Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pete Day, William Branham, Rob Rufus and the Glory!!

I along with many others have been waiting eagerly and somewhat impatiently for Pete Day to post another blog. Before I talk about a couple of his latest posts, I want to pay tribute to this guy. I feel privilidged to know him probably better than many other bloggers and so can get away with saying something biographical about him - as he never would himself! Pete pastors a church in South London and has done so faithfully for a number of years. He takes the main responsibility for preaching and teaching and doesn't have any apostolic support within the church (yet). I have been a witness to many of the struggles that he goes through daily. He truly is a pastor/teacher - a gift to the Church from the ascended Christ - and he takes his calling from God extremely seriously. His heart has been to see the Word and the Spirit unite in glorious combustion ever since I have known him (which is mainly why we became such good friends) and he is working that out in daily church life in London.

By the way - he is blessed to have a faithful, loving wife - Margaret - who is a dear friend and runs her own unique blog here! It's well worth a visit!

So for him to run a blog alongside his daily ministry is quite an achievement and I want to pay tribute to that (unlike me who doesn't really have anything else to do but blog!). I have mentioned before that I think the legalistic temptation in blogging can be to churn out anything just so that visitors will not get disappointed and that all-desireable hit counter keeps going up! Pete on the other hand takes blogging just as seriously as his preaching and teaching ministry. He won't fill blog after blog with any old quote or blog he has found in a few minutes of searching. In that sense he really is a truly prophetic blogger. He doesn't want to blog "just anything" unless God gives him a word to bring to the readers who visit his blog. Therefore when he does publish something - let me assure you it is a MUST-READ!!

His latest post is called; "Filling the Vacuum". It bears some similarity to a post he blogged last December called; "Signs Following". Actually these two blogs are quite reminiscent of Rob Rufus - because the theme and the focus is the glory of God. The inspiration for this most recent post came from a community meeting in South London that he attended. Rather than sucuumbing to the fatalist mentality that characterises too many Christians today, Pete (in true prophetic manner) questioned the Lord as to the real nature of the problem and the word he was given from God was; "Vacuum". There is nothing fatalistic about a vacuum because a vacuum by nature demands something - it demands filling!

What I love and what thrills me about this post is that Pete is absolutely unapologetic about what many of us who believe in and long for a "Charismatic Resurgence" have been writing about. There is NOTHING optional about charismatic life in the church! The reason why it isn't optional is because charismatic life in the church is designed to impact the community. Pete says;

"While we must have Spirit-saturated meetings, we need to receive God's word, and be drenched in His presence, these things are not an end in themselves ... The purpose of the cloud of glory is not only to make us feel good, but to transform the whole community. We are to be drenched in the cloud of glory, but He goes with us into the highways and byways of the streets around your church and around your home".

There is much, much more to charismatic church life that simply arguing about the validity and presence of the gifts of tongues and prophecy today. We need to argue these things to be sure - for the Word of God is at stake - but we need to move beyond these arguments and move into the cloud of glory. Yet there is nothing "selfishly ecstatic" about the cloud of glory as men like John MacArthur would accuse. Pete writes;

"So let us get the light, get the glory in our worship meetings, in our prayer meetings and then let us get out and take the glory with us!".

The whole nature of the cloud of glory falling upon is - is that we might go and take it into the community! Surely the greatest tragedy facing the Church universal today is not the behaviour of charismaniacs (as they are scornfully called) but the fact that there can be local churches meeting in the middle of communities who are totally unaware of their presence.

I love Pete's final paragraph - because it is in essence a prophetic vision of what WILL come to pass. I believe it!

"Imagine meeting with young gang members and having word of wisdom that sets them free. Imagine serving in a homeless shelter and seeing people delivered from the power of alcohol addiction. Imagine serving in a hospital and seeing whole wards healed by the power of God. Imagine visiting the elderly and by the patience and compassion that God gives you, hearts are softened and people come to the Lord. Imagine advising parents from God's Word how to parent, and them seeing the reality of God, as His principles work".

So why does this tie in with his post in December - "With Signs Following"? Well it is dealing with a concept that I really believe will characterise the church as God continues to restore and revive and reconstruct His glory as it spreads across the whole earth as He has promised in His Word. Many men and women have written off William Branham because of his later teachings but Ern Baxter did not, and as a result neither have Pete and I in many discussions we have had about Branham. In that post Pete really sums up the result of many of our conversations and asked this;

"We may have sound theology, but do we have the power of God in our midst as Branham experienced? ... Ern makes a startling comment - "Branham never once made a mistake with the word of knowledge in all the years I was with him. That covers, in my case, thousands of instances." ... And that is the challenge. Where is this kind of power and intimacy with God that means we hear Him clearly?".

Rather than focusing on Branham's error, how about we become stirred by his successes when he was being used so powerfully of God. This is EXACTLY what Rob Rufus urged us to do in his third and final session at "Together on a Mission 2007". Both Pete and myself were very stirred by his words about William Branham and the "lost anointing" that is still to be claimed in the earth. Rob taught us that it isn't God's intention to take that anointing away from the earth because Branham and others misused it eventually but it is His intention for the corporate Body of His people to rise up and claim it and use it. That - I think - was the focus of Rob Rufus coming to Brighton. It wasn't about a man coming - so that we might all seek the anointing off him. Rob came to impart something of his faith and vision for the glorious end times for the Church to us who were listening.

It's interesting to note that although men like John MacArthur teach that there were only three periods of miracles in the Word of God - and so therefore cannot be any gifts of miracles since - while they are very happy to pick apart Branham's theology, I have yet to hear them deal with the fact that as Ern Baxter said - Branham never "missed" in his use of the Word of Knowledge.

Pete ends that awesome post with these words;

"Let us stop picking holes in the people God used in past years. Let us instead humble ourselves before the Lord. Yes, let us get our theology right and be men and women immersed in the Word of God. But let us cry out to God for a fresh visitation. Only His almighty power can transform our churches and our society. And let us hunger for the kind of gifting and anointing that shakes the gates of hell for our Lord's glory".

I have posted two videos of William Branham here - so that anyone interested can actually see his awesome gift of healing and miracles in action. There is a clip in the first video near the end where you can here him clearly tell a woman her name, address and diagnosis - before going on to declare that she is healed.

Let me echo Pete's cry that we stop picking holes in servants of God and fall on our knees and cry that God will release that heavy level of anointing upon the earth so that the nations will have no option but to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord!


Peter Day said...

I feel very honoured that you should post such kind thoughts about me and my ministry. Thank you so much.

I am also encouraged that you share the vision of the cloud of glory, upon us and overflowing to the world around. This is so vital. We must see it in our day. We are called to fill the vacuum.

I do pray that those lost anointings would fill His church today.

Dan Bowen said...

Amen! Come Holy Spirit!! Great to see you back from your holidays - I can't wait to catch up and hope that God poured out His blessing a hundred-fold upon you so you are relaxed and refreshed!

Ben Gloyne said...

I have a question. Forgive me if this has already been raised. We can see in the Bible that God doesnt put on a supernatural show for the sake of it. Both in Moses and Jesus, signs and wonders occured in their ministries to catch the attention of the people.

We can also see that the established religious systems of the day rejected or resisted what God is doing (look at the attitude of the established churches when John the Baptist and Jesus was here on earth).

God works in patterns, this is clear in the scripture. If he did this in the Bible would God suddenly change his way of doing things today?