- by Andrew Strom.
I have studied Revival history for many years, but it only dawned on me recently:- There is a 50-YEAR PATTERN to these Awakenings that God has been sending to America. Do you realize that roughly every 50 years, GOING BACK CENTURIES, a massive Revival has hit the USA? This is almost unique in history. Do you realize what would happen if the devil managed to stop this pattern occurring? It would be a disaster of colossal proportions. And guess what?- The next Awakening is due right now. It has been 50 years since the last one and the "window" is opening again. But I have to ask the question:- Is the church in America ready?
For many years, the whole theme of my ministry has been Revival, Repentance and Prayer. But I have to say that I have never come across a place that has more CONFIRMED prophecies of Revival over it than Kansas City. There are many places that have grand prophecies over them, but I am talking here about CONFIRMED promises from God. I am convinced that Kansas City is UTTERLY CRUCIAL to God's plan for the next Awakening. Without this Revival in KC, it is possible that all may be lost. I realize that this is a huge statement, but you will soon see why I feel this way.
As things stand right now, this Revival seems to have been largely de-railed. The agonized cry of my heart for the last ten years has been - "This Revival CANNOT be allowed to be lost". When you understand the history of what happened in KC, I think you will see why:
KANSAS CITY'S "LOST" REVIVAL
A lot of people have heard of the 'Kansas City prophets', though some may have a rather negative reaction to that phrase. People associate something unsavory with it. But the origins of that movement are far from unsavory. In fact, I believe that God wanted to do something very powerful in Kansas City that has now been "lost" for over a decade. I believe that ultimately He wanted to raise up "John-the-Baptist" type preachers - the 'Charles Finneys' and Jonathan Edwards of today's generation. (-For God has used such 'prophetic' preachers in every Revival). But sadly, it seems that the Kansas City movement spun apart before these "John-the-Baptists" could arise. Here is what happened:
In late 1982 a young preacher by the name of Mike Bickle shifted to Kansas City to begin a work here following several powerful prophecies that he should do so. (-He had been pastoring in St. Louis up to this point). Today Mike is a well-known Christian author, speaker and founder of the 'International House of Prayer' in KC. But back in 1982 he was simply an unknown 27-year-old pastor and intercessor who commonly spent several hours a day in prayer. Just before arriving in Kansas City he had had the most powerful visitation from God that he had ever experienced, where a holy presence filled the room and he heard what he described as "the audible voice of God". He was literally trembling under the fear of the Lord. He had never experienced anything like it in his life.
During this visitation God told him that there would be "four standards" upon which the work in Kansas City was to be built. These were: (1) Night and day prayer; (2) Holiness of heart; (3) Unwavering faith; and (4) Extravagant giving to the poor.
He was also told that this work would "touch the ends of the earth" but that he must guard against those who would try to "tone it down" in any way. The Lord also placed a very strong emphasis on one particular statement that He made that day: "I am going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity IN THE EARTH in one generation."
As you can imagine, Mike was stunned by this experience, and resolved to follow through on every aspect of what God had spoken to him. The story of what followed could be dismissed by skeptics as the most arrant fiction - except for the fact that it truly happened just as I am telling you. Please do not dismiss it. Everything I am relating here did actually happen, and there are plenty of witnesses still around to confirm the truth of what I am saying. It is a mind- boggling story.
A friend of Mike's had discovered, while researching the early history of Kansas City, that the founding fathers had actually named her "The Prophetic City". And almost as soon as Mike began his meetings here, he found that a number of the 'prophetic' Christians in town felt compelled to join him. This was a little unnerving, as he had never been surrounded by such people before.
Not long after his arrival, Mike had a dream in which an angel literally appeared to him and said: "Proclaim a fast - to pray night and day for Revival in the city and the nation. Five hundred people will gather. It will be like unto Daniel 9." (-Which is the passage that recounts Daniel's 21 days of prayer and fasting). Mike couldn't get the dream out of his head and the very next day one of the prophets that he had met said to him: "You had a dream last night in which an angel spoke to you, didn't you? I myself saw the same angel and he told me, 'Give the young man Daniel 9 and he will understand.'" Mike was utterly astonished that someone could tell him his own dream like that! The prophet went on to say: "500 people will gather. And to show you how important this gathering is in God's purposes, God will send a COMET, totally unpredicted by scientists, to show that this whole thing is of Him."
Now, it is important to understand that Mike was a complete "nobody" at this point. He was new in town and his little fellowship probably numbered less than 100 people. Who on earth was he to proclaim a fast and gather a multitude to pray for 21 days? Yet he knew that God had placed a calling on his life, and he decided to go ahead. The day chosen for the beginning of the fast was May 7th, 1983.
To Mike's astonishment, over 500 people responded to the call! They prayed eighteen hours a day for 21 days, crying out to God for Revival. And not only that, but just as the prophet had stated, right when the fast was beginning an unknown comet was suddenly reported - a comet passing so close to earth that it was easily visible to the naked eye for several days. It was absolutely amazing. (The Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock made the closest known approach that a comet has made to Earth in the last 200 years - right then as the fast was beginning). I have to say, as someone who studies Revival, I have not come across ANY Revival movement in history that has had a more powerful beginning.
For the critics who have always written off the whole Prophetic movement as "false" and counterfeit -they need to remember that the whole point of this movement at the start was FASTING, PRAYER and REVIVAL. The 'comet' and other early prophecies were simply aimed at confirming this move of prayer and holiness.
This was just the start of a whole series of incredible events that showed that God was restoring the 'Prophetic' ministry to the church. It is very clear to me that the major "foundations" of today's Prophetic movement, and the great explosion that we have seen in the Prophetic ministry over the last 20 years, stem directly back to Kansas City. This was the founding movement, the watershed-event that God used to kick-start the whole thing in modern times. And it was supposed to lead to all-out Revival.
But sadly, about 8 years later, it all came apart in a terrible spiritual "train-wreck". I am not going to dwell on the reasons, or apportion blame in any particular direction. (By this time a number of well- known prophets had been involved for some years). But suffice it to say that there were some crucial mistakes made and things began to spin very badly out of control. Some even say that a 'spirit of divination' entered in after about 1986, and many people began to be deeply hurt and wounded by this movement. The 'Kansas City prophets' (as they came to be called) ended up being featured in a very negative light in Charisma magazine (-with 'front cover' exposure) and a Kansas City pastor circulated a very damning report about them all over town. One major prophet, feeling rejected, committed a serious indiscretion and was forced out. Others were simply asked to leave town. The whole 'prophetic' side of the ministry seemed to blow apart. (-This was around 1991). The prophets scattered everywhere.
It truly was a disaster. Not just for the Prophetic movement, but for the Church as a whole. For I am convinced that what God wanted to raise up out of Kansas City was a prophetic voice to call the Laodicean church to repentance before it was too late (-particularly in America). That was the ultimate goal. (There were prophecies referring to this). But all that we are left with now is a hollow shell. And I am convinced that this "train-wreck" affected more than just Kansas City. I believe it greatly impacted the entire Prophetic movement for the worse. Today we see the results all around us.
The Prophetic movement was not supposed to be just about 'revelatory' experiences or great dreams and visions. It was not supposed to be about selling books or holding conferences. It was supposed to bring a word that would shake the church out of her slumber - that would pierce her heart with 'godly sorrow' and deep repentance before it was too late. It was supposed to bring shaking and change. It was supposed to act as a 'John-the-Baptist' to the nation. That is what has very much been lost - I am convinced of it. What a tragedy.
After 1991, Mike Bickle's church in Kansas City seemed to meander along for quite some time, wondering what to do with itself. (-It was quite a big church by this stage). Eventually Mike left pastoring to concentrate on raising up a 24-hour prayer center in the city. This has been a huge success - aimed obviously at fulfilling one of the original "four standards" - ie. Night and day prayer. But as for the original 'prophetic' side of things, little of it truly remains. So much has been lost.
I am personally convinced, however, that the mandate over Kansas City has never been rescinded - and that the original calling still remains.
There is a great move of God hanging over the city that I do not believe has been "aborted" but more "suspended". It has been left hanging. And time is running out. It is probably the most prayed-for city in America. But there is still a terrible danger that all may be lost. I literally cannot stand the thought of it. All those years of prayer by so many people. All those confirming signs. Such a promising move. What a victory for the devil if he can keep it from happening. It simply cannot be allowed. And the most serious aspect of all is this: -What happens to America if her 'Prophetic city' is lost? What if the church never hears the 'voice' that was supposed to rouse her from her slumber? Will she awaken in time or will she lose her Revival?
One obvious question that arises for me personally is - what on earth can I hope to do about any of this? Why would God give me such a burden and send me to live over here? I am not someone who sees angels or has visits to the 'third heaven'. My whole emphasis is on REPENTANCE. I am a 'Revival' preacher. -That is my whole anointing and focus. I am someone who does not believe in a prophetic ministry based merely around dreams and visions - but rather around a 'John-the-Baptist' type message - "REPENT!" (-And I believe this was the true original calling of the whole movement). For this is what a 'lukewarm' church desperately needs. So what on earth am I doing here in Kansas City?
Well, all I know is that I need to stick to my 'John-the-Baptist' emphasis - because it is sorely needed here in America. And the only other thing I know is that God has called us to Kansas City and we are in the right place. Whatever else happens is up to Him.
A lot of people today regard the whole Prophetic movement as "beyond help" and deceived. And yes, this movement IS deceived. I believe it is essentially a "fallen movement" in a lot of ways - since 1991. There is an enormous amount of flakiness and hype and all kinds of things that have gained a foothold.
But I look back at the early years (-before the devil took it out) and I see a move of intercession and prophetic utterance and holiness and truth, aimed at seeing the lukewarm church REPENT. And I have to believe there is a way to see this 'original thing' restored.
Please pray for Kansas City, my friends?
God bless you all!
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