Back to the Future: The Change at Hand

Unknown            We are in the initial stages of another great American spiritual awakening. We are going 'back to the future'. What is coming will look like what has come before but with multiplied intensity. By that I mean the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit will contain characteristics of at least three other major revival eras; 1904 in Wales, 1947 in the USA and Canada, and 1951 in Argentina. God communicates with us in many ways. He may do so through prophetic experiences, normal occurrences containing prophetic meaning. I had two such experiences in November, 2005 when the Lord drew my attention to three different years -1904, 1947, and 1951, years of major spiritual outpouring in several nations.

The first experience involved my first smart phone, a Treo Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a computer-driven telephone with a scheduling calendar. The second experience occurred the next day when I found two scarce coins in my change. As I shall explain, I concluded from these experiences that a new major wave of revival encounters with the Lord is eminent.

My First Smart Phone

Once I turned on my new Treo smart phone to check my schedule and discovered that the calendar had reverted back to 1904. I reset the PDA calendar to 2005, turned it off and back on but once again it reverted to 1904. I thought my phone was broken and again reset it to 2005. Then I realized the Lord might be trying to get my attention. I turned the PDA off and on once more. The correct calendar year returned and never again reverted to 1904 or any other incorrect year. The Lord revealed that He intended to turn back the calendar to 1904 in some way. I gained more understanding after the second experience.

Two Wheat Pennies

The next day I found two wheat pennies in my change from a local restaurant, a 1947 and a 1951. Wheat pennies, only made from 1909 to 1958, displayed two ears of wheat with the words “one cent” stamped between them. Across the top is written E Pluribus Unum, Latin for “Out of Many, One,” referring to the U.S.being one nation of many states. The profile of Abraham Lincoln dominates the front side of the coin. Finding one wheat penny would be unusual, but finding two at the same time is quite rare. Again, the Lord was speaking to me, now about two other years, 1947 and 1951. I concluded these three years had something of significance in common and held prophetic meaning for us today. 

The Message of the Trēo Telephone: My PDA

Telephones obviously speak of communication. The initials PDA can also refer, not just to a Personal Digital Assistant but to ‘public displays of affection’. That the Lord used my phone as a means of prophetic revelation indicated to me how clearly He wanted to ‘communicate’ with me. He had my number! I began to realize that He was telling me that He wants again to communicate His love publicly, His public displays of affection.

The name Trēo (trio) describes the three major functions of the device: telephone, internet, scheduler/calendar, speaks of the trinity, –Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and coincides with the three years in consideration: 1904, 1947, and 1951. What is significant about and common to those three years? Each of them were years of major revival —in Wales in 1904, in the U.S. and Canada in 1947, and in Argentina in 1951.

Why would the Lord speak to me through a computerized calendar that reverted to 1904? Because we are going back to the future! Our future will look like their past. That which happened in 1904, 1947, and 1951 will be repeated in our time. Why would The Lord speak to me through the change in my hand? It is because a major spiritual change is at hand. What is upon us is a spiritual season that will contain the characteristics and power God poured out in all three of those revivals at the same time.

The Sign of the Wheat Pennies 

            The Lincoln wheat pennies part of the revelation contains characteristics of the revival that we can expect. The gospel will be proclaimed in effective power typified by Abraham Lincoln, who on January 1, 1863 issued the Emancipation Proclamation stating:

“all persons held as slaves within any State…shall be… thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons.”

Lincoln was not so much freeing the slaves as he was proclaiming the fact of their freedom. The gospel proclaims freedom as well, but of a different sort. It maintains that the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus has set all men free, though many don't know it or believe it:

      Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1, italics mine).

      For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2, italics mine).

Over 200,000 enslaved black men joined the Union Armed Forces. The emancipated became emancipators. This is a picture of the coming harvest of souls, where the evangelized become those who evangelize others.

Wheat Speaks of Harvest

The wheat pictured on the pennies speaks of a harvest of souls. In John 4 when Jesus ministered to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well He compared a field white to harvest to a group of people ready to be evangelized.

      “Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35).

Many Samaritans were harvested by believing, not only in the testimony of the woman He helped, but in His own words as well. Just as the wheat pennies have “one cent” set between them, many will be ‘ones sent’ into the harvest in the coming days. This kind of evangelism was common in the 1904 Welsh Revival, when over 100,000 souls were saved in a nine month period. By 1954, in the Argentine Revival, one single meeting filled a soccer stadium in Buenos Aires with over 180,000 people heard the gospel. In like manner, during the revivals of the late 1940’s and early1950s, Oral Roberts and Jack Coe traveled the nation attracting thousands to their healing meetings held in huge tents.

A New Unity

The inscription on the back of the coin, E Pluribus Unum meaning “Out of Many, One,” is a prophetic sign that segments of the body of Christ will enter into a new level of unity in the midst of this gathering of souls. New alliances and allegiances will be formed in order to harvest the numbers that the Lord is calling in.

Characteristics of the Welsh Revival of 1904 

Evan Roberts spearheaded the move of the Spirit of God in Wales in 1904 characterized by spontaneous prayer, public confession of sin, powerful testimonies, and Spirit-led meetings and worship that changed Welsh society. Policeman lost their jobs as the crime level dropped drastically, dance halls and bars shut down from the lack of customers, and soccer matches were cancelled from lack of interest.

1947 Revival in North America

In 1947, a significant revival began in North America known two ways, as the Healing Revival and as the Latter Rain Revival. Many trace the beginning of this post World War II season of spiritual increase to a meeting in Vancouver, B.C., held by a humble, simple preacher named William Branham, a Baptist who had an unusual word of knowledge and healing ministry.

Signs, wonders, healings, and miracles characterized this outpouring. God used Branham’s remarkable gift to release faith and healing in an incredible way. His ministry and that of Oral Roberts encouraged many other ministers who launched effective healing ministries, too.

By 1948, the Healing Revival had spread as a parallel stream, known as “The Latter Rain Revival,” which contained different emphases, although supernatural healings and signs and wonders were part of it. Being convinced that Christianity had eroded over the ages the leaders emphasized restoration of the five-fold ministry listed in Ephesians 4:11, the unity of the body of Christ, the laying on of hands for the impartation of spiritual gifts, personal prophecy, and the recovery of true worship typified by David’s Tabernacle in the Old Testament.

1951 Argentine Revival

The 1951 wheat penny speaks of the move of God that began in June of 1951 in a small town outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina, called City Bell. At a small Bible Institute, an angel visited a young student who had been ardently seeking the Lord for weeks. The student, named Alex, was praying in a dark field in the starlit early morning hours, when an angel approached him in an ever-increasing light. The angel engulfed the young man with a powerful presence of the Lord that contained God’s love, but also an overwhelming sense of the fear of the Lord. Young Alex fled in terror, running to the Bible School dormitory, only to find the doors locked. He banged on the doors until he was let in, thinking he would escape the awesome sense of terror. But the angel went into the dormitory with him and soon all the students awoke from the overpowering Presence that followed him in.

So strong was the fear of the Lord that the students instantly began to repent for their sins. The next morning, a time of prayer replaced regularly scheduled classes. In great expectation, the students met in a hushed and tearful silence as they waited on the Lord. Then the angelic presence stood by the young student, Alex. In a spiritual encounter, the angel took young Alex in the spirit to many cities around the world. The young man from the jungles of the Chaco region had but a primary school education and could not have known of the many, many cities and nations that he called out as the angel gave him revelation. For eight hours, he named place after place in the language of the nation in which he traveled. The angel promised him that the Lord would visit each of them before His return.

Other times, the angel came and gave prophetic messages recorded by some of the students. The prayer meeting continued for four months, characterized by deep repentance and much weeping. The students of the Bible Institute continuously prayed for mercy for their nation, asking for forgiveness for their national sins. When one particular student prayed, he wept for hours leaning up against a wall of plaster. When he finished, often six or eight hours later, his tears would have formed a puddle in the floor after running down the wall. This continued day after day.

By September, the sorrow turned to laughter and the group understood that their prayers had been answered. Prophecies came speaking of God filling large venues.

Through a series of remarkable events, Tommy Hicks, an American evangelist fueled with a God-given vision for Argentina, met Juan Peron, the Argentine President who was healed of a serious skin condition after Hicks prayed for him. Peron gave Hicks access to radio and the press, as well as the largest stadium in the nation. By 1954, 25,000, and then 180,000 people attended single gospel meetings in the nation. The numerical growth of the church in Argentina exploded.

Back to the Future

What shall our future look like? Like Wales in 1904, the U.S. and Canada in 1947, and Argentina in 1951... with repentance and salvation making a huge impact ...with signs and wonders and widespread healing being poured out ...with many angelic visitations and multiplied thousands gathering in huge arenas to hear the gospel. The change is at hand.