Revival is Not a Magic Word
by Mike Jarvis
Let me just say at the beginning, I have restrained my words here as much as I can, to do more would be to short change everyone. This is not a personality issue, but a truth issue. I hope everyone that reads this will be as satisfied with what God has done on the cross as I am
It is not by accident, that those who speak or write concerning the state of the church, often repeat themselves
The condition of the church demands the reiteration of the Truth
The expression “New Testament Church Model” comes from religious people looking at what they can see in the New Testament and attempting to copy it, the result is various degrees of something akin to a fraudulent copy of a Masterpiece. Something made to be like the original but lacking the substance and power of the original
The current fad is to look at revivals of the past and attempt to copy them the result is very similar to the first, you get a copy, a congregation being conformed to ape what people can deduce from history, everything, apart from a real move of the Spirit. This does not please God. God however remains in love with us
If you look at historical events regarding “revival” (and believe me people have been looking), the main thing in all of them is the stuff of God, healing, spontaneous deliverance and supernatural signs and wonders. None of this can be orchestrated by a group of pastors, no matter how much they convince themselves they are in “unity” and “agreement”
What they are in is in fact a conspiracy, a conspiracy to make God move
They believe that He is waiting to receive the right number of prayers in his bowl, to see the right numbers of people at meetings, and the right amount of humility in the people and the hot topic currently, the right quality of Repentance!
How they judge the quality of our repentance is a question worth asking, however, I think it is probably related to how closely you stay in line
They don’t realise that all their efforts are a sort of divination, a sort of obsessive practice to create the right atmosphere, to persuade God to do their will
Leadership will often blame their congregations, they are sinful, disobedient, and proud and unrepentant, in short, despite the poor teaching and lack of truth it’s the congregation that is to blame for a lack of revival activity
Those things leadership looks for which prove revival is here. Of course this is a red herring, these things are simply an increase in religious duty, that makes leadership feel successful and validated
The main reason for a lack of real spiritual substance is that, the church does not know they are loved
If you don’t know you are loved so completely by god that you are thrilled and filled by that fact, you are unable to communicate it convincingly to anyone else. Let me pre-empt the protestations of “I know I’m loved” I don’t mean by deduction from scripture, but by the indwelling Christ the original Glory carrier the love that casts out all fear and overflows to all
If you know this you are probably really enjoying this article
Church is full of people with the facts in their head and not enough true experience of the indwelling Christ. From pastors down to pew fillers this is the condition. They are fed a compromise of Law and Grace that cripples them spiritually from being their true New Creation Identity. This makes not disciples of Jesus but religious Church Goers and that is how leadership likes it, how else can they measure their progress, except by seeing the “obedience” they have prescribed
It’s not their fault, when the blind lead the blind all end up ignorant and fall in a pit
God hates this, loves the church but hates what has been done to it. Why? Because The Father threw a party and we turned it into a chore
The Chore of the Law was done away with in the New Covenant
Colossians 1 says:
From v 20: If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world?
(indicating that a good Jew was still worldly until joined to Christ and that Religion then, is a worldly system),
[Why do you submit to rules and regulations?—such as but not limited to]
21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],
22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used.
To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.
Now really take this in:
23 Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation
(Such as Imposed Repentance perhaps ?) and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh]
And this is exactly where the current “revival party” has taken its stand, calling for a radical sack cloth extreme repentance, with the given example of Nineveh from the old testament for Justification, two words in bold and capitalised;
This is exactly the opposite of the Gospel that Paul Preached, as outlined above, insisting on the promotion of “Self-imposed” or Pastor imposed “rigor of devotion” (make sure you attend every meeting), and encouraging people to “delight in self-humiliation” this is done by citing the example of old covenant repentance as a worthy and honourable practice, Paul did not honour this
All this is simply Religion with a capital “R”. Jesus said beware the leaven of the Pharisees. What is this leaven?
Religious pride is the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and we are warned by Jesus and Paul to have no part of it
It therefore makes no sense to seek to make it the foundation of a revival
Jesus said to Peter “you do not know what Spirit you are of” when Peter was following what seemed good to him and not understanding the Spirit of God. The term could be used equally well in this context
How do we solve this situation? We need to understand that Revival is a Myth, let me explain
If a church needs revival it means it is dead, you do not revive a body that is alive, logical? I think so
What this means simply is that where Grace is preached in fullness, and people are lead to their identity as clean and holy new creatures they will come to know the freedom of the love that casts out fear and they will vibrate with joy and will share naturally the overflow of the spirit. If the congregation live there will be an overflowing of grace that will go out to the world, it cannot be contained it is part of the New Creation, if encouraged the spiritual inner man will get out and all the things that men are trying to now force into being will happen naturally. It does require the Church to believe the Gospel
It almost certainly will not be to our timetable but it will be to the Holy Spirits design and that is all that counts
The revivals of the past are often occasions where a freshly inspired individual, not necessarily a leader, has acted in faith and God has blessed this creates the phenomenon that has been termed revival. When this in turn touches the world significantly, it is termed an awakening. The root however is the Gospel
The finished works are neglected but they are the source of all good things
John gives this account from chapter 20:
19 Then on that same first day of the week, when it was evening, though the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace to you!
20 So saying, He showed them His hands and His side. And when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy (delight, exultation, ecstasy, rapture)
The finished works are the source of our Joy and our Joy the source of our strength
The Gospel needs to be explained so the revelation that people need can be obtained, there is no substitute for revelation. We have to be spiritually aware of our New Creation relation, Jesus, Friend, Brother and Teacher
We are so blessed in Him and so few are aware of it because they are misdirected to relating to the father not through the Son but through external religious means, law, tradition, man’s doctrines and denominational practice
Ephesians 2 recently blew me away, it says:
5. He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favour and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation)
6. And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together giving us [b]joint seating with Him in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One)
We are included in heaven now in Christ If we are entering His rest, trusting in what He has accomplished for us - we are already clean, his blood has washed us. We are Holy and all sin has been paid for, not so we can sin but so we can shake it off and be free in our minds that Jesus saves to the uttermost we are free indeed
Repentance is a word meaning change of mind, change of heart it is a work of grace not a pre-qualifying condition for it. If God can get a change of mind by grace, he can dispense with remorse and the emotion of remorse by bringing Joy. If we are born again we are new creatures with a new nature so the sin nature is removed from us (Paul's Gospel), we are set free. If not then Jesus died in vain
Remorse is often mistaken for repentance, remorse is sadness and regret for deeds done, it is perhaps legitimate but not as useful as joy for Grace, but church prefers it as they trust sadness more than joy it seems to display the right attitude
John 17 v 8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favour) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]
The Cross should be a place of great relief and glorying for us. The party begins there. It is the will of God
Jesus asks on our behalf: John 17 v 13 And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts]
If you have known one drop of this it changes your life forever
Come on pastors Preach the Gospel! It will revive your people and they will effortlessly bear fruit for Jesus as long as they are enjoying Him and his perfection.
Religion claims unity and agreement, but not to the point where leaders say, “lets dismantle our denominations and really present a united front in God”. This is how you know they don’t mean it. They all need their own empire and they love their differences more than the unity they pretend
“Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” but Jump right into the Party of His Joy, The Father is still throwing a party, and the whole world has been invited
Let me end with these Grace filled excerpts from Duncan Campbell speaking of the Hebrides Revival
Duncan Campbell on the Hebrides Revival:
“There are two things that I would like to say in speaking about the revival in the Hebrides. First, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I did not bring revival to the Hebrides. It has grieved me beyond words to hear people talk and write about the man who brought revival to the Hebrides. My dear people, I didn't do that. Revival was there before I ever set foot on the island. It began in a gracious awareness of God sweeping through the parish of Barvas”.
“Then I would like to make it perfectly clear what I understand of revival. When I speak of revival, I am not thinking of high-pressure evangelism. I am not thinking of crusades or of special efforts convened and organized by man. That is not in my mind at all. Revival is something altogether different from evangelism on its highest level. Revival is a moving of God in the community and suddenly the community becomes God conscious before a word is said by any man representing any special effort”.
When asked how it began he said this: “Revival began in an awareness of God. Revival began when the Holy Ghost began to grip men and that was how it began”. “Now perhaps I should go into some of the features that characterized this remarkable movement. Well, already I have mentioned to you that men were found in trances. Perhaps I should say this that in the Lewis revival we never saw anybody healed, that wasn't a feature of it”. (this does not exclude healing).
“At 4 o'clock, we decided to make for the manse. Of course, you understand, we make no appeals--you never need to make an appeal or an altar call in revival. Why, the roadside becomes an altar. We just leave men and women to make their way to God themselves--after all, that is the right way. God can look after His own. Oh, God can look after His own! And when God takes a situation in hand, I tell you He does a better work. He does a better work”.
This account is not a prescription but does reveal the gracious nature of God doing fine with people of faith, with as little intervention from men as possible yes they prayed, but they were responding to the Spirit not pushing the people up a hill.
Complete article can be read at http://www.shilohouse.org/Hebrides_Revival.htm
Mike Jarvis June 2012 ©
Agents for Change