Are We Living in The Greatest Revival Ever?
William Seymour prophesied that 100 years after the Azusa Street revival had run its course, another revival would come. The second revival would be many times greater in scope than the one Seymour witnessed. It would touch the lives of millions (others have prophesied billions) of people. It dawned on me the other day as I talking with my wife that we may actually be living in that revival right now.
The Azusa Street revival began in 1906 and lasted about 9 years. It was characterized by supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit. It received much criticism from the established church and secular media. If the prophecy of revival is being fulfilled today it should have begun around 2006 and it would probably be characterized in a similar way. In order to know if that revival is taking place now we need only ask if anything resembling this type of revival has happened in the last 7 years.
Around 2006, a young man named Todd White showed up in a YouTube video, healing the sick and injured on the streets by the power of Jesus. Todd was an oddball in the eyes of many Christians. He was a former drug dealer. Todd received a lot of criticism for his unorthodox background and his strange approach to ministry, despite of the fact that his message was that we must learn to love others unconditionally.
Not long afterward, another former drug addict named Pete Cabrera showed up and began healing the sick as well. More saints were added to the church because of the radical message of power and authority that he preached. And more criticism was leveled against these so-called charlatans.
The real prototype for the present revival is actually Todd Bentley – another former drug addict, who has been used powerfully by God to work miracles. Todd’s affair and subsequent divorce created a scandal of near-biblical proportions. It took no time for the church to vilify and demonize him. And while Todd’s judgment has rightly been called into question, there can be no question that God chose him as the forerunner of the present revival, much to the dismay of church leaders.
This revival like nearly every other revival in history is a bit messy. Many of the people involved deny the idea that such “revivals” even exist. Unlike past moves of God, this one is happening primarily outside the brick and mortar church. Frankly, it doesn’t look like what many people expected it to. But the supernatural work of God rarely does.
Not long after the two Todds came on the scene, a flood of other unlikely ministers followed on their heels. Among them were Tom Fischer, Ryan Rhoades, Jason Chin, Brandon Lee, Tyler Johnson, Jessie Campbell, Steve Harmon, Torben Søndergaard, Jose Coelho and others too numerous to list here.
The men and women who began this street healing movement soon became teachers. Through personal blogs, Facebook pages and YouTube videos, they taught anyone interested how to work miracles. During the last 7 years, there has been an explosion of supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit. I’m a member of a Facebook group (http://tinyurl.com/m4fobyn) that is dedicated to training and equipping the saints to release the supernatural power of God. This group just added its 2000th member. Today there are thousands of people from every corner of the globe on the streets, in shopping malls, in hospitals, in coffee shops and ambulances releasing the power of God to heal the sick, cast out demons and occasionally raise the dead.
This wave of healing and miracles began almost exactly 100 years after William Seymour preached his first message on Azusa Street. The modern healing movement has been widely criticized by theologians as demonic and by the secular media as fraudulent, much like the Azusa Street revival was. The similarities between the two revivals are quite remarkable. I personally believe that we are seeing the fulfillment of Seymour’s prophecy today. So take heart, my friends. If you’re involved in the present healing movement you are a part of something that will likely go down in history as the greatest spiritual revival of all time.