Is the Smith Wigglesworth revival prophecy genuine?

Smith Wigglesworth preachingAt the end of my post yesterday about Smith Wigglesworth delivering people from smoking in the name of Jesus, I mentioned Wigglesworth’s 1947 prophecy of revival in the UK, which I had discussed at more length in a 2007 post. But today a reader of Gentle Wisdom suggested to me that this prophecy might not be genuine. And it turns out that he may well be correct.

Here, for easy reference, is the text of the prophecy, as published by Adrian Warnock:

THE GREAT REVIVAL

“During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the Church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it and will be characterised by a restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches.

In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is the great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival, but both are steps towards it.’

When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidenced in the churches something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world, has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and the Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to the mainland of Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”

— Smith Wigglesworth, 1947

As I previously posted in a comment, I have found out, at this site among others, that “This prophecy was given at the annual Elim conference in 1947″, so it is said. This was presumably the conference of the Elim Pentecostal Church, but I can’t find anything more about it, including its exact date. The date is important because Wigglesworth died on 12th March 1947, age 87, but he was active until the end and so could have given this prophecy in his final weeks. Indeed an article found in several places on the Internet (this is apparently the earliest version) suggests that he gave it a week before his death, but this needs confirmation.

A few years earlier Wigglesworth had given a somewhat similar but personal prophecy to David du Plessis. But there is no mention of the 1947 prophecy at the Smith Wigglesworth website, and according to an Amazon review by Phil Stanton this word is not included in Smith Wigglesworth: The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings compiled by Roberts Liardon. This evidence indeed casts some doubt on its authenticity.

I must say I wonder if the prophecy is a genuine one from 1947 but not actually given through Wigglesworth. The prophecy has certainly been around for quite a number of years. With the help of Google Books I can trace references to it back to 1999. But personally I can remember hearing about it many years before that, probably in the 1980s.

Does anyone reading this have any more information about the origin of this prophecy or its first publication?

60 thoughts on “Is the Smith Wigglesworth revival prophecy genuine?

  1. Hi

    A preacher refered to this prophesy at our church on Sunday and it seemed too good (… to be true)

    Have you been able to verify it in any way to a date earlier than 1999

  2. I know this is an old post but I’ve just come across it after hearing this prophecy quoted recently. I guess for me the key question is not is this of Wigglesworth, but is it of God? If this is of God then who delivered the message has no relevance. As with all prophecy it is for us to pray and weigh. I don’t know the answer but if it is of God then it excites me as we could be in the ‘When the Word and the Spirit come together’ season in which case lets pray for that Revival! With all that said though, if it is of God, then it’s still good to seek where this was first heard and said to give it context in terms of times.

  3. Steve, indeed the important question is whether this is of God. But the date is also important, as if in fact it is from the 1980s it is a prophecy after the event, which in itself is enough to cast doubt on its genuineness as a word from God. So the provenance of the prophecy is worth investigating.

  4. there is a further option – stop wasting time discussing what Smith Wigglesworth may or may not have said – who he may or may not have said it to – what he may or may not have meant by a time frame …..get off your sanctified bottoms and go and meet some people who need to be introduced to the Saviour.

    I am left with the distinct impression that for some people – their only concern is to be seen on the ‘platform’ when any such ‘revival’ begins.

  5. Thank you, David. I see your point. But it is worth bringing encouragement to Christians who are often struggling at the moment to introduce people to Jesus. We need to be assured that our work is worthwhile and will see long term fruit, that revival is coming. We also need to see the condition given for that revival, “a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit”. If instead we divide ourselves and refuse to work with those with different emphases, then we cannot expect to see the revival and may find our work of evangelism becoming harder and harder. So let’s work together!

  6. Peter , thankyou for your gracious reply – more gracious I feel than my original post – but please read your last post – especially the words ..’The conditions given for revival’ …are the words of ……. Scripture …? regretfully not ….the words of Smith Wigglesworth…? even more regretfully ..yes?

    Revival isn’t a scriptural concept – if it were – we could all ignore the great commission …and just sit and wait.

    I think that the point I am trying to make is…. that there is a temptation to use the prophesy of others to let ourselves off the evangelistic hook..Why isn’t there Smithy’s revival – “Ah”…. say those of the word – ..It’s because those ‘of the Spirit’ won’t meet us halfway…..”

    “Can’t be us”…say those of the Spirit..” Has to be all you ‘Wordies’….” and so on

    In the meantime, there are those out working in the spiritual swamp – huge bracket coming up ( and I think especially of of a missionary I know who has faithfully served in Morocco – with no promise of ‘revival’ – who after 20 years baptised- not her’s but the Lords – first convert thro’ her ministry ….in her bathroom !!!!) – are happy for Smithy W and his heirs and successors including such luminaries as http://www.bishopjordan.com/ to get on doing whatever it is they have on their minds …but they are just going present the gospel whenever and wherever they can –

    Happy Thursday

  7. Thank you, David. But by “the condition given for that revival” I meant only what was stated in the (supposed) prophecy. I make no claim that this is teaching from the Bible, although I don’t see it as against the Bible. Although “revival” in this sense is not a biblical word, we do see in the New Testament times when many people came to the Lord accompanied by miraculous signs, and other times when things were harder, perhaps even like your friend in Morocco. I certainly don’t want to devalue her work, but surely it is right to pray and to do what we can to make things like this go more smoothly. I would certainly strongly oppose anyone who used this prophecy as an excuse to ignore the Great Commission.

  8. Until we believe enough to obey what ALL the anointed writers and ALL of the churches unto which they wrote believed enough to do, then we won’t see an authentic Apostolic revival. From Mary the Mother of JESUS, all the way to Paul they ALL believed in the Gospel (death, burial&resurection) enough to repent, be baptized in the name of their JESUS Christ (buried with “Him” (not “them”) in baptism)) and were ALL filled with His Holy Ghost. From the Corithian Church in Corinth to the Ephesian Church in Ephesus, they ALL believed the Gospel enough to obey it by repenting and being baptized in the name of JESUS Christ (born of the water) and were ALL baptized with with His Holy Spirit (born of the Spirit) Just as a body is dead without its spirit, so is a church when it is void of The Holy Spirit of Christ. For the church is His Body. Therefore the Body MUST be Spirit-filled (even as He was in the days of His Flesh) or else it is none of His. It may be a daughter of their Mother Catholic church, but not a Bride of Christ. The Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is JESUS (Isaiah 9:6, Zechariah 14:9, Acts 2:38, Acts 4:12, Colosians 3:17, etc, etc, and etc) “Sanctify them by thy word; thy word is truth” and The Holy Ghost is also called the Spirit of Truth and The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us (Emanuel) and The Father is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in both Spirit AND in Truth (Word), be born of Both water AND Spirit, with Body AND Soul/Spirit. Bread AND wine, Salt AND light, Rock and Water, Word AND deed. JESUS said He is the Truth, thus the Spirit of Truth is His Own Spirit, not another/third Person in the Godhead, according to the one of the only 2 verses mentioning the word/phrase Godhead (Colosians 2:9) Jesus is the Word, Truth, The Spirit (for there is but 1 Spirit) He is that 1 Spirit who became Flesh. (Timothy 3:16) He is that 1 God who became Man (for there is but 1 God) 1 Spirit with or becoming 1 body is still equal to 1 Person; not 3. I am made in His image being 1 spirit who is 1 with my body; that equals 1 person. I am “in” the image of God. Christ “is” the image of God.

  9. people can talk about revival, but i have heard about the beginnings of one, which is starting now, first of all many Pastors and ministers are starting to get together to pray and resolve differences in Northern Ireland, this is happening in different areas in my country, until the church gets together and puts away differences, then and only then can we all move forward as a single body, and complete the great commission, we are all fellow workers in Christ for the Kingdom, and not competitors in the great commission. We all need to be in prayer, all the time and not relax, when we see genuine revival sweeping the country, so that Godlessness cannot reach the level it has reached in the UK up to now.
    I also believe it is happening on the mainland, so lets stop complaining about the state the country is in and start praying.

  10. Hello Peter,
    I have been studying Wigglesworth and his generation of evangelists for over 15 years now and I believe the answer to your question is a resounding YES.
    In terms of success and of following our Lord Wigglesworth was the best of the best. He made the fewest mistakes and was the most committed Christian of his day. He learned pretty much not to do or say anything much other than what the Lord led him to say.
    Smith knew the voice of his God.
    The prophecy is all but fulfilled I believe.
    The 1st move of the Spirit ushered in the Charismatic movement – restoring the gifts and the baptism in the Spirit.
    The 2nd move saw the emergence of the world wide House church movement – with nearly half the church splitting away from the traditional ‘historic’ churches to plant new ones.
    Those with an emphasis on the Spirit are hungry for God – and Him only. They are willing to give everything up for Him.
    Those with an emphasis on the Word are also emerging now. A good example is The APOSTLES’ Handbook. You can google this book and read some example pages. This research work contains a study not seen for before for over 1,700 years. This emphasis on the Word will prepare any saint wanting to become a last days ‘bride of Christ’.
    When the Word and the Spirit (successfully) come together then the last days revival ( and outpouring of God’s Spirit) will begin.

    God bless you all

    David Marsh.

  11. Thank you, David. I can agree that Wigglesworth “was the most committed Christian of his day”. I can see that much of the content of this prophecy is now true. But that is not proof that this is a genuine prophecy by Wigglesworth. If it is, I would expect it to have been published in some source earlier than the 1980s – a time when the content was already becoming true. Do you know of any such source?

    An alternative, of course, is that someone unscrupulous put these words, expressing his hopes in his own time, into the mouth of Wigglesworth, knowing that that great man was no longer able to refute them. The genuine prophecy to Du Plessis could have been used as the basis, making it sound genuine. Do you have any evidence that this did not happen?

    I would like to believe that this was a genuine prophecy, but I want to see some proof. “Don’t believe every quote you read on the Internet”, words I have seen attributed to Abraham Lincoln! – and also don’t believe every quote you have heard from a preacher or read in a popular Christian book.

  12. The Lord is in the business of restoring the fallen man back to the kind of life that He intended for man. He wants man to work and serve him. But man can not do his will fully and perfectly unless his life is in full spiritual maturity. God wants man to manifest the fullness of spiritual maturity of Christ on earth. The whole purpose of the gospel is split in two big steps (1) Receive Christ as the Savior, and get born again (2) Grow in spiritual maturity to reach the full stature of Christ.
    Both steps are accomplished through the great commission, the preaching of the word. We have had great man of god throughout history BUT the great revival will happen when the preaching of the word will be performed in such a way that the common believers will grow into such high maturity that the fullness of Christ will be manifested on earth.
    We do not need to cross our hands and wait, in fact should engage ourselves to do the best we can, with God’s grace, to proclaim the Gospel. Knowing that doing so, will naturally lead us in to the greatest revival of all times.
    So prophecies are very good, they should stimulate boldness not laziness.
    If God is for us who can be against us?

  13. I just received a newsletter which quotes this prophecy, in abbreviated form, with the reference “George Stormont: Wigglesworth – a man who walked with God, 1989, p.114″. According to the book description quoted at amazon.com, Stormont was “a personal friend of Smith Wigglesworth”.

    Further research led me to the relevant page of Stormont’s book at Google Books, in fact p.123 in this edition. The full prophecy is not given in this book, so this cannot be the original source. I wonder if the full prophecy comes from Stormont’s series of tapes ‘SPIRITUAL SECRETS OF THE MAN WHO WALKED WITH GOD – SMITH WIGGLESWORTH.’

  14. I heard this prophecy referred to last week by a respected leader. The following website gives some historical details about a prophecy given by Smith Wigglesworth to David du Plessis in 1936. The article corrects a mistaken ‘Prophecy Today’ magazine report that stated the prophecy was quoted at the 1947 Elim Conference and gives dates for that conference and the Assemblies of God conference that year.
    http://www.smithwigglesworth.com/pensketches/prophecy.html
    Historical accuracy is important although the content of the alleged prophecy above has much scriptural basis and is in line with Jesus’ prayer for all believers in John 17. The more we all obey the Word and the Spirit the faster the Great Commission will be fulfilled – which is how I measure ‘revival’.

  15. John, thank you for this interesting article. A few comments in response:

    1. I mentioned in the original post above the reported 1936 prophecy to du Plessis. That is significantly different in content as well as date from the supposed 1947 prophecy, which has no apparent link to du Plessis. It simply confuses the matter to discuss what du Plessis said and did in 1947.

    2. If it is true that Wigglesworth gave his 1947 prophecy at “the annual Elim conference in 1947”, that conference could not have been the June 1947 conference in London which Cartwright mentions, as Wigglesworth was dead by then. Perhaps the mention of an annual Elim conference is an error, or perhaps it was a local conference. In any case we have quite an accurate date for the supposed 1947 prophecy, about a week before Wigglesworth dies on 12th March. Is there any record of what he was doing at that time? According to Stormont, Wigglesworth gave the prophecy “during a week-long crusade”.

    3. Desmond Cartwright “has been the official historian of the Elim Pentecostal Church since 1979”, and so took up this position more than 30 years after the events in question. I accept that he is correct that Wigglesworth did not give this prophecy at the 1947 Elim conference in London. But George Stormont was Wigglesworth’s personal friend, and he wrote very specifically about the 1947 prophecy. Who should I trust for the most accurate knowledge of Wigglesworth’s last week, Cartwright or Stormont?

  16. Hi Peter, Just to bring this to your notice. In my book Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered I devote attention in one chapter to Wigglesworth, Du Plessis and this prophecy. You may find it of interest.

  17. Thank you, Keith. Unfortunately I don’t have time to buy and read your book. Can you summarise your conclusions on this point? Also a reminder that we are not discussing the prophecy Wigglesworth gave to Du Plessis, but a different reported prophecy, with a different and clearly specified time and different, more specific content.

  18. The Tommy Hicks 1961 visions and the Azuza St prophecy along with Derek Prince 1973 prophetic word seem to all line up with one another:- Also two thirds of Smiths prophecy has already been fulfilled. I’m excited, its like seeing the book of Exodus happening again. Where GOD leads his people into the promise land… GOD BLESS you ALL!

  19. Thank you, Al. Do “The Tommy Hicks 1961 visions and the Azuza St prophecy” relate at all to Smith Wigglesworth? It is indeed exciting that the things mentioned in the supposed prophecy are happening, but that is not evidence that the prophecy is genuinely from Wigglesworth.

  20. I am a 75 years old UK citizen who studied under Donald Gee, who was Bible teacher during Smith’s later years of ministry. I met Du Plessis and Wigglesworth’s son-in-law and have heard much about Wigglesworth first-hand since my late teens. Nothing of this helps find the source of the prophecy, perhaps. I would suggest that you ask at the Donald Gee library in Mattersey Hall, Doncaster, England, where they do have accurate information on Wigglesworth. James

  21. Thank you, James. That is interesting. Unfortunately at the moment I don’t have the time to follow this up further. Maybe someone subscribed to this comment thread will be able to do so.

  22. I think the 2nd charismatic movement has started. I gave the “Word and Spirit” message on June 7, 2015 and I discovered that this is a prophesy Smith Wigglesworth gave in 1947 a year before I was born. Nick Gray just sent me a copy of the Charismatic Magazine article this morning July 7, 2015. I am an independent Christian church that left a mainline affiliation 12 years ago, Logos Christian Fellowship in Leesburg, Fl. My emphasis was on the fact that llke David Wilkerson, who preached with in depth content and research, the 1st Charismatic movement lacked character. It was broad on worship, but limited on the Word of God. It emphasized a selfy form of Christian. I said the 2nd Charismatic Renewal will be based on Word and Spirit not Spirit and Truth. I believe my prophecy confirms it has started in America.

  23. I think the 2nd charismatic movement has started. I gave the “Word and Spirit” message on June 7, 2015 and I discovered that this is a prophesy Smith Wigglesworth gave in 1947 a year before I was born. Nick Gray just sent me a copy of the Charismatic Magazine article this morning July 7, 2015. I am an independent Christian church that left a mainline affiliation 12 years ago, Logos Christian Fellowship in Leesburg, Fl. My emphasis was on the fact that llke David Wilkerson, who preached with in depth content and research, the 1st Charismatic movement lacked character. It was broad on worship, but limited on the Word of God. It emphasized a selfy form of Christian. I said the 2nd Charismatic Renewal will be based on Word and Spirit not Spirit and Truth. I believe my prophecy confirms it has started in America.

  24. http://www.prayforscotland.org.uk/smith-wigglesworths-1947-prophetic-word/ continues the prophecy with various things Wigglesworth is supposed to have said to Lester Sumrall, but Lester Sumrall records things differently in his book ‘Pioneers of Faith’ (Harrison House, Tulsa OK, 1995) pp 168-169. Lester says that he had to leave Britain in 1939 on order of the UK government because of the imminent start of WWII, so he went to say good bye to Wigglesworth (the two of them never seeing each other again). During his time with Wigglesworth, Wigglesworth embraced and blessed him and then said he saw that the greatest revival in history was about to come and hospitals would be emptied and Lester (who died in 1996) would see it. I don’t feel to quote how it is stated by Lester, because it would break copyright, but it makes clear that the additional material in the above link is not quoted correctly. What it doesn’t quote is the prophecy you cite, but this does not tell us whether it is genuine or not, because Lester only quotes his personal experiences. It only tells us that it was not given to Lester Sumrall.

  25. Jane, thank you for that linked article. I understand it as referring to two separate, though similar, messages given by Wigglesworth. The dividing point is “He also spoke this to Lester Sumrall”. Only the second of these messages was given to Lester Sumrall. Sumrall’s own memory of these words may have been different from what was reported in the article. But, as you say, that has little bearing on the genuineness of the other prophetic word, which is what I quoted in the post above. Perhaps this was a separate prophecy given on a different occasion – or perhaps it is a garbled version of the words to Sumrall and du Plessis. Sadly we don’t seem to be getting any nearer to the true origin of these words.

  26. True or not – and others have said that much that is said to have been said has actually happened; tho’ most of it before the 1980’s versions of the account?!. But truly recorded or not, the fact is the Church is in desperate need of such a Word And Spirit era, where we truly grow into the fullness of the manhood of Christ and start ministering as those who are even now, seated with Him at the right hand of the Father. Come Holy Spirit! Create in us a clean heart O Lord. put a steadfast Spirit within us. Restore to us the joy of our salvation! Come? Lord Jesus!!

  27. as one born with a talent of prophecy,and GOD made that into a gift although not what some would say important in greatness. my friend also as prophacyed I know that they will be another outporing of the SPIRIT of YHWH because he as told me so. I know the LORD will work through myself and my friend. I love Smith very much but I believe the LORD as told me he did not make prophecy, but a lowly Christian did. sorry for all the spelling mistakes. Dennis of Bradford West Yorkshire.

  28. Dear Peter, It’s been nearly 20 years since I last seriously considered Smith Wigglesworth’s prophecies about a coming together of Word and Spirit in the end times but I would be grateful if you could clarify something for me, please. In your article, you said that although you traced the prophecy back to 1999 but personally remember hearing about it before then, perhaps in the 1980s. Do you mean that you were aware of it in the form we now have it, such as quoted by Phil Stanton in his Amazon review, or in more general terms, such as quoted by George Stormont in his book of recollections? I ask because I cannot now recall when I first heard about it because for a long time I confused it with the prophecy given many years before to David du Plessis. Many thanks, Philip.

  29. Philip, what I think I remember from the 1980s is the prophecy in much the same form as quoted in the post above, including words like “a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit”. But I cannot now be sure of my memory, and when I looked I couldn’t find any clear reference online pre-1999.

  30. Peter, Many thanks for your response.
    Do you have any further indications of when Smith Wigglesworth might have delivered the prophecy? Some say that it was at a series of meetings shortly before he died in March 1947 but that was towards the end of one of the most severe British winters on record and a note added by his daughter to what looks like the last letter Wigglesworth drafted says that he didn’t go anywhere ‘these snowy days’ except to Halifax. This would also count against him delivering it a week before he died, unless (of course) he didn’t speak it but wrote it.
    Others say it was given three months before he died, which would include a Christmas or New Year conference. At least one put it during Wigglesworth’s 88th year, which could mean anytime after his birthday in June 1946.
    But what baffles me is that why a prophetic utterance of such importance by a beloved minister of Wigglesworth’s stature didn’t immediately make headlines in Pentecostal magazines around the world, especially if it was perceived as his last message to the Church.

  31. Philip, thank you for your work on this, and your point about the snowy weather. I don’t have anything to add about the date of the prophecy, if it is genuine. Perhaps it was only written, and to someone who chose not to publish it for some years. Or perhaps it was given not a week but some months before Wigglesworth died. I suspect the key is in the works of George Stormont, which I don’t have easy access to.

  32. George Stormont’s reminisces of Smith Wigglesworth are fascinating and instructive but don’t help validate the prophecy, except perhaps indirectly. The most quoted passage in the book is about Wigglesworth’s vision of end-time revival, notably a coming together of the Word and the Spirit, but there’s no mention of anything like that in the lectures. A couple of the lectures seem to end abruptly, so I suppose some material may have been lost. But what I’d really like to know is when and how Pastor Stormont heard about what Wigglesworth said at the meeting just before he died.

    I’d be very interested to hear of similar passages in Wigglesworth biographies written before Stormont published his reminisces. In fact, I’d be interested to know if the information about end-time revival is in the 1989 edition of Stormont’s book, as I’ve read only the Kindle edition of 2009. Do any other readers of this blog know this?

  33. Philip, I would be interested to see what Stormont quotes about the coming together of the Word and the Spirit. Perhaps the alleged prophecy is taken partly from those quotes, with the details and timing added later. The 1989 edition of Stormont’s book is available cheaply from amazon.com (that’s probably an affiliate link).

  34. The alleged prophecy isn’t taken from what’s in George Stormont’s boo, except that it might possibly be collated from different sentences and phrases: I will get out a highlighter and experiment. (I’ll post my conclusions.)

    I’ve hesitated to buy the earlier edition of the book because soon after I began this I realised that I could easily end up spending a lot of money gathering a Wigglesworth library. This is why I’ve asked if anyone’s already covered that ground. If anyone can post the title(s) of any other books the prophecy isn’t in, that would be very helpful.

  35. In his book of reminisces about Smith Wigglesworth, George Stormont has a section towards the end called, ‘Glimpses of the Future’. It begins with an extract from a book called, ‘New Zealand’s Greatest Revival’ by H V Roberts, about what Wigglesworth told the author of his vision of end times revival.

    Stormont then tells about Wigglesworth giving a prophecy to David du Plessis in 1936. No reference is given for this information but what Stormont writes is consistent with, if less complete than, other accounts of the event.

    Stormont then adds that in 1942 Wigglesworth told him that he wouldn’t live to see the revival.

    What strikes me about both these accounts is that Smith Wigglesworth is describing a vision (or two visions). He does tell du Plessis that he will be instrumental in the Pentecostal experience going to other church dominations, but that’s the nearest there is to any actual prophetic utterance. Neither time does Wigglesworth give an actual prophecy of revival.

    Then Pastor Stormont writes this.

    ‘A week before his death, Wigglesworth prophesied again during a week-long crusade. This time, he foretold a second move of the Spirit. The first move would bring the restoration of the gifts of the Spirit; the second would bring a revival of emphasis on the Word of God.

    ‘He said, “When these two moves of the Spirit combine, we shall see the greatest move the Church of Jesus Christ has ever seen.”

    ‘Already there are signs that this is beginning to develop.’

    No reference is given for the 1947 prophecy. Given what Wigglesworth’s daughter says about her Father’s activities in the weeks before his death, during what was one of the worst British Winters on record, it cannot be that Wigglesworth was at a week long series of meetings. But he could have visited one evening, if the meetings were in Halifax.

    It seems to me that what Pastor Stormont writes is very much more like something Smith Wigglesworth would have said than the longer prophecy attributed to him. But I do wish that he had given a reference for it, so we could know where he had heard about it. I would be very interested to know if it’s in any of the Wigglesworth biographies written before 1989.

  36. Philip, it seems to me that we are getting to the heart of the matter. The alleged prophecy is clearly related to what Stormont describes as what Wigglesworth prophesied a week before his death. The full form as quoted in the post above is consistent with but longer than Stormont’s text.

    As I see it, there are two possibilities here:

    1. Someone, most likely Stormont himself, had a more complete record of Wigglesworth’s words, which were summarised in Stormont’s book and published in full elsewhere.

    Or 2. Someone took Wigglesworth’s words as recorded in Stormont’s book and expanded them with their own commentary into the text which we have in this post.

    In either case we have the testimony of Stormont, a trusted associate of Wigglesworth, that at least the general thrust of the prophecy is genuine, with its timing and its core themes, two moves of the Spirit, and the words about seeing the greatest move the church has ever seen.

    But one important part is missing from Stormont’s summary, about people leaving historic churches and planting new churches. Instead, for Stormont the second wave is about a new emphasis on the Word. It is still unclear whether this part of the alleged prophecy is genuinely from Wigglesworth, or whether it is a later addition, perhaps from the 1980s when many new churches were being planted.

  37. In his biography of Smith Wigglesworth, published in 2000, Desmond Cartwright treats the prophecy as a form of what Wigglesworth said to David du Plessis in 1936, even though he knows that it had appeared on the internet only a short time before. Cartwright implies various sources but treats the prophecy with caution and points out the difficulty of trying to reconcile the various accounts of what Wigglesworth told du Plessis. Among Cartwright’s observations is that there seems to be no evidence that Wigglesworth uttered to sorts of prophecy attributed to him. Cartwright died a few years ago and I’m told that I’m not the first to lament that he didn’t include references in his discussion of what he called, ‘That Prophecy’.

    In the same year, Brinton Rutherford at Fuller Theological Seminary produced a PhD dissertation on the ministry of David du Plessis that includes a chapter tracing the development of what was said by Wigglesworth in 1936. Rutherford is very thorough and I hope I don’t inadvertently misrepresent him by saying simply that he shows how what was said seems to have developed during du Plessis’ life, along with what du Plessis understood it to mean. He also shows the influence on the substance 1936 prophecy of others, such as Michael Harper in his 1965 book, ‘As At The Beginning’, and the publication in 1951 of what Wigglesworth said to H V Roberts in New Zealand in 1922. Rutherford, alas, doesn’t mention the prophecy we’re interested in, neither as a form of what was said in 1936 nor something Wigglesworth said not long before he died. It would be interesting to know whether or not Rutherford knew about it.

    It seems to me that Wigglesworth shared his vision of end times revival with various people from at least 1922 onwards but none of them wrote publically about it until many years later. If I’m correct, H V Roberts didn’t write about his 1922 conversation with Wigglesworth until 1951; David du Plessis first wrote about his 1936 conversation in 1947 (after Wigglesworth had died); Lester Sumrall wrote about his 1939 conversation in 1995; George Stormont wrote about the 1947 prophecy in 1989. And, if it’s authentic, the prophecy attributed to Wigglesworth shortly before his death wasn’t published until 50 years later. While I don’t doubt the essential veracity of the accounts, it would be only human for the same sort of development as Dr Rutherford describes.

  38. It is indeed sad that Cartwright didn’t reference his sources. I accept that the wording may have developed over time. But I think it is a mistake to link it too closely to the du Plessis conversation, given that Wigglesworth most likely said similar things several times.

  39. I agree that the prophecy is unlikely to be a version of what was said in 1936. But I wonder if it’s possible to re-create Desmond Cartwright’s research? When Phil Stanton first posted the ‘1947 prophecy’, he asked if anyone could authenticate it. I’m sure it was a genuine enquiry for people interested enough in Wigglesworth’s ministry to read about Liardon’s book. But has anyone identified when the prophecy first appeared unequivocally attributed to Wigglesworth? (Either as a new version of what was said in 1936 or a new prophecy in 1947.)

  40. Philip, I don’t know when this prophecy first appeared. I did find a quotation in The Evangelical Quarterly vol. 72 p.253 (2000) from Mark Stibbe’s 1995 book “Times of Refreshing” which seems to be based on the form of the prophecy in the post above:

    Smith Wigglesworth prophesied that it would be when Scripture and the Spirit – the two hands of God, according to Irenaeus – were united in one spirituality that the world would witness a huge revival.

    This ties up with my memory of the prophecy in that in the early 1990s Stibbe moved in similar circles to me, the UK charismatic movement.

    I was also interested to find, from the same circles, the book “The Word and the Spirit” by Paul Cain and R.T. Kendall, published in 1999 but taken from addresses given at a 1992 conference in Wembley, London. The theme of the book seems to be linked closely to the Wigglesworth prophecy, but in the few pages available in the Google Books preview there is no mention of Wigglesworth.

  41. Dr Kendall is on record as saying that he didn’t know about Smith Wigglesworth’s prophecy until after the 1992 Word & Spirit conference, which is why it wasn’t mentioned then (I’ve listened to the tapes) or in the subsequent book, written with Paul Cain.

    Lott and Stibbe seem to present variations of what George Stormont included in his Wigglesworth reminisces in 1989. I think that David Pawson references something similar in his 1992 book, ‘Charismatics and Evangelicals: Are We Ready to Come Together?’ But it’s still a huge leap from that sort of prophecy to what Phil Stanton quotes in 1997. I tend to think that someone found something or remembered something new in 1997.

  42. Thank you, Philip. I now wonder if Stanton’s version of the prophecy is in fact based on words from Cain and Kendall, or a similar book, which were confused with the prophecy mentioned by Stormont and so misattributed to Wigglesworth.

  43. Peter, I think it’s unlikely that the book by Cain & Kendall was an inspiration for the prophecy but its a few years since I read the book cover to cover, so I’ll revisit it.

    What does seem more likely is that what Kendall taught at Westminster Chapel from his arrival there in 1977 influenced George Stormont’s recollection of what Wigglesworth said a week before he died. I’m not suggesting that the substance of what Stormont remembers is not accurate but the need for the Word and Spirit to come together was something Kendall was talking about since, I think, his first Sunday evening at the Chapel. Stormont, in turn, may have influenced the prophecies attributed to Wigglesworth that emerged during the Toronto Blessing: again, not necessarily their substance but their phraseology.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  44. Philip, you may be right. But why do you think Kendall, at the Congregationalist Westminster Chapel, influenced the Pentecostal pastor Stormont? Do you have any evidence of a direct link? In fact it seems from his wife’s obituary that in 1977 the 68 year old Stormont moved to Duluth, Minnesota to pastor a church there. So the influence you are suggesting seems unlikely to me. More likely it was the perhaps accidental similarity of Stormont’s prophecy and Kendall’s teaching that led someone else to put together the prophecy we have.

  45. Peter, I may have stated the possibility too positively but I do think it’s possible that RT Kendall’s view on Word and Spirit coming together may have gradually seeped into the wider evangelical/pentecostal vocabulary. Christians from all sorts of backgrounds attended Westminster Chapel’s Friday Bible studies from the days of G Campbell Morgan and it would be no surprise to see a pentecostal pastor among them. But, as you say, George Stormont seems to have left for America soon after Kendall started at Westminster.

    But I don’t think the ‘1947 prophecy’ is somehow a fusion of ideas. For example, none of the prophecies attributed to Wigglesworth during the ‘Toronto Blessing’ years seem in any way to be a basis for it: neither the house church movement or revival flowing from the UK around the world. I think something must have happened, or someone found something, in the few years up until 1997, when it was first put into the public domain.

    What Stormont records in his book is, I think, almost certainly authentic and I suspect it may have been said at a meeting of the AoG Executive Council at Wakefield the week before Wigglesworth died. That’s speculation but Wigglesworth’s son-in-law was on the Council and may have given Wigglesworth a lift to see his old friend, Wilfred Richardson, who should have hosted the meetings but was ill. (He died a few days later and Wigglesworth died at the funeral the following week.) In any event, that seems to be the only meeting Wigglesworth attended in the week or so before he died.

  46. Smith Wigglesworth prophesied great revival coming to David Du Plessis during his visit in South Africa in 1937
    He prophesied too one week before his death in 1947 to Albert Ribert ( not sure of right orthograph of name

  47. As far as I can tell, Smith Wigglesworth told people about his vision of end times revival from at least 1922. He told David du Plessis in, I think, 1936 (although it might have been 1937) and added that he (du Plessis) would be instrumental in taking the Pentecostal ‘experience’ to the traditional denominations, which du Plessis did do from 1947 until his death. Although there’s no evidence of Wigglesworth speaking at meetings In the week or so before his death, he may well have said the prophecy attributed to him in a conversation. Do we know anything more about Albert Ribert?

  48. Bernard and Philip, thank you for your comments.

    Bernard, can you tell us anything more about this Albert Ribert (?), or where and how you heard about his part in this matter?

  49. Hi Mr Kirk,

    I’m jumping into this quite late, but better late than never! I’m a second-generation Pentecostal, and as far as I can remember (from oral tradition rather than from written sources), this prophecy was delivered within the context of Sumrall’s parting from Wigglesworth when he had to depart from the UK because of the Second War. So, I’m with Jane Allen on this one, especially since Lester Sumrall actually recounts the moment in one of his books. I don’t see the need to doubt Sumrall’s account at this point, unless someone has conducted research that indicates otherwise. Since 1947 was the year that Wigglesworth died, it makes sense to me that later oral tradition might have erroneously (but innocuously) attributed the delivery of the prophecy to that year – me, I’d prefer favouring the eyewitness testimony, while leaving room for some mistakes in said testimony.

    And, since I am a student of early Christianity, I have to point this out: Mark Stibbe’s claim that the Church father Irenaeus had spoken of Scripture and Spirit as the two hands of God is just blatantly wrong. That surprised me, actually, as I did not think that someone of Mark Stibbe’s stature would be so sloppy with important data about our (i.e. Christians’) history. Irenaeus’ “two hands of God” is a proto-Trinitarian motif – he was speaking of the divine Logos (i.e. John 1:1) and the Spirit of God as God’s two hands.

    • Thank you, Christopher. I’m sorry to be slow replying to you. It seems that the words quoted in my post are significantly different from what was recorded by Sumrall, as well as the date being different. So I don’t think we can identify the word to Sumrall with the supposed 1947 prophecy. It may be that the latter is a later invention based loosely on the Sumrall and du Plessis prophecies. But I don’t think we have got to the bottom of this mystery.

      Unfortunately I don’t know enough about Irenaeus to comment on what Stibbe wrote about him. Perhaps there is some more context in Stibbe’s book to explain this.

  50. here is the david du Plessis word given by smith wigglesworth. it is in brother du Plessis’s own voice and words.

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