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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : LECTURE I - WHAT A REVIVAL OF RELIGION IS by Charles Finney

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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Truly brother, as Finney said, God cannot please sinners and the Church has to realize this.


Brother Robert, This is so very true Sinners are enemies of God! they sit ready for Judgement, if they are enemies of God why do we act as friends of the world?

[b]James 4:4-5[/b] - You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

Holy Ghost conviction where is it? That place where you feel conviction of sin even over the small matters and trifles in sin. We are so de-sensitized to God's promoting of the Holy Spirit. And surely as finney states this will be dampened as we fellowship with false professors that have no conviction of sin and speak lightly of serious spiritual matters. We need to feel uncomfortable in pillow padded pews, God show us the depravitiy of our hearts.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/3/28 14:36Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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As I have been re-reading this lecture I started to break down the structure of it to the main points that I thought he was trying to get through to his audience. I am studying these lectures for I believe there is much to be learnt from this fellow saint Charles Finney, he meant business and took heaven by force, so may it be said of us.

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[i]When Revival...[/i]
"A 'Revival of Religion' [b]presupposes[/b] a declension." -This main point shows the need for revival when the church is slumped down in despair and powerlessness. It can easily be said in our day that we need revival for we are without life.

[i]Why Revival...[/i]
"and leave the will free to [b]obey[/b] God" - God's method of keeping men in obedience to Him is to 'raise an excitement among them' so we once again stand in awe of God and the religion he has instuited. So revival is necessary to keep use fully free to obey God as He should be obeyed.

[i]What is [b]not[/b] Revival...[/i]
"revival is the result of the right use of the appropriate means" - Therefore it is not a miricale or something that God gives at His will without men's action. God always burdens men to pray and seek after reviving of religion and when appropriate means are established there will result a revival in due course. It should be noted that God is the one that gives the desire and burden for revival, but the means of prayer and men's hearts are the means to bend the heart of God to pour out an heaven-sent revival.

"Why, generation after generation has gone down to hell. No doubt more than five thousand millions have gone down to hell, while the church has been dreaming, and waiting for God to save them without the use of means. It has been the devil's most successful means of destroying souls." - This is such a clear and devasting picture of how the devil has followed many well meaning Christians into not been burdened for the lostness of men and the powerless of the church to save them. What is the biggest reason why we don't have revival? its because we don't want to sacrifice anything for it.

[i]What is Revival?..[/i]
"revival consists in the [b]return[/b] of a church from her backslidings" - We have to re-discover the power of the early church. To come into a place of utter and total commitment to God's power and to realize the inability of our efforts. Revival is a return to reality for the Church, as we see the true condition of our hearts and actions in the light of eternity.

[i]How does Revival work?..[/i]
"The whole drift of a revival, and every thing about it, is designed to present the truth to your mind, for your obedience or resistance." - The three things involved in revival are: God, men and sinners. The action of God is two-fold in His providential government and special agency by his Holy Spirit. The agency of men is commonly employed, and the agency of the sinner himself. "Men are not mere instruments in the hands of God. Truth is the instrument." So therefore God uses one or more agencies to bring truth before the minds of sinners.

[i]Revival Theories?..[/i]
"'We understand all about revivals now,' while you do nothing." - Knoweldge about the need for revival does you no good unless it is put into practice. To be in a pit and merely think of how to get out will not get you out of the pit. But rather knowing how to get out, you must use the appropiate means. "Do you mean that whenever you are convinced what your duty is in promoting a revival, you will [b]go to work and practise it?[/b]"

"I want you, as fast as you learn any thing on the subject of revivals, to [b]put it in practice[/b], and go to work and see if you cannot promote a revival among sinners here."


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/3/28 20:38Profile
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 Re:Revival Lectures

Wow!!! This is awesome. God challenged me to read Lectures back in 2000. I too had to put the book down after Chapter 3, as I didn't want to become hard to the message within. Approximately 2 months ago, i was challenged to live out genuine christianinty, whilst watching Mel Gibson's The Passion.
I'm trying to ween the "idiot box" of of my life, setting a year to do so. Also, I am setting a goal to be praying 3 hours a day, consistantly, by the end of year. Being a sales rep, God has given me a unique opportunity, with several hours a day alone in my car. In God's strength, I have been able to completly eliminate listening to the radio during the day, only listening to Leonard Ravenhill sermons on revival (downloaded from this site) and an audio book of "Pilrims Progress", when not praying.
Smith Wigglesworth prophecied that Melbourne Australia (which is where I'm from) will host the last great revival before the second coming of Christ. Whether that's right or not, I have a goal that each year, I wil disciple 1 person to the ministry of intercession, with the aim for them to multiply themselves also.
Obviously, this must begin with wholehearted repentance, and the other principles in this book. I felt lead to pick Lectures, and Winkie Pratney's "Youth Aflame" (another excelent book on the subject) about a week ago, so it is refreshing to see that you're releasing an audio version.
Thank you for giving me someone to share this journey with. :-D
Yours in Christ,
Aaron


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Aaron Ireland

 2004/3/31 3:54Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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Wow!!! This is awesome. God challenged me to read Lectures back in 2000. I too had to put the book down after Chapter 3, as I didn't want to become hard to the message within. Approximately 2 months ago, i was challenged to live out genuine christianinty


Brother Aaron! Praise God for you and that you were led to this site. Thats really amazing how you had the similar experience as myself with the finney lectures. I hope you are able to comment on the lectures and listen to the audio versions. I am very encouraged to hear your commitment to get serious with God and give yourself to discipleship and prayer. Leonard Ravenhill has been such an extreme blessing to my spiritual growth, I am glad to hear you are listening to his sermons also.


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 2004/4/6 21:21Profile
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 Re:

Beloved,

When I began work on this lecture I was not prepared for the effect that it has had on me. It was an unexpected effect I suppose. I have sat down and allowed God to deal with me to begin to break up the fallow ground of my heart. The result has been unexpected. I see things a lot different now. I see how short I have actually come in serving God.

As we look to this lecture #3 I pray that everyone will take it to a personal level. Some of the tone is quite sharp and direct at times- but the overall message is very much needed. I found that after working on that sermon I could not get to angry at other peoples sins anymore or their faults; because mine were so glaring in my face. What a Pharisee I have been at times and didn't even realize it. I know now that I stand ONLY in God's grace. He should have struck me dead for a lot of dumb things I have done over the years. T tremble and fear to say anything on God's behalf now. I seek the Lord for approval of every word of my text in lessons. i didn't realize I was talking to God's children. God forgive me such a vile sinner! What a brude viper!


I was like Peter who wanted to rain fire from heaven on peoples heads- without the good sense to know I also would have been consumed. Jesus said "Peter, you know not what spirit you are of." My sin was worse than the sinners because I knew better. I was taken to Romans 2 when Paul asked the question "Thou teachest thou shalt not steal... dost thou steal?" (and the like) He continues and asks a riviting question "Do you think that by teaching- that will allow you to escape God's judgment?" (paraphrase).

Weeping is the state that it took me to beloved, weeping and more weeping. Sorrow and brokeness beyond measure. I have even wept bitterly before my children and wife as the brokeness is so deep. I love them more and I love life more my friends. I appreciate my life.

I have a new revelation of Galatians 6:1. I had been so self-righteous as to not realize I was a stinch in God's nostrils. When the fallow ground starts getting broken up we will all get into the right spirit to prepare ourselves for revival. I submit, that a person who will not allow God to break their fallow ground is not fit for what God is doing in this last days revival. How can we teach and preach brokeness from our own hard hearts? A self-righteous spirit will quench everything God is doing. I know, He has already shut me down on some stuff. What spirit was I preaching in before? Was it the fires of hell?

Friends I have every intention to preach repentance with great boldness and revere of God in the up and coming months and years. The difference, will be the spirit with which I do it. God has for now strait shut me down! And that, until I get the right spirit about me to be able to preach such a message. I would tremble and fear now after that lecture to get up and light the place up with a repentance message and have even the faintest sin in my own heart. Or if the fruit of the Spirit is not there, we need not look for the anointing. I actually believe it could be fatal for me. Thats how that lecture effected me. Its as if I hear God saying... Come up to spank my kids with sin in your own life son? Spank my kids in my house? I rebuke and chasten... not you. You say what I say- say and NOTHING else! I fear the Lord now in a profound way friends. I pray to God- He has mercy on me for the spirit of the words of my mouth. God have mercy on me- for I wist not what spirit I was of.

Please mull over this 3rd lecture and let God get you ready for revival. Let Him destroy our preconceived ideas about revival and do what He wants to do. We live in a different day than Finney, Wesley, etc. And God has an anointing and strategy for us that will be different than these men. They taught us some great truths to get us ready- now we have to give God the wheel and do His work. We have to get into the trunk- hand the keys to the Lord Jesus and say "now you drive." That will be the character of this revival. As Paris Reidhead said... God will be at the wheel. The anointing will be the "fuel" in the tank. And we will be along for the ride! I understand what he meant now.

God Bless and much love in Christ,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/4/7 8:52Profile
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 Re:

Robert,

All I can say is Amen!

What kind of heart does God revive? A broken and contrite one. Sounds like you've got it- or are on your way.

Thanks for being honest and transparent. There are too many people who try to put on appearances to look like they are "wise" or "spiritual". This is not Christ- like. It is pride. I have been guilty many times, especially when things are going good and going the way you think they "should". Then God pulls the rug out from underneath you and says "you can't stand on your own two feet."

If we are not leaning on him 100% of the time and listening for Him, then we run the risk of doing things in the flesh. And we run the risk of getting the glory instead of Him. All things should point to Him and not any of ourselves.

Yes, the Lord is doing something. Many people can feel it brewing. I am waiting on Him with anticipation and faith and trust that He is going to knock our socks off. But i will let Him do it His way and in His timing. He is God and we are not. In the mean time, we have to "occupy" until He comes. There is so much to do (while it is yet day).

I pray that what we do is only done out of a listening heart- one that has been sitting at His feet. If not, it will all be done in vain.

Just like my dream the other night- if we try to build "it" with our own hands, the Lord will send a tornado to destroy it. No flesh can glory in His presence.

Satisfied in Him alone, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/4/7 9:14Profile
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 Re:

Chanin,

All I can really ask myself is- is what if God had allowed me to not read that lecture and keep on acting as I was. Would I not be treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath? I wonder who was angrier- me in some of my teaching or preaching or God in how I was acting.

Sister, this may sound strange to you, but there was a time when I was actually edified (or thought I was) by hearing preachers tearing people up. Notice I said "tear people up." I never saw those messages as applying to me. Never. It was always the man or woman that I saw acting up and thought "He really told them." I used to even teach and would have pictures of peoples faces in my mind as I would speak something as though I was directing it at them. I have to believe that is near wickedness! God forgive me!

The only thing that has saved me was my ignorance. Thats it. God's mercy for my ignorance. Plain and simple. I don't even have an unction to preach repentance since that lecture. And that is a real paradox. Leonard Ravinhill's message on weeping is very powerful. And when a person sees that meekness and brokeness it changes their life a lot more than just ripping them. A word of correction spoken softly from a broken and contrite vessel will cut to the bone when a harsh message may have only hardened the people. I look at the tone of what God has given me to teach on Sunday AM and I thought "God this would strait put a Revival Fire Out." its like God is saying "Maybe yours, but not Mine."

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/4/7 9:58Profile
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 Re:

Robert,

As I read your reply this morning I felt and still feel your brokeness. My heart cries for you as you see yourself as you were. Are we not monsters ourselves when we don't even know it.

I am rejoicing for you and for your family and for everyone who is going to be affected by your words. What a wonderful and marvelous work God has done in you! You may never know how many others who are steeped in the anger and judgement doctrine that you will make an impact on.

May God use your brokeness for so much good. Even now I hear Him saying "Your brokeness brings Me glory."

I am reminded now of when Christ was getting ready to go to be crucified He said "Now I must go glorify my Father". When we go to the cross to be broken as Christ was, we glorify the Father.

In Christ, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/4/7 10:32Profile
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 Re:

You guy's are creeping me out!
I mean that in the most profound and sincere way, sometimes you just need different ways of expressing things...

This is all just resonating in my spirit...
Had just wrote to Robert a bit on all this, the uncanny way that the Lord will work simultaneously in each others hearts. Brethren this is all could be describing what is happening inside of me in recent days, strange thing is I haven't read or listened to any of this [i][b]Yet![/b][/i]. Just these replies that I have still yet to get through all of them...

Quote:
Friends I have every intention to preach repentance with great boldness and revere of God in the up and coming months and years. The difference, will be the spirit with which I do it. God has for now strait shut me down! And that, until I get the right spirit about me to be able to preach such a message. I would tremble and fear now after that lecture to get up and light the place up with a repentance message and have even the faintest sin in my own heart. Or if the fruit of the Spirit is not there, we need not look for the anointing. I actually believe it could be fatal for me. Thats how that lecture effected me. Its as if I hear God saying... Come up to spank my kids with sin in your own life son? Spank my kids in my house? I rebuke and chasten... not you. You say what I say- say and NOTHING else! I fear the Lord now in a profound way friends. I pray to God- He has mercy on me for the spirit of the words of my mouth. God have mercy on me- for I wist not what spirit I was of.



The right spirit...Oh Lord forgive me, this has and can be our undoing. So easy to get it wrong...
How to be loving and hate sin?
Zac Poonen has really challenged me in this whole area..how do we take the hard words that must be said and not compromise or water them down nor become self righteous Pharisees, heaping condemnation that is borne out of our flesh?

Just touching the edges of this..
You all have said it much better already, all of you! After I get done meditating on all the wisdom here, might just have to follow up by checking out the lectures themselves!

Truly, these replies have been a blessing.
Thank you all.


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Mike Balog

 2004/4/7 12:47Profile
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 Re:

Bro Mike,

Let me put it like this; [b]when I was young in the Lord[/b] I would preach against my pet peeves and it did not work God's righteousness.

Imagine this; you come to Church with your bible gun loaded to kill one of the goats because you have an axe to grind- you fire the gun and the bullet missed them and richochets off the horn and kills a good sheep or a lamb at that. What a travesty!

This is why we HAVE to pray and hear from God on our messages. We could come in and literally drown several little ewe lambs with a message in anger. The bible can be preached very topically.

Here is a good rule my pastor always said "Live it as strong as you preach it." We have all been guilty of sins. Maybe not these; but we have sinned. I have to keep that in my mind as we head into revival. I'm not trying to destroy some of God's little ewe lambs with a message that I didn't seek God for. With God's help- if it has happened--it will never happen again.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/4/7 13:30Profile





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