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Ten Characteristics of Revival in the Scripture

by Dr.Bob Griffin on July 6, 2013

Ten Characteristics of
Revival in the Scripture
Dr. Bob Griffin, Rockford Renewal Ministries

 Twelve Revivals in the Old Testament—Jacob: Gen 35:1-15; Asa: 2 Chr 15:1-15; Jehoash: 2 Kgs 11-12/2 Chr 23-24; Hezekiah: 2 Kgs 18:4-7/2 Chr 29-31; Josiah: 2 Kgs 22-23; Ezra: Ez 5-6; Nehemiah/Ezra: Neh 8:9/12:44-47; Jonah; Jehoshaphat:  2 Chr 17:6-9, & Chp. 20; Moses: Exod 32-33; Samuel: I Sam 7:1-13; Elijah: I Kgs 18 

Eight Revivals in the New Testament—John the Baptist: Matt 3:1-12; Pentecost: Acts 2:1-4, 14-47; the Church: Acts 4:23-37; Ananias and Sapphira: Acts 5:1-16; Stephen’s sermon and death: Acts 7:54-8:25; Cornelius: Acts 10: 23-48; Pisidian Antioch: Acts 13:44-52; Ephesus: Acts 19:1-20

Confirmed in History:

Through the First and Second Great Awakenings--1726 and 1776, the New York City Prayer Meeting Revival--1857, the Azusa Street Revival--1906 and the Welsh Revival of 1904.


1.    Revival occurred in a time of deep moral darkness and national depression, personal or national crisis, a time of spiritual decline or apostasy among God’s people Israel or his Church and generally a time of great spiritual need.

2.    Revival began in the heart of one or more consecrated servants of God, who became the energizing power behind the revival, the agent or agents used of God to lead God’s people back to faith in God and obedience to him. 

3.    Prayer was central to revival.  Leaders called out to God in prayer and in many instances, led God’s people to do the same, passionately seeking God’s face in repentance and in the confession of their personal and national sins.

4.    Revival rested upon the powerful teaching, proclamation or preaching of the Word or law of God, and many of the revivals were the result of a return to the Law or Word.

5.    Revival in the Old Testament was dominated by God the Father for the awakening of his people Israel to a restored relationship with him, to obedience and to serving his purposes.  Revival in the New Testament was dominated by the work of the Holy Spirit and miracles for the equipping of people for ministry, and it resulted in the spread of the gospel and the growth of the Church.  

6.    Revival was marked by a return to the worship of God.

7.    Revival witnessed a destruction of idols or ungodly preoccupations, a separation from personal and corporate sin. 

8.    Revival witnessed a return to the offering of blood sacrifices in the Old Testament and a concentration on the death, resurrection and return of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, celebrated in the Lord’s Supper.

9.    Revival resulted in an experience of exuberant joy and gladness among the people of God.

10.  Revival was followed by a period of blessing and/or social reform.

DEFINITION OF REVIVAL
“Revival is a spontaneous spiritual awakening by God the Holy Spirit among God’s people.  It results from their humble prayers, when they passionately seek God’s face, and repent for their sins. The awakening results in deepened intimacy with God, passion for Him, holy living, evangelism and social reform.” Dr. Bob Griffin


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