By My Spirit
by Jonathan Goforth
Scripture Testimony Index stories in this book
Jonathan Goforth relates how confession of sin was crucial to revival.
The successes recorded in ministry notwithstanding, Jonathan Goforth wanted more. Fired on by the promise of Jesus that those who believe will do greater things than He did, Mr. Goforth gave himself to intense study of the scriptures and books on revivals. All he wanted was for the promise to be fulfilled in him.
Be reconciled to your brother before going to the altarLove and honor one another in brotherly affection
Jonathan Goforth was strongly urged by the Spirit of God to go reconcile with a brother missionary with him he had differences before heading out to preach. And though he stubbornly resisted, God insisted and promised to not be with him on his revival tour until he at last obeyed.
Holy Spirit convicts people of their sinConfessing sin leads to forgivenessHoly Spirit renewal for the repentant
A church elder confessed his sin to Jonathan Goforth. That started a series of confessions and repentance that engulfed the entire church, bringing about forgiveness and restoration in their lives.
A pastor called on his congregation to pray for those who had drifted away from the church. The congregation responded in unity and prayed as one man. Not long after that many of those who had backslid began to return confessing their sins and crying out for mercy.
Revival overflowed from a single village to several others within the country. Revived Christians went everywhere preaching the Gospel with remarkable results. Most remarkable is the story of a man who was a notorious gambler, who journeyed on his donkey intending to collect his gambling debts. But God clearly directed the donkey to a revival meeting instead!
A young girl who had conspired with her father to steal drugs from the mission hospital flatly denied doing so when confronted. And she remained in denial of her sin until she was convicted and led to confess before the entire congregation during a prayer meeting.
In 1900, the Shanshi province, led by the ruthless Governor Yu Hsien, opposed the gospel, in a feat that remains infamously unmatched. Dozens of native christians, children and missionaries were massacred for their faith.
A thirteen year old girl is about to be killed alongside many others for their faith. But until she was abruptly beheaded, she confronted the Governor upon whose orders they were to be massacred, and utilized her last moments to make a strong case for her faith.
A Chinese scholar witnesses a massacre of Christians and is amazed at the fearlessness with which they faced brutal death. This leads him on a search of God's word and the ultimate realization that there is salvation in no other but Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Goforth openly rebukes a man who had, through pride, allowed the devil take hold of him during a prayer meeting. Even though he had been used powerfully by God the night before.
Wang Ee exaggerated his losses and profited unjustly from the indemnity he was given for the properties he lost to the 1900 Boxer unrest. Upon confessing his sins, he promised to use every cent of this ill gotten wealth for good and honoured his word.
Jonathan Goforth, his wife and an elder at Lingchang were gathered in prayers for a deacon who was trying hard to keep his sins unconfessed. Latching unto Jesus' promise in Matthew 18:19, they petitioned God for the life of this deacon and the next morning, the Lord honoured His word and answered their prayers.
Kuo Lao Tsui was a helpless opium addict who lost not only his wealth but also his wife because of his addiction. Kuo's life was nothing to write about, until through his friends, he finally met with the One who saves - and the result of his transformation was remarkable in every way.
After attending a meeting where Jonathan Goforth taught on forgiveness, Yeh was convicted to become a Christian and consequently decided to forgive the Cheng's; a family with whom he was embroiled in a lawsuit. In just 3 months, Yeh would eventually lead every member of the Chang family by his forgiveness and attitudinal change towards them.
A demon possessed man was wont to be roused into a a greatly disturbing fury whenever the Spirit of God moved with power during meetings in Kwangchow. And in this manner he continued until one day, at the mention of the name of Jesus, he found total deliverance.
In 1900, Mr. Argento, an Italian missionary with the C.I.M. in Kwangchow was set on fire and left to die by the Boxers. And while his life was eventually spared, he lost his sight and suffered bodily harm. Yet even this close shave with death could not deter him, fired by his burden for unsaved souls; he was determined to to remain useful for God even as a blind man.
Yang was a popular fighter whose undisputed boast was that no man could knock him down. However once Yang became a Christian, he was waylaid twice and beaten almost to death, yet his only response was to pray and reach out with love to his assailants. And before his death, he led many of them to Jesus.
Worried about Wen's addiction with opium, drinking and gambling, a friend advised him to go to "that Jesus church and have the missionary pray for you." Wen took the advice and was prayed for by Mr. Argento, and since that day, he became a new man in Christ Jesus.
Mr. Goforth was uncharacteristically filled with anxiety and worry about God's seeming inability to move during a meeting. He continued to worry until he was rebuked by the Lord and as soon as he accepted this rebuke, the Spirit began to move, leading men to confess their sins.
In the course of a prayer meeting with school boys, the Spirit of God moved; causing the boys to cry aloud and move about publicly confessing their sins and seeking forgiveness from one another.
During a meeting of believers, after a man was confirmed to be demon possessed, he was taken out of the meeting to be prayed for. The christian brethren continued to pray for this man even as he manifested different signs of demonic possession, until the demon was at last cast out. The following, the change in him was obvious to all.
Jonathan Goforth openly rebukes a man under the devil's influence and demanded that he stops his empty prayer and sit down. After the meeting, the man confessed to Mr. Goforth that, in order to avoid dealing with his sins, he had been led by the devil to merely appear spiritual. The following day he confessed his many sins to the entire congregation.
Miss Gregg learned that God does not do things for us so that we will serve him, nor does He always accomplish His will according to our expectations. She had to trust Him to clear up the quarrels that were obstructing His work.
A Chinese evangelist whose entire family was killed by the Boxers was unable to find peace, nor was he able to pray, until he forgave his enemies; whom he was previously planning to murder. God showed him plainly that if he would not forgive his enemies, God could not forgive him.
An evangelist confessed his bitterness and struggle to avenge the killing of his family. The understanding that Christ forgives us as we forgive us our sins as we forgive those who offend us brought him to the place of prayer.
The spirit of God broke during the prayer meeting of believers in Shuntehfu. Many confessed their sins and 500 people acknowledge Christ as their Savior for the first time.
After days of resistance, a schoolboy yields to the Spirit's conviction and leads the way to confess to the sin of adultery. More boys, broken by God, emulated him and also confessed their sins.
An evangelist is convicted of his sins - disrespect for his mother and wife, aloofness for welfare of the souls under his care and theft of his church's finances. He makes the tough decision to publicly confess and make restitution, and he kept his word.