The individual is the deciding difference. Strong, independent, spiritually mature Christians dedicated to the Lord are the building blocks of churches made in their image.


I have an old history book. It is old in the sense that it was originally written in 1930 but has been updated several times. The book itself is in great shape. I found it several years ago in a vast library book sale in Plano, Texas. My copy has a 1969 copyright. It is an excellent book. Entitled The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II, it covers the century from just after the Civil War to the late 1960s.

Chapter IV is called Labor and it deals with the initial sorting out process of labor relations with reference to the post war economy, increasing industrialization, and the rise of impersonal corporatism. This chapter covers the story in our country’s history from after the Civil War until the dawning of the 20th century, a roughly forty year period of vast transformation regarding the conditions and opportunities of working men and women and how labor was forced to make immense adjustments.

The Civil War itself was great change. It never should have happened. When one studies the real causes of the war behind the overt and official though false narrative, one sees the shrouded figures of economic henchmen intent on taking a spoil. The name Civil War is obviously part of that false narrative. Southerners prefer the term The War of Northern Aggression because that’s exactly what it was. It was a power play to gain the vast reaches of the South and Texas by the northern industrialists and the money powers. By fighting the war, the South, which had the Constitution wholly on its side, was merely protecting itself and attempted to win against all odds as did the original thirteen colonies against the Brits in the American Revolution. The odds were greatly against victory then as well.

Updated figures show that upwards of 750,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War. There was a forced unconstitutional draft on both sides. Factories were turning out war materiel on a mass scale. Soldiers fought according to an old outdated method that left them wholly vulnerable to modern armaments. Thousands died in single battles. Arms and legs were shot off (or sawed off later). The lives of young Americans had suddenly become very cheap. Approximately one third of Southern men in the prime of life met their doom. The South never recovered. These were the great men, on both sides, of strong character and vitality, American men shortly descended from the greats who won the Revolution. But they were being butchered. It was a terroristic war, one whose excesses and brutality could never possibly be forgotten. In that short four year period from 1861-1865, American men, especially in the South, were transformed from free, independent, and liberty-loving to mere chattel used, abused, and forsaken. It was a betrayal of the highest order.

After the war, labor suffered. The identity of the American working man was forced to undergo great change in order to fit into the new reality. Workers were cheap. The great money powers gained such control that labor was whatever they said it was. One was forced to play by their rules. If not, a man lost his job and was quickly replaced by another. Millions of new immigrants entered the country to add to the cheap labor pool. It was during those last decades of the 1800s that a completely new form of movement began in this country in the attempt to right these wrongs. It was the beginning of Labor Unions.

The following passage from the book gives an excellent indication of the thinking process of American workers as they were confronted with the new economic reality and what they attempted to do to save themselves by fighting back. It was in reading these words that I saw yet another direct indication of what happened to American Christianity, which also suffered great change for the worse at the same time:

In the years after the Civil War two rival approaches—reform unionism and trade unionism—vied for the allegiance of the American workingman. The reform unionists rejected the factory system, with its division of labor and its sharp differentiation of interests of employer and employee, and sought to restore a society which valued the independent artisan. Determined not to become machine tenders assigned to a small part of the process of production, they strove to preserve their status as craftsmen. To safeguard equality of opportunity, they fought those forces of monopoly, especially in finance, which they believed aimed to shackle the worker. They viewed themselves as members of a ‘producer class’ which embraced master as well as journeyman, farmer as well as artisan. [1]

Thomas Jefferson had a dream of America becoming a vast agrarian society composed of individual Americans working the land. Constitutional principles and directives that every man must be free did not last so long, however. Jefferson’s dream died less than a century later at the hands of dominant money-first power barons who merely wanted to use labor for their own empire-building purposes as if flesh and blood humans with hopes and dreams were not attached to said labor. One can see by the preceding quote from the book that working men saw themselves as much more than mere workers used as machine parts. They were skilled artisans. They were masters at their trades.

This resonates with me, because I can identify as a master at my trade. I spent many years as a multipurpose self-employed independent carpenter and contractor from the time I was a young adult. I never cared for highly specific quantity-ordered specialty trades within the trade, though I did participate on occasion. I certainly do not fault those who prefer such, but real carpenters should be able to build a structure inside and out instead of simply focusing on one aspect of the trade for the sake of greater and faster production. We have long since gone from one end of this equation to the other. The same thing happened after the Civil War. The independent artisans and craftsmen found a harder row to hoe, less appreciation for their skills, and less demand overall. It became a production game. Wages went down. Craftsmanship suffered.

The same thing has happened in Christianity. In the beginning the Lord had a real Community composed of various spiritual trades based on spiritual gifting and anointing. As I mentioned in a recent post, Romans Chapter Twelve lists seven motivational giftings of which every real believer has one primary. This is where he or she excels. It is a labor of love. Christians should never waste time trying to be something they are not. And churches must stop rejecting those believers who demand being what the Lord created them to be. The reason they are rejected is for the same reason the economic controllers want human machines that always do what they’re told and simply continue to drone on and on. Pews are filled with such people who rarely do anything but sit and watch and give their money to support a system that goes nowhere spiritual very fast. It’s pathetic.

What about a church filled with mature independent spiritual artisans who are masters of their craft? THAT is the Lord’s model. Until more Christians become aware that their churches are mere authoritarian perpetual elementary schools in which next to no one rises above a third grade level, nothing will change. Those who do progress discipline themselves toward much study and training on their own, which means they outgrow their pastors very early on and only attend because they believe they must or they like the social aspect.

The good news is that things have changed. We are progressing. But just like the mainstream news media which caters only to veritable babies in high chairs due to its ridiculously dumbed-down and often phony content while gaining most of the outward attention, most churches benefit primarily those few who run them and make money off them. Everyone else is made to grab a galley oar and row, and give money, not their heart or talent. Thus, an unbelievable amount of pure Christian talent has been wasted and shunted aside for the sake of catering to the big boys—the clergyized robber barons who make everything centered around and in support of them. These authoritarian controllers who have captured the money, the power, and the limelight may appear sincere and fool people with their fake smiles and false Pharisaic attitudes, but they are not fooling the Lord.

He wants His people to be free. And mature. He wants them to fully develop their talent and giftings. He then wants these strong and independent spiritual artisans to work together in community. This is what a real church is. It is what He created in the beginning. They proved what they were by pretty much converting the Roman Empire! Most Christians today have problems converting themselves. And what have we done here in America? Instead of converting others to the Lord Jesus, Christians have largely been converted to and taken over by the culture. It’s the main reason why America is hanging on for dear life.

There are certainly fighters for the Republic and those trying to save the country, as well as those trying to reform American Christianity, but they graduated from Sunday School a long, long time ago. All Christians who haven’t and refuse to progress should be utterly ashamed.

Their false tradition is a killer.

And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9] [2]   

© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Originally Posted 12/6/18)

[1] The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II © 1930, 1937, 1942, 1950, 1962, 1969 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Sixth Edition.

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on February 5, 2021, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. RJ you are spot on how many churches are runned today……. RUNNED, because it is as a business more than it is to gather and learn about the Lord. If Christ came back today it would be a repeat of overturning the money changers all over again just as it was in His day……Sadly man has not evolved much! The saying “The more things change the more they stay the same” echoes loudly today.

    Christians in name only are running rampant across the earth as many live in a parched land void of the word of God it so desperately needs, yet it has many building’s of wood and stone where the knowledge of God is the last thing they offer!!!! If people want to serve everything other than “THE ONE TRUE GOD” then God will allow them to live away from Him and serve other gods, the gods of the people which have ears and do not hear and eyes that cannot see. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
    (Deuteronomy 28:64).
    May God Bless and Keep you Always RJ in the true knowledge of the one who has called you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Julia. Amidst all the not right are the many who are doing it right. It reminds me of that historical OT event during the reformation of King Josiah when someone discovered, tucked away and hidden among the recesses of the temple, lost there possibly centuries before, a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy. It caused quite a stir. The temple and precincts had been reduced and soiled by much idolatry since the days of Solomon. The religious leaders had long since rejected the Lord but continued to carry on as usual with a faux form of outer religiosity masking their sin and rebellion. Imagine if some Christian in some church somewhere suddenly discovered a Bible: “Hello. What’s this?” Never reading it and applying it is the same as never having it. These are the churches of Ichabod.

      Josiah made a great start at reform, sought the Lord, and did clean things up somewhat, but it was not to be.

      In our case, there are a great many real Christians in America (and thank you my friends in Canada!) who actually are reading and studying the Word of God and following His lead to receive His Truth. And they are applying it and are willing to do whatever it takes. They are committed to obedience. There is great progress in this area. We must all continue to seek the Lord and fulfill our callings. He is doing the work. He is bringing it. HE IS FAITHFUL.

      Blessings to you

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I like your comparison between American history and Christian history. It applies all over the world, of course, and as usually happens, the purest form of Christianity exists where Christianity itself is new to the people.

    I also like your emphasis on letting believers be who God has made them to be. It took me too many years trying to fit into other people’s ideas of me before I finally said, “Lord, just show me. Help me not to worry who disagrees. Just use me as You planned.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sure makes things easier doesn’t it? To simply get right with God, get in the flow of His Spirit, and be and do what He created us for. Imagine any animal out in nature that is simply being what it is and doing what it does as created being subjected to a false ill-informed authority insisting it be what it is not. “But I’m not a zebra. I’m a giraffe.” “This is a zebra church. You will be a zebra.” Perhaps this is why there are extraordinary giraffes…

      I’m glad you allowed the Lord to confirm who He made you to be. Many Christians are confused in this area and are not taught correctly or at all regarding their spiritual gifting.

      Thanks Linda. Blessings.

      I suggest to everyone reading this, if you have yet to do so, to find the best spiritual gift test out there and discover what your primary gifting is, based on the seven motivational gifts listed in Romans Chapter 12:6-8. Because they are functional and not titular, they denote doing and action. For this reason I like adding an “ing” to each. See if any of these ring a bell:

      Presiding (leadership, administration)
      Exhorting (counseling, encouraging)
      Mercy Showing

      However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Years ago, my wise pastor told me not to worry about finding my spiritual gifts. He told me that other believers would see and would let me know. And it’s true. People asked me to be involved and assume leadership in things I loved, and there is no doubt in my mind it was the leading of the Holy Spirit, just as writing this blog has been. It’s very exciting to see what God does when you let Him 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • It appears as if He knows what He’s doing… 🙂

          I see that there is a dynamic playing out with the Lord on the one hand asking us “Why won’t you let me help? I can help…” and on the other hand our asking amiss. Why do so many Christians reject His help? Why do so many ask amiss? The guidelines are clearly set in His Word. His perfect teachings reveal His intent, that which is okay for asking, and that which is inappropriate. It appears that anything associated with His ongoing ministry which began in the Gospels and continues to the present is appropriate for asking. The things we wish to add to our lives and the answers we seek must relate to the overall mission of saving souls from spiritual death and bringing them to full spiritual maturity. Each Christian has a distinct calling relating to this.

          Why don’t many ministers of the Gospel recognize this otherwise obvious truth? Babies are born and then raised to become functional adults. Real Christians are born again, must submit to discipleship, and then be brought to full spiritual maturity through their own dedication and the dedication of others who assist them. They will then spend the rest of their lives as fully functioning servants of the Lord, whatever that may entail, according to His will.

          To reject this is to reject Christianity, the Lord’s actual teachings, and the Lord Himself.

          However you discovered who you are in the Lord, Linda, the mountain of evidence is clearly there that you have. You are blessed, and your readers and those you minister to are blessed. I and my readers are blessed for being the recipients of your many insightful comments over the last several years. Thank you!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi RJ,
    Very interesting blog today RJ revisiting the last industrial revolution as we are being herded like sheep into the next manmade 4th industrial revolution for the purpose of enslaving humanity to a life uploaded to digital networks by modern day robber barons, AND the church slumbers.

    Loved your characterization of our gifts on the plane of artisans, with the unique fingerprint of God in each of our lives as you said living stones being fitted together. Ephesians 2: 10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

    But, tsk tsk 🙂 your historical timeline didn’t have all the wonderful revivals of the last 100 years where the Father renewed/imparted early church understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues and that the miraculous did not die out at Azusa Street with William J Seymour and the 1948 Latter Rain revival at the Sharon Orphanage and Schools in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Per Jim Watt, (one of the original seven known as the ‘North Battleford brethren’) “There was the Presbytery revelation itself; the 5-fold ministry emphasis of Ephesians 4:11-12; the high point of worship through the Heavenly Choir; the ‘team spirit’ operating within the eldership; the humility and teachability of the leadership; the sensitivity to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.” Just to name two significant ones.

    Both have had huge impacts on the “church”. However, most revivals get highjacked, disavowed and end when the Holy Spirit departs after the initial seeds of revelation are sown. How these revelations get stewarded is so important. One of the most revelatory and overlooked teachings from 1948 was written by George Warnock, “The Feast of Tabernacles.” This gem of a book is in due season yet again and would be most helpful in the days ahead. http://www.georgewarnock.com/

    My exposure to the prophetic came through Graham Cooke and I continue to esteem him highly. He had taken some knocks by the “church” since settling in America but continues to inspire. He remains, humble, kind and funny. He was the first ever prophet in England’s history to start a school of the prophets and I recently listened to a word he gave back in November titled “Latitude & Indulgence “on YouTube. He had been given this word several years ago but was not released to give it till now. If you are interested have a listen. He was one of the first people to begin talking about the “Third Day Church” in “Permission Granted” and audio of the “Church has left the Building”. We’re now hearing it called a new era, kingdom era et al but in truth it is a Tabernacles ekklesia that is about to come forth.

    What will hold us together is Ecclesiastes 4.. ” A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” Through Luke 24:44-45 “ Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things that are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…” It’s time to learn the Law of Moses but who will teach it??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tanya. I appreciate your contribution. Regarding the non-mention of former Great Awakenings in my timeline in this article, I have indeed referenced them before in any number of posts, from Jonathan Edwards to William Seymour, but it reveals somewhat the deficiencies in this form of medium. I’ve written over 650 posts during the last many years here but they remain largely hidden though certainly accessible. Perhaps a search may work with the key words to discover the pertinent posts. Also, there is a tab above which will give you access to all posts by year and category.

      With reference to the so-called “five-fold ministry,” I have proven this false decades ago and I discuss it in my book. These five were merely mentions and not exhaustive. When one does a complete study including 1Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 one gains the full truth on the diversity of gifts, places of service, and etc. which greatly exceeds a mere five. The point of this, of course, is that the clergy-laity divide is anti-NT as is the head honcho in a pulpit concept. There is only one Person in full authority over and within the real Church and that is the Lord Jesus through His Holy Spirit. From Him all authority is divided among a group of spiritually mature elders in each local body and then to those disciples gaining maturity.

      I do appreciate these other events you mention, which are somewhat obscure and some I have not heard of before. You are well read. Please understand I mean no offense to anyone or the work they have done but I generally stay grounded in the NT and the Lord’s teachings and do not get too deep in particular ministers or their work save those who had major historical impact. I got into this very deep in an unpublished book I have which I finished ten years ago that remains perfect for these times. There is sort of a conundrum associated with bringing forth the needed truth through a writing medium because very few are interested is something supposedly coming forth that most cannot see or agree with. It takes funding to get the message out which is usually derived from buyers. Hence, without buyers the work cannot be financed unless one is independently well-off. And when one throws in the impact of Christian Pharisees on necessary revelatory truth for such a time as this it can become a battle to simply survive meaning the created works have even less or no chance seeing the light of day. Nevertheless, the internet remains an obviously great medium to “shout it from the housetops” and I appreciate and am very thankful for the medium of WordPress.

      This reminds one of John Wesley being shunned from Anglican church buildings so he simply went out and preached in open spaces eventually to thousands at a time, most of which who were, of course, the great illiterate unwashed also banned from church buildings, which portends the truth of outlaws ministering to outlaws and sounds quite familiar from a NT perspective. This further reminds me of Ralph Neighbor stating years ago that roughly 80% of urban populations (he said this specifically about Houston, Texas) are unchurched and will remain unchurched, meaning there must be another medium other than “official church,” an extremely limited method of ministry, through which to find them and minister to them.

      Please understand Tanya, though I risk sounding otherwise than what I intend, that with regard to the diametric forces of Christianity, the reality of the Lord’s traveling-light, fast-moving, organic spiritual kingdom versus the stuck-in-the-mud unyielding traditional and institutional, I have often been personally on the cutting edge of all these various movements regarding their application over the last forty years and it was most often a lonely fight characterized by “Hey Wow. Look what the Lord showed me.” / “You’re an idiot. Please be quiet and conform to our perfection.” (And these were Spirit-filled Pentecostal Charismatic Pentematic Charisostal ND churches.) To which I would usually continue to conform outwardly to maintain fellowship and make sure I remained under spiritual authority but on my own delving into everything the Lord was showing me which often arrived by fire hose. I had to remain in the structure and what I received could not for the most part be applied there (though I did have my successes) which meant the Lord was saving all He was showing me for a few interested individuals here and there and mainly, apparently, for the future.

      Therefore, whatever is coming forth now or is about to come forth has been in some sense continually coming forth or attempting to since the mid-1970s which was the next step from the great Light released in the 1960s on a multiple denomination scale. People today get what they may think is a fresh revelation and I may reply that I have been teaching about that particular revelation for decades and wrote about this fresh revelation, committing it to published paper, long ago. I was certainly not the first but was most certainly among the few pioneers of our time to work with all due diligence in telling what I knew. The latter, however, demands an audience, and in my experience the larger audience has always been Christian detractors who prefer the interactive multiple joys of early elementary school with a decidedly hateful streak attached rather than the deeper revelations of the Lord’s spiritual curriculum. And I can only imagine how difficult this has always been for our Lord who has been weathering this storm for two thousand years.

      I will disagree that it is time to learn the Law of Moses. It is obviously good to have knowledge of it and the entire OT, but it has actually always been the time to learn the full teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is impossible to make a cult of such, whether personality or doctrinal, since His teachings all derive from shared Holy Writ, though we must delve into multiple versions to gain the full truth of His teachings. I remember when I was a rookie Christian, for example, and a Catholic I had been witnessing to refused to acknowledge any Scripture unless it came from a Catholic Bible, which the vast majority of Catholics never or very rarely read. (This was much more the case in the past.) So I said fine, having already done a comparative study and found that the Douay Version was essentially the same for my purposes, and read from this person’s Catholic Bible.

      I suggest to all my readers, and especially now, that one must start reading and studying the NT Scriptures to a much greater degree than any past efforts. Truth is quickly evaporating in Western culture and is being replaced all the more by illusions, false narratives, and deceptive tricks, including within Christianity, and it is only the NT, especially the teachings of the Lord Jesus, that will keep one from falling headlong into the devil’s matrix with little chance for escape.

      Blessings to you. Keep up the good work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your response RJ.

    Searched for Latter Rain, but nada so a bit surprised. The Latter Rain movement of 1948 was worldwide and their revelation of fivefold went everywhere and spawned the Shepherding Movement of the 70’s for which the main players had to repent in the 90”s for excessive oversight. That may ring a bell, however, George Warnock, left early when he saw it was being hijacked and went home to British Columbia and remained mostly in obscurity. I believe he also was a carpenter….hmm something about that trade eh? He did some speaking and continued to write. I do agree with what you said about 5-fold in that it has merely enlarged the clergy tent from one hat to five hats partitioned from the laity.

    At the risk of making you laugh, when my husband and I moved north about ten years ago I sorted my library into three piles; keepers, give away and garbage. The garbage pile were mostly by contemporary (last 20 years) authors who had picked up on a slice of scripture thought (doctrine) and created a “ministry”. Father said take what’s praiseworthy and leave the rest, Do NOT camp here. It seems that there are now 42,000 campgrounds…umm denominations…sigh.

    So with a billion dollar “Christian” books industry I said no more and have studiously avoided anything “new”. However, not long after my daughter gave me a couple of books that she wanted me to read in order to discuss and it was a hard slog because I kept throwing them across the room!! I hung in for her wondering how to gently guide her away from going down Life sucking trails.

    I’m guessing I need to break that rule and get your book!! 🙂 Your unpublished work, have you posted chapters here on your blog? Being hit by a “firehose” absolutely wrecks a man/woman and you are truly wrecked and there’s no going back. Can’t unhear and unsee what Father shows us. Do you teach in different places or have a core group of like minded?

    I had a prophetic word spoken to me several years ago about being a trailblazer, cutting a path that was also being closed behind for my protection because others would not follow, yet Father would sustain me as I was years ahead of my time being shown things the church hadn’t even thought about…a vision of the future church. Having the heartbeat of God increasing with a recent upgrade in discernment as a watchman on the wall even though it would be lonely going. Discernment and judgement is a fine line to walk not wanting to pervert the gift. I do not share this lightly but to say I understand what it’s like to be the stray “water buffalo” observing outside the herd. I hope you do believe His due time will be your due time too.

    I won’t belabor Graham Cooke’s prophetic call and office except to say that when I first heard him teach in the 90’s he hit me with this quote, “how many sermons can you remember?” Multiply the weekly church meetings and in a year what will you remember? Now if I find myself in a church I can listen to the preacher and know he had an anointed word perhaps 5-10 minutes in but his training says we need a 3 point sermon and that special moment got lost and the pew sitters eyes glaze over.

    I did land on your Dec 10, 2011 post, Your Jesus Ain’t My Jesus – Dec 10th Matthew 5:17-20…. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

    I agree we need more NT, but I need it all and one of the things I found early on is it’s hard to grasp the historical narrative when history is written in silos, much like our society moves in bubbles. There’s the church bubble, right vs left, DC/press corps closed loop bubble, academia etc. which merely leads to “groupthink” and can be dangerous when understanding what God is doing.

    Therefore it’s been a challenge to study when you need the Word, church/revival history books and world history to suss out the times, language and culture. I can’t ignore the minutiae of God’s recording genealogy the building of the tabernacle, the laws as given to Moses and the keeping of His feasts. I say this from the standpoint that the world has only known the government/traditions of men since Saul and when I hear your “unreal Christians” talk about the Father reforming, renewing, restoring Godly government to nations, I don’t “see” it. Yet if we are to rule and reign with Jesus, it’s a good idea to understand monarchy and His laws in Presiding, Prophesying, Teaching, Exhorting (counseling, encouraging), Mercy Showing. Giving, Serving in understanding how His plan for the redemption of man is playing out. Selah

    Peace and joy to you RJ, I value your perspective.

    Spurgeon, A Basket of Summer Fruit, 1860

    “In reading through the prophetical books, you must have been struck at their singular variety. On looking a little more closely, you have at once perceived that every prophet has a manner and style peculiarly his own. Although God speaketh through them all, yet they lose not their individuality or originality of character. The breath which causes the music is the same, but no two of the instruments give forth precisely the same sound. It is true they all utter the words of God; but each voice has its own special cry, so that though God is pre-eminently seen, yet the man is not lost. You do not find in searching through the prophets that Jeremiah copies the language of Isaiah. The herdsman Amos writes not like the wise counsellor Daniel; nor does Jonah borrow the notes of Malachi. Every man speaks after his own order. Whatever he was when God called him to be a prophet that he remains.”


    • Thanks. I have never gone in-depth studying the specific Latter Rain Movement. I do remember early in my walk some of the elders in my spiritual vicinity that lived through it had not too much good to say but that was likely due to whatever other clash might have existed, likely doctrinal or format-oriented. (What else is there?) So it could be I was affected by possible prejudice or actual honest experience, and it is likely there certainly were doctrinal and format problems with the LR especially due to later repentances of some involved. I am also remembering the Shepherding Movement of the 1970s that did not end so well. Perhaps these are connected. I am not casting aspersions, of course. There is plenty enough aspersion-casting to go around. My sense, though, was that the LR was much of a non-specific movement in the midst of other happenings of the time.

      For example, tracing out the many new trails created after Azusa and the associates thereof take one off into much more detail than otherwise thought existed and it is thus not really possible to announce authentic specific movements within the overall movement until maybe the late 1940s. People have written books which may or may not have captured the spiritual graduations along the path as possible chapters in a book but has anyone ever created the definitive book? More like an encyclopedia I would think. Such is likely a lifetime study in itself. Many ministers, churches, etc. advanced maybe somewhat but stopped along way like Pentecostal Brigham Youngs and settled into chosen doctrinal statements and established clergy set-ups instead of continuing to move onward. They found their Utah and were happy to set up permanent camps. (And then spent the rest of their lives defending them.)

      I am assuming when speaking of the LRM we are talking the mid-to late 1940s when so much that grew forth from 1906 began going off in different Spirit-filled directions as if post war America gave license to let loose completely and give a go at anything. We remember some of the main players. The large tent revivals of that time and into the 1950s were quite the phenomenon and what one would think seriously non-traditional for Americans and yet very popular anyway. I think some guy named Graham also grabbed a spotlight (financed by Citizen Kane?). I am aware of those times and have a pretty good general sense of how we got there after Topeka and Azusa Street.

      This all set the stage for the next big movement which I referred to earlier starting about 1960 when the Lord took a few and then invaded the denominations with Pentecost. All was still basically upward and forward at that time and over the next two to three decades. Yet, things started going south somewhat with the advent of international Christian TV with its great new technology, scads of major funding sources, and the all new hyper drive professional money sucker-uppers who were incredibly successful at financing any number of seriously questionable miles long and inch deep “ministers” who were nonetheless world class at garnering attention, likely because it did not take much to know more than the average Christian and thus appear as much more than one actually was. The next segue was thus in place moving away from the fat cats into organic and home-based efforts and then with the advent of the internet into much deeper studies and truth-seeking.

      Do a search here on William Seymour. I mentioned him a few times, and a little on Jonathan Edwards. I also have an article on the Catholic Charismatic Movement which you may like. But I mainly focus on Great Awakenings and the current one especially.

      I have put next to nothing from my second book here. I’m not sure if this answer satisfies but the subject matter is, like I said, far beyond book length. I know the Lord has it all covered though and has many people in place as always. I think we just turned a corner with the solid realization of just how much fake there is all around us, far more than most thought, which means all the more we should focus more on the Lord Jesus, His work, and His Word. These are exciting times in that sense as long as we keep moving and breathing and living and seeking and achieving and doing our best to be and stay spiritually vibrant. Otherwise there’s a rest stop awaiting with Ichabod lurking. Scary little dude that guy.



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