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XI

REVIVAL OF NEW PROPHETIC MOVEMENT
 The First Wave: The Classical Pentecostals

BRITISH MOVEMENTS

At least three movements in England form the basis of the new revival of the Montanism.  These are:
The Methodist/Holiness movement,
the Catholic Apostolic movement of Edward Irving,
and the British Keswick “Higher Life” movement

During the “first wave” of charismatic renewal, also known as the classical Pentecostal movement, vast numbers of missionaries were sent throughout the world with the Pentecostal teaching about baptism of the Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.

A

John Wesley and the Methodist Holiness Movement


 ]ohn Wesley (1703-1791) “the strenuous founder of Methodism and was

also the spiritual and intellectual father of the modern movements and of Pentecostalism.“

 

John Wesley ( 1703 – 1791) was an Anglican cleric and theologian who, with his brother Charles and fellow cleric George Whitefield, founded Methodism. IN 1739 Wesley began the Methodist Society in England.  It originated as a revival within the 18th century Church of England and became a separate Church after Wesley's death. Because of vigorous missionary work, the movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States and beyond.  Wesley's theology focused on sanctification and the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include an assurance of salvation, imparted righteousness, the possibility of perfection in love. After conversion, Methodists said, one needed to achieve growth in holiness ending up with the “entire sanctification”.

Wesley himself experienced all these modern experience of “speaking in tongues”, “slain in the spirit” and “the holy laughter” along with a myriad of “signs and wonders” and “healing and miracles.”

From John Wesley, the Pentecostals inherited the idea of a subsequent crisis experience variously called “entire sanctification,”” perfect love,” “Christian perfection,” or “heart purity.” It was John Wesley who posited such a possibility in his influential tract, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (1766). It was from Wesley that the Holiness Movement developed the theology of a “second blessing.” It was Wesley’s colleague, John Fletcher,  who first called this second blessing a “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” an experience which brought spiritual power to the recipient as well as inner cleansing. This was explained in his major work, Checks to Antinominianism (1771). During the Nineteenth Century, thousands of Methodists claimed to receive this experience, although no one at the time saw any connection with this spirituality and speaking in tongues or any of the other

Wesley”s list of ten propositions concerning perfection:

1.  There is such a thing as perfection: for it is again and again mentioned in Scripture.

2.  It is not so early as justification: for justified persons are to “go on to maturity.” (Heb. 6:1)

3. It is not so late as death; for St. Paul speaks of living men that were perfect (Phil. 3:15)

4. It is not absolute. Absolute perfection belongs not to man, nor to angels, but to God alone.

5. It does not make a man infallible: None is infallible, while he remains in the body.

6. It is sinless? It is not worthwhile to contend for a term. It is ‘salvation from sin.’\

7. It is ‘perfect love.’ (I John 4:18) This is the essence of it; its properties, or inseparable fruits, are, rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks. (I Thess. 5:16, etc.)

8. It is improvable. It is so far from lying in an indivisible point, from being incapable of increase, that one perfected in love may grow in grace far swifter than he did before.

9. It is amissible, capable of being lost; of which we have numerous instances. But we were not thoroughly convinced of this, till five or six years ago.

10. It is constantly both preceded and followed by a gradual work.” (WORKS: “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” 25 (XI, 441-42)).

 

 
 
  

For almost thirty years (1867 - 1894) the Methodist leaders in the eastern United States organized the “crusade of sanctification” with outdoor meetings, attended by several other Evangelical denominations such as the Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists etc which, prepared the country to the reception of a wave of anointing from Holy Spirit and for the birth of Classical Pentecostalisms In America and from there to the rest of the world.

 

“From John Wesley, the Pentecostals inherited the idea of a subsequent crisis experience variously called
“entire sanctification,”
“perfect love,”
“Christian perfection”, or
“heart purity”.

 It was John Wesley who posited such a possibility in his influential tract, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (1766).

   

The biblical proofs of the “Baptism” as a subsequent, instantaneous work of the Spirit rest in the following passages: Acts 2:1-12 [Pentecost], Acts 8: 5-13, 17 [the Samaritans], Acts 9:17 [the conversion of Saul], Acts 19:6 [the twelve disciples at Ephesus], and Acts 10:44 [the Gentile, Cornelius, and his household].  All these passages serve as proof-texts to support the view of sanctification as a second, distinct work of grace.

 

It was from Wesley that the Holiness Movement developed the theology of a “second blessing.” 

 

It was Wesley’s colleague, John Fletcher, however, who first called this second blessing a “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” an experience which brought spiritual power to the recipient as well as inner cleansing. This was explained in his major work, Checks to Antinominianism (1771).

 

During the Nineteenth Century, thousands of Methodists claimed to receive this experience, although no one at the time saw any connection with this spirituality and speaking in tongues or any of the other charisms.”

(http://pneumareview.com/the-origins-of-the-pentecostal-movement)

 

Christian perfection is the name given to various teachings within Christianity that describe the process of achieving spiritual maturity or perfection. The ultimate goal of this process is union with God characterized by pure love of God and other people as well as personal holiness or sanctification.   Wesleyans believe that, after conversion, but before death, a believer's heart may be cleansed from all sin for this one need to rely on the Holy Spirit.


Wesleyan understanding of full salvation

John Wesley in his Journal entry for August 15, 1750, he wrote:
“I was fully convinced of what I had long suspected,
1. That the Montanists, in the second and third centuries, were real, scriptural Christians; and,
2. that the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn, was not only that faith and holiness were well nigh lost; but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifls they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture."

For a detailed story of John Wesleys encounter with the Spirits see:
http://www.danielrjennings.org/tsoojw2.pdf
The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley by Daniel R. Jennings  1977
 

B

 

Edward Irving and the Catholic Apostolic Movement


Edward Irving (1782-1834 AD)
Founder of The first Brownsville was in Scotland in 1830

In the western world Pentecostalism generally traces its roots back to the teachings and experiences of Edward Irving, a Presbyterian Minister in Scotland in the early 1800's. After studying the Book of Acts he began to teach that what the early church experienced was to be normative for the church in his day. He was excommunicated from the Presbyterian Church over his heretical Christological doctrines. (Strachan, George, The Pentecostal Theology of Edward Irving, Hendrickson Publishers, 1973, pg. 13)

    On March 28th 1830, a Miss Mary Campbell began to speak in other tongues and claimed she was divinely healed. The following year on October 30th 1831 her sister, Mrs. Cardale also began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

    Edward Irving formed his own church called the Catholic Apostolic Church and he soon ordained its first twelve apostles on November 7th, 1832. "He also expounded a detailed teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and gave the whole of his theology an immediacy by his expectation of the immanent second coming of the Lord. (Strachan, George, The Pentecostal Theology of Edward Irving, Hendrickson Publishers, 1973, pg. 18)

Here is how his friend Thomas Carlyle described his friend to his mother, soon after going to one of his services:

“Suddenly, during regular service and with Irving's encouragement, 'hysterical women, and crackbrained enthusiasts,' were uttering 'confused Stuff, mostly 'Ohs' and 'Ahs' and absurd interjections about 'the Body of Jesus'; they also pretend to 'work miracles,' and have raised more than one weak bedrid woman, and cured people of 'Nerves,' or as they themselves say, 'cast Devils out of them.'

Carlyle added that "poor Irving boasted . . . that it made 'his Church the peculiarly blessed of Heaven'" (Kaplan, 173). (http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/apocalypse/irvingite.html)

In 1832 thoese followers remaining from his former congretation created the Holy Catholic Apostolic, or "Irvingite," Church in Newman Street, and the following year the Church of Scotland excommunicated him.

He died shortly thereafter, but the movement he started, became known as "Irvingites."

Edward Irving is to be considered among the first true Neo-Montanists due to his beliefs in:

 In the restoration of the charismatic gifts, including prophecy

His unwillingness to submit to recognized Church authority regarding his beliefs

His approval of women in ministry (coincidentally, women were the first to prophesy in his movement)

His belief in the also immediate return of Christ, i.e. a strong eschatological emphasis.

Irving led the first attempt at “charismatic renewal” in his Regents Square Presbyterian Church in 1831. Although tongues and prophecies were experienced in his church, Irving was not successful in his quest for a restoration of New Testament Christianity. In the end, the “Catholic Apostolic Church ” which was founded by his followers, attempted to restore the “five-fold ministries” (of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) in addition to the charisms. While his movement failed in England, Irving did succeed in pointing to glossolalia as the “standing sign” of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, a major facet in the future theology of the Pentecostals.

C

Keswick Higher Life Movement

 

 
 
  

http://archive.dbts.edu/journals/2008/Naselli.pdf

 

Hannah Whitall Smith in 1895, from Ray Stachey's Quaker Grandmother, D.L.Moody

 

Another predecessor to Pentecostalism was the Keswick “Higher Life” movement which flourished in England after 1875. Led at first by American holiness teachers such as Hannah Whitall Smith and William E. Boardman, John William Fletcher, and Adam Clarke. Since 1875 promoters have organized the annual Keswick Convention. Various Christian leaders have been involved in the Keswick Convention through the years, including missionaries Hudson Taylor and Amy Carmichael,
devotional writer Oswald Chambers, and evangelist Billy Graham.

 

Keswick theology teaches that the Christian life consists of the first experiece of justification by faith in Christ and later continued sanctification so that they grow in the Spirit and is filled with the
Spirit to final sanctification. This second encounter with the Spirit, in Keswick terminology, is called “entire sanctification,” “the second blessing,” or “the second touch.” This emphasis on a second, post-salvation experience corresponds with the Pentecostal idea of the “baptism” of the Spirit.  

 

 
 

Http://archive.dbts.edu/journals/2008/Naselli.pdf
 

 

 

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