Revival is a Person
Imagine the Bride preparing for the wedding ceremony. She has her matron of honour and her team trying to get her ready in time for the wedding.
Since the end of World War II there has been no greater effort to preach the Gospel to all corners of the world. The great post WWII preachers who led the way including William Branham, Oral Roberts, TL Osborn, Billy Graham, Kathryn Kuhlman. The introductions of Televangelism, followed by tapes and videos and finally the Internet preaching have surpassed any evangelistic effort ever done before in Church history.
There is however, a major problem with the results of all that effort. While there is a perceptible increase in the number of genuine born again Christians, however, the returns on investment have been very small when looked at over the last 60 years since the end of WWII. The Holy Spirit has a definite answer for it.
Firstly, The Holy Spirit has been largely ignored, or kicked out of the Church. However, The Holy Spirit is the Seal of salvation to the believer, and has the responsibility of looking after the Christian on a personal day to day basis. Having been left out of the equation for walking the Christian life, the Church has been forced to teach the Logos or written Word as sufficient for Christian living. This however, is not spiritual reality because that is not what The Lord Jesus Christ promised. The reality is bound up entirely in integral work of The Holy Spirit in every disciple’s life. This rejection of the work of The Holy Spirit has led to soulish Christians with heavy reliance on their intellectual and personal ability to live the Christian life. Consequently, there have been untold numbers of casualties over an extended period whenever the Christians are satiated with the same teachings over many years. The intellectual appeal disappears and it becomes drudgery.
Secondly, the rejection of the Lordship and Headship of The Holy Spirit over the Church has meant that human effort is required to develop traditions that can sufficiently substitute what is rightfully the work of The Holy Spirit. Overtime these human efforts produce legalism, and burdens that Christians can no longer bare and they cast of their faith in despair.
In the physical world, when a person is thirsty on a hot day, they need a cool drink of water to quench their thirst. It is the water itself that quenches the thirst. If the water is withdrawn on the hot day the individual will again become thirsty. When the water is drunk the water does not create or initiate a third substance which then brings about the quenching of the thirst.
This same principle applies with when a person is cold during the winter and needs to warm up, they light a fire or turn on the air-conditioning. It is the fire, itself that radiates the heat to warm the person. There is no third substance which brings about the heating.
For centuries the Church has taught that revivals are a result of the work of The Holy Spirit. When The Holy Spirit comes on individuals and /or churches they experience a spiritual revival leading to growth of the church and increase salvation of lost souls. For this reasons, Christians are encouraged to pray for the experience of revival especially in these last days before the Return of The Lord Jesus.
What does Revival mean to a Traditional or Evangelical Church?
Revival means a renewal of the interest in Christianity by the congregation and non-churchgoers. There is now greater recognition of the involvement of The Holy Spirit in this renewal activity. However, the work of The Holy Spirit is still seen strictly within the stimulation of interest in the teaching or preaching of the Scriptures. There is no expectation; in fact, there may be a total rejection of the possibility of demonstration of the supernatural power of The Holy Spirit.
What does Revival mean to the Pentecostal or Charismatic Church?
Revival means a major increase in the number of souls being saved and baptized in The Holy Spirit accompanied by supernatural signs and wonders. The potential for anything and everything supernatural is believed for and faith rises with each level of experience.
What is Revival in actual fact?
The following Scriptures show why Revival is, in fact, a Person rather than an event and /or a number of experiences.
The Holy Spirit as Living Waters
In John 7:37-39, The Lord Jesus refers to The Holy Spirit as Living Water. The Scripture reads:
“37 rOn the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, s“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 tHe who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, uout of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 vBut this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those 7believing in Him would receive; for the 8Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet wglorified.”
The disciples describe that The Holy Spirit was visible to them and appeared like tongues of fire.
The Result of The Holy Spirit being poured out
The prophecy by Joel that was fulfilled in the Acts (2:16-21) reads:
“16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And kit shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
lThat I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and myour daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
nAnd they shall prophesy.
19 oI will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 pThe sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That qwhoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’”
The fulfillment of the Joel prophecies, above, in the upper room was the active work of The Holy Spirit. This is clearly spelt out by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 12:1-11. It reads:
“Now aconcerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know bthat 1you were Gentiles, carried away to these cdumb 2idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus 3accursed, and dno one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
4 eThere are 4diversities of gifts, but fthe same Spirit. 5 gThere are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God hwho works 5all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given ithe word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another jthe word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 kto another faith by the same Spirit, to another lgifts of healings by 6the same Spirit, 10 mto another the working of miracles, to another nprophecy, to another odiscerning of spirits, to another pdifferent kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, qdistributing to each one individually ras He wills.”
The Holy Spirit is actively enabling the spirit-filled believer to experience the gifts of the Spirit. This is much like water that quenches the thirst and fire that warms a person who is feeling cold. There is no third or separate ingredient in the experience
Note: All references are from New King James Version
r Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35; Neh. 8:18
s [Is. 55:1]
t Deut. 18:15
u Is. 12:3; 43:20; 44:3; 55:1; [John 6:35]; Rev. 21:6; 22:17
v Is. 44:3; [Joel 2:28]; John 1:33
7 NU who believed
8 NU omits Holy
w John 12:16; 13:31; 17:5
a Lev. 23:15; Deut. 16:9; Acts 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8
b Acts 1:14
1 NU together
c Acts 4:31
2 Or tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each
d Matt. 3:11; 5:6; 10:20; Luke 3:16; John 14:16; 16:7–15; Acts 1:5
e Mark 16:17; Acts 10:46; 19:6; [1 Cor. 12:10, 28, 30; 13:1]
k Is. 44:3; Ezek. 11:19; Joel 2:28–32; [Zech. 12:10; John 7:38]
l Acts 10:45
m Acts 21:9
n Acts 21:4, 9; 1 Cor. 12:10
o Joel 2:30
p Is. 13:10; Ezek. 32:7; Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24, 25; Luke 21:25; Rev. 6:12
q Rom. 10:13
a 1 Cor. 12:4; 14:1, 37
b 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 2:11; 1 Pet. 4:3
1 NU, M that when
c Ps. 115:5; Is. 46:7; Jer. 10:5; Hab. 2:18
3 Gr. anathema
d Matt. 16:17
e Rom. 12:3–8; 1 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 4:4, 11; Heb. 2:4
4 allotments or various kinds
f Eph. 4:4
g Rom. 12:6
h 1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 1:23; 4:6
i 1 Cor. 2:6, 7; 2 Cor. 1:12
j Rom. 15:14; [1 Cor. 2:11, 16]; 2 Cor. 8:7
k Matt. 17:19; [1 Cor. 13:2]; 2 Cor. 4:13
l Matt. 10:1; Mark 3:15; 16:18; James 5:14
6 NU one
m Mark 16:17
n Rom. 12:6
o 1 John 4:1
p Acts 2:4–11
q Rom. 12:6; 2 Cor. 10:13
r [John 3:8]
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