Welcome to the Audio Teaching Page for the series Glory Through Time. If you are looking for the Glory Through Time Videos click HERE.
THE GLORY THROUGH TIME AUDIO SERIES
1. The Hope of Rome. The ancient Hebrew prophecies spoke of a new kingdom that God would instigate during the fourth great world empire of the ancient world: the Roman Empire. The great promise of that empire was this: that they would civilize the surrounding “barbarian” nations by conquering them. Caesar began the process of “civilization” by conquering the Celts to the west of Rome. But then….
2. By My Spirit. Jesus fulfilled the ancient king-prophecies, but declared that His kingdom was not “of this world.” It was not a “power and might” kingdom, but a “by my Spirit” kingdom. My teaching articulates seven features of how His Kingdom operates—the basic patterns of real Christianity, which entered into the Roman world to transform it.
3. Power and Might. When Constantine moved to make Christianity the official “religion” of Rome, Pope Sylvester I assumed that he was to form an alliance with the Roman emperor. In this way—beginning in 313 A.D.—Christianity stopped being a “by my Spirit” kingdom, and began to function as a “power and might” religion. My teaching shows seven ways that “power and might” Christianity differs from the original “by my Spirit” Christianity.
4. The Early Celts. The Desert Fathers, beginning with Anthony, continued to live by the original “by my Spirit” pattern Jesus modeled out for them. Martin of Tours picked that up from the biography of Anthony by Athanasius, and passed it along to Ninian, who planted it in Scotland in 397 A.D. Scotland became a matchstick of spiritual awakening for the Western world, just as the Roman Empire—and the British churches it had planted—collapsed in 411 A.D.
5. Evagrius, Cassian and Germanus. Evagrius of Pontus, experiencing the temptations of wealth and power in the Byzantine Church, fled to the deserts of Egypt, where he became the leader of the spiritual descendants of Anthony at Nitria. Two men—Cassian and Germanus—attached themselves to him, then carried the teaching of the Desert Fathers into Gaul, and finally into Britain, adding fuel to the fires already started in Scotland. Under these influences, the Celtic Church became “a house of prayer for all nations,” a complete contrast to the church at Rome.
6. Patrick and the Irish. As a teenager, Patrick was whisked away from his home in Dumbarton, Scotland, to be a slave in Ireland. This improbable beginning set him on a journey of prayer, which God would build into one of the greatest examples of Kingdom transformation the world has ever seen—as described by Patrick himself in his Confession. What had begun in Scotland utterly transformed Ireland in one man’s lifetime by the middle of the fifth century. Slavery was eradicated.
7. Columba and Kentigern. After establishing 30 houses of prayer in Ireland, and after making a pilgrimage to honor Martin at Tours, the hot-headed Columba created some serious problems in Ireland—and was banished from his homeland in the middle of the sixth century. Founding the prayer community at Iona, Columba succeeded in bringing the Picts and Scots of Scotland to Christ. The Welshman Kentigern established the house of prayer that came to be Glasgow, and these two men demonstrated the passion for unity in the Celtic Church by exchanging bishops’ staffs. Both Iona and Glasgow demonstrated a passion for cross-cultural evangelism.
8. Reintroducing Rome. Just as Aidan (from Iona) established the outreach to Anglo-Saxons at Lindisfarne, Rome came back into the picture in 597 A.D. It’s first archbishop, a Benedictine monk named Augustine, set up shop at Canterbury, and challenged the Celts to accept his authority. Lacking the one quality (humility) that would have won their allegiance, the Celtic leaders refused.
9. The Triumph of Rome. For fifty years, there were two contrasting Christian churches in Britain: a “power and might” church and a “by my Spirit” church, growing side-by-side. This unstable situation was resolved at the Synod of Whitby in 644 A.D., in which the Roman Church edged out the Celts, who began the slow and painful process of disappearing. The triumph of power and might Christianity did not bode well for the British Isles.
10. The Next 700 Years. The advance of the Kingdom of God can be seen as a conflict between two versions of Christianity. During the first 700 years, “by my Spirit” Christianity prevailed in the West, up to the Synod of Whitby in 644 A.D. “Power and might” Christianity prevailed during the Middle Ages, leading to vast corruption even in the monasteries, up to the highest levels of church officials.
11. The Middle Ages. Power and might Christianity corrupted the Church of the Middle Ages, until the whole concept of “Christianity” became unrecognizable. Control of the Papacy fell to a few Italian families who vied for control of vast wealth and influence. In the end, a second “Vatican” was established at Avignon in France, with each of two popes claiming to be “the one true pope.” Both popes were equally corrupt, and the entire witness of the Church was consumed with sin.
12. Mediaeval Mercies. During the Middle Ages, God reached out to the Roman Catholic Church with two monastic movements, to remind people of the original “by my Spirit” vision. The first was the Cistercian movement (led eventually by Bernard of Clairvaux), which sought to revive the original Rule of St. Benedict, which was based on John Cassian and the Desert Fathers. The second was the Franciscan movement, which grew out of Francis’s early involvement with the Celtic monastery at Bobbio, Italy, a sort of time capsule of the ancient Celtic Church, planted there by Columbanus in 614 A.D.
13. God’s Track Record. What we are tracing here is not Church history, but the track record of the mighty deeds of God over the last 2000 years. However, there have been four movements that have tried to cover up those mighty deeds, making it difficult for us to see and acknowledge them: Roman Catholicism, Protestant cessationism, Enlightenment philosophy and secular atheism. Each of these movements comes with its own distinct motives for covering up the track record of God. If you don’t believe God did any deeds in the past, you are unlikely to pray for him to “renew them in our time” (Habakkuk 3:2).
14. Moravians! In the 14th century, there emerged in England a grass-roots movement known as the Lollard movement, resulting from translations of the Bible into English at Oxford. John Wycliffe became associated with this and provided some leadership for it. This back to the Bible movement was picked up by John Hus in Bohemia, leading to a new church, the Bohemian Brethren. By the 18th century, these Brethren found a home at Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf’s estate in Saxony, where they became a fire-starter for spiritual awakening. Out of this Herrnhut community came the first modern 24/7 Prayer watch, the first modern missions movement, the first modern Messianic Jewish community and the influence that produced the English Great Awakening.
15. Scottish Awakening. The Lollard movement also went north, to Scotland, where it eventually produced the Scottish Reformation. Leaders in Scotland, called into the prayer of faith in God’s word, were to experience spiritual regeneration on a scale not known for centuries. During the time of George Wishart, John Knox, John Welch and Andrew Melville, Scotland would experience successive waves of spiritual awakening, providing a new paradigm. The concept of spiritual awakening is replacing monastic revival at the center of God’s plan.
16. Protestant Persecutions. The spiritual awakening of Scotland could not go unopposed. As King James VI of Scotland became (also) King James I of England (thus creating a new entity called Great Britain), he championed the Divine Right of Kings—meaning, he considered himself—not Jesus—as the de facto head of the Church. In doing this, He opposed the awakening of both Scotland and England, while claiming the name of Protestant. The Stuart dynasty he initiated became one of the great champions of “power and might” Christianity—opposing every spiritual awakening to come down the line in Britain. In this way, huge numbers of awakened Christians—Presbyterians, Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, Baptists, Methodists—were forced to migrate to America.
17. The Great Awakening. Beginning in 1735, the concept of spiritual awakening went to a whole new level. God showed that He could awaken several nations simultaneously! An extraordinary downpouring of the presence of God in Northampton, Massachussetts spread to dozens of other communities in America. Then, as several pastors in the region of Cambuslang, Scotland prayed for a similar outpouring, the Spirit of God came with another “time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.” Almost simultaneously, a gathering of Moravians drew down the presence of God at Fetter lane in London, and a group of Anglican clergy—in particular, George Whitefield and the Wesleys—devoted themselves to advancing the awakening.
18. John Newton. While power and might Christians championed the institution of slavery, spiritually awakened Christians began to sense that God wanted to use them to destroy this institution, as had St. Patrick in Ireland during the fifth century. John Newton, who had been pulled into slave trafficking in Africa as a young man, devoted the latter years of his life to opposing the slave industry. After that, Olaudo Equiano and William Wilberforce, among others, managed to turn the tide of public opinion against slavery for the first time in world history. As a result, the British Navy was converted into a force to rid the world of this evil institution. Spiritual awakening has to do with the conflict between good and evil—and not just personal salvation.
19. Robert Carter III. A prime example of the stirring of indignation against slavery came in the 18th century. Robert “King” Carter had been one of the most notorious plantation owners to own slaves in Virginia. But his grandson Robert—after his conversion to Christ at the hands of a Baptist evangelist—could not justify to his own conscience that he was one of the biggest slave-owners in U.S. history. Thus, at the time of the American Revolution, he devised a way to emancipate all of his slaves, and he succeeded in doing so gradually, year-by-year, until every one of his slaves had been freed. This amazing testimony of a converted person has been entirely forgotten today. In the coming years, almost all abolitionists would come from the north, because the north was the location of spiritual awakenings in the 18th century.
20. Slave Prayer. Following Gabriel’s Rebellion in 1800, it became illegal for slaves to assemble throughout the southern states for “religious” purposes (because the cause of the rebellion was stated to have been “Methodists, Presbyterians and Frenchmen.”) Nonetheless, slaves were all the more diligent to come together for Christian prayer, and even contrived to pray into cooking kettles, so that they could pray at liberty without being heard by their masters. This is one of the most under-rated prayer movements in U.S. history. When you consider the revival that happened in Charleston (#23 below) and the Azusa street revival (#26 below), you begin to develop an appreciation for the role of African Americans in praying for spiritual awakening.
21. The Second Great Awakening. The awakening of 1799 in America (paralleled by the Clapham Sect movement in London) was far greater in breadth, length and influence than that which had happened 65 years before. One of the most influential leaders was a Presbyterian named James McGready who stirred up prayer for “the worst place in America,” then he went there—to Logan County, Kentucky, to seek revival for the most notorious den of crooks in the country. God poured out His Spirit, thus taming the Kentucky wilderness, and proving that no one is so lost that they can’t be transformed by the Spirit of the King.
22. Finney and Abolition. During the waning years of the Second Great Awakening, God raised up a lawyer in New York who was profoundly used, for a decade (1820’s) to bring whole towns to Christ. Finney was not a devout abolitionist, yet a great many of those converted under his ministry became the leading abolitionists of their day. Such a man was Theodore Dwight Weld, who led most of the student body of Lane Seminary in Cincinnati to join in the work of abolition of slavery.
23. 1857! By the year 1857, the effects of the Second Great Awakening were starting to be forgotten. Suddenly another great wave of awakening took over in Ireland, Scotland and the U.S. Again, for the third time, it was as though God were engineering things trans-continentally. In Charleston, the Holy Spirit fell in Anson Street Presbyterian Church in Charleston—a very unique church, which had been built specifically for slaves. The pastor, John Lafayette Girardeau, who had a heart for the poor and for slaves, went on to become “the Spurgeon of the South”—and the only Southern Presbyterian to oppose racial separation in the Presbyterian Church. In New York, under the leadership of Jeremiah Lanphier, a movement of extraordinary prayer broke out and spread to virtually every city in the country, leading to a huge harvest of people for the Kingdom of God.
24. Western tribes. God kept the westward momentum of His Kingdom going through an extraordinary outpouring of prophecy among the tribes of the Columbia Plateau in the Pacific Northwest in the 18th century, roughly corresponding to the eastern great awakenings. Each prophecy, a different one for each tribe, pointed to Jesus, fueling a curiosity about Jesus, and specifically prophesying men of white skin who would tell them more. These prophesies led to the mission outreach to the tribes from newly created missions agencies both in Canada and the U.S. The Hudson’s Bay Company, full of Christian leaders, also helped the gospel spread westward. Spokan Garry, a Native, became the first Christian evangelist west of the Rockies.
25. Worldwide Awakening. After the death of Dwight Moody in Chicago in late 1899, the Chicago Bible Institute was renamed the Moody Bible Institute, and was led by R. A. Torrey. Torrey was led to pray regularly for a worldwide great awakening, the prayers lasting three years. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, Torrey put feet to the prayers at the Institute, beginning a worldwide revival tour. Awakenings happened wherever he went, including Australia, India and Europe. The great Welsh revival can be traced to his visit to Wales.
26. Azusa. The Welsh Revival sparked revivals all over the world—in the Kassia Hills in India, and at Azusa in Pasadena. God used William Seymour, a black man, son of a slave, to lead the most extraordinary and powerful manifestation of His presence in the twentieth century. Fire fell from heaven on the lowly building where the mixed-race prayer group met, a shekinah glory cloud was often seen to fill the place, extraordinary healings happened at the hands of teenagers, and a spirit of racial unity was manifested in the middle of the most racially divisive time in U.S. history. In addition, God used Azusa to reintroduce the biblical manifestation of the gift of tongues, which became a cardinal doctrine of the denominations that resulted. Ordinary people were learning how to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.
27. Korea. A group of Presbyterian and Methodist missionaries in Pyongyang heard about the great outpouring of the Spirit in India and inquired, “Why couldn’t God do the same thing here?” They prayed for months, until in January of 1907, the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pyongyang Presbyterian Church. Thousands were treated to the experience of the holy presence of a living God; they came to Christ by flocks, confessing their sins and receiving God’s forgiveness. The presence of God spread from town to town. To this day, the vast majority of churches in Korea are Presbyterian and Methodist, and the habit of early morning prayer spread throughout the nation from that beginning, surprising even the missionaries.
28. The Goforths of China. Jonathan Goforth and his wife Rosalind visited Korea just as this great visitation of God was occurring. They interviewed the missionaries, wrote their own account of what had happened, and then returned to Manchuria, just to the west of Korea, where they had been missionaries for years. Back in China, they discovered that the same Spirit they had met up with in Korea—a spirit of deep repentance leading to confession of sin among the people—followed them wherever they went. This was not the result of preaching. It was the direct result of “a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” which, in turn, was the result of the intensive, persistent prayer in Korea. The Spirit was now like an infection that was spreading outward with those who carried it. The tsunami of God’s holy love was moving to the west.
29. Back to Jerusalem. Through the influence of many praying westerners, the Christian faith spread through much of China. However, the Communist movement resulted in the complete eradication of all Western churches—and the house-church movement resulted. During this season, in the early 40’s, Jesus began to visit His Church with a spirit of prophecy. One of the early house church leaders, Mark Ma, received a prophecy to the effect that the Christian movement had been proceeding in a generally Westerly direction for the last 2000 years (as I have tried to show in these teachings). Now Jesus was giving the Chinese the responsibility to complete the circle around the globe “back to Jerusalem.” To equip the Chinese to complete this project, a huge spiritual awakening has taken place in China, sweeping millions into the Kingdom, and moving thousands of Chinese (and Koreans) into the Muslim countries to the West. Now David Garrison, in his book, A Wind in the House of Islam, is reporting many more movements toward Christ among Muslims than all the rest of history put together—1400 years! And they have only just begun!
30. Summary. By tracking God’s mighty deeds of the past, we can draw some conclusions about the advance of God’s Kingdom throughout the centuries. Acts 3:19-21 is the most concise biblical summary of the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is a story with two historical parts. The first consists of “times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (v. 19). It is this first part that we have been tracing in the “Glory Through Time” teaching. They appear like waves of revival through the centuries. God has called the Church to pray for these “times of refreshing,” which manifest the Kingdom of God. The second part is end-time promise: that Jesus is coming back “to restore all things” (v. 21). In both periods, the Kingdom of God consists of presence plus pattern. The pattern we have traced is the seven-part pattern we are calling the “by my Spirit” pattern, as over against the seven-part pattern we have called “power and might Christianity.” As the Kingdom of God has been moving in a predominantly westerly direction, the “by my Spirit” pattern has emerged again and again through time. Today, God is once again inviting His people to return to the original pattern of the Kingdom of God: “Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zech. 4:6).
If you are looking for the Glory Through Time Videos click HERE.