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God promised to send what?

This is a statement from God on Israel that is applicable to the Church today. Zech. 10:2 “ For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.”

God has appointed many shepherds under the chief shepherd in the new covenant, they are to lead the people into green pastures to eat and be healthy. Instead they lead the people of God into …. Poison.

Many are not shepherds appointed by God but are hirelings, they do it as a job not as a calling, not a commitment to serve loyally under the one who saved them and entrusting them with his lambs and sheep.

What too many do not understand is the new covenant. Because of this lack of understanding they are not grounded in the Word correctly. They allow the flesh to do dictate over the Spirit as they lead by their interpretations and revelations. Instead of teaching God’s Word working in us and through us, they work the Word, even to the point of make believe, to change reality, saying what it is taking place is because we spoke it. They are focused on themselves, not Christ.

IF WE look to the NT examples for revival and EXAMINE THEM CAREFULLY we find ... "What did Peter's first Pentecost sermon contain? Did it contain merely an account of Peter's own experience of salvation; did it consist solely in exhortation to the people to confess their sins? Not: at all. What Peter did on the day of Pentecost was to set forth the facts about Jesus Christ-his life, his miracles, his death, his resurrection. It was on the basis of that setting forth of the facts about Christ that the three thousand believed, confessed their sins, and were saved.” (Gresham Machen 'Education, Christianity & The State' p. 17-18)

The Holy Spirit blowing into a room happened only one time, at Pentecost, it was never repeated as those in the Latter Rain present. It was the 4 th feast day that was fulfilled ending the spring season group of feasts. All of these descriptions of fire falling are unbiblical because the Christianity they are teaching is different than what is in the Scripture, in both meaning and application.

Let me break it down; 2 Thess. 2:7-12 For the mystery of lawlessness is working; when the restrainer is taken out of the way. the lawless one will be revealed.” V. 9-12 For The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish , because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Clearly this prioritizes Scripture and Jesus as the truth, these same people will not receive nor understand truth in any shape or form and will be repulsed of it. They instead seek signs and wonders. Their pleasure is found in unrighteous living- sin, to the max, coveting money and lavish lifestyles. Just as in Gen.6, we are watching this flood coming to arise again today.

Dave Hunt writes in his newsletter (2008) Many false prophets will arise and will deceive many. Christ is not describing something small. The false revival will be worldwide. In fact, such a movement is here, and it is growing with the support of those who ought to know better. Unfortunately, the "great spiritual awakening" [also called "emergence," "convergence," "deep shift" or "paradigm shift"] being praised today is characterized by a neglect of sound doctrine, and tolerance for false prophets. Such gullibility and the rejection of biblical guidance open the door to the occult. Satan and his minions are ever eager to provide "signs and wonders" for those who neglect sound doctrine.”

Today we see people who seem to be crazy in their beliefs, this is from a strong delusion that is only beginning to take place in the world. It is preparing an atmosphere for the lawless one to come forward and become the one the world desires to accept as Christ. And many in the church will help this happen.

Some claim if there is no power present for manifestations or psuedo type miracles, for deliverance of demons they claim he is not present. Signs and wonders MUST follow or there is no anointing, God is not moving! They are not satisfied with the words of Jesus proclaimed but find it necessary to have power displayed. But various manifestations do not prove God is moving in power, it can actually mean the opposite.

The claim we constantly hear is that 'the sign' of the last days is a worldwide revival (The “latter rain”, an outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh) that will produce miracles, “signs and wonders.”

What if we had a worldwide revival today?

What would be the reaction of the Church if we had true revival? First; the false teachers would be identified and begin to be exposed and removed, especially those who call themselves prophets and apostles. They would have no more audience to hear them or support them for with revival we are following the truth. The truth and nothing else from no man no matter how famous he is.

Revivals in the past had an environment of great reverence and awe of God and his holiness. When the presence of God comes, those under conviction of their sinfulness would be willing to receive the Gospel. Those who are believing what is not true would see it for what it is and leave it behind.

What is the gospel today? Today they preach miracles, signs and wonders, not Christ crucified. Paul preached Jesus Christ and him crucified as the power of God (1 Cor.1:18.). What is seen today is lack of control, hysterics, and irreverence on display. Why? Because the Word is not taught accurately.

There was no miracle performed at Pentecost and if the people asked for it you can be sure Peter would not have complied. He gave a clear and powerful presentation of Christ to many who had made up their mind already and rejected him. Yet they were convinced without a miracle. In fact when the apostle[s] did do miracles it was almost unanimously to unbelievers, rarely to those who possessed faith.

To have a genuine reaction with God in it we must be focused on Christ and His Word.

It has become a Christianity without crucifixion of the God/man, how then can there be true cleansing and forgiveness without the true Jesus being proclaimed.

Without this they come to him not on his terms but on mans.

What is REAL REVIVAL ?  

One of the most important lessons for Christian’s to learn is of our past history, both the good and the bad. We can look at the apostles whose accounts are in the Scripture as well as those who came afterwards. Times of revival brought forth truth in a time of falsehood. It was light in the darkness.

The state we are in, Isa.59:14"And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen into the street ..."

Even Finney emphasized the importance of obedience over experience: "The experience of revival is nothing more than a new beginning of obedience to God.”

“We need fear no kind or degree of excitement which is produced simply by perceived truth, and is consistent with the healthful operation of the intellectual powers. Whatever exceeds this must be disastrous .”(Reflections on Revival, Charles G. Finney)

In the history of revivals both here in America and abroad there have always been some shrieking, groaning, crying for mercy, an inner agonizing expressed, a falling down in distress not a collapse by being slain) by such utter conviction of their sin before a holy and righteous God.

My purpose here is not to examine or critique these Revivals than came through the 1800's. But I do want to point out some interesting facts.

Overall those involved in Biblical types of revival believed when the Holy Spirit is actively working on an unbelievers life the fog is removed, he brings a greater clarity of thought, self-control, and understanding of Scripture. The people have ears to hear.

Rebuttals from those say that there is always the flesh involved in every revival. True there is a small minority, like the mixed multitude. But on those whom the Spirit is working on to repent or come back they are humbled, they are submissive to Gods control. On those who are convicted will not yield or surrender in the way God says, they are bolder in their sin and rebellion.

Martin Lloyd-Jones, in his work Revival, discusses some of the hindrances to genuine revival. One of his major points is doctrinal purity. Consider these statements in comparison to what we hear today, "The need, we say, is the need of an outpouring of the Spirit of God. But clearly, by definition, the Spirit of God can only be outpoured on, and can only honour, His own truth. Tile Holy Spirit cannot honour a lie. He cannot honour a negation of truth ... So, if we want the blessing of the Holy Spirit, clearly, we must make sure that our position conforms to His truth."

W. Graham Scroggie, said, "There never has been a spiritual revival which did not begin with an acute sense of sin."

Charles Spurgeon, who is called the prince of preachers, made a similar observation on revivals: “That great religious excitements have occurred apart from gospel truth we admit; but anything which we, as believers in Christ, would call genuine revival of religion, has always been attended with clear evangelical instruction upon cardinal points of truth." "Its more to Gods glory that the world should be conquered by the force of truth than by the blaze of miracles."

We are told by Paul who saw miracles, that “the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16). 1 Cor. 1:18-19 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

You cannot be saved by anything else.

"What many men despise today as "doctrine' the New Testament calls the gospel; and the New Testament treats it as the message upon which salvation depends. But if that be so, if salvation depends upon the message in which Christ is offered as Savior, it is obviously important that we should get the message straight. That is where Christian scholarship comes in. Christian Scholarship is important in order that we may tell the story of Jesus and his love straight and full and plain ." (Gresham Machen Education, Christianity & The State p. 20)

"To me it is clear that we need a revival of old-fashioned gospel preaching like that of Whitefield and Wesley. The Scriptures must be made the infallible foundation of all teaching; the ruin, redemption and regeneration of mankind must be set forth in unmistakable terms. "(THE KIND OF REVIVAL WE NEED by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

If one looks at the accounts we find the clear presentation in the book of Acts and through the epistles what can bring the results that we desire to see. Acts 3:20, 5:42, 9:20, 10:42, 17:18,18:5; 1 Cor.15:1-4, 2 Cor. 4:5; Gal.1:16; 1 Tim.3:16. The focus was Christ, and the apostles using the scripture to verify truth and then people believed, not by the miracles. While we do know they took place they were not part of the gospel package whenever it was spoken. They followed the presentation of the Word which testified of Christ. The power was in the Gospel, miracles or power were not preached to bring revival.

""if the saving work of Christ were confined to what he does now for every Christian, there would be no such thing as a Christian gospel-an account of an event which put a new face on life. What we should have left would be simply mysticism, and mysticism is quite different from Christianity. It is the connection of the present experience of the believer with an actual historic appearance of Jesus in the world which prevents our religion from being mysticism and causes it to be Christianity. It must certainly be admitted, then, that Christianity does depend upon something that happened; our religion must be abandoned altogether unless at a definite point in history Jesus died as a propitiation for the sins of men. Christianity is certainly dependent upon history. "(Gresham Machen Christianity & Liberalism p. 120-121

Jesus said: The Truth will make you FREE (John 8:32) that truth is his Word, his Word that he speaks, Not the miracles or power but truth, nor what another man speaks as new revelation. It was his Word that sanctified the disciples separating from the world.

This is no small point as the very catalyst that Jesus pointed to is discarded. My words are spirit and they are life, has been change to the Spirit only is life and power, by itself. But the Word and the Spirit are to act together or not at all. True discipleship is to follow conversion, which means we must put in the time and the labor of equipping people to learn how to live so that they are grounded in the faith, so they can be on their way to maturity. If one has not laid a foundation on truth, the building after will be crooked and fail. This is what we see in too many who have accepted Christ without the elements of the gospel.

Do people who are considered leaders really care to present only the truth? Do they really care for people? If they did they would stay in the Word and continue in it. Instead they use it as a springboard for their own agenda promoting their ministry, that is not true revival.

True knowledge is painful because it points to the narrow way . It cost a lot to follow truth, it takes effort. Falsehood on the other hand by its own nature is easy to follow and soothing to those who accept it. But it is the wide road to destruction that Jesus warned about. Real revival is a renewed sensitivity to sin not a fresh anointing to have an experience, especially those not found in Scripture.

Does anyone come away from these experience oriented meetings stricken to their soul ready to make a radical change in their lives? We no longer take God at his Word and walk in faith but need a spiritual experience.

Its no different today than when Matt. 13:15 was spoken. “ For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

What are they cold too? The Word of God, their eyes saw the miracles but they did not allow the Word to enter their heart and change them from the inside. Jesus is referring to seeing spiritually, understanding what they were hearing. The word came first for them to embrace if there was any healing would follow (not just immediately). Today if nothing spectacular happens they go home disappointed as if God was not there.

The new revivalism avoids preaching on sin, holiness, Christ crucified and a crucified life which has to do with the gospel. The church has learned to be comfortable smelling the skunk and hugging a porcupine.

What people are searching for and willing to hear is a methodology, or have an instant experience (an encounter) to bring change (or success).

There are always those who profess the name of Christ but who do not want to preach the crucifixion and resurrection. They do not want to be criticized by the wise of this world. They are more concerned to ameliorate the gospel to be accepted by those who do not want to come to Christ the way the Scripture requires, nor follow the way he spoke of.

Revival today is centered around the Church, with those who already believe. The atmosphere in the gatherings is everything. The music, the testimonies, it has become more like a rock concert that moves the emotions. Take away all this ambiance and you have a message, which is lacking the essentials.

By using signs and wonders as support, a requirement of power to their false teachings we will have no revival, but instead apostasy. We do not need to hear false teachers of his Word continually tell everyone we now have revival. The truth is God will start a revival by outpouring His spirit on faithful teachers of his Word, those who expose error.

Dave Hunt comments “It comes as a shock to many to learn that the word "revival" does not appear even once in the entire King James Bible. The hope of revival which excites so many today is not even a biblical concept. Ask yourself a few questions: Is Christ not indwelling us? Is He not in our midst each time we meet? Are we not to be filled with the Holy Spirit at all times? Is not the Word of God sufficient? Why, then, run after signs and wonders as though unusual manifestations prove that God is at work, while neglecting what God has already given us?

Acts 3:18-19 Christ’s death and repentance is the focus for the forgiveness of their sins. "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 2:38).

“Seasons of refreshing kairoi (NT:2505) anapsuxeoos (NT:397). The word anapsuxis (NT:397) (from anapsuchoo (NT:398), to cool again or refresh, 2 Tim 1:16) is a late word (the Septuagint) and occurs only here in the New Testament. " (from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament) This is what is meant by the modern concept of revival. The result 3,000 saved. In Acts 4:2-4 Jesus with the resurrection is preached, they believed the Word spoken; the result 5,000 were saved. These is the examples the scripture gives for ‘a revival.’ If this is the way the apostles did it can we expect the same if it is done differently?

Man's wisdom ignores and replaces the Crucifixion that is focused on the God man that died for our sins (1 Cor. 1:17). The Holy Spirit uses his Word to bring life to those who are dead. “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2). Those who are mature in faith do not need to have a sign or wonder, as faith comes by hearing the Word, (Romans 10:17). That is genuine faith.

It’s the gospel declared which brings revival. A revival is focused on Christ and the Word, on repentance to follow Christ. Revival is God sent, not manmade, and it’s in Gods timing, by Gods way.

May we continue to pray and labor to actually see this occur, other than what we are seeing contrary; that calls itself a revival.



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