Prophecies of Revival

SpecksandPlanks latest post reminded me of these questions, which bugged me over the years. (But I used to ignore them and push it conveniently aside.)

Question 1:
Why do we hear so many prophecies about Revival; why are they so frequently located in the home city where we here the prophecy, and why don’t they seem to come to pass?

As long as I was part of the Pentecostal movement, I’d hear wonderful prophecies about moves of God sweeping the city, the nation and then the world. Usually they’d start in Sydney where my church was. Occasionally, if there was a visiting speaker or pastor, we’d here of a move that was going to start wherever they lived. So far, the only revival I’ve seen would be the Toronto outpouring which was controversial (but I’m not going to debate that here), and I’m not sure that qualified as a revival, as I didn’t notice church numbers up or large numbers of people suddenly turning to Christ, a la Dwight L Moody or Smith Wigglesworth revivals.

Here’s an anecdote about Smith Wigglesworth (known as the ‘Apostle of Faith’, huge influence in the AOG):

“His notion of praying for the sick as an act of spiritual warfare helps account for his rough handling of people in his earlier ministry. He thought of striking a person where they hurt as actually hitting the devil. Although some reported healing as a result, others thought it best to avoid identifying the location of their pain. In one service, however, he met his match. At Glad Tidings Tabernacle in New York City, after he had struck an Irish immigrant woman who had gone forward for prayer, she immediately drew back her fist and shouted, “Begorra, if it’s a fight you want, it’s a fight you’ll get!” Fortunately, calm prevailed and the service proceeded without further incident.”

– See http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/199801/070_wigglesworth.cfm

Think anyone else may have been inspired by that recently?

Here’s some brief info on Moody:

In 1867 Moody visited England, immediately establishing contacts with important English evangelists. In 1872 he launched his formal career as a revivalist in Great Britain, accompanied by Ira D. Sankey, his famous “singing partner” in all his subsequent major revivals. They first attracted widespread popular support in Scotland; then they moved south into England for a long series of campaigns, climaxed by a 4-month visit in London in 1875.

That year Moody returned to America, a national figure, and immediately launched a series of revivals. In huge revival meetings in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston he created the basic machinery of urban mass revivalism. It was chiefly a feat of organization which sought to adapt the traditional theological and institutional practices of evangelical Protestantism to the new urban environment created by industrialism.

– See http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404704553.html
Question 2:
What is a real revival? Is ‘revival’ a real move of God, or is it man-made? Or is it a response to man’s good organisation? Do there have to be miracles?

When I was attending C3 purely as a congregation member I learnt that it was primarily a move instigated by God. But perhaps they learn differently in college – understanding ‘the machinery of urban mass revivalism’. Are revival meetings just acts of mass manipulation, or do they have an intrinsic spiritual value as tools to advance the Kingdom? Is the test as usual, the fruit, measured some time later, in genuine commitments to Jesus that last?

*********************
RavingPente


56 thoughts on “Prophecies of Revival

  1. I might paste a bit of the article here and do a a bit of snipping of it too, so we can discuss prophecy and revival here…

    “In 1951, Bill Bright saw a three part vision. He saw that his ministry, Camper’s Crusade for Christ would reach the campus’ of the nations of the world. It happened. He saw it would produce mass media that would touch millions for Christ. It happened in the Jesus film. But what many Australian’s don’t know is that he saw a great fire of revival start in Australia and spread across the Pacific to America and then throughout the world. It’s coming.

    In the 1920’s, Smith Wigglesworth, known as the Apostle of Faith, conducted phenomenal miracle meetings throughout Australia. It was reported that when he was in Melbourne, he too prophesied about the great end times revival that would come before the return of Christ. He said that it would begin in the nation of Australia.

    In 1995, pastor David Cartledge, dean of Southern Cross College, and highly esteemed prophetic voice amongst the leadership of the Australian Christian CHurches had an open vision: he saw a thick fog covering the nation. Over Sydney it was jet-black. He then saw a great whirlwind as a vortex, clear the skies over sydney and then over all of Australia, so that brilliant light began to shine over the entire nation. It began in the region of Blacktown.”

    We had a so-called ‘revival’ in Sydney when Frank Houston arrived here. I’m pretty sure the ‘revival’ started here and not in the last church in NZ he planted. It was recognised internationally and people all over the world come to Sydney to bring ‘revival’ back home with them. How do we know that wasn’t the fulfillment of Smith Wigglesworth prophecy?

    How do we know if these reports are valid? If these prophesies are valid, how do we know if he was speaking under the Spirit, or speaking under pressure? She we give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to prophecy, tightly examined or disregarded? How many prophecies have these people made over different countries? (Also observe that there will be the GREAT END-TIMES REVIVAL and not a a great end-times deception).

    Here’s their website: http://10000prayerwarriors.goodbarry.com/

  2. “We had a so-called ‘revival’ in Sydney when Frank Houston arrived here. I’m pretty sure the ‘revival’ started here and not in the last church in NZ he planted.”

    In the 1970’s there was a charismatic awakening in NZ, which seemed to me to inspire the exodus of some NZ preachers to Australia, hoping to take revival here, in the form of church planting etc. I was saved in a high Anglican church in NZ when I was 9. Thinking back, and at that age, I saw a clear and strong faith in that church. How much of that was influenced by a country wide revival? I don’t know. But it interested me later that Phil Pringle, Frank Houston and others came out from NZ to Australia, I think in a similar era. Many of the original CCC leaders were from NZ, so it’s not just Frank Houston.

    So was that a revival in NZ back then? Something seemed to happen.

    In that sense, I relate later moves that took place in Australia, to this origin in NZ. How far back do you look for the roots of something? Does this cast any light on whether we’ve seen the Wigglesworth revival prophecy come to pass?

  3. “If there was a revival in NZ why didn’t they stay there, why come to Sydney?”

    Because infections like to spread! 😛

    JK. I personally believe what Frank Houston bought to Sydney was a great thing. I think it was sad what happened to him though.

  4. “Think anyone else may have been inspired by that recently?”

    It’s always been fantasied about drop-kicking babies to life in some pentecostal and charismatic circles, since Wigglesworth did it first.

    I keep rolling my eyes back at those people that fantasize about being like Smith Wigglesworth, but they just keep drop-kicking them far away again!

  5. I want to ban the word REVIVAL.

    To me the word represents a RECOVERY, a RESUSCITATION, a RETURN. This makes sense in the context of the United States, where so many children have been through Sunday school and have a God context.
    (Most people know which church they are staying away from on Sunday!)
    The Welsh 1904 revival is of the same nature … it wasn’t so much that people came to know Jesus for the first time. The Holy Spirit convicted people of sins and they came back to church.

    Nowadays, most people don’t know the first thing about God or Jesus, let alone the Holy Spirit.

    We can’t talk about revival now. Many of our churches are on their last legs, even if they are full. Too few young people and 80% of the congregation over 60 years old.
    (It’s space invaders and you are on your last life. Oops … Game Over!)

    People see the situation getting worse and naturally want to see a revival in their local church. The mistake has been to listen to the prophets wanting to give comfort “Revival, Revival” when there is no revival.

    Of course, I do want to see recovery. This won’t happen until whole churches start repenting … not sinners. The minute churches start taking God at His word and start acting on it properly, worshiping in spirit and in truth, acceptably, with reverence and awe … we will see a change. God is waiting for us to respect Him properly.

    I know that will be controversial, but I don’t believe God has withdrawn anything from us, His power or His presence. We have drawn away from Him and wonder why the western churches are in trouble.

    Depressing, isn’t it?

    Time for a Hot Chocolate. Mmmm.

  6. Great post Bull!

    Bull: “I want to ban the word REVIVAL.”

    I’ve actually came to the point two years ago that I actually hated the word ‘revival’. I still do. Nearly just as much as ‘outpouring’.

    Bull: “People see the situation getting worse and naturally want to see a revival in their local church. The mistake has been to listen to the prophets wanting to give comfort “Revival, Revival” when there is no revival.”

    The last thing I want to see IS REVIVAL. Pride, ego, greed and competition will destroy it too fast and more damage will be done if it is a genuine revival due to so many Christian’s wanting attention and seeking satisfaction signs, wonders and recognition from others.

    I think God has every right to hold back his hands. The church needs to be GOD-SLAPPED for the Kingdom.
    A slap can accomplish so much to a lazy person…

    I find it disgusting that people screech ‘revival’, specifically in the Australian church because all that is declaring is GOD IS DEAD. He is not dead, but many people wish his body was, so that they can experience God touching their ministry and get world recognition of revival sweeping the globe.

  7. While Abba Father can withdraw his power from us, I don’t think that is consistent with His character.

    Rather, it is the church, collectively that has withdrawn from Him. That is why the church is jumping on every band-wagon that goes along …

    Charismatic Renewal (1960’s ish)
    Third Wave (1970’s/1980’s)
    Toronto/Pensecola (1980’s/1990’s)
    Purpose Driven (2000’s)
    Emergent Church

    Everyone is looking for the next thing. Their next fix. How many people went to the Todd Bentley Fiasco in Lakeland last year? How many of them were non-believers?

    How many made their FIRST commitment to Jesus during that debacle?

    Making new believers is not what modern day ‘revivals’ are about. The Big Tent revivals of the 1940’s and 1950’s were about reviving local churches and getting people back to church.

    Now, we need to get people to church for the first time ever. They need a reason. The only reason is that God is a Holy God who hates sinners.

    Sinners who refuse to repent that is.

    When people repent, then we can tell them even better news. God loves those who repent. The heavens thunder with celebration when a sinner repents! I like to think of Jewish wedding celebrations when they all dance … billions of souls rejoicing.

    You like that?

    The problem is, we try everything but God. We try this scheme, we try that course, we try that book, we try that ministry, we try everything … apart from humbling ourselves before a Holy God collectively.

    If, by some Holy Spirit inspired moment, the service suddenly has a an encounter with the Holy Spirit, we don’t follow it up. What do we do? We put a clown up in the pulpit the following Sunday, or someone makes light of something and the moment is gone and we all go back to normal.

    We want a man-made programme that everyone can follow pragmatically and like some mathematical formula:

    A+B+C = REVIVAL!

    It doesn’t work like that. The Holy Spirit is not some impersonal force, like gravity or co-valent bonding or electro-magnetism. You can’t switch Him on with the flick of a light switch.

    We build up barriers around ourselves. In 1904, it took one person to declare her love for Jesus Christ in a meeting. Through that one person, an outpouring broke through barriers and touched Wales, the UK and the world, at least as far as Korea.

    I could go on and on. You know what I am trying to say. I am not going to say What Spirit Matt is operating under … but it is one that leaves him with pride intact. “Look at me manifesting … aren’t I spiritual?”

    True Humility doesn’t go with attention seeking. True Humility will bring holy power and holy authority to a church that lacks it right now. Pray for true humility in the church.

    Shalom

  8. Being a critic is easy, being humble is not. I think you’re both showing that. Fortunately God uses us with all our failings, always has and always will.

  9. Muppet: “Fortunately God uses us with all our failings, always has and always will.”

    True, but not when the pride that is there uses God to draw attention to oneself.

    Being a critic is easy, but I think Bull’ comments are on the money.

    OT prophets were God’s critics and got killed etc for the privilege.

    The real crux is whether the truth is being spoken in love or not.

    To write someone off as a critic is just another avoidance tactic.

  10. mn – point taken. I’ve had too much coffee and too little sleep lately.

    However, I’m not trying to avoid anything or write anyone off. I just think more fruit comes from a debate that is two way than a one way criticism of someone that hasn’t got the opportunity to explain themselves.

    It was easy for Peter Garret to critise politicians, but it’s been much more difficult for him to paricipate in the political solutions. Now that he’s doing something he has himself become the focus of the critics.

    I have much more time for him now.

    I like the debates on theology, anointing and the gospel etc (with an open mind) so that I learn from the process. I’m not sure of the point of attacking the ministry of Suzette Hacking or Smith Wigglesworth etc.

    To write someone off with the accusation of avoidance tactics is just another criticism.

  11. Apologies if the article gave the impression that I am criticising the ministry of Smith Wigglesworth. That wasn’t the intent at all. As I understand it, many people came to know Christ for the first time in the revival he led. His style is worth noting for its ‘violence’, given the attention given to Todd Bentley later for ‘violence’, which I alluded to but didn’t specifically state. I think that this shows that we have to be careful not to be too quick to judge. Not that I’m ratifying Todd Bentley – his behaviour spoke for itself in my view. Still I won’t write him or anyone off, as God doesn’t.

    I am with you, Muppet in that I don’t agree with personal attacks, but prefer to debate doctrine and ministry practices. A person can be involved in dodgy doctrines and practices, but still be on a walk with God that an onlooker might write off wrongly. By questioning doctrines and practices, we help anyone interested to think for themselves and make their own decisions, rather than just following gurus.

  12. I tend to agree with Bull’s comments:

    “While Abba Father can withdraw his power from us, I don’t think that is consistent with His character.

    Rather, it is the church, collectively that has withdrawn from Him. ”

    A real revival will affect people on the inside, and they will want to know Father. Miracles may happen to attest to His power. But the focus won’t be on which move we identify with, but on our desire to know God more, and to walk in Love (obeying his one commandment). Walking in love is holiness. When a desire for these things is stirred up en masse, then I think that is revival. Also, I think it will be broader than one denomination or congregation type. I think a real revival will affect the body of Christ everywhere, and lots of non-believers will come to know Christ. It’s not about the greatness of any church group or person.

    But revival is claimed by so many, without those broader effects. There may be moves of God, but my understanding of revival is something I’ve not yet seen.

    As everyone here seems to agree, people need to be seeking God, not signs, wonders, or even answers for their lives. They need to hunger for a relationship with Him, and this knows no denominational boundaries.

  13. Why does God use people with unsound doctrine and practices? I’m asking because I dont know – not trying to be smart!

  14. Muppet – (love your pseudonym), in Jeremiah 5:31 God said, “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so.”

    Should the question be, why does God allow it? In the last days God warns us through Paul in 2 Timothy 4:2 “… preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction”.

    Do many churches do that today? I would say that the majority are not preaching sound doctrine anymore.

    The result continues in verse 3….For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

    Does. the answer to your question then become simply God’s judgment? Particularly on the shepherds.

  15. Some words on revival-

    “God’s Plan for Spiritual Growth Is the Church”

    Revival meetings are never mentioned in Scripture as being part of God’s means to bring believers to spiritual maturity. So where can believers go to help them mature in their Christian walks? The answer is a Bible-believing local church.

    Of the 114 references to the church in the New Testament more than 90 refer to the local church. That is where God’s emphasis is for believers today. As Ephesians 4:11-13 states,

    “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

    God has given His church gifted men, who, through the ministry of the Word, help bring believers to spiritual maturity. That is God’s plan. The best way for believers to grow in their Christian walks is to be actively involved with a church that believes and teaches the Word of God.

    As they learn from and apply the Word they will be equipped for ministry and will grow to maturity. The job of helping believers grow does not belong to the revival leader but to the Holy Spirit who uses “evangelists,” “pastors,” and “teachers,” in the local church. The question must be asked— why do we need revival meetings if God’s plan for growth is in the context of the local church? – Gil Rugh

  16. Bull do you really mean this “God is a Holy God who hates sinners”?

    Can this be justified from scripture directly? Even with the added “Sinners who refuse to repent that is” it seems not to be the Father I know.

    I think this is an important question – is God really love as he says (all the time) or is he love sometimes and hate at other times?

  17. “Why does God use people with unsound doctrine and practices? I’m asking because I dont know – not trying to be smart!” – Muppet.

    He preached through Balaam’s ass. He used the Babylonians to send a message to Judah when they did not listen. He does not seem to be particular about who he works with.

    If Father only worked through people with perfect doctrine none of us would be involved.

    Quite frankly I don’t think perfect doctrine is that highly prized in the scripture. Relationship with Father is.

    What was Jesus’ complaint in Revelation? Not that they/we have the doctrine wrong but that they had left their first-love. Relational not academic.

    Why was Abraham righteous? Because he trusted Father. (Not because he believed correct doctrine about Father – because he believed what Father said to him.) Again relational not academic.

  18. Ps 11: 4ff

    The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.
    The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
    On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.

    Prov 6: 16ff

    here are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
    haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,
    a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    a false witness who pours out lies and
    a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

    Prov 13:5a The righteous hate what is false

    Is 61:8 For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.

    Amos 5:20ff

    Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
    “I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them.
    Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.

    Mt 6:19-24

    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

    Mt 5:43-44

    You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

    1 Jn 4:20

    If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

  19. Some food for thought on Heretic’s question above with some simple searching.

    Only one reference in the Psalms using the NIV could I find where God hated the person.

    The rest is directed towards what people think, do and how they live, and where what we value separates us from God.

    For myself I don’t think God hates people, but I don’t kid myself that judgement will be poured out on many….

    Lk 13:22ff

    Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

    He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

    “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

    “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

    “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

    “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

  20. A good load of scriptures, MN. I don’t believe that God hates people, because of the following simplistic reasoning:

    1. He made us in His Image, with free will; (He would not make someone He hated);
    2. Right from the beginning, even when He ‘hated the sin’ of Adam and Eve, He had a plan for our salvation, and spoke of it, in Genesis (He punished them but did not hate them);
    3. John 3:16 – ‘For God so loved the world…’ – sending Jesus when we were still sinners, isn’t the action of someone who hates us, but of one who loves us despite our sin.
    4. The parable of the prodigal son – the Father did not hate his sons; neither did he prevent them both from experiencing the consequences of their actions in order that they might eventually understand and relate to Him knowing him far better.

    There is of course no doubt at all that God hates sin, which includes both the obvious sins, and the times we do things with the wrong heart. As in the familiar Anglican prayer of penitence:

    “Most merciful God,

    Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

    we confess that we have sinned

    in thought, word and deed.

    We have not loved you with our whole heart.

    We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

    In your mercy

    forgive what we have been,

    help us to amend what we are,

    and direct what we shall be;

    that we may do justly,

    love mercy,

    and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.”

    *********************

    However, here is some reformed thinking on the topic of God actually hating sinners, just to present the other side, that God has a perfect hatred for the sinner yet benevolently loves them in order to bring about their repentance:

    http://www.the-highway.com/lovesinner_Gerstner.html

  21. “Muppet Says:
    August 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm edit

    Why does God use people with unsound doctrine and practices? I’m asking because I dont know – not trying to be smart!”

    My take on this is that as has already been said, if He waited until we were all perfectly sound, He’d never work through any of us! And of course, the perfect work was done by Jesus on the Cross – none of us could possibly do that – so there is certainly a limit to what God could do through us sinners in that sense.

    However, I think God works through unsound people because He loves us, and will use all things to reach us. When the Holy Spirit speaks to a person, that person could be in total darkness, or amongst all sorts of false doctrines, but if they are seeking God, He will make sure they find Him. So even those who speak false doctrines can still be a point where God will use something of what they say to reveal something of himself to someone. Plus, I also believe that over time, as we continue to seek Him, He will (mercifully) save us from some of the false doctrines we may have picked up along the way, as far as we allow Him to.

    Plus, we may have imperfect or limited knowledge of God, but where we do know Him, when we act in love, He will work through that. There are people who know God in all churches, regardless of what falsehoods they have picked up. God is not limited by our limitations and can grow a huge tree out of even a mustard seed.

    Sometimes, too, God may well work in a place full of deception, but perhaps not in quite the way the people leading it plan.

    He loves us perfectly, and will not forsake us, so will work in all environments through imperfect people.

    Rom 8:28
    28And we know that [c]God causes (BG)all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are (BH)called according to His purpose.

  22. I’ve heard it said that we struggle to understand the apparent paradoxes of the Bible because of our Western (Greek) minds. Hebrew reasoning is supposed to be more circular rather than lineal like ours.

    So for us hate and love cannot co-exist, they are at opposite ends of a straight line (so we need to avoid hate by moving towards love). For Hebrews they may co-exist on the same circle (distinct from but not separated). So going through the emotion of hate can help us to better understand and give love.

    With that thinking it is understandable for a perfectly loving God to also be able to hate.

    I’m not totally sure about this – I know it holds true for love and justice – not totally convinced on love and hate, but worth a thought.

  23. well … I only put that in to get people thinking. 😉

    Essentially God hates the refusal to repent. That is why the unrepentant will not make it to heaven. It is the repentant collection racketeer (tax collector) who left the temple justified, not the proud religious pharisee.

    That may sound contradictory to what I said earlier, but I wanted to get to the heart of the matter.

    We throw “God is Love” at everyone without ever mentioning what God Hates. Or what disgusts Him.

    The Fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. Not the end. The beginning. The simple truth is, I don’t fear Him nearly enough. Otherwise I would stop sinning. I would stop and think “does this offend God?” and then I wouldn’t do it.
    Mixed motivations here really. I Love Him, so I don’t want to upset Him, yet I should also fear Him, who would be perfectly right in sending me to hell, because I deserve it.

    He is a God of Love. He is also a God of Righteousness. He never breaks a promise. He is completely and utterly reliable. In the Mosaic Covenant, our God promised to curse and bless His people. Now, under the New Covenant in His blood, he promises to forgive and forget our sins … when we repent and ask for His mercy.

    🙂

    And one for Muppet … God spoke to Balaam through his donkey. So He can speak through anything with a mouth. Even a dodgy teacher.

    Shalom

  24. Re fear and love – fear of the Lord was the motivator under the Law, but now, ‘perfect love casts out all fear’.

    1 John 4:18
    18There is no fear in love; but (AW)perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not (AX)perfected in love.

    And the preceeding verses for anyone interested:

    Vs 7 to 17
    7(T)Beloved, let us (U)love one another, for love is from God; and (V)everyone who loves is (W)born of God and (X)knows God.

    8The one who does not love does not know God, for (Y)God is love.

    9By this the love of God was manifested (Z)in us, that (AA)God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

    10In this is love, (AB)not that we loved God, but that (AC)He loved us and sent His Son to be (AD)the propitiation for our sins.

    11(AE)Beloved, if God so loved us, (AF)we also ought to love one another.

    12(AG)No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His (AH)love is perfected in us.

    13(AI)By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

    14We have seen and (AJ)testify that the Father has (AK)sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

    15(AL)Whoever confesses that (AM)Jesus is the Son of God, God (AN)abides in him, and he in God.

    16(AO)We have come to know and have believed the love which God has (AP)for us (AQ)God is love, and the one who (AR)abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

    17By this, (AS)love is perfected with us, so that we may have (AT)confidence in (AU)the day of judgment; because (AV)as He is, so also are we in this world.

    18There is no fear in love; but (AW)perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not (AX)perfected in love.

  25. The above comment was a response to Bull’s comment,

    “The Fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. Not the end. The beginning. The simple truth is, I don’t fear Him nearly enough.”

    I think you do, Bull. The key, it would seem, is to love rather than fear, now that we are in Christ.

  26. “Can we critise the donkey’s doctrine?!”

    This question misses the point. The obvious implication is that you have to be careful when picking your ass.

  27. Prev comment was is about “Only one reference in the Psalms using the NIV could I find where God hated the person.” by MN.

  28. That was a worthwhile link – essentially it describes how ‘hate’ in the Bible sometimes means ‘to love less’, and uses the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachael as an example. (It clears up what some see as an apparent contradiction in the NT, between Ephesians 6:2 and Luke 14:26).

  29. Good stuff! It’s interesting that God in His perfect love can love one person less than another. Do you think this is a preference at certain times (ie He loved Jacob and Esau equally, but love Jacob more at a certain time). Or does He have favourites?

    Obvioulsy he has favourite donkeys – but don’t we all?!

  30. Does God have favourites? There is enough scripture to raise the issue and examine it. I don’t know what to conclude yet.

    It raises the concept of ‘earning’ God’s love too, which I don’t think we can do. It might make a good new thread.

    When you look at the parable of the prodigal son, it would have seemed to the ‘good’ son, that the father loved the prodigal son more, but the father then told the ‘good’ son that everything he had was already his. So there was no real difference in the love he had for each son, just a different demonstration in circumstances.

    Did God love Jacob more or did he ‘demonstrate’ his love for Jacob more at a certain time, like in the parable of the prodigal?

    Is the ‘love more’ a verb where love is shown in actions towards someone, or is it a preference that doesn’t show in behaviour?

    If it is an action, then does God love those he gives more to, more? I don’t think so.

    Lots of questions here.

    What about Job?

  31. One last thought – would ‘love more’ be an expression of God’s closeness to those who trust in Him more? We are close to God when we trust in Him, in our hearts and following through in our actions. Perhaps He loves more those who trust in him more in their hearts, in the sense that those people are abiding more closely in Him in a way. (I am thinking for example of Abraham, who trusted God so totally.)

  32. I had a look at the Spurgeon link. I have not read Spurgeon before and I do not think I will bother in the future. His arguments are emotional rather than theological. He appeals to blind belief rather than considered thought. For example he refers to

    those meaningless words, “love less.”

    Obviously to any thoughtful person the words “love less” do have a meaning and this particular Hebrew understanding of the word hate was known in Spurgeon’s time since he referred to it. Referring to it as “meaningless” is an obvious attempt to belittle people with that point of view to avoid seriously considering it. His readers should believe Spurgeon and not these other people.

    A second example

    It is a terrible text, and I will be honest with it if I can. One man says the word “hate” does not mean hate; it means “love less:”—”Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I loved less.” It may be so: but I don’t believe it is. At any rate, it says “hate” here; and until you give me another version of the Bible, I shall keep to this one. I believe that the term is correctly and properly translated

    “It is a terrible text, and I will be honest with it if I can”. He belittles the text as well, not the mark of a bible scholar I think. All scripture is God-breathed.

    “It may be so: but I don’t believe it is.” An appeal to blind faith. He admits it is a possibility but chooses to disbelieve rather than consider.

    “I believe that the term is correctly and properly translated” again an appeal to irrational beleif rather than considered opinion. I have come across this concept before that not only is the bible God-breathed but that a particular translation is inspired by Father directly and is word perfect in English. A convenient but unfortunately foolish point of view in my opinion. No man is perfect.

    I would not be putting my faith in this guy Teddy.

  33. So one of the heroes of the faith has been shot down in flames by Heretic. In his day, Spurgeon stood against the very things the church is battling today, the same controversies and heresies, the same down-grading of the Word.

    I don’t think you will see any historical sermons recorded by Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Robert Schuller, Ed Young, Perry Noble, Brian McClaren or Rob Bell etc etc etc, that will still be giving God the glory 100 years from if the Lord tarries.

    Never mind, Spurgeon’s still rejoicing in glory. Well done good and faithful servant, can’t wait to meet you! 🙂

  34. RP – thanks for the Catholic blogger link. I notice the phrase used there for Hate was “did not prefer” which is a completely different meaning “to prefer less”. One indicates equality when the other does not. Any idea which is the most accurate?

  35. Too much for me to respond to here. It’s good to think these things through isn’t it?

    Regarding Spurgeon … is he any better or worse than Luther?

    Without Luther, we wouldn’t be having this debate at all, as the Bible would be the textus receptus and I suppose if we were discussing it at all, we’d actually be experts in Latin.

    Yet Luther was anti-semitic, at least at the end of his life. Tragic but he had his flaws, as did Spurgeon. It doesn’t make everything he says all right but he was and is a hero of the faith.

    Admittedly, the quote above does make him sound like a politician.

    ah well.

    God had to tell the Jews, “I don’t love you because you are special. You are special because I love you.”

    He chooses to love the unlovable. I think that is absolutely amazing. We can’t do anything to earn His love, but He chooses to love His people. We gentiles have been grafted in to His people, the moment we believe!

    Hey … that’s enough for now. Gonna bask in His love for a little while.

    Shalom

  36. Bull:

    God had to tell the Jews, “I don’t love you because you are special. You are special because I love you.”

    He chooses to love the unlovable. I think that is absolutely amazing. We can’t do anything to earn His love, but He chooses to love His people. We gentiles have been grafted in to His people, the moment we believe!

    Hey … that’s enough for now. Gonna bask in His love for a little while.

    I really like that Bull. Well said. Shalom indeed 🙂

  37. Re Spurgeon – he’s only human, which he would attest to I’m sure. No doubt made many good points, especially in the context of his era, whilst not being perfect. Luther too. Clearly both men were of great service to our Lord, whatever their imperfections and mistakes (as we talked of earlier).

    Here’s a description of what he was like to listen to:

    “Mr. Spurgeon ascended his tribune. To the hum, and rush, and trampling of men, succeeded a low, concentrated thrill and murmur of devotion, which seemed to run at once, like an electric current, through the breast of everyone present, and by this magnetic chain the preacher held us fast bound for about two hours. It is not my purpose to give a summary of his discourse. It is enough to say of his voice, that its power and volume are sufficient to reach every one in that vast assembly; of his language that it is neither high-flown nor homely; of his style, that it is at times familiar, at times declamatory, but always happy, and often eloquent; of his doctrine, that neither the ‘Calvinist’ nor the ‘Baptist’ appears in the forefront of the battle which is waged by Mr. Spurgeon with relentless animosity, and with Gospel weapons, against irreligion, cant, hypocrisy, pride, and those secret bosom-sins which so easily beset a man in daily life; and to sum up all in a word, it is enough to say, of the man himself, that he impresses you with a perfect conviction of his sincerity.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon

    It would seem that Spurgeon was the first real mega-speaker.

    As a matter of fact, I have several books of Spurgeon’s sermons at home, which I always meant to get through, but kind of got stuck; they just weren’t that readable to me at the time. Might try to dig them back up again.

  38. Muppet – I honestly don’t know which of ‘not prefer’ or ‘prefer less’ would be more accurate. I can’t find anything written up on it at this stage, and I don’t have the textual skill to make a convincing call on it. This one might take me a while to look into further. Maybe we need more of a Hebrew understanding to clarify things. But it is clear that when Jesus said we must hate our family if we are to follow him, that he did not actually mean we must dislike, despise or reject our families in order to follow him – he meant we must prefer God to our families; put God first; and that is a theme throughout the bible, including when Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac – there is no way Abraham hated Isaac, but he preferred God – and trusted God in a fashion that I’m not sure many of us would – or maybe I’m just speaking of myself here. How many of us would trust God to that degree? I hope I’m never called to go there. I want to trust Him, but I think I have some way to go before having the faith of Abraham.

  39. “Too much for me to respond to here. It’s good to think these things through isn’t it?” – Bull

    So many things! All worth a thread of their own, really.

    It is good to think about them. Even if we are just working the issues, and don’t resolve them right now.

    Do you think your Bible Study group might enjoy some of these questions, Bull?

  40. There aren’t really ready to really go after these yet RP. 😦

    It’s quite a young group spiritually and I need to be sensitive to where they are … no point giving them too much to chew on when they are still on baby-food.

    But they’ll get there. Maybe in 6 to 12 months time. Found a great bible reading guide … Grant Horner’s bible reading guide. Can’t remember the link but you have 10 reading lists and you read 10 chapters a day, one from each list. (You have 10 book marks in your Bible. It’s great!)

  41. Greetings friend, I’m Melissa Crawford and I appreciate the prophecy that I found on your webpage. My husband wanted me to invite you to share with our live video streaming e-revival audience as soon as possible. At Spirit University he is training a team of prophetic students and we are all receiving end time visions, dreams and words like yours. One of our students has been seeing fireballs falling from Heaven and as you know, recently one actually fell on Russia.

    Everyone receives a prophetic word by my husband James Crawford; if they request one and we have an e-Revival every day!

    Times you can call in to share:
    Mon – Fri at 10:45 am & 7 pm (central)
    Sat. 7 pm
    Sun. 11 am

    Feel free to call our cell at (318) 655-2297 or email james@world-hops.com for more information.

    Keep up the good work and God bless you.

  42. Revivals – From my understanding people do not need to ‘take’ revivals anywhere. When God visits, He visits without the help of MAN. People do not need to catch a plane to go and take a piece of the ‘revival cake’. Visitation from God can happen where you are. In America revivals happen when man books a hall and sends out posters, hires an ‘anointed evangelist’ or’ faith healer’. People do get saved and healed because signs and wonders followed the preaching of the word of God. If the word is preached then people will respond. If things are hapening without the word of God I would be concerned that it is another spirit (maybe witchcraft) in operation. God, not man, decides whom he will visit, individually or corporately. In these end times there are many ‘other’ spirits operating out there, counterfeiting the Holy Spirit. The established
    church is headed for apostasy, as doctrines of demons are rife in them, increasingly most of the remnant is ‘outside the camp’, but small harvests are occurring all the time in Africa, India, Asia, etc.
    On a recent trip thru NE Himalaya India, the Gospel of Christ is spreading fast and Nagaland is reputed to be 98% Christian. In the historic Welsh revival workers were walking down the road on their own and got ‘hit’ by the power of God and REPENTED. The local bars and pubs had to close due to lack of business. No one man headed it, but it was a sovereign visitation from God. Intercessors may have indeed prayed for years behind the scenes because God honours fervent interecession. When God visited people had no time to book halls, hand out leaflets, bring in the head poncho. No it was GOD ALONE. May we hav e more of this true type of visitation. The aim to lead us to repentance………..

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