Food For Thought–Revival Expressions

Charles Finney once said, “God’s Spirit leads men by intelligence and not by mere expressions.” I was in a meeting a few years back, and while waiting for the service to start, I noticed a woman going around praying for people. This lady would jerk strangely and make dog-barking sounds. I thought to myself, “I’ll not let her lay hands on me.”  Afterwards, I asked the pastor “Why did you let her do this?” He replied, “She just came from the revival that is going on in ____.” There is a need for the gift mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10… “to another discerning of spirits.”

In late 1959 through 1961, I took my turn every six weeks ministering in two different mental institutions. I saw many people who were mentally ill “jerk” and voice different sounds. When I saw the above-mentioned woman praying for people before the service, I wondered, “Why would the Holy Spirit resort to using demon-like expressions similar to what we see in mental institutions?” The Holy Spirit is an intelligent Spirit, a holy Spirit, and a refreshing Spirit. I determined that the Holy Spirit does not cause people to act like demoniacs. I may be stepping on some toes here. Frank Bartleman, a man who recorded the 1906 Azusa Revival, wrote, “A true Pentecostal revival will produce a mighty conviction for sin and a turning to God. False manifestations produce only excitement and wonder. Any work that exalts manifestations above Jesus will end up in fanaticism.” (I have his book, the 1925 edition of How Pentecost came to Los Angeles.) Deception abounds today. There is much delusion. “Discerning of spirits” was a gift given to the church to root out demonic problems and to correct abuses that rise up when the Holy Spirit brings revival. The Holy Spirit can determine by what spirit a person speaks. Many today think that they are inspired and anointed, yet their acts are those of an imposter or a demoniac. There is a need for the power of the Holy Spirit to discern between the true and the false ministries.

Pastor George Belobaba

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