THINGS TO COME
With acknowledgment to the Preacher Newsletter
I WANT to speak to you about two possible futures for the people of God in this generation. I am using this term "people of God" in the broadest possible way because it means different things to people who receive this newsletter. These are futures, which I believe God has shown me; they are not necessarily mutually exclusive of each other, indeed they could easily be confluent.
The great tragedy of this time is the blindness of God's Christian people to recognise the spirit behind political systems, which are crushing the liberties won by our ancestors. These liberties were flawed, anyway, in the sense that they were based on religious tolerance. Scholars of Protestant history will be aware that civil and religious liberties for all was a concept that came out of the ecclesiastical/political/spiritual battles which followed the Reformation and its impact on the British Isles. However, what has been lost to our modern perception of civil and religious liberty is that among the men who were involved in the titanic struggle to make it a reality, it was a given to the vast majority of them that this liberty necessarily excluded papists and heathens. This is why Roman Catholics were refused access to the political system until Wellington was pressurised into bringing about Catholic Emancipation in 1829. Sadly, the emancipation of Roman Catholics has become the enslaving of our nation. Now, let me make it clear here that this newsletter's stance toward Rome as a political system and what the Bible calls a "power" in the earth does not embrace hatred of people called Roman Catholics. Let me be crystal here: it is the policy of this ministry to attack Roman Catholics with the most powerful weapons in existence i.e. the free grace of the Gospel and the love of Jesus. I believe we should bomb popeheads with love! Why? Because I want them to be set free! These dear deluded souls are held in bondage by an evil system, which cares nothing for them.
So Rome used our Achilles heel of tolerance to "get in the back door" and you only have to look at the religious adherence of our politicians today to understand that Rome's lust for power drives her servants to obtain it for her. The leaders of the three main political parties in Britain today are Roman Catholics, or in Tony Blair's case, very sympathetic to Rome(some of my readers would say he is worse than a Catholic! Is such a thing possible?). The Speaker of the Commons is a RC for the first time in history. In case you think this is irrelevant, consider this: technically the Speaker is the highest power .in the House of Commons. Hisword is law in the Chamber.
Rome's encroachment on our Protestant heritage is almost complete with the advent of that Jesuit mind trick - political correctness. Political Correctness has led to the new laws against "racism" and "sectarianism". These laws are at the forefront of the New Inquisition, which will soon result in prominent Protestant organisations being outlawed, and, inevitably, Protestants being imprisoned for their faith. This is the first possible future. People who openly declare themselves to be Protestant are in the front line against this New Inquisition. The saddest thing is that many Christians who are blind to the need to maintain Protestantism regard these dear folks as nutters and extremists.God has even shown me that some modern day believers will take the view that Protestants deserve to be interned for their extremism!
But just in case all you faithful Protestants out there start to gloat against the Charismatics, let me tell you what is going to happen. And I have a word for you Charismatics too. The word is you're next! You see Rome/Babylon's agenda is to eliminate the true faith from the earth. The obvious first target of the New Inquisition is the openly Protestant bunch. We are very well advanced in this stage of the offensive. Protestants have been steadily marginalized, demonized, ostracized and are now in the process of becoming criminalized. Now the Charismatics are blissfully unaware of most of this war going on. Some of the more discerning ones are aware but turn a blind eye. Instinctively, though, Charismatics shy away from labelling themselves as Protestants. They know that it means persecution! Their anthem is "I'm just a Christian". Deep down they believe that if they don't rock the boat and identify themselves as Protestants, no one will bother them. They know persecution is coming; even they can read the signs of the times. And they have their pet escape doctrine to fall back on, which says they are going to get bailed out before the jackboots come marching down their street.
So here is the thing which I believe will happen. I know it's going to get Protestants hot under the collar and bug all you Charismatics too. Protestantism is going to become a hated, vilified and eventually outlawed religious viewpoint. Protestants who speak out against Rome will be jailed for their beliefs (I believe the recent heavy sentence handed down to a Muslim cleric is a test-the-water case). Charismatics will not be too much moved by this; they wil ltake the view that the extremist nutters should have kept their mouths shut and that their inoffensive, PC, distinctly non-Protestant Faith won't upset the powers-that-be. But then the unthinkable will happen! The same people who lobbed all the Protestants in jail will come after the Charismatics as well. And at that point Charismatic people will wake up to what is happening, cry out to God and be the vehicle God uses to destroy Babylon. In the process they will embrace Protestantism in a way that would astonish Protestants who today look with disdain at their ambivalence to our Protestant heritage.
The second possible future is that before the persecution gets to the levels I have outlined above, God in His mercy will come in revival. The revival is coming, either way.
Now I realise that some Charismatics have no problem identifying themselves as Protestants and vice versa. Some of my readers fit this profile. What I am speaking about here are two camps, not individuals. Both camps regard each other with disdain, hostility and suspicion. Many on both sides even doubt that people in the other camp are even saved. Charismatics see Protestants as legalistic, narrow-minded and oldfashioned. Protestants view Charismatics as flaky, heretical and scripturally illiterate. And that is understating things! But,as someone with a foot in both camps, I see things from both sides. I see the faults and the good points in both. My point is this: both sides fervently proclaim the Lordship of Christ, salvation by faith and share other key areas of agreement. But they are openly antagonistic each to the other. Now, if you think God is happy with that, you don't know Him.And don't tell me I am exaggerating things or even inventing this; I have heard the sheer contempt of people in both camps toward the other, to say nothing of the back catalogue of tapes, books etc by people sniping at each other. Now if I know anything about the nature of God, I can tell you He is grieved in the extreme when His people bicker with each other. Now I don't intend to bring a message here about unity. I am merely bringing a prophetic word (oops, might have lost the non-Charismatics with that one!). God doesn't move according to Protestant or Charismatic agendas: He moves in line with His own agenda. And if, in the process, He upsets all the Protestants and the Charismatics, that's fine by me. God is in the business of upsetting people. Let me tell you, you want Him upsetting you. I would rather He upset me than just let me go on and reap what I sow if I am in the wrong. So, if you are upset by this message, praise God! You better just go ahead and get right with God and ditch your bad attitude because I am not going to shut up. You won't shut me up and you can't shut me down. This newsletter is dedicated to proclaiming the unadulterated, uncompromised truth of the Word. If you want to get all religious or huffy, it won't affect the message one bit.
In short, what I am saying is that Charismatics are going to feel the same heat and be subjected to the same process of marginalization, demonization and criminalization that people who boldly claim ... themselves to be Protestant are presently going through. Those who doubt this should read Joe Stowell's The Trouble With Jesus, * a punchy, prophetic message on post 9/11 America, where the underlying Deism that America is built on (itself the product of Jesuit strategy) is coming to the fore, producing a religious climate where Jesus is not welcome. The exclusivity and supremacy of Jesus is not welcome in Babylon, in any of its forms. Those who maintain and proclaim this exclusivity and supremacy will not be welcome either, no matter what labels they call themselves by.
Persecution is coming. It is not inevitable, but it is coming. The old Reformers knew something we have yet to learn: Rome is, as Samuel Rutherford put it, "sick with blood". That is, the Great Harlot is thirsty for the blood of covenant men and women. "Surely not in the 21st century?" some naive soul might say. Well, let me ask you: what century is Revelation 17:6 in? Are you one of those Christians who just takes all the nice bits of the Bible ... healing,. prosperity etc? Don't get me wrong, I am not saying we should pray and believe God for persecution! "Lord, I claim persecution as my right, in Jesus' Name." Nobody in their right mind wants to be persecuted. But we have to face up to the spiritual climate we are facing. All the more reason for proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus more urgently, more boldly, more forcefully than ever. Because this proclamation is itself the very victory over Babylon.
So much of life can be described in analogy to the game of football. I recently rejoiced as God's team, the mighty Glasgow Rangers defeated Celtic in the CIS Cup Final. But the game itself is a metaphor for what has taken place in this world since Reformation times. Despite a fierce early onslaught from Celtic in the opening minutes, Rangers went on to score two goals and completely dominate the first half. They were cruising to an easy victory.But in the second half, God's team sat back and let Celtic into the game. Celtic scored and the game finished with Rangers on the rack, holding out for an eventual victory. In fact, Celtic missed a last-minute penalty. That is what has happened to God's team. Despite a fierce early onslaught from Rome early on, the Reformation swept Europe and dominated the continent. But God's team sat back and let the enemy back into the game. Here we are, holding on for a victory. Rome is lining up to take a penalty, which will completely undo the effects of our glorious first half. What next...?
* The Trouble With Jesus by Joseph M. Stowell. Published by MoodyPublishers Chicago.
ALMIGHTY GOD, unto whom all hearts be open, all Desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by tbe inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen
Book of Common Prayer, The collect, Holy Communion
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