By John Abiola
“In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt (Africa), and a pillar at the border therefore to the Lord.
And it shall be a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt (Africa): for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a great one, and he shall deliver them” (Isaiah 19:19,20).
History of Africa
The African continent has always occupied a special place in God’s agenda. This was one of the reasons that made the continent remain undaunted despite all inhuman treatments meted out to it during the colonization period and obnoxious trade in humans.
During those ill-fated periods, Africa was considered the dark continent. Why? Because it was erroneously tagged so by it’s detractors who saw everything in Africa from the wrong perspective, hence they misinterpreted God’s dealings in the continent.
Thank God, however, that through it all God never forgot Africa. God’s abundant love for the continent can be seen in His endowments and blessings both in natural and human resources.
Civilization began in Egypt in North Africa. History reveals that Egypt was capable of producing wealth in abundance about twenty-five centuries ago. This was possible because of its mastery of many scientific natural laws and its invention of technology to irrigate, grow food and extract minerals from sub-soil. At that time, hunting with bows and even wooden clubs was what people depended on for survival in most parts of the world.
Probably, Africa is the original home of man, it was conspicuously a major participant in processes in which human groups display an ever-increasing capacity to extract a living from the natural environment. In the early period, it was the focus of the physical development of man as such as distinct from other living beings.
Africa: The great endowment
The United Nations survey of economic conditions in Africa, up till 1964 had these records about the continent:
” Africa is well endowed with mineral and primary energy resources with an estimated 9 percent of the world’s population. The region accounts for approximately 28 percent of the total value of the world mineral product and 6 percent of its crude petroleum output.
“In recent years, its share of the latter is increasing. Of sixteen important metallic and tin-metallic minerals, Africa’s share varies from 22 to 95 percent of the world’s production.”
Naturally, Africa’s potential is shown to be greater every day with new discoveries of mineral wealth. Judging by all that has been revealed above, it can be concluded that Africa indeed is blessed.
Idolatry: One of the strongholds in Africa
But as wonderfully endowed as Africa is, the devil also has his agenda for the continent. One of his strongholds in the continent is Idolatry which has contributed to retrogressing the continent in spite of God’s gestures towards it.
Going through the Bible, you will discover that Idolatry was one of the sins that made God punish His children. At any point in time that God turned his back against the Israelites, it was mainly because of the worship of other gods. Consequently God’s anger like a ripple spreads and magnates all sorts of misfortune and ill-luck which comes in various shades and shapes.
Prominent among this punishment was that usually, God allowed the children of Israel to be carried away to other countries where they suffered all forms of human degradation which affected every facet of their lives; politically, socially, and economically.
More also, their spiritual beings were affected hence, it is conclusive that the totality of their being was usually reduced to subject them to the immediate condition God had intentionally plunged them into.
However, it is heart-warming to know that God never punishes forever. Rather, He corrects to draw closer. His punishments on His children are not forever. They are meant to humble them and make them seek Him in their distress, captivity, and frustration.
For each of these periods of separation and punishment, whenever it was time for God to begin His work of reconciliation, He constantly created an atmosphere for REVIVAL and set up human instruments whom He used to return His people.
Africa and Israel: The similarities
The case of Africa can be likened to that of the ancient Israelites who God loved and blessed, yet in the midst of sufficiency they were several times thrown into slavery which subjected them to adverse conditions which made nations that were incomparable to them in terms of political and economic might look down on them asking where their God is.
Looking at Africa today, happenings around has shown that it is a shadow of itself. Although Africa was the cradle of civilization, today African is in disarray because its wealth is circulating in the hands of a few who the devil is using as instruments of retrogression.
Idolatry has taken over major parts of the nations, and all sorts of evil and demonic worship go on in the dark places. Many leaders because of their greed have contacted all sorts of deities to remain in power. In turn, these gods attract innumerable curses to the land.
Aside from the obnoxious slave trade in human trafficking, a series of wars in the continent has caused a lot of blood-shed in the land. The innocent blood of those killed through rituals, Islamic terrorism, and others who were killed in times of war cries out for vengeance.
The truth is that something must be done to avert God’s anger and judgments, hence there is a great need for revival.
However, Bible records great REVIVALS where people in great numbers turned to God and gave up their sinful lifestyles. Each revival was characterised by the following Generals of God: Moses, Elijah, Samuel, Ezra, Hezekiah, Jonah, Josiah, Nehemiah, John the Baptist, the Apostles, and many others who recognized their nation’s spiritual, economic, and political dryness and wilderness,
In each case, these leaders/armies took action and faced the challenges. They paid the price and birthed Spiritual revival, revolution, and reformation in their generations through fervent prayers, fasting and preaching of repentance, salvation, and imminent God’s judgemets.
Reflection on revival in Africa
Christianity in Africa is not a by-product of colonialism; it dates back to the very time of the Apostles when Christ’s disciples were first identified as Christians in Antioch.
Then, Apostle Mark was God’s army that spread the gospel from the Pentecostal revival that started in Jerusalem to Egypt… the fire kept spreading to other places in North Africa. Christianity became a stronghold and Christian communities in North Africa produced great theologians like Athanasius, Cyprian, and Augustine who were the pillars of the universal Church. Revival in North Africa was among the earliest in the world.
Unfortunately, the Arab invasion and the eventual occupation of that area beginning from 640 AD led to the death of the revival fire and the end of Christianity. It died out entirely in North Africa. However, it survived as an oppressed, though significant religion in Egypt till the present time.
Eventually, the arrival of the Portuguese precisely in the 15th century paved way for the Revival fire to be ignited in Africa, precisely the Sub-Saharan part of Africa. This led to the birth of the Dutch Reform Church in 1652 as explained in a Christian article.
Centuries later, precisely the 19th century, the Revival gained solid grounds in Africa owing to the persistent growth of missions to Africa, antislavery crusades, and the interest of Europeans in colonising Africa.
This great outpouring was characterised by great advantages to the benefit of society at large. This includes Education, support to the maimed, minorities, and less privileged… to name but a few.
In the 17th century, the Kongolese kings desperately called for new missionaries from Rome. In 1792 the first permanent mission in South Africa was erected by the Moravians.
Liberated slaves laid foundation for gospel in Africa
In West Africa, the first church was established by emancipated slaves returning from America to Freetown in Sierra Leone who spread the evangelical revival to Africa.
According to history, the liberated slaves laid the foundation stones of the present African church. Their settlements formed the basis from where concerted efforts were made to bring the gospel of repentance and salvation in Christ to the tribal communities and into the very heart of the continent.
In 1842 the first mission station of the England church was established in Badagry in Nigeria. Thomas Birch Freeman arrived in Badagry on the 24th of September 1842 with two Ghanaians; Mr. De -Graft and his wife. They were received by the chief of Badagry and John Ferguson. This brought about the first celebration of the birth of Jesus and the birth of the first church, Anglican and other church denominations in Africa
The church has progressively declined.
Hmmnn, The fire of revival has been quenched by legalism, corruption, division, materialism, nominalism, personality clash, and Idolatry. The worship of money and ongoing Islamization agenda to uproot Christianity and establish sharia law in the land are evidence that the Church is sliding.
Nigeria like many other African countries has become a killing field of defenseless Christians. Boko Haram, Islamic State of West Africa Province, and Armed Fulani Jihadists are now the world’s deadliest terrorist groups.
Recent reports revealed that the mission challenge in Africa is vast. There are 900 unreached people groups and 432 million Muslims who need Jesus. We need another great revival now.
A.G Osterbery notes, “The Azusa revival began where every revival should rightly begin – In repentant tears. It began in tears, it lived on tears, and when the tears ended The Azusa revival ended.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.( Revelation 3:19).
What is revival?
Until we understand what genuine revival we may take what we experience globally particularly in Nigeria as Revival. But then, let’s look at the different meanings of a genuine revival by some historians of revivals.
Richard and Kathryn Riss says Revival is “a sovereign work of God pours out His Spirit upon all flesh and brings the manifestation of God’s presence powerfully to convict even the worst sinners”.
Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryuk in ” Operation World” wrote, “revival is the restoring to life of believers and churches which have previously experienced the regenerations power of the Holy Spirit but have become cold, worldly and ineffective. Often wrongly used of evangelistic campaigns, revival really signifies a sovereign act of God as an answer to prayer in bringing about a religious awakening and outpouring of the Spirit on His people.
I define revival as “God’s coming down with His mighty power to awaken His people, setting them on course for Him to save the lost souls. It is the destruction of the works of darkness. It is the deliverance and transformation of communities and nations from sins and satanism in preparation for the second coming of Christ.
Revival comes primarily in response to the deep passion and fervent prayers of a repentant heart, two or a group of people, and spreads to a church, some churches, communities and nations”.
Visions and prophecies of the great revival coming to Africa.
1983- Breakehurst conference center, Limuru, Kenya. The event here was at Sharing Of Ministries Abroad( SOMA) Evangelical Conference, which attracted several evangelical Bishops and church leaders from all over the world.
” Africa, I can see the face of Jesus on you, His glory and His radiance. Thus saith the Lord to Africa, though you have been called dark up till now, you shall be called dark no longer. For out of you shall come great light that shall shine to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Meeting of the prophets on Mount Carmel. This special meeting was attended by 153 people selected from 40 nations of the world, held at The Hotel Yahooth Har Carmel, located on the Carmel range of mountains in Israel. As those of us from Africa were being prayed for by the conference leadership, in recognition of the word of the Lord that Africa is the next continent to champion the last days’ revival, a vision was given by the Lord to one of the delegates from the then eastern Europe.
The brother said as we were being prayed for, he saw the continent of Africa catch fire. When the fire got to the West Africa sub-region, it became a mighty blaze.(Excerpts from the book, The prophetic destiny of Nigeria)
In 1997 while I was praying for the nations of Africa, God spoke to me through the book of Ezekiel 36:35-38. He revealed that a great spiritual revival is coming to Africa, beginning from Nigeria and spread to other nations of the world. This prophecy according to the revelation can only be accomplished through unceasing, persistent and travailing prayers.
In 2006 the Lord showed me a vision while I was wrestling against the powers of darkness over lost souls of Africa and interceding for a mighty spiritual revival in Nigeria and Africa, asking that the gospel of the kingdom would reach out to all the unreached in Nigeria and the continent, Africa. l saw the national flags of all African nations connected through long iron poles each.
“All of a sudden, these flags began to fly high one after the other beginning from Nigeria to the last nation of Africa. The next thing I saw was “AFRICAN REDEMPTION” boldly written in capital letters across these flying flags. As I lifted up my eyes to the sky, I saw our Lord Jesus Christ dressed in a sparkling white robe with a red tape across His shoulder gradually coming down from heaven to where the flags were.
He was full of joy and happiness, then He said Isaiah 19:21. ‘ And the Lord shall be known to Egypt ( Africa), and the Egyptians( Africans) shall know the Lord in that day, and shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it”.
In 2009 I had another revelation of a great revival coming to the African Church, of a great awakening among unbelievers across villages, towns, cities, regions and states of Africa.
While on my knees travailing in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon each nation of Africa, God showed me a vision:
I saw a great multitude of Africans; men, women, old, young, and children, of all races and tribes of Africa in a large field, the number of which cannot be ascertained. They were praising, worshiping and thanking God for their deliverance from the bondage of Satan, sin and hell and for conversion and restoration of the glory and power of God.
I heard them singing:
Messiah is the King of king
Oh, that Africans will praise the Lord.
For His goodness and for His wonderful works to the Children of Africa, He has broken the gates of brass . And cut asunder the bars of Iron.
It will surprise you to discover that just as God is ready to send earth-shaking worldwide revival and evangelization to Africa, Satan, as well as his agents, have also been working tirelessly to hinder this great move.
Let’s co-operate with our heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and blessed Holy Spirit with what they are doing now in the church and in Africa by uniting our hearts like a mighty Army of the Lord in confession, repentance and ceaseless fasting and prayers, day and night to bring this worldwide revival to Africa, that the fire may keep on burning and the flames high until the whole of Africa is overshadowed with intercessory prayer, glory and revival power… that from Africa the fire will spread to the universal Church and the lost world.
This will set the stage for Christ’s return in His glory for the rapture of the Church.
Many Christians that are spiritually alive are calling on God with desperation to cause a fresh move of the Holy Spirit and a mighty revival power to shake Nigeria and other nations to their foundations They are asking the Lord to destroy sin, Idolatry, the works of the flesh and darkness in the dying Church. They are praying for an unprecedented harvest of lost souls into God’s Kingdom in readiness for Christ’s return.
Prayer for Nigeria, Africa, and the Church today.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the great revivals of the past in Nigeria and Africa that has swept multitudes of lost and perishing souls into your Kingdom.
Thank you Father for our past heroes; the Apostles from Israel; men and women from Europe and America that paid the price with sweat, blood, their time, career, willingly gave up anything and everything, left their comfort zones and good things of the world, came to Africa and died to bring the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ to Africa and for many of them that are still alive labouring with passion especially in my Nation, Nigeria… May their fruits abide.
Thank you, Lord, for our past Christian African fathers who laboured and sacrificed their lives to preach and preserve the true Gospel in their generations. Moreso, help us that we might do what they did and even pay greater Price to preach the truth and bring the gospel to the remaining un-saved Nations in our generation in Jesus’ name.
Thank you for your goodness and mercy in sending another revival fire upon Nigeria and Africa. We trust that this fire will lead to the purification of your people, setting them on fire for God and for the conversion of multitudes of lost souls into your Kingdom amidst all evil vices that are ravaging Nigeria, the continent, Africa, and the world.
Lord Jesus according to your word in Psalms 51:1-3, Have mercy upon me… Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sins. For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. forgive me all my sins, cleanse me and purge me with the precious blood that you shed on the Cross of Calvary, endue me with a burden for revival and fill me with the power to intercede daily for your will to be done on earth in Jesus name Amen.
Heavenly Father, you said in Ezekiel 14:16 “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God: repent, and turn yourself from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations”.
Therefore, I repent and confess all forms of idolatry, sins, wickedness, corruption, abominations, and other evil that have been going on in our churches, in Nigeria, and Africa for years.
Our iniquities have increased over our heads, our trespasses have grown to the high level, our fathers, political and spiritual leaders, kings, priests, pastors nobles, and people in this generation has brought curses, wrath, powers of darkness, backwardness, violence, injustice, corruption, and all manner of evil and abominable sins upon Nigeria and Africa and our lands has become drenched with blood, spelling out war, cruelty, and habitation of demons and Satan. Please Lord, forgive us and pour out your Spirit upon us again in Jesus’ name. Amen!
In the name of Jesus and by the power in the blood of Jesus, I bind and cast out the principalities, rulers, and powers of darkness that are ruling over Nigeria and Africa for Satan and all the controlling evil spirits of corruption, oppression, wickedness, Queen of the coast, Queen of heaven, materialism, greed, deceit, witchcraft, wizardry, unforgiveness, violence, apathy, and immorality among others in Jesus name Amen.
Father, reveal your holiness to Nigeria and Africa, expand world missions and convict, convince and convert multitudes of lost and perishing souls in Nigeria and other nations of Africa, inspire our churches to evangelize the world and make it ready for the soon coming of Jesus Christ in His glory for the rapture of the saints in Jesus name. Amen!
Heavenly Father let Your special grace and power come upon the men and women of Nigeria and Africa that are answering to your call for the work of service and ministry of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in Jesus’ name Amen.
In the name of Jesus, blessed Holy Spirit move mightily now to lead all unbelievers in all parts of Nigeria and Africa to genuine repentance, reveal the issue of repentance to our churches, families, communities, and Nations. Frustrate all the efforts of Islamists, Jihadists, and other religious groups that are opposed to the message and spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the mighty name of Jesus.
Thank you Father for answering my prayers of faith.
REVIVE US AGAIN SERIES 54.