By Jeff Ziegler
Published November 1, 1989
The greatest weight and encumbrance to a revived Church displaying the glorious character of her all absorbing Bridegroom is the abject poverty of knowing and experiencing the perfect love of God.
When speaking of perfect love, one speaks of love as distinctly heavenly and set apart from earthly sentiment. Perfect love emanates from Christ alone and is to be shed abroad in our hearts. Perfect love demands a heavenly response to Him who first loved us. It is this all encompassing romance which promotes the permeating fragrance of Christ’s supremacy throughout the earth.
“Mary took a pound of very costly, genuine spikenard ointment, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment” (John 12:3).
Perfect love moves far beyond the reach of human understanding – “the love of Christ which passes knowledge …” (Ephesians 3:19). It is the highest sphere of love so often claimed and esteemed by the Church which in reality is the least obtained, misunderstood and abused attribute of God in our present age. For if perfect love were indeed manifest in all the splendor of Christ, there would be experientially within the Church a complete eradication of carelessness, prayerlessness, fearfulness, sloth and ease, backslidings, unholy affections, vanity, spiritual blindness, traditions of men, abasement of divine justice, lawlessness, and every vile rebellious thought which exalts itself against God.
Perfect love infused in our hearts is not the broad way of non-discerning human sentiment and unstable emotion which excuses and winks at ungodliness leading thousands down a comfortable, blinding path to eternal damnation.
Perfect love is the narrow way which leads to the straight gate of holiness where we are in union with our Lord and are changed from glory to glory into the image of Christ. Perfect love mingled with Christ’s manifest character is the divine nourishment which animates the Church in glorious liberty to subdue iniquity and obtain full mastery over the power of sin.
It is in the state of perfect love that we may know unbroken fellowship with Christ exalted at the right hand of God and testify of that union upon the earth eclipsing fully the religious order and all that is in connection with it. Perfect love and the testimonies of holiness are eternally inseparable.
“And we have come to know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:16,17).
Perfect love does not originate with our affections. Indeed, our affections – even when raised to a religious fervor – are always slanted and biased toward the justification of man and his ways rather than the exalted character of God. Perfect love flows from our enthroned sovereign Lord. The very lofty thought of our heavenly Father’s perfect loving of Adam’s helpless race stems from His unchanging nature which is, above all, holy!
Only a supremely holy God could love us in such a way so not to merely forgive us of our sins, but to judge and purge our earthly, sinful image that we may be brought into the blessed state of partaking of His holiness.
“For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 2:6).
The way of perfect love is the way of holiness. It is the passionate affection of God Himself constraining those who are born of His Spirit, His sons, toward glorification and perfection (Hebrews 2:10-11). Perfect love romances and bears up into Christ’s rich wounds in beauty glorified. Perfect love not only brings the saints to the place of His supremacy at the right hand of God, but pours down within our spirits the supremacy of His place, the upper world, His glorified, endless, perfect life whereby we may cry, ABBA, FATHER!
Beloved, do you know Him in this way? Do you know the love of God to bear you up into His presence and witness of that presence within your heart? Beloved, renounce the slothful, fearful, humanistic love which has hardened and calloused your heart against the perfectings of Christ. Release now the sentimental, deceptive denial of your sinfulness which treads underfoot the Son of God and counts the blood of the covenant to be an unholy thing. Yield your heart to be turned toward the irresistible flood tide of perfect love that you may behold your God and be transformed into His image.
“Whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (II Corinthians 3:16-18).
When this divine romance is realized within the Church, the sweet fragrance of revival will demonstrate the superiority of the Lord’s testimony on the earth. There will be no more room for the religious man! His testimony will be fully abased by those who emanate the ministry of righteousness in the power of Christ’s glorified life. To some the fragrance of revival is a savour of life unto life, to others a savour of death unto death.
God Himself will preserve those made perfect in love. The Lord shall release the same perfect love from our inner man toward all the same divinely inflamed brethren, and together one joint supplying the other we shall grow unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
As for the religious man – the one who is bound in the instability of humanistic and religious traditions – he will forever resist and seek to destroy the path of perfect love and its superior testimony of Christ’s holiness. His way is the way of fearfulness.
The fearful, hypocritical, religious man always in a cowardly, darkened way resists revival. They are not made perfect in love! They cringe at perfect love’s superior witness for all the power of natural man lies exposed and rotting in the face of His glory and grace.
But beloved, we are not of them who shrink back to destruction. Rather, the Spirit of adoption even now wishes to unfold in our hearts the way of perfect love that we may testify of the life of Christ which has been revealed to us.
Jeff Ziegler is president of Christian Evangelistic Endeavors, a ministry dedicated to bringing a great and mighty revival to the Church and spiritual awakening throughout the nations. C.E.E. sponsors Intensive Revival School, a two year discipleship training program designed to prepare students for the ministry. Revival Flame, a bi-monthly newsletter published by C.E.E., contains articles written by staff members and revivalists of old concerning revivals past and present.
If you wish to receive Revival Flame completely free of subscription cost, you may do so by writing to the following address:
c/o Christian Evangelistic Endeavors, Inc.
35155 Beachpark Dr.
Eastlake, OH 44095
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Revival and Spiritual Awakening
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)