[anzac] SPONTANEITY AT AZUSA STREET

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 15:36:00 +1200
Forwarded by:           MForest585@...

"Spontaneity In Azusa Street Revival" 
-Frank Bartleman.

"The services ran almost continuously. Seeking souls could be found under
the power almost any hour, night and day. The place was never closed nor
empty. The people came to meet God. He was always there. Hence the
continuous meeting. The meeting did not depend on the human leader. God's
presence became more and more wonderful. In that old building, with its low
rafters and bare floors, God took strong men and women to pieces, and put
them together again, for His glory. It was a tremendous overhauling process.
Pride and self-assertion, self-importance and self-esteem, could not survive
there. The religious ego preached its own funeral quickly.

"All was spontaneous, ordered of the Spirit. We wanted to hear from God, 
through whoever he might speak.

"We were delivered right there from ecclesiastical hierarchism and abuse. We
wanted God. When we first reached the meeting we avoided as much as possible
human contact and greeting. We wanted to meet God first. We got our head
under some bench in the corner in prayer, and met men only in the Spirit...

"The meetings started themselves, spontaneously, in testimony, praise and
worship. The testimonies were never hurried by a call for "popcorn." We had
NO prearranged programme to be jammed through on time. Our time was the
Lord's. We had real testimonies, from fresh heart-experience. Otherwise, the
shorter the testimonies, the better. A dozen might be on their feet at once,
trembling under the mighty power of God. We did not have to get our cue from
some leader. And we were free from lawlessness. We were shut up to God in
prayer in the meetings, our minds on Him. ... The Lord was able to burst
through anyone.We prayed for this continually. Some one would finally get up
anointed for the message. All seemed to recognised this and gave way. It
might be a child, a woman, or a man. It might be from the back seat, or from
the front. It made no difference. We rejoiced that God as working. No one
wished to show himself. We thought only of obeying God. In fact there was an
atmosphere of God there that forbade any one but a fool attempting to put
himself forward without the real anointing. And such did not last long! The
meetings were controlled by the Spirit, from the throne...

"Some one might be speaking. Suddenly the Spirit would fall upon the
congregation. God Himself would give the altar call. Men would fall all over
the house, like the slain in battle, or rush for the altar enmasse, to seek
God. The scene often resembled a forest of fallen trees. Such a scene cannot
be imitated. I never saw an altar call given in those early days. God
Himself would call them.

"And the preacher knew when to quit. When He spoke we all obeyed. it seemed
a fearful thing to hinder or grieve the Spirit. The whole place was steeped
in prayer . God was in His holy temple. it was for man to keep silent. The
shekinah glory rested there. In fact some claim to have seen the glory by
night over the building. I do not doubt it. I have stopped more than once
within two blocks of the place and prayed for strength before I dared go on.
The presence of the Lord was so real.

"We saw some wonderful things in those days. Even very good men came to
abhor themselves in the clearer light of God. The preachers died the
hardest. they had so much to die to. So much reputation and good works. But
when God got through with them they gladly turned a new page and chapter.
That was one reason they fought so hard. Death is not at all a pleasant
experience. And strong men die hard..."

<end quotation>