Back unto Revival

Dear beloved, when I started to write you this article I initially wrote about another subject. However, I broke off to have it resumed in a while but actually when I started to do so, I just could not. so I took some while in prayers until I felt  that GOD wants me to write about another feature "the revival" which is already takes a lot of my attention these days. Therefore I believe that this article delivers us a right message from GOD for these days in which we exist in. I pray that this Article touches our lives and makes us live according to God's intentions and plans to heart rejoices and to get His wills done.

Back unto Revival

My beloved, today we usually think or imagine that the revival is the abnormal estate that we aim to get to and live in. As If it is the temporarily estate we should come to every now an then. But let me assure you that this not what GOD wants for his people and Church. For when we refer to our Bible especially The New Testament – whether through the life of Jesus with His disciples or the life of the God's people and His church in the book of Acts – we will find out that the revival is the continuous reality that is living by the people of GOD.   

 

Precious friends, I want to remind you that the Holy Bible is the exact standard that we live thereby. As it reveals what GOD has in mind for our lives.  What the Bible says about the church and the people of GOD is natural estate the GOD wants His people to live by over all ages. It is true that the revival is not the estate that we come to and live by every now an then. It is not a momentarily visit by the Holy Spirit that He pays to that Church or to that country and continues for while and then fades out in a while .. The revival is not just an evangelistic crusade that stays in a place for a certain time. Certainly not, according to the Bible the revival is the permanent natural estate of the church.    

My friend, isn't true that whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning?  Isn't it true that the book of Acts is the book of the Holy Spirit's acts through the church? Isn't it true that what was written in the glorious book of Acts is what GOD wants us to learn and understand about the nature of the church according to what He imagines? Do not you agree with me that this Biblical illustration represents the natural truthful standard in which all believers should live thereby? If so then it is also the spiritual estate in which GOD wants us to live thereby.

Do you remember what happened when some spiritual infections affected some churches, did not The Spirit of GOD send them clear messages to have them regain their strength and get glowing again? Was not the Apostle Paul used by the Holy Spirit to revitalize the people of the Corinthian Church who walked in the flesh to wake them up to return from that estate and regain their eager, dynamicity and sanctified life? Did not Jesus manifest Himself to Apostel John when He was standing in the midst of His churches (golden candlesticks) and hold their servants and pastors in His right hand declaring that they are His churches in which He bought by His blood and that he jalousies on them and wants to protect them therefore? Did not He give – along with all what He gave of precious declarations – clear messages that expose to each Church its mistakes and weak points, and declaring too how they can rise up and be refreshed?   

Did these messages says that Jesus accepted this weak shape of some churches? Did they us that He was satisfied with those churches? Did Jesus accept the cold love in the Church of Ephesus? Or did He accepted the sin and the infections in the Churches of Pergamos and Thyatira? Did Jesus tolerate the dead estate in The church of Sardis  or the lukewarm and the unenthusiastic conditions of the church of Laodiceans?

Beloved, what is it then the message of Jesus to His church and to its leaders also to its people in these days? What does He have in His heart from thoughts and instructions to us? Do our churches satisfy Him? Is He pleased with our worship and ministry? Or Does He find in us whatever makes Him sad however makes Him keen to change it by His Spirit?

My friends, let's remember together the spiritual glowing estate that the Church of the book of Acts lived in. While we remember the church in its burning worship and ministry let's tender our hearts to the Holy Spirit to burn them over again. Let's us be long to signs and wonders that never stop but tell the whole world about the wonder GOD who loved them to the end and cares for them even died for them.

Beloved, I know that every now and then we see a quite bit of the revival, and we certainly thank GOD for what we started to experience but definitely we need more so let's forget those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before .. let's  press toward the mark for the prize. Let's not get enough with what has been done but instead press forward to experience all what GOD has in his heart for us, for our people and for our home countries in Jesus name. We want the revival to be the usual daily estate of all the people of GOD and His church in our country so that we would indeed be able to accomplish His mission and  be witnesses unto Him to everywhere .. from Jerusalem, to  all Judaea, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. So that many will return to Him.

Therefore, and before we go on with this article, let's humbly come together in prayers asking GOD to revive His church and people. Let's pray that He move towards everyone and touch us in a special contact visit to change our lives and burn us, you, your church and its leaders once again.

Revival Signs:  

In the next moments, we want to refer to the word of GOD to view this spiritual glowing and its signs, how was it and how should we be therein.

1- A filled Church with the Holy Spirit:  

The church was born in the day of Pentecost when the rushing mighty wind filled all the house where they were sitting and cloven tongues like as of fire  sat upon each .. So what does it tell us?

Jesus gave many teachings to His disciples besides they saw Him doing more other things. But now they themselves became responsible to do the same, and to preach the gospel into all the world and present Jesus as they saw and experienced Him. At this point they felt too powerless to be up to this responsibility. Well who is fitting to that responsibility? W ho can fulfill this mission? Then they've realized the importance of holding on God's promise that they receive power from on high after the Holy Ghost is come upon them. And that is only when they can get the power and the ability to witnesses and to preach the word of life to others.

Therefore the disciples did not go first to spread the gospel and accomplish the mission but they went up to the upper room to gather in assembly and to wait on God's promise to receive the Holy Spirit. And when they were filled with the Holy Spirit their life were changed, and what a change it was! They have turned from weakness to strength and they went in power to on God's resurrection and win thousands to Christ therefore.

Beloved, the disciple realized how powerless they were to go on this mission, so therefore the Holy Spirit filled them. And day after day they were realizing their great need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the strength at all times. Therefore they were gathering to pray for frequent and continuous filling with the Holy Spirit to be able go into the whole world in His power. (Acts 2:1-4, 4:23-31 and 13:1-3). Indeed, they knew that the flesh is weak and heavy but the spirit is ready, active and fired up. (Mark 14:38)

The disciples hang on the promise of the Holy Spirit, accordingly they have experienced the fire tongues comes upon each and fires up their lives and that is how the revival began and grew in constant. The revival is the burning life by the Holy Spirit. The revival is when the church glows by the Holy Spirit and lives in His fires, conquers any sluggishness and rushes to worship and to serve The Lord. Thus Paul the apostle said "Not slothful in business; fervent (glowing and burning) in The Spirit; serving The Lord" (Romans 12:11)

Yes my friends, the filled and burning life by the Holy Spirit is the revival. So if we want the revival we should give the Holy Spirit the space to refill us over again to make our lives glow with love and enthusiasm, and to fill us with eagerness and strength to live for the glory of GOD.

2- Passionate Burning Love:

Do you remember the sinner women who washed Jesus's feet with her tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head! (Luke 7: 36-50). Do you remember Mary who took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus and no flesh wisdom could seize her in spite of what others thought about her and how pointless it is to break that box, As if it is too expensive to be poured on Jesus feet who gave us himself.

That is how the people of GOD were burning in love to the one who loved them and even died for them. So therefore they loved him with passionate burning and sincere faithful love that never think about the cost. For so Mary Madalene cometh out early, when it was yet dark looking for a dead body (she did not know yet that He rose up from death) and no surprising angels attracted or distracted her (John 20:1- 18) because there was nothing enough for her but to seek and therefore to find the one she loves. Indeed  that is what we understand when we go through the different pages of the New Testament. These people sincerely loved Him. John the Apostle is the one who cried out: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us", is the same one who also cried out: "We love him, because he first loved us"  (1John 3:1 & 4:19)

3- Devoted life to GOD and to His mission:

"For whether we live, we live unto The Lord; and whether we die, we die unto The Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are The Lord's". (Romans 14:8) That is how the Apostle Paul expressed his vision about God's people life.  They are not only devoted to Him but they make Him the only center of their attention. People of GOD are living for Him and if they died they die for Him.

GOD was not one of their concerns but He was every thing to them. When you read the Bible you will see how they lived for The Lord from all of their hearts. And although the Son of man has no where to lay his head yet the people of GOD were ready to follow him wherever He went. ".. Jesus Said he that loses his life for my sake shall find it". (Mathew 10:39). Paul the Apostle also said " And I will very gladly spend and be spent for the kingdom of GOD" (2Coronthians 12:15). And there was the testimony of The assembly of the Church about Barnabas and Paul that were Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ .(Acts 15:26)

The first church did not love God just in words but loved Him indeed with devoted life that is focused on Him. And for they lived for what GOD wants and according to His intentions, He trusted them on His plan and handed His mission and assignments over them. So therefore they went everywhere as well as their Master did to spread the gospel and to preach the salvation message not considering any resistances, costs or exhausts. 

Yes they loved The Lord and lived for Him. Therefore they felt that they owe it to everyone – the Gentiles and the Jews – to preach them the salvation message. The Apostle Paul said: "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of The Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God"   (Acts 20:24). The Apostle Peter has stretched forth his hands, for another (the Holy Spirit) to gird him, and carry him everywhere and maybe to wherever he might not want, only to fulfill God's call to him to pastor and feed His lambs, and eventually he died the same way His Master did. (John 21: 15-19)

The Apostles were not the only ones who lived with that enthusiasm for the ministry of GOD but generations upon generations of the people of God also did so. The ministry was their major goal. The spreading of the Kingdom was their main concern. For we read that Epaphroditus was honored because of his work of Christ he was near unto death, not regarding his life.  (Philippians 2:29-30). We read also that Epaphras was always laboring fervently for God's people in prayers, that they may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. And we read about the church of Thessalonians that although it was newly established church, yet from it  sounded out the word of The Lord in regions and their near territories.  

For if there is an actual revival in a church you would not find it divided into working ministers and following people but all the people would be glowing as one body working together according to everyone's role and call to serve The Lord.

4- Victory over needs and the life burdens.

The personal needs and the practical challenges will always be there however, one of the indications of the actual revival is that the people of God remains concentrated in the His call and ministry even when they are through all different circumstances of the life, give themselves away and above all they focus first on God knowing that their needs are God's responsibility.

When the church suffered the persecution, they were distributed except for the apostles. So what did the people that were distributed do? They reached out spreading the gospel in every place they went to. They did not think about their lives or houses that they left behind but their focused burning lives were too strong to be turned off or distracted by the burdens of this life. Instead the gospel went everywhere and churches were sowed in every city around them (Acts 8:1-5 & 11:19-21)

The church of Macdonia was facing many financial needs but despite the fact of their deep poverty they had  great an abundance of their joy with GOD so they abounded unto the riches of their liberality. To their power, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves (2Corinthians 8:1-5) they knew that they were asked to financially give to spread the gospel and they did not draw back when they had to confront their needs or challenges.

The people of God were fully aware of His promise that He provides for their needs according to His Riches in glory. So they did not worry about these needs but had faith in the mighty God who gave them this promise: "But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mathews 6:33)

5- Pure and Holly Life:

"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound , God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein   ?(Romans 5:20 & 6:2)

This was the slogan of the first church. Yes they were preaching the message of the grace of God that forgives all sins but still that did not give them the excuse to deal in leniency with sin but they lived dead to sin with the Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul the Apostle continually declared: "Abhor that which is evil" (Romans 12:9) and repeatedly warned them: "Do not you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump"? Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1Corinthians 5:6-8). The Apostle Peter has also encouraged the believers to be holy in all manner of conversation. (1Peter 1:15)

The church was living in the fear of God, growing in the holiness and living in the righteousness of the Christ.. they were growing in their death to the world that was placed in the evil.. therefore it did not love the world nor the things in the world because the church knew that If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1John 2:15) Therefore, in such pure atmosphere, it was not too wired that Ananias and Sapphira fall in death under God's chastening who were tempted by the money so they tried to deceive the others and  lied on the Holy Spirit disrespecting God's holiness and His fear.

My friend and brother, certainly one of the revival signs is the pure and holy life that grows in us as we - by the power of the Holy Spirit- live in the fear of God.

6- Unity and brotherly love

There is no need to remind you how did Jesus focus on the unity and brotherly love and their influence in His teachings to his disciples. Jesus rose from His supper and washed the disciples' dirty feet giving them an example to wash one another's feet, and to serve one another. And in the same chapter He asked them to love one another as He loved them, because by this love all men know that hey are His disciples. (John 13:1-17 & 34:35) When the enemy attacked the disciples with selfish conflicts, they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. Jesus firmly confronted them in order to exposed and deal with this serious spiritual illness and then He taught them that who whoever wants to be the first has to be the last and a servant to everyone (Mark 9:33-37)

Nothing is more lovely than the prayer of The Lord Jesus for the unity between his disciples and people, asking the Father God: " .. they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you has sent me". (John 17:21).

Yes me beloved the unity and brotherly love are one of the true signs and keys of the revival. When there is no love the church loses its strength and influence and accordingly loses its revival.

The real revival that is made by the Holy Spirit is always joined by love and an extraordinary unity between the members of the one body. For it is impossible for a church that is filled with the Holy Spirit to not have a mutual love between its members. When the church was filled with the Holy Spirit and was born in the day of the Pentecost it was filled also with love that is beyond imaginations. In fact it is the love of GOD that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. And all that believed were together, and had all things common.  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. (Acts 2:44-46) And when the church was threatened they lifted up their voice to God with one accord and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,. (Acts 4:23-31) also when Peter was in prison prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.  ( Acts 12:5) When Paul was stoned and everybody thought that he is dead the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed to disciple many.( Acts 14:19-21).

Beloved, who does not know that the greatest among these is (charity) love.  Our faith and eagerness and even our giving become nothing if we have no love. When the Holy Spirit makes a true revival surely it goes with love and unity.

7- Power and Authority .. Signs and wonders

If you study the Bible and the book of Acts you will clearly see that the church was supported by the heavens and it was moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. You also how was the signs and wonders a clear indication of the revival.

When Peter the Apostle was explaining to the multitudes what happened in the day of the Pentecost he used the words of Joel the prophet about the last day that the Holy Spirit will be poured out, the spiritual gifts will be exploded, and servants will act as if they are drunk people (Acts 2:14-21). Definitely my friend you agree with me that we are in the very last days and for so we need the same great filling with the Holy Spirit and His powers to live in a real revival that manifests God's glory and let the multitudes know about mighty God.

indeed the signs and the healing powers that are mentioned in the chapter of Acts were not a luxury or extravagance that the church over needed  for a while   as some thinks or says. No, Those signs and healing powers were one of the real indications of the true revival besides they are one of the most important ways to accomplish the call and the glory of God. Look at the growing numbers of the believers that is added with every new manifestation of God's healing powers and deliverance. Look at the number that is added when the lam man of t the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful was healed (Acts 3:1 till 4:4). Listen to what the Bible says about Philip when he went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them, it says: " and the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed And there was great joy in that city. (Acts 8:6-8)

How amazing what the writer of the book of Hebrews says "  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will. (Hebrews 2:4) And also  how great was what the Apostle Paul wrote about his ministry " And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  (1Corinthians 2:1-5)  The true revival is made by the Holy Spirit and when He works surely we will see the evidence (manifestations) of Himself and His powers that declare the love of GOD to the multitudes through healing the sick, delivering the bonded, and the miraculous touches of God to His people's lives that are to protect them and to provide for their needs.

Did not we all have enough of the excellency and the wise speeches? Did not we all have enough from the sounded however powerless words that left the churches empty and the gospel preaching became ineffective? It is about time to return and admit  our weaknesses, let’s pray for a true revival that is according to God's intentions and standards. Let’s tender our hearts to the Holy Spirit to strengthen and enables us to do whatsoever we can not do. We have to admit that we really want the gospel to be preached not only by the words but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. (strong persuasion and effectiveness). (1Thessalonians 1:5)

O God we ask you to give us a your revival, that is in your way and not ours.

God we ask you to revisit us. We ask you to bring your church back to the actual revival estate.

Quake our churches .. shake our meetings.. break through all routines .. all weariness and all traditions.  Let the hearts of your servants, our leaders and pastors be utterly busyness with your work.. burn up your people’s lives so that they regain their unity, and do the work with one accord as members of your body.

 

God we ask you for a moving revival that restores the lives of your people .. change your regular attendees in your church.. restore their love, their passion .. revive their eagerness  to your Glory

 

Father, we ask you to give us a revival by the power of your Holy Spirit.. we ask you to give us an overwhelming revival with love, with signs and wonders. A revival full of devotion experiences and spending our lives so that we smell the nice ointment once again. A revival that is filled with faithful loving subservience that never concern about the cost for the glory of GOD.

 

Father we ask you for a revival that declares You to the whole world not by wise, not by words but in the power of the Holy Spirit that impacts the lives, massively changes people’s behaviors .. heals and do signs and wonders that manifests You.

 

Heavenly Father, assemble us again in your attic and fill us with your Holy Spirit and let us  receive your fire tongues to stay upon our lives.

 

Heavenly Father give us a new mission to outreach the whole world once again and to accomplish Your words about us .. : And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed (Mark 16:20)

 

Father use these words to burn up the lives of your people and to put them again on the fires of your revival .. Amen..

     

By :Dr. Youhanna Reda

Arabic Translation

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