Testimony of a Minister1
“For more than thirty years, I was a minister in one of the leading denominations, and by the grace of God sought to walk in all the light as God revealed it to me. In common with many honest hearts among God’s children, for many months past, I had been seeking for a deeper fullness of God’s love, conscious that, however much God had blessed His church, yet for the time now upon us, we needed a greater anointing in order to be made adequate to the work to be done. With this conscious need, a cry went up to God for a Pentecost. And surely He heard and answered according to His own perfect will.
“Early in this year, God sent three humble saints from Texas to Los Angeles, and on their arrival, with a very few others, they met to seek for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They sought earnestly to know God’s will, by daily searching His Word, yielding themselves up to Him for His fullness for service. But few were favorable to what they called new teachings, so this little band had to move their place of meeting; but with the one purpose in view, they unceasingly sought the Lord for the promise of the Father. So earnest became this little band that, with much fasting (they continued almost day and night for some days, till, indeed, their day had fully come,) and as suddenly as on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit fell upon them and filled them, and all began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. But this speaking in other languages was not all, for, indeed, they were filled with all the fullness of God, and all the characteristics of the first Pentecost were manifest. Can any unbiased man doubt as to the source of this strange power, when these humble children of God were waiting only upon Him, seeking for Himself. This was, indeed, the day of small things. But the promise is that the latter rain is to be much more abundant than the former.
“About this time, as indicated above, the writer was led of the Lord, to go to Pasadena, some twelve miles from Los Angeles, to assist in tent work, living in a small tent, which gave much quiet opportunity to yet wait more fully upon God, little knowing himself what God was preparing him for. I heard frequently of the Pentecost in Los Angeles, as I was quite often down to my home in the city. These reports were quite conflicting, but God kept me quiet by resting in Himself, giving me the assurance that He was His own interpreter and would in due time make plain.
“About the middle of June, without any planning of my own, I was led for the first time into those meetings at Azusa St., Los Angeles, in an attitude of entire dependence upon God, knowing that He would protect me from error and show me the truth. I was soon convinced that God was indeed working in ways that I had never witnessed, and the fulfillment of Scripture was plainly manifested. In the altar service, I quietly presented myself before the Lord. On the second day, while at the altar, as distinct to my inner consciousness as a clear voice to my ear, Jesus said, ‘receive ye the Holy Spirit,’ and as a hungry person would readily take food, I did eagerly accept the gift of my Lord. This was on Saturday afternoon. I did not feel any overflow of joy or emotion, but rather a deeper calm and quiet, and in my mission work on the Lord’s Day following, I had more liberty and a clear knowledge of my Lord’s presence.
“On the Monday following I returned to Los Angeles and was in the meetings all day. My whole being seemed to be in one accord with all God was doing. The meeting at night seemed indeed remarkable, as the large room was crowded, and God’s presence so very manifest. So earnest was the spirit of testimony that Brother Seymour could not begin his message from the Lord until after nine. As he preached, God’s power seemed to be increasing in me, but I thought of nothing more. Just about the close of the sermon, a little after ten, as suddenly as on the day of Pentecost, while I was sitting some twelve feet right in front of the preacher, the Holy Spirit fell upon me and filled me literally, as it seemed to lift me up, for, indeed, I was in the air in an instant, shouting, praise God, and instantly I began to speak in another language. Two of the saints quite a distance apart, saw the Spirit fall upon me. One of them sprang towards me, also talking in an unknown language. Oh, how God did indeed fill my whole being in a way indescribable. I could not have been more surprised if at the same moment some one had handed me a million dollars. I had not been seeking the gift of tongues, or any other gift; but, oh how I did long for God Himself to completely fill me, and in His great love surely He did.
“As you see, this Pentecost is not the gift of tongues, but, as on that Pentecost recorded in 2nd of Acts, the gift of tongues was a sign and a powerful and a practical witnessing agency. So I fully believe this latter rain will be in its full development. ‘They spoke as the Spirit gave utterance,’ and all who knew me before, bear witness, that not simply in some other tongue, but in my own mother tongue, the Spirit does give another utterance. In an experience of over thirty-five years God has kept me from fanaticism, and I am sure that in no time in my life was I more fully surrendered to God and free from all desire aside from just His will only. What I received as described above, I call the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for, as you see, it was just like that recorded in the 2nd chapter of Acts. Do you ask, watchman, what of the night? After four months of prayerful seeking only the will of God, now in this Pentecost, I am sure, ‘this is that,’ the beginning of the early and latter rain. This is surely of God. Not that all about and around is of God; by no means. Not that mistakes have not been made. We are still in the flesh. This I do know, that God has come into my life, in a fuller and more profound sense than ever before, and He makes all things spiritual much more real, and His love completely permeates my whole being. Also, just what Jesus said the baptism would give, viz, witnessing power. This I know is manifestly more in myself and all who have received the like gift.
“In these few months from the time the praying, fasting few received the long-sought-for rending of the heavens, and Jesus did baptize them with His Spirit, up till now, this work has spread till its influence has reached half round the world. Many of all ages and races, from varied conditions and abilities, from the very young to the octogenarian, those learned, and of no education, each alike has received a definite baptism of the Spirit. Surely the glorious coming of our blessed Lord is very near, and all this supernatural work of God is needed for the work to be completed. This is only the beginning of the gracious latter rain, which our risen Lord will pour out upon all flesh, and as the Holy Spirit shall temper each vessel meet for service, He will fully restore all the gifts, or rather manifest each as needed. For all is inherent in Himself, and all thus baptized will indeed be one. The Holy Spirit is now leading us into much prayful study of His Word. He makes Christ increasingly, all in all, the flesh nothing, God’s children one, and the coming of Jesus intensely real. Beloved in the Lord, don’t criticize, but join us in prayer.
Yours in Jesus,
Pasadena, California — The Way of Faith.
The Apostolic Faith, January 1907
1. January 1907, The Apostolic Faith, page 4. Originally published in The Way of Faith.