The night Jesus broke through the window!

(4 of 7) The second visitor over the night of 13-14th September 1989 was far more challenging than the first one during that evening’s chat – this time it is life or death!  Mine!!

THE HEAVENLY VISITOR

In a most unusual dream that night I go back in time. A dream so lucid that even thirty years later it remains vividly etched within me. So it’s exceptionally significant.

Come back with me (dream content in blue typeface, comments black).:

I am in my childhood home and standing in front of the large casement window in one corner of the lounge (opposite corner to the doorway). I look up into the inky, dark night sky outside.

A small flotilla of large, wingless aircraft drifts slowly across from left to right at high altitude and I groan, “Oh…not that flying saucer nonsense. I must be dreaming!” 

I’m sceptical about the existence of UFO’s, but now another ‘fleet’ of some sort appears from the right and heads towards the first.

(The dream now changes gear by going up a level from the usual mix of mental material to that of absolutely convincing lucidity…) Continue reading

The day I shut the door on Jesus!

(3rd of 7) NOTE: This two-part testimony was posted as one of my first blogs. Originally written over 25 years ago as ‘More Than A Dream’, it’s expanded to elaborate upon my changed life as a committed Christian in my journey into freedom.

THROUGH THE DEVIL’S DOOR!

A very brief recap:

Since my teens I’d wholeheartedly embraced esoteric spiritual doctrines and practices such as the Eastern and Theosophical belief of reincarnation and ascended masters, as well as those of Western occultism plus concepts generally known as deism.

I thought that as all religions are equal there are many paths to a supreme being –but which is not the same as the anthropomorphic deity of the Abrahamic religions. That is, it’s different to and far superior to human beings – a ‘cosmic mind’ with which we can be attuned and attain ‘cosmic consciousness’, as experienced by many and practised in the associations of which I was an active member.

I appreciated the linkage with mystical Islam of Sufism as well as having read its Book. It was only after becoming a born-again Christian that I studied its early history and came to understand its fundamental, doctrinal differences with Judaism and Christianity.

Thus, two decades of an occultic practicum made me disdainful of churches, clergy and laity. They were all so very behind the times – even archaic!  Intellectual and spiritual pride made me think their preaching could never compare with the profound philosophy found within ‘New Age’ movements. Such arrogance, of which I’m ashamed!

A DIFFERENT DOOR OPENS! Continue reading

The last day of my life came ‘like a thief in the night’!

NOTE: This was previously posted as one of my first blogs. Originally written 22 years ago as ‘More Than A Dream’, it’s now republished with slight changes for elaborating upon my life as a committed non-Christian in my journey Into freedom.

Two decades of in-depth occult study and self-development turned my attitude toward Christianity into one of disdain, as told here. By the 1980’s I’d become intellectually and spiritually very arrogant, even contemptuous of church, clergy and believers. They were all so behind the times – even archaic! I thought their preaching could not compare with the more profound philosophy found within New Age movements.

A door is opened!

Sometime in July/August 1989, a young man named Peter knocked at the front door with an invitation to hear the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham at Earls Court in London. We could be taken in a coach trip from outside our house west of Reading. How much? Nada, entirely free!

Naturally, I rejected the offer outright but my almost-teenage son piped up he’d like to go because a classmate had told him about it. So I said I’d take him.

As can be gathered from the story of my journey thus far into spiritual captivity, personal experiences had made me extremely wary of churchgoers. Never did I suspect my own well-being hung on that moment.

Can you imagine my bewilderment, therefore, upon sitting ‘up in the gods’ at Earls Court and finding myself agreeing with what Billy Graham said as he spoke from the rostrum?  I was flummoxed! Utterly bewildered! Who’s thinking that? Can that be me? Never!… Really?

Afterwards, as a follow-up, those who’d been on the trip were invited to an informal meeting at a local ‘free’ church. The leader explained that similar chats could be held   at our own homes, should we so wish. I agreed to be on-hand for my son, but I was NOT personally interested. A youth worker, Peter, was assigned to help him but, in practice, he ended up discussing the material with me.

The evening of Wednesday 13th September 1989, is Peter’s third visit to our house to discuss Billy Graham’s follow-up material entitled Life. I have not yet divulged my firmly held and entrenched opinions, but this time he goes too far!

What went wrong?

This session is entitled, ‘Yoga, Eastern Religions and The Occult’ – all of which I’d been involved in since before Peter had been born!

Peter shows a diagram of two cliff-like objects facing one another. One represents heaven and the other, earth, with a large deep gap separating them from one another. Over this Peter then places an overlay depicting a large plus sign over the gap. The ends of the horizontal arms touch each object, thereby bridging heaven and earth. He explains that the cross of Christ is the bridge between both realms.

He then says the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This statement implies my ideas are incorrect. Without giving the game away I gently question him on this. But he insists not many paths lead to the same, supreme God – there’s only one way to one almighty God and it’s through his Son Jesus Christ.

What’s to be done with a young man half my age who unwittingly points out the error of my ways?

I’m thinking, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. How can he, who’s not done anything I know far more about…just how can he tell me it’s wrong?  He’s wasting my time!” Peter’s ideas are not only mistaken but also intolerant. Before the end of the evening I’ve had enough!

So I bring our discussion to an early close, politely bid him farewell and excuse myself from any future meeting. Peter is most gracious about it – as ever, he smiles politely and goes on his way.

Little did I know that I may not make it through the night!    

That night’s second visitor was far more challenging – this time it is life or death!

In a most unusual dream that night I go back in time. A dream so lucid that well over twenty years later, it remains vividly etched within me. So it must be exceptionally significant.  Come back with me (dream content in blue typeface, comments black).:

I am in my childhood home and standing in front of the large casement window in one corner of the lounge (opposite corner to the doorway). I look up into the inky, dark night sky outside.

A small flotilla of large, wingless aircraft drifts slowly across from left to right at high altitude and I groan, “Oh…not that flying saucer nonsense. I must be dreaming!” 

I’m sceptical about the existence of UFO’s, but now another ‘fleet’ of some sort appears from the right and heads towards the first.

(The dream now changes gear by going up a level from the usual mix of mental material to that of absolutely convincing lucidity…)

The ‘light goes on’!  In my ‘knower’, I realise the first fleet is demonic and the second is masses of angels under the command of Jesus Christ. (I did not believe in them, and regarded Jesus as one of many world teachers. Here, I see no individuals but inwardly know the situation)

I think I’m about to watch an amazing heavenly battle…but…OH NO!  Somehow, I now know Jesus has espied me far down below and is coming down directly towards me!

All I see is a distant bright light very rapidly getting brighter and larger as it drops down to my location, just like an airliner approaching a runway to land at night. 

Instantly, I realise my life has been one of sin that contrasts starkly against Jesus’ own holiness. Right away I realise what’s claimed about the Judgement is true – but mine is about to happen right now!

Beyond any doubt whatsoever I suddenly realise my involvement in the occult was most definitely wrong. Consequently, I deserve the undesirable abode!

Groaning “My number’s up!” I inwardly tremble in fearful knowledge I’m about to die at any moment. An invisible trapdoor I’m standing on will drop me straight into hell.

Utmost mortal terror strikes!  I dive under the drop-leaf table by the wall to the left of the window so I can hide from Jesus. But he knows I’m hiding there and swoops down straight through the wall on the other side of the corner window. He’s standing in the room and right beside the table!

Cowering below the table with my back turned towards him, I glance over my shoulder and see him from the knees down, his body and face out of sight above the table.

Most unexpectedly, somehow I have the courage to reach my hand out backwards to grab at the hem of Jesus’ robe…

As I tug, the event goes into yet another level of revelation regarding my childhood…Then I awake! Thoroughly alert, further sleep eludes me!

The dream reminds me of an evocative small picture that impressed me as a child – the return of Jesus Christ:

1st Sunday in Advent - Image

Later I understand that my terror had been ‘the fear of God’ brought through the Holy Spirit in convicting me of my personal sinfulness (ie. wrongdoing) and, thus, preparing me to receive God’s grace (ie. undeserved favour).

Also, what happened after reaching for Jesus proves he’s closely acquainted with the private details of my thoughts as a little boy.  The dream’s conclusion shows he is going to topple my childish concepts of him and replace them with a sure knowledge of his true identity.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” (Psalm 111). Mercifully, he plucked me from the domain of darkness to bring me into his own and receive its blessings. I deserved none of that. Truly, Amazing Grace – how awesome and wonderful..!

As a result of the most remarkable dream I’d ever had, I carefully reconsidered all my New Age and occultic notions. Meditational and mystical exercises had resulted in my having some unusual, ‘psychic’ dreams, but none whatsoever like this one.

The only remotely similar dream was that of an ‘altered’ state of consciousness known as ‘nirvana’, or bliss, where I’d been taken behind its alluring golden light.  However, ecstasy then turned to abject terror at the sight of an approaching hideous, devouring beast of blackness far worse than any nightmare!  (I wasn’t into drugs.)  But in this new dream fear had been overcome by Jesus himself and his wonderful mercy and love.

Incredible timing of fresh confirmation 

Later we will consider how that dream-vision was validated as being real. But for now I want to draw your attention to a remarkable revelatory word given two days before I’m due to give a brief account of my journey into freedom at a breakfast.

Before having that dream I don’t think I’d heard of Jesus being in charge of angels for I was completely unfamiliar with the Bible. In later years I’d learn that the pre-incarnate Christ appeared to Joshua outside Jericho as ‘Commander of the LORD’s army’, (‘Chief of the host of Yahweh’ in original Hebrew at Joshua 5:14-15).

And, in countless sessions of solid Biblical instruction received since then I don’t recall hearing anything in-depth on Jesus’ role as the captain of the angelic hosts. That is, until last Sunday!

The timing of this fresh confirmation was the second of three clear references on three successive days to the content of a brief outline of my testimony, which had already been prepared for delivery on the 4th day!

Revd John Kilpatrick changed his sermon to bring a word the Lord had given him in the early hours of Saturday at 2hrs 22. We were listening live as part of the regular online congregation and the timing impacted my spirit because 22 is not only the date of my birthday but also and particularly because there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. (I’ve previously had occasion to note the personal relevance of two in 2.12.2012.)

Far more importantly in this word, the Lord of Hosts draws attention to the angelic hosts and their present and imminent activity.  It reminded me of the above visitation – AND it is notable that John focussed upon the same scripture that’s precisely relevant to my dream, as will be explained in forthcoming instalments of my journey.

For now, however, this mighty revelatory word deserves due, reverent consideration and reflection before proceeding further. Thus, you may wish to see the next post >>

Alternatively, for the next stage of my journey into freedom click on 5 below.

Instalments

  1. No 7 and my journey into freedom
  2. “You shouldn’t be at our school!”
  3. Searching for truth leads me into captivity
  4. The last day of my life came ‘like a thief in the night’
  5. Rescued from Satan by The Lord of Hosts
  6. The real Truth delivers me from captivity
  7. Confirmations of the reality of my visionary encounter (This is 2nd part of a conversation refuting a claim that it was the result of childhood indoctrination)

Bible quotations are by courtesy of BibleGateway.com – thank you for this facility.

Jesus and Israel; then, now and forever

Courtesy of James Mark Long, www.propheticartists.comIn munching upon meditative ‘morsels’ from the opening of Hebrews 12, I didn’t expect my subconscious mind to mull over their meaning. I’d assumed those couple of blogs had put the subject ‘to bed’, so to speak – but no. That was on Thursday before going ‘incommunicado’ until Monday, as usual. Yet something started stirring in my spirit.

Two days later saw me digging into scripture before going to bed myself. How could I know I’d find out that its eye-opening conclusion is relevant to others.  So if that’s the case for you too, or if you’d notice a similar coincidence, the details are as follows.:

Pointer No 1

After having referred to the faith of Old Testament and New Testament believers – or a ‘cloud of witnesses’ – being perfected, I sensed a bigger picture of the Lord’s purposes. Having written about ‘original’ and ‘spiritual’ Israel I recalled Jesus’ reply to a question posed after His victory over death, and which I’ve often pondered.

During that 40 day period Jesus spoke about things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (That is, of God’s rule in human hearts, lives and situations.)  Consider doctor Luke’s carefully investigated account, per Luke 1:3, of what had happened about 30 years earlier when Jesus gave his apostles this instruction (emphases mine):

 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:4-8 NKJV – Biblegateway.com]

As the purpose of this post is to highlight specific verses, I won’t go into any depth other than give pointers to ponder, and the following as a lead-in.

‘Israel’ would have meant not only the dominant Jews of Jerusalem and Judea, but also the other eleven historical tribes of Israel. Jesus had told his close followers about the Kingdom, presumably in greater depth than during the pre-Resurrection years of public ministry, and that they were about to receive the One who empowered His ministry direct from their heavenly Father Himself.

Thus, it was logical that the apostles were thinking they’d all be ministering in the power Jesus had exhibited. Consequently, it was reasonable to suppose they would then change the religious and cultural situation in Jerusalem and Judea.

No doubt they had in mind the greatest period in their history under King David, as well as Daniel’s prophetic vision about removing the power of the supreme earthly empire, Rome (see Daniel 7:27). But Jesus knew differently. Had they been incorrect in their logical conclusion of restoring the Kingdom to Israel, then Jesus would have said so and corrected them. (He’d done that when referring to returning to God – John 14:2)

Nor did He rebuke them for such an idea, or even remind them He’d already told them the Kingdom would be taken away from Israel and given, “…to people (ie. Gentiles) who will produce its fruit” (Matt 21:23).  No, He simply said it wasn’t for them to know the timing – and it was Father’s business and His alone, not even their Master’s!

Interestingly, the original Greek indicates a conditional ‘IF’ (ei) between those verses. In other words, “If (or when) the dipping in Holy Spirit happens, is it the time you-are-restoring the Kingdom to Israel?” (See Scripture4All Greek Interlinear Bible, Acts 1)

Therefore, the relevance of and restoration for Israel MUST be on God’s agenda!

Consequently, the perfecting of faith for living and departed Jews and Christians could well be part and parcel of that agenda. I think Jesus had already given the apostles a clue and they later shared it with Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, or He may even have revealed it to him personally.

Pointer No 2

Also,  Jesus would have had that in mind when describing the signs all believers should watch out for. He said there will come a time of, “great distress in the land and wrath against this people“.  In this account, Luke writes that Jesus went on to say,

“…And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled…”    [Luke 21:24 NKJV] 

Pointer No 3

In his magisterial letter to the church in Rome, Paul described the differences between the OT and NT faith and what had happened to the Jews as a result of rejecting Jesus as their Messiah. He stressed they’d not been rejected by the Lord,

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” [Romans 11 NKJV]

I trust that my referring to these scriptures makes sense. It’s offered simply for weighing and consideration, maybe as an aid to further scriptural meditation?  Yet more was to follow…

Courtesy Watcharakun at Freedigitalphotos.comIn flicking to and fro between these scriptures and adding to scribbled notes in my old NIV Bible, I spotted its note, Who Is Mechizedek? (see Topic). Hebrews 7 explains the similarities between this king of Jerusalem, who blessed  Abraham, and Jesus Christ. Perhaps he’s an influential connection between OT and NT witnesses?

Surprise!

ian-300x268Just before preaching the next morning, our minister mentioned having come from Days of Wonder meeting in Cardiff with New Zealander Ian Clayton, where he’d given some insights on Melchizedek!!!  Upon telling one of our group about this ‘God-incidence’, I was told the same  reference had unexpectedly popped up for a friend.   So the couple of days next week when Ian stops off outside Guildford during his tour of Wales, Scotland and Ireland should be very interesting indeed. I pray so Lord.

Prophetic praise and worship

Courtesy of James Mark Long, www.propheticartists.comSomething ‘weird’ happened after writing that last piece. In fact, I’d intended tackling a higher priority of fulfilling a promise to respond to comments I’d made on another blog.  But I thought – or maybe was reminded!  – it was more important to cover  the prophetic word Lydia delivered in worship. So I blogged about that instead and finished by midday in time for lunch and our preparing for a church group meeting here that afternoon.

When all assembled were refreshed and had chatted, pastor circulated a hand-out that she wanted us to consider – Prophetic Praise and Worship….what a ‘God-incident’!

In my opinion, its following fast on the heels of the morning’s matter underscores and confirms the accuracy and importance of the prophetic word I’d only just written about.

Here, with permission, are some of that paper’s pertinent points for your edification:

First, for any believer who’s uneasy with prophecy, here’s the scriptural warrant for its incorporation into worship – NIV quotations:

The Prophetic Nature of Praise and Worship

1 Samuel 10:5-6 “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.

2 Chron 29:5 He stationed the Levites in the temple of the Lord with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the Lord through his prophets.

Revelation 19:9-10 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” 10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”

Therefore:

  1. The word of God that testifies about Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy,
  2. The testimony that Jesus gave through His life style is in the Spirit of prophecy,
  3. The testimony we give of Him in praise and worship is in the Spirit of prophecy,
  4. As we testify about Him in praise and worship the Spirit of prophecy is released.

Characteristics of Praise and Worship

  1. It is vital in the preparation of the Bride for the great day,
  2. We must be willing to go with the flow of the prophetic anointing and expect it in our worship services,
  3. Prophecy means: communicating under divine inspiration by…
  4. speaking/singing out what Holy Spirit is saying to the Church – listen!
  5. scripture exhorts us to desire the prophetic gifting:

1 Cor 14:1-3  Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.  For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Num 11: 26-29 … Yet the Spirit also rested on (Eldad and Medad), and they prophesied in the camp.  27 A young man ran and told Moses, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ 28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ assistant since youth, spoke up and said, ‘Moses, my lord, stop them!’ 29 But Moses replied, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!’

The Language of Prophetic Praise and Worship

  • The language of love; the Bridegroom wooing the Bride and her response to Him
  • The song of the LORD, the Bridegroom and the Bride
  • Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
  • Flowing in the gifts of Holy Spirit
  • Proclamation of salvation, redemption, victory, glory, power etc of the Trinity
  • Proclamation of judgement and victory over Satan
  • Proclamation of future events – as by Lydia on Sunday; Julie Meyer in October.

[Courtesy of Heart After God Ministries, Rev Ron and Lindi Masters, South Africa. Lindi moved into international ministry some time after Ron went home to the Lord.]

Revd John Kilpatrick: a season change

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,  until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Thus opens Luke’s account of Holy Spirit’s activity through the Apostles: Acts 1)

I wonder, could ‘God-incidence’ be one way of learning about the Kingdom?  After all, we’re now in the church calendar’s post-Resurrection period.

Cynics and atheist’s would claim there’s no such thing as God-incidence – it’s fanciful imagination or, at best, only the coincidence of chance. Or it’s simply serendipity: the happy, beneficial occurrence of random, chance events. To believers in Jesus Christ, however, ‘God-incidence’ is just one of many blessings of being in a relationship with Him – especially when it’s instructive about Him and His ways. For example,

JohnK 214_logoThe day immediately after my hearing about God bringing a new season, as related by Dr Sharon Stone and associates here in UK, we heard pastor John Kilpatrick over the ‘pond’ in Alabama tell his congregation what he’d heard the Lord say. John introduced his message as follows.:

I got a message I couldn’t wait to preach this morning because every-thing that I’ve talked about so far is relevant. Man! Are y’all ready for this?….I studied all of Friday night at home…I went to bed…I woke about two in the morning and was awake ’til about six…as I lay there awake on the bed, Holy Spirit was just talking to  me….

Man, I saw something…I should have seen it…I didn’t even think about it…I’d been busy with other things…but Holy Spirit brought it to my memory right there in the stillness of my bedroom…and the Lord said,

“Tell My people I have brought about a season change.”

John then considered the stresses of life and difficult issues where folk wonder why prayer isn’t doing anything to help and question the lack of response from God. Sound pastoral teaching edifies and encourages everyone. So we unreservedly recommend   this for readers who need a strong uplift in their spirit.

It’s interesting that John taught from the prophet Daniel’s vision of the war against the saints by the ‘little horn’ – it prevails until the Ancient of Days comes and pronounces judgement in favour of the people of the Most High:

21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favour of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.  (Daniel 7 NIV)

To learn more, click to watch a briefer, edited version or better still, the full session. If you choose the latter then scroll to 45 minutes for the introduction. At the end John delivers several prophetical words followed by brief, closing worship. At 1hr 46m pastor briefly teaches everyone how to best receive his message and those words.  Now this is astounding because what he instructs matches precisely what had been given to me only 6 hours earlier!!!  Surely, this serendipity can only have been of God!

(At that morning’s service here, our minister taught about the prophetic gifting and we then practised prophesying over one another. One person had a picture for me that connects directly into and enhances an important one from 1996! Then, 6 hours later, the pastor over in the States used the same concept for everyone…WOW.)

So, dear reader, should you be in need of encouragement for whatever reason then do take time to watch, take in the teaching and wait on Holy Spirit’s words of wisdom. Be interactive!  And He’s going to bring more next Sunday…

May you be mightily blessed by our Lord Jesus.

Note for new readers:
A string of over a dozen ‘coincidences’ last year connected to Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Bells was crowned by a God-incident validating that trail’s blessed origin. I learned serendipity is one of four Biblical laws for advancing the Kingdom of God. Next, upon first hearing New Zealander Ian Clayton I noted his describing serendipity in my own terms as being like an orchestra – I doubt he’d read my blog!  He considers serendipity to be an activity of God’s Spirit of Wisdom (as in Isaiah 11:2).]

Abiding in God’s Word

Jesus told the Jews who believed Him, , IF you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 emphasis added)

COME, take a train ride with me and consider the relevance of Jesus’ claim for today.

DSC_4616Why on a train? Another intriguing ‘train’ of thoughts and insights is about to pass by, like one of those old-time steam locomotives. They amble along, which allows time for passengers to chat as well as to explore carriages. I can rummage around looking for any interesting ‘cargo’ and such ‘trunks’ often hold hidden gems.  Also, conversation with passengers may bring a confirmation, an affirmation or even a revelatory word from the Lord. So won’t you go back three weeks and share my latest ‘trip’ with me?

It’s a free ride, so no need to buy a ticket as we dash through to the platform where its entrance acts as a ‘portal’ and we jump back three weeks in time. On board this short, now moving train we’re welcomed by a kaleidoscopic collection of inter-linked thoughts and insights. Let’s check what’s in this first carriage before we move further along the train…

1st ‘carriage’

Here I sit to dig out of my briefcase some prophetic words I’d been given in 1996 (see Why I’m writing). This sheet of paper opens by stating how the day started with a call from someone who’d heard the Lord instruct them to call me with verses 3, 5 and 9 in the Book of Joshua. Re-reading that first chapter now, however, my gaze fixes upon verses 6 to 8 leading into verse 9 and some words seem to have an added emphasis, as below.:

[1After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2“Moses my servant is dead. Now then…]7Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

JoshuaMy study Bible says this account of the Israelite tribes’ journey into the land that the God of Abraham had promised him and his descendants was written about 3,400 years ago!   I note the fact that Moses’ closest assistant was told to keep entirely  focused upon what Moses wrote and upon nothing else. Only by so doing would Joshua and all his people prosper, and God would be with them where they were about to go!

[What Moses wrote is known as the Pentateuch, a Greek term meaning ‘five-volumed book’ and derived from its Jewish designation, ‘five-fifths of the law’. The Israelites knew it as ‘Torah’, meaning ‘instruction’.  It is the first five books of the Old Testament: namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.[

Then came an insight: the Torah was the only Standing Instruction this national leader had for his guidance. Furthermore, it was and is the word of God – Holy Scripture. That five-fold book was all they had to believe and follow as holy writ – unlike today with 61 more books comprising later history, poetry and prophetical writings inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. The first 5 books were all Joshua had to go on!  Even so, God promised to be with him.

So, about 3,400 years ago Joshua had his instructions but must have gained so much more under the oversight of the Living God. Over the next 1,400 years the descendants of those ancient Hebrews received many more writings inspired by God. And then about 2,000 years ago, God once again drew alongside them as ‘Immanuel’. [A Hebrew word meaning ‘With us is God’ and a title for Jesus Christ, as used by the OT prophet Isaiah when he prophesied Jesus’ virgin birth 700 years earlier – Isaiah 7:14 refers.]

By the time this later Joshua (which means ‘saviour’) lived amongst the Jews as Jesus of Nazareth, their scripture had grown from 5 to 39 authoritative books, and which are  known to Christians as the Old Testament. [Some traditional Christian denominations recognise a few more books: see How many books are in the Bible?]

Jesus taught the people with an authority greater than that of their priests because His words came direct from God. [See John 8: 25-39 for His declaration on this issue and which leads into the opening verse of this blog. The last part of v 32 is often quoted but ignores the specific condition for achieving freedom – ie. abiding in God’s word.]

Within a few decades of Jesus’ life another 27 books written by apostles and disciples were recognised as being inspired by God and collated into the New Testament as a complete Bible. So we Christians have a huge Standing Instruction.

Another insight comes: As in Joshua’s time, Jesus’ first followers had God’s promise to go with them, only this time they wouldn’t be going into just the small area of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. This time Jesus, the Son of God, commissioned His followers to ‘go to the ends of the world’ after the Holy Spirit would visit and stay upon them.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. [Matthew 28:18-20]

Like Joshua, those Apostles’ and disciples’ Standing Instructions were based upon an existing body of authoritative scripture that was augmented not only by Jesus’ teachings but also by continuing personal direction from Jesus and the Father. That is, this time God’s promise to always be with them was not just for one person only but for many, and His Holy Spirit would be present within them as an endowment of power! Thus, they then lived and moved with God’s Spirit upon them.

2nd ‘carriage’

The week I’m re-visiting personal prophecies I also come across Bobby Conner’s word for 2013, Calling All Warriors. It stirs me deeply and seems so appropriate for today. (It also connects into the ‘warrior’ word from the UK Prophetic Council, as published here.)

Awaken Your Might - credit; James Nesbit www.jamesnart.com

Awaken Your Might by James Nesbit – purchase from http://www.jamesnart.net

On the Saturday, a mentoring day, I see an inspirational picture matching Bobby’s word.  Also that morning, Dr Stone states that the 1st chapter of Joshua is important for these days. So I open my old NIV at that very place and grin. What do you know!  As I do so Sharon emphasises her message by quoting the verses I’d just seen and which I’d highlighted many years ago (as in above image).:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9]

I’m astounded, as you may have realised from my published account of that day (here). Sharon prophesies that the Church will be moving into what it was always meant to be like, but it will not be easy – as when Joshua led the Israelites into their Promised Land.

3rd ‘carriage’

The next day at church our minister teaches about ‘Abiding in His Word’ – and for me this directly connects into Joshua again!  As we considered in the 1st carriage, ‘Abiding’ was God’s Standing Instruction to Joshua, and repeated by Jesus to His followers!  The minister then opens this topic by stating:

“The Bible is not a fence that contains God, that is used to restrict Him and His works – it reveals Him!  It is guide-lines to indicate who He is and what He can/will do. The Bible is a platform from which He operates!”

Next, she quotes Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, California. (It so happens I’m reading  Healing Unplugged, which is a deep discussion between him and Randy Clark about their personal healing ministries. We’ve listened enthralled to Bill several times for he greatly loves teaching from the Word, thereby giving listeners fresh insights.) Now, our minister quotes him as follows:

“It’s hard to have the same fruit as the early Church when you value a book they didn’t have more than the Holy Spirit, whom they did have.”

That reflects in part my earlier thoughts. Next, she goes on to refer to what Jesus told the Jews about God’s own testimony about Jesus being shown though the work He was doing for them:

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

Our South African minister Lindi summarises the meaning of verse 38:

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

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

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

Wow, all this is amplifying and enhancing my meditations during the week.

4th ‘carriage’

The very next day I’m prompted – and I don’t know why I should do so – to check that a link on an old posting is working. This is the source’s homepage for The Bridegroom Cometh, but I find it’s dead!  So I check again a few hours later, but this time I’m so utterly astounded to see there the picture I’d bought only two days ago and hangs in the study!  (As above under ‘2nd carriage’.) Moments later Nina enters the study, sees the picture on-screen and her jaw drops!

IS IT ANY WONDER I was absolutely stunned? (As first reported here)

What is our Lord and God saying and indicating? 

Can you hear Him?

May I summarise?…

God gives plenty of instructions for us to meditate upon, to follow and live by so that we will always remain, or abide, in them. In addition to that He gives us Himself – so what more could we possibly ask or want?

Here’s one of my favorites on abiding from that very special, private teaching time in the upper room on the eve of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion.:

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me…” 

Then, when talking about His being the True Vine, Jesus again stresses the great importance of abiding in God’s holy word.:

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love…”

These are from John 14 and John 15 respectively in NKJV, but it’s much better to read the whole event and thereby gain its full context. So why not invite the Lord to be with you as you read and meditate upon chapters 13-17 of the Gospel according to John?

May He be with you in Spirit…

Our train halts in a station for a quite a while and we take a break to walk around the station. Here we find a number of civilians and military personnel dressed as though they’re in the 1940s!  We recognise one distinguished figure boarding as we’re called back on board and enter the 3rd carriage to continue on our journey (click to proceed).

In the right place at the right time!

Let’s continue considering coincidences in more depth. My last two postings (here and here) reported upon connected instances of serendipity; the fortuitous occurrence of meaningful random events or coincidences. However, when these seem to relate to our relationship with God and we can discern His hand or instruction in events, then many refer to them as ‘God-incidents’, as you may have gathered from the last posts.

Therein, you’ll have glimpsed a train of serendipity.  In fact, each event along with its associated insights could only have been recognised because of a related previous event. For example, had I not been there then this would not have happened; had I not done this then that would not have been understood.

Furthermore, I’m reminded of scientific, physical laws of cause and effect as well as of simple arithmetic and maths. And recent coincidences are no simple linked chain but more like a tree, its trunk representing the observed sequence of events. Then three branches, and their own offspring, shoot out from the time of my ‘mistaken’ search on the web.  So now’s the time to divulge the amazing, crowning event!

Therefore, we may come to understand how this concatenation, or series of over a dozen related events, can be regarded as a distinct entity. It may be hard for non-believer and believer alike to even consider that the whole is pointing to the Living God – if not coming direct from Him.

But an astounding ‘God-incidence’ actually confirms that He is in these insights. It’s a though, using the last post’s metaphor of an orchestra, the conductor himself turns around and addresses the audience – like in the last night of the BBC Proms when the conductor humourously speaks to the celebrating promenaders before leading into the traditional, rousing grand finale.  Funnily enough, after that post’s musing about music I came across this from Professor Maucus du Sautoy:

With music you pick out the connections between one theme and another, and it is the same in maths……musicians are mathematicians at heart even though they may not know it. (Telegraph Weekend Review 2.6.2012)

GLORIOUS GOD-INCIDENCE VALIDATES GOD-INCIDENTS

Within two days of being amazed by unexpected events I received validation to everything from a recognised prophet.  In her mentoring class held opposite Windsor Castle, Dr Sharon Stone gave a brief resume of strategies and said Jesus has already brought breakthrough (word used by Beni Johnson) and opened doors.

We need to cross the threshold and walk through, as well as to guard our tongues against negative speech. With kind permission to quote, here’s my brief note of what Sharon taught:

Four Biblical Laws for Advancement of The Kingdom

Posture – How we do this is key – act on what God says, recalling that Jesus’ instruction at John 21 to the disciples to move only a few feet brought different and positive result.

Obedience – This is the watermark for next glory move of God that’s being released. Matt 17:24-27 shows how Peter’s obedience to God’s inspiration found and brought forth glory. His calling’s extreme purposes required extreme obedience.

Serendipity – “Amazing, accidental discovery! Wow! No matter what we do and what God does He surprises us with lots more – eg. Pentecost”. See Ephesians 3:14-21 – verse 20 in Amplified Bible reads:

20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] – 21 to Him be glory…. (my emphasis)

Adaptability – We can get stuck in old familiar ways and find we don’t know how to handle the new. We set our size according to our ‘container’ but God wants us to move into the FAR bigger – but we don’t have a long time to adapt! Ask God to help us do it.

Sharon then said Revelation 10:5-6 applies: no more delay (as well as Matt 21:1-3).

There it is, dear reader – I was left ‘God-smacked’!  This prophet had given scriptural support, if not reasons, for the concatenation of God-incidents, thereby validating the ideas and insights into the deeper significance to Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Bells:

ALL to and for His glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations forever and ever.

[Hah – whilst separating sentence from preceding into closing paragraph, my pc begins playing a Vineyard classic, All Glory To Him!]