[anzac] A QUAKE that SHOOK ENGLAND - Greg Gordon

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 19:09:39 -0700
A QUAKE that SHOOK ENGLAND
-by Greg Gordon.

George Fox: a powerful prophetic voice in England

UNADULTERATED CHRISTIANITY

"George Fox alone has, without human learning, done more than
any other reformer in Protestant Christendom towards the
restoration of real, primitive, unadulterated Christianity and the
destruction of priest craft, superstition, and ridiculous, unavailing
rites and ceremonies." - Leonard Ravenhill

As an earthquake shakes the earth bringing keen awareness to its
activity, so our subject George Fox quaked with such force that
England was made aware of this young firebrand in the hand of the
Lord. With no man as his teacher but God; he brought messages
upon common folk and priests alike. With prophetic force and
unction this man's voice shattered the religious status quo of the
day. As Leonard Ravenhill remarks of this man, "Though he made
others shake, no man could make him shake." Clothed in a
leather suit, boots and hat, he appeared much like a John the
Baptist character to the Church of England professors of religion.

STRANGER to ALL

George Fox was born in 1624, and was raised in a religious
home in the shoemaker trade. Being keenly aware of the spiritual,
he had many experiences of God in his heart as the Spirit of God
was wooing this young man to Himself. At the age of 19 he had
familiarity with some puritans who one day at a tavern had him
drink. Their worldly actions grieved George Fox to the point of
leaving and not being able to sleep that entire night. As He sought
the Lord with tears the Lord spoke to his servant saying: "Thou
seest how young people go together into vanity, and old people
into the earth; thou must forsake all, young and old, keep out of
all, and be as a stranger to all." And this he did! Obeying the voice
of the Lord he left his town, his family, his life, without any notice
or farewells. This desperate young man left as Abraham of old left
'and he went out, not knowing whither he went.' Passing from town
to town, professors of religion were keen to speak to this unusual
young man but as he confesses in his journal, "but I was afraid of
them: for I was sensible they did not possess what they professed."

For the next few years his time was spent in agony of body and
soul, being grieved at the state of religion and man's hearts, even
so much that at points in time he wished in his own words: "I had
never been born." Then came a voice to him as clear as the one
that called him from his home: "There is one, even Jesus Christ,
that can speak to thy condition.' and he says 'When I heard it,
my heart did leap for joy.'

David Smithers, a contemporary revival historian, shares some
great insight into this remarkable life: "Soon after George Fox
began to preach, he had a remarkable spiritual experience that
lasted fourteen days. A certain Mr. Brown, while on his death bed
prophesied many great things concerning Fox. "When this man
was buried," says Fox, "a great work of the Lord fell on me."

During this mighty baptism of the Spirit, Fox received a remarkable
gift of discernment. "He seemed to be able to read the character
of men by looking at them." Miraculous healing also accompanied
his ministry. Through prayer and the laying on of hands, the sick
were often healed and devils were cast out to the glory of Christ.
When George Fox preached men would shake and tremble. "The
name Quaker was given to Fox and his followers because of the
quaking of the men who came to scoff but stayed to pray." This
remarkable power seemed to accompany the preaching of Fox
wherever he went. Fox preached that Jesus Christ is the author of
a faith which purifies and gives victory over sin. He fervently
exhorted men to pursue complete holiness rather than empty
religious ceremonies. As a result, he was often beaten, stoned
and driven out of town. It is estimated that perhaps no other man
since the time of the Reformation was persecuted and imprisoned
as often as George Fox. He usually went about the country on foot,
dressed in his famous suit of leather clothes, which it is believed
he made himself. He often slept outside under a tree or in some
haystack. Fox also often pointed out that what was commonly
called the Church was only a building. He boldly declared that only
the fervent believers of Christ were the living stones of the true Church."

A FREE GOSPEL

The calling out of hirelings in the church was something that
George Fox did regularly, he had a peculiar spiritual gifting of
being able to discern true and spurious profession. He seemed to
trumpet this message against the selling of Christ and religion
with a burdened jealous heart, much in the likes of Christ Himself
toppling the moneychangers tables. The worldly spirit of the
priests made him suffer: and when he heard the bells ring to call
worshippers to the steeple-houses, it struck him to the heart, 'for
it was just like a market-bell to gather people together that the
priest might set forth his ware to sale. Oh, the vast sums of
money that are gotten by trade they make of selling the Scriptures,
and by their preaching... notwithstanding the Scriptures were given
forth freely, and Christ commanded his ministers to preach freely."

Another point that touches at the very heart of George Fox's
ministry was the telling people that God has come to teach them
Himself. It is brought out clearly in his journal when he said:
"These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter,
though they are written in the letter, but I saw them in the light of
the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate Spirit and power, as
did the holy men of God, by whom the Holy Scriptures were written."

He further illustrates this important truth of not just having the
scriptures for teaching but the Holy Spirit Himself who is the one
that the scriptures came from and He is the one that leads into all
truth. He gives this truth to a congregation in 1649: "And when I
came there, all the people looked like fallow ground, and the priest,
like a great lump of earth, stood in his pulpit above. He took for his
text these words of Peter, 'We have also a more sure word of
prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star
arise in your hearts.' And he told the people that the Scriptures
were the touchstone and judge by which they were to try all
doctrines, religions, and opinions... I.... was made to cry out and
say, 'Oh, no, it is not the Scriptures,' ... But I told them what it
was, namely, the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave
forth the Scriptures... for it led into all Truth, and so gave the
knowledge of all Truth. For the Jews had the Scriptures, and yet
resisted the Holy Ghost, and rejected Christ... and took upon
them to try their doctrines by the Scriptures, but erred in judgement,
and did not try them aright, because they tried without the Holy
Ghost. Now as I spoke thus amongst them, the officers came and
took me away and put me into prison, a pitiful stinking place."

HOLY MEN'S WORDS

George Fox taught one subject very strongly which he faced much
opposition and that is purity and holiness of the Christian life. Hear
the lament of Fox over this opposition to the truth: "But they could
not endure to hear of purity, and of victory over sin and the devil.
They said they could not believe any could be free from sin on this
side of the grave. I bade them give over babbling about the
Scriptures, which were holy men's words, whilst they pleaded for
unholiness. Then I bade them forbear talking of the Scriptures,
which were the holy men's words; "for," said I, "the holy men that
wrote the Scriptures pleaded for holiness in heart, life, and
conversation here; but since you plead for impurity and sin, which
is of the devil, what have you to do with the holy men's words?"

He had a boldness before men because he had a familiarity with
God. Therefore he could say: “When the Lord sent me forth into
the world, He forbade me to put off my hat to any, high or low.” To
live for the glory of God was his supreme desire over worldly vanity
and success. The Lord spoke directly and clearly to his heart and
he walked in that revelation. “The Lord showed me, so that I did
see clearly, that he did not dwell in these temples which men had
commanded and set up, but in people's hearts . . . his people
were his temple, and he dwelt in them.” Oh to realize the boldness
and zeal that Fox preached and lived in was because of the surety
of the voice of God that he heard. Are you hearing God? Has he
given you a clear strong word? God is desiring to speak and
anoint men for His purposes in our day. Oh how we need many
George Fox’s to rise up and speak against the modern
contraption of church and proclaim fearlessly the apostolic truths
long lost.

Thomas Ellwood a fellow 'friend' speaks of George Fox: "This Holy
man was raised up by God in an extraordinary manner, for an
extraordinary work, even to awaken the sleeping world. He was
valiant for truth, bold in asserting it, patient in suffering for it,
unwearied in laboring in it, steady in his testimony to it; immovable
as a rock."

William Penn one of the early leaders of the Quaker movement
wrote of Fox: "His ministry and writings show they are from one
that was not taught of man... Nor were they notional or speculative,
but sensible and practical truths, tending to conversion and
regeneration and the setting up of the kingdom of God in the
hearts of men... He had an extraordinary gift in opening the
Scriptures. He would go to the marrow of things... But above all
he excelled in prayer."

The impact of his life can be hardly measured, his name carries
along with it the life that was burnt out for God for on his
tombstone reads simply: "Here lies George Fox!"

~SOURCE:  SermonIndex.net