When God Stepped Down From Heaven
By Rev. Owen Murphy
THIS IS REVIVAL!
When men in the streets are afraid to open their mouths and utter godless words lest the judgments of God should fall; when sinners, overawed by the Presence of God tremble in the streets and cry for mercy; when, without special meetings and sensational advertising, the Holy Ghost sweeps across cities and towns in Supernatural Power and holds men in the grip of terrifying Conviction; when "every shop becomes a pulpit, every heart an altar, every home a sanctuary" and people walk softly before God—This is Revival!
Today the word Revival has largely lost its real meaning. Our present generation, never having witnessed the mighty movings of God in nation-wide spiritual awakening such as has taken place in past generations, has little conception of the magnitude of such a "visitation."
REVIVAL is confused with EVANGELISM!
Heaven-sent revival is not religious entertainment where crowds gather to hear outstanding preachers and musical programs; neither is it the result of sensational advertising—in a God-sent revival you don't spend money on advertising; people come because Revival is there! Revival is an "awareness of God" that grips the whole community, and the roadside, the tavern, as well as the church, becomes the place where men find Christ. Here is the vast difference between our modern evangelistic campaigns and true revival. In the former, hundreds may be brought to a knowledge of Christ, and churches experience seasons of blessings but as far as the community is concerned little impact is made; the taverns, dance halls, and movies are still crowded, and godlessness marches on. In revival, the Spirit of God like a cleansing flame sweeps through the community. Divine conviction grips people everywhere; the strongholds of the devil tremble and many close their doors, while multitudes turn to Christ!
THE AMERICAN REVIVAL OF 1857
The mighty "visitation" of those days, from which has flowed almost a century of spiritual blessing, represents a challenge even today. Like a spiritual tornado, the Spirit of God swept through the land, and New England became the center of the great awakening, resulting in great numbers finding Salvation. In some towns it was reported as being "almost impossible, to find anyone who had not been converted." Like a great spiritual epidemic, tremendous Conviction of Sin swept through the land, and thousands turned to Christ. Drunkards, as they stood at the saloon bars, gamblers as they sat at the card tables, congregations as they sat in churches, even passengers on board incoming liners came under the influence of this strange and wonderful moving of God and, kneeling in repentance, found pardon.
In many places, dance halls, theaters, and gambling dens were closed or emptied: new churches began to spring up everywhere; family altars were restored, and the spirit of prayer grew in intensity until anyone could cross the land and find a "mid-day" prayer meeting in almost any town! It was estimated, that as many as 50,000 decisions were made in a week, when this gracious visitation was at its height! Following in its wake came mighty preachers of the Word of God. Including D.L. Moody, under whose ministry multitudes were called to repentance; and pioneer missionaries who have taken the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.
THE WELSH REVIVAL OF 1904
The year, 1904, stands out in the history of Wales, as a year that will never be forgotten, and those who were privileged to live in those days still speak of its heaven-sent scenes with the greatest awe!
Like a mighty tornado, the Spirit of God swept across the land until mountains and valleys, cities and villages were filled with the mighty manifestations of God. Churches were crowded and meetings went on day and night. Prayer, singing and testimony would sweep over congregations in torrents, and hundreds turned to Christ. Never in the history of Wales had such indescribable scenes been witnessed.
Dr. Campbell Morgan, preaching on this great revival, in the Westminster Chapel in 1904 declared:
"Here Is REVIVAL that comes from heaven; There is no PREACHING, no ORDER, no HYMNBOOKS, no CHOIRS, no ORGANS, no COLLECTI0NS, and finally no ADVERTISING! Now think of THAT for a moment! There were organs, but they were silent; there were ministers but no preaching - they were among the people praising God! Yet the Welsh Revival is a "revival of preaching" for EVERYBODY is preaching! No order, yet it moves from day to day, county to county, with matchless precision, with the order of an attacking force. No songbooks, but ah, me, I nearly wept tonight over the singing! When the Welsh sing they abandon themselves to their singing. We sing as if we thought It wouldn't be respectable to be heard by the one next to us! No choir, did I say? It was all choir!"
Today the Sunday School, the Bible Class, the Family Altar are reaping their harvest. Wales is ablaze for God, already 50,000 converts have been recorded and the great awakening shows no sign of waning. It's sweeping over hundreds of hamlets and cities, emptying saloons, theatres and dance halls, and filling the churches night after night with praying multitudes. Go where you will, into the bank, the store, the trains and everywhere men are talking about God. If you could stand above Wales, looking at it, you would see the fire breaking out here, and there, and yonder, and somewhere else, without any pre-arrangement. It is a Divine visitation in which God - let me say this reverently - in which God is saying to us: "See what I can do without the things you are depending on. See what I can do through a praying people who are prepared to depend wholly and absolutely upon me!"
Like a tree shaken by a mighty storm, Wales was moved by the Power of God until almost every home in the nation felt its impact. Newspapers, in bold headlines carried the news of the amazing scenes taking place. So great was the fear of God, and conviction of sin that gripped the people, that in some communities crime disappeared—magistrates were presented with a blank paper, no cases to be tried. And to commemorate the occasion, they were presented with white gloves! In more than one place, the post office's supply of money order blanks were exhausted as people sought to make restitution by paying their debts! Saloons and theaters were closed while stores were sold out of Bibles and Testaments. Members of Parliament, busy attending Revival services, postponed their political meetings. Theatrical companies coming into districts found no audiences for "all the world was praying!" Temperance workers saw the Spirit of God accomplish more in 3 months than they had accomplished in forty years!
Such, then is Revival, a mighty, sovereign "moving of God" in answer to the cries of men and women who have gone down upon their knees to travail before God. A visitation of God, through His Spirit, that pours tormenting CONVICTION OF SIN upon the ungodly, wherever they may be, until multitudes have turned to Christ. A demonstration of God that closes the dens of iniquity, transforms the lives and homes of multitudes, fills the churches, and causes the influence of spiritual values to be felt throughout a whole nation. A genuine "moving of God" that lays a spiritual foundation for the blessing of God in future generations.
THIS IS REVIVAL
With the ashes of past revivals before us - for those scenes today are only history - we may ask the question: CAN THOSE SCENES BE REPEATED? CAN GOD SEND A SIMILAR REVIVAL IN OUR DAY? The writer is convinced that God can do more than that. God is wanting to do it. In every age, the revival resources of God have been waiting to be "turned loose" when God could find men who could stand before Him in holiness, prayer, and faith and make it possible, and to those who travel the highways of the world, there are obvious and encouraging signs that God is again "preparing the way" for a new spiritual awakening.
HEBRIDES which although just the size of a "man's hand," is not only one of the most stirring events of our day, but under the blessing of God is challenging men and women everywhere to "stand in the gap" for revival in our day.
The spiritual awakening of the Hebrides, between 1949 and '52 has stirred the hearts of God's people, not because of its size, but because of its quality, and challenge for TODAY! In spite of the scattered nature of the country and difficulty of transport, the rugged and unemotional nature of the people and limited population, the fact that hundreds have turned to Christ in life-changing conversion, accompanied by such God-given scenes, inspires us with new FAITH for a far greater awakening in our own land. Just as the tidings of the great awakening of America in 1857, swept across the ocean and brought REVIVAL to Ireland in 1859, so it may be, In the purposes of God, that attention has been focused upon that which God wrought In the Hebrides, that its CHALLENGE OF INTERCESSION may cause a flame of REVIVAL to be kindled IN AMERICA, that will cause the whole land to be swept with a mighty Holy Ghost revival.
REVIVAL IS HERE!
GOD HAS SURELY VISITED HIS PEOPLE
Electrified by this conviction, the great crowd of people, drawn from every part of the earth to this world-famous Keswick Convention (England), began to slowly file out of the Convention tent. Suddenly, a woman in an awe-struck voice exclaimed: "IT WAS JUST AS THOUGH GOD HAD STEPPED OUT OF HEAVEN!"
And so it seemed, for I, too, had sat spellbound listening to the most thrilling, faith-inspired message I had ever heard. A MESSAGE, that has been destined to sweep across the face of the earth, stirring men and women to seek the Face of God as never before. It was news of the gracious "Visitation of God" to the Hebrides.
Never, In its many years of history, had that great Convention been more mightily stirred, as it listened to the report of the amazing scenes that had taken place just a few hundred miles away. "Hundreds had been converted, many without a word being spoken to them! Drunkards trembling under conviction in the drinking houses while people gathered in churches to pray, great conviction of sin sweeping over districts, causing sinners to fall helpless in the roads. Meetings lasting for hours, and four services being held nightly, with churches being transformed! The preacher being called at four o'clock in the morning to pray with men and women, outside the police station who had been stricken with great conviction and were crying for God to have mercy upon them."
(Memories of [the] great Welsh Revival of 1904 gripped the people. They remembered the amazing scenes of those historic days; meetings being held day and night, and churches packed to capacity, while thousands turned to Christ. Because of lack of patronage, theatres and saloons were closed. Thieves and murderers surrendered to the Lord, and police courts were idle. Sins were confessed and old debts were paid. Work was forgotten, and frequently meetings would last for days at a time. Christmas, 1904, was the first real Christmas many children in Wales, and even men and women ever had! Instead of being spent in saloons, as formerly, hard-earned wages were used for groceries and toys. The poverty of former days had been replaced with joy and plenty, for Christ had been invited into thousands of homes. Virtually the whole of Wales was on its knees on Christmas Day. That Revival lasted about four years, and then swept through England, Ireland, parts of Europe, and even crossed the oceans to Australia and America changing the lives of thousands.)
From that unforgettable meeting in Keswick, ministers and Christian workers of all denominations, stirred as they had never been before, hurried back to their churches to call their people to prayer, convinced that a great heaven-sent spiritual awakening was about to break forth in the world.
And now, as the great crowds slowly leave the tent, filling the long narrow streets of this little market town, a man is standing by my side talking to me—it is the man whom God had used in this remarkable "move" of God! I can still hear his closing words of challenge:
"When you return to America, rouse the people; tell them what GOD is doing! I believe every church can have what we are having in the Hebrides. There is no 'mystery,' but there is a 'secret.' If God can find a people over there, prepared to 'pay the price' as they have over here, He will visit them in the same revival of power!"
Every word that fell from his lips seemed to burn into my soul, as I became conscious that the Spirit of God was speaking to me, and giving me a new commission. As I remembered the tremendous IMPACT of the message upon that great crowd of people that afternoon, a great conviction gripped me - HERE WAS THE MESSAGE OF THE HOUR WHICH SURELY EVERY MINISTER AND CHURCH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD OUGHT TO HEAR! Canceling my evangelistic campaigns, I returned immediately to America to rouse the people to seek the Face of God that a similar spiritual awakening might speedily be given.
The impact of this dynamic message, with its tremendous CHALLENGE, upon individuals, churches. and communities has been amazing.
Powerful prayer groups have sprung up everywhere, and church prayer meetings have been revitalized. In many churches the "all-night" prayer meeting has been restored, or introduced for the first time, resulting in real movings of the Spirit of God in conviction of sin, confession, and re-consecration—upon the part of both ministers and congregations. In some towns, city-wide, all-night prayer meetings have been held by the churches as they interceded before God for the whole community.
Godly ministers of all denominations, burdened for real REVIVAL are seeking God in fastings and prayer on behalf of their churches, and many have witnessed gracious manifestations of God among their congregations such as they had not known before. On occasions, it has been impossible for the preachers to preach their sermons. The Spirit of God has quietly swept through the congregations causing people to be brought under conviction, then groups would rise to their feet and walk down the aisles to kneel sobbing at the altars confessing their sins—WITHOUT A WORD BEING PREACHED TO THEM!
Camp meetings, Bible Colleges, and Conventions have been challenged and stirred, while large numbers have swept to the altars to accept Christ as Savior. Churches, hungry for Revival, are anxious for the message to be taken to them.
Realizing the utter impossibility of reaching every church personally with the SPOKEN message, and conscious of the desperate need of Christians facing up to the challenge of this tremendous message NOW that a real "heaven-sent" revival might come to this great country, I send forth this God honored message in the form of this booklet, with a very earnest prayer that wherever it may go, revival blessings shall flow.
No literary excellency is claimed for this simple book, the contents of which are mainly based upon personal interviews with those who were directly connected with the revival, either in active ministry or investigation—reports of which have also appeared in outstanding Christian publications. No attempt has been made to either minimize or exaggerate this gracious "visitation," but, realizing a number of reporters describing the same scenes may differ in minor points, the writer makes no claims for perfect accuracy in chronology of events, or minor details.
It is the conviction of the writer that the gracious blessing of God among the Hebrides is God's message of the hour, containing potentialities for the greatest sovereign moving of God in REVIVAL POWER, that our generation has known, and comes to us as our personal challenge.
HOW IT BEGAN
PREPARATION MUST PRECEDE revival! The Word of God, history, and the gracious visitation of God to the Hebrides emphasizes this fact. And that preparation must begin with God's people.
History turned another page when the Free Church Presbytery of Lewis met in the town of Stornoway to discuss the appalling spiritual conditions existing in their communities. While the haunts of sin were crowded, churches were almost empty. In many places youth had almost disappeared from the House of God and It seemed only a matter of time before many churches would have to close their doors. No one, however, ever dreamed for a moment that this special meeting was destined to be the preliminary to the amazing spiritual awakening that was to come.
Amongst the many who were deeply concerned about the desperate spiritual condition of the churches, was a little group of men who lived at Barvas, the district that was to become the center of the outbreak of revival. As they met in a little wooden barn, greatly burdened for revival for their community, and began to pray, there suddenly dawned upon them, like a flash of light, the great fact of God as a COVENANT-KEEPING God who had made COVENANT PROMISES!
"If this is true," they reasoned, "we can enter into a covenant with Him, and, if we keep OUR part of it, then HE MUST KEEP His!" Has God given a "covenant promise" for REVIVAL? Immediately the words of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 came to them:
"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 I will hear from heaven…"
That night they entered into a solemn covenant with God, to take upon themselves the "burden" for revival for the community, to humble themselves, and to prevail In prayer UNTIL REVIVAL CAME!
Let me now take you to that little barn by the side of the road and see those men on their faces before God. They have gathered to pray but this is no ordinary prayer meeting. Here are men, led by their minister, who are there to do business with God, and at 10 o'clock at night they kneel down in the straw to plead with God that He would make bare His arm in revival.
For months they waited; for months they gathered in the little barn three nights a week and waited upon God until 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning, determined to wrestle with God until the answer had been given. Then, one night, a young man, a deacon from the Free Church, arose from his knees and began to read Psalm 24:
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart—he shall receive the blessings of the Lord."
"Brethren," he said, "We have been praying for months for revival, waiting before God, but I would like to ask you now: ARE OUR HEARTS CLEAN? IS THE HEART PURE?" In response to this searching challenge they fell upon their knees in confession, and rededication, and again began to travail in prayer, even more earnestly. An hour later, three of them were lying prostrate upon the floor—they had PRAYED UNTIL THEY WERE EXHAUSTED! By five o'clock revival had come. The barn was suddenly filled with the Glory of God, and the power of God that was let loose In that barn shook the whole community of Lewis.
That same morning, in a little cottage several miles away, lived two elderly sisters; one was 84 and the other 82 years of age. For many years they had sought the Face of God for revival and. knowing the others were waiting upon God, they had gathered around their little peat fire to spend the night in prayer. Suddenly, something happened! The Glory of God swept into their cottage. God then spoke to them, revealing to them the very man whom He was going to use—the Rev. Duncan Campbell, a Presbyterian minister, and a mighty man of prayer.
"IN TWO WEEKS," said the Lord, "I SHALL SEND UPON THIS COMMUNITY THE GREATEST SPIRITUAL AWAKENING IT HAS KNOWN!"
A wire was sent to the Man of God, but when he received it and discovered that he was already booked up for another meeting, he replied: "It is impossible for me to come at this time, but keep on praying and I will come next year." When the reply was given to the sisters, they answered: "That is what man has said. God has said that he will be here in two weeks!" In the meantime, other letters began to reach him and strangely enough, his next meeting was cancelled. (How amazingly God can overrule!) The holiday Convention, which he was to address, was suddenly cancelled, owing to the Touring Board sweeping in and commandeering the hotels and boarding houses which the convention had been depending upon for accommodation for the many who were to attend the Convention. Within a fortnight he was in Barvas!
The first meeting was held in the old parish church. Many people had gathered in a great expectancy of a great "moving of God" but, strangely enough, nothing happened. It was just an ordinary service. Seeing the disappointment upon the preacher's face, one of the praying deacons came up to him: "DON'T BE DISCOURAGED," he said. "IT IS COMING. I ALREADY HEAR THE RUMBLING OF HEAVEN'S CHARIOT WHEELS. WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER NIGHT OF PRAYER AND THEN WE WILL SEE WHAT GOD IS GOING TO DO!"
They went over to a near-by cottage, and about thirty knelt in prayer, and began to travail before the Lord. Three o'clock in the morning, God swept in and about a dozen were laid prostrate upon the floor, and lay there speechless. Something had happened! God had moved into action as He had promised; revival had come, and men and women were going to find deliverance. As they left that cottage that morning, they found men and women seeking God! Lights were burning in the homes along the road—no one seemed to think of sleep. Three men were found lying by the roadside, in a torment of conviction, crying for God to have mercy upon them! The Spirit of God was moving into action, and soon the parish of Barvas was to be stirred from end to end.
SCENES OF THE SUPERNATURAL
The events of the second night will never be forgotten by those who were privileged to attend. Buses came from the four corners of the Island, crowding the church. Seven men were being driven to the meeting in a butcher's truck, when suddenly the Spirit of God fell upon them in great conviction. and all were converted before they reached the church! As the preacher delivered his message, tremendous conviction of sin swept down upon the people! Tears rolled down the faces of the people, and from every part of the building came cries of men and women crying for mercy. So deep was the distress of some that their voices could be heard outside in the road. A young man beneath the pulpit cried out: "0 God, hell is too good for me!"
The meeting closed when the people began to move out. As the last person was about to leave. a young man began to pray. Under a tremendous burden of intercession, he prayed for three quarters of an hour and, as he prayed, the people kept gathering until there were twice as many outside the church as there were inside! When the young man stopped praying, the Elder gave out Psalm 132, and as the great congregation sang the old hymn, the people streamed back into the church again, and the meeting went on until 4 a.m.
The moment people took their seats, the Spirit of God in awful conviction began to sweep through the church, and hardened sinners began to weep and confess their sins.
Just as the meeting was closing, a messenger hurried up to the preacher, very excited:
"Come with me! There's a crowd of people outside the police station; they are weeping and in awful distress. We don't know what's wrong with them, but they are calling for someone to come and pray with them."
Describing the scenes outside the police station, which reminded one of the amazing days of Charles Finney, and the Welsh Revival, the minister declared:
"I saw a sight I never thought was possible. Something I shall never forget. Under the starlit sky, men and women were kneeling everywhere, by the roadside, outside the cottages, even behind the peat stacks, crying for God to have mercy upon them!"
Nearly 600 people, who had been making their way to the church, when suddenly the Spirit of God had fallen upon them in great conviction—like Paul on the way to Damascus causing them to fall to their knees in repentance!
Revival had surely come! For five weeks, it swept on in that one Parish, Duncan Campbell conducted four services nightly; in one church at 7 o'clock, in another at 10, in a third at midnight, and back to the first one at 3 o'clock, and home between 5 and 6 o'clock—tired, but very happy to be in the midst of such a wonderful moving of God.
After five weeks in this district the revival began to spread and what had taken place in Barvas, was repeated in other districts.
As men and women throughout the island began to grip God in desperate intercession and prayer for revival, the Spirit of God swept on in increasing power. Arnol, a small community, came within the path of this spiritual tornado. Gripped by a spirit of religious indifference, it was reckoned that hardly a young person darkened the House of God: the Sabbath being given over to the drinking house, poaching, and other sinful pleasures. News of the gracious moving of God having spread through the island, it was here where an opposition meeting was held, lest a similar visitation fall upon Arnol. Although the church was crowded with those who came from the various parts of the island, very few people from Arnol attended the services. In desperation, the little prayer band made their way to the farmhouse to plead the promises of God. Just after midnight, a young man rose to his feet and prayed a prayer that will never be forgotten by those who were present.
"Lord, You made a promise. Are you going to fulfill it? We believe that You are a covenant keeping God. Will You be true to Your covenant? You have said that You will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. Lord, I don't know how these ministers stand in Your presence, but if I know my own heart I know where I stand, and I tell Thee now that I am thirsty. Oh, I am thirsty for a manifestation of the presence and power of God! And, Lord, before I sit down, I want to tell You that Your honor is at stake!"
(Have you ever prayed like that? Here is a man praying the prayer of faith that Heaven must answer! One could imagine the angels of Heaven looking over the battlements of Glory and saying: "This is a man who believes God! This is a man who dares to stand firm upon the promise of God and take from God what has been promised!")
Then came the answer! There are those in Arnol today who will verify the fact that while the brother prayed the house shook like a leaf just as in Acts 4) as God turned loose His mighty power! Dishes rattled upon the sideboard; an elder exclaimed: "An earth tremor?" Then wave after wave of Divine Power swept throughout the room. Simultaneously, the Spirit of God swept through the village. People could not sleep; houses were lit all night; people walked the streets in great conviction; others knelt by their bedsides crying for God to pardon them! As the praying men left the prayer meeting, the preacher walked into a house for a glass of milk and found the lady of the house, with seven others, down upon their knees, crying for pardon. Within 48 hours the drinking house, usually crowded with the drinking men of the village, was closed. Today, it is in ruins. Fourteen young men, who had been drinking there, were gloriously converted. Those same men could be found three times a week, with others, down upon their knees before God, from 10 o'clock until after midnight, praying for their old associates and the spread of revival. It was in this village that within 48 hours nearly every young person between the ages of 12 and 20 had surrendered to Christ, and it was reckoned that every young man between the ages of 18 and 35 could be found in the prayer meetings.
In BERNERAY things were very difficult as the stream of religious life was very low., churches were empty and prayer meeting were practically nil. In view of this, a wire was sent to the praying men of Barvas to come and assist in prayer, and bring with them Donald Smith, the 17-year-old boy to whom God had imparted the amazing ministry of prayer. Halfway through his message, the preacher stopped, and called out: "Donald, will you lead us in prayer?" Standing to his feet, he began to pour out his heart before God in agonizing intercession for the people of the island, and reminding God that He was the great "Covenant-keeping God." Suddenly, it seemed as though the heavens were rent and God swept into the church. People everywhere were stricken by the Power of God, as the Spirit swept through in great convicting power. Outside, startling things were taking place. Simultaneously the Spirit of God had swept over the homes and area around the village, and everywhere people came under great conviction of sin. Fishermen out in their boats, men behind their looms, men at the pit bank. a merchant out with his truck, school teachers examining their papers, were gripped by God and by 10 o'clock the roads were black with people, streaming from every direction to the church. As the preacher came out of the church, the Spirit of God swept in among the people on the road. as a wind. They gripped each other in fear. In agony of soul they trembled, many wept and some fell to the ground In great conviction of sin. Three men were found lying by the side of the road. In such distress of soul that they could not even speak - yet they had never been near the church!
So tremendous was the supernatural moving of God in conviction of sin, not a home, not a family, not an individual escaped fearful conviction, and even the routine of business was stopped that the island might seek the Face of God like Nineveh of Bible days. The town was changed, lives and homes transformed, and even the fishing fleet, as it sailed out into the bays, took with it a Presenter, to lead them in prayer and singing of hymns.
SUPERNATURAL FEATURES OF THE VISITATION
(A) GOD IN HIS HOLINESS AND PRESENCE
Undoubtedly the outstanding feature of this spiritual awakening has been the deep consciousness of the Presence and Holiness of God so overwhelming at times that people were afraid to open their mouths lest they utter words that would bring upon them the judgments of God. Sinners, over-awed by the Divine Presence, would fall helplessly, crying for mercy. People walked quietly before God and, as in every true revival, "the shop became a pulpit, the home a sanctuary, and the heart an altar!"
(B) CONVICTION OF SIN
Wherever there is a manifestation of the Holiness of God, there will also be the revelation and CONVICTION OF SIN, and this, without doubt, has been the second outstanding feature of the visitation.
A visiting minister of Lewis declared: "So tremendous has been this sense of an 'awareness of God' that I have known men out in the fields, others at their looms, so overcome that they were prostrate upon the ground!" One outstanding trophy of Grace, converted while crossing a field, testified: "So awful was the sense of God's presence, that even the grass beneath my feet and the rocks around me seemed to cry out 'Flee to Christ for refuge!' "
So real and "deep" has been the conviction of sin, that even the most hardened sinners—tough, hardened, and notorious characters of the district—have literally cried out in agony of soul. Some have been found lying helpless by the roadsides, stricken with conviction as in the days of Wesley, Finney, and the Welsh Revival. Another remarkable feature has been the "persistent" nature of the work of the Spirit in following men and women until decision was made. Such was the case of a young man, who found, like Jonah of old, that it is impossible to escape from God.
One night, after being spoken to about his personal need of Salvation, conviction suddenly gripped him and he began to tremble. "This won't get hold of me," he muttered. "I'll get away from here and drink my way out of it!" Entering the drinking shop, he ordered his drink but, to his consternation, he overheard a group of men discussing their own great conviction of sin and fear of being lost! He trembled even more. "This is no place for a man who wants to shake this off," he growled. "I'll go to the dance, and I'll dance my way out of it." He hadn't been in the dance very long when a young lady came up to him, exclaiming: "Oh, where would eternity find us, if God should strike us dead tonight?" Tremendous conviction swept down upon the young man, and he surrendered himself to Christ.
So widespread was the work of conviction of sin that in some districts hardly a person escaped. A man who had very little time for God was one day driving along the road when he suddenly saw before him a vision of hell. Startled, he jammed on his brakes, pulled the car into the roadside, then kneeling beside it, surrendered to Christ.
Sometimes conviction rested upon sinners for days, causing great distress of mind. Such was the case of a man, so convinced of his godless life, and seemingly unable to get peace of mind In spite of repentance, that he rushed down to the seashore and hiding among the rocks prepared to commit suicide. A young woman, while kneeling in prayer, had a VISION of this man; God showing her exactly where he was and what he was about to do. Quickly rising to her feet, she called her minister, instructing him where to find the unfortunate man. The minister arrived just in time to save the man not only from physical death, but also an eternal hell.
One of the men, who later became a wonderful trophy of God's Grace, was out in the fields when great conviction fell upon him. He began to tremble violently. "You're not a sissy," he said to himself. "What's the matter with you?" The voice of God seemed to thunder into his soul, "You are a poacher, and a Sabbath breaker!" He knew what God meant. He had been breaking the law—poaching. He was a drunkard, a real godless fellow, and this was a new experience to him. Feeling miserable and wretched because of his great burden of sin, he went along to the church and was gloriously converted.
A man sitting in a hotel was met by God in the same amazing way. Stretching forth his hand, he was about to pick up his beer, when he became suddenly conscious of the Presence of God. He began to tremble. Great conviction took hold of him as the Voice of God began to thunder in his soul, and putting down his beer, gave up his drinking habit. Shortly afterwards, he was gloriously converted and became a real witness for God.
Here is the kind of revival we need—the supernatural power of God gripping the hearts of men in soul-shaking conviction, even while they are dabbling in their sins. Many who came under this strange manifestation of God, were stricken with conviction and left helpless where they had fallen, while others have cried out in agony of mind and repentance for days before they could find peace with God. Such is the tremendous "heart-search" conviction that comes from a genuine "heaven-sent" visitation of God. Sometimes it is terrible to behold!
THE EFFECTS OF A "HEAVEN-SENT" VISITATION OF GOD!
What impact has the revival made In the districts that have been visited with this gracious moving of God? While, as in all revivals, there are areas that have not been touched in this way, it is interesting to note the "fruit" that remains where there has been a genuine spiritual awakening.
History records that during the great spiritual awakenings of 1857-59, thousands were brought face to face with God. In the streets, at home, as well as in the churches, people were stricken with deep conviction of sin, and out of great soul distress found Salvation. Taverns were neglected, family altars restored, homes reunited, social evils disappeared, and churches found new life. In the mighty manifestation of God in 1904, when Holy Ghost revival swept through the land of Wales, similar scenes were reported. A cutting from a local newspaper at that time declared:
"Infidels have been converted, drunkards, gamblers, thieves saved, and many thousands reclaimed to respectability and honored citizenship. Confessions of awful sins have been heard, old debts have been paid. Theaters and beer saloons in distress for lack of patronage. Several police courts have become completely idle. In five weeks, 20,000 conversions have been reported."
Such were the proofs and fruit of revival in those wonderful days.
The blessing of the Lord in the Hebrides has, of course, been on an infinitely smaller scale and localized to certain small districts, nevertheless, it bears the hallmark of a similar "Divine moving of God" that becomes a CHALLENGE to seek God for far greater things.
What Impact has the revival made upon church and community?
Quoting from the Keswick Journal (1952):
"More people are attending prayer meetings in Lewis today, than attended public worship on the Sabbath day before the outbreak of revival. Social evils were swept away as by a flood, and in the communities touched by this gracious movement you have men and women living for God. Family worship in nearly every home, five or six prayer meetings a week in the parish; and ministers and elders building up the young men and women in the faith. Of all the hundreds who have turned to Christ in that first gracious wave of the Holy Spirit, only four young women have ceased to attend the prayer meetings."
In nearly every home, a FAMILY ALTAR! Prayer meetings better attended than FOUR who have gone back! Converts numbered by their ATTENDANCE AT THE PRAYER MEETINGS! Absence from the prayer meeting meant a "doubted conversion!" (Here is a standard very few churches would dare to adopt! If we judged our "converts"—or even our "membership"—by attendance at the prayer meetings, what would happen?)
One of the remarkable things about the revival Is the fact that over 80 hymns have been composed by the converts, and in spite of the manifestation of GOD IN CONVICITION OF SIN, and WARNINGS OF JUDGMENT, almost every hymn has for its theme the LOVE OF GODI
Communities, homes, and churches felt Its Impact—even the realm of politics came under its influence!
A crowd of people had gathered to listen to one of the leading Socialists, but for some reason he failed to make his appearance. Searching everywhere, his associates at last found him—by his bedside in prayer! "What's the meaning of this?" they demanded. "Don't you know the people are waiting to hear you speak to them?"
Turning a tear-stained face to them, he replied:
"Go back and tell them I have business with God, and if any of them know how to pray, tell them to pray for me because I need it!"
The announcement was made at the political rally with such impressive results that the meeting was broken up in confusion.
Out in the Isles of the Hebrides today, there are hundreds of men and women who are among the happiest in the Islands. They are new men, new women. In this gracious revival they have made the discovery of a lifetime—they have discovered the REALITY OF GOD, and the great things He has been waiting to do for them! Today, they are MIRACLES OF GOD, they have new homes, new lives, and they live in a new world of peace and happiness. Those new lives, changed homes, and transformed churches, stand as living proof of the tremendous potentialities of an extensive heaven-sent revival!
THE "SECRET" OF THE VISITATION OF GOD!
The HEBRIDES revival was a MANIFESTATION OF GOD! Something greater than organization, something more wonderful than a new approach in dynamic evangelism—this was GOD AT WORK! GOD IN ACTION, independent of special PERSONALITIES! And behind the mighty "turning loose" of the irresistible power of God, there was a "secret"—one minister and seven members of his church, in a little wooden barn by the side of the road, who were prepared to "stand in the gap," and PAY THE FULL PRICE THAT GOD HAD DEMANDED that revival might come!
What Was The "Secret" Of These Men?
(1) THEIR FAITH IN A "COVENANT-KFEPING" GOD!
Here were men who believed the tremendous fact that REVIVAL lay within their power, through the "Covenant" promises of God. Had God not declared:
"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 will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
A covenant is an "agreement" BINDING ON BOTH PARTIES. If then, God is a COVENANT KEEPING GOD, this promise is binding upon Him as well as upon us if WE fulfill OUR part of the covenant, then HE must fulfill HIS! If God is God, then He is TRUE, then His WORD MUST COME to pass, and we can absolutely DEPEND upon it! God has promised revival, therefore He is waiting to send it. If this was true, revival did not depend on GOD, but on His PEOPLE KEEPING THE CONDITIONS OF THE COVENANT! Staking everything upon this fact, three times each week they met in the little barn by the roadside to keep the "conditions" of the covenant promise, confident that their Covenant-keeping God would stand by His promise and hear from heaven.
Each night, as they knelt in the straw, they would renew their faith by remembering the promise of God and then, in absolute confidence, declare before the Presence of God the CERTAINTY of the coming revival. Nothing, including the long weary months of waiting without the sign of an "answer" could weaken their confidence in the fact that their God, a COVENANT-KEEPING GOD, would fulfill His promise!
(2) THEIR HUMBLING BEFORE GOD!
"If My people ... will HUMBLE themselves!" God is HOLY, and humanity must humble itself before Deity. Before man can stand upon Holy Ground he must be clean. Watch the drama of the barn by the roadside unfold itself as one of the men, slowly rising from the straw, takes up the Word and begins to read from Psalm 24.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart: who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully; he shall receive the blessing of the Lord."
Like words of flame falling from the lips of a Holy God, every word seemed to burn into the very depths of the hearts of the men who gathered to do business with God.
Then, before the tremendous challenge of this declaration, unhesitatingly they fell to their knees in unreserved dedication and surrendered to God. Here were men who were prepared to meet every demand of God, whatever the personal cost might be, that revival might come. That price, which has never varied through the ages, is brokenness before God, an emptying of "self" in all its manifestations, a forsaking of all sin and "habit," and total surrender to God and His purposes.
(3) THEIR TRAVAILING AND PREVAIILING IN PRAYER!
Every revival that has broken upon the face of the earth has been preceded by the people of God upon their knees travailing before God.
For long, weary months, undeterred by the cold and discomforts of the barn: undeterred by the seeming "silence" of God; undeterred by the fact that no one else seemed concerned about revival and the world seemed to be as godless as ever; they travailed before God. Kneeling in the straw, or upon their faces before the Lord in agony of soul, they cried unto the Throne.
And how they prayed; not the half-hearted, sentimental, churchly, half-doubting prayers to which we are accustomed today and which accomplish so little. As one listened to these men literally wrestling with God, drawing into the spiritual conflict every power and energy they possessed, one was reminded of the prayer of the Master in Gethsemane:
"Who, in the days of His flesh...offered up prayers and supplications with strong cry and tears…"
The men who had covenanted to stand in the gap for revival, PRAYED! In desperation, they stormed the throne of God. Burning passion, concern for the lost, and absolute confidence in God, gripped every word that fell from their praying lips. They prayed until they lay helpless and exhausted. What depths of reaching out to God! They prayed until they travailed, and they travailed until they PREVAILED! They prayed UNTIL GOD ANSWERED! TRAVAIL must always precede PREVAIL! "When Zion travailed she brought forth."
THE CHALLENGE OF THE HEBRIDES
The wonderful visitation of God to the Hebrides is not only one of the most stirring events of our generation, but also represents a great spiritual CHALLENGE today. Its scenes of Divine Power reveal the tremendous potential of a genuine sovereign moving of the Spirit of God in our churches and communities; while the pattern of events which led up to the visitation, amplified by the declarations of the Word of God, makes it very evident that what has taken place in the Hebrides can be experienced here in AMERICA! The Covenant Promise of 2 Chron. 7:14, is just as applicable to America, as to any other part of the earth.
The challenge of the Hebrides is twofold:
(1) THE CHALLENGE TO EVERY MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL
Gathered with the seven men in the barn was their MINISTER, a symbol of every minister who is prepared to join with his people in seeking the Face of God for real revival. Standing in the shadows behind the revival was another minister, the Rev. Duncan Campbell, God's chosen servant. He stands as a challenge to every minister of the Gospel in this day of God's visitation!
Burdened because of the spiritual indifference of the ungodly; grieved at the decline of spiritual life in the churches; and feeling utterly helpless in the face of such a challenge, he knelt in his study crying unto God. Suddenly, but quietly, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and before him appeared a vision of a dying world plunging into an abyss of eternal darkness, and multitudes of men and women speeding on to Christless graves. Then came the great realization that was to transform his ministry—God was not only God, but a COVENANT-KEEPING GOD WHO HAD MADE COVENANT PROMISES TO HIS PEOPLE! Like a flash of light he suddenly saw that there was a great realm of potentiality, power, and blessing within his own grasp through the "covenant" promises of God! He could enter into a covenant with God! If he was prepared to pay the price he could have more of the moving of the Spirit of God in his ministry than he had ever known before. From that moment, through complete surrender to the Lord, and constant waiting before God, he entered into a ministry that was to cause men and women to feel the impact of the Presence of God. Fearlessly preaching the judgments of God against sin, and emphasizing the faithfulness of a Covenant-keeping God, hundreds, stricken by the most tormenting conviction of sin, turned to God.
Such is the ministry that is needed today. A ministry that is so empowered by the Spirit, and loaded with conviction, that multitudes will turn to Christ.
Cold, formalistic preaching never raised the dead! Only a demonstration of Divine Power will do that, such as took place in the days of Whitfield when it was a common sight for sinners to "cry out, as in the agony of death." History records that under his anointed preaching, so great was the convicting of sin that some were "struck pale as death" and fell prostrate to the ground; others. sinking into the arms of their friends, lifted up their eyes to heaven, crying for mercy!
During the great Scottish Revival in 1850, when James Turner, the fiery Methodist preacher, went down to Pontrochie to preach, so great was the conviction of sin, that many businesses had to close down in order that the people might get right with God! Large numbers of drunkards were changed by the Power of God. Meetings lasted from 14 to 18 hours. Sinners, hearing their lost condition, swooned away, but came round praising God for acceptance.
Amongst the giants of old-time American evangelism, was John Wesley Redfield, a man sent from God, whose ministry was filled with Holy Ghost power and conviction. Born in New Hampshire in 1810, in his early years, while kneeling under a large tree in the heart of a forest, he accepted Christ as his Savior. In subsequent years, as a preacher of the gospel, so tremendous was the moving of God in his ministry that multitudes found Christ. On one occasion, after weeping before God, he heard God speak to him.
"You may prepare for the greatest display of God's power that you have ever witnessed in this church!"
That night, before he had finished his sermon, people flocked to the altars crying for mercy. On another occasion, the church was suddenly filled with an awful sense of the Presence of God. Then, like a thunderclap, the Power of God broke upon the meeting and hundreds, panic-stricken with fear, crowded the altars begging God to have mercy upon them! Great manifestations of power took place everywhere. Persons would flee from their homes to avoid yielding to Christ, and afterwards be found lying helpless by the roadside until, found by the police, they were taken to the station house and placed on the floor where they were watched until they "came to."
In the great revivals of Yale and New Haven, so great was the conviction of sin that in some meetings the whole congregation, numbering hundreds of people, were stricken by the power of God.
The greatest problem that besets the nation today is not Communism, Modernism, or Liberalism, but DEAD FUNDAMENTALISM! We need another heaven-sent visitation of God, accompanied by the sin-convicting Power of God, as in days of old, that will revitalize both pulpit and pew, and cause multitudes of sinners to turn to Christ. This is the revival God is waiting to send to America! This is the ministry that the great God of revival is waiting to impart to those who will seek the Face of God in fasting and prayer until God has met them in a new experience of power, and then go forth fearlessly preaching the whole counsel of God—including the JUDGMENTS OF GOD!
The very prospect of such a visitation of God will, in itself, create problems in the minds of many servants of God, who for years have been content with a mediocre ministry based merely upon Theology, devoid of the SUPERNATURAL. Ministers who have been so "afraid OF SENSATION that they have gone into STAGNATION" (and this applies to many of us in varying degrees) will have to revise many of their ideas if they would have the Power of God. This mighty moving of God emphasizes most clearly that where there is the manifestation Of DIVINE POWER, there will be sensation—but that "SENSATI0N is not FANATICISM!" None of us can too strongly condemn fanaticism, especially in the many phases which we see it today, but, at the same time, neither can we afford to confuse that same "extremism" with the SENSATIONALISM that is the direct result of a genuine moving of the Spirit of God! Wipe out the so-called "sensation scenes" and events of the past revivals of 1857 and 1904 and you HAVE NO REVIVAL! Fear of "sensation" has been the fetter that has bound the Hands of God for generations, in both ministry and church. And the great moving of God in the Hebrides is a challenge to us all to face the issue honestly and fearlessly, and see exactly what God has to say concerning it. From an honest study of the Word of God, irrespective of men's traditions or theories, these facts are very evident:
(1) ALL-SENSATIONALISM IS NOT NECESSARILY "FANATICISM"
There is a DIVINE sensationalism that emanates from the supernatural operation of GOD! God Himself is sensational because He is supernatural. When He spoke, and creation came Into being, was It not sensational! Even the "Morning Stars sang together" in worship and wonder at the mighty act of creation. Every miracle of God, in both Old and New Testament days, were sensational In the eyes of men. When the waters of the Red Sea parted before the Rod of Moses; the sun stood still in the days of Joshua; the fire fell from heaven in the days of Elijah—were these acts not "sensational?"
When Jesus healed the sick, and raised the dead; when Peter and John brought healing to the lame man outside the Temple; when the Spirit of God was poured out upon Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost causing thousands to be converted—did these acts not cause sensation? Certainly they did. Yet these acts were NOT "fanaticism." They were the acts of a MIRACLE GOD WORKING manifesting His Divine power that the eyes of the people might be turned to Himself. The Word of God and manifestations of God through history, emphasize the fact that where there is a genuine "moving of God," there will be "sensation." This fact must be cleared in our minds before real revival can come. The "extremist" acts of men are "fanaticism" but the acts of God are "sensational."
(2) "FEAR" OF DIVINE SENSATIONALISM, or UNBELIEF IN THE SUPERNATURAL, CAN HINDER REVIVAL, AND THE OPERATIONS OF GOD!
Mankind today is still only probing the "fringe" of the tremendous potentialities of the realm of faith. Nevertheless, one startling and tremendous fact is obvious—that God can only work where there is faith: and where there IS UNBELIEF He stands helpless!
The cry of the Old Testament was: "YE HAVE LIMITED THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL…" And its echo from the New Testament: "BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF HE COULD DO NO MIGHTY WORK," confirms this fact.
Shall we be guilty of the same act of unbelief through our "fear" of God working in an unorthodox way? We thrill at the very reading of the mighty acts of God in the days of Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Jesus, and the Apostles; but what would have happened if THEY had doubted God? Nothing! If "fear" of the sensational had gripped their hearts, there would never have been the parting of the waters of the Red Sea, the crumbling walls of Jericho, the fire falling from heaven upon Carmel, and the mighty miracles of Jesus and His Apostles, for they would never have dared to obey the commands of God that made it possible for these amazing scenes to take place. That lesson is just as clear today. If we really desire a genuine "moving of God" in our day, and community, we must shed our self-imposed "fears" and, humbling ourselves before God, be prepared for Him to operate according to His own prerogative. There is no "fanaticism" in a real moving of God, but there will be SENSATION—multitudes will marvel at the majesty and works of our God!
Are we, then, prepared to receive such a ministry of Divine Power? If so, the price Of "POWER with GOD" has never changed. See that man of God upon his face before God in his study. See that life utterly dedicated to God and His work. Listen to the travail of his soul as he cries unto God, even until the early hours of the morning. See the floor wet with tears—there is the price in life, and conviction in ministry! Then, see those towns swept by the Power of God; see those lives and homes transformed by the Grace of God.—THERE IS THE REWARD of those who will pay the price. Such is the tremendous challenge of revival, to every minister.
(3) THE CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCHES
We NEED revival! The church, like a mammoth organization, has everything BUT the mighty moving of God. As someone has said: "We have equipment but not enduement; commotion but not creation; action but not unction; rattle but not revival." Spirituality is buried in activity! If, then, we really desire revival we will have to get down to business with God. Like the men in the barn, we must be prepared to accept the burden for revival as our own personal responsibility, and solemnly covenant with God upon the basis of His Covenant Promise. (2 Chron. 7:14). The binding conditions of that agreement demands first of all, a "humbling of ourselves" that we may have "clean hands and pure hearts" and be able to "stand in His Holy Hill."
This will demand a confession of every sin, a turning away from all wickedness, a forsaking of every doubtful habit, an utter surrender to Christ. Revival must be the dominating desire of life. For many, it will mean the giving up of "Iidlos" that have been cherished for years. For others it may mean a visit to the "tents" as in the days of Achan to unearth some of the things hidden there. It may be a "wedge of gold" or a "Babylonian garment," or some of the "spoils of battle" have got to go before the blessings of the Lord can come. One thing is very certain, to whatever the Finger of God points in condemnation, that thing must GOI Eight men travailing before God for five lonely months, was NOT ENOUGH TO BRING REVIVAL. If a covenant-keeping God must answer and fulfill His promise, then man must completely fulfill the conditions laid down. He must humble himself and turn from his wicked ways. There had not only to be the "CHALLENGE" of "clean hands and pure hearts" but also the EXPERIENCE, and this could only come by personal confession Of ALL SIN and complete unreserved surrender to Christ.
Then must come not only PRAYER, but PREVAILING Prayer. Prevailing prayer begins in "travail," continues in "travail," until the ANSWER has come. Churches that have no weeping, no confessing, no prayer or fasting, do not have visitations from on high. In the days of the Prophet Ezekiel's vision, did God not say to the man with the inkhorn by his side:
"Go through the midst of the city, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." (Ezek. 8:4).
What God is seeking for today, as in Bible days, is not a people with an outward sign of respectability and church attendance, nor even scholastic preachers whose names are known nationwide, but those whose hearts are burdened and broken, and whose eyes are red with weeping before Him, because of the sins and abominations of the cities. Weeping In the pulpit, and weeping in the pew is the Divine price for visitations from on high.
Today, America stands at the crossroads of destiny, faced with an unavoidable choice: the mark of the man with the inkhorn, or the mark of the beast! It must be REVIVAL, through a people upon their faces before God, or ANTI-CHRIST. Unless there are tears in the pulpit, and tears in the pews, there will be tears In the streets and homes; for already this great nation staggers beneath its gigantic burdens of spiritual declension, moral deterioration, material corruption, and thousands of demoralized lives and homes. Added to this is the ever-growing threat of a nation over-run by heathen COMMUNISM, and plunged into indescribable chaos resulting in race riots, civil war, and millions slain through invasion of godless hordes.
In view of these tremendous facts, what is the verdict of the "man with the inkhorn" as he passes our way? Is the "mark" upon OUR foreheads? The price is heavy, but, as President Eisenhower declared: "A soldier's pack may be heavy, but it is lighter than a prisoner's chains!" Far better pay the price of REVIVAL, than wear the shackles of a godless regime.
Abraham stood before the Lord and Interceded for godless Sodom-until even Divine Grace was exhausted; ELIJAH stood before God for backslidden Israel until fire fell from heaven, the altars of Baal were broken down, and the nation had returned to God. And down through the centuries men have dared to stand before God in holy desperation for the sins of their generation, until God has moved out of His Holy Temple in nation-shaking revival.
We treasure the memories of the great characters of bygone days, who have caused multitudes to turn to Christ, and whose God-anointed exploits are recorded in history. We think of such men as Wesley, Whitfield, Finney, and Roberts. We reverence their memories, build memorials, sing their praises—do anything but imitate them! Each of these men could have pointed to a hallowed place by their bedside that was often wet with tears of intercession. These men prayed oftentimes in such travail of soul that they lay exhausted in a pool of tears. David Brainerd prayed in such agony of soul that his body became abnormal. John Knox, whose prayer shook Scotland, was so desperate in prayer that to see him upon his knees was a sight that inspired awe. George Fox so gripped God in travailing prayer that men were often afraid to look upon his face as he came out of his prayer chamber. The half-hearted prayer meetings of today are a mockery in comparison to the depth of spiritual travail of the men who, in days gone by, caused nations to be swept by the Power of God. The price for heaven-sent revival has never changed. Before the floods of Holy Ghost conviction could sweep across the Isles of the Hebrides strong men must be broken before God and, upon their faces before God, must travail In agony of prayer through the long hours of the night for months. To do this, in spite of the demands of home and work, these men had to MAKE TIME FOR WAITING BEFORE GOD! Outpourings from on high must be preceded by a willingness to make time to wait upon God. This is perhaps the greatest problem besetting us today. We have all the modem luxuries of life to make work easier and yet we cannot make time to pray! What a tragic paradox. Dr. Wilbur Smith very aptly stated the matter when he said: "I NEVER GET TIME TO PRAY—I'VE ALWAYS GOT TO MAKE IT!"
The floodtides of revival are waiting to be released upon the face of the earth—God's Covenant Promise is a guarantee of this. But before the sluice gates can be opened, we must MAKE TIME to wait before God, and in that waiting before Him there must be travailing and prevailing prayer. Irrespective of the godless world outside; irrespective of the many who are indifferent and the very few who will stand with us—like the prayer-men of the Hebrides, emptied of self—we must throw every bit of our energy into desperate travailing intercession, until God HEARS FROM HEAVEN, and America is swept by the burning cleansing flame of Holy Ghost revival.
Are we prepared to face this challenge? Dare we honestly enter into covenant with God? If we do, then herein are the COVENANT CONDITIONS laid down by God as the PRICE we will have to pay.
CONDITIONS OF REVIVAL COVENANT
(II Chron. 7:14)
"If my people will HUMBLE themselves…"
This will consist of humbling before God: before others, and before SELF. Included in this process will be deep, honest heart-searching, heart confession; turning from sin, forsaking of habits; restitution for wrong doings, and complete rededication to God and His work.
By absolute faith in the certainty of God KEEPING His PROMISE; travailing before God in earnest prayer, ever declaring before Him His COVENANT PROMISE, UNTIL He hears from heaven! This praying will not depend upon the amount of support received from others who join you, neither will it be influenced by those who REFUSE to join you. Its basis will be the solid fact of GOD'S COVENANT PROMISE that: 'if WE will...then HE will hear from heaven!"
"…and TURN from their wicked ways…"
Before there can be REDEDICATION there must be RENUNCIATION. To have "CLEAN HANDS and PURE HEARTS" there must be a "turning-away" from anything that would contaminate spiritual life. God is in His HOLY TEMPLE. To approach Him we must need stand upon HOLY GROUND - to do this we must be HOLY PEOPLE!
It Is here where the real HEART-SEARCHING must take place, for there are many things that represent "wicked ways" in the eyes of God that are perhaps held very lightly in OUR estimation. Achan's SIN is a very easy one to fall into. The "shekels of silver" and "wedge of gold" and the "Babylonian garment" make strong appeals to the "flesh," and it is often a very easy step to yield to these desires, and bring them in to the "tent"—and then COVER THEM UP by making excuses to our own conscience. Yet the stark fact is that there IS NOTHING HIDDEN FROM THE EYES OF HIM WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO. We may cover things up from the eyes of our fellowmen, but nothing Is hidden from God: and the blessing of God may well depend on not only a clean life, but a clean DWELLING PLACE. There may be contaminating "idols" in the HOME that will have to go before we have completely "turned from our wicked ways." Are we prepared to do that? Are we prepared to wait before God in honest heart-searching until He has revealed every "wickedness" that would hinder, and then, definitely, and determinedly by the Grace of God TURN FROM THEM, whatever the sacrifice might entail? Then, and then only, shall we stand upon COVENANT GROUND, and hear the mighty GOD of Bible days not only declare, "CALL UPON ME AND I SHALL SHEW THEE GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS TO COME," but shall also SEE Him move into action in the greatest spiritual awakening that the American Continent has ever experienced!
It is fitting that we should close this booklet with these challenging words from the Keswick Magazine:
"We may organize, we may plan, but until we get on our faces before God and do business with a covenant-keeping God, we shall not see revival. We can have our conferences and conventions, and speak of our wonderful times, but what we want and what we need, is a fresh manifestation of the mighty power of God that brings men down in deep conviction to seek the Savior."
Here Is the Bible-centered, Spirit-inspired term that has ripped the attention of Christians the world over, lit the fires of revival, caused thousands to find Christ, and led multitudes into a new realm of POWER and BLESSING with God!
The rising tide of spiritual power that is sweeping across the face of the earth has demonstrated the fact that MEN CAN ENTER INTO A SOLEMN COVENANT WITH GOD, upon the basis of His promise; and through COVENANT PRAYER, can become recipients of power and blessing such as they have never known before!
WHAT IS MEANT BY "COVENANT PRAYER"
In Palestine, two tribal chiefs wishing to enter into a "covenant" will each cut a vein in the other's arm to cause the blood to flow. They will then put arm to arm to "mingle the blood" which each one then drinks. From that moment they become ONE, bound together by an indissoluble bond, stronger than any earthly tie. To prove their unity, they blend their names, as God did with Abraham, when He took the letter "H" out of His own Name and added it to Abram's, saying: "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham!" (Gen. 17-5).
This is of tremendous value to the smaller tribe, as from now onwards it has the right to the power and PRESTIGE and RESOURCES of the more powerful "covenant" friend. When attacked by an enemy, his greatest weapon is to cry aloud the MIGHTY NAME he now bears! Enemies know that the one who called upon will immediately respond, and come to the other's aid—they no longer face a small tribe, but the mighty forces of the powerful tribe into which they have entered into COVENANT RELATIONSHIP!
The more powerful chief then LAYS DOWN CONDITIONS WHICH THE SMALLER TRIBE MUST IMPLICITLY OBEY! In turn, the smaller tribe has the RIGHT to call upon its powerful friend in any emergency, knowing he must IMMEDIATELY—with all his resources come to his aid! The Eastern "Blood Covenant," to the smaller tribe, has opened out a realm of power, victory and achievement otherwise impossible!
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jehovah, the great COVENANT-KEEPING GOD, has laid down conditions whereby we, who are "called by His Name," may enter Into a "covenant" with Him, that a new realm of POWER be opened to us! A covenant, whereby God, bound by His own Word, must "hear from heaven" on behalf of His People, as they call upon Him!
First of all, however, there must be the DECISION to ENTER such a covenant—"If My people WILL...then will I."
Secondly, there must be ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE to the "conditions" laid down (v. 14).
Thirdly, there must be IMPLICIT FAITH that God will STAND BY HIS WORD! Doubt or unbelief annuls the contract! This covenant is just as binding upon GOD as it is upon US! Through the "covenant" we are "one" with God and His purposes, and have a COVENANT RIGHT TO HIS RESOURCES and ACTION! When men solemnly covenant with GOD, upon the basis of His Promise, and FULFILL THE CONDITIONS, they step into a new world Of POWER with GOD!
Covenant Prayer Is the ANSWER TO YOUR NEED! It has always been the answer to mine! Before its tremendous POWER, impossibilities disappear. From the midst of countless amazing MIRACLES that God has wrought in my life, through COVENANT PRAYER, Is my MIRACLE HEALING that has thrilled and inspired thousands throughout the world!
Each time I stand before an audience, I stand as living PROOF of the MIRACLE-WORKING POWER OF COVENANT PRAYER!
Just a few years ago, suddenly stricken with POLIO and paralyzed from the waist downwards, I was pronounced as hopelessly incurable by five London specialists. Having heard of the amazing results of "Covenant Prayer." In desperation my wife and I sought the Face of God—according to that "pattern"—that a MIRACLE might be wrought and new health be given. Only GOD could have done anything in such a helpless case!
A few weeks later, the Answer came—suddenly and thrillingly!
It was a dark, foggy morning, and as I lay there helplessly upon my bed in prayer, the whole of my room was suddenly filled with the wonderful PRESENCE OF THE LORD! It seemed as though the sun had suddenly shone through the fog and filled the whole of my room with its light. A strange and wonderful PEACE swept over my weakened body, a new life surged through my helpless muscles and, strengthened by the mighty Power of God, I stepped out of my bed MADE EVERY WHIT WHOLE!! Without a mark of Polio anywhere upon my body, I was made perfectly well and, in radiant health and strength. I stand today as a GENUINE MIRACLE of God's goodness and Power!
The only one who entered my room that morning was the MASTER, Himself, with healing in His blessed Hands! HE CAME IN ANSWER TO COVENANT PRAYER!
In days when multitudes are proving the power of this wonderful Bible-centered prayer, a new world Of POWER and BLESSING opens before You!
If tonight, upon your knees with an open Bible before you, you will enter a solemn covenant with God (upon the basis of His own promise [in] 2 Chron. 7:14), and in absolute faith and obedience fulfill the conditions laid down, a mighty covenant-keeping God will "hear from heaven" and will meet your every need!