In 1973, the year John and I, along with Wade and Harriet Wearren moved into our new homes on Poplar Lane, I asked Norman Grubb if there was anyone else on the planet that he shared with, Paul’s mystery of the gospel in Col.1:28 and Galatians 2:20. His answer was “Oh yes, my dear, I visit folk all over the country.” So, I asked him if we could have a house party and invite them over for a week-end of sharing. In 1974 we hosted 40 people, the next year 80 and from that time, we outgrew the house and began meeting yearly outside in a tent with a crowd that grew to 250 coming from all over the world.
After 40 plus years, the Spirit clearly spoke to us saying; “Shut Louisville Down.” Age was taking a toll on us and since we were sensitive to the Spirits ways, Harriet and I agreed to have lunch to discuss what we thought He was trying to tell us. She began by saying she thought we should be finished. Then she asked me: “How does that make you feel?” To which I replied, “It makes me very sad but I take to heart how He is moving in you.” We parted saying to each other, “We will trust HIM to change one of us.” After a few days He said to me: “Unto every thing there is a season,” which gave me peace that this was His word, to us, to do. We decided to have one last time together and then let it go.
The news went out and although most were sad, a most encouraging letter came from Bill Oberdorf saying this: ”Linda, It is easy to lay down something that is dead, it is very costly to lay down something that is living.” “And unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
“Bears much fruit” …
As we were sinking into the reality that there would no longer be a family reunion, a time set apart when we came together to renew our love and fellowship, we also knew that Louisville would never be repeated again; What was old was over! What was new was on its way, and since one cannot put old wine into new wineskins, we had hope that the Spirit would give us the new word He wanted us to believe.
Then a promise came … “I will shake everything that can be shaken, until that which cannot be shaken shall remain.” … And that can only be Christ manifested in many sons.
What was the Spirit up to?
Through the years, Norman spoke of a second Reformation. We knew he was right but where and how would it come! For the most part in our circles the main topic of conversation became a Political fight between the left and right and social issues such as gay rights and abortion.
Out of our appearing negatives, some of us began to sense the positive word that it would take another Pentecost; another mighty rushing wind of the Spirit to shake loose the old traditions that have, for centuries, held the body of Christ in bondage.
To most, Pentecost is just a history lesson. An event that happened only to those that were present.
In the 60’s there was an outbreak of the Spirit upon the body of Christ with the emphasis being on receiving the gifts. Yet, came another split. The ones who were blessed with the gifts said that if you did not have them, you did not have the Spirit. Oral Roberts even said it to Benny Hinn, twice, on television. I could hardly believe my ears.
BUT, because THE GIFTS CAN NEVER BE THE GIVER, (they are only an attribute of the Him), many in the Charismatic movement have moved in different directions, even some going back under law which for some resulted in “shepherding.”
The Coming Mighty Wind
It seems the Holy Spirit has been the least known or discussed person of the Trinity. We speak of God and Jesus but when ask ‘WHO’ is the Holy Spirit, the answers usually come back (ABOUT) him, OR that he is a vapor of dust; a ghost; or from the more scholarly, the quoted scriptures that tell ABOUT him as a helper.
In the meantime there was a small group of us meeting at Donna Brenzel’s house. Out of nowhere the topic of just who the Holy Spirit IS began to emerge. As the weeks went on, our eyes were opened to the fact that, for the sake of definition, the Holy Spirit in His own right, IS A PERSON ALSO!
A New Word
Then came this most profound word from Gary Bonikowsky in Canada saying: “We did not participate in the birth of Jesus, but his death and resurrection is another story. And that story is a vital part of us and who we are in Him. We are who He died to produce. Shouldn’t we, who have entered into the holiest, by a new and living way, be occupied living it out rather than coming back again and again to celebrate an annual ritual about entering in? And what of Pentecost, that supreme event in human history and the religious calendar, where the risen glorified Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, sends forth His Holy Spirit to inhabit the lives of the redeemed, to effect the Vine/Branch union, to (cause) us to be what we were created to be and could not be without? Compared to Easter it goes practically unrecognized. These things trouble me.”
Think about it! Easter was to satisfy God … Pentecost is to satisfy US. The blood shed and sprinkled, ONCE, was enough to take our sins out of God’s sight as far as the east from the west. His eyes are too pure to behold iniquity. If we celebrated Pentecost and total truth of what really happened when the veil was ripped in two and the Spirit came out … the body of Christ would rise to take its rightful position as heirs and sons. Not little children, nor young men, but Fathers. There is much to be told of the rest of the story.
As you can see, Pentecost/Holy Spirit have become the operative words in our consciousness. He is moving us to do as the early men did when they heard Jesus say; ” Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you, but you are to wait here until you are clothed with power from on high.”
And that is exactly what we are doing; waiting, encouraging each other to say that The Holy Spirit, Pentecost, and the Reformation IS at hand; The power coming is not just in us, but in the whole body of Christ. It is finished and the shout of a KING IS AMONG US!