“A Biblical Review”
In his book, Rivers of Revival, authors Elmer L. Towns and Neil Anderson stated the following:
“Just as all normal people have the same facial characteristics, yet the characteristics in the faces of all people are arranged differently; these revivals have the same facial characteristics— they reflect God’s presence—yet they have different faces; which means the revivals were expressed in different ways. I (Elmer Towns) wrote Rivers of Revival, Regal Books, 1998 with Neil Anderson. In that book, I describe nine faces of revival (see pp. 116-117). These nine “faces” of revival are different manifestations of revival. These nine faces occur throughout history and are found in the times we call the ten greatest revivals ever. Yet, in each of these ten periods of time, the expressions of revival all appeared differently in each revival. These nine faces of revival in the book, Rivers of Revival, are:
1. Repentance Revival: emphasis on cleaning up one’s life and society.
2. Evangelism Revival: emphasis on winning souls to Christ.
3. Worship Revival: emphasis on magnifying God.
4. Deeper Life Revival: experiencing God’s indwelling.
5. Spiritual Warfare Revival: battling demons and Satan.
6. Holy Spirit Revival: emphasis on the Spirit’s manifestations.
7. Reconciliation Revival: removing barriers to racial harmony.
8. Liberation revival: freeing from corporate and personal bondage to sin.
9. Prayer Revival: an enormous movement of intercession and prayer.”
It amazes me that we can do “Church” as we know it, without experiencing these nine truths about revival. When we see people repenting of their sins, when we see people crying out for souls, when we see people worshipping God in Spirit and in truth, when we see people going after holiness in God, when we see true spiritual welfare against the devil and his demons, when the Holy Spirit is freely manifesting, when racial harmony is taking place, when we start experiencing victory against personal sin in our secret places and when God’s people are truly praying, it is then and only then, my beloved friends, that we can say that we are indeed experiencing revival.
These nine things, and I am sure there are more characteristics of revival, will never go unnoticed. It is sad to say, but without revival we have programs, man-made religion and manipulations that have nothing to do with God’s power. The Bible tells in Mark 16:17-18
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Beloved, when we start seeing these signs in the church again we will know that God’s glory is among us…we will know that revival is back! The question is, have we become the stiff-necked people of today? Is our pride getting on the way of revival? Do we even recognize the need for revival?
The Lord told me that in the United States of America He demands multiculturalism; it is not an option here. This nation has been greatly damaged by the spirit of racism from the very beginning and much healing is needed. Amanda Thompson (Texas A&M University) writes in her article Scientific Racism:
The Justification of Slavery and Segregated Education in America:
“Perhaps the least known fact about early American racism is its prevalence in society and its almost blind acceptance by the most distinguished scientists and politicians of the day. Though some historical figures questioned the relevancy of the inferiority of certain races in determining human rights, they did not question its accuracy. Thomas Jefferson wrote “I advance it, therefore, as a suspicion only, that the blacks…are inferior to the whites in the endowment of body and mind” (Gould, 87).
As you may know, Thomas Jefferson wrote our Declaration of Independence. As Jefferson wrote the famous words: “All men are created Equal” he had over two hundred slaves working for him.
It is also well documented in our history that the famous Evangelist and Revivalist of the seventeen hundreds, British George Whitefield, who is attributed with being used by God in spreading The Great Awakening around the world, supported slavery.
In the early 18th century slavery was outlawed in Georgia. However, in 1749, George Whitefield campaigned for its legalization. Whitefield claimed that the territory would never be prosperous unless farms were able to use slave labor. He began his fourth visit to America in 1751 advocating slavery, viewing its re-legalisation in Georgia as necessary to make his plantation profitable.
With Thomas Jefferson we have one of the most powerful political figures in the history of this country and with George Whitefield we have one of the most powerful Ministers in the history of the church.
Church and state found common ground with these two men and many others where it was ok and justifiable for America to keep slavery. America had a great opportunity to deal with this issue as they won their freedom from England, but many men of God and politicians chose to turn their backs on our slaves. God will burn racism in the Body of Christ; this issue can’t be ignored or downplayed.
The winds of the Azusa Street Revival are coming and spreading all over this nation. In 1906 a black man by the name of William J. Seymour was raised by God to bring forth the greatest revival in the history of this nation. Oh, the winds are blowing…praise the Lord!
The winds of the Welch Revival are blowing. In 1904 God raised a young man by the name of Evan Roberts. Roberts was not super-educated, he was not officially a minister, but he was hungry for God even at such a young age to bring forth a revival that spread all over the world. The Welch Revival transformed whole communities, brought people to repentance, music was taken to higher levels and thousands of souls were saved.
The twentieth century came into the world with a strong message and profound lessons about the character of our God. Beloved, God can use the disqualified, the ones that nobody expects. A black man in a time of racial violence in this nation was used by God to bring forth the Azusa Revival and an average young man to bring forth the Welch Revival…Praise the Lord! Both of these men had something in common: They were both hungry for God; they both were given a passion for prayer, they both went after God with all of their hearts!
Beloved, the story of the church, the story of God’s people, our story, can only be found in His glory; anything else is just a counterfeit, anything else is secular, anything else may have a form of Godliness, but it is not the real thing. God is the God of His people; He desires to manifest Himself to us; it’s His essence, it’s who He is. Wherever He is, everything changes: nothing remains the same.
The glory of God is power; the glory of God transforms people, the glory of God is what we need. Moses cried out for that glory; he was not satisfied with just having things, he wanted God.
Do you want God? Are you hungry and thirsty for HIM? If you are not, that must be the focus of your prayers. A great revival is coming; perhaps the last one before the coming of the Lord; it will happen, nothing can stop it; the question is: Are we ready? Are we going to be a part of it? At this hour God is waiting for us!
It is then appropriate that I finish this series with the words of a great prophet that understood the reality of revival. Perhaps he gave us what the focus of our prayer for this hour should be,
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth.
2 O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:1-2 (NKJV)