I Don't Agree With You About the Current Revival
The following message was received by way of e-mail:
I disagree with your viewpoint about this revival. Let me be the first to admit that I know very little since I only read about it yesterday. I also know that you went there. But don’t you think that God could be there? Don’t you think that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise? If you are sincere about your relationship with God, you would likely want to let God judge this and not you. The Word clearly states that God will judge His anointed ones. This revival or whatever may not be 100% right. Maybe not even 50%. But look at the fruit. People’s lives are being changed. These people are looking to God not Satan. They see Jesus not the world. You shall know them by their fruit. At the very least, if it is not of God, it will not last. Am I right? Perhaps you should take another look. Maybe you should look again with the Bible as your guide and not look through Baptist/Methodist/Presbyterian/Catholic spectacles. God wants to do a mighty work in these last days and I would never be so bold as to say these things are not from God. I am however praying that this revival continues to lift up the Name of the Lord Jesus and that people from all nations come to know him as Lord and Savior. I really would rather have some wild-fire than no fire. There’s nothing worse than a dead church, or a church that thinks they are on fire but are not. I’ve been in both. There is not a perfect minister alive today. You could question every single one of them on some grounds. You could even find scripture to prove that something they believe is wrong or out of line. What do you think of Benny Hinn? Kenneth Copeland? Jerry Savelle? I may not see eye to eye on every issue with them, but I have enough to sense to ask God to continue to bless them and that the fruit of their ministries would continue to grow.
I can understand where you are coming from better than you might think. I grew up in an evangelical denomination and remember being very hungry for more spiritual life and reality than they had. By God’s grace, somehow I knew that there had to always be a balance between spirit and truth (John 4:24). Dead churches with a mixture of dead truth and tradition are certainly not the answer. However, bad as dead churches are, there ARE worse things, else there would not be so many warnings in the scriptures concerning deception. My concern with this movement, or any other, is not to nitpick about differences that may exist, but to discern the SPIRIT involved as we are plainly instructed by John to do (I John 4:1).
My contact with this “revival” is far more than a day but goes back at least a year and a half. One of the key emphases of the Toronto movement — from whom most of the others are derived or somehow connected — is to stifle any attempt to judge or discern the spirits involved. People are instructed: “Don’t pray, don’t think, just receive.” I’m all for fire, but it needs to be God’s fire. The chief interest of the spirit behind this revival seems to be to produce unusual bodily sensations and manifestations in people. This appeals to people who crave a God they can “feel.” Was this Paul’s emphasis? Peter’s? Anybody in the scriptures?
Jesus warned of deception so powerful that even the elect would almost be deceived (Matt. 24:24). What do you think that would consist of? It certainly wouldn’t be very effective (from the devil’s point of view) if it didn’t look real, if it didn’t APPEAR to have the kinds of things Christians have been taught to expect. Does the devil not appear as an “angel of light”? II Cor. 11:14. Is there not “another Jesus,” “another spirit,” “another gospel”? II Cor. 11:4.
You plainly imply that my viewpoint is colored by tradition (Baptist, etc.). If you will browse our website you will find that we have been “outside the camp” (Heb. 13:13) for decades. I am much more open than you might think and certainly not the prisoner of any of the traditional churches you mention. I am not closed to anything per se, nor am I unwilling to have the Lord change my mind about anything, but neither am I so hungry that I am willing to abandon the Word, suspend judgment and simply drink in any spirit that comes along. The Holy Spirit, is, first and foremost, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17) and will always honor the Word. People in this movement are not coming because of the Word, but because of the experiences, say what they will.
I am well aware that I have some brothers and sisters (the remnant) in many places, and there are probably some involved in this movement. My words are not intended as personal criticism. I have a compassion for all of them and my desire is that God’s work in us may be complete and this present evil age might forever end. To that end I feel a responsibility, as the Lord enables, to shine the light on religious spirits whose activities hurt and hinder my brethren. If we cannot exercise scriptural and spiritual discernment in the face of this present darkness, we may as well throw up our hands and quit.
My counsel to all is that they seek the Lord with an honest and open heart. Do not let such things as spiritual hunger drive you to be so enamored of anything that you are unable to honestly consider it with a heart surrendered to the Lord. Don’t be like a young couple whose attraction to each other overwhelms common sense and sound judgment, driving them into an unwise union to their hurt. Don’t ignore the many warnings in the scriptures concerning exactly the kinds of things that are taking place, lying signs and wonders that appear to be one thing but are really the opposite.
We are witnessing a religious generation that has been mightily prepared for what is taking place — dead churches, psychological traumas of every kind, prophecies of “great and mighty things,” deep hunger for some kind of spirituality that makes an impact, etc. If ever we needed to go aside and seek the face of God that we might hear what He has to say about all this, what His will and purpose for the end of this age is, it is now. There is a great flood of conflicting religious ideas sweeping people this way and that, but there is light and peace for those who desire it from their hearts.
In Christian Love,
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