I have been studying revival lately and particularly the effects of youth and revival. Many revivalists had radical encounters at early ages. Charles Parham encountered Jesus at 13, held his first public meeting at 15, and had his first evangelist meeting at 18. Before that meeting he went up on a hillside, stretching his hands out over the valley, engaging heaven in prayer that the whole community be “taken for God.”1
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Most of these men who had such encounters went on to become revivalists. Parham’s ministry began to attract those who were in pursuit of ministry. A Bible school was opened in Topeka Kansas called Stone’s Folly. Parham had already had manifestations of healing and the revelation of God’s kingdom in their midst, but in the early 20th century, speaking in tongues was a rarity. He gave his students an assignment to study the Bible’s evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, during which they concluded that every recipient of the Baptism spoke in other tongues.2 The result: an outpouring began. They began speaking in tongues and even the newspapers began to report “Pentecost.” By 1902 Parham had become the “Father of Pentecost.”
Later, after moving to Houston he met William Seymour, who attended his new school in Houston Texas. Seymour went on to become the leader of the Azusa Street Revival in 1906 in Los Angeles. This revival spread the Pentecostal movement around the world. What we now have today in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity can, at least in part, be credited to a young man–Parham–who had encounters with God, even as a teenager, and took these encounters as his arsenal to raise up his generation in an aspect of God that had been hidden for ages (except for in small remnants.)
The Welsh Revival
Another way the Azusa outpouring impacted the world was through not only the manifestation of tongues but the outpouring of the Spirit. Frank Bartleman was an evangelist who had joined Seymour in California. Bartleman had been corresponding with Evan Roberts. Roberts was the unofficial leader of another revival that started in Wales two years earlier. From 1904-1905, the entire nation of Wales was impacted by this revival. A conservative number for how many were saved is 150,000. I don’t know if you have been to Europe, particularly the UK but soccer is a big deal there, and even was back then. The presence of God had so gripped the country that even the soccer matches stopped, not because they were wrong, but because people were just so in love with God. Bars closed, families were restored, and even the miners had to retrain their donkeys because they had trained them using cuss words, and now longer recognized the commands given.
At 13 years of age, young Evan had his first encounter with the Lord. “Because of his unique desire for the Lord, Evan gave himself to fervent prayer and intercession, that by the time he was twenty years old, he was known by some as a ‘mystical lunatic.’ ”3 How did the revival start? He simply got permission to gather those who were hungry for God together, in which he shared his encounters. And his encounters soon became others’ encounters. Word spread like a fire that God was on the move. History is born in the heart of the hungry. Once again, in the annuals of prophetic history we have a young person so on fire for God that he impacted his friends, his nation, the entire world, and future generations!
You are a Revivalist
This is a call. Does your heart burn as mine does in reading such incredible stories. I urge you, go after him:
When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6 NASB)
Revivals are born in the same way as a butterfly is created. There was a secret life there first. If the cocoon is the caterpillar’s prayer closet, then the butterfly is the revival that happens in its life. Revivalists didn’t start movements, they burned for God like setting a wick on fire that just happened to light an atomic bomb in heaven that rained His presence down on earth.
The Hebridean Revival
This was a revival that occurred in Scotland in 1949. The Hebrides were a small group of islands off the West Coast. There was “great concern that the church had become powerless to hold young people.”A call went out to pray for the youth. Answering the call were two old ladies in their eighties. They began to pray for water to be poured out on dry and thirsty land. As they interceded I picture them hitting heaven like a pinata until it burst. A particular verse that stirred their hearts and the hearts of others was Psalm 24:
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. (vv 3-6 ESV)
Within a month Duncan Campbell arrived for a two week meeting and ended up staying two years. Strange and awesome things began to happen. Instead of chronologically focusing on the history of it, I will link to some sites with that information, but I want to give you some quotes of the amazing encounters that occurred.
“When God Stepped Down” is a message by Duncan the testified of the events.
(For Permalink visit: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=1319) Here is a link to a transcribed version of the message.
During my research I came across the following video of first-hand accounts. WATCH VIDEO HERE. Following the video is highlighted quotes that struck me while watching.
Quotes from Video:
“As if suddenly something was happening inside him.”
“God asked his people to ask Him a question, ‘will You come and visit us?’ and He said ‘yes, I will,’ and He did.”
“It went out to the whole community, everyone felt it, it didn’t matter whether they were Christians or not.”
“People walking down the road and heard singing, and they would know that they were revived because of the lifein the singing.”
“There was something in the singing, something as if it’d just come down from heaven, there was… you couldn’t describe it… there’s something in the singing you can’t hear from the ordinary person.”
“One night a man was praying and saw a white dove resting on people’s heads.”
“Those who were lying on the floor, you could see Christ on their face, you’d know they were with Jesus, for their face was just shinning, just shinning it was!”
Day and night, whenever you woke up, the presence of the Lord was there, when you went to bed, the presence of the Lord was there.”
“However they also encountered God as this blast from heaven, this incredible surge of power.”
“One of those houses shook in Arnold there, as they were praying, the house shook.”
“Before we had minutes of it, but then we had hours of it.”
“Saw this profound divinity coming down as a Gospel Ship. A lot of them saw it at one point. And they all saw. This ship has only been seen a few times in history, so I’m told.”
“Another night in the open field we saw a ship, as it was a navy ship, all lit up, all lit up between the mast and everything, but we knew it wasn’t real, but for it was on dry land. We couldn’t say a word, none of us could even speak. ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ that’s all we could say.”
“Whether it’s a house that shakes with prayer or whether it’s light that comes out of the skies like electricity.”
“Crowds walking on the road, lights would be ’round them. They would be surrounded by lights.”
“Ships passing by felt the presence of the Lord… They felt the presence of the Lord, even going around the island.”
“Revival there in [the] 20′s, 30′s; it’s as if the promises of each generation where passed on to the next generation.” ”And something of the nature of God is; He knows who He can count on to test the promises, to be a trip wire of change, and suddenly release the promises to the present generation. And I think the prayers of these that have passed on are now being answered, it’s not just the prayers of the present.”
“There’s a new wave of young people that have no embarrassment about praying, no embarrassment about coming together…”
“He takes the fruit of the encounter and sends it around the world, this is what it’s like if people come together and spend time, even on their knees; and they will meet with Me and I will meet with them.”
“I don’t believe that it’s God’s heart for us to be complacent, that He does really want us to live in revival.”
“God’s just about to release His glory in our lives again!”
[The above quotes from the Sentinel Group will soon be updated in their accuracy. It was a translation from the video based on my understanding. I have since been in contact with the group to acquire the accurate quotes and will post them shortly.]
The Call for Revivalist – Revival Starters
The words from the quotes themselves serve as a call from one generation to another, from their generation to ours. Will you hear this call? I urge you, do not ignore it. You are the encounter with God that all of creation is groaning for!
I have been writing since 1997 and blogging since 2006. It was clear early on that I would one day write a book. I had many blogs and journals to pull from, but it wasn’t until I wrote this post that I had a theme to pull it all together. This put me on the fast track to getting the manuscript ready to start the publication process. This process has now been completed. Click the picture for a link to the finished book. Thank you all!
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