Supernatural Physical Manifestations in the Evangelical and Holiness Revival Movements

Presented at the 32nd Society of Pentecostal Studies/Wesleyan Theological Society. Joint Conference, March 21, 2003. History Interest Group

With the phenomena associated with the "Toronto Blessing," the Pensacola/ Brownsville revival, and the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne, such as falling under the power of the Spirit, trembling, holy laughter, etc., people have tended to either completely accept or completely reject all such phenomena. However, when we study the history of the church, in particular the evangelical and holiness movements of the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, we see that many of these manifestations have occurred in these movements, but such phenomena were neither accepted out of hand, nor dismissed summarily. As an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) who also serves on the faculty of Oral Roberts University, through this study I desire to provide a bridge and a buffer between the evangelical/holiness and the Pentecostal/charismatic camps. This study explores the experiences of evangelical and holiness revivals, and how such manifestations were viewed.

Falling Under the Power of the Spirit

The phenomenon of falling under the power of the Spirit occurred in the revivals of Jonathan Edwards. His assessment was that a person may "fail bodily strength" due to fear of hell and the conviction by the Holy Spirit or due to a "foretaste of heaven."1 John Wesley recognized falling to the ground as a manifestation from God, and records many such instances in his ministry. In fact, George Whitefield criticized Wesley for permitting the phenomena until it began happening in his own meetings.2 The Kentucky revivals of 1800-1801, which involved Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, was replete with similar demonstrations.3 In the early 1800s, the revivals led by Methodist circuit riding preacher Peter Cartwright (who was converted in the Kentucky revivals) were often accompanied by people falling under God’s power, including some Baptists.4 Finney’s ministry also frequently manifested fainting or swooning, what he called "falling under the power of God."5 The Welsh revival of 1859 was accompanied by swooning as "waves of power often overwhelmed" people.6 In the 1860s, Andrew Murray’s church started to speak out against people who began to shout and cry and swoon in a revival in his church, until a visitor from America told him about similar manifestations in American revivals.7 Decades before holiness evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter’s involvement in the Pentecostal revival, many people in her meetings fell under the power of the Spirit, including Carrie Judd (Montgomery), an early leader in the C&MA.8 Moody’s associate R.A. Torrey testified of people falling under the power of God due to conviction of sin.9 Torrey himself fell under power of the Spirit when baptized with the Holy Spirit.10 Presbyterian missionary Jonathan Goforth makes reference in his book By My Spirit to the phenomenon occurring in his revivals.11

Instances of falling under the power of the Spirit also occurred periodically at C&MA meetings for two decades before Azusa Street. In 1885 A.B. Simpson, the founder of the C&MA, received what we would call today a "word of knowledge" that someone was resisting the Lord. A woman responded, saying it was her. She came forward, and as Simpson anointed her for healing, she was overcome, falling under the power of the Spirit seemingly unconscious for about half an hour, and she received a healing.12 In 1897 at a joint C&MA/Mennonite camp meeting in Allentown, Pennsylvania, C&MA General Field Supt. Dean Peck preached six services in three days and described: "At service after service . . . I saw people fall as dead under the power of God." He said it was a genuine revival from God and talked about such things happening among the Methodists 50-60 years ago, but are not frequent now because many revivals are of human manufacture.13 Manifestations of falling also occurred during the 1907 revival at Simpson’s Gospel Tabernacle, apparently with his approval.14 Presbyterian Greek professor T. J. McCrossan, who joined C&MA in 1923, while serving as interim president of Simpson Bible Institute, wrote in his book Bodily Healing and the Atonement: "Hundreds are healed, who do not fall under this power, because they simply trust God’s promises; and it is the prayer of faith that heals. Going under this power seems, however, to bring an extra spiritual blessing… This power is not hypnotism… This is not devil power."15 McCrossan spoke out of the experience of his own life, for not only did he frequently assist Charles Price in laying hands on the sick with people falling, but he himself fell under God’s power and was enraptured with visions when he was baptized in the Spirit in 1921 through Price’s ministry.16

Holy Laughter

Holy laughter also occurred in early evangelical and holiness circles. Jonathan Edwards describes the reaction of some who were converted in the Great Awakening revival: "Their joyful surprise has caused their hearts as it were to leap, so that they have been ready to break forth into laughter, tearing often at the same time issuing like a flood, and intermingling a loud weeping."17 E. M. Bounds records Wesley saying, "The power of God came mightily upon us, so that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground."18 Charles Finney wrote that after he testified about his experience of being baptized in the Spirit, a usually serious elder of his church "fell into a most spasmodic laughter. It seemed as if it was impossible for him to keep from laughing from the very bottom of his heart."19

Jessie Penn-Lewis recounts manifestations of holy laughter and being drunk in the Spirit taking place during the Australian Keswick Convention of 1891:

The Convention was marked by clean-cut surrender to God for all His will to be done at all costs, and by an overflowing joy which followed in hundreds of hearts, so that, as Mr. George Soltau wrote, "Literally ‘our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with singing’… It was impossible to restrain one’s heart, the Lord giving us such a foretaste of heaven. Talk of "fleshly excitement," I wish to bear my testimony that it was nothing less than the fulness of the Spirit. We were verily drunk with the joy of the Lord, and with the vistas of the possibilities of faith opening up to the fully surrendered life of the believer. But it was equally manifest to us all that this joy and blessing is only to be received and retained and increased by the death to self and of self and the most painful crucifixion of self.20
In 1897 A.B. Simpson wrote that one of the effects of being filled with the Spirit is "fullness of Joy so that the heart is constantly radiant. This does not depend on circumstances, but fills the spirit with holy laughter in the midst of the most trying surroundings."21 Simpson himself records in his diary on September 12, 1907, that he experienced holy laughter for more than an hour.22

Oswald Chambers also recorded in his diary on April 19, 1907: "Last night we had a blessed time. I was called down by the teachers to pray and anoint a lady who wanted healing, and as we were doing it God came so near that upon my word we were laughing as well as praying! How utterly stilted we are in our approach to God. Oh that we lived more up to the light of all our glorious privileges."23 Chambers evidently believed that laughter could be a sign of revival and, like Simpson, a result of the baptism in the Spirit.24

Praying John Hyde, the great intercessor and missionary to China also experienced holy laughter in the summer of the same year. His companion relates of a low caste Punjabi intercessor:

How often has G_____, after most awful crying seemed to break through the hosts of evil and soar up into the presence of the Father! You could see the smile of God reflected in his face. Then he would laugh aloud in the midst of his prayer. It was the joy of a son reveling in the delight of his father’s smile. God has been teaching John [Hyde] and me that his name is the God of Isaac – laughter… Rejoicing, laughing, the same word as Isaac. This holy laughter seemed to relieve the tension and give Heaven’s own refreshment to wrestling spirits."25
Even C&MA leader A. W. Tozer also spoke positively of holy laughter:

Now I say that worship is subject to degrees of perfection and intensity. There have been those who worshiped God to the place where they were in ecstasies of worship. I once saw a man kneel at an altar, taking Communion. Suddenly he broke into holy laughter. This man laughed until he wrapped his arms around himself as if he was afraid he would bust just out of sheer delight in the presence of Almighty God… So worship is capable of running from the very simple to the most intense and sublime.26
Spontaneously Dancing for Joy

During the Welsh revival of 1859, "many leaped and danced in the exuberance of their rapture."27 Sometimes related to the laughing phenomenon is a spontaneous dancing for joy. Praying Hyde, a staid Presbyterian, is described after a time of intense prayer at the Sialkot Convention (similar to Keswick), "He begins to sing, ‘Tis done, the great transaction’s done,’ and he is so full of joy that his whole body begins to move, he claps his hands, then his feet begin to move, and look! he begins to dance for joy, and others join him until the whole place rings with God’s praises."28 Such dancing also occurred upon occasion in C&MA meetings. Simpson writes of an African-American C&MA meeting he visited in 1895: "We witnessed a sacred dance by about fifty of the women." They swayed and moved arms and feet, keeping time to the music. "The effect was truly grand."29 As Vinson Synan notes, for some holiness groups, spontaneous dance or holy laughter was considered an evidence of Holy Spirit baptism.30

Physical Sensations

Such manifestations of laughing or falling were sometimes accompanied by unusual bodily sensations. Charles Finney avowed his baptism in the Spirit was "like a wave of electricity, going through and through me."31 Early C&MA pastor Dr. E. D. Whiteside’s testimony of healing in 1888 included both physical sensations and falling under the power of the Spirit: "Like a flash of electricity, I was instantly thrilled. Every point of my body and nerves was controlled by a strange sensation that increased in volume, until I bowed lower and lower to the floor. I was filled with the ecstatic thrill. My physical frame was unable to stand the strain."32 Reminiscent of holy laughter, he reported that he felt he was on the verge of "dying from overjoy."33 The C&MA journals record many instances of physical sensations like heat, electrical shocks or bright lights accompanying healing.34

Trembling, Shaking, and Convulsions, Strange Sounds and Behavior

Along with swooning, such phenomena as trembling, shaking and convulsions occurred in the ministry of Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening. Quakers received their name because they shook. At the outset of the Welsh revival of 1904, Evan Roberts experienced the manifestation of shaking on several occasions: "In the spring of 1904, Evan found himself, as it were, on the Mount of Transfiguration. In his own home and out on the countryside, his loving Heavenly Father revealed Himself to His child in an amazing overwhelming manner which filled his soul with divine awe. At these special seasons, every member of his body trembled until the bed was shaken."35

A more intense form of trembling or shaking is a convulsing or jerking of the body in contortions, characteristic of some under intense conviction. Jonathan Edwards described a child in this condition, "She continued crying, and writhing her body to and fro, like one in anguish of spirit."36 Speaking of the revival of 1740-1742, Edwards writes, "It was a very frequent thing to see a house full of outcries, faintings, convulsions, and such like, both with distress, and also with admiration and joy."37

Sometimes strange sounds accompanied some of these manifestations, such as groaning or weeping. A companion of Praying Hyde relates of Hyde and the Punjab Prayer Convention of 1906 (similar to Keswick), "We began to pray, and suddenly the great burden of that soul was cast upon us, and the room was filled with sobs and cries for one whom most of us had never seen or heard of before. Strong men lay on the ground groaning in agony for that soul."38 In 1902, after being anointed by C&MA pastor Peter Zimmerman, a woman who had been an invalid for 18 years received a gradual healing over three days accompanied by jerking sensations. She described it as, "The quickening power of God began to come into my body until it seemed every bone in my body would unjoint… For weeks I felt the quickening power four or five times a day, until I became strong in body."39

These types of phenomena also occurred in the ministries of Finney and Wesley and other holiness groups, as well as Pentecostals.40 In holiness and some Pentecostal circles some of these manifestations were regarded as the work of the Holy Spirit, others of the flesh, and still others as demonic in origin.41

Trances, Visions, and Dreams

Trances, visions, and dreams occurred frequently in early Methodist camp meetings, and in Maria Woodworth-Etter’s meetings, as well as other denominations and movements.42 Presbyterian missionary Praying Hyde, it is recorded, "began to have visions of the glorified Christ as a Lamb on His throne – suffering such infinite pain for and with His suffering Body on earth."43 Torrey recalled that a man praying for revival in Australia saw a prophetic vision of crowds of people coming to hear Torrey speak.44 Street evangelist Jerry McAuley experienced a trance and a vision that led to his founding of a rescue mission.45 Prophecies and visions were also features of the Welsh revival.46 Amy Carmichael, Anglican Keswick missionary to India, also received prophetic dreams and visions.47 Likewise, Charles Spurgeon recognized the validity of dreams and visions from the Lord.48 His friend and colleague, F.B. Meyer, a Baptist Keswick leader, also recounted a vision.49

Such manifestations occurred in the early C&MA as well. In fact, the missions emphasis of the C&MA was established on Simpson’s response to a vivid dream in which he awoke trembling.50 In 1883 early C&MA leader John Cookman had an experience in which "the Lord appeared to him in a vision, and said, ‘I am thy Healer, thy Sanctifier, thy Savior, and thy Lord.’"51 C&MA missionary statesman Robert Jaffray experienced several dreams with strong impressions from the Lord.52 Visions preceding or accompanying healing were not uncommon in the ministry of A.B. Simpson and the early C&MA.53

But Not All Such Manifestations Are from God

On the other hand, not all such physical manifestations were automatically accepted among holiness leaders and some Pentecostals to be a result of the Spirit’s workings.54 Classic evangelical and holiness leaders understood that God can lead by impressions, visions, and revelations, but they needed to be tested.55 Moravian leader Count Zinzendorf, who was open to supernatural movings of the Holy Spirit, witnessed a man falling into an "inspired fit, jerking and convulsing, and prophesying. Zinzendorf did not hesitate to reject the inspiration."56 John Wesley’s counsel was: "Do not hastily ascribe things to God. Do not easily suppose dreams, voices, impressions, visions, or revelations to be from God. They may be from Him. They may be from Nature. They may be from the devil. Therefore believe not every spirit, but ‘try the spirits whether they be from God.’"57 Even though people fell under God’s power in Cartwright’s meetings, he also discerned false falling, visions and trances.58

Evangelical and holiness leaders recognized that some laughter is"fleshly excitement" and some may even be demonically inspired. John and Charles Wesley discerned that some manifestations were unholy laughter.59 In 1912, Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts in their book War on the Saints also write of demonical inspired laughter with twisting and jerking.60 Even Catholic exorcists have cautioned that the devil may cause laughter to distract and disrupt.61

Peter Cartwright regarded the jerking movements in his meetings as the judgment of God or fleshly manifestations of superstitious people, which would subside through fervent prayer. Likewise, he considered manifestations such as jumping, barking and other wild exercises, often accompanied by falling, visions, or trances, to be delusions.62

Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis comment, "No one can with safety accept all the supernatural manifestations which accompany Revival, or believe all seeming ‘Pentecostal power’ to be of God."63 They recognized that gifts of the Spirit such as prophecy, healing, and tongues could be genuine or false, saying that counterfeit tongues were only a fraction of the counterfeit manifestations.64 They cautioned, "Counterfeit manifestations of the Divine life in various ways now follow quickly; movements in the body, pleasant thrills, touches, as glow as of fire in different parts of the body, or sensations of cold, or shakings and tremblings, all of which are accepted as from God."65 However, they did not dismiss all such manifestations as demonic, for Roberts himself experienced some of these manifestations authentically during the Welsh revival, and was by experience able to recognize the counterfeit.66 Pentecostals like Carrie Judd Montgomery warned about unusual phenomena and motions which have been accepted in some Pentecostal circles are really a form of witchcraft.67

Many animal-like sounds and behavior have been recognized throughout church history as demonic.68 Such exhibitions were often considered demonic, both by Pentecostals and non-Pentecostal holiness people. A.B. Simpson, who believed in supernatural gifts and manifestations, nonetheless observed, "There have been many instances where [seeking for] the gift of tongues led the subjects and the audiences in to the wildest excesses and were accompanied with voices and actions more closely resembling wild animals than rational beings, impressing the unprejudiced observers that it was the work of the devil."69 Paul Rader, pastor of Moody Memorial Church and President of the C&MA after Simpson’s death, writes of casting out a demon from a man who came down the aisle of Moody Church barking like a dog.70 Pentecostal leader Charles Parham also described as demonic manifestations of barking like a dog, braying like a donkey, and crowing like a rooster, and contortions and fits.71 Woodworth-Etter admonished to "try the spirits," citing a woman who "commenced to go about on her knees, twisting about like a serpent" and speaking in tongues. She said, "Everyone knew it was not of God," and that the devil had gotten hold of her.72

That is not to say that in every instance animal-like sounds and behavior are demonic. They may be of the flesh, or they may be a response to something God is doing in a person – like the unutterable groanings of Romans 8:26-27. Cartwright described a man who "roared like a bull in a net" under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.73 The phenomena may even be misinterpreted by observers. A colleague of this writer who is a researcher of the Campbellite/Christian church movement determined through his research on the 1801 Cane Ridge revival that what was reported by the media as "barking up a tree" and "treeing the devil" was, in reality, people under such conviction and emotional distress that they were heaving and groaning in such a manner that it sounded like barking and all the while feeling faint so that they were holding themselves up against a tree.74

This calls for caution in automatically branding all such phenomena as demonic. There may be occasions in which sounds are made that are from the heart and soul that cannot be articulated clearly, which may fall under the category of "groanings too deep for words" (Rom. 8:26). Nonetheless, the preponderance of evidence would indicate that the vast majority of such animal-like manifestations are either demonically inspired or originate in the flesh. Those which are demonic in nature may be Satanic counterfeits meant to deceive, or they may be already existing demonic influences being exposed or brought to the surface by the moving of the Holy Spirit in revival, like a birddog flushing out a pheasant.


These are just a sampling of the occurrences of such manifestations in evangelical and holiness movements. Supernatural physical manifestations such as holy laughter, falling under the power of the Spirit, shaking, etc., have occurred outside of Pentecostal and charismatic circles among holiness and evangelical movements in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, hence, both prior to and simultaneously with the Pentecostal movement. My own study of John Wesley’s journal has turned up numerous instances of dreams, visions, trances, falling, trembling, voices and heavenly sounds.75 My research of Christian and Missionary Alliance history has discovered in the period of time before the Azusa Street revival that references to charismatic phenomena before Azusa Street in C&MA and other holiness and evangelical groups included: 36 visions, 15 dreams, 16 records of falling under power of Spirit (sometimes masses of people), 3 occasions of sacred dance, 11 instances of shaking or trembling, 10 testimonies of electrical-like shocks, and 9 records of holy laughter.76 Further, these phenomena occurred among many denominations, including Methodist, Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Campbellite/Christian, Episcopalian, Adventist, Quaker, Lutheran, C&MA, etc.

Hank Hanegraaff claims some of these phenomena are indicators of counterfeit revival.77 While some such manifestations could be counterfeit, in the light of these examples it would be more accurate to say that there are counterfeits in the midst of revival. In most every revival in church history – Wesleyan, Great Awakening, Cane Ridge, Welsh Revival, Azusa Street, charismatic – there has been mixture. Where there is counterfeit, there must also be the genuine. Wesley warned of a two-fold danger: 1) to regard them too much, as essential to revival, 2) to regard them too little, condemning them altogether.78 The position of many of the early evangelical and holiness leaders was one of a "middle ground,"79 one that neither accepts nor rejects such phenomena without further discernment. The viewpoint of Jonathan Edwards (which both critics like Hanegraaff and Toronto blessing supporters sometimes have seemed to ignore) is perhaps the wisest counsel:

A work is not to be judged of by any effects on the bodies of men; such as tears, trembling, groans, loud outcries, agonies of body, or the failing of bodily strength. The influence persons are under is not to be judged of one way or other by such effects on the body; and the reason is because the Scripture nowhere gives us any such rule. We cannot conclude that persons are under the influence of the true Spirit because we see such effects on their bodies, because this is not given as a mark of the true Spirit; nor on the other hand, have we any reason to conclude, from any such outward appearances, that persons are not under the influence of the Spirit of God, because there is no rule of Scripture given us to judge of spirits by, that does either expressly or indirectly exclude such effects on the body, nor does reason exclude them.80
Through studying the history of revivals, Martyn Lloyd-Jones came to much the same close:

I would conclude that the phenomena are not essential to revival. . . I believe that in their origin they are essentially of the Spirit of God, but we must always allow for the fact that because of the very frailty of human nature, and of our physical frames, you will have a tendency to an admixture, partly along the physical, partly along the psychic, and partly s the result of the Devil’s activity. But there is nothing more foolish or more ridiculous than to dismiss the whole because of a very, very small part… expect this, and . . . be on guard against the false and spurious… But we must not seek phenomena and strange experiences…What we must seek is revival… Anyone who tries to work up phenomena is a tool of the Devil, and is putting himself in the position of the psychic and the psychological.81
Generally among holiness and evangelicals of the eighteenth to early twentieth century such manifestations were accepted as genuine but not sought or emphasized, and caution was exercised in not accepting all such manifestations as from God. Non-charismatic or non-Pentecostal people today can thus be assured that such manifestations can be recognized as from God, with use of discernment. At the same time, Pentecostals and charismatics need to be careful to exercise discernments and "test the spirits," not accepting uncritically all such phenomena as genuinely from the Spirit of God.


1 Jonathan Edwards, "The Distinguishing Marks of the Work of the Spirit of God," Jonathan Edwards on Revival (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1984), 91, 92. He gives as biblical examples the fainting of the queen of Sheba, the trembling and falling of the Philippian jailer, and others (pp. 91-94).

2 John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley (Chicago: Moody Press, n.d.), 76. For other incidents of falling, see pp.81, 99, 293. See also Ann Taves, Fits, Trances, and Visions (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999), 72-74, 76-117.

3 Eddie L. Hyatt, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2002), 114-117.

4 Peter Cartwright, Autobiography of Peter Cartwright (New York, NY, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1956), 68, 88-89, 102-104, 130, 143, 161.

5 Charles G. Finney, The Autobiography of Charles Finney (Minneapolis: Bethany House, Inc., 1977), 100-101; also 23, 37, 46, 57-58, 63, 116, 120, 125, 131, 139, 163.

6 Eifion Evans, Revival Comes to Wales (Bryntirion, Bridgend, Wales: Evangelical Press of Wales, 1959, 1967), 70.

7 Leona Choy, Andrew and Emma Murray: An Intimate Portrait of Their Marriage and Ministry (Winchester, VA: Golden Morning Publishing, 2000), 85-90.

8 Wayne E. Warner, The Woman Evangelist: The Life and Times of Charismatic Evangelist Maria B. Woodworth-Etter (Metuchen, N.J. & London: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1986), 82, 83, 95.

9 R. A. Torrey, The Power of Prayer (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 46-47.

10 Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, Feb. 10, 1906, 84.

11 Jonathan Goforth, By My Spirit (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1942, reprint 1964), 9-10.

12 "Healing of Mrs. Williams," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, May 9, 1890, 295-296.

13 "Alliance Notes," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, Aug. 11, 1897, 137; Dean Peck, "Field Notes," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, Aug. 11, 1897, 137.

14 W. A. Cramer, "Pentecost at Cleveland," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly 27 (April 27, 1907), 201; A. B. Simpson, "Editorial," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly 27 (June 8, 1907), 205; Stanley H. Frodsham, With Signs Following, rev. ed. (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1946), 51-52.

15 T. J. McCrossan, Bodily Healing and the Atonement (Youngstown, OH: Clement Hubbard, 1930), 109-110.

16 Charles S. Price, See God (Pasadena, CA: Charles S. Price Publishing House, 1943), 80; compare T. J. McCrossan, Speaking with Other Tongues: Sign or Gift – Which? (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1927), 34.

17 Edwards, 91.

18 E. M. Bounds, The Possibilities of Prayer (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979), 138.

19 Finney, 22.

20 Mary N. Garrard, Mrs. Penn-Lewis: A Memoir (Hants, Eng.: The Overcomer Book Room, distrib. Ft. Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 1947), 36-37.

21 A. B. Simpson, Days of Heaven on Earth (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1984), June 27.

22 A.B. Simpson, "Simpson’s Nyack Diary," Sept. 12, 1907, cited in Charles W. Nienkirchen, A.B. Simpson and the Pentecostal Movement (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992), 145.

23 Oswald Chambers: His Life and Work (London: Simpkin Marshall, Ltd., 1947), 103.

24 Again Chambers records in his journal May 6, 1907, "It is an unspeakably blessed thing to see souls come out under the blessing of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire. Some simply laugh, peals of the heartiest and most blessed laughter you ever heard, just a modern edition of ‘Then was our mouth filled with laughter.’" A third time Chambers writes on May 27, "Many souls cut loose, there were tears and laughter and all the blessed signs of those revival times the Lord brings so mysteriously and suddenly upon His people. It is a great business to open up all the windows of the soul to heaven and live on the Hallelujah side." (Ibid., 104-105).

25 Capt. E. G. Carre, ed., Praying Hyde: A Challenge to Prayer, (Asheville, NC: Revival Literature, n.d.), 26.

26 A. W. Tozer, Worship: The Missing Jewel (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1992), 20-21.

27 Evans, 70.

28 Ibid., 31.

29 A.B. Simpson, "Editorial Correspondence," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, April 17, 1895, 248.

30 Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1971, 1997), 95, 108-109.

31 Finney, 21.

32 Irene E. Lewis, Life Sketch of Rev. Mary C. Norton: Remarkable Healings on Mission Fields (Los Angeles: Pilgrim’s Mission, Inc., 1954), 27.

33 Ibid.

34 George P. Pardington, Twenty-five Wonderful Years, 1889-1914: A Popular Sketch of the C&MA (New York, NY: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1914), 216; John Cookman, "Divine Holiness," The Word, The Work, and the World, Dec. 1885, 336; John E. Cookman, "A Testimony of Healing, The Word, The Work, and the World, Sept. 1886, 160-162; Mrs. George W. Ford, "Testimony of Divine Healing," The Word, The Work, and the World, May 1887, 267; Mary A. Manning, "Healed and Kept," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, Feb. 11, 1905, 85; Mrs. M.J. Clark, "Testimonies of Healing," The Word, The Work, and the World, Jan. 1887, 33; Rev. McBride, "Testimonies of Healing," The Word, The Work, and the World, Sept. 1886, 164; R.E. Jeanson, "Divine Healing: A Testimony," The Word, The Work, and the World, Apr. 1887, 215. These are just a few of the many testimonies of physical sensations of warmth, electricity, power, light, etc.

35 James A. Stewart, Invasion of Wales by the Spirit (Asheville, NC: Revival Literature, n.d.), 29.

36 Edwards, 64.

37 Ibid., 151.

38 Carre, 23-24.

39 Mrs. James Gainforth, "Consumption," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, May 31, 1902, 317.

40 Finney, 23, 163-164; Wesley, 76, 293.

41 See Cartwright, 45-47, 66-67; Maria Woodworth-Etter, Marvels and Miracles (Indianapolis, IN: M.B.W. Etter, 1922), 503, 505-508. For instance, Maria Woodworth-Etter wrote:

A woman came to me and said, "I am afraid this spirit on me is not of God; I was baptised [sic] in the Holy Ghost; I went into a mission where they did everything by tongues and they got me so mixed up I did not know where I was; then this spirit got hold of me; it shakes my head and makes my head ache." That is spiritualism. Some people, when they pray for anyone and lay on hands, throw their slime off. That is spiritualism… Be careful who lays hands on you, for the devil is counterfeiting God’s work. Woodworth-Etter, 508.
42 Taves, 132-135, 152-165, 206, 226-234, 241-247.

43 Carre, 22.

44 Torrey, 48.

45 "The Jerry McAuley Mission," Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, Jan. 28, 1911, 275.

46 Stewart, 31-33, 36, 43, 46, 51, 61, 76.

47 Elizabeth Elliot, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1987), 89-90, 99, 168, 181, 193, 210, 221, 222, 235, 253, 276, 292-293.

48 Lewis Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1992), 81, 167, 173, 181, 184, 221, 235-236, 271, 281, 285.

49 F.B. Meyer, Five Musts of the Christian Life (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1927), 122.

50 A. W. Tozer, Wingspread (Harrisburg: Christian Publications, 1943), 62.

51 Pardington, 216.

52 Louise Green, "Robert Jaffray: Man of Spirit, Man of Power," His Dominion, 16:1, 10, 11.

53 For example, C. H. Gootee recounts a healing service led by A. B. Simpson and Henry Wilson in which he received a miraculous healing. When Wilson anointed him with oil, he saw a vision of the blood of Jesus sprinkled on his breast and body. C.H. Gootee, "The Miracle of My Healing," Triumphs of Faith (March 1926), 62.

54 For instance, Maria Woodworth-Etter, who circulated both in holiness and early Pentecostal circles, advised, "Don’t take up with every vision that comes along." She gave an example of one such spurious revelation: "In the midst of a vision she heard a voice say to her, ‘You are going to die.’ But it was the devil." Woodworth-Etter, 503, 506.

55 Martin Wells Knapp, Impressions (Cincinnati: Revivalist Publishing House, 1892), 15.

56 Thomas Upham, The Life of Faith (New York: Garland Publishing, 1984 reprint Boston: Waite, Pierce, 1845), 85.

57 Knapp, 34.

58 Cartwright, 76-77.

59 B. J. Oropeza, A Time to Laugh: The Holy Laughter Phenomenon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995), 158.

60 Jessie Penn-Lewis with Evan Roberts, War on the Saints: Unabridged Edition (New York: Thomas E. Lowe, Ltd., n.d.), 320, 324.

61 Adolf Rodewyk, Possessed By Satan, trans. Martin Ebon (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975), 152.

62 Cartwright, 45-47.

63 Penn-Lewis and Roberts, 131.

64 Ibid., 297-298.

65 Penn-Lewis and Roberts, 285.

66 Stewart, 29.

67 Carrie Judd Montgomery, "Witchcraft and Kindred Spirits," The Alliance Weekly, Oct. 15, 1938, 660-661, Oct. 22, 1938, 676-677, see also Taves, 231.

68 Oesterreich, in his monumental work Possession, writes of many examples of possession by animal spirits, such as cats, badgers, tiger, ox, dogs, monkeys, snakes, lions, and foxes. T.K. Oesterreich, Possession: Demonical and Other (New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1966), 144-145. A person with a fox spirit, for instance, "adopts the habits of foxes" (224). A person with a tiger spirit would get on his hands and knees and growl (274-275). Another woman would glide like a snake and speak in tongues (144). He also records that a demon roared (184). In another instance, St. Francis cast out roaring demons (182). Jerome reports in his biography of St. Paula that possessed persons in Samaria "howled like wolves, barked like dogs, roared like lions, hissed like serpents, bellowed like bulls" (162). In Algiers dancers are possessed and imitate voices of lions and camels (263). In another instance, a monkey spirit caused a child to swing to and for and to climb supernaturally (276). John Wesley also spoke of roaring taking place in demonized people. Frederck S. Leahy, Satan Cast Out (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 121. Nineteenth century Presbyterian missionary John Nevius writes of demons with a voice like a bird and twisting of body. John L. Nevius, Demon Possession and Allied Themes (Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, n.d.), 46, 53. Johann Christoph Blumhardt describes a demons roaring or howling during deliverance. McCandlish Phillips, The Bible, the Supernatural, and the Jews (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1970), 199; Friedrich Zuendel, The Awakening (Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 1999), 58.

69 A. B. Simpson, Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, Feb. 2, 1907.

70 Paul Rader, "At Thy Word – A Farewell Message," The Alliance Weekly, Nov. 20, 1920, 532.

71 Charles Parham, The Everlasting Gospel (Baxter Springs, KS: n.p., 1911), 71, 72.

72 Woodworth-Etter, 507-508.

73 Cartwright, 102.

74 A missionary friend in South Africa reported that on two separate occasions he observed two different pastors apparently roaring. Believing the phenomena to be demonic, he attempted to cast out demons without any response. When questioned about it, in both instances each pastor responded that he was crying out in words for the nations to repent, but the listeners only heard roaring. This could be a similar phenomenon to the incident when God the Father spoke to Jesus and some thought it thundered (John 12:28-29), or when Paul heard Jesus speak but others only heard a sound (Acts 22:9).

75 Wesley, 71, 76, 81, 99, 207, 213, 215, 222, 234, 239, 293, 331-333, 378, 389.

76 See Paul L. King, Accepting the Supernatural with "Candor and Caution": An Annotated Chronological Catalog of Charismatic History of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (Tulsa, OK: Paul L. King, 2002).

77 Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival (Dallas: Word Publishers, 1997).

78 Wesley, 239.

79 McCrossan, Speaking in Other Tongues, 42.

80 Edwards, 91.

81 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1987), 146-147.

3 thoughts on “Supernatural Physical Manifestations in the Evangelical and Holiness Revival Movements

  1. Barbara Murley

    I was raised in a moral but non Christian home. I was saved in a Baptist VBS outreach. I have been in the C&MA off and on for 55 years….also been in and around the Vineyard, charismatic fellowships, Assembly of God, Pentecostal Holiness, and the Toronto Blessing, gradually over the years experiencing the Baptism of the Spirit, tongues, intercessory prayer, falling in the spirit, and later, weeping, shaking, laughing, animal sounds, yelling, an acute awareness of the Presence of God in the room, and many other such things. During the Toronto outpouring, I even laid hands on many who immediately fell down and started laughing, On one occasion during a renewal meeting, I tapped a friend on the head and said, “bless him, Lord”. He immediately shot out of his chair and landed about four feet away. I was not expecting this! I have been relatively sure, most of the time, that these were of God. The Alliance, however has done more to stifle this than endorse it. This grieves me very much. Sadly, the Alliance has missed great blessing and power.

    As I ponder this, I must say I love these manifestations; I love the Father from whence they come. I am not afraid of them, and just flow with what God seems to be doing. They are much less pronounced now, than when the revivals were going on, but I still experience them often, as a delightful reminder of these past blessings. Most of the time, His sweet presence accompanies them, and with much intensity. He sometimes uses them as signs to speak to me.

    An powerful example of this happened a few weeks before the Presidential election. I was praying for Mr. Trump, not having anything more than a slight leaning towards him as president, as over against the other candidate.
    I prayed that if he were to become President, that God would surround him with godly men to help him.
    I suddenly began to shed a few tears…more prayer, more weeping, more prayer, then, sobbing! I know tears are part of the phenomena, and that it is a sign of His presence. I said, ” God, what’s with the tears? and sobbing?
    Are you trying to tell me that Donald Trump is going to be our next president?!! ” I was shocked. A few days later during an intercessory time with a friend, God told him that it was already answered! confirmation! I was absolutely not surprised the night of the election. The rest is history. This event really touched me greatly. Now he has my prayers every day, and I have a strong sense that God either knew, or planned, for him to be in office. This event was both spiritual, powerful, and practical. I thank God for all of it. Thanks for reading this, and thank you for what you are doing to bring back these important works of the Spirit back into the church!

  2. Dalrae Bailey

    I am from Zimbabwe. I was raised in the Presbyterian Church. Was influenced by the Book “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” Went to a Penticostal church and received the gift of tongues. Was a Sunday school teacher in the Presbyterian Church and a 5 year old child began to pray in tongues. My first experience of holy laugher was was with a Christian leader and we were talking about missionary friends who had been murdered ..we were grieving..yet suddenly we simultaneously started to gently laugh. There was no need for words when just received it with love and thanks. Later our youth pastor approached me and asked if I would like to join him and others in planting a new church.. at this point there was laughter and a sort of drunkenness already being seen in our own church. Unbeknown to me the Toronto church was receiving this. We started a Vineyard church and I have seen pretty much all the phenomena you have mentioned above. Sadly our pastor was murdered and with the new pastor this phenomena gradually came to an end. Fast forward to today and I am friends with a man who is doing a study of the different translations of the Bible and how it’s leading to false doctrines. In his research he came up with the kundalini spirit and that anything that came out of Toronto was just this. He is convinced that this is a great deception. So just to say thank you for this very balanced report.
    What about doing a study on the laying on of hands. Can demonic influences be transferred this way as well as our Fathers blessings?


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