A look at the standard NAR revival speak, courtesy of Dr. Michael Brown...
Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. -- Luke 8: 37 (ESV)
One of the hallmark calling cards of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is their obsession with the concept of revival. This is the absurd notion that a pagan nation such as the United States will suddenly come to their senses and return to God. Except you cannot return to where you have never been and you cannot revive something that was never alive. The NAR however firmly believes in dominionism and the seven mountain mandate that says Christians must conquer the seven mountains of culture in order to facilitate the second coming of Christ. This is why the NAR is overly involved in politics, entertainment, and education; to name a few. As we have detailed before the NAR teaches and believes these things because they like living in Sodom. They like the sin and excess they can enjoy in America. They like their seats at the table. Of managing mega churches and driving fancy cars. They like being exalted by men. Doctrine and biblical sufficiency? That's for those other suckers. They have a divine connection right into the throne room! Fresh revelation, downloads, and experiences to replace that crusty old bible.
Dr. Michael Brown is a gatekeeper for the NAR. That means while he may not directly preach common NAR themes, he provides cover and credibility for those that do. Interestingly enough, since Donald Trump has become president, Brown has spent a great deal of time and effort carrying his water as well. His style of writing is often such that he gives the appearance of criticizing or being even handed but in the end it is obvious what he is shilling for. Let us reason together through his latest offering linked above entitled, "Is a Great Revival Coming to America?"
'For the last several years, there has been an increasing cry for a fresh move of God in our country, for a new spiritual awakening. Is it coming? Are the days of revival near? Could we see America shaken by the Word and the Spirit? In my recent book Saving a Sick America, I shared my deep and fervent hope that another great awakening could be at hand, something that could rock our nation from coast to coast. So, I'm certainly not one to say, "It's too late for America!"' -- Dr. Michael Brown
The opening premise is both delusional and ignorant. It is delusional in that this country is moving farther and farther away from God. It is ignorant in the inability to see that the people "crying" for revival are false teachers who seek revival for their own gain, not for any expansion of souls into the kingdom. The truly sad disconnect is that Brown cannot see that the country wants less and less to do with God because of the church. Because of people like Dr. Brown who routinely supports the most egregious false prophets and teachers on the planet. For example, the world can see that the current president's spiritual advisor is one of the most voracious wolves alive today (Paula White) even if Dr. Brown cannot. Deeper into this sickness however is simply a poor theology at play. Can we see America shaken by the word? No we cannot because the church no longer presents the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. The things of God remain foolishness to those who are perishing so without the preached Gospel no one can get saved. So while it provides me with no joy to say it, it is too late for America, as it is for the world. What is not too late is for individual people to be reached with the Gospel. The NAR however does not care about saving people because it is the system they idolize. It is the system they seek to preserve.
'And the Lord knows how desperately we need revival. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that, without a national awakening, in just one generation America could collapse into spiritual anarchy. So, the question is not, "Do we need revival?" nor is the question, "Is God willing to send revival?" Instead, the question is, "Do we really want revival? Will we welcome a divine visitation if it came?" Or, to ask the question even more pointedly, "As God's people, do we really want Him to visit us afresh, or are we content to remain in our compromised spiritual state?"' -- Dr. Michael Brown
This is where the NAR types simply do not get it. The Lord knows how desperately we need salvation, not revival. When you hear people selling revival they are speaking about a return to biblical principles and morality. That horse left the barn a long time ago beloved. They cannot see the folly of their own position. That if only the unbelieving goats of this country would behave better, then God would somehow spare judgment on this land. That is absurd. The goats do not need revival -- they need Christ! They need the Gospel! Stop chasing revival for your own personal and selfish reasons and worry more about the fact that the church has hidden its light under a basket! One generation more and we might fall into spiritual anarchy? What planet is Dr. Brown living on? Forget spiritual anarchy in the world! Just look at the chaos in the church! You have people saying God wants everyone rich. You have others saying the bible does not mean as much as our own experiences. You have more saying that the Holy Spirit manifests itself with ridiculous and idiotic signs like gem stones and gold dust. You have some who say we are in fact little gods! Forget reviving the world which was never alive in Christ to begin with -- revive the pastors and preachers first! The truth is that we do not need revival, unless it is a revival of preaching the Gospel. That is what we need. The harsh reality though is that we do not really want that kind of revival. You see what Dr. Brown and the NAR seek is a revival of someone else. The spiritual problems facing us all are someone else's fault. We do not want revival because that would mean holiness and purity of doctrine. That would mean that Dr. Brown would need to call out false teachers by name as instructed in God's Word and we know he will never do that! He has constantly had people try and shake him out of his compromised spiritual state only to watch him dig his heels in deeper and refuse. No! It must be someone else that needs revival. Look at how the world sins! Look at the fact that they threw God out of school. Look at the godless liberals! Look at one of them make fun of the vice president! Enough already! We are supposed to be the Christians in this equation. The word revive means to bring back to life. Those without Christ have never been alive. Dr. Brown now begins to discuss the story about Jesus driving the demons out of Legion and into the herd of pigs. Which resulted in the people of the area begging Him to leave. Here are his conclusions:
'What kind of response was this? You would have thought they would be begging Jesus to stay, bringing their sick and afflicted to Him. Instead, they begged Him to depart. Why? His visit rocked their world. It was too intense, too disruptive, too much. Better to have this tormented man in their midst than to have this kind of upheaval. Better to have the status quo, with all its misery and bondage, than to have a divine, up-close and personal encounter with the Lord. Better to live in spiritual darkness than to have pigs throwing themselves into the sea. Plus, as long as we have a crazy man in our midst, we can make excuses for our own bad habits and choices. Now that he's clothed and in his right mind, it's getting a little uncomfortable for us. Before, when he was committing X-rated sins, our R-rated sins weren't too bad. Now that's he's a new man, it's making us look bad. "Jesus, we'd prefer it if you left!"' -- Dr. Michael Brown
It is a shame to watch the damage of proof texting by someone so adept at handling God's Word. This is not usually how Dr. Brown handles the text. This is nothing but eisegesis. Here is what he is reading into the text that is simply not there:
He rocked their world
His visit was too intense, too disruptive, too much
That they thought it would be better to have the man tormented than this upheaval
They preferred misery and bondage to a divine encounter
The crazy man allowed them to excuse their own bad behavior
Read the story and see if any of this is mentioned. It is not. Now why would someone as learned as Dr. Michael Brown insert so much into the text that is not there? Because it supports the narrative he is trying to make about wanting revival. You see these folks in this story -- they did not want revival. Nonsense! The story tells us why they asked Him to leave. Just look at the key verse. They were afraid. Not some deep gnostic reason regarding liking their own sinful behavior or preferring misery to a divine encounter. They were afraid. They never said they would prefer the man still be tormented. How do we get here that someone who clearly knows the Bible would do something like this? Mangle God's Word so badly. This is what happens when you start with a premise and scour the bible to prop it up. Brown continues:
'Will that be our attitude when Jesus comes to visit us afresh? Will we say, "Lord, that's a bit too much! Things here weren't so bad before, and since You've been around, normal life has been disrupted. It's a little too intense for our comfort. Now that You've stirred things up, people are getting almost fanatical about faith, walking and talking and living as if the Bible was true and heaven and hell were real. Jesus, please leave!"' -- Dr. Michael Brown
Yes Dr. Brown. That is probably what will happen. All of the wolves that you support would probably denounce Jesus as not being loving enough, preaching legalism, or trying to put God in a box. This is what is so maddeningly frustrating about dealing with Brown. He clearly gets it. Yet the vast majority of the preachers and prophets he protects are the very people he knows will not accept Christ if He came back today. Yet somehow he is OK with this and it should give every believer pause.
"You see, revival is not simply a matter of holding a series of special, long meetings with lots of singing and preaching and emotion, mixed with some falling and shaking and crying out. No, revival speaks of a holy God coming in the midst of His people with fresh conviction, revealing our sin and our guilt and our coldness and our hypocrisy, calling us to repentance." 'As Charles Finney said, "A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the Church. Backslidden [Christians] cannot wake up and begin right away in the service of God, without deep searchings of heart. The fountains of sin need to be broken up. In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such conviction; they see their sins in such a light that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God. It does not always go that extent, but there are always, in a genuine revival, deep convictions of sin, and often cases of abandoning all hope." Finney also explained that, "A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin."' -- Dr. Michael Brown
Coming from a man who still defends the demonic Brownsville "revival" this is an odd statement. Those were a series of special, long meetings with lots of singing, preaching and emotion, mixed with some falling, shaking and crying out. Who can forget the uncontrollable spasms and bodily twitches blamed on the Holy Spirit? Finney is right; revival has to do with the church. Why? Because in order to be revived, you must have been alive prior! It must start with conviction. Personal conviction of the sins we have allowed in our life and corporate conviction about the false doctrine we have allowed in the body of Christ. A correction to the perversion of the Gospel is needed.
"What does this look like in real life? There can be days of weeping and months of soul-searching. There can be radical breakthroughs with shouts of joy and celebration. And there can be a holy and divine shaking that rocks our religious structures and challenges our religious strictures. Do we really want God to come and visit in power? Listen to these words from the prophet Malachi: "I will send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. He is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap" (Mal. 3:1-2)." -- Dr. Michael Brown
Being a staunch and unapologetic defender of charismania, Brown believes that a divine visitation will result in a shaking of our "religious structures and strictures." Allow me to translate the NAR-speak. The NAR fully embraces anything under the umbrella of Charismania. Benny Hinn "slaying" hundreds of people with his sports coat? That's just the Holy Spirit! Bill Johnson claiming angel feathers randomly fall all around him at diners? Hey, God could do it! Schools of the supernatural designed to usurp God's power and teach the unteachable gifts of the Spirit? Stop trying to put God in a box man! So when Brown refers to the religious structures and strictures he is actually referring to people who insist on following the Bible instead of experiential Christianity. One of the consistent attacks of the NAR is against "religion" meaning the Bible and in favor of "relationship" which means you rely on your deceitfully wicked heart to attribute anything that happens or pops into your head as a move of the spirit. The reality is that if Christ came back it would not be religious structures He would be addressing but the lack of them in the compromised church. It would be the wanton lack of strictures. Brown concludes:
"The Lord comes as a refiner's fire. Is that what we really want? I deeply and fervently hope and pray that God sends another great awakening to our nation. But unless our hunger and thirst go deeper, I'm concerned that when revival comes, we will not be ready for it. The best thing we can do, then, is get alone with God and cry out daily with all our hearts, "Lord, send a fresh wave of your Spirit, starting right here with me!" If enough of us get desperately hungry, the Lord will come and fill." -- Dr. Michael Brown
No. It does not work like that. Is God up in heaven wanting to send revival but holding back because people are not "desperately hungry" enough? Do you think the church today with their mega-stardom, places of honor at the banquet tables, and willingness to accept any alternate christ or gospel desires the refiners fire? When the church like Dr. Brown here is more concerned with America than the body of Christ? There is no awakening coming to this nation unless the church leads the way by preaching the Gospel and that cannot happen unless they over turn their own tables and cast out wolves teaching their doctrines of demons. So Dr. Brown, you can bemoan the state of this country and blame the goats all day long but in the end you lack just one thing in order to truly see why there will be no revival -- a mirror.
Reverend Anthony Wade - March 8, 2018
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.