Once again in our last study we discovered several things that happen in a Biblical Revival. We saw there is a casting away of all false hopes and believers renewed in love and good works. Believers are renewed in faith and believing prayer and their love for the lost is renewed in their hearts. Not only this, but we see the Holy Spirit break down the worldly attachments that enslave men to the world, to the flesh and to the devil. Even in music the Holy Spirit will be leading the worship. What else do we discover about what happens in a Revival?
11. A Biblical Revival sees the release of Spiritual gifts practiced Biblically.
One of the things that characterized the first century was the abundance of spiritual gifts. In the Book of Acts we see this time and time again. The gifts of the Spirit have never died out, disappeared or ceased. This is not Biblically correct. Down through the centuries they have still been operating in the Body of the Messiah but for the most part outside of the traditional established institutional Church. One well known group were the Anabaptists who practiced baptism by immersion and the gifts of the Spirit. Sadly they were persecuted by the Protestants as well as the Catholics.
Having said this the primary reason for the decline of spiritual gifts in Christendom was due to the superstitious practices and nonsence of the Roman Catholic Church where they uplifted and venerated relics and charms and bracelets and bottles of oil with so called ‘miraculous’ healing powers and all kinds of religious articles and statues and claiming they, like the bottled oil, had innate spiritual power. Added to this they came up with the doctrine of transubstantiation which was nothing more than a form of spiritual cannibalism.
Spiritual gifts in abundance
All of these things the reformers saw including Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and others and decided that the supernatural aspect of the work of God should be minimized and in some cases done away with. In the Book of Acts we see miracles signs and wonders following the preaching of the Word. (Acts 2:43;3:6-8;4:29-31; 6:8;7:4-7; 14:3-4, 8-10; 20:9-12) Just before the Lord Jesus comes back the gifts of the Spirit will be in abundance in the faithful Body of the Messiah including the offices of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor and teachers but it will be outside of the institutional denominational Church. (Joel 2:28-32)
12. A Biblical Revival sees the return of the Church to Apostolic doctrine.
Once again we read in the book of Acts that the believers “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching.” (Acts 2:42) Doctrine is important because if we do not have right doctrine then we will not have right lifestyles. Paul wrote to Titus; “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1) Paul wrote to Timothy; “Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13) And again he wrote to Timothy; “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” (1Timothy 4:6) One of the conspicuous marks of the last days is that Christians will depart from sound doctrine, As Paul also wrote to Timothy; “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
First get rid of the leaven
Revival can come but first the leaven of the faith prosperity money preachers and the false prophets and teachers must be expelled from the Church and especially those pastors who do not teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Sound doctrine is that form of doctrine that is spiritually solid with a good Biblical foundation. It is that kind of doctrine that accepts the whole Bible and does not seek to bend it to modern thinking. As C.H. Spurgeon has said; “The Word of God is like the anvil upon which the hammers of men’s opinions are smashed!” I think it was Charles Finney who said “God does not use a court jester to search the consciences of men!”
What is there to laugh about?
Those who were in the laughing revival camp of Rodney HB some years ago now and are still engaged in fleshly antics as they were back then and more so today, desperately need to hear and embrace what is in accord with sound doctrine! It also needs to be said that sound doctrine is not the dry stuff that some put out from their pulpits every Sunday that may be scripture but that has no anointing power of the Holy Spirit accompanying it.
The Spirit gives life
The Word of God must be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit otherwise the doctrine will lose its centrality over time. We must always keep in mind what the Lord Jesus said; “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63) Unless the Spirit breathes on the words of the Bible into our spirit and our daily life in the end they will be to us the letter of the law. All of our doctrines and teachings, plans and programmes must bend to the Word of God. Once ministers start to bend the Word of God to the doctrines and commandments of men they nullify the power of God and eventually they lose their ability to understand and to obey the Word of God.
Preach the Word at all times
As Paul also wrote to Timothy; “…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:2-5)
13. A Biblical Revival sees the worst kinds of sinners saved.
In the revivals under John Wesley and William Booth multitudes of prostitutes, alcoholics and violent and unscrupulous men and women were soundly saved at their meetings. D.L. Moody also saw many so called ‘unsavoury’ characters come to the place of repentance and faith and cleansed in the blood of Jesus. When you look at the ministry of the Lord Jesus all kinds of sinners were saved. Today in these mega churches by enlarge Church growth is primarily through Church transfer where some change churches to go where their fleshly and emotional desires can be satiated. Many do not want sound teaching but sermons that make them feel good.
A Hospital for sinners
The Church has been called a hospital for sinners and the local fellowship should be a place where the worst kind of spiritual diseases can be cured and the worst kind of ‘sinners’ can be saved and sanctified. Sadly many ministers no longer preach about the blood of Jesus that has power to cleans and deliver the sinner from his or her sin. They no longer preach in or about the power of the Holy Spirit to set people free from sickness and disease. They no longer preach about hell and the judgement to come. They no longer preach about that holiness without which no one shall see God.
Falling backwards or forwards?
When the gifts of the Spirit are allowed to operate in the local fellowship things happen. Men and women fall down on their faces before God repenting and confessing their sins to Him. They do not fall back into some spiritually euphoric state of mind or writhe around uncontrollably on the floor unless they have a demon of course! As Paul wrote to the assembly at Corinth; “…But if an unbeliever or uninstructed person comes in while everyone is prophesying, he will be convicted and called to account by all, and the secrets of his heart will be revealed. So he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, “God is truly among you!” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)
Leaving their minds in the carpark
Today we see people falling backwards. In the Bible there is only one place where we read where people fell backwards and that was when they came to arrest the Lord Jesus and He said to them “I AM He!” The power of God dropped them to the ground. It was a judgment and not a blessing. In the Bible whenever the power of God fell upon men it was to convict them of sin or to humble them before Him or to empower or even to bless them. They always fell face down and were cognative. They did not pass out into some spiritually euphoric state. Evangelsi to the Jews, James Jacob P has said; “Many Christians, when they come to church to worship God, leave their minds in the carpak outside.”
“Such were some of you”
Some of the saints at Corinth before they had been saved fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate and homosexuals, thieves, covetous, alcoholics, verbal abusers, swindlers and the worst kind of ‘sinners’ but had been washed in the blood, sanctified in the Spirit and justified by faith in the name of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 6:10-11) Most definitely a distinctive mark of a genuine Biblical Revival is that the worst kind of ‘sinners’ get saved through faith in Jesus to save them, and by faith in His blood to cleanse them from all and every sin, through the sanctifying work of the blessed Holy Spirit.
14. A Biblical Revival sees believers return to purity of heart and life.
After the Spirit of God had fallen upon Cornelius and the Gentiles gathered with him there the apostle Peter returned to Jerusalem and reported to them what had happened at Caesarea. “And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing (purifying) their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:8)
Why tongues of fire?
On the Day of Pentecost we see the Holy Spirit falling upon the 120 believers as cloven tongues of fire, why? Because it was to purify their hearts from anything and everything that would hinder God’s Spirit working in, upon, and through them. At Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit came down upon Him as a dove because He was already pure in heart and without sin of any kind. The 120 needed their hearts purified completely. As Paul later wrote that this is God’s will for every believer in the Lord Jesus. Paul; wrote; “Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:22-24) As he also wrote; “For it is God’s will that you should be holy.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
Sin and spiritual defilement
In a Biblical revival the first thing God does is deal with sin and spiritual defilement and filthiness of flesh and spirit so that He can perfect holiness in the heart reverence for God. This holiness is perfect love for God, love for the Lord Jesus, love for the Holy Spirit, love for the Word of God, and love for the saints and sinners alike, a divine and supernatural love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5) To walk in a faith that works by love is to fulfil all of the requirements of God’s Law. (Romans 13:8-10) (Galatians 5:6) If we really love Him then we will not want to sin and displease Him. As we walk in the light of His Word moment by moment through faith we will be continuously cleansed by Jesus blood and if we do miss it, and there are times when all of us do, it is that same blood that will cleanse us from it when we confess and forsake it with the help supplied by the blessed Holy Spirit. (1 John 1:7-9)
15. A Biblical Revival crosses Denominational Boundaries.
God is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of faith and one of the things that happens in a genuine Holy Spirit revival is unity among believers when it spreads to other fellowships. Now the unity that comes about is not ecumenical unity or some sort of interfaith unity. It is a unity brought about by the blessed Holy Spirit but a unity based on the truth of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and not doctrinal error. As the Lord Jesus said about Him; “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 6:13)
The Holy Spirit
Several things we are told about the Holy Spirit. 1. He is the Spirit of truth and will not endorsee anything that departs from scripture. He will never endorse false and unbiblical doctrines. 2. He will guide believers into all the truth about the things of God revealed in the Bible. 3. He will not speak out of His own will and desire but only that which He hears from God and from the Lord Jesus. 4. He will reveal Biblical Prophecy. One of the things we need to keep in mind regarding Biblical Prophecy is that if our basic foundational doctrines are not right, neither will our understanding and interpretation of it be right. God will never trust the prophetic revelation of His Word to men who are not first and foremost men of the Word.
What happened in 1967?
In a pre-emptive attack on Egypt that drew Syria and Jordan into a regional war in 1967, Israel made massive territorial gains capturing the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal. They also liberated the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. In the Church the Charismatic renewal came about in many mainline denominations in the same year. It was a time when the gifts of the Spirit were released within the wider Body of the Messiah. Many Roman Catholics were baptised with the Holy Spirit and spoke in unknown languages for the most part by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Having said this over the next following years the momentum subsided and the power of the Holy Spirit diminished in many fellowships mainly because the movement became inward looking rather than outward looking. One of the misfortunes was that many Roman Catholics did not stop being Roman Catholics nor did they stop embracing many of the unbiblical doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome. Denominational ecumenism received a great boost in the fervour and euphoria of the Charismatic renewal but over the preceding years the power of the Holy Spirit subsided because many would not leave off their unbiblical doctrines.
All roads lead to Rome?
It has been said for years that “all roads lead to Rome” meaning that all of the denominations must come back under the umbrella of ‘Mother Church’ which also means submission to the Pope of Rome and the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Recently on video we saw one of the leading word of faith money preachers Kenneth C and his congregation all together sucking up to the Pope and calling loudly for an end to Ecumenical disunity. One man, leading the fray, was an Anglican priest who was endorsing the Pope and encouraging the Church to go back to Rome. Later it was made known he was killed in a bike accident. Need any more be said about what happened? It does not pay to lead God’s people into doctrinal error. Ecumenical unity of any kind is unbiblical if the doctrines are not based and founded on God’s Word. There may be a lot of razzle and dazzle and even supposed miracles signs and wonders and many emotionally gratifying moments in the euphoria of the ‘heady’ meetings but at the end of the day it all comes to nothing in the end.
There are at least fifteen conspicuous marks of a Biblical Revival. 1. A Biblical Revival sees the return of believers from their backslidden heart and lifestyle. 2. A Biblical Revival sees Backsliders restored. 3. A Biblical Revival sees the confessing and forsaking of all sin. 4. A Biblical revival sees the breaking down of pride before God. 5. A Biblical Revival sees the casting away of all false hopes. 6. A Biblical Revival sees the Holy Spirit renew believers in love and good works. 7. A Biblical Revival sees the Holy Spirit renew believers in faith and believing prayer. 8. A Biblical Revival sees the Holy Spirit renew a burden in believers for the lost. 9. A Biblical Revival sees the Holy Spirit breaking down worldly attachments in the lives of believers. 10. A Biblical Revival sees the Holy Spirit lead the music in worship. 11. A Biblical Revival sees the release of Spiritual gifts practiced Biblically. 12. A Biblical Revival sees the return of the Church to Apostolic doctrine. 13. A Biblical Revival sees the worst kinds of sinners saved. 14. A Biblical Revival sees believers return to purity of heart and life. 15. A Biblical Revival crosses Denominational Boundaries.
God want to send Revival
God wants the Body of the Messiah to be revived. It usually begins in a local fellowship and spreads to other fellowships. In the Gospel records when the apostles fished where the Lord Jesus told them to fish they caught so many that other boats had to come alongside to help with the catch as the nets were almost breaking with the weight of the load of fish. In a revival no one fellowship can handle the response. Usually other fellowships will come alongside and also experience the revival and together they will gather the ‘fish’ caught in ‘the net’ due to Spirit filled evangelism!
Any church can have a revival!
Any fellowship can have a revival if they meet the LORD’s conditions. God Himself has said; “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) May our response be; “Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6)