Summary: 4 of 4 on Prayer. This message on Acts 1-2 explores the source of revival in times past and in our times.
Sunday, September 17
4 He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 This is what the Lord GOD says to the bones: I will cause breath to enter you so you will come to life. 6 I will put muscles on you and flesh on you and cover you with skin. Then I will put breath in you so you will come to life...’”
When I was a kid a revival went for two weeks. It started on Sunday and ended on a Sunday 15 days later. During those 15 days there were services EVERY night – including Saturday night. There were special nights “bring a Bible night”, “friend night”, and “ladies night” and there were contests that lasted all week. The one who brought the most guests won a brand new Bible with concordance, study helps and thumb tabs.
My Grandpa told me that in the old days when a revival started it went on “Holy Spirit” time and would continue until everyone in town was either saved or angry! These revivals would go for 6, 8, or 12 weeks – sometimes even longer.
When I first started in the ministry a revival would last maybe a week, then for three days, and today you hardly hear of a church having a revival.
Folks, what our world needs today is a good old fashioned revival – NO, not the kind of revival meeting I’ve just described. That was something that may have had some benefit in it’s time – I mean many people were saved through those week long revivals.
Today we need to go further back to have the kind of revival the Bible talks about… the kind of revival that brings new fresh life to old dead bodies. The kind of revival that Ezekial talked about when he spoke of the valley of dry bones…
On the return to Bethel, Jacob ordered his entire household to put away their false gods and to wash and change their garments. This they did as Jacob built an altar to the true God. The false gods were then buried under an oak in Shechem.
At the exhorting of Samuel the people put away their false gods and prepared their hearts to serve the only true God.
1 Sam. 7:3–6
This occurred when complaining Israel saw the mighty hand of God in the parting of the Red Sea. On the safe (eastern) side of the sea, Moses led the people in a song of praise, while Miriam and the women furnished the special music.
a. When the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem for the first time
1 Chron. 15:25–28; 16:1–43; 29:10–25
b. At the dedication of the materials to be used in building the future temple
1 Chron. 29
This occurred at the actual dedication of the temple.
2 Chron. 7:1–3
He removed the Sodomites and all false idols out of the land. He even deposed his own grandmother because of her idolatry.
The king led a revival when he ordered the cleansing of the temple and the sanctification of the Levitical priests.
2 Chron. 19
This took place after the contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.
He exterminated all Baal worshipers and their temples.
This godly high priest led the people in a covenant whereby they forsook their idols and worshiped God.
Like Jehoshaphat, King Hezekiah experienced revival when he cleansed the temple of God.
2 Chron. 29–31
When wicked King Manasseh became converted, he led his people in a revival by ordering the destruction of all idols.
2 Chron. 33:11–20
This revival began when the Book of the Law was accidentally discovered during a temple cleanup event. The public reading of God’s Word had a profound effect upon both King Josiah and his people.
2 Kings 22–23
Through Ezra’s preaching on separation, the Jewish remnant ceased their ungodly marriage alliances with the heathen of the land.
After Nehemiah had rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem, Ezra stood by its gates and publicly read and taught from God’s Word, causing a great revival.
The Ninevites, through Jonah’s preaching, repented and stayed the destructive hand of God.
This time of repentance and rejoicing followed the salvation of the Jews from the plot of wicked Haman.
John the Baptist
John preached the imminent appearance of Israel’s Messiah, warning them to repent and submit to water baptism.
The conversion of a sinful Samaritan woman instigated this revival in Samaria.