September 4, 2015
Throughout my 70-plus years with the Lord, I've seen and experienced some pretty extraordinary things. One thing is abundantly clear, however, and that is the fact that what I've seen, what I've experienced, and what I know doesn't even scratch the surface for that which awaits.
There have been different times in my life when I literally cried out to the Lord from the very depths of my being for more and more and more and more of His presence. I was seven years old when the Lord appeared to me for the first time and began to reveal His plan and purpose for my life. The picture He drew for me of His destiny in my life was so vast and so all-encompassing that it made His promise in John 14:12 lock in my memory. Two years later, He added to that picture when He took me to Heaven for the first time. Then a year after that, more was added with my second trip to Heaven.
By the time I was in my late twenties, I could look back and see that I'd led a number of folks to the Lord, seen a number of them receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, received a number of personal healings myself as well as seen a few other folks healed. It didn't even begin to measure up to what I knew God had promised me. I was ministering with Bill Christopulos at Full Gospel Assembly in Salt Lake City and feeling dry, dry, dry! There was a growing cry in my spirit to see the promise of God come to fruition. One day Bill came by the house, sent by Holy Spirit.
"What is it you are looking for from God," he asked. I wasted no time in drawing the picture of Elijah and Elisha, how Elijah had performed literally every miracle that Jesus would perform later, and how Elisha -- when asked the same question -- had the boldness and temerity to say to Elijah, "I want a double portion of everything you have in God."
"Brother Bill, that's where I'm at! It's hard for me to even comprehend all that God has promised me, but I'm no longer satisfied to settle for what my inheritance in the Kingdom would have been: I want a double portion!" This story has been shared before in previous Coffee Breaks and there's no need to share all the details that came from it, but there was a scream in my spirit that simply wouldn't be satisfied until I was experiencing the full measure of God's promises.
In the years since, that cry has been repeated. Each time I hit a plateau in the realm of the spirit (and believe me, each plateau is much higher than the previous one) there is a realization that what I've known and experienced in God is not even a drop in a ten gallon bucket to what awaits.
And that, my friends, is something that brings us to the revelation of the Glory of the Lord.
Most believers are well aware of the Cloud of Glory that was positioned over the Tabernacle of Moses, leading the Children of Israel during the transit from Egypt to the Land of Promise. Once Israel had entered Canaan, the Cloud of Glory lifted.
Consider the significance of that Cloud. It first appeared to Israel as they prepared to cross the Red Sea. It was both a pillar of fire which prevented the Egyptian army from attacking them during the night, and a pillar of cloud which guided their pathway across the Red Sea.
That representation of the Glory of God served as Israel’s protection against its enemies during the forty years they wandered in the wilderness; AND it was the constant guiding presence and manifesting proof that Israel was a unique people — a Covenant people — a nation under the hand of the Lord God.
It signified to all who saw them during those forty years that the God of gods, the King of the Universe, the Creator of Heaven and Earth was in and with this special people. No other nation, tribe or people on the planet had such visible proof of an Authority that superseded all that anyone else could muster. It was awesome, and it was awe-inspiring. It brought fear to Israel’s enemies, and every nation or tribe that rose up against Israel was soundly defeated. In fact, the military victories that Israel achieved against their enemies in the face of their own lack of military skill became further proof of the Glory of God to all the inhabitants of the lands round about.
When the Azusa Street Revival began to take off on April 9, 1906, the Glory of the Lord began to manifest in many different ways. Speaking in tongues was the first manifestation, and the uproar that it caused among religious leaders caused tens of thousands of people to travel to the little Apostolic Faith Mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles during the nine years following.
That part of Isaiah’s prophecy quickly began to be seen in which he said, That will cause the masses, the heathen, the nations of the world to be drawn and come, desiring to be conversant with that brightness, that revelation of the Lord that is in and upon you; and kings, royalty, heads of state and leaders of every kind will come, desiring to receive the light of the revelation now coming forth from you. It wasn’t only the religious leaders that came, newspaper columnists and reporters showed up — many from other nations, senators and congressmen showed up, kings, presidents and heads of nations began to send representatives to see what this was all about.
On April 17, 1906, a pair of headline stories in the Los Angeles Daily Times reported the following critical comments concerning the outpouring, calling it “a weird babel of tongues,” “a new sect of fanatics is breaking loose,” “a wild scene last night on Azusa Street,” and “a gurgle of wordless talk by a sister.”
The San Francisco Chronicle picked up the same kind of rhetoric, mocking the outpouring taking place on Azusa Street. The newspapers hit the streets between 4:30 and 5:00 AM that morning, and at 5:12 AM, the largest earthquake recorded in America to that point struck the city, devastating it and spawning the Great 1906 Fire of San Francisco. At the very heart of the city was the brand new San Francisco Chronicle high-rise office building and publishing center. Photos taken of downtown SF show that building in ruins, the rooftop gone completely and walls exposing missing floors.
Was it a coincidence that a great fire swept San Francisco following the Times’ and Chronicle’s mockery? Then consider this manifestation of the Glory that accompanied the Azusa Street outpouring of Holy Spirit.
Beginning either in late 1906 or early 1907, the Los Angeles Fire Department began to get multiple calls saying that the building at 312 Azusa Street was on fire. Onlookers reported that a blazing fire was covering the roof. Fire trucks roared to the scene, hook=and-ladder trucks extended their ladders and began to spray the roof with water.
The problem was, there was nothing natural about the fire.
It was a continuing manifestation of the Glory of the Lord and the presence of the Lord with such power as people had never before experienced. No matter how much water was sprayed, the fire wasn’t fazed. At the same time, the building was not suffering any damage, and the ongoing meetings taking place on the main floor continued unabated. Firemen didn’t understand what they were seeing and left the place, shaking their heads in utter puzzlement. They’d never seen a fire they couldn’t put out!
Witnesses reported that the fire department lost count of the number of times it was called out because 312 Azusa Street was on fire. It WAS, but it was the fire that comes in the Glory of God. The Los Angeles Fire Department finally quit responding to the calls because they realized that what was taking place was a God event.
The proofs of that were demonstrated in a myriad of ways during the nine-year period.
There were scores of reports in which people, who heard about the outpouring, began to converge on the Mission only to fall prostrate in the street — sometimes a block or more away — for hours on end. When they were able to get up, they got to their feet speaking in tongues.
Perhaps one of the most spectacular demonstrations of Holy Spirit during this outpouring was the visible cloud of Glory that filled the place. That cloud became so dense that people couldn’t see across the room. Aimee Semple McPherson ( who later founded the Foursquare Church and denomination) was a 12-year-old whose family was present to experience this move of God. There are numerous stories that abound in which she played “hide-and-seek” with other children in the cloud.
In some cases, people who stood outside and never were able to get inside the building, but could hear William Seymour preaching and expounding on the Holy Spirit, would go home, go to bed, and wake up the following morning speaking in tongues spontaneously. By the summer of 1907, crowds had reached staggering numbers, often into the thousands. The scene had become an international gathering. One account states that, “Every day trains unloaded numbers of visitors who came from all over the continent. News accounts of the meeting spread over the nation in both the secular and religious press.”
The Glory of God was being manifested in ways that the religious church structures and denominations were ill-equipped to understand or deal with, and the outpouring that was taking place began to result in great divisions and splits among mainline churches. The individuals who left Azusa Street and returned to their previous “home churches” sought to bridge the gap and heal the rift among those who opposed the baptism of the Holy Spirit, along with the signs, miracles and demonstrations of God unfolding daily, but in most cases, their efforts were in vain, and they wound up having to leave and join with other believers who were likewise in pursuit of all that God had for them.
Between 1913 and 1915, most of the “Pentecostal” denominations were formed, in many cases doing their best to avoid the denominational construct and simply be “associations.” Their efforts succeeded, but only for a short time. Less than a decade later the “associations” had taken on the form and structure of all the “mainline” denominations.
You see, the Glory of the Lord absolutely DOES impact those who come in contact with it! It is unavoidable, AND it is the plan of God. Those who are exposed to it are changed forever — and those who choose to dwell there change the world around them. It is as normal as breathing in and breathing out.
In the late fall of 1956, construction of the church my Dad was building in Barrow brought a flood of curiosity seekers and the word of it began to spread across the Arctic Slope. For a good 60-plus years, the Presbyterian Church was the only church in Barrow and the villagers were puzzled over why and what this new church was supposed to bring them. The then-pastor of the Presbyterian Church came over to welcome Dad saying, “We’re just not getting the job done here. There’s plenty of room for another church in Barrow. It wouldn’t be long before he wanted to eat those words.
No one could have imagined what was about to unfold in this nondescript Eskimo village of some 1300 or so people. For some 40 years, a long-rejected Eskimo apostle by the name of Paul Patkotak had prayed, interceded and cried out for a move of God among his people. After having traveled the arctic from Wrangell Island in Siberia across northern Alaska and into northern Canada to preach the Gospel and having been criticized, persecuted, scorned and rejected, he settled in the village of Wainwright (population: 200), some 90 miles south and to the west of Barrow to declare, prophesy, intercede, and wait patiently for the move of God that Holy Spirit had promised him.
When the doors of the church first opened and Dad began to preach the message of the Gospel, along with the move of Pentecost, the place was jammed to capacity and overflowing. Because there wasn’t enough room to seat people, they took 2 X 12 wooden planks and set them on top of 50-gallon oil drums and stood outside the building looking in the windows so they could see what was going on. They were not disappointed!
Hearing the message of the Gospel in a way they’d never heard before, people began to climb over themselves to get to the front so they could kneel at the altar and yield their lives for the first time to Jesus Christ. Time after time after time, as they did so, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. As this continued, the Glory of the Lord began to manifest itself in a pillar of light or a pillar of fire over the building. That pillar of Glory became visible miles and miles and miles away on the frozen tundra, drawing hunters to come and see what it was all about.
As they got close the presence of the Lord brought conviction. In each case these men repented and were baptized in the Holy Spirit. The noise of what was taking place spread to Wainwright. Paul Patkotak harnessed his dog team and drove the 90-plus miles to see the promise fulfilled from his years of travail and intercession. The Glory of the Lord WAS on display, and it was beginning to spread throughout the Arctic!
One thing to remember in all these stories is that we are being taken as a people progressively forward in stages as Holy Spirit reveals more and more and more and more. Here's how Paul put it when writing to the Corinthians:
II Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
More next week.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call takes place on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Again, the number to call for healing is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. We also want to alert you to the fact that come September 14th, our prayer call number is going to change. Our current conference line has experienced drop-outs and periodic audio quality issues, so this is needed! We will keep you apprised of the new number in the days ahead.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (559) 726-1399, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Blessings on you!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
Coffee Break articles are copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for
reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted
–provided proper attribution and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee
Break archives are available at http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com. Coffee Break
articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: Subscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to Unsubscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.
CAPENER MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry, please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or visit: http://www.RiverWorshipCenter.org.