A brief recap, or ‘bridge over to England’, of the previous post’s close.:
Sharon brought the Lord’s encouragement for both Scotland and Wales,
“I will not let the complacency of England hold you back any longer. The hunger and the violence to take My Kingdom by force will be released within you.”
“Now before England gets upset (she says), you know complacency means there is a relaxed ‘wait and see’ position that you take, rather than a forcefully advancing Kingdom position – that’s the difference. Chuck Pierce said, “Wales and Scotland you will be thorns in England’s side”. England, you’re going to get prodded, you’re going to get irritated, from your borders. That’s what’s going to happen at this time. And remember that God’s not speaking to us as one because we’re in different time zones spiritually – but we are a catalyst and a complement to one another. So, Wales and Scotland is going to assist England to spiritual hunger…”
Out of Sync
Sharon refers to Chuck having been hosted in England 40 days immediately before the bombings in London on 7th July 2005. Upon landing here he saw a sword in the sky and, with others, sought the Biblical meaning for this [1below refers]. She recounts that Chuck sensed the Lord saying, ‘Whoever wields that sword will be in control’. Consideration was also given to it being the sword of Islam.
Whatever the fullest meaning may have been, thousands started praying and fasting in intercession for Britain. Right after that prayer period Islamist terrorists bombed London transport, but compared with the infamous 9/11 attacks there were relatively few deaths . She continues,
“Many of us were excited by that fact and felt (the situation) had been turned. But since that point, the Spirit of God has said this, and God doesn’t always see things the way we do:
“We’ve won a battle but we didn’t continue to win a war!”
“I believe what happened to England at that time (was) we got out of ‘time sync’ at that moment. God gave us very clear information saying in 40 days something is going to happen. It was like an ‘enema moment’! It came but we weren’t able to take full victory; but we did take a bit of a battle victory at the time but it put us out of our area in time .
“And so we have been catching up and felt a little bit ‘out of sync’ ever since…You can be doing the right things but, if you’re not in the right time, you’re not getting the right results that you feel like you should have. You have revelation from God, but if the ground is not cooperating with you then you’re not seeing the fruit from the ground.
“I believe that what we’re doing now is coming to a chance to catch up, IF we will let Ireland, Scotland and Wales assist us by prodding us to a greater spiritual hunger for the face of God. (Look at each other and say, “You need this!”)
“I believe that’s where we got out of sync and I believe the Lord’s giving us a chance to catch up with that. Before I go on about England, let me say this:
“We moved into this season of Hebraic New year at Rosh Hashanah. (It’s symbolised by) an opening of a tent door . The season means you have access to either go out of that door into the things God has for you, or else you can keep ‘polishing and fixing’ what’s within and stay in the tent. Now ministry-wise, many people do this and they just make things get better and better. It doesn’t affect many people or have any influence elsewhere, but the spirit of excellence keeps rising…
“But this is a time where we have an opportunity – a door of access – to move out into a greater realm. So here we are as England and we’re out of time and God says,
“But I’ve given you a door, I have given you an opportunity that during this time you can get caught up and be ‘in sync’ and that you are not going to be behind, or lose your destiny in any way, but instead you’re going to have to depend upon the Spirit of God to get you caught back up to be in the right time at the right place.”
“How many here say, ‘That’s not my favourite message to hear’? It’s the truth! I don’t want to hear that!
“I’m living here in England – this is my home – and many of us go to prayer meetings where it’s ‘England is first’, ‘England’s going to enter in’, ‘England’s going to do this’…
“England has an amazing destiny, but we don’t lie to ourselves about where we are, orwe can’t benefit the nation! Let me take a moment here:
“You’re all prophetic people, we’re a ‘tribe’, that’s why we join together – as prophetic people, what responsibility you take is what authority you get!
“So what responsibility we take for our nation is what authoritywe have to be able to release and to benefit the nation. So…
“We’ve always spoken about England as being an apostolic nation, have always spoken about England as representing the majesty of God. How many people have heard those two things before?…Only a few, ok.
“But I have to say, as I was seeking the heart of God during this season, the Lord told me something different that was a surprise to me! I can honestly say it, and I took the time to call a few other prophets and bounce it off them.
“And again they (too) said ‘I’d never heard it but I bear witness with this’. Listen to what God says about England [an aside: one of the reasons it’s been so hard for the English to find their identity is not because we’re dealing with the British and the English, and because there’s so many different countries here.]The Lord says that,
We are an apostolic delivering nation that will display God’s majesty and the reason we could be so good at developing an empire is that our anointing was to deliver nations – we just didn’t always use it rightly!
“So here we have a great destiny to deliver nations. What an amazing call of God that is upon a nation! You may say we’re not doing anything different to what other nations are doing (secular laws and anti-Israel stance).
“As prophetic people we’ve got to get beyond that. The Word of God says to him whom much is given, much is required. So that means we can’t measure ourselves by those who are next to our shoulder. You measure yourself by the purposes and by the destiny of God that He’s speaking forth into this nation.
“So again; the Lord is saying the identity of this nation is of one that’s called to deliver other nations. It’s going to be known as an apostolic delivering nation that displays the majesty of God.
“The other thing the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me about England I’d never heard is,
“England is a key to release the wealth that is needed.”
“And I believe part of that is to deal with injustices that are going on in the earth…
Continued in Part 3, wherein Sharon speaks about a clash of kingdoms and a spiritual centre in England. Regarding the latter, I provide a link to a record of angelic visitation.
A clarion call has been released for the UK not to miss its Day of Visitation (because of England’s complacency over advancing the Kingdom of God), as well as for intercessory prayer covering the next phase of God’s move here.
Rev Dr Stone stressed the importance of words received recently from the Lord, and told why England has been ‘out of sync’ with God’s timings and how that can be corrected.
THE CLARION CALL
As ever, prophetic messages Sharon delivers are a guide for teaching, prayer and alignment with our heavenly Father’s purposes. The usual invitations for October’s mentoring day had been re-issued and flagged ‘Urgent’. Sharon stressed that was not a marketing technique but it was because she believes she has an important prophetic message which, she says,
“…Is actually the blending of several prophetic utterances that need to be heard and understood so that you and I know how to align and how to partner with it – but also so that we’re not frustrated by what we see going on around about us…
“We’re going to release a clarion call for the UK not to miss its Day of Visitation, and I believe that the Spirit of God is declaring over the UK that He has not passed us by, that we are on God’s calendar NOW.
“But you need to know what that looks like and, if you will allow me I can be prophetic without saying ‘Thus saith the Lord’ every few minutes; I want to take that and put some meat on the bones so that we have more understanding for our alignment.
“Now, I know that we hear many accounts in different nations of the Holy Spirit’s activity going on across the earth. Some of the major nations where we see that are Indonesia, Brazil, China and even in Nigeria.” (In the last, where there’s been many murderous atrocities committed against believers by maniacal fanatics, Sharon sees the Spirit’s activity as moving them out of religious and into truly apostolic structure.)
“Also, in Iceland where last week we saw Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, and for the first time 100s responded and came into salvation. Iceland has never, ever, seen that! And so I believe we are seeing some amazing things going on in different nations.
“Most people always judge what’s going on in other nations by what’s going on in their nation. And when somebody talks about nations being first, or nations that enter into things first, everybody believes their nation is one of those! But how many know everybody’s nation is not?
“And so we have to have some understanding prophetically of what’s going on so that we partner with God. We need to know whether we’re to drag our nation into the timing of God, whether we get behind it and push it in, whether we intercede it in, whether we declare it in, whether we release the manifestations of God to cause it to walk in the fullness…We need to know these things!
“And so I’m particularly going to target the next three and a half years for the UK…I know we have people here from other nations and we’re not preferring (the UK) but I believe that’s what’s so different about what I’m speaking at this time challenges most people that have put the entire UK into one pot and mixed all the prophetic words!
“I believe that God is not speaking to us as the United Kingdom at this time.
“I believe that God is speaking to us as Wales, as Scotland, as Ireland and as England, and the reason that He is speaking to us individually as countries at this time is because we are not on the same heavenly ‘time zone’. [Note 1 below also refers.]
“So if that’s true then we need to know where we are in the heavenly time zones of God. But at the same time we need to realise that we are there and what’s going on in each one of us is meant to complement and is meant to benefit the rest of the United Kingdom, as well as other nations.
“So the UK is not getting passed by!”
Sharon then asked those present from those parts of the British Isles to stand up on behalf for their fellow citizens. She then prayed, blessed and spoke prophetically over each country in turn, especially for acceleration into national destinies (not transcribed here).
“In speaking into Ireland it doesn’t take a genius to see that’s the western gate of revival for the UK. That means that if God is moving from the west eastwards they’re carrying something that those in England have need of. Does that make sense?” Sharon draws attention of intercessors to her points, then reads from her notes of what she heard:
“This is what the Spirit of God, the Lord says,
“You’re the western gate of revival, so it’s crisis time for your heart. (Speaks to intercessors) In the heart of the nation I am bringing a brief shock, like a defibrillator.
“In the heart of Ireland I am bringing a brief shock to reset the heart rhythm. The reason is because Ireland has always been a ‘sending’ nation (ie. of people all around the world) but they have benefitted more nations than they’ve benefitted themselves).
“It’s now time to revive the heart of your nation. Just as man has cut the nation in half (Eire and Ulster) I will heal the laceration portion with prayers for revival. From the west coast to the east coast on your border scar I will turn yesterday’s violence into an arm of strength. An arm of strength that will hurl My spear of revival on into the rest of the UK.”
<Prayers/declarations over those from/connected to Ireland.>
“The Lord says,
“2013 began your time to awaken but 2014 will be your time of a new outpouring. An Outpouring that is very new and very different from the past.(That means people can’t go back and say “I want the Welsh Revival all over again”.) An outpouring that will overlap not only the season that you’re in now but the season that will come after 2014.”
“An outpouring of your worship will break through the 100 years of barrenness since the last Visitation. (Listen!)Creation’s voice is crying out for my Glory. So altars of corporate worship are going to need to be built to release My Glory. Glory will turn your barrenness into a fruitful land. Your corporate worship will influence and calculate your harvest and your fruitfulness.
“I am going to pour Myself out on you but I’ve been waiting for you to pour yourself out on Me. So, My Church of Wales, it’s time to cry, to strain, to exert yourself with tears of intercession for a new quickening power because you are called to seek manifestations of My Spirit.”
“Look at the Welsh people here and say, “You’re called to do strange things for the Lord!” And the Lord says,
“And the prophetic anointing will prepare Wales for new Visitation and a new move. Wales you are placed for an outpouring visitation that is going to spread like lightning to you and beyond to Scotland and to England. But before it travels to the nation, nations will travel to you for refuge and My Presence. But you must mend your broken families and then I will give you a building anointing to heal your fractured churches.”
<Those words are prayed and declared over those from Wales – see Note 2>
“For Scotland, the Lord says,
“In 2013 you were pregnant with purpose. 2014 though, you’re going to give birth to twins and there’s going to be a double-anointing released upon Scotland.
“The first ways you’re going to see it is it’s going to be the Father’s Heart and the second is Justice.
“You have started a quantum momentum for the rest of the UK and Europe for you are no longer at a crossroads but you have crossed over. As with the Israelites when they crossed over from the desert to the Promised Land everything changed. A warrior mentality had to be restored, prophetic activity released…
“Now I used to live right underneath Scotland and the things that the Lord is speaking to me now about the nations He just wasn’t talking about before, and so I’m very excited about this! (emphasis RB). The Lord is saying,
“Prophetic activity released is this: the asset of Scotland is its families. No longer a fatherless nation but a refuge for families. Scotland you are not a mother nation like England but a father nation who fights for what is just. So prophetic warfare, praise and intercession will shift your land and help align England and other nations as well.
“Eventually, you will declare new freedoms. Freedom to see in a new way, freedom to govern yourself financially in a new way…
“And the Lord speaks to Scotland AND Wales and says,
“I will not let the complacency of England hold you back any longer. The hunger and the violence to take My Kingdom by force will be released within you.”
“Now before England gets upset there, you know that complacency means there is a relaxed wait and see position that you take, rather than a forcefully advancing Kingdom position – that’s the difference there…
“A friend of mine Chuck Pierce said this,
“Wales and Scotland you will be thorns in England’s side”.
“England, you’re going to get prodded, you’re going to get irritated, from your borders. That’s what’s going to happen at this time. And remember that God’s not speaking to us as one because we’re in different time zones spiritually – but we are a catalyst and a complement to one another.
“So, Wales and Scotland is going to assist England to spiritual hunger – repeat after me, ‘Hunger not jealousy’ – hunger for the Kingdom and God Himself. So before I go onto England itself, let’s pray over Scotland…”
<Those words are prayed and declared over delegates from Scotland.>
ENGLAND – is covered in Part 2, which goes on to refer to a clash of kingdoms and a spiritual centre in Part 3 (which includes link to record of angelic visitation).
To summarise thus far, Sharon prophesied that:
Ireland is a revival spear thrown from the heart of Ireland into the United Kingdom.
Wales is positioned now for an outpouring Visitation. [See also Note 2]
Scotland is the first nation in Europe to ‘cross over’. [See also Note 3]
1. In Nov 2008 Chuck Pierce closed his report on visiting Germany and England as follows: The Spirit of the Lord says to the people of England, “This is your season for your light to come forth as never before. Rifts will come in old structures and My people will unite in a new way. A message will come forth from pulpits in this land” Then I saw a picture of 5 nations and the Lord said, “I will radiate in each land. Do not allow the rifts to cause you to let go of My hand for I am raising you up with a sound of victory.” (Emphases added)
In opening her second teaching service on The Season of Open Doors at The Well church yesterday morning, Minister Lindi said there’s been an acceleration in recent months not seen before. And that’s happening today! Over the weekend I mused over last week’s material and browsed recent years of my prophetical papers. Lindi had quoted a word from Kathie Walters, whom I’d read on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bells (here). So I wanted to find her latest online today.
My notes of the teaching were sparse as my pen had dried up so I wanted the quotation in full. First, I attended to the weekend’s email and noted one new blog was relevant to material I’d been reviewing! So I reblogged Tony’s dream on ‘security blanket’. Only afterwards did I find and read Kathie’s latest Heavenly Ladders and Tables, and then noted it seems to relate well to that dream for she writes,
There is a mighty move being stirred – many great callings being released. But God is sending a great spirit of LIBERTY because we have to hear God for ourselves. It’s a wake up call for people who already think they are awake. It’s a new calling for many people who think they have nothing much to offer. God wants to break that box you have put yourself in or you have allowed others to put you in. (emphasis added)
Our minister’s teaching on how to move through opened spiritual doors was based upon Genesis 31:3-13 ‘Now arise’. Stressing amongst other things, our need to let go of past pain, self-reliance and self-imposed limitations, she led us into understanding freedom in the Lord by quoting Kathie’s prophetic word and references to Wilberforce and, as we’re connected to the Isles, the Hebrides’ Revival. Now, in reading her full account, I notice how an encounter by one of Kathie’s friends links into my reader’s dream of this weekend, as follows:
I am not sure what the total significance of that encounter is but I know it was monumental. Keys are being given to those who have been crying out to see the religious slavery broken off of God’s children. Keys to set the captives free, both saved and unsaved. The new Abolitionists are arising who will do whatever is necessary to loose the bound and oppressed.
Lindi, however, obviously didn’t have time to refer to Katie’s trip around the UK and to visions of ladders into the heavenly realms and ancient gates being opened. (Not that it mattered for several of us had distinct impressions of the Lord opening gateways, as happened during worship times with Joann McFatter when New Zealander Ian Clayton was here – sessions may be heard here.)
BUT what a totally unexpected – yet welcome – impact all this has made upon me. Why? I’d been mulling over dis-believers’ claims about Chuck Pierce on Wales for, although not a regular follower, I recalled a couple of accurate predictions he’d made. I dug out and scanned my sparse collection of prophetical papers, as well as my note pad. There I came across a few words prophesying changes in England.
In particular I noted how Chuck’s words in 2008 and Christen Forster’s in 2012 seemed to pivot around what Bill Johnson had said about the Kingdom in England and the date of 1st September 2011 as “the day things changed in the UK” (here).
Therefore, I updated my Library today and then checked whether it was worth including that recent word on Liberty from Kathie.
Her remark, “I saw many ladders and tables being put in place” struck my spirit. Why? Its similarity spoke into my dream of 3rd September 2011 of things coming down from the heavens to various places in England for ‘setting up’ the Kingdom, as recounted in Father, Let Your Kingdom Come.
Hence, my being dazed – and dazzled – by these downloads!
An interesting interpretation Tony, which refers to every form of security – including that of religious belief. And it may also mean the Lord is drawing the darkness aside, as though the world has been fast asleep underneath it, and in the dark. It’s an excellent addition to the couple of dozen prophecies of the Lord bringing about a ‘New Season’ (http://wp.me/P1Y1yB-3Xw refers).
I had a dream 10/26/2013 where I saw a horse and rider galloping upon the earth as if he was riding upon the whole world, in fact I saw the earth as a globe, and not just upon the earth as one would normally see. I then saw him reach down and grab something like a blanket that had been covering the earth and pull it off. What I got in the dream as I now am writing this post is the word security blanket.
What came to mind is the following from Revelation:
And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
However, in my dream, the horse was not red and it was not the horse that…
Readers may like to know I hope soon to finish transcribing Rev Dr Stone’s forecast for Britain over the next 3 years – ie. for 2014-16.
I believe it’s an exceptionally significant message, perhaps the most important heard during the 9 years I’ve kept appraised of her powerfully prophetic ministry. Sharon has spoken about Wales’, Scotland’s, England’s and Ireland’s separate yet related places within the Lord’s plans, as well as elaborating upon Chuck Pierce’s recent words.
I am grateful to Daibach-welldigger blog for this encouraging prophetic word delivered by Chuck Pierce at City Temple, Swansea, on 19th September. Also, to Sue Payne of Prophetic Releasers for UK Revival for transcribing this prophecy, which I’ve rendered into blue for ease of reading, as follows.:
“I say to you I am bringing a new quickening of power across Wales. Get ready, for a quickening power that will cause the birth of heaven to come down into the atmosphere of this nation, is now being released. I say to you even the next 6 months that which I have conceived in the last 3 will now begin to open up and mature. I say to you this is your quickening time and during the day and especially through the night, My people throughout this land will be crying day and night for Me to come. And I say to you get ready, for I will surprise you at the gates of this nation. Now as we worship let the bowls fill up and be poured out. I decree right now there’s a filling going on in heaven, so a pouring out can occur, in this nation.
“You have said do it again Lord, but I say a generation is arising that are hungry after Me. A generation that will go beyond the stories that they’ve heard in the past, and the history of a land where heaven and earth have kissed.
“And I say this generation which you’re a part of; even some of you who are 80 plus, I say three generations will now arise in this land and see Me move in a new way. I say to you, I want to begin new and fresh. Even though I have come before, I say it is not that crossing over for this season, but I, instead of doing again, will now begin. For I say an angelic host have been waiting, and many have come, but now they stand positioned in the land, ready to say who will go with Me into this season ahead.
“I say many houses have gone awry. And many families have gone astray during this season of wandering in this land. But I say I have come to repair the door of the house of My people in this land of Wales. And I say, if you will allow me to repair the door of your house, you will come out and help Me repair the door of My house, and then you will build an altar new and fresh in this land. I say, it is that altar that I am calling for in this hour, so that My incense and fragrance, that is dwelling in this land, will arise and be smelled by Me, and be filled, and what wasn’t coming into fullness in one season, I will pour out in fullness in another season.
“I say to you I am very near to you. I am nearer to you now than you have known. I say the very ground you have been walking on has been crying out, saying, we long to have the glory come, and to be used again to build a new altar in this land. And I say I have heard the cry of the land, and now a people are responding, and saying we are ready to build.”
And the Lord says to you, “I have been waiting for you to pour yourself out to Me again. It is you I’ve been waiting and watching for. And I say now, I see a people in this land who say we are ready not to hold back any longer, but to pour out again, and give You the best of this land.”
I saw, 6 months ahead, where there were sealed doors in the heavenly realm. 6 doors. Man had sealed these doors up. All of a sudden, I could see those 6 doors, I could see why they had been sealed for 100 years. And I actually could see, it was like a 100 year war that had gone on in the heavenlies below. And God had sealed the door because of the warfare that had been above this land. But all of a sudden, when we hit that song, one of the doors, the seal had started to melt on it, I could see it. And as we hit that song, that door started coming open. And I could see behind the door.
Now, the Lord says to you, “The next 6 months for this land is key. The next 6 months your worship is key”. And I think you should worship the way you’re accustomed to worshipping, in places like this wonderful place we’re in. But I also think you should find strategic times to just come together in worship. Where you come here and you begin to worship, and you worship until you feel the Spirit of God is satisfied. And the moment you finish, that door is going to start coming open, and what got sealed up a 100 years ago will now be opened and the prophetic anointing will start stirring over this land and you will speak a thing and that warfare that’s been in the heavenlies over this land will not be able to stand in resistance against the Word that God’s going to bring down to activate the next move.
As with all prophetic words, please weigh the above and seek the Lord over its content. We shall wait and see!
I’m well aware that self-appointed heresy-hunters sit in judgement on prophets, which is contrary to the command of Jesus Himself and of His Apostle to the Gentiles. For example, where Jesus’ disciples wanted to prevent others casting out demons (Luke 9:49-50), and when Paul rebuked believers in Rome for standing in judgement (Romans 2.1-2), which lined up with Jesus’ instruction not to judge, as at Luke 6:37.:
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
I’d like to encourage you, dear reader, to visit a blog that seeks to honour the work of the Holy Spirit in Wales through accounts of people and places at Welldigger. It is replete with illustrated accounts of the 1905 Welsh Revival and associated historical material, including this recent one by a visiting American.
Whilst sipping coffee at this month’s mentoring day, friends spoke about what Chuck Pierce had taught at Swansea City Temple on 19 Sept. It was through Rev Dr Sharon Stone in 2004-5 that I learned about his ministry. Months later I read about Chuck’s vision of ‘crossed swords’ over London and word connected with Big Ben when en-route to Nigeria. The need for action was so urgent they organised 40-days of intercessory prayers. The teams were to meet at the end of that period but, upon leaving Euston station on foot, Sharon and her companion Martha Lucia were met by the devastated double decker London bus blown up during the bomb attacks on London Transport. (See Wikipedia.)
In view of the accuracy of his gifting about that event, I’m reposting below the prophetic part of Chuck’s report on his recent trip to the UK for your information.:
Incredible Prophecy: Hear the Clock Ticking!
You have Been Catapulted into the Three Years Ahead! I know that so many of you have enjoyed watching the webcast replays from our Head of the Year 5774. You can still watch our daily webcast replays through Wednesday, Sept. 25, along with our last Firstfruits Celebration…Below is some of the prophetic revelation that came forth during our gatherings. Let this be a time you are propelled into your future and press through every gate of destiny!
“Hear the clock ticking, for I have now catapulted you into the three years ahead. This month, the dearest of My months, I am moving you against gates that have never been moved against before. I am causing these gates that have withstood you in the past to come loose and open in days ahead! Move strategically day by day and month by month until the gate that has held back your blessing opens up. If you will move now, within the next three years the land you find yourself in will be producing great treasures.
“In the third year, the War of the Kingdoms will begin, and Kingdom will rise against kingdoms. The kingdoms of this world will also come into great conflict. I have a Kingdom that I am preparing. I will remember this Kingdom and the seed and the seed’s seed of this Kingdom. I have a Kingdom that will triumph! Shout that the kingdoms of this earth are becoming My Kingdoms! Decree that the prisoners will be let go and they will come back to My house; this is a season when My altar will be filled! I’m going to open your eyes to those around you and you’re going to say, ‘They’re of a different kingdom.’ And I will say to you, ‘They are Mine! Bring them in now!’
“Beyond the gates, I am opening up new highways. I am beginning a highway out of Egypt! I will redo the highway that you’re presently walking on. The demons that have been trafficking and even creating trafficking throughout the earth, I Am now going to un-nest their headquarters. That which the enemy meant to destroy through trafficking, I will raise up as an unstoppable army in the days ahead, for that generation will be My generation! I call you, ‘My Army that is Unstoppable!’ I call you, ‘My Kingdom Swarm’ and you shall invade the kingdoms of the earth. You shall extract that which is needed and you will bring it into My Kingdom.
“I will surprise you with the leaders of nations. I have ways to cause leaders that have been promoted, to bow their knees. You will think they’re going one way, but you watch Me knock the feet out from under them; you watch them see Me in a way they’ve never seen Me before!
“Make “favor” with those that come onto your highway. Many of you will say, ‘But they have evil character.’ Just remember, I can cause every Pharaoh in this land and the lands that you’re a part of to favor you in days ahead!
“You’ll hear of shakings from north to west! You’ll hear that I have come from Alaska to Maine to shake. But know this: I will shake the center of this nation called the United States of America. I will cause that which has been hidden and controlling the forces of this land, to shake down!
“A new baptism I’ll give you, and My very finger I will place in My people’s keeping. When you point your finger, demons will flee!
“In this year of honey, I will cause a new hunger to arise throughout the lands for My Word. And where you have known My Word in the past, you will taste and see My Word in a different way!”
As with all prophetic words, please weigh the above and seek the Lord on its content. We’ll wait and (fore)see!
Gillan’s analysis of reports and encouraging commentary is highly recommended to my readers. It certainly seems related to this month’s prophetic clarion call against the complacency which could cause our nation to miss the time of its Visitation.
At the end of last week the BBC’s head of religion and ethics, Aaqil Ahmed gave a damning appraisal of the current state of religious understanding in Britain. ‘The public has such “poor religious literacy” that a modern audience would be baffled by the Monty Python film The Life of Brian – because it would not understand the Biblical references’.
Ahmed, in an interview with the Independent claimedthat failings in religious education over two generations were undermining public understanding of contemporary national and international issues. “You had generations that missed out. We have poor religious literacy in this country and we have to do something about it,” he said.
Certainly if you spend time with children and teenagers discussing religion and belief, you will quickly appreciate that this is undoubtedly the case. The recent withering Ofsted report on the state of religious education in schools is a reminder of this…
Another timely prophetic word hits the target today
Today’s daily Lion Bites from Glasgow’s prophetic team is yet another that unerringly delivers a word from the Living Lord to speak exactly into a personal situation. The ‘Bite’ for 30th September, 3 weeks ago yesterday, confirmed my decision to insert a dream about the effects of generational sins into the talk I was to deliver the next day. That word on Generational Cleansing was applied this afternoon. Today’s confirmed the action and greatly encouraged the recipient.
In the event of its relevance to your situation too, here is today’s Lion Bite:
THE BATTLE OVER YOUR IDENTITY
Your enemy, satan the deceiver, seeks to limit you because he knows how effective and powerful you can be when you operate in your full God-given authority. There is a great war of identities going on right now, where the enemy is adopting guerrilla tactics to limit, hinder and conceal from you, your true identity as a son or daughter of Almighty God.
Beware the enemy swooping in with stealth to engage you in hand-to-hand combat over recurring areas of temptation, oppression and depression. He is hitting you with things that are part of your ‘old man’. He knows he can’t win but he hopes that by warring with
you on this ‘local’ or ‘street’ level, he will distract and keep you occupied in a tug-of-war. He is desperate that you don’t look at things from a Godly perspective, because if you did, you would see your new identity in Christ. You would grow into a greater awareness of who you are and the authority that you carry. You are not a scrapper, a street-fighter, you are a mighty General. The more you walk in this realisation, the easier it will be to walk away from the hand-to-hand wars.
It is therefore time to work on your mindset. Listen to what encouragers say to you and about you. Don’t dismiss their commendation and encouragement… absorb it. And make Godly declarations of His truth over yourself – such as…
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Ephesians 4:22-24 To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt
through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to
put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and
Romans 8:14-15 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
It’s a time to take the news of the day in one hand and the Bible in the other and watch the unfolding of the great drama of the ages come together.
This is an exciting and thrilling time to be alive…I would not want to live in any other period. (emphasis added)
The Apocalypse (the unveiling of the end times) speaks powerfully of trouble ahead with storm warnings that carrying a booming jolt of truth. The warning is clear: prepare to meet thy God – followed by the voice of the gentle Shepherd – “Come.”
A new world is coming, Graham writes. The paradise that humanity lost in the Garden of Eden will be regained. Christ is coming to conquer evil and establish his perfect rule over all creation,
But until then God wants to give everyone an opportunity to know Christ through repentance and faith…Regardless of what society says, we can’t go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming. We are at a crossroads, and there are profound moral issues at stake. It is time to return to Biblical truth.
Troy Anderson, who wrote the preceding, states Billy Graham has preached to more people – 2.2 billion – than any Protestant in history and who has appeared on Gallup’s list of the most admired men in the world 56 times since 1955, more than any other individual in the world.
How are these quotations from the evangelist’s newly published book relevant to End-times? Anderson as editor-in-chief of World Prophecy Network elaborates under this header.:
Famed evangelist sees signs ‘converging now for the 1st time’
“Just as Noah did in ancient times, world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham is sounding the alarm that the Second Coming is “near” and signs of the end of the age are “converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”
“And last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., claimed the world has entered the last days.
“When you see up is down and right is wrong, when this is happening, we were told this: that these days would be as the days of Noah,” Bachmann said.
“The remarks by Graham, Netanyahu and Bachmann come amid a steadily rising wave of public interest in the end times, as demonstrated by recent polls and New York Times and Amazon.com bestselling books such as The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, and Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change by Pastor John Hagee…”
He quotes an author I respect as a prophecy expert, Paul Maguire,
I think we’re on the verge of a global awakening in interest in apocalyptic events.
I see a fuse being lit here, between what Billy Graham, Michele Bachman and Benjamin Netanyahu said, and I think there is going to be an explosion of interest in the end times like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
Anderson’s informative article continues under the following headers:
The other day I misplaced my underarm briefcase. The case not only contained very important notes that I needed but also a very large check from a client. As one might imagine, I was frantic because my case was lost. I was sick over the fact that I would have to call my client and tell her that her check was lost . I prayed like it was the end of the world over this briefcase. Then, as always, the Lord came through and I retraced my steps and found the missing case which had been lost.
Later on that evening it dawned upon me. I was sick over the loss of a “thing”, albeit a valuable thing that a client had entrusted me with but nevertheless it was still a thing; a thing that can be replaced. What if I viewed the lost and was sick over those going…
More nourishing morsels to munch in this repost from T.E. Hanna, which is apposite in view of my previous post’s reference to apostasy. If you’re unsure of that connection, check the insights Holy Spirit gave to Apostle Paul on the return of Jesus, as outlined in his two, brief letters to the Thessalonian church (here).
I like his following title’s pun as it refers to the popular Left Behind stories by Tim La Haye. The premise for the whole series was based upon the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the concept of which, in my opinion, seems to be a particularly American fad. So I greatly appreciate T.E.’s unwrapping of the subject and helpful answers to good questions raised by readers, especially the inclusion of the parable of wheat and tares in the whole scenario.
This month marks the two year anniversary of Harold Camping’s prediction of when the rapture was to take place. In preparation for that great ascension into the sky, countless numbers of people quit their jobs, sold everything they had, and took to the streets to proclaim the coming day of Christ. The date was set for October 21, 2011, and they wanted to sound the trumpet so that nobody was “left behind”.
On October 22, they woke up to find themselves and their families left destitute, without any savings or means of income, with their shoes still treading the soil of our world. The rapture had not taken place.
Harold Camping was not the first to predict the date of the rapture. In fact, October 21 was not even his first prediction. He had predicted it to happen earlier that same year, on May 21, and before that he had declared September 6, 1994 to be the correct date. Before Camping, there were multiple predictions for 1993, allowing for a seven year tribulation before the glorious appearing in the year 2000. Prior to this, Edgar Whisenant had issued predictions for 1988, 1989, 1992 and 1995. Chuck Smith had predicted 1981, while the Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted 1914, 1918, and 1925.
Perhaps the most impactful prediction, however, was issued by the Baptist preacher William Miller and further popularized by the preaching of Samuel Snow. While Miller asserted 1844 as the year in which Christ would return to rapture His church, Snow narrowed the date to October 22. Much like Camping, the result of this popular prophecy led to a movement whereby his ever-growing following yielded all of their earthly possessions and sat waiting with joyous expectation for the heavens to rend and the Messiah to summon His beloved. So great was the cry that arose on the day to follow that October 22, 1844 became lodged within the annals of Christian history known only as the Great Disappointment.
As best as I can tell, the Great Disappointment was the first prediction of the rapture in Christian history, which is (on the surface at least) a strange event for a faith previously spanning a full 1800 years of history. Even more strange is how common subsequent predictions became. One would expect that, given the mystical history of Christianity, we would see proclamations of the impending rapture long before the nineteenth century. One would expect this, to be sure, until one began to study the doctrine itself. Then, the strange lack of prophetic utterance suddenly makes sense.
Before the nineteenth century, the doctrine of the rapture simply did not exist.
What Lies Behind The Rapture
The church has always looked forward with eager anticipation towards the return of Christ. Christian eschatology has long held that the world would come to be judged, the old things would pass away, the Kingdom of God would manifest in its fullness, and we would celebrate our eternal presence in the midst of the new heavens and the new earth. Heaven would come down as the New Jerusalem, and all things would be made right once more. This has always been a singular event.
Not until the 19th century did we see the return of the King split into two events. At this point, a theologian by the name of John Darby theorized that there were actually two occurrences foretold in scripture: the day of Christ, and the day of the Lord. The former consisted of Christ’s return to gather up His faithful; the latter referred to Christ’s return to judge the world. For the first time in Christian history, Jesus was taught to return not once, but twice.
Another theologian by the name of C. I. Scofield grabbed hold of this idea and ran with it. Around this time, Scofield published the first publicly available “study bible” in history. This consisted of a bible translation with explanatory notes in the bottom half of the printed book, and it became immensely popular. The resulting “Scofield’s Bible” quickly spread throughout the Christian culture, and with it came the rise of Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism not only gave us the doctrine of the rapture, it gave us a new view on our world as well.
What The Rapture Has Left Behind
The appearance of the rapture, within Dispensationalist theology, is foreshadowed by the continuing collapse of our world into sin and destruction. The closer we come to that glorious summoning, the darker and more corrupt our world will get. It is within this understanding that we often refer to “the signs of the times”, usually followed by pointing to some great ethical violation that our culture lauds as virtue. Dispensationalism places the human experience in the midst of a worldly trajectory towards oblivion, identifying ourselves as a remnant of God’s people who are clinging fast to the cross in the hope of persisting until the reinforcements arrive.
In contrast to this, the overarching narrative of scripture does not speak of God abandoning His creation to ever-deepening destruction. The trajectory of scripture is a positive one, one that speaks of a God who is intimately involved with His children, whose Spirit still broods over the waters as He did in the opening pages of Genesis. This is a God who enters into the fullness of the human experience in the incarnation, who proclaims a Kingdom of God that is at hand, who sends forth His children to be emissaries that bring restoration and healing to a world that is suffering and broken. This is about a world that is continuing to get better, not worse.
This is what the rapture ultimately leaves behind: that we are active participants in God’s manifesting Kingdom, agents of mercy who are called into His work and through whom the world is being transformed. This is the image we see in John’s Revelation; not that our world is swallowed up in darkness so that God creates it anew, but that the New Jerusalem descends into our midst, that the Kingdom of God is overthrowing the enemy’s earthly rule, that the glorious creation which He so lovingly fashioned in the opening pages of scripture is one that He is at work restoring.
Yes, there will come the day when the trumpet shall sound and Christ shall judge the living and the dead, separating us into our chosen kingdoms. Yes, we will still face trial and strife and tribulation as we live out our lives in the brokenness of our world. Yes, the King will return for His citizens.
But the glorious hope to which we cling is not a distant one, it is immediate. It impacts our lives in this moment. We are not simply holding fast to the anchor of our soul and waiting for our lives to run out or for Christ to return. The Kingdom is coming, even now, even here. Our hope is for this world, and it leaps from here into eternity.
Many thanks TE for such an excellent, succinct summary which puts the unorthodox pre-trib rapture into its proper perspective.
I strongly recommend the ensuing interesting discussion onOf Dust and Kings– click on link and scroll to foot of TE’s original post.
More in-depth consideration may be found on Your True Christian Journey in::
A British breakfast TV interview circulating ‘over the pond’ among American Christians brings attention to injustices suffered by a couple of hoteliers at the hands of our courts.
I was intrigued to find two translations of the Bible directly relevant to both sides of the interview’s controversial point!
First of all, thanks are due to John McTernan for linking to a transcript in Monday’s blog Real Christianity on display, and to Tony Puccio for informing me of its email circulation in Arizona.
NB: this post’s stats occasionally show ‘peak viewing’ when it gets circulated. So I’d ask that it be read in the spirit it is written.
Let’s look at the issue together as I ‘flesh it out’.:
ITV, Britain’s first commercial station, broadcasts Daybreak as a morning magazine. Its presenters Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly interviewed Peter and Hazelmary Bull the day before they appealed to the UK Supreme Court over a £3,600 fine for refusing to rent one of their hotel’s double-bedded rooms to a homosexual couple. As clearly stated on their website, rooms were available for married men and women only. (The Bulls are supported by The Christian Institute and further details, including on-going reports may be found under Bulls’ B&B Trial.)
Aled Jones’ faith
Aled Jones is well known as a former treble chorister and singer with many albums to his credit, as well as presenter of BBC’s Songs Of Praise (see MirrorTV brief ‘bio’). It’s a typical anodyne BBC programme, however when speaking to journalist Catherine Francis for Inspire magazine, he said the programme attracts millions of viewers from around the world and,
“Songs Of Praise aims to uplift and spiritually enhance its viewers, whether or not they’re Christian, and they need to feel comfortable watching it. It’s a genuine honour to be associated with it…”
She continues, ‘And Aled’s passion is clear to see about the Christian faith,
“Christianity is real, it’s now, it’s happening and it’s exciting – it’s not sedate or simply part of history. Jesus toppled over the market stalls in the Temple – this is a person with passion, a person with love, with blood running through his veins. That’s what it’s all about for me.”
Well said sir, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind when considering today’s matter. Has he changed his views?
At a time when so many of our Christian leaders are guilty of compromising the gospel before the media, dishonouring the Lord as they try to make God’s Word palatable to the world, it was an older British woman…who displayed a backbone of steel, a deep and consistent faith, and a theological clarity while being grilled on national TV. Cheers for Hazelmary Bull!
And make no mistake about it. This is not some slick, camera-friendly couple, versed in the latest clichés and fitted with the coolest wardrobe. This is a couple grounded in the Word and committed to Jesus. Today’s Christian leaders could learn well from their example.
Jones took the lead and started with a neutral ‘voice-over’ video outlining the case. The presenters were not unpleasant but wanted to know why the Bulls were contesting the loss of their Appeal in 2012. It may have got intense because of their seeming inability to grasp the Bull’s Biblical position. Or were they just acting professionally on behalf of a religiously illiterate British audience and consequently asking questions from a simplistic viewpoint?
Whatever their approach, it helped the Bull’s present their case clearly and admirably. Take a look at the video clip:
Here’s the transcript section of Dr Brown’s short article; his comments in italics.:
When asked why they were going ahead with the appeal after all they had been through, Hazelmary replied,
“The reason we have continued with this is because we feel there are arguments still to be made, because we are hoping that some way or another, a pathway will be found through this so that two different lifestyles—which at the moment have had a head-on collision—two different lifestyles could live together in our society.”
Her purpose, then, is marked by conviction and conciliation: How can we live together in the same society when we have such different convictions?
Lorraine Kelly: “May I suggest that maybe you are in the wrong business? Because when you think about it, only 47 percent of couples now are actually married, so when you do that, you forget all the arguments and all the rest, but actually from a business sense, sure, it doesn’t make any sense.”
Hazelmary Bull: “No, on the face of it, it looks like that because we have always refused a double-bedded accommodation to unmarried heterosexual couples.”
When challenged by Kelley, Hazelmary explained, “It’s Bible-based; it’s entirely Bible-based.”
(Pastors, take note of her words. This is how we should operate our local assemblies as well, based on the Word, not on marketing principles.)
Aled Jones: “As a Christian, the God you worship is a loving God, is a tolerant God. And if people are in a civil partnership, they are obviously in love, so what is wrong with them sharing a bed?”
(Note that Jones came to national fame as a hymn-singing child, and in 2004 he was voted Religious Broadcaster of the Year by the Churches Media Council for his work with Songs of Praise. He still hosts BBC’s Songs of Praise show, and within the last four years he has released albums featuring hymns and Christmas songs. What in the world happened to Aled Jones?)
How does Hazelmary reply to his challenge? You’ve got to love this!
HB: “I think it’s a myth to believe that entirely. He is a loving God, that’s true. He’s a forgiving God, but there is—
AJ: “And a tolerant one?”
HB: “He is a longsuffering God; He’s not entirely tolerant because the Bible is full of cases when He does finally bring judgment about. We felt that we wanted to, as far as possible, live according to His instructions, and the Bible is very clear about marriage.
Boy, did she nail it! There is a difference between God being longsuffering and God being tolerant, and yes, “He’s not entirely tolerant because the Bible is full of cases when he does finally bring judgment about.”
Do you think we’ll be hearing a lot of lines like that from some of the pastors featured on The Preachers of L.A.?
LK: “It’s 2013…2013!”
MB: “God hasn’t changed; Jesus says He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn’t changed, the Bible hasn’t changed, and we are wrong—we are living in a dream—if we think that He has changed His laws to suit us, because that’s not the case at all.”
Exactly! Most of the world is living in a dream. In fact, much of the church is living in a dream too, having been put to sleep by smooth-tongued preachers who have watered down the Word in a futile attempt to make it “contemporary.”
LK: “So you don’t accept that you have done anything wrong at all? You don’t accept that, that was offensive?”
MB: “We find this thoroughly regretful, because we clearly state that we prefer to let double-bedded accommodations to married couples.”
(She then explains, in answer to Kelly’s question, that this is clearly stated on the website.)
LK: “When two people come check in, how do you know that they are married or not?”
HB: “That’s a fair question. We have a script, and we try very hard not to offend. Remember, we have been there for 28 years, and this is the first time we have had any problems. We have a script whereby where we say very gently and politely, if one person shows up at the door—say it’s a male—we say, “Is this for you and your wife?” And oddly enough, they will say, “No, well, not actually my wife. We’re partners, or it’s my girlfriend or whatever”.”
How telling! They never had a problem when refusing an unmarried heterosexual couple over the course of 28 years, but when it comes to two gay men, the Bulls are brought to court.(RB emphasis)
Kelly then pointed to the low percentage of couples in the U.K. who are marrying, to which Hazelmary responded, “Well, I don’t know the numbers, and I’m not entirely interested in the numbers because of course we’re running this—”
LK: “Well, you should, as a businessperson…“
HB: “Well, we’re running this under our own roof, and God demands that our faith doesn’t end—”
LK: [interrupting with some hostility] “Your God demands. Your God.”
HB: [without batting an eyelash] “God demands that our faith doesn’t end at the kitchen door. He means for your faith to run in every corner of your life. You can’t just section Him off like that. So one would think that dealing with Christians, we would be fair and honest and upright and honourable and live according to the Bible, because the Bible is the Christian’s textbook.”
Bravo, Hazelmary Bull!
Now go watch the video, give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. It’s a testimony like this that should go viral, rather than the words of some preacher who is waffling, unclear and not wanting to sound closed-minded or offensive.
Let’s speak the truth in love without making excuses, just as our courageous sister did. God Himself will back us, and the haters and mockers will not be able to shout us down.
Jones’ controversial question
As ‘good cop, bad cop’, Kelly and Jones played atheist Scot and anodyne believer who bowls a doctrinal googly,
“As a Christian, the God you worship is a loving God, is a tolerant God. And if people are in a civil partnership, they are obviously in love, so what is wrong with them sharing a bed?”
Bull: “I think it’s a myth to believe that entirely. He is a loving God, that’s true. He’s a forgiving God, but there is…”
Jones: “And a tolerant one?”
Bull: “He is a longsuffering God; He’s not entirely tolerant because the Bible is full of cases when He does finally bring judgment about. We felt that we wanted to, as far as possible, live according to His instructions, and the Bible is very clear about marriage.”
Many viewers, and readers, could take Jones’ point as reflecting his own conviction. However, is it not just as possible for him to have played ‘devil’s advocate’ in asking from a political stance, thereby to elicit and show the Bull’s strength of conviction?
Also, he may have had in mind a verse form Apostle Paul’s grand theological letter to believers in Rome, wherein he chides them over judging one another:
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance? (Romans 2:4)
That’s from my New International Version Insight Bible, but Mrs Bull adroitly responds from the very same verse as given in my New King James study Bible:
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Fascinating. The ‘protagonists’ use the same concept from slightly different translations. The original Greek is ‘anoches’, which means ‘tolerance’ but is rendered ‘forebearance’ in the Interlinear Greek Bible. Mrs Bull correctly clarifies it as being a conditional term, not a never-ending presumption upon the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Hence, the vital importance of their being in right standing with God’s decrees as revealed in His Word.
But not so for Aled Jones. Out of the confession from his own mouth, he has declared ‘As a Christian’ that there’s nothing wrong in homosexuality. Even if any of the reasons we considered above are relevant, nevertheless the declaration from his heart is what counts in heaven. It’s a far from sensible stance! It’s apostasy – the falling away from the tenets of Christian faith.
As Dr Brown queries, what has happened to Aled Jones?
The controversial point of Jones’ question, of course, is not only his presuming God will turn a blind eye to sin (of any sort!) – but also the inference that gay relationships are approved by God. So, anyone unfamiliar with the issues could infer from his claim of being a Christian that such practice is sanctioned by believers, if not by the wider church.
Nothing could be more mistaken. Aled Jones is unwise to entertain dubious doctrine.
The correct Christian position on this subject was defined in the first formal gathering of strategic church leaders within twenty years of Jesus’ ascension. This apostolic event is known as the Jerusalem Council. We can be sure, therefore, of their thorough familiarity with Jesus’ teachings and instructions and, assisted by The Holy Spirit, would therefore make the correct decisions on any doctrinal issues.
The Council was called to discuss the admission of non-Jewish believers as followers of ‘The Way ‘ of Yeshua Ha Meshiach, Jesus Christ. According to the account in The Acts of The Apostles, the Jerusalem Decree sent to those Gentiles of Antioch, Syria, closed with the following basic stipulations upon admission to fellowship in Jesus.:
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. (Acts 15:28-9 NKJV per BibleGateway.com; emphasis added)
That requirement to abstain from improper, non-marital relationships has never been rescinded. Only folly pretends redefining ‘marriage’ will alter the divine intention behind that declaration against immorality and fornication (porneias; Greek ‘of prostitution’).
It is logical, therefore, to state any consideration or claim to there being nothing wrong with allowing ‘porneia’ within the precincts of a Christian house is utterly absurd.
On the same day John McTernan blogged about this interview the news broke of Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly being axed as presenters on Daybreak. Also, comments made online around that time haven’t been complimentary about them. Even back in August his position was in question.
It’s intriguing that a definite decision came fast on the heels of Aled’s declaration! Is it part of the promised ‘shaking’? I wonder…
…that is, not the kind of God you’re thinking about.”
How often do we hear all sorts of complaints from people as reasons for not believing in the Almighty? If we enquire of them to gain a glimpse of their personal ideas and beliefs we usually find concepts of a divinity created out of a mixture of inaccuracies – no wonder they don’t believe in such oddball, mythical notions, and neither would I.
It is rare to find those possessing a clearly defined and well-instructed faith even among Christians! A surprising number have a poor grasp of theological basics, and can even presumptuously assume the holy character of their Maker and Redeemer will endorse their personal desires!
With this topic in mind let me share the more eloquent, analytical prose of two sisters in the Lord. First is that of Benedictine Sr Catherine Wybourne, aka Digital Nun.:
The God In Whom I Do Not Believe
People often tell me why they don’t believe in God: he has not answered their prayer; he has allowed someone close to die; he does not do away with all the evil and suffering in the world; the Church is full of abuses. I have to agree that I don’t believe in such a pathetic God, either. I don’t believe in someone who is merely there to rubber-stamp whatever I want; who doesn’t take me seriously enough to allow me free will but wants me to be a puppet on a string; who only has time for those who are good. I don’t believe in a God who is capricious, small-minded and mean; whose existence can be ‘proved’; who is as finite as I am.
You see, the arguments against the existence of God that many people use are actually rooted in unthinking petulance. I asked God for something, but he didn’t give it (question: why should God give you what you ask?); God took away someone I love (question: what kind of love desires what is good for itself rather than what is good for the other?); I want there to be nothing difficult or cruel in the world (question: what kind of world is that?); I want the Church to be full of saints (question: isn’t the Church meant for sinners in the process of becoming saints?)
The God in whom I believe is a Person of infinite tenderness and love, of breathtaking beauty and intellect. Eternity will not allow me to plumb the depths of God, how much less this brief life on earth! But this I can assert with absolute trust and confidence. Whatever I believe about God is so much less than the truth of God. ‘As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my thoughts above your thoughts.’
Ultimately, it is not a question of the God in whom you or I believe or don’t believe but of the God who is.
Oh the excellent simplicity in my sister’s thesis and conclusion, as published here. It deserves emphasis:
Ultimately, it is not a question of the God in whom we do or don’t believe but is purely a matter of the God who IS. We can know His nature and character because He has revealed Himself through His written Word and Jesus Christ – through Whom we have access to Father God’s throne room! A truly awesome privilege – thank you Jesus.
The second comes from an American sister who blogs at Your True Christian Journey and her forthright consideration may be read here > Why doesn’t God stop evil?
This in-depth summary of Dr Drew’s situation by Gillan Scott is commendable. Its disturbing contents remind me of the political interference so clearly evident in my correspondence with a NHS Primary Care Trust in 2009 (section 2 here refers).
Towards the end of September we had another ‘persecuted Christian’ story make the news. It related to the case of Dr David Drew who was dismissed from his role as a consultant paediatrician at Walsall Manor Hospital in December 2010. Prior to this he had sent an email designed to motivate his department which had included a 16th-century prayer by St Ignatius Loyola. He had prefaced the prayer, called ‘To give and not to count the cost’, with the words: ‘I find this a personal inspiration in my frail imperfect efforts to serve my patients, their families and our department.’
Following a complaint from managers not directly involved with the communication, he was reprimanded for using Christian references in some of his professional communications and told he was no longer permitted to continue with this practice. Dr Drew refused to accept this restriction and as a result after further reviews was removed from…
My friend’s hit a thought-provoking indicator, which I’d heard some time ago in connection with the cause of the ‘Arab Spring’: ie. the inability of Tunisian and Egyptian poor to afford crippling wheat prices. These had escalated because of US demand for conversion of wheat to ethanol fuels!
[ The Just Live by Faith ] Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.
I’ve often pondered the seals of Revelation. I’ve studied and studied them over and over again to find what part of Revelation we are in (because we all know something is coming) and I think we can be pretty sure now where we are on God’s timeline based on something that is happening in Israel as we speak. Although this is a detail of the seals that many skip over because it hadn’t been revealed yet, it is my belief that this little detail was revealed to me (and probably others) the other night and this blog is to bring awareness to it. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW FOR THOSE OF YOU WATCHING.
Jesus tells all who believe in Him what happens as a result of following His teaching.:
“If you hold fast to and live by My words you are truly my disciples. And you shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (for) I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one can come to the Father except through Me”. [As noted here and here by John, one of Jesus’ first, and perhaps closest, disciples.]
Those claims were unknown to me as a teenager. As stated in Searching for the Truth, I rejected all forms of ‘Churchianity’ because of hypocrisy and enmity between believers and clergy in 1950-60s.
As soon as legally able, ie. immediately after my 21st birthday, I sought affiliation with a mystical fraternity as ‘a seeker after light and truth’. As a consequence and another 21 years later less 7 days before my birthday, I experienced a dread revelation of my post-mortem status. Without any shadow of a doubt I was about to be dropped into the abode I’d unwittingly chosen for myself. But I was rescued from that terrible fate by the gracious mercy of the Lord of Heavenly Hosts, Jesus Christ. I’d found – and was confronted by – not an abstract, philosophical ideal but the living Truth in person!
Soon after that night of destiny I tore up and binned my occult and New Age books, but I still had a number of items that were very significant to membership in that mystical, occult group. But very soon, troubles brewed up within my relationships. And they got worse, and worse. So I asked for prayer help and I gathered all the remaining things, such as ritualistic items and pictures. Right at the peak of my trouble I heard an almost audible voice instruct me,
“Burn what you’ve collected – now!”
Never, ever, would I have believed what was to happen next:
Out in the back yard I piled those membership items onto an area of gravel and, putting a match to them, I sincerely repented. Fanning the flames, I apologised deeply to God for all my past rebellious, sinful activity and specifically renounced all the evil connected with and arising from my occult associations.
As I asked God to forgive me, heavy invisible shackles suddenly dropped off my wrists!
I felt, and was, free, completely free – exactly as is jubilantly sung in Charles Wesley’s great hymn And Can It Be?
WOW, from despair to jubilation within a split second! What utter freedom! Praise Him!
That hymn’s lyrics present the simple yet sublime salvation found in our Father’s good news about Jesus.
How aptly the third verse describes my personal situation and what had just happened – my wonderful liberation from invisible bondage to Satan.:
1. And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?
2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me.
3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with light!
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
4. No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Wesley brother of the renowned evangelical founder of Methodism, John Wesley, you may like to read the brief note at the foot of this page of lyrics from Scripture and Music.
Listen to one of the greatest hymns as broadcast some years ago in Songs of Praise, thanks to Fabio Ramsay.:
I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation! (Hab 3:18)
My apologies to those who were unable to getter a proper connection from their ‘New Post’ email notification to Rescued from Satan by The Lord of Hosts. How this failed to appear is fascinating and amusing – I won’t speculate…
In case you were unable to find a good link please click on the above-titled link.
Most of this story has been in draft form taken from the original account written 21 years or more ago. However, the latest instalment published within the hour failed to appear as a new publication. It bore the draft date 18 Sept and thereby appeared in the wrong order. Drafts usually get updated automatically upon publication and so I’ve had to find it and amend to today’s date.
Upon final spell checking I’d modified the title and it’s permalink, so maybe that affected publication. Sometimes uploading data into the WordPress server gets delayed, even lost through time delays, which is why some typos don’t always get edited out.
Therefore, I’m notifying readers of this issue and providing the above link to the latest instalment in case you may not have been able to read it.
The Father has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. [St Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:13-14, Amplified Bible.]
Submission and Fire
Awesome as it was, the dream-vision recounted in The last day of my life didn’t make me want to rush off to church. There was much to mull over, especially its meaning to my way of life. Its ramifications needed deep consideration and not only did I need to assess the dream’s impact, but I also wanted to find well-informed believers who took Jesus seriously. First, however, I needed to check out New Agers’ claims of the Bible having been tampered with by early Church councils, as well as its history and content.
In my wariness of religious people I surmised none would be able to listen to me, or even comprehend my story. They’d be ignorant about such things. AND none of them would have been through my kind of bad, meditative ‘trips’? Or so I thought! But help was at hand…
Whenever I went into a local Christian bookshop one book would almost jump off the self at me! The Lord was directing me to biographies of Christians who, like me, had been tied into New Age and occult activities. They’d been rescued from terrifying situations by calling upon Jesus’ name. Their true stories brought home to me the truth of what had happened in that exceptional dream. I became so deeply grateful to the real living God for having saved me. I didn’t know that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; his followers as servants of righteousness (2Cor 11:14). I’d been deceived and beguiled but the scales were starting to fall from my eyes – an awesome awakening, and a homecoming!
Tal Brooke, son of American diplomats and pioneer in meditation with crystals, held a privileged position in the inner circle of the revered Indian guru Sai Baba, of whom he later wrote, “I had discovered an absolutely satanic thing operating behind Baba’s veneer”. Tal’s personal encounter with the devouring darkness behind the ecstatic light and consciousness called ‘nirvana’ validated my own experience. Roy Livesey had been in the same brotherhood as I had and his book, too, had been thrust upon my attention.
Upon reading Livesey’s account one lunchtime I prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and on 29 March 1990 gave my life to Jesus as my personal saviour. Driving home, however, the spiritual enemy tried to get me into a couple of road accidents. And when I arrived home I found he’d even attempted to burn down our new, wooden-framed house. Thank you Lord for being there – the fire had been put out by throwing water onto flaming fat in an electric oven!!
Moving Towards TOTAL Freedom
Months after the dream, I’d learned some members of the church that had invited me to hear Billy Graham met in the school next to our house. Later, I heard that these people had given Peter prayer backing for his discussions with me – they’d targeted me! God had definitely answered their prayers by giving me the dream-vision.
The first service I attended there was a culture shock! – before me a young man, devoid of dog-collar but bedecked with acoustic guitar, led the meeting in song. He went on to conduct the ‘service’ from his head and heart, without any script or ritual. And he even encouraged discussion! Some testified to angelic protection in their lives: I’d thought this subject was lost to churchgoers. And, starting the sermon, he announced that they were going to look at the shortest gospel, that of Mark, and continue over the next weeks. In saying, “It’s action packed and full of urgency” he intrigued me, and this fitted in with my intention to check out the Bible.
Therefore, I thought it might prove useful to come again. One thing he taught stuck in my mind – “In Mark, who first recognised who Jesus really is?” Answer: an unclean spirit (see Mark 1:24). I was thus reminded of that dream’s events.
And so I came into a good place to build upon the message of that dream by learning about the Bible and, more importantly, by listening to God through His written word. The first of many times this has happened was incredibly clear proof that God does speak through the Bible, as claimed by this group of believers.
I decided to re-view the occult brotherhood’s teaching on Jesus from a massive mound of monographs. After having checked all those specifics, I asked God for guidance upon this matter and opened my new, pocket-sized Bible. I’ve never been able to repeat what happened next – it fell open at the second chapter of the Apostle Peter’s second letter, as here. The first ten verses stood out with startling clarity, the rest was hazy! Therein, Peter warns about false teachers:
…who secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying our sovereign Lord…Many will follow their shameful way and bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with the stories they have made up. Their condemnation has been long hanging over them…2 Peter 2:1,3 [emphases especially hit ‘the bull’s eye’]
Those verses go on to explain that assessment and what happens to such teachers. This answer from God to my question was startlingly exact! I was most amazed.
Also, in those early days I reviewed my earlier uncharitable views about the clergy. Readers may understand from my story how very difficult it was for me to contemplate attending church, let alone with any regularity – not to mention being under the oversight of any sort of clergyman whatsoever. And, as mentioned above (reiterated to show my strength of feeling): they certainly couldn’t comprehend where I’d come from.
So once again I decided to put preachers’ claims about the Word of God to the test. I asked if God could let me know His opinion about clergy…
Again! my Bible fell open to give the most apposite instruction at Hebrews 13:17:
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
That well and truly put me in my place and enabled me to make my mind up. Thank you Lord for answering and correcting me!
Only upon revisiting this testimony in later years did I realise those two passages starkly contrast both forms of leadership under which I submitted. The first was ungodly, and the latter is blessed by God and proves to be the better, nay ‘most best’, spiritual cover for protecting His children.
Not Yet Fully Free
But back to those early days. From those who’d trodden the same path as me I learned the importance of being completely cut off from my old life in the ‘New Age’. This meant getting rid of books and objects associated with it, but I was slow to so do. Although I’d turned away from that past life an unseen bond seemed to remain.
It needed to be dealt with next because I wanted what’s promised in the written Word:
So if the Son liberates you, then you are really and unquestionably free. [John 8:36 Amplified Bible]
Agree >100% with J John, as is clear from my very recent accounts of bondage to the demonic through occultism. Our most respected Canon’s article doesn’t elaborate upon how we are set free by turning to Jesus Christ. (That’s the next parts of my testimony.) I’d direct my readers also to Gillan’s readers’ several comments too.
Today’s guest writer is the Revd. Canon J. John. J John is an internationally recognised Christian speaker and author. He has written over 50 books and spoken in 69 countries, teaching the Christian faith and addressing over 300,000 people in person each year. his series Just 10 (on the Ten Commandments) has now exceeded one million people in attendance.
In light of the recent media focus on Tesco and Asda’s ‘psycho’ patient Halloween outfits, J John is keen to raise a debate on the nature of Halloween. What messages are we giving to children who are encouraged to dress up as a ‘Zombie Pyjama Girl’ for example with blood soaked pyjamas and a slashed teddy and what is the impact of Halloween on society and on vulnerable people?