A real Christian would naturally be very interested in revival and awakening. In recent years, certain streams have begun in the Body of Christ which have had considerable influence in a short time. One thing is clear, intelligence alone is no defense against deception – no matter who is right. My personal view is that we should major on majors, and minor on minors. We should major on God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, worship, prayer, fasting, evangelism, faith, hope and love.
Where Does Christian Revival Exist?
It seems that right now the strongest Christian revivals are in South and Central America. We have a lot to learn from our Spanish and Portugese speaking brethren. There are tens of millions of on-fire Christians in Brazil, and men like Carlos Annacondia are shaking Argentina with undeniable manifestations of the power of God. I strongly recommend his book “Listen to me, Satan!”. Guatemala is on the way to being 50% born again Christian, and the harvest is ripe all through central America. There are also some revivals in China, a strong Christian presence in South Korea, and in some African nations. Parts of India have been touched by revival. No revival is perfect. Until now God has not raised up sufficient numbers of western Christians to take up the cross and carry the true fire of revival faithfully. We need to pray more for this. The seductions of the world still dominate the western church in a large measure. It wouldn’t hurt if we quit watching T.V. and wasting time on our own entertainments, and turned our affections and passions towards Jesus Christ and the Kingdom purposes of God.
Falling Down and other Manifestations
The time has come when God is looking for people who can stand in His presence. Can you stand in his anointing and minister before unbelievers in a hostile environment? May God get us all to that place. Personally, it doesn’t impress me much when people fall over into the arms of a waiting Christian assistant. Yes, God does sometimes knock people over when he touches their hearts. Let God be God. However, many times people are trained to fall when God touches them, in order to prove they are not resisting the Spirit. Its not always that way, but I believe it often is. Let’s see if people will listen to the Spirit outside of the sanctuary! Unless that happens, unbelievers will never be impressed, and we just up hyping up a revival, trying to convince ourselves that we’ve got something when in fact our marriages and other important relationships may be in serious trouble.
If everyone who was knocked over had gone on to live for God consistently, the world would be a different place. Lots of Christians who were never knocked over physically have changed the world. I repeat, let’s major on majors. I’ve prayed for lots of people who have been knocked over by God, but that wasn’t a revival. We can shake, rattle and roll and that’s fine but in the end it is steadfastness, perseverance and godly determination to keep walking in the Spirit when it is difficult to do so that will produce major victories.
Charles Finney’s Revival Lectures – Download these lectures on how to have a revival, from the 19th century evangelist who rocked America. Many elements of Finney’s theology would be almost universally rejected today, but God didn’t seem to care. People were cut to the heart, and it is reported that 80% of Finney’s converts remained true to Christ to the day of their death.
Finney believed that revival was the work of man, and that it consisted in a new beginning of obedience to God. He believed that when men do what God says, God does work by His Spirit to persuade more and more people to repent.
I am hearing of a move of God in Shillong, North East India, as at the time of this revision of the article, February 2007. See Shillongrevival.com.
When I began this website in 1997, there was something of a move of God happening in Brownsville Assemblies of God, Pensacola FL. Millions of people from around the world came to hear the powerful preaching of Evangelist Steve Hill and also to a lesser degree to hear the teachings of Dr Michael Brown and Ps John Kilpatrick. Steve Hill urged people to repent. I visited the church a few times. The fear of God was in the place especially during the messages and the altar calls. Afterwards, people were hungering for a touch from God and various kinds of responses took place.
Sadly, it seems that the Holy Spirit was grieved in this move and the core team split up. The Assemblies of God hierarchy wanted to force Michael Brown to join the Assemblies of God, and he didn’t believe it was right or necessary. So they ditched him and it wasn’t long before anything outstanding about that move stopped.
Lots of people were stirred to repent and preach repentance through those meetings, yet it seems that the local area was pretty untouched by the revival. So it fell short of the mark of what a true revival is supposed to achieve. Steve Hill has become a pastor in Dallas and is still preaching fiery messages on TV and in his church. But perhaps the opportunity for America to be awakened came and went, despite the noble efforts of Steve Hill and others.
To me it seems there is a lot of phony conviction-less preaching and ministry in America even today that tries to pass itself off as being part of a move of God. There were elements that sought to define revival in terms of outbreaks of weird manifestations and over time Christians have realized that this basically amounted to a deception. I would say that not all that people were calling “the Holy Ghost” really was the work of the Spirit of God at all. Other counterfeit spirits were at work in the church. I hope we all learn from this experience.
This was published many years ago. Although some valuable ministry may have taken place at the time, no revival broke out in Brisbane or Australia. I lived in Brisbane in 2003, much after this.
The Brownsville Revival – my comments in about 1998. Today I would be more reserved on the whole Toronto thing. But even then, I was raising questions.
Jonathan Edward’s – Distinguishing Marks of a Work of God – summary and comments by MF.
On what happened with Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and Rodney Howard Browne