|Controversy in Zion|
By George W. Southwick - Controversy in Zion For The Sake of Our Pentecostal Brethren
FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR PENTECOSTAL BRETHREN
God is moving by His Spirit,
Moving in all the earth;
Signs and wonders when God moveth,
Move, O Lord in me!
In his dynamic classic book entitled "TONGUES OF FIRE", William Arthur wrote the following words; "A religion without the Holy Ghost, though it had all the ordinances and all the doctrines of the New Testament, would certainly not be Apostolic Christianity..."
Among recent religious trends in America which has seriously altered the spiritual climate of this nation is "The GREAT CHARISMATIC RENEWAL". People within the mainline historic denominational churches almost everywhere claim Divine anointings in supernatural power.
In ever increasing numbers the very same things that brought persecution and ostracism against the ‘little flocks’ of ‘Pentecostals’ in the first part of the 1900's are now happening today. Those unusual events include ‘Divine Healing meetings’, ‘speaking in tongues’ (called Glossolalia), ‘miracle meetings’, where fervent testimonials are related concerning miraculous happenings and other supernatural demonstrations of ‘Gift Ministries’. All these and more are now common place in many of the established denominational churches.
For all these ‘happenings’, long time Pentecostals and groups are rejoicing at this amazing turn of events. Pentecostal-Full Gospel people in America are no longer suffering bitter persecution and rejection against their ‘experimental’ position of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as they once did starting almost 100 years ago. The old stigma of ‘Holy Roller’ seems to be gone for good; for which we praise the Lord!
This remarkable world-wide ‘move of God’ is now vindicating the BIBLICAL AND APOSTOLIC PENTECOSTAL EXPERIENCE and proves that investigation of Holy Scripture will bring to light hidden truth no matter how deeply buried away from sight.
Church history constantly has revealed that the ‘Spirit of Truth’ will remove the darkness and power of spiritual ignorance and break the bondage of the human will into a state of glorious liberty. That ‘Spirit of Truth’ always destroys the captivating wand of the Babylonian Enchantress and thus freeing the Lord’s people; enabling them to ‘follow on to know the Lord.’
How wonderful in these ‘Last Days’ to know, believe, see and experience things long ‘lost’ to God’s people who are the ‘Sheep of His Pasture’, to whom these promises are now being restored. Every Christian should know the Lord cannot be arrested in His work regardless of individual opposition and rejection. Yet the sad fact remains, many fine Christian people have gone into their graves since the end of the 19th Century, having ‘lost out’ in refusing to believe and receive the blessings of this ‘latter rain’ outpouring upon Western Christianity and our American Nation!
THE WOLF AND THE SHEEP
Since this message is addressed directly to PENTECOSTAL PEOPLE, we point out a most vital and dynamic revelation from the mind of God that has been ‘lost’ to our now highly organized PENTECOSTAL DENOMINATIONS.
The late Pastor Charles G. Weston once said to me, "THE SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE IS NOT THE BIBLE THE HOLY SPIRIT GAVE TO US..."
The Scofield Bible contains the ideas and the interpretations of men in marginal comments on the same page as Holy Writ. It is the Holy Spirit who is the interpreter of the WORD. Not mortal man.
The marginal comments are only the interpretations, ideas, beliefs and teachings of Dr. C. I. Scofield. THEY ARE NOT THAT WHICH IS GOD-BREATHED FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD.
Now, at present a great and frightful wonder has ‘happened’. A large number of Pentecostal evangelist and television preachers have published Bibles with their own names and notes on them.
It is very obvious that Pentecostals have forsaken the wisdom of the past and have been misled far afield. The DISPENSATIONAL interpretation of Holy Scripture has taken hold in the evangelical world. The Plymouth Brethren teaching of DISPENSATIONALISM is the ‘Wolf’ and Pentecostalism is the ‘Sheep’!
We cannot be silent in the face of this great evil which has been committed against our brethren! A friend called telling me of a television preacher asking 13 well-known ministers the following question: What is the greatest thing in Prophecy today?
Twelve ministers responded by saying: ‘The manifestation of the Israeli state in 1948'. Only one minister responded by saying: ‘The greatest thing in Prophecy is the ‘Deception’ in every facet of our lives! Revelation chapter 12 states that fact!’ To be explicitly honest we must ask ourselves two questions. 1) Have we correctly interpreted Prophecy? 2) Could it be possible that a movement of makers and shakers have embraced error?
As a whole the Pentecostal movement has become a Prophetic ‘cult’ and the rapture teaching is the lollipop! This is why the Lord is now raising up anointed men to speak the truth in love as to our early beginnings. Multitudes of good and sincere Pentecostal believers are in total darkness concerning these things. Our desire is to reach believers who love Holy Spirit inspired revelation and hate the darkness of ignorance. The great need of the modern day church is for saints who will turn to light when it is shined upon their pathway.
We are firmly convinced that Holy Spirit filled, led and taught Pentecostal people are capable of believing the greatest truths from out of the Word of God because of ‘the Anointing’ I John 2:26-27.
Someone has said concerning error...
"An error no wider than a hair will lead a hundred miles from the goal". And again, "Heresy is the leprosy of the head."
It was Martin Luther who said: "Proper understanding of the Scriptures comes only through the Holy Spirit". Andrew Murray said, "As all the Word of God is given by the Spirit of God, so each word must be interpreted to us by the same Spirit."
I have learned in more than sixty years of Christian ministry that it is not controversy we have to dread as much as the spirit of controversy. I have learned that the worse thing we can bring to a religious controversy is anger because it is only one letter from danger. We beseech you brethren...LISTEN!
Time has proven that Pentecostalism as a movement generally has stumbled at cardinal questions and fumbled at points which are extremely critical. It has not come to grips with all the issues involved. As a result, ominous rumblings of underground tremors are now distinctly heard by ‘Him who hath an ear to hear what the Spirit saith to the churches’. Let it be known far and wide that religious ‘booms’ always turn out in the end to be spiritual ‘busts’ causing embarrassment and egg on the face.
What great truth has been lost to the vast majority of present day Pentecostal saints! We speak of the Anglo-Israel message which is now spreading among American Christian people. This ‘revelation knowledge’ is just as much a work of the Holy Spirit as any other ‘move of God’. Most of our modern second and third generational Pentecostal people do not know that the Anglo-Israel message is a heritage of theirs from out of the past.
It is true that a number of early pioneer Pentecostal preachers, who had great influence upon the movement in its early beginnings, who are now looked upon with great respect, were committed believers in the Anglo-Israel message of the Holy Scriptures.
This historical insight comes as a terrible shock to many Pentecostals, especially the modern stereotyped preachers, regardless of their respective Bible College training, who are all made from the same mold. These are the ones who seemingly ‘with one accord’ bitterly denounce the Anglo-Israel truth as a most pernicious and devilish doctrine. These same stereotyped ‘scholars’ denounce in the most bitter terms those who advocate this prophetic interpretation as members of the Protestant underworld! All the while these rapture chasers are in complete ignorance to the fact the Anglo-Israel message was preached, believed and advocated in the Pentecostal past!
How have the mighty fallen! What wisdom and blessing have been lost! One of the greatest sermons of the late Aimee Semple McPherson was, "Lost and Restored". She pointed out that great things from Apostolic days were lost during the last 2,000 years, but are now being restored to the people of God in these latter days.
CHARLES F. PARHAM
In any historical study of the whole Pentecostal movement, the very first name that comes into view is that of Rev. Charles F. Parham. Regardless of the credit he receives or does not receive for the genesis of the movement; did you know that he was an earnest believer and a strong advocate of the Anglo-Israel message of the Bible? Here was a man with a challenging message coupled with a passion for spiritual truth.
The following are the opening and closing paragraphs of an article authored by Rev. Parham which appeared in the APOSTOLIC FAITH MAGAZINE for July 1927. The article is entitled, "THE TEN LOST TRIBES." Brother Parham writes:
"I want to write a short sketch to introduce to our readers one of the most important topics of the day, commonly known as Anglo-Israel, or The Ten Lost Tribes. I do not think that any Full Gospel preacher ought to longer delay in acquainting himself with this subject as I believe it belongs with the Full Gospel Message and that the message of the last days must include this subject or we are not preaching the Full Gospel.
"Now, if the reader will carefully read Jacob’s blessings upon his children for the last days, and all the prophecies concerning Israel in the Old Testament, knowing they refer to the above named nations (ie: Anglo-Saxondom) and belong to us as a people, (ie: Protestants) the Old Testament will become a new book to you full of vital importance and interest."
READER HARRIS AND D.H. MACMILLAN
Two outstanding men in great Britain were Reader Harris, K.C. and the late Commander D. H. MacMillan. Both men were Pentecostal in belief, experience and practice, yet very active in the Anglo-Israel Movement. Both held official positions and their writings are still available. Greatly respected and beloved by British Pentecostals, neither of these men could be accused of being unbalanced or fanatical. Brother Harris was a well known King’s Counselor and Brother MacMillan and his wife were ordained ministers in one of Great Britian’s active Pentecostal Churches. Keep in mind these good men, my fellow Pentecostal Kingdom believer, the next time you are given "cold shoulder and bitter tongue" from your fellows, because of your belief in this Israel message.
GEORGE AND STEPHEN JEFFREYS
Another name which will always be high on the honor roll of Pentecostal Evangelists and churchmen of Great Britain is that of the late beloved Principal George Jeffreys. He was the founder of the Elim Foursquare Alliance, one of the largest Pentecostal groups in Great Britain. (Somewhat comparable to the Foursquare Gospel Church in America.) Subsequently, Principal Jeffreys was instrumental in founding the Bible Pattern Church Fellowship. This group came forth because of a desire of many to return to Local Church Order as they saw it in the New Testament. No man in modern times, up to Billy Graham, ever spoke to larger crowds than did this great evangelist, Principal George Jeffreys. He filled the greatest halls and auditoriums in Great Britain. Upon his death, tributes came from all over the world, especially from Pentecostal leaders. They all gave high honor to this man as an outstanding leader and preacher among Pentecostals.
What is significant to Pentecostal believers is that Pastor George Jeffreys was a strong committed believer in the Anglo-Israel message. He gave outstanding witness to this truth all through his ministry of many years. Students who attended the Bible College which his church started were told the truth on this vital matter. What can we say to these things?
One article by Brother Jeffreys, which was given wide circulation is called, "THREE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT." In this message he tells us that there are only three schools of Bible interpretation concerning Israel.
1. That the Jews are all Israel (which is commonly known as Dispensationalism. It is advocated by the Scofield Bible. American Pentecostalism is saturated and smothered by this viewpoint.)
2. That the Church is the inheritor of the promises made to Israel and therefore Israel and the Church are interlocked. This is known as "spiritualizing" and it is the historic view of the Reformers. Most of the old line denominations hold to this view.
3. That the Anglo-Saxon and kindred people of Western Europe are literally the Israel people of the Bible. (The Ten Lost Tribes who are restored in the "latter days" and "redeemed" as a result of the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that all the history and prophecy of the Bible bears this out.) Principal George Jeffreys leaves no doubt in the readers mind as to his confirmed belief in this third position of Bible interpretation. (See tract #43)
Principal George Jeffreys’ brother, Stephen Jeffreys, was also a committed believer in the Anglo-Israel message. He too was a Pentecostal pioneer who was active in the proclamation of divine healing until his death in 1941.
Isn’t it strange that our Pentecostal brethren from all groups are supremely proud of this great man of God but bitterly denounce what he lovingly believed? Somehow Pentecostal preachers, especially in America have failed to "catch the flame" in getting in their hearts and heads the message of the identification of God’s true Israel people, which he gave under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We can only say, surely "an enemy hath done this."
F.F. BOSWORTH AND JOHN A. DOWIE
Let us return to America, where we pick up the name of Evangelist F.F. Bosworth. This man died a most triumphant death in January 1958 at age eighty-one. He also was dearly beloved by all Pentecostals. Brother Bosworth was active in the Assemblies of God in its early days. Later he joined with the Christian and Missionary Alliance where his name remained until his death. In experience he was fully Pentecostal. Let us now look at a few outstanding things about this great man of God.
First, let us remember him as an evangelist, for that is the title he used, Evangelist F.F. Bosworth. He will ever be remembered as one of America’s greatest. When we think of Finney, Moody, Torrey, Sunday, Beiderwolf, don’t omit the name of Bosworth. Multiplied thousands heard him preach. His sermons were superb. We can only hope that some day someone will have the vision to republish his sermons in a book. They would be comparable to his supreme effort – "Christ the Healer." This is acclaimed by many as the greatest book on Divine healing ever written. It has been republished by Oral Roberts’ Abundant Life Ministry, for this many are grateful. Sermons like these should never die or fade away. Evangelist Bosworth’s book, "Christ the Healer" is considered a classic on divine healing.
Second, let us remember Brother Bosworth as a pioneer in the Divine Healing Ministry we hear so much about today. Long before such names as Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, Gordon Lindsay, Kathryn Kuhlman and many more were ever heard of, Evangelist Bosworth was receiving great persecution for his firm stand on this subject. His early years were with John Alexander Dowie of Zion, Illinois (who also was a believer in the Anglo-Israel truth). Evangelist Bosworth greatly helped make it possible for men and women today to get the large receptive audiences that come to hear the message of salvation and divine healing.
Third, Let us remember Brother Bosworth as a missionary statesman. The latter years of his life were spent in world travel. One prominent evangelist he traveled with was the late William Branham of Jeffersonville, Indiana. Brother Branham was a gifted man and well known in all Pentecostal circles. Together they visited many nations with a message of salvation and healing with Apostolic ‘signs’ following.
Fourth, and most important was Brother Bosworth’s knowledge of the fact that the Anglo-Saxon and related people are the direct literal descendants of ancient Israel and his lifelong contributions to spreading this great truth. His radio ministry in Chicago will long be remembered by thousands in the middle west who first learned about this Bible truth through him. His presentation of this great truth was so profound and Biblical that it stands as a witness to this very day.
To give some idea and insight into his study habits, it was only after a thorough investigation, taking him through 100 books, would he openly commit himself on the Anglo-Israel subject. He never "jumped off the deep end" on this matter. As a lasting contribution to the Anglo-Israel belief, Brother Bosworth has left on hand a booklet called, "The Bible Distinction Between the House of Israel and the House of Judah". At least eight printers have published it, totaling over 100,000 copies. This is a conservative estimate and is no little accomplishment for such a booklet. (See tract #41)
He also published another booklet, which is now unfortunately out of print, which shows his grasp of the Prophetic Word. This was called, "The Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks." In this brief, Brother Bosworth showed, not only his ability to properly interpret prophecy, but also his knowledge of the history of prophetic interpretation. Needless to say, he showed that the prophecy of "the seventy weeks nation" has long been fulfilled and that the "gap" or "Parenthesis" theory is totally without foundation in the Holy Scriptures. He also tells us this theory is without support in the teachings of the Church until comparatively recent times.
F.F. Bosworth maintained this same position on Prophecy to his triumphant home going. Evangelist Bosworth was a personal friend with Rev. Charles O. Benham, who also strongly believed the Christian Anglo-Israel message of the Bible. Rev. Benham was a very prominent Pentecostal pioneer who blazed the Gospel message of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and divine healing. (See tract #48)
Now, dear Pentecostal friends, after this enlightening and breathtaking trip – please don’t be so conceited as to think you have all the truth. Why are you so frightened when someone identifies the Anglo-Israel nations of Western Europe and North America as the TEN LOST TRIBES? You ought to rejoice! How true it is, the human heart "draws back" in fear of the unknown (especially along spiritual lines). Is it not true that a screech owl hooting in the dead of night has often alarmed someone into a state of complete consternation? A pip-squeaking church-mouse will often strike as much terror in some human heart as the roar of a mighty lion!
My dear Pentecostal preacher friend, are you fearful this message will tip over your offering basket? Perish the thought. The Lord commands, "preach the preaching I bid thee!" We are called to obey, not to organize. Why do you so persistently reject a truth which the Holy Spirit so faithfully revealed to these men of God? It was the fact that God was true to His Covenant promises to Abraham that made these men such examples of faith and fortitude by which they accomplished so much for the Kingdom.
Isn’t it somewhat presumptuous for you to turn up your heels and kick out at some teaching you have never really examined? I pray you will listen with both ears before you judge! Why not pray about this matter in all seriousness that the Holy Spirit would enlighten your understanding? It is much too late in the day to reject this truth, which will not only make a new Bible unto you, but make a new preacher of you as well. Understanding the Anglo- Israel message will show the way out of a terrible confusion existing in our nation and in the whole world.
My Pentecostal friend, has it ever occurred to you that you have accepted a false premise advocated by Pentecostalism’s worst enemies, the advocates of DISPENSATIONALISM? Futurism is a false interpretation of prophecy and you are caught in its net. Open the Word of God, my friend, and let the Spirit of God deliver you. You are believing a false expectancy which will never be realized. Then where will your faith be? I challenge you to seriously make this a matter of prayer and study. Tell the Lord you are willing to have your eyes opened and that you will be willing to take your ‘place’ with the truth and not "hold the truth in unrighteousness" Romans 1:18.
We could name several outstanding evangelists and preachers who were and are silent believers in this Anglo-Israel truth. Many pastors could also be named, but for fear of opposition they have chosen to remain silent. What will be their end?
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"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"
MAYNARD G. JAMES