The Word: The Foundation of Revival

Scripture: Psalm 119:154
Date: 07/20/2013 
Lesson: 3
"In this week's lesson we will study the role of the Bible in revival and how God's Word can make a life-changing difference in us if we surrender ourselves in faith and obedience to its precepts and truths."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We're so glad that you're tuning in. Some of you, this may be your very first time so stay tuned and stay with us as we sing some songs and we study God's Word together. And if this is not your first time and you join us every week, a special welcome to you as well. And we are so glad that you are part of our extended family around the world and we know that there are many of you and it's very exciting and I know that one day we will all get to meet together on the streets of gold and have a special central study hour reunion.

And I hope that we will all be there and we'll sing songs and have a wonderful time in heaven. We're going to start, like we usually do, singing your favorites and today is no exception. #183 Is our first song. 'I will sing of Jesus' love'. This is from kenyon and felicia in australia, the jervis family in the bahamas, max and pedro in barbados, ameidi and alciro in belize, russell in botswana, dawn in the british virgin islands, jubeth in Canada, judith in england, maisie and karl in France, kathrina in guam, dave in Indiana, camille, merlyn and judy in jamaica, natasha in Maryland, arelu in nigeria, sandy, vern, jamie and jenny in North Carolina, marvin in panama, vince, jezer and ricardo in the Philippines, marsha in st.

Lucia, brittney, chelsea and alwyn in st. Vincent and the grenadines, and stephen and lystra in trinidad and tobago. All three stanzas - 'I will sing of Jesus' love'. Those of you at home, sing loud - we want to hear you as well. Thank you so much for sending in that request.

We love hearing from each one of you. Whether you're listening on the radio, watching live at our website at '' or on the various television networks, you send in your song requests and if you have one it's so simple. All you have to do is go to our website at '', click on the 'contact us' link and you can pick any song in the adventist hymnal and we will do our best to sing that for you sooner rather than later. Our new song, as we continue our way through the hymnal is #61 - 'God is here'. This is a very pretty song and it's an easy tune so I think you're going to enjoy this one.

You notice that we are almost done with the section 'opening of worship'. We have two more songs and then it's 'the close of worship'. So we're trucking right along. #61 - 'God is here' - we'll do all four stanzas. Wasn't that pretty? Did you pay attention to those words on that last stanza? 'Keep us faithful to the gospel, help us work your purpose out, here in this day's dedication, as we all have to give - receive - we who cannot live without you, we adore you, we believe' - beautiful song and joyce in nairobi, kenya requested that one as well.

At this time let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, we know that you are here and we know also that we can't live without you. I know we try, many times, and we think that we can do it on our own but that's not the reality and we do need you. We need you desperately and I pray that today you would fill us with your spirit, that you would soften our hearts and help us to be vessels that can be used by you to reach this dying world. Thank you for loving us - for not giving up on us.

Thank you so much for pastor doug and his ministry here at central and around the world. I pray that you'll be with him as he brings us our lesson study. And be with our extended family around the world. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Thank you debbie and musicians. I really should be able to claim one of those songs that was requested. I don't ever send them in, but 'I will sing of Jesus' love' is one of my favorites so put my name down. Happy Sabbath everybody. Good to see you here at central church.

A nice cool day in Sacramento and it's been fun listening to people on the news all kind of bemoan and commiserate about the heat wave and I think to myself, 'well, it's summer. That happens every year, doesn't it?' It seems to get hot here. There's a little while - we've got a few weeks every year in Sacramento where our asphalt sort of liquefies and a seatbelt will double as a branding iron and you just know it's going to happen once a year. But we're glad the church is air-conditioned, amen? We're going through our new quarterly here dealing with revival and reformation. If you're visiting central today, you'll wonder why we're so far ahead.

It's because of the tv broadcast. We study our lesson three weeks in advance of the rest of the country. We like to stay on the cutting edge. But that actually gives us time to edit the program, we put in subtitles and then send it on to the various satellites. Today we're dealing with lesson , 'the word: the foundation of revival' and before we get into today's lesson, we've got a study guide that we will offer for free.

And it talks about the power of the word to transform and it's called, 'a love that transforms'. If you call the free - call the number on the screen - it's a toll free number - -study-more - that's -788-3966. Make sure and ask for offer #710 when you call. We'll send it to you free. And I like these lessons - it's not just a book.

If it wasn't for comic books, I never would have learned to read, but these have pictures - and I'm not recommending comic books, but I like - because they're illustrated. I'm a very visual person so you'll enjoy that. After you read it, please send it or give it to someone else and it will be a blessing to them as well. And I want to just make a couple of notes here at the beginning of our class. One is that the various teachers - myself and the other pastors - sometimes guest teachers that teach here at central church, we often have notes and we put these up.

Not only can you find them at '' but '' so if you're interested in the Sabbath school notes that went along with our presentation - sometimes there's a lot more material here. That's the case with my lesson today. I'm sure there's a lot more material in my notes than I'm going to be able to share. But some of the others watching also are teachers and if you'd like those, you're welcome to them and just go to the Sabbath school link - both at central church and Amazing Facts and you'll find the various notes. I also want to welcome those who are part of the central church around the world.

We have members all over the country and all over the planet that do not have a local church they're able to attend and we just like to provide a way for them to connect with a church family. Maybe you're in that category and you're watching on the internet or satellite and you'd like to know more about 'how do I become part of the central church' or 'the adventist church?' We'd like to talk to you about that and just e-mail us and we'll let you know. Alright, into our lesson, 'the word: the foundation for revival'. Do you think we need revival? We do, as a church. And there are times when the church is just full of the spirit, they're on fire, full of zeal, and they're out doing the work of the Lord.

And then there are times when the church seems to kind of go through a trough of spirituality. If you look at the history of God's people, there were times when they were on fire, close to the Lord, fighting God's battles and then there were times when every man did what was right in their own eyes and they went down spiritually. In the varying ebbs and flows of spiritual condition, you read in the seven churches, Revelation chapter 2 and 3 there was the church of philadelphia - the church of brotherly love. There was the church of sardis - great persecution but great dedication. Then there's the church of thyatira - low point - and then you've got the church of laodicea - low point.

Historically, we are living in a spiritually low point before a time of great revival just before Jesus comes back. So is there anything we can do? Is God just watching his clock and says, 'when we get to a certain point in history on the calendar, I'm going to send the Holy Spirit and revive everybody. Are we waiting on God or is God waiting on us? God, through Jesus, sent the Holy Spirit 2,000 years ago. He never retracted or withdrew that promise. But we, through neglect, as the church have gone through episodes of drifting from God - backsliding - and when you're in one of those times of - is there such a word as backsliddenness? Someone write it down, it'll be on Google.

If you're in one of those times of backsliddenness, which we are now, then the church sometimes needs a wake up and we can do things that will encourage inviting the Spirit and instigating revival. One of those very important things is the Word of God. Now let's go to our memory verse. The memory verse is found in Psalms 119, verse 154 - psalm , verse 154 - you want to say that with me? "Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your Word." Revival can come through the Word of God. When you look in the Bible, if you were to say, 'where in the Bible do we see the greatest single revival?' What would be your guess? I already know what I think.

I wonder if any of you think something. Any of you thinking anything? Don't be thoughtless, think something. Where in the Bible do you see there - did I hear - nineveh - I agree. That's what I would say - Jonah. You know how that book begins? 'Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah'.

First Jonah runs from God, later he surrenders after the detour through the fish. And again it says, 'and the word of the Lord came to Jonah'. And Jonah finally gets to nineveh, he enters the city, and he begins to declare the word that God had given him - the word of the Lord - and you have the greatest revival. the King, the commoner, the rich, the poor, the animals - everybody repents and there is a great revival and they are saved. What brought it about? Proclamation of the word.

Now there, the Word of God for them was 'repent - forty days God's going to destroy the city.' He talked to them about their sins no doubt - that was the summary of his proclamation but he went through the city and he preached a message of coming judgment. But through the proclamation of the word, there was a great revival. If you look in your Bibles - now this is not in my notes so I've got to look real quick here - go to Matthew chapter nine and in Matthew 9 you sort of have a summary of the ministry of Jesus. Verse 35 - Matthew 9, verse 35, "and Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Here this is a great verse because it summarizes the priorities of Christ's ministry. You notice there's a healing ministry so health should be part of it.

There's a teaching ministry and there's a preaching or proclamation ministry and you notice he has a country ministry - through the villages - and it says he went into the cities - he's got a city ministry and you notice that he does it in the churches and he also does it in the fields. So there's something that's supposed to happen in the context of worship and he also does it out on the hillside in the meadows. This encompasses Jesus' ministry. But, you notice, teaching and preaching - would anyone doubt that a great revival came because of Christ's ministry? Was it - well, let me say it this way, what was it - did the word play a large role in the revival that came through the ministry of Christ? Was the church at a spiritual high point or low point when Jesus came? Low point. 'Woe to you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!' It was all external religion.

It was a fig tree with leaves and no fruit. It was like a kind of a laodicean condition - they thought they were rich and increased with goods. Well, we're going through that same thing now. 'You think you have a name and you live, but you're spiritually dead' was another message to the church during a low point. Alright, someone look up for me - we're going to look at several verses from psalm 119 - I think I gave somebody verse 153 and 154.

Whose hand is that? Right over here? We'll get to you in just a moment but before we do, in the teachings of Jesus notice - Matthew chapter 7, verses 24 and - when Christ summarizes his teaching - the sermon on the mount - he said, 'therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them' - these sayings of mine - the words of Christ - 'I'll liken him to a wise man who builds his house on a rock and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house and it did not fall for it is founded on the rock.' And what is the rock? 'He that hears these sayings of mine' - it is Christ, but more specifically His Word. What is it that brings down Goliath? It's a stone. What is it that brings down the image - the idol in Daniel chapter 2? Stone cut out of a mountain without hands. How does Jesus fight the temptations of the devil in the wilderness? 'It is written.' The rock of God's Word is what brings down - what are the Ten Commandments written on? Stone. We are a spiritual house.

We are living stones and Jesus is the chief cornerstone. The whole church is built on the foundation of the word. So where do we start as a people? If you take the Bible away from a church what do they have? They've got a club. You've got to, you know, call it rotary, moose lodge - call it anything you want, but it's not a church anymore, right? The word has to be the constitution of our church. You know - allow a detour please.

This week - and I know by the time it broadcasts it will be three weeks - but this week we've gotten a couple of very important rulings from the supreme court and, for the most part, they are rather disappointing. Frankly, I think that the highest court in the country issued some declarations that reflect cowardice. They did not deal with things the way they should have. They're supposed to uphold the constitution and it is absolutely, patently clear that the framers of our constitution understood that marriage was one man, one woman - man, woman - and that's the context in which the word marriage is defined. But because of cultural and media pressure they didn't want to make the tough decision of supporting the states that have said marriage is between - you know, it's a shame you even need to say - not just man and woman - that's clear enough - but we have to say one man and one woman because we see what's happening other places too.

If the foundations fail, what will the people do? And, you know, that's actually in the Bible. When the foundations crumble - well, the foundation for the church is the Bible. The foundation for our country is the constitution and both are at risk right now. Anyway, I might say more about the political thing later but right now, let's get back to the Bible. Psalm 119 - I'll get to you in just a moment - but psalm 119, verse 25 - what's the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119.

When someone says, 'I've memorized a verse in the Bible, they memorize 'Jesus wept' or 'rejoice forevermore' or something like that and when they memorize a chapter in the Bible they'll memorize psalm , which is the shortest chapter in the Bible. Not too many people have psalm - I think I told you, I was at camp meeting at ozark - no, it was in Michigan - I was at Michigan camp meeting last week, wow! Yeah. It was great, some kids got up and they read all of Matthew 27 - that's a long chapter - from memory. They memorized - all of their class had to memorize all of Matthew chapter 27 and there were only five or six kids that did it and they had big sections. And they did wonderful.

It was inspiring. Memorize psalm 119 and you've got something. But you know what the core of psalm 119 is? It's all about the word. It calls it 'the word'. It calls it 'the statutes'.

It calls it 'the ordinances'. It calls it 'the testimonies'. It calls it 'the word'. It calls it 'the law'. It uses all these different words to talk about 'the word'.

And so, psalm 119 is all about the Word of God. And it says in verse 25, "my soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your Word." That's different from our memory verse, which is verse 154. Psalm 119, verse 107, "I am afflicted very much; revive me, o lord, according to Your Word." And then go ahead read for us - I think we're ready - psalm 119 and it's verses 153 and 154. "Consider my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your Word.

" Can you see in the Bible that revival is connected with and it's integral to the word of God. And the Word of God is integral to revival. So if you want to experience a revival, where does that often need to begin? Going to a place where the word is proclaimed, personal Bible study, surrounding yourself with - listening to the word in your devotions and the application of the word. As you take a step - when you hear something from the word of God and you apply it to your lives, God will then reveal more light and more power to do more. That's what reform means.

You hear something and - the problem is many of us are hearers of the word but not doers. So if you really want to have the word come alive for you, walk in the light you have and God'll give you more. A lot of people feel like they've come to a dead end in their spiritual life. Can I suggest something boldly? A lot of you who think, 'you know, I just don't get anything out of the Bible. I just feel like I'm at a cul-de-sac.

I'm not growing.' It often is true that God revealed something to you that you didn't really care to deal with and then things got quiet. Because if God continues to reveal more truth to you and you're not walking in the truth he has revealed to you, all you're doing is making yourself more culpable in the judgment day, you see, because you're judged according to what you know. And if God's revealed truth to you and you're not following the truth he's revealed, the more he reveals to you that you don't do, the tougher it's going to be in the judgment. But because he loves you he thinks, 'look, I don't want it to be any harder for them in the judgment than it is. They're not walking in the light I've given them, why would I give them more light?' And so you end up getting into a dead calm in your experience.

You know what I mean by that? Sailboat going through the ocean, no wind, just gets stuck in the doldrums - you don't go anywhere. A lot of people say, 'I don't know what happened, you know, I wish God would do something. I need revival.' You know what the problem is? He shared something from his word and you said, 'nah, share something else. I'm not interested in that. Give me something new to think about.

' I'll often do an evangelistic meeting and people are so excited because, you know, you go for five or six weeks and you meet the people and you see them at the door and they're just like, 'wow! Where have I been? I've been going to church all my life and I never heard anything like - this is wonderful!' And they're making changes and things are happening and then you preach a testing truth - a difficult subject - and they get to the door and you shake hands and they're suddenly kind of quiet. 'So what did you think about tonight's presentation?' 'It was interesting.' That always scares me when they say 'interesting'. It just means 'I'm going to think about it. It's a cerebral exercise.' But when it comes to following it, no. They keep coming back because they want something else that's easy.

It might mean a change of thinking. For example, a person comes to a meeting and they learn the truth about the state of the dead and they go, 'wow, praise the Lord. I wish I had known that - that really helps - that makes so much sense.' Or they hear the truth about the punishment of the wicked. 'I'm so glad to hear that nobody's burning in hell yet. It's not the judgment day.

What a wonderful truth. Where have I been and how did I miss that?' Just a change in the thinking so far. Very interesting. Then they hear the Sabbath truth and they get real quiet because now it means a change in the doing. They say, 'I don't want to do that.

I'll lose my friends. I might have to go to a different church.' And all of a sudden things get quiet and they wonder what happened. They were so on fire during the meeting. They stopped walking in the light. Or they hear the message on tithe and that's one of those messages that you just can't say, 'praise the Lord! That's interesting.

' It's one of those testing truths. It's like - I'll never forget - I saw a bumper sticker one time, you know they used to have all these bumper stickers out there and there was one that was very popular it said, 'if you love Jesus, honk' and, you know, people'd pull up behind you and you'd forget you had that bumper sticker and they'd go 'beep beep' and you'd get mad and you'd turn around and go, 'why are they honking?' You'd forget you had your 'if you love Jesus, honk' bumper sticker. And then a while ago I saw one that said, 'if you love Jesus, tithe - anybody can honk'. One of those testing truths. So if you want revival, it's not just hearing the word, it's being willing to - not just be hearers of the word but doers of the word.

Maybe you found there was a speed bump in your life - something that the Lord revealed to you and you thought, 'ugh'. Pray that God'll help you to back up and correct that and watch what happens. The word will come alive for you again and you'll feel revival in your experience. But many cases I find that's what happens. Let's look at what does the word 'revive' mean here in Hebrew and we're reading it in psalm 119.

That word that appears in Hebrew is 'kaya' and it's a primitive root - it means 'causedly to revive; to keep or make alive; to give life; to allow to live; to nourish up; to preserve alive; to quicken; to recover; to repair; to restore; to save alive; to make whole.' So when we say 'revive' we're asking God to give us new life. Again, more from psalm 119, verse 50, "this is my comfort in my affliction, for Your Word has given me life." Revival - new life - His Word. Psalm 119, verse 74, "those who fear you will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your Word." New life from the word, psalm , verse 116, "uphold me according to Your Word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope." Alright, the next section: there is creative power in the word - and that's what revival is. If you are spiritually dead you need a resurrection. Where did the original life come from? Doesn't it come from Jesus? Didn't he create the original life? So if revival is a form of resurrection - if God is the creator of all life - what brings life? Alright, who has Hebrews 11:3 - we gave that to somebody.

Hold your hand up if we gave you that slip. Hebrews 11:3 - am I missing someone? Alright, right there. Alright, you'll be next. Psalm 33, verse 6, how did the world come into existence? "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." The Bible begins by saying, 'and God said' - and what happened after God said? Poof - life. So if it's true, in the world around us, that things came into existence by the Word of God - life was created by the word - then doesn't it make sense that new life or revival will also come by the word? Is that right? Okay, read the next verse for us.

Hebrews 11:3 please. "By faith we understand that the words were framed by the Word of God so that the things which are seen are not made of things which are visible." The Word of God brought these things into existence. Is there still creative power in God's Word? A simple example of this - and I've used this before - is when a leper comes to Jesus and he's covered with leprosy. Luke, a doctor, gives the diagnosis that he doesn't just have leprosy, he's full of leprosy - it's advanced. And when he comes to Jesus, because he's unclean, the crowd probably melts back in fear.

'Go away! You're unclean!' But he comes to Jesus and he falls down before him and he says, 'lord, if you will, you can make me clean.' And the Bible says Jesus reached out and touched him and said, 'I will. Be thou clean.' And as soon as he said, 'be clean' was he revived? Because there's creative power - there's healing power in the Word of God. And so, just immersing ourself in the word is one way to bring about revival. Let me tell you why. The Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible.

Now that's not original with me. I've heard a couple of different authors of that quote but I heard dwight moody, I think, is the most common name I've heard with that - but it's true. The Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible. You show me a person who is neglecting their personal devotions and Bible reading and I'll show you someone who has either backslidden or is on their way - they're backsliding and they've lost that spiritual vitality. You're in the word and you feel convicted about your sin and you have to deal with your sin and you're turning from your sin - you're trying to live a Godly life.

Sin'll keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin. People who are living in sin feel guilty and when they read the Bible - so they stop reading the Bible because it makes them feel bad or you read the Bible, you're convicted and you turn from your sin. The two don't go well together very long. One starts to get neglected. You start neglecting sin when you're reading the Bible or you start neglecting the Bible and church when there's sin in the life.

Typically true. Someone once said, 'a Bible that is worn out usually belongs to a person who is not.' Spiritually, that means. I worded that wrong. 'A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to a person who is not.' When we're falling apart spiritually it's because our Bibles are in good condition because they're not being used. So you need to be in the word - that's the key.

Timothy 3:16 and 17, "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and it is profitable for" - for what? - "For doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness" - why? - "That the man of God" - and the woman of God - "might be complete, thoroughly equipped to every good work." It's the Word of God that helps us to have that completeness. In the book 'education' page , e.g. White wrote, "the creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the Word of God. THis Word imparts power. It begets life.

Every command is a promise accepted by the will. Received into the soul it brings with it the life of the infinite one." You hear that? Every promise of God received into the soul brings with it life - the life of the infinite one - "it transforms the nature. It recreates the soul in the image of God." There is creative power in the Word of God. God'll recreate the world through His Word and he recreates us through His Word. So, if you're wondering - if you've ever been sick and you felt like you had to run to the drug store to get the remedy - well, if you're spiritually sick, the medicine cabinet is the Bible.

There you find the promises by which we are able to become partakers of the divine nature. Exceeding great and precious promises in the Word of God when you claim them. Say, 'lord, this is what you said' - and you pray - 'I pray that you'll honor Your Word and answer this promise in my life.' And you claim these promises and you believe. Jesus said, 'all things are possible to those that believe.' But it begins with the word of God. Alright, next section, 'Jesus and the word'.

Someone please look up for me John 5, verses 39 through 40. Who's got that? Over here. Frank, we'll get you in just a second. John 5:39, 40, but first I'm going to read Luke 24:27. Now, Christ rises from the dead and there is a window between the resurrection of Jesus and the great revival in the new testament.

The great revival in the new testament is pentecost. How many agree? Thousands converted in a day - okay? What happens prior to that great revival? When Christ rose from the dead he had Bible studies with them every time he met with them. And it says, 'beginning with Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.' He's studying with them through the Scriptures revealing himself. Then later in that same chapter - verse 45 - when he appears in the upper room to the disciples he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the? - The Scriptures. Bible study.

And why don't you go ahead and read for us then John 5:39. "You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life. And these are they which testify of me but you are not willing to come to me that you may have life." So, is Christ saying you think that the Scriptures give you eternal life? He's agreeing with them. He's saying, 'you search the Scriptures for in them you believe you find eternal life - and you do - but you don't realize that I am eternal life.' So Christ is marrying that life comes through the word and he is the word. He is life.

You understand? The three go together - they're interchangeable. So revival - life - comes through Christ - studying the word. He said, 'you say you believe the word, but you're rejecting me. You can't do both because I am the word incarnate.' John 16:14, speaking of the spirit, "he will glorify me for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All things that The Father has are mine.

Therefore I said that he, the spirit, will take of mine and declare it to you." Does the Holy Spirit share something separate from Jesus with us? I always - I become concerned - deeply concerned when I hear pastors put some separate emphasis on the Holy Spirit like the Holy Spirit has got some fresh or different information other than the word. Will the Holy Spirit ever say something that conflicts with the Word of God? Or did Jesus say, 'he will take what I say and he will declare it to you'? 'The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said.' That's what Christ said. So there's perfect harmony between what the Holy Spirit - the real Holy Spirit - there's a counterfeit out there. The devil's spirit can sometimes masquerade as the Holy Spirit. It's hard to tell them apart.

One way to know the Holy Spirit is he will never impress you with something that conflicts with the Word of God - never - because he will take what Jesus said and he will declare it to you. There's no conflict between the two. And so it's the Holy Spirit bringing the word to life that gives us revival. When you say, 'oh, I've got the Holy Spirit. That's what's giving me revival.

' Well, explain that. 'The Holy Spirit's impressing me with the truth of the word. The Holy Spirit is helping me act out the word. The holy spirit is helping me obey the word.' The Bible says God does not give the Holy Spirit to those that do not obey him. And so, when people are obeying the word and surrendering to the word, it's the Spirit that will always be in harmony with the word.

Alright, 'revival and the word'. We're going to - there's so many good things in this lesson on the Bible, I'm just trying to get in as much as I can. Luke - one more thing - on that last section, from the time that Jesus began his ministry in 27 ad - at his baptism - he was anointed, what happened immediately when he was anointed? He began to preach what? The word. Not that Jesus said everything original - ten percent of everything Jesus said he was quoting the old testament. Jesus was a Bible preacher.

And even on the sermon on the mount he often refers to the old testament. So it began with Jesus preaching three and a half years. So revival, through the word, may not happen overnight, so that's very important. Revivals in countries - the great revival in england and one that came to America - you know what it came through? Several years of prayer and preaching of the word and then there was a revival. So it's not someone reading one verse and then all of a sudden, you know, everything shakes.

There was a digging into the word that played itself out. Three and half years Jesus preached. Then he died on the cross. When he rose he spent forty more days doing Bible study with the apostles. And then through completely surrendering themselves to obey the word and humbling themselves and confessing their faults, their hearts were prepared to receive the baptism of the holy spirit and the people who had been listening - the ground had been plowed up thoroughly by the word - so the Holy Spirit was poured out - thousands were baptized in a day.

Alright, 'revival: faith and the word'. Someone look up for me, please, Hebrews 4, verse 12. Who has that? Mike, right up here. Thank you, foster, if you'd bring him the microphone. I'm going to read Luke 18:8, "and I tell you that he will avenge himself speedily.

Nevertheless, when The Son of man comes, will he really find faith in the earth?" So it's not just a preaching of the word, it's having faith in the word - when God asks us to do something believing that he can make it happen. Romans 10:17, "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word." Would you like more faith? More word brings more faith. For example - let me show you - you might be thinking, 'pastor doug, I thought that revival is going to come through prayer.' Yes, and probably a whole chapter on that in our lesson, but can you read in the Bible that you need to pray? Sure. You read in the Bible you need to pray - fast and pray - 'if my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face.' So, yes prayer is going to bring revival, but where did I just read it? In the Bible. So even the need for prayer you'll often read about in the Bible.

And so the Bible's foundational - you see that? Whatever you're going to learn brings revival, you get from the Bible. So it's really the foundation, the starting point. Hebrews 4:1 and 2, "therefore since a promise remains of entering his rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For, indeed, the gospel was preached to us as well as to them, but the word which they heard did not profit them not being mixed with faith in those that heard it." Alright, that's the part you can't miss: if people hear the word but they don't mix it with faith, it doesn't profit. Does the devil know the word? Is it going to save him? No.

So it's one thing to go to church and listen to the word, it's another thing to have faith and say, 'I am going to act on what I've heard because I believe that this is God's will and he will help me be a doer and not just a hearer. It needs to be mixed with faith. So if you go to a Bible study or if you're listening to the Bible - this week I was up in the mountains miles from anybody. You know, we had rain last week - it's hard to believe right now we had some rain last week - and I needed to do some road work and I've got an old bulldozer and I thought, 'oh, this is the last chance this year to do that work.' And so I went up there, I was all by myself, I mean way out in the woods doing miles of road - just fixing these dirt roads because they were in bad shape and I took my phone that has the Bible on it and I put my little earphones in and - because on a bulldozer - they're loud. I then put ear protectors over my earphones and I was just driving down the road.

It was a beautiful day that day and I'm listening to the Bible and I'm learning so many things and I'm running a bulldozer and it made the time go so fast because I was thinking about all kinds of things. I went through three gospels in going down the road with a bulldozer. That was a sweet experience. I don't know why I told you that. I just thought it was interesting but I just thought, you know, 'I'm going to be out here just killing time.

' Listen to the Bible - we ought to be thinking about that and you might have a reviving experience. Alright, go ahead, you were going to read for us. I haven't forgotten, I just read Hebrews 4:1 and 2 - you're going to read Hebrews 4:12. Hebrews 4:12, "for the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword; piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Whew, do you see the convicting power of the word there? It's a sword. Jesus said, 'think not I came to send peace but a sword.

' It didn't mean that Jesus came to bring war, but the word creates division - it creates a division in us. It kind of carves us up inside sometimes. In James 2, verses 17 and 18, "thus also faith, by itself, if it doesn't have works is dead. If someone says, 'you have faith and I have works' show me your faith without your works, I'll show you my faith by my works." So if you're reading the word and you have faith, be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. Wow, I've got so much to cover, I don't have time.

Alright, let me tell you - another great revival - I talked about the great revival of Jonah - there's another great old testament revival - who knows where it is? They were cleaning up the temple and they found something. What'd they find? During the time of king josiah - there were two child Kings - well, there's three including manesseh - but two prominent child Kings that had revival. One was joash, the other josiah. Josiah, one of the greatest old testament Kings - next to David he's one of the Godliest, actually. And they're renovating the temple and lo and behold they're cleaning up the temple and they find the book of Deuteronomy written by Moses - I think they found the original, which is really something.

And here they're trying to do the right thing but they're doing it by tradition. They hadn't really been reading the Bible and so they come and they read it to the King and they read the entire book of Deuteronomy to the King, which reviews the whole history of God's deliverance and his leading. And the King, when he heard these things, he wept. He's convicted. He tears his clothes.

He prays. He fasts. He sends to the prophet and says, 'what's to become of us?' And they said, 'well, there's judgment coming but because your heart was tender and because you're humbling yourself, I'm going to give you peace in your days. And he affects a great revival - they restore the passover, they clean out the temple and, you notice, it's in the cleansing of the temple they find the book. Now sometimes the word comes alive - we rediscover the word when we cleanse the temple.

Did Jesus have a couple of temple cleansings during his ministry? And you know what? He chased everybody out. He chased all the money changers out then he sat down and he taught the word. Sometimes the word won't come alive to you until there's a cleansing - you've got a roadblock in your life and you know what it is. You need to deal with it. That happens and then the word begins to flow again.

It's after this revival, in the days of josiah, you notice he begins to seek God. He makes room for God by removing the idols. They had idols - remember what I said? You've got to get something out of the way? He knew that idolatry was wrong - even though they hadn't been reading the Bible they still knew that, so he cleanses the land of idols. So he does that - he begins to restore the temple. It had been neglected - and its services.

They restore the temple and lo and behold they find the book. Sometimes there's things that we know just need being dealt with. And after that he reads it, he repents, he then reads it to the people - it's not enough when you find the word, you then share it. Best way for you to keep the word is share it with others. He reads it to the people and the King and the people decide to take a stand for the word of God.

By the way, this is all in 2 Chronicles 34:1 through the whole chapter. Chronicles 34 is where you'll find this. They took a stand. They made a covenant to follow the things they read. It's one thing to read them - to follow the things they read.

And a miraculous revival takes place. You know what? God gives them peace from all their enemies. Would you like peace? They end up having great victories. You know, some of the ways the Bible is miraculous, let me just share with you a little bit. The Bible is miraculous in its origin - it comes to us by divine inspiration.

The Bible is miraculous in its durability - it's outlasted the opposition of the critics and survived the attempts over the ages of people to exterminate it but it still abides. The Bible is miraculous in its results. You take people that are just totally hopeless - drug addicts, alcoholics and the Word of God gets ahold of them and then they suddenly become soul winners and their lives are turned around, their families are redeemed - it's miraculous in its results. It's miraculous in its harmony. It agrees in all of its parts even thought it was written over a period of 1600 years by approximately 40 different authors from every stripe and type of society and yet there's one united message.

It's miraculous in its message. It tells of many occasions when God supernaturally intervenes in the affairs of men to accomplish his redemptive purposes. All these prophecies that are given are fulfilled - a miraculous message. And it's miraculous in its preservation. It's maintained its accuracy and its reliability down through the ages even though any other book, over that period of time, would not be recognizable to its original, but the Bible has maintained its consistency.

We know from the dead sea scrolls and other manuscripts it's consistent. And so God has this miraculous book he's provided for you and i. Psalm 119, verse 9, "how can a young man cleanse his way?" Answer: "by taking heed according to Your Word." You want revival? You want cleansing? Don't just be a listener, be a doer. Take heed according to His Word. Someone said - I read that henry stanley, when he crossed africa with his big caravan to find David livingstone - they knew it was an epic journey.

He started out with 180 pounds of books. He crossed 780 miles of africa. When he finally got to dr. Livingstone he only had one book left because they were too heavy and he just didn't think it was worth the life of the porters to be carrying his library around. He threw away everything but the Bible.

He started out as an agnostic. During the trip he read the Bible through several times and he became a Christian. Every other book was gone. The word is food for the soul. Someone has job 23:12.

Who's got that? Over here. Okay. Job 23:12. I'll get to you in just a second. Jeremiah 15, verse 16.

"Your Words were found and I ate them. Your Word was, to me, the joy and rejoicing of my heart for I am called by your name." It's food that nourishes us. We can also read where Jesus said, "it is written" - Matthew :4 - "man shall not live by" - what? - "Bread alone but by every word." Alright, read for us, please, job 23:12. "I have not departed from the commandments of his lips. I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

" Hungering after the word. You've got to - more than your food. You know, we don't miss too many meals but how do you feel about your spirit - what happens? You ever have low blood sugar? Any of you struggle with low blood sugar? I'm not so bad. I'll just - I can miss a meal - if I'm busy having fun working or something like that, I'll look at the clock and suddenly find out it's 3:00 and I haven't had lunch yet or it's 1:00 and I haven't had breakfast. I mean, Karen, she has a little clock inside.

She starts knowing that there's going to be a crisis and - but, you know, churches can get spiritual low blood sugar because they neglect the word and they start to get weak spiritually. It is food. It is glucose for your souls. You know, we're going to run out of time but there's another really important chapter I recommend you read. In Ezekiel 37 you've got a valley of dead bones.

What brings that valley to life? There's an army of skeletons in this valley. What brings that army to life? God says, 'son of man, I want you to preach to them. Preach the word that I give you.' And as he preaches the word, this army is revived. What brings revival to that army? Proclamation of the word. What will bring revival into our lives? Giving the word the priority it deserves.

It is our necessary meat, as the Bible says, it is our necessary food. Well, our time is up and we've got a lot more we can talk about. You might want to download the notes. If you go to '' or even go to '' you'll find - oh, poke around there - you'll find the notes eventually. If you don't, we want you to look at everything else anyway.

So no, they're there. And don't forget our free offer 'a love that transforms'. Where'd I put it? And we'll send that to you just for asking. It talks about the priority of the word in your life and how it has that transforming reviving power. We'll send it to you just for asking.

Make sure and ask for offer #710 when you call. God bless you friends, we'll study together again, God willing, next week.

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