Revival: Revival Resumed

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Revival Resumed

Revival, or the rebuilding of God’s temple, took over fifteen years. During that time of work and waiting, the Israelites searched their hearts and saw more sin in their lives. At the end, they finally arrived to a place where they would call sin, “sin.” They knew, not with head knowledge, their unworthiness for God to be with them. The Lord had, however, over the years worked His convincing power in them. But now in His timing, with His permission, the people once again had to act on sheer faith to rebuild. The prophets encouraged the people to begin, for they, in true humility, did not feel worthy. Gone was the self-effort that seeks to lift oneself up in the Lord. Gone was the self-justification of why they should do the work of God. Instead, they became “worms” that could only by God’s power do anything. The new life drew closer, but they still had to labor until God knew they were fully ready for Him.

  • When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them, then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them supporting them. At that time Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues came to them and spoke to them thus, “Who issued you a decree to rebuild this temple and to finish this structure?” Then we told them accordingly what the names of the men were who were reconstructing this building. But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until a report should come to Darius, and then a written reply be returned concerning it. (Ezra 5:1–5 NASB)

Did you notice “God’s eye” in the passage above? Those eyes of God rested upon the elders and upon the leadership. Now He looked upon them with favor because the people were willing once again to listen to His teachers. God could now look upon them with favor because they did His work from a pure heart. The leaders were willing now to pay the cost of leadership and to stand up and to do the work and become men of courage. ­Although the enemy put them on the spot by asking for their names, they continued the work. Even though men would say, “So you support that church and their message of the cross? What is your name and what part do you have in that church?” they remained unashamed to share in that suffering.

  • Then we asked those elders and said to them thus, “Who issued you a decree to rebuild this temple and to finish this structure?” We also asked them their names so as to inform you, and that we might write down the names of the men who were at their head. And thus they answered us, saying, “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. But because our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.” (Ezra 5:9–12 NASB)

A sign of revival happens when a person confesses sin in waves over several years and sees himself clearly. A person desiring ­revival greatly needs to repent and receive a lot of correction, much like a young Christian convicted of sin when first beginning to walk with the Lord. A church, ministry, or person who speaks of revival, but doesn’t have this type of lowliness, lies.

How faithful the people remained in Ezra’s time? Every time they had to stop, they confessed their sin and humbled themselves before men and God (Ezra 5:12). Today the vast sea of self-righteous Christians would say, “I already confessed that, so I know I am being blessed. I don’t need your rebuke, correction, or encouragement.” The people of Ezra’s time humbled themselves to their enemies. Constantly people today falsely build themselves up by filling themselves up with Christian music, radio, novels, and Bible study,3 rather than letting God crucify them unto death. You can often tell this in people by the fact they always seem so surprised they committed the same sin when confronted the next time. They act shocked that you would even come to them. Their cry is not a revival cry, but whining, “I thought I was doing better,” or “I am really trying.” Of course, this is after they have shared every excuse and reason under the Son for their sin.

The Surge

Since the Israelites had been faithful in God’s true revival up to this point in responding to His leading in revival, God could surge ahead. Like the final push a woman gives in childbirth, the Israelites completed the temple and the new life was ready for delivery. The crown of reward, for their waiting upon God’s revival, was ready for placement on their heads. They had persevered over the years in this matter called “revival,” and soon the people would gather in the harvest of reconciliation. Without this perseverance, you will never gain the harvest from the fruit called “revival.”

  • But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Luke 8:15, emphasis added)

The New Life drew near to giving birth in the Israelites, and this time they treasured it and would not let go. They praised God for His mercy and wisdom. Now that they had labored and sacrificed so much, God could pour out His abundant provision. In Ezra 6:4, we read that the cost of building the temple was paid out of the “royal treasury,” and with great speed, they finished everything. All those long delaying years were made up for in months. All those months that seemed futile were overcome in an instant.

How many among us would have fallen away long ago? The sacrifice and slow progress might have been too much and in our hearts, we actually stopped loving the Lord long ago. Blessed are those who labor, sacrifice, and love God even when there is no cause to do so. But now the people were ready, and God moved very quickly, just like labor and birth. A woman feels that it takes forever to give birth, but the baby comes in a matter of moments at the end of labor. As Ezra 6:9 says, without delay taxes were gathered and the work completed.

Do you see the irony? The taxes that had been a source of burden and enslavement now paid for their freedom. The discipline had become a source of joy and renewal. Likewise, those who had fallen away from the Lord, or perished in the Lord, had for years paid the necessary taxes for the revival to come. Everything at the end began to come together for the good. For God can use captivity by false churches for our good. He can work good now, even when in the past we felt content to fellowship with those who loved whitewash more than holiness­—if we will repent.
The opposition, who had for so long hindered and stopped the work, had to pay for the work’s completion (Ezra 6:7–10). The opposition that had for so long tormented the workers and taunted them, now were threatened with punishment (Ezra 6:11). A punishment, like the cross, where the offender would be “impaled” on his house if he got in the way. The cross which brought life would become death to the troublemaker. Those who gossiped about the Israelites’ sin and shame would be threatened with the power of the cross that overcomes the wicked. God defended the Israelites and moved with an even quicker pace to bless them with full reconciliation because they had proven themselves faithful. As Ezra 6:12 says, it was done with “all diligence!”

  • Then King Darius issued a decree, and search was made in the ­archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. And in Ecbatana in the fortress, which is in the province of Media, a scroll was found and there was written in it as follows: “Memorandum—In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree: ‘Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the temple, the place where the sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt and let its foundations be retained, its height being 60 cubits and its width 60 cubits; with three layers of huge stones, and one layer of timbers. And let the cost be paid from the royal treasury.’” (Ezra 6:1–4 NASB)

Those who steal the promises of God and His provisions from you will discover, to their dismay, that they have only been guarding them for you. Blessed are those who can wait on God when others steal their promises or discourage them; repent and the treasure will return to you.

  • “‘And also let the gold and silver utensils of the temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and brought to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; and you shall put them in the house of God.’ Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your colleagues, the officials of the provinces beyond the River, keep away from there. Leave this work on the house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God: the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the River, and that without delay.” (Ezra 6:5–8 NASB)

The priest could now demand anything needed for “acceptable sacrifices” to the Lord from anyone that they received opposition in the past. As we are promised in the New Testament, if we obey God, asking according to His will, He will hear and answer. During captivity no prayers were answered, but now all they had to do was ask. Finally, the promise of Jesus was theirs.

  • “And whatever is needed, both young bulls, rams, and lambs for a burnt offering to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine, and anointing oil, as the priests in Jerusalem request, it is to be given to them daily without fail, that they may offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.” (Ezra 6:9–10 NASB)

God once again made known the power of the cross. Let all who get in the way of it be “impaled on it,” destroying their religious house and all it stands for. To us who are being saved, the cross is power. For those who get in the way, they will be “crushed.”

  • “And I issued a decree that any man who violates this edict, a timber shall be drawn from his house and he shall be impaled on it and his house shall be made a refuse heap on account of this. And may the God who has caused His name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who attempts to change it, so as to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued this decree, let it be carried out with all diligence!” Then Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues carried out the decree with all diligence, just as King Darius had sent. And the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. (Ezra 6:11–15 NASB)

This revival of the temple was completed according to the command of God. Only when God says revival is complete can people speak of having had a revival in their life or church.

The people finally listened to the prophets and preachers and were willing to walk in joyful obedience to all that God required of them. They submitted to God’s discipline and He rewarded in full. The temple was ready and the last blowing wind of revival came with a mighty rush. They would receive the Passover lamb anew in their lives. Let us not dare take the Lord’s supper during revival until we too have permission from God. Let us purify ourselves and let it be said of us that “all of them were pure” before we partake of the Passover Lamb again. If a church has let the revival fires do their work, then they shall have a whole group of men pure, unified and ready for service. Blessed is such a church!

  • And the exiles observed the Passover on the fourteenth of the first month. For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were pure. Then they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the exiles, both for their brothers the priests and for themselves. (Ezra 6:19–20 NASB)

As we would expect, in Ezra 6:21 we read of even more repentance. Revival caused encouragement and more conviction of sin. This is God’s way—rest and then repentance, some more rest and then more repentance—until revival finishes its lasting work.

  • For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing… (Isaiah 30:15 NASB)

Don’t be fooled by revival that inspires for the moment and then stops. If you need revival, it will take some time to finish its way in you. You will feel encouraged and then discouraged. God doesn’t want you to return to your sin, so you must take things slowly in this matter called revival. Don’t rush to get out from ­under the weight of God’s conviction. Though you may be under this weight for years, if you continue to hang on the cross, God will give you a resurrected life. Take in the joy the Lord wants you to have, but know that repentance and sorrow await you around the corner. Only those who purify themselves in this kind of Godly revival will find reconciliation with God. All others will fall by the wayside and go straight to hell after death.

  • And the sons of Israel who returned from exile and all those who had separated themselves from the impurity of the nations of the land to join them, to seek the Lord God of Israel, ate the Passover. And they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had caused them to rejoice, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. (Ezra 6:21–22 NASB)

Do you see how the Israelites separated themselves from the impurity of the world? Do you see how “seven days of joy” followed their obedience—a joy caused by God? Not the joy we see in the church today that comes from self-imposed revival worship. This separation is “pure religion” in God’s sight. Joy without obedience is nothing more than golden calf worship in the name of the Lord.

These people had now tasted the true festival of the Lord that we, as New Testament Christians, have the privilege to continue. This festival of joy judges and disfellowships others who refuse to honestly repent of sin. It is a love for all people that demands holy behavior, from the heart in the Lord. This command brings joy to those who love the Lord. It celebrates the highest and holiest ­order in God.

  • Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (1 Corinthians 5:7–13 NASB)

Until we want our hearts purified so that our love becomes sincere and based on His truth, we can never expect God to work ­revival in our lives. Until we too decide to separate ourselves from worldly Christians and from unclean things in the world, we will never find this celebration a joy. Until we judge our brothers who refuse to repent of sin, we cannot expect God to meet us for fellowship. If you or your church experience true revival, then God’s Spirit should lead you not to eat lunch with certain “Christians.” If this does not happen, don’t even dare take the word revival on your lips. Little wonder the Israelites celebrated the Passover with the joy God gave them, for they obeyed from the heart.

God’s Favor–The People’s Humility

Revival robs us of our self-confidence. When God showed the Israelites kindness (Ezra 7:1–28), they no longer took Him for granted. Revival works a deep-seated fear in us not to sin again, and it shows in one’s life. It works a quietness that the emotional revivalist knows nothing about.

  • As God continued to move forward to the day of reconciliation for the Israelites, he sought leaders. For over the years, each man stayed at his home quietly repenting, reading the Scriptures and preparing himself for the work of the Lord. Then Ezra, in God’s timing, moved out across the land to find men worthy for leadership (Ezra 8:1–20).

What was amazing—and this makes revival amazing—Ezra found men ready for leadership. How we need true revival today, for it is a rare thing indeed to find leaders who know the way of the cross. We have an abundance of so-called teachers around, but very few qualified in the way of the crucified life.

How humble the Israelite leaders were in the midst of a true, godly revival, unlike today where revival means the sin of arrogance in the name of the Lord. Today’s revival makes fun of the devil and gains a few more members for the church. Today’s revival is nothing more than fun, frolicking, and revelry. The Israelite worshippers felt humbled and allowed God to continue humbling them even more. As a result, they fasted to ensure that God would complete His revival. They needed God’s protection on their journey through revival and knew that His anger could flare in a moment. Let us take warning that the closer we get to the end of revival, the greater the danger it might stop. Indeed, Satan had little reason to bother with you until you started to walk in God’s revival. Therefore, don’t be shocked when, just at the point of birth, Satan rises up to try to halt everything. Satan does not want God glorified or you reconciled.

Stopped by the enemy, by the world, or by old stubborn ways, the Israelites had learned that God’s love remains with those who seek Him only with all their hearts. (God only gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him by way of denying self.) So that is exactly what they did—they sought God.

  • Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty. (Ezra 8:21–23 NASB)

No wonder that God listened to their entreaty. They feared and loved the Lord in a new way they could never have imagined.

Revival renews our fear and trust in the Lord. A revival that does not produce this certainly does not come from God.

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. (Acts 9:31 NASB, emphasis added)
The first church went on in the fear of the Lord. If you desire to be revived again in the Lord, this must happen in your life. Blessed are those who know this, for God will listen to their entreaty and bless their journey to the place of reconciliation. God will bless the church that lives in the fear of the Lord. They will never need revival.
Look closely at Ezra 8:22 and see what they felt ashamed of and what they used to rely upon. Revival causes us to reject the help of man. Those experiencing revival in the Lord no longer look for sympathy from the world. The Israelites stopped whining to others around them about their captivity and how heavy the cross weighed in their lives. Indeed, they felt ashamed at how much in the past they ­relied upon self-help books, sermons, flattering brothers and ­sisters, and the many preachers who reassured them they were okay in the Lord.23 They poured contempt on their declarations of innocence and reliance on others for encouragement. They finally admitted their sin and stopped trying to change their own lives and ways. They stopped listening to those “bold” pastors who made light of sin.

  • …you say, “I am innocent; he is not angry with me.” But I will pass judgment on you because you say, “I have not sinned.” Why do you go about so much, changing your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt as you were by Assyria. (Jeremiah 2:35–36)

Oh, the arrogance of those in the church today who remain in sinful rest and at peace with God that they can no longer detect sin. Why should they confess sin again and pray for protection with fasting? God had blessed them and started revival in their lives long ago. Those with this attitude forfeit the revival that could have been theirs—all because they have no fear about coming before the Lord or calling upon the salvation of the Lord.

  • So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; (Philippians 2:12 NASB)

The Day of Reconciliation With God

The work of revival in Israel drew near to completion and the fruit of revival was ready for harvesting. The baby was about to be delivered. The people looked forward to getting on with the normal everyday walk with God. The New Life drew near to give birth in them. They were ready to get in a place before the Lord where revival would never be needed again. God prepared to tell them they were fully restored and could walk in confidence again with Him. Sweet fellowship with God would once again be theirs.

  • The Israelites had waited a long time for this day. They submitted and learned to shut up and listen to the Lord and His teachers. They came to know how worthless they stood before God. If you return to the Lord and need to be revived, you will find no quick fix. You have much to undo, by the Lord’s direction, in His way, and in His timing. As we shall see, the people came to learn that those who sinned to the point that they need revival know this cannot happen in “a day.” Yet today how many ignore their sins, telling themselves and others that they have already “confessed it to God.” How many “Christians” think they are doing good in the Lord because they flatter the prophet of God saying, “You are right about my sin,” as if agreement constitutes holiness. Listen, everyone in hell agrees about their sin. Certainly, those in hell are clear on that matter. To agree with the Scriptures or about a sin in your life means nothing unless repentance matches your words. Without the cross such sermons are “no more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice.” They make you feel righteous, but leave self intact.
    As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, “Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.” My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. (Ezekiel 33:30–32)

  • Everything was in place; the Israelites stood in their proper position and role in the Lord with their hearts prepared and waiting. Souls were fearful and rejoicing. God’s house had all its provisions and the temple was complete. The years had done their work and the people waited for God to act. If you will not respond and obey—for remember God only gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him—then don’t dare expect revival.
    We are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:32, emphasis added)

Yet, there was one final blow of conviction and repentance before reconciliation could take place. Just as women must give one final push for the baby to be delivered, don’t be surprised if at the end of the journey, you discover one last big thing that needs repentance. Yet, how many quickly say, “I am fine in the Lord!” at the first sign of God’s moving. How they use small conviction to justify the hiding of other sin. How quickly they justify their actions when someone corrects them when they first return to the Lord or He works a little peace. When they do this, they lay themselves wide open for captivity again or—even worse—hell.


  1. Revival: The Whisper Revival
  2. Revival: The Cross
  3. Revival: Receiving a Revival
  4. Revival: A Shameful Thing
  5. Revival: Revival begins
  6. Revival: In the Midst of Revival
  7. Revival: The Revival Cry
  8. Revival: Wanting to Help: The Opposition
  9. Revival: Revival Resumed
  10. Revival: The Acid Test
  11. Revival: The Whole Camp
  12. Revival: Words of Comfort
  13. Revival: The One Thing
  14. Revival: Discipleship: To Begin

Revival: Everything Said

Revival: Endnotes

Disclaimer

The Consider Podcast attempts to express opinions through God’s holiness. Nothing concerning justice or injustice should be taken as legal advice or a call to action. There is no political agenda. There is no individual moral life advice. Indeed, each person is solely responsible before God and man for their actions or inactions. The Consider Podcast is narrowly focused on one thing, and only one thing – the need for all to surrender to a life of repentance according to the whole gospel.

The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel.
www.consider.info

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