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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

O let him be a "voice" crying in the wilderness of modern theology and stagnant "churchianity": L. Ravenhill's earnest message

 

 

"The prophet in his day," Ravenhill once said, "is fully accepted of God and totally rejected by men." He also said that the degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity. That's because compromise is not known to him.

Whenever I hear his sermon, my heart's got burned from inside. Oh how I wish I could live up to His words! And how we are hungry for the pure spiritual milk! Sheep are wondering and looking for their selfless, godly shepherds. But many of us wonder, "where can we find such shepherds? Where can we find such prophets?"

"There is a terrible vacuum in evangelical Christianity today," Ravenhill said. "The missing person in our ranks is the prophet. The man with a terrible earnestness. The man totally otherworldly. The man rejected by other men, even other good men, because they consider him too austere, too severely committed, too negative and unsociable."

Dr. Carlton McLeod, who is a guest author of the head covering movement said, "The American church is suffering now in part, because we refuse to take God at His Word. In fact, I believe the church has lost her prophetic voice…her willingness to declare what thus says the Lord, and the entire world is hurting as a result."(here)

Oh our gracious Lord, please do send us Thy prophets! And let him be a "voice" crying in the wilderness. There are so many false teachers in our evangelical churches today. Oh God, please don't let us astray like wondering sheep. Send us Thy prophets, Thy true prophets! In Jesus' name. Amen.

 


Sermon by Leonard Ravenhill 

The Spirit of a Prophet

Prophets are a strange breed of men.
Their God's emergency men for crisis hours.
 
And the price of being a prophet is that a man has to live alone.
 
All God's great men have been very very lonely men.
 
I said very often that when I turn over the pages of the Bible.
That one of the most challenging pages is the white page that divides the testaments.
 
It's a white page but it tells a period of 400 years of total darkness.
 
400 years of darkness without any light.
400 years of silence without any prophetic voice.
 
,,the greatest character read of all time was Jesus himself.
And He said that the greatest man that was ever born of woman was John the Baptist.
 
A man who spent some 20 years there in the fastness of the desert.
 
A lonely man, a strange man.
 
And the great need in America tonight I'm convinced of this,
as good as Bible schools are with their assembly lines and producing their preachers,
 
the greatest need in America tonight is prophets.




He went into the wilderness until the day of his showing forth...
 
Oh, I'd love to have heard John the Baptist preach wouldn't you.
I'd love to see this man when God said,
"John, you've been here 20 years now, you better go out and preach."
 
I told you this morning, it takes God 20 years to make a man,
it took Him 20 years to make John the Baptist.
 
And he preached for 6 months.
 
Your boys went to Bible school for 6 months and been preaching 20 years.
No wonder you're dry.
 
You'd better go back, go back to the wilderness, go back to the desert, get into the loneliness.
 
There's nothing on God's earth like silence.
Just take your Bible, forget, forget everybody and shut yourself away.
 
Until you have a new revelation from God Himself.
 
...Why do people want Jesus to come today?
Because their scared stiff of suffering, that's why...
 
After all, the church has been getting lashed, and tormented and stripped and prostituted.
 
400 years and God never moves.
400 years of ritual and formality of sacrifice and all the ritualism that they went through.
 
But somehow it was a form of Godliness.
 
And God decided to upset the applecart if you'd like.
What did He do send a legion of angels? No no no no no...
 
He took a little man out of, baby out of the womb of its mother. He separated this man and He educated him in the Spirit and sent him into the wilderness.
 
And he came out and he had no form of man and he asked for no program and
he wasn't seeking prestige and he didn't beg for anybody's power.
 
And he didn't find some secret way of promotion!
 
If you'd walk down the desert there, you could hardly tell the man the color of his skin,
he was sunburned on the inside and fire baptized on the inside...
and fire baptized with the sun on the outskirts.
 
,,,You see we think if we're really blessed and successful evangelist, you get a bigger home, a bigger car, more prestige and brother, you feel good because now you could buy 150 dollar suits where as you wore 30 dollar suits not too long ago.
 
But brother, if you moved up with God, I'll tell you what you'll do, your hearts more broken now then it was when you started 10 years ago.
 
You'll see the nation going downhill more rapidly than she's ever gone before. Prostitution is increasing, crime is increasing, immorality is increasing, lawlessness is increasing.
 
Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God,
they felt like God,
they saw like God,
they wept like God,
they yearned like God.
 
They had no satisfaction in seeing the beauty of the temple.
 
The ritual, the formality.
 
All the things that they went through...no no no no God is gone from them.
 
We keep up the formality, the money is coming in,
people are nice, one or two come to the altar.
 
But oh what a difference when a man gets a heart that craves for revival,
that longs that God will make bare his arm.
 
That all nations will have to acknowledge.
 
When John the Baptist came,
he came with no lip that was buttoned, he had nobody to please,
he had no program, he had no priorities that he was trying to push ahead.
 
He ever raised a dead man? Noooo he didn't raise a dead man.
 
He raised a dead nation!
 
And he did it without the miraculous or the arm of the flesh.
He did it in the power of the Holy Ghost.
 
...I say again most of you men ought to preach better than you know, then you do preach.
 
But you won't do it because you'll get kicked out of the synagogue. That's why.
 
You'll really have to trust God and that will be trouble won't it? And you've been paying into the minister's pension fund, oh brother, wouldn't that be awful to have to sacrifice that for Jesus.
 
You say "I'll lay everything on the altar. I'll set my golf clubs, my minister's pension fund, and my big T.V. And anything else you can have,
Lord, but don't intrude just too much on me kind of thing.
 
Oh I like to think of John the Baptist standing there no sponsors,
nobody to agree or disagree with him.
 
He stood there and they came to see this strange man anointed by the Holy Ghost.
 
And I tell you this, if a man is anointed by the Holy Ghost, folks will seek him.
 
We have blinded our eyes to truth and we have put our fingers in our eyes to the voice of God. And the judgments are going to fall if we don't get revival and maybe, if it's not an alternative of Christ or Chaos but Christ and Chaos. Not revival or revolution but revival and revolution.
 
Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God,
they felt like God,
they saw like God,
they wept like God,
they yearned like God.
 


 


8 comments:

  1. In my life I have been privileged to meet a few people I would call completely unworldly and they are such a wonderful witness to our Lord and a blessing to the Church. Our churches should be filled with people like this. But alas they are not! I think the problem is that we have lost sight of basic things, like prayer and reading Scripture. Many churches run all sorts of programs, committees, conferences, etc but they do not produce saints!! Let us get back to the basics: loving our Lord and each other in the hope that we can be the otherworldly prophets that are so necessary for these modern times.
    Lydia

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  2. Dear Lydia, thank you so much for your sincere comment. I see the burning passion for Christ in you, Lydia. You must be an extraordinary woman of God. In His time, I'd like to hear your testimony! What is your passion on this earth? What made you decide to follow His way? What are you seeking and pursuing? I want to learn from you and your faith!

    From your sister in Christ,
    Kinuko

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  3. Many people in church told me that the gift of prophecy is irrelevant today, because we have complete Bible. Paul lists prophecy as on of the spiritual gifts.
    I believe that prophecy can descent upon a Christian at a certain time. Person can prophesy once or more than once.
    I also think that any churches reject the gift because prophesying makes many uncomfortable. Unfortunately, too many North American Christians are too comfortable.
    Irina

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    1. Dear Irina, good morning. Thank you so much for your thought-provoking observations.

      First of all, I must confess to you that I had long been skeptical about modern-day prophesy. I had heard many terrible stories regarding false prophets in some churches and that caused me to be fearful toward this. (as He lamented about the false prophets in Jeremiah 23:9_40)

      Irina, now I'm not in Athens so I'll continue my reply after returning home! See you soon.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Dear Irina (part 2)
      ,,,However, 1 Cor 14 says;

      14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

      14:3 ...But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

      14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth EDIFIETH THE CHURCH.

      "Wow", I exclaimed. "So, the gift of prophesy is given in order that the Body of Christ be edified!". That's wonderful, isn't it?

      But I am still on the process of learning and seeking these areas. Thank you for your cooperation, Irina! from Kinuko

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  4. Dear Kinuko
    I am just an unremarkable sinner living an unremarkable life. My journey has been long and tortuous in some places. I feel that I let God down every day of my life. I am definitely not an extraordinary woman of God. But how charitable of you to say something like that! I am sure that I would not be worthy to shine your shoes. You sound like you are doing wonderful things for God’s kingdom. I plod on from one day to the next.
    One thing stands out in my life, however, which always causes me amazement: Our Lord called me to Himself when I was a young child even though I grew up in a nominal Christian household where the faith was never practised. When I remember the fire that the Lord planted in my soul at a very early age, maybe six or seven years old, I am in awe of His great mercy! This gift of faith is the most precious thing we can have. I have done many things since my childhood which would have warranted the loss of that faith, but God was faithful. Even when I was faithless, the Lord still loved me and called me back to Himself. This is the most wonderful aspect of my life. I am always mindful of how sinful I am and I try to say each day, like the publican, Lord have mercy on me a sinner!
    God is great, let us glorify Him!
    Lydia

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  5. Wonderful, Lydia! Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I was especially moved by your following remarks;

    "Our Lord called me to Himself when I was a young child even though I grew up in a nominal Christian household where the faith was never practised. When I remember the fire that the Lord planted in my soul at a very early age, maybe six or seven years old, I am in awe of His great mercy!"

    That's so awesome. It shows there was a seed of faith and light in your heart, and your heart (as a little girl) was already responsive to His tender calling.

    And I am so happy that now we are walking the faith journey together! Not only that, now I am your fellow headcovering sister!

    You know what, Lydia, one of the biggest blessings in my headcovering journey is that He has drawn me to Himself closer and He allowed me to encounter some of the most earnest, sincere, loving and passionate sisters around the world. And there are strong unity and love among us.

    So let us walk together, Lydia! from Kinuko

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