“Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh [brings healing]; so where the river flows everything will live.” - Ezekiel 47:9
In 1984, I had a vision while in a hotel room in Temple, Texas. I was all alone and not met anyone in the city. At 6:00 in the morning, there was a knock on my door which awakened me out of a sound sleep. Puzzled and a little shaken, I peeked out of the window. No one was around. As I laid back down, I murmured, “Do you want to show me something, Lord? Did you wake me up?”
Immediately I began to have a vision. It was a vision of a river and I knew it was the River of Life. Oh, what a beautiful sight it was! I thanked God over and over for showing it to me. All of a sudden, I saw people come and get in the river. I realized they were the church. They started throwing up into the river and tossed garbage from their houses into the water, causing it to be polluted and unclean. They people erected a large pediment sign that read “River of Living Water.”
I asked the Lord what had polluted the river, and He said in my heart, “Judgmentalism, criticism, sectarianism, strife and divisions - these have polluted My river.”
After a while I saw people coming to the bank of the river. I sensed they represented the world. They looked at the sign and the people in the river who appeared to be having a fabulous time and decided to try the water. Kneeling down, they started to drink. It only took one taste, and they spat it out of their mouths with disgust and went away.
Meanwhile, the church hardly noticed what had happened. Nobody could tell that the water was polluted because they had tasted it so long that they thought it was good. No one was able to tell the difference between polluted and clean water.
Later they all got out of the river and fell asleep on either side of the bank. The army of God was fast asleep, and no one cared what had happened to God’s river.
As time passed, a couple of sleepers awakened and looked up, astonished at the river. They tried to shake the others awake but were unsuccessful. I believe they represent the prophetic gifts in the church. At last, two angels from heaven came down and put little pots of eye salve into their hands, instructing them to put it on the eyes of those asleep.
The two prophetic people applied the salve to each person, one at a time. Everyone had the same response after having the medicine put on their eyes. They sat up, looked at the river and declared, “Oh, what has happened to the river of God? How did we let this happen?”
Finally, they all stood up in one accord and went into the river to try to clean it up. Alas, they sadly failed. It was too polluted for individuals to clean with their hands. As I watched, I could see they had found a strategy. They were building a huge water purification plant in the middle of the river.
As they finished the plant, I saw a tiny trickle of fresh water flow out of the other side of the unit. Then increasingly water flowed, until the trickle became a stream, and at last, the stream became a mighty river, pure and clean.
The water purification plant represents the houses of prayer which are springing up all over the world. Isaiah 56:7 says:
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer . . . For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.The next sight I saw was puzzling to me. I saw trees on either side of the river bank, dropping their leaves into the river. It was several years before I would come to the understanding that the leaves were for the healing of the nations (Ez. 47:12).
The last part of the vision is the most precious. In the vision, children were in the river, laughing and playing. They splashed and dunked each other, having a perfectly glorious time. I believe this is symbolic of a children’s revival which will span the globe.
The ending part of this scene was a great blessing. I saw the people of the world come and look at the children in the river. Gazing at one another, they asked, “Should we try to drink one last time from the river?” Kneeling down, they put their mouths to the water and began to drink. They drank and drank and drank as if they would never get enough of the pure River of Life. At that moment, the Lord spoke to me and said, “O taste and see that the Lord, He is good!”
In looking back over the last few decades, the Lord has done and still is doing a great work of purging in the Body of Christ. Ezekiel 47 tells of pure water issuing from the temple. Out from the cleansed heart of the Church are issuing many streams which are becoming a mighty river of revival (John 7:18).
Here some characteristics of this revival:
1. There will be an emphasis on holiness and living a sanctified life. God is exposing sin at all levels. He is no longer “winking” even for a short while at those who are trying to live double lives of sin and service to God. This will produce a holy fear of the Lord.
2. These sanctified lives will affect the culture of the nation where they live. Some will describe it as a “religious revolution.”
3. Prayer groups will spring up with intercession for the nations of the world and the unevangelized. A fresh emphasis on missions in churches will be fueled.
4. The Holy Spirit is prompting “net-working” of those in business to bring forth a harvest of finance to fund the revival. (Ez. 47:10)
5. Other kinds of nets will be given for the great harvest of fish, which represent the souls of the lost. Creative evangelism will become culturally relevant, bringing in the generation who are now children and youth.
6. Unusual outpourings of God’s power will occur with signs, wonders and other visitations of the Holy Spirit such as great joy, laughing, weeping and deep conviction of sin.
7. The borders between different denominations will become less defined as more and more groups will pray for the sick, cast out demons and experience power encounters of the Holy Spirit.
8. A fresh love of the Word of God, with an emphasis on scripture memorization, will visit the church.
9. Racism will be abhorrent to the church and unacceptable in those congregations experiencing the river of God. Racial barriers will topple as God’s torrent of love is poured out.
10. Those refusing to swim with the current of the river will be in serious trouble. Their churches will become dead and lifeless, and members will flock to drink of the river of revival. Such churches will become “swamps and marshes” which will not be healed. (Ez. 47:11)
An Invitation: Drink Deeply
There are some who will only be content with the “experience” and in this case, the refreshing and reviving they receive will only be temporary. Those churches who are touched by the true river will become on fire with a desire to see the lost brought to Christ and the world evangelized.
In the 1980s, I started to receive calls from intercessors from many places. Each of these said something very similar. They felt God had told them revival would begin in their little town, or big city, or nation. I pondered what each had said. Could they all be hearing from God? Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke this in my heart, “Cindy, in the coming revival there is not just one place which will be able to claim they are experiencing revival. The revival is going to happen in many places at once. It will be like spontaneous combustion of many, many revival fires. This way, the evil will not be able to get in and put a stop to it as he has in the past through sin or personalities or excesses.”
I realize this is true. While revivals are messy at times, God is still moving powerfully. Do excesses exist? Yes, undoubtedly. However, the River of God is spilling over into nation after nation. The Lord is inviting all the children to drink deeply of this river. I believe with all my heart that revival is coming to my nation. Intercessors have prayed for years for God to pour out His Spirit on America. The River of God’s Spirit will touch every nation, and every people will have an opportunity to receive Christ as personal Savior until the earth will be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.