A Sovereign Holy Ghost Revival
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
A sovereign move of God is irresistible by human flesh. God will not show His glory for men to be exalted. His glory will never by manifest if some person is waiting on the fringes to be praised. God always waits for men/women to be against the wall and totally helpless and then He acts in His glory. The preacher will know to stay out of God way when it is God’s time to be glorified. I believe we are at this point in the church world. All we can see as we look around the church is flesh and carnality.
The church world is sadly lacking in spiritual power. “Defeat” is the hallmark of the average church member. The churches have employed an army of psychologists, counselors, and therapists to try to rescue their congregations from a world of phobias and fears. Pastors are regularly invited to all kinds of retreats to rejuvenate their flagging spirits. In fact, “burnout” is probably the number one destroyer of clergymen and laity alike. Where has our spiritual power vanished?
The Trinity of Spiritual Power
Before we go deeply into the problems and what has created this monster, let’s make sure there is a real solution. If we dare believe the infallibility of the Holy Word, the true disciple of the Lord Jesus has absolutely nothing to fear but fear itself. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18)
The trinity of Spiritual power that literally explodes in the Word of God is His Word, His Blood, and His Holy Spirit. John the Revelator spoke these words in his little book of First John: “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” (I John 5: 6-8)
The problem in the church is very simple. Professing Christians are living off the wrong sources. Their input spiritually is either non-existent or inferior to their output. Balances of power that we understand in our scientific world are being grossly ignored in the spiritual. It appears to me that the faith of most church members is nothing but intellectual content. There must be a resurrection of truth and its glory.
The Whole World is Spiritual
We live in a spiritual world where men are either influenced by the holy and true or the unholy and false. Every man and woman is in some fashion experiencing the effect of this unseen world. Every creature is a spiritual being because our Creator “breathed” into our flesh, “the spiritual life.” The spirit of life from God will be influenced by either the holy or the unholy. You can’t deny that the choice of either gives the intended result. The very reason that a multitude of men and women have turned to the New Age Religion is that New Agers are involved in the spiritual world (false though it is). The church is often nothing but a social club.
14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Most churches do not want a display of spiritual power in their worship. Satan’s kingdom would fall apart if he or his followers were as reluctant to allow a display of Satan’s power as the church is God’s power. Pastors are afraid of fanaticism or wildfire and have chosen to conduct the services in a controlled fashion. Men of God who know the operations of the Holy Spirit have no need to fear this problem. The Holy Spirit is a perfect gentleman and does not minister in a confusing and wild fashion. If there is wildfire, it does not come from above. God has given a clear Biblical order for the functions of His authority and ministry. Nothing should be allowed outside of this order. When wise and capable elders and pastors are in charge, God’s transcending glory will be transforming to human lives.
I recently watched as a young lady, who had four children by two different men and was living in fornication, was totally transformed by God’s power. She was converted on a Sunday morning. The next Sunday morning she stood up on her own and told the entire church how God had freed her from “sexual sins.” Her live-in boyfriend, and father of two of the children, was angry because of her change, but she stood her ground like a Trojan. Four weeks later he was marvelously converted. Two weeks later I married them on a Sunday morning after worship, while their four smiling children sat on the front row. I have since baptized this precious couple and the three oldest children. They are a joy to the entire church family. The powers of God are transforming when they are allowed free expression in our worship.
I am not talking about the crazed emotionalism that is often called Holy Spirit activity. While the mainline churches have denied the presence of any emotions, the Pentecostals and Charismatics have often promoted a wild and uncontrollable display. The Book of Acts is our precedent. The Biblical balance is God’s answer and has always accompanied every great spiritual awakening.
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, the great preacher and writer, told of attending a spiritual awakening and of literally standing in a mass of humanity (there was no room to sit) while the Holy Spirit guided the whole event. He said there was no minister in charge, but a spontaneous operation of the Spirit as men and women were used of God. Hundreds were being converted, laymen were testifying and pleading with the unconverted, and sinners were mourning under the weight of conviction. Often in such an awakening, sinners will fall on their faces weeping for their offenses against God.
The style of today’s worship is a planned and orchestrated human affair. It is often exceptionally beautiful and moving. It is not altogether wrong. Great effort to present beautiful music has a place in the great business of the church. Capable ministers who can speak before any kind of audience about the unsearchable riches of Biblical truth are to be admired and appreciated. This is not our problem as long as it is not our answer to man’s needs. Men need the power of God and nothing can take its place. Nothing else will break the power of Adamic flesh but the power of God Almighty.
Pentecostal and Holiness congregations need to get their act in order and quit promoting sheer emotions while the non-Pentecostals need to learn that emotion is a part of all genuine human responses. You cannot experience God in His revelations of glory and not have emotions. The Book of Acts is filled with emotions but they were beautiful as they were offered in genuine release to God. The lame man of Acts 3 ran into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God. Would not that have an unusual effect on some churches?
1 Corinthians 2
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
True Spiritual Powers Promote Healthy Emotions
The reason you never see wild, unhealthy emotions in the Book of Acts is because such emotions do not exist when the spiritual powers are themselves real. Please read this carefully. Satan approaches men by use of their emotions but God approaches men by their reason and deep spiritual choices. He said, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Jesus reasoned with Nicodemus. “Ye must be born again,” He said. “Except a man be born of water (Word) and the Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) The Lord Jesus Christ affects our emotion by transforming our minds and renewing our spirit to know Him in the New Birth. It is a transformation from the inside out. He makes brand new creatures out of us and consequently totally changes our emotions.
Psychologists and psychiatrists, etc., are trying to change men’s emotions (fear, phobias, anxieties, anger, jealousy, etc.) from the outside. You can appeal to the human emotion for change until you wear yourself out (That’s what is happening to these therapists, counselors, pastors, etc.) but it will soon resurface elsewhere. The human emotion without spiritual transformation is bound by the Adamic nature in perpetual bondage.
The New Birth
This “New Birth” is the very basis of New Testament Christianity. The power of the Blood of Jesus to cleanse (purge) us from sin is the glory of our Christian faith. Hear how Apostle Paul stated it. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” This “purging of the conscience from dead works” (actions and emotions that guide our lives) is the secret of healing and renewal. Such an individual is not perfect or mature but the emotions have been so transformed that they can now grow into manhood/womanhood and fully become healthy saints of God in this crooked and perverse world.
The Word of God becomes food and life to this transformed individual, Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (I Peter 2:2) He further stated, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (Isaiah 2:5) When a person experiences the “Born again” experience they are utterly changed in their person to think on a spiritual level. The Holy Spirit begins to operate within their spirit. He possesses them for the Lord Jesus and holds that possession against the enemy. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit continually applies the cleansing blood and renewing Word of God to the transformed soul. No wonder Peter could say “as lively stones, we are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood” to offer praise to God our Heavenly Father.
A person experiencing this kind of life and power will not need what the therapists are offering in churches today. This whole business is destroying the faith of many, dividing churches, building dependency on flesh, and is blasphemy against the true powers of our great God.
2 Corinthians 10
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Satan Is the Reverse of God
Let me state again, God approaches men by their reason, but Satan approaches men by their emotions. Most false religions or false religious experiences have their basis in men trying to get to God or know Him by some kind of emotional happening. This is why an emotional experience or experienced based religious event can be so dangerous. This is not to deny that many have been saved in extreme emotional settings but usually such an experience is flooded with problems. Until that person learns to “live by faith” not emotions, their life will be an endless series of up and down feelings.
Please do not think that this excludes the glory of a great experience with God. It is “joy unspeakable and full of glory” and “peace that passeth all understanding” to know the Lord. But, when your faith is in “what He is” and “what He said” then your relationship is unaffected by the great traumas of our natural world.
Neither does this deny that many false religions are based on human intellect or doctrines that are cold and lifeless. False cults like Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses are dead intellectual ideas that offer nothing but empty works and cold rationalism. They are actually a type of brainwashing. They leave the inductees incapable of self-evaluation or honest consideration of any other ideas.
The New Age (Secular and Religious)
There is a flood of New Age ideas and materials in our world. The schools, television programs, books, magazines and our churches are being bombarded with such teachings. Using the term “New Age” can be misleading because there is such a variety of different thoughts that reflect this term.
Psychologists like Dr. William Colson have come to recognize the religious nature of their profession and most of their colleagues as teaching the New Age religion. In reality any idea that replaces the faith of the Bible and the powers of the Blood, the Word, and the Holy Spirit are New Age (or the old Adamic age).
If we will rediscover the powerful truths of the Scripture and get back to “His Powers,” we will see that everything else is fake and hopeless. We will also learn that His ways are higher than man’s greatest thoughts. The Power of God is still seen in the great statement, “God calls things that are not as though they are” and that He can say, “Let there be light” and there will be light. He is still Almighty God, the Omnipotent Creator.