Revival

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Revival

From the editor

In Isaiah 57:15 God promises “to revive

the heart of the contrite ones.” However,

contrition and brokenness are too high

a price for many believers to pay. Sadly,

pride gets in the way. But in the study of

revival, brokenness and the cleansing that

comes as a result are necessary for true revival

to be experienced. Scripture and history attest to this fact.

Articles

3 When Mighty Things Happened

in Manchuria

7 What Is Brokenness?

10 Brokenness: the Way into

Blessing

16 What Now? What Christians

Should Do in the Wake of

Election Day

New!

2

This issue of Revival focuses on this necessary phase of brokenness

on the pathway to revival. One article highlights the Manchurian

Revival of 1908 that occurred 100 years ago, one article focuses on

brokenness on the personal level, and one article provides a theology

of brokenness that scripturally undergirds the testimonies of

brokenness. May the Lord stir the hearts of His people to genuine

brokenness in order that He might revive the contrite hearts.

For the Cause of Revival,

Evangelist John R. Van Gelderen,

President, Preach the Word Ministries, Inc.

Also . . .

Below New book The Evangelist, the Evangel,

and Evangelism

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15 The Carpenter’s Project

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In a day when the existence of the evangelist is being

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EvangElists

In a day when the use of the evangelist is in a decline, it is vital

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Pastors

In a day when the gospel is forgotten as the pow-

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Christians living today have little

understanding of the excitement

that was experienced among believers

a hundred years ago generated by

news of great revivals in different parts

of the world. Millions upon millions of

people were won to Christ and taken

into the churches in the first decade

of the twentieth century (1901-1910)

through revivals and awakenings that

seemed to come in answer to prayers

that had been offered by many in the

last decade of the nineteenth century.

In the 1890s, the ministries led by evangelist

D.L. Moody in the United States,

and also the leaders of the Keswick Convention

in England, had extended a call

to all evangelical believers to pray for a

world-wide awakening at the beginning

of the new century. Records tell us that

certain Methodist groups echoed this

call. When such awakenings began to

happen (as in Wales in 1904 and in Korea in 1907) spiritual people

were thrilled!

The revival in Korea (which even today is remembered as “the Korean

Pentecost”) was especially powerful, multiplying the number of believers

in that country. Christian church membership there quadrupled

by the end of the decade. Across the Korean border in Manchuria,

a Canadian Presbyterian missionary named Jonathan Goforth was

touched by the revival in a remarkable way. What happened to him,

and through him to the Chinese Christians under his influence, and

ultimately to a multitude of lost souls in Manchuria, is now called the

Manchurian Revival of 1908. As men began to draw nigh to God in the

early days of this revival, they were encouraged to believe the promise

in Jeremiah 33:3:

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and

mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

3

In answer to their cry, God did indeed show them great and mighty

things which even today encourage the faith of those who have a heart

for revival!

Jonathan Goforth and his wife Rosalind had worked hard and suffered

much in their years as missionaries to China. They survived the

Boxer Rebellion of 1900, during which many missionaries and other

foreigners were murdered and much damage was done to the work

of evangelism in China. However, the persecution of Christians by the

ruthless “Boxers” also prompted a prayer movement in the churches

that brought forth much fruit. God was working, and some of the most

significant work He was doing was in Goforth’s heart and life.

When he returned to Manchuria in 1901, having left the country to save

his life, his mind was disturbed by what he later called “a growing dissatisfaction

with the results of my work.” His work in the previous years

continued next page

Gift-Supported Revival Magazine

REVIVAL magazine is published and distributed free of charge, supported by the

financial gifts of churches and individuals. We express our heartfelt gratitude to God

for the generous giving that has made this current issue possible. Requests to be added

to the mailing list may be sent to the address below. Permission is granted to photocopy

articles if distributed free of charge. Articles are also published online at www. ptwm.org.

We would love to hear how God has used REVIVAL magazine for the cause of revival both

personally and corporately.

John R. Van Gelderen, editor Katie Hollandsworth, secretarial assistant

Jim Hollandsworth, business manager Mark Gillmore, layout and graphic design

REVIVAL magazine is published by Preach the Word Ministries, P. O. Box 428, Germantown, WI 53022.

1-800-656-7896 (PTWM) ♦ www.ptwm.org ♦ info@ptwm.org

© Copyright 2008, Preach the Word Ministries


had centered on the training of national Chinese pastors and showed

some degree of success, but his efforts at evangelism now seemed to

him to have been an “apparently futile struggle.” His dissatisfaction

and discontent led him to a deeper study of what the Bible says about

spiritual power. He began to read with more earnest interest the books

he had in his library about revival. The news of the great revival in

Wales in 1904 and 1905 encouraged him to believe that “revival was

not a thing of the past.”

In 1905 he obtained and read a

His dissatisfaction

booklet that contained sections

and discontent led of Finney’s autobiography and

him to a deeper revival lectures, which he testi-

study of what the fied “set me on fire.” In 1906,

he and other missionaries read

Bible says about

Mr. Finney’s entire autobiogra-

spiritual power. phy together during a daily devotional

time while working in an

evangelistic effort at the fair of Hsun Hsien. It was under the influence

of Finney’s book and of Goforth’s ignited preaching that revival fires

began to be stirred among the workers involved in this effort.

In the autumn of that year, Goforth decided to tour the out-stations of

the Presbyterian mission work in Manchuria, with hopes of addressing

the spiritual coldness that was evident at each of them. But first he attended

to the matter of settling a conflict between himself and another

missionary, a matter the Holy Spirit strongly pressed upon him until he

took steps to fulfill the commands of Christ about such things. When

the issue was settled, a new power came instantly into the ministry of

Jonathan Goforth. The tour was blessed with revival results, most notably

the public confession of sins in station after station. “Wrongs were

righted and crooked things were made straight,” he reported. Straightway,

many of the missions began to see the soul-saving results they had

long hoped to see, and the works saw significant growth.

When 1907 came, word of the amazing revival in Korea drew Go-

forth and an official of the Presbyterian church to take a trip across the

border to see what was happening. This trip, he later said, “was of

incalculable significance in my life because it showed me at first-hand

the boundless possibilities of [what Goforth called] the revival method.”

The source of the blessing in Korea, he saw, was earnest prayer offered

by cleansed hearts. The amazing numbers of conversions were the

work of the Holy Spirit in response to the earnest prayers of revived

saints. Today, Korea is the most “Christian” nation of the Far East (South

Korea, that is, in the sense that a third of its population is nominally

Christian), and the reason is (so the Koreans say) the Korean Pentecost

of 1907! When he returned to Manchuria, Goforth told the story of

the revival everywhere he went and received invitations to come back

to several of the mission stations in early 1908 to preach on revival and

tell more stories of Korea.

The first scheduled return-visit of this kind was to be at Mukden in Feb-

ruary. Goforth had asked that “the way should be prepared by prayer”

in the weeks before the special meetings and that the two branches of

4

Presbyterians in the city unite for the effort. When he arrived, he was

deeply disappointed in almost everything he found. First he learned

that the host missionary had adopted theologically liberal views incompatible

with the Gospel and with revival. He also found that this missionary’s

wife had deliberately left on a trip so that she could avoid the

revival meetings altogether. Then he was told that neither of his stipulations

had been followed: there had been no special prayer meetings,

and the two Presbyterian groups had not united. When he understood

the situation, Goforth wondered why God had sent him there. There

was little hope of blessing, and nobody there even desired the blessing

he longed to see. It was then that he was first encouraged by the

promise of “great and mighty things” given in Jeremiah 33:3.

In answer to his fervent prayers, mighty things began to happen! Early

in the revival campaign, a man came to Goforth with a shocking confession.

As treasurer of the church, he had embezzled a big sum of

money. To get right with God, he knew he must admit his wrong to

the congregation, make restitution, and beg their forgiveness. His

confession led to others, as shocking and moving as his, day after

day. Leaders resigned their posts, and many wrongs were made right.

The public repentance led to whole-hearted public forgiveness in the

congregation and a thorough-going revival. In the months after that

campaign, the congregation at Mukden grew significantly, with large

numbers of backsliders being brought back to the fold and many sinners

won to Christ.

In the following months, Jonathan Goforth conducted thirty revival

campaigns in six provinces of China. These meetings were marked by

deep movements of the Holy Spirit and public confessions of sin. The

Bible calls for such public confessions when the sins have been committed

in a public way, or when they have been committed in a way

that has harmed the whole congregation. Goforth did not encourage

the public confession of strictly private sins; actually he never encouraged

any kind of public confession! His practice from the beginning

of the Manchurian Revival was to

conclude his sermon with an invitation

for people to pray if they Over and over

wished. Yet over and over again, again, the times

the times of prayer brought peo- of prayer brought

ple to their feet to make right

people to their

with God and men the secret sins

that had robbed them of God’s feet to make right

blessing. What happened was with God and men

the work of the Spirit and not the the secret sins that

result of the preacher’s manipu-

had robbed them

lation. Missionaries wrote home

about the phenomenon. of God’s blessing.

“Hitherto I have had a horror of hysterics and emotionalism in religion,

and the first outbursts of grief from some men who prayed displeased

me exceedingly. I didn’t know what was behind it all. Eventually, however,

it became quite clear that nothing but the mighty Spirit of God

was working in the hearts of men.”

continued next page


“A power has come into the Church we cannot control if we would. It

is a miracle for stolid, self-righteous John Chinaman to go out of his way

to confess to sins that no torture…could force from him; for a Chinaman

to demean himself to crave, weeping, the prayers of his fellowbelievers

is beyond all human explanation.”

During meetings that were marked by great outpourings of the Spirit at

Changteh, a Chinese preacher rose and made this confession (according

to Goforth’s best recollection):

“When the reports of the Manchurian Revival began to reach us, I said

to the other evangelists, ‘This is not the Holy Spirit’s work. It is just

Mr. Goforth’s way of manipulating an audience by a sort of mesmeric

[hypnotic] power. I assure you that when he comes to Changteh he will

run up against Hu Feng Hus, a man who has a resolution and mind of

his own. Hypnotism won’t be able to affect him.’ On

the second morning, when I saw [a certain respected

man from my village] weeping like a little child and

confessing his sins, I was more than disgusted….On

the third day, as the movement increased in intensity…I

became uneasy. Gradually the thought began to

take shape in my mind, ‘Can it be that I am mistaken?

What if it should turn out that I am actually opposing

God?’ Last night I hardly slept a wink, and this morning

I was like a man demented. [Later while I was

praying with another evangelist] my heart was broken

and I sobbed like a little child. I knew then that I had

been pitting myself against God the Holy Spirit.”

The man’s confession was used by God with many others

in those days to bring a powerful revival to that

gathering which became widely-known all over that

part of China. It was the Lord at work, cleansing His

church from her sins, and then using her to turn men

to Himself. Goforth was convinced that the greatest

obstacle to revival anywhere is unconfessed, unrepented,

unrighted sin. “All hindrance in the Church,” he

said, “is due to sin.” If he was right, then the powerful

revival we need today is put off only by our pride

and our love for certain sins. The study of the Scripture

and surrender to the Spirit will bring us all to the conviction that

Mr. Goforth was indeed correct in his diagnosis of our problem. The

great need right now (in 2008) is revival preaching that calls for repentance,

connected with prayer meetings where Christians confess their

sins (private sins confessed to God alone, but also many sins that have

touched the whole church confessed to the congregation as a whole).

What power would come to local churches today if such getting-right

meetings were held everywhere!

The meetings at Kwangning saw the Lord do something that was experienced

again in other places. Early in the campaign, God began

enabling and leading people in prayer meetings. When Goforth came

to that place, the missionaries told him not to expect much vocal participation

in prayer meetings, as he had seen in other places. “We’re

hard-headed Presbyterians,” one of them said, “and our people take

Goforth was

convinced that

the greatest

obstacle to

revival anywhere

is unconfessed,

unrepented,

unrighted sin. “All

hindrance in the

Church,” he said,

“is due to sin.”

If he was right,

then the powerful

revival we need

today is put off

only by our pride,

and our love for

certain sins.

5

after us.” Not even the leaders among the Chinese would lead in prayer

unless they were individually asked to do so, he was told. But when

the revivalist opened the first meeting to prayer, after a brief word of

exhortation that warned against insincere praying and called for everybody

to let the Spirit of God guide and energize the praying, the people

immediately responded by leading each other in fervent praying. As

the meetings progressed, the prayer seasons after the preaching intensified.

The missionaries could hardly believe what they were seeing and

hearing! But they noted that the leaders of the church were not among

those who prayed aloud. When a missionary wondered why this was,

Goforth remarked, “There is a hindrance among your leaders. It is sin

that makes them dumb.” Another missionary responded by saying it

was not possible to imagine that there would be any great sin among

these good men. But then at one of the later prayer meetings, a leader

stood to confess with great emotion that his bad temper had been the

cause of much trouble in the church. After this, others

confessed their sins and sought forgiveness both

from God and from their fellow believers. The prayer

meeting was soon swept up in the power of the Spirit,

and many cried out in tears for the blessing of God.

It lasted six hours. As the meetings continued, more

and more unsaved people attended, and when the

Christians went to prayer, often the lost knelt too, and

called upon the name of the Lord.

As the revival spread that year, very deep and grievous

sins came to the surface and were put away by

God’s children all over Manchuria. Christians who

had secretly sworn to take vengeance on those that

had murdered their friends and loved-ones during the

Boxer Rebellion confessed and forsook their bitterness

and bloody plans. Some prominent Christians openly

repented of lying, adultery, theft, gambling, drug

abuse, and even murder. They found peace, and the

churches experienced revival. In the places where

these churches were revived, the communities experienced

awakenings. Multitudes were won to Christ,

and sometimes the revival services Goforth led were

attended by thousands!

Revival historian J. Edwin Orr states that what he called the Chinese

Awakening began in 1908 and continued into 1911. The main instrument

used by God in this work, as we have seen, was Jonathan Goforth.

The Manchurian Revival is a remarkable chapter in the amazing history

of Christianity in China, and those affected by it played important roles

in spiritual victories that were won before and during the awful war

with Japan, and into the early days of the Communist regime. The

mighty acts of God in this regional revival remind us of five important

and timeless truths:

1. God answers the prayers of His people for revival. Goforth stated

his firm belief that “all movements of the Spirit in China which

have come within our own experience may be traced to prayer.”

continued next page


2. God is no respecter of persons. Goforth entered his revival work

with the conviction that what the Lord was doing in Korea, He

is willing to do in Manchuria. Of course it is also true that what

He did in Wales, He did again in Korea in answer to penitent,

beseeching prayer. And what He did in so many places at the beginning

of the twentieth century, He will do for His people again in

the twenty-first century, as they draw nigh to Him (James 4:1-10).

3. God is not the One Who is delaying revival. He waits for the

desperate cry, expectant faith, and contrite confessions of His people.

4. God’s Word, the Bible, is the Sword of the Spirit, and it is the

indispensible weapon of God’s soldiers in the war between light

and darkness. Goforth said that it is “the only weapon which has

ever been mightily used in revival.” In the time when theological

liberalism and outright infidelity were gaining influence in the

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6

traditionally evangelical denominations, including his own Presbyterian

organization, Jonathan Goforth stood firmly as an outright

fundamentalist. He insisted that “we can entertain no hope of

a mighty, globe-encircling Holy Spirit revival without there being

first a back-to-the-Bible movement.”

5. God the Holy Spirit must once again be exalted in our hearts to

His rightful position as the great Helper of Christians, the great

Glorifier of Christ, and the great Lord of the harvest, if we are to

fulfill the command and desire of our Lord that the Gospel be

preached to everybody in the world.

Dr. Rick Flanders is in full time itinerant evangelism and

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“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth

such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite

heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17

My oldest daughter, Amelia, was born to us with special

needs. She has Down’s Syndrome and is someone who

needs extra patience and protection. Every parent has deep

protective instincts, but the parents of a child with special needs find

themselves taking those instincts to a whole new level. For example,

when we moved to Florida we purchased a home that happened to

have a pool – a real help in the sweltering summer months. But with

the pool came a heightened concern for what our children might get

into in the back yard. We had safeguards in place, but children are notoriously

crafty. We were especially concerned that Amelia would decide

to take up swimming on her own terms some day, so we decided

to set the terms ourselves and help her “take the plunge.” When the

momentous day arrived, we were confident that Amelia would jump

willingly into the waiting arms of her protective parents. Were we surprised!

We discovered that this little innocent one had the will of a

titan, and was not going to be persuaded to change it! If she was out of

the water, we couldn’t get her to jump in. If she was in the water, we

couldn’t persuade her to release the death-grip on us so we could teach

her to swim. It seemed hopeless! What was needed was a change of

will. What was needed was for her to forsake her will and acquiesce to

ours. What was needed was brokenness. Needless to say, we found a

way to achieve it, because the stakes were life and death!

In Exodus 35:5, Moses instructed those who were “of a willing heart”

to bring their offering to the Lord. I believe when the Psalmist speaks

of a “broken heart,” he is identifying more than just the emotions of

7

brokenness. Included in that brokenness is a matter

of willingness. Every child of God has been

created to eternally fulfill His will. As a matter

of fact, “He that doeth the will of God abideth

forever.” (1 John 2:17) However, men have chosen

to rebel and set their own wills against God’s

will, as modeled in Adam. Every one of us springing

from Adam’s race inherited not a free will,

but the corrupted will in bondage to sin. But by

God’s grace, when we are justified freely by grace

through faith, our wills are once again set free to

yield to God.

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants

of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that

form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being

then made free from sin, ye became the servants

of righteousness.” (Romans 6:17-18)

However, with that freedom comes the possibility of continued selfwill.

As we make choices contrary to God’s will, our loving Father brings

pressure to bear to break our will and bring it into alignment with His.

“For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good

pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). I used to think that God’s plan was to replace

my will with His. In so doing, He would literally plant within me

the desire to please Him. I have come to believe, however, that God instead

breaks our will, and through energetic effort draws us along to the

place where we desire only His will. Wasn’t this the attitude of Christ?

“I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father” (John 5:30). Have

we not been exhorted to have the very mind of Christ in this regard?

(Philippians 2:5) What, then, is the antidote for stubbornness? How is

God working in me to will His pleasure?

Chastening is brokenness initiated.

“Beloved, now are we the sons

of God” (1 John 3:2). “And ye

have forgotten the exhortation

which speaketh unto you as

unto children, My son, despise

not thou the chastening of the

Lord, nor faint when thou art

rebuked of Him: For whom the

Lord loveth He chasteneth, and

scourgeth every son whom He

receiveth. If ye endure chastening,

God dealeth with you as

with sons; for what son is He

whom the father chasteneth

continued next page

I used to think that

God’s plan was to

replace my will

with His. I have

come to believe,

however, that God

instead breaks our

will, and through

energetic effort

draws us along to

the place where we

desire only His will.


not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then

are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our

flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not

much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For

they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but

He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no

chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless

afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them

which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:5-11).

The suffering of chastening is like the purging of dross from precious

metal. When the Father sees a fatal flaw in our alloy, He takes the initiative

and brings all His power to bear

However, a upon relieving us of it. The senseless

willingness to metal cannot possibly know what is

be rebuked of best for it, or under what circumstances

the Lord is not such a flaw would bring it to destruc-

brokenness tion, but the wise craftsman knows. He

– it is only

the access to

brokenness.

knows that the scorching heat of the

crucible is nothing compared to the

devastation of life and spirit that spiritual

collapse would bring.

I remember the moment the chest pains began. At first I struggled to

discern whether they were medical and almost left the conference I

was attending for an examination. But I discovered that they came

and went in concert with the subject matter I was considering! How

strange. I have known the chastening hand of God to come through

circumstances, but this was one of the most powerful manifestations of

direct spiritual pressure that I have ever experienced. It was a pressure

of the type that could be felt right through both soul and body. Similarly,

David declared that his “bones waxed old” through the chastening

experience of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 32:3). Tears flowed copiously

unbidden, and light was denied. At last, however, a revelation of the

real sinfulness of my soul and unyieldedness of my will was graciously

revealed to me and I was overwhelmed with the horror of the sight. In

my darkest hour, my Chastener became my Comforter and reminded

me that I was His. However, a willingness to be rebuked of the Lord is

not brokenness – it is only the access to brokenness.

As with Peter, the rebuke of the Lord will often unearth matters we

would never have considered otherwise. As a matter of fact, sometimes

we will find that the Lord is dealing with us in the very area we considered

a strength! For example, we may have considered ourselves to

be habitually forgiving. We easily forget the slights and insults of others,

and move on in our relationships un-phased. However, it is in the great

desertions and in the hellish nights of misery suffered at the hands of

even our friends that we may discover the depths of bitterness of which

we are capable:

8

“False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew

not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for

me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul

with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved

myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down

heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. But in mine adversity they

rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered

themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and

ceased not: With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me

with their teeth” (Psalms 35:11-16).

In such places we may learn what corruption has done to us. Not until

we can utter the same words that issued from the torture of cross and

stones, “Father, forgive them,” have we passed from flesh to Spirit in

the realm of forgiveness. Until then, God’s determined purpose is to

conform us to the image of His Son, using whatever means possible,

even chastening.

Surrender is brokenness realized.

What, then, is the object of such tremendous pressure brought to bear

on the life of the believer by the Spirit? Absolute surrender. God will

admit no reserve. He will broach no compromise.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except

a corn of wheat fall into the

ground and die, it abideth alone: but

if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”

(John 12:24).

Those who

continually

yield, who

continually

surrender, who

remain broken

for His use,

are those who

“abide in His

love.”

Like the little grain of wheat, our life

has no significance by itself. It is miniscule,

minute, and meaningless. It can

satisfy no one’s deepest need and it

is barely worth notice. Yet, when that

grain has been “planted in the likeness

of His death” (Romans 6:5), from its

remains grows a towering stalk of wheat issuing forth in many similar

grains, each awaiting its own death and resurrection to a life of significance

and power. Let your eye slide, however, from the fruitful stalk all

the way down the shaft and you will find at its foot a tiny grave. There

the stalk meets the ground, and beyond sight lies the decayed remains

of the original self-life. The broken, surrendered life is observable, because

the absence of the self-life in this world is remarkable.

The entrance into such a life begins with the lifting of the white flag.

Self is crucified, and Christ’s life is lived, because it is no longer I, but

Christ (Galatians 2:20). Is this all a matter of lying passively in the

continued next page


Master’s hand? Hardly. It is a decisive surrender of will brought about

by the pressure of a Father’s love. Those who continually yield, who

continually surrender, who remain broken for His use, are those who

“abide in His love” (John 15:10). They do so by the enabling power

of the indwelling Spirit. Is such a life one of sorrow, pain, and tears

alone?

“These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you,

and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

Look at the Crown Prince on the night of His break-

ing. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience

through the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

Was the cross an emblem of the Father’s disfavor for the

Son? Though painful, humiliating, and eternally distasteful

to the spotless Lamb, it was a thing to be endured for

“the joy that was set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). The

cross was the stepping stone to a throne and a crown!

When was the decisive moment? Was it on the cross, or

could it have been on that glorious resurrection morning?

No, the decision was cemented in the garden the

night before with those glorious words eternally worthy

of our admiration and emulation: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine,

be done” (Luke 22:42).

Suffering is brokenness tested.

Looking further upon that amazing Life, we find that more suffering

followed the severe trial of the garden. Why didn’t the Father’s love

permit some substitute once the decisive words were uttered? Why no

ram in the thicket? Oh, my brethren, God did provide a Lamb, and it

was He. It was we who were spared, and He who bore the full brunt

of our horrible breaking. Any suffering we endure is but an “echo”–a

faint whisper or sigh compared to the gaping horror of those three dark

hours on the cross. He cut the trail, and we follow the path made easy

by His labor.

“Oh, what wonder how amazing,

Jesus, glorious King of Kings,

Deigns to call me His beloved,

Lets me rest beneath His wings.

All for Jesus, All for Jesus,

Resting now beneath His wings.”

It is thus natural that we would be led out into the storm to test the

mettle of our surrender. The cable of our life that is to be tossed to

the sinking nations must be tested lest it break when souls are on

the line. “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to

try you” (1 Peter 4:12). “He that hath suffered hath ceased from sin”

I may

rejoice that

fullness and

fruitfulness are

the inevitable

result if I

keep up the

white flag of

surrender!

9

(1 Peter 4:1-3). Though you have yielded, you must be proven, like the

tempered steel. It is already pure but must be made adamant through

numerous visits to the fire. The sword which God wields has already

withstood the tremendous pressure of repeated baptisms of fire, and

the degree of its suffering is the degree of its usefulness. We may expect

that with each new avenue of service He will further temper us.

“Every branch in me that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring

forth more fruit” (John 15:2).

How do we know whether we are in the purifying fires of

chastening or the tempering fires of testing? Sometimes

we don’t. We cannot assume that simply because we are

not personally aware of a flaw, weight, or sin that God is

not further refining us as His vessels. Our responsibility

is not to understand, but to lie patiently in the fire and

let God decide whether to purge or to temper. As I write

this, I am lying in the fire. What does it matter if it is the

fire of chastisement or the fire of purging? Mine is only

to surrender and lie still. I may rejoice that fullness and

fruitfulness are the inevitable result of either flame if I

keep up the white flag of surrender!

But Thou art making me, I thank Thee, Sire.

What Thou hast done and doest, Thou knowest well.

And I will help Thee: gently in Thy fire

I will lie burning; on Thy potter’s wheel

I will whirl patient, though my brain should reel;

Thy grace shall be enough to quell,

And growing strength perfect, through weakness dire.

I have not knowledge, wisdom, insight, thought,

Nor understanding, fit to justify

Thee in Thy work, O Perfect! Thou hast brought

Me up to this; and lo! what Thou hast wrought,

I cannot comprehend. But I can cry,

“O enemy, the Maker hath not done;

One day thou shalt behold, and from the sight shalt run!”

Thou workest perfectly. And if it seem

Some things are not so well, ‘tis but because

They are too loving deep, too lofty wise,

For me, poor child, to understand their laws.

My highest wisdom, half is but a dream;

My love runs helpless like a falling stream;

Thy good embraces ill, and lo! its illness dies.

-George McDonald1 1. Smith, Hannah Whitall, The Christian’s Secret of A Happy Life.

Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1952. p. 214.


Jonathan Goforth writes of the Manchurian

Revival, “During the four

days that I was at Hungtung the

Spirit of Burning was very much in evidence.

Hidden sins were continually

brought out….Men and women everywhere

began to break down under the

conviction of sin.” 1

This is just one example of a multitude.

When the “Spirit of Judgment” and the

“Spirit of Burning” moved through the

audience many responded in great brokenness.

This breaking led people into

revival blessing. The principle of brokenness

opening the way to blessing is

found repeatedly in Scripture, including

Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is nigh unto

them that are of a broken heart; and

saveth such as be of a contrite spirit,”

and Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the

high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,

whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place with him

also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the

humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Since brokenness

is the way into blessing, the believer must live in brokenness before

God and man.

What exactly is brokenness? How does one know that it leads to blessing?

The answers may be found by investigating the key words and

concepts in a topical exposition of pertinent Scripture and noting their

specific promises.

The Price of Brokenness

The majority of this study revolves around discerning what brokenness

is. The Scripture incorporates three primary words in the Old Testament

with parallel words and concepts in the New Testament.

Since

brokenness

is the way

into blessing,

the believer

must live in

brokenness

before God

and man.

Key Defining Words: Broken

First, the word broken [shabar] occurs as

a verb 147 times in the Old Testament.

The meaning of the word is “break” or

“break in pieces.” One verb form is

often used of God’s dealing with the

nations. Another verb form is used

of destroying idols where the nuance

is literally “to smash to smithereens.” 2

Figuratively with some verb forms the

word means to be broken of heart. 3

In the figurative sense the verb is used with various verb forms in several

key revival contexts. As noted, Psalm 34:18 states, “The Lord is nigh

unto them that are of broken heart.” Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices

of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God,

thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 147:3 affirms, “He healeth the broken

10

in heart.” Isaiah 61:1 states, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord hath anointed me to…bind up the brokenhearted.”

Similarly in Ezekiel 34:16, God says “I will seek that which was lost, and

bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which

was broken and will strengthen that which was sick.”

In all of these contexts the major thought of the word broken is to be

broken of heart or heartbroken.

A New Testament parallel is found in Luke 4:18 when Christ quotes

from Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because… he hath

sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” This is the only time in the New

Testament that the word broken or brokenhearted is used in a context

with revival overtones, although the concept is used elsewhere. The

word Jesus uses actually combines two Greek words: suntribo meaning

to “shatter, smash, crush” 4 and kardia, referring to the heart. Again the

idea is to be broken of heart or heartbroken.

Key Defining Words: Contrite

Second, the word contrite [daka’ and daka] occurs three times in the

Old Testament as an adjective meaning “crushed.” 5 It is used 23 times

as a verb with various forms being incorporated. The KJV translates the

verb as “crush” in Lamentations 3:34; “break in pieces” [the oppressor]

in Psalm 72:4; “humbled” in Jeremiah 44:10; “broken” in Psalm

89:10; and “bruised” in Isaiah 53:5 in the phrase “he was bruised for

our iniquities.”

The word occurs in several revival contexts. Again Psalm 34:18 states,

“and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Also Psalm 51:17 says in

the context of confession, “a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou

wilt not despise.” Then Isaiah 57:15 declares, “For thus saith the high

and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in

the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble

spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the

contrite ones.” continued next page


The major thought in these contexts is to be crushed in heart, making

the usage synonymous with being broken of heart.

Although the New Testament does not use the word contrite, the word

poor is used once in a similar sense in Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the

poor in spirit.”

But what does it mean to be broken or crushed in heart? The third

primary word often used parallel with “broken” or “contrite” provides

more understanding.

Key Defining Words: Humble

In the Old Testament the word humble [shapel] is used multiple times

as an adjective and as a verb. The basic meaning is “low.” 6 In the

physical sense Leviticus 13-14 connects this being “low” with leprosy.

The word is used frequently with God’s warning to bring low or abase

the proud and with His promise to lift up or exalt the humble (lowly).

In this sense, to be humble is to be honest. It is an accurate assessment

that agrees with God’s perspective. It is this spiritual sense that must

be cultivated.

In this sense, to

be humble is to

be honest. It

is an accurate

assessment that

agrees with God’s

perspective.

Revival contexts include Psalm

138:6 that says, “Though the

Lord be high, yet hath he respect

unto the lowly.” Also, Isaiah

57:15 states that God dwells

“in the high and holy place, with

him also that is of a contrite and

humble spirit, to revive the spirit

of the humble, and to revive the

heart of the contrite ones.”

The classic 2 Chronicles 7:14 uses a different word [kana`]: “If my

people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and

pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I

hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This word is used most often in dealing with subjection. However, Leviticus

26:41 speaks of God’s remembering those whose “hearts be

humbled.” In these two contexts the meaning is basically the same as

shapel. One other synonym [`ana] does not seem to take on the revival

sense. 7

The New Testament three times affirms that the one who exalts himself

will be abased and the one who humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew

23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14). Twice the New Testament explains

that “God resists the proud,” but “gives grace to the humble” (James

4:6; I Peter 5:5). Twice this explanation is followed with the admonishment

to “humble” oneself before the Lord that the Lord may lift up the

humbled (James 4:10; I Peter 5:6).

Between the adjective humble [tapeinos] in James 4:6 (“God…gives

grace to the humble”) and the verb humble [tapeinoo aorist, passive,

imperative] in James 4:10 (“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up”) is a helpful description of what it means to

be humble: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and

he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to continued next page

11

you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double

minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be

turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness” (James 4:7-9).

The major thought of humility in both Old and New Testaments is honesty.

A humble spirit assesses matters accurately in true honesty. Humility

recognizes the error of one’s ways and the need for deliverance.

In summary, while the three primary words all have individual nuances,

they are all used interchangeably in the revival contexts. Essentially

they convey the same basic idea. To be broken (broken of heart) or

contrite (crushed in heart) is to be humble (honest in spirit). Genuine

honesty involves confession (honesty regarding sin and the need for

divine cleansing), surrender (honesty regarding self and the need for

divine leadership and enablement), and faith (honesty regarding Christ

and the promise of divine suffi-

ciency).

However this message of brokenness

is an unpopular message.

People are not looking

for books on how to mourn and

weep. 8 In a world promoting

self-esteem, an honest assessment

of one’s self does not seem

to fit the paradigm. Rather, the

desire is to find bestsellers that

make one feel “warm and fuzzy.”

In her helpful book “Brokenness: The Heart God Revives,” Nancy Leigh

DeMoss elaborates:

Our culture is obsessed with being whole and feeling good.

That drive even affects the way we view the Christian life.

We want a “painless Pentecost”; we want a ‘laughing’ revival.

We want gain without pain; we want the resurrection without

going through the grave; we want life without experiencing

death; we want a crown without going by way of the cross.

But in God’s economy, the way up is down.

You and I will never meet God in revival until we first meet

Him in brokenness. 9

Having surveyed the key defining words, the foundation has been laid

to build the key defining concepts. To expand one’s understanding of

brokenness, wrong conceptions must be confronted so that right conceptions

may be clearly understood.

Key Defining Concepts: What Brokenness Is Not

In a world

promoting selfesteem,

an honest

assessment of

one’s self does

not seem to fit the

paradigm.

Some think brokenness is walking around with a dejected look, always

having a downcast countenance. But true brokenness brings release

and joy. Some consider brokenness to be a morbid introspection always

looking inward to discover something that needs to be confessed.

But oversensitive consciences lead to “over confession.” In reality

introspection is a self-focus and is therefore a form of pride. It is a


false humility. True brokenness is a God-focus. The Psalmist prayed,

“Search me, O God” not “Search me, O me!” Some think brokenness

is going through a severe trial of some sort whether physical, financial,

relational, or otherwise as a type of punishment. But this is the thinking

of meritorious penance. While it is true that God may use a trial

as chastening to arrest one’s attention and bring him to brokenness, it

is possible to go through a trial without being broken. Simply going

through a trial does not equal brokenness. True brokenness responds

rightly in a trial. Some believe brokenness to be of necessity an emotional

experience. However, it is possible to shed many tears without

being broken. True brokenness may or may not be accompanied with

tears. 10

Most of these misconceptions regarding brokenness involve the idea of

gaining favor with God through some type of meritorious penance. But

Psalm 51:16-17 clarifies: “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I

give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a

broken spirit.” This statement indicates that brokenness is not jumping

over some type of spiritual hurdle to gain favor with God.

Key Defining Concepts: What Brokenness Is

Brokenness involves three realizations and their correlating

responses.

Seeing One’s Sin as Exceedingly Sinful: The Response

of Confession

The first realization of brokenness is seeing the wickedness

of one’s sin and responding with the cry of

confession. In fact, the “broken and contrite heart”

of Psalm 51 is in the context of confession. David

specified: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and

my sin is ever before me.” First John 1:9 states, “If we

confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our

sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The

word confess [homologeo] means “to say the same

thing.” 11 The implication in the context is to say the same thing as God

says about one’s sin. This demands seeing one’s sin as God sees it.

When this is the case, sin is seen as exceedingly sinful. Confession is

getting honest about the wickedness of one’s sin accurately, thoroughly,

and without making any excuses.

However, since the heart is deceitful (Jer. 17:9) and is only known truly

by the Lord (Jer. 17:10), it is vital to look to the Lord for a glimpse

into one’s heart. For example, in Psalm 139: 23-24, the Psalmist

prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my

thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the

way everlasting.” When one sees what God sees, then he can say what

God says. At that point the confession can be truly accurate.

It follows that confession must be thorough, dealing with all that God

reveals as sinful. Surface confession does not bring full relief. General

confession leads to spiritual dullness. But specific confession that is

thorough leads to spiritual cleansing.

Confession is

getting honest

about the

wickedness

of one’s sin

accurately,

thoroughly, and

without making

any excuses.

12

Furthermore genuine confession is getting honest about one’s sin without

making any excuses. The tendency of humanity is to shift the blame

to others or to circumstances as the reason for one’s sin. This blame

shifting attempts to justify one’s wrong doing. It seeks to cover up one’s

sin. This “cover up” is walking in darkness. Pride is at the root of this

tree of concealment. The false notion is basically thinking “I’m not that

bad. That wrong action or those wrong words are not really me. The

situation or that person drew it out of me.” But the reality is that the

situation or other person simply exposed what was already in someone.

Confession is saying “I’m that bad, I’m that wicked. That is what I am.”

Confession is painful honesty without any attempt to justify one’s sin.

The extent of the sin determines the necessary extent of the confession.

Generally speaking, private sin demands private confession (I John 1:9).

Personal sin demands personal confession (James 5:16; Matt. 5:23-24).

Personal sin is sinning against another person and that other person

knows it (which will generally be obvious). Public sin demands public

confession based on the same principle (James 5:16; Matt. 5:23-24).

When sin is seen as exceedingly sinful, it will also be seen as ultimately

sinning against God. David confessed, “Against thee, and thee only,

have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (Ps. 51:4). True confession

is concerned about having dishonored God.

In the corporate setting, brokenness often breeds brokenness.

Often one person’s honesty is used of the

Spirit to convince others to be honest. Corporate brokenness

is a powerful scene. For example the following

is an account from Jonathan Goforth during the

Manchurian Revival:

Presently a lady missionary, whose bursts of bad

temper were notorious throughout the mission,

rose and in great brokenness prayed that God

would remove the hindering thing from her life.

Right after her another lady missionary confessed

to her lack of love for the people to whom she

had come to minister, and pleaded that to her, too, grace

might be given and the obstacle taken away. Then Miss L___,

the Chinese head-teacher of the Girls’ School, whom all

thought to be about as perfect a Christian as it was possible to

find, confessed in tears to her selfishness and unworthiness of

the example which she was setting to her girls.

By this time Dr. L.___ was completely broken up. “O heavenly

Father,” he cried now, “Forgive Thy sinning servant. I have

spoken unadvisedly with my lips and hurt a Chinese brother.

Thou knowest, O God, how that a long time ago Thy servant

Moses spoke unadvisedly with his lips, and Thou didst punish

him by not permitting him to enter the Promised Land. But

only Moses was punished; the people did not suffer for his

sin. The people were permitted to enter the land of blessing.

Now, therefore, O God, punish Thy servant before Thee in

like manner; but let not Thy people be hindered from obtaining

the promised blessing.”

continued next page


Scarcely had the doctor ended when a man fell to the floor

of the church with a terrible cry. It was a huffy evangelist. The

next moment a man in another part of the audience was affected

in precisely the same way. This time it was the Chinese

principal of the Boys’ School, one who had been undermining

Dr. L___’s authority and endeavouring to work up rebellion

among the students. In a few minutes men and women

all over the building were falling on their knees and confessing

their sins. One of the older boys cried, “Get down on your

knees,” and they all went down. On my left were the girls.

Suddenly, without a word of command, like a wind sweeping

over a field of grain, they, too, fell on their knees. Soon it

seemed to me as if every last man, woman and child was on

the floor of that church crying for mercy. 12

Seeing One’s Self as Exceedingly Willful: The Response of Surrender

The second realization of brokenness is seeing the willfulness of one’s

self and responding with the choice of surrender. When someone

waves the white flag of surrender,

it means he is giving up.

Surrender is not

idle passivity,

but active

cooperation—a

glad cooperation

with the will of

Christ.

Surrender is giving up one’s will

because of giving in to another’s

will. However this “giving up” is

not passivity. Surrender in the

life of the believer is not willing

oneself into “will-lessness,”

for that is passivity which is the

Devil’s playground. Surrender is

not idle passivity, but active cooperation—a

glad cooperation

with the will of Christ. Surrender

is yielding up self-will, by yielding to God’s will. This surrender of the

will is a part of brokenness. A horse that is broken does not mean that

the horse no longer has a will; it means that the horse’s will is yielded

to his rider’s will.

For the believer in being broken, what is it that must be broken? In

being contrite, what is it that must be crushed? The answer is self-will.

Whatever is in the way of “not I, but Christ” must be given up. Whatever

one is saying no to God about must be given up. This is the point

of breaking.

Self-will includes two major areas: self-will regarding the leadership of

one’s life and self-will regarding the enablement of one’s life. Christ

is both the Lord (leadership) and Life (enablement) of the believer.

Therefore broken believers surrender up their will as they surrender to

Christ’s will, and they surrender up their strength as they surrender to

Christ’s strength.

The first area revolves around leadership. Broken believers stop saying

no to the leadership of Christ and start saying yes. This may involve

giving up some aspect of worldliness such as media choices, fashion

choices, or music choices. It may involve giving up a relationship that

is not God’s will. It may involve giving up an ambition in life that is not

God’s will. Some matters may be obvious, but others may not be as continued next page

13

clear. In fact, a real test of the brokenness of a believer is in the areas

that good men debate over, but the Holy Spirit guides that believer

to give up that issue. True brokenness yields to the lordship of Christ

through the leadership of the Spirit.

Before Douglas Brown could be used of God in the East Anglia Revival,

which began in England in 1921, he had to be broken of self-will regarding

not wanting to be in mission work (itinerant ministry).

Preaching from 2 Chronicles 7:14, Douglas Brown illustrated

the words, “If my people shall humble themselves...” from his

own experience. He said it had taken four months for that

truth to get home to him, even though he had been a minister

of the Gospel for twenty-six years…. The rest of the story is

best told in his own words:

“God laid hold of me in the midst of a Sunday evening service,

and He nearly broke my heart while I was preaching.

I went back to my vestry, and locked the door, and threw

myself down on the hearthrug in front of the vestry fireplace

broken-hearted. Why? I do not know. My church was filled.

I loved my people, and I believe my people loved me. I do

not say they ought to, but they did. I was as happy there

as I could be. I had never

known a Sunday there for

fifteen years without conversions.

That night I went

home and went straight up

to my study. My wife came

to tell me that supper was

ready and was waiting. ‘You

must not [delay] supper for

me,’ I said. ‘What is the

matter?’ she asked. ‘I have

got a broken heart,’ was my

reply. It was worth-while

Christ laid his

hand on a proud

minister, and

told him that he

had not gone far

enough, that there

were reservations

in his surrender.

having a broken heart for Jesus to mend it. I had no supper

that night. Christ laid his hand on a proud minister, and told

him that he had not gone far enough, that there were reservations

in his surrender, and He wanted him to do a piece

of work that he had been trying to evade. I knew what He

meant. All November that struggle went on, but I would not

give way; I knew God was right, and I knew I was wrong. I

knew what it would mean for me, and I was not prepared

to pay the price. Then Christmas time came, and all the joy

round about seemed to mock me. I knew what Jesus wanted….

The struggle went on, and I said to the Lord, ‘You know

that is not my work. I will pray for anyone else who does it,

but please do not give it to me, it will kill me. I cannot get into

the pulpit and plead with people. It is against my temperament,

and You made me.”

“All through January God wrestled with me. There is a love

that will not let us go. Glory be to God!... It was in February

1921, after four months of struggle that there came the crisis.

Oh, how patient God is! On the Saturday night I wrote out


my resignation to my church, and it was marked with my own

tears. I loved the church, but I felt that if I could not be holy I

would be honest; I felt that I could not go on preaching while

I had a contention with God. That night...as I went out of my

bedroom door in the early hours of the morning, I stumbled

over my dog….

Then something happened. I found myself in the loving embrace

of Christ forever and ever; and all power and joy and

all blessedness rolled in like a deluge…. That was two o’clock

in the morning. God had waited four months for a man like

me; and I said, ‘Lord Jesus, I know what you want; You want

me to go into mission work. I love Thee more than I dislike

that.’ I did not hear any rustling of angels’ wings. I did not see

any sudden light.” 13

After this surrender to the Spirit’s leadership, within days Douglas

Brown went to Lowestoft, England, for a mission(meeting). God sent

a mighty revival that spread to northeast England and part of Scotland

lasting from March 1921 well into 1922.

The second area of self-will revolves around enablement. Some people

say, “I surrender all and I’m going to do it!” However, this thinking reveals

a lack of surrender to God’s power. Brokenness brings one to the

realization that he is weak and al-

Many are the

ministers of the

Gospel who have

been frustrated by

doing God’s work

in the strength of

the flesh.

ways will be this side of heaven.

This realization responds in full

surrender, which includes giving

up depending on one’s own

strength (which is actually weakness)

and resting in the enablement

of the indwelling Christ.

The “poor in spirit” recognize

that they are utterly destitute

and therefore utterly dependent

on the riches of Christ’s grace.

Many are the ministers of the Gospel who have been frustrated by doing

God’s work in the strength of the flesh. Yet this futility of the flesh

has brought many to the end of self, which is the beginning of God.

When self-dependence is confessed as arrogant sin and God-dependence

is embraced, self-will regarding enablement is broken.

Brokenness is the breaking of self-will, both regarding leadership and

enablement by surrendering to the leadership of Christ and to the enablement

of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, brokenness is more than confession

of sin. True brokenness also involves the giving up of the self-will

behind the sin.

Some confess their guilt (in the name of confessing their sin) because

they do not like the way they feel, but in reality they still desire the

sin. Therefore, when temptation arises they gladly take the sin again

because they have not dealt with the root of self-will. They have not yet

let go of the sin. Some even ask God to take away the sin, but they do

not let go of it and wonder why they do not receive victory. But God

does not play “tug-of-war” with people. True brokenness says, “God,

I give this sin up. I do not reserve the right to ever take it again. But

14

God, this is beyond me. I need supernatural deliverance.” This is surrendering

to God’s leadership and enablement. This is the breaking of

self-will. But this is the brokenness that accesses divine deliverance.

Seeing One’s Savior as Exceedingly Faithful: The Response of Faith

The third realization of brokenness is seeing the faithfulness of the Savior

and responding with the choice of faith. Essentially, faith is Goddependence

based on God’s promises. Brokenness depends on God

to forgive, to cleanse, and to restore to fellowship. When a believer

comes clean with God through genuine confession and surrender, “God

is faithful and just to forgive” involving a release from what is owed, to

“cleanse” through the power of the blood of Jesus, and to restore to

“fellowship” (I John 1:7, 9). When a believer is broken before the Lord

who knows all, God “cleans him all up” and restores him to communion

with Himself. The Psalmist cried out, “Create in me a clean heart,

O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). Once the cry

for mercy has truly been uttered,

God in His faithfulness cleanses

and restores. Then the broken

believer can claim in faith the

“clean heart” and “right spirit.”

He can actually know he is clean,

based on God’s promise, regardless

of how he feels. Roy Hession

in his classic The Calvary Road

states,“We can’t be more right

with God than what the blood of

Jesus makes us when we call sin

Brokenness

accesses the

reviving presence

of the Lord. God’s

reviving presence

is the heart of

revival.

sin.” 14 The broken believer therefore claims by faith a clean heart.

When John George Govan, who was later used of God to train many

in revival work including Duncan Campbell, surrendered his ambitions

which he knew were not the will of God, he walked out of the church

and said to a friend, “I have a clean heart, I have trusted the Lord, and I

know He has done it, though I don’t feel any different.” Later he wrote,

“When I got home that night and went down before the Lord, then I

knew the difference. The glory of God flooded my soul, and it has been

different ever since.” 15

The Promise for Brokenness

After discerning what brokenness is, it is vital to also discern what brokenness

accesses. Brokenness is the way into blessing. But what is the

blessing?

Psalm 34:18 promises, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken

heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Here the promise is

the nearness of the Lord Himself and His deliverance. The focus is on

the very presence of the Lord and the deliverance that that presence

brings. Brokenness accesses the reviving presence of the Lord. God’s

reviving presence is the heart of revival.

Isaiah 57:15 promises, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth

eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy

place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the

continued next page


spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” The

promise for brokenness is revival! It is amazing that God dwells with

the contrite and humble for the purpose of reviving their hearts.

Psalm 51:17 promises “a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt

not despise.” Rather than despising the broken and contrite heart, God

revives it. Psalm 138:6 promises, “Though the Lord be high, yet hath

he respect unto the lowly.” Psalm 147:3 promises,

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their

wounds.” Truly brokenness is the way into blessing!

Samuel Chadwick states, “It is a wonder what God can

do with a broken heart, if He gets all the pieces.”

In New Testament articulation, “God resisteth the

proud [the unbroken], but giveth grace [revival] unto

the humble [the broken]” (James 4:6; I Peter 5:5).

Brokenness is not a one-time event. It leads to a lifestyle

of honesty before God and man. Walking in brokenness

keeps one in continuous revival. Roy Hession

clarifies: “Being broken is both God’s work and ours.

He brings His pressure to bear, but we have to make

the choice….All day long the choice will be before us in a thousand

ways.” 16 Since brokenness is the way into blessing, the believer must

live in brokenness before God and man.

Roy Hession sums up the matter well, saying, “To be broken is the beginning

of revival. It is painful, it is humiliating, but it is the only way.” 17

But it is the way into blessing!

The Carpenter’s Project

John Conrad, the director of The Carpenter’s Project, is a man of integrity

with a burden to make dollars stretch for the cause of Christ

in third world nations. The Carpenter’s Project simply raises money to

finance building projects (primarily local church buildings) and to initially

support preachers who are beginning in church planting ministry. It is my

privilege to serve on the board of The Carpenter’s Project. Over the last

several years, it has been a special joy to see God use this ministry to build

well over 20 church buildings in Myanmar (Burma), many of which are

in connection with the ministry of Timothy Mang. Also, recently a church

building was constructed in connection with the ministry of Tom Johnson

in Cambodia. Over 50 church buildings have been built in 13 countries.

Brokenness is not

a one-time event.

It leads to a

lifestyle of honesty

before God and

man. Walking in

brokenness keeps

one in continuous

revival.

15

Endnotes:

1 Jonathan Goforth, By My Spirit (Elkhart, IN: Bethel Publishing, 1983), 54.

2 R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological

Workbook of the Old Testament, Vol. 2 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980),

901.

3 Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs, The New Brown-Driver-

Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson

Publishers, Inc., 1979), 990.

4 William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English

Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian

Literature, 2nd ed. revised F. Wilbur Gingrich and Fredrick

W. Danker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,

1979), 793.

5 Brown, Driver and Briggs, 194.

6 Ibid., 1050.

7 Harris, Laird and Waltke, 445.

8 Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Brokenness: The Heart God Revives

(Chicago: Moody Press, 2002), 51.

9 Ibid., 50.

10 Ibid., 52-54.

11 Fritz Rienecker and Cleon L. Rogers, Jr., A Linguistic Key

to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Regency

Reference Library, 1980), 786.

12 Goforth, 85-86.

13 Stanley C Griffin, A Forgotten Revival (Great Britain: Day One Publications,

2000), 16-18.

14 Roy Hession, The Calvary Road (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature

Crusade, 2000), 126.

15 I. R. Govan, The Spirit of Revival (Edinburgh: The Faith Mission, 1938,

Fourth ed. 1978), 25.

16 Ibid., 23, 25.

17 Ibid., 21.

Website: www.theCarpentersProject.org

Email: john@theCarpentersProject.org

Mail: The Carpenter’s Project

2953 E. Colonial Avenue

Terre Haute, IN 47805

Churches and even Sunday School classes can be used of God with relatively

small dollar amounts to build a church building in a foreign land.

The cause of Christ is greatly helped. If the Lord burdens you in this way,

please contact John Conrad with The Carpenter’s Project to see how you

can count for Christ in this specialized way.

For the Cause, John R. Van Gelderen

“ B u i l d i n g c h u rc h e s w h e re t h e C a r p e n t e r l e a d s ”


“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,

against powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Ephesians 6:12

The apostle Paul was in prison when he, by the Spirit of God,

admonished the Christians at Ephesus that the battle in which

they were engaged was a spiritual one, with spiritual enemies,

and not primarily with human adversaries. Of course, this fact was

not readily evident because they had so many visible, flesh-and-blood

enemies. Romans, Jews, the idol-makers of their city, and unbelievers

of every type were seeking to harm them and hinder their work for

the Lord. These antagonists had faces and names that the Christians

all knew, and it was hard not to think of the battle as “against flesh and

blood.” However, the truth is that the conflict is indeed spiritual, and

it is a fight with devils (principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, wicked

spirits) who use the “wiles of the devil” as weapons in the war for the

souls of men.

Often the visible world is affected by the invisible world. Read about

the battle Daniel was fighting on his knees for the welfare of his people

the Jews. His prayers for the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem are

recorded in Daniel 9 and accompanied by the appearance of the angel

Gabriel. They continue in Chapter 10 with another visit from a spiritual

being who speaks of the fight he

The realities of was having with “the prince of

Persia” and “the prince of Gre-

the spiritual world

cia,” two “principalities” with

must be accepted

whom he was doing battle in

and recognized by league with the angel Michael.

Christian people The story continues through the

in order for us to rest of the book, with angelic be-

understand and ings playing important roles in

deal with the the history of the nation Israel,

both in what is now the past and

realities of the

also in the prophetic future. The

physical world.

realities of the spiritual world

What Now? What Christians Should Do

in the Wake of Election Day

By Dr. Rick Flanders

16

must be accepted and recognized by Christian people in order for us

to understand and deal with the realities of the physical world. Unfortunately,

however, these realities are many times overlooked, and

Christians resort to fighting futile wars with the human instruments of

our demonic enemies and fail to win the real war.

The United States of America has been blessed by several experiences

of national revival. The Great Awakening of the colonial period, the fifty-year

Second Great Awakening of our early days as a nation, and the

metropolitan revival campaigns

led by great evangelists between

When Christians

the Civil War and World War I,

swept multitudes into the family are distracted

of God and did much to shape from the work

the history of this country. They of saving sinners

were powerful examples of what by the lure of a

happens when the Christians

moral crusade or

of a nation turn back to their

political cause, the

God from carnality and worldliness,

believe the promises of the revival soon dies.

Scriptures, and seek to evangelize

sinners in the power of the Spirit. But these huge and seemingly

unstoppable prairie fires all eventually died out. And when spiritual

eyes examine the histories of their demise, it becomes evident that the

cause has always been the same.

The eighteenth-century Great Awakening, led by spiritual giants such

as Edwards and Whitfield, along with the Tenants and other good men,

waned and died with the rise of the political controversies with Britain.

The Second Great Awakening fizzled with the growing conflict over

slavery. The powerful city-wide campaigns showed no sign of retreat

until the temperance movement brought us Prohibition. These are the

historic facts, and they all tell us something. When Christians are distracted

from the work of saving sinners by the lure of a moral crusade

or political cause, the revival soon dies. When the preachers became

continued next page


embroiled in the fuss with the Mother Country, the Great Awaken-

ing closed down. When evangelists became Abolition speakers, the

Second Awakening finally collapsed. When Billy Sunday and others

turned more of their attention to the political defeat of Demon Rum,

their evangelistic efforts went down.

In more recent days, something

like a revival among the funda- The abortion

mental Baptists happened in the crusade also

1960s and the 1970s, resulting served to kill the

in the salvation of many and the revival among

phenomenal growth of a number

fundamentalists.

of churches. But in 1976, an important

election year, when fundamentalist

leaders noticed that the exploding size of their movement

gave them potentially great political power, things changed. The fight

against abortion waxed great in its importance to many Baptists, and

their potential as a political force to overturn its legalization became

the focus of their attention. However, as the decade moved ahead, it

became clear to some of their leaders that the Baptists were not quite

big enough to overcome the pro-abortion estabishment. For this reason

their usual concern about separating truth from error was put aside for

political purposes, and many allied themselves with Catholics and even

cultists in the moral and political crusade to ban abortion. And the results

of this crusade, although significant, were not what those involved

had hoped. Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980, and he

publicly credited the Moral Majority with his victory. However, the

court decision that legalized abortion was not overturned in the 1980s,

nor in the 1990s. Abortion has not been banned to this day! The crusade

thus far has failed to reach its goal, although it did revitalize the

Republican Party and elect several pro-life Presidents. But now the

election of 2008 has left the Republican Party weak and in retreat, and

the choice of Senator Obama as President appears to have postponed

for a long time the possibility of banning abortion.

The abortion crusade also served to kill the revival among fundamental-

ists. The very things that produced such a large number of potential

pro-life voters, intensive evangelism and strong faith in God, diminished

greatly after Reagan was elected. In the 1980s, Sunday school

attendance decreased across the country by literally millions. The soulwinning

passion of hundreds and perhaps thousands of preachers and

churches cooled, and once-strong and growing congregations shrank.

It happened again. A moral and political crusade distracted those involved

in the revival cause from the things that produce revival: prayer,

holy living, evangelism, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The ministries of the apostles “turned the world upside down” (Acts

17:1-6), we are told. New Testament Christianity, when lived out

by the followers of Jesus, always has a powerful effect on the world.

Sometimes it brings revolutionary changes in society, including political,

economic, and cultural changes. It has been correctly claimed

17

that the Great Awakening laid the foundation for the new American

republic. The Second Great Awakening brought changes in the culture

and in the churches which endured for more than a century. But the

apostles did not turn the Roman world around by moral crusading or

political campaigning. In Thessalonica, where the apostle Paul was

accused of overturning his world, his method of operation was public,

reasonable, scriptural, clear, and decisive proclamation of the Gospel

of Jesus. Look again at Acts 17:2-4:

“And Paul, as his manner was, went unto them, and three Sabbath days

reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that

Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and

that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them

believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks

a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.”

Today the people of God need to return to the old method.

When Jacob turned from sojourning to settling down (See Genesis

33:17-20), from following God’s direction to making his own plans (See

Genesis 31:13, 32:9-12, 33:19-20, and 35:1), and from upholding a

separated witness for the true God to letting his family consort with the

world (Genesis 34:1-2), his sons got involved in a bloody moral crusade

that nearly destroyed his testimony. Read the story in Genesis 34,

and remember that it is not our job to clean up the morals of unsaved

people. It is our duty to point them to the salvation of God.

After the election of 2008, Christians in America certainly ought to continue

to take advantage of their privileges as citizens of a democratic

republic. They should raise their voices in behalf of the truth in the discussion

of public issues. They should exercise their right to vote. They

should consider running for office, and run if God directs. They should

be involved in the political process

but should not make poli-

What we need

tics the focus of their lives. We

now is another

must be engaged more than ever

in the spiritual battle that rages great revival

in our country and around the prolonged and

world. Our lives should be giv- strengthened by

en to prayer, Spirit-empowered spiritual warfare

evangelism, building the church in the power of

of Jesus Christ, and wrestling

God’s might.

with the powers of darkness. It

is time for a renewed and intensified

quest for revival based upon confidence in the victory the Lord

won for us at Calvary and the empty tomb. Great revivals have been

quenched through wrestling with flesh and blood. What we need now

is another great revival prolonged and strengthened by spiritual warfare

in the power of God’s might.


Friends of Revival Ministry Directory

The following ministries have given generously to make this issue of Revival magazine possible.

Pastor Steve Brudnak

United Baptist Church

2501 W. State St.

Springfield, MO 65802

417-869-1336

Pastor David Canedy

Marquette Manor Baptist Church

333 75th St.

Downers Grove, IL 60516

630-964-5636

Evangelist Rick Flanders

6061 Maple Rd.

Vassar, MI 48768

989-823-2189

Pastor Gary Gregory

Grace Baptist Church

820 Wichita Dr.

Ulysses, KS 67880

316-356-5744

Pastor Gary Hirth

Ann Arbor Baptist Church

2150 S. Wagner Rd.

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

734-995-5144

Juniata Baptist Church

5656 Washburn Rd.

Vassar, MI 48768

989-823-7848

18

For information on how your ministry can be included in this directory, please call 1-800-656-7896 (PTWM).

18

Pastor Dan Mawson

Victory Baptist Church

531 E. Uwchlan Ave.

Chester Springs, PA 19425

610-594-8939

Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen

Falls Baptist Church

N69 W12703 Appleton Ave.

Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

262-251-7051

Pastor Don Williams

Believers Baptist Church

508 School St.

Winona Lake, IN 46590

574-269-2375


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