AWAKENING REVIVAL TODAY| Rev’d Femi Bolaji

Revelation 2:4-5 (KJV)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

So much has been said and there is still much to say about revival. There has been a lot of definition about revival, it has come in different shades as ‘charismatic renewal, reformation , awakening etc but what is actually revival? 

REVIVAL IS DOING THE FIRST WORK…..

Revelation 2 verse 5…..Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; 

The main thrust or focus of Revival is to do THE FIRST WORKS..it not about doing a NEW THING ,but about doing the first works. True revival outbreak seek to bring us  back to the first works.

The above message was given by the Lord through John the beloved on the island of patmos where he had been banished on account of the word of God ( the gospel of Jesus ) 
It is worthy to note that in history, the persecution the early church suffered is yet unparalleled. When the outpouring came, it shook Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria but the early church revival soon came under an intense persecution;

A tyrant and a demon possessed  king by the name Nero subjected the early church to intense pain. Christians were arrested at random and asked to denounce their faith in Christ . Many were thrown to lions in the Roman coliseums others were literarily burnt at stakes, some were crucified upside down on an X shaped cross , many were cut asunder by sword, beheaded, imprisoned, thrown inside huge boiling pots of oil. 

As at this time in church history, all the seven churches of Asia minor namely Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea were facing intense persecution from various regions but Of all the seven churches in the book of revelation ,the church of Ephesus founded by Paul, pastored by Timothy and later handed over to John the beloved to oversee had many enviable spiritual qualities  :

Revelation 2:1-3 (KJV)
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

The church of Ephesus had works and labour which the Lord himself acknowledged  ( different arms of ministry, hospital outreach, community development projects , TV ministry , prison outreach, widow’s outreach etc ) 

The church of Ephesus had a strong manifestation of the fruits of the spirit ( patience and resilience ) having patience means they had staying power .The Bible says follow those who through faith and patience inherit the promise :
Hebrews 6:12 (KJV)
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

They were examples of patience .

The church of Ephesus had zero tolerance for evil with a strong gift of discernment ; they could discern and shut  out false apostles from among true ones but despite these enviable qualities which any local church establishment strive to emulate, the Lord said something next after these :

Revelation 2:4 (KJV)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

The word “NEVERTHELESS” means in spite of all these qualities, that word cancels out all the works and labours; You are doing all these for my namesake but Nevertheless!

Nevertheless what? You have left thy first Love. Please note, He didn’t say they lost it , but they left it .They left it and went on with other stuffs .

The Church left its FIRST LOVE and carried on with other stuffs; It was so busy with other things concentrating on virtues of the fruit of the spirit ,discernments  , theologically correctness, we are sound doctrinally we don’t welcome false apostles on our pulpit ,we are doing great works here but somewhere unknown to them ,their first love was marginalized so he said to them ,you have left your first love as a result ,you are fallen .

Verse 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”

With these qualities, the church of Ephesus on the outward with commendable attributes doesn’t in any way looked like a fallen church but how come the Lord called it a fallen church? Because they left their first love !

It is love that transforms the church! Once it is brushed aside, the church falls regardless of it works. Our strength is in love, once it is left aside ,we are fallen. When the Lord said to the church in Ephesus, you have left thy first love, he was saying ‘you have lost your AXE HEAD”therefore ,REMEMBER where thou art fallen and do the first works.

In 2 Kings 6:5-, 7, for the Axe head which fell into the river to swim up again, Elisha required to know the exact spot it sank into the bottom of the river Jordan:

2 Kings 6:5-7 (KJV)
5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. 6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

Elisha asked the young prophet who lost a borrowed axe head into the river before restoration  ” WHERE FELL IT? 

Similarly,the Lord pointed out to the church of Ephesus to Remember the exact spot where things fell; 
Verse 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”

Likewise, if we must (like Elisha )throw in the stick into the river for the impossible to happen, ( iron axe head floating and defiling the law of gravity )we must locate exactly where it fell.

Revival is all about doing the first works; it is about the strength and the passion to do the first works; If we don’t remember exactly where we have fallen, we won’t be able to repent and do the first works.

Finally , when Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus , before he could raised him from the dead, he asked the family a question? WHERE HAVE YE LAID HIM ?
John 11:33-34 (KJV)
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

I heard a voice which said  to me ” TELL THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA DURING CONVID 19 SAGA TO RETURN BACK TO HER FIRST LOVE AND DO THE FIRST WORKS!

To be continued….
Culled from my book, STIRRING AND SUSTAINING REVIVALS.

Shalom.
©RFB.

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