- The rise of Pentecostalism that came out from the Holiness, Methodist, Brethren and Puritan Movements has always been intriguing to me. The Holiness movement has sought to fulfill the Torah in a Christian perspective in a very Gentile way. In my opinion they have gotten close at times but have a way to go. They have also sought to expose and shun the pagan influences of Christianity. It is important to note that the Pentecostal movement was birthed out of the Holiness movements of North America. Many Pentecostal’s have remained connected to the Holiness movement. Also many Pentecostal’s have shied away from what they see as the whore of Babylon “the Catholic Church” and ecumenicalism. However Charismatics on the other hand are very ecumenical and Catholic friendly and don’t follow the holiness traditions of the Puritan’s and Quakers in dire contract to die-hard Pentecostals. Some Pentecostals have become more ecumenical and seek friendly since the advent of Chasimania. This is a discussion about Holiness and Pentecostalism not Charismatic traditions.
A lot of study has been given on this site to the early Netzirem, the Ebionites, and other early Messianic Jewish movements on this site. The Hebraic Roots and Messianic Jewish focus will always be a main theme here. There have been two area’s of focus for me researching historical movements both are obvious to those who follow my writings, that is Pentecostalism and the Messianic Movement. I spend a lot of time discussing the Messianic Movement and the Hebraic Roots of Christianity. During the Festival of ShavuotPentecost I feel that I should share my studies into and experience with Pentecostal’s and those who operate in Spiritual Gift‘s who are also called Charismatics at times. I have a preference toward the Pentecostal-Holiness tradition more so than the Charismatic.
It is interesting to note that with the advent of Pentecostalism we have also seen and increased focus on praying for Israel and a rise in Messianic Jewish Congregations. The Pentecostal Revivals and the Charismatic Renewals of the 20th Century both preceded and increased focus on Zionism, establishing the State of Israel and the rise of Messianic Judaism. Though there may not be a smoking gun or direct connection.
The Pentecostal revival of 1907 and its spread across America through 1914 preceded the early talks of a Jewish State during World War 1. The Charismatic Renewal of the 60′s and 70′s proceeded and correlated with the rise of Messianic Judaism. Pentecostal’s have had a strong belief in the End Times, The Resurrection of the Dead and the Return of Messiah. This has caused many to look to Israel and biblical prophecies regarding Zionism that have made Pentecostal’s strong supporters of Israel. I have seen many Pentecostal’s who celebrate Shavout-Pentecost every year in a Christian perspective. This is an eternal link between Pentecostal’s and Jewish tradition. Unlike other Christian’s who do not observe anything biblical, scriptural or historical to the time of Second Temple Judaism or primitive Messianic-Jewish Christianity.
I would like to discuss group that has been of historical significance and interest to me which is connected to the renewal and development of the Pentecostal Movement. That of the “Montanist” who were a group of believers who observed passover on Nisan 14th and manifested the gifts of the Spirit, especially ecstatic Prophecy. They also believed in and valued the Oneness of HaShem. John Wesley an early American Revivalist and founder of the Methodist Movement believed them to be true believers who operated in Prophecy and Spiritual Gift’s much like himself, and his fellow Methodist riders. It was through John Wesley’s writing that I first became interested in them. Wesley noted that he believe that a decline in holiness and a rise of Ecclesial power to their decline and eventual demise. Basically the politics of the rising Catholic Church smothered out the flow of Spiritual Giftedness in the primitive Church-Ekklesia.
John Wesley’s wrote in his journal, “’I was fully convinced of what I had long suspected, That the Montanists, in thesecond and third centuries, were real, scriptural Christians; and, that the grandreason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn, was not only that faithand holiness were well nigh lost; but that dry, formal, orthodox men began eventhen to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all aseither madness or imposture.”
Later in his sermon, “The More Excellent Way,” John Wesley proclaims that “The cause of this [ decline of spiritual gifts following Constantine] was not, (as has been vulgarly supposed,) ` because there was no more occasion for them,’ because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause was, ` the love of many,’ almost of all Christians, so called, was ` waxed cold.’ The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other Heathens. The Son of Man, when he came to examine his Church, could hardly ` find faith upon earth.’ This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in theChristian Church; because the Christians were turned Heathens again, and hadonly a dead form left.’”
The Montanist came to prominence right after the Bar Kokba revolt during the time after the Pharisaic founders of Rabbinic Judaism had evicted Messianic believers from their Synagogues. They became prominent between 130 CE and 170 CE and peaked by the mid 200′s. Early Church Father Tertullian, was a Montanist. Following the expulsion of Jews from Israel around 130 CE and the beginning of the rise of “ethnically Jewish” focused Rabbinic Judaism they became a popular group of early Christians. This was before and during the time Byzantine Orthodox ”Christianity” was beginning to rise and be established as a State religion of Rome which is the actual birth of “Christianity” as many know it today.
The early Messianic Gentiles and Jewish believers were in fact practicing a form of ancient “Messianic Judaism.” The early Messianic believers did meet in the Jewish Synagogue on Shabbat. Following meeting in the Synagogues and the Temple they met in homes of believers on Motzei Shabbat (Satur-day evening as we know it, or “the eve of the fist day” of the week) for Havdalah and Chavurah. Early believers did observe the biblical Shabbats and Festivals be the circumcised of heart who we adopted and grafted into the House of Israel through Yeshua. In the period after the end of this period of Jewish and Messianic synthesis the Montanist came to being.
During the period between 150 CE and 800 CE some believers remained both Torah Observant and operated in Spiritual Gifts to varying degree’s. The closer to the time of Yeshua the more you see the ancient Messianic Judaism and Spirit Filled traditions.
With the rise of Byzatine Orthodoxy you see the diminishing influence of the Hebraic Roots and manifestation of Spiritual Gifts. Both Spiritual Gifts and Messianic Judaism have historical precedence. Both have added a lot to my life. When I was Pentecostal my glass was half full, as far as I could go in a completely Christian experience. Now that I have that in a Messianic context. I feel that my glass is full.
The Montanist as a group lasted through 600 CE when they had dwindled through attrition from being label as heretics by the Byzatine Orthdox. The Byzantine Orthodox is what has later became Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy respectively and Coptic, and Ethiopian Orthodox as well. By the 800′s they we’re almost completely non-existent. By the time of the split between Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy the Montanist are no longer seen in recorded history.
I find this group and others like it very interesting. In the Book of Act‘s we see the activity of Prophet’s, prophetic people, prophetic acts, glossalia and other spiritual gifts. The “Promise of the Father” that Yeshua promised the Church is the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” In the Holiness and Pentecostal traditions we are also encouraged to seek the “Baptism in Fire” which is the work of Entire Sanctification. If you study the roots of 20th Century Pentecostalism its rooted in and comes out of the Holiness-Weslayan traditions.
This is why many Pentecostals say “I’m saved,” “Sanctified” and “Filled with the Holy Ghost.” The Church of God for one believe’s that as a doctrinal position.
Many don’t know the history of America Revivals is chock full of Pentecostalism though Tongue’s and Ecstatic Prophecy didn’t become popular until after Charles Parham and the Asuza Street Revival led by William Seymour. For example the Quakers were called Quakers because they would shake when they came under the power of the Holy Spirit and then prophesy and speak in unknown languages with interpretation.
Many don’t know the full history of the Loller’s (Martin Luther’s disciples) and the Anabaptists who came into being around the same time who were all believers and practitioners of spiritual gifts. The Anabaptists for one believed in prophetic preaching under the anointing and direction of the Holy Spirit. Though the descendants of both movements the Baptist and Lutheran traditions no long hold Spiritual Giftedness as a significant doctrine. They actually seem to oppose them now. Even the Methodist in some cases do.
American Revivalism is replete with ministers who believed in and experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as it came to be known in the Holiness and Pentecostal traditions. For example John Wesley and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, DL Moody, Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards all claimed they had received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit which was subsequent to and distinct from conversion that gave them power to minister. The Assemblies of God and others like put a distinct focus on being Spirit Filled if you want to or feel called to Minister. Finney, Edwards, Wesley and Whitefield all detail their Spirit Baptism where they experienced speaking in tongues and boldness to witness for Yeshua.
It’s interesting to note that John Wesley would fast on Monday and Wednesday as the Jewish people do and have done and not on Tuesday and Thursday as the Catholics do.
The connections between Pentecostal’s, Holiness and Torah Observance is something that must be noted. Many Pentecostals also fall into the Holiness tradition of remaining unspotted from the world. One of the early beliefs was that the Catholic Church and her offspring the Protestant’s we’re the Whore of Babylon and her Child in Revelation. Many Pentecostal’s have sought to come out of and shun the Pagan influences of Christianity. To the point of throwing out TV’s, avoiding Movie Theatre’s, and not wearing make up. They have always focused on modesty, women wearing head coverings, women wearing dresses and not slacks (to avoid dressing like men), abstinence from alcohol, avoiding social dancing (praise dancing is encourage and seen often), and women and men not swimming together. I wouldn’t say all the abstinence’s follow Torah, however they have sought to create fences to keep believers from sinning or causing others to sin.
Don’t confuse Pentecostal’s with Charismatic’s. Charismatic’s are more ecumenical and don’t seem to follow the Holiness tradition at all. Many Pentecostal’s have been suspicious of Charismatic Catholic and others.
Wesley came out of the Anglican Church of England. Wesley and Whitefield founded the Methodist Church along with some Brethren. If you recollect the Brethren, Puritan’s and Quakers were much like the early Pentecostal’s and shunned all the Pagan “Catholic” Traditions. This focus on removing and avoiding Paganism and on trying to be Holy, is in an effect seeking with the Holy Spirit’s enablement to be Torah Observant the writing of the Torah on our Hearts.
Understanding the Puritan and Brethren connection along with the foundation of the Holiness movement, and the Ascetic lifestyle of many Pentecostal’s explains why they have more of an affinity for Davidic Praise, Loving and Praying for Israel and seeking to understand Gentile Torah Observance. Many of the early Puritan’s, Quakers and Brethren did try to observe biblical festivals. Thanksgiving for one was originally done during Sukkot as an “American” part of that tradition. The government later changed the date of Thanksgiving disconnecting it from its biblical connection.
Pentecostal’s have always from the time of the Montanist’s and Tertullian to the early 20th Century Pentecostal’s have had an attraction to the biblical festivals of Passover and Pentecost-Shavout to some degree. I know many Pastor’s who are Pentecostal who observe Shabbat with their families on Friday evening, who have a Messianic Passover on Nisan 14th and who celebrate Pentecost Sunday. The three festivals in which one was required to go to Jerusalem and Passover, Pentecost-Shavout and Sukkot. All three have been apart of the Pentecostal-Holiness-Brethren experience at some point or another.
This is why I say that Pentecostal’s and Intercessor’s many times are “Messianics” best friends. With a dislike and denouncement for paganism, a distrust and rejection of Catholicism, a pursuit of scriptural holiness, a desire to experience or understand biblical festivals to some degree, a love for Davidic praise, seeking an ascetic-set apart communal lifestyle and a desire to express Brit Chadasha Spiritual giftedness.
There are marked differences though many Pentecostals hold to sunday worship and spirit filled praise, prayer and worship. The spontaneous is a focus much like the early Montanist. Once the early Messianic movement was no longer allowed to participate in the Synagogue life of the 2nd century they had to focus on what made them unique namely Spiritual Gifts. Much like modern Pentecostal’s the Montanist back then had a dislike for and rejection of the Catholic-Orthodox Church. This maybe a reason some Pentecostal’s who study the Hebrew Roots of Christianity don’t fully come over to the Messianic side due to their fears of Hierarchical religions with “priests.” In the mind of a Gentile who hasn’t explored Messianic Judaism, a Rabbi does look a lot like a Catholic priest. This should not be a detractor how the spontaneity and distrust of Catholicism does incline Pentecostal’s to be more reserved about embracing a Patriarchal priesthood that is historically and scripturally sound.
The Montanist were also Modalist who believed Adonai was One who manifested Himself in the Mode’s or Module’s as Yeshua, Father and Ruach HaKodesh. This is not the same’s as the modern understanding of the G-dhead who is Three Persons, One in Deity, Distinct in Personhood. Whereas Tri-Unity is confusing to some. The Son proceed’s from the Father, The Holy Spirit proceed’s from the Father and the Son, this is known as the Hypostatic Union. We pray to the Father in Yeshua’s name with the aid of the Ruach HaKodesh. All Three are active, we still speak to the Father and pray to the Father. We have access through Yeshua and a partner who helps us the Comforter, the Paraklete who comes along side to help us pray, heal us and give us a boldness to witness.
The desire to understand Adonai as Echad can clearly be seen among Pentecostal’s. This Modalist tradition in Pentecostalism can be seen in the United Pentecostal’s who believe that Adonai is One who had three specific dispensation’s. They, the UPC or Apostolic Faith, believe HaShem is the Father and Adonai of the Old Covenant, that He became Yeshua incarnate to die on the cross and now is the Holy Spirit. Many believe this to be a false doctrine and make them a cult. I don’t believe in Modalism at all. I do see there desire to understand the Jewish principle that HaShem is Echad-One though they miss the Plural Unity of Echad, the plural form used for Elohim (G-d), the theophanies in the Tanakh and other related texts.
The fact that Pentecostal’s have had a desire to seek to be “Holy,” sanctified, set-apart, to honor Pentecost-Shavout and Passover to some degree, to reject Catholicism and embrace Davidic Praise has led many to seek to understand the Hebraic Roots more. I know of a few Pentecostal Churches that have switched over become Messianic Congregations coming out of the Assemblies of God, Foursquare and Church of God traditions. This isn’t to say that some Baptist and others haven’t seen the need to switch over to a Messianic Jewish or Hebrew Christian perspective. It’s interesting that I’ve seen more Pentecostal’s at Passover Seder’s who love Messianic Worship and Pray regularly for Israel than any other group of Christians.
It is my belief that Pentecostal’s and Intercessors are the Messianic’s best Christian “Friends.” At bare minimum we share the distinctives of rejecting Catholicism and Paganism, seeking to be Holy (for Messianic that means more stringency towards Torah, for Pentecostal’s its abiding in the Spirit to avoid the “Lust of the Flesh” or “Evil Inclination”), praying for Israel, celebrating Pentecost-Shavout (as a day we receive the Law of Moshe, also a day we received the Baptism of the Spirit and the law upon our hearts), the embrace of Messianic Davidic Praise, and living a set-apart ascetic lifestyle, which for many includes Shabbat observance as a family.
Pentecostal’s have in their own way tried to observe the Sabbath not just as a day to go to Church, but as a day of worship and rest. I know many good intended Pentecostal’s who refuse to work on Sunday who rest, take naps and go to Church in the morning and evening. What is interesting to me is much like the early Church that met on Saturday in the Synagogue and fellowshiped at home in the evening of Saturday. Many Pentecostal’s do the same on Sunday, having Church services at morning and in the evening. I went to a congregation that met for service Sunday morning and had small group in home fellowships on Sunday night.
I know, I too have major objections to the “Sun-day” worship crowd. I’m not advocating that, I’m just saying let’s respect the tradition and desire to observe. Though they accept the Catholic Church and the Protestant embrace of its “Sunday” as “The L-rds Day” they seek to honor the Sabbath. Which is more than others do. In my opinion its okay to visit a Sunday Church for ministry if you Observe Shabbat on the Sabbath. This is to say that if you visit Christian friends on Sunday it won’t diminish your belief if you observe Sabbath on Shabbat.
In my opinion Pentecostal’s have the best and most restored right doctrine for those in the “Christian” perspective, they just worship on the wrong day and do different festivals. We do Shabbat on Saturday as “the Sabbath,” they honor Sunday as “their Sabbath.” They do Christmas in honor of Yeshua’s life and Resurrection Sunday in honor of His death. We do Passover and the rest of the biblical feasts. At least one day a year we can try come together on Shavout-Pentecost and celebrate. That is if you follow the Sadducee’s count falling on Sunday. It would be awesome if more Pentecostal’s started observing the Sabbath and other biblical festival’s. The Assemblies of God’s fledgling National Jewish Fellowship is promising its the first major public acceptance of the Messianic Movement within a mainstream denomination. Maybe this is a sign that many other denominations may start doing. Maybe we can see the beginning of “The restoration of all things” before Yeshua’s return.
I have always enjoyed studying Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield and DL Moody’s writings because of their focus on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. When asked why we must be filled with the holy spirit by a paritioner DL Moody state “because we leak.” We should seek to be filled and refilled with the Ruach HaKodesh. As Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift of Adonai.
We are to worship in “Spirit” and “Truth” the Messianics are focusing on the Truth part for sure, and Pentecostal’s have the “Spirit.” I would like to see more of a synthesis between the Pentecostal and Messianic Movements. There are a lot who a Messianic and Charismatic and there are many who are Charismatic and interested in the Messianic-Hebraic Roots Movement.
Let us pray for unity in Messiah between Jew and Gentile, Messianic and Pentecostal on the day Shavout-Pentecost.
- Shavout-Pentecost Call To Prayer & Intercession via Asher Intrater & Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- Is Their A Connection Between The Assemblies of God & The Messianic Movement? What Does The AG National Jewish Fellowship Mean In The Context Of Messianic Judaism? (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- Shavout (Pentecost), Counting The Omer, Lag Ba’Omer, Wine, Cheese, Poetry Readings, Parades, Bonfires & Archery: What They Have In Common! (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- Free eBook: Spiritual Gifts Commentary! (Based On 1 Corinthians 12-14 And The Book of Acts) (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- Come Yeshua Come (Sondra’s Shavout Song With Lyrics) (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- Denzel Washington And Messianic Jews??? [Book of Eli via The Rosh Pina Project] (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Torah Portion: Beha’alotcha & The Festival of Shavuot (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- How to Avoid the Messiah by Zola Levitt (bethusminded.wordpress.com)
- For Shavuot: On Minyans, Synagogues, and Home Fellowships (returnofbenjamin.wordpress.com)
- “Messianic” What Is It, A Solid Or Liquid? [Who Are The Essene's, Netzerim, Saducee's, Karaites, Pharisee's And Rabbinates?] (A Lesson In History) (paradoxparables.justparadox.com)
- One New Man In Pesach (Passover) United In Shavuot (Pentecost) [There Is One Law, One Savior, One Spirit, One L-rd, One G-d, We Are One In Messiah] (paradoxparables.justparadox.com)
- [My Journey Series Part 4] The Importance of Messianic Jewish Ministry in the body of Messiah (paradoxparables.justparadox.com)
- Is Eddie Long Wrong For Apologizing For Ralph Messer’s Messy-Antics, Did Paula White Get Crowed As Queen And Join This Deceptive Pseudo-Judaism King-Queen Coronation Fiasco? (paradoxparables.justparadox.com)
- The Number of Messianic Jewish Houses Of Worship Approaching 300 In The U.S. And Canada (paradoxparables.justparadox.com)
- [My Journey Series Part 3] My Philosophy of Ministry (paradoxparables.justparadox.com)