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Cornelius Quek: "Nine Prevailing Characteristics of Revival - for Our Current Day"

Cornelius Quek
Oct 31, 2018

Steve ShultzFrom the desk of Steve Shultz:

This is an astounding word about how revival has come and what we can look forward to in our day.

Cornelius Quek is full of wisdom and I highly encourage you all to read this NOW word and how God prepares a people for revival...and sets it up.

Here is one key component that Cornelius shares:

Revival occurred in times of personal or national crisis and in times of deep, moral and spiritual decline among God's people.

I think we are DUE for a revival unlike we've ever seen yet.

Enjoy this word and let it impact you for the days we are in. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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Revival—the current buzzword in the church scene. It seems like a myriad of conferences, new books and writings, prayer meetings, and crusade gatherings are centered on the theme of revival. I will meet pastors and leaders, and the subject of revival inadvertently rolls off the tips of their tongues. Then I wonder to myself: Do we understand what revival is? How can we prepare for revival? What happens in revival? What are the key components and ingredients that facilitate revival?

Defining Revival

Revival is not just a week of special meetings with a gifted speaker, accompanied by great manifestations and power of the Spirit. Revival is a spontaneous, spiritual awakening by the Holy Spirit among His people. It comes in answer to their humble prayers as they seek His face and repent of their sins. The awakening results in deepened intimacy with God, passion for Him, holy living, evangelism, and social reform and transformation.

So let me ask you: Who initiates revival? Is it an act of divine sovereignty or human responsibility? Yes! God has graciously chosen to accomplish His will through His people. We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.

9 Prevailing Characteristics of Revival

"When revival happens, the land is blessed with the presence and glory of God."

I believe our longing for revival must be instructed by the way revival actually happens. In other words, as we contend for revival, for a visitation of His power and glory once again, it will behoove us to revisit, embrace, and live out those principles and patterns by which He has chosen to work historically. As I study Biblical and post-Biblical revivals, I have observed nine prevailing characteristics of revival.

1. Revival in Times of Crises

Revival occurred in times of personal or national crisis and in times of deep, moral and spiritual decline among God's people.

Judicial and political upheavals, terrorism, pornography, same-sex marriage, drunkenness, physical and substance abuse, divorce, family dysfunctions, isolation, depression and suicide and (not the least) the fact that society is finding the Church increasingly irrelevant are among the reasons a society plunges toward a downward, moral and spiritual spiral. When things look bleak and dark for God's people and their nation, God gives them an antidote to turn things around. When God's people earnestly and corporately obey His instructions, God begins to send His winds of revival.

2 Chron. 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."

2. Revival Begins in the Heart of the Individual

Revival began in the heart(s) of one or more consecrated servants of God, who became the agent(s) God used to lead His people back to Him.

We see in history how God used individuals like Martin Luther to spark the Protestant Reformation; Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield in the First Great Awakening, Charles Finney in the Second Great Awakening, Evan Roberts in the Welsh Revival, William Seymour in the Azusa Street Revival, among others. Every single one of these individuals carried the burden and paid the price for revival.

While God will still sovereignly use individuals as catalytic agents for revival, I believe the next great move of God, like the First Wave (the birth of modern Pentecostalism), the Second Wave (the Charismatic movement), and the Third Wave (the Neo-Charismatics or the Vineyard movement), will be a great mobilization en masse of the saints of God ministering in signs, wonders, and miracles outside the four walls of the church. We are witnessing snippets of that, and the phenomenon will grow in greater scope, ease, quantity, and quality in the days to come.

3. Prayer is Central

Prayer was central to revival. Leaders and laypeople called out to God in prayer, passionately seeking His face in repentance for personal and national sins.

One of the forgotten spiritual awakenings is the Fulton Street Prayer Revival in New York City in 1857. Financial markets were unstable; political unrest was widespread; people were spiritually disillusioned. Banks failed, bankruptcies soared and unemployment was rampant.

A businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier rented a hall on Fulton Street, putting up notices of a noontime prayer meeting in a building with little distinction. At the first prayer meeting on September 23rd, merely 6 people had shown up. But within six months, 10,000 people were gathering daily for prayer in New York City alone.

Ultimately, people gathered in the thousands all across the nation and the world—in Scotland, England, Wales, Australia, Ireland, Europe and the Islands of the South Pacific. Portland and Denver shut businesses down at noon because men and women prayed. Within a year, a million souls were swept into the Kingdom in America at a time when the nation's population was 30 million. That's 3% of the population and would be the equivalent of 10 million people becoming followers of Jesus in America today! (Photo via Unsplash)

I was on-site at Fulton Street recently prophesying and asking the Holy Spirit to release waves of prayer revival in America again. What would happen in New York City and America if God broke in with mighty waves of healing, salvation, and deliverance in answer to our prayers?

4. Teaching and Preaching God's Word with Integrity

Revival rested upon powerful proclamation. Many revivals were the result of a return to the teaching and preaching of the Word of God with integrity.

Not only does this generation thrive on experience, but they are also captivated and fascinated by narratives. It is an increasingly "storytelling" generation. It is no surprise that we are witnessing a level and style of preaching in churches today that focuses on testimonies, stories, personal experiences that often lack depth Biblically and theologically. We are in danger of eroding the integrity of the basic tenets of our faith, doctrine, and practices, and risk raising a generation of Believers who are hungry for God's power but are found lacking in godly wisdom, character, and lifestyle.

Can't You Talk Louder, God?

In the First Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards preached powerfully about sin and repentance. His preaching was not "fire and brimstone" as some would suppose. His style was quiet but convicting. The power of God would move strongly as many would weep and repent of their sins. The "hyper-grace" teaching floating around in churches today is causing great injury to the Body of Christ that is going to require "re-teaching and right teaching" to repair. When was the last time you heard a powerful, convicting, life-giving sermon on repentance and sin? How we need a revival of the fear of the Lord!

5. The Work of the Holy Spirit in Miracles and Equipping for Ministry

Revival in the Old Testament reflected the work of God the Father to awaken Israel to a restored and right relationship with Him. Without compromising on godly living, revival in the New Testament emphasized the work and power of the Holy Spirit in miracles and the equipping of laypeople for ministry. Pentecost and the outpouring of God's Spirit resulted in the spreading of the Gospel and the growth of the Church with charismatic phenomenon. Signs, wonders, and miracles are synonymous with revival.

6. Destruction of Idols and Ungodly Preoccupations—a Returning to the Worship of God

"God has graciously chosen to accomplish His will through His people."

Revival led to the destruction of idols and ungodly preoccupations. It was marked by a return to the worship of God.

Growing up as a Buddhist and pagan worshiper in Singapore, my conversion experience involved renouncing ungodly beliefs and breaking off spiritual ties and witchcraft. Often it involved the destruction of statues of idols, power-encounters, and intense deliverance. It was a literal, spiritual "cleansing," a cutting away of all demonic bondage and strongholds. This is typical of nations and cultures where witchcraft and pagan, animistic worship is prevalent. In the Western world, we fight different – but none less infernal – spirits such as atheism, agnosticism, intellectualism, humanism, individualism, and consumerism—all of which are rooted in demonic pride and arrogance, and need to be renounced. An altar of undefiled worship will be restored!

7. The Death, Resurrection and Return of Jesus Christ

Revival refocused the Church back to the death, resurrection, and return of Jesus Christ.

Jesus died, resurrected, ascended, and is coming back again. To dismiss any part is heretical. Some parts of the Body of Christ focus on Christ's death and lack the resurrection power, while others focus on the resurrection power and fail to live watchfully and diligently in anticipation of His return. Make no mistake about it: Jesus is coming back, and He is coming back for a glorious and holy Bride, His Church, without spot or blemish!

8. Exuberant Joy and Gladness

Revival resulted in an experience of exuberant joy and gladness among God's people.

When revival happens, the land is blessed with the presence and glory of God. There will be great rejoicing and celebration. The power of depression, despair, hopelessness, and even suicide will be significantly diminished. The spiritual atmospheres of entire nations will be shifted!

9. Blessing and Transformation That Produces Social Reform

Revival was followed by a period of blessing and area-wide transformation that produced social reform.

Revival brings healing spiritually, emotionally, physically, economically, and even agriculturally, impacting nature. In the Welsh Revival of 1904, the shift in the spiritual landscape and impact on the society and marketplace was astounding. In two short years, a hundred thousand souls were converted, drunkenness was reduced, and public houses shut down. The crime was significantly diminished, and as a result, many police officers lost their jobs in many districts. Pit ponies that worked for the coal miners were so used to being cursed and sworn at, they could not understand their owner's new "cleaned-up" language!

In the year 2000, the nation of Fiji began to experience an astonishing spiritual revival. It happened at the height of significant social upheaval when the churches united and interceded for God's intervention. Since then, this mighty revival has transformed not only individuals but entire villages. The Fiji people have been witnessing signs and wonders—even to this day God is literally healing their land. Reports from around the nation in the transformed villages are astonishing. Entire villages experienced salvation, dramatic healings were common, previously dead coral reefs came to life in 24 hours, wild yams grew everywhere, polluted water became clean, and there was an abundance of fish that had disappeared for 50 years. Moreover, the police led evangelistic crusades, and a unified, praying Church had replaced a competitive, bitter division among Believers.

Cry to the Lord for Your Nation

I believe God is ready to breathe the fires of revival that will sweep across the nations of the earth again. But I also believe the people of God more than ever before need to rise up from our spiritual apathy, plow the land and saturate it with prayer and intercession, and cry out to the Lord for a great move of His Spirit in our time! (Photo via Unsplash)

Will you join me and pray, prophesy, and bless your nation today with Psalm 85:6-13?

"Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your mercy, Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.
I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from Heaven.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway."

Let's pray: Oh God, bring the wind of Your Holy Spirit. Blow across America and the nations of the world again as at Pentecost. Bend Your Church back to passionate obedience and fiery first love. Father, we pray that You would do it again in our time and day! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

Dr. Cornelius Quek 
Founding Director, 7K


Dr. Cornelius Quek, founder of 7K and Elisha's Room, is passionate about equipping and mentoring contemporary leaders and culture-makers who know their God and impact every sphere of society. He was powerfully delivered from a background of Buddhism and pagan idol worship in Singapore. He has traveled and ministered internationally and in the United States. Dr. Cornelius graduated from London School of Theology, United Kingdom, earned a Master of Divinity (Hons.) and Doctor of Ministry from the world-renowned Oral Roberts University, researching on increasing the supernatural in the marketplace. Dr. Cornelius is also an adjunct professor teaching at seminaries as well as the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He is the author of Provided: The God Who Walks in The Middle of Your Need. He and his beautiful wife Tiffany are commissioned by Bethel Church in Redding, California.

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