“A revival, by definition, is the mighty act of God and it is a sovereign act of God It is as independent as that. Man can do nothing. God, and God alone, does it … A revival is something which, when it happens, leads people to say, as the townspeople said in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, ‘What is this? Lloyd Jones
1. The revival began with a unified people. “The whole people (men, women, and children) gathered as one” (cf. Nehemiah 8:1a).
2. God’s word changes lives. “They called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses… (cf. 8: 8) “Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read” (cf. 8:1b). Psalm 19 adds, “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.”
3. A revival occurred outside of the temple. “Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate.” (cf. 8: 3) In Luke 10, Jesus appointed 72 disciples to go to every town two by two. Jesus’ kingdom outpost was not the temple but a house. Jesus instructed them to find a “peaceful person” in each town. Once the disciples until they found an outpost, they were to cure the sick and announce the kingdom. A layperson asked a group of Catholic priests, “How can you say you know Jesus when you never heal anyone?”
4. Revival needs leaders. “Nehemiah, that is, the governor, and Ezra the priest-scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people” (cf. 8:9). Like Moses, Jesus chose 72 leaders in training to spread the good news. According to tradition, most of the seven deacons of Acts 6 became bishops. So did Philemon, Onesimus, Agabus (cf. Acts 19) and Aquilla, the husband of Priscilla. God uses anyone even a pagan king. (cf. “Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” The King of Ninevah)
5. Revival understands the stakes. Psalm 19 states: “The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever” Jesus told the 72 not to sugar coat His message: “Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.” (Luke 10:12)