RENEWAL JOURNAL 8: Awakening
Review: Fire from Heaven, by Harvey Cox
We live in a day of God’s visitation. It has become a worldwide awakening. Amid much persecution and difficulty, the church grows in astounding ways especially in China, Korea, Africa, Latin America and North India. Now western countries report renewal and revival in many places.
Jesus wept because so many in his time missed the day of their visitation (Luke 19:41-44). May we not miss our day of visitation. As with all previous awakenings (including the early church and major revivals) it is disturbing, controversial and unpredictable.
This issue of the Renewal Journal touches on a few issues and examples of the current awakening. David Yonggi Cho of Korea tells about moving in spiritual authority by speaking the word God gives. Peter Wagner describes powerful spiritual weapons now being used by the church, especially in corporate repentance. Richard Riss provides a comprehensive survey of the present awakening in its varied expressions. Brian Medway of Canberra discusses the “no-name” revival now spreading through the earth, which also fits the Australian zeal for equality.
Outpouring of God’s glory
The outpourings of God’s Spirit continue, not only with increasing and astounding signs and wonders in the >third world= but increasingly in the West. Even the news media have taken notice. Unprecedented unity among leaders in renewal and revival has emerged in many places, including Australia. Ministers pray together. Prayer groups seeking revival multiply. Churches co-operate to win, nurture and equip people. Repentance, humility and forgiveness increase. Renewal and refreshing seem to be spilling over into touches of revival.
“Renewal has changed us forever,” notes Philip Le Dune, associate pastor of Sunderland Christian Centre in the north east of England. “When God pinned a local gangster to the floor of the church one evening, only God knew that he and his wife were soon to be employed by the church as youth workers. Jim & Marie now hold daily meetings with the people from the local community who are increasingly coming to see SCC as “theirs” (SCC Email Bulletin, 20 August 1996).
All the centres of renewal heading into revival include persistent and widespread prayer, co-operation between churches, humility, repentance, and the overwhelming impact of the Spirit of God including controversial signs and wonders. Mixed in with it all is human frailty and strong opposition, as in the early church.
Toronto in Canada, Melbourne in Florida, Pasadena in California, Holy Trinity Brompton in London, Sunderland in north-east England, and now Pensacola in Florida became household names in renewal and revival.
26,000 conversions in the first year
Reports of revival at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, north-west Florida, drew increasing crowds from around the world. They recorded 26,000 conversions in its first year. Many people are ignited there and take fires of revival home. So revival spreads.
Some of the leaders at Pensacola, including Lindel Cooley the worship leader, had received a deep impact of the Spirit in their lives. Before the current outpouring of God=s Spirit burst on them, the church had been continually praying for revival, and their worship services had extended in depth and length.
“When church would be over,” reported Cathy Wood, “you know how they play music as you exit – well that didn’t work now… We would try to walk out but we’d get a few pews away and stop again. The worship wouldn’t stop so we could go home. Many times Lindel would have to wave his hands at us and say go home! It would be 10:00 or 11:00 and church started at 6:OO. Wow … I love remembering! Then on Father’s Day [18 June 1995], Steve Hill a missionary to Argentina with the Assemblies of God came to give testimony of how God refreshed his life in London at a meeting and after that service … all heaven came down and has remained…. As thousands continue to come we know the Lord is not finished…. Over 1/2 million in combined attendance. Wherever the Lord is, we know the devil is looking in, so we pray for discernment whenever the flesh arrives; but at the same time … many of the things we have done in the Spirit now such as shaking, falling, jerking, were things we didn’t really believe in either. Now that God has touched us … we don’t know what’s next and we don’t want to be God police and stop someone who is manifesting a true touch of God. … Many thousands have been saved – over 30 thousand counting the backsliders” (Email from Cathy Wood, 31 July 1996).
2 Chronicles 7:14 still applies! We can humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and repent. God promises to hear, forgive, and heal the land.
© Renewal Journal 8: Awakening, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.
Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)
Contents of all Renewal Journals
Amazon – Renewal Journal 8: Awakening
Amazon – all journals and books
BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)
BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)
BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)
BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)
BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)
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