Friday, December 25, 2009
A Vision of Chicago
by Michael Edds
While in a worship service at a church in a suburb of Chicago, I experienced something very unusual. While the worship team and choir ministered in song, the Holy Spirit came upon me in quite a powerful way. The following encapsulates that experience: " Suddenly, it seemed that I was above Chicago looking down on the city and the lake. I saw an angelic army moving in and taking formation out in Lake Michigan. It was massing in units. The angelic army was arrayed in brilliant white. It was facing Chicago in a semi - circle out in the lake. There was a commanding officer over this entire army. He had been assigned by and given orders from God concerning the city. Behind this army was a cloud burst pouring rain down into the lake. This heavenly army had been given a directive to march into Chicago. As the army moved forward, the cloud burst followed it. God spoke to me that He is giving Chicago a last mercy call through a great city-wide spiritual awakening. God always offers mercy before judgment falls. The heavens have bent down and poured down God's Spirit and grace on Chicago in generations past. The Great Revival of 1876 with Dwight L. Moody and the Chicago Visitation of 1913 with Maria Woodworth-Etter are great examples of God's mercy being extended to this great city. May God's people in Chicago repent, fast and pray for a great spiritual awakening to burst forth in the city before judgment comes. This may be Chicago's last call!
Friday, October 16, 2009
The ancient prophet once cried out, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!” That cry has been echoed all down through the generations of those who have hungered for the manifestation of the presence of the living God. Throughout the history of the church, God has rent the heavens and intervened on behalf of His people. The Great Chicago Visitation of 1913 was such a time. It was one of the most powerful visitations of divine presence that this city has ever experienced.
Maria Woodworth-Etter, a well-known evangelist, had been invited to hold a series of meetings at the Stone Church, located at 37Th and Indiana, beginning on July 2, 1913. Posters had been placed throughout the city to advertise the meeting. The services were to last until the end of July. This was a time of divine appointment for the city of Chicago; God rent the heavens and came down!! Scenes from the days of the Early Church began to occur at Stone Church. Word began to spread throughout Chicago of miraculous healings, deliverance from demonic possession, conversions, and of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happening in these meetings. Advertisement was no longer necessary!
Incredible healings were reported. A woman, who had been blind 15 years and had never seen her children, was instantly healed. A paralyzed man, whose joints were ossified, could not move any limb or his head, had to be fed with a spoon, and could barely speak, was prayed for. For eight years, he suffered the confines of this prison of infirmity. Sister Woodworth-Etter commanded him in the name of Jesus to rise and walk. The power of God fell on him. He jumped from his wheel chair, ran down the isle of the church and a half a block down the street. Many followed him outside and waved their hats in the air yelling, “Hurrah for Jesus.” He ran back into the church and shouted praises to God. A young woman, who had lost total hearing in one ear and was losing hearing in the second ear, came for prayer. She was instantly healed. During one song service, four crippled people were healed and began to walk without the use of canes or crutches.
Word spread throughout the city of the miraculous intervention of God. Thousands came on trolleys, buggies, and trains, while many walked. Some came from hundreds of miles away. 1200 to 1500 packed into Stone Church each night. The basement was filled and many stood out on the street. Street meetings were held to accommodate them. Three services were held on Sundays. No services were scheduled for Saturdays so that the ministers could have a day of rest. However, some came on Saturdays and were met by Christians who prayed for them. A crippled woman, not knowing that services were not held on Saturdays, came on the trolley. She got off and hobbled down the street to the church. A German woman met her at the church and informed that no services had been scheduled for Saturdays. However, she invited the crippled woman to come into the church and she and others would pray for her. As soon as the woman walked into the church, she was instantly healed. A father traveled from Oklahoma bringing his two daughters with him. One could not use her limbs nor talk. The other was born deaf and dumb. Both were instantly healed. One of the girls wept and laughed when she heard singing for the first time in her life.
God had rent the heavens and come down into Chicago. Thousands were healed, incredible miracles occurred; multitudes were saved, and thousands were filled with the Holy Spirit. The meeting, which was scheduled to last for a month, lasted for six months. Sister Woodworth-Etter and believers dug a deep well of revival.
The Chicago Visitation possessed several remarkable characteristics:
1. The success of the work was not due to preaching of profound theological doctrine and differences. Instead, the Gospel was presented in its simplicity. The people were drawn by the manifestation of the presence and power of God.
2. There was extraordinary unity among Christians. Denominational lines vanished. Christians from all backgrounds joined in the work. Great harmony prevailed among believers. Controversy was not tolerated and was absent. It was a “strife-free zone.”
3. Worship was in its purest form. Entertainment and obvious display of talent did not exist. Music, singing and praise were to glorify God and Him only.
4. The entire Body of Christ was involved in ministry. Laying - on of hands was not regulated to the evangelist or pastor. People ministered to one another.
5. Ministers and members from all denominations were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
6. A prophetic word was given the last night of this six-month long meeting.
As Christians prayed around the altar, Sister Woodworth-Etter and others gave the following powerful prophecy and divine promise for the future........
“We are not yet up to the fullness of the Former Rain and that when the Latter Rain comes, it will far exceed anything we have seen!”
Frank Bartleman, the chronicler of the Azusa Street Awakening of 1907, once wrote, “In order to understand what God is going to do, we must understand what He once did.” It is imperative that we study and understand these “old wells of revival.” We need to understand the divine dynamics of these moves of God. We need to know the promises that God has made in the past, which will impact us in our day.
God has ways of reminding His people of His promises. In 1999, before I had any knowledge of the Chicago Visitation of 1913, I had a dream. In the dream, I was standing with a small group of believers in the basement of Stone Church. A pastor friend of mine asked us to form a circle and offer up “pure praise and worship” to God. I looked around and saw many, many rooms filled with hospital beds containing the sick. In these beds were people suffering from a diversity of illnesses and infirmities. Caring for them was an elderly head nurse. As we began to worship and praise God, the nurse left the sick and came and joined in the worship. As the worship continued, I saw all of the sick rise from their hospital beds. They were instantly healed and came to join in the worship! I awoke from my dream. Now, ten years later I understand the meaning of the dream. The same things that occurred in the Visitation of 1913 will happen again. Pure worship and praise will ascend unto God. The blind will see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the dumb will talk. Healing and miracles will flow again throughout this great city. God IS going to reopen this “old well of revival” in Chicago! Why, because He promised that He would and that it will far exceed the Visitation of 1913!
What is our responsibility in the reopening of this old well of revival? Second Chronicles 7:14 gives us that needed direction, “If My people who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves and pray, seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND HEAL THEIR LAND.” It is time to come clean with God, to be honest about our wicked ways and repent. As Joshua
told the Israelites the day before crossing the Jordan River into the promised land, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” May we heed that call today!!
Friday, July 03, 2009
For some time the Lord has been saying to me that the Holy Spirit is "hovering and brooding" over the Appalachian Mountains. As you recall from Genesis, the Spirit of the Lord hovered and brooded over the face of the deep. This was just before He said, "Let there be light." He spoke light and life into existence. As a mother hen broods over her eggs, she imparts something of herself to them....her body heat. This causes the eggs to grow and develop the embryo within. Finally, the little chicken is born.
One night, I was reading the book, Azusa Street by Frank Bartleman. He was one of the great intercessors before and a leader during the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in California in the early 1900s which led to a world wide revival. On November 16, 1905, he wrote, "The Spirit is brooding over our land again as at Creation's dawn, and the decree of God goes forth: "Let there be light!" (Genesis 1:3.) Brother, sister, if we all believed God, can you realize what would happen? Many of us here are living for nothing else. A volume of believing prayer is ascending to the throne night and day. Los Angeles, Southern California, and the whole continent shall surely find itself before long in the throes of a mighty revival, by the Spirit and power of God."
As you know, a mighty world wide revival followed this prophetic word. The same Holy Spirit is brooding and hovering once again. It is not strange that He is hovering and brooding over the Appalachian Mountains. Divine impartation is causing the embryo of the next Great Awakening to grow and develop here.
This vast mountainous region, which seems to be filled with so much spiritual darkness and deadness today, was once the womb of one of the greatest moves of God. The Second Great Awakening that swept much of the South was birthed at a Presbyterian Communion service at Cane Ridge, Kentucky. Rev. Barton Stone had no idea what God was about to do during that service. 10% of the population of Kentucky plus the Governor came! This revival swept the Appalachians and the South. Thieves, prostitutes and drunkards became mighty men and women of God. Denominational barriers vanished. Slaves were set free. Divine Light filled the spiritually darkened valleys, hollows and hills. What we call the "Bible Belt" of the South today is nothing more that the residue of that incredible move of God. It changed our very culture.
Holy feet have trod our soil. The great Methodist Circuit rider, Francis Asbury traveled 8,000 miles a year holding immense camp meetings and services through out the Appalachian wilderness. The great evangelist Amanda Berry Smith, former slave and one of the first African American female evangelist, preached and sang in tremendous camp meetings in this region.
Many of our towns and cities were established by born - again believers. The city of Harrisonburg, Virginia was founded by the Harrison family which was led to the Lord by Francis Asbury. Gospel Hill in Staunton, Virginia was the location of a great prayer meeting that met in a blacksmith's barn. Boehm's Chapel is Lancaster, Pennsylvania was the focal point of great revivals that swept all the way to Baltimore, Maryland.
Numerous historic camp meetings sites dot the landscape of Greenbrier and Monroe Counties in West Virginia. A visit to the US Post Office in Lewisburg, West Virginia will reveal a painting on the wall. It depicts a great camp meeting from the 1800's that took place on a hill near this picturesque village. Three thousand Appalachian frontiersmen camped here for days while the Glory of God rained down. The educational system of that town was started 200 years ago by a man of God, John McElhenney, who often preached in these camp meetings among the groves.
There are innumerable historic spiritual wells all around us in these mountains. The foundation stones laid for civilization throughout Appalachia were laid by men and women of God. God is not finished with the Appalachian people. Divine destiny calls them again today.
The old wells have been stopped up for many years. The spiritual Canaanites have controlled the holy wells from which once flowed the power and presence of the living God. God is raising up a generation of "Isaacs" to take back and reopen these old wells of revival.
A writer once wrote, "The apostasy of the early church came as a result of a greater desire to see the spread of its power and rule than to see new natures given to it individual members. The moment we covet a large following and rejoice in the crowd that is attracted by our presentation of what we consider truth, and have not a greater desire to see the natures of individuals changed according to the divine plan, we start to travel the same road of apostasy..."
The great visitations of God in the Appalachia's historic past caused denominational lines to vanish. Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and others joined hands as brothers and sisters in Christ. Their passion was to be filled with the presence of Christ and to see the lost saved. The color and gender lines also vanished.
As Frank Bartleman once wrote, "God wants a revival company, a channel through whom He can evangelize the world, blessing all people and believers. He could naturally not accomplish this with a sectarian party. That spirit has been the curse and death of every revival body sooner or later....to formulate a separate body is but to advertise our failure as a people of God. It proves to the world that we cannot get along together, rather than causing them to believe in our salvation..."That they may all be one; ...that the world may believe" (John 17:21)
God does not need another denomination or organization to be established. The church is an organism, not a human organization. That was one of the major reasons that the historic wells of revival stopped flowing. Man took control out of the hands of God. WE DO NOT NEED MORE PROGRAMS, MORE COMMITTEES, MORE DENOMINATIONS, MORE STRATEGIES OR PLANS. WE MUST RETURN TO THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS! We must return to the source of the "old wells"......that is God.
The Holy Spirit is hovering and brooding once again. HE hovers over Appalachia. Appalachians have been labeled as being ignorant, out of the main stream, archaic and out of touch with the rest of society. We have been labeled as bare foot, uneducated, inbred hillbillies. However, the great moves of God usually come in the most humble and forgotten of places. The Great Revival in Wales was among the coal miners, Christ was not born in a palace but in a stable, Cane Ridge in Kentucky was a frontier wilderness, Azusa Street Mission was in the poor part of town. In the middle of Wittenberg stood an ancient wooden chapel, thirty feet long and twenty feet wide, whose walls, propped up on all sides, were falling into ruin. An old pulpit made of planks, and three feet high, received the preacher. It was in this humble place that the preaching of the Reformation began. It was God's Will that That which was to restore His glory should have the humblest of surroundings.
God's call to the "Isaacs" of Appalachia today is to redig the old wells.....the wells of salvation, holiness and righteousness. God is calling His people to repent of their wicked ways and turn to Him. He is calling the intercessors to pray and intercede as never before. He is calling us to lay aside our denominational differences, our plans and programs. He is calling us to Himself!
Since this prophecy was written in 2001, revival has broken out in Appalachia in Manchester, Kentucky!! The test for all prophecy is #1. Is is scriptural? and #2. Does it come to pass? This prophetic word is being fulfilled before our eyes!!
NEWS FLASH #2
Revival has broken out in Rainelle (Greenbrier County) West Virginia. Over 80 youth have been converted in two weeks. Revival has swept into the area schools and is spreading. The meetings are continuing at the Church of God on Greenbrier Street in Rainelle!!!
NEWS FLASH #3
The fires of revival are burning in North Carolina. Over 100 youth have been converted in one town!!! God has come down!!
NEWS FLASH #4
Revival has swept into two South Carolina high schools in March 2011. Almost all of the 1500 students in one school made a profession of faith! The Awakening is spreading to other communities!!
In the year 2000, God spoke to me that He was going to reopen the "old wells" of revival throughout this nation and around the world. The purpose of the Coming Great Awakening is to restore total truth to the church and to give the world one last invitation of mercy before divine judgment falls upon a perverse generation.
In 2004, the Lord gave me a vivid, terrifying dream concerning Chicago. In the dream, I was with a group of dedicated Christians in a suite of rooms in the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago. The group had been entrusted with the protection of a three year old child called "the child of destiny." I looked out the window and saw a huge black dragon circling the Sears Tower. The dragon had the head of a wolf and was covered with black fur. It was very long and had the shape and tail similar to a serpent. The dragon was searching for this special child to kill it. In the Tower, the guardians of the child were busy securing the windows and doors to protect the child. I found one window unlocked and exclaimed, "Someone has forgotten to lock this. We must make sure that this building is secured and that we leave no opening for the dragon to get in!" As I locked the window, I looked out and saw that the dragon had landed upon the ground below. To my amazement, a door opened up on the side of the dragon. What appeared to be soldiers started throwing out bodies of Christian men. These men had been killed by the dragon. There were 57 bodies. Suddenly, the top of the dragon's head opened up like the hood of a car except it was hinged on the front and not the back of the head. Out came three men. The inside of the head was a vast control panel. I remarked, "This dragon is not a living creature at all. It is a machine controlled by men." I then turned to the group guarding the small child and said, "The dragon is coming to kill this child. We must stand boldly and fight to the death to protect this child of destiny." Each one gathered around the child with weapons drawn and were energized with a determination to stop the dragon. I awakened.
For sometime I pondered this dream. Then the Lord revealed its meaning.
Chicago has been an "old well" or "seedbed" of revival. Moody, Aimee Simple McPherson, John G. Lake, Dowie, Amanda Berry Smith, William Durham, and so many other great revivalists have strong connections to Chicago. Prayer meetings and revivals have burst forth from Chicago and swept around the world. God has done great things in and through this city.However, Chicago has a divine destiny that is yet to be fulfilled. This "old well of revival" is to about to be opened again. The dragon is the controlling spirit or the "Prince" of Chicago. The three men represent the political, religious, and financial structure that has controlled this great city for generations. This demonic structure has fought to block God's divine plan for this city for decades. The 57 bodies thrown from the side of the dragon are 57 attempts and messengers that God has sent to bring Chicago into this final destiny. However, they have been either been stopped or destroyed by this evil power structure in Chicago. The child of destiny is God's final attempt to fulfill His divine plan for this city of 9 million. It was birthed in 2001. God has chosen an elite corps of Christian warriors in this city to wage spiritual warfare to defeat the satanic power structure and to ensure that this final move of God and His last mercy call to Chicago come to pass. The hour of destiny has arrived for the Windy City.