Thursday, January 5, 2012

Divine Revelation by John Meacham

Meacham's life had been difficult. He had been jailed twice. Then the police came and accused him of a hit and run. Even though his vehicle was obviously not involved, he was jailed. Quickly bailed out by his father, nonetheless he subsequently suffered an anxiety attack that sent him to the hospital.
Then he got saved on Oct. 24, 1982. Counseling with his pastor, he began to concentrate on the things of heaven. God showed him that he needed to quit cursing, smoking, and drinking. He had started these habits as a teen. Smoking was the hardest to quit, taking him six years from his born again experience.
Meacham believes God speaks directly to us in many ways. He shares his own experiences of God speaking to him through visions, through the Word, etc. He tells of his experiences as an elder in his church, Amity Presbyterian in Charlotte. A change in employment led them to First Presbyterian Church in Garner. He stayed active in the church for the next ten years and became a Lay Preacher in 1995. He preached in rural churches, then was named interim pastor of an eight year old start up church that was expected to die. (It lived.)
God gave him the instructions to reflect the light on January 7, 1983. He had dreams identifying the place of Jesus' return. He went to Galilee and found the place at the northeastern corner of the Sea of Galilee. As he drove past the site, the Spirit of Jesus entered him. (131) He continued to drive, to find the place he saw in his third dream. Meacham writes, “At nine o'clock, I turned at the roadside marked Daliyyot and parked beside the stage to begin my wait for Jesus to return.” (132) He prayed and worshiped. Then he went to eat at a McDonalds, and got a parking fine. Jesus left him until he paid his parking ticket. At the end of his visit to Galilee, “At that time, the Spirit of Jesus left me and returned to heaven.” (147)

I have some serious issues with Meacham and his reported experiences. For example, he says, “In 1985, Jesus indwelled me for a weekend...” (23) “For the first and only time in my life, I felt that with Jesus indwelling me that I was without sin, and my spirit felt fully alive and in total harmony with God. I felt perfect.” (98) Then, as we saw above, “...the Spirit of Jesus left me and returned to heaven.” (147) He must not be talking about the Holy Spirit. So is he talking about Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God the Father? Who is this “Spirit of Jesus”?

To me, Meacham seems unsure as to what it means to be saved. He says he was “born again” on Oct. 24, 1982. (18) Then, on Dec. 10, 1982, “I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord...” (61) So is being born again something different than accepting Jesus as Savior? He has me confused!

“I have to admit that in my fourteen years of preaching, I never preached a sermon on repentance. … I realized … I had become a false teacher like Jezebel.” (74) This is very interesting because during that time, in October, 2004, he says he taught a series of sermons on the seven churches. (127) How can one even read the letters to the seven churches, let alone preach on them, and not preach on repentance?

Nonetheless, he says he shares his own experiences of 1982-3 “...to help draw you into a much deeper relationship with the Lord, one in which He can communicate with you on a similar level...” (78) Yet in his fourteen years of preaching (1995-2009), he says he had become a false teacher, by his own admission. (74) Is this the “deeper relationship” I want to have, one where I can become a false teacher like Jezebel?

After one vision, he writes, “After almost twenty-seven years of striving to live a life worthy of this vision...” (83) Again, is this the Christian life I want to have?  Do I want to strive to live a life worthy, or do I want to trust in the saving grace of Jesus?

I certainly did not find Meacham's book to be one that I could recommend.

Tate Publishing.  Publisher product information.

I received an egalley of this book from the author for the purpose of this review.
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