Revival and Reformation – Our Future
This is a discussion that doesn’t deal primarily with medicine or healing, but the church. However, divine healing is (in my opinion) to be a normal function of the church. This post has much to say on that issue. Some of this post is prophetic. Some I stole from men and women I respect. Much of it is simply my heart’s desire for things I’d like to see changed and some is just plain speculation. Read it with discernment.
Raising Up Prophets
We know there’s a growing company of prophetic voices in Olympia and in other areas. The interest in Gateway’s School of the Supernatural and now Revival Town’s school are evidence that God is raising up prophets in our area.
God needs the prophet to declare his plans for the future; to bear witness to the truth, to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, to work in miracles, signs and wonders; in short–to change the spiritual landscape. The growing company of prophets is a sign that change is coming. The ground has been plowed, the seeds planted, we are in the season of rain. The workers are being called to bring in the harvest, which is soon approaching.
Revival in Olympia
On September 3, 2008, I received a visitation from a messenger from God. I’m not sure if it was an angel or Jesus himself. I didn’t see the one who spoke to me. I heard an audible voice that said:
“I will pour out my Spirit says the Lord. I will visit Olympia in 15 months. I, the Lord will raise up Olympia in 15 months.”I woke up and wrote down the words. My digital clock read 3:21. As I drifted off, the voice returned. There was only sound, no images. Kim Clement was leading worship with a large congregation. He was playing the song “Sacrifice is Beautiful.” He would chant and the congregation echoed his chant. Yeshua! Yeshua! Messiah! Messiah! These words were spoken by the same voice as the first words: “Do not leave, stay where you are. In 15 months it will come to pass.”
We have less than 6 months before the Holy Spirit is poured out on Olympia. Revival is coming quickly. It’s an odd thing to know that a major work of God is headed your way. People have been praying for it. The church has been waiting for it and my question is what are we doing to prepare for it?
I feel compelled to do a couple of things. One is to get the word out. People need to know what’s going to happen. Another is to enter a season of fasting and prayer. Fasting seems to make the issues of the world and my flesh small, and God’s voice much louder. We need to hear God’s voice clearly in this season. He’s been bringing to mind the fact that Jesus first went into the wilderness to fast and to be tried by His enemy. He did no miracles or preaching until this was done. Once He gained victory over the enemy in His personal life – He took it and walking in the power of the Spirit, made it public. My experience lately with prayer is keeping my heart tuned in to God’s voice wherever I go. Fasting has made God’s presence a constant reality. I’m too busy most days to hang out in my closet on my knees. I ask Him a lot of questions during the day and think about the answers I get. When I’m sleeping the revelation continues through dreams. That’s how I ‘pray’. God told me the other day there’s nobody in the world more dangerous than someone who walks in the power of the Spirit and commits themselves to prayer and fasting; they’ll move mountains. We need to be this kind of people.
I’ve also decided to get out of the boat. I think the church at large needs to get out of its comfort zone, too. The Lord said He’d meet me if I stepped out of the boat. Not before – but after. God is anointing people for an assignment. He’ll use just about anyone who’s got the right motives. The anointing isn’t for our entertainment – it’s for an assignment. You have to agree to take the assignment, and then you’ll receive the anointing.
Kim Clement prophesied that there would be a people who would enter into fasting, prayer, worship, dance, and other forms of warfare that will break the power of darkness in our land. There’s a group of people in our region who will pursue victory and break the stronghold over Olympia this year. I plan to be one of them. We can use more help.
On October 1 2008 I received another message from an angel. It was in the form of a dream without images. I heard an audible voice that said: “You are on the right and true path. Stay on course. Keep doing things exactly the way you have been doing them.” On October 15th, I received another angelic message. It came at the end of a series of 3 dreams. The first dream was about a pregnant woman who was about to deliver her baby. She was in the emergency room at St. Joseph’s hospital in Tacoma. She didn’t deliver immediately, so they moved her out of her room. They rolled her bed down the hallway and out of the ER and left her there. I heard an angelic voice at the end of the dream say that the baby’s name is Emanuel. I woke up, wrote down the dream and went back to sleep, and immediately had another dream about a pregnant woman. I slept for about an hour and right before I woke up I had a 3rd dream. This was another dream without images. I knew I was with a woman who was pregnant and was about to deliver a baby. I heard an angelic voice speak to the baby. The angel said: “This is God’s desire: for you to be born and to be separated from your mother.”
I’ve spent a lot of time asking God about these dreams. The pregnancy dreams represent the approaching birth of a new work of God. He is preparing new wine to be poured into new wineskins. The baby (or new church) will be delivered in an unexpected location. Not in a delivery suite, as we would expect, but in a hallway—a common location where people travel from one place to another. The angel said the baby’s name would be Emanuel; that Jesus will be the center of this new work. The twist is that the angel said it was God’s desire for the baby to be separated from its mother.
This I believe, represents the split we will see develop in the church as a result of the things that will take place in the coming revival. The mother represents the established church that will give birth. The baby is the new body of believers coming from the revival. The new church will have its development in a different location from its mother (the established church). God wants us to know in advance there’s going to be a problem between them. We know God wants unity in the church. Sometimes prophets speak of what God wants; sometimes they speak of what will happen, in spite of God’s true desire for the situation.
Multiplying and Dividing
Several things will be at the heart of the division that grows in the church. Prophets have said the people who will be reached will be the most unlikely type of people in our eyes. On October 10th, 2008, I received an angelic message. It was another dream without any images, just a voice speaking. The messenger said: “You are ministering to desperate people.” Many, but not all of the people God will reach aren’t going to seem very ‘churchy’ to us. These desperate people will be gang members, criminals, alcoholics, drug addicts, and the homeless. We’re also going to reach gays, lesbians, pagans, witches, new-agers, and atheists in large numbers. How would most churches deal with a huge influx of these people? Some will have the grace to welcome them warmly – most will not. To be fair, most of these people would be scared to death of coming to church anyways. I believe God has a different plan for them. There will be a different type of church developing, an orphan of sorts that will do its own thing in its own place.
The coming revival has been described by prophets in different ways. Matt Sorger called it the ‘Clearwater Revival’. His emphasis was on the character of the people God will use; people of pure hearts who’ve had their character refined in the fire of trial and testing. He emphasized that God is not going to let the flesh contaminate his work any longer. People who are out to build a name for themselves beware, God is tired of it.
Kim Clement has prophesied much about this revival; it will be one of unbelievable and unprecedented miracles, signs and wonders. Bob Jones’ wife Bonnie was taken into heaven and shown a room full of body parts. She was told that they were parts that God will give to people who are missing them. Prophecies about different angels that will be used to usher in this revival are piling up like leaves in October.
I see God pushing us further and further in the direction of the supernatural – and away from the theology and practice of the denominational church. Last fall, after the Lakeland outpouring cooled off, I had a discussion with one of the local Assembly of God pastors about it. He said the reason it went sideways was because of the false doctrine being taught. He specifically mentioned the teaching about female angels, the appearance of gemstones etc; things he couldn’t find in the bible. I think his remarks reveal how many in the church view the supernatural. We’re afraid of it. This mindset will be a major cause of division in the future. Even those who formerly embraced the working of miracles, signs and wonders will switch camps. Some who rejected them (like myself) will embrace them. Few people will remain neutral.
Greek or Jew?
There are two mindsets in the family of God. Some seek knowledge; some prefer signs and wonders (1 Corinthians 1:22) Most, but not all Christians are strong on doctrinal knowledge. But what we know of the supernatural isn’t very deep. Some of what we think we know is probably off-base. Contrary to what your pastor will tell you, our greatest need in the church isn’t a sound knowledge of the bible. The church has been led for centuries by two of the five types of leaders in the church; the pastor and teacher. These offices tend to focus on developing theology, reading and writing books, and applying those truths in everyday life. From their perspective, we need more knowledge. Our understanding and experience of God reflect that intellectual bent. There’s nothing wrong with sound doctrine, but for centuries we’ve been devoid of the prophet and apostle and the power these positions function in.
There’s been a power outage in the church for a couple of thousand years. Our leaders have tried to explain the lack of signs and wonders with the teaching of cessationism. “God just isn’t into healing or miracles anymore, all you need is the bible.” Frankly, a lot of people are comfortable with it until they get really sick. As a church, we see occasional flashes of God’s power but it’s rare, and poorly understood…that’s about to change. The greatest lack in the church right now is a better understanding of the powers of the Almighty. In the coming season, you won’t have to search ‘youtube’ to see His power displayed– it’ll be going on in your own backyard.
What happened in Lakeland and what’s presently going on in Redding is a small taste of what will happen in many places in the coming season. We’ll see things that are even more absurd and ridiculous in the future. Kim Clement prophesied about the absurd things God is about to unleash. Check out his prophecies from the last year or so. These things are going to happen – and they are going to make people question their validity and the credibility of those involved. Will we embrace the foolishness of God? And are we up to the task of defending these experiences in a mature manner?
The New Church
Church pollsters know what’s happening – people are losing their desire to be associated with the church, but not with God. The influence of and interest in mainline denominational churches will continue its decline. There are many good shepherds and sheep in these churches. But there are prevailing attitudes that hinder growth. Many have their bags packed and are standing in line waiting for the rapture. It’s hard to be motivated toward kingdom-building when you believe the game is over and the enemy has won; their hope is in the millennial kingdom. I believe in the coming kingdom, but I also believe God hasn’t abandoned the ship just yet. (This is a recent change in my thinking)
We in the church have taken a stand against many things – but we don’t make it well known what we are for. Our critical, conservative attitudes have alienated us from society and few people feel loved by us. That’s why they aren’t beating down the church door to get in. Our judgmental appearance has done much harm, and it’s probably too late to be repaired. The coming revival will add some new faces to the mainline churches but most of the harvest will come from fields outside their reach.
The established mainline church will also have a hard time with the miracles, signs and wonders being manifested. Here’s what they’ll say: “An adulterous generation seeks signs and wonders and in the last days, false prophets will rise up working false signs and wonders. We aren’t going to fall for it.” They won’t be able to find some things in the bible so they’ll dismiss it as heresy or as works of the devil. Even some charismatic leaders will speak out against it. God is drawing a line in the sand. What we see in the days to come will force everyone to take a stand. Most of the established church will reject it. On August 21st of 2008, I had another dream without any images. I received a message in which the angel said, “Those who will follow the Lord will follow, those who won’t will be left behind. It’s time to decide.” When I heard the message, I looked at my clock. The time was 11:59.
The external appearance of the church is changing. It isn’t a new roof or a nicer stained-glass window. We’ve tried to keep God inside the stained-glass box long enough. He isn’t a genie we can summon at our convenience. He’s going out into all the world and there’s little we can do to stop Him. In the coming days, there will be a greater presence of alternative church settings. We’ll see the glory of God in house churches, we’ll see the Spirit moving in coffee shops, malls, shelters, pubs, city parks, and anywhere people hang out. The church of the future will be found almost anywhere and be open to anyone. The church of the past brought people into a building to meet God. In the future, we’ll show that God is at work where we live, work and play. The heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, how much less a building made with hands?
We will become Jesus to our community. In the past, we’ve made church into a sub-culture and removed people from their natural relationships and spaces. In the future, we’ll see ministry develop through the every day relationships we already have. In the past we’ve built mega-churches to entertain, programs to keep people busy, and super-ministries to glorify individuals. Some will hold on to this model – but their long-term growth is limited. The future is in a different kind of church. That’s the message of the baby that was delivered in the hallway. The new church is very much about location.
The apostolic and prophetic offices will be another cause for division. God is going to re-establish the authority and influence these offices had centuries ago. But the majority of the church doesn’t accept them now. Catholicism recognizes the hierarchy of Rome. Most protestant denominations recognize a similar hierarchy using different names; senior pastor, assistant pastor, worship pastor, youth pastor, missions pastor, etc. The other leadership model is one of deacons, elders, and bishops. In both models, there’s still a hierarchy. God actually intended the church to have a leadership structure without vertical positions. One in which the leaders functioned in equal authority but in different gifts. This is a different concept than the idea of vertical positions. Referring to structures of govenment, Jesus told his disciples that the Gentiles lord themselves over one another, but it was not to be so in the church. (Matthew 20:25) We haven’t taken His direction seriously. In the new church the five-fold model of Ephesians 4:11 will become the norm.
A stronger apostolic and prophetic presence will create more animosity among those who don’t believe in their validity. That’s the large majority of the church. As much as these offices are needed to help steer the church in the right direction, most of the church will resist. We can expect a huge outcry against the increasing presence of these offices, and that will bring turmoil. It’s going to get very ugly. Debates will rage for years, life-long friendships will end, people who held leadership positions will be asked to leave or quit voluntarily. Some will find the new wine suits them just fine, others will bitterly complain.
The charismatic church has the greatest potential to carry the coming revival to the nations of the world. But it has a well-deserved reputation for immaturity. We are known for seeking shows of power and exhilarating experiences while remaining biblically ignorant. We are famous for indulging ourselves in holy laughter while the world remains in the pain and bondage of sin. There’s nothing wrong with God’s fireworks, and God is looking for enthusiastic people who are young in spirit. But He desires us to develop mature character. We’ve sought God’s power for its entertainment value, or to manipulate innocent people and we’ve embraced weird doctrines that make the cults look like bible scholars. The Charismatic church needs to grow up. There’s too much at stake. A balance of sound teaching and working in the gifts of the Spirit would please God greatly. This should be our goal.
What’s coming is going to change the face of the church forever. It’s going to challenge us all in what we believe. What we face is nothing short of a second reformation. There’s a tidal wave of change headed our way. The last storm in the church was about doctrine; the next one will be about power. It’s a time for action and more importantly a time for understanding. Those who’ll lead the revival will be those who’ll accept God on His own terms, regardless of their preconceptions. Change requires flexibility. I’m praying for a double portion of the Gumby anointing.