UK/EU in/out #2 cont’d – significant spiritual signs

Continuing Neil Mackereth’s Discussion Paper ‘Stay or Leave?‘ with flagged annexures. Your attention is also drawn to the editor’s Footnote.

FLAG A

1. Tower of Babel – EU HQ Strasbourg

Apart from signposting the pitfalls of pride and idolatry, what significance does the Tower of Babel have today?

It may shock you to learn that the European Union Parliament building in Strasbourg is modeled on the unfinished Tower of Babel, as depicted in a painting by Brueghel (see poster image below). Here is a photograph of the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg, and below is an architectural model of the building:

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Louise-Weiss-Building-1

Now take a look at the picture below:

tower-painting-poster

The picture on the right was an early EU poster which, after considerable protest, was dropped. But the picture had done the damage. It had divulged the secret of the inspiration for the design of the EU building. There seems little doubt that the EU parliament building was modeled on Breughel’s painting of the Tower of Babel (seen on the left).

More controversial are suggestions that the inverted star symbols represent satanic inverted pentagrams.

Doesn’t it seem strange that anyone would choose to model the EU Parliament building on a tower built in defiance of God? Is it deliberate, coincidental, or a sign – a sign not only of the re-emergence of Babylon on the world stage but a sign also of the End Times?

FLAG B

2. A Woman Rides the Beast

Europa-Statue-EU-HQ-Brussels

The first statue above is in front of the EU parliament building in Strasburg and the second below is in front of the Winston Churchill building, also in Strasburg.:

Europa-Statue-W-Churchill-Bldg
Is there some prophetic significance in the name Europe, its origins, and/or the woman riding the beast? The mythology is that “Europa” was a Phoenician noblewoman who was seduced by Zeus who was disguised as a bull. He carried her off to Crete and raped her. Europa subsequently became queen of Crete.

‘Europa seated on a bull’ has been a motif in European art since Greco-Roman times, and in the eighth century Europa gained ecclesiastical usage under Charlemagne. Today, Europe is called Europa in most Germanic languages.

01e

The link that is made by some is with the Woman and beast references in Revelation 17 and 18. She is referred to in Revelation as Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abomination of the earth (Rev 17.5). There is much debate and conjecture on the metaphors and symbolism in these chapters. Suffice it to say, we are advised to have nothing to do with her.

FLAG C

3. Pergamum Altar – Berlin

pergamon1

Pergamum was one of the cities in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) where Roman influence can be most clearly seen. Situated on a hill there was an altar to Zeus where historians and archaeologists now believe the Roman Emperor was worshipped by the citizens of the city. Every year, on the Emperor’s birthday, the Caesar of the day was adored by people throughout his Empire who addressed him as ‘son of god’, ‘saviour of the world’, and ‘lord.’

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus dictates a letter to the Apostle John, which includes the line:

“I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.” (Rev 2.13)
The throne mentioned here can only refer to one thing – the temple-like structure which is known as the Pergamum Altar, built around 200BC. This temple is also mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus (56-117AD) in his Annals, and in Plutarch’s (45-120 AD) Life of Caesar. The mound on which it was situated is still visible today.

From what John sees and hears it seems that from the Ascended Christ’s perspective Pergamum is the location in Asia Minor where it can be safely said that “Satan has his throne” and where “Satan lives.”

Let’s now fast forward nearly 2000 years. In 1878 the German engineer and archaeologist Carl Humann started excavating the Pergamum Altar. In 1902 Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered that the whole structure, including the Gigantomachy Frieze, be transported to Berlin. The 113 metre sculptured frieze around the base of the altar depicts the struggle between the gods and the giants in Greek mythology. The altar was reconstructed, first in the Kaiser Freidrich Museum and subsequently moved to the specially built Pergamon Museum, on Museum Island. Kaiser Wilhelm II claimed this was the greatest achievement of his reign.

In 1933, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany and in 1934 he ordered the building of a Tribune at Zeppelin Field in Nuremberg. The architect, Albert Speer, is said to have used the Pergamum Altar as a model for the much larger scale “Zeppelintribune”. It took three years to build and it was from a podium at the centre of this vast edifice that Hitler took the salute during the Nazi rallies in Nuremberg.

[See Footnote by editor RB]

FLAG D

4. Ishtar Gate – Berlin

Ishtar_Gate_at_Berlin_Museum

The Ishtar Gate and Processional Way were built by Nebuchadnezzar II in c 575 BC. They formed the main and ceremonial entry route to the inner city of Babylon (there were seven lesser gates). It was dedicated to Ishtar, revered goddess of fertility, love, war and sex. Some scholars believe that, just as the Babylonian military and intellectual influence spread across the world, so too did their religion.

There is speculation that the different names, Eostra or Ostara (a Germanic pagan goddess) and Easter, may originate from Ishtar. The Benedictine monk Saint Bede chronicled that Easter took its name from “Eostre”, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. The Romans, in attempts at unity, were known to have combined festivals, their names and practices, in order to appease differing religious and pagan beliefs. If Easter is derived from Ishtar, that might make many of us think about the pagan origins of a major Christian festival.

BabylonReconstruction

The Ishtar Gate and Processional Way (an artists’ impression is shown above) were excavated by Robert Koldewey between 1899 and 1914. Its reconstruction in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin was completed in 1930, though some parts are so huge they are held in store.

There is a mass of information on the Internet about the gate, and a plethora of opinion, in which there is a considerable mixing of fact and fiction, myth, scientific study and archaeological findings. All this makes objective analysis very difficult. However, there are mythological references to the goddess Ishtar visiting hell and to the Ishtar Gate being the very entrance to hell. The depiction of 337 snake god images on the gate may have significance in Hebrew numerology, as the number 337 is said to represent hell.

You may feel that this connection and the Ishtar symbolism generally are overplayed. You may regard it all as just plain weird. Or you may come to the conclusion that this is an example of truth being stranger than fiction. Whatever your view, there is strong evidence to support the contention that the EU Parliament building is modelled on the Tower of Babel. Furthermore, there is no doubt that the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate stand in Berlin.

FLAG E

5. Shiva – CERN Geneva

[CERN Statue Unveiled – official CERN link replaces photo: RB]

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, straddles the Swiss French border. Strictly speaking CERN is not an EU research project but rather a European lead cooperative scientific research venture. The 12 founding states, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, established CERN in 1954. The organization was subsequently joined by Austria (1959), Spain (1961-1969, re-joined 1983), Portugal (1985), Finland (1991), Poland (1991), Czechoslovak Republic (1992), Hungary (1992), Bulgaria (1999) and Israel (2014). The Czech Republic and Slovak Republic re-joined CERN after their mutual independence in 1993. Yugoslavia left in 1961. Today CERN has 21 member states.

CERN came to public attention when scientists using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) identified the elusive Higgs Boson particle in 2013. There has been growing concern about the work that CERN does, especially from those who believe the scientists are “playing God.” CERN has tried to allay the disquiet by stating that the Large Haldron Collider (LHC) experiments are not trying to “open a door to another dimension.”

CERN recently explained that the statue of the Hindu god Shiva, a complex deity sometimes termed “The Destroyer”, in front of its Geneva HQ (shown here), was a gift from the Indian government. India is one of CERN’s “observer states” along with Russia, Japan and the US.

There is a wealth of information and countless “conspiracy theories” available on the internet – treat with caution.

FLAG F

6. Babylon

The story of Babylon is interwoven in the timeline of Scripture. We have already looked at some strange and disturbing symbolism on the global stage today. Here I want to add some historical depth to FLAG A and FLAG B

Babylon is first mentioned in Genesis 10, a chapter that is sometimes referred to as “the table of nations” because it lists the countries founded by the descendants of Noah, after the flood.

Noah’s great grandson Nimrod, “a mighty warrior on the earth”, established a kingdom in Shinar that included Babylon (synonymous with Babel) as one of its centres. Shinar is thought to have been an area between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates in what is now Iraq, formerly Mesopotamia. Babylon was on the Euphrates, located about 55 miles south of modern-day Baghdad.

The first event of note concerning Babylon, recorded in Genesis 11, is the building of the Tower of Babel, which most scholars agree was a ziggurat, a many tiered structure with ramps leading upwards from each level to the next.

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Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel, painted in 1563

It seems that the people of Babylon were building the tower as a symbol of their own greatness. It was a statement of identity, self-worth and pride: it was not built to honour God.

The Bible records that God stopped the building, the builders were dispersed and the common and only language spoken by the world’s population became many languages.

Genesis 11 is foundational in establishing Babylon as a picture of a city of rebellion against God. From then on, references in the Bible indicate that Babylon is symbolic of sin, depravity, and defiance (e.g.1 Peter 5:13; Revelation 17.5).

Perhaps no one expressed the origins of Babylon more eloquently than Josephus, a Jewish historian in the first century (an exact contemporary with some of the New Testament authors). He describes the extraordinary pride of the ruler called Nimrod who inspired the people of his city to build something that clearly sought to dethrone God:

‘Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power… Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners [in the Flood]; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion.’
(From The Antiquities of the Jews by the Jewish-Roman historian Josephus, c AD 94).

Coming back to the possibility EU being the new Babylon: why is the Europa symbol (a woman on a beast) so widespread? Is it merely symbolising Europe or is there some other prophetic significance?

“There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names ….” (Rev 17.3)

Most theologians agree that this prophecy refers to an end times world order where the woman symbolises an ‘ecclesiastical Babylon’ and the beast symbolises a ‘political and commercial (economic) Babylon’. Revelation 17 describes the woman as ‘Babylon the Great’ whilst Revelation 18 describes the fall of commercial or economic Babylon. In simplistic terms, a corrupt apostate church rides (and therefore by implication, controls) a corrupt and brutal political and economic system. If Europa (Europe) really is moving towards a fulfilment of this prophecy then we can expect to see a world political system and a world economic system developing the EU.

FLAG G

7. What Does Scripture Say About Alliances

Peter Horrobin, founder-director of Ellel Ministries International, posted his ‘Thoughts on the coming referendum on membership of the European Union’ on his blog of 24 March 2016 under the title ‘In or Out?’ 

[NB: Neil copied the full blog as Flag ‘G’ to his paper but here it’s abridged. To read full original version click/tap its above, highlit title.]

After a brief introduction to the matter Peter writes, ‘As I meditated on the situation and prayed about how I should vote, God turned my thoughts to the story of King Jehoshaphat, as it is told in Chapters 17-20 of 2 Chronicles….

He’s drawn to the following conclusion:

‘After Jehoshaphat realised what he had done through his marital, political and military relationship with Ahab, God gave him an opportunity to repent and change direction once more. He took it and the subsequent years were the most prosperous and God-protected of his entire reign. In some ways I now see this coming referendum as being like an opportunity for the whole nation to repent of the decision it made in 1975, in ignorance of what membership of the EU would mean.

‘But now we know what it has meant and what it will mean, and we have a one-time opportunity to choose whether or not we are going to remain in alliance with a type of Ahab or Ahaziah, through which we lose both our sovereignty and the potential to be a God inspired nation. Or, we can choose to take back into our own hands the future destiny of our government, our laws and our finances.

‘You may say that it won’t make any difference, for our own government has not shown any desire to return to our spiritual foundations, an opinion with which I, sadly, have to agree. But the difference is this: with the UK inside Europe, if leaders were to rise up in the future with the intent of changing things, to bring the UK more in line with God’s laws, they would have no legal authority to change anything – because everything would be subservient to our masters in Brussels. Even if God were to raise up a modern-day ‘Joseph’, ‘Daniel’ or a repentant ‘Jehoshaphat’, inside the EU they would be impotent.

‘But, released from the shackles of what I now see as an ungodly alliance, who knows what God could still do in and through this nation?

‘I do not believe that God has forgotten our history, or the blood of the Christian martyrs who have laid down their lives and I would agree with the implication of what Archbishop William Temple said during the second world war – that God still has a purpose for this nation in the times that are yet to come before Jesus returns.

‘There are those who are saying that for the economic benefit of the nation and our workers we need to remain within the trading community that is the EU. However, let us not forget the painful lesson that Jehoshaphat learned the hard way – that trading alliances with the wrong partners will not be a source of blessing.

‘So, for deeply spiritual reasons – reasons that you will not see talked about in the Newspapers, or hear about on TV, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for the UK to cut itself free from alliances which undermine our sovereignty and limit our capacity to make our own laws. On the 23rd of June I will be voting to leave the EU – but I’m already praying for those hidden ‘Jehoshaphats’, ‘Daniels’ and ‘Josephs’ to come to the fore of public life, and start steering our nation back to the godly roots from which it has currently wandered so far.’

FLAG ‘C’ FOOTNOTE by RB:

Joel Richardson makes this note in his blog Joel’s Trumpet about that altar of Zeus:

dnc10

‘As an aside, while many saw it as a deeply ominous sign, I personally found it more humorous that when President Obama made his initial acceptance speech in 2008 for the DNC presidential nomination, it was in a nearly perfect replica of what Jesus referred to as “the throne of Satan.” Needless to say many leftist bloggers and news outlets went crazy when I pointed this out.’

Even so, perhaps this really is an omen in view of Obama’s supportive remarks during his state visit this April 2016 on behalf of the UK government’s propaganda for remaining in the EU.

UK/EU in/out #2 – Stay or leave?

Published by kind permission of the author, who says, “Over recent weeks I have felt a growing pressure to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard to be more accurate) on the vexed question of how to vote in the EU referendum. I have drafted a military-style brief, using a format learned long ago!”:

EUROPEAN UNION (EU) MEMBERSHIP REFERENDUM

STAY OR LEAVE?

A Discussion Paper by Neil Mackereth, 13 April (updated 26 April) 2016

Introduction

There are many aspects to the debate on whether the United Kingdom should remain in or leave the EU. Notwithstanding the many opinions, nuances and uncertainties, the main discussion points can be grouped into three broad categories:

  1. The economic (markets, trading relationships, self-interest, fear);
  2. The political (power, right to govern, security, law-making, influence);
  3. The spiritual (God’s will, plan, apostolic and prophetic guidance).

The most important is the most ignored!

I see reports that the church should not be involved/take a stance/make recommendations on whether we should vote to stay or to leave the EU. I question that – surely the opposite is true. Wouldn’t it be more fitting if those charged with shepherding the flock and encouraging our spiritual well-being, gave prayerful guidance on this difficult question?

Is God interested in Britain and its future?

If He is, has he given us any biblical guidance on alliances, or signs and insights that might help us in the decision-making process?

As you might imagine, these are not the sort of questions I would ask if I didn’t believe that God is interested in our future and that God has given us signs and indicators to help us make wise choices. In what follows I focus on the spiritual category. It could be argued that living by faith means letting God choose the best way forward, rather than claiming our “rights” and focusing on our own welfare. Thus obedience to God transforms anything we do in the natural (politics, economics, social interaction or whatever) into the spiritual.

What is God saying about EU membership? In my view the indicators are unequivocal and are summed up in 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord” (see also Revelation 18:1-4).

There are 5 “signs” and 2 points for consideration that I want to look at:

Signs and Considerations of Spiritual Significance in the EU Membership Debate .

  1. The EU Parliament Building, Strasbourg, modeled on Tower of Babel – FLAG ‘A’
  2. A Woman Rides the Beast statue, Council of Europe, Brussels – FLAG ‘B’
  3. The Pergamum Altar (Satan’s throne) in Berlin – FLAG ‘C’
  4. The Ishtar Gate (gateway to Hell) in Berlin – FLAG ‘D’
  5. Shiva statue (Hindu god of destruction) at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) – FLAG ‘E’
  6. Is Europe the new Babylon? – FLAG ‘F’
  7. What does Scripture say about alliances? (Peter Horrobin article) – FLAG ‘G’

Recognising that you may not have the time or the inclination to look at these signs and considerations in full, I have attached relevant information, as Annexures or ‘FLAGs’ [in blog’s next post]. Even if you don’t have time to read the detail, each picture is worth a thousand words!

Executive Summary

There can be little doubt that the EU Parliament building is modeled on the Tower of Babel, as depicted in a painting by Brueghel, FLAG A, and that the Woman Rides the Beast image is both a statue and a widely used symbol in pictures and on EU currency, FLAG B.

Most would agree that Germany is the “power house” of Europe and has significant influence in the EU decision-making process. Assuming that God does give us signs, it is startling to note that the Pergamum Altar, also referred to in the Bible as Satan’s throne, and the Ishtar Gate, said to be the gateway to Hell, are both in Berlin, see FLAG C and FLAG D respectively.

The statue of the Hindu god Shiva (The Destroyer) is a strange choice to have in front of the CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) building in Geneva, FLAG E.

If asked whether the surprising symbolism used in the EU and at CERN has significance in influencing how we should vote, my counter question would be “what further signs would we need to be convinced that remaining in the EU is not our best option?” I find these signs astonishing and compelling. The Bible repeatedly advises us about having “eyes to see and ears to hear” and about being held accountable for not recognising the signs of the times.

If the EU is the new Babylon, FLAG F, we can expect to see systems developing that aim to establish worldwide economic and political controls: a new world order moving towards totalitarian government. We might also wish to note the Bible’s emphatic advice to have nothing to do with Babylon, as depicted as the woman on the beast in Revelation 17 and 18, and as stated in Isaiah 48.20

Under the heading “What does Scripture say about alliances” I have taken the liberty of quoting in full an article written by Peter Horrobin, founder of Ellel Ministries, at FLAG G. [RB: extracts only for blog but link to original blog provided.]

Sadly, I can guarantee that over the coming weeks we will hear a great deal about economic issues, trading relationships, financial stability, security, border controls, immigration, political influence, special relationships, the right to govern and so on, and so on. It is very unlikely that any senior politician will mention the spiritual implications or even suggest that prayer might be appropriate in seeking the best way forward for our nation.

Finally, what the government’s controversial “vote to stay” leaflet makes clear is that we are not really committed to the EU dream. We are a fringe member both in geographical terms and in our hearts and minds.

I will be voting for Britain to leave the EU [as will editor RB].

Continue reading the appended FLAGS A-G >>

SignsNOTE: Neil, retired Brigadier with background in communications and administration, is the author of SIGNS, The Significance of Biblical Prophecy. I first met Neil at his excellent extensive course on this topic at Winchester Vineyard Church, the outcome of which is his conversational introduction to what the Bible teaches about the climax of history and the end of the world, as we know it. For more information and my recommendation see this post, or click image for fuller details and to purchase.

UK/EU in/out #1: Referendum and Remnant’s opportunity

First published on 22nd April and re-posted with the kind permission of the managing editor of ProphecyTodayUK.(click title for original):

THE REFERENDUM: AN EXERCISE IN BULLYING by Dr Clifford Hill

The Government’s propaganda may put people off, or it may deceive them – just as the nation was deceived in the 1975 EU Referendum.

C Hill 163835British people dislike bullies. We have a strong sense of fair play and on big issues we like to weigh the evidence and make up our own minds. We are an island people and we value our independence. We do not like being bullied. This is why the huge pressure being put upon the electorate by the Government and their overseas friends, international leaders, big business corporations and bankers may prove to be counter-productive.

The Government promised to help the undecided by publishing the facts. Instead, they have spent £9 million on a blatant piece of propaganda trying to persuade us to stay in the European Union. The front page title of the booklet gives the game away. It says nothing about a presentation of the facts. Its title is “Why the Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK”. It then states “The UK has secured a special status in the reformed EU”.

We should surely be entitled to ask, what ‘special status’? And in what way is the EU ‘reformed’? Are the British people once again being deceived by lies from powerful politicians – as we were 40 years ago?

More Deception?

What is happening today looks very similar to how we were tricked into entered the European Union. Ted Heath, the Prime Minister who did the original deal in 1973, readily admitted before he died that he had lied to Parliament and to the British people because he knew that we were not simply joining a trading group but that the intention was always to work towards the formation of a United States of Europe in which we would all lose our sovereign identity.1

This fact was deliberately kept hidden from the British public when we voted at the 1975 referendum on whether or not we should stay in the ‘European Economic Community’ (‘Common Market’) as it was then described. In those days it was largely a trading group with nine member states, whereas today the EU is a very different beast, with 28 members in a tightly regulated organisation bound by treaties, such as Maastricht and Lisbon, and controlled by an unelected Commission backed by an enormous bureaucracy, with institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice exercising enormous power over our own parliament and legal courts.

When the Maastricht Treaty was being negotiated there were attempts by churches to get some reference to the Judaeo-Christian heritage of Europe but this was strongly resisted by secular humanists, who prevailed.2 The resultant European Union is not only deliberately a godless – in fact, God-denying – organisation, but it is also systemically corrupt, as demonstrated by the fact that it has not been able to persuade the auditors to endorse its accounts for at least the past five years.3 In this country, if a company were in that situation they would not only be prosecuted but they would not be allowed to continue in business.

Miracles in the Past

So how should Christians decide on such an important issue? We surely have to recognise the moral and spiritual battle for the soul of Britain that is involved in the present referendum debate. Christians need to know what God is saying to us, not least by looking at the recent history of Britain in a biblical context. This enables us to understand the purposes of God and what he requires of a nation with a strong Judaeo-Christian heritage such as Britain’s.

There are still many people in the older generation who remember that God worked a miracle at Dunkirk in 1940, saving our army from annihilation and giving us victory in the Battle of Britain in the skies. Even Churchill acknowledged in Parliament that it Dunkirk was a “miracle of deliverance”.4 Those were days when the whole nation turned to prayer.

It was also at a time of national prayer that Hitler took the irrational decision not to invade Britain. It is now recognised that if the German invasion had taken place in 1940 nothing could have stopped them conquering Britain. Dad’s Army would no doubt have fought valiantly but German Panzer tanks would have been rolling down Whitehall within days.

When a nation puts its destiny in the hands of God it can expect miracles to happen. It has happened in the past and it can happen again today – if there is a sufficiently strong believing remnant in the country.

Opportunity for the Remnant

Of course we know that as a nation we have spurned our spiritual heritage: we have passed many ungodly laws and we no longer deserve to be called a Christian nation. But there is undoubtedly a strong remnant of believers in the older generation and there are many indications of young people coming to faith in Jesus – possibly in reaction to the mess their unbelieving parents have made of the nation. It is the middle generation who are missing in many churches up and down the country today.

Believing Christians know that as a nation we deserve judgement but we also know the love and mercy of God who has given a solemn promise, “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned” (Jer 18:7).

The Referendum debate is bringing believing Christians to prayer throughout the country. Many prayer meetings are organised for this weekend, St George’s Day, 23 April, and many more are planned between now and 23 June. These prayer meetings give us a chance to seek the Lord and know what he is saying to the nation so that we can pray in line with God’s will and vote accordingly.

Word on the EU, 2015

We have already nailed our colours to the mast in this magazine but we know many Christians who are still undecided. We respect their integrity and we therefore encourage them to join other Christians in prayer where they can spend time spreading the whole issue before the Lord who will surely answer in clarity.

Alongside this article we are printing a prophecy from David Noakes that has already been widely circulated. I was with him when he received this prophecy towards the end of last year. David and I have been close friends and colleagues since the early days of the old printed magazine, Prophecy Today.

We have shared a platform at hundreds of meetings over the years and I have heard him prophesy many times, but I have never heard him bring a word that is as directional as this. In publishing it today, please understand that we are not saying that this is a direct word from the Lord. We offer it in love and humility to our fellow believers for weighing and testing, and we offer it as part of the process of seeking the word of the Lord for Britain today.

References

  1. Eg. Quote from PRO/FCO 30/789, Sub-committee of official committee on monetary aspects of UK entry to EEC, 1970. The Heath Government’s positive response: PRO/CAB 164/771, Informal talks with the European Commission and the exchange of views with member countries during the negotiation period, 1970.
  2. Eg. Anderson, MJ. Ungodly Ways: The Dark Side of the European Union. CRISIS Magazine, 1 June 2003.
  3. Waterfield, B and Dominiczak, P. EU auditors refuse to sign off more than £100billion of its own spending. The Telegraph, 4 November 2014.
  4. Speech to the House of Commons, 4 June 1940. Transcript available via The Churchill Society.

EU Referendum Deception – 1975 and now!

Courtesy of Telegraph_euroskepticizam

The European Union is of serious concern for those interested in Bible prophecy. Some theologians and commentators consider it may be the disturbing beast OT prophet Daniel saw in a very vivid vision. He was told this “fourth beast shall be a kingdom different from all other kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth” (see Daniel 7).

In 1973 the British people were tricked into entering membership of the European Union. The Prime Minister responsible for the original deal, Edward Heath (nicknamed ‘Heath the teeth’ for his smile), readily admitted before he died that he lied (through his teeth!) to Parliament and the people.

Heath knew the EU wasn’t just a trading partnership but that the UK would eventually lose its sovereign identity! The real intention behind The Treaty of Rome’s establishment of a West European trading union has always been to work towards forming a political and financial federation – a United States of Europe.

In reference to that, Revd Dr Clifford Hill writes in ProphecyTodayUK (re-posted here),

“This fact was deliberately kept hidden from the British public when we voted at the 1975 referendum on whether or not we should stay in the ‘European Economic Community’ (‘Common Market’) as it was then described. In those days it was largely a trading group with nine member states, whereas today the EU is a very different beast, with 28 members in a tightly regulated organisation bound by treaties, such as Maastricht and Lisbon, and controlled by an unelected Commission backed by an enormous bureaucracy, with institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice exercising enormous power over our own parliament and legal courts.”

And that’s just one reason why I object in principle to the EU – the main one being that it’s a spiritual issue and one all Christians need to be well-aware of in deciding which way to vote in June’s referendum. BUT how many are?

Also, it’s not just that the EU’s accounts haven’t been able to be signed off for several years because of gross irregularities, corruption and contingency slush-funding! Or the never-ending interference with our laws and infringements upon our liberties (eg. free-speech and Christian belief) etc, etc, etc…

Mini-Series on UK/EU

Although not following the debate closely I’ve read several useful articles that are worth bringing to my reader’s attention. Had it not been such a busy month I’d have posted them separately but am now catching up by posting a series of scripturally-related and rhema-prophetical pieces for auto-publication over the next few days.

I trust this will not inundate you but that you’ll find the posts worth mulling over at leisure. This information will also be available for reference via a new hub on the main-menu.

Well-Informed Opinions

Last Monday I read perhaps the most perspicacious insight in Charles Moore: Notebook – Trade Deals Are Red Herrings in the EU Debate. Writing from the perspective of being one of the privileged upper-class of the ruling ‘elite’, he hints at behind-the-scenes motives which may reinforce New World Order conspiracy theories:

‘One of the most important features of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy is that it allows voters to throw out one lot and put another in. This can never happen in the EU system. So the careers of the well-educated, unelected, “civilised” people who run the show are unimpeded by the will of the people. 

‘Perhaps because I come from that class, I agree that a high education is a good thing and accept that societies must have their elites, but I also believe that the British genius has been to create a political system in which the common interest of the whole nation can be represented politically. This is impossible in the EU, where there is a ruling class on the one hand, and a sweaty mob (as the ruling class sees it), on the other. If you like that sort of system, when you contemplate your navel, you will vote to Remain.’

Previous Telegraph editor Charles goes on to recommend “by far the best book setting out all European issues” Why Vote Leave? by Daniel Hannan.

Next, politico-religious blogger ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ notes in Owen Paterson: Cameron has “lost touch” with the Counties and will most likely lose his head.:

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Credit: Archbishop Cranmer blog

“The further you go from London, the stronger the feeling is,” said former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, speaking of England’s deep strains of Euroscepticism. “I do get the slight sense it’s a bit like the Civil War when Charles I sadly completely lost touch with what was happening in the counties,” he added, casting David Cameron as the out-of-touch Prime Minister whose inescapable fate is to lose his head, if he hasn’t already done so. There is a battle going on for the soul of Europe, and the British government has turned its back on all true patriots and democrats, just like the English government of the 17th century didn’t lift a finger to help the Protestant cause. You can gag the pulpits from preaching predestination, but you can’t stop the people searching the scriptures.

‘Owen Paterson’s speech was intelligent and thoughtful. As Dr Eamonn Butler summarised for the Adam Smith Institute: “His basic point is that the EU is not the ‘status quo’ but something that is rapidly moving to destinations that are uncertain and dangerous, particularly for the UK; and that being outside is the safer, more stable option.” And in response to a question, we heard a summary exposition of the transcendent Euro-reality:

‘But this is not a Tory Party issue. This really is not a Tory Party issue. This is our one chance the first time since 1975 – and it divides people of all political parties. What we should be grateful to David Cameron for is that he’s given us the opportunity, and we must not blow it. That’s the point I’m making here. If we blow it, we will have this very unsatisfactory, very unclear, new ‘associate status’. We’ll be outvoted in the Parliament, we’ll be outvoted in the Council, and we’ll be under the cosh of the European Court. That is a highly unsatisfactory destination.

‘Highly unsatisfactory, indeed.’ (Continue Cranmer’s blog here and Dr Butler’s informative summary Owen Patterson’s Brilliant Brexit Patter isn’t to be missed.)

If you read nothing else in this debate on the referendum I’d suggest you do check out the above links.

The foundational reason for Unity across the Church

Apostle Paul instructs us:

‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
‘I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience and forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all’ (Ephesians 3:20-4:6)

Lindell_CooleyLast Sunday Lyndell Cooley taught on being one body in Christ and how the above verses are foundational, as well as critical for the future of the Church. Writing from prison, Paul teaches believers how to be real, radical and risky – even dangerous – in our beliefs and the kind of character needed to stand together and to confront the world and persecution.

“IF your Christianity is NOT dangerous you may want to check and see if it really is Christianity!

“If it’s SAFE, it’s probably NOT Christianity, because Christianity IS dangerous!

“Isn’t it amazing that the church is scared to death of the danger we’re facing, which is NORMAL to Christianity – because we’ve become so comfortable (as Americans) being accepted…but the scripture is full of people who live dangerously…”

Lindell then quotes Jesus’ warning at Luke 21:12 of what will happen to His followers. They’ll be taken before courts and rulers for “My Name’s sake – It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.”  So Lindell adds, “You can go to church for 30 years and keep your mouth shut but risky Christianity means you say something!”

He likens the power behind Paul’s words to that we feel upon reading people like Richard Wurmbrand, Lutheran pastor jailed for years by Communists in Romania and founder of Voice of the Martyrs radio. He tells of a paraplegic ex-muslim confined to a wheelchair but imprisoned in Lahore Pakistan for converting to Christianity. When asked how he felt about the possibility of execution, he replied

“If I’m hanged for the Name of Christ, I will kiss my rope but never deny my faith!”

“That kind of talk in prison”, continues Lindell, “Is like a stiff, wakening winter wind in the face of our drowsy, television, internet-soaked, self-pitying kind of Christianity!

“It makes us wake up and get dressed for spiritual winter battle – and that’s what Paul wanted us to have. He wanted us to be awake like that! He pleads us to, number one, preserve the unity of the Spirit…”

Lindell briefly addresses live-streaming online members of Church of His Presence at 1:03:00 on this archived video. That’s where you too can get an overview of his important, deeply rousing and encouraging message on being One Body in Christ and what that means to tell the nations about Jesus. The message in full begins at 1:10:20 and closes with Lindell leading worship.

Be mightily blessed as you read and watch…

Visit Lindell Cooley Ministries Facebook.

What is “The Gospel of The Kingdom”? (Matthew 4)

Interesting that Richard, too, is focusing upon meaning and timing of the Kingdom’s recognised presence on earth – I’ve sometimes heard of this preachers’ perplexity: “Kingdom Now but not yet!” His conclusion points to what some prophetic folk are hearing and declaring. (Also see What is the “Gospel of the Kingdom”? by Nelson Walters.)

Blog anniversary: ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’

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Funny the way things go but I didn’t realise ’til yesterday, when I started blogging more on the current theme, that a year ago today I introduced ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’, an e-book by my namesake Richard Barker.

Even ‘funnier’ are the facts I’m uncovering whilst trying to continue from what I’d jotted as above last night. Yesterday I was researching scripture and drafting a post to continue and conclude thought on the Kingdom, especially about the ‘mysteries’ Apostle Paul mentions. I’d previously checked last year’s piece and found the link to Richard’s book is no longer valid. Upon updating it yesterday I found his blog Fellowship of the Secret and decided to ‘follow’.

NOW, it’s getting much ‘funnier’ – even startlingly weird and very uncanny!…(and my email provider’s playing up and not failing to connect and download! So something’s afoot).:

Fellow WordPress bloggers are familiar with our administrative screen’s options of using either ‘My Site’ or ‘Reader’, which displays the latest posts of blogs we follow on WP.

For some purposeless reason I don’t recall, soon after starting this blog I went back into an open tab and opened up Reader – LO and behold, right at the top is one from Richard timed about the same time I started this post – UTTERLY EXTRAORDINARY. It reads:

‘The Fellowship of The Secret – Introductory Essay

‘Having completed my series of posts in which I have been commenting on Old Testament passages that particularly came to my attention during the writing of my book, I have composed an essay which will replace the preface in earlier editions of the e-book and the paperback version.

‘It sets out the background to the later edition and provides more insight into what I believe the process I am involved with is leading to. It will either whet your appetite for the book (e-version now free) or put you off entirely, since it challenges virtually everyone to review their current understanding of the Apostle Paul’s writings and that of their tradition.’ (emphasis added)

To read the latest from Richard click/tap Update for Revised Edition.

Finding it far from easy to think, because I’m ‘God-smacked at nature of this ‘coincidence’! The sheer serendipity demonstrates the LORD’s HAND MUST SURELY BE IN THIS – and is perhaps answering reservations and questions over what I propose writing on the ‘mysteries’ and recent posts. IN FACT, I extracted references on Richard’s book for this post from yesterday’s draft because the book seems especially significant at this time and needs announcing once again!

So, I’m SO stunned and left feeling sluggish with heavy limbs, like when Holy Spirit falls! Have had to take a break and share with Nina and visiting friend.

MOREOVER, a year ago my coverage of Richard’s book was surrounded with several God-incidents, as in God-incidents Validate Cycles… and Surprising Endorsement of ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’. The first introduces my namesake in some depth and then describes ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’ as follows:

‘(Richard) describes it as identifying, “the key that unlocks an age-enduring  mystery surrounding the apparent disconnection between OT prophecy and the out-working of the Church/Gospel age.” 

‘This claim, however, is not so new or surprising to those who study prophetic scripture outside the confines of the Catholic or Reformed churches, especially in view of the latter’s wide consensus on the cessation of Holy Spirit’s activity after the 1st Century.

‘In the overview of his e-book Richard focuses upon Paul’s statement in Ephesians 3:8-11 about his personal revelations. I especially appreciate this conclusion regarding the mutual failure in Jews and early Christians to understand one another:

“…Christendom’s part pertains to a failure to grasp the “the fellowship of the secret” – its implications to broader providence and God’s as yet unfulfilled terrestrial promises to the nation He first chose for Himself.”

‘Dipping into the extracts Richard’s put online, I like his hammering home on what the Church has lost and missed, and especially note the following from the first chapter ‘The Hidden Dispensation’ of ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’:

“The New Testament “elephant in the room”: the biblically unexplained and largely undebated non-fulfilment (or subversion) of scriptural prophecy regarding the terrestrial and political aspects of the Jewish apocalypse pertains to a secret disclosure, revealed to and through Paul of which I was previously unaware but now realise is the key to understanding Old Testament prophecy…”

‘Preceding that section Richard’s remarks are of direct relevance to recent posts on this blog about keys to and unsealing of the Book of Daniel, with emphasis added:

“In the religious sphere an on-going learning curve has been guaranteed through the intentionally cryptic profundity of Holy Scripture that was never intended to be entirely unravelled until the end of the age, for it contains at least one significant mystery (or secret) that was not to be disclosed until such a time (Dan 12:1-4 & 7; Rev 10:4,7)…”

‘I suspect that those who love to sink their teeth into a theological treatise topped by a prophetical icing will gain by reading my namesake’s e-book – especially in broadening  our own understanding of End-times. I certainly will.’

WOW!

What is the Lord saying to us and about to reveal? I suspect it may be quite startling and take the Church into greater depths of intimacy and of revelation upon re-instating its full nature and purpose. After writing this I note Richard’s remark in the first paragraph of his Update (emphasis mine):

‘A more serious consideration reflected on during the Christmas/New Year period (2015/16) is that whatever anyone else may currently think I perceive myself to be involved in a sacred task – to make known to as many Christians who will receive it, what I understand to be God’s intentions for the currently scattered assemblies of Jesus-followers in view of what (I merely surmise) He intends to bring about within our generation (cf. Acts3:21 Greek). So in effect, the book is an expansive “prophetic insight” in which its author came within a matter of a few days to a quite new understanding of certain biblical passages and events within Church history…’

We’re getting closer to the prophesied return of the Lord. Watch out world!

Happy 90th Birthday Your Majesty, Servant of The King

ServantQueen

A very happy, most enjoyable birthday Ma’am.

I recall not only mother’s parents and her brother, who lived close by, but neighbours too had called at our house when I was five years old. And they were all crammed into our lounge!! Dad had recently been up at the roof to nail a weird metal frame by the gutter and point it to the sky, then trail and fix a wire down to small boxes on the skirting boards in the front and rear sitting rooms. Next he went to his workbench in the cellar and fixed another wire onto a water piper! This puzzled me and dad said it’s necessary to ‘earth’ the whole lot if any lightning hits the aerial : the electricity would go into the ground and not damage the house and the big, new, wooden-varnished box with knobs on.

With everyone seated in our larger lounge on 2nd June 1953, he drew the curtains to shut out daylight and turned a knob on that box in the far corner. Its shiny light-grey mirror then turned into a black-and-white picture of crowds in a street somewhere in far-away London.

We were about to watch the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a princess 20 years older than this little chap in his first year at primary school. Little did I know it was the first such occasion to be televised live and watched by 27 million, over half the population. Good job they wouldn’t fit into our house!

It was an amazing and enjoyable occasion to which was added a neighbourhood party. Nationally, it marked a welcome turning point after over a decade of death, destruction, privation and real economic austerity. I didn’t succumb to becoming a monarchist but I’ve come to admire her majesty as a stalwart Christian whose faith makes a special mark as an evangelist.

Believers and non-believers alike, have much to learn from the Queen’s example of duty to God and nation. This low-cost book about the reality and practicalities of her walk with Jesus is well-worth your careful study. (For details and to buy visit CPO website.)

In view of my above remarks I note the chapter on the Coronation, in particular on ‘The Secret Ceremony’. This moment of the ceremony was too sacred to be televised because it was when the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed her as Queen. It reads in part.:

‘In that commitment, she follows the example of Christ who was also anointed, as the word ‘Christ’ means, and set apart not to be served but to serve and, in his case, sacrifice his life so we can have life which lasts forever. Royal biographer William Shawcross wrote:

‘When Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953 she found, like her mother before her, an almost sacrificial quality at the heart of the service…It was the moment when the holy oil was applied to her, rather than her crowning with St Edward’s crown of solid gold, that was of supreme importance for the Queen. Indeed it was the most solemn and important moment of her entire life.’

May the Lord continue to bless her and move mightily in this nation and commonwealth. May Your Spirit move mightily, that this anniversary year becomes a turning point in our history where we repent and once again become a Christian and consecrated people in Holy Revival…

.

‘Archbishop Cranmer’ blogs in The Queen’s 90th: Happy Birthday Ma’am.:

‘God has saved her and she has lived long. The first two invocations of the National Anthem have been and are still being fulfilled. Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday is a cause of national celebration and personal joy. It is also a time for reflection and gratitude. Never in the history of British Monarchy has one reigned so old or so long. Nor, perhaps, has one seen so much social change and sweeping transition, at least in the absence of war and glorious revolution. And rarely has one been so devoted to Christ in the service of peace and reconciliation...’

Unity across churches manifests God’s Kingdom

Puzzle Globe and Book by ThanunkornHere I share more insights gained since Holy Week, citing an example to prove this post’s title and looking at early church history. First, listen to Jesus in prayer:

“Father, I pray for those who will believe in Me..that they may all 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.” (John 17:20-21 NKJV – emphasis added)

Is Jesus’ prayer about to be fully answered at long, long last? Especially for the sake of saving lost souls?

Sixty years ago many Christian denominations had scant tolerance for one another, even though a large percentage of Britons attended church regularly or, if not, would at least go for Easter and Christmas. Those who didn’t were religiously well-informed – unlike today’s spiritually unwashed masses who are religious illiterates! As a youngster I was subject to some most unexpected personal animosity between Protestants and Catholics – despite their claiming to believe in the same God!

Thus, disunity was one reason for my rejecting Churchianity and seeking truth beyond science and religion in metaphysics and mysticism (the Eastern and New Age variety).

As well as ignoring Jesus’ expressed desire for unity and command to love one another, believers weren’t doing what Jesus did – and more – as He foretold:

“Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12 NKJV)

History demonstrates churches across the East and West hadn’t complied with Jesus’ desire. Moreover, it seems God didn’t answer His Son’s deep prayer request!  Mankind’s free-will and Satan’s steering were determined to prevent its fulfillment at all costs.

Heavenly Father can ensure Jesus’ prayer gets met. No doubt He’s waiting for the right time and conditions for inspiring believers who are responsive to His Spirit; rather than to make them comply. He didn’t create robotic automatons. First, however, we need to want and allow Holy Spirit into our lives rather than deny, quench or grieve His gracious ways.

Re-born Into Christ

Consequently, it was an extremely pleasant surprise to find after being born again in 1989-90 those antagonisms had disappeared. When I was baptised in Holy Spirit in 1992 I saw Jesus healing people and so I wanted to associate with the group who’d organised that day’s event. That Circle of Prayer for Healing in the mid-Thames Valley was a mixture of Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists and independents – and all charismatics!

Thus, spiritual unity of that small group enabled Holy Spirit to flow in power and manifest the presence of the Kingdom of God – praise You Lord. Hopefully we may expect a much larger manifestation now we’re 25 years further down the road…

An increasing emphasis from those with prophetical voices and gifting is indicating Holy Spirit wants to inspire, infuse and direct our hearts and minds with Jesus’ love for fellow Christians, and to express that as a Unity of spirit and action – so the world no longer sees believers as squabbling hypocrites and realise who Jesus is and that we really do have the answers they’re desperately needing and seeking spiritually.

Hence my enthusiasm towards unity in belief and action (with the caveat of obedience to Jesus’ instructions) throughout Christendom  – no doubt the intensification of secular and terrorist persecution is drawing us out of our shells and making us stand up!

So, let’s remind ourselves of recent ‘God-incidents’ focusing on Unity (as here and here).:

  • Extraordinary vision: “I watched as these fiery, burning and anointed ones moved together in PERFECT UNITY”.
  • Revelation from the Lord about angels of Revival being released and that “The body of Christ is coming alive in Jesus, in purity, in life, in love, in UNITY”.
  • Obedient response to: “The Rhema Word God has had for me the past few months is UNITY”.
  • Writing a new book for which “The major outcome theme…is Unity”.
  • Three years’ preparation for church-wide act of unity across the UK.

The details of the last from Malcolm Duncan warrant brief re-iteration:

Revd Malcolm Duncan“I lead Spring Harvest and for three years I have been working on an act of unity across the United Kingdom that will see all…evangelical bible conventions and celebrations declaring that, whatever our theological differences are, we are one in Christ Jesus. It is going to involve 130,000 Christians from March (Spring Harvest) through to October next year with the Festival of Life…perhaps the biggest demonstration of Christian unity that we have seen in the evangelical church in the United Kingdom for almost two hundred years – and they’ve all said “Yes” – there’s the miracle! They’re all on board, and I am sure the Bible says,

“Where the brethren dwell together in unity, the Lord commands a blessing.”

Seventeen months ago Heidi Baker brought a word about ‘A New Move of God in the UK’  which prophesied about Unity as follows (underlining added):

Heidi at CTF Wembley“…There’s going to be a movement of unity in the UK that’s going to shake the world, says the Lord. I hear the prophetic word of the Lord. It’s going to flow through the universities and the colleges of the universities. It’s going to flow through denomination and the non-denominations. There’s going to be a move of unity within the Body of Christ.

“You’re going to fill Wembley Stadium. You’re going to fill stadiums, stadiums, with worshippers of the living God. And there’s going to be this holy affection where people come before the Lord. They’re not going to even know who’s speaking in the stadium, they’re not going to even know the name of the preachers, because they’re coming fixing their eyes on Jesus. It’s going to shake the nation, says the Lord.

“There’s going to be a unity even between Scotland and Ireland and the UK, that’s going to SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE. There’s going to be a shaking that’s going to bring a unity, says the Lord. There’s going to be something that the people of other faiths are going to see in this nation, as believers come together in radical love…”

Amen to all the above.

The Early Church on Jesus and Unity

My meditations have been based upon Apostle John’s understanding and revelations of the glory and nature of His dearly beloved rabbi, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This meant musing upon, seeking the Lord and researching into what the disciples may have learned after the Resurrection; ‘To whom’, the physician and chronicler Dr Luke records that Jesus, ‘also presented Himself alive after His sufferings by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and (His) speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.’ (Acts 1:3 NKJV)

[THUS, after that privileged private teaching they logically concluded the Kingdom was going to be restored to Israel. That’s clearly the Lord’s action plan – they just wanted to know when to expect its execution. Had that not been a legitimate request they’d have been rebuked. But Jesus told them that’s not their – OR His – concern because it’s The Father’s prerogative! Jesus had another plan for them: transmitting the Gospel with all the consequential signs and wonders: ie. fulfillment of John 14:12 – see Acts1:6-8.]

MBarkerWebPhotoScriptural meditations encouraged me to re-read The Hidden Tradition of the Kingdom of God – an exceptionally informative book by the Methodist Bible scholar Margaret Barker, whose Doctorate in Divinity was conferred by the Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘in recognition of her work on the Jerusalem Temple and the origins of Christian Liturgy’.  (It is designated, ‘Temple Theology’.)

Dr Barker’s significant new contribution to the understanding of the New Testament opened up important fields for research.

In checking out her website I found the paper ‘Jesus the Nazorean’ most illuminating and confirming my thoughts on Paul’s many references to the ‘mysteries’ of God. On page 9 therein lies a useful insight into our consideration of Unity in the Lord (emphases mine):

“Theodotus, the second century teacher whose work survives only as quotations in Clement of Alexandria, was condemned by later generations as a Gnostic. He taught about Jesus’ role in restoring the unity, just as John’s Jesus did in his final prayer after the last supper. This is what Theodotus said:
They say that our angels were put forth as a unity and are One in that they came out from the One.
Now since we existed in separation, Jesus was baptised that the undivided should be divided until he should unite us with them in the Fullness, that we, the many, having become one, might be mingled with the One which was divided for our sakes.’

“And this is what John’s Jesus said:
”[I pray] that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”. (John 17.21)
Restoring the unity was a sign of divinity. But John’s Jesus also brought judgement: ‘[The Father] has given all judgement to the Son’ (John 5.22).

“Theodotus is not telling us anything different from what Paul said in his message to the
Ephesians:
’For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth’ (Eph.1.9-10).

“So too in his letter to the Colossians, Paul said that Christ holds all things together (Col.1.17).

“The secret of the kingdom was the secret of unity, restoring all things to their unity with God, and so Paul saw the future as the Son of God bringing all things into the kingdom – he called it subduing all things, the judgement – ‘that God may be all in all’ (1 Cor.15.28).”

Therefore, in my humble opinion, this information is well-worth mulling over. I’m especially pleased Dr Barker refers to and stresses Ephesians 1:9 (see my covering intro to God’s Eternal Purpose – and reference to Unity therein). This reinforces my interest in what Paul knew by personal revelation from Jesus Himself, as well as gained when he was caught up into heaven.

Thank you Lord that Your Spirit of Wisdom and of Revelation brings knowledge of You (Eph 1:17).

Footnote:

In discussion with a leader at a local church we visited recently I queried his opinion upon the source of Paul’s knowledge of the Last Supper and the Resurrection. He was keenly recommending a new devotional book, 40 Days With Jesus by Dave Smith of New Frontiers church. In considering the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, the leader echoed Smith’s citing ‘compelling evidence from 1 Corinthians 15 (as) important because not only was it…written early [in 55AD] but (also) Paul’s evidence would have come from meetings with the other apostles that took place only a few years after the resurrection itself’.

This book’s a useful adjunct to my meditations, but the above remark may be playing fast and loose with scriptural data!!

Paul’s letter to the Galatians may be dated 6 years earlier, depending upon which of two groups he was addressing, or else contemporary with that sent to the church in Corinth. In stating how he changed from being a severe persecutor of believers to becoming an on-fire believer and preacher, Paul writes (Gal 1:15-16 NKJV):

“When it pleased God…to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went to Arabia and returned again to Damascus.”

In about 62 AD, Dr Luke completed his careful investigations of early church history. He wrote, ‘In his account to King Agrippa Paul states, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision but declared first to those in Damascus…(to) repent, turn to God and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:19-20). Earlier, in recording post-conversion events of Paul in that city, where Paul regained his sight through Ananias, Luke states ‘Then Saul spent some days with the disciples in Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in synagogues…’ (Acts 9:19-20).

Therefore, if Saul didn’t receive full revelation personally about the Last Supper and the Resurrection whilst blind, then wouldn’t he have got the basics from Ananias’ group?

Further reading:

[Credit: ‘Puzzle Globe and Book’ by Thanunkorn, courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net ]

‘How the Church lost The Way…’ – book review

The following information received today is very useful preparatory reading for my follow-up to The Four Faces of God and Unity. It appears courtesy of PROPHECY TodayUK (click for original).

Paul Luckraft reviews Steve Maltz’s ‘How the Church Lost The Way…And How it Can Find it Again’:

How the Church Lost the WayIn this engaging and entertaining book, the author is very clear about his agenda: “to restore the understanding of the Hebraic roots of Christianity that has been lost, since the early days of the Church” (p 43). Equally clear is that in this book he has succeeded in making a considerable contribution towards what is an immense but vital task.

Maltz’s style is chatty, but not trite. He pulls no punches – he admits he may not just be upsetting the occasional sacred cow but disturbing the whole herd – but his aim is analysis, rather than attack. Certainly at every point he makes you think, and feel, and search for a proper response.

His title is apt in two ways, suggesting a straying from a correct path, but also reminding us that the early Christians were originally called The Way (Acts 9:2, 24:14), rather than the Church. Maltz points out that there has been a process of stripping out every trace of Jewishness from the established Church, starting early in its history and developing over time. The Body of Christ was meant to be One New Man (Eph 2:15) with both Jewish and Gentile elements in balance, and without this it is greatly diminished and largely unfulfilled.

How We Wandered

In Part One, the author tells ‘a tale of two summits’, taking us to two important councils: Jerusalem in AD 49 and Nicaea in AD 325. In an entertaining fly-on-the-wall (or rather peering-round-the-pillar) account, Maltz contrasts these two occasions, the former advocating the inclusion of Gentiles into the Church, the other the exclusion of Jews.

The most telling quote is from Constantine’s letter circulated to churches throughout the Christian world concerning the timing of Easter: “Let us then have nothing in common with the most hostile rabble of the Jews” (p48).

In chapter 2, Maltz provides a fascinating potted history of the main Greek thinkers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, highlighting their ‘big ideas’ and the equally big consequences of those ideas on Church history. He demonstrates how the early Church fathers reconstructed Christianity in Platonic terms, mixing the Bible with Platonic thinking.

As we are shown the long slide away from our Jewish roots into Greek dualism we are given excellent summaries – neither too long nor too short – of Philo (and allegory), Origen, Augustine, and Aquinas. In each case there is just enough detail to convince us that “the great doctrines of Christianity had become a philosopher’s playground” (p42).

This may only be an introduction to a very large topic, but the main point comes across clearly. The Church is “far more Greek in its outlook than people could ever imagine and this is not a side issue, but very much a key battleground for the truth” (p60).

Reclaiming Our Heritage

Part Two is largely comprised of a series of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the Hebraic worldview that we need to reclaim.

Maltz starts by looking at the Bible itself and how it should be interpreted from a Hebraic perspective, and then goes on to examine the Hebrew language, family life and marriage, the Sabbath and especially the Jewish festivals and calendar. This latter section is the longest and most informative. The Jewish biblical festivals are “so instructional, so rich in meaning, so bursting in Jesus, that it can do us nothing but good to be aware of them” (p106).

Part Three revisits the idea, mentioned earlier in the book, that the body of Christ is meant to be One New Man. Here is a fascinating discussion on what this should entail, namely a balance between the two distinctive elements of Jew and Gentile. Not a blurring into one but a partnership, and a preparation for heaven!

No Apology Needed

At one point towards the end the author seems to apologise that he has meandered all over the place (though he adds hopefully, not randomly). In fact, there is no sense of meandering as you read through this book. It can be taken as a whole, or in parts. Although there is no index, there is an appendix of recommended further reading, helpfully arranged to coincide with the chapters of this book.

It covers its main themes well, and also ends with a plea for each Christian believer to take personal responsibility to examine the Bible through the eyes and experiences of the early Jewish believers, rather than the contact lens of Greek philosophy. (Amen: emphasis RB)

If we all individually re-evaluate our image of God and attitude to worship and fellowship then, as the subtitle suggests, the Church can find The Way again.

God's Signature - cover‘How the Church Lost The Way’ (190 pp, paperback, £10) is the first of Steve Maltz’s three books on the state of the Western church which are available from Saffron Planet Publishing. His website is Saltshakers. (Update: see Comments re availability on Kindle.)

Steve’s work will be featured in Prophecy TodayUK over the next few weeks. For more about Steve on this blog see my introductory remarks about ‘God’s Signature’ in Holy Treasure of ‘The Open Door’ (reading from sub-heading ‘A Deep Insight From Hebrew’).

Although I haven’t yet read this book on the Church I’m sure it’s as easy, enjoyable reading as ‘God’s Signature’.

PS: see also Jeff Benner’s brief intro’ on errors in Bible translations, About the Ancient Hebrew Research Centre (thank you Nelson Walters at The Gospel in the End-Times).

7th April: The Four Faces of God and Unity

Flying puzzles - Nokhoog Buchachon

A week ago today things happened that have since made me think, “Could Jesus’ prayer for all believers, as in John 17, at last be answered in our day?” Perhaps Father is already releasing indicators on this by scattering pieces of a puzzle for us to complete. As with most jigsaws it’s best to find and lay corner pieces and edges before tackling the larger picture, especially when the full picture isn’t as clear as we’d like it to be. But we can at least make a start on this ‘invisible jigsaw’…

After days of enquiring about overseas deliveries and as told in my footnote to this post, I was informed on 7th April that a copy of the out-of-print book ‘The Four Faces of God’ had been dispatched. It so happens – definitely not a coincidence – last Thursday, the 7th day of the 4th month of 2016, brought a quadruple focus upon a very specific theme.

First, two sisters in the Lord published related prophetic words from the Lord on 7th April.:

1 > Veronika West on the ‘Emerald Isle’ had a vision of ‘A Firestorm, Four Whirlwinds and Four Faces of God’ and in which she describes how it progressed:

“…I watched as these FIERY, BURNING AND ANOINTED ONES MOVED TOGETHER IN PERFECT UNITY, there were none greater than the other, shoulder to shoulder, and shield to shield they advanced and moved forward as ONE MIGHTY ARMY…” (emboldening added).

(Upon learning about the ‘God-incidence’ between the date she posted it on Facebook and the book’s despatch, which was absolutely nothing to do with her, she wrote that she was “truly blown away”.)

2 > For some ‘strange’ reason I got TWO copies of an email notification of what had been written earlier that day around the world and ‘down under’ by Lana Vawser:

‘While I was in the USA the Lord spoke to me about the visitation of a REVIVAL ANGEL that is being released across the earth that is marking the season we are in. We are in a season of revival and it is beginning to build and sweep across the earth. The Lord was certainly highlighting the magnitude of the revival that will be seen on a global scale, yet I felt a real emphasis from the Lord on the body of Christ and individuals. As I sat with the Lord pondering what He spoke about this angel of revival, I was surrounded by the need for reviving, refreshment and rejuvenation within the body of Christ. As I sat with the Lord He spoke to me about encounters with the angel/s of revival that is going to increase more and more in this season, where the Lord is going to send these angelic hosts to minister to the people of God. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) We do not worship angels, we worship Jesus, but we must recognise that angels are ministering spirits that are sent to us. As I saw this angel of revival that had been sent to the earth, there were many, many other angels who were accompanying him and they all had clocks in their hands. When I looked at the clocks all of them were at the same time “midnight”. As they came into the lives of believers they all sang in one accord “It’s time! It’s time! It’s time! It’s time for the GREAT REVIVE! It’s time! It’s time! It’s time for the GREAT REVIVE!”...'(read Here it Is…The Angel of Revival!!’)

I noticed the full message’s closing words have this line

‘The body of Christ is coming alive in Jesus, in purity, in life, in love, in UNITY.

3 > A regular reader of this blog emailed on 7th April about the Lord awakening her in the middle of the night on Easter Sunday about the church she and her husband are to attend:

‘He woke me, and said: “It’s time to GO!”…(email closes) The Rhema Word God has had for me the past few months is UNITY.’

4 > Did you notice ‘Unity’ is the focus of Malcolm Duncan’s March Message, ‘Watching What’s Happening in the Church’? – about which I blogged on 7th April:

“I lead Spring Harvest and for three years I have been working on an act of unity across the United Kingdom that will see all of the evangelical bible conventions and celebrations declaring that whatever our theological differences are, we are one in Christ Jesus.

NEXT (and fifth instance), upon his return from Spring Harvest my Dorset friend and author William Smith caught up with those blogs and emailed me about Malcolm,

“…The theme of Spring Harvest next year is unity. Unity, as you know, is the major outcome theme of my new book. I love such confirmation.” (emphases added)

SO we have ‘four corner pieces’ of a jigsaw puzzle displaying ‘UNITY’ in the Lord. Could they in any way be related to the four faces of God?  I humbly submit how this may be so:

Four Faces image

  1. dramatic vision of fire, whirlwinds and God – symbolic of the Eagle’s vision
  2. word from the Lord about angelic release – symbolic of the Lion’s rulership
  3. act of obedience to Lord and pastor – symbolic of Bull’s sacrificial service
  4. noticing and writing about theme – symbolic of Man’s anointing and calling.

Lastly but not least, lest we may forget, there’s this blog’s ‘blockbuster’! – the prophetic word Heidi Baker brought in late 2014 on Unity in ‘A New Move of God in the UK’ (the statistics of that post blasted through the ceiling!).

FOR SOMETHING TO BE STRESSED 5 TIMES ON THE SAME DAY MUST MEAN THE LORD WANTS OUR ATTENTION, AND IS POINTING OUT UNITY IS VITAL!

Next, we’ll look at scripture on this and an illuminating insight from early church history.

[Credit: ‘Flying puzzles’ by Nokhoog Buchachon, courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net ]