William J. Seymour's Sermons
Many of the sermons that William Seymour preached at the Azusa Street mission were recorded by a stenographer and then publihsed in the Apostolic Faith newspaper. Below you will find examples of Seymour's preaching. For more of his sermons, check Azusa Street Sermons by William J. Seymour in our online bookstore. To order, click here.
River of Living Water
In the fourth chapter of John, the words come, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water.” Praise God for the living waters today that flow freely, for it comes from God to every hungry and thirsty heart. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his inmost being shall flow rivers of living waters.” Then we are able to go in the mighty name of Jesus to the ends of the earth and water dry places, deserts and solitary places until these parched, sad, lonely hearts are made to rejoice in the God of their salvation. We want the rivers today. Hallelujah! Glory to God in the highest.
In Jesus Christ we get forgiveness of sin, and we get sanctification of our spirit, soul and body, and upon that we get the gift of the Holy Ghost that Jesus promised to His disciples, the promise of the Father. All this we get through the atonement. Hallelujah!
The prophet said that He had borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed. So we get healing, health, salvation, joy, life—everything in Jesus. Glory to God!
There are many wells today, but they are dry. There are many hungry souls today that are empty. But let us come to Jesus and take Him at His Word and we will find wells of salvation, and be able to draw waters out of the well of salvation, for Jesus is that well.
At this time Jesus was weary from a long journey, and He sat on the well in Samaria, and a woman came to draw water. He asked her for a drink. She answered, “How is it that thou being a Jew askest drink of me who am a woman of Samaria, for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans?” Jesus said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water.”
O, how sweet it was to see Jesus, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, that great sacrifice that God had given to a lost, dying and benighted world, sitting on the well and talking with the woman; so gentle, so meek and so kind that it gave her an appetite to talk further with Him, until He got into her secret and uncovered her life. Then she was pricked in her heart, confessed her sins and received pardon, cleansing from fornication and adultery, was washed from stain and guilt of sin and was made a child of God, and above all, received the well of salvation in her heart. It was so sweet and joyful and good. Her heart was so filled with love that she felt she could take in a whole lost world. So she ran away with a well of salvation and left the old water pot on the well. How true it is in this day, when we get the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we have something to tell, and it is that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. The baptism with the Holy Ghost gives us power to testify to a risen, resurrected Saviour. Our affections are in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. How I worship Him today! How I praise Him for the all-cleansing blood.
Jesus’ promises are true and sure. The woman said to Him, after He had uncovered her secret, “Sir I perceive that Thou art a prophet.” Yes, He was a prophet. He was that great prophet that Moses said the Lord would raise up. He is here today. Will we be taught of that prophet? Will we hear Him? Let us accept Him in all His fullness.
He said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto my Father.” These disciples to whom He was speaking, had been saved, sanctified, anointed with the Holy Spirit, their hearts had been opened to understand the scriptures, and yet Jesus said, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” “John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” So the same commission comes to us. We find that they obeyed His commission and were all filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, and Peter standing up, said, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Dear loved ones, we preach the same sermon. “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy . . . The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” That means until now and to last until Jesus comes.
There are so many people today like the woman. They are controlled by the fathers. Our salvation is not in some father or human instruments. It is sad to see people so blinded, worshiping the creature more than the Creator. Listen to what the woman said, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and ye say Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” So many today are worshiping in the mountains, big churches, stone and frame buildings. But Jesus teaches that salvation is not in these stone structures—not in the mountains—not in the hills, but in God. For God is a Spirit. Jesus said unto her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh and now is, when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father.” So many people today are controlled by men. Their salvation reaches out no further than the boundary line of human creeds, but praise God for freedom in the Spirit. There are depths and heights and breadths that we can reach through the power of the blessed Spirit. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the hearts of man the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
The Jews were the religious leaders at this time, and people had no more light upon salvation than the Jews gave them. The Jews were God’s chosen people to evangelize the world. He had entrusted them to give all nations the true knowledge of God, but they went into traditions and doctrines of men, and were blinded and in the dark. Jesus came as the light of the world, and He is that light. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Let us honor the Spirit, for Jesus has sent Him to teach and lead us into all truth.
Above all, let us honor the blood of Jesus Christ every moment of our lives, and we will be sweet in our souls. We will be able to talk of this common salvation to everyone that we meet. god will let His anointing rest upon us in telling them of this precious truth. This truth belongs to God. We have no right to tax anyone for the truth, because God has entrusted us with it to tell it. Freely we receive, freely we give. So the gospel is preached freely, and God will bless it and spread it Himself, and we have experienced that He does. We have found Him to be true to His promise all the way. We have tried Him and proved Him. His promises are sure.
Receive ye the Holy Ghost
1. The first step in seeking the baptism with the Holy Ghost, is to have a clear knowledge of the new birth in our souls, which is the first work of grace and brings everlasting life to our souls. "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God." Every one of us that repents of our sins and turns to the Lord Jesus with faith in Him, receives forgiveness of sins. Justification and regeneration are simultaneous. The pardoned sinner becomes a child of God in justification.
2. The next step for us, is to have a clear knowledge, by the Holy Spirit, of the second work of grace wrought in our hearts by the power of the blood and the Holy Ghost. "For by one offering, He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified, whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us" (Heb. 10: 14, 15). The Scripture also teaches, "For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. 2:11). So we have Christ crowned and enthroned in our heart, "the tree of life." We have the brooks and streams of salvation flowing in our souls, but praise God, we can have the rivers. For the Lord Jesus says, "He that believeth on me as the Scripture hath said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. This spake He of the Spirit, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given." But, praise our God, He is now given and being poured out upon all flesh. All races, nations and tongues are receiving the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the prophecy of Joel.
3. When we have a clear knowledge of justification and sanctification, through the precious blood of Jesus Christ in our hearts, then we can be a recipient of the baptism with the Holy Ghost. Many people today are sanctified, cleansed from all sin and perfectly consecrated to God, but they have never obeyed the Lord according to Acts 1, 4, 5, 8 and Luke 24: 39, for their real personal Pentecost, the enduement of power for service and work and for sealing unto the day of redemption. The baptism with the Holy Ghost is a free gift without repentance upon the sanctified, cleansed vessel. "Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (2 Cor. 1: 21-22). I praise our God for the sealing of the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption.
Dearly beloved, the only people that will meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and go with Him into the marriage supper of the Lamb, are the wise virgins—not only saved and sanctified, with pure and clean hearts, but having the baptism with the Holy Ghost. The others we find will not be prepared. They have some oil in their lamps but they have not the double portion of His Spirit.
Before Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the unction of the Holy Spirit that sustained them until they received the Holy Ghost baptism. Many People today are filled with joy and gladness, but they are far from the enduement of power. Sanctification brings rest and sweetness and quietness to our souls, for we are one with the Lord Jesus and are able to obey His precious Word, that "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," and we are feeding upon Christ.But let us wait for the promise of the Father upon our souls, according to Jesus’ Word, "John truly baptized with water, but ye shall receive the Holy Ghost not many days hence . . . Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:5, 8). Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! O worship, get down on your knees and ask the Holy Ghost to come in, and you will find Him right at your heart’s door, and He will come in. Prove Him now. Amen.
Sanctified on the Cross
"I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth." Jesus is still praying this prayer today for every believer to come and be sanctified. Glory to God! Sanctification makes us one with the Lord Jesus (Heb. 2:11).
Sanctification makes us holy as Jesus is. Then the prayer of Jesus is answered, and we become one with Him, even as He is one with the Father. Bless His holy name.
He says again in 1 Thess. 4:3, "For this is the will of God even your sanctification." So it is His will for every soul to be saved from all sin, actual and original. We get our actual sins cleansed away through the blood of Jesus Christ at the cross; but our original sin we got cleansed on the cross. It must be a real death to the old man. Romans 6:6, 7, "Knowing this that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin: for he that is dead is freed from sin." So it takes the death of the old man in order that Christ might be sanctified in us. It is not sufficient to have the old man stunned or knocked down, for he will rise again.
God is calling His people to true holiness in these days. We thank God for the blessed light that He is giving us. He says in 2 Tim. 2:21, "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use." He means for us to be purged from uncleanness and all kinds of sin. Then we shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Sanctification makes us holy and destroys the breed of sin, the love of sin and carnality. It makes us pure and whiter than snow. Bless His holy name!
The Lord Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart." Sanctification makes us pure in heart. Any man that is saved and sanctified can feel the fire burning in his heart, when he calls on the name of Jesus. O may God help men and women everywhere to lead a holy life, free from sin, for the Holy Spirit seeks to lead you out of sin into the marvelous light of the Son of God.
The Word says, "Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." So, beloved, when we get Jesus Christ our King of Peace in our hearts, we have the almighty Christ, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because He trusteth in Thee." We shall have wisdom, righteousness and power, for God is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His acts. This holiness means perfect love in our hearts, perfect love that casteth out fear.
Brother Paul says in order to become holy and live a holy life, we should abstain from all appearance of evil. Then the apostle adds, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23). "To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints" (1 Thess. 3:13). Bless His holy name. O beloved, after you have received the light, it is holiness or hell. God is calling for men and women in these days that will live a holy life free from sin. We should remain before God until His all cleansing blood makes us holy—body, soul and spirit.