The Revival Movement

The word “revival” does not appear in the King James Version of the Bible, nor does it appear in the original Hebrew or Greek manuscripts. There are three words used in connection with it which are revive, revived, and reviving. In order to give an accurate exposition on the revival movement we must approach it from the Word of God. To attach any explanation or definition outside of the Word of God is to invite the traditions of men which can only add confusion and frustration to those that are sincere in their walk with God.
Psalm 85:4-7
V4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
V5 Wilt thou be angry with us forever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
V6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
V7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
Revive. Strongs – 2421 – chayah – khaw – yaw; a prim. root (comp. 2331,2421) to live; whether lit. or fig.; caus. To revive; – keep (leave, make) alive; x certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive (x God) save (alive, life, lives) x surely, be whole.
We will make several points in line with this scripture. First, when referring to a people, the word “revive” is used only in reference to God’s people. The Lord was the only one that could keep them alive, preserve or restore them. The reason that they needed to be revived was that they had turned away from God and kindled His anger toward them. The fact that the psalmist uses the words “revive us again” proves that they had been revived or had been given life and preservation before.
Psalm 138:7
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
From the definition previously given, this passage clearly uses the word “revive” differently than in Psalm 85. This was not a reviving as a result of turning away from the Lord, but a preservation or protection in the midst of enemies.
Isaiah 57:15
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Isaiah’s prophecy is once again to God’s people at the time, Israel. This, however, does not deal with the church. It does not deal with born-again, spirit-filled people as this verse says that the high and lofty One dwells “with them” of a humble and contrite spirit. New Testament believers have God dwelling “in them.” Thus, this prophecy to revive is to give life, the born-again experience, to a people that though chosen of God, had not yet entered into that born-again experience. Hosea 6:1-2 and 14:7 deal with the nation of Israel in the same sense as Isaiah’s prophecy. It should be noted, as in Isaiah, that Hosea’s pre-requirement for God to “revive” them is repentance, a change of mind or heart that causes them to turn away from sin and toward their God.
Hosea 6:1
Come and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
Hosea 14:1
O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
The word “revived” is used in both Old and New Testaments as to literally causing something or someone to live or have life.
Genesis 45:27
And when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.
Jacob had been in a depressed state since the loss of his son Joseph. His family and people were experiencing a famine, his son Simeon was imprisoned and he had released his only remaining son from his wife Rachel, Benjamin, to go with his brethren into Egypt. When the wagons returned with gifts from Egypt and his sons, Jacob, now Israel, learns that Joseph is alive and is the ruler next to Pharoah of all the land of Egypt. Thus the statement – the spirit of Jacob their father “revived.” This is the same use as in Judges 15:19 when referring to Samson and the miracle of the water from the jawbone of an ass.
1 Kings 17:22
And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came unto him again, and he revived.
This passage and also 2 Kings 13:21 and Romans 14:9, when using the term “revived”, refer to the actual raising of the dead. Romans 14:9 refers to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 14:9
For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living.
The only other reference in the New Testament of revive, revived, or reviving is in Romans 7:9 in reference to sin.
Romans 7:9
For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Paul is saying that sin was given life when the law or commandment was given. The same meaning is given in a positive sense in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:24.
Luke 15:24
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
The same word for “alive” and “revive” is used in the Greek in Luke 15 and Romans 14.
NT- Strong’s – 320 – anazao – an-ad-zah-o, from 303 and 2198; to recover life (lit. or fig.); – (be a) - live again, revive.
The word “reviving” is used in Ezra 9:8-9.
Ezra 9:8-9
V8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
V9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
OT – Strong’s – reviving – michyah – mikh- yaw, from 2421; preservation of life; hence, sustenance also the live flesh, i.e. the quick, – preserve life, quick, recover selves, reviving, sustenance, victuals.
I) New Testament Revival
It is important to note that the New Testament does not teach or encourage believers to pray for revival. Remember, revival is for God’s people. So what we are saying is that once a person is born-again he is not taught or encouraged to pray for the church to be revived in the New Testament. As a matter of fact, repentance or the word “repent” are used only twice in reference to the church in 2 Corinthians 7:10 and 2 Corinthians 12:21 outside of the book of Revelation. The closest Paul comes to anything that even resembles revival is in Galatians 4:19.
Galatians 4:19
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Paul is writing to born-again, spirit-filled Christians that had been saved by grace through faith. They had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and operated in the miracle working power of God. Yet, they had returned to the works of the law.
Galatians 3:2-5
V2 This only I would learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
V3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
V4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain
V5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Every so called “movement” or “wave” or “revival” restored truth that was already there in the Bible. It was truth that was practiced at one time, but was lost through false teaching and man’s tradition through the ages. Martin Luther was used to bring “The Reformation” in the early 1500’s whereby justification by faith or personal salvation was restored to the church. In the 1700’s John and Charles Wesley were used of God to restore “sanctification” and “conforming to the image of Christ” to Jesus’ body. Charles Parham in 1903 with the physical evidence of the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” being the speaking in tongues, the “Healing Revival” of the 1940’s and ‘50’s, the “Charismatic Revival” of the 1960’s, the “Word of Faith” in the 1970’s and 80’s and the “Prophetic Movement” and “Apostolic Reformation” of the 1990’s were all a return to biblical truth. In essence, God was not doing a “new thing”, but restoring a truth and practice that was already there and experienced.
II) A Revelation of Truth or a Move of God?
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must ask themselves this question: Do we need God to come down and visit us and give us what we need or do we need a revelation of what God has already given through the New Birth and Spirit Baptism and simply by faith in God’s grace move out in what God has already provided? The entire revelation of the New Testament gives complete credence to the latter.
Ephesians 1:17-23
V17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, :
V18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened ; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
V19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
V20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places,
V21 Far above all principality, and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
V22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all thing to the church,
V23 which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
Paul’s prayer was not that God would give us anything except wisdom and revelation knowledge as to what He had already accomplished through the finished work of Jesus at the cross and the Spirit Baptism. According to this passage of scripture, God has already given us His calling, His glory, His resurrection power, His seating and His authority. Yet, the church today cries out for God to give them more power, more anointing, more authority and to help them in time of need. Philippians 4:19 says that “he supplies all our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:13-20 and Colossians 1:9-22 say the same thing. Peter, in his second epistle, totally validates Paul’s revelation of the complete work of Christ in the life of the believer.
2 Peter 1:3-4
V3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue:
V4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Peter says that we already have everything that pertains to life and godliness. What else is there? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! He said we are partakers of the divine nature of Almighty God. That is the New Birth. Paul said we had the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit available to us. Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit we have received the same ability as Jesus Himself., to do the same works and greater works than He did when He walked this earth.
John 14:12
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.
Friends, it is an insult to Almighty God and to the finished work of Jesus the Christ to beg and plead for God to come down in our midst when He by the New Birth now resides in us and by the Spirit Baptism He has endued us with the Jesus anointing to do without measure, the same works and greater works than He did.
The two major errors of the church are these: First, we beg and plead with God to do something that he has already done and second, we beg and plead with God to do something He expects us to do. But does not the scripture say in John 15:5 the “without me (Jesus) you can do nothing?’ Yes, but we are not without him! Why is the church crying out for God to visit them when He has made them the habitation of God.
Ephesians 2:22
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
III) Must We Repent of Our Sins Before God Will Move in Our Midst?
God moved in the midst of sinful Israel who cried out to Him for mercy with no intention to turn and repent. He moved in the gospels on behalf of people that were stooped in sin. He pardoned even those that were caught in the very act of sin. God has dealt with the sin issue and His wrath has been poured out on Jesus. Now he can deal with man the way He wants too – with love and compassion and by mercy and grace.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
V14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
V 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
V16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
V17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
V18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
V19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
V20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
V21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
God took all the evil due to us by justice and made Jesus sin and sickness, and poverty, and death so that all the good due to Jesus would come on us and we would become all that He is. Iniquity is sin and it’s consequences. Jesus not only became sin for us, but he also bore the penalty of sin. God has judged sin and punished sin in the person of His Son Jesus on the cross at Calvary.
Hebrews 8:12-13
V12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.
V13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth, and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
The church has yet to understand God’s grace, the New Creation, and the New Testament. She is still trying to cry out to God for revival as in the Old Testament when God is already not only moved toward them, but one with them. What God does, He does by His grace. Grace is the finished work of Jesus. Grace is the cross, the blood, and the resurrection. The church is still in an Old Testament servant mentality rather than a New Testament son mentality. What’s the difference? Servants need to be told what to do. God has to lead them, provide for them, do everything for them. Sons do what need to be done. They understand they are complete in Him, Colossians 2:10, and has given them pre-permission (authority) to act on His behalf anywhere, anytime, for or to anyone. Matthew 28:18-20.
John 20:21
Then Jesus said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
John 1:16
And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.
If we received His fullness and it’s by God’s grace and God gives more grace, James 4:6, then what do we need to do? We need to be humble and submit ourselves to God and His Word. To humble ourselves is not to think of ourselves as incomplete, powerless nobody’s. It is to say what God says about us. It is to act like a son of God with His righteousness, His love and His power. It is to get up and stop trying to manipulate God and pull Him down by our praise and worship to get His presence in our midst and go forth in the name of the Lord knowing that He is forever in us to manifest His presence and power at will wherever that presence and power and life of God is needed.
IV) Awake and Stir Up, or Revival?
If the New Testament does not teach or encourage Christians to pray for revival then what are the instructions to believers that are not experiencing the fullness of Christ? If they have everything they need and God doesn’t have to be entreated to give them more or to do something to revive them then what is needed?
Ephesians 5:14
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.
Paul says to awake or wake up unto righteousness and arise and go forth.
Romans 5:17
For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
The gift of righteousness is salvation by grace through faith. It is a gift. Everything God does He does by grace, the finished work of Jesus at the cross. So if there is a deficiency in any area in the life of any believer it is because they either don’t know or are not acting upon or think they need something other than God’s grace.
Isaiah 60:1-2
V1 Arise, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
V2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Isaiah 61:1-5
V1 The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound:
V2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn.
V3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
V4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
V5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowman and your vinedressers.
V6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves
The anointing that was upon Jesus to do what He did is now upon us. We are to awake unto the fact that we are the righteousness of God in Christ. We are just as righteous as He is righteous. Now, arise and shine for our light is come (Jesus) and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us (the Spirit Baptism). Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” In Matthew 5:16 he said, “you are the light of the world.” In Matthew 5:16 he said to “let your light so shine!” I Peter 2:9 says we are a “royal priesthood.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 says we are “ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors for Christ.”
2 Timothy 1:6
Wherefore I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Friends, it’s not more of God or anything else we that we need. We have Him, and all of Him! We have His nature, His love, His glory, His power, His anointing! Now what? Stir it up! It’s in you! Can you see that the church of Jesus Christ is trying to become something that they already are. Christians are asking God to give them something that they already have. They are asking Him to do something that he has already done. Wake up! It is finished! It is perfectly perfect!
Hebrews 10:14
For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.
By the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross He has perfected us – forever!
Ephesians 5:18-20
V18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
V19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
V20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 14:17
For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
Paul in 1 Corinthians.14 is talking about speaking in tongues. He says that when we speak or pray in other tongues we give thanks well. In Ephesians 5 Paul instructs by command how to maintain a spirit-filled life or how to stir-up the gift of the Holy Spirit within us. Sing, speak, give thanks in tongues! Arouse from dormancy that power of the Holy Spirit that is in you by singing and praising in the Spirit.
1 Peter 4:10-11
V10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
V11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Use what you have. Act on the Word of God like it is so because it is so! Minister in the grace and power of God. Show forth that glory that is in you. Exercise your God-given authority.
Revival came in the person of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. Fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection God poured out His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost on those that were born-again. Their experience is our experience. Those believers went out and turned the world upside down. The apostles Peter, James, John, and Paul gave us the revelation of who we are, what we have, and what we can do. It is called the New Testament. We are sons of God, masters of the devil, and servants of humanity. We have eternal life, the very life and nature of Almighty God resident inside of us. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead. This is what God made us. This is who we are. The church is trying to become something they already are.
Dr. John G. Lake said that the secret to a powerful Christian life is in being. Read, study, and do the New Testament and realize it’s not what God is going to do, but what He has already done. It’s not what He is going to make us, but what he has already made us. Now just be. Be Christ to the lost, the hurting, and the dying of this world. Let the life of Christ, which is in you permeate every fiber of your being and shine forth His glory into this earth for His glory.