Tag Archive | Andrew Urshan

The Mystery of God

The Mystery of God
By G.T. Haywood

All things are delivered to me of my Father; and NO MAN knoweth who the SON IS, but the Father, and who the FATHER is, but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal Him. (Luke 10:22).

According to these words of Jesus no man can know who the Father nor the Son is, except it be revealed. The Jews declared that they knew God the Father, but Jesus did they did not. (John 8:19,54,55). Even to this day they claim to know God, but Jesus said He alone can reveal the Father to those who rejected Him.

The Mohammedans claim to know God, the Father, even in the same sense in which the Jews know Him. Can it be said that Jesus is revealing the Father to those ungodly Moslems who look upon his sacrificial death with unspeakable hatred ?

Modern theological institutes, seminaries and colleges, the majority of which are destitute of the Spirit of God, claim the same knowledge of God that the Jews maintain. Is Jesus revealing this mystery to them contrary to His own words that these things are hidden from the “wise and prudent” but are revealed to babes?

Almost any one that is able to read at all can take up the Bible and see what is apparently “Three Persons,” the common view held by the Catholic and all other denomination, but is Jesus revealing this to them? I tell you “Nay.” God has taken the wise in their own craftiness. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (Isa.. 29:11-14; Matt. 11:25).

That Jesus Christ is the MIGHTY GOD was declared by the prophet Isaiah (Isa.. 9:6); acknowledged by the apostle Thomas and accepted by Christ (John 20: 28,29); revealed by the Spirit
(Rev. 1:1); and spoken by the glorified Christ himself, saying, “I am Alpha and Omega … the First and the Last . . . I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold, I am alive for everyone. Amen.” (Rev. 1 :8-18). “l am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my Son.” (Rev. 21:6,7).

To acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only true God does no more detract from His Sonship than does acknowledging Him as our High Priest detract from His sacrificial office as a Lamb slain for our many sins. lt is the “veil of flesh” assumed by the Mighty God that is causing men to stumble at the word. In the flesh He was the Son of man and Son of God. As a man he walked, wept and prayed, suffered and died. As God He raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19-21) and shined forth in the radiance of eternal glory. “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet, now know we him no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16). When He came in the flesh He was beheld in the Glory as the Son (John 7:14), but when He comes again He will come in the glory of the father. (Matt. 16:27 with Matt 25:31). Compare Isaiah 6:1-9 with John 12:39-41, also verses 44 and 45.

Our Lord and His Christ

And the seventh Angel sounded : and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15). These sayings are faithful and true. They are the true things of God, and he said unto me, “Write; for these words are true and faithful.” (Rev. 19:9; 2:15; 22:6). But since the revelation of Jesus Christ has come and has oven Him to be “our Lord” who then is “his Christ?” That Jesus Christ is the LORD must be acknowledged f all. Whether in heaven, or in earth. (Phil. 2:10, 11). To say that there is more than “one Lord” is to flatly intradict the Word of God which saith, “Hear, 0 Israel; the Lord our God is ONE LORD.” (Deut. 6:4, Mark 12:29; Eph. 4:5). Jesus has been proven to be “Lord of all” and in His own time he will show who is that blessed ld only Potentate King of Kings, and “LORD of Lords.” Tim. 6:15, 15).

The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. All things were made by him and for him, and without him as not anything made that was made. He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (Psa. 24:1; John 1 :1,2,10; Col. 1:16,17). The God that created the heavens and earth (Gen. 1), is our Lord Jesus who made them all by himself. (Isa.. 44:24). Jesus Christ our Lord is LORD of all creation. He eated it for his glory and his own pleasure, but Satan has usurped the authority and made himself the god and prince of this world. (See Rev. 4:11; and 2 Cor. 4:4; John 14:30). The world is now being ruled by Satan and his people, but thank God, the kingdoms of this world shall soon become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, or anointed.

Since Jesus is our Lord, we then, are his anointed. The church anointed with the Holy Ghost is the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12-14). As God called all the children of Israel in Egypt His son, saying, When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my SON out Egypt (Hos.11:1 ), even so does he call the body of baptized believers “his Christ, or anointed,” We shall reign here with him, if we suffer here with him. We are his sons (Rev. 21:7), being overcomers. lt is Christ Jesus who has anointed us (Matt. 3:11; John 15:26; 16:7) and he who has anointed us is GOD. (2 Cor. 1:21, 22).

The kingdom of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and his saints, the body of Christ. By reading Dan. 7:18,22,27, these words will be verified. “For the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve him.” (Dan. 7:27) If you will notice this passage closely you will see that the “people of the saints of the most High” are spoken of as “him” (singularly); that is, as all nations and kingdoms must “serve” Israel (Isa.. 60:12), even so they must “serve” our Lord and his Christ. This is not that we are “his Christ” separately, or individually, but collectively as one body.

And they sang a new song, saying, Thou are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou hast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we SHALL REIGN ON EARTH. The fact that it is said we “shall reign on earth” confirms the words Christ, shall have a part in his dominion, that the Church, which is the body of for the kingdoms of this word shall become the kingdom of “our Lord and His Christ.” (See Rev. 5:9, 10).

Dangers of Denying The Father

There are many honest souls who are anxious to obey the Voice of God and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ but they are intimidated by persons misconstruing the Scriptures which says, “He is anti-Christ that denieth the Father and the Son.” (John 2:22).

There is no one who know’s the word of God, and has been baptized in Jesus’ name, that denies the Father and the Son. Acknowledging the Father and the Son does not necessarily mean to believe in “three persons in the Godhead.”

The Fatherhood of God is found only in the Son, who was God manifested in the flesh. The following portions of this article will be sufficient to convince any Godfearing person that they cannot deny the Father by being baptized in Jesus’ name.

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father ALSO. (1 John 2:23).

We desire to call the attention of the reader to the above quotation for prayerful consideration. While reading the above passage the words, “the Father also” drew my particular attention. And 1 believe it will help many to see God’s purpose in these last days.

The thought before us is that he that denieth the Son (Jesus Christ) the same has denied the Father ALSO. Why is this? Is it not because Jesus and the Father are one? (John 10:30). There is no Scripture that says, “He that denieth the Father, the same hath not the son,” but to the contrary, all scriptures seem to be the opposite. By this I mean that all scripture identifies the Father in the Son. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. (2 Cor. 5:19). God was manifest in the flesh. (1 Tim. 3:15). Therefore when one turns from Christ, he turns from God.

He that believeth not on the Son, the same believeth lot on the Father ALSO. Compare John 12:44; 14:1. The Jews believed that God would take their sins away (Jer. 31:31-34); but theydid not believe Jesus had anything to do with it; and Jesus said, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24).

He that knoweth not the Son, the same knoweth not he Father, but he hath knoweth the Son, knoweth the Father ALSO. See John 8:19; 14:7. To know Christ is to know God, the Father, for the mystery of God the Father ; Christ. (Col. 2:2,9).

He that seeth not the Son, the same seeth not the Father, but he that seeth the Son seeth the Father ALSO John 12:45; 14:9).

He that loveth not the Son, the same loveth not the Father; but he that loveth the Son loveth the Father also. John 15:23, 24). To love God one must love Jesus. For Jesus and God are one and inseparable. If the Father and on were two separate persons, then we could love one and hate the other (as the Jews sought to do). If you do not love Jesus you cannot love God, but you cannot love Jesus without loving God, for Jesus is God (manifest in the flesh, in a visible form).

If the above scriptures are true (and no one could honestly say they are not), why does not the same hold with the NAME used in baptism? Let us look at it from a scriptural standpoint.

He that baptizeth not in the name of the Son (Jesus), the same baptizeth not in the name of the Father; but he that baptizeth (or is baptized) in the name of the Son (Jesus) baptizeth (or is baptized) in the name of the Father ALSO.

By the scriptures this is clearly proven, from the fact that the Commission is given (recorded by Matthew), to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:18,19) but on the day of Pentecost, and thereafter, according to the book of Acts, all the disciples baptized in the name of Jesus (the Son) proving that they recognized it to be the name of the Father ALSO. See Acts, 2:38, 8:12-16; 9:18 with Acts 22:16; Acts 10:47,48; Acts 19:5.

All who are baptized in the name of Jesus are baptized in the name of the Father ALSO, but those who have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, have never been baptized in the name of the Father. The only way to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matt. 28:19, is to do as the Holy host authorized on the day of Pentecost and carried out by the Apostles according to the book of Acts.

The only way that a person can really “deny the Father” is to fail to acknowledge that Jesus is the true and living God. (1 John 5:20; Jude 25). When you are baptized in Jesus’ name, you thereby acknowledge that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost “are one” (1 John 5:7) and that in Christ Jesus dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead in a bodily form. (Col. 2:9). Be not faithless, but believe. (John 12:44,45; 20:26-8).

ARTICLE #2
MAN’S IMPOSSIBILITIES ARE GOD’S POSSIBILITIES
BY ANDREW D. URSHAN

Often some ask how Jesus Christ can be the only begotten of God and yet the very God Himself. The puzzling part of this question is the reconciliation of two seemingly separate and distinct persons into one Divine Being or in one person -God,

Such a oneness with man is indeed impossible; but God would be no more “The Almighty” if this would be impossible with Him. Yea, with Him with whom all things are possible it is an easy matter to be the three-in-one person, and one being having different manifestations of Himself. Some may argue that God, being a God of harmony, could not be one thing and then another, no more than a son can be his own father. Very well; let us see what the Scriptures say.

The Bible declares Jesus Christ to be the Lamb of God,” yet he is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” With man it is impossible to make a lamb a lion. With man, a lamb cannot dwell with a lion very long before the lion will eat the lamb. With God, the Lamb is the Lion; the two distinct and separate and unlike animals, yet one with the same person.

The wise scientist will mock the very thought that the little morning star is the great big sun. With man, these are two distinct, separate and unlike heavenly bodies. With God, Jesus is both “The Morning Star” and “The Son of Righteousness.” Son as one continues studying the Word of God he cannot help seeing that Jesus Christ is “All in All” the Son, yet the Everlasting Father; the man of Galilee, yet, the mighty God. (See Isa. 9:6.)

For further examples – Christ calls Himself the good Shepherd, yet the door of the sheepfold, (John 16: 14). With man, a door is an object, and a shepherd is a human being; but with God the human is the object and object is the human. A thing impossible with man, but with God it is the very fact. Christ calls Himself “the root”, and yet, “the offspring of David.” Man cannot call the root of the tree the trunk of the tree, but with God, Christ is both the Father and Son of David in one person (Rev..22:16). Again, Christ is called the Judge”, and yet, “The Advocate.” He is the Lord of the Battles” (Hosts), a fighting God, yet, “The Prince of Peace” (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10-11; Rev. 20:11-12; I Tim. 2:5; Psa. 24:8 and Isa. 9:6).

Again, Jesus Christ is called “The Rock,” and yet, the very gushing water of life (I Cor. 10:4; John 7:37 38). He calls Himself the “Alpha,” yet the very last letter, “Omega” (Rev. 21:6-7). He calls Himself the Son of God,” yet, the very God – the Father of the overcomers for the eternity to come. See Rev. 21:6,7. He is called “The Servant of the Jehovah, I am,” yet, He calls Himself the “very Jehovah, I am,” (Isa. 43:10 and John 8:57). a precious stone to some, yet, at the same time, a stone of offense to others. The corner foundation stone of the Temple, yet, the whole Temple and the sacrifice on the altar in then Temple. He is the Lily, yea the Rose of Sharon. All these, contrary to each other, with man are impossible to be one and the same; but you see, reader, with God in Christ, they are not contrary; they are not two separate, but one and the same, only manifested differently. For with God all things are possible.

Now, if I am prepared to believe all the above facts, why should it be hard for me to believe that Jesus Christ the Lord can be, and is, in His humanity the only Son of God, and in His absolute Deity the very God the Father. Why not? Can He not be seemingly distinct and separate, yet the very united three in one? Well, He is, and that is why He said, “I and my Father are one.” And, “…he that seeth me, seeth the Father.” “For the Father is in me.”

Let is be remembered that God, as the Creator, is absolutely divine; but as the Saviour, He is both God and man, or the Father and the son. And, as the Comforter, He is the Holy Spirit, not three distinct, separate, divine persons, but a God of might, love and comfort, manifesting the above three graces in three different and distinct divine offices and operations. This is a holy oneness.

God, in Himself, is infinite and invisible and unapproachable. In His Word (the Son) He is both finite and infinite, visible and invisible, and tangible and approachable. In the Holy Ghost, He is active, operative and powerful; but the one and same person – God. As the Father, God is the one that begets; as the Son, He is the seed of life eternal, and as the Holy Ghost, He is Emmanuel-or God in and with His Spirit-filled church, but one and the same. In short, God is one being, one person, and therefore one God, the “I am,” and not the Holy three, as some try to teach. This great and holy one of Israel can be seen, felt, and enjoyed only in and through Jesus Christ our Lord, for “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” See Co.. 2:8-9. This does not explain the Godhead, but it reveals Him in His Son, Jesus Christ.

ARTICLE #3
THE OLD APOSTOLIC TEACHING
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

The primitive Christians believed that Jesus was the manifestation of Jehovah, – not another God “One with Jehovah” -but Jehovah manifested in Jesus. Stephen, the proto-martyr, when he was sealing his confession with his blood, prayed to Jesus-Jehovah, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” and “Lord lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:59, 60). Paul asserts that-he baptized only in the name of the Messiah, (1 Cor. 1:13). Notice also his constant use of the name of Messiah in his invocations. There is also the well-known fact that the early believers were known as those who called on the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:14,21; I Cor. 1:2; II Tim. 2:22).

Pliny, a judge under Trajan, in the beginning of the second century took the confessions of some accused Christians, and says, “They declared that they were used to meet on a certain day before it was light, and among other parts of their worship, sing a hymn to Christ as their God.”

Almost everything else can be explained. but this idea of three gods being one is an absolute impossibility. It is an offense to the Jews who have given the world the teaching of One God; it is an offense to the Gentiles because they already have so many gods. To substitute the many gods by three gods would be ridiculous. What the Gentiles want is a One God religion , to do away with their many gods that have burdened their poor souls for so many centuries. And we have that One God. It is Jehovah, bless His Name forever, and He Jehovah, has come to us as Jesus, and when He left He told us He would come again in person to meet us, but until He would come, He would sweep down upon us and be with us in an unseen form, in the form of the Holy Ghost.

AN IMPOSSIBLE DOCTRINE

I will quote only one passage from Knapp, Christ, Theology, Paragraph 33-44, ” The conclusion is obvious that, while we are taught by the Scriptures to believe in three equal subjects, (not persons) in the Godhead, we are still unable to determine in what manner or in what sense these three have the divine nature so in common that there is only one God.” This is about the substance of things pertaining to an explanation of the so-called Trinity in bygone days, and it has never improved since, that is, no one today can offer any explanation as to the possibility of three separate gods being one god. A husband and his wife are one, So we are told by the ritual of the marriage ceremony. But even then, one is a man, a separate being. They may be, or should be one in purpose and in act, but actually they are two different persons. The Hebrew word, “ECHAD” (One) stands for a single unit, not for a united group of more than one. So for instance we read that God called the first day, being composed of morning and night, “yom echad” (one day) it is not a composition of two, namely one night and one day but one continuous uninterrupted rotation of the earth which to one part is day and the other-night. Day does not and has never ended since God said “Let there be Light.” That light has been shining without interruption ever since its creation. Night is the opposite of light. It says that Cod divided the first appearance of light-Yom Echad (one day). Please note that “Echad” here does not stand for “First” but for “one” because God created only one day. That day has been in existence ever since. When one half of the globe turns toward the sun that has been giving light since creation, then we, in our human words say, “It is day” (the first day or second day, etc). When the globe turns again, then the people on the other side say the same as we have said when we faced the light. And so on. But it is only one light-never changing, always shining and God created it, and God saw that the light was good. (Gen. 1:4).

One more thought. Jesus in the flesh was Jehovah in the flesh. In this visible being there was all of the divine and part of the human. I say part of the human because, as intimated above, He was not born as you and I, He had the woman’s seed in him, but not man’s. Eve, the woman, brought sin into the world, and Jehovah wished to take away the shame of sin from the woman and therefore honored her by permitting statements of worldly greats are high-sounding in content and meaning, they fall far short of an actual identification. We must not be deceived by men’s pious platitudes. Even while they praise Him, they plunder His person. They rob Him of His deity. We must not be deceived by men who deny the power of the Holy Spirit and by wresting the scriptures distort, misrepresent, and submit our Lord Jesus to a place of inferiority to suit the traditions and doctrines of men.

We must make our choice between the Christ of the scriptures and the Christ of the critics.

The angel made no mistake when he announced the birth of the Savior and called Him “Emmanuel,” God with us. Angels had an insight into God’s plan that we need to discover. The  divine messenger made no exaggerated claims about the Babe of Bethelem when he called Him “God with us.” Certainly he did not subtract from or buffet His person with secondary and inferior phrases veiled by men’s phraseology. The angel announced “dead center” the great truth which has blessed the world: God Himself veiled in the form of a babe and in later development as a man, God in Christ, the Father in the Son, deity in a babe, God with us.

Who dares to gainsay the scriptures and disenfranchise our Lord from due tribute and honor. It has been the desire of Satan through the ages to minimize God, to lower Him in theimagination of men, and divide Him as to authority and prestige. Satan, however, is met by a barrage of truth which is enhanced by the eternality of the Word.

St. John described the divine person revealed to him as “the beginning and the ending.” This gives the person who John saw an eminence second to none. It gives Him priority and finality. But John’s revelation swelled its bounds and ran over with truth and enthusiasm when he called the One Whom he saw “the Almighty, which is, which was, and which is to come.” Who is this person who overwhelmed John with the pre-eminence of His person, the wisdom of His counsel, and His omnipotence over time? Let the scriptures answer.

The opening verse of the first chapter of Revelation calls the writing “the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.” Then, my friend, the “beloved disciple,” smitten by the brilliance of the revelation, sought to know this Man. John wrote: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” No scholar, determined as he might be, or if he be carnally stubborn, can deny the truth that comes screaming through the ages: This person, first and last, who was dead but now lives, who is Alpha and Omega, the Holder of the keys of death and of hell, is Jesus. He is not only the theme of the first chapter of Revelation; He is the central theme of the entire Bible. Notice how John ascribed this dominion to Him. He called Him “the Almighty, which is (present), which was (past), and which is to come (future).” In all instances this Jesus Christ is the superior force, the Almighty, the omnipotent God. Who is it that dares to call Him the second person of the trinity? Such is Babylonish scholarship.

Now Paul steps forward to give us a climatic observation of this gracious Savior: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. , For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:8-10). within the person and body of Christ dwells the Godhead; that is, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit indwell Christ Jesus our Lord. He is the express image of the person of God. When we make this statement we only affirm scriptural documents which give our Lord His due honor and tribute. To deny this is to allow traditions of men to overrule what saith the Word of the Lord.

Either Christ is Lord of life or Lord of liars. He is deity or deceiver. He is Master or maniac. We must crush or crown Him. We should give Him the lie or give Him our lives. We ought to spurn Him or serve Him. There is no middle ground, no neutrality, no other alternative.

Many of us can testify of Him, “My Lord, and my God!”
“And without-controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

ARTICLE #4
GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
BY: NATHANIEL A. URSHAN

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16). This is the writing of the God-ordained and anointed Apostle Paul. He also wrote to the church as Colosse, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him! rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:6-10).

In the book of Revelation, chapter one, we read the words of the Apostle John as he penned by divine anointing his revelation of Jesus Christ: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, with the Lord which is, which was and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

The angelic messenger who brought news of the birth of Christ identified the Babe of Bethelehem as more than another child when he declared, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

These statements from the Bible and a good many others like them give us a true and scriptural position of Christ our Savior. To submit our Lord to a position of inferirity as a second to another is both baseless in claim and ignorant of scriptural teaching. To subtract from His person and relegate Him to the second person of a trinity is both unscriptural and purely speculative tradition.

Countless questions might be asked of you and me, and the answers we might offer would make no difference in us or others either in this life or that which is to come. Not so with this One. Eternal issues hang upon your answer. This is no query about the church, the curate, or the choir; it is about the Christ. On true identity of Jesus Christ stands the faith of the individual and the continuance of the church. On this foundation rests the whole structure of sound Christianity. If the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ can be disproved and discredited, then Christianity topples like an arch without a keystone. Many ardently admire Jesus Christ but that is not enough. Many ominent unbelievers have endeavored to out do each other in speaking well of Him. Some of them have well nigh exhausted the human vocabulary in order to present verbal bouquets. Pilate found no fault in Christ. Napoleon called him “the Emperor of Love. ” Renan said of the Savior “He was the greatest among the sons of men.” They applauded Him, but they didn’t love Him and worship Him. Though these her to become a channel through which, He as the Saviour, might be revealed to humanity. This is why I say He had only part of the human in Him. It was this human part in God that always spoke to the people. And when He prayed, it was the human part in Him that prayed to the Divine. It is very simple. He considered Mary his mother, but the human part of Jesus considered His divine Being as His Father. He conceived Himself through His breath,-the Holy Ghost. Therefore when He spoke of the Father, He meant that which was Alpha and Omega in Him – His own Divinity. He, the human Jesus, was the Son of the Divine Jesus-Jehovah. It was the human in Him, which was subject to temptation and subject to pain and suffering. The flesh and blood in Him cried out to the Divine when it could stand the suffering no longer. It was the flesh that finally died as a result of the awful suffering on the cross, and it was Jehovah-Jesus who conquered death and the devil and rose from the dead, taking with Him the visible, yet glorified body of the human form. And when He comes again, it will again be the human form, the resurrected Christ, which we shall see descending from above with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Although one can identify “Steps” in the plan of salvation , it is proper to refer to salvation as a process having a continuous development from a beginning to completion.

The first work in man is faith in Jesus Christ which leads to the act of genuine repentance of sins, a type of death to the old nature. Repentance leads into water baptism in Jesus name, a type of burial. The regeneration process is consummated in being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Then the “New Born” convert can walk in the victorious spiritual life of service for Jesus Christ, for he has spiritually experienced the death,
burial , and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But just as Jesus left His tomb on that Resurrection morning, once for all, so should the born again man, once risen, be dead into sin. There can be no hovering about the sepulchre, no treasuring of the grave-clothes, no secret desire for the scent and atmosphere of the guilty past. Rather the new man must begin the glorious walk
up the pathway of holiness to higher heights and deeper depths in Christ Jesus.

ARTICLE #5
WHY DID JESUS PRAY IF HE WAS GOD?
BY: E. G. BASS

The question has been asked, “If the Lord Jesus Christ was God, why did he pray to the Father?” We teach by the word of God that there is ONE GOD, the creator of the heavens and the earth and all mankind, manifest to mankind as Father (Creator), Son (Saviour), and the Holy Spirit (Indwelling spirit). We believe and teach that there is but ONE GOD with three manifestations. “For there are three that bear record” in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost: and these three are ONE” (I Jn. 5:7). It does not say that they agree or work as one but that they are ONE. The Name of the ONE TRUE GOD is Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38). Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, Jesus is the Holy Ghost.

Now in asking the question, “Why did Jesus pray to the Father?” the Trinitarians try to prove that there is more than one in the Godhead. In this question they see Jesus, the Son, the second person, praying to the Father, the final person in the Godhead.

Briefly let me bring in at this point the doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine was the result of the Council of Nicea which was called by Constantine , the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. This council was called to settle the question of the Godhead , and the result was the doctrine of the Trinity. Briefly the doctrine is: “The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.” “And yet they are not three Gods but one God,” but “these three persons, being truly distinct one from another.”

Also in this “trinity” of persons the son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal pro-
cession from the Father and the Son, yet not withstanding they differ as to origin, the persons are co-eternal and co-equal, all alike are uncreated and omnipotent.”

This doctrine of the Trinity is nowhere to be found in the Bible. The Word of God plainly teaches THREE MANIFESTATIONS OF ONE GOD, not three persons or Gods. Nowhere in the Word of God can you find these words, “Trinity”, “three persons”, or “Holy Three.” These are terms used by men to turn the hearts of men from the truth of God and who He is. Basically the doctrine of the Trinity has not changed since the council of Nicea.

When we say that Jesus is the ONE TRUE GOD and beside Him there is no other the Trinitarian will ask this question, “Why did Jesus pray to the Father? They often say, “If Jesus is God then He prayed to himself.” I will do my best to answer these questions.

First, let me ask the Trinitarian a question. Their doctrine states that the Father and the Son are two persons and that they are separate and distinct one from the other, yet they are coeternal and co-equal. In simple language this means that the Father has no more power than the Son and likewise the Son has no more power than the Father. The Father was not before the Son or the Son was not before the Father. Now the question I will ask is this: “If the Father and Son are co-equal , why did the Son pray to the Father?” You pray to someone because you need help, If the Son is co-equal, with the Father he had no need to pray to Him for help because he has just as much power and might. Please think, Mr. Trinitarian, before you ask such a question.

It is accepted everywhere that Jesus is the Son (Matt. 1:23-25). But let us prove that Jesus is the Father as well as the Son. “For unto us a child is born , unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6) Some say we are foolish to call Jesus both Father and Son, but this scripture calls him Father and Son in the same verse. A child would be born, a son given, but he would be called the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. Jesus declared that He and the Father are one (Jn. 10:30). He does not say they work as one or agree as one, but He plainly states that they ARE one. Philip asked Jesus to show the disciples the Father in John 14:7-10. Jesus told Philip, “Have I been so long time with you and yet hast thou not known me, Philip. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ; and how sayest thou then shew us the Father?” Some will say then if Jesus is the Son and also the Father then He prayed to Himself. lt would not be unscriptural to say this. Before you go up in Holy Smoke let us look at the Word of God. There is nothing unscriptural about the statement for in Heb. 6:13 we find “when God made promise to Abraham because He could swear by no greater, He swore by himself?” Did not God swear by himself? In Eph. 5:25-27 we read where Jesus presents the church to himself.

Let us look at it in its true light. God is a spirit and we know by the word of God that a spirit has not flesh and bone. He created all things. This makes him Father. This same God manifested himself to the world as a Son. “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal: 4:4) The Son was made. “Wherefore when He cometh unto the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body has thou prepared me.” God would come to redeem fallen man so He prepared a body in the virgin Mary and got into that body and came to us to be our Saviour. This manifestation of God in mankind was called the Son. Not another, but God himself manifested in flesh. (Isa. 7:14, Matt. 1:22,23). This son was Emmanuel. “God with us.”
This was the child to be born and the Son to be given, yet He was the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6). The Son was the mystery of Godliness being revealed to mankind; God manifested in flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). This was God becoming flesh and dwelling among us(John l:l,14).

He prayed because as Son he took on himself the form of man and in taking on the form of man he took on himself a human nature (not a fallen nature!) Please read Phil. 2:5-8. In taking on this nature he
could hunger, thirst, become tired, could cry, and could even die. But one of the principle characteristics of the human nature is that it must pray. There is something within all men that cries out for them to pray whether they do or not. So Christ in his humanity prayed unto the eternal Spirit. Now even as God took these human characteristics on himself when He came into this world, even so He laid them aside in His resurrection, and we no longer know Him after the flesh (II Cor.  5:16). Paul said we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. After His resurrection we know him as Thomas found Him, “My Lord, and my God” (Jn. 20:28). We know Him as John saw Him on the isle of Patmos, as the Almighty (Rev. 1:7,8). As the first and last (Rev. 1:17,18). If Jesus is the first and last there can be room for no other. We know Him now as King of Kings and LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:16).

ARTICLE #6
PLEASE EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF PSALMS 110:1
BY: REC. OLIVER F. FAUSS

Psalm 110: 1-5 reads: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. They people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at they right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.”

The Psalmist David here prophesies of the coming of Christ the Messiah to Israel, and also to all the people who will accept Him. When Jesus was in the world, He quoted Psalm 110:1 (see Matthew 22:44), when being questioned by the scribes concerning the authority by which He taught. After He had put them to silence, no man dared ask Him any question at all (Mark 12:34; Luke 20:39,40). Jesus said to His questioners, “David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?” (Luke 20:44).

In the Old Testament, David, as well as other prophets, foretold the Christ’s coming to the world. In Psalm 110 David even referred to the order of His priesthood. He declared, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” So He was of the order Melchizedek, rather than of the order of Aaron. This is brought out more fully in Hebrews 6:17 through 7:21.

The apostles used another prophecy of David’s in Hebrews 10:5,8,9, “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second.” (This was a quotation from Psalm 40:6-8).

On the day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter also quoted Psalm 110:1 (see Acts 2:34,35), then added these words: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly. that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (verse 36).

The statement, “The Lord said unto my Lord” does not mean that there is a first and a second person in the Godhead, and that they are carrying on a conversation. We read another statement of God to David:
“The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (Psalm 132:11). As mentioned above, Paul quoted, “A body hast thou prepared me.”

All this refers to the prophecy of Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign, Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Again Isaiah said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor. The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

This was fulfilled when “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The Word was made
flesh when Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-17).

QUESTION-
In the New Testament Jesus said He had been with the Father; He prayed to the Father; His Father spoke at His baptism. I believe Jesus is God, but I can’t understand these things.

ANSWER by: Rev. David F. Gray

It is important to realize that Jesus spoke from two distinct standpoints.

In His divine nature He was the Father, the eternal Spirit, who dwelt in the body of flesh called the Son which He had created through the virgin’s womb.

In His human nature He was the “Son of Man”, the human tabernacle for the Everlasting Father to dwell in among men.

Thus it could be said as was prophesied by Isaiah, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

So you see the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father was identified in the child that was born at Bethlehem, and the Son that was given at Calvary. In Rev. 22:16 Jesus declared that He was both the “root” (Father) and “offspring” (Son) of David. He is BOTH the Father and the Son, both divinity and humanity, in ONE PERSON! Therefore He could speak from both standpoints.

As the Mighty God He was the Water of Life; as Son of Man He cried, “I thirst”. As the Mighty God He said, “I will give you rest”; as Son of Man He was weary. As the Mighty God He cast out devils; as Son of Man He was tempted of the devil.

When this is understood is becomes easy to grasp the reason why Jesus Prayed.

When God took flesh upon himself and became a man as we are, He voluntarily limited Himself to no more of the powers of divinity than is available to us. “He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren (that is, those who are His brethren through the New Birth)” Heb. 2:16,17.

When Jesus died on the cross, the Father did not die, for deity cannot die. It was the tabernacle of God, the flesh or Son in whom the Father dwelt which had been created through the virgin’s womb (Gal. 4:4) that died.

It was this flesh or Son that was with the Father (also the Father was IN the Son-John 14:10). It was this flesh or Son that prayed to the Father (He was the example for us, and we pray to God although He dwells IN us also in the Holy Ghost).

This revelation delivers us from the manifest absurdity of the trinity’ doctrine which would have us believe that one of a trio of divine persons prayed to another one of the divine persons; one God Praying to, another God! If Jesus were a separate God from the Father, why didn’t He avail Himself of His own divinity to help Him, instead of calling on another God’s divine power?

How wonderful is the truth! Jesus prayed because He was calling on His own divine nature, the Father. Thus Scripture harmonizes, and the truth sets us free from the traditions of men.

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The Laodicean Church

The Laodicean Church
By Andrew D. Urshan-1924

This evening I want to speak to you what the Lord has spoken to me. Oh, sweet is the voice of God! It is not as man’s voice.

What is the normal Christian life? Jesus Christ is strictly commanding one kind of life, and that is the Normal Christian life-nothing else. I will read a few verses from Rev. 3: God is going to speak to us through His word; let us be honest and open our hearts and ears. It may cut, but, bless God, when God cuts He heals; He cuts for the sake of healing, so let Hirn cut.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen”–that is the name of Jesus. Whenever you say “Amen” you mention the name of Jesus. The last word of this revelation is “Amen,” and the first word in the Bible is “God” (In the beginning God)-First and last, Alpha and Omega You will find Him in the beginning, you will find him in the end and, you will find him all the way thru. “The faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. “Oh, I like to have Jesus Christ to be my witness. How would you like Him to be your witness and acknowledge you before the angels of God, and say, “This is so-and-so”-God witnessed to Job. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” Hallelujah! He is our witness, not only our witness to God as our representative, but He is God’s witness against us, don’t forget that also.

In the last day He will be a witness against you if you stand for Him.

“I know they works that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and the shame of they nakedness do not appear; and anoint shine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh (overcomes that lukewarmness) will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.”–Rev. 3:15-21.

The Church of God

I have heard people say that this church is the false church, but it is not so. They say this is the harlot church. Not so. It later became harlot because God spued them out, but it was not so before. It is a terrible thing when God throws you away.

At the time God gave this message, there was only one kind of church and that was the seven churches, and this is one of the seven churches of God in Asia. The stand of this church is just as good as the stand of the other churches. It is represented by a candle with the six other churches, and the angel of this church (the pastor) is just as much in the hands of Jesus Christ as the other stars in His hands. I will prove to you that this church was a real Apostolic Church, and had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost like the others. So this message is not only for the other churches, it is for us in this room also.

Now let me show you from the epistles that this church is an apostolic church. For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you and for them at Laodicea and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.–Col. 2:1. It was not established by the Apostle Paul, it was the church of Jesus Christ established by the other apostles, and Paul loves that church and prays for it all the time. That proves that this church was an apostolic church and not a false church. It was a church that was standing in the will of God, but not perfectly, there was something wrong, and Brother Epaphras is trying hard to see the whole church stand in the will of God.–Col. 4:12, 13th verse-For I bear him record that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea. Do you see that Laodicea was the church of God and this dear brother Epaphras was praying for the Church. The 15th verse-Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea–do you see? More Laodicea than anything else. So beyond a doubt this church is the church of Jesus Christ; this church is the church that the Lord loves and he says so, too.

Elder A. D. Urshan was born May 17, 1884 of Persian and Iranian parentage. The specific place of his birth was Urmia, Persia, or modern day Rizayh, Iran. He was christened Andreous Bar David Urshan. Elder Urshan had his first personal experience with God at the age of 16 in March of 1900. Making his way to the United States at the beginning of the century, he came to know God through the Pentecostal experience, and soon aligned himself with the Assemblies of God. During the 1920’s he became an integral part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, serving faithfully as secretary of the Foreign Missionary Department, elected to that position in 1923. His organizational affiliation in later years was with the United Pentecostal Church where he established himself as one of its great evangelists, lecturers and pastors. Married in 1917, he fathered four children, all who eventually became great churchmen and women. His eldest son, Elder Nathaniel Urshan, presently serves as the General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Churches Worldwide. Elder A. D. Urshan’s distinguished ministry touched many souls from the Soviet Union to the United States. It can be safely said that thousands upon thousands came to know God through his preaching. He was a man of monumental abilities, but whose priorities dictated that he humble himself to the almighty disposition of God’s call. Elder Urshan departed this life on Octnber 16 1967 at the age of 83.

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM EARNEST CONTENDERS FOR THE FAITH BY ELDER JAMES L. TYSON AND PUBLISHED BY PENTECOSTAL PUBLICATIONS, 1982, PAGES 21-21. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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The Life of Andrew David Urshan

The Life of Andrew David Urshan
written by J.L. Hall

Andrew David Urshan’s decision to visit his father’s home in Urmia, Persia, led to the first Pentecostal revival in Russia and to the founding of the Jesus Name movement in that nation.

Andrew Urshan’s Early Ministry

Born on May 17, 1884, in the village of Abajaloo, a village thirteen miles from Urmia (Rizayh), Persia (Iran). Andrew grew up in a Presbyterian minister’s home. As a youth he surrendered his life to
God, but his real Christian conversion came after he emigrated to the United States.

In August 1902, he left Persia, arriving in New York in September or October. He was alone in a strange city, but he soon found employment and learned the English language. After living in New York for six
months, he moved to Chicago to be near his cousin, who was a medical student. To his dismay, he discovered that his cousin had lost faith in God.

In New York, Andrew attended church, but in Chicago professingChristians persuaded him to visit dance halls and to go to theaters, telling him that dancing and theaters were not sinful. But he became
miserable dancing and attending theaters. Then a second cousin, a preacher with the Brethren Church,
came from Persia. He persuaded Andrew to attend church with him. It was later at a Methodist church that Andrew repented and changed his ways. His cousin then convinced him to be baptized by immersion. After his cousin baptized him, Andrew visited a Holiness mission where he experienced what he called sanctification.

By 1906 he was attending Moody Church, and in this year he preached his first street service. He also participated in prayer meetings with other young Persian men near Lake Michigan in some lonely lots full of weeds and piles of rubbish. Later he pastored these Persian men, meeting for services in a room on the third floor at Moody Church.

In 1908 many of the Persians in his group received the Holy Ghost. For a while the elders of Moody Church tolerated the Pentecostal services, but eventually they asked Andrew to either stop the practice of speaking in tongues or move. In 1909, Andrew received the Holy Ghost, and in the next year he secured a building at 821 North Clark Street. For the next three years he pastored the church, which was known as the Persian Mission. In 1910, he was ordained into the ministry by William Durham, pastor of North Avenue Mission in Chicago.

The Persian Mission, like many other Pentecostal churches, experienced revival. In one series of meetings, about 150 people received the Holy Ghost in a few weeks. In another revival, 30 more were filled with the
Spirit. During his last year at the mission, 70 people were baptized with the Holy Ghost in a meeting.

REVIVAL AND PERSECUTION IN PERSIA

In the summer of 1913, Andrew felt that God wanted him to visit Persia in order to preach to his relatives and countrymen about the Pentecostal outpouring. He arrived in Abajaloo on March 1, 1914. Although his plans were to stay only a few months, he remained in Persia for more than a year and spent several more months in Russia.

In Persia, he conducted revival services in cities, towns, and villages, and hundreds of people received the Holy Ghost, including many in his immediate family.

World War I brought severe religious persecution to the Christians in Persia. As long as the Russian army was in Persia, it maintained order. However, when the army pulled back to Russian territory in February 1915, marauding Kurds and Turks raided Christian homes, threatened and physically abused Christians, and even murdered many of them, including three men and Elisha, who had received the Holy Ghost in Urshan’s revival services: Jeremiah Eshoo, Andrew, and Elisha.

Andrew, his family, and about thirty thousand other Persian Christians found refuge in the Presbyterian mission compound in Urmia. However, typhus fever swept through the crowded quarters, taking the lives of many people. One of those who died of the fever was Andrew’s mother.

Four months later, the Russian army returned to the area, making it safe again for Christians to return to their homes. Unfortunately, some Christians took revenge against the Moslems, creating more hostility between the two religious groups.

REVIVAL IN SOUTHERN RUSSIA

In the summer of 1915, the Russian army was again recalled to Russian territory, leaving the Christians once more without protection. To escape further tragedy, Andrew Urshan, several members of his family,
and hundreds of other Persians fled to Georgia, a southern territory in the Russian Empire.

Urshan had lost his passport and other citizenship papers in Persia, so the American consul in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia, issued him a temporary passport. This passport allowed him to travel in Russia while he made arrangements to return to the United States. While he waited for the needed governmental papers, God used his ministry to ignite the first Pentecostal revival in Russia and to establish the message of the oneness of God and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

In Tiflis, Urshan at first preached to the Persian refugees, but he was then invited to preach in a Russian Baptist church-in spite of Russian laws against foreign preachers. As a result of his ministry, many
members of the congregation received the Holy Ghost. News of the outpouring of the Spirit quickly spread to other churches across Russia. When Urshan left Tiflis to minister in Armavear, he left a “band of Pentecostal saints” in Tiflis.

His ministry in Armavear was to the Persian refugees. He stayed only a month, but his ministry was again fruitful. Later a large Pentecostal church was established there by one of his converts.

When his father and brothers returned to Iran, Urshan went to Petrograd (the name had been changed from St. Petersburg in 1914; Petrograd was then changed to Leningrad in 1924; and the name, as of October 1, 1991, has been changed back to St. Petersburg). He arrived in late 1915 or early 1916.

Times were not good in Petrograd or in other parts of the nation. The Russian army was suffering defeat in the war, stores were short of food and goods, the economy was collapsing, and the government of Tsar Nicholas II was crumbling.

During the next year, in 1917, the monarchy was overthrown when Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate; riots, mutinies, and revolution erupted in the streets; and the provisional government fell as the Bolshevik coup brought Lenin and the Communist Party to power.

THE REVIVAL IN PETROGRAD

In Tiflis and Armavear the first Pentecostal revival on record came to Russian territory. But it was in Petrograd that Urshan established the first Pentecostal movement in the nation. In Petrograd he preached the Oneness message of the absolute deity of Jesus Christ and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. Moreover, it was from this city that the Jesus name message spread throughout the Soviet Union.

The leader of a free mission in St. Petersburg had heard of Urshan’s meetings among the Baptists in Tiflis and therefore invited him to visit the mission and to “say a few words.” The mission, a group that had ties with the Evangelical Chris- tians, were meeting in a hall on the third floor of Building 7 on Soljanoy Lane. At the service Urshan, speaking through an interpreter, related his experience in Persia and may have told of the outpouring of the Spirit in Tiflis. The people so enjoyed his message that he was invited to speak again, and then to hold a series of meetings.

The attendance at first was about 25 people but it quickly grew to 200 in a hall that would seat only 150. During the first few days of the meeting, 35 people received the Holy Ghost, and before he left the city two months later, about 150 people had been baptized with the Spirit.

The leaders of the mission, Alexander Ivanov and @Nikolai P. Snored, along with a few of their followers had been introduced to Pentecostalism in Helsinki, Finland, as early as 1909 through the Pentecostal missionary work of Thomas Barratt of Norway. While they embraced the Pentecostal teaching, it is probable that they had not received the Holy Ghost. Urshan never refers to them as being Pentecostal and does not mention any having received the Spirit prior to the meeting. Moreover, Pentecostals in Russia today say that both Ivanov and Snored were converted to Pentecostalism by Urshan. Regardless of their previous experience, it is clear that a Pentecostal revival did not occur in the city until Urshan’s meeting in 1915-16.

THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS

The free Protestant mission in which Urshan preached in Petrograd emerged from the Evangelical Christian movement. In 1874 Lord Granville Radstock, an English nobleman, came to St. Petersburg to preach to the aristocracy in their private homes. Among the aristocracy that were converted were V. A. Pashkov, M. M. Korf, A. P. Bobrinskii, and V. F. Gagarina. As a member of the Brethren movement, Radstock pointed his converts toward a spiritual revival rather than the establishment of a church organization.

Lord Radstock soon returned to England, but Count Pashkov, who was a colonel of the guard, resigned his military commission in order to devote his time and talents to bring a revival to the masses in Russia. While he continued to preach and work among the aristocracy, his main thrust was to convert the artisans, merchants, workers, and peasants.

To spread the gospel, Pashkov used literature extensively as well as preaching. His co-worker, Count Korf, founded a publishing company, the Society for the Advancement of Spiritual-Ethical Reading, and they published and distributed enormous quantities of gospel pamphlets, books, and periodicals in St. Petersburg and throughout Russia.

Because of Pashkov’s energetic promotion and leadership of the movement, the followers were at first called Pashkovites, but they came to be known as Evangelical Christians. Their Armenian view separated them from Calvinistic Baptists in Russia, but they often associated and worked with the free Baptist movement.

At first authorities in the Russian Orthodox Church attempted to stop the rapid growth of Evangelical Christians by arresting the workers and peasants when they came to the services at Count Pashkov’s quarters. But Pashkov countered their actions by personally meeting the believers in the street and escorting them into the safety of the building.

Eventually, the Russian Orthodox authorities appealed to Tzar Alexander III to issue an order for Pashkov and Korf to sign a statement that they would cease preaching and terminate their fellowship with the
Evangelical Christians. When they refused to sign the statement, they were permanently exiled by the personal command of Alexander III. In exile, Pashkov maintained communications with the Evangelical Christians until the death in Paris in 1902.

Following Pashkov’s exile, Ivan V. Kargel became the leader in St. Petersburg. The movement continued to grow, but when Ivan Stepanovich Prokhanov, who had spent three and on-half years attending theological colleges in Bristol, London, Paris, and Berlin, became the leader, the movement experienced a rapid increase in members. Prokhanov organized the movement, energetically promoted missionary activity throughout Russia, printed and distributed vast quantities of literature, and raised large sums of money from colleges and churches in the United States to support the movement.

Although most converts came from the worker and peasant classes, many of the novelty and royalty continued as believers of Evangelical Christianity. One report compiled for the Department of Police in 1916 listed “Princess Gagarina, Her Highness Princess Paskevich, Princesses Lieven and Bariatinskaia, Chertkov, and heirs of Pashkov” as patrons of a congregation in Petrograd.

In 1908, Ivan S. Prokhanov, the leader of the Evangelical Christians and pastor of a church in St. Petersburg, started a mission in Helsinki, Finland. A year later, in 1909, he appointed Alexander I, Ivanov to be the preacher in the mission in Helsinki. Ivanov, who had earlier left the Russian Orthodox religion and joined the Evangelical Christian movement, had already been preaching in Vyborg, Finland, and his talents and dedication had caught the attention of Prokhanov.

When Ivanov moved to Helsinki he came in contact with followers of the Pentecostal Methodist missionary, Thomas Ball Barratt. Ivanov accepted Barratt’s teaching in 1910, for in 1914 he wrote: “The preaching of the Gospels was begun even before my arrival in Finland by Methodists in 1909 among Russians. From 1910 and to this day, the preaching of the Gospels has been done by me.”

There is evidence that Barratt visited Finland and Petrograd in 1911. His visit apparently strengthened Ivanov in the Pentecostal faith, but it does not appear that his visit was otherwise significant among the Russians.

In 1913, a division occurred in the Helsinki church, apparently over Pentecostalism, since Ivanov organized his followers into an independent congregation. Moreover, he rejected the nicknames given to his group, “Shakers” and “the sect of Christians of the Pentecost,” claiming only the name of Evangelical Christians. He referred to his followers as “free Russian Evangelists.”

In 1914, Prokhanov printed a warning in his newspaper Utreniaia zvezda against Ivanov’s followers: “In Helsingfors, in Vyborg, and also in St. Petersburg there appeared a sect of people calling themselves Pentecostalists but who in reality are Shakers.” He then identified Ivanov, Maslov, Stepanov, S. I. Prokhanov, and Khakkarainen (an Estonian) as members of the sect.

A warning also came in 1914 from Millerovo, a city in the southern part of the Russian Republic near the border of the Ukrainian Republic. A notice published in the Baptist journal mentioned Nikolai P. Snored, who reportedly told the Baptist congregation in Millerovo that he was not a Baptist or Evangelist but a Pentecostalist. Snored, who had been in Finland with Ivanov, had apparently also accepted the Pentecostal teaching.

In 1914, Ivanov, Snored, and their followers moved their mission to Petrograd, and this was the mission Urshan called a free Protestant mission. Apparently Ivanov and Snored served as co-leaders of the
mission, but others in the mission were also recognized as ministers. The mission soon came under attack by the Russian Orthodox Church. In November of 1915, Ivanov, F. A. Tuchkov, A. K. Chernukhin, and K. I. Vetsgaver were arrested and exiled to the Turgay Oblast in the Kazakhstan Republic. Their exile was short, however, for they were back in Petrograd during Urshan’s revival.

Since Ivanov, Snored, and others had already embraced Barratt’s Pentecostal teaching, they readily supported Urshan’s preaching on the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And the outpouring of the Spirit confirmed what they had learned in Finland. Credit must be given to Barratt for introducing Pentecostalism to Ivanov and his mission in Helsinki, but it is significant that Ivanov and Snored claimed Urshan and not Barratt as the founder of Pentecostalism in Russia. Moreover, Urshan ordained these two leaders into the ministry by the laying on of hands, and he placed them over the church in Petrograd.

The name adopted by the movement was Evangelical Christians in the Spirit of the Apostles, a name that remains today. However, since Snored became the sole leader of the movement after Ivanov’s death in 1934, the movement was often called Smorodintsy (the followers of Snored). In some areas of the Soviet Union, the name has been slightly changed to Evangelical Christians according to the Teachings of the Apostles. The Jesus Name people are also called “the people who believe in one God.”

WATER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

Urshan, who had left North America before the issue over the baptismal formula emerged, learned about the controversy from his correspondence with people in America. He knew the biblical teaching on water baptism in the name of Jesus, for he had baptized new converts in the name of Jesus as early as 1910. But he himself had not been baptized in the name of Jesus, nor had he advocated rebaptism for those baptized by immersion the traditional Trinitarian formula.

He wanted to wait until he returned to the United States before deciding on the issue. In Petrograd he tried to avoid baptism by not mentioning it in his preaching. Yet he realized that he needed to know what to do if a new convert asked to be baptized. So he prayed that if God wanted him to baptize as the Apostles did in the Book of Acts, then let the first convert who asked to be baptized show him in the Bible the chapter and verse referring to baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Urshan did not mention his prayer or the matter of water baptism. But during the testimony service one evening, a man rushed to Urshan with his Bible in his hand. Crying he said, “Oh! Brother Urshan, the Lord Jesus told me last night to ask you to baptize me, just like this text.” The man’s finger was in Acts 8:16.

At the first baptismal service, Urshan baptized twelve converts in the name of Jesus Christ. Although did not explain why he baptized in the name of Jesus, the baptismal service caused many other people to repent and desire baptism. At the next baptismal service, however, he preached a message on Isaiah 9:6 on the deity of Jesus Christ. Then he explained why the apostles always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus without using the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When he finished, to his surprise many people who had been baptized in the Trinitarian formula wanted to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Urshan tried to discourage them against rebaptism, saying that it was not necessary. When they insisted, he told them about the controversy in North America and tried to persuade them to change their minds. Then he asked them to pray, thinking this would end the matter. But after praying, the people said,”Now, Brother Urshan, we are ready to be baptized.” Urshan again refused, telling them that they could baptize each other but he would not baptize them.

The people, however, insisted that since he had taught them from the Scriptures about this truth he should be the one to baptize them. The appeal to Scripture broke his resistance. And he became convinced that he too should be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Urshan and the others chose the eldest leader among them who had received the Holy Ghost, F. A. Tuchkov, a retired navy guard, to baptize Urshan. Then Urshan baptized Tuchkov and about 75 others in the name of Jesus. Before he left Russia two months later, he had baptized about two hundred Russian believers in the name of Jesus Christ.

Before Urshan left Petrograd, he appointed Ivanov and Snored to be the leaders of the church and movement. When he wrote his life story a few years later he mentioned that news had reached him that the church in Leningrad had grown to about 1,000 and that Ivanov and Snored “were holding onto the truth in Leningrad.” He also mentioned that many of the saints had emigrated to South America, where they were spreading the Oneness message.

REPRESSION, PERSECUTION AND SURVIVAL

One year after Andrew Urshan preached in Petrograd (Leningrad, St. Petersburg), the Bolshevik coup brought the Communist Party to power in the nation. For the first decade of Communist rule, evangelicals, including Pentecostals, had freedom to preach and promote their message throughout the nation. But the government took severe repressive measures against evangelicals beginning in 1928. The next year, in 1929, the Soviet government passed a set of laws that essentially made the practice of religion a crime. The government had set out to eradicate all religions, including Pentecostalism, in the Soviet Union.

Using the laws passed in 1929, the Communist government imprisoned thousands of evangelical believers, including Oneness Pentecostals. It was a crime to print or distribute religious literature, to meet for religious service, to teach one’s children about God, and to witness about God to others. Christians were relocated to work on collective farms, in factories, and in labor camps. Most if not all the pastors of Jesus Name churches were sent to prisons or to work in labor camps. If and when they were released from prison or labor camps, they were soon arrested and imprisoned again. Many of them disappeared in prison, and the authorities would not tell their families what happened to them.

Still Pentecostals and other evangelicals refused to bow to the godless demands of the government, even if it meant prison and death. They went underground, meeting secretly in homes. They soon lost communication with other Pentecostals, not only those in other cities but also many in their own communities. They took the worst persecution Communism had to give, and they survived by God’s grace to see the collapse of this enemy of the work of God.

RUSSIAN ONENESS PENTECOSTALISM TODAY

During the years of repression, the Jesus Name people in the West lost contact with their brothers and sisters in the Soviet Union. After the changes that began in Russia in 1986, the United Pentecostal Church heard of a Jesus Name church in Leningrad. Our missionaries visited the congregation in 1988. Since that time our missionaries, officials, and other ministers have visited churches in Leningrad, Moscow, Brest, Minsk, Odessa, and Tallinn.

During June 1991, General Superintendent Nathaniel A. Urshan, who is the son of Andrew D. Urshan, Regional Field Supervisor Robert Rodenbush, Missionary Harold Kinney, and Editor in Chief J. L. Hall visited Leningrad and Moscow. They met in session with ministers and leaders from churches across the Soviet Union. Brother Urshan preached to the churches in Leningrad and Moscow and at a crusade service held at a civic auditorium in Leningrad. The information we have received indicates that there are at least eighty Jesus Name churches and groups in the Soviet Union.

Brother and Sister Dmitri Shatrov, pastor of the church in Leningrad, attended the 1990 Pentecostal World Conference in Amsterdam. He and his wife also attended the General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, during October 1991. Pastor Shatrov is working to unite the ministers and churches in the Soviet Union into an organization.

Fellowship with the Oneness Pentecostal believers in the Soviet Union is being restored, but the task of assisting them has only begun. The United Pentecostal Church has sent 19,000 Bibles to the churches in the Soviet Union.

Some small offerings have also been given to churches for specific needs. We are in the process of translating books, pamphlets, and tracts into the Russian language for distribution among the Russian churches. Our missionaries have participated in ministerial seminars and arranged for North American ministers to preach in Russian churches.

Our assistance, however, must be strengthened and expanded quickly if we are to meet the critical needs of people in Oneness Pentecostal churches and assist them in their efforts to reach the tens of thousands of spiritually hungry people in the Soviet Union. They will need finances to purchase church property, printing equipment, and evangelism tools, and to publish an official periodical. But basic to all we must do to help them, we need to pray and encourage them in the Lord as they emerge from the dark, repressive shadows of godless communism to evangelize the cities, towns, and communities in their nation.

References

Urshan, Andrew David. The Life of Andrew Bar David Urshan. Portland, Oregon: Apostolic Book Publishers, 1967.
Hollenweger, Walter T. The Pentecostals. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1972.
Klibanov, A. I. History oy Religious Sectarianism in Aussia (1860s-1917). New York: Pergamon Press, 1982.
Fletcher, William C. Soviet Charismatics: The Pentecostals in the USSR. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1985.
Durasoff, Steve. The Aussian Protestants: Euangellca!s irt the Soviet Union: 1944-1964. Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 1969.
Sawatsky, Walter. Soviet Evangelicals Since World War II. Kitchener, Ont.: Herald Press, 1981.

This article is from the PENTECOSTAL HERALD, November 1991, and December 1991 edition. It was written by J.L. Hall editor in chief. This material is copyrighted and may be used for study purposes only.

CHRISTIAN INFORMATION NETWORK

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADAH - Apostolic History, AIS File Library0 Comments


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