Holy Spirit Movements through History: Study Guide

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Holy Spirit Movements through History

Study Guide

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These Study Guides are adapted from former Distance Education materials produced by Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia. Now they are adapted into these books for your benefit. The current courses use different and updated materials as part of internet resources for students. 

For information about current courses, contact the Principal,

Citipointe Ministry College, PO Box 2111, Mansfield, Qld 4122, Australia. Email: cmc@citipointechurch.com or study@chc.edu.au 

Each Study Guide in these Blogs refers to a paperback and eBook for each of these seven subjects. 

HOLY SPIRIT MOVEMENTS THROUGHOUT HISTORY

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Compiled by Geoff Waugh

Welcome to this Study Guide on Holy Spirit Movements throughout History.

Topic 1            Introduction

Topic 2             Movements of the Spirit in the Old Testament

Topic 3             Movements of the Spirit and Renewal in the New Testament

Topic 4             The Ante-Nicene Church and early charismatic renewal;                     Monasticism and renewal in the Middle Ages          

Topic 5             The Reformation, Pietism and the Moravian revival

Topic 6             The Great Awakening and eighteenth-century evangelical revivals

Topic 7             The Second Great Awakening in America and England

Topic 8             The Third Great Awakening – mid-Nineteenth Century

Topic 9            The Pentecostal Revivals and Healing Evangelism – early mid-Twentieth Century Revivals

Topic 10          Charismatic Renewal in the Churches

Topic 11          Late twentieth-century revival movements

Topic 12          Revival movements in Australia

Topic 13          Twenty-first century Spirit movements

The concept of renewal and restoration as the process whereby God renews the spiritual vitality of the church and restores neglected truths to a central place in its life is foundational to Evangelical and Charismatic perspectives on church life. An examination of the movements of the Spirit through history gives students a sense of the history of theological and renewal movements, and locates particular issues in relation to a larger conceptualization of the development of the church. This places a renewal theology of the Spirit in the context of the historical moment in which it arises.

Students preparing to minister today need to be aware of the historical movements of the Spirit which lead to renewal and reformation and how this applies to ministry practice and contemporary contexts.

This subject builds on the biblical principles addressed in The Holy Spirit in Ministry and further identifies historical contexts in which the Spirit operated within the church. These understandings provide the student with an opportunity to develop an awareness of the movements of the Spirit for contemporary ministry situations.

We all can learn more together about effective ministry. That learning is enhanced and expanded rapidly when we share our experiences and learning together. The ‘teacher’ usually shares from his or her experiences, but others can do also. So the more that our ministry education fosters mutuality, the more we can learn from one another.

We call this open education, or open ministry education. It is open to everyone and everyone can be involved. It is not just for leaders. Our leaders can help us, but their main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). We can do these things in classes, small groups, seminars, training courses and home or church groups.

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Revival Highlights from ‘Journey into Mission’

 

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Journey into Mission – PDF

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These Revival Highlights are also included in the longer autobiography:

Journey into Ministry and Mission

Amazon/Kindle customer:

I have read many similar stories, but this one exceeds them all. 

I read the online edition and was blown away by the response of the Solomon Islanders to the power of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing, or should I say God-planned. Geoff and Don have done well to not only be in so many places and seeing God at work but also writing a book about it all.  It’s as if it has all happened in a world apart, but the events in Brisbane show that it could happen in Australia also.  ~ Barbara Vickridge (Perth, Australia)

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Geoff Waugh and Don Hill report on mission.

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Revival Highlights

These Highlights from Journey into Mission bring some of the key biographical revival passages together.

From Chapter 5 – Australia: Elcho Island (1994)

By Djiniyini Gondarra:

 

Djiniyini Gondarra
Djiniyini Gondarra

In that same evening, the word just spread like the flames of fire and reached the whole community in Galiwin’ku.  Gelung [his wife] and I couldn’t sleep at all that night because people were just coming for the ministry, bringing the sick to be prayed for, for healing. Others came to bring their problems.  Even a husband and wife came to bring their marriage problem, so the Lord touched them and healed their marriage.   

Next morning the Galiwin’ku Community once again became the new community.  The love of Jesus was being shared and many expressions of forgiveness were taking place in the families and in the tribes.  Wherever I went I could hear people singing and humming Christian choruses and hymns!  Before then I would have expected to hear only fighting and swearing and many other troublesome things that would hurt your feelings and make you feel sad.   

Many unplanned and unexpected things happened every time we went from camp to camp to meet with the people.  The fellowship was held every night and more and more people gave their lives to Christ, and it went on and on until sometimes the fellowship meeting would end around about midnight.  There was more singing, testimony, and ministry going on.  People did not feel tired in the morning and still went to work.   

By Geoff:  I invited a team from Elcho Island to Brisbane for Pentecost weekend in 1993 and two dozen flew down!  We held their meetings at Christian Outreach Centre. They told me it was the first time they had been invited to speak in a white fellas’ church! They sat around on the platform and talked and prayed with anyone who came for prayer.

They invited a team from our Renewal Fellowship to go to Elcho Island in March 1994 for their annual celebration of the start of the revival. Their speakers were on fire!  I was humbled and honoured to speak at an evening outdoor rally there, and also to visit a small community of 30 people, 50 kilometres by dirt track to the north end of the island. That whole community there prays together at the start and finish of every day.

From Chapter 8 – Philippines (1995)

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Philippines jeepney

During the class seminars, my students reported on various signs and wonders that they had experienced in their churches.  Many of them expected God to do the same things now as he did in the New Testament, but not all! “We don’t seem to have miracles in our church,” said one student, a part-time Baptist pastor and police inspector. “You could interview a pastor from a church that does,” I suggested. So he interviewed a Pentecostal pastor about miraculous answers to prayer in their church.  That student reported to the class how the Pentecostal church sent a team of young people to the local mental hospital for monthly meetings where they sang and witnessed and prayed for people.  Over 40 patients attended their first meeting there, and they prayed for 26 personally, laying hands on them.  A month later, when they returned for their next meeting, all those 26 patients had been discharged and sent home.

From Chapter 9 – Ghana, West Africa (1995)

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Leaders and evangelists in Ghana

When we arrived in the mountain town of Suhum, it was dark. The monsoon torrential rain had cut off the electricity supply. The rain eased off a bit, so we gathered in the market square and prayed to God to guide us and to take over. Soon the rain ceased. The electricity came on. The host team began excitedly shouting that it was a miracle. “We will talk about this for years” they exclaimed with gleaming eyes.

My interpreter that night didn’t know a lot of English. I think he preached his own sermon based on some phrases of mine he understood or guessed, and apparently he did well. When we invited people to respond and give their lives to Christ, they came from the surrounding darkness into the light. Some wandered over from the pub, smelling of beer. They kept the ministry team busy praying and arranging follow up with the local churches.

At that point, I left the work to the locals who understood one another. I just moved around laying hands on people’s heads and praying for them, as did many others. People reported various touches of God in their lives. Some were healed. Later in the week an elderly man excitedly told how he had come to the meeting almost blind but now he could see.

Each day we held morning worship and teaching sessions for Christians in a church, hot under an iron roof on those clear, tropical sunny days.  During the second morning I vividly ‘saw’ golden light fill the church and swallow up or remove blackness.  At that point the African Christians became very noisy, vigorously celebrating and shouting praises to God.  A fresh anointing seemed to fall on them just then.

From Chapter 9 – Toronto, Canada (1995)

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John and Carol Arnott

Both of us appreciated the gracious, caring way people prayed for us and others.  No rush.  No hype.  No pressure.  Whether we stood, or sat in a chair, or rested on the carpeted floor, those praying for us did so quietly with prayers prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Those praying laid a hand on us gently, as led, and trusted the Lord to touch us.  He did.  Warmth and love permeated us.  We returned to our hotel after the meetings aware of increased peace and deeper assurance of the Lord’s love and grace. The senior pastors, John and Carol Arnott, led the sensitive ministry team.

After returning to Brisbane I noticed that people I prayed for received strong touches from the Lord, most resting in the Spirit on the floor.  We needed people to be ready to catch those who fell, to avoid them getting hurt (then needing extra healing prayer!).  Some of them had visions of the Lord blessing them and others.

 

From Chapter 13 – Nepal (2000)

By Raju:

 

After praying on the bridge we approached the Chinese officials to get a permission to enter Tibet.  The first official refused but the second one nodded approvingly, taking the four Australian passports from my hand as security, and let us go free of charge!  This could happen only by the supernatural intervention of our Almighty God, Hallelujah!  We had good prayer inside Tibet, especially on those individual shopkeepers whom I would grab and pray on without any resistance from them!

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Pastors and leaders in West Nepal

On 21 April all the eight of Australians and I had a trip to Gochadda in west Nepal and held a three days conference over there at Easter.  While driving toward the destination I shared the Word with the driver of the private bus and during the inauguration of the conference he approached the altar and accepted Christ as his personal Saviour.  On the same day a Christian brother whose hand was partially crippled for six years was touched by the Holy Spirit and healed absolutely.  He was shaking in his whole body and raising his hands, even the crippled one already healed, praising the Lord with all his strength, he glorified the Lord for his greatness, Hallelujah!

Out of about 200 participants in the conference by the grace of God 100 of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit praising the Lord, singing, falling, crying, and many other actions as the Holy Spirit would prompt them to act.  About ten of them testified that they had never experienced such a presence of the power and love of God.  Some others testified being lifted to heavenly realms by the power of the Holy Spirit, being surrounded by the angels of the Lord in a great peace, joy, and love toward each other and being melted in the power of his presence.  Many re-committed their lives to the Lord for ministry by any means through his revelation.

On the second day of the conference the trend continued as the people seemingly would fall down, repent, minister to each other in the love of Christ, enjoy the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, singing, prophesying, weeping, laughing, hugging, and all the beauty of the Holy Spirit was manifested throughout the congregation by his grace and love.  One woman of age 65 testified that she never had danced in her life in any occasion even in secret, but the Lord had told her that she should now dance to him and she was dancing praising him with all her strength.  For hours this outpouring continued and the pastors of the churches were one by one testifying that they had never experienced such a presence and power of God in their whole Christian life and ministry.

Some 60 evangelists from Gorkha, Dhanding, Chitwan, Butwal declared that they were renewed in their spirits by the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and they are now going to serve the Lord in the field wherever the Holy Spirit will lead them to be fully fledged in His service.  In the last day of the conference, while praying together with the congregation and committing them in his hands, many prophesied that the Lord was assuring them of great changes in their ministry, life and in the area.  While the power of God was at work in our midst three children of 6-7 years old fell down weeping, screaming and testifying about a huge hand coming on them and touching their stomachs and healing them instantly.  After the prayer all the participants got into the joy of the Holy Spirit and started dancing to the Lord, singing and praising Him for His goodness.

Before leaving Gochadda while we were having snacks in the pastor’s house a woman of high Brahmin caste came by the direction of the Lord to the place, claiming that she was prompted by a voice in her ear to go to the Christians and ask for prayer for healing of her chronic stomach pain and problems, and that is why she was there.  We prayed for her and she was instantly healed and we shared the Gospel, but she stopped us saying, “I need to accept Christ as my Saviour so don’t waste time!” She accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour being lifted in spirit, and even the body as she said she didn’t feel anymore burden in her body, and spirit, Hallelujah!

From Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola

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John Kilpatrick and Lindell Cooley at Pensacola

I liked the spontaneous bits best.  Before Friday night’s revival service some people in the singing group of over 50 people on stage began singing free harmonies without music while they waited for the sound system to work, and we all joined in.  It sounded like angels harmonizing in continual worship.  Wonderful.  No need for words!

Later, during the service Lindel Cooley, their worship leader, led spontaneously from the keyboard without other instruments, singing the chorus of an old hymn from his youth (and mine) – ‘Love lifted me’.  All the oldies joined in, and then it went on to a verse sung from memory.  It moved me deeply, from my own boyhood memories, especially as I had just then been asking the Lord for a personal touch from him.

A visitor preached, calling for faith and action.  Their prayer team prayed for many hundreds at the ‘altar call’ – short and sharp, but relevant and challenging. The man who prayed briefly for me spoke about national and international ministries the Lord would open for me.

From Chapter 15 – Vanuatu (2002)

By Romulo [about outreach at university in Vanuatu]:

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Romulo leading the Law School Christian Fellowship
“The speaker was the Upper Room Church pastor, Jotham Napat who is also the Director of Meteorology in Vanuatu. The night was filled with the awesome power of the Lord and we had the Upper Room church ministry who provided music with their instruments. With our typical Pacific Island setting of bush and nature all around us, we had dances, drama, testified in an open environment, letting the wind carry the message of salvation to the bushes and the darkened areas. That worked because most of those that came to the altar call were people hiding or listening in those areas. The Lord was on the road of destiny with many people that night.” 

Unusual lightning hovered around the sky and as soon as the prayer teams had finished praying with those who rushed forward at the altar call, the tropical rain pelted down on that open field.

God poured out his Spirit on many lives that night, including Jerry Waqainabete and Simon Kofe. Both of them played rugby in the popular university teams and enjoyed drinking and the nightclub scene. Both changed dramatically. Many of their friends said it would not last. It did last and led them into ministry and mission.

Romulo continues [about mission team to Australia]:

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Mission team in Australia, now lawyers and leaders

The concert organized was in obedience to a prompting for me to take a University mission team to Australia. Pastor Geoff then told me that as I shared the purpose of the concert and our plans to go for a mission trip to Australia, he felt a conviction in his spirit to do two things: firstly, to give our team all the money in his wallet as a seed into our mission trip and secondly to offer to host our mission team if we are to visit his city of Brisbane. This first experience was the beginning of my witnessing practical Christianity where faith was complemented by works.

The idea of being missionaries in Australia was certainly an exciting one. We planned to go to Sydney for our mission opportunity, or so we thought. In God-ordained fashion, we ended up going to Brisbane and the encounter and mentoring I received during that month felt like a lifetime of teaching and depositing of the practical Word.

My limited Pentecostal background boxed my understanding of where I could operate spiritually. I was taught, by observing that the altar was only for the ministering of the pastor or elders with the special occasions where the altar was opened for others such as children’s Sunday. …

I get the reasoning and the sacredness of the altar, but I also accept that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10: 34) and He will use willing and obedient vessels to advance His Kingdom. Moreover, by practical application of the Word of God, we discovered that God was more than willing to use us in ministering to those that came to the services throughout our mission trip.

The best part was, we did not need to have theology degrees or titles for God to use us in ministry. We simply had to be available.

Through our availability, we saw lives being surrendered to Christ in brokenness as healing, deliverance and restoration followed. I learnt to trust and rely on the Holy Spirit to lead me into His purpose whether it be in the laying of hands, ministering through prayer or in releasing a word of wisdom and knowledge.

Pastor Geoff guided us through these firsts of spiritual encounters and experiences and we were empowered to step into ministry. These were intimidating moments for us, but as Pastor Geoff mentored and encouraged us into ministry, we felt empowered and supported to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as we ministered. There was a spiritual hunger in our team, and yearning to learn, be discipled, and attuned to the convictions and leading of the Holy Spirit. …

In one of our ministry times, we were invited to lead an afternoon service in a suburb within the city. The word had gone out that a group of Pacific student missionaries were ministering that day. As the ministry took place, I looked up and saw a packed altar as people drawn by the power of the Holy Spirit kept making their way to the front of the church.

There was a tangible presence of the Lord as tears flowed and people were making themselves right with God. I was praying for the senior pastor and his wife and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them causing them to be slain. I was taken back by this experience. Little me, a student missionary praying for a senior pastor and his wife and seeing them get slain by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I was bemused, but Pastor Geoff reminded us that it was all about the Holy Spirit and we were the vessels that He is using. He also reminded us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and flow in the anointing.

See Book: South Pacific Revivals

See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

See Blog: Mission on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

See Blog: 21st Century revivals in the South Pacific

See Blog: Bouganville Revival, South Pacific

 From Chapter 16 – Vanuatu (2003)

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Pentecost Island, site of martyrdom in hills behind Bible School near beach

Significant events associated with the coming of the Gospel to South Pentecost included a martyr killed and a paramount chief’s wife returning from death.

Thomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia. Converted there, he returned around 1901 to his village on South Pentecost with a new young disciple from a neighbouring island. They arrived when the village was tabu (taboo) because a baby had died a few days earlier, so no one was allowed into the village. Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking tabu must be killed, so they were going to kill Thomas, but his friend Lulkon asked Thomas to tell them to kill him instead so that Thomas could evangelize his own people. Just before he was clubbed to death at a sacred Mele palm tree, he read John 3:16, then closed his eyes and prayed for them. Thomas became a pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing Churches of Christ there.

Paramount Chief Morris Bule died at 111 on 1st July, 2016, the son of the highest rank paramount chief on Pentecost Island. After a wife of Chief Morris’s father died and was prepared for burial, the calico cloths around her began to move. She had returned from death and they took the grave cloths of her. She sat up and told them all to leave their pagan ways and follow the Christian way. Then she lay down and died.

Chief Morris’s son, Paramount Chief Peter, had an uncle who returned from Queensland as a Christian in the early 1900s. When he was old, after many years telling them about the Gospel, one day he called all his relatives to him, shook hands in farewell with everyone, and lay down and died immediately.

 

From Chapter 16 – Solomon Islands (2003)

RICOH

Solomon Islands youth conference

Revival began with the Spirit moving on youth and children in village churches. They had extended worship in revival songs, many visions and revelations and lives being changed with strong love for the Lord. Children and youth began meeting daily from 5pm for hours of praise, worship and testimonies. A police officer reported reduced crimes and said former rebels were attending daily worship and prayer meetings.

Revival continued to spread throughout the region. Revival movements brought moral change and built stronger communities in villages in the Solomon Islands including these lasting developments:

1. Higher moral standards. People involved in the revival quit crime and drunkenness and promoted good behaviour and co-operation.

2. Christians who once kept their Christianity inside churches and meetings talked more freely about their lifestyle in the community and amongst friends.

3. Revival groups, especially youth, enjoyed working together in unity and community, including a stronger emphasis on helping others in the community.

4. Families were strengthened in the revival. Parents spent more time with their youth and children to encourage and help them, often leading them in Bible reading and family prayers.

5. Many new gifts and ministries were used by more people than before, including revelations and healing. Even children received revelations or words of knowledge about hidden magic artifacts or ginger plants related to spirit power and removed them.

6. Churches grew. Many church buildings in the Marovo Lagoon were pulled down and replaced with much large buildings to fit in the crowds. Offerings and community support increased.

7. Unity. Increasingly Christians united in reconciliation for revival meetings, prayer and service to the community. 

Children received revelations about their parent’s secret sins or the location of hidden magic artifacts or stolen property. Many children had visions of Jesus during the revival meetings.  Often he would be smiling when they were worshipping and loving him, or he would show sadness when they were naughty or unkind. …

At Seghe the children and youth loved to meet every afternoon in the church near the Bible College there.  The man leading these meetings had been a rascal involved in the ethnic tensions but was converted in the revival. A policeman from Seghe told me that since the revival began crime has dropped.  Many former young criminals were converted and joined the youth, worshipping God each afternoon.  Revival continued to spread throughout the region. …  

We taught in morning sessions about revival and answered questions. One mother, for example, asked about the meaning of her young son’s vision of Jesus standing with one foot in heaven and one foot on the earth. What a beautiful, powerful picture of Jesus with all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew28:8), seen in a child’s vision.

See Book: South Pacific Revivals

See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

See Blog: Mission on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

See Blog: 21st Century revivals in the South Pacific

See Blog: Bouganville Revival, South Pacific

From Chapter 17 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2004)

By Matthias:

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Mathias leading worship

The deliverance ministry group left the college by boat and when they arrived at the Bungalows they prayed together.  After they prayed together they divided into two groups.

There is one person in each of these two groups that has a gift from the Lord that the Holy Spirit reveals where the witchcraft powers are, such as bones from dead babies or stones.  These witchcraft powers are always found in the ground outside the houses or sometimes in the houses.  So when the Holy Spirit reveals to that person the right spot where the witchcraft power is, then they have to dig it up with a spade.

When they dug it out from the soil they prayed over it and bound the power of that witchcraft in the name of Jesus.  Then they claimed the blood of Jesus in that place.

Something very important when joining the deliverance group is that everyone in the group must be fully committed to the Lord and must be strong in their faith because sometimes the witchcraft power can affect the ones that are not really committed and do not have faith.

After they finished the deliverance ministry they came together again and just gave praise to the Lord in singing and prayer.  Then they closed with a Benediction.

From Chapter 19 – Vanuatu Pentecost (2004)

By Don Hill:

 

RICOH
High School worship with Principal (now MP) Silas

The night’s worship led by the law students started off as usual with singing, then spontaneously turned into a joyful party. Then Joanna Kenilorea gave a testimony about a very sad event in her family that brought the Keniloreas back to God. She was especially eloquent in her address and when finished, Geoff found that it had been so powerful that he had no more to add that night and made an immediate altar call for prayer. Almost as one, 300 high school students, teachers and others present rose from their seats and moved out into the aisle to the front of the hall. There were a couple of slow starters, but when it became apparent that Geoff could not possibly pray for each individually, even these moved up to the back of the crowd until everybody in that room had come forward. Geoff in all his years of ministry and association with renewal ministries and revival (and that was the subject of his doctorate) had never experienced anything like it. The most remarkable thing for Helen and me was we were there and part of it in such a remote and previously unknown part of our world! It was surely a night to remember.

 

From Chapter 21 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)

RICOH
Pentecost Island Bible School chapel

Many of the older people attending these intensive teaching sessions had been involved in local revivals through many years. They understood the principles involved such as repentance, reconciliation, unity, personal and group prayer that was earnest and full of faith, and using various gifts of the Spirit. They were most familiar with words of wisdom and knowledge, discerning spirits (especially from local witchcraft), revelations, healings and deliverance.

I learned much from them, especially about the spirit world and humbly seeking God for revelation and direction. We westerners tend to jump in and organize things without really waiting patiently on God for his revelation and direction. Many westerners, including missionaries, find waiting frustrating or annoying, but local people find it normal and natural. Wait on God and move when he shows you the way. For example, you can seek the Lord about who will speak, what to say, and how to respond. We westerners often use schedules and programs instead.

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

See Book: South Pacific Revivals

See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

See Blog: Mission on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

See Blog: 21st Century revivals in the South Pacific

See Blog: Bouganville Revival, South Pacific

 

From Chapter 22 – Kenya, East Africa (2005)

RICOH
Part of Kiberra slum, Nairobi, Kenya

Before the Kibera slum church moved into their corrugated iron shed they met in a community hall.  I taught leaders there, and spoke at their Sunday service with about 30 people.  We gave them real bread for communion, not just symbolic cubes.  The Spirit led me to give them all the bread we had, just t loaves (not five barley buns as the boy had in Scripture).

“Can I take some home to my family?” asked one young man.  That’s a hard question to answer in front of 30 hungry people.

“It’s yours. You can take some of your own communion bread home if you want to,” I answered.

Everyone then took a large handful of communion bread, and most put some in their pockets to take home later.  We shared real glasses of grape juice in plastic glasses, thanking the Lord for his body and blood given for us. After my return to Australia I heard that the bread apparently multiplied, as those who took some home had enough for their families to eat. Some of them were still eating it two weeks later.

From Chapter 22 – Fiji (2005)

By Jerry:

 

Jerry at Mele Palm
Pastor Jerry (then a student) at Mele Palm, site of the martyrdom

While we were praying and worshipping, the Lord told me for the first ever time to take the salt water and the land and give it back to God. And I told this brother that when we offered it to God the rain is going to fall just to confirm that God hears and accepts it according to His leading. 

I told him in advance while the Lord was putting it in my heart to do it… this is the first ever time and I always heard about it when people are being led… now it has happened to me… I could not even believe it. 

As soon as he brought the water and I brought the soil to signify the sacrifice, I felt the mighty presence of God with us and was like numb… and the sun was really shining up in the sky with very little clouds.  This rain fell slowly upon us…. I still could not believe… my cousin was astonished and could not believe it… it happened according to the way the Lord told me and I told him.  It was like a made up story. 

It was the blessings of God and I told the Lord that I am waiting for His own time to rebuild the walls of my village… but the Lord already told me that He wants and has chosen me to rebuild the wall of my village like Nehemiah.

[Jerry also visited the martyrdom site on Pentecost Island, where light warm rain also fell from a cloudless sky when a worshipping group dedicated themselves and the land to God.]

From Chapter 23 – Fiji (2006) re Tanna Island in Vanuatu

Tanna_Island Team Yassur

The Director of the Department of Meteorology in Vanuatu was in Fiji for a conference and I met him there again.  He is also a pastor (Pastor Jotham) at Upper Room church in Port Vila where many of the law students attended. 

In May 2006 he had been on mission in Tanna Island where the Lord moved strongly on young people, especially in worship and prayer.  Children and youth were anointed to write and sing new songs in the local dialects.  Some children asked the pastors to ordain them as missionaries – which was new for everyone.  After prayer about it, they did. 

Those children are strong evangelists already, telling Bible stories in pagan villages.  One 9 year old boy did that, and people began giving their lives to God in his pagan village, so he became their ‘pastor’, assisted by older Christians from other villages. 

See Book: South Pacific Revivals

See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

See Blog: Mission on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

See Blog: 21st Century revivals in the South Pacific

See Blog: Bouganville Revival, South Pacific

From Chapter 24 – Vanuatu (2006)

Port Vila
Grant Shaw with nurse Leah Waqa

At sharing time in the Upper Room service, a nurse, Leah Waqa, told how she had been recently on duty when parents brought in their young daughter who had been badly hit in a car accident, and showed no signs of life – the heart monitor registered zero.

Leah was in the dispensary giving out medicines when she heard about the girl and she suddenly felt unusual boldness, so went to the girl and prayed for her, commanding her to live, in Jesus’ name.  She prayed for almost an hour, mostly in tongues, and after an hour the monitor started beeping and the girl recovered. 

The revival team, including the two of us from Australia, trekked for a week into mountain villages.  We literally obeyed Luke 10 – most going with no extra shirt, no sandals, and no money.  The trek began with a five-hour climb across the island to the village of Ranwas on ridges by the sea on the eastern side.  Mathias led worship, and strong moves of the Spirit touched everyone.  We prayed for people many times in each meeting.  At one point I spat on the dirt floor, making mud to show what Jesus did once.  Merilyn Wari, wife of the President of the Churches of Christ, then jumped up asking for prayer for her eyes, using the mud.  Later she testified that the Lord told her to do that, and then she found she could read her small pocket Bible without glasses.  So she read to us all.  Meetings continued like that each night. …

Revival meetings erupted at Ponra.  The Spirit just took over.  Visions.  Revelations.  Reconciliations.  Healings.  People drunk in the Spirit.  Many resting on the floor getting blessed in various ways.  When they heard about healing through ‘mud in the eye’ at Ranwas some wanted mud packs also at Ponra!

One of the girls in the team had a vision of the village children there paddling in a pure sea, crystal clear. They were like that – so pure.  Not polluted at all by TV, DVDs, videos, movies, magazines, and worldliness.  Their lives were so clean and holy.  Just pure love for the Lord, especially among the young.  Youth often lead in revival.

The sound of angels singing filled the air about 3am.  It sounded as though the village church was packed.  The harmonies in high descant declared “For You are great and You do wondrous things.  You are God alone” and then harmonies, without words until words again for “I will praise You O Lord my God with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name for evermore” with long, long harmonies on “forever more”.  Just worship.  Pure, awesome and majestic. 

From Chapter 24 – Solomon Islands (2006)

Revival in the Guadalcanal Mountains had begun at the Bubunuhu Christian Community High School on Monday, July 10, 2006, on their first night back from holidays.  They were filled with the Spirit and began using many spiritual gifts they had not had before.  Then they took teams of students to the villages to sing, testify, and pray for people, especially youth.  Many gifts of the Spirit were new to them – prophecies, healings, tongues, and revelations (such as knowing where adults hid magic artefacts). 

The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in the north-west of the Solomon Islands at Choiseul Island, two hours flight from Honiara, brought over 1,000 youth together from all over the Solomon Islands. 

By Grant: 

0611 Sol Is youth (4) revival team“Most of a thousand youth came forward.  Some ran to the altar, some crying!  There was an amazing outpouring of the Spirit and because there were so many people Geoff and I split up and started laying hands on as many people as we could.  People were falling under the power everywhere (some testified later to having visions).  There were bodies all over the field (some people landing on top of each other).  Then I did a general healing prayer and asked them to put their hand on the place where they had pain.  After we prayed people began to come forward sharing testimonies of how the pain had left their bodies and they were completely healed!  The meeting stretched on late into the night with more healing and many more people getting deep touches. 

“It was one of the most amazing nights.  I was deeply touched and feel like I have left a part of myself in Choiseul.  God did an amazing thing that night with the young people and I really believe that he is raising up some of them to be mighty leaders in revival.”

A young man who was healed that night returned to his nearby village and prayed for his sick mother and brother.  Both were healed immediately.  He told the whole convention about that the next morning at the meeting, adding that he had never done that before.

The delegation from Kariki islands further west, returned home the following Monday. 

The next night they led a meeting where the Spirit of God moved in revival.  Many were filled with the Spirit, had visions, were healed, and discovered many spiritual gifts including discerning spirits and tongues.  That revival has continued and spread.

 

From Chapter 25 – Solomon Islands (2007)

Morovo new church
New church building for revival crowds in Morovo Lagoon

We held revival meetings at the Theological Seminary at Seghe in the fantastic Marovo Lagoon – 70 kilometres with hundreds of tropical bush laden islands north and west of New Georgia Island.  Morning teaching sessions, personal prayers in the afternoons and night revival meetings, with worship led by the students, filled an eventful week in September 2007.  That was the first time the seminary held such a week, and again we prayed for so many at each meeting, students and village people.  Meetings included two village revival services in the lagoon. At the first, an afternoon meeting in the framework of a large new church building, everyone came for prayer, all 100, and 30 reported on pain leaving as we prayed for healings. Then we had a long evening meeting at Patutiva village, where revival started in Easter 2003 across the Lagoon from Seghe. That meeting went from 7pm to 1.30am with about 1,000 people!  We prayed personally for hundreds after the meeting ‘closed’ at 11pm. Students told me they could hear the worship and preaching on the PA across the lagoon 1k away in the still night air, so those in bed listened that way! 

The week at Taro island was the fullest of the whole trip, the most tiring, and also the most powerful so far.  Worship was amazing.  They brought all the United Church ministers together for the week from all surrounding islands where revival is spreading and was accelerated after the youth convention near here in Choiseul the previous December, where the tsunami hit in April. Many lay people also filled the church each morning – about 200. 

Night rallies at the soccer field included the amplifiers reaching people in their houses as well.   Each night I spoke and Mathias also spoke, especially challenging the youth.  We prayed for hundreds, while the youth lead worship at the end of each meeting. The ministers helped but they preferred to just assist us, and people seemed to want us to pray for them.  I involved the ministers in praying for people also. There was a lot of conviction and reconciliation going on. 

It’s fascinating that we so often see powerful moves of God’s Spirit when all the churches and Christians unite together in worship and ministry.  God blesses unity of heart and action, especially among God’s people.  It always involves repentance and reconciliation. 

In all these places people made strong commitments to the Lord, and healings were quick and deep.  Both in Vanuatu and in the Solomon Islands the people said that they could all understand my English, even those who did not speak English, so they did not need an interpreter.  Another miracle. …

Saturday night was billed as a big meeting at Patuvita across the channel. This is where the revival started with children of the lagoon at Easter 2003. Geoff had previously visited this church in September 2003. The old church building has been pulled down and the foundations were being pegged out on an open ridge high above the lagoon for the new one, which will probably hold up to 1000 as the revival swells the numbers.

Again students led the worship. Most of the adults were traditional, but there were forty or so in revival ministry teams who pray for the sick, cast out spirits and evangelize. We joined the meeting by 8pm and finished at 1.30am!

Very lively stuff. Only tiny kids went to sleep – 50 of them on pandanus leaf mats at the front. Then we prayed for people – and prayed, and prayed, and prayed and prayed, on and on and on and on! I involved the ministers (after praying for them and leaders first), and the students – and still people came for prayer – by the hundreds.

We prayed for leaders who wanted prayer first, then for their ministry teams, then for youth leaders and the youth, and then for anyone else who wanted prayer, and at about midnight Mark called all the children for prayer, so the parents woke them up and carried the babies. I guess I prayed for 30 sleeping kids in mother’s arms and for their mothers and fathers as well.

Then after midnight when the meeting “finished” about 200 remained for personal prayer, one by one. So I involved 4 students with me, and that was great on-the-job training as well as praying. We prayed about everything imaginable, including many barren wives, men whose wives were un-cooperative, women whose husbands weren’t interested, and healings galore – certainly many more than 100 healings. In every case, those with whom we prayed said that the pain was totally gone.

I doubt if I’ve ever seen so many healings, happening so quickly. At 1.30am there were still 30 people waiting for prayer, so I got desperate, and prayed for them all at once. I told them just to put their hands on the parts of their body needing healings, and I prayed for them all at once, while the students and some ministers still there laid hands on them, and I also moved quickly around to lay hands on each one.

They were all happy, and again reported healings. I wish I’d thought of that at midnight! But at least a few hundred had a chance to talk with us and be specific about their needs.

See Book: South Pacific Revivals

See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

See Blog: Mission on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

See Blog: 21st Century revivals in the South Pacific

See Blog: Bouganville Revival, South Pacific

From Chapter 27 – China (2007)

Burma

I loved it there among such humble, hungry, receptive, grateful, gentle, and faith-filled believers. I was often in tears just being there, appreciating their heartfelt zeal in everything. I have rarely been so impressed anywhere. No concerts. No acting. No hype. Just bare essentials. What a big and wonderful family we belong to, and our Father is so proud of his family there, I’m sure.

I had the great honour of speaking at a house church. People arrived in ones or twos over an hour or so, and stayed for many hours. Then they left quietly in ones or twos again, just personal visitors to that host family. Food on the small kitchen table welcomed everyone, some of it brought by the visitors.

About 30 of us crowded into a simple room with very few chairs. Most sat on the thin mat coverings. They sang their own heartfelt worship songs in their own language and style, pouring out love to the Lord, sometimes with tears. The leader played a very basic guitar in a very basic way.

Everyone listened intently to the message, and gladly asked questions, all of it interpreted. There was no need for an altar call or invitation to receive prayer. Everyone wanted personal prayer. Our prayer team of three or four people prayed with each person for specific needs such as healing and with personal prophecies. That flowed strongly. I knew none of that group, but received ‘pictures’ or words of encouragement for each one, as did the others.

While prayer continued, some began slipping quietly away. Others had supper. Others stayed to worship quietly. It was a quiet night because they did not want to disturb neighbours or attract attention.

Most people in that group were new believers with no Christian background at all. They identified easily with the house churches of the New Testament, the persecution, and the miracles, because they experienced all that as well. Many unbelievers become Christians because someone prayed for their healing and the Lord healed them.

From Chapter 28 – Fiji (2008, 2009)

By Romulo and Roneil (2008):

 

0907 Worship4
Youth worshipping in Jerry’s village, Kiuva, Fiji

“Inter-tertiary went very well at Suva Grammar School that was hosted by Fiji School of Medicine Christian Fellowship (CF).  It was an awesome two nights of fellowship with God and with one another.  The Pacific Students for Christ combined worship was a huge blessings for those that attended the two nights of worship.  Pastor Geoff spoke on Obedience to the Holy Spirit – this being a spark to revival and power.

“Students came in droves for prayers and the worship lit up the Grammar School skies with tears, repentance, anointing and empowerment.  The worship by Fiji School of Medicine students brought us closer to intimate worship with the King.  It was a Pacific gathering and each and every person there was truly blessed as young people sought a closer intimate relationship with the King. We were blessed beyond words.  Thank you all for the prayers, the thoughts and the giving.”

Roneil, a Fijian Indian, added, “It was all so amazing, so amazing that words can’t describe it.  For me, it was obvious that the glory of God just descended upon the people during the Inter-tertiary CF.  I’ve never seen an altar call that lasted for way more than an hour.  I myself just couldn’t get enough of it.  It was and still is so amazing.  God’s anointing is just so powerful.  Hallelujah to Him Who Was, Who Is and Who is to Come.”

By Romulo (2009): 

Two of the memorable highlights were the washing of leaders’ feet at RCCG Samabula and the worship service on Wednesday at RCCG Kiuva village.  In fact I remember picking up the pastors on Sunday morning and seeing Pastor Geoff carrying towels. I said to myself, ‘This is going to be fun.’  And fun it was.

God was teaching the church the principles of servanthood, demonstrated not just by words but by actions.  It was a moving experience as Pastor Geoff on his knees started washing feet, drying them with a towel and speaking into the lives of leaders.  Powerful also was the fact that Pastor Geoff’s leading was to wash the feet of leaders.

That Sunday former PM Rabuka, who heard of the Pastor’s visit, came to church for prayer.  Of course, the leading for Pastor Geoff to pray for leaders meant Rabuka would get his feet washed too.  One of the acts that will be embedded forever in my mind was seeing Rabuka sit on the floor, remove his coat and wash the feet of Pastor Geoff and KY Tan.  He then dried their feet with his ‘favourite’ Fiji rugby coat (he played in their national rugby team).  I was blown away by this act of humility, as demonstrated by Christ on his final night with the disciples before his arrest and execution.

On Wednesday night, (their last night in Suva), we were at Kiuva village in Tailevu.  The powerful and angelic worship of young people and kids in Tailevu made the atmosphere one of power with a tangible presence of the Lord in the place.  We saw a glimpse of revival and the power of God at work in such a simple setting.  I was blessed to witness for myself the prevalent hunger in the body as lives connected with God.  In all, it is purely refreshing being in the presence of God and being touched and filled by the Holy Spirit.

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From Chapter 34 – Vanuatu: Pentecost Island (2012, 2017-18)

 

One Sunday there we shared in a combined churches service in the packed village church.  Before the service Andrew had words of knowledge about pain in a man’s shoulders and the right side of a woman’s face.  Both came for prayer while people were gathering in the church.  We then discovered that the man was the leader of the service and the woman preached that day!  Many times, the words of knowledge Andrew received were for pastors and leaders first, and then later we prayed for others.

At that Sunday service I was strongly led to call people out for prayer during communion.  That was a first for them.  It never happened in communion.  A large number came for prayer and the healings were fast and strong.

1One night Andrew felt led to wash everyone’s feet.  That took the whole service!  We put a bucket of water near the door (regularly refilled) and Andrew washed everyone’s feet as they arrived while we worshipped, prayed, spoke and called people out for healing and empowering prayer.  I was led to wash the leaders’ feet that night also [Photo: Andrew washes the chief’s feet].

Our adventures included another outboard motor canoe trip an hour north for a combined churches youth rally on the beach with a large campfire at the end of the meeting.  We joined forces with another Australian mission team from Gladstone staying there.  That night we also prayed for many people after the service.  Healings were the fastest and strongest we had seen till then.  We realized that people’s faith was rising and God was especially blessing unity.  …

People were even more welcoming this time at Bunlap [custom village].  We prayed for dozens of people, and their pain left.  We talked about the kingdom of God and how Jesus saves and heals.  Some of the people told us they believed that, and when the chief allowed it they would be part of a church there. 

The paramount chief once burned a Bible given to him by a revival team from the Christian villages.  Now he is willing for a church to be built on the ground where he burned the Bible.   Hallelujah – what a testimony to God’s grace and glory.  For the first time ever that paramount chief asked for prayer.  He wanted healing from head pain.  Andrew placed his hands on the sides of the chief’s head and we prayed for him in Jesus’ name.  The pain left.

Then another chief there prepared lunch for us so the pastors in the team and Andrew and I ate in his house – again the first time ever for white people on mission there.

Like Jesus’ disciples, we returned to Ranwas Christian village church rejoicing that afflicting spirits were cast out, people were healed in Jesus’ name, some believed in Jesus, and they now plan to have a church there.  Our Bunlap host chief told Pastor Rolanson he can bring his guitar and have meetings in the chief’s house anytime.

2017-2018  Update

I returned with Dante and others in June-July, 2017. The Riverlife Baptist Church people sent a keyboard, a guitar, and a large box of reading glasses with us. We often take used and discarded spectacles with us on these trips, and pray for healings too!

This time we had meetings at Ranwadi High School again and once again prayed with large numbers there. Then we returned to Pangi and Panlimsi villages for more meetings and visitation with Pastor Rolanson. At a Sunday service, Elder Jackson gave his testimony that his blood readings were normal at the clinic following prayer for diabetes.

We continue to encourage Christians to pray for one another in faith and obedience. I also participated when their new MP Silas Bule, formerly principal at Ranwadi, distributed Gideon’s New Testaments to the local school.

Then in 2018 I had a team of seven of us. The six young men with me included Dante and Ben again with Ben’s friends Scott (Andrew Chee’s brother), Blake, Sergie, and Dylan.  We stayed in Rolanson and Doneth’s village at Panlimsi, up the ridge from Pangi on the coast.

Again we prayed with large numbers at their village meetings and during the day. Pain left immediately with healing prayers, people were filled with the Spirit, using spiritual gifts, and we saw rising faith and obedience among them.

We encourage and support revival leaders on Pentecost Island regularly. That includes providing revival books and resources, Bibles, and helping pastors with high school fees for their children. I usually take donated spectacles to give away to help people read their Bibles. We have invested into establishing a Revival Training Centre as a revival base to help equip local revival team ministries.

If you would like to help contact me at geoffwaugh2@gmail.com .

See Book: South Pacific Revivals

See Book: Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific

See Blog: Mission on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

See Blog: 21st Century revivals in the South Pacific

See Blog: Bouganville Revival, South Pacific

Some videos added to this Blog:

See Blogs Index 7: Images

Baptism ChandiCHANDI BAPTIZED ON PENTECOST ISLAND

Andrew and pastors conduct creek baptisms

Near Pangi village, July 2016

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20160703_122056SUNDAY SERVICE AT PANLIMSI VILLAGE NEAR PANGI

Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

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20160626_195237YOUTH SING AT SERVICE NEAR PANGI, PENTECOST ISLAND.

I ask for the nations” (Psalm 2:8)

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DylanDYLAN AND BOYS

Team visit in 2018

Over 2,000 views!

Local bathroom near Panlimsi Village!

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0 0 0 map SthBLOG OF THE AMAZING STORY OF PENTECOST ISLAND

Wife of highest ranking chief returns from death – girl revived from death after an hour of prayer – a whole mountain ‘on fire’ (with nothing burned) during revival meetings – witchcraft items revealed then removed and destroyed by prayer teams – everyone prayed for in ‘custom’ villages healed – angels filling a village church with songs in the night – everyone prayed for in the village was healed and all unbelievers repented during the worship and many were baptized.

See also:

0 A Pentecost on Pentecost Gift

Pentecost on Pentecost – Blog

Pentecost on Pentecost – PDF

 

Journey into Mission includes

the 15 chapters of this book

Pentecost on Pentecost

plus more stories from

Australia, Africa, Nepal, India,

Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma,

Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines

and China.

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Why Culture won’t Change without Radical Revival

WHY CULTURE WON’T CHANGE WITHOUT RADICAL REVIVAL

By Steve Strang founder of Charisma News and CEO of Charisma Media.

repent-Holy-Ghost-party

Genuine revival is the only way we can change the spiritual temperature of our society. Rioting. Racial unrest. Drug abuse ruining a generation. War in the Middle East. Christians under siege from rampant secularism. Does this sound familiar? I’m not describing 2017, although all these exist in today’s culture. I’m describing the 1960s, with Americans divided over the Vietnam War, Israel attacked by its Arab neighbours, a youth culture that celebrated drugs and free sex, and racial unrest, including riots after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Things were so bad, Time magazine’s April 8, 1966, cover story asked, “Is God Dead?” Yet amid this terrible time, the Lord stepped in. Fifty years ago, He launched two massive, under-the-radar revivals that I believe changed the course of the world.

In 1967, a group of Duquesne University nuns and college students received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, igniting the widespread Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The other revival, now known as the Jesus Movement, touched hundreds of thousands of hippie-type young people, whose fervour moved from radical rebellion to radical obedience to Christ. Many of today’s Christian leaders came to Christ during this period, and the movement also impacted me. During this same era, Israel won the West Bank and, in 1967, reunited Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. I once heard the late Derek Prince explain the parallels between God’s activity in Israel and the fresh outpouring of His Spirit on the church. These massive revivals produced a cultural shift. The country became more politically conservative, and the hippie movement disappeared.

Today, we need another genuine revival. Without it, culture will continue its downward spiral. Many Christians recognize this, but many don’t. One segment of the evangelical church, alarmed by the marginalization of Christians and increasing public immorality, focuses on electing politicians who seem to share our values. But politics won’t change things. A powerful evangelical leader recently visited my office to discuss how we must move our culture, where only a small percentage views the world through a biblical lens, toward a Christian worldview. He wanted my help in motivating apathetic Christians. Of course, I said we’d cooperate. But I also said change toward a Christian worldview won’t happen until our country experiences true revival. He looked at me with a blank stare.

My friend seems to think logic and arguments can change minds and attitudes. We must never withdraw from the marketplace of ideas, but we must also remember this: Nonbelievers develop a Christian worldview only through a powerful encounter with the risen Christ via the power of the Holy Spirit. Consider the Pentecostal movement. After the fervour of the early-20th-century charismatic outpouring, Latter Rain Revival died down, Pentecostalism moved into malaise. I remember the older generation praying constantly for revival.

Logic persuaded almost no one to embrace the gifts. But when people received the Holy Spirit in a powerful way during a prayer meeting, their theology changed. They saw the Bible with fresh eyes. God answered those prayers for revival in unexpected ways.

Beginning around 1960, the Holy Spirit poured out on more denominations like Episcopalians, Methodists and Catholics. Long-haired, sandal-wearing hippies began showing up in our services, often carrying huge Bibles and sitting cross-legged on the floor at the front of the church. At the same time, God was doing something in Israel and awakening among Spirit-filled Christians an enduring love for this nation. Jews for Jesus sprang up, and Messianic congregations developed. Some Pentecostals remained in their ruts, but most embraced all this as a move of God. Today, Pentecostalism continues to grow. Yet once again, a sense of malaise has arisen. But let’s remember: God is still God.

So I challenge my fellow believers to pray as never before. Publicly and in our prayer closets, let’s ask God to pour out a mighty revival that sweeps millions into His kingdom. It’s the only way culture will be changed – by changing the hearts of a huge segment of the population here and around the world. Our problems will not be solved until people’s hearts and lives change.

Source: Charisma Magazine

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Mongolia: Russian Christians bring God’s love to the steppes

Mongolia: Russian Christians bring God’s love to the steppes

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Young Christians from Russia are passionately reaching out to unreached people groups on the steppes of Western Mongolia.

Mongolia is one of the world’s least densely populated countries, with just over three million people. More than half live in the bustling capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The rest of Mongolia, which is roughly three times the size of France, has vast, treeless grasslands, where most people live a nomadic lifestyle raising sheep, goats, cattle, camels and horses.

CBN correspondent George Thomas recently joined 46 Christians from neighboring Russia heading to four remote Mongolian provinces where few have heard the message of Christ’s love. Russian pastor and missionary Pavel Barsokov led the mission. “The heart of my Lord Jesus Christ is for the lost and hurting,” he said. “I want to have the same heart.” From his home in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, he regularly takes the difficult two-day drive to Western Mongolia.

Each time he comes, he brings with him young Russian Christians trained and equipped to serve as possible missionaries and evangelists. “What I am attempting to do is raise a new generation of Russian believers who will have an understanding of Christ’s love for the world and the role they must play in bringing the good news to the unreached.”

One of these young people is Natasha Gorodnuk who wants to serve as a missionary to Nepal. “Every time I think about it, my heart breaks because I know the calling on my life and I know what I’m supposed to do,” she said.

For several weeks Natasha and four-dozen other Russians partnered with Mongolian Christians to hold evangelistic camps for young people to see their lives changed. Lives like that of 22-year-old Buyanaa Davaasambuu. She accepted Christ while attending camp here as a little girl. Davaasambuu graduated from Bible college in May and is preparing to go on the mission field. For others like 16-year-old Mashbat Bassan, a Buddhist, this was the first time learning about Christianity. “Before coming to this camp, I never heard about God,” he said. “I learned in the Bible study today that this God created the heavens and the earth, the animals and creatures of the sea. I never knew.”

Shortly after the fall of communism, there were only ten believers in the entire country. Today, 26 years later, some 60,000 believers are spread across this vast nation.

Source: Pavel Barsokov, Natasha Gorodnuk, George Thomas

# 1050 | September 4, 2017

 

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

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Principles of Revival from History by Andrew Staggs

Untitled 
Andrew Staggs is the Dean of the School of Ministries at Christian Heritage College, Brisbane.
Staggs Andrew
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Here is a paper that I wrote many years ago about the amazing way that God moves in His people, His church and His world.
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I hope that it helps you position yourself under God to receive His favour and love at a completely new level.
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INTRODUCTION
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Much has been written about the revivals and awakenings that have taken place in the Church over many centuries. It is clear that there are a number of revival principles that constantly recur including persistent prayer; powerful preaching and testimony; and a deep awareness of the presence and holiness of God leading to a strong sense of conviction of sin and repentance followed by extreme joy when peace with God is received (Davies, 1992, p 217). This essay will illustrate from revival history these and other principles and explore the nature and potency of revival.
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WHAT IS REVIVAL?
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It is important to define in more detail what is meant by the term revival as this will determine which events are included as illustrations in the essay. Davies (1992, p 15) proposes a working definition of revival as
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.
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Waugh (1998, p xxii) quotes Arthur Wallis definition of revival as
A divine intervention in the normal course of spiritual things. It is God revealing Himself to man in awesome holiness and irresistible power. It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed and human programs abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the Lord…working in extraordinary power on saint and sinner…Revival must of necessity make an impact on the community and this is one means by which we may distinguish it from the more usual operations of the Holy Spirit.
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Edwards (1997, p 28) proposes the following definition:
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 in 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.
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Revival is necessary to counteract spiritual decline and to create spiritual momentum (Wallis, 1956, p 13). In revival the church dormant becomes the church militant. For example, as the nineteenth century dawned America was again morally bankrupt. Eight years of war had drained the nation’s vitality leaving a dark cloud of spiritual indifference and moral degradation. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church circulated a pastoral letter declaring they were filled with concern and awful dread at the conditions of the nation. They expressed the solemn conviction that the eternal God has a controversy with this nation. This concern prompted fervent prayer that precipitated a national spiritual awakening beginning on the east coast around 1800 and spreading to the western frontier (Hyatt, 1998, p 121).
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon experienced a continual revival in his church in London for many years in the middle of last century and he was convinced that a true revival is to be looked for in the church of God. In other words revival begins with the church and spills over into the world. It always begins by getting Christians right first, which is very painful.
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Revival will always vitalise God’s people … but revival is not always welcome. For many the price is too high. There is no cheap grace in revival. It entails the repudiation of self-satisfied complacency. Revival turns careless living into vital concern…exchanges self-indulgence for self-denial. Yet, revival is not a miraculous visitation falling on an unprepared people like a bolt out of the blue. It comes when God’s people earnestly want revival and are willing to pay the price (Pratney, 1984, p 17).
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Preaching at the Keswick Convention in 1922, Douglas Brown, who was used in a revival the year before, rightly maintained that “revival” is a church word; it has to do with God’s people. You cannot revive the world; the world is dead to trespasses and sins; you cannot revive a corpse. But you can revitalise where there is life… (Edwards, 1997, p 27).
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Evan Roberts made the 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” (ibid).
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A revival usually results in an unusual sense of spiritual interest or concern and it can first manifest itself as a deep concern on the part of professing Christians regarding the shallowness and superficiality of their spiritual lives. They become profoundly conscious of their poverty of their relationship with God, the standard of their moral lives and their service for Christ (Davies, 1992, p 19).
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This can also be demonstrated in the Brownsville revival in 1995. Stephen Hill (1997, p 74) noted that as in the revivals of old, people fell to their knees, prostrate or backward on the ground, weeping and wailing and crying out to God: John (Kilpatrick) and I prayed for individuals, and I realised that repentance was on the hearts of these people. I heard them cry out to God about their lukewarmness and stale Christianity, confessing their sins, and wanting desperately to get right with God. It seemed that everyone in that sanctuary desired a renewed relationship with their Lord Jesus Christ.
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Revival is not primarily to give the church power, though it certainly does this, but give it life. There is a world of difference. In one sense the church had no history before Pentecost. In Acts 2 the church was not restored to where it ought to have been and from where it had fallen, but it was the starting-point of the new covenant church. The Acts story certainly describes the effects of a community saturated with God. A revival is the spring of Christianity – the renovation of life and gladness … it is the season in which young converts burst into existence and beautiful activity … the whole landscape teems with living promises of abundant harvest of righteousness and peace… it is the jubilee of holiness (Jenkins in Hill, 1997, p xxx).
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When a group of God’s people are revived there is an inevitable effect on those in the immediate neighbourhood. They see that something has happened, make enquiries, and are then told by those who have been revived. This is what happened on the day of Pentecost, and is what has often happened in subsequent times of revival. For example:
1. Wales, 1904, 100 000 conversions
2. Argentina, 1951, 300 000 conversions
3. Pensacola, 1995, 100 000 conversions
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Revival is remarkable, large, effective and, above all, it is something that God brings about. It is quite impossible for man to create revival. Though men may prepare and pray for it, revival is the work of the sovereign God. Commenting on Acts 2:1, when the day of Pentecost came, Wallis in Edwards (1997, p 29) claims every genuine revival is clearly stamped with the hallmark of divine sovereignty, and in no way is this more clearly seen than in the time factor. The moment for the first outpouring of the Spirit was not determined by the believers in the upper room but by God, who had foreshadowed it centuries before in those wonderful types of the Old Testament.
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The suddenness is a typical feature of revival. What happened in the time of Hezekiah was done so quickly and the same was true 700 years later when, on the day of Pentecost, suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind… (Acts 2:2). No matter how long people have been praying for it or expecting it when it comes it is always a surprise.
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When God came to the north of Korea in January 1907 it was on the Monday following a particularly formal and weary Sunday. In revival things happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Meetings are lengthened, crowds gather, and sermons have to be preached, not because it is all arranged in advance, but because God is at work. At
Herrnhut in 1727, Zinzendorf acknowledged, hitherto we had been the leaders and helpers. Now the Holy Spirit himself took full control of everything and everybody (Edwards, 1997, p 30).
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PERSISTENT PRAYER
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God longs to work afresh in the affairs of His people and bring them back to the knowledge of Himself and relationship with Him (Waugh, 1999, p 11). To illustrate, God gave a promise at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (NIV).
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He has kept this promise and the history of Israel gives many examples. This verse speaks of the need for God’s people to humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways, thus emphasising the paramount need for prayer. As God’s people truly seek his face, humbling themselves before him and acknowledging their complete dependence on him, earnest and urgent in expressing their wholehearted desire for his presence and blessing together with their determination, like Jacob (Gen 32: 26), not to give up until he answers, he will hear. They will find that He reveals to them their secret sins which up to that time they have cheerfully committed and tolerated, but which now become hateful to them as they have a glimpse of how He views them.
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Orr (1993, p 13) quotes Pierson who said, there has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer. Joel 2: 15-17 is a vital passage to apprehend for revival – blow the trumpet in Zion … Here is a community of people of God called to pray for revival, and it clearly involved a radical alteration of their regular program. The first hint of revival is frequently a stirring in the life of prayer in the church. King Hezekiah set the example for the people by his own commitment to God in prayer.
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Commenting on the prayer that preceded the revival in Shotts in 1630, one writer remarked that while God sometimes works without His people, he never refuses to work with them (Edwards, 1997, p 85).
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The first hint of revival is frequently a stirring in the life of prayer in the church and this can be well documented from history. In the case of the First Great Awakening there were Christian leaders such as Cotton Mather (1663-1728) who over the course of his life spent hundreds of days in prayer and fasting for revival, even though he did not live to see the answer to his prayers, at least not in his own church.
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George Whitfield attributed much of the blessing which attended his ministry and that of others to a daily prayer meeting which he and his friends began in October 1737. Jonathan Edward’s preaching derived its power from his prayer life. He would spend whole days and weeks in prayer and it was not unusual for him to spend eighteen hours in prayer prior to preaching a single sermon. The result was a revival that not only transformed the moral and spiritual character of his community but also that of an entire nation (Hyatt, 1998, p 116).
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The Moravian church was renewed at Herrnhut in August 1727 and this was preceded by nearly a century of prayer for renewal by the persecuted remnants of the Unity of Brethren in Bohemia and Moravia from whom the refugees at Herrnhut had come. The twenty-four hour prayer watch which soon became a distinctive feature of the Moravians and which continued for another hundred years provided much of the moving power which sent the Moravian missionaries to all corners of the globe.
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In the 1740s John Erskine of Edinburgh published a pamphlet encouraging people to pray for Scotland and elsewhere. Over in America the challenge was picked up by Jonathan Edwards who wrote a treatise called, A Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
For forty years John Erskine orchestrated what became a Concert of Prayer through voluminous correspondence around the world. In the face of apparent social, political and moral deterioration he persisted. In 1781 in Cornwall the heavens opened at last and across the country prayer meetings were networking for revival. A passion for evangelism rose and converts were being won – not through regular services of the churches but at the prayer meetings! Whole denominations doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in the next few years. It swept from England to Wales, Scotland, United States, Canada and to some Third World countries.
Matthew Henry wrote, “When God intends great mercy for His people He first sets them praying” (Robinson, 1993, p 8).
The prayer movement had a tremendous impact but waned until the middle of the 19th century. Then God started something in Canada and the necessity to pray was picked up in New York. A quiet man called Jeremiah Lanphier had been appointed by the Dutch reformed Church as a missionary to the central business district. He called a prayer meeting in the city to be held at noon each Wednesday. Its first meeting was on 23 September 1859 and eventually five men turned up. Two weeks later they decided to move to a daily schedule of prayer. Within six months 10 000 men were gathering to pray and that movement spread across America. Within two years there were one million new believers added to the church. The movement swept out to touch England, Scotland Wales and Ulster. It was estimated that 100 000 converts directly resulted from prayer movements in Ireland. It has also been estimated that during the years 1859-60 some 1 150 000 people were added to the church wherever concerts of prayer were in operation (ibid, p 10).
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In describing how revival comes, believers can never overlook the part that urgent prayer and confident expectation play. There must be, especially among the leaders, the determination that God will come, that He must come. William Bramwell is typical of this. A powerful Weslyan preacher towards the end of the eighteenth century and the first twenty years of the nineteenth, Bramwell was on the Dewsbury preaching circuit and longing for God to come in revival. He had been praying fervently for this when God gave him the assurance that the revival, which actually broke out in 1792, would come (Edwards, 1997, p 75).
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It is said of David Morgan that for ten years before 1858 he never prayed in public without praying for revival. The revival that came to England in 1859 and particularly to the preaching Charles Haddon Spurgeon can be traced back six years to the prayers of his London congregation. It is not always clear when prayer meetings are part of the revival itself or are preceding it. But the distinction does not matter too much. Prayer is both the cause and result of the coming of the Spirit in revival (ibid, p 78).
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Commenting on the Welsh revival in 1904, RB Jones looked back to the latter years of the previous century. From 1897 many younger ministers were meeting together to pray for revival. One minister recalled that on a Saturday evening when his sermon preparation was finished he spent time in prayer and there would come upon him such a power as would crush (him) to tears and agonising praying (Edwards, 1997, p 77).
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Pandita Ramabai opened a home for girls in India. In this endeavour she was totally dependent on God’s provision and prayer was truly her lifeline. In January 1905, she began to speak about the need to seek God for revival. Before long, 550 people, mostly women and girls, were meeting twice daily, praying for revival and for an enduement of power. On June 30 Ramabai was teaching the girls from John 8 when suddenly the Holy Spirit fell as in the book of Acts. Everyone in the room began to weep and pray aloud. The revival had begun. Pandita Ramabai left her imprint on her generation and surely deserves to be recognised as the mother of the Pentecostal movement in India.
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Prayer seems to have been the foremost activity at the Azusa Mission. One participant said, “The whole place was steeped in prayer. William Seymour spent much of his time behind the pulpit with his head inside the top shoe box praying. Seymour was consumed with a passionate desire for God.” Seymour said, “Before I met Parham, such a hunger to have more of God was in my heart that I prayed for five hours a day for two and a half years. I got to Los Angeles and there the hunger was not less but more. I prayed, God, what can I do? The Spirit said, Pray more. …I increased my hours of prayer to seven, and prayed to God to give what Parham preached, the real Holy Ghost and fire with tongues with love and power of God like the apostles had” (Hyatt, 1998, p 156).
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The event that preceded Azusa Street by five years and actually precipitated the revival in Los Angeles began at the outset of the century in a student atmosphere. It was in a Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, where Charles Parham’s students searched the scriptures and where the Holy Spirit came on a student during a prayer and study vigil.
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Along with the growing acceptance of their movement, Pentecostals were, at the same time, experiencing a loss of spiritual vitality that always accompanies the onslaught of institutionalisation. The 1930s and 40s have been described as a time when the depth of worship and the operation of the gifts of Spirit, so much evident in earlier decades, were not so prominent. Many were concerned to the point that systematic times of prayer and fasting were instituted to pray for spiritual renewal and revival. The answer to their prayers began with the advent of the Healing revival which began in 1946 and the Latter Rain Revival which began in 1947 (Hyatt, 19 98, p 183).
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The ministries of William Branham and Oral Roberts signalled the beginning of a significant era of healing evangelism. Almost immediately a host of other evangelists began reporting miraculous healings and other supernatural phenomena in their meetings, These included AA Allen, Jack Coe, TL Osborn, William Freeman, WV Grant, Kenneth Hagin and many other evangelists. In 1947, after a seven month season of focussed prayer and fasting, Oral Roberts received inner assurance that it was time for God’s call to be fulfilled – to take God’s healing power to his generation. Many remarkable miracles occurred and Roberts eventually became the most prominent healing evangelist of that era.
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Before God began the revival that swept across Borneo in the 1970’s he had been preparing the ground by giving the missionaries the burden to pray. Ravenshill (1958, p 155) states that for this sin-hungry age we need a prayer-hungry church…prayer does business with God. Prayer creates a hunger for souls; hunger for souls creates prayer.
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Cho (in McClung, 1986, p 99) states that before 1980 individual revival movements took place with such prominent figures as Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. More recently it appears that the individual revival movements have abated and revivals have burst forth in the local church. In Korea, where the church has grown from almost zero to a projected 50% of the entire population in this century alone, Pastor Paul Yonggi Cho attributes his church’s conversion rate of 12 000 people per month as primarily due to ceaseless prayer (Robinson, 1993, p 5).
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A dramatic revival took place at Whittier Christian High School in Los Angeles from 1987 to 1989. It had been preceded by fifteen years of secret prayer for revival by the mother of one of the students who had attended in the early 1970’s and by four parent/teacher prayer groups who were similarly praying through the early part of 1987. The revival spread to some of the other colleges in the area and to two campuses on the other side of the United States. A prayer movement for God to send out 100 000 missionaries in this generation has grown out of the awakening.
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The Toronto Blessing erupted in January 1994 and by 1997 attendance had reached the two million mark. Even though the leaders of this revival consider evangelism to be their second priority – after the renewal of the Church and individual believers – over 25 000 conversions have occurred of which 8-10 000 are first time decisions (ibid, p 210).
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The lost of the Apostle Paul’s day were the same as the lost of today. Paul desperately wanted them to be set free. This same burden for the lost is at the heart of the Brownsville revival (Hill, 1997, p 12). One obvious characteristic of the Pensacola revival is its intense evangelistic emphasis. The meetings are obviously geared towards getting those who are unsaved or backslidden to the front during the altar service. Since its beginning in June 1995 it is estimated that two million people have visited the revival with over 100 000 making decisions for Christ (Hyatt, 1998, p 211).
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John Kilpatrick, pastor of the Brownsville Assemblies of God church in Pensacola, Florida highlights the value of prayer in revival when he reflects on the powerful moves of God in peoples lives: I see the scenes replayed week after week, and service after service. Each time, I realise that in a very real way, they are the fruit of a seven-year journey in prayer, and of two and a half years of fervent corporate intercession by the church (Waugh, 1998, p 137). Stephen Hill (1997, p 2) notes that it was a deep-rooted motivation to do the ministry God had given that caused Kilpatrick to rise up for over two years, take hold of the horns of the altar, grab them firmly, and scream out, “Dear God, send revival to our church. Revive us, oh God!’ He also notes (p 5) the ministry of Lyla Terhune and the intercessors who spend time in the back prayer room during the revival services agonising over the souls of the lost. They can be found weeping and wailing, often travailing as a woman giving birth, not for themselves but for the salvation of others. They do not flinch at the thought of waging heated spiritual warfare during this revival.
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Derek Prince notes in Hill (1997, p xxii) that Tuesday night is prayer night at the Pensacola revival. The seventeen hundred people present represented quite a large turn-out by most standards of prayer meetings … one distinctive feature was the presence of ten or more banners, each one representing some major theme of prayer. People focussed their prayer on a theme by gathering around that particular banner. There was none of what I would call ‘shotgun praying’, rather it was very directed.
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There have always been pockets of believers, sprinkled throughout the land – earnestly seeking God – motivated by a desperate desire for revival. God has always had His remnant. They took hold of the horns of the altar. The darkness of night was pierced by their agonising pleas for a visitation from God. Their white-hot prayers lit up the sky just as lightning displaces utter blackness (Hill, 1997, p xviii). I know not what course others may take; but as for me, GIVE ME REVIVAL in my soul and in my church and in my nation – or GIVE ME DEATH! (Ravenshill, 1958, p 161).
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POWERFUL PREACHING AND TESTIMONY
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The second consistent principle of revival is powerful, urgent, relevant Christ-centred preaching.
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On the day of Pentecost the 120 disciples were filled with the Spirit and immediately began to speak in various languages about the wonderful works of God. This was followed by Peter’s preaching which was accompanied by such spiritual power that 3 000 were convicted and converted (Acts 2). The work continued and spread as the Christians preached publicly and testified personally to the great saving acts in Jesus Christ.
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Often in revivals, an individual or a small group, have experienced powerful awakening and renewal as they have waited on God in prayer and then their personal testimony and public proclamation have been the means of communicating that blessing to other believers as well as awakening and converting non-believers.
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True revival is a revival of gospel preaching (Edwards, 1997, p 101). Powerful, urgent,
relevant Christ-centred communication of the gospel emphasising the holiness and grace of God and the need for personal response is a hallmark of revival. It is often because the preachers themselves have been revived and quickened, and the content of their preaching as well as their method of presentation bear evidence to what has happened.
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Davies (1992, p 222) notes that preachers in revival are never flippant. They know they are the servants of the Most High God and they are aware of their awesome responsibility and of the seriousness of the task. They have a sense of the awfulness of men dying without Christ and are extremely concerned to communicate the gospel faithfully. They have an urgent desire to bring men and women to repentance and faith before it is too late. Preachers in revival are concerned to make the truth plain and to show each person its relevance for them. They are also conscious to avoid superficial and therefore false conversions.
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The description of Duncan Campbell as a preacher shows how seriously revival preachers took their task: There was nothing complicated about Duncan’s preaching. It was fearless and uncompromising. He exposed sin in its ugliness and dwelt at length on the consequences of living and dying without Christ. With a penetrating gaze on the congregation and perspiration streaming down his face he set before men and women the way of death. It was a solemn thought to him that the eternity of his hearers might turn upon his faithfulness. He was standing before his fellow men in Christ’s stead and could be neither perfunctory or formal. His words were not just a repetition of accumulated ideas but the expression of his whole being. He gave the impression of preaching with his entire personality, not merely his voice (Edwards, 1997, p 103).
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In revival Christ, and the blood of the cross particularly, is central to the preaching. Perhaps this is why many records of revival refer to the special blessings experienced at communion services when the blood of Christ is preached both from the Word and through the bread and wine. At Cambuslang in 1742 the presence of God was so real at the communion service held on 11 July that it was agreed they must celebrate it again, and very soon. Untypically for the Scottish Presbyterians, they arranged another service for 15 August and this was attended by some 20,000 people! Though only a few thousand were allowed to participate, hundreds were converted.
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In the eighteenth century Whitefield and Wesley found that the preaching of the cross was hated, just as it is hated now. But thousands found in the blood of Christ justification, redemption, propitiation, peace, reconciliation and cleansing, whether or not they understood all those terms.
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Joseph Kemp returned from a visit to Wales in 1905 and reported to his congregation at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh that the dominating note of the Walsh revival was ‘redemption through the Blood.’ Whenever we hear or read that the Spirit is at work we can assess the genuineness of the work by how central the blood of Christ is to the preaching and the worship. And if the cross is central in the preaching and the worship then it will be central in the lives of the converts (Edwards, 1997, p 108).
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Jonathan Edwards complained, in 1733, that the young people, especially, were very careless and were not interested in listening to what God had to say through their parents or through the ministers of the gospel. But when the Spirit of God came in revival, ‘The young people declared themselves convinced by what they heard from the pulpit, and were willing of themselves to comply with the counsel that had been given; and it was immediately, and I suppose, almost universally, complied with.’ Submission to leadership is a biblical condition of worship and it runs tight through both Old and New Testaments. The description of the Christians in the Acts of the Apostles was that they were dedicated to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). And when revival comes, one of its hallmarks is not independency, but a holy dependence upon Scripture and a respect for those whose task it is to explain and apply it (Edwards, 1997, p 111).
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The twin activities of public preaching and personal testimony provide the ideal combination which has so often been the way that awakening and revival have spread. Even when the preaching has been limited to ‘properly ordained ministers’ the witness of ‘ordinary Christians’ has been a major factor in the spread of revival. It is the emphasis upon living, vital and urgent preaching, together with the people’s confidence in Scripture and love for it, that produces such a powerful force in revival. Revival never begins with those who deny or despise the authority of the Word, and if people who do deny Scripture are effectively influenced by the revival it will always change their theology of the Bible.
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At times of revival there has been a paramount need for sound teaching and instruction. When those who are revived are themselves soundly taught in the truth of God’s Word, they can properly interpret their own experience, adequately proclaim the truth to others, and also correctly instruct new converts. When this is not the case or when they fail to properly instruct new converts of the revival there is a strong possibility that there will be dangerous extremes of belief and practice and that the whole movement of revival will not produce lasting fruit. In the case of the Welsh Revival of 1904 many believe that Evan Roberts’ neglect of preaching and instruction was the cause of the revival’s failure to achieve its full potential (Evans in Davies, 1992, p 223).
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One commentator on the eighteenth-century Awakening rightly claims that the uninhibited and compelling urge to preach the Gospel was the basic characteristic of all the personalities involved, whatever other gifts they might have: Both Harris and Wesley had keen organising ability, both William Williams and Charles Wesley had unsurpassed genius to write hymns, Whitfield’s compassionate heart and breadth of vision well-nigh encircled the globe, and Rowland’s communion seasons were heavenly, but each felt deeply the absolute priority and unique authority of preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit (Edwards, 1997, 104).
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DEEP AWARENESS OF THE PRESENCE AND HOLINESS OF GOD
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Another key principle of revival is the deep awareness of the presence and holiness of God leading to a strong sense of conviction of sin and repentance followed by extreme joy when peace with God is received.
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In Israel’s time, under God’s judgement, people awakened to a realisation of better days and linked this back to their previous relationship with him. Prayer went up in agony for deliverance and God raised up another leader and another restoration. Right relationship to the righteous standards of the Word of God was also confirmed by Charles Finney who succinctly defined revival as nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to the Word of God (Pratney, 1984, p 19).
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There is an observable connection in the history of awakenings between revival and holiness. An overwhelming sense of the holiness of God frequently characterises revivals bringing with it a crushing sense of personal and often corporate sin and guilt. The repentance which is produced in revival is a deep, radical, complete abhorrence of sin and turning away from it, with a heartfelt desire to have done with it completely. Sin is seen for what it really is, as God sees it, and it continues to be hateful to the young convert. Holiness is seen as beautiful and infinitely desirable. The new Christian longs after holiness, seeing it as a characteristic of his God.
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Waugh (1998, p 136) quotes Kilpatrick regarding the Brownsville revival – corporate businessmen in expensive suits kneel and weep uncontrollably as they repent of secret sins … drug addicts and prostitutes fall to the floor on their faces beside them, to lie prostrate before God as they confess Jesus as Lord … souls who come to Christ, confessing their sins.
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Revival is always a revival of holiness. And it begins with a terrible conviction of sin. It is often the form that the conviction of sin takes that troubles those who read of revival. Sometimes the experience is crushing. People weep uncontrollably. There is no such thing as a revival without tears of conviction and sorrow. In January 1907 God was moving in a powerful way in North Korea and a Western missionary recalled one particular scene: As the prayer continued a spirit of heaviness and sorrow for sin came down upon the audience. Over on one side someone began to weep and in a moment the whole audience was weeping. Man after man would rise, confess his sins, break down and weep, and then throw himself to the floor and beat the floor with his fists in perfect agony of conviction … sometimes after a confession the whole audience would break out in audible prayer and the effect of that audience of hundreds of men praying together in audible prayer was something indescribable. Again, after another confession, they would break out in uncontrollable weeping, and we would all weep, we could not help it. And so the meeting went on until 2 am, with confession and weeping and praying (Edwards, 1997, p 115). Scenes like these are typical of almost every recorded revival. There is no revival without deep, uncomfortable and humbling conviction of sin.
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In some mines in Wales in 1904 the work came to a standstill because the pit ponies could no longer understand the orders that were given to them; the hauliers, classed as the worst group of men in the pits, proverbial for their profanity and cruelty, were no longer cursing their commands and the ponies were confused (Edwards, 1997, p 187).
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A revival usually results in an unusual sense of spiritual interest or concern and it can first manifest itself as a deep concern on the part of professing Christians regarding the shallowness and superficiality of their spiritual lives. They become profoundly conscious of their poverty of their relationship with God, the standard of their moral lives and their service for Christ (Davies, 1992, p 19).
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Revival rectifies the impoverished spiritual conditions of people, some of which are outlined in an internet bulletin from www.highwayman.net/prayernet titled A27 Evidences of the Need for a Fresh Visitation of the Spirit. A sample includes – we need revival:
1. When we would rather make money than give money;
2. When we make little effort to witness to the lost;
3. When we seldom think thoughts of eternity;
4. When we know truth in our heads that we are not practicing in our lives
5. When we are more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.
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The full list has been reproduced and is available in the Appendix. Revival will always vitalise God’s people. In the revival in Kentucky in the late 1700s sleep and physical comforts seemed to be forgotten as things eternal gripped the hearts and minds of the people…cries of distress over sin soon gave way to shouts of joy arising out of assurance of salvation (Hyatt, 1998, p 123).
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The deep, uncomfortable and humbling conviction of sin can be demonstrated in the Brownsville revival in 1995. Stephen Hill (1997, p 74) noted that as in the revivals of old, people fell to their knees, prostrate or backward on the ground, weeping and wailing and crying out to God. John (Kilpatrick) and I prayed for individuals, and I realised that repentance was on the hearts of these people. I heard them cry out to God about their lukewarmness and stale Christianity, confessing their sins, and wanting desperately to get right with God. It seemed that everyone in that sanctuary desired a renewed relationship with their Lord Jesus Christ.
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OTHER REVIVAL PRINCIPLES
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There has been much written and spoken of about the dynamics and principles of revival. Nine outstanding characteristics of the major revivals have been articulated by Fischer (in Pratney, 1984, p 19) as follows:
1. They occurred in times of moral darkness and national depression
2. Each began in the heart of a consecrated servant of God who became the energizing power behind it
3. Each revival rested on the Word of God and most were the result of proclaiming God’s Word with power
4. All resulted in a return to the worship of God
5. Each witnessed the destruction of idols where they existed
6. In each revival there was a recorded separation from sin
7. In every revival the people returned to obeying God’s laws
8. There was a restoration of great joy and gladness
9. Each revival was followed by a period of national prosperity
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Revival brings vitality to God’s Church and His people. A principle of revival is that it brings results. There is an increase in evangelism, mission, social action and the increased involvement of the laity. A revival always has an effect upon the nation. Edwin Orr (in Edwards, 1997, p 185) claims that the evangelical awakening in the eighteenth century saved Britain from the revolutionary experience that ravaged the continent of Europe at that time. Wesley, the English evangelist, defeated Volataire, the French philosopher and Deist.
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2 Kings 18: 7-8 notes the success of King Hezekiah during the revival – And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory (NIV). The nation was sufficiently strong to throw off its slavery; the revival gave the people of Judah moral and military fibre and it was this that led Hezekiah to make a bid to secure spiritual unity in the nation after 200 years of warfare between the north and south. The revival was also a time of his brilliant engineering.
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There are also hindrances to revival which the believer needs to be aware of. Some of these have been outlined in Waugh (1999, p 9) and include pride (when Christians become proud of their great revival); exalting self over God; prejudice (when Christians lose the spirit of brotherly love); exhaustion; self-reliance (when dependence on the Spirit in replaced by human effort); conflict (when there is continued opposition of the >old school’ combined with a bad spirit in the >new’ school); and neglecting missions.
.
CONCLUSION
.
The life of a believer of prayer, striving for holiness, and wholehearted evangelism must all go on as if the future of the Church depended on them. At the same time believers should long for the community to be saturated with God, should talk of the great acts of God in revival, and should pray to continually remind God that a special occasion is needed for this generation.
.
When the prophet Micah looked around him he could find little to encourage him in the nation. An honest assessment convinced him that the forces of evil were gaining ground. In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, Micah set out his own position:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me
Micah 7:7 (NIV).
 
.
REFERENCES
Davies, R.E. 1992. I Will Pour Out My Spirit: A History and Theology of Revivals and Evangelical Awakenings. Tunbridge Wells: Monarch Publications.
Edwards, Brian H. 1997. Revival! A People Saturated With God. County Durham: Evangelical Press.
Hill, Stephen. 1997. The Pursuit of Holiness. Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House.
Hyatt, Eddie L. 1998. 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st Century Look at Church History from a Pentecostal/Charismatic Perspective. Dallas, Texas: Hyatt International Ministries Inc.
McClung, L Grant Jnr. 1986. Azuza Street and Beyond: Pentecostal Missions and Church Growth in the Twentieth Century. South Plainfield, New Jersey: Bridge Publishing Co.
Orr, J. Edwin. ‘Prayer and Revival’. Renewal Journal: Revival. Vol 1, Number 1. Summer 1993. pp 13- 18.
Pratney, Winkie. 1984. Revival: Principles to Change the World. Springdale: Whitaker House.
Ravenshill, Leonard. 1959. Why Revival Tarries. Tonbridge: Sovereign World.
Robinson, Stuart. ‘Praying the Price’. Renewal Journal: Revival. Vol 1, Number 1. Summer 1993. pp 5-12.
Wallis, Arthur. 1956. In The Day of Thy Power. Christian Literature Crusade.
Waugh, Geoff. 1998. Flashpoints of Revival: History’s Mighty Revivals. Shippensburg, PA: Revival Press.
Waugh, Geoff. 1999. Class Notes for PB110 Renewal History. Mansfield: COC School of Ministries.
 
.
APPENDIX
.
27 Evidences of the Need for a Fresh Visitation of the Spirit.
We need revival:
1. When we would rather make money than give money;
2. When we make little effort to witness to the lost;
3. When we seldom think thoughts of eternity;
4. When we know truth in our heads that we are not practicing in our lives
5. When we are more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.
6. When we do not love Him as we once did.
7. When earthly interests and occupations are more important to us than eternal ones.
8. When we would rather watch TV and read secular books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.
9. When we have little or no desire for prayer.
10. When our Christianity is joyless and passionless.
11. When we have time for sports, recreation, and entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.
12. When we do not tremble at the Word of God.
13. When we are more concerned about our jobs and careers than about the Kingdom of Christ and the salivation of the lost.
14. When Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.
15. When our children are growing up to adopt world values, secular philosophies and ungodly lifestyles.
16. When we watch things on TV and movies that we would not show in church.
17. When our prayers lack fervency.
18. When our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.
19. When our singing is half-hearted and worship lifeless.
20. When we aren’t seeing regular evidence of the supernatural power of God
21. When we are bored with worship.
22. When we are making little or no difference in the secular world around us.
23. When we are unmoved b y the thought of our neighbours, business associates and acquaintances going to hell.
24. When we have ceased to weep and mourn and grieve over our sin.
25. When we aren’t exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.
26. When the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages and our church.
27. When we are blind to the extent of our need and don’t thinks we need revival.
(Source: www.highwayman.net/prayernet 11 May 1999)

Jesus and Muslims: Life in the Desert

Middle East: Life in the desert

Tyler Connell with the Ekballo Project shared a few encouraging stories from his most recent trip to Middle East, where he documented a dramatic move of God among Muslims, particularly with refugees. “Many there are disillusioned and broken and just want to know the truth,” he says. “Now more than ever there is a harvest among Muslims.”

His first film chronicles a young missionary named Daniel, 24, originally from Vermont. Two years ago he moved to Jordan to work with Syrian refugees. “They go house to house and visit these Muslim families and sit with them and talk with them and find out their names, their stories, and love them. As trust is built, they begin to open up for the Gospel.”

‘Hi I’m Daniel and I’m here to tell you about Jesus.’

One afternoon Daniel walked into a white tent with a family of eight people inside. “Hi I’m Daniel and I’m here to tell you about Jesus,” he announced. He wasn’t quite prepared for their reaction. “The family freaked out, they looked at each other and almost turned white. The father was excited, yelling.”

What’s going on? Daniel wondered. The interpreter explained that the night before Daniel’s visit, the whole family was sitting in their tent having tea together. To their surprise a man in white opened the door to their tent and stood at the entrance. The man was glowing. “Hello, My name is Jesus and I am sending a man tomorrow named Daniel to tell you more about me.” Then he disappeared.

So when Daniel arrived at their doorway and told them his name, they were completely undone. They asked him to tell them more about Jesus and he explained the Gospel. The whole family converted. The father had been a part of the Free Syrian Army. He had known bloodshed. He was a devout Muslim. This man and his family are now planting underground churches in Jordan and are seeing a harvest among Muslims.

Recently the father was dismayed by a large cell phone bill and he asked his 15-year-old daughter about it. “It’s because I’m telling all our relatives in Saudi Arabia about Jesus,” she said.

Life in the desert – part 1
‘Jesus was there, in the middle of the dirt, with Muslim refugees.’

In another Syrian refugee family, Connell felt God’s presence break through in a powerful way. “The joy that broke out among these 25 people was incredible. Jesus’ presence was stronger in that little dirty living room than I have ever felt in any conference, any prayer room, any camp-high moment. Jesus was there in the middle of the desert, in Iraq, in the dirt, with Muslims. He is attracted to the broken-hearted, the contrite, the desperate.”

Life in the desert – part 2
Over the last three years, Connell and his team have responded to an assignment from God to capture what He is doing in the most unreached parts of the world, the so-called 10/40 Window. This area is home to the three giants of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, a total of 2.9 billion people. “We felt God told us to go to these dark places, and capture what He is doing through missionaries that have given up their lives. We follow them with our camera and capture what God does, and show it on college campuses in the USA to ignite students to live for something bigger than themselves.”

Source: Tyler Connell, Ekballo Project

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There is an ongoing underground revival in the Muslim world. Over the past 20 years more Muslims have found Isa (Jesus) then in all the previous centuries together. See links:
Iran: where Christianity is growing fastest
Iran – fastest growing evangelical population
The Staggering Rise of the Church in Iran
Many Muslims are turning to Christ
18,000 Muslim leaders led to Christ in West Africa
Jesus appears to Middle Eastern Muslim for a month
Iman hated Christians until Jesus raised him from the dead
Muslim woman returns from the dead to tell about Jesus

If you want to know more about following Jesus, go here

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Transforming your city – example of Juarez, Mexico

The crime rate fell by 93% within 18 months.
Even the United Nations cannot understand how this happened!

TRANSFORMING YOUR CITY – THE EXAMPLE OF JUAREZ, MEXICO

p1Recently in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 140 ministry leaders and public officials were electrified to hear the testimony of Pastor Poncho Murguia. Poncho after leading a large and successful mega church for years was instructed by the Lord to “leave everything” and to go to a city park in his native Juarez, Mexico in order to fast and pray for three weeks over the city. During that process, he learned for the first time to really love and understand his city and then to “adopt” the city. Eventually 4000 other believers in Jesus joined him in a movement of transformational prayer and action that has changed Juarez from “the murder capital of the world” with violence 25 times as much as any on other city on earth, to one of the safest of Mexico’s cities.

At the height of the violence that swept the city which had become the site of a prolonged turf battle between drug cartels, 20-30 people were being assassinated by “sicarios”, hit men paid an average of $50 to kill anyone. They killed a young man just as he was being married to his fiancee in a church and freely machine-gunned peace-loving people who were having dinner in restaurants. There were also an average of 10-15 kidnappings per day and if loved ones did not pay the ransom that was demanded, their family member would have his ears or fingers amputated first and if there was still no payment, he or she would be killed and buried under the floor of the “safehouse” that served as their prison.

Twenty percent or 300,000 people left the city; 30% of the businesses closed. The cartels made lists of police officers and systematically assassinated them one by one to terrorize and exact concessions. The smell of blood filled the streets. Such overwhelming violence that the police and even the army could not control finally drove the pastors of the city’s churches together in prayer. They humbled themselves before the Lord, taking responsibility for the situation since they had been occupying themselves with their own congregations and “building their own kingdoms” without a real love and concern for the whole city. As they underwent this process together, God demonstrated His presence and the crime rate fell by 93% within 18 months. Even the United Nations cannot understand how this happened!

p2Other wonderful transformations happened and as they “adopted” the “sicarios”, many of these vicious hit men came to Christ and were discipled to serve Him back in their own towns across Mexico. Poncho challenged the Church and ministry leaders to tackle problems in our communities that the government and police are not being effective in fixing. The church he said spent too much time studying the Bible when God wants us to “be the Bible” to our needy city. Those who heard Poncho’s testimony were deeply challenged to apply what we learned. Many went home determined to see a transformational movement happen in their communities.

Source: International Prayer Council

See Transformation of Cuidad, Juarez, Mexico

Watch video: May who transformed murder capital of the world

Podcast with Poncho Murguia – Part 1:

Podcast with Poncho Murguia – Part 2:

See also:

Video1: Transformation in Juarez, Mexico
Video2:Transformation in Juarez, Mexico
In 5 years kidnapping down by 100%, extortions down by 90%, & homicides down by 80%

We often forget to do things God’s way!

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

 

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Mel Tari on the Timor Revival

Mel Tari

From Like a Mighty Wind by Mel Tari

Tari 1a
Tari 1bTari 2aTari 2b

Mel Tari, Like a Mighty Wind, pages 112-115

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CHINESE TURNING TO CHRISTIANITY

CHINESE TURNING TO CHRISTIANITY EN MASSE

More people worship in China on a typical Sunday than attend all the churches in Europe combined.

China house churchThe message coming out of China is not about the slowing economy, nor about the tensions in the South China Sea — it is “Jesus Saves”.

It’s a theme echoed in Australia, where Chinese people are packing into our universities, tourism sites, property auctions and churches. In south Beijing on any Thursday night, a rock band leads 300 young worshippers at Zhushikou Protestant church, with lead singer Gao Liang, a convert of 3 years, prominently sporting a WWJD badge — What Would Jesus Do? A couple of kilometres away, another large and youthful congregation of about 600 was at mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where Catholic churches have stood since 1605, and which also maintains a daily Latin mass. Large screens communicate the service to the overflow outside.

Liu Qiaojing, a 35-year-old teacher worshipping with her husband, Sun Yanqing, and their two-year-old son Yibo, said ever more young people were joining the church: “They love the atmosphere, the feeling of love, the warm-hearted people.”

Wang Libo, a 45-year-old businessman said: “Our broader society is in a quandary.” So the church is filling with those, especially in their 20s and 30s, “who come to seek truth and genuineness, to think, and to find belief”.

An estimated 100 million people in China have already become Christians — more than the 84 million in the ruling Communist Party. As a result, more people worship in China on a typical Sunday than attend all the churches in Europe combined. So Easter Day was a very big event in China, even though the authorities haven’t declared it as a formal holiday.

Easter saw unprecedented numbers attending both officially recognised Protestant and Catholic churches as well as underground “house churches” — although there is also constant traffic between these strands of Christianity.

In Australia, the Anglican Church, which has historically been viewed as largely an Anglo preserve, provides a particularly strong example of how rapidly Chinese people are changing core institutions, and how the latter are adapting. The Primate of the Australian church, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, said: “Over the past 15 years, we have ordained 17 people for Anglican ministry in Melbourne who are Chinese by birth or background. “We have experienced a very positive response to our ministry amongst people newly arrived from China.”

The archdiocese ran a ministry conference in 2014 on the theme of the church in the Asian century, “where we celebrated the freshness of approach that all of our Asian congregations, including Chinese, are bringing to the church”. Last year, the Anglican cathedral, St Paul’s, introduced a weekly service in Mandarin, led by two Chinese priests. The official prayer book used in Australian Anglican worship has been translated into Chinese. Andreas Loewe, the dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, said: “The face of Anglicanism in Melbourne is changing. In 10 years, the number of congregations in our diocese where a language other than English predominates has almost ¬doubled, from 23 to 40 today.

“If you walk through the cathedral on any given day, you will witness an incredible cultural diversity among the people visiting and praying here. Our Chinese ministry at the heart of Melbourne is a visible sign of our commitment to serving the people who live, work, and now worship in this great culturally diverse city.” Many Chinese worshippers in Australia became drawn to the church only after they arrived, having no previous religious adherence or knowledge at all. Back home, the Christian surge within China has happened even though Communist Party members — the national elite — remain banned from all religious adherence, and proselytising by religious groups is illegal except within officially prescribed religious venues, whether temples, churches or mosques.

ConferencePraise

Source: Compiled by Australian Prayer Network from media reports, April 11, 2016.

CHINA GRIPPED BY SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS TURN TO FAITH

Forty-one years after China’s Cultural Revolution snuffed out all forms of religious expression, hundreds of millions of Chinese people are flocking to religions like Christianity. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson believes what’s transpiring in China is nothing short of “one of the world’s great spiritual revivals” and says the world better take note because the impact of this “spiritual transformation” could have significant global implications. “People in China are looking for new moral guideposts, some sort of moral compass to organize society,” said Johnson, author of The Souls of China: “So they are turning to religion as a source of values to help reorganize society.” Johnson spent six years researching the “values and faiths of today’s China.” He says the fastest-growing drivers of this “religious revolution” are unregistered churches or so-called “house” or “underground” churches.

 “These groups have become surprisingly well-organized, meeting very openly and often counting hundreds of congregants,” Johnson wrote in an article. “They’ve helped the number of Protestants soar from about one million when the communists took power to at least 60 million today.” Over the past 15 years, CBN News has also documented this unprecedented revival. From the countryside to the big cities, we’ve highlighted how a new generation of Believers is changing the face of Chinese Christianity. “Any casual visitor to the country can tell you that the number of churches, mosques, and temples has soared in recent years, and that many of them are full,” Johnson wrote. “While problems abound, the space for religious expression has grown rapidly, and Chinese Believers eagerly grab it as they search for new ideas and values to underpin a society that long ago discarded traditional morality.”

 Church leaders that CBN News spoke with say prayer has played a key role in sparking the Christian revival. For example, in one corner of northeast China, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, thousands of Christians have been meeting for an unprecedented prayer movement. What started as a small gathering several years ago has turned into a nationwide prayer initiative uniting hundreds of Chinese churches. In some cases, this revival is even touching China’s state-controlled churches known as Three-Self Church. “Now there’s big revivals happening in the Three-Self Churches,” Dr. Zhao Xiao told CBN News from his offices on the outskirts of China’s capital city. Zhao is one of China’s foremost experts on Christianity. A former Communist Party member and atheist, Zhao converted after reading the Bible.

“If you go to Haidian Church, you’ll find yourself in a more than 100-metre line trying to get inside and worship. In Shenzhen, there are usually an average of 500 people being baptized each Sunday!” he shared. Decades ago, the Chinese government had a law that said that young men and women below the age of 18 could not attend Three-Self Churches. Zhao says those rules have been loosened in recent years. “There’s an increasing proportion of them in churches now, more young male Believers, professionals, mainstream celebrities, especially in the big cities, that are attending the church unlike the past when it was mainly the elderly who attended.” While the government remains deeply suspicious of China’s religious revival, Johnson says it hasn’t stopped people from exploring matters of faith.

Source: CBN News
Australian Prayer Network, May 15, 2017

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Asia’s Maturing Church, by David Wang

Asia’s Maturing Church

David Wang

David Wang
David Wang

The world’s largest revival continues unabated despite widespread restrictions and persecution. Dr David Wang talks about why God is moving so dramatically among Asian believers at this time. David Wang is the International Director of Asian Outreach.

Article in Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth
Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – PDF

Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)
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An article in Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth
Asia’s Maturing Church, by David Wang

_______________________________________

The traditional word ‘harvest’ no longer seems

adequate to describe what God is doing.

I would describe it as ‘the great ingathering’.

_______________________________________

Q. Is this truly a Decade of Harvest for Asia?

A. For 25 years I have been involved in Asian evangelism and mission. I must admit that there have been times of discouragement, particularly in the latter part of the 1960s. We saw a lot of activity and effort, but not many lasting results.

However I would say that for the past 20 years we have seen a tremendous response to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is happening not only in countries such as Korea and Singapore, which are enjoying phenomenal revival, but also in countries closed to traditional mission activities such as China and Vietnam. We’re now seeing the Holy Spirit moving in dramatic ways, resulting in conversions and church growth, with regular signs, wonders and miracles.

The traditional word ‘harvest’ no longer seems adequate to describe what God is doing. I would describe it as ‘the great ingathering’. This is even happening in traditionally difficult Thailand and Japan. I visited these countries very recently and both missionaries and national leaders were reporting breakthroughs of an unprecedented nature.

Q. Why is the Asian Church suddenly growing so dramatically?

A. We must give credit to the early missionaries who laboured, bled and died sowing the seed of the gospel. Some of the seeds laid dormant for many years. But they did take root. As God’s time comes upon this continent, they are now bearing fruit. Aided by signs, wonders and miracles some are bearing a hundred fold!

Secondly, we now see an explosion of the Church led by indigenous leadership. God is raising up excellent Asian leadership. Asian workers are now evangelising, sending out missionaries and bringing in a great harvest.

Thirdly, persecution and suffering inflicted by communist or atheist regimes and other religious forces have enhanced the Church’s growth even further.

But ultimately I recognise that it seems to be God’s sovereign plan. He seems to have a timetable, and now is the time for the Asian Church to experience revival, renewal, growth and expansion. It is God’s time for this continent.

Q. You mentioned persecution what specific role has it played?

A. Persecution has brought out two things in the Church of Asia. Firstly, it has brought forth Christ’s beauty in the lives of the believers. I know of Christians who have been deprived of everything that we consider important and are suffering deeply for their faith, yet they are living out a life of purity and simplicity in Christ. That kind of living has a great impact.

Secondly, persecution has returned the Church back to the basics of Christianity. It is no longer the clergy who are important. It is no longer the building that is important. What is important is having a fundamental relationship with Jesus Christ. Believers who have suffered persecution experience that Jesus is very real to them.

This return to the basics of Christianity and living a faithful life of beauty in Christ have resulted in mass conversions of people to Christianity.

Q. We read of thousands of these persecuted believers sharing a handful of Bibles and often having no pastor. How can the free world help to meet their urgent need for leadership and Bible-based teaching?

A. Without question this is the number one concern for every one of us who are involved in ministry into the Restricted Access Nations of Asia.

I think first of all we have to realise that ultimately it is God who gives the increase. He is also the author and finisher of this good work. We have to go back and trust Him and say, ‘Lord, it is your Church. It is your body. It is your vine. You take care of it.’

This seems to be a basic philosophy for Christians in the East. When you talk to leaders in the rural areas of China they say things like, ‘Another church has sprung up in that village over there. And a church of 7,000 has just exploded out of nowhere in that mountainous region.’ They give thanks to God for what He has started, and commit it to Him saying, ‘Lord, you continue to finish your work.’ I suppose we have to learn to do the same.

On the other hand, for ministries like Asian Outreach, we do need to shift more and more from pure evangelism to evangelismplusdiscipling. I would say now that at least 50% of our efforts targeted into the Restricted Access Nations are discipling and training in nature. Other ministries are also making a similar shift. In this part of the world, it has to be evangelism plus discipling now.

Q. What can believers in Asia’s Third World countries teach their brothers and sisters in the First World nations of the West?

A. In the West, or in the free world as a whole, I see the church identifying far more with the powerful victory of Jesus’ resurrection. They want that kind of relationship. They are keen for the success, the prosperity, the good things of the Risen King. Few partake in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering (Philippians 3:10). However I see the opposite in the Asian Church, particularly in countries where situations are confining and restrictive. These believers are more willing to fellowship with the suffering of Christ. To them that is the greater reward and privilege.

Recently one of our coworkers went to China with a large sum of money to bail out a Christian worker. She had been sentenced to five years of hard labour in a very poor province of China. A few days later my coworker returned with the money. That woman refused to be bailed out. She said, ‘Pray for me, but don’t get me out of this situation. Here is where the sinners are. Here is where the criminals are. Here is where Jesus Christ would have come. Now He has sent me. So please don’t bail me out.’

Q. Dr Paul Kauffman, the founder of Asian Outreach, has been quoted as saying, ‘For the cost of sending out one Westerner to the mission field, five Asians can be sent.’ Should we be sending more Asians?

A. Yes, and no. Looking over the last 15 years I do see the Asian Church moving from a ‘bless me’ position to a ‘bless the world’ position. They are now ready not only in attitude but also in capability. Christians in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and even Thailand or Indonesia are now in a position where they can pray, they can send, they can give and they can go. I am seeing more and more of the Asian Church changing from being missionary-receiving to becoming missionary-sending.

However, I do want to sound a warning. Third World mission is not the rising star and the answer to ushering in the return of Christ. We have our share of weaknesses and problems. We are just as culturally insensitive. We suffer our share of egocentric nationalism. We stumble over the same things that Western missionaries have stumbled over. Perhaps we are even more arrogant! I think the key is for Western and Asian churches to both send out missionaries. Together let’s cooperate in learning, teaching, sharing, caring and shouldering in a relationship of interdependence the Great Commission responsibility.

Q. Should we be sending Asian missionaries even to the West?

A. This is something we have to really work at on both ends. We, on our end, have to stop being nationalistic. Thus far I see far more Korean missionaries going to Koreans in overseas countries, or Japanese missionaries going to Japanese, or Chinese missionaries working among the Chinese diaspora. I would like to see Asian missionaries going to wherever the need and the response are the greatest, be it in the West, be it Africa, be it Latin America or be it anywhere.

It is also time for the West to realize that mission has undergone a fundamental change. It is no longer ‘from the West to the rest’. Mission is now a universal endeavour of God’s church. People of various nationalities have to learn to work side by side to spread the Gospel. So if it’s time for Asian missionaries to go to the West, well, let’s do it.

Q. Are we seeing Asian leadership with such a global view?

A. I do see Asian leadership taking more and more of a strategic role in world evangelism. Some are even holding highly recognizable positions, such as Dr Thomas Wang heading up the AD2000 Movement.

But as a whole, the Asian Church is currently producing localized leaders who are effective in their own culture, among their own people. Only a few are also gifted with multicultural flexibility and availability. However, I believe that in days to come we will see more and more Asian leaders who are bigger than their own church, or their own denomination; bigger even than their own nationalities. Because they are totally for the kingdom, they will take a vital role in Christian leadership worldwide.

Q. How will Asian leadership be different?

A. Over the last one hundred years Christian leadership has been primarily trained with a Western theology. This theology has a strong emphasis on the Gospel as the knowledge of God, and the wisdom of God. But there is a general lack of understanding and application of the Gospel as the power of God see 1 Corinthians 1:24. Thus the propagation of the Gospel has been mostly information based, and somewhat ‘powerless’ in a warfaring sense.

Now we’re seeing an influx of Asians along with Africans and Latin Americans into the overall leadership of the Church. Because of their cultural and historical backgrounds, they have a far better understanding and application of the Gospel as the power of God. Signs, wonders and power encounters are more common to their thinking and lives. I see this having a balancing effect, enabling the Church to make great advances into the world of darkness.

Q. There are some who believe that this ‘power of God’ belongs to another age. Yet we hear many stories of signs and wonders in Asia leading to mass conversions. Is God doing something different in Asia?

A. God is creative. He doesn’t have to repeat himself in any way. But I do see that He has a pattern of operation when it comes to breaking up new ground, opening up new countries.

He allows new signs, wonders and miracles to take place to create tremendous impact. Because Asian cultural influences include a traditional dominance of spiritism and spiritual activities, God has to use signs, wonders and miracles in a very, very phenomenal and outstanding manner to demonstrate that there is no other god but Himself.

I believe He also wants to demonstrate to people in the West that He is a God of power, a God of might. He is the Great Physician. Unfortunately for many, God is our last resort, and not the first and only resort. Therefore we don’t go to Him as desperately and frequently as our Asian brothers and sisters, seeking Him regularly for supernatural intervention. A Biblical principal is that the more you ask the more you receive; the more you knock, the more the doors are opened; the more you seek, the more you will find. That perhaps is one reason why we see more signs, wonders and miracles in Asia. They knock more. They seek more. They ask more.

Q. If God is raising up His Church through mass conversions and is refining it through persecution, where is God taking His people?

A. As I see the events happening all about us, I summarize the work of the Holy Spirit as ‘Immanuel and Maranatha’.

Firstly, I see God being with us. God is not only being with us in a theological way, a historical way, in a hearsay way: ‘I hear that God is doing this and this and this… wow!’ But God is with us in a very ‘Immanuel’ way: personal, current and relevant. And you know it: you sense it, you hear it, you see it, you touch it.

I am sensing that God’s Spirit is taking His people to a realization of the reality of Christ. Jesus is very real. As I fellowship with Christians in China, I don’t hear people saying, ‘We heard about,’ or ‘We read about,’ but rather ‘I experienced Him, I touched Him He touched me, He revealed Himself to me, I saw Him, and also He healed me.’ He is Immanuel in a first person, hands-on manner.

On the other hand I am seeing ‘Maranatha’. Christ is coming back very soon. I think I have never seen the world so shaken up, so disrupted, so changed to the point where everyone is in a state of confusion, flux, and uncertainty. Countries and peoples who previously were not particularly open to the Gospel are becoming receptive. With that kind of openness, the Church is presented with an unequalled opportunity: publish the good news, and proclaim the Gospel ’till He comes.

That’s where I see He’s taking His people. He is giving His people a strong sense of the reality of Immanuel. He is also giving us a strong awareness of Maranatha. Something really big is going to happen very soon.

Q. How can West and East work together to support and encourage each other?

A. In my 25 years of ministry I have seen some basic changes in the relationship between the Asian and Western Church. In the beginning there was a total reliance on the Western missionaries for personnel, provision and prayers to meet the needs in Asia. Everything seemed to be reliant on the West. Then I saw the pendulum swing to the other extreme. One general mood was ‘Missionaries, go home!’ Even missions echoed such a cry. Total dependence swung to total independence.

Now I see a new and more balanced phase: a phase of interdependence. I think both the Eastern and the Western churches have matured to accept the validity of each other, with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I see them valuing each other’s giftings. I see more and more a symbiotic relationship developing where we say, ‘You rely on me and I rely on you.’ We now recognize that we need each other to survive, to perpetuate.

I do not call this relationship a partnership. Partnership is often an arrangement of convenience. I would like to see more of a marriage relationship developing, which is not an arrangement of convenience but of mutual commitment and trust. It is a body relationship.

I have seen Asians receiving Westerners, and I pray that Westerners will increasingly receive Asians.

Q. What has been the burden of prayer upon your heart, above all else, about Asia?

A. In Asia I have seen churches grow from nothingness into, perhaps, the biggest churches in the world today, such as Yonggi Cho’s church and now the Hope of Bangkok, and several others such as the Full Gospel Assembly of Malaysia. I saw them when they were small, and now they’ve grown tremendously. As I look at this kind of phenomenon, the thing that encourages me greatly is to see the birthing and the growing up of a church. The thing that concerns me is that often the church started as an organism and ended up as an organization; started as a corporate body of believers and ended up as a corporation.

My prayer for Asia is that I want to see the basic, beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed, and a simple, pure bride of Jesus Christ prepared. That’s my prayer.

(c) Asian Report, March/April, 1992 (G.P.O. Box 3448, Hong Kong).

Used with permission.

________________________

Renewal Journal: 2 Church Growth(c) Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth (1993, 2011), pages 69-76.
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