God is the Author and Finisher of our faith. In other words, He has written a story about our lives that has a beginning and has a fulfillment. So it is with my personal story.
In 1982, my Pastor, Che Ahn, dreamed of an African American man waving to him and saying, "...come to Los Angeles, there is going to be a great revival." Because of that dream, 12 of us moved to Pasadena, California, in 1984.
I was reading a book called Azusa Street by an intercessor named Frank Bartleman who became the key eyewitness to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906. While reading his book my heart was lit on fire. I went into days of fasting, and one night cried out for the intercessory mantle of Frank Bartleman like I had never prayed. The following day, a friend came to me and said, "I had a dream last night. In this dream I saw a big black book, and the title saidRevival. In the dream I turned to the inside cover and I saw a man's face, and his name was Frank Bartleman, and in the dream his face turned to your face, Lou." At that moment I knew the title of the book God has written over my life is "Revival," and my job description is to raise up fasting and prayer to that end.
Fast forward 30 years to when we were holding TheCall in Berkley, California. For 16 years TheCall has gathered hundreds of thousands in arenas, fields, and stadiums, praying for the outpouring of the Spirit. As such, in Berkley, we were fasting prior to TheCall when the Lord suddenly interrupted me and said, "Get reconciled with Fred Berry the leader of the Azusa Street Mission." (Photo of Fred Berry via Facebook)
Six years before, I had written an insensitive letter to African American leaders in America and Brother Fred, and I had a hurtful interaction over it. He had tried to call me a few times to work out our differences, but I just put it off. Sensing the Lord's heart this time, I reached out and called Fred on the phone and we got reconciled. Then he said, "Lou, 'TheCall: Azusa Street' is still waiting for you." This word struck me like lightning. Could this be a fulfillment chapter of my Bartleman dream of 30 years ago?
The story I tell here begins with reconciliation between an African American man and an Anglo for such a time as this. As I was praying into this, God's thoughts filtered into my mind, "Look up April 9th, 2016, the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street revival. It's a Saturday." I knew the Lord was saying we could hold TheCall on that day. I looked it up and it's a Saturday. So I called my friend that had the Bartleman dream and told him this run down. He said, "Lou, do you remember the dream that I had in 2013 while we were fasting 40 days?" No, I didn't remember.
He said in the dream we had to buy five sets of five plane tickets, and the only airline we could fly was United Airlines. In the dream he knew that grace was being given to the Church and knew that she must fly United because only a united Church can heal a divided nation. In the dream, he was also concerned that he would miss the flight, so he looked up the expiration date and it was in "1,080 days." Waking from the dream, he Googled 1,080 days from that day. You guessed it: It was April 9, 2016, the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street revival! I knew in that moment that God had a date for the Church to gather together in unity and prayer for Azusa and beyond. (Photo via TheCall.com)
I believe God is shouting John 17 to the Church right now: "I pray that they may be one even as I and the Father are one." The Church must be united because the nation is so fractured, and this is the prayer of Jesus.
Another interesting point in my prophetic journey toward AzusaNow happened while we were fasting at the end of 2015 for 40 days on the campus of USC right next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. While in the middle of that fast, someone came to us and said, "Do you know there is a United Airlines jet on the USC campus and it is facing the Memorial Coliseum?"
On April 9, 2015, we had gone to the Memorial Coliseum and the USC officials told us that this coliseum was where the first Super Bowl was played when Vince Lombardi was the coach of the Green Bay Packers. This single piece of information so struck me because 20 years ago I recorded an encounter and wept from 12 midnight to four in the morning as two 11-year-old Asian girls in the midst of revival in Mott Auditorium in Pasadena, CA, were caught up in the heavens and described the angelic realm. (Photo via TheCall.com; Billy Graham Crusade – September 8, 1963 & TheCall Nashville – July 7, 2007)
One moment stood out amongst them all when the girls began to prophesy, "Mott's too small! Stadiums will be filled! There's Vince Lombardi in Heaven!" I asked them, "Have you ever heard of Vince Lombardi?" They said, "No, we have never heard of him and don't know who he is, but he has a football helmet on in Heaven." I was shocked.
Because of these visions, I've been asking God for 20 years now, "Is there coming a super bowl for the Church where stadiums will be filled? Why did they see Vince Lombardi in Heaven?"
When the USC official said, "This is where the first Super Bowl was played," I instantly knew that TheCall was the answer to those prayers and AzusaNow was to be held in the Memorial Coliseum on April 9, 2016. Amazingly, the Jubilee Super Bowl was just recently played in California. We hear the sound of Jubilee. The natural things speak of the invisible. It's jubilee, it's time for unity, it's time to release those we've held in bondage. It's time to forgive, it's time for Luke 4:18, the time for signs and wonders, and the proclamation of the Gospel!
At Azusa Street an African American man, William Seymour, opened the heavens, and by the power of the Spirit, races and churches united and the tongue of fire exploded out of L.A. into the nations of the earth. We must have revival, but "they were all together in one place and one accord" before "suddenly out of Heaven" took place. They saw "Azusa Then." Now we must see "Azusa Now." (Photo via TheCall.com; William Seymour, Azusa Street, Los Angeles, CA)
Gather to AzusaNow on April 9, 2016, the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street revival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and dare to believe for a flash point into a new Jesus movement, a new day of harvest, and signs and wonders. Let us gather together to bless and forgive so that all the streams may flow into one river.