Tag Archive | Urshan

When Paganism Crept Into Christianity

When Paganism Crept Into Christianity
By Nathan A. Urshan
I would like to draw your attention to something very important which I feel is outstanding in relationship to the Word of God. First of all, I would like to call your attention to the marvelous history of the New Testament. In the New Testament long before the doctrines that corrupted the early church appeared, the Apostle Paul as is reported by St. Luke in the writing of the Acts of the Apostles, warned the early church of the possibility of such heresies entering the church.

I am reading from Acts 20:27-31. “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

Now the Apostle Paul was not alone in this concern for what might take place after his departure as an individual and as an instructor in the early church. For if you will read the Epistle of Jude to the New Testament Church, you will find that Jude also warns that there would be strange people entering the fold of fellowship in that new Christian experience and would bring with them damnable doctrines of heresies. Therefore, there was an alert that was sounded trough-out the whole rank of that early church warning that heresies would begin.

A New Revolt in Religion

Concerning this, I would like to point out that we are living in a day of revolution not only in religious circles, but revolution in commerce, society, politics, and in many other areas. There is something behind all these present day upheavals and it is, of course, the nearness of the end of the Lord and on certain tribulations that will come upon the earth. This is the convulsion of our formal world which is soon to pass away, making way for the new heaven and the new earth as promised to us by the Lord Himself.

Since the last part of the first Christian century, the original Apostolic doctrine has been be-clouded by so-called “heretical Christians”. While reformations have brought to life a great deal of Bible truth, yet even our reformers have been afraid to cut loose entirely from the so-called Christian Father’s dogma on the subject of God or the doctrine of the Godhead.

The Prophet Daniel was shown among many other things for these last days, that the revelation of God to His own people would be one of the issues of the time. Therefore, Daniel said, “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits: (Daniel 11:32). Jesus Himself, speaking of present day upheavals, declared in Matthew 24:9, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Mind you, this persecution would not come for your Godliness; it would not be pressed upon you for your spiritual gifts or your denominational name, but He declares your persecution would be for the sake of His name or “… for my name’s sake.

I would like to point out that the evening time of the primitive Christendom is now at hand. At this evening time, there is shining forth into the loving hearts of the people of the Lord, a great and marvelous revelation and a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit which will culminate in the whole earth receiving the knowledge of the Lord which will finally cover even the mountains. This will usher in the millennium. But, in the midst of these present revolutions, we are concerned about some of the conditions that exist in religious circles.

Today people are celebrating their hero’s achievements and glorying in the work of their hands. On the other hand, the false system of worldly religions are making a very drastic success, boasting of their gain in membership and their high stand in politics. Religion is boasting of their wealth and their influence upon society. Today there are more spiritualists than there ever has been in the history of religion.

While these man-made revivals are on and while a good deal of Protestantism is sadly divided and waning fast, one who loves the Lord and observes these evident facts may ask the question, “What are we to do in such a time?” The answer comes from heaven by the wonderful operation of the Holy Spirit. That answer is, “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3). “…hold fast which thou hast…” (Revelation 3:11). Hold fast to what? Well, this is it: Your loyalty to the name of the Lord and to the word of His patience, for the Lord has declared, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me” (Revelation 22:12).

Seek Ye The Lord

Seeking the Lord is the message of the hour. Seeking to know Him, for the people who know their God shall be strong, seeking to proclaim Him and profess Him, for “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32)
We need to seek strength to be able to endure with our love to our Lord unto the very end. For the Bible says, “… he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). But, into the midst of this projected condition, there is this question, Who is the Lord?” Upon this important question hangs our blessed and absolute eternal destiny. Those who call Jesus Christ the Lord by revelation and inspiration of the Holy Ghost worship Him as such.

The Bible states in Psalms 91:15, “…I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” You’ll notice in Psalms 91 that a love for the name of the Lord brings deliverance because centering your love on that name brings the protective influence of Almighty God. But, when the blessed Spirit of the Lord is crowded out by human ideas and philosophy concerning the Lord, w=the revelations and inspirations of heaven cease.

This is what began to take place during the second century when pagan theology, philosophy, and wisdom commenced to creep into the pure apostolic church. The consequences was a sad and endless mix-up and then, of course, religious out-breaks. These revolutions divided the church of Jesus Christ. The church gradually was controlled by men of great human personalities, men of great learning, influence and philosophy.

Infiltrated Heresy

One of the first heresies that crept in was tritheism. Some of those devout, learned and converted heathens saw that the common Christians who were filled with the Spirit of God, were praying to Jesus Christ, worshipping Him, and praising Him vehemently and continually. These men of learning thought these Christians were giving too much homage to the Son and neglecting worship to His Father, so they began at once to preach a new doctrine. Their new doctrine taught that Jesus was not the first to be loved and worshipped, but His Father, and that Christ was to be the second and the Holy Spirit was to be the third in the place of honor. This brought about the teaching of a three persons God.

These tritheistic fathers became so dogmatic in this teaching, that they changed the form of baptism to what is known now as “triune emersion.” At that time they dipped their converts three times, once into the name of the Father, second into the name of the Son, and third into the name of the Holy Spirit. These church fathers, being cultured and scholarly, and very often very devout to their ideas of God, and also having influence with the world’s influential men, prevailed against the common, slave-class of Christians and the latter had to submit against their own will.

Today, though we do not have a continual practice of so-called three dippings or triune emersion, we do have a new substitute which is involved in what we know to be Matthew 28:19 which declares “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Some people who knew better, being more independent and also quite wise, revolted against this tritheistic theology. These were know as Arians and Socians. They held to a one God being Jesus Christ and Son, begotten, originated, created, and adopted during some unknown period of time to be the first and greatest of all God’s creatures by and with whom the Almighty made the world and redeemed humanity.

The crisis between these two parties and others minor parties created new revolutions such as the Sabellianisms and many other small “isms,: until the flames of this religious revolution got to the Kings and Princes of the world. It was so great that these rulers had to take sides with these different Christian sects for their own political opportunities. This, of course, caused terrible divisions, persecutions, and Christian martyrdom.

In their time, the bishops became religious leaders under the world’s rulers, putting their anthemas upon any opponent, until the rise of Constantine, the emperor of Rome. He seemed to be the wisest of all European rulers. Through his nominal profession of the Christian faith, though refusing baptism until the time of his death bed, he began to work a plan of uniting all Christians in Europe in order to get the good will of the rest of Christendom in Asia and Africa. He figured he would use them to work out his political plan and conquer the rest of the world. Constantine succeeded in getting the greatest Christian gathering ever held, about A.D. 325. Emperor Constantine paid the way of the bishops and presbyters, gathering them together from all over the world to settle these disputes among Christians in Rome and pledging his kingly support.

The outcome of this great gathering was the rejection and disposition of Arianism and the formation of the 19 creeds which is held today by the Roman and Greek Catholic churches and by many protestant denominations. But, into this 19 credo was written some of the substance of a good deal of traditional churchanity which has filled a good deal of the thinking and a good deal of the doctrinal stands of many protestant bodies today. The result has been that around the traditional idea of the Nicean council a great deal of religion has found its basic foundation.

Back To The Original

Today as we declare to you a gospel that comes from the primitive Apostolic church, we are answering the traditional concept by saying that never in any instance did the New Testament teach a baptism into a formula of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Instead the New Testament, as reported in the Book of Acts of the Apostles, taught a baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remissions of sins. The promise was that upon repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, you should receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That is why we are contending for an Apostolic faith that is the original practice of the church.

The Apostles knew of these new doctrines that were coming into the church, and that is why they forewarned the Christians of their day. The Apostle Paul speaking against this corrupt doctrine said, “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 (Colossians 2:8). Then in Colossians 2:9, the Apostle gives his reason for the warning: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” This satisfied the primitive Christians of the first century in regard to the deity of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle John warned against Socians and Arians. In I John 5:20 and 21 he says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

These two practical warnings contain the whole truth. Declare it with no unsound words. The truth is that the true God is the true eternal life and that God in His majesty is in His Son, Jesus Christ. With this being the truth, they preached Jesus Christ, baptized into His name and admonished the converts to believe, to cleave, and abide in Jesus Christ, because, “… he that acknowledged the Son hath the Father also: (I John 2:23).

Today we are again sounding the same apostolic message to our world and declaring that this is the primitive doctrine of that original church. Back to Jesus Christ; back to the Bible; back to the original primitive standard of the church; back to the great foundation upon which the church is built. This is what Jesus meant when He said in Matthew 16:18, “… upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

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

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

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Pentecostal History

Pentecostal History
By Margaret Calhoun

The day of Pentecost, when the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ were gathered in the upper room, were filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance, fulfilled the Scriptures and the promises of God in the Old Testament, where He said He would pour out His Spirit in the last days. The memorial sermon that the Apostle Peter preached on that great day in Jerusalem set forth the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.

Throughout the Book of Acts this wonderful truth of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the revelation of baptism in Jesus’ name, and the fullness of God in Christ were paramount truths. God proved to the world that this was His plan of salvation for this dispensation, which we call the church age.

But Jesus and the Apostles, spoke also, that in the days to follow there would be persecution, and a falling away.

The Apostle Paul warned the church that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.

The Apostle Paul also warned the church that the days were coming when persecution against the truth would arise, and he urged them to remember the words of our Lord and His commandments. He warned that the time would come when men would forsake the wonderful truths that were so prevalent in the early New Testament days as recorded in the book of Acts.

After the Apostles died, we must admit, a falling away followed in the second, third, and fourth centuries.. Traditions and opinions of men began to push the truth of God into the background.

But God, through the prophecies of His Word, gave us an assurance that though the gates of hell waged war against the church, it would not prevail. And in the evening time there should be a light in the days before the coming of the Lord.

We believe the Scriptures teach that there will be a restoration of truth revealed, as God set forth in the early church. In this course, we shall endeavor to present to you how that God, step by step, began to lead us back to the truth and open our eyes to the word of God.

1. A REVIEW OF PENTECOST

A. The Early Church: The Christian Church began on the day of Pentecost when one hundred and twenty of the most faithful followers of Jesus Christ had assembled and tarried ten days waiting for the promised baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5). Suddenly they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues (Acts 2:1-4).
B. Baptism: The Early Church Baptized in the Name of Jesus.

1. 3000 were baptized and added to the Church on the first day (Acts 2:41).

2. They were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

3. At a later time, in Samaria, they were baptized in the same way (Acts 8:16).

4. The first Gentile converts were baptized in Jesus Name (Acts 10:48)

5. Paul was given a direct revelation by God, of the gospel (Galatians 1:11,12). He baptized in the Name of Jesus. And even re-baptized those who had not been baptized in the Name of the Lord
(Acts 19:4,5).

6. There is not one place in the New Testament church where any convert was baptized other than in the name of the Lord.

C. Holy Ghost Baptism: The Early Church Spoke in Other Tongues.

1. When the one hundred and twenty received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, they caused much amazement throughout the city of Jerusalem (Acts 2:6-8).

2. The first Gentiles to receive salvation spoke in tongues (Acts 10:45,46).

3. Twenty-five years later, at Ephesus, an outpouring of the Holy Ghost with tongues is recorded (Acts 19:1-6).

4. There are other instances in which the phenomenon is not mentioned, but many Bible scholars agree, there was an outward sign, obviously tongues (Acts 8,9): at Samaria, and the conversion of Paul.

5. God gave the same gift to Jews and Gentiles (Acts 11:17).

D. Jesus Christ Acknowledged as God

1. Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus indicated the belief of the early church leaders (Peter, Philip, Paul) that this was the name of the Godhead.

2. They taught that the God of the Old Testament and Christ of the New are one and the same person, not two separate and distinct ones. Read Colossians 2:9, John 10:30.

3. The Father and the Holy Spirit are one and the same (John 4:24, Ephesians 4:4, I Corinthians 12:13).

4. God veiled Himself in human flesh, born of the virgin Mary. He became a God-man. The flesh was the Son of God which housed God the Father within. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15)

5. There is one God, who has manifested Himself in three ways:Father in creation, Son in His redemptive plan and Holy Spirit in His dealings with Humanity.

6. The Early Church hinted at nothing like the teaching of the Trinity. Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh. God the Father, the only God in existence, came to earth and was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.

7. Study: John 5:43; Matthew 1:21, 28:19; Isaiah 42:8,45;John 14:9,10; 11 Corinthians 5:19; John 1:1-14, 20:28;John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2; Philippians 2:10; Titus 2:13; Colossians 1:15

Pentecost Through the Ages

Very little remains of historical writings of the church, outside of the Roman Catholic records. All “heretic” (those not adhering to the teachings of Rome) peoples and their writings were ruthlessly suppressed. Most of what we know comes from writings against them, therefore cannot be very useful. But we realize there have always been children of God, standing for Bible truths and experiences they were willing to die for.

1. Mention is made in history of some who baptized in the Name of Christ as late as the eighth century. They were branded as heretics and died for the truth they upheld.

2. There were three chief views of the Godhead (H. G. Wells) by the third and fourth centuries.

a. Arian – Christ was less than God.
b. Sabellians.- Christ was a mode or aspect of God. God was  Creator, Saviour and Comforter, just as one man may be father, trustee and guest.
c. Trinitarians – led by Athanasius, who taught that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost were three distinct Persons, but one God.

3. Historians record that the teaching of the unity of God (three aspects or manifestations of God) sometimes called Sabellianism, from Bishop Sabellius, has appeared many times in history and is current
today.

4. Speaking in Tongues – this phenomenon has been in existence in almost any age.

a. Mentioned in the writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine and others.
b. Twelfth century: Albigenses and Waldenses spoke in tongues.
c. Sixteenth century: The Quakers, or Shakers spoke in tongues,
shouted, danced in the Spirit. Followers of Wesley, Whitefield and Irving spoke in tongues.
d. Nineteenth century: revival in Wales, India. Many others received the Baptism but did not realize exactly what it was. Followers of D. L. Moody spoke in tongues and prophesied. Also Charles
Finney.
e. In reports of revivals throughout history, there is frequently
mention made of speaking in tongues or ecstatic utterances.

II. THE LATTER RAIN OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY GHOST

A. The Topeka Outpouring

1. There was great unrest in the church during the latter part of the nineteenth century. The church had become cold and formal.

2. New groups began to spring up, seeking to fill the hunger in their hearts for reality in religious experience.

3. In 1898, Charles F. Parham (age 25) and his wife established a home for those needing healing. Spiritual needs were met as well. The sick were cared for and prayed for, and many workers were instructed in Bible truths and trained for gospel work.

4. Parham felt there was waiting for the Church a great outpouring of power for the Christians who were to close this age. He bought a large mansion “Stone’s Folly”, to house a Bible School, in Topeka, Kansas. Forty enrolled, and they depended entirely upon the Lord to meet their needs.

5. Late in December, 1900, Parham had to leave town. Before departing he instructed each of his students to study the Bible individually to see if there were some sort of special witness to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many different religious bodies were claiming different proofs, and he felt none tallied with the second chapter of Acts.

6. When he returned and reconvened the students, they informed him that on each occasion in Apostolic times when the Holy Spirit fell, there was an outward manifestation – speaking in tongues.

7. From that moment each member of the college family determined to pray and to look for an experience that would tally with those recounted in Acts.

8. At a service on New Year’s Eve, one of the students, Agnes Ozman, asked Mr. Parham to lay hands upon her that she might receive the Holy Spirit. As he prayed, her face lighted up with the glory of God and she began to speak with other tongues. This was New Year’s Day, 1901. On the third, Parham and many others likewise received the same experience.

9. The school was besieged with newspaper reporters, professors of languages, government interpreters etc. All agreed the students were speaking in languages of the world.

B. Significance of the Topeka Outpouring

The unusual significance concerning the Topeka outpouring is not that it was the first time in the modern age that people had spoken in tongues, but that it was the first known experience of people seeking for the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the expectation of speaking in tongues. From this time Pentecostal believers were to teach that the baptism should be sought, and that it would be received with the
evidence of tongues. For this reason, the experience of Agnes Ozman is designated as the beginning of the modern Pentecostal revival.

C. The Fire Spreads

Parham and workers from the school held several revivals in different cities. News of the phenomenon spread far and wide and crowds of people would be On hand to hear the evangelist speak.

Soon after the revival in Topeka, ministers from various denominations began to inquire after this new way. Many searched the Scriptures and found that the experience was Scriptural. They became seekers and many were filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking with other tongues.

D. Galena, Kansas Revival

In the fall of 1903 a meeting was begun which lasted on through the winter. Many were healed and filled with the Holy Ghost. The largest building in town, holding 1,000, could not take care of the crowds. Much publicity was given in the newspapers, and the news spread far and wide.

E. Revival in Texas

From Galena and other cities, the revival fires spread to the state of Texas. Numerous healings were reported, along with a large number receiving the Holy Ghost. It is estimated that by the winter of 1905, Texas had 15,000 Pentecostal believers and about 60 preachers. Parham organized a Bible School in Houston, Texas. Among his students was a negro Holiness preacher, William J. Seymour. Seymour did not receive the Spirit Baptism at that time, but was convinced of the experience. He was to occupy a prominent place in the movement in the future.

F. The Azusa Street Mission Revival

In 1906 W. J. Seymour, a Negro minister, was invited to conduct a meeting in a Nazarene church in Los Angeles, California. He chose as his text Acts 2:4, and proceeded to tell the congregation that the scriptural evidence of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit was speaking in another language as the Spirit gave the utterance.

This ignited a wave of protest, and in the afternoon when he returned, the door was locked against him. As yet he had not received the Holy Ghost, but he believed he must preach only this truth.

He was invited to hold services in the Asberry home, and things began to happen there. Six were filled with the Holy Ghost. For three days and nights, services continued with hundreds of all races pushing into the little house. Then Seymour received his personal Baptism. During the three days of services, it is said that the house actually shook under the praising of a hungry people.

The crowds grew so large, that a new location was sought. An old Methodist church on Azusa Street, which had been converted to a store building, was found. Here a great three-year revival began.

The conditions that are counted necessary for a real revival were all wanting. No instruments of music were used. The singing service was literally inspired by the Holy Ghost. No subjects or sermons were announced ahead of time, and no special speakers for such an hour. All was spontaneous, ordered of the Spirit. Seymour generally sat behind two empty boxes, one on top of the other. He usually kept his head inside the top one during the meeting in prayer. There was no pride there.

Travelers came from far and wide to the whitewashed store building. Here they found a mighty Pentecostal revival going on from 10:00 in the morning until 12:00 at night. People from almost all churches in
existence came. They came from every continent in the world. This continued for three years, day and night, without a break. Nothing like this, with such far-reaching significance, had ever happened in
the twentieth century Pentecostal movement and for this reason, the Azusa Street revival is commonly looked upon as God’s means of spreading the influence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost experience to much of the United States and several other countries.

The Secret Behind Azusa Street

A prominent place was given to prayer. The people customarily gathered for an undirected period of prayer before the services commenced. Seymour, upon preaching, would fall upon his knees and begin to pray. Without encouragement, the congregation would follow for long periods of supplication. Many were healed and filled with the Holy Ghost in the upstairs prayer room.

H. The Spreading Revival

When people returned to their homes from Azusa Street, they spread the story of their experience and the wonderful way God had blessed. The more the message was preached and people embraced it, the more the old line churches fought it. Leading pastors of the day took strong stands against the “tongues movement.” Yet nothing could stop it, for it was ordained of God and heaven-backed.

Reports were coming from everywhere of people receiving the Holy Ghost. It was as if the first century was begin relived, to see the spreading flames moving so quickly in so many places.

I. Pentecostalism Reaches Europe

In 1906, T. B. Barratt, born in England, but now a resident of Norway, made a visit to America where he received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. He pastored a large Methodist church in Norway, and returned preaching the Pentecostal message. From his witness and influence, the message spread to many other European countries. The desire for a Holy Ghost revival also had come from reports of the great Welsh Revival of 1904.

J. Pentecostalism Penetrates the Orient, Africa, and Latin America

1. India: The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in India cannot be traced to the indoctrination of any one person or organization. However, the first recorded instance of a Holy Spirit Baptism was in 1906. It was the result of the heart-felt need of a nine year old girl. She and four other girls began to pray, and before long, one began to speak in an unknown language. As the result of prayer bands, and efforts of Pentecostal missionaries, Pentecostalism spread throughout India and even beyond.

2. China: The first report comes in 1908 where people from a Christian and Missionary Alliance group began speaking in tongues. In succeeding years, missionaries began to come and teach the Pentecostal experience.

3. Africa: The Pentecostal message was first introduced in South Africa sometime before 1910 by two American evangelists. The vast Central African territory was not penetrated by Pentecostals until 1914-15.

4. Latin America: The greatest rise in Pentecostalism has been until recently, in Chile and Brazil. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Chile, in 1907, came as the result of the fervent prayer of an American missionary who wished to see his church filled not only with people but the Holy Spirit. Great revival came.

In Brazil, the Pentecostal message was brought in 1910 by an American missionary, and a group of Swedish-American missionaries as well.

III. THE REVELATION OF JESUS’ NAME

A. Los Angeles Camp Meeting

In 1913 a campmeeting for ministers of the Pentecostal movement was held in Los Angeles, California. One of the speakers was R. E. McAlister, a popular preacher. Just prior to baptizing several converts, he spoke on the subject of baptism, pointing out that the apostles invariably baptized their converts in the name of Jesus Christ; that the words Father, Son and Holy Ghost were never used in Christian baptism.

The message caused quite an emotional upheaval in the audience and at the meeting. McAlister made an attempt to quiet the group, but this was to be the high point of the camp meeting.

B. After the Camp

Present at the meeting was Frank J. Ewart, later prominent in the Oneness movement. Ewart and McAlister, after the camp, opened a revival in the city. This later continued in the church of Brother Warren Fisher. Others preaching in this revival were Glenn Cook and G. T. Haywood.

During this time Ewart noticed the tremendous moving of the Spirit of God when he exalted the name of Jesus. The evangelists were encouraged by the pastor to do many things in the name of Jesus, but were not to do all things in that name. At this time Ewart decided to obey God and step out with His message.

Thus in 1914, the same year when the Assemblies of God organization was set up, Frank Ewart, through much seeking God in prayer, had revealed to him through the Word of God a great truth concerning the plan of salvation: that God was in his Son Jesus, reconciling the world unto Himself (II Corinthians 5:19), and that the simple plan of salvation had been plainly laid out by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:38. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” It was revealed further that Jesus is the only door of salvation, and that there is none other name given … whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Still further it was revealed that all the fullness of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) dwelled in Him bodily (Col. 2:9). Thus all the apostles, fully understanding the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19, baptized every candidate in the “name of Jesus”. He saw that the apostolic commandment is, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Col. 3:17).

C. Ewart’s First Acts 2:38 Sermon

When Ewart had made his decision, he offered to leave the pulpit of Fisher’s church. He pitched a tent on the east side of the city, and was treated kindly by Fisher.

On April 15, 1914, he preached a message on Acts 2:38. The message took fire, and a revival started.

Glen Cook rejoined him. Since neither had been baptized in Jesus’ name, they purchased a tank and baptized each other. Soon many were baptized, a noteworthy number receiving the Holy Ghost when coming up out of the water. The sick were brought, and many were healed when baptized, in obedience to God’s Word.

D. The Truth Spreads

At this time Ewart was editor of a paper, Meat in Due Season. Through it he propagated the message of Jesus’ name in many parts of the nation and in many mission fields. Thus many were convinced of the truth before a preacher ever preached it to them.

Cook began to carry the message to many of the states in America, with tremendous results.

Among other outstanding preachers of the day was G. T. Haywood, who had an outstanding knowledge of the Word of God. He too embraced the Truth and brought many into it.

The officials of the Assemblies of God tried to stop the carrying of the message and much was written against it. E. N. Bell, first superintendent of the Assemblies of God, at first condemned the “new issue”, but in 1915 he was baptized in Jesus’ Name. He later baptized H. A. Goss, another prominent leader in the Pentecostal movement.

E. The Assemblies of God Reject the Oneness Message

The General Council of the Assemblies of God was held in 1915, during the tremendous surge toward the Oneness doctrine. Central topics of discussion at this meeting were the Godhead question and the proper baptismal formula.

Those against the message began fighting it severely. The leaders began to exert great pressure to re-align those of the brethren who had gone into Oneness teaching, and to keep others behind the Trinitarian teaching.

At the next annual council, in 1916, a committee was drawn up to write a statement of fundamental truths of the organization. This was seen as a necessity by the Trinitarians, to combat the entrance of the Oneness doctrine in their midst. When the statements were read, the “Oneness” section endeavored to strike out the strong Trinitarian ideas. They had wanted to remain with the group. The Oneness doctrine was referred to as “hay, wood and stubble”, and the Oneness brothers were said to be “in the wilderness”. The advocates of the new doctrine said little more, having come to the conclusion that opposition would be futile.

The passing of the strong Trinitarian report forced the Oneness brethren to leave. They were no longer part of the Assemblies of God. One hundred fifty-six ministers and numerous assemblies were expelled. This marked the beginning of a separate Oneness Pentecostal organization.

IV. ONENESS PIONEERS

A. Gladstone Thomas Haywood
G. T. Haywood, a well-known Pentecostal pioneer, was born July 15, 1880 in Indiana. He was extremely talented and deeply spiritual.

After graduating from high-school, he worked for two newspapers, hoping to become a writer or professional cartoonist. He later left the paper and took a job in a foundry.

In February 1908, he was testified to concerning the Holy Ghost, and attended his first Pentecostal revival. That very night he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

One year later he started his first mission, with thirteen saints. There he continued until 1913. God blessed, and in 1924 a large, beautiful building, Christ Temple, was built in Indianapolis. It still stands.

He traveled extensively and was in constant demand as a Bible teacher. He is perhaps best remembered for the inspiring hymns which God moved upon him to write. These include “I See A Crimson Stream of Blood”,  “Thank God for the Blood”, “Behold the Bridegroom Cometh”, “Coming as a Thief in the Night”, etc.He died in April, 1931 at the age of fifty-one years.

B. Howard A. Goss

Howard Goss was born on a farm in Missouri, March 6, 1883. Life in his early childhood was typified by hard work and few luxuries, but in his own words, “…life seemed full to us, and complete…”

In 1898 the farm was sold and the family moved to Galena, Kansas. Howard Goss was converted here in 1902 under the ministry of Charles F. Parham. He received a call to the ministry, and in 1905 joined a group of twenty-two workers who went to Texas.

In 1906, while riding to a revival on a train, the workers began to worship God. He began to pour out His Spirit, and Howard Goss and others received the Holy Ghost on the train! That year he was also ordained.

He married in 1907 but widowed three years later. In 1911 he married again, and he and his wife became the parents of six children. In 1912 he settled in Hot Springs, Arkansas where he pastored. In November of that year, he and E. N. Bell issued an invitation to hold a convention in order to organize the Pentecostal work. E. N. Bell was elected Chairman; Howard Goss, Secretary. Out of this meeting grew the Assemblies of God organization.

At about this same time the truth of baptism in the name of Jesus and the Oneness of God was revealed. Howard Goss, along with many others accepted this truth.

In 1919 he moved to Canada, where he pastored until 1937. In 1939 he returned to the United States, and was elected General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Church Incorporated.

In 1945 he was elected the first General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church, the newly formed group from the merger of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, and the Pentecostal Church Incorporated. He held this position until 1951.

He continued active in the work of God as a Bible teacher and spiritual leader until illness prevented. He died in July, 1964, at his home in Windsor, Canada.

C. William Thomas Witherspoon

W. T. Witherspoon was born in Pennsylvania, on August 7, 1880. He married in 1902, in Pittsburgh, where he was employed as a salesman for a large equipment firm.

The Witherspoons were prominent in church work, first in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and then in the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

In 1912 W. T. Witherspoon received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Three years later God revealed to him the truth of the Oneness of the Godhead, and baptism in Jesus’ name.

In 1914 he received a promotion in his work and was transferred to Columbus, Ohio. Shortly after this, he received a definite call to the ministry. In 1917 he organized a group into a small congregation. This work grew to be one of the largest Oneness assemblies in the world.

His keen spiritual vision also led to the establishing of five branch churches in Ohio.

He became the first Foreign Missionary Chairman of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, serving from 1938 until it merged with the Pentecostal Church, Incorporated in 1945, to form the United Pentecostal Church. He was elected Assistant General Superintendent of this new group.

He died on October 27, 1947. The life and ministry.of W. T. Witherspoon has made a lasting contribution to the world.

D. Oliver F. Fauss

Oliver F. Fauss was born May 22, 1898 on a farm in northwestern Oklahoma. His home had been built, by his mother’s request, like a long hall. The rooms were made by curtains stretched on a wooden frame, so they could be easily moved out for a dance.

When he was five or six, the family attended a Methodist revival. His parents were wonderfully converted, and from that time their home was completely changed.

When Oliver was eleven or twelve, the family moved to Texas. There he was converted while praying alone out in a pasture. In 1911 he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He felt definitely called to work for the Lord. He attended services at a mission hall, and worked in street meetings until 1915, when he was baptized in Jesus’ name, and entered the ministry. The first nine years of his ministry were spent almost entirely on the evangelistic field. From 1924 to 1928 he pastored a church in Port Arthur, Texas.

He married in July, 1916, and had three children. In 1929 he founded Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Houston, Texas, and was its pastor for approximately forty years.

He was elected Assistant General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church in 1947. In October, 1967, when General Superintendent Arthur T. Morgan died suddenly, Oliver Fauss was appointed to serve the two remaining months of his term.

E. Andrew Urshan

Andrew D. Urshan was born on May 17, 1884, in Iran in a village approximately 400 miles northwest of Mt. Ararat, where Noah’s ark rested.

He was converted in his homeland in 1900. In 1902 he came to the United States. He began preaching the gospel in 1904 and remained faithful to his calling until his death – 63 years later.

In 1906, in Chicago, he witnessed a new touch of God’s sanctifying grace, and a fresh divine anointing that set him on fire to win lost souls. He began personal work among the Assyrian people with marked success.

Two years later, in 1908, the Holy Ghost fell upon these converts in an upper room of the Moody Bible Institute. He sought the Lord, with a new determination to receive this heavenly outpouring of God’s Spirit. God baptized him with the Holy Ghost in July of 1908.

Brother Urshan preached not only in the United States and Canada, but also in the British Isles, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and Persia (now Iran). There is a large group of Oneness believers in Russia today, called “Urshanites”. The origin of this group can be traced back to an evangelistic preaching tour of Bro. Urshan’s made in the early nineteen-hundreds.

During his lifetime, Brother Urshan published at least eight books which were widely distributed. In 1917 he began to publish a monthly periodical, “The Witness of God”, which he continued until the time of his death.

He was ordained in 1910, and married in 1917. He was blessed with four children.

In 1933 he became pastor of a church in New York City. He resigned this pastorate in 1950 and spent the remaining years of his life speaking in special meetings, evangelistic services and conferences.

The inspiring ministry of Andrew D. Urshan made a lasting contribution to the present-day Oneness Pentecostal movement.

Andrew D. Urshan went to be with Jesus on October 16, 1967, at the age of eighty-two years.

His last words to his son were, “You go to the National Conference in Tulsa; I’m going to the International Conference in the New Jerusalem.”

This article is from: Overseas Ministries Training Series, date unknown.
Christian Information Network

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