The Holy Spirit has allowed me to reflect back on church history and in my musings, he has spoken to me of the errors that the reformers and others that followed fell into. This word is not a ‘thus saith the Lord’ style, but I firmly believe I heard his voice. Hence this word needs be sifted and weighed before the Lord.
When Luther discovered his ‘eureka moment’ he was so consumed with this truth of Christ’s work of justification and the part faith plays, I believe he failed to press further into this revelation. When I read and delve into his writings and the work of the following reformers there is no mention of the work of the Holy Spirit. I could be wrong here, but the person and work of the third person of the trinity is spoken of, but as I see it only in intellectual terms, as some mystical agent in background causing us to be holy. A part of the ‘godhead’ but overshadowed by Christs work in justification.
Because Luther and the reformers did not experience the person of the Holy Spirit and his power, I believe they tendered to fight the opposition from the Roman church on a ‘fleshly’ basis, neglecting that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Spiritual warfare as some of us know and experience today was not part of the reformers strategies.
Because of this the Bible slowly became the battleground in all aspects pertaining to faith and practice. Without the interpretation of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus said would lead us into all truth, the reformation splintered into separate groups with each group defending their definition of the Scripture. From this was born the many denominations numbered in there thousands that we see today.
Each denomination stressed their particular truth from a position of haughtiness. But each group I believe made the mistake of swapping the absolute authority of the Pope onto the Bible, thus elevating the scriptures above God himself. The word of God is only printed words on a page, but with the Holy Spirits guidance and witness, the logos becomes the rhema. I believe the logos by itself, if pushed as the reformers tendered to do, opens the way for the religious spirit to operate.
The reformation stalled as I see it, because the Holy Spirit was not taken seriously, and the enemy was allowed to come in. Without the Holy Spirit, the gift of wisdom and discernment was smothered.
God was not defeated, and he poured out his spirit in a number of revivals in the UK, Wales, Europe and the States and glossolalia was evident, but with the theological framework and experience of the person and work of the third member of the trinity, these revivals fizzled out. Azusa Street was an exception; here tongues, healings plus signs and wonders were seen. Not long after a year the movement had spun off into other groups with the Wesleyan ‘holiness movement’ among others adopting the message.
Unfortunately, the revival that thrust the person and work of the Holy Spirit into the lives of many, suffered the legalism and ‘nick-picking’ of a legalistic religious spirit. The enemy had succeed in focusing the leaders attention on their ‘whiteness’ and what not to do and wear rather than on the person of God. There were other reasons why this movement of God failed, but legalism was the most profound.
Eyes on the gifts rather than the giver opens the door to spirits from the dark side and the Spirit of Light, Power and Truth is soon extinguished.
As we go into 2019, a year which has been foretold by many, who have stood in the counsels of the Lord to be a year of birthing, yet a year also of the snake eating the eggs of Gods revelation. May we learn from our past and not continue to circle the mountain again.
We have a mission that the Lord is slowly opening our eyes; to disciple the nations and pull down the gate-keepers of society. We cannot allow the enemy in, as he does so often in the past to sabotage this work entrusted to us. We have a mandate from Yahweh himself. May the Holy Spirit pour on us His power, wisdom and discernment.
" Not long after a year the movement had spun off into other groups with the Wesleyan 'holiness movement' among others adopting the message."
"Unfortunately, the revival that thrust the person and work of the Holy Spirit into the lives of many, suffered the legalism and 'nick-picking' of a legalistic religious spirit. The enemy had succeed in focusing the leaders attention on their 'whiteness' and what not to do and wear rather than on the person of God. There were other reasons why this movement of God failed, but legalism was the most profound."
You are right.
I cannot speak for other groups but I was present when the Holy Spirit called one group on this. It was in the early 1980's and it was not the first time. This time was different however. I watched church leaders as well as hundreds of others fall on their faces before the Lord with repentant hearts.
Before there was growth, however, there was turmoil, rebellion and ultimately a split. In the following years, it is very apparent that the group who listened to God and repented, thrived and the group that did not has suffered yet even more divisions. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit.