[2nd century heresy]
Ancient Pentecostal History and Roots
Pentecostalism is the ancient heresy of Montanism revived
See: Neo-Montanism: 19th century heresy  

- False Tongues Prone to Puff Up

- Third Wave Movement

- Tongues Testified

(Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series: Volume I, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos, 1997, Book V. Chapter XVI. The Circumstances Related of Montanus and His False Prophets)

1 Against the so-called Phrygian heresy, the power which always contends for the truth raised up a strong and invincible weapon, Apolinarius of Hierapolis, whom we have mentioned before, and with him many other men of ability, by whom abundant material for our history has been left.

6 Having said this with other things, in the beginning of his work, he proceeds to state the cause of the above-mentioned heresy as follows: "Their opposition and their recent heresy which has separated them from the Church arose on the following account.

7 There is said to be a certain village called Ardabau in that part of Mysia, which borders upon Phrygia. There first, they say, when Gratus was proconsul of Asia, a recent convert, Montanus by name, through his unquenchable desire for leadership, gave the adversary opportunity against him. And he became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning.

[The fault found by the Church with Montanus’ prophecy was rather because of its form than because of its substance. It was admitted that the prophecies contained much that was true, but the soberer sense of the Church at large objected decidedly to the frenzied ecstasy in which they were delivered. That a change had come over the Church in this respect since the apostolic age is perfectly clear. In Paul’s time the speaking with tongues, which involved a similar kind of ecstasy, was very common; so, too, at the time the Didache was written the prophets spoke in an ecstasy (en pneumati, which can mean nothing else; cf. Harnack’s edition, p. 122 sq.). But the early enthusiasm of the Church had largely passed away by the middle of the second century; and though there were still prophets (Justin, for instance, and even Clement of Alexandria knew of them), they were not in general characterized by the same ecstatic and frenzied utterance that marked their predecessors. To say that there were none such at this time would be rash; but it is plain that they had become so decidedly the exception that the revival by the Montanists of the old method on a large scale and in its extremest form could appear to the Church at large only a decided innovation. Prophecy in itself was nothing strange to them, but prophecy in this form they were not accustomed to, and did not realize that it was but a revival of the ancient form (cf. the words of our author, who is evidently quite ignorant of that form). That they should be shocked at it is not to be wondered at, and that they should, in that age, when all such manifestations were looked upon as supernatural in their origin, regard these prophets as under the influence of Satan, is no more surprising. There was no other alternative in their minds. Either the prophecies were from God or from Satan; not their content mainly, but the manner in which they were delivered aroused the suspicion of the bishops and other leaders of the Church. Add to that the fact that these prophets claimed supremacy over the constituted Church authorities, claimed that the Church must be guided by the revelations vouchsafed to women and apparently half-crazy enthusiasts and fanatics, and it will be seen at once that there was nothing left for the leaders of the Church but to condemn the movement, and pronounce its prophecy a fraud and a work of the Evil One. That all prophecy should, as a consequence, fall into discredit was natural. Clement (Strom. I. 17) gives the speaking in an ecstasy as one of the marks of a false prophet,—Montanism had evidently brought the Church to distinct consciousness on that point,—while Origen, some decades later, is no longer acquainted with prophets, and denies that they existed even in the time of Celsus (see Contra Cels.VII. 11).]


8 Some of those who heard his spurious utterances at that time were indignant, and they rebuked him as one that was possessed, and that was under the control of a demon, and was led by a deceitful spirit, and was distracting the multitude; and they forbade him to talk, remembering the distinction drawn by the Lord and his warning to guard watchfully against the coming of false prophets? But others imagining themselves possessed of the Holy Spirit and of a prophetic gift, were elated and not a little puffed up; and forgetting the distinction of the Lord, they challenged the mad and insidious and seducing spirit, and were cheated and deceived by him. In consequence of this, he could no longer be held in check, so as to keep silence.

9 Thus by artifice, or rather by such a system of wicked craft, the devil, devising destruction for the disobedient, and being unworthily honored by them, secretly excited and inflamed their understandings which had already become estranged from the true faith. And he stirred up besides two women, and filled them with the false spirit, so that they talked wildly and unreasonably and strangely, like the person already mentioned. And the spirit pronounced them blessed as they rejoiced and gloried in him, and puffed them up by the magnitude of his promises. But sometimes he rebuked them openly in a wise and faithful manner, that he might seem to be a reprover. But those of the Phrygians that were deceived were few in number. "And the arrogant spirit taught them to revile the entire universal Church under heaven, because the spirit of false prophecy received neither honor from it nor entrance into it.

10 For the faithful in Asia met often in many places throughout Asia to consider this matter, and examined the novel utterances and pronounced them profane, and rejected the heresy, and thus these persons were expelled from the Church and debarred from communion."

11 Having related these things at the outset, and continued the refutation of their delusion through his entire work, in the second book he speaks as follows of their end:

12 "Since, therefore, they called us slayers of the prophets because we did not receive their loquacious prophets, who, they say, are those that the Lord promised to send to the people, let them answer as in God’s presence: Who is there, O friends, of these who began to talk, from Montanus and the women down, that was persecuted by the Jews, or slain by lawless men? None. Or has any of them been seized and crucified for the Name? Truly not. Or has one of these women ever been scourged in the synagogues of the Jews, or stoned? No; never anywhere.

13 But by another kind of death Montanus and Maximilla are said to have died. For the report is that, incited by the spirit of frenzy, they both hung themselves; not at the same time, but at the time which common report gives for the death of each. And thus they died, and ended their lives like the traitor Judas.

14 So also, as general report says, that remarkable person, the first steward, as it were, of their so-called prophecy, one Theodotus—who, as if at sometime taken up and received into heaven, fell into trances, and entrusted himself to the deceitful spirit—was pitched like a quoit, and died miserably?

15 They say that these things happened in this manner. But as we did not see them, O friend, we do not pretend to know. Perhaps in such a manner, perhaps not, Montanus and Theodotus and the above-mentioned woman died."

18 Again in the same work, after saying other things in refutation of the false prophecies of Maximilla, he indicates the time when he wrote these accounts, and mentions her predictions in which she prophesied wars and anarchy. Their falsehood he censures in the following manner:

19 "And has not this been shown clearly to be false? For it is to-day more than thirteen years since the woman died, and there has been neither a partial nor general war in the world; but rather, through the mercy of God, continued peace even to the Christians." These things are taken from the second book.

20 I will add also short extracts from the third book, in which he speaks thus against their boasts that many of them had suffered, martyrdom: "When therefore they are at a loss, being refuted in all that they say, they try to take refuge in their martyrs, alleging that they have many martyrs, and that this is sure evidence of the power of the so-called prophetic spirit that is with them. But this, as it appears, is entirely fallacious.

21 For some of the heresies have a great many martyrs; but surely we shall not on that account agree with them or confess that they hold the truth. And first, indeed, those called Marcionites, from the heresy of Marcion, say that they have a multitude of martyrs for Christ; yet they do not confess Christ himself in truth."

A little farther on he continues:

22 "When those called to martyrdom from the Church for the truth of the faith have met with any of the so-called martyrs of the Phrygian heresy, they have separated from them, and died without any fellowship with them, because they did not wish to give their assent to the spirit of Montanus and the women. And that this is true and took place in our own time in Apamea on the Maeander, among those who suffered martyrdom with Gaius and Alexander of Eumenia, is well known."

Recent Pentecostal History and Roots
Pentecostalism is the ancient heresy of Montanism revived
See: Montanism: 2nd century heresy  

 The Early Roots: 1830's

Edward Irving

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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)He died shortly thereafter, but the movement he started, which became known as "Irvingites."
  4. Edward Irving is to be considered among the first true Neo-Montanists due to his beliefs in:

Modern Roots: The 1901 Apostasy:

II. John Alexander Dowie

  1. Like Irving, Dowie was a minister from the same area. He was originally a Congregational Pastor, who subsequently left his denomination and formed his own called the "Christian Catholic Church." (Burgess, McGee, Alexander, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Zondervan Publishing House, 1988, pg. 249)
  2. In 1901 he began to build a city of righteousness outside of Chicago which he named Zion.
  3. He believed that he was the first restored apostle to The Church, and later came to believe he was the prophet Elijah, the restorer, sent to pave the way for the return of Christ which he too believed was immanent.
  4. He taught that the Church would be fully restored to apostolic authority and power.
  5. His beliefs coupled with those of Edward Irving formed the initial platform for the rapid spread of Neo-Montanist beliefs which were to soon be launched globally.

III. Azusa Street Mission

  1. William Seymour had been taught about receiving the baptism with the Holy Ghost, (i.e. the gift of speaking in other tongues) by Charles Fox Parham in Kansas.
  2. Parham had a small Bible school in which he taught the need for a restoration of New Testament Christianity based on the model shown in the book of Acts.
  3. In 1901, a woman, names Agnes Ozman was the first recorded tongue-talking Pentecostal in American Church history, and William Seymour received the baptism at some point while at Bible school under Parham.
  4. Seymour went to Los Angeles and began to preach about the Holy Spirit baptism in a barn/warehouse on Azusa.
    What Eyewitness said about the Azusa Street Mission
    All these men are respected Bible scholars
    G. Campbell Morgan described the Azusa Street activities as "the last vomit of Satan." ("From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire" by Michael L. Brown, pages 197&198)
    R.A. Torrey declared that this new Pentecostal movement was "emphatically not of God, and founded by a Sodomite." ("From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire" by Michael L. Brown, pages 197&198)
    H. A. Ironside said in 1912 AD both the holiness and Pentecostal movements were "disgusting. . .delusions and insanities." ... "pandemonium's where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes," were causing a "heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity." ("From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire" by Michael L. Brown, pages 197&198)
    W.B. Godbey said of the Azusa Street participants and he claimed the movement was the result of spiritualism. "Satan's preachers, jugglers, necromancers, enchanters, magicians, and all sorts or mendicants," ("From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire" by Michael L. Brown, pages 197&198)
    Clarence Larkin "But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement's of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in "Perilous Times," and that all about us are "Seducing Spirits," and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray." ("From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire" by Michael L. Brown, pages 197&198)
    These 5 well trained theologians were alive and active when the "Azusa Revival" began and they were well informed and had firsthand knowledge. Why is their testimony disregarded and the testimony of Biblically uneducated people accepted?
  5. April 4, 1906 a revival began and 1,000's of people came to 312 Azusa to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This revival lasted from 1906 to 1913 (Burgess, Stanley, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Zondervan Publishers, 1988, pg. 31) and during these nine years 1,000's of Pentecostal missionaries went forth establishing ministries around the world.
    Among most Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians, Azusa is revered as a genuine move of the God in restoring the Church to true power and authority. However, it is also true the Azusa street meetings were also filled with spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others who had a deep interest in the occult. In 1907, Parham was arrested and charged with sodomy in Texas and lost all credibility with the neo-Pentecostal movement he started! By the end of 1913 there were growing factions within the fledgling movement and in the end several independent Pentecostal organizations were formed due to not being able to resolve their leadership and doctrinal differences. Four of these organizations exist today:
  1. Rodney Howard Browne commends Charles Parham and William Branham as men of God. Both of these men, as well as the movement that started as a result of Branhams efforts were cut off from credible Christian institutions and movements as follows:

IV. Early Neo-Montanist Healing Cults & Sects

Four Early antecedents to the healing revival

  1. "Prophet" Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, believed not only that he was a prophet of God but that he had divine healing power and laid hands on many sick people and sent out anointed handkerchiefs to the sick. (1835)
  2. John Humphrey Noyes, founder of the Oneida Community prayed for the sick and taught sickness was due to personal sin and the work of demons. He expected supernatural signs and miracles to be exhibited today as they were in the early Apostolic Church.
  3. Ellen Gould White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventist sect, was considered a prophet, and she too prayed for the sick, laid hands on them, and taught divine health. (1840's)
  4. Aimee Semple McPherson, nationally known healing evangelist in the 1920's - 1930's. Founded and headed the Foursquare Gospel Church, led a controversial life and died of a drug overdose in 1944.
  5. Kathryn Kuhlman was ordained a Baptist minister, but did not associate her ministry with any denomination She was heavily influenced by the Azusa street revival, and by the Roman Catholic church. She was well known for the manifestations that occurred at her meetings, including "laughter". She is said to be responsible for the introduction of the manifestation of "Slain in the Spirit". There were some differences to the current movement, though, in that she insisted that her meetings be orderly. Manifestations interrupting the service were not permitted. She was highly regarded in many Christian circles, and strongly influenced Benny Hinn and John Arnott.

All four of these individuals thought that their organizations were in fact restoring true Christianity which had been lost over the years. All of these groups initially believed in a restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit including prophecy. They can be classified as Neo-Montanist due to:

V. William Branham the Father of Neo-Montanism

  1. Started out with Missionary Baptist church. After a short stint, he joined the United Pentecostal Church (God Can Do It Again, Kathryn Kuhlman, Prentice-Hall, 1969.). He later rejected all denominations as being of the antichrist and formed the Branham Tabernacle as an independent church.
  2. After World War II, another healing revival broke out all over America and the world.
  3. The original initiator of the revival was William Branham.
  4. Branham considered himself to be a prophet sent from God to the last Church age who was given 7 visions regarding the end times.
  5. Branham's teachings were foundational for the formalization of Neo-Montanism as a dynamic movement within the Church beginning in 1947 in N. Battleford Canada.
  6. Branham taught that gifts of the Holy Spirit could be transmitted through the laying on of hands via a man who possessed such gifts.
  7. He believed in further revelation given by angels, dreams, visions, and prophecy.
  8. He strongly taught that Jesus was returning very soon and would severely judge America
  9. Even though William Branham denied the Trinity and taught it was a demonic doctrine believed only by those of the whore Babylon false church - he was still revered as a true prophet by almost every major Pentecostal and Charismatic ministry (who are Trinitarian). Even though he believed in numerology and taught that God had made the Great Pyramid - he is still accepted as a true prophet. Even though many of his prophecies regarding future events did not come to pass - he is still regarded as a true prophet. Even though the majority of his teachings are totally in error and diametrically opposed to the plain teaching of Scripture, he is still held up as God's true prophet.

William Branham's heretical theology:

  1. God's Word consists of the zodiac, Egyptian pyramids and scripture.
  2. Doctrine of trinity is considered demonic
  3. The claim that he was Elijah the prophet
  4. Millennium to begin in 1977.
  5. That he was the seventh angelic messenger to the Laodicean Church Age (Footprints, pg. 620).(Using the dispenational theory that each of the churches in Revelations represents an age of the church, the current one being the Laodicean Church Age).
  6. That anyone belonging to any denomination had taken "the mark of the beast" (Footprints, pp. 627, 629, 643, 648).
  7. That he received divinely inspired revelations (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, Branham; Spoken Word Publications, Tucson, Ariz., n.d.; pg.19; Questions and Answers, Book 1, Branham; Spoken Word Publications, Tucson, 1964; pg. 60.)
  8. The fall of man happened when Eve had sexual relations with Satan, that his sexual union produced Cain.(Branham said that "every sin that ever was on the Earth was caused by a woman....the very lowest creature on the Earth" The Spoken Word, Vol. III Nos. 12, 13, 14;, Branham; Spoken Word Publications, Jeffersonville, Ind. 1976; pp. 81-82. Quoted in The Man and His Message, pg. 41).
  9. Branham denied the biblical triune Godhead. He pronounced it a "gross error" (The Spoken Word, pg. 79) and as a prophet with the authority of a "Thus saith the Lord," revealed that "trinitarianism is of the devil" (Footprints, pg. 606).
  10. Unsaved descended from the serpent.

VI. Branham's Errors Are Embraced, Expanded Upon, and Propagated Resulting in the Formal Establishment of Neo-Montanism as a Force Within the Church

  1. George Hawtin, Percy Hunt and George Warnock took Branham's teachings on Apostolic Restoration of the Church and disseminated these teachings to 1,000's through their Bible School called Sharon in Canada.
  2. In 1948 a woman prophesied a great move of God coming from Sharon
  3. At the next Sharon campmeeting Latter Rain Doctrines were formalized and disseminated
  4. The result was 1,000's of Pentecostal believers left the 4 major Pentecostal denominations and joined independent Pentecostal organizations teaching these restored truths
  5. Latter Rain teachings are denounced by the Assemblies of God in 1950, but resurface in the charismatic movement of the early 1960's.
  6. Latter Rain Doctrines include:


VII. The Widespread Effects of Neo-Montanism Today

  1. Today charismatic ministries and churches are among the fastest growing segment of the Body of Christ.
  2. The world's largest congregations are charismatic and Neo-Montanist in doctrine, i.e. Paul Cho's congregation in Seoul Korea is over 700,000 members. Many mega-churches in America with over 5,000 members are Neo-Montanist.
  3. The largest television ministries are Neo-Montanist:

4. Christian Bookstore Shelves are filled with books, tapes, and videos on how to grow prophetically, how to hear the voice of God, how to flow in the supernatural, etc. Some examples of these books are cited below:

5. The role of women as Pastors, Teachers, and Prophetesses is widely taught, practiced, and endorsed.

6. Major Teaching Ministries are headed by women:

7. Extra-Biblical experiences are accepted and endorsed:


Montanism is alive and well and growing very rapidly today. For the most part it wears a mask of orthodoxy, however, it has taken the worst elements of the original Montanism and expanded them to new depths of error. Remember that error always compounds itself unless it is checked and denounced by the plain teaching of the Scriptures. Heresy thrives when people are asleep and have a shallow in their devotion to God and the study of His Word.

Modern Pentecostal Timeline:

The Flow of Current Heretical Beliefs

The Lineage Of Modern Pentecostal churches

E.W. Kenyon 1886-1948

Father of the Word of Faith Movement

Franklin Hall, William Branham, George Warnock

Fathers of the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God/Kingdom Now Movements

1946 Frankin Hall wrote "Atomic Power with God Through Prayer & Fasting"Gordon Lindsay's "Voice of Healing" newsletter and Thomas & Evelyn's Wyatt's worldwide radio broadcasts spread his fasting message.

Major Ministers Impacted by Franklin's Hall teachings

Gordon Lindsey

Oral Roberts

William Branham

A.A. Allen

W.V. Grant (senior)

Tommy Hicks

Dr. Waltrip (Katherine Khulman's husband)

Kenneth Hagin

Word of Faith Movement 1967-1985

Kenneth Hagin starts Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa and is responsible for launching 1,000's of Word of Faith Churches and Ministries globally. Main center for propagation of Word of Faith Doctrines

Post World War II Healing Revival Sweeps America & the World 1946-1967

William Branham

A.A. Allen

Oral Roberts

Little David Walker

Katherine Khulman

T.L. Osborn

Buddy Harrison

(Kenneth Hagin's son-in-law)

Founder Harrison House Publisher, main publisher of Word of Faith doctrines

Pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship Church (FCF).

FCF Tulsa serves as the "covering" for 100's of FCF congregations worldwide, all of which teach Word of Faith doctrines

1947 William Branham's ministry was beginning to be widely accepted until his death in 1965. Coined phrase "Latter Rain"

Kenneth & Gloria Copeland

(got initial tapes of Hagin from Buddy Harrison) De-facto leader of current Word of Faith Movement

North Battleford Saskatchewan

1947 George Hawtin & Percy Hunt run the Sharon Orphanage: Read F. Hall's book & see Branham's ministry. Fast & Pray according to Hall's principals for one year and begin to teach Hall's principles at their Bible School. Elim Bible Institute also is teaching Restoration at this time with no apparent connection with N. Battleford.

Other Word of Faith Proponents

Jerry Savelle (Copeland's disciple)

Jesse Duplantis

Norval Hayes (Lester Sumrall disciple)

Charles Capps (ordained by Copeland)

Marilyn Hickey

Robert Tilton

Benny Hinn (Assembly of God )


Discipleship/Shepherding Movement


Derek Prince (Florida)

Don Basham

Juan Ortega (Argentina)

Ralph Martin (Word of God Community)

"Covering" concept, Authoritative rule

June 1948 George Hawtin teaches on the Restoration of Apostles & Prophets to the Body of Christ to the Sharon Assembly. That same year Israel becomes a nation again.

February 11, 1948, young woman prophesies at great revival is about to take place at the school

Television Ministries Rise
Trinity Broadcast Network

Paul & Jan Crouch

World's largest Christian television network disseminating Word of Faith Teachings & Kingdom Now Teachings globally - showcases Benny Hinn's crusades

Praise the Lord Television Network

Jim & Tammy Bakker

Christian Broadcasting Network

Pat Robertson (Kingdom Now Proponent)

July 7-18 1948 Sharon camp meeting, 1000's attend and the teachings of the Latter Rain begin to be widely taught among Pentecostals. Including doctrine of laying on of hands for Holy Ghost Baptism, Apostles & Prophets, Present Day Truth concept, Ascension Gifts,
1949 George Warnock begins to teach on the "Restoration of all things" involved with Sharon Brethren
1951 George Warnock publishes "Feast of Tabernacles" a manual for Latter Rain Doctrines & Practices
  1956 Assembly of God begins to denounce Latter Rain Doctrines as Heretical and movement dies down

Latter Rain Doctrines Become Prominent Again in Word of Faith & Kingdom Now Ministries

Some of the Modern Day Prophets & Apostles

(Restoration of the Ascension Gifts)

Kenneth Hagin - Apostle/Prophet

Kenneth Copeland - Prophet

Paul Cain - Prophet (past associate of William Branham)

Frank Hammond - Prophet (largely responsible for Prophetic Movement & started "School of the Prophets")

Bernard Jordan - Prophet

Rick Joyner - Prophet

Bob Jones - Prophet (Vineyard Church)

Alan Vincent - Apostle

Turnel Nelson - Apostle

Jefferson Edwards - Apostle/Prophet

Prophetic Movement

(1985-1991- ongoing)

Frank Hammond

Bernard Jordan

Rick Joyner

Kansas City Five Prophets

Apostolic Movement


Archbishop Earl Paulk

Archbishop Benson Idahosa

Alan Vincent

Turnel Nelson

Signs & Wonders

Benny Hinn Ministries

Mehesh Chavda

Morris Cerello

Rodney Howard Browne

Toronto Airport Church

(formerly Toronto Vineyard)

Vineyard Church Movement

John Wimber

Laughing Movement

Rodney Howard Brown

Randy Clark John Arnott (Toronto Vineyard)

From Toronto Airport Church to various churches world-wide