William J Seymour’s Insight into Counterfeit Revivals


Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of Antichrist, which you have heard was coming ad is now in the world.”

1 John 4 1-3


In every revival, you will see the real fire, the wildfire, and the false fire. The wise leader must have the wisdom to navigate the waters, discern the false fire, and remove it. In the Azusa revival, just like every revival, they saw false fire as the enemy sought to come in and do as he always does, kill, steal, and destroy.



William J Seymour preached


God has told us in His precious Word that we should know a tree by its fruit. (See Luke 6:44.) Wherever we find the real, we find the counterfeit also. But praise God for the real.


We are to know a tree by its fruit. A good tree will always produce good fruit, and an evil tree, evil fruit. John admonishes us to test the spirits and not just assume everything is good. As believers, we don’t like to offend, but if we are not careful, we can allow the enemy to come in and do tremendous damage.


Seymour explained


We find in the time of Peter, when men and women were receiving the power of the Holy Ghost, the counterfeit appeared in Ananias and Sapphira. But God’s power was mightier than all the forces of hell, so their sin found them out.


The enemy wants to steal the glory and damage the testimony of a church or a revival. Today, too many churches fail to walk in holiness and find it acceptable to walk in the flesh and dare to grieve the Holy Spirit. We need holy fear to consume us again, just as in the Apostles’ days. If we truly seek the real fire of God and for the Holy Spirit to move, then we must allow Him to cleanse the house.


Seymour explained


Be careful, dear loved ones, for your sin will surely find you out. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).


Paul warns us as well-


“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened . For indeed, Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

1 Corinthians 5: 7, 8


This is not a message we hear much today but rather a message aimed at tickling the ears of the hearing. We must ask ourselves whom we seek to impress, God or man.


Seymour said of the Azusa Revival…


In our meetings, we have had people come and claim that they had received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, but when they were put to the test by the Holy Spirit, they were found wanting.


How many Christians fail to walk in holy fear of the Lord and would dare test Him? How many things do we do claiming that it is of the Spirit, and yet it grieves and blasphemes him? Anything of the Spirit, as John explained, always confesses and is in alignment with the life and ministry of Jesus. It will always testify of Jesus, magnify His Name, reveal His character, and demonstrate His love.


Seymour shared


And again people have imitated the gift of tongues, but how quickly the Holy Spirit would reveal to every one of the true children that had the Pentecostal baptism, and put a heavy rebuke upon the counterfeit, in tongues, until the counterfeits were silenced and condemned. God’s promises are true and sure.


We are called to lift up Jesus and seek His glory, and if we do, He will draw all men unto Himself. When we allow the Holy Spirit to move freely, then He will remove all counterfeits. Seymour added


So the power of the Holy Ghost in God’s people today condemns and swallows up the counterfeit. It digs up and exposes all the power of Satan—Christian Science, Theosophy, and spiritualism—all are uncovered before the Son of God. Glory to God!


The Spirit will either draw and convict them or remove them. He will not allow the unholy to reside with the holy.


Seymour said-


Spiritualists have come to our meetings and had the demons cast out of them and have been saved and sanctified. Christian Scientists have come to the meetings and had the Christian Science demons cast out of them and have accepted the blood. “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13).


Are we willing to stop playing church and start being the church? Because we must remember that Jesus is the Head of the Church, and He calls His church to submit to and walk by the Holy Spirit.


Think about this


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no such law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Galatians 5: 22-25


The Holy Spirit seeks to come and reveal Jesus in us and through us. For every problem the world faces, Jesus is the answer, and we, His Church, are to reveal that answer by revealing Jesus.


Seymour explained that we are to do this by the Holy Spirit.


Dear loved ones, it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49); “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5).