Experiencing a revival has become a yearning in the hearts of ATS’ people. It started growing from deep within us and has become more and more urgent. We are thinking about it and are listening to the whispering of the Holy Spirit to help us understand this yearning. We wonder if revival should not be the dream or desire of the church of Jesus Christ? Is it correct to think this way, or is it just wishful thinking or worse, a way to escape reality?
Ons gesin kom van ’n Gereformeerde agtergrond. Een aand het ons kinders saam met my ma, ’n Pinksterbiduur by ’n Pinkstergemeente bygewoon. Na die preek het die pastoor almal wat graag die doping in die Heilige Gees wou ontvang, vorentoe genooi. Die geleentheid was vir ons vreemd en ons het daarom nie vorentoe gegaan nie.
Herewith a translation (lees die oorspronklike in Afrikaans) of the description of the revival that occurred in South Africa during the early days of Pentecost (Al bruis die Jordaan, 1969. J.C. de Ferrieres – Tant Sannie):
Abstract: Our whole life is a prayer which consists of a praise to God, a hallelujah, an amen, an echo on the Lord’s Prayer. It embodies the kingdom of God advancing forcefully and us vigorously laying hold of God’s kingdom. It represents our calling. Paul’s statement on the ministry of the Spirit was spot on: “But thanks to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (2 Cor 2:14). We should never settle for less, for Jesus’ death was too costly.
The Gospels convey a lot of information about Jesus’ prayer life. He prayed through the night, rose up early in the morning to pray, went alone to the mountain side to pray and went to lonely spots to pray. The writer of Hebrews commented on Jesus’ prayer life as follows: “He offered prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, …”. (Heb 5:7). He talked to his Father in the dark moments of his life on earth and made great decisions after long periods of prayer.
Hier is vir u ‘n beskrywing van die herlewing wat onder kinders in die vroeë dae van Pinkster in Suid Afrika plaasgevind het (Al bruis die Jordaan, 1969. J.C. de Ferrieres – Tant Sannie). (You can also read this essay in English.)
“In 1940 het die Uitvoerende Raad van my kerk die eerste nasionale Paaskonferensie op ‘n plaas in Emmarentia (nou ‘n voorstad van Johannesburg) gehou. Ek is gevra om verantwoordelikheid te neem vir die dienste wat twee keer per dag vir die kinders gehou sou word. Hierdie dienste is gehou terwyl die ouers die konferensie dienste in ‘n aparte tent wat sitplek vir 4,000 volwassenes gebied het, bygewoon het.
I think many Christians do not know who the Holy Spirit is. Often He is described as the unknown God. But the Bible’s view of the Holy Spirit is that He is the unseen but real person, presence, power and activity of God.
In the SynopticGospels the Holy Spirit was active at the birth of Jesus and his anointment by God during his baptism (Mt 3:16, Mk 1:8, Lk 3:16). The Synoptics also articulate that Jesus is the source of the work of the Holy Spirit for he …baptises in the Holy Spirit and with fire… (Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16). In the Gospel of John the Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete (or Comforter, Counsellor, Helper, the Spirit of truth; Jh 15:26). In Acts (2:4, 38) the baptism with the Spirit was an act of God who empowered the disciples and early Church and was accompanied by both unusual visible and audible phenomena. Paul articulates the Holy Spirit as the divine energy or dynamic of the new life whose Head is the living Christ (1 Rm 15:13; Eph 5:18; 1 Th 1:5). Paul helped to personalise men’s thinking about the conception of the Spirit. In Revelation the Holy Spirit is called Seven Spirits or the Seven Eyes of God(Rv 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6). The number seven is a symbolic indication of the plenitude of the Holy Spirit. The Seven Eyes of God are symbolic of the Spirit as the eyes of God. He sees the entire cosmos. Nothing escapes him. He is the Spirit of perception (the Deus praesens). He is also identified with the eyes of every individual believer (5:6). Through the Spirit, John is able to perceive the need in the seven congregations.
“A man with an experience is not at the mercy of an argument.”
Prof Francois Möller gave the following presentation at Auckland Park Theological Seminary during the one-day seminar on the Holy Spirit on the 18th of October 2016.
The heading: The Law of God and the Fruit of the Spirit might seem to be an unusual combination, because when the Law is discussed, it is usually done opposed to grace and not in connection with the Fruit of the Spirit.
However, the connection between the Law of God and the Fruit of the Spirit is actually something very real in the Bible. But before discussing this connection, the meaning of the concepts “Law of God” and “the Fruit of the Spirit” should be clarified.
As far as the Law of God is concerned, also called the torah of God in the Old Testament and later translated in the New Testament with nomos, we refer to the will of God. For the Jews torah was seen as the direction in which God’s finger points. In other words,torah is an expression of the will of God for man. Therefore, it stands to reason that the Law of God can never be seen as something that has fallen away or having been abolished. The will of God cannot be dealt with like that!
The subject of the spirit world is awfully overlooked in Christian theology. What contributed to this theological omission was largely due to the Enlightenment presuppositions which essentially denied the existence of the spirit world. This caused early missionaries to simply fail to see a natural consequence of the primal worldview which allows for the interrelationship between the natural world and that of spirits and gods or simply between the material and the spiritual worlds. This secular or non super-naturalistic worldview tends to exclude such a relationship, so it questions the whole concept or phenomenon of spirit possession. Witchcraft and sorcery are explained and analysed in psychological, medical and non-religious terms.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the greatest event in Christian history. Greater than the Crucifixion, of greater import than the Resurrection, greater than the Ascension, greater than the glorification. It was the end and finality of Crucifixion and Resurrection, Ascension and glorification.
If Jesus Christ had been crucified, and there had been no resurrection, His death would have been without avail, in so far as the salvation of mankind is concerned. Or if He had risen from the grave in resurrection, and failed to reach the throne of God, and receive from the Father the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the purpose for which He died, and for which He arose, would have been missed.
Auckland Park Theological Seminary (“ATS”, for short) is the oldest Pentecostal and charismatic theological seminary in Africa. The seminary is an academic institution and has been engaged in theological training and education since 1945.