The Call of the Elijah Revolution
The passion for radical change
by James W. Goll and Lou Engle
Chapter 12: The Call to the Future
Twenty years ago I received a defining dream that never leaves me. In the dream I saw the great guns of God going forward into battle but they were held up and restrained by an old man in an old cart. Suddenly a company of soldiers in an amazing act of spiritual violence expelled the hindrance and the great guns of God were released to go to war. Instantly the scene changed and a scroll unfolded before me, and it read, “Only yet 40 days I will send the rain!” I have been working on this 40-day theme for many years now.
I believe the 40-day fast is an act of spiritual violence to remove the old and bring in the new. And at this 40-year generational landmark and in this time of worldwide crisis Christ is calling His church into a moment of unified fasting and prayer that could open the way for the outpourings of the rains of revival. I believe we are still building on the call to fasting issued in 1995 by the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright. Many of us heard the call in those years. We gave ourselves to a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. But the call is still being declared. It is still God’s proceeding word.
There are moments in history when a door for massive change opens, and great revolutions for good or evil spring up in the vacuum created by these openings. In these divine moments key men and women and even entire generations risk everything to become the hinge of history, the pivotal point that determines which way the door will swing.
Which Way Will the Door Swing?
The rebellious generation of the 1960s seized its moment, and history crashed into the deep abyss of drug addiction, sexual immorality, hatred for authority, and a rejection of the law of God. The year 1967 was a culminating and defining moment in that rebellion. In 1967, 100,000 young people, aged 15-25 flocked to San Francisco to experience the hippie movement. This mass convergence was sparked by the hit song, “San Francisco (Wear a Flower in Your Hair)”. Once there, they experimented with LSD, pot, casual sex and Eastern mysticism in what become known as the “summer of Love”.
When these newly recruited flower Children returned home at the end of the summer, they brought with them new styles and ideas, flooding the cities of the US and Europe with a message that opposed authority and scorned conservative morals. This counterculture rebellion was fuelled by music and art, and it rapidly shifted global culture.
For the past 40 years we have been falling headlong into a black moral morass in America and all through the West. We are reaping the waves of destruction in every sector of our post-Christian society. Can America survive another 40 years? We are declaring, “NO! A thousand times, NO!” Unless a massive spiritual shift occurs at this moment, our children will live under an antichrist system and Godless enculturation that will bring about the demise of America as we know it.
God has a Prescription
But God has a prescription for such a massive shift, and it is revealed in the power of the great transitional 40-day fast. God in His sovereign control over the parade of history delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. Longing to release a moral code that would give foundations for righteousness, for time and eternity, God summoned Moses to a 40-day fast on Mount Sinai. In that fast all of history changed and the law of God was delivered from Heaven to earth. And if America is going to return to God, it must recover that law again as its foundation for truth.
Elijah, at the height of Jezebel’s cultic dominion over Israel, fasted 40 days, broke the spell of Jezebel off of his own life, and received a mandate to anoint the next generation. That fast unleashed a movement that toppled Jezebel’s regime of hell, which perpetrated the destruction of family, the killing of innocent children, the silencing of the voice of God’s people, and the widespread culture of sexual immortality. The fruit of that fast culminated in the utter destruction of Baal worship in Israel.
Also in the fullness of time the glorious gospel era was born when Jesus fasted 40 days and those who sat in darkness saw a great light. Clearly the 40 day fast is Heaven’s great transitional prescription, moving nations from failure to fulfilment of promise. Is it any surprise that when Jesus was to enter into His great sacrifice where death would be swallowed up in victory, Elijah and Moses appear with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration? All three of them were together as the 40-day fasters. They presided over the great transitions of history.
When the Israelites were poised to move into the Promised Land, spies were sent out for 40 days. When they returned carrying an evil report, a whole generation was infected with unbelief and they turned their back on the Promised Land. God’s sentence on that generation was:
Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. According to the number of the days which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know my opposition [rejection].
It was 40 years of judgement for 40 days of failure.
Conversely the great prophet Ezekiel received a 40-day prayer assignment for a 40-year failure of Judah’s iniquity. “Lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year” Ezek 4:6 NKJV. It was clearly 40 days of prayer for 40 years of failure.
When Jesus fasted 40 days and was tempted of the devil, He quoted from the book of Deuteronomy saying, “It is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” and again, “You shall not tempt the Lord thy God” and again, “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you worship.” Jesus in His victory over satan was quoting the Book Of Deuteronomy, the portion of Scripture delivered by Moses to the generation who failed in the desert. Jesus in His 40 day fast was clearly identifying with that passage of Scripture and that generation that came out of Egypt. As an intercessor in His 40-day fast, He was fulfilling what a generation had failed in for 40 years.
40 Days for 40 Years!
Forty years are up! Could the Church of America in a 40-day fast deliver a nation out of a 40-year curse? We have scriptural precedent to believe for such a turning! therefore, as leaders of The Call, we are trumpeting a call to 40 days of fasting like Moses, like Elijah, like Ezekiel, and like Jesus. We must bear the iniquity in 40 days of fasting and intercession for the past 40 years of divorcing God in America, embracing a culture of sexual immorality, hedonism, materialism, abortion and the rejection of Christ in the public place. But we are also calling for 40 days of fasting and prayer for the greatest outbreak of the Kingdom power, in signs and wonders, and spiritual awakening in America that will collide with this present darkness and topple its cultural dominion over our people.
Thousands went on 40-day fasts in 1946 and in 1947 the great healing revivals broke out. In 1948 the latter rain outpourings began. Bill Bright and Billy Graham’s ministries were born at the same time, and Israel became a nation. Could it be that the 40-day fast preceded this explosion of power by the Spirit? After Jesus’ 40-day fast, the Scripture says, He returned in the power of the Spirit. Yes, the promise of Joel 2 is that “after the fast I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh . . . “
Forty years ago in 1967 the Jesus Movement broke out, a youth revival starting on the streets that swept across the country, exploding in college campuses and coffee houses. People were being saved everywhere. It was radical for its day. Can we not believe for something even greater in our day?
David Di Sabatino, historian and author of The Jesus People Movement, gives us a glimpse into those Jesus People days:
The appearance of the Jesus People can be traced to California where in 1967 the Living Room coffeehouse was opened as a mission to the Haight-Ashbury district’s inhabitants.
. . . Early missionaries included Arthur Blessitt’s ministry to Los Angeles’ sunset Strip district. The His Place nightclub became a 24 hour home for wayward youth. Blessitt’s antics, most notably his hip sloganeering of Christianity – “why don’t we drop a little Matthew, Mark, Luke and John” – quickly won him the affectations [sic] of the youth even though the established church watched on uncomfortably.
It was also during this phase – in 1967 – that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, one of the largest movements in neo-Pentecostal history, got its start. A group of professors at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh sparked a fire among their students after they themselves were baptised in the Holy Spirit, and the fire quickly spread to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and to the University of Michigan. From there it spread around the world. Since its inception, Pentecostal historian Vinson Synan writes in The Century of the Holy Spirit, the catholic movement “not only has gained the approval of the church but also has touched the lives of over 100 million Catholics in 120 countries.”
Though this charismatic move had its beginning in a Catholic university, it was not limited to it. Thousands upon thousands from mainline Protestant denominations were ushered into fresh encounters with Jesus including the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Prayer gatherings resulted. Healings occurred. Celebrations of praise were the hallmark as Jesus was welcomed back into His rightful place.
In 1967, through a Middle Eastern war and obviously by the supernatural hand of God, Jerusalem was taken and once again brought under the control of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. This was a monumental signpost in the shifting of eras. The dispensation of the times of the Gentiles was now beginning to shift to the times when Jerusalem will become the last days’ focus for God’s activity in the earth.
How about a 40-day time of consecration with prayer and fasting where we join Israel’s believers in a 40-day fast crying out to God that they would see their Messiah and that they would begin to receive their greatest spiritual awakening since the days of the Apostles? Why not?
Now 40 years later we are crying, do it again God, way beyond the Jesus Movement! Way beyond the charismatic movement! Do it again, God!
A Moment in Time!
Brothers and sisters, moments like these come only once in a lifetime. To miss such a moment could be to miss the purpose of God for a generation. The generation that refused to cross over the Jordan did not know that they had only one day to make the decision, and missing that day meant 40 years in the desert.
Even now we are receiving reports that other countries are calling 40-day fasts. Could we be in a global 40-day season of fasting like Jesus to see a global outbreak of light when great darkness is covering the earth? That is why we launched a 40-day fast, which culminated on 7-7-07, the perfection of time, declaring we wanted to remarry the Lord.
We believe we are crossing over into the promised land, into national and international revival. We want to break the generational curse and move into an unstoppable wake of God. Thousands joined in with us around the globe in China, Russia, Philippines, Korea, Europe, Israel and many nations of the earth praying into the watershed gathering called The Call Nashville on 7-7-07.
Yes, it was a day when the sceptre of the Lord was lowered and a new Youth Army volunteered! But it has just begun! Come on! Sacrifice releases power. Get on board with us and let’s change history!
Lasting Change or Passing Cloud?
Wisdom is needed for any move of God to be sustained. We need the three-cord strand that cannot be quickly broken, comprised of the Holy Spirit’s power, fruit and wisdom. We need all that He has to offer. Truly the Lord has different graces upon different members of the Body of Christ. That is why we need one another. One of our mutual friends, Steve Fry, founder of The Gate, author and musical composer, has some great wisdom teaching and perspective that (if we listen closely to them) will help this move of God mature and not end up stagnant or in a cul-de-sac.
for years messages promising genuine revival have been sounded – a revival that cannot be explained in terms of man’s talents, strategies, or administrative acumen, but can only be explained in terms of God’s sovereign power. To that end, prayers have been lifted and great programs pursued. We have seen a measure of revival. And certainly there are hopeful signs that the clouds of a greater outpouring may be gathering on the horizon; one can hear the rumblings of awakening in the distance. There is a story in the Old Testament that tells of one of the greatest revivals ever recorded – a revival that took place during the reign of a teenage king by the name of Josiah.
Josiah was eight years old when he took the throne. At 16, he began to earnestly seek the Lord. By age 20, he launched a vigorous purge of idolatry in the land. His heart burned with passion for God, but the fires of that passion were further stoked by two prophets: Zephaniah, a veteran in prophetic ministry, and Jeremiah, a young voice barely 20 years of age himself. Zephaniah was first on the scene and his message stirred Josiah. But it was Jeremiah’s call to God’s people to return to their bridal love for Him which became the pivotal issue upon which Josiah’s reformation turned.
Jeremiah, a celibate prophet, was given one of the most profound insights into the depth of intimacy God desires with His people. To a people flush with an awakened desire for righteousness, the word of the Lord came through Jeremiah with a call to go beyond the mere return to a form of godliness. This message, which is recorded in Jeremiah 2:1-3:5, goes right to the heart. And it was a message that uncovered something in the heart of the nation. They had lost the fire of their “first love’ for God. They had not turned their backs on Him, they had just . . . drifted away
There are sobering points about this message. This sermon was probably preached well after Josiah’s reforms were launched. God’s people were already turning back to Him. The land had been purged of idolatry, the laws of God fully embraced.
Almost, But Not Quite
And that’s where Jeremiah’s message hits home. This message spoke to the key issue that was going to determine whether Josiah’s revival was a “flash in the pan” – or whether it would truly transform the nation! Whether it would lead to lasting change or evaporate like a passing cloud. This message came to a man who was to see full-scale judgement on the people of God. Jeremiah would witness one of the greatest revivals ever recorded. Yet, he was also to endure the total destruction of Jerusalem.
We, too, are living under the shadow of judgement. Ours is a generation whose young are losing their sense of innocence before they even know they’ve got an innocence. Three year olds are robbed of their moral sensitivities by a 30-second seduction scene in a TV ad aired during afternoon cartoons. When we jade the youngest, it’s “Nineveh time”. We are ripe for judgement. I suggest that when a nation allows the mind rape of children, a seismic shift occurs in the way God deals with that nation. Like Jeremiah, we may witness both the sizzle of a Josiah-like revival and the severity of God’s “mercy”.
Jeremiah’s message of lost bridal affections is a sombre one, and its conclusion resounds in stark contrast to the apparent success of Josiah’s initiatives: “ ‘You have lived as a prostitute with many lovers – would you now return to Me?’ declares the Lord . . . ‘You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness . . . You have the brazen look of a prostitute;’ you refuse to blush with shame’ “ (Jer 3:1-3 NIV).
One would think that in the light of Josiah’s passion, God would have given the nation an encouraging prophetic word simply urging them to press on. But instead, Jeremiah receives a divine oracle castigating the nation for its whoring heart – strong words, especially when seen against the backdrop of such an intense revival. It seems perplexing. It doesn’t make sense. Why would God utter such scathing words when things seemed to be going so well? It would be like Billy Graham preaching on the theme “The Prostitution of the Church”. Not the kind of message that wins many friends.
But that is essentially what happened with Jeremiah. Why? God saw deep into the hearts of the people. Though He loved them with an everlasting love, though He was indeed their Father, He saw that for all their zeal and passion there was – as we said earlier – something missing. That ‘something’ was a heart that craved intimacy with Him above all else.
The Key to Lasting Revival:
Restoring Our Marriage With God
The overriding theme in Jeremiah’s sermon in unfaithfulness. Again and again, he sketches the picture of marital infidelity to portray Israel’s rebellion against God. I believe this model of revival – Jeremiah’s sermon sounding a return to marital faithfulness to God, set against the backdrop of Josiah’s reforms – is the most pertinent for the American Church. The reason? It accomplishes two things. First, it affirms the fact that the Spirit is at work in Christ’s Church. Just as the Word says of Josiah, that no king had set his heart after God as he, so there are hundreds of thousands in America who are fasting praying, vigilantly standing against satan’s assaults.
Winds of renewal have been blowing, and some of the greatest throngs ever gathered have assembled to repent and seek God’s face. Many pastors are labouring hard to ground God’s people in His Word. Many spiritual leaders are preaching righteousness and mobilizing God’s people to stand for His standards. These are days of a spiritual intensity rarely seen in our history. These are days . . . like those of Josiah. Yet for all his passion – and for all ours as well – God still thundered through Jeremiah, “My people have . . . forsaken Me, the spring of living water” (Jer 2:13 NIV).
Which brings me to the second reason this model is appropriate for us: For all the advances being made, God is after something deeper. He was after it in Jeremiah’s day, and He is after it in ours. A sense of re-ignited mission is not enough; moral outrage over wickedness is not enough; adherence to biblical standards is not enough.
This young prophet jarred the nation’s sensibilities by challenging it to examine its deepest affections. Did the people really love God? Was that reformation a sincere but short sighted attempt at recovering their moral bearing? National restoration did not go far enough; moral reformation did not go far enough. Jeremiah comes and introduces this model for revival: the restoration of a broken marriage.
As a Church, our marriage to Christ is fraying at the edges. And perhaps this same theme is relevant for us: Our marriage to the Lord needs to be restored. The key question for the Church in America and the nations is this: Is Christ truly our first love?
Beyond Revival to a Revolution!
What would happen in America if for 40 days we sealed the electronic cultural sewer that flows nightly into our living rooms and spent our strength seeking the Lord? What if tens of thousands of fathers and mothers across our nation fasted for 40 days, repenting and cleansing themselves of inward toleration of sexual immorality, pornography, addiction to food and entertainment, and materialism? What if they prayed daily for their spiritual and physical children to see them converted to Christ and freed from rebellion, from addictions, depression and suicide?
What if the young generation fasted for 40 days to be cleansed from lust, media addiction, rebellion toward their parents, believing that a double portion of the Holy Spirit would come upon their lives? Why, it would create nothing less than a Pure Life Revolution!
Moses fasted 40 days and mentored a spiritual son named Joshua, which means “the Lord saves”. Elijah fasted 40 days and threw his mantle on a double portion son, Elisha, which means “the Lord saves”. And John the Baptist fasted in the desert and prepared the way for a double portion son named Jesus, which means “the Lord saves”. Jesus fasted 40 days and unleashed the apostolic glory of the eternal Son of God into the earth.
What if we are preparing a generation for the greatest day of salvation in history? And so, what if tens of thousands from all generations fast together and cry out to God in a Joel 2 moment for great national and, yes, even a global returning to the Lord? Let’s cry out together for a move of God that goes beyond revival and into the greatest spiritual awakening the globe has ever seen! Let’s have an Elijah Revolution!
The Parade of History
The parade of history has brought us into a profound generational landmark, and a great vacuum has opened again. If the Church does not seize this moment, Muslims will! Antichrist rage will! Sexual perversion will! Anarchy will! But now is the time for key men and women, even an entire generation, to risk everything to become the hinge of history, the pivotal point that determines which way the door will swing in America and in the nations of the earth.
The 40-day fast of 2007 is now a part of our history before God, but it is not time to let up or to stop. When you have the enemy on the run, it is time to pursue! What is God speaking to your heart? What actions of faith is the Lord declaring to you? How are you to mount a Prayer Storm to combat the evil in our day?
The breath of the Holy Spirit is still speaking to hearts around the world about intervention in a time of crisis. Are you marching in the parade of history being written before the throne of the Almighty One? Yes, it’s the Call for the sake of our future! Come on and “Seize the Day” with us – for your family – for your city – for your nation – for Israel’s sake.
The call has gone out! A great revolution is underway! The Lord is raising up a new generation of radical revolutionaries: ‘Elijahs’, ‘Jehus’, ‘Esthers’, Deborahs’, and Nazirites who are fired with passion for Jesus and are committed to live fully and completely for Him alone, whatever the cost. Their lives are marked by holiness and a steadfast refusal to compromise with the Jezebel spirit in the land. They are stretching themselves out as living sacrifices, offering themselves up in fasting and prayer for the turning of a nation and the salvation of its people. They are the Bride making ready for her Bridegroom, and their hearts echo with the cry, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
It is time for the Church to rise up and take a stand!
Rise up, O [church ] of God!
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.
Rise up, O [church] of God!
His kingdom tarries long;
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.
The call for passion and sacrifice for radical change is being issued. Will you say, “Yes, Lord’, to this Elijah Revolution?
Note: the above excerpt is taken from “The Call of the Elijah Revolution” by Lou Engle and James W. Goll, published by Destiny Image, USA in 2008.
For more information on ‘40 Days of Prayer and Fasting’ initiatives in Australia please go to: