I read recent posts on this forum about what is happening in Florida and have been prayerfully trying to discern whether or not this is the real deal.
I know that many of you have decried what is happening in Florida because so much of the focus has been on the controversial Todd Bentley; but of one thing I'm sure we're all in agreement on and that is that America can only be saved through revival...a genuine heavenly visitation!
I know that we're quick to judge others who do not share our particular doctrinal views; but I believe it's a dangerous thing because God alone knows the hearts; and while there are of course those who are just "chasing" the spectacular but by the same token, there are others who are in earnest and passionate pursuit after God. Let's be careful not to generalize and put everyone in the same bucket; and perhaps more importantly, not throw out the baby with the bath water!
Someone just sent me the following which I believe adds some insight to the topic at hand.
The History and Future of the Present Revival
by Rick Joyner
An extraordinary move of God is now breaking out in America. The breakout in Lakeland has been spectacular and is growing fast. We are experiencing a breakout at our base at Heritage, which in some ways has already surpassed anything we have experienced before. It, too, seems to be growing in intensity, and people are starting to come from far distances to experience it. News about other moves of God is also beginning to show up on the spiritual radar.
What does it mean? Where is it going? What will the fruit be? These are important questions for us to address now, even though we may only be able to partially answer them. We see in part, know in part, and prophesy in part, and though we know we only have part, we need to understand that part in order to stay on course. The more we understand about what is happening now, the further we will likely go and the greater the impact will be.
As spectacular as some of the things are that we have already experienced, we are still in the embryonic stages of revival. What is breaking out actually has the potential to go beyond revival. This could be the beginning of another "Great Awakening" in America, a spiritual renewal of the country that has a radical impact on the entire nation. If we stay the course, it will result in America being positioned to help prepare the way for the coming kingdom of God. Without this awakening, we will not survive long as a great nation, but will be reduced to a shell of the superpower that we now are. It is that important.
True revival is much more than planning a week of meetings at our local church. It is resurrection power, bringing something back to life, and that is precisely what is needed for the church in America. Even the best churches in America need at least a renewal and a fresh move of the Holy Spirit, but most churches actually need revival they need to be raised from the dead. Whether renewal or revival, we must embrace what the Lord is sending with the humility that will compel Him to continue extending His grace to us.
How do we embrace it? Go to Lakeland, Heritage, or go anywhere else that a breakout is happening. True revival is contagious. What is happening at Heritage was sparked by some of our students going to Lakeland, and as they were describing what they experienced in their Bible class, something like a whirlwind came into the room. Soon both of our schools, then our staff, and then parents who came to pick up their kids from school, were all caught up into what many called the most powerful presence of the Lord they had ever experienced.
The presence of the Lord was so strong that we had to continue with nightly meetings. Now, after more than a week, this is not abating, but is still increasing. I have had many supernatural experiences, but there have been times in these meetings when the presence of the Lord was so strong that all have been gripped by fear.
As C.S. Lewis wrote about Aslan, his personification of Christ, "He is not a tame lion." Just when we think the anointing is fading, the strongest wave of all would come and stagger us. Most of our team has experienced a lot, and have been in many previous revivals, renewals, and moves of God, but it is a bit scary to see them so scared when He comes the way He has been here. Even when the building is empty, there is a presence that sends chills down your back. We have had this many times, but not on this level. This really is different.
What is going on here at Heritage seems to be contagious as well. We are hearing reports of people receiving emails about it, or in some cases, cell phone calls from Heritage, and they get smitten by the power of God, and something breaks out where they are. It is like coals of fire being thrown on dry wood.
Get the DNA
We do not have to understand revival in order to receive it any more than we have to understand electricity to turn the lights on. However, if we understand what is happening and why, we are more likely to have it sustained and to stay on track. Because the DNA is set at conception, we need to discern the DNA of what is now breaking out. Again, I do not presume to have the whole picture, but I have been shown part of it, and it is very important that we understand this part now.
I have studied revivals and moves of God for more than thirty years. I have tried to understand every major move of God and revival in history. It is my conclusion that if the leaders had understood the principles and patterns that we can see in each one, they would likely have lasted much longer and had an even greater impact than they did. I have only taught about some of these principles one time, but last week when I heard about what was breaking out at Heritage I shared them where I was speaking at a WhiteDove Conference in Mobile, Alabama. I have never written about them, but will share them with you in Special Bulletins over the next couple of weeks. I think you will agree that they are crucial for us to understand and can help any move of God from being diverted by the multitude of potential diversions that will surely come. Some of the principles I will be sharing here have been taught and written about by previous leaders of great revivals and are what they learned in hindsight, which is usually 20/20 vision. As they often said, if they had known these principles before the revival, it would have likely lasted much longer. If we humble ourselves and learn from our fathers and mothers, we can have that insight and what is happening can last much longer.
What is breaking out at Lakeland and Heritage is just the beginning of a move of God that has the potential to impact every city and town in the United States and Canada and then arc over to Europe. Before this is over, it will have made the news in possibly every nation on earth, but even more importantly, it will have impacted the worldwide body of Christ and will actually give birth to new nations. It is the beginning of something that big.
What is happening now may not be the actual birth of this revival, but at the very least it is a powerful spiritual contraction or birth pang. As a mother gets closer to the birth, the contractions become both more frequent and intense. In our home congregation based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina at the former PTL property, we have experienced these spiritual birth pangs for about a dozen years. They have been becoming more intense and more frequent, but this latest one seems by far the strongest yet. Even so, we are not ready to call it the revival we are expecting. If this is not the actual birth of the revival that has been prophesied to come to Charlotte for over half a century, it is a spiritual contraction of such magnitude that the birth of the revival itself must be close.
Over the years, we have had time to process the spiritual contractions and seek the Lord for greater understanding of what is coming here. It was prophesied the year before Billy Graham gave his life to the Lord that a revival would break out in Charlotte that would touch the nations. This prophecy has been confirmed and repeated often. I have talked with those who were there when this prophecy was first given, and it was their conviction that Billy Graham was just the seed of what was to come.
We need to understand Billy Graham and his ministry because it is part of the DNA of what is coming. Billy Graham is probably the greatest evangelist of the twentieth century. The spiritual DNA that he carried and imparted is a grace, dignity, and integrity that will enable the world to be able to trust what is now coming upon the earth. At about the same time as Billy Graham's ministry was beginning, the Healing Revival broke out in America, and the nation of Israel was born. We need to understand the purpose in all three of these.
A Dream of Revival
In 2007, I was given a dream in which I was told by the Lord that if we would honor the fathers, He would send revival to America within six months. I knew this dream was from the Lord and that the promise was sure. Revival is coming to America. If what we are now experiencing is not revival, it is the forerunner for something even more awesome. Even if what is happening now fades, it is evidence of how near true revival is. If the present outbreaks seem to settle down, it is to give us a brief rest before what is coming breaks out, allowing time to get prepared for it.
I was shown that the reason the Lord linked honoring the fathers to bringing revival to America was because it was by the dishonoring of fathers and fatherhood that a major gate of hell was opened into America. Many forms of evil were released into America through this one gate, and it can only be closed by recovering the basic devotion to honor fathers.
The commandment to honor our fathers and mothers is the only commandment with a promise and that promise is longevity that we would dwell long in the land that the Lord has given to us (see Deuteronomy 5:16). The very longevity of America, in fact its continued existence, is dependent on us recovering and obeying this commandment. America's purpose as a nation requires strong, resolute leadership for which a strong fabric of fatherhood is required. The recovery of honoring the mothers is also essential, which I will discuss at a later time, especially for shutting the gate of hell that abortion has come through. However, even that gate of hell was opened by the attack on fatherhood, and this is the first issue we must address.
In Deuteronomy and Ephesians where this commandment is repeated, it is added that this must be done so that "it may be well with you" (see Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2). In fact, a major reason why things have not been going well with us has been the failure to honor our fathers and mothers, and in the case of fathers, to tolerate the dishonoring of them. If we will repent and recover this basic devotion, we are promised that it will begin to go well with us again. Our best times as a nation can yet be in the future. This is also even more true of the church in America. The greatest revival, awakening, or move of God in America's history is coming. If it is allowed to go its course and to do the work it is being sent to do, the church in America will not only be left much stronger and much bigger than it has ever been, it will be a major gateway for the coming of the kingdom of God.
Many might immediately think that their father is not worthy to be honored. The commandment says nothing about honoring fathers and mothers who are worthy of honor, who are great fathers or even good ones. It just says to honor our fathers and mothers, good ones, bad ones, absent ones it does not matter. If we have been blessed with good ones, we are blessed, but if we have had bad ones, then our reward for honoring them can be even greater. We must resolve to do this to honor our Father in heaven.
Unprecedented Healing Ministries
In my dream, I was then shown some of the fathers that we were to honor, and they were all from the Healing Revival of the 1940s and 50s. In many ways, this movement was probably the most spectacular for healing and miracles since the first century. Many who were a part of this revival have said that at times it exceeded what is recorded in the Book of Acts, and some of the remarkable miracles do seem to have been unprecedented. As stated, in my dream I was told to honor these fathers so that revival could come to America, and that if we did, revival would be released within six months.
The only one from the Healing Revival that I recognized was Oral Roberts. There were others who were noteworthy evangelists in the dream, and since I could not tell who they were, I resolved to try to honor all of them, even those who we might not think were that honorable. Again, the commandment does not say to only honor honorable ones, but "fathers." Some who may have been sidetracked in various ways must still be honored.
We decided to host an Honoring the Fathers Conference http://www.morningstarministries.org/Shop/Sections/Items/Item.aspx?item_id=1000012020> with WhiteDove Ministries because Paul Keith Davis has devoted years to studying the Healing Revival, and more than anyone else I know, honored those who ministered in it. Paul Keith was not ignorant of the mistakes that were made, but he obeyed the biblical exhortation to "try all things, holding fast to what is good" (see I Thessalonians 5:21), not what was bad. Like a good son, he tried to cover the nakedness of those who had failures, not to hide anything, but because this is right for a son to do. Paul Keith is at least a grandson of that revival.
In the weeks leading up to the conference, we began to sense this may be the most important conference we had ever hosted, and by the end of the first meeting it was obvious that this was right. Even so, we never presumed that hosting this conference was all that we needed to do to honor the fathers, and therefore bring revival, but something significant was unquestionably released by this conference. If you were not there, I strongly encourage you to get the CDs or DVDs from the conference, which are available through MorningStar or WhiteDove Ministries. A very real and important impartation is on them.
We have a number of examples in Scripture of the Lord taking what seems like the smallest token of repentance and accepting it so that He could restore or bless Israel. We believe the Honoring the Fathers Conference touched the Father in a way that there has been extraordinary grace on every gathering we have had from leadership meetings, business meetings, the Women's Conference, staff chapels, and our local church meetings since then. During some, there was such an amazing grace it felt that revival was already on us.
Then last week there was the breakthrough that overflowed. Authentic deliverances, healings, miracles, and a mighty sense of the presence of the Lord broke out and just could not be contained. Some of our high school students, who had become serious concerns and were on the list not to be accepted back at the school next year, have been in the forefront of the breakout, radically changed and praying for others to be touched. In a day, they went from serious backsliders to leaders of revival, and it was real.
Robin McMillan, who is no stranger to revivals and renewal, said the presence of God was as strong as anything he had ever experienced. At MorningStar, we have experienced some very remarkable and supernatural visitations, probably the most famous of which was a pillar of cloud that appeared in the middle of the stage during our first Worship and Warfare Conference, which was witnessed by more than two thousand people. We have had many other visitations of various types, some of which were quite spectacular, but there is something different about what is happening now. I think it has the potential to go far beyond anything we have ever experienced.
However, I am not ready to call it a revival, but it is no doubt a visitation. If it is not the beginning of an authentic revival, it is a birth pang on the level that it would be hard to imagine anything more without the birth of a true, authentic revival. We do have some prophetic indications that as strong as this is, the real birth will come this fall. We are therefore resolved to ride this wave as long as it is moving, but if it stops, we will too. We will then seek to learn everything we can from this powerful contraction and get ready for what I expect to be the most powerful move of God any of us have ever seen.
There is great joy in what we are now experiencing, but at times the presence of God has been so strong that a holy terror seems to fall on the people. The testimonies of the healings and miracles are great, but some of the people, who have been so dramatically changed, even to the point of seeming like entirely different, are the greatest miracles to some people. We have a number of people, who with years of teaching and preaching, seemed to have little impact, but were changed in one meeting more radically than we considered possible or at least probable.
I can see a level of change on many people and radical change on some. The glory does change people, and sometimes one encounter with the Lord for one minute can change people more than years of preaching. However, preaching and teaching are gifts of God, and though they may not change people as spectacularly or as fast, they are a part of the essential Christian diet for a healthy Christian life.
A little discussed fact about revivals is that almost every church that hosts a revival is left smaller, weaker, and sometimes devastated when it is over. It is not supposed to be that way. However, without good planning and good leadership, it almost certainly will. We must understand why this happens and what we need to do to prevent it.
Even if the host church is seriously weakened by revival or even devastated, the revival is probably still worth it. Souls are saved, and many Christians are encouraged and strengthened by revival, which results in the most powerful and effective evangelistic force being releasedncouraged Christians. However, with planning and leadership, the host church should be left much stronger after a revival. Now is the time to resolve to turn this around. If we do, the revival will last longer, be much more fruitful, and have a much more positive legacy.
We will address these important issues and more in upcoming Special Bulletins. This is real, and it is going to spread. If we are properly prepared and positioned, it will carry the church a long way forward. If we are not prepared, the wave that carries others forward will be a big problem for us. To ride a wave, we need to discern where the waves will be breaking, position ourselves there, and be moving in the right direction when it comes. Ride this wave. It is a big one, and it will carry us a long way.
[b]The History and future of the Present Revival[/b]