I was on Facebook and saw this video by J.D. King and Steve Gray. It you take what Steve says here in context, it is quite concerning to put it lightly. He show concept for the voice of God in the believer’s life. Continue reading…
Tagged in: World Revival Church
Many know of World Revival Church and Steve Gray but the history goes back to what is known as the Smithton Outpouring that was not in Kansas City. It was a small church in a small town outside of Sedelia. The only thing that anyone about the area was that the Missouri State Fair is there every August. Nothing else of importance every happened. Continue reading…
I just saw on my Facebook feed that Wal-Mart is closing over 100 stores but when when we close down the Wal-Mart mentality found in most churches, even Pentecostal churches today? Christians want everything in one location and they want everything to come cheap. There is no roll back prices on the presence of the Holy Spirit!
We live in a time of getting what we want when we want it. On one hand, it is powerful. On the other hand, it has cause us to loose some very important truth about the spiritual realm. Revival is not cheap and it does not come easy.
I often here pastors call anything and everything revival and I just look and wondering what they are thinking. I love Bill Johnson and Che Ahn but they have use the word so loosely that people think anything is revival these days. Revival is not just a bunch of good church services. It also is not something you can plan.
Our WalMart revivalism mentality has several problems: it has a theological problem, it is a missional problem, it has a Ecclesiolical problem. None of these are easily fixed with wholesale awakening in the land.
We have a theology problem!
What we tend to believe is not working. I just do not hear about tarrying in the Spirit anymore. We do not want to contend for the presence of God anymore. We have the position that God will come in the next five minutes or we have better things to do. The all night prayer meetings that we tarry for the power of God are history.
The theological problem because this:we think faith will make us for a lack of desire. You can have all the faith you want but you can’t replace desire. The Brownsville Revival did not just come by faith, it came also by over 18 months of intercession for revival. Some things don’t come by faith alone; it has been paid for by intercession. That is not quick and easy.
Thinking revival comes from raw faith alone is what I call WalMart revivalism. Faith alone saves you but faith alone does not bring revival.
We have a missional problem!
We think that revival is all about the customer, the believer. We think revival is about getting our church folk more excited and to make them better tithers. Revival has never been about church folks, it is not about them and never will be about them. Revival is never to the church but rather through Her. Awakening comes to the nation but the church house is only the pipeline.
There is a church in Kansas City that is claiming to be in revival. They have been making this claim for as long as I can remember. The problem is that no one in Lee’s Summit is actually changed by the “revival.” All the members came from other Pentecostal churches in the area. It is not revival in any way, shape or form.
Any move of God will be about what the heart of God is about: ripping people out of hell. If you do not have radical transformation of drug dealers, prostitutes, and corrupt businessmen; I have to question how much of a revival you are actually happening.
WalMart Revivalism has a problem with Ecclesiology
I do not write much on Ecclesiology but we have an issue with it. When we think alot of meetings and singing Prepare the Way alot of time brings revival; we have a problem. Church was never about meetings.
One of the issue that I see was made popular recently by CNN’s Kathleen Parker. While pastor love to talk about the Church as the Body of Christ; we are more closely related to the Bride of Christ and the Army of the Lord. It is very true that God is raising up an army!
Let God arise and His enemies be shattered.
JD King is an old friend of mine, leader of the World Revival Network and a fellow blogger about theological stuff. It would be hard to call him a revivalist anymore. He used to be but he has become very weird and from what I can tell from across the world, is pretty apathetic towards revival that does not have World Revival Church all over it.
I have people ask him about him as some knew we was friends at one time. (more on that later) There was a video of him speaking at his church that has caused some people to contact me and that is what I want to focus in on. The fact that he preached community but doesn’t have it is not for today’s article.
Before we get started, I am not a member of the World Revival Network anymore and I have not been in a meeting at World Revival Church. I am not sure what would happen if I did walk in the door. I am sure it would very awkward given many of my friends there have unfriended me and unfollowed me. They don’t want much to do with me. I do not want to talk about revival; I want to have it.
Here is the video in question:
How JD King became apathetic to revival
I remember the first day that I met him on the side of Smithton Community Church during the Smithton Outpouring. He wanted revival in every heart, home and city in America. He was passionate about revival and he lived for it to come to everyone. I loved to talk to him. I actually looked forward to talking to him actually.
When the church moved to Lee’s Summit and become World Revival Church, two things happened. First, the crowd died down and hardly anyone visited anymore. Also, the people who was just “Come, Holy Spirit” boys became professional ministers. Leonard Ravenhill would turn in his grave weeping over it. He believe the world need passionate preachers; not professional ones.
JD King was always the theological one at World Revival Church. The others, namely Tom Trout, was just off his rocker and was quite honestly, boring and little anointing. Steve Gray needs jokes and humor because the power of God wasn’t there after moving from Smithton. JD just hid himself is some theology books and tried his best to learn as much as he can.
About three or four years, he become more interested in Kingdom Now theology that is popularized by NT Wright and on a less degree by Brian Zahnd. I knew I had to get out of Kansas City if I wanted revival. I was not about to exchange a move of the Holy Spirit with some theological ideal or become a theologian. JD King can back off from revival. I refused to do it.
I remember the last discussion he and I had in person. It was at Gate’s BBQ in Westport District. He told me in so many words, “In five years, you will be less about fire and missions and more about community and relationships.” That was about seven to eight years ago. I am happy to report that I still going for revival completely and I am not backing down to have “community.”
World Revival is not the revival of Kansas City
I would move to do a treatment of revival in Kansas City. I really would but this is not the place for that. It starts well before Steve Gray and JD King. It starts as early as the Second Great Awakening and the Nazarene movement that is headquartered in Kansas City to this day. I am sure his friend, Larry Martin could fill him in on the importance of Kansas City in early Pentecostal revival. This is all before Steve Gray was even born.
When I saw this video saying that basically the history of revival in Kansas City is the story of World Revival Church; I should have been picking up my jaw off the floor. However, I wasn’t. I have come to expect this shameless promotional spirit out of the people that claim to be in revival.
In April 2009, they claimed revival hit a second time. My question is when did they admit that they lost revival the first time? You can’t have revival without admitting your need for it. Just something to ponder is all.
Community is not the aim of revival
One thing that I find odd is they have become very focused on community in recent years but no community has lived in revival since the Morivans in the 1700’s. People like A.A. Allen have tried it but failed.
What is mind blogging to me is how many of the people in World Revival Church suck at actually having community. Many of them that I called friends at one point have hardly spoken to me since I left Kansas City. Some of them want nothing to do with me. A few have even attacked me on social media over the years.
If I ran into many of the members of World Revival Church that are still there, I am sure that the discussion we would have be very awkward at best. I am not even sure that sitting down with JD King and Steve Gray would not be awkward anymore.
In the end, revival is not about community; revival is about setting the world ablaze.
I got touched in the Toronto Blessing. I got saved at the Brownsville Revival. I was in dozens of meetings at the Smithton Outpouring. I preached revival meeting all over the world. I believe in revival culture.
I believe we have to get to the point that we will say “Come Holy Spirit” no matter what it cost us and how unpopular it might be…even with other Pentecostals. The reality is most people in Spirit filled churches are more worried about being Pentecostal people than being people of Pentecost. It is like being a Republican or a member of the local PTA to them. It is a membership of a group. Little change is how they actually do life.
The Holy Spirit is a river; not a lake. (Bill Johnson)
The problem with most Pentecostal churches is that they gather to hear the preacher give a sermon and that is the highlight of the week for them spiritually. It how we go into this pastor-centered, clergy vs layman, religiosity that revival has had to addressed every few years. Biblically, we should be drawn to the presence of God, not a great speaker. If that is all you want, just listen to Barack Obama or David Cameron.
What is a revival culture?
I say it like this: it is coming as a people with complete expectation for the presence of God to transform you, the power of God to change your life, and the Holy Spirit to fill you with more love for humanity. If any of these are missing, you might have goosebumps but you don’t have revival.
Any “move of God” that does make you crave the presence of the Holy Spirit, fill you with more anointed and you do not carry the burden of eternity for the lost; it is not a move of God. Period. Don’t worry, I have been in many of these “revival meetings.”
I love the written Word. I went to Bible College with a hunger for the theological understanding. With that said, I do not come to revival meetings to learn. I come to encounter the presence of God. The focus of revival must always transformed life; not what the greek word of healing is. People do not need a sermon on healing; they need an experience of healing!
Many of the most powerful revival meetings I have been part of never had a sermon. Some of them I was just there going for the presence of God; other was I “suppose to preach.” I have a feeling the Holy Spirit is a better preacher than I ever will be. If I tell them, they are argue if it is from God. If the Holy Spirit tells them, they are convicted on the spot. Sermons are for people who do not know the voice of God anyways.
I can not think of any revival in my lifetime that lasted any amount of time without a core value of the baptism of the Holy Spirit on it. The third man in the trinity is not just a theological subject. He is the Baptizer of every believer so that we can do the work of the evangelist to the world around us. Upper Room experiences are just part of revival; they are the point of revival!
Revival is not for you, it is through you.
If you live in a revival culture, you understand the burning desire of the Holy Spirit is to turn the hearts of humanity to Jesus Christ as their Savior. Any revival that does not have a very strong missional focus must be questioned. It goes against the very nature of God. The Father wishes that none would perish but ALL would come into eternal life. Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. The Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin. All of the trinity is evangelistic in nature.
I hear pastors like Steve Gray mocking “Where are the people of the revival from the 1990’s?” It is cute and all and gets a bunch of naive believers to yell amen. However, the truth of the matter is that it would not even be biblical for you to see them in your suburban Kansas City experience.
Where are the people who was changed in Brownsville and Toronto. They are in Germany, Netherlands, Philippines, Mexico, Haiti, Tanzania and even Iraq. You could also talk about people like Daniel Kolenda who wins thousands of people to Christ monthly.
Keeping the main thing the main thing
I was touched by revival in 1996 and I have not “changed the subject” since. I preach it, I pray it, I sing it, I prophesy it. I release. I repeat the process again. One reason I was a bad pastor was all I wanted was revival. Who cares you have marriage problems? We have to prepare for the marriage supper of the Lamb! (I know that is not cool now.) I am not sure why anyone would want to be part of a ministry that is not a revival culture.
When a ministry loses this, they turn to inferior issues to talk about. One ministry think it is better to talk about things like amillennialism and questioned the Blessed Hope than going for revival. Jesus made it very clear that a revivalist view of eschatology is just to keep setting the world on fire until he comes. Don’t believe me? Read Acts 1:7-8 and check out the greek on it!
One thing that is concerning to me is that in the last four years, we have not had any place in North America to really point at on a map and that’s a revival culture. We have had places that play around with revival but none that said this is who we are and we will not stop until the Kingdom of God is the reality in our midst. When a church says “this is who we are,” pays the price for revival; we will see a move of God on the scope of the Brownsville Revival again!
I have known for some time that about this. I knew that Pastor Steve and Kathy Gray had wounded alot of people in Smithton, Missouri. The Smithton Outpouring was amazing but don’t fool yourself, there was alot of man in the movement as well.
Some of them even hold that moving to Kansas City and re-branding as World Revival Church of Kansas City was an attempt to provide some discsti to the wounds that he put in people’s lives while in Smithton, Missouri.
One thing we do know is he moved to Kansas City, closed the church in Smithton, left dozens of families without a church home, all in order to build himself a “big ministry.” This is hypocrisy at its’ highest level.
While I would agree with others that the lucky ones were the ones that couldn’t move to Kansas City; they got delivered by the control and manipulation of the Jezebel spirit that is Steve and Kathy Gray.
Steve Gray leaves the people he wounds
Back in 2001, Christianity Today wrote an article about how some of the people got wounded by Steve Gray just picking everything up and moving to Kansas City, about 60 families followed him blindly. 32 families did not give up their lives for a mere man.
Many of the people that stayed back were disillusioned and disturbed. They lost their church in a town that there is not too many options to find a Spirit filled option to worship. My guess would be they ended up quitting church all together or they drove up to Sedalia to worship.
One of those members, according to the article, said, “”We wanted more of God, unfortunately, we surrendered our lives to a movement and a man’s revival.” Let those words settle: surrendered lives to a man’s revival. The Smithton Outpouring and later World Revival Church was about Steve Gray and his “revival.”
True Revival heals the broken hearts, not wound those who can’t be used. Smithton was a town that was used, abused, then left for brokenness. An old friend of mine in the Assemblies of God from Sedalia told me to not attend meetings because Steve Gray had never repented from witchcraft. I did not take it serious but looking back; I have to agree.
What is really concerning to me is Steve Gray blames the people who didn’t buy into his teaching for leaving. According to the article, he said, “They were disgruntled before the move, and that played a heavy role in the decision to move.” Wait a minute? Are you blaming the people who are hurt for being the victims? Do you blame the one who is raped or the rapist? Think about it!
I remember going to the meetings where Steve Gray would preached the cloud was moving and everyone must follow the fire. The problem with his teaching is we are not the Israelites and we are not living in the book of Exodus. We must remember the Cross changed it all!
Steve Gray is too big for tiny Smithton
We determined that we couldn’t grow in the middle of nowhere.
Those are the words of Steve Gray. He did not care about the presence of God falling on people; he cared about having Steve Gray Ministries. The focus was always on him, his ministry, and his future. The people were merely supporting cast.
While the logical thing would have been to moved the services to much larger Sedalia that has many large facilities that are only use two week a year, (It is the home of the Missouri State Fair) buying an old K-Mart was the mind of Steve Gray. He was worried about building his ministry, not building the Kingdom of God. Moving to Sedalia was to close to people he had wounded and he couldn’t build an international following.
The land in Kansas City on View High Drive was paid for by members of Smithton Community Church that he wounded to build a ministry. Almost a half million dollars of it in all. That is not how the Holy Spirit moves, Steve and Kathy Gray.
Another interesting thing is 80% of the leadership of Smithton Community Church did not relocate and was left out in the cold by him. If it was really God, wouldn’t all the leadership hear the same word from the Holy Spirit? 20% did and 80% did not.
Douglas Galey, a former deacon at the church went on to say, “I didn’t give money to build Steve Gray’s kingdom.”
Steve Gray and his Kingdom?
A Kingdom is a politically organized community or major territorial unit having a monarchical form of government headed by a king or queen. In order to have a kingdom you have to have a political community, a center leader, and a strong legal system.
Steve Gray does have around him a very strong political system that are loyal to him with their lives. These are the people who moved to Kansas City. There is no question that he is the center of the kingdom and the legal system is there. Question his rule and you will be removed from the kingdom and his ministry. The stories of people excommunicated from World Revival Church are many.
According to the article, Steve Gray thinks, “The move was the smartest thing we did, there were some individuals along the way who wanted to go back to another lifestyle. But those who have grown have maintained their enthusiasm.”
As I read that, he believes that if you did not follow him blindly, you was backsliding and would setting yourself up for spiritual failure. This is nowhere close to biblical. Not even close. The Holy Spirit does not live in locations; He lives in hearts. God moved where people are hungry.
I went to the meetings in Smithton and dozens of them when they was in Kansas City. I remember the gospel tent. I remember moving into the building, building the second building and begging everyone to build the House of Hope and Healing that hardly is even used.
I remember the Smithton Outpouring.
William was a man that was deeply touched and he was living in the revelation of Jesus as the Hope of the Nations. He was hungry for more of God. He lived to study the Bible and he wanted everything God had for him.
Seymour did not have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit yet but he was hungry for more; that’s a great place to start in faith for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. He had what we learned in the renewal at John Arnott’s church: More, Lord, More.
When you are hungry for the things of the Holy Spirit, there is a place that you can only go with the teachings around you. Sometimes, you just have to go deeper. William’s though the teaching the African Methodist Eposical Church just was not cutting the mustard for him. He wanted deeper truth and more of the Lord.
SEYMOUR REJECTS METHEDISM AND AMILLENNIALISM
John Wesley believes in amillennialism and sadly in the creeping back into our Pentecostal ranks through people like Steve Gray at World Revival Church.
What exactly is amillennialism anyways?
Amillennialism (Greek: a- “no” + millennialism) is the view in Christian eschatology which states that Christ is presently reigning through the Church, and that the “1000 years” of Revelation 20:1-6 is a metaphorical reference to the present church age which will culminate in Christ’s return. It stands in contrast to premillennialism, which states that Christ will return prior to a literal 1000 year earthly reign; and postmillennialism, which states that Christ’s return will follow a 1000 year golden age ushered in by the church.
William did not see this in the Bible and completely rejected it as heresy. To be fair, Seymour was not alone. Most of the Church at the time and to this day reject amillennialism as heresy. There are a few that believe it but they are the minority.
Seymour believed that in the Pre-Tribulation catching away or “the rapture” that the Bible teaches. This would become the hallmark of the revival at Azusa Street and the wider Pentecostal revival. Most, if not all, of the Pentecostal movement that would come out of revivals would hold this position.
There would be a few movement, namely the Vineyard with John Wimber, that would hold a Post- Tribulation view but very few would hold a position of amillennialism. The only group that I know of does is the bunch out of the Smithton Outpouring.
One thing is for sure: God was putting in William a passion to understand the Kingdom through the teaching of Jesus, not man’s opinion. He was not led by the teaching of men such as John Wesley and others in Methodism. If it was not in the theology of Jesus, he rejected it. That was something that would become very important later as many heresy would come up in the early days of the Pentecostal movement.
We know that he was a simple man, loved the Word, didn’t have theological education, only took Jesus for His word and moved in faith. That is the man that God can use for revival!
Seymour believed in the power of prophecy
William was struggling with the Methodism as well over what he called “Special Revelation.” He believed that God could and would speak to us today about spiritual things and the Holy Spirit would us into all truth. He did not yet understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but he did believe in the prophetic at this point.
One reason that I believe that he had this position was he was raised around African voodoo and had seen supernatural things happen. He knew that if voodoo doctors could do it, the Holy Spirit could do it for sure.
Seymour also had a very strong view on the power of dreams and visions. He saw that many in the Bible was led by dreams and visions and he believed that God had not changed. This was not a position of John Wesley or Methodism.
I am sure taking a strong position on the supernatural in the late 1800’s was not an easy thing to do. He was not in the majority at the time as most believe God stopped speaking or if He did, it was not very often and not to very many people. It was only to super anointed people like George Whitfield and John Wesley.
In all fairness, I do not believe that John Wesley would have being part of Methodism then and without question now. It has changed a lot and Seymour’s views where closer to Wesley than the Methodism he was confronted with at the time.
Paying the price for the move of the Spirit
As Seymour had to pay a price for hold biblical truth and believe in the supernatural, the problems has not changed that much on this side of the Pentecostal revival. We might not having rocks threw at us, tomatoes hitting us the face, or our churches burned to the ground. However, we will be mocked by many and slandered beyond anything a person should have to deal with.
If you want to be used by the Holy Spirit today, you will still deal with a lot of the problems that Seymour dealt with. You might not be received because of one non-essential position such as Eschatology. Many movement gather based on doctrinal positions, not a common vision for revival. Many care more about their fundamental truths than they do the end time harvest.
Most of the Church, dare I say Pentecostals included, struggle with prophetic dreams. They might believe it on paper and each preach about it. However, it is a whole new ballgame when someone actually has a prophetic dream. People start question if they are crazy or they are think making things up. In the end, we struggle to believe God speaks to normal people as much as people as Methodism do.
Are you a doubting Thomas when it come to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Do you have the faith to believe in people’s experience with the Divine. Many do not.
I am a Pentecostal. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to save, heal, deliver, and fill. I am washed by the blood of Jesus but I am finding too are closer to brainwashed. This is very concerning to me.
This is one reason I raise questions about World Revival Church in Kansas City and even IHOP University but it goes alot better than that. I am finding alot of saints that just can’t think logically about the scriptures and the things of the Spirit.
One group thinks they are Stanley Horton and think the trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Bible. They wouldn’t know the power of God if it hit them in the face. They are Pentecostal that would find a problem with the Azusa Street Revival! They would condemn anything that was not dead and lifeless theology.
The other group is just following whatever they hear. They hardly open their bible. They perfer to get their theology from Trinity Broadcasting Network and Daystar. Just remember, television ministries will preach anything to get the wallets open. Spots on the networks is not cheap. It is not cheap at all.
Pastors are brianwashed too
Do you follow your pastor? Do you know more about what your pastor teaches than Jesus? When I hear someone saying “Pastor ___ says that…” I tune out. I do not care about what your pastor says or what sermon series you think I should listen to by your pastor. I really don’t. Your pastor did not die for you.
I love listen to teaching quite well. I have hundreds of books on my Kindle. I quote theological books on here quite often too. I want to be a student of the Word as much as you do. However, I will never make my theology a collection of great quotes from Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle and Oral Roberts. I love them but they did not die on the Cross.
I love Orals Roberts University. I remember sitting in dozens of chapel services in Christ’s Chapel. I heard some of the greatest voice of revival and Pentecost in our generation. Richard Roberts, Rodney Howard-Browne, Reinhard Bonnke, and Tommy Barnett to name a few.
I also heard some people that don’t have such great theology as well. I remember walking out of the chapel over things said by people like Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and Fred Price. Sorry, I do not have Rolls Royce faith today, Fred.
If I took everything I heard people proclaim from the platform at chapel, I would be one confused guy. I would believe that prosperity was for be to get 4 houses and also believe that living as simple as possible was the biblical way.
My point is living by pastor’s sermon will make you one confused, crazy mess. You have to make sure you are living for Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit; not the teaching of your favorite televangelist on Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Be a Pentecostal, not a Republican
I am a Pentecostal. I am a Republican. I am not a Republican because I am a Pentecostal. One has nothing to do with the other. Jesus is not into political parties anyways.
When people try to tell me that they are o a party because God told them this or that; I see red flags coming up. You might hold your views based on your faith (as I do) but that does not mean God told you to be a member of the Republican party.
Gun Rights is a constitutional issue; it is not a biblical issue. God did not make the second amendment the 11th commandment back in 1776. I believe in the second amendment because it is right and it is what our Founding Fathers envision; not what Jesus said.
When Christians make constitutional rights into biblical issues, all we do is look stupid to the liberals. Stand for what you believe and that can be an expression of your faith but it is not your faith directly.
When we mix them up, we look brainwashed, and only make Barack Obama look right about clinging to the bible and guns.
Being a Pentecostal does not mean we throw out logic and reasoning. Part of worship is with all your mind. That means you engage people with logic.
Pentecostals need to learn how to think.
Did I say that? I did. Paul told us to be ready to give reason for hope that lives within us. “The Bible says so” is not reasoning either. If we want to be effective in witnessing, we better rethink how we come across and quit being brainwashed by preachers.
We need to learn how to think, not what to think.
That means we have to start thinking about how to engage people on a mental level, not just a spiritual level. This is why I think a required reading of every bible school student should be Evidence that demands a verdict by Josh McDowell and Why Jesus? by Ravi Zacharias. They might be boring but they would do us a great service.
Being able to engage people with knowledge, not just words of knowledge will only make us more effective in our witness to a world around us that is growing to be more liberal and believe in atheism. “God said” is not going to cut it any more. Not in the 21st century. The Post-modern world is here.
Having knowledge on many subjects will only make us better Pentecostals. As a computer programmer, student of history, and former boxer; I have a much more well rounded approach to be a witness. Knowing the twisted world of boxing, I can do more than tell them they are going to hell. I can relate to them and reach to them with the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have been where they have been. I know the corruption in the boxing sense. I know about the partying, the drugs, the drinking, the womanizing. I know what exactly they think about Christians. As a result, I know how to engage them and bring them to the foot of the Cross.
Please, don’t be brainwashed but be blood washed!