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The Holy Spirit Never Left the Church

With that message in hand, Leonard Dober and David Nitschmann left home, walking more than 100 miles to Copenhagen, Denmark. At the port, they found passage to the islands by working as deck-hands on a ship. Arriving on St. Thomas, the conditions in which they found the slaves drove them to their knees. The Lutheran Church was the State-religion on the islands but blacks were not allowed to go near the buildings. One slave who tried to hear the message of Jesus through the Church window was punished by having his ear cut off.

Frederich Martin soon joined Leonard and David in St. Thomas but was imprisoned in the Fortress dungeon at Charlotte Amalie. Through a tiny, barred window of this 1671-built fort, he continued preaching to listeners outside. These men were soon followed by Tobias Leopold who went to the island of St. Croix. Slave-churches established by them still survive on St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and surrounding islands.

Moravian Missionaries quickly flooded out of Germany like water rushing over a spill-way. Within 25 years more than 200 preachers went to every continent on earth, including Greenland. In the zeal of First Century believers, these Spirit-baptized youths took the flame of the Holy Spirit to every country in North and South America, much of Asia and Africa. Only a few came to the U.S; most preferred un-evangelized areas. Of the 18 missionaries who went to the Virgin Islands, half perished of tropical disease the first year. Tobias Leopold died on St. Croix, shouting the message of the gospel.

On that first trip to St. Thomas, I wanted to touch every part of the island that those men had known. To do that, I explored every dungeon in the old Fort, feeling its stone walls, praying, telling Frederich Martin I loved him. The big impact came later, walking between tomb stones in the jungle below Herrnhut Church; in my heart, I heard voices of young men and women from 250 years in the past. I felt unworthy to touch their burial ground and I wept aloud, yelling my thanks for what they did. It didn’t matter who heard me. I wanted Hell to hear me. I wanted my own heart to hear me. Most important of all, I wanted God to hear me say I would die unfulfilled unless I experienced the same power of the Holy Spirit that those young Moravians knew. Suddenly, I had Jesus’ reply: “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13.

Standing there alone in that jungle grave yard, I was overwhelmed by an amazing presence of the Holy Spirit. He was all around me. It was the same wonderful Friend who had come upon Tobias, Frederich, Leonard, David, and others, that blessed August day in Moravia. In that moment, the dirt on my feet seemed too holy to wipe off. But it wasn’t dirt I carried out of the cemetery. I took with me the knowledge that the same Holy Spirit who empowered the Moravians was willing to empower men like me. And I saw Him begin that work in astonishing ways.

Moravia’s Effect On Baptists And Methodists

Soon after the Holy Spirit’s move in Moravia, He began a new work in the British Isles. The early part of the 1700’s witnessed the rise of John and Charles Wesley and the Methodist movement was born. The brothers were deeply affected by the ministry of the Moravian pastor, Peter Bohler, in London. During Bohler’s sermon, John experienced “justifying faith” and stepped into an empowered relationship with Jesus Christ. Few other eras in world history have impacted mankind evangelically as did that blazing period. As a result, millions of believers were won to Christ. It not only woke up a slumbering, tradition-choked church but sent a shock-wave around the world. Christians were revived and the course of nations changed. Many of our greatest Christian hymns were birthed during those wonderful years.

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Category: Church History

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at www.charlescarrinministries.com/about-charles.php.

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