WHAT'S HAPPENING IN BROWNSVILLE?
ONE MAN'S OPINION
Recently, a brother sent me a letter, telling me he has belonged to a Pentecostal church for years, and has become sick and tired of seeing a lot of emotionalism, and not seeing any fruit. Then he asked what I personally thought of the "Brownsville Revival". This is my reply:
I can understand your frustration at not seeing any fruit in your church. Predominantly, the bent in modern Christianity in the Western world, is toward "Bless me, Bless me." There is very little self denial, dying to self, living a crucified life with Christ.
Jesus said that a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. We are living in a wicked and adulterous Generation. Idolatry and wickedness is often referred to in the Bible as adultery. The churchwide conformity to the world today is blatant adultery.
A lot of people whomI have met personally who go to Brownsville to be touched by God do not demonstrate changed lives...the revival in the book of Acts, on the other hand, resulted in the Body of Christ getting rid of their ties to the world...they sold all that they had, and laid their posessions at the feet of the apostles so that distribution could be made to each person as they had need. That's a far cry from the selfishness that prevails in the church today.
I am not saying that everyone should sell all that they have, but if that's what it takes to purge them of their selfishness, then they should! But...that doesn't happen as much as it should in the church today.
Anyway...Personally, I believe that God is moving in Brownsville. But what the people are doing with that move of God is being misused and abused. That's not God's fault, and I don't believe it is Steve Hill's fault... Wicked and aduterous Christians are flocking there, being touched, but not transformed (but I believe there are SOME who are being transformed).
As for the manifestations, I personally believe that the barking and the laughing and that stuff is a manifestation of what is in the person's life... The Bible says that a dog returns to his vomit...referring to the person who has been saved, but who goes back to his worldly ways
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. (KJV)
2 Pet 2:20-22
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (KJV)
The Bible says that the
Lord judges the heart, and I believe He reveals what is in it by the manifestations
that take place.
Laughter And Drunkeness
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. (KJV)
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (KJV)
Sorrow and mourning for what? What is our state before God? If we were honest, we would see our need before God. See Daniel's prayer to God in Daniel 9:3-20.
Jesus said blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted...who is the Comforter? When does the Comforter visit? When we mourn. It is a contrite heart and a broken spirit that God will not despise (Ps. 51:17).
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (KJV)
Who will the Lord Revive? Contrite means:
1792 daka'- to crush, to be crushed, to be contrite, to be broken a) (Niphal) 1) to be crushed 2) to be contrite (figurative) b) (Piel) to crush c) (Pual) 1) to be crushed, to be shattered 2) to be made contrite d) (Hithpael) to allow oneself to be crushed
Isa 66:2 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (KJV)
This is a far cry from what has occured at Brownsville for the majority of the people there....The Father calls us to humble ourselves before the Lord...and the people aren't getting it. But remember...I maintain that I believe Brownsville is a move of God. Just because the people don't get it isn't God's fault.
The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD.
26 Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. (KJV)
Moab means "of his Father"...see the drunkeness that is so often displayed at Brownsville and places like that? "derision" here means laughter...the same word used in Eccl 7:3.
In all fairness, I have to say that laughter in another way could be a blessing from the Lord:
1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (KJV)
But the Lord turns our captivity when we repent and bring forth fruit fit for repentance. Some may have "Holy laughter" because they have repented of their spiritual adultery and have been truly delivered from their covetousness and idolatry.
Most (but not all) who are taken over by laughter embrace the gospel of "possessing things." A lot of the laughter is disruptive to the Word of God going forth...I think in that case, the passage in Jeremiah 48:25-26 applies.
And also there is a prophetic
drunkeness which is of God...I believe the prophetic drunkeness is not a thing
to laugh at...Those who revel in their "Spiritual drunkenness" are just remembering
and dwelling on their past...But the one who is spiritually drunk will be
about the things of the Lord. I'll share that passage with you in just a minute.
But it is tied in with the next manifestation I will deal with:
What about the shaking and the doubling over that happens?
First, there is a judgement of shaking to those who do not keep their covenant with the Lord:
Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.
13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise. (KJV)
Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.
33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.
34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit. (KJV)
PERSONALLY, I BELIEVE THAT THE SHAKING IN MANY CASES IS ALSO A PROPHETIC JUDGEMENT ON PEOPLE, AND BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT EQUIPPED IN THE WORD, THEY DON'T SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS. WHEN ALL THIS IS HAPPENING, PEOPLE SHOULD BE EXAMINING THEIR HEARTS, BUT THEY REVEL IN WHAT THEY ARE EXPERIENCING, AND THOSE THAT ARE REVELLING ARE PROBABLY MISSING THE MARK. THEY ARE NOT HEARING WHAT THE SPIRIT IS TRYING TO REVEAL TO THEM.
EVERY PERSON THAT MANIFESTS THE SHAKING IS NOT NECCESARILY BEING JUDGED BY GOD, BUT I BELIEVE THE MAJORITY ARE...I SEE THE FRUIT...NOT TO JUDGE...BUT TO DISCERN.
Shaking could be a form of judgement on those who have spoken against God's servants, and have tried to discredit ministries...I have seen many who appear to be "Godly" manifesting the shaking, and yet speaking ill of other brothers and sisters, or of other ministries. I believe the Judgement of God is on them, and they don't even know it, because their eyes have been blinded to the truth.:
Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. (KJV)
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. (KJV)
JOHN THE BAPTIST CAME SAYING THE AXE WAS LAID TO THE ROOTS...THE PRIDE OF THE LEADERS OF ISRAEL WAS TO BE BROUGHT DOWN. HE SAID THE PEOPLE WERE TO BRING FORTH FRUIT FIT FOR REPENTANCE...
We are compared to trees and leaves and vines and fruit...see what the Lord has to say of the leaves of the righteous man:
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (KJV)
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (KJV)
When the wind (the Holy Spirit) comes the leaf that is weak and faded because of iniquity shakes, and falls off...the green leaves stay attached. But we know that even the green leaf shakes in the wind...So we see that shaking is sometimes in Judgement...(he will shake the earth...etc) and sometimes, shaking will be done because of the mighty presence of God in a person in a positive way.
5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (KJV)
In the prophetic realm, I believe shaking is accompanied by fear, not by laughter.
12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. 13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. (KJV)
28:4 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
HERE IS THE DRUNKENESS
AND THE SHAKING IN THE PROPHETIC AS SPOKEN OF BY JEREMIAH (PERSONALLY, I DON'T
THINK HE WAS LAUGHING AS HE GAVE THE WORD.):
Jer 23:7-40 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.
34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.
35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:
40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten. (KJV)
I believe that people are shaking prophetically, and no one is getting the message. Jeremiah speaks the message quite well.
PERSONALLY, WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES OVER ME TO GIVE A WORD, I SHAKE. AND THERE IS A SENSE OF AWE THAT COMES OVER ME.
Nebuchadnezzar was transformed into a beastly person because of his pride...The whole point I am trying to make is that I believe the manifestations there in Brownsville are for the most part of God...the Bible seems to bear it out...but the people who are experiencing them are for the most part missing their significance....they continue to walk in their wickedness and their adultery. But like I said, that isn't God's fault...
He said His people perish for a lack of knowledge. There are some, though, that laugh for the freedom from their burdens, while others laugh because they are entangled in their sins.
There are some that shake, and it is a reverent fear of God...others shake, because they are withered by their iniquities.
The animal things...I believe it is a pride issue being addressed.
Again, I think Brownsville is of God...He is doing a work...but hardly any one is listening. It's more of an EXPOSURE than it is a revival...Two blocks away from Brownsville, the drugs and prostitutes and crime continues...as adulterous Christians engage themselves in a "BLESS ME" "ME FIRST" "MYSELF" FEAST.
They will be held accountable...many have felt the presence of God, and they go home, not with the heart of God, which would be to reach out and see lives transformed by the power of God, but with a self centered false spirituality which says: "WOW, MAN, GOD TOUCHED ME!"
Many flock to Brownsville over and over again, being shaken, manifesting animal sounds, and laughing, but failing to bear any fruit. They are still selfish, self centered, worldly minded, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Others are radically changed.
Revival, on the other hand, is happening across the world. Whole cities are being taken for Jesus. I have gotten a video tape on four cities that are being impacted by the Gospel. Cali, Columbia; Almagonda, Guatemala; Hemmit, California; and a town in Kenya. It is an awesome tape...you ought to get it. I will send you the details on how to get it later...I loaned it out to a pastor here. The key is prayer-not just by a church, but churches uniting together. Not just once a month, but OFTEN. Not just with the same denomination, but with all denominations. Couple that prayer with "GO YE", and you have a spiritual dynamic that can't be stopped by Satan. GLORY! IT'S HAPPENING, BRO!