About Jesus - Steve Sweetman

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One Massive Revival


The following is based on the Futurist view of prophetic history that states the book of Revelation predicts future events. 


Some people suggest that the passing on of faith in Jesus from one generation to the next generation often hits a road block in the third generation.  Maybe this is one reason why every so often God pours out His Spirit in what we call a revival. 


Joel 2:28 predicts the most massive revival in human history.  The Lord said that He would pour out His Spirit on all people (NIV) or on all flesh (KJV).  I believe all people means all people groups that exist on our planet.  I realize the Apostle Peter quoted this text in Acts 2:17 to 21 in defense of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that had just taken place.  That being said, the Holy Spirit was not poured out on all people groups on the day of Pentecost.  He was poured out on 120 Jewish believers.  According to the context as seen through the lens of the Prophetic Futurist viewpoint Joel's prophecy concerning this revival occurs at the end of this age.   Acts 2 was the beginning of this age.  Joel's predicted revival began to be fulfilled in Acts 2 but its ultimate fulfillment will be realized during the persecution of the great tribulation as seen in the book of Revelation. 


Church history shows us that persecution and revival often go hand in hand.  That is certainly true in Islamic nations today where Muslim converts to Jesus suffer greatly, even to the point of martyrdom.  In places like Syria, Iraq, and Somalia, where persecution is commonplace, God is pouring out His Spirit in miraculous fashion.      


I believe we see the ultimate fulfillment of Joel's prophecy of revival in Revelation 7: 8 to 17. Verse 8 reads as follows.  "I looked and there stood before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb."  The Apostle John was blown away by this massive crowd of worshippers that no one could count.  As Joel predicted, they came from every people group on earth.  John wondered who these people were.  He was told in verse 14 that they are those who came out of the great tribulation.  They were those who were not afraid to die for their association with Jesus (Revelation 12:11), and die they did.  This massive multitude of revived people who were martyred on account of Jesus clearly fulfills the prophecy of Joel that predicted God pouring out His Spirit on all people groups at the end of this age.    


Western world Christians have not suffered much persecution to date, but our day is coming.  Western culture has adopted an anti-Christ stance in what it calls the doctrine of tolerance that will eventually lead to its submission to the rule of the anti-Christ.  Until then western world Christians will progressively experience the increase of persecution.  As the persecution intensifies, revival will flourish because where sin increases, grace increases even more (Romans  5:20).  


If you're praying for revival, don't be surprised if the next revival is accompanied by persecution.  I don't know if I'll be alive when the worst of the persecution hits western world believers.  I don't know how close we are to the Revelation 7 revival and the end of this age.  One thing I believe I do know and that is revival will purify God's western world people, but, it will come via the purifying agent of persecution.  Let's not hide our heads in the sands of indifference or ignorance.  Let's be prepared for whatever comes our way.    



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