In a most unusual way the Lord used the last five verses of Amos chapter 9 to convince me of the impending revival in America. “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages: I raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old:
“That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,” says the Lord who does this thing.
"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it.”
“I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.”
“I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God (Amos 9:11-15).
In this short passage God revealed to me the vehicle, the target, the assurance, the method, the historic sign, and the timing of the outpouring. The vehicle He will use is David’s restored tabernacle, groups of people devoted to worship with the manifest presence of God in their midst. The targets are the Gentiles and the historic enemies of Israel like Edom, Esau’s offspring. He provides assurance with these expressions of His intent; ‘On that day I will’, ‘Behold the days are coming’, ‘I will bring back’, ‘They shall build’, ‘They shall plant’, ‘They shall make’, and ‘I will plant them’. The method is spiritual intoxication. The mountains, a type of the nations, shall drip with the intoxicating new wine, like the early disciples at Pentecost. The historic sign and the timing of the outpouring is the generation when Jewish people are restored to their ancient homeland. In 1948 the impossible happened. Israel became a nation again after almost 2,000 years. The prophetic clock of the end-time outpouring began ticking then!
A Prophetic Sign
I had grown up in an era and in a denomination that never mentioned revival and didn’t believe the miraculous power of God was still available. I did not have a sound foundation for believing in an end time revival. In that state of mind the Lord revealed to me these prophetic insights from Amos 9 and began to insist that I preach them. It was a problem. I remember that early Sunday morning walking the block and speaking to the Lord about my reluctance to preach the outpouring. As I rounded the last turn heading home the Lord suddenly spoke to me: “Pick up that piece of paper.” I stooped to pick it up and saw that it was a partially torn check made out to a church. It was check #913!( See the actual check above.) The Lord began telling me that the check was prophetic sign to the church. He had written a blank check for revival out of Amos 9:13. The devil had attempted to destroy it, but the money was still in the bank. It occurred to me that a check is also called a promissory note. The check isn’t the money, it represents the existence and promise of the money. God’s promise is still good even if it has been torn, tattered, and assaulted by the enemy and assailed by many in unbelief.
The Bible clearly shows that God uses prophetic signs to reveal Himself and His plans, even to normal people. The rainbow, circumcision, the diseases in Moses hands, the plagues in Egypt, the Passover blood on the doorposts, Isaiah walking naked for three years, the institution of the Sabbath, and others, the Bible calls signs and are one of God’s modes of communication. Prophetic signs are one of the least appreciated and often maligned vehicles of God’s communication to us. I understand why. Everything doesn't have prophetic meaning that someone hears or feels or sees or thinks. Also, misinterpretation and misapplication of prophetic things in the past have caused a lot of confusion, providing opportunity for much criticism of the prophetic and people associated with it. And face it. Some prophetic people (so called) are just goofy.
Note the Father’s initial introduction of His Son to the world:
“Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:10-12, italics mine).
This will be a sign to you: You will find a babe wrapped in rags lying in the trough of a cattle feeder (McMillan Unauthorized Translation). A bit out of the ordinary wouldn’t you say? Yet, it pleased God to introduce Jesus in just this way. This sign pointed to the basic humility of our Heavenly Father and to our need for the same kind of humility if we are to know Him better.
This short defense of prophetic signs is an attempt to help some who have dismissed such things out of hand, and by so doing missed major encouragement and faith building communications from God. I have often needed encouragement and more faith and didn’t particularly care where or how they came.
As I did, you may have trouble believing in a final large-scale harvest in which millions are swept into the kingdom. That doesn’t mean it isn’t so. There are verses indicating the end of the age will be dark and desperate, but there are other ones that ‘shed light’ on something else much more positive. Both elements will exist at the same time. Both the old and new testaments affirm that. In Matthew 13:39 Jesus typified the end of the age as a harvest; “the harvest is the end of the age’, when good and bad will come to maturity and be harvested together. Isaiah prophesied a similar scenario:
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60:1-3).
The phrase 'Gentiles shall come to your light' sets the stage of the fulfillment of this prophecy in our age, the age of the gospel. We haven’t yet seen the fullness of the glory arising upon us, or any other generation. Habbakuk said, For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Nor have “we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13), nor do we find in the earth yet ‘a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish’ (Ephesians 5:27). These verses too must be fulfilled before the end comes
God has a plan for a world wide harvest of unprecedented magnitude. Even conservative Bible scholars have seen it. Here is commentary on Amos 9:13 from Keil & Delitzsch:
" Even while one is engaged in plowing the land for the sowing, the other will already be able to cut ripe corn; so quickly will the corn grow and ripen. And the treading of the grapes will last to the sowing-time, so abundant will the vintage be. The second half of the verse is taken from Joel 4:18 ; and according to this passage, the melting of the hills is to be understood as dissolving into streams of milk, new wine, and honey, in which the prophet had the description of the promised land as a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8, etc.) floating before his mind."
"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it” (Amos 9:13).
Yes, the days are coming!