I have been asked by several people to watch and update what I see going on with what is coming out of the Asbury “Revival.” I am not an expert on Revival, nor do I feel qualified to be the end all be all. I can only give you what I am finding. You test things by the word of God.
I deeply believe that revival is needed. That it is necessary, and that God can do amazing things through revivals. As I tell you the good that I see, some are going to think that I am endorsing this. I am not. I believe that time will tell if this is truly a work of God or just a manufacturing of man’s will for an emotional experience. We can see some aspects of what is going on, but the real fruit will be changed lives.
All in all, no matter what we need to be praying for the people involved. Praying that God is glorified by whatever comes of this and that people truly have their hearts awakened by it. Sometimes we are strengthened by what God is doing and sometimes God uses what is happening to strengthen and pull us closer to him. Meaning even if this is not of God, he is still sovereign and working through it.
We should be praying for revival. Praying that this is genuine because God knows the world needs to be hungry for him. We need to be emotional over him and seek him in truth. Salvation is not something that is void of emotion or heart. It is life changing, not just thought changing. We do however need to have extreme caution with what we accept as truth. What we say is from him and we can discern in many ways if it is of him or not. I put up a blog on how to discern a true revival and I linked it at the bottom of the page if you are interested.
The bible talks about knowing a spirit by its fruit. That can mean the way one lives; it can mean the way one loves, and it can most assuredly mean what one says about the word of God. Who they say God is. Do they revere his word? How do they handle it? We are called to judge but to do it rightly. We are to filter every experience and spirit through the word of God. That is how we know if it is truly of him or not.
I am hungry for revival we should all be. Hungry for a move of God to change hearts and minds, to bring lost souls to him and to bring those who already love him into a deeper relationship with him.
The main focus in this revival should be above all else scripture. That isn’t what we are seeing unfortunately. That should be the main focus, but it really seems that the biggest focus is soaking in music and experience. Scripture is almost like a sidebar from what I have seen. Something done because you are supposed to, in these services.
Now I am not there and all I can go by is the hours I have watched and searched for sermons and scripture being preached or read. It is really few and far between and gets quite frustrating. I have asked person after person if there is preaching and while one says yes there is some others say no it is just singing and praying. These are people that are there and have been there. People who are on the inside. What they say goes along with what I am finding as I watch the service.
I believe that we are supposed to be prayerfully skeptical of these things. So many jump in and ask questions later but that is a very dangerous way to go about dealing with spiritual matters. 1 John 4:1 says
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
In doing research on all of this I have come across some things that are red flags to me. I know they are red flags to others also as I have been talking things over with others that have different pieces of the puzzle than I do. We are all scratching our heads trying to find as much as we can to see the things happening on the inside. We are all waiting to see if this is really a move of God. There are things that make me wonder what spirit is behind this.
Now I know that God can use anything, and I mean anything to draw people closer to him, however I also know that Satan manufactures distractions that in fact draw people away from the true Jesus and away from the Gospel. Caution is warranted and needed when it comes to spiritual matters so here is some of the things I have found. I know that just because he can use something doesn’t mean it is good and helpful in itself.
It has come to my attention that the University is putting on a National Day of Prayer on their campus to which some might say “of course they are a theological seminary.” But as soon as you look at who is pushing it you see Francis Chan and Craig Groeschel. Two people I would say should be marked and avoided.
You also see the partners that they have and that brings in a whole new level of concern. As we look at these partners just know that this is an endorsement of them on the University page and they are bringing this to their own campus. Bringing it to a place with vulnerable young minds being shaped in the understanding of God. Either they need some discernment, or they are in bed with the wolves and allowing the corruption of those they are supposed to be shepherding. Here is a link if you care to check that out.
I know this is just a lot of logos to some. I am not going to talk about everyone on this list but right off the bat Jesus Culture is front and center. Jesus Culture is at the core of the New Apostolic Reformation movement which is probably the most dangerous movement posing as Christian happening right now. I have multiple videos on what the New Apostolic Reformation is and their perversion of Jesus and the gospel. I will link those at the bottom.
Passion Conferences is Louie Giglio who in my opinion has gone woke. He promotes the Idea that we have the same DNA as Jesus. Aka little gods doctrine. Which you might have already guessed is part of the teaching that happens in the NAR. Who we partner with matters and Louie Giglio partners with some pretty rank people. There is a lot more I could say on Giglio but that is a different blog.
Partners include The Luke 18 project and The Call which are both Lou Engles organizations as well as IHOP. Lou Engle is one of the leaders of The New Apostolic Reformation along with Mike Bickle. There is Awaken the Dawn again NAR also YWAM. These are all a part of the New Apostolic Reformation. They are widely known and anyone that is in a leadership role guiding people with their spiritual walk would immediately know the controversies and should care enough to not only steer clear of them but also warn others not to fall into their traps. Any discerning leader would not associate themselves with these groups.
Why do I bring this up? If this is the partners they have then this is who they are promoting. If they are promoting such a slough of NAR in one area it would only make sense that this isn’t the only area that the NAR has infiltrated in the university. As we look on it really isn’t the only area we see this.
Something I have seen that is a bit disturbing to me also is that they now have a Revival offering tab on their website.
These are all red flags I think we would be wise to pay attention to. This is the University that is teaching these kids theology and when we look at the sermon that was preached that launched all of this it was a very manipulative call to experience the love of God. It almost seemed like a set up. It was suggestive to the crowd to stay and pray after to get an experience. There was no Law, no Gospel and no call to repentance or salvation. It was simply a message of God loves you and you need to experience it if you ever want to be able to do his will. It was a message of you can’t love others properly until you experience the love of God. Which is a true statement but not in an open-ended sermon with no prerequisite of what that means. without the Law and Gospel its meaningless humdrum.
I am watching as the NAR flock to Asbury. Todd Bentley is there right now and though he was not asked to come he is using this for himself. He is boosting his own ministry with it. All you have to do is look at his fb page to see that. He says he has some of his pastor friends with him. That is a scary statement right there IF this is a work of God then Bentley is the last person you would want anywhere near your flock. If the NAR are promoting this that in itself could be a problem.
I have watched hours of live video streaming from various people at the revival. It looks like the typical emotional heartcry of the NAR. Could it be genuine? Absolutely I am sure there are some people who are growing closer to God through this. People who are yearning to be used by him and seek his word to know him better and live for him. The question is did the Holy Spirit stir this revival or is God working despite the emotionalism and manufacturing?
It seems as you watch, to be a group of people worshiping God and praying with and for each other. It’s an absolutely beautiful sight. Sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture in order to see if there is a problem. Sometimes you have to wait until it unfolds more to have a concrete understanding.
We should be praying together more, lifting each other up. Yearning for God and seeking him in all things. Emotions are good and needed when correctly applied. Just like anything else in life our emotions can guide us or we can guide them.
There have been some instances that bring a cause for pause in the crowds but really that is going to happen anywhere. A person spontaneously “speaking in tongues,” someone said to be demon possessed and getting it cast out of them. Wolves in the audience. This is to be expected how the leadership handles this is going to speak volumes.
From everything I have observed it is a mixed bag. There is both wheat and tares. Both people who look like they are genuinely seeking God and also those speaking gibberish and making demands and declarations of God. Scripture is being read and, in some contexts, it is getting read in whole passages word for word. In others there are people some of which are up on stage speaking a me-based twisted paraphrases. Full of emotional what ifs.
I watched a lady get up and speak and she said that Jesus healed a woman who had been hunched over for 18 years. He must of gotten down on her level and looked her in the eyes and said you are healed. Well Jesus is here at your level. He is looking you in the eye and wants you to be healed. Sounds like the NAR to me. Like Hyper Charismatic emotionalism. Meology.
I have not heard the law or gospel which is so desperately needed. The gospel should be being shared over and over again in this setting letting it wash over those who are there. Believers and unbelievers alike need to hear it and be moved by it. It has the power. Not sappy songs and emotional expressions but the gospel.
Among the music being sung there were some good God Honoring hymns intermingled with a lot of music from places like Hillsong and Bethel.
Alisa Childers put up a great video on the revival after going there and seeing what was happening there. Her concerns were very valid. She asked how we define revival. Do we define it with an emotional reaction? She said she was concerned about whether it is genuine and getting taken over by the NAR and Hyper Charismatics. That my friend is a very real concern. One that leads me to a lot of prayer for those who are involved in this. There is no way that there are not new Christians getting pulled into this and what “this” is I do not know but it is more and more concerning.
Spencer Smith went and checked it out and While I am not really a fan of his (he goes beyond what I would say is right in a lot of instances) though in this case I agree with most of what he said. He said that he asked while he was there if they knew Todd Bentley was coming and they assured him that he has nothing to do with the revival after which they told him that Kenneth Copeland’s people showed up to the “revival” and were asked to leave by the staff.
That is a wonderful thing. That is encouraging to hear that in some ways they are trying to protect those that are going to the “revival”
Actual Revivals with People like Jonathan Edwards were not just hyped up emotionalism. There was a call to repentance of sins. An emphasis of our fallen state and depravity and message of reconciliation with our savior. The Law and Gospel was not just present but front and center.
I have a real problem with the contemplative practice sheets in the back of every seat. I believe this is another dangerous practice that points to self instead of God when looking at scripture. I believe it has done a great disservice to christianity as a whole in that people think that their own voice is that of God. This whole concept points to self understanding instead of biblical understanding and many people use it to negate absolute truth.
I would love for this to be a real revival. I would love for this to be a genuine move of God bringing people closer to true knowledge and salvation. Giving people a love for his word and his ways. At this point however it just sounds like another charismatic “worship” service. Simply one that is lasting for days on end. People pour in to get touched, to feel and experience something.
If the Theology of this “revival” is not coming from preaching and the scripture being read is only here and there than the theology comes from the music. What I have listened to coming from this, from hours of listening to streams is the theology of Bethel, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship, Maverick city music, Christ Tomlin and so forth. All of which fits right into their partnerships. It all leans to others. Not biblical truth. Apart from biblical truth is a sandy foundation waiting to fall.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:1-17
I really think we should be in prayer. We should be cautious of what is going on especially in light of the red flags. I won’t talk about all of the different red flags from people in the live videos I have watched. Simply because it is just the crowd. My focus here is on the University, the way they are handling this so-called revival and what this looks like as a whole.
Guys we should all have a heart that wants this to be a move of God. He can move through imperfection or else he would never move because we are all imperfect. We should all desperately seek to see people drawn closer to him, moved by him and touched by him. We should put ourselves out there to pray for others and encourage them. We should want to see souls saved and lives changed by the blood of Jesus. We should want to see people set free from addiction and chains. I want to
“speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-21
Oh how we need revival. A recall from a state of oblivion. A recall to God’s word and his ways. To purify ourselves before the altar and stop lifting dirty things up to a Holy God. I am sure we will see more and more come out on this so-called revival. I hope that you guys will just stay in prayer. Seek God’s word and guidance through it and remember to be kind to those we don’t necessarily agree with.
“Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:1-25
-Take Me To Eternity