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Duncan Campbell on Revival
The last significant revival in the United Kingdom was in 1949 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Duncan Campbell was the evangelist used by God to spread the fire. Here Duncan recounts the events leading up to and during the revival.
Duncan Campbell on Revival
The last significant revival in the United Kingdom was in 1949 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebredies of Scotland. Duncan Campbell was the evangelist used by God to spread the fire. Here Duncan recounts the events leading up to and during the revival.
This article is adapted from a taped message delivered by Mr.Duncan Campbell approximately thirty years ago to the students of the Faith Mission Bible College in Edinburgh, Scotland. It chronicles some of Mr. Campbell's experiences and insights related to the revival from 1949-1953 in the Hebrides Islands off the northwestern coast of Scotland.
"Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence." Isaiah 64:1-3
I never read that third verse without my mind going back to what actually happened in the parish of Barvas on the island of Lewis. At the outset, let me make it clear that I did not bring revival to the Hebrides. I had the privilege of being there and in some small way leading the movement for about three years but God moved in the parish of Barvas before I set foot on the island.
Revival is still a sign which is spoken against, and you cannot believe every story you have heard about the Lewis Awakening. Down through the years things have been said which have no foundation in fact. However, facts are powerful things.
First, let me tell you what I mean by revival. An evangelistic campaign or special meeting is not revival. In a successful evangelistic campaign or crusade, there will be hundreds or even thousands of people making decisions for Jesus Christ, but the community remains untouched, and the churches continue much the same as before the outreach.
In revival, God moves in the district. Suddenly, the community becomes God conscious. The Spirit of God grips men and women in such a way that even work is given up as people give themselves to waiting upon God. In the midst of the Lewis Awakening, the parish minister at Barvas wrote, "The Spirit of the Lord was resting wonderfully on the different townships of the region. His Presence was in the homes of the people, on meadow and moorland, and even on the public roads."
This presence of God is the supreme characteristic of a God-sent revival. Of the hundreds who found Jesus Christ during this time fully seventy-five per cent were saved before they came near a meeting or heard a sermon by myself or any other ministers in the parish. The power of God, the Spirit of God, was moving in operation, and the fear of God gripped the souls of men - this is God-sent revival as distinct from special efforts in the field of evangelism.
Foundation of Intercession and Vision
How did this gracious movement begin? In 1949, the local presbytery issued a proclamation to be read on a certain Sunday in all the Free Churches on the island of Lewis. This proclamation called the people to consider the "low state of vital religion . . . throughout the land . . . and the present dispensation of Divine displeasure . . . due to growing carelessness toward public worship . . . and the growing influence of the spirit of pleasure which has taken growing hold of the younger generation."
They called on the churches to "take these matters to heart and to make serious inquiry what must be the end if there be no repentance. We call upon every individual as before God to examine his or her life in light of that responsibility which attends to us all and that happily in divine mercy we may be visited with a spirit of repentance and turn again to the Lord whom we have so grieved."
I am not prepared to say what effect the reading of this declaration had upon the ministers or people of the island in general, but I do know that in the parish of Barvas a number of men and women took it to heart, especially two old women. I am ashamed to think of it - two sisters, one eighty-two and one eight-four, the latter blind. These two women developed a great heart concern for God to do something in the parish and gave themselves to waiting upon God in their little cottage.
One night God gave one of the sisters a vision. Now, we have got to understand that in revival remarkable things happen. It is supernatural; you are not moving on human levels; you are moving in divine places. In the vision, she saw the churches crowded with young people and she told her sister, "I believe revival is coming to the parish.
At that time, there was not a single young person attending public worship, a fact which cannot be disputed. Sending for the minister, she told him her story, and he took her message as a word from God to his heart. Turning to her he said, "What do you think we should do?" What?" she said, "Give yourself to prayer; give yourself to waiting upon God. Get your elders and deacons together and spend at least two nights a week waiting upon God in prayer. If you will do that at your end of the parish, my sister and I will do it at our end of the parish from ten o'clock at night until two or three o'clock in the morning."
So, the minister called his leaders together and for several months they waited upon God in a barn among the straw. During this time they plead one promise, "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring" (Isaiah 44:3). This went on for at least three months. Nothing happened.
But one night a young deacon rose and began reading from Psalm 24, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation" (Psalm 24:3-5).
Closing his Bible, he addressed the minister and other office bearers in words that sound crude in English, but not so crude in our Gaelic language, "It seems to me so much humbug. To be waiting as we are waiting, to be praying as we are praying, when we ourselves are not rightly related to God." Then, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed, "O God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?" Then, he went to his knees and fell into a trance.
Now, don't ask me to explain the physical manifestations of this movement because I can't, but this I do know, that something happened in the barn at that moment in that young deacon. There was a power loosed that shook the heavens and an awareness of God gripped those gathered together.
Breakthrough in Barvas
Now, I wasn't in the island at the time. I was in another area when word came asking me to come to Lewis for ten days. I had other meetings scheduled and wrote back that I would put Barvas on my calendar for the following year. However, due to circumstances I won't go into, my other meetings were cancelled, and I found it possible to go to the islands as requested.
Arriving by boat, I was met by the minister of the church and one of his office bearers. As I stepped ashore, the office bearer came to me and said, "Mr. Campbell, may I ask you a question? Are you walking with God?" I was happy to be able to respond, "I can say this at any rate, I fear God."
They had arranged for me to address the church at a short meeting beginning at nine o'clock that night. It was a remarkable meeting.
God sovereignly moved, and there was an awareness of God which was wonderful. The meeting lasted until four o'clock in the morning, and I had not witnessed anything to compare with it at any other time during my ministry.
Around midnight, a group of young people left a dance and crowded into the church. There were people who couldn't go to sleep because they were so gripped by God. Although there was an awareness of God and a spirit of conviction at this initial meeting, the real breakthrough came a few days later on Sunday night in the parish church.
The church was full, and the Spirit of God was moving in such a way that I couldn't preach. I just stood still and gazed upon the wondrous moving of God. Men and women were crying out to God for mercy all over the church. There was no appeal made whatsoever.
After meeting for over three hours, I pronounced the benediction and told the people to go out, but mentioned that any who wanted to continue the meeting could come back later. A young deacon came to me and said, "Mr. Campbell, God is hovering over us."
About that time the clerk of the session asked me to come to the back door. There was a crowd of at least 600 people gathered in the yard outside the church... Someone gave out Psalm 102 and the crowd streamed back in to the church which could no longer hold the number of people. A young school teacher came down front crying out, "O God, is there nothing left for me?" She is a missionary in Nigeria today. There was a bus load of people coming to the meeting from sixty miles away. The power of God came into the bus so that some could not even enter the church when the bus arrived.
People were swooning all over the church, and I cannot remember one single person who was moved on by God that night who was not gloriously born again. When I went out of the church at four o'clock in the morning there were a great number of people praying alongside the road. In addition to the school teacher, several of those born again that night are in foreign mission work today.
In Church, Meadow, and Moorland
From Barvas, the move of God spread to the neighbouring districts. I received a message that a nearby church was crowded at one o'clock in the morning and wanted me to come. When I arrived, the church was full and there were crowds outside. Coming out of the church two hours later, I found a group of 300 people, unable to get into the church, praying in a nearby field.
One old woman complained about the noise of the meetings because she could not get to sleep. A deacon grabbed her and shook her, saying, "Woman, you have been asleep long enough!"
There was one area of the islands which wanted me to come but I didn't feel any leading to accept the invitation. The blind sister encouraged me to go and told me, "If you were living as near to God as you ought to be, He would reveal His secrets to you." I agreed to spend a morning in prayer with her in the cottage. As we prayed, the sister said, "Lord, you remember what you told me today that you were going to save seven men in this church. I just gave your message to Mr. Campbell and please give him wisdom because he badly needs it."
She told me if I would go to the village, God would provide a congregation. I agreed to go, and when I arrived at seven o'clock, there were approximately 400 people at the church. The people could not tell what it was that had brought them; it had been directed by the Spirit of God. I spoke for a few minutes on the text "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent' (Acts 17:30). One of the ministers stopped me and said, "Come see this." At one end of the meeting house, the most notorious characters in the community were on their faces crying out to God.
On a trip to a neighbouring island I found the people were very cold and stiff. Calling for some men to come over and pray, I particularly requested that a young man named Donald accompany them. Donald, who was seventeen years old, had been recently saved and baptised in the Holy Spirit about two weeks later on a hillside. As we were in the church that night, Donald was sitting toward the front with tears falling off his face onto the floor. I knew Donald was in touch with God in a way that I was not. So I stopped preaching and asked him to pray.
Donald rose to his feet and prayed, "I seem to be gazing into an open door and see the Lamb in the midst of the throne and the keys of death and hell on his waist." Then he stopped and began to sob. After he composed himself, he lifted his eyes toward heaven, raised his hands, and said, "God, there is power there. Let it loose!"
And at that moment the power of God fell upon the congregation. On one side of the room, the people threw up their hands, put their heads back and kept them in that position for two hours. It is hard to do this for ten minutes, much less two hours. On the other side, the people were slumped over, crying out for mercy. In a village five miles away, the power of God swept through the town and there was hardly a house in that village that didn't have someone saved in it that night.
In one area of the district there was bitter opposition to the movement because I preached the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a separate and distinct occurrence following conversion. Those who opposed me were so successful in their opposition that very few people came to the meetings.
One night, the session clerk came to me and said, "There is only one thing we can do to the correct the situation which now prevails. We must give ourselves to waiting upon God in prayer. I have been told there is a farmer who said we could meet in his home. He is not a Christian and his wife isn't saved, but they are God-fearing people."
About thirty of us, ministers and elders from the district, met in this farmer's house. I felt the going very, very hard. I prayed. All the ministers prayed. One felt that the very powers of hell were unleashed. About midnight I turned to one of the elders and told him I thought the time had come for him to lay hold of God. This man rose to his feet and prayed for about half and hour. (Of course, you must remember that we were in revival, and in revival time doesn't exist. Nobody was looking at the clock.)
The man paused, lifted his hand toward heaven and said, "God, did You know that your honour is a stake? You gave the promise that You would pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground, and You are not doing it." I wonder how many of us could approach God with words like that on our lips?
Then he said, "There are five ministers in this meeting, including Mr.Campbell, and I don't know where any one of them stands in Your Presence. But if I know anything about my own heart, I think I can say that I am thirsty for a manifestation of Your power."
He paused again, then cried out in aloud voice, "God, Your honour is at stake and I now challenge You to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground." And in that moment the stone-built house literally shook like a leaf. I immediately went to the Acts of the Apostles where it is recorded that they prayed and the place where they were assembled was shaken.
As soon as this dear man stopped praying, I pronounced the benediction a little after two o'clock in the morning and went out to find the whole village ablaze with God. I went into one house and found nine women on their knees in the kitchen crying out to God. One woman saved that night has written some of the finest Gaelic hymns in our Gaelic hymnal. On the following Sunday, the road was black with the people walking two miles to the church.
The drinking house in that particular village closed that night and has never reopened since. This is God at work. A God sent revival is always a revival of holiness.
It takes the supernatural to break the bonds of the natural. You can make a community mission-conscious. You can make a community crusade-conscious. But only God can make a community God-conscious. Just think about what would happen if God came to any community in power. I believe that day is coming. May God prepare us all for it.
BiographyDuncan Campbell (1898-1972) was raised in the Highlands of Scotland. He came to the Lord as a teenager and served congregations of the United Free Church (Presbyterian) and as an itinerant evangelist. In addition to his involvement in the Lewis Awakening, he was much in demand as a speaker throughout the British Isles.
Your Personal Pentecost
Baptism in the Holy Spirit has been the defining element of Pentecostal experience, both for Pentecostal churches and the 'charismatic renewal' of 'main line' denominations.
Your Personal Pentecost
* The Promise of the Father
* The Purpose of Baptism in the Holy Spirit
* In Conclusion Baptism in the Holy Spirit has been the defining element of Pentecostal experience, both for Pentecostal churches and the 'charismatic renewal' of 'main line' denominations.
These notes provide a biblical framework for understanding this key element in the Christian experience. The Promise of the Father We have seen how the out working of the covenanted promises that God made through His Word, came to fulfillment in Jesus. Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received, "the promise of the Father".
After His ascension, the 10 days that passed led to that climactic experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit ('The promise of the Father') for all the 120 disciples who faithfully waited in the upper room. However, this experience on the day of the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, wasn't just to bring goose bumps and thrills to tingle up and down the spine of the disciples; it was to equip them for effective Christian ministry.
That is why it is so important that every believer receives personally a Pentecostal experience which will launch them into the fullness of the call and the purpose of their salvation. We know that Jesus Himself was baptised in the Holy Spirit as He came up out of the water on the day of His water baptism. The Holy Spirit alighted on Him, and a voice from heaven came saying 'This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.' At this experience, Jesus was released into baptism in the Holy Spirit and empowered to begin His earthly ministry.
The Prophets had foretold it; the Word spoke of it through the Law, and Jesus came to fulfil it. We read in Acts 3.25 that we are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with our fathers. In Christ Jesus, we have inherited the fullness of that promise in our own lives. Jesus' actions and miracles paralleled the Old Testament prophets, although of course in a greater scale.
For example, in the Elisha stories, we see raising the dead, healing the sick, the feeding miracles, the water miracles etc. We even see that the prophets had disciples, a school of prophets, a prophetic teachers training school.
We see the method come into being that Jesus himself was to use: we see in Matthew 4 the calling of the disciples, in Matthew 5 and 7 Jesus tells His disciples what to do. In 8 and 9 He shows them what to do. In Matthew 10 He sends them out to do it. They had to go through a period of being properly trained, and then launched into their work, but that would not come into its fullness until Jesus' own work was completed.
Then we see that great commission spoken to the disciples in Matthew 28. The Purpose of Baptism in the Holy Spirit What is the purpose then of all of this? It is to prepare the disciples to carry on the work of Jesus. That starts with the Holy Spirit, so He is preparing them for Pentecost. And from there, an international ministry. It is the same today.
We are called by Jesus, He tells us through His word what to do. We see from the word and through revelation from the Holy Spirit, how to do it, and then we ourselves have to go and make disciples. In Acts 1 and 2, we see the fulfilment of the promise of the Father. The power that was to come upon the disciples to be a witness among the nations.
This was the purpose in Jesus' coming. John the Baptist first announced it, and now, here it is. Pentecost is the very essence of our faith. It is what the Father has promised, and in spite of what many churches have said about it, was what Moses longed for: 'Oh, that all God's people would prophecy!' When we read through the Joel prophecy, and the explanation of what had happened as Peter stood up in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, we see the comprehensive nature of this gift, for all ages, everywhere.
It is for everyone, just as Moses had longed to see. (Acts 2.17,18; Nu 11.29) Therefore, it is for the same reason that we receive this fulfilment of the new covenant promise. It is the power to witness, and the witness simply tells what he sees as he sees it. As we read through the book of Acts, we see how at each significant stage in the church's development, there was a Pentecostal experience.
In Acts 8.4, we read of the Samaritan Pentecost. Then, in Acts 9.17, we read about Paul's personal Pentecost. In chapter 10.44-48, we read of the first gentile Pentecost. In 11.3, the consequences of that. Further on, in Acts 19.2 we read of the Ephesian Pentecost. In Conclusion So, we see that Pentecost is the heart of New Testament experience.
The cross and forgiveness is only the first half of the story: the cleansing in order to receive the Holy Spirit. As we come to the cross, and by faith through grace believe in the crucifixion of Jesus, we receive the cleansing through the power of His precious blood; that enables us to be vessels that can be filled with promise of the Father. Therefore, as Jesus set the pattern and showed us by example, our purpose is:
* To get people born-again and washed in the blood of Jesus.
* Get them filled with the Holy Spirit.
* Make them disciples and teach them what is happening to them, so that, . . .
* They can go out and do the same themselves: making disciples to make disciples
See Yourself in Christ
God has chosen to take hold of your life and place you in Christ Jesus, that you might live in Him. You could never deserve such a privilege and neither could you work your way into such a position. Your heavenly Father has chosen to make you His child and place you in His Son. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus.
1 Cor. 1:30......"It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God ‑ that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."
You do not have to strive to be placed in Jesus, you are already in Him by God's gracious act. You do not have to attain to some advanced level of spirituality before you can be "in Christ". This is where the Father puts you at the beginning of your Christian experience. He sees you "in Christ", and He wants you to see yourself "in Christ".
How can you know you are in Him? John answers the question: if you believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save you from your sins, this is evidence that God lives in you and you in God. You believe Jesus was not merely a good man, nor a great prophet or a teacher ‑ He was God in human flesh who gave His life for you to be your saviour.
When you submit your life to Him as your Lord you are born again, God's Spirit comes to live in you. To receive the gift of God's Holy Spirit is the very evidence that God loves you, forgives you, accepts you, and He has made it possible for you to live in Him and for Him to live in you.
Your Inheritance in Christ
Ephesians 1:3‑6......"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will ‑ to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves".
Because you are in Christ Jesus nothing can separate you from God's love. Jesus says the Father and the Son have come to make their home with you (John 14:23). You live in Him and He lives in you. You have all the resources of heaven available to you. Everything that God has given Christ He has given you, because you too are His child and Jesus is your brother.
You received salvation by putting your faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross. You believed in God's grace, that He was willing to bless you although you deserved nothing from Him. In the same way you learned to appropriate your inheritance in Christ by faith. It is possible to live in Christ without availing yourself of the rich inheritance which is yours through Him.
God intends your life to be a constant reaching up to heaven to take to yourself whatever you need from His riches. Because you are in Christ He has already given you every blessing heaven has to offer.
That does not mean that you have received personally to yourself or appropriated in your life every blessing. However God has given you in your life full salvation for body, soul and spirit. You can be confident that all your needs will be met because all your needs have been met in Christ. You live in Him who is your sufficiency at all times and in all situations.
2 Cor. 9:8......"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
Let these words be personal for you. The Father of your Lord Jesus Christ has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. He wants you to hear that truth again and again in your heart.
I AM ACCEPTED
John 1:12….I am God's child
John 15:15….I am Christ's friend
Rom. 5:1….I have been justified
1 Cor. 6:17….I am united with the Lord; and 1 am one spirit with Him
1 Cor. 6:19-20….I have been bought with a price. 1 belong to God.
1 Cor. 12:27….I am a member of Christ's body.
Eph. 1:1….I am a saint
Eph. 1:5….I have been adopted as God's child.
Eph. 2:18….I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Col. 1:14….I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.Col. 2:10….I am complete in Christ
I AM SECURE
Rom. 8:1-2….I am free forever from condemnation
Rom. 8:28….I am assured that all things work together for good.
Rom. 8:3f ….I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Rom. 8:35f ….I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Cor. 1:21-22….I have been established, anointed and scaled by God.
Col. 3:3….I am hidden with Christ in God.
Phil. 1:6….I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected.
2 Tim. 1:7….I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
Heb. 4:16….I can find grace and mercy in time of need.