This past January the Revive Asia Conference took place in Bangkok, Thailand. There were over 25 countries represented at the conference, but the majority of the attendees were Thai Nationals. I was able to attend this event, in the hopes of providing a clear summary regarding the specific things said by those speaking at Revive Asia.
The conference had three major themes that were present throughout the majority of the main sessions. The first theme was regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit; the indwelling and the power of the Holy Spirit. The second theme was a declaration that we are now living in the ‘Last Days’. The third theme was the concept that a third ‘Reformation’ has just begun. Most of the speakers touched on one or a couple of these themes in their lectures or ‘sermons’ that were given.
Impartation of the Holy Spirit
The fact that the topic of the impartation of the Holy Spirit was a main focus of the conference is not surprising at all. Many of the key speakers are known in their circles for claims of healings and miracles. Here are a few things that were taught of which one should be aware.
First, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can and will occur many times in one’s lifetime and with increasing occurrences the more spiritual one becomes. Second, in John 14:12 Jesus taught us that, we would do greater works than He had done. These speakers frequently mentioned that if one is fully anointed with the Holy Spirit, they would perform miracles and wonders. For example, their shadow would be able to heal people, like Peter’s shadow did in Acts 5. Their clothes or the things they touch could be sent to someone for healing, similar to Paul’s cloth that was sent to heal the sick (Acts 19:11,12).
These speakers qualified these claims on the basis of faith. A person’s ability to heal and perform miracles is measured by the amount of faith that individual has. To bypass any confusion that may be brought up by this doctrine, they explained that there are two distinct types of faith. One type is passive, a faith given by God, and the other is active, a personal faith that a person can build up and strengthen. That personal faith is the one being measured, determining one’s ability to perform signs and wonders. The two passages they used as proof-texts for this claim were Mark 11:22-24 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Finally, the speakers also stressed that through the anointing and baptism of the Holy Spirit one will receive special knowledge from God; i.e. revelation. The means of how this knowledge could be transmitted were either through a physical pain that comes out of nowhere, through a dream, through an unusual feeling or through sight.
Yet for all their talk on the Holy Spirit, it is worth noting that these speakers focused their messages only upon a couple His gifts and ignored the other spiritual gifts that Scripture describes for us.
The Last Days
Throughout the conference it was a very clearly stated that these are the ‘Last Days’ and we are present in them. 2016 was prophetically declared as the year of the two kingdoms clashing. There are two things of important note for these ‘Last Days’. First, the spirits of Elijah and Elisha are being released. Second, that Christians should submit to their spiritual fathers. Though it was at first ambiguous as to who these spiritual fathers were and how they must be submitted to, two of the conference speakers, Pastor Gideon Chiu and Pastor David Demian were often referred to as “father” or “papa”. The founder of the conference, Pastor Chee Kang Seng, stated that he submitted to these men as his spiritual fathers. This was brought up again in the Pastor and Church Leader breakout session, which I attended. There, we were encouraged to submit to these two men as spiritual fathers accepting their leadership because of what they have already experienced and learned.
Regarding the spirits of Elijah and Elisha, it was taught that God has released both of them already. The spirit of Elijah is the concept that many people are being reunited with their heavenly Father and receiving the Father’s love. Regarding the Spirit of Elisha, there are two points of clarification that need to be made. The first is the concept that Elisha had a double anointing of the Holy Spirit. This same double anointing will be released in these ‘Last Days’. The second notion is that the presence of Elisha was so powerful that he did not have to preach or teach, rather he just walked into a room and people knew he was a holy man. When such a holy man enters a room, he brings with him such a spirit of peace that everybody takes notice. So too a Christian’s presence in these ‘Last Days’ must be so powerful that people just know who we are.
The Third Reformation
According to Chee Kang Seng, the first Reformation begun with Martin Luther and the Reformers, and the second was the Great Awakening. Apparently, a third ‘Reformation’ started a few months ago when he was in Germany and God instructed him to visit the city of Wittenberg in order to visit a prayer tower that held the first 24-hour prayer room. It was in Wittenberg where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door and now God has apparently decided to use this city one more time to reform the Church. Not only was the location the same, but this supposed third ‘Reformation’ has begun in the Jewish month of Cheshvan, the same month in which Martin Luther posted his Theses. According to Seng, the Great Awakening also began in this month, which is known as the month of revival.
It was taught that this third ‘Reformation’ is the release of the Father’s love and the end of denominationalism. It is the uniting of the family of God. Through the guidance of the Father, the Holy Spirit is releasing the baptism of the Father’s love, also known to some as the anointing of the Father’s love. This is a move away from doctrinal divisions and a step towards ecumenism. The question is how far does this third ‘Reformation’ intend to go? Which doctrines still matter and which do not?
Conclusion of Revive Asia
Alongside these three themes, Impartation of the Holy Spirit, The Last Days and The Third Reformation, there was an importance placed on accepting what the speakers were teaching; to just go along with it. They used the illustration of buying a new computer or new software. They elaborated that when you buy a computer you usually buy the best or newest model. You don’t go back to the beginning and purchase the first Apple computer, working your way up until you’ve reached that newest model. According to them one should accept their hard labor and experiences as fact and ‘download’ their latest version for the best and the newest model. It is very clear that they believe their teaching is true and from God. There is no need to go back to the old, out of date models.
Words of Warning
All in all, Revive Asia is concerning. The request for unquestioned submission and acceptance of these teachings is troublesome. Basic research into many of these speakers will demonstrate that they themselves have little regard for the Bible, particularly towards the teaching of Sola Scriptura set out by the Reformers. You will also discover that many of them have been removed from their former denominations because their teachings were not in line with Scripture.
The sentiment of Martin Luther, Calvin, and the other great Reformers was that theirs was not a reformation of who God is or what He does, but rather they had a duty to stay true to God’s Word. Their work has been tested over time, being shown true to God’s leading. The same can be said of those during the Great Awakening. The claims that these leaders and speakers of the Revive Asia Conference make are bold, yet they are not based on true biblical teachings. Their ‘Reformation’ will also be tested over time, showing itself to either be from God or from a different source.
2 thoughts on “Revive Asia: An Overview”
Thanks very much for taking the time to sit through the conference, and thanks for the summary.
Dear T. Gorden,
Thanks so much for your time and effort to write this article. It really means a lot to us, Thai Christians and Churches in Thailand as a leading light as most of leaders and Christians have no idea about this group (RA). I really appreciate your work and passion for Southeast Asia for His glory and kingdom according to His Way and Wisdom and not man-created doctrines and practices.
I have been living in Brisbane, Australia for the past 26 years and the Lord has directed me to go back to Thailand for the past 12 years now to pay back His enormous grace and mercy in my life and my family. He also has given me I believe a new model for mission and ministry for Churches in Thailand. First, Return to His Righteousness – Back to Biblical Christianity, then Back to Biblical Church. Second, a new model to do mission and ministry base on 3 key words: A. Self-supporting, B. Self-sufficient and C. To become Sustainable.
I would love to join up with you and learn a bit more about you guys and learn from WHAT you guys have been doing for the Lord and His Church in Southeast Asia. And maybe we could serve Him together in Thailand to start off with. Then later I go neighboring countries as part of my vision. The model that I am going to use in Thailand is called, Business for Ministry (BFM).
God bless you all,
Andrew (Apichai) Branderdporn