Note: I strongly agree with Andrew Strom in most things. I really like his teaching. He really has a heart for God! But I think this is one of the few areas we would somewhat differ. Andrew talks about “genuine, unspeakable joy” happening after repentance, but I’ve seen God give people joy from which it is much easier to repent.
So many people have been hurt, today, that many don’t really know that God really, really loves them. They don’t know that they can totally trust God. Who is to say that joy can’t be up-front, that God can’t fill people with joy while the people are getting re-aquainted, learning to know and trust God again as Abba Father?
I know for a fact that it is often the Holy Spirit that is moving when people shake and even laugh. I’ve experienced it myself, and the more I forgave, the more I shook and laughed. It was more thrilling than riding a roller coaster, by far! And I’ve had many encounters since, sometimes daily (especially lately); though, not of this magnitude. I’ll explain later.
Shaking and laughing isn’t the problem. Doctrine is the problem. False doctrine, doctrines of demons are the problem. When things get weird at many of the so-called revival meetings, the problem stems from a lack of holiness and purity that plagues ‘Christianity,’ today. Without real repentance, the demons stay, and things can get really weird. ‘Christians’ are taught that they’ll get to heaven almost no matter what—that it’s hard to lose one’s salvation—and some even teach that it’s impossible, “once saved, always saved.”
Without holiness, no one will see God. God wants to help us get right with Him and each other. We should let Him do whatever He wants, but we must realize that our salvation is at stake if we don’t get right and learn to stay right with Him and each other. Our salvation is on the line! This isn’t a game. This is dead serious. We need to get right with Him and each other at all costs!
This is an example of a real revival, that I believe can soon happen in our midst: Asbury Revival, 1970: “Dr. Kinlaw, I am a liar. Now what do I do?” And this time it can last! But it’s up to us.
Real revival is ONE happening — Jesus’ heart-cry for us to be truly being one with each other in Him!
May we be ONE, this year!!!!!!!
From: TRUE & FALSE REVIVAL: An Insider’s Warning, by Andrew Strom – Chapter 3 excerpt
WHAT IS REAL REVIVAL?
As someone who has been studying and writing on Revival history for many years, I’m sure you can understand why I have often been saddened by the corruption of the term “Revival” – and what it actually means. This book is all about “True and False Revival”, so I guess it is high time that we look at the elements of TRUE Revival that have been seen again and again down the centuries.
Today, so few Christians seem to be aware of what really happens when God comes down (for that is what true Revival is – “GOD COMING DOWN”). When Moses came down from the mountain, he carried the holy presence and glory of God with him. The people wanted to run and hide! That is what true Revival has always been like. It is an invasion of the awesome holy presence of God – which is why the pattern of what happens in Revivals often repeats itself. Men’s hearts are essentially the same in each generation – so God’s holy presence has the same effect. Some get convicted, some want to run and hide, many cry loudly in repentance. Over and over, from the Book of Acts until now – we see the same things. And in a lot of ways, that makes it easier to discern the counterfeit from the real thing.
I am talking now about thousands of years of Revivals – where God has convicted men and women in the same way. Some people tell me, “Oh, it is going to be different this time.” Yes, there will always be something “new” in each Revival, but essentially God deals with the hearts of men in a similar way each time. I really hate it when people call the latest froth-and-bubble fad that is sweeping through the church ‘Revival’. …
As one writer commented, Revival is “not the top blowing off, but rather the bottom falling out.” And as Frank Bartleman (of the “Azusa Street‟ Revival) wrote: “I received from God early in 1905 the following keynote to revival: ‘The depth of revival will be determined exactly by the DEPTH OF THE SPIRIT OF REPENTANCE.’ And this will obtain for all people, at all times.” Anyone who has studied Revival history will say a big ‘Amen’ to Bartleman’s words here.
It is not uncommon, in real Revivals, for people to be so stricken with conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit that they are literally unable to do anything except lie face-down and cry out to God for mercy, in the greatest distress, until assured by Him that they have received His forgiveness. (Usually, especially in the early stages of Revival, these will be CHRISTIANS who have been harboring sin of some kind in their lives). Sometimes they may even feel the need to confess their sin publicly before forgiveness and cleansing can take place. We must never forget that Revival is firstly aimed at the Christians. As history clearly shows, it is a flood of deep cleansing, repentance and empowering aimed at “reviving” God’s people, so that they can bring in a mighty harvest. The following is a description of some of the Revival prayer meetings that took place in the Welsh Revival of 1858-59 (typical of many Revivals): “It was in its terrors that the eternal became a reality to them first. They seemed plunged into depths of godly sorrow… For some weeks it was the voice of weeping and the sound of mourning that was heard in the meetings. The house was often so full of the divine presence that ungodly men trembled terror-stricken; and at the close, sometimes they fled as from some impending peril…”
One eyewitness said of the famous 1904 Welsh Revival that it was not the eloquence of Evan Roberts that broke men down, but his tears. “He would break down, crying bitterly for God to bend them, in an agony of prayer, the tears coursing down his cheeks, with his whole frame writhing. Strong men would break down and cry like children… a sound of weeping and wailing would fill the air.” …
In this kind of genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the tangible presence of God is very real. Frank Bartleman described one of the meetings during the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 as follows: “God came so wonderfully near us the very atmosphere of Heaven seemed to surround us. Such a divine ‘weight of glory’ was upon us we could only lie on our faces. For a long time we could hardly remain seated even. All would be on their faces on the floor, sometimes during the whole service. I was seldom able to keep from lying full length on the floor on my face.”
This overwhelming sense of being in the awesome presence, the “shekinah glory” of a holy God, brings agonizing conviction of sin to those whose hearts are not right with Him, but also great rejoicing and true joy to the ones who know they have been washed clean. These extremes of great sorrow over sin, followed by genuine ‘joy unspeakable’, often bring accusations of emotionalism and hysteria from those who oppose the Revival. However, it has been found that deep and genuine moves of God that begin with deep conviction, and result in deep joy, have always produced sound and lasting fruit wherever they have occurred.
True & False Revival: An Insider’s Warning, by Andrew Strom is available at Amazon
The Welsh Revival of 1904-05 by J. Edwin Orr: A Countrywide Asbury-like REVIVAL! The 4 Points: #1 Confess any known sin, and put any wrong done to man right again. #2 Put away any doubtful habit. #3 Obey the Spirit promptly. #4 Confess your faith publicly.
Wes Hall [IHOP] on William Seymour’s 1909 prophecy of the shekinah glory returning to the church in 100 years: “Let me tell you about the church in the book of Acts. …the fear of God was on the community, and no one dared join them. But they were highly esteemed. Why did no one dare join them?”
Can ‘Christians’ use Paul’s “Forgetting the things which are behind…I press on” statement as an excuse to not get right with those they’ve hurt? Paul also said: “I also practice ALWAYS having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.” What if you don’t repent? And what will happen when you do? The Third Great Awakening can start with us!!! We can all be happy — ‘ONE’!