Responsibility After Revival
By Iverna Tompkins
Transcribed by Jane Vaughn
Revival in God’s mind was intended to be poured out once (for all time) to enable His people to move on into the establishment of His Kingdom. His intent never was to have many outpourings in different generations, but a single one that lasted forever. If we had understood this truth better in the last outpouring, which we speak of as the Charismatic Renewal, we would not have brought it to a close as we did. Let us realize that it is we, “man,” who brings His moves to cessation, not God. What happened, as with the outpourings before this one, was for it to climb to the highest peak of emotional response, to a crescendo, then begin to diminish a little, and we said, “Well, that’s over, wasn’t it glorious?” We tend to focus on the main accomplishment in a Revival and think that was all God had in mind for that season.
We look back on the Charismatic Revival and say, “What God did in that Revival was to bring the Catholics to an awareness that the Word is alive today, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2 and 4. That paved the way for them to come into fellowship with Protestants.” That is all true. But that was not the Revival.
The Revival was God’s way of saying, “I am the Lord thy God. Is there anything I cannot do?” If we (all-knowing ones J) had been asked that question ahead of His move, we’d have said, “Yes, there is something – You can’t bring the Catholics into the fullness of Your Spirit. You can’t stir them. You’ll never get to the Catholics. Lord, they’ve got the whole thing all figured out, You’ll never move on them. They don’t believe in this and that and the other. Besides that, we vote ‘no’ on them.” :-)
How many know that’s true? We, especially “old-time Pentecostals,” had an attitude about Roman Catholics that was worse than theirs about us! And God said, “Let Me show you something. I can do exceeding abundantly above all you ask or think according to the power than worketh in you (Eph.3:20). But if the power that worketh in you isn’t great enough to do anything above what you can ask or think, I’ll do it without you.”
We think we’re something! No wonder we spend so little time saying, “Thank you, Lord, for using me.” We think He’s fortunate to have us! Remember the old song? “I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk this narrow way. I gave up fame and fortune; I’m worth a lot to Thee.” Unfortunately, that, by and large, is still our attitude! But the song writer continues: “And then I heard Him gently say to me, ‘I left a throne in glory!’”
For years I felt I had my head on a block, offering it to the Lord day by day, and feeling very pure about it. “Lord, you know I didn’t want to preach. You know how I feel about women preachers. And You know how they feel about women preachers. I don’t want to preach because they’re going to vote ‘no’ on me too. I don’t want to do this but I’ll do it for You, Lord, just for You.” And I sincerely but mistakenly believed myself to be humble. Aren’t you glad I’m using me as the example instead of you? It makes it so much easier for you to say “Amen.”
I honestly believed that it was an ultimate, supreme sacrifice for me to be willing to be the very thing I didn’t like and to give up my life for “ministry.” Then one day, as I was reading Scripture, I read from the great apostle, Paul, who said, “I thank God that He has called me worthy enough to be a minister!” (see 1Tim.1:12).
Now Church, I truly believe that the next move of God is not only going to hit the pulpit, but He also will pour out powerfully of His Spirit in the pews. And God is calling you to be “ministers.” You ought to be whooping and hollering, responding with a resounding, “Yes!” “Yes, Lord! I want to be used by You!” Or do we, really? Do we honestly want to be used (note the word!) of God? If that is true, then we have to change our thinking and bring it into agreement – accord, correlation, conformity, alignment – with the Holy Spirit Who wrote the Book.
The truth is it is such a privilege to be used by God! Ask someone who once was in “real ministry” and for some particular reason is not ministering today. Notice their lack of joy. Some of you are in deep depression today. The best way I know to tell you to be able to get out of that condition is to begin to minister to someone else. Why? What you’ve actually done, even inadvertently, is to clog up the dam. Depression is a result of turning inward and a rejection of one’s circumstances that seem to be out of your own control. The scripture says there’s a river of life flowing in me (Jn.7:38). Jesus said, “I’ll put a well inside of you, a deep well” (see Num.21:14-17; Isa.12:3; Jn.4:14; Rev.22:17). I say, “Do it, Lord.” His response is: “I did! Let the lid off! Stop clogging up the flow!”
When the Church meets together, there is enough concentrated power in that room at that time – honestly, there’s enough divine, heavenly power in the room – to accomplish anything that needs to be done. Anything! But we are trained to be pulpit-centered. If a church or ministry would bring in a certain person or persons and announce them as “miracle workers,” we’d feel “Ebenezer” again – “the Lord hath helped us!”(see 1Sam.7:12ff). We’d go to those meetings out of curiosity, not from faith. “Oh, I want to see this!” That attitude is what occurs to stop the flow of Revival. It is never God that brings an end to Revival. It’s the people of God. God intends for Revival to be eternal – on-going – forever. If you don’t believe it, that’s why it never is!
This is what happens: a new generation arises. God brings them a leader, a deliverer, who sets them free, who brings them “out of Egypt” so to speak. They know the miracle-working power of God. Everything is wonderful! They have supernatural happenings throughout their lives, at least for that season of time. Then God says, “Now I want to give you the next step after miracles. The next step is obedience. Here are My laws.” But they say, “We need a god we can handle. Let’s create one.”
Are you there, Church? Are you hearing this truth? God says, “Therein is where the people have made a decision not to let the Revival go on. They really don’t want the mighty works. They don’t want the demonstration of My power. They don’t want Me. They don’t want to live according to the ways I have declared to be right. They don’t want the “confinement of obedience.” I showed up once and the only one who dared to come up on the mountain was Moses.” The people said, “That is frightening!” But Moses said, “Ohhhh, I love it!”
Now Church, Revival is on the very horizon – the next move of God! It’s like we have our fingertips on it! I can sense it in my spirit, can you? It’s so close! For some years I’ve been saying there will be many people praying for Revival to come – and continue praying all the way through it – but missing the whole thing because it may not come through the people they decided it should come through. It just may not be limited to the denomination they voted “yes” on. It just may be that God will be God. And He will pour out His Spirit wherever there are channels and vessels open to receive Him. He will do exceedingly marvelous things! After that first dynamic – it’s always dynamic when God moves, it’s supernatural – after that first dynamic, I can tell you what will happen. Churches, some mega-churches, will declare how they got it to come. :-) That has happened in our recent history.
Those who do not recognize, who do not hear the prophetic – those who miss God because they are not in tune and do not have keen discernment – those whose discernment is stupefied by the input of man, will believe that erroneous declaration of ownership. Pastors who do not have what I just described of discernment will begin to copy what these people say they did to bring the move of God. And when others copy it, they will immediately become a part of the counterfeit! Let the people of God hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Now, that situation would be bad news – unless there are the people of God who are ravens, if you will. Remember when God sent Elijah to the brook? (1Kngs.17:4). God said, “You need bread every day, fresh bread, fresh nourishment, and I’m going to send it to you – by ravens.”
How do you think Elijah felt about that? A raven was an unclean bird. I wonder if he didn’t feel a bit like Peter when the Lord invited Peter to a picnic. Remember that? (Ac.10) It was the vision Peter had of the tablecloth filled with all sorts of things to “eat.” The Lord says, “Peter, let’s go on a picnic. I’ll bring the food.” They got up on the housetop (vs.9ff). It was right at noon. The sun was shining. It was a great day! Peter was fellowshipping with his Lord. The Lord says, “Well, there it is – lunch.” Peter is shocked and says, “Lord. You need to know something about me. There’s not one thing on that table I’m going to eat because I’m – holy. And everything I see there is unclean.” And what did the Lord say to him? “Not if I call it clean!”
Can you hear Elijah saying, “I’m not eating from ravens!” “Well fine, Elijah. You are going to get very hungry!” Or maybe the Lord said, “Don’t be stupid! I didn’t ask you to eat the raven!” Listen – there are a lot of us ravens. In the eyes of man, we’re the unclean bird. The Lord doesn’t ask them to swallow us at all! He says, “Just take the fresh bread – take the fresh meat that I put in the mouth, in the beak. And I’ll fly them in according to your need.”
If there are enough of us in the Body of Christ, who are so attuned to the Holy Spirit of God that we see the counterfeit and deny it saying, “I will not be a part of these gimmicks and all of these other things. I want the Spirit of Truth and the revelation of Life and for that Life to go on flowing.” If you are that tuned-in person, God will begin to flow through you.
You see, the sun rises on the just and the unjust (see Mt.5:45). Does that make sense to you? Revival is going to fall on all in the Body of Christ. It surely is! It’s going to hit the big churches and the little churches. It will hit those that have been walking in holiness as well as those that have been walking the fine line of “How much can I get by with – how can I get by with this and still go to heaven?” Those are people I describe as having just bought their spiritual fire insurance. They are “saved” and going to heaven, but that is it. Don’t demand anything further from them. When God pours out His Spirit, He’s going to pour it out everywhere, on the whole universal church. Of course there will be forerunners who recognize it early – while many others are still praying for Revival to come, we’ll already be enjoying it!
At “noonday,” at the height, the peak of its shine, every believer will recognize Revival. They will. I know this may seem radical to some of you. One lady said to me, “You are absolutely stretching my doctrine!” I said, “We’re not trying to stretch it. We’re trying to kill it!” When what we believe is contrary to or a misrepresentation of the Word of God, we need to just let it go.
I’m so sick of the word “rebellion.” I really am. God’s people who are serving God, loving Him and worshipping Him, who want the new (as in fresh) and the vital, aren’t being “rebellious.” That’s not rebellion. Don’t you swallow that when you hear it. It’s a “bone” – spit it out. Historically, it has always been those who were dissatisfied with what was called “the norm” that first saw the power of God moving in a fresh way. Hallelujah!
We’re going to be a part of that move, if we truly want to be, and if we keep our eyes and ears attuned to His Spirit. But we must recall that when it gets to “noonday” (the peak of spiritual emotion in the outpouring – not flesh) and everyone is basking in the glory, we’re to rejoice with them, but remain closer to the Lord than we’ve ever been before – ravens! Because when they get through with that high level, when it seems to diminish a bit, they’re going to try and corral it. Do you understand that statement? When they get through with it, they’re going to try to capture it at the moment. And then they’ll say, “We’ll take this much of it – what we have now. This is so good. We’re very happy. Our church is full now. Our budget’s in the black – at long last. And praise God! He did a good thing!”
And it is at that moment that God will say, “Alright ravens! Go get ‘em!” :-) “You have the fresh bread and there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who have had just enough taste during the noonday that they are now hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Don’t make Me have to kill them off in the wilderness and raise up a whole new generation (see Num.14:20ff). You keep the thing going! Bring your children into it. Bring your young people into this move of God. It is not over. Teach them how to flow and minister in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s time for that!”
If you have to say, “Well, our church doesn’t do it like that,” that’s okay. Do it in your own home! It’s time for us to quit relying so heavily on the church to provide everything for us anyway. The “church” can be full of “programs” and lack the fresh move of His Spirit! But you keep going to church. Support it, and pray fervently that God will explode in your church (Jas.5:16b). If they’re not feeding you and your children with fresh bread, that’s no excuse for your children to go unfed and hungry, or for you either. Get yourself in the Word of God. Begin to ask God to flow within your own family. Take one evening a week and minister to one another. You’d be surprised what that will do for a family. Begin to let the gifts operate right there in your home. Look at your little ones, your teens, and say, “What’s Jesus saying to you right now?” Teach them to expect to hear God’s voice. Show them how to do that.
I was once ministering at a certain place quite a number of years ago now. It was a conference, sponsored by a local church – a Ministers’ Conference where I was speaking at the evening sessions. Prior to this particular moment, we had a season of worship that was second to none. It was tremendous! We had reached extremely high levels of worship, the high praises of God! (Psa.149:6). Near the end of the worship season, as we were entering into some other elements of the service, a little boy made his way up to the pastor, tugged at her sleeve, and spoke to her privately. The pastor nodded, took the microphone from its stand and handed it to this little boy. Everything in me cried out in my spirit, “Oh no. Please don’t break this up now with something cute.” We had been experiencing a holy, hallowed sense of the presence of God and I didn’t want something cute or childish to be allowed to diminish that.
The small child took the microphone and said something like this, “the Lord would say to His people…” and continued, “When I got up, God said not to look for what you think you came for. God’s going to do something different. So, open your ears and listen because the Spirit of God is going to talk to you.” I get Holy Spirit goose bumps when I think about it. After the service, when I had occasion to be alone with the pastor, I said, “How old is that boy?” “Three.” Then she corrected herself, “Oh no, he just had his fourth birthday.”
Listen, now! I went to the service the next evening and a little girl about seven years of age made her way to the front. I was sitting on the aisle ready to speak again that night. She came during the worship service and said to me, “Sister Tompkins, could I pray for you?” I said, “Sure, Honey. Bless your heart.” She laid hands on me and said, “God, in the name of Jesus, let the anointing that is within this Thy vessel, rise and come forth. Open hearts to understand!”
When I went out with the pastors following the service, I said, “Talk to me about this!” Pastor said, “Can you give us one evening? I’ll show it to you. We call it ‘family prayer meeting’ and have it twice a week.” The next evening, I went into a specific room in the church. As I walked in Pastor said, “Just sit there. I want you simply to observe.”
There were no chairs in the room but mine. Everyone was on the floor seated in circles. The separate families were all throughout the room, just families. From infants on blankets to teenagers, fathers and mothers, all praising the Lord; all praising the Lord corporately as we would in any church service where the Spirit was present. Once in awhile I’d see a little one become fidgety because of a shorter attention span. The father would look over and smile, put his hand on the child, pray in the Spirit, and continue worshipping, “We praise You, Jesus.” Pretty soon that youngster would come right back into praise. On occasion, I’d see a father lean down, the youngster would nod, and then there would be an opportunity given for that child to sing praise unto God according to what was in him. Oh, it wasn’t by chance these young children were filled with the power of God. It was by opportunity and training.
In Part 2, we will consider all of these things further, and begin to search out what our responsibilities are following Revival.
Go to Part 2