Fire That Could Jump Ocean – Revivalist Charles Parham
Fire That Could Jump The Ocean – Revivalist Charles “Fox” Parham Charles Parham’s passion for revival can only be exceeded by his passion for prayer and healing. By forming Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, Parham had established a place to heal to the sick and a place to teach others how to pray and minister to others. Parham grew up in a home where sickness was prevalent. Because of this, his disdain for sickness and disease was contagiously spread to his students. Parham and his students ministered with accompanying signs and wonders. Through times of opposition God was busy preparing a man to lead a new group of people who would be marked by hunger, prayer, Holy Spirit empowerment, with a heart for hurting, sickly people around the world. Parham understood an important key about Holy Spirit fire. He knew that he could not minister out of what he had never touched or tasted. Quite simply, you cannot minister the fire without experiencing the fire. Parham allowed the Holy Spirit fire to purge, purify, and prepare him.
Still Slaying the Prophets
Parham was known as a man with spiritual backbone and the ability to be forthright and blunt with brutal honesty. He pursued truth above all the accolades of man’s praise. Religious leaders would often tell him that they too wanted the Holy Spirit outpouring, but behind his back they would secretly mock and ridiculed him. The Pharisee within them won out and as is customary it seems, the revivalist took the beating. Withstanding the numerous thrashings, time and again Parham would rise up stronger and more determined to see truth prevail. They simply could not slay this prophet into silence. This is what separated his ministry from the mundane and why we still glean from his ministry in the monumental pages of Christian history.
In 2004, my wife, Susie, and I relocated our entire ministry headquarters to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We did so with an inward desire, a vision to see that region of the United States set ablaze with revivals fire. Four years later, in 2008, in our spiritual zeal we invited one of today’s great revivalists, and our dearest friends from South Africa, to come and minister in a series of churches near our home and ministry headquarters. On the first night, this great man of God preached without compromise a strong message that was clearly not intended for the spiritually weak minded.
Undoubtedly, he hadn’t traveled from around the world to powder the “spiritual bottoms” of those in attendance. He preached as he always preaches, with truth and powerful demonstration. We sat there in that room, hanging onto every word and our hearts were stirred afresh. Susie and I witnessed the local church leaders shout out their loudest, “Amen!” Their roars could be heard above the rest of the entire congregation combined. I thought to myself, this is great – even the church leadership here loves truth and are willing to yield to its demand for change.
I was so full of hope and excitement – until our dear friend left the building. As he exited we watched the Pharisee’s within the leadership rise up to ridicule and mock. Later, we learned that one of the main financial givers in the church had taken great offense by the truth that had come forth against some false doctrine being taught at the church and his offense was just enough to turn up the Pharisee and turn down the purging and perfecting fire of God. Sadly, to this day, that church continues to dwindle in membership and influence while our dear and precious revivalist friend preaches on still.
Parham was a man before his time. While the voice and influence of those religious mockers and Pharisee ministries would never be read of again, Parham was feasting on a Holy fire that would lead his ministry into the annals of revival history and change the vocabulary of Pentecostals and Charismatic believers forever.
-Excerpt from, Fire That Could Jump The Ocean by Tom Scarrella