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Joined: 2010/8/24
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 Revival and Recovery-Arthur Wallis

Revival and Recovery

by Arthur Wallis

This article was originally written as a ‘Special Introduction’ to a reprint of Frank Bartleman’s ‘What Really Happened At Azusa Street?’ renamed ‘Another Wave Rolls In’ published by Voice Publications (USA) in 1962. It is included here as one of the earliest documents we have found that shows the seminal vision of a ‘restored church’ enjoying both recovered truth and the power of the Holy Spirit before Jesus returns.

Arthur Wallis, of Exeter, England, is a son of the late Captain Reginald Wallis and author of the well-known books, In the Day of Thy Power and God’s Chosen Fast. This article is taken from a booklet en­titled, “Revival and Reformation of the Church” which in cooperation with the author we have adapted and expanded.

I deem the principles set forth in this article and Kokichi Kurosaki’s book, One Body in Christ, the most important and strategic message we have published. It is one thing to be right with God and enjoy a real measure of personal communion with Him. It is quite another to understand His greater purposes and let our personal ex­perience be properly related to that all-inclusive end.

John Myers, President
Voice Publications

“Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18,19 RSV

In relation to this theme of revival and spiritual re­covery, let us first survey the past, then view some of the significant trends of the present, and finally say a word about the prospects of the future.


If we are to understand what God is doing in these days—if we are to perceive His “new thing” for our day—we need to study the past. Not merely from history books, with their limited human viewpoint, but we must study history as we have light cast upon it by the Spirit through God’s Holy Word.

Let us take a brief panoramic survey of the work of God’s Spirit in the years that are past. As we scan the centuries let us try to discover the principles on which God has been operating. What has He really been after during the years of the Church’s history? This is impor­tant, for what God is doing today can only be rightly understood as we grasp the pattern of what He has been doing down through the centuries.

Obviously this is a large subject which could occupy volumes, but here we wish simply to point out what has been the master-strategy behind the successive quickenings of the Spirit that have blessed the Church in the past. In a word, we want to show that every wave of spiritual blessing has not only had in view the immediate renewal of spiritual life in that generation, but also the recovery of spiritual truth. That is, that in all the great spiritual movements through the years, the Lord has been seeking to recover lost truth and bring His people back to orig­inal Apostolic Christianity.

This reformation, or “recovery,” aspect of God’s moving through the centuries is unmistakable—and usu­ally has been a balancing thrust in one or the other of two directions. Since truth and experience are insepara­ble and must be in balance if either is to reach its divine objective, we see the Lord moving either to emphasize doctrine and principle, or and fullness of life and power.

But whatever may be the emphasis or particular truth or phase of experience involved, in the mind and purpose of God there has always been but one final ob­jective in view. That objective is a Church—washed by the water of the Word of God—which shall fully experi­ence and fully express Christ, not only in the earth but in the whole universe.

But let us go back and trace through history this principle in action.


In the New Testament we have a clear picture of the early Church. It wasn’t a perfect church because it was composed of human beings and they are never per­fect. However, the early Church was perfect in constitu­tion, perfect in the revelation of God’s mind, received through His holy apostles and prophets. They had com­plete light and thus had no need to progress into fuller revelation in the ensuing centuries.

Through the apostles the early Church received in that first century a complete revelation of the mind of God. This revelation is, of course, contained in our New Testament. But also, as they walked in the light of this revelation, not only the revelation but they themselves became a model of God’s intention.

But alas, they did not always walk in the light that they had received, and things oftentimes went wrong. However, when this happened the situation was dealt with in a way directed of God, and that also constitutes a pattern for restoration. Thus, not only in doctrine and principle but also in practice, we have been given a per­fect guide in the pages of the New Testament.

As the years went by the Church which had been born in persecution thrived in persecution. As with Israel of old, in bondage in Egypt, the more the Church was persecuted the more she flourished and multiplied. The blood of the martyrs was then, and ever has been, the seed of the Church.


Finding that this persecution was hastening God’s purpose, the Devil changed his tactics. In the fourth cen­tury A.D. Constantine became the Roman Emperor. He officially embraced Christianity. Whether he was genu­inely converted to Christ seems doubtful, but nevertheless Christianity became the legalized and accepted religion of the Roman Empire.

Instead of suffering the persecution of the state, the Church now enjoyed the patronage of the state. She was taken off her guard. The people of God who had been watchful, prayerful and faithful in the time of opposi­tion, were now lulled into a false sense of security.

Without doubt imperial favor brought the world into the Church, and what Satan had failed to do by persecution he achieved by patronage. As Dr. Edwin Orr has said, “It is one thing for the ship to be in the sea, but a different matter when the sea gets into the ship!” It is one thing for the Church to be in the world, but when the World gets into the Church a spiritual decline has set in.

Thus the “conversion” of Constantine, with the changes that this brought about—the introduction of practices of pagan origin, the rise of an ecclesiastical hierarchy based on the world system rather than Scrip­tures, etc.—led to a swift decline. The Church descended into the “dark” Middle ages, and the light of true Chris­tianity was almost extinguished.

However, even through those dark centuries, as E. H. Broadbent shows in The Pilgrim Church, the light of testimony was kept burning here and there. A few men, like Francis of Assisi, arose as mighty giants of life and revelation, but the refreshing glow of their lives did not change the basic structure of things. There was no wide­spread movement, no general turning of the tide; and century after century, for a whole millennium, the tide of spiritual life continued to recede.


A thousand years from the time of Constantine brings us to the birth of a man destined to be one of the first great instruments in the turning of the tide. He was an Englishman, and his name was John Wycliffe. In the fourteenth century, when England’s only Bible was the Latin Vulgate, and the common people, utterly ignorant of its contents, were living in abysmal spiritual darkness, this brilliant Oxford scholar gave to England a version of God’s Holy Word in the tongue of the common people.

This was God’s first strategic move to bring back His Church to New Testament faith and practice. A return to Apostolic Christianity must of necessity be a return to the Word. Thus the foundation was laid.

With Wycliffe there began that stirring of opposi­tion to the power of Rome, to the authority of the Pope. A great preacher as well as a great scholar, Wycliffe soon made his voice heard. His position and influence gave him the ear of the people as he began to question the unscriptural practices of the church of that day. In the providence of God a mighty wave of spiritual life began to roll in upon the shores of Christendom—the Recovery had begun!


Following Wycliffe we have the spiritual movement known as The Lollards. They were the “poor priests” that Wycliffe sent out to take the simple message of the Gospel from place to place. They were humble itinerant preachers, and in the century following Wycliffe so suc­cessful was this movement that at the height of its power 50% of the population of England were either Lollards or in sympathy with them—a remarkable move­ment of the Holy Spirit.

The Word preached, whatever may have been its shortcomings, contained the message of life, and hungry people received it. Opposition to Rome was thus increas­ing, for the Lollards were more outspoken even than Wy­cliffe. God was paving the way for the great movement that took place in the following century.


The sixteenth century saw the raising up of Martin Luther, John Calvin and other great leaders. Under these Reformation giants the Church arose from its awful bondage, shook off the shackles of Rome, and set herself free from the ecclesiastical tyranny of centuries.

The glorious Reformation broke over Europe bring­ing into clear light the great truth of justification by faith. People began to understand the genius of the Gos­pel of God’s grace which had so long been obscured by a doctrine of salvation by works.

The work of reformation, however, was by no means complete. Although the reformed Churches had broken free from the tyranny of Rome and had abandoned much that was plainly contrary to Scripture, they still retained very much which was traditional—things that belonged more to the Romanism from which they had been de­livered than to the New Testament Christianity towards which they were groping.


In the century following the Reformation we have the great Puritan movement. God raised up expositors, men mighty in the Scriptures. They expanded and ex­ploited the light that had come through the Reforma­tion. The emphasis, of course, was on the importance of believers being well-grounded in the great doctrines of Scripture.

The hearts of God’s people were expanding as God was giving them more truth, more light and more under­standing. More things that belonged to the past were away, and earnest hearts began to grope forward again to a truer position in the light of the teaching of God’s Holy Word.

Out of the Puritan Revival came two strategic Church movements which were significant developments in the move back to Apostolic Christianity.

The Congregational Movement was a reaction against interference in the affairs of the local Church from an ecclesiastical hierarchy. They had recovered the truth of the autonomy of each local Church, its right to order its own affairs under the direct Headship of Christ.

The Baptist Movement, which was closely connected, also stood on this ground, while going a step further in emphasizing the truths involved in the believer’s bap­tism by immersion.


The force of the Puritan movement was spent as the eighteenth century dawned, and things seemed to be going from bad to worse. Too much emphasis on doc­trine had no doubt caused a neglect of the “life” factor, and death was once again setting in. Religion was at a dangerously low ebb. Those who were supposed to be spiritual leaders had become corrupt and licentious; the common people were immoral and blasphemous.

It was then that God raised up two great men. They were Anglican clergymen; one, John Wesley, the other, George Whitefield. They were the two instruments in His hands for the great evangelical awakening that saved England from the horrors of the French Revolution.

The emphasis of the Methodist Revival, as it has sometimes been called, was at least threefold:

First, a bold assertion of instantaneous salvation by faith, accompanied by the inner witness, or assurance, of the Holy Spirit. This was followed, then, by a strong em­phasis on the subjective side of the Christian life—holi­ness of heart and life. God was bringing His people back to the doctrine of heart purity and sanctity of walk.

Thirdly, there was the recovery of the truth—star­tling to the people of those days—that it was not neces­sary for a man to be formally educated and “ordained” to preach the Word. Any man who knew the commission of Heaven could go forth as God’s ambassador.

The requirements of a “consecrated building” in which to preach was also exposed as a dead tradition— why not preach in the open air as the Master did?

Thus Whitefleld, Wesley and their followers, under the open canopy of heaven, preached to vast throngs, and multitudes were swept into the Kingdom. Another great step in the Recovery was consummated!


But by the turn of the next century this wave also had spent itself, and again the spiritual tide had receded. The need of revival was great. Here and there in the early part of the century there were stirrings and out­pourings of the Spirit, but in 1858 God mightily poured out His Spirit in the United States, followed the next year by a similar outpouring in Ulster and in Wales almost simultaneously.

The revival in Ulster spread quickly to Scotland and soon was making its impact felt in different parts of Eng­land. God had again come in gracious power.

This century witnessed a number of significant movements in the great purpose of God to bring His people back to Apostolic Christianity. One preceded the mid-century revival by a number of years, others were the products of it. How different these movements were, and yet each made its own contribution to the progress of spiritual recovery.

The first was the Brethren Movement, commencing about 1830, emphasizing the sufficiency and not merely the infallibility of the Book. They recovered the truth that the Bible reveals all that we need to know for both our daily walk and the ordering of our Church affairs. They saw that the truth of the one Body of Christ, as composed of all true believers, was the antidote to sec­tarianism. They also recovered the practical implications of the truth of the priesthood of all believers. Here was a serious attempt to return fully to New Testament Christianity.

Unlike many of the other recovery movements, the Brethren, to a very large extent, embraced all that had previously been recovered, besides adding the deeply sig­nificant points listed above.

However, again there came to be too much empha­sis on doctrine, and out of the great revival of ‘58 and ‘59 there came further sweeping waves of refreshing heavenly life. These could be viewed as a divine reaction to the Brethren tendency to over-emphasize objective teaching, thus supplementing the objective truth of what we are positionally, with the subjective truth of what we should be experientially.

The ‘59 Revival in England brought a great wave of evangelistic fervor and missionary enterprise. Believers broke through denominational barriers and demonstrated in home evangelism and missionary outreach the oneness of the body that the “Brethren” were teaching.

In the midst of this wave of evangelism the Salva­tion Army was born. A child of Methodism, the Salvation Army re-emphasized Wesley’s teaching on holiness and grasped what most of God’s people had missed—the social implications of the Gospel. They had a concern for the under-privileged, the down-and-out, the underdog. With dauntless courage, heroic zeal and challenging self­ sacrifice, they preached the simple Gospel of God’s grace and ministered to all who were in need.

Another wave of heavenly life focused on developing the great truths governing the personal victorious life, and especially the emphasis on the New Testament doc­trine of the believer’s life-union with Christ in death and resurrection.

The Keswick Movement was no doubt the principal expression of this life-giving wave of blessing, as is ex­ pressed in the writings of Hannah Whitall Smith, Andrew Murray, Jesse Penn-Lewis and a host of others.


Both this Keswick, inner life, emphasis and the emphasis on the fervent preaching of the Gospel to all classes, with a practical ministry to the needy, were a vital supplement to the waning Brethren Movement— though, sad to say, all these were never fully integrated.

­As so often before, prejudice, sectarian pride, with its bondage to tradition, coupled with ignorance of the Divine over-all strategy, again prevailed to limit God and keep the one Body of Christ broken up into variant doctrinal emphases and phases of Christian experience.

As expressed in the Apostle Paul’s heartcry, “All things are yours—whether Paul, Apollos, or Cephas …”

God intended that all these waves of Recovery blend together into one glorious whole with a balance of truth and a dynamic of life, but instead there was limitation of vision, each thinking that the part he held was the whole.


The present century commenced with a gracious movement of God’s Spirit in the principality of Wales—the great 1904 Revival—and out of that revival came the worldwide Pentecostal Movement with its special empha­sis upon the fullness of the Holy Spirit as a distinct ex­perience and its affirmation that the supernatural “gifts” of the Holy Spirit bestowed at Pentecost have never been permanently withdrawn from the Church. This move­ment we could view as another supplementary reaction to the great recovery principles of the Brethren Move­ment.

Although orthodox in doctrine and successfully evangelistic from its inception, certain excesses and sep­aratist tendencies in its early years alienated the move­ment from the main body of evangelicals.

One regretful result of this alienation—strengthened greatly by the early Pentecostal tendency to substitute special enduement and revelation for thorough Bible study—has been a lack of depth, both in the rich “Kes­wick” deeper-life teaching, as well as the Brethren em­phasis on thorough Bible exposition, which had been carried over into general evangelical circles.

This lack of depth, however, had nothing to do with the basic doctrines of the movement. It was the natural result of separation from the deepening influences of the rest of the Body of Christ.

It is true that a sort of “Pentecostal” pride—based on a sense of superior revelation and experience—played its part in the separation from other aspects of truth; but this also was not the fault of the new Recovery itself, but due rather to the Pentecostalist’s application of the truth involved. Most reformation movements have had their share of this weakness.

It is needful to stress this point, for it is still being much used of the enemy to discredit what the Lord has done in this recovery wave, which is even now washing the shores of evangelical Christianity.

To illustrate this: The Anglican Church was a prod­uct of the Reformation. The fact that it tends towards a ritualistic and at times Romanish form of worship does not discredit the great Reformation principles which gave it birth and which are still enshrined in its charter, “The Thirty-nine Articles.” There was a vital, even if only partial, recovery despite the atmosphere and accompaniments of its worship. These latter were a result of what they did not receive, and do not nullify what they did receive. Even so with the Pentecostal movement.

At any rate, many of these excesses have been cor­rected, and thoughtful Christians who are not blinded by prejudice are coming to recognize increasingly that the Pentecostal Movement, in the providence of God, has come to make its special contribution to the great unfold­ing of God’s truth.

It may be a surprise to some to know that the Pente­costals have the fastest expanding missionary movement in existence today. Their churches are springing up all over the world. One of their missionaries, associated with the founding of the Congo Evangelistic Mission, reports the establishing of a thousand assemblies of simple, baptized believers in the Congo. We cannot discount a move­ment that has been so manifestly blessed of God, though it may have been accompanied by blemishes—what move­ment has not?


As we see what God has done in past centuries, it becomes obvious that we should not think that any move­ment has recovered everything, or has consummated the process. The attitude of “we have got it all” has all too often characterised the more enlightened of God’s peo­ple. In fact, the more light we have, the greater the dan­ger of falling into this trap. This is spiritual pride and inevitably results in the halting of further spiritual prog­ress. We must see each movement as part of a Divinely instituted spiritual process that must go on till the con­summation of the age. Our attitude should be that of John Robinson, who said in his farewell address to the Pilgrim Fathers on their departure for New England in the Mayflower:

“If God reveals anything to you by another instru­ment, be as ready to receive it as ever you were to receive any truth by my ministry; for I am persuaded that the Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word.”

In the midst of all the decay and confusion around us, both in the world and the Church, may God help us to look Heavenward and catch sight of His great purpose—even a Church in the purity, power and principles of New Testament Christianity!

When we turn from the Church as we generally know it today and re-examine that stirring record of the early Church, we seem to be in another world and to breathe another atmosphere. Does not the zeal, the cour­age, the power, the authority, the effectiveness and the simplicity of those early Christians challenge us? What a long way we still have to go! Yet there are significant signs today that God is working—and Satan too. Let us notice two significant trends.


THE FALSE: There is a trend which one feels to be dangerous. It has come to be known as the ecumenical movement, a movement towards unity among the Churches. It is being hastened on by the threat of Com­munism and an easy-going attitude towards Biblical doc­trine and practice.

Church leaders of differing communions are begin-fling to talk like this: “We may not agree about many things, but at least we must face the facts: Communism and the cults are rapidly advancing in a world in which we make no progress. Let us sink our differences, empha­size the points on which we are agreed, and unite against the common foe. Unity is our only hope of survival.”

Therefore, we are seeing a coming together of de­nominational leaders, the activity of the World Council of Churches, a movement towards union with Rome. The danger of this trend is that it is encouraging a unity which is based on compromise instead of conviction, aunity that is organizational instead of organic.

There is a spiritual unity, of course, that the New Testament teaches. We do not have to create it—God does that. We have only to “preserve” it. It is an organic unity, a unity of life, a unity of the Spirit that vitalizes the body.

This man-made organizational unity may well lead to what the Word of God predicts in Revelation 17, even a harlot Church, that travesty of the pure virgin who is to be the bride of the Lamb. She is depicted as a woman riding a Scarlet Beast and is called “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots.

Under the terrible pressures of the end times, with Christendom fighting for its existence, the meek and tolerant ecumenism of today could quickly harden into a religious despot. A modern “Act of Uniformity” could force uncompromising evangelicals out of their churches. Apostate Christendom may then become again, as down the centuries, the greatest persecutor of the true Body of Christ.

THE TRUE: God, however, has anticipated this strata­gem of Satan. “Behold, I am doing a new thing will you not receive it?” Yes, a new movement is under­way. Though at present it appears to be divided into two distinct aspects, seemingly unconnected, it is in fact one move of God’s Spirit in line with His principles of re­covery.

First, He is stirring hearts all over the world with vision and faith for a true unity—even that spiritual
unity of the one Body of Christ—and at the same time He is also moving in nearly every circle of Christian life creating a thirst for Himself, for revival, for the Holy Spirit.

In regard to the aspect of the movement emphasizing spiritual unity, little needs to be said here. Voice publications itself is a testimony to this growing vision among God’s people today. Like the Brethren Movement of old, the vision is the spiritual unity of the One Body, encompassing all the various truths and experiences al­ready recovered in past centuries.

Although still rather scattered and obviously in a formative stage, several amazing demonstrations of the strength of this movement are demanding the serious attention of the Christian world. Many firmly believe that it will not be too long before the eyes of thousands of restless, thirsty Christians the wide world over will be opened to see the significance of what God is doing and a sweeping Revival of New Testament Christianity will burst upon us.

Perhaps one of the important factors needed to det­onate this glorious explosion is the blending of the two aspects of this movement. At any rate, let us consider the other aspect now.


“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled.”

This is exactly what God is doing today all over the Western world. He is filling His hungering and thirsting ones, as He said He would. Many are coming into a new experience of the Holy Spirit. They may have known His gracious work in their hearts and lives for years, but they have come to a strange state of spiritual dissatisfaction— a state surely created by the Spirit Himself.

These are beginning to long for something more than they have yet known. They notice that the early Christians knew a liberty, a joy, a power, an authority, a fruitfulness and an effectiveness that seem in these days to be more rare than the “gold of Ophir.” They say to themselves: “Whydoesn’t my experience at least approx­imate to what these men knew in the Book? God hasn’t changed, nor have the resources of the Divine Spirit been expended. The difference must be in me, in my hardness of heart and unbelief!”

Perhaps we have been brought up to believe that “we had it all when we got converted.” However, it is clear from the New Testament that the Apostles and the early Christians did not have it all when they were con­verted. When we start to study this question in the Word with open minds and hearts, we discover that this being filled with the Holy Spirit of which the New Testament speaks is something definite and dynamic. It is something that makes a revolutionary difference in a person’s life and witness. He knows when he has it, and very soon other people know also. How different from this rather vague and mystic thing that so many people think is being filled, with the Spirit of God.

Brethren, God wants to restore to the Church all that she knew in New Testament times of His grace and His power. What we see in the New Testament is surely available to us. But are we open for it?

We may be interested in revival. We may believe that revival is the only hope of the Church today. We may even be praying for it. But are we ready for what God may be about to do? Are we saying, “Lord, I want Revival; but not revival with that?”

How would we feel if a gracious movement of the Holy Spirit should break out in our midst that was marked and attended by signs and wonders? What would we think if the Spirit of God was poured out as at the beginning, and there were tongues and prophecies and healing? “Oh, we want revival, Lord, but not that!”

Beloved, who are we to tell the Almighty how He should do His work? The Sovereign Lord works as He will. Of course we must test the spirits. Of course we shall want to be sure that what comes is truly from heaven. But we can be cautious without being critical. We can be discerning without being destructive. Oh, let us have an open mind lest we be among those who cling to tradi­tion and miss God.

God is meeting with Christians today from churches and independent fellowships having no connection with the Pentecostal movement. He is filling them with His Spirit as in Apostolic times. Many testify to the transfor­mation of life and service through the experience which God has given them.

We do not insist that supernatural signs are an es­sential ingredient of this fullness, but we are saying that God is sovereign. He works as He will, but we need to recognize the way He is working and be open and ready for Him to do what He will.


What does the future hold? We know it holds the blessed Hope and glorious consummation of the age and the return of the Savior from Heaven; but before that the Church should be prepared for two things: revival and persecution. As in Apostolic times these two went together, so surely it will be in these end times. And to the prayerful and watchful there are significant signs that both are on the way.

It is certain that at present we could not stand bitter or prolonged persecution. The Church today would crack. It is only a revived, strong Church that could be en­trusted to withstand this fiery ordeal. Let us not hood­wink ourselves by thinking that it will never come to us—many of God’s saints are going through it right now in Communist-controlled countries.

Surely we must believe that God will revive us before we are called to go through the furnace of affliction. And believe me, brethren, in that hour we shall need all the grace and depth of life and all the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit that God is willing to give.

One significant difference between the early Church and the Church today is this—they believed in the Holy Spirit while we are afraid of the Holy Spirit; they knew the Holy Spirit experientially while we so often only know Him theologically and theoretically. Will we at last let Him have His way? This is the pathway to revival.

Before closing, may I ask is your life making an im­pact where God has put you? Are you a channel through which the rivers of living water are flowing day by day? If the answer is “No,” are you willing for it to become true? Are you prepared to get on your knees and say, “Lord, whatever it may involve, make my life a channel for those rivers of living water! Continue to recover Thy Church, according to Thy great purpose, and let me be a living part of that glorious recovery!”

On the far reef the breakers
Recoil in shattered foam,
Yet still the sea behind them
Urges its forces home;
Its chant of triumph surges
Through all the thunderous din—
The wave may break in failure,
But the tide is sure to win.

O mighty sea, thy message
In changing spray is cast:
Within God’s plans of progress
It matters not at last
How wide the shores of evil,
How strong the reefs of sin—
The wave may be defeated,
But the tide is sure to win.


 2014/5/9 11:38Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632

 Re: Revival and Recovery-Arthur Wallis

Great post -- thank you for sharing it. I love reading things like this.


 2014/5/9 13:47Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3366

 Re: Revival and Recovery-Arthur Wallis

"It is certain that at present we could not stand bitter or prolonged persecution. The Church today would crack. It is only a revived, strong Church that could be en­trusted to withstand this fiery ordeal. Let us not hood­wink ourselves by thinking that it will never come to us—many of God’s saints are going through it right now in Communist-controlled countries.

Surely we must believe that God will revive us before we are called to go through the furnace of affliction. And believe me, brethren, in that hour we shall need all the grace and depth of life and all the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit that God is willing to give.

One significant difference between the early Church and the Church today is this—they believed in the Holy Spirit while we are afraid of the Holy Spirit; they knew the Holy Spirit experientially while we so often only know Him theologically and theoretically. Will we at last let Him have His way? This is the pathway to revival."


 2014/5/9 23:02Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1031


You are most welcome dolfan.
Thank you Mike for pointing out these key quotes. This last part has been a the cause of real frustration for me, many speak of the Spirit but very few know Him experientially.

But what I really liked about this article is that it points to the fact that every historic revival restored to the church some partial truth, one that was needed most at the time, but man's fallen nature took that partial truth, packaged it and make a movement, sect, or denomination out of it, and presented it as if it were the whole truth.

Even the restoration of something as glorious as justification by faith that was much needed to counteract the abuses of the Catholic system of salvation, is not in itself the whole truth of what the first church possessed, but only partial recovery of the whole.

Here is another similar article by Frank Bartleman found along with that one in the book " Azusa Street", a great book to read by the way, posted below.


 2014/5/10 16:49Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1031


Here it is:

The Deeper Significance of Pentecost
By Frank Bartleman

Frank Bartleman was a man of passion and deep burden. His prayers literally opened the heavens,
and his messages were withering to all that was of the flesh. Everything that stood as an obstruction
to the full exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord of all became the object of his travailing prayer and
was ruthlessly opposed by his fearless pen and tongue. But Frank Bartleman was more than an
intercessor and more than a dauntless revivalist. He was a man of vision - a prophet! He perceived
a deeper significance of what the Holy Spirit was after in revival and called upon God’s people to
go on to that ultimate. His voice, although so long silent, now once again goes forth. The following
message was delivered in about 1925 shortly before his death.
THE WORLD IS THE FIELD, the true Church is the treasure – like a kernel in a shell. But the
great nominal Church, the ecclesiastical body in each generation, is also like a field in which the
true spiritual Church – the living Church – like a treasure, is hidden.
But even this true, spiritual Church is far from being the treasure of Divine life and power originally
planned and provided for in the purpose of God. Ever since the early Church fell from New
Testament purity and life, she has been like a backslider, fallen from the summit of apostolic days –
though destined to return and yet enter into the full blessing of the Father’s house.
I refer to the true, spiritual Body of Christ. It is a “prodigal son,” wandered from the Father’s house,
but since the Reformation gradually returning. Nearly five centuries have now passed since the
Reformation. The route back has been devious and long, with many a dark valley, as well as many a
glorious summit. But steadily, relentlessly, the mighty Spirit of God has been moving on, restoring
that which was lost and heading things up toward that great prophetic revelation of the Body of
Christ in unity and fullness – even one Body, fully matured “unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ!” (Eph.4:13)
Beloved, unless we understand this, we will not be able to move on with God and understand the
different stages, experiences, and various standards and operations in the Church’s history during
this dispensation. That is why most Christians have failed to move on with God and to accept His
cumulative unfoldings in the restoration of revelation, light and experience, once lost, but now
being restored to the true Church.
If you do not fully see this, or if it seems to differ from your present idea of things, do bear with me.
Before I am finished, I believe you will understand, and, if so, it may well transform your life,
giving new and vital direction to your prayers and ministry.
The human soul is ever lazy toward God, and no one generation has seemed to be able to travel
very far on its way back to God and His standard from which the early Church fell. It is true that
human error or understanding continually satisfies itself with a part instead of the whole, but the
real fact is that men are not willing to pay the full price to come back fully to God’s standard, to be
all the Lord’s.
The early Church came forth from the “upper room” fresh in her “first love,” (Rev.2:4) baptized
with the Holy Spirit, filled with God, possessing both the graces and gifts of the Spirit, and with a
one hundred percent consecration for God. This was the secret of her power. She was all for God,
and God was all for her. This principle will apply in all ages, both individually and collectively. No
sacrifice on the altar means no fire. The fire of God never falls on an empty altar. The greater the
sacrifice, the more the fire.
When the prodigal gets home, and the Church becomes one hundred per cent for God again, we will
have the same power, the same life – and the same persecution from the world. The reason we have
so little persecution now is that the Spirit cannot press the claims of God home on the world
through us. When that happens, men must either surrender or fight.
“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Heb.13:8) God never changes. We have
changed. We are not waiting for God. God is waiting for us. The Holy Spirit is given, we are still in
the dispensation opened on the day of Pentecost. But God can only work when we are willing,
yielded, and obedient. We tie God’s hands.
The history of the Church has been the same. Each company that has come forth in the line of
restoration has run the same course. That is, human, fallen nature. It is human failure, not God’s.
When everything dries up and dies out, we call upon God. This alone makes it possible for God to
come. He must have some place to put His Spirit, and only empty vessels can be filled.
When we are filled with our own ways, think ourselves rich and increased in goods spiritually, (Rev.
3:17) God can give us nothing. To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. (Prov.27:7) The
crumbs tasted good to the Syro-Phoenician woman, but well-fed children despise even dainties.
(See Matt.15:21-28) They will throw the food across the table at one another. Like the children of
Israel, they despise even “angels’ food.” (Ps.78:23)
The best preacher in the land cannot preach with liberty when his message is not desired or
received. The oil ceases to flow as soon as there are no more empty vessels to be filled. This will
often explain why good preachers sometimes have liberty and at other times have no anointing.
Criticism will stop the flow of oil through any preacher. Oil will not flow when frozen.
The early Church ran well for a season. Everything went down before it. But by the third or fourth
century, they had compromised to escape the cross. They sold out to the devil, backslid, and went
down into the “Dark Ages.” They lost the Holy Spirit anointing, the gifts, the life, the power, the
joy, everything. The Church became a prodigal, left the Father’s house, and went to feeding swine.
The devil found he could not stamp out the early Church by killing them. For every one he killed,
two sprang up. Like the children of Israel, “the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied
and grew.” (Ex.1:20) The early Christians vied with one another for a martyr’s crown. They
exposed themselves purposely, recklessly, for this reward. Someone has said the greatest call that
ever came to man is the call to suffer in a noble cause.
Heaven was real to the early Church - far more real than earth. In fact, they seemed to have lived
only for the next age. That was their longing, their goal, to be delivered from “this present evil
world,” (Gal.1:4) It was the sole relief they looked forward to. This present life, after all, is the true
saints purgatory. It is the sinners heaven - his only heaven - and that is sad beyond words to express!
But, glory to God, it is our only hell! we are in the enemies country, running the gauntlet, with foes
lined up on all sides - but we are just passing through.
Without question, it was God’s desire to restore the backslidden, prodigal Church at once, when she
fell, just as He must have desired at once to restore the human race in the beginning when they fell.
But He could not. Human, fallen nature was too weak.
God also wanted to take the children of Israel right into Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea when he
brought them out of Egypt. It was only a short journey, but they frustrated His purpose and desire.
“They grieved God and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Ps78:41) just as it has ever been. In
consequence, they stopped going forward, went to “milling around,” and “their carcasses fell in the
wilderness.” (Heb.3:17)
Beloved, whenever we stop going forward, we go to “milling around.” When an individual stops
going forward for God, he begins to go in a circle. Just as a man when lost in a forest ceases to go
straight forward but wanders in a circle.
So it was with the early Church. When they ceased to go forward, they started wandering in a circle
and became lost in the Dark Ages. The devil had found he could not destroy them or stop their
march by persecuting and killing them, so he removed the cross, offering them titles, positions,
honor, salaries, profits of every kind – and they fell for it.
They no longer needed to look to God for their protection and support. They were “like the nations
round about them,” just as the children of Israel when they rejected God as their King. (See Deut.
17:14) And it is so with our great church bodies of today. History repeats itself in every movement
through human weakness and failure.
Out of the Dark Ages came the great ecclesiastical, Roman hierarchy, which in time dominated the
whole world, both political and religious. And the same condition has developed out of every fallen
movement. An illegitimate, hybrid monster has come forth.
This was the condition of the formal church in Martin Luther’s time. However, the living seed of
the true Church had remained buried in this mass, even through those long, dark centuries. This
seed now began to spring up and germinate – the Church within the Church. The prodigal
backslider began to come to himself at last and desire to return home. The Church had fed on swine
long enough!
Through the labors of such men as Huss, Wycliffe, Luther, Foxe, Wesley, Darby, Mueller, Moody,
Evan Roberts, Wigglesworth, and a host of others, the prodigal Church has been coming home. But
each company which God has been able to bring forth and give a fresh deposit of the Spirit and of
the truth once lost, has sooner or later stopped short of the full goal. Although often gaining much
ground and experiencing tremendous blessing, each group has ceased to go forward as a body and
completely return to the early New Testament standard and realization.
Again and again the Church climbed from the depths of some sectarian stranglehold, with its
various stages of formalism and spiritual darkness, only to fall again, within perhaps only a
generation, into sometimes an even worse state. Fortunately, each time, some new light and
understanding of truth and God’s ways was given upon which the next revival company could
build. But in it all, it is the failure of man, not God’s failure. Each company has only gone so far. It
was certainly God’s desire to fully restore the early Church to her first estate and love love at once,
as it is true with every backslider. To think otherwise is to charge God with sin. But the Church
would not.
A backslider does not get back to God in a moment. He generally has more or less of a battle to get
back, according to the light and experience that he has sinned against. The early Church had great
light and experience. If it were too easy to be fully restored, it would be too easy to backslide.
There is a natural law that is similar to this. Faith has been broken down. It is like a case of
tuberculosis, where the tissues of the lungs have been destroyed. It is a hard fight back, even under
favorable circumstances of rest and climate. To return to the “lowlands” generally means a return of
the disease. So it is with the restored backslider. He must keep away from temptation ground and
aggressively walk in obedience.
Today we can look back and see the different companies that, in the line of restoration, God has
brought out in the Church since the Middle Ages. We can see where they ceased to go forward with
God, where they began to mill around in a circle, and where their carcasses fell in the wilderness as
a body – Lutherans, Anglicans, Congregationalists, Methodists, Salvation Army, and so forth. They
ceased to be a forward company.
Whenever we cease to go forward and keep on the offensive for God, we stop and die as a people.
In fact, a movement is no longer a movement when it stops moving – be it the Holiness movement,
the Pentecostal movement, or any other movement. It may continue to increase both in number and
in wealth, but that is not necessarily a sign of life and power with God. All anti-Christian
movements can show that kind of growth. No movement has ever recovered itself as a body, when
it has once gone on the skids.
We do not have to leave movements. We simply move on with God! As long as a movement moves,
we move with it. The different movements in the history of the church, although part of His true
restoration, are only incidental with God. God has one great movement we should all belong to, and
that has never ceased moving. It is God’s move through the ages to redeem a fallen, lost world and
carry that great blood-washed assembly on to His eternal purpose. It began when the Lamb was
slain before the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8) and will end when the last saint gets safely
home to glory.
We must work for the Kingdom of God as a whole, not for some pet individual party, organization,
or movement. That has been the curse and cause of hindrance to our going on with God to full
restoration in all generations. We have worshipped certain doctrines, party standards, partial
experiences, and blessings, all fine as far as they go, but abnormal in themselves and only a part of
the whole.
Most of these have been unbalanced, exaggerated misstatements of truth at best. In the end, they
have generally brought bondage in place of blessing. They have broken fellowship, divided the
children of God, and put the Church in bondage to men and their ideas, standards, understandings,
and opinions.
We must keep moving! The clearest light on truth and experience has not yet come. We still wait for
the full restoration of the “pattern shown in the mount,” that of the early New Testament Apostolic
Church as a whole.
The great mistake has been to stop with sectarian, partial, abnormal revelations. We must keep our
eyes on God, not on a party. Keep free from a party spirit. That is indicative of a respect of persons.
Seek only God and His plan as a whole, His Church as a whole.
Every company, in time, repeats the experience of the early Church. They compromise to escape the
cross and accept positions, salaries, titles, and ecclesiastical power. An ecclesiastical hierarchy
arises just as it did in the early Church during the second and third centuries.
The backslidden Church is still in an abnormal condition. It will continue to be so until it becomes
fully restored to the first standard of apostolic Christianity from which it fell. No experience or
revelation in the line of gradual restoration has been perfect in itself. All is abnormal, both in
understanding and experience, until the perfect whole is realized and restored.
We need a readjustment of all our doctrines to the full, clear light of God in the Word. All past
experiences must be examined and redefined in the light of the perfect whole.
Someone has said that every reformation is at its best and highest tide when it first comes forth.
This would seem to be so, but at the same time the true Church is ever moving on to maturity. I
speak of the Church within the Church, the kernel in the shell, not the surrounding movement. Just
as the individual believer who goes on with God gradually matures, so the Church within the
Church is maturing toward the end of the age when she will be a full-grown Church. The goal is not
just the standard lost by the early Church but that toward which they themselves were pressing – “a
fully matured man,” even “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph.4:13).
As with Israel in the Exodus, the “mixed multitude,” (Ex.12:38) the exterior shell of every
movement with which it loads itself and in which it later becomes buried, falls to lusting for “flesh.”
One can usually judge the progress of this process by the things the movement comes to demand.
Instead of delight in the pure Word, prayer and worship, a love for souls and zeal for good works,
there comes entertainment, programs, musicals, sensationalism, and oratory. These things have no
place in essential, true Christianity, but are professionalism – flesh! Oh, God, deliver us from fleshly
substitutes for the Spirit.
Most meetings can only be kept alive now by continuous entertainment, professional evangelism,
and a strong social spirit. And this is all too true in Pentecostal, Holiness, and interdenominational
circles, as well as in the older denominations. Where is the life itself to draw the people and bring
God to them as in the beginning! This is not New Testament. It is abnormal, grieving and limiting
the Holy One of Israel in our midst.
Each movement seems to run its course faster than the one before it. Like the Niagara river, it flows
downwards more swiftly as it approaches the falls, the end of time. These are the last days of
The fight gets harder as we get higher up in our restoration from the early Church’s fall. When
Adam fell, the Satanic powers intervened between the fallen race and God. God removed the seat of
His presence with man from earth to heaven. So when the early Church fell, she again lost the
image of God which had, in a sense, been restored in New Testament days when the body of
believers became the Temple of the Holy Spirit. In a higher sense than Adam had known, the
“spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.6:12) intervened between the Church and God again.
Now, the prodigal Church, coming up out of the Dark Ages, has had to fight her way back through
these evil powers. Each movement, as we go higher toward full restoration, has to meet a higher
order of these wicked spiritual powers and intelligences and hence must fight harder.
Each step forward necessarily requires a deeper preparation and greater spiritual equipment for a
greater measure of restoration. It was never God’s decree that the experience of the Church should
be so long and drawn out in recovering the normal standard and going on to fullness. But we have
ever sought to call our present abnormal understanding and experience normal. We must see that all
has been abnormal since the early Church’s fall.
Experiences, understanding – everything has been partial, unbalanced, and abnormal. Nothing has
been perfectly understood, and all the different truths and experiences have only been parts of the
We have not understood these truths and experiences, just as no machine is properly and clearly
understood in detail except as we understand the whole. We have been recovering the whole, in
parts, without seeing the whole – thus we so often distort and overemphasize the truth or experience
that our particular movement has recovered. I trust you grasp this, for it is very important.
The New Testament church in the Book of Acts entered normally into the fullness of the Spirit
immediately at its inception, as for instance at Cornelius’ household in the tenth chapter of Acts.
The different phases of our salvation were all viewed as just so many parts of one glorious, normal
whole. But all the various movements in the restoration, since the early reformers, have ceased in
their turn to go forward to full realization. They have established their party standard of a partial,
abnormal revelation, putting a part for the whole. Then, in human vanity, they have each contended
they had it all.
This is sectarianism, and it is like a lot of dams holding back God’s people from flowing on toward
the vast ocean of God’s fullness. God cares little for these partial standards of men – their names,
sects or parties, slogans or standards. All is only partial distorted light which finally becomes the
enemy of the real truth as the Lord marches on to glory.
Each oncoming wave of the sea toward high tide must fight its way through the last receding one.
So it is with the different movements toward a final restoration of the Church. The immediately
receding one especially hates and opposes the next oncoming one. What fools the devil has made of
us! Oh, that we might see it! However real and good, as far as they have gone, these past revivals
and movements are each but faltering, uncertain steps toward the final goal.
God has but one Church, whether in heaven, where most of it is, or here on earth. And there is yet
very much land to be possessed before we realize the Divine purpose to which we are destined. We
must recognize the whole body of Christ. In our human thoughts, we fail to recognize God when we
meet Him. Those who dare to go further with God toward the full restoration are denounced and
opposed by others as if they were of the devil. And this was not just true of Luther and the Catholic
Church – it was also true of Wesley and the Anglican Church, of Booth and the Methodist Church,
and so on. And it is still true today. But, beloved, we must face it – the backslider has not yet been
fully restored, the prodigal has not yet reached home. We must keep moving on!
Elijah’s rain came out of a clear sky, without even the sign of a cloud to begin with – the result of
faith alone. So the Pentecostal outpouring came in 1906. And this has been the case with every
revival. Revival is the property of faith, not sight. There is nothing for sight to see in fallen nature
but hopelessness. Revival and restoration must come from God, out of a clear sky. We are earthly
and fleshly, but God is Spirit. God’s Word is “spirit and life,” (John 6:63) and faith in that Word
brings the living God on the scene regardless of circumstances or outward prospects.
Will God visit His people again? Why not? As surely as He has done it in the past, He will do it
again. God’s skies are full of Pentecosts. He only waits for us to claim them. Do we not need one?
Then we can have it, when we are willing to pay the price of obedient faith.
The Church is not fully restored. No past group, after it has waned, has had the faith and vision to
move God to visit them again. If they had, they would not be strewn along the way as more or less
dead movements, their bones bleaching in the wilderness. None of them had future faith. They
stopped short of the goal. None of them went clear through. “They limited the Holy One of
Israel,” (Ps.78:41) just as we do today. They would not pay the price. That was the trouble.
But worse than this, they justified themselves in their abnormal standards and opposed and
condemned others who would go further … and still they do so.
The sin of the Jewish high church in Jesus’ time was the same. They refused to go further
themselves and set themselves in their backslidden condition to oppose all who wished to go
forward. That spelled their doom, and it will bring down the judgments of God on any
denomination, movement, or group who follow in their steps.
But a Gideon’s band is forming again today. Faith is rising. Another visitation from God is coming.
It is only the Gideon’s band that can ever bring or receive it – only a praying, consecrated, pilgrim
band. They of the “mixed multitude” (Ex.12:38) will not be in it, for they are too many and too
fleshly. “Upon man’s flesh” the Lord said of the precious anointing oil in the tabernacle, “Shall it
not be poured.” (Ex.30:32) God usually has to work with the little things, the weak things – the
small, consecrated groups.
“I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.” (Is.44:3) Dryness is a
condition that invites rain. At such times men cry for rain. It is a cause for encouragement when we
thirst for God. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled. (Matt.5:6) It was
after an awful drought that Elijah’s rain came. The rain is ready, beloved – when we want it, and
when we are in a condition to receive it.
We must have the spirit of Caleb and Joshua, a different spirit from the multitude. They “wholly
followed the Lord,” (Num.32:12) therefore, they entered Canaan with the next company to go
forward. They had their portion in it, while the old crowd died in the wilderness. No movements, as
a movement, has ever gone all the way through to full restoration for the reasons I have explained.
Hence, we must never become the property of or limit ourselves to, a party or a movement. Worship
only God. Join God in His great movement. Keep moving!
We are rounding the corner toward complete recovery. God is again pressing His full claims upon
His Church and upon the world in this, the end of the age. But the devil is also pressing his claims
with great vigor. Whom will we serve? It is either one hundred per cent for God or for the devil –
there is no neutral ground. We are nearing the awesome climax of this deadly war between the
Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Each must be at his best for his side.
A normal Church is always one hundred per cent for God. There can be no flirting with the enemy.
The Church has no other business than to carry the Gospel to the world and press the claims of God
upon His own. All its energies and resources should be used with that one object in view. “Then
shall the end come.” (Matt.24:14) God waits for this.
Nothing but the zeal and the one hundred per cent consecration of the early Church, both in
laboring for the salvation of the nations and in building up the one true world-wide Church, will or
can satisfy God. He will accept no substitutes or compromise with our ideas and fleshly plans.
There simply must be an utter abandonment to His full will and His great eternal purpose in His
own children! Nothing short of this can clear our conscience and responsibility in the day of
judgment. We could have done this long ago – if we had willed to do so – but we have not. Oh, let
us not delay longer, but at once go right up and storm the enemy’s citadels, vowing never to
withdraw our sword until Jesus comes and the whole land is ours!
We are rapidly approaching the last days. I am convinced that God is going to put the Church
through the fire to destroy the dross. Judgment begins at the house of God. (1Pet.4:17) And, believe
me, nothing but one hundred per cent reality will remain! A theoretical salvation will not do.
We are reaching the culmination of this age, and nothing but a practical application of the Gospel
can hope to survive. All else will be destroyed by the fires of worldwide persecution. God can only
defend obedience to His Word. Never fear - He is going to have a Church without spot and wrinkle.
(Eph.5:27) But do you and I want to have a part of it? A sectarian competitive, selfish, self-seeking
Church cannot survive. The Church must return to the spirit of the early Church in the Book of
Acts. She must yield to God and press into His “present truth” (2Pet.1:12) for this last hour - or
perish in the fires of persecution and in her own blood. “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb.
Let us go on!
Frank Bartleman - 1925


 2014/5/10 16:49Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3366


"Even the restoration of something as glorious as justification by faith that was much needed to counteract the abuses of the Catholic system of salvation, is not in itself the whole truth of what the first church possessed, but only partial recovery of the whole."

This statement is so very true, and most denominations have taken a particular truth and camped out on it, making the part the whole.



 2014/5/10 17:00Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1031


Yes, How sad!


 2014/5/10 18:51Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3366


"The early Church came forth from the “upper room” fresh in her “first love,” (Rev.2:4) baptized
with the Holy Spirit, filled with God, possessing both the graces and gifts of the Spirit, and with a
one hundred percent consecration for God. This was the secret of her power. She was all for God,
and God was all for her. This principle will apply in all ages, both individually and collectively. No
sacrifice on the altar means no fire. The fire of God never falls on an empty altar. The greater the
sacrifice, the more the fire."


 2014/5/10 21:14Profile

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