As I attempt to wrap my mind around what God is doing in the earth in the last days through many different streams of ministries, I am reminded of Habakkuk 2:14 that says, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas."
The word "filled" means filled to the point of overflowing, and the word "knowledge" means that the body of Christ will become an eyewitness, having firsthand experience of the glory of God.
As we step into this prophetic promise being catapulted into this magnitude of the glory of God, it will be likened to the mighty Mississippi River. The Mississippi River is known to be made up of over 90 different tributaries. When I consider the coming revival glory, I cannot help but believe that the greatest move of God the earth will ever see cannot and will not be fulfilled by one isolated ministry. Instead, it will be fulfilled by the convergence of revival streams across the earth, flowing as one mighty river of revival that contends for the great harvest of souls.
If I had to define it in one word, it would be "synergy," which is defined as multiplied power through combined force. The body of Christ is better together.
I recently had the honor of attending the "Fire Conference" at the River at Tampa Bay Church in Tampa, Florida, with Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne. Nicknamed the "Holy Ghost Bartender," many in his church meetings break out in laughter and are drunk in the Spirit like the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
I want to caution all believers to be careful not to judge a ministry based on social media, the news or what you may find on the internet. Howard-Browne, of Revival Ministries International, has preached in 85 nations and has been instrumental in 37 million souls coming to Jesus. Howard-Browne took one of the strongest stands for the church during the pandemic, leading to his arrest March 30, 2020, for keeping his church open. This spiritual warfare would lead to the current breakthrough of erecting the incredible 100,000 square-foot pavilion that was built on the River at Tampa Bay Church property where nightly meetings are held called the "The Stand!"
It is one of America's symbols of hope that the church will stand even for those unable to stand for themselves. It is also a symbol that the gospel of Jesus Christ will go forth, and the gates of hell shall not prevail. I can relate on a smaller scale to this attack on the church and tyrannical behavior of governmental authorities that warrants the need for The Stand! In May 2020, the governor of New Mexico ordered the New Mexico State Police to serve me with a cease-and-desist order for refusing to close New Hope Revival Church in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, during the pandemic. Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton executed the historical act of deputizing our entire church exempting us from the governor's orders.
Revival glory in the last days will be a convergence of many revival streams. Having never been to River Church International allowed me to give you an unbiased perspective as an eye witness of what I experienced. Each night, worship filled the atmosphere for hours. The presence of God swept across the pavilion before Howard-Browne ever said a word.
Spontaneous laughter would break out in many sections of the pavilion. While some struggle with the idea of Holy Spirit-laughter in a service, allow Scripture to penetrate your soul. Psalm 37:12 says, "The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming." Romans 14:17 says, "For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
In one service, not only was there joyful laughter but the entire atmosphere shifted in the pavilion. The only way I can describe it is that it was like the center of the pavilion opened spiritually, and the fire of heaven invaded the field. Some took off running around the field.
While some were laughing, my wife was weeping uncontrollably under the power of God. It was like God entrusted Howard-Browne to harness the fire of God in his hands as a delivery system of God's power. He randomly called people up without touching them, rearing back like he was throwing a baseball as the fire of God filled his hands, and at the moment of release, some were struck down to the floor.
I saw the fire of God pick people up and thrust them into their chairs or on the floor. Many had no clue Howard-Browne was near them as their eyes were closed, but upon release of the holy fire of God, their bodies jolted and responded in sync with what was happening in the Spirit. There is absolutely no chance that these encounters were manufactured by any man; only God Himself could move in such power.
Howard-Browne called up all pastors who would like to receive prayer. My wife and I went up and took our position at the altar. Almost every pastor was cut down at the knees like an ax laid at the bottom of a tree. My wife collapsed under the power of God and her prayer language shifted. She described it as a fire ball striking the top of her head, moving into her innermost being.
The weighty glory of God was upon my body as I could not move. Every limb felt heavy. I tried to get up, and I was pinned to the Astro-Turf of the field.
Be careful not to judge this stream of revival prematurely. As an eye witness of the move of God at River at Tampa Bay Church, this was certainly a different manifestation of the streams of revival in the service, but the effects were the same. While on the floor under the weightiness of God's glory, I can attest that this was the exact manifestation happening in my body that I felt when Pastor John Kilpatrick of the Great Brownsville Revival prayed for me on two separate occasions. This is also the manifestation of the glory of God that I felt on a Sunday morning in our home church, where the Glory of God came into the service and wiped me out on the platform, leading to a transformational two-month long nightly revival in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
We must have every stream of revival converging if we desire to see the mighty river of revival sweep America like we are contending for. Some may make the claim that what is happening at the River at Tampa Bay Church is just people brainwashed under Howard-Browne.
Please allow me to deflate your argument by saying that my children, ages 9 and 7, attended children's church during the "Fire Conference" and have testimonies of the same experiences with God. At this point, my children have been slain in the Spirit four times. A number of kids broke out in laughter; one child's foot was healed; and one child felt moved to take the shoes off his feet and give them to the Lord in the offering.
The children testify of the same revival fire!
Dr. Caleb Cooper is the author of Pioneering Prophetic Patterns of Purpose, Jesus Focused Awakening Endtime Prophetic Strategy, The Convergence of Revival and the King's Arrival, The Call For Strong Godly Leadership and the contributing author of Igniting Revival Fire Every Day. They are available at calebcooperbooks.com, calebcooperministries.com and amazon.com. Cooper is the host of the Uncompromised Revival Fire podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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