"And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation." (Exodus 33:7).
Moses set the Tabernacle up outside the camp - "afar off from the camp." Now here is the point at which I am most liable to be misunderstood, but it is here, and it is part of the teaching. There is invariably, in the history of every revival, this drawing aside. Let us not forget that the camp of Israel was then the church of God. In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was the church in the wilderness. This is the church we are talking about, and yet you see what Moses did? He took this tabernacle from the midst of the church as it were and put it up outside, "afar off from the camp."
No revival that has ever been experienced in the long history of the Church has ever been an official movement in the Church. That is a strong statement, is it not? But I repeat it. No revival that the Church has ever known has ever been an official movement. You read of the great precursors of the Protestant Reformation, people like Wycliffe, Jan Hus, and others. It was always unofficial, and the officials did not like it. It was the same with Martin Luther. Nothing happened in Rome. No; it happened just to this monk in his cell. And so it has continued to happen.
Even after the reformation of the Church of England, there were men who began to feel dissatisfied, and they began to follow this pattern and do the self-same thing. That is the origin of Puritanism. Then you are all probably familiar with the story of Methodism in its various branches. The two Wesley brothers and Whitefield and others were members of the Church of England. But they did not begin to do something in the Church of England but formed what they called their Holy Club, outside the camp.
A Thought to Ponder: No true revival that has ever been experienced in the Church has ever been an official movement in the Church.