In this message I want to share with you the difference between true revival and the counterfeit that targets true revival. This counterfeit is a threat that reappears at the very moment of explosive breakthrough.
Again and again over the past centuries, revival has been delayed, distracted, and discouraged by teachings that add man-made conditions to revival that are not from God.
Trying to bring about revival by carnal means is as old as the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, in First Kings. They called out from morning until noon, leaping about the altar, calling with a loud voice and cutting themselves as they “prophesied madly”—and yet there never was any “sound, or answer, and no one who paid any attention.” Elijah prayed, 37 “Hear me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You O LORD are God, and have turned their hearts back to You.” 38 Then the fire of Jehovah fell…”
God’s conditions for revival have never changed, but human beings keep adding on carnal conditions. Time and again, revival has appeared when the church has simply repented and surrendered. The many false teaching we have amassed over the years have produced a list of false preconditions to revival that actually block revival. Sadly, that list just keeps growing and growing.
Here are some of the counterfeit requirements for revival:
- We must spiritually map our area—in order to gain revival, we need G.P.S. You cannot expect revival until the map is finished. So-called ‘spiritual mapping’ replaces the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit as a guide for knowing what to do to reach a city.
- We must identify the name of the ruling demon of our area. In Acts 8, Philip did not mention the name of a ‘boss devil’…he mentioned the Name of Jesus, the Name that makes devils flee…and they did!
- Spirit travel. People leave their bodies to go and do advance work in different parts of the world for revival. Please don’t defend this by mentioning the story of Phillip in Acts 8—he never left his body.
- The Fivefold Ministry must be set in place first. While the five office gifts do relate to building up the Body of Christ, they are never mentioned as a precondition of revival. Imagine how Satan laughs because you believe revival is impossible because only four out of the five gifts are in place.
- Lay on the graves of past heroes. You are to seek out the gravesite of a famous ministry, lay on top of it, and absorb the anointing. No, I am not kidding! Here’s the thing…Jesus is the Anointed One, and any anointing you or I have comes from Him alone. Knowing this saves us from having a grotesque experience in a graveyard…
- Revival must come through the ‘gate keepers.’ Self-appointed leaders believe that revival will only come through them. They “protect” their city from revival. They analyze and oppose outbreaks that do not earn their seal of approval. This is nothing more than a power grab. It is hilarious when ministers attack territorial spirits that bind a region not realizing they are that spirit.
- Researching history to see who did what to whom. This includes studying Indian tribes, past wars and virtually any kind of injustice and grievance between people groups. You must get representatives of the ancestors who were ‘done wrong,’ apologize, and get the descendants of the two sides reconciled. In other words, we are never going to see revival because past injustice is a bottomless pit. Is cultural reconciliation a bad thing? No. Is it a condition of revival? Never. I am going to say more about this last one because I consider it the most distracting and damaging counterfeit.
In one large event, a golden opportunity degenerated into race baiting. A minister directed his message to the white people in the audience. He said that while they did not participate in the injustices of the past—they are guilty by association because they are white. He told them he believes that in order for this young audience (who had zero to do with slavery, lynching, Jim Crow laws, or any form of segregation) to see revival, they must sit there and endure the ensuing rant: “I forgive you! I forgive you! I forgive you!” He finished his outburst by shouting, “Black Lives Matter!” What was this? Wasn’t this itself racial malice cloaked in sanctimonious hypocrisy—fleshly condemnation masquerading as a precondition of revival? He thought his remarks honored Azusa Street but they were the opposite spirit of Azusa Street.
On February 22, 1906, William Seymour, a one-eyed man who was the son of a former slave, arrived in Los Angeles, California. He had not yet spoken in tongues, but was determined to declare the truth of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. He held a small gathering in the home of Richard and Ruth Asberry at 216 North Bonnie Brae Street in L.A. On April 14, 1907 they moved the meetings to a small rented storefront at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los Angeles.
What happened in that humble building exploded into a global force that remains the fastest growing arm of Christianity today, and is now nearly 600 million strong. But back in 1907, The Los Angeles Times newspaper rejected the revival because of what they considered an “inappropriate mixing of the races” and because women were in leadership. But Seymour was following the direction of the Holy Spirit. He had not set out to fix institutional racism or sexism, and yet the true revival that ensued, broke down those barriers.
The revival was ‘politically incorrect’ in matters of race and gender, but totally correct biblically. How ironic that back when institutional racism did exist, Seymour did not even address it, yet today, when it is does not exist, the minister mentioned above, made it an artificial precondition for revival. For nearly two years, the church in America ignored Azusa Street, and was, instead, fixated on Evan Roberts and the revival in Wales. In 1907, many prestigious pastors on the East Coast raised a fabulous sum of money to stage a national revival. It was a spectacular failure.
I fear we are making the same hideous mistakes. The conditions that bring revival have never changed. All of the man-made counterfeit add-ons must go! Let’s not study prayer or honor prayer—let’s pray! Let’s not reflect on the value of seeking revival—let’s seek it! Let’s not dig up the past—let’s enter into the Glory!
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