First Priority

The 10-Year Itch





If spiritual trends move in decade-long patterns, what does the future hold?
Much has changed since the winds of revival began to blow in 1994, with the Toronto Blessing, and God began His "extreme makeover" in my life. Before that time, I was fighting major depression as a pastor. I joke now that I was so depressed I had to exercise faith to move from depression to discouragement.

Now, passionately in love with Jesus and fired by His initiative and grace, my days are totally different. The Holy Spirit pursued me, humbled me, healed me and then empowered me. The journey is more magnificent than ever.

The Lord further pushed me out of my comfort zone into founding an apostolic movement called Harvest International Ministry that is now composed of more than 2,000 churches in 30 nations around the world. We are seeing miraculous healings—restoration of severed limbs, the blind eyes opened, the gospel of the kingdom taken to closed cities, communist nations, African tribal villages, the masses of India, the dangerous zones of Indonesia and, most of all, to our neighbors next door.

Yet, I know there is more for all of us. I believe we are on the verge of another wave of revival. Perhaps this sounds like a trite prediction—many such forecasts have been made in recent years. But hear me out: It seems that in the last 50 years, there have been such waves hitting America and the world every 10 or 12 years in tandem, with the leadership offices of Ephesians 4:11 being restored.

1948 brought the Latter Rain and the Voice of Healing movements with Gordon and Freda Lindsey and others like Oral Roberts and T.L. Osborn. The office of evangelist, and especially the healing evangelist, arose in might. Soon after Evangelist Billy Graham and Bill Bright's Campus Crusade for Christ were launched in the evangelical stream.

In 1959, Dennis Bennett received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the charismatic movement began. Charismatic pastors like Larry Christianson, Gerald Derstine, Harold Bredesen and many others brought back the significance of the pastoral office.

The "Jesus People" invasion hit from 1967 through 1975, with the office of teacher coming forth in the '70s through such equippers as Derek Prince, Jack Hayford and faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin Sr., Kenneth Copeland and others.

Church-growth expert C. Peter Wagner dubbed the mid-'80s "The Third Wave" as John Wimber and the Vineyard movement catalyzed a new power release like that first seen at Azusa Street (first wave) and the charismatic renewal (second wave). Southern Baptists like James Robison received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Anglican churches such as Holy Trinity Brompton, in London, were revived. Interest in prophetic ministry began to be re-established. People such as Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce and the Kansas City prophets brought the office of a prophet to a new level of use and acceptability.

Then, 1994 birthed the Toronto Blessing, and that entire decade was earmarked by God raising up apostles, who built and networked the church around the world. I believe critical mass is tipping for another wave. Azusa Street in 1906 marked the sending forth of the Holy Spirit to the nations as people from all over the earth came, received and returned; and now the nations are sending forth revival. In the last decade, spiritual waves hit the shores of the United States from Argentina, South Africa and Toronto. The new "hot spots" appear to be Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Africa.

What is this next wave? As Bill Hamon argued in his book Day of the Saints, now is the time for every believer to come forth into their true identity and confidence as heirs and sons and daughters of God!

That means it is time for ministry in the workplace. It is time for the miraculous to become normal. It is time to take prophecy and other spiritual gifts outside of the four walls of the church, and for demonstrations of the supernatural to hallmark Christians and arrest the unbelieving. It is time to transform society by obeying the mandate "to disciple whole nations."

Everywhere I travel, I am seeing "nobodies" (especially youth) arising and doing the works of God with the same power and results as Jesus. They have no thought for themselves or their reputations. They are radical in their prayers, their passion and their pursuit.

I believe this is the kind of revival that is on the Father's heart. On a massive level, it will capture, refresh and empower believers everywhere and compel us effortlessly into the harvest of the souls of men. Unbelieving hearts will be prepared as evidence of the true power of the kingdom is manifest. God is initiating this move, and our only job is to let go and yield to it, following Him wherever and however the Holy Spirit leads. We can't control it or understand it. That's why it is God.


Ché Ahn and his wife, Sue, are senior pastors of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California. Ché is also president of Harvest International Ministry. He has written several books, including Into the Fire, his personal journey into revival, and a soon-to-be-released work, Fire Evangelism: Reaching the Lost Through Love and Power. For more information, please visit www.harvestrockchurch.org.

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