When it comes to Revival, I think we can all agree that Jonathan Edwards was an authority on the subject.
Although he had his critics, and some even doubted the very concept of Revival, there is no question that a spiritual resurgence took place during the ‘Great Awakening’ in the eighteenth century.
This Revival was in conjunction with the ‘Age of Enlightenment,’ which had begun in the seventeenth century and was gaining steam. At this time people began to throw off the spiritual and political shackles of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Humanity had grown weary of serfdom and began to see themselves as more than just vassals of the State and the elite.
As the RCC was slowly being defanged, the faithful began to explore the Bible and offer their own views of Scripture. They boldly stood on the fact that man is saved by grace through faith which is a gift of God. They began to see the works based ‘salvation’ of the RCC, as expressed in the ‘holy convocation’ of the Council of Trent, as the nonsense that it was.
Atheists also saw their opportunity to air out their beliefs in order to undermine the Christian faith in general. As more people began to turn away from the RCC, the atheists mustered up the courage to point out the abuses of this church and use these abuses to condemn the true faith as expressed in the Bible.
Atheists began to ridicule the Bible as a book of fairy tales about worldwide floods and magical creatures like demons. They then pushed the idea that reason did not need to be guided by faith and that man could choose his own destiny apart from his creator. As the power of Rome began to fade, they began to take credit for the resulting progress that comes when people extricate themselves from tyranny.
Fortunately for them, the RCC never had any interest in persecuting atheists because they seldom perceived them as being a threat to their power.
However, it was the Protestant Reformation that broke the power of Rome, not the feckless atheists. When this power was broken, it unleashed a torrent of thought that had been dammed up for centuries. A flood of new ideas, good and bad, came streaming out as freedom of speech and conscience filled the Western hemisphere.
This new freedom to explore human potential was intoxicating.
When the papacy had risen to power, it was able to stifle human progress for hundreds of years. The genocide against various people groups, the inquisition, the attempt to annul the magna carta, prohibitions against owning a Bible, Unam Sanctum, and the murder of the saints are only a few of the reasons that people could not wait to extricate themselves from the Dark Ages.
And let’s not forget that outrageous incident with Galileo.
As the RCC began to lose temporal power, there arose a period of rigorous scientific, philosophical, and technological progress that resulted in great optimism about the future. This new intellectual freedom eventually led to the Industrial Revolution which created great prosperity for the world.
The world was beginning to emerge from the Dark Ages. The RCC had been more effective at stifling progress than any of the previous barbarian invasions. It had no interest in progress since progress, which brought prosperity and freedom to the laity, interfered with their temporal power.
Although atheists such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot attempted to hijack the Enlightenment, and turn people against the Christian faith, this progress had nothing to do with nihilism. It was the Protestant Reformation that caused the world to discard the paganism of the papacy and the church of Rome.
Atheism offered nothing of value during this period, or any period for that matter.
As evidence of the feebleness of atheism, we need only compare the French Revolution to the American Revolution. The French Revolution was inspired by atheists and it was a total debacle. The American Revolution was inspired by Christians and it led to the creation of the greatest nation the world had ever seen.
If we judge by results, which is the best way to judge any historical event, then the Christian faith gets all the credit for modern progress.
The RCC was beginning to fade but it would not go quietly. It still had numerous tricks up its sleeve. Its primary goal was to reverse the Protestant Reformation which had led to an increase in knowledge and prosperity.
The RCC never gave up hope that a counter-reformation could successfully reverse the advancements of the Age of Enlightenment. It longed for a return to the Dark Ages, and still does, and would work tirelessly to turn out the light of the Reformation.
In order to instigate their counter-reformation, they chose to follow the way of Balaam. Just as the nation of Israel was seduced away from the Lord by his treachery, the papists would move to seduce the unstable away from the influence of the Christian reformers.
Like Balaam, the Jesuits would find a way to infiltrate Protestantism with false doctrine. Its pastors, supported by the RCC, would then preach sermons filled with empty words that appeal to the desires of sinful human nature. This would cause many to fall away from the faith making them more amenable to the RCC.
Peter warned us about false teachers who left the faith because they loved the wages of wickedness. The Jesuits, who are the A-team of false teachers, have worked diligently for hundreds of years to secretly introduce destructive heresies into the church. They have denied the sovereign Lord who bought them and instead dedicated themselves to the temporal power of Rome.
This activity has always been their bread and butter. They bring truth into disrepute as they pursue worldly power rather than obey the Gospel of God.
They have made their intentions clear and they have not deviated from the path they set almost 500 years ago. The pope, and his minions, even now use their spiritual authority to seduce God’s people into abandoning the Gospel. He promotes false teachers within the Protestant churches so that they preach contrary to God’s Word and lead people away from the faith.
The most popular churches in America, and the West, are either spiritually dead or of the Laodicean variety. This did not happen by accident.
Numerous false doctrines have come to us through the Emergent Church Movement which began not long after Vatican II. They have been extremely successful at deconstructing the Gospel and replacing it with self-centered nonsense. Only a fool would ignore the papal cult, or worse, consider them members of the Christian faith.
And, only a fool would just accept a mysterious, ambiguous Revival as a move of the Holy Spirit.
Now that our brief history lesson complete, let us return to the subject of Revival.
If we accept the concept of a Revival, then we need to apply extremely high standards to what actually constitutes a Great Awakening. We must be careful not to open ourselves to deception when there are so many deceivers who are preying on the innocent and the naive.
Therefore, there needs to be some criteria to help us determine if a Revival is real or spiritual deception. The distinction between the two should be easy to discern.
The first thing that should occur in a Revival is a paradigm shift among a large group of people. It is nearly impossible to miss a paradigm shift when one has actually taken place.
Jonathan Edwards believed that I John 4 provided the best guidance when evaluating a true renewal of the spirit in the populace.
If we follow the Apostle Johns guidance, then, when there is Revival, we should begin to see a paradigm shift away from worldliness and toward greater Godliness. John explains:
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They (false teachers) are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us (the Apostles); whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error (I John 4:1-6).
Those false teachers (a.k.a. pastors and theologians) who embrace the wisdom of the world, which is in opposition to the wisdom of God, are of the world. They are very easy to identify. They lament that the wicked are mistreated and blame the Godly for their plight. False pastors are waterless clouds in a drought as they offer a lot of wind but no rain.
They also seem to have no respect for the Word of God as expressed in the Bible.
Jonathan Edwards, in his book, “The Distinguishing Marks of the Spirit of God,” lays out the manifestations of a genuine Revival. The first of these manifestations is that Jesus is honored. Once again, we turn to I John 4:
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already (I John 4:2,3).
This is not just some emotional exaltation about Jesus, it is a full understanding that Jesus is God in human flesh. He is the very Truth of God and he was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. If your testimony regarding this awesome event is that “Jesus gets us,” no Revival has taken place.
In fact, if this is your testimony, you are probably still dead in your sins.
The second distinguishing mark of the Spirit of God is that Satan’s kingdom is opposed. This means that those who have experienced Revival now have the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood and right from wrong. They can review society through new eyes and determine whether the values that they once embraced, that are violations of God’s law, should be rejected.
Any behavior or belief that violates God’s law and his Gospel is of the spirit of the antichrist. This includes fornication, homosexuality, gay marriage, transgenderism, being ‘pro-abortion,’ false accusations of racism and the pagan notion of climate change.
If people have a religious experience, in which they ‘felt’ the presence of God, but continue to cling to worldly wickedness, no Revival has taken place.
The third mark of Revival is that God’s Word is highly regarded. In the mind of those who have experienced Revival, the words of the apostles of Christ take precedence over the words of the world. They listen to God’s Word and joyfully obey.
The Bible is seen as the true word of God and all who oppose it are viewed as being under the judgment of God.
The fourth mark of Revival is that God’s truth is revealed. Those who receive the gift of faith are now prepared to understand the love, truth and righteousness of God. They understand that God sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
This understanding of God’s love, which is not manifested by sappy sentimentality, fills those who have experienced Revival with great joy.
With this confession, they are then prepared to share this love, through the Gospel, with those who are still dead in their sins.
The final mark is that God and others are loved. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. We love God because he first loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. This is the testimony of those who love God.
That means we show forgiveness, kindness and mercy towards others while we point them to Christ. It also means that we have a renewed passion for God’s law and a palpable disgust for those ‘Christians’ who justify the violation of it.
Now that we know what to look for in a Revival, let us examine the latest Revival to see if it meets the criteria set by Jonathan Edwards and John the Apostle.
On February 8, 2023, it is said that a Christian Revival broke out at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY. This Revival was not sparked by a great preacher of God’s Word, it arose spontaneously by students, who felt moved to testify and confess their sins. It occurred at a chapel service in Hughes Auditorium.
When we google this event, the first thing we notice is that there is not a single critical comment about this Revival. This is a cause for alarm because, google, whose motto was once ‘Don’t be evil, is run by people who would be fired if this slogan was enforced by their HR department.
In the mainstream media, none of the usual suspects were squealing like stuffed pigs. This event was not censored by YouTube but was given a full and open airing.
That means the word went out among the Godless not to criticize this event.
There was no leadership so there was no way to examine the doctrine of the participants. This was not by chance. It was all ‘student led’ and we cannot critique the students because they are young and idealistic. This whole thing looks like the typical game that gets played by those who have every intention of deceiving us.
This is the same game that gets played when the evil Globalists send Greta Thunberg out to lecture us about climate change.
The only way to evaluate this event is by examining the testimonies of its participants. These are a few of those testimonies:
· So many were saved last night, there were so many miracles. A man came in a wheelchair and hadn’t walked in two years and he danced on the stage.
· Two students who were going to commit suicide came to Jesus.
· This event is all about Jesus. I believe he's drawing the nations to repentance, healing his Church so we can go out with his love before his return. He is coming soon,
· Students who confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior were baptized Tuesday night.
· The baptism service last night was powerful! One by one, students came forward to testify about God's amazing love. They shared stories of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and grace. The Holy Spirit is moving mightily in the lives of our students and Lee University family. We are seeking Him, and because of that…God is showing up.
Some of these quotes are encouraging but they do not meet the criteria set by Jonathan Edwards for a true Revival. There is a great deal of emotion but there is not yet any evidence of a paradigm shift.
According to the Apostle John, we should not believe every spirit. Instead, we should test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The perfect test would be to ask the participants, who have testified regarding God’s amazing ‘love,’ about what God thinks of the sin of homosexuality. The LGBT has greatly influenced this generation and the majority of youth have a strong affection for those who flaunt this particular transgression. If they are unable to call homosexuals to repent and be forgiven in the name of Jesus, this event was a complete fraud.
No paradigm shift will have taken place, it was nothing more than a series of ecstatic exultations. And their ‘love’ is a farce.
According to the website NOWTHEENDBEGINS, Geoffrey Grider claimed that Francis Chan, Rick Warren and the NAR were already planning a revival at Asbury University seven days before it began.
If the NAR and Rick Warren are involved in this Revival, then this Revival is dead on arrival.
According to the article, the Asbury Revival which started on February 8th, was planned by Francis Chan, Rick Warren and members of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) at least a week earlier. If that is the case, this event can no longer be considered a Revival.
All proponents of the Purpose Driven Life have no interest in the true mission of the church. They have been most influential in emptying the Gospel of its meaning so it can be replaced with a new gospel that has been created. The Purpose Driven Life was never preached by Paul and therefore qualifies as a “different gospel.” Paul was clear that those who preach a different gospel are accursed and unqualified for the kingdom of heaven.
There is no event that Rick Warren or his followers can participate in that would lead to Revival.
The ministry of Francis Chan is suspect for several reasons. He allegedly makes outrageous claims of faith healing in which entire villages are healed by his touch. It is said that he has embraced Roman Catholicism and proclaimed that the church was united under a pope for fifteen centuries. He has participated in spiritual events with the likes of Benny Hinn, Bill Johnson and Lou Engle. He headlines the ‘Send’ gatherings which is a part of the New Apostolic Reformation Movement.
He, Rick Warren and all Emergent Church pastors are powerful allies of Rome.
The New Apostolic Reformation is an unbiblical movement that, according to gotquestions.org, emphasizes experience over Scripture, mysticism over doctrine, and the promotion of modern-day apostles. They spend more time claiming to be miracle workers and receiving new revelations from God to be bothered by the mundane proclamation of the Gospel.
There is not one of these people who possess the ability to lead a true Revival. They are the product of the Emergent Church Movement which has severely undermined Christianity over the last 50 years.
Regarding the timeline, a promotional video was released on February 1, one week before the Revival began. According to the article, the video promotes:
Let’s ADOPT and saturate EVERY CAMPUS in America in prayer (go to http://collegiatedayofprayer.org to adopt a campus) and join us LIVE from Asbury University on Feb 23rd at 8-10pm ET with special guests Rick Warren, Francis Chan, Allen Hood and worship leaders from International House of Prayer, Circuit Riders + Black Voices Movement, and Met By Love Worship. Let’s believe God for REVIVAL amongst believers on college campuses and SPIRITUAL AWAKENING amongst the lost. Father, revive the saved and save the lost!!
If this is the case, and it looks like it is, then this Revival is a fraud. The doctrines of these people are in opposition to the criteria that Jonathan Edwards laid out as necessary for Revival. That is because their doctrines are in opposition to the Gospel.
Under the influence of these people, we can look forward to plenty of faith healings, fruitless prayers, silly love songs to their boyfriend Jesus, mysticism, false miracles and other chicanery. However, what we will not see is a paradigm shift to true repentance.
A more accurate labeling of this event may turn out to be “The Counter-Reformation Crusade.” This ‘movement’ may very well be a test run to see how open people are to deception. We can expect more of these undertakings as we approach the end of the church age.
As for those who would like to label the Asbury Revival as an outpouring of Holy Spirit rather than a Revival, that is really a distinction without a difference. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and righteousness and judgment. The same rules listed above apply to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as well.
It is my suspicion that if a true Christian were to walk among these people and proclaim the Gospel, especially to homosexuals, he would be violently ejected from this event. He would be screamed at as a ‘hater’ who does not understand the ‘love’ of God.
These people, in all likelihood, have been reared on the ‘love gospel’ rather than the true Gospel. That means that they believe in a ‘love’ that is devoid of truth and righteousness. In other words, they are ashamed of the true Gospel and have fallen prey to a different gospel.
Those who promote the love gospel proclaim ‘love God and love one another’ as if it were the true gospel. They claim to live by this law. The problem is, if you cross them, you will find out the hard way that their ‘love’ is conditional on your obedience to their way of thinking.
I have no confidence that this is a true Revival. It seems too contrived, and people seem to be working too hard at it. And it seems to be fizzling out anyway.
We all want Revival but it will not be brought about without sound teaching. There is no trace of an apostle Peter who is standing up to explain to the amazed crowds what is actually occurring in Asbury. There is no powerful call for repentance or to “save ourselves from this corrupt generation.”
We will know when we are in a Revival because we will hear a bold and passionate proclamation of the Gospel that leads to a paradigm shift. We will then see the media rats scurrying back their gutters and all who do evil will begin to tremble in fear.
As near as I can tell, the Godless seem to be quite content with this event.