First published by Christian Publications, Inc.,
3825 Hartzdale Drive,
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011
Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.
K. Neill Foster, Publisher
Paul L. King, Editor
A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963, Editorial Voice
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE:
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Scripture labeled KJV is from the King James Version.
Revival, finally is a sovereign movement among God's people in which, through a new and determined obedience, a profound working of the Holy Spirit takes place through which the Church of Jesus Christ is cleansed and renewed so profoundly as to create a holy contagion, so powerfully that unusual events take place and so remarkably that both the church and the world are aware that God is visiting His people, renewing fruitfulness and exhibiting mighty power.
2) THE EDITOR ON "ARE WE HINDERING OR HELPING REVIVAL?"
In the last issue of CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY we focused on testimonies andhistory of revivals. In this issue we look at various catalysts andhindrances to revival from those who experienced revival firsthand. Irecently read about how Andrew Murray, the Dutch Reformed missionarystatesman, and his father, had prayed several years for revival in SouthAfrica. When revival suddenly arrived in 1860, it was not what heexpected. He got word that his congregation was praying noisily, and somepeople were swooning, upsetting the decorum of Dutch Reformed reserve. Hetried to stop the emotional outbursts to no avail. Then a visitorapproached him, remarking that this is what he had witnessed in therevivals in the United States (1857-1859), led by Charles Finney, PhoebePalmer and others. Murray allowed the manifestations to continue, andeventually led his entire denomination in renewal. Had he not beensensitive to the Holy Spirit, he might have gone down in history as thepreacher who tried to stop a revival!
The Apostle Paul counseled, "Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians, KJV). We need to examine ourselves to see whether there is anythingin our lives that is an obstacle to the Spirit's moving. Then we can askwhat we can do on our part to cooperate with the Spirit's desire toimpart revival. May our prayer be the words of Keith Green's song, "OLord, please light the fire that once burned bright and clear. Replacethe lamp of my first love that burns with holy fear!"
3) A.W. TOZER ON "THE KIND OF REVIVAL WE REALLY NEED"
There must come a reformation, a revival that will result in a freshemphasis on neglected truth. I do not preach any new truth. I do not haveany new doctrine. . . . We must have a revival that will mean purity ofheart as a normal standard for everybody. We must be clean people, andnot only clean outside. . . . I can well remember that when people losttheir tempers they had to go to an altar and get cleansed. People knewthey were out of victory and were not right with God. People weresupposed to have a pure heart. We need and must have a revival that willmean divine energy to give our Christian witness power.(1)
In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears:Within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be foundincreasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by agrowing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities.. . . They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied until theyhave drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. This is the only realharbinger of revival which I have been able to detect anywhere on thereligious horizon. (2)
(1) A.W. Tozer, RUT, ROT OR REVIVAL (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1992), 174-175.
(2) A.W. Tozer, THE PURSUIT OF GOD (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1982, 1993), 7.
4) J.W. ALEXANDER (1804-1859) ON "BEING A CATALYST OF REVIVAL"
A time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord is also a time forgreat searching of hearts (Judges ). . . . Consider some thoughts andquestions concerning the great reality of revival:
1. Are you an enemy of revival? . . . To treat lightly the operations ofthe Holy Spirit is very dangerous, like the sin of the Pharisees, whodishonored the miracles of Christ. Men may grieve or fight against theLord and oppose His work of grace by denying it or by dwelling oneverything that seems to be false in it, even when the Spirit of God isclearly and mightily moving people to Christ.
2. Do you rejoice in revival?
3. Are you a subject of revival? . . . Have you yourself been revived?
4. Do you pray for revival?
5. Are you helping the forward cause of revival?
6. Does your heart care for the fruits and converts of revival?
7. Have you sought to honor God in revival? By every true revival, glorygoes to Lord God Almighty. But this glory is lessened by everything inthe work of revival that overclouds divine grace or exalts man. Becareful in every meeting, every devotion, every word, to maintain areverence and godly fear of the Holy One.
8. Are you a candidate for revival? Are you longing for God to do a newwork in you?
. . . Stir up the gift of God in you, and seek His face anew.
J.W. Alexander, "Revival: 'Who Is on the Lord's Side?'", PRAY!, Issue 9 (November/December 1998), 39.
Editor's Note: Alexander was a renowned nineteenth-century Presbyterian pastor and theologian at Princeton Seminary.
7) CHARLES SPURGEON ON "THE NEED FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO STIR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING"
Gauge the energy of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers. . . .Every growth of spiritual life, from the first tender shoot until now,has been the work of the Holy Spirit. . . . The only way to more life isthe Holy Ghost. You will not even know that you want more unless He worksin you to desire it. . . . The Spirit of God must come and make theletter alive, transfer it to your heart, set it on fire, and make it burnwithin you, or else its divine force and majesty will be hid from youreyes. . . . Prayer is the creation of the Holy Ghost. We cannot dowithout prayer, and we cannot pray without the Holy Spirit.
Charles Spurgeon, WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES IN A BELIEVER'S LIFE, ed.
Robert Hall (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1993), 32, 34-35, 39.
8) E.M. BOUNDS (1835-1913) ON "ICY INDIFFERENCE TOWARD SPIRITUAL FRIGIDITY"
Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayerchamber. The lesson of it all is this, that as workers together with Godwe must regard ourselves as in not a little measure responsible for theconditions which prevail around us today. Are we concerned about thecoldness of the Church? Do we grieve over the lack of conversions? Doesour soul go out to God in cries for the outpouring of HisSpirit? If not, part of the blame lies at our door.
9) E.M. BOUNDS (1835-1913) ON "CORRUPTING A MOVEMENT OF GOD"
The craftiest wile of Satan, if he cannot prevent a great movement forGod, is to debauch the movement. If he can put the movement first, andthe spirit of the movement in the background, he has materialized andthoroughly debauched the movement. Mighty prayer only will keep themovement from being materialized, and keep the spirit of the movementstrong and controlling.
E.M. Bounds, BOOK 1: THE ESSENTIALS OF PRAYER, THE COMPLETE WORKS OF E.M. BOUNDS (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1990), 142.
11) ANDREW MURRAY (1828-1917) ON "BEING AN OBSTACLE TO REVIVAL"
My own work loses much of the value it once possessed even in my owneyes. Somehow I have not yet been able to employ my Lord's strengthinstead of my own. My prayer for a revival, in which I have becomesomewhat careless, is held back by the increasing sense of MY unfitnessfor the holy work of the Spirit's ministry.
Leona Choy, ANDREW AND EMMA MURRAY (Camp Hill, PA: Horizon Books, 2000), 81-82.
13) ANDREW MURRAY (1828-1917) ON "THE FLOODTIDE OF THE SPIRIT"
When the tide is low, each little pool along the shore with itsinhabitants is separated from the other by a rocky barrier. As the tiderises, the barriers are flooded over and all meet in one great ocean. Soit will be with the Church of Christ. As the Spirit of God comes,according to the promise, as a flood upon the dry ground, each believerwill disappear as the Spirit is known and honored.
Andrew Murray, THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1984), 236.
14) JONATHAN GOFORTH (1859-1936) ON "ECCLESIASTICAL IDOLS HINDERING REVIVAL"
Was there ever such an incomparable opportunity for Christian leaders toget rid of their ecclesiastical idols and bring themselves into heartcontact with the unsearchable riches of Christ as at the MissionaryConference at Edinburgh in 1910? . . . It provoked visions of endlesspossibilities. The home churches, empowered by a mighty Holy Ghostrevival, would send out men fitted as Paul and Barnabas. With theirenormous resources in men and means the world would be evangelized in ageneration.
Alas! It was just a dream. Never have I experienced such keen pain anddisappointment as I did that day. Of the many that addressed that greatmissionary gathering, not more than three emphasized the Holy Spirit asthe one essential factor in world evangelization. Listening to theaddresses that day, one could not but conclude that the giving of thegospel to lost mankind was largely a matter of better organization,better equipment, more men and women. . . . The dethronement of the idolof ecclesiastical self-sufficiency was apparently too great a price topay.
But, brethren, the Spirit of God is with us still. Pentecost is yetwithin our grasp. If revival is being withheld from us it is because someidol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing ourreliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face theunchangeable truth that "it is not by might, but by My Spirit."
Jonathan Goforth, "BY MY SPIRIT" (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1942), 137-138.
Editor's note: Goforth was a Presbyterian missionary who led revivals in China and Korea in 1907 and 1908.
15) EDITOR'S CORRECTION: In the last issue we erroneously listed John Wesley's journal entry as "1942." One reader commented, "Wow, that must have been some revival meeting!" On the contrary, Wesley has not come back to live in the twentieth century. It should be "1742."