Many of the battles recorded in the Old Testament involved a particular strategy which the Lord directed for the purpose of victory. I believe the Lord has a battleplan - a strategy - for Revival.
Joshua was directed by the Lord at Jericho to have the men of war march around the city 6 times. Once per day. Each time 7 priests were to blow trumpets of ram's horns continually. On the 7th day they were to march around it 7 times and on that occasion, at the sound of the long blast of the horn all the people were to shout with a great shout. The result was the wall of the city fell down flat and all the men of war were able to go straight in and not break rank to conquer the city (Joshua 6).
Gideon was to use 300 men to fight the thousands of Midianites. Each with a trumpet in his hand and a flaming torch in the other. They were given empty clay jars to hide the lit torches. This was night. At the signal, once everyone was in place around the enemy's camp, all the jars were smashed and they blew the trumpets. Immediately there was such confusion and panic in the camp that the enemy soldiers began to fight against each other. This strategy caused the victory over the Midianites. No one else but the 300 of the armed men of Israel was involved in the initial action. Once the enemy started to run away the rest were involved (Judges 7).
King David sought the Lord how to win against the Philistines. The Lord just said go and I will deliver them into your hand. This David did and he won the battle. Later the Philistines re-grouped and went up once again against Israel. This time when David enquired of the Lord the instructions were different. He and his men were to circle around behind the enemy and wait in front of the mulberry trees which were there. As soon as they heard the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees they were then to advance against the enemy. 'For then the LORD will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines' (2 Samuel 5:17-25). And this is what happened.
There are many other examples of particular strategy which was directed by the Lord for the purpose of winning battles. This always caused the Lord to have the credit for the victory. King Jehoshaphat was instructed to place the worship band in front of the army and as they went and praised God the enemy was attacked by the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:1-30). Here, just as with Pharaoh and his army the people of the Lord did not have to actually fight, just to be obedient to the Lord's directions (Exodus 14). This ensured total victory.
DOES THE LORD HAVE A PLAN FOR REVIVAL?
Here is a prophecy attributed to Smith Wigglesworth just before he died (12th March 1947).
During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the Church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it and will be characterised by a restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches.
In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say 'This is the great revival'. But the Lord says 'No, neither is the great revival but both are steps towards it'.
When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidenced in the churches something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed the world, has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and the Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God's Spirit will flow over from the UK to the mainland of Europe, and from there will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.
(see also Rick Joyner's vision A BRIDGE TO REVIVAL)
IF THIS IS GOD'S PLAN WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
The Sixties and Seventies saw what has been termed the charismatic movement herald an era of discovery of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts in many major denominational churches. The Eighties and Nineties have seen the emergence of many new church groupings: New Frontiers, Pioneer, Ichthus, Vineyard and many more. Are these on the wane? I don't know. Certainly no new church grouping appears to be initiated afresh. The rush is over.
IF THIS IS WHERE WE ARE, WHAT NEXT?
'. . . a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. . .'
Question: Who are those with emphasis on the Word and those with emphasis on the Spirit?
I believe those who have been involved with the charismatic movement, Pentecostals and those in the 'new churches' represent those with an emphasis on the Spirit. In the U.K. Christian landscape the grouping with emphasis on the Word which differs significantly from these are those known as conservative evangelicals. In the U.S. these would form a large part of the Southern Baptists. In the U.K. they are the Grace Baptist churches, many F.I.E.C churches, many Brethren and, more. On the whole it is the grouping that has criticised the most the 'Toronto events' of the last few years. And they are places where 'tongues' are positively discouraged.
So, what is it which will make these 2 groupings to be 'coming together'?
The group known as 'conservative evangelicals' are also known as holding to 'reformed doctrine'. I believe this and other commonly held beliefs will be seriously challenged in the coming weeks and months and thus cause believers everywhere to re-think their differences with others. Not least because they will no longer be able to be so dogmatic about long held beliefs.
HOW CAN I SAY THIS?
For the last 2-3 decades the Lord has cornered me to learn much of what has been missing or lost from the Word to help do this very challenging. I did not go looking for these things and it has taken me a long time to 'have the penny drop' as to what the Lord was up to. The nearest I can recall to being responsible (sic) here is a prayer in 1981 where I asked the Lord to '. . . use my life to bring the maximum number of people to come to know Jesus.'
I believe the Lord wants to remove the teachings which has caused the church to be a ghetto. The idea that they are the ones saved by a choice of God has isolated believers from their neighbours, work colleagues, acquaintances and many brothers and sisters in Christ. Let alone the belief that only Christians are ultimately saved.
The following publications show some of what has been lost:
WILL THERE BE NON-CHRISTIANS IN HEAVEN? with THE MEANING OF BORN AGAIN This book explains from the bible how non-Christians who practise righteousness are born again, but still need to hear about Jesus for assurance of salvation: this restored truth enables believers to be more approachable to share about Jesus;
SO YOU THINK YOU'RE CHOSEN? This book is a complete response to Calvinism and shows this false teaching entering the church in the 5th century and restores the meaning of bible passages which outline Paul's teaching of conditional presdestination: the removal of this heresy will ensure the destruction of a huge divide amongst believers, let alone between them and their God who they have been unwittingly defaming whilst holding this strong, but false 'Word' position;
WHAT IS BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT? This is an article readable online at www.jarom.net and shows this can be experienced by all Christians, but they need to seek it: without it they are losing out on what the disciples were told to wait for (as existing believers) before they were to then move out to witness;
LEADERSHIP IS MALE? This book at long last provides a way through the Pauline passages that have hindered thousands of churches from permitting women to lead;
WHY SHOULD GOD WANT TO DO ALL THIS?
He is the same. He is ready for revival.
The world of people is ready since Jesus said the fields are white unto harvest (John 4:35).
The only remaining delay is that the Church is not ready.
I believe, just as the Lord used 300 men with Gideon He wishes the youth to launch these truths and this unity in the local church setting. This is so He gets the glory, for the youth are not 'owned' by the local leadership. To sustain the revival Church Service Centres are to be set up in regional/local settings and a national setting.
As believers across the divides work together, as the youth launch out to minister, as believers re-align with the Word, a release of God's Spirit will manifest to transform the Face of the local Church and deeply affect the community in which it resides: Revival.