Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
“End Times” Awakening?
For some time, now, I have been hearing about believers praying for a Holy Spirit inspired and empowered “end times revival,” also called an “awakening,” citing the prophecy in the book of Joel regarding a last such outpouring before the Tribulation period chronicled in biblical prophecy.*
It is my premise, however, that this revival is not a future event, rather, a move of God that has been taking place for 120 years, to date, since its (recorded) humble beginnings in a fellowship meeting in a school-house in Cherokee County, North Carolina, in the year 1896.
Since then, there have been numerous small and big “Holy Spirit revivals/awakenings” across the world, including the famous Azusa Street Revival in 1906, all the way to the Jesus Movement ** of the 1960s and 1970s. Here, here, and here are accounts of the history of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that has been occurring in these (I also believe) “end times”.
I would also like to share another perspective on the number of the years of this revival (120) related to why it holds significance for students of Bible prophecy, by citing two possibilities for consideration:
- Although some Bible scholars put the number of years Noah worked on the ark, while likely also preaching to his countrymen, at anywhere from 60-75 years, others suggest it may have been as much as 120. But one definite “120 year marker” stems from those days. Due to mankind’s level of depravity before the flood, God determined, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3). For more on the biblical significance of the number 120 that ties into the pattern of God rescuing His people before He visits wrath on evil-doers, see here. The world today, arguably as wicked as it was in Noah’s time, has also had 120 years, a “full lifetime,” if you will, to listen to the preaching of God’s Word before the outpouring of God’s wrath in our time. If there is indeed a parallel, here, the Holy Spirit outpouring of this era has made possible the power and impact of His gifts including preaching, teaching, miracles, healings, and speaking/prophesying in “tongues,” which manifestations have brought millions around the globe into the Church. In Noah’s day, I believe one could safely argue that the mere presence of the ark, and the old man’s talk about a “flood” (in an era that had not yet experienced rain and flooding as we know it today) was as remarkable as the evidences of Holy Spirit activity today. Though ultimately only his immediate family listened and were saved.
- Also of note is the coinciding of the historical record of the resurgence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit—1896—and the publication of the book in February of that year that birthed the modern Zionist Movement: Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). Why is this important? Bible scholars link the Jewish feasts, in particular, but also times, dates, numbers—and the return to their land in the twentieth century–with significant prophetic events. Perhaps the 120 year marker is also linked to prophecy in this regard. If this era is to be “as in the days of Noah,” perhaps it also points to the modern and final outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to date, a full 120 years. This means, of course, perhaps we in our day are also closer to our own “salvation,” i.e., deliverance from God’s wrath coming upon the earth in the days to come.
Certainly since the advent of the printing press (1440) and the Protestant Reformation (begun in 1517) individuals here and there have been able to read the chronicles of the Acts of the Apostles and, by faith, believed for the Holy Spirit Baptism cited there and alluded to elsewhere. But it has been since the end of the nineteenth century and through the twentieth that the Baptism has spread phenomenally throughout the world, with signs, wonders–and salvations following.
So, again, maybe this is one more “converging” of two events by which we can glean the hope of our soon “Rapturing up,” as it were, to be with the Lord, even as Noah and his family were spared in the ark, a type of Christ’s protection, during the flood.
Maybe the fact that both “seasons” of similar activity on the earth (as in the Holy Spirit’s presence prior to God’s judgment) are 120 years in length is one more marker for us today signaling just how close we are to events heralding the end of the Church Age and the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.
And maybe, for you who have come across this post and who have not yet asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord, this is one more invitation—with a kick.
Think about what it might mean if we are so close as to be at the 120-year mark…if that is, in part, what Jesus meant when describing the last days and using the phrase, “as in the days of Noah.” Think about all the other events happening in our world just now that are also of serious prophetic import.
Think about the wickedness that seems to have enveloped the world on many fronts the last few years…and if what the Christians say about the prophecies are true…what this may mean for you…
This Christian believes we are very, very close, my friend.
Don’t wait any longer.
Ask Jesus to come into your life.
Maybe this is your “day and hour” of salvation, before another historic and parallel event ensues.
*Some think that a gathering this weekend, July l6, 2016, in Washington D.C., to try to usher in some kind of “Jesus unity” movement might be the start of this revival, or awakening. I seriously doubt the orthodoxy of this, however, as it involves a recognition of many faiths, philosophies, and religious traditions (some decidedly not Christian) all purportedly united in Jesus, Who, of course, taught that He, Himself, is the only Way, Truth and Life.
**It was at the latter end of this movement that I came to Christ.