Blogging break + the profoundly shocking yet life-changing message of Easter

Ace post Gillan. Have a well-earned rest with our Risen Lord and Our Father, my friend. May He recharge you with the same power that He brought Jesus back from the dead.

Credit GodandPoliticsUK

God and Politics in the UK

It’s time for me to take a break for a couple of weeks to recharge my batteries and spend time with my family.  I’ll still be keeping busy as Archbishop Cranmer has told me I need to broaden my knowledge of church history, so I’m stuck into my reading list right now.  To finish things off before the break though, I’d like to share some thoughts on the wonderful blessing of Easter:

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A few years ago when I was a youth worker, I was asked to teach a GCSE RE class of year 10s about Easter during the week leading up to it.  I asked them what they knew already, and getting a very limited response, I thought the best thing to do would be to sit and tell them the story through from Maundy Thursday up to Easter.  For once it was one of those great teaching moments where the…

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Watch the Passion of Christ in London

Yesterday’s remarkable performance in very chilly Trafalgar Square is now available for you to watch on demand on Wintershall Live . We are very grateful to Peter Hutley and his various teams, as well as all supporters and local authorities for enabling this to be staged in the centre of London. May the Lord continue to bless you all more mightily. To watch click on image below, and for more information with links click here.

All images courtesy Wintershall Players

The Mail Online photo gallery splendidly conveys the high drama of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, clash with the priesthood, Roman trial, crucifixion and joyous resurrection. Other online press reviews are at The Guardian, Independent and Daily Telegraph.

US Israeli-Palestine policy makes dramatic shift

Obama to Palestinians: Accept the Jewish State

Policy shift challenges the core of Arab resistance

Obama in Israel - Courtesy D Pipes

Under the above headline and lead-in published as Tuesday’s ‘Editor’s Pick’ in the Washington Times, leading Middle-East analyst Daniel Pipes opens with.:

One key shift in U.S. policy was overlooked in the barrage of news about Barack Obama’s eventful fifty-hour visit to Israel last week. That would be the demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, called by Hamas leader Salah Bardawil “the most dangerous statement by an American president regarding the Palestinian issue…

in his Jerusalem speech last week, Obama suddenly and unexpectedly adopted in full the Israeli demand: “Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state.””

Pipes is of the opinion.:

Daniel PipesThat sentence breaks important new ground and cannot readily be undone. It also makes for excellent policy, for without such recognition, Palestinian acceptance of Israel is hollow, indicating only a willingness to call the future state they dominate “Israel” rather than “Palestine.”

The one-page article is very instructive, albeit concise, in its overview of the history of modern Israel and minimal on reference to America. If any reader is unfamiliar with these important facts then I recommend their reading the article (here). It is updated to include reference to hostility to Obama’s speech from a London-based Arab editor.

Obama’s fledgling mentor

Last weekend’s Inside the White House from Bill Koenig reports.:

A naïve, idealistic and inexperienced 35-year-old is molding Obama’s Middle East foreign policy, which is leading the region to Armageddon –

How could that be? President Obama, who had very little real-world experience before he took the office, apparently doesn’t fully understand the great importance of surrounding himself with experienced Middle East staff.

williamkoenig-web[1]Bill refers to Mark Landler of The New York Times’ article, Worldly at 35 and Shaping Obama’s Voice; ‘Benjamin J. Rhodes, a 35-year-old deputy national security adviser with a soft voice, strong opinions and a reputation around the White House as the man who channels Mr. Obama on foreign policy, has had a very significant hand in some of the great failures in the Middle East in the last three years and nine months.’

Landler reveals that Rhodes first came to prominence after he wrote Mr. Obama’s landmark address to the Muslim world in Cairo in June 2009. The speech was notable for President Obama’s assertion that governments should “reflect the will of the people,” prefiguring his policy in dealing with President Hosni Mubarak and Colonel Qaddafi.’

Koenig adds, ‘The speech Obama gave to the Muslim world from Cairo, Egypt in 2009, was filled with inaccuracies, falsehoods and total distortions, and was obviously written by someone unfamiliar with the region, the long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the depth of conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnis.

‘Just think’, writes Koenig, ‘Obama spoke to the Muslim world with a speech written by a young ideologue with very little real world experience, a speech that he gained much credit for, which further led to his responsibility for preparing and writing Obama’s major address to the Israelis this week.

‘Rhodes wasn’t even born at the time of the Six-Day War of 1967 or the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Furthermore, he’s had a major influence on some very serious decisions that have had horrible results…’

[Koenig’s in-depth critique of Obama’s Cairo speech is here, my briefer points here.]

Postscript: As ever, Carolyn Glick’s insights and reservations made in advance of the visit make for an interesting read; see Obama’s mysterious visit. Also, my recent post on Raymond Stock covers the issues in some depth.]

Prophetic Perspective

From my perspective this is a most interesting development and yet another to thank the Lord for in answer to the prayer request and prophetic words published late last year. (See original post, with developments here and here.)

UPDATE 25 April: see Viscount Samuel, Meet Secretary Hagel by Daniel Pipes for news of Secretary of Defense Hagel turning over a new leaf regarding Israel.

The Passion of Jesus in the heart of London

TRAFALGAR SQUARE; from where distances to London in Britain are measured. It will be not only the navigational centre but also the spiritual centre of our nation today, 29th March, Good Friday 2013.  What a fitting juxta-position!  

Credit Wintershall - Trafalgar Sq 1

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus Christ gave His life for you and me so that our sins can be forgiven. We are thus able to be reconciled to Almighty God and gain access to His holy presence. Only Jesus’ blood shed for our forgiveness enables anyone to come to Our Father. That’s why Jesus Christ is the only way to Him. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life.

Credit Wintershall - Trafalgar Sq 2

After last year’s successful Passion performed by the Wintershall Players to a packed audience of thousands in Trafalgar Square, they have again been given permission  to perform this inspirational play on Good Friday 29th March 2013 at 12 Noon and again at 3.15 p.m.

Read the full details on The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square and learn about the amazing story of the Wintershall Players.

This event has our highest personal recommendation. In June we’re once again going to ‘partake’ in The Life of Christ in open fields on the North Downs, south of Guildford.  Actors mingle amongst the audience and it seems as though we travel back in time to be alongside Jesus and the disciples, watching and listening to all they say and do.  Last time it was rather daunting when a Roman Centurion hastened us with,

“Move along – have you never seen a crucifixion before!”

The annual ‘mystery play’ takes place in the Wintershall estate of the Hutley family and the development of their father Peter’s extraordinary project was told in last year’s Daily Telegraph article, Jesus Christ, the Passion, the play and the public.  Its journalist Peter Stanford describes the organiser as follows:

…perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Hutley is his conviction about broadcasting his beliefs, at a time when many Christians (including church leaders) prefer to hide their lights under a bushel for fear of their faith being attacked in such secular and sceptical times. “But that’s precisely it,” he says, more animated than ever. “I want to illustrate that Christianity is not dying, as we so often hear, that it is alive and active (emphasis RB). And there couldn’t be a better place in the whole country to show that than in Trafalgar Square.”

Well said, sir!

The Lord be with you, with all your players and each member of the audience…

All images courtesy Wintershall Players

All images courtesy Wintershall Players

Is the ‘Petrus Romanus’ prophecy of God? – continued

John 17 records that, after praying for His first disciples, Jesus asked His Father,

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me…”

It’s fitting for us to bear that prayer request in mind as we continue our conversation on the new Pope Francis and the alleged Malachy prophecies of the Popes.:

Fresh CoffeeAs we get a fresh Cuppa I introduce a friend who’d joined us at the start of our chat. Bill’s an itinerant preacher, teacher and author (of   Feasting on The Father). We met years ago at a weekend’s worship and fellowship in Portsmouth for those blessed by the Toronto Refreshing, or associated with the Toronto Airport fellowship. ln turn, I introduce Kenny,  who convened our chat, as well as a regular contributor to my blog, Tony from Tucson.

Bill and I have kept in touch and he admits to not being a great ‘end times’ follower. He tells us his priority is to,

“…follow the desire of my heart to go into all the world and disciple the nations. To see the church of which Jesus is the Head, grow in the reality of righteousness and holy, joyful separation from the spirit of this age and world. To see us become more blatantly passionate pursuers of King Jesus, passionate lovers and servants of one another and healers of a broken, fear-filled world. From this, I believe, will come the unfolding of the end times, however that unpacks.”

“Yes agreed,” I reply, “Along with many others I believe the worldwide Church is moving fully into doing the greater works Jesus indicated; and in our becoming ‘Sons of God’ at the same time persecutions intensify. We can’t be too literal and precise in dating end-times but simply watch for the signs, as Jesus said. [Luke 21:36]

“We both know many within the Roman church who are truly born-again, faithful lovers and followers of Jesus. Unlike a number of non-Catholics I’m not against Rome, the Papacy or its new …”

“My spirit,” interjects Bill, “Registers that despite all the man-made stuff, this beautiful, compassionate man is of God for this time, and I pray he grows in demonstrating the reality of the Gospel before the eyes of the world”.

“Amen!” we all say…

Kenny adds, “In your first mention of Pope Francis, Richard, you blogged about having read of this Roman Catholic prophecy in your ‘old life’. Tell us more!”

“Well I must admit,” I reply, “That and some other things have put me in a bit of a spot – an unusual one. And it could prove God wastes nothing in our lives, even our days as unbelievers. Everything gets redeemed. So here goes…

“In 1970s I read a book on the possibility of getting outside time. One chapter covered the Prophecies of the Popes, or visions that came to the Archbishop of Armagh, later canonised as St Malachy.  If it were an accurate prophecy, I guessed it would place the reign of the pope sitting at the end of his list as being about 60 years in the future. So, I probably wouldn’t be alive at that time. BUT the future has arrived – much sooner than anticipated. Hence, my personal interest. Also, my experience brings some insights for you.

“For those who’ve just brought their first Cuppa, let’s briefly…

“Recap…

“The whole thread of posts about the new Pope was triggered by a friend’s email which gave the 12th alert about God doing a new thing. I had a mental image of God putting a piece of an invisible jigsaw into place.  ‘Invisible Jigsaw’ was my blog’s original name!  But that didn’t happen ’cause I couldn’t find, or create, a suitable graphic design.

“Having been ‘redirected’ from what I’d intended writing, I had a distinct sense this ‘new thing’ may be related to the change in popes. Furthermore, I wondered how it might apply to St Malachy’s mottos. Then whilst writing, an insight suggested the Roman catholic church is to be returned to Jesus’ original purpose – back to the blueprint!  I had a sense, therefore, of a huge cycle but not returning to exactly what it was 1,980 years ago – more like a progressive spiral turn…

“So, what I was getting is radically different to anything sensationalist conspiracy or the  doomsday merchants presume the Malachy prophecies mean. After writing that blog, I was amazed to immediately come across an analysis that lent some credence to my notion…and more stuff came to open up a broader perspective…”

Bill leans forward, “Nevertheless, the first thing that struck me about Shane Schaetzel’s piece was the ‘error of isolation’. His emphasis on it being a catholic word for catholics alone flies in the face of us being one body, one people, one building, one bride…”

“Yes, that’s so, but maybe the fire in a Catholic in the Ozarks is that of a relatively new, fervent convert, as well as being brassed off with the sensationalist hype displayed in the video that opens his piece.  I didn’t bother watching it ’cause I wanted Shane’s own ideas and not be distracted.”

“I don’t want to cover Shane Schaetzel’s detailed examination of the prophecies in great depth, but here’s my ‘take’ on several points..:

Review

1. Shane is reasonably well-informed and tries to be objective. Some of his argument, however, is confused and biased by Roman Catholic exclusivity. He fails to understand non-Catholics’ interest in an ‘obscure’, ‘alleged’ and unverified prophecy. But in fairness, his claim of their inconsistency in rejecting the more legitimate aspects of Catholicism is quite reasonable.

2. I agree in his stressing context – ‘You simply can’t pluck out one particular prophecy, isolate it in a vacuum, and then come up with your own interpretation that has no connection to the overall narrative of all Catholic prophecies’.

There must be not only a witness in our own spirit of what is from Holy Spirit but also a confirmation, or thread, of similar from other prophets and fits the tenor of scripture. [For example, see review prophetic words on new move of God.]

3. To put the Malachy prophecies into proper context, therefore, Shane provides an example from 14th Century’s remarkable ‘Worthy Shepherd Prophecy’.

This speaks of an unexpected, major restoration for the papacy “by about twelve years after the millennium have passed”, and closes with reference to a renewal in faith and restoration of the Church. Shane also notes, “As coincidence would have it….They both coincide perfectly with the time period we have just entered”.

This priest displays unfamiliarity with God-incidence in a prophetical perspective! He does not grasp its importance and brushes it aside as simple ‘coincidence’.  ‘By the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established’ [Deut 19:15 NKJV] may also be applied to prophecy. This must have been in Paul’s mind when directing believers in prophesying, per 1 Cor 14:29-33.

4. After this consideration, Shane proceeds to discuss the attributes, character and work of ‘Peter The Roman’.  I’m especially interested in his perceiving a return of that church to its first purity, as surmised in my 4th point on Pope Francis – and which took me by surprise.  And this harmonises with prophecies about new, historical moves of God in Europe. [See prophecy #11 herein.]

5. I’ve commented on Shane’s blog about the Petrus Romanus prophecy’s reference to judgement, and he kindly replied. [Comments at the foot of his analysis refer.]

I disagree on two counts with his conclusion that an archbishop such as Malachy would have plainly stated the ‘dreadful judge’ is ‘Jesus Christ’, if that’s who he meant. First, the description ties in with and thus may allude to the scripture about all believers standing before the ‘bema’ judgement seat of Christ in 2 Cor 5:9-11, namely:

9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. (NKJV emphases added)

Secondly, the reference reminds me of the Orthodox concept of Christ Pantocrator, or almighty judge. The typically Roman concept of a Christian secular leader rescuing the church is inappropriate, as may be surmised from Europe’s current state. Furthermore, the Malachy motto is about persecution, which accords with OT prophet Daniel’s ‘little horn’ waging war against, not judging, the saints. [Daniel 7]

6. Shane draws to a close by taking issue with ‘Fundamentalists’ and mainline media’s translation of ‘persecutione extrema’ as ‘final persecution’. He claims they’re wrong to do so:

It’s supposed to be translated as “extreme persecution,” but for some reason people are mistranslating it as “final persecution,” which changes the entire meaning of the text, giving the reader the impression that Saint Malachy was talking about the end times, when the Church is supposed to go under the “final persecution” of the Antichrist.  But that isn’t what this text says!

He implies they’re using Malachy’s prophetic motto to support their own particular brand of Biblical prophecy. Let’s look at the text again, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In perſecutione extrema S.R.E. ſedebit – Petrus Romanus, qui paſcet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus tranſactis ciuitas ſepticollis diruetur, & Iudex tremẽdus iudicabit populum ſuum. Finis. This translates as follows:

In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit – Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.

Shane also provides a photocopy of this part of the original for scrutiny purposes, and to make his point.  [I note this copy’s omission of ‘er’ from ‘pfecutione’, and correct printing of letter ‘s’ in its regular, medieval typeface.]

Now here’s where I part company with Shane.  As a child I hated Latin – got it at church and in class at grammar school. But I can now appreciate it and show Shane’s ‘coup de grace’ translation is, at best, not iron-clad and, at worst, incorrect. He attempts to use Latin to demolish end-times proponents’ claims that the Malachy revelations fit in with their eschatological opinion.

However, Shane mistakenly confuses the meaning of Latin ‘extrema’ by translating it from English, instead of from Latin. That is, he states ‘extrema’ means ‘extreme’ and, thus, is not the same as ‘final’, as supposed by Protestant eschatologists.

Now, Online Etymological Dictionary defines ‘Extreme’ as early 15c, from Old French extreme (13c), from Latin extremus “outermost, utmost, farthest, last”.  Oxford English Dictionary also has the origin of ‘extreme’ in Middle English, via Old French from Latin extremus outermost, utmost. [My pocket-size Collins Gem Latin Dictionary has the very same definitions.]  Can’t these translations of ‘extrema’ (feminine ‘extremus’) of ‘utmost’ and ‘last’ also be taken as meaning ‘final’?  Shane Schaetzel thinks not!

Therefore, ‘final persecution’ is a correct translation of ‘persecutione extrema’.

This does not change the entire meaning of the text, as he thinks, but gives legitimacy to an ‘end-times’ description. That is, the St Malachy prophetic mottos may well refer to the closing days of this era in history. [See comments on Shane’s blog about this point.]

Conclusion

“In my opinion, Shane Schaetzel’s analysis is worth perusal by students of eschatology. There is a seventh aspect over which he makes much ado that I want to address – ie. Catholic prophecies. In view of my earlier connections, I’d like to offer an insight or two over a Cuppa sometime soon.

“It seems we’re reaching a conclusion that the ‘Petrus Romanus’ prophecy could be of God…How say you?

“Perhaps we could discuss the other indicators on a later date?”

Is the ‘Petrus Romanus’ prophecy of God?

“I really, really didn’t mean to do that!” confess I to Kenny, just after meeting him for morning coffee at the cyber-cafe.

“What do you mean? The PS?” he asked, referring to the reason for his invitation.

“No! I mean the whole thing…I’d already started something else the day before. So Iast Thursday I was going to finish and publish it.  There was a sense of unease…I couldn’t put my finger on it…but it was to do with my last blog, What’s God up to?

“I’m all ears!  Give me your take on the situation, especially that bit you recommended –  I’ve read it”, prompts Kenny.

Coffee BreakWe carry the coffee and yummies I’d ordered to our table by the window. It just so happens, Tony turns up, as do you too, my reader. So bring your Cuppas over and join us for a chat – we may be some time…

(Excellent timing, my wife has just called out, “Coffee’s ready!”.)

“Now Richard, tell us about last Thursday.”

I begin by saying I observe ‘cyber-silence’ over our 3-day weekend, and evenings too.

“So, on Thursdays I try to finish what’s on-hand from the week. I start as soon as I can after 9.30 am, but last Thursday it was sunny and warm for once and a bit of shopping needed to be done first.

“I’d got a newspaper but didn’t dig into it as I was quite late getting online, and a couple of unusually long calls interrupted this. So I was a couple of hours behind and had run out of steam. Now this is quite unusual, I’ve not yet had writer’s block!  I’d planned to follow up my last post with more on God’s ‘tsunami’.  But I was completely blank. It had dropped into my brain’s ‘pending’ tray!

“How do you guys start your day online? I glance at headlines on World Watch Daily and Debka headlines, as well as three other blogs that don’t drop posts into my in-tray, as well as scan and ditch 20 or more emails.

“There was one email sharing a download a friend had received from the Lord. Now that really plugged me in!  We’d met Bob and Lyn a year ago, found not only were we on the same wavelength but also that they knew of my friend John’s mission in Ghana as well as Paul, who directs HOTS in Bath.

“At that time, Lyn shared bits she’d sensed about naval preparations for war and I gave her details of serious activities in the Med and Gulf.  I know her sensitivity to Holy Spirit and have high regard for the new items on grave international matters. An inexplicable 2 hour difference in her alarm clocks confirms, to my mind, the great urgency stirring in her spirit. Part of what Lyn received is, “Behold I do a new thing”.

“In an instant, lack of drive disappeared. I was galvanised into action!

Courtesy Watcharakun at Freedigitalphotos.com“Next, upon scanning just a few headlines I knew what to blog. Like in this image, it was as though the Lord had put His finger on a headline to draw my attention to the alleged Malachy prophecies.  I honestly didn’t want to go there! As well as what I’d already started (Is God baring His arm?), a number of ideas have been lodged too long in my ‘pipeline’.

“Also, I didn’t want to do anything that was connected with my pre-Christian life or stray away from Biblical matters.

“I asked the Lord, if it’s not out of order to cover this, please bless what I write. I typed out new thoughts as they sprang to mind, which is not my usual way at all.  Later in the day, when all’s done and dusted, I hit ‘publish’.

“Next – again for no particular reason – I dug into Google for anything else on this news. It seems the Lord directed me to yet another about Malachy’s visions, but by a Catholic priest.  Upon reading his sound report, I was pleasantly surprised to find he, too, viewed the motto for Pope Francis positively – unlike evangelical commentators!  Hence my adding a postscript to the post.”  (See Is Pope Francis ‘Petrus Romanus’?)

“What do you think?”

We kick this around between us. I add there was a clear sense of satisfaction, which is quite rare, and which also left me with a distinct sense of peace. Despite initial setbacks everything just flowed. Thus, that impetus did come from God.

“So this all arose out of a word from the Lord about ‘a new thing’?”

“Yes. And on Saturday I saw Gillan had picked on this from a very different aspect and I commented about this on his blog. But then I questioned myself, checked through my blog for prophetic words on this matter and wrote about them.”

“Everything since last Thursday’s item on Pope Francis has been unscheduled, never on my ‘to do’ list!”

Kenny kindly reminds me, “What’s your take on ‘Catholic in the Ozarks’ or Shane Schaetzel’s,  The Pope, the Antichrist and Peter The Roman?”

“Let’s top up our Cuppas and I’ll tell you. Then we may figure out if Malachy’s visions came from God”.

Click to continue > >

Prophecies on ‘a new era for the Church’ – part 2

Courtesy of James Mark Long, www.propheticartists.comContinued from Part 1, wherein I wrote Gillan Scott’s remark of God’s outsiders pointing to a new era in the church’ may possibly be connected to relatively recent prophetic words that God is about do something very new. I humbly submit for consideration a review of prophetic words published on this blog and which would support that claim.: [Updated Aug 2013]

1. “What God has in mind for His people this year is beyond anything we can even imagine. We serve an Epic God…What God has in mind for the nations of the world is epic in every sense of the world.” (Nathan Morris, 6 Jan 2011)

2. “For I would know that My people would hear My voice, that I am setting the stage for that which I have foretold in My Word and it will quickly and swiftly come to pass…For the day is coming, it is even at the door, when I shall begin to judge My church. I will begin to touch My people in a way they have never known before for I will show them My glory”, says the Lord.” (Nathan Morris, 19 Jan 2012)

3. This word has two thrusts: ‘A Ripening Season’ and ‘Divine Intervention to Receive a Kingdom Which Cannot Be Shaken’ and speaks of an increased global shaking during which ”God’s hand will be upon his people in a new way”. (Dr Stone, 25 Jan 2012)

4. “I’ve been here many, many times and you can sense something beginning to change. You’re entering a new day, a new eraand a new Kingdom era. So it’s really awesome to be with you.”(Chuck Pierce, 26 Jan 2012)

5. “We can get stuck in old familiar ways and find we don’t know how to handle the new. We set our size according to our ‘container’ but God wants us to move into the FAR bigger – but we don’t have a long time to adapt! Ask God to help us do it. Revelation 10:5-6 applies: “No more delay” (Dr Sharon Stone, 18 Jun 2012)

6. “He’s making His plans…His eyes are on Europe – He’s going to set the captives free…And it’s going to start in Britain…” (Julie Meyer, 17-20 October 2012)

7. “I saw aspects of this in vision form. I saw how God was going to move across your nation and it was wave after wave after wave.It will be sustained and the fire will never go out. Revivals have come and gone but this is not revival, this is reformation and it is a different thing.” (Neville Johnson, 31 October 2012)

8. An awesome word Dr Sharon Stone received about the meaning of Hurricane Sandy, as delivered on 3 November 2012. Note especially the reference to rewriting history(!) :

“And the Lord kept saying that this hurricane and these winds are ‘a punctuation’ – not  just in the US but a punctuation in the world. Now a type of punctuation means that it draws the line, and it brings a separation and there is an alteration after that, and this is what the Lord said; He says,what the Lord said; He says,

“These are re-arranging winds and they’re changing the course of nations.”

“…This is a “re-arranging winds and a changing of the course of nations” and the Lord spoke this, and forgive me as I’m going to read some of this because I want to get the words right. The Lord said:

“The Old World’s time has cycled around again to become a New World to rewrite history; no longer a Constantine conversion that advances religion without Christ. Hidden winds of change have been developing on the inside of My people and they are now blowing change into the world. The western New World, particularly the USA, will enter accelerated crisis-shaking to hasten their journey to learn that I am their true resource and I am their defender. The USA has been a champion of freedom for much of the oppressed world, but you cannot represent freedom without representing Me, Jesus, Who is the provider and Who can bring sustainable protection to the nation.

“The Lord says,

“Parts of these winds that are blowing, part of these winds that are bringing a re-arranging, are blowing away what has confused nations of their identity.

“We’re not the only nation that has been in an identity crisis. I believe that many of our nations have had skewed identity and the Lord is saying this; He says,

“I will bring you out of what you have designed by your own thinking and by your own hands that I may redesign it by My thoughts and My plans.”

Amen!

9. “The coming days will bring greater dimensions of darkness in the world; yet our hope is for the appearing of God’s weighty Presence…” opens A New Day Dawning, the title of Paul Keith Davis’ E-Newsletter for December 2012.

10. “God is planning something so BIG even the devil can’t stop it!” (Revd John Kilpatrick, 6 January 2013)

11. 2013 is going to be a glorious year for the true Church – see the Kingdom of God in greater measure and glory – release into reformation and restoration – moving into a historic season to be known as ‘Days of Wonder’ (UK Prophetic Council, 7 Jan 2013)

12. “We’re at a new level of time…this season is when the world and Church will see what it means to be a Christian as our faith goes on trial – God is watching to see how we respond and stand – This is the season for the Church to be demonstrated in the world like it’s never been seen before!” (Dr Sharon Stone, 2 Feb 2013)

13. The Lord told me in a vision, “I am about to visit your generation, but what is going to precede the ark of the covenant are those three anointings: Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.” (Paul Keith Davis, February 2013)

14. “Behold I do a new thing” in email of 14th March that started this topical thread.

UPDATES

15. “The ACPE felt this coming year would be one of great contrasts and polarity.  In a sense, we are entering a new era. Things cannot be done in the same way they have in the past season. The new era – a ‘But now’ season…” (Word of the Lord for 2013, via Cindy Jacobs of Generals International January  2013)

16.  “Glory can come when we spend time in the manifest presence of Jesus. But we are in a season unlike anything I’ve ever lived in before, one where His glory is more readily available to us than at any time I’ve ever seen. And we’re seeing more of His glory being poured out, we’re hearing of more encounters with the Presence of the Lord …” (Dr Sharon Stone 6 April 2013)

17. “…Holy Spirit brought it to my memory right there in the stillness of my bedroom…and the Lord said, “Tell My people I have brought about a season change.” (Rev John Kilpatrick 7 April 2013)

18. “The Lord has been speaking to me for some time about a ‘new season’ and a ‘new message’. I’ve been growing in excitement but I’ve not dared to say anything to anyone in case it’s just been my imagination…” (Dr Clifford Hill; posted 25 April 2013)

NB: many more words subsequently logged at A New Era for the Church.

Prophecies on ‘a new era for the Church’ – part 1

IS SOMETHING IN THE AIR?  Is a subtle sense of expectation and of hope stirring in many people?  Is it perhaps a new spirit of the age, or maybe a move of God in our midst? How many perceive the downfall and collapse of western society from self-inflicted moral degradation?

Those with insight know the urgent need to change our ways before it’s too late. They’re giving voice to the yearning in millions to stop the rot before it’s too late, to return to God-given values of life instead of the living-death of atheism, humanism and narcissistic hedonism: that is, the deification of man.

For example, yesterday I heard about a friend’s long-time friend who’s now expressed an interest in turning to Christ if the Church gets rid of its unnecessary riches and uses the proceeds to help the poor and needy.  This person had never shown the remotest concern about the Good News of Jesus, until now!

My previous post was of Gillan Scott’s article about the new Archbishop and Pope. In its covering note I remarked that his header’s opinion, ‘God’s outsiders pointing to a new era in the church’, could be connected to recent prophetic words on God bringing about very specific changes. (The words are not associated with the Malachy ‘Prophecies of the Popes’, about which I’d blogged here and want to cover next.)

So, out of interest I dug around to check those words and was surprised how many  there are – and these are only those of which I’m aware personally. However, for the benefit of those readers unfamiliar with prophecy, let’s consider first:

A Question on Prophecy

Of course, when people talk along the same lines it begs the cynic’s question, ‘Who copied from whom?”.  Someone, no matter who they are in the Lord, could have heard on the grapevine of ideas expressed by anyone of prophetical gifting and then simply repeated them. Why not? It would serve to elevate or to maintain their status. Such an attitude is not unnatural, no matter whether one is a believer or not.

I believe the answer to this legitimate objection lies in the fundamental requirement of integrity of character for those operating in the Holy Spirit’s gift of prophecy, especially in His anointing of the office prophet (eg. Rev Bobby Conner, Rev Dr Sharon Stone).

But the ordinary unbeliever – and believer – is disadvantaged by not being ‘born again’ and walking in the Spirit. This enables such a one to sense, weigh and test within their own spirit whether or not something is of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28).  Eg. when Sharon speaks and teaches she knows over a hundred listeners are checking what she says.   Furthermore, an anointed prophet is only too well aware of the scriptural admonitions and dangers of delivering false words (eg. per ‘false prophet’ search in BibleGateway).

As stated in Introduction to Prophecy there are operational parameters and protocol to follow, yet these allow for interesting – and enjoyable – times when practised as a team.  David Stark of the Glasgow Prophetic Centre recently emailed me as follows.:

“Thanks Richard, that’s really encouraging to us!  I’ve just come upstairs from another of our 3 1/2 hour Lion Bites team meetings and so it’s lovely to read this [my email about the accuracy of several daily words, as in Lion Bites tag.]

“We had a great time this morning! We always write these as a team (the team usually consists 5-10 of our full-time or part-time prophetic staff), taking an hour or so to worship first, then pray and then we all sit down to listen to the Holy Spirit. When we’ve got our ‘downloads’ we write them down and share them with each other, to sharpen each other. In the days following a meeting there is more prayer and revelation for when to release them and an editorial team look over them again before release. Of course there is always space for a more ‘spontaneous’ word to be released but on the whole, we like to do it as a team because we’re a team ministry – a prophetic company. And it’s fun!!

“…the nice thing about working in teams you usually get a good balance of the different revelatory giftings and anointings. The church is in the Day of the Saints where it is less and less about the ‘big name’ man or woman of God (though they are great too!) and more about the outpouring on all flesh. So that’s why ‘team’ is so important to us and we continue to learn and grow all the time….

“Thanks for sharing and for the time you invest in your important blog.”

Later, David explained they no longer regard prophecy as being ‘an event’ akin to the Old Testament injunction of “prepare for the word of the Lord”, but as an outworking of a lifestyle of Holy Spirit habitation. They teach this is a difference between ‘perceiving’ in the Spirit and ‘receiving’ from Him. (It reminds me of Dr Stone’s teaching about seeing things from God’s perspective, as in 2013 – What God is Saying.)

Click here to read the many prophetic words promising an approaching ‘new era’ for not only the Church but also for the world.

Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury – God’s outsiders pointing to a new era for the church

Gillan ScotA superb reflection upon the unusual juxtapositioning of both enthronements from Gillan Scott. He adroitly observes and comments upon the work of the Holy Spirit, “If there was evidence needed for this, the election of two men who were off many people’s radar is surely it.”  I also entirely agree with his emphasis; “…When this sort of thing happens it usually heralds change.”  Readers of this blog will note how this may be related to several prophetic words along those lines and as reported in recent months. March may be more momentous in God’s plans than my friend surmises – at about the same time a newly elected government in Israel is hosting the visit of a recently re-inaugurated President of the USA. Truly, these are most interesting times!

God and Politics in the UK

Next week within three days arguably the two most influential Christian leaders in the world will be enthroned.  It will be a truly unprecedented week when both the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and Pope Francis are installed into their respective roles.  The last time the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury were enthroned so closely together was in 1294, when they were two weeks apart.  There will of course be plenty of media coverage to follow the pomp and ceremony of the week’s events, just as there was as millions sat and watched a chimney above the Sistine Chapel waiting for the white smoke to appear and then following that the big reveal on the balcony of St Peters.  As the crowds cheered a man dressed in white stepped forward silently watching them almost is if he was overawed by the enormity of the occasion.  Framed theatrically by the façade of…

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Is Pope Francis the prophesied ‘Petrus Romanus’?

Detail from Eagle-eyed, John Mark Long: propheticartists.comThe retirement of Pope Benedict XVI and yesterday’s election of Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio as 267th Pope is generating a lot of speculation outside mainstream media about the Prophecies of the Popes by 12th Century Archbishop of Armagh, Malachy O’Morgair.

Having known of this prognostication in some depth in my old life I won’t discuss it in detail, but I’d refer you to the above-linked Wikipedia article for study. Of course, it doesn’t bear the authority of Holy Scripture, for all prophecy is subject to examination by and compliance with the plumb-line of the Word of God, and true prophecy should prove to be accurate, eventually. So I’d like to present my initial thoughts on this subject.:

Carol Grisanti, producer of NBC News, writes in World News,

Legend has it that St. Malachy, as he is now known, had a strange dream while on a visit to Rome. He “saw” all the names of the future popes – complete with identifying characteristics – who would rule the church until the end of time.

It’s claimed that in 1590 an unusual list of popes attributed to Malachy was discovered in the Vatican Library.  He gave each of these 112 popes a descriptive, coded motto. For  example, Benedict XVI is the penultimate one and described as ‘glory of the olive’. So Pope Francis may therefore be identified as ‘Petrus Romanus’ – Peter the Roman.

Malachy’s motto for that person reads:

In perſecutione extrema S.R.E. ſedebit –  Petrus Romanus, qui paſcet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus tranſactis ciuitas ſepticollis diruetur, & Iudex tremẽdus iudicabit populum ſuum. Finis. This translates as follows:

In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit – Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End. [Courtesy Wikipedia.]

Some interpreters are of the opinion the motto should be read in two parts, as indicated by the above dashes. This separate, incomplete sentence could refer to possible other popes between ‘glory of the olive’ and ‘Peter the Roman’.  But I think not, despite the above journalist’s conclusion.

Why do I think so?

1. The obvious connection between ‘persecution’ with ‘tribulations’ indicates that both parts could be read as a logical whole.

2. Today’s tremendous, unprecedented events within and outside the whole Church, or Body of Jesus Christ, clearly show we are in the End-Times, as delineated in the Bible (Best Instruction Before Leaving Earth!).  Almost all its unfulfilled prophecies are now staring to manifest, which suggests they will soon come to a head in the return of the King for His Bride.

3. Therefore, when Jesus will be here then it will no longer be necessary for the Roman church to continue in its present form. That is, it will be replaced by what Jesus told his disciples to pray for – the fulfilled Kingdom of God. This will be under not only His, but also our, rulership.

I’m quite aware of the ancient doctrinal claims of the Church being the Kingdom of God but ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’. Many recent prophecies about ‘Shaking’ do not exclude churches because all the ungodly, even strategic satanic, aspects need exposing and eradicating as a means of cleansing and preparing the Bride.

4. In my humble opinion, the designation of the last in the list as ‘Peter’ could mean the Roman Church will have gone full circle back to someone fully representative of Jesus’ leading Apostle. Would history be repeated, as in the First Century, or could a reversal of time then be rolled back a tad further to the days Jesus was on earth? That is, we see the Church in its full power, doing the greater works Jesus desired (John 14:12).

Also, no pope assumed the name of Peter in the history of the Church of Rome. The first church in the capital of the ancient Roman Empire was founded by the Apostle Peter, known as the first Bishop of Rome and only centuries later was he regarded as the first pope. The inauguration of the papacy and its claim to precedence followed in due course – see Wikipedia. (For an interesting read see also this post on the Biblical origins of papal power.)  There was, however, a Pope Peter of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who was revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches too.

Hence, the new Pope Francis could be the one reigning from Rome during the great, prophesied worldwide upheavals at the advent of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus Christ, to reign and rule the earth.

We live in such unparalleled, exciting times…Watch out and keep looking up!

PS: Have just come across a promising discussion document found on a ‘Catholicism for Protestants’ website on The Pope, The Antichrist and Peter the Roman. Have run off a hardcopy and look forward to digging into it over the weekend.

Related Posts:

  1. Prophecies on ‘a new era for the Church’ – part 1 and part 2
  2. Is the ‘Petrus Romanus’ prophecy of God? – part 1 and part 2

What’s God up to? Dr Sharon Stone answers my concerns.

TWO YEARS AGO this morning I did something rather rare…

DSC_0102It was unlike today when, upon opening our bedroom curtains, I was greeted by the sight of a light dusting of snow. A little later, as I brought two cuppas upstairs, the window displayed hundreds of tiny flakes zipping horizontally across the window. It was like watching a video of traffic on a city’s roads – hundreds of tiny lights heading mainly in one direction but a few dozen others taking turns, and not only going vertically one way or the other but also some would U-turn against the main flow!  It’s all caused by a very chilly easterly from north Scandinavia charging across the garden and gusting over our roof and walls.

But what happened in 2011?

Two years ago I looked through an electronic window. After getting up and heading to the kitchen I put the TV on to hear the hourly news – but got no further!  There was no newsreader. Whatever was onscreen?  It looked like treacle spreading over fields!

As part of the headlines, the BBC was showing footage from a helicopter of agricultural land and roads being swamped by black water two hours before I awoke. It was early footage of the tsunami that had been caused by Japan’s 4th most powerful earthquake . It became known as ‘tsunami soup’ in its feafully dread and vile nature.

Why should that terribly tragic event have once again been thrust into my mind, not just today but a week ago?  At the end of February I’d been ruminating over the increasingly dreadful degradation within society globally.  Many have deliberately turned against the divinely inspired injunctions for living a Godly life, refusing to acknowledge sinfulness in their lives, they intimate that God is either non-existent or else a liar.  Millions use a god as a brain-dead excuse to hate and kill anyone who believes differently.

So my thoughts had turned to consider how the Lord is taking all these developments. Isn’t it time for Him to show up or display His sovereignty and majesty? Will He?  When will He…for His Holy Name’s sake?

On Saturday morning, 2nd March, in Windsor such notions were not uppermost in my mind – especially during prolonged and elevating worship preceding a Mentoring Day. As this time came to a gently subdued close a few impressions came into mind…

Bay of Biscay

A seascape similar to this of the Bay of Biscay popped unbidden into my mind’s eye and brought a train of thoughts, which I noted as follows.:

‘As the worship quietened came an impression of a calm sea but with a slowly swelling surface on the horizon, completely left to right across the whole horizon, getting taller and darker. His (God’s) tsunami is coming!

(I recalled the video of the first signs of the Japanese tsunami where whole beaches got drained completely of water as the tide got sucked out to sea, way past low-tide mark.)

‘Just as ordinary sea withdraws from a beach and leaves a huge expanse exposed and ‘drying out’, so we will dry out nationally and wonder why things changed so radically, as is happening now.

‘BUT a massive all encompassing huge, powerful tidal wave of God is coming and will sweep every thing before it and much of what existed will get wrecked. Only that which is of the ‘wave’ survives and it reaches places the ‘water’ has never before covered!’

Whilst I quickly scribbled this the first session of the day started and I missed Sharon introducing the speaker. But in opening, Tomi took us back into worshiping God. In fact, his most excited message referred to the death of Lazarus and the details of when and how Jesus brought his dear friend back to life. My note continues.:

‘(Tobi) related it to above (notes) in Jesus’ demonstration of a ‘new opinion’ about God. He is doing a new thing, or new ways (WAVE? did he say?) that God wants to reveal.

Dr Sharon Stone – a fresh message 

Rev Dr Sharon Stone, Senior Minister Christian International Europe; courtesy CIEAfter coffee break, Sharon spoke about what the Lord had revealed within the last few days after her return to the UK.  She is struck with the great importance for ‘watchers to become ‘sentinels’ who challenge the enemy and spiritual goings on!

Upon finding the enemy is making things calamitous here, she sought the Lord on this and reported,

The Lord has allowed the enemy to rally and says, “I’m waiting to see who runs and who stands, challenges, pursues and overtakes”. 

It’s so interesting and encouraging that both speakers confirmed and reinforced what I’d written. Of course there was heaps more from dear Sharon.:

She reminded us the closing verses in chapter 2 of Ephesians describe the purpose of God’s work within each of us:

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. [Why ‘therefore? See Ephesians 2.]

Sharon went on to say,

We’re coming (as the Bride) into corporate maturity so that God’s able to release another measure of the fullness of Christ.

She then taught upon rites of passage for the Bride:

  • separation from old to new – into new intimacy with Jesus Christ
  • transition – learning, training ourselves to distinguish good from evil (Heb 5:14)
  • incorporation – admission into the new role (1Cor 13:11-12)

God wants us to be seen as mature in/by the world.

Consequently, Sharon had much to teach about our John 15:15 ‘crossing over’ into revelation:

  • Servants to Sons, where Jesus begins to share wisdom of the Father
  • Graduation into a new level of glory preserved for this time (Isa 60:2)
  • revelation of resurrections of the dead in our towns and cities
  • overcomers through our mature testimony of any ungodly agreement
  • faith preferring others, not a forced unity but a laying down one’s life
  • determination to seek the Kingdom first and being about Father’s business
  • revelation of our gain in new favour with God and man

A merging and ‘marriage’ of areas in Christianity that have been separated is thus to be expected. Love for one another brings pure, more wholesome revelation.

Acts 4 describes what happens when others will see the Bride in our new state, where we personally demonstrate Jesus so that people will notice and start responding:

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it….18So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 

Amen, let it be so Lord – and soon.

Thank you Tomi and Sharon for hearing from the Lord and answering my concerns.

On top of all that, I was blessed to received personal prophetic words from Simon, the worship leader. There was also an unusual activation exercise wherein a small group would follow one another in hearing from the Holy Spirit to bring a completely connected word for one person but from individuals.  This validated the confirmation received from  Tobie’s teaching of what I’d sensed of a particular warrior presence during worship!

The above can be but snippets from a highly inspirational day of teaching. Other than comments on this blog, any enquiries should be addressed to CIEurope.

Abiding in God’s Word: continued

“ALL ABOARD!” 

DSC_4592ed

DSC_4612Let’s return to our seats in the third carriage of our ‘time-travel’ train. New passengers wanting to board should first get their ticket by clicking here. All new passengers will need to go back in time and walk through the carriages, as explained in the ‘ticket’ so they may fully appreciate what’s next on our journey together. (A brief summary appears below.)

DSC_4603Doubtless this seems an unusual, even novel, way of time travelling? Each ‘carriage’ represents one day within a week when I discovered some new things about the Word of God (ie. the Holy Bible). Here, in the 3rd carriage I dig out my notes and we consider what’s being taught and how we can abide in God’s Word.

First , let’s recap with Jesus Christ’s rebuke to the Jewish teachers. They’d recognised the authority of his cousin John the Baptist but were slow, if not blind, to comprehend who Jesus is. And so he told them God’s own testimony about himself was being shown though the work he was doing for them! His closest disciple recorded this as follows.:

“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life…” [John 5 NKJV emphases added]

The meaning of verse 38 can be otherwise summarised:

“The abiding word that is written has to become real so that it becomes the manifest Word – and then you believe and see miracles!

Sometimes we pray for revival or change and when it comes we don’t recognise it. Or, we even reject it because it doesn’t fit into our (Biblical) box…

“The abiding word is what positions us for the next thing that God is going to do!”

NOTES

That was where we’d got to in this 3rd carriage on the journey. Now we’re back onboard lets continue with my notes as our train ‘rocks on’…!

In Jesus’ day the Jews were praying for and expecting their Messiah or Anointed One who would lead them out of subjugation to ungodly Roman rule. The parties of scribes and pharisees were experts in interpreting and understanding their ancient scriptures. These included words inspired by God and received by their prophets about His plans for this special people and their forthcoming ‘Son of David’. But Jesus was forthright in denouncing those ‘authorities’ for not recognising who he is and that God had indeed sent him, as in the above quotation.

The very same applies to us, does it not?  That is, we cannot recognise who Jesus truly is unless God’s Word abides within; which means, it lives deep inside our whole being.

What is The Abiding Word? The private instruction Jesus gave to his close circle of disciples on the eve of his trial and crucifixion included this explanation:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. [John 15 NKJV emphases added]

Herein, Jesus is making a connection between access to the unlimited AND what is abiding IN our heart.

Meditation is key

  • Not worldly/Eastern meditation, however, because that is ’emptying’ the mind.
  • Biblical meditation is filling the mind and does not make one vulnerable to outside influences.
  • This meditation is taking what God has said and pondering it in our heart, or ‘chewing’ and contemplating (also known as Lectio Divina – not the theological analysis of scripture but regarding Christ as key to its meaning).
  • Abiding puts us in a position for I N C R E A S E.
  • Access to unlimited increase is directly related to how we abide in what He’s already said.
  • Revelation from scripture must lead to a God encounter.
  • The Canon of scripture is designed to lead us into an encounter with The Holy One.

Continuing the first above quotation from John 5:

41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” [John 5 NKJV emphases added]

Faith and fear of man cannot co-exist. So, do I want God’s approval or man’s?

God waits to pour honour on His people.  Therefore, the life of extraordinary faith usually has a lot of favour following within it.

[All railway photos were taken on the Mid-Hants Watercress Line’s World War II day in 2012, a fun day and opportunity for re-enactment groups to dress appropriately.]