“Keepers of the Fire”

John the Baptist said, “ I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” -Matthew 3:11

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down in the Upper Room where all the believers were praying and seeking God. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance. This was the birth of the New Testament church! Since then, God has continually baptized believers with His Spirit enduing them with supernatural power.

With the turn of the 20th century in 1906, the Holy Spirit came down in an unexpected way at Los Angeles’ Azusa Street. Those whose hearts were hungry and ready received the outpouring of blessing with openness and joy. To others it was another opportunity to ignore God’s intrusion of His gifts into the lives of believers and the church.

But, our God is the Great Intruder, and the Azusa Street revival, which began in obscurity, caught a heavenly wind, bypassed those who resisted, and has since ushered into its fellowship more than 600 million souls worldwide.

Emil Balliet, in a 1969 reports, documented the Assemblies of God rise from the outpouring at Azusa Street, “Like tiny tributary streams, they converged to form a flowing river of spiritual power, and a significant “third force” of considerable dimensions began to make the impact on Christendom and the world”.

You and I are in integral part of this movement of God. We are not an isolated island, but rather part of God’s great surprise: His continuous flow of the river of God to impact our world. While we have received the wonderful blessings, and benefits from this outpouring of God’s Spirit, we must continue to hand down this precious mantle

of anointing in spite of opposition, giving faithful attention to the flame which was lit afresh on the Day of Pentecost. Nothing was, or is, more important for us than maintaining the spiritual fires of Pentecost.

Some may doubt and others may scoff as they did on the Day of Pentecost, but to us who hunger and thirst for this experience, God will continually fill. Post modernistic theology may say it was for back then and not for today, but this is nothing but a lie to extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit. However, If the church is to be vibrant, healthy, and alive, the church must have a fresh outpouring. It is presumptuous to think we can change a world without the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing in and of itself without the anointing!

As we celebrate Pentecost this month, let us pray that God will once again touch us with an unusual and transforming manifestation of His Spirit. Let us desire a fresh outpouring which will energize and awaken a sleeping church. Let us pray for God’s sovereign hand to open for a flowing river of spiritual power which will change us and make an eternal impact on the church and the world which we live. Join us on Sunday, June 9th, for Pentecost Sunday and our evening “Outpouring” service at 6 PM at our SW Campus with Rev. Chresten Tomlin. Let us endeavor to be keepers of the fire! Until then, let us continue…..

Changing Lives For Eternity,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson

Senior Pastor