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Well, good evening everyone, it's a privilege and a delight to be with you again tonight in Bangor. I do count it a joy to address this convention, and a privilege. I hope you haven't had too tough a day today, all your fish and chips and ice cream and lying in the sun! So I hope you don't struggle too much tonight staying awake. It is very warm in the building, so make yourself as comfortable as you can in order to listen for the next while.
Perhaps we could stand for prayer, if you're able to stand, maybe you would stand to your feet. Now I want to ask you a question: are you here to meet God? Are you still there? Are you here to meet God? Do you desire to know the presence of God? Do you want to hear a word from God? Well, let's come, and let's ask Him. I want you please, individually, to ask the Lord to come and meet with you, and meet with all of us together. Would you do that? Let's pray.
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we come to You as our Abba Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for the Spirit of Your Son, which rises up within us crying 'Abba', the spirit of adoption. We thank You, those of us who are in the family of God, and we thank You that we know that we belong to You. We thank You, Lord, that we can know that we are wholly Yours, and completely surrendered, and dedicated, and filled by Your power. Lord, we pray that all of us tonight would know the experience not only of being in the presence of God, but knowing what is for God to presence Himself within us and upon us. Lord, together tonight collectively, we come to You and we ask that You would please, in mercy and in grace, come into our midst. We know that You are present everywhere, but: Oh Your presence reveal, we pray, that everyone will be conscious of the manifest presence of Almighty God in this place tonight. Lord, nothing else will do. We don't want good sermons, good singing, good programmes, good convention, Lord, we want You. We want Your presence, we want Your touch, we want there to be signs following the preaching, we want there to be a tangible sense of the very glory of God in the midst. So come, we pray, speak, we pray. O, High King of Heaven, have mercy on our land, revive Your church, send the Holy Spirit for the sake of the children - let Your kingdom come to our nation, in Jesus' mighty name, Amen.
We're turning in our Bibles to Matthew's gospel chapter 9. On Saturday evening I began a theme that I'm going to take right throughout these sessions that I'll be preaching, on 'Something Old, Something New'. On Saturday night we looked at how that was applicable in 'Isaiah's Day'. We saw in Isaiah 6 that, 'In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord', Isaiah says, 'high and lifted up'. Uzziah had to die in order for Isaiah to see the Lord high and lifted up. We saw a principle there, and we will be repeating it tonight as we look at this principle, 'Something Old, Something New' in 'Messiah's Day' in the life of our Lord, and then tomorrow afternoon I'll be here at 3 o'clock and I'll conclude this looking at it in 'The Days of Pentecost'. I would encourage you to come along if you can tomorrow afternoon as we finish this truth - but tonight we're looking at it in 'Messiah's Day'.
We're going to read Matthew 9 verses 14 just through to verse 17: "Then the disciples of John", that is, John the Baptist, "came to Him", Jesus, "saying, 'Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?'. And Jesus said to them, 'Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast'" - I believe that is this present age. "No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse" - when you put a patch of new cloth on an old garment, it is unwashed cloth; then when you put it into the wash, the cloth shrinks and rips the old garment. Verse 17: "Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved".
A principle I introduced to you on Saturday evening - for some of you at may not have been the first time, but I think probably for many it was - is that the old must die in order for the new to be born. We saw in Isaiah's day, where Uzziah was a strong military leader, he was a great King, he was a strategist, he was a modern man, and we would class him as a godly monarch. But the people, generally, had gotten their eyes on him and off the Lord. There is a wonderful little phrase which speaks of Uzziah in his heyday, 'he was marvellously helped', and we saw how that phrase can be found in the New Testament. There it is in the Hebrew in the Old, but it is in the Greek in the New, and it speaks of the Spirit helping our infirmities - it's in various other places, but we see it in Romans 8 in that regard. So Uzziah was marvellously helped by the instrumentality and the person of the Holy Spirit, but he had been uplifted in pride and God had to discipline him, because he went into the Temple and he offered incense - which was forbidden for a king, only preserved for the priesthood - and God struck him with leprosy. But it wasn't until that great public giant died, that the prophet was enabled to get his eyes back on the Lord. We saw right away a principle: that the old has to die before the new can be born. Later on we read in chapter 43 how Isaiah had learned this lesson so much that he could speak to the people of God in Babylonian captivity and say: 'Remember not the former things, I will do a new thing'.
Historically we also highlighted that this has been a pattern, always, among God's people - right back to Shiloh. In the Old Testament Judges period, that house of God was so defiled that God said: 'I can't put up with this any longer, this no longer represents who I am in my character and my nature. I'm going to wipe it out and I'm going to do a new thing. I'm going to build a new house' - and He, of course, ordered the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. But then again decay set in there, and in Jeremiah's day we saw the cry was: 'The Temple of the Lord! The Temple of the Lord!'. The people were appealing to how they had this great edifice before them to worship God in, it was meant to represent Him, they had the priesthood, they were God's chosen people - but God had to say to them in Jeremiah 7: 'Remember what I did to Shiloh, I will do this to you'. God told Jeremiah not to pray for that generation, He says: 'It's all over, I need something new'.
Now we come to Messiah's day, and in Jesus' day the Pharisees, well, of course, they were similar to those in Jeremiah's day. They were always appealing, you remember, 'Abraham is our father, Moses is our great teacher', and they often pointed to the law and the prophets as their warrant to be the people of God and His representatives in that day and generation. They had the history, they had the leadership, they had the traditions, they even had the building of the Temple still, and they were claiming to be the modern day representatives of God. In Matthew 25 the disciples themselves, in the Temple precincts, said to Jesus: 'Do you see this great building, how magnificent it is', and Jesus said, 'Look at this, for not one stone shall be left upon another'. He pronounced to the Judaism of His day that their house would be left them desolate, for they knew not the day of their visitation. In Acts chapter 2, as we will see in more detail tomorrow, God did a new thing.
But this parable of the wineskins that we have read from Matthew 9 shows us that Jesus made clear that He did not come to repair or reform the old institutions of Judaism, but He came to institute a new covenant altogether. The new wouldn't simply improve the old, it would replace it, it would go completely beyond it. He was announcing that the present institutions of Judaism could not and would not contain the new wine. It was not fit for purpose! He would form a new body, the church. I don't believe God has finished with the Jewish people, but at this particular time He is bringing Jew and Gentile together into an entirely new body - as Paul put it in Ephesians 2:16: 'that He might reconcile them both', Jew and Gentile, 'to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity'. Their hostility toward each other is put to death in the church.
But our Lord is teaching in this parable of the wineskins and the cloth that what is old and stagnant often cannot be renewed or reformed. If the vessels are unusable to contain His new work, He must discard them and find new ones. I asked you the question on Saturday night if you were here: is this not something that God can do today with us? Does He not reserve the right to discard us if we are no longer useful, if we appeal to our forms of biblical leadership, our historical heritage, our traditions of worship, doctrine, or practice, or even point to our great buildings and cathedrals, and we infer: 'We are the modern day representatives of God, His character and His nature on the earth' - it is His prerogative to decide who represents Him, is it not?
Now, as you can imagine, in Jesus' day this did not go down well with the establishment - and, I have to say, it doesn't go down well today with the establishment either. But you see this is the dominant theme of the gospels: Christ's rejection by His own people. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. Why did they reject Christ? Because He did not live up to their expectation. He was a new thing entirely, our Lord threw the Scribes completely off the scent. I want you to note tonight, and I want to emphasise this heavily: the biggest opponents to the new thing in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ in His day were the Pharisees. You say: 'Well, I already knew that'. But did you know that the Pharisees were essentially a revival movement? That's right! Theology in Judaism had become generally liberal, the Sadducees' influence - they didn't believe in resurrection, they didn't believe in spirit, demon, or angel. So the Pharisees were a sect, we might call them 'fundamentalists', and they wanted to bring every facet of Judaism into harmony again with the law of Moses.
Incidentally, they were biblically sound to a large extent. Our Lord Jesus, on one occasion, said that they sat in Moses' seat, and He encouraged the people to do what they teach, just don't do what they do. Paul the apostle sided with them theologically speaking as well in some arguments over resurrection and life after death. They taught the two tenants of the law as sacrosanct - to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbour as yourself. The tragedy was, for this fundamentalist sect of Pharisees, that they had the letter of the law without the power. They had the form without the power of godliness - or, to put it another way, they knew their Bibles but they didn't know their God. I know this, because when their God showed up in human flesh, they did not recognise Him.
In John chapter 5, Jesus said to them: 'You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me'. It's amazing to me how it can often be the most biblically literate who oppose the obvious works of God's Spirit, and often they oppose it on doctrinal grounds - they throw Bible verses at you to give you reasons why it can't be of God. That's what happened to Jesus! Can I tell you: in every move of God, in every revival, that has always happened. People who think they know their Bibles inside out oppose it on doctrinal grounds, and there is an obvious move of the Spirit, but they will give reasons why it cannot be of God. That's what happened to our Lord Jesus.
In Matthew chapter 12 and verse 28 Jesus had been casting out demonic spirits, and this is a sign that the kingdom comes - do you know that? Jesus said: 'If I, by the Spirit of God, cast out demons among you, the kingdom of God has come upon you' - and by the way, that is going on today in the church of Jesus Christ in our land. There is true deliverance of demonic spirits, and it's a sign that God is breaking His kingdom out upon us - but some folk can't handle it, and they couldn't handle it in Jesus' day. Do you know what they said: 'This is not the Spirit of God, this is the spirit of the devil, this is Beelzebub, the prince of demons'. They accused Jesus of demon possession Himself - and, frankly, those who are moving in this particular ministry today, whilst there is some extremism no doubt, are being accused of doing the devil's work as well.
Ultimately it was this spirit of the biblically literate, the fundamentalist revival sect of the Pharisees - we might call them 'legalists' - it was that spirit that crucified our Lord. Now please, I want you to note this: it is not the biblically illiterate, it is not the half-hearted or the spiritually apathetic and lazy who struggle with God's new thing. It is those who are highly motivated, those who are accurately trying to do everything correctly and biblically, who often confine God into a box and miss what He is doing now, and what He longs to do in our midst in the days to come. Now please don't misunderstand what I'm saying, there is a need for discernment today more than ever - but this type of fundamentalist legalism is equally as dangerous as any error. We've got to appreciate this: this is not safe ground. You see, the poison of this is that it confines God to work in a way that I am comfortable with. You can't do that. J.B. Phillips, who made a translation of the New Testament years ago, also wrote another book entitled 'Your God Is Too Small'. I have to say today, that for much of what we might term 'conservative evangelicalism', our God is too small. We have confined Him to the concepts of our theological understanding, and we don't appreciate that our God is God, and He must be God, and be allowed to be so. He is unpredictable, He is uncontrollable!
The offence of Christ was: Jesus broke the mould. He was the new thing, and this motley crew of disciples that followed Him were a new breed entirely. The old wineskins of the religious forms of Judaism were bursting under the exuberance of the new living wine of the Spirit in the kingdom of Christ. The Pharisees were a revival movement. Can I say to you this evening that this may be true of movements that have grown out of revival - and I am aware of whose company I'm in, but we must apply it to the Faith Mission, to any mission organisation, to any denomination, many of whom have sprung out of a work of God. One author put it like this: 'Most significant movements start by being a little wild, settle down to respectable middle-age, then - rejoicing in their respectability - relax into a creeping death'. The danger of movements that have known the breath of God's Spirit in bygone days, they have known revival and renewal, is that they can expect God to do it the same way as He did it back then. In fact, worse than that, they can even require that God does it the same way. That itself can be a hindrance. The tragedy is that it can be such groups who actually oppose the new thing, because it's not what they expected, and it's not what God did before.
That same author said this: 'The hostility to revivals is never to the idea of revival - I mean, who wouldn't want revival? The idea of revival is ardently prayed for, but the hostility is to God's answer to our prayers and the unexpected way it is taken. To recognise a Divine visitation we must view it through the twin lenses of discernment and humility. It is easy to recognise it in the books, or in retrospect, since we are usually accepting the view of the writer of a particular history. To recognise it when it occurs is more different. During the revivals of the past 300 years, many Christians' - listen to this - 'were too confused by their wrong expectations to perceive what God was doing'. It passed them by because it was a new thing. Now listen, whenever we think we can second-guess God, I have found in my own personal experience that God just scraps the blueprint and surprises me all over again. Have you found that? You think that you've cracked how He works - whether it's in guidance or something like that - you see, God is God, and we know from creation, you would have seen it in the County Down coast today, He is the God of ultimate variety, and it is the God of ultimate variety who is the God of revival. He's not confined, He's not restricted.
Unfortunately the term 'revival' has often been understood only as a rediscovery of all truths. Now there is no doubt that that is what it is. You find this true in Scriptural revivals, you find it true in historic revivals, it's borne out - and perhaps the most obvious example is the rediscovery of the book of the law in Ezra and Nehemiah's day, and the subsequent repentance and obedience to what was lost in the congregation of the people of God. It's true that the old paths of God's word, the precepts, the principles of the Bible, they never change from generation to generation. Nevertheless, it is a grave mistake to think that those rediscovered old truths will wear the same old clothes of those who once espoused them. It never was the case, nor ever will be. We do need to rediscover the same truths as in past revivals, there is no doubt about it, but listen: it is wrong to expect God to revive in an identical manner. Also, I think it is wrong to desire God to reproduce an identical revival - it is wrong!
It's wrong for many reasons, but I'll give you two. It's wrong from the human perspective - what do I mean? Well, I mean this: what sufficed to revive the church in 1859, or in the Hebrides in the 1940s, will not suffice to revive the church of the 21st-century and awaken the world that we presently live in - it's not going to work. Some of you are oblivious to the absolute nuclear meltdown of evil that is around us, and the grip that it is getting upon people, even the people of God - how they are in a snare, bound by Satan to do his will. We need a new thing, and the church needs new tools - now, I don't like that terminology, because we don't want to formulate things, but we need new ways of reaching people in the power and demonstration of the Spirit; and we need new insight and new understanding. I would vouch to say that in every historic revival, whilst old truths that were lost were renewed again, there was some aspect or some light cast on a new revelation from God that was the real impact and impetus behind the momentum of that awakening.
I had not planned to say this tonight, but I believe that one of the new things that is sparking here and there, and needs to more, is the power of deliverance and the healing work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our brother quoted 1 Thessalonians 5, the closing verses - The Message, which is not a translation it's really a paraphrase, but in that portion he renders it like this: 'The God of peace wants to make you holy and whole; put you together spirit, soul and body, fix you' - do you know something? You can preach holiness till the cows come home, but unless there is wholeness you will never know holiness. There are folks who want to be whole in their mind, or they want to be whole in their heart that is broken, but you cannot be truly whole unless you're holy - the two come together. We need to be preaching the complete Gospel - more than just a ticket to heaven when you die, but this life that is abundant now that is free, and that can transform; not only give you this confidence of peace with God, the slate is wiped clean, and I'm justified as a guilty sinner, but knowing that God can fix my head, He can fix my heart, and I still believe He is able to touch and fix bodies.
I thank God for that revelation of the demoniac. You see that man, and that's the way our society is today - but listen, forget about society, this is the way the church is: we don't know what to do with it, we've tried everything. Like this man, he had to be thrown onto the hillside in the middle of a graveyard among dead things, they were effectively putting him in a padded room and throwing away the key - they had no answer, society, even when they bound him with chains, he broke out of it. They had no answer for a man like this, but Jesus is the answer for the world today, and Jesus made a beeline for that man. Incidentally, the devil tried to stop Him - there was a Satanic storm on Lake Galilee on the way over. If you don't believe me, look at the Greek, and you will see that when Jesus rebuked that storm He used the same terminology He used for rebuking the demons, because the devil didn't want to let go of that man. But when he saw Jesus, he ran at His feet, and Christ delivered him. He sat at Jesus' feet clothed and in his right mind. There's a lot of believers, and they're not spiritually clothed and they're certainly not in their right mind. The new thing - I've been doing missions, and I continue to do them, but you know the church needs missions for Christians, the church needs hospital depots, clinics, where the saints of God can get fixed - spirit, soul, and body - in order that God can empower them to reach this world.
From a human perspective we need something new, but from the divine perspective God is the God of the original, He is the God of the new thing - and though, obviously, there are great similarities shared in every revival, not least the fundamental doctrinal truths that are celebrated, each is original in its own right. Each has had features and peculiarities that were special to them, and we must face facts tonight: the new thing will be new! So I ask you again, as I asked you on Saturday night, and I will ask you probably tomorrow afternoon: are you positioned to receive, to embrace God's new thing, or are you idolatrously wedded to something old?
Arthur Wallace, in his little book 'In the Day of His Power' on revival, said: 'If we find revival that is not spoken against, we had better look again to ensure that it is revival'. Every revival was slandered, and much opposition to revival is based not only on some kind of warped fundamentalist view of Scripture, but on a wrong notion of order, a kind of religious spirit that thinks that we should be a certain way, and God does things a certain way, and if anything happens outside the clock, or if anything happens outside of my conservative sensibilities, or out of the ordinary, or breaks loose of the prayer-hymn-announcement-sermon sandwich it's not of God! I quoted to you Vance Havner on Saturday night, that the biggest obstacle to revival today is Sunday morning Christianity. One author put it like this: 'We have a wrong notion of order. If we insist that revival must be decent and orderly, as we define those terms, we automatically blind ourselves to most revivals. Revival stirs our hearts when we read about it, but would we perceive it of God if it broke out noisily in one of our own services or meetings?'. Would we recognise it?
We can read about Wesley's meetings and Whitefield's meetings, about people being slain in the Spirit - you see, some of you talk about these things, and you've never read about it. People falling under the weight of the Holy Spirit, they talked about falling into trances in the aisles of the churches. There were supernatural phenomena, there were signs and wonders - but, you see, if it broke out in your church, if it broke out here tonight, could you handle it? The revival that accompanied Evan Roberts in Wales, 1904-1905, was one of the greatest revivals in modern history. It spread right across the world - now it died out very quickly, unfortunately, but it had a global effect that we are still feeling today. But it was denounced by a Congregational minister by the name of Peter Price. He called it a sham, a mockery, a blasphemous travesty of the real thing - and what makes it more sad was, that Peter Price's own church in Dowlais had experienced a move of God and been blessed with revival just a number of months previously in 1904. Price clearly objected to Roberts' style, and even some who were sympathetic to Evan Roberts would agree that there were some excesses that accompanied Roberts everywhere he went, but unfortunately Price overplayed his opposition. He could not see the hand of God in what he disagreed with. Can I repeat that? He could not see the hand of God in what he disagreed with.
Can God move outside your convictions? Can He? You don't know? Would you allow Him? Would you give Him permission? Would you? To move outside your convictions? Warren Wiersbe once said: 'It never ceases to amaze me how God can bless people that I disagree with' - but He does! The more proud we become, the more He will. Dr Forbes Winslow was a psychiatrist in Evan Roberts' day, and he took a different line of attack against Roberts. He said: 'I would have men like Evan Roberts locked up as common felons, and their meetings prohibited like those of socialists and anarchists as being dangerous to the public'. There were four doctors who signed certificate of Roberts' physical and mental health, he was sane and he was well, but it was jibes like these - these cruel attacks by Peter Price, his brother in Christ, and other enemies of the Gospel - that almost broke the evangelist. By the spring of 1906 - 1906, one year after the move of God - he had retired out of public life entirely.
Oh, there are many other stories, Whitefield and Wesley, I have mentioned them already. Of course, they were originally in the Church of England, Whitefield stayed there, and of course Wesley was the founder of Methodism. This is 200 years previous to Evan Roberts and the Welsh revival, and yet they were opposed by the establishment - do you know why? Because they were field preachers, they preached in the open air. The accepted wisdom of the ecclesiastical establishment was that you had to be in a pulpit in a consecrated church, but they broke the mould and they suffered for it! Indeed, Whitefield had tracts written against him at Cambuslang in Scotland, and Cambuslang had known revival, the breath of the Spirit, but they accused him as being 'a limb of antichrist' because he belonged to the Church of England! The Presbyterian could not see the hand of God in what he disagreed with in the Anglican, but as I said on Saturday evening: if we're going to position ourselves for the new thing, we need to get Christ-centred, we need to have a kingdom vision, and we need to change to start to see things the way God sees them.
Sure in the 1940s Duncan Campbell was accused of hypnotising people - did you know that? I even read, I don't know, it's maybe fanciful, but I even read that when he arrived on one of the Isles on one occasion, someone said: 'He could not be God's man, for he has brown shoes'. Did you ever hear that one? Now I have brown shoes on tonight - it doesn't make me God's man, but I tell you: that's the way some of us can be, we can be as stupid and petty as that. But, you know, he was opposed by the ministers of the established church for preaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit - and I hope I don't need to remind you that it was his preaching of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that lit the flame of revival. More of that tomorrow.
We need all our Scripture knowledge and discernment, but wait till I tell you: we need a new thing - and God, I believe, is doing a new thing, I do! I believe, if you've got eyes to see, you will see it spring forth. Jesus did not come to do a patch up job on Judaism, it needed something new, there needed to be new wineskins for the power, the vitality, the richness, the intoxication of the new wine from heaven. ''For My thoughts are not your thoughts', says the Lord, 'Nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts''. We need something new, but let us beware that when it appears before us - whether in our church, in our organisations, or in our community - even if it breaks the mould, even if it's something that historically we may have disagreed with and had our reasons to do so; let us beware that we are not found to fight against God.
The new will not come to you unless the old dies. God is putting things to death. A lot of evangelicalism is crumbling, don't blame the devil, but ask God for the new thing. Let us pray.
Now let us be still in the presence of God, please let us have stillness. I hope that you have heard the voice of God tonight, and I hope that you're conscious of the presence of God in this place. 'Drop Thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease'. Would you open yourself up tonight to the presence of God? Would you? I have found when you bless the sense of God's presence, He intensifies it. When you welcome His presence, when you seek to preserve and conserve His presence, that's exactly what happens. Do you know what we do in meetings? We rush to the closing hymn, to the benediction, to the chitchat in the pew. Now, please, I could be misinterpreted as dictating tonight, or controlling, and I don't want that - but I want this: I want us to know the presence of God tonight, and I want us, if we should desire to sit in it, and to deal with God, that we should have the liberty and freedom to do it. If you want to talk tonight, you can get a cup of tea across the way, and go to the book room - but could I ask something tonight, could I be bold enough to ask that in this meeting house, that as I close in prayer in just a moment, that there is silence for those who want to wait in the presence of God, those who want to deal with God. If you have to go, you can go, but let us reverence His Holy Presence.
But before I close, is there anyone tonight and you know that you need a new thing in your personal experience, because you're backslidden, you're cold, you've a name that you live and you're dead. You're maybe in the work of God, and you know that you're operating in the flesh; or maybe it's some obvious sin that you yourself need deliverance from - praise God for our brother here delivered from so many things at conversion, but I have to tell you that a lot of people aren't. He has said tonight that it's from glory to glory, it's a process of deliverance is this Christian life. Maybe you're really struggling tonight, and you need to cry out to God. Is there anyone tonight, and you personally need a new thing, and you would stand here feet whether in the balcony or down below, and you would say: 'Lord, please come to me tonight, and do something new - I'm desperate! I need you to break in upon me, religion is not going to do it; 'Read your Bible and pray every day if you want to grow', it's not doing it; three meetings in the week, it's not doing it'. Is there anyone who will stand to their feet, and say: 'O God, I need a new thing', just where you are, right now, would you stand to your feet? Are there any? God bless you.
Are there any who need a fresh touch from God? Are there any who need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, endued with power from on high? Is there only one in the building tonight that that can be said of, that needs a fresh touch from God tonight upon their life? God bless you, God bless you. Is there anyone else, and in a general sense, according to this message, you know that you've been holding onto something old, and maybe the old has been getting in the way of what God wants to do in the new - maybe you have even opposed it yourself? I have done it, I have spoke against some things that I now believe and know are of God. Do you need to repent tonight? Do you need to repent? Do you need to say: 'Lord, whatever that idol is, I'm going to tear it from Thy throne, and worship only Thee'? If you're worshipping your doctrine tonight, even if it's true, it's idolatry. If you're worshipping your denomination, or your church, or anything like it, it's idolatry. It's Christ and Christ alone, He is the way, He is the truth, He is the life. Would you stand to your feet tonight if you know that you want to repent of the old, or you want to let go of it, or you want to be open to the new - whatever - but you want not to miss what God is doing and wants to do in our day and generation. Would you stand to your feet tonight if you want God's new thing? God bless you. God bless.
Whatever it costs, and I'll tell you: it'll cost you, you will lose friends over it, they'll say you're a heretic, they'll say you're ecumenical, you're charismatic, you're starting a cult. You deal with God where you're standing tonight, and even if you haven't stood, and you're sitting and you're open to this, you deal with God. I'll tell you: wouldn't it be great if every spirit of man and woman in this place cried unto God from the depths of their heart right now in this church for a move of the Holy Spirit, a move of the Holy Spirit in our community, a move that will revive and renew the church and see this island on fire for Jesus Christ - that's what we need! Something that goes beyond Catholicism and Protestantism and denominationalism. We need New Testament Christianity, we need the Acts of the Apostles. Would you cry out to God tonight in this place, and say: 'Lord, come, do a work in me, and do a work in us, and do a work in our land'.
You deal with God where you're standing. We're not going to have a closing hymn, I'm going to hand over in just one minute to our brother, and he will close the meeting and give instructions to those who might want counselling. But do you see where you stand, you don't need a counsellor tonight as much as the Counsellor, you deal with the Holy Spirit where you're standing, deal, confess, name what it is that is a barrier, name your idol, repent, ask Him for forgiveness and liberty and deliverance - and ask the Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name, to fill you. That was Evan Roberts' prayer: 'Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit, for Jesus' sake' - fill me with the Holy Spirit, for Jesus' sake.
Lord, I pray for each one who is engaged with You tonight by faith, Lord, I pray a deliverance in Jesus' name from whatever is binding them. We bind whatever bind them in the mighty name of Jesus, and we would loose them in the name of Jesus to know freedom, and vitality, and life, and healing, and wholeness, and health in the Gospel. Lord, would you come with that life, that sozo life to explode in their souls. Lord, let them never be the same again, and break the bondage of the enemy over their life, whatever it is. Fill vessels tonight, cleanse them, and fill them full of the Holy Spirit of God, those rivers of living water, that they would flood out from them to this world around them. Lord, we cry together tonight: oh, we thank You for the former things, we thank You for the blessings, we thank You for the history, we thank You for the heritage, but Lord - we say: do a new thing, and we receive it as long as it's from You! Give us discernment to know the false and the counterfeit. Lord, we pray, how we need something new. Oh, come and revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at the Faith Mission Easter Convention in Bangor, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the second recording in his 'Something Old, Something New' series, entitled "Messiah's Day" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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