The Enemy of Revival

By Edwin Christiaan

It is always the Enemy’s (Satan) main purpose to stop any move or work of God. He will utilize anything – situations or people to accomplish that goal.

One of the many examples in the Bible, is that of Nehemiah who felt led by God to go back to Jerusalem from Babylon, to take the leadership in rebuilding the walls around the city that were in ruins – a seemingly impossible task. Jerusalem at that time was under Persian rule. Nehemiah got permission and favor from the Babylonian king to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls. Nehemiah was encountered with great persecution from those opposing him, but he was able to miraculously finish this monumental task, in just 52 days.

Nehemiah’s enemies did everything to stop him, including using intimidation by the spreading of false rumors about him and his motives, such as this one, as Nehemiah writes:

When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained — though we had not yet hung the doors in the gates —   Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realized they were plotting to harm me, so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am doing a great work! I cannot stop to come and meet with you.”

Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply. The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said:

“Geshem tells me that everywhere he goes he hears that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets to prophesy about you in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’

“You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”

My reply was, “You know you are lying. There is no truth in any part of your story.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could break our resolve and stop the work. So I prayed for strength to continue the work.
Nehemiah 6:1-9 NLT

Being persecuted and falsely accused was also true for Gods prophet, Jeremiah:

Then the people said, “Come on, let’s find a way to stop Jeremiah. We have our own priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the law and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.” Jeremiah 18:18 NLT

The Welsh Revival
One of the greatest revivals in history was the 1904 Welsh Revival, which was also called the “Pentecost greater than Pentecost.”

In just two years, over 100.000 people were saved. The message that was preached was:

  • Confess all known sin
  • Deal with and get rid of anything ‘doubtful’ in your life
  • Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
  • Confess Christ publicly

The whole Welsh society was transformed. For over a year there were no arrests recorded. Police departments were therefore forced to lay off officers. Professional sports teams were disbanded because no one was willing to miss church for a game. Church services continued virtually around the clock and there was tremendous demonstration of God’s presence and power. Pastors and leaders from around the world traveled to Wales to experience what God was doing.

Sadly, this great revival was single-handedly destroyed by its great enemy who was permitted, a servant of the Spirit of Jezebel, seeking power and control in order to gain recognition and acceptance.

God warned the church in Thyatira, that despite the fact that they were growing in love, faith, service, and patience, they nevertheless were allowing the woman Jezebel to lead them away from God through false teachings, ultimately destroying them.

But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman — that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet — to lead my servants astray. Revelation 2:20 NLT

Evan Roberts was in his mid-twenties as most of his leaders, when God started using him to lead the Welsh Revival. Evan was a deeply devoted man, who was willing to wait for God to show Himself through the outpouring of His blessings on the Church.

Then, this woman named Jessie Penn-Lewis, operating in the Spirit of Jezebel, came around and started involving herself in the personal life of Evan Roberts as well as in the Revival. For years, this woman considered herself to be a prominent Bible teacher, who in reality never found a platform or broad acceptance for her teachings. Jessie Penn-Lewis and her deceptive teachings have been ignored and rejected by most of the church leaders in Wales.

Jessie Penn-Lewis appeared in the beginning to be just a friend and financial supporter of Evan Roberts. But then, little by little, she started gaining his confidence, and began speaking into his life, and ultimately ended up controlling and isolating him. The way she did this, was by ministering certain messages to Evan Roberts which appeared to him as profound corrections from God, which filled him with condemnation. Evan Roberts now became convinced that Jessie Penn-Lewis’s so-called truths were things from God that he needed to hear and follow. He completely trusted her. The Bible clearly warns us about these false teachings of Jezebel:

But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them — depths of Satan, really). Revelation 2:24 NLT

Jessie Penn-Lewis also manipulated Evan Roberts by expressing so-called concern, that with the great success of the revival, perhaps too much glory was going to Evan Roberts instead of to God, causing Roberts to steal God’s glory for himself. The thought about that scenario scared and horrified Evan Roberts greatly, and he began thinking that perhaps others should lead the revival for a while, instead of him. Ultimately Jessie Penn-Lewis convinced Evan Roberts to withdraw from the Welsh Revival and public ministry, and move into her house with her, despite being warned against her by his closest friends.

Upon doing so, The Welsh Revival quickly ended, and Evan Roberts became clinically depressed for years, and never returned to the ministry.

Note: A typical characteristic of the Spirit of Jezebel is that it often causes you to be sick and/or depressed.

Jessie Penn-Lewis took advantage of a sick Evan Roberts, by writing her teachings and articles using his name. Eventually her teachings were published in Jessie Penn-Lewis’s name alone.

After a difficult and dark time, Evan Roberts eventually broke all affiliations with Jessie Penn-Lewis.

With this example we see clearly how Jezebel is an enemy of revival or any move of God. Jezebel hates true spiritual authority. As she opposed Elijah, and Herodias opposed John the Baptist, so Jezebel today opposes righteous authority.

Copyright©2008 Sophia & Edwin Christiaan