7 Important Lessons From Azusa Street

Prayer at the Azusa Now conference, 110 years after the original Azusa Street Revival.
Prayer at the Azusa Now conference, 110 years after the original Azusa Street Revival. (Courtesy/Dutch Sheets)

In 2005, I was asked to edit the Azusa Street Papers, published between 1906-08, for publication and write an introductory chapter. The book was subsequently published by Charisma House under the title Fire on the Earth: Eyewitness Reports From the Azusa Street Revival, and used as the official book for the Azusa Centennial held in Los Angeles in 2006.

In doing the research, which required reading through those papers again and again, certain emphases and themes stood out—emphases and themes that need to be revisited by those seeking revival in our day. I have, therefore, categorized below quotes from those old Azusa Street Papers that will guide us in our quest for revival in the 21st century.

READ: Will You Help Fulfill This 110-Year-Old Prophecy?

1. Stay Focused on Jesus

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"We do not have time to preach anything else but Christ. The Holy Spirit has not time to magnify anything but the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are simply a voice shouting, 'Behold the Lamb of God!' When we commence shouting something else, then Christ will die in us. If Christ be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself" (January 1907).

2. Measure Everything by the Word

"We are measuring everything by the Word, every experience must measure up with the Bible. Some say that is going too far, but if we have lived too close to the Word, we will settle that with the Lord when we meet Him in the air" (September 1907).

READ: Heidi Baker's Prayer for Azusa Now: 'Let Your Fire Fall Again, God'

"Do we need to study the Bible as much after receiving the Holy Ghost? Yes. If not, we become fanatical or many times will be led by deceptive spirits and begin to have revelations and dreams contrary to the Word, and begin to prophesy and think ourselves some great one, bigger than some other Christians. But by reading the Bible prayerfully, waiting before God, we become just humble little children, and we never feel that we have got more than the least of God's children."
(October 1907-January 1908).

"The Corinthian church was one of Paul's most gifted churches, and just as it is today, where a church is very gifted, the only safeguard from deceptive spirits is by rightly dividing the Word of God, to keep out of fanaticism. We must rightly divide the Scriptures and compare Scripture with Scripture so that there is no confusion, and no deceptive spirit or wrong teaching may creep in" (January 1908).

3. Flow With the Spirit Without Becoming Fanatical

"Many times when we were receiving this blessed Pentecost, we all used to break out in tongues; but we have learned to be quieter with the gift. Often when God sends a blessed wave upon us, we all may speak in tongues for awhile, but we will not keep it up while preaching service is going on, for we want to be obedient to the Word, that everything may be done decently and in order and without confusion" (January 1907).

READ: Jeff Jansen Sees Huge Gold Angel at Azusa Now

"The demonstrations are not the shouting, clapping, or jumping so often seen in the campmeetings. There is a shaking such as the early Quakers had and which the old Methodists called the "jerks." It is while under the power of the Spirit you see the hands raised and hear speaking in tongues. While one sings a song learned from heaven with a shining face, the tears will trickle down other faces." (October 1906)

4. Avoid Pride; Stay Humble

"We humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and constantly search the Scriptures to know His whole will and plan" (October 1906).

"There is no pope, Doweism, or Sanfordism, but we are all little children knowing only Jesus and Him crucified. This work is carried on by the people of Los Angeles that God has united by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit" (December 1906).

5. Avoid Exaggerations

"Correction: We want to correct some errors that were in the last published report from Portland. It was stated that one hundred were baptized at the evening campmeeting. The saints believe there were not so many. The insane persons that were brought for healing were not fully healed, or else through lack in our faith and through weakness lost their healing. The saints want the simple truth stated about the work. Amen! May no one from any place send in a report that is overstated but rather let it be understated" (January 1908).

6. Realize That You Can Receive Directly From God

"Is it necessary to have hands laid on in order to receive the Holy Ghost? No, you can receive Him in your private closet. The gift of the Holy Ghost comes by faith in the Word of God. You may receive the Holy Ghost right now, that is, if you are sanctified. Take your Bible, turn to the first chapter of Acts, 5th verse, 'For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.' Read this verse of Scripture and cry out to the Father, 'Lord Jesus, baptize me with the Holy Ghost,' and believe the Lord with all your heart and the power will fall" (October 1907-January 1908).

7. Equality of Women With Men in the New Era of the Spirit

"Before Pentecost, the woman could only go into the 'court of the women' and not into the inner court. But when our Lord poured out Pentecost He brought all those faithful women with the other disciples into the upper room and God baptized them all in the same room and made no difference. All the women received the anointed oil of the Holy Ghost and were able to preach the same as men. They both were co-workers in Eden and both fell into sin; so they both have to come together and work in the Gospel" (January 1908).

Author's note: The references to "Doweism" and "Sanfordism" pertain to John Alexander Dowie and Frank Sanford, two of the most famous, charismatic ministers of the day who projected themselves as special end-time apostles and prophets

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