Revivals in the Bible

As we read through the revivals recorded in the Bible we can quickly see commonalities among them. In his book Revival Fire, Geoff Waugh lists nine similarities among Biblical revivals:

  1. They occurred in times of moral darkness and national depression.
  2. Each began in the heart of a consecrated servant of God who became the energizing power behind it [only 1 spark].
  3. Each revival rested on the Word of God, and most were the result of proclaiming God’s Word with power.
  4. All resulted in a return to the worship of God.
  5. Each witnessed the destruction of idols where they existed.
  6. In each revival, there was a recorded separation from sin.
  7. In every revival the people returned to obeying God’s laws.
  8. There was a restoration of great joy and gladness.
  9. Each revival was followed by a period of national prosperity.

 

We should never have to pray for revival, as the Lord would have us live in a perpetually revived state. The early church (during the New Testament era) lived in continuous revival. The believers were dynamic—although, as the epistles clearly reveal, that they were not faultless. That gives us today great hope!

The believers during the New Testament era experienced rapid growth in numbers through the operation of the Holy Spirit—beginning on the Day of Pentecost. On that single day 3,000 were won (Acts 2:41). On another day not long after that another 5,000 joined their ranks (Acts 4:4). After that we read of “great multitudes” that turned to the Lord (5:14; 6:7; 9:31; 11:21, 11:24; 12:24; 16:5).

Old Testament Revivals

  1. Jacob and his family (Gen 35:1-15)
  2. Israel at Sinai under Moses (Ex. 32:1—33:23)
  3. Israel at Shechem under Joshua (Josh. 24:1-28)
  4. Israel under an unknown prophet (Judges 6:1-10) & Gideon (Judges. 6:11—8:35)
  5. Israel at Mizpah under Samuel (1 Sam. 7:1-17)
  6. Northern Kingdom at Carmel under Elijah (1 Kgs. 18:1-46)
  7. Assyrians at Nineveh under Jonah (Jonah 3:1-10)
  8. Judah under Asa (2 Chron. 15:1-19)
  9. Judah under Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 18:4-7; 2 Chron. 29—32:33)
  10. Judah under Josiah (2 Kgs. 22—23:25; 2 Chron. 34—35:19)
  11. Of the remnant under Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 5—6:22)
  12. Of the remnant under Ezra (Neh. 8—9:38)

New Testament Revivals

  1. John the Baptist (Matt. 3:1-17; Luke 3:1-18)
  2. Pentecost (Acts 2-5)
  3. Samaritans (Acts 8:5-25)
  4. Cornelius (Acts 10—11:18)
  5. Conversion of Gentiles at Antioch (Acts 11:19-30; 12:24—13:3)
  6. Antioch’s extension ministry through Barnabas and Paul (Acts 13:4—14:28)
  7. Europeans under Paul on 2nd missionary trip (Acts 16:6—18:11)
  8. Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19; 20:17-38)

 

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