PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY -Works That Accompany Revival
Gospel proved its superior power. A great number of them believed and came to Paul and his fellow-missionaries, making confession and revealing their spells. “Deeds” could be rendered spells. According to magical theory, the potency of a spell is bound up with its secrecy; but if it be divulged it becomes ineffective. Thus, these converted magicians renounced their power by revealing their secret formulas.
Open confession is often necessary to find a release from sins. Until we bring our sins to the light, they will continue to have dominion over us. Repentance literally means “another mind, or a changed mind.” A changed mind means a changed
direction, a changed lifestyle. They renounced their magical spells and burned evil books. Books are powerful because they have spirits in them, and these spirits get into the readers. You will receive the spirit of the author. Pictures also have spirits in them. Pornography can be diabolical and destroy the mind and heart. God commands evil pictures to be destroyed (cf. Num. 33:52).
The Ephesians made a complete break with their past life, and this is a sign of true repentance. The value of the books was 50,000 pieces of silver. It is significant that the number fifty is associated with this episode. Fifty is the number of liberty, release, jubilee. Release from the bondage of these iniquities can only come when people rid themselves entirely of these books and pictures.
Revival Changes Society
Only a sovereign move of God can change society. It is not demonstrations, protests, marches, or an emphasis on political change. Revival changes society—it changes the home, the schools, the economy, the labor market, and the political scene. Consider what revival did to Wales in 1904:
• A nation divided and embittered by labor strikes was unified within weeks.
• Family members who had not conversed for years prayed side by side in the same meetings.
• Feuds and differences were forgotten; peace and harmony took the place of discord and enmity.
• People who had sued one another prayed and held hands in church.
• Men ordering drinks at the taverns turned and walked out before the waiter could serve them.
• Gambling and alcohol businesses lost their trade. Many casinos and taverns closed.
• Famous ball players got converted and joined in the open air meetings to testify. So many of the
players were converted that the teams were disbanded. Stadiums normally full were left empty.
• Life in the coal mines was completely transformed. Workers and management engaged in prayer meetings and Bible studies. They worshipped before they started new shifts...on company time. Cursing and profanity was so diminished and so many men gave up foul language that even the horses stood still totally confused. Normally the horses started or stopped by a curse word.
• Denominations forgot their differences, joined together, and met where the most could be seated.
• The lowliest of believers became passionate in prayer;
• The most passive became the most fervent witnesses for Christ.
Churches and denominations that men thought could never change were suddenly on fire. The most unlikely, seemingly impossible places, suddenly experienced the shaking of the mighty power of God. People who felt they could never be reconciled to one other were melted together in a matter of days. All of this was accomplished “by my Spirit saith the Lord.” The true anointing brings people together; it does not divorce them, as the counterfeit spirit of counsel recommends.
The presence of God was inescapable. The Spirit of the Lord was everywhere—in the streets, the cars, and the work places. Everywhere God's presence was the theme of the conversations, and it was done in very hushed, reverential tones.
The leader of the revival, Evan Roberts, deflected all praise and attention away from himself and his location. This illustrates humility. When newsmen from around the world came to inquire about the phenomena, Roberts said that there were hundreds of other ministers that God was using, and that there were twelve counties in Wales and that God was moving in every one of them. He urged the media to go to them. It was his utmost desire not to glorify himself, or his place of residence. I think we could all learn something from his attitude.
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