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Hebrew Roots, The Four Waves  & Their Roots

Sins of “the father”~ Charles F. Parham  

The Pentecostal Root


 1 John 3:23-24

 “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

As stated previously, the Pentecostal movement is viewed as the first movement or wave in bringing in the acceptance of manifestations and experiential faith. Each of the subsequent moves, that is Faith-healing, Charismatic and Messianic or Hebrew roots have relied on tongues, signs and wonders, extra-Biblical revelation and traditions of men.

Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religion states the “Pentecostal movement began in the United States in 1901 in Topeka Kansas, under the leadership of C.F. Parham.” 1 Charles Fox Parham originally came from a Methodist and Holiness background, which affiliation he later rejected in favor of his "Full Gospel.” Sarah, who became his wife in 1891, was along with her parents, a "birthright Quaker.” 2 Although some adherents referred to him as a latter-day Elijah, Parham viewed himself as the "projector" of the Apostolic Faith, also called Pentecostal or Latter Rain movement, though he opposed officially organizing the group. 3   *** Although reports vary on the wedding date, it is presented by Sarah Parham, in her biography, as being "December 31, 1896; the Friend's Ministers, Jonathan Ballard and his wife had charge of the service at my grandfather's home." A newspaper article and the source this writer used stated the marriage was in 1891.****[update 2007]

Depending upon which reports one reads, Charles Fox Parham’s sins and errors are partially discussed, totally ignored, excused, obscured or glossed over. Understanding that most people neither know the history nor the beliefs would explain why many have been snared into adhering to such as Parham and hence the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. Many who endorse him as “father of the Pentecostal movement” generally say he started out good but developed some problems. However, facts dictate otherwise and the foundations which these many denominations have been built upon are not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience to the Word of God. Many of those who associated and aligned with Parham can also be evaluated in this same manner, with similar results. An example would be Irwin, who was known as a womanizer and a drunk. 

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1John 2:11  

Foundations of HATE & DECEPTION    

1 Corinthians 3:10,11

 “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Aside from Parham's ‘Joels Army’ teachings and denial of eternal punishment the following are some of the “problems” that the entire Pentecostal Movement has been built upon.

 1.        Charles Parham was born in 1873, became a preacher by age 14/15, with first meetings by age 19, going against the admonition of Paul to Timothy (1Tim.3:6), that a bishop not be a “...novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into condemnation of the devil….” 

He was constantly “in conflict” or rebellion with the elders of his church, which is why in 1901 he wrote that he’d already been away from their confines five years. 4  This is no different than the "ministries" which began with immaturity and the young ages of such leadership as Evan Roberts--age 26; Lonnie Frisbee--age 17; Greg Laurie--age 19 and so on. Elders were to teach the young, and leadership were to be proven as having met Biblical qualifications. It is clearly the un-Biblical goal of leadership like Rick Joyner to declare youth to be the coming leadership and "elite army."

2.          Charles Parham was a racist, becoming a full ledged member of the KKK by 1910. (5)  That racism was also evident in William Seymour’s Azusa Street (6) which also helped cause the denominational split.

Within just a few years of it’s beginning, the Apostolic Faith Mission/Azusa Street had become predominantly black with Seymour remaining as pastor. William Seymour himself excluded whites and hispanics from leadership posts at the mission, reserving those for people of color.

1 John 2:4

“But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”  

1 Timothy 5:21

"I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."

James 3:17

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."

Parham was entirely ecumenical, in the sense he wanted all denominations to embrace his teachings. Some of the denominations that were spawned from either Parham or Seymour or those accepting their beliefs—although there is some discrepancy on the dates, include: 

Church of God in Christ (black Pentecostal's) formed about1906-1907

Church of God in Christ (1907) 7 

The Assemblies of God (white Pentecostal's)  formed 1914. 8

The United Pentecostal Church (both black and white members) formed 1914

Unitarian Pentecostal Movement formed in 1916 by Frank Ewart 9

The Pentecostal Church of God (mostly white members) formed 1919 & The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel which followed William Durham teachings. 10

Many ministers of Christian and Missionary Alliance joined in 1907, although many merely changed their thinking on tongues. A.B. Simpson, a Keswick Holiness teacher and founder of CMA partook of the “Full Gospel and Blessing”** from Parham. [**sorry, I have misplaced the source of that quote.]

 1 John 20-21 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”  

 3.          Parham was a member of the Freemasons, although according to Sarah, he withdrew when he started his “Full Gospel” healing ministry. 11 However, on his return journey from Jerusalem (1928) he brought a gavel and presented it to the Baxter Springs Masonic Lodge.12 The Lodge was either Baxter Lodge No. 71 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, or Baxter Chapter No. 78, Royal Arch Masons.13


4.         Going against the Scriptures, Parham approved of women pastors, his own daughter-in-law having been a Pastor of an Aimee Semple McPherson Four Square Church who continued as a preacher with her husband. 14  

 5.     Parham was arrested for “sexual indiscretions” with boys, although charges were dropped, some suggest because no one would testify. 15 

1 Corinthians 6:9,10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…shall inherit the kingdom of God”  

 6.      Parham believed in the “restoration’ of primitive Christianity “only after preaching two years without a conversion.’, and that his Bible school (1900) in Topeka, was “…where the presence of God was more wonderfully manifested than among any other people since the days of the apostles.” And that , “there still remained a great outpouring of power for Christians who were to close this age…” 16 

This is the same ‘restoration’ sought by many “Discernment ministries,” Jesus Movement leadership, Joel’s Army advocates and so on. The concept is that we aren’t really getting Biblical Truth without going back to “Primitive Christianity,” restoration of Apostles, signs and wonders and the “Acts” community/commune—which Parham espoused in his Bible school. True believers need not to return to anything but the Word of God.  

Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not."

7.          Parham taught experimental salvation. 17 

There is no such thing. See the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 . Also:

2 Peter 2:19 "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

 8.          Parham regularly taught “Where did Cain get his wife, or was there a pre-Adamite race!” 18—that thinking is always found connected to ‘another race’, the two seed theory of Christian Identity’ or aliens’ or that Biblical record is false and that Adam was not the first man God created. William Branham taught the two seed “theory.”  

 9.          Parham originated the concept of taking a community for God by going to the outskirts of one town where he “...prayed the entire {Quaker} community… for God”,19 a practice which many think originated with C. Peter Wagner.

   1 John 1:10

  “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  

 10.      Parham modeled his Bible School after "The Holy Ghost and Us" Bible School, also called The Kingdom movement, founded by Frank Sandford, who was part of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Movement.  Sandford’s “Shiloh,” was an abusive cult center in Maine. Sandford was charged and jailed for manslaughter and many charges of abuse were laid against members. Parham studied at least six weeks at Shiloh reportedly after which the two went on tour through Canada. Sandfords adherents, like other Keswick and Holiness teachers, believed they became sinless. 20.

 This was a serious issue which John repeatedly admonishes believers about.  1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  

Many suggest that the Fire-Baptized Holiness source the belief of first being baptized by the Holy Ghost and then Fire by referring to John the Baptist's statements in Matthew 3:11-12. However, the Fire that John is referring to is the Fire that will  burn the chaff after God's judgment and not something to be desired. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

This is reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 13:30 "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

Next Section: Sin Filled Foundations  

Previous Section: Lying Signs and Wonders 


1. Article: Pentecostal Churches; Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religion, Keith Grimm, Gen. Editor; Abingdon, Nashville;

2. THE LIFE OF CHARLES F PARHAM: Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement; p. 452 & other, Sarah E. Parham; Garland Publishing, Inc.; New York & London, 1985; original in 1930

3. Ibid., p.51,  “Chapter VII, The Latter Rain”, The Story of the Original Apostolic or Pentecostal Movements by Charles F.Parham; Also: American Pentecost; Ted Olsen; Christianity Online

4.  op.cit. Parham, pp.20 & 23

5.  Azusa Street; Rick Joyner;

cf. Robert Longman Jr. ; Azusa Street Timeline ver: 20 September 1999 .> "Parham's racist views were hardening. By the 1910s he had become a full-fledged racist and Klan supporter; in 1906 he showed a distaste for the rather African-American style of 'loose' enthusiasm which typified even Azusa's whites.

you might also see > > which is actually >>
"...Under the almost constant harassment of the Ku Klux Klan, and the oppressive Jim Crow laws, William became convinced that Jesus Christ was the only true liberator of men..."

That Seymour was so convinced that God was interested in racial equality while his mentor and teacher, Parham, was a racist, is a fascinating conundrum. Parham’s adherence to racism proven to be his eventual downfall. ..."

*1997 William Nathan Bailey, All Rights Reserved. Written to fulfill partial requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy in Theology Degree of Life Christian University and Seminary, Tampa, Florida. Bound volume published by Information Conservation, Browns Summit, North Carolina and held in the Life Christian University and Seminary Library. Excerpts may be published if properly credited


6.  op.cit., Ted Olsen


8.   op. cit. Ted Olsen

9.  op. cit., Abingdon

10.  Ibid

11. op.cit., Parham, p.32

12  Ibid.  Fig.6 , pictures


14. op.cit., Parham,  p. 322-323

15. Ibid. p. 198; also Robert Longman Jr.  Also: God’s Generals, other

16.  Ibid. Parham, p. 23,48 & 452

17.  Ibid., p. 133

18. Ibid. p. 305

19.  Ibid. p.11


  Copyright . All articles are the sole property of and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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