God has given me a clear vision of the revival that is to come. In 1889, God gave British missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, a vision that in the last days the last great revival would begin in Russia, and the Russians would bring it into Europe, and then the Lord would come back! And the amazing thing is, I have seen that great revival, I’ve been part of it – my job has been to fulfil that prophetic vision!
I’ve always believed in a coming end-time revival. In Joel 2:23 the prophet says, ‘Be glad you children of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.’
We are in constant spiritual warfare – and God is calling us to fight! I want you to be strong, I want you to put on the full armour of God, so that together we can stand and defeat the enemy – and see the Glory of God, the Glory of Christ here on earth!
The fruit of the Spirit in you is the evidence of the new life you have: The Spirit of Christ in you, being revealed through your mortal body! Our human bodies HAVE to be made subject to the Spirit, so that we don’t ‘grieve the Spirit’. We’ve got to put off the flesh and put on the Spirit of Christ, in order that we can truly represent who Christ is! And so that we can share in the Kingdom which is to come.
It’s essential that we grow into the likeness of Christ, that we share His desire, His passion... It was only a few years ago, going on one of my prayer walks, I was saying, "Holy Spirit, You know more about Jesus than anyone, I want You to share with me the secret of how Jesus ministered, how He was successful in evangelism, how He was successful in the ministry of healing. Holy Spirit, I want to learn more about Jesus, I want to be more like Him."
I had one young man work with me many years ago, but unfortunately he wanted to copy ‘other people’. Yes, we can learn from other people, but I don’t want to ‘copy’ somebody else! I want to be myself, because God who made us, made us unique! We are not to be ‘imitators of other people’, of another evangelist, of another pastor. We are to be imitators of Christ! After all, He is the Head, from whom the whole Body is fitly joined together.
I am moved by the very great depths of this letter Paul wrote to the Ephesians, and I want to speak about Ephesians 4:11-13 where he is talking about the fivefold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The purpose of this ministry is to bring the Church, the members of the Body of Christ, the ‘saints’ into the place where they can contribute in some way into the ministry, to ‘edify the Body of Christ’ – until we all come to a sense of unity in the faith, unity in the knowledge of the Son of God – into maturity!
We were created by God to fulfil a Purpose! In your life, God sees and God knows the future. I want to encourage you to seek the Lord. Recognise from Isaiah 30, that although the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction in your life, your ‘teachers’ will not be removed from you, but you will continue to see the way through – and your ears will hear a Voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it!” All my life I’ve heard that Voice. And today I’m hearing that Voice again, knowing that it gives me the confidence to live through the adversity and the affliction, because I have heard! Even in this God is saying, “This is the way, walk in it!” I pray God will give you the courage!
When you are a child of God, when you are walking in the Will and knowledge of God, many things which happen in your life – some of which may be painful now – are like an instruction, a teaching, to prepare you for the future! In Isaiah 30v20, ‘Although the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction…’ I’m sensing, that although your life’s experience will be of adversity and affliction, yet they will become the very thing which God will use for His glory. When I look back on my life and my 70 years of ministry, it is very clear to me that in order to come to where I am today, the Lord had to take me through adversity. I would not be where I am, seeing the power of the evangelism and the phenomenal miracles unless I had had cancer twice and been in prison.
There is One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Faith… We know this from Ephesians 4… One Lord, One Baptism, One God and Father of all… There is such a sense of Oneness in Christ! The Church is not just a place where Christians gather together, the Church is fellowship, it’s unity, the place where we get our strength, our power, it’s like a school, it’s where we get our education… The purpose of the Church is to strengthen the work of the ministry.
It’s a very beautiful thing the Apostle Paul is saying in Ephesians 3:17-19, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length and depth and height of the love of God.”
This is really beautiful, it’s Paul being very expressive and very explicit. We’re so familiar with two dimensions, flat, and with three dimensions where there is some depth and perspective. But Paul’s description of the love of God is higher and greater, more enlightening, it’s wide, it’s long, it’s deep, and it’s high – four dimensions – the height AND the depth! I’m intrigued! God’s love is not just the length which encompasses the world, it’s not just the width, but it has a height – and it has a depth – it’s an almost unfathomable mystery of God. And yet Paul wants us to understand it.