Report From The Tower
Revival suddenly arrived last Sunday morning on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau. Yes, I believe the glory fire anointing has begun to fall. How long will it take before we reach the fullness thereof? God only knows, but it has begun to fall, along with a following attack of tremendous demonic opposition. The revival is falling upon the two of us as we are meeting in our house assembly. Despite many invitations, no one has deemed it a desirable thing to join us. We have prayed over many months and have tried to find some type of local meeting here in the Monteagle TN and Tracy City, TN area that is acceptable to the Holy Spirit. Failing in that, we have mostly continued on, meeting together as a two man army. So, up to this time, we have been having a noon prayer meeting together every day and a Sunday morning praise and worship meeting at 11 AM. This week, God called for us to step it up.
Last Sunday, we had an invitation to attend a church, but as we awoke and began to stir, we realized that we each had no leading to depart from the house. I told my wife that I honestly felt that we had a choice to make: that if we left the house, we would be leaving Jesus behind in order to go to meet with men and have the pleasure of their society. I honestly did not believe that we would encounter any significant presence of the Lord there, in that place, so we resolved to stay at home with Jesus.
We commenced our Sunday meeting and suddenly, the presence of God was extremely powerful: more powerful than it has been since we moved here almost a year ago last July.. I was hearing the Lord give instructions in my spirit about every aspect of the meeting, on the fly, right down to every single song we sang. God gave us prophecy and interpretation of tongues. We sang the new song of the Lord prophetically. We both prayed for each other and for our assembly. God encouraged us to continue on in our efforts to build His house, taking our eyes off of inviting people to attend. Instead, the Lord said to me, with respect to that, that we are to "build His house, and they will come", speaking of the people whom He will send. We were also directed by prophetic word to increase our number of meetings from one and add a praise meeting. It seemed good to add that on Tuesday night. We know that only God can increase the spiritual capacity of a human being, so we asked that God would give us the increase and He came and powerfully manifested himself to the two of us on Tuesday night. Then, we asked for more increase of spiritual capacity, and God gave us a powerful meeting on Thursday afternoon, where He opened up His word to me from 2 Chronicles, chapters 29 and 30, about a revival out of time as it was experienced in the opening times of the reign of Hezekiah.
I had wanted to write this article on Friday, but we were both attacked by demonic spirits that brought a retaliatory backlash of pain and sickness against us, but it is now Saturday night and I have now substantially recovered. I suppose that, in hindsight, it is no big surprise that we would have been so viciously attacked, for our Tuesday night meeting reached such a level of high praise that it has been more than twenty years since I have been in the middle of any comparable anointing here in the United States. I found it comparable to that night in Webuye, Western Kenya, when God caused fire to emit forth out of my left hand. We do hope and pray for protection from such backlash, in the name of Jesus. So, I want to faithfully relate to you what I have seen in the scriptures and learned from the Holy Spirit about Hezekiah's Revival: a revival out of time and place. What do I imply here? The revival of Hezekiah occurred at a time when one would probably would not have expected one to occur. It came first to Judah alone, without any restoration of unity with the Northern Kingdom: Israel. It substantially began through the dedication of heart and resoluteness of action of one man: King Hezekiah. This revival flared and burned up suddenly and spread, bringing in total and complete repentance in a period of slightly more than two months. Furthermore, this revival lasted for decades and all of this happened without any active involvement of the prophet Isaiah even being mentioned. It is astounding as to its' sudden rising, its' astonishing rate of increase and the total and the complete repentance from idolatry that followed on after it.
Tonight, June 24, 2017, is the twenty fifth anniversary of the night when the Lord spoke to me and told me that He had called me as a prophet to the nations. Likewise, Hezekiah's twenty fifth year marked the beginning of his reign in Judah. He wasted no time in turning to the Lord, his God.
2Ch 29:1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2Ch 29:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 2Ch 29:3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
Hezekiah began to speak on the first day of the first month, Nisan (Abib), as Verse 17 informs us that the cleaning and sanctification of the temple began on that day. So, the revival began with the speech that Hezekiah delivered to the priests and the Levites in the East Street. This speech is rendered for us in verses 5 through 12 and the spark of revival was lit. The Levites were moved to quickly sanctify themselves for duty, but fewer of the priests were so moved to sanctify themselves (29:34). Sanctification of unclean men and things is a seven day process under the law and had to be applied in stages, and so, the Temple porch was not cleaned and ready until Nisan (Abib) 8 and then the Temple itself was cleansed on Nisan (Abib) 16. There was only one problem and it is not clear when this was noticed: this cleansing would not be completed in time for the sacrifices of Passover. How could the Hebrew religious year begin at any other time than Passover and Unleavened Bread, yet these calendar dates had been missed.
What was Hezekiah to do? None of this is discussed in the Bible. Obviously, one thing is clear, Hezekiah did not want to wait one full year more to turn the nation of Judah to the Lord, so he resolved to commence with the offering of a sin offering to the Lord. He provided seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven he goats: a total of twenty eight animals, for a sin offering for the kingdom (verse 22). He did more than this. He set Levites in the Lord's house with cymbals, psalteries and harps, they played trumpets and then the songs were sang to the Lord in conjunction with the burnt offerings. He also set the congregation to worshipping. Singers sang and trumpeters sounded. The Levites also sang praises to the Lord with gladness and sang the words of David and Asaph.
Hezekiah then initiated stage two: he instructed the people to bring animal sacrifices and thank offerings. Now, seventy bulls and one hundred lambs were burnt. There were also six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep consecrated to the Lord: a total of three thousand, seven hundred and seventy animals. The final verse describes the result in this way:
2Ch 29:36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
Yes, the thing was done suddenly, but what was to be done now?
2Ch 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 2Ch 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 2Ch 30:3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 2Ch 30:4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
Hezekiah had made up his mind to hold the passover one month late, on the second month, fourteenth day. How he arrived at the decision to do this is never made completely clear to us, but as the history of Israel would suggest, doing things in a manner not prescribed by the Lord in Israel had resulted in many deaths. Clearly, Hezekiah must have obtained the word of the Lord regarding just how to proceed, for we know that later events vindicated his decision that he made here. The rest is history. One period of seven days of a late, out of time festival of unleavened bread was celebrated exactly one month later than prescribed. Then, for good measure, another seven day festival was enjoined. Letters of intreaty to join the feast were even sent into the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim and Manasseh and these pleadings were initially mocked to scorn, but by the time the second festival of seven days had been concluded, the story had evidently changed:
2Ch 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one 2Ch 30:19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 2Ch 30:20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
More technical rules had been broken by these who desired to return to the Lord. On another day, God might have struck them down immediately for eating the passover while not being cleansed. But God pardoned them according to the prayer of Hezekiah. Now then, we see the frenetic pace at which this revival fire was raging:
2Ch 30:24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
So, we see an almost exponential growth in the number of animals sacrificed. It is a church event where the glory anointing is so strong that no one wanted to go home. This is real revival. No one wants to stop or do anything else but worship the Lord under such circumstances, and it all came about out of the proper time slot on the calendar and all sorts of religious rules were broken. And even with all that, God blessed the whole thing, until we see the really final and most dramatic result: radical repentance!
2Ch 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
There were not many revivals in Israel or Judah where the high places and altars were torn down; where repentance was total and the turnaround to the Lord was a complete one hundred eighty degree turn. There is of course much more too it. People began to radically give to the Lord. There was no need to change the rules of tithing and offering as Nehemiah had to do some 300 years later. This revival was so dramatic that the people served God with their pocket book and wallet. There was no need for special rangling by priest or Levite: they had more than enough with heaps left over. (31:5-6)
The Holy Spirit is saying that our revival right now is going to be like this "Hezekiah Revival". Passover and Shavuot came and went and we saw no revival this year. Then, two weeks after Karaite Shavuot, in a time that was really out of time and place, God began to suddenly come to His temple. I do not expect that He has come to your Senior pastor headed churches: you will probably know nothing about this. But those of you who have journeyed out into the wilderness have, as prophet Stephen Hanson wrote today, become "voices crying in the wilderness, saying prepare ye the way of the Lord." Stephen Hanson-Those In The Wilderness
Prophet Hanson may or may not have been aware, but the primary Catholic Saint for this day is John The Baptist. Butler's Lives Of The Saints records that "The birthday of St. John The Baptist was one off the earliest feasts to find a definite place in the Church's calendar, no other than were it stands now: June 24.
Joh 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? Joh 1:20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. Joh 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Joh 1:22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? Joh 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. Joh 1:24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. Joh 1:25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? Joh 1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; Joh 1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. Joh 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Joh 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. Joh 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. Joh 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Joh 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; Joh 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
I have already written in a previous article that we have been set forth in the woods in a solitary way as the prophet Micah foresaw: "dwelling solitarily in the woods". Yet, once revival has come, we will go forth as an empowered remnant, doing great exploits, signs and wonders that Micah foresaw would rival those of God that were reported during the time of the Exodus of Israel. Those of Jerusalem trekked forty miles to hear John preach and watch him baptize at Aenon on the Jordan River. That forty mile hike was ROUGH! So it is, in the same way, that many will go forth now, trekking into the wilderness and will find those who have gotten to work at rebuilding the House Of The Lord. The Holy Spirit will lead the way for those doing the building and those who will be doing the gathering.
There is much work to be done in the Spirit; much praying and much praising but I report to you that the revival has commenced. It is now up to those of you who are wilderness voices to go up in the Spirit and bring down the glory fire anointing. This world needs it. The church has never seen it. Let us go up to the High places now and bring the power of the Lord down to Earth! Let this be accompanied by a revival of purity and holiness. Let the fire of the Lord be released, as I stretch forth my left hand, to the four corners of the Earth, in the name of Jesus Christ!
Nothing more need be written or said at this juncture. Go get it! Go get Him!
Stephen L. Bening
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