Saturday, September 13, 2008

True and False Revival

In today's age, I personally pray and yearn that God will bring revival and awakening to His church. I have faith that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is ongoing, empowering believers for the work of ministry through the use of His gifts. Looking through church history, one can count the victorious times when God poured out his Spirit in power, calling his children back to where they belong.

But do these look like the genuine moving of the Holy Ghost among God's people?

The Toronto Blessing:

Rodney Howard-Browne and the Tampa Bay Revival:

Korean "Impartation" Meeting:

Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival

But is this really the Spirit of God?

David Wilkerson weeps in response to the lack of discernment towards false revivals

Bill Johnson on the fall of Todd Bentley from ministry

Now compare that with the following examples from church history of when genuine revival comes:

Martin Luther - "Here I stand."

Among contemporary revivals, where are those who will stand before Rulers and speak to their faces of the authority of God's Word over every man-made tradition and philosophy?

John Wesley - "On Fire"

Among contemporary revivals, where are those whose faith cannot be kept within a single parrish, but instead are compelled to declare the gospel within the streets and open fields for all to hear?

Jonathan Edwards - "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

Among contemporary revivals, how many pastors, when they stand at their pulpits to preach, are so overwhelmed by the conviction of God's wrath against the sinfulness of man that even before the first quarter of their sermon is over, there are those among the congregation who throw themselves weeping at the foot of the altar crying out "What I must I do to be saved?"

A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Duncan Campbell, Paris Reihead, Iain Paisley - "The Revival Hymn"

Directions for Judging of Persons' Experiences
by Jonathan Edwards

See to it...
That the operation be such upon the will or heart, not on the Imagination, nor on the speculative understanding or motions of the mind, though they draw great affections after 'em as the consequence.

See to it... That the trouble of mind be reasonable, that the mind be troubled about those things that it has reason to be troubled about; and that the trouble seems mainly to operate in such a manner, with such a kind of trouble and exercise as is reasonable: founded on reasonable, solid consideration; a solid sense and conviction of truth, as of things as they are indeed.

See to it... That it be because their state appears terrible on the account of those things, wherein its dreadfulness indeed consists; and that their concern be solid, not operating very much by pangs and sudden passions, freaks and frights, and a capriciousness of mind.

See to it... That under their seeming convictions it be sin indeed; that they are convinced of their guilt, in offending and affronting so great a God: One that so hates sin, and is so set against it, to punish it, &c.

See to it... That they be convinced both of sins of heart and life: that their pretenses of sense of sin of heart ben't without reflection on their wicked practice; and also that they are not only convinced of sin of practice, but sin of heart. And in both, that what troubles 'em be those things wherein their wretchedness has really chiefly consisted.

See to it... That they are convinced of their spiritual sins, consisting in their sinful defects, living without love to God, without accepting Christ, gratitude to Him, &c.

See to it... That the convictions they have of the insufficiency and vanity of their own doings, ben't only from some sense of wanderings of mind, and other sinful behaviour mixed; but from a conviction of the sinful defects of their duties, their not being done from a right principle; and so as having no goodness at all mixed with the bad, but altogether corrupt.

See to it... That it is truly conviction of sin that convinces them of the Justice of God in their damnation, in rejecting their prayers, disregarding their sorrowful case, and all desires and endeavours after deliverance, &c., and not merely any imagination or pang, and melting of affection through some real or supposed instance of Divine Goodness.

See to it... That they be so convinced of sin as not in the inward thought and habit of their minds to excuse themselves, and impliedly quarrel with God, because of their impotency: for instance, that they don't excuse their slight of Christ, and want of love to Him, because they can't esteem and love Him.

See to it... That they don't evidently themselves look on their convictions [as] great, and ben't taken with their own humiliation.
See to it... That which should be chiefly looked at should be evangelical. If this be sound, we have no warrant to insist upon it, that there be manifest a remarkable work, purely legal, wherein was nothing of grace. So with regard to Convictions and Humiliation; only seeing to it that the mind is indeed convinced of these things, and sees 'em [sees] that [which] many Divines insisted should be seen, under a purely legal work. And also seeing to it that the convictions there are, seem to be deep and fixed, and to have a powerful governing influence on the temper of the mind, and a very direct respect to practice.

See to it... That they have not only pretended convictions of sin; but a proper mourning for sin. And also, that sin is burdensome to them, and that their hearts are tender and sensible with respect to it...the object of their care and dread.

See to it... That God and Divine things are admirable on account of the beauty of their moral perfection.

See to it... That there is to be discerned in their sense of the sufficiency of Christ, a sense of that Divine, supreme, and spiritual excellency of Christ, wherein this sufficiency fundamentally consists; and that the sight of this excellency is really the foundation of their satisfaction as to His sufficiency.

See to it... That their conviction of the truth of Divine things be discerned to be truly some way or other primarily built on a sense of their Divine excellency.

See to it... That their discoveries and illuminations and experiences in general, are not superficial pangs, flashes, imagination, freaks, but solid, substantial, deep, inwrought into the frame and temper of their minds, and discovered to have respect to practice.

See to it... That they long after HOLINESS, and that all their experiences increase their longing. Let 'em be inquired of concerning their disposition and willingness to bear the Cross, sell all for Christ, choosing their portion in heaven, &c. Whether their experience have a respect to PRACTICE in these ways.

See to it... That their behaviour at present seems to be agreeable to such experiences. Whether it inclines 'em much to think of Practice, and more and more for past ill practice. Makes a disposition to ill practices dreadful. Makes 'em long after perfect freedom from sin, and after those things wherein Holiness consists; and by fixed and strong resolutions, attended with fear and jealousy of their own hearts. Whether, when they tell of their experiences, it is not with such an air that you as it were feel that they expect to be admired and applauded, and [whether they] won't be disappointed if they fail of discerning in you something of that nature; and shocked and displeased if they discover the contrary.

See to it... Inquire whether their joy be truly and properly joy in God and in Christ; joy in Divine Good; or whether it ben't wholly joy in themselves, joy in their own excellencies or privileges, in their experiences; what God has done for them, or what He has promised He will do for them; and whether they ben't affected with their own discoveries and affections.'

1 comment:

  1. Hey ben, its Siu Fai. I'm gonna repost Directions for Judging personal experience by Jonathan Edwards on my facebook notes. Just so you know :)