Many people are aware of the prophesy attributed to Smith Wigglesworth, from 1947:
“During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it, and will be characterised by a restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches.“In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is a great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.’
“When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”
The two wheels are the Word and the Spirit. The word and the Spirit together are what carry us forward. We cannot make progress if we just rely on the scriptures that we read or hear preached, and we cannot make progress if we just rely on supernatural intervention from Heaven to change our lives. Jesus said His words are Spirit and Life, and if the life of the Holy spirit is going to impact us through the word we have to have a genuine expectation of a supernatural encounter with God as we read it or hear it. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Psalm 119: 130 says “The entrance of Your words gives light,” but that light does not come to us through our human understanding, but through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit, the Word is only half the bicycle. And unless we “receive with meekness the implanted word (James 1:21), the Spirit has nothing to activate in us and any supernatural experience we may have will just be a spinning wheel going nowhere.
Hebrews 2: 1-4 says this:
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”
The writer to the Hebrews heard the gospel – “so great a salvation” – from “those who had heard” Jesus. This may have been one (or some) of the eleven, or any of the other disciples gathered with them in the upper room at Pentecost. But whoever it was that preached to the writer to the Hebrews, the word that was preached was confirmed by God “bearing witness with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.” They had the whole bicycle: the word and the Spirit.
I believe that there is something special about to happen in the new season that we are in; and it is what will bring this about. The Lord is leading His church off the main road of the familiar and up the mountain track of “the new thing” that He is doing. Across all the denominations and all the different church traditions – pentecostal/charismatic; evangelical; liturgical – there will be those that follow, and those that don’t. And they will all have one thing in common: a heart’s desire to follow Jesus. And the pentecostal will walk with the evangelical; the evangelical will walk with the liturgical; the liturgical with the charismatic. For each one, this unity will be a new thing. And the wheels of the Word and the Spirit will turn, and the harvest will be gathered in.
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the LORD’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths” (Micah 4: 1-2).
Next: pedal power.