At 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?