Millions of Christians want revival. They pray for it, ask God to make it happen, but revival is not up to Him, it’s up to us, and it’s about to happen if we let it.
It was after our Sunday fellowship that the men retired on brother Casey’s deck to talk. It was a bit odd that all of us were out there as some of us, myself included, would usually say our goodbyes and leave. When I got outside, brother Casey was talking to a brother in Christ. I sat and listened while the conversation centered mostly about Jesus, taking the Good News to others, what we, as Christians had to deal with, and problems in the world that needed the Lord. It was at this time that the conversation turned more Spiritual. Discussions came from brother Casey, brother Craig, brother Gary, and myself that really perked up the Holy Spirit in me. It was wonderful! There seemed to be an ebb and flow to the conversation that showed God’s Hand in the mix. When the Spirit gave each one of us incites, we prophecied.
Yes, I used the word prophesied, because that’s what it was.
For me, I was about ready to jump up, praise God, and speak in tongues! The pinnacle of the conversation, for me anyway, came when the Holy Spirit told me that “we (Christians) basically give Satan and demons weapons that they, in turn, use against us.” It was basically “an utterance,” an experience that I was very familiar with since my baptism. It was at that time that brother Casey pulled out scripture that validated what I had said and I basically jumped up and slapped Casey on the arm in agreement, my voice beginning to grow in volume as the Holy Spirit started to take hold.
Did I start to speak in tongues, fall down with laughter and tears – no, as it wouldn’t have been edifying to the body of Christ (gathering of men) on the deck. Speaking scripture, allowing the Holy Spirit to move within our small group and teaching each other was the goal for that night.
After I left, I reflected on the events of that evening and when I got home, I pondered the question “did I just experience what it might have been like in the 1st-century church?” I held that question in my mind while I drifted off to sleep.
Early the next morning, the Holy Spirit answered my question and gave me a (and I hate to use this next word) prophecy about what can happen, if we let it. What can happen in this country, churches across the globe, and to individual Christians is REVIVAL, but only if we let it.
So, what started the whole thing that evening, and is it Biblical?
There have only been a couple of instances in the book of Acts where the Holy Spirit “fell” on Christians WITHOUT the laying on of hands. One of those was at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) and the other was in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10.) Without going into specifics as to the leadup of the event (you can read it for yourselves, which I would encourage you to do), Peter was called (along with other disciples) to the house of Cornelius so that he, and his whole family, would hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.””
It was the proclaiming of Jesus to Cornelius and his household that the Holy Spirit fell without the laying on of hands.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.”
What happened on that deck was basically the same thing. We were speaking the Word of God, giving glory, honor, and praise to the Almighty God for His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit moved among the group – and fell on me, as I cannot say how it fell on the others.
It is my belief that using the Word of God (the Bible, Scripture) is the spark that lights the pilot light and sets the Holy Spirit ablaze, but only if we let Him burn.
As I stated, I didn’t go full-on with praise as I also remembered scripture that states:
“If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.” ~1 Corinthians 14:27-28
I have control over Him, the Holy Spirit, as God is not in the business of “taking over” people without permission.
Ok, I get it, not get on with this revival thing; how can it happen?
What we have seen in the past and present is this (in most churches), Word-driven worship, which is usually very orderly to the point of legalism to the Sunday bulletin, and Spirit-driven worship, which can become very unorderly as Christians can get very wrapped up in their own worship with the Holy Spirit and not get into the Word of God.
What we need is the ability to let the Holy Spirit move AND the full, pure Word of God to be heard, understood, and memorized. Only then will you have a revival that will be like any other with the full power of a Word-propelled move of the Holy Spirit inside every church that the world has not seen in centuries.
Most won’t want both. It’s usually either/or, but not both, and that is sad.
We have the power to manifest the Holy Spirit, and if you read Baptism of the Holy Spirit, What Is It Like & How Do I Experience It?, you’ll understand how that’s done.
Let me tell you when you have your first baptism, you WILL be changed and you won’t want to go back to worshiping without Him.
So, what will the order of worship in the church look like?
How it will look like is what Paul laid out in 1 Corinthians 14 (read chapters 12 – 13 to gain context):
“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” ~1 Corinthians 14:26-33, 39-40
Yes, I left out the part of women being silent as Paul was addressing a particular problem within that church as was not mean to be taken as a whole.
This order brings about an idea that EVERYONE is involved and not just some person speaking for 25 to 35 minutes in the form of a lecture. We are to praise and give glory to God during that time. There is an order, but it gives PLENTY of breathing room for the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself in the service – if we let him. Basically, this is how the fellowship works that I’m blessed to be a part of every Sunday evening. I feel the Holy Spirit move more there than I have at any church service, and that’s a very sad thing.
You keep bringing up “if we let him,” well, why wouldn’t we?
When you allow the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself in you and allow this to happen to others, it will look foolish and make you, and others uncomfortable, if you are not used to it. We have full control before, during, and after the experience, but many are too vain to let themselves look foolish. Many think that this form of worship is not dignified as they take on the role of David’s first wife (2 Samuel 6:16-20). In those instances, when people look at me, I usually have the same response as David (2 Samuel 6:21-22). In other instances, people start looking at their clocks, as this type of worship can take up a lot of time. The hour and thirty minute Sunday service is a bit much for most. All I have to say to that is “don’t put a clock on Christ” as we are practicing for an eternity of worship later.
If the Holy Spirit is allowed to fall on the congregation, you will see people leave the church. They’ll approve of “the experience” for a Sunday or two, but then they’ll want it to stop, saying that “if you want to worship like that, there are other churches you can go to.” You will lose members, and that’s a fact.
The prophecy that was given to me by God.
“Revival is waiting for you, but you must come closer to me. I am knocking at your door, please let me in.”