During a phone call meeting for intercessors in Lamplighter Ministries on February 22, 2017, Jon Hamill interviewed his guest Bonnie Jones about an event that occurred to her late husband, Bob Jones, nearly 40 years ago. As she told it, the Jesus People Movement of that era was in full swing. Revival was flourishing in America. At that time Bob Jones carried a powerful Presence of God upon him that would elicit a response from folks as he went about his daily activities, even shopping. He walked in a prophetic Samuel anointing where none of his words fell to the ground; in other words, everything he said would actually happen; his words came to pass.
During that season God gave Bob Jones an unexpected, startling, even distressing prophetic word. He told Bob he was writing “Ichabod” across the church in America. Ichabod means the glory of God has departed. The LORD told Bob he was removing his glory from the American church and disciplining her because church leaders were profiteering from the glory and taking the credit for what God was doing. Church leaders did not have the character to properly steward the fabulous things God was doing. They didn’t give God the glory, so God decided to remove it.
The news of this discipline from God was not popular at the time, as you can probably imagine. People were not receptive to what Bob had to share. In that day ministries were thriving. Billy Graham was filling stadiums that were telecast on TV. Revival was happening in place after place under the ministry of various leaders. This message of God turning off the faucet of his glory in America was not good news and it seemed so contrary to what God was doing in the culture at that time. The church was reluctant to believe him.
Though people were not receptive, nonetheless in hindsight it is clear that something changed in America. National revival fires began sputtering and fizzled out. America became more and more secularized as the 40 year time period progressed. Despite localized revivals that flared up here and there during this 40 year time period, America as a whole became increasingly resistant to biblical Christianity, pushing it out of the public square wherever possible.
Bonnie shared that Bob Jones did not want to see God’s glory depart. He was so concerned about having to live without the glory that he asked God to take him home to heaven. The LORD told Bob that he would stay here and live on to see the very beginning of the restoration of the glory. Bob died in 2014. Bonnie said that he and she did indeed see inklings of the restoration of the glory before he went home to heaven on Valentine’s Day three years ago.
The exciting thing is this: The forty year disciplinary period began on March 11, 1977. Add 40 years to that date and we understand that this Saturday, March 11, 2017 marks the end of that 40 year period. So in just a few days it’s over! And the Jewish holiday called Purim begins the next day, on Sunday, March 12th. How fascinating!
We can look forward to seeing the glory of God show up among his people in America in accelerating and more noticeable ways beginning with Purim. What will this glory look like? Hopefully we’ll recognize it and receive it when we see it. I sure do not want to miss the new things God will do in this season. I’ve heard tell of revival coming in unprecedented proportions, and of reformation coming. Some put the two together saying we’ll see a massive end time harvest that brings reformation with it. One thing is for sure. God loves to do new things. Let’s pray we have eyes to see what he’s doing, hearts open to receive him, and characters up to the task of stewarding the glory so the glory will remain. We are entering a new season. GOOD things for the Kingdom of God are just ahead. The LORD’s eminence is imminent. Get ready!