Summary: In this last message on Azusa street, I explain the workings of the Holy Spirit...and what we must do to receive and be a part of this powerful expression of His presence within our midst.
Lessons From Azusa Street – Part 3
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
As most of you are probably aware, we have been in the middle of a series of messages rediscovering and learning from the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that took place in Los Angeles, CA back in 1906. Now, this wasn’t the first great outpouring of God’s Spirit upon mankind – neither was it the first outpouring here in the Untied States. Never-the-less, it was significant and life-changing for many believers 100 years ago.
In fact, it was not only an empowering encounter for them, but also became a powerful catalyst in the life of the Church world wide. Our church is quite literally the fruit of this great move of God.
Now, before we talk about the final lessons from Azusa Street, let’s go back to the first great outpouring and gain our footing for addressing the wonder of the move of God!
The first outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place in Jerusalem in 33 AD. We find this account in the second chapter of the book of Acts. Here, Luke – a student of the Apostle Paul, is writing a documentary of the beginnings of the church…under the inspiration of the God’s Spirit.
Look at this with me.
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
13Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17" ’In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Tonight, I want to share with you the lessons that we can learn from Azusa Street Outpouring and Revival!
Four Lessons that we can learn from the Azusa Street Revival:
I want to pick up where we left off 2 weeks ago…and, I must tell you these thoughts are not original - but rahter are a compilation of thoughts I have received from some of the leadership within our great movements (the Assemblies of God):
1. The Necessity for Simplicity:
In today’s society we seem to elevate complexity. We honor things as being better if they are more complicated. If it takes a brain surgeon to understand something – then it must be better!
The problem with this thinking is that when it comes to the Gospel and the work of the Spirit of God in His Church, is that these elements are basic and simplistic at their core.
The Gospel and the message of the Church should be simple!
I know, there have been people who have said that the issue of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is way too complicated. And, in fact if we embrace this move of God – it will actually scare people away from the faith. But I do not believe that!