A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Teaching Them to Obey in Love

A Teaching Them to Obey in Love

A Teaching Them to Obey in Love All

Teaching Them to Obey in Love

‘Those who love me will keep my word’

Great Commission series
by Geoff Waugh (2016)

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Contents:

Introduction

1 Love God:
Faith in God – God our Father
Follow Me – Jesus our Lord
Filled with the Spirit – God’s Spirit our Helper

2 Love Others:
Love one another
Serve one another
Encourage one another

Conclusion

Introduction

Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.   

The Great Commission is a call to obey everything Jesus commanded. That’s not easy! But Jesus reminded us that he now has all authority in heaven and on earth and he is with us to the end of the age:

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20)

This book is about learning to obey Jesus as we love God who loves us totally.  Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 23).  The greatest commandments of all are to love God and love others.   …

We encourage Christians, especially leaders, to obey what Jesus told us to do. All Christians love to speak and sing about Jesus but we may not follow his instructions. So I wrote a mission book about how Jesus trained his followers: Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission.  It’s the first in my Great Commission Series and this is the second book in that series.

Jesus taught his followers to do what he did.  He commanded them to love one another as he loved us. He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and to cast out unclean spirits.  I hope this book will help you do what Jesus told us to do. 

Jesus said that all the commandments could be summed up in two: loving God and loving others.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:

Luther Quote

 ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).

Jesus described our neighbour as anyone, especially those in need.  He said that we would keep his commandments because we loved him.

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

God our loving Father expects us to believe in Jesus, his Son, to trust him and to obey his teaching and instructions.

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).

What is obedience?

Jesus told a parable about two sons whose father told them to work in his vineyard (Matthew 21:28-32). One son said he would go but he did not. The other son said he would not go but changed his mind and went. The one who said ‘No’ but then went was more obedient than the one who said ‘Yes’ but didn’t go.  The story shows how we can repent, change our mind and obey.

Jesus’ parable of the two sons encourages us to repent, turn around, and obey even if previously we did not. Often we may feel guilty that we are not obeying Jesus fully and wholeheartedly.  When we pray we may remember how we disobeyed or were half-hearted or reluctant to obey. We can repent, and obey.

Some of Jesus commands seem hard for us to obey: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you; whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me; carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; sell your possessions, and give alms; those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples (Luke 6:27-28; 9:23; 10:4; 12:33; 14:33). And that’s just a few of his instructions!

We’re not all called to be Saint Francis or Mother Teresa. But we are called to follow Jesus – and that’s a challenge. Jesus’ instructions can shape our attitudes and actions. We may live it out in different ways in different places, but his commands will always guide us as we are led by his Spirit. Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.   

Our obedience springs from love and flows strong in God’s love.  We love Him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Jesus reveals himself to those who obey him in love: “The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love them and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to them. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by them and make Myself real to them.]” (John 14:21 Amplified)

 

I Cross hands

Great Commission Series books include:
Click images to see Blog and links

A Jesus the Model Globe

 An Incredible Journey by Faith

The Great Commission Series

A Great Commission MissionGreat Commission Mission
The Teaching of Jesus on Mission
Compiled from
Teaching Them to Obey in Love, & Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission
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Teaching Them to Obey in Love
Those who love me will keep my word.
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All ebooks printed in colour.
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General Blogs Index

Blogs Index 1: Revivals (briefer than Revivals Index)

Blogs Index 2: Mission (international stories)

Blogs Index 3: Devotional (including Testimonies)

Blogs Index 4: Chapters (Blogs from Books)

Blogs Index 5: Images (photos from Books)

See also Topics Index

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Signs and Wonders: Study Guide

Signs & Wonders

Signs & Wonders All_Mod

Signs and Wonders
Study Guide

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Compiled by Geoff Waugh and Cecilia Estillore Oliver

Cover photo:
© ‘Inagako In Fall’, Japan, by Chris Asche – used with permission
.

See Blog of Topic 4: The Cross

Welcome to this Study Guide on Signs and Wonders.

Signs and wonders occur throughout the Old and New Testaments. They express the magnificent creativity and sovereignty of the Lord, described in the Bible. They are also expressions of the power, goodness, mercy, grace, compassion, and love of the Lord, and show the nature of our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God.

Signs and wonders point to the One and True Living God, and also demonstrate that this Living God is a Personal God who is very interested in people, both individually and corporately. This same God described in the Bible is very much alive and active today just as he was then.

Our hope is that through this subject you will encounter God and be transformed in this encounter. We pray that you will be challenged and stirred up to move in faith and obedience to God who can empower you with his Holy Spirit to do what Jesus did and even greater works (John 14:12). As you learn to move in God’s power and in ways that are naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural, may you become more Christ-like in your personal life, ministry, and vocation in this world. And may you be an instrument in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth as you become filled with passion and clothed with power from on high.

We especially thank Cecilia Estillore Oliver, a medical doctor and B.Min. graduate, for her work in helping to compile and write this Study Guide.  Cecilia prepared and compiled the information in this Study Guide from materials gathered and arranged by Geoff Waugh for the degree programs of Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia, and made available here with permission of the college.  This book reproduces the content of that former Study Guide, adapted here for general use.

Contents

This Signs and Wonders study guide includes

Biblical Foundations:
Old Testament
Jesus’ Ministry
The Epistles
The Cross

Theological Foundations:
The Supernatural
Worldview
The Kingdom of God
Spiritual Gifts

Ministry Foundations:
Church History
Case Studies
Practices and Pitfalls
Integrated Ministry

Much of the material is developed and adapted from the course at Fuller Theological Seminary conducted by John Wimber in 1984, titled MC510: Signs and Wonders and Church Growth, used with permission.

Class Testimony

Reproduced from the Signs and Wonders Study Guide Appendix

A student we prayed for one morning in class went to her doctor that afternoon for a final check before having a growth removed from her womb. That afternoon her doctor could find no trace of the growth after checking with three ultrasound machines, so he cancelled the scheduled operation.

“My class at college laid hands on me and prayed for me,” she explained to her doctor. “I believe God healed me, and that’s why you can’t find the growth any more.”

“I don’t know if God healed you,” he responded. “But I do know that you don’t need an operation.”

Our class studied this Signs and Wonders subject. We usually began each class with prayer, and that day our prayer included praying for specific needs such as that woman’s health. One of those praying in class was Cecilia, a medical doctor. She prayed with strong faith, joining us in laying hands on the ‘patient’ student, knowing that God heals through prayer as well as through medicine. What rich resources we have for ministry – right there in the group.

See an article (a former subject assignment) by that student Cecilia.

I love hearing medical people pray for healing. They have medical skills as well as faith in God. A nurse in one of our week night meetings prayed for another lady who had severe back pain.

“L4, be healed in Jesus’ name,” the nurse commanded as she prayed with her hand on the woman’s back. It takes medical knowledge plus the revelation of a ‘word of knowledge’ to be able to pray like that. All pain immediately left the lady being prayed for. Apparently the problem was in the Lumbar 4 (L4) section of her spine.

Many people are not healed so quickly. Perhaps most are not healed so quickly in our materialistic Western society. There are many reasons for that, including our Western scepticism, lack of compassion or faith, and our sinfulness such as jealousy, competition or failing to forgive others freely as God has forgiven us.

We all can learn more together about effective ministry. That learning is enhanced and expanded rapidly when we share our experiences and learning together. The ‘teacher’ usually shares from his or her experiences, but others can do also. So the more that our ministry education fosters mutuality, the more we can learn from one another.

We call this open education, or open ministry education. It is open to everyone and everyone can be involved. It is not just for leaders. Our leaders can help us, but their main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). We can do these things in classes, small groups, seminars, training courses and home or church groups.

A Learning Together in MinistryThis testimony is also included in the Introduction to

Learning Together in Ministry
Mutual Education:
from compteition to co-operation

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See also Renewal Journal 5: Signs and Wonders
Words, Signs and Deeds, by Brian Hathaway
Uproar in the Church, by Derek Prince

A Season of New Beginnings, by John Wimber
Preparing for Revival Fire, by Jerry Steingard
How to Minister Like Jesus, by Bart Doornweerd

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Pilgrimage in Renewal by John-Charles Vockler

Church on Fire

Church on Fire 

Chapter 3
Pilgrimage in Renewal
by John-Charles Vockler

Brother John-Charles wrote in 1990 as an Anglican Bishop and the founder of
The Franciscan Order of The Divine Compassion.
This book is immediately avaible as an eBook.

Follow the links to Church on Fire

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Until recently I would never have dreamed that I would sit down and write a testimony for a publication like this one, nor that it would have as its principle thrust my concern with and my blessings from the charismatic renewal.

I am an Anglican Bishop who was a member of the Society of Saint Francis and is now a member of the Franciscan Order of The Divine Compassion. Very early in life I was attracted both to Holy Orders and to the character and the witness of Saint Francis.

This attraction to St Francis greatly increased during my study in Theological College. I asked my bishop whether I might be allowed to go almost at once to test my vocation in a Franciscan religious community. He rightly pointed out that I had undertaken to be ordained in the Diocese of Newcastle and to serve in that diocese for five years. He added that if I were faithful in persevering in that vocation then he would be willing to release me in due course to test this other vocation to the Religious life.

However, as the years went by, other things presented themselves which seemed right and proper to do. In every case, when I sought advice, I was urged to go forward with those things. They included overseas studies and eventually a call to the episcopate in the Diocese of Adelaide. There I was Assistant Bishop before being translated to Polynesia to the Diocesan Bishop.

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Many streams

I grew up in a Christian family. I was unable to accept the narrowly evangelical teaching which then characterized the Diocese of Sydney, that is, unable to accept it in its strict and partisan form. Nevertheless, I owe a great debt of gratitude to the teaching which I received in the Diocese of Sydney and in evangelical circles.

The narrower aspects of evangelicalism were tempered in my case by the parish in which I grew up, St John’s at Dee Why, and by the liberal attitudes of my Sunday School teachers. They had been influenced by the findings of the last century of biblical criticism and research.

Whilst a student at Moore Theological College, I was brought into touch through Christ Church St Lawrence with a third stream of influence and theological insight in Anglicanism, Anglo-Catholicism.

I am grateful to all of these. Each school of thought enriched my life and to this day leaves its mark on me. I have never doubted God, though there have been times of coldness, barrenness, and infidelity to God’s demands upon me.

I was very fortunate to find in a second hand book shop in Sydney a French book entitled (in English) The True Disciple: The Priest According to the Gospel. This book written by Father Chevrier, a 19th Century Capuchin Tertiary, had a profound influence on my life. From it I learned, among other things, a prayer which governed Father Chevrier’s life: ‘Lord, I am at your disposal’.

That prayer became, and still remains, a part of my life. It is, as I know, a dangerous prayer to pray. God has a habit of taking it at its face value.

Always there recurred the call to Franciscanism. So eventually I resigned my See of Polynesia and left to join the Society of Saint Francis. There I was enriched, very happy, and conscious of the continuing guidance and blessing of Almighty God. More recently God called me to found The Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion.

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Renewal overseas

My first contact with the charismatic renewal was in Paris. I was staying with a young French nobleman whom I had met first at the Abbey of Our Lady at Bec Hellouin. On this later visit to Paris I had accepted his invitation to stay with him. He mentioned that he had been booked in for a weekend conference before he knew of my coming. He invited me to join him there.

The conference was a meeting of several hundreds of Roman Catholic charismatics from in and around Paris. That weekend was, I think, one of the most moving experiences of my whole life. The joy! The warmth! The wonder of it all!

I spoke to an old priest, over seventy, whom I was somewhat astonished to find there. He said to me, ‘Father, three years ago hardly any of these young people prayed. Now, look at them! If this is what the Holy Spirit is doing for them then I want to be part of it.’

He went on to say that in the beginning he had not fully understood it but that now he too was a part of that great joy.

I can shut my eyes now and I can hear and see the people, the smiles, the love. I can hear the wonderful sound of that group of people singing in tongues. I have never heard anything so moving, so beautiful, in all my life. It sounded like a gentle flock of birds taking off and it moved me deeply. It touched my heart.

Later, when I was appointed Assistant Bishop of Southwalk, I shared in an Anglican charismatic experience, or rather, an ecumenical one in an Anglican setting. A number of Anglo-Catholic parishes had been deeply influenced by the renewal. I was invited to share in a day long meeting in one of them.

People from different denominations and from different traditions within Anglicanism had come. I remember with joy the charismatic Stations of the Cross. I could not ever imagine such a thing myself. You may think, ‘What an unlikely vehicle for praising God!’ Yet it was a wonderful and profoundly moving experience filled with deep worship of our blessed Lord in his Passion, and marked with tremendous joy.

The Eucharist, with its time for prophecy and free prayer, was again a moving experience. Until then, that was novel for me. Looking back, I see how great an influence it had on my own thinking and my own changing patterns of worship. It all seemed so right and proper.

Later on, when people were invited to receive the laying on of hands, I went forward to do so. When they asked me what gift I wished to have, I replied rather cunningly as I then thought, ‘Whatever the Holy Spirit wishes to give me.’ As people laid hands upon me and prayed I was suffused with a great warmth and joy, filled with the spirit of love and an abiding peace.

I had other brief encounters with the charismatic renewal in the Diocese of Southwalk and always found them occasions of joy and love and peace. I found there was a blessing in it all which I was slowly receiving.

I knew that I was unwilling to surrender, unwilling to give a part of me. I felt, as so many bishops still do, that this was a great movement of renewal. Yes, there was something good here, but I was also saying, ‘Good Lord, don’t let it touch me!’

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Renewal in Australia

On my return to Australia, to the Friary of the Society of Saint Francis in Brisbane, I was presented very soon after my arrival with a question. Could the brothers be allowed to go to the national Roman Catholic charismatic conference in Brisbane.

I was willing that some should go, and determined to go myself in order to keep an eye on them! We mustn’t have these young men getting up to strange tricks. I wanted to know what was going on. I wanted to protect the community from any spirit of division.

Of course, I myself was deeply touched by the whole thing. The kind of charismatic experience being spoken about at this conference, deeply rooted in sacramental piety and churchly in character, was one which I found immensely attractive.

Before this conference, I had been worried by the naive fundamentalism which seems to me to afflict so many charismatics and the undue emphasis on external signs such as speaking in tongues. This emphasis, I felt, was a phenomenon which occurred when charismatic renewal was divorced from a normal churchly and sacramental life. Needless to say there was none of that at this conference.

The workshops on prayer were characterised by wonderful testimonies. Old ways of prayer had come alive for people under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit. I was struck at once by the way in which the development of the charismatic life paralleled at so many points the classical spiritual tradition about development in the life of prayer.

The shared prayer, the public meetings, and indeed the whole conference up to the last great mass, were characterised by joy – a joy made sad by the sacramental disunity which separated us at the altar.

At one of those meetings someone prophesied that the Spirit was moving powerfully among us to heal. That prophecy was followed by one from Father Michael Scanlan from America. He said it had been given to him by the Spirit that the healing was particularly for those who were afflicted with arthritic and rheumatic pain.

While we went on singing those who had these pains were simply to claim the healing. I did so and felt a remarkable surge of power. From that moment to this the pains that had afflicted me for almost twenty years have never recurred. Now that was a pretty impressive sign given to me!

A few weeks later I was staying with the Community of St Clare. A young priest who used charismatic gifts and was a friend of that community, was speaking to me. I asked him to lay hands on me because of an affliction in my ears. That too was healed. Other physical disorders remained with me. I do not see any evidence in Christian history to suggest that physical healing will always be given, nor do I believe that healing is only of the body.

I did know that still deep within me there were parts of my life which were unsurrendered, which I was keeping to myself. I also knew that some of the things which still afflicted me were related to that unwillingness to surrender.

At a national charismatic conference in Adelaide in 1976 in which many Roman Catholics shared, I made that surrender. I was healed in yet another part of my body and received a baptism of love of a most wonderful and intense kind.

For all this I give thanks to almighty God and I praise him for all he has given me. Like many others, I came to speak and indeed to pray in tongues for the first time when alone. It began in a place where many people would least expect, while I was staying with an enclosed contemplative community of nuns.

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Effects of renewal

This experience has been pre-eminently one of love and of great joy, of a calm assurance, and of a revivifying of all that I have always believed and all that I have been given. It has meant for me a new ordering of my life, a new place for holy scripture, a new sense of priorities, a deeper peace, and I believe it has made me more readily available to people, particularly those from whom I differ.

For me, this total experience grows out of my baptism, that is my baptism in water in the name of the Holy Trinity. That is the source and origin of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and of all that has touched my life. I prefer not to speak of baptism in or by the Spirit, but rather of a being filled up with, or of having a new flow of, grace. Words, as the mystics have found in every age, are hopeless for speaking of the deepest mysteries of life.

I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit of God is at work in his church, restoring its foundations, bringing new life, new hope, new power. Anyone would be very foolish to judge this renewal simply by those who have experienced it but misunderstood it, misused it, or over-emphasised its secondary external phenomena. My deepest reservation is the frequent association of charismatics with right wing politics.

It would be sad for these reasons to stand aside from it all. We could then miss out on the promise which God offers to his church and his world through the renewal which the Holy Spirit alone can give.

My commitments and public life do not leave me many opportunities for sharing specifically in charismatic gatherings. But whenever I can, I am richly blessed. Since these earlier beginnings I have received further healings, especially through the ministry of Mary Rogers. I am conscious of how enriched my whole life and ministry have become.

I urge all who read this, and have their doubts, to look again at the passages in the New Testament which refer to the work and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Such a study can, I believe, only lead those who engage in it to see how far we have drifted from the power and the vitality of the primitive church. That power and vitality came from the gifts and the presence of the Holy Spirit recognized, sought after, and deeply desired.

May God bless all who read this and quicken in your hearts that deepened desire for the indwelling power of God the Holy Spirit. May he bless you in your life and your work and ministry.

May he use us all, whatever our theological and spiritual character, to restore to his Body the unity which is his will and his desire, for which he died, and for which he longs with an ardour beyond our comprehension.

Summaries of Revivals Biblical Background

Flashpoints of RevivalRevival Fires

Summaries of Revivals
from these two books by Geoff Waugh:
Flashpoints of Revival
Revival Fires

Biblical Background

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim
release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
(Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2).

Jesus, reading from Isaiah’s prophecy, claimed its fulfilment in himself. He explained his mission as the Messiah (the Christ, the Anointed One) in terms of being empowered by the anointing of the Spirit of the Lord for his ministry. That ministry, specifically to the poor, captives, blind, and oppressed, demonstrated the liberating good news of the Lord’s favour.

That grace and favour met personal and institutional resistance. Jesus illustrated his mandate in his home synagogue with the biblical accounts of the Lord providing for the Gentile Sidon widow and the Syrian army officer. The congregation’s rage erupted into one of the many assassination attempts on Jesus’ life. His anointed ministry drove him to the cross.

The ministry of Jesus and of his church seen in the ‘revivals’ of the early church show both the powerful nature of the Spirit’s anointing and its power to confront evil.

This book emphasizes the importance of these impacts of the Holy Spirit, demonstrated biblically and also historically in revivals. It shows the importance of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, which declares that Jesus’ followers throughout history ‘to the end of the age’ would obey everything he taught his first disciples. They learned to serve and minister in the power of the Spirit.

Revivals show how different perspectives on Spirit movements find common ground in evangelism, ministry, and in social action.

Different Christian traditions emphasise different dimensions of being baptised in the Spirit. Rather than seeing these perspectives as mutually exclusive, they may be seen as inter-related and integrated. The evangelical emphasis on conversion, the Catholic and Episcopal emphasis on initiation, the Reformed emphasis on covenant, and the Pentecostal emphasis on charismata can be integrated in a dynamic view of Spirit baptism. These perspectives all thrown light on powerful Spirit movements in revival, like facets of a brilliant diamond.

 

Revival

Revival is God pouring out his Spirit on all people.

Revivals have been thoroughly described and analysed. The Christian term ‘revival’ may be traced to its earliest use in the phrase “revival of religion.”

The Oxford Association for Research in Revival, formed in 1974 through the work of revival historian J. Edwin Orr, distinguished between ‘revival’ for believers and ‘awakening’ for the community:

A spiritual awakening is a movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the Church of Christ and its related community. … The outpouring of the Spirit accomplishes the reviving of the Church, the awakening of the masses and the movements of uninstructed people toward the Christian faith; the revived Church, by many or by few, is moved to engage in evangelism, in teaching and in social action.

The terms ‘revival’ and ‘awakening’ have been used interchangeably in revival literature. ‘Revival’ now usually refers to local revivals of spiritual life and commitment within the church but also touching the surrounding community through conversions and social transformation. ‘Awakening’ usually refers to the more widespread influence of revivals across a large area and for a more extended period of time with considerable influence in the community and the nation.

Martin Lloyd-Jones described revival this way:

“It is an experience in the life of the Church when the Holy Spirit does an unusual work. He does that work, primarily, amongst the members of the Church; it is a reviving of the believers. You cannot revive something that has never had life, so revival, by definition, is first of all an enlivening and quickening and awakening of lethargic, sleeping, almost moribund Church members. Suddenly the power of the Spirit comes upon them and they are brought into a new and more profound awareness of the truths that they previously held intellectually, and perhaps at a deeper level too. They are humbled, they are convicted of sin, they are terrified at themselves. Many of them feel they had never been Christians. And they come to see the great salvation of God in all its glory and to feel its power. Then, as the result of their quickening and enlivening, they begin to pray. New power comes into the preaching of ministers, and the result of this is that large numbers who were previously outside the Church are converted and brought in.”

Revivals may be examined as sociological phenomena. Revivals occur within a sociological context and usually affect and change that context. The sociological discourses are relevant as significant social explanations, but they often exclude the theological dimensions of divine initiative and intervention, supernatural phenomena, and human repentance and faith. Repentance, renewal and divine intervention feature prominently in revival accounts, adding fuller dimensions to the secular sociological explanations of revival phenomena.

Furthermore, Christian revivals often include mass evangelism meetings, but revival also needs to be distinguished from the use of the term ‘revival’ for evangelistic meetings. When ‘revival’ is used for a scheduled revival meeting, such as once a week in a local church, the term is being used in a limited, narrow sense rather than in its historical meaning.

Revival refers to the Lord pouring out his Spirit on everyone.

 
Biblical witness

The Bible affirms specific, identifiable and profound impacts of the Holy Spirit in the redemptive, liberating action of God in Spirit movements. Biblical terms describing charismatic impacts of the Spirit vary greatly in both the Old and New Testaments. They include the following, with these representative references:
the Spirit was given – Numbers 11:17; John 7:39;
the Spirit came upon – Judges 3:10; Acts 19:5;
the Spirit took control – Judges 6:34; 1 Samuel 11:6; 16:13;
the Spirit poured out – Joel 2:28 28; Acts 10:45;
the Spirit came down – Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:22; John 1:33;
the Spirit fell (or came down) Acts 10:44; 11:15;
the Spirit received – Acts 8:15 17; 19:2;
baptised in or with the Spirit – Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5;
filled with the Spirit – Acts 2:4; 9:17; Ephesians 5:18.

The specific nature of these charismatic impacts is significant, as is the varied nature of subsequent charismata and ministries resulting from these impacts. Luke’s narrative discourses in his gospel and the Acts emphasise the importance of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of Jesus and his followers, and all the gospel accounts describe the impact of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at his baptism and in his subsequent ministry.

 
The Old Testament

The unique Hebrew monotheism involved covenant relationship with God, Yahweh, as supreme. Consequently, any deviation from God’s rule required repentance and restoration in personal, communal, national and ultimately in international relationships.

Revival as repentance and return to that covenant relationship is typical of Spirit movements in the Old Testament. However, periods of covenant renewal were not necessarily times of revival, particularly where people merely conformed outwardly to the edicts of their godly rulers. Revival as an outpouring of the Spirit on everyone is foreshadowed, rather than fulfilled, in the Old Testament. The new covenant blessings involve outpourings of the Spirit in the promised messianic era.

The popular, generic biblical ‘revival’ statement is God’s promise to answer the prayers of his repentant people with the restoration of shalom in the healing of the land. This promise, given to Solomon in a night vision at the time of the dedication of the first temple, answered his public national prayer of 2 Chronicles 6 (specifically verses 26-27), with the assurance of God’s faithfulness to his covenant: “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 Chronicles 7:14).

Kaiser notes the significance of 2 Chronicles 7:14, as demonstrated in repentance and reform movements during the reigns of Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah in Judah. Although commentators refer to this passage in terms of the writer’s doctrine of retribution, it is also justified exegetically as a pattern for revival as demonstrated in Israel’s history and more completely in the messianic era of the Spirit following Pentecost.

Spirit movements in the Old Testament demonstrate God’s faithfulness to this covenant promise. Revival or reform always involved returning to theocratic rule, with the prophets as the guardians of the theocracy. Kings were accountable to God, and the true prophets spoke from God.

Where repentance occurred, often in times of crisis and need, the Spirit of the Lord intervened powerfully on the nation and on other nations with glimpses of the blessings of the promised messianic rule.

Examples of ‘revival’ in Israel’s history include movements of reform and repentance under the leadership of:
1. Jacob-Israel (Genesis 35:1 15),
2. Samuel (1 Sameul 7:1-17),
3. Asa (2 Chronicles 15:1 15),
4. Joash (2 Kings 11 12; 2 Chronicles 23 24),
5. Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:1 8; 2 Chronicles 29 31),
6. Josiah (2 Kings 22 23; 2 Chronicles 34 35),
7. Jonah (Jonah 1-4, involving Ninevah),
8. Haggai and Zechariah with Zerubbabel (Ezra 5 6)
9. Ezra with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:1 6; 12:44 47).

Although these are not the only occasions of repentance and reform, they were national movements of return to the covenant obligations, and they document the fulfilment of the covenant promises and obligations with typical revival phenomena. Revivals in Israel’s history included these characteristics:
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 energising power behind it;
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, especially destruction of idols;
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.

Revival movements in the Old Testament demonstrated God’s faithfulness to his covenant relationship, but the prophets saw such movements as harbingers of the messianic age in which the promise of shalom would be fulfilled, not merely externally upon anointed members of the covenant community, but internally by the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord upon all people.

 
The New Testament

Jesus fulfilled and completed the messianic promises in himself. This included the promise of the outpouring of the Spirit. Jesus experienced the empowering of the Spirit at his baptism, which he explained in terms of being anointed for ministry (Luke 4:18-19).

The Spirit-empowered preaching and ministry of the twelve and the seventy also proclaimed and demonstrated the messianic kingdom of God. However, the disciples often failed to understand the significance of the Spirit’s liberating presence, and often showed lack of faith and vision, both before and after Pentecost.

Jesus inaugurated the new era of his new blood covenant. His church, filled with his Spirit, still fulfils his mission in the world. The cross and resurrection remain the ultimate and essential victory over evil. Authentic revival demonstrates the triumph of the cross and the presence and power of the risen Lord in his people by his Spirit.

The early church lived in revival. It saw rapid growth in the power of the Holy Spirit from the initial outburst at Pentecost. Multitudes joined the church, amid turmoil and persecution. As with Pentecost, revivals are often unexpected, sudden, revolutionary, and impact large numbers of people bringing them to repentance and faith in Jesus the Lord.

Characteristics typical of revival can be found in the widely acknowledged prototype of revival in the Pentecost account. These themes recur constantly in accounts of Spirit movements in revival. Stott notes revival characteristics in Acts 2: “Pentecost has been called – and rightly – the first ‘revival’, using this word to denote one of those altogether unusual visitations of God, in which a whole community becomes vividly aware of his immediate, overpowering presence. It may be, therefore, that not only the physical phenomena (vv 2ff), but the deep conviction of sin (v 37), the 3,000 conversions (v 41) and the widespread sense of awe (v 43) were signs of ‘revival.’”

Revivals continually display the characteristics and phenomena of the Pentecost account, including:

1 Divine sovereignty (Acts 2:1,2): God chose the day, the time, the place, the people, uniting old covenant promise with new covenant fulfilment. His Spirit came suddenly and people were overwhelmed at the Pentecost harvest festival.

2 Prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:1): The believers gathered together to pray and wait on God as instructed by the Jesus at the ascension. All revival literature emphasises the significance of united, earnest, repentant prayer in preparing the way for revival and sustaining it.

3 Unity (Acts 2:1): The disparate group meeting ‘in one accord’ included male and female, old and young, former zealot and former collaborator, most of the twelve and those who joined them. Their differences blended into the diversity of enriched unity .

4 Obedience to the Spirit (Acts 2:4): Filled with the Spirit they immediately began using gifts of the Spirit as ‘the Spirit gave utterance’.

5 Preaching (Acts 2:14): Peter preached with anointed Spirit-empowered boldness, as did the others whose words were heard in many languages.

6 Repentance (Acts 2:38-39): Large numbers were convicted and repented. They were instructed to be baptised and to expect to be filled with the Spirit and to live in Spirit-led community, and that succeeding generations should expect this also.

7 Evangelism (Acts 2:40-41, 47): The new believers witnessed through changed lives bringing others to faith in the Lord daily.

8 Charismata (Acts 2:43): The era of the Spirit inaugurated supernatural phenomena including glossolalia, signs, wonders and miracles, demonstrated powerfully among the leaders, but not limited to them.

9 Community (Acts 2:42-47): The outpouring of the Spirit brought the church into being as a charismatic, empowered community which met regularly in homes for discipleship instruction, supportive fellowship, daily informal eucharistic meals, and constant prayer.

10 Rapid church growth (Acts 2:47): Typical of revivals, The Lord added to the church those who were being saved. This eventually transformed the community of Judaistic believers into a constantly expanding community embracing all people.

That story of revival declares that “about three thousand persons were added” (Acts 2:41), “many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand” (Acts 4:4), “more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women” (Acts 5:14), “The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7), “the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up … it increased in numbers” (Acts 9:31), “a great number became believers” (Acts 11:21), “a great many people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:24), “the word of God continued to advance and gain adherents” (Acts 12:24), “the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily” (Acts 16:5).

Those early Christians lived and ministered in the power of the Spirit, facing constant opposition and persecution. They were not faultless, as the epistles indicate, but they were on fire, “people who have been turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Biblical revivals and awakenings return to this normative pattern.

Luke’s narrative in Acts is a narrative of revival. Throughout history and still today, revivals continue that story.

 

Anointing

Renewal Journal 14: Anointing

A Greater Anointing, by Benny Hinn
Myths about Jonathan Edwards, by Barry Chant

Revivals into 2000, by Geoff Waugh
Book Reviews
:
The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition by Vinson Synan
The God Chasers, by Tommy Tenny
Primary Purpose, by Ted Haggard

Editorial

Anointed for Ministry

 Jesus explained his ministry in terms of being anointed by the Holy Spirit.  He took his charter text from Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
Because he has anointed me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
(Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2)

He empowered his followers to do the same, in his name and authority.  Our anointing for ministry stems wholly from who Jesus is – the anointed Christ, the Son of God.  By his death and resurrection he conquered sin, and is both Saviour and Lord.

Our ministry is the ministry of Jesus in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Just as the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus, so he anoints us.

A quick look at any concordance affirms the significance of that anointing:

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him (Acts 10:38).

He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God (2 Cor. 1:21).

You have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things (1 John 2:20).

The anointing which you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in him (1 John 2:27).

One stupid application of that teaching, is that we don’t need teaching because the Holy Spirit teaches us everything.

First, John is not saying we don’t need teaching.  He is teaching in his writing!  The purpose of his letters includes teaching.

Jesus taught.  Often.  He spent three years teaching his followers.

Every preacher teaches.  If all we needed was the Holy Spirit on our own, we should stop preaching and teaching.

A clue to understanding the anointing is to know God.  Knowledge can teach you about God, but you may not know God.  Or you may know God as a distant consultant, available for a crisis.  Or you may know God as a daily point of reference.  Or you may know God intimately.  Or, as is most likely, your knowing God ebbs and flows with the currents of your life.

Often when we feel most overwhelmed or in need, we know God much more deeply, for then we depend on him.  We come to him with deep longing and with the cry he is so quick to answer.  On the other hand, when we are busy and very competent we often know God dimly, not realising how easily we depend on our own God-given abilities rather then on God himself, and how easily we quench or grieve the Spirit.

Jesus, on the other hand, lived in the full knowledge of God – not just intellectually, but totally and intimately.  He explained his relationship with God,  “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do …  I can of myself do nothing” (John 5:19, 30).  Then he said the same of our relationship with him, “Abide in me … without me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

The anointing of God on your life is linked with how you abide in your Lord, and he in you.

This issue of the Renewal Journal gives examples of a fresh anointing touching many people now with new intimacy and grace for powerful ministry.  Benny Hinn uses the life of Elisha to highlight principles for a greater anointing.  Barry Chant clears away some myths about Jonathan Edwards whose sharp mind and anointed writing still impact people.  I give an overview of many places and people experiencing deep encounters with God through the nineties.

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Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.

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Spirit Impacts in Revivals, by Geoff Waugh

 

Dr Geoff Waugh, founding editor of the Renewal Journal, wrote Flashpoints of Revival (2nd edition 2009) and Revival Fires (2011) which give fuller details of these impacts of the Holy Spirit in revivals.

The charismatic impacts of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament have been repeated continually in evangelical revivals.  Specific examples of Spirit impacts in revival frequently occurred in the Great Awakening and evangelical revivals of the eighteenth century as in the ministries of Zinzendorf, Wesley, Whitefield, Edwards.  and Brainerd; in revival movements of the nineteenth century including those associated with Finney and Moody; and in revival and charismatic movements of the twentieth century.  Many historians have either overlooked or minimized these charismatic impacts of the Holy Spirit in revival.

The charismatic movement now involving over 600 million people has grown from its description by Princeton’s Henry Van Dusen in 1955 as ‘the third major force in Christendom’ to a major tradition alongside and as part of the Catholic/Orthodox and Protestant traditions. This article concludes that revival offers a paradigm in which differing denominational perspectives on charismatic Spirit movements may find common ground in evangelism, equipping of Christians for ministry, and in social reform.

Baptised in the Spirit

Jesus’ final instruction and promise concerned being baptised in the Spirit and receiving power (dunamis) to be his witnesses (Acts 1:4-8).

Does the charismatic impact of Pentecost recur?  This paper affirms both the relevance and importance of specific charismatic impacts of the Holy Spirit, demonstrated biblically and historically as in evangelical revivals. It also affirms the significance of Jesus’ instruction in the ‘great commission’ that his followers throughout history ‘to the end of the age’ would obey everything he taught his first disciples including charismatic ministry such as healing, deliverance and miracles.  That position disagrees with Benjamin Warfield’s “cessationist” theory (1918), popularised by notes in the Schofield Bible.

Baptism in the Spirit and charisma (gracious gift/endowment) in the New Testament find expression in the charismata described by Luke (Luke/Acts) as anointing with spiritual power (Luke 3:16-22; 4:1.  14-19; Acts 1:1-8), and by Paul as empowering for ‘body ministry’ with a diversity of spiritual gifts in the unity of the body of Christ (Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:1-16).

Different Christian traditions emphasize different dimensions of being baptised in the Spirit.  Rather than regarding these perspectives or emphases as mutually exclusive, they can be regarded more comprehensively as inter-related and integrated.  The evangelical emphasis on conversion (Dunn 1970), the Episcopal/Catholic emphasis on initiation (Green 1985.  McDonnell & Montague 1991), the Reformed emphasis on covenant (Williams 1992), and the Pentecostal emphasis on empowering (Prince 1995) can be integrated within a dynamic paradigm of Spirit baptism.  These perspectives are essential, inter-related facets of being immersed in God.

So charisma here refers to the multi-faceted impact of God’s gracious endowment in the personal and communal life of believers, especially as empowering for mission (Acts 1:8).  God’s grace imparts abundant life (John 10:10).  Believers are incorporated into the Spirit-empowered community in which God is faithful to every promise of the new covenant.

Just as conversion is appropriated by repentance and faith, so are Spirit-empowering and Spirit-gifting. Conversion, anointing.  Empowering, and ministering in spiritual gifting may be appropriated over time, slowly, rapidly.  or instantaneously.  Complex variables affect that appropriation, including faith, knowledge, personality, tradition, environment (supportive or hostile), boldness, and God’s sovereignty.

Biblical witness

Biblical terms describing charismatic impacts of the Spirit vary greatly. They include:

the Spirit was given — Numbers ll:17; John 7:39;

the Spirit came upon — Judges 3:10; Acts 19:5;

the Spirit took control — Judges 6:34; 1 Samuel 11:6; 16:13;

the Spirit poured out — Joel 2:28-28; Acts 10:45;

the Spirit came down — Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:22; John 1:33;

the Spirit fell (or came down)– Acts 10:44; 11:15;

the Spirit received — Acts 8:15-17; 19:2;

baptised in or with the Spirit — Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5;

filled with the Spirit — Acts 2:4; 9:17; Ephesians 5:18.

The specific nature of these charismatic impacts is significant, as is the varied nature of subsequent ministries resulting from these impacts.

Jesus experienced the impact of the Spirit at his baptism, which he explained in terms of anointing with power for his ministry (Luke 4:18-19).  The followers of Jesus were baptised in the Spirit at Pentecost with immediate empowering for ministry (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4).  producing explosive church growth.  Converts from Philip’s evangelism in Samaria ‘received’ the Spirit when Peter and John laid hands on them and prayed for them (Acts 8:17).  Saul of Tarsus was filled with the Spirit and healed three days after his Damascus road experience when Ananias laid hands on him and prayed for him (Acts 9:17-18), an encounter which included prayer, fasting, visions, prophecy and healing.  The Gentiles in Cornelius’ home in Caesarea ‘received’ the Holy Spirit while Peter preached to them (Acts 11:44-47), with radical cross-cultural implications for mission.  The Holy Spirit impacted believers in Ephesus when Paul laid hands on them and prayed for them (Acts 19:6).

These charismatic impacts of the Spirit empowered people for ministry.  That ministry involved a wide range of charismata including anointed preaching and prophecy, healings and miracles, tongues and trouble.

Historical witness

Significant charismatic impacts of the Spirit of God have continued through history.  These may have been overlooked or minimised for reasons such as these:

  • Many historians wrote from the perspective of the established government or church, which often opposed and suppressed charismatic movements.
  • Strong impacts of the Spirit constantly initiate new movements which threaten the established order, so these movements were opposed and their writings destroyed.
  • Charismatic movements may be regarded as heretical, and their leaders killed, as with Jesus, the early church, and throughout history.
  • Accounts of charismatic impacts of the Spirit have been systematically destroyed, often burned as heretical.
  • Excessive enthusiasm and fanaticism in charismatic movements may bring those movements into disrepute.
  • Leaders and adherents of charismatic movements have often been occupied with more pressing priorities than writing history.  such as ensuring their own survival.

However, where such records have survived, mostly after the invention of the printing press, the charismatic impacts of God’s Spirit consistently reveal similar patterns to the biblical witness.  Evangelical revivals provide evidence of these charismatic encounters.  I give a brief selection here including first person accounts.  They indicate the charismatic nature of impacts of the Spirit of God which became the empowering force in revival.


Wednesday.  13 August.  1727 – Herrnhut.  Saxony

The Spirit of God fell on 300 refugees in Germany in 1727, mostly Moravian exiles given asylum on the estates of Nicholaus von Zinzendorf.  One of them wrote that “the thirteenth of August, 1727, was a day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  We saw the hand of God and his wonders, and we were all under the cloud of our fathers baptized with their Spirit.  The Holy Ghost came upon us and in those days great signs and wonders took place in our midst.  From that time scarcely a day passed but what we beheld his almighty workings amongst us” (Greenfield 1927:14).

Within 25 years they sent out 100 missionaries, then by 1782 they had 175 missionaries in 27 places, and in their fist 100 years of missions sent out over 1,199 people, including 459 women, all supported by round-the-clock ‘hourly intercessions’.  Both John and Charles Wesley were converted through their witness. Their English missionary magazine, Periodical Accounts, inspired William Carey. ,He threw a copy of the paper on a table at a Baptist meeting.  Saying, “See what the Moravians have done! Cannot we follow their example and in obedience to our Heavenly Master go out into the world, and preach the Gospel to the heathen?” (Greenfield 1927:19).

January.  1735 – New England.  America

Jonathan Edwards reported on a revival movement which developed into the Great Awakening as it spread through the communities of New England and the pioneering settlements in America.  Converts to Christianity reached 50,000 out of a total of 250,000 colonists.  Early in January, 1735 an unusually powerful move of God’s Spirit brought revival to Northampton, which then spread through New England in the north east of America.

And the work of conversion was carried on in a most astonishing manner, and increased more and more. Souls did, as it were, come by flocks to Jesus Christ. … Those amongst us that had formerly been converted, were greatly enlivened and renewed with fresh and extraordinary incomes of the Spirit of God; though some much more than others.  according to the measure of the gift of Christ (Stacy 1842.  1989:12-13).

Monday.  1 January.  1739 – London

1739 saw astonishing expansion of revival in England.  During the evening of 1st January the Wesleys and George Whitefield with 60 others.  met in London for prayer and a love feast.  The Spirit of God moved powerfully on them all.  John Wesley described it:

About three in the morning.  as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground.  As soon as we were recovered a little from that awe and amazement at the presence of his majesty, we broke out with one voice, “We praise Thee.  O God.  we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord” (Idle 1986:55).

This London Pentecost contributed powerfully to revival, which spread rapidly.  In February 1739 Whitefield started preaching to the Kingswood coal miners in the open fields near Bristol because many churches opposed him.  accusing him and other evangelicals of ‘enthusiasm’.   In February about 200 attended.  By March 20,000 attended.  Whitefield invited Wesley to take over then and so in April Wesley reluctantly began his famous open air preaching.  which continued for 50 years.

Thursday 8 August, 1745 – Crossweeksung.  America

David Brainerd, missionary to the North American Indians from 1743 to his death at 29 in 1747, tells of revival breaking out among Indians at Crossweeksung in August 1745. Concerning 8 August, 1745, he wrote, “The power of God seemed to descend on the assembly ‘like a rushing mighty wind’ and with an astonishing energy bore all down before it.  I stood amazed at the influence that seized the audience almost universally and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible force of a mighty torrent …  Almost all persons of all ages were bowed down with concern together and scarce was able to withstand the shock of astonishing operation” (Howard 1949:216-217).

The ‘Great Awakening’ which had begun a decade previously now impacted Indian settlements with charismatic outpourings of the Holy Spirit, producing both conversions and significant social improvement.

 

Sunday 25 December, 1781 – Cornwall.  England

Forty years after the eighteenth century evangelical revivals began, the fires of revival had died out in many places.  Concerned leaders called the church to pray.  Those prayer meetings included outpourings of the Spirit in revival.  On Christmas day 1781, at St. Just Church in Cornwall, at 3.00 a.m. intercessors met to sing and pray.  The Spirit was poured out on them and they prayed through until 9.00 a.m. and regathered that Christmas evening. Throughout January and February the movement continued.  By March 1782 they were praying until midnight as the Holy Spirit moved on them.  The chapel which George Whitefield had built decades previously in Tottenham Court Road, London, had to be enlarged to seat 5,000 people, the largest church building in the world at that time.  Baptist churches in North Hampton, Leicester, and the Midlands, set aside regular nights devoted to prayer for revival.  Methodists and Anglicans joined them.  and revival spread.

June-July, 1800 – Kentucky.  America

Presbyterian James McGready organised camp meetings in Kentucky, an area nicknamed Rogues Harbour populated with fugitives from justice including murderers, horse thieves, highway robbers, and counterfeiters.  On the last day of the first camp meeting, held in June with around 450 people, ‘a mighty effusion of [God’s] Spirit’ came upon the people, ‘and the floor was soon covered with the slain; their screams for mercy pierced the heavens.’  At the next camp meeting held in late July 1800 an enormous crowd of 8,000 attended, many from up to 100 miles away.  McGready recalled:

“The power of God seemed to shake the whole assembly.  Toward the close of the sermon, the cries of the distressed arose almost as loud as his voice.  After the congregation was dismissed the solemnity increased, till the greater part of the multitude seemed engaged in the most solemn manner.  No person seemed to wish to go home – hunger and sleep seemed to affect nobody – eternal things were the vast concern.  Here awakening and converting work was to be found in every part of the multitude; and even some things strangely and wonderfully new to me” (Christian History.  No. 23.  p 25).

 

August, 1801 – Cane Ridge.  America (Barton Stone)

Presbyterian minister Barton Stone organised similar meetings in 1801 in his area at Cane Ridge, Kentucky.  A huge crowd of around 12,500 attended in over 125 wagons.  At that time Lexington, the largest town in Kentucky, had less than 1,800 citizens.  Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist preachers and circuit riders formed preaching teams, speaking simultaneously in different parts of the camp grounds, all aiming for conversions.  Methodist James Finley, wrote:

The noise was like the roar of Niagara.  The vast sea of human being seemed to be agitated as if by a storm. …  At one time I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens (Pratney 1994:104).

The Rev. Moses Hoge described it:

“The careless fall down, cry out, tremble, and not infrequently are affected with convulsive twitchings … Nothing that imagination can paint.  can make a stronger impression upon the mind.  than one of those scenes.  Sinners dropping down on every hand, shrieking, groaning, crying for mercy, convulsed; professors praying, agonizing, fainting, falling down in distress for sinners or in raptures of joy! … As to the work in general there can be no question but it is of God.  The subjects of it, for the most part are deeply wounded for their sins, and can give a clear and rational account of their conversion” (Christian History.  No. 23.  p. 26).

These frontier revivals became a new emphasis in American revivalism.  They included the ‘saw dust trail’ laid down to settle the dust or soak up wet ground over which penitents moved to the ‘altar’ at the front.  Revival early in the nineteenth century not only impacted the American frontier, but also towns and especially colleges.  One widespread result in America, as in England, was the formation of missionary societies to train and direct the large numbers of converts filled with missionary zeal.

Wednesday, 10 October, 1821 – Adams.  America

Charles Finney had a mighty empowering by God’s Spirit on the night of his conversion on Wednesday 10 October 1821.  Convicted by the Spirit that morning, he surrendered to God in the woods.  That night he was filled with the Spirit:

I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any memory of ever hearing the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul.  I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me.  Indeed it seemed to come in waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way.  It seemed like the very breath of God.  I can remember distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.

No words can express the wonderful love that was spread abroad in my heart.  I wept aloud with joy and love.  I literally bellowed out the unspeakable overflow of my heart.  These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after another, until I remember crying out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.” I said,  “Lord, I cannot bear any more,” yet I had no fear of death (Wessel 1977:20-22).

Finney continued for the rest of his life in evangelism and revival.  He founded and taught theology at Oberlin College which pioneered co-education and enrolled both blacks and whites.  His Lectures on Revival were widely read and helped to fan revival in America and England.

Sunday, 22 May, 1859 – Natal.  South Africa

Revival began among the Zulu and Bantu tribes in South Africa before it spilled over into the Dutch Reformed Church.  Tribal people gathered in large numbers on the frontier mission stations and then took revival, African style, into their villages.  On Sunday night, 22 May, the Spirit of God fell on a service of the Zulus in Natal so powerfully that they prayed all night.  News spread rapidly.  This revival among the Zulus of Natal on the east coast ignited missions and tribal churches.  It produced deep conviction of sin, immediate repentance and conversions, extraordinary praying and vigorous evangelism.

In April 1860 at a combined missions conference of over 370 leaders of Dutch Reformed, Methodist and Presbyterian leaders meeting at Worcester, South Africa, they discussed revival.  Andrew Murray Sr., moved to tears, had to stop speaking.  His son, Andrew Murray Jr., now well known through his books, led in prayer so powerfully that many saw that as the beginning of revival in those churches.

October, 1871 – New York

D. L. Moody, converted in 1855, led powerful evangelistic campaigns in America and England.  While visiting New York in 1871 to raise funds for churches and orphanages destroyed in the Chicago fire of October that year, in which his home,  church sanctuary and the YMCA buildings were destroyed, he had a deep encounter with God.  He wrote,

“I was crying all the time God would fill me with his Spirit.  Well, one day in the city of New York – oh, what a day! – I cannot describe it.  I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name.  Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years.  I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.  I went to preaching again.  The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths; and yet hundreds were converted.  I would not be placed back where I was before that blessed experience for all the world – it would be as the small dust of the balance” (Moody 1900:149).

Monday, 31 October, 1904 – Loughor, Wales

Evan Roberts, a student at the Methodist Academy in Wales, experienced a deep work of the Spirit at meetings on Thursday 29 September, 1904, after Presbyterian evangelist Seth Joshua closed the 7 a.m. meeting crying out in Welsh.  ‘Lord … bend us.’  Roberts agonised in prayer that day.  He wrote.  “It was the Spirit that put the emphasis for me on ‘Bend us.’  ‘That is what you need’ said the Spirit to me. And as I went out I prayed.  O Lord, bend me” (Evans 1969:70).

Impelled by the Spirit he returned home from college on a week’s leave and spoke nightly from 31 October to increasing crowds as the Spirit moved powerfully on them.  From the following week he led teams by invitation across south Wales, sparking the Welsh Revival which reported 70,000 conversions in three months and 100,000 within a year.  Crime rates and abortions dropped.  Many taverns went bankrupt.  Some judges had no cases to try, and police had so little to do in many towns at the height of the revival that they attended the meetings while still on duty.

Friday, 30 June, 1905 – Mukti.  India

Pandita Ramabai established a compound for widows and orphan girls during severe famine in her area near Pune (Poona) just south of Bombay,  and called it Mukti (Salvation).  By 1901 she had 2,000 girls and women and from January 1905 she began teaching about the need for revival.  Soon over 500 people met twice daily to pray for revival, mostly women and girls.  Thirty of her ladies ministered in teams in the villages.  They met daily to pray for the endowment of the Holy Spirit.  On Thursday 29 June the Spirit moved strongly on many of the girls.  On Friday, 30 June, while Ramabai taught from John 8, the Holy Spirit fell on them all suddenly with great power.  Everyone there began to weep and pray aloud, crying out to be baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Revival spread through their mission, and into many surrounding areas.  Regular school activities gave way to confession, repentance, and great joy with much praise and dancing.  Many spoke in tongues (including English!), and were filled with zeal for evangelism and social care.

Saturday, 14 April, 1906 – Azusa Street.  Los Angeles

Charles Paraham conducted a Bible College at Topeka, Kansas where on 1 January 1901 Agnes Ozman spoke in tongues when Parham laid hands on her and prayed for her to be baptized in the Spirit.  That month Parham and half of the 34 students also spoke in tongues.  Those events have been seen as the beginning of Pentecostalism in America.

William Seymour, a Negro Holiness pastor, attended Parham’s short term Bible School in Houston, Texas early in 1906,  then by April was the leader of The Apostolic Faith Mission at Azusa Street, Los Angeles.  Meetings began there on Easter Saturday, 14 April 1906.  About 100 attended including blacks and whites.  The Spirit of God moved powerfully on that little mission.   Many were baptized in the Spirit with speaking in tongues, prophecies, and healings.  Its centrifugal influence ignited Pentecostal mission across America and overseas.

Sunday, 4 July, 1909 – Valparaiso.  Chile

Minnie Abrams, who worked at Mukti in India during the 1905 revival there, sent an account of it in 1907 to Willis Hoover, Methodist missionary in Chile.  Those Methodists began praying for revival which burst on them on Sunday 4 July, resulting in their church growing from 300 to 1,000 in two months.  Willis Hoover wrote:

Saturday night was an all night of prayer.  during which four vain young ladies (three of them were in the choir) fell to the floor under the power of the Spirit. … From that time on the atmosphere seemed charged by the Holy Spirit, and people fell on the floor, or broke out in other tongues, or singing in the Spirit,  in a way impossible in their natural condition (Frodsham 1946:177-178).

1914 – Belgian Congo.  Africa

Africa has seen many powerful revivals such as the Belgian Congo outpouring with C. T. Studd in 1914. “The whole place was charged as if with an electric current.  Men were falling, jumping, laughing, crying, singing, confessing and some shaking terribly,” he reported. “As I led in prayer the Spirit came down in mighty power sweeping the congregation.  My whole body trembled with the power.  We saw a marvellous sight, people literally filled and drunk with the Spirit” (W.E.C. 1954:12-15).

Monday, 7 March, 1921 – Lowestoft.  England

Douglas Brown, a Baptist minister in South London, saw conversions in his church every Sunday for 15 years to 1921.  He felt the Lord convict him about leaving his pastorate for evangelistic mission work.  Although reluctant.  he finally surrendered.  “Then something happened,” he wrote.  “I found myself in the loving embrace of Christ for ever and ever; and all power and joy and blessedness rolled in like a deluge” (Griffin 1992:17-18).  After that 2 a.m. encounter, he embarked on itinerant missions commencing on 7 March in Lowestroft, East Anglia, with immediate responses in large numbers.  Within eighteen months he addressed over 1700 meetings, and saw revival in his evangelistic ministry in England.

1949 – Hebrides Islands, Scotland

Following the trauma of World War II, spiritual life reached a low ebb in the Scottish Hebrides.  Church leaders prayed for revival.  They invited evangelist Duncan Campbell to lead meetings.  At the close of his first meeting in the Presbyterian church in Barvas the travel weary preacher was invited to join an all night prayer meeting!  Thirty people gathered for prayer in a nearby cottage.  Duncan Campbell described it:

“God was beginning to move, the heavens were opening, we were there on our faces before God.  Three o’clock in the morning came, and God swept in.  About a dozen men and women lay prostrate on the floor, speechless.  Something had happened; we knew that the forces of darkness were going to be driven back, and men were going to be delivered. We left the cottage at 3 a.m. to discover men and women seeking God.  I walked along a country road, and found three men on their faces, crying to God for mercy.  There was a light in every home,  no one seemed to think of sleep” (Whittaker 1984:159).

His mission continued for five weeks.  Services lasted from early morning until late at night and into the early hours of the morning.  The revival spread to the neighbouring parishes from Barvas with similar scenes of repentance.  prayer and preaching.  People sensed the awesome presence of God everywhere.

Sunday, 26 September, 1965 – Soe.  Timor

Revival burst into unprecedented power in Timor in 1965.  This revival spread in the uncertain days following the attempted army coup on 30 September, 1965 in Indonesia.  Four days previously a visitation from God had begun in Soe, a mountain town of about 5,000 people in Timor in the Reformed Church on Sunday 26 September.  That night, as at Pentecost, people heard the sound of a tornado wind, and flames on the church building prompted police to set off the fire alarm to summon volunteer fire fighters, but the church was not burning.  Many were converted that night, many filled with the Spirit including speaking in tongues, some using English who did not know English.  By midnight teams of lay people had been organised to begin spreading the gospel the next day.  Eventually.  about 90 evangelistic teams were formed which functioned powerfully with spiritual gifts.

The Reformed Church Presbytery on Timor recorded 80,000 conversions from the first year of the revival there, half of those being former communists.  They verified that 15,000 people were permanently healed in that year (Koch 1970).

Tuesday, 3 February, 1970 – Asbury College.  Wilmore, Kentucky

A revival broke out in Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, on Tuesday 3 February, 1970.  God’s Spirit moved on the regular morning chapel commencing at 10 o’clock. Students came weeping to the front to kneel in repentance.  Others gave testimonies including confession of sin.  They prayed and worshipped spontaneously.  The staff cancelled lectures for the day as the auditorium filled with over 1,000 people.  Few left for meals.  By midnight over 500 still remained praying and worshipping.  Several hundred committed their lives to Christ that day.  By 6 a.m. next morning 75 students were still praying in the hall, and through the Wednesday it filled again as lectures were again cancelled for the day.  The time was filled with praying, singing, confessions and testimonies.  Almost half the student body of 1000 formed teams witnessing about the revival.  In the first week after the revival began teams of students visited 16 states by invitation and saw several thousand conversions through their witnessing (Coleman 1970).

Sunday, 23 August, 1970 – Solomon Islands

Muri Thompson, a Maori evangelist from New Zealand, visited the Solomon Islands in July and August 1970 where the church had already experienced significant renewal and was praying for revival.  During the last two weeks of those meetings the Holy Spirit moved even more powerfully in the meetings.  On Sunday morning 23 August on the island of Malaita Muri preached powerfully, then he said, ‘If anyone wants to come forward …’ and immediately the whole congregation of 600 surged forward in repentance.  Many saw visions of God, of Jesus on the cross or on his throne, of angels, or of bright light.  Some spoke in tongues.  Some were healed.  Most came into a new experience of God with a deep awareness of the need for humility and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

The following Thursday, 27 August, at another village on Malaita when the 2,000 people bowed in prayer, they heard a growing sound.  ‘I looked up through an opening in the leaf roof to the heavens from where the sound seemed to be coming.  It grew to be roar – then it came to me: surely this is the Holy Spirit coming like a mighty rushing wind.  I called the people to realize that God the Holy Spirit was about to descend upon them’ (Griffiths 1997:175).  Many people involved in that impact of the Spirit sparked similar revivals throughout the Pacific (Waugh 1998:69-75).

Wednesday 14 March, 1979 – Elcho Island.  Australia

Djiniyini Gondarra, Uniting Church minister in the settlement of Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island, returned from holidays on the late afternoon Missionary Aviation Fellowship flight on 14 March.  1979.  Aboriginal Christians there had been praying earnestly, and met that night in his home for another prayer meeting.  He reports,

Suddenly we began to feel God’s Spirit moving in our hearts and the whole form of our prayer suddenly changed and everybody began to pray in the Spirit and in harmony.  And there was a great noise going on in the room and we began to ask one another what was going on.  Some of us said that God had now visited us and once again established his kingdom among his people who have been bound for so long by the power of evil… In that same evening the word just spread like the flames of fire and reached the whole community in Galiwin’ku.  Gelung [his wife] and I couldn’t sleep at all that night because people were just coming for the ministry.  bringing the sick to be prayed for, for healing.  Others came to bring their problems.  Even a husband and wife came to bring their marriage problem, so the Lord touched them and healed their marriage (Gondarra 1991).

Teams from Elcho Island took revival movements throughout Arnhem Land, Northern Territory and Western Australia.  At Warburton, then regarded as having one of the highest aboriginal crime rates in Australia, the mission team saw many converted and powerfully changed.

Sunday 15 May, 1980 – Anaheim.  America

John Wimber led the evangelical Vineyard Fellowship at Anaheim from 1977.  On Mother’s Day.  15 May, 1980 at the evening service a young man spoke.  That night, after he gave his testimony, Lonnie asked the Holy Spirit to come and the repercussions were incredible.  The Spirit of God literally knocked people to the floor and shook them silly.  Many people spoke in tongues, prophesied or had visions.  Then over the next few months, hundreds and hundreds of people came to Christ as the result of the witness of the individuals who were touched that night, and in the aftermath.  The church saw approximately 1,700 converted to Christ in a period of about three months.  This evolved into a series of opportunities, beginning in 1980, to minister around the world.  Thus the Vineyard renewal ministry and the Vineyard movement were birthed (Vineyard Reflections.  May/June 1994).

Thursday 14 June – Brugam, Papua New Guinea

In the Sepik lowlands of northern Papua New Guinea revival touched the South Seas Evangelical Churches at Easter 1984, sparked by Solomon Island pastors.  It was characterised by repentance, confession, weeping and great joy.  Stolen goods were returned or replaced, and wrongs made right.  Australian missionary Ray Overend’s report includes comment on revival beginning at Brugam, the church headquarters.  on 14 June:

“About 200 people surged forward.  Many fell flat on their faces on the ground sobbing aloud.  Some were shaking – as spiritual battles raged within.  There was quite some noise… The spiritual battles and cries of contrition continued for a long time.  Then one after another in a space of about three minutes everybody rose to their feet, singing spontaneously as they rose.  They were free.  The battle was won.  Satan was bound.  They had made Christ their King!  Their faces looked to heaven as they sang.  They were like the faces of angels.  The singing was like the singing of heaven.  Deafening, but sweet and reverent” (Overend 1986:36-37).

The whole curriculum and approach at the Bible School for the area changed.  Instead of having traditional classes and courses, teachers would work with the school all day from prayer times early in the morning through Bible teaching followed by discussion and sharing times during the day to evening worship and ministry.  The school became a community, seeking the Lord together.  Christians learned to witness and minister in spiritual gifts, praying and responding to the leading of the Spirit.  This included discernment of spirits, deliverance, words of knowledge, tongues, prophecy, healing and boldness in evangelism.

Thursday 4 August, 1988 – Kambaidam.  Papua New Guinea

Johan van Bruggen, a missionary at the Lutheran Evangelist Training Centre at Kambaidam near Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, reported in his circulars on the beginnings of revival which produced powerful evangelism, deliverance where whole villages publicly burned fetishes, and healings and miracles:

What were the highlights of 1988?  No doubt the actual outpouring of the Holy Spirit must come first.  It happened on August 4 when the Spirit fell on a group of students and staff.  with individuals receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on several occasions later on in the year.  The school has never been the same again.  As direct results we noticed a desire for holiness, a hunger for God’s Word which was insatiable right up till the end of the school year, and also a tremendous urge to go out and witness.  Whenever they had a chance many of our students were in the villages with studies and to lead Sunday services.  Prayer life deepened, and during worship services we really felt ourselves to be on holy ground. … We have been almost left speechless by what God is doing now through our students.  We realize that we have been led on and are now on the threshold of a revival (Waugh 1998:96).

1988 – Madruga.  Cuba

In 1988, revival broke out in a small church in Madruga, Cuba. “People would begin to weep when they entered the church,” said their pastor.  More than 60 churches experienced a similar move of the Spirit among the 10 million people of Cuba.  The revival produced more than 2,400 house churches.  Although open evangelism is still outlawed, teenagers were joining the children and adults to witness boldly in parks, beaches, and other public places, regardless of the risk.  There is a “holy and glorious restlessness” amongst the believers.  said one pastor.  “The once defensive mood and attitude of the church has turned into an offensive one, and Christians are committed to the vision of ‘Cuba Para Cristo!’ – Cuba for Christ!” (Open Doors, Australian Report, September 1993).

1989 – Henan and Anhul, China

The persecuted church in China lives in constant revival.  This is merely a sample account.

In 1989 Henan preachers visited North Anhul province and found several thousand believers in the care of an older pastor from Shanghai.  At their first night meeting with 1,000 present 30 were baptised in the icy winter.  The first baptised was a lady who had convulsions if she went into water.  She was healed of that and other ills, and found the water warm.  A 12 year old boy deaf and dumb was baptized and spoke, “Mother, Father, the water is not cold – the water is not cold.”  An aged lady nearly 90, disabled after an accident in her 20s, was completely healed in the water.  By the third and fourth nights over 1,000 were baptised.  A young evangelist, Enchuan, 20 years old in 1990, had been leading evangelistic teams since he was 17. He said, “When the church first sent us out to preach the Gospel, after two to three months of ministering we usually saw 20-30 converts.  But now it is not 20.  It is 200, 300, and often 600 or more will be converted” (Balcombe 1991).

Dennis Balcombe reported in a newsletter on 27 August 1994: “This year has seen the greatest revival in Chinese history.  Some provinces have seen over 100,000 conversions during the first half of this year.

Contemporary Witness

Unprecedented revival continues in China especially in house churches, in Africa especially in independent church movements, in Latin America especially in evangelical/pentecostal churches such as currently in Argentina, and in proliferating revival movements throughout the world.  All of these now involve powerful charismatic impacts of the Spirit of God and increasing awareness and use of the charismata.

Renewal and evangelism increased through the nineties into the 21st century, even in the West.  Focal points for renewal and revival have included Toronto in Canada, Brompton in London, Sunderland in England, and Pensacola in America.  However, reports continue to multiply of renewed churches, empowered evangelism, and significant social involvement (such as crime rates significantly reduced in Sunderland and Pensacola). David Barrett’s global research indicates that pentecostal/charismatic membership has grown from small beginnings around 1900 to over 460 million by 1995, over 500 million around 2000 and now over 600 million (Synan 1997:281; Hollenweger 1998:42, Burgess & van der Maas 2002).

In Australia, the 1991 National Church Life Survey indicated that two thirds of church attenders were then involved with or sympathetic to charismatic/pentecostal Christianity.  Charismatic congregations, whether denominational, independent or Pentecostal, continue to multiply, evangelize actively, and many have significant social caring programs.

These indicators suggest a massive shift in global Christianity, which increasingly acknowledges and rediscovers charisma in revival.  It holds enormous promise for “the reshaping of religion in the twenty-first century” (Cox 1995).  Charisma in revival offers a paradigm in which differing denominational perspectives on charismatic Spirit movements may find common ground in evangelism, equipping of Christians for ministry, and in social reform.

References

Balcombe, D. (1991) “Hong Kong and China Report.” Hong Kong: Revival Christian Church.

Coleman, Robert (1970) One Divine Moment. Old Tappan: Revell.

Cox, H. (1995) Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-first Century. New York: Addison-Wesley.

Dunn, James D. G. (1970) Baptism in the Holy Spirit. London: S.C.M.

Evans, E. (1969) The Welsh Revival of 1904. Bridgend: Evangelical Press.

Frodsham, S. H. (1946) With Signs Following. Springfield: Gospel Publishing House.

Gondarra, D. (1991) “Pentecost in Arnhem Land” in Waugh, G. Church on Fire,

Melbourne: JBCE, pp. 14-19.

Green, M. (1985) I Believe in the Holy Spirit. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Greenfield, J. (1927) Power from on High. Reprinted 1950, London: Christian Literature Crusade.

Griffin, S. C. (1992) A Forgotten Revival. Bromley: One Day Publications.

Griffiths, A. (1977) Fire in the Islands. Wheaton: Shaw.

Howard, P. E. (1949) The Life and Diary of David Brainerd. Edited by Jonathan Edwards. Reprinted 1989. Grand Rapids: Baker.

Hollenweger, W. J. (1998) “Pentecostalism’s Global Language.” Christian History, Issue 58, pp. 42-44.

Hyatt, E. (1997) 200 Years of Charismatic Christianity. Tulsa: Hyatt.

Idle, C. ed. (1986) The Journal of John Wesley. Tring: Lion.

Koch, K. (1968) The Revival in Indonesia. Grand Rapids: Kregel

McDonnell, Kilian & Montague, George, eds. (1991) Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit. New York: Paulist.

Moody, W. R. (1900) The Life of D. L. Moody. New York: Revell.

Overend, R. (1986) The Truth will Set you Free. Laurieton: S.S.E.M.

Pratney, W. (1994) Revival. Lafayette: Huntington House.

Stacy, J. (1842) The Great Awakening. Reprinted 1989. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth.

Synan, Vinson (1997) The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Warfield, Benjamin (1918) Counterfield Miracles. Carlile, PA.

Waugh, G. (1991) Church of Fire. Melbourne: JBCE.

Waugh, G. (1998) Flashpoints of Revival. Shippensburg: Revival Press.

Wessel, H. ed. (1977) The Autobiography of Charles Finney. Minneapolis: Bethany

Williams, Rodman (1992) Renewal Theology. Grand Rapids; Zondervan.

Worldwide Evangelization Crusade. (1954) This is That. London: Worldwide Evangelization Crusade.

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