The shocking events of the past few months have dramatically impacted every one of us. Across our land we see an almost universal openness and searching for meaning. In reviewing this amazingly changed horizon, I was startled to recall an event that had occurred in the early days of our relocation to Coeur d'Alene.
Our first granddaughter was born on April 17, 1994. Nan and I were in the delivery room that Saturday night - in fact, all that night. It was a very long delivery, but it turned out well. Early the next morning, as we headed home for a badly needed rest, I received a phone call from Bill Perkins, who was a key member of our staff in those days. "I just called to remind you that you have a 2 P.M. appointment at the office with a group of Messianic rabbis from Tacoma," he declared. Indeed, I had forgotten.
"Bill! I've been up all night. I'm bushed. I can't..." I pleaded.
"I understand. But remember, they asked for an hour of your time if they came to see you, and you committed. They are driving from Tacoma - a six-hour drive and have already left - there's no way for me to reach them. If you want, I'll cover the appointment, but they will be terribly disappointed." Bill knew I was cornered, so I acquiesced.
At 2 P.M., a car drove up to the ministry and three Jewish believers stepped out for the scheduled meeting. After the usual pleasantries, we addressed the purpose of their long drive. "The Lord told us to come to you and deliver a message," their leader declared. "The Lord told us to tell you that there is going to be a major revival in the United States and that it will begin here in the Pacific Northwest," he continued.
"Well, that's extremely interesting. But what is it that you want from me?" I asked hesitatingly.
"Nothing. We just came to deliver this message."
I was astonished. I had assumed that they were leading up to something: a conference, a project, or a commitment of some kind. We chatted intimately for several hours and they left for their long drive home. They made no requests of any kind. They simply delivered their message and left. I must confess that I usually receive such well-intentioned "visions" with a grain of salt, and simply file them away with as much courtesy as I can muster to hide any cynicism or skepticism. This one was decidedly different. What they had no way of knowing was that theirs was the third such message delivered to me since we had arrived in Idaho!
New Wine in New Skins
Revivals always seem to emerge from outside the established organizations. They are always discernible movements of the Holy Spirit alone, usually in a grassroots form of some kind. We believe that it is now emerging through home Bible study groups. There are literally hundreds of study groups across the country - and the world - that have been using our weekly "K-Rations" tapes, as well as our expositional commentaries, as a principal means of study. It was to further encourage "beginning groups" that we compiled our rather audacious Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, to provide a foundational perspective upon which to build. The astonishing barrage of new inquiries since the September 11th events has also led to the four-session series, Prophecy 101, for those seeking that initial exposure to Bible prophecy, which has now become timely for so many. Between the advanced electronic media - CD-ROMs and the like - supplemented with the amazing resources now available on the Internet, a home Bible study group can now tap resources that exceed most of the traditional seminaries!
Joseph was given a vision - some years in advance - of seven good years to be followed by seven bad years. He was to use the good years to prepare for the bad. We may be in a very analogous situation. We presently have a very open environment, and we, too, need to work for the night is coming! Carpe diem! We need to "seize the day!" We believe that God is presently opening the door for a revival in America - and we believe that the key will be thousands of small study groups meeting in homes. God may be preparing His people in more ways than we can presently recognize. Let us help you!
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