Revivals from the Holy Bible
The following is taken from Understanding Revival and Addressing the Issues it Provokes and is used by permission.
Old Testament Revivals
1. From the godly line of Seth men began to call on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26) – they saw their need which is an awakening of a group of people.
2. King Asa became king of Judah and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He banished the male and female prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols. He commanded his people to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the Law and the commandments (1 Kings 15:9-15 and 2 Chronicles 14:1-15).
3. The prophet Elijah had a spiritual battle on Mount Carmel, before King Ahab and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah. Once the true altar was prepared; a complete offering was given and Elijah called upon his God and the fire fell! The people fell on their faces crying out, “The Lord He is God! The Lord He is God!” And revival broke out (1 Kings 18:20-40).
4. Jehoiada the priest made a covenant between the Lord, the king and the people that they should be the Lord’s people. They tore down the temple of Baal (2 Kings 11:17-18 and 2 Chronicles 23:16-21).
5. King Hezekiah of Judah reopened and repaired the house of God which had been shut up and neglected for many years and made a covenant before God. The house of God was then cleansed and sanctified. A big Passover festival was held and all the idols, wooden images, high places and false altars were smashed, cut down and destroyed. The temple worship was reinstated and the Levites got their old jobs back (2 Kings 18:1-8 and 2 Chronicles 29-31).
6. Evil King Manasseh of Judah as a captive in Babylon humbled himself before God who permitted him to return to Jerusalem. He removed the idols and foreign gods and repaired the altar of the Lord and commanded the people of Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:12-16).
7. King Josiah (whose father and grandfather were evil) saw revival in Judah when the Book of the Law was found and he acted upon it – by repenting and humbling himself before God. King Josiah, the elders and the people of Judah made a covenant before the Lord to obey His commandments. The temple of the Lord was cleansed and all the false altars and temples of idols etc. were destroyed, and they celebrated with a huge Passover festival (2 Kings chapters 22-23 and 2 Chronicles chapters 34-35).
8. Jonah was called to preach in Nineveh, to the notorious cruel Assyrians, but fled from the call of God. Eventually the prophet Jonah preached in this large pagan city shouting, “Yet, forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” The people of Nineveh believed the word of the Lord. The king commanded his people to humble themselves and cry mightily to God and turn from their evil ways. God saw their humility and contrition and judgment was avoided which upset Jonah! (The book of Jonah).
New Testament Revivals
1. John the Baptist called the people to a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins and told them to bear fruits worthy of repentance. They came to him for baptism and confessed their sins. He told them of the One who was to come (Mark 1:4-5 and Luke 3:1-18).
2. Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the world and was the Anointed One (Luke 4:18-19). At His baptism He was filled with the Spirit and returned from His forty days in the wilderness in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14). He preached the Kingdom of God with signs and wonders following confirming the message and thus proving He was the Promised One (Matthew 11:2-5 and Luke 8:25). The people flocked to hear His teaching (and to be healed), and Jesus had periods of perpetual revival in various cities.
3. The Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost and people began to speak in tongues. Peter preached and about three thousand people were cut to the heart, being under conviction of sin. They believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, repented of their sins and were baptised in the name of Jesus (Acts chapter 2).
4. Peter and John preached and around two thousand people were added to the Church (Acts 4:1-4) – 5,000 less 3,000 from the Day of Pentecost.
5. Through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were performed and multitudes became believers in Christ Jesus (Acts 5:12-14).
6. The number of disciples of Jesus multiplied greatly in Jerusalem including many of the priests (Acts 6:1-8).
7. Philip went down to Samaria, preaching with miracles following and multitudes with one accord heeded what he said and became followers of Jesus. There was great joy in that city (Acts 8:5-8).
8. Peter visited Joppa and raised Dorcas from the dead; as this fact became known throughout Joppa, many believed on the Lord Jesus (Acts 9:36-43).
9. Peter and some brethren went to Caesarea and preached at Cornelius the centurion’s house. The Holy Spirit fell upon those gathered, they spoke in tongues and were then baptised (Acts 10:23-48).
10. Some of the disciples of Jesus (not the twelve) preached at Antioch to the Hellenists and a great number believed and turned to the Lord (Acts 11:19-21). When news of this revival reached the church at Jerusalem they sent Barnabas to assist in the work and more people were added to the faith (Acts 11:22-24).
11. The apostle Paul and friends preached to the Jews in the synagogue in Antioch at Pisidia. Many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed the teaching of Jesus Christ. The Gentiles then begged that they also may hear this preaching on the following Sabbath and almost the whole town came to hear; this upset the elders of the city, but the word of the Lord spread throughout that region (Acts 13:14-50).
12. The disciples preached in the synagogues at Iconium and both Jews and Greeks believed. Signs and wonders were performed and the city was divided against the Jews and the apostles (Acts 14:1-4).
13. Paul and the apostles travelled; the churches were strengthened in the faith and the Church increased in numbers daily (Acts 16:1-5).
14. Paul and Silas went into the synagogue in Thessalonica and preached. A great multitude of devout Greeks and many of the leading women followed them, which led to a riot as people said, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:1-9).
15. Paul and Silas were sent to Berea and they preached in the synagogue. Many believed, both Greeks and prominent women of the city, but Jews from Thessalonica stirred up the crowd and another riot began! (Acts 17:10-15).
16. Paul preached on Mars Hill, in the midst of the Areopagus in Athens to the pagans, some mocked, but other joined them and believed (Acts 17:22-34).
17. Paul, Silas and Timothy travelled to Corinth and spoke at a house meeting of Justus who lived next door to the synagogue. Crispus the synagogue ruler and his entire household believed along with many of the Corinthians. They stayed there for six months, teaching the new converts (Acts 18:7-11).
18. Paul teaches in the school at Tyrannus for two years and all who dwelt in Asia (Minor) heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks, but some were hardened and spoke evil of the Way (Acts 19:8-9).
19. In Ephesus, after hearing and seeing the power of God working through the apostle Paul, fear fell on the Jews and Greeks. Jesus was magnified; many who had believed on Jesus Christ publicly confessed their sins and those who had practised magical arts publicly burned their occult books (Acts 19:11-20).
20. Paul was shipwrecked on the Island of Malta. Many people were healed under his ministry including the leading citizen of the island (Acts 28:1-9). There is no recorded mention of conversions, but undoubtedly there were as they thought he was a god (v6) and Paul always preached the good news.
Used by permission from Understanding Revival and Addressing the Issues it Provokes
‘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).
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‘O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many,
we have sinned against You’ (Jeremiah 14:7).