Revival

Definitions

Revival is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results....... The re-entry of Christ's manifest presence - Richard Owen Roberts

Christ showing up in an extraordinarily powerful new way, to significantly overthrow the status quo and establish the claims of His kingdom afresh - Steve Hawthorne

Revival is war between the Spirit and the Devil - Dr. J. Edwin Orr

In revival there is a fresh focus on Christ's person (who He is to us, especially His character as God's Son) and on His passion (who He is for us, especially in His death, resurrection, and ascension). As a result, we experience together in new ways the fullness of Christ's life over us (as He rules over us as Lord and Head of the church) and in us (as He indwells us with His resurrection power). All of this presses us into new involvements in the fulfillment of Christ's mission, where we live and among the nations, as He carries out His purposes (through us), and as He establishes His preeminence among many peoples (going out ahead of us to lead His global cause to victory and to bring about the consummation of history) - David Bryant

All above found at this we address http://proclaimhope.gospelcom.net/writings/praymag/pm004.html

Revival is an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.

Richard Owen Roberts, Revival, p16-17

The imparting of life to those who are dead, and the imparting of health to those who are dying - James Buchanan

A movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the church of Christ and its related community - Edwin Orr

Revival is a community saturated with God - Duncan Campbell

To be revived is a blessing which can only he enjoyed by those who have some degree of life. Those who have no spiritual life are not, and cannot be, in the strictest sense of the term subjects of a revival... A true revival is to be looked for in the Church of God - Charles Spurgeon

Revival is a church word; it has to do with God’s people. You cannot revive the world; the world is dead in trespasses and sins; you cannot revive a corpse. But you can revitalize where there is life... - Douglas Brown, Revival Addresses, p.77

A true Holy Spirit revival is a remarkable increase in the spiritual life of a large number of God’s people, accompanied by an awesome awareness of the presence of God, intensity of prayer and praise, a deep conviction of sin with a passionate longing for holiness and unusual effectiveness in evangelism, leading to the salvation of many unbelievers. Revival is remarkable, large, effective and, above all, it is something that God brings about - Brian Edwards

All above from Brian Edwards, Revival, A People Saturated with God, pp25-32

In writing of the movement, I would like first to state what I mean by revival as witnessed in the Hebrides. I do not mean a time of religious entertainment, with crowds gathering to enjoy an evening of bright gospel singing; I do not mean sensational or spectacular advertising — in a God-sent revival you do not need to spend money on advertising. I do not mean high-pressure methods to get men to an inquiry room — in revival every service is an inquiry room; the road and hill side become sacred spots to many when the winds of God blow. Revival is a going of God among his people, and an awareness of God laying hold of the community. Here we see the difference between a successful campaign and revival; in the former we may see many brought to a saving knowledge of the truth, and the church or mission experience a time of quickening, but so far as the town or district is concerned no real change is visible; the world goes on its way and the dance and picture-shows are still crowded: but in revival the fear of God lays hold upon the community, moving men and women, who until then had no concern for spiritual things, to seek after God.

Duncan Campbell, The Lewis Awakening, p. 14-15

A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.

Charles Finney, Lectuires on Revivals of Religion, Chapter 1, What A Revival Of Religion Is

Revival is a new discovery of Jesus.

Professor James Stewart, quoted by Duncan Campbell, The Lewis Awakening, 1949-1953, p36

A revival is a sovereign outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon a group of Christians resulting in their spiritual reviving and quickening, and issuing in the awakening of spiritual concern in outsiders or formal church members; an immediate, or, at other times, a more long-term, effect will be efforts to extend the influence of the Kingdom of God both intensively in the society in which the Church is placed, and extensively in the spread of the gospel to more remote parts of the world.’

R E Davies, I Will Pour Out My Spirit, p15

“You cannot revive something that has never had life, so revival, by definition, is first of all an enlivening and quickening and awakening of lethargic, sleeping church members. Suddenly the power of the Spirit comes upon them … they are humbled, they are convicted of sin … then as a result of their quickening and enlivening, they begin to pray. New power comes into the preaching of the ministers, and the result of this is large numbers are converted. So the two main characteristics of revival are, first, this extraordinary enlivening of the members of the church, and, second, the conversion of masses of people who have been outside in indifference and in sin.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, unknown source

"Revival awakens in our hearts an increased awareness of the presence of God, a new love for God, a new hatred for sin and a hunger for His Word"

Del Fehsefeld Jr. 'Seeking Him' Life action Ministries p 13

"Revival is not some emotion or worked-up excitement; it is rather an invasion from heaven which brings a man to a conscious awareness of God."

Steven Olford, 'Seeking Him' Life action Ministries -p 15

Terry Virgo May 23rd 2008
I have personally embraced what would tend to be the classic British evangelical view, namely a time of fresh activity of the Holy Spirit first among Christians, often leading to repentance and renewed devotion and prayer, this in turn developing into evangelistic breakthrough and conviction of sin among the lost leading to multiplied conversions and ultimately resulting in transforming impact on the culture.

Terry Virgo's Blog at http://www.janga.biz/terryvirgoblog/?p=149

Heman Humphrey
A genuine revival is the fruit or effect of a supernatural Divine influence, which restores the joy of God’s salvation to backsliding Christians, startles the dead in trespasses and sins, convinces them of their lost and perishing condition, and makes them willing in the day of God’s power. In the church there is a genuine revival when she rises and shakes herself from the dust and puts on her beautiful garments, which have been laid aside to her great discomfort and reproach. In a congregation there is a true revival when impenitent sinners in considerable numbers are awakened and converted within a few days or weeks, and “many are added to the Lord of such as shall be saved.

Heman Humphrey, Revival Sketches and Manual, 1859, p13


Other general Revival quotes

Awakening essential
Only a God-given reawakening to Christ and the full extent of His supremacy can resuscitate the Church's hope and passion, and re-engage her effectively in the worldwide advance of His Kingdom.

David Bryant, Website at http://proclaimhope.gospelcom.net/

Revival starts with the church and then affects the world
Evan Roberts made this same claim in Wales in 1904: “My mission is first to the churches. When the churches are aroused to their duty, men of the world will be swept into the Kingdom. A whole church on its knees is irresistible.” Revival always brings the church to its knees. Rhys Bevan Jones, who preached in Wales throughout 1904, declared that if ever there was a slogan for that revival it was this: “Bend the church, and save the people.”

R. B. Jones, Rent Heavens, p. 55-56

Revivals begin with God's own people
“Revivals begin with God's own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervour and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”

Andrew A. Bonar, details unknown

God's part and man's part in revival
God is the God of revival but man is the human agent through whom revival is possible.

Duncan Campbell, The Lewis Awakening, 1949-1953, p15

Four governing principles
To the praying men and women of Barvas, four things were made clear, and to them became governing principles. First, they themselves must be rightly related to God, and in this connection the reading of Psalm 24 at one of their prayer meetings brought them down in the presence of the Lord, where hearts were searched and vows renewed, and, in the words of one who was present, they gave to their lives the propulsion of a sacred vow, and with Hezekiah of old, found it in their hearts to “make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel.” Happy the church and favoured the congregation that can produce such men and women I So prayer meetings were held in church and in cottage, and frequently the small hours of the morning found the parish minister and his faithful few pleading the promises; with a consciousness of God, and with a confidence in Him that caused them to hope in His Word.

In the second place, they were possessed of the conviction that God, being a covenant-keeping God, must keep His covenant engagements. Had He not promised to “pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the day ground”? Here was something that for them existed in the field of possibility; why were they not actually experiencing it? But they came at length to the place where, with one of old, they could cry “Our God….. is able …. and He will.”

“Faith mighty faith the promise seas
And looks to God alone.
Laughs at impossibilities
And cries It shall be done.”

Thirdly, they must be prepared for God to work in His own way and not according to their programme — God was sovereign and must act according to His sovereign purpose — but ever keeping in mind that, while God is sovereign in the affairs of men, His sovereignty does not relieve men of responsibility. “God is the God of revival but man is the human agent through whom revival is possible.”

Fourthly, there must be a manifestation of God, demonstrating tire reality of the Divine in operation, when men would be forced to say, “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eves.’’ It is therefore not surprising that in the month of December, 1949, God did visit the Parish church of Barvas with revival blessing that, in a very short time, leapt the bounds of the parish, bringing refreshing and spiritual life to many all over the island.

Duncan Campbell, The Lewis Awakening, 1949-1953, p15-16

Revival begins with revelation of Jesus Christ
In 1922, a year after revival in Lowestoft, Douglas Brown declared, ‘Revival begins with a vision, and the vision begins with a new sense of Jesus Christ. Revival does not begin in a theology, but in a theophany. It begins in a revelation of Jesus Christ Himself and a sense of the nearness of the Master.’

Quoted Brian Edwards, Revival, p56

Puritan expectation - George Newton (1602—1681)
George Newton (1602—1681), senior colleague of Joseph Alleine at Taunton, Somerset. After expounding the words of Christ in his great High Priestly prayer, ‘I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it’ (John 17.26), Newton concentrates on the significance of the promise, and will declare it: ‘Let our hearts be full of hope in reference to this business. Since Christ hath undertaken it, let us expect the execution of it. Our Saviour’s words are a promise to the Father, what he will do in after times for his people: saith he, ‘I will declare thy name’ to them. And therefore as it is our duty to believe the promise, so to expect the good things promised. To be continually in a waiting frame, looking and hearkening after the accomplishment of this excellent work of his, spying if we can see the daybreak, and the Father’s name shine forth to other nations who never had a glimpse of it by any gospel revelation, till in the end, “from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, his name be great among the Gentiles,” according to that prophecy relating to these latter times and ages of the world, Mal. 1.11.

‘Let us strive with Christ in prayer that he would make good the word that he hath spoken to the Father before so many witnesses. O my beloved, when ye look on many heathen nations that yet are overwhelmed in ignorance and Egyptian darkness, that yet know nothing of the Father’s name ...go to Jesus Christ and say, O Lord, thou hast professed that thou wilt declare the Father’s name to other persons, and to other nations, to the end of the world...

‘Let our hearts be full of joy while we are looking forward to the accomplishment of this work. Oh, let it cheer our spirits under all the sinking damps and deep discouragements that are upon them in relation to the church, to think in what blessed state and glorious posture she will be, when Christ shall have declared his Father’s name to all the nations under heaven, when the Jews shall be converted, and when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in. O my beloved, that will be a joyful time indeed! It is true, those times, my brethren, shall be very comfortable and full of gladness many ways. And this is not the least, that people shall be brought in to the knowledge of the Lord out of all quarters of the world, and that by heaps and multitudes.... There was never such a time since the foundation of the world, nor shall be till that blessed season come: and therefore let out souls rejoice in the foresight of it, though we never live to see it’.

Iain Murray, Puritan Hope p91-2

Puritan expectation - Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)
Richard Sibbes, Preaching to students and townsmen at Cambridge, where he ministered with so much success until his death in 1635, he gives this application to the truth concerning Christ’s power:

‘Let no man therefore despair; nor, as I said before, let us despair of the conversion of those that are savages in other parts. How bad so ever they be, they are of the world, and if the gospel be preached to them, Christ will be “believed on in the world”. Christ’s almighty power goeth with his own ordinance to make it effectual... . And when the fulness of the gentiles is come in, then comes the conversion of the Jews. Why may we not expect it? They were the people of God. We see “Christ believed on in the world”. We may therefore expect that they shall also be called, there being many of them, and keeping their nation distinct from others.”

Iain Murray, Puritan Hope p92

Don't make your experience the rule of judgement
Persons are very ready to be suspicious of what they have not felt themselves. It is to be feared that many good men have been guilty of this error; which however does not make it the less unreasonable. And perhaps there are some who upon this ground do not only reject these extraordinary things, but all such conviction of sin, discoveries of the glory of God, excellency of Christ, and inward conviction of the truth of the gospel, by the immediate influence of the Spirit of God, now supposed to be necessary to salvation. --These persons who thus make their own experiences their rule of judgement, instead of bowing to the wisdom of God, and yielding to his word as an infallible rule, are guilty of casting a great reflection upon the understanding of the Most High.

Jonathan Edwards, Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion, Part I, Section II.

Revival is God's main means of advancing the cause of Christ in history.
It may here be observed, that from the fall of man to our day, the work of redemption in its effect has mainly been carried on by remarkable communications of the Spirit of God. Though there be a more constant influence of God’s Spirit always in some degree attending his ordinances, yet the way in which the greatest things have been done towards carrying on this work, always have been by remarkable effusions, at special seasons of mercy, as may fully appear hereafter in our further prosecution of our subject.

Jonathan Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption, 1774, Period I, Part I

Pentecost: the first revival
John Stott says in his exposition of Acts 2: Pentecost has been called - and rightly - the first revival, using this word to denote one of those altogether unusual visitations of God, in which a whole community becomes vividly aware of His immediate, overpowering presence. It may be, therefore, that not only the physical phenomena (v2ff) but the deep conviction of sin (v37), the 3,000 conversions (v41) and the widespread sense of awe (v43) were signs of revival.

R E Davies, I will pour out my Spirit, p24

Set your sails for revival
We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind of heaven . . .

G. Campbell Morgan, source unknown

Meet the divine conditions
Revivals are supernatural demonstrations of God's power. When will we learn to let God work in His own way? When will we spend more time in seeking to know what His way is than we do in devising human plans and methods which only bring us a sense of failure and loss? We need a revival. The church needs a revival. The world - hungry, restless, sin-cursed, dying - needs a revival. God wants us to have it. Let us make every effort to meet the divine conditions and let us expect Him to answer by fire.

P V Jenness, quoted A.Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power

The gospel shall be victorious
Though our persons fall, our cause shall be as truly, certainly, and infallibly victorious, as that Christ sits at the right hand of God. The gospel shall be victorious. This greatly comforts and refreshes me.”

John Owen, source unknown

The universal spread and reign of Christianity
We have many and express assurances in the Scriptures, which cannot be broken, of the general, the universal spread and reign of Christianity, which are not yet accomplished. Nothing has yet taken place in the history of Divine grace, wide enough in extent, durable enough in continuance, powerful enough in energy, blessed enough in enjoyment, magnificent enough in glory, to do anything like justice to these predictions and promises. Better days, therefore, are before us, notwithstanding the forebodings of many.”

William Jay, source unknown

Christians need to be convinced of revival promises
That day which shall convince the great body of professing Christians of the reality and desirableness of revivals, will constitute a new era in the history of religion; and will precede manifestations of power like that of Pentecost.

Albert Barnes, source unknown

Increasing frequency - or certain judgement
It is most significant that since the Reformation, revivals have recurred with increasing frequency. Again and again God has rescued that which had gone beyond all human aid: what could have saved the church but these gracious interventions of almighty power? The need can but grow more urgent as the age draws to its close. When revivals cease to flow from the mercy of God, judgement must come.

D M Panton, quoted A.Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power

Revival comes only to a desperate church
It is my conviction that we are never going to have a revival until God has brought the church of Jesus Christ to the point of desperation.

Stephen Olford 1918-2004, qted at http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=3162

Continue to live without it
As long as we are content to live without revival, we will - Leonard Ravenhill

bg pattern

Go to top