In this Discerning The Times, Doug McMurry and I briefly look back at the past prayer battles in the calamitous year of 2020. We then look forward to praying in the third great global awakening.
During this last year, we were engaged in several urgent issues facing the Church and the world. These issues included the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of Radical Left groups like BLM and Antifa, outbreaks of racial violence, the contested US presidential election and more.
As we pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we need to remember that the intercession taking place is always in the context of human events.
These events often involve political and cultural issues and are frequently plagued with antigod ideologies such as the occult, Islam, Marxism, etc. However, the Holy Spirit persistently directed us to pray for the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Lord will use our prayers to usher in the Third Great Global Awakening!
The History of Holy Spirit Outpourings
In the video below, Doug McMurry traces the outpourings of the Holy Spirit down through history, confirming what many have prophesied— that God, the Father is already sending the next great global awakening. He reviews the history of how great awakenings always begin with the work of intercession and often through a small group of Christians. These Christians cry out to God in desperation in the face of the rise of evil, immorality, godlessness, and attacks against the Church through demonic strongholds working through social structures including governments.
(For anointed teaching by Doug on the great outpourings of the Holy Spirit, please visit his website at theclearing.us. To learn about God’s Mighty Deeds through the centuries, consider watching his Glory Through Time Series. Currently, Doug is doing a series on The Third Great Awakening.)
When the early disciples came under persecution, a great awakening is exactly what happened in Acts 4:23-31. The attacks were coming from ALL the power structures of that society. “For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” (Act 4:27)
They were surrounded and outgunned by the structures of power and might, behind which were powerful demonic strongholds. All were aligned against this little movement of Jews who had come to know Yeshua as their Messiah and Lord.
But through faith in Yeshua and a baptism with the Holy Spirit in His love, power and authority they were able to stand in Christ, rejecting the power and might structures of their day. They chose to follow the way of God’s Kingdom which is “by My Spirit!” (Zechariah 4:6)
This new walk instantly put them in conflict with all the power and might structures of their day which sought to silence and destroy them. We believe that in our present epoch, the “By Thy Spirit” Church of Jesus Christ has entered a period like the situation in Acts. No doubt, we are being increasingly surrounded by the hostile “power and might” structures of government and society and the compromised apostate church.
Lessons from the Book of Acts
For us in this situation of growing totalitarianism, we face a very real potential for persecution when we will not submit to its sway. The first Christians in the book of Acts provide lessons for how the Lord calls us not just to cope, but to triumph in oppression. In the book of Acts, in response to their desperate, humanly impossible situation, the besieged community of believers in Yeshua cried out,
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant Your servants to speak Your word with utmost courage—while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.”Acts 4:29-30 (TLV)
The Lord responded by sending an outpouring of the Holy Spirit!
“When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh [the Holy Spirit] and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”Acts 4:31 TLV
Under the right conditions, such outpourings of the Holy Spirit that advance the Kingdom of God may become what the Bible calls “times of refreshing” or “the restoration of all things.” (Acts 3:19-21) They have also been called “great awakenings” which are characterized by the manifest presence of God invading an entire society.
These outpourings are the actual fulfillments and foretastes of the End Times prophecies that, “For the earth will be filled with knowing the glory of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14 TLV) The results are profound, not just for human hearts and minds, but the entire society is brought into alignment with the Kingdom of God, and the empire of Satan is pushed back.
The Manifest Presence of God Transforms Both Individuals and Entire Societies.
History shows that it was the First Great Awakening which swept Britain and its thirteen North American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s. This igniting not only infused the Church of Jesus Christ in biblical faith, but it also invaded colonial society with Judeo-Christian values bringing in profound transformations of society.
While some occasions of the manifest presence of God may be limited in scope, there may also be dramatic reality shaping events. One such event was the abolition of the eon’s old institution of slavery, and it impacted the British Empire, the colonies, and the founding documents of the United States of America. For certain, great awakenings are always transformative and characteristic of every great movement of God.
The Second Great Awakening
In the video, Doug talks about the second Great Awakening (1790 – 1840) recounting the story of the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky that transformed an entire area known as the “worst place in America.”
This Second Great Awakening awakened both white and black congregations in America resulting in the founding of the African Methodist Church which was an impetus for the movement to abolish slavery.
The Pentecostal outpouring that took place at Azusa Street in 1905 witnessed the manifest presence of God breaking down racial barriers and advancing the Kingdom of God in signs and wonders.
This outpouring birthed the worldwide Pentecostal movement resulting in the greatest advancement of the Gospel in history.
God’s Manifest Presence at the Bible College of Wales
Another example is the visitation of the manifest presence of God that took place in 1936-1937 with Rees Howells and the students and faculty of the Bible College of Wales. This awakening was described as, “An awful sense of God’s nearness began to pervade over the whole College. There was a solemn expectancy – God was there; and yet we felt we were still waiting for Him to come and in the days that followed He came.” 1 While limited to the Bible College Community, this manifestation of God’s presence had worldwide implications as it prepared the prayer cohort at the Bible College to be the vanguard of intercession to defeat the demonic strongholds of fascism and Nazism, which contributed to the end of that reign of demonic evil.
The Third Great Global Awakening
We could give many more examples which inspire us with hope. Given this long history, Doug and I are convinced that we are at the beginnings of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which has the potential to become the Third Great Global Awakening. We believe that God is sending this movement in answer to the global work of prayer that took place in 2020.
The Vital Work of Intercession
IF THE PEOPLE OF GOD STAY FAITHFUL TO THE WORK OF INTERCESSION, this outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit may very well become God’s answer to the onslaught of evil that is taking place in the world today.
While Satan has attempted to enslave the hearts of human beings and their societies through the antichrist totalitarian ideologies of Islam and Marxism, the ungodly movements of the occult and witchcraft, and the demonic invasion that took place through and surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and US Presidential election, OUR LORD HEARS THE PRAYERS OF HIS PEOPLE.
With the manifest Presence of God, He desires to rekindle faith in Him, bring home those who have fallen away and reinstate Judeo-Christian values with transformational power in the lives of His beloved children.
Is this Third Great Global Awakening the Prelude to the Return of Jesus Christ?
Past great awakenings have always had the possibility of being the last awakening, the end times revival ushering in the return of Christ in glory. In in each of these movements the Presence of God was so pervasive, powerful, and real that it did indeed feel to those involved that Christ was about to return in glory.
What makes this season of crying out to God for a time of refreshing so momentous and fraught with expectation? Well, unlike other past times of awakening, many Old and New Testament prophecies concerning the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel and to faith in Yeshua the Messiah are taking place right now! God is restoring the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6) and healing the breach between Jew and Gentile which St. Paul longed for (Romans 11, Ephesians 2:11-22). Jeremiah 3:16-18 Is being fulfilled before our eyes: “…It will be in those days when you multiply and become fruitful in the land. It is a celebration of Adonai. “They will not longer talk about the art of the covenant of Adonai nor will come to mind or be remembered. Neither will it be missed or another one made again. At that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Adonai and all the nations will gather into it, to Jerusalem, in the Name of Adonai… In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel….”
Further, with communications and transportation linking the globe and all peoples, the Church of Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit has within reach the potential as never before to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of Jesus of all nations.
All this is before us and it is an urgent call to prayer. Therefore, I earnestly ask that you please listen to this video. I trust that you will be inspired to join in this work of prayer for the “Third Great Global Awakening.” And keep reading! Ruth Sermon from the UK had what I believe was a prophetic vision of “Jesus on Fire!” calling us to intercede for this great awakening.
A Prophetic Vision: Jesus on Fire – He Sets the Earth on Fire.
As I was working on this Discerning the Times, Ruth Sermon, a member of the Dunamis Fellowship Britain and Ireland, sent me an email regarding a vision she was given. You can read her note below, as it is a very hopeful call to prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
“I was at rest, enjoying my Father’s embrace. During the early part of this vision, it took my breath away. The last piece, the message from Jesus to all believers, was hard to write. I kept checking I was hearing correctly. I felt the weight of responsibility of receiving and delivering such a message. If I misheard and encouraged Christians, especially persecuted Christians to arise when Jesus was not leading them, what dreadful consequences there would be! I still feel that on my shoulders, so believe I am meant to share this for discernment.
I saw Jesus in the Throne Room of Heaven. Suddenly, He was on fire – so suddenly it shocked me. He was not burning up though, it was the glory power and holiness of the Trinity – concentrated in Jesus.
Jesus walked around saying, “Now” and “It’s time.” He was distressed for the world. I had the thought, “rescue.”
Jesus’ love for us was evident. I was asking for mercy, pleading for rescue.
The Holy Spirit and the Father were cheering Jesus on – exalting Him so He gets all the glory – the words of the song came to me: “All honour and power and blessing, belongs to You, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God!”
The angels were worshipping SO LOUDLY! As one – millions of angelic voices lifted in praise. The angels were excited. They were alert and ready for instructions – warrior and messenger angels especially. Their armour was shining SO BRIGHTLY! I could hardly look. And Jesus too. I shielded my eyes.
Everything came to a crescendo during this next scene: Jesus looked down to earth and stretched His arms towards the earth (which is tiny). Then He tipped his open hands down towards the earth and fire poured out. It engulfed the whole globe.
I asked Jesus what was happening. He said:
“This is a window of opportunity for all people. A time to seek me, to know me, to repent and follow me.”
Then He said, “Step up my beloved, my Bride! Live out your love for me. Express it loudly and clearly; in words and actions. Do not withhold your love or hide it. Do not fear the work of the oppressor, for I have made a snare for him. He is making trouble, trying to thwart my plans. But he cannot. I the Sovereign LORD have command of ALL heaven’s armies. I am your God. I am Your Shield, and you are MY Beloved Bride. Step up, do not fear, place your trust in me.”
– Ruth Sermon on February 14, 2021
I was really moved when I read this. It was a confirmation from the Lord about this Discerning the Times article that I was working on. This is so exciting! The Lord is giving us guidance to take part in His strategic plans for 2021. We are called to pray in and to prepare for this great movement of God. We are called to NOT miss what I too believe is this, “a window of opportunity for all people. A time to seek me, to know me, to repent and follow me.”