We have faced many obstacles and spiritual battles in Zambia. I don’t wish to list them here, but we require a fresh impartation of God’s grace each day just to live and breathe in this land. Through the Olive Press we can sense a sweet anointing coming forth. The Holy Spirit’s presence and power has been especially glorious this week.
The beginnings of this stirring of the Spirit within me has been from reading two books about God’s Outpourings of the Spirit from Pentecost to today : 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity by Eddie Hyatt, and The Azusa Street Revival by Roberts Liardon. These books have really stirred my heart to believe God for the outpouring of His Spirit again in our day – the true “latter rain” that will bring the crops (the church) to maturity and prepare them for harvest. There is an anointing that drips off the pages and pens of the leaders surrounding Asuza street. The fire that was in them gets into you as you read what God was doing in that place. As I read the pages of testimonies the fire has begun to stir within me afresh.
Sunday morning (February 16, 2014)I was the invited speaker at Divine Tabernacle Assemblies of God Church here in Garden site 3 (Lusaka). My mind and heart had been filled with the flames of Revival and the book of Galatians, since I was studying to teach a class on the book of Galatians. My message essentially was a survey of the book of Galatians majoring on four themes: Legalism, Liberty (in Christ), License, and Walking in the Spirit. I discussed the doctrine of Justification by faith – a simple belief in Christ followed by repentance as a means of salvation. I also used Paul’s argument against Legalism in Galatians 3 where he asked the believer if they had received the Holy Spirit (Baptism) by the works of Law or by faith. I exhorted the congregation that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the subsequent evidence of Speaking in Tongues is also received by faith. We discussed Walking in the Spirit as the key to staying away from a licentious and permissive attitude towards God’s grace and forgiveness. It is also the key to avoiding the prison/bondages of legalism. Walking in the Spirit is not something that is obtained overnight once one is saved, but it is something that is developed with maturity. There are many other exhortations that I made, but I came to the conclusion and I emphasized the need to be filled (Baptized) with the Holy Spirit as the first step of truly learning to walk in the Spirit. I invited those in the congregation who wanted this Baptism to come to the front, and those who wanted a fresh in-filling of the Spirit of God to come as well. We sang a worship song to invite the presence of the Holy Spirit and after I led them in a brief prayer with the group of fifteen or so people, the Holy Spirit moved upon the people and one by one the majority began to speak and magnify God in new Tongues of Fire. I laid my hands on each one and there were glorious tongues manifested. Some were touched by the Spirit and manifested his light in different ecstatic expressions. There was an evidence that was seen and heard as on the Day of Pentecost. Following this demonstration of God’s power I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to invite those who wanted to invite Christ into their lives and have their sins forgiven. To my surprise there were ten anxious souls which came up to receive their justification and pardon from Sin. Once they received Christ I prayed for their bondages to be broken and the unclean spirits to be driven out (as is my custom with a new convert). Two of these dear souls began to manifest demonic spirits and were gloriously delivered by the prayer of faith and the power of God. It was a wonderful Sunday morning service in the presence of our God and King.
In the Bible School on Tuesday night I was teaching Galatians. I was discussing the same themes I had emphasized at the Sunday morning service. I showed them that we are to live a life of faith through relationship with Jesus Christ. I emphasized that the Holy Spirit Infilling came through faith, not through the works of the Law. I was teaching the students that walking in the Spirit is the key to not falling into the extremes of legalism or license. The first step into the guidance and walk of the Spirit is to be baptized or in-filled with the Spirit of God. Once one has been baptized they should stay “topped up” by speaking in tongues daily and singing and worshipping in the Spirit. I invited the students to come up to the front of the classroom where we prayed and trusted the Holy Spirit to give us a fresh infilling of his Spirit. We sang a worship song – oh the presence was powerful. We then exercised our ability to speak in unknown tongues all together. I then went around and laid my hands on the students one by one and then again. Some were so powerfully filled that they were falling backwards into the desks, and needed to steady themselves. We spoke and sang in tongues for a number of minutes as the presence of God was touching us. I encouraged the students that being filled with the Holy Spirit also opened up the door to the spiritual gifts. Paul told us that we should earnestly desire the best gifts especially that we may prophesy. I encouraged the students that this was a great atmosphere to step out and speak something that the Lord has put in their hearts. Often times it feels like your heart is going to explode or is beating really fast. One of the students (Muchenga Banda) prophesied that we needed to learn how to flow in the river of the Spirit. He later clarified that some people would question the doctrines of this school, but that we had to learn how to stand strong and flow with the Spirit – that this is the truth (I am paraphrasing). I had a word that this small outpouring of his Spirit was just a little taste – that there would be a great outpouring of His Spirit and that we would all need to learn how to flow in the river of God. Our traditions and ways of doing things would not be able to handle what is coming, we need to be new wineskins to handle the new wine. The moving of God is going to surprise all of us. We need to learn to be flexible. It was such a glorious time in the presence of God. As we went back to our seats to continue the class I gave an opportunity for others to share anything the Lord had impressed upon their hearts. Others of the students shared different prophetic insights that they felt from the Lord.
Wednesday night – there was not electricity in the classroom during our worship time, but the power of God manifest was greater than any that man could provide us. Alyssa and I led worship and sang as I played the guitar. There was such a powerful presence in the air that we lingered and worshipped for 35 minutes, when we usually only spend about 15 minutes in worship. The Lord gave me a prophecy to speak: “Drink in the presence of the Lord, soak it in, like a camel takes a long drink before a journey. The journey is long and it is difficult. Don’t take a little in the presence of God – take as much as you can take. Glean as much as you can glean. The journey is often long and dry.” Alyssa also had a prophecy that some were in prisons and had bondages in their lives and God wanted to set them free in His presence. The Lord impressed upon my spirit to exhort the class to step out in faith and receive fresh tongues of fire – we all began to speak in New Tongues that we had not spoken before. I also exhorted the class that the mighty Pentecostal Revival that began in 1901, and 1906 began with a small group of people who valued his presence and sought a fresh Baptism of His Spirit. IN Topeka Kansas it was a small Bible College where students sought the Lord for fresh tongues of Fire – the Lord gloriously gave them their request. The Azusa Street began when a small group of people sought the Lord at Bonnie Brae Street in prayer for a Baptism of the Spirit. The effect of these two outpourings of the Spirit has been felt worldwide – and gave birth to all the Pentecostal Denominations today. I believe that in this little classroom (Avondale, Lusaka) we can catch the Fire of God and take it out to the surrounding cities, nations, and change the course of the world.
The presence was sweet and His taste was glorious. We value the presence of God in this school and we don’t want to be a school that only fills people’s heads with knowledge, but also experiences His presence and His power. We also realize that many great revivals dissipate because of a focus on the presence and the glory, but not on the teaching of the Word. Therefore, we make it a point that even when the Spirit is moving in our midst to be sensitive to his leading and come back to our lessons…the Spirit also moves in our lessons, it is not a breaking of his moving to go back into His Word. We value His presence and His moving, but we also value His Word. Please pray for an increase in His anointing and outpouring upon us.