The teaching at Revival Fires, Dudley

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"

Some questions:

  • 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.

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.

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.

[Update]

I have now written several posts on Todd Bentley you can find the others at:

2 thoughts on “The teaching at Revival Fires, Dudley

  1. Peter Kirk

    Dave, let me try to answer your questions based on my experience of this kind of teaching:
    - “The Word” means the preaching of the Word of God in a doctrinal sense separate from any kind of experience, as so common in evangelical churches. In the context “words of wisdom” probably means the same thing.
    - I suspect that “this nation has not been changed by the Word of God” applies to the contemporary period, not to the 18th and 19th centuries. Actually “People have got tired of the Word” probably implies that at an earlier time this Word was more effective but became less so as people stopped listening. Maybe not the strongest of arguments but hardly false teaching.
    - I note that this video is an edited 5 minute set of extracts from a presumably much longer meeting. There is only a very short extract from the sermon. So very likely Trevor had earlier in his sermon read and explained the 1 Thessalonians passage which he later referred to. At least you should check whether he did do so before telling others that he ought to have done so.
    If you listen to the whole sermon, not just to a short extract taken out of context, I am quite sure you will find that Trevor is teaching exactly what 1 Thessalonians 1:5 does, “the need for the Word and Spirit together”. In fact this what Trevor is teaching in these words which you quote: “based in his power … rather than just in words of wisdom”; with that word “just” this means that it should be based in power AND words.

    Reply
  2. Dave Warnock

    Peter,
    a) The clip is extracts chosen by Trevor’s team, not by me. It is the total amount of teaching they chose to make available. So this is their selection and their context not mine. They are making it available for people to learn from and I am trying to do so.
    b) If your understanding of “Word” is correct, that it is not about scripture but only preaching then I have a bigger problem. At that point my original concern in my previous post would be validated as there would be two revelations needed and neither of them is “The Word”.

    Reply

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