Blogging behind beats-2009/2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Apologetiks.

"The Heroic and successful defense of Cartagena in 1741 against Admiral Vernon's vastly superior English forces was led by Basque admiral Blas de Lezo, a peg-legged "half man" who had lost an eye, an arm, and a leg in prior battles."

Wow! And there is a colossal list of men that have given their lives for the love of country. Men that have kissed family good bye because there was a battle cry.

I sit perplexed with my knees shaking at the story of the colombian "half man." One legged, peg-legged, one eye, one arm. Everything on this guy was in halves. Da dream of even a full portion was far fetched let alone a double portion.

We live in an era in christendom of double portions in anointing, electronics(church projectors and stuff), finances, mansions, cars, wives...its endless. And am thinkin, whom much is given, much is expected! Half men seem to have nothing to lose.
David Brainerd after a careless comment about his professor at yale University was thrown out and skelter he headed for the bushes AS A MISSIONARY to the red Indians. With a body smitten by tuberculosis, He wrestled for the salvation of these people sometimes praying on wintry days. He died at the ripe old age of 29 but left a trail of revival among the red indians.

Two old ladies in their eighties travailed for revival in the hebrides. The revival of Duncan Campbell. One was blind completely! Anutha "half- person."
I can recount stories of other half-people peradventure we might get lines and sinkers in our spiritual digestive system but long stories are not so palatable.

The pages are painted with full blown intellectuals and mature spiritual independents. May be its time for another intellectual "half- man" like William Seymour who was son to former slaves and blind in one eye. he was denied a preaching licence because he was black, so he led hisself to a stable where he prayed with his head stacked in a crate and made the name AZuza street revival!
Let not our money, bible college tutoring, connections and collosal intellects ever take away our eternal need to depend on Jesus. Independence from God makes men a dime-a-dozen, degrees or no degrees.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

on lot and ABRAHAM!

At the crossroads with his uncle Abbie, He looked over and saw the plains lookin pleasant and settled in the outskirts of Sodom. Then he made a crib in Sodom and became an elder at the gates of Sodom but the people of Sodom were extremely wicked-whoremongers!!

Abraham Didnt move but God moved and made him a promise. An inheritance!!!
Not everything that glitters is gold is a tired word but sometimes we need to just chillux and wait on God. Success these days is loads of money and light skinned women but bruh, withall thy gettin, seek direction from the most high and in all thy ways, acknowledge Him. Aiight??

Lot settles in sodom with a pedigree of righteousness not his own and it turns out he is voiceless. With all thy gettin sis, have an epiphany moment of yo own and make the faith that was yo father's yo own-graduate from a sunday church lover to a Jesus freak 4realla not jut on yo t-shirt or with yo mouth and buddies!

Lot Perished. Not in sodom but in the caves somewhere after sexing his own daughters-inadvertently tho but life is wat he made it. It was too late for him to be an ambassador of righteousness in a foreign and wicked land where iniquity was galloped like water and sinfulness was militant. He was just mocked and called an outsider. In that land, there was no fear for his God 'cause he didnt take the time to rep that God from day one. He indulged in sodom with the sodomites and became a man of authority but such authority could not move mountains and giants of wickedness.

My eyes have seen evil things, my ears have heard wicked men hollering and blaspheming the name of ma lord. Chocolate souljahz deny God at the tables and frontlines of secularism,humanism and lukewarmness but God forbid that we never have those that holla AS 4 ME AND MY HOUSE WE GONNA SERVE THA LORD!!! The remnant will always show and they dont need no secular publicity or cheap popularity.
Let the sons of Isaachar and Abraham rise and let the reflection on they faces expose the flaw models and whore mongers.
One!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

IN da shadow of da Almighty


Da safest place u can ever be
Where secrets well up in yo belly
Whispers in secret(love), thunders in public(judgement)
And after u chew on that choco-late
u spit em out for men
Lighting da path for da unschooled in the secrets of da Lord

His secrets are with those that fear Him
Those dat understand His desire for men to seek His face.
Age aint nothing but a number, i pray that even the younger
Begin to hunger(Da T.R.U.T.H) for the manifestation of His glory
And begin to desire to serve Him.

I stay and will live in that place
Paradventure, He will whisper to me
And i will be safe.

Aint it cool to know and serve tha Lord?

video

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bring it on...anutha one.

Are You Ready to Burn? Get on Fire for God!
By Julie Ferwerda with Becky Tirabassi



CBN.com – Want a bigger and better life than you ever dreamed? Are you ready to leave a lasting mark on the world? Becky Tirabassi, author of The Burning Heart Contract, is bringing a message to students nationwide who are ready for something BIG — something that will change their life, and could quite possibly change our country and even our world. By making a decision to sign The Burning Heart Contract (BHC), you too can begin the greatest adventure of your life—guaranteed!
What is a Burning Heart Contract?

II Chronicles 15:12 “They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul.”
BHC is a call to passion, purity, and great purpose. It is an agreement you make with God to spend an hour a day with Him for the rest of your life.
Becky says, “A Burning Heart Contract is your response to the living, loving God and what He is asking of you. It is a marker on your spiritual journey…the moment of decision when you decided to change for good. With this contract you are saying, ‘Lord, You are worthy of my total devotion and I will live a life that honors You and displays Your faithfulness for others to see. I commit to this adventure with You for the rest of my life.’ It reflects a life that is driven, compelled, and consumed with being available and usable for God’s work.”

Ignite your passion:

“When we say, ‘Speak, Lord,’ the romance begins.” Oswald Chambers
An hour! You might be thinking. What will I do for a whole hour with God? Besides, I don’t have that kind of time!
Do you have an hour to watch television? To talk on the phone? To eat lunch with your friends? “We make time for what we want to make time for,” says Becky, who has spent at least an hour a day with God for over twenty years during the busiest season of her life. “The fact is, you will never be less busy than you are now. What will it cost you to spend one hour a day with God? Probably a little less sleep and a little less television.”


The real question is, what will it cost you not to spend an hour a day with your Creator? Based on all the evidence, I can make an educated guess. Spiritually speaking, you will live out an average life. You will likely have an unremarkable impact on the world—one that will soon be forgotten when you die. You will feel little if any purpose, passion, and adventure. There’s no way around it because that’s the way you were made. The main purpose you and I were created for is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Outside of that, there is nothing else that truly excites or satisfies us consistently without regrets.


Becky assures you that you need not wait long to see the awesome results of spending time with God. In fact, she will tell you that just one hour in the presence of the King is all it takes to get your heart on fire. “God immediately shows up. He begins to do something. You will walk around saying, ‘Oh my gosh, you won’t believe what God did...’” You will be more than ready to meet with Him again the next day…and the next…

As you watch what God does with one little hour a day, this relationship with God really becomes something that every young person wants—a romance. If you make your relationship with God your most important romance, He will fill up those holes and help you avoid mistakes like getting married for the wrong reasons. Instead, you will be intent on serving God better and glorifying Him in your relationships because He will be your first love.

Purify your life:
“God is calling for great leaders. Great leaders don’t come without great cost.” Becky Tirabassi
The greatest motivation of those with burning hearts is to glorify God and to be completely usable by Him. But for many, being usable for God feels a bit out of reach.

“I just spoke to a 30’s age group.” Becky recalls. “I heard many tearful confessions of things like, ‘I’ve wasted the last ten years with my partying and drinking and sexual immorality…I’ve been running from God…In junior high I was called into ministry and now I’m 35 and I’ve never answered the call…I’ve wasted time…I’m humiliated…Is it too late for me?’

“My response is, absolutely not! Start today. But my passion to reach younger people is because, at twenty one, I had already lost six years of purity and a life that could have been spent being educated instead of being a drunk. Thirty years olds today are despondent. And they’ve got so much baggage and garbage and missed opportunities that I’m pleading with younger people to give their whole hearts to God now and watch what He’s going to do.”

If you desire to be set apart for God, and to hear Him speak, you must begin now to live your life in purity—no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past. God isn’t concerned about past sins you’ve confessed and turned away from. He’s concerned about your present. Are you living purely today? II Timothy 2:21 makes it clear that purity is a prerequisite for achieving God’s purpose for your life. “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”


Fulfill your purpose:
“Changed hearts and Spirit-filled lives are the result of prayer.” Becky Tirabassi
In BHC, Becky tells about a small group of people who made the decision many years ago to spend an hour a day with God. The result?
“They were young people with big dreams and they turned out to be movers and shakers. When Bill Bright made the decision to pray one hour a day, he was not the founder of any organization; he was just a young businessman. At the turn of making that decision, he became the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. Now almost sixty years later, there are fifty million people who’ve come to Christ through that organization. It’s proof that a solid commitment to a lifestyle of pursuing God through prayer, even when you’re young and single, can turn into something beyond your imagination.”
Becky’s own life has been a testimony to BHC too. She has had God-sized opportunities to speak at large conferences all over the country, appear on national television, publish her own line of books and resources, and to speak to as many as 20,000 youth at one time. Once she even prayed for the chance to share her testimony in Cleveland, Ohio—the city where she was born. Months later she was invited to share her testimony from the stage at a Billy Graham Crusade—in Cleveland!
Through the years she has seen her father and mother become believers, and even her father-in-law made a profession of faith at the Billy Graham Crusade! The opportunities are too many to count. But dearest to her heart are the years of praying for her only son, that he would connect with God’s purposes for his life. After eight years of praying and fasting for Jake, he came home from conference at age twenty four and announced he was going to be a missionary. Today Jake is doing just that. He lives in Spain, playing soccer with prisoners and inner city kids, while sharing the gospel.


No Excuses
“The devils greatest tool is to keep the believer from praying” Andrew Murray

“Lately I’ve been sharing a funny story from the television show, The Bachelor,” Becky shares. “These girls! They fight over what they call ‘alone time’ with the Bachelor. They push each other out of the way. They’re rude to each other. They’re miffed if they don’t get alone time. And yet we say to God, ‘I really don’t have time for you today,’ or ‘This is too much time to make a commitment.’ If you really thought Jesus Christ was sitting in your kitchen every morning waiting for you, you’d get up! There wouldn’t be a discipline issue about it.”
But what about failure? Becky hears many students tell her they are afraid to fail in this very serious commitment. Her response? “Well, then you have more respect for the enemy than for God. Fear is not of the Lord.”

The best way to stick with your commitment, outlined in the BHC book, is to form a small group of people who will join together and help you in this decision. Meet every week together as a group, but also connect daily with someone from the group for the first 90 days to encourage and hold each other accountable. “It is not easy to be alone in a culture that mocks prayer and purity and purpose. So with other like-minded burning heart people, you really have your own little set of disciples who will stand together and often alone in a big crowd.”

So what about you? Want your life to really count—to be way better than average? The Burning Heart Contract is your chance to shout joyfully to God, “I will spend the rest of my life seeking You in all that I do and with everything I have. My time is Yours. My mind, body, and spirit are Yours. My dreams, hopes, past, and future are Yours. Oh God, my heart is Yours!” When you can fully say that, get ready—the great adventure has already begun!

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." I Corinthians 2:9
On the Net:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bring it on

Separating From the Fashions of the World

Charles Finney

This little article by Charles Finney is refreshing because we live in a fashion crazy Christian world where the modern theology for evangelism is "look like the world to win the world." He wrote it in a style common for his day, giving the question or objection first and then answering it by teaching on the principle in question.

Where is the holy testimony of the people of God in these last days? There is very little difference between the church and the world, between the born againers and the people who do not believe. The professing church seems afraid to be different. Finney testified of his own error on this crucial subject of fashions. John Wesley gave a similar report after he evaluated the results of teaching that there should be no distinction in the clothes of the Christian. There is no holiness in being different. However, if we follow the teachings on modesty in the Bible, we will be different, especially in this day when all have pursued the changing fashions with zeal.

Brother Denny



Objection. "Is it best for Christians to be singular ("if thine eye be single")? Answer: Certainly; Christians are bound to be singular. They are called to be a peculiar people, that is, a singular people, essentially different from the rest of mankind. To maintain that we are not to be singular, is the same as to maintain that we are to be conformed to the world. "Be not singular," that is, be like the world. In other words, "Be ye conformed to the world." This is the direct opposite to the command in the text. But the question now regards fashion, in dress, equipage, and so on. And here I will confess that I was formerly myself in error. I believed, and I taught, that the best way for Christians to pursue, was to dress so as not to be noticed, to follow the fashions and changes so as not to appear singular, and that nobody would be led to think of their being different from others in these particulars. But I have seen my error, and now wonder greatly at my former blindness. It is your duty to dress so plain as to show to the world, that you place no sort of reliance in the things of fashion, and set no value at all on them, but despise and neglect them altogether. But unless you are singular, unless you separate yourselves from the fashions of the world, you show that you do value them. There is no way in which you can bear a proper testimony by your lives against the fashions of the world, but by dressing plain. I do not mean that you should study singularity, but that you should consult convenience and economy, although it may be singular.

Objection. "But if we dress plain, the attention of people will be taken with it." Answer: The reason of it is this, so few do it that it is a novelty, and everybody stares when they see a professing Christian so strict as to disregard the fashions. Let them all do it, and the only thing you show by it is that you are a Christian, and do not wish to be confounded with the ungodly. Would it not tell on the pride of the world, if all the Christians in it were united in bearing a practical testimony against its vain show?

Objection. "But in this way you carry religion too far away from the multitude. It is better not to set up an artificial distinction between the church and the world." Answer: The direct reverse of this is true. The nearer you bring the church to the world, the more you annihilate the reasons that ought to stand out in view of the world, for their changing sides and coming over to the church. Unless you go right out from them, and show that you are not of them in any respect, and carry the church so far as to have a broad interval between saints and sinners, how can you make the ungodly feel that so great a change is necessary.

Objection. "But this change which is necessary is a change of heart." Answer: True; but will not a change of heart produce a change of life?

Objection. "You will throw obstacles in the way of persons becoming Christians. Many respectable people will become disgusted with religion, and if they cannot be allowed to dress and be Christians, they will take to the world altogether." Answer: This is just about as reasonable as it would be for a temperance man to think he must get drunk now and then, to avoid disgusting the intemperate, and to retain his influence over them. The truth is, that persons ought to know, and ought to see in the lives of professing Christians, that if they embrace religion, they must be weaned from the world, and must give up the love of the world, and its pride, and show, and folly, and live a holy life, in watchfulness, and self denial, and active benevolence.

Objection. "Is it not better for us to disregard this altogether, and not pay any attention to such little things, and let them take their course?" Answer: Is this the way to show contempt for the fashions of the world? Do people ordinarily take this course of showing contempt for a thing, to practice it? Why, the way to show your abhorrence of the world is to follow along in the customs and the fashions of the world! Precious reasoning this.

Objection. "No matter how we dress, if our hearts are right?" Answer: Your heart right! Then your heart may be right when your conduct is all wrong. Just as well might the profane swearer say, "No matter what words I speak, if my heart is right." No, your heart is not right, unless your conduct is right. What is outward conduct, but the acting out of the heart? If your heart were right, you would not wish to follow the fashions of the world.

Objection. "What is the standard of dress? I do not see the use of all your preaching, and laying down rules about plain dress, unless you give us a standard." Answer: This is a mighty stumbling block with many. But to any mind the matter is extremely simple. The whole can be comprised in two simple rules. One is – Be sure, in all your equipage, and dress, and furniture, to that you have no fellowship with the designs and principles of those who are aiming to set off themselves, and to gain the applause of men. The other is – Let economy be first consulted, and then convenience. Follow Christian economy; that is, save all you can for Christ's service; and then, let things be as convenient as Christian economy will admit.

Objection. "Would you have us all to turn Quakers [the Quakers were known for their simple dress, ed.], and put on their plain dress?" Answer: Who does not know, that the plain dress of the Quakers has won for them the respect of all the thinking part of the ungodly in the community? Now, if they had coupled with this, the zeal for God, and the weanedness from the world, and the contempt for riches, and the self-denying labor for the conversion of sinners to Christ, which the gospel enjoins, and the clear views of the plan of salvation, which the gospel inoculates, they would long since have converted the world. And if all Christians would imitate them in their plain dress, (I do not mean the precise cut and fashion of their dress, but in a plain dress, throwing contempt upon the fashions of the world), who can doubt that the conversion of the world would hasten on apace?

Objection. "Would you make us all into Methodists?" Answer: Who does not know that the Methodists, when they were noted for their plain dress, and for renouncing the fashions and show of the world, used to have power with God in prayer – and that they had the universal respect of the world as sincere Christians. And who does not know that since they have laid aside this peculiarity, and conformed to the world in dress and other things, and seemed to be trying to lift themselves up as a denomination, and gain influence with the world, they are losing the power of prayer? Would to God they had never thrown down this wall. It was one of the leading excellences of Wesley's system, to have his followers distinguished from others by a plain dress.

Objection. "We may be proud of a plain dress as well as a fashionable dress. The Quakers are as proud as we are." Answer: So may any good thing be abused. But that is no reason why it should not be used, if it can be shown to be good. I put it back to the objector – Is that any reason why a Christian female, who fears God and loves the souls of men, should neglect the means which may make an impression that she is separated from the world, and pour contempt on the fashions of the ungodly, in which they are dancing their way to hell?

Objection. "This is a small thing, and ought not to take up so much of a minister's time in the pulpit." Answer: This is an objection often heard from worldly professors. But the minister that fears God will not be deterred by it. He will pursue the subject, until such professing Christians are cut off from their conformity to the world, or cut off from the church. It is not merely the dress, as dress, but it is the conformity to the world in dress and fashion that is the great stumbling block in the way of sinners. How can the world be converted, while professing Christians are conformed to the world? What good will it do to give money to send the gospel to the heathen, when Christians live so at home? Well might the heathen ask, "What profit will it be to become Christians, when those who are Christians are pursuing the world with all the hot haste of the ungodly?" The great thing necessary for the church is to break off from the conformity to the world, and then they will have power with God in prayer, and the Holy Ghost will descend and bless their efforts, and the world will be converted.

Objection. "But if we dress so, we shall be called fanatics." Answer: Whatever the ungodly may call you, fanatics, Methodists, or anything, you will be known as Christians, and in the secret consciences of men will be acknowledged as such. It is not in the power of unbelievers to pour contempt on a holy church that is separated from the world. How was it with the early Christians? They lived separate from the world, and it made such an impression, that even infidel writers say of them, "These men win the hearts of the mass of the people, because they give themselves up to deeds of charity, and pour contempt on the world." Depend upon it, if Christians would live so now, the last effort of hell would soon be expended in vain to defeat the spread of the gospel. Wave after wave would flow abroad, till the highest mountaintops were covered with the waters of life.

Remarks (by Finney).

By non-conformity to the world, you may save much money for doing good. In one year a greater fund might be saved by the church than has ever been raised for the spread of the gospel.

By non-conformity to the world, a great deal of time may be saved for doing good, that is now consumed and wasted in following the fashions, and obeying the maxims, and joining in the pursuits of the world.

At that same time, Christians in this way would preserve their peace of conscience, would enjoy communion with God, would have the spirit of prayer, and would possess far greater usefulness. Is it not time something was done? Is it not time that some church struck out a path that should not be conformed to the world, but should be according to the example and Spirit of Christ? You profess that you want to have sinners converted. But what avails it, if they sink right back again into conformity with the world? Brethren, I confess, I am filled with pain in view of the conduct of the church. Where are the proper results of the glorious revivals we have had? I believe they were genuine revivals of religion and outpourings of the Holy Ghost, that the church has enjoyed the last ten years. I believe the converts of the last ten years are among the best Christians in the land. Yet after all, the great body of them is a disgrace to religion. Of what use would it be to have a thousand members added to the church, to be just such as are now in it? Would religion be any more honored by it, in the estimation of ungodly men? One holy church, that is really crucified to the world, and the world to them, would do more to recommend Christianity, than all the churches in the country, living as they now do. O, if I had strength of body to go through the churches again, instead of preaching to convert sinners, I would preach to bring up the churches to the gospel standard of holy living. Of what use is it to convert sinners, and make them such Christians as these? Of what use is it to try to convert sinners, and make them feel as if there is something in religion, and they go to trade with you, or meet you in the street, and have you contradict it all, and tell them, by our conformity to the world, that there is nothing in it? Where shall I look, where shall the Lord look, for a church like the first church, that will come out from the world, and be separate, and give themselves up to serve God? O, if this church would do so! But it is of little use to make Christians if they are not better. Do not understand me as saying that the converts made in our revivals are spurious. But they live so as to be a disgrace to religion. They are so stumbled by old professors that many of them do more hurt than good. The more there are of them, the more occasion infidelity seems to find for her jeers and scoffs. Now, do you believe that God commands you not to be conformed to the world? Do you believe it? And dare you obey it; let people say what they will about you? Dare you now separate yourselves from the world, and never again be controlled by its maxims, and never again copy its practices, and never again will be whiffled here and there by its fashions? I know a man that lives so, I could mention his name, he pays no attention to the customs of the world in this respect, and what is the result? Wherever that man goes, he leaves the impression behind that he is a Christian. O, if one church would do so, and would engage in it with all the energy that men of the world engage in their business, they would turn the world upside down. Will you do so? Will you break off from the world now, and enter into a covenant with God, and declare that you will dare to be singular enough to be separate from the world, and from this time set your faces as a flint to obey God, let the world say what they will? Dare you do it? Will you do it?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

rediggin da wells...

More GREAT REVIVAL QUOTES
-Sermoinindex.net


“How we have prayed for a Revival - we did not care whether it
was old-fashioned or not - what we asked for was that it should be
such that would cleanse and revive His children and set them on
fire to win others.” - Mary Warburton Booth

"The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for
something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him,
and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual
abandonment to God. Prayer does not mean asking God for all
kinds of things we want; it is rather the desire for God Himself, the
only Giver of Life, Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer
is not a painful effort to gain from God help in the varying needs of
our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source
of all life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for
blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessings,
and in living a life of fellowship with Him." - Sadhu Sundar Singh

"The Word of God represents all the possibilities of God as at the
disposal of true prayer." -A. T. Pierson

"What a man is on his knees before God in secret, that will he be
before men: that much and no more." -Fred Mitchell

"Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you
may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without
asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is." -C. H.
Spurgeon

"Prayer - secret, fervent, believing prayer - lies at the root of all
personal godliness." -William Carey

"The energies of the universe, nay, of God Himself, are at the
disposal of those who pray - to the man who stirreth up himself to
take hold of God." –- Samuel Zwemer

"There is absolutely no substitute for this secret communion with
God. The public Church services, or even the family altar, cannot
take the place of the 'closet' prayer. We must deliberately seek to
meet with God absolutely alone, and to secure such aloneness
with God we are bidden to 'enter into thy closet.' God absolutely
insists on this 'closet'-communion with Himself. One reason, no
doubt, that He demands it, is to test our sincerity. There is no test
for the soul like solitude. Do you shrink from solitude? Perhaps
the cause for your neglect of the 'closet' is a guilty conscience?
You are afraid to enter into the solitude. You know that however
cheerful you appear to be you are not really happy. You surround
yourself with company lest, being alone, truth should invade your
delusion…" – Gordon Cove

"Revival, as contrasted with a Holy Ghost atmosphere is a clean-
cut breakthrough of the Spirit, a sweep of Holy Ghost power,
bending the hearts of hardened sinners as the wheat before the
wind, breaking up the fountains of the great deep, sweeping the
whole range of the emotions, as the master hand moves across
the harp strings, from the tears and cries of the penitent to the
holy laughter and triumphant joy of the cleansed." – Norman Grubb

"Prayer meetings are dead affairs when they are merely asking
sessions; there is adventure, hope and life when they are believing
sessions, and the faith is corporately, practically and deliberately
affirmed." – Norman Grubb

"I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God.
The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff
and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack
of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.
Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of
Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with
many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain." – A. W. Tozer

"Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to
the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of
one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another
standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred
worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ,
are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were
they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from
God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when
private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its
members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when
the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life."
– A. W. Tozer

"It is morally impossible to exercise trust in God while there is
failure to wait upon Him for guidance and direction. The man who
does not learn to wait upon the Lord and have his thoughts molded
by Him will never possess that steady purpose and calm trust,
which is essential to the exercise of wise influence upon others, in
times of crisis and difficulty." - D. E. Hoste

"I find it a good thing to fast. I do not lay down rules for anyone in
this matter, but I know it has been a good thing for me to go
without meals to get time for prayer. So many say they have not
sufficient time to pray. We think nothing of spending an hour or
two in taking our meals." - D. E. Hoste

"Should it not be recognized that the practice of prayer and
intercession needs to be taught to young believers, or rather
developed in young believers, quite as much, if not more so than
other branches of the curriculum? Unless, however, we ourselves
are, through constant persevering practice, truly alive unto God in
this holy warfare, we shall be ineffective in influencing others. I am
quite sure the rule holds that the more we pray the more we want
to pray; the converse also being true." - D. E. Hoste

"I should like to allude to a few points in the character of Mr.
Hudson Taylor which impressed me personally, and which I think
had something to do with the blessing that God granted to his
efforts on behalf of this country (China). First his prayerfulness; he
was of necessity a busy man, but he always regarded prayer itself
as in reality the most needful and important part of the work.."
- D. E. Hoste

"Out of a very intimate acquaintance with D. L. Moody, I wish to
testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was preacher.
Time and time again, he was confronted by obstacles that seemed
insurmountable, but he always knew the way to overcome all
difficulties. He knew the way to bring to pass anything that needed
to be brought to pass. He knew and believed in the deepest depths
of his soul that nothing was too hard for the Lord, and that prayer
could do anything that God could do. " – R. A. Torrey.

"All great soul-winners have been men of much and mighty prayer,
and all great revivals have been preceded and carried out by
persevering, prevailing knee-work in the closet." – Samuel Logan
Brengle

Friday, October 12, 2007

Redigging da wells ...

NOTE: Apologies for the capital letters below. That is just how
they came....


Classic RAVENHILL QUOTES:


- THE KEY TO REVIVAL STARTS IN THE PULPIT (JOEL1:13), THEN THE PEW (2
CHRON
7:14) … L.R.

- WE'LL HAVE NO BROKEN HEARTED PEWS, UNTIL WE HAVE BROKEN HEARTED
PULPITS …
L.R.

- UNLESS WE ALLOW THE LORD TO EMPTY US, THERE IS NO FILLING … L.R.

- IN THE EARLY CHURCH THEY WERE ALL AMAZED (BY WHAT GOD WAS DOING), IN
THE
MODERN CHURCH WE WANT TO BE AMUSED (BY WHAT WE WANT GOD TO DO) … L.R.

- IN THE EARLY CHURCH THEIR POWER WAS ELECTRIFYING, IN THE MODERN
CHURCH OUR
POWER IS ELECTRONIC … L.R.

- IN CHURCHES TODAY THERE'S MORE FASHION, THAN PASSION … L.R.

- THE MODERN CHURCH/SAINT IS QUICK TO JOIN A COMMITTEE, BUT SLOW TO
JOIN A
COMMITMENT … L.R.

- MOST COMMITTEES SPEND HOURS MAKING MINUTES … L.R.

- THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY WE LOST OUR FIRST LOVE, IT SAYS WE LEFT OUR
FIRST LOVE
… L.R.

- THE PROBLEM IS NOT GETTING US TO THE CROSS, IT'S GETTING US ON THE
CROSS …
L.R.

- WE WANT TO ORGANIZE, WHILE GOD WANTS US TO AGONIZE … L.R.

- CHURCH UNITY COMES FROM CORPORATE HUMILITY … L.R.

- THE WORLDS OUTLOOK IS EXTREMELY GRIM, BUT THE CHRISTIANS UPLOOK IS
EXTREMELY
GLORIOUS … L.R.

- WE'VE GOT MUSLIMS READY TO DIE FOR THEIR FAITH, AND CHRISTIANS WHO
AREN'T
READY TO LIVE FOR OURS … L.R.

- WE'RE QUICK TO WEAR A CROSS, BUT SLOW TO BEAR A CROSS … L.R.

- WITH THE BIBLE ITS NOT WHETHER ONE GOES THRU THE BOOK, BUT WHETHER
THE BOOK
GOES THRU ONE … L.R.

- GOD'S NOT INTERESTED IN OUR ABILITY, HE'S INTERESTED IN OUR
STICKABILITY …
L.R.

- THERE ARE ONLY TWO KINDS OF PERSONS: THOSE DEAD IN SIN AND THOSE DEAD
TO SIN
… L.R.

- GOD’S NOT LOOKING FOR PARTNERSHIP WITH US, BUT OWNERSHIP OF US … L.R.

- WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO SPEAK IN TONGUES ON SUNDAY, THEN CURSE AND
GOSSIP ON
MONDAY? … L.R.

- WE MUST DO WHAT WE CAN DO FOR GOD FIRST, BEFORE HE WILL GIVE US THE
POWER TO
DO WHAT WE CAN’T … L.R.

- FOLK MAY CHASTISE YOU FOR TAKING GOD'S WORD SO SERIOUSLY, GOD WILL
CHASTISE
YOU IF YOU DON'T … L.R.

- SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT ARE THE DEVIL'S OPIUM TO THE MASSES … L.R.

- SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT ARE THE DEVILS SUBSTITUTE FOR GOD'S JOY
…L.R.

- IF JESUS HAD PREACHED THE SAME DILUTED MESSAGE AS MANY CHURCHES DO
TODAY,
THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE THAT HE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED … L.R.

- THE FIRST TIME CHRIST CAME MEN HANDLED HIM ROUGHLY, THE LAST TIME HE
COMES
HE'LL HANDLE MEN ROUGHEST … L.R.

- THE MAN OF GOD NEEDS TO SPEND MORE TIME BEFORE GOD ABOUT MEN, THAN
TIME
BEFORE MEN ABOUT GOD … L.R.

- THE WORLD IS NOT IN NEED OF A NEW DEFINITION OF CHRISTIANITY, IT’S IN
NEED OF
A NEW DEMONSTRATION OF CHRISTIANITY … L.R.

- WHEN THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE THAT CHURCHES/SAINTS DON’T LIKE,
THEY
CALL IT "LEGALISM … L.R.

~Source - Sermonindex.net

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

SHUTTTING DOWN a WITCH-Kris Franklin

At a recent county fair a psychic had a booth where she was
reading tarot cards and doing typical witchcraft over people. The
Spirit of God began to stir me and I decided to challenge the
power of her demons with the Holy Ghost. I sat in line waiting on
my turn. When I walked into her booth I asked her if she could tell
the future. She said she couldn't tell all of the future, but could
tell
some of it. I told her I could tell tell her not only her condition,
but I
could also read her future. She immediately became interested...

God gave me a word of knowledge. I began to tell her that she
was raised Catholic, but that she currently practiced wicca and
she was using a gift God had given her from birth for selfish gain.
She was absolutely stunned because she was from Indian decent
and not many Indians were Catholic.

I then told her I could tell her future. She was now marveled at
what was taking place. I began to read from the Bible in Ezekiel
about the women who prophesied falsely and from Deuteronomy. I
told her God has ordained this moment in time to give you a
chance to repent and come to know Him or the judgment of God
would fall. She declared that she was a good Catholic and right
with God. I told her without Christ as Lord and you renouncing
your ways she would spend an eternity in hell. She cursed me
out and rejected Christ. I rebuked the demonic powers that
allowed her to channel spirits and declared that her psychic
business would no longer profit. To my amazement she packed up
her stuff in the booth and left the fair. No more reading that day.

I told her works of darkness were rebellion against Jesus Christ.
She began trying to pronounce demonic curses on me, but froze
unable to speak. She stuttered for a minute or two and then made
the most amazing testimony I have heard...

In the midst of trying to curse me she said, "I can't do anything -
the Blood of God is protecting you."

How about that - a witch defying the power of God had to recognize
her attack was in vain. Not because I was anything, but because
the blood of Christ protected me.

In the 10 years God has called me into service into His kingdom,
I have been blessed beyound measure to see His Spirit show up
strong. We have seen demons cast out and healings, but nothing
is more wonderful than watching the Spirit of God fall on a group
of people and they began weeping under the conviction of the
Holy Ghost.

I do believe there is a remnant here who really speaks truth and
has a love for Christ. The one thing I have seen and don't fully
understand is how so many people called to the prophetic carry
such a persecution complex. I pray that people would not let the
offense take them down or cause them to shut themselves off to
the body. I have had to deal with rejection and persecution, but I
think a lot of people need the mercy of God to set them free from
the spirit of rejection. I believe it can pollute. It can alter our
perception of what we see prophetically...

Kris Franklin,

WEBSITE - http://www.suddenministry.com

Saturday, September 29, 2007

COMPLETE IN CHRIST!

From; WHY REVIVAL TARRIES By Leonard Ravenhill, 20th Chapter

"Knowing the terror of the Lord he persuaded men" (II Cor. 5:11).

Paul accounted men as lost! The other night I saw a picture thrown onto a screen; but in its blurred state it had no meaning. Then the operator's hand reached out and focussed the slide. What a difference!
Even so, we Christians need the Divine Hand to sharpen the picture of the lostness of men to our eternity-dimmed eyes.

Because Paul loved His Lord with a perfect love, he also hated sin with a perfect hatred. Thus he saw men not only prodigals but also rebels - not just drifters from righteousness but conspirators in wickedness, who must be pardoned or punished.
With the fierceness of Love's intensest blaze, he burned at the injustice of men subordinate to demon power.

His watchword was "This one thing I do." He had no side issues, no books to sell. He had no ambitions - and so had nothing to be jealous about. He had no reputation - and so had nothing to fight about. He had no possessions - and therefore nothing to worry about. He had no "rights" - so therefore he could not suffer wrong. He was already broken - so no one could break him. He was "dead" - so none could kill him. He was less than the least - so who could humble him? He had suffered the loss of all things - so none could defraud him. Does this throw any light on why the demon said, "Paul I know?"
Over this God-intoxicated man, hell suffered headaches.

Spirituality that saves men from hell and keeps men from vulgar sins is wonderful, but, I believe, elementary. When Paul went to the Cross, the miracle of conversion and regeneration took place; but later when he got on the Cross, the greater miracle of identification took place.
That I believe is the masterly argument of the Apostle - to be dead and alive at the same time. "Ye are dead," Paul wrote the Galatians. Suppose we try this on ourselves first. Are we dead? - dead to blame or praise? dead to fashion and human opinion? dead so that we have no itch for recognition? dead so that we do not squirm if another gets praised for a thing that we engineered? Oh sweet, sublime, satisfying experience of the indwelling Christ by the Spirit! We, too, can sing with Wesley:

Dead to the world and all its toys!
Its idle pomp and fading joys!
Jesus, my glory be!


Yes, Paul was dead. Then he added, "Nevertheless I live, yet not I." Christianity is the only religion in the world where a man's God comes and lives inside of him. Paul no longer wrestled with flesh (neither his own nor any other man's); he wrestled "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world." Does that shed any light on why this demon said, "And Paul I know?" Paul had been wrestling against the demon powers. (In these modern days, this art of binding and loosing that Paul knew is almost forgotten or else ignored.)

On the last lap of his earthly pilgrimage, he declared, "I have fought a good fight." Demons could have said amen to that statement, for they suffered more from Paul than Paul suffered from them. Yes, Paul was known in hell.

Paul was so conformed to the image of the Son that he could say, "What things ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do" (Phil. 4:9). To copy copies is not normally safe, but it is safe to copy Paul, for he was fully surrendered, wholly sanctified, completely satisfied, yea, "complete in Christ."

Friday, September 28, 2007

SHUTTIN DOWN a WITCH-by Kris Franklin

At a recent county fair a psychic had a booth where she was
reading tarot cards and doing typical witchcraft over people. The
Spirit of God began to stir me and I decided to challenge the
power of her demons with the Holy Ghost. I sat in line waiting on
my turn. When I walked into her booth I asked her if she could tell
the future. She said she couldn't tell all of the future, but could
tell
some of it. I told her I could tell tell her not only her condition,
but I
could also read her future. She immediately became interested...

God gave me a word of knowledge. I began to tell her that she
was raised Catholic, but that she currently practiced wicca and
she was using a gift God had given her from birth for selfish gain.
She was absolutely stunned because she was from Indian decent
and not many Indians were Catholic.

I then told her I could tell her future. She was now marveled at
what was taking place. I began to read from the Bible in Ezekiel
about the women who prophesied falsely and from Deuteronomy. I
told her God has ordained this moment in time to give you a
chance to repent and come to know Him or the judgment of God
would fall. She declared that she was a good Catholic and right
with God. I told her without Christ as Lord and you renouncing
your ways she would spend an eternity in hell. She cursed me
out and rejected Christ. I rebuked the demonic powers that
allowed her to channel spirits and declared that her psychic
business would no longer profit. To my amazement she packed up
her stuff in the booth and left the fair. No more reading that day.

I told her works of darkness were rebellion against Jesus Christ.
She began trying to pronounce demonic curses on me, but froze
unable to speak. She stuttered for a minute or two and then made
the most amazing testimony I have heard...

In the midst of trying to curse me she said, "I can't do anything -
the Blood of God is protecting you."

How about that - a witch defying the power of God had to recognize
her attack was in vain. Not because I was anything, but because
the blood of Christ protected me.

In the 10 years God has called me into service into His kingdom,
I have been blessed beyound measure to see His Spirit show up
strong. We have seen demons cast out and healings, but nothing
is more wonderful than watching the Spirit of God fall on a group
of people and they began weeping under the conviction of the
Holy Ghost.

I do believe there is a remnant here who really speaks truth and
has a love for Christ. The one thing I have seen and don't fully
understand is how so many people called to the prophetic carry
such a persecution complex. I pray that people would not let the
offense take them down or cause them to shut themselves off to
the body. I have had to deal with rejection and persecution, but I
think a lot of people need the mercy of God to set them free from
the spirit of rejection. I believe it can pollute. It can alter our
perception of what we see prophetically...

Kris Franklin,

WEBSITE - http://www.suddenministry.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pentecost-Leonard Ravenhill

Lord Montgomery, that unpredictable British field Marshall, said recently that England went into the Second World War equipped to fight the First World War. This was a polite way of saying that in World War II England was way behind the times in battle equipment and strategy.

When Sir Christopher Wren designed the great St. Paul's cathedral in London, he planned a thing of lasting beauty and unfading charm, but did not order it air-conditioned. When George Stephenson built his rocket engine, it was not smooth, herculean diesel, but a low-powered hissing machine. In other words, both Wren and Stephenson underestimated the needs of our day, and designed for their day.

Many today have a benevolent patronage of the church of Jesus Christ (or what they mistakenly think is the church of Jesus Christ). These "wise ones" think that the psalm-singing saints are as much out of line with the atomic age as a penny-farthing bicycle would be on a motor-crowded four-lane highway. Was Jesus Christ guilty, then, of underestimating the need of this twentieth century? Is the Church which Christ founded a cumbersome, slow-moving thing, badly needing a gigantic overhauling and a government subsidy to get her up to date and moving? No! The church does not need state support.

We concede, however, that the Church does need a mighty overhauling by divine Hands, that is, she needs the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. When the Lord Christ ascended into heaven from Mt. Olivet, He charged the disciples that they should "wait for the promise of the Father" - the "baptism of the Holy Ghost" with its resultant power.

This promise was exclusive - "Ye shall receive power." Who was to receive the promise? Only the followers of Christ.

The promise was exciting - "Ye shall receive power." In eager anticipation of this blessed enduement, the waiting ones could see all their weakness evaporating in the baptism of fire.

The promise was explicit - "Not many days hence."

The promise was expanding - This thing was not to be done in a corner, nor whispered among the redeemed. It would reach out through them to Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.

This promise was exalting - In the whole world of created things there is no greater power than that of the Holy Spirit of God. They were to be filled with the Spirit of the living God. Earth has no greater honor than that.

Angels, behold and wonder!

Every thing in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters above the earth - all these are the work of His fingers and this Mighty one is He who condescends to come and indwell mortals.

But though Pentecost meant power to the disciples - it also meant prison to them. Pentecost meant enduement - it almost meant banishment. Pentecost meant favor with God - it also brought hatred from men. Pentecost brought great miracles - it also brought mighty obstacles. Pentecost brought anointing for the upper room preachers - it also brought appointing a deacon and under the enduement he turned Samaria upside down.

In Europe Pentecost Sunday is always called Whitsunday (White Sunday), and the children usually dress in white. The disciples were "made white" at the first Pentecost - that is, their hearts were "purified by faith" (Acts 15:8, 9). This purification is a lost accent these days in interpreting the Baptism with Spirit. Under the title of Spirit-filled churches, there are some weird and wanton things operating at present.

If too much stress has not been made of the gifts of the Spirit, then too little has been said of the fruit of the Spirit. Note how few books are available on the fruits of the Spirit, but how many on the gifts of the Spirit. Yet the Son of God said, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

The first essential for the coming of the Holy Ghost into a heart today is that the heart should be cleansed from sin, for the Holy Spirit does not fill an unclean heart. What God has cleansed, He then fills. Finally, whom God fills, He uses. A holy life is the authentic sign of being filled with the Spirit.

Today we need a revival of holy living. Why do we have to hang a sign outside our church to announce that we are Fundamental and Biblical? Because without a sign, no one could identify us? When I passed through a town that a few days before had been torn apart by a tornado, I assure you I had not to be told a mighty wind had cleaved the place. A fire is self-announcing. A conflagration needs no publicity. When the fire of the Holy Ghost falls again and the mighty wind of the Spirit comes (I am positive He is coming), then our "bush" will burn too, and a Moses will turn again to see the great sight. Even so, come Holy Ghost! Come quickly!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ma heart on a platter!

i dont like it peeps givin props sayin life is gud wen you pay bills and wen u aint payin yo duffed, like peeps appreciate you wen u can pay some Bills. Who gives us grace and blesses us? Many make the mistake of judging success by how much dime they gat. Peeps think am here havin fun. Man, am a death-bound man and i think some shud even prepare their hearts to be disaapointed if they think finally God brought me this far to make money and make our lives easy. Life is easy whether am eating grass, paying bills or eatin nothing at all.Its all about how we define life. Life is mooo than degrees, reputation, status, big bank accounts, light skinned women, position and blah blah. U aint no better jus becos u cruize a benzo or live in a white neighbourhood. I can be in a grass thatch n ctill be rockin. na mean?

How i despise such mindsets,such sentimens,and opinions. All i need is the Holyghost.Men with the holyghost need no status symbols. The system dont dictate for us, we dictate for the system. We cant be outdated, outfashioned, outpassioned or irrelevant. We have grasped eternity. We live in the heavenlies far above human rulership and wickedness in high paces. Na mean?

John the baptist lived his calling to the fullest with wild honey, locusts and carmel skin for clothes, a dessert for a home, then from the dessert to block C(jail) and to his head served for a carnibal princess!. But jesus spoke of him thus, "... of those born of men, there is none greater than John!" Now humanists even in church corridors holla '...the times are different...' Poor people!, cos they have put too much attachment to ease,materialism and success-uncivilised civilisation!

John Wesley shook the whole of England, a man on fire for the Lord. Wen he died, he left only some spoons, plates and cups,a gown, torn and worn out and seven pounds. He asked that the seven pounds be given to the men that were to carry his casket. No will! But God was very glad. Through this man, He received the reward of his suffering. John Wesley made money through his preaching, lots of money but all that was spent on kingdom building. He touched souls with money and the Holyghost. He set up orphanges and schools for the orphans. How about that?

We are greedy, and are soo earth bound, not storing up treasures for heaven, we are soo materialistic and the blight on our souls is proof enuff. But those foundations are so deceitful, and at the end of the day, you ctil walk with yo face dustward and you hang with yo back against the wall.

This jus came off like that. Hope you see wat i mean. Am heart broken y'all! Didnt mean to come outta hiding da S.A.G.E.
Peace...

Friday, September 14, 2007

EVAN ROBERTS

Of all the names that are linked with the 1904 Revival, Evan Roberts is the most well known. At 26 years of age in the Autumn of 1904, he was to become an instant spiritual celebrity in Wales as the local and national newspapers of the day chronicled the spreading Religious Revival.

His celebrity status was highlighted by the fact that he was a precious ‘unknown’. He wasn’t even a fully licensed preacher in 1904 – he was merely a trainee attending a grammar school to prepare him for the ministry course. He had left school when only 11years and nine months old to help his father in the local coal mine. Having worked in coalmining for 12 years he then became an apprentice to a blacksmith for over a year. He left that calling when he felt a greater call to reach people for Christ. The only avenue that seemed available to him at the time was the Presbyterian Ministry and it was whilst he was in pursuit of this that God radically changed his plans.

Evan Roberts had been a committed Christian from his early teenage years. He had not lived a profligate life – he was a tea-totaler committed to abstinence, a regular attendee and contributor to the on going life of his local church. He was a well-respected Sunday School teacher – someone who prayed publicly in the prayer meeting and rarely missed the other mid week meetings. Friends of his at the time remember him as a committed Christian in word and deed. His private spiritual life also matched his public profession, private prayer and bible study. These were essential components of his spirituality from an early age. But it was in the spring of 1904 that Evan was to experience an even greater feeling of God’s presence. One night he was woken from his sleep and led into a deep communion with God for hours. This experience was to continue every evening for the next few months until he went away to the school at Newcastle Emlyn.

This change of scenery had an immediate cooling effect on his spiritual fervour but it wasn’t to last long. Two weeks after arriving at the school, Evan attended a Convention at nearby Blaenanerch and it was here that he received what he termed as a fresh ‘Baptism of the Spirit’ as he responded to the prayer ‘Bend me oh Lord’. This empowering of the Spirit transformed the young student into a Revivalist with a message for Wales.

Within a month he felt compelled to share this message of the reality of God and the possibility of complete forgiveness of sins with his home youth group at Moriah Loughor.

Summing up the message in 4 parts, Evan pressed it home to the astonished church

1. Confess all known sin
2. Deal with and get rid of anything ‘doubtful’ in your life
3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
4. Confess Christ publicly

By the end of the last week over 60 responded. By the end of the second week Evan had already started on a whirl-wind tour of the South Wales valleys with his team of 5 girl singers and within a year or so 100,000 converts were said to be added to the Welsh Church

What was the secret of this young man's powerful ministry? I’m sure that there may be many answers including his upbringing, his bible reading, his prayer life etc.

Perhaps a concise way of answering the question would be that he was willing to bow to God’s Sovereign purpose for his life. This did include being a teacher of a great Revival but firstly it meant being willing to let God have this Divine way in Evan’s own life.

This involved a struggle between Evan’s way and God’s and as at Gethsemane it meant a conscious choice of “not my will but Thy will be done”.

At Blaenanerch on Thursday 29th September 1904 at 9.30 in the morning, Evan took that step – one seemingly insignificant step for mankind yet one that lead to the greater advancement of the Kingdom of God worldwide.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Savonarola

When revival came to Florence, Italy, during 1496-98, God’s instrument was the Italian Roman Catholic monk Savonarloa. At that time, Martin Luther who was greatly influenced by Savonarloa was just a small boy. Savonarola was shocked by the vice and immorality of the world and by the corruption that existed in the Roman Catholic Church. As a youth he would walk beside the River Po, signing to God and weeping for the sins, the injustices, and the poverty of the people. He wept and grieved over the lewdness, luxury, and cruelty of many leaders of the church. He would lie for hours prostrate on the altar steps in the church, weeping and praying for the sins of the age and the sins of the church.

Although he was a devout Catholic, his prayers and Spirit-filled life helped prepare the way for the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther called him a Protestant martyr.

For years he studied the Bible, waited for God and prayed. Suddenly one day God gave him a vision: the heavens opened and a voice commanded him to announce the future calamities of the church to the people. Filled with a new powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit, he began to preach to the people.

When the Spirit of God came upon him, the voice of Savorarola thundered as he denounced the sins of the people. Revival power gripped the whole area. His audience – men and women, poets and philosophers, craftsmen and laborers – all sobbed and wept. On several occasions, while seated in the pulpit, all in the church could see his face seemingly illuminated with a heavenly glow, and he would sit in the pulpit lost in prayer or in a trance for up to 5 hours at a time.

According to his words of prophecy, the city ruler, the pope, and the king of Naples all died within a year. The revival brought tremendous moral change. The people stopped reading vile land worldly books. Merchants made restitution to the people for the excessive profits they had been making. Hoodlums and street urchins stopped singing sinful songs and began to sing hymns in the streets.

The corrupt pope, the cardinals, and the priests were outraged. Savonarola and two companion monks were brought out to be executed before a mob of thousands of onlookers. An awesome silence gripped the whole crowd. His last words were, “Should I not die willingly for Him who suffered so much for me?” He then communed so deeply with God that he seemed unaware of what was happening around him. He and his two friends were hanged in the public square, and then their bodies were burned.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Savonarola and the Protestant Reformation



The people of Florence are far from considering themselves ignorant and benighted, and yet Brother Girolamo Savonarola succeeded in persuading them that he held converse with God. I will not pretend to judge whether it was true or not, for we must speak with respect of so great a man; but I may well say that an immense number believed it without having seen any extraordinary manifestations that should have made them believe it.

---Machiavelli, The Discourses (Book I, Chapter XI)

If he was good, we have seen a great prophet in our time; if he was bad, we have seen a great man. For, apart from his erudition, we must admit that if he was able to fool the public for so many years on so important a matter without ever being caught in a lie, he must have had great judgment, talent and power of invention.

---Guicciardini, History of Florence (Chapter 16)

In 1489, the Dominican friar, GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA (1452-1498), was called to the city of Florence in order to preach to the people. Florence needed Savonarola. From 1490 to his death in 1498, this evangelical preacher, this man of God, took the city of Florence by storm. It has been said that the people of Florence who came to see Savonarola and to witness his miracle-working first-hand, fell to their knees in ecstasy. These followers of Savonarola, his children if you will, were aptly called The Weepers. The de Medici family looked upon Savonarola with suspicion and disbelief. The Medici, after all, had led the humanistic revival of Florence and here seemed to be a man who was preaching a new spiritualism which hearkened back to medieval morality.

THIS WILL BE YOUR FINAL DESTRUCTION was the message of Savonarola. He railed at the people, exhorting them to return to the ways of the Church. He painted horrific pictures of Hell and damnation which easily rivaled those poor souls who gnashed their teeth, pulled their hair and defiled their bodies in Dante's Inferno. Once, in obedience to a voice he heard and interpreted as the voice of God, Savonarola preached one of his most terrifying sermons:

Rethink you well, O ye rich, for affliction shall smite ye. This city shall no more be Florence, but a den of thieves, of turpitude and bloodshed. The shall ye all be poverty-stricken, all wretched, and your name, O priests, shall be changed into a terror. . . . Know that unheard-of times are at hand.

When Lorenzo de Medici -- Lorenzo the Magnificent, as he was known -- was on his deathbed in 1492, it is said that he called the very popular Savonarola to his side and begged him to administer the last rites. Savonarola agreed, but on the condition that Lorenzo would grant three wishes to Savonarola.

ONE: Lorenzo, you must truly repent…agreed. TWO: Lorenzo, you must give up your wealth…agreed. THREE: Lorenzo, you must renounce any claim on behalf of the de Medici family to rule Florence and you must allow the city to become a democratic republic. Lorenzo flatly refused. Savonarola therefore refused to administer this most sacred of the sacraments. (I have recently heard that Savonarola may have indeed administered the last rites to Lorenzo, but since I cannot verify this with evidence, let's just say this episode is questionable.)

I relate this story to you now because I believe that it highlights three fundamental dimensions of the Reformation which we have to consider. These three aspects can be considered the points of a triangle -- all three must be present. The Reformation was not simply the result of the NINETY-FIVE THESES of Martin Luther (1483-1546). Nor was the Reformation an overwhelmingly religious phenomenon. Instead, I think we need to pay close attention to Savonarola for there we find a three-pronged attack. This attack took the shape of first, a religious protest, second, a protest against wealth and splendor and third, a protest of a political nature. So, the three ingredients are clearly Religion, Economics and Politics.

With Lorenzo dead, Savonarola controlled the city of Florence until 1498. He called on the population of that city to burn all its books, paintings, sculptures, luxuries and fineries -- everything, in a word, that drove men away from higher spirituality. He wanted the people to return to the simple, unadorned ways of God, ways which once had been but which were now subsumed in possessions and possessiveness. The Weepers were urged to make "bonfires of the vanities" in the Piazza del Signoria -- great conflagrations in which their worldly possessions were sacrificed. Savonarola, a man born and bred in the Renaissance, rejected humanism, rejected modern art, rejected the new science, rejected anything that was not oriented toward the divine presence. And who would know more about what God wanted than Fra Savonarola -- after all, he was in constant communication with God and the angels.

Wigs, disguises, volumes of the Latin poets, especially Boccaccio, Dante and Petrarch -- all this, and more, was to be tossed into the bonfire. Jewelry, perfumes, soaps, silks, mirrors, hair combs, harps, chessboards, playing cards were brought out of Florentine homes by the wagonload. But why? Why would the people of Florence part with their possessions? Paintings, especially those depicting naked women -- pornographic, in the eyes of Savonarola -- were also destroyed. A wealthy merchant from Venice was said to be present at one of these bonfires -- he approached Savonarola and asked if he could buy one of the paintings about to be burned. The painting was, after all, a portrait of his mistress. Savonarola picked up the canvas itself, looked at it for a moment, and then tossed it onto the flames.

While Savonarola oversaw these great conflagrations, these great acts of collective purgation, he was also preaching some of his most memorable sermons. On the popes in general he said, "Popes and prelates speak against pride and ambition and they are plunged into it up to their ears." Compare this statement with those various remarks by Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) in the Praise of Folly. Is there a difference? Well, on the surface, such a remark could have been said be either man -- not only that, I imagine you could have found any number of others saying exactly the same thing. After all, the same criticism is evident in Dante's Divine Comedy as well as Boccaccio's Decameron. The major difference is that Dante, Boccaccio and Erasmus were writing satire and parody -- Savonarola, on the other hand, was dead serious.

Like Dante, Savonarola called the Vatican "a house of prostitution where harlots sit upon the throne of Solomon and signal to passersby: Whoever can pay enters and does what he wishes." And of Pope Alexander, Savonarola said, "he is no longer a Christian. He is an infidel, a heretic, and as such has ceased to be pope." Such language, even coming as it was from the mouth of a Dominican friar, was bound to get Savonarola in trouble. And as we shall soon see, it did. But Savonarola was a man who believed he was made of sterner stuff, and in fact, he believed that he had God on his side in more than just a spiritual manner. Savonarola regarded himself as an instrument of God and believed that nothing -- not even Lorenzo the Magnificent -- could stand in his way. Florence was to be reconstructed as a "respublica Christiana," a Christian republic, a republic in which the true sovereign was God and God alone.

To produce such a Florence, Savonarola was forced to manipulate the conscience of the people. And this required thought control. A new morality would be enforced. Gambling was prohibited. Frivolity was prohibited. Clothing was to be more simple and more uniform. He also went as far as to take the young boys of Florentine families, instruct them in his holy ways and then have them spy on their parents for signs of any infidelities to the new moral order. If some of this reminds you of the theocratic dictatorship of a John Calvin (1509-1564) or Jean Jacques Rousseau's (1712-1778) offhand remark that those who do not conform "will be forced to be free," or the totalitarianism of Stalinist Russia, well, then, you are getting the point.

By 1497, Dominicans, Franciscans and the Church authorities at Rome had enough of Savonarola's evangelicalism. They were set to act. Things had gotten out of hand. Savonarola was actually winning converts! Early in 1498, Savonarola held his last bonfire of the vanities. This time, however, riots broke out on the Piazza del Signoria. In April, Fra Savonarola was brought to trial for heresy -- he was said to have falsely claimed to have seen visions. He was found guilty by a council of eight and on the morning of May 23, 1498, Savonarola made his final prayer. "Pray God for me," he implored, "that He may give me strength at my last end and that the Enemy may have no power over me." He then followed a raised walkway ninety feet into the Piazza. At the far end of the walkway, on the very spot where he had held his bonfires of the vanities, stood a circular wooden platform, heaped with combustibles. In the center was a wooden column some twenty-three feet high. A transverse beam was attached to the column, and from it hung three nooses -- one for Savonarola and one each for his associates, Silvestro Maruffi and Domenico de Pescia. As the three heretics walked to the gibbet, some young boys plunged sharp sticks through the cracks in the walkway. To the crowd's disappointment, the three were oblivious to the pain. Silvestro was the first to go. The executioner tightened the noose and then pushed Silvestro forward. But because the rope did not draw tight, it took several minutes for him to die. Luckily, Domenico died quickly and then it was Savonarola's turn. He asked for a cord to tie his tunic at his ankles so that the crowd would not see his genitals but the executioner refused. He followed the hangman up the ladder. At the top, he paused and looked from side to side. Most of the crowd were awaiting a word or sign from him, something that would have given them some hope for the future. But Fra Savonarola had his thoughts on the Savior on the cross at Cavalry. Faithful to his decision to emulate Christ, he silently offered his neck to the hangman. Savonarola died quickly, unlike the less fortunate Silvestro and Domenico. The flames reached the three within minutes and the great Savonarola was gone.

By the start of the 16th century, everyone who mattered in the western Church was crying out for reformation. For more than one hundred years, western Europeans had sought a reform of the Church "in head and in members." They failed to find it! If you were to conduct a survey of those people calling out for reform, it would be nearly impossible to find any single point upon which they all agreed. The Pope intervened in nearly all matters of Church and State -- men talked about limiting his authority. But, these same men needed the Pope's help to manage the Church in their respective lands -- they used his power as a loophole to escape the workings of canon law. Everyone protested that the practice of simony, that is, the buying and selling of Church offices, was wrong and in need of correction. But, from the standpoint of the Church, to pay fees on entry into office could be defended as a form of taxation.

The examples could be extended but the point is clear: what one honest man believed to be an abuse, another honest man defended. Everyone wanted reform but how to go about it, or what to reform, was an issue of imprecision. Some reformers created new orders -- prayer and study sects. Bishops compelled the monks to live according to the monastic rule. At the administrative level, the quest for reform was indeed present. Between 1512 and 1517, an ecumenical council met at Rome. The council agreed that heresy should be suppressed, that the Turks were a danger to Christian Europe and that bishops ought to have more authority over the monks. They also argued that no one could preach without taking the sacrament of Holy Orders; that university professors must teach the doctrine of the soul's immortality; and finally, that the printing of all theologically unsound books should be stopped. All this underlies some spirit reform, however, few outside the Church would admit that this would signify the necessary "reform in head and in numbers."

When men of the Church spoke of reformation, they were almost always thinking of administrative, legal or moral reformation -- they rarely, if ever, spoke of a doctrinal reformation. They looked at canon law and Church bureaucracy and argued that it bred inefficiency, graft, injustice, worldliness and immorality. And these pleas were sometimes intermingled with calls for a general intellectual improvement. They wanted popes and bishops to be less secular, monks to practice the rules of their order and the parish clergy to be better educated. They sometimes talked of a theology less remote from the common man -- a faith less external and closer to the teachings of the Lord. But to gain these ends, few would have expected anything like doctrinal change.

The first question regarding reformation then, was not "is the teaching of the Church true?" In doctrinal matters, there were heretics like the Lollards, Hussites, Waldensians and others -- these were the sectarian groups who uttered sedition and blasphemy. The cry for reform meant the suppression, not the encouragement of these abuses. Many of the more obvious abuses were committed by the highest of Churchmen. For instance, Linacre, the personal physician of Henry VIII, had the been rector of four parishes, a canon at three cathedrals and precentor at York Minster. On the surface, this seems sound. But Linacre held all these positions at one and the same time -- that's where the abuses lay. However, all this was perhaps a corruption of state rather than a corruption of the Church. Furthermore, what this example tells us, at least for the case of England, was just how close the state and church actually were.

Graft, inefficiency and immorality seemed to be the worst when they were perpetrated by clergymen in their own interests. After all, the clergy were keepers of public conscience -- it was their duty to restrain avarice, sanctify poverty and excommunicate kings if they chose. If reform was needed, it was up to the clergy to proclaim it. They looked to the Pope and expected that he and he alone could bring peace, justice and integrity to the people. No Pope, not even a Hildebrand or an Innocent III could live up to those aspirations. The morally puritan of the Middle Ages saw the love of money as the root of all evil. Here lay the most painful contrast between religious ideals and clerical practices. Men like St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) or Thomas à Kempis (1379-1471) and countless others believed poverty was central to the moral life. But by 1500, the holy mendicant orders were no longer respected -- too many had been revealed as frauds. Erasmus remarked in 1509 that the monks:

stay as far away from religion as possible, and no people are seen more often in public. . . . They cannot read, and so they consider it the height of piety to have no contact with literature.

And then there was John Calvin who, almost thirty years later wrote that the monks:

are all completely unlearned asses, though because of their long robes they have a reputation for learning.

The moral, ascetic ideal, furthermore, was reacting to vast social and economic changes. Still, there were those who agreed with Thomas à Kempis who nearly a century earlier had written in The Imitation of Christ:

It is vanity to seek riches which shall perish and to trust in them. It is vanity to pursue office and climb high rank. It is vanity to follow the desires of the flesh…vanity to wish for long life . . . vanity to love what passeth away so quickly, and not to hasten where abideth joy everlasting.

The moral idea for the followers of Kempis and the Brethren of the Common Life was other-worldly, still monastic and ascetic. This is true of the Franciscans as well. But Europe was changing fast and the mendicant orders, the best and worst of them taken together, were finding it increasingly difficult to "compete" with the material comforts of the City of Man.

Meanwhile, educated men and women of the middle classes, weaned on Renaissance humanism, a secular art and life in the cities, drank deep from the literature of Greece and Rome. They were delighted with the City of Man -- here they found a society of growing wealth, wealth which was beginning to fall into their hands. Here, in the City of Man, they found an incongruity between the ascetic ideal and their everyday life. The old values of the past were now in conflict with the intellectual strivings of the present. The love of money was the root of all evil -- and in the realm of money, the holy city of Rome had absolutely no power. Erasmus was in Rome in 1509 -- Luther made the trip in 1511. Neither of them liked what they saw.

The word reformation shows that the quest for something better was perhaps characteristically medieval. It was backward-looking. Indeed, the medieval thinker saw early Christianity and the primitive Church through rose-colored glasses. Once, they thought, there was a golden age. Once there was devotion, piety, fervor, religion, holy priests, purity of heart. But now, the ancient age had turned from gold to silver, from silver to wood and from wood to iron. This was nothing new -- three hundred years earlier, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) wished that before he died he would like to see the Church return to its ancient ways. His was a typical, medieval appeal. And during the 16th century, an educated humanist like Erasmus believed in a lost age of holiness, sanctity and purity. The Reformation always looked backward.

But the demand for reform grew -- and it did so by channeling its energies into itself. To demand reform is to denounce abuse -- to denounce abuse is to raise doubts in the public mind, to criticize officials and to hold them accountable. To demand reform was to diminish the prestige of Pope, bishop, monk, friar and parish priest and thus open the way for further criticism. So, anti-clericalism seemed to be the buzzword. In 1502, Erasmus made the offhand remark that a lay person felt insulted if he were called a cleric, a priest or a monk. The cry for reform -- the demand for reform -- went beyond the academicians. It grew into the clamor of the people. Reform was attempted toward the end of the 15th century -- but it failed. The tragedy of Savonarola gives a sense of this failure in dramatic form. When he was hanged and then burnt at the stake in 1498, his cry for reform was uttered in medieval fashion. So too was his cry for reform silenced the medieval way. And twenty-five years later, Erasmus could only look at Savonarola as a sad example of what could be found among any Dominican friar.

One question which the previous discussion suggests is why were the calls for reform so potent in the early 16th century? Were Church abuses more numerous? Were they of a more heinous nature? Well, John Calvin listed some of the evils of his day -- evils which he found in the Church and in human nature as well: self-love, ambition, pride, greed, wanton sex, dancing, adultery, drunkenness, frivolity, gossip, hypocrisy and a hundred other things. "Young people have lost that deference to their elders on which the social order depends," wrote Calvin.

they reject all correction. Sexual offenses, rapes, adulteries, incests and seductions are more common than ever before. How monstrous that the world should have been overthrown by such dense clouds for the last three or four centuries, so that it could not see clearly how to obey Christ's commandment to love our enemies. Everything is in shameful confusion; everywhere I see only cruelty, plots, frauds, violence, injustice, shamelessness while the poor groan under the oppression and the innocent are arrogantly and outrageously harassed. God must be asleep.

According to Calvin, men and women had a great deal to worry about. Temptation and lust seemed to be everywhere and so men and women had to be constantly on their guard to prevent contamination. So, it's no accident that the sort theocracy Calvin created was one based on the ethic of self-control, a sort of worldly asceticism. "Each of us should watch himself closely," Calvin wrote.

The passions must be repressed and chained up, we must make every effort to beat down the impetuous frenzy in them.

The Reformation came to Europe not so much because Europe was irreligious but because it was religious. The abuses now condemned by Luther, Calvin, Erasmus and others had always been abuses and in fact, they had been around for quite some time. A great many priests were ignorant in 1500 -- a great many were also ignorant in the year 910 as well as the year 1996. The reformers were under an illusion in looking back to some golden age of the past -- they perhaps there found what they wanted to find. Again, the abuses were not worse -- but, the awareness by more people of those abuses was heightened. The point is simple: more people were becoming aware of the nature and scope of abuses at all levels of high medieval society. It is true, as Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) once remarked that "we Italians are more irreligious and corrupt than others. . . ". He qualified this by adding that this was true "because the Church and its representatives set us the worst examples."

Despite this proclamation, what is undoubtedly true about the late 15th and early 16th centuries is the extent of religious and devotional practice. For instance, Henry VIII is said to have heard three masses on days when he was hunting and five masses on other days. There were also new forms of devotion as well and they emerge as new forms of piety. Savonarola was characteristic of the new, perhaps misdirected piety. And in 1507, Pope Julius II sanctioned the cult of the holy house at Loreto, a house believed to be the Lord's house miraculously transported to Nazareth by angels. And then we have Michelangelo Buonarroti's (1475-1564) Pietà, the virgin of pity, with her dead son. All this was accompanied by a significant growth in the cult of the saints and their relics. And, all this existed alongside superstitions and popular beliefs. In 1500, witches were being tortured and burnt at the stake. So too were Jews experiencing persecution. But this was nothing new. It had been a fairly common occurrence for a number of years. But, in 1500, what was new was not the practice of these things but the way the leaders of opinion were beginning to regard them. In general, the gap between the religiosity of the literate few and the illiterate many was widening to a point in which the gap was unbridgeable. And while all, this was going on, the printing press was busy publishing more than one hundred editions of the Bible between 1457 and 1500 (see Lecture 4). One result is that the upper classes -- the rulers and merchants -- were becoming better educated. The presses were working and were multiplying. Libraries, though small, were adding volumes upon volumes to their once meager numbers. An information revolution was certainly taking place. Books were now being published in impressive numbers and could also be purchased more cheaply. More people were reading. Knowledge was increasing. So too were the tools for critical study.

There is a connection between the Renaissance and the Reformation but historians have had a difficult time defining that connection. Overall, the moral energies and spirit of a St. Bernard was more responsible for the Reformation rather than the critical spirit of a man like Abelard. The reason may be clear: the Reformation was more a movement of faith than it was of reason.

The Renaissance humanists were as varied a lot as possible. They had little in common except for their general respect for classical antiquity. Italian humanists lived in an entirely different atmosphere from their peers in Germany, France or England. Italian humanism was literary, artistic and philosophical whereas northern humanism was more overtly religious, even theological. In France, in Germany and in England, there was a movement taking its stimulus from the Italians and their renewed love of Greek and Latin antiquity, but transformed it into a decidedly religious context. This northern Christian humanism was best represented by DESIDERIUS ERASMUS (1466-1536).

As a young man, Erasmus believed that northern Europeans knew nothing of classical antiquity -- his career sought to remedy this barbarism. Between 1498 and 1514 he lived at Paris, Oxford and Italy, taught for two years at Cambridge and then settled at Basel in Switzerland until 1536. More than any other northern humanist, he wrote books intended to educate the conscience of his northern readers. The bookshops couldn't get enough of his works. A Parisian bookseller who heard that the Sorbonne might condemn Erasmus' Colloquies as heretical, rushed 24,000 copies through the presses. As a writer, Erasmus was a master of style and scholarship -- he was witty, cynical, amusing and humorous. He was far from superficial and in general, his intellect was unrivaled. He was known and respected throughout Europe -- one of his friends was confessed: "I am pointed out in public as the man who has received a letter from Erasmus."

Among all the targets to which he aimed his pen, he directed his most penetrating attack on the abuses he observed in the Church. The Netherlands of his youth were the home of zealous reformers, especially the Brethren of the Common Life. The Brethren were the paradigm of medieval piety and they also just happened to be Erasmus' principal instructors. But unlike the Brethren or their spiritual father, Thomas à Kempis, Erasmus did not write devotional literature. He did, however, despise ignorance, superstition, obscurantism and wished to supply the remedy.

Educated men all over Europe were mumbling about the clergy, monks and the popes -- mumbling about corruption, graft, popular superstition and idolatry. Erasmus brilliantly expressed what most men were barely articulating. And so, educated Europe laughed along with Erasmus. Their laughter, however, soon turned to serious approval. Erasmus had struck a nerve and the educated classes knew it. But, by 1517, Erasmus had become accepted by the established order. In other words, his biting criticism became part of a general awareness of Church abuses -- it was not up to Erasmus to institute change. More than any other single man, Erasmus lowered the European reputation of pope and clergyman, monk and friar, and above all, the theologian, whom Erasmus described as "a scab of a fellow, theology incarnate." The theologians had, for centuries, defended a creed with methods which had, by the time of the Late Renaissance, become nearly obsolete. Theology had become entangled with philosophical principles which philosophers themselves had ceased to believe. For more than two hundred years, Nominalist philosophers had conquered the universities of northern Europe. They were skeptical of the power of reason to reach true metaphysical conclusions. They were skeptical of the Thomistic synthesis as well. They did not think that Church doctrine was untrue. But they managed to drive a wedge between truth as known by revelation and the doubts of a rational mind. They did not seek concord between faith and reason. The Nominalists, then, simply did away with Scholasticism.

For men like Erasmus, the vocabulary of the Scholastics was meaningless, absurd. On top of this came a humanist criticism with its genuine lack of interest in philosophical inquiry and system-building. Criticism was certainly gaining ground. For instance, in 1505 a university professor was trying to prove that Paul and Augustine were not Saints. Erasmus himself had written that he doubted John was the author of the Book of Revelation. While they intended no critique of dogma, the humanists could not trample over the theologians without at the same time bringing into question the very foundations of the medieval Church. Erasmus intended to announce the discovery of a program for the recovery of what he called a true theology. In 1503, he published his Handbook for the Christian Warrior. The theology of the Handbook was simple, more Biblical, less tangled and caught up in Aristotelian logic. The Handbook contained a theology stripped of layers of glosses, authorities and commentaries.. And in 1516, Erasmus translated and published a German version of the Greek New Testament, and also included a Latin translation as well. He wanted everyone to be able to read the Bible for themselves and this meant that the Bible had to be printed in the vernacular. How else to break the stranglehold of medieval Christianity then to give the Word to everyone? So, Erasmus cast aside centuries of glosses and commentaries on the Bible -- he didn't care whether these glosses were of European or Eastern origin. It's obvious what he was trying to do. By eliminating the past interpretations of the Scriptures, Erasmus was trying to force a return to the source of all holiness, all sanctity -- a true theology.

Erasmus remained impatient and angry with the penchant for superstition among the people. The cults of statues, the devotion to the relics of the saints -- hair, pieces of bone and finger nail clippings -- and visits to Madonnas with rolling eyes were vulgar to a man like Erasmus. The people, he thought, cultivated a religion of external acts and substituted pilgrimages, indulgences and relics for truth faith. After all, what else had the Church really taught these people? Erasmus wanted a true religion, stripped of centuries of medieval baggage. "Perhaps thou believest," he wrote, "that all thy sins are wasted away with a little paper, a sealed parchment, with the gift of a little money or some was images, with a little pilgrimage. Thou art deceived."

With Erasmus, the contrast between the ideal and reality merged into a contrast between the Bible and the religion practiced in the Church. So, with Erasmus, more people became aware that what the Church practiced was not what it preached. More important, more people now understood that the religion of the medieval Church was far removed from the religion practiced by the original followers of Christ. Europe wanted reform -- it was clearly not expecting revolution. Most men, Erasmus included, perhaps would have rather ridiculed the Church into action. However, there were more potent forces at work -- forces to maintain the existing state of the Church which would not be altered without a violent attack.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What is Revival? Unknown

When men in the streets are afraid to open their mouths and utter godless words lest the judgments of God should fall; when sinners, overawed by the Presence of God tremble in the streets and cry for mercy; when, without special meetings and sensational advertising, the Holy Ghost sweeps across cities and towns in Supernatural Power and holds men in the grip of terrifying Conviction; when "every shop becomes a pulpit; every heart an altar; every home a sanctuary" and people walk softly before God, this is Revival!

Today the word Revival has largely lost its real meaning. Our present generation, never having witnessed the mighty moving of God in nation-wide spiritual awakening such as has taken place in past generations, has little conception of the magnitude of such a "visitation."

Heaven-sent revival is not religious entertainment, where crowds gather to hear outstanding preachers and musical programs; neither is it the result of sensational advertising - in a God-sent revival you don't spend money on advertising; people come because Revival is there! Revival is an "awareness of God" that grips the whole community, and the roadside, the tavern, as well as the church, become the places where men find Christ. Here is the vast difference between our modern evangelistic campaigns and true revival. In the former, hundreds may be brought to a knowledge of Christ and churches experience seasons of blessings, but as far as the community is concerned little impact is made; the taverns, dance halls, and movies are still crowded, and the godlessness marches on. In revival, the Spirit of God, like a cleansing flame, sweeps through the community. Divine conviction grips people everywhere; the strongholds of the devil tremble, and many close their doors, while multitudes turn to Christ!

The grand Old Testament prophet Elijah is symbolic of a revivalist. Elijah stood up in the midst of the people steeped in worship of Baal, and cried, “The God who answers by fire, he is God” (1 Kings 18:24). Elijah prayed a simple prayer, “O Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God” when the holy supernatural fire of God descended from the heaven and burned up the sacrifice, wood, stones and dirt and evaporated the water in the trench. When God pours out His revival fire on the earth, it burns up things that are not of God.

Study of the church history shows that one lone man, totally surrendered to God, burning with passion for the lost souls and with a hunger for revival in the churches, had turned the tide against the evils in the churches, in the governments and the lives of the people. One prayer warrior by the grace of God can be used to turn the tide and prepare the way for a mighty revival. Why cannot you be such a vessel of God?

Throughout the church history, God raised many individuals to usher in revivals in the churches and the nations. During revivals God accomplishes more in hours or days than usually results from years of faithful evangelistic ministry. Though revival involves preaching and evangelism to some extent, revival is far more than evangelism. During the early years of 20th century, revival fires broke out in Wales and many places in England, Scotland, Ireland, USA, India, Korea, Manchuria, China, Japan, Australia, Madagascar, Norway, parts of South America and the Caribbean islands. In the middle of this century, God sent revival to some of the American Christian colleges and outpoured His Spirit on some of the Hebrides islands.

This season in ma life REVOLVES ROUNND the study of revival with a desire and burden for all to be captured by the passion for God to sprinkle nations through revival, as we advocate for theocracy in these times of militant godlessness. May our hearts buurn with SUCH passion as we gladly lay our lives down at the alter of tru worship BEING symbols of the sacrifice in the days of Elijah laid up for the all consuming fire of the Lord that nations mite know and worship our Lord the GOD.
This time will be dedicated to men that sprinkled their nations AND THE WORLD for the lord in Revival.


Upnext...SAVONAROLA.