www.pentecostalcontinuing.org - Gt Pentecostal Movements 1&2
PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH CONTINUING - Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set
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Written in 2007-08
(2013 comments written in brown
2013 Note: The Links were active in 2008 but may not be today!)
 
The Truth about the
Once Great Pentecostal Movements
Introduction, Contents, Parts 1 & 2
 
Assemblies of God GB & Ireland
 
 
ELIM
APOSTOLIC (formerly of Wales)
 
 Once Great Pentecostal Movements now becoming Egyptian Gnostic Cults
 
David P Griffiths  shows the need for a "Continuing" Church
 
A Network for those called of God to continue the work of the Great Pentecostal Pioneers like Smith Wigglesworth, Charles Harthern, Howard Carter, George Jeffreys and D P Williams
 
 
This work honours the founders of these once great movements with a heart for once more seeing these movements brought back to the sound doctrines and practices of their called of God founders
 
Introduction
 
Praise the Lord! This work has been on my heart for many, many years. It is a startling revelation of how within one hundred years once great movements should move from being powerhouses of God to being centres of filthy rags, bound to contemporary culture and despicable “Bible translations” that even deny the deity of our Precious Lord Jesus!
 
We are called to form a network of Continuing Churches to continue from the pure beginnings, the ancient landmark of holiness and Pentecostal Power.
 
I believe too that God would have us take back each and every one of these movements and place them in the hands of those sold out to the original vision.
 
Yes, in 2013 we remain committed to this, God leading us to restore the historic Bible College of Wales which will give firm ministry training to those led to take these movements back.
 
Contents
 
Part 1:  History of the Movements   
Assemblies of God U.K. & Ireland            
Elim                                                               
Apostolic (Wales)                                        
 
Part 2: Where it all went wrong       
Textual Criticism                                         
I. What is textual criticism?                       
II. Assemblies of God warning 1924        
III. Petts present day example         
Who is Petts?                                                       
Petts three points                                        
Petts arguments                                          
 
A. The Major NT Texts                          
R.T. France                                                  
The Differences                                           
 
B. A Discussion of
Major NT Themes                                   
Quotes from Jeffreys, McCrossan,
Murray, A.B. Simpson, Bosworth             
 
C. Difficulties with the doctrine
And a proposed modification             
 
Part 3: Gnostic Belief System
With a new “Bible”                                
 
I. Textual Critics Westcott & Hort           
First Belief: Westcott = Anti –preacher  
Second Belief: God’s Word changes        
Third Belief: Roman Catholic                   
Apostolics in Inverness now hip hopping
Slow dancing embracers of Catholic
Manuscripts                                                 
Fourth Belief: Lack of Faith                      
Fifth Belief: Anti Evangelical                    
Sixth Belief: Pro Darwin                            
Seventh Belief: Christ Bearing Our Sins
A Heresy                                                       
Eighth Belief: Protestantism Temporary
Ninth Belief: Blasphemers towards the
Real Word                                                    
Tenth Belief: New “Original Greek”
Contrary to Nicene Creed                          
 
II. Egyptian Gnostic Background    
Elim’s Toronto                                             
Smith Wigglesworth to Alpha
Comparison                                                  
The Root of Gnosticism 
Egyptian Thoth at Elim Bible College                            
Greek Hermes in theological institutions
Counterfeit love that tolerates                  
Jesus reduced to being a mere “he”         
Haven for Gnostic devils                            
“New form” of Christianity                        
Pentecostal movements now cults           
Pentecostal movements new “Bibles” in
Agreement with Egyptian J.W. belief      
 
Pentecostal movements new doctrines
Based on “new translations               
Doctrine 1 – Jesus now “a god”                
Doctrine 2 – God did not manifest           
Doctrine 3 – Joseph was Jesus father     
Doctrine 4 - Made "through him"
Doctrine 5 – Jesus not to be worshipped
Pentecostal movements embracing
Arianism                                                       
Nicene Creed comparison                         
 
Further evidence of a new “Jesus” 
Title 1: The Capstone                                  
Title 2:The Morning Star for Lucifer too!        
 
Part 4: The Way Forward: A Return to the Real Book & Standing on its promises …..
                                                                       
I. Assemblies of God Statement of Faith Examination                                           
Major Major Problem: Petts rejects that Matthew 8:17 teaches that healing is in the atonement p.79
 
II. Elim Fundamental Truths Examination
                                                                       
Man of One Book                                        
Bible College with no Bible!                      
Healing Missing!                                         
 
III. The Apostolic Church Tenets Examination
followed by the Way Forward                                        
 
 
Part 1:  History of the Movements                                     
                                             
1)     Assemblies of God G.B. & Ireland
 
In 1924 the A.O.G. of the USA came into being responding to the call of God to form networks after the Azusa Street Revival, Los Angeles.
 
In UK Charles Harthern, Donald Gee and Howard Carter were early pioneers of this movement, the doctrinal base being firmly established at this time.
 
In the A.O.G. Redemption Tidings of July 1924 Smith Wigglesworth declared the following:
 
i)                The power of Pentecost as it came at first came to loose men. God wants us free on every line. Men or women are tired of imitations; they want reality; they want to see people who have the living Christ within, and are filled with Holy Ghost power.
 
ii)            Our Christ is risen. He is a living Christ who indwells us. We must not have this truth merely as a theory, Christ must be risen in us by the power of the Spirit. The power that raised him from the dead must animate us, and as this glorious resurrection power surges through your being, you will be freed from your weaknesses and you will become strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.
 
iii)         I believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the speaking of tongues, and I believe that every man that is baptized in the Holy Ghost will speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives him utterance. I believe in the Holy Ghost. And if you are filled with the Spirit you will be superabounding in life – living waters will flow from you.
 
2)     Elim
 
Albert Edsor in his great book to the Elim Movement ‘Set Your House In Order’ sensitively deals with the humble origins of the Elim Movement operating as the Elim Evangelistic Band from 1915.
 
Part 2 of this presentation is very significant for it gives a complete outline as to why Elim is so different today from its landmark roots of 1915. Elim’s founder George Jeffreys is described as “A Man of the Book”.
 
2013- the only way for true unity within Elim is a return to the landmark with the higher critics, Toronto/Lakeland Brigade leaving unless they repent of the rebellion and destruction they have caused.
 
Edsor refers to E.C.W. Boulton’s reference to early meetings at Clapham. At one time the Hammer of the Word is brought with crushing and irresistible force upon empty profession, and at another the Word is opened up in such a marvellous way that heights of attainment, hitherto deemed impossible, have been made plain to many a longing heart, and never without results. Conversions, healings, and baptisms in the Holy Spirit have followed at every meeting. Souls have been saved even at the open-air meetings. The large hall at the rear of the building is frequently filled and sometime overcrowded with anxious souls. Edsor: Set Your House In Order p. 38
 
Edsor reports Jeffrey’s passion for the Foursquare Gospel of Christ Jesus: Saviour, Healer, Baptizer in the Holy Ghost and Coming King. P.42.
 
The most significant sentence in the whole of the book which differentiates the Elim of yesterday to the Elim of today is as follows:
 
 
He was a man of one Book – The Authorised Version of the Bible, which he loved and treasured and from which he derived great spiritual strength.
 
3)     Apostolic (formerly of Wales)
 
The Apostolic Church was a group that formed as a result of the Welsh Revival in PenyGroes, North of Swansea. An early attender who later became leader was D.P. Williams. He had been saved in the Revival on 25 December 1904, hands being laid upon him by Revivalist Evan Roberts.
 
 
Having a sound doctrinal base was regarded as very important to these Apostolic Pioneers. This covered the areas of Conviction of sin, Repentance, Restitution and Confession; Justification and Sanctification; The Baptism of the Holy Ghost, with the sign of New Tongues; Divine Healing for the body; The Blood of Jesus. Pleading and Sprinkling; the Gifts of the Holy Ghost; Eternal Punishment for the Unbelieving; The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; The Millennium Reign; Tithes and Offerings; Ordinances. Water Baptism by Immersion, The Lord's Supper. Fellowship and Breaking of Bread; The Divine Inspiration, authority and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures; The Unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of the Persons therein; The utter depravity of human nature in consequence of the Fall; The Incarnation and Virgin-Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and His work of Atonement for all sinners of the human race; The immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the quick and the dead; the eternal blessedness of the righteous, and the eternal punishment of the wicked.
 
28 December 2010: Early Apostolic Bible College Notes have just been handed to my colleague Rev Dr David M Owen in South Wales showing an early Apostolic stand on the Co-Existent/Co-Equal Godhead - a doctrine seemingly denied today by the New Apostolics.
 
2013 - The clear move away from conviction preaching to appeasing the modern flesh of congregations has seen a once great holiness institution turn into a playground for devils that even at the time of writing 2007 - included rave nights in the valleys!!!!!!!
 
The Apostolic Church has enjoyed many converts coming to the Lord including the internationally known Evangelist Luis Palau who at the 1980 Convention at PenyGroes expressed his thanks to the Church.
 
 
Part 2:  Where it all went wrong  
 
 In two words: TEXTUAL CRITICISM.
 
Proverbs 22:28 (King James Version)

Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
If there is one thing these early Pentecostal Movements had in common it was the Authorised Version of the Bible. This brought a stability and power that the new “Gnostic New Translations” cannot give and in addition to this: today’s “new translations” cannot support the God given statements of faith so passionately embraced by the Pentecostal pioneers of these once great movements.
 
          I.     What is TEXTUAL CRITICISM?
 
Wikipedia Encyclopaedia describes this practice as:
 
a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts and manuscripts. Ancient manuscripts often have errors or alterations made by scribes, who copied the manuscripts by hand. The textual critic seeks to determine the original text of a document or a collection of documents, which the critic believes to come as close as possible to a lost original (called the archetype), or some other version of a text as it existed — or was intended to exist — in the past.
 
 
The problem with this activity when it comes to God’s Word is that God has been able to perfectly preserve his Word. In addition to this God gives clear warning of the consequences of removing or adding to his precious Word. God has not required a critic to do his work for him, for the Lord shall preserve his Word for ever.
 
Psalm 12:6-7 (King James Version)

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
 
Deuteronomy 4:2 (King James Version)

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
 
Revelation 22:18 (King James Version)

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
 
Textual criticism is the practice of correcting ancient manuscripts, the most famous two critics when it comes to the “Bible” being Westcott & Hort who are seen by many as being active spiritualists.
 
We intend to prove in this presentation that AOG Elim and the Apostolics have been severely influenced by textual critics, the main culprits being Westcott and Hort.
 
2013 - this is out and out paganism and one cannot unify the holiness visions of the founders with that!
 
Westcott and Hort were founders of the Cambridge Ghost Society in 1851 according to Alan Gould in The Founders of Psychical Research.
 
"In 1851 was founded at Cambridge a Society to 'conduct a serious and earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena vaguely called supernatural,' and a number of distinguished persons became members." [Alan Gauld, The Founders of Psychical Research, NY: Schocken Books, 1968, p. 66]
 
In the Life of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, by his son, A. C. Benson, will be found, under the year 1851-2, the following paragraph:
 
'Among my father's diversions at Cambridge was the foundation of a 'Ghost Society,' the forerunner of the Psychical Society [meaning the S.P.R.] for the investigation of the supernatural. Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort were among the members. He was then, as always, more interested in psychical phenomena than he cared to admit.'
 
In 1853 Westcott and Hort, now Bishops and active spiritualists began their work to produce a corrupted Greek “original text” from evil manuscripts like Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus to be taken up later by Dr. Eberhand Nestle who followed on from the efforts of Westcott and Hort in 1898. In 1950 Kurt Aland assumed ownership of this “original Greek” and it is this “follow on” from Westcott and Hort that is now seen as the base document of all new translations, it having derived through the Alexandrian methods of Clement.
 
 
We will examine later how the original statements of belief from the once great Pentecostal denominations match up with the Authorised Version from which they are based and the “new translations” which are the product of textual criticism.
 
      II.     Assemblies of God Warning 1924
 
 
Textual Criticism or “Higher Criticism” as it is referred to here in the Assemblies of God Redemption Tidings of July 1924 is warned against right from the outset of this once great movement.
 
Points from the Article:
 
i)                Higher Criticism of Germany described as having a “swelled head” appearing in English form through Professor Peake of the University of Manchester.
 
This is the very same University Elim Bible College placed itself under in the early 1990’s, a College that from Jeffrey’s sound Authorised Version roots had descended to the decay of Egyptian Gnosticism that resulted in a mish mash of pagan, apparent Christian and philosophical thinking, the fruit of which we are seeing in all denominational “Pentecostal Ministers” who have bowed down to the system.
 
God told me to refuse the Manchester University Degree offered through Elim. I was told by God that accepting it would affect the anointing on my ministry. I am so glad I have not used the BA Honours degree. It has cost me a lot but I have kept in relationship to God, so much greater than the riches of this world.
 
2013 - One thing Elim have never done is respond to what God told me and that was to refuse their degree coming through Manchester University. At the time of joining their College it was called a Bible College and so it is fair to assume that the Bible would be the one of the founder. Instead I was greeted with a Gnostic introduction to embracing Alexandrian manuscripts presented as "Bibles."  Jesus was no longer "the begotten son" but now merely "a son of the gods."
 
This is the acceptance of my refusal from Manchester University.
 
 
 
 
Please read the testimony of Lindsay & I's 25 years of marriage to understand the context of how this all occurred ........ 
 
 
ii)            AOG warns of attack on the scriptures coming through Professor Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, one example being Isaiah 53.
 
Little would they have known in 1924 that their own once precious denomination would embrace the same Gnostic approach through Professor David Petts who regards Matthew’s reference to the Isaiah passage as an “aside” rather than part of the main text in Matthew 8!
 
iii)         “Watchman” of today regarded the same as watchmen of old!
 
How amazing this comment now refers to their own, once orthodox denomination.
 
Isaiah 56:10 (King James Version)

His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
 
iv)          Peake’s approach regarded as blasphemy. How much more so today when the same approach is embraced through the “Pentecostal Denominations”?
 
The coming example of Petts proves how textual critics are ruining the outreach of these once great movements. Redemption Tidings refers to the following scriptures:
 
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (King James Version) 
 
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  
 
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  
 
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  
 
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  
 
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
 
Revelation 18:4-5 (King James Version)

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  
 
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
 
This now relates to their own denominations which were founded under God and stolen by the god of this world who has blinded the eyes of those who now believe not.
 
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (King James Version)

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  
 
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
 
v)              Responsibility to keep pure
 
1 Timothy 5:22 (King James Version)
 
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
 
       III.     Petts present day example
 
 
 
 
Dr. David Petts, once Principal of the Assemblies of God College at Mattersey Hall, and once on the faculty of Bangor University embraced the textual criticism techniques so warned against by their forefathers. The fruit of this is today showing in the new breed of Pentecostal denominational ministers.
 
Even more so now in 2013.
 
We provide the proof by analysis of his paper entitled Healing and the Atonement and if the paper matches up to the original Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God or the present day statement of faith.
 
 
 
It is my belief that the paper shows all the hallmarks of Egyptian Gnosticism that I personally witnessed whilst a student at Elim Bible College. 
 
i)                Purpose and Scope of the Paper as outlined by Petts.
 
Healing and the Atonement: Petts presents this with three points:
 
A.   The major NT texts upon which the doctrine is based.
B.   A discussion of certain NT themes.
C.   Difficulties with the doctrine and a proposed modification.
 
It is interesting to note that Petts relates the doctrine’s origins to the U.S.A. Holiness Movement in the nineteenth century. The doctrine is described by Petts as being “the view that Christians may claim healing from sickness on the grounds that Christ has already carried that sickness for them just as he has carried their sins.”
 
Petts states clearly from the outset the following further points; Petts appropriately printed in blackand my comments in blue!
 
A.   I shall argue that none of the major NT texts used to support the doctrine does in fact support the doctrine as originally propounded. We will argue in defence of the doctrine that the texts provided fully prove the sound doctrine of the Pioneer Pentecostals which Petts seems to want to dismiss, an action we believe to remove the ancient landmark of movements to which he belongs and has association.
 
B.   I shall argue that an examination of relevant NT themes offers no real support for the doctrine as originally propounded. Some themes, however, may offer support for the doctrine in a modified form. We will seek to prove that the technique Petts uses in his attempt to pull down this landmark doctrine is based in Egyptian Gnosticism, which was used to make the “Bible” more acceptable to all cultures.
 
C.  I shall argue that the doctrine as originally propounded is unacceptable both from a theological and a pastoral point of view. A modified form of the doctrine which sees healing as ‘ultimately’ and ‘indirectly’ in the atonement is, however, acceptable both theologically and pastorally. We will prove Petts’ approach to be heretical and out of line with the landmark truths of the Pentecostal movements and use this example as proof as to how far the Pentecostal denominations have gone from the passionate belief of the forefathers.
 
In dealing with his initial points Petts initially refers to Matthew 8:17 and I Peter 2:24 which we show here from the Authorized Version, Petts, however, in line with many of his fellows will undoubtedly be referring to one of the Gnostic translations likely to be NIV.
 
Matthew 8:17 (King James Version)

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
 
1 Peter 2:24 (King James Version)

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
 
A.  The major NT texts upon which the doctrine is based.
 
Petts refers to R.T. France in his opening comments stating that he had given an excellent summary in relations to the authorship, readership and theological principles in relation as to how Matthew wrote his work.
 
R.T. Frances’s principles of Biblical study, however, are in my view far from the revelationary passions of Pentecostal Pioneers who warned of textual critics. The Pentecostal Pioneers operated through God revealing the truth of his word to them as he revealed in to Peter, faith being the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen!
 
Matthew 16:17 (King James Version)

And Jesus answered and said unto him,Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
 
Hebrews 11:1-2 (King James Version)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  
 
For by it the elders obtained a good report.
 
Frances’s approach is somewhat different.
 
PROOF:
R.T. France’s Paper Inerrancy and New Testament Exegesis clearly shows his way of understanding scripture.
 
 
 
i)                  France: There can be no problems for the evangelical student in the commitment to rigorous exegesis to discover 'what the author really meant', and this will involve the fullest possible use of linguistic, literary, historical, archaeological and other data bearing on that author's environment. The natural meaning of the biblical writer's words in the light of all this comparative material must be the starting-point of any serious study, whether by a conservative or by a radical. And that is what grammatico-historical exegesis means.
 
ii)               France: biblical studies, as in so many areas of study (and of life), it is the half-hearted who get hurt. The evangelical scholar who is not afraid to get fully involved with critical study of the Bible is soon in a position to see that it is not the rules of the game which discourage an evangelical commitment, but a one-sided interpretation of the rules, which he has every right to challenge, on the basis of the grammatico-historical method itself. The rules need to be properly observed, but it is the players, not the spectators, who are likely to be in a position to enforce them.
 
iii)           France: Jesus preached in Aramaic -- the language of his time, place, and people. All of the Gospels, however, are written in Greek (with some useful Aramaisms left in various places).
 
So what the gospels offer us is at most a translation of what Jesus said -- and all translation is to some extent an interpretation, not an exact equivalent. Modern translation theory rightly recognizes that the search for a literal, word-for-word equivalence between two languages is not only futile but can lead to serious misunderstanding. What we need is rather some kind of dynamic equivalent, a way of expressing the substance and tone of the original in a form appropriate to the language into which the translation is being made, which may often need to depart quite substantially from the form of the original.
France, op. cit., page 117.
 
What we observe from this is a completely different approach to understanding scripture than the early Pentecostals, France’s approach being consistent with the approach I fought against at Elim’s Bible College whilst a student.
 
Divine revelation of scripture, divine writing of scripture simply does not come into the discussion. This is blasphemy and heresy and this is what the Pentecostal Denominations have embraced - ABSOLUTE HERESY!
 
2 Timothy 3:15-17 (King James Version)

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  
 
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  
 
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
 
The Differences:
 
i)                 Instead of looking for “natural meaning” the early Pentecostals would regard the Word as “God inspired” and beyond question. Paul said; “I live, yet not I” and so the understanding that the writers of scripture were in fact empty vessels for God to write seems alien to the approach of both Petts and France whom Petts seems to congratulate.
 
Galatians 2:20 (King James Version)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
 
ii)             The Early Pentecostals believed the Word by faith with an inner conviction far greater than natural interpretation could employ.
 
iii)          It is heresy to say that scripture is “just an interpretation, not an exact equivalent”. If God has revealed scripture – then God is accurate. Anything else is doubt and unbelief which is the heart of this paper by Petts, which is the spirit undermining the visions of these once great movements of AOG, Elim and Apostolic.
 
We therefore see a new approach to Biblical study being manifest through Petts and this approach continues throughout Petts paper. This is proven by Petts statement concerning Matthew:
 
However, a brief examination of the pericope found in Matthew 8:16-17 reveals that certain introductory issues must be considered before the passage is examined in detail. These include Matthew’s use of the OT and his understanding of fulfilment, his purpose in recording in several places that Jesus healed ‘all’, and his overall purpose in recording the miracles of Jesus. In more general terms I shall assume with France that Matthew’s purposes were didactic, apologetic and Christological.
 
The early Pentecostals assumed nothing for Matthew was a mere instrument for God to write his word. Matthew’s purpose was to write the Word of the Lord, the scripture not being a natural work of philosophy but a God breathed Word of Power.
 
Operating with his principles of natural philosophy, Petts issues a heretical statement in relation to Matthew:
 
Of particular interest and significance to the subject of this paper, however, is his use of ‘formula quotations’ in which we find such clauses as “that what was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled.” There are then such ‘formula quotations’ all of which appear to function as ‘asides’ of the evangelist, not as part of his narrative, for if the formula and quotation were omitted the narrative would not be interrupted. Sadly, the purpose of these quotations remains an unresolved issue, but the key to understanding them must surely lie in the fact that they are ‘fulfilment’ quotations; they are not merely a set of ‘proof-texts.’
 
We argue that Petts is adopting the Gnostic “higher criticism” techniques embraced by Professor Peake at the University of Manchester, Petts sending his son to Elim Bible College in the early 90’s which came under this very same University. We have already learnt of the 1924 warning of the Assemblies of God declaring the dangers of this heretical approach.
How would the early AOG pioneers react today to a piece of Holy Scripture being described as an “aside”? Smith Wigglesworth was a writer in the very first edition of AOG Redemption Tidings. How things have changed.
 
 
 
S.W. = What will make men believe the divine promises of God? Beloved, let me say to you today, God wants you to be ministering spirits, and it means to be clothed with another power. And this divine power, you know when it is there, and you know when it goes forth.
 
S.W. The Word of God has not to be prayed about; the Word of God is to be received and obeyed.The Bible is the Word of God:supernatural in origin, external in duration, inexpressible in valour, infinite in scope,regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application,inspired in totality.
 
Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on.Truly the Word of God changes a man until he becomes an "epistle" of God." It transforms his mind, changes his character, moves him on from grace to grace, and makes him an inheritor of the very nature of God. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him who opens his being to the Word of God.
 
The scriptures declare that we are in Christ, and Christ is in God. What is able to move you from that place of omnipotent power? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (Romans 8:35)? Shall death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers (v38)? Nay, In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (v37)?But we must be found in Him! There is a place of seclusion, a place of rest and faith in Jesus where there is nothing else like it.
 
How I sit at my desk, God revealing all this to me of the great infiltration that has taken place in the once great Pentecostal movements. I am in tears to think of the “higher criticism” approaches having infiltrated once great movements.
 
Oh! For a return to the teaching that the Word of God changes a “man” into an “epistle of God”!
 
Petts continuation in interacting with textual critics is frankly nonsense to the spiritual eye.
In exposing the “Pentecostal Denominations” use of “new translations” it is interesting to note in Petts paper an admission that Matthew’s 8:17 fulfilment reference is nearer to the Masoretic Text used in the Authorized Version of the early pioneers than to the Septuagint. Petts seems to give an impression that Matthew had a choice as to which text he should use. It is interesting to see in Petts approach that he seems to have chosen the text that would eventually back up the Authorized Version. We believe, however, that Matthew had no choice in his role of being God’s writing instrument.
 
Petts argument through a listing of seven points which are given to apparently prove that Matthew 8:17 does not show that healing is in the atonement are confused and in my view impossible to understand. If God provided for healing in the Old Testament through the shedding of animals’ blood, how much more should the blood of Christ Jesus? We know as Petts points out that Matthew 8:17 relates to an incident before the passion and resurrection of Christ Jesus but as with all such incidents they were looking to the day of ultimate victory over sickness and disease which came through Jesus bearing these to the Cross.
 
I believe Petts is completely out of line with Assemblies of God original Statement of Faith 1924 that declares that deliverance from sickness is provided for in the Atonement, the Assemblies of God quoting the following scriptures as proof:
 
Isaiah 53:4-5 (King James Version)

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  
 
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
 
Matthew 8:16-17 (King James Version) 
 
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:  
 
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
 
Petts direct quote from his paper for EPTA 1993 Healing and the Atonement:
 
….. I reject the view that Matthew 8:17 teaches that healing is in the atonement. There are no direct references to the Servant passages in Matthew’s passion narrative and his quotes from those passages are used in a non-redemptive setting. The quote from Isaiah 53:4 is set in the context of the healing of physical sickness, and Matthew avoids, both by his divergence from the LXX and in his choice of verbs any suggestion that Jesus vicariously took sickness upon himself. Indeed for Matthew, Isaiah 53:4 was fulfilled not in Jesus’ passion, but in his healing ministry in Galilee.
 
James 5:13-16 (King James Version)

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
 
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  
 
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  
 
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
 
We believe that Dr. Petts, once Principal of AOG’s Bible College in U.K. was out of line with Assemblies of God original statement of faith, and as a ministry we demanded his removal from that post. He stayed but the damage has been done, Petts being only one example of the curse of textual criticism so alive in “Pentecostal denominations” today.
 
It is up to those who know the truth embraced by early 20th. Century pioneers to restore the landmark back to the Pentecostal movements.
 
 
 
We believe the Pentecostal Movements have been stolen and need to be returned to those who embrace the old truths!
 
John 10:10 (King James Version)

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 
Proverbs 6:30-31 (King James Version)

Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
 
But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
 
Dr Roy Harthern, son of one of the AOG pioneers in UK said to me that the Assemblies of God was once a simple, free flowing fellowship. How those days have changed!
 
I Peter 2:24 is also cited by Petts as a major “proof-text” used to portray healing being in the atonement. Before examining Petts critical approach it must surely be realised if God provided healing through the shedding of animals or in this case birds, then surely the blood of Christ Jesus is more than good enough to atone for sickness today. We have to ask why present day “Pentecostals” question scriptures which relate to the fact that we have been healed by the stripes of Jesus Christ?
 
Leviticus 14:1-5 (King James Version)

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  
 
This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:  
 
And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;  
 
Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:  
 
And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:
 
Sacrifice is going on under the law in relation to sickness, in this case leprosy and the “priest shall make an atonement” …. 
 
Leviticus 14:31-32 (King James Version)

Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.  
 
This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.
 
We see the O.T. Priest making “an atonement” in relation to freedom from leprosy and now in Hebrews we have the recognition that the spilt blood of animals as types of Christ who was to become the Passover Lamb “sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh”.
 
How much more through the stripes of Jesus Christ are we healed? 
 
Hebrews 9:11-14 (King James Version)

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;  
 
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  
 
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:  
 
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
 
1 Peter 2:24 (King James Version)

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
 
Through a complex form of analogy Petts seeks to show that Peter was not referring to physical healing in relation to his statement of I Peter 2:24. There seems to be no reference to the possibility that perhaps Peter was portraying Isaiah’s statement in Isa. 53:5 which most certainly relates to physical healing. If it did not then our Leviticus declarations look ridiculous!
 
Petts, however, relates the context of I Peter 2:24 as relating to slaves who were sometimes “unjustly treated”, beaten as Christ was beaten relating the passage, therefore, to slaves having their sins forgiven! To quote Petts:
 
Accordingly, I reject the view that I Peter 2:24 teaches that physical healing is “in the atonement”. The healing referred to clearly means a spiritual wholeness which results from Christ’s bearing our sins on the cross and our return to the shepherd and guardian of our souls. This view is endorsed by all the major commentaries and indeed it is difficult to see how, when the verse is seen in its proper context it could possibly be understood in any other way. This passage is, in fact, an encouragement to Christians to endure suffering, not a means of escape from it!
 
It would seem from Petts analysis that Christ’s suffering was in vain and that Peter was not looking back to Christ Jesus victory over sickness and disease but rather uses the phrase as an encouragement to endure suffering!
 
B.     A discussion of certain NT themes.
 
Petts continues his examination with an analysis of the Greek word sozo, but whereas Petts has a right to believe whatever he wants, he has no right to undermine the passions of the Pentecostal Pioneers who in effect founded movements from which he has benefited from financially.
 
George Jeffreys: Founder of Elim : We teach people to seek bodily healing as one of the immediate benefits of Christ's atoning and redeeming work on the cross  ... not the effect of mind over matter - but the power of Christ over disease Acts 4:7-10
 
In contrast to Jeffreys, Petts sees healing as an accompaniment to the Gospel rather than being a part of it.
 
Petts goes onto apparently portray instances of Paul being sick along with other New Testament examples digging out familiar objections to the early Pentecostals that came from textual critics like Petts. Never would they have realised that their own movements would be taken over by such adversaries!
 
Dr. T.J. McCrossan : Satan caused Adam and Eve to sin then Satan is the Author of sin, sickness and death. John 5:14; 10:10
 
George Jeffreys : Bible reveals Satan as a personal devil, opposed to God and the Human Race ....The Israelites understood that deliverance from all bodily ailments was by the power of God, that immunity from disease was a privilege they could enjoy provided they rendered perfect obedience to His will.  Ex. 15:26
 
Andrew Murray .... Bearing our sickness forms an integral part of the redeemers work - as well as bearing sin - body and soul created to serve together as a habitation of God -Sickly condition of the body is - as well as that of the soul - a consequence of sin - JESUS COME TO BEAR- TO EXPIATE AND TO CONQUER.
 
A.B. Simpson .... Jesus borne our sins - carried off sicknesses even pains so by abiding in him we may be fully delivered from both sickness and pain.
 
The well known early Pentecostal healing evangelist F.F. Bosworth in raising the issue of the Brazen Serpent asks a question to the textual critics that include Petts …
 
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee: pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
 
And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.Numbers 21:7-9.
 
Bosworth = If healing not in the Atonement then why were these Israelites required to look at this type of the Atonement for bodily healing?
 
None of the examples Petts relates can be shown to be sickness particularly Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” which is a being rather than a physical condition.
 
2 Corinthians 12:7 (King James Version)

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure
 
C.      Difficulties with the doctrine and a proposed modification.
 
It is not surprising that Petts has difficulty with this doctrine as embraced by early Pentecostals because each party thought in a different way. Early Pentecostals simply believed God and his Word and stood on it, not doubting or looking for some intellectual technique to disprove their passions and beliefs.
 
Petts, unlike Wigglesworth did not see NT writers as regarding what they were writing as promises to be claimed. This concept, however, completely eliminates the whole idea of Ephesians 6 which depicts the “Sword of the Spirit” as being the Word of God, and as God directs us we speak out the word plunging the enemy’s operation of sickness with God’s fulfilled Word.
 
Petts goes onto talk of his own pastoral difficulties but the early Pentecostals believed God’s Word before natural circumstance. The concept of not being moved by the natural circumstance but being moved by the power of God’s World seems alien to today’s Gnostic influenced denominational Pentecostals.
 
 
 
I am not moved by what I see
I am not moved by how I feel
I am moved by what I believe and I believe
THE WORD OF ALMIGHTY GOD
 
The fruits of Wigglesworth’s ministry was in the dead being raised & the sick being healed because of his dedication to God’s Word. Wigglesworth witnessed healing now rather than at the “redemption of the body” referred to by Petts, this heresy being widely believed at Elim Bible College where I was a student, Petts relating healing to the work of the Spirit which in one sense is true, but surely the Spirit comes to confirm God’s Word which Petts seems to reject.
 
Mark 16:20 (King James Version)

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
 
For Part 3: PLEASE CLICK HERE