There have been several powerful moves of God throughout history. Countless revivals, miracles, stories and encounters the world could not contain if they were all written down. There was also war, chaos and destruction - we covered some of that in myblog last weekand looked why this is happening. This week I want to focus on how these moves of God have lined up with critical world events throughout history; and how 3 of those reforms changed our world today.
Each reform created a snowball effect that produced several additional God Moves. Each restored to humanity a crucial aspect of divinity that had been lost in the Garden of Eden. And a fourth major renovation is taking place!
There is a mirror effect with what is happening in the spiritual and physical world. With every great spiritual reformation comes a rebirth in the world. The purpose of a renovation is to change something to get it back on track. A rebirth occurs when creativity and ingenuity are restored. So when spiritual reformation comes, people experience God in a way that completely transforms them; and society is propelled into a new era of advances in culture, art, politics, economics, and so on. How appropriate that the word should mean "rebirth."
We saw that in the 15th centuryºCentury during the time of Martin Luther and it's amazing how this reformation led to one of the greatest Renaissance periods the world has ever seen!
1500: The Reformation that Restored Jesus
We've all heard of Martin Luther and his 95 theses. In Luther's time there was a small group of elites in society. These were the highly educated priests who stood in the abyss between heaven and earth. If you wanted a connection with Jesus, you had to go through this. These elites kept the masses down; one that felt like a third world vibe to most people alive.
Luther, professor of moral theology, received revelation from God while studying Romans. His 95 theses were written to protest against the corrupt practice of selling indulgences by the clergy, which would lessen the punishment in purgatory. He argued that true repentance, freedom, and eternal life come only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and not through rituals.
Luther's ideas were heavily criticized by the Roman Catholic Church – the unipolar power that had become corrupt at the time – and eventually led to his excommunication. But they were also revolutionary for many uneducated people at the time, leading to a personal renaissance and the beginning of a mass Reformation and Renaissance. Justification by faith and grace alone was the key to this reformation.It was linked to a value system: that salvation is a gift to be received, not a problem to be achieved.
The Reformation brought Europe out of the Middle Ages. On the market, Gutenburg had recently invented the printing press. After 1517, a printing revolution emerged as a transformative means of disseminating information. The Bible was being printed and distributed around the world at an unprecedented rate during this period.
Creativity has been rediscovered in almost all areas of society. Literacy has increased dramatically. The middle class was founded. And men began to see for themselves who God is, and as a result, they were given the identity of priests and kings. This rebirth in the spirit realm directly mirrored the rebirth in the world. Jesus was restored to humanity.
Now there were still weaknesses at that time that reflected an orphaned spirit. Some Christians reacted harshly to Catholics and protested (leading to the Protestant denomination and a few others). While God was clearly up to something amazing, many people lived with a thoughtful version of Christianity that involved division, debate, and the removal of the supernatural from everyday life.
1900: The Reformation that Restored the Holy Spirit
By 1900, the church had become powerless and functioned as a religious system. England was then the unipolar power, but it was beginning to disintegrate. This paved the way for the Welsh Revival of 1904, which began after young people began to experience the reality of God's power through the Holy Spirit. The church exploded with fire from heaven, affecting Azusa Street, the second major Reformation in 1906 that lasted almost 10 years!
Azusa began in Los Angeles and was shaped by exactly what the Church needed at the time: an outpouring ofpower of heaven. The Holy Ghost was restored to the Church. People began to flow in the gifts of the Spirit - speaking in tongues, declaring prophecies and seeing miracles, signs and wonders wherever they went. Worship services were held 24 hours a day as people could not get enough of the Holy Spirit. It was the beginning of Pentecostalism.
At this time, the Industrial Revolution was at its height. Manufacturing and manufacturing industries grew, transforming rural and poor areas into modern powerhouses and increasing jobs. At the same time, the Progressive Era was taking place in America, trying to eliminate problems related to political corruption, urbanization and immigration. It was an exciting time to live with new opportunities around every corner.
England was the world's unipolar power during this period. There was relative world peace, but England was falling apart and losing morale. Germany used the power under which it thrived to prepare for World War I. Even so, the power of the gospel spread, but many were persecuted in the world and even in the church for things people didn't know about, like speaking in tongues. Many did not know what to make of the Holy Spirit's manifestations of power, which went completely against the culture of the time.
However, its power cannot be stopped! The Azusa Reformation led to many subsequent revivals. After World War II, the Latter Day Rain movement restored the fivefold ministry and many were filled with the Spirit. In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States entered a period of apathy and fear stemming from the rise of the Cold War, intense protests against the Vietnam War, and the first atomic bomb test. During this time, the Jesus Movement was founded on love and led to the spread of evangelism and worship through contemporary music.
In the 1980s, the Vineyard movement under John Wimber resulted in the planting of hundreds of churches. The movement sought to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit through signs and wonders and was marked by many healings and heartfelt worship of Jesus.
The Reformation Restores God the Father
This paved the way for the 1994 Toronto Outpouring, which many call a "father's blessing". The outpouring began in a small Toronto church led by John and Carol Arnott. People came from all over the world to experience the Father's love through signs, wonders, wonders and most importantly, His contagious love. In fact, there were so many visitors that this church was the number one tourist attraction in Toronto in 1994!
People took this revival home and it broke out in their own churches. On Father's Day 1995, a massive revival broke out at the Brownsville Church in Pensacola. The Father brought healing, joy and restoration; and it was the starting point of a whole new reform.
Throughout history, these three fundamental reforms have brought Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father back into the Church. That's why I said in my last blog that we live in the most exciting time in history.God is setting up another reformation - a new wave of revivals and reformations - and it's coming! He has the power to stop the curse in America and around the world. He will deliver people from the orphaned spirit and restore the family culture of heaven on earth.It's called the Agape Reform, and I'll talk about how you can recognize it and be a part of it on my blog in two weeks. Next week we will see what God is doing in the world through women!
What were the 3 revivals that shaped our world? ›
The World's Greatest Revivals explores: The Reformation, The Great Awakening, The Azusa Street Revival, and The Toronto Blessing.How many great revivals have there been? ›
Great Awakening refers to a number of periods of religious revival in American Christian history. Historians and theologians identify three, or sometimes four, waves of increased religious enthusiasm between the early 18th century and the late 20th century.What is global revival? ›
Global Revival spans four centuries and features revivals from thirty countries, from Argentina to Australia, Estonia to Eritrea and Jamaica to Japan. Discover some of the greatest revivals from around the globe that you've probably never heard of, from Canada to China and from to Egypt to Zimbabwe.When were the great revivals in America? ›
The Great Awakening was a religious revival that impacted the English colonies in America during the 1730s and 1740s.What is the 3 Great Awakening? ›
The Third Great Awakening refers to a historical period proposed by William G. McLoughlin that was marked by religious activism in American history and spans the late 1850s to the early 20th century. It influenced pietistic Protestant denominations and had a strong element of social activism.When was the first great revival? ›
What historians call “the first Great Awakening” can best be described as a revitalization of religious piety that swept through the American colonies between the 1730s and the 1770s.