ON THE VERGE OF A HUMUNGOUS REVIVAL
By Abduyusuf Rufa’i Prepare for revival. Revival is coming to Nigeria and to the world. Revival is also coming to the body of Christ – the Kingdom of God on earth. We are actually on the threshold of a mighty and lasting revival, one that will lead into the return of the Lord, the Day of the Lord – Rapture to be precise. One day, the Holy Spirit while teaching and revealing to me, gave me an illustration. He said, ‘‘Yusuf, it will be like a fruit that on getting ripe for consumption, it is immediately plucked. I will pluck my Church from the world as soon as it is ripe and ready for me’’ (Mark 4: 29). Revival is God’s will and it predates our times. Revival has its origin in the Old Testament, precisely to the time of Moses. Moses was the first Revivalist. Revival in simple English means reviving what is dead or gone comatose. The dictionary defines revival as a process in which some thing becomes active or strong again. In other words, God and His ways become popular again. Another synonym for Revival is AWAKENING. Revival is not a man’s idea, it is God’s. The scriptures say, “Known is all the works of God even prior to the beginning” (Acts 15: 18). The scripture also have it that, “God declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46: 9 – 10). God has arranged Revival for seasons and certain generations. What He does, is that, in His wisdom, He looks for a man that will take up the gauntlet as Revivalist. When God calls or raises His servants, it is not all He designates as revivalists or calls to fulfill this role.
The ministry of Revival is a special call with special responsibilities. Every revival most often ushers a new dispensation in God’s agenda or time table and stamps the will or ways of God for that generation or dispensation. Nothing is new, every revival is meant to shine forth the light of God in a dark world and point and direct men back to God in order to avoid or escape the judgment or curse of God. No genuine Revivalist activities points men to himself but to the Living and Just God. If you study or observe keenly you will find out that Revivalist who did what they did ended up being reformers, transformers and change agents.
The revivals that have cascaded from the Old Testament to the New Testament to the 19th Century and to our present times all carried the same theme: the knowledge of God and the return of man to God.
Before I talk about some revivalist let’s look at a few scriptures that point to revival:
- Genesis 49: 10:
The rod of authority will not be taken from Judah, and he will not be without a law-giver, till he comes who has the right to it, and the peoples will put themselves under his rule. (BBE)
- Isaiah 52: 10:
The Lord has let his holy arm be seen by the eyes of all nations; and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. (BBE)
- Psalm 110: 3:
Your people give themselves gladly in the day of your power; like the dew of the morning on the holy mountains is the army of your young men. (BBE)
These scriptures have Messianic themes but they also satisfy and point without any ambiguity to revival. That is, God’s raw power and awesome manifest presence or move that pierces the hearts of men, pulling down every wall of partition between God and man and bringing about repentance and the reverential fear of God or the dread of His severity. With revival, we see a glorious shinning forth of light and the dispelling of darkness on a massive and compelling scale. Revival is not only contagious, it is inspiring. Revival has often started in one place and spread to other areas even to other nations.
When God called Moses to be a Revivalist, He said, “Go and deliver my people and bring them to this mountain to worship me.” Moses gave Israel the Law of God and taught them the ways of God. What about Elijah. He stamped God’s righteousness in Israel, wiped out about 950 false prophets and turned the hearts of men back to God. Elijah was a fearless and confrontational man of God, and equally jealous for God – qualities that every Revivalist must posses. For Elisha who carried the double anointing of Elijah, he walked in the paths his master and mentor trod. How about Jonah, a Revivalist whose fiery preaching turned a whole powerful and very sinful nation back to God, just in a couple of days. Let’s put Ezra in focus. While Nehemiah his counterpart rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and offered selfless and purposeful leadership, Ezra as a spiritual leader rebuilt the walls of the hearts of men. As a ready scribe he restored the consciousness of the precepts and laws of God to Israel such that all of Israel wept profusely and vowed never to forget the Law again. Israel repented and sought God in tears. Enter John the Baptizer; he was the last prophet and Revivalist of the Old Testament. John preached the same old message God had always sounded to Israel through His prophets and priests, “Repent” for the remission of sins. John was in the order of Elijah and was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. Absolutely fearless and unperturbed, his only concern was to preach repentance to the people and make the way straight for the Lord to emerge. John was a revivalist to the core. The prophecy concerning John from the mouth of an Angel detailing his primary assignment is recorded in Luke 1: 16 – 17:
And through him great numbers of the children of Israel will be turned to the Lord their God. And he will go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and wrongdoers to the way of righteousness; to make ready a people whose hearts have been turned to the Lord. (BBE)
(This is important because another Revivalist in this order with the same assignment is coming; and I mean it because scriptures say so and revelations from the Holy Ghost have revealed it). Having had the way prepared and made straight for Him, when Jesus emerged on the scene, He started off from where John left off. In the course of Jesus’ ministry, many were healed, set free and ultimately turned back to God. The core of Jesus’ revival message was “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”.
Let’s zero in on Peter, that bold, fearless and outspoken Apostle of Jesus. In his impromptu sermon, he thundered to the people to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus...” The scriptures tells us that, “when they heard this, they were cut to the heart… and said men and brethren what shall we do?” In that day’s preaching 3, 000 men without counting women and children gave their lives to Jesus. Their hearts were turned back to God. In subsequent preaching 5, 000 men repented; in another, the scripture simply said multitudes turned to God. Peter in deed was a Revivalist who spearheaded the first revival after the ascension of Jesus Christ.
Then came Apostle Paul, New Testament’s greatest Revivalist. Workaholic Paul and his cohorts literally turned the then world upside down. Paul was a non-compromising and no nonsense Revivalist. His messages and missionary journeys of repentance were fiery, far reaching and are still reverberating today.
In contemporary times the world has experienced powerful revivals. Examples include the revival that started in Germany after Martin Luther pinned to the wall of a catholic church a piece of paper inscribed ‘‘the just shall live by faith’’ notice and his subsequent spat with the catholic church establishment over their false teachings. There is also the Azusa Revival spearheaded by William J. Seymour in California, USA in the 1900s.
Evan Roberts spearheaded the great Welsh 1904 – 1905 revival; Roberts turned the whole country of Wales back to God. In Nigeria we have had the revival spearheaded by Joseph Ayo Babalola in the 1930’s. Apostle Babalola’s revival gave strength and new look to Pentecostalism in Nigeria. In the 1970’s we had the revival spearheaded by Archbishop Benson Idahosa. It was the time Christians were known as ‘‘SU’’ an aphorism for a fanatic. During this era many people made a positive decision to follow Jesus, as the consciousness was high in Nigeria.
Archbishop Idahosa as a Revivalist was not only bold and fearless, he was confrontational. It is obvious that he was in the order of Elijah and Nigeria and the nations miss this man of God.
At the moment a silent revival is on, began a couple of years ago by the iconic man of God, Enoch Adejare Adeboye. Yours truly is one of those who has had the fire of God ignited in his bones by this great vessel of God.
Elijah turned the hearts of the people back to the God of Israel (1 Kings 18: 37, 38 and 39). He prepared them for God. John the Baptizer turned the hearts of the people back to the God of Israel (Luke 1: 16, 17). He prepared them for Jesus Christ.
God is about to implement His strategy again. Like they say, “You don’t change a winning team.” You don’t change a time tested and winning strategy. Another Revivalist, a prophet, a teacher, an evangelist, a man of God in the order of Moses and Elijah is coming. He will lead the people like Moses and go in the power of Elijah. He will turn the hearts of the people to God and prepare the way for the return of the Lord – the Day (rapture) when Jesus shall say to His bride on earth: “Come up hither.”
As the last prophet in the last days, he will tell the people of the visitation and the curse of the Lord. Bible prophecy agrees and contemporary revelations of the Holy Spirit confirm this.
Malachi 4: 4 – 6 says:
“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Sinai for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great day and dreadful day of the Lord (this refers to the Rapture and tribulations that will follow immediately on earth when Jesus finally touches down visibly and physically on Mount Olives). And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come (that is, Jesus) and strike the earth with a curse.”
This is what John Maxwell, a respected Bible Scholar and Christian Leadership Expert said concerning the prophetic scripture above:
“…God promises to send Elijah the prophet before this terrible day of the Lord. Like so many prophecies, this scripture has two fulfillments. The first came after Jesus was born in Bethlehem; as the Elijah figure, John the Baptizer prepared the way. The ultimate fulfillment of this passage will occur in the last days, when God will send another Elijah figure to prepare the way for His second coming. God practices the Law of Timing, making sure everything is in order when He makes His move…” Revival is coming; anticipate it and prepare for it. I rest my case.
Keep the Flag flying and the Oil burning, Maran’atha.
Your Brother and Servant in the Lord; former Broadcast Journalist and Senior Editor, and now an Ambassador and Purveyor of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
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