The Foursquare Movement


The Foursquare Movement
Foursquare is a forthright, up front gospel message. Foursquare is a pattern of life that is committed to a Person, and His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. So, let’s talk about the term “Foursquare.” First, there is a symbolism in the term. The symbolism bears on a message that was being preached by Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Foursquare Organization, in 1922 in Oakland, California, from the book of Ezekiel.

When Sister McPherson was preaching on the vision of Ezekiel, she said that she saw in the four faces of the Cherubim (of a man, of a lion, of an ox and of an eagle) a fourfold symbolic expression of the Lord Jesus. The basic message that Sister McPherson preached that day, using Ezekiel’s vision as a text, is the message that we call the “Foursquare Gospel.” But, she had never really called it that before, although she had been preaching for several years. The heart of that message is the heart of the basic message we teach:

Firstly, Jesus Christ is the Savior. He is the only way of salvation. In the face of the man Ms. McPherson saw, “Him who came – the Word made flesh – and dwelt among us, the Son of man; the One who came to bear our sins, to die for us.” He took upon Himself the sins of the world, so we could be restored in our relationship with God. When we talk about Jesus as the Savior, it means that the Lord Jesus not only brings us into right relationship with God, but His ministry is working salvation, life and power toward us continuously. He is our Savior in an ongoing, continual, delivering way.

Secondly, Jesus is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. He is the source of everything that has to do with the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In the face of the lion, Sister McPherson saw The King of beasts, the mighty Lion; the One who is the mighty “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5). He is the One who gives the initial experience and who will constantly cause the flow of the Holy Spirit to infill us on a continuous basis. This brings an expanding and extending revelation of the ministry of the Spirit of God in us, as well as a flow of spiritual fruit and gifts from us. When we speak of Jesus as the Baptizer, we are not just talking about a onetime experience.

Thirdly, Jesus is the Healer. He is in the miracle-working business today (because He is a changeless Lord). Sister McPherson saw in the face of the ox, the Burden Bearer, the creature who bears not only our sins and iniquities, but also our pains and sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4, 5). He is committed to completion and wholeness in every part of our lives. The healing ministry of Jesus brings wholeness to families, to marriages, to personalities, to minds and to bodies. He’s a miracle-working Lord – which is why we anoint people with oil in the Name of the Lord and lay hands on the sick.

Fourthly, Jesus is the Coming King. He is coming again to the earth to snatch away His Church to be with Him as His bride forever. Sister McPherson saw in the face of the eagle, sweeping down suddenly without warning, He who is coming again as promised: “If I go… I will come again, and receive you to myself…” As King He will exercise complete dominion on the earth. Every knee will eventually bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord of lords, the King of kings. Maranatha, come quickly Jesus!

History of Foursquare As she saw this fourfold vision, it suddenly struck her as the complete Gospel, and she spoke these words, “Why it’s the Foursquare Gospel!” Instantly, the power of the Holy Spirit began to fill that auditorium (there were about 8,000 present). Those words electrified everyone by the power of the Spirit, as they heard this full-orbed, well-rounded presentation of the full glory of Jesus, the Son of God.

Everyone in the auditorium understood the word “Foursquare” which was common in usage at that time. It meant “honest,” “forthright,” “up front.” The auditorium began to reverberate with praise. For many minutes to follow, there was that real sense that God, by His Spirit, was saying something special on that occasion.

During this campaign they formed what they called the Foursquare Evangelistic Association. It was an association of people who were committed to a message. Over a thousand people (hundreds of them were pastors of churches from different denominations) signed a statement of doctrine and purpose that said, “we are committed to this message.” Newspapers of that day report Baptist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches – all kinds – advertising in big letters, “Preaching the Foursquare Gospel.” This “Foursquare” message announced a willingness to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and to proclaim the whole person and power of Jesus Christ.

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