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The ‘set times’ of refreshing?

Credit: Orlando Castro/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: Orlando Castro/Flickr/Creative Commons

CBN is reporting on a revival that has broken out in Greeneville, Tennessee, a small town in the Northern part of the state with a population of just over 15,000 people. It started on April 15, 2018 at the Greystone Freewill Baptist church.

The church had invited Evangelist D.R. Harrison to speak at a week-long revival meeting. By the third week, it was standing room only at the church.

The pastor was becoming concerned because more people were wanting to attend than there was room in the church. As they were praying for direction, a North Carolina man stepped forward donating a large 80 foot by 140 foot tent that could seat up to 1,500 people.

With this extra room the revival has continued unabated for three months with people attending from several states and a variety of denomination backgrounds.

In an interview with CBN, Harrison reported that not only is God moving in power restoring lives and marriages, but people are also getting saved with over 230 people accepting Christ so far during the meetings.

We often look at these revivals as spontaneous events, but this may not be the case.

In the Bible, we find a reference to “times of refreshing” of favor when God will pour out His Spirit upon people. When the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost with miraculous signs and wonders, Peter described it as a “time of refreshing” that came from God’s presence:

19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19 NIV)

The psalmist writes similarly of these “times of refreshing” but he throws in a bit of a twist:

You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
 (Psalm 102:13 NKJV)

He speaks of a “set time” when God will favor Zion.

The Hebrew word for “set time” is “mo-ed” and refers to appointed time. It was used in the same sense that the Feast Days of Israel were set on specific days of the year based on the lunar calendar.

Similarly, God has also set times and dates when He will favour Zion. This means that sometime in the past, God predetermined the day and time when it was going to happen.

It is interesting because during this time of favor, the Psalmist writes that God will not despise the prayers of the people. It will be a season of unprecedented answers to prayer:

He has regarded the prayer of the destitute
And has not despised their prayer (Psalm 102 17 NKJV)

Along these lines, the Day of Pentecost was the Greek name for the Israeli Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15), that celebrated the end of the Harvest. In the Greek, the word Pentecost means 50 and this refers to the number of days (49 days after the wave offering took place at the Passover) when the Feast of Weeks was scheduled to be celebrated in the Jewish Old Testament calendar.

During this scheduled feast there would be an influx of Jews in Jerusalem. God purposefully chose this time after Christ’s perfect sacrifice during the previous Passover to pour out His Holy Spirit for maximum impact (Acts 2).

It was also marked by a series of unprecedented answers to prayer (Acts 12:5-7, Acts 4:29-31)

Paul Strand wrote an article on CBN about the Toronto Blessing, a revival that broke out at the Toronto Airport Vineyard church in January, 1994. It was a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit that went on for over 12 years impacting tens of thousands of churches around the world.

In that article, Strand interviewed Randy Clark who was speaking a the Vineyard church pastored by John Arnott when the Holy Spirit fell, basically taking over the services through signs and wonders.

Clark said that prophets had accurately predicted the very day and year when this revival would break out. God had a set an “appointed time” when the Toronto Revival was going to take place.

Revivals or “Times of Refreshing” are not spontaneous events, these are are times that God has set well in advance when He plans to favour Zion.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the 1948 North Battleford Revival and some prophetic leaders are thinking that God may be wanting to send that revival again on the church. They refer to it as re-digging the wells.

Click here for more information on the event to be held in North Battleford, Saskatchewan November 1-10, 2018.


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