The Secrets of Their Power- William J Seymour
At Azusa, blacks, whites, Hispanics, and nationalities worshipped together, crossing formerly impossible cultural lines.’
William Seymour was born in 1870 in Centerville, Louisiana. It was a time of horrible racial violence and injustice. Despite a lack of education, Seymour taught himself to read using the Bible and he found his identity in Christ, seeing Him as the liberator of all mankind. In 1900, only ten percent of the blacks living in the south left, and William was one of them. Seymour never allowed the shackles of men to ever hold him.
He would join a Methodist Episcopal Church when he arrived in Indianapolis and here he got a great love for Wesley and began to formulate a lot of his foundational beliefs in Jesus. Wesley. Believed in of course a strong and intimate prayer life. He also believed in holiness, divine healing and that there was no place for discrimination. And of course Wesley believed we were called to go and preach the Gospel no matter the cost.
However, as Seymour watched the Methodist stary from their original beliefs he sought a new church and came across the Evening Light Saints which later became the Church of God Reformation Movement. Here, Seymour felt the call to ministry but found himself running from that call. He would come down with small pox which after three horrible weeks left him blind in the left eye and scarred. Seymour felt it was because of his refusal to go and preach the Gospel, a mistake he didn’t make again.
Ultimately, Seymour would go back to Houston where he had an appointment with destiny. His pastor, Mrs Farrow was asked to be the governess for Charles F Parham, where she learned of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In her absence she left Seymour to pastor the church. When she returned she told Seymour about what happened. Then after Parham decided to start a Bible school in Houston, Seymour decided to attend. Even though he was forced to sit in a different room because he was black, Seymour gladly did so. Seymour was unmoved and never allowed racism to stop or consume him.
After graduation he was invited to Los Angeles to a church. But when he preached on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and tongues he was shut out of the building. He would be asked by a friend to come and stay with them. Here he began praying and it was here that the Azusa revival would start.
After the fire fell, the crowds grew dramatically and Seymour was forced to find a new building. He found an old church that needed much repairs. He arranged it so that all were on the same level. The meetings were were spontaneous and you never knew who the speaker would be. They sought to be led by the Holy Spirit.
- Great emphasis was placed on the blood
It became a melting pot for all races and nationalities through the blood of Jesus
- The Love of the brethren
Seymour insisted that the love of the brethren prevail and no unkind words were allowed. He sought that the Holy Spirit would in no way be grieved.
John G Lake wrote of Seymour-
“He had the funniest vocabulary. But I want to tell you, there were doctors, lawyers, and professors, listening to the marvelous things coming from his lips. It was now what he said in words, it was what he said from his spirit to my heart that showed me he had more of God in his life than any man I had ever met up to that time. It was God in him that attracted the people.”
When Seymour painted on the side of the Azusa Building, “The Apostolic Faith Mission,” to honor his spiritual father, Charles Parham, it began a spirit of rivalry and division. When Parham was invited by Seymour to help him address concerns, Parham failed to act as a father and his criticism was harsh. It caused a divide between the two men. Despite the fact, Seymour padlocked Parham out, he would not speak out against Parham.
“You cannot win people by peaching against their church or pastor… if you get to preaching against churches, you will find the sweet Spirit of Christ is lacking and a harsh judging spirit takes place.”37
- Honored Christ’s Sacrifice
“How we ought to honor that precious body which the Father sanctified, soul, body and spirit, free from sickness, disease and everything of the devil. A body that knew no sin and disease was given for these imperfect bodies of ours.”: 58
“So we that are Christ’s Bride must forsake all and cleave to Christ.”
- The Well and The Baptism
“There are many wells today, but they are dry. There are many hungry souls today that are empty. But let us come to Jesus and take Him at His Word and we will find the wells of salvation, for Jesus is that well.”
“The Lord is always ready to fill the hungry.” 111
“Beloved, is there room in your heart that God’s blessed Spirit can come and lodge in?”
“O may we do nothing to hinder the entrance of the baptism with the Holy Ghost.” 97
- Power of the Holy Spirit
“When we get the the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we have something to tell, and it is that Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. The baptism with the Holy Ghost gives us power to testify to a risen resurrected Savior
“It is the office work of the Holy Spirit to preside over the entire work of God on earth.” 103
“The Holy Ghost is to infuse with divine power, and to invest with heavenly authority. No religious assembly is legal without His presence and His transaction.” 103
“The church had the right idea that we need bishops and elders, but they must be given authority by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and their qualifications for these offices must be the enduement of the power of the Holy Ghost.” 105
“But the main credential is to be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” 106
“When the Holy Ghost comes in He will cleanse out dead forms and ceremonies, and will give life and power to His ministers and preachers.” 106-107
“Without the Holy Ghost they are simply tombstones.” 107
“The first thing every assembly is to see that He, the Holy Ghost, is installed as the chairman.” 107
- We must not be controlled by our past
“there are so many people today like the woman, They are controlled by the fathers. Our salvation is not some father or human instrument. It is sad to see people blinded worshipping the creature more than the Creator.
“So many people today are worshipping in the mountains, big churches, stone and frame buildings. But Jesus teaches that salvation is not in these stone structures- not in the mountains- not in the hills, but in God.”67
- Not caught by money
“There have been teachers who have told all the people to sell out, and many of them have gone into fanaticism. We let the Spirit lead people and tell them what they ought to give. When they get filled with the Spirit, their pocket books are converted and God makes them stewards and if He says, “sell out,’ they will do so.” 69
- Known by the fruit
“God has told us in His precious Word that we should know a tree by its fruit.” 73
“People are trying to imitate the work of the Holy Ghost these days.”
- Jesus is coming soon
“Many precious souls today are not looking for the return of their Lord, and they will be found in the same condition as the five foolish virgins.”78
“They have some of God’s love in their souls, but they have not the double portion.” 78
“SO Jesus today is selecting a sanctified people, baptizing them with the Holy Ghost and fire to greet Him at His coming.” 92
- The Word as final authority
“And in order that we might know His power, we must forever abide in the Word of God that we may have the precious fruits of the Spirit, and not only the fruits but the precious gifts that Father has for His little ones.” 87
“Dearly beloved, may we search the Scriptures and see for ourselves whether we are measuring up to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
- He gives good gifts
“Praise God, every gift He gives is a good gift.”89
“Gifts all will fall, but Divine love will last through all eternity.”88
- Bound my a vow
“I can’t forget how, kneeling at the old board in Azusa Street, I promised God I would go where He wanted me to go and stay where He wanted me to stay, and be what he wanted me to be. I meant every word of it and God has taken me at my word.” 118
- It is about the Heart
“He is not like men. He knows our hearts, our trials, our conditions. But bless God, He does not make any allowance for sin. He hates sin today as much as He ever did. Yet He does not come to destroy or condemn us, but to seek and to save us.” 147