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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Avoiding the Relapse
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Timothy 4:2)
Seasons of refreshing come from the Presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit falls on a nation, or city, or church, or person. Great things happen. The work of the Lord takes a giant step forward.
We are familiar with the major revivals of history. Today God is moving in some of the third world countries and from time to time we hear about what is taking place.
God did marvelous things through Aimee Semple McPherson a few years ago and with other Pentecostal notables.
The problem is, after such blessing there often comes a relapse. Rochester, New York was one of the areas affected by the extraordinary anointing on Charles Finney. San Diego, California was greatly influenced by Sister McPherson. But today neither city exhibits remarkable spiritual power.
Sometimes we think of Greece, Turkey, and Italy where the Apostle Paul ministered and picture the unprecedented spiritual authority and power that swept through there. Yet none of these countries is characterized today by extraordinary spiritual revelation and power.
Why the relapse? Why is there not a more lasting effect? Surely it is God's will that such a movement have a more permanent effect than we usually notice.
We understand that there indeed are lasting benefits proceeding from all outpourings of the Holy Spirit. We just would like to make sure we are doing what we should to establish some permanency.
The Holy Spirit was poured out at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. It was a very short time later that the immediate area of the revival was characterized by division and bitterness among the believers.
We are heading today toward the climax of the latter-rain revival. It is our understanding that the latter rain will continue until the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached to every nation for a witness.
But then we see from the Book of Revelation that after the witness has been given to God's satisfaction the testimony will be overcome by the lusts of the flesh (Sodom), the lusts of the eyes (Egypt), and the pride of life (Jerusalem). Lust, covetousness, and pride often overcome the witness of God.
A great declension will occur at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. So I guess relapse will be with us until the new Jerusalem but I still think we should do all in our power to prevent it.
We know that in spite of the ebbs and flows of spiritual life there finally will emerge a Bride without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing. We are not referring to an imputed perfection but an actual perfection of character wrought by the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ working in the members of the Bride. The Kingdom of God is not in imputed righteousness but in an actual new creation of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
The question we are raising in the present essay, is how do we maximize the creation of actual righteousness, holiness, and stern obedience to the Father as a result of and in the wake of a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God? How do we prevent the rise of the works of the flesh such as took place immediately following the glorious revival at Azusa Street?
To be continued.