Temple Builders Prophetic Web Book: True Revival: A Prophetic Vision
by John Robert Lucas
 
Temple Builders Anointed Teachings

True Revival: A Prophetic Vision

Chapter 25
True Revival

Man’s plan for the last day’s revival does not always equal God’s entire plan for the last days. Revival is a “predominate focus” and a “continuous conversation” among the Saints of God. One will preach that revival is strictly for the harvest of the unsaved and another will preach that revival is strictly for the church. We have defined earlier in this book that revival is simply God’s foundational work in the life of a Christian. It is simply God’s visitation with the purpose of making you His Habitation. Let us speak in more detail concerning God’s last day’s revival. The definition of “revival” changes with various camps of teaching. Hear what I am about to say. The word revival can be a confusing term because the translators do not use it in scripture and it means different things to different people. The last days will include many different “revival type” events that fit into God’s entire blueprint. What “WE” call revival may indeed be scriptural, and yet God may simply want to adjust our focus to see the rest of His blueprint.

Acts 2:12-21

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine. "But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words. "For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is {only} the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. 'And I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 'The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 'And it shall be, that everyone who calls on shall be saved. (NAS)

This is a description of the first revival, though it is not called revival. In scripture it is called “a pouring forth of God’s Spirit”. Therefore our base definition for revival must remain the same. Afterwards we have the revival manifestations. In this first revival meeting it was first made evident by the believers openly speaking in tongues. We must note that the unbelievers outnumbered the believing “tongue talkers” by a considerable amount; in other words there were many unsaved listening to the 120 believers speaking in tongues - it was not solely a believers meeting. Some of those in the multitude were amazed and some of them - mocked. Peter preaches an anointed message from heaven and then 3,000 people get saved. Therefore in the first revival service we see manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit; then the Word preached with fire and revelation; and then unbelievers getting saved. At this stage we are simply going to scripture to find out what was recorded as “being revival”. As we have said previously, church history is not where we should learn about such matters, scripture is our source for revival.

Let us take a common definition for revival as discussed among some modern day “camps of belief”. They say revival is for the church. Their focus is on a great end time revival characterized by signs and wonders. This is true, however the issue God wants His “last day’s church” to deal with is “proper focus”. We have called this chapter “True Revival” because if our focus gets skewed, gets off centered, then we could fall into deception. Therefore let us observe what revival is as it relates to other truths in scripture. First, does “revelation of the Word” take a back seat to signs and wonders? The Word should accompany signs and wonders or vice versa – the two are one. Tossing a few scriptures out into the congregation is not what I am referring to. I am referring to ministering the Word, and revealing the Word to those who can perceive it. Peter unveiled scripture to the people in this first revival, scripture they knew quite well and yet they were seeing it for the first time. We must have eyes to see.

We must make sure that the Word is taught and also we must teach obedience to the Word. Jesus said that His friends are the ones that obey Him. An emphasis must be made on laying down our lives for others, and on bearing fruit AS we labor in the lives of others. After any encounter in a revival service there must be a “spilling over” into our daily life. We must not sit still, we must labor in the lives of EVERYONE around us or our focus will get skewed. Remember that we bear fruit AS we labor in the lives of others, not as we get filled, and then sit at home isolated from the world.

Therefore all definitions of revival pertain to the gift of the Holy Spirit that flows out to others especially the unsaved. It is never exclusive to reviving the people of God even though the English definition may mean that. The English definition means life from the dead. Therefore many teach that the dead church will be revive again and be full of life. As far as the teaching that the Early Church died and with it apostles who walked in God’s ways, they are right. The Early Church died and our present church does not look like it, but that is all in the plan of God. Revival here started in Martin Luther’s generation. It is more of a restoration of truth that was lost but also included the ministry of the Holy Spirit that had laid inactive. Some unfortunately believe that the present church is already a restored church and we now wait for our redemptive bodies at the gathering together. In reality we have a long way to go before Jesus has the bride that He desires. In the year 2000 the church as a whole is quite immature and sometimes downright evil. The spirit of Cain (brother-killing spirit) runs rampant in most churches; the spirit of the world rules many ministers, and many Christians just want answers to the pain and voids that they experience in their lives, which answers ministry has been inept to provide. It is time for the God-kind-of revival!

We think that if manifestations of the gifts will occur, then revival has occurred. God’s focus is not man’s focus unless man makes Jesus - Lord of His focus. God’s primary focus is not on gifts, signs, and miracles. God’s focus is first, on you surrendering to His Lordship in humility. God’s focus is on you receiving and obeying the Word that proceeds out of His mouth. To get you there may require deliverance, an anointing, or an experience with God’s holy Nature, yet that is a means to His end. Let me clarify, God did not create you to feel good at an altar and yet He makes us feel good at an altar. The religious will respond about feeling good at the altar “where is the faith in that”. Let us say you feel good at the altar, you actually feel God. This in itself does not make you spiritual. What makes you spiritual is, if those experiences provide a zeal and passion for Jesus to the point that you will crave His every word and obey them. I hope you can see where we tend to focus on the means instead of the end. We may even exalt the means instead of the “end” but it is the “end” that provides the real Joy and Power. We experience in order to believe His words of Truth. Through all these outpourings of God’s Spirit, we should never boast in a “revival manifestation” or a gift, sign, or wonder, our boast must only be in the Person of Jesus, Who He is. There are some Christians that think a service is lacking if signs and wonders do not occur. They think the most anointed ministers are the ones that cause them to feel something. Conviction and repentance take a back seat in their minds. So what affects our course more, signs or repentance? Again it is focus that we must correct in our vision.

If I go to the altar and experience Jesus emotionally and maybe even physically then that experience should propel me into revelation of the Word and into the great desire to obey it. My boast should not be a bragging of the supernatural, but in the revelation of Who Jesus is - a revelation of scripture that reveals the Jesus that I choose to obey. It grieves me to no end when I enter a conversation where one brags about what they felt, what vision they saw, what power they received instead of the revelation of His word, of Who Jesus is, of the sufferings they have endured for His Name sake. In reality they have focused on the foundation instead of the building itself. They focused on the immature, but there is a better way. I have had similar encounters, but I know they are they are life-giving to enable me to become a witness - If I choose to be obedient to His Words. I do not diminish the altar, I minister there, - it changes lives. It changes our lives because of what we do afterwards.

Isa 28:11-12

For with stammering lips and another tongue he will speak to this people, To whom He said, "This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest," and, "This is the refreshing"; yet they would not hear. (NKJ)

Acts 3:19-21

"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, "and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, "whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (NKJ)

Some see a last day’s revival characterized simply by an ingathering of lost souls. Though accurate to what will occur, this definition falls way short of what God is actually going to do. The ingathering of souls will be the natural outcome of a Church that has received the “times of restoration” and they shall demonstrate signs and wonders. Some will focus on solely “the great harvest of unsaved” and yet bypass the catalyst that will get them saved – A TRUE REPRESENTATION OF JESUS ON THE EARTH. The world, especially in America, wants nothing to do with the Church because of REPROACH. Yet we have been a reproach because as we have worked side by side with them, and they did not see an example of Christ, instead they saw the works of the flesh, they heard us gossip, and they saw much pride. God’s plan is much mo re detailed and glorious than any account of revival that can be testified. We will see God raising up Fathers who will raise children. We will see God raising up Pauls, Peters, Johns, and James – true disciples who will glorify Jesus by manifesting - Unity, Power and Love. This is God’s definition of the great event whereby the term “revival” shall always fall short.

This is important! Please listen carefully. We have discussed in great detail in this book about “growing up”. We have taught that God wants us to “finish our course”. We have taught that the culmination of God’s temple, the church, shall be filled with Glory because of the UNITY of the living stones. That is our “END”. How do we get to this impossibility? Through revival, that is revival defined as a “time of refreshing”, “a time of restoration of all things”, and a time of “God’s outpouring”. Then what is the Glory that shall fill the temple? It is what remains in the habitation from what happened during the visitation. The last days revival, “the visitation” will result in a people that KEEP Jesus in their lives - to stay. He has stood at the door and has knocked, He is visiting, but He LIVES in those who abide in Him and do His sayings. As John 15 says, “If you abide in Me then”.

God’s visitation needs an invitation to REMAIN as our - habitation. John declares in John 15 and in 1 John, the way we abide in Him, the way we remain in Him – is accomplished through receiving and obeying His words. Any revival service that lowers the priority of the Word of God is a revival service that detracts from God’s true “last day’s plan”. The Word preached in Power, in Love, in Truth is what will cause maturity, unity, and miracles. Revival is the “time of restoration of all things”. We must be looking for a revival that not only experiences the refreshing but we must also maintain a hope to be restored in all things. What does the restoration include? Total deliverance from all things sent by the devil that has placed us under his bondage. In place of the bondage is the freedom to rest in Jesus Christ, to know Him as our Sabbath. Restoration includes repenting, and changing our heart to obtain His heart. It includes doing the works of Jesus as an outcome of our refreshed inward condition. The outcome will include signs and wonders but even more importantly it will manifest the faith that pleases God. It will manifest a heart that has put away self-preservation, self-righteousness, and the pride of Life.

We cannot ignore in Acts chapter 2 where Peter continues the rest of Joel’s “outpouring”. “And I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. ‘ The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood”. This is where God gets the attention of all “mankind” – to make decisions! There is a sobering day ahead, it is a day of Light for those in the Light of His Word and it is a day of darkness for all that have not hid the Word in their heart. Those who prophesy – “peace, peace” or “revival, revival” EXCLUSIVELY, are those who do not perceive these sayings. We will have peace on the inside while the world has great chaos. The world will look for peace; they will search it out. They will look to the natural for it and be destroyed but there is a harvest that shall look to the church for peace and they shall find Jesus.

Revival happens because God chooses to pour out His Spirit. If God is not pouring and yet we try to make something happen we come into danger of manufacturing a revival, an anointing. God will revive at least a remnant of His people and He will move with a Spirit of repentance. It will happen, but scripture tells us to hope in other things instead. We should hope for our redemptive bodies, we should hope for Jesus’ return to Earth, and we should primarily hope in Jesus. Revival as Joel defines it produces an outcome of holiness, repentance, zeal, love, and gifts. Revival defined is this – It is the FULLNESS of the Spirit poured out unto His people and through them it is demonstrated to the world.

Revival Manifestation IssueS

The Apostle Paul dealt with sensitive and controversial issues in the church. He spoke and wrote as God gave utterance. Some ministers avoid these issues and others dive right into these issues without enough of the fear of God. What does the fear of God have to do with it? The book of James speaks a sobering message to all teachers, ministers – those that speak as an ambassador from the throne of God. These incur the “greater condemnation”. In other words if you speak as an oracle of God and say “thus saith the Lord” – it better be from the Lord or judgment on you is of a greater degree than one who stays silent. We are not to preach our views or opinions. To speak on God’s authority you can only teach His view and His opinion on a matter. God will only put His “stamp of approval” on Himself. God looks at the words of every minister and puts their words to the test. The only thing that passes God’s test is what looks like Jesus. Wisdom can only start AFTER we have this fear.

As a minister, you can hear a truth with the ear of the Spirit in the heavenly. You can know that you have received present truth and yet when you open your mouth or when you write, it comes out with the element of flesh. Now, in saying that, do you keep totally silent until all flesh is burnt out of your message? No, that is not what God is teaching. Do you immediately speak the message no matter what the consequences, because of the origin of the message? Sometimes when flowing in the gifts of the spirit, you may, but normally you must weigh out a matter. Even with present truth that you are convinced that it has its origin in the realm of God’s heart, you must precede cautiously, in fear of God, in fear of the “greater condemnation” that you could experience.

When one teaches present truth you can flow more rapidly with one type of truth whereas another type of truth you must let it gently stream down from the mountain. For example when I teach on tabernacle truths where the Brazen Laver found in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle of Moses represents knowing Jesus as the Word of God, I flow swift with the present truth. In this example it is clear that the Laver made of the material of brass, mirrors and water, can all be found in scripture relating to the Word of God – Jesus. We experience knowing Jesus as the Laver when we read scripture and experience the Word as a Person instead of a thing. This is a truth that is complete, simple and does not deal with church issues. Therefore if one has revelation and God’s approval to share it – then flow swiftly. Preaching the foundational message of the cross should flow swiftly as well.

In another matter, Paul dealt with the leaven of Judaism that found its way into the Galatian Church. One might say “that is a black and white issue”. Though discernment that God grants us is black and white, the sharing of that discernment is anything but black and white. Many times God will not grant us to speak that which we discern. It is a test of maturity and the fear of God. If you cannot be trusted in this area, God cannot trust you with dealing with issues in HIS CHURCH. It is not our church it is His church. It is not our body it is His body. After we pass this test then God can trust us more, but now comes the weighing of what part we discern is God and what part is our flesh. Are we seeing the matter from the perspective of God, the “birds’ eye view” from heaven or from a mere earthly perspective, and horizontal view? In our fear of God we must allow Him to bring us to His view of the issue at hand. The tree of Life found in the garden always eats of what God says is “in Christ”. When eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, one will decide for himself what is good, or righteous and what is evil, bad or unrighteous. As I mature, I re-read these “church issue” chapters – to weigh what tree that they have their origin. Every word and every phrase must capture God’s way of handling this issue.

If we see the issue from God’s perspective then we are enlightened by the Spirit’s illumination but that does not solve the entire problem for us. We have heard, we have now seen, but now we must impart life. One might receive the first two from God and yet jump into the “impartation stage” in a flippant and presumptuous manner. The result will be unedifying to His body, it will impart the person that is speaking instead of the Person of Jesus Christ. This is what I mean when I speak about fear of God concerning how we minister. Sometimes God must allow much time to go by so that the issue can be thoroughly thought out. Sometime we are not patient enough to think out a matter. Some expect a more supernatural experience that will convey to them when and how to speak concerning an issue. In reality the supernatural experience that God requires of us is to think about the matter and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to where these thoughts end up. As you think about the matter, God will add His thoughts on the issue; God will direct the stream of thoughts to His intended vision. As you think out a matter, God will give you timing, the character, and the proper method.

In ministry of the Word it is all about relationship with Jesus. It never deviates from an intimate relationship to where you not only speak the words that He speaks but it carries with it the tonal qualities that Jesus is using at the moment. The very emotions that Jesus speaks with will resound in the minister that walks in the fear of God. We will never get to that place unless we become disciples, whose head can be found resting on the chest of Jesus, hearing His very heartbeat. Paul walked in this intimacy with Jesus and God trusted Paul to deal with the most sensitive of issues. Sometimes God watches over the seed to see development, and then He sends forth the minister at His good pleasure.

I feel prompted by the Spirit to step out to address an issue, and yet tremble as I do so. I walk as cautiously as I know, and yet the things I am about to share have been seasoned over time. The problem is not with the truth, or the timing, but in the impartation – IT MUST BE LIFE THAT BEGETS LIFE! This is the final test of God’s mature ministers; not many measure up to this more excellent way of the Spirit. By God’s grace and ability we can do that, which fulfills our calling, and by obtaining great mercy it can be delivered to His body in a way that God can cause growth to the seed. May the Lord cause life out of this word on revival manifestations.         

Revival Manifestations

Paul manifested Jesus in Wisdom - in Power - in Love and when he called on others to follow his example he was telling them to follow the Jesus that he manifested. He did not just preach and teach; he showed them by his life's example. Sometimes we will measure things according to examples of men of God in church history, or men of God that we may know, but the scripture gives you examples of maturity that far exceed church history and men that we may know. Church history is a restoration process and contains bitter and sweet water from the same well. That doesn't exclude church history, it simply means that church history contains examples of men and women walking in the Word of God and being led of the Spirit thereby giving us a demonstration of God’s way, but there is a mixture many times that existed in church history that did not exist in “scriptural examples” like the Apostle Paul. The primary point is this – church history cannot be used exclusively for the basis of any practice.

We can learn some things from church history, for example, when I hear about how George Mueller in the 1800's, had believed God daily to provide for the orphanages that he started, Mueller would demonstrate the “scriptural examples” of faith observed in Hebrews 11. This type of observing will bring encouragement. You can go too far though; you can use church history INSTEAD of scripture for doctrine, for works, and for revivals. For example, many today are using past revivals and revivalists to establish their case as to whether a “revival manifestation” is of God or whether it is not of God. God's Word has the answer, not church history. The answer is this – revival type manifestations fall under one teaching in scriptures - signs and wonders.

Now listen carefully and read the ENTIRE chapter here - this is a touchy subject in the present day church and God wants balance before His throne on this issue. If you have not read the previous section on “Dealing with Issues in the Church”, I ask that you read it FIRST. Some ministers believe that the issue should be left alone and not dealt with at all but the Holy Spirit desires to make every crooked path a straight path and He does this by applying the wisdom of God to an issue that grieves Him.

In the Old Testament, a “false balance” is caused when “mixing the spices” for God’s incense in the tabernacle; this improper mixing would cause an abomination to the Lord and it would become a strange fire to God. The priest had to use the specified ingredients - no substitutions! The priest had to have the correct measure of these spicy ingredients. God gave the recipe; we must not modify it. Concerning discernment in these matters of revival manifestations, whichever side you are on – for or against does not matter. We must use God's spices in the correct measure. It is the Tree of Life that we must eat of in this issue as well as all church issues.

Let us be sober in this crucial subject matter on revival manifestations. I am not endorsing services that are absent of revival manifestations and I am not endorsing services that demonstrate revival manifestations. What I am endorsing is balance before God in OUR THINKING concerning this topic. Please be mature in your reading of this chapter and do not try to read into something I am saying that is not there. I must be obedient in writing this chapter for the Lord but yet I fear and tremble before God as I write it. I do not want someone to accept something false because of something I have written and I do not want someone to reject something true that they should have received; because of something I wrote. I would then stand before God accountable for having used wood, hay and stubble in teaching you. Therefore you should be able to see why one must fear God in such a great way when speaking on these matters. We have covered many of these issues of teaching with fear in earlier chapters such as “You are a Priest” and “Building Materials”.

I am not putting my stamp of approval on any revival or minister nor am I questioning any revival or minister. The purpose here is to make straight any crooked path, to make mature any immaturity. The purpose here is to bring to light some things that have caused confusion in the camp of God. Again all of us must fear God, reject that which looks like man or demons, and hold fast to that which looks like Jesus our Savior.

I will speak somewhat vaguely at times and we must simply fear God and not rush to judgment - do not condemn your brother or any movements – it is our heart that God is after. There are ministries that publish books or are found on the Internet that will describe specifically every revival manifestation and categorically attribute all of them to demons. Some will even name everyone associated with revival manifestations as evil, of the devil and apostate. This is not new for those of us that operate in the gifts of the Spirit such as “speaking in tongues”. However in this particular issue they may even be right about certain things even though their spirit is not right; this is the case with many that accuse their brother. Because they mishandle the truth it does not matter if they are right or not – they do not fear God and they do not impart life. Yet some of these “opponents of revival” may have heard some things that were of God and yet the mixture of “man’s opinion” is too strong in them – God will disqualify them, God does not trust them with the preciousness of His truth, therefore God must find those He can trust to hear, to see, then to speak in His manner. We covered these truths in our section “How Paul dealt with heresy” which deals with the sin of heresy hunting. This is an iniquity that is blatantly demonstrated in believers that call themselves discernment ministries or heresy hunters; the sad part is that many of us have a measure of that same iniquity that we leave un-dealt with, yet we find contention against these heresy hunters.

If one has heard and seen deception and yet speaks from a mixture then the recipient of the message will reject the entire message. If the character of “compassion and mercy” is absent and “harshness and pride” is seen instead, then the mixture causes the message to resemble the person of the speaker instead of the Person of Jesus. God does not put His stamp of approval on your intentions when it comes to ministry. God only puts His stamp of approval on that which looks like Jesus.

God therefore must find ministers He can trust to speak these things without mixture, and yet many times most of us are only in the process of being unmixed. So does God wait for TOTAL “UN-mixing” to occur? Are we waiting for some type of sinless perfection? No, God will select those He can trust most with the message that deals with the issue, which brings balance and imparts life. In this particular message on revival manifestations I see God’s desire to see His people "not be misled" and to be "balanced", to the point that He selects certain ordinary men that can bring His heart on the issue. God is faithful to deal with the issue of revival manifestations in due season for the desired end - that we may stay holy before His throne and yet responsive to His visitations. That is why I am compelled to impart this message from God’s vast source of wisdom.

Let us now talk turkey concerning these manifestations in our church services. First off, what part does scripture play in all of this? For the sake of clarification let us separate ourselves into three camps of belief. There are those in the body that consider themselves "pro-revival manifestations" and others considered themselves "anti-revival manifestations". Thirdly we have a mass of Christians that believe in some revival manifestations and not other revival manifestations. All use scripture to support their views and I have seen all mishandled God's Word on this subject matter as well, and the truth is simple, it isn't hard at all.

Let us view what some of these views are and compare them later to the view that God holds from His throne. The "anti-revival manifestation camp" wants scripture for every manifestation. If you fall down, they want a scripture for it, and of course falling forward doesn't count. This is an example where God's people just get plain silly with scripture. But in all seriousness there is a blindness that keeps them from the obvious. To answer, just because a certain sign is not listed in scripture does not indicate that it is false. If you use the principle that it “has to be listed in the scriptures” to be of God, then you are going to have to apply your principle to other areas of your life, you cannot have a principle and pick and choose to apply it when you become offended. There are many MANIFESTATIONS in every Christian’s life and to hold such a principle lacks the Wisdom of God. Manifestations are one’s response to an inward work of God and God never makes doctrine out of “love responses” that are demonstrated in His people. Holding such a view that everything must be listed will eat from the wrong tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When you eat from the wrong tree, you are the one that decides what manifestation is good and which may be evil by taking the “Word Who is Jesus” and saying “You must list for me what is good and what is evil”. Jesus the Word of God is not a list for you to figure out what is good and evil, Jesus is a Person that you must know and through an intimate relationship you perceive by His Spirit what is “In Him” and what is “out of Him”. If Jesus listed for you everything in scripture like a “how to manual” then His people would have made “knowing Him” an option. Knowing Jesus is not an option, we must know Him to enter into what He has prepared for us and to avoid what He says endangers us.

On the other hand, those that categorically endorse revival manifestation are those who do not properly understand the “principle of mixture”. If you inadvertently accept the mixture, you cause damage to Jesus’ body. Jesus does not take kindly to those that do harm to His body, in fact because His body is His very Own bride, He is jealous over her. If you cannot discern, if you cannot sort out the mixture by God’s Spirit then the bride is subject to false prophecies, false visions and false experiences. False prophecies speak from a voice that does nor sound like our bridegrooms’. False visions give us a view of a king from the wrong kingdom. False experiences are a substitute for knowing Jesus in the intimate bridal chambers. The consequences are that we become joined to the wrong person.

A manifestation cannot violate scriptures that relate to Who God is – His nature. Man’s lower nature is carnal, or as the Greek language puts it – “the animal nature”. If one manifests this animal nature then our response should always be the scriptural response of deliverance must take place. Luke 9:49-50 - “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” There are those that do not let you practice this verse in their revival services. We should not forbid those who are more mature to cast out devils from those in a revival that manifest devils. This mixture cannot become unmixed if we ignore it or we are just plain ignorant of it. Jesus requires us to be priests that have a nose (discernment) to smell the difference between the sweet incense of the presence of Jesus and the stench of the wrong spices. We must also be priests that have a nose to smell the strange fire that results from the wrong mixture of spices. If one manifests the “strange fire” that comes from mixture then our response for these manifestations should be “to minister deliverance” – in love if the Spirit permits.

Even more danger comes from manifestations that were obviously from the animal nature, called by immature Christians – Godly manifestations. Calling that which is darkness - Light is just as bad as calling Light – darkness - both are error. Therefore the purpose of this chapter is to keep this mistake from happening in your own walk with the Lord. NOTE: These improper mixtures however are not indicative of all revival services.

Scriptural Responses

Heb 2:3-4

how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. (NAS)

How can we scripturally accept any manifestation in our church services? Scriptures teach “signs and wonders” and that is all that is needed to stand on the authority of the word. Hear what I am saying here, it is scriptural to have a miracle - every time. A person that has a sign and wonder or a gift is also scriptural every time – therefore we have scriptural authority to HAVE THEM. However the source of the miracle or sign – still may not be under God’s authority and initiative. Therefore we do not have to go looking in the scriptures to find out whether there was someone that fell down backwards after a minister laid hands on them - RECORDED IN SCRIPTURES. It was a sign, a wonder - Hebrews 2:3-4 is what you stand on. Does the "pro-revival manifestation camp" respond with this simple scripture? Not at all, since their activities were questioned they respond out of the pride that was touched. I have witnessed carnal debate after carnal debate - this God despises. It is eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on both sides. Many times we stand on the sidelines listening to all these debates and we say to ourselves “who is right”. Jesus says, “I AM”!

When one debates like this, by what authority do these debates stand on? Instead of Jesus’ authority we see a debate that makes arguments using church history or church tradition as their source. Using authorities such as church history or church tradition to justify a sign and wonder is of the flesh. You can see God's dealings; God's hand in church history and that is the purpose for it. Never use church history as a pattern to experience and believe from! God gave us scripture for the purpose to pattern our lives with. BUT REMEMBER THIS – scripture is never to be handled with the motive to “prove your case”. This is using scripture apart from relationship, not subjected to His authority. If you feel the need to DEFEND yourself by finding a suitable verse in response to attacks… then you are responding out of the soulish, natural man – not the spiritual man. What has happened is, PRIDE was attacked, and pride always wants to respond in defense of itself instead of dying. In searching for scriptures to defend ourselves from those who have criticized us, we have mishandled scriptures; we have made ourselves lord over the Word instead of being totally subjected to teach only Jesus and Him crucified. Pride has remained in all those that make defense in this manner. There is a defense of the Gospel but signs, wonders, gifts are not to be defended – they are the proof of the Gospel, if indeed the Gospel of Jesus is being preached.

Let Us Discern

It is quite foolish to think that we cannot be introduced to counterfeits. The scripture clearly teaches lying signs and wonders as well as true signs and wonders. This is what many Christians like to do. We go to a meeting and see revival manifestations and we either categorically accept them ALL as being from God or categorically reject ANY from being of God. Why is this? Because it is the spiritually mature man who must discern all things. One minister at a recent revival told his audience that if you are born again then you CANNOT BE DECEIVED. He continued his teaching “to allow anything that they were feeling… to happen because you have nothing to worry about, God will not give you a stone.” No doubt some felt relieved because of this teaching, it released them from the responsibility entrusted to them, and yet they were being deceived as he taught them that they could not be deceived. The reason we lack the discernment is because we are frightened of the responsibility of growing up. God is returning for a “mature church” and a “nation of priests” and those who forfeit “adulthood” and “priesthood” will in the last days respond to affliction as a baby – literally crying instead of laughing.

We have said that it is scriptural to have a “revival manifestation” because of the scriptures that relate to “signs and wonders” - does that mean that you are in the clear? Does responsibility end there? No. We must now discern and test these spirits. John specifically taught Christians to TEST THE SPIRITS because they had the ability to receive a counterfeit spirit. There are a lot of spirits out there but only one of them is God, and none of them can usually be physically discerned unless it relates to clear demon possession such as screams, abuse of the body, and other clear cut signs. I have seen in these last days, “demon possession” manifestations which leaders were calling revival manifestations. In these cases the immaturity of the leader may include God pouring out a “spirit of deep sleep” upon the person as Isaiah declares in Chapter 29, verses 9 and 10. Again you cannot call darkness – Light.

Isa 5:20

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

I Jn 4:1

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Concerning the discernment of these revival manifestations, it does not matter what sign is manifested, it does not matter if it is in the Bible or not, we have to test it! For example, Jesus turned over the moneychangers and we know it was done in the right spirit. Would you follow His example? It is listed in the scripture, isn’t it? You would not follow it quickly. Why? Because you are convinced that to do so could only be done with the right spirit. You also know that to do so in the wrong spirit would have painful consequences. You may observe those that commercialize the church and the Gospel but we do not thrust them out because we could only do so in the Power of His might - at His bidding and not ours. This is the point; when it comes to a sign and wonder we tend to abandon the same criteria. Why? Because we lack the fear of God. We do not grieve when God tells us to turn right and we turn left instead. We may find that when we did not obey Him in a matter - we failed to feel sorrow that leads to repentance. We presume something is of God before weighing it before Him at His throne. We assume that this is a sign of His because the minister said that it was. In fact everyone seemed to accept it - it must be God. On the other hand “anti-manifestation” brothers will assume it is not God because it does not fit their view, their doctrine, and their knowledge of Who Jesus is. All of this grieves God. His Spirit is a grieving Spirit even though some of us think that He only laughs.

What grieves God more is this - we find it easier to jump into the "flow" then to jump into the Word of God being preached in Power. We want Power in the form of what we can feel instead of the Power that can come forth from God's true prophets in revelation of the scriptures. There was more Power in Peter's message, in Stephen's message then anything you could ever feel in a revival. If you desire to "feel" more than hearing the present Truth that can come forth from servants like Stephen, then there is a serious problem. I have experienced Power in the touch of God's hand - in the form of a bodily tangible power. I have experienced Power in the Word from those that preached with revelation - the latter will always be my desire even though I would never refuse the former. The Power in the Word of God when preached can open the heavens. It sure did for Stephen as he had the opportunity to lay down his life. There is a danger when the Manna from heaven is “not enough” for us anymore. We sing, “we want more”, we pray for God to “send us the power” – in reality this can be dissatisfaction for His Manna – His words. Instead we will get quail, it will taste good for a moment, but death will come afterwards.

Num 11:31-34

Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. There they buried the people who had craved other food. (NIV)

Test your motives when desiring power in a revival meeting. Let me also provoke your thinking in this story of the quail. The children of Israel were sick of (manna) from God. This would be a type of us being sick of the Word of God and teachings from the pulpit. The children of Israel lusted for meat from God (something God was not ready to give at the present time). This would be a “type” for those of us that lust for the power of God (that God is not giving right now). Quail came down to the children of Israel. Who sent the quail? Was it the enemy? No, it was God Who sent the quail. Our admonition is this, if we lust for the power of God that God is not sending at the present time – He may still send you the power. You may want to feel the power and God may be saying, “be content with the manna”. But the power in the manna is not satisfying you anymore so you want MORE. God may send “more”, you may receive that “more” and while it is between your teeth – His anger will be kindled against you. Surely God will send meat in His time and it is a good thing but those who crave something that God is not giving at this moment - have rejected Him.

Num 11:20

but for a whole month-- until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it-- because you have rejected the LORD (NIV)

Again we must test the spirits before jumping into the "flow". Now comes even more difficulty, the manifestation in a person in a meeting can be of carnal influence and the same type of manifestation in another that is standing nearby to them will be of the Spirit of God. Some revivalists lack the discerning to help you in this matter or are afraid to quench the spirit. You must discern for yourself! Remember that bitter and sweet water flows from the same well. This is the characteristic of immaturity. Many times God will meet a believer at a revival meeting in spite of everything else that may be occurring – NOT OF GOD. Categorically rejecting or accepting a revival manifestation can lead to error. The wisdom of Jesus dictates that you should not be caught on any side, you should test EVERY spirit behind EVERY revival manifestation that CONCERNS YOU. In saying these things we can become fearful of even receiving meat that God IS GIVING. This also is not the wisdom of God. Being fearful is not “fear of God” - it is a substitute. The fear of God works arm in arm with faith. You simply have faith that you are God’s priest and God is faithful to give you the nose of discernment to smell the difference between the incense with the “God ordered mixture” and the incense that smells more like “embalming fluid”, a product of death. God will give you the nose, God will give you the wisdom to respond correctly, and God always gives you the walk of mercy that responds like Jesus when confronted with evil.

Some will respond to discernment by saying “we will know them by their fruits”. But, we are “fruit checkers” for the purpose of discerning false apostles and ministers and not for revival manifestations. Many times God may visit someone at a revival but that same person when tested will fall away. In other times a “revival manifestation” will occur that is not God and yet that person bears fruit; not because of the manifestation but because they hid the Word of God in their heart and when tested they clung to Jesus in unswerving faith in His Word. The fruit does not prove the manifestation; it is the Word that was planted on good soil that bore fruit. Sometimes a revival manifestation might be God but the individual may lack control over their spirit. Proverbs 25:28 says “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” The lack of control will bring reproach upon the gospel of our Lord instead of a witness in His Name. We have this saying of how we sometimes “get filled with the Holy Spirit and we kiss our brains goodbye”. God gives us wisdom and this includes practical wisdom, and Proverbs is filled with practical wisdom from heaven.

There is much confusion in the church concerning revival manifestations. Remember that the spirit of debate is called a “work of the flesh”. Do not enter into it. Do not get distracted by what others are doing. There is a danger on both sides of the fence in this issue and it is a test of spiritual thinking that will prevent you from getting in a place of blindness. It is also a test that will see if we can love the body of Christ to the point to where we can have faith that the “other part of the body” will overcome just like God had mercy on us to overcome. THIS ISSUE IS A TEST OF RESPONSES! Can you believe that others that lack discernment will obtain discernment just like you have received? Some will fall away, but don’t you become the reason that they fell away. Your response to the undiscerning is a test of how much of the character of Jesus you really possess. Spiritually speaking, these undiscerning brothers and sisters are still the family of God, the body of Christ, and the promise land. If we go to the promise land as God’s witness we cannot ignore the giants in the land and yet simultaneously we must SEE THEM AS DEFEATED! Do you see a lack of discernment in others as a giant that by faith is defeated? Our chapter on “Test of Responses” is very important in how we deal with those lacking discernment.

In discernment, as God’s priest we can swerve from the truth just as well as those that are the subject of our discernment. If we simply stand on the sidelines with arms crossed in a defensive posture then we can be in error that is much worse than the ones we are trying to discern. For instance, in our priesthood we are never led by the Spirit to enter into a "river" (an anointing) that you do not “SEE God” in, you cannot dive in, until you know that you have heaven's approval, this is good. Jesus told Peter to come and walk on the water, Peter responded through Jesus permission. This response of not leaving the boat until you know that you have Jesus’ permission is called the fear of God. This is a good thing. You are to be commended if that is your response; it is a response of maturity. However the danger comes when you sit on the sidelines in discernment and become like Michal, Saul’s daughter, David’s wife, who was seen looking out of a window while her beloved David was dancing in the streets; the wife responded to that dancing in - despising David and also the event. We must fear God that we do not despise the “David” of our revival. We are wed to others in the body and we can fall into this trap.

Michal’s story is one of tragedy; she and her “first love” (David) were married but because David's life was in danger Michal helped David to escape out a window from David’s enemy – Saul, her own father. This was a window of deliverance that Michal provided for her love. After David was gone, Michal’s father gave her to another man and they were married. Later on David made an agreement with Abner to get her back. Though David got her physically back, Michal’s heart was with her current husband who followed her and wept as Michal was being taken away. If we provide the “window of deliverance” for others, we are demonstrating the “first love”. This is what Michal did for her beloved David. When we go to services with our brethren we must always offer them the window of deliverance so that they may escape the enemy's hand. Michal now stood at the window for a second time, this time it was to despise her husband who was dancing before the Lord.

Now, If we “fall out of love” with our brethren then we will provide the “window of despising”. At first we may have led them to the Lord, got them delivered, but now we think they are mixed up in that “dancing thing” or that “rejoicing thing” or you fill in the blank. It is not wrong to “not participate”. If you are not sure it is God then you should not participate, especially on the word of another, you must bear witness within. The danger is that you do not participate and you despise the “David”. On that day David was dancing before the ark, he was uncovered. The openness of others can offend us if we look through the wrong window. David shouted, He leaped – he was literally ecstatic over the “ark of presence” returning to Israel. When Jesus returns as the Ark of Presence – there will be a similar response “in our flesh” for the “King of kings”. In other words when Jesus is on the verge of returning, when He shows up - we will go ballistic.

The consequence of Michal’s attitude was BARRENNESS! If we stand in the “window of despising” we shall become a barren people. It is said that every new move of God is persecuted by the previous move of God. The previous move were an open people, they sat in the window of deliverance, but now they despise the new wine that God is giving because it does not work with the wineskin that they have formed for so many years. Their wineskin did not possess hilarity and therefore the Spirit of God has no place to laugh in their service. One must toss the old wineskin when all its wine has been used up or it will seek to despise God’s new wineskin along with its new wine. What was David’s response in all of this?

2 Sam 6:21

And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.

Now in saying these things, does that mean that with the “new wineskin” and the “new wine” - that anything goes? Not at all, whatever response you give, it must be “before the Lord” as David declared. There is a time for dancing and there is a time for mourning, for soberness. When I am at home I may feel more like dancing, when I am in the church with my brethren I may feel like mourning because I see the “works of Satan” that have yet to be broken. We are all different but we must not be resistant to change our mourning into dancing and our dancing into mourning. We must not be resistant to toss our present wineskin for HIS PRESENT WINESKIN. You may be in the current “new wine” with God’s “new wineskin order” and tomorrow will be used temporarily of the enemy to attack God’s newer wine and newer wineskin. This is a principle that if you see, it will help you in the days to come.

If you are in a situation where you do not have to deal with revival manifestations - do not focus on them. Simply preach Jesus and Him crucified and He will expose the "hidden thing". If you are a participant in a revival manifestations then always fear God. Especially fear God when the manifestation has any "bizarre" nature to it. If it is of a "slight" nature then do not allow the "fear of man" to interfere, God will not fall off His throne because we happen to fall down when we are prayed for - it should not be an issue. It should not be something that can offend another brother. The thing that is important is what happens the following week when you get up. If you are disrupting the order of a service then you must know that you know – it is God. If the Pastor disagrees than it most likely was not God and you should remain teachable and not be offended. House rules for a church service are much like house rules when you are invited over to eat at one’s house. If their custom is to take your shoes off when you enter their house, submit and take your shoes off. If the custom of a particular church is to not interrupt a service, obey that house rule. Ask permission from the head of the house if you need to make an exception to the house rule. Most disruption is because of a lack of control over one’s own spirit, not necessarily because it was a demonic unction or rebellion. Yet Satan still has his hand in the matter by blinding us to the wisdom of “controlling our own spirit”.

Some things are more easily discerned because of God’s Way in a matter, for instance if one is preaching with the power of God – only Satan would interrupt, God’s Way is focused upon His Word. Signs and wonders follow the Word, maybe precede the word but should never interrupt the word. There are no exceptions here unless the minister was not preaching in power. It has been said that a revival manifestation should interrupt certain ministers because they were not speaking from heaven. If the minister is not preaching in power then he should abase himself before God for failing the call. There are no exceptions; the Word preached in Power is the most important element of any Christian service. The reason many people would rather see signs and wonders is because of the lack of power and present truth displayed in the message.

God has set a table for you, do not desire something not set on the table and do not refuse something He has set on the table for you to eat. How do you know what He wants you to eat? If you will abide in Jesus, learning and DOING His sayings then He changes your cravings for what is set on His table. Let us say one goes to a revival meeting but habitually rejects the life of daily abiding in the vine; his cravings will be amiss. Though he may ask of the Father and believes it to be bread, it may be a serpent because he knows not the true Jesus in a daily abiding. If you are abiding daily in the vine then you are able to test the spirits because God had changed your craving on the inside of you. You may be able to exhibit an outward manifestation based on the Holy Spirit’s operation on the inside and it is totally God whether it fits someone’s doctrine or not. On the other hand you would be able to reject something that is contrary in a moment because its source is unlike the source you daily draw from. In other words, because you draw from His nature the result is that you know and have become His nature – THAT IS THE OBJECT THAT YOU COMPARE TO. That is how you test the spirits, you compare the nature of that which is manifesting with the nature that you KNOW, then there is no confusion in these matters; then the opinion of man, pro or con, matters not. The bottom line is - deception is prevalent where abiding in Jesus and His words are absent. Abiding in Jesus means you relate to Him, you learn of Him and you obey Him.

God is pouring out His New Wine with New Wineskins; there will be the final wine and a final wineskin as well. The true church will come to a place where she is no longer a wrong mixture, she will become the anointing of the Lord mixture, or she will become a mixture that the scripture calls an abomination. I trust that you have received life and wisdom that will edify you to become THE ANOINTING OF THE LORD.

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