Recipe for Revival
by Eitan Shiskoff, Executive Director, Tents of Mercy Network
What are your associations with the word "revival"? Does it conjure up the image of a large tent somewhere in an open field or vacant lot? Do you picture a too-big-to-ignore banner announcing "revival meetings", a sawdust covered floor, and an old-time preacher shouting his message at the crowd while sweat pours down his face?
Or do you envision revivals in the history of Israel, such as the nation dedicating the temple with Solomon? Or later, seeking God in the days of King Josiah? While one is a caricature and the others are rooted in Scripture, there is yet another association I wish to bring into focus - a revival which is the model for us to follow. If the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and Joel to prophesy end time revival upon the returning Jewish exiles - we need to check out His recipe for this revival. For it is this very revival that will precede the coming of the King, Yeshua.
Our model for revival is the original Messianic Jewish awakening in first century Israel. It is etched in the pages of The Book of Acts. What brought it on? And can we, 2000 years later, emulate those first believers in their pursuit of the Spirit?
Pattern for Pentecost
The key to the Acts 2 revival is found in Acts 1:14 and 2:1. "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication ... When the Day of Shavuot (Pentecost) had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."
Contrasting this with scenes from the concluding days of Yeshua's ministry on this earth, we can guess at the process His followers went through before they reached "one accord". Those scenes included competition for position (Matthew 20:21-24), betrayal (Luke 22:3; 60-62), and doubt (Matthew 28:17). I can imagine that they were first humbled when confronted with their insecurities and unbelief concerning the Rabbi's execution and resurrection. This leads to repentance, seeking one another's forgiveness, and true reconciliation.
When their hearts were right with each other, and their obedience to Yeshua full-hearted, the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, as Joel the prophet said it would. What's fascinating is that Joel not only prophesied the first century Messianic Jewish revival, but he also prophesied the 21st century Messianic Jewish revival. The clear context of his writings is the era "when I [the Lord] bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem" (3:1) followed by the "great and terrible day of the Lord" (2:31). This tells me that the "early rain and the latter rain" of Joel 2:23-24 speak of two revivals separated by a long winter waiting for harvest. Since we are the "captives" who are now returning to Zion, can we not expect the "latter rain" revival foretold by Joel and referenced by Peter (Acts 2:16-21)?
We've been given a recipe for revival. The ingredients can be mixed in a tent (why not?) or in an "upper room". The setting is not the question. The question is our heart condition. Have we reconciled with our brother/sister before bringing our gift to the altar (Matthew 5:23,24; Mark 11:25)? Are we in genuine agreement in our intercession for national awakening (Matthew 18:19-20; Psalm 133)? Do we see our calling as priests before the mercy seat of heaven, Jewish and Gentile disciples of the High Priest, Yeshua - watchmen together on the wall (Isaiah 62:6,7) calling upon Him day and night?
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