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The Move of the Spirit of 1948 From the Papers and Memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick


I was recently given numerous writings and personal papers of the now deceased MILFORD E. KIRKPATRICK, who was present at the beginning of the outpouring. Some of the "papers" are originals and others are copies. Kirpatrick is identified in a 1948 edition of The Sharon Star as "Secretary" of Global Missions. By 1950 George Warnock was the "Secretary". Kirkpatrick was a missionary-minded minister and a pilot, also a speaker on Global Missions broadcast. He traveled with the early Brethren to several locations. In February of 1950, Kirkpatrick writes, "while fasting and praying, God spoke to me and said, 'The door to Japan is open.' " The March 1, 1951, Sharon Star reports, "Brother Kirkpatrick is in Tokyo and many other brethren are carrying the revival news afar." After Japan, he pursued an independent ministry, traveling extensively, but always speaking respectfully of those things he heard and experienced in the early years of the outpouring of 1948, although he remained on the fringes until his death a few short years ago. - Br. Terry Miller

Following are some excerpts of historical interest, from Kirkpatick's "papers":

"I was there when the great outpouring of the Spirit came upon us. Some reports that have been circulated are a far cry from what really took place. No one except God can receive the credit or glory for the mighty visitation that was given at that time. Personally I have endeavored to move in the principles that the Holy Spirit established at that time. As far as I know, I have not deviated." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"As in any past revival that God has sent, some have departed from what God originally established. Many times through prophetic utterance we were admonished by the Spirit not to depart from our calling or ministry." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"Prior to the revival in Saskatchewan, a number of pastors, evangelists and workers were longing to see a move of God in our churches and meetings. We became alarmed at the spiritual decline, coldness and lack of spiritual hunger among the people... The general concensus of opinion from those who were over us in the Lord was that we were not to expect revival because we were living in the closing days of time and things were going to grow worse, and we were to hold on to the bitter end." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"Many of us in this large Pentecostal group, because of our desperation and hunger for God, began to fast and pray. [At Sharon Bible College] some fasted three weeks, and one brother fasted 42 days. This was new to us." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"....a brother stood to his feet and began to prophesy. Until that time we had not heard much prophecy nor very little about the ministry of a prophet. For over a half-hour God spoke through him about visitation. Because of the heavy anointing, we knew God has spoken to us through this honest brother. He spoke to us about restoration days, and that He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. This thrilled our hearts, having lived in an atmosphere of defeatism. It was refreshing, for now we were assured of visitation from God. Faith and hope were planted in our heaerts. God said He would restore all that the Church had lost." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"One of the principles that was brought to our attention by the prophet was, "If My people will reverence My name, My presence and My house, I will begin to restore that which has been lost to the Church." Some my think it was a strange thing for God to rebuke our irreverence first, but this is where we as Christians have failed, in our private lives as well as in many of our churches. All too often we have come into God's sanctuary boisterously, or after a service when God's Spirit has been blessing, we have drowned it out by talking about current events, light frivolous things and foolish jesting... God dealt with us very severely in the revival about irreverence." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"...We judged all prophecy by the Word of God, which is the final authority. However, we must acknowledge that God has set prophets in the Church as well as the other four ascension gifts." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"We knew that the Acts of the Apostles would come alive again. We saw this happen before our very eyes in many instances. Joel 2:28 took on new meaning - God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, not just Pentecostal flesh, but upon all nations, tongues and people. God indicated that He would restore all that the Church has lost. That was good news to us, after laboring under the impression that we were not to expect visitation.

"Unity was the central theme. There was never a word about doctrinal differences. We had buried our theological hatchets and were bathing in the sunshine of God's love. We said, "If we do have some differences of opinion, let us table them and remain around Jesus long enough, and in time we will all believe the same and will have the mind of Christ." What happened in the past, is that we have not sat at His feet to be fully taught but have run off with fragments of truth. ...God dealt with the sectarian spirit in us and made us to see that we must recognize other sheep in God's fold. Many of us had to repent of a narrow sectarian spirit which is divisive.

"The 1948 revival came about without advertisement or announcement or any man-made propaganda. Somehow the news spread. We never saw such a variety of cars and license plates before, many from provinces in Canada and states across the border. They testified, "We did not know quite what was going on, but when we drove through the gate we could feel the power of God." Many had never seen the gifts of the Spirit operate in such accuracy and many had never seen them operate at all. They had never seen such reverence and worship." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"There was no display of flesh or an array of preachers on the platform. Purposely the men made a platform six-feet square and about twelve inches high. There was a narrow post with a board nailed on top large enough to hold your Bible. When anyone got up there it had better be a word from God or you would know it and everyone else." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"We had laid hands on the sick, but when the prophet spoke of laying on of hands and prophecy, this sent everyone to their knees, faculty and students alike. We searched the scripture to see if these things were true. We took time off from regular activities for three whole days. All went to their rooms to pray and search the scriptures.

"I think there has been more backlash from this principle of truth than from any other. Nevertheless this truth has been established. If there is a Biblical method to get these gifts functioning, this is what we want. It was never the case in the early days of the revival that we were to give out the gifts like Christmas presents as some have supposed, but that the gifts would come into operation by the laying on of hands and prophecy." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"Let me give you one instance out of many. We laid hands upon a certain sister, a very consecrated lady, and prophecy come forth that she would have the gift of healing. In those days we were very careful to prove all things. In that service there was a baby whose little body was covered with eczema. The mother had little mittens on the baby's hands to keep the baby from scratching the itch on its body. We said to the sister that we had just laid hands on, "Turn around and pray for the baby." Before the eyes of hundreds of people the eczema disappeared from the baby's body.

"...There is an impartation of the Spirit of God when hands are laid upon people. Laying on of hands is just a means to an end to help get the gifts and ministries operating in individuals. In many cases prophecy is a confirmation of something already in the human heart, and will aid the individual to move out in that realm." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"...People came from many areas to have hands laid upon them. We always admonished them to fast and pray for several days, and then, as God would indicate to us, His servants, we would pray over them. We were warned in the first prophecy that He would indicate from time to time who should be prayed over. Many times people are not as ready as they think they are. ...One man came up and was eager to be prophesied over as a preacher. The prophet said, "It is not the pulpit for you but the plow." He went back to his seat very humiliated." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"Our party was invited to go to some of the major cities... There were overflow meetings everywhere. The burden the Lord had placed on my heart was to help start new works. Early in my ministry I had pioneered. There was a lot of hammer and saw work along with the preaching. I am still endeavoring to fulfill that ministry, only there is not so much hammer and saw, but rather the building up of the Temple of the Lord." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"...The Lord had admonished us early in the revival not to justify ourselves. The words were that we were "not to justify ourselves by word, letter, telegram or telephone." We saw the wisdom of this because if we had not taken heed there would have been endless controvery between those who were in the visitation and those who opposed it. There is very little benefit, if any, in religious arguments. He that is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. If a person does not have a revelationof what God is doing, it is very difficult for him to see it. ...If we are always trying to justify ourselves, it can lead to a bitter spirit and a wrong attitude. God knew that in some areas the visitation would be rejected and we would be misunderstood. For us to retaliate in any way would spoil the very thing God was trying to accomplish, which was to bring love and unity. It is not necessarily what we try to prove, but what we can demonstrate." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"As a result of the visitation there was a tremendous emphasis on worldwide vision. There was a real missionary spirit. We felt that because God was so merciful in sending revival to us that we should tell the world about it. Almost immediately we sent missionaries to Africa, the Fiji Islands and into the far North. ...The Holy Spirit opened our eyes to help everyone, whether at home or abroad. We had a desire to fellowship with all of God's people. Like the early church we fanned out in different directions, with a spirit of good will." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"This was the revival that I beheld. I am so glad that I was there and could witness those glorious days. If there are those who might oppose, I would suggest you be careful in your judgement, lest you be fighting against God. If it is a God-given revelation, to refute it is as useless as trying to sweep back the mighty Pacific Ocean with an ordinary broom." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"...When I speak of the revival, I do not discredit or exclude other revivals, but include them. God has been restoring his church, line upon line, precept upon precept. The great outpouring continues in our time. Today, in a variety of different levels, God is moving upon all flesh. There is a variety of different terminologies used. A few of these are charismatic, latter rain, glossalia and spiritual renewal. I prefer to call ourselves Christians, however, people give expression to what they feel and know." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

"The revival of which I speak is not over yet. It continues now and will grow in momentum in the future. The present truth of the hour is the coming together of the Body of Christ. The very atmosphere is pregnant with this truth." ~ From the papers and memories of Milford E. Kirkpatrick

Last updated: Aug, 2011
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