THE HOUSE that GOD BUILT
VOLUME 1 – THE CELL
BY: ROBERT D. TORANGO
THE CELL – A BRIEF HISTORY, CONT.
1 Cor 15:45-49…45] And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46] Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47] The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48] As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (KJV)
Heb 1:1-4…1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (KJV)
In this part of our study I would like to cover a very important topic that has a large scope biblically and scientifically. The topic is “heredity” and entails the structure found within the “holiest of all,” the nucleolus of the human cell. This structure is a molecule which has been named “deoxyribonucleic acid,” or DNA.
Once the scientific world became aware that there were biological structures and functions that went on all around us that were unseen to the naked eye, much effort was put to finding better ways to view this miniature world through use of the microscope and its many advancements through the years. This “microscopic” world was changing the way that mankind viewed themselves and the world around them. The “cell” was found to be the smallest unit of life and all other cells came from pre-existing cells. Spontaneous Generation, the belief that life could spring up out of inanimate objects, was found to be false and the scientific community started to focus their attention on the cell. As technology made breakthroughs in making better microscopes men were able to study in detail the structure and function of the cell and its inward bodies, known as “organelles.” There was found to be 3 main compartments to the structure of the cell and many organelles in the “outer court” or first compartment of the cell, which was called the “cytoplasm” of the cell. The organelles were found to be of varying sizes and shapes. As the cell was further studied it was found that there was an obvious relationship between the “outer court” and the “inner court” of the cell, but the biologists could only speculate on how this relationship was carried out.
Another puzzle was how the different species of the world were able to produce offspring with the same characteristics as their parents. Heredity, the passing on of parental characteristics to the offspring, could be proven by looking for different characteristics in the lineage of a species and then studying the cause of this “mutation.” The area of science that studied this phenomenon was eventually known as the study of “genetics,” or the study of the structure and function of “genes.”
An Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel, who was interested in mathematics and botany, studied garden peas statistically for 8 years, starting in 1857 and published his findings in 1866. His study announced the existence of hereditary determinants in the garden peas and in all cellular organisms, which are now called “genes.” Hence, Mendel became the “father of Genetics.” His findings were not fully realized however until about 34 years later in the early 1900’s.
In 1869 a biologist by the name of Johann Meischer studied the chemistry of the cell nucleus. The nucleus was a tantalizing part of the cell to the early biologists. Particularly the dark spot in the center of it, which would not give up its secrets for another 80 years. While studying the nucleus, Meischer discovered a mixture that he called “Nuclein,” which contained large molecules mixed with smaller proteins. In 1870, Meischer gathered sperm from salmon caught in the Rhine river and extracted and purified the “large molecules” from the sperm and bottled the material, which one of his students later named “Nucleic Acid.” Meischer speculated that the large molecules could carry complex messages in repeating patterns of smaller components and suggested that biological information could be encoded in much the same way that “words and concepts of all languages can find expression in 24 – 30 letters of the alphabet.” He and his colleagues never understood the importance of this discovery. As geneticist Thomas Lee of Saint Anselm College observed, “The bottle of innocent white powder was put away on the laboratory shelf. It would be 60 years before it would be revealed to be, in fact, what it was, a bottle of genes.” The search for the seat of hereditary information in the cell went on.
By the end of the 1800’s researchers learned that a particular form of Nucleic Acid, DNA, was the main constituent of chromosomes, but they thought this DNA was a mere physical support to the cell, like internal stiffeners, or inner walls, to lend strength to the structure of the cell. A later scientist, Horace Judson stated, “They counted DNA as the laundry cardboard in the shirt, or worse, the wooden stretcher behind the Rembrandt.” How much this should speak to our hearts, dear believers. This same Jesus, so common in today’s language and culture, has been made into a religious icon, a celebrity superstar, with His name displayed on bumper stickers and T-Shirts, His supposed visage molded into plastic statues and stuck on dashboards and shelves of homes, the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords has been lowered by our society into a commodity that is equal to the Beatles and Beavis and Butthead. How shameful and ignorant mankind can be. We possess in our body the One that spoke this world into existence, the Beauty of His Holiness fills us and our bodies are sanctified and blessed with life because of Him, the breath of our life, and still people today look past the wonder of His love and grace and suppose Him to be nothing more than a psychological crutch for them when they are feeling a little insecure about themselves. No wonder that the bible gives us the illustration of “gnashing of teeth” in its description of those that are found in “outer darkness.” What unspeakable agony it would be to know that you had a priceless Masterpiece in your possession and you saw nothing but cardboard.
2 Tim 3:1-9…1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4] Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6] For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7] Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8] Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9] But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (KJV)
Little did Johann Meischer know that he was flirting with the language of the future. His idea that the large molecules could be encoded with biological information that could then be “read” by the cell, in much the same way as our ability to read this newsletter made up of just 26 different letters but sequenced in such a way as to express clear, concise thoughts, was a giant leap of genius. His fellow biologists were disenchanted with his theory however, much the same way that today’s Christian is bored by the gospel. They wanted something much more exciting. This was too simple, too elementary. Whatever contained the material of heredity had to be enormous and complicated. You get the same, glassy-eyed stare of complacency today when you read the most powerful scripture known to man. It has been quoted by every preacher under the face of the earth, is easily the most memorized of all the scriptures, children know it by heart, but the depths and heights of it are almost uniformly looked over, in search of the really deep stuff. This verse is as deep as you will ever get friend.
John 3:16… For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
No need to get out your Strong’s concordance for this one. It says it all. Yet, it seems that to the preachers eyes and the listeners ears it is just too simple to stand by itself. Just the cardboard that gives the shirt shape, the backing that remains toward the wall unseen and unnoticed, a bottle of inconspicuous white powder gathering dust on a laboratory shelf. Looked over, if you please. But I perceive that when all of this odyssey is over and done, this simple, uncomplicated, short verse will be upon the lips of all heaven and will be the resounding theme of the Song of the Redeemed.
At the dawning of the 20th Century Geneticists re-discovered Mendel’s work and began comparing notes with colleagues that were examining cells through new and better microscopes. They discovered that genes behaved, first suspiciously, then undeniably, as though they were located on chromosomes. They also came to a conclusion that DNA, that funny white stuff in the bottle, must be implicated as an important player in the life of the cell. Meischer would have been a happy man!
The problem with science is the same problem with the present church. No communication. Egos are too big, in both preachers and scientists. The more credit that gets spread around, the less money and prestige for the individual. As a result, the people that are supposed to be the recipients of our labor go without, because of the conscious refusal to share what God has revealed to us. There is a disturbing trend that I see going on even in the circles that I have been a part of. Some ministers are holding services and building up the expectation of a revelation that God has given to them only to walk all around it without spilling all the beans. Then, at the end of the meetings, the announcement is made, you have to buy a tape or order a book in order to hear the whole revelation. This is the oldest marketing scheme in the book. Tell the suckers just enough to wet their appetite and then make it where they have to lay down some greenbacks in order to quench their thirst.
I intended this particular study on “The House That God Built” to be in book form. After seeing so much of this underhanded marketing of the revelation of God, however, I did not feel comfortable in doing so. I pray that we will all be able to do our part to put a stop to the shameless commercialization of this precious Word. I implore the ministry to minister the whole truth, nothing but the truth, now, without delay, and get it into the hearts of the people. God will provide.
In 1928 there developed some baffling experiments by Frederick Griffith, a British Public Health Service scientist. Stick with me on this and see if you can follow this classic tale of scientific wonder that pointed the way toward discovering the carrier of the material of heredity. Griffith worked with 2 strains of pneumococcus bacteria, which he labeled (S) for the smooth shaped bacteria and (R) for the rough shaped bacteria. The two strains differed in an important way. When injected into mice, living bacteria from the (S) strain caused pneumonia, dead bacteria from the (S) strain did not. By contrast, bacteria from the (R) strain, whether alive or dead, didn’t produce pneumonia. So far so good. However, when he injected dead (S) bacteria together with live (R) bacteria the mice developed pneumonia!! Sounds like a Stephen King novel doesn’t it? It gets worse. When Griffith isolated live bacteria from the sick mice, those microbes grew into colonies that resembled the original disease causing (S) strain, and permanently retained their ability to produce pneumonia. Griffith was astonished! How could the safe, non-producing (R) bacteria be transformed by the safe, dead (S) bacteria to behave and be able to infect like the live (S) bacteria that wasn’t even injected into the mouse? Apparently, some component of the dead, disease-causing (S) bacteria had transformed individual microbes of the (R) bacteria strain and taught them how to become infectious. What came to be known as “The Transforming Principle” had somehow caused a change that was passed on from generation to generation. Many scientists refused to believe Griffith’s results.
It is simply amazing to me how much of the terminology of the medical field and its discoveries in genetics has taken on language that we are so familiar with in this walk with God. We also are experiencing a similar “Transforming Principle”! Ours, however, is the opposite effect from this experiment. Whereas the (S) bacteria was able to transform the dead, harmless (R) strain of bacteria and teach it how to deal out infection, we, dead in our trespasses and sins, and non-effective in the spirit are being transformed and taught by the spirit of God how to come alive and give that life-changing spirit to others! See how this scientific experiment parallels and supports this biblical account, the same story but different characters and results.
II King 13:20-21…20] And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 21] And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. (KJV)
Glory!! There is a definite connection between the patterns of those things that are natural and those things that are spiritual. One of the greatest truths of this study is that in the learning of these formerly hidden and unknowable processes of life that act themselves out everyday in the microscopic world, we gain an insight into the mind of God when the Elohim said, “Let us make man in our image.” The same principles that apply to this natural world have a mirror principle in the heavens. The greatest mystery of the scriptures is how a single, solitary man could physically die and raise from the dead AND then be able to give that same life to a dead world. Jesus is not Lord because of His individual resurrection, He is Lord because He is the Pro-Creator and the Pattern of eternal life for all men to follow Him into. He has the power to raise not only Himself, but you also.
Rev 1:18…I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (KJV)
Rev 2:8… And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; (KJV)
Rom 6:11… Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
The transforming principle that we are becoming familiar with in this day is that we are being given life as Jesus has life. This transmutation is an action of heredity. It is one of the great wonders of the plan of the Ages, namely, that God, our Heavenly Father, would be able to impart to us the character and nature of His divine self and give unto us His creative power to raise those that are dead and to speak light into darkness and to proclaim to all heaven and earth, “BEHOLD I LIVE, YET NOT I BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME!!.” Oh, what a mighty God we serve. Even so, as science grappled with this new knowledge, so does the modern church wrestle with this truth in their carnal minds. Yet, listen to the plainness of the words of Jesus in light of the pattern of Griffith’s experiment.
John 14:1-12…Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
John 15:1-8…I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
John 17:1-5…These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
John 17:21-26…That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (KJV)
Are we the Father? This is a question that has caused much debate in the kingdom circles. I will not attempt to answer this question in its totality in this small space, but in light of what we now know about genetics in the natural and in light of what we know the scripture says about our intended heritage that we have through our elder brother Jesus, then I would have to say, YES, we are the Father. We are, also, the Son. What is the Son if He is not the Father? The Son cannot make Himself. The Son comes from the Father and bears the Father’s genetic imprint. In the case of God, the term Father must be understood to embody both male and female. The title, Father, is not gender specific as pertaining to The God. He is both nurturer and provider, both judge and comforter, He is genetically whole and undivided, singular in fashion and all encompassing in His scope. The term Father is rather a title of “Creator,” or “Life Giver.” Genetically speaking the Son is the Father by reason of the Father’s ability to pass all of Himself into the Son. This is why the Son offers back up to the Father His kingdom and God becomes All in all. No one but God Almighty could create out of Himself all and then fill the all up with Himself and become the divine All imbedded inside of and overshadowing the lesser all. Whew! I don’t know about you, but this is getting a little deep for my short little britches.
Suffice it to say, the Son will not replace the Father simply because the Son bears His name, just as I did not cause the disintegration of my earthly father when I was named Robert Dennis Torango. Neither was my father horrified at my name being the same as his, but rather took exceptional pride in his new-born son and passed out cigars in the hospital waiting room and told anybody that would hear him that there was another Torango in the world. Likewise, our Heavenly Father is making a grand demonstration in heaven about the arrival of a corporate son, especially pointing out to all that hear how this new son has His eyes! (smile).
Once again, I know this to be so because of the pattern that has been revealed in the natural. First the natural and then the spiritual. The natural is where we see ourselves in God for the first time, much like seeing a reflection of oneself in a mirror or on the surface of water for the first time. The mirror image is always an opposite representation. Absolutely complete and correct, just opposite. When you stand in front of a full-length mirror and lift your right hand the mirror shows you lifting your left hand. When you blink your left eye, the mirror blinks your right eye. The natural and the spiritual are true and correct patterns of each other, but they must be discerned as opposites. The natural does not discern the spiritual. Those that are spiritual must be able to see into the natural structures and processes of this life and be able to see invisible things represented. The natural man will never be able to look into the things of God and see anything that would interest him or that he could comprehend. But the hidden man, the inner man, can peer into the handiwork of God and see things that remind him of where he came from!! Each glimpse is like an awakening to our soul. Revelation comes to our mind and for an instant we can feel a stirring in our spirit. This is a genetic call to our heredity in God. The scripture says,
2 Tim 2:11-13…11] It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12] If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13] If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (KJV)
He cannot deny Himself!! What does that mean? It means that even though we have had our memories and recollections buried underneath a lifelong experience of earthliness, there is One in us that must speak out when He meets Himself. He is meeting Himself in us, when we have moments of speaking as He would speak or doing things the way He would do them, or thinking as He would think. The Christ sees himself in the mirror of our earth and cries out YEA and AMEN!! When we do not believe He is faithfully abiding until His genes win out over ours. Just as the seemingly dead (S) bacteria were able to reach out and impart knowledge of their existence into the (R) bacteria, this Christ is able to reach out to us through the veil that separates the seen from the unseen and is imparting to us a mystery of the ages, a secret of life, that will eventually transform us by the renewing of our minds.
In 1944, Oswald Avery of New York’s Rockefeller Institute decided to go back to Griffith’s experiment, performed almost 20 years past and mostly rejected by the scientific community, and put it to a further test. Avery took an extract from Griffith’s original dead (S) strain bacteria, destroyed every type of compound then thought to carry genetic information (except DNA) and injected them into the mice. The extract still transformed the (R) strain. Avery then destroyed DNA in the extract and injected it along with the (R) strain. Transformation did not occur. The transforming principle must be composed of DNA!
I have wondered many times over the years what it is inside of God’s people that keep us following Him through the flood and through the fire, over the mountain and across the valley, always onward and further, wanting to quit, to lie down and rest, but something within us not allowing us to do so, something that seemingly will not be denied. I have thought at times it must be faith. Then I thought it was love. Well, maybe good old-fashioned, All-American, damned if I do and damned if I don’t, stubbornness. This year I found the answer, the same way that Oswald Avery found the seat of the “Transforming Principle.” By the process of elimination. God took me to the end of my faith and I still went on. God took me to the end of my love and I was still going on. My stubbornness was the next to go, but I still kept moving my feet. None of these things that I thought I had possessed could bring me to this Day. Finally, I was left with nothing of myself that I could depend on to help me continue on, and still we went on, further into the light, higher up into the mountain, pressing, pushing, dragging, but still going, just like that irritating, pink, Energizer Bunny! Finally, by that awesome process of elimination, when I came to the end of myself I found a rock-bed upon which I could stand, a foundation that was there all along but which I only knew in theory existed. CHRIST!! The Rock of my salvation! Glory!! I also have been surrounded and saturated by an awesome sense of PURPOSE and DESTINY. My, my! How humbling it is to realize that your faith did not cause this Day to appear. There is only one thing that allowed us to come this far. Simply, God wanted it so. Dear Charlotte wrote a song with this thought in mind. It goes something like this:
“There’s one thing greater than faith and that is purpose
By the plan that I’ve laid, and the counsel I gave, it shall be.
No longer patched up, but filled with life and glory
You’re the purpose I chose, you are formed in my likeness, you see.”
So it was that slowly, but surely, the community of scientists and biologists were starting to chisel away at this mystery of life. Still, this “large molecule” that they had named DNA, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, was in their eyes too “stupid” and simple of a molecule to carry much information. After all, it contained only a rather boring sort of sugar, a group of oxygen atoms clustered around a phosphorous atom, and four rather similar bases – Adenine, Guanine, Thymine and Cytosine. One thing they did not have at their disposal, however, was a model of the actual structure of DNA. The whole realm of science became focused on finding this structure, because once they had the molecular structure of DNA they all felt that it would open up a door of information that would eventually unlock all the secrets of the cell, and hence, life
As a parallel, let us consider what was happening in the realm of religion at this point of time, the first half of the 20th century, for indeed, this century has been the most remarkable period of time since time began.
The following information is gained mainly from the book, “Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements” by Burgess, McGee and Alexander.
At the turn of the 20th century, in November, 1903 a spontaneous revival started in a church served by Joseph Jenkins at New Quay on Cardigan Bay in the land of Wales. This revival lasted scarcely more than a year and became known as “The Welsh Revival.” It was characterized with peculiarities such as hour-long singing, de-emphasis on preaching, praying in concert, interruptions by worshipers, with a stress on the baptism of the Spirit and on Spirit guidance and the “Hwyl,” a spontaneous half-sung, half-spoken hymn of thanks and penitence. This revival was led by Evan Roberts which was attended by many American religious leaders. Although of short duration, it was a forerunner of the Azusa Street Revival.
In fact, many things led up to the actual events on Azusa Street which ran from 1906 to 1913 in and around the Apostolic Faith Mission located at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. The mission itself was an outgrowth of cottage home meetings which were held at the home of Richard and Ruth Asberry at 214 Bonnie Brae St.. This was a time of many small movements starting together in the first few years of this century. Along with the Welsh Revival, there was a movement of Restorationism which spawned several new religious movements that viewed the church as returning to her New Testament glory. Many looked to the “apostolic faith” to return and be “once and for all delivered to the saints” to demonstrate the relationship between the 20th century faith and that of the first apostles. “Frontier Revivalism” was held in brush arbor meetings and moved to tents under the leadership of Charles G. Finney and F. B. Meyer with a heavy emphasis on altar calls for personal salvation and holiness of life. All of this ideology was inter-woven into the Azusa St Revival. All over the world, people were praying for revival and the Holiness Movement was already well on the way.
Like the scientific community at this time, everyone seemed to feel that something great was about to happen, but there was not a consensus on how it was going to happen. There was, as always, a strong political agenda and ego involved in who was going to be “The One” that was going to bring this glory to the world. As a result, how wonderful and refreshing of the Lord to allow it to be centralized around a small, undistinguished mission made up of a small, poor, multi-racial congregation. One of the key men of this unique happening on Azusa St was a black man by the name of William J. Seymour. Bro. Seymour was born in 1870 at Centerville, Louisiana to former slaves, Simon and Phillis Seymour. Raised as a Baptist, Seymour was given to dreams and visions as a young man. In 1900 Seymour moved to Cincinnati, OH and became involved in the holiness movement and became a licensed minister. In 1903 Seymour moved to Houston, TX and attended a holiness church pastored by Lucy Farrow. When Farrow went to Kansas to be governess for Charles F. Parham, Seymour took over the pastorship.
Charles F Parham was an influential leader of the holiness movement and he was teaching that there was a baptism of speaking in tongues that was being reissued to the church along with divine healing as a prerequisite to the premillennial return of Christ. Parham started a Bible school on the edge of Topeka, KS in September of 1900 in an elaborate old mansion and taught his students to search for the true evidence of Spirit baptism along with speaking in tongues. On January 1, 1901, Agnes Ozman, one of Parham’s students, experienced the sign of tongues, and during the next few days, Parham and about half of his student body of 34 were likewise baptized. In late 1903, in Galena, KS, there was an outbreak of tongues accompanied by events of divine healing. Parham became the recipient of the mass outpouring of support from the boom towns of the lead and zinc mining district and what was once a small, persecuted move had now been given a sudden surge of support. In December, 1905 Parham moved his Bible School to Houston where he taught the “initial evidence” of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues.
Lucy Farrow had come back to Houston from Kansas with the experience of speaking in tongues and after relating this to Seymour he enrolled in Parham’s Bible School. Despite the prevailing system of racial segregation in the South, Seymour was permitted to sit in the hall where he could hear the classes through the doorway. Seymour accepted the doctrine of tongues although he did not experience it at the time.
A young woman from Los Angeles, Neely Terry, visited the Houston church and invited Seymour to visit her home church in California and told him he might be able to take over the pastorship. Seymour made the journey and attended the church which was founded and pastored by Julia W. Hutchins. In his first sermon, Seymour preached on Acts 2:4, and to the dismay of Pastor Hutchins, he announced you must speak in tongues as the evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism. Because of opposition, Pastor Hutchins locked the church door and Seymour was forced to stay in the home of Edward S Lee where he stayed while holding meetings at the home of Richard Asberry on Bonnie Brae Ave. One night, on Monday, April 9, 1906, before Seymour left Edward Lee to go to the Asberry home for the evening meeting, Lee told him of a vision that he had in which the apostles showed him how to speak in tongues! The two men prayed together, and in moments Lee was speaking in tongues! Seymour carried the news to his meeting on Bonnie Brae where Jennie Evans Moore and several others also broke into tongues. News spread quickly and people came to Bonnie Brae to see and hear for themselves. Within a week the group had rented 312 Azusa Street, and the mission had begun. The rest is a part of history. Out of that small, simple, cottage meeting on Bonnie Brae came the beginnings of the greatest movement since the days of the Apostles. However, just as the feast that it was named after, the move had leaven within it. Emotionalism and the connivings and political maneuverings of it’s leaders would eventually allow it to be infiltrated with the stench of religion. What was, in its beginnings, something that was free and unrestrained has now become a commercialized money machine, with prophets prophesying for money and favor and the gifts being demonstrated in a show more worthy of Las Vegas than in the hallowed presence of the Lord. The Lord wasn’t done with this century yet, however.
As the 20th century went on, the richness and vitality of the Pentecostal Movement started to get stale and dry. As the middle of the century approached Pentecostalism was once again in the hands of men who were stressing doctrine over the experience. Charlatans abounded and there were so many factions that the word had grown old and corrupted. By the late 1940’s the scientists were standing on the threshold of the holy of holies of the cell. In like manner, by the late 1940’s God was preparing a people for another demonstration of His plan and purpose for the Ages. He was going to do it, once again, in a simple, humble place. Just as the scientists were struggling with the simplicity of the DNA molecule, the world was caught unawares, looking for the King in a house of wealth and fame where you would expect a King to reside. How true the scriptures are that declare:
1 Cor 1:25-29…25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26] For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27] But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28] And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29] That no flesh should glory in his presence. (KJV)
The movement that corresponds to the events that I have related to you about the discovery of DNA is what has been known as “The Latter Rain Movement,” or, as some call it, “The Movement.” There is widely held opinions that in this movement there are two movements which separated from each other, called the “Early Rain” and the more familiar “Latter Rain.” There are many accounts of what happened in 1948 and I will be quoting from eyewitness accounts as published in the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements and also a booklet from the original North Battleford ministry that is entitled, “The Move Of The Spirit Of God,” a publication of “The Sharon Star” affiliated with “Global Missions.” One thing is certain and beyond controversy. This move of God has been an important event in the shaping and advancement of present day truth. Many of the ministries that I have been fortunate enough to have known and that have had such an influence on my life have been partakers of the glory of this move. This is a short history of those events.
In the fall of 1947, George Hawtin joined Herrick Holt and P. Hunt in an independent work in North Battleford, Saskatchewan in Canada. Bro. Hawtin was president of “Global Missions” and they formed the Sharon Bible College in North Battleford. No longer under the bonds of denominationalism the school was free to seek God for the revival and promise of “The Latter Rain,” as spoken of by the book of Joel. The Lord had been preparing Bro. Hawtin and his students for the outpouring of a revival containing this Rain. As a result, the school was in a high degree of expectation with much prophecy coming to them. There were many of the students fasting and praying when these events took place. I want to quote to you from a student that was there when this great move was birthed.
Begin Quote: “The date is February 11, 1948. Class has begun at the Sharon Bible College and the students and faculty had just broken through a “dry spell” and victory was in the air along with great expectation. I will let the eyewitness tell it from here.
“Shortly after our class had opened (I was in the second year class) we could hear singing coming from the first year room which was just across the hallway from us. I shall never forget the words of that song and the anointing of the Spirit that settled down upon our class as they sang, ‘Where He Leads Me I Will Follow.” The hardest of hearts were softened and broken and made pliable by the tenderness and sweetness of the Spirit that prevailed. The whole class being touched got down on their knees in prayer, and after a short time the teacher suggested we return to the first year classroom which was the general assembly room. This we did. As we entered we found that they all were upon their knees in prayer. We were soon joined by the third year class and the other teachers. Little did we realize that God was setting the stage for another great and momentous hour in the history of the Church.
“Like a mighty wind the Holy Spirit swept over that student body. Our voices blended together in a great volume of praise unto God. Heaven was touching earth and all things were being shaken. Then like the touch of a great choir master, the Holy Spirit moved in a different direction. The gushing wind seemed to cease and a great calm came over the classroom. The noise of praise gently faded away and quietness crept in. A holy hush came over the people and a hallowed presence filled the room. Everyone testified later of the reality of that Divine presence. The air seemed to be saturated with His glory and power, and all seemed to breathe gently. Lives were dedicated afresh and new consecrations were made in the stillness of that moment. The silence was broken when the Spirit of prophecy came upon one of the teachers. He stood up and gave this prophecy which I will quote with reverence and respect as the Holy Spirit enables me to do so, ‘Take the shoes from off thy feet, for the ground on which thou standest is Holy ground. (The Spirit of God was so real that many of the students slipped off their natural shoes and a holy reverence gripped every heart). For behold I am about to do a new thing in thy midst. Thou shalt not write letters or tell thy friends and relatives, and if thou dost, then thy days shall be numbered. I will at this time restore to the Church the nine gifts of the Spirit, and they shall be received by prophecy and the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. I will indicate from time to time by my spirit they that are prepared and should be called.’” end quote.
This historical prophecy set in motion one of the most identifiable characteristics of this movement. The presbytery appointed the ones to the ministry of the Latter Rain as the Spirit revealed it to them. As the above events were leaked out to the Body of Christ others started making journey’s to the school to wait upon the Lord and to receive the anointing. A good friend of ours, Bro. Michael Sitko, in Washington, PA told me that he and his brother went by the leading of the Lord to the school at this time and was amazed at the humility that was upon the people. Everyone had a spirit of love and service to the Lord. One morning, Bro. Sitko awoke at 4:00 AM by design and was intending to mop and clean the meeting room, since it was very muddy and mud had been tracked into the building. He had a great desire to do something for the Lord and when he arrived at this early hour to do this chore a score of other brothers and sisters had already beat him to it!
Sis. Myrtle D. Beale, pastor of Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, MI, traveled 2,500 miles by car to meetings held by George and Ern Hawtin at Glad Tidings Temple in Vancouver, British Columbia in November 14-18, 1948, and became a major leader in this movement with people attending her services in Detroit from all parts of the country. In February, 1949, Dr. Thomas Wyatt of Portland, OR, invited the Hawtin party to his church, Wings of Healing Temple, where George Hawtin and Milford Kirkpatrick ministered to 90 preachers from almost every part of North America. One of the pastors attending was Dr. A. Earl Lee of Los Angeles, California, whose church became a center of revival soon after he returned home. The list goes on and on. Revival Centers sprung up all over the world. Many people that have not studied this movement have no idea how much this move shaped the church. From a small, insignificant bible school came a bona fide Eon of God’s purpose and design and some have stayed in the diminishing glory of the rain movement while others have found the fortitude and courage to move on with the presence of the Lord. As Israel, they have kept the pillar of smoke and fire before them and have refused to settle for anything less than what God has reserved for them.
God is always moving in more than one realm simultaneously, with several persons experiencing the same event but many times all come away with a different viewpoint of that event. One of the most anointed ministers of this new Day of restitution and change that we are involved in today was the late Bro. B. S. Westlake. Charlotte and I have had the pleasure to sit in his home at the parsonage in Des Moines, IA and listen to this man of God discourse and literally preach from his chair in the living room. Those who knew Bro. Westlake and the events that he experienced in the early stages of the move at Bro. Hawtins school have told me that while others came away announcing the movement of “The Latter Rain,” Bro. Westlake came away preaching “The Feast Of Tabernacles.” In fact, from the very beginning Bro. George Warnock wrote, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the definitive book on this last great Feast, entitled, “The Feast Of Tabernacles.” He was truly ahead of his times, but that word was carried by many of the spearheads of this Kingdom word and as a result there has been an “early harvest” of people that, as these in the late 1940’s and onward, have been hearing a rustling in the heavens of today that there is coming to us another event, one that will both fulfill and exceed all prior events. This is not a light word. In all truth, the Movement of the Latter Rain was awesome in its display of miraculous power. Stories are still told of bones cracking out loud as they came together in broken bodies, all night praising, heavenly voices filling the ears of the congregation, tents lit up by the glory of the Lord without benefit of electricity, on and on the wondrous testimonies go, boggling the mind, and making one to believe that this is truly rain from the heavens.
Yet, in my heart, I am hearing promises of better things. The Lord is whispering of an age where:
Isa 11:6-9…6] The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7] And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8] And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9] They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (KJV)
I have been very blessed to be brought into a sweet fellowship with some of the present elders of the original “Global Missions” group that are still moving on in the Lord and are seeking fresh manna and have expressed to me their vision that is an ongoing vision of what was started in them in 1948. What a blessing these folks have been to Charlotte and myself. They have prayed for us and taken us on their hearts like as if they have known us all our lives. The same spirit of humility and love that I find in the eyewitness accounts of the miraculous days in 1948 still sets upon these precious believers and I look forward to knowing them more as the days go by! Every move of God has pointed toward this present time, building glory upon glory in an accumulation of God’s revealed presence. As more and more of God’s people break down the barriers that have separated them and start to participate in each others experiences in God we will see a unity and harmony in the Body such as has never been seen in any other time.
In the next issue we will see the parallel path being taken by the scientific world. Just as the Latter Rain movement changed the religious world forever, so it is, that at the mid-point of the 20th century God started to reveal His original design for life to mankind. Just as those 70 bible students in Canada had no idea of the impact that their school would have on the world, even so, God was preparing 2 men, neither one of them an expert in biochemistry, one being a physicist and the other involved in studies with viruses that infected bacteria. Through a series of small discoveries and a competitive race of time against one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the day, these 2 men finally broke the code and presented a molecular structure to the world that had great impact throughout the scientific world and the world at large. To us, though, this structure has even more relevancy, for it is the pattern that God instituted in the beginning of the foundations of the world and was not seen by the human eye or comprehended by the human mind since Jacob saw it 3,000 years ago.
THE HOUSE that GOD BUILT, Volume 1, Study 4 [Robert D. Torango] 1