BIRTH of a REVIVALIST (-J.W. Byers).
-by 'GramCarole' [July 13, 1998].
Over the past year the Lord has lead me to read about many of the great saints and ministers of the past, from the beginning of the Church until now.
Some of the books jumped out at me in strange and unusual places: Flea markets, second-hand stores, yard sales down dusty, graveled roads, some in book stores and some I had to order.
For the first time, some of these mighty men and women of God have come alive unto me and are now real. Marie Woodworth Etter, Smith Wigglesworth, Saint Teresa, Brother Lake, and many others who are largely unknown, yet awesome saints. George and I are amazed by the common threads which seem to tie all together: Absolute faith in Jesus Christ, His Atonement, His Word, and their ability to fully grasp His meaning, embrace Him entirely and project their revelation to others.
May I share a chapter from one who was unknown to me, but whom you may be aware of? His name is J.W. Byers and was a wonderful minister here in
during the late 1800's and early 1900's, and I quote: America
"In one of these experiences in 1893 in the city of
Los Angeles, , I was shut away from the world, on my face before God, crying for more authority and power to cope with the tremendous powers of darkness in that city, at that time manifested through Spiritualism. The Devil was exulting through a medium who claimed to heal diseases, and the people were receiving the abominable imposition. A holy jealousy for the truth arose in my heart. I saw as never before, how the church was being obscured by the multiplied counterfeits of Satan. We were professing to have the light of the gospel, but, oh, how dimly it was shining! The clouds of deception from the pit of hell were darkening the world, and only here and there a flickering light that could be seen in the gloom and darkness. This was a vision which saddened me beyond my power to endure. Oh, how my inmost soul mourned and wailed. This terrible pressure laid me low in the dust. Could the precious cause for which my Savior died and for which my life was being sacrificed daily, be thus bleeding as in the jaws of a ferocious lion? California
"In the depths of this sad musing with intense desire, my heart was uplifted to God in prayer for the gift of healing. Oh, that the church might be upon that plane of power and authority where the apostles lived, when the glorious light of truth shone out with heavenly glory with such power that it dispelled the gloom and darkness of Satan. Could not that same light now, in this awful age, do the same? And instead of the church being a helpless prey in the mouth of the lion, could she not rise in the strength of Jehovah and beard the ferocious monster, and with the mighty sword of truth make -him- the prey?
"The gifts of healing with apostolic power could alone supply the cry of my soul, and without some assurance of this I could never arise from my face.
"On that spot a solemn scene was presented to my vision. I saw the apostles and primitive saints at the stake; their blood was flowing, and burning flames were covering their bodies. I heard in plain words this question to me: "Are you willing to pay this price?" I was asking for the gifts of healing and apostolic power, and here was the price--could I pay it? There was a sinking within me for a moment, and then as if I was shedding my life's blood, I looked up with an eternal "Yes, Lord." From that moment my prayer was turned to praise. The overwhelming assurance was wonderful. The Holy Spirit witnessed to my soul that these gifts were in the church and that I might have a share in the exercise of the same, to labor and to suffer in this capacity, to bear the reproaches and persecutions which would necessarily follow."
Needless to say, dear Brother Byers went on to fulfill an amazing healing and deliverance ministry. His opponents were not worldly souls, but, alas, other pastors who gave their parishioners harsh retorts and warnings about him.
How my heart has hungered to see Jesus elevated to His rightful place in the Church and in me, thus manifested to the world as He truly is: Altogether Wonderful, All-sufficient, All-powerful, Almighty God! How I abhor this flesh which prevents Him from expressing Himself in fullness.
The Lord has persuaded me that before signs and wonders can follow the Word being preached, He is going to have to clarify and cleanse the Word being preached. Many claim to have the Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, but for the most part, the confirmation of the Lord is not abundant. The Truth must be preached and practiced without compromise or thought of consequences. We must not continue to form a doctrine or a religion out of glimmers of revelation He gives. This taints the Word and denigrates it. Those who will dare to press upstream and proclaim the Revelation He gives, releasing it completely, will receive more Revelation. Those who continue to please men by compromise, profusely adding their own interpretations to clarify it, will lose what little Truth they have. "Ever learning, yet never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth."
However, He will have a people who will proclaim His Truth with holy boldness.... regardless of the "price".
Will you pay the price dear reader?† Will you go to the ends of the earth to spread Godís love, compassion, mercy and grace to all those who now donít yet know His name? †I have said yes to this call and I pray Iíll see you there!