HISTORY and TIMES of THE KINGDOM
The doctrine of tongues seems to be one of the aspects of Sandford theology that may have, to some extent, been re-written within the annals of Kingdom history. There is no argument that the first century apostolic church experienced the gift of tongues as a manifestation of the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Evidence indicates Mr. Sandford, highly desirous of all the blessings and aspects connected with the early Christian church was not, at least originally, averse to any such manifestation within his ranks.
Within Pentecostal circles today the definition of tongues may be referred to as both glossolalia, that is, a language recognized only by God or the Holy Spirit, and xenolalia, a recognized language spoken by some indigenous group of individuals on earth. In a publication by the Kingdom in 1992, "The Guest Within", a compilation of original articles written and published by Sandford for "Tongues of Fire" in 1895 and 1896, reference is made to tongues speaking seemingly synonomously with glossolalia, suggesting that Sandford sought after tongues speaking in either venue, for his own writings clearly indicate he felt it a useful tool in evangelization efforts.
We here quote from the preface of "The Guest Within", signed "The Publishers".
"... A second aspect is Mr. Sandford's view of "speaking in tongues," or glossolalia. In his early writings, he stood stoutly for the manifestation of all the gifts of the Spirit, opening himself without reservation to the idea of speaking in languages unknown to himself for the purposes of evangelism. He had heard of such gifts and had known people to evidence them in most striking ways. But as time went on, that particular manifestation did not appear; throughout a long life of intimacy with the One he wrote about, he himself never spoke in tongues. For him and his people, the door to that gift remained unaccountably, but firmly, closed. And he came to feel that this was of God. As his teaching matured, he felt clear that Paul's statement, "whether there be tongues, they shall cease," was presently applicable. In the last days, he concluded, under the ministry of the Restoration of All Things which he himself was heading, the need for such ecstatic utterance had ceased. Yet, though he warned his own people about it, he did not categorically condemn those in other circles who practiced it."
Notice that the quotation above indicates Sandford's early interest in glossolalia, but refers to xenoglossolalia indirectly only as "... the need for such ecstatic utterance had ceased." leaving the reader to wonder which type of tongues speaking he (or the Spirit) actually sought after and approved. What has been generally taught within the Kingdom is that Mr. Sandford, at least during the latter part of his life, frowned upon the speaking of tongues. In a personal conversation with the editors, Joseph Wakeman, former leader of the Kingdom from 1977 through 1998 indicated his understanding of Mr. Sandford's teachings were that those manifestations were somehow affiliated with evil, and therefore not to be sought after.
The lack of tongues speaking may well, in fact, be what Mr. Sandford promoted during the latter years of his lifetime. There is, as the above preface quotation suggests, ample evidence (some from his own writings) that he felt differently about the issue during the 1890s, with that sentiment extending perhaps into the early part of the 20th century. We have attempted to link research from the archives of the Pentecostal Church with certain dates and places mentioned in Murray's Sublimity of Faith and Hiss's Shiloh dissertation. We also will reproduce articles written in Tongues of Fire by Frank Sandford himself.
The following was excerpted from and article entitled "The Holiness Connection" from the Logos website.
"Another independent Holiness evangelist of the latter nineteenth century was Frank Sanford. Leaving the Free Baptist Church in 1893, he launched out on independent evangelistic work. Sanford was allowed to minister at Moody Bible Institute and at A. B. Simpson's facilities in New York City and Maine. He soon began to isolate his ministry from the mainstream holiness movement as he came to see his work as a restoration of true "apostolic primitive Christianity."
Part of Sanford's restorative vision was the use of supernatural tongues to evangelize the world. Sanford's belief, along with the majority of early Pentecostals, was that God gave the Spirit-baptized believer an actual foreign language, which in turn was to be used in missionary efforts. In modern Pentecostalism this has been given at least three names: xenoglossia, xenoglossolalia, and heteroglossolalia. These terms are used to distinguish the activity of supernaturally speaking one of the three thousand known languages on the globe, from glossolalia, which is speaking supernaturally a language known only by God.
By 1901, Sanford claimed to have restored the true church and called this restoration "the Church of the Living God." In October of the same year, he baptized several hundred believers, most of whom had been previously baptized. Among those baptized into the "true church" was Ambrose J. Tomlinson, who was to become the leader of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.)."
Frank W. Sandford: Founder of Shiloh
Charles Parham: Founder of the Bethel Healing School See Parham's story elsewhere on this website.
Edward Doughty: one of the early Bible School Students from Chebeague Island and possible relative of William Doughty, charismatic leader of the "Gift People" in Providence, Rhode Island during the 1870's.
A. B. Simpson: "Higher Lines" missionary and evangelist, with Bible School in Nyack, New York. Simpson held annual conventions in Old Orchard Beach, where Sandford attended during the formative years of his "higher lines" walk. Simpson himself was, for many years, torn regarding the full significance of tongues as it pertained to the reception or baptism of the Holy Spirit. See Simpson's story elsewhere on this website.
Jennie Glassey: African missionary in Liverpool with adopted parents at the time of Sandford and Gleason's 1898 trip to Jerusalem. The Blacks and Glassey accompany them to Jerusalem, but little is said of them subsequently. Ms. Glassey, a contact of Ms. Main's from Nova Scotia, was said to have been able to speak in several African dialects common to the Sierra Leone region, as well as being adept at graphalalia, the ability to write in foreign script. She also was said (Tongues of Fire April 1898) to have grown a set of teeth (her own) overnight.
The Blacks: Jennie Glassey's adoptive parents, also missionaries to Africa. The Blacks, along with Jennie Glassey, accompanied Sandford & Gleason from Liverpool to Jerusalem in July of 1898, and remained there with Gleason when Sandford left and returned to the United States that same month. (Tongues of Fire September 15, 1898 p.144)
Dr. Ida Miller, D.O.: A former student of Parham, and chief of medicine at Bethesda, Shiloh's hospital. We have not seen evidence to suggest she either did or advocate speaking in tongues. We list her here only because of her former affiliation with Parham.