Thursday, February 23, 2006

When Revival Ran Epidemic

"When Revival Ran Epidemic"

Words from other authors.....

Sometimes it is during the days of hopelessness and despair that
revival comes to a people! So it was in the middle of the nineteenth
century. In the United States, it was a spiritual, political, and
economic low point. Many people had become disillusioned with
spiritual things because of preachers who had repeatedly and
falsely predicted the end of the world in the 1840's.

Agitation over the slavery issue had bred much political unrest, and
civil war seemed imminent. A financial panic hit in 1857. Banks
failed, railroads were bankrupt, factories closed, unemployment
increased. Many Christians realized the need for prayer in such
dire situations, and prayer-meetings began to spread around the

In the lower Manhattan section of New York, a Dutch Reformed
church had been steadily losing members; they hired missionary
Jeremiah Lamphier to reverse the trend with an active visitation
program. However, he had little success in awakening church
members by his visits, so in September, 1857, he rented a hall on
Fulton street in New York City and advertised its availability for
prayer meetings. Six men assembled for that first prayer meeting
on September 23. Two days later the Bank of Philadelphia failed.
In October the men began praying together daily; on October 10
the stock market crashed. The financial panic triggered a religious
awakening, and people flocked to the prayer meetings. Within six
months 10,000 people were gathering daily for prayer in New York
City alone.

The movement explodes:

Other cities also were experiencing a renewed interest in prayer.
In Chicago, the Metropolitan Theater was filled every day with
2000 people assembling for prayer. In Louisville, several thousand
came to the Masonic Temple for prayer each morning. Two
thousand assembled for daily prayer in Cleveland, and the
St. Louis churches were filled for months at a time. The newly
formed YMCA also played an important role in holding prayer
meetings and spreading the revival throughout the country.

When media actually helped:

In February 1858, Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald gave
extensive coverage to the prayer meeting revival. Not to be outdone,
the New York Tribune devoted an entire issue in April, 1858 to
news of the revival. News of the revival quickly traveled westward
by telegraph. This was the first revival in which the media played
an important role in spreading the revival.

Prayer everywhere:

The prayer meetings were organized in the cities by lay people
and were interdenominational.

Unlike earlier awakenings, prayer rather than preaching was the
main instrument of revival. Tents were often set up as places
where people could gather for prayer, introducing a custom
followed by later revivalists. The meetings themselves were very
informal -- any person might pray, exhort, lead in a song, or give
a word of testimony, with a five minute limit placed on each
speaker. In spite of the less structured nature of the prayer
meetings, they lacked the extreme emotionalism which some
had criticized in earlier revivals.

This was the first revival beginning in America with a worldwide
impact. From the United States the revival spread to Ireland,
Scotland, Wales, England, Europe, South Africa, India, Australia,
and the Pacific islands. In geographical and proportionate
numerical extent, the revival of 1857-1860 has not been equaled.
Even ships coming into British ports told of the revival in America.
Ireland soon began to experience a prayer meeting revival as well,
with crowds becoming so large they had to meet in the open air.
When John Cairns preached in Belfast in May, 1859, he had
never before seen such eagerness to hear the gospel or lives
which had been so transformed by the revival. He said: "Nature
does not contain any epidemic so like to Christian conversion."

When Andrew Bonar heard of the work in Ireland, he increased his
prayer for a revival in Scotland. In his diary of July 3, 1859, he
wrote, "Again this night in sorrow of heart over the terrible
carelessness, indifference, deadness of this 'valley of dry bones.'
O my God, come over to Scotland and help us!" Within two
months Andrew Bonar found himself in the midst of revival in
Scotland. On September 10th he wrote in his diary, "This has
been a remarkable week: every day I have heard of some soul
saved among us..." All classes became interested in salvation,
backsliders returned, conversions increased, and Christians
desired a deeper instruction in spiritual truths. Families
established daily devotions, and entire communities underwent
a noticeable change in morals. Not celebrities but ordinary people
praying. Similar changes were noted as the revival spread to
Wales, England, and beyond.

There was an absence of great names connected with the revival;
lay people in prayer were the prime instruments used by God in
awakening the people. The preaching, which in many areas had
become too intellectual and lifeless, now concentrated on the
truths of the gospel of Christ and His cross. The results of the
revival of 1859 in the areas of evangelism, missions, and social
action continued for decades.

Many who became Christian leaders during the second half of the
nineteenth century were greatly affected by the revival-- such as
D.L. Moody, William Booth, C.H. Spurgeon, and A.B. Simpson.
As James Buchanan of Scotland summarized, it was a time when
"new spiritual life was imparted to the dead, and new spiritual
health imparted to the living."

Getting a people spiritually ready to face tragedy:

The revival of 1859 had similar effects in the North and the South,
and may have prepared many Americans spiritually to survive the
horrors of the war that broke out a few years later. The awakening
continued into the Civil War period, a great revival occurring in the
Southern armies in 1863-64.

God's Method for Revival

God's Method for Revival

Words from other authors

In Luke 1:34 we find another lesson on revival. Here Mary asks the angel Gabriel, "How can these things be, since I do not know a man?" How can an inexperienced young girl bring forth the visitation of God without the help of man? To the natural mind, such things seem completely impossible. Nevertheless, Zech. 4:6 reminds us that the works of God are not born by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit. True revival is not the product of human planning and creative fund raising. Revival is never dependent upon our temporal holdings and material assets. The only assets the Church of Acts had on the day of Pentecost was a 120 humble intercessors. Still, there are those who claim that if they just had enough money and manpower, they could revive America and save the world. All such boasting is complete nonsense!

For too long the Church has been victimized by ambitious men who cut corners by leaning on the arm of the flesh. No amount of promotion and clever scheming will ever make God's Kingdom come to earth. E. M. Bounds plainly states it this way, "It is much easier to engineer a great religious movement by human forces than it is to break our hearts and humble ourselves in the dust before God." In Luke 1:35 Gabriel answers Mary's question in the following way, "And the angel answered and said unto her, 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.'" In other words, stop looking to MAN and start seeking God alone as your Provider and strength. Revival power is born of the Spirit through faith and humility, not by the power of fleshly methods. Are we planning and pleading with fickle men, when we should be fervently praying to a faithful God?

Oh That You Would Rend The Heavens!

Oh That You Would Rend The Heavens!

by Michael Edds

The great prophet Isaiah cried out to God, "Oh, that You would rend the heavens and that you would come down and that the mountains would shake at Your presence." 

This has been the passionate plea of a holy remnant of believers though out the generations who have been desperate for Heaven-sent revival. They have cried out for the restoration of the Presence of God in their lives and in the church.

No doubt, it was the cry of Martin Luther, leader of the Great Reformation, who wept over the corruption, apostasy and spiritual impotency of the church of his day.

It surely was the cry of John Wesley, the fountain head of the great Methodist revival of the 1770's, who was sickened by the same church scene.

It had to have been the cry of Charles Finney as he surveyed the divisions and fighting among the churches in New York prior to the great revivals there.

In  1948, it certainly was the cry of blind and aged Peggy Smith and her invalid sister ( the two great intercessors for the great revival in the Hebrides Islands off the west coast of Scotland) as they lamented over the churches, which were devoid of the power of God and vacated by the youth.

It must have been the cry of young Evan Roberts, the leader of the 1905 Welsh Revival, as he hungered for a mighty visitation of God that would free his nation from the slavery of religion and from sin.

"Oh, that you would rend the Heavens and come down" has always been the cry of the true Church, that living organism...the Body of Christ. That cry is rising in crescendo throughout the world again.

Oh, what a dark hour in which we live! While visiting the web sites of many evangelical, "spirit-filled" churches, we see the church of today seeking relevancy in the world, to "reach" people. Their methodology has been to offer people quite a religious shopping mall of offerings. Home groups and classes are offered in an array of interests such as "Improving You Sex Life, Learn to Play Basketball, Mastering French, Photography Made Easy, Praise and Exercise, Motorcycles are Fun and How to Invest and Make Money." These web sites offer Christian cantatas, musicals, and dramatic presentations. The web sites listed world-renown televangelists, celebrities and famous musical groups making special appearances at their churches. Many dinners, fellowship banquets, and fund raising gatherings garnered much of their web site space.

However, there are some things strangely missing on these beautiful web sites. Where are the listings for the home groups whose focus is prevailing prayer, where are the announcements for "fasting" banquets where Christians gather, weep, fast and pray for an awakening in our day? Where is the schedule for speakers like Father Nash (the prayer engine behind Finney's great revivals and who died on his knees in intercession for revival)? Where are the special services listed for the anointed musicians like Charles Wesley, Amanda Berry Smith and Ira Shankey would could bring the celestial presence of Heaven down to earth?  Where is a recap of the "sermon of the week" entitled, "Oh, that You would rend the heavens and that you would come down and that the mountains would shake at Your presence? Where is even a mention of the hunger for revival in our day? 

All of these are sadly missing. The church is too busy being relevant in its patchwork quilt offerings of programs. Have we forgotten that when HE rends the Heavens and comes down and revival sweeps into homes and lives that ALL needs are met? Have we forgotten that only He can radically change lives, families, communities and nations? Have we forgotten, as a church, our real purpose here on earth is to manifest the life, the power and the presence of the Living God? Have we forgotten that the key to the healing of our land is through humbling ourselves in prayer, seeking His face, and turning from our glitzy, PR laden, wicked ways? Did I say wicked? Yes, I did! We have sprinkled humanism all throughout our efforts to reach and influence the world. Humanism is nothing more than man trying to do God's job. It is the elevation of the influence of man and his efforts. Anything unlike God's way IS wicked!

Church history and revival history point the way to hope. God has always had a remnant, a holy seed of believers who will settle for nothing less than the manifestation of God Himself. Rejected by the apostate church of their day, they have refused to accept its cheap, deadly religious offerings. "Oh, that You would rend the heavens and that you would come down and that the mountains would shake at Your presence!" Throughout the generations of man, this cry has ascended before the throne of God. Prior to every Great Awakening, this desperate plea begged for an audience with the King of Kings. It was this cry that moved the heart of God Himself. It was this passionate prayer that caused the Heavens to burst forth and righteousness to rain down upon the earth. It is this cry whose volume is rising louder and louder each day. It is the cry that will reopen the historic, old wells of revival, that will cause the fallen mantles of ministry to be picked up and placed upon men and women of God, and will cause a bursting forth of the new fountains, a new move of the Holy Spirit. It is the cry of THE CHURCH, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, who longs for her Lord. It is this unrelenting prayer that is bringing Him down one more time in one last mercy call to a church and a world who have forgotten Him.

Enrolled in the School of Dung

There is a special remnant of believers whom I call the "Joseph Generation." They are a divinely appointed people that God has been preparing for a specific time of ministry. Like Joseph, God has placed within them a "life plan" or specific destiny or calling to fulfill in life. They have divine gifting within them to fulfill that life plan. Paraphrasing Psalms 139:16, the Scripture states: "All the days planned for me were written in Your book before any came to be." Ephesians 4:8 records these words, "When He ascended on high He gave gifts (His abilities) to men and women." The heart of God is recorded in the words of Matthew 9:36, "When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them because they were weary, scattered like sheep having no shepherd." GOD CARES ABOUT PEOPLE. That is His nature. His compassion always leads to action.


God looked down through the ages of time and saw a day and time that would bring starvation on the world and upon His people. In His compassion, God prepared a plan and a man in advance to meet that critical situation. He placed that plan along with the divine abilities to fulfill that plan in the soul and life of a man called Joseph. Jeremiah 1:5 states, "Before you were born, I knew you and set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. You must go everywhere I send you and say whatsoever I command you."

Joseph, like the Joseph Generation today was born by the will of God, not by the will of the flesh. Joseph was born with a life plan and abilities from God. Did he know the fullness of that life plan? No, he did not. He knew that he had administrative abilities, gifts and special insights. His destiny and life plan called to him through dreams, an inward sense of purpose and through circumstances. Did Joseph immediately step into his life plan and destiny? NO, he did not. He was enrolled in the "SCHOOL OF DUNG." Psalms 105: 16-22 describes that schooling. He was rejected and hated by his own brothers, sold into slavery, he was laid in irons and chains, his feet were hurt with fetters, he was falsely accused, innocently sent to prison, and the word of the Lord tried him severely. His destiny which called to him and life's situations were horribly in conflict. Life had gone to "hell in a hand-basket." Thoughts raged through Joseph's mind and soul: "God, you promised me wonderful things. What I am going through is the total opposite of what You revealed to me long ago. Why am I suffering rejection, false accusation, hatred and abuse? Where are You in all of this, Lord? Have you forsaken me? Were all those things just a mere dream, a fantasy of my mind? Why does this inward sense of destiny still call me when it looks impossible for any good to come to me?" THE WORD OF THE LORD TRIED Joseph!

When creating a vessel for special purpose or honor, a wise potter follows a certain procedure. There is a plan and destiny for the lump of clay in the potter's hands. The clay is pounded, pressed and pressure placed upon it to make it pliable. It is placed upon the potter's wheel and pressure applied to start molding it into shape. When the desired shape is achieved, the potter places his creation into the kiln for intense heat to be applied to harden it.

After cooling, stain is applied to this hardened pot. It is fired again to make sure the stain and colors are permanent. The pot is beautiful and ready for use, right? NO! The wise potter wants his creation to be completely ready for its intended purpose. He places it on a shelf in a dark, lonely place to age. When the time is right, he takes the pot out of the darkness and brings it into the light for use. Otherwise, an unprepared vessel could break and spoil the contents it carries.

The Word of the Lord tried Joseph. "Has God forgotten me? Has He abandoned me? Have I missed it somewhere?" Like the potter, God allowed Joseph to go through the "dung of life," the pressures, the heat, the staining and the lonely darkness in order to prepare him for the destiny which had called to him all of his life. God had not forgotten nor abandoned him. God heard Joseph's many prayers, laments, and cries of desperation. He felt the hurts and anguish of this man of destiny. Many times He would have wanted to and could have intervened to deliver Joseph. However, He tied His own Hands and refused to deliver Joseph out of ultimate love for him. He knew that if He took Joseph out of the "school of dung," that intervention would destroy the divine destiny God had prepared for him. It would destroy the process of making Joseph into a vessel of honor and use. The Word of the Lord tried Joseph until the day that His word came to pass. That word was, "the king has need of thee." Joseph's prison door was opened, his garments changed, and he was ushered into the presence of Pharaoh. He went from prison to position in ONE HOUR!

His destiny had arrived! All of the dung and hardships that Joseph had gone through suddenly made sense. People had meant those things for evil BUT GOD HAD MEANT IT FOR GOOD, FOR THE SAVING OF MANY LIVES. Joseph was completely ready and prepared for the destiny for which he was created. He never failed nor dropped the ball. He successfully fulfilled the plan of God.

A special generation now exists that has felt throughout their lives an inward sense of destiny and purpose. That destiny has called to them every day of their lives. That divine destiny has called to them through dreams, visions, an inward desire or passion, and through circumstances. However, like Joseph, they have been enrolled in the "school of dung." They have unjustly suffered rejection, jealousy, hatred, been forgotten, falsely accused, and have been misunderstood. Their pure motives have been suspect. Their love has been not been reciprocated. They have felt imprisoned on an island of loneliness and rejection. Life has not been kind nor gentle to them. The Word of the Lord has severely tried them. Their divine destiny or life plan has been in conflict with the situations in which they find themselves. Their prayers seem to bounce off a heaven made of brass. They feel that they have been placed on a dark, lonely, dusty shelf. Purpose has evaporated. They have even cried out to God to "just take me on home." Where is God in all of this?

Out of infinite love, God has allowed this generation, this Joseph Generation, to endure this school of dung. He has refused to intervene until they had been prepared and perfected for the destiny to which He has called them. He is creating a generation that will be "selfless" rather than "selfish." Like Joseph, they will graduate from the school of dung as vessels of honor. They will not fail nor drop the ball. They will be totally prepared to fulfill the destiny to which God has called them. They have been prepared for a day and an hour of great ministry. They will be ushered from prison to position suddenly. The time has come for the "Master Potter" to walk into that dark lonely room. He will stretch forth His Hand onto that dusty shelf and pick up the vessel that has endured the long night of solitary isolation. Gently, His Hand will wipe away the dust and bring forth that special vessel. The words will be spoken, "The King has need of thee." The time of preparation will have ended. Destiny will have come! The long endured hardships will suddenly make sense. Joy will overtake them. The life plan and gifting will be activated.

The Joseph Generation is a secret weapon that God has prepared in the school of dung, in the darkness, in the isolation for such a time as this. They are about to be suddenly unleashed upon the kingdom of darkness. God has prepared them to meet the great needs of this present generation. They will have the Master Potter's image upon them. They will have the forgiving heart of Joseph who said, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good to the saving of many lives." They will be a selfless people who will give the glory to God. They will not fail. So, Joseph Generation, take heart. Your bitter night is about to end. It is sunrise not sunset. Joy comes in the morning! Even now, the door is being unlocked and opened. Listen for the words, "the King has need of thee." God has not forgotten you! Yes, He has seen your tears and heard your cries. He is opening a door which NO MAN can open or shut. ... Josephs take courage! THE KING HAS NEED OF THEE!
(Michael Edds - author)

This Is Revival!

This Is Revival!

by Owen Murphy

When men in the streets are afraid to open their mouths and utter godless words lest the judgments of God should fall; when sinners, over-awed by the Presence of God tremble in the streets and cry for mercy; when, without special meetings and sensational advertising, the Holy Ghost sweeps across cities and towns in Supernatural Power and holds men in the grip of terrifying Conviction; when "every shop becomes a pulpit; every heart an altar; every home a sanctuary" and people walk softly before God, this is Revival! 

Today the word Revival has largely lost its real meaning. Our present generation, never having witnessed the mighty moving of God in nation-wide spiritual awakening such as has taken place in past generations, has little conception of the magnitude of such a "visitation." 

Heaven-sent revival is not religious entertainment, where crowds gather to hear outstanding preachers and musical programs; neither is it the result of sensational advertising - in a God-sent revival you don't spend money on advertising ; people come because Revival is there! Revival is an "awareness of God' that grips the whole community, and the roadside, the tavern, as well as the church, become the places where men find Christ. 

Here is the vast difference between our modern evangelistic campaigns and true revival. In the former, hundreds may be brought to a knowledge of Christ and churches experience seasons of blessings, but as far as the community is concerned little impact is made; the taverns, dance halls, and movies are still crowded, and the godlessness marches on. In revival, the Spirit of God, like a cleansing flame, sweeps through the community. Divine conviction grips people everywhere; the strongholds of the devil tremble, and many close their doors, while multitudes turn to Christ!

References Used: When God stepped down from Heaven by Owen Murphey