By Dr. Richard IngA GREAT “REVIVAL” OF THE PAST
In the days of King Josiah, a great revival
roared through the land as people filled the temples to overflowing. The priests had discovered the long-lost book
of the law and the king wept when he read it and vowed to bring back true
worship of the God of Israel. He did
everything possible to destroy the temples to strange gods and even killed the
priests of Baal and other strange religions.
He restored the Passover and all the people agreed to walk after the
ways of the Lord. II Ki. Chapters 22 and
23. He spawned a great revival that
lasted beyond his reign.
WAS AGAINST THE GREAT "REVIVAL"
The temples were full and the harvest
plenteous. The coffers overflowed and
the people confident that God was pleased.
The prophets prophesied good things and the priests kept the people
happy. At first, Jeremiah was content
with the revival, but in the end, he was vehemently against it. He hesitated at speaking out because he knew
that the people, the prophets and priests would persecute him for speaking up
and even try to kill him. But, as the
"revival" wore on, Jeremiah reached a point where he could no longer
bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my
very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou
hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried: for
the whole land is spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. How long shall I see the standard, and hear
the sound of the trumpet? For my people
is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have
none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no
knowledge. Jer. 4:19-22.
Jeremiah heard the sound of war and had a
vision of great destruction coming to God's people. He tried to blow the trumpet to warn the
people, but they would have nothing to do with him. They could see nothing wrong. They wanted to kill Jeremiah for telling them
there was a war coming. Jer. 26:11,
13. It went against their teachings and the people refused to repent of their ways.
After all, the prophets and priests
prophesied "'peace, peace!" "prosperity and blessings to God's
people." Jer. 6:14; Jer. 8:11. (One of the meanings of "peace" is
"prosperity") "God is
going to bless you and give you everything you ever wanted in life!" But God soon caused Babylon
to invade Judah, destroy Jerusalem and God’s
temple there, and take captive all of God’s people who were not killed.
“Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the
fierceness of His great wrath.”
23:26. Great destruction came in the
midst of “revival.”
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE “REVIVAL”?
The people were convinced that they were
worshiping God correctly. They told
Jeremiah, “Wherefore hath the Lord
pronounced all this great evil against us?
Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed
against the Lord our God?” Jer.
16:10. In other words, “Why would God be
angry with us? Our temples are filled
with people and we are prospering. God
is pleased. We have no iniquity or
sin. You’re wrong!
Show us what we’re doing wrong!”
But, they didn’t know the ways of the Lord
and His judgments. Jer. 5:4. They never departed from the things of the
world and worshiped other gods too. Jer.
44:17, 23. The prophets and the priests
did not preach the true word of God.
They hardly preached repentance and obedience to the ways of God. They compromised and devised means to bring
people into the temple that were not the old ways and they were covetous of one
another. Jer. 6:13, 16. They loved attention and competed for the
biggest temple - mega-temples.
They did their own thing. They gave the people what they wanted, not
what they needed and the people loved it.
Jer. 5:31. People always love
peace and prosperity messages. It makes
them feel good and they will keep coming back for more. That's the modern, twenty-first century
message too. "Blessings from
God! God wants to bless His
WE ARE HEADED DOWN THE SAME PATH
time to time, The Barna Research Group, Ltd. conducts surveys on the current
attitudes and beliefs of the church in America. These are some of the results of their 1997
34% of born-again Christians, 53% of all Christians and 73% of mainline
Protestants believe that if a person is good, he will go to heaven. You don’t need Jesus to go to heaven.
66% of evangelicals don’t believe that the Bible is totally accurate;
74% of Catholics agree and 42% of all Christians agree.
28% of born-again Christians, 65% of evangelicals, and 40% of all Christians believe
that Jesus was a sinner when He walked the earth.
52% of born-again Christians, 72% of Catholics, and 80% of all Christians don’t
believe that the devil is real, that he is only a symbol of evil.
55% of born-again Christians, 61% of all Christians don’t believe that the
Holy Spirit is a person, that He is only a symbol of God’s presence and power.
35% of born-again Christians and 39% of all Christians do not believe that
Jesus rose from the dead bodily.
Although the survey was conducted years ago,
the results are reflective of our beliefs today. In fact, out beliefs today are even
worse. Movies and books such as The
Passion of Christ and The Da Vinci Code have eroded many of the truths in the
Bible. Some modern “Christian” beliefs
are pure blasphemy. We no longer follow
the Bible or the old and trusted ways of God.
The Jesus we worship today is not the same Jesus found in the Bible.
OUR OWN “GREAT” REVIVAL
A few years ago, two local TV news networks
and newspapers reported a Hawaii
“revival.” Mega-churches were sprouting
up like never before. They asked three
successful pastors, “What do you attribute your success to?” One said, “Great music. Our musicians are almost professional.” Another said, “We have programs for
everybody.” A third said, “We give
sermons of current interest, things people can relate to.” The TV newscasters then interviewed two
religion professors from local universities who attended a number of church
services and asked, “What do you see different in these services?” They answered, “They no longer teach
repentance, demons and obedience.”
The pastor of a large church recommends that
you take a poll and find out what the people want and then tailor your sermons
and church accordingly (Give them what they want, not what they need.). Most want to know about marriage, dating, how
to be prosperous, how to have victory in life, etc. People don’t come to church to cry; they want
to have a good time. They want to feel
good. This approach fills churches, but is
a different brand of Christianity from the old ways. They are being told that God is a God of love
who will forgive them anything, and who loves to bless His children. They are taught that God is a lovey-dovey
teddy bear in a Santa Claus suit. True
repentance with weeping and sorrow and a turning away from sin, is not in their
vocabulary. They know not the God of
righteousness and judgment. They have no
idea what the true gospel of the kingdom is.
Pastors teach a pre-tribulation rapture
doctrine that claims that God will not allow His people to suffer tribulation
or face trials. He will whisk us away
from danger and tribulation to be in heaven with Him throughout eternity. They preach, “Peace, Peace, Prosperity. God wants to bless you and give you
everything you ever wanted in life!
Peace and prosperity for God’s people.
Tribulation belongs to the unbelievers.”
Some claim that the church will be a glorious church soon. God is restoring apostles and prophets and we
will rule the world. These are false and
vain doctrines, never preached by the early apostles. The Bible says that war is coming and the
church will be destroyed by Babylon
once more! Rev. 13:7,8; Da.
7:21,25. As a result, the new breed of
Christians continue to fornicate, commit adultery, and sin in a myriad of ways.
They come to church for the music and are
taught that water baptism is optional and in order to go to heaven, all they
have to do is repeat the sinners’ prayer.
No repentance is required. The
people continue to worship the world and have no intention of separating
themselves or risking anything. They
appear to worship God, but they fail to live the gospel. Their idols are money, sex and
entertainment. There is no commitment to
preach the gospel to the world or to carry their cross to follow Jesus. In fact, some of Christianity's most revered
and emulated leaders are into drugs, sexual promiscuity, greed and
covetousness. Hypocrites abound in
One of the major approaches to entice young
people into church is to tell them about the pretty girls and handsome guys. If you want to find a spouse, go to one of
the big churches, a recent news article recommended. They come in droves. They know not the Lord and His ways and
judgments. Jer. 5:4. A local newspaper
published an article that recommended going to church to find a spouse.
The percentage of Christians who divorce is
even higher than that of non-Christians today.
Many are “shacking up” and have illegitimate children, while attending
church. Some have abortions and even go
to fortune-tellers. They know not the
ways of the Lord or His judgments because they have been taught that they can
do anything they want and the blood of Jesus will wash them clean. All they have to do is say a sinners’ prayer
and continue to attend church and their place in heaven is guaranteed for
eternity. God understands them and loves
them and they can have the best things in life because God wants to bless them.
The pastors don’t believe there’s a war
coming, and call it old-fashioned. They
believe their own lies. The people love
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their
own means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end
thereof?" Jer. 5:31.
Some famous Christian leaders have publicly
declared that Satan is not real, that demons and the devil are only to help us
conceptualize good and evil. One
prominent televangelist said on nationwide TV, “If there’s a Satan, I haven’t
met him yet.” That makes Jesus and the
apostles liars. Pastors today compete
with one another for the largest congregation and are covetous. They give only token attention to the poor
and fatherless. Most of their money goes
into buildings or to buy cars and buses.
They may send a few dollars to the mission field, but that’s only
conscience money. Fame and worldly
success are their goals. The music is
loud Christian rock. They dance heathen
dances and play heathen music. They do
their own thing and the people love it.
In my trips overseas, I found that many Third
World pastors emulate the big-time pastors in America and desire is to be like
them. Whenever I give a message about
repentance, holiness and following truth, I get opposition from pastors who
sneer and speak against me under their breath.
Some walk out.
Today, there is a move afoot to combine
Christianity and Islam, called "Crislam." Major Christian leaders are endorsing the
movement. It is pure blasphemy. Because of our rebellion, God will deceive us
Himself. "Then said I, Ah, Lord God! surely Thou hast greatly deceived this
people and Jerusalem,
saying, Ye shall have peach; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul." Jer. 4:10.
"And if the blind lead the
blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Mt. 15:14.
God will send His servants to warn them and
to tell them to repent, but they will not.
In fact, they will speak against the Jeremiah’s of today and would like
to kill them or shut them up. History is
about to repeat itself.
God will judge His church. As in the days of Jeremiah, He will allow His
church and people to be destroyed because of disobedience and rebellion. He has done it many times before. That’s His
way. The enemy will soon come to destroy
the Body of Christ, except for a faithful remnant. Christianity will be made illegal and the
churches will be trampled down. Mt.
24:15 (abomination of desolation); Da. 8:11-14; Da. 9:26,27; Da. 11:31. Christians will be hunted down and killed en
masse. That's what the Bible says!
REPENT - JUDGMENT IS COMING SOON!
Yes, the end of the age is almost upon
us. It appears that nothing will stop
the destruction of the Body of Christ.
It is inevitable, but God is determined to have His remnant of true and
faithful servants. It is not our
province to second-guess God. Our job is to repent of our own sins and the sins
of the Body of Christ. Joel 2:12-18
Therefore also now, saith
the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with
weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and
turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and
leave a blessing behind Him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the
Lord your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the
congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the
breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her
closet. Let the priests, the ministers
of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy
people O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should
rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their
God? Then will the Lord be jealous for
His land, and pity His people.
We have sinned grievously against the
Lord. According to The Barna Research
Group, the Body of Christ no longer believes in the God of the Bible. They have made God in their own image. The people are far away from God in their
hearts. They draw nigh unto Him with their mouth and honor Him with their lips,
but their heart is far from Him. Mt.
15:8; Mk. 7:6. His anger and judgment
are near. There will be no peace. There is war coming! God will allow His church to be destroyed and
worship of Jesus outlawed. The
abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, is almost
here. Da. 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15.
God is looking for His sanctified ones (Is.
13:3), His mighty army. Joel
2:1-11. They are those who have not
departed from His old ways, who believe that the Bible is accurate in every
way, that Satan is real and there is a well-organized demonic kingdom that is
already warring against God’s people, that the Holy Spirit is a person and He
dwells in us, that Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified and rose
physically from the dead.
Let us cry out to God, fast and weep before
Him, confessing our sins and the sins of our people before it is too late. Pray for the gift of repentance that can only
come from God. In Lamentations 2:14,
Jeremiah wept after the destruction of Judah. He cried, “Thy prophets have seen vain and
foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn
away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of
banishment.” Let us pray that God
will discover (expose) our iniquity that we might repent and not be banished
from His kingdom. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come
(the return of the Lord), except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of
perdition." 2 Th. 2:3.
A REVIVAL COMING
Yes, there is a revival coming. In fact, two revivals are coming - a true one
of repentance, truth and spiritual power on one hand, and a false one of
compromise, good feelings and lies on the other. Which one will you embrace?