Friday, May 25, 2007

A List of Online Resources for the Charismatic Resurgence!

The tide is turning! The tidal wave is growing! There is a groundswell of hope and faith rising that God is on the move! Are those optimimistic statements gone mad? Is that the deluded statements of an idiot? Or is something truly happening across the world? It's my suspicion and hope that God is indeed stirring His Church and I think the charismatic blogs across the internet are reflecting that growing stirring hope.
I wonder if anyone remembers the excellent cumulative blog, "A Running and Terribly Disorganized List of Online Resources for the Charismatic Theological Pillow Fight". I found that particularly helpful and interesting as the writer tracked much of various blogs that were written across the internet concerning charismatic issues in particular. It is my intention and hope to base this blog on that with several differences. The title of his post made it clear that he was interested in disagreements and debates.

Mine won't follow that as much as I can possibly allow. I am more interested in the various posts and blogs arising from the short list of blogs that I read and follow and enjoy. I would greatly appreciate comments which bring articles to my attention that I may have missed, as I don't have the time to scan the net hunting. I hope that this blog will after time become a valuable resource for people like me who carry a great hope that the tide is turning and we are to see better days in the Church.

One final point. A common accusation thrown at charismatics by cessationists and indeed some continuationists is that we don't use our brains and that certain tele-evangelists are representative of us. Indeed I am weary of the amount of former charismatic leaders who have marched their churches towards functional cessationism because of their distaste for excess or concern for orthodoxy. I hope this growing list will prove to the contrary.

Precursors to the Charismatic Blogging Resurgence.

There has been some excellent charismatic material made available prior to Jesse's useage of the term "charismatic resurgence". The blogging world moves so fast that it might be forgotten and it shouldn't be. Here are some links that came to my attention.

Terry Virgo - the father of Newfrontiers - preached an outstanding seminar at Stoneleigh Bible Week 1999 on the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". It wasn't just theological. He invited many hundreds forward to have hands laid upon them, and I personally saw many receive an experience of power and heard them speak out in tongues or prophecy. Follow the link for the entire transcript of what he said. Speaking of Terry Virgo, he began blogging on April 25th 2007 to the thrill of many. His blog is certain to mirror his honouring the Word of God yet passionate welcome of the Holy Spirit - something that is getting rarer again.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached a series of sermons at Westminster Chapel on John 1:26, 33 which have been preserved in the book "Joy Unspeakable". In one sermon in particular he spent the entire time arguing reason after reason why the baptism in the Spirit CANNOT be identical with regeneration. The outline and key quotes of that sermon are here.

David Devenish - prophetic apostle from Newfrontiers - wrote an excellent article in an old Newfrontiers magazine (Winter 2001) on the Gift of Prophecy. Part 1 and Part 2. Speaking of the gift of prophecy, it is well worth visiting "Prophetic Reformation" - a site ran by Jon Cressey, a prophet from the Newfrontiers Sheffield Church.

1. Monday May 14th 2007.

London based church pastor Pete Day wrote a blog entitled, "Hiding in the Caves" quoting extensively from Terry Virgo's book, "The Tide is Turning". He noted that both Jesse Phillips, himself and myself had written posts reflecting upon the unusual position of being "Charismatic Calvinists". His premise and his challenge was;

"Are we guilty of spending so long defending reformed doctrine at the expense of living in the good of it? Doctrine is a source of confidence and strength, but also a motivator to action ... Let our doctrine release us into faith-filled action!"

2. Thursday May 17th 2007.

Pastoral intern and theologian Jesse Phillips can be thanked for coming up with the phrase, "Charismatic Resurgence" in his blog here. He was inspired by Tim Challies reflections on blogging (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) and Jesse wondered this;

"... if blogs could contribute to a reformed resurgence, could not the blogosphere also contribute to a charismatic resurgence, particularly by increasing people's faith for gifts such as prophecy, faith, miracles or healing?".

3. Saturday May 19th 2007.

I wrote a response to Jesse's original pioneering post called, "A Coming Charismatic Blogging Resurgence?!". I reflected upon both Pete's post and upon Jesse's post and commented upon the excitement I felt within myself that something was happening. I offered six suggestions as to how we as bloggers can use our websites to stir our reader's faith and hope and see what we write on the internet come into action in local churches.

I offered Ern Baxter's interview; "Concerning William Branham" as a gift to revive people's faith that God can and does heal dramatically and miraculously today.

4. Saturday May 19th 2007.

Janelle Phillips wrote a fascinating blog called; "An Interesting Definition of Sovereign Grace". She had found a definition of the group of churches - SGM - she belongs to on the internet site Wikipedia and noted that SGM are criticised on two fronts. One from the Reformed churches they associate with for continuing to believe in the charismatic gifts of the Spirit, the other from charismatic churches accusing them of going soft on the charismatic life they claim to.

The main grounds for this claim comes from an annotation by the SGM theologian Jeff Purswell adjusting the traditional Pentecostal view SGM used to hold regarding the baptism in the Spirit. A church does not need to believe this now to belong to SGM but can be Third Wave.

Janelle found herself wondering if one must choose whether to be "too Reformed" or "too charismatic" - which is better?

5. Sunday May 20th 2007.

After listening to Jesse's podcasts I reflected upon the issue of the "Baptism of the Spirit evidenced by gifts". I had been reading a book called, "These are not drunken as ye suppose" by Professor Howard Ervin and commented on the challenge that we who have been baptised in the Spirit face. It is not enough to simply manifest the Spirit's gifts at the time we received the baptism of power. We must heed Paul's command to "stir up the gift within you by the laying on of hands".

6. Wednesday May 23rd 2007.

Traditionally the term "charismatic theologian" would be a misnomer - about as puzzling as "Reformed Charismatic". But God in His grace has given gifts of such theologians to the Church. Men blessed with great intellect yet who still believe that God can and does bless His Church with supernatural gifts. These include men such as Wayne Grudem or Dr Sam Storms.

I wrote the post; "The Case for Being a Charismatic!" using and abusing Sam Storm's excellent recent post, "Case for Continuationism". He presented 12 reasons why it is bad to be a cessationist and 12 reasons why it is good to be a continuationist.

7. Thursday May 24th 2007.

Sarah D has returned from the Newfrontiers Prayer and Fasting days with some awesome reports of what God did and what He has to say concerning the future of His Bride - the Church (and it sounded like Luke picked a bad one to miss!) Her report came in two parts - Part 1 and Part 2. Some key points;

a. Rob Rufus was present and his opening statement to the gathered masses was: "I have never been in a place in the past 30 years where the people are so hungry for God". He said that we should live to fill people with God's presence and he will fill our buildings with people! The Church should seek God's glory about everything else, not to meet each others needs. Rob's ministry was accompanied by signs and wonders. Sarah wrote; "as Rob requested the 'fire of God' waves of his presence filled the room...again...and again...and again...!!"

b. Wendy Virgo brought a picture about the way the Presence of God would be brought to "Together on a Mission" in July in Brighton. "She believed God was saying 'my royal priesthood will bring the presence of God.' This would be a position of honour and dignity, but would be done with boldness. God has ordained us for this task and we will be a people to be reckoned with". Newfrontiers prophet Julian Adams then brought a word on the back of that picture saying that he could smell fresh bread in the heavenlies and it is ours for the taking!

Rob Rufus spoke again on the anointing of God. His points;

"What does it do? - it heals the broken hearted, sets at liberty those who are bruised, it sets prisoners free and gives a garment of praise in place of ashes (these are a few I managed to jot down from a long list!)
What is it? - it is God's presence and power made manifest.
How is it conducted? - It is tangible and detectable and discernible to your physical body...heavenly materiality! It is 'of substance'
How can I receive it? - By faith....we looked at Mark 5, where the woman touched Jesus' cloak and was healed....faith pulls the power of the sovereign God into our meetings
".


8. Thursday May 24th 2007.

On the same day, Pete Day responded to Janelle's post; "An Interesting Definition of Sovereign Grace" by writing a post called; "How important is the Holy Spirit?". He reflected on the growing unity between a previously charismatic group of churches like SGM and Reformed cessationists like John MacArthur or within the conference Together for the Gospel - and asked; "How should such unity impact upon our charismatic life? Should we downplay it and seek gifts less in the interests of unity?".

He answered her question by agreeing we should never be accused for having a false gospel but urged;

"Should we hold back on seeking these things for fear of offence to the cessationists? Acts 2v38 ("what shall we do?") is answered by repent, be baptised and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. As charismatics is it right to reduce our gospel preaching to simply repent and believe? Don't we want to see new believers birthed fully into Kingdom life? ... the Holy Spirit is, as it were, the dynamite of Kingdom life and we must not limit His gracious influence in anything we do, whatever people may say.".

9. Friday May 25th 2007.

Luke Wood has been listening to Terry Virgo preaching on the Church and has begun transcribing. Key quotes can be found here.

"It's interesting that Jesus said to His disciples 'go and make disciples of all the nations' and the strategy they immediately took on board was to go and plant local churches. That was the way they saw that they were going to fulfil that commission to make disciples. That was the way they chose to do it".

There was no explicit reference to charismatic life in those quotes - but surely the Church undergirds any charismatic resurgence that God may choose to bring about. It's all for the Church! It's all about the Church! It's all going to happen within the Church and to the nations!

10. Saturday May 26th 2007.

Good friend and blogger Julie pointed me to this awesome looking blog; "The Sound of Thunder". It's written by a Pentecostal pastor and he calls his favourite links, "Lightning Rods". An excellent post to begin with is one called "Shaken Not Stirred - What do we need in order to launch out in the Holy Spirit?". It's going to be added to my regular blogs to visit!

Speaking of Julie, she's been busy with a series on posts looking at the vital issue of grace vs legalism (here is an excellent example - "What about Grey Areas?"). Again it's not immediately connected to all things charismatic, but it is a foundational issue which can instantly grieve and quench the Holy Spirit. So visiting her blog in our study of the longed for charismatic resurgence is a MUST!

Luke continues with some key transcripts from a recent sermon by Terry Virgo and he brings the vital question of "Existence of Apostles Today" into view. This quote in particular shows how we desperately need Ephesians 4 Ministries to continue our charismatic resurgence.

"Jesus ascended on high: it doesn't say he gave some priests, he gave some clergymen - it doesn't say that, it's not in the Bible. It says he gave some apostles to make sure churches are ... places where Jesus was manifest in phenomenal glory again and again and again. that's part of our calling as a family of churches, from generation to generation. Let's plant church after church where the presence of Christ can be known in that particular place"

11. Sunday May 27th 2007.

I transcribed and posted a section from a Question and Answer session at the Life in the Spirit Conference 1997 at Westminster Chapel between Drs R T Kendall and Michael Eaton. They are dealing with the subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Dr Eaton is absolute - it cannot be identical or synonymous with regeneration.

My faithful friend and unpaid researcher Julie pointed me to another awesome blog - called; "A God-Entranced Vision of All Things". With a title like that of course he has to come from Dr John Piper's church and his description of himself more than qualifies him for entry into this growing blog; "I'm a charismatic Calvinist fighting with all my might to lay hold of everything for which Christ has laid hold of me". There's that combo again - charismatic and Calvinist!

One post in particular is very relevent; "The Central Issue in the Charismatic/Cessationist Debate". He sees it very concisely; "The central issue is this: what is role of the Bible in the Christian life?". What particularly interested me was a comment someone left on the post and the dialogue that followed. The guy wrote;

"To quote John Wimber, the Bible is the menu not the meal ... In fact I think this is becoming more important as I understand it more. I believe the cessationist view does damage to the Gospel. The Gospel is about the coming of the Kingdom of God. A true ambassador for this Kingdom both proclaims and demonstrates its power. To do less compromises the message".

It's a fair point. Cessationists don't hesitate to accuse charismatics of adding to the Word of God, of being Gnostics (a charge laid at my door by a former elder) or Mystics (also laid at my door). Are we abandoning true honesty for the sake of some form of unity, when we should be expressing our concerns that their views may be doing damage to the Gospel?

12. Monday May 28th 2007.

I have begun adding a collection of "Smooth Stones from Ancient Brooks" - quotes from authors on the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and have added them to "Underlined Bits" - the treasury of quotes. They are here, here, here (my favourite one of Ern Baxter's!), and here (also a famous one by Dr Lloyd-Jones where he thunders, 'Got it all? Well if you have got it all, why are you as you are?').

13. Tuesday May 29th 2007.

A very important day for the Charismatic Resurgence of blogging and a landmark in this post that is frantically trying to document and record it all!!

"Prophetically Speaking" writer Jesse Phillips - now a graduate of the SGM Pastors College - has published and made available his paper defending the doctrine of subsequence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit!

It's available here and is entitled: " Subsequence: a biblical-theological defense of Pentecostal pneumatology". Like the landmark book, "Joy Unspeakable" by Dr Lloyd-Jones, this paper demands an answer from those who would seek to deny Christians their inheritance. It must be read and must be digested but more importantly must be taken heed of so that we go out and pray for those around us who are hungry for more of the Spirit of God!

This point in particular is very striking;

"My finding is that the Pentecostal understanding is both the most Scripturally sound and historically proven way of doing this. Although there are certainly abuses of it in some (or many) circles, like all theology that may be abused, such abuse of theology is insufficient reason to seek out new theology, if the abused theology is biblical. I believe that the Pentecostal view of the Spirit's baptism is oft abused, yet throughly biblical and should therefore be profusely defended and correctly applied".

He most certainly has done just that.

(HT: Pete Day).

14. Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I brought a pile of second hand charismatic books from the 1970's and 80's yesterday and have been reading and enjoying them. It occured to me from a comment that Tim Challies made, that writing what we see is VITAL! "We all want to be part of what is unfolding". If we don't write, then the tidal wave of revival that is coming will come and go and be forgotten. I shared how excited I am - I don't think ever before in the whole history of the Church have so many people been writing what they are seeing!

Pete Day makes some comments on the release of Jesse's paper on the baptism of the Holy Spirit asking just how important it is.

Luke Wood made the vital point that "God uses people!". We don't have to attain any special spirituality to be used of God in the charismatic gifts - they are gifts of grace! He wrote;

"If we are to experience the fullness of everything God has in our lives, I believe we need to put away individualism and be open to the Spirit of God drawing people together for good. It's not a novel thing, it's a Bible thing!"

Julie has put out a quite serious challenge to those of us longing for a charismatic resurgence and being consistent with the rest of her posts recently, it's a warning against the evils of legalism. She writes;

"Prayerfully consider the links you put on your blog and the ministries you recommend to others. So many are legalistic and becoming more and more blatantly legalistic as they are praised by others for their great 'holiness'. We are not doing people a service by pointing them in any direction but GRACE. There is no power in the law, and legalism will kill us spiritually and make us resistant to God's Spirit".

I second this warning. Nothing quenches the Spirit's fire like legalism and to those who I am close to in the blogging world, I make myself accountable - if any of my links even hint of legalism then please warn me and they are gone!

15. Thursday May 31st 2007.

Jesse has posted an excellent practical follow-up to the publication of his paper on the baptism of the Holy Spirit called; "Leading children in the baptism in the Holy Spirit". This quote in particular really moved me;

"We need to make sure that we transmit to the next generation all of our values. My concern would be that we don't think regularly about our charismatic distinction in a doctrinal sense. We need to transmit our doctrinal distinctives, who we are as charismatics, why we believe what we believe, and in particular this doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit."

Hobbes wrote a short piece on the "Newfrontiers Prayer and Fasting" event that Rob Rufus spoke at.

16. Friday June 1st 2007.

Julie has written two outstanding posts today, one called, "Are you a Charismatic?". You can't get more direct than that! She is breath-takingly honest and writes;

"It's a scary thing to step out and throw your arms up in the air to cry out 'God, do whatever you want to me , in me, through me!' and I can't blame anyone for being a little nervous about the results. But I believe that if we do this, there will be impossible to ignore results! Why? Because this kind of surrender can only flow out of true faith--utter dependency on our God who we know to be utterly trustworthy. So maybe I'm still in the open-but-terrified group more often than I care to think about. Am I really willing to yield to the Holy Spirit all of myself all of the time? Are you?"

She then brings one of those "testimony" posts that I wrote about in my post on blogging here. She has come back from a conference and encountered the Lord there and it so stirs my faith and increases my hunger to read about it. "Good smiling sigh ... In His Prescence and I'm addicted!". I love her final paragraph;

"I have to agree with one of my newer blogging friends (Peter Day)that: "...But I think if I wasn't criticised for being too charismatic, I would be worried..."Well, I've certainly jumped into the crazy pool with this post, so I guess it's only appropriate to end with the classic Vineyard prayer, "MORE LORD!!!!!"

Go read it!

17. Saturday June 2nd 2007.

Pete Day posted a vital blog today called "Fueling the charismatic resurgence". It really starts to get to the heart of what I am longing and others have been longing for. Pete wrote; "God's purposes were advanced by means of the printing press". This really tied in with what I was trying to get across on my blog; "Write What You See!".

I still cannot get away from the suspicion that when God's people write and preserve the 'word of their testimony' for generations to come, that moves of the Spirit of God are preserved, remembered, honoured, learnt from and most importantly built upon. When the people of God cannot be bothered to write and prefer "coffee times" instead - then ministries, moves of the Spirit, movements of churches are forgotten.

Let us heed Pete's urging!
"The point of my post today is to encourage us to publish! ... I would encourage anyone who God prompts to begin to contribute to the charismatic resurgence! Let's fan the flame in each other's hearts and fan the flame for revival".
18. Sunday June 3rd 2007.

Today marked a significant step in trying to determine what charismatic blogging really is. After all there really are "No Well-Worn Paths" ahead of us. A search of Reformed and Puritan books won't give guidance on blogging per se. And "Charismatic Reformed blogging"?!

So virtually writing simultaneously (which was quite unnerving) Luke and I both published blogs looking at aspects of actually writing blogs. Luke titled his; "Strange Coincidences?" and addressed the prophetic aspect to blogging - the fact that God can speak on virtually identical subjects to different blog writers across the nations. Note this especially; "But another part of me is secretly and quietly excited that in God there are no such 'coincidences'".

I wrote; "The Ethics of Spirit-Filled Blogging". It was a collection of thoughts about what we should be avoiding (anonymous comments in particular) but more importantly involving the Holy Spirit in our writing. What does HE want saying?

Jesse has posted an absolutely OUTSTANDING blog post defining the key terms that are being used frequently across the nations and the blogging world at the moment. It is called "Charismatic or Continuationist" and examines familiar terms such as "cessationist" but also the more newer terms such as "functional cessationist". He wrote this of functional cessationism,

"In other words, someone who is theologically open to the continuation of gifts may still be functionally cessationist by not pursuing or practicing them".

We should be warned! We may call ourselves charismatics yet be functionally cessationist. Jesse then goes on to deal with the term "Continuationist" - a term that I have mentioned a couple of times I have a problem with. Jesse (and I most definately agree!) argues that the term "continuationist" is not a biblical term. Paul didn't encourage his churches to be "continuationist" in theology - an ideological belief they exist. He wanted them used. Jesse then goes on to make the important point that;

"Continuationism is a reactionary term: not being found in scripture, this is a counter term to cessationism. It is easy to choose terms to counter another argument. I do not believe that we should let cessationism choose the terms of the debate. We should use the biblical term (charismatic) regardless of how it may be abused, and strive to overcome theological cessationism and functional cessationism".

I couldn't agree more! This post is MUST read and I predict be a landmark in this mapping of the charismatic resurgence of blogging.

19. Monday June 4th 2007.

I posted a prophecy that Julian Adams gave to the Gateway Church recently. Why did I do this and why do I think this prophecy will help contribute to the "Charismatic Resurgence" we are watching and hoping will continue to grow? For those who have been following the "Spirit of God!" blog since I started, you may remember a comment I made on 9th July 2006. I wrote;

"One of the things that I want to do on this blog is to transcribe prophecies that I have come across or perhaps that I have had myself that are worthy of reprinting. Paul is absolute - prophecy is a gift of the Spirit that should be "most eagerly" desired! It is a gift that builds up the Church, it encourages the Church and it can challenge the Church".

Others may remember that I transcribed a series of prophecies from "Together on a Mission 2006" last year that profoundly impacted me. There was a number of key prophecies from Terry Virgo (here and here) and there were also prophecies from Ginny Burgin and John Groves. Jesse Phillips has argued well that we cannot become functional cessationists because of abuse of the gifts of the Spirit. We must be honest - one doesn't have to look too hard to find charismatic abuse and excess thanks to John MacArthur and others.

But my point in transcribing these prophecies is that there is also a lot of GOOD examples of the Spirit manifesting Himself through the prophetic and I want to publish them here as a motivator for our faith. God is speaking through the prophetic! Let's seek to be used by Him also.

20. Tuesday June 5th 2007.

Dr Sam Storms has announced that it's less than a month until his new book; "Signs of the Spirit - An Interpretation of Jonathan Edward's Religious Affections" will be out! The aim of the book isn't to dumb down Edwards - Crossway assure us but to make him more accessible. I also added a brief comment by way of a tribute to Storms. He seems to manage to walk the unique tight-rope of being an outstanding theologian but still manage to encourage people into life in the Spirit. It's a must-read for many of our library shelves!

21. Wednesday June 6th 2007.

Jesse posted an extremely powerful yet personal blog called "The Power of God in Prophecy". He shows a humble reluctance to share a personal post because; "it is fraught with potential pitfalls into pride and self-absorption, but I wanted to disclose a personal testimony of the power that can flow through the gift of prophecy". Like Terry Virgo's recent personal post, this too carries a power and a weight that is entirely appropriate, helpful and suggests to me an acute listening to what the Spirit wants publishing.

The essence of the post is a prophecy he brought at Covenant Life Church where he was based at Pastors College and the powerful effect that being faithful to the Spirit's tug brought. He concluded;

"I'm a firm believer in prophecy. It can help save marriages. Open your mouth and prophesy, fulfilling Joel 2. You never know how the smallest word or phrase can be taken many miles by the Holy Spirit. Consider the stakes of not being faithful, and prophesy boldly".

To me this is a direct fulfilment of the Scripture - 1 Timothy 1:18 that speaks of "BY the prophecies, you fight a good fight". I'm not saying God wasn't capable of saving that particular marriage by another method. I believe fervently that in His divine sovereignity, He CHOSE to save that marriage BY that prophetic word. It's awesome - go read it!

Janelle (Jesse's sister) has been travelling a bit but I noticed that she is preparing her heart (an incredibly wise move when encountering God) for an awesome sounding women's conference that I wish my mum and my sisters could come to! It's called "Joy Inexpressible" and the leading speaker is Jenny Detweiler - wife of the awesome Brent. Ladies - it'll be worth keeping an eye for the notes on this one!

22. Thursday June 7th 2007.

Thanks to Jesse for the pointer to this one. Adrian Warnock wrote an outstanding post making the wonderful connection between resurrection and baptism of the Holy Spirit - that Ern Baxter emphasied again and again. This post is actually part of a series that began here. I love the post because Adrian is using (and helping to revive) the term "Sealing of the Spirit" which of course was one that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was passionate about too. He wrote; "To Paul, the sealing with the Spirit is a foretaste of our inheritance".

The post is actually a wealth of resources because he includes a number of links to previous posts on the sealing of the Spirit - here, here, here and here. There are some outstanding quotes by Dr Lloyd-Jones that he includes also!

Also Jesse has joined the "Underlined Bits" blog which is hugely excited! His first post is an awesome one from C H Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit.

Finally a good friend of mine - Hugh Griffiths - has restarted his blog up with a vengence. He is an elder of a church in Swansea in Wales with a great name - "New Covenant Church". That's a kind of church I would like to be a part of! He shares my passion for Ern Baxter and I love his Kingdom vision. He has written a number of posts on the charismatic statesman Arthur Wallis. There is a free download of Arthur's book "The Radical Christian". This is a book particularly worth reading because of the awesome Spirit-inspired vision. Get to the blog and get reading!

23. Sunday June 10th 2007.

Apologies for the short break in keeping this post upto date. Ern Baxter has been keeping me occupied. That's not to say that nothing has been happening. There are some awesome and very encouraging posts to report!

Terry Virgo has returned from his ministry trip to the USA and wrote an awesome post reporting about a miracle that took place there. He wrote that a young man called Parker Marks was healed of dyslexia and publicly glorified God by reading from the Bible on the conference platform. Quite rightly he is moving from the Bible onto Terry's book; "A People Prepared"!

I've been reading and enjoying the "New Community Church" blog run by Matt Hosier. The latest post carries an awesome definition of the Kingdom of God which was written by a group including Don Carson and John Piper. The definition reads;

"The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.”

Charismatic resurgence is inevitably linked to the Kingdom of God! It has to be! As Ern Baxter wrote - every healing and deliverance that Jesus Christ performed was evidence that the Kingdom of God has come and Satan's kingdom is on it's way out! Hallelujah!

On this site - "The Spirit of God!" - I wrote that I have been expanding my audio library and have been listening to Tyrone Daniels - the leader of New Covenant Ministries International (of which Rob Rufus is a part). His message; "The Potency of the Prophetic" is awesome and must be heard!

Luke Wood is joining me in getting excited about the up and coming Together on a Mission! He reminded me actually that one of the awesome joys of the conference is the chance to give to the work of the Kingdom of God. I'm praying that God will give me a figure that I can give. I'm also praying He will provide it!

Julie has done a vital thing in reminding us of the key place of servants of God in any charismatic move of the Spirit. Rob Rufus is one such servant of God. She draws together some key quotes of people who have benefited from Rob's ministry already. Although one might think of miracles, signs and wonders when Rob's name is mentioned - her post reminds us that primarily Rob Rufus absolutely abounds in the grace of God - like Terry Virgo. Her post prompted me to write my tribute; "So who is this Rob Rufus?".

The wonderful Jon Cressey from Sheffield wrote an awesome post on "The Prophetic Initiative" and noted;

"The gifts of the Spirit are there for our encouragement, exhortation and comfort. Did we really stop needing those wonderful gifts by the end of the first century? Have we have allowed silence to determine truth? ... These wonderful, dynamic works of the Holy Spirit bring revelation, encouragement and hope to a sin sick world. They are the comforting signs of a loving God that is still engaging the hearts and minds of mankind, drawing them to Himself and revealing the kind intention of His Will".

And Adrian Warnock adds another glorious post to his "Resurrection" series reminding us of the final words of the risen Christ; "GO!". Adrian wrote;

"People sometimes ask why some modern Christians are eager to be "missional" — it is quite simply because the one Man who has conquered death and will return one day has left us orders to do just that!".

Let's never forget that the charismatic Presence of the Holy Spirit is among us and is beating with a missional beat. He hasn't come to bless us and give us goosebumps. He's come to empower us and anoint us in order that we might indeed go to the ends of the earth shining out, pouring forth the glories and the wonders of His grace.

24. Tuesday June 11th 2007.

Jesse posted a wonderful and challenging post called; "God has a unique purpose for each generation". He began by looking back at his fathers within People of Destiny (as was) and remembered;

"... various men began to realized the absence of churches practicing authentic New Testament Christianity. They were envisioned by the book of Acts and were captured by its picture of what the church should look like, and they rose to the challenge of their generation to build upon the biblical blueprint.Reflect with me. Those were crucial times".

Amen! Crucial times indeed and I know that similar stories have happened within our own Newfrontiers and also other movements of churches. It is actually quite a simple thing that waits for each generation according to Jesse. Rising to the challenge of our day and meeting it by God's grace. He then goes on to outline the specifics of the challenge facing our generation. We must;

"1. Realize the inadequacy of the previous work ... the fact that Christ has not returned means that the work done was not fully adequate ... What is your legacy going to be if you simply coast with what you've been given? ... If you have never been alarmed at what is undone, then you may never accomplish what needs to be done ... 2. Tremble and the task ... 3. Embark on adventure".

That post is scarily almost unique because you don't hear many people speaking that way anymore. Primarily because our father's generation don't want to admit that their work was inadequate and our generation doesn't want to admit that we must take up the baton and go further and higher than they. I think that's why I appreciate Terry Virgo so much. He's a rare lone voice calling for fire to come up from within the next generation. This post must be read - by old and young alike!

Julie wrote a vital post called "Using the gift of tongues". She hinted at a lack of teaching on this gift and reminded us that it is not to be looked down upon. As usual she is breath-takingly honest and her testimony moved and challenged me to stir up that gift within my own life.

As a semi-response while thinking about her post, I went on to write one of my own asking where is singing in the Spirit in our churches? I recalled that people testified to angels singing along at the Dales Bible Week and posted a live worship MP3 I have made of the Dales here. Luke helpfully reminded me of something his pastor Arnold Bell taught - that singing in the Spirit is most powerfully manifest when the church is at one in relationship.

26. Tuesday 26th June 2007.

Apologies for the fortnight abscence from keeping this post updated. A small matter of moving house is partly to blame along with beginning a new job. However I have been eagerly scouring the internet for further posts that could serve to fuel the fires of charismatic resurgence that are steadily growing brighter.

Let me begin by dispensing with my own poor contributions. On "Life on Wings" - I noted that the wonderful Rob Rufus will be present and speaking at CCK, Brighton on Sunday 8th July just before the conference begins. This is incredibly significant! The whole week long conference will be life-changing for many (I believe) and this is a chance to hear Rob in a smaller more local setting.

I then went on to write a post called; "When Pneumatology Gets Real". This was partly thanks to reading Gordon Fee's latest book; "Pauline Christology" and meditating on the wonderful intimate cry that the Holy Spirit causes us to utter; "ABBA!". But it was also partly due to the disturbing news that a number of young people I know of have seemingly backslidden and left the church. My conviction is; these young people need to receive the Holy Spirit in power! They need to know that intimate cry coming from within them - Abba! Father!

On this blog - Spirit of God - I wrote two posts. One on the "Physics of Tsunamis" just trying to learn from a natural phenomenon and secondly I found an amazing videoclip of Kathryn Kuhlman. Oh to encounter the Spirit like she!

After a blogging break, my friend Pete came back with an awesome post called; "Why did Jesus come?". This vital connection between the Person and work of Christ and the Person and work of the Holy Spirit has been re-emphasised to me again and again particularly through Gordon Fee's "Pauline Christology". The two simply cannot be seperated! It is neither more holy nor more "evangelical" to isolate the work of Christ to the neglect of the Spirit of God.

Pete reminds us that ultimately Christ came to reign. If He were still hanging upon Calvary broken and bleeding then the Spirit would not be poured out. If He were still lying wrapped in grave clothes in a garden in Jerusalem then the Spirit would not be poured out. If He were still walking around with His disciples then the Spirit would not be poured out. But the fact that He ascended into glory and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high means that the Holy Spirit has been poured out and is available for those who come to Jesus and ask for it!


"Our happiness should be demonstrative ... It is to be feared that the church of the present day, through a craving for excessive propriety, is growing too artificial; so that enquirers' cries and believers' shouts would be silenced if they were heard in our assemblies".

My new friend Jesse Phillips has been incredibly busy and productive and has written some blogs of sheer quality. He began by asking "When are tongues wrong?". This is a vital question. Our danger in reacting against cessationism is to accept manifestation of tongues gladly and without restraint. Yet the Bible mandate still stands! The need it seems to me - is to begin to pray for and expect people with the gift of intepretation to be present so that the body is always edified by understanding.

He then wrote a post called "Charismatic Integrity" very much in the spirit of C J Mahaney. He concludes; "There can be no lasting revival or ongoing charismatic resurgence without all hands on deck being clean of scandal. Seasons of great kingdom progress require God's grace, which is promised to those who are humble and walk in the light". It is a message that needs to be heard. The danger is that men such as C J Mahaney can be dismissed by our generation because of their age - so we need to hear men of our generation echoing the same call.

Jesse's next two posts are reviewing Sam Storm's book; "Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Gifts" - looking at the chapters on the "Words of Wisdom and of Knowledge" and "Faith and Healing". He has got some very interesting insights into what Storms writes. He doesn't always agree with Storm's conclusions (as neither do I) but disagrees humbly and backs up his disagreements very well.

Luke's post entitled; "Wessex News" started me off on a "Terry Virgo" hunt. In his post, Luke reported on the recent regional Newfrontiers celebration at which Terry was speaking. It wasn't so much the content of Terry's talk that gripped me but rather John Grove's introduction. Apparantly John said;

"I am confident that if you listen to Terry, God will speak to you this evening."

Sounds incredibly arrogant doesn't it? But in listening to Terry Virgo over the years, I know that this is true. I've heard man after man who can get close to Terry (and not many can) testify to the fact that they all realise what a man of passionate prayer Terry Virgo is. He prays and spends time with God - therefore can it be any surprise that even when he preaches the same message that one has heard before, God speaks?

On a "Terry Virgo" theme, Adrian Warnock has commenced an interview with him - Part 1 and Part 2 - are available. He made two points that I found interesting and encouraging. The first was picking up on the theme of implications of being baptised in the Holy Spirit.

"I felt that what had happened to me was so radical that it had immediate implications for how we do church. If the Holy Spirit has come, we couldm't do church the same way. It was like a string of dominos, the fact that I now spoke in tongues and had the potential of the prophetic, and a far more intimate sense of God's presence meant that we need a new wineskin for this new wine. This meant that I was committed to the restoration perspective. This was simply a goal of recovering New Testament Church life".

And secondly I deeply appreciated his honesty and candour that not every church within Newfrontiers represents the ideal. There is always work to be done in "restoring God's house"!

"Currently some churches within Newfrontiers are more intimately interwoven than others. My desire is that every church should feel that security of apostolic involvement intimately, and the enjoyment of being caught up with that apostolic figure and the team that is working with him. As we grow on as a movement we need to see multiplied apostles with their teams serving the churches".

In other words - we need more Ephesians 4 Ministries if the charismatic resurgence is going to continue! It isn't enough to sit back and expect Terry Virgo and Dave Holden and Dave Devenish to "do it all". We need to be praying and looking within our churches and asking and pleading that God raise up and give apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor/teachers!

My friend Julie has found two Anglican vicar/prophets on a blog called "Terrestrially Challenged". They've written some excellent stuff particularly on the difficult relationship between pastors and prophets called "A Prophetic Dilemma". I think many of us will identify with the feeling that the pastor doesn't trust or like us!

27. Sunday 22nd July 2007.

Any charismatic resurgence post cannot begin without referring to my US friend Jesse Phillips. He's been very busy since I last updated this post and began July by changing the name of his website from the old "Prophetically Speaking" to "Resurgence". A great name! But why that particular one? Jesse writes;

"When the Bible speaks of the gifts of the Spirit, words having the connotations of "enablement", "dynamic" and "workings of power" are used. To exercise a spiritual gift is to experience a surge of strength foreign to the natural man. In order to accomplish the task of the expansion of the gospel and edification of the church, Christians are in need of daily "resurgences" of this grace from God to do what he has called us to do".

This is very much in line with what Dave Holden discussed at TOAM 07 - the gifts of the Spirit are not an optional extra! We need daily "resurgences" of the grace power gifts from God! Jesse and I share a historical hero in the person of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and he posted a great blog on the Doctor with some interesting quotes from the Doctor's biography that I haven't really encountered in depth before. Here is the best;

"We need some supernatural authentication of our message ... Is it not clear that we are living in an age when we need some special authentication-in other words, we need revival".

Jesse then posted two interesting blogs looking at the question of should cessationists and charismatics be debating the spiritual gifts at all? It's an important one that has occured to me again and again. Conferences like "Together for the Gospel" have made the very deliberate decision that the Holy Spirit and the gifts that He brings to the church is a secondary issue (they believe) to the Gospel and will not deal with it in the confines of their discussions. I personally struggle with that concept - but I think Pete Day's post "How Important Is the Holy Spirit?" brings a wise balance to that. He said;

"We must be careful not to downgrade our charismatic distinctives - even subconsciously - in order to avoid offending our cessationist friends".

And speaking of Pete - his summary post while we were at "Together on a Mission" summed up beautifully what Reformed charismatic life is all about;

"The presence of God in this place is so heavy ... The prophecies are awesome ... There is amazing, equipping teaching ... There is awesome impartation".

I think Julie wrote a vital post called "What are we so afraid of?" which marks a real key if we are going to see a real charismatic resurgence across the world. I know some have voiced fears and concerns about some things that Rob Rufus spoke about but since coming back from the conference I have really been looking through the Word of God as to how to test and prove if something is of God or not and it isn't actually that difficult! Julie wrote quite accurately;

"So many of us are all too willing to risk losing out on the experience side as long as we feel secure in our having 'right' doctrine. We feel that it's somehow more respectable to be right and proper theologically than it is to a have dynamic living relationship with our Creator through the person of the Holy Spirit in us".

And I echo her desire. I have been brought up with "caution" etched across my entire childhood. Surely the Bible speaks time and again of "Zeal for Your House consuming Me!". Of course the Word of God commands that we be cautious - false prophets will arise up in the last days. But we have been given more than enough to know who they are. The acid test is - are they leading us to Jesus? Are they creating in us a desire to know more of Him, to rest more at His feet, to read more of His Word, to make Him famous among the nations?

Gavin White and his church are off to the Ministry Without Borders Bible Week. I love the faith and expectation that is panning various families of churches. I think that was Rob Rufus's major contribution last week - to begin raising our expectation and our faith and begin asking God - "If then, why not now?";

"I believe we will see healings and miracles as the Holy Spirit moves in power".

Faith does indeed seem to be rising and rising - an expectation that we are meant to be seeing something more across the nations that we currently are. The fatalistic end-times thought that we just hold on to the end is dying out ... hopefully! As Dave Holden once said; "Our eschatology affects our ecclesiology". Or the way we view the end affects how we live now.

And finally:

Since my last post I have started up a "Pentecostal/Charismatic Post-it Notes" blog. Why the bizarre name? Because it has been my practice for many years when I have been reading and come across a quote I like to put it on a post-it note and stick it up somewhere. While I think the "Underlined Bits" blog is excellent, I have a vast quantity of notes and quotes that might not be quite appreciated there! This blog is exclusively for anything Pentecostal or Charismatic! At the moment my dear friends Scott and Pete are helping me add quotes because they know the kind of quotes I am wanting! It is my hope that it will grow to become a really useful resource for those of us longing for more of the Spirit of God.

There are quotes from "Together on a Mission" here.

And quotes from Rob Rufus here.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

12 comments:

jul said...

Wow Terry didn't make the first cut...?

jul said...

Rob Rufus believes that the reason we have a 'fading glory' is because we don't have a strong foundation of grace. He believes (and I most certainly agree!) that moving in the supernatural is on only possible through understanding and living in pure undiluted grace.

Peter Day said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is excellent to have this resource. I believe we can all benefit from sharing the things that God shows us so that we build each other up and stir up the gift of God that He has placed in each one of us.

I look forward to more!

jul said...

Dan, have you checked out this one? He has been resolutely arguing for the gifts. (He goes to Piper's church)

http://godentrancedvision.blogspot.com/

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks again Julie! You fount of knowledge - you! I had a brief look and it looks excellent. A bit of over-use of the phrase "Continuationist" tho ... ;)

I'm going to use today to read it more deeply and see what gems I can unearth!!

Keep looking!! :)

Anonymous said...

This is an outstanding post and an exciting landmark among the rising generation who aren't satisfied to pitch their tabernacles at the Charismatic Movement but want to go on and see full blown revival sweep the world!! May it stir faith, may it stir hunger, may it stir a passion for the Name of God to be glorified, honoured and welcomed!! May it spread fire and passion wherever it is read across the world!! May it contribute even in a small way to seeing the much-longed for, much-prayed for tidal wave of power come and sweep and hit Brighton!!

Dr S J B

Stanley Horton said...

I am so thrilled that you and Jesse in particular have got your teeth into this vital matter of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and are not letting it go under the populist flood of Third Wave theology thanks to men like Grudem, Purswell etc.

I was at Westminster Chapel when Dr L-J brought this monumental series and can testify to his passion to see people gain a true sense of their inheritance - an assurance of sonship!! Maybe he didn't focus on the charismatic gifts enough, but his passion was to see mature believers grounded and firm in their faith KNOWING that the Spirit within them was crying "Abba Father!!".

May that come back to the church again - maybe through both you boys work.

And a challenge to Third Wave readers - okay, my friends, you say you believe in subsequent fillings. If that's what you want to call it, then fine. But let us see you practically praying and ministering to people. Don't allow it to sink into obscurity just because of your pride in your openness to the charismatic gifts.

Peter Day said...

We now have Jesse's Paper on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit!!!

It's here.

And it's excellent.

Baxter's Boy said...

Awesome!!

Thanks for link!!

dr annette marshall said...

I love the sound of this woman's conference "Joy Inexpressible". So many women's conferences turn into a legalistic bash especially I'm sad to say if they are complimentarian run. This sounds like a joyful celebration of who they are in the Spirit!

Jake said...

What an AWESOME site - I found this by google searching. Who are you? And what is the story of how this came abotu? Please keep at it, I live in South America and God is powerfully at work and we are desperate to keep the revival gorwing.

Dan Bowen said...

Hi jake - glad you found and liked the site. I am a 30 year old nurse living in the UK striving to be rid of legalism and enjoy the lavish grace of God! ;) But on the side I feel God called me and some friends to publishing His truth - hence this site.

We have my dear friend from the US - Jesse Phillips (link to his site is above) to thank for the concept and term "Charismatic Resurgence".

I feel passionately that the charismatics have suffered from abuse that they are theological lightweights - this site aims to track awesome posts that are coming out across the internet that are raising faith in a God who acts and intervenes in society.