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Standing Between the Living and the Dead

George Whitefield was an Englishman of the 18th century and one of the greatest evangelists of all times. Today’s “signs and wonders” would seem mild in comparison to the Spirit’s astonishing demonstrations that occurred in his ministry. My request of the Lord is that He will anoint me with the same Holy Spirit’s power that He put upon Whitefield. I encourage you to do the same. Be bold in your request of God. When preaching in Boston, Whitefield ordered people in the trees to come down. He knew that once the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon the crowd many of those sitting on tree limbs overhead would drop like acorns. Phenomenal signs accompanied his preaching.
For example, in the Fall of 1756 Whitefield preached at St. Michael’s Anglican Church in the village of Haworth, north England. The local pastor, William Grimshaw, was a godly man and powerful in the Scripture. Whitefield stood on a platform erected outside an open window of the church where he could be heard by those crowded within the building and the several thousand standing without. He paused silently to pray and then in a loud, commanding voice, announced his text: “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after death the judgment.”

The “signs and wonders” of today would seem mild in comparison to the Spirit’s astonishing demonstrations that occurred in the ministry of George Whitefield.

Before he could speak his next words there was a loud shriek from the audience. A person had dropped dead. There was a moment of confusion as Reverend Grimshaw rushed in that direction. The dead person was carried away. After a pause, Whitefield repeated the text loudly again, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after death the judgment.” From a different section came another shriek. A second person had dropped dead. Both had died instantly upon hearing Whitefield’s announcement about death and judgment. This one was also carried out of the crowd. From the place where the second person had fallen, Grimshaw shouted to Whitefield, “You are standing between the living and the dead!” His reference was to the time when Aaron stood with his censer between those alive and those who perished under God’s judgment. Numbers 16:48.

We know nothing about those who died that day, the condition of their souls, or why God chose to call them to judgment at the moment Whitefield proclaimed the word. But you and I do know that a holy terror gripped the people standing before him. This man was no ordinary preacher. The congregation knew that in a paralyzing way the Holy Spirit was “confirming the word with signs following.” Mark 16:20.

Dwight L. Moody’s Encounter With The Holy Spirit

A century ago, the ministry of Dwight L. Moody shook the nation in a way that continues to vibrate mankind to this day. What changed an ordinary man into one of the great voices in Christian history? Moody himself gives the explanation:

I began to cry as never before for a greater blessing from God. The hunger increased; I really felt that I did not want to live any longer. I kept on crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day in the city of New York—oh!, what a day, I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it. It is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say, God revealed Himself to me and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.

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Category: Church History, Pneuma Review, Winter 2010

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at

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