I have transcribed part of the teaching from Revival Fires at Dudley. It comes from this clip YouTube – Hearing Aids No Longer Needed Day 36 at about 3mins 35secs.
"If the Word could have changed this nation … If the word could have done it then we should have been in a place where this nation was changed but do you know what? People have got tired of the Word because it is devoid of power"
"People are beginning to get a deep conviction again that is based in his power as Thessalonian’s says rather than just in words of wisdom"
- I am unclear about what is actually meant by "the Word" in this teaching. The usage seems different from my normal understanding. Is it a printed book? Is it Jesus? It is the preached gospel? How does "the word" relate to "words of wisdom"?
- Is it possible to say this nation has not been changed by the Word of God (however "word" is understood)? Seems an odd reading of history. Try telling Wilberforce, or Wesley that!
- Which Thessalonians and where in it? Maybe 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12?
9 The coming of the lawless one will be
in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays
of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10
and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They
perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
It seems that displays of power, signs and wonders are not always truth. We cannot simply look for power and say there must be the gospel.
- Maybe the conviction comes from 2 Thessalonians 2:15?
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
No indication that the first teaching from words (verbal or written) must be replaced by signs of power, instead we should hold firm to it – because the first teaching has power.
- Ok I admit it is most likely 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6
4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5
because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with
power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived
among you for your sake. 6 You became
imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the
midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Clearly the gospel is not words alone, it is not words without power, but it is also clearly not power without the words. Would it not have been good to look at this in context (well a good start would be to actually mention what the text is and maybe even read it). So we could consider 1 Thessalonians 1:13
13 And we also thank God continually
because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us,
you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of
God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
Where is the lack of power of the Word in Thessalonians?
Overall what does this teaching really mean? Not a lot in one sense, however, I can easily see how hearing this might leave you understanding that the power you see at work in this meeting should be replacing the word as revelation of God. That goes against the clear and simple reading of 1 and 2 Thessalonians which demonstrate the sound basis of the teaching and the need to hold to it while being ready for the experience of the Spirit.
Thessalonians makes clear the need for the Word and Spirit together, in no way does it support any idea of supplanting the word as I understand this teaching to be suggesting.
It seems to me that this goes a long way to supporting the understanding that people from Raunds have come away from Dudley with see 42: The Todd Bentley revival.
I have now written several posts on Todd Bentley you can find the others at: