Posted by: Peter | 24 November 2013

Jacaranda Tree

This post is going to be about Anglican matters, and what I see as at least the partial fulfillment of a prophecy given 9 years ago.

Back in June 2004, I received this word:

Ichabod

I saw a mid sized tree (or possibly a large bush) with only bare brown branches. The tree was dead, and represented to me the apostate church.  Springing from the same ground, a little to one side, was a strong shoot, green and sprouting.  This represented the new church that is being brought forth to life.  I saw the potential that this shoot had, to become a strong vibrant tree, full of flowers and fruit.

This acted as a reinforcement of my current feeling that God is dividing the Church – not just letting it be divided, but actively making it happen, indeed using those with a liberal agenda to His purposes.  The dead tree is ‘ichabod’ – the Glory has departed.  The structure is still there, and indeed may take some time to decay, but the Glory is there no more.  I am left with the impression that investing any more time in this structure is futile, a waste of time.  Rather, we should be considering the growth of what God is raising up.  It has a real potential, but it’s still potential now, we need to be obedient in being grown

Now, much has happened since that original word, and one key thing has been the growth of the new Anglican Church worldwide - not apart from the Anglican Communion, but very much central to it; renewal from within.  The old structures are there, but they are increasingly dead, decaying and surviving by consuming themselves.

The future of this Communion can be found in such places as GAFCON.  And it was in relation to the second GAFCON conference held in Nairobi recently that I saw this fulfillment.

BabyBlue had this post up, talking about the Jacaranda Tree.

Jacaranda Tree

GAFCON 2013 is now over and the participants are preparing to return home.  I am listening to Josh Garrels, who wrote Jacaranda Tree.  I had posted online an amazing photo of a Jacaranda Tree taken by Andrew Gross in Nairobi this week during the GAFCON gathering.  The photo had remained in my mind throughout the week and it just seemed to reflect the best of this historic gathering Kenya – the best of it.  We are all branches of a beautiful tree, seeking to bloom – and sometimes in the most unexpected places.

We are indeed seeking to bloom, and will do, as much as God blesses us to do so.  Though, I still believe that to produce the fruit that the Lord calls us to, we will have to be brought, repeatedly, to our knees in repentance and prayer.  That’s the key to revival.  There is nothing we can do, except humble ourselves, and beseech the Lord to have mercy on us.  Then perhaps, perhaps, He will give us the best of gifts – Himself.  Everything else flows from that.

Posted by: Peter | 30 September 2013

The key to loose is protected by the key to bind

I have been meaning to post this from Bonhoeffer for a while – it is most insightful.

Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you (Matt. 7:6).  The promise of grace is not to be squandered; it needs to be protected from the godless.  There are those who are not worthy of the sanctuary.  The proclamation of grace has its limits.  Grace may not be proclaimed to anyone who does not recognize or distinguish or desire it.  Not only does that pollute the sanctuary itself, not only must those who sin still be guilty against the Most Holy, but in addition, the misuse of the Holy must turn against the community itself.  The world upon whom grace is thrust as a bargain will grow tired of it, and it will not only trample upon the Holy, but also will tear apart those who force it on them.  For its own sake, for the sake of the sinner, and for the sake of the community, the Holy is to be protected from cheap surrender.  The Gospel is protected by the preaching of repentance which calls sin sin and declares the sinner guilty.  The key to loose is protected by the key to bind.  The preaching of grace can only be protected by the preaching of repentance.

Not sure I can add much to that, other than to observe that the preaching of repentance does not seem to be a popular thing these days.  Which is why it is very likely to be all the more needed.

Posted by: Peter | 6 February 2013

The shape of things to come

I was reading with some interest the recent European Court case involving four Christians.  The outcome was all too predictable – Christians 0, Secular Culture 1 (apart from one case, to cover the essential decisions in all the others).

What I found most interesting was the comments that followed.  One dominant thread was that of “if you can’t do that job because of your beliefs, tough – go find another job”. Now, what that really is about is the emergent new intolerance, breaking free from its shell for all to see.  Really, it was there all the time – all the nonsense about tolerance and diversity were mere platitudes to cover the essential reality of nations descending again into paganism, and one worldview replacing another.

What’s particularly notable is that the new intolerance is now on public display, and the reality is it will become more entrenched as time goes on and the new worldview cements its hold.  Expect to see more restrictions on what Christians may do.  Don’t expect the eventual realisation that Christians have been ‘marginalised’, ‘sent to the back of the bus’, ‘unable to get decent employment’ etc. to be a wakeup call.  Rather, what you will hear is  “your bigoted beliefs, your problem”.

In this new totalitarianism, there is no softening of Christian love or charity; in this new diversity is only uniformity; in this equality, some are less equal than others; in this tolerance festers the most rank form of intolerance.  And most will either not care, or celebrate it.

Well, this sounds a bit grim, doesn’t it?  Still – all is well, for “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn 16 v33b.  The world will hate you, it is what it does.  If you bear the mark of Christ, you will be hated.  But He has overcome the world, defeated it and led captives in His train.  There will be a wedding feast of the Lamb.  And on that day, the spirit of this age will be cast out to the place where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Because the Lamb has overcome all.  Will you stand with Him, follow Him, even if that means following in His footsteps to the cross?

Posted by: Peter | 1 January 2013

The storm

A storm is coming,

It will rise and cover the ends of the earth.

It will touch all,

Rich and Poor,

Sinner and Saint.

Make your foundations deep,

In Rock, not in sand,

In Who cannot be broken

Wait for the Lord and He will clothe you with strength and grace from on High,

And you will weather the storm, and be mighty in the land.

 

Posted by: Peter | 21 November 2012

Shallow soil

I feel led to repost the first prophetic vision I had back in 2002.  It’s not rocket science, but it needs saying, and it needs hearing.

Blessings,

Peter

This vision was given to me when I asked the Lord why I felt like I was starving at our then current church.  I was feeling increasingly frustrated that there was something very real and vital missing from us.  The vision given was specifically for that church but I feel it has a wider application.

I saw a tree, most particularly the root structure, in profile.  The soil was shallow and there was a large boulder, or mass of rock underneath.  Most roots spread out widely into shallow soil.  While the tree was alive, there was no depth to sustain the tree should there be a drought.  Neither was there sufficient depth of soil to feed the tree properly.

At the same time I also saw a tap root, extending down through the heart of the rock.  The root had the potential to grow and break up the rock, which was preventing a deep and healthy root system.

This vision is both a warning and a hope.  The tree represents the Church, in particular the western Church.  The warning is that the Church is reliant on shallow soil, and as a result it cannot grow further and it cannot withstand times of trial.  We spread our roots widely through all the avenues of shallow faith and faint spiritual reality.

However, the hope is also with us.  The tap root (perhaps representing Jesus) has already drilled through the rock (which represents all that which would prevent the growth of the Church).  This Root is like a promise, a potential to us.  If we direct our efforts through this Root, we can spread deeply and widely, and can begin to break up the rock.  That may appear daunting, and will not be easy, but it is possible, the strength is there.  We are all called to go deeper, with all the potential that lies there.

Both the warning and hope are held out to us.  It requires a response.

Posted by: Peter | 12 October 2012

Seek the Lord

Seek the Lord while He may be found.

Seek the Lord before the gates of mercy shut.

For none of us know when our time is up.

We have plans, purposes.  Perhaps they will bear fruit, perhaps not.

The Lord is still the Lord whether or not we choose to acknowledge him.

All our time is in His hands.  So redeem it well!  And know how limited it is.

It is not morbid to think so, it is wisdom. Better than pretending all will stay the same.

So seek Him.  Seek Him while He may be found!

Posted by: Peter | 8 July 2012

The Father’s Heart

To have a heart that is aligned with Yours.  To see what You are doing and do likewise.  To care about the things that You care about.  That is my desire.

So easy to focus on trinkets, things of no eternal value.  But we are finite creatures, with finite time.  So quickly it flies away.  Take captive every thought for Christ, the Book says, and it is right.  For on what you focus, there will your heart be also.

Not to say there is not room for interests, for hobbies, and the suchlike, but the relentless round of entertainment, of the endless procession of worldly things, can distract, confuse, beguile and mislead.

Better to have a heart that is focused on the things of the Lord – on His things, not on our concept of what serving should be.  His yoke is easy, and His burden light.  Ours, often not so much.  How much we miss by refusing Him, even as we think we serve Him.

Lord Jesus, help us care about the things You care about.  Help us to be where you are also.  Amen.

Posted by: Peter | 5 April 2012

Judgment

I had a vivid dream back in February that I’ve been holding on to – not knowing what, if anything, I should do with it. I’m posting it today in the attempt to be obedient, and pass on to you what I saw.

I was in the high Arctic, in a small town. There was a central facility with a team gathered there, who fed and helped us. I left the place, to gather other people to this place, but as we approached it again a large wave crashed into the facility, drowning / freezing those who were there. What we were left with was small hovels, huddling to keep warm. Immediately after, I had the sense of the grief of the Lord – so much raw passion. Then, subsequently, it was as if I saw huge waves crashing onto the coastlines of the earth. So much of what was of value to people was ruined. Many, many deaths.

I’m not going to sugarcoat this one, or try to explain what it might mean. Let the reader discern in His name – and any feedback is welcome.

Blessings,

Peter

Posted by: Peter | 24 February 2012

Prophetic words for this day, final

After some time away, I wanted to finish this series with something from the Fisherman, posted originally in 2007.

It is better, friend, that you get caught now
Even now, at last light
This is all that remains
The eternal Now
The final Choice

Therefore, choose
Choose now
Be caught by Love
Or spin and tumble into the eternal Dark
Alone and lost, forever

Choose

I will leave that with you for now and, God willing, I will post more shortly.

Posted by: Peter | 6 November 2011

Prophetic words for this day, part 10

As this series comes to a close, I want to focus on the Church, the bride of Christ. In Jesus’s eyes, we are the pearl of great price, as He is also to us. I feel His lamenting over our fallen condition; so often we fall very short of what we could be, what He intends us to be. Truly did Jesus say, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18 v8b). We could be so much more! Yet, so often we find the ‘comforts’ of Egypt to be preferable to His promises. Why? Because it is hard, and we prefer the precariousness of false comforts. Still, He loves us so much, it will not stay this way….

The snake and the Church
16th February 2006

I saw a giant snake, long and thick, coiled around a reclined human figure. The figure was pasty white and bloated, obviously unhealthy. The figure seemed oblivious to his position (the figure seemed masculine, but the sex was not important), and was stuffing his face with cake.

It’s as if I was seeing this with the Lord. I perceived the snake as satan / the world, and the reclining figure as representative of the Church. I saw the grip that the world had on the Church, and the oblivious nature of Church to the entwining coils. Indeed, for me the relined posture and the cake represented an active complicity in the whole picture.

I guess I expected the Lord to be angry. But instead I became aware of his great compassion and unbounded love for the whole Church. Even a Church that was willingly complicit in its own enslavement. It often seems that way, either I get a sense of profound judgment, or of unlooked for and undeserved compassion and love. This time it was most definitely the latter, and I had the sense that I was given some understanding of how the Lord views our (western) Church.

As I was looking at this, I became aware that the Lord was totally in charge of this situation, and that He was biding His time. “When I’m ready……..”. I saw an axe in place to lop off the snakes’ head. The impression I had was that it would be an immediate and cathartic action – an overnight judgement. For the man, the human figure representing the Church, it would be to his ultimate salvation and healing. I saw that if this was not done, the Church would undergo a slow death through engorgement. The Lord made me aware of this, and that His judgement on the snake was to be to the Church’s salvation.

However, it would be far from easy, not comfortable in any way. For the man, it would be deeply painful, just like a drug addict forced to kick his habit. For a Church entwined by the world, and deeply complicit in that entwinement, this would be a most painful salvation; indeed to the Church it would seem nothing like being saved, at least to begin with.

The Lords’ ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts (Is 55 v8).

Consider also His judgment of the false teachers that lead His flock astray….

2 Peter 2
1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. ……. 17These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

For those who assume that Christianity is (or should be) ‘nice’, ‘kind’ or ‘gentle’, may find the above a little disconcerting. Why such a harsh denunciation? Well, before answering that question it’s worth considering first the genuine article.

That fact is Christianity is not safe, it is not timid, it is not about being nice and kind. Aslan is not a safe lion. He is, however, good. The Way of the Cross costs everything, and nothing, simultaneously. The path of salvation is free, and it will claim everything you have. It is the pearl of great price that costs both the finder and creator everything. It is our only hope, and it is a Hope that leads us to a Life that is beyond compare.

It is the beautiful sunrise, the music of angels, the new seed risen from the earth in springtime, the tall redwood lifting majestically from the forest floor, the white expanse stretching to the horizon in the deep cold of winter, the mysteries of the ocean depths, the high peaks of the distant mountains. It is all these things, and more, moving to places where words and human imagery do not suffice. Sometimes, when the veil is thin, we know. Othertimes, the weight of the world seems to all but crush that hope from us. This is our Hope, our only Hope, that Christ died, and rose, and even now prepares a place for us who have believed in His name, taken up our cross and followed Him.

When you understand this, when you can see these things, even though they seem far off, you must therefore understand why the harshest judgment is rendered to those who would lead the people astray. These false teachers and prophets who, not having the Truth within them, take the things of God, and turn them to the doctrines of demons.

The greatest heresy is the one that contains the greatest amount of truth. We respond to the truth, and then run the danger of swallowing the lie too. The things of God are used for the most debased ends – rather than conforming ourselves to the word of God we conform the word of God to our own image, twisting and perverting the Bible so that it will say what we want it to say, using it as a cheap salve to our rapidly deadening consciences.

No wonder there is such a great condemnation to those who ‘return to their vomit’, and more than that, actively encourage others to enter the same degradation. Those who would call good evil, and evil good. There is such a Life, such a Prize ahead of us, no wonder that those who seek to deceive, to offer a cheap gaudy imitation, are judged most severely.

What do we do when we discern those who are unrepentantly preaching heresy? Who will not be corrected, and whose consciences are seared? We know, for it is in the Book – flee from them, flee far from them. The Lord knows our frame, knows we are dust. Grappling with them is like grappling with the tar baby. The more we try to correct, the more they twist and turn, adding a dash of heresy here, and unorthodox thought there, until it is hard to discern anything. We are at spiritual risk while we stay near such people. Hence – flee from them – their mouths are like the open grave and their way leads only to death.

We must be sober, alert, and aware, for the time grows short. Deception will increase, even deception that will sway the elect. What then are we to do? For, in our humanity, we cannot discern, or understand the nature of all heresies.

Well friends, we can do no other and no better than to turn everything, including ourselves, over to God. He knows our hearts. If our hearts are for Him, it is because His heart was first for us. He knows our frame, and if we do not lean on our own understanding, but on Him, then we are leaning on the Rock of Ages that cannot crumble. There is no better place to be. He will keep our feet from stumbling, our eyes from blindness, our heart from hardness.

If we always keep our eyes fixed on Him, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, we will run the Race to the finish line, there to claim the great Prize for which Christ died.

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