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Revival Or We Die - Dr. Brown

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
July 13, 2022 8:30 am

Revival Or We Die - Dr. Brown

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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July 13, 2022 8:30 am

Join Mike Zwick as he interview famous radio Host Dr. Michael Brown to discuss his new book "Revival Or We Die".

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PRCUALife, protecting life through all its stages. Alright, for my YouTube channel, it's If Not For God with Mike Zwick. Just like, subscribe, and hit that notification bell, so you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Welcome to If Not For God, stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick. If Not For God with Mike Zwick. We have our very special guest, Dr. Michael Brown.

We've had him on several times and absolutely love his books. You wrote a book recently about revival, is that right? Yes, sir. Revival or we die. A great awakening is our only hope. I tell you what, you talk about some timing.

I mean, if there were ever a time in the United States where we needed a revival, it was definitely right now. But Dr. Brown, you got saved in the early 70s, I believe in a Pentecostal church, and then you got your PhD and you actually became skeptical, I believe, for a while, of maybe speaking in tongues or some of the other things that were going on. But then you said something happened in 1982, is that right? Yes, so I was on my way to finishing my PhD work at New York University in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. And along the way, in my college studies, grad studies, just in my church circles, things changed into my perspective. So I was a very committed believer, very committed to the Word of God, very committed to reaching other Jewish people, as I'm Jewish myself, with the good news.

But I had really left my first love in terms of the deep intimacy and daily devotion that I had. So even though I was a committed believer, I had left that early intimacy and first love. And with that, just seeing some things that seemed flaky in some of the Pentecostal circles where I was, I became very skeptical of the gifts of the Spirit for today. I actually bought a lot of books and read things to do my best to convince myself of the cessationist position, that miraculous healing was not for today, that tongues and prophecy were not for today.

But interestingly, the more I studied, the more I realized I couldn't make a good case against these things for today. So I felt, well, whatever's happening in the Pentecostal, Charismatic circles, that's not the real deal, and maybe there's something else going on. But in the meantime, in 82, the Holy Spirit began to convict me of my pride, of my lack of intimacy with God on a daily basis, of my theological arrogance, because I knew so much, and I knew all these languages, etc.

So He began to deal with me and draw me back to Him. And as I began to pursue Him earnestly, just to be with Him, and to spend more time with God, and to humble myself and repent of my sin, my carnality, my flesh, the Holy Spirit began to move in my heart and life, and showed me that He was going to move in our church. This was a different church now. We were super active on social causes, we were taking in refugees, we helped the poor in our communities, we were pro-life, but we were really lacking in the power and presence of God. And God showed me He was going to pour out a spirit in that church, and He worked through me.

I was one of the younger elders in the body. And we had an incredible outpouring that lasted three months and six days. I mean, people encountering God with deep, deep repentance and turning to Him, getting a fresh love for Jesus in the Word they had never had before, being empowered by the Spirit. Some people were touched and healed, and it was a remarkable season. During that season, I read books by Leonard Ravenhill, why revival tarries and revival praying, and God stirred my heart for revival. And in 83, that's when He laid out my heart that I would be part of a revival that would touch the world, as crazy as that sounded.

And that became an all-consuming hunger and thirst for years. I sought Him for a mighty outpouring. Not what you call holding a revival in your church like we do in the South. You know, we're holding a revival next week.

If you can hold it, it's not a revival. It's just a series of special meetings. I knew that there was something that God wanted to do in a great, sovereign way. He connected me with Leonard Ravenhill and David Wilkerson, men of God like that, that took me even deeper in the Lord, and then in 96, called me to serve as a leader in the Brownsville revival, where I was an eyewitness to what God did for the next four years. People came from literally around the world, 130 nations.

Lines would form in front of the building at 6 a.m. to get into the 6 p.m. open doors for the service to start at 7 and go five, six hours every single night. More than 300,000 different people responded to the altar calls over a five-year period. To this day, we have missionaries serving around the world. They've been on the field over 20 years that were touched in the revival and went out to take that fire around the globe. So my heart beats for that, and I know on a greater level than we've ever seen it that there must be an unusual, powerful, divine visitation that touches the Church of America and from the Church of America touches the nation.

Without that, we're really sunk. Absolutely, and I think I heard you say that there were people who were standing in line for the service and were getting saved before they even went into the church. Is that right?

Yes, that's absolutely what happened. In fact, one young lady who served as a missionary to Tanzania came to the revival thinking she was just going to go to the beach, teenage her when she came, that her mom said, hey, let's go down to Pensacola. They've got great beaches there. Little knowing that before she's going to get to go to the beach, she was going to go to services for a few days. Her mother wakes her at five in the morning. Come on, come on, we've got to go. I mean, think of that. Do you think you're on vacation about to go to the beach?

You know, sleep in, go to the beach? Did your mom's wake me up? Did your mom's wake me up at five in the morning? So here she is with a rotten attitude standing on line before the night's out. She's born again, ends up going to our ministry school and serving as a missionary in Tanzania. But then we actually heard directly from the people that were standing on line and the presence of God was so intense as people were worshipping and talking about Jesus that they actually had to find a quiet place, fall to their knees, weeping and repenting before they got in the building. We heard from one woman firsthand. We heard her testimony that as she was driving by the building one day without any thought of God, suddenly she became conscious of God as she drove by. She then became deeply conscious of her own sin. And then right there in the car began to weep and got right with God, got born again while she drove by the building. We found out subsequently when she shared her testimony.

Wow. And it's revival or we die, a great awakening is our only hope. You know, one of the things that I was thinking about, because everybody's talking about revival, revival. What could happen in this country if there is no revival? So if there's no revival, what that means is that the church continues to limp along in a compromised state. And thank God for believers who are on fire. Thank God for churches that are on fire.

But much of the Church of America is deeply compromised. Rather than us changing the world, the world has changed us. Rather than us shining light in the darkness, the darkness has entered into our midst.

So if we are not standing as the moral conscience of the society, if our light is not shining brightly, that means we're going to continue to have moral and spiritual deterioration in the church. That means that the chaos and the anarchy that we're seeing will only increase. The divisions will only increase. Look, when we have to debate the definition of what is a woman, I mean, what in the world has come to our society in the world when we're that deeply confused? When people are outraged and vandalized in pregnancy life centers because they no longer have, quote, the right to abort their baby, what has happened to America already?

What will happen next? The deep divisions that will over politics, over races, over so many other things will only get worse. So I would say that the only alternatives are, one, a complete moral and spiritual collapse leading to absolute chaos and anarchy in the society.

Two, the dividing up of America. We get a pro-life states versus pro-abortion states and then end up just dividing and no longer being in the United States of America. Or, with us no longer being a superpower, being subject to all kinds of attack, we might be so much in financial debt that we're unable to sustain a strong army. Anything can happen.

The bottom could fall out. Any worst case scenario, if there's no major revival in the Church in the coming years and decades, almost any unimaginable negative scenario is possible. Yeah, and you know, right now, for a lot of us, we say, man, things don't look good. And we're glad that Roe versus Wade was overturned. But we think that's just the beginning of what needs to happen. But you said this is not the first time where things may have looked pretty bad for us in the United States. As a matter of fact, I heard you mention there was a 1966 Time magazine cover.

Can you tell us about that? Yes, and then we'll go even before that in terms of American history. So, the 1960s, that was the time of the counterculture revolution. That's when I got caught up in the whole drug scene, you know, sex, drugs, rock and roll, Eastern religions just swept through the nation. And it was a time of rising godlessness and throwing out a lot of fundamental values that we had taken for granted before. And Time magazine, which was very influential at that time, a major national publication, front page, cover story. And for the first time, they had no picture. It was that stark.

Is God dead? April 1966, June 1971, cover story. There's a hippie-like looking picture of Jesus, and there across the top, the Jesus revolution. Time magazine recounting.

If you can access it, it's an edifying read. Time magazine recounting the miraculous work of the Spirit. All these people getting radically, dramatically saved. You can go back into the 1700s and the days of the colonies in America, which in many ways were some of the godliest times in America. In fact, Christianity was required in different places, and it was just assumed that you would be in church and raise your family according to biblical principles. Yet, there was backsliding that took place then. One minister commenting on the state of things in the 1700s said, religion lay as it were dying in America.

And then what happened? The first Great Awakening, and America's radically impacted. You have, after the Revolutionary War, a time of great backsliding came to America. And James Edward Lenoir documented, great revivalist historian, that you could go to different college campuses in America and not find a single professing believer on the campus. You could find almost all the students that sign up for the foul language club, and yet the Christians that met would keep their meetings in a coded diary, let someone find out what they were actually doing in America.

And then what happened? The second Great Awakening, beginning in the early 1800s, transformed the nation. It was the same thing before 1857, 1858, prayer revival.

And of course, as part of the fruit of that, the emancipation of slaves in the years that followed. But before 1857, 1858, James Edward Lenoir gives a picture of much of America, atheism on the rise, sexual immorality on the rise, different types of alternative religious expressions on the rise. It sounds like so much of America today, and then the prayer revival changed things. But that's why the title of my book is Revival or We Die, because it is urgent. It is when things get to a place where you feel like it's the point of no return. Chief Justice John Marshall, around 1800, said the church has fallen too far to ever be recovered in America. That's the state of desperation you get to when you cry out to God, because revival's not one of many alternatives, one of many possible things that could take place.

It's either revival or we see collapse. Absolutely. And one of the things that I thought was neat when you said that lady drove by the revival and the Lord convicted her, and that God can do it any way that he wants to. As a matter of fact, I heard you tell a story about Charles Finney walking into a factory.

Yes. So one of the great Finney stories, the place was called Cotton Mills. This was when the Holy Spirit was moving dramatically and powerfully in the land, and we're in the places where Finney was ministering.

So people knew who he was. Word was out about Charles Finney. And he walked into a factory, I believe his brother-in-law ran the factory, just to kind of get a tour. And one woman had just made a jestful comment to her friend, and Finney just looked in her direction, and he had these piercing eyes. And suddenly, the fear of God fell on her, and she began to weep, and next thing, conviction fell in the factory. And one by one, people began to weep and cry out, and the superintendent said, it's better to take care of people's souls than to run the factory. And they shut things down, and God swept through the place.

I mean, these accounts seemed so unreal and so impossible. But then we saw things that seemed unreal and impossible when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Pensacola. We didn't see that take place, but we got so many testimonies of so many extraordinary things, and a pastor would be touched in the revival and go back to his home church in England or in Tennessee or wherever it was. And it was now a Sunday morning, and he'd get up to begin the service, and next thing, he's weeping uncontrollably because he's so conscious of God's presence. People have an Isaiah 6 encounter, they become aware of their sin and begin to cry out. He hasn't even done anything yet, but the presence of God was with him, and that's what we must have. We teach and preach the word, we're faithful and loyal to be disciples day by day by day. But where, aware, is that convicting presence of God?

Where, aware, is that consciousness of God that makes us understand how far we are from him, how great his mercy is, and how we need to flee to the cross? Absolutely, and you know, I read about George Whitefield, and they said that he was such a great speaker, and they said when he could speak, I think it was Benjamin Franklin said this, that he could, up to 30,000 people could hear him, and he would make these great speeches, and they were powerful, this, that, and the other. But what I see now is that there's so many times that we look to the preacher, who's the great orator, who can make a great speech, who's somebody that, ooh, this sounds good, or it's popular, whatever, but there was also another guy named Jonathan Edwards, and he was not such a great speaker, but something happened in his church, is that right? You know, Jonathan Edwards is considered to this day to be the greatest theologian and philosopher in American history.

To this day, his works are studied in-depth. Yale University has a many, many year multi-volume project of the works of Jonathan Edwards, where scholars annotate his comments and interact with them. He was anything but a Bible Belt fundamentalist, Bible-thumping preacher, and God began to move in his church, the Holy Spirit was poured out mightily, and then he was asked to bring a message in Enfield, Connecticut. This is in the summer of 1741, and this congregation, even though people went to the church, it was considered to be godless and very, very apostate. So the believers in the neighboring village were so burdened for Enfield because they knew God was moving, but they thought God might just pass Enfield by, so many spent the night in prayer before Edwards spoke there. And from what I understand, he had previously delivered this message, but it didn't have the effect it had that morning. It's the famous message that he brought sinners in the hands of an angry god, and he read the message, the manuscript, and he read the message verbatim. Someone once described it, now I can't verify these details, but that he was nearsighted, so held the manuscript close to his face, and then in the other hand he had a candle to light things up better in the building.

In any case, he wasn't running around jumping and shouting, let's say that. So as he's speaking about the sinful state of humanity, and how we are just hanging by a thread from falling into the fires of hell, it became so real that people began to cry out, literally, in the meeting. That according to the reports, there were blood marks and scratches on some of the pillars in the church because people were clinging to the pillars lest they slip into hell. And these reports have been widely circulated, but it brought tremendous repentance. Sometimes the repentance comes out of an encounter with the love of God, sometimes out of an encounter with the fear of God, sometimes the depth of revelation of our own sin overwhelms, sometimes it's the depth of revelation of the mercy of God that overwhelms, this time it was that depth of revelation of human sin and divine judgment. And I spoke for a pastor not far from Enfield in 1989 when I was finishing my first book on revival, and he said when he was doing research for his master's thesis, he looked into what happened to the community.

He went into the libraries that had archives from that day, and he actually took me by where the church building used to be, there's no building now, there was just a little, kind of like a small boulder with an inscription on it about what happened then. But he said that when he did the research, because it was summertime, that people had the windows open in their home, and for days after the meeting, you could hear people groaning and moaning and crying out in their homes. The conviction was that deep, and it lasted for days. This is what happens when God's moving. It's not just a temporary emotional high, it's not just getting people worked up or psyched up. Instead, it's that the conviction goes so deep it can last for days or weeks or years, and the people who are transformed are often transformed in a really, really lasting way.

That's awesome. When I'm looking at John 1.14, it says, and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. I thank God for his grace. I thank God that he forgives us for our sins, and he does, and we can go back to him again and again and just ask for forgiveness. Unfortunately, there's many people, many churches in the United States today, they're only talking about grace, and they're leaving out the truth, but I keep hearing you talk about repentance in these revivals. Yes. Frank Bartleman, who was used in the Azusa Street revival, said that the depth of any revival will be determined by the spirit of repentance that is obtained.

That must happen. Repentance prepares the way for the coming of the Lord. Repentance is not brow-beating, condemning. Repentance is people turning from sin to God. Repentance is, God, have mercy on me. Save me from my sins. And without repentance, there can be no revival. God is not coming just to add in more blessings. Oh, let the Lord just come and touch you with a new blessing.

No, no. Repentance is getting to the root of the issues. Repentance is getting to what's wrong. You know, it would be like going to a doctor, you've got a poison, a toxin in your body that's destroying you, so the doctor gives you, oh, a pain pill, or the doctor gives you something to help you sleep better.

No, you didn't address the root problem. What we often try to do in our church growth teaching and our seminars is basically how to put icing on a cake with poison, as opposed to let's get the poison out, and let's get something healthy and life-giving. That's what has to happen. And with revival, God's not coming just to put a little cherry on top of something that's already wonderful. He's coming to save something that is dying. He's coming to transform something before it's too late. He's coming to visit us before judgment comes. That's why a famous prayer from the book of Habakkuk, a prayer which is really a prayer for revival, Habakkuk 3.2, ends with, In wrath, remember mercy.

In wrath, remember mercy. So revival is saying something is terribly wrong. God is coming to set things right, and as we seek Him and cry out to Him and look to Him, He'll visit. And for everyone saying, yeah, but there's so much to pray for in America, I remember the words of evangelist Gypsy Smith from many, many years ago. He was asked, how does he pray for revival? And he said, I draw a circle on the ground, I take a piece of chalk out, I draw a circle on the ground, then I stand inside that circle and I say, Lord, revive everything in this circle. That's how we pray for revival. That's where it starts.

Absolutely, man. And one of the things that I heard you talking about is that you said in years past, you would have little groups of people who may have been praying for revival, you'd see it here and there, but you said now you're seeing it more and more, is that right? Well, I'm not seeing it on the level that I know we must have it for the nation.

And I'm not seeing anything that comes anywhere close to what was happening in Brownsville during the revival, at least in the States. However, I'm seeing pockets, more and more pockets all over America of people getting desperate, more and more crying out. And for years, there's been day and night prayer in different places, which is very, very powerful, constant worship and prayer, going up to the throne of God. So something is happening. I'm seeing pastors that are willing to go for it and really preach in the gospel without holding back and going after God in prayer and fasting and people are coming to the Lord and believers are getting touched. So it's a pocket here.

It's a pocket there. It's something happened. I'm personally expecting thousands of fires, holy fires to break out all over America. It's my prayer that the book Revival or We Die will help stoke these fires, will help create a hunger in the hearts of God's people, create a great desire for God, a vision for what can happen in revival. We'll bring them to deep personal repentance and restoration of first love, and we'll just put in front of them this hope that God can do it again. So little by little, here and here and here, I'm seeing things. The desperation, the hunger, the recognition of need must go deeper. God will fill us according to the degree of our hunger.

Absolutely. And if you guys want to pick up the book, which I hope you do, it's an awesome book. It's called Revival or We Die.

A Great Awakening is Our Only Hope by Dr. Michael Brown. They can go to Is that right, Mike? That's it. Ask Dr. Brown.

That's it. Brother, I know we are with you here at the Truth Network. We are praying for a revival in this country.

I'm excited to see the fires all over this country. Dr. Brown, thank you so much for coming on. My joy. Thanks for having me.

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