Cloning the Moves of God

john-6-63

An interesting thing to watch in Christendom is the way people who want to “have a ministry” read about a great move of God, study it, then try to clone it and make it happen again with themselves at the top as the directors of this “New Move.” Some want to “get the power” of a healer like John G. Lake. They have actually laid on his grave, hoping to suck some of his anointing out of his dead body. Others study the sermons of Smith Wigglesworth, Spurgeon, or Jonathan Edwards and copy their style hoping to become “powerful preachers.” Carnal people will do anything to have heaven’s power and maintain control of their own lives and the lives of others as well. The flesh dies hard.

Earlier this year I was contacted by a person who had started a street ministry after hearing about the Jesus People Movement that took place here in the early ‘70’s. This person was interviewing all the former Jesus People they could find in the area, and was sure that they could make it happen again by cloning what the Spirit of God did among the street people and college kids back then.

Today it is common for Christians to read the Book of Acts and try and come up with a “perfect form of church” like it was in the beginning. You hear much these days about “house churches” and “home fellowships” where people meet in homes like they did in the early years of the church. I have nothing against meeting in homes with other saints. I have done it many times myself, but unless God builds the house, they who build it labor in vain. Let me say right now that you cannot clone or even guess what God does or will do next! He makes ALL things NEW (Revelation 21:5)! He is not a man with a limited imagination that He has to repeat what He did in the past as He moved His kingdom forward among men.

The hardest thing for man to do is to follow His counsel, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). We still have the seed of the first temptation in us to DO something, to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and be like God! The flesh of Adam that abides in an uncrucified man is totally useless. If a work is conceived and given life by God, as it totally relies on Him, He will keep it going and meet its needs. But if it is not, it will take a lot of fleshly activity and manipulation of many people to make it work at all, and it will still lack His supernatural power. The Jesus Movement was a powerful revival, but it died an early death because fleshly men took hold of it and used worldly means and human power to manipulate it. Remember Jesus’ words. In the economy of God “the flesh profits nothing.”

In closing I want to share this quote from T. A. Sparks,

I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel. (Galatians 2:2 NIV)

How important it is that every fresh undertaking in work for God should come by revelation to those chosen for it. Because God has so spoken and given revelation to some chosen instrument and a truly spiritual work has been done, others have taken it as a model and have sought to imitate it in other places. The result has been, and is, that they are called upon to take responsibility for it – find the resources of workers, funds and general support. This, in turn, issues in many sad and pathetic, if not evil and worldly, methods and means being employed, and those concerned find themselves in a false position. Conception, not imitation, is the Divine law of reproduction. Anointing, not human selection, is the Divine law of succession. The fact is that the work of God has become a sphere for so many natural elements to find expression and gratification. Man must do something, see something, have something. Ambition, acquisition, achievement, etc., have found their way over to Christian enterprise, and so, very often (let us be quite frank) things have become ‘ours’ – ‘our work,’ ‘our mission,’ ‘our field,’ ‘our clientele’; and jealousies, rivalries, bitterness and many other things of the flesh abound.

It is a very difficult thing, a crucifixion indeed, for the natural man to do nothing and have nothing, and especially to know nothing. But in the case of His most greatly used instruments, God has made this a very real part of their training and preparation. The utter emptying of all self-resource is the only way to have “all things of (out from) God” (2 Cor. 5:18). On this basis, even Christ elected to live. We need not remind you of Moses’ “I am not eloquent” (Exo. 4:10), and Jeremiah’s “I am a child” (Jer. 1:6), and Paul’s “that we should not trust in ourselves” (2 Cor. 1:9). These were of a school in which the great lesson of the difference between natural and spiritual was taught experimentally. (“What Is Man?” by T. A. Sparks)

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28 comments on “Cloning the Moves of God

  1. Fred says:

    Thanks for this. As my email to you mentioned I have gotten my self into a mess again. I have been trying to do things for GOD as I feel I must do something. Now I feel like I made a mistake. I am at a Rhema Collage weekend and I had people lay hands on me so I could speak in tongues which I think I was able to do but I was also just copying them. I am scared and confused. I didn’t like how they were using the word “it” because that seem disrespectful to GOD to call him that. I am now remembering someone once telling me if you hear a preacher us that word run away. I should have done that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Sorry to hear this, Fred. Like I said in our email exchange, “the flesh profits nothing.”

      For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, (Isa 30:15, ESV2011)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This brings to mind the scripture in Isaiah Isaiah 50:10-11New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

    10 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
    Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
    trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.
    11 But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
    go, walk in the light of your fires
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
    This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    you will lie down in torment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      I agree, “Books”. This passage explains a lot about the status of the church today. I read your gravitar. My wife has the same problem, so I dedicated a room in our basement as her library and covered the walls with shelves and the closet with shelves and she filled them in no time. She was also a librarian in college. She belongs to a book trading group on the web called “Book Mooch” and receives and sends out books all the time. She is a constant reader. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Carnal people will do anything to have heaven’s power and maintain control of their own lives and the lives of others as well.”

    “Control” and “power” are really good words here, Michael. It’s kind of a red flag to every sort of trouble imaginable. Abuse, cults, bad marriages, you name it.

    When I get anxious or feel the need to “do something,” that stressed out, panicky feeling, that’s control. Either God leads or I do. That’s something I try to check for with other Christians, who is leading? If it’s not God, it’s not going to end well. His presence always brings His peace, whereas when we are leading it’s always going to be about power and control, who holds it, how do we compete for it, how do we maintain it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Gabrielle, you described the battle within and without quite well. In our carnality we are constantly trying to control our situations and the people within them instead of resting in the Father. Stressed-out, panicky, anxiety, the need to DO something these are all the opposite of faith and God’s rest.

      “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7, KJ2000)

      Liked by 3 people

  4. ” the need to DO something these are all the opposite of faith and God’s rest.” I struggle with this sometimes, then I will read something from TAS and realize it can’t be me involved in it. So then I don’t do anything and remain in peace. God is in control of everything. I can’t make anyone do anything nor do I want to make anyone do anything. Thank you for sharing this Michael.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I found this very true, Michael. Your statement that the hardest thing to do is be still and know that He is God struck a real chord. So did the parallel observation by Sparks that it is “… a crucifixion indeed, for the natural man to do nothing and have nothing, and especially to know nothing.”

    We want so much to be in charge. At least I do. And we want to feel that we are moving forward. But activity is not the same as spiritual progress. The image of those throwing themselves on the graves of the esteemed dead turns the stomach.

    If God is not in the task we have set for ourselves, we cannot force His hand. We may create an impressive structure. But the question we should ask is whether that was what He wanted.

    As I am a classic movie buff, I was reminded of the 1947 film “The Bishop’s Wife” w/ David Niven and Cary Grant. A sincere minister is striving to build a great cathedral, but having difficulty raising funds. He calls on heaven for guidance. The angel sent in reply to his prayer points out, “So many people need food. So many people need shelter. That one big roof could make so many little roofs.”

    Thank you for another much needed lesson. You are a blessing!

    With love,

    Your friend Anna ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Anna,

      You nailed it again. Man loves to be active doing things under his own control to further his goals and image. I know that God put you into a place of inactivity and you were a highly trained and capable lawyer. He is teaching you, like so many of us, to enter into His rest. My weak back that gives me pain when I try and lift anything over 20 lbs. has stopped me from my quest to “do something” and not depend on others for help. I have spent most of my life being ruggedly independent.

      Like you pointed out, it is much harder to build many small roofs for those who cannot do things in return for us, than to pursue our quest to be great and noticed and build great things and “leave a legacy” (the many garish “Trump Towers” around the world comes to mind in contrast to the work of “Habitat for Humanity”). God does not want us to do “great thing for Him.” He has and will do His own great things. He only wants us to rest in His love as a weaned child in his mother’s arms. It is from there we will hear His heart and manifest His love for the lowly of this world.

      And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, “Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20, KJ2000)

      Your brother and friend,
      Michael ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Ken Dawson says:

    Hi Mike–Good article and that comment by Gabriel says it all–Its an issue of power and control–What you have to learn is to WAIT and LISTEN to what and where our Daddy guides us to and in the meantime get out of the way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Ken, I was talking with Susanne about this very thing. She pointed out that Satan tempted Eve with the very thing that God had in mind and was already doing with Adam and Eve in His time and in steps that He knew had to be taken one at a time to make man not only in His image, but in His likeness. To truly be like someone it takes much time in a relationship with them, observing and following them daily in a love relationship that requires denying ourselves in the process. There is no “crash coarse” to being conformed into the likeness of Christ and dying to self can take a long time. The stronger our will, the longer it seems to take. Anyway, Satan tempted Eve with a short-cut. If she would just eat this forbidden fruit, she would instantly “be like God.” NOT! It was all a lie. Afterwards God said, “Behold man has become like one of us, knowing both good and evil.” The ONE that man became like in his lust for power was Satan, not God or Jesus. Religion has always offered a “short coarse” to holiness. Go to this conference! Go to that Bible school! Get that degree in theology! On and on it goes. The way to becoming “like God” since the fall of man is only by way of the cross of Christ working daily in us. Jesus said, “If any man would be my disciple let him take up His cross and follow me.” It is all about death and rising by His power in newness of life. There is no other way.

      Love you, my brother!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pat Orr says:

    Bro. Michael, thank you for the article. I had just read the TAS article on the devotional spot maintained for his writings. Cloning verses conception is a continual struggle for some of us. Thank you for reminding us of the difference in the fruit that they produce.

    Father, I pray for revelation to lead to conception.

    How did your surgery go? I pray that it will bring what was needed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Pat,

      Cloning verses conception. Boy does that say it all! Men clone and only God can conceive if there is to be spiritual fruit. Rest is so important when it comes to surrendering to His love and bringing forth His fruit. I agree with your prayer. AMEN!

      As for my back, the surgery went well, maybe too well, for now I struggle to not over do it and lift things that are heavier than the ten pound limit the surgeon put me on for the next three months. Arg! It is hard for me to ask anyone for help with such light objects. Pride is still alive in me, I guess. Yes, spiritually speaking the status of my back in it weakness is “bringing what is needed” into my life… humility, trust and rest.

      Thanks for your prayers and comment. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Carina says:

      WOW, Pat! As I was reading Michael’s article, the exact same concept of divine conception came to mind. In fact, the Lord has been sharing with me the principles of God’s grace for conceiving things that have eternal value.
      One of my favorite passages of Scripture is 1 Samuel, chapters 1 and 2. Here we see very clearly the contrast between what is conceived of the flesh (which *appears* abundant, fruitful, great in the eyes of man) and what is conceived of the Spirit (which, at first, seems totally insignificant, unfruitful, not blessed).
      5 But to Hannah he would give *a double portion*, for he loved Hannah, although *the Lord had closed her womb*. 6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
      I have felt this way for many years, and like the psalmists, I fretted and envied the “fruitfulness” of other brothers and sisters and the “prosperity” of worldly people. I was like a beast, I didn’t understand God’s dealings with me.
      Yes, HE closed my womb (both spiritually and physically), because He wanted to bring ETERNAL fruit out of my poor little life. He didn’t want appearances to ruin the substance.
      What is of the flesh is flesh. What is of the Spirit, is of the Spirit and gives life. It may not *seem* important, but it is!
      Over time, the Lord did give me one physical son, and as you can guess, his name is Samuel, and after crying so many tears because he wouldn’t come, I consecrated him to the Lord every day of his life and promised to God I would be a godly mother. Well, sadly I haven’t been too good at keeping that promise.
      But as the Lord brought me back to His ways, He reminded me that He won’t let me be fruitful in the flesh, that without Him, I will be able to do nothing significant, and will always feel frustrated, because He made my heart to fit inside His and not apart from Him.
      No, there’s no way to clone divine conception. It’s either God doing the conceiving or it’s man, and what is conceived by us will be burnt in His fire!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Thanks for sharing your story with us, Carina. I am glad that Father gave you your Samuel and is still working on the second part of your prayer, to give him a godly mother, dear sister. It seems that the deeper Father digs into our hearts and purges us, the more that is revealed for there still to be done. The Christian walk is totally backwards of what we call “progress and attainment” in the world. In the world we can become a master in whatever field we have an aptitude for and be given titles and degrees to prove it. But in the way of the cross, we must decrease and HE must increase. Men cannot see this work in us and have no appreciation for it, but those things which are not seen are eternal.

        “…Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.” (Rom 3:24-27, ESV2011)

        Be encouraged, dear sister, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1Thess 5:23-24, ESV2011)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. dimple says:

    Thank you,Michael. I finally understand what Jesus meant when he commanded us to take up our cross daily: every day I must wait on his direction, denying any temptation to speak, think, or act from my own desires.
    Blessings to you in Christ Jesus!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Don says:

    Thank you Michael for this post. I see in it the difference between Jesus life of discipleship verses the pharisees life of selfish kingdom building.

    Jesus met two discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus and spent a lot of time opening the Word of God to them about Himself. They were so excited after that that they had to go back and tell the others about it. The pharisees, on the other hand, were all about writing extra laws that people in their denomination had to follow. You can figure why no one is very excited about that.

    I need you to define two words for me if you will. First is “nico” and second is “laity “. If I have not missed my guess they mean ruling over the people of the congregation, the practice of the nicolaitans, something that the Lord “hates” twice in the letters to the Churchs in the book of Revelations.

    In your response to Ken you describe the process of discipleship so well, it does take time with the Lord in His Word living in a loving relationship with Him. I always thought that the Lord really was pleased to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden and that is the template for us to follow. He takes great pleasure in sharing the same things with each one of us His children as He shared with the believers who have gone before us. Do we really need leaders to stand up front to tell us what they know or is the Spirit able to do that and is He not pleased to teach us individually the same things? Each branch must have a vital connection with the Vine and fruit just happens, the one who tends the Vinyard should be making sure that the branches remain firmly attached to the Vine, he cannot be that connection for anyone else but himself for he too is a branch.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Hi Don,

      I see the difference between Jesus and the Pharisees in what He said about them,

      “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40, ESV2011)

      They were devoted to a dead letter for only the Spirit can give the scriptures life (as happened on the Road to Emmaus), thus all the legalism these Pharisees were steeped in. But those who have been born of the Spirit go to Christ alone for when we are born into the Kingdom of God, we are born into a family relationship (not left outside as orphans only reading books about that family). In short, the kingdom of God is all about an ongoing relationship with the Father and the Son, not religion.

      As for this word “Nicolaitan” in revelation chapter two, you are right. It is from two root Greek words:

      Nicos – to utterly vanquish
      and
      Laos – the people

      To utterly vanquish the people is the practice in the churches that Jesus hates. Lording over His body by fleshly men only causes confusion and an ungodly amount of attention being put on them and their teachings instead of devotion to Jesus. This why after almost 2000 years we have 41,000 different Christian denominations and sects when Jesus prayed before going to the cross that we would all be ONE. The only way we can all be one is if all the members of HIS body have One Head!

      One other word in the Greek would be well to understand and that is the one translated “antichrist.” In W. E. Vine’s Dictionary of Biblical Words we read:

      <antichristos> – can mean either “against Christ” or “instead of Christ”…

      When a man or a woman stand before a congregation as their supreme teacher and their “be all” concerning spiritual things to whom they should look, they are operating in the spirit of antichrist. You see, like John told the infant church, “there are already MANY antichrists.”

      I will sum up what we have shared here with what John told the the believers in His letter where he warned them of these antichrists and gave them the antidote to the problem…

      I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1John 2:26-27, ESV2011)

      If the Holy Spirit abides in us as our Teacher and Guide He will lead us into ALL truth just as Jesus promised. To look to men for all things spiritual is sheer folly and leads to much unnecessary confusion and division in Christ’s ekklesia.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Carina says:

    Dear Michael,

    One element those who “study” revivals always find in them is repentance. No revival takes place without repentance, and there is no way you can clone repentance! You either have it or you don’t!
    You may FAKE repentance, but God for sure knows the difference between a heart that TRULY cries out to Him for forgiveness and a heart who just says the words.

    I would say, without being an expert on the topic (from personal experience of how revival works in my personal life), that revival starts when your heart cries out to God like David’s in Psalms 51:

    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    And in sin my mother conceived me.
    6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
    And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

    When you understand that in your flesh there is NOTHING good, that the flesh profits nothing, that apart from grace, you cannot help even yourself, let alone others! When you understand that even on your BEST day, unless your works are empowered by the Holy Spirit, they are DEAD works of a dead man. God will NOT accept being served by human hands! He doesn’t want our “best efforts”! He wants our surrender!

    Here’s a passage about true revival, from Isaiah 57:
    For thus says the High and Lofty One
    Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
    “I dwell in the high and holy place,
    With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
    To revive the spirit of the humble,
    And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
    16 For I will not contend forever,
    Nor will I always be angry;
    For the spirit would fail before Me,
    And the souls which I have made.
    17 For the iniquity of his covetousness
    I was angry and struck him;
    I hid and was angry,
    And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
    18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him;
    I will also lead him,
    And restore comforts to him
    And to his mourners.

    If we want true revival, the first thing we need to admit is “the iniquity of our covetousness”. We have desired things of the flesh, instead of having an undivided heart’s desire for HIM!

    I want to end with two verses that illustrate this principle, from Isaiah 66:
    “Heaven is My throne,
    And earth is My footstool.
    Where is the house that you will build Me?
    And where is the place of My rest?
    2 For all those things My hand has made,
    And all those things exist,”
    Says the Lord.
    “But on this one will I look:
    On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
    And who trembles at My word.

    I pray the Lord will increase our understanding of the need to be meek, humble and transparent before Him!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, dear sister Carina for sharing these scriptures.

      Humility and revival go hand in hand. America is an arrogant nation and boasts about being a “world power.” It will have to go through a great humbling before any true mass revival can happen here. In the mean time God still works on individuals. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The leavening of the Pharisees that He warned against was their pride. The temptation to become a “Somebody” in the eyes of men is great and our enemy knows from his own experience (See Isaiah 14:12-15) that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Our pride puts us in direct conflict with God, but our loving Father knows how to humble us when we need it. Praise His name forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Martha says:

    Hola Michael! Deje de leerte en el Facebook al igual que a la dulce Susanne hasta que me di cuenta que lo habían cerrado. Lo han hecho bien por las razones es que sea, que seguramente ha sido dirección de Dios como debemos obrar si amamos a Cristo.
    Que bueno leerte hermano en este artículo tan lleno de sabiduría y del conocimiento de Dios. Me siento tan identificada con tus palabras, es tan pequeño el grupo de creyentes que entendemos, por la gracia de Dios, que a menos que Él nos mande a hacer algo en Su reino, lo hagamos! De lo contrario todo será fruto de la carne del deseo de poder y controlar, de ir adelante, por bueno que parezca el emprendimiento. Me edifica mucho leerte, ere como un “polo a tierra” del Señor 😉

    He estado pasando por momentos muy difíciles en mi vida y buscando al Señor que sólo me pide rendición total y que le conozca y le entienda a Él porque esto es lo único que él quiere (Jer.9:22-23)

    Sabes que no hablo inglés, pero me ayudo con el Google traductor, gracias a Dios por esta ayuda😀! Espero se entienda lo que escribo y Google lo traduzca bien para ti.
    Un abrazo fraternal, agradezco a Dios por tu vida hermano. Recuérdame en tus oraciones.

    Martha wrote (using Google Translate and some guess work on my part):

    Hello Michael! I looked for you on Facebook until I realized that you and Susanne were no longer on there. I Have done well for the reasons that it has surely been God’s leading as we will do if we love Christ.

    Good to read your article, brother, it was so full of wisdom and knowledge of God. I feel so identified with your words, it is a small group of believers who understand, by the grace of God, unless He sends us to do something in His kingdom! Otherwise everything will be the fruit of the flesh of the desire for power and control, going forward with what seems good entrepreneurship. I was built-up much by reading your words, ere as a “grounding” the Lord 😉

    I’ve been going through very difficult times in my life and seeking, the Lord who calls me only to total surrender and to know and understand Him because that is all he wants (Jer.9: 22-23).

    You know I do not speak English, but I got help with the Google translator, thank God for this ayuda😀! I hope you understand what I write and Google to translate well enough for you.
    A fraternal hug, thank God for your life, my brother. Remember me in your prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Martha,
      It was good to hear from you again. I am glad that you were able to translate what I wrote on my blog with Google translator. It is not perfect, but it can get you “in the ballpark.” 🙂

      No, neither Susanne nor I are on FaceBook any longer. We felt that God wanted us to leave it, at least for a season and HIS seasons can be very long. :-p By the way, there is LIFE after Facebook! 🙂

      I can only imagine how hard life is in your country, but like you said, God uses everything that happens in our lives to bring forth the perfection of His Son in us. Even what our enemy means for evil, He turns it for our good.

      Yes, we must rest in the Lord until His Spirit prompts us to do otherwise with His inspiration and not ours.

      God bless and keep you, dear sister,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

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