Category Archives: Revival

-Acts 2/ Joel 2: Looking ‘Forward’

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It is a new day and a new Biblical year and we are still looking forward to revival. But sometimes there is stuff that must come first or may come along with it that we would rather avoid. But the word ‘Revival’ only brings to our minds the ‘good stuff’ and all of the ‘not so good’ that came along with former moves of God is usually forgotten or disregarded. 

500 years ago on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther tacked 95 theses to a door in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther wanted to bring revival and reform to the church but schism came instead and a few years later he was excommunicated and then the wars followed for several hundred years. But the church was reformed and change came to all of the church regardless. One wonders if he would have proceeded differently if he had known all the stuff that was going to follow.

One thing for sure, the Reformation was a Move of God. More than anything else the most important result was access to the Bible and real knowledge of the written Word of God- the Logos. Before 1517 The Word was only available to the Priests, Monks, and scholars and very little of it was allowed to ever trickle on down to the regular folks. Not only that but ‘worship’ services were in Latin which only the educated could understand.

Coming out of the Reformation, services started being conducted in the vernacular and an exposition and teaching of the Scriptures became an important part of worship. Later the Bible was translated into the languages of the people and with the invention of the printing press it became available for regular folks. The church was changed by the Logos of God.

Most of us in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches look back on Azusa Street in 1906 as the beginning of another Move of God that changed the church. This time it was the Rhema Word of God that was restored along with all of the Spiritual gifts. A good historical case can be made that the ‘gifts’ never really departed entirely from the church but few regular folks in the church had the opportunity to experience them.

Now we are at a new crossroad where a significant part of the church is questioning whether the Bible is still even relevant and whether certain plain teachings in the Word should be disregarded or ignored. Ironically it is the old ‘Reformation’ mainline churches that are in the midst of rejecting their own foundations which were rooted in ’solo scriptura.’

The point is, major change and a new move of God including some kind of new ‘reformation’ is ahead for the church and we can expect that the revival we are hoping for may be far different than our romanticized expectations. Fact is, the church is always ‘looking forward’ to the past revivals and is never fully prepared to receive the new one.

To demonstrate what I am talking about let’s take a look at Acts. Before all of the good stuff in Acts 2 we find in chapter 1 that all the church devoted themselves to prayer. Since Pentecost came 50 days after the Passover they could have been praying solid for at least a month or so. Not only that, but for only this one time in history the entire church and everyone in it was actually prepared to receive a move from God.

Now for the scary part that may be relevant for us now or in the very least for the church some time in the future. We all like the ‘good stuff’ in Peter’s quote of Joel 2:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,and your young men shall see visions,and your old men shall dream dreams;

18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. …

21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Here’s the part of Acts 2 / Joel 2 we would rather ignore. The verses between 18 and 21 (19 & 20):

19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;

20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

In light of all of the major disasters lately, these verses might be far more relevant to a coming revival than we want to admit. Also, a falling away and major persecution might well come along with it.

It is time for the church to pray. It is always time for us to pray but especially now.               *Top

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-Some Revival Implications For The Church

26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. –Heb. 12:26-29

While I was reading the 12th chapter of Hebrews this morning the 26-29 verses leaped off the page and the Following came to me:

This is the revival you have been praying for. 

As I read the verses again some of the implications and dangers for the church in midst of revival and afterwards began to come to mind. It may not be as rosy and cozy as most of us expect. For sure the church will be changed in ways we do not  see now. We have been praying for the Kingdom to come down in our midst and have not fully comprehended how that will change the church as we know it.

The church and the leaders will be refined by God’s own fire and that which can be shaken will. It will be glorious but also painful. The church that remains will stand up and more accurately represent the Kingdom of God on earth, fulfill its calling, and finally become the worthy Body and Bride of Christ.

Unfortunately part of the church as we know it will not endure. Look for whole denominations and movements to go into apostasy afterwards. We can already see it happening as some of the mainline churches are turning their backs upon the Word of God. Look for some to turn their backs upon the Word himself and deny his divinity for the sake of world peace.

Revival will come to every church and signs and wonders will follow and many will be saved but the response of the leaders and the aftermath will not be the same.                 *Top

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-Hungary: ‘Greatest Revival of Our Time’?

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Here’s a link to an article by Ted Baehr who claims that the ‘greatest revival of our time’ is breaking out in Hungary:

Recently, I returned from speaking and teaching in Hungary with my son Robby, … Hungary was a wonderful, definitive, different experience because Hungary is in the midst of revival. More than 60 percent of the members of Parliament there are Christian. The prime minister, who was once a typical European leftist, who started out a Communist Youth leader, came to Christ and is on fire for God. Members of the cabinet are pastors and leaders in Reformed and other Hungarian churches.

Besides speaking at the conference that brought me to Hungary, World Congress of Families, I got the chance to speak in the largest Christian church, 60,000 people, one of the largest churches in the world. That church owns the biggest news network in Hungary, reaching 2 million people.

What makes all of this so exceptional is the history of Hungary.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is really good news.  Most of the time when we read about Europe it is all about how Muslims are taking over significant parts of Germany, UK, Sweden, and causing trouble in France. We forget about what is happening in the former communist countries in the East where Christianity seems to be flourishing more than in the West which is seemingly becoming more secular.

Add this to the on-going secret revivals taking place among Muslims and in China and North Korea. Meanwhile in this country we have a prominent senator and former presidential candidate questioning whether conservative Christians should be allowed to even serve in the government.                 *Top

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-Tent Revival in North Carolina

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(YouTube capture)

There’s an old fashion tent revival going on in North Carolina. From Charisma News:

A remarkable move of God that began last May in Burlington, North Carolina, stirred many hearts through July. Pastor Randy Hobbs had only scheduled evangelist C.T. Townsend to spend a week in his church, but as the power of God fell, many were saved and the revival stretched on in a borrowed tent for weeks—filled to capacity every night.

“The only reason the (revival) meeting shut down (in July) is because we couldn’t keep the tent any longer. The man needed the tent back,” recounts D.R. Harrison, one of those saved during the revival.

Remarkably the revival started all over again this year with another tent:

No one knew what would happen when Townsend and his team re-launched their crusade two weeks ago under a newly constructed tent holding 5,000 people.

“It’s been incredible,” Harrison exclaims. “This last Friday night was our biggest night with over 4,000 people, and there were 78 saved.

During the first two weeks of the crusade, 130-140 made professions of faith, and crowds averaged about 2,000 a night. The momentum seems to be building, according to Harrison.

Some of the services have been viewed over 100,000 times on the internet, and their livestream crashed May 12 due to traffic that overwhelmed server capacity.

<Read the whole report>

Response: I believe we are in a season when similar revivals can happen all around North America. The character of each might be considerably different in every place but one of the major themes is going to be the unity of the American church. This move of God across America is destined to go beyond denominations, affiliations, or any of the designations that we are familiar with including race. Look for Mainliners, Catholics, non-denominational evangelicals, Baptists, black and white and Latino churches and all colors to participate along with the Charismatics and Pentecostals that you would expect.

Pastors and leaders, It is time to pray for guidance on what you can do to facilitate a unique move of God in your community. It might be among the youth in your neighborhood, city or town. Now is the time. It might not be in a tent, it might be in an auditorium or field, on in the street. It is time for a new awakening.                 *Top

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-It is Time to Leave Nazareth

He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith. –Mark 6: 5-6

I am really tired of living in Nazareth where only a few folks are healed, as wonderful as that is.

I have friends who have gone on mission trips to India, Africa, and South America, and have come back with incredible testimonies of how God healed everyone they prayed for. Opening blind eyes, healing the deaf, and seeing all kinds of miracles including folks who could not even stand on their own two feet running laps. Some have even seen the dead raised. Then when they come back home to America it is just like it was before- they see a few folks healed once in a while and are glad for it.

At the beginning of the year it was impressed upon me that faith and belief were  THE issues that the American and Western church needed to deal with this year. First of all the scripture that came to me on New Years Eve was Mark 9:24-

I believe; help my unbelief.

I have been praying that one everyday since.

Then reading on in Mark, I came across the passage in 11:22-24 where Jesus talks about having a strong enough faith and belief to move a mountain. I never really considered literally or physically moving mountains as something I might want to do. Maybe figuratively.

However, once when I was on a long hike with my family years ago and realized when we got to the top of one mountain peak that the lake we were going to was on the other side of another mountain. I would have like to have moved a mountain if I could. Then on another vacation I went fishing with a friend on the east side of the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite. We hiked down a mountain side to a pristine lake and had a wonderful day catching fish. Then we literally thought we were going to die going back up that mountain with 10 big fish and all of our equipment including an ice chest and chairs. Moving a mountain would have come in handy that day. However, it never occurred to me to pray it away and I still do not believe that it would have been justified under those circumstances. When would one actually need to move a mountain into the sea? Something I  have always wondered. I guess when God tells you to.

Nevertheless, while reading this passage in Mark, I received a strong word to read it in the Greek. I was in my comfy chair but the Lord knows me well and it came in a way that I could not ignore. It was the first three words of Jesus that changed it all and gave me a different perspective. Maybe I  have heard someone preach on verse 22 in the past but it was rhema for me that day and ever since:

Ekete pistin Theou  (a transliteration-my site will not print out the actual Greek) 

All of the English translations (12) that I have in my library have it as- “Have faith in God.” So that is obviously the best translation.  But there is a couple of things in the Greek which give it a fuller meaning. First of all, ‘ekete’ calls for continuing action- not just ‘have’ but continue to have. ‘Faith’ (pistin) is the subject but God (Theou) is not only the object of it but is the possessor (genitive or possessive in the Greek). It is God’s faith.

So how do you get the kind of faith that can move mountains? My conclusion is that we can only get it from God- we have to ask him for it and we have to completely believe that God’s wants us to do it in the first place and has given us the power to  accomplish the task.

We have faith but Holy Spirit help our faith.

If we want to leave behind the environment of Nazareth where we only see a few wonderful healings then we need to see an exponential increase in our faith and belief. We have to seek it and ask for it.

It is time for the American and Western church to live in a Kingdom environment where signs and wonders, and the miracles and healings of Jesus are demonstrated in our midst. They need to be commonplace and not just fortuitous exceptions but a part of the norm. Then church will become relevant once more and offer a viable and attractive alternative world view in the midst of an unbelieving secular culture.               *Top

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