[b]"TRUE versus FALSE REVIVAL"[/b]
I have often been saddened by the corruption of the term "Revival"
and what it actually means. So few Christians today seem to be
aware of what really happens when God comes down. (-For that is
what Revival is - "GOD COMING DOWN"). When Moses came
down from the mountain, he carried the holy presence and glory of
God with him. The people wanted to run and hide! -That is what
true Revival has ALWAYS been like. It is an invasion of the
awesome holy presence of God. -Which is why the pattern of
what happens in Revivals often repeats itself. Men's hearts are
essentially the same in each generation. -So God's holy presence
has the same effect. Some get convicted, some get angry, many
cry loudly in repentance. Over and over, from the Book of Acts
until now - we see the same things. And that is one reason why it
is not hard to discern the counterfeit from the real thing.
I am talking now about thousands of years of Revivals - where
God has convicted men in the same way.
Some people tell me, "Oh, it is going to be different this time."
Yes, there will always be something "new" in Revival, but
essentially God deals with the hearts of men in similar ways
each time. I really hate it when people call the latest froth-and-
bubble fad that is sweeping through the church 'Revival'. It grates
on me - it really does. We need to see people truly "cut to the
heart" like on the day of Pentecost. We need piercing preaching
like a Finney, a Wesley or a John-the-Baptist. And a "lukewarm"
church needs these things more than anyone else.
Those who speak of Revival as a time of great celebration,
ingathering and joy do not seem to realize that these things are
the "fruit" that FOLLOW AFTER true Revival. True Revival itself
is aimed at cleansing, purging and then empowering God's
people. If they have fallen into a state of spiritual decline or luke-
warmness, then the first thing that true Revival will bring is deep
REPENTANCE. The whole idea is to see these Christians convicted
and cleansed, so that they can once again become clean channels
to bring God's blessing and salvation to a dying world - so that they
can once again fully display His glory in all the earth. True Revival
brings God's children to their knees.
As one writer commented, Revival is "not the top blowing off, but
rather the bottom falling out." And as Frank Bartleman wrote,
'The depth of revival will be determined exactly by the depth of the
spirit of repentance.'
The following is a description of some of the Revival prayer-
meetings that took place in the Welsh Revival of 1858-59 (typical
of many Revivals): "It was in its terrors that the eternal became
a reality to them first. They seemed plunged into depths of godly
sorrow... For some weeks it was the voice of weeping and the
sound of mourning that was heard in the meetings. The house was
often so full of the divine presence that ungodly men trembled
terror-stricken; and at the close, sometimes they fled as from
some impending peril; at other times sat glued to their seats..."
One eyewitness said of the famous 1904 Welsh Revival that it was
not the eloquence of Evan Roberts that broke men down, but his
tears. "He would break down, crying bitterly for God to bend
them, in an agony of prayer, the tears coursing down his cheeks,
with his whole frame writhing. Strong men would break down and
cry like children... a sound of weeping and wailing would fill the air."
Here is a typical extract from the autobiography of renowned Re-
vivalist Charles G. Finney, concerning a meeting that he held in
one particularly ungodly place: "I had not spoken to them in this
strain of direct application more than a quarter of an hour when
all at once an awful solemnity seemed to settle down upon them.
The congregation began to fall from their seats in every direct-
ion and cry for mercy. If I had had a sword in each hand I could
not have cut them off their seats as fast as they fell. Indeed,
nearly the whole congregation were either on their knees or pros-
trate in less than two minutes from this first shock that fell
upon them. Everyone who was able to speak at all prayed for him-
self... Of course I was obliged to stop preaching, for they no
longer paid any attention. I saw the old man who had invited me
there to preach, sitting about in the middle of the house and
looking around with utter amazement. I raised my voice almost to
a scream to make him hear above the noise of the sobbing, and
pointing to him said, `Can't you pray?'..."
In this kind of genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the tangi-
ble presence of God is very real. Frank Bartleman described one
of the meetings during the `Azusa Street' Revival of 1906 as fol-
lows: "God came so wonderfully near us the very atmosphere of
Heaven seemed to surround us. Such a divine "weight of glory" was
upon us we could only lie on our faces. For a long time we could
hardly remain seated even. All would be on their faces on the
floor, sometimes during the whole service. I was seldom able to
keep from lying full length on the floor on my face."
We could go on and on with quotes similar to these - and it is a
subject that we all need to become much more familiar with.
-Because God wants to bring TRUE REVIVAL in these days -
but the potential for counterfeits is great.
Pray for a REAL outpouring, my friends.
God bless you all,
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon