In 1987 I had a two-and-a-half-day prophetic experience in which I was shown a panorama of coming events that I wrote about in my book titled, The Harvest. Most of what I saw coming has now taken place, but the biggest event of all, the harvest that was at the end of the age, has not. It is now approaching.
Jesus said, "The harvest is the end of the age" (see Matthew 13:39). This will be the greatest ingathering of new Believers in history, greater than all the previous ones combined. In my vision, this came in two great waves. The first wave was the largest up until this time, but it was only the ingathering of those who were called to be the laborers in the coming even much greater one.
This first wave began shortly after I was given this vision and lasted for almost twenty years. During that time more people came to Christ around the world than had come to Him in all of history up until that time. Some estimates were that an average of almost four hundred thousand people a day were coming to Christ during its peak. There were countries where people were being born again faster than they were being born. Hundreds of millions came to Christ in Africa, South and Central America, and Asia.
Though this wave hardly seemed to touch North America and Europe, they provided many of the evangelists and workers for the other great revivals around the world, and their time is coming. I then saw a period of relative calm before the greatest of all moves of God began. We are near the end of that time and are about to be hit by a wave of revival like the earth has never seen before.
The Magnitude of the Harvest
When a tsunami is traveling across the oceans, it is barely a discernable ripple in the water, but when it approaches land, it begins to rise fast, sometimes to a height of several hundred feet. In minutes, a calm sea can rise up and sweep away everything in its path. Even though it may seem that we are in a spiritual calm now, a spiritual tsunami is coming, and we must prepare for it.
The biggest problem virtually every church will be facing is how to handle explosive growth. In the vision, I saw small churches of less than a hundred people adding a thousand new members a week at times. Of course, this happened on the Day of Pentecost, and then there were other days in which thousands came to Christ in a day. Even with a dozen apostles personally trained by the Lord, there was stress caused by this. Pressure points gave birth to new ministries such as the deacon. The infrastructure of church life that this produced is still the model that works, and we need to return to its effective simplicity to handle what is coming.
I saw churches that grew so large that they started renting football and soccer stadiums in which to hold their services. At times, hundreds of thousands would gather in parks and huge outdoor meetings just to hear Bible teachers to pray and to worship. Not only were whole cities coming to Christ, but also entire nations were coming so that the state itself became like a large church.
A few years ago I decided to watch the news for several hours a day for a week to determine what percentage of stories could be considered good news. During that time I did not see one good news story. They were all about problems, crises, disasters, and suffering. This was during the time of some of our greatest economic prosperity. Now it's worse. However, change is coming. When this next wave hits, the news around the world is going to be dominated by good news.
We will see events like hundreds of thousands of people gathering spontaneously for prayer and worship, becoming the biggest news stories of the day. News teams will be following apostolic teams and evangelists like they do politicians and business leaders now. Much more is happening now than most are aware of, or that is making the news, but when the Lord "suddenly comes into His temple," it will be the news, and the whole world will be aware of it.
There will be individual newscasts from secular networks that will cause more to come to Christ than Christian networks have in their entire existence. This is not to negate what has been accomplished by Christian networks but rather to stress the impact that this revival will have. We will go through a period when the news of the great things God is doing will crowd out just about all other news around the world.
Both the Welsh and the Azusa Street Revivals made front-page news around the world repeatedly for nearly two years. That was just a foretaste, a seed being planted for what is to come. The coming move of God will in some ways be a composite of many of the great moves of the past, but in one basic way it will be different—this will not just be a move of God, but it will be God moving.
This is not just semantics, because every true move of God is at least initiated by God, but He will bless many things He will not inhabit. His manifest presence will be so great in what is coming that people will not chase after individual truths, or acts of God, but they will be after the Lord Himself. He will be the conversation, not just what He does. This is a move that will lift up Jesus. When He is lifted up, all will be drawn to Him, not just to doctrines, projects, or missions, but to Him.
Doctrine certainly has its place, and there is a great need for sound Biblical doctrine to be imparted to all new Believers, and for all other Believers to build stronger foundations on His truth. There is a need for projects and missions that are His will, but "the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing," and the Main Thing is Jesus. The true apostolic Gospel was Jesus: "They preached Jesus and the resurrection from the dead." Jesus will again be the Message, and it will be what He is doing that gets the attention.
What is coming is the return to the apostolic Gospel. The Way is a Person. Truth is a Person, and if we don't know that Person as our Life, then we don't really know the Way or the Truth either. He is coming to take His rightful place in His Church. When He does, the Church will be profoundly changed. When Jesus becomes our desire as He should be, the Church will become the ultimate society on the earth that multitudes will be streaming to. There is no greater adventure than the true Christian life, and there is nothing more boring than religion. Religion is about to be displaced by the true Christian life, and the great adventure will supplant institutional religion.
Catch the Wave
We are coming to the most exciting times in history, but this is also a warning. If we are not prepared for what is coming, we will be victims of it. This coming worldwide revival will also be one of the biggest challenges ever. Moves of God are often referred to as waves in history because a wave is an accurate metaphor. For a surfer, there are few things as thrilling as catching "the big one." However, if you're casually strolling in the surf and the big one catches you by surprise, you will likely eat a lot of sand and drink a lot of salt water. Revivals can do the same thing to churches and ministries that are not prepared for them.
Riding a wave is not possible unless you are positioned right to catch it. To catch a wave, you must discern where it is going to break. Then you must position yourself in the right place. Then you have to begin moving in the right direction when it comes. Though it may seem that everything is quiet right now, we need to be getting prepared for what is coming by getting into position and be ready to move in the right direction as it comes.
The most important thing that we can do to get into the right position is to recover and strengthen our first love—Jesus. We all signed up for Him, not just good teachings, or a better way to live, though we do get those too. There is nothing on earth more contagious than a person who is getting closer to the Lord. Those "who have been with Jesus" are going to start standing out as never before. We only have true spiritual authority to the degree that we are abiding in the King, and the leaders of what is coming will be those who are the closest to the Lord.
What is coming will be far too big for any human leadership or strategy to control. Only the Captain of the hosts can lead this one, and He will. It is not just hearing the words of the Lord as much as it is hearing the Word Himself. The main strategy for what is to come will be to know His voice and to obey Him. He will be giving personal direction to His people. This is why we are told in Acts 2:17-18 that "in the last days" when He pours out His Spirit, the result is dreams, visions, and prophecy upon the old and young, male and female, which obviously includes everyone. This is because we are going to need this kind of guidance for what is to come, and He is going to give it to us as He always has for those who would seek Him.
The coming move of God will be the greatest challenge we've ever faced but also will be the greatest time of our lives. These are the times that even the prophets of old desired to see. The Lord has saved His best wine for last, and many who are reading this will witness the greatest move of God of all time.
It is right to appreciate the honor of living in these times, but it is also right to treat it as the great responsibility that it is. To whom much is given much will be required, and this will be a time when much work must be done. Even so, when we are yoked with the Lord, we will find rest and refreshment in our labors as we are told in Matthew 11:28-30:
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
You do not put on a yoke to go to bed but rather to do work. However, there is no greater rest and refreshment for our souls that we could ever find than being yoked with the Lord in His work. There is no job or profession we could ever have in this life more fulfilling than doing what He created us to do before the foundation of the world. This will be life on a level more exciting and fulfilling than most have ever known. Even so, knowing and abiding in the rest of the Lord will be crucial for all during this time. As much work as there will be to do with so many coming to the faith, we must not fall to human striving. Striving is counterproductive in the work in the true work of the Kingdom.
He Is Supernatural
We were created to have fellowship with God Who is Spirit. Because of this, there is a deep yearning for the spiritual, the supernatural, in every human being. Many cover it up, but we can never be truly fulfilled or at peace without this spiritual fellowship with God. As Jesus stated in John 4:23-24:
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
The Apostle Paul said that if we are at home in the body, or in the natural, we are absent from the Lord (see II Corinthians 5:6-9). We should be more at home in the spiritual realm than we are the natural because the "new creation" is born of the Spirit. This too is going to become a reality in what is coming. Then extraordinary miracles become common, and even the "greater works," such as speaking to mountains and having them plucked up and moved, will be done to prove that the Word of God is true.
The true Christian life is a supernatural life, and this will be a reality in what is coming. However, that we will be seeing such miracles also means that we will be living in times when we will need those miracles. Everyone will be in either continuous awe and wonder at the great things the Lord is doing, or in continuous terror at what is happening in the world. The Apostle Paul said in Acts 14:22, "Through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God." This is true personally and for the whole world. In every trial there is a door to the Kingdom, and in the ultimate trial of the whole earth, the whole earth will enter the Kingdom.
The good thing is that the tribulation will not last, but the Kingdom will. For those who are staying close to the Lord, they will hardly know that they are passing through tribulations. In a prophetic experience, I was once caught up and found myself standing in front of a radar screen on a warship, with the Lord Himself standing next to me. There was a blip on the screen coming straight at us, so I called for the ship to turn 90 degrees. The ship turned, but the blip on the screen remained right in front and coming closer. I called for the ship to turn again, with the same results. I then braced for the impact, but the blip went away and nothing happened. I then asked the Lord what had happened. He said the blip on the radar screen was the great time of trouble. He said that it was coming and there was no way to avoid it, but if we stayed close to Him, we wouldn't even feel it.
For those who are walking in their purpose, even the great tribulation will be a minor event. There will be far more attention on what Christ is doing than on what the antichrist is doing. As we read in Isaiah 60, at the very time when darkness is covering the earth, and deep darkness the people, the Lord's glory will be rising on His people. Then, as we see in verse three, the nations will come to the glory. The light wins! We do need to know the devil's schemes, but true security comes from knowing what Christ is doing, and uniting with Him in His purposes.
As we read in Daniel 2, at the same time all of the kingdoms of men are collapsing and becoming like dust, the Kingdom of God is growing, and it will keep growing until it fills the earth. Those who are obeying His command to seek first His Kingdom (see Matthew 6:33) will experience never-ending increase. Those who are seeking first the things of this world will experience increasing troubles. Every coming year this distinction will become more pronounced. It is time to put the Kingdom first, above anything else that we are pursuing.
One of the most important things that we can do to be positioned to catch the wave that is coming is to come to know the gifts and ministries of the Spirit that we are called to walk in, and begin to walk in them. The Ephesians 4 mandate of all true New Testament ministry is to equip others to do the work of the ministry, not just do it ourselves. Those who do not obey this mandate will soon disappear from leadership in the church, and those who train and equip their people will be the future leaders of the Body of Christ. These are the ones who are not burying the talents they've been entrusted with but are investing and multiplying them. We cannot accomplish what we must in these times without every part of the Body doing its part.
For the last five years I have been shown many difficulties and hardships that will be coming, and to date, they have proven to be accurate. Not many wanted to hear or believe what we had to say, and I have to admit that it has not been much fun having so many hard words. Even so, all of these trials have doors to the Kingdom that we must now walk through. Those who did hear the warning and prepared accordingly have done very well. The prepared will prosper in any situation. One of the most important preparations we can make for these times is simplicity of life.
Gaining or losing natural resources is not nearly as important in these times as being in the right place, equipped for our purpose. To lose everything we own is not nearly as important compared to missing the greatest of all spiritual opportunities that is coming. The most valuable thing we can accomplish in this life is to hear those greatest of words on the Judgment Day: "Well done good and faithful servant" (see Matthew 25:23). There is not a human being who would not gladly trade all that they accomplished to hear those words on that day. This is also what we must live for now. Those who do will be the happiest of all people, and that joy will not go away forever.