Sunday, March 28, 2021

The "About" Revival

Today's prophets keep predicting a mighty revival will unfold in America momentarily, but it never quite materializesNow that the latest election season is over, the “prophets and apostles” have returned to their old standby – prophesying the final super “revival” that is always “about” to arrive.

And it is always poised to hit America and not, say, Canada or Germany, which is rather puzzling. I mean, China has five times the population of the U.S.A., so why not start there?

Stormy Sky Photo by Cédric Frixon on Unsplash
[Photo by Cédric Frixon on Unsplash]

e that as it may, the great American mega “revival” is always just “about” to happen. Admittedly, the English term “about” is a bit ambiguous; however, I have been hearing this same prediction from the same “Usual Prophetic Suspects” for over thirty years, yet the greatest “revival” of all-time never quite materializes. I mean, when an average person hears the term “about,” he or she does not instinctively assume that means “about” thirty or forty years from now. Since they are so adept at “peering into the spiritual realm,” surely the “prophets” and “super apostles” could be a bit more precise! Perhaps I need to have a talk with the Almighty about setting expectation levels and using more precise language.

Personally, considering the “prophetic” track record of this group, I am inclined to seek information about this future super “revival” from a far more reliable source - Scripture. Where in the New Testament did Jesus or Paul or Peter or John predict that the world, or at least America, would be swept by a spiritual “revival” the likes of which the world has ever seen?

Jesus said nothing about a super fantastical mega “revival” occurring just prior to his return in glory. However, he did warn that “many deceivers will come and deceive many.” “False messiahs” and “FALSE PROPHETS” would abound, even performing “signs and wonders,” all to “deceive, if possible, the very elect.” As for the final days of this age, Jesus asked rhetorically, and rather ominously, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find the faith on the earth?”

Repeatedly, the Apostle Paul warned that deceivers, deception, apostasy, and “doctrines of demons” would come in the “last days.” According to him, the two prophetic events that must occur before the “Day of the Lord” arrives are the “apostasy” and the unveiling of the “man of lawlessness.” “Evil men and howling imposters will wax worse and worse – deceiving and being deceived.” That last one sounds a lot like the leaders of the so-called “prophetic” movement.

Well, what about Romans 8:21 – “The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God”? According to the “prophets and apostles,” the passage predicts the great end-time mega “revival” when newly empowered saints begin to transform the fallen world around them. Sounds great, only, like usual, they ignore the context. Paul was talking about the bodily resurrection of the saints that occurs when Jesus arrives at the end of the age. The resurrection coincides with the New Creation and the cessation of death – (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Well, Peter certainly predicted the great end-tome outpouring of the Spirit when he cited Joel 2:28-32 on the Day of Pentecost – “I will pour out my Spirit in the last days.” But, once again, the context is ignored. Peter applied the passage from Joel to the events that occurred on that day – “THIS is that spoken by the prophet Joel.” Whether this prophecy also has application to the present generation or the final days of this age, Peter said nothing. And, like Paul, in his letters, Peter warned of future deceivers and false prophets.

John certainly spoke of the “last days” when an “Antichrist is coming,” but he said nothing about any end-time mega outpouring of the Spirit with accompanying “signs and wonders” that would awe humanity into submission. But even in John’s day, many “antichrists” were already active – deceivers working inside his congregations.

Yes, John’s vision of an “innumerable multitude” of men and women standing before the Lamb and Throne certainly appears to portray a great revival and harvest, with millions of souls coming into the kingdom. However, this multitude was seen “coming out of the Great Tribulation.” They did not escape tribulation; they went through it. Exactly how they succeeded in doing so is not stated in the passage – There is no mention of any super “revival” or great “signs and wonders.” Further, the multitude was composed of men and women redeemed “from every nation” of the earth, not America. Furthermore, when Revelation does explain how saints “overcome,” they do so by the “blood of the Lamb,” the “word of their testimony,” and “because they love not their lives unto death.” They overcome through faithful perseverance in persecution and tribulation, even when that means martyrdom.

Well, what about the “man-child” company in Revelation 12:1-5? Is that not a portrait of a final victorious company of Christians at the end of the age? This is an old interpretation and another case of ignoring context. First, the Greek term rendered “man-child” by the King James Version is a mistranslation. The term simply means “male” as opposed to “female.” The clause reads, “a son, a male, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and unto his throne.” The passage includes a clear allusion to the second Psalm, a messianic passage applied elsewhere in Revelation to Jesus. This image represents him, not the church or any élite company within it. In the larger context, the church is represented as the “seed of the woman…they who have the testimony of Jesus,” the saints against whom the “Dragon” wages war.

Let us hope we see revival, and soon. Multiple revivals over the coming years would be even better. And let us hope to see a worldwide revival that spreads rapidly across the globe regardless of where it starts. I mean, when was “preach the gospel to all nations” reduced to applying only to the United States of America?

The point is, what the “apostles and prophets” are promising that is “about” to unfold is not based on any clear scriptural passage - It is a “promise” they have received from the “spiritual realm,” whether from an angel, vision, gift of prophecy, decoded Hebrew number, dream, trip to the “third heaven,” lunar eclipse, or perhaps simply fabricated.

As much as I might like to believe in this promise, I have NO confidence in any prediction from today’s self-appointed “apostles and prophets” – Their track record speaks for itself. As for the promised timing of the “revival,” something that is always “about” to happen is an old trick – Set false expectation levels to gain the attention (and dollars?) of your audience.

Of course, the very activities of this group do confirm the accuracy and reliability of the many New Testament warnings about end-time deceivers and false prophets.