Monday, 7 November 2011

'Voice of Revival' 1984 June/July p04

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Following on the tradition of the failed date-setting for 1953 (which they made while still part of the National Revival Crusade) the Revival Centres again blatantly predict the return of the Lord on or before September 17th, 2001. The Revivalists arrive at this date for at least two different reasons:

1. Revivalists and British Israelists subscribe to God's Great Week, a 7000 years theory (see the bottom of the article above). This belief argues Adam was created in 3996 B.C.E. and seeing as, 'a day is as a thousand years', the end of the sixth millennium (around the year 2000) would result in Christ's return.

2. The markings inside the Pyramid of Cheops, used by many Pyramidologists to set dates, stop at September 17th, 2001. Thomas Foster, Lloyd Longfield and Noel Hollins' former pastor in the NRC, made mention of a similar date. It seems they got this date from David Davidson's The Path to Peace in Our Time: Outlines from the Great Pyramid Prophecy (1942)

So there is even more evidence the Revival Centres have been involved with setting a date relevant to the return of Jesus Christ. Contrast this with the Revival Centres International statement on date-setting in which they claim they have never been party to this practice.

Interestingly, the Christian Assemblies International, a splinter group of the Revival Centres, still had this article on their website as late as 2011.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

'Voice of Revival' 1962 v04 n07 p04-06

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It is hard to know the origin of this 3 page article. It may well have been written by a Revivalist, but I suspect it has been 'borrowed' from somewhere else and adapted to suit Revival Centre doctrine. After all, when part of the NRC/CRC, Revivalists were exposed to the books and magazines of other Pentecostal groups and there are so few other articles dealing with Church history in any detail from Revivalists. Whatever the origins, it was later republished as a Revival Centre tract/leaflet and most Revivalists were very familiar with it, even as late as the 1990s.

Evangelical Christian Dean Mischewski addressed some of the claims of the above article. Below are some excerpts of his letter (which can be found in its entirety here) to an RCI pastor in New Zealand.


Regarding Tertullian and the Montanists, this group is well known as heretics and Tertullian's later writings (from after he joined the sect) are generally considered less valuable in terms of their teaching given that he was writing from a viewpoint out of step with the rest of the early Church. The following information on the Montanists I found online in the Catholic Encyclopedia

It is interesting to take St. Jerome's account, written in 384, of the doctrines of Montanism as he believed them to be in his own time (Ep., xli). He describes them as Sabellians in their idea of the Trinity, as forbidding second marriage, as observing three Lents "as though three Saviours had suffered". Above bishops they have "Cenones" (probably not koinonoi, but a Phrygian word) and patriarchs above these at Pepuza. They close the door of the Church to almost every sin. They say that God, not being able to save the world by Moses and the Prophets, took flesh of the Virgin Mary, and in Christ, His Son, preached and died for us. And because He could not accomplish the salvation of the world by this second method, the Holy Spirit descended upon Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla, giving them the plenitude which St. Paul had not (I Cor., xiii, 9). St. Jerome refuses to believe the story of the blood of a baby; but his account is already exaggerated beyond what the Montanists would have admitted that they held. Origen ("Ep. ad Titum" in "Pamph. Apol.", I fin.) is uncertain whether they are schismatics or heretics. St. Basil is amazed that Dionysius of Alexandria admitted their baptism to be valid (Ep., clxxxii). According to Philastrius (Hær., xlix) they baptized the dead. Sozomen (xviii) tells us that they observed Easter on 6 April or on the following Sunday. Germanus of Constantinople (P.G., XCVIII, 44) says they taught eight heavens and eight degrees of damnation. The Christian emperors from Constantine onwards made laws against them, which were scarcely put into execution in Phrygia (Sozomen, II, xxxii). But gradually they became a small and secret sect. The bones of Montanus were dug up in 861. The numerous Montanist writings (bibloi apeiroi, "Philosophumena", VIII, xix) are all lost. It seems that a certain Asterius Urbanus made a collection of the prophecies (Euseb., V, xvi, 17).

However Tertullian often has much worthwhile teaching, so his references to tongues may well be bona fide.

John Chrysostom
For a start this quote says nothing, one way or the other, about tongues in the year A.D. 390, so its inclusion does nothing to prove the point that tongues have been around throughout church history. The article didn't say where the quote came from, but I managed to track it down in the library of early Church writings at Wheaton University's web site. If you read the entire passage, you will see that it actually contradicts the point your article is trying to make! 

Chrysostum is discussing 1 Cor 12:1-2, in his 'Homilies on First Corinthians':

"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that when ye were Gentiles, ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might be led." [Here he's quoting the Bible. Then he goes on to discuss the passage.] 

This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place. And why do they not happen now? Why look now, the cause too of the obscurity hath produced us again another question: namely, why did they then happen, and now do so no more?

This however let us defer to another time, but for the present let us state what things were occurring then. Well: what did happen then? Whoever was baptized he straightway spake with tongues and not with tongues only, but many also prophesied, and some also performed many other wonderful works. For since on their coming over from idols, without any clear knowledge or training in the ancient Scriptures, they at once on their baptism received the Spirit, yet the Spirit they saw not, for It is invisible; therefore God's grace bestowed some sensible proof of that energy. - John Chrysostum, Homily XXIX.

So your article is using this quote to support present-day speaking in tongues by taking it right out of its context, whereas Chrysostum is actually saying that tongues have ceased; that they did happen, and now do so no more!

Again, there was no reference. I tried really hard to find this one. I even downloaded the complete writings of Augustine (more than 20MB of plain text) and searched through them for various words or combinations of words in the quote above, but I couldn't find it. Now I'm not saying that you guys have made it up. Maybe there's some writings that I missed. But compare the quote above with what I did find. This one comes from Augustine's Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John:

This is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment." "And he that doeth His commandment abideth in Him, and He in him. In this we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us." If in truth thou find that thou hast charity, thou hast the Spirit of God in order to understand: for a very necessary thing it is. 

In the earliest times, "the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spake with tongues," which they had not learned, "as the Spirit gave them utterance." These were signs adapted to the time. For there behooved to be that betokening of the Holy Spirit in all tongues, to shew that the Gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth. That thing was done for a betokening, and it passed away. In the laying on of hands now, that persons may receive the Holy Ghost, do we look that they should speak with tongues? Or when we laid the hand on these infants, did each one of you look to see whether they would speak With tongues, and, when he saw that they did not speak with tongues, was any of you so wrong-minded as to say, These have not received the Holy Ghost; for, had they received, they would speak with tongues as was the case in those times? If then the witness of the presence of the Holy Ghost be not now given through these miracles, by what is it given, by what does one get to know that he has received the Holy Ghost? Let him question his own heal?. If he love his brother the Spirit of God dwelleth in him. Let him see, let him prove himself before the eyes of God, let him see whether there he in him the love of peace and unity, the love of the Church that is spread over the whole earth. - Augustine, Homily VI.

Note the way Augustine says "...was any of you so wrong-minded as to say, These have not received the Holy Ghost; for, had they received, they would speak with tongues as was the case in those times?". So again it seems that the real view of this great "father of the Latin Church" is totally opposite to what the article is suggesting! Of course, if you could reference the article's quote from Augustine, then that would be evidence that he had changed his views at some stage, and we could then determine which was his more mature opinion.

But to illustrate further, in another work, Augustine discusses his view of tongues.

Lectures on the Gospel According to St John, Tractate XXXII:
How then, brethren, because he that is baptized in Christ, and believes on Him, does not speak now in the tongues of all nations, are we not to believe that he has received the Holy Ghost? God forbid that our heart should be tempted by this faithlessness. Certain we are that every man receives: but only as much as the vessel of faith that he shall bring to the fountain can contain, so much does He fill of it. Since, therefore, the Holy Ghost is even now received by men, some one may say, Why is it that no man speaks in the tongues of all nations? Because the Church itself now speaks in the tongues of all nations. Before, the Church was in one nation, where it spoke in the tongues of all. By speaking then in the tongues of all, it signified what was to come to pass; that by growing among the nations, it would speak in the tongues of all. Whoso is not in this Church, does not now receive the Holy Ghost. For, being cut off and divided from the unity of the members, which unity speaks in the tongues of all, let him declare for himself; he has it not. For if he has it, let him give the sign which was given then. What do we mean by saying, Let him give the sign which was then given? Let him speak in all tongues. He answers me: How then, dost thou speak in all tongues? Clearly I do; for every tongue is mine, namely, of the body of which I am a member. The Church, spread among the nations, speaks in all tongues; the Church is the body of Christ, in this body thou art a member: therefore, since thou art a member of that body which speaks with all tongues, believe that thou too speakest with all tongues. For the unity of the members is of one mind by charity; and that unity speaks as one man then spoke.

Well, this was a surprise too, as I had never before heard of Martin Luther being a Pentecostal, although I am aware that Luther could speak in a number of different languages. Perhaps this has been confused with an ability to "speak in tongues". I couldn't find anything substantiating the claim in any of Luther's works on-line, so I wrote to the author of Project Wittenburg; a web site cataloguing Luther's works, to ask for help. He put me on to the Concordia Theological Seminary in the USA (a major Lutheran seminary). The librarian there gave me the following information, regarding the claim made in your article about Luther's tongue-speaking:

I have not heard this claim before, but I believe it to be untrue. It is, of course, difficult to prove a negative, but here is my reasoning.

The modern tongues-speaking movement is only a hundred years old, tracing its history back to 1901 in Topeka, Kansas. Before the modern Pentecostal movement of this century, there are only scattered reports of glossolalia (the technical term for speaking in tongues in the modern sense). Any reference by Luther to "speaking in tongues" must be considered against this historical background.

Luther wrote no commentary on 1 Corinthians, so there is no direct reference to his interpretation of St. Paul here. Luther does, however, refer to 1 Cor. in his work "Against the Heavenly Prophets". I quote the following from "Luther's Works", American ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1955-1986), v. 40, p. 142-143. The first paragraph picks up in the middle of an argument, so the connection with the preceding is not made, but the two paragraphs do show Luther's understanding of speaking in tongues:

[Luther:]"Also the fool doesn't understand St. Paul's words correctly when he writes of speaking with tongues (I Cor. 14 [:2-29]). For St. Paul writes of the office of preaching in the congregation, to which it is to listen an to learn from it, when he says: Whoever comes forward, and wants to read, teach, or preach, and yet speaks with tongues, that is, speaks Latin instead of German, or some unknown language, he is to be silent and preach to himself alone. For no one can hear it or understand it, and no one can get any benefit from it. Or if he should speak with tongues, he ought, in addition, put what he says into German, or interpret it in one way or another, so that the congregation may understand him. Thus St. Paul is not as stubborn in forbidding speaking with tongues as this sin-spirit is, but says it is not to be forbidden when along with it interpretation takes place.
"Hence has come the custom in all lands, to read the gospel immediately before the sermon in Latin, which St. Paul calls speaking in tongues in the congregation. However, since the sermon comes soon thereafter and translates and interprets the tongue, St. Paul does not reject or forbid it. Why should I then, or anyone condemn it? Yes, would to God, that only this order of St. Paul were everywhere in effect so that after the Latin gospel nothing else was preached than its exposition."

This quotation would certainly underscore your point that Luther spoke other languages, and this is what he meant by speaking in tongues. For Mr. Souer to prove otherwise would take a solid quotation from Luther. Unfortunately, I cannot even prove the existence of any "History of the Christian Church" by any Souer. There appears to be a misspelling of the name, but even considering possible other spellings, this is certainly not one of the well-known and authoritative histories of the Christian Church.

So without a solid reference in your article, it again appears that the information is wrong. In fact, regardless of whether Luther's interpretation is the right one, he would describe someone who holds to the Revival Centre's view on tongues as "the fool" who "doesn't understand St. Paul's words correctly". The way he is presented in your article is therefore somewhat ironic.

The Quakers
It is interesting to note that George Fox, under whose leadership "the Quakers experienced the reviving power of the Holy Spirit", as the article says, actually discouraged speaking in tongues (see his autobiography). However, I do not dispute the article's quotation here, as in spite of his disapproval, a number of his followers apparently went on to speak in tongues and evidence other charismatic phenomena.

Charles Finney
The citation doesn't mention tongues, and to me infers only fervent prayer after Finney's powerful experience of the Holy Spirit. I came across an interesting quote in an article from Eastern Pentecostal Bible College called "Speaking in Other Tongues - Our Pentecostal Distinctive." The article reviews the history of Pentecostalism and in mentioning the role of Charles Finney, says: 

Finney would stop short of the Pentecostal position of speaking in tongues but he did claim that the Holy Spirit allowed the believer in prayer to transcend the limits of human language. Basing his position on a literal interpretation of Romans 8:26, Finney wrote that,

"the Spirit excites desires too great to be uttered except by groans. Something that language cannot utter - making the soul too full to utter its feelings by words, where the person can only groan them out to God who understands the language of the heart." [The quote is referenced to "Charles Finney's Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit" by John Graham.]

So it seems that the article refers yet again to someone who holds the opposite position from what you are trying to prove!

The other quotations I will not dispute...In conclusion then, it appears that your article fails to prove the assertion that there have been 2000 years of speaking in tongues. While I have yet to fully examine your church's doctrinal positions, the lack of scholarship presented in your article does not reassure me when it comes to trusting the Revival Centre's Biblical exegesis. I can only assume that any errors are not intentionally deceptive but have simply been trustingly copied from other sources. I hope that it is obvious that quotations need to be carefully referenced, especially in matters as important as Christian truth.


'Voice of Revival' 1963 v05 n11 p04&05

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They see flame throwing tanks in this passage?  Are they having a lend of us? Can you guess why the author had to use the Moffatt Translation to make his point? Have a read of the passage in the KJV or the NIV and that will become clear. There is no mention of 'tracks' in other translations because the word 'track' in Moffatt's version doesn't refer to a track as in something left behind but rather it means a 'path' or 'direction' (again, see how the other versions translate it).

And what tank looks like a horse? An elephant or rhino perhaps, but a horse? It's simply not there Pastor.


'Voice of Revival' 1963 v05 n10 p04&05

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The dam was completed in July, 1970 but of course the River Nile was never destroyed.

Further Reading:
The Artificial Nile: the Aswan High Dam
Diverting the Nile in Myth and Legend

Verdict: ALL WET!

'Voice of Revival' 1963 v05 n05 p04&05

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This is largely a rehash of a claim they made in 1959 and has been dealt with here.

Verdict: STILL CRAP!

'Voice of Revival' 1963 v05 n01 p05

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Can you guess what I am going to say? Yes, this never happened!

As a matter of history, the Catholic Church was very actively anti-Communist, especially Pope John-Paul II in his support of the Solidarity movement in Poland.


'Voice of Revival' 1962 v04 n01 p04

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Did Communist borders ever reach the very edges of the USA and Commonwealth nations? Of course not. A quick glance at the map below showing the former and current Communist nations in red will convince you of this.

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Further Reading: