Network for Revival – Newsletter Feb 2020

We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival. 

Please go to networkforrevival.co.uk for further details or contact Tony at email: tony@higton.info

Prepare

Network for Revival February 2020

Pleading for Revival: Pleading the love of God

Prayer for Revival needs to be more than an item on our prayer list, prayed for briefly on a regular basis. We need to PLEAD with God for Revival. Members of the mailing list will be at different stages in prayer and I don’t want to pressurise anyone to go beyond what they can cope with at present. But we all need to go deeper into intercession from where we are at the moment. And we all know how to plead. We did it as children when we were trying to induce a loving parent to give us something we really wanted which seemed to be delayed! That’s what we need to do when we are praying to our loving Father about Revival.

Let’s remember that Christianity is all about love. We believe in a God who is not just loving – He IS love. We know that, but I wonder if we really take it seriously enough. We are confronted with a church which often fails, sometimes very seriously. We are confronted with a society much of which is increasingly godless. But we have a God who IS love!

Yes, God’s love is stern as well as kind (Rom 11:22) so he strongly disapproves of this failure and godlessness. We need to remember that and not fall into the widespread error amongst Christians that God is only “nice.” His judgment won’t seem nice! But God’s love is rich in kindness. Those of us who are parents have strongly disapproved of our children’s bad behaviour but we have loved them all the same.

In the kindness of his love, God’s heart must be breaking at the sight of the failure in the church and the godlessness of much of society. (He is not bound to feel upset, as we are, but he chooses to allow himself to be grieved at human sin). God has a covenant of love with the church. He is “the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Dt 7:9). Yes, there is reference to our loving and obeying him but we know God is merciful. The Cross shows that. We need to plead that God will keep his covenant of love with his church.

Moses records how he “lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights” about disobedient Israel. He added “I prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed…” (Deut 9:25-26). That is pleading prayer. We need to plead in prayer that he won’t allow his church to die of old age or to go off the rails theologically and morally so that it becomes irrelevant. It is not enough to criticise the church and to lament its failings. We need to turn that criticism and lamenting into pleading prayer for Revival. Plead his covenant of love, despite our failure.

Peter writes that the Lord “is patient … not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). He “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). Therefore we can plead these truths in our prayers for Revival in society. So many people in Britain are heading for a lost eternity. We should weep over that (literally or metaphorically). But God is on our side. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. What a wonderful truth to plead in prayer!

Descriptions of Revival

Referring to the Hebrides Revival 1949-52 Colin and Mary Peckham wrote: “So many spoke of the love that existed among the people of God. Bonds were formed — forever! Numerous quotations could be given from people to confirm the fact of this wonderful unity amongst those who were heart and soul in the meetings. They loved one another! Jack MacArthur speaks of preachers staying with them in their home and of the love which embraced these who were really an extension now to their own family. ‘Love was shown,’ he says, ‘by all sorts of people.’ Chirsty Maggie from Arnol says: ‘We loved everybody! It did not matter to which church anyone belonged. They were all enveloped in the wonderful love of God! We just loved them all.’ Catherine Campbell says, ‘Our hearts were so full of love that we could not keep it in.’” (“Sounds from Heaven” by Colin & Mary Peckham p 96).

Credibility of prophecies about the End Times

In our prayers for Revival we need to keep an eye on the bigger picture – what is happening in society and the world. We need to note their significance. I am well aware that some people jump to naïve conclusions about current fulfilment of End Time prophecies and other people avoid the subject altogether. I think we need to avoid both of those approaches. Click here for a brief paper “Credibility of prophecies about the End Times” which is an attempt to look at the subject carefully noting the relevance of modern developments and trends. I sense that much of what is going on in the world today is very significant and we need to note it and pray about it.

God bless you,

Tony

Network for Revival banner

The Coming Together of Word and Spirit – from Australian Prayer Network

If you have taken a look around the CTNTP website, you cannot have failed to notice that we have often made reference to The Word and The Spirit coming together – believing that, just as in the 1947 Smith Wigglesworth prophecy, as that takes place there will be the biggest revival that the UK has ever known, spreading out to the world!

We were therefore excited to become aware of the following article, reflecting that theme, originating in the USA but published on 15 February 2020 by Australian Prayer Network.

THE COMING TOGETHER OF WORD AND SPIRIT

When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidenced in the churches something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit.  When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed the world, has ever seen. (Smith Wigglesworth)  This coming together of the Word and Spirit has been confirmed by others, including R.T. Kendall, former pastor of Westminster Chapel and Christian author.  By word I mean the centrality of the gospel.  By spirit I mean signs, wonders and miracles.

It will mean a spontaneous combustion of power and authority for the Church and a wake-up call to the nation.  Both of these nationally recognized spiritual leaders have prophesied a heaven-sent “movement” of God, ignited by a coming together of the Word and the Spirit. If we want to embrace this word and position ourselves for heaven’s “spontaneous combustion,” I believe it will take the Word-based Evangelicals and the Spirit-fuelled Charismatics and Pentecostals to pursue even closer relationships in prayer, practice, and initiatives.  Rather than just acknowledging each other’s presence in the room, we need to huddle in prayer, and start taking notes from heaven.

This next move of the Spirit will require a coming together of believers that is much deeper than in days gone by.  Intercession is requiring a oneness of heart and mind that can only happen when we embrace the apostles and prophets, the Word and the Spirit, and acknowledging the value and power of each.  It must influence the way we worship together and pray together, for this is the only way to access heaven’s power and authority.  Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.

In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him we are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)  Two years ago I had a profound dream that highlighted God’s heart concerning the coming together of the Body of Christ.  I saw a group of people, huddled together in the corner in earnest intercession. Behind them in the distance was a mountain.  I knew it represented kingdom authority and heaven’s council.  The intercessors were seeking to connect and align themselves to this mountain in order to break through and bring heaven’s authority to bear on the earth.

Yet, the connection was not clear.  Interaction with this mountain was blocked.  Knowing we were not fully aligned, I stepped out of the group and began to move to the centre, holding an invisible kind of line connected to this mountain.  I knew we had to come into perfect alignment in order to break through.  Finally, after continuing to move little by little toward the middle, watching this line of communication eventually settle into place, I waited.  After a few moments I saw something begin to move in the distance.  Slowly but steadily I saw three distinct Beings emerge from the heart of the mountain.  Closer and closer they came until I saw what they were.

Three large eagles, stately, bearing immense authority and grace.  As they drew closer, I knew they had been summoned.  I also knew they were looking at me.  As they drew nearer a fear and dread began to come over me at the authority and might I sensed coming from them.  They were deliberate, forceful, yet moving cautiously, looking, listening.  At last, the three huge figures hovered immediately above me, looking down at me with a silent yet unmistakably loud message: “We come together, or not at all.”  I woke from this dream shaking in the Fear of the Lord.

I had never experienced the power and presence of the Trinity before.  Their call was unmistakable, and I knew it was a charge to the Church.  It was the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit speaking to us as we are desperately praying for breakthrough in both the nation and in the Church.  Until we acknowledge the fullness of each person of the Godhead, we will not see the fullness of heaven come to the earth.  We cannot pick and choose which expression of the Trinity we prefer.  We cannot focus on one at the expense of the other.  Each represents and expresses God’s heart and character in a different dimension.

God, our Creator and loving heavenly Father.  Jesus Christ, the Word become flesh and the only way to salvation through the cross.  Holy Spirit, the full expression and manifestation of the Father’s heart.  They are One.  They cannot be divided.  If we want heaven to come to earth, they must come together.  In our intercession and interaction as the Body of Christ, we must honor and celebrate those expressions and messages that are different from ours.  Those who focus on the Father’s unconditional love must be willing to acknowledge the call to righteousness.  Those who celebrate the gifts of the Spirit must do so in love and submission to the Living Word.

Those who call for a higher standard of scriptural integrity must also be willing to embrace activities of the Spirit that are not easily understood or proof-texted in Scripture.  We do not have to compromise our convictions in order to value and honor other parts of the Body and the assignment they carry (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).  God speaks through many voices and each voice that is connected to His heart carries a needed message.  Yet, each is but a part of the whole.  If we do not see the value of each part, we will miss the whole message.  In the dream I had to get out of my comfortable corner in order to align my heart with heaven.

I had to step outside my familiar group and surroundings in order to summon a response.  The connection I was looking for was a heart connection.  I needed to tune my heart to God’s in order to comprehend the fullness of His plans and purposes.  To do that, I had to be willing to go into unfamiliar territory so I could receive new input and new perspectives.  The Lord is inviting us to pay more attention to the frequencies of heaven than to our own familiar wavelengths.  In our interactions, prayers and communications, we can honor one another and give value to the particular message each brings and the role each part plays.

When we hear God’s purposes fully expressed through each part of the Body, we will truly connect to His heart.  His Spirit within us will help to filter out the unnecessary parts and lesser things so we can hear the full council from heaven.  Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV)

Source: Wanda Alger, Intercessors for America

The Wall – Planning Application Progress

A great update from our friend’s at The Wall of Answered Prayer

The Wall - location decal

www.thewall.org.uk

 

Could you be a Groundbreaker?

Things are progressing rapidly at The Wall of Answered Prayer. We’re looking forward to getting a green light on our planning application in early June. Anticipating a smooth run during the rest of 2020, we aim to break the ground in December.

Hand in hand with this wonderful momentum comes cost outlays. Right now we are having to make spending decisions for the future and set things in place to get us to the build stage. It’s all scaling up now and we need the financial resources to propel us forward. It really is a gigantic undertaking, but we trust a God with infinite resources who moves powerfully through his people.

Could you make a monthly commitment and join us in making history? We’re looking for a big team of Groundbreakers to flesh out The Wall in 2020. Could you be one of the first of these groundbreaking pioneers and invest monthly to help us achieve our goal of revealing Jesus to the nation?

Click here to go to The Wall, Total giving site

.
Prayer Points

• We are thrilled that our planning application has been submitted and the review is well underway. Please pray that this process continues to go smoothly, without significant obstacles or issues.

• We are so thankful for our current monthly donors. However, we need more in order to meet our increasing outgoings – please pray that God will meet our monthly needs.

• We are grateful to be receiving invites and opportunities to speak at churches and conferences throughout 2020. Please pray for us to secure opportunities that will lead to amazing connections and fruitful support.

Network for Revival – January Newsletter

We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival.

Please go to networkforrevival.co.uk for further details or contact Tony at email: tony@higton.info

Prepare

Network for Revival January 2020

In the last three issues I have been dealing with major foundations for prayer for Revival:

·         Praying in Holiness

(http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Prepare-13-August-2019.pdf),

·         Praying in Faith

(http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Prepare-14-September-2019.pdf).

·         In-depth Intercession. 

http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Prepare-15-November-2019.pdf

In this issue I add to “Praying in Faith” in the context of the spiritual battle going on in the church at present.

How to pray for Revival: We’re in a battle

I know of a church which has prayed for this New Year to be a time of 20:20 spiritual vision and I believe we need that in Network for Revival. We need to see the bigger vision, to see what’s going on spiritually. One of the important things taking place is a major spiritual battle and part of its aim is to undermine our prayer for revival. It is a fairly new, very widespread and powerful attack on the attitude of Christians to Scripture. I’ll give the specifics below. I wasn’t intending to write on this but a few days ago I believe the Lord, out of the blue, spoke clearly to me about it.

I am not someone who “sees demons everywhere” but the New Testament does teach that we are in a battle. It has 212 references to the devil or demonic forces. Peter warns “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Paul writes “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:11-12). Prayer for revival includes such spiritual warfare. But what are the battles we are currently facing? I note 3 major attacks. The first two are:

Destroying the church’s reputation and seriously undermining its witness. You may have seen two very shocking recent TV documentaries about the Church of England bishop who sexually abused teenagers and young men. It also accused the church hierarchy of a serious cover-up. This will do huge damage to the church. (The C of E Daily Media Digest for the day of the second documentary also referred to a TV programme on a former deputy churchwarden who committed murder, a vicar who stole £60,000 of wedding fees and an 81 year old former priest convicted of sex offences).

Removing freedom to convey some vital Christian truths (this is developing but not yet established). The legitimate concern about religious extremism is moving towards banning Christians from communicating publicly about biblical teaching on sexuality or difficult subjects such as hell and possibly the uniqueness of Jesus as the only Saviour. (Such restrictions will cause great difficulty to conservative Christians but we must remember that full-scale persecution of Christians throughout the world is worse than it has ever been).

However it is the third one I want to major on in this letter. Amongst conservative Christians there is a spectrum of views of the Bible. Some are very fundamentalist, others are not, but they all firmly believe (as the Evangelical Alliance puts it) in “The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.”

It is absolutely crucial in Network for Revival that we firmly believe in the promises of Jesus to answer prayer and that we take our stand in prayer on those promises:

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Mt 21:22).

“Everything is possible to the one who believes” (Mk 9:23).

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you receive it and it will be yours (Mk 11:24).

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt 7:7).

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:19).

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (Jn 14:14).

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (Jn 15:7).

Because it is so vital, it is only to be expected that there would be a strong spiritual attack on trust in God’s Word, encouraging Christians to ‘sit loose’ to Scripture or to denigrate it. What the Lord impressed on me the other day was that this spiritual attack is currently based upon the same-sex marriage, homosexual practice, transgender issue. I am used to the controversy over homosexual practice because it was my private member’s motion on the Church of England General Synod in 1987 which led to the synod voting by a 98% majority that “homosexual genital acts  … are … to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion.” That is still the official position of the Church of England.

How things have changed in the last 30 years! It is extraordinary. We live in a different world where, first, homosexual practice and now same-sex marriage are widely accepted – including amongst Christians. During that period disapproval in society of homosexual practice has fallen by 27%. Now only 13% of British people think it is wrong.  But this letter is not about homosexuality as such. It is about the damage being done in the church through the discussions about it. Christians, including evangelicals and others who are conservative in their theology, are being challenged to take a liberal approach to Scripture in order to justify homosexual practice, same-sex marriage and transgender issues. But they may not be fully aware of what is going on.

The arguments that the Bible accepts homosexual practice are, in my view, very weak – and invalid. Currently, our Methodist friends are discussing them, and being encouraged to accept same-sex marriage. The literature (study guide) being circulated to and discussed with all Methodists over the next few months includes asking all of them to live and let live with various views of Scripture – some conservative, some in-between and some very liberal. If you want my response to those arguments from the Methodist Conference see Critique of Methodist study guide on same sex-marriage report. It also is a cause of deep concern that a significant group of evangelicals on the Church of England General Synod have come out as supporting same-sex relationships.

Those Christians in favour of same sex marriage use the following arguments: “The Bible was written by people living long ago who didn’t have the scientific knowledge about sexuality we have. They didn’t know, for example, about faithful, loving same-sex relationships. What we read in the Bible about same sex relationships is in the context of idolatry and ancient ceremonials.  The New Testament is all about loving each other, not rules and regulations about sexual behaviour.” These are all inaccurate comments and I respond to them briefly in the attached paper and more extensively in Critique of Methodist report on homosexual relationships .

If we let such arguments convince us they can undermine our view of Scripture in other ways: Some Christians may wonder: “Maybe the amazing New Testament promise that God will grant salvation to all who believe is from a different age and is simplistic.” In addition, some may think: “Maybe the amazing New Testament promises that God will answer prayer are from a different age and are simplistic.”

So the most important battle is not over sexuality but over the authority of the Bible in our lives and, in particular, for Christians on this Network, over our attitude towards Jesus’ amazing promises to answer prayer. Yes, there are conditions to him answering our prayers: praying in faith, perseverance in prayer, agreeing in prayer, ‘remaining” in Jesus and his word remaining in us, ensuring the petition is biblical. But if these are fulfilled Jesus PROMISES to answer.

If we let reason or experience rule (the liberal approach) we will think God may not answer such petitionary prayers (and that will undermine the prayer). Some people will say “Oh, God won’t always answer prayer so he might not bring revival.” If we approach the situation in faith, the Lord promises to answer. The Lord has challenged me about this recently and I’ve reached the point where I’d rather have a problem with God apparently not answering a prayer because I firmly believe his promises, than I would allow myself to doubt his promises, toning them down rationally.

As Paul puts it, our faith should “not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Cor 2:5). The battle is between faith (based on trust in God’s Word) and rationalism. Choose faith!

Having fulfilled the biblical conditions listed above, we need to pray boldly and persistently for revival on the basis of the seven promises above, without being deflected by rationalism. When the Lord grants revival he will bring spiritual cleansing to the church and call people back to His Word in Scripture (including on the sexuality issue).

So, let’s be aware of what is really going on in the church at present and remain true to the authority of the inspired Word of God, and let us also pray that God will intervene powerfully in revival and restore those who have compromised over their view of Scripture.

[Click here to download a paper where I give further details about this attack]

Be assured of my prayers for you.

God bless you,

Tony

Network for Revival banner

The Wall of Answered Prayer – January update

Some highlights from an update we have just received from our friends at The Wall of Answered Prayer. What an amazing project. We encourage you to get involved.

2019 – a year of incredible growth

In 2019 we were given a phenomenal piece of land, announced the winning design, and successfully raised £169,439 in our 2019 Heroes campaign.

What does 2020 have in store?

Planning application approved (please pray!)
New branding
Land visit for all 2019 Heroes
The first ever National Day of Answered Prayer
Summer tour of churches and festivals
Construction begins

To meet the demand of all these exciting plans, we shall be expanding our team. We’ll need people to delve into the UK’s history and reach out into our communities to find answered prayers; people to help with our fundraising; people to help find monthly donors, and so much more!

Further details: thewall.org.uk