I read through “Why I Left The Prophetic Movement” by Andrew Strom in nearly a single sitting today. Right from the start, he got my attention with tales of deception and false signs that are happening all over the place in today’s “Prophetic” movement, which ties in quite nicely with other things I have been reading about and studying lately.
I’ve been concerned about this whole gold dust and feathers issue, as I couldn’t really see how it would fit into a genuine move of God. Other manifestations are a little more easy to discern, especially serpent-related behaviors like hissing, writhing on the ground, jack-knifing, and the like.
What Is True Revival?
In “Why I Left The Prophetic Movement” Andrew Strom makes a clear distinction between these false signs and the work of the Holy Spirit. The major distinguishing factor, or question to ask, is this: “Is this done with a sense of God’s holiness, and above all, repentance?”
He spends a lot of time on the repentance issue, saying that repentance is really the only true mark of a revival. When people come face to face with the presence of God, they will not immediately be filled with thoughts of prosperity and blessing and happiness. Far from it. Andrew gives examples all through history of revivals where the first mark is always repentance; a deep anguish in a fresh understanding of just how sinful we are before God. It is only once this repentance has happened that the renewing work of the Holy Spirit can come. This second step, following just after, is where we see the signs and wonders, healings, great joy, and true worship. However, you can’t have the second step without the first, and if you do… then you have a counterfeit work of the spirit.
The first part of the book focuses a lot on recounting various experiences that Andrew himself has had as part of the Prophetic movement, and he also shares quite a few letters he received recounting other people’s experiences. These stories really serve to illustrate the things that are wrong with that movement today, and of course strengthen the underlying reason for the book: “Why I Left The Prophetic Movement.”
The second part of the book moves away from the bad stuff that is happening, and starts looking at what true revival really is, what we can expect to see in one, and how we can be involved in starting one. Every revival throughout history has been started by at least two or three people praying, travailing before God, breaking through into His throne room, and “praying down” a revival. The next revival will be no different… Are you one of those people?
Andrew points out that what we need now is in fact much more than a Revival; we need a Reformation, which is 10 times worse in terms of the impact on the flesh. A true Reformation shocks the world system to the core, overturns all kinds of doctrines and sacred cows, every established idol of the flesh.
Another thing he mentions is that there appears to have been a regular wave of revivals in America, since its foundation, roughly once every 50 years. This lines up with the Jubilee cycle, which I found interesting. What greater expression of a Jubilee can we have today than a true revival? If this pattern is in fact established by God (and I tend to agree with him that it is), then we’re coming due, or indeed overdue, for the next. Andrew’s fear is that we may miss our opportunity because of the hardness of hearts and unwillingness to hear the message.
The book ends with a call to Christians to make the decision now to begin “praying down a revival.” To make the decision now to set their backbone against the tide when it comes.
“Why I Left The Prophetic Movement” doesn’t pull any punches, though I believe at the same time it is brought in a spirit of love. Rarely are names named, but instead the call goes out in a more general fashion.
Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”
I pray that God will find men and women prepared and ready to stand in the gap when He comes looking.