I will continue to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today, and how these gifts were given to the church to be used by believers throughout the generations from the time Jesus left the earth after His resurrection until He returns at His second advent. I will also continue to show that in each generation and in each century, Christians have operated in the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. The organized whore has continued to persecute believers who follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in an attempt to control, manipulate and rape the body of Jesus Christ called the church.
Hyatt writes: “The Waldenses began as a renewal movement within the Roman Catholic Church. Their vision was to see the Church renewed that it might truly reflect New Testament patterns. Rejected by the institution, however, they formed their own church which they claimed was a continuation of the early apostolic Church. (Mustin, A Complete History of the Waldenses and Their Colonies, pg. 507). Like all renewal movements, they stressed the importance of the inner, spiritual life as opposed to the outward form and ritual of the institutional church.
“Their distinctive platform included five main points. They urged the Church to return to the pure teaching of Scripture. They rejected the idea of purgatory and the infallibility of the Church. Christian laypersons were allowed to preach, and selling one’s goods and giving to the poor were acts of consecration. (Qualben, A History of the Christian Church, pg. 182).
“In 1179, considering himself a loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church, Waldo applied to church authorities for permission for his group to preach. The Pope, Innocent III, refused his request, judging them to be, not heretics, but ignorant lay people. At this juncture, Waldo was forced to choose between obedience to God and man. Choosing to obey God, he continued the work already begun. Subsequently, in 1184, Pope Lucius III excommunicated the Waldenses.
“The Waldenses searched the New Testament to find the biblical pattern for their lives and ministries. Consequently, they were open to and experienced the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church ascribes to the Waldenses ‘visions, prophecies, and spirit possession’. (Douglas, pg. 1026). Like the Cathari, the Waldenses were accused of witchcraft because of these miraculous phenomena which also became grounds for persecution by the institutional church. (Manschreck, The Occult Tradition in the Reformation, pgs. 102-104)...Divine healing was a vital aspect of their belief system…The Waldenses recognized the responsibility of both men and women to preach, to baptize, and to administer the Lord’s Supper. For them, the basis of ministry was the anointing and gifting of the Spirit rather than institutional appointment or ordination. Ministry was, therefore, open to all since it was the direct, free activity of the Holy Spirit which gave the right to bind and loose, to consecrate and bless. (Schaff vol. 5, pgs. 503-504)...Although the Waldenses were severely persecuted by the institutional church, they endured and in the sixteenth century, they identified with the Protestant Reformation. They maintained their separate identity, however, and may still be found in many parts of Italy. Although their stance on the charismata is not clear today, they were, in their beginnings, a charismatic movement. (Hyatt, “2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity”, pgs. 73-75).
“When Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517, a major rift opened in Christendom. The action was a bold challenge to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church by one who was a priest and professor of theology. Luther strongly opposed the church’s abuse of authority, particularly the selling of indulgences, a means by which the church, in exchange for money, completely forgave a person’s sin without requiring repentance. Proceeds from indulgences funded the extravagance and pomp of the church hierarchy.
“Luther had struggled long and hard over this issue and the larger issue of authority. He concluded that final authority resided with the Scriptures not the church hierarchy. Further, he concluded that salvation was by faith alone rather than by church appointed works and sacraments. This, of course, brought Luther into sharp conflict with church officials who insisted that final authority resided with the Catholic Church and that salvation was available only through the sacraments administered by those whom the church had ordained. This conflict culminated in a complete break between Luther and the Roman Catholic Church. It signaled the beginning of the Protestant Reformation…Luther has left clear evidence of his own belief in the personal and direct ministry of the Spirit…Luther also claimed the direct activity of the Holy Spirit as a source for his own authority and teaching. In one of his early writings entitled The Babylon Captivity of the Church, he assures his readers that the truth he was presenting ‘I have learned under the Spirit’s guidance’. (Martin Luther, pg. 77)
“Many of Luther’s early followers believed him to be a prophet. One of his first biographers, Johann Mathesius, mentions numerous prophecies spoken by Luther which were fulfilled. Mathesius then remarks, ‘With many sure prophecies he confirmed his doctrine.’ (Mathesius, Luthers Leben in Predigten, pg. 16). Even his friend Melancthon, at one point, referred to Luther as Elijah, saying, ‘Thus the Holy Spirit prophesied of this third Elijah, Dr. Martin Luther.’ (John Horsch, The Faith of the Swiss Brethren, pg. 16).
“Luther prayed for the healing of the sick. Luther is quoted as saying, ‘Often has it happened, and still does, that devils have been driven out in the name of Christ; also by calling on His name and prayer, the sick have be healed.’ (Gordon, 92)...The twentieth century has witnessed a new receptivity to the Holy Spirit among the spiritual children of Luther. In 1987, the International Lutheran Renewal Center coordinated an international, thirty-two member Lutheran Theological Consultation which produced Welcome, Holy Spirit, A Study of Charismatic Renewal in the Church. This study showed a marked receptivity to the charismatic dimension of the Spirit. Although it questioned certain traditional Pentecostal doctrines, it acknowledged that Pentecostals ‘have accurately perceived the Spirit’s strategy’ in that He is ‘calling believers to receive a personal outpouring of the Holy Spirit,’ and calling them to be ‘filled with the Holy Spirit in a way and to a degree that they have not done before.’ (Larry Christenson, “Lutheran Charismatics,” Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, pg. 565). (Hyatt, pgs. 77-81).
“Anabaptism began in Zurich, Switzerland, as part of the reform movement led by Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), a contemporary of Luther. A breach developed between Zwingli and two of his colleagues, Felix Manz and Conrad Grebel, when Zwingli decided to cooperate with the Zurich city council’s decree that the Mass continue to be celebrated and that the destruction of images in the churches be halted.
“This led to a complete break between Zwingli and his two colleagues who insisted on remaining true to the Scriptures in all reform efforts. For Grebel and Manz, remaining true to Scripture necessitated the immediate abolition of the Mass, the removal of all images from the churches, and the discontinuance of infant baptism. The Zurich council interpreted their stance as an affront to its authority and responded by ordering that anyone who did not have their children baptized within eight days of birth was to be banished from the region. Further, the council issued an order prohibiting the assembling of those who opposed the rite of infant baptism.
“In response to the council’s action, on January 21, 1525, Grebel and Manz, along with about twenty followers, met in Manz’s home. After corporate prayer, George Blaurock asked Grebel to baptize him. Grebel consented and then asked to be baptized by Blaurock who proceeded to baptize, not only Grebel, but the entire assembly. According to Fritz Blanke, this marks ‘the birth of the Anabaptist movement.’ (Fritz Blanke, Brothers in Christ, pg. 20). (Hyatt, pgs. 83-84)
“Because of intense persecution by both church and state, the Anabaptists often met secretly in homes, forests, or fields. There they read the Bible and prayed that the same Spirit and power that had been known by the primitive Church would come upon them. It was not unusual for the Anabaptists to dance, fall under the power, and speak in tongues. (Franklin Littell, The Origins of Sectarian Protestantism, pg. 19). The Anabaptist…ministry was the responsibility of the entire congregation. (Hyatt, pg. 85)
“Menno Simons (1496-1561), a Catholic priest in Holland, joined the Anabaptists around 1535. In 1536, he began gathering scattered Anabaptists of northern Europe into congregations. Eventually recognizing Simons as their founder, these groups later became known as Mennonites. In his Treatise on Christian Baptism, Simons is obviously not uncomfortable with the subject of speaking in tongues…Direct descendants of the Anabaptists include the Amish, Hutterite, and Mennonite churches. In addition, their free-church concept influenced Puritan Separatists, Baptists, and Quakers. Even more importantly is their charismatic influence on succeeding generations. Mennonite scholar John H. Yoder has said that Pentecostalism ‘is in our century the closest parallel to what Anabaptism was in the sixteenth.’ (Davis, Anabaptism as a Charismatic Movement, pg. 221). Anabaptism was certainly a charismatic movement.” (Hyatt, pgs. 89-90).
“Reformation ideas began to make inroads into Catholic France after 1520. These ideas found fertile soil in spite of intense persecution, and Protestantism became a force to be reckoned with in that nation. After 1560, the French Protestants became known as Huguenots, and in 1598 they were granted freedom of religion by the Edict of Nantes.
“When Louis XIV revoked this charter in 1685, severe persecution resumed. As many as 400,000 Huguenots fled to England, Prussia, Holland, South Africa, and the Carolinas in North America. Large numbers chose to remain, however, and of these, many were concentrated in the Cevennes Mountains of southern France. Because of the dynamic power of the Spirit in their midst, they became known as the French Prophets...Their firm belief in the supernatural power of God arose from their diligent searching of the New Testament and prayer. They insisted, ‘God has no where in the Scriptures concluded Himself from dispensing again the extraordinary gifts of His Spirit unto Men.’ (Michael Hamilton, The Charismatic Movement, pg. 75). Indeed, tongues, visions, prophetic utterances, and other supernatural phenomena were common in their midst…Speaking in tongues seems to have been common among the French Prophets. John Venett, who escaped to England, recalled hearing his mother speak French when under the power of the Holy Spirit. He was amazed, ‘because she never before attempted to speak a word in that language, nor has since to my knowledge, and I am certain she could not do it.’ (John Lacy, A Cry from the Desert, pg. 14).
“John Wesley was acquainted with them and showed a cautious openness to those who had fled to England. When a certain Dr. Middleton contended that since apostolic times, not a single example could be found of anyone having exercised or having pretended to exercise the gift of tongues, Wesley replied, ‘Sir, your memory fails you again…It has been heard of more than once, no further off than the days of Dauphin,’ (John Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, pg. 56), a reference to the French Prophets. (Hyatt, pgs. 93-95).
“A people called Quakers emerged in England about 1650. They preferred to be called The Friends, the popular name abbreviated from the group’s title The Religious Society of Friends. This, in turn, is derived from Jesus’ words, ‘I have called you friends’ (John 15:15). Initially, they had referred to themselves as Children of Light, to their itinerant preachers as First Publishers of Truth, and to their movement as Primitive Christianity Revived. (Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism, pg. 419) Their adversaries, however, called them Quakers, a slur first pronounced by Justice Bennet in 1650 with the intention of ridiculing their peculiar response of trembling in the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit.
“Founder of the Quakers, George Fox (1624-91), was born in Leicestershire, England…Fox’s emphasis on the reality and authority of Christ within the believer (Col. 1:27) and the Inner Light (Jn. 1:1-14) brought him into sharp conflict with the authority structure of the official church. Whereas the state church relied on outward ritual and ceremony to rule the people, Fox emphasized the responsibility of each individual to respond to the indwelling Christ of Scripture. He emphasized that the true Church consisted not of buildings, but of God’s true people. He preached against a professional, salaried ministry, declaring that authority to minister remained in Christ and expressed itself through all true believers. He proclaimed the equality of all people; therefore, he taught firmly against such practices as the use of human titles...Because of the amalgamation of the church and state, Fox’s views and practices precipitated open hostility from both ecclesiastical and civil authorities. Severe persecution erupted against the Quakers, and at one point about 50,000 were held in English prisons. Because of the squalid conditions, hundreds of these believers died while being held captive.
“Charismatic phenomena were common amongst the early Quakers. Fox’s Journal and Book of Miracles are filled with accounts of miraculous healings and other charismatic gifts. It is reported that on one occasion as Fox prayed, ‘The Lord’s power was so great that the house seemed to be shaken. When I had done, some of the professors said it was now as in the days of the apostles, when the house was shaken where they were.’ (Rufus Jones, George Fox, pg.90)…Speaking in tongues was also a common occurrence among the early Quakers. (Hyatt, pgs. 97-100).
“The Moravian Church traces its beginnings to the pre-Lutheran Reformer, John Hus (1373-1415). Hus was a professor at the University of Prague and pastor of Bethlehem Chapel, the most influential church in Prague. One hundred years before Luther, he preached justification by faith and the supreme authority of Scripture. Because his preaching infuriated the church hierarchy, he was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415.
“Zinzendorf organized the Moravians into a church body with elders and pastors and encouraged them to seek God for a gracious outpouring of His Holy Spirit…During the summer of 1727, their prayers began to be answered in a remarkable fashion. On Sunday, August 10, about noon, while Pastor Rothe was leading the meeting at Herrnhut, he was overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord and fell to the floor. The entire congregation, overwhelmed by the Spirit and presence of the Lord, then sank to the floor with him. The service continued until midnight with prayer and singing, weeping and supplication. (John Greenfield, When the Spirit Came, pg. 24). It was at this time that miraculous healings and other Spiritual gifts began to be manifest in their midst. Greenfield says, ‘Christian women and young people were filled with the Spirit and prophecied.’ (Greenfield, pg. 60). Zinzendorf says, ‘At this juncture supernatural gifts were manifested in the church and miraculous cures were wrought.’ (Gordon, Healing, pg. 67-68)…Although speaking in tongues is not mentioned per se, it did break out occasionally in the Moravian meetings. (Hyatt, pgs. 103-106).
“The Moravian Church was definitely a charismatic movement sending missionaries to different countries throughout the world because of their intense prayer which created that evangelistic desire. Dr. Warneck; historian of Protestant Missions stated, “This small Church in twenty years called into being more Missions than the whole evangelical Church has done in two centuries” (Greenfield, pg 15).
John Wesley (1703-1791) was an ordained Anglican minister who moved in the power of the Holy Ghost. He was rejected by his own church hierarchy but accepted by the masses as he preached outdoors where multitudes were converted. During his meetings the Spirit of God confirmed the Word being preached with healings, deliverances, falling, trembling, speaking in tongues, roaring, crying, laughing, etc. John and his brother Charles are credited with founding a group who became the Methodists for their methodical style of seeking God. Every evening from six to nine, they met for prayer and Bible study. On Wednesdays and Fridays they fasted and once per week they partook of communion. For further information of John Wesley’s ministry please read, Journal, Curnack; The Works of John Wesley, John Wesley; Spirit Baptism and Spiritual Gifts in Early Methodism, William R. Davies; The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States, Vinson Synan.
Jonathan Edwards was used of God in Colonial America’s Great Awakening when the nation and church was in moral and spiritual decline with no evidence of the power of God. It was at this time that Edwards preached the famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. People repented in droves. But the real power was not in the sermon alone, but in the prayer life of Edwards. Edwards spent whole days and weeks in prayer, even spending as much as eighteen hours in prayer prior to delivering his sermon.
George Whitfield (1714-1770), was an ordained Anglican minister and a friend of the Wesleys. Signs and wonders, as well as falling under the power, which Edwards refers to as fainting, accompanied Edward’s preaching. These manifestations are familiar to modern Pentecostals and Charismatics. The Great Awakening can be described as a charismatic move of God. Please read the following for more information regarding Jonathan Edward’s and George Whitfield’s ministries: Religious Enthusiasm and the Great Awakening, David S. Lovejoy; A Narrative of Surprising Conversions, Jonathan Edwards; Revivalism in America, William Sweet; George Whitfield’s Journals, George Whitfield; Change the World School of Prayer, World Literature Crusade, 1976; Lecture on “Ministry of Evangelism”, Lawrence LaCour, Oral Roberts University.
The Second Great Awakening in America occurred between 1800-1840. Once again, the nation and church were morally and spiritually bankrupt. On the east coast colleges were institutions of immorality and rebellion where students called themselves skeptics, infidels, agnostics, atheists, etc. Jonathan Edwards, who was the son-in-law of Yale’s President, Timothy Dwight, preached a series of messages on infidelity, and revival fires spread to other colleges. A Presbyterian pastor, James McGready, had his three congregations sign a covenant to pray every Saturday and Sunday morning, and pray and fast the third Saturday of each month for revival. This sparked revival meetings and camp meetings in America with people covering the floor slain in the spirit. Healings, speaking in tongues, etc., manifested in camp meetings throughout America. Please read the following books as Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists at times joined together in large camp meetings: Religion of the American Frontier, William W. Sweet; The Frontier Campmeeting, Charles A. Johnson; Holiness-Pentecostal Movement, Synan; An Autobiography, Peter Cartwright; and, A History of American Revivals, Frank G. Beardsley.
Nothing ever changes! When we meet God’s conditions, revival happens in our personal lives, homes, churches, communities and nation; a hunger and thirst for righteousness; a determination to follow the Scriptures with prayer and fasting; a tarrying for the Holy Ghost to come upon us and empower us with power and anointing; and, a daily baptism in the Holy Spirit in one’s daily time with God to be filled and led by the Spirit. In the next edition I will conclude on THE PERSONALITY CULT OF SOME PASTORS-PART 4.
© 2002 World Ministries International