And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together…
Acts 2:6, NKJV
This week I felt challenged by the Holy Spirit to prepare a message looking at Biblical and historical earmarks of Pentecostal Christianity. I call it “Holy Rolling and Loving It.” Once again I set myself to study both Scripture and history, pulling Bible passages and historical quotes reflecting key elements of Pentecostal Outpourings.
The first and foremost element of Pentecost, so vividly portrayed on the day of Pentecost was the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues. In Acts, we see that this sound of spontaneous, corporate worship attracted a crowd. Some in this crowd were marveling, others were mocking. One thing was certain, this was no ordinary feast. God had shown up–in a big way–and He was manifesting Himself in and through these Jewish believers.
In today’s culture we have moved greatly away from an emphasis on the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues. Throughout the Apostle’s ministry, the question of, “Have you received, since you believed?” was as paramount as “Into what were you baptized?” It would behoove us as believers, and even more so as ministers, to begin to once again ask the right questions and have the right emphasis. Hungry hearts may only be filled by the sustaining rivers of life–the river of the Holy Spirit. Evangelism is important. Relationships are important. Programs that meet the needs of the community are important. All of these, though, should be overflowing wells wrought from the fountain of life of the Holy Spirit. Ministry without His abundance always becomes liturgical and legalistic.
One particular quote from “The Apostolic Faith” newspaper I ran across regarding the meetings taking place at Azusa Street is inspiring:
The power of God now has this city agitated as never before. Pentecost has surely come and with it the Bible evidences are following, many being converted and sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues as they did on the day of Pentecost. The scenes that are daily enacted in the building on Azusa Street and at missions and churches in other parts of the city are beyond description, and the real revival has only started, as God has been working with His children mostly, getting them through to Pentecost, and laying the foundation for a mighty wave of salvation among the unconverted.
One anonymous preacher was quoted as saying this during the Azusa Street outpouring:
There is a time when the tide is sweeping by our door. We may then plunge in and be carried to glorious blessing, success and victory. To stand shivering on the bank, timid or paralyzed with stupor at such a time, is to miss all, and most miserably fail, both for time and for eternity. Oh, our responsibility.
If you have not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with Speaking in Tongues, don’t let anything hinder you from seeking and asking. God is willing that you may experience His heavenly baptism. As the previous quote indicates, often times He has to work us through to Pentecost, but oh, the joy of heaven once He has brought you through. There becomes open to you vast spiritual adventures in the fullness of the Spirit. Whether it be cleansing or forgiveness–whatever hinderance you may present, God is able to walk you through!
May you find that daily you depend on this ever-increasing and ever-deepening language of love through spiritual tongues growing in your life, bringing you into new depths of His love and power, overflowing in supernatural ministry to the lost around you.
It’s time again for cities to become agitated by this Pentecostal Outpouring and once again experience the power of His presence.