Hijacked by God’s Old Moves By Paula A. Price, Ph. D.

Part One
One of a Series of Articles on Revivals

Article I – May 31, 2008

Misinterpreting God's New Thing

H

ow many of us have heard it? “God is doing a new thing; the former

things are no more. The old way of doing church (and God) is passing away, or passé.” We have all heard these words…for years, if not for decades. Yet we continue to disbelieve them, failing to conform to and evidence their effects in our lives and our world. What am I talking about? I am talking about the repeated cycles of revival where seducing and divining spirits of God’s old moves hijack the new. Although God has been relentlessly moving to restore apostleship and prophets in His church, these sensual wildfires keep cropping up to derail His efforts and aims. Whenever the people of God talk about the new thing He is doing, they end up taking us back into the old, whether subtly or intentionally. Aspiring ministers or frustrated leaders sharing their heart for change and renewal say that they want the John G. Lake, Katherine Kuhlman, Aimee SimpleMcPherson, T. L. Osborn, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Smith Wigglesworth (and on it goes) anointing. Whatever historical revivalist some modern ministers admire, they attribute their power manifestations of God's next move to it. They yearn to revive the public displays of power the bygone evangelists became famous for exhibiting. In their minds, it would appear that the old revivalists are the only models today's church feels it can trust to fire God's people up again. Desperately clutching their memories and fascinations of the old belief, they continually take us back to the old to fulfill any prophecy or sign the Lord sends to announce a new move. Sadly, many modern ministers seem obsessed with mimicking history's departed servants' gifts believing that reviving them facilitates every new thing the Lord does. Only as their devotees can these ministers perceive themselves participating in modern revivals. So how does this become the equivalent of hijacking? Read on.

Psalm 85; 138 and Isaiah chapter 57, among many others, give us a very explicit pattern of the Lord's type of revival from scripture and His motives for launching one. They detail its causes, rationale, and describe the fruit we should expect once revival has begun. The following outlines how the Holy Spirit orchestrates revivals ignited by the Lord. Below is what the prophet Isaiah understood about the Godhead's inspired revivals. Isaiah 57:15-19
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. 17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on forwardly in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.”

As you can see from the above passage, the Lord’s revivals have some definite goals and predetermined outcomes. They are not merely spiritual episodes injected into human history to recirculate God’s olden days. Neither are they to relieve us of the doldrums of what we would call monotonous Christianity. Revivals are meant to bring about lasting change. They are the Lord’s direct response to His church’s and the world’s mistreatment of Him and His righteousness. Revival permits the Lord to relieve Himself of humanity’s abuse of His grace and goodness. The church's apathy, indifference, covetousness, pride, arrogance, and alienation are what trigger revival. The world's aggression against the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and its vicious attempt to eradicate His work, pervert the scriptures, and dissimulate His true church all occasion an outbreak of revival. Generally speaking, alienation from the Lord and quenching His Holy Spirit underlay the Lord's decision to woo us back to Him. Believers' alienation from their heavenly Father and their Savior means they cease to be His light and salt in the world. Remember this: when God's children resolve to persistently walk contrary to His way of life, choosing to follow the desires of their own hearts and ignoring or perverting His scripture truth instead, the Lord will send revival. Also, once Christians begin to blend the faith of their founder Jesus Christ, or to fuse with world's religions to trifle under foot the blood of God's glorified Lamb, revival can and should be expected. One thing is sure, revival is not the result of God's visiting family in response to its demand that He impress them to keep them. In defense of His holiness and righteousness, revival is a direct response to mass violation of God's laws and spite for His Son. By the Holy Spirit, He steps onto our world front to correct the world's exploitation, brutality, cruelty and godlessness in a given generation. The signs of revival-sparked depravity are always idolatry, witchcraft, and chaos. When these begin to wreak havoc in the world and spoil the Lord's ongoing redemption of the souls that He promised His Son, a new move takes place. It is needed because godlessness becomes so rampant so as to make His people vulnerable to the wickedness in

their land. As you can see, the reasons the modern church have been enjoying and calling for revival are not the same as the ones the Lord uses to send it. Since the powers and agents of revival come from the Lord, it stands to reason that its motives and outcomes should be determined by Him as well. God's reasons should be acknowledged and repented of as exemplified for us by Daniel the prophet in chapter 9 of his writings. The Lord's revival signatures addressed with mankind go all the way back to His eternity. Such moves are to achieve His purposes whether or not there is physical healing or other miraculous signs and wonders, although no true revival would flourish without them. For revival to be lasting, it must begin and end with God’s word, not just His muscle. That is the pattern given us in scripture and it repeats itself right up to the Almighty incarnating His word—Jesus the Logos—to launch the move that birthed the church. The signs and wonders that so tantalize the older members of the modern church are incidental (and instrumental) to the Lord's aim of returning His people and land to His scriptural truths. The witnesses of those good old days recall and long for a return of the bygone miracles and manifestations of the early revivalists, and for sentimental reasons they cannot help but want whatever God does today to mirror that era. The Lord, on the other hand, uses His power displays to kick-start His revival as mere calling cards that announce His coming to recapture the heart and soul of His church, and reestablish Jesus' dominion in the world. The demonstrations of the Holy Spirit that manifest revival are to the end that the Lord’s righteousness and truth are once more hallowed and promulgated throughout the world, not only to heal and deliver the souls of fatigued and disenchanted Christians. God sets out with each new move to realign His people once more to Him. A most confirming mark of all revivals is what the Savior sets forth as the number one sign of the true ones in John 17:17. There He declares the greatest sign of the Godhead’s revival is sanctification, not by signs and wonders, but by God's truth. These are what our God uses to summon His people from the world to Christ's purity again. Hence, sanctification from the world to Christ stands out as the Lord's supreme revival goal. Now for those of you who say that we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit at salvation, and that should take care of it for the rest of our lives, I would like to call your attention to what today's church considers sanctified. If you studied the Bible from God's perspective instead of the doctrines of men, you would see that what the Lord ordained for His sanctified saints to look and behave vastly differs from what is preached across most pulpits and promoted throughout the modern church. Let's take, for instance, the issue of tattooing that is running rampant in the church. Compare what contemporary preachers, prophets, praise and worship leaders of the Most High God serving His altar today with what the Lord Jesus gave His life's blood for on the cross. You will see that there is a great difference between the two perspectives. As a case in point, notice how they peddle revival of the ancient deities’ rituals and demands that Jesus died on the cross to dethrone. Excessive liberty-laced doctrine perverts the liberty that Christ delivered to His precious body on earth. As you wonder about God's position on

tattooing, consider the following example. Ask yourself, if you were on a missions trip and saw a whole tribe of worshippers marred with grotesque images all over their bodies, wearing dreadlocked hair sporting pierced body parts, would you say that they needed Jesus Christ or not? Would looking at their grotesquely scarred flesh make you say they needed to change their god to Christ? No doubt you would be so moved by their bondage to sin and death and the evidence of it in their flesh that you would pray for them to enter the liberty of Jesus Christ's salvation, and conclude your mission’s trip to their world was to set them free from such bondage. By what standards or criteria would you encourage them to do so? Based on all of the reasons that we have traditionally used to evangelize the world, on what grounds would you say they needed to be saved, especially if you have not spoken to them? Inwardly, upon looking at their appearances and practices, like Paul you would be grieved at heart and impelled to offer them Christ's salvation, and you would set out to persuade them to be saved. Once the tribe received Jesus Christ, you would expect to see definite changes in how they worship, how they prepare to worship, and what they consider essential to offering themselves as living sacrifices to our Lord. What signs would you look for to say they were freed from their savage bondage and their cruel god? You would want them to change their rituals so that they ceased from the heinous abuse of their bodies for their tribal deity. Most likely as Jesus Christ's representative, you would seek visible signs of their conversion as you taught them the difference between their cruel god and their new Savior. From God's word you would motivate them to change their behavior, prayers, and worship from the darkness to the light. Over time, after teaching them the way of the Lord, you would eventually want to see them alter their appearance and their attire as much as possible to reflect the living God. The Lord uses His word to fill the voids in people’s souls to release them from the strongholds (social, cultural or otherwise) that keep them captive to the sways of the god of this world. By His indwelling Holy Spirit, He removes their appetite for what they have to offer and replaces it with a craving for His own ways. In this manner, the Lord totally eradicates the way they used to view life or want to live it and implants in them the way He lives instead. Now here is the big question. If what you observe in that tribe on your missions trip translates to bondage to darkness and the devil, why is it liberty for those Christ has supposedly set free? Does Christ save us to continue life as usual or does He save us to free us to serve Him according to His and His Father's way of life? When bathed in true revival, people do not leave the way they came spiritually, emotionally, psychologically or physically. When departing Christ’s revival presence, they exit with more than a warm feeling or fantastic stories to tell about their spiritual escapades. They take more from the experience than a revived love for the Lord and leave on fire, driven and impassioned about the God that just touched them. That is how it was with the madman from Gedara in the Gospels, and the many others that crossed paths with Jesus Christ and His salvation. Transformed and empowered, truly revived saints (and they must first be saints in order to be re-vived in the first place) return to their world to share more than signs and wonders, spiritual antics, religious exploits, or sensational

tales. These people return to publish and promote the Almighty’s type of life that is replete with His righteousness, holiness and truth. The genuinely revived do not leave the experience simply healed from their physical maladies. Without passivity or shyness about what happened to them with the Risen Savior, truly revived souls boldly and passionately preach the resurrected Jesus Christ. They realize that they have been converted to His purity, holiness, righteousness, and reverence and practice both enthusiastically while testifying about Him to everyone they can. For these people, the Godhead’s revivals do not emptily distribute healing and deliverance. They reestablish Jesus the Messiah as the head of the revived one’s life and shift their course of existence to no longer admire the world, envy or aspire to its sinfulness. The ones that our Lord Jesus truly revives do not need annual trips or revisits to relive what they felt. They conform to His death and wage war on Satan’s destructive culture in His name. Biblical examples of revival introduce the next article in this series.

Paula A. Price is vastly becoming the international voice on the subject of apostolic and prophetic ministry. She is widely recognized as a modern-day apostle with a potent prophetic anointing. Having been in active full-time ministry since 1985, she has founded and established three churches, an apostolic and prophetic Bible institute, a publication company, consulting firm, and global collaborative network linking apostles and prophets together for the purpose of kingdom vision and ventures. With an international itinerant ministry she has transformed the lives of many through her wisdom and revelation of God’s kingdom. As a former sales and marketing executive, Paula blends ministerial and entrepreneurial applications in her ministry to enrich and empower a diverse audience with the skills and abilities to take kingdoms for the Lord Jesus Christ. A lecturer, teacher, curriculum developer and business trainer, she globally consults Christian businesses, churches, schools and assemblies. She has over a 20-year period developed a superior curriculum to effectively train Christian ministers and professionals, particularly the apostle and the prophet. Her programs often are used in both secular and non-secular environments worldwide. Although she has written over 25 books, manuals, and other course material on the apostolic and prophetic, she is most recognized for her unique 1,600-term Prophets’ Dictionary, a concise prophetic training manual entitled Church Prophets, and her most recent releases, Divine Order for Spiritual Dominance, for five-fold ministry and Eternity’s Generals, an explanation of today’s apostle. Beyond the pulpit, Paula is the provocative talk show host of her own program, Let’s Just Talk: Where God Makes Sense. She brings the pulpit to the pew, weekly applying God’s wisdom and divine pragmatism to today’s world solutions. Her ministry goal is to make Christ’s teachings and churches relevant for today. “Eternity in the Now” is the credo through which she accomplishes it. In addition to her vast experience, Paula has a D.Min. and a Ph.D. in Religious Education from Word of Truth Seminary in Alabama. She is also a wife, mother of three daughters, and the grandmother of two. She and her husband Tom presently pastor New Creation Worship Assembly in Tulsa, OK. Learn more about Dr. Paula Price and her company, PPM Global Resources at www.drpaulaprice.com.

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