A revival of holiness is coming to this nation. The sparks have already been ingnitied by the Holy Spirit, and everywhere I travel now there are signs of a glorious awakening, with multitudes of God's children hungering and thirsting for righteousness. The Bible predicts that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. Holiness, the true righteousness of Christ, is the standard. That blood-stained banner of holiness is being raised over the battlefields of sin and corruption and soon, very soon. There will arise a crescendo of voices crying out to the Lord: "Cleanse us. Consume us. Lift us out of the mire and filth of this age. Bring us back to holy living and heavenly mindedness. Purify us and keep us unspotted from the world."
The young Christians, and especially young ministers, are sick and tired of all the religious game playing. They are weary of all the interdenominational bickering and doctrinal hassles. They are hungry for a faith that will keep them clean and pure in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. They are beginning to call on the Lord for an awakening in our country, and for a vision of God's holiness.
I hear their cries from coast to coast - they tell me, in essence, "We do not want some kind of theological system. We are tired of materialistic teaching and preaching that leaves us so empty and dry. We don't want to be told how to be successful or prosperous. We are young, so we don't relate to health messages. We need to be convicted of sin - to know how to grieve over our backslidings and pleasure-loving ways. We want to know how to yield our bodies to Christ in total surrender - and know what it means to be holy. We need a gospel that shows us how to stay clean in this filthy age.
I believe that even now my pen is anointed by the Spirit of God when I tell you that He is going to sovereignly move upon His church and awaken it anew to Bible holiness. The chosen of God are going be stirred in their inner man; the Spirit is going to convict and tug and pull - until believers are once again yearning for spiritual cleansing and deliverance from the power of sin.
Backslidden, cold-hearted church goers are going to be shaken and convicted by the powerful probings of the Holy Spirit. Judgment will begin in the house of God, and the Lord's holiness will be revealed in the inner man. Secret sin is going to be exposed, everywhere, and many, many Christians are going to be convicted and warned by God to lay their sin down, forsake it, or be judged openly, severely."
Lukewarm, backslidden ministers are going to see the standard of holiness raised in the land, and they will either turn to the Lord with fasting and praying, with tears and godly sorrow, and repentance - or, they will resist and be confirmed in their deadness and unconcern. But I believe every true minister of Christ who longs for restoration of Purity in the church, will experience a new call to diligent prayer and a renewed hatred for private and national sins.
We are going to see old-fashioned Holy Ghost conviction falling upon both sinners and Christians in churches all over this nation. I take that to be a Holy Ghost fact. It's already beginning to happen. In few months we received letters and phone calls from various ministers throughout the country telling of the sovereign moving of God's Spirit in their churches, with entire congregations completely shaken by powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit. Ministers report a renewed emphasis in their preaching against sin and compromise in their churches. They tell of people running to altars and repenting, crying out to God for a new baptism of love and cleansing in their souls. Covetousness, bitterness, and worldlimindedness are being confessed and forsaken. Their people are beginning to turn from wicked ways, and there is now a returning to the old paths of righteousness, by faith. Without being forced, they are beginning to fast and pray for a new vision of mercy and grace.
In my own ministry I can tell you that God has turned me inside out! I've been reading books written by holy Puritan writers. Godly men like John Owen, Sibbes, Goodwin, Baxter, and others. I have been shocked by how far we have strayed from the ways of the Lord. The primitive church walked in the fear of God and lived holy, dedicated lives. Our Puritan fathers were pious and godly men who hated sin. Luther, before he died, said, "I fear that when I'm gone this message will be forgotten. It has happened just as Luther feared. We have strayed, far off, from Reformatlon theology. The godly reformers of past centuries would not even recognize the self-centered, cheap gospel being preached in so many pulpits nowadays.
Like the young people of today, I too am tired of playing spiritual games. I'm tired of the lazy, self-pampering, materialistic preaching and teaching that has carried us so far away from the gospel of repentance, holiness, and total surrender.
This is what I am now hearing on my knees in the secret closet of prayer: Davld - examine yourself; look in the mirror of God's holiness. Get rid of all the sin and corruption - pride, self, and ambition. Begin seeking the face of the Lord with fervency and sincerity. Wean yourself from things; from materialism - hunger, thirst, for the true righteousness - the gift of God through faith in Christ. Call on God from a sorrowful heart and pray for a fresh anointing. Run often to the secret closet and seek Him with all your heart and soul. Dig deeper into God's Word - seek a new revelation of God's awesome holiness. Love not the world, and forsake all its pleasures. Surrender everything - humble yourself and preach against sin and compromise with a holy zeal. Awaken God's people! Preach against sin in the Lord's house. Call for Christians to repent! Preach fearlessly until there is a godly sorrow for sin! Call for the people to humble themselves and pray!
When John the Baptist prophesied concerning the appearance of Christ, he saw Him coming with an axe in one hand and a fan in the other.
"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the tree: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire...Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquencible fire..." (Matthew 3:10-12).
John did not see Christ coming with a bag of favors on His back, like some kind of divine Santa Claus. He was not coming to make mankind prosperous and successful. He was coming with an axe and a fan! Christ was going to appear in His house to purge it out! To purge means "to cleanse, to get rid of, to carry away, that which is impure." The fan is the Holy Spirit, whose mighty wind is about to blow away all the chaff of lukewarmness and sin out of God's holy temple.
The axe is the convicting power of God's Word going forth under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Listen to the language of John's prophecy - "Christ will purge, cut down, gather, burn, separate! All the compromise will now be judged. All the self-seeking and pleasure madness will be held in contempt of His court. All the mixing with ungodly Christ rejecters will not be overlooked. He will not spare in using both the axe and the fan. He has waited long enough for His vineyard to produce fruit. The phoniness, the chaff, all must be purged. Our Lord is going to cut off the spiritual roots of all false professors and hypocrites. Only those with clean hands and pure hearts will come to His holy mountain. He will reject His own altars and turn away from many churches - if there is not a revival of repentance.
If you are not hearing that kind of preaching from your pulpits, I fear either the mlnister or teacher has lost the anointing, or else they are teachers who love to scratch itching ears. The preaching and teaching that is most pleasing to God in these last days is that which puts the axe to the root of sin in our lives. We need preaching that shakes us to the depth of our hearts, exposing the chaf of secret sin and world mlndedness. We need, and we will soon get, more preachers and teachers with a sword in their hands to cut to the very marrow of the bone and bring forth true repentance and the forsaking of sin.
If I, as a minister of the Gospel, in full time service to the Lord - with a library lined with religious books - and a call of God - fell under the red hot conviction of the Holy Spirit - so may you! I didn't realize how cold my heart had become. I was not hating sin with a godly hated as I should. I didn't know the world was slowly creeping into my soul, making me spiritually weak and dry. I was no longer fasting or prostrating myself in His holy presence until His divine holiness melted and broke me. I thought the only fast needed today was Isaiah's "setting of captives free and lifting the heavy burdens of the poor." But I used that as an excuse so I wouldn't have to abstain from even one meal to make time for prayer.
I was one of those ministers who so glibly boasted, "I refuse to look into my heart - I know it's wicked - so I'll just let Jesus forgive it all and I'll forget it." That sounds like New Testament theology, - but it's only half the truth. We never do give up our attractions to sin; we never get to the roots - until we see how exceedingly sinful we are, and how desperately we need the grace and mercy of Christ. We cut down the tree, and leave the roots to spring up again.
Oh, yes - I prayed and read my Bible; and I preached and I gave to the needy; and I loved my wife and children; and I thought I was a pretty honest, humble and sincere minister. But that was before the Holy Spirit made me take an honest look in the mirror of His righteousness. I saw things in me that shocked me. I was not totally yielded. I was still in the clutches of subtle kinds of pride. I was slowly being poisoned by the love of comfort, ease, and recognition. It was mostly in the subconscious, but still very real. But God in His mercy woke me up! He took me in His compassionate arms and put me back on holy ground. It's just a beginning and I've got a long way to go, but I will not turn back.
There have been other times God called me to go "all the way" to a deep and life-changing surrender, but I'd get too busy to follow through. But not this time - I am going to go all the way, until He humbles me, purges me, and gives me His robe of true righteousness.
Changes have taken place in me, and now also in my pulpit ministry. Part of that purge is that the music in all of my crusades is changing. Along with me, our musical group has been directed by the Spirit to sing and play only Christ-exalting praise and worship music. There will be no music in our meetings that knowingly mimics the sounds of the ungodly rock or disco groups. No entertainment! We are going to present music that calms wild spirits, that lifts up the name of Jesus, that makes young people want to take a sober look at themselves and to begin hungering for the things of God.
I know a lot of musicians will believe me, when I prophesy here and now that God is going to blow out of His church all music that offends heaven. The fan is in His hand right now - much of modern music is chaff, and it will be purged. The day is soon coming when singers and groups who continue putting out unsanctified "religious" music, will no longer have an audience. Revived young people, led by the Spirit of God, are going to be weaned away from all music that sounds like an echo from the rebellious past, including any kind of music that exalts wickedness. Young people who return to holiness and purity will develop an ear for music that is healing and worshipful.
God is going to do a new thing in music! I've seen it coming for a long time. A total purging! It's already beginning to happen. Just this week, two other groups told me their next albums will feature more worship and praise. One well-known musician told me, "God has been stirring my heart lately. I'm going to write all my songs on my knees now. No more silly junk. I don't care about album sales anymore - I just want to minister to people."
God has promised me that the young people will enjoy, and one day soon prefer, the sanctified sounds of the Spirit. The revival of holiness that is coming is going to bring back the beautiful, uplifting music that Christ desires. All revivals of holiness, in all past ages, have been accompanied by a purifying of music in the church. This prophecy will bear honest witness to all praying readers of this letter. Don't you, too, feel the witness in your heart that changes are coming - purifying, cleansing changes?
In this revival of holiness that is coming, God is going to call for separation and commitment. No more putting patches over sin. Sin must be not only confessed, but forsaken. People who claim to be saved, but who play around with adultery and fornication, will be put on the spot! Those who walk down the aisles to "be saved" will no longer get away with just "praying a simple prayer." No! They must be so convicted of their sins they will hate them. They will not be leaving my crusades with a false security, just because they shed a few tears and said a little prayer. I want to see the Holy Spirit smite people with such conviction they will see the "exceeding sinfulness of sin." Then, I want the Spirit to do more than an emotional, surface work in them. I want them to see how sinful, how totally helpless they are! Then, I want them to get a revelation of the loving grace of Jesus Christ - and I want them to receive, by faith, the gift of His holiness and righteousness! I want them to count the cost - give up the world, its pleasures, and all ungodly friends - and turn completely around to walk with God.
This revival of holiness will be rejected by many. They will call it a return to legalism; they will say it is "preaching the Law"; they will say It leads to bondage! But they are wrong. I, too, despise legalistic holiness. But the revival I see coming is one of true, biblical holiness. It will focus on inner truth and purity. Christ is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle, not for a church lounging on ivory beds of ease, covetousness, and selfishness. Worldlimindedness is overtaking God's people - a work of God must challenge it soon.
Christ wept not for Egypt, Rome, or Greece - He wept for Jerusalem, His own city wherein lived His own people. The Word says:
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Are you one of His people? Have you been sensing really the deep inner awakening I've been talking about? Have you been feeling a renewed hunger for righteousness? Have you grown tired and weary of the emptiness and foolishness of the world? Have you been feeling the nearness of His return? Has our blessed Lord been calling you back to the closet of prayer, and back to a life of yieldedness and purity?
Get ready, saints! While the liberal church gets colder and more godless - while the lukewarm preachers continue to offer false hope - while this old world begins to disintegrate while all around is crime, violence, unemployment, and evil - the Holy Spirit calls - "My people! Confess your sins! Humble yourself, now! Repent, now! Call on the Lord, now!"
Saints of God - if you feel this same inner stirring - ask God to make you nauseated with sin, worldliness, and materialism. Pray for a new hunger and thirst for God's fullness. Get back to the secret closet of prayer! Don't miss out on this next great move of God's Spirit in the land!
Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken. Music, morals, families, churches, seminaries, colleges, and even the government!
"...Once more I will shake not only the earth, but also heaven.. that those. things which cannot be shaken may remain..." (Hebrews 12:27).
Take this message with you into your quiet place of prayer - read it prayerfuily, and allow the Spirit of God to melt and break you, and anoint you with fresh oil! Holy! Holy! is our God!
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord... "(Hebrews 12:14).