The Misconceptions Of Revival
By Frank Hilton • ©Word-Spirit • All Rights Reserved.

INTRODUCTION

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chr 7:13-14)

The above scripture reading is a verse that is quoted so often in many churches to imply revival, which can be applied in a broad sense. But in this study we are going to see that "revival" is not what most people think it is.

THE TWO VIEWS

1) Revival Of The Lost - One of the most popular views I hear so often is that "revival" is the winning of lost souls.

2) Revival Of The Church - The other, less talked about, is "revival" of the church.

Although, the most popular view is that of the lost. We are going to see that the true concept of "revival" is that which is done in the church.

REVIVAL OF THE LOST
Well, technically, there is no scripture of "revival" of the lost! Therefore we need to look at why we call the saving of souls "revival."

Some churches imply that "revival" is when they are winning souls and the church is growing. They call this "revival." But the truth is that the "winning of lost souls" is not really revival, but should be called the "harvest."

Jesus referred to the saving of "the lost" as the harvest...

Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Mat 9:37-38)

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (Joh 4:35)

Now, I do understand why some call winning the lost a "revival." It is because that a lost soul is spiritually dead and when they receive the holy ghost, they become spiritually alive or "revived." And I agree that you can apply that theory to the lost, but I think that this misconception is causing some churches to miss the real purpose of "revival" and leaving saints powerless. I will explain more later.

REVIVAL OF THE CHURCH

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chr 7:13-14)

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. 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. (Ezr 9:8-9)

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. (Isa 57:15)

As the above scriptures point out... revival is the reviving of God's people or ones spirit.

The Hebrew meaning for "revive" (chayah (khaw-yaw')) is... to keep or make alive, give life, to restore, repair and raise from the dead.

Basically when we speak of "revival" we are speaking of "making alive that which is dead or ready to die."

BIBLICAL REVIVAL
As we can see, revival is a process of a saint or church being revived when they are either dead or falling asleep. This process of dying usually happens because of demonic spirits, compromise, apostasy or sin in the saint or church.

Anywhere you read of revival of God's people, restoration or a rebuilding of the temple. It is usually preceded by the backsliding or apostasy of God's people. There is a falling away of truth and the people of God fall into sin and eventually stray from God. (Read the book of Judges)

Thus God must bring judgment in some form such as famine, destruction or he just withdraws his presence!

As we read in 2 Chr 7:14 (above scripture), we can see that God shut up heaven and can cause trouble to take place. This should cause the people of God to "turn from their wicked ways."

This is the process God uses in "revival." He has to allow things to happen which will lead us to repentance. There is more scripture on the people of God repenting, then for the sinner.

IF MY PEOPLE
I have heard people use our scripture reading (2 Chr 7:13-14) to imply that, if we will humble ourselves and pray for the lost, then God will heal our land. They use this to try and get God to give them souls.... No, No, No!
You must do this God's way. He said...

- If we that are called by his name shall HUMBLE OURSELVES...
- Pray and SEEK HIS FACE...
- And turn from OUR WICKED WAYS (sins and methods)
- THEN.... ONLY THEN....
- Will he FORGIVE OUR SINS
- And heal OUR LAND

The Lord says.... that the church must repent of its lust, pride, self-willed ambitions, carnal programs and methods. We must repent and STOP trying to do God's work with our own ideas... THEN... and only UNTIL THEN... will God revive the church and bring in the harvest!!!

Real revival is when the people of God turns from their carnal ways. It means to restore a person to their first real fervent love of God and righteousness!

THE BLESSINGS OF REVIVAL
If you read the book of Joel, you will see what we have to do to have revival in our midst. You hear foreign missionaries tell us this. But are we willing to pay the price!! We must "weep between the altar and the porch" until we have repented from all our church mechanics. We must return to total trust in God, for ONLY HE can give the increase.

When we have repented before God and turned back to Him, then he will pour out his blessing on us! He will heal and deliver us from ourselves! He will give us souls and power in prayer.

See, we have this all wrong. We think if we can bring in more vessels (the lost) then God will pour out more of his Spirit. This is not the case if we are dry and dead! It is only true if we are already flowing with the anointing of God! The Apostles had the power first! Then they went into the streets.

God will bring in the lost when the church is flowing with the power of God! You cannot reach the lost if you do not have the power of God moving through you. If you try, you will be just like other religions... ineffective!

CONCLUSION
I am going to make a statement here that may shock you. But really think about it, "There is NO scripture on fasting for the lost!" What, you may say!

Any scripture you see on fasting is for "bringing our flesh" into subjection to God. Fasting is for binding attitudes, spirits and seeking God's direction. It is my understanding that if you are dead to self, then God will move and use you to win souls and minister to people. That is why some preachers are successful and some are not. That is why some churches are dead and some are not.

When a church is always praying and fasting and calling out the names of those that are lost in their prayer meetings, yet, nothing is happening and the altars are always barren, then something is wrong.

I know what the answer may be. They are trying to do God's work with their own ideas and are forgetting one very important thing...

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (Joh 12:24)

Thus, true revival is when we die to our flesh and we are made alive in total trust in God. We must be obedient to the leading of God's Spirit! Then God will heal our land, and anoint us to bring in the harvest of lost souls.

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In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (Joh 7:37-39)
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