Revivalist 3: Duncan Campbell
In 1956 Duncan Campbell gave significant addresses on the Hebridean Revival at the Keswick in Wales Convention. As these addresses referred to the last major U.K. revival that had an impact on a whole community then points from these addresses are vital in understanding how we can have a real revival in U.K. again.
Gal. 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
24 And they glorified God in me.
The significance of the glorifying of God in Paul himself is a very significant factor in Campbell’s address on revival. He places this significance into three thoughts.
I. The Divine in the Human
Declared Campbell: “A Christian is as supernatural being who has had a supernatural experience, and that is something more than singing choruses; that is something more than making a decision; that is something more than becoming a member of a Church; that is something more than enjoying Conventions. It is Christ at the centre of my life.”
Referring to Paul’s declaration that to “live is Christ” Campbell points out that this is far different than trying to be like Christ, or even trying to imitate Christ and it is this fundamental point we will be looking to find in the “new revivals,” for real revival involves the ordinary man renouncing self and being taken to a plain where to “live is Christ” – the false revival being where a man is glorified and seen by vulnerable people as being God’s messenger and performer alone.
In illustrating these points Campbell quotes Oswald Chambers:
Sanctification is allowing the perfections of Jesus to express themselves through your personality.
When we consider in the “new revivals” the concept of God moving in a particular way it is important to ascertain that Campbell declared the baptism in the Holy Spirit to mean the revealing of God revealing his Son in me– and you – and you – and you – this is an understanding of divinity manifesting through the human.
II. The Divine manifested through the human
John 14: 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
I John 4: 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is one thing about revival that is a fundamental change for real revival shows God – false ones see him as an outside entity. Where is God shown – in me!
Gal. 1: 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
The revealing of his Son in me – what an exciting prospect! One thing I have noticed in the “new revivals” is the heavy emphasis on “me” which in true revival is removed. In true revival there is an overwhelming passion for the Gospel – “me” is gone – it is all “him” revealed in “me” – yet not me! Gal. 2:20
This life and this revelation is not a doctrine or a principle about God – it is the revealing of the Lord Jesus – not a thing– but a person and this person is life who reveals himself in delivering power.
Campbell quotes Professor James Denny who referring to the atonement declared this not just to be a fact of history but an on-going bearing in the body of the dying of the Lord Jesus to enable the life of Jesus to manifest through us. This is Jesus on the earth today and in the “new revivals” there seems to be a looking to a person rather than the revealing of the Lord Jesus through everyone – not just one man!
III. God glorified in this manifestation
This is the understanding that we are to be “living epistles” and this is a fragrance that goes out from us into the community – in other words a revival has to have an impact – this impact being to society as a whole.
II Kings 4: 2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
Using the illustration of the widow without anything whose vessels were filled Campbell reveals the Biblical truth of God’s willingness to fill and fill on condition that a empty vessel be brought to fill up. Elisha had seen that the widow did not have anything except the pot of oil but she had a hunger and thirst to be filled – a requirement of God when it comes to supernatural filling.
Campbell goes onto talk of the supernatural cleansing process, God pouring himself into that which has been cleansed which is where repentance comes in and submission to the will of God and we will be examining later if this is given great prominence in the “new revivals.”
Campbell quotes the people of the Hebrides, “Oh God, rend the heavens and come down.” All the time they cried a process of cleansing was going on until a point was reached when the angels and the archangels could cry, “God, the vessels are clean, the miracle can happen now.” Campbell continued:
Barvas Kirk: scene of the Hebridean Revival
“I believe that with all my heart; it is the deep conviction of my soul that they are ever gazing over the battlements of glory and waiting for a prepared people. It is one thing to shout it, it is one thing to sing it, it is one thing to talk about revival, but give me a people on their faces, seeking to be rightly related to God, and when that happens, we will soon know the impact of God-realisation in our country.”
We will seeing if this level of dedication and submission to God is coming out of the “new revivals” but within this submission is a power far beyond natural show, far beyond the beating of as drum – there is a place of idyllic harmony with God, a place said Campbell, “beyond sanctification” and that place is one of “implicit confidence in God.” Within this is a significant point Campbell brings out and that is of the fact that it is Jesus holiness we are dealing with, not ours! The divine in the human! This is the place of complete obedience to the will of God.
Quoting Hudson Taylor in Perth, Campbell emphasizes this demand of God:
“God gives His Holy Spirit not to those who long for him, not to those who desire to be filled always; He gives His Spirit to those who obey.”
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Here Campbell refers to a modern time (1956) in which the stream of vital Christianity is running low, even though the Church has at its disposal a power that “can out-manoeuvre and baffle the very strategy of Hell ….”
Campbell pleads for a manifestation of the supernatural comparing contemporary culture to that of the early Church in that they relied on unction from on High, and not entertainment from men. At a time today when the once great Apostolic Church of Wales has now resorted to raves, hip-hop and trance music to placate the young people it is interesting to note that Campbell related this to a society that demanded entertainment:
One of the very sad features that characterises much that goes under the name of evangelism today is the craze for entertainment. Here is an extract from a letter received from a leader in youth work ……..
“We are at our wits’ end to know what to do with the young people who made a profession of conversion recently. They are demanding all sorts of entertainment, and it seems to us that if we fail to provide the entertainment that they want, we are not going to hold them.”
Yes, the trend of the time in which we live is toward a Christian experience (or should I say experience and leave Christian out of it!), an experience that is light and flippant, and fed on entertainment.
Some little time ago I listened to a young man give his testimony. He made a decision quite recently, and in giving his testimony this is what he said, “I have discovered that the Christian way of life can best be described, not as a battle, but as a song mingled with the sound of happy laughter.” Far be it from me to move the song or happy laughter from religion, but I want to protest that that young man’s conception was entirely wrong, and not in keeping with New Testament Christianity. “Oh, but,” says the advocates of this way of thinking, “how are we to get the people if we do not provide some sort of entertainment?” To that I ask the question how did they get the people at Pentecost? How did the early Church get the people? By publicity, projects, by bills, by posters, by parades, by pictures? No! The people were arrested and drawn together and brought into vital relationship with God, not by sounds from men, but by sounds from heaven today. It seems to me that heavenly sounds are dying out. I am sure you must have noticed that Pentecost was its own publicity.
Campbell goes onto refer to the passage in Acts 2 where the news of what was happening was “noised abroad”, Campbell interpreting the “noising abroad” not primarily the manifestations but the fact that men and women were coming under deep conviction.
Acts 2: 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Campbell declares boldly in a clear warning to the contemporary Church so devoid of conviction and deep repentance:
The early Church cried for unction and not for entertainment because they knew that unction creates interest and real soul concern…….
Yes, unction is the dire and desperate need of the ministry today. They believed in unction and not in entertainment. Further, the early Church put “power before influence.” The present state of our country presents a challenge to the Christian Church. Those who have eyes to see and who are truly observant tell us that ay this very hour forces are taking the field that are out to defy every known Christian principle. The need is desperate, and it is awful. We have got to do something.
When witnessing testimony of a man involved in the recent so called revival in Florida I heard great news of wanting to receive something, a knee in the stomach from the apparent revivalist but I did not hear the cry of God for the people of today. This is the need Campbell was crying on about.
It is interesting that at point of Campbell’s address he gives warning of a counterfeit revival. He pointed out way back in 1956 that unless the Church engrossed itself into a supernatural God then the Church would find itself embracing a counterfeit movement, an action well and truly manifesting itself so obviously in the 21st. century.
Having witnessed the apostasy of the training methods of Elim’s Bible College some years ago now I can bear witness to a quote given by Campbell of a leader in foreign mission activity.
Today we have some Bible Schools in our land and they are turning out young men and young women cultured and polished but without power.
Campbell refers back to the Hebridean story of a young woman devoid of influence but full of so much power that those around her would tremble.
Campbell: Oh, that the Church today, in our congregations and in our pulpits, would rediscover this truth and get back to the place of God realisation, to the place of power. I want to say further that we should seek power even at the expense of influence. What do I mean by that? I mean this: never compromise to accommodate the devil. I hear people say today, these are different days from the days of the 1859 Revival or the Welsh Revival; we must be tolerant and we must try to accommodate. In order to do that it is necessary at times to lower our standard and seek the co-operation of those who do not accept the position that we hold relative to evangelical truth. The secret of power is separation from all that is unclean, f or me there is nothing so unclean as the liberal views held by some today. We dare not touch them. I am stating what to me is a deep seated conviction: “Come out from among them and be ye separate …. And touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you.”
Barvas – scene of revival.
In addressing the current move into a “God of Love” without the need for repentance move of the enemy, a move we witness so cleverly presented in today’s “Church” and its false Alpha like courses, Campbell quotes Finney:
Away with your milk and water preaching of the love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it, away with the preaching a Christ not crucified for sin.
Further emphasizing this which I know in the spirit is the point God is getting over to the Church today – a Church stolen by the devils under the false pretence of a Jezebel love, Campbell quotes a Highland Minister:
Be me a God all mercy but not just, bring me a God all love but not righteous, and I will have no scruples in calling Him an idiot of your imagination.
Campbell does not mess around in his concerns for our society, even then the Church in Britain going down under the infiltration of higher criticism and false spirits of love. Campbell declared in assessing the words of the Highland Minister:
Strong words, but I say words that I would sound throughout our land today, in this age of desperate apostasy, forsaking all the fundamental truths of scripture.
I would say that this is where the false codices of Egypt have come in even blaspheming the very deity of our Lord Jesus Christ and I would say “boo” to them all that have come under the name NIV, NASB, NLT, AMP, NKJV and the like. They have played their part in the devil’s role of removing fundamental truths from the Churches leaving them open to wild Gnostic moves of the false spirit manifesting through those like Todd Bentley.
Campbell goes on with the recognition of the Church being afraid of disturbing people. Let that not be said of the Bible College of Wales Continuing which God is using us to rock the applecart of false love so prevalent in churches today.
Campbell quotes Rev. Robert Barr B.D. of South Africa:
This is what our age needs, not an easy-moving message, the sort of thing that makes the hearer feel all nice inside, but a message profoundly disturbing. We have been too afraid of disturbing people, but the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with a message or with a minister who is afraid of disturbing. You might as well expect a surgeon to give place to a quack who claims to be able to do the job with some sweet tasting drug, as expect the Holy Spirit to agree that the tragic plight of human souls today can be met by soft and easy words. Calvary was anything but nice to look at, blood soaked beams of wood, a bruised and bleeding body, not nice to look upon. But then Jesus was not dealing with a nice thing; He was dealing with the sin of the world, and that is what we are called upon to deal with today. Soft and easy words, soft-pedalling will never meet the need.
Concluding this Address 3 Campbell quotes Dr. Inwood’s cry at the 1924 Keswick Convention:
Christian men and women, self renunciation is the cardinal ethic of the Christian Church.
Psalm 24: 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Campbell introduces his fourth address with this great Psalm of holiness. He continues his address emphasizing the yielding of self. An emphatic statement is made:
Someone has said that the essential nature of sin is my claim to my right to myself. Consecration is my relinquishing of that claim.
Campbell then gives some essential points on how the revival began in Lewis:
* A baptism from God
* A longing from God to do something after a process had taken place of self renunciation.
* An acceptance in Barvas that all human effort had failed and had left them baffled.
* A recognition that their one resource was God.
When man comes to the end of himself – to the end of all human resources – he has reached the beginning of God. That was where I had arrived, and that was where the men of Lewis had arrived. So they entered into a solemn covenant that they would not rest nor cease from prayer until he made “Jerusalem” a praise on the Island.
* God held to His covenant promise.
You find two elderly sisters on their faces before the peat fire three nights a week pleading one promise, I say “one promise”: “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.”
* A question was asked of themselves.
“ Are my hands clean, is my heart pure?”
* The realisation that followed.
Three of them fell prostrate on the floor: they realised at that moment that they were now moving, not in the field of the natural, but on the plane of the supernatural. Revival had come and the power that was let loose in that barn shook the whole community of Lewis.
Campbell then delivered in his address his God given definition of true revival.
Revival is a community saturated with God. That is the difference between revival and successful evangelism. In successful evangelism, in successful crusades, you have ten, you have twenty saved here, you have a hundred brought to Christ there, but the community remains unchanged. Men move on to their Christless hell. But when God steps down, when hearts are made clean by Him, then he finds an avenue through which He can move; the community becomes saturated with God, so that many of those who find the Saviour come into saving relationship with Him before they come near any Church or place of meeting.
This is the key to revival, revival saturating a whole community with the awesome presence of God, his power and strength manifesting through those with a clean heart who have climbed the holy hill of the Lord.
Information from Faith Mission Publication: The Price and Power of Revival.