Revival is not a religious commotion. It is not special meetings with an evangelist preaching each night even though these things might accompany a revival. A revival is when the Holy Spirit of God descends on a group of people in such a powerful way that it leaves a permanent change on those affected.
This Spirit of power and change actually came the first time shortly after the Lord Jesus ascended up from the earth. The plan of God actually was for Jesus Christ to be crucified on the cross. This was to prove to the world that everything he had said in the Old Testament was actually going to happen exactly as he predicted. It was also proof to the world that He loved the world enough to die for them. Every prophesy of his birth, his public ministry, his betrayal by Judas and then his death on the cross and his resurrection were all predicted in the Old Testament and then fulfilled in the New Testament records. He had a meeting with his eleven chosen apostles the night before he was crucified and told them that he would send the Holy Spirit to continue what he had started. He told them all the things the Holy Spirit would do when he comes. It was a very important part of the instruction he gave the 11 apostles that night. After his murder or crucifixion by the corrupt Jewish religious court and then the Roman courts then scourging and death on the cruel cross he told everyone he would rise again in three days. It was another prediction that was fulfilled to the exact detail. After His resurrection He stayed around for another 40 days to prove that he was the indeed resurrected. However, he had given another promise and it was that he would send the Holy Spirit to help his Apostles continue what he had started and that He would be leaving for an uncertain amount of time. He told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit who would come then they would be able to continue the plan he started for the Kingdom of God and it would affect the entire world in time. Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Only 120 people really believed him and stayed and waited for 10 long days for the promise to be fulfilled. There were thousands of people pouring into Jerusalem for an important Jewish religious tradition and celebration called Pentecost. Pentecost was 50 days after another religious celebration the Jews celebrated called Passover. God had this all so amazingly well the planned and sovereign control that Jesus Christ died on Passover celebration then 50 days later on the Pentecost celebration the Holy Spirit descended on Jerusalem. However, they never imagined the significance of Christ dying on Passover then him being raised on the first day of the week which is Sunday. He then sent the promised Holy Spirit on the Jewish Pentecost celebration. This was all very significant in the Jewish religious types being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It took a while for even the followers of Jesus Christ to figure this all out but it was revolutionary.
When the Holy Spirit descended on Jerusalem on the day of the Pentecost celebration there were multitudes of people meeting in Jerusalem. They had done this for centuries each year. This year both Passover and Pentecost were actually going to have spiritual fulfillment because the Son of God was going to fulfill what these two very significant Jewish celebrations were actually designed to be completed with Christ becoming the Passover for millions of people through the next 2000 years and also when the Holy Spirit arrived on Pentecost it began a Holy Spirit movement that has continued for 2000 years. There were amazing things happened on that Pentecost day. People were saved, added to something new called the church but also promised and predicted by Christ before His death. These people were also given the ability to speak with tongues. The tongues of the New Testament are misunderstood by so many well meaning Christians. The tongues they spoke were actually languages that others could understand. It was not the mystery language that so many claims are tongues today. It is important that what we believe is truth and there is only one way to get truth and it is from the Bible. One important function of the Holy Spirit is to reveal truth and to teach truth. Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The other major role of the Holy Spirit since the first time he ascended on Jerusalem in 34AD is to convict the people about their sins and their false righteousness and of coming judgment. He explained the night before he died as follows: Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter(The Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. Joh 16:8 And when he(the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
So we see one of the main roles of the Holy Ghost is to convict people of their sin and that is exactly what happens in a Christian revival and if this does not happen it is not a real God sent revival. One mark of a true revival is that everyone everywhere becomes very aware of their sins. Sin becomes so real and so unbearable for everyone. However, God also provided the solution for people convicted of their sin. It is cleansing and forgiveness through the blood of his Son. When people convicted of their sin confess their sins we find release from our sins through spiritual cleansing as follows: 1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
During the revival in Saskatoon in 1971 there were newspaper headlines that quoted the police chief of Saskatoon at that time saying he has never witnessed anything like this in his career. People were coming to the police station regularly confessing crimes they had done in the past and wanted to clear their conscience by telling the police. This came because the Holy Spirit had convicted them of their sins. It is a work of the Holy Ghost. It is the most important mark or a true revival. Most of what Christian people call revivals today are not true revivals. Their maybe some religious meetings with lots of excitement but if there is not a real conviction and confessing of sins, crimes, wrong doings, thefts, and a host of other sins confessed and forsaken then it is not a true revival. Our cities, our country needs a true revival. Everything would be radically changed for good all over our country. To be continued next week part 4;
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