THE DOCTRINE OF REVIVAL (6)/ PLEASE, SHOW ME YOUR GLORY
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Doctrine of Revival (6)/Please, show me Your Glory. Her main text was taken from the Books of Exodus, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah. “And he said, “Please, show me Your glory… He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you” (Exodus 33:18; 34:10). “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr 7:12-14). “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is 57:15).
Revival is a miracle; it is a phenomenon! Revival is a visitation of God’s Spirit to the Church. It affects even the unbelievers. Revival is defined as the unique, sovereign move of God, the Holy Spirit, coming down to earth in a dramatic way, changing people and nations. It manifests as a heartfelt return to God and His commandments. Only God can produce revival. The Holy Spirit does two types of works: the regular work (convicting people of sins, the process of sanctification, helping people to understand the Word of God…) and the extraordinary work, which is called ‘Revival’. From time to time, in the history of the Church, the Holy Spirit manifested His power among the believers in a most unusual way. The believers became filled with the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders multiplied among them. The overflow of this move of God affected all people. Many surrendered their lives to Christ and the Church became stronger. During revival the Holy Spirit recovers the basic doctrines of salvation, especially the justification by faith, by Grace, thru Christ alone. Revival can happen to an individual believer, to a family, to a church, or to a geographical area. True revival changes the history of a city or a nation. Great social changes start to happen. Righteous laws are given and the nation changes for the better. God does more in one day of Revival than in hundred years or ‘regular’ church work! During revival, God shakes our comfort zone and makes it uncomfortable. There is always a preparation for revival. No revival is an accident! Revival is like the risen tide of the ocean. The risen tide lifts all boats, big and small. “Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself” (Leonard Ravenhill). During Revival, the world stops and watches. Even the unbelievers must agree that God loves His people! Oh, how we need revival!
THE WELSH REVIVAL (1904-1905) – EVAN ROBERTS (1878-1951)
The Welsh revival is one of the greatest revivals in the history of the church at large. It lasted one year. It affected the whole Wales, an area in the UK. The primary language of the people is Welsh. English is their secondary language. Wales is a rural area made of villages and small towns. The capital of Wales is the city of Cardiff. From Wales, the revival spread all over the world. The human instrument God used to ignite it was a young man of 26 called Evans Roberts. Just before the revival, the churches in Wales were getting lukewarm. Most of the pastors were not preaching the Gospel. They were involved in politics and social events. Most people stopped going to church. Between 1899 and 1903 some Christians started praying specifically for revival. Many believers including Evan Roberts were grieved by the situation and were praying to God for mercy. The leaders of the Welsh revival were the young people. Generally, the brothers preached, the sisters sang, and they all prayed. Evan Roberts was born in Loughor, a village in Wales. He was one of eight children in a close-knit Christian family. At the age of 12, he started working in the mine with his father. This was hard work. He became saved when he was 13. He soon became passionate about the things of God. He said that God appeared to him telling him to pray for revival. He obeyed. He said that often, he would ignore the other boys who were playing outside and go back to his Bible and prayer. He passionately loved God and His Word. Like many others who God used, he separated Himself unto God, even at that young age. He ran away from the miners who used vulgar language. He thought himself to play the violin and the accordion. He used his little pocket money to buy Christian books. He never dated a girl. He was not interested in sports or social things. His family, friends, and neighbors all knew that he was a strange man. He was always reading his Bible and praying. He had visions with God in the night. The gifts of the Holy Spirit, like prophecy, words of knowledge, etc., were common with him.
When Evan Roberts was 26, though a young man, but he has been praying continuously for revival for the past 13 years. He left the work in the mine. He decided to become a pastor. He went to a Bible school to get his certificate. In England, a man cannot preach without a certificate. He wanted to do the right thing. But few months later, troubled in his spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, he left the Bible school. He went back to his village, Loughor, where he immediately organized a prayer meeting with the youths. During a prayer meeting, on the 14th of February 1903, a teenage sister called Florie Evans stood on the feet and said: “I love Jesus Christ with all my heart.” Everybody was touched and worshipped Jesus. That is when the Holy Spirit came down and the revival started. The first prayer meeting that he organized was increasing in numbers. They were mostly young people. They gathered daily to pray. The language most used was Welsh and only later, English. The Holy Spirit descended on Wales. All people felt a strong desire to repent of sins, to pray and to attend church. This spiritual activity went on for one year. Evan Roberts started traveling all over Wales. Often, he will fall by the pulpit and weep telling people that they should become saved. He ate and slept very little. This was the request all young people made: “God, send the Holy Spirit more powerfully for Jesus Christ’ sake!” Evan Roberts said: “We must firmly believe that the Spirit WILL come, not just hope!” Soon, people started coming to this group of young people on fire for Jesus. All social barriers were broken. Men and women, old and young, from all denominations, they came freely! During prayer meetings, Evan Roberts would jump and say: ‘Stop that! You are grieving the Holy Spirit’. Some people thought that he has some psychiatric problems. He said often: “Revival comes with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit and a way of co-working which enable Him to work in revival power”. Thousands of people became saved. All the ‘pubs’ shut down because nobody wanted to drink alcohol again. There were no police cases. It was the season for political elections, but all elections had to be suspended because nobody was interested in them. Even the football stadiums got closed because nobody bought tickets to go there. People did not want entertainment. They wanted God. They wanted reality, eternal reality. All the conversions were deep and genuine. This was an interesting fact: The donkeys the miners were using refused to listen to the new commands because now the miners stop using foul language.
During revival, the services would often run seven or more hours, with no one wanting to leave. Many parents came because they saw dramatic changes in the behavior of their children who became saved. Store owners were closing their shops early to obtain a seat in the chapel. The workers from the mines would come to the church still in their working clothes. The grocery shops in Loughor were cleared of food products by those who had come from long distances to attend the revival services. The people lost all consciousness of time and had no desire to return home. The Cardiff police reported a 60% decrease in drunkenness. The people who made money from selling alcohol went bankrupt. Coal miners crowded into prayer meetings that lasted till 3:00 a.m. and then washed, ate breakfast, and returned to work not being tired. The Judges had no case to try. People paid their debts and settled with one another outside the courts. By December police were out of work. They went with the crowds and formed musical bands to sing during church services. More than 100,000 unbelievers got converted and more than 100,000 backsliders came back to the faith.
The local Newspapers sent journalists to find out about the revival. Initially, the reporters mocked the people. Soon, they all stopped mocking because they felt the presence of God. Evan hated interviews. Once, when the reporters asked him why he and others behave so strange when they pray, he said: “The Spirit is at work. Just accept it!”. They wrote about him: “Each move Evan made was a puzzle to men but was known by God”. The articles made free advert to the revival. More people came to partake from the revival. All were surprised at the energy of Evan. He was never tired to pray, preach, and encourage others to draw closer to God! He said: “It is a wonderful life! I am so blessed that I could walk on air. Tired? Not once! I can face thousands! My body is full of electricity, day, and night…” He started travelling from village to village. At each place he went, the signs of revival will manifest. People will come to listen to him, fall to the ground and repent. Often, he will not preach, but just encourage all to pray. It was said that Evan was like ‘a spiritual catalyst’ to all the meetings. In Chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. A person is counted as a catalyst when he causes activity between people without being affected himself. God gave to Wales Evan as a gift. He was not a great preacher or singer. He was a young compassionate and humble man with a burden for revival, filled and led by the Holy Spirit. Glory to God!
After one year of this constant ministry, Evan started showing signs of emotional stress. His friends advised him to slow down but he refused.
Evans Roberts was always worried that people should not worship him. In 1906 he had an emotional breakdown that led to depression. He left Wales to live with a wealthy Christian family in England. The wife, Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, was an evangelist also interested in revival. When she saw that Evan Roberts had signs of depression, she offered him an apartment in their mansion. He went to live there. He hid from public view for many years. He now decided that prayer and intercession is his main spiritual gift. He never married. He had no children. When he died, at 72, few people remembered him. He is buried in the family plot, at the cemetery behind Moriah Chapel, at Loughor, Wales, where the revival started. On the column erected later it is written in His handwriting: “Dear Friend, God loves you. Therefore, Seek Him diligently, Pray to Him earnestly. Read His Word constantly. Remember Jesus Christ! Yours in the Gospel, Evan Roberts”. The life of Evans Roberts is the proof that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. He was an uneducated young man, a miner. He became the human tool God used in the Welsh revival. He had not gone to Bible School. He has no evangelistic or pastoral experience. But what he has was a pure faith for Jesus and love for the souls of men. What is the lesson? Do not look down on young people! It is said that ten years later, during the first world war, many of the people that got saved died in war. If it is not for the revival, they could have died without peace in their souls.
The main prayer for Evan Roberts was “Holy Spirit, bend me! Bend us! Make me what you want me to be!” The four points of his sermons were:
1-Confess all known sin, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
3-Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
4-Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ.
HERE IS LOVE
“Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love”
(By William Rees, 1802-1883)
This is the Welsh revival main song. It was a Love Song to God who sent His Son to die for us. Multitudes sang this song in Welsh, on and on.
THE EFFECTS OF THE WELSH REVIVAL
From Wales, the revival spread to: Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Korea, Africa, France, Czech, Belgium, India, China, and America. May revival come to us in Nigeria! To God be all the glory!
A young Welsh man named George Jeffrey (1889-1962), together with his brother Stephen, became saved during the Welsh revival. The two Jeffrey brothers became evangelists all over the UK. They preached the Gospel with signs and wonders following. They founded Elim Pentecostal Church that has many branches all over the world. In 1962, another young man of God, Reinhart Bonnke, on a visit to London, met with George Jeffrey, now an older man. Reinhard told him that he is called to preach in Africa. George prayed that ‘his mantle will be passed on Reinhard’. The young German man went to Africa and thru his ministry there, millions of souls were saved. Halleluiah!
GOD’S SECOND APPEARANCE TO KING SOLOMON
“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chr 7:1-3)
“Thus, Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually” (2 Chr 7:11-16)
As we pray for revival, we should revisit this passage in the Bible. God promised that if His people humble themselves and pray, He will visit the land and heal it. What a wonderful encouragement! This promise of mercy to God’s people and healing of their land applies primarily to the Jews. As a nation, Israel had a covenant relationship with Jehovah God. They knew that if they obey God’s Word, He will bless them. If they disobey God’s Word, they will suffer (Deuteronomy 28). We cannot change the word Israel with Nigeria because Nigeria as a nation does not have a covenant with God. But we can apply this scripture to our lives. This is a picture of revival in a church. In the first encounter with God, Solomon asked for wisdom. God gave young King Solomon wisdom and an understanding heart. God blessed him in many other ways. God also gave Solomon the responsibility of building His temple in Jerusalem. King David prepared the materials and mentored his son Solomon how to build the temple. Now, Solomon has finished building the temple. He dedicated it to God. The fire of God came down from heaven and consumed the burnt sacrifices. And the glory of God filled the temple. The priests could not enter because of God’s glory. All men worshipped God. This is what happens in revival. God takes over and all men bow. God wants us to be humble, to seek Him, and to pray. No humility, no grace! No prayer, no power! God wants us to repent. To repent it means a turn around in your mind, in your will, with fruits to prove the change. There is great difference between Remorse and Repentance. Both have tears. Remorse has tears but no fruits to prove the change. Repentance has tears too, but there is a radical change in the believer. For example, Both Judas and Peter sinned against Jesus. Later, Judas had remorse, but Peter repented. Judas committed suicide but Peter became a leader in the early church, faithful unto death. True revival is always connected with strong preaching of the Biblical Doctrines, faithful prayer, and desire for personal holiness. “No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer” (J. Edwin Orr). We should take sin as serious as God takes it! Are you tired of your sin? You must say no to sin and yes to God!!! May God help us to humble ourselves, seek His face and pray! May revival come to us!
PLEASE, SHOW ME YOUR GLORY! (Exodus 33)
“And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen” (Ex 33:18-23)
We continue to study the life of Moses, the servant of God. He is asking God to please show him His glory. In the past, Moses had encounters with God. He had seen God’s power among men. Moses saw God in the burning bush. God has been with him as he went back to Egypt to free the people of God. God used Moses’ rod to part the Red Sea. God’s people crossed over and their enemies drowned at the same place. Moses and the people were led and covered with God’s cloud by day and by night. God provided mana in the desert. Moses went on the mountain and spoke to God there. God gave him His laws and the plan to build the tabernacle. After the people sinned, Moses carried his tent outside the camp and the Shekinah glory came there. He spoke with God like a man speaks to his friend. God assured him of His personal protection. Even so, Moses wants more. This request of Moses reveals His passion to know God more, his great faith and holy boldness. Moses is grateful but no satisfied. This is a spiritual law: the more you know God’s Word, the greater revelation you shall receive. The more you pray, the more God will talk to you. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Mt 25:29). Moses is concerned for the glory of God. He wants God to manifest His glory to men, that they may know Him better. This desire to see the glory of God among men is the primary reason why we pray for revival. This desire manifests especially when the enemies of God mock His name and despise us, His people. “Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily” (Ps 74:22). The believer longs for the manifested presence of God as the thirsty deer pants for water in the desert. “As the deer pants (long for) for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” (Ps 42:1-3). Do you know this thirst? Do you desire a closer walk with God? Paul said: “That I may know Him…” (Phil 3:10). Don’t seek revival! Seek an intimate relationship with God! Revival is falling in love with Jesus again!
Moses prays: “Please, show me Your glory!” Please observe that God is pleased with this prayer of Moses! This is wonderful! God answers Moses but in His own way. Moses is ignorant of God. He does not know that he will die if he sees God. A glimpse of the glory of the resurrected Christ blinded Saul of Tarsus on the spot. God says that no man can see His glory while still living in his body on earth. To see God’s glory, the man will die. The Son of God became a Man on earth. He hid His glory with flesh. Once men killed Him on the Cross, the glory was revealed. That glory on the Cross killed all sinners. That is the power of the Cross. But for all who believe that Jesus died for them, they receive new life! God tells Moses that he will answer his prayer partially. God places Moses ‘in a place by Me’. That cleft in the Rock is called Christ. We are protected from God’s judgment in Christ alone. God places His hand over Moses and passes by. Moses can see God’s ‘back, and not His face’. Many commentators describe revival what Moses saw that day: a passing, a glimpse of God’s glory on earth, a foretaste of heaven. Here you see that revival has a beginning and an end. As the passing by of God’s glory and goodness, so revival is described. Each time God touches you personally, supernaturally, three things happen: you will never forget it, you will never be the same, and you want more of God!!! Revival is supernatural. For revival, you need to experience hunger for more of God. You also need to pray!
Moses saw the glory of God passing by. The glory of God is manifested mostly as the Proclamation of God’s Name (in the act of preaching) and as the Goodness of God. In Hebrew, the word ‘goodness’ means God’s best, His favor, Beauty, and Prosperity. God is good! His mercy, His justice, His peace, are all good! God tells Moses that He shows mercy and goodness by His Grace. It is a free gift. He gives it to the humble. He gives it to the elect. Nobody has a claim on God’s favor. “God made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel” (Ps 103:7).
Oh, that we may desire to experience God’s goodness in our lives! No man knows God completely. All we know about God is from God self-revelation, that comes by His Grace. The greatest revelation of God is found in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected is the glory of God! What Moses prayed was really this: “Please, show me Christ!” Apostle Paul said: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5, 6). The Glory of Christ in the Gospel is revealed: the glory of His Person and the glory of His Word for the salvation of sinners. When the glory and goodness of God passed before Moses, we see the revealing and the concealing of God. This manifests in Christ. His flesh concealed the glory of His Person. On the Mount of Transfiguration, the glory of the Son of God was revealed for a short time. The hand of God protecting Moses was the Cross. By His death, Jesus covered our sins and made peace between man and God. What a Savior! Worship the Lord!