Assemblies of God & its legacy
One of the champions of the history for revival is the Assemblies of God. I might not be a minister with the Assemblies of God but I want to tell their God stories. It is a prophetic act to re-tell the stories to those who might not know them.
Revelation 19:10 tells us that Jesus is the spirit of prophecy and earlier that we have overcome by the word of the testimony (Revelation 12:11) Because we know these to be true, when we re-tell a God story; it carries with it the ability to re-create the faith from that moment in the people who hear the story. So, let him who has ears, let him hear!
In the Pentecostal Revival that started in Topeka Outpouring and carried out to Azusa Street then to the world; I can’t think of a movement that has done more for the cause of Christ and championed revival than the Assemblies of God. I could be wrong but I can’t think of anyone at this point.
Assemblies of God: People of the Spirit
One of the things I remember from my time at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri was reading the pretty dry book, Anointed to Serve by William M. Merzies. I struggled through it but it really was not that fun to push through.
Well Gary McGee worked on updating the history of the Assemblies of God and making it much more a joy to read. He is a theologian, historian but a really good writer as well. He has bought much impact to the people of the Assemblies of God over the years.
If you can afford the $30 for the volume of Church History, I highly suggest you get a copy of the People of the Spirit. I bought mine for the Kindle and it is an amazing resource to have.
The founders of the Assemblies of God came from the working class. They were hardworking Americans who caught the vision of evangelizing the world in the last days before the second coming of Christ.
God always has and always does use the weak and the broken who will say “Yes” to the harvest to answer the call for Pentecostal mission. That has not changed since Azusa Street and it will not change until the we are taken out of his world in the Catching up (aka, rapture).
The Holy Spirit is more interested in your willing to be used than how well you know you bible or how anointed you think you are.
It is quite amazing what the Spirit of God can do with someone that is completely yield to the Spirit that just has a desire to doing the Kingdom of God among the city he lives in. It is true that God will use the foolish to confront the wise. I will take a fool for Christ than only knows how to yield to the Spirit over a Pastor with a P.hD with no desire to reach the lost.
Assemblies of God put emphasis on being radical
David Wilkerson was a pastor of a small church that was the nice position: paid salary, free food from old ladies, etc. He left all of it to preach the gospel on the streets in New York City with no promise that anything would work out. He was risking it out and could have ended up failing really bad if God didn’t show up.
At one point, a gangster named Nicky Cruz told him, “I will cut you to pieces.” What would the prophetic David Wilkerson said in response to that? He was simple, “If you do, every piece will the love of God to you.” That gangsters ended up being a revival evangelist himself reaching into the gang culture around the world.
The risk that David took was well worth it. Many were saved as a result of his faith to reach New York, the powerful outreach to Drug Addicts called Teen Challenge was born and he ended up planting Time Square Church, a powerful revival focused church in New York City. The risk paid off for him.
Out of Wilkerson’s ministry came a young man known as Steve Hill, the evangelist that preached to hundred of thousands in the Brownsville Revival. There would not have been a Brownsville Revival without a Teen Challenge and without David Wilkerson, there is no Teen Challenge.
You never know the risk you take today and what it will work out to be in the future. God thinks in the long term, we think in the short term. We do not realize that having a bible study can meant growing the world’s largest church. I am sure that David Yonggi Cho did not think he would be where he is today in the late 1950’s.
Thinking Kingdom of God, not Church
I realize the the term Kingdom of God is overly used and many times just mean church in a different way. However, the Kingdom is quite different. The Kingdom of God is the Government of Heaven. When we pray “On Earth as it is in Heaven,” We are playing for the release of the government and reign of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
One thing I know is when the Holy Spirit reigns, Heaven rains! When the Holy Spirit is welcome in a place, the rain of the Heavens pours down on people and they are completely transformed by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. This is the history of the Assemblies of God.
As you focus on what the Kingdom is about, the lost will come, the lame will come, the blind will come and deaf will come. The truth that the Assemblies of God believe that healing is an integral part of the gospel will be tested if you have the faith of a mustard seed.
All you have to to be used is tell the Lord “Yes, Send Me.” If you are willing to be used, He is willing to use you in the harvest.