C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL FOR SEPTEMBER 81 & 25, 2022 UNIT TWO, LESSON FIVE: TOPIC – SOME REVIVAL IN THE BIBLE
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria & Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: REVIVAL REDISCOVERING THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
JULY – DECEMBER, 2022
Unit Two: The Process and Progress Of Revival
September 18 & 25, 2022
TOPIC: SOME REVIVAL IN THE BIBLE
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
That encounter with the angel of the Lord transformed everything about Jacob, making him Israel, the blessed of the Lord. You need an encounter with the Lord that would positively transform your life, all-round.
The memory scripture challenges us to be well-positioned for a life-transforming, soul-therapeutic, God-glorifying, and most beneficial revival. The conditions for experiencing such revival begins with our admittance of our urgent need for the revival; humbling ourselves before God, praying and seeking His face for forgiveness, and turning from our wicked ways to Him.
While God agreed to all of Solomon’s requests as he was dedicating the Temple in Jerusalem, He in turn expected total obedience from His people, who are called by His name. Are we part of His people today? His revival is meant for His own to be able to do His biddings in, for and through them; thereby bringing glory to Himself. If we will play our own parts in revival movement:humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, including walking in unconditional love with Him and other brethren, He who fails not, will fulfill His own promise: then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. That is revival par excellence. May we be willing and obedient, in Jesus name, to fulfil God’s genuine and unstoppable revival upon our individual lives churches, and society at large. Amen.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK ONE
Mon. 12: Revival Through Serious Bible Study (Dan. 9:1-2)
Tue. 13: Revival And Restored In His Presence (Hos. 6:2)
Wed. 14: Revived? Then Call On God (Psa. 80:18)
Thur. 15: Revival That is Timely, We Need (Hab. 3:2)
Fri. 16: Revival Of Visions And Revelations (Joel 2:28-29)
Sat. 17: Revived Through Obedience (Psa. 119:149)
1. Revival is any remarkable improvement in devotion to God, by God’s people.
2. Revival is preceded by a discovery of decline, retrogression, lack of vigour, etc. and a yearning for resuscitation, lifting, or improvement (Psa. 85:6; Lk. 15:17-18).
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Judges 11:29
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: This lesson is aimed at exposing some classified biblical OT events for the purpose of our understanding and benefits, with respect to revival.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, it is expected that the learners should be:
i. able to meaningfully explain what revival is, with special reference to some revival movements in the Old Testament;
ii. able to identify revival and their purposes;
iii. able to mention some kings whose reigns brought revivals to God’s people; and
iv. showing signs of being well-prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to experience lasting revival.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: GENESIS 35:1-15; 1 SAMUEL 7:1-13; 2 CHRONICLES 14-15; 29-32
Another round of applause to God Almighty for helping us to successfully learn about TYPES OF REVIVAL in the last two weeks. It is believed that the lessons learnt therein have seriously prepared us for revival, even as God in heaven beings to direct us towards life-transforming and God-glorifying revival, in Jesus’ name. You are hereby encouraged not to stop where the lesson stopped, but rather pursue after revival.
There are many events in biblical history that might be classified as revival. A lot of these revivals could mean any remarkable improvement in devotion to God, by God’s people. There are many of such revival instances where devotion to God and the quality of spiritual life were renewed. In some instances, it can even apply to renewed devotion to God by a learning individual, such as a head of family, or clan, like Jacob, or nation like Israel. Such times of spiritual renewal took place in a wide range of circumstances, although certain common factors can usually be found. There are many different causes and accompanying features, which were used by God in bringing about this new quality of spiritual life.
This current lesson seeks to open up some of the treasures to be found in the accounts of revival movements recorded in the Old Testament. It turns our attention to the subject of revivals in the Bible, with the aim of helping to prepare God’s people for outpourings of the Holy Spirit, which are so greatly needed today. In addition to studying about revival transformation of Jacob, and deliverance of Israel under Samuel, we shall look at reformative revivals during the reign of two different kings in Judah.
May we receive grace to understand and fully appropriate the blessings of God embedded in this lesson for us, in Jesus name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION:
As usual, the lesson is divided into two main divisions—I and II. These divisions are further subdivided into parts A and B respectively.
DIVISION I—-REVIVAL OF TRANSFORMATION AND DELIVERANCE:
This first division discusses revival as it brought transformation and deliverance to God’s people in the OT, and the implications for us today. Here, we will look at the transformation of Jacob, and then, the deliverance of Israel under the revered and great prophet Samuel.
DIVISION II—REVIVAL IN THE REIGNS OF TWO KINGS:
In this division, we will look at the various revivals that took place during the reigns of two of Judah’s exemplary kings—-Asa and Hezekiah. This would serve as an indictment on leaders in general who aren’t leading God’s people in the direction of helping them to do God’s will in God’s way, to ensure better and improved leadership whatever spheres we find ourselves.
I. REVIVAL OF TRANSFORMATION AND DELIVERANCE
A. REVIVED AND TRANSFORMED
B. REVIVED AND DELIVERED
II. REVIVAL IN THE REIGNS OF TWO KINGS
A. DURING ASA’S REIGN
B. DURING HEZEKIAH’S REIGN
I. REVIVAL OF TRANSFORMATION AND DELIVERANCE (Genesis 35:1-15; 1 Samuel 7:1-13)
Transformation and deliverance are two major experiences that one cannot do without, especially a child of God who is bent on fulfilling his God-given destiny here on earth, and will make it back to God’s kingdom in the end. True revival would facilitate these two in your life, if you cooperate with the Revivalist, God.
A. REVIVED AND TRANSFORMED (Gen. 35:1-15)
And God said to him, your name is Jacob, your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name… (v. 10).
i. vv. 1ff: This new and transforming visitation from God occurred to Jacob following a very sad episode in his life (34:1ff).
ii. Jacob had been a deceiver and liar in his younger days. He continued to be very self-oriented later in life, and was often not wise in how he treated family members. Many of his sons did even worse than he (25:29-34; 27:18ff; 34:13ff; 35:22; 38:12ff).
iii.vv. 9ff: In keeping His covenant with Abraham, God met Jacob at several important stages of his experience. First, at Bethel, Jacob saw the ladder to heaven (28:1ff). The second was just before he met his brother, Esau (32:1ff). The third occasion was when he came from Padan-Aram.
iv. vv. 1,9: Each time, although in different ways, the initiative was clearly taken by God. In this way, we can recognise examples of His graciousness to a very unworthy man. This reminds us of our own unworthiness before God, and of the grace of God exercises in His dealings with us.
v. v. 10: Whatever else the name “Israel” might mean in this passage, it signifies character development in Jacob, and a new relationship with God. Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to Christian character development (cf. 32:28; Lk. 11:7-13; Jn. 15:1-17; Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Jn. 1:7-10). Every man needs this type of transformative revival (Jn. 8:32).
vii. Knowing and relying on the Holy Spirit is a sure way to experience revival. Like Jacob after his encounter with God, every genuine transformed and revived soul will stay within the confines of God’s will, and desire to please Him always.
B. REVIVED AND DELIVERED (1 Sam. 7:1-13)
Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines (v.8).
i. The early history of Israel, after the time of Moses and Joshua, saw long periods of backsliding into disobedience and idolatry (Jdg. 2:7-10).
ii. During the times of the judges, there were many political and military crises. The Lord used the difficulties to cause the people to seek Him for help. In response, He raised judges to deliver them (Jdg. 2:16-19). This was more successful on some occasions than others.
iii. vv. 1-13. Prophet Samuel, the last of the judges, was a man of prayer, In fact, one of the OT giants in that regard (cf. Psa. 99:6-9). This story of revival (v. 6) is one of the highlights of Samuel’s life and ministry.
iv. v.2: And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord (v. 2b). After 20 years of oppression by the Philistines, the people became aware of their need for God, and persisted in calling on Him, although for a while there seemed to be no response from God.
v. v.3: Samuel called on the Israelites to show the reality of their turning back of God by getting rid of the all the idols, and then start to worship and serve God alone (cf. Job 11:13; Lk. 4:8).
vi. vv. 5-6,9-10: Israel turned back to the Lord, admitting their sin, and at their request, Samuel intercede for them at Mizpah. They witnessed God’s power as He gave them victory over the advancing Philistines (cf. 2 Sam. 22:14-15).
vii. The important of earnest and persistent prayer in the revival of spiritual lives in churches, and in bringing about a general turning to God in our society cannot be over-emphasised.
viii.Willingness, obedience and renewed commitment to God are key factors in sustaining revival and deliverance.
1. Be hopeful always, even if situations around you says there is no hope.
2. When we admit our wrongs and turn again to God, He receives us and undertakes for us.
WORK TO DO
“Man extremity is God’s opportunity.” Discuss how this happened to Jacob in chapter 35.
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO:
i. Jacob, having drowned himself in a life unbefitting of a covenant child, came to a brick wall. He had sustained series of emotional, psychological, social and physical wounds and stigmas. The fear of his brother coming to attack him was another harrowing experience he couldn’t provide any answer to.
ii. Indeed, he was at his wit’s end!
iii. It was at this point in his life that God came for him, helping him retrace his steps and became transformed to fit into the frame of the real covenant child.
iv. He was at a juncture where he had come to the realisation that all his tactics and gimmicks would no longer work and were to longer working, hence the way he held to the saving branch as he was drowning—his wrestling with the angle of the Lord.
v. God sometimes waits for man to exhaust his own strength and capability before coming to his aid. Such was the of Jacob; having been stretched to his limit, God showed up for him (Gen. 32:1ff; 34:1ff; 35:1-15).
vi. So, man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
vii. Stop trying to fight your battles with your own strategies and strength. It always amounts to wastage. Indeed, always allow God!
II. REVIVAL IN THE REIGNS OF TWO KINGS (2 Chronicles 14-15; 29-31)
Asa and Hezekiah were two kings of Judah who reigns at different times in history and cooperated with YAHWEH exemplarily. They each led the people back to God, not further away from Him, unlike those wicked kings of both Judah and Israel, e.g. Jeroboam. Leaders are expected to cooperate with God to lead their followers back to, not away from Him. By so doing, revival is not farfetched.
A. DURING ASA’S REIGN (Chaps. 14-15)
For he removed the altars of the foreign gods and high places, and broke down the sacred pillars, and cut down the wooden images (14:3)
i. 14:1ff: After king Solomon’s reign, the united Israel was split in two. The Southern kingdom (Judah), with its capital in Jerusalem, remained loyal to the house of David, and some of its kings followed David’s religious line, as well (cf. 1 Kgs. 11:11-13; 2 Chr. 10:1ff).
ii. vv. 3-5: Asa, the third king after Solomon (1 Kgs. 15:9), destroyed the centres of idolatry set up by Solomon for his foreign idolatrous wives (1 Kgs. 15:12-13), and removed elements of false worship that had accumulated during the previous reigns. He also made laws to pressurise the people into obeying God’s Law
He worked with a right heart.
iii. vv. 6-7: He fortified some of the country towns (cf. 1 Kgs. 15:22). The Lord blessed his efforts, guided him, and gave him security, with long periods of peace and prosperity. He enjoyed dramatic victories in the face of external invasion (vv. 12-15). When our hearts align with God, we will enjoy all these as well (2 Chr. 16:9; Rom. 8:28).
iv. 15:1ff: From the human standpoint, the origin of the revival is seen in the prayers of the king and the message of the prophet (v. 11; cf. 7:14; 15:1-2). National and organisational revivals become achievable when they begin from the top (cf. 1 Cor. 4:14-16; 11:1).
v. vv. 8-16: Factors involved in the return to God include putting away of idols, renewing the altar, celebrating the Feast of Weeks, and renewing the covenant (cf. 7:14). There is no excuse for us not to return to God.
vi. vv. 16-19: The results of Asa’s reformative revival is seen in the joy of the people, their new relationship with God, and the coming of peace (cf. Prov. 16:7).
vii. To experience and lead an organisation in experiencing this type of reforms, we must shun sentiments and prejudice, for the overall good of all, and the glory of God.
B. DURING HEZEKIAH’S REIGN (Chaps. 29-31)
…he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them (29:3).
i. 29:1-2: Hezekiah became king of the Judah following the reigns of a number of wicked kings (cf. 22:3-4; 25:2b, 20, 27; 26:16; 28:1,22; etc). He reigned about the same time that the Northern kingdom was destroyed by the invading armies (2 Kgs. 18:1-2; 17:5-6).
ii. v. 3ff: A great deterioration had taken place in the spiritual quality of life in the country. This decline in attention to God had developed over many years. The quality of justice had also declined seriously. No doubt the two factors were related.
iii. vv. 3-7: The first thing he did was to address the spiritual problems of the nation with utmost priority. He also reversed the devil policies of his own father (cf. 28:22-25), repaired the temple and returned proper temple worship, thus turning away God’s wrath from the land (v. 10).
iv. 10:1-27: The Passover, which celebrated God’s forgiveness and redemption of His people had long been done contrary to the prescribed manner (v. 5,26; cf. Exod. 12:1-20; Lev. 23:1-8); Hezekiah restored its right practice.
v. 31:1ff: Observing the passover brought real revival and convictions to utterly destroy and end the reign of idolatry, and to restore the worship of God in the land (cf. 30:14).
vi. vv. 2-19: King Hezekiah reformed and restored support for the priesthood in line with the ordinance of God (1 Chr. 24:1ff; 2 Chr. 8:12-14).
vii. Taking care of challenges, firstly, from a spiritual perspective, goes a long way to affect the situation of things physically. When the spiritual is settled with God, the physical and other dimensions follow suite with ease.
1. Leaders in every clime, spiritual leaders especially, must set an example of Christlikeness to follow, if things will get better, and back to normal.
2. As believers, we must be willing to shun the “status quo” and embrace the “God-way”, in order to achieve the much anticipated revival and spiritual maturity.
1. What are the main lessons we can learn from the life of King Asa in relation to what we might do in preparation for a revival movement in the society and the Church?
2. How did Hezekiah’s revival produce the financial needs for God’s work to be carried out (2 Chr. 31:2-19)?
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
i. He prayed after he listened to the Word of God read to him from the Book of the Law (v.11; 2 Chro. 7:14; 2 Chro. 15:1-2).
ii. He allowed the work of revival to begin with him as the leader (cf. 1 Cor. 4:14-16; 11:1).
iii. He discarded the idols, renewed the altar of God, and reintroduced the celebration of the Feast of Weeks, and the making of the covenant (cf. 2 Chro. 7:14).
iv. We must prepare in all ramifications and continue to await the true revival that only God can bring.
v. The Church, especially the end-time Church, must cooperate with the Holy Spirit and set mercenaries in motion to start the end-time revival that will safeguard us from the end-time saga.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
i. Orientation and mobilisation were keys to this.
ii. The king took the lead through personal involvement (2 Chro. 31:3a).
iii. He understood that the tithes from the people were God’s arrangement to support the Levites who would serve Him full-time.
iv. He therefore made the people bring the tithes of all things, and to contribute for the support of the priests and Levites.
v. The people responded to King Hezekiah’s command by giving abundantly and willingly from cheerful (not coerced) hearts (2 Chro. 31:4-10).
vi. True revival, borne out of genuine conversion and cooperation with God, will remove all our lacks, and brings us to the abundant supply God has purposed for His obedient and cooperative people to do His work committed in their care.
Do you realise you need revival? Have you sought for one in your lifetime? Do you know that without genuine conversion, repentance and spiritual awakening and awareness you cannot be a vessel that God can use to make His exploits? Therefore, you must humble yourself before God and recognise His right to control your life and use you for His utmost purpose and glory. As His child, you can trust Him. Remember that God is all you need; trust Him to send revival into your soul and experience a life full of vigour and vitality, spiritual “downwardness” right now. Why don’t you talk to God about it; He will come through for you.
We thank the Almighty God for helping us to discover some revivals in the Old Testament, and for provoking us to yearn do revival, even in our days. May God help us that we will begin to long for, pray for, and position ourselves for the much-needed end-time in our lives, churches and nations at large, in Jesus’ name
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. 19: Revive Us; We’ll Call On You (Psa. 80:18)
Tue. 20: Revive Us; We’ll Rejoice In You (Psa. 85:6)
Wed. 21: Revival Of Righteousness (Isa. 1:27
Thur. 22: Repentant Hearts Would Have Courage (Isa. 57:15)
Fri. 23: Restore The Ancient Glory Of Israel (Ezk. 29:21)
Sat. 24: Refreshed, All Will Thank God (Isa. 43:20)