Excerpts from Azusa Street by Frank Bartleman
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Excerpts from Azusa Street by Frank Bartleman

Posted: 2007-09-30 17:41:01

Excerpts from  Azusa Street, Frank Bartleman, Bridge, 1980


p.13- There were two hours of prayer in church before the service began, meetings were every day and every night, we were not looking to man to perform but we expected God, the meeting started on the church steps before the doors were opened, love and unity were key, the doors were never closed or locked (like the Temple, always open) (later at Azusa St. it was 24 hours a day). 

p.14- Seeking and needy people filled the church at all times, most Christians don’t pray, it is hard on the flesh, my burden was increasing night and day.

p.15- This particular man was destined to become my prayer partner in the future (he had the same burden as me), we prayed together till 2 :00 a.m., my life was literally swallowed up in prayer (prayer night and day), the meetings went on no matter who was there (no preacher), we became linked with the Welch (Wales) revival, a letter from Evan Roberts reads as follows:  “I am impressed by your sincerity, bring the people together who are willing to make a total surrender, pray, wait, hold daily meetings.”  People were shocked when I shared what God had put in my heart, they did not want me back to speak to them anymore.   

p.16- Wesley and Fletcher were not allowed to speak a second time at certain churches, few people really know God in any time, already these meetings are beginning to “run themselves,” the meetings sweep on unguided by human hands, the fear of God is coming upon the people, a very spirit of burning.

p.17- Went to prayer, my prayer partner was there ahead of me, we prayed for revival till the burden became well nigh unbearable, I cried out like a woman in labor, then the burden left us, then quiet waiting, suddenly, without warning Jesus stood before us, we did not move, I could not look, we were afraid to speak or breathe, the Lord said nothing to us but only ravished our spirits by his presence, the sun came up, the night seemed like ½ hour, God eliminates all time, all is eternity.

p.18- For days that presence stayed with us, I could scarcely take up normal conversations again, they seemed so empty, earthly fellowship was a torment.

p.53- Conviction came on people as they walked down the streets, they fly to pieces on the street for no reason, when we came within 2 or 3 blocks of the place (Azusa St.) people were seized with conviction. 

p.54- The papers criticized but this only drew the crowds more, soon the meetings were running day and night, divine love ruled, no unkind words against opposers or other churches were allowed in the meetings, we knew the moment we had grieved the Holy Spirit by an unkind thought or word, we lived in a sea of pure divine love, the Lord fought our battles, we never sought to defend the work or ourselves, nothing contrary to the pure Spirit was allowed there, the false and the real were clearly seen and distinguished by the Spirit of God, it was no joke or light thing to join that company, “no man dared join himself to them” unless they meant business to go all the way through and die.

p.55- “No talking above a whisper” (was written on a placard in the prayer room), don’t try to “jazz” them through, an unquiet spirit or a thoughtless talker was immediately reproved by the Spirit, the atmosphere was unbearable to the carnal spirit, those in the upper room had paid for Pentecost with the highest price, can we see how that company was utterly lost to this world, completely despised, rejected, outcasts (their leader had just died by hanging at the hands of the Roman government).

p.56- In the beginning manifestations were wonderfully pure and powerful, we feared to reproduce them (like tongues are), but now they are imitating the gifts (they have largely lost their power and influence) 

p.57- We had no human program, p. 58- Pastor Seymour usually had his head in a shoe box during the meeting in prayer, services ran almost continually, seeking souls could be found under the power almost any hour day or night, we were never closed or empty, the people came to meet God, he was always there, hence a continuous meeting, we did not depend on human leadership, God took strong men and women apart and put them back together as he desired, for his glory, all things like pride, self-assertion, self-importance, self-esteem, self-plans could not survive there, no one knew what was coming, what God would do, we wanted to hear God through whomever might speak with no respect of persons, we only recognized God, all people were equal, no flesh could glory in his presence, all came down together at his feet.

p.59- When we first came into the church we avoided as much as possible human contact and greetings, we wanted to meet God first, we got our head under a bench to pray and wanted to know no one “after the flesh” anymore, the meetings started themselves spontaneously, did not have to push things through but a dozen people would be on their feet trembling under the power of God wanting to speak, we did not have to have a leader cue us or encourage us, someone anointed for the message would finally get up, all recognized that it was God and would give way (child, woman or man, back seat or front seat), the atmosphere forbade (except for occasional fools) pretending to have a real anointing but if it did happen it did not last long.  I would rather live 6 months like this than 50 years or ordinary life.  God wants this now (today) for he is the same today as yesterday, but we have changed.  Someone would be speaking and suddenly the Spirit would fall on everyone, and people would fall all over the house.  God gave the altar call.

p.60- Such as this cannot be imitated, there were no formal altar calls, God himself called them, the preachers knew when to quit.  God was in his Holy Temple, it was for us to obey and be silent.  I stopped more than once two blocks from the place (Azusa St.) and prayed for strength before I dared go on to the building, the presumptuous would sometimes come in among us, especially preachers who wanted to show off.  “But their effort was short-lived.  The breath would be taken from them.  Their minds would wander, their brains reel.  Things would turn black before their eyes.  They could not go on.  I never saw one get by with it in those days.  They were up against God.  No one cut them off.  We simply prayed.  The Holy Spirit did the rest.  We wanted the Spirit to control.  He wound them up in short order.  They were carried out dead, spiritually speaking.  They generally bit the dust in humility, going through the process we had all gone through.  In other words, they died out, came to see themselves in all their weakness, then in childlike humility and confession taken up of God….The “old man” died with all his pride, arrogancy and good works.  In my own case I came to abhor myself.  I begged the Lord to drop a curtain so close behind me on my past that it would hit my heels.  He told me to forget every good deed as though it had never occurred, as soon as it was accomplished, and go forward against as though I had never accomplished anything for Him, lest my good works became a snare to me.”  “Even very good men came to abhor themselves in the clearer light of God.  The preachers die the hardest.  They have so much to die to, so much reputation and good works.”  “That was one reason they fought so hard.  Death is not at all a pleasant experience.  And strong men die hard.”



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