Acts: Their Story. The Past
At the turn of the 20th century, a Bible school teacher stood in his classroom to give an assignment. Perhaps the students moaned and whispered, “Another assignment!” He reported, “I set the students at work studying out diligently what was the Bible evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost that we might go before the world with something that was indisputable because it tallied absolutely with the Word.”
Charles Parham left school for three days. He returned the morning of December 31, 1900 to collect the assignments. He wrote, “To my astonishment they all had the same story, that while there were different things occurring when the Pentecostal blessing fell, that the indisputable proof on each occasion was, that they spoke with other tongues.”
The first day of the twentieth century marked the birth of the modern Pentecostal movement. Agnes Ozman received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A few days later, Charles Parham, his wife, and twelve of his students received their personal Pentecost. They started out studying Acts, but ended up living it. The doctrine of the first church was restored as a step was made toward the Book of Acts.
Throughout the last century, the Pentecostal movement has exploded. Never has a group grown more rapidly than the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. As we wade ankle-deep into the twenty-first century, God’s army continues to sweep across the globe undaunted by worldliness and modernistic thinking, still burning with the fire ignited at Pentecost. I applaud the Pentecostal movement of the past and look forward to greater things from God and His church.
Nona Freeman once said, “The Word of God is a time-proven irrefutable fact. Whatever God has done through the ages, He can do it again, and more, much more, than our finite minds can comprehend.”
Today’s church has seen multiplied, tens of thousands receive the Holy Spirit in a single service. I have stood on overseas platforms and looked out over a sea of people with hands stretched forth to God. The floodgates of revival have opened, and a great end-time harvest is being reaped. The river of revival is flowing throughout our world. No one can stop it. Our only choice is to flow with the current or against it. The church of God is a mighty, moving army. We can sit still or get up and march in beat with the church.
Acts is not only a book of the past, but I am convinced it is God’s Training Manual for Today’s Church. The contents of Acts will motivate believers to evangelize, receive understanding of the apostles’ doctrine, and to share it with others with supernatural power. It provides further truth for any serious seeker.