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The Boston Awakening

Century Awakenings in America

By Editorial Staff
Published April 10, 2008

By Dr. Paul Jehle

On the global scene, the beginning of every century has seen some great move of God, beginning with the birth of Jesus Christ who changed the entire calendar!

1600 – The American Covenant

The two parent colonies of America, Virginia and Plymouth, had significant events occur in the year 1606. This nation was founded at the peak of the revival known as the Reformation. The Pilgrims and Puritans did not begin a revival, they came here at the peak of a revival that had been going on for nearly two centuries. On April 10, 1606, the first Virginia Charter was given, paving the way for the Jamestown settlers to arrive the next year. In the same year, the tiny band of believers known as the Pilgrims gathered in Scrooby Manor, England. The Scrooby covenant, ratified as the foundation for the Pilgrim church, became the seed of the Mayflower Compact in 1620.

1700 – The First Great Awakening

Jonathan Edwards was born in 1703. Many point to the 1730s for the origin of the Great Awakening, but I believe this is when the revival peaked. Jonathan Edwards, as a young boy, played “revival” in the woods with other children. With the use of a home-made wooden booth, a child would play the pastor. Jonathan Edwards was diligently playing revival with his neighbors around 1711 or 1713. Indeed, repentance is the seed of revival, as it was Edwards’ theme. Could it be that the deeper sense of the need for repentance means that true revival is upon us?

1800 – The Second Great Awakening

The Second Great Awakening was born at about the turn of the century. Its setting was Kentucky, but its effects reached everywhere. People came from miles around preparing to camp. Crowds numbered 25,000 and several preachers preached at once facing in different directions. Hundreds were saved, and “circuit riding preachers” were sent in all directions. One of the divine purposes of this awakening, which was going full speed by 1800, was to bring the church to repentance for the sin of slavery. The proclamation of the Declaration was that “all men were created equal.” This was a Biblical proclamation, but it was not followed. As a result, the judgment of God was brought to bear and what the church failed to do (in dealing with the injustice of slavery), the civil government could not do. Our nation nearly split apart in spite of the Prayer Revival of 1857.

1900 – International Multi-Ethnic Awakening

At the turn of the century, the healing and rebuilding following the War between the States appeared to be only external. A more powerful central government, forcing upon the States what they had refused to do voluntarily, appeared to be failing in its mission of healing the soul of the nation. Then, God brought a massive revival through William Seymour, an African-American, one-eyed preacher who humbly opened himself up to what God wanted to do. In one communion service alone, more than twenty nationalities were present. The healing of the Lord was accomplished on the inside. The revival was both inter-racial and multi-ethnic. The Welsh revival of 1904 came upon the world as well, bringing with it the welcomed Spiritual power within the framework of reformed theology. Though many would take this revival as if the purpose was merely an individual spiritual experience, God did not intend it to be so. The effects of the Welsh Revival were felt worldwide. By 1906, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, India, Burma and the United States were greatly affected.

2000 and Beyond?

In every revival there are aberrations and errors. This is because man is fallible. Some revivals, like the Second Great Awakening, if it had touched the culture properly, might have prevented much bloodshed and judgment. The dominant worldview in the mind of the believer often determines the extent to which a revival will impact the surrounding culture. What is in store for us here in New England? Is this a significant year? Let us pray that as the rising ride of intercessory prayer increases, so it will become strategic, covenantal and focused. New England, it is time to pray and expect great things from the Lord!

Paul Jehle is pastor of New Testament Church in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

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This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

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This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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