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The Next Great Wave

I recently had a dream in which the Lord gave me an item of great spiritual value. He then pointed to my belt and told me that the item worked in conjunction with it. When I woke from the dream, I knew that the belt was the belt of truth (see Ephesians 6:14). When I later spoke to a prophetic mentor about this, he agreed, and also referenced Isaiah 11. Isaiah says, “Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins” (Isaiah 11:5). My prophetic friend was pretty excited about this dream. He believed the dream was speaking about the next great wave of the Holy Spirit.

There have been two great moves of God’s Spirit since the nineties. The first great wave began in Toronto and spread out around the world. It was characterized by refreshing and renewal. People flocked to Toronto, and to other cities and ministries that had concurrent outbreaks of this wave. They found a refreshing that brought deliverance and healing. The second great wave began shortly after the first. God began to pour out his presence through the Brownsville Revival on Father’s Day 1995. While the first revival brought healing and refreshment to the Body of Christ, the Brownsville Revival focused on a change of mind. The word repentance is from the Greek word metanoia, which means a change of mind. The Brownsville Revival gave the Body of Christ an opportunity to change its mind about its ways, and to come clean before the Lord about things that did not honor him.

Both of these waves accomplished their purposes and have ebbed. The Body of Christ is now looking for God to send a third wave of his presence. As we look forward to his presence, we wonder in what form he will manifest himself this time. He came with refreshing. He came with repentance. What is next?

This would be a good time to read the article I posted last week entitled, Deeper Waters Are Calling. I wrote it as a precursor to this article. It is about the next wave of the Holy Spirit. That wave is commitment. My prophetic mentor believes that this is the next step that we take together in the Ezekiel River. I wholeheartedly agree with him, not only because he is an incredibly accurate prophetic voice, but also because the Lord has been showing me these same themes.

If we take the Ezekiel River as a metaphor, then the Toronto Revival was ankle-deep. It was about the body of Christ being reminded how great it was to splash around in the river of life, but it didn’t call us into deep relationship or commitment. It was a refreshing that restored relationship with the Lord.

Of course, that would make the Brownsville Revival knee-deep. As I explained in Deeper Waters Are Calling, knee-deep water represents reverence for the Lord. The repentance that was released at Brownsville was seated in an understanding of and reverence for the holiness of God. That deep level of reverence changed people’s minds about God (repentance) and highlighted how important it is to follow his will.

The next wave will be the waist-deep waters of commitment. When we stand in waist-deep water, we are committing ourselves fully and freely to the Lord. We then become the bond-slave who can respond to even the slightest shifts in the Holy Spirit’s current. We will become Kingdom People. Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we truly understand that our lives are better spent building his kingdom than our kingdom, the world will change, and the Church will step into its destiny.

This is what the Lord is waiting for. He wants to release more power, and more things of great spiritual value to us, but those things will only work with the belt of truth, commitment. They will only work while we are standing in waist-deep water. That is why this next wave is so important. The Body of Christ will get some valuable new equipment.

The next great wave of the Spirit is upon us. I do not know exactly how it will manifest, but its fruit will be a commitment that results in power. I’m eagerly looking forward to that wave.

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Storms, Bad Storms, and More Storms

Those of you who have followed my blog posts on the Northwest (Watch the Northwest and Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?) knew to expect the severe storms that we have been experiencing throughout the United States these last couple of months. Many of you, like the folks at my congregation, have been praying to diminish the strength and ferocity of these storms, and asking the Lord to preserve human life. As the season has progressed, I have found my focus shifting from praying that no bad storms develop, to praying that lives would be preserved in the storms.

I am not saying that we should stop praying that no storms ravage our geographical areas. I will continue to lead my congregation to pray ferociously against any possibility that major storms hit our area of influence. We will release a hedge of protection in intercession that we believe no violent storm will penetrate. But I do not not currently have unlimited authority over every geographic area in the United States. My primary authority lies in the geographical area that God has posted me. As I have prayed against storms in other areas of the United States, I have seen storms, bad storms, and more storms. This has confirmed something that I suspected in January. When I watched the northwest I saw anointed local intercessors in the northwest rise to the challenge and pray for their area. I saw intercessors throughout the United States respond to the call and pray for the northwest. And yet an incredibly bad storm still hit the northwest.

As I wrote in January, I believe the intercessors, especially the local ones, had an impact on the storm which hit the northwest. Here is an excerpt from what I wrote in January:

Since I know that prayers have authority, I can tell you that the storm was not as severe as it could have been. When I alerted the friends whom I had dreamed about in Washington state, they shared that they were already praying against negative weather patterns. They then took the alert I issued to heart and prayed with more focus. As a result, I was not surprised that the Seattle-Tacoma area (where they live) was not hit as hard as had been forecast. At the last minute one of the Low pressure areas dropped a bit further south than expected, and forced the worst weather just to the south of their area. I don’t believe that was an accident. I believe that was a sign of their intercessory authority.

However, even with this victory, the storm still hit. I was, and am, extremely concerned about this. The Lord had told us that what they experienced was going to come to the rest of the United States. Since then, even with all the prayer coverage, we have seen brutal weather patterns and many deaths. I am certainly not saying that the prayers have been ineffective. I believe, especially in view of the severity of the tornado outbreaks, that many more people would be dead without those prayers. I believe the intercessory coverage is having an effect and that we must continue to pray for all those in harms way when storm systems threaten. But I also believe that we are going to see many more storms this year. They will continue to impact all over the United States.

So, my strategy is this: I will continue to raise a hedge around our immediate area of influence so that no storm winds bring damage or death to our area. I will also pray for God’s mercy to be evident throughout the United States as these storms continue to manifest. My main focus outside my immediate area is that life be preserved through the storms. Last week’s outbreak in which 6 people died in Oklahoma highlighted this primary need. I may not be able to stop these storms, but I can sure pray that lives be spared. I suggest this strategy as one that will help focus intercessors throughout the world. Raise hedges of protection around your area, and cry out to heaven for those in harms way outside your area of primary geographic influence. The storms may come, bad storms may occur, and more storms may multiply, but mercy triumphs over every judgment. His mercy is what we desperately need in the face of this stormy onslaught. Cry out for it.

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Watch the Pope

This bit of information may appear to be a bit odd, being that I am a protestant and all, but over the weekend the Lord told us to pay attention to what is going on with the Pope. He indicated that we should watch the stands that the Pope is taking, and also let us know that he is approaching the end of his tenure as Pope.

While protestants usually don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Pope, and some are even antagonistic to him, most appreciate how he has attempted to represent Christ to the best of his knowledge and ability.

This blog post is not about theological debate or disagreement on Roman Catholic teaching. This is about praying for a man who, for better or worse, represents Christianity to much of the world.

Since the Lord told us to watch the Pope, I read several articles about the Pope today. Our local newspaper mentioned that he looked tired as he gave his Easter address at St. Peter’s Basilica yesterday. Another article stated that he would be curtailing his travel schedule because it was too much for him. Both articles raised alarm in my soul about his health.

I believe it would please the Lord if we would pray for the Pope. No, I’m not saying that we bless all of his theology. I do believe that he loves the Lord and has taken courageous stands based upon that love. I would like to see him stay firm in his resolve and focus, and stay healthy to do his job. I’m not asking for prayers for the office, but the man who bears the weight of that office. He is a brother.

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The Cross or the Switchblade

I have been reading various news reports about the expected price of gasoline this summer. The word from those who know is that gasoline prices will continue to rise for the near term. I read one report this morning that predicted that when the summer gas supply begins to arrive, we will see prices jump another twenty cents a gallon. After that, we can expect gas prices to peak at about $4.20 a gallon. This scenario, of course, doesn’t take into account the chance that an Israeli-Iranian confrontation would drive prices much higher based upon fears of a diminished flow of oil out of Iran. This could be an interesting summer.

Last June, the Lord spoke to us about gasoline prices. He told us that when gasoline hits $5.00 a gallon, it would be the cross or the switchblade.

Of course, we all know about David Wilkerson’s book (and movie) The Cross And The Switchblade. I had not read the book or seen the movie for years. But I realized that the Lord was using the imagery in that book to communicate to us. I also knew that the Lord changed the conjunction in the title of the book from and to or in order to highlight a choice that we will have when gas prices reach $5.00 a gallon.

If you have not read the book or seen the movie, you will not as readily appreciate the imagery that the Lord chose to use. The cross, of course, represents dying to our own selfish choices and fears in order to let the power of God flow through us. It represents the power of God to redeem even the most violent urges within humanity. On the other hand, the switchblade represents the base tendencies of our nature. The desire to provide for self without giving thought to the needs of others, or the consequences to self and society. If you read The Cross and the Switchblade, you will quickly see that the switchblade represents mindless hate and perverse greed released in violent attacks as gangs focus on their own turf to the exclusion of all else.

I believe the Lord is telling us about a line of demarcation that is swiftly approaching in these United States. When gas prices reach $5.00 a gallon throughout the United States, we will have crossed a boundary line in the spirit. Up until that point, it will still be possible to live in the United States without giving much thought to issues of principle. Things will still be relatively stable enough so that the thin veneer of civilization functions to hide our more crass instincts. But when we cross this spiritual boundary, the illusion created by civilization will begin to crumble. It will quickly become more evident who is embracing selflessness (the cross) and who is embracing selfishness (the switchblade).

The truth is that most people simply get up and walk through their day without much regard to their bedrock principles. Those principles show themselves at times of stress or temptation. We usually do not confront open stress or public temptation on a daily basis. We are not often faced with difficult situations that reveal our core selflessness or selfishness. That will change once we cross this boundary. Things will change in our culture to such a point that it will be obvious who is embracing the cross, and who is grasping the switchblade.

When gas prices reach $5.00 a gallon throughout the United States, our choices are soon going to become more obvious. It will be a time that God’s people begin to show who they really are. It will also be a time when those who do not yet know him or his cross, reveal that lack in their own lives. This will provide many opportunities to let the power of God flow through us to others. The switchblade takes life. The cross releases it.

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As a side note, I am not unaware that the late David Wilkerson had some prophecies about the world economy that were not all that rosy, and that could be an additional reason that the Lord used David’s imagery. The Vision, which David published in 1973, included some pretty stark reminders of how difficult things could get, and how God can use such events to accomplish his purposes in the United States.

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Always Winter, Never Christmas

The Lord used Narnia to speak to us the other day. Those of you who have read C. S. Lewis’ delightful tale, The Chronicles of Narnia, know that there is a lot in those books that the Lord can use to highlight current events and his plans. Lewis had the wonderful knack of building deep Christian themes into his fantasies. If you only know Narnia from the movies, do yourself a favor and buy the books. The inane drama and silly plot devices of the most recent movies have deprived viewers of Lewis’ overall vision and purpose. Lewis built his series like a caramel apple. He used the sweet covering of his story to flavor the nutritious fruit of his theme underneath. While the first movie was fairly faithful to the original tale, the producers of the second and third movies injected artificial flavoring into the caramel of the story covering, and pretty much did away with the apple. The third movie was so bad, my kids, who have loved the Narnia books, decided that it would take a lot for them to go see another one of the movies.

So what did the Lord say to us through Narnia’s images? He told us that the long winter is just about over for the United States. He showed us that the plans of those who have prolonged this winter are no longer going to succeed. If you remember from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the white witch wanted to keep Narnia frozen in winter. Narnians despaired of the weather because it was always winter, but never Christmas. But as the Great Lion, Aslan, began to move, the witch’s plans were thwarted and Father Christmas, with spring right on his heels, came to Narnia for the first time in one hundred years. From that point on, the witch’s hold on Narnia was broken. While the struggle wasn’t over, the Great Lion was now in control and was able to direct events so that the witch was defeated, and her hold was broken forever.

Of course, those who have read the Narnia stories know that the Great Lion represents Jesus in these stories. While Lewis theology wasn’t always orthodox—this is most evident in his display of universalism in The Last Battle—he had a firm grip on King Jesus. So when the Lord told us that the long winter is ending for the United States, he was also telling us that King Jesus is on the move. He is working behind the scenes even now to rally his people and break winter’s grip over the United States.

There are a lot of ways that the United States has been held in winter’s grip, but the Lord made certain we knew exactly what he was showing us. He told us that the policies and control emanating from Washington D.C., currently personified in President Obama’s administration, represented the reign of the white witch. Before we get all caught up in politics, let’s remember that the power of the white witch held Narnia under the spell of winter for one hundred years. So winter began its long reign in the United States long before our current administration.

In order to fully understand what the Lord is saying, we need to understand a tiny bit about the book of Revelation. In Revelation 13 we are introduced to the beast from the sea. Without going in to great detail,* suffice it to say that the beast from the sea represents governments that attempt to replace or displace the authority and priority of the Kingdom of Christ in the world. Beast governments attempt to step into the place of the true Church by attempting to meet the needs of the governed in ways that only Christ truly can. Along the way these beast governments supplant and often persecute the true Church—while the false prophet church openly supports beast governments, fulfilling their role as the beast from the land.

Of course, you can see the hoof prints of the beast government in the current contraception/abortifacient drug mandates aimed against the Catholic Church. In this debate you see the mature beast government boldly attempting to displace and replace a Christian institution by these wicked mandates. You can also easily see the false prophet church in action supporting and defending these wicked mandates. It doesn’t get much more obvious than this.

So, if the winter represents the rise and maturing of the beast government revealed in Revelation, we would expect to see it begin its rise one hundred years ago—the length of time winter reigned in Narnia. What happened one hundred years ago? Well, among other things, Woodrow Wilson was elected for his first term as president of the United States. Again, without getting into a lot of historical detail, Woodrow Wilson is the president whose vision initiated and gave impetus to the government programs and mandates that have finally begun to mature in our current administration. We are currently reaping what Wilson sowed. His beast government policies, which moved government from its rightful role as defender and protector of the people, to the beast role of nurturer and provider for the people, began their long ascent throughout the United States political system. Since his time, the government of the United States has moved steadily toward the fullness of beast government policy that we see today.

But that winter is ending. The Lord still has plans for the United States. He still plans for the people of the United States to be a vital and free people. Beast governments and true freedom, especially religious freedom, cannot coexist.

In his 2012 Shepherd’s Rod, Bob Jones prophesied that President Obama’s purpose and plans would be exposed this year, and as a result they would fail. I believe that process is already beginning. Roman Catholics are experiencing the negative results of our beast government policies. They recognize that their very survival as a charitable institution in the United States is at stake. They are currently the most visible victims of these policies, but untold victims have been trodden under this beast’s feet for the past one hundred years. Religious organizations that were once vital and active transformative agents in our culture have been turned to stone as government policies, procedures, and restrictions have undermined their ability to complete their mission over the past one hundred years. That is about to change. Once again, the Church is going to take up the mantles that government has taken away. Once again, the Lamb is going to lead his people to the fullness of their calling and purpose.

Spring is coming.

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*Shameless Plug: I have produced a 36 DVD series on the book of Revelation that does go into great detail. It is a study that does not get bogged down by idle speculations, but stays firmly grounded in the context and themes of Scriptures. It reveals the major “behind-the-scenes” players of world history in an understandable way. It is entitled Revelation Unfolded. You can get the series at my congregation’s DVD Store.

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