10/04/2007

The tide is turning to recover all

I am going away with the family for a few days, but I had one more post on my heart...

Easter in West Norwood, London, is an exciting time! We have had two precious services - Good Friday morning and Easter morning, and an outreach on Saturday morning. We had many visitors at both services and a number want to find out more about the Lord. We are starting an Alpha course in week's time to meet that need.

At the same time as this, our friends at the Worldwide Mission Fellowship have held their Easter Conference, which concluded last night.

The theme of their conference this year was "Recover All." This follows on from the message brought by Pastor Dennis Greenidge at the start of the year (see my report on that). The enemy is a thief and a liar and we do need to learn to take back all that has been stolen (God's promise to David was "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all" 1 Sam 30v8). But they are not seeing this simply as things, but in the wider context. For example Isaiah 61v4: "And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations."

It was sitting in one of these meetings (on Saturday evening) that a number of prophetic words (some old and some new) are witnessing together that we are truly in amazing days. There are four which are particularly on my heart.


The tidal wave - and the turning tide

My good friend Dan. Back in November he had a powerful dream of a tidal wave hitting Brighton. I understand that he has shared this with Terry Virgo and that a number of others have had similar visions.

At the same time, Newfrontiers are speaking of the tide turning. Terry Virgo speaks of this in his book, The Tide is Turning. Let me quote from him:

"When recently gathered with some hundreds of pastors for days of prayer and fasting, it seemed that God impressed upon us that we have entered into a new era. It would not be like a new day, when familiar bird sounds and the light of the dawn prepare us for the predictable. It would not be like a new season with its recognisable transition from heat to cold or from buds to leaves. An era is less recognisable. One man discerns that steam lifts the lid of the kettle and begins to ponder the possibility of steam power. Within a few years steam power has changed the world. Sailing becomes only a sport or hobby. Steam ships encircle the globe and an industrial revolution has broken out. A new era has come.

"While it is possible to deplore the closing of many a church building, it is also possible to celebrate the opening of new churches on every side. Warehouses are being purchased, school halls are being hired, even redundant church buildings are being snapped up. The manager of a music shop in London told a friend of mine that he was selling most of his musical instruments to 'all those new churches that are starting up around here.'"

The tide is turning - and a mighty wave is coming!


Replevin
This was a word given to Dennis Greenidge a short while after he had the word for his church for 2007, "the year of payback". The term replevin is a legal term and means:

"A judgement in favour of a person giving them the right and authority to recover all goods and possessions which have been wrongfully taken. A decree by the judge giving a person the legal right to recover all."

This obviously inspired the theme of the Easter Conference, but I believe it has wider implications. The nations are the rightful inheritance of the Son, because the Father has given them to Him, but at present the world is "under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5v19). This should not be. The nations belong to Jesus as His right. As His chosen vessels we have the right to recover what has been stolen. That is the Church's mission - to the ends of the earth.


The people of the Word and the people of the Spirit

This is a word given by Smith Wigglesworth in 1947. Here it is in full:

“During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it, and will be characterised by the restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

"The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches. In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is a great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.’

"When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit.

"When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nations, and indeed, the world have ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years.

The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”

We have seen each of the first two waves. With the exception of Newfrontiers, by and large, the restoration movement of the 1970s has declined from the heights of those Dales Bible Weeks. And yet something is stirring around the world. Not simply in the "new" churches, but in many churches - and people are coming together. I believe the prophecy given by Greg Haslam at the Brighton Leadership Conference in 2003 , is significant. The prophecy spoke of different metals - different streams - coming into a crucible. He told them “'Do not call unclean what I have called clean'. There will be such an openness and receptivity among us to something that God is gathering and heating under the power of His Holy Spirit."

The Lord is bringing people together - in order to bring revival!


The people of the anointing

Finally, this is a vision that Dr Ern Baxter had many years ago (in the 1960s). I first heard it about 7 years ago, but recently it has been quickened to me again.

Ern Baxter spoke of this vision at the Kansas City Shepherd's Conference in 1975. But the vision itself took place during a convention in Canada some 12 years previously. Ern said:

"One night as I waited there, I felt I should get on my knees and as I got on my knees I had a vision. In a vision, I saw the earth as the astronauts pictured it from the moon. It was an orb out in space, and all over that orb were Quonset huts. Now many of you are too young to know what they are, but after the last world war, the army sold those aluminum, warehouse-like structures called Quonset huts which had become army surplus. At any rate, I saw Quonset huts all the globe and they were all the same size.

"I said, "God - what's this?". He replied, "I am going to have in every place, a people that are known for the anointing". Now at that time I had a permanent pastoral charge, and I didn't know then that I would be involved in a travelling ministry; but He said, "And when you travel from place to place, you will not ask for My people by this name or that name, but you will say 'Where are the People of the Anointing'?".

It fits so clearly with the promise of the people of Word and Spirit coming together, and with Greg Haslam's prophecy. Not this church or that church - but the people of the anointing. All over the world.


There has been talk of convergence! Praise the Lord. We need to seek God for this. He has promised it and it is beginning, but we need to continue to seek Him. A tidal wave surely shall come. The church shall exercise the replevin that God has given her to bring the nations to worship: "All nations whom You have made shall come and owrship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name." (Psalm 86v9)

I believe that this is a significant year. Let us be diligent seekers after the Lord.

All-powerful on high,
Dazzling in splendour bright,
Enlarge our souls, our hearts inspire
With Pentecostal might-
We dare not let Thee go –
Thou art our one desire:
Oh, rend the heav’ns, in power come down!
Baptise us, Lord with fire.
(LFW Woodford)
{Edit 2013:  So 2007 passed without significant breakthrough!  Yet, we continue to pray!

Does this mean that the prophecies were false?  Were they prophecies at all?  I am going to leave the question of prophecy for another day.  I would just say this:  2007 was a year of great hunger after God.  We didn't see revival.  But let's not allow that to stop us seeking today!}

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