A Voice in the
Wilderness

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August 4, 1997

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Topics: Revivals...
Revivals: Facts Straight

Q.
How can you judge the revival at Brownsville when you haven't experienced it? I've visited there and it's nothing like what you say. You should get your facts straight before blasting something you don't know anything about. It's a dangerous thing to judge God's work.

A.
True. I have not been to Pensacola, Brownsville, Toronto. If you read carefully what I write, I write about the current "revivals." (plural/generic) Any naming of Toronto or Pensacola is in reference to people's queries of me about these things, and to give a reference point to that which I am discussing, since they are internationally known. But comments and warnings about these moves are "generic" in nature, based on collection of data from many sources, and about many manifestations here and there.

The goings on at Toronto and Brownsville I read much from eye-witnesses. If these things were not going on when you were there, it doesn't mean they don't happen. Take, for instance, Benny Hinn, whom I have seen on TBN. The things I read about Toronoto, etc. I see Benny doing as he blows, slaps, pushes, etc. So, if somebody says the same thing is going on at X, Y or Z, I can believe it is possible, because I've seen it on the Benny Hinn Show. On the other hand, there have been some times I turn TBN on, and Benny will be there, "teaching" calmly. If I based my opinions on such times I tuned in, I might question somebody who had seen his other times of blowing and slapping. Now, regarding these "outpourings" where people are knocked out, I have seen others, whose names I didn't get because I didn't leave the T.V. on long enough, doing the same things...to realize it is a "trend" and not even limited to JUST Toronto, Pensacola, etc.

I have been following this whole thing since the 60-70's when I was in college during the "Jesus People" days. I have been to the meetings where they dance around. Where there is the cacophony of sound as people are caught away. I have also been to the meetings of those who claim to be doing tongues "Scripturally," by having the tongues, and then having the "interpretation." I am well aquainted with the "spirit" of these "moves."

So, what I am seeing of the current "move" I don't NEED to go and "experience" it. It is "enough" to see it from the stands, without going into the bull-pen with the gladiator, to know what's going on. And to warn others to "stay out!" It's DANGEROUS!

I was introduced to the word "judgmental" back then as people sat around speculating their opinions of what God's Word meant, and I would attempt to steer people back to "what does it SAY?" What it says plainly is easy to understand. But doing so garnered for me the label, "judgmental." Sorry, I have to disagree with John MacArthur, whom I heard on a radio interview a year or more ago, when he claimed that the 70's was a time of "greatest revival" our century has seen. I was there. I saw how people rejected God's Word in favor of their own opinions and lusts. It was the point at which the general luke-warmness took a nose-dive to the great apostasy we see today! Then it was called "love and unity." They didn't yet SPEAK of "tearing down the walls of doctrinal differences" ...but in effect that's what was happening, as it was the heyday of every "modern" perVersion of Scripture imaginable, as people refused to accept the "absolutes" of God's Word.

And "today" ...a few years ago, at the invitation of the pastor of the church I was attending at the time, I met regularly with the local Prayer Summit (March for Jesus) pastor's group for "prayer, worship and seeking God's face." While this "revival fire" hasn't reached this group yet, they would dearly like for it to. A very large percentage of their "prayers" were TO SATAN. Telling him how they were binding him. That he'd better start "trembling before THEM" because they were going to "wrap him around THEIR little fingers" ...and all such nonsense. I saw first hand the manifestations of Jude 8-10, 2Pet2:10-12,18-19.

This whole "move" since the 70's has been Satan's counterfeit. It is NOT a "move of God." The "danger" is for all the deceived people that are in the middle of it, thinking they are doing things "in Jesus name" ...not realizing that the Jesus they claim to be calling on, will one day say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practise lawlessness:"(Mt7:23) He who has ears, let him hear!

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Revivals: Not all bad

Q.
Why are you so judgmental of TB and Pensacola revival? I've been there and it's not all bad. There's a lot of good things going on there. We need to be more tolerant and accepting of different views.

A.
Of course there will be things that APPEAR to be good. Remember! Always remember! Satan is a master counterfeiter! They are "deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness.."(2Cor11:13-15)

This word "transform" is not the same meaning as "repent" where a person changes from "essence" in sin, to righteousness. But rather, means "transient change." In other words, they APPEAR, for a time, to be righteous. But it is short-lived, because they are not Real. The appearance of righteousness is only temporary.

And then, Jesus' words, "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. (Mat12:33) James writes, "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree..bear olives, or a grapvine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh."(Jas3:10-12)

While we realized these "moves" are from the church of Sardis, "a name that you are alive, but you are dead."(Rev3:1) They also have participants from Laodicea. They are not ALL "good." Because they are full of evil, being from the unholy one. But, they also are not ALL "bad" either, as they seem to have the appearance of righteousness, as some seem to call upon God. But Christ makes the assessment, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."(Rev3:15-16) And again, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."(Mt7:23)

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VW's Accountability

Q.
Who are you in submission to? Who is your checks and balances? Not just the Holy Spirit, but what human is overseeing your ministry? In these end times, every ministry must have overseers. If not, how would you know if you are getting off in the deep end? How do you know if some of your writing is actually doing more harm than good? How would you know if you are walking a path not of God but of the deceiver? How do you know if you are killing baby Christians? You speak a lot of meat. I believe most of the meat is Grade A T-bone, but some of the meat is sour. I also believe a lot of Christians are choking on the meat that you serve because they are at the milk stage.

(This one's a direct quote. One paragraph of many.)

A.
Then they said to him [John the Baptist], "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness; Make Straight the way of the LORD."(Jn1:22-23)

It is not my purpose here to tell about myself. I am here to proclaim God's Word. Occasionally I will share things like last week-end's motorcycle ride, which I suppose helps you all to realize that I'm merely another human being, being used by God. That I'm not some sort of super-human, holier-than-thou hermit, hiding out away from life.

However, once we get past the "burr-under-saddle," there are some legitimate questions that might be worthwhile to address briefly.

To start answering, I would rhetorically ask, "What's wrong with JUST the Holy Spirit?" John writes, "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concering all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him" (1Jn2:27)

This person's comments sound like the local youth pastor who came into my store a few years ago, and we got to talking. He was bragging up all the various authors/books he was reading. When I expressed that my limited time did not allow a lot of reading, so I concentrated on God's Word...his parting comment on his way out the door was something like, "That's how error creeps in." What?! Error creeps in by feeding on God's Word?! By coming to know Christ?! By listening to His Holy Spirit speak directly to one's heart through God's Word?!

Now, to answer the question. There is a person I know. He is a pastor of a small work. We have formed a unique bond in the Lord. Early on he "informed me" that I am a prophet. Which, when he said so, it "fit" with the manner in which VW began. Because, you see, it was God who called me to this ministry. He called me to a ministry much like that of John the Baptist...thus the name, "A Voice in the Wilderness." Coinciding with His call, my reading "found me" in Ezekiel, and the following became His call to me...

"I am sending you to the [Church], to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me...for they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.' As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse--for they are a rebellious house--yet they will know that a prophet has been among them...do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions;...you shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious." (Ez2:3-7)

While this passage was my "call" I did not view myself as a "prophet" at the time. I'm just "little ol' me" here. When this pastor labelled me as he did (and I had not shared this call with him at the time) I knew the Lord was confirming the matter.

From time to time I have asked for opinions/impressions from this person. And he used to give them. More recently when I asked, he didn't give it. He didn't want to hinder what the Holy Spirit might be doing by giving his opinion. So, I don't ask anymore.

I don't believe you will find that any of the prophets had any "committees" overseeing what God told them to do. Early in Paul's ministry, he went to Jerusalem to verify what the Holy Spirit had given him directly. (Gal1:18~) But even in that, he did not yield himself to the respect of persons. (vs2:6)

As to the taunts of the potential harm "my" writings might be doing. Believe me, being human, every time a taunt comes along about this or that, I reread what "I" wrote. Did I REALLY write "that?" Did I really say "that?" But then, am encouraged...because "I" did not write it. I don't have the "ability" to write the things that come from here. I never was a "writer." I've never been a "teacher." While the computer keys are punched by "my" fingers, it is the Holy Spirit Who writes.

And somehow, there is a distinction between the writing and the rest of my life. As I've stated before, I'm merely a person, with the flesh that likes to get in the way at times. If you were to know me well, you would know that this person does not always successfully follow the example of what is written.

As for "meat" vs "milk." When the Holy Spirit directs, He knows what is best. I often am concerned over the fact that I do not write very "deep" at all. Most of the time I barely scratch the surface of Truth of the subject being covered. But then, pastors often respond with deep appreciation for the "depth." And most of the time I'm only giving out "milk" because I know that most cannot take the "meat." What a sad state, eh, when people are taking their stake knives to milk!! Is it any wonder that there is so much confusion and error!!

So, who is my "authority?" God Who called me. And when the Holy Spirit writes, He is responsible for how it distributes to "babies" and/or "grown-ups."

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gives the increase.." (1Cor3:7)

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