Revival or Reformation, Which? Print E-mail
Revival or Reformation…Which?
by: Bishop Samuel Smith


“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:3)

“And if ye will not be reformed by me these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that will avenge the quarrel of my covenant: And when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy” (Leviticus 26:23-25).

Many and zealous are the proponents of Revival. We see the state of our world and rightfully discern that a sovereign move of God is the only hope for this generation. The prophet Habakkuk rightfully implored the Lord to revive His works, (see Habakkuk 3:2).

Sometimes the Lord shows us the big picture in unexpected ways. While ministering at an Hispanic conference, the brother who transported me from the hotel to the services related an incident that he had just experienced. He was an immigrant with broken English, his sincerity so impressed me; he continued that he had recently sought the Lord for enablement to go to a higher level, to be used of God in a greater measure, for more faith and power. The Lord answered that before his quest for true spiritual growth could be answered, for him and any other, he must return to the doctrine of the Apostles. Upon my inquiry, I discovered that the doctrine the Lord impressed him with was not relative to traditional nor cultural matters, but, the essentials of salvation; the new birth, purity, personal discipline, eternity, and witnessing. Indeed, his revelation was consistent with the Apostle’s Doctrine as clearly defined in the book of Acts.

When I was just beginning my ministry in the early 1960’s, I heard then, that the American Church had become so subnormal, that if it ever returned to the first century normal, that people in the twentieth century would call it abnormal.

“Great cathedrals and costly houses of worship dazzle our eyes and stir the wonder of the passerby; mighty throngs stream through their aisles every Sabbath; and yet there is a situation that chills the hearts of many of God’s wisest servants. It is a good time to inquire, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’” – Rev. E. K. Cox, 1929

Recently, I read again a book written in 1961 by Leonard Ravenhill, the noted revivalist of the twentieth century; even then he was lamenting the worldliness and backslidden state of the church. He proclaimed that the United States was “entertaining itself to hell.” He warned of the lack of eternity preaching, that the issues of “heaven and hell,” were being ignored. He lamented the lack of sincerity in the pulpit; how so many were no longer preaching real salvation, values, and separation from the love of the world; but instead, ease and prosperity, “a feel good gospel.”

“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.” – Leonard Ravenhill

Lately, I have been shocked to hear three prominent radio talk-show hosts make the following statements. Said one, “I feel that I am a watchman on the wall, warning my listeners of the storm that is coming, our culture is collapsing. The Bible says, ‘If the watchman does not sound the alarm, their blood is upon his hands’” (see Ezekiel 33:6). Another talk-show host said; “I am not a priest, rabbi, or minister, but, if I were, I would be preaching values to my congregation; thus, I feel it is now necessary that I become an evangelist to my radio audience and call them to a renewal of spiritual values.” The third said, relative to the recent mandate that sex-ed be taught in all New York schools; “If I have to quit radio and stay home and home-school my kids, I will, before I allow the state to fill their minds with suggestive themes that steal their innocence and provoke them to sexual experimentation.”

It is a sad state of affairs when secular radio talk-show hosts have more clarity with regards to standards than do most TV evangelists, and pulpiteers of our time. Apostle Peter, the man with the keys, taught, judgment must begin at the house of God; meaning that the church has got to get it right first before it can reach the world. We know too well, that much of what goes under the banner of preaching today is little more than mouthing denominational platitudes, shaded with traditional themes; too often in conjunction with “smoke and mirrors”…theatric-like Hollywood-like productions. Where is the powerful preaching that convicts hell-bound souls of their wicked ways and draws them to the foot of the cross?

We live in a day of itching ears, but, I have no commission from God to scratch them.” – Leonard Ravenhill

I began my ministry in the 1960’s and can say that society then was like a church camp compared to today. The culture now has become increasingly coarse. The sports craze has reached incredible proportions, athletes making millions of dollars; awesome sports stadiums continue to be torn down and larger ones built. Everyone wants their “fifteen minutes of fame”; thus, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are resounding hits in once Christian-America. Christians stay out of church to watch the weekly drama to see which pseudo-hero; (oft-times gay, lesbian, trans-gendered, addicted, immoral, home-wrecker), will progress to the next round.

During the recent threat of a sports lockout and likelihood that the football season might be cancelled, one NFL star suggested that crime would increase on game-day Sundays because the people would have nothing to do. Excuse me, may I suggest church? The TV menus, from reality shows to comedies, are filled with profanity and lewd behavior that would have made a sailor blush in the 1960’s.

How can a real Christian stay at home and watch TV while the church doors are open and a man of God is pouring out from his very soul that which he has heard from the Lord? How many prayer closets are empty while living room couches host the reclining bodies of resting saints, fixated with their large screen TVs, with a cold drink in one hand and a handful of chips in the other? Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, the church (see Amos 6:1). How can men who should be pillars in the church, armor bearers, spend the Lord’s Day (Sunday), channel-surfing to catch every NFL score, root for their teams, and then slip into church, late, at the last moment, with no spiritual warm-up, and expect a supernatural move of the Holy Ghost that a lost and dying world must have to survive hell’s diabolical 3-D Assault; the devil, demons, and disease?

Where has American Christianity been during the dramatic decline in this decade? Look at the facts, the largest single church organization in the world is embroiled in an ongoing, unfolding scandal of sexual abuse by priests with children, settling lawsuit after lawsuit, costing multiple millions of dollars. The mainline Protestant denomination’s pulpits are filled with hirelings who have little or no commitment to the biblical Christ; who consider the ministry merely a profession, who make religious speeches once a week. Among the evangelical, full-gospel, charismatic, Pentecostal groups, there is a strange phenomenon of growth at any cost, what some call the “nickels and noses” doctrine; nickels in the offering and noses in the pews. There is a race to build bigger churches, boast of their membership numbers, and count the money! Their life-styles would make the world’s “rich and famous” envious. Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Catholics have their Bingo, and the Evangelicals play the numbers game.”

Does anyone remember the warnings of our godly forefathers?

“Since the fall of man, the earth has been a disaster area; and everyone lives with a critical emergency.” A.W. Tozer To this, Leonard Ravenhill added; “Yet many believers live as if this world were a playground instead of a battleground.”

Because of worldly distractions, wolves have crept in among the sheep, frauds prosper, who deceive and mislead the lambs for personal gain. All that glitters is not gold! Blessings and self improvement are great lessons in context; but the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing! Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost”. We are his witnesses. Christ-likeness is our commission. Think on this for a moment. What were His values? He taught boundaries and eternal preparedness. If your eye offend thee, pluck it out, (see Matthew 5:29). Friendship with the world is enmity with God, (see James 4:4). If the love of the world is in you, the love of the Father is not, (see I John 2:15). When the basics of the Gospels are taught and practiced, everything else falls into line; Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, (see Matthew 6:33).

Apostle Paul said, Come out from among them and be ye separate, (see II Corinthians 6:17). Can churches really justify Super Bowl Sundays? Considering the state of our world, fallen mankind, the decadence of our culture and the obvious “beginning of sorrows” in which we now live, can the church justify a throw-away service that focuses more on worldliness than godliness? Remember, Jesus said, “Love not the world.” Why would an Apostolic preacher want to attend Mardi Gras? What is so attractive there to a servant of the Lord, when the world recognizes Mardi Gras as a celebration of decadence? What can be there that a saint would find pleasurable? Would Jesus have been crucified if he had preached and conducted his life like many Apostolics today? Would he feel welcome in the average church today? Little wonder in the book of Revelation that our Lord Jesus Christ, who once stood in the midst of the candlestick, dominant in the church-age, now at the end-time stands knocking at the door, seeking to re-enter, (see Revelation 3:20).

So, when we talk about Revival, what do we mean? Does it mean returning all the way back to the teachings of Jesus and the lives of the Apostles? Are we willing to go back that far, to live by faith, to endure persecutions? Regular prayer and fasting? Millions in the “third-world” do, and …they have true Revival! They will stand against the “first-world” Christians in judgment. Little wonder, Jesus said; “the last shall be first,” (see Matthew 19:20).

I found this article, old and yellowed, clipped out and saved in my beloved Mother’s Bible after she passed away. It read: “How each Apostle died: All of them were insulted by the enemies of their Master. They were called to seal their doctrines with their blood and nobly did they bear the trial.”

Matthew suffered martyrdom by being slain with a sword at a distant city of Ethiopia. Mark expired at Alexandria, Egypt, after being cruelly dragged through the streets of that city. Luke was hanged upon an olive tree in the classic land of Greece. John was put in a caldron of boiling oil, but escaped death in a miraculous manner, and was afterward banished to Patmos. Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downward. James, the Greater, was beheaded at Jerusalem. James, the Less, was thrown from a lofty pinnacle of the temple, and then beaten to death with a fuller’s club. Bartholomew was flayed (skinned) alive. Andrew was bound to a cross, and preached to his persecutors until he died. Thomas was run through the body with a lance in India. Jude was shot to death with arrows. Matthias was first stoned and then beheaded. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica. Paul, after various tortures and persecutions, was finally beheaded at Rome by the Emperor Nero. Such was the fate of the Apostles.

Often, we narrow our concept of Revival to longing for a nostalgic re-run of life’s yesterdays, satisfied with recycling what were better days in our earlier walk with Christ. Indeed, the sincerity, discipline, and commitment then, were by comparison to now, mostly better; but, in reality, many of the traditions that were picked up then were the forerunners of what is wrong with the church today. I, for one, do not want to return to judgmental attitudes, oft-times self-righteousness, strife and discord, non-biblical (traditional and/or cultural) personal convictions of some, enforced upon others, that dominated a large part of the Apostolic/Pentecostal movement during the latter part of the twentieth century.

If, after the great Pentecostal outpouring at the beginning of the twentieth century and the subsequent doctrinal revelations, the full identity of Jesus, spiritual gifts, power for worldwide revival; think what could have been if there had not been the distractions, strife and division among so many? If Revival means going back to the “good ole days” that revives a spirit that renews fussing about hairdos, watch-bands, wedding rings, class rings, double-knit suits, comic pages in the newspapers, TV monitors, playing ball, pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib fusses, and the likes of which go on and on and on… never: those things do not need to be revived, they have done their eternal damage.

Wildfire, stumbling over pews, colliding with each other, and weirdness for weirdness sake; delving into acts of behavior that allegedly are the exercising of spiritual gifts that are more akin to entertaining familiar spirits; claiming miracles that are no more than mirages that massage the false prophet’s ego and fills his wallet, that at first only deceive the people, but in the end, wreck their faith; these do not need to be revived. We are supposed to judge such! “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God,” (I Peter 4:17).

“Discerning of spirits,” is one of the administrative gifts to the New Testament church, given to maintain order in the house of God, (see I Corinthians 12:10). We must be able to discern a true prophet from a hireling. “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour,” (Acts 16:16-18). Note, the damsel told the truth, but the origin of her utterance was not from God and Paul knew it; he identified it and cast it out, lest she gain credibility and continue her deception to the detriment of eternal souls. It should be noted that her dark gift, abusing and imitating the truth, was for someone’s personal gain!

Today, there are those in the pulpits who do not preach a salvation message, nor truly edify the Body of Christ; but, instead speak out of their own spirits for honorarium’s sake (personal profit). These are playing into the strategy of Satan to get the church out of order, out of focus, and off-track; we need discernment to know the difference between real prophecy and divination! “Wherein by their fruits you shall know them,” (Matthew 7:20). It is not an abuse of faith when one has good cause to consider the errors and recklessness of hirelings and doubt their calling.

Does anyone question that the time in which we now live is the “beginning of sorrows” that Jesus prophesied? (see Matthew 24:8) We hear the distant drum roll of Armageddon, the signs of Christ’s coming are everywhere, and tragically much of what we hear today in the average church is shallow, comfortable declarations that mislead the people, distracting them from their God-given purpose to prepare for and declare the nearness of the “Day of the Lord”!

“For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord,” (Jeremiah 29:9).

Our beloved Jesus did not come to the world to establish a system that makes glib speech-masters and architects rich. Oratory and lovely buildings have never birthed meaningful revival, restoration and salvation. If so, the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Mormons, would have Heaven on Earth.

Judgment must first begin at the house of God. Much that is wrong with America today is the result of a church-age that has lost it’s focus. Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and be trodden under foot of man,” (Matthew 5:13).

The world doesn’t believe the Bible, Christians don’t obey the Bible.” – Leonard Ravenhill

We can not influence the world by recycling our same old mistakes, it has not worked until now, and will not work as we race the rapture. The verdict is in; surely, anyone can see that this church-age has not held back the forces of evil in the USA. Walk through the Wal-Mart, channel-surf your TV and note what is on the menu; violence, gratuitous sex, vulgarity and profanity is the line-up. These are the days that Jesus prophesied “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking,…until the day that Noah entered into the ark,” (Matthew 24:38). He also identified this age, as; “the beginning of sorrows,” (see Matthew 24:8). We do our world a disservice if we fail to warn them. And…we do ourselves and our God a disservice if we fail to reform!

An unholy church! It is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church.” – C. H. Spurgeon

The church is supposed to be the “salt of the earth and the light of the world”. New wineskins are not optional, but a necessity. Revival is more than putting new patches on worn-out cloth. Had we been the watchmen that God called us to be, much of the excesses that plague our society would have been identified and avoided, or at least severely reduced. We need more Elijahs, Jonahs, and John the Baptists; and fewer super-stars, gimmicks, light-shows, smoke and mirrors.

“Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.” – A. W. Tozer

I am sorely disappointed when one of the most popular Apostolic evangelists of our era says, that he has never preached a negative message. He meant that as a good thing; implying that he was always positive, promoting hope, healings, and prosperity. Those subjects are good when maintained in context; but, they are never to take preeminence over the theme of the Bible. We are pilgrims passing through, preparing for our eternal destiny. Amos said, “Prepare to meet thy God,” (see Amos 4:12). Apostle Paul said, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (II Corinthians 5:11). Both authors of Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 state verbatim, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The Apostle Peter, immediately after declaring his memorable message on the day of Pentecost, that message and day that every spirit-filled believer relates to, cried out; “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40).

Satan does not care if one is rich or even in good health! A person can have it all, just as long as the “prince of darkness” gets them in the end. Look at the Kardashians, Donald Trumps, Brad Pitts, Lady Gagas, Michael Jacksons, Lindsay Lohans, Paris Hiltons, Whitney Houstons and Angelina Jolies of our world; can one honestly believe that worldly success and riches are legitimate symbols of God’s favor? I have been to too many “third-world” countries; what did those poor pastors do wrong? Many do not own a suit, no automobile, and live in what we would call a shack; but, they have spiritual treasure, revival, and power with God!

“The Holy Ghost does not come through methods, but upon men. Our Lord does not anoint machinery, but men. He does not work through organizations, but through men. He does not dwell in buildings, but men. He indwells the Body of Christ, directs its activities, distributes it forces, empowers it members.” – Samuel Chadwick

Please note these foundational scriptures: The lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, (see Rev. 13:8). For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, (John 3:16). Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, (see Luke 19:10). Apostle Peter testified, “Silver and gold have I none, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk,” (Acts 1:6). Our Lord Jesus asked; “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

Before the twenty-first century church can have a Bible-based Revival, there must be a Reformation. It will take more than going back to favorite moments in our religious experience and recycling them, because much of our nostalgia is not scriptural, but cultural, and we would only be repeating many of the same mistakes that have led to the staleness, ineptness and excesses that contribute to the present luke-warmness of the church that prevents it from being the spiritual power-house that it was destined to be: the irresistible force that prevails against the very gates of hell; just like the first church. Jesus said, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” (Matthew 16:18). For sure, there are forces in our present world that reinforce the “gates of hell:” doctrinal errors in the church, worldliness, idolatry and false religions throughout the world, atheism, and cultural decadence. Nothing less than a reformed New Testament Church can prevail against such formidable resistance!

President Ronald Reagan once said, “Facts are stubborn things;” please note these facts: (1) Many of the errant-emergent ministries are born out of frustration, bred by harsh, cold politically-correct Christianity; yes, even Pentecostalism. (2) Those who pursue revival while holding onto the errors of religious traditions, not compatible with biblical truth, will only frustrate the grace of God, confuse the people, and engender endless controversy, discord and division. (3) Worldliness in the church, the drift towards denominationalism, grieve the Holy Ghost, cause angels to blush and weaken the laity; none of these errors should be revived, but learned from and discarded. This desperate hour calls for nothing less that a Reformation first, and subsequently, true Bible Revival will follow.

“The chief danger of the church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel of the Holy Ghost!” – A.B. Simpson

Reformation, returning to the basics, it is not rocket-science, and it is not complicated. For example, the United States Constitution is the bedrock of this nation; it is brief, but contains the formula for our nation’s historic success. By comparison, the Word of God is compacted into a marvelous book that we call the Holy Bible; it is a masterpiece, it can be small enough to carry in one’s pocket or purse, but by divine purpose, contains everything that mankind needs for physical and spiritual success. As sure as the U.S. Constitution works for this nation, even more so, the Bible works for humanity. The first President of the United States, George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightfully govern the world without God and the Bible.” The seventh President Andrew Jackson, called it “The rock on which our republic is built.” The sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln said; “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.”

The Apostolic Church must stand squarely, and only, upon Holy Scripture, and needs to go all the way back to the roots of the Apostle’s Doctrine and get it right. We owe it to our world. That is why Apostle Paul, a witness to the first-century church, a foundational apostle, said that he was a debtor. “I am a debtor… So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel …For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” (see Romans 1:14-16). We must return to the sure foundation, build upon it, and then revive that: especially, when Apostle Peter, the man whom our Lord Jesus Christ awarded the keys of the kingdom, proclaimed; “…what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (see I Peter 4:17). For that reason, the premise demands that Reformation precedes Revival.

“The Book of Acts describes the Church of Jesus Christ before it became fat and out of breath by prosperity, and muscle bound by over-organization. This was the church where people were not forced to sign articles of faith, instead they acted in faith. Here was the place where worshippers did not “say” prayers, they prayed in the Holy Ghost. These folk did not gather together a group of intellectuals to study psychosomatic medicine, they simply healed the sick.” Dr. J .B. Phillips

I respectfully challenge every “progressive/emergent,” to take note that the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ is vital; the leaven of Babylon/Rome has been deadly to the church-age. Knowing for sure who He is, is more than just a convenient truth, it is not an option, it is imperative! “…the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32) Note the strong emphasis of our Lord Jesus; “I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24). Note the clarity of the Messianic prophecy by Isaiah; “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6). Once that truth, the Mighty God in Christ, is considered less than vital, the door is opened for every kind of deadly error to creep in; thus, the troubled history of Christianity throughout the ages.

How can anyone, any generation, any culture, ignore the powerful admonition of Apostle Paul, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16). Indeed, Paul believed that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Christ; “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

Main-line Christianity is in trouble, when an aged evangelical icon, who is now living out his final days, erroneously speaks (and the church-world holds their collective breath), saying; “we have brethren who are Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims, although they do not know Christ, they are our brethren indeed, because they do the works that Jesus taught.

Good works alone have never ensured salvation; otherwise, the Old Testament Law, and the cultures of all civilized people groups that promote good deeds, would have never required the cross, the blood of Jesus, and amazing Grace manifested by the New Birth.

Our Lord Jesus plainly taught; “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother,” (Matthew 12:50). Furthermore, I have been to those lands and seen the cultures produced by those who serve other gods. I have seen up close the extreme poverty, filth, violence and depravity of those who do not know the true God. Clearly, they are not doing the will of our Heavenly Father! I am grieved to witness the decline of America, going the way of the heathen, as our nation departs from the biblical landmarks that once drew the favor of the Almighty; “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people,” (Proverbs 14:34).

There is only one God! Even though twenty-first century religious political-correctness frowns upon it, we must declare that only Jesus is the door to eternal salvation! (See John 10:9) Idolatry, false doctrine, even doctrines of devils are gaining everywhere in America because the watchmen on the walls are not faithful to their primary duty, to boldly declare the whole “counsel of God,” in spirit and truth! Across America, everywhere, temples and mosques dedicated to other gods are being built at an alarming rate.

Reformation is going all the way back to the beginning. The following are not convenient truths to be picked through like some denominational buffet; but, are foundational doctrines: When we focus upon the foundation, it is only reasonable to acknowledge how the Apostle’s Doctrine fits the grand program of salvation. Hear ye O’ Israel, the Lord our God is one, (see Deuteronomy 6:4). The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it, (see Proverbs 18:10). No other name given among men whereby we must be saved, (see Acts 4:12). His name shall be called Immanuel, God with us, (see Isaiah 7:14). The angel said, “you shall call him Jesus.” (see Matthew 1:21).

Our Lord commanded, You must be born again, (see John 3:16). Jesus said; Repentance and remission of sins would be preached in his name beginning at Jerusalem, (see Luke 24:47). Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, (see Hebrews 9:22). At Jerusalem, when sincere, inquiring souls asked, “what must we do?” Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call,” (Acts 2:38-39). Within this notable scripture, proclaimed boldly by Peter, the man whom Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom, we find these fundamentals; (1) repentance, (2) the new birth of water and spirit, (3) and emphasis upon the name of our Lord.

Note these foundational truths on which the first-century New Testament Church was established: Apostle Peter stated further on the Day of Pentecost, “After you receive the Holy Ghost, ye shall receive power,” (see Acts 1:8). Apostle Paul challenged every believer, saying “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (II Corinthians 6:17). Furthermore, Paul said; It is appointed to man once to die, and after that the judgment, (see Hebrews 9:27). Paul sounded the good news about the dead in Christ: The trump shall sound and the dead shall be raised, (see I Corinthians 15:52). “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory,” (I Corinthians 15:55). Our Lord Jesus promised, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,” (Revelation 3:21).

Indeed, Christ heals, comforts, and blesses us along the way. These are side benefits, enabling us during our journey into eternity. This is the manna to sustain us through the wilderness; but, never was the manna intended to take the place of the “milk and honey” that awaited the Israelites at the end of their journey in the promised land. Thus, the earthly benefits of serving our Lord were never meant to be our ultimate goal, and after attaining them here, never were we to relax our eternal quest. That was Israel’s problem, after leaving the land of Egypt, on their way to the promised land, they were too easily distracted, failing to diligently pursue their journey to the end, and fulfill their destiny.

We were not created to stay in this world; that is why our bodies become tired at the end of the day, it is only natural to recline,…the earth is pulling us down. Every obituary and cemetery reminds us that the earth finally wins; It is appointed to man once to die, (see Hebrews 9:27). We are only passing through this world on our way to eternity. An unknown poet, penned; “One life, it will soon be past, and only what is done for Christ will last.” Apostle Paul taught that this terrestrial body (flesh) would return to the dust of the earth, but the celestial, (soul-body) was destined for eternity and the next world, (see I Corinthians 15:40-44).

(1) All that is in this world is summed up in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God.” The beloved John, continued, “In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1:1). It cannot be clearer. One cannot go back any further than the “beginning,” and the beginning is where we have to start. (2) If we want to experience a true move of God in the finale of this dispensation, we must do more than return to favorite moments framed in nostalgia; we must go back to the beginning of the Apostolic church-age as plainly described in the sacred Word. A true move of God in the final days of this fated dispensation must supersede a mere reenactment of favorite traditional/cultural moments tucked away in our religious memory bank, no matter how pleasant they are to recall. We need to be provoked to return to nothing less, nor anything more, than the foundation, the Rock of our salvation.

Jesus asked Peter, “Whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ,” and Jesus replied, “for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (see Matthew 16:15-18).

Knowing who God is, why He came to earth, and His plan for us, is the foundation of the Church. When we get that right, everything else falls in place.

Who really wants to revive a flawed, un-focused church; burdened with the baggage of cultural bias, regional traditions, and religious politics? Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to restore His Body on earth, a Church without spot or wrinkle.

Reformation has always, and will always, precede Revival. Only returning to the foundation, reformation, and reviving only that, will work.

That he might present to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). And to that, shall we all say, “Amen!”

 
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newGuest Article Jesus said to know the Truth and be completly free by Curtis Petty Click Here

newAWCF World Congress Click here to order World Congress audio and/or video

New Mission Statement for the AWCF International MinistriesFulfilling the Great Commission Click Here

AWCF Multiplicity Outreach Program Reaching the World by Reaching Our Community"Reaching All People" Click Here!

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