In a most unusual way the Lord used the last five verses of Amos, chapter 9, to convince me of the impending revival in America:
In this short passage God revealed to me the vehicle, the target, the assurance, the method, the historic sign, and the timing of the outpouring. The vehicle He will use is David's restored tabernacle – groups of people devoted to worship with the manifest presence of God in their midst. The targets are the Gentiles and the historic enemies of Israel like Edom, Esau's offspring. He provides assurance with these expressions of His intent: "On that day I will," "Behold the days are coming," "I will bring back," "They shall build," "They shall plant," "They shall make," and "I will plant them."
The method is spiritual intoxication. The mountains, a type of the nations, shall drip with the intoxicating new wine, like the early disciples at Pentecost. The historic sign and the timing of the outpouring is the generation when Jewish people are restored to their ancient homeland. In 1948, the impossible happened. Israel became a nation again after almost 2,000 years. Then the prophetic clock of the end-time outpouring began ticking!
I stooped to pick it up and saw that it was a partially torn check made out to a church. It was check #913! The Lord began telling me that the check was a prophetic sign to the Church. He had written a blank check for revival out of Amos 9:13. The devil had attempted to destroy it, but the money was still in the bank. It occurred to me that a check is also called a promissory note. The check isn't the money; it represents the existence and promise of the money. God's promise is still good even if it has been torn, tattered, and assaulted by the enemy and assailed by many in unbelief.
Note the Father's initial introduction of His Son to the world:
"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger'" (Luke 2:10-12, emphasis mine).
This will be a sign to you: You will find a babe wrapped in rags lying in the trough of a cattle feeder (McMillan Unauthorized Translation). A bit out of the ordinary, wouldn't you say? Yet, it pleased God to introduce Jesus in just this way. This sign pointed to the basic humility of our Heavenly Father and to our need for the same kind of humility if we are to know Him better.
This short defense of prophetic signs is an attempt to help some who have dismissed such things out of hand, and by so doing, have missed major encouragement and faith-building communications from God. I have often needed encouragement and more faith and didn't particularly care where or how they came.
As I did, you may have trouble believing in a final large-scale harvest in which millions are swept into the Kingdom. That doesn't mean it isn't so. There are verses indicating the end of the age will be dark and desperate, but there are other ones that "shed light" on something else much more positive. Both elements will exist at the same time. Both the Old and New Testaments affirm that. In Matthew 13:39 Jesus typified the end of the age as a harvest: "the harvest is the end of the age," when good and bad will come to maturity and be harvested together. Isaiah prophesied a similar scenario:
"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60:1-3).
The phrase "Gentiles shall come to your light" sets the stage of the fulfillment of this prophecy in our age, the age of the Gospel. We haven't yet seen the fullness of the glory arising upon us, or any other generation. Habakkuk said, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).
Nor have "we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13), nor do we find in the earth yet 'a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish' (Ephesians 5:27). These verses too must be fulfilled before the end comes.
"Even while one is engaged in ploughing the land for the sowing, the other will already be able to cut ripe corn; so quickly will the corn grow and ripen. And the treading of the grapes will last to the sowing-time, so abundant will the vintage be. The second half of the verse is taken from Joel 3:18; and according to this passage, the melting of the hills is to be understood as dissolving into streams of milk, new wine, and honey, in which the prophet had the description of the promised land as a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8, etc.) floating before his mind."
"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it." Amos 9:13
Yes, the days are coming!
Senior Pastor, Queen City Church