Return to Revivals Main Index
When God Stepped Down From Heaven
by Owen Murphy
Table of Contents
SUPERNATURAL FEATURES OF THE VISITATION
(A) GOD IN HIS HOLINESS AND PRESENCE
Undoubtedly the outstanding feature of this spiritual awakening has been the deep consciousness of the Presence and Holiness of God so overwhelming at times that people were afraid to open their mouths lest they utter words that would bring upon them the judgments of God. Sinners, over-awed by the Divine Presence, would fall helplessly, crying for mercy. People walked quietly before God and, as in every true revival, "the shop became a pulpit, the home a sanctuary, and the heart an altar!"
(B) CONVICTION OF SIN
Wherever there is a manifestation of the Holiness of God, there will also be the revelation and CONVICTION OF SIN, and this, without doubt, has been the second outstanding feature of the visitation.
A visiting minister of Lewis declared: "So tremendous has been this sense of an 'awareness of God' that I have known men out in the fields, others at their looms, so overcome that they were prostrate upon the ground!" One outstanding trophy of Grace, converted while crossing a field, testified: "So awful was the sense of God's presence, that even the grass beneath my feet and the rocks around me seemed to cry out 'Flee to Christ for refuge!'"
So real and "deep" has been the conviction of sin, that even the most hardened sinners-tough, hardened, and notorious characters of the district-have literally cried out in agony of soul. Some have been found lying helpless by the roadsides, stricken with conviction as in the days of Wesley, Finney, and the Welsh Revival. Another remarkable feature has been the "persistent" nature of the work of the Spirit in following men and women until decision was made. Such was the case of a young man, who found, like Jonah of old, that it is impossible to escape from God.
One night, after being spoken to about his personal need of Salvation, conviction suddenly gripped him and he began to tremble. "This won't get hold of me," he muttered. "I'll get away from here and drink my way out of it!" Entering the drinking shop, he ordered his drink but, to his consternation, he overheard a group of men discussing their own great conviction of sin and fear of being lost! He trembled even more. "This is no place for a man who wants to shake this off," he growled. "I'll go to the dance, and I'll dance my way out of it." He hadn't been in the dance very long when a young lady came up to him, exclaiming: "Oh, where would eternity find us, if God should strike us dead tonight?" Tremendous conviction swept down upon the young man, and he surrendered himself to Christ.
So widespread was the work of conviction of sin that in some districts hardly a person escaped. A man who had very little time for God was one day driving along the road when he suddenly saw before him a vision of hell. Startled, he jammed on his brakes, pulled the car into the roadside, then kneeling beside it, surrendered to Christ.
Sometimes conviction rested upon sinners for days, causing great distress of mind. Such was the case of a man, so convinced of his godless life, and seemingly unable to get peace of mind In spite of repentance, that he rushed down to the seashore and hiding among the rocks prepared to commit suicide. A young woman, while kneeling in prayer, had a VISION of this man; God showing her exactly where he was and what he was about to do. Quickly rising to her feet, she called her minister, instructing him where to find the unfortunate man. The minister arrived just in time to save the man not only from physical death, but also an eternal hell.
One of the men, who later became a wonderful trophy of God's Grace, was out in the fields when great conviction fell upon him. He began to tremble violently. "You're not a sissy," he said to himself. "What's the matter with you?" The voice of God seemed to thunder into his soul, "You are a poacher, and a Sabbath breaker!" He knew what God meant. He had been breaking the law-poaching. He was a drunkard, a real godless fellow, and this was a new experience to him. Feeling miserable and wretched because of his great burden of sin, he went along to the church and was gloriously converted.
A man sitting in a hotel was met by God in the same amazing way. Stretching forth his hand, he was about to pick up his beer, when he became suddenly conscious of the Presence of God. He began to tremble. Great conviction took hold of him as the Voice of God began to thunder in his soul, and putting down his beer, gave up his drinking habit. Shortly afterwards, he was gloriously converted and became a real witness for God.
Here is the kind of revival we need-the supernatural power of God gripping the hearts of men in soul-shaking conviction, even while they are dabbling in their sins. Many who came under this strange manifestation of God, were stricken with conviction and left helpless where they had fallen, while others have cried out in agony of mind and repentance for days before they could find peace with God. Such is the tremendous "heart-search" conviction that comes from a genuine "heaven-sent" visitation of God. Sometimes it is terrible to behold!
The Effects of a "Heaven-Sent" Visitation of God