Understanding The Times: Part 6- What is Scriptural Revival?
A cry will go forth… and truth be told it is already upon us. But it is not the cry of our heart that is being heard by those who discern the truth. It is the cry of His heart.
He is calling His church to come forth. He is calling His church to return to her commission and to her First Love.
The words will soon be on the mouths of many believers across this nation. The time is coming quickly. Those within His church are waking up, and will begin to seek the face of God and recognize our nation is in trouble.
Before I go on, let me preface what am about to share with this:
I believe a Great Awakening will come upon His Church… starting with a Remnant. Those who answer the call will learn how to move in the Holy Spirit with incredible power and holiness, that will overshadow every counterfeit that has been robbing the Church from her God given gifts of the Spirit.
“Revival! Revival!!” Will be the cry of the land from fellowships all over the country. Soon, we will see the body of Christ seem to rise up and in one accord seek to pray the Holy Spirit down on our fellowships and in our towns. We will ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us the form of the latter rains. We will ask for His anointing. “Use me, Lord. Use me!”
There is only one problem. This is not birthed from the throne-room of God. Let me explain.
More than ever before, the body of Christ needs to seek the mind of God and His timing in all things. Nowhere in the New testament are we instructed to “call down” the Holy Spirit. Nowhere does it say to pray the Holy Spirit will “bring revival.” It isn’t possible. He is already on the Earth. He lives inside His church body. He is already here. He cannot come again. He works through us.
We often like to quote Old Testament verses to support this idea of the Holy Spirit coming down and and bringing revival. The only scriptural Revival that the word talks about was prophesied under the Old Covenant. This was before the Holy Spirit came to live in us. This is when His presence would “come down” and visit. In the Old Covenant He would come and go. This was not good enough for God. He created man for intimate fellowship.. not visits.
This is the main thrust behind every prophetic utterance in the Old testament: A new covenant is coming. A better one. One where we become the temple.
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:27
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Jer 31:33
The reason there is so much confusion in the church body today is we simply have not been taught the New Covenant. We accepted Christ as Savior, but we do not understand, really, what the new, better covenant is.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19
“For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them and i will be their God and they will be my people.’” 2 Corinthians 6:16
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
We need to stop quoting, mediating on, and inaccurately overlaying the Old Covenant onto our Spirit-Filled walk. We think of the Holy Spirit in terms of coming down, and being among us. We quote the fire of Elijah, and the glory of the Lord descending upon the mountain, and we too pray and long for this. Here is the problem. The glory is in you.
The Holy Spirit is found in only one place. Inside you. We “find” Him in our prayer closet. Alone and without the emotional fanfare of pumped up worship music and emotional exhortations and preaching.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13
Just before Jesus fulfilled the requirement for our redemption, He reminded the disciples of what the prophecies said. The Holy Spirit was coming.
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:29
We ask for anointing? We should perhaps examine that doctrine as well. “Lord, send the anointing!” We cry. We beg and plead for the Spirit. This is a result of unbiblical teachings that have propagated the church and taken root in our minds and culture.
“As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27
This was fulfilled at Pentecost, brothers and sisters. We have access to this now. We have an anointing that abides. Did we forget that Peter quoted this verse on the day the Holy Spirit came and instituted the New Covenant?
“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” Joel 2:28-29
“Then Peter stood up…. ‘but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.’ ” Acts 2:14-18
So why are we still quoting this to God as if we are going to get Him to do something? The Holy Spirit doesn’t come a second time. He never left. He has been inside the church, giving Her access to union with the Head for 2,000 years.
This is the Spirit that is now IN you.!
Do we still not understand? We ARE His kingdom representatives. We are His kingdom on Earth. His ambassadors. His body. (2 Cor 5:20)
Nowhere… nowhere.. did Jesus say after the promised Holy Spirit comes, to then pray He will somehow move independently from His church. Nowhere does the New testament state we are to ask for the Holy Spirit to move across a backslidden country and somehow, in some mystic way, spread over the airways like the Angel of the Lord did in Egypt.
If we want to talk biblical revival what we are really saying is we are going to discuss the scriptural concept of reviving something.
“Revival” Definition : The act or an instance of reviving, an instance of returning to life or consciousness; restoration of vigor or vitality
What are we really saying when we admit we need revival? What needs to be revived? Where did the church go from His presence? If the kingdom is inside us, and we have access to the holy of Holies, how is it we are in need of something more?
Galatians is a solid place to start in looking for the answer.
“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Gal 6:8
Please…please…take note here Paul is addressing born-again believers. The “eternal life” referenced here is not the life to come, but rather the kingdom life we have access to. It’s His ever-existent, always and forever, dunamus power and life.
If we sow to this world, we reap the fruit of this world. Do we lack the power of the Spirit of God in our lives? Do we yet know what that is meant to look like in our personal walk? The New Covenant is full of scripture that tells us how the Holy Spirit is meant, longing, and yearning to flow through us to minister the power of the kingdom. Take some time to read the Acts Of The Apostles. They flowed in their intimacy with Jesus Christ and as a result the power of the Holy Spirit. Everywhere they went they brought the kingdom and released the kingdom. It wasn’t about where they “go to church.” It was about the condition of their personal relationship with their Messiah, and the promised Holy Spirit that lived inside them.
Brothers and sisters. You have the same Spirit inside you. You can do the same things that any other born again child of God did or does. Or is God a liar after all?
We have replaced our prayer times and hunger for His intimacy with “anointed” preaching and a decent portion of principled teaching on the “do’s and dont’s” of our christian walk. The power of our christian “walk” is not in our head. It’s not in our self-controlled conduct. It is birthed from union and intimate time spent in the presence of the Lord one on one. If we seek Him, we would not need to read about our purpose, or how to achieve joy, or how to be the best you can be… all these things are an overflow of walking in Kingdom life.
This is where holiness is worked out. This is where He convicts us of hidden sins and the rebellion of contending with His word. This is where He reveals to us we are His redeemed and that our self-worth is complete in Him and Him alone. This is where we learn to walk in the Kingdom authority, dominion and power that we were commissioned to walk in.
This is where repentance is worked out. I realize this is not fun for the body of Christ here in America. Is it pleasant to anyone, really?
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb 12:11
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” 1 Peter 4:1
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
The chastening of the Lord reaps the kingdom of heaven. It produces His nature. Righteousness, in our own being. We are forever seen as righteous, but to bring the kingdom into this realm means possessing its fruit in our lives and walking in it. After walking in it, we are told to give it to the lost. This is His kingdom power, manifested in whatever way He chooses to move through us… if we allow Him to.
This is what the Lord is calling His bride to. He loves you. He gave everything to you. It’s all found in Him. Seek His face as in the days of old when we first rejoiced that we were no longer bound for hell. The fullness of a life being walked out in Him and with Him above all things has no comparison to this world.
There are simply no words… but I shall try.
Ever see His eyes? Have you wondered what it feels like to exchange kingdom love for one another in a stare (what exactly is kingdom love)? Imagine for a moment a scenario where you are just with Him. You share something you relish with all your heart. A song, or painting or certain instrument you can hear playing in your head all day long, perhaps. Or maybe it’s something along completely different lines. Dawn, crashing waves, the tall grass that grows after the summer harvest… Ever ask Him what He thinks about the setting sun you are staring into halfway through a cross country trip in a “faith”car? Now picture a Person submersed in your interests. Nothing else exists… just you and Him. He tells you something He loves about how He made you (yet not with words and not with thoughts exactly)…
And then, abruptly… you turn and see someone at the cash register where you are paying for your gas. He starts to ask you to give them His love but you are already walking toward that person because you can feel your Father’s heart and see what He is doing in heaven already….
Ah…. but there are so many ways to give His love, aren’t there…?
He is calling His children to Himself. This nation needs a pure and spotless bride, whose heart beats for only one thing… to spend time with Him. This is what releases fire upon the hearts of the lost. This is what turns the lost to Christ. Nowhere.. nowhere, do the scriptures say we are to bring the lost to our fellowships. We are to go out and release upon them the love of the kingdom. Fellowship is meant to hone our gifts. But… it is the landscape of the world where we are meant to utilize them to set the captives free.
This cannot be faked. We can only give from the outflow of what we are abiding in.
“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'” Acts 3:6
The church has become so fiercely loyal to her pastors and teachers. We praise them. We speak of the amazing depth of their teachings. Do we speak of our Savior the same way? Can we even relate to Jesus the same way? Does His Spirit teach us in our prayer and study time? If the majority of our learning is coming during a Sunday/Wednesday gathering more than our own intimacy with the Lord.. there is a disconnect somewhere. It is no wonder we are so loyal…
This is not about “doing.” This is not about “works.” This is about relationship. No pastor, no elder, teacher, apostle or prophet ( do we even believe in all these functions anymore? How does the Holy Spirit even manifest Himself within the church body through the serving of the prophetic office, or the apostolic calling today? And where are these members of the body of Christ ? What are they doing? Sorry, I digress…) is meant to take the place of our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our Head, He is our Companion. His Spirit is our Comforter and Power. (Acts 1:8, Rom 8:11)
Since Pentecost, we have the Holy Spirit inside us. We too, are given a choice: Seek relationship and life in Christ, or walk according to the carnal-minded man and the dead things of the fallen world.
“…the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:19
Hmmm… but now we are beginning to discuss the idea of repenting from things that are of the world. By in large, the church in America does not like to discuss such things. Not many fellowships care much to discuss holiness, and sin. Is there another way around these uncomfortable aspects of our relationship with our Savior? Oh, yes. Let’s agree to pray for the Holy Spirit to move instead. Let’s call it “revival.” Why examine ourselves when we can just put the responsibility on the Lord instead? Too easy… We speak of an unbiblical concept of revival. We twist and mix Old Covenant theology, we ignore the great commission and create our own false doctrines that are now being taught and accepted without searching the scriptures.
The reason is simple enough.. and an easy one to fix.
Stop being afraid of accountability to God. Stop being afraid to give up the things of this world.
He has, and always will, call for His bride to come to holiness and righteous living, and repent of the spirit of worldliness. He is never calling for revival. He is calling for us to come home. Jesus gave us a commission and then told us to wait until the Holy spirit comes to abide in us, in order to be equipped to fulfill that commission. That was 2,000 years ago.
Do a search on every “move” of the Holy Spirit. Search out the true history of all the “revivals” that took place in the world. Read the diaries and the biographies of the men and women used of God to shake the nations.
Jesus had much to say about His church.. and continues to draw us to Him through repentance.
“Wakeup! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.” Rev 3:2
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Rev 2:4-5
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Rev 3:19
Revival starts with repentance. Revival starts with a return to holiness. Revival is the bi-product of returning our hearts back to our First Love. It is how the church becomes “revived.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t come to bring revival. That is a false doctrine not found anywhere in NT scripture. The only reference to God coming is Jesus in regard to His Second Return.
We are the ones that come. We are the ones that return. We turn back to Him.
How does one spell “revival” in Greek? I don’t know…. I never looked it up. But in English it’s always translated the same way.
We are not called to pray for revival. You will have no New Testament scripture to stand on. We are called to get our hearts right with God. We are called to judge ourselves and let Him judge us. (1 Cor 11:31, Luke 12:57, 1 Cor 4:3)
To judge means-“to separate, discern, distinguish.” We are called to do this in regard to the things that hinder us from enjoying the fullness of our relationship with Father God.
We are His ambassadors. The church. There is no plan B. This nation needs us to repent and walk with Him as in the Garden. Only then will the lost repent. Only in this way may this once Godly nation still be saved from complete ruin.
Brothers and sisters of our Father’s Kingdom. HE loves you…deeply. Intensely. Passionately, and without regret or remorse or the conditional condemnation/acceptance we learned from our youth. You are His beloved, and He is ours. The time is not coming for the church to pray for revival. It is time to ask Him to judge our hearts. His judgments are an expression of His love, not anger.
See what happens after that…