Summary: How the spirit of a man and the flesh are working in conjunction to bring God’s will.
August 31, 2008
Text: Galatians 5:22-23
Subject: The Spirit and the Flesh
Title: In the Spirit
I want to talk to you today about Revival. That’s one of my favorite subjects. I want to tell you something; there is no true revival unless it is Holy Ghost revival. I mean there is no revival unless the spirit of God is in total control and the people of God are in complete dependence on the Holy Spirit.
I want to begin by sharing some reports of revivals that have taken place in the past. As we do I want you to pay close attention to what was going on there as revival broke out.
Monday 1 January - London (George Whitefield, John Wesley)
1739 saw astonishing expansion of revival in England. On 1st January the Wesleys and Whitefield (now returned from America) and four others from their former Holy Club at Oxford in their students days, along with 60 others, met in London for prayer and a love feast. The Spirit of God moved powerfully on them all. Many fell down, overwhelmed. The meeting went all night and they realized they had been empowered in a fresh visitation from God.
John Wesley wrote,
’Mr. Hall, Kinchin, Ingham, Whitefield, Hitchins, and my brother Charles were present at our lovefeast in Fetter Lane, with about sixty of our brethren. About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from that awe and amazement at the presence of his majesty, we broke out with one voice, "We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord"
August - Cane Ridge, Kentucky (Barton Stone)
Impressed by the revivals in 1800, Barton Stone, a Presbyterian minister, organised similar meetings in 1801 in his area at Cane Ridge north-east of Lexington. A huge crowd of around 12,500 attended in over 125 wagons including people from Ohio and Tennessee. At that time Lexington, the largest town in Kentucky, had less than 1,800 citizens. Now Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist preachers and circuit riders formed preaching teams, speaking simultaneously in different parts of the camp grounds, all aiming for conversions of sinners.
James Finley, later a Methodist circuit rider, described it:
’The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human being seemed to be agitated as if by a storm. I counted seven ministers, all preaching at one time, some on stumps, others in wagons and one standing on a tree which had, in falling, lodged against another. ...
’I stepped up on a log where I could have a better view of the surging sea of humanity. The scene that then presented itself to my mind was indescribable. At one time I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens’ (Pratney 1994:104).
Easter Saturday 14 April - Azusa Street, Los Angeles
’At Azusa, services were long, and on the whole they were spontaneous. In its early days music was a cappella, although one or two instruments were included at times. There were songs, testimonies given by visitors or read from those who wrote in, prayer, altar calls for salvation or sanctification or for baptism in the Holy Spirit. And there was preaching. Sermons were generally not prepared in advance but were typically spontaneous. W. J. Seymour was clearly in charge, but much freedom was given to visiting preachers. There was also prayer for the sick. Many shouted. Others were "slain in the Spirit" or "fell under the power." There were periods of extended silence and of singing in tongues. No offerings were collected, but there was a receptacle near the door for gifts. ...