning heresies of Parham, Seymour’s mentor, covers pgs. 83-89 of Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[32]            Many early Pentecostals taught that “the Pentecostal movement was ‘the Bridal call’ and that only those who accepted it would be taken up in the Rapture and receive high rewards in the coming Kingdom, while those who rejected it would suffer the terrors of the Tribulation and hold positions subordinate to the Pentecostals in the Millennium” (pg. 148, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson).
[33]            Pg. 23, cf. 199, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger; pg. 69, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[34]            See pgs. 23, 27, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.
[35]            Pg. 75, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan.
[36]            Pg. 75, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan.
[37]            Pg. 71, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson, describes the torrent of members of Higher Life churches and workers in Holiness associations turning to Pentecostalism in Los Angeles, while whole Holiness churches closed their doors and moved to Azusa Street with their congregations or adopted Pentecostalism where they were.
[38]            Pg. 75, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan.
[39]            Pgs. xix-xx, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan
[40]            Pgs. 73-75, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[41]            Pgs. 149, 159, 178-179, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.  Nonetheless, Pentecostal missionaries had to learn the languages of the foreign peoples they sought to reach (pg. 178, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan), as the gibber-jabber of tongues were not real languages, as were the tongues on Pentecost (Acts 2).
[42]            Pgs. xix-xxi, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.
[43]            Pg. 46, A Theology of the Holy Spirit:  The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness, Frederick Dale Bruner.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1970.
[44]            Pg. 19, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.