The River of God, by David Hogan

Pastor David Hogan is the founding leader of Freedom Ministries, a pioneering mission among remote Mexican mountain tribes.  This article is edited from a message he gave at Christian Outreach Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

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Between 150 and 500 people a month are being saved

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A new move of the Holy Spirit has started.  It’s been all over the place.  It’s got a whole lot of different names, depending on what part of the world you’re from.  Some people call it ‘The River’, some people call it ‘The Refreshing’, some people call it the ‘Fire of Heaven’, others just call it plain ‘Revival of God’.  I don’t particularly care what we call it as long as we’re in it!

Our work is now so large that I have to take care of it, which means I have to protect it in the way of not allowing any false doctrine to get into it.  Westerners are real ‘faddish’ people and tend to jump into the latest thing for a little while, until it subsides and then people go back into their normal way of life.  Well I don’t agree with that.

I agree with Jesus and going and staying in the flow and allowing it to change you and be completely radical in the Holy Spirit.  You have to do things by faith.  Everything has to be done by faith or it’s sin.

I am responsible to the Holy Spirit for what happens to the people he’s given me.  And I’m not going to jump in just because America jumps in, or just because Australia jumps in, or New Zealand, or England or anybody else.  I’m going to jump in when the Holy Spirit jumps in our work.  Now that’s not to say I’m fighting it, I never was fighting, please understand.  I was not against the Refreshing, the River, the flow, the wind, the fire.  I never was against all that.  Every time I’d come out, or go around the world somewhere, I’d mix with everybody but I was being cautious.

So I went after God.  I told the Lord: “This is what we’re going to do God, and if I’m wrong you can do whatever you want to.  I am not going to preach this Refreshing, this Revival, in our work.  I will not teach one message on it.  I won’t allow anyone that comes from around the world to speak about it in our work till I see you divinely touch us as you have in the past.”

You may say, “You shouldn’t be that strict.  You shouldn’t be that serious.”

Yes I should!  If you knew how hard it is for me to dig those Indians out of those hills, to get them born again, to get churches started, to get it established, then you’d understand why I’m so serious about how I undertake what I do in my ministry.

And it really happened, it really, really happened.

Miracles

We’ve had over 400 people raised from the dead in our work.  God can raise anybody from the dead.  It’s awesome to watch.

We had a lady the other day, just before I came over here, a 70-year-old grandma, who was dead for about 14-16 hours.  The Holy Spirit touched her and raised her up, but it was after the whole family was brought in.  They washed her for burial.  They set her up on the altar in the house, and the whole town came through and acknowledged her death and gave respects to the people.  Then God raised her from the dead!  Hallelujah!

It’s wonderful.  God can raise people from the dead, whoever he wants to.  And it doesn’t make me any different whether you believe it or not.  It matters that I believe.  It matters that our work believes.  It matters that Jesus is King.

We see the dead raised, the blinded eyes opened, the lame walking, and all sorts of tumours fall off people and every kind of miracle – tuberculosis is healed.  Yes, we get that, we do get that and let me tell you something, that’s the very reason I was so cautious about going into this revival with the rest of the world; because I don’t want our work tainted at all.

Our work has got high integrity.  It’s new.  It’s fresh.  It’s just 20 years old and I want the thing to carry over into the next millennium with glory and honour and victory!  And we will, in Jesus’ name, if Jesus doesn’t come back.

So, I blocked it.  I wouldn’t allow people to talk about this new revival that’s taking place in the world.

People say, “You can’t tell people what to preach.”

I wasn’t telling them what to preach, I was telling them what not to preach.  They could preach on anything but this thing that was going on.  We are stuck up in the mountains.  It’s off the trail.  It’s not a beaten path.  It’s hard to get to.  It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, and so people never would come to see us.

But now we’re a thousand strong and we’ve got every kind of miracle known, so now everyone wants to come!    That’s fine, you can come, but there are certain things you’re not going to talk about.

The work must be protected.  It’s a worthy thing that God’s doing.  But God can do it because God wants to.  God can quicken the dead if he wants to.  I watched him do it, I’ve personally been in on 19 dead raisings and I know.  I have watched people.  We had a couple of girls that were dead for 3 days that were lying, covered in lime and the Holy Spirit brought them back from the dead.  It’s wonderful.  A couple of teenage girls.  They loved it when they got up, spitting that lime out of their mouths.

Remember Romans 4:20: Abraham ‘staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’

God’s visitation

So, about the new wine.  I was blocking people, not God.  I wanted something that would last.

I visited an outlying village.  It took 4 hours in a 4 wheel drive and then 2 hours on foot, uphill.  It’s very remote.  There’s no radio, no T.V., and no outside influences.  I was sitting up there in this little hut on a piece of wood against the bamboo wall on the dirt floor.  Chickens were walking around in there.

The pastor walked up to me.  He’s a little guy, and he was trembling.

He said, “Brother David, I’m really afraid I’ve made a mistake.”

I hadn’t heard of any mistakes.  I was wondering what had happened in the last few days.  He’s got four little churches in his area.

He said, “It’s not my fault.  I apologize.  I’ve done everything right, like you taught me.  I pray every day.  I read the Bible.  I’m doing it right.  What happened is not my fault.”

I said, “What happened?  Come on, tell me what happened.”

He was trembling.  Tears were running out of his eyes.  He said, “Brother David, I got up in our little church.  I opened my Bible and I started preaching and the people started falling down.  The people started crying.  The people started laughing.  And it scared me.  I ran out of the church.”

That’s what I was looking for.  That’s what I was waiting for, when God came in our work, not because somebody came and preached it, not because I said it was okay or not okay, because I was neutral about it.  I knew it was all right, but I wanted to see it in our work not because I ushered it in, but because the Holy Spirit ushered it in.  And he did.

I got together with my pastors and we made a covenant to do a month’s fast in September 1995.  This was as well as the 3 days on and 3 days off fast that we had been doing that year anyway, so we were ready for whatever God wanted to do.  That year every day at least 365 people were fasting.

God hit me on the third day of that month of fasting, but I continued the fast and on the seventh day he hit me again greater than I’ve ever been hit in my life up to that point.  But we continued fasting for the whole month.

The River of God

Psalm 47:4-5 says, ‘There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.  God is in the midst of her…’

I found the river.  It’s real.  The Shekinah presence of God has come into our work.  There is a river of God wider and deeper than we know.

The minute you think you are accomplishing something is the minute you should repent.  Find ways to keep yourself humble.  Look for ways to not be a ‘big shot’ and to stay in the river.  We are the habitation of God, Zion, God’s people.  He wants us flowing in the river.

It doesn’t matter what’s around us – bullets, knives, disease, the state of the economy.  It matters that our eyes are fixed on Jesus.  When the Holy Spirit fell on us there was war around us.  Bullets were being fired.  People were dying.

I don’t have words to describe what happened to us when the Holy Spirit fell on us on Friday 27 October 1995.  If you had been there, you wouldn’t have words to describe it either.

It’s an awesome thing I’ve been able to witness.

The river of God is here, and it’s full.  There’s plenty for all.

We were in an awesome time.  I didn’t know how deep we were in the river of God.  I’d been fasting for a month, and I didn’t know what was happening.    So I decided to get my pastors together in each section.  We had groups of about 30-75 pastors in each section.  I went into the most conservative area of our mission first, because I wanted to see what would happen.

At the first meeting, with about 75 of my pastors I got up, I opened my Bible, and I shared one or two verses.  Suddenly I felt, that’s enough.  They’re used to me preaching two hours sometimes, but it hadn’t been ten minutes.

I said, “Stand up.”  And they stood up.

I said, “Receive the River of Life.”

You should have seen it!  It looked like someone was hitting them with bats in the stomach and the head.  But nobody was touching them.  People were lying over benches, forward, backward, all over the place.  I was trying to help, but I couldn’t help.  People were just flying everywhere.  And these were ministers.

So I went through all the sections like that.  I got into one section, and they were glad to see me.  They hadn’t seen me in a few months.  I stood up.  I opened my Bible.  I read one verse about the fire of God, and the people started shaking.

I thought, “Oh God, this is way out.”

So I said, “Stand up.”  They tried to stand up.  Some of them couldn’t stand up.  I just said the word “Fire.”  And the whole place fell.

It was getting more and more scary to me.  But people were getting healed without anybody touching them.

A man in that meeting had been deaf for 27 years.  I didn’t know the man.  He fell over and hit his head on a bench, and fell underneath the bench.  He got up from there after a few minutes and he took off running out of the room.  His ears had unstopped and he was running from the noise!

Amazing conference

After I had been through all the sections, introducing this softly, it finally came time to call all the pastors together from the whole work.  A couple of hundred of our pastors came.  I wish you had been there to see what we saw!  It was amazing.

On the first day there were about 200 pastors there, and the whole church that was hosting us.  That made about 450 people.

The first day was awesome.  God hit us powerfully.  There were healings.  I was happy.  The people were encouraged.

The second day was even better.  It was stronger.  I thought we were peaking out on the second day.  I got there at 8 o’clock in the morning and left at 10 o’clock at night, and there was ministry all day.  We were fixing problems, and God was working through the ministry.  It was wonderful.

But I tell you, I was not ready for the third day.

We were coming in from different areas.  The Indians were all there.  I didn’t know they had been in an all-night prayer meeting.  I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit had fallen on them and they couldn’t get up.  I didn’t know that they had been pinned down by the Holy Spirit all night long, all over the place, stuck to the ground.  Some of them had fallen on ant beds, but not one ant bit them.

I was staying about 45 minutes away.  I got in my 4 wheel drive and as I drove there I began listening on the two-way radio.  Some of our missionaries were already there, and were talking on the two-way radio saying, ‘What’s happening here.  I can’t walk.’

As I listened to them on the radio I felt power come on me.  And the closer I came, the more heat I felt settling on me.  I could feel heat, and I had my air conditioner going!

When I got to the little church, I opened the door of the truck and instantly became hot.  Sweat poured off me.  I was about 300 yards from the church.  The closer I got, the more intense was the heat.  I could hardly walk through it, it was so thick.  I’m talking about the presence of God.  That was 7.30 in the morning!

I walked around the corner of the building.  People were all over the place.  Some were knocked out.  Some were on the ground.  Some were moaning and wailing.  It was very unusual, and I could hardly walk.  By the time I got to the front of the church where the elders were I could hardly walk.  I was holding on to things to get there.  I could hardly breathe.

The heat of the presence of God was amazing.

The people had been singing for two hours before I got there.  At 8.15 on the morning of October 27th, 1995, I walked up there and lay my Bible down on that little wobbly Indian table.  Hundreds were looking at me.  Some were knocked out, lying on the ground.  I could hardly talk.

I called the nine elders to the front and told them the Holy Spirit was there and we needed to make a covenant together, even to martyrdom.  We made a covenant there that the entire country of Mexico would be saved.  They asked me to join them in that pact.

When we lifted our hands in agreement all nine fell at once.  I was hurled backward and fell under the table.  When I got up the people in front fell over.  In less than a minute every pastor there was knocked out.

We were ringed with unbelievers, coming to see what was going on.  The anointing presence of God came and knocked them all out, dozens of them.  Every unbeliever outside and everyone on the fence was knocked out and fell to the ground.  There were dozens of them.

From the church at the top of the hill we could see people in the village below running out screaming from their huts and falling out under the Holy Spirit.  It was amazing.

We always have a section for the sick and afflicted.  They bring them in from miles around, some on stretchers.  There were 25-30 of them there.  Every sick person at the meeting was healed: the blind, the cancerous, lupus, tumours, epilepsy, demon possession.  Nobody touched them but Jesus.

There was instant reconciliation between people who had been against each other.  They were laying on top of each other, sobbing and repenting.

I was afraid when I saw all of that going on.  I looked up to heaven and said, “God what are you … ?” and that was the end of it.  He didn’t want to hear any questions.  Bang!

I was about three or four metres from the table.  When I woke up some hours later, I was under the table.

When I finally woke up my legs wouldn’t work.  I scooted myself around looking at what was going on.  It was pandemonium!  When some people tried to get up, they would go flying.  It was awesome.

We had five open-eyed visions.

One small pastor was hanging onto a pole to hold himself up.  He was there, but he wasn’t there.  He said to me, ‘Brother David, look at him.  Look at him, Brother David!  Who is it?  Look how big he is!  Oh, he’s got his white robe on.  He’s got a golden girdle.’  It was Jesus.

He said, “Brother David, how did we get into this big palace?”

I looked around.  I was still on the dirt floor.  I still had a grass roof over me, but he was in a marble palace, pure white.

I crawled over to look at him.  He was seeing things we could not see.  Another of the elders, a prophet from America, who had been working with me for thirteen years, crawled over and we were watching this pastor who was in a trance.  It was amazing.

The three of us were inside something like a force field of energy.  Anybody who tried to come into it was knocked out.  It was scary.

The pastor said, ‘He’s got a list, Brother David.’  And he started reading out aloud from the list.

I was looking around, and as he was reading from the list people went flying through the air, getting healed and delivered.  It was phenomenal, what God was doing.  And he’s done it in every service in our work that I’ve been in since then.  It’s been over a year.  It’s amazing.  Wonderful.

Rev 22:1 says, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

I saw that river.  I actually saw the river, its pure water of life from God’s throne.  If I could see it again I would know it.  I saw it.  I experienced it.  I tasted it.

God came because we waited, and listened.  We didn’t jump in at the first sprinkle.  We will keep it through prayer and fasting.

Between 150 and 500 people per month are being saved because of it, just through what the North American missionaries are doing.

Do you really want it?

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1998, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Mission

Renewal Journal 9: Mission

Renewal Journal 9: Mission – PDF

All Renewal Journal Topics:

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,   
5 Signs & Wonders,   
6  Worship,   
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   
13  Ministry,
   14  Anointing,   
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,   
17  Unity,
   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church,   20 Life

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Contents: 9 Mission

Renewal Journal 9: MissionThe River of God, by David Hogan

The New Song, by C. Peter Wagner

God’s Visitation, by Dick Eastman

Revival in China, by Dennis Balcombe

Mission in India, by Paul Pilai

Harvest Now, by Robert McQuillan

Pensacola Revival, by Michael Brown

Reviews: Building a Better World  by Dave Andrews,  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit & Surprised by the Voice of God both by Jack Deere, Secrets of the Argentine Revival, by R Edward Miller

Renewal Journal 9: Mission – PDF

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Editorial

Unprecedented evangelism and mission

Unprecedented evangelism and mission continue to accelerate around the world.   No one can keep up with the amazing accounts of this global harvest.  Similarly, the accounts of outpourings of the Holy Spirit with miracles, signs and wonders increase.  Often these cause huge numbers to respond in conversions to Christ.

Jesus said this would be so.  All the gospels and the book of Acts tell of the risen Lord’s commission for our mission.  Each command concerning our mission in the world includes the promise of God’s presence and power essential to fulfilling our mission.

Matthew 28:18-20.  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, so we are to go and make disciples of all peoples (ethna – ethnic groups, people groups).  This includes baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded.  He is with us to the end of the age.

Mark 16:15-18.  This controversial command includes going into all the world and preaching the gospel to everyone.  Signs accompanying that involve casting out demons in Jesus’ name, speaking in new tongues, protection from evil, and placing hands on the sick so they recover.

Luke 24:46-49.  Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in Jesus’ name to all people, and Jesus said he himself would send the Holy Spirit promised by the Father, so the disciples had to wait for that.  And Luke tells how it happened in his second book – The Acts.

John 20:21-23.  As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us.  He breathed on his disciples and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’  They did.  So must we.

Acts 1:8.  Jesus last promise and command was that his followers would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them, and they would be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.  This issue of the Renewal Journal tells a little of that continuing story.

David Hogan describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among Mexican mountain tribes.

John Piper grounds the goal and task of missions in worship.  God is great, and greatly to be praised.  The supreme purpose in all mission is God’s glory in everything.  Ultimately all the earth shall worship him.

Peter Wagner gives a brief global sweep of the massive prayer movement in the earth today and describes some of its impact.  Dick Eastman provides further examples of the current astounding harvest in mission.

Dennis Balcombe reports on the growth of the church in China with the miracles accompanying ministry there.  Paul Pilai, a converted Hindu, tells of signs and wonders accompanying mission among Hindu people in India.

Robert McQuillan surveys revival developments in Argentina as well as at Sunderland in England and Pensacola in America, and Michael Brown summarises developments at Pensacola where over 60,000 have now indicated commitments to Christ since June 1995.

The backdrop and context for much of these revivals include increasing violence, families torn apart, death and moral decay worldwide.  Sin abounds.  However, grace abounds even more.  The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out.

Historically, great revivals and moves of God’s Spirit have often broken through into dark times.  That still happens.

We can pray and believe for powerful moves of God’s Spirit in our land, that thousands may yet come to faith with lives and families transformed.

The nineties into the 21st century proved to be fascinating decades in the history of the church, and we expect that the years ahead will see even more profound changes as the kingdom of God breaks in upon us ever more fully.

© Renewal Journal 9: Mission, 1997, 2nd edition 2011

 

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Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Light on the Mountains

Light on the Mountains

Light on the MountainsLight on the Mountains

Pioneer Mission in Papua New Guinea

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Endorsement by Rev L.A. (Tony) Cupit, former Director of Evangelism and Education, Baptist World Alliance:

No one speaks more authentically about a mission situation than one who has experienced it. That is one reason, among others, why Geoff Waugh’s latest book, Light on the Mountains, is such a valuable resource.

It was my privilege to serve in Papua New Guinea with Global Interaction at the same time as Geoff. I greatly appreciated his genuine love for Jesus the Christ and notable contribution to and love for the Enga people during the seven years we served together. These are reflected in this fascinating book. Geoff writes with deep personal knowledge and insight about the joys and challenges of mission life. He has collected valuable original source material and used it creatively to convey historical and missiological insights that needed to be unearthed and made available.

Anyone interested in learning about the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit of God in Papua New Guinea, and of discovering reasons why people engage in cross-cultural and linguistic mission work, would be well rewarded by studying and absorbing the insights this book provides.

__________________

Endorsement by Rev Don Doull, pioneer missionary in PNG from 1949.

This book describes those exciting days when Australian Baptists began a new missionary enterprise in 1949, the Baptist New Guinea Mission. We were motivated by a desire to fulfil our Lord’s great commission and reach out to those people just to the north of our country who had not yet heard the name of Jesus. As you peruse the pages of this book, which records the beginnings of that missionary challenge taken up by the Post-War churches of Australia, you will sense again the spirit of adventure and dedication which drove our churches in what has proved to be a wonderfully rewarding missionary task.

Geoff Waugh has done a wonderful job of drawing together the many threads which have been woven together to make the fabric of what we are able to stand back and marvel at as we now are aware of the activities of the Baptist Union of PNG.

Many hundreds of missionaries and many thousands of faithful Christians from our Australian churches have contributed to this modern missionary endeavour which has now exceeded the vision of those who commenced the task. We can now look back over these past six decades with much gratitude to God and see a vital indigenous church functioning in PNG in a part of that country still emerging from “The Stone Age” when we commenced our task.

Our world has now changed almost beyond belief over these past decades, but the task still remains of reaching the multitudes of people who have never heard the name of Jesus. My prayer is that God will use the story Geoff has documented to challenge our 21st Century fellow believers, to move into our modern world with a similar faith and dedication as that which was demonstrated during the second half of the 20th Century by our Australian Baptists.

_______________________

Contents

Introduction

Part 1: Pioneer Mission History

1. Beginnings of the Baptist New Guinea Mission

2. The Church is Born: the first baptisms

3. The Church Grows: community transformation

Pioneer mission centres

Pioneer mission development

Part 2: Pioneer Mission Teaching

4. Trails and trials: mission life in the highlands

Pioneer missionary teacher

Schools

Bible Schools

Return visit

Conclusion

Enga revival

Min revival

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Related Biographical Books

Light on the Mountains is expanded from Chapter 4 (Mission) in Geoff’s Book

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

A Looking to Jesus All

Part 2 of Light on the Mountains (Pioneer Mission Teaching) is summarized in the early chapters of Journey into Mission

0 0 Jurney M2

Part 2 of Light on the Mountains (Pioneer Mission Teaching) is also summarized in Journey into Ministry and Mission

0 0 A Journey Mission

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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