Born To Be Wild?

Genesis 1:25-28 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

On the sixth day God created and called it good. It was not until after this that He created man. Of all the creations during the six days, only two were not declared good: when God divided the heavens from the earth on the second day and when God created man on the sixth day. Why?

As for the second day, it was all about division – separation. Heaven and earth were no long link together. Nothing can be good outside of the presence of God.

And as for man, man was not created to be good but to choose good. Therefore, man received God’s blessing instead. Man needed God’s spoken power in order to choose good and it came in the form of His blessing. Another argument of man’s free will.

Some have even gone as far as to say that there is a correlation between the second day and the creation of man. Both were divisions from God’s presence. Only the breath of God can reunite the dust of the ground (what man was created from) to the heart of God, “and man became a living soul.”

Today it takes the breath of God breathed, the Holy Spirit, for us to be reunited with Him (Romans 8:15-16). We may not have been born good but we can choose good because God spoke His blessing upon us. We were not born to be wild, we were born TO BE good.

Romans 8:15-16 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Peter said in Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Repenting is the one act that will reunite us to God’s presence. Then, and only then will the times of refreshing come from God.



William Seymour

imagesIn 2006 many celebrated 100 years since the beginning of a spiritual moved that begun because of a black man named William Seymour. Born in 1870, Seymour was converted in 1891 in Indianapolis during a trek across America. Within the churches he associated with were preached holiness, healing and the second coming of Christ – these shaped his mark in history.

Not long later he came down with a severe case of smallpox which scarred his face and left him blind in one eye. This was the moment that he accepted God’s call upon his life. In 1905 he had his first opportunity and temporarily pastored a church in Houston. It was there that he heard news of a group in Topeka, KS led by Charles F Parnham who taught in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Parnham, the founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement, was the instructor of this small school. In was in 1900 that he possed a question to his students, “what is the first evidence that you have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” From their studies they concluded that it was speaking in tongues. The assembled a prayer meeting on December 31, 1900 and just past midnight of January 1, 1901 a young lady began to experience what they called tongues.

Later that year of 1905 Parnham moved to Houston where he opened a short term Bible School much like the one in Topeka. Seymour enrolled in the school which focused on prayer, fasting, Bible study and evangelistic outreach. Although it would be a few years later before his personal experience, he was convinced that tongues was the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He took opportunity as often as possible to preach beside Parnham.

Later that year Seymour felt God’s call upon him to go to California upon an invitation to speak in Los Angeles. He arrived in February of 1906. He began to preach his pentecostal doctrine and was thus locked out of the church. He was then invited to speak to prayer group meeting in a house. They had been praying for revival.

One evening the owner of the house, Edward Lee, began to speak in tongues and many followed. People were falling to the floor, some falling into a trance for more than five hours. One neighbor, Jennie Evens Moore, played the piano, although she had never played in her life. She later became Seymour’s wife. Over the next few days hundreds stood in the streets as Seymour preached from the porch.

Seymour felt God calling him to go to California. Those at the school helped raise the money for his journey and sent him with God’s blessing expecting him to return in about a month.

It was on the third day of these meetings, April 12, that Seymour himself finally received this same experience at 4 in the morning after an all night prayer.

So many were filling the street that they began to search for another meeting place. A building had been secured at 312 Azusa Street. It was very rustic. Two wooden crates were stacked to create a pulpit in the middle of the building and the seats were set in a square around the pulpit. Starting with 100 people, it did not take long for them to have 1200 with not more room to stand. That summer, in just one service, they baptized around 500 new converts of all different nations represented.

There was an upstairs room designated as the prayer foom where many met, seaking to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and for healing.

For the next three years the meetings continued without a break. It was one continuous service, the building never empty.

From Seymours ministry at Azusa the Pentecostal work was established in 50 countries.

Whether you agree with his doctrine or not, he made quite a mark around the world.

A Poisoned Heart

images-3Acts 8:22-23 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.

In Acts 8 Philip, one of the waiters appointed to feed the widows in Acts 6, was preaching in northern Israel in Samaria. This is the first mention the any of the early church leaders taking the message of Jesus outside of Jerusalem and he was having great success. People were being healed, the demon possessed were being delivered and many men and women accepted Jesus and were baptized. This included a once sorcerer, Simon.

What a radical change. Simon has turned for a life of sorcery and accepted Jesus, was baptized and followed Philip everywhere. But, his heart still had poison in it.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard about this successful campaign they sent Peter and John to check in on Philip. These men took them to the next level, laying their hands on the people in order for them to received the Holy Spirit.

We are not told what signs were significant that evidenced the filling of the Holy Spirit, but whatever it was it amazed Simon who was still following. He was so impressed that he was willing to pay money to be able to lay hands on people too and they receive the Holy Spirit.

Not only did Peter rebuke Simon but the Holy Spirit gave Peter a Word of Knowledge. It was revealed that Simon was being illy effected by bitterness that he had covered up. Poisoned was the word Peter used.

Simon was saved from his sins. He was baptized. He left his old life. And yet he had a deep hurt that had not been healed, but covered up. Who could have associated bitterness with what would have seemed to have been greed for power, respect or the supernatural? But, the Holy Spirit revealed it.

We have followers of Christ who have been walking in Christ for years and yet there are things in their life that has poisoned them and it has never been confronted.

Isn’t it time that we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any poison in our lives that we may be free?