By Georgi P. Vins
(Pastor in USSR who spent 8 years in Soviet prison camps for his faith | Author of The Gospel in Bonds)
At the beginning of the 1960s, the Lord sent a spiritual revival among the Evangelical Baptists1 of the Soviet Union. The revival preceded a great assault from the atheistic authorities. Soviet newspapers and magazines spewed an endless flow of articles against believers and the Christian faith, against the Bible and God. Radio, television, and movies were used for anti-religious propaganda. Believers were fired from their jobs, and Christian young people were kept out of educational institutions.
In 1960, the Soviet leader, head of the Communist party, Nikita Khrushchev, announced a twenty-year program of definitively creating communism in the Soviet Union. By 1980, there was not to be a single Christian left, nor one church. All citizens of the USSR would have to become atheists and confess only Communist ideology.
In Evangelical Baptist churches, sermons on salvation were forbidden, and children under the age of sixteen were not to be permitted to be present at church services. As a primary measure, it was also forbidden to baptize young people under the age of thirty. This decision of the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was enforced by the KGB, the police, and other authorities.
Unfortunately, some of the ministers of Evangelical Baptist churches, fearing persecution, accepted these ungodly decrees as the basis for their ministry and actively began to implement them in the church. The churches were going through great testings. Many thousands of believers raised their voices in fervent prayer to the Lord for help and deliverance. The Lord heard those prayers and answered His people, as it is written in His Word: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law” (Psalm 119:126).
A spiritual awakening began. New churches started to take shape, and groups of believers who refused to compromise with atheism proclaimed the Word of God as the absolute authority in all matters of faith and life. Young people and children attended newly formed congregations whose worship services often took place in crowded private homes or in forests. These meetings were subject to cruel disruption by the KGB and police, with the police beating up believers, and throwing them out of the meeting houses into the snow. Bulldozers were sometimes used to destroy the places where the meetings took place.
The atheistic authorities went to believers’ work places with threats of arrests and trials. But no one could stop the revival, because the Word of God says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).
By 1966, several hundred independent fundamental Baptist churches had formed. Sixty to seventy percent of the membership of these churches were young people between the ages of fifteen and thirty. The hearts of believers burned with great love toward God, courage, and selflessness in ministry. My poem “Revival” was written in January of 1966, and five months later, in May of 1966, I was arrested in Moscow for taking part in the revival.
My Savior! How I love Your precious call
To slaves of unbelief, by sin defeated.
You long to bless and have each one delight
In all the joys of our eternal promise.
My Jesus! Mighty is Your matchless love,
Your hands are full of tenderness and kindness,
As constantly You lift to life anew
The sons of earth, to save them from destruction.
Our brethren You have visited once more
With Your pure flame of heaven-sent revival!
For exploits and for suff’ring You inspired
To stand for truth and infinite salvation.
When I behold the vibrant Christian youth
With glowing faces, joyous and exultant,
Their gladness like a boundless ocean’s tide,
Burst forth in ever glorious songs of triumph. . . .
And when I listen to a youthful soul
For the first time, his heart to God uplifting:
Scarce breathing then I reverently pray,
While in my thoughts the sufferers recalling. . . .
I know that not in vain their blood was spilt!
They did not bear the pain and grief for nothing.
For now I see our youth’s pure, fervent love
Their hands stretched out to Christ in supplication.
For the revival burning in our church
And for our youth rejoicing in the Savior—
We may, without misgivings or dismay,
Lay down our very lives in distant prisons.
January 1, 1966
A Message to the Church From Former Political/Religious Prisoner, Philip Zodhiates—Persecution, Not Revival, Is Coming! by Philip Zodhiates
Global Revival or Global Deception: 10 Critical Warnings From the Titanic to the Church by Warren B. Smith
What is True Revival? by Cedric Fisher
Church Leaders Calling for “Repentance” and “Revival” May First Need to Repent Themselves
False Unity Growing Among U.S. Pastors – Say “Unity” is Key to Revival
Second photo: A communion and worship service in the persecuted church in 1984 in Kiev, Ukraine (taken from The Gospel in Bonds; from the personal collection of Georgi Vins’ daughter, Natasha Velichkin; used with permission)
Unity when it involves compromise should never by our goal. In End Times true believers will be in the minority–a remnant. We cannot compromise with evil or anti-biblical doctrines or idolatry. A one-world religion is insane and not the Lord’s will for us. It is the will of the anti-christ according to Revelation.
“ We are helping the Holy Spirit to move”
“And we are putting into practice spiritual formation”
Eyewitnesses are saying no gospel is preached or anything of Biblical content.”
Interesting they say this. The HS needs no help from them and if there is no gospel or Biblical content, how can they know what spirit they’ve truly been hearing from?
The Lord can work how He wants… I was saved in a “Hebrew Roots” movement. But now that I follow Christ, I’ve learned… The “store house full of silver and gold” comes at the expense of complying with the world, because it’s the public that finances these “riches”. In other words… provide for what the world lusts for, and it will compensate you in “like-kind”… remember, the world loves darkness sealing its relationships with “the kiss of betrayal”.
Lighthouse Trails Editors
Yes Ann. You are right.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’“
Yes, God can and has sent revival to spuritually adrift and dead nations. But much of what we call revival today is a momentary emotional outburst that busts forthb in great light and poof!, it goes away .
The Asbury revival is based upon Spiritual Formation..I recent article in the college where this is taking place said as much.
“We are helping the Holy Spirit to move”
“And we are putting into practice spiritual formation”
Eyewitnesses are saying no gospel is preached or anything of Biblical content.
Just people getting a conviction and listening to what the spirit says to them. I know God can save anyone , anytime , anywhere. But rhe foundations of this are not of God. I believe that this will lead many astray to listening to a voice inside them..and being ignorant of God’ s Word..will lead many to a New Age Jesus. It seems the God and Jesus of the Bible is out..and the new age God and Jesus are in..