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Introduction

Only God saw the twisting and turning torrent of water as it flowed through the underground caverns of the earth. He had ordained it to emerge in Eden where creation awaited its nourishing flow. Its cascading waterfalls created a soft mist, which hung in the air.

An unending array of flowers decorated its banks. The majestic river took form in this earthly paradise. Magnificent trees and colourful shrubs eagerly drew their nourishment from its waters as it meandered through the garden. Noble animals and beautiful birds drank from its life giving flow.

Mankind would be refreshed from the river that went out of Eden. Its tributaries would flow to the four corners of the earth. Tragically, this scene changed and the beauty of Eden was lost in the devastation that followed.

God’s plans for mankind were altered by an act of wilful disobedience and the whole world felt the effects of this sinful deed. Men and women continued on paths that led them further away from God. The rivers that had been ordained to refresh creation soon became the instrument of their destruction. The fountains of the deep erupted and the earth was flooded.

Only eight souls were spared as they escaped this devastation in the ark prepared by Noah. A rainbow of covenant promise signalled that God would never flood the earth again. Once more the rivers flowed through the world and benefited mankind. Thousands of years later the apostle John saw another river –‘a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.’ God began creation with a flowing river in the midst of an earthly paradise. He will conclude His plans for this world with a river flowing from His throne in the midst of a heavenly paradise.

Another river has been flowing through the course of time. It is a river than cannot be seen with the natural eye. The spirit of a man discerns it.  The psalmist saw the river when he cried, ‘There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.’ The prophet encountered the river when he saw ‘water flowing from under the threshold of the temple. This was a river that could not be crossed.’

Jesus spoke of that river when He proclaimed at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’

John informs us, ‘but this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.’   That river has been flowing from the creation of the world and will continue to flow throughout eternity. It is the river of the Holy Spirit of God that has coursed throughout time, with its refreshing waters touching peoples and nations throughout the world.

That river was flowing when eighteen men and women gathered in the Pentecostal Church in Lawson Square, Sydney, New South Wales, on March 27, 1937.  The ‘Pentecostal Church of Australia’ and the ‘Assemblies of God in Queensland’ merged into a co-operative Fellowship under the new name ‘The Assemblies of God in Australia.’   This decision was carried ‘by a large majority.’ How large that majority was, is not recorded.

However, as the years passed and the river of God continued to flow since that historic meeting, the impact of that decision was felt, not only in Australia but also in many other nations …

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Book Contents

  1. The River of God
  2. Where did it Begin?
  3. Australia’s Early Years
  4. The Assemblies of God in Australia Begins
  5. Reaching out to Australia
  6. The Vision lifts Higher
  7. Challenges!
  8. Signs of Encouragement
  9. Changes within the Fellowship
  10. Church Growth Emphasis
  11. Consolidation and Strategy
  12. Where Will the River Flow?
  13. Photographs
  14. Charts
  15. Index

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