Dear Reader! What revives the Church each year in Southern Africa, can — when implemented -can surely revive the Church everywhere. May Almighty God the Holy Spirit stir up His Church Universal in a similar way — throughout the world; now, in this third millennium; yes, today!
— Rev. Professor-Emeritus Dr. Francis Nigel Lee (Pentecost 2001)
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H O L Y H A R V E S T S
Annual Revivals at Whitsuntide through Pentecost Feasts especially in Andrew Murray's South Africa from 1860 to 1990
by Rev. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee Professor-Emeritus, Queensland Presbyterian Theological College, Brisbane, Australia.
Do you wish God's people would grow in grace vigorously — year after year? Do you want to witness the Lord adding new converts to His Church — daily? Would you like to see, among God's people, annual increases — of love, joy, peace, patience, usefulness, goodness, faithfulness, obedience, and inner power?15
Holding annual Harvest Feasts — in a New Testament manner — is one of the chief Biblical ways to achieve this. Ten consecutive days of meditation about the Holy Spirit at Whitsuntide — the ten days between the anniversaries of Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday — have often promoted annual revival! 16
Old Testament Roots of the Pentecost Sunday Harvest Feast
Even before creating man, the Triune God promoted growth and made the seasons. "The Spirit of God kept on moving…. Then the Triune God said, 'Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit according to its kind!'…. Then the Triune God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the sky, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years!'"17
Later, "the Triune God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over…the Earth!' So the Triune God created man as His Own image; as the image of the Triune God did He created him. He created them male and female. Then the Triune God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it!'" Thus "the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life — so that man became a living being." Before the fall of Adam and Eve, those first human beings were thus the living and intact images of God (the Father, Son, and Spirit) — inbreathed by the Holy Ghost Himself.18
As such, the Holy God must obviously have filled His image man –at the latter's very creation -with the Holy Ghost.19 Had they not fallen, Adam and Eve (and also their children) would have advanced from their first moments onward — precisely by keeping on being filled with the Holy Spirit, more and more.20 In that regard — had he remained unfallen, and had he further increased in the grace of God — Adam would more and more have become much like that later sinless Son of man: Jesus Christ (the Second Adam).21
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However, Adam and Eve became emptied of being full of the Holy Spirit — immediately after they first sinned.22 Yet the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit then came and saved them and their elect descendants, sanctifying them to become His first not-yet-sinless yet 'un-de-sanctifi-able' saints.23
Thus, as Augustine rightly pointed out, the fallen Adam and Eve received more (viz. unlosable everlasting life) in their justification by Christ the Seed of the woman right after their fall — than they ever possessed before their fall (viz. losable everlasting life). Before their fall, they had only an 'Arminian' acceptability in the eyes of God — an acceptability which was conditional upon their own ongoing obedience. However, after their repentance to Christ, our fallen ancestors were granted a 'Calvinistic' coronation for Christ's sake — an unconditional justification — and an ongoing sanctification, by Christ's indwelling Spirit Who would never abandon them.