“I Saw the Brownsville Revival”

Filed under News, Revival & Prayer on June 11th, 2011 by Bryan Anthony

There is a well known book among those who read of historic Christian revivals entitled “I Saw the Welsh Revival”, by David Matthews. It’s an eyewitness account of the remarkable outpouring of God’s Spirit in Wales, 1904. It was a time like no other, and there is ample literature and documentation available for those who would look for it. The wise will do so.

I was not alive in 1904 (!), nor even in 1949, when the praying sisters in the New Hebrides and that great voice Duncan Campbell were witnesses to a true moving of God’s Spirit that transfigured the moral and spiritual climate of those islands off the west coast of Scotland. Campbell would later describe the revival as a time when “God stepped down, and was at work amongst men.” We need to be aware of what the Lord has done throughout Christian history, and learning more from these revivals- among many others- will kindle a flame of hunger and faith for a mighty work of His hand in our day.

We must make note of more modern works of God’s Spirit as well, and among the many, I aim here to share my own experience in what came to be known as the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida, 1995-2000. Men have criticized this moving of God’s Spirit, as is always the case in times of revival, and often the criticism came from those who had little or no understanding of what really occurred during those last years of the 20th century. To be sure, no revival is without flaws (as Wesley famously noted), but we err tragically if we permit the shortcomings of men to eclipse the glory of God’s work.

Prayer Leading Up to the Revival

The revival, unlike the Welsh or Hebrides revivals, was poured out upon a Pentecostal congregation, the Brownsville Assembly of God. Though the denominational roots differed, God was clearly at work in similar ways. He transcends our affiliations and responds to hearts that hunger and thirst after Him. You may have heard only negative accounts about Brownsville, but if you’ve studied past revivals as I have, it will be clear to you that the fires of revival were burning for those 4 or 5 years at the end of the 20th century.

In 1993, Senior Pastor John Kilpatrick changed the order of the Sunday night gatherings from the standard service where the congregation often heard from guest speakers, to a night of prayer for revival in the Church and in the nation. Evangelist Stephen Hill, principally used of the Lord to preach in the revival, later shared a journal entry from one of his earlier visits on these Sunday night prayer meetings:

If the Lord is going to pour out His Spirit anywhere, it will be at Brownsville.

He testified of seeing children prostrate before the Lord, some of them with fingernails sinking into the carpet, weeping and interceding over the condition of their unsaved loved ones. It was “deep calling unto deep” in the heart of the Pastor, and in the hearts of those in the congregation. A spontaneous, unusual moving of God’s people unto prayer has always preceded remarkable seasons of Holy Spirit outpouring.

“When God is about to do a mighty new thing, He always sets His people praying.” -Jonathan Edwards

“When God Stepped Down”

On Father’s Day, June 18th, 1995, Stephen Hill visited to preach. He was a 41-year old evangelist who had labored abroad in America, Europe, Russia, and Argentina. At age 21, he was dramatically saved from a life of sin, including drug addiction and multiple crimes that led felony convictions. He went through Teen Challenge and on to Twin Oaks for biblical training. This formative time, in ministries established by David Wilkerson, helped shape the manner of man that would make him a voice in the revival. His class on prayer in Bible school was taught by Leonard Ravenhill, whom he later developed a close relationship with. These influences undoubtedly marked him, and I am convinced that the revival itself was partly the fruit of brother Ravenhill’s tears in prayer for revival, as well as his fervent prayers for Stephen Hill and Michael Brown. He knew and prayed often for both of them in the latter years of his life. (It is an interesting coincidence that the revival commenced on what would have been his 88th birthday.)

Stephen’s insatiable burden for lost souls, which often drove him to tears while preaching a message of repentance and forgiveness, spread like an uncontrollable flame through the hearts of men in the revival meetings.

That Father’s Day in 1995, after the congregation had contended for revival in prayer for 2 years, witnesses testified that an unusual measure of the Lord’s presence and power came into their midst. What followed was a remarkable season of revival, wherein multiplied tens of thousands came to repentance and faith in Christ. The Spirit of the fear of the Lord gripped men’s hearts, ministers were quickened to prayer, a burden for the unsaved permeated the atmosphere, and “times of refreshing” came “from the presence of the Lord.” Within 5 years time, more than 200,000 souls had cried out to the Lord for salvation and mercy, over 200 laborers had gone overseas for long-term missionary labors, and countless Christians- believers and leaders- had responded afresh to the call unto a life of holiness, worship, prayer and evangelism. The Lord had heard the cries of His people for an outpouring of the Spirit, and the fruit of His answer was both glorious and historic. The fires of heaven-sent revival were burning.

Professor Vinson Synan, a leading Pentecostal historian and the Dean of the Regent University School of Divinity, has called it “the largest local church revival in the history of America,” writing that, “Brownsville, with its emphasis on conversion and people weeping over conviction of sin, seems to be a revival in the long tradition of American native revivals dating back to the preaching of Jonathan Edwards. There’s heavy preaching on sin, repentance, conversion, and holiness. And there’s a lot more weeping and wailing over sin than there are the so-called exotic manifestations.”

As with all historic revivals, there were unusual happenings, controversy, and various manifestations. But the overall tenor and message of the revival was in a continuum with all true revivals of yesteryear. Revival will glorify Jesus Christ, not a man or a peripheral doctrine, and the outbreak of rejoicing that occurs will be the result of His redemptive work in the midst of the people. The joy will not issue from the faddish buzz of a new emphasis or movement, but from the awareness of mercy that springs up from souls who have beheld the cross, experienced redemption, and who are thus overflowing with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for “so great a salvation.” Such was the case at the Brownsville Revival. And this will be the case in all true revivals, great or small.

My Own Experience

In July of 1996, over a year into the revival, I was a 17 year-old atheist, regularly doing drugs, toting guns, given to drunkenness, filled with rage and bitterness, and battling suicidal thoughts.

My great-grandfather was an AG pastor, a man of holy living, and an intercessor. I had been raised in the Assemblies, but at the age of 17, I had not yet been born from above.

The youth pastor at my parent’s Church was planning a missions trip to a poverty stricken area in Medart, FL. His intentions were to stop for a day at the revival on the way down. My parents asked him if I could go along, and his response was, “It’s a missions trip. He’s not even saved!” He agreed to pray about it, and the Lord impressed him to bring me along.

We arrived in Pensacola on July 20th, 1996, and showed up at Brownsville AG at about 1 p.m. Already, nearly a thousand people were gathered in a large bunch near the door, waiting for the meeting which began at 7 p.m.! As an unbeliever, I thought, “What is wrong with these people? They’re nuts! Why are they so excited to get into an AG Church?” I remember spontaneous hymns of praise rising from the throng while we waited outside in the hot Florida sun. “How Great Thou Art,” “Amazing Grace,” and several others. Passers-by on the street (the Church met in the poorer area of the city) were hearing songs of praise to the Lamb of God, and this has been common in times of revival over the course of history. O, that every city would hear again of the glory of Christ, through the revived hearts of His people! But here I was, in the midst of the crowd, totally detached from their joy.

My hardened heart grew curious when the doors opened, as I saw men, women and children moving quickly and earnestly for a seat in the building. As I walked into the building, even as a hardened sinner, I began to sense a difference in the atmosphere. A strange pull began to affect me. I felt increasingly uncomfortable about my sin, but there was an unspoken yearning for truth, reality, and salvation rising in my soul. I watched the people engaging in fervent and sincere worship and praise which lasted well over an hour, and a conviction of my sinfulness was intensifying. I attempted to put a wet blanket over it, even turning to the young man next to me and speaking in jest about the people worshipping around me. But I could not evade or circumvent the fact that something, or Someone, as real as He was invisible, was moving in the midst of this people.

The evangelist then brought up several women from South Korea, who had come to America to pray and street witness at the Atlanta Olympics. “What did you come to Brownsville for, dear sisters?” “To receive the Holy Spirit,” they replied. Upon praying for them, they collapsed in a heap on the platform, with tears flowing copiously, crying out, “Oh God! Save souls in Atlanta…. Souls…. Souls….” The prayer went on for some time, and when it subsided, the evangelist began to preach. It was a passionate call to repentance, a cry to humble ourselves, turn from sin, have faith in the work of the cross, and receive the free mercy of Jesus Christ. I later discovered that this was his message every night at the Brownsville Revival, but on that night, I felt I was alone in a room with the preacher and the Holy Spirit.

The word was like a hammer that shatters the rock, and I could not resist the Spirit any longer. I understood clearly that I had to “flee from the wrath to come” and receive a new heart from the God of mercy. I was undone in my sin, and overcome with the revelation of the cross of Christ. I was gloriously born from above that night, and nothing has been the same since. Glory to the Lamb that was slain!

When I went back to high school the next semester, 27 students called on the name of the Lord as a result of the transformation they saw in my life. I was immediately freed from the grip of drugs, alcohol, suicidal tendencies, and rebelliousness toward my teachers and parents. One day, I even jumped in my ’89 Thunderbird and ran over more than 250 of my music CD’s that were filled with immoral themes and profanity. What else could I do? I had experienced the cleanness of a forgiven heart for the first time, and I could not engage in that which contradicted it.  I began preaching in youth gatherings, bearing witness to the Gospel on the streets, and leading prayer meetings.

In August of ’97 I went back to Brownsville to attend the ministry school (at which Dr. Michael Brown was the President), from which I graduated in May of ’99. It has been a remarkable journey with the Lord, and it all began on that day when I passed from the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of His glorious Light. This was the experience of many thousands of souls who came to the Lord through the Brownsville Revival. We were witnesses of this for years, as we saw souls from every background- prostitutes, wealthy businessmen, thugs, and even preachers- bowed low before a holy God, crying out for mercy over their sin, having found that they were in need of cleansing as “God stepped down” in the midst of the gathering. Many souls, like myself, entered through the doors in unbelief, “dead in trespasses and sins”, and were born anew of the Spirit of God, saved to the uttermost by the power of the Gospel.

I remember many meetings when the fear of the Lord would grip the whole congregation of 4 or 5 thousand souls. Unbelievers were screeching and crying for mercy, intercessors weeping and wailing, and many throughout the crowd calling out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord….” Sometimes hours would go by in this manner, and you were gripped with the sense that brings to mind the words of an elder in the Hebrides revival:

“Tread lightly, for God Himself is hovering over us!”

I used to meet with a brother for prayer before our Bible school classes, and I recall pulling up to the school property in March of ’98, where the student’s morning prayer meeting was moved upon by the Lord in a profound way. When I pulled into the parking lot, students were prostrate all over the campus, laying in the grass or on the sidewalks, groaning with hunger for God, and asking Him for mercy on behalf of our nation. Strong men were broken before the Lord, trembling and weeping in prayer, and everywhere in these times the hearts of God’s people seemed fixed on His throne. You were directed heavenward merely by being there. I felt as if I had stepped out of my car and into another world, where the earth was permeated with God Himself! O, that every community of saints would be marked with this kind of reality, for the glory of Christ!

True revival will not necessarily look the same in form, cultural expression, or style of worship. But when God is at work in the midst of His people, Jesus will be glorified, the “pure celestial fire” will burn in the hearts of men, the preaching will be marked with conviction, brokenness and holy authority, the burden for the lost will break out, heaven and hell will become real to men’s hearts, a passion for the Scriptures will increase, the Spirit of prayer and intercession will be kindled and will spread, the joy of the Lord and the fear of the Lord will mark the Church in a remarkable way. These are some of the fruits of authentic revival, and it ought to alarm our souls that they are so scarcely seen in the Church of our day.

When the Lord is at work in your midst, it won’t be identical to Brownsville, Wales, the New Hebrides, the Great Awakenings, or any other historic moving of His Spirit. But the reality of God, which purifies and revives the hearts of His people, exalts the Lord, and turns transgressors into saints will soon be evident. Do you long for Him to come to your community, dear Christian, or are you cool and content with the gravitation toward moral blurriness, prayerless Christianity, and a low view of the majesty of God?

We are in radical need as the Church in these days, particularly in Europe and America. As the moral tone of society continues to decline, as the saints find themselves more and more distracted by technological advances and novel forms of ministry, as strange doctrines and fraudulent gospels are introduced to the religious landscape of our nation, we are in need of true revivals again. O, that a cry would ignite in the hearts of His people! O, that the fire of God would again fall! O, that conviction would grip the house of God! O, that the tide of prayer and worship would rise again! O, that repentance and mercy would flow again in a watershed revival!

We’ve got to give ourselves to prayer, saints, that the Lord would quicken and awaken our hearts and our churches, that our cities would know something of His reality. I don’t know about you, but I’m dusting off my old revival books, and “remembering the deeds of the Lord.” I am not content merely to read about them. I want to weep and pray, repent of my own sin, respond to the Lord in obedience, turn to Him afresh, and cry out for an outpouring of mercy, “waters upon the dry ground.” He is stirring His people afresh in these days. Prayer is increasing, and something is happening in many hearts. We must take the “ancient paths” of prayer, worship, and obedience. We must pursue the knowledge of God, contending for revival and a recovery of foundations.

…. It is one thing to shout it, it is one thing to sing it, it is one thing to talk about revival, but give me a people on their faces, seeking to be rightly related with God, and when that happens, we will soon know the impact of God-realisation in our country.

God is not going to respond to a feeble fleeting wish.

If you want revival, get right with God. If you are not prepared to bring the “last piece”, for God’s sake stop talking about revival….

It is about time we got into the grips of reality. Are we thirsty?

“I hunger and I thirst,
Jesus, my Manna be.”

-Duncan Campbell (The Price & Power of Revival)

 

Bryan Purtle is the founder of the Antioch Prayer Society in Kansas City, MO.


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20 comments
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  1. Oh, how desperately we need revival. God, inflame our hearts with genuine love for You and pour out Your Spirit again in our day and our time!

  2. Bryan you were at the Brownsville Revival?? What years did you live there?

  3. Eric,

    I came to the Lord there in 1996, and attended BRSM from August 1997 to May of 1999.

    Blessings,

    BP

  4. I desire a mighty move of the Holy Spirit among our people. I followed the Brownsville Revival closely and absorbed as much as I could and it has transformed my life through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

  5. Paraphrasing Dr. Brown, “We don’t have revival because we’re content not to have it.” Tragic. Awake, O sleeping virgin, Awake! Go and buy. Go and fill…….

  6. Thank you for writing this account. We watched many videos, and gave away many ministry videos, from the days of the revival in Brownsville. Though we were not there in person,we were deeply impacted and have never been the same. We became “revivalists” in spirit, and once you have tasted real revival, you can never be content with scraps from the table. Our prayer is that God would bring about divine connections with others that have this same desperation, and cry, to pray and seek His face for our province of Newfoundland and nation of Canada.

  7. Amazing! The fruit of the revival is ridiculous!!

  8. Revival and renewal are promised in early 2012, if we petition in union, and with humility in late 2011. In fact, this will be a worldwide realization of the Spirit of Christ, as many have heard promised. It is good to reflect on how His purposes for redemption reached into our own hearts and minds and made it so. It is good to worship, love, and obey our Lord Jesus Christ, and accept His life, death, and resurrection enablements, the solution to the heart problem of all people, everywhere.

  9. That is a powerful testimony, Bryan. I came here kind of sceptical because of articles I read claiming that the revival was unbiblical and had people barking and acting like animals. Your testimony indicates that Jesus freed you from drugs,atheism, drunkenness, rage, and bitterness. I have been struggling with severe demonic oppression for almost two years now. I pray the Lord would have mercy on me and free me from this stuff. I have felt something moving, twisting, and clamping down in my left chest region. This feeling came after a month or more of nightmares (heart pounding ones) and my “hearing” a wicked voice that kept accusing me and threatening that it was going to hurt me and others. It got to the point where I would find myself in a half-asleep state mumbling hate talk to God….I would wake up and be like, “What did I just say?” I so need help. I think I have a rage and bitterness problem too. I so wish Yahweh would have mercy on me like He did with you, and please make it all leave. Please if any of you on this site who believe in the power of intercessory prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit….please, I beg you to pray that Yahweh would show His mercy to me. I so need help. I noticed you are part of a prayer society…do they do intercessory prayer? My previous pastor indicated he thought it was hormones (he retired)….the new pastor seems to indicate that he thinks it is psychosomatic….I am having trouble believing this thing that feels like a vacuum sucking in my chest wall, that twists around and causes pain, and that felt like an eel mouth or something at one point pulsating as it felt like life energy was being sucked out of me….is just a figment of my imagination. I have begged Yahweh to have mercy on me and have cried out to Jesus over and over. I confess I have a heart problem here….please, would God have mercy on me and heal my heart?

  10. Sorry….I meant “skeptical.”

  11. Judy,

    If you could email us at antiochsociety@hotmail.com we would be happy to talk and pray with you on a more personal and private level.

    Grace to You,

    Bryan Purtle

    “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  12. Hi Bryan,

    I graduated at BRSM in May of 2000, so your details of the Revival in Pensacola ring out with me. Incredible testimony! Its good to meet and hear of folks that were there and are still feeling the fire of revival in their hearts. We so desire to see moves of God around the world again and are praying for that.

    I, my wife and boys were missionaries in Italy and then Germany for several years after BRSM and came back to the States to plant a work in Fort Mill, SC with John and Joanne Cava in 2007. You will remember the Cavas from Pensacola, as John taught many classes there.

    Actually John and I are taking a team to Germany and Italy the last week of this month to further works in Karlsruhe and Heidelberg in Germany and the Avellino area of Italy We would really appreciate your prayer for Fort Mill and the works in Germany and Italy. We will be also visiting Justin and Rawan (Haj) Shrum in Germany and Ciro and Kathy (McAndrew) Scuotto in Italy. All of whom were also students at BRSM.

    Many Blessings to you and yours and May the Lord of the Harvest soak you with His presence today,
    Scot Ford
    World Outreach Center
    Fort Mill, SC

  13. Scot,

    Sorry for the delayed response. Good to hear from you. We will certainly pray for the works in Fort Mill, Germany, and Italy…. that the Lord would “pour out waters upon the thirsty ground.” Please tell the Cava’s and the Scuotto’s ‘hello’ from the Purtle family.

    For the glory of Christ,

    BP

  14. . I wanted to share something with someone. I never told anyone the whole thing. about 17 years ago I was in a Hospital and met a lady there.When we got out she took me to atlantic city for my 21 st birthday. We came back here to Uniontown . A few days later she ask me if I wanted to go on a journey.She drove us to Alabama. I had a Mushroom book and wanted to find mushrooms there. we went . We had an argument and when I woke up she was gone . I was stranded with no money . I started to hitchhike toward PA. I was on a geton ramp on the interstate and a man who had a teen daughter stoped and ask were I was going I got in and told them what happen. The man put his hand back to me and the girl did the same thing and they began to pray for me. He drove me to a Greyhound bus station and bought me a ticket and gave me 100 dollors cash . he ask that I pay him when I can and I promised to do it. I wrote his adress in the mushroom book . But I lost the book on the bus. I want to locate these people. But how? I have a few clues to them and hope its enough. I believe they are responsible for leading me to the lord even if its been this long,And I want to repay them. thankyou for reading this. I needed to tell someone.
    There people who gave me a ride was attending a revival somewere in SC june or July 1995. I believe they came from Canada.

  15. I’ll never forget what happend to be there. I was there in 2004. I was there and I felt “the last flickers” of that paticular move of God. It happend in the summer. There were about 5 or 6 of us. It was there and then it was gone. But God fulfilled His promise to me. In 1997, He said I would experiance this outpouring, but I would see the last flickers of the fire. I didn’t know what that meant until 2004, when it happened. I left that Aug. There was no reason for me to stay anymore. I miss it so. People ask me “what happened there?” I simply tell them, “I met God.”

  16. My husband and some sons went to the Brownsville revival in Sept. 97. I was in TN visiting family with our younger children. We had seen a video of Alison Ward that was given to us by a friend at our church . We had always felt their had to be more and had been in a small revival at a small church south of Atlanta and knew their had to be much much more. So that night after their First night at Brownsville, I talked to him and he was more excited than I had ever heard him. By December we bought a house and he moved me and our children down from Ga. to Pensacola. He came down from work in Ga. every Thursday and went back to Ga. on Sunday or monday each week until 2001. It was the best experience watching people run to the altars every night to get right with Jesus. The atmosphere was undescribeable . It was like every night the Glory of God was hovering over the whole area. Sometimes when you would go outside there would be people under the glory. It was the most amazing experience we have ever had and we constantly yearn and ache for that experience again. Anytime we talk about it or think about it, it seems the glory always starts again in our hearts. We want to see revival again but everywhere, not just one place, although what started in Brownsville is not yet finished. We believe many fires will ignite from many like us who experienced it and are hungry to see more salvations etc.. I think America is being prepared with all the things that are going on now. We saw so so many saved each night and can’t wait till it is happening in the streets, churches, wherever God choses to take it to reach the lost. We were changed and will never be the same! For those who doubt God’s Existence, We can say we feel His touch since then , anytime are in need , He comforts us! JESUS IS REAL. HE LOVES YOU AND PLEASE NEVER FORGET THAT!!

  17. I would like to share an insight on God’s revivals that runs a bit counter to the traditional view. But let me say first I wholeheartedly believe all the revivals mentioned in Bryan’s article were genuine moves of God. My insight is not about the genuineness of these liberating experiences – but why God sends them in the first place. The popular opinion almost makes them an end in itself. Like the character Scotty in the Star Trek series who would shout down to the engine room – “Send up more power!” – we cry out to the Lord to give us more of Him to give us renewed energy to keep heading along the course we are already on. But with greater gusto.

    I believe the Lord wants us to pause and wonder why we continually find ourselves in such a dead state of affairs that we need more power to go on? Because for us to need to be constantly “revived” clearly indicates a condition of exhaustion approaching atrophy. So what is sucking the life out of us? And why is this such a recurring problem? When you look at the life of ancient Israel you see they too went through the same cycle. And it was always because they allowed themselves to be seduced into forms of religious idolatry which precipitated the removal of God’s protection and blessing. That then allowed Israel’s enemies to dominate them creating the need to turn to the Lord again and cry out for revival and deliverance.After a time, God graciously would raise up a champion to restore them to favor, which always required repentance and a return to true worship. So I ask – what is our problem?

    I believe God sent these revivals because we have gotten ourselves enmeshed in a false system of religious idolatry that has been killing us for centuries.. But no sooner do we repent of our ways then we go right back to church life as usual – but with a new tweak in our theology that accommodates whatever truth we learned in the revival. Look at the Pentecostal revival that exploded on the scene in the early 1900s with signs and wonders. Look how that eventually it settled down and became one more denominational choice. One more division in the body of Messiah. The one that believes in gifts and speaking in tongues for those who like that sort of thing.. So that today are just as dead as the rest of the church and in need of revival (a la Brownsville).

    Therefore, here is my insight. I believe all our revivals were sent by God, not to firm up our churches to carry on with more power – or to start new ones – but to deliver us from this Catholic church system once and for all. Therefore, my prayer is that the next revival would enlighten the eyes of our understanding to see how this system has robbed us of our total dependence upon God through faith in Jesus and put us under the leadership of men and their systems of theology. Because I don’t think we are going to get many more chances to wake up and smell the coffee.

  18. BP, MB,

    I write now to revise my June statement on the promise of revival in 2011 and early 2012. What came of a partially comprehended view for renewal of His People was then out of focus on finding a maturing model of faith’s promise for our pursuit of Church at large faithfulness. The same old same old is discussed in part in BJ’s brief review of Christian religious idolatry, which, when settled down and structured, partly explains what has fallen short of the promise of the Universal church adequately impacting this world for its harvest and the unity of His own. Over time grouped together responses to Christ evolved into denominational structures of emphases, including those of the past Pentecostal emphases resulting over time from this article’s studied movements.

    As BJ wrote, the historicity of such is not doubted, but the long term effect on witnesses bearing Christ’s efficacy is. When Christ focus became self focus, over time something was lost in every instance of structured establishments. The development of a conclusion offering a solution was not heard then in my own understanding by that partially understood in June and earlier, nor does BJ’s final paragraph really offer a solution to the problem of idolatry, dissipation, and nonabiding faith for the church-at-large as to its presenting divisions coming in time. This is not simply about a lack of power, but a lack of truth and grace coming to us in heart and focus in Christ centered mutual acceptance. Spinning more words of analysis off this book excerpt article on historical Revival by itself too lack the stream of life coming onto the soil of growth,i.e. for the living church as it is found on the planet.

    A population of universal faith in Christ, of His witnesses living on earth, consists of a Great Multitude and 144,000 of the Jewish 12 tribes at the end of the Age of the Gentiles (in the Revelation, giving pictures of such being the faithful in the face of persecution in the Revelation of John). Their soil of faith and response is Christ Himself, not our responses to meeting based power experienced or any denominational historical/conceptual imposition of a considered documentation. Power without achieving the balance of heavenly counsel indeed resulted in factionalism over time coming among the church, as became in part alike entrenched denominations over time.

    Though that is the case, B.J.’s final paragraph offers no real solution. The solution is not to deliver us from a resulting historical church system, or primarily its idolatry, as scattered around and about, but to renew our devotion to the Commission given by Jesus, to He Himself, as witnesses of Him (of His Message to this world), and, of course with confirming empowerment coming along with a resulting response to His given Counsel. And it is more. The seven fold Spirit of God of Isaiah 11, and the Revelation, results in delight of the awe of Him. It offers a complete paradigm of the living Church and living Spirit maintaining His lit lampstand. The balanced view of this active Spirit working indeed, written as 6 attributes as summarized in the 7th, does not overemphasize power or might, but equally emphasizes all His attributes and a resulting delight in the awe of God coming among His own.

    It is not the season in Christ to look back, in order to plow the fields ahead for planting. It is the season for the One New Man arising of the New Covenant from those of past divisions to look to a maturing model of leadership, for becoming all He wishes, through the Message of Jesus Himself. This year, in our petitions, submissions, repentance and permissions, for renewed consecration, let us make ourselves ready for His Return.

    The seven fold Spirit of God represents one pure picture of a balanced active and contemplative model of God being and working among the living People of God, in and as the Church, through mention of His attributes. It becomes in focus, as is described: a maturing model for regard of God’s mentioned pure abilities for the Bridegroom coming for His Bride. How to both maintain light for the awaiting and abiding community’s lamp, by trimming its own doing and being while so in wait? How too to be The One New Man of Ephesians past mentioned identity associations? All past division is in a sense swallowed up by a purity of balance in representation of Christ’s working Spirit, and so in relationship to its placement among His People.

    No greater leader is given as our model than He Himself as is highlighted in the Revelation. No other call for devotion is given than for the endurance of His Saints who are identified by direct association with Him by their testimony, not as being witnesses of the Spirit itself, as such. His own People and His Spirit, broken out for our understanding into its attributes, for our emulation, carry His Testimony (not our’s or of the Spirit in itself for the enablement of power alone). Witnesses who wash their own being and action in His blood are discovered in the final analysis as His own. A maturing model accumulating the full Stature of Christ will look to what is written at the end, for its final analysis, and aim.

  19. Here is the maturing model for the full stature of Christ. It is given up to the point where His judgement strikes the earth. That is our assignment to bear testimony in all our ways, of Him.

    Isaiah 11.

    1There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of(A) Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
    2And(B) the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
    3And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.(C) He shall not judge by(D) what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
    4but(E) with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. English Standard Version rendering.

    To receive empowerment is not our goal. To faithfully testify of Him in all our Ways is (which, coincidentally in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will empower us to do and be as He was, is and is to come).

  20. -Here is the Message Version of our Maturing Model (thanks Dr. Klein),

    A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding Branch.
    The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him,
    the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding,
    The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength,
    the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.
    Fear-of-God
    will be all his joy and delight.
    He won’t judge by appearances,
    won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.
    He’ll judge the needy by what is right,
    render decisions on earth’s poor with justice.
    His words will bring everyone to awed attention.
    A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked.
    Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots,
    and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land

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