The following is an email I sent to brother Andrew Storm (see http://www.revivalschool.com) - this article may have been seen by someone else on this site before Andrew even read it (if he did), but facts such as these would constitute a crime if they were withheld from the public - hence this important message:
Dear Brother Andrew,
Blessings on you! There are not many brothers I would write like this and consider it important enough to put on the web, but that's because I don't consider them important enough to be worth writing. Why would I say something like this? Not because I am a respecter of persons, but because in this case I am NOT, and I think the Lord would agree with this. God loves us all and He will never love you or I any more than He does at this very moment, BUT He is a respecter and rewarder of our works and especially so if they are wrought in God through the purifying fires of the sifting Spirit of God.
I believe seriously in what you're doing in the "John the Baptist" weekends, or I would not even make a point of my few disagreements with it (very few, I might add). And yes, I do believe this kind of conference will change lives with eternal effects.
In your New Testament Weekend email you mentioned restoration and you said that the most essential thing to be restored is the 'APOSTOLIC GOSPEL', but this is where I must step up to the batter's plate and say that I disagree. If anything or anyone or any issue is ever in any way more pre-eminent than Christ Himself then we, once again, are sowing the same seeds of failure and corruption that group after group of Christians crying "restoration" have erred with and fallen by the wayside: once again short of the grace of God. The most essential element of the Christian life that needs to be restored is the centrality, universality and supremacy of Christ in the midst of, heading up, and as everything to His people. Without this, so many other things, no matter how Biblical, proper and seemingly working for awhile they may seem: don't really pan out the way they should. The sad and deceiving thing is: these things to us seem good, but in the sight of God they are just like the half phone booth was to Clark Kent. His saving action in having to work through within the factors of time and space to rescue mankind are frustrated and postponed. Of course, in some cases, even a few seconds postponement can mean death for some.
But, then again, if you mean what I think you mean when you said: "If we do not have this gospel, we have nothing. It is impossible to have New Testament Christianity without it.", then we surely do not disagree that much. For the real question is: what IS the apostolic gospel? Or to start to bring this point into focus should I say WHO is the apostolic gospel? To my mind at least it is very clear what the meaning of Paul's words were in Galatians chapter 1 when he said "6 ¶ I wonder that ye thus quickly change, from him that called you in Christ’s grace, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another one; but there are some that trouble you, and desire to pervert the glad tidings of the Christ." (J. N. Darby version) When he used the words "quickly change, from him ... to a different gospel", it is obvious to me that Paul's gospel WAS CHRIST! This surely adds new light on Paul's words: " 8 But if even *we* or an angel out of heaven announce as glad tidings to you anything besides what we have announced as glad tidings to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, now also again I say, If any one announce to you as glad tidings anything besides what ye have received, let him be accursed." In other words, not only had our gospel better be the same one Paul preached, but when we open our mouth to speak the gospel, it's not the real gospel if it is not JESUS coming forth out of our mouth and being livingly communicated to the people!! Now, my brother, if THIS is what you mean by the gospel, and if you agree that Paul's gospel was Christ, then I'm sure we are in agreement. But through these words I think you can see why it's so easy for folks to get out of agreement when other things other than the Lord Jesus become the focus. This is probably why the "prophetic movement" you spoke of very wisely, having disassociated yourself with it has gone off and fallen by the wayside so easily.
Of course, we must also take into account the rest of Paul's definition of the gospel in I Cor. 15:3,4 as having to do with the historical facts of Christ's death and resurrection. Indeed, Christ must come forth through us revealed by the historical facts of His death and resurrection. This is progressive according to Romans 1 where he says the gospel is God's power (in I Cor. he says the word of the cross is God's very power) and it operates and progresses from faith to faith. Surely I think that the message of Romans 8 and living and walking by the Spirit is definitely part of this progressive revelation, faith and walk. It was definitely part of Paul's gospel which is not just to forgive and justify, but also to save us from the power of sin through sanctifying us.
I think if anyone in the last 100 years ever had this gospel it was T. Austin Sparks. I am not the only one who agrees that this brother had more Christ oozing forth from his message than anyone else we could think of .... BUT!! ...... there is something else! It was the Lord Jesus Who said that wherever this gospel would be preached mention should be made of the woman who poured the precious alabaster at His feet. We MUST not forget this!! Possibly she is the same one who chose the "one thing needful" Jesus mentioned as being all important. THIS, I believe is really the most essential thing - to sit at His feet madly in love with Him, hearing His word, taking His directions, doing only what He directs, preaching only what He mandates, when He mandates and only as HE flows out through revealing Himself AS the gospel through the aspects and relations of His incarnation, human living, divinity, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and soon return! THIS CHRIST is the gospel. Of course the highest revelation is Colossians and Ephesians where the revelation of Christ revealed therein is the most profound.
So, my brother Andrew, you don't really think that I would take the time to write to you just to mention the aforementioned items do you? No! Of course not! Rather I am writing to address THE thing that I believe is paramount to both of our hearts and also to the heart of God also - that is: how are we missing it: how can we get back to the same experience of Christ that the early disciples and Christians in the 1st century had? Not just the same miracles and signs, but the same heart experiences, building up of the Body and glorification of Christ by the resulting fruitfulness including of course the same kinds of times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord?
A Big Need of Our Times
Yes, I do agree that revival is a big need today. The people of God are so buried in spiritual death they are not even aware of things around them and what they imply. As a result, there is spiritual blindness, deafness, dullness of sense, lameness and like you wrote of the prophetic movement of which you departed, there is no discernment among those purported to be spiritual giants even. What a deplorable situation this is!
So why would I write an article that is seemingly against revival??? Right now I would ask you to stop and read my online article: Revivals in the Book of Acts on my web site (my Addendum 1). The site home address is http://www.lostkeysrevelation.com/ ... and I think you'll find that I am not against revival. In fact I spent 2 years of my life studying revivals and how they come about. I am merely against pouring new wine into old wineskins. I am into not repeating the mistakes of the past. There have been too too many great revivals that had very little lasting effect and minimal remaining fruit as far as eternal results or contributing much of anything at all to the eternal purpose.
If you were not acquainted with those who have seen some REAL revival (as opposed to all the counterfeits we have today) which brings loud weeping and mourning between the porch and the altar resulting in the rain of the Holy Spirit, then I would not waste my time writing you. But you have seen and been associated with some who can probe the conscience and start to bring these kinds of results. Hence I write.
Last week, after writing an email to a friend in reply to your message on the New Testament weekend saying why I disagreed with it (as I wrote to above - possibly not much of a disagreement), I was in the Word and prayer before the Lord and suddenly the Holy Spirit was all over me as I began to notice things in the Word concerning Nehemiah chapters 8 and 9. 1st of all, they all gathered together as one man. Even this has some previous developments or it could not have happened. But if you remember that the main mistakes through the ages has been to pour new wine into old wineskins, you will be motivated to dig and find out what the blueprint in His Word is for restoration lest we repeat again and again the mistakes of history bygone.
Here's my point on the first point: as one man : this happened on the day of Pentecost and several other times in the book of Acts. But before the oneness resulting in the great former rain outpouring what happened? There was 10 days of praying day and night from 120 people crying out to God fulfilling the requirements of of the prophet Joel for revival. The problem is, too many times we stop right here and have not dug further to see what proceeded those 10 days. Many revivals at the turn of the 20th century have resulted from zealous Christians (and God blessed them for it) at least doing something right and taking 10 or so days to pray together from the heart for an outpouring. And God rent the heavens and came down!! It DOES work. However, not only is there something before Acts 2, which is Acts 1, but before Acts 1 was John 21 ... etc. etc. ... and what was before John 21?
This is our main problem as the Lord said in His parable concerning the sower who went forth to sow. The seeds that could not take deep enough root in the proper soil could not handle the heat, the birds or the choking of the weeds. We must return ALL the way back to our roots!! And pray tell, what are they? Well let's start with John 21. The main aspect of John 21 was the Lord's heart rending question to Peter: "do you love Me more than these?" He didn't come down on Peter and rebuke him for going back fishing. he merely finished the job He had been doing for 3 1/2 years by finishing the completion of gaining the disciples' hearts in a completion of love. What was the result? A complete dedication of themselves to Him. Suddenly what was started when they left their nets for Him was completed in them. They were willing to forget the nets, the heavens, the earth and everything else except Jesus! They were crazy in love with Jesus! THIS has to proceed the 10 days of prayer or it is not going to have much roots!
As you might have guessed I am going to go back even further than John 21- OK, how about the beginning in John 1? "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we have contemplated his glory, a glory as of an only-begotten with a father), full of grace and truth;" Possibly you have heard that the word "dwelt is translated "Tabernacled among us". What is the point here? Before the final gaining of their hearts (of course there was the factor of Peter's humiliating sinful defeat in denying the Lord - a Romans 7 experience proceeding coming to the end of ourselves introducing to Romans 8 hopefully) they SPENT 20,000 or so HOURS in the direct presence of the living God or 3 1/2 years with Jesus day and night observing Him, learning Him and soaking Him up. THIS is the missing factor!!!
We are back to the Magdalene again, sitting at Jesus feet, soaking up the word of His heart. (Hmmm!!!)
If you are wise you will ask "is there anything proceeding this?" I was hoping you would ask that question! Yes, before the Word made flesh tabernacling with us and the training of the 12 there was the training of the Son. This included an eternity past of fellowship and life-flow (zoe' type life!) flowing between the Father and Son and then 30 years in a carpenter's shop (!!!) bringing his humanity into it all. Then for 3 1/2 years the 12 got to watch it all (watch what? the fellowship between the Son and His Father and the living that resulted!!!!). Please please please, my dear brother, if you never read anything else on my web site (but I hope you will), please read my 2 related articles: Addendum 4 and the related article A Vision of Christ as this is all part of God's blueprint which finally resulted in the mighty rushing wind of the day of Pentecost. We think it is enough to have the ten days of prayer so often, but God needs some great men of God to be there and that takes some time and we don't want to admit it!
But my point is, we need to have what it takes to have the real meaning of "they all gathered together as one man" and to emphasize oneness primarily will never get us there but only if we emphasize Christ will we ever arrive.
I think you well understand the next great point of Nehemiah 8. You are a student of Charles Finney just as I have been having read all his works. There is the need of the "reading of the law" prior to revival. What this does is probe the conscience in preparation for the way of the Lord just as John the Baptist did to prepare for Christ by making the hills a plain and raising the valleys by exalting them instead. Yes, I have read your works on preaching a searching and convicting message and totally agree (although we also need the balance of the other side of His mercy and grace to quickly follow).
Now here's something interesting. the reading of the law in Nehemiah 8 caused the people to mourn and weep and that being their tendency rather than to take action, Nehemiah adjoined them to NOT weep at that point but rather to "Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared; for the day is holy to our Lord; and be not grieved, for the joy of Jehovah is your strength." Here again I would like to point to the elements of the new wineskin and not merely the elements of revival. Because, once again, if the new wine is poured into old traditional wineskins, the old wineskins will just burst and the wine will be spilt. I am not rebuking you here at all, nor am I trying to correct you, rather I am commending you for bringing up the old paths of the traditions of the apostles in your camp meetings. this is not only beneficial, it is necessary for containing the new wine and not many understand this. Also I think these things many times do not follow revival but rather sometimes must precede it as in the case of Nehemiah - especially the send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared part. Also this eating and drinking of Christ and joying in Christ is a big basic of the new wineskin.
So what followed? Building! Instead of allowing these folks to weep and mourn and merely have an emotional experience Nehemiah got them to do something to start to form them and conform them to Christ (not that he understood it this way) and the result was they wanted to follow on with zeal and do more! What followed was a re-enactment of the feast of tabernacles! They built the booths BUT because they had had the reading of the law, they did it right, not according to today's ways of trying to re-enact without a thorough knowledge of the blueprint.
Of course, as I said before, when things are not built right it
is a frustration to the Lord. However, the real deep meaning of the "dwelling in
booths", of course, was the intimate fellowshipping with Christ - us dwelling in
Him and the resulting keeping of His commandments by grace resulting in the
Father and the Son coming to us and dwelling within us. The result?
"16 And the people went forth and brought them, and made
themselves booths, everyone upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and
in the courts of the house of God, and in the open space of the water-gate, and
in the open space of the gate of Ephraim.
17 And all the congregation of them that had come back from the captivity made booths, and dwelt in the booths. For since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun until that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness." Joy! We need to be careful we don't build the booths according to man's modern version (the picture above is an allegory of this - in "Superman, The Movie", Mr. Kent couldn't use the modern booth as a vehicle for morphing but was forced to run to a revolving door).
So what after 7 days of this?? More joy! Not many besides the late Witness Lee testified much about enjoying the Lord, but this is the same thing as assimilating Him, eating him and drinking Him. How could it be any other way. Well of course there already had been the blessing of God and the true worship (which is denoted by their humility with the words "their faces to the ground" (Neh. 8:6). But finally on the 8th day they were ready for a solemn assembly. STILL, I would not say it is full fledged revival and so what if it was?!!!! If the wine had poured into a leaking wineskin, what a waste it would been. It wasn't yet time and Nehemiah knew it - yet on the 24th day .... the drenching downpour came!!!! I think you would agree that on the face weeping and crying out with loud loud voices is a pretty good indication of it! But also we have these indications: "1 And on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth's, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Jehovah their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed, and worshipped Jehovah their God." This is conclusive, I would think.
So what's the point? My point is that if AFTER genuine building (the booths), after and according to the pattern of course, where the built up Body already has proper functioning (not dysfunctional) by joints and bands through not only the proper eating and drinking of Christ, but the ministering of the same through the "measure of each one part" building up into the Head (the one-accord thing having been long preceding all this) - so OK - if AFTER this proper new wineskin is made available to the Lord there is an outpouring, it will be contained! The changes WILL be lasting! There will be ETERNAL fruit!
I am going to ask you humbly if you will add my link to your site as I'm definitely going to add yours to mine whether you do so or not. But here I would also like to point out another link to Frank Viola's site to an article that is becoming a big discussion on the internet right now. He mentions first many of the positives in his online article concerning the present day "house-church movement" but also hits the nail on the head as to what is missing. The link is entitled "Will the Emerging Church Fully emerge?" at http://www.ptmin.org/fullyemerge.htm I do not believe it is wise to miss anything from God's blueprint lest the whole house fall down! I think that both his main negative and his main positive are both right on. First and foremost he attacks the modern day office of the pastor and his view of "leadership by example", not lording it over is both balanced and it works! On the positive side he exalts knowing Christ together in the depths as being the most necessary element to be restored. This is also right. On that line there is something of his worth quoting here. He says: "What is my point? Paul had a living encounter with His Lord that shook him to his foundations. A ministry was born out of that encounter. And that ministry was a Person! Paul did not occupy himself with Christian “things.” His occupation was the Lord Himself. And this glorious Lord embodies all things spiritual." Here I would like to introduce you to the writings of 2 brothers if you would really want to honestly see into a very balanced view of God's blueprint for building. Brothers Frank Viola and his mentor: especially Gene Edwards.
So do I think you are missing it here or something and is that why I write? No, rather it is because I think you are one of the rare persons who just might get it, so there is hope! But also of course I don't want you to miss out on anything! If this is not our attitude towards one another I don't believe we have a Christian attitude. This is why THIS particular email I have also made public because I don't want ANYONE to miss out on anything. But alas! Who will even know that this is here. This is why I would ask you to also make this public on your site. You see, I am one who through my foolishnesses in life am missing out on many things. Yes, I am broken .... incomplete ... certain things are missing. It's paradoxical why there are certain lives like this but we are reflections of Him. With him there are also things missing. He is waiting , longing for His Her. Our Heavenly Isaac awaits His BRIDE, His rib, His HEAVENLY REBECCA to bring her to His tent of love! MAY WE DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO HELP BRING HER THERE!! May the grace of Christ continue with your spirit.
In the Lamb,