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Hans Nielsen Hauge, the man who changed Norwegian history!

On April 3rd this year, it was 250 years since this leader was born!

Hauge's first vision

Hans Nielsen Hauge had his great spiritual breakthrough on April 5th, 1796. He had a desperate longing for peace with God, and while working in the field he sang out his prayer in the hymn "Jesus your sweet union to taste." When he came to the second verse, and sang about "that I must know what the Spirit can do," the Holy Spirit came upon him in a mighty way. He entered into a transe, and saw into heaven. He also saw the world as if immersed in evil, and looked back over his sinful life. Then he experienced the miracle of salvation, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, and God's call to preach the gospel. This 25-year-old began his ministry as a revival preacher and reformer. Over the next 4 years, he turned a large area of Norway up-side-down. Radical and powerful preaching of salvation led many people to freedom -- freedom from sin and dead religion.

Hauge rejoiced in God's great grace, and people saw the joy that shone through him when he testified of his Savior. The strange thing was that people started crying while Hauge was rejoicing. God had spoken to him to exhort people to repent when the Spirit touched their hearts. He now began to experienced this, and led many into a sure faith in Jesus as their Savior.

Hauge says it was a work of the Holy Spirit - and this is what Pentecost is all about!

Hauge's entrepreneurial vision

In 1800 while he was in Copenhagen to print books, he saw some modern paper mills some Englishmen had built. He was very impressed - and it was then it happened! He got a new vision! Suddenly he envisioned something more than paper mills and Englishmen. He saw mills and trading companies in Norway. He saw the revivalists as business owners and traders, getting money in their hands, and lifting the country out of poverty and injustice. And it really happened! Hauge himself started a paper factory in Drammen, and within in a few years he was responsible for some thirty companies!

Creativity and expansion

The boldness of the faith that was over Hauge could take the breath away from anyone and everyone - and it spread to the revivalists. Most of them were farmers -- and farmers made up over 90% of the population. But suddenly they were not just a gray mass ruled by a small group of clergy. People began to believe in themselves. Creativity and a desire to take action grew, and the revivalists would soon prove to be pioneers in the development towards a modern industrial society.

The Constitution and Norway's own Parliament

Several Haugians were present when the Norwegian constitution was written and adopted on the 17th of May 1814 at Eidsvoll. This was when Norway was liberated from Denmark and we got our own flag! Since then, many Haugians were elected to the Parliament and had a great influence on the development of the modern prosperous society! The right to conduct free church activities was established by law, and the vision for the world as the mission field grew!

Hebrews (3:17) says to pay attention to the outcome of our leaders' way of life, and imitate their faith. May the anointing and fire that filled Hauge's life also fill us! God will do it again!


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