Saturday, June 24, 2006

"The Springs of Restoration - Final Part" by Arthur Wallis.

There are a number of very interesting and telling points in this final section. Note Arthur Wallis' unhappiness with the Pentecostal movement. They called it revival - he wanted it more. The second point which encouraged me greatly was Wallis' discovery that there were others who felt similarly to him as God began His work. This is so like God! He told Elijah that He had other prophets hidden. Rarely is one of God's servants alone.

A Little Turbulence.

The other stream in the confluence was the Pentecostal. In addition to ministries whom we have mentioned, who brought a distinctively charismatic flavour or faith emphasis to the early conventions, we began to hear of ‘Henry’s Glory Meetings’ being held in a Full Gospel Fellowship at Tatworth (now known as South Chard Fellowship). People said they actually danced! Unheard of! They were only half an hours ride across the Somerset border – much too close to be comfortable. It was some years before I dared investigate and have my fears allayed. The turbulence I spoke of earlier was not such as to disrupt fellowship, as to prevent a real flowing together. It was getting the emphasis right. People like myself who were strong on the revival message and on the NT church were no doubt over-cautious about the Pentecostal extremes and imbalance. We didn’t want to go ‘overboard’ and so prevent others from getting ‘on board’. On the other hand the distinctly Pentecostal brothers could see no point in pleading for the outpouring of the Spirit. ‘He has come brother. Can’t you see we’re in revival?’. I’m afraid I couldn’t. If this was revival I was a very disappointed man. That was not what we had been asking God to give us. Where were the signs and wonders? Where was the powerful impact on the community? Where was the mighty harvest? Where was the awe and majesty of God? I could only say, ‘Brothers there is more – much more yet to come’. This may be starters but starters doesn’t make a banquet.

Then some of our brothers found it hard to embrace the vision of the NT church. Sometimes one felt that they acquiesced with what we were saying without being actually convinced. Were we sometimes guilty of biblical semantics or theological hair-splitting? Were forms and structure so important? Is it not more important to be men of faith and power, moving in the Holy Spirit? David and I felt it was not either or, but both. My own study of the history of revivals had convinced me that their effects were ephemeral unless accompanied by reformation of the church. Concerning the Lewis Revival, I wrote in ‘Rain from Heaven’ that, “In less than a decade you could visit those very churches where God had worked so powerfully and never suspect that they had ever tasted revival”. The history of the now declining charismatic movement provides further confirmation. The old structures will restrict if not preclude the maturing of the believer and of the body of which he is a part. In the long term, the need of the new wineskin is as vital as the need of the new wine.

Another Witness.

Towards the close of the 50s there came into our hands a magazine called, “A Voice in the Wilderness” edited by John Myers. I could not say that there was much in the magazine that was new to us but coming out of the blue, having no connections with ourselves it was saying the same things. God used it to confirm that He Himself had initiated and was controlling the movement towards restoration. “To how many others of His servants all over the world was He saying the same thing?” we wondered. Our confidence was that if He was initating the vision then He would also fulfil it.

1 comment:

Geir Lie said...

I am directing a research library in Oslo, and we only have two issues of Myer's magazine. And I was wondering whether you might have kept your issues, and whether I might be able to buy photocopies of these? If yes, how many have you kept.


Mr. Geir Lie
Oslo, NOrway