What is "revival"?
By Aaron Brown
let me give a quick
preliminary on revival as I see it.
Before a minister
can have a revival, he first need to realize that he:
#1 - Is not currently
having a revival, or...
#2 - The revival he is
having could be a bigger revival.
Otherwise, without this
realization, he will have no "hunger" or intense desire for more. When hunger
and intense desire for more comes, that's the beginning fuel that a evangelist
needs before a revival can start.
But before a person can
realize that he falls into one of the above categories, he needs to be able to
compare himself and his ministry with something greater. Then, when he sees his
areas where he is falling short, his hunger will be sparked with a greater
desire for more of God, and that's what will lead him to make changes, intensify
efforts, and make haste.
The bible has many
revivals in the book of Acts. But the revivals in the book of Acts are somewhat
hard to perform here in America, simply because, America already has heard the
gospel and has become gospel-hardened; whereas the cities in the book of Acts
had never heard, therefore it was all new to them. So a revival here in America
is not just to preach the gospel, but to un-harden gospel-hardened hearts, and
spark a renewed interest in the things of the Spirit.
A revival will include,
but defiantly is not limited to, the following things:
In regards to sinners:
- Excitement for the
things of the Spiritual and of God.
- The hearing of the
- The doing of the
In regards to
congregation of saints:
- A renewed commitment,
interest, fervency, and ardor in prayer.
- A renewal of the
gifts of the spirit.
- A deepening of the
fellowship of the Spirit.
- A increase of the
Word of God.
- A increase of unity.
- A greater burden for
- A exceeding mighty
revival of intercessors.
- A new setting forth
and better education for the laborers in the harvest.
- A decrease of bondage
and sin in Christians.
- A divine return and
cultivating of the Fruit of the Spirit.
- A return of the
- A return of miracles.
- A return of divine
- A return of the glory
In regards to the
- Establishment and
ability to successfully maintain powerful prayer meetings.
- Establishment and
ability to successfully maintain powerful intercessors.
- A continuing
spiritual growth and greater anointing upon the leaders.
- A greater public
confidence in the piety and spirituality in the leaders.
- A mending of the
"net" to catch more fish, and not break.
In regards to the
- Strong conviction in
preaching. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment:" John 16:8
in alter-calls. "And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they
of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing
their sins." Mark 1:5
- Not just "hear-able"
but also is "do-able" preaching, which is practice-able.
- Preaching that leads
to righteousness, and not so much leading to head-knowledge.
- Services dedicated to
preaching which is specifically intended to the conversion of sinners.
In regards to prayer
- This is a very large
number of things, too many to mention now in this document.
In regards to
- Again, too much to
talk about right now. Needless to say, one can expect no revival without
strength and wisdom in this mandatory area.
Praise and Worship
- So much can be said
concerning worship and praise. Lindell Cooley, the retired worship leader of
Brownsville, where I was, is a great teacher in this area. But I have too much
to say in this area for now, it would be a lot of technical things that would
only distract from the main point for now.
Sometimes I think I
should flatter. Sometimes I think, no, I ought to be blunt. I trust you are the
kind of person who would much rather blunt than flattery. If you're church is
dead, and if I was to flatter you and tell you that you are having a major
revival, and that your teachings were bring about pale-faced conviction, I think
you would see through that. But I hate to make people feel bad. I feel like
Wigglesworth when he stood up in a prayer meeting and said, "I can't figure out
why there is so much power in [another city and their church], but there seems
to be hardly any in yours!" But he meant it with sincerity, but they of course
took it as an insult. But the Bible says that "He that rebuketh a man afterwards
shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue." Proverbs 28:23
And that's exactly what happened with Wigglesworth. They hated him for his
bluntness, but then afterwards they saw that he was right and a major revival
broke out in that city.
So brace yourself and
hold onto your seat, because what I am about to say may be a rebuke to you - in
a supportive, loving, but very blunt way.
But before I do, first
let me talk about fishing.
When you go to fish, you
first must have three things, or else your fishing will be without effect. You
- A fishing line.
- A bate.
- A hook.
We won't talk about the
fishing line right now. Most people don't have the line, which is what brings
the fish back to you, when they go around passing out anonymous tracts. That's
like bait with a hook, but no line. So the fish takes the bait, and gets hooked,
and swims away. Kind of stupid. But that's for people with anonymous ministries.
We don't have to worry about that though.
Most people consider the
"bait" to be some form of entertainment that brings the people into the service.
That's true, but that's only one bait.
Let me explain, there
are, in any successful ministry, multiple baits and multiple hooks.
You have a bait to get
the people to come, and the hook is their actual coming to the service.
You have a bait to get
the people saved, and the hook is when they actually get saved.
You have a bait to get
the people to give, and the hook is when you take up the offering.
You have a bait to get
the people to hunger, and the hook is when they receive an impartation.
So the hook is the
follow-up of the bait. If you were to advertise for a product and tell people to
call your 800 number to order: the advertisement would be the bait, and the 800
number is the hook. If you were to fail to have the 800 number property
connected with someone to take the incoming calls, then your bait is
ineffective, because you have failed to have a good hook.
Some preachers fish with
no hook. They have a line, and they have bait, but no hook. That's like taking
your line and tying it around your bait with a knot and casting it into the
water with no hook. The fish comes, takes the bait of the word, and then swims
off with it.
But then again, some
preachers have no bait. They have a line, and they have a hook, but they have no
bait at all. I've tried to fish with just a hook. It never catches anything.
So if you were to walk
out on the platform, and tell the people right away, "Let's take up an
offering." You have just cast a line into the congregation with a hook and no
bait. They may give, but don't expect a big catch, because you spoke no words of
Likewise if you were to
walk out on the platform, and tell the people, "Let's have some divine healing."
Would you have a rush of people to come at you for it? Would they expect to get
healed? No. You tried to hook them with no bait. It would be better to come out
on the platform and speak some faith-lifting words for about 15 minutes and then
say, "Let's have some healing." And there would be much more success.
It's the same with
salvations. If you walk out on the platform, and say, "Let's have an alter
call." Without haven spoken anything that would bring conviction, or need, or
desire, you're not going to have a single person come forward for your alter
call. It would be better to preach something convicting first, then you could
have 30 people come forward easily if it was done right. So many people would
come forward at Brownsville, and it's the same way in Dallas at Heartland where
Steve Hill is now, I was just up there to talk to him a week ago. That man knows
how to do alter calls.
But you can't stand up
behind the pulpit and preach convicting messages for an hour, and then turn
around and walk away. That's called fishing with no hook. You had a line, you
had an hour's worth of bait, but no hook. All the fish heard the word, the bait
is in their ears, and they get up and leave still in their sins, still on their
way to hell. Jesus never said, "Believe the gospel!" Without also saying,
Mark 1:15 "And saying,
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe
Just ending the service
by praying, "Lord if there is anyone here that needs Jesus, let them be saved."
Is not at all going to work. You must realize that a unconverted sinner many
times will go through great measure to successfully make it to hell. The flesh
resists weak spiritual conviction like that. The hearing of the Word almost
never brings strong enough conviction to convert a sinner. The bait is not what
converts the sinner! Because the bait does not have strong enough conviction to
accomplish anything in most cases. It's the hook that is convicting. It is the
doing of the word that brings conviction. When you tell the people, "believe the
gospel!" They just sit there and look at you with zero conviction. But when you
say, "Let's DO the Word!", and then, "Everybody that has sin in your life and
you know you need forgiveness, I want you to get up and come to the alter right
now and repent!" conviction strikes them from head to toe. You're bait is not
what convicted them, but it was the hook that convicted them. They know they
ought to be up there. You took the doing of the Word out of distant-future and
brought in into the realm of "right now". It was not the hearing of the Word,
but it was the doing of the Word that brought the pale-faced conviction. I saw
people at Brownsville that would be paralyzed in their seats, unable to move,
because of the conviction so strong. Many times ushers had to carry people to
the alter because they were under so much conviction. They would have a shackle,
and break it, and people had two minutes to respond, many times they would have
to pause the clock because the conviction was so strong on the people that they
could not move. The people would come forward like ants from everywhere.
I was in a room a few
weeks ago repenting to a man. I asked his forgiveness for several different
things I had done months before hand. Finally, as I was still talking, several
women came into the room who knew me well. I was still making confessions, and I
was very serious in what I was doing, for I felt the Lord had told me to do it.
After the ladies had come into the room, I made mention confession of "pride".
Instantly the ladies started to laughingly say, "PRIDE! ha-ha! Who does not have
that!" and another lady jokingly said, "No Aaron! No way! You would never have
such a thing as that!" Of course the ladies did not mean any harm, they were
simply trying to "joke it off" and make things not seem so serious. But it had a
harmful effect that they did not realize. The person I was confessing to also
started to laugh with them, and in the end I chuckled a little myself. So we
made light of the whole thing and went on. Therefore, I never really was able to
express how serious my repentance was, and to this day the man I repented to
still may not fully realize that I was serious and not just joking. The bible
says, "Fools make a mock at sin". Therefore if a preacher likes to joke and make
light of everything, he will never be able to convict the people, and there will
be no successful alter-call, and therefore not much repentance, and therefore
not much revival. The easiest way to "shake off" conviction is to start laughing
and try to make light of it. A preacher must not allow that, to the point even
of removing anyone from the service who laughs during a message of conviction
and the following call for repentance.
Then there is the issue
of practice. "Except your religion lead to righteousness, your religion is not
worth much." - Billy Graham. Preaching really ought to lead to righteousness of
some sort. If all it leads to is head-knowledge, then it's not worth much. But
then again, almost every truth, even non-doable truth, can lead to
righteousness, if you simply apply a good hook. Billy Graham could preach on
almost anything, and yet he would solve all his questions with the same answer,
and thereby he could preach on a "cow on a road" and somehow he would end it
up with salvation - and lead the people to righteousness.
I've lost many a fish
when fishing because I did not properly react to the first "nibble" of the fish
on the line. Except the preacher jerk on the hearts of the people at the right
time to plant the hook really good, it could end up being a fish lost. Don't
blame the fish. The fish are supposed to fight the hook, that's their job. If a
fisher expects the fish to desire to be caught, that's a stupid fisherman. The
fish's job is to fight, and that's the way it is. The fishermanís job is to jerk
that line at the right time so that the hook gets so planted in the mouth of the
fish, that all the fishes efforts to spit it out will fail. I've had large fish
swim to the surface of the water and sling their head violently from side to
side trying to hurl the hook out of their mouth, and yet dispite all those
efforts to resist me, I still prevailed to catch the fish. I showed no mercy in
my reeling it in. I was completely and utterly going against the will of the
fish. Never expect a successful alter-call if you are unwilling to completely go
against the comfort of the fish. You'll see people so displeased at you for
doing it that it will set you in your shoes just to look at them, and yet you
call anyway. You plant that hook so deep that when they come forward to the
alter cursing you the whole time, yet they break down in tears when they arrive!
The fish, on the other hand, must have had no idea that there was a hook before
hand. That's the way it is. The sinner hears the Word and ponders everything you
are saying. But he has no idea that you are about to do an alter-call with such
power. He figures that he is going to sit right where he is and feel no
conviction. He never thought you would make mention of the very sin that he is
guilty of. He never knew that you were going to pull on his heart with that much
violence. If the fish knew, it would never have taken the bait. It's the same
with sinners. They will take your bait with all their heart, but they will
resist your hook furiously. People would scream at Brownsville from the
conviction of the alter-call, trying not to come forward, but unable to resist
My Lord! I got carried
away. I probably should not say all this, but I will trust the Holy Ghost. The
worse thing you could do right now is try to start a revival by yourself.
Revivals require a lot of people working together, as we shall see.
Let me slam you with a
few hooks now.
I have not talked any
about programs or special events. We can't revive others until we revive
ourselves. I'm not a pastor or a teacher, I'm a evangelist at heart. You need
not at all feel threatened by me. Brownsville had both a pastor and a
evangelist, and that was a powerful combination. The revival would not have
happened without both. Paul separates the two saying some people are one and
some are the other. My dad is not a evangelist, nor is he a pastor really. He is
a Bible Teacher. That's great, and that's what God called him to be. But I'm not
a Bible Teacher, I'm a Evangelist. The powerful thing about Pastor
the senior pastor of Brownsville, is that he did not feel threatened when Steve
Hill showed up, but rather he was willing to work with him and was not
protective of his own ego or glory. Charles Finney truthfully stated that any
pastor that is unwilling to let down his own ego to allow someone with a special
gift to stand behind his pulpit, need not expect to ever have a revival. That
was something special about Brownsville. The senior pastor was willing to sit in
a side chair if he had to, and allow others who also were powerfully anointed to
come and help in the revival. Steve Hill always did the alter calls because
therein was his talents and gifts. So in my ignorance of having never met
you, I'll give you the upper hand for now and say that you are very humble, and
very willing to work with others, and praise God if you are! Not many pastors
will allow another man to come and help, and it costs them any hope of revival.
Brownsville was charged with the efforts of many great men. There would have
been no Brownsville revival otherwise. "Many evangelists came from all over the
country to help in the revival." was written in a documentary of the
revival. The only way that happened was because the senior pastor had opened the
door wide to let them come and help, and he was not defensive of his position.
Not surprisingly, he also never lost his position to any of them, but he might
have lost some personal glory. Most people don't give
much glory for the revival, but he does not care, all he cares about are the
souls. The same thing applies to intercessors. No revival is going to happen
without them, and most pastors completely underestimate that. A wise pastor not
only understands the need for intercessors, but he supports them, sometimes even
financially so as to increase their effect. Anyone who balks at the idea of
financially supported intercessors needs to go repent and ask God for some
So here I am. Am I the
first person that has come to you to ask you if you would like help to start a
revival? If that's true, know this, that I won't be the first. If you open the
door to allow people to come and help, and give them some fruit-yielding
liberty, you'll have flocks of anointed people come that are willing to
downright give their lives to help host a successful revival. All they need is
to feel that the door is open, and that you will work with them. Some bad ones
will come, but you spit out the bad ones and keep those who are sincere. Some
will come to just promote themselves, and they will try to run you over like a
train to get to the top of the ego podium, spit those out. But many will come to
help and support the revival. None of them will come to help and support you,
but they come to help and support *the revival*, remember that. Open the door to
intercessors, and you'll have scores of them, and the power of God will increase
mightily in the services. I was just talking one major worker on the new staff
of Heartland Fellowship in Dallas where Steve Hill is no doubt soon to start the
next revival, "I moved to Dallas from Huston to help." People are willing to
move if they feel that the door is open and they can help, and that there will
be success. It takes time to find the faithful good workers and intercessors,
but God will provide. My heart is the same at home as it is in church. In fact,
Iím probably more at home even. And thatís good. Better, in fact, than being
spiritual at church, and then living like a sinner at home. Iím as on fire for
God at home as I am anywhere, and thatís so important. I say that boldly because
itís important that such things be known and broadcast on the rooftops so that
others can learn and go do likewise. ďBe an exampleĒ is what Paul said to the
I apologize if anything
I said was blunt. But remember...
Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous smite
me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an
excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also
shall be in their calamities.
"line upon line, precept
upon precept" is how things are established for a revival. Not everything
happens all on the first day. Some things take time to build, rightly.
Excellence and quality is better than speed and haste sometimes. And everything
that canít be done by wisdom we do by faith. And it's so vitally important that
things be done in the right order. The establishment of prayer and intercession
is *always* first, and then more things can be added. So I don't want to
overwhelm you to think all of this has to happen at the same time!
Anyway I have much more
to say, but I'll end this document for now.
Let me know what the
Lord is speaking to you concerning what has been spoken in this document thus
You can contact me by mail at:
phone anytime at 361-991-7437