Welcome to Thus Say the Prophets!
The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed:
A Study into the Noahide Nazarene Way
By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) � 9.18.09 (3.15.08)
Chapter Three, Part 2
Go to the index page for: The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed
The Church of Philadelphia: The Church in Revival: The Great Awakening to World War One
- 1750 CE - 1914 CE: Then there occurred that exciting period of time known as the Great Awakening. Volumes could and have been written of this period but I will try and keep this brief. This spiritual awakening produced several ministers and ministries seeking to restore spirituality and life to the Nicean Christian faith. These people ministered in all segments of the Church. To be sure some were charlatans but many were men and women of profound spiritual awareness and faith.
Early on in this period, in fledgling America the First Great Awakening occurred. This Awakening began in the Dutch Reformed Churches of New Jersey circa 1726. It soon spread to the Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches. This spiritual Awakening finally reached its zenith in New England in the 1740's. It produced thinkers such as Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) -- inspired by people like John Locke (1632-1704) -- John Wesley (1703-1791) and George Whitfield (1714-1770), scholarly Christians who opposed the high level of emotionalism that was typical of the Enlightenment and who demanded a return to biblical religion and faith. Itinerant preachers such as the Reverends Gilbert Tennent, Samuel Davies, Eleazar Wheelock, Samuel Finley etc. traveled throughout the thirteen colonies expounding emotionally charged "American Protestantism," said to be a new breed of religion that was born of American experiences. The Awakening fires spread to Virginia and elsewhere in the 1750's, but soon ended under the onslaught of Humanist certainties and the growing embrace of Secular Science and Darwinism. The impact of this Awakening was essential for the colonies as it created a bond between them ("e pluribus unum") and established a sense of national identity and social destiny as a distinct people. Protestant Americans began to hail the United States as the "New Zion," a virtual Protestant Promised Land. Jonathan Edwards considered the Awakening to be a "surprising work of God" and boldly proclaimed that Jesus had "flung the door of mercy open so that all could enter"... a clear and at-the-time bold rejection of Calvinism!
During this period, the fatherhood aspect of the Nicene Christian Triune God was emphasized, and the Colonists regarded themselves as His special children with a Manifest Destiny to fulfill. These American children of God fully expected their God to lead them as a nation and to punish them for any sins they allowed, even as He did the children of Israel. This was a strict and disciplined form of Christianity and was arguably just what the dead church period of Smyrna needed! As a result of these beliefs "submission of the stubborn human will" became an important concept and the religious life of the day and the fiery sermons of the evangelists reflected this. Holiness in all things came to typify this Puritan revival.
According to E.S. Gaustad:
"...the founding of the Separates and the Separate Baptists was the most conspicuous institutional effect of the [first] Great Awakening in New England." It was by no means the only one however. By 1755, there were over 125 Separate (or Strict Congregationalist) churches in New England. By 1776 over 70 Separate Baptist Churches existed. Later came the Universalists, the Unitarians, Free Will Baptists, Shakers and Quakers, the New Light Theologies (later organized as Edwardsianism, Hopkinsianism, and Consistent Calvinism), etc. The general-consensus of these movements was fundamentally Calvinistic, but this view was gradually changing.
John Calvin was one of the primary 16th century Reformers and a gifted debater and theologian. His teachings had a profound influence on the Reformed Christian Movement. The distinctive teaching of Calvinism is the doctrine of predestination. This belief holds that before the foundations of the heavens were set in place, God had already chosen those people who would be saved. The teaching is not that God, in His foreknowledge knew which people would choose to accept Him, but rather that God chose who He would save. Those He did not choose are damned to suffer eternal torment in Hell no matter what they might do or desire to the contrary, even before entering their mother's womb! People have no choice in the matter of their salvation. This doctrine is not as popular as it once was, but many Christians still accept it as true. Most Christians do not really understand the Christian doctrine of predestination nor its dark implications.
The American-wrought emphasis on individuality
The First Great Awakening promoted the notion that God was willing to save anyone who truly repented and placed their faith in him. This was a harsh blow to then popular Calvinism! To do otherwise, it was argued, would be un-American because in America a person was only limited by his own choices! If an American wanted to be saved then he could get saved!
The ministers of the Awakening viewed America as God's tool for the establishment of "the millennial reign of Christ" and themselves as his veritable ministers to that end. American Christians were sending out missionaries to the ends of the earth promoting not only Nicean Christianity but Americanism as well! It was America's destiny to lead to world to Jesus!
And so despite the work of the Secular Humanists this period of Church and American history gradually flowered into the Second Great Awakening that abruptly ended with the onset of World War One in 1914 -- as Master Y'shua had foretold:
Matt 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Calvinism was waning fast and new religious forms and doctrines were being developed (or realized) by diverse Protestant and heterodox thinkers. Among the new Christian groups that arose during this shift away from Calvinism were the Missouri Synod, the Norwegian Evangelical Synod, the Church of the United Brethren, the Disciples of Christ, the diverse Millerite sects, and Mormonism (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Also appearing was Swedenborgianism, Taylorism (or Beecherism), Mesmerism, Owenism, Fourierism, the Oneida Society, the Mennonites, the Moravians, the Seventh Day Baptists, the Six Principle Baptists and Dunker Baptists, the Free Will Baptists, the YMCA, etc. This enlivening Americana feeling of divinely inspired individual responsibility and worth began again among the New England Congregationalists. The renewed revival fires soon spread throughout the United States -- being found in all major denominations to some degree including among the Roman Catholics. By the mid 19th century however this movement likewise was absorbed into the greater religious structures and stagnation of traditional dogma and began to wane.
It should be remembered that these flowerings of intellectual and spiritual awakening did not and do not occur in a vacuum. Each appearance of spiritual renewal is directly tied to the experiences (for good or ill) of its predecessors. Such was again the case between the years 1875 and 1914 when the Third Great Awakening occurred.
Note that some authorities do not see a break between the Second and Third Awakening as I list them here. Its semantics really.
I discuss these awakenings and share a lot of information about the Third Great Awaking in particular Here. During this Awakening the modern religious landscape was established.
As the period of the Great Awakening was ending, the first major signs that the End of the Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) had arrived were dawning for all who knew the prophecies. The doctrinal debates were interesting but the Dawn of the Final Church Period was now at hand and both Heaven and Earth shuttered at the realization.
- Revelation 3:
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The Church of the Laodiceans: