Summary: Many claim we are experiencing revival today, yet so much of the church seems to be in retreat. Where is the gut-wrenching repentance of former revivals? Where is the confession of sins by entire church populations? This all happened when revival came...
ARE WE IN REVIVAL?
33. What Does Bible Revival Look Like ?
In the 600's BC, in a day when Babylon threatened to devour the once godly kingdom of Judah and the labors of the Patriarchs, the Conquerors, the Kings and Priests of many hundreds of years, Habakkuk the prophet cries out to God, "Revive Your work in the midst of the years!" Don't let us die, God, have mercy! We are your people after all. Soon after, Judah was indeed swallowed up by its enemies, but not forgotten. Habakkuk went on in that third chapter to describe a time of revival indeed, as the Lord comes and judges the nations one day and sets up His eternal Kingdom. That prayer was answered.
God's people have been praying that prayer in every century since that time.
In fact, one hundred years earlier than Habakkuk, Isaiah saw a land in the northern parts of what we call Israel today, a land called Galilee of the Gentiles, the tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali. When he first sees it, it is a place of darkness, gloom, anguish. And then suddenly a place of great light. For unto them, and unto us, a Child was given. And the government will one day be on his shoulder, and his name will be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God. It was Jesus who brought revival to Galilee. And He brings it still.
Look at that land-Galilee- in the first century of this present age, and see what revival looks like. A man whose little boy is sick, but sick no more. A blind man staggers down the street one day, and swaggers the next, as the man from Galilee brings light and life. A woman who deserves to die for her sin of adultery is placed next to a group of the elders of Israel who also deserve to die in their sin. And none of them die. They are all given a chance to live and be revived by the great revivalist, Jesus of Nazareth. The deaf hear. The crippled walk straight. The diseased are delivered. Good news is given to broken-hearted poverty-stricken hopeless men and women and children. That's what revival looks like.
But the revival is interrupted. More darkness. More death. More desperation. The one who brought the revival is accused of blasphemy. He claims to be God. And who else but God is able to bring revival like this? They were right. Guilty as charged. And they very wrong too. They kill him. And desperation sets in again. Once more Galilee and Judea and Samaria, and the world, is a place of darkness and gloom and anguish. For One day. Two Days.
Then on the Third Day, the revival to end all revivals, or rather to begin them! The revivalist is revived. The disciples are revived when they see the work. Great joy. Great life. But wait. A pause, some instructions. Go to Jerusalem, pray, praise, wait. One final revival will come to the planet, and you will be the administrators of it. After you are revived, go into all the world and do what I did. Including die if you must, but there will always be someone to pick up the message and pass it on. Now Go.
They went. They waited. They praised. For several long days they waited, fulfilling the Old Covenant mandate for a week of weeks to pass from Passover. Their Lamb had been slain. Now it was time for the harvest, the day of festivity and rejoicing when the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow were to be brought in to celebrate the goodness of the God of Israel. True to form, our God made this Feast of Pentecost such a time of rejoicing that we have been rejoicing ever since. If you want to know what this revival looked like, read the Book of Acts. Demons dealt with, sicknesses stopped, the dead raised, and above all, sins forgiven, men and women and children united to God forever. Repentance from dead works, immersion into water and Spirit. That's revival. That's what it looked like in the Bible. But, the revival has broken out, returned, manifested, many times since those days. In another article I will share of what revival looks like in history.
34. What Does Historic Revival Look Like?
The great Revival began on the Day of Pentecost. God's Spirit produced God's message of repentance and God's manifestations of His glory. That revival has continued from that day to this in one measure or another, somewhere on the planet. I pray that it will come to my church, and yours.
Some of the occurrences of the fire of God have been so phenomenal as to make church history. I have written here before of the great Pyongyang revival that took place over 100 years ago in what is now the capital of the most brutally repressive regime on earth. It was a movement begun in repentance, through a Methodist medical missionary. It was characterized by confession of sins, long sessions of prayer, and the receiving of the Holy Ghost in such flaming passion as to empty out prisons.