What Do You Consider to be Genuine Revival?
The following is an answer to the above question, received by e-mail, by Bro. Jimmy Robbins.
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Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus our blessed Lord and Saviour... He alone is worthy of praise. Because of Christ's supreme sacrifice, we can go free. Praise God for His son.
The word revival is not in the Bible. Webster's New World Dictionary (Second College Edition) p. 1218, "revival"...a). a bringing or coming back into use, attention, or being, after a decline. d). a bringing up or coming back to life or consciousness. e). a stirring up of religious faith among those who have been indifferent, usually by fervid evangelistic preaching at public meetings.
I do believe that Preachers, Christians, and churches can become "Cold and Indifferent" and God's presence will begin to wane and eventually those people will spiritually dry up if they don't repent and return unto the Lord. Christ complemented the church of Ephesus on many things, but then He had this stern warning..."Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." (Rev. 2:4-5) This is an excellent Bible example where "Revival" is needed. Notice the order of events:
- For whatever reason a Church has become "Cold and Indifferent."
- Christ is always faithful to "Call us back through REPENTANCE."
- TWO CHOICES...A. "True Repentance" Then the sweet presence of Christ returns...and the church becomes useful again. B. "Business as Usual" If there is no repentance, then Christ will after much longsuffering...withdraw His "Presence and Power" from this church.
I don't accept the common definition of revival as the religious world portrays it. I have read a good bit about so-called "revivals" that have taken place through the years, and have been greatly blessed by some of it, however; I wasn't there to witness it... and I am no authority.
What is my definition of "Revival"? I don't believe in revival as many teach it today, however; I believe it can be demonstrated throughout the entire Bible that God supernaturally visited His people on many occasions because of their "Genuine Repentance" and continual cry unto Him for deliverance. Notice, I said their cry unto Him..NOT..."Their evil, vain misguided Cry" for miracles, signs and wonders, and phenomena. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to seek signs, miracles, or to be "Slain in the Spirit." There is no such thing as being slain in the spirit. We need to be slain alright...but we need to be slain in the flesh. We need to die out to anything that causes us to lust and thirst for things to tickle our flesh. If you or anyone seeks experiences or the supernatural...it is very possible that you will receive a devil...and many do receive a devil.
God's people were in great bondage down in Egypt. He heard their daily cry unto Him and it moved Him... “And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows: And I will come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians". (Exodus 3:7-8) These people were seeking God and God only and He moved to deliver them and to bless them.
I have visited numerous churches and meetings throughout the US for over thirty years. I have for the most part seen a very sad state of affairs. Upon rare occasion...I have heard some men who had a measure of anointing on their ministry. If the anointing is not present...then Christ is not speaking...it's just man.
Over thirty years ago God led me to a church where I was saved. This was not just "Any Church" it was a church where there was indescribable love for one another. I was hungry and thirsty for truth, peace, rest, and fellowship. I found it there. We had Tuesday and Thursday night services, Saturday night young people's prayer meeting, Sunday morning and Sunday night services. The people were so hungry for God...we came one hour early for every church service to pray. In this simple old two-story block building little children ages six-twelve would meet with an adult in one prayer room, teenagers in another prayer room, young adults in another prayer room, and older adults in yet another prayer room.
When we bowed our unworthy heads to pray and call on God for the needs of people...we poured out our hearts with a genuine burden for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls. The Spirit of God would come and anoint our prayers. You could hear the groans and cries throughout the entire second floor prayer rooms of the people crying out to God for needs of people. Little boys and girls would weep, "streams of tears" running down their little faces as they sought God from their heart. Beloved, this is not normal. We by nature don't want to pray.
When we left the prayer rooms, we would go down to the first floor sanctuary and shortly the singing would begin. As we sang songs unto the Lord the presence of God would come and fill our hearts so full that scores of people would lift their hands to the Lord with tears of joy and praise Him in "Spirit and in Truth." The song service was so powerful that the Spirit of God would sweep through the church as sweet gentle waves. It was like the ocean waves that come in...then go out... and come in again. There were times when the young people one by one would go the altar and bow down on their knees until seventy five or more of them filled the altar. As the congregation was singing they would be lifting up their hands with tears flowing...they would praise the Lord without shame or fear.
The presence of the Lord was so great that we didn't want the song service to stop. Sometimes it would last an hour or more. Usually when the Spirit would gently pull back or subside...Brother Thomas would get up and begin to preach. Many times, however, Bro. Thomas would say... "Well, folks, I don't know what to do...I don't want to do anything that would hinder or disturb what the Lord is doing. God would always quicken his mind with a specific message for the service. He did not come to church with a pre-planned sermon...He came prayed up...and waited upon the Lord for His direction. Brother Thomas would preach for an hour and half...and sometimes for two hours. The power of God was so great upon the message that it seemed only fifteen minutes. It was the anointed preaching that delivered us from the many needs and trials that we all face in this life. We grew strong in the Lord from this wonderful preaching and teaching. The Word became a part of our life...we memorized it...and we lived by it. When the devil came to tempt us or discourage us...we did as Jesus did...We said..."For it is written" and we would quote the appropriate scripture for the situation.
I feel that I am going a bit too long. I could write a book about the "Visitation" that we experienced from 1966 thru 1968. This visitation was preceded by the prayers of Brother Thomas and all the saints. We were not praying for "Revival" we were just seeking God because we felt our desperate need for Him in our lives. We didn't want to play church...we wanted God's presence.
During this time people were healed of many different conditions, but we had no prayer lines, no falling out, no one slain in the spirit, no one barked like a dog, no one roared like a lion, and no one acting like any animal. We had no "Laying on Hands" team and no "Catchers" to catch the people who fell down...because no one fell down.
We saw and experienced many supernatural things take place. Children had visions, God pulled back the veil...and allowed several little children to see angels that were present. Brother Thomas was very cautious...he told the children to resist the devil when they saw the angels...however, the angels smiled and said, "That's good." True angels will bring glad tidings, peace, and rest. God used angels in both the Old and New Testaments. "They are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." (Heb. 1:14)
Brother Thomas said that he didn't ask for anything supernatural and would not seek anything of that nature. He said..."I will stick with the Word...if it is not in the Word...then I don't want anything to do with it." I thank God for Brother Thomas' position to stand on the Word and hold it in higher esteem then signs and wonders, miracles, or even angels. Were the angels real? I believe that God for reasons of His own sent holy angels to visit us during this "Visitation". Yes, I believe they were real.
WHY DID GOD VISIT US AT THE PLACE AND TIME HE DID?
Only God Himself knows the answer to this question. It is my conviction that God wanted to prepare Brother Thomas and the people for the work and mission He had for us to do. When Brother Thomas was saved in 1947, he told God that if He would give him just five years of a fruitful ministry...that this would be better than twenty five years of playing church like many are doing. He also prayed for many years that God would give him the means to go beyond the borders of his own local church and reach many for the cause of Christ. Brother Thomas has always been a praying man and has always encouraged his people to seek God with all their hearts as well. I believe God had a "Unique and Special Job" for Bro. Thomas. I believe his call is to make the "MIDNIGHT CRY" to the saints of God throughout the earth.
After this visitation...Bro. Thomas and others went out to establish other churches. Currently the Midnight Cry is being made by Brother Thomas on every continent in the world via "Shortwave Radio." The TV ministry covers the entire US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. We have been on the internet since the Fall of 1995. God has indeed blessed Bro. Thomas for not only five years...but almost fifty years of a fruitful ministry.
TO WHOM, WHY, AND WHERE DOES GOD CHOOSE TO VISIT A PEOPLE?
"And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." (Heb. 5:4).
"For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:15-16).
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13).
CAN YOU SUSTAIN, DUPLICATE, AND TRANSPORT A TRUE VISITATION?
The answer is No. Brother Thomas was invited by preachers all over the US back in the sixties to take a "Bucket Full" of God's blessing to their church and impart the same thing to them. He prayed over every invitation..but didn't feel led of God to visit any of them. Some of these ministers told him of their big church, TV programs, and the big offering that he would receive. The gift of God can't be bought with filthy lucre. Many people came to see for themselves what God was doing in our midst. Unfortunately, many were just sign seekers...God despises this. He called them "a wicked and adulterous generation who seeketh after a sign...and none shall be given." (Matt. 12:39).
God...for reasons and purposes of His own...chooses to visit a ministry and a people at a particular time to do the work He wants them to do.
What people call "Revival" today ...looks more like a circus. It is an evil and diabolical thing. When man chooses to make something happen when God is not in it...Devils gladly accommodate that preacher and people and give them a "Satanic Counterfeit."
IN CLOSING: I hope I have given you a little glimpse of what I believe to be a genuine "VISITATION" of God. We as God's people in these "Last Days" should seek Him with all our hearts to please Him, live close to Him, and desire His perfect will for our lives. We don't need "Revival" as some call it today...we just need to seek our blessed Lord daily, worship Him from our hearts in Spirit and in Truth, and look for His soon return.
My prayer is that you will keep your eyes on the Lord. Don't seek anything else...and you will be a blessing to the Lord and others.
In His Service,
Jimmy R. Robbins