Acts 2:1,2 – When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Spiritual unity is a key ingredient in having a strong move of the Holy Spirit. You can see in today’s verse the emphasis and power of unity in the early church. They were in one accord and suddenly God’s power was everywhere. That is kind of like the old saying, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” The Spirit was already at work amongst the disciples before the outpouring. The outpouring was just a greater display of the Spirit’s work. William Seymour, the leader of the Azusa Street Mission, spoke about the importance of unity in their movement.
“In essence, Seymour believed that the recipe for revival in the body of Christ was to follow the standard of Jesus, which happened to be the “baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.” He was fully convinced that the secret to the success of the Azusa Revival was that believers were united in purpose, similar to the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts. Seymour supposed that unity was guaranteed as people came together with one heart, believing for the “great power.” In other words, as believers waited together in anticipation for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, “Pentecostal results” would follow, and the people would become even more united. An article written by Seymour, late in the revival in 1908 entitled, “The Baptism of the Holy Ghost,” accentuates this last point:
Apostolic Faith doctrine means “one accord, one soul, one heart … O how my heart cries out to God in these days that He would make every child of His see the necessity of living in the 17th chapter of John, that we may be one in the body of Christ, as Jesus has prayed.”
In that first outpouring you had fishermen, political activists, and tax collectors. They had come into unity by the work of the Spirit. At Azusa, you had an unprecedented interracial gathering. That itself was a major sign of the work of God. Maybe we can learn from these two great outpourings. Setting aside personal bias and flowing together with people from different backgrounds will change our world. This will be a sign that God is surely in our midst.