If you are a reader of my blog articles, by now you have realized that I often write about things that can cause a stir. If you read the comment section below, you will often read some very complimentary comments from some of our readers, with a few that are written in disagreement with what I've posted. I am fine with that! I never moderate the comments. If someone ever writes something in complete disagreement with my thoughts, I allow it to stay on the blog. In all of these years, I've only had to remove one comment, that due to it's ungodly nature.
Some of my recent posts have drawn a lot of interest. I get many more personal email comments than I do get posted here on the blog. Some of them are often more in disagreement with what I've written.
Also, by now, you've most likely noted that I write a lot about Revival. Some have called my ministry unbalanced due to this. Over the past few weeks, especially after I posted the blog about Corinne's dream (see below: "Dream About God's House and His Bride") and last weekend's post, "A Word For Michigan," I've been bombarded with a ton of personal email. Here is a little over view of what's being said to me...
- To focus on Revival is not where it is today
- Revival is a word that is not Biblical
- We need to talk about restoration not Revival
- There is nothing wrong with the Church in my town
- God's moving in Michigan so we don't need to repent
- Our church is OK, we've got lots of good programs
- Our town is OK, we've got big named ministries ministering here
- Our area is excited, we've got new prayer rooms, healing rooms, lots of big name "speakers" coming in... God's on the move here!
That pretty much covers it. However, my thought is, how many people have really lived in the heat of revival? Well.... I have!
I was saved in 1973, in the midst of a time called the "Charismatic Renewal." During this period many Mainline Churches were experiencing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, the Gifts of the Spirit, etc. It was a powerful time. Our good friend Carol Gustke says of that time, "No one could do anything wrong, God just favored us. You could pray in the name of Little Orphan Annie, and someone would get healed!" That's Carol for you...What a Gal! Yet she is right!
Corinne and I left a Mainline Church after being told that we shouldn't take the Bible too literally by our pastor. We lived in Grandville, MI, a western suburb of Grand Rapids. We heard of a small Church in Holland, MI where God was reported to be moving. I fully recall the first Sunday night we visited....the key word was "Mayhem!" The little, new church building was packed to the gills, people were friendly, but fully focused on what was about to happen. There was a powerful anticipation in the air. Everyone, including us, even though we were in a state of wonderment at the time, seemed be awaiting the door bell to ring, and for God to be standing at the door asking to be invited in. Invited in He was!
The meeting opened and the Holy Spirit fell. This was most likely about 1974, too long ago to remember everything, other than I was hooked! God was in the house, I knew it and could only want much, much more. The pastor of the church was a short, red haired Irish man, TW French. He moved strongly in healing and deliverance. When he preached in those days, just about anything could and did happen! One day a great miracle took place, Sister Jean was raised from the dead. She had died of cancer, Pastor French was called and arrived before medical help. As he knelt beside the sofa that Sister Jean was laying on, the gift of faith rose in him, he shot to his feet and cursed the spirit of death, and Sister Jean came back to life. This miracle fully shook up all of West Michigan. One Sunday morning a young gal came to church with a cast on her leg. She was out the Friday night before sowing a little of her wild oats. She was "clubbing" and broke her leg on the dance floor. She came forward for prayer. Pastor French asked her, "Do you promise to never dance with anyone other than Jesus from now on?" She said, "Yes!" She went home from the meeting, feeling the pain in her leg leave. She went back to the hospital and asked for a new X Ray. She no longer had a broken leg. She came back to church that Sunday night with no cast, totally healed and restored!
Speaking of broken legs....Brother Howard, was called into work on a Saturday morning. He had an accident on the job, falling and breaking his leg. He came to church the next morning with a full leg cast on. We were sitting about 3-4 rows behind Brother Howard. During the worship, I noted him standing, wiping tears from his eyes. Within a minute or two, I noted him moving, lifting his leg, then began to bounce up and down on it. All of a sudden Brother Howard was jumping up and down like a wild man..."I've been healed!... I've been healed!" Needless to say, another leg cast didn't come back to the Sunday night service.
Our church in those days practiced "church membership." Every Sunday we took in 15-30 new members! We would leave for church early on Sunday mornings as we had about a 45 minute drive. We wanted to sit as close to the front as possible! When the morning service finished, and one never knew when that would be, we'd leave our Bibles on the seat so we could get a seat for the evening service! This was a Church That Revival Built!
Now all of this wasn't just happening in our church! Things like this were going on all over! And our church attendance wasn't just growing due to people "church hopping" either. People were actually getting saved in those days! Hardly a meeting went by without several new converts getting saved in the meetings. What's more, many were coming to the Lord in those days, completely outside a church building. Hummmm I was one of those! I got saved in a motel room, reading a Gideon Bible, in Jackson, MI, while on a business trip.
There was an excitement in those days that I've never seen since, not even 10 years ago, during "the River Movement."
My Evangelist Friend, Roger Webb (www.rogerwebb.org) is currently holding meetings in a small town in south Ohio. Tuesday night a lady received a great miracle. Roger asked, "Is anyone here in pain tonight?" This lady raised her hand and Roger called her forward for prayer. She'd been in constant pain for over 10 years. She had to walk with a cane, and had constant body shaking going on. As Roger prayed a simple prayer of faith this lady was healed. Now... I mean she was HEALED! All of the great pain completely left. She gave her cane a throw and began to run around shouting, "I'm healed!" Last night (Friday) her husband came to the meeting and testified how excited he was that his wife had been healed, sharing what a great miracle this was!
Now here is the deal about this miracle. Back in 1974 a miracle like this would have drawn a huge crowd. Roger's report is that nothing much seems to be happening as far as the excitement of the people goes. Matter of fact, about 1/2 of the people who witnessed the miracle Tuesday night haven't returned. The crowd is staying about the same in number, but is not growing at all. William Branham once had a meeting where he had to stay on the platform for 8 days, as more and more new people joined the healing line as word got out about the miracles taking place! Wow!!!! This isn't the case today!
Sorry for the longer blog here... but here's the bottom line... Friends, our Churches need Revival! We need God's life burning in us once again! This will lead to full restoration of the Church and full transformation of our communities. But all of our "good meetings" today are falling far short of what I've experienced in the past. And I fully know that this time, the move of God will far surpass anything that any of us have ever seen in the past!
I for one am ready for this... God... Send Your Fire!
Larry the Revivalist!
my web site: www.larrysilverman.com