FWOTW — Dick and the Lord’s Hand

FWOTW -- Determined Ministries

The Lord’s Hand

The ‘Determined Ministries’ website says that…

‘While training for the Lord’s service at Ambassador Baptist College it was evident that the Lord’s hand was on Brother Richard. He was named the recipient of the prestigious Hand Revival Ministries Scholarship given to the student showing the greatest promise in Evangelism … [emphasis added]’

Since it was the Lord’s hand that was on Brother Richard, and since he received the ‘Hand Revival Ministries Scholarship,’ I assume that Richard [may I call you Dick?] is the Lord’s hand.

‘Revival’ is a prominent, Fundamentalist theme. You pray for revival, hope for revival, repent for revival, work for revival, meet for revival and preach for revival, and more. Presumably, you yourself are relivable.

‘Revive’ is a Bible word; but it isn’t a common one. And it’s mainly an OT word. The KJV uses it 14 times in the OT, and not necessarily in ways that fundamentalists mean. The New American Standard is more forgiving with 29 uses. More than half of these are in Ps 119. In the NT, we get Lu 15:24 in ‘this son of mine was dead and has come to life again,’ in Ro 7:9, ‘sin revived and I died,’ and Phil 4:10, ‘you revived your concern for me.’

Fundamentalism’s heavy emphasis on revival isn’t found in Scripture. Yet the website states that Dick has conducted over 650 revivals. It seems that having or being the Lord’s Hand has its privileges.

Schedule Revival

Speaking of scheduling revival [since that’s apparently how it happens], you can download Dick’s pre-meeting [revival?] information here. Among those documents is a personal checklist for revival. It asks about your prayer life, devotional life, unconfessed sin, stubbornness [disagreeing with the visiting evangelist, perhaps?], and more.

Dick’s doctrinal statement is uniquely organized. As a rule, doctrinal statements begin with God — Father, Son and Spirit, and describe their works. Then comes revelation, creation, the fall, redemption, last things and the like. Not so with the Lord’s hand.

Dick’s statement starts with the Bible, goes to Textus Recptus, the KJV [i.e., Textus Recptus again], the Trinity, creation, need of salvation, the works of Christ, our conscious existence after death, moral responsibility, eternal security, the great commission, the works of Christ again, eschatology, charismatic gifts and … well … you get the idea.

For the brave of heart, several videos are available. After several minutes, it occurred to me that Dick organizes sermons on the same principle he uses for writing his doctrine statement.

5 thoughts on “FWOTW — Dick and the Lord’s Hand”

  1. Oh thank you Admin!! This brightens my day. wow what a doctrinal statement it’s all over the place. Also a question, growing up in the IFB we had these evangelist come speak. It seem that this is only IFB or Baptists do. An it seem like anyone can be a evangelist and hold revivals. An they just preach the same stuff that most preachers do. But they get paid and “love offering” Is this just some made up position ?

    1. Dear Adam F:

      ‘Evangelist’ is mentioned in Act 21:8; Ep 4:11, and 2Ti 4:5. So the short answer to your question is, ‘yes, such a “thing” exists.’

      Philip is an example of an evangelist. Evangelists are named with apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers. And Paul charges Timothy to do ‘the work of an evangelist.’

      Originally, ‘gospel’ and ‘evangel/evangelist’ were political terms. When there was a royal wedding, birth, or ascension to the throne, ‘evangelists’ were sent out to proclaim the ‘good news’ and to summons hearers to attend.

      So the evangelist is a ‘herald;’ he is a ‘bringer of good tidings’ [Thayer’s Lexicon]. It adds ‘those heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles.’ Friberg’s Lexicon is very brief saying only ‘one who brings or announces good news; in the NT evangelist, preacher, or teacher of the gospel.’

      ‘Evangelists’ make a good fit for IFBs; their ministry model is geared to ‘getting out the word’ and eliciting a ‘response.’

      I can’t speak for the whole church, but I’d guess there is considerable diversity as to HOW this ‘work’ is understood. My church tradition commissions evangelists. But the requirements for this are far less exacting than what is required for ordination as a pastor.

      Evangelists may prepare few messages — perhaps only two or three a year. Doubtless others prepare more. But either way, the same message may be heard in scores or even hundreds of churches. So the message may be highly polished. If the evangelist studies and employs rhetoric effectively, it is all the more likely that congregations will be moved. Orators do that. Of course this is seen as the ‘work of the Spirit.’ Evangelists are often sought for their supposed special ‘anointing.’ With fewer responsibilities [and certainly needing fewer messages], evangelists can certainly be better than your ‘average pastor.’ They’re a new voice, they have new lines and jokes. They’re an unknown quantity in most congregations. And they certainly get paid.

      Whether or not this is ‘just some made up position’ is another question. But if you’re going to have evangelists, the three texts I’ve given you are all you’ve got. So you’ve got to make do with that.

      ‘…when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God’ [1Co 2:1-5].

      Blessings!

  2. I am familiar with Richard Harper and he is a good man with a caring ministry. When I have had the opportunity to hear him preach he has stuck to the Bible and not manmade rules.

    Just my opinion.

    1. Dear Michael:

      Myself, I’m unfamiliar with Mr. Harper, other than what I see/hear of him on the internet. Remarks in this post concerned whether ‘revivalism’ as understood by independent, fundamental baptists is particularly Biblical, and whether it can be ‘scheduled.’ Blessings!

  3. I have always thought the idea of scheduling a revival was ludicrous. Do we ask God to pencil us in somewhere in the divine appointment calendar? And why can God only revive people for a week in the fall and a week in the spring? Unless your church has a missions conference, in which case you may only get revived once a year.

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