Pentecost in Russia and other European nations

Stanley Frodsham

Early European Pentecostal leaders

Early European Pentecostal leaders

A number of Russian Christians in the city of New York and other eastern cities received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the Lord put it on the heart of some to go back to their own country to be witnesses for Christ and to tell forth the full gospel message—salvation from sin through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross of Calvary, a life of scriptural holiness and moment by moment cleansing through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, divine healing through the stripes of the Crucified One, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as it was received on the Day of Pentecost with signs following, and the message of the soon and premillennial coming of our Lord Jesus Christ from glory.

One of those whom God called was Pastor J. K. Varonaeff. This brother first went to Bulgaria and the Lord poured out His Spirit there. When he left that country, there were eighteen Pentecostal assemblies in which the full gospel was taught. He made his headquarters in Odessa in the south of Russia and there the Lord has graciously visited and many scores have been saved, and filled with the Spirit. From time to time Brother Varonaeff has visited other cities in Russia and reports that God has raised up many Pentecostal assemblies and that the Spirit has been outpoured especially among the Baptists. He wrote in 1923 of good times that he had in the assembly in Petrograd (now Leningrad) and in Smolensk. He states, “Our assembly in Odessa is growing and during the last six weeks the Lord baptized about thirty in the Holy Spirit, and many souls have been saved. In Ukrainia we have Pentecostal assemblies in about sixty villages and five cities.”

In 1926, he wrote: “We had a water baptism in the: Black Sea on May 3; forty-four being baptized. During last month in the villages around Odessa, we have, baptized in water about two hundred souls.

“Two months ago, the pastor of the Evangelical Christian church in Moscow visited me in Odessa. He was very interested to know about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. After some conversation and reading the Word of God, we knelt down and began to pray to God. We prayed together about an hour and to our joy, the Lord Jesus baptized him with the Holy Spirit.

“After two days this pastor (Kolaskoff) went back to Moscow, rejoicing like the eunuch (Acts 8:39). When Brother Kolaskoff returned to Moscow, where he has a large assembly of six hundred members, he began to testify about the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. All the members of his assembly received this truth and began to-pray for the Baptism, and the Lord Jesus baptized among them about fifty souls.

“From May 20 to 28, I visited the assembly of Brother Kolaskoff and preached and testified about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Lord very wonderfully blessed us there. Many souls have been saved and about thirty-five were baptized with the Holy Ghost. In Moscow I had great joy. Glory to God. Moscow is now burning with the fire of God.”

In Letvia, the Lord poured out His Spirit among some Baptists, who were praying for a revival. These who were filled with the Spirit according to Acts 2:4, received a good deal of persecution and a large number of them emigrated to Brazil. There has been no small stir also among the Russians in Poland. Mr. F. Ewald writes of one, who is a builder in brick work, who makes good money in America and goes to Poland on missionary trips.

“Brother Harris is a capable man and especially useful among the Russian people where he is working on the border line. He can speak four of the languages used in this section. When it comes to dealing with the priests, he is fearless. Many Catholics have been saved and baptized in the Spirit through his ministry. The Russians are very open to the gospel and over a thousand in that part of the country where he is at present laboring have been saved, and many have been baptized in the Holy Spirit during the last two years. This revival began when Brother Harris visited this section two years ago.”

Pastor G. H. Smidt, who is laboring faithfully in Poland, writes of a business man, who has been set aside for the work of the Lord: “He is active in our assembly, as well as visiting different villages in Poland. In one of his reports he states that in just a two weeks’ gospel tour, a hundred souls were saved and brought into a knowledge of Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.”

Pastor Barratt of Norway

Pastor Barratt of Norway

Pastor Barratt of Norway visited Finland in the early days of the revival, and wrote: “A great revival broke out there, especially after Pastor Smidt began to work there. I have visited Finland several times since and crowds have attended, and remarkable revival scenes have taken place. Pastor Smidt went from St. Paul, Minnesota, to work among the Finnish people in about the year 1912. Several of the ministers of the State church accepted the Pentecostal message and left the church, her mansions and luxuries, and are preaching the gospel of Christ with Pentecostal power. Win. Pylkkanen, who was working in China as a missionary under the Lutheran board, received the Pentecostal Baptism and as a result had to drop his board. He returned to Finland and has since been working in the Pentecostal movement and the Lord has blessedly used him. Pastor Gerhard Smidt has a congregation of about four hundred members in the city of Helsingfors, the capital of Finland. A number of his congregation are from among the aristocracy. One movie director, who owned fifty movie shows, was wonderfully saved. Two lawyers have also been saved and are a great testimony to the saving power of a living Christ.” Arthur Johnson, a Swedish Pentecostal brother, has visited Finland and reports that the Lord is working wonderfully in other cities and country places in Finland, also in Estonia.

There have been very gracious revivals in Switzerland through the ministry of Mr. Smith Wigglesworth of England. After visiting Switzerland in the early part of 1921, he wrote, “At Berne hundreds have been saved by the power of God. At ‘Neuchatel, God worked marvelously. At my second visit to Neuchatel, the largest theatre was hired and it was packed. God moved upon the people and scores of souls were saved each night. Many were healed through God’s touch. I preached one night on Ephesians three for three and a half hours, and so powerful was the Word that the people did not seem inclined to move. I preached and prayed with the sick until eleven-thirty p.m. Four people brought a man who was paralyzed and blind; the power of God fell upon him and us and he now walks and sees and is praising God. I have not been to one meeting where the power of God has not been upon us. I say this to His glory.

“In French Switzerland, where Pentecost was not known, seven different meeting places have been opened, and the work is prospering. At Berne there was a band of praying people; there we have seen wonderful things. A girl was brought to me sitting in a chair. I did not minister to her at first, but told her she must wait and hear the Word of God. Her mother, who had come with her, was greatly moved as she heard God’s Word expounded. I then laid hands on the girl, who had never walked. The power of God was manifested and she now walks. A man had had a cancer taken out of his neck, after which he could no longer eat, not being able to swallow. He told me he could not even swallow the juice of a cherry. He had a pipe inserted in his neck so that food could be poured through it into his stomach. I said to him, ‘You will eat tonight.’ I prayed with him. He came the next day. I saw that the color had come back into his face, and he told me he had been eating and could swallow comfortably. He had looked for the hole where the pipe had been inserted but could not find it. God had completely healed him. He was well known. He was a tea grower. People said that he had come to life again.

Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth

“Every afternoon people were baptized in the Holy Ghost or brought down into the dust, for the power of God always lays a man low. In Lausanne the power was mighty. Also at Vevey and Geneva. God has raised up Spirit-filled leaders in these towns.

“A man came to me suffering from diabetes. The power of God was upon me and I realized that God was working upon him. I said: ‘God has healed you.’ His address was taken and the case followed up. He went to the doctor to be examined because he knew he was healed. The doctor examined him and stated he was unable to find any trace of the disease. He asked the doctor to give him a certificate, which he did, and which I saw. A young woman was dying of consumption and a doctor had given her up. I laid hands upon her in the name of Jesus and she knew that the disease had passed away. This girl went to the doctor, who examined her and he said: ‘Whatever has taken place, you have no consumption now.’ She replied: ‘Doctor, I have been prayed over, can I tell the people I am healed ?’ He said, ‘Yes, and that I could not heal you.’ ‘If I am to tell, will you put it in black and white?’ she asked the doctor. He gave her a certificate which I saw. God had healed her.

“A man was brought into one of the meetings in a wheel chair. He could not walk except by the aid of two sticks, and even then his locomotion was very slow. I saw him in that helpless condition and told him about: Jesus. Oh, that wonderful name! Glory to God! I placed my hands on his head and said: ‘In the name of. Jesus thou art made whole.’ This helpless man cried out: ‘It is done, it is done, glory to God, it is done!’ He walked out of the building perfectly healed. Many suffering with; cancer, tumours, tuberculosis, rupture, rheumatism and” many other diseases were miraculously healed through the. prayer of faith. One man, who was suffering with tuberculosis of the stomach, was brought to the meeting in a dying condition on a stretcher in a wagon. By his side was a basket of food, and a friend, knowing his condition, asked the reason for its presence. ‘I shall eat it going back,’ was his simple answer, and he did! Four ‘spies’ sent by doubting ‘believers’ to detect the counterfeit, were all convinced of God’s work and are today working in the Pentecostal movement, one of them filling the place as leader in one of the twelve assemblies that have sprung up in the wake of the revival.”

In a meeting in Chicago, Mr. Wigglesworth told of a remarkable miracle which took place in a town just on the Swiss border of Germany. He had been holding an afternoon meeting in the Pentecostal mission there. Sometime later, as he and the pastor were walking through the streets, someone came to them and said, “There is a blind man at the mission and he says he is not going to leave there until he gets new eyes.” Brother Wigglesworth turned to the pastor and said: “Brother Ruff, this is the opportunity of our lives.” They hastened back to the mission. Brother Wigglesworth laid his hands on the empty sockets in the name of Christ and immediately God wrought a miracle. Instantly this brother could see, and he wanted to see his father and mother. He was familiar with the streets of the city for he had walked through them so often, feeling his way with a stick, and so he rushed to his home to tell the wonderful news that now he could see. That night when Pastor Ruff and Brother Wigglesworth arrived at the meeting, the blind man had taken charge. Brother Wigglesworth said: “I did not preach that night for the blind man completely took the meeting out of my hands. We surely had a wonderful time for God gave us a great visitation.”

In the early part of 1926, Mr. Smith Wigglesworth visited Rome. He wrote: “After seven weeks in Switzerland, I had a call into Italy to visit some sick. I had the joy of my life preaching in Rome. I prayed much about this, that God would provide me with an interpreter, and the first man I met in Rome was a man that was in my meetings in San Jose, California, an Italian, and he really did good work for me. We had a great meeting that reminded me of a red-hot Welsh revival. There was a great crowd of Italians crying to God for mercy, many fine men among them, and after this, many seeking the Baptism. Quite a number received and others were under the power. A number were healed. I was given to understand that there are thirty Pentecostal meetings in Italy.”

Taken from Stanley Frodsham’s ‘With Signs Following,’ chapter 12