The last few days, Awaken the Dawn has been in Kansas City doing what they are calling “The Flood.” As an evangelist, what are my thoughts? Namely, the claims of being a “tent revival.” Is it really or just hype?
In this movement of prophetic ministry, intercession, etc; there has been much hype. There is no getting around the issue of false hopes. There has been a lot of failed prophecies. I am not talking about they misinterpreted something. I am talking about things that point blank didn’t happen! The hype is a big problem in this “stream.”
Awaken the Dawn is about worship. Having a week of worship under a canva tabernacle does not equal to revival. There is also a challenge of doctrine. The group does not have a theological statement and only points to the historical creeds. This is problematic at best and can lead to some very dangerous teaching left unchecked.
We are in a time that teaching and even our songs are not rooted in scripture but in emotionalism and the latest dream or vision of some popular speaker. Much of the theology of the current movement is rooted in violation of Colossians 2:16-23.
Now, is Awaken the Dawn leading a tent revival?
When I heard people claiming this in the meeting, it made me stop. As a Church history minor in Bible College and having spent most of my education with an emphasis on missiology; it made me take a step back.
The healing revivals that came in the aftermath of the Civil War was connected to traveling tents. The focus was connecting healing and holiness in the proclamation of the gospel. Out of this, came many Pentecostal ministries that kept the Methodist emphasis on using tent revivals for missiology.
All through the 1920’s to the 1970’s, having extended meetings under the gospel tents were common with a strong emphasis on healing, casting out devils and prophetic utterance to confirm the gospel presentation that focused on repentance, sanctification and faith.
In order for Awaken the Dawn to be consider a tent revival, it would have to answer a few questions:
While the worship under the tent is not a bad thing (theology of the songs aside), the answer to these questions confirm that this is not a tent revival and therefore is left to be hype.
What I have heard in these meeting is not the gospel. It is the “latest” dream, prophetic experience, or open vision. The gospel is timeless and there has been no preaching of the Cross, the blood or the anointing. Prophetic dreams does not save us, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what saves.
Doing tent revival is still a very important part of the missiology of Pentecostalism but it must be centered in the proclamation of the triune gospel, deliverance from demonic oppression and healing the sick. Revival is always rooted and grounded in the teachings of scripture.
As with much of the modern prophetic movement, the questions become about the issue of the second century heresy, Gnosticism. Is what we are seeing just a rebranding of the ancient false teaching.
The idea that people can have “high knowledge” or what some call “revelation,” leads to the questioning of the ancient heresy. The truth is that there are people who do claim to be closer to the Lord and as a result knowing more than others because “The Lord told me…” This is central to some teachings of people relating to Awaken the Dawn.
At the core of the doctrine is “acquisition of divine knowledge.” In other words, they are more spiritual than people are not part of their “stream.” This was known by them in their time as having “the divine spark.” In modern terms, this is known as “remnant.” Any group that promotes understanding by “revelation,” and not careful study of scripture is becoming Gnosticism in nature.
Much like the modern prophetic movement, the Gnostics used a series of books they consider to be important and called them “lost books.” To them, they had “the spirit of revelation” and was treated as important as the book of Isaiah. This was their version of When Heaven invades Earth (Johnson) and The Harvest Vision (Joyner).
The bottom line is the mystics of the desert fathers is destroying any truth within the modern prophetic movement and the Awaken the Dawn is a great example of where it is currently.
There is a recovery of tent revivals to happen. We will see the miracles of old and we will see the dramatic salvations that we once did. When we preach the gospel that was once preached, we will see the miracles they once saw. The challenge for revival is not on God’s end. (As if God doesn’t want to change people’s lives!) The problem is on our end.
The Soteriology of groups like Awaken the Dawn is rooted in a false image of how we are to view God, sin and ourselves. It is a message of love without repentance. The biblical view is without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin. Jack Coe, A.A. Allen and Gordon Lindsey would ask “This is a tent revival, how?”
Sadly, much of the current prophetic movement is wrapped up in their worldview and eschatology. Out of their Dominionist ideals flows everything else. The lack of missiology is actually based in their view of the things to come. When a group believes they have an extended time before Jesus comes back, there is not an urgency for completing the Great Commission.
Now, we are faced with a giant in the camp. We have people that are scoffers of the rapture of the Church as well as full blown Gnostics within our ranks. The vision of the Dominionists is to have people “worship” before they are even biblical saved.
This is all about worldviews and biblical truth.
Peter Vandever is a Pentecostal Evangelist to the nations and a prophetic voice to the American Pentecostal movement. He is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri.