The winds blew and the rains fell on TheCall Aszua Now, but that didn't stop tens of thousands of people from weathering the storms at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the same venue where Billy Graham preached the gospel to over 134,000 in 1963.
If anything, the adversity intensified the determination of the masses to cry out to God in what became for 15 hours an outdoor house of prayer in the heart of California.
"William Seymour, the catalyst of that great revival, prophesied in 1913 that in roughly 100 years another revival far eclipsing Azusa would come," says Lou Engle, founder of TheCall. "The fulfillment of Seymour's word is overdue ... or right on schedule. Let us therefore "pray for the rain in the time of the latter rain." Who knows? Maybe like those who were baptized in the Spirit in the original Acts 2 upper room, we will say, "This is that which was spoken by William Seymour the prophet!"
There's a rich root of revival in Los Angeles—and women were a key part of it.
Assemblies of God history tells us the Azusa Street Revival brought women's ministries to the fore. Indeed, Jennie Evans Moore who married Daddy William Seymour in 1908, was a key figure. Her name is not as well known as Seymour's but she was in the revival trenches with him, along with Lucy Farrow and Julia Hutchins. These virtually nameless and faceless, yet faithful, women helped keep the fire burning.
Maria Woodworth-Etter was a mother figure in early Pentecost—John G. Lake called her "Mother Etter." Her trance-marked ministry helped pave the way for the Azusa Street outpouring and ultimately the birth of a movement that changed the world.
Bold women like Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman followed in Mother Etter's footsteps. McPherson's Angeles Temple is still standing in Los Angeles today. I stood behind her pulpit in her home, which the Foursquare denomination she started preserved for historical purposes.
I'll always remember the night I stepped into a Florida Panhandle church in the midst of full-blown revival. Rick Curry invited me to check out what was known in 2014 as the Gulf Stream Revival.
Being a journalist by trade, I stood back and watched as revivalist Damon Thompson declared everyone who needed healing should run a circle around the church. After one lady passed me a second time, the Holy Spirit spoke these attention-getting words to my heart, "I've called you to be a participant in revival, not just an observer of it."
With that, I started running around the church with the rest of them. That night awakened in me a newfound hunger for transforming revival. Not long after that night, I had a dream in which Dutch Sheets shared advice with me about the next step in my journey—and weeks later, I heard Dutch's appeal-to-heaven message for the first time.
Intercession broke out. Travail ensued. Groanings too deep for utterance seemed to echo throughout the church—and then the spirit of the fear of the Lord fell on the entire congregation (Is. 11:2).
Everybody froze. The intercession stopped. The travail stopped. The groanings stopped. The church was silent. The spirit of the fear of the Lord permeated the atmosphere. There was an awe among us, a reverence for God. It was a holy moment. You could hear the proverbial pin drop.
In that moment, the Holy Spirit spoke something that shook me. He told me, "False revivalists would rise up in this hour." These false revivalists don't truly have a heart for revival or awakening or transformation. Rather, they are motivated by the potential profits in the latest church trend.
Listen to Jennifer's podcast on this topic: "A Prophetic Warning About False Revivalists."
Much like we saw false prophets arise amid a true prophetic reformation, and false apostles rise amid a true apostolic reformation, false revivalists are rising even as sincere believers are making an urgent appeal to heaven in desperation for a Third Great Awakening.
In 2012, I released a prophetic word that essentially declared God is waiting on us. God is not holding revival tightly in His fist, refusing to release it. I'm convinced that many of us are waiting on God to move when in reality He's waiting on us to move. My 2012 prophecy was: Revival begins with you.
At the same time, I've discovered we cannot set ourselves on fire. Not really. God is the ultimate fire-starter. But we can position our hearts close to His burning flame of love and catch His fire as the wind of the Holy Spirit blows it in our direction. We can't do God's part, but God won't do our part.
So if revival begins with you—and me—where does that leave us? Waiting on the Lord, but not in the way we have been. The Hebrew word for "wait" in the context of waiting on the Lord is "qavah." It is active verb that means to wait, look for, hope, expect; to wait or look eagerly for; to lie in wait for; and to wait for, linger for. We need to wait like we expect Him to show up.
Jesus assured us that signs would follow us if we believe. So why do so many believers come up short when they try to cast out devils? Why do they lay hands on the sick and the sick stay sick? Why do they long for miracle-working power but continue to struggle day in and day out with powerlessness?
It could be because they don't have the faith for it, but it could also be that they haven't paid the personal price to walk in God's power. Yes, we have authority over devils and sickness. Yes, we carry the kingdom of God with us wherever we go. Yes, miracles, signs and wonders happen according to God's will—not our own.
But I submit to you that there could be many things standing between you and the manifestation of His miracle-working power. That was the case in Voice of Healing evangelist A.A. Allen's life. Before Allen's miracle ministry took off, he was struggling with these questions: "Lord, why can't I heal the sick? Why can't I work miracles in Your name? Why do the signs not follow my ministry as they did that of Peter, John and Paul?" Good questions. They are questions every Christian should be asking.
We've moved from peacetime Christianity to wartime Christianity. It's time to wake up and run to the battle line to take out the giants in our land! It's time to WAR for awakening and revival.
Join Ryan LeStrange, Joe Joe Dawson and Jennifer LeClaire, the leadership team of New Breed Revival Network, for this special event in Bristol, VA. The conference includes six preaching sessions that will set your heart on fire nd and lots of workshops to equip you to contend for revival in your life and awakening in this nation. Sunday morning we will hold an impartation and commissioning service for those who want to partner with or align with New Breed Revival Network.
I've never fallen into a trance but I know people who have—and it's totally biblical. We only see people falling into trances a few times in the Bible, but there is enough evidence from the Word of God and from modern expressions to back up this scriptural supernatural experience.
A trance is a state of one who is "out of himself," according to Easton's Bible Dictionary. The word trance comes from the Greek word "ekstasis," form which the word ecstasy is derived. Peter fell into a trance in Acts 10:10 that opened his eyes to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul fell into a trance in Acts 22:17 in which the Lord gave Him a warning and a commission to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. I suppose it's hard to describe it if you've not experienced it, but Smith's Bible Dictionary goes a little deeper, saying a trance is:
"The state in which a man has passed out of the usual order of his life, beyond the usual limits of consciousness and volition, being rapt in causes of this state are to be traced commonly to strong religious impressions. Whatever explanation may be given of it, it is true of many, if not of most, of those who have left the stamp of their own character on the religious history of mankind, that they have been liable to pass at times into this abnormal state."
Before Azusa Street in 1906, there was the Welsh Revival in 1904. It was one of the greatest revivals ever and perhaps the one with the most tragic end. That's because the spirit of Jezebel cut off the voice of Evan Roberts, a young man God used to set a nation on fire for God.
As history tells it, over 100,000 souls came to Jesus in Wales over the course of nine months. Hundreds of thousands more would come to know the Lord over the next couple of years—and it all started in Moriah Chapel in Loughor, South Wales where Roberts gathered with a few youth and began to pray, "Bend us! Bend us!" and eventually "Bend me! Bend me!"
"It was the very next month that Roberts had his first vision. While strolling in a garden, Evan looked up to see what seemed to be an arm outstretched from the moon, reaching down into Wales," writes Roberts Liardon, author of God's Generals. "He later told a friend, 'I have wonderful news for you. I had a vision of all Wales being lifted up to heaven. We are going to see the mightiest revival that Wales has ever known—and the Holy Spirit is coming just now. We must get ready."
Watching old videos of healing evangelists like Kathryn Kuhlman, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe and Oral Roberts is one of my favorite things to do. In the last few months alone, I've consumed hundreds of hours of videos showing the miracle-working power of God and bold revival preaching that makes no apologies for the Rock of Offense.
While watching an A.A. Allen miracle reel my ears perked up when I heard the late Brother Allen declare a revival of the devil's witchcraft. Of course, this was back in the 1950s. What was a revival of witchcraft then has turned into a full-blown movement.
"An awful lot of people are sick, diseased and afflicted under a curse, under a spell because of the present revival of witchcraft around the world," Allen declared. "There has never been a time in history when there has been such a devil's revival of witchcraft."
Think about it for a minute. In Allen's day, there was no such thing as Harry Potter. Allen made this declaration before popular TV shows like Bewitched, Charmed and The Witches of East End—and before films like Rosemary's Baby, The Blair Witch Project and Season of the Witch. Indeed, it was before children's media like Meg and Mog, The Witch Family and Witches in Stitches hit the mainstream.