Prophetic Insights

The Consummate Church

13 March 2012

"One day, today is going to become The Day." This is a little "chant" of mine, which I think some churches might well be heartily sick and tired of hearing me repeat? But recite it I shall, if possible (Deo volente!) right up and into that Day...known to the Prophet Malachi ("messenger of Jah") as "the great and dreadful day of the Lord"! (4.5)


It is that Day of days, when the Lamb of God (once so sorely "enthroned" upon the Cross on Golgotha) will be vindicated by His "coronation" as the Lion of the tribe of Judah on the Temple Mount in Israel's Jerusalem.


And before today crashes into The immovable and unyielding Day, there will be ever-intensifying collision between the advancing Kingdom of Heaven and the retreating powers of darkness. This, the soon-coming King Himself calls "a great tribulation"! (Mt 24.21 & 29)


Last year, I wrote and published the e-book, "THE TRIBULATION CHURCH" ( Its key points are.-


1) There will be no Rapture (escape) for the Church before or during the final "great tribulation".


2) Before his fate is sealed by the Return of the King, the devil will hurl every vile thing and employ every foul means to evade his doom by trying to annihilate God's People Israel and God's People the Church.


3) The Church's experience in Hitler's Germany (1933-45) is one of the most powerful and significant prophecies for the End Times. It insistently teaches us two indisputable facts.-


(a) Church as "organisation", maintained by administration and events, is comparatively easily seduced and neutralised by antichrist. Its congregants are meeting-dependent, and require ever-increasing doses of re-assurance and/or excitement from their authority figures...the ever-changing, latest-greatest, "hero" of faith and power. When the crunch came in the 1930s, the German Church just could not compete with Hitler's torch-lit pageants, spell-binding oratory, and promises of "heaven on earth"!


(b) The German prophet, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's message to his own and our day (communicated by deed even more than word) is that God's People are above all an "organism"..."a body with connected interdependent parts sharing a common life" of prayer.


"The church, which is His body." (Eph 1.22-23)


"Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Saviour of the body." (Eph 5.23)


Dietrich was charged by those of God's People who resisted Hitler, with the training of their pastors. He was led, with them, not into programmes of greater intellectual achievement, more efficient business practices, or more skillful event management. The Spirit of Christ trained them for conflict with antichrist by pilgrim-ing them together into " 'a well ordered and well regulated life' hinging and pivoting upon prayer"!


It is my well-considered and now implacable conviction, that that alone which will remain and prove to be Church at the end of the End Times, will be made up of those who have determined to be, and have been made by the very grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, "a house of prayer for all the nations". (Is 56.7, Mk 11.17)


What this will precisely mean practically, for this or that local church in a particular city or nation...I would not arrogantly pretend to know. Nevertheless, I am determined to continue to push and keep on advocating (no matter how unwelcome!) the message of "THE TRIBULATION CHURCH"


I am prepared to press and agitate to the uttermost, for the following to take place.-


A) Every local church to view itself and understand itself first-and-foremost as being, not an organisation which holds meetings (no matter how well-attended or "anointed") or provides social services...but as a family that prays together daily.


B) Every local church to form and support a prayer cell in its "heart" (not just a tolerated, fringe activity!) which undertakes night-and-day corporate prayer based upon the Psalms. This will radically alter the origin of a church's true motivation; prayer, rather than board meetings and flow charts, will become its constant "genesis" and dynamo.


As the Scottish theologian, Peter Taylor Forsyth (1848-1921) has asserted, "There is no such engine ('driving force') for the growth and command of the moral soul, single or social, as prayer...It sets us also at the very centre of the world in God, which gives us the true hierarchy of things."


The German contemplative and martyr of the Nazis, Edith Stein said, "Official history is silent about these invisible and incalculable forces (of prayer)...Our time is more and more determined, when all else fails, to hope for ultimate salvation from these hidden sources (of prayer)."


This need not in any way-shape-or-form threaten or undermine a church's leadership structure...provided its leaders are not merely praying lip-service to being a house of prayer. If they do "play games", and continue covertly to "rule" (Heb 3.7) from their offices rather than their knees, then such deserve to feel discombobulated and should expect "unrest and base actions"! (Jas 3.16)


I say "prayer cells" situated within the local body, rather than an organisation. It has ever been God's way to bring necessary change, not by grand-scale, impressive, wholesale restructuring, but by the "seed" principle. Thus King Jesus describes His Kingdom.-


"How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade." (Mk 4.30-32)


In the world, "great" things begin in a grand way...all trumpets and drums. In the Kingdom of God, they commonly begin microscopically.-


"The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened." (Mt 13.33)


God will reform His Church into an authentic "house of prayer for all nations" in readiness for the last of the Last Days, through strategically placed, white-hot "coals" of night-and-day prayer. Each might only consist of three or four pray-ers, for whom adoration and intercession are their "meat and drink"! They will most likely be quite unimpressive and unassuming folk, who have nevertheless proven to their own satisfaction that, "God will direct other men in Spirit to provide us with all that is necessary for this life (of prayer), such as food and clothes and everything else, when He sees that we refuse to leave off the work of His love to busy ourselves about those things." ("The Cloud of Unknowing" Anon 14th C)


And because such believe absolutely that the local church is God's basic and irreplaceable building block for His Kingdom, their prayers will.-


(i) Fly like sparks out into the wider church, kindling more and fiercer fires of praise, worship, and intercession.


(ii) Slowly but surely elevate the overall water table of prayer and community across the whole Body.


To those who retreat from this prospect muttering about "mysticism" and "Rome", etc etc...I would say as crudely and bluntly as is decent, "Grow up!" If someone offers you a glass of cool, clean water, do you feel obliged to chew up and swallow the vessel after you drink? If you did, you'd be pretty dumb...if not mad!


I simply couldn't care less how God's good and holy gifts come packaged. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was accused of compromising his Reformed faith. But at the end of WW2, his students gratefully testified just how well his training (living a life of organised, corporate praying of the Psalms) had prepared them for Gestapo prisons and concentration camps.


Only Eternity will finally and fully reveal what fires were lit and what sparks flew out into the Nazi darkness, from Dietrich's "primitive...underground" seminary which was "buried" in the "tiny" Baltic village of Finkenwalde. His "school of prayer's" first abode was described as a "neglected pigsty" which the students themselves made habitable. How are we preparing today, for our own inevitable time of trial, tomorrow?


"For who has despised the day of small things?" (Zec 4.10)


"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage." (Ezr 9.8)


"And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, 'Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.' " (Eze 10.2)




Under His Feet

24 February 2012

"And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Eph 1.22-23)

In the 13th chapter of The Revelation, the two powers (1) which have ever opposed God on earth, appear to range themselves at the Last hour "against the Lord and against His Anointed" who is about to be "installed...upon Zion, My holy mountain." (Ps 2.2-6)

All too often, Christians when forming their eschatology (End Times' beliefs) get carried away on a tide of horrified fascination with the dragon and his beasts. For this reason (and also for the sake of Truth itself) it is of the utmost importance to allow Revelation 10 to cast its long, powerful, and significant shadow right across chapter 13.

In essence, in chapter 10 we "see" at the eleventh hour of this Age (v7 "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound" Mt 24.31, 1 Co 15.52, 1 Th 4.16) a "strong angel coming down out of heaven" to stand with "his right foot on the sea and his left on the land". (v2)

As I have already explained in footnote (1), in the Bible, the "earth" is a symbol of the supernatural, and the "sea" represents the world. It is of paramount importance at The End, when everything is being turned on its head and shaken, that we see clearly and understand completely that God has "put all things in subjection under (Jesus') feet"...most especially and particularly the devil and the "earth" and "sea" beasts! Hallelujah!

"He (the woman's seed) shall crush you (the serpent) on the head." (Ge 3.15)

"The serpent (dragon) you will trample down." (Ps 91.13)

"The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet." (Ro 16.20)

I am not minimising, nor glossing over, nor taking lightly the tribulation of The Tribulation. I get it, that life is going to be rough and tough, to such an extent that "unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect (chosen ones) those days will be cut short." (Mt 24.22)

But more importantly I get the fact that (according to Revelation 13.1) the dragon is actually limited to standing "on the sand of the seashore"! Once again, when the pressure really comes on, the devil over-plays his hand. In his greed to dominate both realms (world and spirit) he ends up paddling around in the shallows...half-bakedly on the land and the sea.

Meanwhile, God's "strong and mighty" angel places his feet, which are like "pillars of fire", firmly and squarely and securely on top of both realms. And from that divinely ordained vantage point, he speaks out in God's name with the sound like a lion roaring and thunder thundering, all rolled into one!

"The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most high uttered His voice." (Ps 18.13) (2)

When there are but a few grains of sand left in this Age's hour-glass, you will need to choose who and what you look at. Feel free to become a conspiracy "expert" with ever-new and fashionable ideas about "666", "marks", "beasts" etc etc.

For myself, I intend to watch God. And when I watch Him and, in this particular instance, His mighty, ministering spirit ("sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation" Heb 1.14), I see:

1) He is "clothed with a cloud". (v1)

"Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever." (Ex 19.9)

"I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat." (Lv 16.2)

"The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud." (1 Ki 8.12)

The strong and mighty angel has not just come visiting from outer-space. He has come from the "heart" of Heaven where the glory cloud is thickest and most dense and intense. So he appears still wreathed and adorned with the very Presence of God. He is "clothed" with God Himself.

2) He has "the rainbow...upon his head." (v1)

"Behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne...and there was a rainbow around the throne." (Rev 4.2-3)

"When I bring a cloud over the earth...the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant...and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh." (Ge 9.14-15)

The End Times are going to become increasingly catastrophic for earth-dwellers. As the Lord Jesus Himself predicted, some people are actually going to suffer heart-failure "as they wait in dread of what is coming upon the world"! (Lk 21.26) But if your eyes are upon the Lord, then you will be heartened and encouraged to see that His holy emissary "wears" the sign of God's covenantal faithfulness, which will be absolutely prejudiced and weighted towards mercy...right up to and including the very final micro-second of this Salvation Age.

"God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Ti 2.3-4)

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Pe 3.9)

3) His face is "like the sun". (v1)

"And (Jesus) was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun." (Mt 17.2)

"His face was like the sun shining in its strength." (Rev 1.16)

This angel of the Apocalypse is neither minion nor flunky. We are having to do here with someone whose position is as close to the Seat of all power as it's possible to get. This is he who is spoken of by God during the Exodus as "My angel" (23.23)...and by the great Isaiah as "the angel of His presence"! (Is 63.9) This is not some fellow at the bottom of the revelatory "food-chain". This is a senior commander and cabinet minister of Heaven...and yet he is here "to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation".

4) His feet are "like pillars of fire". (v1)

"The Lord was going before a pillar of fire by night, that they might night." (Ex 13.21)

At The End, "the darkness" will make one final, doomed attempt to "overpower" the Light! (Jn 1.5) Thick darkness will (physically as well as spiritually) blanket great portions of the earth. But, "all sons of light and sons of day" will not be "in darkness". (1 Th 5.4-5) Our strong and mighty messenger's feet will be for all those determined to "walk in the light" (1 Jn 1.7), like unto the Exodus Cloud (in both visible and invisible realms)...blazingly brilliant and unquenchable illuminators for "the feet of those who preach and bring Good News of good things". (Ro 10.15)

5) He has "in his hand a little book which was open." (v2)

We understand this "little book" in contrast to that "big" book which John sees in Heaven "in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne". (5.1) It has writing "inside and on the back"...a complete and entire document. Its seals are broken open by the Lamb of God who alone is "worthy" for such a task because He was "slain and purchased for God with (His) blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation".

I believe that the breaking of the seven seals precipitates the unfolding of Salvation History in its entirety...both blessings and judgements. And so, I regard the "little book" as God's minute-by-minute revelatory speaking for the final few moments of the Last Hour. These are not messages which can be academically studied and carefully prepared ahead of time. So grave is this Hour, and so ultimate the issues (all of them literal matters of life-and-death) that the prophet's capacity to comprehend is by-passed, and the words of the Lord ingested just like food.

"Your words were found and I ate them." (Jer 15.16)

"Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you. Then I looked, and behold...a scroll...written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe." (Eze 2.8-10)

Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel had to ingest the Word of the Lord, before they could (in both instances) prophesy effectively into the teeth of the howling gale of violent opposition. What is going on here?

A) God's speaking to the Church and the world at The End will be a mixture of sweet and bitter (sharp); grace and chastisement; blessing and judgement. Such messages containing all of these ingredients are too difficult for many to hold together in their minds and hearts...their sensual natures prefer the taste of one or the other!

B) These messages are going to be so difficult that the authentic and faithful servant will not merely preach or prophesy...he or she, in and of themselves, will become the message; become the prophetic word. As King David was ultimately able to say, "But I am prayer!" (Ps 109.4), at The End the bona fide and valid seer will be known as that person who has become prophecy. Such lives will often be more eloquent and accurate than speech...their walk will exceed their talk!

And for those who might think that this is all very cool and fine-and-dandy...note this! The strong angel has been sent to the prophet John...making clear that we never, ever, under any circumstances presume to appoint ourselves to such a role or task. Nevertheless, John then has to choose to get up in profoundly considered and weighed obedience to "take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land". (v8) He has to tell the angel to give him the book...then he must eat it, both its sweetness and its bitterness.

God chooses His prophets. (I am sure this will come as a terrible shock to present-day prophetical fashionistas!) But then they must choose to be chosen...having properly and thoroughly gauged all of the consequences of such a life of ministry, even unto their personal dissolution and death! (Lk 14.28-30)

"For many are invited ones but few are chosen-out ones." (Mt 22.14 Wuest NT)

"Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you." (2 Pe 1.10, Rev 17.14)

(1) The "sea beast" is the manifestation of satan's contention through the nations of the world. (Rev 17.15) The "earth beast" represents the spirit world's opposition via religious movements. (1 Sa 28.13)

(2) This will be an absolutely authoritative and comprehensive revelation (Ps 29.3-9) of and from God for the Last Hour; a declaration of war (Isa 31.4-7), which nevertheless draws all who will come, to come...especially His beloved Israel. (Hos 11.10, Joel 3.16-17)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem

14 February 2012

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.' " (Mt 23.37-39)

I dreamt recently that I was in Jerusalem in Israel. I was there for the installation of the final and completing stone at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The city was awash with Muslim People...predominantly women who were veiled. As I made my way through the Old City to the Mount, jet fighters were flying very low and hard over us. The city was clearly a war-zone.

(1) One Day, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to take His Throne on the Temple Mount, precisely upon the space where the Holy of Holies stood in the Temple of the Lord. At that time will be accomplished the Prophet Zechariah's prediction, which is contained in chapter 4, verses 7 through 9:

"What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!' Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it.' "

(Thus also fulfilling, "The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts." Hag 2.9)

Jesus Himself is the Founder and "chief corner stone" of "the household of God"...and upon His return He will be the "capstone", thus with His own Person completing its construction. (Eph 2.20, 1 Pe 2.6&7)

(This being the case, you will better understand why "Kingdom Now" teaching, and the puerile, worldly elitism of the "neo-apostles" is so abhorrent to me. The first, believes the Kingdom of God can exist on the earth, without the King Himself being physically enthroned at its heart. The second, construct thrones for themselves and arrogantly occupy them...making of themselves pseudo-capstones!)

(2) Before the King's Return, there is going to be massive conflict and upheaval (political, social and natural); its final focus will be Jerusalem, God's "throne room". As this Age approaches its biblical climax and conclusion, the devil, unrepentant humankind, and every world-system will mount their final, ferocious, and completely futile opposition.

"This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the centre of the nations." (Eze 5.5)

"They will call Jerusalem 'The Throne of the Lord', and all the nations will be gathered to it." (Jer 3.17)

"Why are the nations in an uproar?...the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed...But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain." (Ps 2)

(3) No matter how many pre-emptive strikes Israel makes against hostile neighbours, immediately before The King comes to save them (both physically and spiritually), great tracts of the current State will be invaded, and half of Jerusalem itself (East?) will be occupied by zealous and militant Muslim Peoples.

"Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah...For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured...and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city." (Zec 12.2, 14.2)

"Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments...The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you...But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God...The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies." (Deut 28)

"When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (Pr 16.7)

God has ever required that His beloved Jewish People pay for their security with their obedience to His incarnate in Jesus, their Messiah and the world's Redeemer.

"You shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." (Lk 1.31-33)

"My eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." (Lk 2.30-32)

(4) Israel's salvation at the End of this Age will be total, complete, and absolute,

"And so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from (and to...according to Isaiah 59.20) Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.' 'This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.' " (Ro 11.26-27)

"When the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah...I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son...Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives." (Zec 12&14)

As our Messianic "father", David Baron (1855-1926, England) prophesied at the dawn of the 20th C, "Suddenly, when the cloud will be thickest, and the anguish most acute...and Israel's enemies be most certain in their own minds of accomplishing their purpose and utterly exterminating that people...then, with the speed of lightning, and attended by all His saints and hosts of angels, shall the same Jesus, who ascended bodily and visibly on a cloud from the Mount of Olivet, so and in like manner, be revealed again; but this time in a special and peculiar manner, as Israel's King and Deliverer." (1)

"Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away His judgement against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you will fear disaster no more." (Zep 3.14-15)

(5) Nevertheless, something even more important than Israel's reconciliation with their Messiah, and Jerusalem's return to God, occurs at The End...The King returns and reigns.

"And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one...then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths." (Zec 14.9&16)

(6) All of these momentous events will not take place off in a corner; they have already been in the daily news headlines for quite some time. Nor will they be accomplished uncontested! Here mesh (but beyond human "sight" and reason's reach) the sovereignty of God and our (Christian) responsibility. God "works all things after the counsel of his will" (Eph 1.11), and yet "to all those who obey Him" Jesus is "the source of eternal salvation". (Heb 5.9)

Thus we may affirm with David Baron that "as sure as there was a cross planted for him on that Golgotha, outside the walls of Jerusalem, so surely, if the word and oath of our God stand for anything, is there yet to be a glorious throne for our Redeemer and Master on Mount Zion." And yet, this same apostolic Zionist, in the same breath, challenges the Church not "to fold her hands as she has done for many centuries and do next to nothing."

"What your attitude to Israel should be, is plainly shown in the Word of God...It should be an attitude of prayer."

Quoting Isaiah 62.6-7,

"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" ...

David Baron challenges us from Eternity, "Do you aspire to be one of 'Jehovah's remembrancers'? Then hark to (this) His command. Let there be the heart's desire and believing prayer unto God for Israel that they may be saved. Has compassion, has gratitude for the wonderful blessings which you have received through them as the channel, yea, has God's clear word of command, ever made your heart go out after this manner in the prayer of faith for poor sick Israel?"

And further, quoting from the Prophet Ezekiel (ch 37), David Baron complains that the Church "has neglected" to prophesy life (both physical and spiritual) to the "dry bones" of Israel. "And yet," he observes, "it (the Church) wonders that there has been no noise, no mighty shaking, or many signs of life among the dry bones.

"Oh, fellow Christian, time is short...who will be up and doing? Who will rise to the Lord's help against the mighty? Who by their prayers and substance will help to carry the Gospel message to poor scattered Israel?" (1)

"So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath (spirit) came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceeding great army." (Eze 37.10)

"For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is my resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it." (Ps 132.13-14)

"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from God, having the glory of God." (Rev 21.10-11)

(1) "Israel's Present & Future". A series of lectures delivered by David Baron in mid-1890, at Northfield, Massachusetts, USA.

Prayer Works

21 December 2011

"And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake." (Rev 8.3-5)

This text ought to be of the greatest interest and assistance to all those who are genuinely "waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God". (2 Pe 3.12) In it a description of a preparatory, prophetic season (Trumpets) is introduced by a quite remarkable unveiling of the true nature and dynamic of prayer. During this prophetic interval, prayer will be the key to life on earth. And this passage of Scripture contains the key to prayer.

As He has already kept and fulfilled Israel's Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First fruits and Pentecost, so now Christ our Lord is keeping Trumpets. (See "Faithful is He" 31/10/11) This is a period when everything is altogether about preparing for His Return. It is a time when the Lord Jesus is systematically and relentlessly disturbing His beloved (both Church and Israel) into wakefulness concerning the impending "great and terrible day of the Lord", and His enthronement on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

"The day comes, burning like and oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble...But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings." (Mal 4.1-2)

1) Upon reaching heaven, our prayers are "processed" by an angel. I suppose some Believers might be up-ended by this? (I am delighted!) What some do by way of demonstrating their spiritual athleticism and superiority, seems terribly important to them. It is a perennial affliction for the Church. There is ever a delicate (and indecipherable) connection in the Christian life between God's sovereignty and our responsibility. If this balance is dishonoured and upset, "faith" appears "out of whack", a caricature...even grotesque! Whatever the "ratios" might be, for the proportions to ring true biblically, I am sure that what God does must always outweigh what we can do. He is the great Initiator...we are the respondents (especially when it comes to prayer)! As the great battle-cry of the 16th C Reformation states,

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God - not because of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph 2.8-9)

"You stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe." (Ro 11.20)

It is precisely the sense of falling-short in prayer (that gulf between the white-hot cry of our hearts and its pitiful, outward expression!) which is designed for our blessing. It is the holy "engine" which undoes all of our fatuous pride in what we can do, and sends us crashing down into the ground, upon our faces.

What an incredible and joyous prospect. Our poverty-stricken prayers limp into Heaven, there to be gathered up by the angel of God who is appointed to stand at "the golden altar before the throne". Such a divine provision absolutely releases us to say with the utmost confidence, "Our Almighty God is so much more willing to obtain our prayers, than we will ever be to pray."

"We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us." (Ro 8.26)

2) The holy angel gathers up our earthly adoration and supplications, and transforms them into something Heavenly...something fitting and capable of rising before the face of God.

"Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee." (Ps 141.2)

The angel at the golden altar has "much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints". Ah, the extravagant grace of the Lord. Our poor, little prayers are mixed up with (not a little, or a bit, or some) incense. How much? Heaps, copious amounts, more than is really necessary. And incense is powerful and explosive stuff. You only need a pinch to fill a room with its smoke very quickly indeed.

And here's the point. Do our prayers carry the clouds of incense up before God? Or do the great, billowing, swirling clouds of incense lift our frail worship and intercession into the ears of the Lord? Of course, it is the grace He supplies that does the job, accomplishes the mission, completes the task.

But there is yet more achieved by God's incense than the mechanics of elevation. As well as "sweet spices", incense (according to the Exodus 30.34 prescription) was to be "seasoned with salt, pure and holy". Salt, in the days of the Bible's creation, was used to cleanse and purify. Not only does the mingling of His incense and our prayers carry our hearts to God, it also ensures that our praise and our petitions have been "washed" and are clean...deserving to be listened to.

"Elisha went to the spring of (bad) water and threw salt in it, and said, 'Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome.' " (2 Ki 2.21)

The luminous, modern-day martyr, Edith Stein (1891-1942, Germany), has said that "prayer is the highest achievement of which the human person is capable". To savour this truth to the fullest, we have to be simultaneously crushed by our noblest work falling short, and yet exultant that God Himself speeds and sanctifies these bridges over the abyss between earth and Heaven.

3) Not only does Revelation 8.3-5 unveil the usually hidden "mechanics" of our prayers being lifted to God, it also vividly discloses how our requests recoil as His reply...answered prayer.

"In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you answer me." (Ps 86.7)

"They cried to the Lord, and he answered them." (Ps 99.6)

The angel's ministry at the golden altar in Heaven is a single event, made up of two distinct but vitally linked actions. In the first, he gathers, purifies and presents our prayers to the Lord on the Throne. In the second, he throws, casts and hurls God's answers into the earth as "peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake".

Remember that this period of salvation-history is one of great tribulation and distress, running neck-and-neck with greater salvation. Days of fury and glory; catastrophe and great awakening. Therefore, to know that our prayers are in safe hands, and that His answers will literally have earth-shaking impact, is gloriously encouraging and highly motivating for us to persevere in prayer. When the Lamb at the centre (the Throne) of the centre (Heaven) of the Cosmos answers us with "peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.",

a) He replies with His Presence.

"There were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God." (Ex 19.16-17)

"Repent...that times of refreshing (revival and reformation) may come from the presence of the Lord and that he may send the Christ." (Ac 3.19-20)

b) He replies with the authority of His Throne; His will is "done, on earth as it is in heaven". (Mt 6.10)

"From the throne issues flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder." (Rev 4.5)

"If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Lk 11.20)

c) He replies with His Glory.

"The ark of his covenant was seen within his temple (in heaven); and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail." (Rev 11.19)

"Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house...and when (they) came out...a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord." (1 Ki 8.6-11)

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Ro 8.18)

d) He replies with His judgement.

"The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, 'It is done!' And there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake." (Rev 16.17-18)

Under the New Covenant, the judgement of God is from the hand of "the Holy One, Whose wrath we have provoked" and who "became bear this wrath himself in our place". (1) And yet, this wrath (exasperated divine love!) does finally fall upon the perpetually recalcitrant. It is very important that this does happen, as it is His pledge to the Church of God's complete faithfulness and absolute justice. Just as the wrath of the disobedient has been poured out against Believers through the ages; at the End, divine justice must cut down those who have refused to shelter beneath the spilled Blood and life of The Beloved. In spite of the fullness of Heaven's mercy and grace granted them, they have at the finish refused to restore their hearts to their Maker and Redeemer.

(Let the reader beware, and not join those who daily bay for the blood of judgement to run freely. The true prophet is exactly like Micah of Moresheth, who having predicted catastrophic chastening for the People of God, cried out, "Because of this I will mourn and lament. To show my sorrow, I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and wail like an ostrich. Samaria's wounds cannot be healed, and Judah is about to suffer in the same way; destruction has reached the gates of Jerusalem itself, where my people live." 1.8-9)

The prayers of the saints and martyrs of the Last Church will aim above all else to lavish praise and thanksgiving and worship upon the approaching King. There is a sense in which they need be quite unconcerned about the efficacy of their words and the details of their own needs. Every cry and phrase will be gathered up and perfected by that other angel at Heaven's "altar with a golden censer". Then that very same prayer (even the flimsiest, most abject and pitiful) will "re-enter history with incalculable effects. Our earth is shaken daily by it"! (2)

"For from him and through him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen." (Ro 11.36)

(1) "Credo" by Dr. Karl Barth (Wipf & Stock, USA, 2005).

(2) "Reversed Thunder" by Eugene H. Peterson (HarperOne, USA, 1991)

God's only Son

16 December 2011

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called...mighty God." (Isa 9.6)

"In Him (Christ, Jesus, the Lord) there is continuously and permanently at home all the fullness of absolute deity in bodily fashion." (Col 2.9 Wuest's NT)

"The Father, ineffable (too great for description in words) by His very nature, from His own substance has begotten the Son ineffably; but He has begotten nothing except what He is Himself: God has begotten God." (Bruno of Cologne, 11th C) (1)

The Church's power to withstand and overcome the comprehensive Last Days' blitzkrieg of antichrist (2) , will be in direct proportion to the integrity of its belief concerning the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1935, prophesying into the Fascist-Nazi hurricane of iniquity then flooding Europe, the consummate, Reformed divine, Karl Barth (1886-1968, Switzerland), warned that "Christian faith stands or falls once and for all with the fact that God and God alone is its object."

During WW1, Barth became disillusioned by the way in which an extensively theologically "liberal" Church had so eagerly "jumped into bed" with the cant and violence of German ultra-nationalism. Later he was to become a leader of Christian resistance to Hitler's antichrist seduction and "destruction" of the German Church. He was barred from all university teaching and chose "exile" in May of 1935.

Focusing his scholarly and prophetical attention upon the second article of The Apostles' Creed, ("I believe in...Jesus Christ, His only Son"), Barth spoke of a "catastrophe" in German Protestantism as the result of the three words, "His (God's) only Son", becoming "lost...amongst a chaos of reinterpretations designed to make them innocuous."

For him these three crucial words of the Creed place Jesus "in the closest relationship, indeed in unity, with God we are told, if we only rightly understand that He (the Creator) Himself is creature too, that He is not only Lord of our existence, but that He is here with us and like us...the Holy One makes his dwelling here among sinners to be the sinners' Saviour is again no lesser, no other than the eternal God Himself."

It is quite clear to me (given the timing of this message) that for Karl Barth the Church's power or failure to resist evil (in every one of its manifestations...both overt and covert!) relates immediately, directly and proportionally to its adequate or inadequate view of the relationship of the Father and the Son. In this regard, how might we ("upon whom the end of the ages (world) has come" - 1 Co 10.11) be situated? In a Western, Protestant Church awash in trinitarian "agnosticism", is there just cause for satisfaction or complacency on our part? Have we actually responded with remedy to Barth's warning (in the context of the devil's subjugation of "Christian" Europe) to "evangelical churches, and especially to the theological faculties of other lands, where, so far as trinitarian dogma is concerned, no better ways (than German Protestantism) are being trodden"?

If a person rejects the biblical doctrine that "Jesus Christ is God's Son" - in terms of The Apostles' Creed (3) - then, according to Dr. Barth, that one denies "the whole revelation of God and (that) all reconciliation between God and man is contained in Him".

"If one then, in spite of that, speaks of 'faith' in Jesus Christ, then one believes in an intermediate being."

The consequence of this is, "one is really pursuing metaphysics (4)". Such a person, says Karl Barth, "has already secretly lapsed from the Christian faith into polytheism which will forthwith mature into further fruits in setting up of a special God-Father faith and a special Creator faith, and in the assertion of special spiritual revelations."

Remember, Dr. Barth's criticisms, warnings and predictions are not dispassionate; neither academic speculations nor ethereal ponderings. They are the sober and anxious instruction of a mature and prominent Christian leader, witnessing His Church and his Civilisation being progressively over-run by hell and the demonic.

He continues, "If God had not become a man (according to the Creed)...then everything we could conceive and say to ourselves about God (Father and Holy Spirit), would hang in the air as arbitrarily, as mistakenly and as misleadingly, as the corresponding ideas which, in the long run, have been fashioned about God and man in all religions and cosmic speculations...If it can appear to us almost impossible that the Creator became creature, it must appear to us absolutely impossible that the Holy One, Whose burning wrath we have evoked, became man, in order, in spite of everything, to befriend us."

The Church of God is that which is founded upon our Lord Jesus Christ, "His only Son",

" 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him...'flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven...on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death (gates of hell, powers of the underworld) shall not prevail against it.' " (Mt 16.15-18)

Only this Church can supply "real consolation and real instruction," says Dr. Barth. If "the assembly of lost and rescued sinners will come less and less to be built by this could it be otherwise than that error at a crucial point makes it utterly impotent?"

I believe that this prophet's warning-predictions have now been fulfilled and so are for us today a double alarm and admonition. You do not have to travel too far or too wide to hear from pulpits and podiums today the following:

(1) Proclamations of God being "Our Father" in a "Trinity" which is manifestly hierarchical and which relegates Jesus to a humanly-understood (and not by revelation) concept of Son-ship. This actually diminishes and demotes Jesus to the status of "an intermediate being". Some teachers go so far as to portray trust in Christ as provisional and childish...urging their hearers to progress on into the maturity of an adult faith in "Father God".

For any declaration of The Gospel to be authentic, soul-saving and life-changing, it has to be about Jesus Christ, God's only Son. It has to be the Good News (in the words of Barth) that "the Holy One, Whose wrath we have provoked, became man, in order, in spite of everything, to befriend us, to bear this wrath Himself in our place, accordingly to suffer in our place His own burning wrath, to give satisfaction Himself in our place, in order in that way to be our God...He Himself, directly and personally our Prophet, Priest and King."

This is not an academic exercise or indulgence in theological navel-gazing. My goal here (in the context of the promised great tribulation of the End Times) is to discover whether or not the structure and fabric of our faith, is biblically substantial and therefore sufficient to repulse the demonic firepower which will be blasted into us by the antichrist. Belonging to this or that "apostolic" movement or the biggest church in town; praying night-and-day in tongues; being regularly "caught up to the third heaven" just not going to "cut the mustard"! Because,

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God...on this rock I will build my church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." (Mt 16.15-18)

Through His victory on The Cross, God's only Son wonderfully paved the way for relationship with God our Father. However, He Himself is that "way"!

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (Jn 14.6)

"He who has the Son has life, he who has not the Son of God has not life...We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 Jn 5.12 & 20-21)

(2) Pulpiteers and church leaders are increasingly appealing to extra-biblical "revelation" for their authority. The wonderful, present-day restoration to the Church of the Holy Spirit's Person, Presence and Gifts is now degenerating (in some quarters) into "the assertion of special spiritual revelations" (apostolic?) awful fulfillment of Karl Barth's 1935 premonition.

As with the stumble into heretical over-emphasis of God's Fatherhood because of a denial of his Son-ship, this trend is further evidence of Jesus being accorded that diminished and unbiblical status of "an intermediate being". (Or, as Dr. Barth has elsewhere described, "A divine intermediate being subordinate to God".)

The appeal to or "assertion of special spiritual revelations" is heretically to over-magnify God being Spirit (Jn 4.24) through the loss (denial?) of the true significance of His Son-ship. Tragically, when we overthrow the Bible as the judge and benchmark to authenticate every direct communication from God, it is because we have already denied and dethroned The Word, of Whom it is written,

"These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." (Lk 24.44)

" 'Lo, I have come to do your will, O God,' as it is written of me in the roll of the book." (Heb 10.7)

The setting of personal revelation over The Word and the Bible takes place either through childish ignorance or independence, or ( worse still) because the Lord Jesus Christ is not received and believed on as God's "only Son"! He is not therefore trusted to be the sole conduit of all Light and Truth, by those who do not worship Him as God.

The Reformation of the Church in Scotland during the 16th C remained "on track" in the face of murderously ferocious opposition from the devil, flesh and world. This was in large measure due to the purity of doctrine and vision of Reformers such as John Knox (1514-72) who insisted, "Believe God, that plainly speaketh in His Word. And further than the Word teacheth you, you neither believe the one nor the other."

Likewise, his Genevan "brother" (the teacher of teachers), John Calvin, who declared, "Where we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults."

I beseech you in the name of God's "only Son" to examine your own mind and heart in this regard and along these very lines. There is significantly more at stake here than your own personal salvation or the "success" of your ministry or church! At issue here is the Church's authority and power to withstand antichrist during these last of the Last Days...immediately before that "great and terrible day" of the Son's enthronement on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

During the 30s and 40s of the last century, "the bottomless pit" was opened beneath Germany and antichrist unleashed the dogs of war and hell across Europe. (5) During the infamous 900-day Siege of Leningrad, the German Army pursued a "racially motivated starvation policy". In its quest for "living space" for the "1000 Year Reich", Hitler's Germany did not quibble over the genocide of one third of that city's population...largely through starvation. The ultimate Nazi goal had been the removal of Leningrad (people and buildings) off the map.

Our time is up! We need to stop "fop-doodling" around over such matters! It was the day-before-yesterday when we who are the Body of Christ should have begun to consider with the utmost gravity, that according to our brother and prophet, Karl Barth, "the ground out of which (the Church) has sprung and out of which alone it is able to live, is the admittedly rigid and uncompromising recognition that no one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father, save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him (Mt 11.27)."

"Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming...This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses (acknowledges) the Son has the Father also." (1 Jn 2.18, 22-23)

NOTE: This essay contains brief quotes from Dr. Karl Barth, made by him during a series of weekend lectures he delivered in Holland on The Apostles' Creed, between early February and the end of March, 1935. They have been repeatedly published under the title "Credo" ('I Believe'). This book is currently available through the publishers "Wipf & Stock" (USA), at

(1) Bruno of Cologne (1030-1100) was a brilliant church administrator and university teacher. In his middle years he withdrew from public life to devote himself completely to prayer, and thus became the Founder of the 1000-year-old contemplative movement, the "Carthusians".

(2) The "antichrist" (according to Scottish NT scholar, Dr. William Barclay, 1907-78) is not only the "one who is opposed to Christ", but also the "one who seeks to put himself in the place of Christ". He is as much a usurper as an opposer.

(3) Formulated approximately 50 years after the last NT writings.

(4) "Theoretical philosophy of being and knowing, based on abstract general reasoning." (The Concise Oxford Dictionary)

(5) I am not saying here that the average German soldier was sub-human or demon possessed. However, it is a matter of record that many later testified that after Hitler was defeated, they felt they had woken from a dream or a trance.

The Seven Stars

2 December 2011

"And he had in his right hand seven stars...The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches." (Rev 1.16 & 20)

The Revelation is the message from Israel's Messiah and the Church's Head to His beloved Flock in a time of great tribulation. It is therefore of paramount importance in these last of the Last Days...pre-eminently as The Revelation of Jesus Himself. Any attempt to understand such things as many-coloured horses, sea and earth beasts, and particular combinations of numbers will be doomed to distortion and delusion...unless viewed (and brought into acute and accurate focus), first-of-all through The Revelation of who He truly is.

In chapter one, Jesus is revealed "in the midst" of the seven churches; which is to say that we "see" Him personally present to each and every gathering and assembly to and for Him throughout this Grace Age. And how do we see Him so present?

Well, we "see" Him as "the Son of man" (Da 7.13-14), Heaven's King whose "kingdom shall not be destroyed" on earth, and our "great high priest". (Heb 4.14)

But for the specific purpose of this essay, let us observe that "in his right hand" are the seven "angels of the seven churches"!

(1) "In his right hand".

According to Spiros Zodhiates (editor of the NAS 'Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible'), "a person of high rank who puts anyone on his right hand gives him equal honour with himself and recognizes him as of equal dignity."

"(King Solomon) caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand." (1 Ki 2.19)

"Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God." (Lk 22.69)

"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." (Ac 7.56)

Therefore, these "seven" persons are granted by the Lord Jesus Christ "the same honour and dignity" as that accorded Him by the "seven" churches...because of their core and absolute calling to represent and act on behalf of Almighty God.

"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me." (Mt 10.40)

(2) "The angels of the seven churches".

"Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire...ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." (Heb 1.7 & 14)

According to Daniel (10.13 & 21, 12.1) the arch- or chief angel, Michael specifically "has charge, stands guard, protects" the People of Israel. Hence the mysterious event of (literally) acting as the national leader's bodyguard, recorded in Jude 9, "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses...said, 'The Lord rebuke you.' "

(Note: It was the Lord himself who buried Moses "in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor". Thus, "no man knows the place of his burial to this day." Deuteronomy 34.6 Also, Michael addresses the devil precisely and exactly along the same lines and employing the same words that God uses in His Zechariah 3.2 confrontation with the evil one, "The Lord rebuke you, O satan!" The angel's obedience is perfect down to the most minute detail.)

Thus we may safely say that God appoints his servants, the holy angels, to take spiritual responsibility for entire nations. And further, we can be confident that He also assigns them to care for His People, individually.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Mt 18.10)

"And Peter came to himself, and said, 'Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me...(Rhoda) ran in and told that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, 'You are mad.' But she insisted that it was so. They said, 'It is his angel!' " (Ac 12.11 & 13-15)

Therefore, in the context of the New (fulfilled) Covenant, it is not a great stretch at all to believe joyfully and confidently that local churches are each allotted His "servants made of flaming fire"! Hence, every one of the seven Heavenly messages to each of Revelation's seven churches begins,

"To the angel of the church write."

The Lord Jesus Christ honours each one of his angelic servants by addressing them personally and thus keeping them fully in-the-loop, so far as His dealings with every local congregation are concerned. We would all do very well to likewise honour them, by acknowledging their role and expressing gratitude for their completely divine and unstinting toil and care for us.

Immediately before the 2nd Coming, the Church, Israel and this world are going to be enveloped in the great tribulation (pressure) of the final clash of kingdoms. In his doomed struggle for supremacy the devil will use a particularly subtle and lethal device against God's People...isolation and disconnection. By separating local church from local church (and the Church from Israel), he will seek to weaken them, thus rendering us vulnerable to all-out demonic attack and injury. Belonging to this or that denomination, movement or organisation (no matter how large or efficient or "glittering") will not be sufficient answer or remedy for this hellish stratagem. It was employed against the Church in Nazi Germany to very great effect. The Confessing (resisting) Church quite quickly learned that the antidote was the fostering of authentic, "organic" fellowship and community, as widely and as deeply as possible.

The supernatural leadership of your church's angel in Jesus' Name (so closely linked 24/7 to Heaven's throne and its surrounding "living creatures, elders and many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands"), is not merely going to helpful. It will mean and make the difference between victory and defeat, success or oblivion.

(3) "The messengers of the seven churches".

The Bible's word "angel" (in both Testaments) means "messenger" and "agent".

"This is he (John the Baptist) of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger (angel) before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.' " (Mt 11.10)

"And he (Jesus) sent messengers (angels) ahead of make ready for him." (Lk 9.52)

I believe that today there are some, particular apostles and prophets who are sent as messengers to specific local churches (and are received as such by the elders). But they have not been dispatched upon their mission by another congregation or collection of churches...they have been sent by Jesus, and have come out of "his right hand"!

"But let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong (raised up) for yourself." (Ps 80.17)

These apostolic and prophetic persons are neither better nor superior...but they are very different. As agents of His "right hand" they exist and are empowered to serve God alone, and as He is in Himself. Their perspectives, messages and prophecies are totally and blatantly biased towards the Kingdom of Heaven alone. Their terrible jealousy and prejudice for the "I AM WHO I AM" does not in fact make them awkward or difficult...but completely indispensable, because they are also networking and connecting "machines". They'll hook up and ally themselves unequivocally with absolutely anything and everyone bearing the "marks of Jesus" (Gal 6.17), or exuding the fragrance of the approaching King. (SS 3.6)

The sign or brand on your church's front door will neither attract nor deflect them.

For those who are busily and greedily constructing their own empires, such "visitors" might appear menacing and even destructive. But for authentic End Times' assemblies, these earthly "angels" will bring and facilitate meaningful relationships with the whole Body of well as un-franchised, fresh "meat" and "bread", as well as mature and strong "wine"!

There has ever been a certain amount of unhealthy and unhelpful tension between such "visitors" and local church elders and leaders. In his third letter, the Apostle John talks about relating aright to "strangers (not local) who are workers in the truth and have accepted nothing from the heathen"! John chides a certain Diotrephes "who likes to put himself first" and "does not acknowledge (apostolic) authority" when "he refuses himself to welcome the brethren, and also stops those who want to welcome them and puts them out of the church"!

Unravelling this situation, the redoubtable professor of divinity, William Barclay (1907-78, Scotland), points out that the infant Christian Movement had a real problem with "wandering prophets and preachers" because "their position was one which was singularly liable to abuse."

"Some," according to Doctor Barclay, "were nothing better than clever and plausible rogues who had found an easy way of making a comfortable living."

Nevertheless, he says, the controversy addressed in 3 John is "no storm in a tea-cup. This was a fundamental cleavage. It was the clash between local and itinerant ministry." It is now, and has always been, terrifically important that "the settled ministry and the local their own congregation" (to use William Barclay's terms). But this arrangement will go awry and off-key if a biblical balance is overthrown and "visitors" from further afield (both geographically and theologically) are stereotyped as little more than "dangerous intruders", and thereby marginalised and even excluded.

As with supernatural angels assigned to local churches, so too these natural, apostolic and prophetic messengers (angels) deserve to be honoured by our "acknowledging their role and expressing gratitude for their divine toil and care for us"!

It is an awesome and massively consoling revelation to "see" our mighty King and Saviour "in the midst" of His People, stormed-tossed and wave-smashed in great tribulation. But what an act of grossest ignorance and stupendous folly it would be, if we were to abhor and scorn these most precious Gifts from His right hand.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death." (Rev 2.11)

"Your right hand supported me, and your help made me great." (Ps 18.35)

"As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with victory." (Ps 48.10)

"O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory." (Ps 98.1)

Faithful is He

31 October 2011

The festal celebrations given to Israel by God (Lev 23), are very much more than religious memorials and traditions. They are massive testimony to the Lord's absolute faithfulness, and incredibly powerful, contemporary prophecy.

In Moses' day, God gave His People seven "appointed feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations." (v2) They are,

1) Passover (14/1 according to the Jewish calendar)
2) Unleavened Bread (15-21/1)
3) Firsts Fruits (16/1)
4) Pentecost (6/3)
5) Trumpets (1/7)
6) Atonement (10/7)
7) Tabernacles (15-21/7)

In the crudest outline possible, God's beloved Jewish People observe and celebrate,

1) Passover (Pesach).

Their miraculous deliverance from slavery and national exodus from Egypt.

2) Unleavened Bread.

The annual spring-clean, to ensure that every home is a leaven or yeast-free zone...recalling The Exodus night's hasty flight.

3) First Fruits.

The presentation to the Lord with gratitude of the earliest fruit, at the very beginning of harvest time. (I.e. the new corn.)

4) Pentecost (Shavuot).

Thanksgiving for the general harvest in full-swing, and for God's gift to Israel of the Law, atop Sinai.

5) Trumpets (Rosh Hashana).

A season routinely punctuated by trumpet blasts, to wake up the Jewish People to prepare for the great and solemn Day of Atonement. The time to ponder being "brought to judgement before the supreme King of kings."

(The first day of Trumpets is also the Jewish New Year. The approach of the End, is signalled by the beginning of the new?)

6) Atonement (Yom Kippur).

The "holiest" day of all; the one and only day of the year (while the Temple stood and functioned in Jerusalem) when Israel's high priest entered the holy of holies to pray and "wipe the slate clean". (Heb 9.7)

7) Tabernacles (Sukkot).

The seventh and final feast, lasting seven days. Jewish People living outdoors in little, temporary huts, celebrating their journey, safely into the Promised Land, and the complete ingathering of the summer's harvest (of vine and tree).

When the Lord Jesus Christ said, "I have not come to abolish (the law and the prophets) but to fulfill them" (Mt 5.17), He meant that He would keep and complete each of God's "appointed times" (divine appointments), made in every one of these seven feasts. Thus, it is said,

"These (festivals) are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (Col 2.17)

("These were but shadows cast by future events...the One foreshadowed is Christ.")

Therefore, we ought not to be even slightly surprised nor amazed when the Bible tells us,

A) That the Lamb of God kept Pesach with His disciples "on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the PASSOVER lamb"; then, he went out to die, and to shed His precious blood for us, "like that of a lamb without blemish or spot". (Mk 14.12, 1 Pe 1.19)

And thus Paul is able to give to us his apostolic testimony that, "Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Co 5.7), thereby both keeping and fulfilling the feast and God's divine appointment.

B) Immediately before His death on the Cross to purge and to take "away the sin of the world", Jesus took UNLEAVENED bread, and "blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body." (Jn 1.29, Mt 26.26)

Hence Paul could exhort the Church at Corinth to "cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened...Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival (Passover), not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Co 5.7-8)

C) He who laid down his life for us, took it up again "on the third day" (Lk 24.46)...or FIRST FRUITS. As Israel looked expectantly for evidence of a new harvest coming out of the ground, the Lord Jesus Christ rose up "from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1 Co 15.20)

D) Fifty days later (7x7 days), Jerusalem was awash with Jewish pilgrims from all over "the world", come to celebrate the gift of the Torah "from above", and harvest time too.

We ought not to marvel that it was at this moment, "when the day of PENTECOST had come...they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." (Ac 2.1-4)

At the very hour when Jerusalem rejoiced over the gift of the Law, the Law-incarnate "exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit...poured out this, which you see and hear." (Ac 2.33)

Thus, God's ways with Israel and all men were forever revolutionized, "You are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." (2 Co 3.3)

(Note: "There were added that day - Pentecost - about three thousand souls." Harvest time, to be sure!)

And just as these four fulfilled Feasts are towering testimony to God's unshakeable faithfulness, so the remaining three grant us unerringly accurate, prophetic insight and information.

E) Jesus Himself is even now keeping TRUMPETS; a season during which He faithfully disturbs us into an ever-deepening and serious-minded consciousness that history is now entirely and altogether about preparing for the Return of the King.

Prophecy is Him speaking..."a loud voice like a trumpet"; making sure we hear clearly what's on His heart and in His mind...for "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"! (Rev 1.10 & 4.1, 19.10)

During the past 30 plus years, there has been an impressive and concerted "awakening" to the importance and seriousness of the Church's prophetic role and responsibility. Tragically some of this restoration's fruit has been lost or dissipated by religious and human lust for fame, fortune and "feel-good". Nevertheless, the Lord has been faithful and keeps this Feast, ensuring the "trumpets" are blown, and shall continue to be heard for our discombobulation, right up and into The Day.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days...they will see the Son of man coming...he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect." (Mt 24.29-31)

"We shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." (1 Co 15.51-52, 1 Th 4.16)

"Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them...Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.' " (Rev 8.2, 11.15)

F) King Jesus will keep the Feast of ATONEMENT on an actual Yom Kippur, when as our high priestly Sovereign, He will "enter" the site of the Jerusalem Temple's holy of holies, and there be enthroned! On that Day "all Israel will be saved", and the Head and the Body will be physically united...the ultimate at-one-ment!

"The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight...he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing." (Mal 3.1-4)

"It shall come to pass in the latter days...out of Zion shall go forth the law...He shall judge between nations...neither shall they learn war any more." (Isa 2.1-4)

G) Our enthroned King will keep TABERNACLES, when from His Throne on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, He reigns over all the nations on earth for a period of "1000 years"!

"The Lord will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name...Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles." (Zec 14.9 &16, Eze 37.24-28)

With His holy sceptre, King Jesus will punish rebellion and reward obedience, thus putting all that has been wrong with this sin-soaked world, right!

"I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill...I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Ps 2.6-9)

"Then a throne will be established in steadfast love and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness." (Isa 16.5, Ac 15.16-17)

God our Messiah has already unequivocally and historically "kept" four of the seven Feasts. He is going to "keep" the remaining three.

"He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." (1 Th 5.24

The Big Picture

12 October 2011

It is a woeful and pathetic sight, watching so called seers scratching about in the dust of today's headlines, in search of prophetic evidence concerning the 2nd Coming. Ironically their futile and delusional toil is exercised in the immense shadows of the greatest signs pointing to His Parousia, that God has ever, and will ever give to the Church and history.

It defies any kind of intelligence to actually believe and hold to the view that God will delay alerting His People to this Age-ending and Age-beginning event, until the very "last" minute. How shattering that it may yet be recorded of the Last Generations,

"We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long." (Ps 74.9)

The following signs and witnesses have already been supplied by Heaven, that these are indeed the last of the Last Days, and the end of the End Times:

(1) The Reformation.

The Church was permitted to lie largely undisturbed by change, from the time of its 4th C unholy "marriage" to the State (under the Roman Emperor Constantine), until the 16th C. In every one of those intervening centuries, there were present in God's House men and women of outstanding faith, holiness and learning, through whom the Lord profoundly impacted society with the Gospel. (E.g. Bruno of Cologne and Francis of Assisi.)

Nevertheless, its antique "furniture" appeared immovable and slowly lost its original shape and definition beneath mounting layers of the "dust" of religious dogma, tradition and culture. Then during the 1500s in Europe, God hurled into our dozing midst successive thunderbolts and whirlwinds...Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, et al! In a certain sense, it seemed as if all that could move was shifted; all that could change, was altered. And this Reformation of what had been deformed over a period of close to a millennium and a half, continued on through the 17th to the 20th C...and persists today. (1)

This "restoration" (or recovery) of what has been "lost", is itself the fulfillment of a singularly vital, prophetic key to the Return of the Lord Jesus, to be Israel's Messiah and the whole world's Redeemer-King.

"That he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive (retain) until the time for establishing (the complete restoration of) all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old." (Ac 3.20-21)

The human mind recoils from such a perspective on the passage of time; that God would begin to prepare for His Return centuries beforehand. But this quite negative reaction uncovers our own self-centredness (that time should somehow or other orbit and fit us?), and sinfulness (our minds and "clocks" are simply not in agreement with Him?).

"Thou has made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in thy sight. Surely every man stands as a mere breath." (Ps 39.5)

"For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night." (Ps 90.4)

"But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Pe 3.8)

Did not the Lord indicate His strategy for salvation at the very dawn of history? (Ge 3.15) Did He not speak of the Baptist (Isa 40) and promise our Saviour "wounded for our transgressions" (Isa 53), at least 700 years before their days?

(2) The "miracle" of St. Agnes.

The climax and conclusion of this (Church/salvation) Age will be the exaltation and establishment of the Lord upon His Throne on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Therefore, it ought to come as no surprise at all, that the days immediately before The Day, concern His government and our government of His Church becoming more and more "at one" and in agreement...along the lines of Mary and Simeon's ecstatic prophecies:

"The Lord has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree." (Lk 1.52)

"Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel." (Lk 2.34)

Throughout every generation and in all Christian denominations (yes...even today's most avant-garde movements!) men and women have invariably fashioned "thrones" of some kind or other, to exalt themselves. Historically, the most unfortunate and glaring of these has been the Roman Catholic Church's Pope...especially in all of his pre-Vatican II pomp and "glory".

In 1855, in the Church of St. Agnes in Rome, the then Pope (decked out in all of his finery and "crowned" upon this throne) received the homage (they lined up to kiss his toe!) of a group of student priests. The floor where they were all gathered gave way completely, plunging the whole assembly 20 feet down into the catacombs below. Thankfully, no one was killed...none were even injured. Thus Catholics today call the event the "miracle of St. Agnes". I call it a monumental sign of the times, indicating that the time of the signs is well and truly underway.

(3) Zionism.

By the early 1800s in western Europe, Judaism generally considered a policy of assimilation the best way to ensure the survival of its race, religion and culture. And so (for example) English Jews set out to be more English than the noblest and most venerable aristocrats. But then, quite suddenly and as if from nowhere, appeared "a dapper Viennese assimilated and highly sophisticated journalist", shocked to the core by the horrors of institutional anti-Semitism and turned into "the fiery prophet of political Zionism"! (2)

Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) "convened" the First Zionist Congress (with representatives from 16 countries) on the 29th of August, 1897. His conviction that "Palestine is the only land where our people can come to rest", and further congresses proved to be the "detonator" for the "exploding" into existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East in 1948.

(4) The Unspeakable.

Tragically the term "Holocaust" (lit. "burnt offering") has been debased by over- and inaccurate-employment...being attached to other tragic events, which can in no way be compared to the destruction of 67 percent of God's Jewish People in those countries of Europe "directly or indirectly under Nazi control". In Poland, the Baltic States, Germany and Austria the number of the Beloved slain was 90 percent. In Slovakia, Greece and Holland...70 percent. In the Ukraine, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Romania and Norway...50 percent.

The statistics ought to be mind-numbing. Tragically, perhaps the most sinister form of Holocaust-denial today is that very numbness...which can so easily lead to a sense of unreality and consequent shoulder-shrugging detachment and indifference.

I do not resile nor shrink from the view that Israel could never "hope to escape the carnage of Jewish history, being at one and the same time the object of satan's jealous hatred and rage at their belovedness, and left uncovered and hedgeless (through their unbelief) since Calvary and the destruction of Herod's Temple." (3)

There can be no doubt that "the Jews are God's beloved People" and that "they are living under the most severe discipline and chastening" unto their complete salvation. (3) But an all too often neglected part of Israel's history is that satan invariable lashes out at them immediately before a great redemptive act on God's part towards them. E.g. Pharaoh's policy of infanticide before the Exodus. Haman's genocidal plans prior to the return from Exile. Herod's paranoid killings at the time of Messiah's birth. The Holocaust, which anticipates the day when "all Israel will be saved". (Ro 11.26)

The Holocaust must be understood by the Church at many different levels; neglect of it being a most significant sign of the Parousia will prove a critical and mortal error. (4)

(5) A Jewish State.

In November of 1947, the UN General Assembly endorsed the creation of a Jewish state in The Land (33 votes to 13...10 countries abstained). In May of the following year, Israel declared its independence. The Arab League's secretary-general immediately announced a war "of extermination and a momentous massacre"!

This witness is especially noteworthy, because the event laid the foundation and prepared the way for:

(6) A Restored Jerusalem.

In 1967 (on June the 7th) Israel's military forces took control of the whole of the city of Jerusalem, while withstanding simultaneous assault by Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Egypt (undergirded by the Soviet Union). A senior Israeli army officer (Colonel Motta Gur) later wrote (first-hand) of this event, "What started as a strictly military operation ended as something else entirely. Suddenly we were fighting as if in a trance. We understood at that moment that our objective was no longer to occupy this or that strategic position, but to liberate history itself."

Fourteen years later, the incomparable British, Evangelical scholar, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) indicated his belief that Luke 21.24 was "one of the most significant prophetic verses" concerning "the last times".

Pointing out that the verse reads, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled", the 'Doctor' declared, "It seems to me that that took place in 1967...the year that the Jews occupied all of Jerusalem...something crucially important (took place) that had not occurred in 2000 years." (5)

But it is not the conquest which is the sign, but the presence...of God's Beloved, dwelling throughout the whole of the City, especially assuming guardianship of the Old and the Temple Mount. The ongoing existence of a Jewish Community in Jerusalem (albeit a remnant) is utterly essential, so far as key prophecy goes, concerning the return of The King.

"O Jerusalem, will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' " (Mt 23.37-39)

"And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against (Jerusalem)...And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced...In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and impurity...Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives." (Zec 12,13,14)

The Messianic "father", David Baron (1855-1926, England) has most succinctly prophesied the "tri-chotomy" of the mystery of Israel, during her (and our) "one-minute-to-midnight" divine appointment.

"It is clear that there is a time of purging by fiery judgement awaiting Israel after the return to their land, which will immediately precede their national conversion and the revelation to them of the Messiah, whom as a nation, they have so long rejected."

God's ancient People must be in His ancient City to be simultaneously the target of the wrath of satan and the nations, and the recipients of the severest correction of the Father, and the most dramatic spiritual revival and national deliverance Heaven has ever sent and earth ever seen.

You will by now have observed that four of the six signs identified here, concern Israel. This is not the result of some theological or emotional bias. It is simply being Scriptural. At the centre of that supremely prophetic book of the Bible (Revelation and chapter 12), Israel appears as "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (verses 1-2), and is described as a "great" (mega) sign.

We know that this "woman" is Israel, because of Joseph's dream that "the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down" to him. His father Jacob (Israel) instantly interpreted this night vision, "Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" (6) They did!

From time immemorial, the lights of the heavens have been the crucial pointers for navigation for the human night and by day; by land and by sea. As it has been in the natural, so it now is in the spiritual realm. Any Believer or Church undertaking a traverse of the uncharted and stormy ocean of the Last Days, will get lost if they don't refer to the "sun, moon and stars". Any who (at this late hour) have failed to already take their bearings from Israel, will in the future peer "sightless" into the sky during the Last Hour because:

"The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining." (Joel 3.15)

"The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven." (Mt 24.29) (7)

In other words, the time has come when God says to the "seers" scrabbling about in search of some "prophetic" bauble or doodad to "light" their way..."You've got your signs! Now run and take action in their light...or choose to blunder about in the darkness!"

"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it." (Am 8.11-12)

"Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them; the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God." (Mic 3.6-7)

(1) Calvin's "heir", Karl Barth (20th C), has gone so far as to say, "If the Church were not being reformed; if it were not essential for the Church to live in renewal...then it would not be a Church at all."

(2) "Wanderings" by Chaim Potok (Fawcett Crest, NY, 1978)

(3) "A Great Sign" by Peter Robertson (Revivalstreams, Auckland, 2009)

(4) "Let the churches of the Gentiles beware at this late hour of the world's history...of yielding to unbelief in the promises of God, and inadvertently revealing apathy on the subject of Israel's conversion. By such neglect we shall commit a perilous mistake and incur the displeasure of God." (Dr. Alexander Somerville, Scottish Presbyterian divine,1813-89)

(5) "Chosen by God" by Christopher Catherwood (Crossways Books, Illinois, 1986)

(6) Genesis 37.

(7) These and other portions of the Bible (E.g. Rev 6.12 & 8.12) indicate that Israel's prophetic "light" is significantly "muted" during her final Passion (consisting of both persecution and chastisement), which immediately precedes her national awakening and Resurrection. In fact this "dimming" is itself the penultimate sign of our Lord's Return; the salvation of "all Israel" being the ultimate.

Season of Suddenly's

7 September 2011

As these Last Days intensify and escalate, we are going to find ourselves living in and through a "season of suddenly's". The Church was born in and into just such an hour:

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God." (Lk 2.13)

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind...And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." (Ac 2.1-4)

"Now as (Saul) journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice." (Ac 9.3-5)

And in exactly the same kind of dramatic interval and atmosphere, will salvation-history be fulfilled (with visitations of both great grace and chastisement):

"And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts." (Mal 3.1)

"But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father...Watch therefore...lest he come suddenly and find you asleep." (Mk 13.32-37)

"But as to the times and the seasons, yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When the people say 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them." (1 Th 5.1-3 also Jer 51.8-9 & Rev 18.1-2)

One of the reasons why eschatology is today generally scorned or else held at arm's length, is because we've had to wait so long for the Parousia or 2nd Coming. But, such a "delay" is not an invitation to cynicism and thinly disguised unbelief...but to patience and vigilance.

"What is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, 'The days grow long, and every vision comes to nought'?" (Eze 12.22)

"First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions, and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.' " (2 Pe 3.3-4)

"And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once...Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing hear." (Lk 21.9&28)

Nor is the promise of the Lord's "sudden" Return an inducement to panic and enter into a ministry of running at ever-increasing speed, in ever-diminishing circles. But it is a call to position ourselves in and for the End Times. What meaneth this?

The moment-by-moment "Administrator" of God's Will on the earth, in the Church and in history, is the Holy Spirit (supported by the holy angels).

"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirement." (Ac 15.28)

"Take heed to yourselves and to the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son." (Ac 20.28)

To position ourselves aright, so far as God's final "suddenly's" are concerned, is to locate ourselves aptly and appropriately alongside and in the Spirit of the Lord. Such an alignment is accurately and vividly prophesied by exiled Ezekiel, in his vision of a river flowing from the altar of the Temple. (Ch. 47)

Here we see, with the prophet, the whole historical, New Testament flow of the Holy Spirit. From Calvary through the desert (of this world), and on into the Dead Sea which it heals...i.e. ultimate worldwide revival, culminating in "the resurrection at the last day" and "life from the dead".

Therefore, it now behoves us to join the prophet (not as observers, commentators and critics on the banks), but in the River which is swollen with the final purposes of God, and which is "deep enough to swim in - a river that no one could cross"!

By committing and abandoning ourselves to this Heaven-sent cataract and current, two absolutely crucial things will happen:

1) We will be carried along to arrive and to be, wherever the River reaches; the place of destiny and divine appointment.

2) We will reach the right place, at the right time thoroughly "wet"...fully anointed for His service.

"So everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of very many kinds." (Eze 47.9-10)

"He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.' " (Jn 7.38)

Gagged Kiwi

24 August 2011

Dreamt this month (August) that I discovered a kiwi (iconic, NZ native bird) caught in a rat trap. I was very relieved to find that it was still alive; only its beak was trapped. I released it unharmed, and was surprised to find a piece of paper with a message written on it inside the bird's beak.

A critical and major problem for New Zealand's Church storms on...unacknowledged, unhindered and unchallenged! It is this, that "overseas" Christianity (especially North American) is usually (9.9 times out of 10?) deemed superior; the indigenous is continuously, contemptuously trammelled and trampled upon. Within this well-established "tradition", something truly unpardonable and lethal is occurring. The prophetic component or "department" of the whole Church, is quenching and silencing itself.

"Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast what is good." (1 Th 5.19-21)

Our collective lust (fame, fortune and feel-good) for the Heaven-sent "bread" God has given specifically to other nations, has beguiled and ensnared and silenced us. We (corporately) have no one to blame but ourselves.

"They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved...But before they had sated their craving, while the food was still in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them and he slew the strongest of them." (Ps 78.18-31)

God's Word for New Zealand is not going to be found by rushing off to the "latest-greatest" church overseas. Nor will it be heard by importing the current "man (or woman) of God" to star in a glossy-brochured and glittering, "prophetical" three-ring circus!

"Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down)...But what does it (faith) say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach)." (Ro 10.6-8)

"Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, 'Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.' " (Jer 1.9)

The Word of God is right now in "the prophet's" all of its beauty, power and resonance. But it is being foolishly and brutally suppressed. Into the consequent void and silence is gushing every kind of ridiculous, frothy flimflam and frippery that the devil, world and flesh can fashion to foist on a Church, blinded by cupidity and glistering "prophetic" toys, trinkets and baubles!

"Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry 'Peace' when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths...The sun shall go down upon the prophets and the day shall be black over them; the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God." (Mic 3.5-7)

"His (Israel's) watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough." (Isa 56.10-11)

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