God Will Do It Again

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail According to a well-known proverb, “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” Almost all of the great revivals in history died in infamy.

Even though Jesus Himself affirmed that every time the Lord sows wheat the enemy will come along and sow tares in the same field, it is obviously not God’s will for any revival or movement to end the way most of them do.

The enemy has been able to sidetrack almost every move of God by using the same tactics, and still his methods are seldom discerned. Since God desires to use us in a great way, we must, therefore, examine some of the things that went wrong at Azusa Street, not for the purpose of criticizing, but in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

One of the most devastating attacks upon the work at Azusa Street came when Charles Parham visited Seymour, his former student, in the fall of 1906. He wanted to see for himself the great work that had so quickly become the talk of Christians around the world. Thrilled by the visit from his mentor, Seymour warmly welcomed and honored him.

However, Parham was deeply offended by what he saw. He thought that the various charismatic gifts were too openly demonstrated, and he was appalled by the way so many fell to the ground in apparent trances (one report described Azusa as sometimes resembling “a forest of fallen trees”).

While Seymour realized that some were faking the manifestations, he believed that these were tares sent by the devil to foul the field of wheat, and so he held to the biblical wisdom to let the wheat and the tares grow up together (see Matthew 13:24-30).

He knew that if he tried to root out the tares, the wheat would also be uprooted. He responded to Parham that if he stopped that which was not real, he would also quench the Spirit and His work that was genuine. Seymour determined that the risk of having some problems was acceptable in view of the spiritual benefits. He was right.

When he later succumbed to the pressure and changed his policy, the revival at the Azusa Street Mission quickly died, and this move of the Holy Spirit was carried on through others.

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