(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Revival, the Word and the Spirit
24th November 2007
Last Sunday morning, I was listening to my good friend Dave Woodward preaching. He spoke about a prophesy given by that amazing servant of God, Smith Wigglesworth, in 1947. Apparently, this prophesy is well-known in some Christian circles, but it had passed me by until then. I include it here because it seems likely that some of my readers will not have been aware of it either. It reads:
During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain.
The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it, and will be characterised by a restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches.
In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, 'This is a great revival.' But the Lord says, 'No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.'
When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of Godís Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.
I expect you're aware that the first and second moves of God mentioned in the prophecy have already happened. The first was called the Charismatic Movement and started in the 1960s. The second was the creation of many supposedly non-denominational churches (really, new denominations) in the seventies and continuing right up to now. This verifies the prophecy for us. We can be confident of it, because the first two predictions came to pass.
And I believe the beginning of the third phase is upon us. There is a renewed desire (at least in the churches that I'm aware of) for BOTH the written word of God AND the power of the Holy Spirit. Many of us have been deeply disappointed to see churches refuse the power of the Holy Spirit. Many of us have been equally saddened to see churches embrace the gifts of the Holy Spirit but retreat from faithfulness to the Scriptures. But in the words of this prophecy, God assures us that churches will be faithful to BOTH the Word and the Spirit, and that revival will flow from this faithfulness. This excites me, and I hope it excites you.
Please, read the end of the prophecy again. Get a vision for revival in Great Britain. GOD CAN DO IT!
And, please, check your heart. Do you earnestly desire to be more conformed to the Bible? And do you earnestly desire more of the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, and in your church's life?