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EAGLEFLYING
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 Who weeps anymore? Leonard Ravenhill...

Who Weeps Anymore?
By Leonard Ravenhill

The church as we know it today seems a million miles from the New Testament church. That may be a great generalization, but I will stand on it. There is a gulf between our average Christianity and the church of the New Testament that makes the Grand Canyon look like a cavity in someone’s tooth.

What is it that is missing from our churches? To use an Old Testament term, it is the burden of the Lord. One of the tragedies of the hour is that the voice of the prophet is no longer heard in the land. Where is the lamenting for the lost? Isaiah was a man heavily burdened for his people and their sin. So was Jeremiah; his concern for the people caused him to weep day and night.

The last revival mentioned in the Old Testament is found in the Book of Joel. The Prophet Joel proclaimed a solemn assembly and said, "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar" (Joel 2:17). Well, let’s face it, who weeps anymore?

We need a revival in the church, but we make a big mistake in placing the burden for revival on the pew. As I read the Scripture, God puts it on the pulpit. We need preachers who are eternity-conscious, who come to the pulpit bowed with the sin of the world, yes, and perhaps the sin of the congregation. Instead, we have someone coming along saying, "Look, just kneel here for five minutes and this is what you will get: your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, a mansion on Main Street, a five-decker crown, rule over five cities, and a free ticket to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb."

I yearn to hear a voice that declares God’s judgment on the godlessness he sees around him. Where is the denominational leader who has the Gospel boiling in his veins as Jeremiah did in chapter twenty? Many of our preachers seem incapable of being volcanic. Many sermons have become religious entertainment and move no one to tears of repentance.

The true prophet of God is not concerned first of all about the nation, or even about the church. He is concerned that God is insulted openly; that God’s laws are broken; that God’s Son is rejected, and this in a land that is seemingly saturated with the Gospel. Yet every day millions of sins are committed; the name of Jesus is taken in vain a million times; and all the while the country is inundated with religious messages.

Remember, Sodom had no preachers; Sodom had no gospel broadcasters. America has thousands of radio stations and a number of them, at some time in the day, carry a gospel program. But how many listen to it? The lights are flashing in the world around us; our civilization is on the edge of disaster and only a heartbeat from judgment; but who is warning us?

When Alexander Maclaren was called to the pulpit of a great Baptist church in Manchester, England, he sat down with his deacons and said, "Gentlemen, there is one matter to settle before I take this position. Do you want my head or my feet? You can have one or the other, not both. I can run around doing this and that and drinking tea, if you wish me to; but don’t expect me to bring you something that will shake this city." God does not call men into the pulpit to become Jacks-of-all-trades to run errands. He calls them to get on their faces before Him. Dr. Maclaren’s deacons got the message; but who gets on his face before God today?

When I speak to preachers as I have done frequently in recent years, I tell them, "You have nothing to do biblically except to fulfill Acts 6 by giving yourselves continually to the ministry of the Word and to prayer." In writing to the Thessalonians the Apostle Paul said, "I am praying night and day." What was he praying for? Not for a lost world or for the overthrow of the Roman Empire. He said, "I am praying night and day that I may see your face and supply that which is lacking in your faith" (1 Thes. 3:10). They had faith but it was deficient. It is the pastor’s task to supply that lack.

The burden of the Lord in the Old Testament was not for the Amalekites, Hittites, Perizzites or Jebusites; God’s chief concern was Israel. In the same way not a single epistle in the New Testament was addressed to the lost; every letter was addressed to Christians. Dr. Orton Wiley points out that the Epistle to the Hebrews contains not one word for lost men and women. Why? Because only a church strong in faith, a revived church, can be used of God to reach the lost.

The sickness of the church, I believe, is twofold. First, we have taught people to witness and to work but we have not taught them to worship. Christians will not take the time before God to see Him in glory and majesty and holiness. I know preachers who think nothing of taking three days for elk or duck hunting, but who do not care enough about human souls to get down and fast and pray and seek the face of God. I know deacons who begin to fidget if the Sunday service runs five minutes overtime because they want to hurry home to watch the ballgame. How do they think they will stand it in eternity?

The second cause of the church’s sickness is that the prayer meeting has become almost obsolete. I have visited some of the famous churches of the world and have discovered a curious thing about the mid-week service. Two-thirds of the average "prayer meeting" (if it is held at all) is actually a Bible study. A prayer or two is added at the end, and that is it. Paul said that he travailed in prayer. Are we greater than Paul? He said, "I travail in birth" (Gal. 4:19). I do not believe a man has a right to preach on the text "You must be born again" unless he has first "travailed in birth" that people can be born again.

Some pastors tell me that theirs is a New Testament church. Let me describe a New Testament church from Acts 4: the people went to church every day; they prayed every day; they broke bread every day; they brought souls to the Lord every day. Every deacon in that New Testament church was separated and tested to see if he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit.

What, then, is the burden of the Lord for today? He is concerned for sinners who are rebels, who have their fist up against God. He is concerned for preachers, that they should preach His judgment. And He is concerned for His church, the bride for whom He is coming. People ask me sometimes, "Are these the last days?" and I tell them, "No." I think we are in the last minutes of this dispensation, or maybe in the last seconds as God counts time.

And yet – if I could, I would like to call together thousands of preachers in different countries of the world to spend a week in prayer for renewal. I would like to see them given instruction in prayer; not seminars on prayer, mind you, but exhortation to pray. We would spend the whole week praying, with periodic breaks. I believe this could be a detergent in the life of the church. It would be a cleansing process. We could go back to our churches and perhaps stave off judgment, and God would usher in the revival that must come. Before Jesus comes I am convinced that we will see a great, sweeping Pentecost that will out-Pentecost Pentecost. God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, as Joel said. Our sons and daughters will prophesy. God will produce a race of spiritual giants for the last mighty ingathering. Today God has these leaders hidden, but in the great Day of the Lord He will bring them to light, and the last shall be first. I pray that day will come soon.

Taken from America Is Too Young To Die by Leonard Ravenhill. Copyright © 1979, 2012 by Offspring Publishers (www.offspringpublishers.com). Used by permission. This book is available through Amazon.com.


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Frannie

 2019/7/21 16:56Profile
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Joined: 2007/9/29
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 Re: Who weeps anymore? Leonard Ravenhill...

I used to love reading authors like Leonard Ravenhill and books like his Why Revival Tarries, but I have come to find them wearisome. He seems to crave the big and spectacular, even though the Bible says the kingdom of heaven does not come with outward show. Ravenhill probably gave himself an ulcer with all of his belly aching. God isn't a "nervous Norviss," so why should we be? Our Lord Jesus said, "Be anxious for nothing." Amen to that! I know so many born again people in my immediate area who lead quiet lives, regularly spend time in the Word, in prayer, in financial giving and missionary support, and so on. They have nice families, good jobs, nice homes, and they are not the STRESSED OUT BELLY ACHERS that people like Leonard Ravenhill thought we should be.

Signs and wonders do follow those who believe. Many of them are not reported to the world at large. I can attest to many being of a deeply personal nature, being for God and that particular individual alone.

I greatly value intercessory prayer, both engaging in it and being the recipient thereof. I have never been led of God to get emotionally "worked up" in order to have fruitful results. If anything, I can attest to times where I was overwhelmed by circumstances, and God calmed me down with a supernatural peace.

How dare Leonard Ravenhill say there aren't any big moves of God going on in the US? He wrote that in 1979 just as the "Jesus movement" was beginning to wane. That was a genuine revival which saw many young people of the hippie generation saved from illicit sex, drugs, and worldly music to becoming born again worshippers of our Lord Jesus.

Leonard is home in heaven now and his theology has been corrected, but we don't have to fall into some of the same error he once did. His ministry, sadly, does not have a good legacy. Bethany House became Baker Books, purveyors of worldly material that Ravenhill would have found very objectionable.

I'm not interested in following any of the famous religious professionals of our day. The spotlight too often warps them, be it to the left or the right. I suspect that many who receive the highest heavenly accolades of "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" will be the complete unknowns who ministered to small, local congregations.

During the Great Tribulation there will be spectacular cataclysms, and there will also be spectacular anointing, as shown in the two witnesses and the 144,000. Until that time I do not despise the suburban families who lead quiet Christian lives. God bless them! We should all be so fortunate.

Agape in Christ,

Alec


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Alec

 2019/7/21 19:13Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
The last revival mentioned in the Old Testament is found in the Book of Joel. The Prophet Joel proclaimed a solemn assembly and said, "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar" (Joel 2:17). Well, let’s face it, who weeps anymore?

We need a revival in the church, but we make a big mistake in placing the burden for revival on the pew. As I read the Scripture, God puts it on the pulpit. We need preachers who are eternity-conscious, who come to the pulpit bowed with the sin of the world, yes, and perhaps the sin of the congregation.



Ravenhill makes an excellent point that preachers of the gospel are the ones who are extra burdened for the state of the churches.

Paul the apostle also states this when he says:

2 Corinthians 11:28 New International Version (NIV)

28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.




Unfortunately many ministers are seeking to escape this responsibility and pressure for each of life and smooth talking sermons that do not help the people of God but lull them to sleep spiritually.

There is nothing much dramatic for believers walking in victory of sin (a theme Leonard ravenhill championed) but it is surely needed!


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2019/7/22 12:08Profile
EAGLEFLYING
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Joined: 2012/9/25
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 Re:

Brothers
I am a only one of His many messengers.
I love His ministry and he was very close to David Wilkerson and He was in the circle of A.W. Tozer.
Seems to me to be a pretty good circle to listen to.. We all have our different areas and people we look up to.. I really believe GOD was pleased with His Belly aching as was stated.. We can be a voice or an echo.. He was a voice that still speaks.. We can be prophetic or pathetic.. I choose to listen to the voices in that circle who encourage me to individual repentance and pray for conviction in the church for all...
seek His face for the churches.. Praise we are all different and not the same.. Thats why we are the body of Christ...He sets those in His Houses..
The word states that in the book of Ephesians 4:11-12 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ
may be built up Praise for the present members of the five fold ministry and for those who went to be with JESUS... They still speak today..May we all have ears to hear them..in JESUS name. May we all be humble enough to listen to those who went ahead and paved a way for us and always be teachable...
Blessings to all.
Love in Christ
Sister Frannie


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Frannie

 2019/7/25 14:57Profile









 Re: Who weeps anymore? Leonard Ravenhill...

Grace to any and all who truly have spiritual "ears to hear" that which the Holy Spirit of the Living God has to say to the true body of Christ in our day, as He has been doing to all generations before ours...

First, by the mercies, grace, and wisdom given by God Himself, allow me to exhort and encourage all to carefully examine and test anything we hear, from voices past or present, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In fact, stepping back, let us be ever focused and fervent to seek and wait for the Lord and His words, power and guidance, in the Spirit, BEFORE any and all other messages of any kind - amen! Oftentimes, it seems people are more eager to seek after and hear messages from various sources, apart from first and foremost keeping a mind set on the Holy Spirit and being attentive to the Lord's commands. This began happening even back in the first century and, to be sure, and has continued to be a hinderance to spiritually fruitful and maturing individual discipleship, as well as the healthful functioning and unity in His Spirit for His body/church.

Now, as Frannie rightly points out, the Lord does appoint offices of servanthood and leadership, within the true body of Spirit-led believers, in order to disciple, teach, work miracles and healings, prophesy, administrate, etc. One of my biggest frustrations in the Spirit and shared burdens from the Lord, Himself, born out of years of humble, quiet, deliberate, patient prayer - with no agenda other than to wait for the Lord in all areas of my life and being - is this: Too many people are presumed to be valid voices as preachers, teachers, etc. WITHOUT BEING EXAMINED AND PUT TO THE TEST CAREFULLY ENOUGH to be sure they are, in fact, born of and led by the Holy Spirit! Even those who may be identified as truly appointed or called to such ministries are subject to making mistakes and will not always have all of the truth or answers rightly expressed.

So, if I may humbly, yet boldly - with the confidence given me by the Holy Spirit and clear teachings in the Scriptures and New Testament - emphasize one thing, it would be this: Make sure we who are spiritual (and this, itself, is a critical test to pass, before anything else!) are ultra-focused in waiting for the Lord, letting His Spirit lead and guide, believing and trusting while we do He will make sure we recognize and relate to the right people He appoints and anoints to aid us in our journeys.

Having said that, I sense it is relevant to point out one more related thing, with respect to considering the messages like the one posted to begin this thread. If there is one major mistake I believe people like Ravenhill, Tozer and others made, during their lifetimes, it was to presume to try preaching and exhorting for general revival among the confines of the "denominational" and traditionally accepted religious circles and settings in the first place. Please don't misunderstand me, completely, to think I don't value and see much good discernment, insight, sound judgement about important problems and challenges these and other men like they were recognized on the religious landscape during their days. There are some key points on which I think Ravenhill very accurately describes serious deficiencies about the approach to the gospel and church function in the article Frannie posted here. However, it seems to me he and others were guilty of something which continues to be a problem today. We cannot presume to include any and all "denominations," "ministries," other so-called Christian organizations and their leaders in a general call to agreement to seek revival. God cannot and will not revive those who are not His in the first place! He may save some of them, along the way, to be sure. However, a call to revival and unity must be to those who actually have ever been known by Him and have learned something of worshipping Him in Spirit and Truth in the first place.

Ravenhill rightly points out a couple of things, at the very least, in the article we have been offered for consideration by our sister here:

Quote:
Many sermons have become religious entertainment....



Quote:
...we have taught people to witness and to work but we have not taught them to worship. Christians will not take the time before God to see Him in glory and majesty and holiness.



Alec, you are right to be cautious about paying attention to the many popular voices on our modern, religious landscape. I agree, wholeheartedly, there are and will be many who serve God, righteously and faithfully, who may never gain widespread reputation, acceptance or followings. However, if you will allow me, I'd like to encourage and caution you to realize many of the people you refer to as living quiet, suburban lives are not necessarily being led by the Spirit, themselves; rather, they most are congregating under the name of Jesus, alone. Well intended bible reading, prayer time, financial support, etc. are often outward, human-willed attempts to do things Christians are "supposed to do," rather than Spirit born and led lifestyles which are grow and are empowered from Above. Also, calling for leaders and believers to be spiritually concerned about the lack of holiness around them - especially within the body of Christ - is not in and of itself "belly-aching." Anyone who prays in the Holy Spirit, receiving and sharing the burdens Christ Himself has for His people, will most certainly labor in some level of deeply spiritual stirrings and longings. Your reference to Jesus saying we should not be anxious is out of context, as this is in regard to not worrying about our daily needs in the physical world, as we seek first His kingdom and righteousness.

I want to believe Ravenhill was genuinely and simply exhorting for patient, humble, self-less prayer to God, hoping truly spiritual people would rise up to live holy lives and allow God to use them healthfully. It's possible some of Ravenhill's attitudes and expectations erred, to some degree, on the side of being emotional, rather than spiritual in nature. However, I don't think he was asking leaders and believers to engage in preaching or prayer with a focus of inducing an emotional response. Greg rightly points out the truly spiritual leaders, like the apostle Paul, will have a genuine, spiritual burden for the body of Christ. Speaking from my own experiences, as one man called to separate Himself to God for many years in prayerful, patient anticipation of seeing the body of Christ become more singular, distinguishable and unified (IN THE SPIRIT), I have most certainly wept, groaned, cried out with fervent desire, etc. - as a result of fluctuating levels of the Holy Spirit's input and manifestations. Most days and hours are filled with silence, quieting my soul to remain ever attentive and await anything He may say on the subject. In the process, God has slowly, assuredly begun to build connections with other like-minded believers. Christ's desire and expectation to see His true disciples become truly one - in honest, real Spirit-led practice (really!) is mine, too, which is most certainly results in some deeply spiritual, deeply felt painful longings and, at times, emotional tailings.

One quick side-note: I do think Ravenhill was, sometimes, potentially a bit terse and overly-critical, from this and some other things I've read from him, about Christians enjoying some leisurely activities in this life. I presume he meant it more from the standpoint of trying to say people gravitate more easily toward worldly "fun" more than deeply focusing their lives on seeking first the kingdom of God and abiding in Christ, continually - which I can accept is certainly common. However, I have found - as one who consciously, deliberately, unceasingly waits for the Lord and prays in the Spirit, daily - God leads me to enjoy some of the good things He has made and allowed for us in this life. In other words, I don't seek to be entertained, to recreate, to "take it easy" on myself; but, as I seek Him first and obey His commands, abide in Christ and pray in the Spirit, pick up my cross and follow Him daily, deny myself, He leads me to enjoy certain amounts of those activities by faith.

Again, I feel compelled - by the Lord, in His Spirit (I pray you will trust) - to strongly re-emphasize the need we all have to fix our eyes upon Jesus, wait for the Lord with respect to all aspects of faith and life, be led and guided (really!) by the Holy Spirit, asking for the wisdom and discernment of God to distinguish between right and wrong teaching, true and false prophets, learning His perspective and way of uniting and building up His true Church.

 2019/7/26 14:56
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 Re:

In William Tyndale's day and afterwards there was revival in England when people were able to read the Bible in English, or to hear it read aloud.

It was that simple.

I find that those who moan "why no revival?" are really saying, "God, why aren't YOU working?" These people beat the sheep for not being holy enough, and try to do the Holy Spirit's job themselves, even though Scriptures tell us that the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

It is contrary to the fallen nature to want to read the bible, to pray, to go to church, to home fellowships, and to support missionaries. The flesh wants nothing to do with that. This is the work of the Spirit. God will have His remnant, as He said. These people whom I know are being touched by God. The name of Jesus Christ is being glorified. They don't need to fall into hype(rfaith) or under a condemning word either.

Leonard Ravenhill had NO IDEA just how much God was doing on this planet during the '70s, but he does now. He can rightly be awed at how much God has accomplished without, or even in spite of, our efforts. Yes, His hands are not tied to my obedience. " I will work, and who will hinder it?" says the Lord.


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Alec

 2019/7/27 11:52Profile
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 Re:

I think he was just trying to get people into heaven. Our salvation hasn't finished. As Paul said.... we are 'being saved'. And I know we have to follow the Lord in righteousness in order to be converted and die to feeling tempted by our flesh to the things around us that the world loves.
People like Ravenhill that want revival want to see God come to bring back lost righteousness on this earth.
They hunger and thirst for righteousness themselves.

Those that just want God's power to be displayed in the miraculous won't get a full blown revival like we saw on the island of Lewis. I remember that story of those people praying so that righteousness would be restored to their island. I believe that was the difference.


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David Keel

 2019/7/27 12:37Profile
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 Re:

Right now
Famous ministry = lucrative business

Peggy & Christine Smith were two sisters in their eighties, living in a very modest cottage (called a black house in the Hebrides) who interceded for souls because they saw that the younger generation was lost on the isle of Lewis.

They did NOT have a commercial enterprise, they were not famous---in fact, one was blind and both were too infirmed to go to church so Rev. James Mackay of the Barna congregation would come to see them.

God heard their prayers and Duncan Campbell came from the Scottish mainland, being fluent in Gaelic which was predominant on the isle, not English, and powerful revival ensued.

Those sisters did not have newsletters, they had no "following," they were simply shut-ins who connected with the heart of God, and it overflowed into the entire isle for several years.

Commercialism is not a necessary evil when it comes to ministry----it is utterly contrary.


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Alec

 2019/7/27 13:52Profile









 Re:

First and foremost, I pray God's true grace, mercy, love and the power of His Spirit would abound and multiply in and toward you, Alec - as well as any and all who are reading this and are called of God to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Amen!

Alec, let's agree there is a tremendous need to always test the spirits behind anyone and everyone's messages and "ministries," - past and present - to see if they are truly of God. In fact, as I tried to emphasize in my last reply, let us not be overly eager to presume there is a need, in the first place, to seek out the latest messages and workings of any particular person or group, especially if the reason is because they are well known or popular. We must ever be singular in our focus upon Jesus, set out minds on the Spirit of God, pick up our crosses and die to self daily, etc. in our pursuit of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We can and must trust God will make us aware of the right voices, messengers, and other true members of His one body, for the benefit of all...amen!

Now, because I don't know you, personally, I cannot know at this time whether the people you know and mention to are true disciples and Spirit led members of Christ's one body. In fact, I don't know that about you, nor you of me, to be frank and fair. However, my only point in making the comments I did, before, was to point out we shouldn't and cannot rightly assess anyone's spirituality based upon their activities and habits alone. Based upon my experiences in the Lord, as one who may sincerely attest to being Spirit born and led - actively, consciously, with the powerful and fruit-bearing inner workings and exercising of spiritual gifts distributed to this member - I prayerfully discern and witness there is far more routine and outward display of religion than truly spiritual lives displaying His distinctive presence at work. In other words, there are plenty of people who spend a lot of time reading the Bible, doing works they feel are important, attending conferences and seminars, supporting missions and ministries, evangelizing, etc., who are not Spirit led. So, while I'm sincerely not specifically accusing you or your friends of such a state, I'm simply pointing out this happens all the time. The flesh can most certainly be carried away by the wrong spirits - even with good intentions - which don't justify them before the Living God. Remember, Satan [*disguises himself as an angel of light and his falsehoods still allures many, including some who would like to be considered Christian and are fooled into thinking they are worshipping Him properly.

Apart from those simply deceived, others who are genuinely called men and women who, although they may be on the journey to arrive at the truth, have not yet been found fully in it. I often compare people in this situation to the disciples, before they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, about whom Jesus said they knew something of the Spirit, since He was WITH them; yet, not IN them until later. People can be called of God, in the process of being drawn and prepared by the Father, which I've known to take many years in some cases. Meanwhile, they most certainly may be practicing some form of attempt to learn of Him and worship the best they can, until the Son is more fully revealed to them. God will protect and give them a chance to repent and learn to follow, in due time, hallelujah!]

*(Please note: The area in brackets, starting with the word disguises, has been edited and added too, after a good reminder from Tyler/Martyr.)

**Romans 8:14 NASB; 2 Timothy 3:5 NASB (In and of itself there is a relevant observation expressed in this statement of Paul's, even if not only referring to the more obviously false brethren he is discussing in this letter. There's most certainly a lot of "form of religion" on this planet, much - if not most - lacking the true power of God's Spirit in it!)

However, I pray you and your friends are genuinely spiritual people of God, sealed with the baptism of His Holy Spirit, learning to walk by it and abiding in Christ Himself. If this is the case, I hope you and they would pay that much more strict attention to the Spirit's guidance and rely completely upon His power, in order to be sure all you are and do will remain as gold, silver and precious stones before our Heavenly Father.

If I may ask, with utter humility, love and desire to fellowship with true saints, did you, yourself, clearly receive the Holy Spirit as a part of your belief in Christ? Are you baptized and led by His Spirit, consciously and actively? I promise these are not "loaded" questions, with an agenda or desire to call you out or debate. Rather I'm hopeful to gain a brother. If you prefer, please feel free to email me, privately.

For anything it may be worth, please know God led me away from the nonsense being played out in most congregations, by most recognizable and popular people, movements and organizations, many years ago. I share your skeptical, indignant spirit about the nature of much of today's religious noise and activity. I have spent years, literally, in quiet, humble, silent, patient, abiding, Spirit led prayer and waiting for the Lord - simply ministering to Him and allowing Him to transform this living and holy sacrificed body and life. I agree there is and will be a remnant, whether the majority perceive and recognize it or not. Hallelujah!

Let us truly stay in tune with the Spirit of God, allowing Him to guide us and build up living stones into His spiritual house and royal priesthood. Along those lines, although you are not obligated, I welcome you to contact me - if you sense it would be of any benefit or interest, in the Spirit - to see if there may be any mutual benefit and blessing from the Lord. If this vessel has anything to offer, I am glad to spend and be spent, sharing of that which the Lord is doing and has given me for the service of His people.

*Philippians 2:1-11 NASB

 2019/7/27 15:06
CalvaryCom
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Joined: 2007/9/29
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 Re:

Do you really talk like that in real life, Kurt? The pompous religiosity is pretty thick - and verbose - in your posts.

Adios.


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Alec

 2019/7/27 19:39Profile





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