Check out this continuous revival centuries ago.
JOHN. How’s this for a mighty move of God with the Baptist? “The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River” (Mark 1:5). Multiplied thousands.
JESUS. “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee…Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria…Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him” (Matt. 5:12, 23-25). As the miracles increased, so did the massive crowds, often difficult to control or to avoid. There were times when the disciples wanted Jesus to themselves—and could not have Him.
APOSTLES. Some of these Jews who Jesus ministered to were no doubt present on Pentecost, along with people from around the world in Jerusalem for the festival. When the outpouring of the Spirit spilled onto the streets, a huge crowd gathered because of the tongues activity. Peter likely preached to 10,000 or more. “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:41). From 120 to 3120, quite an upgrade!
After the healing of a well-known cripple, “all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade” (3:11). Time to preach again. Peter and John got thrown into jail, “but many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand” (4:4).
PHILIP. “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith” (6:7). Persecution after the death of Stephen pushed the church outside of Jerusalem, and even Samaria, hated by Jews, experienced a powerful move of God through the preaching and miracles of Deacon Philip.
PAUL. Antioch, the third largest city in the Roman Empire (after Alexandria and Rome) at 500,000 inhabitants, experienced a move of the Spirit when persecution continued to push the church north, this time including Gentiles. They were received because Peter’s experience in Caesarea with the Cornelius crowd in a living room revival opened the door to non-Jews (11:18). “For a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people” (11:26). Antioch before long overtook Jerusalem as the center of the early church movement.
Revival turns to vival, and visitation becomes habitation when God’s people fully embrace the work of the Spirit and let it transform them. Do it again, God!