Summary: Moses saw the glory of the Holy Spirit in the earthly temple, how much is God’s glory evident in the temple made without hands of "living stones." At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwelt the new temple, the church of the living God, and his glory is evident
Few events have affected modern church history as greatly as the famous Azusa Street revival of 1900-1909, which ushered into being the worldwide twentieth-century Pentecostal renewal. The seventy-fifth anniversary of the Azusa Street revival was commemorated in 1981. There are estimates of the number of Pentecostals and Charismatics in the world that approach the 75,000,000 mark. That would mean that roughly 1,000,000 persons per year have accepted the premises of the Los Angeles Pentecost in the years since 1906.
"Indeed, in 1981 Pentecost has come to Rome itself as millions of Catholic Pentecostals rejoiced in the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In 1975 over 10,000 Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome to celebrate the Pentecost season. In a memorable service, these charismatics rejoiced as Pope Paul VI gave his endorsement to the movement. At the climax of that service thousands spoke and sang in other tongues."
"In 1978 a similar Pentecostal service was conducted in Canterbury Cathedral in England. About 2,000 Spirit-filled Anglicans and Episcopalians rejoiced in the Spirit as tongues and prophecies came forth in the venerable seat of the World Anglican Communion. Archbishop Coggin addressed the Conference and spoke in glowing terms of the renewal in England."
The LA Times report of April 18, 1906, was not so glowing in its report;
"Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand, the newest religious sect has started in Los Angeles. Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, near San Pedro Street, and devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal. Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking [sic] attitude of prayer and supplication. They claim to have the "gift of tongues," and to be able to comprehend the babel."
A few months later, A Los Angeles newspaper (September 1906) described it in this way:
"Disgraceful intermingling of the races, they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. They have a one eyed, illiterate, Negro as their preacher who stays on his knees much of the time with his head hidden between the wooden milk crates. He doesn’t talk very much but at times he can be heard shouting Repent," and he’s supposed to be running the thing... They repeatedly sing the same song , ’The Comforter Has Come.’"
One Pentecostal historian writes: "Parham himself was an example of three other problems which would recur throughout Pentecostalist history: racism, authoritarianism, and sexual scandal. Also, one of the troubles with going by exciting experiences is that much of what went on was not thought through as thoroughly as was needed. So, not only were the glories of Pentecostalism born at Azusa, but also its most serious problems."
This experience or "revival" has shaped how most English speaking people read Acts chapter 2 and the references to speaking in tongues in the Bible. Let us resolve to get our views and convictions from the Bible.
Overview of Acts 2
2:1-13 - The Holy Spirit’s Coming
2:14-40 - The Holy Spirit’s Call
2:41-47 - The Holy Spirit’s Community
On Place of Acts: Tertullian said, "Those who do not accept this volume of scripture can have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, for they cannot know if the Holy Spirit has yet been sent to the disciples, neither can they claim to be the church, since they cannot show when this bod was established or where it was cradled."
OUTLINE: The Holy Spirit’s Coming
1. PENTECOST IN HISTORY
2. PENTECOST IN PROPHECY
3. PENTECOST IN REALITY
PENTECOST IN HISTORY: ACTS 2:1-13
- NKJ Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 "And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 "Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 "Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" 13 Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine."