Hey gang, I thought I would send you some information that I sent to the men that I meet with on Thursday mornings. In our group the topic of revival has come up almost as much as the rapture. I will not talk about the rapture as you can go to a plethora of Bible scholars on YouTube and can probably listen and watch so much content that the rapture will take place before you are done! ☺
Here I have sought to clarify, in my opinion, what a movement of the Holy Spirit looks like according to the book of Acts. I desire, as many of you do, to see such a movement of God in our time and culture. I think mini-movements have and are taking place, which is extremely exciting. We have yet to see the cultural transformation that so many of us long for as we look at what is transpiring in the public square here in America.
The men I meet with bring truths out to each other and allow the Spirit of God to use His Word in the process. Our goal is always to apply truth, question ourselves, and recognize and celebrate when guys step out in obedience. I am asking you to do the same with the information I am about to convey to you. Give some thought and attention to what you read and if something resonates with you, share it with others and choose to obey what God impresses upon you.
I am trusting the Holy Spirit in you, to prompt you, motivate you, and speak to you about things that He may trigger within your heart and spirit. I have supplied many comments that you might question, agree with, or do not understand.
Really, I am only a phone call away: 503-957-4547
A Movement of The Holy Spirit
“For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” – 2 Peter 1:21 NASB
Three ingredients are used of God to bring about His movement.
- Prophecy = The Word of God
- Men or Women
- The Holy Spirit
A movement of the Holy Spirit is when God uses a person or persons proclaiming the rule and reign of Christ the King, (the Kingdom of God). The Holy Spirit brings widespread spiritual transformation as people surrender to Christ’s leadership. These changed lives lead to righteous behavior that becomes evident in the personal lives of those involved. As they change, so does the culture around them.
Righteousness increases in the world of academia, including local school boards, hi-tech industries, the halls of politics, the world of businesses, the legal profession, the courts, and many other such arenas. Realistically, this is not manifested in every sphere of the public square. Still, when the Holy Spirit is moving in this kind of way you typically observe the broader culture impacted positively.
I think it is safe to say that we are seeing a present-day movement and transformation of culture being brought about by the ideologies of LGBTQ, transgenderism, the Social Justice Movement and Black Lives Matter. These ideologies are transforming our society.
Revival is what the Spirit of God does IN US.
“Then we shall not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. – Psalm 80:18 NASB
I could not find the word revive or revival in the New Testament.
A godly movement is what the Holy Spirit does THOUGH US.
In the Book of Acts we see such a movement. Below are some of the evidences of a Holy Spirit’s movement. I wrote some of these comments in my daily Bible in Romans 15 because Romans verses 20 and 21 demonstrate that the Apostle Paul was functioning in his apostolic role serving to advance the Kingdom of God where no other foundation had been laid.
“And thus, I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was [already] named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; 21 but as it is written, “THEY WHO HAD NO NEWS OF HIM SHALL SEE, AND THEY WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND.” – Romans 15:20-21 NASB
I believe the fivefold ministries of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers are still in operation today. They are functions and not offices, which is a topic for another discussion.
As Alan Hirsch’s book’s title says so well: The Forgotten Ways. It behooves us to learn the ways of the Holy Spirit which seem to be forgotten by many Christians.
A Movement of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts
This is not a complete synopsis, so feel free to add to the list as you study the Book of Acts if you choose to do so:
Acts 1:8 The Holy Spirit was UPON them to empower them.
Acts 2 The evidence of a move of the Holy Spirit is fulfilled prophecy (2:17-29), the conviction of sin which leads to repentance (36-40; 3:19), and the continual gathering of believers in homes which is how a movement spreads (2:42, 20:20). By the way, it will not happen and has never happened through the institutional church paradigm. Also, it is impossible for the Spirit of God to initiate a move of His Spirit without attention to past, present, and future prophecy.
Acts 4:23-31 Prayer was central. I counted 11 times where it is recorded that the believers prayed in the book of Acts.
Acts 5:11; 19:17; 20:21 Fear gripped the whole church along with repentance and a call to faith. These are marks of a movement of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Lord where has the fear of You gone in modern Christianity?
Acts 6:7 The number of disciples increased. The Word of God spread to a group of priests who became obedient to the Faith. I think that there are many pastors and priests who need to become obedient to the Faith. We categorize Pharisees in such a derogatory manner, for the most part rightfully so, but I am afraid even for myself as a former evangelical pastor, that the Lord might place us in the category of the Pharisees. After all we are called to dispense the powerful promises of God.
Acts 8 is a sober reminder that persecution is inevitable when we attempt to live and practice the rule and reign of our King. In Acts 8, the Holy Spirit used persecution to scatter believers and to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God. They probably would have stayed in their holy huddle in Jerusalem had God not kicked them in the pants through persecution ☺
Acts 8:26-40 We learn that the Spirit of God reaches people of all ethnicities in the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. He was the catalyst to reach Africa! This story also illustrates that you can lead someone to Christ with the Old Testament. The Old Testament (the ‘Book of the Covenants’ is a better title in my opinion) is sufficient.
I don’t want to exaggerate, but a movement of God will not take place without giving attention to creation, judgment, and repentance. As an aside, Satan’s influence has marginalized the concepts creation, judgment, and repentance in our message of salvation. We barley hear of these three elements in the modern evangelical church.
Look closely at the sermon from Peter in Acts 2:14-22 to see the importance of judgment. See also Paul’s sermon in Acts 17:16-34 to see the importance of creation. In Acts 3:12-36 we discover that judgment leads to repentance. In Acts 7:2ff Stephen’s powerful sermon ascribes creation to God (7:50) as he recounts how the prophets of old were treated and then accuses his listeners of disobeying and treating the prophets the same way. He confronts them about being deaf to and resisting the Truth and he calls them stubborn people who resist the Holy Spirit and even murdered and betrayed their Messiah (vs. 50-52) Yikes!
Acts 10 The conversion of a new people group—the Gentiles through Cornelius’ conversion. This fulfills Matthew 28:19-20. Race is never mentioned in the Bible, but nations, ethnicities, generations, tribes, and people groups are.
Acts 11:19-30 It seems like a mini movement took place in Antioch through Barnabas. A great number of people were brought to the Lord (v. 21, 24) and because of the great famine the disciples provided help to those in need. The disciples were called Christians in Antioch, which is one of the reasons when people are “born from above” John 3:8 and enter the Kingdom of God, they were called disciples. A disciple comes out of the gate learning and following. They do not need to go through some type of arbitrary rite of passage instituted by the institutional church to qualify them at a higher level, or as being something special. We are not! We simply submit to His Lordship and follow. The proof that we are following Him is that we will bear fruit. Look to Matthew 13 and the parable of the soils.
Acts 13:7 The proconsul (the governor of a province in Paphos) an intelligent man named Seglus Paulus, wanted to hear the Word of God. Even the political arena was being influenced by the Good News of the Kingdom of God message.
Acts 16:13-15 The honorable women of Philippi. In the providence of God these influential women became the first converts to the Messiah in Europe! When you think about how women were treated in those days, God elevates them to become the catalysts for the advancement of the Kingdom of God to reach an entire continent! WOW!
Acts 17:4 Some Jews, and a large number of God-fearing Greeks, became followers of Christ.
Acts 17:10-12 More Berean Jews,Greek women and many Greek men received the message.
Acts 17:16-34 are some of the most powerful and intriguing Scriptures in the book of Acts. Paul, not only reasoned with the Jews and God-fearing Greeks, but also the skeptical and argumentative Stoic and Epicurean philosophers (17-19). When Paul stands up and starts teaching his message, it is so profound. In his message he teaches that we are all from one common ancestor, Adam. Race is a fabricated evolutionary concept.
In his message, Paul starts with Creation and ends with the coming judgment of God. A complete message of the Kingdom of God includes creation, surrender to His Kingship and judgment if one wishes to reach the lost. I had the privilege to teach at Mars Hill at the location where they believe Paul addressed the Athenians.
Acts 18:4; 19:8-9 Arguing and persuading others are necessary dimensions of advancing the Kingdom of God. Under the false banner of easy-believism found in many evangelical churches, persuasion is not even necessary. Just say a prayer, lift your head and look at me, or raise your hand. That’s enough in many institutional churches.
Acts 18:24-28 Apollos was a native of Alexandria and he was a learned man. He had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures but lacked some understanding of the Baptism of Jesus Christ and the immersion (or the Baptism) of the Holy Spirit. One truth I glean from this encounter is that when the Spirit of God does a work, it entails interacting with intelligent articulate people. Not only the homeless, the drunkard, or those who gather at shelters and food dispensary locations. Can we dialogue intelligently, handling the word of God with teachers, lawyers, scholars, scientists, medical professionals, as well as those who are addicts, drunkards, and homeless? Yes, we can!
Acts 19:18&19 Confession of one’s evil deeds was also present. The relinquishment and burning of their scrolls filled with sorcery material was a demonstration of their genuine repentance. Because of these public demonstrations of repentance the Word spread widely and grew in power! WOW!
Acts 19:9 Paul spent two years with his disciples holding discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. The hall was probably used by philosophers during the morning and since most people did not work in the hottest part of the day, they came to enter the discussions with Paul and his disciples at the empty hall. We are not sure but he, along with his disciples, may have engaged with the philosophers in the hall. According to verse 10 all of the province of Asia “heard the word of the Lord”! After reading Acts 17 it’s not surprising that Paul would have engaged with the philosophers.
Acts 20:17-36 is one of the most moving messages and explanations of what the “whole counsel of God” is (vs. 27). Here are four aspects of the “whole counsel of God:”
- 20:21 “Repentance”
- 20:21 “faith in the Lord Jesus”
- 20:24 “the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace”
- 20:25 “proclaiming the Kingdom”
Acts 24:24-26 The message of the Good News of the Kingdom of God is always framed as a leadership issue! Every person, at some time, gives their allegiance to some alternative kingdom that takes priority over the rule of Jesus Christ. In the case of Felix and Drusilla they had an affair. Felix precipitated her divorce from her first husband. Ouch! Paul talks to Felix about faith in Jesus Christ but notice closely Paul discourses about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Both Felix’s and Drusilla’s alternative kingdom was their immorality and that kept them from trusting Christ and following Him. Righteousness addressed their overall unrighteous behavior. Self-control hit home because they were not practicing restraint. Judgment revealed God’s disapproval of their actions. Felix said, “that’s enough for now.” Perhaps this is one of the clearest rejections of Jesus Christ in the book of Acts.
Acts 28:22 when a movement of the Holy Spirit is operative, we can expect people to talk against those who are loyal to the King.
Acts 28: 23-31 under house arrest, Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God, and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ even in his last days. What a way to go out!
Please write down what you think the Holy Spirit is saying to you about a movement of the Holy Spirit.