Progressive Sanctification

Jesus told His apostles to teach others to obey all that He had commanded (Matthew 28:20). One who loves the Lord will first of all seek with all his heart to find out what those commandments are; and then he will seek to obey them (John 14:21).

Under the Law, God gave man commandments, but not the power to obey them. Why then did God give the Law? Only in order that man might discover that he’s unable to come up to God’s standards, and thus see his need of a Saviour and a Helper. “The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ” (Galatians 3:24).But now God has made a new covenant with man. And He has given us, not only commandments, but also an Example in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus demonstrated by His earthly life that it is possible for us to obey all of God’s commandments.

God has also promised under the new covenant to put His Laws into our minds and to write them upon our hearts (Hebrews 8:10). He does this through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. The Holy Spirit is our Helper Who not only shows us what the will of God is, but also gives us a desire to do that will and grace to obey all of it too.

God is the One Who is going to sanctify us entirely (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We can’t do it on our own. We have to depend on Him – for He is the One Who works in us giving us both the desire as well as the ability to do His will. But we have to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12,13). We have to work out what God works in, for He hasn’t turned us into robots!

God cleanses us from the guilt of sin. But we are commanded to “cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). We have to do this, as and when we get light on any defilement within us. It is thus, as we “by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13) that the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – will become more and more manifest in us. This is what it means to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. Thus our path will become one of increasing light (Proverbs 4:18). This is the glorious way of sanctification that God has made for us.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author: cfcindia.com / Picture Creator: Mike Waters Copyright: © 2008 Michael D. Waters

Don’t Sell Your Birthright Like Esau

See to it that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. ~ Hebrews 12:16

“But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.” -Genesis 25:33-34

What is a birthright? According to WordNet online dictionary, it is “a right or privilege that you are entitled to at birth”, or “an inheritance coming by right of birth”. Did you know God gives each of us a birthright as His children? Did you know that we may not be aware of our birthright from Him, or, if we understand our birthright, we can also lose it? This is described in the story of Jacob and Esau.

Jacob stole Esau’s birthright by offering him food when he was extremely hungry. Although Jacob acted as a manipulator and deceiver, his brother didn’t seem all that concerned with his inheritance in the present. He wanted his hunger for food met, now! He couldn’t see past his immediate desires, although legitimate. He tried to get them met in the wrong way. And he sold the only thing of true value in his life away for a bowl of stew. How angry at himself he must’ve been once his hunger had been satisfied!

When we are born into the kingdom of God by accepting Christ into our lives, we are born not only into new life through salvation, but we also carry a new birthright. Like free education is a right to anyone born in America, when we are born again, a new creation in Christ, we have rights that people who do not know Him do not have. Peace, joy, hope, and spiritual gifts are in addition to the gift of eternal salvation are all part of this birthright. Our very purpose for existence is also our birthright. God gave that to us before we were born. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5) However, it is easy to “miss” our birthright by deception, or to exchange it for a life of self-gratification.

It says in Genesis 25:34 Esau “despised” his birthright.  How many of us “despise” doing the things that Christ would have us do? Whether it’s fear, or pride, or past hurts and rejections, or not feeling good enough – none of those reasons are good enough for us to miss the inheritance that God has in store for us.

Don’t let deception keep you from your birthright of who you are in Christ – from all the things that God has planned for you to bless you, give you a purpose, and to use you mightily for His kingdom.

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** By Charis Brown at Today God is First / Photo by Shantanu Pal at Pexels

Lust Verses Love A Biblical Perspective

Most people know the difference between lust and love so what are they? What does the Bible define as love and as lust?

A Definition of Lust

Lust is an emotion or feeling of intense desire in the body and it can take nearly any form such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for sex or the lust for power. It is an overwhelming self-absorbed desire or craving for an object, person, or experience that might be good but in most cases, is not. For example, a man or a woman can lust after their spouse and since they are legally married, there is no sin in this, however lusting after someone else’s spouse or someone who’s not married is sin, so clearly, lust and love aren’t the same at all and in many ways, they are actually opposites of one another, for example we can lust after riches, for drugs, for alcohol, and for any number of things that are detrimental to our wellbeing.

A Definition of Love

The way the world defines love and the way that God defines love are not even close to the same thing. As far as the world sees, love is a strong and warm affection that someone has for another or others or for something. It could be like that of a parent for a child or a spouse for their mate or it could be a love for reading, eating, drugs, alcohol, or even shopping. Some of these are good and well, but others can lead to ruin. Love can certainly be a strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from a kinship or close friendship, which I have for my own spouse and children and grandchildren and even for my friends but from the biblical standpoint, love and lust are no co-equals since one can be good, while the other can lead to harm.

But-I-say-to-you-that

A Biblical Definition of Lust

I like what C.S. Lewis wrote many years ago. He wrote “If you look upon ham and eggs and lust, you have already committed breakfast in your heart.” This is a very good, biblical definition of lust in the heart. If you covet something or someone, that is lusting in the heart. Exodus 20:17 lists the tenth commandment as “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” so lust is not just about looking at someone of the opposite sex, or for some, looking at someone with lust of the same sex, it is coveting what you don’t have. It is a passionate desire to have what someone else has.

What Lust Can Lead To

David let his lust carry him away as “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful” (2nd Sam 11:2) and so he lusted after her in his heart. This led to adultery and later, to the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. This is why James wrote that “after desire (or lust) has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (1:15). The proverbs say “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” (6:25). Jesus said that it was “out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matt 15:19). Solomon understood this connection, writing that as a man “thinks within himself, so he is” (23:7a). You can commit adultery without ever committing the physical act. Jesus said that “that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28) and of course the same thing applies to women.

A Biblical Definition of Love

There are so many places that define love in the Bible that it will be hard to select only a few. Paul writes that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1st Cor 13:4-7). The love of God is not about feelings or words but “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Love is a verb; it is what you do more than what you say or what you think. We know that Jesus did not feel like taking on all of the sins of humanity, but His great love for us on the cross proved what the love of God is like. He died for us while we were still wicked sinners and His enemies (Rom 5:8, 10).

Conclusion

The differences between love and lust are that we don’t covet what we don’t have. We shouldn’t covet (lust after) our neighbor’s spouse or their goods (Ex 20:17). Love, on the other hand, “does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:10) and this means “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 19:19) but above all “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37). The difference for believers is that we are told “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). The greatest display of love was not what Jesus felt or what God feels but it was revealed at Calvary. Jesus said “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) and that’s just what He did. Lust harms, love sacrifices.

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**By Jack Wellman at what Christians wat to know / Photo by Mark Stebnicki at Pexels

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Take away notes from David Pawson’s sermon above on, ‘once saved always saved?

The Bible warns that some will depart from the faith in the last days, you can’t depart or fall away from the faith unless you were a part of it to begin with: Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. ~ 1 Timothy 4:1

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” ~ 2 Peter 2:20-22

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. ~2 Timothy 3:1-5

The Bible warns about backsliding, you can’t back slide if you didn’t slide forward to begin with: Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:62

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. ~ James 5:19-20

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. ~ Hebrews 6:4-6

Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. ~ Jeremiah 8:5

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

There’s also reference in the Bible of people’s names being blotted out of the book of life, your name can’t be blotted out unless it was written there in the first place:

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ~ Revelation 3:3-6

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. ~ Revelation 22:19

There are numerous verses that certain people will not inherit the Kingdom of God, whether they call themselves a ‘Christian’ or not:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.  ~ Matthew 18:8-9

God is holy so you must be holy (1 Peter 1:16), you need to enter into the narrow gate (Luke 13:24) and aim to be perfect as the Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48); you will be sanctified and changed overtime and conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 12:2; 8:22). If you’re born again you can still fall away. Jude refers to it as being twice dead (Jude 1:12). Remember in revelation it states the devil makes war with those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God (Revelation 3:17). Now most people do one without the other, for instance, lukewarm Christians (revelation 3:16) have the testimony of Jesus but are living in intentional sin. The Jews keep the commandments of God, but do not have the testimony of Jesus. To say that you have eternal security but continue to live in intentional sin and don’t repent i.e., of pornography, lying, stealing, fornication etc… (2 Corinthians 5:17) is delusional. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.

 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” ~ Revelation 21:6-8

At the end of the day whether you agree or disagree, it’s better to live a life as if being saved and err on the side of caution than to get it completely wrong and think that you could live as you like and still go to heaven… those who love God seek to do His will and obey His Word. Let God be true and every man an liar (Romans 3:4). Please read God’s Word, the Bible, for yourself and remember to “put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The enemy of the saints, the devil, was a liar and deceiver from the beginning… remember Eve in the garden.

~ there is none good, but God

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**How to have a relationship with God and be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE

**Picture by John McGlone

The Dream

THE DREAM

“When I, Lori McPherson, first became a Christian, I had a glorious dream that was so real. I was standing on the wayside watching all these people busy preparing for something. They all had their own tasks to do, and it seemed they only had a limited time to prepare. Then I realized it was a wedding, an extravagant wedding fit for a king. I wondered to myself whose wedding it was, and how glorious it would be. Then I saw the bridegroom in all his magnificent splendour, so handsome! And I wondered what lucky bride was going to get this handsome and majestic man. And it’s as if all the people there could read my thoughts, and one of them turned to me puzzled as to why I was querying this and said “you!” I was shocked that I could be seen and heard, and tried to shrink away out of sight. At that moment I was afraid and all these thoughts went through my mind, ‘does he know who I am?’ for I knew I was not worthy of him. ‘Does he know my past?’ because I could tell he was so righteous, just and pure, and I wasn’t. He was way out of my league, and “has there been some mistake?!” all these thoughts crossed my mind because I was dirty, blemished and defiled. But the bridegroom came to me and smiled warmly, it was the Lord Jesus Himself. I couldn’t look at Him, I was ashamed. As He stood there, I could feel His love for me, so kind and accepting. He then held up a large picture frame with a blank white canvas and portrayed to me that this was to be part of the wedding decoration once finished, as before it could be put up, the blank canvas had to be filled with fruit that I had placed on it. This fruit was the fruits of the Spirit, the work I had allowed the Holy Spirit to do in me and through me during my earthly lifetime. This would be like a decoration of honour to Him, a wedding gift.”

**This wonderful dream represented the marriage supper of the lamb in Revelation 19:6-9. In an article by Christianity.com the wedding feast that John referred to in revelation is explained below, which leads up to the Big Day. John saw and heard the multitudes in heaven praising the Lord God at the wedding feast of the Lamb. The wedding feast of the Lamb is the marriage supper which was about to begin. To understand what the marriage supper of the Lamb is, let’s consider the three significant wedding customs in the time of Christ.

Three Major Parts of a Wedding Feast

1. A Marriage Contract. Wedding customs in the time of Christ were signed by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom. Additionally, this contract was signed by the parents of the bridegroom, and the bridegroom himself would pay a dowry (down payment) to the bride or her parents. Such a process began the betrothal period, which today would be called the engagement. One example of this was the one Joseph and Mary were in when Mary was found to be with baby Jesus in the womb (Matthew 1:18; Luke 2:5).

2. A Torchlight Parade Through the Streets. The bridegroom accompanied by his male friends went to the house of the bride at midnight, creating a torchlight parade through the streets. Such a parade would not be a surprise to the bride as she knew well in advance such an event was taking place so she would be ready with her maidens. They would then all join the parade and end up at the bridegroom’s home. Such a custom is the basis of the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.

3. The Marriage Supper Itself. During the time of Jesus, the marriage supper itself would go on for days as illustrated by the wedding at Cana in John 2:1-2. The events described by John in Revelation 19:7-10 describe the third phase of the wedding feast the marriage supper of the Lamb. John isn’t meaning to skip the first two phases of the wedding feast customs but is communicating they already have happened.

The first phase was completed on earth when each individual Christian placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ. The dowry, in this case, was paid by the bridegroom’s parent (God the Father) because of the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the Bride’s behalf. The Church is betrothed to Christ much the same way as the wise virgin in the parable. All Christians should be watching and waiting for the appearance of the Bridegroom the Lord Jesus (2 Timothy 4:8). The second phase picture, when Christ comes to claim His bride and take the Church to the Father’s house. The Marriage Supper follows as the third and final step and is a glorious celebration of all who are in Christ Jesus.

Delight in the Lord and the Final Day

The Christian will one day find their ultimate delight at the time when He consummates all things (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Revelation 19 describes the day where we will become like Jesus. On that day, we will wear the most beautiful wedding gown made up of our righteous deeds (Revelation 19:6-8). As glorified Christians, the people of God will finally fulfil the purpose for which we’ve been created, which is complete, unbroken fellowship with God. Such joy we will experience on that day is beyond description as we will see Christ face-to-face (Revelation 19:9). Every born again, Christian will experience this day because they have been declared righteous in the Lord’s courtroom.

The Lord’s Supper and the Wedding Feast

The Lord’s Supper on the Lord’s Day is a foretaste of such a day as the Wedding Feast. Every time we eat of the Lord’s Supper, we should long all the more for the day when the feast will never end. Whether or not you are partaking of the Lord’s Supper this Lord’s Day, focus your heart on the great wedding feast with the Lord Jesus.

** Dream by Lori McPherson © Copyright – Lori McPherson. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author / Article by Christianity.com / Photo by Edward Eyer at pexels

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How to be saved: The Path To Salvation

7 Characteristics of the Bride

My personal testimony

10 Things You Should Know About The Welsh Revival of 1904 – 06

On Sunday, Christmas Day, 1904, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, pastor of Westminster Chapel in downtown London, England, delivered a somewhat unusual sermon. Contrary to his normal practice of expounding a passage of Scripture, he proceeded to tell his people about the remarkable things that the Holy Spirit was doing at that very time in Wales.

G. Campbell Morgan was a perceptive man, a conservative, sane, balanced, and highly respected pastor. Having heard that revival had broken out in Wales, and unwilling to accept anything on hearsay, he personally travelled to Wales to observe firsthand for himself, what, if anything, God was doing. Upon returning, he said this on that Christmas Day in 1904,

“I say to you today, beloved, without any hesitation, that this whole thing is of God, that it is a visitation in which He is making men conscious of Himself, without any human agency” (quoted in S. B. Shaw, The Great Revival in Wales, 78).

Here are ten things we should know about what happened in Wales.

(1) The principal human agent used by God in the Welsh revival was Evan Roberts. Roberts was born on June 8, 1878, and died in 1951. He began working in the coal mines when he was 12, but soon felt the call to study for the ministry. He immersed himself in the study of the Bible. Roberts was 26 years old when revival broke out. He had been praying for it every day for 13 years. Let me mention three things about Roberts.

He had a remarkable encounter with God that served to prepare him for what God was about to do.

“One Friday night last spring, when praying by my bedside before retiring, I was taken up to a great expanse – without time and space. It was communion with God. Before this I had a far-off God. I was frightened that night but never since. So great was my shivering that I rocked the bed, and my brother, being awakened, took hold of me, thinking I was ill. After that experience I was awakened every night, a little after one o’clock. This was most strange, for through the years I slept like a rock, and no disturbance in my room would awaken me. From that hour I was taken up into the divine fellowship for about four hours. What it was I cannot tell you, except that it was divine. About five o’clock I was again allowed to sleep on till about nine. At this time I was again taken up into the same experience as in the earlier hours of the morning until about twelve or one o’clock. . . . This went on for three months” (Shaw, 49).

Roberts was not a brilliant speaker or preacher, yet his audiences were captivated by his words. “What is the secret of the spell he wields over that audience? Is it learning or eloquence . . .? Nothing of the kind. The secret of his power is that he is ‘full of faith and love and zeal and the Holy Spirit’” (Shaw, 117). He was simple, plain, and unimpressive so that God might get all the credit and glory for what happened. Roberts dreaded publicity, newspaper reporters, and shunned praise and adulation. If he ever sensed that the people had come to see or hear him only, he would withdraw and refuse to preach. He refused to be photographed. He was convinced that if people focused on him and not Christ that the Holy Spirit would immediately withdraw his presence.

He was filled with joy! Someone remarked that the most striking feature of the revival “is the joyousness and radiant happiness of the evangelist. It has been remarked that the very essence of his campaign is mirth. To the rank and file of the church ministers this is his most incomprehensible phase. They have always regarded religion as something iron-bound, severe, even terrible. Evan Roberts (on the other hand) smiles when he prays, laughs when preaches. ‘Ah, it is a grand life,’ he cries. ‘I am happy, so happy that I could walk on the air’” (Shaw, 11).

(2) Some point to the beginning of the revival at New Quay, Cardiganshire, on Sunday morning in February of 1904. It was during a prayer meeting being led by pastor Joseph Jenkins. Jenkins asked for personal testimonies. Some tried to speak on other issues, but Jenkins redirected their focus to the Lord. There was prolonged silence. Then suddenly a young girl named Florrie Evans rose to her feet and spoke softly, with a trembling voice: “I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart!” A journalist named W. T. Stead who was present that day wrote this:

“The pathos and the passion of the avowal (of that young girl) acted like an electric shock upon the congregation. One after another rose and made the full surrender, and the news spread like wildfire from place to place that the Revival had broken out, and that souls were being ingathered to the Lord.”

(3) What was the cause of it all? While there are many answers, most believed it was the result of earnest, agonizing prayer, couple with heart-broken humility. Evan Roberts had prayed daily for 13 years. There were numerous prayer groups in Wales that had prayed for the previous 1 ½ years. One observer said:

“If it be asked why the fire of God fell on Wales, the answer is simple: Fire falls where it is likely to catch and spread. As one has said, ‘Wales provided the necessary tinder.’ Here were thousands of believers unknown to each other, in small towns and villages and great cities, crying to God day after day for the fire of God to fall. This was not merely a ‘little talk with Jesus,’ but daily, agonizing intercession.”

G. Campbell Morgan put it this way:

“If you and I could stand above Wales, looking at it, you would see fire breaking out here, and there, and yonder, and somewhere else, without any collusion or prearrangement. It is a Divine visitation in which God – let me say this reverently – in which God is saying to us: See what I can do without the things you are depending on; see what I can do in answer to a praying people; see what I can do through the simplest, who are ready to fall in line, and depend wholly and absolutely upon Me” (Shaw, 76).

One thing is clear: the revival was not the product of someone’s personality or of another person’s preaching or of anyone’s planning, but of God’s gracious response to the prayers of his people!

(4) The revival broke out and spread without any advertisement or commercials or posters telling of the meetings that were being held. There was no publicity to speak of; no fanfare. What then brought the people to the meetings? The Holy Spirit! One researcher said: “I have scanned newspapers of Wales which came out in 1904-05 and found no paid advertisements there announcing the meetings.” Not one dollar was spent promoting the revival.

(5) People were saved! Approximately 70,000 came to faith in Christ in the first two months and over 100,000 during the course of the revival. There are countless stories of salvation. Here is one.

During one meeting a well-known skeptic in the town interrupted Evan Roberts as he preached. “I want to ask a question,” he shouted. Roberts ignored him. “I want to ask a question,” he yelled angrily again. “If you do not answer me, I will come to pulpit to ask my question.” Everyone ignored him, so he began to make his way to the pulpit to confront Roberts. An eyewitness to the event described what happened next:

“As in the case of Saul of Tarsus, on the Damascus Road, the Holy Spirit overpowered this man – he would have collapsed on the stairs had not the people upheld him – constraining him to cry out for mercy and pardon. What a scene followed! When the people realized the full import of what had happened, the shout went up, ‘He has been saved! He has been saved!”

(6) There was a noticeable absence of preaching during the revival, not because it was devalued but because great preaching had preceded and precipitated the move of the Spirit. As one man said, “These people, all the people in a land like ours, are taught to death, preached to insensibility” (Shaw, 29). The time had come for response!

(7) There was an intense passion for Jesus. On several occasions during a meeting people could be heard crying out: “No more, Lord Jesus, or I die!” The point is that you want revival when you pray for more of Christ. You are in revival when you’ve got so much of him that you feel compelled to say, “No more, lest I die.”

(8) There was a remarkable, widespread passion for singing. When one man was asked if he thought the revival could spread to other countries, he replied: “Can the people sing? That is the question to be answered before you can decide that. Hitherto the revival has not strayed beyond the track of the singing people. It has followed the line of song, not of preaching” (Shaw, 28).

G. Campbell Morgan was stunned by the energy of their worship. “No books, but, oh my, I nearly wept tonight over the singing of our last hymn. . . . When these Welshmen sing, they sing the words like men who believe them. They abandon themselves to their singing. We sing as though we thought it would not be respectable to be heard by the man next to us. No choir, did I say? It was all choir! And hymns! I stood and listened in wonder and amazement as that congregation on that night sang hymn after hymn, long hymns, sung through without hymn-books” (Shaw, 75).

Another described it this way:

“The fact is, unless heard, it is unimaginable and when heard [it is] indescribable. There was no hymnbook. . . . Just anybody started the singing, and very rarely did it happen that the hymn started – no one knew by whom – was out of harmony with the mood at that moment. Once started, as if moved by a simultaneous impulse, the hymn was caught up by the whole congregation almost as if what was about to be sung had been announced and all were responding to the baton of a visible human leader. I have seen nothing like it. You felt that the thousand or fifteen hundred persons before you had become merged into one myriad-headed, but simple-souled, personality. Such as the perfect blending of the mood and purpose that it bore eloquent testimony to a unity created only by the Spirit of God” (JS, 17).

Often while many were praying, others broke into quiet song: “Oh, send the Holy Spirt, Lord!” “The effect of this soft musical accompaniment to the prayers of several voices cannot be described. It is deeply impressive, and often leads the soul into a quiet ecstasy that is truly of Heaven” (Shaw, 24).

(9) Another feature was the overwhelming sense of God’s presence. One pastor said: “If one were asked to describe in a word the outstanding feature of those days, one would unhesitatingly reply that it was a universal, inescapable sense of the presence of God. The Lord had come down! A sense of the Lord’s presence was everywhere. It pervaded, nay, it created the spiritual atmosphere.”

Said another: “Eternal issues were discussed freely and unashamedly, and above all, a sense of the presence and holiness of God pervaded every area of human experience, at home, at work in shops and public houses. Eternity seemed inescapably near and real.”

The pervasive sense of God’s manifest presence awakened great emotional intensity. F. B. Meyers describes a typical service:

“They who merely read such descriptions as this may think that the meetings are characterized by emotional excitement. But that is not the case. There are undoubtedly strong excitement and deep emotion, but these are well under control; and beneath all that can be accounted for by the influence of highly exalted moods of soul on other minds, it is undeniable that the power of God is working after the fashion of those wonderful scenes of which our fathers have told us in 1859” (Shaw, 66-7).

Yet another described it this way:

“Let it not be suspected that we are afraid of all stir and excitement. The greatest and best actions have [always] been performed in stages of excited feeling and high personal exaltation. Nothing was ever achieved in the way of great and radical changes in men or communities without some degree of excitement; and if anyone expects to carry on the cause of salvation by a steady rolling on the same dead level, and fears continually lest the axles wax hot and kindle into a flame, he is too [fainthearted] to hold the reins in the Lord’s chariot” (Shaw, 56).

Another pastor describes the emotional impact of the revival:

“I have no more doubt of its being a work of God than I have of my own existence. As to describing the revival and estimating its results, can you put in words those deep and hallowed experiences of life realized when God meets you almost palpably and sways your whole being cross-ward, heavenward, and the atmosphere trembles with light, life, love, joy, praise, reverence, [and] awe?” (Shaw, 92).

Again:

“No wonder the people could not sleep and could not stay away from the meetings. No wonder the services carried on till two and three o’clock in the morning and then resulted in a march through the streets with the people singing the praises of The Lamb!

Many at the time and since then criticized the emotionalism displayed in the meetings. Yes, when thousands of people are convicted of their sins and are gloriously saved by the grace of God, how can they contain their joy? When believers are elevated to a new heavenly position in Christ and at the same time see the answer to years of agonizing prayer in the salvation of their loved ones, surely there must be shouts of joy and songs of adoration.”

(10) There were prolonged meetings of prayer and praise. One newspaper reported who attended wrote this:

“The scene was almost indescribable. Tier upon tier of men and women filled every inch of space. Those who could not gain admittance stood outside and listened at the doors. Others rushed to the windows, where almost every word was audible. When, at seven o’clock, the service began, quite 2,000 people must have been present. The enthusiasm was unbounded. Women sang and shouted till the perspiration ran down their faces, and men jumped up one after the other to testify. One told in quivering accents the story of a drunken life. A working [man] spoke like a practiced orator: and one can imagine what a note the testimony of a converted gypsy woman struck when, dressed in her best, she told of her reformation and repentance. At ten o’clock the meeting had lost none of its ardor. Prayer after prayer went up from these Welsh hearts with almost dreary persistence. Time and again the four ministers who stood in the pulpit attempted to start a hymn, but it was all in vain. The revival had taken hold of the people, and even Mr. Roberts cannot hold it in check. His latest convert is a policeman, who, after complaining that people had gone mad after religion, so that there was nothing to do, went to see for himself, and bursting into tears, confessed the error of his ways, and repented” (Shaw, 10).

One lady reported on the meetings:

“There was no opening of the meeting; the hearts were full, and burst with prayer and praise to a God felt to be in our midst. One gentleman who had come from Oxford to see the work, said: ‘These men are not praying to be heard of man; it doesn’t matter to them what people think of them; they are thinking about the answer, not about the hearers.’ At times a wave of power, without any human instrumentality, or anything external to cause it, would sweep over the mass of the people, and spontaneously almost the whole company would pray aloud, no one heeding the other, and without the slightest confusion. Everyone was absorbed with God; but in the midst of it, no one dealing with them, a man here, a woman there, would yield to God, and in a few minutes stand up and give praise that they had found the Lord. Sometimes singing and prayer would go on together, but there was no real confusion – the praying was not to man, and the singing was not to man. But such singing is rarely to be heard. It was perfect time and perfect harmony; often the same hymn (never given out, but started spontaneously), sung in English and in Welsh at the same time, and sung over and over, until it penetrated” (Shaw, 12-13).

Yet another described the meetings this way:

“An indefinable influence pervades the country, and awakes to action in the services through the mere reading of a passage, or the singing of a well-known hymn, or the inelegant prayer of a [coal miner] or a country maiden. The ministers, even when in sympathy, take little part; . . . the meetings, often prolonged through the whole night, seem to conduct themselves. . . . From all accounts it is clear that there is a controlling spiritual power that dominates and directs in all. Everywhere stress is laid upon the personality and operation of the Holy Ghost – ‘the Pure Spirit,’ as the name reads in Welsh” (Shaw, 52).

And another:

“Three-fourths of the meeting consists of singing. No one uses a hymn book. No one gives out a hymn. The last person to control the meetings is in any way Mr. Evan Roberts. People pray and sing, give testimony, [and] exhort as the Spirit moves them” (Shaw, 53).

Once again, G. Campbell Morgan describes his experience in a meeting he attended:

“I can tell you no more, save that I personally stood for three solid hours wedged so that I could not lift my hands at all. . . If you could but once have seen the men, evidently [coal miners], with the blue seam that told of their work on their faces, clean and beautiful. Beautiful, did I say? Many of them lit with heaven’s own light, radiant with the light that never was on sea and land. . . Today it is awakened, and I look on many a face, and I knew that men did not see men, did not see Evan Roberts, but they saw the face of God and the eternities. I left that evening, after having been in the meeting three hours, at 10:30, and it swept on, packed as it was, until an early hour next morning, song and prayer and testimony and conversion and confession of sin by leading church members publicly, and the putting of it away, and all the while no human leader, no one indicating the next thing to do, no one checking the spontaneous movement” (Shaw, 73).

What were the results of this awakening? During the time of revival the police were left with virtually nothing to do and the courts were empty. Saloons and bars shut down for lack of business. Public drunkenness was almost non-existent. Old debts, many long forgotten, were paid off in full. Traveling theatrical agencies canceled their engagements, as everyone was in church! Profanity disappeared. It was said that horses everywhere were in complete confusion. They had become accustomed to responding to their master’s profane shouts and kicks and cursing, virtually of all of which had disappeared.

At one rugby match, a pastor said he heard only one man cursing, who thereupon repented. Of the 40,000 present, 10,000 began singing hymns. Relationships were healed and marriages restored. This last description of the revival perhaps sums it up best:

“It was plainly evident now to everybody that God had answered the agonizing prayers of His people and had sent a mighty spiritual upheaval. A sense of the Lord’s presence was everywhere. His presence was felt in the homes, on the streets, in the mines, factories and schools and even in the drinking saloons. So great was His Presence felt that even the places of amusement and carousal became places of holy awe. Many were the instances of men entering taverns, ordering drinks and then turning on their heels and leaving them untouched. Wales up to this time was in the grip of football fever when tens of thousands of working-class men thought and talked only of one thing. They gambled also on the result of the games. Now the famous football players themselves got converted and joined the open-air street meetings to testify what glorious things the Lord had done for them. Many of the teams were disbanded as the players got converted and the stadiums were empty.”

On that Christmas Sunday in 1904, G. Campbell Morgan closed his sermon by saying this. Let no man hear of what happened in Wales and try to start it in his own land. Why? Because no man started it in Wales! We cannot produce revival. We can only pray that God would be gracious to us and send it in abundance!

** By Sam Storms at samstorms.org / Photo by UCKG

Testimony of Former Iranian Prisoners Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh

Watch this inspiring interview with Maryam and Marziyeh at HTB Church, London. In 2009 in Iran, Maryam and Marziyeh were imprisoned and sentenced to death because of their Christian faith. Maryam and Marziyeh were born into Muslim families but converted to Christianity and began to share the Gospel with those around them. They were arrested in March 2009 after being accused of evangelism and apostasy. After 259 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison they were released.

** Maryam and Marziyeh’s book called, ‘Captive In Iran‘ is available on Amazon Here

When I Say I’m a Christian

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache
which is why I seek God’s name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved.

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©1988 Carol Wimmer All Rights Reserved / Picture from Pexels

The Final Message


“And He said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” ‭‭

(Revelation‬ ‭22:10-21‬ ‭NASB)

7 Characteristics of the Bride

 

Seven Characteristics of the Bride of Christ

The Bride (Wisdom), we read builds her house on SEVEN PILLARS. These seven pillars are listed for us in James 3:17, and the true church is built on these pillars. By these characteristics, we can identify the Bride of Christ anywhere:

Purity : The first and most important pillar in the true church is purity. This is not a hollow pillar of a merely external purity. No. It is solid through and through. It is purity of the heart, and it grows from the seed of the fear of God deep within the heart. It is not by clever brains but by pure hearts that the true church of Christ is built. We cannot build the church if we don’t have spiritual revelation on God and His ways – and only the pure in heart will be allowed to see God in their hearts (Matthew 5:8).

Peaceableness : Righteousness and peace always go together. They are twins. The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace (Romans 14:17). True wisdom is never argumentative or quarrelsome. It does not strive. It maintains harmonious relationships with everyone, as far as possible. It is impossible to quarrel with a man who is filled with Divine wisdom, for such a man is a peaceable man. He may be firm and he may be hated by compromisers. But he is always peaceable. Jesus told His disciples that when they travel to preach the gospel, they should stay only in the house of “men of peace” (Luke 10:5-7). We must be men of peace, if we are to build God’s house.

Consideration : The Bride of Christ is always fair to others, gentle, patient, forbearing and courteous. She is never harsh or rough but always considerate of the feelings of others. When the church is supported by this pillar, it becomes easy to bear with one another – even if some are slow of understanding or crude in their manners. The problem, we begin to realise, is not the crudeness of our brother or sister, but the impatience that dwells within us. And so we fight the right enemy – our Self-life – and not our brothers and sisters.

Willingness to Yield : One who cannot receive admonishment and exhortation, or who feels that he has gone beyond that stage, is truly foolish, even if he is an elder or an older man ( Ecclesiastes 4:13). In India especially, many people have the heathen idea that “older people are wiser”. This may be true in earthly matters but certainly not in spiritual matters. Jesus did not choose any of the older people in the synagogues to be his apostles. He chose young men. Older people in the church often find it difficult to receive exhortation from a younger brother who may be the elder in the church and also far more godly. But that is because of their pride. Those who are willing to receive correction become wise (Proverbs 13:10). And so where the brothers and sisters in a church are eager to receive exhortation and correction, a truly glorious church will be built. The wise man loves those who exhort him faithfully and will eagerly seek out their company. ‘Submit to one another’ (Ephesians 5:21) are the words written on this pillar.

Fullness of Mercy and its Good Fruits : The Bride of Christ is full of mercy – not just occasionally merciful. She has no problem forgiving anyone, freely and cheerfully from the heart. She does not judge or condemn others, but rather exercises compassion towards them like her Bridegroom. This mercy is not just a mental attitude but finds expression in good fruits that are brought forth in her actions. She does good in all the ways she can to all the people she can at all the times she can.

Steadfastness : A brother who has Divine wisdom will be free from all crookedness. He will be wholehearted and straightforward, with a single eye, free from doubts and hesitation. He will not be double-minded, but strong in faith in God, and he won’t be looking at his own weaknesses, but at the promises of God. Such a brother knows that victory over all conscious sin is possible here and now. He is a dependable person – who can be trusted at all times to keep his word. He is steadfast and unmovable. You cannot make him bend his convictions or to compromise in any matter. He is straight and upright as a rod.

Freedom from Hypocrisy : The Bride has more spiritual content inwardly than others can see in her externally. Her hidden life is better than the opinion that others have of her external life. This is the exact opposite of the ‘spiritual adulteress’ or the ‘Harlot,’ whose so-called spirituality is only meant for receiving the honour of men. What she has is actually ‘religiosity’ and not true spirituality. The bride watches her inner thoughts, motives and attitudes far more than her external words and actions. She longs for God’s approval over her inner life and cares nothing at all for man’s approval of her external life. By this test, each of us can know whether we are part of the Bride or of the Harlot.

The Bride of Christ has the seed of wisdom implanted in her heart and so she will have these seven characteristics growing in her year by year. Although she is still far from perfect, she is pressing on and growing towards perfection.

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**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

**Photo by Secret Garden at Pexel