Frank Bartleman was an eyewitness to the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit in 1907 at Azusa Street, Los Angeles. He has been
characterized as the Reporter of the Azusa Street Revival. Nearly
75 years ago, during the outpouring, he wrote a tract warning of
a Christless Pentecost. He warned:
We may not hold a doctrine, or seek an experience, except in
Christ. Many are willing to seek power in order to perform miracles,
draw attention and adoration of the people to themselves, thus
robbing Christ of His glory, and making a fair showing in the flesh.
The greatest need would seem to be for true followers of the meek
and lowly Jesus. Religious enthusiasm easily goes to seed. The
human spirit so predominates the show-off, religious spirit. But we
must stick to our text – Christ.
Any work that exalts the Holy Ghost or gifts above Jesus will
finally end up in fanaticism. Whatever causes us to exalt and love
Jesus is well and safe. The reverse will ruin all. The Holy Ghost
is a great light, but focused on Jesus always for His revealing.
Where the Holy Ghost is actually in control, Jesus is proclaimed
the Head – the Holy Ghost, His executive.
In another place, Brother Bartleman warned: The temptation
seems to be toward empty manifestations. This does not require
any particular cross, or death to the self-life. Hence it is always
We may not put power, gifts, the Holy Ghost, or in fact anything
ahead of Jesus. Any mission that exalts even the Holy Ghost
above the Lord Jesus Christ is bound for the rocks of error and fanaticism.
There seems to be a great danger of losing sight of the fact that
Jesus was all in all. The work of Calvary, the atonement, must
be the center for our consideration. The Holy Ghost will never draw
our attention from Christ to Himself, but rather reveal Christ in a
fuller way. We are in danger of slighting Jesus – getting Him lost
in the temple, by the exaltation of the Holy Ghost and of the gifts
of the Spirit. Jesus must be the center of everything.
-Frank Bartleman authored one of the best Revival books ever
written – called ‘Azusa Street’.