By Rev. Mel C. Montgomery
Article I: The Glory is Gone
Prophets, Apostles, and Healing Evangelists are finally admitting it:
The Glory is gone.
Oh, they aren’t admitting it openly and directly. To do so would be a “negative confession.” But they are admitting it quietly and indirectly. Nearly every Charismatic Christian television program, book, and CD is proclaiming to us “The Glory is coming!” And, “Get ready for the Glory!” Also, “Pray for the Glory to come again!”
For it to “come” it has to be presently absent.
In other words, “gone.”
The Glory left us.
Oh, we still have good services here and there. We still have the occasional miracle. People are still saved and filled with the Spirit. But the manifested Presence and Glory of God that has been in Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Word of Faith services in the past, is simply not there anymore. The kinds of awesome services held in years past by Wigglesworth, the Goodwins, Kathryn Kuhlman, the old Healing Revivalists, and so on, are nearly unknown today.
Apostles and prophets at the forefront of our movement are finally acknowledging that, frankly, not much is happening. There is a manifestation of Glory that we are not seeing anymore.
They promise us much though. Since 1983 when Brother Copeland returned from a 30-day fast declaring that the “new move of God” was imminent, and that it would be greater than all the other revivals that preceeded it, they have promised us for the last 25 years that the Glory was about to burst upon us at any moment.
Well . . .
Where is it?
I do not define “imminent” as a quarter of a century. Do you? Clearly, they missed it on the timing. Is it possible that glory experts who claim the Glory is coming have also missed other aspects of the next expected move of God?
To date, I have not heard a single national minister ask the most important question of all:
Why did the Glory leave us?
It is a fair question.
In this article, I will show from the scriptures the seven sins that cause the Glory to leave the people of God. Then in follow-up articles, I will examine each sin’s presence in Charismatic and Word of Faith circles today.
We will see from the Bible that seven sins that stopped the Glory during the childhood of Samuel. And we will find that the sins that caused the Glory to depart in Samuel’s day are the same sins that brought the Healing Revival of the 1940’s and 1950’s to a halt, and they are also what has now killed the Word of Faith Move.
Yes, I meant that–killed.
I don’t know the specific day the Word of Faith Movement died, but it has been dead for some time now.
Allow me to compare a move of God with an ocean liner at sea. When men want to stop a mighty ship, they shut down the engines, and drop anchors over the side. The drag of the anchors quickly bring the ship to a complete stop. In a similar manner, a move of God dies when it is burdened down with more and more sin and excesses. God is still in the move, but the drag of the sin and excesses act like anchors. Before long, there is no more forward movement.
When a ship comes to a stop out in the ocean, it is considered to be “dead in the water,” having no more forward momentum. The ship still exists. It may still have people on it. But it really isn’t going anywhere. This is the sense in which I say that the Word of Faith move is dead. It is dead in the water. Although people still identify with it, there is no discernable forward motion.
There is a sense in which no move of God ever dies. People still identify with the move, but it loses sight of its original purpose and does not continue forward. A good example of this is the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s and 1600’s. Even though it is dead, it still affects us to a certain extent to this day. Non-Catholic Christians still call themselves “Protestants.” However, the original Protestants started out as Catholics who were “protesting” the corruption and doctrinal excesses of the Catholic church. They sought to reform, the Catholic Church, for this reason the move of God of that day was called the Protestant Reformation.
Protestants eventually gave up on reforming the Catholic Church, and broke with it. No Protestant today seriously thinks in terms of working to reform the Catholic Church. Nor do they see themselves as “protesting” the excesses and errors of that church. They are largely oblivious to the Catholic church. And in fairness, the Catholic church cleaned up a great deal of their corruption, even though they still teach a great deal that has no scriptural backing. The name “Protestant” remains in use, and people identify with this branch of Christianity, however the passion and momentum of that movement is long gone, hence, dead.
The Pentecostal Move of the early 1900’s is dead. People still call themselves by that name, however. The Healing Revival of the 1940’s and 1950’s is dead. We still believe in healing. However, the few Healing Revivalists of that are still alive, admit that the movement has lost its momentum, and it is dead.
We thought our Word of Faith Move would be different. We thought that we would be able to remain focused with laser-like precision on the preaching and teaching of the Bible, teaching people how to release their faith in God’s Word. We didn’t realize that sin and excessive teachings would creep in, and slowly bring our movement to a grinding halt. But they did, and our movement died. There are still people on our ship. The hot air from alot of preachers are trying to fill our sails to move us forward again. But no ship can go forward while dragging the anchors of sin and error along the bottom of the ocean. There is no real forward move in the Word of Faith anymore.
Like leaders of denominations which were birthed out of previous moves of God, our leaders continue going through the motions, re-preaching the same old dog-eared sermons, but there is no real life, power, passion, or unction in most of it. Although there are still some signs of life here and there, our Word of Faith churches, for the most part, stand more as monuments to the past than as power centers of the present.
In other words, the Glory has left.
Years ago, I read an article in which David Wilkerson wrote that before God could move in a greater way in our midst, we needed the kind of correction that came only from “searing sermons.” I disagreed with him then. But after sitting through 20 years of sermons in which I was woozed and schmoozed, pampered and petted, was promised everything and challenged in nothing, and the Glory is still gone, I’m ready to cut through the fluff and get to the heart of what has to occur before God blesses us with His Glory again.
Are you ready?
It will be painful.
Correction, chastisement, and rebukes are always painful:
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11.
What happens after the painful, grievous chastisement?
“. . . it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”
This scripture tells us that the only way to future Glory is to endure the painful chastening of the present.
Every great move of God has begun not with fluff, fanfare, and flattery, and fat offering buckets, but with grief, repentence, remorse. Even before the greatest move of God–the life and ministry of Christ–God sent John the Baptist, not to endorse their present spiritual laxity, but to rebuke them and tell them to “make the crooked ways straight!”
Every great move of God begins by “making the crooked ways straight.”
If walking by faith, confessing the word, and taking up big offerings were capable of bringing the Glory, we would have had it long ago.
The first step in getting the Glory back is to understand WHY the Glory left us in the first place. Then we can correct ourselves so that it may return.
Let’s look at the life of Samuel. The reasons the Glory left back then are the same reasons it has left us today.
Ichabod! The Glory Has Left!
Samuel’s mother Hannah had been unable to become pregnant, and had prayed to the Lord for a son. She promised that if God answered her prayer, she would loan her son to Him for His service. God answered Hannah’s prayer and she gave birth to Samuel. At a young age, she entrusted Samuel to the care of Eli the priest. He lived with Eli and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas who had been trained to be priests also.
When Samuel was older, the Children of Israel fought a battle with the Philistines. The battle went against Israel. So Israel decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant into the midst of their camp, thinking that by doing so, God would be with them and they would win the war. However, they lost the war and lost the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines. Additionally, Eli’s two grown sons Hophni and Phinehas were taken and killed.
When word of the loss of the Ark and of his two sons reached Eli, he fell off the seat he was sitting on and broke his neck. At that moment Phinehas’ pregnant wife went into labor. Read with me:
“And she named the child Ichabod, [which means “There is no glory”] saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.” I Sam. 4:21,22.
Why did Israel lose this battle? Why did the Ark of God leave their midst? The scriptures show us that the Glory departed because of seven sins committed by Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas–the priests of God.
Let me state this very clearly:
Sins in the priesthood caused the Glory to depart from the people of God in Samuel’s day, and also later from the Pentecostal Revival, the Healing Revival, and now from the Word of Faith Move.
There were seven sins that caused the Glory to leave. Let’s examine these seven sins one by one, beginning with: