2016 marked the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, which, as many of you know was the birth of an amazing movement of God that we are still experiencing today! As part of our commemoration of this historic event, we released the first official edition of Revival Magazine, a collection of articles, testimonies, and prose dedicated to the purposes of God’s glorious presence. I wrote this article to describe the different stages of revival, helping us to identify Revival and steward a move of God with grace and wisdom. I hope you are inspired and encouraged by this article, to dive into the purpose that God has for you as a revivalist and a reformer!
In certain streams of the Church, “revival” is a word that you can grow accustomed to hearing frequently. As for myself, I have lived with revival burning in my heart from the day I gave my life to the Lord in May of 1973. I was saved in the Jesus People Movement – a time of extraordinary salvations, awakening, and unmistakable harvest. Later, I was present during the Toronto Blessing and encountered the Holy Spirit in a way that changed me and Harvest Rock Church forever. In fact, when I returned from Toronto revival broke out in our home meetings in Pasadena and our church multiplied nearly overnight, eventually leading us to hold protracted meetings 5 nights a week for three years.
I believe that we are walking into a time of “fullness” and the Holy Spirit, like never before. The kind of overflowing of the Holy Spirit that Jesus described in John 2:
“Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (John 2:6-10)
I am contending for an invasion of heaven to impact the earth with a new wave of revival, unlike anything we have seen before. I am talking about “Revival” with a capital R.
But, what does that mean? Or more specifically, what does revival look like tangibly?
We can look at revival history and testimonies of the past to recognize patterns and indicators of revival to come.
I believe that Biblically and historically there are 3 recognizable signs of Revival:
- Awakening takes place. The church awakens. Believers repent and return to their first love.
- Unbelievers get saved. In other words, the “harvest is here.”
- Transformation of society takes place. The Church in the geographical area of awakening and harvest makes an impact on the city and region. We have seen this transformation of society with the Second Great Awakening and the impact the church had on social reform in multiple arenas.
The Apostle Peter himself preached,
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21)
The kind of Revival with a capital R that I am talking about is both the reform and restoration of all things!!
I encourage you to go deeper on this topic of Revival, to dive into the testimonies of men and women who have seen God move in powerful ways unto the transformation of cities, nations, even the world!
- In the Revival Magazine, you’ll find a rich history of different movements of God all over the world, along with articles written by modern-day revivalists including Heidi Baker, John Arnott, Bill Johnson, and myself.
- In Say Goodbye to Powerless Christianity, I tell the story of my own journey in encountering the presence of God and learning to walk in His power and His love as a revivalist.
- Revival Alliance was formed in response to a prophetic word from Bob Jones, to prepare the nets for the greatest revival the world has ever seen. Join us for the Revival Alliance Conference, April 18-21 in Pasadena, CA, as we gather with modern-day revivalists including Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker, Randy Clark, Georgian and Winnie Banov, myself, Shawn Bolz, Patricia King, Lance Wallnau, Gabe Ahn, and more. Don’t miss this incredibly powerful opportunity to encounter the presence of God, and be inspired to carry His transformative presence to your world!