A mother to emulate – Susanna Wesley

Susanna Wesley (20 January 1669 – 23 July 1742), born Susanna Annesley, was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley and Mary White, and the mother of John and Charles Wesley.

“…although she never preached a sermon or published a book or founded a church, (she) is known as the Mother of Methodism. Why? Because two of her sons, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, as children consciously or unconsciously will, applied the example and teachings and circumstances of their home life.”

Family

Susanna Wesley was the 25th of 25 children. Her father, Dr. Samuel Annesley, was a dissenter of the established church of England. At the age of 13, Susanna stopped attending her father’s church and joined the official Church of England.

She and Samuel Wesley were married on 11 November 1688. Samuel was 26 and Susanna was 19.

Susanna and Samuel Wesley had 19 children. Nine of her children died as infants. Four of the children who died were twins. A maid accidentally smothered one child. At her death, only eight of her children were still alive.

Personal life notes

Susanna experienced many hardships throughout her life. Her husband left her and the children for over a year because of a minor dispute.

To her absent husband, Susannah Wesley wrote:

I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles.

Samuel Wesley spent time in jail twice due to his poor financial abilities, and the lack of money was a continual struggle for Susanna. Their house was burned down twice; during one of the fires, her son, John, nearly died and had to be rescued from the second storey window. She was the primary source of her children’s education.

After the second fire, Susanna was forced to place her children into different homes for nearly two years while the rectory was rebuilt. During this time, the Wesley children lived under the rules of the homes they lived in. Susanna was mortified that her children began to use improper speech and play more than study.

“Under no circumstances were the children permitted to have any lessons until they had reached their fifth year, but the day after their fifth birthday their formal education began. They attended classes for six hours and on the very first day they were supposed to learn the whole of the alphabet. All her children except two managed this feat, and these seemed to Susanna to be very backward.”[3] “The children got a good education. Daughters included, they all learnt Latin and Greek and were well tutored in the classical studies that were traditional in England at that time.”

During a time when her husband was in London, defending a friend against charges of heresy, he had appointed a locum to bring the message. The man’s sermons revolved solely around repaying debts. The lack of diverse spiritual teaching caused Susanna to assemble her children Sunday afternoon for family services. They would sing a psalm and then Susanna would read a sermon from either her husband’s or father’s sermon file followed by another psalm. The local people began to ask if they could attend. At one point there were over two hundred people who would attend Susanna’s Sunday afternoon service while the Sunday morning service dwindled to nearly nothing.

Wesley practised daily devotions throughout her life, but, shortly before her death, she wrote to her son Charles, admitting that she had struggled with doubt throughout her life and only now had finally found peace in her faith.

Her husband Samuel spent his whole life and all of the family’s finances on his exegetical work of the Book of Job. However, his work was not remembered and had little impact on his family other than as a hardship. In contrast Susanna wrote several pieces that would be fundamental in the education of their children. “In addition to letters, Susanna Wesley wrote meditations and scriptural commentaries for her own use. She wrote extended commentaries on the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments. Alas many of these were lost in the rectory fire, but many survive. The most accessible means to her writings is Charles Wallace’s excellent and important Susanna Wesley, Her Collected Writings.”

Susanna was buried at Bunhill Fields in London.

An interesting fact about the strength and faith of Susanna from Beverly Whitaker. „Viewpoint: Susanna Wesley.” Kansas City, Missouri, 1998 as summarized on Internet web page: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gentutor/susanna.html quoted from this book: Dallimore, Arnold A. Susanna Wesley. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1993.

Apparently, Susanna’s husband left her because she did not say Amen to one of his prayers for the reigning monarch at the time- King William. Since many clergymen were expelled for their lack of support for the King, her husband Samuel possibly „found” Susanna’s opinion (through her refusal to say Amen at the end of the prayer) a „possible threat to his own position” as clergy. The hardest part to understand is that her husband Samuel left her at a time when she was pregnant and therefore he was not there for the birth of his 14th daughter, Anne. Samuel did return after the death of King William. By this time 6 months had passed. (The source used for this information is [Source: a letter from Susanna to the Lady Yarlborough, March 7, 1701-2, as quoted by Arnold A. Dallimore: Susanna Wesley. You can learn/read more about Susanna Wesley  at the following link  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gentutor/susanna.html 

You can read an account of John Wesley, Susanna’s 15th of 19 children here – http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Worship-and-Spiritual-Growth/The-Wesleys-and-Their-Times/Account-of-the-Life-of-John-Wesley


Martyn Lloyd Jones documentary on George Whitefield- England’s open air preacher, friend of Wesley

Fourteen minute documentary, narrated by Martyn Lloyd Jones:

George Whitefield –  (1714-1770), Methodist  Evangelist, among first to ignite Great Awakening in England’s 18th century

George Whitefield was born on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England. The youngest of seven children, he was born in the Bell Inn where his father, Thomas, was a wine merchant and innkeeper. His father died when George was two and his widowed mother Elizabeth struggled to provide for her family. Because he thought he would never make much use of his education, at about age 15 George persuaded his mother to let him leave school and work in the inn. However, sitting up late at night, George became a diligent student of the Bible. A visit to his Mother by an Oxford student who worked his way through college encouraged George to pursue a university education. He returned to grammar school to finish his preparation to enter Oxford, losing only about one year of school.

In 1732 at age 17, George entered Pembroke College at Oxford. He was

Whitefield preached in open air

gradually drawn into a group called the „Holy Club” where he met John and Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley loaned him the book, The Life of God in the Soul of Man. The reading of this book, after a long and painful struggle which even affected him physically, finally resulted in George’s conversion in 1735. He said many years later: „I know the place…. Whenever I go to Oxford, I cannot help running to the spot where Jesus Christ first revealed himself to me and gave me the new birth.”

Forced to leave school because of poor health, George returned home for nine months of recuperation. Far from idle, his activity attracted the attention of the bishop of Gloucester, who ordained Whitefield as a deacon, and later as a priest, in the Church of England. Whitefield finished his degree at Oxford and on June 20, 1736, Bishop Benson ordained him. The Bishop, placing his hands upon George’s head, resulted in George’s later declaration that „My heart was melted down and I offered my whole spirit, soul, and body to the service of God’s sanctuary.”

Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the beginning. Though he was slender in build, he stormed in the pulpit as if he were a giant. Within a year it was said that „his voice startled England like a trumpet blast.” At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he could hold spellbound 20,000 people at a time at Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded throughout England and America. In his preaching ministry he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became known as the ‘apostle of the British empire.’

Click to read

He was a firm Calvinist in his theology (but retained a deep friendship with John Wesley, none the less)yet unrivaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated with and had a profound impact on people and churches of many traditions, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Whitefield, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as the Methodists. Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, an average of 500 a year or ten a week. Many of them were given over and over again. Fewer than 90 have survived in any form. (VIA). Click here – If you would like to read more on Whitefield.

George Whitefield’s impact in the U.S.A.

English evangelist, prominent figure in America’s Great Awakening, was born in Gloucester, England to an innkeeper’s family.  The family’s limited means led a family friend to step forward to provide Whitefield enough money to begin his education at Oxford University’s Pembroke College.  There Whitefield came into contact with a small band of pious students lampooned by their fellows as the “Holy Club.”  He was greatly influenced by the group’s leader, John Wesley, and eventually underwent a profound religious awakening that convinced him of his need to reach others with the necessity of the New Birth.  Although he would stay on friendly and supportive terms with Wesley, Whitefield remained a Calvinist on such issues as free will and predestination.

In 1737 he was ordained a preaching deacon in the Church of England and immediately took to the road as an itinerant evangelist.  What was particularly new about his methods was that he opted for preaching outside of ecclesiastical settings in the open air in town and countryside.  Another innovation was his effective use of newspapers, leaflets, and pamphlets to stimulate interest in his arrival.  And, unlike the clergy in the Anglican Church, Whitefield preached without the benefit of notes, believing that extemporaneous discourse made one more open to the Spirit’s promptings and was closer in preaching style to that used by the biblical prophets and apostles.  Observers marveled at his dramatic style and rhetorical flourish: the famous English actor David Garrick is reported to have exclaimed that he “would give a hundred guineas” if he could only “say ‘oh!’ like Mr. Whitefield.”

Whitefield took his first trip to America in 1738 and there founded his famed orphanage, “Bethesda,” just outside Savannah, Georgia–subsequent preaching tours would all raise funds for this enterprise over the years.  Whitefield’s second American preaching tour of 1739-1741 was a smash success, gaining strength as he travelled from the South northwards through Philadelphia.  As he toured the towns and cities of New England in 1740 he reaped the benefits of generations of Puritan preaching and Jonathan Edwards‘ recent revivals.  Crowds estimated at ten, twenty, and more thousand flocked from all over New England to hear him preach.

Over the next thirty years Whitefield made five more trips to America, as well as numerous excursions through the English countryside and into Wales and Scotland.  By the time of his death in 1770 Whitefield could be credited with establishing evangelical Protestantism on both sides of the Atlantic through the thousands of souls who experienced the “New Birth” under his preaching, and the legion of preachers he inspired to follow in his footsteps. (VIA)

see also

George Whitefield Awakening in America 1730’s – 1740’s in America (Video & tour of his church in Georgia)

The life of the Rev. George Whitefield,

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

„God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them”.

Travel back in time to the life of George Whitefield during The Great Awakening. Take a tour of Christ church and learn the amazing history that shaped a nation. VIDEO by The Story of Liberty

Iosif Ton – Mesaj, Intrebari si Raspunsuri si Brosuri noi (Carti)

PAGINA Iosif Ton aici

In toate trezirile spirituale, cand Duhul lui Dumnezeu coboara si sfinteste si transforma, intotdeauna apar si manifestari ciudate de toate felurile- lesinuri, rasete, tipete. In multe locuri in trezirea spirituala sunt scene pe care oamenii zic: Pai, aia-i de la Dumnezeu? Nu stim de ce-i asa, dar, in toate marile treziri a fost asa. A fost o trezire cu 10 ani inainte de John Wesley, a fost o trezire in America prin Jonathan Edwards care a fost insotita tot asa, de manifestari ciudate. Si Wesley, care a auzit de aia, a zis: Doamne, eu vreau trezire, dar fara manifestarile alea. Dar Doamne, daca nu se poate fara alea, da-mi trezire cu manifestari cu tot. Si pana la urma a primit cu manifestari cu tot, ca si pe el il acuzau de astea.

Din introducere de la un mesaj din Arad – Iulie 2012:

Nu mi-am schimbat invataturile, toate sunt valabile, in special ultimele doua pe care le consider suma a ceia ce mi-a dat Dumnezeu:

  1. Umblarea cu Dumnezeu in unire cu Domnul Isus si sub calauzirea Duhului Sfant este manualul de baza pentru viata spirituala. Si imediat dupa el-
  2. Bunatate: O teologie bazata pe invatatura Domnului Isus, publicata in 2010

Ce am schimbat e adaos la ele. Eu nu mi-am schimbar crezul, eu am adaugat la crezul meu lucruri pe care am vazut dinainte, lucruri pe care nu le-am vazut si acuma le vad si pe care acuma le trambitez. Si astea-s lucruri care deranjeaza.

Tinerii de astazi nu mai citesc carti. Pe ei ii sperie o carte si atunci nu mai public carti, public brosuri, ca o brosura mai usor o ia. In loc de o carte am facut 3 brosuri:

  1. Puncte de cotitura in istoria crestinismului – O carte foarte importanta. Cine nu stie istorie risca sa o repete. Adica sa ii repete greselile. Citeste istoria, sunt (de la mine) vreo 9 puncte de cotitura a crestinismului. Citez pe Peter Wagner, un teolog din vremea mea care acum, la 80 de ani si-a scris biografia lui, spune ca in anii lui de misionar si apoi de profesor si-a schimbat mereu teologia. Si ne spune de cate ori si-a schimbat-o, de la ce la ce, si de ce. El le zice ‘tranzitii‘. El are 14 tranzitii. In 14 domenii si-a schimbat gandirea. NOI NE TEMEM DE SCHIMBARE. Noi n-avem curajul sa ne revizuim crezul, sa zicem: „Oare, bine ma duc?” si sa ascultam ce zic altii. Cele mai fascinante evenimente in crestinism, in tari ca Argentina si cei mai fascinanti baptisti pentru mine sunt baptistii Argentinieni, care sunt macar cu cativa ani lumina inaintea noastra. Eu le-am citit operele in ultimii ani sa inteleg ce s-a schimbat si de ce s-a schimbat si in ce directie merg pentru ca ma intreb, nu cumva Dumnezeu
  2. O Evanghelie completa
  3. Manifestul Imparatiei lui Dumnezeu

M-am hotarat sa ies inca odata cu un manifest pentru ca in 1974 am indraznit sa scriu Manifestul Crestin, si lumea tremura (zicand) „Nu il omoara pentru asta?” Atunci am fost arestat, pus sub arest la domiciliu, s-a facut ancheta, acuzat de propaganda care pune in primejdie statul. Dragii mei, eu cred in toate darurile Duhului Sfant si printre altele cred in darul proorociei. Atunci cand ma auzeati la Europa Libera ca se va prabusi comunismul brusc, ce era aia? A venit (proorocia) in urma unei viziuni. Am vazut clar in Iunie 1977, cum dintr-o data toate popoarele din lumea comunista arunca comunismul afara. Mi-aduc aminte ca prin 1987 a venit in America un prieten scump de la Oradea (si zice): Mai, frate Ton, tot ce spui la Europa Libera e extraordinar, dar nu mai spune ca se va prabusi comunismul ca asta nu se poate.” Si i-am spus asa: „Problema voastra este ca voi vedeti numai cat de tare este dusmanul. Avantajul meu este ca eu vad deasupra dusmanului pe Tata, si Tata intr-o zi va face cu mana asa (de sus in jos) si comunismul se va prabusi.”

Si pe la jumatatea anului 1989, Tata a facut cu mana asa si dintr-o data tara dupa tara a aruncat comunismul afara, exact cum am vazut eu in Iunie 1977. Acum, daca m-as duce pe linia asta a profetiilor as vorbi despre Islam si planurile lui Dumnezeu cu Islamul dar asta ar fi abatere de la subiect.

Iosif Ton – la Arad 28 August 2013 VIDEO by Emanuel Holhos-Vaida:

Cel mai recent punct de cotitura in crestinism

V-am spus ca sunt vreo 9 puncte de cotitura (in brosura – Puncte de cotitura in istoria crestinismului), va spun doar de ultimul. Pe la 1967 a aparut o carte de teologie, de escatologie in America de un oarecare George Eldon Ladd. Cartea se intituleaaza Prezenta Viitorului. Eu m-am indragostit de ea, deci publicata in 1967. In 1970, la Oxford ne-a fost prezentata ca manual. Acuma in primul rand era scrisa de un American, la Oxford Americanii nu erau prea bine vazuti. Ca la Oxford, un (autor) American sa devina imediat manual e ceva fantastic. George Ladd studiaza in cartea aceasta invatatura Domnului Isus despre imparatia lui Dumnezeu si considerata punct de cotitura in teologie. Pe vremea aceia in Caifornia, George Ladd a fost la seminarul Fuller. In California traia un tinerel care venea din muzica si avea un grup rival cu Beatles si s-a pocait. Cand s-a pocait, cumva, cineva i-a dat sa citeasca cartea lui Ladd.

Si pentru el, el nu stia ca acesta e lucru nou, ca crestinii nu gandesc in termenii imparatiei lui Dumnezeu. El a studiat cartea si a zis: Stai putin, imparatia lui Dumnezeu a venit aici, cum zice „already/not yet” – e aici/ dar nu inca. E aici pentru ca Domnul Isus a pornit-o si El ne-a scolat pe noi sa continuam asaltul, sa impingem imparatia diavolului tot mai incolo, pana ce cucerim toata planeta pentru imparatia lui Dumnezeu, aici si acum prin trei lucruri:

  1. Predicarea imparatiei lui Dumnezeu
  2. Eliberarea de duhuri necurate si
  3. Vindecarea de boli

pentru ca asa facea Isus si asa i-a educat pe ucenici sa faca. Si acest fost (tip)-Beatles devenit predicator, in 1980, la biserica lui din Anaheim, Caifornia a anuntat biserica: Eu trebuie sa fac ce face Isus. Ca sa imping imparatia lui Dumnezeu mai departe trebuie sa predic evanghelia, sa eliberez oameni de duhuri rele si sa vindec de boli. Atunci trebuie sa fac cum citesc, cum ne-a spus Domnul Isus: „Tu sa predici Evanghelia, si Eu o voi insoti cu semne si minuni”. Sau cum spune in Fapte 4- Da-le lor curajul sa predice si Tu intindeti mana si fa vindecari. „Fratilor”, a spus John Wimber, „Vin in fata si cer oamenilor sa ma rog pentru vindecarea lor si astept ca Dumnezeu sa ma onoreze si astept sa se vindece. Si a facut-o si nu s-a intamplat nimic. Noua luni de zile nu s-a vindecat nici un bolnav. Si i s-a spus: Nu vezi ca esti nebun, inceteaza, nu vezi ca nu se intampla nimic?” El: „Eu il ascult pe Domnul, partea cealalta e treaba Lui”. Dupa 9 luni, la o asemenea rugaciune s-a vindecat o sora de gripa si imediat dupa asta a venit potopul. Au inceput vindecari si la biserica lui era pelerinaj. Si Wimber s-a dus in toata lumea sa predice si sa vindece bolnavii.

(Puteti sa cititi un articol despre John Wimber aici la saitul lui John Piper- Desiring God- http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/john-wimber-doin-the-stuff)

Cotitura in crestinism, produsa de John Wimber, intoarcerea la invatatura Domnului Isus despre imparatia lui Dumnezeu. Pana la el nu exista asa ceva. Adica, in general se spune asa: La Domnul Isus mergem pentru manturie. La apostolul Pavel mergem pentru invatatura. Domnul Isus a venit doar sa isi dea viata pentru noi. Si unul din astia care ma linsat pe mine in internet a scris direct ca eu am vorbit despre invatatura asta a Domnului Isus si a zis: „Ce invatatura a Domnului Isus? Domnul Isus a venit doar sa moara pentru pacatele noastre. ” Deci, inca persista aceasta conceptie- (ca) ceea ce ne-a invatat Domnul Isus, aia inca-i lege. De fapt, spune un teolog, nu mai spun cine (e): „Invatatura lui Isus e cea mai inalta lege, ii data numai ca sa ne sperie”. Vrei lege? Iti dau eu lege. „Pai, eu nu o pot tine asta”. „Asa-i, de aia ti-am dat-o ca sa vezi ca nu o poti tine. Fugi la cruce, la har! Deci fratilor, Domnul Isus era inca sub lege. Noi nu mai suntem sub lege, noi suntem sub har. Asa ca invatatura Domnului Isus despe imparatia lui Dumnezeu o lasam deoparte. Poate se va aplica in mileniu sau … dar oricum nu-i pentru noi astazi. Aceasta este atitudinea teologica  predominanta.

Acum, dragii mei, ce se intampla cand Il iei in serios pe Fiul lui Dumnezeu? Si afli ce spune apostolul Ioan, care l-a captat asa de bine: Fiul lui Dumnezeu s-a aratat ca sa nimiceasca lucrarile diavolului. 1 Ioan 3:8. Domnul Isus a venit aici si a vazut ca e numai imparatia celui rau. „Eu trebuie sa nimicesc tot ce a facut vrasmasul”. Si a pornit la drum cu asta. In loc de imparatia lui (diavolului) aduc aici imparatia lui Tata- imparatia lui Dumnezeu. Cum? Predicand Evanghelia imparatiei lui Dumnezeu, eliberand oamenii de duhuri rele si vindecand bolnavii. Si i-a invatat pe ucenici aceleasi 3 lucruri: „Duceti-va si predicati aceasta evanghelie a imparatiei la toate natiunile. Si cu aceasta invatatura ucenicizati toate natiunile. Si iata ca Eu sunt cu voi pana la capat.

Si ca sa intelegeti mai bine viziunea aceasta, pe care apostolul Pavel a prins-o cel mai bine: Fiul lui Dumnezeu nu numai ca a murit pentru noi (1 Cor. 15), nu numai ca a fost inviat, El a fost inaltat la dreapta lui Dumnezeu si Dumnezeu i-a dat sarcina sa conduca operatia de instalare a imparatiei lui Dumnezeu pe pamant, pana va nimici pe toti dusmanii Sai. Cand a nimicit toti dusmanii, cand imparatia lui Dumnezeu e asezata pe tot pamantul, FIul lui Dumnezeu se va intoarce spre Tata si va zice: „Tata, iata imparatia. Am implinit ce mi-ai dat”. Cum? Domnia Lui e fara sfarsit. Sabia Lui e una singura- Cuvantul. Si El nu se va lasa pana nu va instala dreptatea pe pamant. Si nu se va mai face nici un rau pe pamant pentru ca tot pamantul va fi plin de cunoastere ca fundul marii de apele care il acopera.

Daniel 7:13-14 „L-am vazut pe unul, ca un fiu al omului care a venit pe norii cerului la Dumnezeu si Dumnezeu l-a instalat la dreapta Sa si i-a dat imparatia peste toate natiunile pamantului. La judecata lui Caiafa, Domnul Isus citeaza Daniel 7:13-14. „Cine esti Tu?” „Eu sunt acel fiu al omului si de aici inainte se va implini asta. Eu ma voi duce si voi fi instalat acolo si apoi veti vedea cum sfintii celui prea inalt, care vor trece prin perioade lungi de persecutie, pana la urma li se va da imparatia.

Sa stabilim rostul crucii

Aceasta imagine, ce insemneaza atunci aceasta? In primul rand e foarte important sa stabilim  rostul crucii. Niciodata, crucea nu trebuie sa fie minimalizata sau plasat unde nu trebuie. Cand Domnul Isus a venit sa instaureze imparatia lui Dumnezeu  si El a anuntat (Luca 16:16) „Pana la Ioan botezatorul a fost legea proorocilor, de atunci a inceput noua entitate numita imparatia lui Dumnezeu si cine vrea sa intre in ea trebuie sa dea navala. De acuma, se poate iesi de sub diavolul si se poate intra sub Dumnezeu.

Se poate, dar nu se poate. Sunt doua piedici.

  1. Una- diavolul are deptul de a tine omenirea sub autoritatea lui; certificatul lui de proprietar sunt pacatele noastre.
  2. Doi – Justitia lui Dumnezeu zice: Plata pacatului e moartea.

Diavolul nu ne lasa sa plecam si Dumnezeu zice: Nu veniti la Mine. El nu vrea sa ne primeasca. Nici nu ne poate primi pentru ca suntem nedrepti.  Si Domnul Isus s-a dus la cruce. Si la cruce a anulat dreptul diavolului de a ne stapani pentru ca a luat certificatul de proprietar, l-a tintuit pe cruce si l-a spalat. Coloseni 2:14-15. L-a facut pe diavolul de rusine ca a ramas fara certificat.

Si doi- justitia divina a cazut peste el si Dumnezeu si-a rezolvat problema justitiei Lui, in Hristos impacand lumea cu Sine. Si dintr-o data Satana nu ne mai poate tine si Dumnezeu zice: Abia astept sa va primesc. Crucea se aseaza intre aceste doua imparatii si e poarta de trecere. Evrei 10:19 Sa ne apropiem dar pe calea cea noua si vie pe care ne-a deschis-o El prin trupul Sau pe cruce.

Scoala lui Isus – 

Orice ucenic care a terminat scoala este ca invatatorul lui.  

Crucea e trecerea. Imediat dupa trecere e o scoala. Ca Domnul Isus cand a venit a facut scoala. Si in scoala asta s-a predat un singur subiect: Imparatia lui Dumnezeu. Uitati-va de la inceput la sfarsit ca El nu vorbea decat despre imparatia lui Dumnezeu, in pildele Lui si dupa inviere (Fapte 1:3) 40 de zile a discutat cu ei problemele  imparatiei lui Dumnezeu. Scoala asta ce produce” Ii produce fii lui Tata, fii care seamana cu Tatal lor.

In scoala lui Isus se formeaza oameni dupa chipul si asemanarea lui Dumnezeu. Predica de pe munte e o mostra a evangheliei imparatiei lui Dumnezeu si in acelasi timp e o descriere- ce inseamna un om dupa chipul si asemanarea lui Dumnezeu. Si in scoala aceasta, Domnul Isus adauga: Nu numai ca te formez dupa chipul lui Dumnezeu, ii formez ca agentii Mei. Pentru ca in momentul cand termina scoala, ei trebuie sa fie ca mine”. Luca 6:40. Orice ucenic care a terminat scoala este ca invatatorul lui.  Cand ei vor fi ca Mine, le voi zice: „Acuma, tot ce am inceput Eu, continuati voi. Va duceti si va invatati ucenici tot ceea ce v-am invatat Eu pe voi si faceti tot ce v-am invatat Eu pe voi si faceti tot ce am facut Eu. Si prin voi vom nimici lucrarile celui rau”. Si cand s-au intors cei 70: „Doamne, si demonii ne sunt supusi”. „L-am vazut pe diavolul cazand ca un fulger din cer pentru ca ori de cate ori un ucenic de al Meu face o vindecare, el ii mai da o lovitura de moarte diavolului. Si Pavel, care a captat foarte bine gandirea Domnului Isus, spune Romanilor, in Romani 16:20- In curand Dumnezeu va zdrobi pe Satana sub picioarele voastre. Aceasta este viziunea imparatiei lui Dumnezeu.

Noi putem desfiinta coruptia din Romania

predicand Evanghelia imparatiei lui Dumnezeu

In cadrul acesta general, deci, imparatia lui Dumnezeu e cadrul general. In cadrul acesta in care Dumnezeu nimiceste lucrarile diavolului Domnul Isus facea 3 lucruri: Predica Evanghelia imparatiei lui Dumnezeu, elibera oamenii de duhuri si vindeca bolnavii pentru ca astea 3 sunt lucrarile de seama ale diavolului- Coruptia morala, stapanirea demonica si boala. Si, Domnul Isus, ca sa desfinteze coruptia predica evanghelia imparatiei lui Dumnezeu  si provocarea pe care v-o fac eu este aceasta: Noi putem desfiinta coruptia din Romania predicand Evanghelia imparatiei lui Dumnezeu. Asta e in cartea a 3-a- Manifestul imparatiei. Cartea a 2-a ‘O Evanghelie Completa’ se ocupa de vindecari si de eliberari de duhuri rele.

O provocare

Ce s-a schimbat? Eu am vorbit de imparatia lui Dumnezeu si inainte. Dar, n-am vazut sau asa am fost invatat ca minuni si vindecari, alungari de demoni- astea au fost numai pentru atunci. Astea au incetat odata cu apostolii, nu mai sunt. Aici eram eu orb pana cand am inceput sa vad urmatorul lucru: Predicarea Evangheliei, vindecaea bolnavilor, eliberarea de duhuri sunt cele 3 metode prin care Domnul Isus a spart imparatia diavolului si ne porunceste sa o ducem pana la capat, pana vom uceniciza toate natiunile, pana cand evanghelia imparatiei v-a birui pe tot pamantul.

Dar, eu nu mi-am dat sema ce cred. „Pai, stai frate ca Domnul Isus a inceput asa, dar dupa aceia s-a razgandit si a spus: Nu mai facem asa, nu mai dau putere nimanui. Nu mai dau darurile astea miraculoase. Am inceput un razboi, dar m-am razgandit. Il lasam balta.Si reduc totul, numai sa scot pe cativa oameni din lume sa-i duc in cer”. Asta credeam, fara sa o pun in cuvintele astea de acuma. Cand o pun in cuvintele astea ma ingrozesc ce am crezut.

Si acuma, din moment ce am vazut, am spus: Evanghelia completa are 3 componente: predic evanghelia imparatiei, eliberez oamenii de duhuri si vindec bolile. Asta inseamna conform cu Marcu 16 ca noi predicam Cuvantul, si Domnul insoteste predicarea noastra cu vindecari si alte semne.

Atunci, acum un an de zile am luat aceasta decizie: De aici inainte fac si eu ca si John Wimber- predic evanghelia, apoi vin in fata si spun, „toti cei ce sunt bolnavi, veniti in fata”. Si intai eu ma rog pentru voi toti si apoi ma rog pentru fiecare in parte. Pun mainile, ma rog pentru vindecarea voastra. Daca nu se intampla nimic? Vocea diavolului, „te faci de rusine”. John Wimber a spus, „Credinta inseamna risc. Risti sa te faci de minune. Dar, eu risc si Il cred pe Domnul Isus. Eu predic evanghelia, eu ma rog pentru bolnavi si vindecarea e treaba Lui, pentru ca El face vindecarea daca eu ii dau ocazia. Tu predica evanghelia, cheama-i in fata, roaga-te pentru ei si restul face El. „Dar, daca tu nu creezi cadrul necesar, Eu nu pot sa fac nimic. Crede-ma si demonstreaza ca Eu sunt viu si astazi”. Aceasta este provocarea pe care o arunc eu astazi tuturor fratilor mei.

Eu ma opresc aici si dau loc la intrebari, dar, inca odata, eu nu mi-am schimbat crezul cum zic multi, eu doar am adaugat. Ce-am adaugat e o mai mare intoarcere la invataturile Domnului Isus si o cladire a intregii mele viziuni e porunca Domnului Isus sa extindem imparatia Lui peste tot si sa predicam aceasta imparatie intr-asa fel incat sa ducem la desfintarea coruptiei. Apoi sa credem ca El intareste predicarea noastra cu semne si minuni. Cati se vindeca? El stie, DAR EU IL ASCULT. Ascult. Am vazut minuni formidabile de un an incoace, dar mie nu imi place sa spun asta, nu-mi place. Am vazut din astia care fac spectacol la televizor de vindecari. Eu am inceput sa invat de la unul care predica evanghelia imparatiei si face vindecari extraordinare si intr-una din cartile lui el spune:

Sfintenie inseamna excelenta + smerenie. 

La minutul 38 incep intrebarile puse fratelui Iosif Ton:

(1) Sa va referiti putin la importanta curatirii in marturisirea pacatelor (38:00)-

Iosif Ton: In primul rand aici intram in domeniul care e cel mai controversat si pentru care am fost cel mai tare atacat. Fiti atenti: Dumnezeu ne cheama la sfintenie si eu cred impreuna cu John Wesley ca telul nostru trebuie sa fie sfintenia si sa staruim dupa sfintenie pana ne umple Duhul Sfant si ne da puterea de a trai in sfintenie. Eu in teologie sunt Wesleyan. Acuma, unde-i problema? Apostolul Pavel ne spune in Romani 6 – ai murit fata de pacat, esti viu pentru Dumnezeu. Acuma fi atent, nu te mai da in slujba celui rau. Cand spui o minciuna, ti-ai dat gura celui rau. Si fi atent, sunteti robii a celui de care ascultati, pe modelul lui Anania din Fapte 5. „Anania, de ce ti-a umplut Satana inima ca sa minti pe Duhul Sfant?” Cand minti inseamna ca i-ai dat inima diavolului si il minti pe Duhul Sfant. „Pe Dumnezeu L-ai mintit”, spune Petru in continuare. Principiul e acesta: Cand un pocait pacatuieste, el se da din nou celui rau si ce se intampla este confrom Efeseni 4:26- Nu va maniati, pentru ca la manie dati prilej diavolului. Ii dati un cap de pod. Deci la orice pacat tu ii dai un cap de pod diavolului, cap de pod si el face semn la altii, „Veniti, eu am stabilit capul de pod”. Si dupa unul vine altul si vine altul ca faci alte pacate. Si acuma, incredibilul, pentru multi asta e incredibil, la urma Duhul Sfant e sufocat acolo si pleaca de acolo.

Nu credeti? In Ioan 14 Isus spune „Duhul Sfant vine sa ramana. Nu spune- vine si ramane cu orice pret acolo. El vine sa ramana, dar voi ramaneti in Mine. Ramane-ti in Mine, ascultandu-Ma pe Mine, pentru ca daca nu ma ascultati pe Mine si nu ramaneti in Mine, Tata va taie si va arunca afara. Sunteti separati si de Duhul Sfant si de Mine. Neascultarea noastra ne scoate din Domnul Isus si ne scoate din Duhul Sfant. „Ramaneti in Mine, nu plecati din Mine”. Va rog fiti atenti. Dumnezeu nu ne aduce cu sila, nici dupa ce ne-a platit si nici nu ne tine cu sila. El ne respecta libertatea si inainte de a veni la El si dupa ce am venit la El.  „Nu Ma tradati, nu va mai dati celui rau. De ce? Pentru ca plata pacatului este moartea”. Fratilor, asta scrie in Romani 6:23 – un capitol adresat numai pocaitilor.

Dar pocaitii au dezvoltat o teologie foarte folclorica, adica una care nu se spune pe fata teologia, spune asa: Auzi, noi am capatat imunitate la pacat, noi pocaitii putem pacatui ca nu mai murim. ‘Plata pacatului e moartea’ nu se aplica si la noi. Asta numai la aia nepocaiti se aplica.

Fratele Florin m-a intreabat la necesitatea sfinteniei. Acuma, Domnul Isus, cand veneau bolnavii la El ii vindeca pe toti. Pe modelul Lui, cand vin oamenii sa ma rog pentru vindecarea lor nu-i intreb ce religie au, sau ce viata au; ma rog sa fie vindecati. Dar, cand ii vorba de pocaiti care’s bolnavi, Iacov imi spune: Fii atent, acolo e nevoie de marturisire. Sa-si marturiseasca pacatul si dupa aceia te rogi sa fie iertat si vindecat. Asa ca, in cazul credinciosilor trebuie facuta aceasta igiena, aceasta purificare, aceasta eliberare de stapanirea demonica si ungerea cu untdelemn e semnul repunerii sub puterea lui Dumnezeu. Preotul, imparatul si profetul cand erau puis in slujba erau unsi cu untdelemn; adica, sunt scosi din lumea profana si sunt pusi sub proprietatea lui Dumnezeu. Cand un bolnav pocait marturiseste ca el prin pacate a ajuns sub duhuri rele care i-au adus boala si cand eu ma rog pentru iertarea lui, inainte-l intreb: Vrei sa Il readuci pe Domnul Isus in calitate de propietar al fiintei tale? Vrei ca Domnul Isus sa fie propietarul tau de care asculti de aici inainte? Daca da, atunci te ung cu untdelemn si te declar propietatea Lui pentru ca totdeauna ungerea insemneaza punerea de o parte pentru Dumnezeu.

2) Din perspectiva istorica, cine credeti sau care este fortele care se opun in comunitatea crestina, in general? (50:00) Nu sunt membru al bisericii Baptiste, nici Penticostale, dar oricum va stiu problemele, stiu necazul dumneavoastra. Nam citit mult pentru ca m-a deranjat si n-am mai citit. Sunt profesor de istorie. Am citit o carte in sanul bisericii Penticostale cu dezvaluiri. Imi permit sa va provoc la o pespectiva istorica. Crestinii de la inceput au avut dispute- personale…  incepand din Noul Testament. Dupa ce biserica s-a oficializat, … dupa Constantin au aparut dispute… si apoi asistam in cursul istoriei la foarte multe razboaie intre crestini. Sigur ca disputele au continuat dar, avand in vedere statul care intr-un fel opresiv Biserica s-a mobilizat impotriva statului. A disparut statul acesta, libertate deplina si din nou asistam la dispute- se bat intre ei. Si apropo de minuni, descoperirea penicilinului e o minune?

Iosif Ton: Niciodata vindecarile miraculoase nu inlocuiesc  medicina si Domnul Isus spune ca cel bolnav are nevoie de medic. Prin urmare, cei care cred in vindecari miraculoase, unii sunt chiar medici si ginerele meu care crede in vindecari miraculoase si se roaga pentru vindecari este anestezist, deci medic. Exista o asociatie a medicilor crestini in America care cred in vindecari miraculoase. Sunt medici si studiaza problema vindecarilor prin credinta din punctul lor de vedere medical.

Din punct de vedere a istoriei, eu, fiindca am fost profesir de limba Romana (nu opti sa faci Romana fara sa faci istorie), m-am ocupat de problema istoriei crestinismului in cartea mea intitulata ‘Caderea in ritual‘ si urmaresc procesul acesta al ritualizarii- primejdia ritualizarii crezului. Si tot mereu, chiar si cultele mai noi, primejdia e ca cad in ritualism. Si la un moment dat dispare viata si ramane ritualismul. Si asta e unul dintre primejdiile care ne pasc in toate cultele. Fiti atenti la derapajul in ritual. „Avem si noi traditiile noastre, sa nu te atingi de traditiile noastre pentru ca ale noastre sunt sacrosancte”.

Acuma, lupta noastra nu-i cu statul. Eu, si in anii ’70 cand am scris lucrarile acestea, ce am fost in anchete datorita lor, le-am spus mereu prietenilor mei: Nu ma atrageti in lupta politica. Eu sunt predicator al Evangheliei si daca lupt pentru drepturi, lupt numai in contextul faptului ca Dumnezeu imi spune sa-mi apar fratii- e partea slujbei mele. Deci, noi nu luptam impotriva statului nici atunci, nici acum. Ci lupta noastra este impotriva duhurilor rautatii, care sunt aici in vazduh. Noi ne luptam cu rautatea diavolului si cautam sa-i facem pe oameni buni prin bunatatea lui Dumnezeu. Nu ma las atras in lupte, nici macar cu fratii mei care isi apara crezul lor. Fratii mei baptisti au impresia ca prin schimbarile mele sunt primejdios si eu le respect si frica lor. Daca ei asa considera ca trebuie sa isi apere crezul asa cum l-au primit si vad pe unul care da buzna inainte si zice „Hai sa mai mergem inainte, hai sa descoperim noi teritorii ei se sperie. „Nu cumva ne duce pe cai gresite? Nu cumva se ascunde aici o erezie? Le respect ‘prudenta’- sa zicem. Deci, eu am fost sa le raspund. E prima data dupa doi ani de cand a izbucnit criza ca eu ies pe piata si ies pe piata cu mesajul „nimic nu s-a schimbat la mine, ci doar am adaugat. Iata ce-am adaugat”.

3) Intrebare de vita care nu aduce rod si taierea ei. 

Iosif Ton: Doctrina justificarii- sau a indreptatirii prin credinta insemneaza un singur lucru. Noi, cand am pacatuit am devenit nedrepti. Dumnezeu e drept. Dumnezeu nu ne mai poate primi la El pentru ca e judecatorul drept si daca ne-ar primi la El ne-ar declara drepti si noi suntem nedrepti si ar deveni El nedrept. De aceea Pavel vorbeste in Romani 1 de faptul ca Dumnezeu si-a aratat dreptatea Lui, ca desi noi eram pacatosi, El ne poate primi la Sine. Cum? Fiul Lui a luat asupra Lui pacatele noastre, a rezolvat problema pacatului si acuma Dumnezeu zice: Voi nu mai aceti pacat, voi a-ti murit impreuna cu Hristos, voi sunteti indreptatiti. Adica, a-ti capatat aceasta calitate de la Fiul Meu si Eu va pot primi. Dar, inca odata, dupa ce m-a indreptatit si am venit la El, El imi spune: Acuma nu te mai da in slujba celui rau ca iar devii nedrept.

Aici este problema, ca noi trebuie sa ne gandim intotdeauna in termenii a doi stapani. Asta ne invata Domnul Isus si apostolul Pavel. Nu va mai dati in slujba fostului stapan pentru ca va dati in propietatea lui. Legea lui Dumnezeu este ca suntem robii celui pe care Il ascultam. In momentul in care il asculti pe daivolul esti: „Imi place de tine (diavolul), imi place ca eu cu minciuna reusesc, asa ca dragul meu, eu iau minciuna ta si imi fac din ea metoda mea”. Tu te-ai dat celui pe care il asculti si esti robul lui. Tineti cont ca Dumnezeu ne respecta libertatea si dupa ce ne-a platit la calvar. Daca vrem sa ramanem sub diavolul, El nu ne obliga sa venim. El ne-a deschis poarta, El ne-a facut posibil sa venim. Si dupa ce venim El nu ne bate si zice: De-acuma nu mai poti pleca de aici. Daca fiul risipitor zice: Tata, m-am plictisit de casa ta, eu vreau sa ma duc acolo in lume.” „Bine fiule, poftim- du-te. Imi ranesti inima, ma doare cumplit, te astept. Doar atat”. Deci, doctrina justificarii prin credinta nu are nimic de a face cu alte doctrine.

Prima este sfintenia vietii. Dupa ce am fost indreptatit Dumnezeu imi cere sa Il ascult numai pe El- roada e sfintirea si sfarsitul e viata vesnica. Deci, trebuie sa urmaresc sfintenia si in acelasi timp sa il ascult pe Domnul Isus care zice: Ramai in Mine. Nu pleca din Mine, nu Ma trada din nou cu celalalt pentru ca daca o faci, Tata nu are ce face decat sa te taie si sa te arunce afara. Eu cred ca se armonizeaza suficient.

4) Viziunea imparatiei in termenii pe care dumneavoastra ii prezentati acum va intreb: Nu este cumva o oferta la cererea pietii oferta noastra?  Credinciosii sunt susceptibili la ceea ce inseamna supranatural. De multa vreme am predicat Evanghelia, ne-am straduit sa o traim. Traim vremuri in care apatia ne omoara. Nu cumva este o oferta la cererea vietii lucrurile astea?

Iosif Ton: Imparatia lui Dumnezeu este oferta lui Dumnezeu. El imi spune: Eu ti-am creat conditiile sa iesi de acolo si sa intri in imparatia Mea. Venirea in imparatie e oferta lui Dumnezeu, e privilegiu pe care mi-L da datorita calvarului. Cred ca ce vrei sa insinuezi e ca toata dorinta asta de vindecari, de supranatural e numai dorinta oamenilor, dorinta pietii, cum zici tu. Eu vorbesc in termenii Domnului Isus. Domnul Isus a venit si ne-a dus imparatia. Si Domnul Isus ne-a invatat Evanghelia imparatiei si Domnul Isus ne porunceste sa ducem Evanghelia imparatiei la toate natiunile si tot ce v-am spus ca apartine de aceasta viziune a imparatiei- inclusiv eliberari si vindecari, dar mai ales transformarea morala. Pe asta o accentuez cel mai mult. Nu cred ca asta e doar raspuns la cererea vietii. Eu zic ca-i oferta Fiului lui Dumnezeu.

Nu cred ca trebuie sa cadem in ceea ce asteapta lumea (spectacol) pentru ca aici e acentul meu. Si cand vorbesc despre trezire spirituala, accentul e asa cum ne-a invatat John Wesley. Dupa convertire e o perioada in care nu ne-am despartit suficient de viata lumii. Pana cand vine acea criza in care Domnul Isus ne spune: Mai ai pacate, mai ai cutare… si cand eu sunt chemat sa fac o predare totala atunci vine o umplere cu Duh Sfant. Daca vreti sa spuneti botez cu Duh Sfant. Botezul cu Duhul Sfant sau umplerea cu Duhul Sfant se face pentru ca dorim sfintirea vietii. Si El ne da Duhul Sfant pentru sfintire personala si pentru puterea de a fi martori, adica puterea aceasta sa facem toate lucrurile care ne-a invatat Domnul Isus sa le facem.

Eu vin acum de la Timisoara. Am inregistrat 14 ore de emisiune cu titlul generic „Imparatia lui Dumnezeu, aici si acum”. In una din ultimile lectii am explicat fenomenul acesta al trezirilor spirituale. In toate trezirile spirituale, cand Duhul lui Dumnezeu coboara si sfinteste si transforma, intotdeauna apar si manifestari ciudate de toate felurile- lesinuri, rasete, tipete. In multe locuri in trezirea spirituala sunt scene pe care oamenii zic: Pai, aia-i de la Dumnezeu? Nu stim de ce-i asa, dar, in toate marile treziri a fost asa. A fost o trezire cu 10 ani inainte de John Wesley, a fost o trezire in America prin Jonathan Edwards care a fost insotita tot asa, de manifestari ciudate. Si Wesley, care a auzit de aia, a zis: Doamne, eu vreau trezire, dar fara manifestarile alea. Dar Doamne, daca nu se poate fara alea, da-mi trezire cu manifestari cu tot. Si pana la urma a primit cu manifestari cu tot, ca si pe el il acuzau de astea.

Ce se intampla e ca dusmanii trezirii numai alea le vad si le pun pe bloguri si spun: Uite ce se intampla acolo. Uite ce face, voi vreti aia? Dar nu se duc sa vada. Stai domnule, se fac transformari de vieti acolo? Se face sfintirea oamenilor? Se fac eliberarari si vindecari? Asa ca fiti atenti sa faceti distinctie intre fenomenul sfintirii al trezirii si manifestarile ciudate care o insotesc. Nu stim de ce Duhul Sfant la toate trezirile lasa sa fie si aceste manifestari. Dar, daca nu vreti trezire spirituala, ca va e frica de manifestari din astea atunci luptati impotriva trezirii spirituale, ca atunci sunteti linistiti.

5) Min. 68 Botezul cu Duhul Sfant si umplerea cu Duhul Sfant este unul si acelasi lucru? Eu va recomand cartea care am publicat-o noi cu ani in urma „Experiente cu Duhul Sfant’. Are 22 de mari oameni ai lui Dumnezeu care au trait inainte de epoca penticostala si care vorbeau, unii de plinatatea Duhului, altii de botezul cu Duhul Sfant si era si intre ei discutie. Unul sau doi au zis: Zi cum vrei, important e s-o ai.

Haideti sa va spun o pilda. In 1960, cand a izbucnit miscarea carismatica, care e deosebita de miscarea penticostala, pune accentul, mai ales pe inchinare. Cand a aparut asta, o gramada de catolici au trecut si ei la miscarea carismatica. Au vorbit in limbi, au vorbit de innoire, prin Duhul Sfant care ii boteaza si s-a alertat Papa: Ce-i asta. Si Papa a ordonat atunci  o conferinta teologica, a insarcinat un cardinal din Belgia  sa adune grupul de teologi si sa dea verdictul. Daca asta-i de admis in catolicism sau nu. Mi-a placut inteligenta acestor oameni care au zis: Deja sunt milioane de catolici carismatici. Daca spune-mi ca nu-i permis, toti astia merg la protestanti si au venit cu urmatoarea formula. Dupa doctrina catolica, botezul cu Duhul Sfant are loc odata cu botezul in apa a copilului mic. Atunci are loc nasterea din nou, atunci are loc botezul cu Duhul Sfant- asta-i dupa dogma catolica. Dar, uneori Duhul Sfant alege sa lucreze altfel decat dupa doctrina noastra si daca Duhul Sfant decide sa lucreze altfel decat dupa doctrina noastra, cine suntem noi sa-L oprim?

Duhul Sfant lucreaza uneori altfel decat dupa doctrina noastra. Cred ca si baptistii si penticostalii ar trebui sa asculte.

5) Intrebare de la o femeie despre dragoste si adevar.Dragostea nu e mai mare decat dreptatea? Nu ajunge dragostea? E nevoie de dreptate?

Iosif Ton: In Efeseni 4:15 ni se spune sa fim credinciosi adevarului, in dragoste. Cand iubim avem tendina sa sacrificam adevarul de dragul dragostei si ni se spune: Nu o face niciodata. In dragoste fi credincios adevarului. Dragostea nu desfinteaza nevoia de dreptate. Asta trebuie sa ife raspunsul. Dumnezeu nu le da ori ori. Dumnezeu ca sa ne dea dreptatea Lui a trebuit sa ne plateasca la calvar si in felul acesta si-a manifestat dragostea. Si El ne spune: Fii atent, pentru ca m-a costat pe mine atata, eu iti pretind sa traiesti in sfintenie. Eu te iubesc, te iubesc tocmai pentru ca nu vreau sa te mai pangaresti. Te iubesc pentru ca vreau sa fi curat ca Mine. Dar nevoia de dreptate ramane nevoia de dreptate. Cele doua nu se exclud ci trebuie sa gasesti formula prin care le combini.

Cu privire la rolul femeii in lucrarea lui Dumnezeu, eu cred ca deja din vremea Noului Testament s-a spus: In Hristos nu mai este diferenta intre barbat si femeie. Pe baza aceasta erau profetese, erau diaconite in biserica primara.

John Wesley Biography (Online Book)

The biography of John Wesley, a contemporary of the other 2 revivalists of his time – George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, provided by  Wesley Nazarene University :

John Wesley – Evangelist

BY THE REV. RICHARD GREEN

Author of, The Life of John Wesley, The Mission of Methodism (The Fernley Lecture for 1890), The Works of John and Charles Wesley: A Bibliography 

LONDON THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY 

 4 Bouverie Street and 65 St. Paul’s Churchyard, E.C. 1905

Table of Contents

The last letter that John Wesley wrote was to William Wilberforce + 1 more (letter)

There has always been a dividing line within the protestant church as to whether as Christians we ought to be politically involved or not. I came across this letter recently and thought it might be of interest noting that it was the last letter to be written by Wesley before he died.

(via) The United Methodist Church or www.umcmission.org

Letter to William Wilberforce

The last letter that John Wesley wrote was to William Wilberforce, a man who had been converted under Wesley’s ministry and who was a member of Parliament. The letter concerns his opposition to slavery and encouragement for Wilberforce to take action for change. Parliament finally outlawed England’s participation in the slave trade in 1807. The year 2007 marked the 200th anniversary of the the abolition of British-US slave trade.1

Balam, February 24, 1791

Dear Sir:
Unless the divine power has raised you us to be as Athanasius contra mundum,2 I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God before you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a „law” in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?

That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant,
John Wesley

Notes

1. Charles Yrigoyen, Jr. John Wesley: Holiness of Heart and Life, p. 56.
2. „Athanasius arrayed against the world.”

The graphic of John Wesley writing his letter to William Wilberforce was scanned from A. B. Hyde, The Story of Methodism Throughout the World (Springfield, MA: Willey & Co., 1889), p. 237. and is in the public domain.

John Wesley

A remarkable letter from the founder of Methodism via http://www.rain.org/
You can click on this link  The Karpeles Manuscript Library and see a letter Wesley wrote that is housed in the Karpeles private Library. Here a the tidbits the site offers in the form of quotes from his letter, I especially like the quote where Wesley states that „everyone has a right to think for himself….”:

This is an example of how the study of ones letters allows us to probe deeply into the thoughts and ideas of the world’s great personalities:”…..two must go to Quarrel; & I declare to you I will not be the one……””…..O beware of bigotry! Of an undue attachment to opinions or phrases!….”

„…..Christ is heightening, justifying, sanctifying weighing the believing Lord…..”

„…..we tasted each others spirits & after took sweet counsel together…..”

„…..I think and let think…..”

„…..everyone has the right to think for himself & (in some sense) to speak for himself, I mean, to use any mode of expression which appears to him most agreeable to Scripture…..”

Evidently at one time this letter was almost lost by fire (natural or otherwise?!)

See Wesley’s letter here.

John Wesley – a Hymn and (interesting) Directions on How To Sing

Hymn: Thou Hidden Love of God

(via) http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/
Wesley, John (1703 – 1791)
John Wesley

John Wesley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

.
Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
Whose depth unfathom’d no man knows,
I see from far thy beauteous light,
Inly I sigh for thy repose;
My heart is pain’d, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in thee.
Thy secret voice invites me still,
The sweetness of thy yoke to prove:
.
And fain I would: but tho’ my will
Seem fix’d, yet wide my passions rove;
Yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.
‘Tis mercy all, that thou hast brought
My mind to seek her peace in thee;
Yet while I seek, but find thee not,
No peace my wand’ring soul shall see;
.
O when shall all my wand’rings end,
And all my steps to thee-ward tend!
Is there a thing beneath the sun
That strives with thee my heart to share?
Ah! tear it thence, and reign alone,
The Lord of ev’ry motion there;
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it hath found repose in thee.
.
O hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me may live;
My vile affections crucify,
Nor let one darling lust survive;
In all things nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek but thee.
O Love, thy sov’reign aid impart,
To save me from low-thoughted care:
.
Chase this self-will thro’ all my heart,
Thro’ all its latent mazes there:
Make me thy duteous child, that I
Ceaseless may Abba, Father, cry!
Ah no! ne’er will I backward turn:
Thine wholly, thine alone I am!
Thrice happy he who views with scorn
Earth’s toys, for thee his constant flame;
.
O help that I may never move
From the blest footsteps of thy love!
Each moment draw from earth away
My heart that lowly waits thy call:
Speak to my inmost soul, and say,
I am thy love, thy God, thy all!
To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
To taste thy love, be all my choice.

Notes

36]Cf. 1 Cor. xv.45.Back to Line
Original Text: Charles and John Wesley, Psalms and Hymns (1738).
Publication Start Year: 1738
Editors: N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 2RP.1.666; RPO 1996-2000.
Rhyme:  ababcc

I. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can.III. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing.

IV. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.

V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

VI. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can; and take care not to sing to slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.From John Wesley’s Select Hymns, 1761

John Wesley – How To Read Scripture

Read what John Piper had to say about John Wesley, one of the great evangelists of the 18th century here http://www.desiringgod.org/

(via) The United Methodist Church or www.umcmission.org

If you desire to read the scripture in such a manner as may most effectually answer this end, would it not be advisable,

1. To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose?

2. At each time if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of the Old, and one out of the New Testament: if you cannot do this, to take a single chapter, or a part of one?

3. To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of God, and a fixt resolution to do it? In order to know his will, you should,

4. Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith; the connexion and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines, Original Sin, Justification by Faith, the New Birth, Inward and Outward Holiness.

5. Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used, before we consult the oracles of God, seeing „scripture can only be understood thro’ the same Spirit whereby it was given.” Our reading should likewise be closed with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts.

6. It might also be of use, if while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives. This would furnish us with matter of praise, where we found God had enabled us to conform to his blessed will, and matter of humiliation and prayer, where we were conscious of having fallen short.

And whatever light you then receive, should be used to the uttermost, and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve, begin to execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the power of God unto present and eternal salvation.

From John Wesley, Preface to Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament
EDINBURGH, April 25, 1765.

Ce-i de facut de George W. Galis

Insufleteste-Ti lucrarea in cursul anilor, Doamne Fa-Te cunoscut in trecerea anilor. Dar in minia Ta adu-Ti aminte de indurarile Tale” (Habacuc 3:2).

Din scrierile taticului meu:

Ei lăudau pe Dumnezeu, şi erau plăcuţi înaintea întregului norod. Şi Domnul adăuga în fiecare zi la numărul lor pe cei ce erau mîntuiţi.” Fapte 2:47

In zilele noastre Biserica Crestina este constienta caci ii lipseste „autoritatea reala”. pe care a avut-o Biserica Apostolilor. Ca rezultat, oamenii au incetat sa mai asculte si sa dea atentia cuvenita mesajului Evangheliei. Care este de fapt „autoritatea reala a Bisericii”?

Din punct de vedere practic Biserica trebuie sa fie sub autoritatea si puterea Duhului Sfint. Pentru Biblie trebuie sa avem o veneratie profunda, caci ea are tot Cuvintul care ne duce la Dumnezeu. Dar puterea care da viata din Christos sta in trezirea pe care o face Duhul Sfint. Caci Evanghelia nu sta numai in Cuvint ci si in puterea si in convingerea pe care o da Duhul Sfint. Gresala cea mai mare este incurajata de marii invatati ai Bibliei si predicatori care afirma ca Dumnezeu nu mai comunica cu omul direct ci doar prin Cuvintul Scripturii. Ei neaga realitatea inspiratiei Duhului Sfint si in prezent, comunicarea activa in sufletul si duhul omului.

Scrierile lui William Law publicate imediat dupa anul 1700, declara cu o putere irezistibila si logica caci crestinismul este cu adevarat, intemeiat pe un adevar neschimbat. El demonstreaza cu claritate egalata de putini altii, caci Scriptura se implica ea insasi inevitabil cu realitatea, ca dependenta esentiala a omului care este neschimbata in Dumnezeu. Duhul Sfint vorbeste si lucreaza prin CUVINT si acum ca si la inceput.

Predici Chadwick

Cred ca nu este prea puternic limbajul lui Samuel Chadwick, care a spus: „Darul Duhului Sfint este cununa Milei lui Dumnezeu in Isus Christos. Intruparea si Rastignirea, Invierea si Inaltarea au fost pregatitoare pentru Rusalii. Darul Duhului Sfint este puterea esentiala si vitala, elementul central in viata si lucrarea Bisericii” (Joyful News 1911).

Afirmatiile lui Chadwick le confirma Adrio Konig, profesor de teologie sistematica la Universitatea Africii de Sud din Pretoria: „In persoana Duhului Sfint noi primim, primul dar al mintuirii depline, promise de Dumnezeu. Dindu-ne Duhul Sfint, Dumnezeu ne garanteaza o mintuire deplina.”  Cea mai mare lipsa a crestinismului de astazi este absenta puterii Duhului Sfint.

Revizuind activitatile Bisericii din ultimii treizeci de ani, vom constata ca multe milioane de dolari s-au donat ca sa se suporte lucrarea crestina organizata. Scolile si institutiile Biblice au pregatit mii de lucratori. Carti si tractate s-au tiparit si s-au pus in circulatie. Timp si munca s-au dat de un numar incalculabil de lucratori. Si care sunt rezultatele? Sint Bisericile mai putin lumesti? Sint membrii ei mai asemanatori cu Christos in umblarea lor zilnica? Sint familiile mai puternice, mai credincioase? Sint copii mai ascultatori si mai respectuosi? Standardul cinstei in afaceri s-a ridicat?

Pina nu i se da din nou Duhului Sfint, locul cuvenit in inimile noastre, in gindirea si activitatile noastre, nu poate avea loc nici o imbunatatire. Pina nu recunoastem ca noi in intregime depindem de El si de binecuvintarile Lui spirituale, nu vom avea succesul dorit (din scrierile lui Arthur W. Pink).

De ce se neglijeaza subiectul : Duhul Sfint?

Predici Whitefield

Exista si o explicatie de ce se neglijeaza acest subiect: Frica de entuziasmul si excesele care exista in unele biserici in care se pune accentul pe „lucrarea Duhului Sfint”. „Uita-te la lucrarile pe care le fac ei,” zic unii. „Uita-te la lipsa lor de control. Ei se fac vinovati de lucruri care intristeaza pe Duhul Sfint”.

Asemenea acuzatii s-au adus si  impotriva lui George Whitefield si John Wesley cu doua sute de ani in urma de catre Arhiepiscopii de atunci. Explicatia este urmatoarea: pentru George Whitefield si John Wesley prietenia si scrierile lui William Law i-au condus la grupul de rugaciune de pe strada Aldergate din Londra (1738). Acolo ei au cunoscut „Marea trezire a Duhului Sfint (dupa Websters Biographical Dictionary). Cunoastem activitatea lui John Wesley si George Whitefield. Capacitatea lor ca slujitori ai Evangheliei incepind de atunci pina la sfirsitul vietii lor, cum Dumnezeu i-a folosit la mintuirea altora. Cum Dumnezeu lucra prin Duhul Sfint in ei.

Pericolul zilelor noastre

Departe de mine de a apara excesul sau fanatismul, dar eu sint sigur ca pericolul zilelor noastre nu este frica de exces sau fanatism, ci ne facem vinovati de a stinge Duhul. In ultima analiza, desigur, constatam ca noi sintem preocupati de noi insine si de importanta personala, de aceea aproape ca ne este frica sa-i dam controlul Duhului Sfint in viata noastra, ca nu cumva El sa se manifeste prin noi in asa maniera, ca noi sa facem ceva sau sa spunem ceva sau sa aparem la infatisare cu ceva care nu ar corespunde cu educatia moderna, cu individul at it de sofisticat al zilelor noastre (din scrierile lui Martyn Lloyd-Jones, recunoscut ca unul dintre cei mai talentati predicatori si scriitori care a fost si pastor la Westminster Chapel din Londra).

Prin prezentarea de pina aici am insistat mult asupra autoritatii Duhului Sfint. Scotind in evidenta mai multe puncte de vedere comune, de la diferiti crestini cu diferite convingeri religioase, altele decit cea penticostala. Dar toti au ajuns la convingerea ca Duhul Sfint este modul prin care Isus este prezent in Biserica. Isus si Duhul Sfint lucreaza impreuna, pentru ca Duhul Sfint este cel ce prezinta lucrarea lui Christos. Christos lucreaza pe pamint prin Duhul Sfint. Este imposibil sa-L separam pe Isus de Duhul Sfint. Christos este prezent si lucreaza prin Duhul Sfint la fel cum in lucrarea Duhului Sfint este prezenta lucrarea lui Christos (Romani 8:1,9,10).

Fiecare Biserica are nevoie de o trezire spirituala, astazi mai mult ca oricind. Inima fiecarui crestin trebuie sa nazuiasca dupa o reinoire personala. Sa ajungem sa cunoastem realitatea marilor profunzimi spirituale si prezenta lui Dumnezeu in viata personala.

Insufleteste-Ti lucrarea in cursul anilor, Doamne Fa-Te cunoscut in trecerea anilor. Dar in minia Ta adu-Ti aminte de indurarile Tale” (Habacuc 3:2).

Christian Biography

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a tribute to William Wilberforce, written by John Piper in 2007, on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave:

It was 4 A.M. February 24, 1807. Wilberforce was the chief human instrument in God’s hands for overturning what he called “this horrid trade.” In honor of this anniversary it is fitting to take a few glimpses at the man. Two glimpses encourage us to be ready to give our encouragements to good causes. John Newton, author of the hymn „Amazing Grace,” and John Wesley gave crucial words to Wilberforce. Here’s a snapshot.

To resolve the anguish Wilberforce felt over what to do with his life as a Christian, he resolved to risk seeing John Newton on December 7, 1785—a risk because Newton was an evangelical and not admired or esteemed by Wilberforce’s colleagues in Parliament. He wrote to Newton on December 2:

I wish to have some serious conversation with you. . . . I have had ten thousand doubts within myself, whether or not I should discover myself to you; but every argument against it has its foundation in pride. I am sure you will hold yourself bound to let no one living know of this application, or of my visit, till I release you from the obligation. . . . PS Remember that I must be secret, and that the gallery of the House is now so universally attended, that the face of a member of parliament is pretty well known. (Robert Isaac Wilberforce and Samuel Wilberforce, The Life of William Wilberforce, abridged edition [London,
1843], p. 47.)

It was a historically significant visit. Not only did Newton give encouragement to Wilberforce’s faith, but he also urged him not to cut himself off from public life. Wilberforce wrote about the visit:

After walking about the Square once or twice before I could persuade myself, I called upon old Newton—was much affected in conversing with him—something very pleasing and unaffected in him. He told me he always had hopes and confidence that God would sometime bring me to Him. . . . When I came away I found my mind in a calm, tranquil state, more humbled, and looking more devoutly up to God (ibid., p. 48).

Wilberforce was relieved that the sixty-year-old Newton urged him not to cut himself off from public life. Newton wrote to Wilberforce two years later: “It is hoped and believed that the Lord has raised you up for the good of His church and for the good of the nation” (ibid). One marvels at the magnitude of some small occasions. Think what hung in the balance in that moment of counsel, in view of what Wilberforce would accomplish for the cause of abolition.

Another encouragement came from John Wesley in the last letter he ever wrote before he died. When Wesley was eighty-seven years old (in 1790) he wrote to Wilberforce and said, “Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of man and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you” (ibid.).Two years later Wilberforce wrote in a letter, “I daily become more sensible that my work must be affected by constant and regular exertions rather than by sudden and violent ones” (ibid., p. 116). In other words, with fifteen years to go in the first phase of the battle, he knew that only a marathon mentality, rather than a sprint mentality, would prevail in this cause. Thank God for Wesley’s counsel to Wilberforce. from www.desiringGod.org You can read further about Wilberforce here and here. You can also read John Piper’s online book Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce here.

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Al Baker – A New Kind of Fasting (from the world)

via Banner of Truth Trust UK

Do not love the world. (1 John 2:15)

It is no coincidence that the men whom God uses powerfully in the work of his kingdom always have one thing in common. This is true with the early church fathers — men like Irenaeus, Origen, and Polycarp. And this one thing in common is also found with men of a more modern era, whether they be Martin Luther, John Calvin, or Phillip Melanchthon of the sixteenth century; John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, or Joseph Alleine of the seventeenth century; Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, or George Whitefield of the eighteenth century, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Daniel Baker, or Charles Spurgeon of the nineteenth century, or A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, or Martyn Lloyd-Jones of the twentieth century. And what is that one common thing? All these men had a holy hatred of worldliness.

Consider the words of Robert Murray M’Cheyne in a sermon on 1 Peter 1:14-19, preached in 1838,

My dear friends, if you wish to obey the word of God here laid before you, flee from all circumstances, from all places or companies, where you know you may be tempted to sin . . . do you know a company where holy things are slighted, where things are spoken that should not be named, where late, unholy hours are kept, where you have already been tempted to sin? Then, child of God, I charge you not to cross that threshold again, no, not once. I charge you, flee temptation, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear . . . I fear, young persons, a holy provocation, after the holiest exercises, plunging into the unholiest companies, praying in the house of God, or in a class for religious instruction one hour, and entering into ungodly company the very next.1

M’Cheyne hated anything that drew his people away from God.          So should we!

The Apostle John commands us in his epistle not to love the world or the things of the world. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones so ably puts it, John is not referring to mountains or rivers, nor is he writing generally of life in the world of family, business, or state. Instead, by world John means living independently of God. It is an outlook, a mindset that ignores God and his Word. John further explains what he means by the world, calling it the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. Simon Kistemaker calls the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes sinful desires while the boastful pride of life refers to sinful behaviour. Lloyd-Jones suggests that the lust of the flesh deals with physical bodies, living for sensual gratification. The lust of the eye refers to living for the ungodly values of outward show. And the boastful pride of life means self-glorification. So by this John is saying that living for the world means living independently from God, and thus taking and owning the temporal and sensual values of the unredeemed world.

Paul commands us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and to make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (Rom. 13:14). We all battle the debilitating effects of indwelling sin, a strong craving to do the very things we are commanded not to do. As believers we, at the same time, have a regenerate heart that loves God and hates sin, giving us a desire to obey God. So we can say we have within us a pig (indwelling sin) that loves to eat anything, including garbage; and we have a lion (the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lord Jesus) which lives within us by the Holy Spirit. The lion is a carnivore, as it were, which lives off the meat of the Word of God. So, if we feed the pig with garbage then he gets bigger and the lion gets smaller. On the other hand, if we feed the lion the meat of God’s Word then he gets stronger and the pig gets weaker. Holiness comes through a strengthened lion and a weakened pig. So in order to see progress in holiness we must limit the garbage we take into our eye and ear gates; and we must increase the quality and quantity of the meat of the Word of God.

And herein lies our problem. Even if we are careful not to take into our eye and ear gates ungodly music, DVD’s, or television programming; even if we don’t read books, magazines, or internet sites saturated with an ungodly worldview; the simple truth is that we daily battle the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the boastful pride of life. We are not called to be hermits. We live in the world. However, after a hard and stressful day of work, when you finally make it home at night, you may decide to watch a little television to see your favourite team, or catch a couple of hours of news commentary before going to bed. Now, I am not saying we should never watch television, but I am reminding you that television is an amusement (a means ‘no’ and muse means ‘to think’, that is no thinking), a totally passive exercise. Neil Postman brilliantly put forth this thesis years ago in Amusing Ourselves to Death4. Just watch your children when they watch television. What are they doing? Nothing! When you read to them you see in their eyes their little minds brimming with imagination, and that is a very good thing.

So here’s my proposal — should we not consider a new kind of fasting, a fasting from anything that feeds the pig and starves the lion! Consider this analogy — most of us today must be intentional about physical exercise. We pay money for gym or health club memberships, we join running or cycling clubs, or we find friends with whom we can walk daily or several times per week. Coming up with exercise programmes was unheard of one hundred years ago. That’s because most people engaged in some form of physical labour or they walked to work. Today, of course our work and life styles are very different. We are sedentary and must find ways to maintain or improve our physical health.

Likewise, due to the incessant exposure to worldliness, perhaps we should consider cutting back on our television and movie time? We struggle with progress in holiness because worldly distractions suck the life out of us. We have far too many options. One hundred years ago there was no television so people read at night or they talked with one another. Many of us now sit like zombies in front of the screen for hours. These worldly amusements feed the pig and starve the lion. Why not fast for a month from television and other things that feed the pig within you? Should you not at least consider cutting it way back from present levels, and spend that time in reading, holy contemplation, or edifying conversation? You will feed the lion and growth in holiness will surely result.

Diary of John Wesley – Chapter 2 (Return to England; George Bohler)

Read Introduction and Chapter 1 here- Wesley travels to Georgia,U.S.A. on mission to Evangelize the American Indians and Pastor a church.

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Diary of John Wesley – Introduction and Chapter 1

Excerpts from a fascinating, devoted Christian preacher who founded Methodism, and influenced the modern Pentecostal movement.

John Wesley (28 June  1703 – 2 March 1791) was a Church of England cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield. In contrast to George Whitefield’s Calvinism, Wesley embraced the Arminian doctrines that were dominant in the 18th-century Church of England. Methodism in both forms was a highly successful evangelical movement in the United Kingdom, which encouraged people to experience Jesus Christ personally.

Wesley’s writing and preachings provided the seeds for both the modern Methodist movement and the Holiness movement, which encompass numerous denominations across the world. In addition, he refined Arminianism with a strong evangelical emphasis on the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith.

Written by Wesley’s own hand, it gives a tremendous insight to the man.

Below is an Introduction and the 1st Chapter -a couple of the highlights are Wesley’s trip to the United States, and his evangelism of the Indians (interesting conversation with an Indian leader shows that certain  sins know no boundaries in time) .

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Leonard Ravenhill – a biography

Leonard Ravenhill (1907–1994) was an English Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival. He is best known for challenging the modern church (through his books and sermons) to compare itself to the early Christian Church as chronicled in the Book of Acts. His most notable book is Why Revival Tarries which has sold over a million copies worldwide.

Born in Leeds, in Yorkshire, England, Ravenhill was educated at Cliff College in England and sat under the ministry of Samuel Chadwick. He was a student of church history, with a particular interest in Christian revival. His evangelistic meetings during the Second World War drew large crowds. Many converts devoted themselves to Christian ministry and foreign missions.

In 1939, he married an Irish nurse, Martha. The Ravenhills had three sons: Paul, David, and Philip. Paul and David are Christian ministers, and Philip is a teacher.

In 1950, Ravenhill and his family moved from Great Britain to the United States. In the 1960s they traveled within the United States, holding tent revivals and evangelistic meetings.

In the 1980s, Ravenhill moved to a home near Lindale, Texas, a short distance from Last Days Ministries Ranch. He regularly taught classes at LDM and was a mentor to the late Keith Green. He also spent some time teaching at Bethany College of Missions in Minnesota, and some time in Seguin, Texas.

Among others influenced by Ravenhill were Ray Comfort, Ravi Zacharias, Tommy Tenney, Steve Hill, Charles Stanley, Bill Gothard, Paul Washer, and David Wilkerson.

He was a close friend of pastor and writer A. W. Tozer.

Through his teaching and books, Ravenhill addressed the disparities he perceived between the New Testament Church and the Church in his time and called for adherence to the principles of biblical revival.

Tozer said of Ravenhill:

„To such men as this, the church owes a debt too heavy to pay. The curious thing is that she seldom tries to pay him while he lives. Rather, the next generation builds his sepulchre and writes his biography – as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an obligation the previous generation to a large extent ignored.”

Ravenhill died in November 1994 and is interred at Garden Valley Cemetery in Garden Valley, Texas, close to the grave of Keith Green.

In 2011 Free Grace Press published a full biography of Leonard Ravenhill written by Mack Tomlinson titled, „In Light of Eternity.”

Quotes

„Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.”

„If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere.”

„Men give advice; God gives guidance.”

„Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”

„A sinning man stops praying, a praying man stops sinning”

„The only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it!”

„God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost.”

„The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.”

„The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”

„My main ambition in life is to be on the devil’s most wanted list.”

„If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”

„Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy”

Books

  • Sodom Had No Bible, Bethany House Publishers (June 1981),
  • Tried & Transfigured, Bethany House Publishers (June 1982),
  • Meat For Men, Bethany House Publishers (June 1979),
  • Revival Praying, Bethany House Publishers (June 1981),
  • America is Too Young To Die, Bethany House Publishers (September 1979),
  • Why Revival Tarries, Bethany House Publishers, Expanded Edition, (August 1979),
  • Revival God’s Way, Bethany House Publishers (June 1986)

Sketches of Revival Preachers written by Leonard Ravenhill:

George Ousely

George Fox

George Willet

George Whitefield

John Wesley

Jonathan Edwards

Billy Nicholson

Richard Baxter of Kidderminster

 

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