There was a true and necessary Day of Pentecost, but what we are witnessing today in the name of Pentecostalism is completely phony. And what is known today as the charismatic movement is nothing more than neo-pentecostalism of the most detrimental kind. I don’t capitalize the names of these two movements as they don’t deserve it. Whenever one must bring rattlesnakes into a congregation to prove he has the Holy Spirit, he is degrading the Holy Spirit to the lowest degree!
Charles Prince, of Canton, North Carolina was a snake-handling preacher who defied authorities of the state and held public services where deadly snakes were handled and poison was drunk. In August of 1985, Prince died after a rattlesnake bit him and he drank strychnine in a church service to impress his audience in Greenville, Tennessee. If that’s what it takes to prove one has the Holy Spirit, I don’t want any, and neither should you! Of course, Prince was quoting Mark 16:17-18, a passage from a chapter where verses 9 through 20 are well-known to be spurious!
I once rented a nice, little country house in 1953 on route 281, about two miles SW of Wayne, Ohio, from a so-called pentecostal preacher. I was told that when driving his car he would never stop for a stop sign, in order to prove his having the Holy Spirit. A few years after I had moved to another location, I was told that he was killed doing just that. Again, if that’s what it takes to be Spirit-filled, I don’t want any! Maybe he was filled with a spirit similar to that of King Saul.
If one wishes to define the doctrines and teachings of the modern-day version of pentecostalism and charismatism one will be hard pressed, for it is difficult, if not impossible, to describe or put into reasonable English words (or any other language) such convoluted phenomena. Their concepts are so many and varied, it would take the equivalent of a large 30 volume encyclopedia to cover them all, and surely there is not enough room in this short space to do the subject justice. And if such an encyclopedia were ever produced, it would be filled, from page 1 of A through the last page of Z, with absurdities. So you can clearly see that I don’t have a whole lot of respect for the Azusa-street-style tongue-wagging exhibitions, or anything that leans in that devil-inspired direction. But Azusa street was only an end-product of false pentecostalism and a disgrace to true Christianity! And “pentecostalism” and “charismatism” are not the only tags under which this same type of false belief system thrives. I will try to tie all that in later.
To show you where I’m going with this thing, and so that I don’t insult one of my readers (or one of his relatives), I will use one of my own relatives as an example. The person I’m going to tell you about is my uncle Merrill Keiser on my mother’s side of the house. Of all my uncles, he was my favorite, being only ten years older than myself. When we were younger, he was always building model airplanes, and whatever he did I followed suit. He was real good at it, and built both gas-powered and rubber-band models. In those days they didn’t have any radio controls to bring the plane back, but only a timer, and if the timer got stuck it might be good-bye airplane. Even the rubber-band model planes got away sometimes if they got caught in a thermal on a hot day. Therefore, I got to the place where I thought there wasn’t anything my uncle didn’t know, and eventually it carried over into religion.
When my uncle was approaching about twenty years old, he, along with my grandparents, started to follow preachers who taught the futurists’ view of prophecy, and I accompanied them on occasion, but I was too young to get very interested. Then just prior to World War II my uncle got drafted. He was adamant that he didn’t want to kill anyone, so he became a conscientious objector and assigned to the medical corps. Well, there were a lot of bad-fig-jews in the medical corps, and it seems that he thought he had the good fortune of associating with a lot of “God’s chosen people”. Now, the story is going to get more complicated as we go along.
After my uncle was finished with his basic training at Rockford, Illinois, he was shipped to a desert training camp near San Bernardino, California. In the meantime, one of those hotshot, futurist preachers that he was following from Fremont, Ohio had moved to Long Beach, California (I think his name was Bauman), and had quite a large following there. Anyway, at one of the meetings at Long Beach, Merrill met a lady by the name of Helen Kindig and they got married, and at a later time my uncle would be shipped to England to await the invasion of Germany.
By this time, 1943, I was fifteen years old, and I had run away from home and hitchhiked to California, where I ended up at Long Beach at the Kindig residence with Helen, her father and stepmother. My uncle was still stationed near San Bernardino and I hitchhiked there and got to see him before he was shipped to England. After a short stay with the Kindigs, I returned home to Ohio for the new school year. During that school year, I was determined to return to Long Beach to get a job at the Douglas aircraft factory for the summer vacation period, which I did, and boarded with the Kindigs during that time.
Aunt Helen’s stepmother’s name was Edith, and she was one of the better things that ever happened to me. She ran a tight ship and was a fine household manager. Edith was a stickler for etiquette, of which I was sadly lacking. About once a week, Edith would entertain various of her church dignitaries with a fabulous meal and all of the trimmings. She wasn’t about to put up with my crude demeanor, for which I’m greatly thankful. The tableware and napkins had to be properly set, and none of the men sat down until all of the ladies had been seated, with the men assisting them. There were several protocols of etiquette which Edith taught me.
What was interesting was the caliber of character of these various guests and the curious tales they had to tell. All I can say is, to listen to all of those odd stories was quite astonishing to a naive sixteen-year-old boy like myself. But being polite, I questioned none of these stories. One guest in particular was a man (I don’t remember his name) who was obsessed with relating his near-death experience. It seems that whatever happened to him, he was pronounced dead and was at the mortuary awaiting the mortician’s needle when, by a miracle of God, somehow someone discovered he might still be alive, and he was delivered from death’s jaws, and how, through all of this experience he was conscious of what was going on and was helpless to do anything about it. Now, near-death experiences are a dime a dozen and make good novels. One man in Israel Identity goes around telling how a hit-man for hire, who had murdered several people, had a near death experience but God stepped in and sent him back to warn people how they needed to reform their ways. I don’t believe that story for one minute! The pentecostals and charismatics are full of these tales, as they base their belief system on “experience” rather than Scripture. And if Scripture contradicts their hobbyhorse “experience”, the Scripture be damned! I relate all this to you to demonstrate the background beliefs of my uncle Merrill and aunt Helen (both now deceased), but this is not the end of the story. While we were younger, my uncle and I were similar in sentiment, but as time went on we drifted 180° apart, especially in Biblical interpretation. After I had worked at Douglas Aircraft in the summer of 1944 on C-47s and A-26s, I returned home to start another school year, only to quit and join the navy. I was picked up December 7th 1944 by a bus with a destination for the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Because of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan, the duration of the war was shortened, and I was discharged in July of 1946.
When in the navy, two of my assigned duties were as barber in a 12-chair shop on the island of Manicani (a ship repair base) in the Philippines, and later as a lone barber on the tanker Monongahela (which fueled other ships at Manila and Subic bays after VJ Day). After being discharged and working at various jobs I didn’t much care for, I entered barber school in February of 1947; got a barbering job in Tiffin, Ohio, in September of that same year; met a very beautiful young lady in December by the name of Trillis (Tillie) Almina Moehlman and married her August 29, 1948. And if there was ever a marriage arranged by the Almighty, this was one. Tillie, like Edith Kindig, started to smooth out some of my less-than-refined mannerisms.
Tillie had a very fine Christian grandmother, and she wanted to be just like her, so we were converted and started attending my family’s Evangelical church. Little did I know then that about 25 years later I would be given the Israel Identity message, and when I came home one evening, I would have the privilege of telling her we were Israelites, and she never gave me any argument in return. But I’m getting ahead of my story.
After my uncle Merrill was discharged from the Army, he settled with his wife in Long Beach, California. But, being dissatisfied with how things were going there, moved back to Fostoria, Ohio and eventually to Fremont, Ohio where they both finally stayed.
On the other hand, remembering how much I liked working for Douglas Aircraft, in 1951 my wife and I moved to Long Beach where again I got a job. Edith Kindig had died and Frank remarried; and then Frank also died. We rented one of the apartments which Frank had built many years before, right behind his home, and his third wife was living in Frank’s home at the time. Looking back, I now feel that it was necessary for Yahweh to keep my uncle and myself separated in order to break his flawed religious influence over me, for he could have been instrumental in preventing me from accepting Israel Identity. I hate to think of what might have happened had Yahweh not kept us apart at this critical time.
Not long after this we got word that my grandfather (Merrill’s father) back in Ohio, Art Keiser, had a stroke. Grandpa regained consciousness maybe three times, but died after about two weeks in that condition. Upon his father’s death, uncle Merrill nearly lost his mind. Not only was he in deep mental shock, but he became physically ill. His right arm started to become numb and he couldn’t do his job, and it was difficult for him to remain employed to support his family. This continued for months, maybe over a year. I wasn’t in Ohio to observe all of this, but I learned the story years later.
He started to follow all those pentecostal tent meetings that were going around at the time for healing. It was all kept hush-hush among the family, but I found out years later that he happened in on a mexican pentecostal tongue-wagging session and was healed from his depression. Since I have researched the history of the Azusa street revival, I can better understand what kind of environment he was in, and it had absolutely nothing to do with Yahweh’s Holy Spirit. If he got healed under such circumstances, it was from Satan. After that, at almost every family gathering, all we would hear is that if we don’t speak in tongues, we don’t have the Holy Spirit! And aunt Helen was enraptured with Kathryn Kuhlman.
Well, uncle Merrill died during the year-end holiday season in 2006, and he took his tongue-wagging ideas to the grave with him. Merrill had stopped in to see me about a year before his death, and he gradually worked the conversation in that direction, and because I wasn’t buying any of his religious views, he gave me a tongue-wagging demonstration right in my living room. I told uncle Merrill that he should be ashamed of himself. A couple of weeks later he called on the phone and in so many words wrote me off his list. When, out of respect for his family, I went to the funeral home in Fremont where they were showing the body, there were some mexicans among the guests and I kept my distance. It worked out fine, though, as my conversation with the family opened up and I was able to testify how my favorite uncle and I had drifted 180° apart. And, strangely, they were interested and really wanted to know.
When my wife and I arrived in Long Beach, California in 1951, I found things to be quite different than when I had been there in 1944. In 1944 I had worked with Rosie-the-riveter, and a nicer group of females could not be found. Douglas Aircraft at Long Beach was no small place; my employee I.D. number in 1951 was 32823; it was comparable to a city. By 1951 the morals of the workers had lowered considerably. Usually on Monday morning the talk of the assembly area was who ran off to Mexico with whose wife and got a quick divorce and remarried there, which was considered legal at that time, and usually the unsuspecting hurt parties were at their jobs grieving. When I worked for Douglas in 1944, I don’t remember seeing one mexican on the job. But by 1951, Douglas was bringing them into their work-force. At that time, I really didn’t realize the seriousness of bringing these mexicans in to take our jobs, but I surely have grasped the problem since! In 1944 there was no problem with smog, but by 1951 it was thick enough to irritate one’s eyes almost continually. In 1944, on a sunny day, it was no problem seeing Catalina Island from Long Beach, but not in 1951. Strangely, though, we had two, three-day-long weekends at Memorial and Labor days, and of course people got in their cars and drove all over the place, and the smog cleared both times, and for about three days after those weekends, Catalina Island was visible. So that kind of blows the auto-emission theory. When I was driving back to Long Beach from Big Bear lake on one of those long weekends, I could see those clouds of smog lifting out of the valley below and going up over the tops of the mountains.
When I was at Long Beach in 1944, I was not much interested in church, but when I returned in 1951, my wife and I had a hard time finding a church to attend. At that time, by Ohio’s standards, the churches of California were already becoming quite liberal, and that was disappointing. I liked my job though, and probably would have stayed, but I started to have a health problem and the doctors I went to only made the problem worse. I was sure that if I could get back to my doctor in Tiffin, Ohio, he could take care of it, which he did. So I quit my good job at Douglas and returned to Ohio again.
I believe now that Yahweh wanted me in California at that time so I could observe what was going on. My coworkers would often remark that California was ten years ahead of the rest of America in every phase of life. I would have to agree, but not in a favorable way. To me, the way California was going, they could have been moved to communist Russia and fit in quite well. It’s probably just as well that I and my wife returned to Ohio, as later the bottom fell out of the aircraft industry and I would have been out on the street without a job as all of the thousands of my coworkers experienced. The aircraft that we were building, at the time, was the C-124 Globemaster. When I view what’s going on in today’s California, I thank the Almighty I didn’t stay.
In the final analysis, my favorite uncle Merrill and I had nothing left in common when it came to our theology. He believed and supported futurism, and I believe prophecy as interpreted by history. He believed that the bad-fig-jews are “God’s chosen people.” I believe that the bad-fig variety of jews are literally the physical offspring of Satan through Eve. He believed that the present-day pentecostals and charismatics represent the “latter rain” of the Spirit. I believe that the Pentecostal tongue-speaking, miracles and wonders were for the apostolic age only, and that the latter rain will be an entirely different kind of experience. He advocated and supported many pentecostal and charismatic leaders. I believe that all these so-called pentecostal and charismatic wannabes are nothing more than charlatans and deceivers. One television rancher-Bible-teacher said that the idea of the white Europeans being Israelites was as phony as a $3 bill. I’m sure that my uncle Merrill would have agreed. So reconciliation to my uncle was hopelessly impossible.
Let’s take the phony Oral Roberts and his famous preposterous death-threat prophecy. Roberts told a nationwide audience in 1978 that God had threatened to “call him home” unless he raised eight million dollars by his creditors’ deadline. Why should anyone contribute anything to someone who goes head-over-heels into debt, and help him to pay interest to the bad-fig-jews? Haven’t we already been robbed enough by the bad-fig-jew? Roberts received a reprieve though: at the last minute a Florida dog-track owner wrote him a large check. And if Roberts was such a miracle faith-healer, why did he want to build a multi-million dollar hospital in Tulsa? After eight years that hospital idea turned out to be a miserable flop! Roberts was no smalltime, petty trickster, but a big-time charlatan!
Pardon me, but I’ve never read in the Bible where they were handling rattlesnakes at the day of Pentecost! I’ve never read where they would go out and deliberately do some idiotic thing comparable to running a stop sign in our day to prove they had the Holy Spirit! I’ve never read where any of the apostles or their followers threatened that if they couldn’t raise a sum of money by a certain deadline, God was going to kill them! I’ve never read where Yahshua Christ ever told any of his followers to build a “prayer tower” as Oral Roberts did in Tulsa! As far as that goes, not even a church tower! In ancient times towers were used for defense, not prayer! Muslims use towers for worship, and they are hardly Christian. And, how many of the apostles took large sums of money from gambling syndicates?
The pentecostals and charismatics often make the claim that they have actually personally seen and carried on a conversation with Christ, but at John 14:19 it says: “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” John 16:16 says: “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.” At John 20:29: “Yahshua saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Here it appears that there is a greater blessing in not seeing rather than in seeing, and if so, I would prefer the “not seeing” category. Hence, they make themselves second-class Christians with an inferior blessing. Oral Roberts has alleged that he has both seen and carried on a conversation with Christ, so that would put his blessings on a lower level, and I doubt whether he could get much lower than he already is unless it would be six feet under. Oral Roberts is little more than a high-class fake.