When you see a piece of writing by Duncan Campbell you know it’s going to be good. I opened an edition of ‘Herald of His Coming’ that I had been sent, and on the front page was an article on the Nature of Revival including this astonishing story about how the Spirit was leading Campbell:
Let me illustrate what I mean by an incident that happened, not in Lewis, or Uist, but on the small island of Berneray. I was addressing the Bangor Convention. The Bangor convention is perhaps one of the largest conventions in Britain. I was sitting in the pulpit beside the chairman of the convention and the other speaker when I was suddenly gripped by the conviction that I had to leave the convention, and leave at once, and go to this island. I turned to the chairman and told him my convictions. “Oh,” he said, “you cannot leave the convention. You are down to give the closing address.” Oh, but I could not give the closing address with this conviction! So, to make a long story short, it was agreed that I should leave the convention. I left the following morning by plane to the city of Glasgow, and from Glasgow by plane to the town of Stornoway, and then by car across the island where a ferry boat met me and took me to this island of Berneray of, say, five hundred inhabitants.
On arriving, I met a young lad. I said nothing to the man who ferried me across. They were strangers to me. I was never on this island. I was never invited to the island, and to my knowledge no one on the island had ever met me. But I was there. And I said to the man that met me, “Would you direct me to the nearest minister?”
“We have no minister on the island. Just now both churches are vacant.”
“Would you then direct me to the nearest elder?”
“Yes, the nearest elder lives in that house on the hill.”
So I said to the lad, “Do you mind going up to the elder and telling him that Mr. Campbell has come to the island? And if he asks, ‘What Campbell?’ tell him the Campbell that was on the Island of Lewis.”
So that young lad went up and after a few minutes came back and said, “Hector McKennon was expecting you to arrive today. And you are to stay with his brother. And he asked me to tell you that he has initiated a meeting at the church at 9:00 tonight and he expects you to address it.”
Visit the Herald of His Coming website above to see how the Lord sent a time of refreshing. We do not see revival because we are content to let the Bible sink down to our level of experience, and just gloss over those parts of it in which God is moving in unmistakable and astonishing power. There is no difference in God – He has not changed. The only difference is us, and the times of indifference and coldness in which we live. I think we that every era can get a superiority complex, feeling that it is somehow better than a previous time.
The time when revival hits a place is the Now time. I don’t care whether it’s Pentecost, or whether it’s Hezekiah, or the Great Awakening in the States, or the massive conversion rate in China. Where God is, where revival is, where the nations tremble and the hills melt like wax, that is present for me. I have been reading about the Nagaland revival, which before now I had not come across. We read powerful stories of God’s protection against enemies and those who were hostile:
In April 1959, a well-known Indian Army Officer, Major Thomas, decided to completely annihilate all the people living in Sendenyu village, a Rengma Naga village near Tseminyu. This village had gained the wrath of the Indians because it had been one of the first villages to hoist the flag of the Independent Republic of Nagaland, and the villagers were known to be active in helping the Naga armies who were hiding out in the mountains. Two days’ prior to the arrival of Major Thomas and his men, the occupants of Sendenyu were alerted to his diabolical plans to wipe out the people and destroy the village to ashes. The trembling villagers gathered in the church and prayed to the Merciful God for deliverance from the cruel hand of the devil. The Holy Spirit spoke through various members of the congregation and instructed the people on how to receive Major Thomas. The Lord told them not to be afraid because He was with them. They were to receive the Major at the village gate, on the eastern side, by singing a hymn entitled ‘Let Him In’.
Let us continue the story in the words of eyewitnesses of that day…. “They were to stand in a row, with the Pastor in the front, followed by the little children, then the young girls and women folks and so on. Upon his arrival, everyone should greet him by shaking hands with him, all the while singing the proposed hymn as they escort him to the church. It was further instructed that once they reached the doorstep of the church the Major’s shoes should be removed and his feet washed. Then he must be made to sit at the pulpit next to the Pastor, and time allotted for him to give a speech….
Before reaching the village, the Major and his troops burned the shacks in the fields that lay on his way. This terrified the villagers, but the Lord God reminded them not to be afraid because He was with them. Upon his arrival at the reception gate at the village entrance, the Pastor, children and everyone in the row greeted him by shaking his hands, singing songs, and escorted him to the church. At the church entrance, the believers took off the Major’s shoes, washed his feet and made him sit with the Pastor at the pulpit. The congregation prayed for him and gave him time to deliver a speech to them.
Major Thomas then stood up in the pulpit and started to tremble. His voice stammering, he said that he had been sent by the Government of India to destroy the village of Sendenyu. ‘I, therefore, have come to burn down Sendenyu village to ashes and wipe out the people in it.’ The Major continued, saying that his intentions had completely changed at the village gate when he saw the little children singing joyful songs. The next day, Major Thomas left the village with his troops and went to Tsosinyu village, another Rengma village situated on the other side of the Nra River. Reaching the village, he looked back at Sendenyu and announced that he would supply rice to them [because he had destroyed their fields] as soon as he reached his station at Chiechama village, until the time of the next harvest. And true to his promise, he supplied rice to the village of Sendenyu till harvest that year.”
If we hear what the Father is saying, if we can catch the wind of the Holy Spirit, and see where He is leading us, then extraordinary things will happen for which we did not look. Let’s not just assume that God is even going to move in the powerful ways that He has done before, but let’s ask Him for a new thing, for this new time. Yes, the old old story of the cross, and Jesus’ death, and the punishment taken for all our sins; yes, the need to put all our faith in Him, to ask Him to be our Saviour and our Lord, and to place our lives at His disposal. But let’s see that there was no blueprint laid down in Scripture for how God would draw all people to Himself, only that this is His will. And if this is His will, we ought to be fasting and praying that He will draw those we know to Himself, and break in to our world that is passing away with His Now and His Forever.
Perhaps some people reading this might start praying for this kind of revival this week, and keep pushing through until we see it coming.