Revival is work of the holy spirit – Part 8
Revival is not the work of man, but exclusively the work of the Holy Spirit. If any man thinks he can plan and engineer revival, he is a joker. The Holy Spirit plans and executes revivals. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the single factor that differentiates a revival from a normal act of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that the works of the Holy Spirit are in grades or, is at any time inferior to another, but that God chooses to manifest Himself in an extraordinary way during revivals.
Fire is the symbol of the Holy Spirit and of revival. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured forth, there appeared tongues of fire on each of the disciples. This was not the only time God appeared as fire. He appeared in a fire to Moses in the wilderness, to Israel on Mount Sinai and when Elijah prayed at Mount Carmel (Ex.3: 2; Ex.19: 18; Lev.9: 24; 10:2; 1 Kings 18:38; 2 Chro.7: 1).
Pentecost saw the display of the various ministries of the Holy Spirit. He is a baptiser; the Holy Spirit was poured out to baptise the disciples. Thereafter, they spoke in tongues. Some Charismatics believe that speaking in tongues is an evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit, while some don’t.
The Holy Spirit anoints. On Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit anointed and empowered the disciples. Stephen and Philip were ordained deacons, but they were exceptionally anointed to do miracles, signs and healings. Philip grew to be the first evangelist in Acts of the Apostles.
The Holy Spirit empowers. The Holy Spirit empowered and equipped the disciples to do miracles, signs and wonders and proclaim the gospel with power (Acts 3:1- 6; 5:12-16; 6:8-15; 8: 4-25). In the Nigerian revivals from 1914 to 1990s, revivalists were empowered to do various miracles. The dead were raised, blind eyes opened, the lame walked, goitres, tumours and cancerous growths disappeared. Amazing testimonies were recorded including millions of souls that were saved.
The Holy Spirit gives counsel. He gave counsel and wisdom to the disciples and directed their decisions. For instance, when a disagreement arose in the church about the serving of tables, the Holy Spirit gave them the wisdom to appoint the first set of deacons into leadership positions in the Church (Acts 6:1-7).
The Holy Spirit is a guide. In Acts, the Holy Spirit led the disciples to carry out the Great Commission. In Acts 10, He led Peter to take the gospel to the Gentiles, thereby breaking the cultural barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles. While preaching in the house of Cornelius, the Holy Spirit baptised the Gentiles. In Acts 16, He forbade Paul from going to Asia to preach, He rather directed him to Macedonia, which saw the penetration of the gospel to Europe for the first time. Thus, the Holy Spirit strategises on how His work advances.
On Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit led the disciples to share fellowship with one another and to minister to one another in various gifts of the Spirit. They moved from house to house sharing fellowship. This is typical of revival times, when meetings drag into hours and brethren share fellowship and enjoy the company of one another.
The Holy Spirit led them into sacrificial living. The spirit of self-centredness gave way to selflessness. The Spirit motivated them to share whatever they had with one another. Those who had assets sold them and brought them to the Apostles’ feet (Acts 2:44-47; 4:32, 34, 37; 5:2).
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