Ichabod… the Glory has Departed

umatilla church


I recently returned from visiting the United States.

I don’t know if you ever get over jet lag. I think it has a cumulative effect of sorts.

I am always glad to visit my home domain. Although, there has been many changes in my lifetime in the United States, it still feels like home.

I couldn’t wait to buy a steak at the local supermarket, cook it, and savour what a real tender beef steak can taste like. It was great! The beef in Panama, where I live presently, is horrible. Local beefsteaks in Panama define what the consistency of shoe leather is. I don’t know why that the beef here is so tough, but it is awful. I have practically given up eating beef in Panama, except for some low-fat ground beef. I have had to eat a lot more chicken instead.

I wish that there was all the differences between the two countries… but it isn’t….

While I was there in the States, I came across this old church. It appeared in decent shape. The sign on the highway frontage said:

Pentecostal Deliverance Church

Every Sunday    10:30 AM

Of course, it was no longer open.

I looked around and saw through the window. It was absolutely full of junk and furniture stuffs and storage of sorts. It was very disheveled. You could trip around inside if you had access and do a lot of falling inside there. There was a paper cardboard sign taped on the inside of the door window, which stated, “No trespassing.”

It appeared to still be a charming little church.

But it had seen better days.

The Bible tells a story about something similar in the book of First Samuel.

An apostate priest in Israel who was known as Eli had two sons, who were totally corrupt. They were “sons of Belial.” This means simply, at that time, that they were “worthless.” Today, it means somewhat more, but suffice to say, it is a synonymous term for a “child of the Devil.”

At any rate, both definitions would fit the two sons of Eli.

Eli was called upon to spiritually intercede for Israel in its war with the Philistines. This, he was not morally suited to do. So instead, he suggested and endorsed the idea of sending the Ark of the Covenant into battle, as some kind of “magic box” that would give the Israelites a resounding victory.

This was a gamble. It was also tremendously presumptuous. This had never been done before, and afterwards, was never attempted again.

As a result, the Israelites lost the battle. The Israelites also lost the Ark. The Philistines captured it. The Philistines were pretty proud of their new acquisition. They placed it in their Temple of Dagon to honor Dagon, their fish-like god. Dagon was a leading deity to the Philistines. The next morning, Dagon was toppled in pieces before the Ark, its face facing down before the Holy Box. Naturally, the Philistines understood this significance, being pagans who are fundamentally superstitious. But from then on out, they suffered one calamity after another.

In a short time, they concluded that they didn’t want the Ark after all.

You see, the Ark had “mojo.”

In native and ancient religions, you don’t mess around with “mojo.”

In modern times, you still don’t. You don’t have to be a shaman, wizard, or “medicine man,”  necessarily to know this. But if you have a level of sanctification from sin and spiritual defilement, that is, a “holy man,” or woman, then you will be acquainted with this nuance of what “mojo” is.

Some things you learn from the spiritual world of “hard knocks.” Mojo is one of them.

“Mojo” is spiritual power associated, usually with an object, in which misfortune and bad luck occur to those who do not respect the object or are in ignorance of its particular significance or qualities.

But I digress.

When the news of the lost battle and the lost Ark was delivered to Eli… he fell backwards dead from a fence that he had been sitting on. I guess that has helped define what “fence-setting” can do for you in an analogy. Eli’s sons had also been killed in battle. But it was the news of the Ark that stopped Eli’s heart. Although the Bible  states that he fell backwards at this news and apparently broke his neck, something had to precipitate such a fall. Hence, a heart attack or stroke. After all, the Bible account tells us beforehand that Eli’s heart “trembled for the Ark of the Lord.”

This was such a calamity in Israel, that the wife of one of Eli’s sons, who had been pregnant, went promptly into labour. She had a male child. She named him, “Ichabod,” in commemoration of this calamitous event of the Ark of the Covenant being lost in battle and taken by heathens. While naming and delivering the child, the mother also lost her life.

Ichabod means “inglorious,” or “there is no glory,” which being applicable in this instance means that without the Ark, the “glory has departed from Israel.”

In contrast, the glory of God is understood to be that of God’s approbation and benevolence toward His people. In Moses’ day, the signs of the “cloud by day,” and the “pillar of fire” by night, were indications of God’s great favor and glory upon Israel. These signs were associated with the presence of the Ark which signified the “presence of the Lord.” The “presence of the Lord,” and the “glory of the Lord,” are interchangeable expressions of the same.

Thus, when the Ark was captured by the Philistines, the glory departed from the Israelite Nation and—Ichabod became a reality.

This has a corresponding resonance in the Gospel account where Jesus was addressing the same phenomenon in First Century Judaism.

One of the final admonishments of Christ, to the House of Israel, was his remarks directed to the High Priesthood then, who were spiritual Eli’s of yesteryear. Indeed, the House of Annas, who controlled the Jewish High Priesthood, along with his genealogical descent of sons, acted just like Eli and his sons. They were wholly corrupt. They had a literal “Ark” in their midst in the person of Jesus, but rejected it.

Jesus told these apostate leaders that, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who have killed the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

These remarks condemned them and the populace who followed them.

The glory soon departed from First Century Jerusalem and their brand of Judaism, thanks to the surrounding Roman armies of Vespasian and Titus.

Their temple was destroyed. Not one brick remained atop of another… just as Jesus had prophesied.

Jesus stated that their house would be desolate.

That is exactly what happened. God left them. His Glory departed. To make something desolate is to “abandon it to ruin.”

This is exactly what happened to the First Century Jewish polity.

And, this is exactly what has happened to 20th-century Pentecostalism.

Its glory has departed.

Its leadership has become spiritual Eli’s.

This was evident in the Televangelist scandals of the late 1980’s and onward.

This was first manifested with the weird, but sometimes oddly inspired, ministry of the mystical William Branham. After flirting with fame, Branham started making extravagant claims about himself when he started taking himself too seriously, as indicative of someone who is a sorcerer,… which the Bible describes as “giving out that himself was some great one…” (Acts 8:9). He was shortly taken off the scene. Then A.A. Allen followed. You could feel the Holy Spirit in his meetings… particularly, upon certain people who had been seeking God… But scandal plagued Allen, and he died of alcoholism in a hotel room in San Francisco, California in 1971. His protege, Don Stewart, who I personally witnessed in a Miracle Revival Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, after assuming the mantle of Allen’s ministry, disclosed personally later that Allen was indeed, someone with a besetting sin of: alcoholism.

Then, you had Leroy Jenkins in Ohio, who cut a wide swath for a short time. I personally saw him operate in one of his tent meetings after a “healing” service in which he was selling “miracles” for large financial donations. I saw this privately in which he tried his best to extort “money for miracles” from a very young mother who had inoperable and terminal brain cancer. This, my dear reader, is the definition of sorcery. You can read more about such  in Acts 8. Several times in the Gospels, Jesus was “moved by compassion” to heal the sick and to fulfill such requests for healings and miracles. But, not Jenkins. No compassion there at all. He ended up in prison, to my best recollection, of attempted murder and arson. He later tried to marry a seventy-seven year old woman who won a multi-million dollar State lottery prize. This “marriage” was annulled as Jenkins was exposed as trying to “cash in.”

Yeah, his “pentecostal” experience worked for him!

Then, the televangelist scandals broke, and the Bakkers, the Swaggarts, and the Roberts got all caught up in it, in one fashion or another.

And finally, tent revivalist and Pentecostal sham and sex deviate/adulterer David Terrell, has been exposed. You can read about this sad saga in Donna Johnson’s well written pathos entitled, Holy Ghost Girl.

The age of tent revivals is practically extinct. Patsy Sims in her book, Can Somebody Shout Amen!, documents this slow death of the religious oddities and spiritual shams using outmoded and outdated techniques of Pentecostal emotionalism.

One by one, its voices of leadership and “anointing” brought untoward shame on the waning effects of its century-long movement known as the Pentecostal Revival.

Interestingly, the Pentecostal Movement was ushered in on the first day of the 20th century through a vessel, a woman, named Agnes Ozman. She was the real deal. Soon, everyone who wanted spiritual reality, sought after the same experience and many received the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Agnes_Ozman Agnes Ozman. My father met and knew her as a young man.

2005-10-12 002 My father, M.W. Spickard, and I, in 1991, at a Gospel meeting near Springfield, Missouri. He knew many of the principals of the early Pentecostal Movement. He himself, was baptized by D.C.O. Oppermann, in his Arkansas Bible School ministries that were famous in the 1912-1916 era.

But by the next turn of the century, January 1, 2001, the Pentecostal Movement was…

… all over with…

Its glory has departed.

Like the church image at the top of the article, it is all desolate. Inside, it is full of trash, debris, and junk.

Oh, on the outside, they have their fancy edifices and ornate churches… but there is no movement of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, they don’t know the Holy Spirit.

They got a “mojo” working instead.

This is what happens when you get caught up in the “Show,”…or display of gifts or nowadays, “phony gifts,” and not in the active pursuit of the Lord. The Devil gives you his substitute.

Here is the deal: As long as the children of Israel was following the Lord, in active pursuit literally of Him, the Glory of God was evident to all… with the Cloud by Day, and the Pillar of Fire at night…

When they get caught up in the “Show,” or phony gifts, they were made merchandise of by being deceived by “showmen,” and sophisticated sorcerers who used “sleight of hand” to mimic the works of the Holy Spirit. This is what has happened to the Pentecostal Movement… it has become Pentecostal Spiritualism and Sorcery.

This is certainly true of the Tent Revival and Healing Miracle phenomenon.

Post-modern tent revivals or “Miracle revivals” became exercises of achieving “altered states of consciousness” among the audiences attending such services. Revivalists would spend upwards of two to three hours whipping up and ratcheting up a highly charged emotional atmosphere of hypnotic manipulation that would make Russian behavioral psychologist Ivan Pavlov drool with anticipation with such a mass crowd test study.

I attended several Kathryn Kuhlman meetings in San Jose, California, and later at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970’s, when I lived in the areas. She did the same thing in her own subdued but drawn-out emotional, and overly melodramatic process in which her “Angel” would “only come” when her audience was properly mesmerized to receive “miracles.” Remarkably, few of the “healings” in her meetings were experienced by fellow Christians… instead, athiests, agnostics, skeptics, mystics, psychics, spiritualists, and spiritualistic mediums, plus other spiritually dead type folks, received her “miracles.”

Reader, spiritualists and psychic mediums do not get help or healings from Yahweh God. They are very spiritually defiled. They need to seek repentance, if available, and be “delivered” from such occult bondage and dangerous demonic control.

This is quite a contrast with the 1950’s tent revivalists. Most all the tent adherents getting help and deliverance from God were nearly all Pentecostal believers!

This is an oddity that bothers me about Kathryn Kuhlman. I should know. I was on the platform in these Shrine Auditorium meetings with her several times. She laid her hands on me at least three different times. However, I am not the only one that was troubled by her persona and ministry. Noted authority on the occult and demonology, the late Kurt Koch, met and interviewed “Miss” Kuhlman. He concluded that Kuhlman was not a genuine Christian and listed her in his book, Occult ABC, as… “someone that Christians should avoid lest they become spiritually oppressed.” ( You can read more about Kuhlman and others from an earlier piece, years ago, that I wrote here that is fairly educational). http://www.spickardssigns.com/signswonders.htm

Contrast these modern manipulative phenomena of “altered states of consciousness” with the genuine miracles and healings that Jesus performed.

Jesus did not whip up crowds into emotional frenzies. Instead, he simply walked up to a funeral procession without any preliminaries and raised a person from the death state. He did not need any fanfare to make water into wine. When Jesus fed the Five Thousand, he did not do it with drumrolls, crescending organ music, or any sort of ostentatious display, to garner added attention. His initial “sign, wonder and healing miracle” ministry in Capernaum started off inconspicuously by simply laying his hands on Peter’s mother-in-law. However, it ended on quite a high note. The Evangelist Philip did the same as Christ in the city of Samaria. He did not use psychological mass hysteria, but by simple gifts of the Holy Spirit, “there was great joy in the city.”

Here’s the deal:

When you do not have the goods… that is, the real gifts… then you have to substitute for it with the fake, the phony, and the superficial… which ends up in the demonic realm….

The achievement of “altered states of consciousness” among an audience is an entrance to a demonic state similar to those practitioners of African native religion and voodoo. Such demonic control always likes to mimic and mock genuine Christian phenomena by the Holy Spirit. Sadly to say, this has become prevalent in Charismatic, or post-Pentecostal, circles where such “revivals” are characterized by uncontrollable fits of laughter, animal noises, dog-like barkings, and other hysteria which became manifest in the so-called “Laughing Revival” in the mid-1990’s.

All such abuses come to an end. They always do.

However, they serve to bring reproach on any future work of God that would be genuine in which unbelievers label such a real work of the Holy Spirit as a similar abuse.

Yes, the Pentecostal movement is desolate of the Holy Spirit for the very most part. It has become abandoned by God. You may see an individual here and perhaps there, on a rare occasion, speak with inspiration from the Spirit.

But God, for the very, very most part, has moved on… just like the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.

In the next real great revival, it will not be at all similar to the Pentecostal Move and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

It will be in a different format.

It won’t rely on hypnotics, shysters, shamans, and shills, or false workers or rather sorcerers, who ultimately gain the only “gift” that they really care about,… that is, your donated money… for their bloated lifestyles, excess, and “prosperity” gospels.

The next great revival won’t rely on altered states, manipulation techniques, or high levels of intense emotionalism resulting in hysteria, in which people leave their proper senses.

You heard it here first.

If you are moving along with God, then you can be a part of it. If you are still living in the past, sitting around… then, you will miss it.

Thanks for reading.

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSaUBUhA71L7agjKvozCe43wq9XuPQilxVuRuOxPZv1ZAUqxGh_1ACopyrighted. Joseph Spickard, 2015. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this intellectual property without prior permission from the author is prohibited.

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