The term “Foursquare Gospel” came about during an intense revival in the city of Oakland, Calif. in July 1922. As thousands had gathered to hear the gospel, the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson described a vision God had given her, taken from Ezekiel’s vision in the book of Ezekiel, chapter one.
Ezekiel saw the revelation of a totally powerful God. He saw four faces–those of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. To Sister McPherson, those four faces were like the four phases of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the face of the man, she saw Jesus our Savior, the “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3); in the face of the lion, she saw Jesus the mighty Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire. In the face of the ox, she saw Jesus the Great Burden-bearer, who Himself took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses. In the face of the eagle, she saw reflected the Coming King–Jesus the Bridegroom, who is returning in power for His bride, the church.
It was a perfect, complete gospel for the body, soul, spirit and eternity. It was a gospel that faces squarely in every direction: thus, the name Foursquare.
What’s with the name “Foursquare”
“Foursquare” is a Biblical term used of the tabernacle in the Book of Exodus, of the Temple of the Lord in Ezekiel 40:47, and of Heaven, as described in the Book of the Revelation. The term “Foursquare Gospel” was given in the inspiration of revival to the denomination’s founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, during an evangelistic campaign in Oakland, California, in 1922.
It represents that which is equally balanced on all sides, established and enduring. Such confidence in the power of the Gospel is also expressed by the verse, Hebrews 13:8, displayed in Foursquare churches proclaiming, “Jesus Christ the Same, Yesterday and Today and Forever.”
The Foursquare symbols stand for Jesus Christ as:
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him . . .” – Isaiah 53:5 (Titus 2:14, Is. 55:7, Heb. 7:25, Is. 1:18)
The Baptizer with the Holy Spirit
“For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit . . . you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:5,8 (Jn. 14:16-17, Acts 2:4, Acts 8:17, Acts 10:44-46, 1 Cor. 3:16)
“He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. . .” – Matthew 8:17 (Mk. 16:17-18, Mt. 9:5-6, Acts 4:29-30)
The Soon-Coming King
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout . . . the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (Titus 2:12-13, Mt. 24:36-44, Heb. 9:28, Lk. 19:13, Lk. 12:35-37.)
For more information check out the Official Foursquare website at www.foursquare.org