Wigglesworth, Seymour and Wilkerson each walked in step with the Spirit. The miracle of Pentecost remains a movement of the Holy Spirit that is too large to be confined to any denomination or church persuasion. Each one these men were touched by the three year move of the Holy Spirit on Azusa Street. The Azusa Street Revival was publicized around the world from Los Angeles. The manifest Presence of God, the Holy Spirit knows us better than we know ourselves and He can use us beyond our limited natural abilities. Our potential “in Christ” to bring God glory expands our territory of influence as we submit to the Holy Spirit. He knows our doubts, our fears and exactly what in us that needs re-training. When we step aside from all the noise and busyness of this world to be alone with God, we enter the secret place to plea with desperation for more evidence of the the Holy Spirit operating around us. When we are no longer pacified with merely reading the Word, but we find ourselves wanting to practice what the Holy Spirit teaches, doors of opportunity are flung wide open! Beware: the religious spirit convinces us if we do certain things, we can make God respond to us in a particular way; that is, we can manipulate Him into doing what we want. Thus, practices that are good when guided by Holy Spirit are turned into religious rites performed to satisfy our own desires. “Conquering The Religious Spirit” by Tommi Femrite. God chose a humble man named William Seymour to spark a fire in Los Angeles in 1906. Seymour assured God’s people that if we pray for a personal revival with sufficient earnestness, God is ready to send a new Pentecost. Much like the miraculous event described in Acts, this latter-day outpouring of the Spirit demonstrated the holy Presence of God with tongues of flame which the Los Angeles fire department came to put out. Alas, it was the Spirit of God flaming and the fire could not be extinguished, it lasted for three years. Miraculous healings took place as all people began speaking in discernible languages: Russian, German, French, Chinese and Spanish. Formerly impossible cultural lines were crossed as Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, and Europeans all came to worship God together. “The Holy Spirit works above our understanding as He draws all people together in one bond of love, one church, one body of Christ.” William Seymour — The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an outpouring of God’s abounding love. Today the Holy Spirit continues to infiltrate the thoughts, beliefs and ways of any person who accepts Jesus as Lord. He teaches, equips, guides, convicts and comforts us. As we seek God and ask that His purpose be fulfilled through us, the Holy Spirit then refreshes, renews, and reignites all our spiritual gifts as He grows our dependence on Him. Humbly we surrender to the Holy Presence of God, and we gladly come to the absolute END of our excuses. We come to know with certainty that without the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing to impact the kingdom. It is important that we be prepared to accept the greater responsibility and personal sacrifice that is required for the blessings that accompany obedience. “Your responsibilities will be great but not as great as your possibilities.” SW – We must become less, that He can become known to more people by the magnification of His Spirit in us, and the manifestation of small blessings, healings, and the AWE of a changed heart! “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.” Hebrews 2:4 As we choose to endure the pain of a heart that breaks for what breaks God’s, we then are truly placing our Creator first — above our popularity, comfort, preference or pleasure. “I have wept, I have groaned, I have travailed all night, until God broke me. Until God mows you down, you will never have this long suffering for others. You must not think that these gifts fall on you like ripe cherries. You must pay a price for everything that you get from God. There is nothing worth having — that you do not have to pay for— either temporally or spiritually. ” SW Anything of great VALUE comes at a great PRICE. Consider the price Jesus paid for the VALUE of our eternal salvation? We can only love out of His overflow if we accept our identity “in Christ”. God is love, and we are made in His image, therefore, we love out of His overwhelming, all consuming, everlasting love! Our Father also gave us faith and discernment to identify the spirit of strife, envy, jealousy, or the cunning of Jezebel. We are to have a singleness of purpose as we speak strongly against the Liar, the great deceiver. It is wise to NOT attempt to be like anybody else because God redeemed, cleansed, gifted, forgave and sanctified each soul that professed Jesus as Lord. Our Father created us all differently for His purpose and glory. He wants us to come to faith, just as we are, with the personality that He gave us. God has always used ordinary peeps like Amos, Mark, Mary, Priscilla, Joel, Hannah, and an orphan named Esther. We are not to echo or imitate other people, we are to echo the words of Jesus as we boldly share the gospel with the voice He gave us. “Before God could bring me to this place of working miracles, He had to break me a thousand times.” S.W. Ask the Holy Spirit for all that you want, ask Him to make your gifts clear. When we are operating in our gifts, it flows, it is not a struggle. “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed….. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” 1 Corin 12-14. The Holy Spirit distributes faith, the gift of healing, the gift of prophecy, the gift to teach, sing, evangelize or to write. As we eagerly desire these gifts of the Spirit, we do our best to excel in those that build up the church. We need to continuously examine our hearts and our ways that we may confess and be forgiven. Restored to purity, such holiness allows us to shine for Jesus. Our choice to submerge our container of the Holy Spirit into the vast depth of the fullness of God…looks like us taking a glass of living water and submerging it into the deep and wide ocean of all that He has for us. As His willing doers, we refuse to deceive ourselves by thinking that we are not fully equipped. We are NOT to trust our feelings, but we trust God at His Word. According to the will of God, we are to look into the mirror and remember who our Father says we are “in Him”. We then can confidently persevere to do our best for His glory. James 1:22-25 As we commune with the inner Man in our secret place, as we confess to Him our shortcomings, we ask for increased faith and discernment. We then wait on Him, for the season He chooses for that increase. Our Lord sends us out to rely on Him for wisdom in every situation. We embrace the task to “go and make disciples”. We teach others by our example and encouragement to obey God. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” Ephesians 1:3-4. Trusting the living Word of God, we claim every spiritual blessing. We rightfully expect Him to be faithful to His promises. As we practice our faith “in Him” we grow and mature as His approved worker. God’s workers listen, study, ask questions, obey and put into practice the Word of God. We are to endure the hardship of doing what the Holy Spirit prompts us to do, whether we feel adequate to the task or not. As we lay aside our natural abilities and our feelings, the Holy Spirit then can equip us to do what He probes us to do. As we are obedient we are blessed with supernatural wisdom and words to speak. “Love Me and keep My commands” Children of God hope to hear their Father say “Well done My good and faithful servant.” Our Father expects us to use the gifts He distributed according to the abilities He delivered. As we are faithful with what our Father bestows, He grants us all that we request because the hand of God is on us, and the Holy Spirit indwells us. Ezra 7:6-10. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. The Holy Spirit chastises us to love the unlovable, to forgive the unforgivable, and to issue mercy to our oppressors. Our old soul was great at manipulating and deceiving itself of it’s own goodness, knowledge and ways. The new regenerated soul in Christ is challenged to take hold of every thought and measure it against the ways of God. Do you want to “walk in the Spirit?” The Spirit of God pours into the the spirit of the person who pours out. The Spirit blesses the open hand that gives generously. The one who blesses others out of the purity of worshipping God for His faithful generosity, is the one who is blessed by God because of their obedience. “The secret to spiritual success is a hunger that persists. ..it is an awful condition to be satisfied with one’s spiritual attainment.” SW God alone can satisfy our hunger and thirst for a deeper relationship with Him. We cannot walk in God’s power until we come to a place of anger about our human inability to be effective for His honor and glory. In a state of brokenness, we cry out for HELP from the One who is in us. When we care more about God …than what people think, we then walk in the full authority and power of the Spirit of God. “I fail to see how a Christian will ever reach a place where God can use them…unless they get angry with the Devil.” S.W. – When we get angry for being defeated as a slave to the lies…that we are insufficient, that we lack anything…then is when we begin to boldly speak against the lies and declare the victory we have “in Jesus”. Jesus got angry and turned over tables and it is good that we get angry enough to take back our full power and authority. Our conduct is approved by God when we speak firmly against the evil brute, the prince of the air who infiltrates our mind with worry and fear. “Living in fear is blasphemy. Our petty fears deny that our God is big enough.” David Wilkerson. It is great to write down a personal mission statement so that we are clear with who we are “in Him”. Who am I to the King of kings? I am His servant and I do my best to walk in step with the Spirit. My Father repeats “fear not”. Obediently I confidently use the authority that He gave me. My mission is to continuously work out my salvation as I diligently study the Holy Scriptures. I trust that my Father will complete the work He began in me. My purpose is to lean on the Holy Spirit, not my own understanding that I may teach, rebuke, or correct others according to His plan and purpose. My job is to continue to train in righteousness as my Father equips me to do every good work. The Word of God is living and active and it penetrates and separates my soul from the Spirit of God. The Word of God judges my hidden thoughts, ideas, ways, and my selfish motives. The Holy Scriptures encourage me. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but the righteous stand bold as a lion.” Proverbs 29:25 Because I claim that Jesus is Lord of my life, and as I assimilate the scripture, His words pour from my mouth. The truth is that the living Word always accomplishes all that God intends. Our career “in Him” is to live a blameless life, above reproach, holy and disciplined to remain solid as the Holy Spirit convicts, teaches, and comforts us. A Holy Spirit filled revival is happening NOW in 2019 as people CRY OUT “Stay, Holy Spirit” When the compassion of our Father washes over a person, His overwhelming mercy tends to kill any resistance to the very real need we all have for a Savior. People weep because of His sweetness and are slain by the power of His Holy Presence. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit fills all the emptiness of a life outside of Christ. Speaking in tongues is one of the signs that accompany a person Baptized in the Spirit, however, speaking in tongues is not the measurable evidence of a person surrendered to Christ. The true evidence of a person Baptized in the Spirit is a person who walks humbly in step with the Spirit bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Angry outbursts while speaking evil against others is what defiles a Christian. Wherever hate abides, the Spirit does not. “If you speak evil and backbite, I do not care how many tongues you speak, you are not walking in step or obeying what the Word of God says. Beloved we are not seeking for tongues…but we are seeking the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. And when we receive Him, we shall be so filled with the Holy Ghost that He Himself will speak in the power of the Spirit through us. The Apostolic faith means one accord, one soul, one heart. My heart cries out to God that He would make every child of His see the necessity of living as One in the Body of Christ as God outlines it in John chapter 17.” William Seymour.
A person who constantly complains or ridicules others does NOT welcome the Holy Spirit, but repels Him. These words were written by a chronic complainer. “There I go again, I have tried not to be so negative, but my grumbling persists. Seemingly, involuntarily – a voice of bitter anger pours out of my mouth. Once I get on a roll of condemnation, I slide down a dark trail of whining and complaining. The Holy Spirit convicted me to a point of reluctant confession. Scripture revealed that what comes out of my mouth is what dominates my heart. When Seymour was racially snubbed or rejected for his faith he chose God’s way. “Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10
Against my will, for His will to be done, I need to repent my natural tendency to speak against those who disagree with me. The Holy Spirit is patient as He hears my silent grumbling when people irritate me. He gently whispers “If people irritate you a lot, your problem isn’t the people; it’s your pride.” He got my attention, but stubbornly I insisted that I was entitled to judge. By my own understanding of scripture, I felt justified in my haughtiness because the Lord got angry in the temple courts! “Jesus answered Peter, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’” John 13:5-9 Jesus humbled Himself to wash His disciples’ feet. Peter did not understand at first, but then the AHA came and he asked to be cleansed top to bottom. The lesson for me is that whenever I feel entitled to my opinion, I need to capture that thought and ask the Holy Spirit to counsel me. Dying to my feelings, to my irritation, to my superiority, to my pride requires that I humbly confess my sin. The Lord forgives quickly and He never brings it up again. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 When I lay my petitions at the altar of God, I am to wait patiently. My impatience with people is NOT from God.As I go to that secret place and ask God to wash me of anything that does not please Him, the Holy Spirit whispers “patient waiting upon the Lord, is for your own good and growth.” God shall prosper my soul by His correction in His perfect timing. I have been shown that grumbling and thanksgiving cannot co-exist in a pure heart for the Lord. God tells me that I am to be thankful: “ in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. This means that I am to give thanks when even little things do not go my way…traffic, the news, the outcomes of any of my expectations. Ugly resentment grows as I hold onto feelings of justification or any sense of entitlement to grumble. God is always delighted when we humble ourselves and ask like Peter “wash my whole body, mind and soul”. Our loving Father forgives completely and He washes over us with His unmatched peace. “All success is in a broken spirit , and being a person of one book, and that book is the Holy Bible. Consume it and your spirit will grow. All things are possible when you know how to die. The Spirit of God cannot live in you, work through you or use you if you are still living according to your feelings, or your personal preferences.” Smith Wigglesworth – One of the biggest setbacks of the Azusa Street Revival came with the sudden loss of their extensive mailing list in 1909. The strong willed secretary of the Apostolic Faith Mission, Florence Crawford left town and took the roster of world-wide subscribers of the monthly Azusa Newsletter. The mission’s newspaper could no longer be circulated and the donations and the crowds stopped coming to Azusa Street. Without this written broadcast of testimonies or information about the ongoing meetings, many were convinced that the revival had ended. The Apostolic Faith Mission purity of Spirit and Oneness slowly eroded as many ridiculous conflicts arose at the Mission. The selfish soul of participants began to overpower the Spirit and disagreements over frivolous things emerged. For example, neckties were perceived as vanity, an adornment, and sanctified men of God should not wear them. This debate invited even more arguments. “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” 2 Corin 4:1-3 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corin 5:17-19 Wiggle Who? The historic Azusa Street Spiritual Revival began in 1906 and lasted until 1909. A growth rate of 52 000 souls per day or 19 million a year were added to God’s roll call. In 1993 the number of charismatics reported was 420 million people, and in 2006 the number exceeded 580 million. The revival that influenced millions globally included John G Lake, Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman and David Wilkerson.