Martin Luther and the Mission of God: Why All Christians Are Missionaries

lutherwittenberg

Missio Dei (The Mission of God), Martin Luther, and Why All Believers Are Missionaries
by Rev. Eric Jonas Swensson

“Even those who are sent do not know themselves how they got there.”
Martin Luther (WA 24:262)

Very early in my graduate studies in theology the professor teaching the class on methodology told me to read  a certain book by Gustav Warnecke. Seems that since I was a Lutheran I needed to be put wise to the fact that Martin Luther was totally confused about mission. Naive church-historian-to-be that I was, I took this for fact. Only later did I learn that the professor and Warnecke did not understand Luther and his methodology of mission. Those who think Luther was not in the business of making missionaries are wrong.

If Lutherans follow the lead of their namesake they understand world mission not as a separate category of church work. Mission comes out of every church that has been planted. It is not so much that certain individuals have the gift of evangelism or an inner call to become a missionary (they do), rather  we should all understand mission is always pre-eminently the work of the triune God (missio Dei) and all believers are supposed to share the Gospel. Luther was misunderstood by scholars to have said that the Gospel had already gone out to all the world and so was not terribly interested in “foreign missions”. Such was not the case. In fact, this misunderstanding perhaps sheds light on another: Luther probably would not have foreseen a special order of missionaries because he in fact assumes that all believers are at the disposal of God to convey the word of salvation. All of us.

When we rightly understand what Luther said and kept saying, we also see how simple it is to be involved. Believers are to participate in the missio Dei. The Word evangelizes. God does the mission. We have opportunities to participate. God arranges and God performs. It is always God’s own mission that dominates Luther’s thought, and the coming of the kingdom of God is what is always on his horizon. We are drawn into it.

Therefore, Martin Luther was hands down the most effective missionary of the 16th century. How could Luther be greater than his contemporary, Francis Xavier? Luther never drew up a missions plan; Vavier founded a missionary order. Luther never set foot outside of his native land (besides that one trip to Rome he made as a monk); Xavier journeyed to India, Japan and Borneo. Stated simply, Luther was one of the greatest missionaries of all time because, as he said, “I let the word do the work.” What Martin Luther was able to do was to get out of the way so that believers could see that it is God that does mission.

I did not come to this discovery on my own. There have been a number of Lutheran theologians and  missiologists who have been pointing this out in recent years. Richard Bliese wrote a chapter that appears in a report from Aarhus University ten years ago that names Holl, Holsten, Gensichen, Elert, Scherer, Bunkowske and others as having identified “the missionary thrust of the Reformers’ theology.”  Eugene Bunkowske has two articles that make a convincing argument, therefore it should be understood that everything said from here on is based on his work. It is self-evident that no matter how well a thing is said, one judges a tree by the fruit. Let’s look at Luther and his contribution to missiology using the eight points Bunkowske lays out as “Luther’s Methods” in an article already referenced.

  • Spontaneous

  • Biblically Based

  • Prayer: A Priority

  • Sacramental

  • People Oriented

  • Student Centered

  • Teaching Focused

  • Indigenously Directed

Let us now consider each briefly and then draw some conclusions about the benefits.

Spontaneity We, of course, like being spontaneous (as long as we don’t make fools of ourselves). However, we are not the starting point; God is. We want to get out of the way and let God be God. Instead of trying to put God in a box, we need God to get us out of being boxed in! Luther said that faith was a lively thing, therefore our approach to mission is exegetical. We turn to Scripture for our first steps and then use the Word to keep us in step. We start with the Word of God, rather than human need or church growth or any other thing. God said “Go” and Abram went, and so on and so on. However, the key here is proclamation. We learn about God and the missio Dei from the Word proclaimed. Mission therefore is nothing but the Word embodied by the believers. We hear and are sent. We learn and we enact.

Biblically Based Luther’s goal should be ours: to understand the Word as clear as possible. We therefore rely on Scripture. We practice sola Scriptura. Luther’s break from Late Medieval Roman Catholic methodology was successfully handed on, i.e., sola Scriptura is a well-known slogan. However, like much that we Lutherans have had passed onto us, we wonder how well it is understood and practiced. If we took it seriously, we would be an evangelistic people.

The Priority of Prayer Luther said, “Next to the preaching of the Gospel (whereby God speaks to us and offers to give us all His grace and blessings) the highest and foremost work is prayer.” Luther taught that prayer was about imploring God to be merciful, and it was also to establish a relationship with the One to whom we are praying. Prayer is also about having certainty that our prayers are heard. In prayer we realize that being in conversation and unity with the One who said “as the Father has sent me, so I send you” has the implicit meaning that all who pray are assuming the same mission, i.e. there is no escaping the fact that all true believers are missionaries the rest of their days wherever it is that they find themselves.

Sacramental The Word of God is the key to mission. it is the power of God unto salvation. The Word of God is expressed in oral and written form as well as in a special form that can be seen and touched in Holy Baptism and even tasted in Holy Communion. As already said, Luther did not separate the church and its mission, and he did not think of a separate missionary order. Luther expected that the church would do mission, and so as the Word went out into the world, salvation would come to some and they would be gathered into churches and the Word would be preached and the Sacraments would be celebrated rightly. A missionary church would be a sacramental church.

People Oriented We can agree with Bunkowske that the Catechisms are an example that Luther gives us an example of how we missionaries are to express ourselves: using common words, addressing the common needs and aspirations of the common man and woman. Think of his words from the First Article that God has given me my body and soul, eyes and ears, my reason and senses and that he still preserves them, God gave me clothes and shoes, food and drink, house and home, spouse and children and so on. ‘He daily and richly provides me with all that I need to support this body and life; defends me from all danger, guards and protects me from all evil. And all of this out of pure fatherly and divine goodness.

When we rightly understand what Luther kept saying we also see how simple it is to be involved. Believers are to participate in the missio Dei. That’s all. That’s it. The Word evangelizes. God does the mission. We have opportunities to participate. God arranges and God performs. It is always God’s own mission that dominates Luther’s thought, and the coming of the kingdom of God is what is always on his horizon.

Student Centered No fewer than 16,000 students enrolled in Wittenberg University between 1520-1560. No fewer that one-third came from outside of Germany. Surely one of the reasons the evangelische spread as it did was Luther’s method. Sixteen thousand students sat under Luther’s preaching and teaching and heard again and again how this spontaneous Word made clear in biblically based proclamation, geared to the common man. Students are an effective channel for mission, one that we can utilize again once education is wrestled away from other approaches.

Teaching Focused As Dr Bunkowske said, “Luther was a teacher with a mission.” He was a teacher of teachers. He believed all people were entitled to a Christian education, something radical for his time. He thought each town should have a school for girls. Children were to be taught first about spiritual things and then secular. He used many means and media to teach. The Small Catechism was placed on posters. Luther played the lute and used hymns as another catechism. he wrote 35 hymns and encouraged his co-workers to do the same. Four different printing presses published hymnbook after hymnbook. By the end of his life 47 collections were published. Luther wrote letters, commentaries, sermons and collections of sermons (postils), he wrote for academic audience and for lay people. Luther modeled how all types of oral and written communication can be used to educate for the purpose of spreading the Gospel.

Indigenously Directed Luther did to need to go to England, Finland or Denmark. He taught his Wittenberg students and helped them to take the Word to their own countries. Luther encourage William Tyndale to translate the New Testament which was printed in Worms and smuggled into England in barrels of German wheat. When Luther saw the abilities of student Michael Agricola he wrote the King of Sweden and recommended he commission him to translate the Scriptures into the Finnish language. Peder Palladius came to Wittenberg from Denmark and later became known as the Father of the Danish Reformation. And so on and so on. This is the kind of work Lutherans have been doing since and we would be wise to do more of it.  Members of a culture can witness to their community far more effectively than an outsider.

Literature on missiology is vast and growing, but it is rare to find the methodology of Martin Luther even mentioned. Clearly he is not seen as having their answers. We are waiting for a Lutheran missiology based on systematic Lutheran theology. It would be of immense benefit to our congregations and mission agencies. Until more of our  theologians get excited by the possibility of missional theology that is centered on the gospel as Luther explained it, we can make do with Bunkowske’s categories. Of course there is a need for specialization in the work and let no one denigrate the need to be appropriately grounded in one’s context. That is necessary whether your context is Kansas or Kenya. It is to say though that  the genius of Luther is that the Holy Spirit uses the Word and brings unbelievers into the Kingdom of God. Effective mission comes not from technique but belief. It sounds naive, but it works. Let’s tell the believers that their prayer partner Jesus wants the Gospel proclaimed from the housetop and that of course means  housetops in Kansas and Kenya and every other place on earth.

This article originally appeared in the Institute of Lutheran Theology’s Word at Work magazine.
For your reading:

Richard H. Bliese, “Lutheran Missiology: Struggling to Move from Reactive Reform to Innovative Initiative”, The Role of Mission in The Future of Lutheran Theology, Viggo Mortensen, ed. (Centre for Multireligious Studies: University of Aarhus, 2003).

Dr. Eugene Bunkowske, “Luther and the Growth of the Church” in Church Growth: A Biblical Perspective, 70-93; “Luther the Missionary,” in God’s Mission in Action, 54-89.

 

 

Sadhu Sundar Singh

SadhuSundarSingh.jpg

Sadhu Sundar Singh

 

   Sundar Singh was born in 1889, the youngest child in an aristocratic, land-owning Sikh family in the village of Rampur inPatiala, India. While a young teen he was crushed by the death of his mother. He seems to have rejected nearly everything in his emotional pain including the Presbyterian mission school and the Scriptures they had presented. He invited his friends over to watch him burn the Bible page by page. It was his intention to commit suicide. He took a bath in preparation and during it he cried out that if any of the gods of which he had been taught (Hindu, Moslem, Christian) were real they should reveal themselves.

 

“Although I believed that I had done a very good deed by burning the Bible, I felt unhappy,” he said. Within three days Sundar Singh could bear his misery no longer. “I planned to throw myself in front of the train which passed by our house.” His suicide plan was the violent end of being struck by a train. He spend the night in prayer before he planned on going to the railroad track. He prayed. “O God, if there is a God, reveal thyself to me tonight.” He reported that after many hours the room filled with a glow and a man appeared before him, and spoke in perfect Hindustani, Sundar Singh’s mother tongue: “Why do you persecute me? Remember that I gave My life for you upon the Cross.[1]

How long will you deny me? I died for you; I have given my life for you.” He saw the man’s nail-pierced hands.

“Jesus was the last person Sundar was looking for. After all, Jesus was the ‘foreign god’ of the Christian teachers at his school… Amazed that his vision had taken the unexpected form of Jesus, Sundar was convinced in his heart that Jesus was the true Savior, and that He was alive. Sundar fell on his knees before Him and experienced an astonishing peacefulness which he had never felt before. The vision disappeared, but peace and joy lingered within him.”

Sundar spent the rest of his life explaining how Jesus came to him. He told his father who promptly threw a great banquet and tossed his son out into the streets the next day. He learned with a short period that he had also been poisoned by his father who considered his son a traitor for forsaking the family’s religion.

 

Sadhu Sundar Singh story reveals many things. A pronounced one is God’s continuing initiative to be a supernatural visitor. Just as Muslims are learning in the countries in the Middle East where there are few or none of the usual resources to learn about Jesus, He will appear to them in dreams and visions. This is enough for a real conversion. Less than sixteen, he became an apostle, living a God-directed life of hardship and holiness.

 

His life also shows the difficulty indigenous people have in separating the presentation of the gospel by missionaries with the real thing. God revealed something to him in the following story:

 

“He had a great desire to visit Palestine and re-live some of the happenings in Jesus’ life. In 1908 he went to Bombay, hoping to board a ship to the region. To his intense disappointment, the government refused to give him a permit, and he had to return to the north. It was on this trip that he suddenly recognised a basic dilemma of the Christian mission to India. A brahmin had collapsed in the hot, crowded carriage and, at the next station, the Anglo-Indian stationmaster came rushing with a cup of water from the refreshment room. The brahmin — a high-caste Hindu — thrust it away in horror. He needed water, but he could only accept it in his own drinking vessel. When that was brought, he drank and was revived. In the same way, Sundar Singh realised, India would not widely accept the gospel of Jesus offered in Western guise. That, he recognised, was why many listeners had responded to him in his Indian sadhu’s robe.”

 

This follower of Jesus became fairly well known in the evangelical world of the 1920’s and from time to time he surfaces again. He deserves both serious research and a still greater fame. He is a real “stained glass window saint” through which God’s light shines through as faint-hearted Christians contemplate how much more they are being called on to give for the Kingdom to come today for a new believers in distant lands.


There is a quite good biography on Sadhu Sundar Singh at Wikipedia (no, not all are created equal), part of a series on Protestant missions in India.[2] You may also like the biography that explores the link between him and C.S. Lewis.[3] But by all means, always, always, always, when you have the opportunity, read the words of people not what others wrote about them. Read At the Master’s Feet below.


[1] http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/singh.htm

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadhu_Sundar_Singh

 

AT THE MASTER’S FEET

  BY

SADHU SUNDAR SINGH

   TRANSLATED FROM THE URDU BY REV. ARTHUR AND MRS. PARKER

FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY,  LONDON AND EDINBURGH, 1922
_________________________________________________________________

NOTE BY THE TRANSLATORS

This little book was published in Urdu in India, where also an English
translation was issued.

In the preparation of this translation we have been fortunate in
having the co-operation of the Sadhu himself, and in concert with him
certain alterations have been made with a view to remove obscurities
and give added point and clearness wherever possible. While striving
to provide a careful translation, a certain freedom of expression has
been made use of wherever necessary, at the same time care has been
taken to preserve the true spirit and meaning of the original.

To those who, like ourselves, have had the good fortune to see the
Sadhu at his work in India, the whole atmosphere of the book is
familiar. In true Oriental fashion one has seen him seated on the
ground in the midst of a large number of eager inquirers of both sexes
and all classes. His bearing on such occasions one can never forget.
His simplicity and plain common sense often lay open the very heart of
a spiritual problem, and his quiet humour raises an occasional ripple
of amusement, which again subsides into a feeling of reverence as the
deeper significance of his answers makes itself felt.

The man himself, in his own gracious and dignified personality, makes
an indelible impression on the mind. He becomes more than a charming
memory; he remains as a compelling force in the lives of many who have
sat with him at the Master’s feet.

This little book goes out as an emanation from a mind chastened and
refined by experience and prayerful meditation, and chosen by the Lord
of love and mercy to make Him known in life as well as in word.

Arthur Parker

Rebecca J. Parker
_________________________________________________________________

PREFACE

The words of Christ –

“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” (John
xiii.13)

“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me . . . and ye shall find rest
unto your souls.” (Matt. xi.29)

There is nothing so perfect in the world as to be quite above
objection and criticism. The very sun which gives us light and warmth
is not free from spots, yet notwithstanding these defects it does not
desist from its regular duty. It behooves us in like manner to carry
on to the best of our ability what has been entrusted to us, and
strive constantly to make our lives fruitful.

When the truths set forth in this book were revealed to me by the
Master they deeply affected my life, and some of them have been used
by me in my sermons and addresses in Europe, America, Africa,
Australia, and Asia. At the request of many friends I have now
gathered them together in this little book, and though it is possible
that there are defects in setting them forth, I am sure that those who
read them with prayer and an unprejudiced mind will benefit from them
as I have.

It would be impossible for me to set forth these truths that have been
revealed to me except in parabolic language, but by the use of
parables my task has been made comparatively easy.

It is my prayer that as God by His grace and mercy has blessed me by
these truths, so also they may be a blessing to every reader.

Your humble servant,

Sundar Singh
_________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION

First Vision

Once on a dark night I went alone into the forest to pray, and seating
myself upon a rock I laid before God my deep necessities, and besought
His help. After a short time, seeing a poor man coming towards me I
thought he had come to ask me for some relief because he was hungry
and cold. I said to him, “I am a poor man, and except this blanket I
have nothing at all. You had better go to the village near by and ask
for help there.” And lo! even whilst I was saying this he flashed
forth like lightning, and, showering drops of blessing, immediately
disappeared. Alas! Alas! it was now clear to me that this was my
beloved Master who came not to beg from a poor creature like me, but
to bless and to enrich me (2 Cor. viii.9), and so I was left weeping
and lamenting my folly and lack of insight.

Second Vision

On another day, my work being finished, I again went into the forest
to pray, and seated upon that same rock began to consider for what
blessings I should make petition. Whilst thus engaged it seemed to me
that another came and stood near me, who, judged by his bearing and
dress and manner of speech, appeared to be a revered and devoted
servant of God; but his eyes glittered with craft and cunning, and as
he spoke he seemed to breathe an odour of hell.

He thus addressed me, “Holy and Honoured Sir, pardon me for
interrupting your prayers and breaking in on your privacy; but is is
one’s duty to seek to promote the advantage of others, and therefore I
have come to lay an important matter before you. Your pure and
unselfish life has made a deep impression not only on me, but upon a
great number of devout persons. But although in the Name of God you
have sacrificed yourself body and soul for others, you have never been
truly appreciated. My meaning is that being a Christian only a few
thousand Christians have come under your influence, and some even of
these distrust you. How much better would it be if you became a Hindu
or a Mussulman, and thus become a great leader indeed? They are in
search of such a spiritual head. If you accept this suggestion of
mine, then three hundred and ten millions of Hindus and Mussulmans
will become your followers, and render you reverent homage.”

As soon as I heard this there rushed from my lips these words, “Thou
Satan! get thee hence. I knew at once that thou wert a wolf in sheep’s
clothing! Thy one wish is that I should give up the cross and the
narrow path that leads to life, and choose the broad road of death. My
Master Himself is my lot and my portion, who Himself gave His life for
me, and it behooves me to offer as a sacrifice my life and all I have
to Him who is all in all to me. Get you gone therefore, for with you I
have nothing to do.”

Hearing this he went off grumbling and growling in his rage. And I, in
tears, thus poured out my soul to God in prayer, “My Lord God, my all
in all, life of my life, and spirit of my spirit, look in mercy upon
me and so fill me with Thy Holy Spirit that my heart shall have no
room for love of aught but Thee. I seek from Thee no other gift but
Thyself, who art the Giver of life and all its blessings. From Thee I
ask not for the world or its treasures, nor yet for heaven even make
request, but Thee alone do I desire and long for, and where Thou art
there is Heaven. The hunger and the thirst of this heart of mine can
be satisfied only with Thee who hast given it birth. O Creator mine!
Thou hast created my heart for Thyself alone, and not for another,
therefore this my heart can find no rest or ease save in Thee, in Thee
who hast both created it and set in it this very longing for rest.
Take away then from my heart all that is opposed to Thee, and enter
and abide and rule for ever. Amen.”

When I rose up from this prayer I beheld a glowing Being, arrayed in
light and beauty, standing before me. Though He spoke not a word, and
because my eyes were suffused with tears I saw Him not too clearly,
there poured from Him lightning-like rays of life-giving love with
such power that they entered in and bathed my very soul. At once I
knew that my dear Saviour stood before me. I rose at once from the
rock where I was seated and fell at His feet. He held in His hand the
key of my heart. Opening the inner chamber of my heart with His key of
love, He filled it with His presence, and wherever I looked, inside or
out, I saw but Him.

Then did I know that man’s heart is the very throne and citadel of
God, and that when He enters there to abide, heaven begins. In these
few seconds He so filled my heart, and spoke such wonderful words,
that even if I wrote many books I could not tell them all. For these
heavenly things can be explained only in heavenly language, and
earthly tongues are not sufficient for them. Yet I will endeavour to
set down a few of these heavenly things that by way of vision came to
me from the Master. Upon the rock on which before I sat He seated
Himself, and with myself at His feet there began between Master and
disciple the conversation that now follows.
_________________________________________________________________

I. THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S PRESENCE
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION I

The Disciple,–O Master, Fountain of life! Why dost Thou hide Thyself
from those that adore Thee, and dost not rejoice the eyes of them that
long to gaze upon Thee?

The Master,–1. My true child, true happiness depends not upon the
sight of the eyes, but comes through spiritual vision, and depends
upon the heart. In Palestine thousands looked upon Me, but all of them
did not thus obtain true happiness. By mortal eyes only those things
can be perceived that are mortal, for eyes of flesh cannot behold an
immortal God and spiritual beings. For instance, you yourself cannot
see your own spirit, therefore how can you behold its Creator? But
when the spiritual eyes are opened, then you can surely see Him who is
Spirit, (John iv.24), and that which you now see of Me you see not
with eyes of flesh, but with the eyes of the spirit.

If, as you say, thousands of people saw Me in Palestine then were all
their spiritual eyes opened, or did I Myself become mortal? The answer
is, No! I took on a mortal body so that in it I might give a ransom
for the sins of the world; and when the work of salvation was
completed for sinners (John xix.30), then that which was immortal
transfigured what was mortal into glory. Therefore after the
resurrection only those were able to see Me who had received spiritual
sight (Acts x. 40,41).

2. Many there are in this world who know about Me, but do not know Me;
that is they have no personal relationship with Me, therefore they
have no true apprehension of or faith in Me, and do not accept Me as
their Saviour and Lord.

Just as if one talks with a man born blind about different colors such
as red, blue, yellow, he remains absolutely unaware of their charm and
beauty, he cannot attach any value to them, because he only knows
about them, and is aware of their various names. But with regard to
colors he can have no true conception until his eyes are opened. In
the same manner until a man’s spiritual eyes are opened, howsoever
learned he may be, he cannot know Me, he cannot behold My glory, and
he cannot understand that I am God Incarnate.

3. There are many believers who are aware of My presence in their
hearts bringing to them spiritual life and peace, but cannot plainly
see Me. Just as the eye can see many things, yet when someone drops
medicine into the eye does not see it, but the presence of the
medicine is felt cleansing the inner eye and promoting the power of
sight.

4. The true peace which is born of My presence in the hearts of true
believers they are unable to see, but, feeling its power, they become
happy in it. Nor can they see that happiness of mind or heart through
which they enjoy the peace of My presence. It is the same with the
tongue and sweetmeats. The faculty of taste which resides in the
tongue and the sweetness it perceives are both invisible. Thus also I
give My children life and joy by means of the hidden manna, which the
world with all its wisdom knows not nor can know (Rev. ii.7).

5. Sometimes during sickness the faculty of taste in the tongue is
interfered with, and during that time, however tasty the food given to
the sick person may be, it has an ill taste to him. In just the same
way sin interferes with the taste for spiritual things. Under such
circumstances My Word and service and My presence lost their
attraction to the sinner, and instead of profiting by them he begins
to argue about and to criticize them.

6. Many believers again–like the man born blind, on receiving his
sight–are able to see Jesus as a prophet and the Son of Man, but do
not regard Him as the Christ and the Son of God (John ix.17, 35-37),
until I am revealed to them a second time in power.

7. A mother once hid herself in a garden amongst some densely growing
shrubs, and her little son went in search of her here and there,
crying as he went. Through the whole garden he went, but could not
find her. A servant said to him, “Sonny, don’t cry! Look at the
mangoes on this tree and all the pretty, pretty flowers in the garden.
Come, I am going to get some for you.” But the child cried out, “No!
No! I want my mother. The food she gives me is nicer than all the
mangoes, and her love is sweeter far than all these flowers, and
indeed you know that all this garden is mine, for all that my mother
has is mine. No! I want my mother!” When the mother, hidden in the
bushes, heard this, she rushed out and, snatching her child to her
breast, smothered him with kisses, and that garden became a paradise
to the child. In this way My children cannot find in this great garden
of a world, so full of charming and beautiful things, any true joy
until they find Me. I am their Emmanuel, who is ever with them, and I
make Myself known to them (John xiv.21).

8. Just as the sponge lies in the water, and the water fills the
sponge, but the water is not the sponge and the sponge is not the
water, but they ever remain different things, so children abide in Me
and I in them. This is not pantheism, but it is the kingdom of God,
which is set up in the hearts of those who abide in this world; and
just as the water in the sponge, I am in every place and in
everything, but they are not I (Luke xvii.21).

9. Take a piece of charcoal, and however much you may wash it its
blackness will not disappear, but let the fire enter into it and its
dark colour vanishes. So also when the sinner receives the Holy Spirit
(who is from the Father and Myself, for the Father and I are one),
which is the baptism of fire, all the blackness of sin is driven away,
and he is made a light to the world (Matt. iii.11, v.14). As the fire
in the charcoal, so I abide in My children and they in Me, and through
them I make Myself manifest to the world.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION II

The Disciple,–Master, if Thou wouldst make a special manifestation of
Thyself to the world, men would no longer doubt the existence of God
and Thy own divinity, but all would believe and enter on the path of
righteousness.

The Master,–1. My son, the inner state of every man I know well, and
to each heart in accordance with its needs I make Myself known; and
for bringing men into the way of righteousness there is no better
means than the manifestation of Myself. For man I became man that he
might know God, not as someone terrible and foreign, but as full of
love and like to himself, for he is like Him and made in His image.

Man also has a natural desire that he should see Him in whom he
believes and who loves him. But the Father cannot be seen, for He is
by nature incomprehensible, and he who would comprehend Him must have
the same nature. But man is a comprehensible creature, and being so
cannot see God. Since, however, God is Love and He has given to man
that same faculty of love, therefore, in order that that craving for
love might be satisfied, He adopted a form of existence that man could
comprehend. Thus He became man, and His children with all the holy
angels may see Him and enjoy Him (Col. i.15, ii.9). Therefore I said
that he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father (John xiv.9-10). And
although while in the form of man I am called the Son, I am the
eternal and everlasting Father (Isa. ix.6).

2. I and the Father and the Holy Spirit are One. Just as in the sun
there are both heat and light, but the light is not heat, and the heat
is not light, but both are one, though in their manifestation they
have different forms, so I and the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the
Father, bring light and heat to the world. The Spirit, which is the
baptismal fire, burns to ashes in the hearts of believers all manner
of sin and iniquity, making them pure and holy. I who am the True
Light (John i.9, viii.12), dissipate all dark and evil desires, and
leading them in the way of righteousness bring them at last to their
eternal home. Yet We are not three but One, just as the sun is but
one.

3. Whatever worth and power and high faculty God has endowed man with
must be brought into action, otherwise they gradually decay and die.
In this way faith, if it is not truly fixed on the living God, is
shattered by the shock of sin and transformed into doubt. Often one
hears something like this, “If this or that doubt of mine be removed I
am ready to believe.” That is as though one with a broken limb should
ask the doctor to take away the pain before he sets the limb. Surely
this is folly, for the pain comes from the breaking of the limb, and
when that is set the pain will of itself pass away. Thus by the act of
sin man’s tie with God has been snapped, and doubts, which are
spiritual pains, have arisen. It needs must, therefore, that the union
with God be again renewed, then those doubts which have arisen
regarding My divinity and the existence of God will of themselves
disappear. Then in place of pain there will come that wonderful peace
which the world cannot give nor take away. Thus it was that I became
flesh, that between God and poor broken men there might be union, and
they might be happy with Him in heaven for evermore.

4. God is love, and in every living creature He has set this faculty
of love, but especially in man. It is therefore nothing but right that
the Lover who has given us life and reason and love itself should
receive His due tribute of love. His desire is to all He has created,
and if this love be not rightly used, and if we do not with all our
heart and soul and mind and strength love Him who has endowed us with
love, then that love falls from its high estate and becomes
selfishness. Thus arises disaster both for ourselves and for other
creatures of God. Every selfish man, strangely enough, becomes a
self-slayer.

This also I have said, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” Now although
in a sense all men are neighbours one of another, yet the reference is
especially to those who habitually live near each other, for it is an
easy matter to live at peace with one who is near at hand for a few
days only, even though he be unfriendly; but in the case of one who
has his dwelling near you, and day by day is the cause of trouble to
you, it is most difficult to bear with him, and love him as yourself.
But when you have conquered in this great struggle it will be more
easy to love all others as yourself.

When man with all his heart, mind, and soul loves God, and his
neighbour as himself there will be no room for doubts, but in him will
be established that Kingdom of God of which there should be no end,
and he, melted and moulded in the fire of love, will be made into the
image of his heavenly Father, who at the first made him like Himself.

5. Also I manifest Myself by means of My Word (the Bible) to those who
seek Me with a sincere heart. Just as for the salvation of men I took
on a human body, so My Word also, which is Spirit and Life (John
vi.63) is written in the language of men, that is, there are inspired
and human elements united in it. But just as men do not understand Me,
so they do not understand My Word. To understand it a knowledge of the
Hebrew and Greek tongues is not a necessity, but what is necessary is
the fellowship of that Holy Spirit, abiding in whom the prophets and
apostles wrote it. Without doubt the language of this Word is
spiritual, and he who is born of the Spirit is alone able fully to
understand it, whether he be acquainted with the criticism of the
world or be only a child, for that spiritual language is well
understood by him since it is his mother tongue. But remember that
those whose wisdom is only of this world cannot understand it, for
they have no share in the Holy Spirit.

6. In the book of nature, of which I also am the Author, I freely
manifest Myself. But for the reading of this book also spiritual
insight is needed, that men may find Me, otherwise there is a danger
lest instead of finding Me they go astray.

Thus the blind man uses the tips of his fingers as eyes, and by means
of touch alone reads a book, but by touch alone can form no real
estimate of its truth. The investigations of agnostics and sceptics
prove this, for in place of perfection they see only defects. Fault
finding critics ask, “If there is an Almighty Creator of the world why
are there defects in it, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, eclipses,
pain, suffering, death, and the like?” The folly of this criticism is
similar to that of an unlearned man who finds fault with an unfinished
building or an incomplete picture. After a time, when he sees them
fully finished, he is ashamed of his folly, and ends by singing their
praises. Thus too, God did not in one day give to this world its
present form, nor will it in one day reach perfection. The whole
creation moves onward to perfection, and if it were possible for the
man of this world to see from afar with the eyes of God the perfect
world in which no defect appears, he too would bow in praise before
Him and say, “All is very good” (Gen. i.31).

7. The human spirit abides in the body very much as the chicken in the
shell. If it were possible for the bird within the shell to be told
that outside of it was a great widespread world, with all kinds of
fruit and flowers, with rivers and grand mountains, that its mother
also was there, and that it would see all this when set free from its
shell, it could not understand or believe it. Even if anyone told it
that its feathers and eyes, ready now for use, would enable it to see
and to fly, it would not believe it, nor would any proof be possible
till it came out of its shell.

In the same way there are many who are uncertain about the future life
and the existence of God, because they cannot see beyond this
shell-like body of flesh, and their thoughts, like delicate wings,
cannot carry them beyond the narrow confines of the brain. Their weak
eyes cannot discover those eternal and unfading treasures which God
has prepared for those who love Him (Isa. lxiv.4, lxv.17). The
necessary condition for attaining to this eternal life is this, that
while still in this body we should receive from the Holy Spirit by
faith that life-giving warmth which the chicken receives from its
mother, otherwise there is danger of death and eternal loss.

8. Again, many say that the thing, or the life, that has a beginning
must of necessity have an end. This is not true, for is not the
Almighty who is able at His will to make from naught a thing which is,
also able by the word of His power to confer immortality on that which
He has made? If not He cannot be called Almighty. Life in this world
appears to be liable to decay and destruction, because it is in
subjection to those things which are themselves the subject of change
and decay. But if this life were set free from these changeful and
decaying influences, and brought under the care of the eternal and
unchanging God, who is the fountain and source of eternal life, it
would escape from the clutch of death and attain to eternity.

As for those who believe on Me, “I give unto them eternal life, and
they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My
hand” (John x.28). “I am the Lord God Almighty that is and was and is
to come” (Rev. i.8).
_________________________________________________________________

II. SIN AND SALVATION
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION I

The Disciple,–Master, it is clear to almost everyone that to disobey
God and to cease to worship Him is sin, and the deadly result is seen
in the present state of the world. But what sin really is is not
absolutely clear. In the very presence of Almighty God, and in
opposition to His will, and in His own world, how did sin come to be?

The Master,–1. Sin is to cast aside the will of God and to live
according to one’s own will, deserting that which is true and lawful
in order to satisfy one’s own desires, thinking thus to obtain
happiness. Yet in so doing one does not obtain real happiness or enjoy
true pleasure. Sin has no individuality, so that no one can say of it
that someone created it. It is simply the name of a state or
condition. There is only one Creator and He is good, and a good
Creator could not have created a bad thing, for to do so would be
against His very nature. And apart from the one Creator there is no
other who could have created sin. Satan can only spoil that which has
already been created, but he has not the power of creating anything.
So sin is not a part of creation, nor has it independent existence
such that it could be created. It is simply a delusive and destructive
state of being.

For instance, light is something which has real existence, but
darkness has not; it is only a state, the absence of light. Thus sin
or evil is not a self-existent thing, but simply the absence or
nonexistence of good. This dark state of evil is most terrible, for
because of it many miss the right course, and making shipwreck on the
rocks of Satan fall into the darkness of hell and are lost. For this
reason I who am the Light of the world became manifest in the flesh,
so that those who put their trust in Me should not perish, for I
rescue them from the power of darkness and bring them safe to that
desired and heavenly haven, where there is neither name nor sign of
darkness (Rev. xxi.23, xxii.5).

2. You ask how this dark state of sin came to be in the very presence
of the Lord of creation. It arose because Satan and men, of their own
motion in an unlawful and wrong way, sought to carry out their own
desires. And if you ask why God did not make man in such a way that he
could not fall into such a state, the answer is that if he had been
constructed like a machine he could never have attained to that state
of happiness which is reached only by action in accordance with one’s
own choice. Adam and Eve fell into the wiles and deceit of Satan
because in their sinless state they did not know there were such
things as lies and deceit. Before this, Satan himself did not know of
the existence of that pride by reason of which he was cast out of
heaven, for before him no such thing as pride existed. And although
both in men and Satan this state of sin came to be, God by His
almighty power has given that state a new aspect, so that even from it
He has brought forth the noblest results.

First of all, the boundless love of God was made manifest in the
incarnation and redemption, which under other circumstances would have
remained hidden; and in the second place, the redeemed, after having
tasted the bitterness of sin, will more richly enjoy the happiness of
heaven, just as after a taste of bitterness the sweetness of honey
gives greater delight. For in heaven they sin no more, but in meekness
and obedient love they serve their Father God, and abide with Him in
joy for evermore.

3. Men are keen on discovering faults in the sun and moon, such as
spots and eclipses, but to the spots and eclipses of sin they give no
heed. From this you may measure how great that darkness in men is,
when the very light they have is darkness (Matt. vi.23). Just as the
body of the leper by reason of his disease becomes numb and
insensible, so the heart and mind of man by reason of sin become dull
and insensate, and bring to him no sense of disgust or pain. But the
time will come when he will awake to its terrible ravages, and then
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

4. Many who are immersed in sin are unaware of its load, just as one
who dives into the water may have tons of water upon him, but is
wholly unaware of its weight until he is choked in death. But he who
emerges from the water and seeks to carry some away soon finds its
weight, however little he takes up; and he who, finding the burden of
his sin, comes to Me in penitence will freely receive true rest, for
it is such I come to seek and to save (Matt. xi.28, Luke xix.10).

5. It is not necessary that every single member of the body should
become useless and weak before death occurs. A weakness of, or a blow
upon, the heart or the brain will suffice to bring an end to life,
however strong and healthy other parts of the body may be. Thus one
sin by its poisonous effect on the mind and heart is sufficient to
ruin the spiritual life not of one only, but of a whole family or
nation, even of the whole race. Such was the sin of Adam. But as one
word from Me could bring Lazarus from the tomb, even so it is
sufficient to give eternal life to all.

6. Sometimes it happens that an animal or bird after long association
with man returns to its own kind, but they, instead of welcoming it,
set upon it and do it to death, the reason being that by its long
residence and familiarity with man, its habits and manner of life have
entirely changed. In the same way as animals do not admit to their
society those of their kind that have come under man’s influence, how
can the saint and angels in heaven welcome those sinners who have
lived in intimate relations with wicked men? This does not mean that
saints and angels have no love for sinful men, but the holy atmosphere
of heaven will itself be distasteful to such men. For clearly, when in
this world sinners dislike the company of good men, how can they be
happy in their company throughout eternity? To them a heaven of that
sort would be as distasteful as hell itself.

Do not suppose that God or His people will turn sinners out of heaven
and cast them into hell, for God who is Love, never cast anyone into
hell, nor ever will do so. It is the foul life of the sinner that will
bring him to hell. Long before the end of life brings heaven and hell
near to us, there has been set up in every man’s heart, according to
his good or evil nature, his own heaven or hell. Therefore whosoever
longs to be saved from that eternal torment, let him truly repent of
his sins and give his heart to Me, that by My presence with him and
the Holy Spirit’s influence, he may become for ever a child of the
kingdom of God.

7. A rebel against a king or government in this world may save himself
by taking refuge in another country, but where shall a rebel against
God flee for safety? Wherever he goes, even in heaven or hell, he will
find God ever present. (Psa. cxxxix.7,8). He will find his safety only
in repentance and submission to his Lord.

8. For Adam and Eve the fig leaves were too scanty a covering, so God
gave them coats of skin. In this way, too, man’s good deeds are as
useless as the fig leaves to save him from the wrath to come. Nothing
will suffice save My robe of righteousness.

9. The moth thinks not of the burning and destructive power of the
flame, but fascinated by its brilliancy rushes into it and perishes.
So man, regardless of the destructive and poisonous power of sin, and
feeling only its allurement, rushes in to his eternal destruction. But
My light rescues the sinner from death, and bestows upon him life and
enduring happiness. Man was so made as to be capable of appropriating
the precious gift of My true light.

10. Sin is not an illusion or a thing of the imagination, but in this
state of spiritual darkness, by the exercise of the evil will of man,
such living seeds of evil have come into existence as will for ever
infect his spirit and finally destroy it–just as smallpox in quite a
short time will destroy the beauty of a man for all time, turning it
to repulsive ugliness. As God did not create wickedness, so also He
did not create disease and bodily pains. They are simply the natural
issue of man’s disobedience. Pain and disease also are not things of
the imagination, but are the outward and visible fruits of the hidden
unseen disease of sin, whether it be one’s own sin or that of the
family of which one is a member. When all these members repent and are
united with Me, My health-giving blood circulates through all, healing
all their internal and unseen diseases and giving to them health for
all eternity. For such a state of health man was created, that he
might for ever dwell in happiness with his Lord and Master.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION II

The Disciple,–Master, in these days some learned men and their
followers regard Thy atonement and the redemption by blood as
meaningless and futile, and say that Christ was only a great teacher
and example for our spiritual life, and that salvation and eternal
happiness depend on our own efforts and good deeds.

The Master,–1. Never forget that spiritual and religious ideas are
connected less with the head than with the heart, which is the temple
of God, and when the heart is filled with the presence of God the head
also is enlightened. For the mind and the eyes of the understanding
are useless without the true light, as the natural eyes are without
daylight. In the dark one may mistake a rope for a snake, just as the
wise of this world pervert spiritual truth and lead astray simple
minds. So Satan when beguiling Eve made use not of the sheep or the
dove but of the serpent, the most crafty of all the animals. So he
takes the wisdom of the wise and the skill of the learned, and of them
makes instruments suited to his purpose. But it is not enough to be
learned and clever; one must also have the innocence of the dove,
therefore I have said, “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves”
(Matt. x.16).

2. My cross and atonement do the same for believers as the serpent of
brass did for the Israelites, for whoever looked up to that with the
eyes of faith was saved (Num. xxi.9, John iii.14,15). There were some,
however, who, instead of believing, thought of it as brass only and
began to criticize and say, “If Moses had provided an antidote, or
were to give us some powerful drug or special medicine for these
venomous serpents, that would be a proper object of faith, but what
power has this pole over poisonous venom?” They all died. In these
days too, those who cavil about the method of salvation which God has
appointed will perish in the poison of their own sin.

3. A young man fell down a precipice and was so much injured, and lost
so much blood that he was at the point of death. When his father took
him to the doctor he said, “The life is the blood, and the supply of
this young man’s blood is exhausted; but if anyone is prepared to
sacrifice his own life he may recover, otherwise he will die.” The
father, whose heart was overflowing with love for his son, offered his
own blood, and this being injected into the young man’s veins he
recovered. Man has fallen from the mount of holiness and lies broken
and wounded by his sins, and by reason of those wounds his spiritual
life has ebbed away and he is near to death. But for those who believe
in Me I pour forth my own everlasting and spiritual blood, that they
may be saved from death and obtain eternal life. For this purpose have
I come that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John
x.10), and thus live for evermore.

4. In ancient times men were forbidden to drink the blood of animals,
or to eat certain foods, in the belief that they would thus escape
certain diseases; and also lest, as a man has an animal body, his
animal propensities might be strengthened by eating flesh and drinking
blood. But now “My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed”
(John vi.55), for they give spiritual life, and by them perfect health
and heavenly happiness and joy are received.

5. The forgiveness of sins does not mean full salvation, for that can
only come with perfect freedom from sin. For it is possible that a man
should die from the disease of his sin, though he has received full
pardon for it. For instance, a man had his brain affected owing to an
illness of long standing, and whilst thus affected he made an attack
upon another man and killed him. When sentence of death was pronounced
upon him, his relatives explained the circumstances and appealed for
mercy for him, and he was granted pardon for the sin of murder. But
before his friends could reach him with the good news, indeed while
they were on the way, he had died of the sickness by reason of which
he had committed the murder.

What advantage was this pardon to the murderer? His real safety would
have been to be cured of his disease, and then he would have had real
happiness in his pardon. For this reason I became manifest in the
flesh that I might deliver penitent believers from the disease of sin,
from its punishment and from death; thus taking away both cause and
effect. They will not die in their sins, for I will save them (Matt.
i.21), and they shall pass from death to becomes heirs of eternal
life.

6. To many people life is full of peril, and they are like that hunter
who caught sight of a honeycomb on the branch of a tree overhanging a
stream. Climbing up, he began to enjoy the honey, quite unaware of the
fact that he was in peril of death, for in the stream beneath him lay
an alligator with open jaws waiting to devour him, while around the
foot of the tree a pack of wolves had gathered waiting for him to
descend. Worse still, the tree on which he sat had been eaten away at
the roots by an insect and it was ready to fall. In a short time it
did fall, and the unwary hunter became the prey of the alligator.
Thus, too, the human spirit, ensconced in the body, enjoys for a short
time the false and fleeting pleasures of sin gathered in the honeycomb
of the brain, without a thought that it is in the midst of this
fearsome jungle of the world. There Satan sits ready to tear it to
pieces, and hell like an alligator waits with open mouth to gulp it
down, while, worst of all, the tiny unseen insect of sin has eaten
away the very roots of the body and life. Soon the soul falls and
becomes an everlasting prey to hell. But the sinner who comes to Me I
will deliver from sin, from Satan, and from hell, and will give him
eternal joy “which none shall take away from him” (John xvi.22).

7. Satan with crafty speech and enticements draws men to him and
swallows them down just as a snake fascinates little birds by the
magnetism of its glittering eye, and makes a prey of them. But to
those who believe on Me I give deliverance from that old serpent and
from the seductions of this soul-destroying world. I set them free so
that, as a bird, easily resisting the force of gravity which is in the
earth, flies freely through the open heaven, they mount on the wings
of prayer and reach at last the abode of safety and their hearts dear
home, drawn by the sweet attractions of My love.

8. Just as a man with jaundice sees everything yellow, so to the
sinner and the philosopher truth itself takes on the form and fashion
of his sin or his theories, and it is not a matter of much surprise if
such people go a step further and count Me a sinner like themselves.
But My work, which is the salvation of sinners, does not depend on the
good opinion of the world, but for ever moves on its undisturbed way
in the lives of believers. Just as Levi, being still in the loins of
Abraham, paid tithe to Me though he was not yet born, so all
generations of believers have in Me, offered upon the cross, the
atonement and ransom for their sins, though they were not at that time
even born; for this salvation is for all races of men in the world.

9. This saying, that a man can by his own effort and good works
acquire salvation, is foolish and absurd so long as the man is not
born again. World-rulers and teachers of morality say, “Become good by
doing good,” but this is what I say, “Become good yourself before
doing good works.” When that new and good life has been entered upon,
good deeds will be the natural result.

It is only a fool that will say that a bitter tree by constantly
bearing fruit will at last become sweet. As a matter of fact a bitter
tree can become sweet by being grafted on a sweet tree, so that the
life and qualities peculiar to the sweet tree will pass into the
bitter one and its natural bitterness will pass away. This is what we
call a new creation. So too the sinner may have the desire to do what
is right, and yet the only result is sin; but when he repents and by
faith is grafted into Me the old man in him dies, and he becomes a new
creature. Then from this new life which has its origin in salvation
good deeds come forth as fruit, and this fruit abides for ever.

10. There are many who have learnt from experience that man’s natural
goodness cannot give true peace of heart, nor can it give him a
certainty of salvation or eternal life. The young man who came to Me
seeking eternal life is a case in point. His first thought with regard
to Me was wrong, as is that of some worldly-wise men and their
followers at the present day. He thought Me to be one of those
teachers who are like whited sepulchres, and in whose lives there is
not a particle of true goodness. Therefore I said to him, “Why do you
ask Me about goodness? There is none good but One.” But he failed to
see in Me the one giver of goodness and life; and when I sought to
admit him to My companionship and make him a truly good man, and
bestow life upon him, he became sad and left Me. His life, however,
makes one thing perfectly clear, and that is that his keeping the
commandments and his goodness did not satisfy him or give him the
assurance of eternal life. If his good works had given him peace he
would not have come to inquire of Me, or had he come he would not have
left Me in sorrow, but, believing My words, would have gone away
rejoicing.

Not long afterwards the young man Paul recognized Me, and the desire
of his heart was completely fulfilled. Instead of turning away in
sadness he gave up all that he had and followed Me (Phil. iii.6-15).
So everyone who ceases to trust in his own righteousness and follows
Me shall receive from Me true peace and everlasting life.
_________________________________________________________________

III. PRAYER
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION I

The Disciple,–Sometimes this question is asked, “Since God is fully
aware of our needs, and knows how to supply them in the best way, not
for the good only but for the evil, how should we pray to Him about
them? Whether our necessities be temporal or spiritual, can we by our
prayers alter the will of God?”

The Master,–1. Those who ask such a question show clearly that they
do not know what prayer is. They have not lived a prayerful life, or
they would know that prayer to God is not a form of begging. Prayer
does not consist in an effort to obtain from God the things which are
necessary for this life. Prayer is an effort to lay hold of God
Himself, the Author of life, and when we have found Him who is the
source of life and have entered into communion with Him, then the
whole of life is ours and with Him all that will make life is perfect.
To evildoers God, out of love for them, gives what is necessary for
their life in this world, but their spiritual necessities He does not
even show to them, as they have no spiritual life.

Were He to bestow such spiritual blessings upon them, they would not
be able to appreciate them. But on those who believe gifts of both
kinds are bestowed, especially spiritual blessings, with the result
that very soon they pay little regard to temporal blessings, but fix
their love on the unseen and spiritual. We cannot alter the will of
God, but the man of prayer can discover the will of God with regard to
himself. For to men of this kind God makes Himself manifest in the
hidden chamber of the heart, and holds communion with them; and when
His gracious purposes are shown to be for their good, then the doubts
and difficulties of which they complain pass away for ever.

2. Prayer is, as it were, a breathing in of the Holy Spirit, and God
so pours His Holy Spirit into the life of the prayerful that they
become “living souls” (Gen. ii.7; John xx.22). They will never die,
for the Holy Spirit pours Himself by means of prayer into their
spiritual lungs, and fills their spirits with health and vigour and
everlasting life.

God, who is Love, has freely bestowed on all men those things which
are necessary for both the spiritual and temporal life, but since He
offers salvation and His Holy Spirit to all as freely, they are
lightly esteemed. But prayer teaches us to value them, because they
are as necessary as air and water, heat and light, without which life
is impossible. The things for our spiritual life God has freely
provided, but men so lightly regard them that they offer no thanks to
their Creator; but on the other hand, His gifts of gold, silver, and
precious jewels, which are scarce and obtained with great difficulty,
they highly esteem, though with such things the hunger and thirst of
the body cannot be assuaged, nor the longings of the heart be
satisfied. With such folly do men of the world act with regard to
spiritual things, but to the man of prayer are given true wisdom and
eternal life.

3. This world is like a widespread ocean in which men sink and are
drowned, but marine animals carry on their life in the deepest water,
because they occasionally come to the surface and, opening their
mouths, take in a certain amount of air, which enables them to live in
the depths. So they who rise to the surface of this life-ocean, by
means of private prayer breathe in the life-giving Spirit of God, and
find even in this world life and safety.

4. Although fish spend their whole life in the salt water of the sea,
yet they do not themselves become salty, because they have life in
them; so the man of prayer, though he has to live in this sin-defiled
world, remains free of the sinful taint, because by means of prayer
his life is maintained.

5. Just as the salt water of the sea is drawn upwards by the hot rays
of the sun, and gradually takes on the form of clouds, and, turned
thus into sweet and refreshing water, falls in showers on the earth
(for the sea water as it rises upwards leaves behind it its salt and
bitterness), so when the thoughts and desires of the man of prayer
rise aloft like misty emanations of the soul, the rays of the Sun of
Righteousness purify them of all sinful taint, and his prayers become
a great cloud which descends from heaven in a shower of blessing,
bringing refreshment to many on the earth.

6. Just as the waterfowl spends its life swimming in the water, yet
when in flight its feathers are perfectly dry, so men of prayer have
their abode in this world, but when the time comes for them to fly
aloft they pass from this sin-polluted world and arrive without spot
or stain at their everlasting home of rest.

7. The ship, quite properly, has its place in the water, but for the
water to flow into the ship is both unsuitable and dangerous. So for a
man to have his abode in this world is right and good for himself and
others, for, keeping himself afloat, he will be able to help them to
arrive along with himself at the haven of life. But for the world to
find its way into his heart means death and destruction. Therefore the
man of prayer ever reserves his heart for Him who formed it to be His
temple, and thus both in this world and that which is to come he rests
in peace and safely.

8. We all know that without water it is impossible to live; but if we
sink beneath it we choke and die. While we need to make use of and
drink water, we ought not to fall into and sink beneath it. Therefore
the world and worldly things must be used with discretion, for without
them life is not only difficult but impossible. For this very purpose
God created the world that men might make use of it, but men should
not drown themselves in it, for thus the breath of prayer is stopped
and they perish.

9. If by ceasing to live the life of prayer the life of the spirit
begins to fail, then those worldly things which are intended to be
useful become hurtful and destructive. The sun by its light and heat
makes all vegetable things to live and flourish, and also causes them
to wither and die. The air also gives life and vigour to all living
beings, but itself is the cause of their decomposition. Therefore
“Watch and Pray.”

10. We ought so to live in this world that though we are in it we are
not of it, and then the things of this world instead of being hurtful
will be useful, and will help the growth of the spiritual life; but
only on this condition, that the spirit ever keeps its face turned
towards the Sun of Righteousness. Thus it sometimes happens that in a
plot of unclean and filthy ground flowers spring up and flourish, and
the sweet scent of the flowers overpowers the evil smell of the place.
The plants, turning towards the sun, receive from it light and heat,
and the filth instead of being hurtful to the plants fertilizes them
and helps them to grow and flourish. So, too, the man of prayer as he
prays turns his heart to Me, and receives from Me light and warmth,
and amidst the ill odours of this evil world the sweet scent of his
new and holy life glorifies Me, and there is produced in him not sweet
odours only, but also fruit which shall abide for ever.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION II

1. To pray does not imply that without prayer God would not give us
anything or that He would be unaware of our needs, but it has this
great advantage, that in the attitude of prayer the soul is best
fitted to receive the Giver of blessing as well as those blessings He
desires to bestow. Thus it was that the fullness of the Spirit was not
poured out upon the Apostles on the first day, but after ten days of
special preparation.

If a blessing were conferred upon one without a special readiness for
it, he would neither value it sufficiently nor long retain it. For
instance, because Saul obtained the Holy Spirit and the kingship
without seeking for them he very soon lost them both, for he had set
out from home not to obtain the Holy Spirit but to look for his lost
asses (1 Sam. ix.3; x.11; v.13-14; xxxi.4).

2. The man of prayer alone can worship God in spirit and truth. Others
are like the sensitive plant; during worship, affected by the teaching
and presence of the Holy Spirit, they shrivel up, as it were, and
bowing their heads become serious, but scarcely have they left the
church before they brighten up and go on as before.

3. If we do not take care of a tree or a shrub which bears good fruit
or flowers, it will degenerate and go back to its wild state. In the
same way, if the believer, through the neglect of prayer and the
spiritual life, ceases to abide in Me, he will, because of this
carelessness, fall from that state of blessedness, and sinking again
into his old sinful ways be lost.

4. When we see a crane standing motionless on the side of a tank or
lake, we may suppose from his attitude that he is musing on the glory
of God or the excellent quality of the water. But no such thing! He
stand there motionless for hours, but the moment he catches sight of a
frog or small fish he springs upon it and gulps it down. Just such is
the attitude and method of many with regard to prayer and religious
meditation. Seated by the shore of the boundless ocean of God, they
give no thought to His majesty and love, or to His divine nature that
cleanses from sin and satisfies the hungry soul, but are wrapped up in
the thought of acquiring some specially desired object, by means of
which they may more fully indulge in the delights of this fleeting
world. Thus they turn away from the fountain of true peace, and,
immersing themselves in the fading joys of this world, with them also
die and pass away.

5. Water and petrol both come from the earth, and though they seem to
be alike and even the same, they are in nature and purpose exact
opposites, for the one extinguishes fire and the other adds fuel to
it. So also the world and its treasures, the heart and its thirst for
God are alike His creation. Now the result of the attempt to satisfy
the heart with the wealth and pride and honours of this world is the
same as if one tried to put out a fire with petrol, for the heart can
only find ease and satisfaction in Him who created both it and the
longing desire of which it is conscious (Ps. xlii.1,2). Therefore
whoever now comes to Me I will give to him that living water so that
he will never again thirst, but it shall be in him a well of water
springing up into eternal life (John iv.14).

6. Men try in vain to find peace in the world and the things of the
world, for experience plainly shows that true peace and satisfaction
are not to be found in them. They are like the boy who found an onion
and began peeling off its skins in the hope of finding something
inside it, just as one finds in a box on taking the lid off. But his
was an altogether futile expectation, since he found nothing but the
last skin, for an onion is nothing but a collection of skins. And this
world and all that belongs to it has been proved to be vanity of
vanities (Eccles. xii.8), until men discover the true fountain of
peace (Isa. lv.1; Jer. ii.13; Rev. xxii.17).

7. The world is like a mirage, and the truth seeker, hoping to find
something to satisfy his thirsty spirit, starts off in search of it
but meets with nothing but disappointment and despair. The water of
life cannot be found in man-made tanks or cracked cisterns; but those
who approach Me in prayer with a pure heart will find in Me, who am
the source of the living water, that from which they may obtain
satisfaction, invigoration, and eternal life (Isa. lv.1; Jer. ii.13;
Rev. xxii.17).

A woman was traveling along a mountain track, carrying her child in
her arms, when the child, catching sight of a pretty flower, made such
a spring out of its mother’s arms that it fell headlong down the
mountain side, struck its head upon a rock, and died on the spot. Now
it is perfectly clear that the safety and sustenance of the child were
to be found in its mother’s bosom, and not in those fascinating
flowers which were the cause of its death. So acts the believer whose
life is not a life of prayer. When he catches sight of the fleeting
and fascinating pleasures of the world he forgets My love and care
which are far greater than those of the mother, and, neglecting that
spiritual milk which I provide for him, leaps out of My arms and is
lost.

9. The sustenance which the mother provides is so arranged that it
cannot be obtained without some effort on the part of the infant. So
also My children whom I bear in My bosom cannot obtain without
seeking, the spiritual milk which is able to save their souls. And as
the child does not need to be taught, but knows by instinct where and
how to obtain its food, so those who are born of the Spirit know by a
spiritual instinct, and not from worldly philosophy or wisdom, how to
pray and to obtain from Me, their spiritual Mother, the milk of
eternal life.

10. I have infused into man’s nature hunger and thirst, that he may
not in sheer heedlessness regard himself as God, but that day by day
he may be reminded of his needs and that his life is bound up with the
life and existence of Someone who created him. Thus being made aware
of his defects and necessities, he may abide in Me and I in him, and
then he will ever find in Me his happiness and joy.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION III

1. To pray is as it were to be on speaking terms with Me, and so by
being in communion with and abiding in Me to become like Me. There is
a kind of insect which feeds upon and lives among grass and green
leaves and becomes like them in colour. Also the polar bear dwelling
among the white snows has the same snowy whiteness, and the tiger of
Bengal bears upon its skin the marks of the reeds among which it
lives. So those, who by means of prayer abide in communion with Me
partake, with the saints and angels, of My Nature, and being formed in
My image become like Me.

2. When for but a short time I drew Peter, James, and John into
communion with Me upon the Mount, I showed them somewhat of My glory,
and of all the saints two only, Moses and Elias, appeared to them;
they were so captivated with that brief glimpse of heavenly glory that
they wished to erect three tabernacles in order to live there (Matt.
xvii.1-5). How wonderful, then, will be the happiness of those who
abide in Me, and with saints and angels innumerable enter into their
longed-for heaven, and share with Me My full glory which knows no loss
nor shadow of change (John xvii.24; James i.17). The man of prayer
shall never be alone, but he shall abide with Me and My holy ones for
ever (Matt. xxviii.20; Zach. iii.7-8).

3. It is not a great thing to control and make use of wild animals,
lightning, the wind, and light, and other powers of nature, but to
gain the mastery over the world and Satan and self, with all its
passions, is of a truth a most momentous and necessary thing. Upon
those only who live a life of prayer do I bestow the power to overcome
all the might of the enemy (Luke x.17,20), so that even while they
live in this world they abide with Me in the heavenly places (Eph.
ii.6), and Satan being below and they above he is never able to reach
them, but they abide for ever with Me in safety and without a tremor
of fear.

Although men have now obtained control over the powers of nature they
are not to travel beyond the bounds of the air, while the man of
prayer, having mastered Satan and self, can range at will the
everlasting heavens.

4. Just as the bee collects the sweet juice of the flowers and turns
it into honey without injuring their colour or fragrance, so the man
of prayer gathers happiness and profit from all God’s creation without
doing any violence to it. As bees also gather their honey from flowers
in all sorts of different places and store it in the honeycomb, so the
man of God gathers sweet thoughts and feelings from every part of
creation, and in communion with his Creator collects in his heart the
honey of truth, and in enduring peace with Him at all times and in all
places, tastes with delight the sweet honey of God.

5. Now is the time to obtain and keep in the vessels of our hearts the
oil of the Holy Spirit, as the five wise virgins did (Matt. xxv.1-13);
otherwise like the five foolish ones we shall meet with nothing but
grief and despair. Now also you must collect the manna for the true
Sabbath, otherwise there will be nothing left you but sorrow and woe
(Ex. xvi.15,27). “Pray, therefore, that your flight may not be in the
winter,” that is, in time of great distress or the last days, “or on
the Sabbath day,” that is, the reign of a thousand years of eternal
rest, for such an opportunity will never occur again (Matt. xxiv.20).

In the same way as climate produces a change in form, colour, and the
habits of growth in plants and flowers, so those who maintain
communion with Me undergo a development of their spiritual nature in
habit, appearance, and disposition; and putting off the old man they
are transformed into My own glorious and incorruptible image.

With my finger I wrote upon the ground the sinful state of each of
those who, regardless of their inner vileness, brought the woman taken
in adultery for condemnation, so that they left her one by one and
went away abashed and ashamed. With My finger, too, I point out in
secret to My servants their wounds of sin, and when they repent, with
a touch of the same finger I heal them; and in the same way as a child
grasps his father’s finger and by it help walks along with him, so I
with My finger lead My children along the road from this world to
their home of rest and everlasting peace (John xiv.2,3).

7. Oftentimes men pray to the Father in My name, but do not abide in
Me, that is, they take My name into their mouths and on their lips,
but not into their hearts and lives. That is the reason why they do
not obtain what they pray for. But when I abide in them and they in
Me, then whatever they ask from the Father they receive, because they
pray under the direction of the Holy Spirit in that condition. The
Holy Spirit shows them what will glorify the Father and be best for
themselves and for others. Otherwise they will get such an answer as a
bad son got from a governor whom his father had served with great
courage and honour. When the son presented a petition in his father’s
name and asked for some employment and favour, the governor pointed
out to him his evil life and habits, and said, “Do not petition me in
your father’s name, but first go and act according to his example. Let
his high worth be not on your lips only, but carry it into your life,
and then your petition will be accepted.”

8. Between the prayers of those who worship and praise Me with their
lips only and of those who do so from their heart there is a very
great difference. For instance, one who was a true worshipper was
constantly praying for another that his eyes might be opened and that
he might accept the truth, while the other was a worshipper in name
only often prayed in his enmity against My true worshipper that he
might be struck blind. Finally the prayers of the true worshipper were
heard by the loving will of God, and he who was formerly only a
hypocrite received spiritual sight. With his heart full of joy this
man became a true believer, and a sincere and lasting brother of My
true servant.

9. Prayer makes things possible for men which they find impossible by
other means, and they experience such wonderful things in life as are
not only opposed to the rules and opinions of worldly wisdom, but are
held to be impossible altogether. Scientific men do not recognize that
He who set all created things in order and made laws for them, cannot
be imprisoned behind the bars of his own laws. The ways of the great
Lawgiver are inscrutable, because His eternal will and purpose is the
blessing and prosperity of all His creatures, and the reason the
natural man cannot grasp this fact is because spiritual things are
spiritually discerned (1 Cor. ii.14).

The greatest of all miracles is the new birth in man, and to the man
who has experienced this miracle all others become possible. Now in
very cold countries a bridge of water is a common sight, because when
the surface of a river is frozen hard the water beneath still flows
freely on, but men cross over the icy bridge with ease and safety. But
if one were to speak of a bridge of water spanning a flowing river to
people who are constantly perspiring in the heat of a tropical clime,
they would at once say that such a thing was impossible and against
the laws of nature. There is the same great difference between those
who have been born again and by prayer maintain their spiritual life,
and those who live worldly lives and value only material things, and
so are utterly ignorant of the life of the soul.

10. He who desires by prayer to obtain from God the blessing of a
spiritual life must believe and obey without questioning. The man who
came to Me with a withered hand, when I commanded him to stretch out
his hand instantly obeyed, and so his hand became whole as the other
(Matt. xii.10-13). But suppose instead of that instant obedience he
had begun to argue and say, “How can I stretch out my hand? If I had
been able to do that, why should I have come to Thee? First of all
heal my hand, and then I shall be able to stretch it out.” All this
would have been considered very reasonable and to the point, but his
hand would never have been healed.

He who prays must believe and be obedient, and stretch out to Me in
prayer his weak and withered hands, and then it will be for Me to give
him spiritual life, and according to his need it shall be granted to
him (Matt. xxi.22).
_________________________________________________________________

IV. SERVICE
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION I

The Disciple,–Master, what is the real meaning of service? Is it that
we serve the Creator and then His creatures for His sake? Is the help
of man, who is after all but a mere worm, of any value to God in
caring for His great family, or does God stand in need of the help of
man in protecting or preserving any of His creatures?

The Master,–1. Service means the activity of the spiritual life and
is the natural offering prompted by love. God, who is Love, is ever
active in the care of His creation, and His desire is that His
creatures and especially man, whom He formed in His own image and
likeness, should never be idle. In the care and preservation of His
creatures God needs the help of none, for He created them in such a
way that without His help they could not continue to exist, and He it
is who has provided all that is required to satisfy their desires. In
true service of others there is this great advantage that it helps him
who serves–just as it happened to you in Tibet. When you were in fear
of death on account of the bitter cold, you saw one lying buried in
the snow and at the point of death, you went to him and lifting him on
to your shoulders carried him forward, and the efforts you made
produced heat in your body which also passed into his, and both he and
you were saved, so that in rescuing him you saved your own life. This
is the true end of service. No one can live alone and deprived of the
help of others. Should anyone receive help from another, and be
unwilling to return such assistance as he can, such an ungrateful
fellow would have no right to expect any help from any one at all.

2. Until a man brings into the service of God and man faculties and
powers with which God has endowed him, he will not receive from God
the help He alone can bestow. As soon as man does his part God will
complete it. For instance, the removal of the stone from the grave of
Lazarus was man’s work, and it was not necessary for God to put forth
His power to do that; but when the people had rolled away the stone,
then God, that is Myself, did that which was beyond the power and
skill of man, for I gave life to the dead. Even after that there was
work for man to do in releasing Lazarus from the grave-clothes that he
might be perfectly free (John xi.39,41,44).

So with regard to those who are dead in sin. It is the work of My
disciples to roll away the gravestones of hindrance and difficulty,
but to bestow life is My work. Often, too, some who have received
spiritual life still remain in bondage to their old bad habits and
evil associations, and it is the duty of My children to lead them into
perfect freedom; and to render this great service they should ever be
alert in heart and soul.

3. A certain king on his deathbed spoke to a faithful servant of his
as follows: “It has been my custom when setting out on a journey to
send you before me to announce me and make preparations for my
reception. I am going to the land of the dead. Go, therefore, and
inform them that I am about to join them.” At first the honest servant
did not understand what his lord meant, but as soon as he saw that his
meaning was that he should die and thus precede him to the land of the
dead, the faithful fellow, without a moment’s hesitation or doubt,
plunged a sword into his heart, and thus entered the country of the
dead, there to await his lord. Thus it is the duty of those who serve
Me, who am the Lord of Life and the King of kings (Acts iii.15; Rev.
xix.16), to carry the gospel of salvation to those who are dead in
sin, and to be ready even to give their lives for Me, who came to
earth for their salvation and will come yet once more (Rev. ii.10).

4. A rebellious son once left his father’s house and joined a band of
robbers and became in time as bold and ruthless as the rest. The
father called his servants and ordered them to go to his son and tell
him that if he would repent and return home all would be forgiven, and
he would receive him into his home. But the servants, in dread of the
wild country and fierce robbers, refused to go. Then the elder brother
of the young man, who loved him as his father did, set off to carry
the message of forgiveness. But soon after he had entered the jungle a
band of robbers set upon him and mortally wounded him. The younger
brother was one of the band, and when he recognized his elder brother
he was filled with grief and remorse. The elder brother managed to
give the message of forgiveness and then, saying that the purpose of
his life was fulfilled and love’s duty done, he gave up the ghost.
This sacrifice of the elder brother made so deep an impression on the
rebellious youth that he went back in penitence to his father and from
that day forward lived a new life. Is it not right, therefore, that My
sons should be prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to bring the
message of mercy to those of their brethren who have gone astray and
are ruined in sin, just as I also gave My life for the salvation of
all?

5. My children are like salt in the world (Matt. v.13). If the salt
crystals are not dissolved they cannot transmit their flavour. So with
My children. If they are not melted in the fire of love and the Holy
Spirit, and made into a living sacrifice, they will not be able to
bring a single soul that spiritual and heavenly life by which they may
be saved. They will be no better than Lot’s wife who became a pillar
of salt (Gen. xix.26). But just as for your sakes I was melted in
Gethesemane (Luke xxii.44), and on the cross gave up My life that I
might save the lives of men, for life must be paid for with life, so
you also are called upon to give up your lives and thus bring the
savour of spiritual life to others and deliver them from death.

6. A certain murderer, instead of being hanged, was sent into battle,
and there he fought for his king and country with such dauntless
courage that although he was severely wounded he came back a
conqueror. After the victory he was brought into the court again to be
sentenced. The king, seeing on his body the marks of his wounds,
cancelled the sentence of death, and not only forgave his crime, but
also highly rewarded him and raised him to a post of honour. So those
who on My side fight in the Holy War against Satan with courage and
boldness that they may save their brethren and sisters, shall not only
receive from Me the forgiveness of their sins, but in the kingdom of
God I will bestow on them a crown and a kingdom (James v.20; Rev.
iii.21).

7. As the pipe that is used to convey clean water is itself kept clean
by the water which passes through it, so those, who through the Holy
Spirit carry the Water of Life to others, are themselves purified and
become heirs to the kingdom of God.

8. The best way for the believer to be fitted for the reception of the
Holy Spirit and for service is to be obedient to the heavenly voice
and immediately, as far as ability goes, to begin to serve. As to
become a good swimmer it is useless to receive instruction unless one
enters the water and strikes out for oneself, and only by constantly
practising, first in shallow water and then in deep, can one become an
adept in the art, so, in order to learn how to save the souls of those
who are sinking in the dark waters of sin, the best way is to enter
the only real and practical school of divinity, which is union with
Myself (Acts iv.13).

9. There are some who are kept back from serving by the thought of
their lack of ability, and do not remember that My strength gives
power in weakness (2 Cor. xii.9). They are like invalids who, though
they have recovered from their disease and are taking nourishing food,
yet remain weak because they do no work and take no proper exercise.
What such believers need is that they should put their trust in Me and
set out to save sinners from destruction.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION II

1. Love is the touchstone by which the reality of truth is perceived,
and by it shall all men know that ye are My disciples (John xiii.35).
I also make use of the sword of justice, so that at first sight some
are inclined to think that, like Solomon, I intend to finish My work
without mercy (1 Kings iii.16-28), but My object, like his, is to
apply the touchstone of love which will bring out the truth, and show
that you are the children of that God of Love who gave His life to
save yours. You ought therefore to abide in that love and serve one
another, and even give your lives to serve others, as I also gave My
life for you. Then as I live ye shall live also (John xiv.19).

2. If ye are My disciples indeed your service of love will bear much
fruit (John xv.8). And if men speak evil of you and pelt you with
reproaches, pray for them, and instead of reproaching them let them
taste the sweet fruit of your love.

Mischievous boys, when they catch sight of sweet fruit on a tree, pelt
it with stones, and the tree without a murmur drops upon them, instead
of stones, its charming fruit. For the tree has no stones to throw,
but what God has given it, it gives without complaining. Be not cast
down by ill treatment, for the fact that men fling abuse at you is
full proof that yours is a fruitful life. Though they treat you thus
from envy and spite, yet by that means the glory of your heavenly
Father is made manifest. Do not suppose that God hungers after glory,
or that there is anything lacking in His glory that man can supply. By
no means! The object of His love is to lift that mean creature man out
of the sinful state into which he has fallen and bear him upwards to
His heaven of glory. Thus He gives not glory to Himself but to man by
cleansing and purifying him, and in this the wonder and majesty of His
love is made manifest.

3. To those who by their labours have enabled many to turn from sin
and find righteousness in Me, I will grant such glory that they shall
first of all shine like the stars, and then being made perfect shall
shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The stars fade and
disappear at the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, but the wish of
My Father is that His sons should be made perfect like Himself and
shine with Him in everlasting glory, rejoicing for ever in His
boundless and eternal love.

4. There are little creatures far inferior to man, like the firefly,
with its flickering light, and certain small plants among the
vegetation in the Himalayas, which by their faint phosphorescent
radiance illuminate as far as they can the dark jungle where they
live. Tiny fish also that swim in the deep waters of the ocean give
forth a glimmering light which guides other fish and helps them to
elude their enemies. How much more ought My children to be lights in
the world (Matt. v.14) and be eager in self-sacrifice to bring into
the way of truth, by means of their God-given light, those who by
reason of darkness are liable to become the prey of Satan.

5. If they do not use these heaven-sent powers in the service of God
and His creatures they are in danger of losing for ever those heavenly
gifts. This is what has happened to certain fish that live in the deep
waters of dark caves, also to some hermits in Tibet, for both have
lived so long in darkness that they have entirely lost their sight. In
like manner the ostrich, through not using its wings, has lost
altogether the power of flight. Take heed, therefore, not to neglect
whatever gifts or talents have been entrusted to you, but make use of
them that you may share in the bliss and glory of your Master (Matt.
xxv.14-30).

6. Sometimes when there is some great act of service to be done, I
choose for My purpose those who are little esteemed in the eyes of the
world, for they make no boast of their own power or wisdom, but
putting their entire trust in Me, and accounting what little ability
they possess as of no great value, they devote all they have and are
to My work for men (1 Cor. i.26-30). For instance, when I fed in the
wilderness five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, you will
remember that I did not perform this miracle by the agency of My
disciples, for they were full of doubt and perplexity and wished to
send the multitude away hungry (John vi.9). My servant on that
occasion was a little lad whom I had cured of the palsy. Filled with a
desire to hear My words he determined to follow Me. His poor mother
wrapped up in his clothes some barley cakes and dried fish, enough for
two or three days journey, so when inquiry was made for food for the
multitude this faithful little lad at once brought all that he had and
laid it at the disciples feet. Though there were wealthy people there
who had with them much better food, such as wheaten cakes, they were
not prepared to give them up; so it was from the barley cakes of this
boy, My namesake, that by My blessing the multitude was fed with the
choicest food.

7. There are many who are so wanting in gratitude that whatever
blessings are bestowed upon them, even to the extent of miracles being
performed for their benefit, they still remain dissatisfied and
ungrateful. Such people can never be used for the service and blessing
of others, but are like the man whom I healed after he had suffered
for thirty-eight years from an incurable disease, for instead of being
grateful and believing on Me he did not even trouble to remember My
name (John v.12-13). From such people the world can hope for no
blessing; it comes only from those who, like the poor widow, are ready
to give up all they have, even all their living (Luke xxi.2-4).

8. For true service and the performance of duty My servants must be
ready to offer even life itself–like that faithful soldier who
remained at his post in the bitter cold and falling snow till he froze
to death, and like a statue still kept his place, though the others of
the watch went off to warm themselves at the fire. When the king came
and saw him standing fixed and faithful still in death, he took off
his crown and placed it for a space upon his head, saying: “Such a
faithful soldier and servant is worthy of the honour and glory of my
diadem. Would that he had lived, for then I would have made him the
head of my kingdom!” Such must my faithful servants be in the service
to which I have appointed them, and to those who finish their work
with like faith and courage I will grant a fadeless crown of eternal
kingship (2 Tim. iv.4, 5-8).

9. Many there are who have wasted the precious time given to them for
My service, but even now there is an opportunity for them to rouse
themselves and make the best use of the time that remains to them.
They are like a hunter who, while wandering in the jungle, picked up
some pretty stones on the bank of a stream. Unaware of their value he
used them one by one in his sling to shoot at the birds seated on the
trees near the river, and so one by one they fell into the water and
were lost. With one still in his hand he returned to the city, and as
he passed along the bazaar a jeweller caught sight of it, and told the
silly fellow that it was a valuable diamond for which he could get
thousands of rupees. When he heard this he began to bewail himself and
say, “Woe is me! I didn’t know their value, and have been using many
of these diamonds to shoot at birds by the riverside, and they have
fallen into the river and are lost, otherwise I should have been a
millionaire. Still I have saved this one, and that is something
gained.” Every day is like a precious diamond, and though many
priceless days have been wasted in the pursuit of fleeting pleasures,
and are for ever sunk in the depths of the past, you should awake to
the value of what remains, and bringing it into the best possible use
gather for yourself spiritual riches. Use it in My service, who have
given to you life and all its priceless blessings, and by using them
to save others from sin and death you will obtain an everlasting and
heavenly reward.
_________________________________________________________________

V. THE CROSS AND THE MYSTERY OF SUFFERING
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION I

The Disciple,–What is the meaning and purpose of the cross, and why
do pain and suffering exist in the world?

The Master,–1. The cross is the key to heaven. At the moment when by
My baptism I took the cross upon My shoulders for the sake of sinners,
heaven was opened, and by means of My thirty-three years bearing of
the cross and by death upon it, heaven, which by reason of sin was
closed to believers, was for ever opened to them.

Now as soon as believers take up their cross and follow Me they enter
heaven through Me (John x.9) and begin the enjoyment of that unbounded
bliss which the world cannot understand, for heaven is closed to
unbelief. Hope and experience will teach the unbeliever that joy
follows pain, but that that joy does not endure. But I give to My
children ease in pain, and perfect happiness and peace. Those who
joyfully take up My cross are themselves upborne by it, and ever
supported by that cross they enter heaven at last.

2. Pain arises out of man’s perverse and rebellious nature, just as
tropical heat is irksome and painful to those who live in cold lands,
and bitter cold to those who live in tropic climes. Heat and cold
depend on the relation of the earth to the sun. So man, by the
exercise of his own free will, enters into a state of agreement or
disagreement with God, and inasmuch as the laws of God are intended
for the spiritual health and happiness of man, opposition to them
brings about spiritual pain and suffering. Now God, instead of
altogether removing these states of opposition and rebellion to His
will, makes use of them to make clear to man that this world was not
created to be his home, but is to him a foreign land (2 Cor. v.1,2,6).

This world is but to prepare him for a perfect and eternal home, and
the oft-repeated blows of ill-fortune are intended to keep his spirit
awake, lest he should become careless, and falling away from the truth
share in the ruin of this unstable world. He is meant to come into
communion with his Maker and, after being freed from the suffering and
misery of this fleeting life, to enter into His heaven of eternal
happiness and peace.

3. Pain and suffering are bitter as poison, but it is also well known
that sometimes the antidote of a poison is itself a poison. And thus I
sometimes employ pain and suffering as bitter medicines in order to
promote the spiritual health and vigour of My believers. As soon as
their perfect health is secured there will be an end of all suffering.
Their pain is no pleasure to Me, for My one object is their eternal
well-being (Lam. iii.31,33).

4. Just as after a shock of earthquake springs of sweet water
sometimes emerge in desert places, and the arid wastes are irrigated
and become fruitful, so in certain cases the shock of suffering opens
up within the heart of a man hidden springs of living water, and in
place of murmurings and complainings there issue from him streams of
gratitude and joy (Ps. cxix.67,71).

5. As soon as a child enters the world it is most necessary that it
should begin to cry and scream, so that its breath may have free play
and its lungs be brought into full use; and if for some reason it does
not cry out it must be slapped till it does so. Just so with perfect
love. I sometimes cause My children to cry out by the blows and stings
of pain and suffering, that the breath of prayer may have free course
through the lungs of their spirit and they may thus gain fresh vigour
and abide in endless life.

6. The cross is like a walnut whose outer rind is bitter, but the
inner kernel is pleasant and invigorating. So the cross does not offer
any charm of outward appearance, but to the cross-bearer its true
character is revealed, and he finds in it the choicest sweets of
spiritual peace.

7. When I became incarnate, I bore the cruel cross for man’s
salvation, not for the six hours of My crucifixion only, or even for
the three and a half years of My ministry, but for the whole
thirty-three and a half years of My life, in order that man might be
delivered from the bitterness of death. Just as it is painful to a
cleanly man to stay for even a few minutes in a filthy and unclean
place, so those who abide in Me find it most distasteful to have to
live among vicious people; and this is the reason why some men of
prayer, distressed by the foulness of sin, have abandoned the world
and gone to live as hermits in deserts and caves. Consider this, then,
when men who have been sinners themselves feel the presence of sin so
hard to bear that they cannot endure the company of their own kind, so
much that they leave them, and never wish to return to them again, how
extremely painful and hard a cross must Mine have been, that I, the
Fountain of Holiness, should have had to live for more than
thirty-three years constantly among men defiled with sin. To
understand this and rightly to appreciate it is beyond the powers of
man’s mind, and even the angels desire to look into it (1 Pet. i.12).
For before the creation they knew that God is Love, and yet it was to
them a most wonderful and amazing thing that the love of God should be
such that, in order to save His creatures and to bring to them eternal
life, He should become incarnate and bear the cruel cross.

8. In this life even I share the cross of those who abide in Me, and
enter into their sufferings (Acts ix.4). Though they are creatures and
I am their Creator, yet, just as the body and the spirit, though
separate entities, are yet so intermingled that if even the smallest
part of the body feels pain the spirit immediately becomes conscious
of it; so I am the life and spirit of My children, and they are, as it
were, My body and members. I share their every pain and grief, and at
the right moment give them relief.

9. As I Myself bore the cross I am able to deliver and keep in perfect
safety those who are crossbearers, even while they walk amid fires of
persecution. I was with the three young men in Nebuchadnezzar’s
furnace, which with all its raging had no power to hurt them (Dan.
iii.23-5; 1 Peter iv.12-13). So those who by the baptism of the Holy
Spirit have received the new life will never feel the fires of
persecution nor any hurtful thing, for they ever abide in Me in
eternal peace and safety.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION II

1. In the bitter cold of winter the trees stand bare of leaves, and it
seems as if their life, too, had departed for ever, yet in the spring
time they put forth new leaves and beautiful flowers, and the fruit
begins to show itself. So was it with Me in My crucifixion and
resurrection, and so it is with my faithful cross-bearers (2 Cor.
iv.8-11; vi.4-10). Though they seem to be crushed and dead beneath
their cross they still put forth the beautiful flowers and glorious
fruits of eternal life which abide for ever.

2. In grafting a sweet tree on to a bitter one, both feel the knife
and both are called upon to suffer in order that the bitter may bear
sweet fruit. So, too, in order to introduce good into man’s evil
nature, it was necessary that first of all I Myself and afterwards
believers also should suffer the agonies of the cross, that they might
in future for ever bear good fruit, and thus the glorious love of God
be made manifest.

3. If in this world men persecute and slander you do not let this
surprise or distress you, for this is for you no place of rest, but a
battlefield. Woe to you when men of the world praise you (Luke vi.26),
for this proves that you have taken on their perverse ways and habits.
It is against their very nature and temper to praise My children, for
light and darkness cannot exist together. If for the sake of
appearances evil men act contrary to their nature and cease to
persecute you, yours is the greater injury, for their influence enters
into your spiritual life, and your spiritual progress is hindered.

Further, to put your trust in the world or in worldly men is to build
your house upon the sand, for today they will raise you aloft and
tomorrow will so cast you down that there will be no trace left of
you, for they are in all things unstable. When I went up to Jerusalem
at the Passover, they all with one voice began to cry out, “Hosanna!
Hosanna!” (Matt. xxi.9), and only three days after, when they saw that
what I said was against their life of sin and self-seeking, they at
once changed over and began to cry, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Luke
xxiii.21).

4. If through some misunderstanding some, or even all, believers turn
against you and cause you pain, you must not count it a misfortune,
for if in all honesty and faithfulness under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit you continue to do your duty, remember that God Himself and all
the hosts of heaven are on your side.

Do not allow yourself to be discouraged, for the time is at hand when
all your good designs and purposes and all your unselfish love will be
made known to the whole world, and, in the presence of all, honour
will be done to you for your labours and faithful service.

I, too, for the salvation of men, had to renounce all things, and was
Myself renounced by all, yet at the last I regained all and
everything. Neither be surprised if the world desert you, for it has
deserted God Himself, so that in this you are seen to be a true son of
your Father.

5. Do not suppose that those who live in luxury and seem to be always
successful in worldly affairs are all true worshippers of God, for the
opposite is often the case. It is possible for sheep to wander away
from the fold and the shepherd, and find in the jungle good pasturage,
but they are all the time in danger of being torn to pieces by wild
beasts, which will indeed be their fate in the end. But those who
abide in the fold with the shepherd, though they may appear to be sick
and feeble, are certainly free from danger and in the shepherd’s care.
This is the difference between believers and unbelievers.

6. The life of the believer and that of the unbeliever show great
similarity in their beginning, but when their end comes, they are as
diverse as the snake and the silkworm. The snake, however many times
he casts his skin, remains a snake and nothing else, but the silkworm,
when it casts off its unsightly cocoon, becomes a new creature, and as
a dainty pretty moth flies about in the air. So the believer, casting
aside this body, enters into a state of spiritual glory and flies
about for ever in heaven, while the sinner after death is but a sinner
still.

Though the silkworm, cramped within the cocoon, is in a state of
depression and struggle as though upon a cross, yet this very
condition of strife and difficulty gives strength to its wings, and
fits it for the life that is to be. So My children, while in the body,
are in a state of spiritual struggle and conflict, and look forward to
their release with sighs and longing, but through the bearing of the
cross I give them strength, and they become fully prepared and fitted
for that state of endless life (Rom. viii.23).

In the midst of this spiritual warfare, and even while they are
bearing their cross, I give them a truly wonderful peace of heart,
that their courage may not fail. For instance, when a faithful martyr
of Mine had borne witness to Me in word and deed, his enemies took him
and hung him up to a tree head downwards. In this condition such was
his peace of mind that he was utterly unconscious of the pain and
disgrace to which he was subjected, and turning to his persecutors
said, “The way you have treated me does not distress or dismay me, for
I can expect nothing else in a world where everything is upside down,
and where one can see nothing upright. In accordance with your own
nature you have turned me as you think upside down, but in reality I
am right side up. Just as when a slide is put into a magic lantern
wrong way up it shows the picture correctly, so though now in the eyes
of the world I am upside down, I am for ever right side up before God
and the heavenly world, and I praise Him for this glorious cross.”

8. For believers it would sometimes be an easy thing to become a
martyr to My Name, but I also need living witnesses who will daily
offer themselves as living sacrifices for the salvation of others (1
Cor. xv.31). For death is easy, but it is hard to live, for a
believer’s life is a daily dying. But those who are thus ready to lay
down their lives for My sake shall share My glory and live with Me for
ever in fullness of joy.

9. Should pain and suffering, sorrow, and grief, rise up like clouds
and overshadow for a time the Sun of Righteousness and hide Him from
your view, do not be dismayed, for in the end this cloud of woe will
descend in showers of blessing on your head, and the Sun of
Righteousness rise upon you to set no more for ever (John xvi.20-22).
_________________________________________________________________

VI. HEAVEN AND HELL
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION I

The Disciple,–Master, what are heaven and hell, and where are they?

The Master,–1. Heaven and hell are the two opposite states in the
spiritual realm. They have their origin in the heart of man and it is
in this world that their foundations are laid. Since man cannot see
his own spirit, so neither can he see these two states of the soul.
But he has experience of them within him, just as he feels pain from a
blow and perceives sweetness from eating sweetmeats. The wound caused
by the blow may increase until it caused the greatest pain and finally
ends in death and decay, as on the other hand the sweetmeats may by
digestion promote strength. In the same way the pain of a sinful act
and the happiness of a good deed may to some extent be apparent
immediately, yet the full penalty or reward for them will be perceived
only on entry into the spiritual realm.

2. In this world man is never satisfied for long with one thing, but
is ever in search of a change of circumstances or surroundings; for
which it is clear that the fleeting things of this world never can
satisfy him, for he wants something that is stable and unchanging and
always agreeable to his tastes and desires. When in his search he
finds this reality in Me, the desire for all further change comes to
an end, because one does not grow wearied of perfect society and
complete happiness, for this is the one demand of both body and
spirit. In truth, to obtain a true peace is the one object of the
human soul. Sometimes there comes to the heart of man, without any
thought or desire of his own, a sudden sensation of pleasure or pain
which is an emanation from the spiritual world of heaven or hell.
These come to him again and again, gradually one or other of these
prevails, according to his spiritual habit, and by steadily
appropriating one of these he makes a final choice. In this way the
foundation of heaven or hell is built up in a man’s heart while still
in this world, and after death he enters into that state which, in
this life, his desires or passions have prepared him for.

3. Some say that desire is the root of all pain and sorrow, therefore
it is not right to desire happiness in heaven or in communion with
God, for salvation consists in killing all desire. To say this is as
great a folly as to tell a thirsty man to kill his thirst instead of
giving him water to drink, for thirst or desire is part of life
itself. To take away desire or thirst without satisfying them is to
destroy life, and this is not salvation but death. Just as thirst
implies water, and water is intended to remove thirst, so the
existence of desire in the soul implies the existence of true
happiness and peace. When the soul finds Him who planted within it
that desire, it receives far greater satisfaction than the thirsty man
does from water, and this satisfaction of the soul’s desire we call
heaven.

4. There are many in this world who are like the man who died from
thirst although he was in the midst of the boundless waters of the
ocean, for sea water could not quench his thirst or save his life.
Just so there are men who are living in the boundless ocean of love,
and yet because the fresh water of God’s grace is bitterness to them
in their disobedience and sin, they perish with thirst. But for those
who repent of their sin and turn to Me fountains of living water gush
up from that sea of love, and they find in Him who loves them
satisfaction and enduring peace. This, too, we call heaven.

5. There are many who have conceived such a love and devotion to the
world that though by the example and teaching of My children their
hearts are often lifted heavenwards, yet drawn down by the force of
gravity, like stones that have been thrown upwards, they fall back
into the world and finally slip into hell. But when man turns his
heart to Me in true repentance, I cleanse the temple of his heart with
the whips of love and make it a heavenly abode for the King of kings.
This earthly life is such that the glory and pomp of kings are seen
but today, and tomorrow are mingled with the dust. But those who
become sons of the kingdom of God have glory and honour, thrones and
crowns, and of their kingdom, which is heaven, there is no end.

6. Sinners in order to increase their pleasures steal the good things
of others, and that is why men, good as well as bad, lock up their
houses when they go abroad. And this locking up of goods must go on as
long as men’s hearts are locked against their Lord and Maker. When,
however, the lock of the heart is open to Him whoever stands knocking
at the door (Rev. iii.20), the desires and longings of the heart will
be fulfilled. Then there will be no further need for the locking up of
houses, for instead of stealing each other’s goods and doing each
other mischief all will serve one another in love. For when men give
to God what is due to Him they will seek only what is good. Thus they
enter into His wondrous joy and peace; and this is heaven.

7. When I gave My life upon the cross for the sons of men that I might
save sinners from hell and lead them into heaven, two thieves, one on
each side of Me, met death at the same time. Although to all
appearance we all three suffered a like fate, from a spiritual point
of view there was a vast difference. One of them shut up his heart
against Me and met his death unrepentant, but the other opened his
heart to Me in true repentance, and in communion with Me found life,
and that very day entered Paradise with Me (Luke xxiii.39-43). This
Paradise exists not only beyond the grave, but begins in the hearts of
men now, though it is hidden from the eyes of the world (Luke
xvii.21). A faithful martyr of Mine was at the point of death after
suffering untold agonies at the hands of his persecutors, and was so
filled with the joy of heaven that he turned to them and said, “O that
I could open my heart to you, and show you the wonderful peace I have,
which the world can neither give nor take away! Then you would be
convinced of its truth, but it is the hidden manna which is unseen and
unseeable.” After his death those foolish folk tore out his heart,
hoping to find something precious in it, but they found nothing, for
the reality of that heaven is known only to those who accept it and
find in it their joy.

8. The womb of Mary, where in a fleshly form I had My abode for a few
months, was not a place so blessed as the heart of the believer in
which for all time I have My home and make it a heaven (Luke
ix.27,28).

9. There are many who long for heaven yet miss it altogether through
their own folly. A poor begger sat for twenty-one years on the top of
a hidden treasure chamber, and was so consumed with the desire to be
rich that he horded up all the coppers that he received. Yet he died
in a miserable state of poverty, utterly unaware of the treasure over
which he had been sitting for years. Because he sat so long on the
same spot a suspicion arose that he had something valuable buried
there. So the Governor had the place dug up and discovered a hoard of
valuables, which afterwards found its way into the royal treasury. My
word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart (Deut. xxx.14).

10. Those who know nothing of the spiritual life declare that it is
impossible to experience real peace and heavenly joy in this
grief-stricken world. But those who have experience of the spiritual
life know that just as one finds here and there in the midst of the
ice fields of the polar regions flowing streams of hot water, so in
the midst of this cold and sorrow-laden world there are to be found
flowing in the hearts of believers restful streams of heavenly peace,
for the hidden fire of the Holy Spirit glows within them.

11. Although God made all men of one blood and created all in His own
form and likeness, He has made them to differ in character,
temperament, and powers. For if all the flowers in the world were of
the same colour and scent, then the very face of the earth would lose
its charm. The sun’s rays as they pass through coloured glass do not
change the colours, but only bring out their varied beauty and charm.
In the same way the Sun of Righteousness, both in this world and in
heaven, through the God-given virtues of believers and saints
continually makes manifest His unbounded glory and love. Thus I abide
in them and they in Me, and they will have joy for evermore.
_________________________________________________________________

SECTION II

The Disciple,–Master, some people say that the comfort and joy that
believers experience are simply the outcome of their own thoughts and
ideas. Is this true?

The Master,–1. That comfort and abiding peace which believers have
within themselves is due to My presence in their hearts, and to the
life-giving influence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. As for those
who say that this spiritual joy is the result only of the thoughts of
the heart, they are like a foolish man who was blind from his birth,
and who in the winter time used to sit out in the sunshine to warm
himself. When they asked him what he thought of the sun’s heat he
stoutly denied that there was such a thing as the sun, and said, “This
warmth which I am now feeling on the outside comes from within my own
body, and is nothing more than the powerful effort of my own thoughts.
This is utter nonsense that people tell me about something like a big
ball of fire hanging up in the sky.” Take heed, therefore, lest anyone
captures you “with philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of
men and after the rudiments of the world.” (Col. ii.8).

2. If true happiness depended on the thoughts of man, then all
philosophers and deep thinkers would be filled to overflowing with it.
But with the exception of such of them as believe in Me, those who are
wise in the philosophy of this world are altogether devoid of
happiness, except for a kind of fleeting pleasure which they derive
from following out certain rules of their own.

But I have so created man that he has a natural fitness for the
reception of the Holy Spirit by means of which alone is he able to
receive this heavenly life and joy. As in charcoal there is a natural
fitness to receive fire, but without oxygen the fire cannot enter it,
so unless the oxygen of the Holy Spirit finds an entrance into a man’s
soul he will remain in darkness and will never enjoy this true and
lasting peace (John iii.8).

3. This fitness of heart and thoughts of man is like that of the
strings of a guitar or violin. When these are tightened and made to
harmonize, then by the touch of the plectrum or the bow the most
charming music is produced; but if that is not done the touch of the
bow only produces discords. And the production of sweet sounds when
the strings all harmonize is again dependent on the air, by the force
and motion of which sound is carried into the ear. In the same way, to
harmonize the thoughts and imaginations of men the presence of the
stimulating breath of the Holy Spirit is necessary. When that is
present there will be produced heavenly airs and joyous harmonies in
men’s hearts, both in this life and in heaven.

The Disciple,–Master, sometimes I am conscious that my peace and
happiness have departed. Is this because of some hidden sin of mine,
or is there some other reason unknown to me?

The Master,–1. Yes, this is sometimes due to disobedience, but
occasionally I appear to leave My children for a short time and then
they become lonely and restless. Then while they are in that condition
I am able to reveal to them their actual selves and their utter
weakness, and teach them that apart from Me they are nothing but dry
bones (Ezek. xxxvii.1-14); so that they may not in a constant state of
rest and peace forget their essential condition, and, deeming
themselves to be God, fall through pride into the punishment of hell
(1 Tim. iii.6; Jude 6; Isa. xiv.12-17). In this way they are trained
and educated; and when they humbly and meekly abide in Me, who created
them, they will enjoy eternal happiness in heaven.

2. Sometimes it happens that when I enter into My children and fill
them with the fullness of the Spirit, they overflow with such divine
happiness and joy that they are not able to endure the glory and
blessing that is theirs, and so fall into a state of faintness or even
unconsciousness. For flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of
God, nor temporal things those which are eternal, until men are set
free from the power of vain mortality and raised into glory (1 Cor.
xv.50,53; Rom. viii.19-22). Then shall My will be done on earth in
every creature, even as it is done in heaven. Then shall pain and
suffering, sorrow and sighing, woe and death be for ever done away,
and all My children shall enter into the kingdom of My Father, which
is joy in the Holy Ghost, and they shall reign for ever and ever (Rom.
xiv.17; Rev. xxi.4; xxii.5).
_________________________________________________________________

A PRAYER

Dear Master, Thy varied blessings and gifts have filled my heart to
overflowing with gratitude and praise. But the praise of heart and
tongue do not suffice me until I prove by my deeds that my life is
devoted to Thy service. Thanks and praise be to Thee that Thou hast
brought me, unworthy though I am, out of death into life and made me
to rejoice in Thy fellowship and love. I know not as I ought either
myself or my sore need, but Thou, O Father, knowest full well Thy
creatures and their necessities. Nor can I love myself as Thou lovest
me. To love myself truly is to love with heart and soul that boundless
love which gave me being, and that love Thou art. Thou hast therefore
given me but one heart, that it might be fixed on one only, on Thee,
who didst create it.

Master, to be seated at Thy feet is better far than to sit upon the
lordiest throne of earth, for it means to be enthroned for ever in the
eternal kingdom. And now, on the altar of these sacred feet I offer
myself as a burnt sacrifice. Graciously accept me, and wheresoever and
howsoever Thou wilt, use me for Thy service. For Thou art mine, and I
belong to Thee, who didst take this handful of dust and make me in
Thine own image and didst grant me the right to become Thy son.

All honour and glory and praise and thanksgiving be unto Thee for ever
and ever. Amen.
_________________________________________________________________

Indexes
_________________________________________________________________

Index of Scripture References

Genesis

[1]1   [2]2   [3]19

Exodus

[4]16

Numbers

[5]21

Deuteronomy

[6]30

1 Samuel

[7]9

1 Kings

[8]3

Psalms

[9]19   [10]39   [11]42

Ecclesiastes

[12]12

Isaiah

[13]9   [14]14   [15]55   [16]55   [17]64

Jeremiah

[18]2   [19]2

Lamentations

[20]3

Ezekiel

[21]37

Daniel

[22]3

Matthew

[23]1   [24]3   [25]5   [26]5   [27]6   [28]10   [29]11   [30]11
[31]12   [32]17   [33]21   [34]21   [35]24   [36]25   [37]25
[38]28

Luke

[39]6   [40]9   [41]10   [42]17   [43]19   [44]21   [45]22   [46]23
[47]23

John

[48]1   [49]3   [50]3   [51]4   [52]4   [53]5   [54]6   [55]6
[56]6   [57]9   [58]10   [59]10   [60]10   [61]11   [62]13   [63]13
[64]14   [65]14   [66]14   [67]14   [68]15   [69]16   [70]16
[71]17   [72]19   [73]20

Acts

[74]3   [75]4   [76]9   [77]10:40   [78]10:41

Romans

[79]8   [80]8   [81]14

1 Corinthians

[82]1   [83]2   [84]15   [85]15

2 Corinthians

[86]4   [87]5   [88]8   [89]12

Ephesians

[90]2

Philippians

[91]3

Colossians

[92]1   [93]2

1 Timothy

[94]3

2 Timothy

[95]4

James

[96]1   [97]5

1 Peter

[98]1   [99]4

Jude

[100]1:6

Revelation

[101]1   [102]2   [103]2   [104]3   [105]3   [106]19   [107]21
[108]21   [109]22   [110]22
_________________________________________________________________

This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal
Library at Calvin College, http://www.ccel.org,
generated on demand from ThML source.

A Few Words on Crucified, Dead, and Risen with Christ by George Mueller

 

 A FEW WORDS ON

 “Crucified, Dead, and Risen with Jesus”

 An Address delivered at a Conference of Christians held on the 7th of November, 1865.

 

HOW may we know that we are crucified with Christ, that we have died with Him, and that we are risen with Him? Possibly some believers may not know how to settle this point. It is of the deepest moment to have a clear understanding of it. It is not by a voice from heaven, not by some powerful impression made on us in a dream or otherwise, but simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in Him for the salvation of our souls, that we settle the point that we are united to Him, that with Him we were crucified, that with Him we died, that with Him we are raised again, and with Him sit in heavenly places. We have simply to say to ourselves, Do I trust in Jesus for the salvation of my soul? Do I know I am a guilty, wicked sinner, deserving nothing but judgment; but do I trust, at the same time, in the Lord Jesus for the salvation of my soul? If so, then Jesus is my substitute; then Jesus died in my room and stead; then am I looked upon by God as one united with Christ; then have I been punished for my sins in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; then was I hung, as it were, on the cross with Jesus—God having accepted Him as my substitute; then was I buried with Christ, and have been raised again with Him; then, in my Forerunner, I am seated at the right hand of God in heaven; then, as assuredly as the Lord Jesus is there, so shall I be. These are precious truths, not man’s inventions. The Book of God speaks of them again and again. The epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, and others, are full of these glorious truths. But what we need is, that they become increasingly realities to us. Not so much that we are able to speak with clearness about them, but that more and more we know their power in our hearts. We have, therefore, to say to ourselves, I am a wicked, guilty, hell-deserving sinner; and had not God, in the riches of His grace, given the Lord Jesus to die in my stead, hell must have been my portion for eternity; but it pleased God to deliver Him up for me; and since I trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation, I shall not be punished, because my blessed Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, was punished in my room and stead. Now, what follows? My sins are forgiven. Not, shall be when I die. Not, I shall find out some day that they are forgiven. But, they are forgiven—are now forgiven. By the grace of God I am as certain that my sins are forgiven as I am certain that I am speaking to you. Not because I deserve it. I am a guilty, wicked, hell-deserving sinner; but I trust in the Lord Jesus for the salvation of my soul; and God declares that all who put their trust in Him shall have forgiveness. As it is written in Acts 10:43, in reference to the Lord Jesus—“To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name, whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” I do believe in Him—that is, I do put my trust in Him, and therefore my sins are forgiven.

Now, let me affectionately press this point on you, because it is a matter of deep moment that we be assured our sins are forgiven, and habitually assured of it. Because it is just this which makes heaven certain to us—that we know God has nothing against us. The knowledge and the enjoyment of the forgiveness of our sins will keep our hearts from going out towards this present world.

To be heavenly-minded, really and truly, we must be assured our sins are forgiven; and this we know simply from the Divine testimony, that those who put their trust in Jesus have the forgiveness of their sins. But this is not all. Through faith in Jesus we are now the sons of God. We are not only reconciled, because of our Substitute and Surety, and God is well-pleased with us, but we are also the children of God, and as children we are the heirs of God, and as the heirs of God we are joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now this brings us to another point. If we are the children of God, if we are the heirs of God, and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, then all who believe in the Lord Jesus constitute one family. They may be scattered all over the world, may in ten thousand things differ as to the present life, and in ten thousand things have differed as to their manner of life before they were brought to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus,—may differ after their conversion as to their position in life, and in numberless ways also as to attainments in knowledge and grace; but nevertheless, as assuredly as they believe in the Lord Jesus for the salvation of their souls do they constitute one heavenly family—they are brethren. We glorify God by living as such here. In heaven we shall be together. Throughout eternity we shall be unspeakably happy, and love one another perfectly and habitually. But we are to glorify God by manifesting this love now, while on the earth, while in weakness and exposed to conflict, while the struggle is going on; now we are to be united together, and to manifest that we are one family, the heavenly family. This is the way to bring glory to God. In order to this let us keep before us “Crucified with Christ.” What does this imply? That we deserve to be crucified, that we are sinners, wicked, guilty sinners—I, and every one—all the members of the heavenly family, all sinners, and such sinners that we deserve nothing but hell. And in order that we might escape the torments of hell, the blessed Lord Jesus Christ died in our room, and became a curse that we might escape it. Where is boasting then? Who has ground for boasting? Perhaps one says, “Ah, but I have made much greater attainments in knowledge and grace than others.” But what does Paul say? “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” The child of God has nought wherein to glory but the cross of Christ. Therefore if we boast, let it be that the blessed Lord Jesus died for us guilty, hell-deserving sinners. And if we have a little more light and a little more grace than some of our fellow-believers, let us testify that it is by the grace of God we have it.

Now because we love one another we may speak freely. It has been stated, that, if we are of one mind about the foundation truths, we should agree to differ about minor points, in order that thus brotherly love may not be hindered. Allow me to say, that according to Philippians 3:15, 16, I am of a different judgment. We should not agree to differ, but should expect and pray that we and other believers may have further light given to us; yea, we should remember that the day is coming when we shall see eye to eye. In the meantime, however, we should act according to the light which the Lord has given to us already,—always seeking, at the same time, to exercise gentleness, tenderness, and forbearance towards those from whom we differ; remembering that we are what we are by the grace of God, know what we know by the grace of God, and that a man can receive nothing except it be given him from Heaven. Instead of agreeing to differ, let us agree to love one another because of Christ’s love to us. While in weakness and infirmity, let us agree to walk together, having the same precious blood of Christ to make us clean, and being of the same heavenly family.

Perhaps some present are not prepared for eternity. I cannot sit down without speaking one word to you, my fellow-sinners. I know the state in which you are, for I was once in the same state. You may be seeking for happiness,—you will not find it except you find it in Jesus. Seek it never so much and never so eagerly, you will not find it except you find it in the crucified, risen, and ascended Lord Jesus. Let me, as one who has been brought to the knowledge of Christ, tell you of the blessedness I have experienced as a disciple of Christ. Times without number might I have gone back into the world, if I had desired to do so; but so unspeakably blessed and precious have I found it for forty years to be a disciple of Christ, that, if the attractions of the world were a thousand times greater than they are, by the grace of God. I should have no desire for them. Well, then, as one who eagerly sought happiness in the present world, and never found it, and now for forty years knows the sweetness and preciousness of walking with Jesus, I affectionately beseech you to seek Him. Poor sinner! only put thy trust in Him, only depend on Him for the salvation of thy soul, and all thy sins, numberless as they are, shall be instantly forgiven; thou wilt be reconciled to God, brought into the road to heaven, and when this life is over, have eternal happiness as thy blessed portion.

 

 

Müller, G. (1876). Jehovah Magnified: Addresses (pp. 1–7). Bristol, England: The Bible and Tract Depot of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution.

Zinzendorf and the Moravians

File:Haidt Zizendorf.JPG

Count Zinzendorf was Francke’s student at Halle, and Spener’s godson. He underwent an awakening while studying, and proceeded to organize a group of refugees from Moravia into collegia pietatis within the Lutheran church. Later, they formed the basis of the re-vitalized Moravian Brethren church. This group exerted global influence, and are perhaps the main river flowing out of the churchly Pietistic movement.Properly speaking, William Carey should not be called the father of the modern missionary movement. Sixty years before Carey went out, and 150 years before Hudson Taylor went out, the Moravian Brethren began sending out their first missionaries. Their first outreach was to St. Thomas Island in the West Indies in 1732. They reached out to twelve more areas of the world within the next twenty years, and eventually sent out 2,158 missionaries within the next 150 years. The well known English social reformer, William Wilberforce wrote of the Moravians, “They are a body who have perhaps excelled all mankind in solid and unequivocal proofs of the love of Christ and ardent, active zeal in His service.”

From a research project by Dennis H. McCallum (found here).

You may also download here a separate resource, the very first issue from the Christian History Institute which was devoted to Zinzendorf and the Moravians.

 

 

Greenland by James Montgomery

JAMES MONTGOMERY.

Oft var ek dasa, dur ek dro thilc.”
Oft was I weary when I drew thee.”

GREENLAND.

CANTO I.

The three First Moravian Missionaries are represented as
on their Voyage to Greenland, in the year 1733.
Sketch of the descent , establishment, persecutions,
extinction and revival of the Church of the United
Brethren from the tenth to the beginning of the
eighteenth century. The origin of their Missions to
the West Indies and to Greenland,

THE moon is watching in the sky ; the stars
Are swiftly wheeling on their golden cars ;
Ocean, outstretcht with infinite expanse.
Serenely slumbers in a glorious trance ;
The tide, o’er which no troubling spirits breathe,
Reflects a cloudless firmament beneath ;
Where, poised as in the centre of a sphere,
A ship above and ship below appear ;

. GREENLAND. CANTO i.

A double image, pictured on the deep,
The vessel o’er its shadow seems to sleep ;
Yet, like the host of heaven, that never rest,
With evanescent motion to the west,
The pageant glides through loneliness and night,
And leaves behind a rippling wake of light.

Hark ! through the calm and silence of the scene,
Slow, solemn, sweet, with many a pause between,
Celestial music swells along the air !
No ; ’tis the evening hymn of praise and prayer
From yonder deck ; where, on the stern retired,
Three humble voyagers, with looks inspired,
And hearts enkindled with a holier flame
Than ever lit to empire or to fame,
Devoutly stand : their choral accents rise
On wings of harmony beyond the skies ;
And ‘midst the songs, that Seraph-Minstrels sing,
Day without night, to their immortal King,
These simple strains, which erst Bohemian hills
Echoed to pathless woods and desert rills ;

Now heard from Shetland’s azure bound, are known
In heaven ; and He, who sits upon the throne
In human form, with mediatorial power,
Remembers Calvary, and hails the hour,
When, by the’ Almighty Father’s high decree,
The utmost north to Him shall bow the knee,
And, won by love, an untamed rebel-race
Kiss the victorious Sceptre of His grace.
Then to His eye, whose instant glance pervades
Heaven’s heights, Earth’s circle, Hell’s profoundest shades,

Is there a groupe more lovely than those three
Night-watching Pilgrims on the lonely sea ?
Or to His ear, that gathers in one sound
The voices of adoring worlds around,
Comes there a breath of more delightful praise
Than the faint notes his poor disciples raise,
Ere on the treacherous main they sink to rest,
Secure as leaning on their Master’s breast ?

They sleep; but memory wakes; and dreams array
Night in a lively masquerade of day ;
The land they seek, the land they leave behind,
Meet on mid-ocean in the plastic mind ;
One brings forsaken home and friends so nigh,
That tears in slumber swell the* unconscious eye ;
The other opens, with prophetic view,
Perils, which e’en their fathers never knew,
(Though school’d by suffering, long inured to toil,
Outcasts and exiles from their natal soil 😉
Strange scenes, strange men ; untold, untried distress ;

Pain, hardships, famine, cold, and nakedness,
Diseases ; death in every hideous form,
On shore, at sea, by fire, by flood, by storm ;
Wild beasts and wilder men : unmoved with fear,
Health, comfort, safety, life, they count not dear,
May they but hope a Saviour’s love to shew,
And warn one spirit from eternal woe ;

Nor will they faint ; nor can they strive in vain,
Since thus to live is Christ, to die is gain.
‘Tis morn : the bathing moon her lustre shrouds ;
Wide o’er the east impends an arch of clouds,
That spans the ocean ; while the infant dawn
Peeps through the portal o’er the liquid lawn,
That ruffled by an April gale appears,
Between the gloom and splendour of the spheres,
Dark-purple as the moorland-heath, when rain
Hangs in low vapours o’er the* autumnal plain :
Till the full Sun, resurgent from the flood,
Looks on the waves, and turns them into blood ;
But quickly kindling, as his beams aspire,
The lambent billows play in forms of fire.
Where is the Vessel? Shining through the light,
Like the white sea-fowl’s horizontal flight,
Yonder she wings, and skims, and cleaves her way
Through refluent foam and iridescent spray.

Lo ! on the deck, with patriarchal grace,
Heaven in his bosom opening o’er his face,
Stands CHRISTIAN DAVID; venerable name!
Bright in the records of celestial fame,
On earth obscure ; like some sequester’d star,
That rolls in its Creator’s beams afar,
Unseen by man ; till telescopic eye,
Sounding the blue abysses of the sky,
Draws forth its hidden beauty into light,
And adds a jewel to the crown of night.
Though hoary with the multitude of years,
Unshorn of strength, between his young compeers,
He towers; with faith, whose boundless glance can see

Time’s shadows brightening through eternity;
Love, God’s own love in his pure breast enshrined ;
Love, love to man the magnet of his mind ;
Sublimer schemes maturing in his thought
Than ever statesman plann’d, or warrior wrought ;
While, with rejoicing tears, and rapturous sighs,
To heaven ascends their morning sacrifice, (a)
Whence are the pilgrims ? whither would they

roam?

Greenland their port ; Moravia was their home.
Sprung from a race of martyrs ; men who bore
The cross on many a Golgotha, of yore ;
When first Sclavonian tribes the truth received,
And princes at the price of thrones believed ; (6)

(a) The names of the three first Moravian Missionaries to
Greenland were Christian David , Matthew Stack, and Christian
Stack.

(6) The Church of the United Brethren (first established under
that name about the year 1460) traces its descent from the
Sclavonian branch of the Greek Church, which was spread
throughout Bohemia and Moravia, as well as the ancient Dal-
matia. The Bulgarians were once the most powerful tribe of
the Sclavic nations ; and among them the gospel was introduced
in the ninth century. See additional Note (A.) in the Ap-
pendix.

When WALDO i flying from the’ apostate west, (c)
In German wilds his righteous cause confessed :
When WICKLIFFE, like a rescuing Angel, found
The dungeon, where the word of God lay bound,
Unloosed its chains, and led it by the hand,
In its own sunshine, through his native land : (d)
When Huss, the victim of perfidious foes,
To heaven upon a fiery chariot rose ;

(c) With the Waldenses, the Bohemian and Moravian Churches,
which never properly submitted to the authority of the Pope, held
intimate communion for ages: and from Stephen, the last Bishop
of the Waldenses, in 1467, the United Brethren received their
episcopacy. Almost immediately afterwards, those ancient con-
fessors of the truth were dispersed by a cruel persecution, and
Stephen himself suffered martyrdom, being burnt as a heretic at
Vienna.

(d) Wickliffes writings were early translated into the Bohemian
tongue, and eagerly read by the devout and persecuted people,
who never had given up the Bible in their own language, nor
consented to perform their church service in Latin. Archbishop
Sbinek; of Prague, ordered the works of Wickliffe to be burnt
by the hands of the hangman. He himself could scarcely read !

And ere he vanish’d, with a prophet’s breath,
Foretold the* immortal triumphs of his death : (e)
When ZISKA, burning with fanatic zeal,
Exchanged the Spirit’s sword for patriot steel,
And through the heart of Austria’s thick array
To Tabor’s summit stabb’d resistless way ;
But there, (as if transfigured on the spot
The world’s Redeemer stood,) his rage forgot ;
Deposed his arms and trophies in the dust,
Wept like a babe, and placed in God his
trust,

(e) It is well known that John Huss (who might be called a
disciple of our Wickliffe)> though furnished with a safe*conduct
by the emperor Sigismund, was burnt by a decree of the
council of Constance. Several sayings, predictive of retribution
to the priests, and reformation in the Church, are recorded, as
being uttered by him in his last hours. Among others ; ” A
hundred years hence,” said he, addressing his judges, ” ye shall
render an account of your doings to God and to me.” Luther
appeared at the period thus indicated.

While prostrate warriors kiss’d the hallow’d ground,
And lay, like slain, in silent ranks around : (/)
When mild GREGORIUS, in a lowlier field,
As brave a witness, as unwont to yield
As ZISKA’S self, with patient footsteps trod
A path of suffering, like the Son of God,
And nobler palms, by meek endurance won,
Than if his sword had blazed from sun to sun : (g)
Though nature fail’d him on the racking wheel,
He felt the joys which parted spirits feel ;

(/) After the martyrdom of John Huss, his followers and
countrymen took up arms for the maintenance of their civil and
religious liberties. The first and most distinguished of their leaders
was John Ziska. He seized possession of a high mountain, which
he fortified, and called Tabor. Here he and his people (who were
hence called Taborites) worshipped God according to their con-
sciences and his holy word ; while in the plains they fought and
conquered their persecutors and enemies.

(g) See Note (B.) in the Appendix, for a brief account of this
Gregory ) and an illustration of the lines that follow concerning his
trance and vision while he lay upon the rack.

Rapt into bliss from exstacy of pain,
Imagination wander’d o’er a plain :
Fair in the midst, beneath a morning sky,
A Tree its ample branches bore on high,
With fragrant bloom, and fruit delicious hung,
While birds beneath the foliage fed and sung ;
All glittering to the sun with diamond dew,
O’er sheep and kine a breezy shade it threw ;
A lovely boy, the child of hope and prayer,
With crook and shepherd’s pipe, was watching there ;
At hand three venerable forms were seen,
In simple garb, with apostolic mien,
Who mark’d the distant fields convulsed with strife,
The guardian Cherubs of that Tree of Life ;
Not arm’d like Eden’s host, with flaming brands,
Alike to friends and foes they stretch’d their hands,
In sign of peace ; and while Destruction spread
His path with carnage, welcomed all who fled :
When poor COMENIUS, with his little flock,
Escaped the wolves, and from the boundary rock,

Cast o’er Moravian hills a look of woe,
Saw the green vales expand, the waters flow,
And happier years revolving in his mind,
Caught every sound that murmur’d on the wind ;
As if his eye could never thence depart,
As if his ear were seated in his heart,
And his full soul would thence a passage break,
To leave the body, for his country’s sake ;

While on his knees he pour’d the fervent prayer,
That God would make that martyr-land his care,
And nourish in its ravaged soil a root
Of GREGOR’S Tree, to bear perennial fruit, (h)

(fi) John Amos Comenius, one of the most learned as well as
pious men of his age, was minister of the Brethren’s congregation
at Fulneck, in Moravia, from 1618 to 1627, when the Protestant
nobility and clergy being expatriated, he fled with a part of his people
through Silesia into Poland. On the summit of the mountains form-
ing the boundary, he turned his sorrowful eyes towards Bohemia and
Moravia, and kneeling down with his brethren there, implored God,
with many tears, that he would not take away the light of his holy
word from those two provinces, but preserve in them a remnant for
Himself. A remnant was saved. See Appendix , Note (C.)

His prayer was heard: that Church, through ages past,
Assail’d and rent by persecution’s blast ;
Whose sons no yoke could crush, no burthen tire,
Unawed by dungeons, tortures, sword, and fire,
(Less proof against the world’s alluring wiles,
Whose frowns have weaker terrors than its smiles ;
That Church o’erthrown, dispersed, unpeopled, dead,

Oft from the dust of ruin raised her head,
And rallying round her feet, as from their graves,
Her exiled orphans, hid in forest-caves ;
Where, midst the fastnesses of rocks and glens,
Banded like robbers, stealing from their dens,
By night they met, their holiest vows to pay,
As if their deeds were dark, and shunn’d the day ;
While Christ’s revilers, in his seamless robe,
And parted garments, flaunted round the globe ;
From east to west while priestcraft’s banners flew,
And harness’d kings his iron chariot drew :

That Church advanced, triumphant, o’er the ground,
Where all her conquering martyrs had been crown’d,
Fearless her foe’s whole malice to defy,
And worship God in liberty, or die :
For truth and conscience oft she pour’d her blood,
And firmest in the fiercest conflicts stood,
Wresting from bigotry the proud controul
Claim’d o’er the sacred empire of the soul,
Where God, the judge of all, should fill the throne,
And reign, as in his universe, alone,
‘Twas thus through centuries she rose and fell ;
At length victorious seem’d the gates of hell ;
But founded on a rock, which cannot move
The’ eternal rock of her Redeemer’s love
That Church, which Satan’s legions thought destroy’d,
Her name extinct, her place for ever void,

Alive once more, respired her native air,
But found no freedom for the voice of prayer :
Again the cowl’d oppressor clank’d his chains,
Flourish’d his scourge, and threatened bonds and pains,
(His arm enfeebled could no longer kill,
But in his heart he was a murderer still 🙂
Then CHRISTIAN DAVID, strengtheri’d from above,
Wise as the serpent, harmless as the dove ;
Bold as a lion on his Master’s part,
In zeal a seraph, and a child in heart ;
Pluck from the gripe of antiquated laws,
( Even as a mother from the felon-jaws
Of a lean wolf, that bears her babe away,
With courage beyond nature, rends the prey,)
The little remnant of that ancient race :
Far in Lusatian woods they found a place ;
There, where the sparrow builds her busy nest,
And the clime-changing swallow loves to rest,
Thine altar, God of Hosts ! there still appear
The tribes to worship, unassail’d by fear ;

Not like their fathers, vex’d from age to age
By blatant Bigotry’s insensate rage,
Abroad in every place, in every hour
Awake, alert, and ramping to devour.
No ; peaceful as the spot where Jacob slept,
And guard all night the journeying angels kept,
Herrnhut yet stands amidst her sheltered bowers ;
The Lord hath set his watch upon her towers, (j)
Soon, homes of humble form, and structure rude,
Raised sweet society in solitude :

(j) In 1721, (ninety -four years after the flight of Comenius)
the Church of the United Brethren was revived by the persecuted
refugees from Moravia (descendants of the old confessors of that
namej, who were led from time to time by Christian David,
(himself a Moravian, but educated in the Lutheran persuasion,)
to settle on an uncultivated piece of land, on an estate belonging
to Count Zinzendorf, in Lusatia. Christian David, who was
a carpenter, began the work of building a church in this wilder-
ness, by striking his axe into a tree, and exclaiming ” Here hath
the sparrow found an house, and the swaUow a nest for herself i
even thine altars, Lord God of Hosts!” They named the
settlement Herrnhut, or The Lord’s Watch.

And the lorn traveller there, at fall of night,
Could trace from distant hills the spangled light,
Which now from many a cottage window streamed,
Or in full glory round the chapel beam’d ;
While hymning voices, in the silent shade,
Music of all his soul’s affections made :
Where through the trackless wilderness erewhile,
No hospitable ray was known to smile ;
Or if a sudden splendor kindled joy,
Twas but a meteor dazzling to destroy :
While the wood echoed to the hollow owl,
The fox’s cry, or wolf’s lugubrious howl.

Unwearied as the camel, day by day,
Tracks through unwater’d wilds his doleful way,
Yet in his breast a cherish’d draught retains,
To cool the fervid current in his veins,
While from the sun’s meridian realms he brings
The gold and gems of Ethiopian Kings :
So CHRISTIAN DAVID, spending yet unspent,
On many a pilgrimage of mercy went ;

Through all their haunts his suffering brethren sought,
And safely to that land of promise brought ;
While in his bosom, on the toilsome road,
A secret well of consolation flow’d,
Fed from the fountain near the* eternal throne,
Bliss to the world unyielded and unknown.
In stillness thus the little Zion rose ;
But scarcely found those fugitives repose,
Ere to the west with pitying eyes they turn’d ;
Their love to Christ beyond the’ Atlantic burn’d.
Forth sped their messengers, content to be
Captives themselves, to cheer captivity ;
Soothe the poor Negro with fraternal smiles,
And preach deliverance in those prison-isles,
Where man’s most hateful forms of being meet,
The tyrant and the slave that licks his feet. (A:)

() In 1732, when the congregation at Herrnhut consisted of
about six hundred persons, including children, the two first mission-
aries sailed for the Danish island of St. Thomas, to preach the
gospel to the negroes ; and such was their devotion to the good

O’er Greenland next two youths in secret wept:
And where the sabbath of the dead was kept,
With pious forethought, while their hands prepare
Beds which the living and unborn shall share,
(For man so surely to the dust is brought,
His grave before his cradle may be wrought,)
They told their purpose, each o’erjoyed to find
His own idea in his brother’s mind.
For counsel in simplicity they pray’d,
And vows of ardent consecration made :
Vows heard in heaven ; from that accepted hour,
Their souls were clothed with confidence and power, (I)

work, that being told that they could not have intercourse other-
wise with the objects of their Christian compassion, they deter-
mined to sell themselves for slaves on their arrival, and work with
die blacks in the plantations. But this sacrifice was not required.
Many thousand negroes have since been truly converted in the
West Indies.

(Matthew Stack and Frederick Boenisch, two young men,
being at work together, preparing a piece of ground for a burial-
place at Herrnhut, disclosed to each other their distinct desires

Nor hope deferred could quell their heart’s desire ;
The bush once kindled grew amidst the fire ;
But ere its shoots a tree of life became,
Congenial spirits caught the* electric flame ;
And for that holy service, young and old,
Their plighted faith and willing names enrolled ;
Eager to change the rest, so lately found,
For life-long labours on barbarian ground ;
To break, through barriers of eternal ice,
A vista to the gates of Paradise ;
And light beneath the shadow of the pole
The tenfold darkness of the human soul ;

to offer themselves to the congregation as missionaries to Green-
land. They therefore became joint candidates. Considerable
delay, however, occurred ; and when it was at length determined
to attempt the preaching of the gospel there, Frederick Boenisch
being on a distant journey, Christian David was appointed to
conduct thither Matthew Stack and his cousin, Christian Stack,
who sailed from Copenhagen on the 10th of April 1733, and
landed in Ball’s River on the 20th of May following.

To man, a task more hopeless than to bless
With Indian fruits that arctic wilderness ;
With God, as possible when unbegun
As though the destined miracle were done.
Three chosen candidates at length went forth,
Heralds of mercy to the frozen north ;
Like mariners with seal’d instructions sent,
They went in faith, (as childless Abram went
To dwell by sufferance in a land, decreed
The future birthright of his promised seed,)
Unknowing whither ; unenquiring why
Their lot was cast beneath so strange a sky,
Where cloud nor star appearM, to mortal sense
Pointing the hidden path of Providence,
And all around was darkness to be felt ;
Yet in that darkness light eternal dwelt :
They knew, and ’twas enough for them to know,
The still small voice that whisper* d them to go ;
For He, who spake by that mysterious voice,
Inspired their will, and made His call their choice.

See the swift vessel bounding o’er the tide,
That wafts, with CHRISTIAN DAVID for their guide,
Two young Apostles on their joyful way
To regions in the twilight verge of day ;
Freely they quit the clime that gave them birth,
Home, kindred, friendship, all they loved on earth ;
What things were gain before, accounting loss,
And glorying in the shame, they bear the cross ;

Not as the Spaniard, on his flag unfurl’d,
A bloody omen through a Pagan world :
Not the vain image, which the Devotee
Clasps as the God of his idolatry ;

But in their hearts, to Greenland’s western shore,
That dear memorial of their Lord they bore,
Amidst the wilderness to lift the sign
Of wrath appeased by sacrifice divine ;
And bid a serpent-stung and dying race
Look on their Healer, and be saved by grace.

(This is the end of the first of five cantos. You may download Montgomery’s Greenland, and other poems here.)

David Livingstone

File:David Livingstone.jpg

David Livingstone

Livingstone was born in 1813 in Blantyre, Scotland, trained as a physician, and ordained as a missionary in 1840. His original plan was to work in China, but he was prevented from doing so by the Opium Wars. He therefore went instead to South Africa and travelled northward into the interior. To his countrymen, he was known chiefly as an explorer, a surveyor, and a scientist; and his expeditions, including the discovery of Victoria Falls in 1855, made him a national hero. In 1866 he began an expedition seeking the headwaters of the Nile. No news of him came back for several years, and it was thought that perhaps he was dead. A publisher sent a correspondent, Henry M Stanley, to find him. Stanley did find him, in 1871, and accompanied his expedition for a while before returning to report. (Stanley’s greeting, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume,” is the one thing about Livingstone that is remembered by persons who know absolutely nothing else about him.)
Livingstone died 1 May 1873 in Zambia. His body was embalmed and brought to the coast by his African friends, and was buried in Wesminster Abbey. However, his heart was removed from the body and buried where he died. His friends said, “His heart was always with the people of Africa. It must remain here.”

-James E. Kiefer

Oswald Chambers

“We are in danger of forgetting that we
cannot do what God does,
and that God 
will not do what we can do.”

    Some years ago a friend gave me a copy of “My Utmost for His Highest.” I was thankful and I began to read it, but it didn’t do much for me and I put it aside. A few years later, after a few crises in my parish and life, I picked it up and continued to use it regularly for several years. So many devotions available today are so much fluff-nice inspirational messages, but do they feed you? This was for me meat and potatoes. The following bio is directly from the RBC website. The address is at the end. I recommend you visit it. -EJS

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was born July 24, 1874, in Aberdeen, Scotland. Converted in his teen years under the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, he studied art and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh before answering a call from God to the Christian ministry. He then studied theology at Dunoon College. From 1906-1910 he conducted an itinerant Bible-teaching ministry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

In 1910, Chambers married Gertrude Hobbs. They had one daughter, Kathleen.

In 1911 he founded and became principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham, London, where he lectured until the school was closed in 1915 because of World War I. In October 1915 he sailed for Zeitoun, Egypt (near Cairo), where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops as a YMCA chaplain. He died there November 15, 1917, following surgery for a ruptured appendix.

Although Oswald Chambers wrote only one book, Baffled to Fight Better , more than thirty titles bear his name. With this one exception, published works were compiled by Mrs. Chambers, a court stenographer, from her verbatim shorthand notes of his messages taken during their seven years of marriage. For half a century following her husband’s death she labored to give his words to the world.

My Utmost For His Highest , his best-known book, has been continuously in print in the United States since 1935 and in this, the last decade of the century, remains in the top ten titles of the religious book bestseller list with millions of copies in print. It has become a Christian classic.
Visit his site http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/utmost/
and check it out, We recommend it highly.
For more biographical information about Oswald Chambers, check out these resources:
Oswald Chambers, Abandoned To God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost For His Highest
David McCasland
Discovery House Publishers
To order: Call 1-800-653-8333
Oswald Chambers, His Life and Work
Gertrude (Biddy) Chambers
Simpkin Marshall Ltd. 1933, 1938, 1959

Oswald Chambers, An Unbribed Soul
David W. Lambert
Christian Literature Crusade, 1968

 

John Mott

John Raleigh Mott

(1865-1955)

John Mott was born of pioneer stock in Livingston Manor, New York, the third child and only son among four children. His parents, John and Elmira (Dodge) Mott, moved to Postville, Iowa, where his father became a lumber merchant and was elected the first mayor of the town.
At sixteen, Mott enrolled at Upper Iowa University, a small Methodist preparatory school and college in Fayette. He was an enthusiastic student of history and literature there and a prizewinner in debating and oratory, but transferred to Cornell         University in 1885. At this time he thought of his life’s work as a choice between law and his father’s lumber business, but he changed his mind upon hearing a lecture by J. Kynaston Studd on January 4, 1886. Three sentences in Studd’s speech, he said, prompted his lifelong service of presenting Christ to students: «Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.»
In the summer of 1886, Mott represented Cornell University’s Y.M.C.A. at the first international, interdenominational student Cristian conference ever held. At that conference, which gathered 250 men from eighty-nine colleges and universities, one hundred men – including Mott – pledged themselves to work in foreign missions. From this, two years later, sprang the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions.
During Mott’s remaining two years at Cornell, as president of the Y.M.C.A. he increased the membership threefold and raised the money for a university Y.M.C.A. building. He was graduated in 1888, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history. In September of 1888 he began a service of twenty-seven years as national secretary of the Intercollegiate Y.M.C.A. of the U.S.A. and Canada, a position requiring visits to colleges to address students concerning Christian activities.
During this period, he was also chairman of the executive committee of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, presiding officer of the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, chairman of the International Missionary Council. With Karl Fries of Sweden, he organized the World’s Student Christian Federation in 1895 and as its general secretary went on a two-year world tour,
during which he organized national student movements in India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Europe and the North East. In 1912 and 1913, he toured the Far East, holding twenty-one regional missionary conferences in India, China, Japan, and Korea.
From 1915 to 1928, Mott was general-secretary of the International Committee of the Y.M.C.A. and from 1926 to 1937 president of the        Y.M.C.A.’s World Committee. During World War I, when the Y.M.C.A. offered its services to President Wilson, Mott became general secretary of the National War Work Council, receiving the       Distinguished Service Medal for his work. For the Y.M.C.A. he kept up international contacts as circumstances allowed and helped to conduct relief work for prisoners of war in various countries. He      had already declined President Wilson’s offer of the ambassadorship to China, but he served in 1916 as a member of the Mexican Commission, and in 1917 as a member of the Special Diplomatic Mission to Russia.
The sum of Mott’s work makes an impressive record: he wrote sixteen books in his chosen field; crossed the Atlantic over one hundred times and the Pactfic fourteen times, averaging thirty-four days on   the ocean per year for fifty years; delivered hundreds of speeches; chaired innumerable conferences. Among the honorary awards which he  received are: decorations from China, Czechoslovakia, Finland,    France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jerusalem, Poland, Portugal, Siam, Sweden, and the United States; six honorary degrees from the universities of Brown, Edinburgh, Princeton, Toronto, Yale, and      Upper Iowa; and an honorary degree from the Russian Orthodox Church of Paris.
Dr. Mott married Leila Ada White of Wooster, Ohio, in 1891; they had four children, two sons and two daughters. He died at his home in Orlando, Florida, at the age of eighty-nine.

John R. Mott’s Nobel Lecture

            December 13, 1946

           
 The Leadership Demanded in This Momentous Time

There is an irresistible demand to strengthen the leadership of the constructive forces of the world at the present momentous time. This is true because of stupendous, almost unbelievable changes which     have taken place in recent years on every continent. Extreme nationalism and Bolshevism have broken up the old world, a new world is in the making. It is literally true that old things are passing away; all things may become new, granted we have wise, unselfish, and determined guides.
The summons has come to wage a better planned, more aggressive, and more triumphant warfare against the age-long enemies of mankind –    ignorance, poverty, disease, strife, and sin. Such distinctively qualitative leadership is essential in order that the builders of the new civilization may possess the necessary background, outlook,    insight, and grasp to cope successfully with the forces which oppose and disintegrate. How subtle, powerful, and ominous these are in both Orient and Occident!
Such highly qualitative leadership is demanded especially in the realm of the fostering of right international relations. Here the demand is simply irresistible. In a sense the present generation is the first generation which could be truly international and it finds itself poorly prepared. Many, subtle, and baffling are the maladjustments, misunderstandings, with resultant strife and working
at cross-purposes. We have nothing less to do than to get inside of whole peoples and change their motives and dispositions. Moreover, we have come out into an age in which in every land the economic facts and forces are matters of primary and grave concern.
It finds us with twentieth-century machinery but with antiquated and inadequate political, social, and religious conceptions and programs. As a result literally millions of men are unemployed,  discontented, and embittered. An insistent demand has come to augment the leadership of the forces      of righteousness and unselfishness in order to meet constructively the startling development of divisive influences on every hand.
Obviously these alarming manifestations are in evidence in the economic realm. Here we have in mind not simply the obvious – the age-long conflict between the rich and the poor, between the  employed and the unemployed – yes, something more alarming, something suggested by the phrases economic imperialism, commercial exploitation, and the unjust use of the natural resources and so-called open spaces of the world. Other of these alarming divisive forces have been in evidence in the international realm and have been accomplishing their deadly work on an overwhelmingly extensive    scale in recent years in two world wars. Still other of these divisive manifestations have been in the sphere of race relations.
In some respects this has become most serious because most neglected. Above all, such strengthened leadership is essential and    imperatively demanded if the constructive forces of the world are to be ushered into a triumphant stage. Irresistible is the demand on every hand and in every land for men to restudy, rethink, restate, revise and, where necessary, revolutionize programs and plans, and then, at all costs, to put the new and longer programs into effect.
What should today and tomorrow across the breadth of the world characterize the leadership of the forces of righteousness and unselfishness?
It should be a comprehending leadership. It should reveal a vivid awareness of the present expansive, urgent, and dangerous world situation. The leaders must understand its antecedents and
background. They must know the real battleground, therefore the forces and factors that oppose, and those that are with us. They must indeed know our world, our time, and our destiny. In discovering the leaders of tomorrow we must become acquainted with the unanswered questions of ambitious youth and the possibilities of human nature. Above all, we must rely upon the superhuman resources. The leadership so imperatively needed just now must be truly creative. The demand is for thinkers and not mechanical workers.
Bishop Gore1, one of the most discerning leaders of his day, summed up our need in an aphorism as apt today as yesterday: “We do not        think and we do not pray”; that is, we do not use the principal power at our disposal – the power of thought – and we do not avail ourselves of incomparably our greatest power – the superhuman power of prayer. Well may we heed the injunction of St. Peter to “gird up the loins of your mind”. How essential it is that those who tomorrow are to lead the constructive forces should give diligent heed that the discipline of their lives, the culture of their souls, and the         thoroughness of their processes of spiritual discovery and appropriations be such as will enable them to meet the demands of a most exacting age.
The leadership must be statesmanlike. And here let us remind ourselves of the traits of the true statesman – the genuinely Christian statesman. He simply must be a man of vision. He sees what            the crowd does not see. He takes in a wider sene and he sees before others see. How true it is that where there is no vision the people perish.
The most trustworthy leader is one who adopts and applies guiding principles. He trusts them like the North Star. He follows his principles no matter how many oppose him and no matter how few go with him. This has been the real secret of the wonderful leadership of Mahatma Gandhi2. In the midst of most bewildering conditions he has followed, cost what it might, the guiding principles of non-violence, religious unity, removal of untouchability, and economic independence.
The great statesmen observe relationships – a governing consideration imperatively demanded on the part of leaders in the present bewildering age.
A most highly multiplying trait in point of far-reaching influences is that of ability to discover and use strong men. This trait stands out impressively in Rothschild’s Lincoln, Master of Men3.
Curzon4, one of the eminent administrators of his day, said we rule by the heart. Possibly no trait is more needed in the present time of so much misunderstanding, friction, and strife.
Foresight has been a distinguishing characteristic of all truly great political, religious, and social betterment leaders. Theodore Roosevelt5 had the one motto hanging on his office wall which truly   illustrated his life practice: “Nine tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.” You will recall that it was said of Cecil Rhodes, the African administrator6, that he was always planning what he would do year after next.
Of front line importance among the most contagious and enduring traits of the leaders of nations and of all callings is that of spotless character. How this stands out in the chapter on “Aristides
the Just” in Plutarch7. And how the opposite stands out in Lorenzo de’ Medici8 of whom it was said that “he was cultured yet corrupt, wise yet cruel, spending the morning writing a verse in praise of virtue and spending the night in vice”.
Among the qualities most needed among those who aspire to true leadership in the fostering of peace and goodwill among the nations and in overcoming racial and religious antagonism is the cooperative spirit and objective. Elihu Root9 who ever illustrated this trait, emphasized the fact that you can measure the future greatness and influence of a nation by its ability to cooperate with other nations.
As I speak of leadership in these fateful years across the breadth of the world, I would pay a tribute to leaders of Norway. In this connection I would find it difficult to exaggerate my sense of the part borne with such marked courage and wisdom by His Majesty The King10 before, during, and following the momentous days of the war. In common with Christians the world over, I would gratefully  acknowledge  the heroic and truly Christian guidance and backing afforded by Bishop Berggrav11 and other leaders of the church.
Moreover, as I think of the contribution made by Hambro12 and other representatives of Norway in their marked guidance on baffling international questions in other countries, I am vividly reminded of the great international service he rendered during and at the end of the First World War. I would also recognize the splendid service being rendered day by day by your representative Mr. Lie13, with whom I had fellowship only last week, in his indispensable guidance of the vast and complicated activities of the United Nations Organization. Among the contributions of Norway to the insuring of right international relations in the present century, the part taken         by the Nobel Peace Committee has been one of unique distinction.
In closing, let me emphasize the all-important point that Jesus Christ summed up the outstanding, unfailing, and abiding secret of all truly great and enduring leadership in the Word: “He who would be greatest among you shall be the servant of all14.” He Himself embodied this truth and became “the Prince Leader of the Faith”, that is, the leader of the leaders.

* Mr. Mott delivered this lecture in the Auditorium of the University of Oslo. The text is taken from Les Prix Nobel en 1946.
1. Charles Gore (1853-1932), Anglican prelate, successively bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford.
2. Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian philosopher and political leader.
3. Alonzo Rothschild, Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1906).
4. George Nathaniel Curzon (1859-1925), British statesman; viceroy of India (1899-1905), foreign minister (1919-1924).
5. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1906.
6. Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), British statesman, prime minister of Cape Colony (1890-1896); financier who made a fortune in Kimberley      diamond production.
7. Plutarch, Parallel Lives; Aristides (d.ca.468 B.C.), Athenian statesman and general.
8. Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449-1492), the “Magnificent”, Florentine ruler and patron of the arts.
9. Elihu Root (1845-1937), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1912.
10. Haakon VII (1872-1957), king of Norway (1905-1957).
11. Eivind Berggrav (1884-1959), successively bishop of Halogalaand and Oslo.
12. Carl Joachim Hambro (1885-1964), Norwegian statesman, president of the Parliament (1926-1940), president of the League of Nations        Assembly (1939-1940); member of the Nobel Committee (1939-1963).
13. Trygve Lie (1896-1968), Norwegian statesman, first secretary-general of the U. N. (1946-1953).
14. Matthew 23:II.

Copyright© 2002 The Nobel Foundation

 

 

A History of Revival

A History of Revival

by Geoff Waugh

Rev Dr Geoff Waugh is editor of the Renewal Journal.
“We can believe for it, pray for it, and prepare for it.”

God moves in awesome power at times. Signs everywhere point to that again now. Many people report a burden for and expectation of revival. We can believe for it, pray for it, and prepare for it. Selwyn Hughes, author of the popular Every Day with Jesus writes, In all the years that I have been a Christian I have never witnessed such a burden and expectancy for revival as I do at this moment among the true people of God. Wherever I go I meet prayerful Christians whose spirit witnesses with my own that a mighty Holy Spirit revival is on the way. The 1960’s and 1970’s were characterised by the word ‘renewal’. Then in the eighties, the word began slowly losing currency, and another appeared to take its place revival. And why? Because great and wonderful though renewal is, many are beginning to see that there are greater things in our Father’s storehouse, and slowly but surely their faith is rising to a flash point (Hughes 1990:7).

Revival may not be wanted because it involves humility, awareness of our unworthiness, confession of sin, repentance, restitution, seeking and offering forgiveness, and following Christ wholeheartedly. It then impacts society with conviction, godliness, justice, peace and righteousness. This is not always welcome.

What is revival?
As individuals and churches are renewed they prepare the way for revival in the land. A spiritual awakening touches the community when God’s Spirit moves in power. Often this awakening begins in people earnestly praying for and expecting revival.

Arthur Wallis (1956:20,23) observes:
Numerous writings … confirm that revival is Divine intervention in the normal course of spiritual things. It is God revealing Himself to man in awesome holiness and irresistible power. It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed and human programs abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the Lord … working in extraordinary power on saint and sinner. …
Revival must of necessity make an impact on the community and this is one means by which we may distinguish it from the more usual operations of the Holy Spirit.

Edwin Orr’s research indicated that A spiritual awakening is a movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the Church of Christ and its related community. … It accomplishes the reviving of the Church, the awakening of the masses and the movements of uninstructed people toward the Christian faith; the revived church by many or few is moved to engage in evangelism, teaching and social action (1975: viiviii).

Roy Hession (1973:11,23) noted that the outward forms of revivals do, of course, differ considerably,but the inward and permanent content of them is always the same: a new experience of conviction of sin among the saints; a new vision of the Cross and of Jesus and of redemption; a new willingness on man’s part for brokenness, repentance, confession, and restitution; a joyful experience of the power of the blood of Jesus to cleanse fully from sin and restore and heal all that sin has lost and broken; a new entering into the fullness of the Holy Spirit and of His power to do His own work through His people; and a new gathering in of the lost ones to Jesus. …Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts.

Bible Revivals
Scripture gives a constant call for individual and communal repentance issuing in righteousness and justice.

Wilbur Smith notes seven revivals in the Old Testament in addition to the one with Jonah. These revivals involved:
1. Jacob’s household (Genesis 35:115),
2. Asa (2 Chronicles 15:115),
3. Joash (2 Kings 1112; 2 Chronicles 2324),
4. Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18; 2 Chronicles 2931),
5. Josiah (2 Kings 2223; 2 Chronicles 3435),
6. Haggai and Zechariah with Zerubbabel (Ezra 56)
7. Ezra with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:16; 12:4447).

He noted nine characteristics of these revivals:
1. They occurred in times of moral darkness and national depression;
2. Each began in the heart of a consecrated servant of God who became the energising power behind it;
3. Each revival rested on the Word of God, and most were the result of proclaiming God’s Word with power;
4. All resulted in a return to the worship of God;
5. Each witnessed the destruction of idols where they existed;
6. In each revival, there was a recorded separation from sin;
7. In every revival the people returned to obeying God’s laws;
8. There was a restoration of great joy and gladness;
9. Each revival was followed by a period of national prosperity.

The early church lived in continuous revival. It saw rapid growth in the power of the Holy Spirit from the initial outburst at Pentecost. Multitudes joined the church. At Pentecost 3,000 were won in one day (2:41). Soon after that there were 5,000 involved (4:4). Then great multitudes (5:14; 6:7; 9:31; 11:21, 24; 12:24 and 16:5).

Those Christians were dynamic. Not faultless, as the epistles indicate, but on fire. They were accused before the civil authorities as ‘these people who have been turning the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6). Revival makes that kind of an impact in the community.

Various renewal and revival movements stirred the church and the community throughout history. The eighteenth century saw the first great awakening, and powerful revivals have spread world wide since then until the astounding developments now.

Eighteenth century
The Moravians
The Moravians, a refugee colony from Bohemia on the estates of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf at the village of Herrnhut in Germany, experienced a visitation of God in 1727 which launched revival with 100 years of continuous prayer and 100 missionaries sent out within 25 years.

On May 12th, 1727, they entered into a covenant together ‘to dedicate their lives to the service of the Lord Jesus.’ …

A period of extraordinary prayer followed, which both preceded and followed the outpouring. It started in early July of that year, but already, for the best part of two years, there had been prayer and praise gatherings in the homes of the people. In July
they started to meet together more frequently… Some spent whole nights in prayer. …

At about noon on Sunday August 10th, 1727, the preacher at the morning service felt himself overwhelmed by a wonderful and irresistible power of the Lord. He sank down in the dust before God, and the whole congregation joined him ‘in an ecstasy of
feeling’. They continued until midnight engaged in prayer, singing, weeping and supplication.

On Wednesday August 13th the church came together for a specially called communion service. They were all dissatisfied with themselves. ‘They had quit judging each other because they had become convinced, each one, of his lack of worth in the sight of God and each felt himself at this communion to be in view of the Saviour.’

They left that communion at noon, hardly knowing whether they belonged to earth or had already gone to heaven. It was a day of outpouring of the Holy Spirit. ‘We saw the hand of God and were all baptized with his Holy Spirit … The Holy Ghost came upon us
and in those days great signs and wonders took place in our midst.

Scarcely a day passed from then on when they did not witness God’s almighty workings among them. A great hunger for God’s word took hold of them. They started meeting three times daily at 5 am, 7.30 am, and 9 pm. Selflove and selfwill and all disobedience
disappeared, as everyone sought to let the Holy Spirit have full control.

Two weeks later, they entered into the twentyfour hour prayer covenant which was to become such a feature of their life for over 100 years… ‘The spirit of prayer and supplication at that time poured out upon the children was so powerful and efficacious that
it is impossible to give an adequate description of it.’ Supernatural knowledge and power was given to them. Previously timid people became flaming evangelists (Mills 1990:2045).

The Great Awakening
Jonathan Edwards (17031764), the preacher and scholar who later became a President of Princeton University, was a prominent leader in a revival movement which came to be called the Great Awakening as it spread through the communities of New England and the pioneering settlements in America. Converts to Christianity reached 50,000 out of a total of 250,000 colonists. The years of 173435 saw an unusually powerful move of God’s Spirit in thousands of people. Edwards described the characteristics of the revival as, first, an extraordinary sense of the awful majesty, greatness and holiness of God, and second, a great longing for humility before God and adoration of God.

Edwards published the journal of David Brainerd, a missionary to the North American Indians from 1743 to his death at 29 in 1747. Brainerd tells of revival breaking out among Indians in October 1745 when the power of God seemed to come like a rushing mighty wind. The Indians were overwhelmed by God. The revival had greatest impact when Brainerd emphasised the compassion of the Saviour, the provisions of the gospel, and the free offer of divine grace. Idolatry was abandoned, marriages repaired, drunkenness practically disappeared, honesty and repayments of debts prevailed. Money once wasted on excessive drinking was used for family and communal needs. Their communities were filled with love.

The power of God seemed to descend on the assembly ‘like a rushing mighty wind’ and with an astonishing energy bore all down before it. I stood amazed at the influence that seized the audience almost universally and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible force of a mighty torrent… Almost all persons of all ages were bowed down with concern together and scarce was able to withstand the shock of astonishing operation (Pratney1984: 15).

On November 20, he described the revival at Crossweeksung in his general comments about that year, which had involved horse riding over 3,000 miles to reach Indian tribes in New England: He notes that revivals have been criticised as scaring people with hell and damnation, but this great awakening, this surprising concern, was never excited by any harangues of terror, but always appeared most remarkable when I insisted upon the compassions of a dying Saviour, the plentiful provisions of the gospel, and the free offers of divine grace to needy distressed sinners.

The effects of this work have likewise been very remarkable… Their pagan notions and idolatrous practices seem to be entirely abandoned in these parts. They are regulated and appear regularly disposed in the affairs of marriage. They seem generally divorced from drunkenness … although before it was common for some or other of them to be drunk almost every day… A principle of honesty and justice appears in many of them, and they seem
concerned to discharge their old debts… Their manner of living is much more decent and comfortable than formerly, having now the benefit of that money which they used to consume upon strong drink. Love seems to reign among them, especially those who have given evidence of a saving change (Howard 1949, 239251).

In 1735, when the New England revival was strongest, George Whitefield in England and Howell Harris in Wales were converted. Both were 21 and both ignited revival fires, seeing thousands converted and communities changed. By 1736 Harris began forming his converts into societies and by 1739 there were nearly thirty such societies. Whitefield travelled extensively, visiting John Wesley in Georgia in 1738, then ministering powerfully with Howell Harris in Wales 1739 and with Jonathan Edwards in New England in 1740, all in his early twenties.

Also in 1735, John Wesley went to Georgia. Whitefield sailed to Georgia at Wesley’s invitation early in 1738, but they returned to England because Wesley was frustrated in his work. Then in May that year both John and Charles Wesley were converted, Charles first, and three days later on 24th May John found his heart strangely warmed in the meeting in Aldersgate Street when he listened to a reading of the preface to Luther’s commentary on Romans.

1739 saw astonishing expansion of revival in England. On 1st January the Wesleys and Whitefield and four others from their former Holy Club at Oxford in their students days, along with 60 others of whom many were Moravians, met at Fetter Lane in London for prayer and a love feast. The Spirit of God moved powerfully on them all. Many fell to the ground, resting in the Spirit. The meeting went all night and they realised they had been empowered in a fresh visitation from God.

On 1 January 1739 a remarkable love feast was held at Fetter Lane in London. There the leaders of the Revival were welded into a fellowship of the Spirit in a way similar to what had happened at Herrnhut in 1727. The Wesleys were present, along with Whitefield and Benjamin Ingham, who was to become an outstanding evangelist among the Moravians. ‘About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer,’ John Wesley recorded in his Journal, ‘the power of God came mightily upon us insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy and many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from that awe and amazement at the presence of His majesty, we broke out with one voice, ‘We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.’ This Pentecost on New Year’s Day confirmed that the Awakening had come and launched the campaign of extensive evangelization which sprang from it (Wood 1990:449).

Revival fire spread rapidly. In February 1739 Whitefield started preaching to the Kingswood coal miners in the open fields with about 200 attending in the south west of England near the Welsh border. By March 20,000 attended. Whitefield invited Wesley to take over then and so in April Wesley began his famous open air preaching (which continued for 50 years) with those crowds at Kingswood. He returned to London in June reporting on the amazing move of God’s Spirit with many conversions and many people falling prostrate under God’s power a phenomenon which he never encouraged! Features of this revival were enthusiastic singing, powerful preaching, and the gathering of converts into small societies called weekly Class Meetings.

Revival caught fire in Scotland also. After returning from America in 1741, Whitefield visited Glasgow. Two ministers in villages nearby invited him to return in 1742 because revival had already begun in their area. Conversions and prayer groups multiplied. Whitefield preached there at Cambuslang about four miles from Glasgow.
The opening meetings on a Sunday saw the great crowds on the hill side gripped with conviction, repentance and weeping more than he had seen elsewhere. The next weekend 20,000 gathered on the Saturday and up to 50,000 on the Sunday for the quarterly communion. The visit was charged with Pentecostal power which even amazed Whitefield.
That Great Awakening in Great Britain and America, established the Methodists with 140,000 members by the end of the century, and other churches and Christians were renewed and empowered. It impacted the nation with social change and created the climate for political reform.

Toward the end of the century revival fires burst again in England through prayer groups spreading everywhere. On Christmas day 1781 in Cornwall intercessors met to sing and pray from 3 am and God’s Spirit moved on them. They prayed until 9 am and regathered that Christmas evening. Throughout January and February, the movement continued. By March 1782 they were praying until midnight. The movement spread. Churches filled and denominations doubled, tripled and quadrupled (Robinson 1992:9). By 1792, the year after John Wesley died, this second great awakening swept Great Britain and was stirring America and other countries.

In New England, Isaac Backus, a Baptist pastor, addressed an urgent plea for prayer for revival to pastors of every Christian denomination in the United States in 1794. The churches adopted the plan until America, like Britain, was interlaced with a network of prayer meetings. They met on the first Monday of each month to pray. It was not long before revival came.

James McGready, a Presbyterian minister in Kentucky, promoted the concert of prayer every first Monday of the month, and urged his people to pray for him at sunset on Saturday evening and sunrise Sunday morning. Revival swept Kentucky in the summer of 1800. Eleven thousand people came to a communion service.

That second great awakening produced the modern missionary movement and it’s societies, engendered support for Bible societies, saw the abolition of slavery, and resulted in many social reforms.

Nineteenth Century
Various revival movements influenced society in the 1800s, but 1858 in America and 1859 in Britain were outstanding. Typically, it followed a low ebb of spiritual life. Concerned Christians began praying earnestly and anticipating a new move of God’s Spirit.
Revival broke out at evangelistic meetings in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada during October 1857 with attendances at meetings reaching 6,000, and three or four hundred converted including many civic leaders. It was widely reported.

Jeremiah Lanphier, a city missioner, began a weekly noon prayer meeting in New York in September that year. By October it grew into a daily prayer meeting attended by many businessmen. Anticipation of revival grew, especially with the financial collapse that October after a year of depression. Materialism was shaken. At the beginning of 1858 that Fulton Street prayer meeting had grown so much they were holding three simultaneous prayer meetings in the building and other prayer groups were starting in the city. By March newspapers carried front page reports of over 6,000 attending daily prayer meetings in New York, 6,000 attending them in Pittsburgh, and daily prayer meetings were held in Washington at five different times to accommodate the crowds.

Other cities followed the pattern. Soon a common midday sign on businesses read, ‘Will reopen at the close of the prayer meeting. By May, 50,000 of New York’s 800,000 people were new converts. A newspaper reported that New England was profoundly changed by the revival and in several towns no unconverted adults could be found! In 1858 a leading Methodist paper reported these features of the revival: few sermons were needed, lay people witnessed, seekers flocked to the altar, nearly all seekers were blessed, experiences remained clear, converts had holy boldness, religion became a social topic, family altars were strengthened, testimony given nightly was abundant, and conversations were marked with seriousness.

Edwin Orr’s research revealed that in 1858-59 a million Americans were converted in a population of thirty million and at least a million Christians were renewed, with lasting results in church attendances and moral reform in society.

Charles Finney (1792-1875) became one of the most famous preachers of that era. A keen sportsman and young lawyer, he had a mighty empowering by God’s Spirit on the night of his conversion including a vision of Jesus. During the height of the revival he often saw the awesome holiness of God come upon people, not only in meetings but also in the community, bringing multitudes to repentance and conversion. Wherever he travelled, instead of bringing a song leader he brought a someone to pray, especially Father Nash. Finney taught theology at Oberlin College which pioneered coeducation and enrolled both blacks and whites. His ‘Lectures on Revival’ were widely read and helped to fan revival fire in America and England.

Revival swept Great Britain also. During September 1857, the same month the Fulton Street meetings began, four young Irishmen commenced a weekly prayer meeting in a village school near Kells. That is generally seen as the start of the Ulster revival of 1859 which brought 100,000 converts into the churches of Ireland. Through 1858 innumerable prayer meetings started, and revival was a common theme of preachers. God’s Spirit moved powerfully in small and large gatherings bringing great conviction of sin, deep repentance, and lasting moral change. Prostrations were common people lying prostrate in conviction and repentance, unable to rise for some time. By 1860 crime was reduced, judges in Ulster several times had no cases to try. At one time in County Antrim no crime was reported to the police and no prisoners were held in police custody.

Edwin Orr noted that this revival made a greater impact on Ireland than anything known since Patrick brought Christianity there. By the end of 1860 the effects of the Ulster revival were listed as thronged services, unprecedented numbers of communicants, abundant prayer meetings, increased family prayers, unmatched Scripture reading, prosperous Sunday Schools, converts remaining steadfast, increased giving, vice abated, and crime reduced.

Revival fire ignites fire. Throughout 1859 the same deep conviction and lasting conversions revived thousands of people in Wales, Scotland and England. Revival in Wales found expression in glorious praise including harmonies unique to the Welsh which involved preacher and people in turn. There too, 100,000 converts (one tenth of the total population) were added to the church and crime was greatly reduced. Scotland and England were similarly visited with revival. Again, prayer increased enormously and preaching caught fire with many anointed evangelists seeing thousands converted. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, that prince of preachers, saw 1859 as the high water mark although he had already been preaching in London for five years with great blessing and huge crowds.

Twentieth Century
The early twentieth century Evangelical Awakening was a worldwide movement. It did not begin with the phenomenal Welsh Revival of 1904-05. Rather its sources were in the springs of little prayer meetings which seemed to arise spontaneously all over the world, combining into streams of expectation which became a river of blessing in which the Welsh Revival became the greatest cataract (Orr 1975:192).

Wales
The Welsh Revival was the farthest reaching of the movements of the general Awakening, for it affected the whole of the Evangelical cause in India, Korea and China, renewed revival in Japan and South Africa, and sent a wave of awakening over Africa, Latin America, and the South Seas.

The story of the Welsh Revival is astounding. Begun with prayer meetings of less than a score of intercessors, when it burst its bounds the churches of Wales were crowded for more than two years. A hundred thousand outsiders were converted and added to the churches, the vast majority remaining true to the end. Drunkenness was immediately cut in half, and many taverns went bankrupt. Crime was so diminished that judges were presented with white gloves signifying that there were no cases of murder, assault, rape or robbery or the like to consider. The police became ‘unemployed’ in many districts. Stoppages occurred in coal mines, not due to unpleasantness between management and workers, but because so many foulmouthed miners became converted and stopped using foul language that the horses which hauled the coal trucks in the mines could no longer understand what was being said to them, and transportation ground to a halt (Orr 1975:193).

Touches of revival had stirred New Quay, Cardiganshire, where Joseph Jenkins was minister of a church in which he led teams of revived young people in conducting testimony meetings throughout the area. The Presbyterian evangelist, Seth Joshua, arrived there in September 1904 to find remarkable moves of the Spirit in his meetings.

On Sunday 18th, he reported that he had ‘never seen the power of the Holy Spirit so powerfully manifested among the people as at this place just now.’ His meetings lasted far into the night.

19th. Revival is breaking out here in greater power…the young people receiving the greatest measure of blessing. They break out into prayer, praise, testimony and exhortation.

20th … I cannot leave the building until 12 and even 1 o’clock in the morning I closed the service several times and yet it would break out again quite beyond control of human power.

21st. Yes, several souls … they are not drunkards or open sinners, but are members of the visible church not grafted into the true Vine … the joy is intense.

22nd. We held another remarkable meeting tonight. Group after group came out to the front, seeking the ‘full assurance of faith.’

23rd. I am of the opinion that forty conversions took place this week. I also think that those seeking assurance may be fairly counted as converts, for they had never received Jesus as personal Saviour before (Orr 1975c:3).

Seth Joshua then held meetings at Newcastle Emlyn at which students from the Methodist Academy attended, among them was Sidney Evans a room mate of Evan Roberts. The students, including Evan Roberts, attended the next Joshua meetings in Blaenannerch. There Seth Joshua closed his ministry on the Thursday morning crying out in Welsh, ‘Lord … bend us’ Evan Roberts went to the front, kneeling and fervently praying ‘Lord, bend me.’
Evan Roberts in his twenties was one of God’s agents in that national and worldwide revival.

‘For ten or eleven years I have prayed for revival,’ he wrote to a friend. ‘I could sit up all night to read or talk about revivals… It was the Spirit that moved me to think about a revival’ (Orr 1975:4).

This young miner who then became a blacksmith had attended church as a teenager on Sunday, prayer meeting Monday, youth meeting Tuesday, congregational meeting Wednesday, temperance meeting Thursday, and class meeting Friday. Saturday night was free, probably as bath night in preparation for Sunday!

He offered for the ministry in 1903. Before entering the Academy he had a deep encounter with God and had a vision of all Wales being lifted up to heaven. After this he regularly slept lightly till 1 am, woke for hours of communion with God, and then returned to sleep. He was convinced revival would touch all Wales and eventually led a small band all over the country praying and preaching.

In October 1904 in his first year at the Academy, after the impact of the Spirit on him at Seth Joshua’s meetings, he took leave to return home to challenge his friends, especially the young people.

The Spirit of God convicted people as Evan Roberts insisted:

1. You must put away any unconfessed sin.
2. You must put away any doubtful habit.
3. You must obey the Spirit promptly.
4. You must confess Christ publicly.

He believed that a baptism in the Spirit was the essence of revival and that the primary condition of revival is that individuals should experience such a baptism in the Spirit.

Evan Roberts travelled the Welsh valleys, often never preaching but sitting head-in-hands earnestly praying. In Neath he spent a week in prayer without leaving his rooms. The revival packed the churches out, but no one saw him all that week. He paid a price in prayer and tears.

Churches filled. The revival spread. Meetings continued all day as well as each night, often late into the night or through to morning. Crowds were getting right with God and with one another in confession, repentance and restitution of wrongs done. People prayed fervently and worshipped God with great joy. Police had so little to do they joined the crowds in the churches, sometimes forming singing groups.

Oswald Smith described it this way:

It was 1904. All Wales was aflame. The nation had drifted far from God. The spiritual conditions were low indeed. Church attendance was poor and sin abounded on every side. Suddenly, like an unexpected tornado, the Spirit of God swept over
the land. The churches were crowded so that multitudes were unable to get in. Meetings lasted from ten in the morning until twelve at night. Three definite services were held each day. Evan Roberts was the human instrument, but there was very little
preaching. Singing, testimony and prayer were the chief features. There were no hymn books, they had learned the hymns in childhood; no choir, for everybody sang; no collection, and no advertising. Nothing had ever come over Wales with such farreaching results. Infidels were converted; drunkards, thieves and gamblers saved; and thousands reclaimed to respectability. Confessions of awful sins were heard on every side. Old debts were paid. The theatre had to leave for want of patronage. Mules in coal mines refused to work, being unused to kindness! In five weeks, twenty thousand people joined the churches (Olford 1968:67).

News of that revival, and many people who had been involved, soon spread around the world. ‘The Welsh Revival was the farthest reaching of the movements of the general Awakening, for it affected the whole of the Evangelical cause in India, Korea and China, renewed revival in Japan and South Africa, and sent a wave of awakening over Africa, Latin America, and the South Seas’ (Orr 1975:193).

Half a century later a similar move of God, but on a smaller scale, was stirring the Hebrides.

Hebrides
Following the trauma of World War II, spiritual life was at a low ebb in the Scottish Hebrides. By 1949 Peggy and Christine Smith (84 and 82) had prayed constantly for revival in their cottage near Barvas village on the Isle of Lewis, the largest of the Hebrides Islands in the bleak north west of Scotland. God showed Peggy in a dream that revival was coming. Months later, early one winter’s morning as the sisters were praying, God give them an unshakeable conviction that revival was near.

Peggy asked her minister James Murray Mackay to call the church leaders to prayer. Three nights a week the leaders prayed together for months. One night, having begun to pray at 10 pm, a young deacon from the Free Church read Psalm 24 and challenged everyone to be clean before God. As they waited on God his awesome presence swept over them in the barn at 4 am

Mackay invited Duncan Campbell to come and lead meetings. Within two weeks he came. God had intervened and changed Duncan’s plans and commitments. At the close of his first meeting in the Presbyterian church in Barvas the travel weary preacher was invited to join an all night prayer meeting! Thirty people gathered for prayer in a nearby cottage. Duncan Campbell described it:

God was beginning to move, the heavens were opening, we were there on our faces before God. Three o’clock in the morning came, and GOD SWEPT IN. About a dozen men and women lay prostrate on the floor, speechless. Something had happened; we knew that the forces of darkness were going to be driven back, and men were going to be delivered. We left the cottage at 3 am to discover men and women seeking God. I walked along a country road, and found three men on their faces, crying to God for mercy. There was a light in every home, no one seemed to think of sleep (Whittaker 1984:159).

When Duncan and his friends arrived at the church that morning it was already crowded. People had gathered from all over the island, some coming in buses and vans. No one discovered who told them to come. God led them. Large numbers were converted as God’s Spirit convicted multitudes of sin, many lying prostrate, many weeping. After that amazing day in the church, Duncan pronounced the benediction, but then a young man began to pray aloud. He prayed for 45 minutes. Again the church filled with people repenting and the service continued till 4 am the next morning before Duncan could pronounce the benediction again.

Even then he was unable to go home to bed. As he was leaving the church a messenger told him, ‘Mr. Campbell, people are gathered at the police station, from the other end of the parish; they are in great spiritual distress. Can anyone here come along and pray with them?’ Campbell went and what a sight met him. Under the still starlit sky he found men and women on the road, others by the side of a cottage, and some behind a peat stack all crying to God for mercy. The revival had come.

That went on for five weeks with services from early morning until late at night or into the early hours of the morning. Then it spread to the neighbouring parishes. What had happened in Barvas was repeated over and over again. Duncan Campbell said that a feature of the revival was the overwhelming sense of the presence of God. His sacred presence was everywhere. (Whittaker 1984:160).

That move of God in answer to prevailing prayer continued in the area into the fifties and peaked again on the previously resistant island of North Uist in 1957. Meetings were again crowded and night after night people cried out to God for salvation. Similar revivals have catapulted the church into amazing growth throughout this century. The story is too vast to tell. A few highlights indicate something of this miraculous work of God.

North America
Many visitations of God have touched North America this century. Some, such as the following, have been widely reported.

Azusa Street, 1906-1913
William J. Seymour studied in Charles Parham’s Bible School in Topeka, Kansas where on 1 January 1901 Agnes Ozman had spoken in tongues as did half of the 34 students. Those events have been seen as the beginning of Pentecostalism in America. Elder William Seymour began The Apostolic Faith Mission located at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles on Easter Saturday, 14 April 1906 with about 100 attending including blacks and whites. It grew out of a cottage prayer meeting.

At Azusa, services were long, and on the whole they were spontaneous. In its early days music was a cappella, although one or two instruments were included at times. There were songs, testimonies given by visitors or read from those who wrote in,
prayer, altar calls for salvation or sanctification or for baptism in the Holy Spirit. And there was preaching. Sermons were generally not prepared in advance but were typically spontaneous. W. J. Seymour was clearly in charge, but much freedom was given to visiting preachers. There was also prayer for the sick. Many shouted. Others were ‘slain in the Spirit’ or fell under the power. There were periods of extended silence and of singing in tongues. No offerings were collected, but there was a receptacle near the door for gifts…

Growth was quick and substantial. Most sources indicate the presence of about 300-350 worshippers inside the forty by sixtyfoot whitewashed woodframe structure, with others mingling outside… At times it may have been double that…

The significance of Azusa was centrifugal as those who were touched by it took their experiences elsewhere and touched the lives of others. Coupled with the theological threads of personal salvation, holiness, divine healing, baptism in the Spirit with
power for ministry, and an anticipation of the imminent return of Jesus Christ, ample motivation was provided to assure the revival a longterm impact’ (Burgess & McGee 1988:3136).

Asbury College, 1970
A revival broke out in Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, on Tuesday 3 February 1970. The regular morning chapel commencing at 10 o’clock saw God move on the students in such a way that many came weeping to the front to kneel in repentance, others gave testimonies including confession of sin, and all this was mixed with spontaneous singing. Lectures were cancelled for the day as the auditorium filled with over 1,000 people. Few left for meals. By midnight over 500 still remained praying and worshipping. Several hundred committed their lives to Christ that day. By 6 am next morning 75 students were still praying in the hall, and through the Wednesday it filled again as all lectures were again cancelled for the day. The time was filled with praying, singing, confessions and testimonies.

As they continued in prayer that week many students felt called to share what was happening with other colleges and churches. Invitations were coming from around the country as news of the revival spread. So teams went out from the next weekend to tell the story and give their testimonies. Almost half the student body of 1000 was involved in the teams witnessing about the revival.

In the first week after the revival began teams of students visited 16 states by invitation and saw several thousand conversions through their witnessing. After six weeks over 1,000 teams had gone from the college to witness, some of these into Latin America with finance provided by the home churches of the students. In addition, the neighbouring Theological Seminary sent out several hundred teams of their students who had also been caught up in this revival.

Those remaining at the college prayed for the teams and heard their reports on their return. Wherever teams went the revival spread. The college remained a centre of the revival with meetings continuing at night and weekends there along with spontaneous prayer groups meeting every day. Hundreds of people kept coming to the college to see this revival and participate in it. They took reports and their own testimonies of changed lives back to their churches or colleges. So the revival spread.

The Jesus People, 1971
By June 1971 revival movements had spilled over into the society with thousands of young people gathering in halls and theatres to sing, witness and repent, quitting drugs and immorality. The pendulum had swung from the permissive hippie dropouts of the sixties to a new wave of conversion and cleansing in the seventies. Time magazine carried a cover article on the Jesus Movement.

Such national attention also attracted cultic followers of the movement, but amid the extremes a powerful revival movement kept spreading. Mass baptisms were held in the ocean with outdoor meetings and teams witnessing on the beaches and in the city streets. New church groups such as Calvary Chapel and its many offshoots emerged which did not fit traditional denominations. People turned up to these churches in bare feet and old clothes as well as more traditional attire. Witnessing and evangelism burst spontaneously from lives changed by the love and power of God.

Canada, 1971
Wilbert (Bill) McLeod, a Baptist minister in his midfifties, had seen many people healed in answer to prayer, often praying with a group of deacons. Bill invited the twin evangelists Ralph and Lou Sutera to speak at his church in Saskatoon. Revival broke out with their visit which began on Wednesday 13 October 1971. By the weekend an amazing spirit gripped the people. Many confessed their sins publicly. The first to do so were the twelve counsellors chosen to pray with inquirers. Numbers grew rapidly till the meetings had to be moved to a larger church building and then to the Civic Auditorium seating 2000. The movement spread to other churches.

The meetings lasted many hours. People did not want to leave. Some stayed on for a later meeting called the Afterglow. Here people received prayer and counsel from the group as they continued to worship God and pray together. Humble confession of sin and reconciliations were common. Many were converted. Taxi drivers became amazed that people were getting cabs home from church late into the night or early into the morning. Others were calling for taxis to take them to church late into the night as they were convicted by the Lord.

Young people featured prominently. Almost half those converted were young. They gave testimonies of lives that had been cleaned up by God and how relationships with their families were restored. The atmosphere in schools and colleges changed from rebellion and cheating to cooperation with many Bible study and prayer groups forming in the schools and universities.

Criminals were also confessing their sins and giving themselves up to the police. Restitution was common. People payed long overdue bills. Some businesses opened new accounts to account for the conscience money being paid to them. Those who cheated at restaurants or hotels returned to pay their full bill. Stolen goods were returned.

In November a team went to Winnepeg and told of the revival at a meeting for ministers. The Holy Spirit moved powerfully and many broke down confessing their sins. Rivalries and jealousies were confessed and forgiven. Many went home to put things right with their families. The ministers took this fire back into their churches and the revival spread there also with meetings going late into the night as numbers grew and hundreds were converted or restored.

Sherwood Wirt (1975:46) reported on Bill McLeod preaching at Winnepeg on 15 December 1971:
I confess that what I saw amazed me. This man preached for only fifteen minutes, and he didn’t even give an invitation! He announced the closing hymn, whereupon a hundred people came out of their seats and knelt at the front of the church. All he said
was, That’s right, keep coming! Many were young. Many were in tears. All were from the Canadian Midwest, which is not known for its euphoria. It could be said that what I was witnessing was revival. I believe it was.

Bill McLeod and a team of six brought the revival to the eastern Canada when they were invited to speak at the Central Baptist Seminary in Toronto. The meeting there began at 10 am and went through till 1.15 am next morning. Dinner was cancelled as no one wanted to leave. They did stop for supper, then went on again.

When the Sutera brothers commenced meetings in Vancouver on the West Coast on Sunday 5 May 1972 revival broke out there also in the Ebenezer Baptist Church with 2,000 attending that first Sunday. The next Sunday 3,000 people attended in two churches. After a few weeks five churches were filled. The revival spread in many churches across Canada and into northern U S A especially in Oregon.

Everywhere the marks of the revival included honesty before God and others, with confession of sin and an outpouring of the love of God in those who repented.

The German speaking churches were also touched by the revival and by May 1972 they chartered a flight to Germany for teams to minister there.

The Afterglow meetings were common everywhere in the revival. After a meeting had finished those who wanted to stay on for prayer did so. Usually each person desiring prayer knelt at a chair and others laid hands on them and prayed for them. Many repented and were filled with the Spirit in the Afterglow meetings which often went to midnight or later.

Vineyard Fellowships
In 1977 John Wimber began pastoring the fellowship of about 40 people which had been commenced by his wife, Carol. It later became the headquarters of the Vineyard Christian Fellowships. John preached from Luke’s gospel and began to pray for healings with no visible results for nine months although the worship and evangelism attracted many people. Then healings began to happen and became a regular part of Vineyard ministry.

In 1981 the congregation had an experience of corporate renewal. On the evening of Mothers’ Day a young man who had been attending the church gave a testimony and asked those under twentyfive to come forward. He then invoked the Holy Spirit and the young people about 400 of them fell to the floor, weeping, wailing and speaking in tongues. Wimber and the rest of the congregation had never experienced anything like that before (Gunstone 1989:11).

A revival had begun. In the next four months they baptised 700 new converts. They began ministering in the Spirit’s power in new ways and healings became a regular part of their church’s life and their international teaching ministry. The church grew to 6,000 in a decade and commenced many other Vineyard fellowships.

Latin America
Peter Wagner’s research describes Latin American Protestants growing from 50,000 in 1900 to over 5 million in the 1950s, over 10 million in the 1960s, over 20 million in the 1970s, around 50 million by the end of the eighties and a projected 137 million by 2000. Over 100 new churches begin every week.

Pentecostals are the biggest proportion of this growth. One quarter of the Protestants were Pentecostal by the 1950s; three quarters by the 1980s. By then 90% of Protestants in Chile were Pentecostal (Wagner 1986:27).

Edward Miller tells of revival breaking out in Argentina from 1948. After he prayed earnestly for months, God told him to call his little church of 8 people to prayer every night from 8 pm to midnight. On the fourth night as they obeyed God the Holy Spirit fell on them. They heard the sound of strong wind. The church soon filled. There was much weeping, confessing and praying. By Saturday teams were going out and ministering in the Spirit’s power.

* Two teenage girls wept as they walked down the street and met two doctors who mocked, but listened to their testimonies, were convicted, and knelt asking for prayer.

* Two young people visited a lady whose mother was paralysed and had been in bed for 5 years. They prayed for her, and she got up and drank tea with them.

* Two elderly people visited man in coma, a cripple with his liver damaged from drink. They prayed for him and he was healed.

A young rebel, Alexander and his band came to mock at one of the services aiming to disrupt it. God convicted him and he repented, so the other rebels rose to leave but fell under the Spirit’s power on the way out. All were converted. Two went to the Bible Training Institute.

Later, when Edward Miller was teaching at the Bible Training Institute in the small town of City Bell near Buenos Aires, he was led to cancel teaching there and call the school to prayer. The move of God in that Institute began in an unusual way on 4 June 1951. Alexander, now in Bible School, was still in prayer outside in fields long after midnight when he sensed a strange feeling of something pressing down upon him, an great light surrounding him and a heavenly being enfolding him. The boy was terrified and fled back to the Institute.

The heavenly visitor entered the Institute with him, and in a few moments all the students were awake with the fear of God upon them. They began to cry out in repentance as God by his Spirit dealt with them. The next day the Spirit of God came again upon Alexander as he was given prophecies of God’s moving in far off countries. The following day Alexander again saw the Lord in the Spirit, but this time he began to speak slowly and distinctly the words he heard from the angel of God. No one could understand what he was saying, however, until another lad named Celsio (with even less education than Alexander), overcome with the Spirit of God markedly upon him, began to interpret. These communications (written because he choked up when he tried to talk) were a challenge from God to pray and indeed the Institute became a centre of prayer till the vacation time, when teams went out to preach the kingdom. It was the beginning of new stirrings of the Spirit across the land (Pytches 1989:4951).

The Bible Institute continued in prayer for 4 months, 8-10 hours a day, weeping. Bricks became saturated; one young man prayed against the wall daily, weeping. After 6 hours the tear stains reached the floor, and after 8 hours had formed a puddle on floor. The Lord gave them prophecies of revival in Argentina and around the world. They were told the largest auditoriums would be filled, and this happened with the visit of Tommy Hicks to Argentina.

Tommy Hicks was involved in revival in Latin America. In 1952 he was conducting a series of meetings in California when God showed him a vision. While he was praying he saw a map of South America covered with a vast field of golden wheat ripe for harvesting. The wheat turned into human beings calling him to come and help them.
He wrote in his Bible a prophecy he received about going by air to that land before two summers passed. Three months later, after an evangelistic crusade, a pastor’s wife in California gave that same prophecy to him that he had written down. Cash began to arrive till he had enough to buy a one way air ticket to Buenos Aires. On his way there after meetings in Chile, the word Peron came to his mind. He asked the air stewardess if she knew what it meant. She told him Peron was the President of Argentina. After he made an appointment with the Minister of Religion, wanting to see the President, he prayed for the Minister’s secretary who was limping. He was healed. So the Minister made an appointment for Hicks to see the President. Through prayer the President was healed of an ugly eczema and gave Hicks the use of a stadium and free access to the state radio and press. The crusade was a spiritual breakthrough.

Brazil also had revival. Edwin Orr visited each of the 25 states and territories in Brazil in 1952 seeing powerful moves of the spirit in his meetings which were supported by all denominations. The evangelical church council declared that the year of 1952 saw the first of such a general spiritual awakening in the country’s history. Many meetings had to be moved into soccer stadiums, some churches increased in numbers by 50% in one week, and the revival movement continued in local churches in Brazil.

Many congregations in Latin America now are huge. By the eighties the Brazil for Christ Church in Sao Paulo seated 25,000 on a mile and a half of benches. The Jotabeche Methodist Pentecostal Church of Santiago in Chile has over 90,000 members. One of the largest fellowships in Argentina is the Vision of the Future church pastored by Omar and Marfa Cabrera and a committed team of leaders. They had 30,000 in 1979. That grew to over 145,000 by 1988. The Cabreras have a powerful personal and mass deliverance ministry, taking authority over demons in areas and in people.

Small rural churches spring up across the continent far outstripping the provision of trained leadership. By the 1960s the Presbyterians of Guatemala had initiated Theological Education by Extension, including weekly local seminars for onthejob leadership development. This pattern is spreading worldwide in distance education programs.

1988 saw astounding revival in Cuba. The Pentecostals, Baptists, independent evangelical churches and some Methodist and Nazarene churches experienced powerful revival. One Assemblies of God church had around 100,000 visit it in six months, many coming in bus loads. One weekend they had 8,000 visitors, and on one day the four pastors (including two youth pastors) prayed with over 300 people.

In central Cuba, a miraculous healing took place at a 150 seat chapel at the beginning of a nineday mission. The repercussions were so astounding that at one time 5,000 people crowded into the chapel. During those nine days, 1,200 people became Christians, and there were further healings. The two pastors were put in prison, but Cuban believers commented, ‘Although the authorities stopped this crusade, they cannot stop the Holy Spirit.’ Revival spread to the rest of Cuba (Mills 1990:18).

In many Pentecostal churches the lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard, and people’s teeth were filled. Often 2,000 to 3,000 attended meetings. In one evangelical church over 15,000 people accepted Christ in three months. A Baptist pastor reported signs and wonders occurring continuously with many former atheists and communists testifying to God’s power. So many have been converted that churches cannot hold them so they must met in house churches.

In Cuba in 1990, an Assemblies of God pastor whose congregation never exceeded 100 people meeting once a week suddenly found himself conducting 12 services per day for 7,000 people. They started queuing at 2.00 am and even broke down doors just to get into the prayer meetings (Robinson 1992:14).

Africa
The church in Africa has grown from around 10 million in 1900 to over 200 million in the 1980s and over 300 million now. By 2000 that number is expected reach 400 million, half the population. In the early 1900s one out of every 13,000 were Christians; now one out of three are reported as being Christians.

Africa has seen many powerful revivals, such as the Belgian Congo outpouring with C T Studd in 1914. ‘The whole place was charged as if with an electric current. Men were falling, jumping, laughing, crying, singing, confessing and some shaking terribly,’ he reported. ‘As I led in prayer the Spirit came down in mighty power sweeping the congregation. My whole body trembled with the power. We saw a marvellous sight, people literally filled and drunk with the Spirit.’

Between 1946 and 1949 the Belgian Congo experienced a further visitation of God. It followed much prayer and fasting. Visions were common. Multitudes repented. Witch doctors burned their charms and became Christian.

Following independence in 1960 that country, then called Zaire, experienced a blood bath at the hands of rebels. Over 30 missionaries were martyred in Zaire in 1960-1965 as were hundreds of pastors and thousands of their members. Whole congregations were wiped out. In one place the Christians were driven into a church building and all burned alive. Yet the persecuted church of Zaire saw a remarkable revival. Born in agonising prayer and fanned by supernatural visitations of God, it grew in a powerful underground movement. The people, appalled at the killings, turned to God in thousands. As the troubles subsided there was an extraordinary revival.

More than one revel said, ‘The more we kill these Christians the more they multiply. They have got a power we haven’t got.’ Disillusioned with politics, there was a sudden wholesale turning to God among the people. A Congolese pastor revealed, ‘During
the long period when we were cut off from the missionaries we had a remarkable visitation of the Spirit of God. The pastors of our district had been fasting and praying because of the bloodshed and persecutions. As we were praying the Spirit descended on us in a wonderful way and His gifts operated among us. He told us many things in prophecy which have all come true. The Holy Spirit began to convict of sin as we went back to our churches to preach, and streams of men and women believed on the Lord Jesus and confessed their sins exactly as in Acts 19:17-20, bringing their heathen charms. This revival lasted eight months.’ This was repeated throughout the great area of the Zaire Evangelical Mission; revival broke out everywhere and thousands upon thousands were converted and added to the churches (Whittaker 1984:117).

Similarly, persecution in Uganda for eight terrible years following Idi Amin’s coup in 1971, saw the church refined and aflame. In those years the Christians increased from 52% to around 70% of the twelve million population.

Many African revivals experience supernatural manifestations, visions, prophecies, and healings. For 40 years there has been continuous revival in East Africa. Revivals include a powerful move of God in Ethiopia in 1978. Revived Christians survived the Mau Mau massacres in Kenya and the church continued to grow. For example, 700 new churches began in Kenya in 1980 alone, a rate of about two a day. Nigeria experienced revivals in 19831984, accelerating church growth there (Pratney 1984:2678).

Outstanding leaders have emerged including men such as the Zulu Nicholas Bhengu. Fluent in Zulu, Xhosa, English and Afrikaans, this dynamic leader of the Back to God Crusade moved across southern Africa for 40 years and started over 1,000 churches through the mighty outpourings of the Holy Spirit.

Reinhard Bonnke, a German evangelist called to Africa, has led amazing crusades filled with the power of God in which thousands are converted, healed and delivered of evil spirits. His multiracial team in Christ For All Nations crusades ministered in a 10,000 seater tent which was often too small. In 1980 alone 100,000 people made commitments to Christ in his crusades, and those huge numbers have continued and increased each year since. In 1983 he erected a tent which seats 30,000 with which he plans to lead missions from Cape Town to Cairo.

The New Life for All movement challenges Christians to pray daily for ten people until each becomes a Christian. They tell those people of their daily prayers for them. As each is converted a new name is added to the list to keep it at ten. The new convert does the same, praying daily for ten others. That simple commitment has fuelled revival in Africa.

India
The turn of the century prepared the way for revival movements in India. From 1895 the first Saturday of each month was set aside in Bombay for prayer for revival, and other centres followed this pattern. Revival came in 1905, again linked with world wide outpourings as in Wales.

Distress caused by famine in 1904 also caused Christians to pray all over India. As news of revival in Wales reached India, and returning missionaries told of God’s move there, expectation and prayer grew across India.

Revival moved in groups across Eastern India especially among the tribal people. Revival swept through the Khasi hills and among the Garos to their west and into the Naga Hills. It turned the hills people from head hunters into predominantly Christian within a generation. Bengal was also touched by the revival as news from the north motivated Christians to pray, repent and believe.

Amy Carmichael wrote of revival in Dohnavur, especially among the young people. They experienced deep repentance and conversion in large numbers.

The awakening in Kerala among Anglicans and Mar Thoma Christians produced simultaneous audible prayer, alien to their normal traditions. At one convention 17,000 broke into simultaneous audible prayer.

Pandita Ramabai heard of revivals and commenced special prayer circles with hundreds of her helpers and friends at Mukti from the beginning of 1905. This movement spread first among the girls and women, touching thousands. It spilled over into the community. It spread with teams visiting Poona 40 miles away. Churches in Bombay were revived and filled with new vigour.

Revival affected India most strongly in the South and East, but North India also saw God’s power change lives. John Hyde, known as Praying Hyde, spent days and nights in prayer with friends for revival in India. In schools, a seminary and then in conventions among the resistant Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus of North East India the revival spread. The Sialkot annual conventions grew in numbers and impact. A young Sikh named Sundar Singh had a vision of Jesus on 18 December 1904 and was converted. He became a Christian Sadhu mystic and evangelist in India and Tibet.

Orr (1975:156) notes that ‘in the 1905 Revival, independence of the national Church was stressed, for, in the aftermath of revival, new men were ready for new work in new fields, men who had formerly been agents and employees of the Missions now were carrying revival and evangelism to the villages.’

Korea

The first Protestant missionaries went to Korea in the 1880s. By the 1980s one quarter of South Koreans were Christian. In 1980 Here’s Life Korea crusade drew 2,700,000, the largest single Christian meetings in history.

Revival in Korea broke out in the nation in 1907. Presbyterian missionaries, hearing of revival in Wales, and of a similar revival among Welsh Presbyterian work in Assam, prayed earnestly for the same in Korea. 1500 representatives gathered for the annual New Year Bible studies in which a spirit of prayer broke out. The leaders allowed everyone to pray aloud simultaneously as so many were wanting to pray, and that became a characteristic of Korean prayer meetings.

The meetings carried on day after day, with confessions of sins, weeping and trembling. The heathen were astounded. The delegates of the New Year gathering returned to their churches taking with them this spirit of prayer which strongly impacted the churches of the nation with revival. Everywhere conviction of sin, confession and restitution were common.

Brutal persecution at the hands of the Japanese and then the Russian and Chinese communists saw thousands killed, but still the church grew in fervent prayer. Prior to the Russian invasion thousands of North Koreans gathered every morning at 5 am Sometimes 10,000 were gathered in one place for prayer each morning.

Early morning daily prayer meetings became common, as did nights of prayer especially on Friday nights, and this emphasis on prayer has continued as a feature of church life in Korea. Over a million gather every morning around 5 am for prayer in the churches. Prayer and fasting is normal. Churches have over 100 prayer retreats in the hills called Prayer Mountains to which thousands go to pray, often with fasting. Healings and supernatural manifestations continue. Now the city of Seoul has 6,000 churches, many huge. Koreans have sent over 10,000 missionaries into other Asian countries.
David Yonggi Cho has amazing growth in Seoul where he is senior pastor of a Full Gospel church of 800,000 with over 25,000 home cell groups, and 12,000 conversion every month. During the week over 3,000 a day and over 5,000 at weekends pray at their prayer mountain.

China
In 1950, missionaries expelled from China left behind one million evangelical Christians, and three million Catholics. Conservative figures run from 50 to 80 million Christians in China now and some Asian researchers report 100 million Christians estimated out of 960 million population. This underground revival spread through thousands of house churches. Miracles, healings, visions and supernatural interventions of God marked this outpouring of the Spirit.

Many suffered and died in persecution. David Wang tells of a pastor imprisoned for over 22 years who left behind a church of 150 people scattered through the hill villages in northern China. On his release in the 1980s he discovered the church in that area had grown to 5,000. Three years later it had trebled to 15,000.

Mama Kwong, exiled in Japan because of her virile Christian leadership, tells how over 30 years she helped to lead one million to the Lord through preaching and home cell meetings. She was imprisoned three times. Such leaders often faced long imprisonment or martyrdom, and her own son and others were nailed alive to church walls. The blood of the martyrs is still the seed of the church in China.

Mama Kwong says that during those days [1960s], God chose three hundred dedicated Christians to start a new church. As they gathered at 3 am one morning, they saw a vision of the Lord and clearly heard His voice saying, ‘Although Communism is evil, I will open the door and noone will shut it.’ As the three hundred went out and shared the gospel, tremendous miracles began to happen. Whole towns and villages turned to Christ’ (Whittaker 1984:153).

A Hong Kong and China Report of March 1991 produced by the Revival Christian Church tells of continuing opposition and imprisonment, but also of astounding church growth.

In 1989 preachers from Henan province visited North Anhul province and found several thousand believers in care of an older pastor from Shanghai. On the first night of their meetings that winter with 1,000 present 30 people were baptised. First was a lady who had convulsions if she went into cold water. She was healed of that and other ills and found the water warm. A twelve year old boy, deaf and dumb, was baptised and spoke, ‘Mother, Father, the water is not cold the water is not cold.’ A lady nearly 90, disabled after an accident in her twenties, was completely healed in the water. By the third and fourth night over 1,000 were baptised.

A young man who has been leading teams since he was 17, reported in 1990 at the age of 20: ‘When the church first sent us out to preach the Gospel, after two to three months of ministering we usually saw 2030 converts. But now it is not 20. It is 200, 300, and often 600 or more will be converted.’

In 12 March 1991, the South China Morning Post, acknowledged there were one million Christians in central Henan province, many having made the previously unheard of decision to voluntarily withdraw from the party. ‘While political activities are coldshouldered, religious ones are drawing large crowds.’

Asia Outreach reported that Outer Mongolia had four known Christians by the beginning of 1991. That grew to over 70 by August, and many churches and a Bible school have been established since then.

Russia
In 1990, the Soviet Union acknowledged before its demise that 90 million of its 290 million inhabitants confess allegiance to a church or religious community. Christians have estimated over 97 million were Christian (Pratney 1984:273).
Sergie Kordakov, a teenage thug leader of tough marines, worked for the KGB including breaking up house churches or Christian home groups, arresting the pastors and beating the Christians, especially any young people found there. He was eventually converted through the witness of a young girl Natasha who kept coming to home groups in spite of being bashed. He noted how a secret revival was sweeping Russia involving many young people as well as older Christians.

Another young man, Vanya saw God’s miraculous protection and intervention in his military service where he unashamedly witnessed to his faith in God, before his mysterious death..

The earnest prayers of suffering Christians through most of this century has been a significant part in more recent freedom to worship God experienced in Russia and its neighbours. Reports from Russia have included huge numbers turning to Christ recently. In 1991, for example, 70,000 out of 90,000 made commitments to Christ in an evangelism rally in Leningrad. Churches are packed. All available Bibles are sold.

Nepal
Nepal has been traditionally resistant to Christianity. That is changing. David Wang (Asian Report, May/June 1991) tells of a former Lama priest, illiterate, who has been a pastor for 13 years and pastors 43 fellowships with total of 32,000 people. Another pastor oversees 40,000 people. Most conversions in Nepal involve casting out demons.

Burma
Missionaries were expelled from Burma in the 1960s but the church continues to grow. The largest known baptismal service in the world happened there at the Kachin Baptist Centenial Convention in 1977 with 6,000 baptised in one day.

Cambodia
In September 1973 Todd Burke arrived in Cambodia on a one week visitor’s visa. Just 23 years old, he felt a strong call from God to minister there, the only charismatic missionary in the country. Beginning with two English classes a day, conducted through an interpreter, he taught from the Good News Bible. Those interested in knowing more about Jesus stayed after class and he saw daily conversions and people filled with the Spirit and healed. Revival broke out in the war torn capital of Phnom Penh and rapidly spread to surrounding areas.

During that September Todd’s wife DeAnn joined him, they received permission to stay in the country, and mounted a three day crusade in a stadium where thousands attended and hundreds were saved and healed supernaturally. A powerful church spread through a network of small house churches. Todd met with the leaders of these groups at early morning prayer meetings every day at 6 am Most pastors were voluntary workers holding normal jobs. Some cycled in from the country and returned for work each morning. Healings, miracles and deliverance from demonic powers were regular events, attracting new converts who in turn were filled with the power of the Spirit and soon began witnessing and praying for others.

When the country fell to the communists in 1975 the Burkes had to leave. They left behind an amazing church anointed by the power of God before it was buried by going underground to survive. They recorded their story of those two years of revival in Anointed for Burial (1977).

Indonesia
The Spirit of God brought revival to Indonesia during the troubled and politically uncertain times there in the sixties. Much of it happened outside the established church, with a later acceptance of it in some churches. Thousands of Moslems were converted, the biggest Christian impact on Islam in history.

A Bible School in East Java experienced revival with deep repentance, confession, renunciation of occult practices, burnings of fetishes and amulets and a new humility and unity among staff and students. The Lord led individual students and teams in powerful evangelism in many islands.

A team visited Timor and saw evidences of revival beginning which burst into unprecedented power in September 1965. This revival spread in the uncertain days following the attempted army coup on 30 September, 1965 in Indonesia. Four days previously a visitation from God had begun in Timor.

A rebellious young man had received a vision of the Lord who commanded him to repent, burn his fetishes, and confess his sins in church. He did. He attended the Reformed Church in Soe, a mountain town of about 5,000 people, where the revival broke out at that service on Sunday 26 September 1965. People heard the sound of a tornado wind. Flames on the church building prompted police to set off the fire alarm to summon the volunteer fire fighters. Many people were converted that night. Many were filled with the Spirit including speaking in tongues, some in English. By midnight teams of lay people had been organised to begin spreading the gospel the next day. They gave themselves full time to visiting churches and villages and saw thousands converted with multitudes healed and delivered. In one town alone they saw 9,000 people converted in two weeks.
Another young man, Mel Tari witnessed this visitation of God and later became part of Team 42. Eventually, about 90 evangelistic teams were formed which functioned powerfully with spiritual gifts. Healings and evangelism increased dramatically. Specific directions from the Lord led the teams into powerful ministry with thousands becoming Christians. They saw many healings, miracles such as water being turned to nonalcoholic wine for communion, some instantaneous healings, deliverance from witchcraft and demonic powers, and some people raised from death through prayer.

The teams were often guided supernaturally including provision of light at night on jungle trails, angelic guides and protection, meagre supplies of food multiplied in pastors’ homes when a team ate together there during famines, and witch doctors being converted after they saw power encounters when the teams’ prayers banished demons rendering the witch doctors powerless.

The teams learned to listen to the Lord and obey him. His leadings came in many biblical ways:

1. God spoke audibly as with Samuel or Saul of Tarsus,
2. many had visions as did Mary or Cornelius,
3. there were inspired dreams such as Jacob, Joseph or Paul saw,
4. prophecies as in Israel and the early church occurred,
5. the Spirit led many as with Elijah or Paul’s missionary team,
6. the Lord often spoke through specific Bible verses,
7. circumstances proved to be Godincidences not just coincidences,
8. often when leadings were checked with the group or the church the Lord gave confirmations and unity.

Mel Tari, Kurt Koch and others have told of the amazing revival in Indonesia. The Reformed Church Presbytery on Timor, for example, recorded 80,000 conversions from the first year of the revival there, half of those being former communists. They noted that some 15,000 people had been permanently healed in that year. After three years the number of converts had grown to over 200,000. On another island where there had been very few Christians 20,000 became believers in the first three years of the revival.

So often in times of great tribulation, political upheaval and bloodshed, the Spirit of the Lord moves most powerfully and the church grows most rapidly, as happens in many countries today.

Pacific Islands
Revival has been spreading in Pacific islands, especially in the Solomons. Teams have gone from there to other countries such as Papua New Guinea and helped to light revival fires around the Pacific.

Solomon Islands, 1970
Muri Thompson, a Maori evangelist from New Zealand, visited the Solomons in July and August 1970 where the church had already experienced significant renewal and was praying for revival. Many of these Christians were former warriors and cannibals gradually won to Christ in spite of initial hostility and the martyrdom of early missionaries and indigenous evangelists.
Beginning at Honiara, the capital, Muri spent two months visiting churches and centres on the islands. Initially the national leaders and missionaries experienced deep conviction and repentance, publicly acknowledging their wrong attitudes. It was very humbling. A new unity and harmony transformed their relationships, and little things which destroyed that unity were openly confessed with forgiveness sought and given.

Then in the last two weeks of these meetings the Spirit of God moved even more powerfully in the meetings with more deep repentance and weeping, sometimes even before the visiting team arrived. At one meeting the Spirit of God came upon everyone after the message in a time of silent prayer when the sound of a gale came above the gathering of 2000 people.

Multitudes were broken, melted and cleansed, including people who had been strongly opposed to the Lord. Weeping turned to joyful singing. Everywhere people were talking about what the Lord had done to them. Many received healings and deliverance from bondage to evil spirits. Marriages were restored and young rebels transformed.
Everywhere people were praying together every day. They had a new hunger for God’s Word. People were sensitive to the Spirit and wanted to be transparently honest and open with God and one another.

Normal lectures in the South Seas Evangelical Church Bible School were constantly abandoned as the Spirit took over the whole school with times of confession, prayer and praise.

Teams from these areas visited other islands, and the revival caught fire there also. Eventually pastors from the Solomons were visiting other Pacific countries and seeing similar moves of God there.

Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 1973
Prayer meetings began among pastors, missionaries and Bible College students in the Baptist mission area among Engas of the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s owing to the low spiritual state in the churches. This prayer movement spread to the villages. In some villages people agreed to pray together everyday until God sent new life to the church.
During September 1973 pastors from the Solomon Islands and Enga students who were studying at the Christian Leaders Training College visited the Enga churches. Revival broke out in many villages on Sunday 16 September. Many hundreds of people, deeply convicted of sin, repented and were reconciled to God and others with great joy.
Pastors in one area held a retreat from Monday to Wednesday in a forest which previously had been sacred for animistic spirit worship. Others joined the pastors there. Healings reported included a lame man able to walk, a deaf mute who spoke and heard, and a mentally deranged girl restored.

Normal work stopped as people in their thousands hurried to special meetings. Prayer groups met daily, morning and evening. In the following months thousands of Christians were restored and thousands of pagans converted. The church grew in size and maturity (Vision magazine, 1973:46).

Duranmin, Papua New Guinea, 1977
Pastors from the Solomon Islands spoke about their revival at a pastors and leaders conference in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Diyos Wapnok attended from the Baptist Mission area at Telefolmin. He heard God call his name three times in the night there and realised that the Lord was drawing his attention to some special challenge.
Later, on Thurdsay afternoon 10 March, 1977 at Duranmin in the rugged western highlands, where Diyos was the principal of the Sepik Baptist Bible College, while he spoke to about 50 people they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and great joy. Revival had begun. It spread through the area with vibrant new enthusiasm. Conversions, Bible studies, prayer and healings of many kinds were common. 3,000 were added to the church in 3 years. The church grew and was strengthened. This revival movement spread to other areas as Diyos and others told of what God was doing.

Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 1984
In the Sepik lowlands of northern Papua New Guinea a new visitation of God burst on the churches at Easter 1984, again sparked by Solomon Island pastors. It too was characterised by repentance, confession, weeping and great joy. Stolen goods were returned or replaced, and wrongs made right.

Ray Overend reports (1985:910):
I was preaching to an Easter convention at a place called Walahuta
during the recent Sepik revival in Papua New Guinea. The words
the Lord gave us were from Isaiah 6 …
After the last word of the message the whole church rose to its
feet and clapped loudly something completely new to me! I knew
they were not applauding me. They were acknowledging to God in
praise the truth of his Word… Then I sat down in the only spare
little space in the overcrowded church and the whole congregation
began to sing one song after another…
Many faces were lifted to Heaven and many hands raised in humble
adoration. The faces looked like the faces of angels. They were
radiating light and joy. And then I noticed something.
Right beside me was a man who had heard the Word and now he just
watched those radiant faces lost in praise. Then he hung his head
and began to sob like a child. He was ministered to. Demons were
cast out. And he received the Lord Jesus right into his heart.
Then he too began to clap in gentle joy.
But who was he? A pastor came over to tell me that he had been
until this moment the leader of the Tambaran cult in the Walahuta
area that Satanic cult of which the whole village lived in
mortal fear and traditionally the whole of the Sepik
The man who was secondincharge of the Tambaran cult in that area was also converted that day while he was listening to the worship from a distance as God’s love and power overcame him.
I will never forget June 14th, 1984. Revival had broken out in
many churches around but Brugam itself [the headquarters], with
many station staff and many Bible College and Secondary School
students, was untouched. … Then early on Thursday night, the
14th, Judah Akesi, the Church Superintendent, invited some of us
to his office for prayer. During that prayer time God gave him a
vision. In the vision he saw many people bowed down in the front
of the church building in the midst of a big light falling down
from above just like rain.
So after the ministry of the Word that night Judah invited those
who wanted to bring their whole heart and mind and life under the
authority of Christ to come forward so that hands might be laid on
them for prayer.
About 200 people surged forward. Many fell flat on their faces on
the ground sobbing aloud. Some were shaking as spiritual
battles raged within. There was quite some noise…
The spiritual battles and cries of contrition continued for a long
time. Then one after another in a space of about 3 minutes
everybody rose to their feet, singing spontaneously as they rose.
They were free. The battle was won. Satan was bound. They had
made Christ their King! Their faces looked to Heaven as they
sang. They were like the faces of angels. The singing was like
the singing of Heaven. Deafening, but sweet and reverent
(Overend 1986:3637).

The whole curriculum and approach at the Bible School for the area changed. Instead of traditional classes and courses, teachers would work with the school all day from prayer times early in the morning through Bible teaching followed by discussion and sharing times during the day to evening worship and ministry. The school became a community, seeking the Lord together.

Churches which have maintained a strong Biblical witness continue to stay vital and strong in evangelism and ministry, filled with the Spirit’s power. Christians learn to witness and minister in spiritual gifts, praying and responding to the leading of the Spirit. Many received spiritual gifts they never had before. One such gift was the ‘gift of knowledge’ whereby the Lord would show Christians exactly where fetishes of ‘sanguma’ men were hidden.

Now in Papua New Guinea sanguma men (who subject themselves to indescribable ritual to be in fellowship with Satan) are able to kill by black magic… In fact the power of sanguma in the East Sepik province has been broken (Overend 1986:2324).
In 1986 a senior pastor from Manus Island came to the Sepik to attend a one year’s pastors’ course. He was filled with the Spirit. Shortly afterwards he went to Ambunti with a team of students on outreach. There they were asked to pray for an injured child who
couldn’t walk and later in the morning he saw her walking around the town. He came back to his course and said: ‘In my 35 years as a pastor on Manus I had never seen the power of God!'(Overend 1986:38).

North Solomons, 1988
Jobson Misang, an indigenous youth worker in the United Church, wrote a letter reporting on a further revival movement in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea in 1988:
Over the last eight weekends I have been fully booked to conduct
weekend camps. So far about 3,500 have taken part in the studies
of the ‘Living in the Spirit’ book. Over 2,000 have given their
lives to Jesus Christ and are committed to live by the directions
of the Spirit. This is living the Pentecost experience today!
These are some of the experiences taking place:
1. During small group encounters, under the directions of
Spiritfilled leadership, people are for the first time
identifying their spiritual gifts, and are changing the
traditional ministry to body ministry.
2. Under constant prayers, visions and dreams are becoming a day
to day experience which are being shared during meetings and
prayed about.
3. Local congregations are meeting at 4 am and 6 am three days
a week to pray, and studying the Scriptures is becoming a day to
day routine. This makes Christians strong and alert.
4. Miracles and healings are taking place when believers lay hands
on the sick and pray over them.
5. The financial giving of the Christians is being doubled. All
pastors’ wages are supported by the tithe.
6. Rascal activities (crimes) are becoming past time events and
some drinking clubs are being overgrown by bushes.
7. The worship life is being renewed tremendously. The
traditional order of service is being replaced by a much more
lively and participatory one. During praise and worship we
celebrate by clapping, dancing, raising our hands to the King of
kings, and we meditate and pray. When a word of knowledge is
received we pray about the message from the Lord and encourage one
another to act on it with sensitivity and love.
Problems encountered include division taking place within the
church because of believers baptism, fault finding, tongues,
objections to new ways of worship, resistance to testimonies, loss
of local customs such as smoking or chewing beetlenut or no longer
killing animals for sacrifices, believers spending so many hours
in prayer and fasting and Bible studies, marriages where only one
partner is involved and the other blames the church for causing
divisions, pride creeping in when gifts are not used sensitively
or wisely, and some worship being too unbalanced.

Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 1988

Johan van Bruggen, principal of a Lutheran Evangelist Training Centre near Kainantu in the Papua New Guinea highlands reported in newsletters on the beginnings of revival in their area:

There came Thursday 4 August, a miserable day weather wise,
although we had great joy during our studies. Evening devotions
not all students came, actually a rather small group. I too
needed some inner encouragement to go as it was more comfortable
near the fire.
We sang a few quiet worship songs. … Samson was leading the
devotions. We had sung the last song and were waiting for him to
start. Starting he did, but in an unusual way. He cried,
trembled all over! … Then it spread. When I looked up again I
saw the head prefect flat on the floor under his desk. I was
praying in tongues off and on. It became quite noisy. Students
were shouting! Should I stop it? Don’t hold back! It went on
and one, with students praying and laughing and crying not quite
following our planned program! We finally stood around the
table, about twelve of us, holding hands. Some were absolutely
like drunk, staggering and laughing! I heard a few students
starting off in tongues and I praised the Lord. The rain had
stopped, not so the noise. So more and more people came in and
watched!
Not much sleeping that night! They talked and talked! And that
was not the end. Of course the school has changed completely.
Lessons were always great, I thought, but have become greater
still. Full of joy most of the time, but also with a tremendous
burden. A burden to witness.
What were the highlights of 1988?
No doubt the actual outpouring of the Holy Spirit must come first.
It happened on August 4 when the Spirit fell on a group of
students and staff, with individuals receiving the baptism of the
Holy spirit on several occasions later on in the year. The school
has never been the same again. As direct results we noticed a
desire for holiness, a hunger for God’s Word which was insatiable
right up till the end of the school year, and also a tremendous
urge to go out and witness. Whenever they had a chance many of
our students were in the villages with studies and to lead Sunday
services. Prayer life deepened, and during worship services we
really felt ourselves to be on holy ground.
[In 1989] Our 35 new students were again fascinated by the new
life they discovered among the second year students. The Word of
God did the rest. During the month of March real repentance took
place. One week before Easter the Holy Spirit moved mightily
among the students and staff. There was a lot of crying during
that week. Each night the students met in small prayer groups.
The aim was to get them prepared to go out to seven small Easter
camps that were planned for the Gazup area our area here around
the school.
God’s Spirit really prepared them well! I have never seen and
heard so much crying. Many students had listed all their sins.
I must confess that some of these lists really shook me. There
was witchcraft, magic, adultery, stealing, drunkenness. It once
again showed me how deep and far the world has invaded the church
today. There was tremendous relief as students were assured of
forgiveness and were filled with the Holy Spirit.’
An example of how God used these students is the account of a young man, David, Markham Valley of the Eastern Highlands in Papua New Guinea who was studying at the Training School. He had a growing burden for his village of Waritzian which was known and feared as the centre of pagan occult practices.
During his studies he was concerned for his people who were not ready for the Lord’s return. He prayed much. As part of an outreach team he visited nearby villages and then went to his own people in May, 1989. They had already written to the Training School asking for him to come to teach them. He was concerned about the low spiritual life of the church. He spent a couple of days alone praying for them.
Then as he was teaching them they heard the sound of an approaching wind which filled the place. Many were weeping, confessing their sins. They burnt their fetishes used in sorcery. This had been a stronghold of those sanguma practices. Many people received various spiritual gifts including unusual abilities such as speaking English in tongues and being able to read the Bible. People met for prayer, worship and study every day and at night. These daily meetings continued.
Vanuatu, 196162, 199192

Paul Grant was involved in the early stirrings of revival in Vanuatu during 199612. He writes:
It is important to note the following components in the
leadup to later visitation and reviving:
1. A shared concern of missionaries for revival.
2. A significantly developed interest in the quickening
power of the Spirit among west Ambai church members and
leaders through teaching of the Scriptures and news of
revival and the powerworks of the Spirit in other parts
of the world, e.g. a series of talks on the East Africa
revival, the Welsh revival, signs and wonders and healings
as reported from the Apostolic Church in Papua New Guinea,
and inspiring records in other magazines.
3. An emphasis on prayer meetings, both between missionaries
and in local churches.
4. Regular and frequent prayers for a visitation of God’s
Spirit by Apostolic Churches around the world. The first
Monday night of each month was observed as a prayer night
for worldwide missions.
5. Concentrated, sustained Scripture teaching in the
classrooms of the primary school where students later
would experience the power of God. …
Beginning in the Santo church on August 15th 1962 and
continuing there and in churches on Ambae (commencing
in Tafala village in October) over a period of about 12
weeks the power of God moved upon young people. There
were many instances of glossolalia, healings, prophetic
utterances, excitation, loud acclamations to God in public
services, incidents of deep conviction of sin, conversions,
restitutions, and other manifestations of holiness of life…
This visitation resulted in a liveliness not known before.
Initially it was mainly among young people. In later months
and years it spread among all age groups and to my present
knowledge was the first such visitation in the history of
the Christian Church in Vanuatu. My gratification centred
upon the following particulars:
1. The Holy Spirit had animated and empowered a people who
were well taught in the Scriptures. Records show a lift in
spiritual vitality in all the village churches.
2. It brought the church as a whole into a more expressive,
dynamic dimension and also a charismatic gift function.
They were much more able to gain victory over spirit forces
so familiar to them.
3. It began to hasten the maturation processes in developing
leadership.
4. The reality matched the doctrinal stand of the church.
There was now no longer a disparity.
5. It confirmed to me the very great importance of being
‘steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain
in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 15:58 AV).
6. It led to significant outreach in evangelism, both personal
and group. …
In the following years some of the young men and women served
God in evangelistic teams, school teaching, urban witness,
government appointments, and as pastors and elders to their
own people. One of them has with his wife been an effective
missionary… in Papua New Guinea (Grant 1986:710).

More recent revival movements in Vanuatu have stirred parts of the church there, such as described in this letter from Ruth Rongo of Tongoa Island written on 28 August 1991:
I’ve just come back from an evangelism ministry. It lasted for three months. God has done many miracles. Many people were shocked by the power of the Holy Spirit. The blind received their sight, the lame walk, the sick were healed. All these were done during this evangelism ministry. We see how God’s promise came into action. The prophet Joel had said it. We people of Vanuatu say ‘The spirit of the Lord God is upon us because he has anointed us to preach the Gospel to the poor people of Vanuatu.’ Praise God for what he has done.

In where I live, my poor home, I also started a home cell prayer group. We’re aiming or our goal is that the revival must come in the church where I am. Please pray for me and also for the group. Our prayer group usually meets on Sunday night, after the night
meeting. We start at 10.30 pm and go to 1 or 3.30 am If we come closer to God He will also come close to us. We spend time in listening and responding to God.

These revival movements continue to increase in the Pacific, especially as indigenous teams minister in other areas with the Spirit’s fire. The church grows stronger, even through opposition. Indigenous Christians live and minister in New Testament patterns from house to house, from village to village.

Australia
Powerful moves of God’s Spirit in Australia have included the Sunshine Revival in Melbourne from February 1925 and the aboriginal revival beginning in Galiwinku (Elcho Island) from March 1979.

Sunshine, 1925
Two young men in their twenties led the Sunshine Revival. Charles Greenwood began prayer meetings in his home in 1916 and the group completed building the Sunshine Gospel Hall in February 1925. A. C. Valdez, recently arrived from America, joined the group and became its leader that year. At first meetings were held on a Saturday and Sunday. Then they had a two week campaign. The hall was packed.

Charles Greenwood reported:
During this campaign the power of God was manifested in a mighty
way sinners were converted; many believers were baptised in the
Holy Spirit and healed. Soon the news spread that the Lord was
pouring out His Spirit at Sunshine, and people came from near and
far. Over 200 Christians from all denominations were baptised in
the Holy Spirit in this blessed outpouring of the ‘Latter Rain’
(Chant 1984:9091).

They established the Pentecostal Church of Australia following that campaign and public meetings were then held in the Prahran Town Hall because of the crowds. Later that year they moved into Richmond Theatre which became Richmond Temple. It could seat 1200 and had shops at the front which became their Bible and Tract Department. In 1926 A. C. Valdez believed his work there was completed and he returned to the States. Kelso Glover, also in his twenties, arrived from the States and led meetings for three weeks in a revival atmosphere. He was invited to stay on as pastor. Richmond Temple became the headquarters of the Pentecostal Church of Australia and from July 1926 they produced their national paper the Australian Evangel.

Galiwinku, Elcho Island, 1979
Revival among aborigines commenced in Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island in the north of Australia from 1979. Djiniyini Gondarra ministered there where half the island became involved in the church and the whole community was affected. The pattern is similar to other revivals prayer and expectation, the Spirit of God moving in new and powerful ways, repentance and confession on a wide scale, restitution of stolen goods and money, forgiveness and reconciliation between people, crime and drunkenness greatly diminished, renewed concern for justice and righteousness in the community, churches filled with Christians alive in the Spirit.
Here too, teams have travelled to other areas bringing some of the fire of revival to ignite churches and communities with a vital Christian commitment and a strong impact on society.

What is our response to these modern day accounts so similar to the Book of Acts? Will we humble ourselves, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from our sin, so that God will forgive us and heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14)?

We can do that. We must. Alone. In prayer clusters. In home groups. In meetings. In constant prayer and repentance.

‘Lord, engulf us in your holy fire. Burn our dross. Refine us. Ignite us, and multitudes in the land, for your glory, setting your church on fire.’

References
Burke, T & D (1977) Anointed for Burial. Seattle: Frontline.
Burgess, S M & McGee, G B eds. (1988) Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Chant, B (1984) Heart of Fire. Adelaide: Tabor.
Grant, P E (1986) ‘Visitation and Vivifying in Vanuatu’, unpublished article.
Greenfield, J (1927) Power from on High. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott.
Gunstone, J (1989) Signs & Wonders. London: Daybreak.
Hession, R (1973) The Calvary Road. London: Christian Literature Crusade.
Howard, P E (1949) The Life and Diary of David Brainerd. Baker (1989).
Hughes, S (1990) Revival: Times of Refreshing. London: CWR.
Koch, K (n.d.) The Revival in Indonesia. Evangelization Publishers.
Koch, K (1973) Revival Fires in Canada. Grand Rapids: Kregel
Mills, B (1990) Preparing for Revival. Eastbourne: Kingsway.
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Orr, J E (1975) The Flaming Tongue (1900). Chicago: Moody.
Overend, R (1986) The Truth will Set you Free. Laurieton: SSEM.
Pratney, W (1984, 1994) Revival. Lafayette: Huntington House.
Pytches, D (1989) Does God Speak Today? London: Hodder & Stoughton
Robinson, S (1992) ‘Praying the Price’. Melbourne: ABMS
Tari, M (1971) Like a Mighty Wind. Carol Springs: Creation House.
Tari, M & N (1974) The Gentle Breeze of Jesus. Carol Springs: Creation House.
Wagner, C P (1983) On the Crest of the Wave. Glendale: Regal
Wagner, C P (1986) Spiritual Power and Church Growth. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Wallis, A (1965) In the Day of Thy Power. London: Christian Literature Crusade.
Whittaker, C (1984) Great Revivals. Basingstoke: Marshalls.
Wirt, S (1975) KneeDeep in Love. London: Coverdale
Vision Magazine, Australian Baptist Missionary Society, Dec. 1973.

(c) Renewal Journal #1 (93:1), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 33-65.
http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/
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