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.
3 When Mighty Things Happened
7 What Is Brokenness?
10 Brokenness: the Way into
16 What Now? What Christians
Should Do in the Wake of
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,
6 Special Christmas Sale!
15 The Carpenter’s Project
18 Teen Revival Conference 2009
18 Friends of Revival Church Directory
Back Holiness Conference 2009
The Evangelist, The Evangel, and Evangelism
A new book by John R. Van Gelderen written for . . .
In a day when the existence of the evangelist is being
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In a day when the use of the evangelist is in a decline, it is vital
for pastors to allow clear, biblical thinking to affect their use of
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In a day when the gospel is forgotten as the pow-
all BEliEvErs er of God unto salvation to those who believe,
it is vital for all to have a clear understanding of justification by faith, assurance by
faith, sanctification by faith, and service by faith, all accessing the power of God in
the various facets of salvation.
In The Evangelist, the Evangel, and Evangelism, John R. Van Gelderen addresses
these issues carefully, thoroughly, and biblically. Truth gained in this volume
will correct thinking and provide scriptural instruction regarding the person of
the evangelist, the message of the gospel, and the preaching of that glorious
message. For any with a heart for revival and evangelism, this book will most
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AVAILABLE FOR $18.00 BY CALLING 1-800-656-7896.
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
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.”
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
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
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REVIVAL magazine is published by Preach the Word Ministries, P. O. Box 428, Germantown, WI 53022.
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© 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
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
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
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
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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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
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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
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
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
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:
“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,
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”
for His use,
are those who
“abide in His
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
“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”
result if I
keep up the
white flag of
(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
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.
is the way
must live in
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
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
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
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
In this sense, to
be humble is to
be honest. It
is an accurate
agrees with God’s
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
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
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-
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
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
one’s self does
not seem to fit the
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
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
Seeing One’s Sin as Exceedingly Sinful: The Response
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.
of one’s sin
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
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
with the will of
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
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
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
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
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
told him that he
had not gone far
enough, that there
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
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
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
of the Lord. God’s
is the heart of
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
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
one in continuous
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),
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,
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,
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.
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.”
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
realities of the spiritual world
What Now? What Christians Should Do
in the Wake of Election Day
By Dr. Rick Flanders
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
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
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
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
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
Pastor David Canedy
Marquette Manor Baptist Church
333 75th St.
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Evangelist Rick Flanders
6061 Maple Rd.
Vassar, MI 48768
Pastor Gary Gregory
Grace Baptist Church
820 Wichita Dr.
Ulysses, KS 67880
Pastor Gary Hirth
Ann Arbor Baptist Church
2150 S. Wagner Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Rd.
Vassar, MI 48768
For information on how your ministry can be included in this directory, please call 1-800-656-7896 (PTWM).
Pastor Dan Mawson
Victory Baptist Church
531 E. Uwchlan Ave.
Chester Springs, PA 19425
Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen
Falls Baptist Church
N69 W12703 Appleton Ave.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Pastor Don Williams
Believers Baptist Church
508 School St.
Winona Lake, IN 46590
P. O. Box 428
Germantown, WI 53022
A publication of Preach the Word Ministries, Inc.
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PERMIT NO. 55