Revival…Under a Teen-Age King, Josiah: 2 Chronicles 34:1-7
"Revival is that strange and sovereign work of God in which he visits His own people, restoring, reanimating, and releasing them into the fullness of His blessings." –Stephen Alford.
"Revival is the renewal of the first love of Christians, resulting in the awakening and conversion of sinners…It reclaims the backslidden church…" ––Charles Finney.
"Revival is breathing the breath of God." –Robert Coleman.
"Revival is the inrush of the Spirit into a body that threatens to become a corpse." –D.M. Panton.
"Revival is a work of God's Spirit among His own people. What we call revival is simply New Testament Christianity, the saints getting back to normal." [Vance Havner].
"Revival is, God in the midst of His people." –Richard Owen Roberts.
"The Holy Spirit comes down upon a number together, upon a whole church, upon a number of churches, upon districts, or perhaps a whole country. It is, if you will, a visitation of the Holy Spirit. –Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
The Puritans called revival, "The manifest presence of God…It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed and human programs are abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the LORD working in extraordinary power upon the saint and the sinner."
David Whitefield called it, "God, the LORD came down among us."
“Revival is the Sovereign, Sudden, Selective and Sensational operation of the Spirit of God” –Dr. Ken Connolly
Revival is a manifestation of the holy, sovereign, almighty God, when we can actually sense His presence in our lives, in our churches and communities. It is when God comes down in mighty power to walk among His children. It is a new consciousness of God, a new revelation of God, a sense of God's holiness and His righteous demands upon every believer. Revival shocks Christians out of their indifference into a deep conviction of their need for God. Revival reenergizes the church.
From the day of Pentecost until today, every time the church has lost her power and authority and becomes ineffective, certain people become disturbed by the condition of the world and unhappy with the state of the church, so they begin to pray for a moving of the Spirit of God upon the church. They get desperate for a touch from God, a burning desire to see God touch down. They surrender themselves and decide to pray until God shows up.
“Off the west coast of Scotland is a small group of islands called the Hebrides. Between 1949 and 1952 a wide spread revival swept through these islands in answer to the prayers of God's people. Instrumental in this revival was the evangelist Duncan Campbell. He came to the Isle of Lewis to conduct a two week evangelistic campaign and ended up staying two years…”
He said in an interview in 1968: "I would like to make it perfectly clear what I understand of revival. When I speak of revival, I am not thinking of high-pressure evangelism. I am not thinking of crusades or of special efforts convened and organized by man. That is not in my mind at all. Revival is something altogether different from evangelism on its highest level. Revival is a moving of God in the community and suddenly the community becomes God conscious before a word is said by any man representing any special effort.”
“Prior to this moving of God in the Hebrides, two elderly women, eighty-four-year-old Peggy and eighty-two-year-old Christine Smith, Peggy was blind and her sister was almost bent double with arthritis. Unable to attend public worship, their humble cottage became a sanctuary where they met with God. To them came the promise: "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground" (Isaiah 44:3). They pleaded this promise day and night in prayer. One night Peggy had a revelation, revival was coming and the church of her fathers would be crowded again with young people! She sent for the minister, the Rev. James Murray MacKay, and told him what God had shown her, asking him to call his elders and deacons together for special times of waiting upon God. In the same district a group of men praying in a barn experienced a foretaste of coming blessing. One night as they waited upon God a young deacon rose and read part of the twenty-fourth Psalm: "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord." Turning to the others he said: "Brethren, it seems to me just so much humbug to be waiting and praying as we are, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God." Then lifting his hands toward heaven he cried: "Oh God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?" He got no further, but fell prostrate to the floor. An awareness of God filled the barn and a stream of supernatural power was let lose in their lives. They had moved into a new sphere of God realization, believing implicitly in the promise of revival.” –Edited by Dr. John from an article, The Intercessors of the Hebrides Revival, Edited & Compiled by David Smithers
2 Chronicles 7:14, "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."
Isaiah 57:15, "For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and lofty place with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and revive the heart of the contrite ones'."
Isaiah 64:1,2, "Oh, that You would tear open the heavens that You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence…To make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence."
Isaiah 60:1,2, "Arise, shine; for Your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you."
Jeremiah 3:2,3, "You have polluted the land with your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld and there has been no later rain."
Joel 2:15-17, "Blow the trumpet in Zion! Consecrate a fast! Call a sacred assembly! Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders…Let the priests who minister to the LORD weep…Let them say, 'Spare Your people, O LORD…' Why should they say among the people, 'Where is Your God'?"
These passages are all Old Testament but they speak to us today, since "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). 1 Corinthians 10:11NLT, "All these (Old Testament) events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close."
Now to our text: 2 Chronicles 34:1-7
The Spiritual conditions in Israel: Fifty-seven years of evil.
Chapter 33:1-10; 21-25: Fifty-seven years of evil. The worship of Baal, Ashtoroth, the groves, it was Pantheism at it's height.
Verse 6: They practiced human sacrifice, witchcraft, sorcery, mediums, spiritists, it was idolatry at it's worst.
Verses 4,7: They desecrated the House of God. God tried to warn them but they would not listen.
Verse 11: Manasseh is captured by the Assyrians.
Verses 11-16: He repented. God heard and received him back. But the people were so damaged they never recovered. God' judgment was still on them.
Verse 21-25: Amon, Manasseh's son [Like father like son] began to reign, and did evil in the sight of the LORD as his father did. All of dad's repentance could not undo twenty-two years of evil.
Fifty-seven years of evil: The past fifty-seven years in America, we have observed the collapse of Christianity! With the rise of Hinduism, Transcendental Meditation, Asian religions, Islam, and an amalgamation of churches united under a central theme that is completely social, and has left out the Word of God, the cross of Christ, and the Christ of the cross. We have seen "Political Correctness" choke the life out of any effort to correct the situation. It is "Politically Incorrect" to refer to the blood, Hell, or the terror of the Lord. One Los Angeles cult's slogan was, "It's nice to be nice." We have seen the rise of cults. We have a mission-field at our door steps. We have seen the fall of far too many "Christian" celebrities on television and in the News Media. We have seen new paradigms, "The Emerging Church," “Postmodernism,” “Neopaganism,” the "Church growth movement," "User Friendly," and "Seeker Sensitive," some of which have downgraded the Gospel of Christ so as not to offend anyone.
Back to Josiah: 2 Chronicles 34:1-2: Enter Josiah, eight years old, he reigned thirty-one years. “He did what was right in the sight of the LORD!”
Revival begins with leaders:
•Moses fasted and prayed for forty days.
•Nehemiah wept, prayed and fasted for more than four months.
•Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all of Israel.
•Ezra 9:15, "Here we are before You in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in Your presence."
•Daniel prayed, "O, LORD…we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and rebelled; we have turned away from Your commands and laws, O, LORD we are covered with shame because we have sinned against You" (Daniel 9:20).
Verse 3: When Josiah was sixteen years old he began to seek the LORD.
Verses 3-7: At twenty years old he began to purge Israel.
Verse 4: The first sign of revival is a desire to change the status quo. They broke down the altars and destroyed the idols. They got rid of everything that kept them from God.
Verse 5: They burned the bones: Forget the past! Philippians 3:13: "Forgetting those things which are behind…"
Verses 6-8: They purged the land and the Temple: Where does Revival start? It begins with God's people working together to fight for our nation. God's people using all of their resources to clean up our cities.
Verses 9-13: The restoration of the Temple: Josiah is now 26 years old. Revival always brings a restoration of the church.
Verses 14,15: They discovered the Word of God: They looked in the church closet! What did they find? Old flannel graph lessons, cookies left over from a Sunday School Social fifteen years ago. Costumes from a Christmas program, five years ago. An old reel to reel tape recorder that never worked right. An ancient amplifier, covered with dust. Some kids jacket left from last winter. Car keys, a long-forgotten ladies purse, and several pairs of glasses. Some old communion equipment, some sets left over from an Easter pageant, easels and chalk-boards, crayons melted together, and…What’s this? A Bible, the Word of God. Revival has never taken place without a rediscovering of the Word of God!
Verse 18-25: The book was taken to the king…Conviction came immediately. The king tore his clothes.
Please note that all of the work of cleansing the cities, rebuilding altars and tearing down idols was necessary, but only precedent to the important thing, rediscovering God's Word.
Also note that God's Word had not changed. Judgment had been pronounced upon Manasseh and the nation, and God had not changed His mind! We can only be Josiah's who can turn back the wrath of God for a time. But God's judgment is upon this world, we can only pray and reach whomever we can in this the dying days of the twenty-first Century. The Great Tribulation is coming! And, "I'm out of here!"
Verses 30,31: It is not enough to just have the Word of God, we must read it, heed it, keep it, and perform the words of the Covenant which are written in the book!
Revival has never happened without a strong emphasis on the Word of God. That's why Satan always attacks the Word! But God's Word is able to defend itself. The Word is like a tiger, just let it out of it's cage, it can fight for itself.
•Jeremiah 23:29, "Is not My Word like a fire? Says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?"
•Psalm 138:2,"You have magnified Your Word above all Your name."
•Psalm 119:89, "Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven."
•1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, be the Word of God which lives and abides forever."
•Isaiah 40:8, "The Word of our God shall stand forever."
Back to Josiah: Chapter 35:
Verse 1: They kept the Passover. They got back to their roots! They stood in the Holy Place. This reminds us to be in God's House, the Church for every event, Bible Studies, Preaching, Socials, et al. We cannot get blessed unless we are in the place of blessing.
Verses 7-9: The learned to give to the LORD. Josiah gave, the leaders gave, The people gave.
They repented, got rid of the idols, denied the false religions all around them, they attended, gave, sang, worshiped, and heeded the Word of the LORD. They were a happy people again, serving the LORD!
Verses 17,18: Revival came: They kept the Passover, unlike any of them could remember since the days of Samuel the Prophet. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept such a Passover as this one.
Conclusion: Our city, nation, and our world, by and large has turned its back on God. Alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, crime, homeless people, divorces, abuse, all are on the rise. Do we need for God to touch down as He did under Josiah's reign?
•All the Ecologists on earth can't solve the problem with the environment!
•All the Economists in the world can't come up with a financial solution!
•All the Physicians on earth cannot diagnose the human problem!
•All the Affirmative Action groups could never repair the culture!
•All the Politicians in the world could never cure the racial issues, it can only be solved when the great uniter of people does a work in people's hearts!
During a tour of Wesley's Chapel, an old minister lagged behind his group. He ascended the high pulpit of the chapel, and surveyed the empty sanctuary. As he thought of the great ministries of John and Charles Wesley, how two continents had been stirred to Revival, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed, "Oh, LORD, do I again, Oh, LORD do it again!" That's our prayer, "Oh, LORD, sent a mighty earth shaking, Holy Spirit visitation, as in Josiah's day to our nation! And LORD, let it begin in me!"
Use any portion you want. But would you do me the honor of e-mailing me to let me know your thoughts. firstname.lastname@example.org