Rediscovering Our Destiny II: The Significance of Oneness
As mentioned in our previous blog the 2 week prayer meeting which occurred in Vineland New Jersey (1867) set the stage for a worldwide revival that literally shaped Christianity for the 21st century. In order for something like this to happen again in our generation, I believe it is very important for us to examine some aspects of that meeting. Although there were many contributing factors which lead to this outpouring of God’s Spirit, it seems to me as if “oneness” (making a choice to be unified) in Christ between the different denominations was one of the greatest. Kenneth Brown author of Wholly and Forever Thine agrees with this by recording what happened on that warm sunny afternoon in Vineland. He states, The National Camp meeting at Vineland, New Jersey officially opened on July 17, 1867, at 3:30 p.m. in the spacious “Kensington Tent.” Persons from several states and at least 6 denominations attended the opening services. John S. Inskip encouraged everyone to set aside the differences and come together in the spirit of Love. He said, “They must leave political disputes, controversy, and fault finding behind. We have not come here for that purpose, but for a nobler one of holding up a banner that was written upon it, ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ Let us point the people to that. Let every sermon aim at it, every exhortation urge it, all prayer embrace it, and the life of every man and women present exemplify it.” (Brown, 79-80)
Then he drew attention to the one subject upon which there could be no disagreement. “Let’s talk about Jesus-of Him only, and all the time,” said Inskip. It had begun! The people then came in droves. Adam Wallace reported that on Sunday 10,000 people were on the grounds and others claimed as many as 15,000 were present, all seeking all crying out for God to release His Spirit on a broken church and an even more broken nation. George Hughes wrote in the Guide to Holiness that at least 200 sinners were converted and 500 souls sanctified. Charles Simpson, son of Bishop Matthew Simpson, was converted in one of these services. (Simpson was close friends with Abraham Lincoln and would later preach his funeral services)Indeed these were all great victories in this revival meeting; however, one of the most remarkable occurrences came through the oneness of the different fellowships. Brown states, “That as many as 50 ministers from five denominations (Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterian, etc…) and 15 annual conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church attended, and he said they all worked together in harmony!!! Praise God!!!
In light of this I believe God desperately wants to pour out His Spirit again on a generation that is hungry and ready to receive it. How hungry are you? These people were desperate for a spiritual renewal, desperate for an encounter with the Almighty God, one that would not be forgotten but would rather last a life time. They were so hungry that they came together putting their differences aside for the sole purpose of God to pour out His Spirit upon His bride.
Dear friends, I plead with you; we are in need of such a renewal. Too many are under the bondages of sin. Too many are cursed by the enemy living a lie, and too many within the church have fallen asleep. Friends it’s time to awake, to arise from our slumber and put our differences aside and come together with the sole purpose of seeking the Lord. This is why this ministry is so important. It’s designed to create a platform for the King of Kings to come and dwell with His people again so that we might take on a holy fear of Him and give Him the worship that He truly deserves. Worship in Spirit and in truth.
Blog by: Mike Thornton