THE AZUSA DIFFERENCE
The dawning of the twentieth century ushered in an event
that was so powerful that it changed the course of Christianity. In 1906, God actually, physically, took
up residence at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. This was the first time since the Wilderness
Wanderings of the Israelites that God had a physical address here on earth. Then His address was the Tabernacle
in care of Moses, In 1906-1910 His address was Azusa Street!
Since the earthly ministry
of Jesus Christ, the most significant, most influential, life-transforming event in the life of Christianity was The Azusa
Visitation beginning in 1906. Approximately 2000 years prior Jesus was born, cradled in a lowly stable
and publicly God dwelt among us in the form of His Son for about three and one-half years. In
1906, God chose to visit us publicly in the form of His Spirit and chose a stable to cradle His visitation for about three
and one-half years.
Azusa was more than a revival or renewal. Don’t misunderstand. The Church has witnessed many
great revivals and renewals each ushering in great reformation. The Church has also witnessed many
miraculous healings and miracles throughout her two thousand years on this earth. What the Church has not
witnessed is the actual visitation of God manifested in His Shekinah Glory for about three and one-half years.
Brother Fox, who was at Azusa around 1909 and then went to India as a missionary saw many great miraculous healings
some even greater than those he witnessed at Azusa, but when he retired and moved back to Pisgah, he lamented that although
he experienced many wonders of God while in India, he never experienced the Shekinah Glory that was present at Azusa.
What people experienced at Azusa in 1906 was closely related to what Moses experienced in Exodus 24:15-18 when “the
glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of
the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the
mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up
into the mount; and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
That is exactly what
was experienced at Azusa. A mist or cloud of varying intensity was present for about 3.5 years.
Sometimes the cloud was so dense you felt like you could capture it. Sometimes the cloud went up
from the building in the form of fire and linked with a fire coming down from heaven. The glory of God
manifested as a cloud became known as Shekinah Glory from a Hebrew word meaning to dwell signifying that within the cloud
dwelt the divine Presence of God.
In Exodus 40: 34-38, we find that “
a cloud covered the tent of the congregation and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses
was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud above thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled
the tabernacle… for the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night, in the sight
of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
With Bethlehem, the Word became Flesh and
dwelt among us (ref), with Azusa the Word became Spirit and dwelt among us! With the Bethlehem visitation,
God brought mankind redemption through His beloved Son. At Azusa God once again visited His creation and
brought mankind a renewed empowerment through His wonder-working Spirit, much like the outpouring of the Spirit in the book
Since the Apostolic age ushered in by the Ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the wonder-working
power of the Holy Spirit laid dormant for almost 2000 years. The Spirit of God was always within those
who believed in Jesus Christ and received Him as Savior and Lord, but somehow we missed the purpose and power of God.
We believed in the Father and the Son, but paid lip-service to the Spirit.
the centuries Christianity became institutionalized. Worship became formalized, and the role of the laity
became minimized. The staleness of the denominational structures quenched the potential of the Spirit.
Emphasis was place on doctrinal purity and holy living to the neglect of the work of the Spirit. The
Church in various factions picked and chose the Scriptures that fit their mode and ignored the awesome, empowering gift of
None of the above is written with a critical spirit, but
rather to focus on why in 1906 the world was ready for a new visitation from God that would propel the Church to new levels
of glory and grace.
Azusa was not an accident or a freak of
nature. Azusa was a planned, well orchestrated work of God brought to fulfillment when all the pieces were
in place and at least a small group of people were prepared to host his visitation.