Consuming Fire of Revival
Revival tarries not because God is not answering our prayers; Revival is tarrying because we are not truly hungry and passionate for the Kingdom of God any more. Revival is a rebirth of passion and repentance. Without it, weíre only left with dead religious works.
Hab 3:2 - O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Acts 17:26-27 - And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Exod 24:17-18 - And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
Deut 4:24 - For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Deut 4:33 - Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?
Ps 50:3-5 - Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
There are certain elements essential to a move of God from on high. We need revival. Revival is not for sinners; itís for Godís people. Itís a turning back to Him with ALL our heart, our soul and our being. We can become missions conscious, community conscious, church conscious and even soul conscious Ė BUT ONLY GOD CAN PRODUCE A REVIVAL WHERE WE BECOME GOD-CONSCIOUS. We need to get on our face before God and regain our passion.
Revival is a return to PASSION. Passion is a fire that burns inside oneís soul to the point that sleep becomes just a necessity, meals are missed, the television is not turned on for weeks and our plans for everything else is put on a shelf for one purpose Ė TO PURSUE GOD.
Jer 29:13-14 - And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
Isa 55:1-3 - Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
So many of us live our Christian lives out of discipline but it is not Godís discipline. So many of us live our lives out of duty and obligation. Some even live it out of fear. Very few are living their lives with a PASSION for God birthed in their innermost being where the flow of living water touches EVERYTHING and EVERY PLACE around them. Jesus promised that those who HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness would be FILLED. He also said the one who believes Him would see the rivers of life flow out of his being to others.
John 7:37-39 - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Matt 5:6 - Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
The passion for God is likened to fire in the Bible. In the very beginning, Abraham offered Isaac with a knife, wood and FIRE IN HIS HAND.
Gen 22:6 - And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
Without the fire in his hand, the sacrifice would not have been able to have been made. So it is today, without the FIRE OF GOD, we cannot offer our sacrifices to God either. We need to fire of God to pray. We need the fire of God to see visions and dream dreams. We need the fire of God to prophesy. We need the fire of God to sing and worship. We need the fire of God to praise Him. We need the fire of God to speak in tongues and utter things from the Spirit that only God knows but wants to reveal to His church to show Himself mighty to save and able to speak. We need the fire of God to offer ourselves up totally on the altar of His throne and present our bodies a living sacrifice WHOLLY acceptable to God. Without the fire of God all these things becomes religious ruts and rituals. We cannot witness without the fire of God. So many try to witness to others about a God they themselves are very little passionate about. We quote scriptures and point fingers but it comes across as DEATH to others. The word of the Lord is life and it brings life when itís spoken under the anointing of the Holy Ghost! Revival is linked to fire. Our God is a consuming fire and He is wanting to consume us. He is wanting to possess us and breath into our spirits the fire of HIS SPIRIT and send us forth in the mantle of Elijah an the cloak of the apostle Paul. Apostolic days are coming back the church if we will but HEAR the voice of God and hear what the SPIRIT is saying to the church in this last hour.
The Pillar of Fire By Night and the Pillar of Cloud By Day
Exod 13:21-22 - And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Num 9:15-16 - And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. 16 So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.
Num 14:14 - And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
In the days of Israel, Godís call to move and stop was always signaled by the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of fire by day. When the cloud moved, Israel moved. When it stopped, Israel stopped. Revival is moving with the cloud and fire of God. Our churches are deader than yesterdayís garbage because we have ran ahead of God or stopped moving with the Spirit of the Lord. Our kids are bound with drugs, heroin, alcohol, illicit sex an pornography and when they come to church on Sunday all they get is three points and a poem and sent home bound with the same bondages. Preachers preach sermons they preached 20 years ago thinking recycled sermons will keep everybody awake on Sunday while sinners sit in our pews untouched or unconvicted by the power of God. Sunday school teachers read their lessons out of quarterlies instead of getting a fresh revelation from the Lord each day while their students pine away in despair and doubt never maturing into the new man the Lord has ordained us to become as His children. Why is it like this? BECAUSE we donít want to move with the cloud and glory of God.
Itís sad to think but some would rather die and split hell wide open than change. Folks, revival brings change to our lives and surroundings. Revival will change your church. Revival will change your home. Revival will change your wife and husband. Revival will change your job. Revival will change the places you go, the things you say, the things you watch and the people you hang out with. Revival will change your dead theology that believes in a GOD that WAS instead of a living CHRIST who is no longer on the cross, but ALIVE and living at the right hand of God making intercession for His church and empowering it with the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah to the Lamb. Revival will change your language from one of cursing to one of praise. It will change your dirty jokes into stories of redemption and deliverance. It will change your schedule. The time spent in front of the television where lust and hate and anti-Christ spirits spew out at you and your children every day will now be spent in prayer and in the Bible seeking to hear the voice of God. Revival will bring change!!
Revival will change your church services from one where people who raise their hands and worship the Lord will no longer be the exception, it will be the norm. Churches where the power of God has not been welcomed will be changed into such dynamic places of worship the word will spread that JESUS is in the house and multitudes of people will be drawn to the presence of the Savior.
But it all starts with you and me. Before revival can start in our churches or our homes or in our jobs. It must first start with us. God is not looking for perfect people. Heís looking for hungry people who are thirsty and passionate for HIM.
Revival is a call to repent
Ezek 18:30-32 - Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
Jonah 3:9-10 - Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
The revival that is taking place in Argentina right now is such an outbreak of God that churches are having to have services 23 hours a day. It was born by the ministry of an old man, Edward Miller, who went to Argentina in 1950. He said a small group of people were so gripped with so much intercession that they didnít know if they were going to live or die. Meals were forgotten, sleep was just necessity and everything that didnít matter eternally was forgotten about. They repented he said until there was nothing left to repent of and they still felt the need to repent. He used a phrase "vicarious repentance," to describe the repentance that took place in 1950 which birthed the move of God going on now. Vicarious repentance is when you get under such a load of sin you not only see your personal sin, but the sin of oneís city and nation and that person takes up a wailing for the sins of that city and nation. Itís a repentance that goes deeper than repenting of things we do. Itís a repenting of who we are Ė BOTH GOOD AND BAD. Itís birthed in weeping over our condition before the Lord. Itís what Jesus told the women who he saw the day He was crucified:
Luke 23:28-29 - But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Every revival that has ever occurred has had this common element in it Ė a deep sense of our need for God and repenting of everything that would keep us from Him. There is so much that hides us from His face. Most think of individual sins, and even though itís important to repent of those too, the Lord is more interested in the attitude of our hearts. Many times itís not our sin that is the greatest hindrance to revival because we are usually quick to recognize that. What hinders revival, especially in the American church, is our spiritual pride and arrogance that keeps us from admitting we need God. Itís our goodness and knowledge that hinders us from hearing His voice and seeing the supernatural outpouring He so desperately wants to pour on us.
We need to repent of several things:
Our DEPENDENCE on our education
There is a great deal of question today in the church on whom really understands the Bible the best. Here are a few of the answers one gets when that question is asked:
"People with the best hermaneutical tools and those who can understand Greek and Hebrew are the best qualified to understand the Bible and receive revival in their lives." In other words, we are saying that people with the greatest education can hear the voice of God the best. One of the greatest criteria in the church today for putting people in leadership is education. Not one single place in the Bible does it say that mental ability is the criteria for ministry or hearing the voice of God. It is not commended as one of the attributes that God looks for when He speaks and moves in the lives of people. If anything, we are warned in 1 Cor. 8:1 that knowledge in itself "puffs us up." We are warned that love is what edifies or builds us up. We are not commended because we are smart or mentally able to understand God. We are commended when we become like children and accept God with a child-like faith and humble spirit. Jesus rejoiced that the Father had hid the secrets of the Kingdom from those who were wise and prudent. We must become babes in order to see things like God sees them sometime:
Luke 10:21-24 - In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. 22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. 23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
God has hidden secrets of the kingdom like authority, how to cast out demon spirits and divine healing from the wise and prudent. The reason is because most of the wise and prudent think they donít need the Holy Spirit to do these things or some are usually just not interested in the supernatural of God. Their confidence is in their education and intelligence. The truth is that an omniscient and omnipotent being is NOT impressed with human intelligence. If these things are hidden from the wise and the prudent, then who finds these things? He reveals these things to BABES.
1 Cor 1:19-31 - For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord
God loves foolish people. God loves ignorant people. God loves people who have trouble with their grammar and donít speak good English. He has made people just like this leaders of major revivals throughout the earth. Most revivals start among poor people. The Great Awakening saw scores of miners touched who were looked upon by the common people as just one class above animals. God loves the poor and the weak and allows His power to rest upon the poor and the weak.
Paul is used an example to dispute this and Paul was very intelligent. At Mars Hill, Paul quotes one of the Greekís minor poets in defense of the true God. This is what Paul said though about his education and how it related to his calling:
1 Tim 1:15-16 - This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
It wasnít because of his intelligence he was chosen. He was chosen because of Godís longsuffering and mercy. In fact, God had to hide Paul for three years and retrain him before the Lord revealed Paul to the church. God called Paul IN SPITE OF His education.
1 Cor 2:7-10 - But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
True revival and true ministry comes through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The question is how do we get that? Most of the time intelligent people donít receive this or hear the voice of the Lord because they donít feel they need it. You donít get it by being smart. They can figure it out on their own.
1 Cor 8:1 - Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
The reason we donít see a revival in many cases is not because of spiritual immorality, itís spiritual pride. Paul warned the Corinthians that knowledge in itself only puffed them up, but LOVE builds up. It is the love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that gives us the revelation of the world the way GOD SEES IT, not how we see it! When that is birthed in our hearts by Him, there is no class you can take to compare to the glory of that revelation. Revival cannot be taught, it must be birthed. The deep things of the Lord are not revealed to us by mental ability, they are revealed by HIS SPIRIT and those who listen to the Spirit are usually people who have realized that their manís ability to know the Lord is very inadequate.
Does this mean education and an academic study of the Bible important? It has its place but itís not important. As I heard Jack Deere say during a recent seminar on spiritual gifts, "God may need some academic people to speak to other academically gifted people to make Christianity credible. I just wander what would happen if God lost all those intelligently-gifted people and didnít have people like that to spread the news of His Kingdom. Where would God be if He were left with just blue collar workers, say fishermen, to spread His gospel without any type of education who only wanted to be with Jesus. Umm, like Peter and John in Acts 4:13 Ė unlearned and ignorant but FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST!
Acts 4:13 - Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Intelligence is not the key to release Godís power. While we should not pursue stupidity, our pursuit should be of spiritual things. Paul said to pursue spiritual gifts such as PROPHECY which is basically divine revelation. The source of that revelation should be the source of our pursuits - JESUS!
A second class of people who are listed most often as being good instruments for revival are people who know the Bible best and can memorize and quote scripture.
But are these type people REALLY the best tools for revival?
Not necessarily. The Scribes and the Pharisees in the first century knew the Bible better than anyone. Some even had memorized the Old Testament verse by verse and had a systematic understanding of it. They could give you accurate answers about the Messiah, where He would come from and what His ministry would be. It was the Scribes and Pharisees who told Herod the Messiah Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). The hard question again to ask is why lowly shepherds and pagan astrologers were the only ones who made it to the stable to worship the Messiah even though the religious hierarchy of Israel during Jesusí day knew it yet refused to come and see the child.
The answer then is the same answer we can know a lot of Bible and not see revival. We can have a great deal of knowledge about the Bible and NEVER hear the voice of God. The south is commonly referred to as the "Bible belt," yet we are the most sinful, most racist, least friendly, most religious group of people in the country for the most part, the world actually. WHY? Because most depend on their interpretation of the scriptures as a guide to their spiritual health and that is a dangerous and silly foundation to rest upon. If our interpretations are bringing death, it may do us well to reconsider those interpretations and allow the HOLY GHOST TO BREATHE LIFE INTO OUR RELIGIOUS LIVES and reveal the GLORY OF THE LORD JESUS!
John 5:37-38 - And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
John 12:28-30 - Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
Even if God speaks audibly it does not guarantee we will understand it. There was an audible voice from heaven and they did not understand it. There is a key to hearing the voice of God and it doesnít reside in our education. Most people have confidence in their knowledge and interpretation of the Bible, not in the Bible itself.
A third attitude we need to repent of is confidence in our giftings.
Some people have such confidence in their giftings that pride enters in and chokes out the very power that the person is bragging about having. If someone has an attitude that their giftings shield them from submission and needing checks and balances in the Body of Christ, the seeds of destruction have already been planted in their heart. Our arrogance and pride blind us and usually wind up destroying our relationships Ė both at church and home. People have been humiliated and embarrassed more times than we would care to admit because someone was so prideful in their giftings. We can be just as boastful about our giftings just as some fundamentalists are in their interpretation of the Bible. Itís called arrogance. Arrogance KILLS revival and the move of the Holy Spirit.
A final attitude we need to repent of is confidence in our movement or denomination.
When we think we are on the cutting edge the seeds of destruction are also sown in our hearts and in our churches. If we want revival, we cannot put confidence in our education, our interpretation of the Bible, our giftings or the movement we belong to. The people in the church are the key to the church. There are people who are hungry for God in EVERY movement and denomination across the church even though the theology of some movements are dead. God is looking for PEOPLE to move through Ė not creeds and rules. God is wanting to pour out revival. It may not come the way our denomination says it should or accepts, but if we are hungry for God, we will pursue it because we KNOW itís the will of God.
No one has found one experience to make them wonderful. I have had encounters with God that have changed my life. But just because I have had experiences I still have to press into the intimacy of the Lord Jesus everyday because it is HIM who sets me free from sin, sickness and Satan. Why do we want to think "WE" have it over someone else when all we really have is OUR knowledge, OUR understanding, OUR gifts, OUR denomination and OUR way of thinking. God doesnít care too much for any of that when it comes to revival. Heís only looking for one thing Ė A HUNGRY HEART that is seeking Him and the reality of it is that there is NO ONE doing that fully. If we were we would see a difference in not only our lives, but in the lives of those of others around us and our surroundings.
Isa 55:6-8 - Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Most of read this and say, "LORD THEY JUST DONíT THINK LIKE WE DO." We think because we can read and understand something that we know what the thoughts of God are and we donít! The Lordís ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts which leads us to the second thing we need to repent of:
Our opposition to revival experiences which are contrary to our own doctrinal beliefs
The way that seems most logical to us is usually just opposite of how God will elect to deal with people and bring revival. This keeps us from making our intelligence or knowledge of the Bible so significant. All the scribes knew all these FACTS but very FEW ever made it to Jesus or worship Him. When the Lord Jesus came to His temple the first time, the religious missed Him. Only two people recognized Him, while the others were on their way to do their work with God. An elderly layman named Simeon. The kind of person most of us would pass by and say he is passed his prime. The Holy Spirit moved him to go the temple that day and moved him to prophesy over the Son of God. On the way out the only other person to see Him was a 90-year old widow named Anna. It is not our knowledge of the Bible that enables us to recognize the Son of God and see revival.
The Coming Revival
"Live unsettled. Donít sink in too deep in the soil of this earth. Be sober, stay alert, keep your head up, keep moving. Iím COMING! The day of my return is at hand. Loose yourself of any ties that bind. If you donít loose yourself, Iíll help loose you. Prepare the way in your own heart and then prepare the way in others. I will return for a pilgrim people. Remove all obstacles or obstructions. The day is approaching Ė Warn them, donít wine and dine them. My word, my water is pure, donít taint it. Itís about to happen. What is about to happen will change world history. Let the unbelievers, the skeptics, the religious know that what they have feared the most is about to happen. Nothing will remain the same. Every fear known to man will be swallowed by the fear of the days ahead. Fear will overcome fear, dread will overcome dread, the violent will be overcome by the more violent. My final work is at hand. No one will grieve me anymore. No one will resist me anymore. No one will grieve my Spirit anymore. My
Spiritís wooing is about to cease. Let my people know that my warm season of grace and mercy will soon turn into a winter of judgment and wrath. The warm days of my wooing will be changed to the fiery days of my vengeance. My pleading for the souls of man, the faithful cries of the faithful harvesters, all the pain, all the suffering, the passionate cry of the my faithful laborers, will soon to over. I have heard, saith the Lord, the groans of nature. I have heard the midnight cries. My bride has been longing to be with me. The plan of the ages has almost reached full fruition. The laborers will leave, the sickle will rust. I am coming back, itís almost over. I will not delay my coming to you, so DO NOT DELAY YOUR COMING TO ME!
This was a prophetic message from Stephen Hill, the evangelist who has preached since Father's Day 1995 at Brownsville Assembly of God. Over 100,000 decisions have been made for Christ this revival started and it looks like there is no end in sight for it! In Smithton Community Church, where about 592 people live, revival has been going on for over 180 straight weeks, three and four nights a week with powerful manifestations of Godís grace and anointing. Many people are coming out their religion and into a vibrant, healthy, life changing relationship with God!
There are rumblings of revival all over the world right now. One may say, "well weíre not seeing anything go on like that at our church." Well, friend, just because the fire is not burning under your pot doesnít mean the fire isnít burning. What is happening is just the beginning. We are not anywhere close to being ready for the coming of the Lord. There is much work to do. There is much occupying till He comes. We are only feeling the initial drops of rain that are about to sweep over this land like a flood. The Lord said He will POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT in these last days. You must live like Heís coming back tonight, and work like Heís even at the door with little time to spare.
Isa 32:14-18 - Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; 15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
Joel 2:28 - And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Revival In Isrealís Time:
The revivals in the Bible give us a great portrait and guide not only to what true revival is but the conditions for seeing revival in our lives.
#1 Under Joshua
Josh 5:2-9 - At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. 3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 4 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. 5 Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. 6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey. 7 And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. 8 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. 9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.
When Israel experienced this revival under Joshua, the Bible says the reproach of Egypt was ROLLED AWAY. The reproach of Egypt was slavery and bondage and the shame of being former servants to a heathen nation. When true revival breaks out among us, people are set free! Drug addicts are delivered from drug addiction, alcoholics are delivered from alcoholism, sexually immoral people are delivered from immorality, murderers are delivered. The Lord Jesus Christ didnít come for us to build a shrine to Him in the form of crosses we hang around our neck or dash Ė He came to break the powers of darkness and set mankind at liberty who are bound by the powers of Satan. The power of the Holy Spirit is the greatest power on the planet. Heís bigger than the devil, Heís bigger than sin, Heís bigger than apostate religion, Heís bigger than the powers of darkness and the bondages of hell.
In addition, when people are set free from sin, the Lord rolls away the reproach of their past lives and sets them in a place of ministry. Some of you reading this have been scarred by sin and the hurt and shame of that sin has haunted you for years. Iím here to tell you that the coming revival is going to sweep away all that mess and you will see yourself as God sees you Ė DELIVERED and SET FREE and FORGIVEN.
#2 Under Samuel
1 Sam 7:1-6 - And the men of Kirjath-je'arim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD. 2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-je'arim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. 3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only. 5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. 6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
Isa 66:7-9 - Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. 8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
Serve the Lord only Ė We cannot serve the Lord and have other allegiances. God is wanting us to seek Him only. We need to stop pursuing education. We need to stop pursuing our denominational creeds and theology. We need to stop pursuing the worldís interests and seek after the heart of God. Most of us seek Godís hand. God wants us to seek His heart.
When these conditions are met the Bible says the Lord told Samuel that He would then DELIVER the nation of Israel from the Philistines. Our deliverance and revival tarries because we donít meet the conditions set forth in the word of the Lord.
Israel did four things we must do to see revival:
Drew water Ė We need to draw out the power of the Holy Spirit
Poured it out Ė We need to pour out our souls to Go
Fasted Ė Sometimes we need to chastise our souls to the point of missing even food to touch Go
Said, "We have sinned." Repentance always happens before Revival.
# 3 Under Elijah
IKing 18:17-40 17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. 20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
This is one of the greatest moves of God in Israelís history other than the time when David returned the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem. There are seven guarantees listed in this passage to revival:
The Fire of the Lord Fell And the Rains Came
IKing 18:41-46 - And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
When we stop halting between our opinions we will see GOD MOVE! We will see Holy Ghost revival unlike we have ever seen it before. The fire of the Lord and the water will be poured out. Unbelief will kill revival and the move of God. Doublemindedness is a sign of an unstable person. Itís also a sign of an unstable movement or church. Let the double minded not think they will receive anything from the Lord. Being open minded to revival experiences will get us NOTHING from GOD! We must earnestly PURSUE revival and the heart of God to see the Lord move in this last hour. Desperation is NOT FAITH. We must believe that God is a rewarder of them who DILLGENTLY seek Him.
#4 Revival Under Hezekiah
II Ki 18:1-7 - Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 6 For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. 7 And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
Hezekiahís revival was marked by deep repentance on the part of Israel and a return to the Lord. An interesting feature of this revival is the breaking of the image that Moses had made (the brasen serpent) because Israel had started burning incense to it.
That brasen serpent represents our reliious creeds and theologies that hinder us greatly many times from seeing revival. We burn incense to our opinions and interpretations which in themselves may be Godly and good but they HIDE us from the truth that will set us free. God is not looking for educated people, Heís not looking for religiously smart people. Heís not looking for scholars and geniuses. Heís looking for humble hearts who are so broken about their condition they repent of who they are, not just what they do Ė and after they repent, they keep in repenting until heaven opens and the glory of the Lord falls.Spiritual Pride will make Revival Tarry
Spiritual pride will cut off the flow of God quicker than anything else we do. Spiritual pride will blind us to our need. We must humble ourselves under the hand of a mighty God and allow Him to change our hearts and life. Israel had become so backslidden she worshipped the very tool God had used to bring deliverance to her. The trap is the same today. We can worship our gifts and talents thinking that those things that the Lord has used to bring deliverance to others in the past are more important than our relationship with the one who blessed us with those graces. We must repent of our pride and humble ourselves if we are to see revival in this hour Ė TRUE REVIVAL.
#5 Revival Under Josiah
II Ki 22:(All) - Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, 4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: 5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, 6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house. 7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. 18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; 19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. 20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again. 25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD 27 And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
Josiah was a young king who had seen much trauma but made it a top priority to restore the breaches in the house. The churchís ministry is reconciliation. We must pray for reconciliation between the races and nations if we are to see revival break out among us. Josiah did many other things such as tear down the high places and remove idolatry in the land.
There needs to be a tearing down of idolatry in our lives before God will move. The sad truth is the church is so blind to its need we donít even recognize any longer what is idolatry and what is not. We are like the Israelites in Saulís day when Nahash the Ammonite demanded Saulís army pluck out their right eyes in order to ensure peace. So it is with Satan. He has pledged peace with the church in exchange for the plucking out of our spiritual eyes. People who have had their eyes plucked out may not have any spiritual problems but itís not because they are ok. Itís because they are blind. "We just donít see anything wrong with thatÖ.." Blind men donít. Itís time for the men of God behind pulpits to let the devil know that there will be NO covenant of peace with him and we will not be blind to the idolatries in the hearts of our people. Preaching of the gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit is vital to seeing Holy Ghost revival. The Word of God is the light that will expose our sin and set us free.
#6 Revival Under Asa
2 Chr 14:2-5 - And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: 3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: 4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
2 Chr 15:1-14 - And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. 4 But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. 6 And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. 7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 8 And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. 9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. 10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. 12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
Without God, A Teaching Priest and Without Law
The condition of Israel under Asa is the condition of America today. We are without God, without teachers and with law. Lawlessness abounds in our society. The seed of lawlessness has been sown in the hearts of men by the enemy and will come into full fruition in the Antichrist who is soon to be revealed after the rapture of the church. When revival comes, lawlessness may still be present, but its power will no longer grip this nation. The criminal will be saved. The murderer, the rapist, the druggie, the thief, the abuser, the molester will be so gripped with Holy Ghost conviction that they will be changed into preachers, teachers, apostles, evangelists and prophets. Thereís coming a time when Christians full of the Holy Ghost are going to go into 7-11 and the power of God is going to grip the people in the store so much that they will fall on the floor and repent and give their heart to JESUS. Those days are just around the corner folks. IF WE BUT BELIEVE AND ASK.
Asa put away the abominable idols out the land. Again, we must remove idols in our homes and lives if we want to see God move in our land.
11 And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. 12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets
An interesting aspect of the revival under Asa is found in verses 11-14. The Bible says this:
#7 Revival Under Manesseh
2 Chr 33:12-19 - And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God. 14 Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah. 15 And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16 And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.This revival under Manasseh was similar to the other revivals already mentioned. He took away the strange gods, humbled himself from gross idolatry he himself had instituted, took away the idol out of the temple of the Lord, and PUT CAPTIANS OF WAR in the fenced cities around Judah. The revival that is coming is going to see a restoration of spiritual warfare unlike weíve seen in the history of the church.
Spiritual warfare is NOT cowboys and Indians. The powers of darkness are real and sin is real. It is going to take more than a "God is great, God is good," type of prayer to set captives free. Itís time to beat our plowshares into pruning hooks and go to war. Stop ploughing and start fighting! The call of revival is beckoning us to heed the voice of the Spirit. Itís time to take our place in the army of God.
#8 Revival in Nineveh Under Jonah
Jonah 3:4-10 - And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
One final revival I want to look at in this message is the revival in Ninevah under Jonah. This revival was marked by several things that correspond to the other revivals in Israel:
Jonah, even though reluctant, went to Ninevah and preached the gospel. We will see in the second part of this
that the Word of God was paramount in the revival in the book of Acts in the early church. The preaching of the word of God is so vitally important in seeing the ministry of the Lord Jesus brought forth in power today.
There is a lot of things that go on in the name of Christ. A few years back the "Laughing" movement was heralded as revival. I had an encounter with this experience as well as my family. I was involved personally in preaching two unannounced unplanned revivals that featured a great deal of this experience. While this was a tremendous move of the Spirit, it was not really revival in the sense of what true revival is all about.
True revival does more than touch emotions. It touches hearts. We can be slain in the Spirit, speak in tongues, see visions, dream dreams and know the word inside and out Ė AND STILL NOT BE CHANGED INWARDLY. I believe in all these things that I just mentioned and have had encounters with some of them. But true revival only comes when the word of God is preached and peopleís lives are changed. The word and the Spirit must work together. (Thatís another message for another day ahead)
Churches which major only in the Spirit usually wind up in fanaticism, great doctrinal error and sometimes even heresy. The Spirit of God only works in correlation with the Word. Nothing the Spirit of God does will ever contradict the word of God. The word of God is spirit-breathed by the Holy Spirit. Nothing that happens will dilute that. The SPIRIT AND THE WORD AGREE, according to John in his first epistle.
I Jn 5:6-8 - This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
Churches which go the other way and say, "we donít want any of the supernatural, because we have the WORD," often wind up in legalism and phariseeism. The word is great, but the LETTER of the law ALWAYS kills. You cannot just have the word without having the revelatory power of the Holy Spirit to guide you into understanding what is written. That is why we have the doctrinal mess we have today. If we all were listening to the HOLY SPIRIT instead of depending on our interpretations, we wouldnít have 1500 different doctrines. How do I know that? Simple. Because the Holy Spirit and the Word agree. If weíre being led by the same Spirit, then we will all be in one accord when it comes to the WORD of God. Jonah was an instrument of revival to Ninevah by the preaching of the word. The revival that is on the horizon will start first in the hearts of people but it will be birthed a great deal by the powerful, anointed preaching of the word of God which is powerful than any two-edged sword. The word is Godís instrument of conviction in this last hour. If we are to see revival, we need to preach the Word of God. We donít need to water it down or pollute it. The water of the Word is pure, we need to keep it pure. Revival tarries because of our own unbelief and carnality. Itís time to repent of these things and see the glory of God.