Persecution will produce holiness in the church, as Christians are stripped of their attachments to the world. They will be forced into deeper relationships with each other, as other supports are ripped away. False structures will be torn down. This renewed holiness will open the way for the Holy Spirit to flood the church in an even deeper way. This is the outpouring of the Spirit, which will equip the church for victory.

We must understand that our current softness and worldliness means that we could not cope with the fullness of the Spirit's power. God will allow hard times to strip away our worldliness and making us totally dependent on him. The Spirit is now moving; however, we must not mistake this for revival. It is just a preliminary refreshing to prepare us for testing times ahead. It will be like the former and latter rain. The former rain softens the hard ground, so that the farmer can begin to plough. The latter rain brings in the harvest. A church that has been sharpened on the anvil of affliction and empowered by the Holy Spirit will be unstoppable.

Acts 5:41,42

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