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Back To The Altar - Item #020328
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Back To The Altar
Back To The Altar
Item # 02TW0328
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by Thomas E. Trask and David A. Womack

Invites today's believers to experience a new wave of holy energy. Suggests local churches set aside regular days of fasting, establish prayer ministries within the church, and teach on the theme of revival. As the Spirit moves, churches will enjoy a biblical balance of both preaching and worship. Revival is going to bring healings, deliverance, tongues, manifestations of the gifts, and Christlike living. Includes bibliography. Paper.

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

Renewal Through Prayer
Thomas E. Trask

Excerpt, pp. 69–71

The early Pentecostal movement discovered that when we go back to New Testament Christianity we get New Testament results. Those who awoke spiritually to this truth were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues, just like the first Christians. There was a renewed understanding of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and an acute awareness of His promised second coming. Sinners were being saved and added daily to the church. People were healed, delivered, and miraculously protected. Praise was enthusiastic and loud and something supernatural was expected in every service.

The question is, How may we revive that kind of Christianity today? And that raises other questions.

· First, are we really willing to let go of our traditions and tight control and allow the Holy Spirit to manifest himself in miraculous and surprising ways?
· Second, are we really willing to fall on our faces before God and repent of our sins?
· Third, are we really willing to allow our people to respond to the Holy Spirit spontaneously and without ecclesiastical or social restrictions? That is, in how many of our churches will shouts of praise be considered a problem?
· Fourth, are we really willing to pray—to repent, to fast and pray, to go into prayer and supplication, to intercede?

Some of the people in the Upper Room (Acts 1:13) had been with Jesus throughout His ministry. They had heard His teachings and seen His miracles. Years later, John wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1–3). John clearly offers the experience for the first Christians as the model for our fellowship today.

Those first followers personally witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection. The cross and the empty tomb had absolutely changed their lives. Then, after receiving the Great Commission to spread the Gospel over the earth, they saw the Lord’s ascension and received the word of the angels, who said, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Those experiences with Jesus Christ were fresh on their minds as they joined together in one accord in prayer and supplication. Prayer is conversing with God in words, and supplication is pouring out our heats to God with emotions. Faith and feelings are inseparable elements of the Christian life, like the two sides of a coin. The willingness to enter into passionate prayer was a necessary prerequisite to the Pentecostal experience.

For us to have a Pentecostal revival, we must experience the same preparation as the apostles:

· be personally acquainted with Jesus Christ, having taken full note of His example and teachings in the Gospels,
· experience the shame and agony of the cross,
· witness his resurrection power,
· realize that He has ascended into heaven, where He intercedes for us before the throne of God,
· be committed to the fellowship of the church in unity,
· join with others in prolonged prayer and supplication, and
· accept supernatural phenomena when they occur.

Many people talk about revival but when it actually comes they are afraid to enter into it. We have become so trained at standing on the sidelines as curious bystanders that we are not prepared for the vulnerability of personal involvement. We are observers rather than obtainers, spectators rather than participants. The decision to enter into worship instead of merely watching others being blessed is a major threshold to cross as we seek personal and corporate revival.

Having said that, let us make it clear that what we are seeking is not some intense emotional state, although there never has been a revival without it. We are not seeking a condition but Christ himself. The condition will follow the encounter. Revival is a living relationship in fellowship with Christ and His church and in witness to the world.

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