Earlier today, I re-posted a comment from Rick Joyner, who many of you will know is a highly respected prophetic voice the world over. The more I’ve thought about his words, the more excited I’ve become, as it really does truly seem that this really COULD be the season in world history where Romans 5:20 REALLY comes into practical reality, as opposed to a reassuring promise for tough times….
End times? (Never mentioned in the Bible, though ‘Last Days’ are….)? Could Syria be the cataclysmic catalyst of evil being set loose – pitting Iran, Syria, Russia, and China, and maybe others, against the rest of the world? Who knows….? It is flipping serious stuff though: will we be ‘raptured’ or will we go through the tribulation?
I asked that question 26 years ago, to a group of 5 pastors in Guangzhou, China. They laughed – not at me, but at the western obsession with ‘rapture’, all 5 of them, and countless others I met on various forays into China, in revival – then – for 40 years, so 70 now, all those years ago, asked me, ‘If we in China are not experiencing the tribulation, then what ARE we going through?’ All of them had been beaten, tortured, imprisoned, sent to labour camps in Siberia, hassled regularly in the middle of the night by secret police. Samuel, one of the pastors, had been in a coal mine, 2,000 feet underground, for 22 years: another, George, had had to stand every day, in the human cesspit, in the excrement of 10,000 men, up to his neck – 18 hours a day for 18 years….(‘It was my private garden where I walked and talked with Jesus every day’ and then he’d sing his favourite hymn to you – the Rose Garden – chorus ‘and he walks with me and he talks with me, and tells me I am his own, and the joys we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known’…. Is that rapture? Yep, rapturous, in the sublime relationship with God that hurtles forward when the going gets far more than tough, but not of the sort that sees nice, middle class christians swept off their feet just as the chemical warfare begins….
Part of the problem is that in the west, we’ve never had to live with persecution or trouble. I’m so grateful to God that He’s ALLOWED me the privilege of going to places where there has been persecution, torture, and death. It’s made ME make choices I’d never have made if I’d stayed at home. Someone – an American – said of some of his ‘brothers and sisters in the church there, that they are ‘a thousand miles wide (‘have a nice day’) and an inch deep. True of so many western countries.
When I asked those amazing Chinese pastors what it will take for us, in the west, to see God do what He’s been doing there for 7,8 or more decades – their answer was unanimous: ‘We pray every day that God will BLESS the western world with the precious gift of persecution’ – and they said that, having said a few minutes BEFORE I asked that question (my earlier question had been ‘What do you say to people you pray for for healing who don’t get healed?’) – they looked at me as though I was from another planet. ‘That NEVER happens! What do you mean, God doesn’t answer prayer? It’s not possible for God NOT to answer prayer. We NEVER have a prayer not answered’…..
Just to remind you, this is Rick’s word: The greatest ingathering of new believers that the world has ever seen will soon be upon us. We are far from ready for this. Our upcoming Harvest Conf. Sept.26-29 may be the most important conference we have ever hosted. I was told would result in such a radical change in our ministry and purpose that it would be the last conference we would host, and the beginning of a whole new paradigm for our gatherings. We are in the times of the greatest crisis but also the greatest opportunity. If we seize the opportunity it will turn out better than we ever dreamed.
I don’t WANT to be raptured: I want to be HERE when God turns up with such an excess of grace that that greatest ingathering of new believers is part of my experience, and I’m on the front line rejoicing in the words of a God who keeps his promises! Grace WILL abound all the more – 2 Corinthians 1:20, Titus 1:2 – I so long to see Satan totally and utterly destroyed, I want to be there when the opportunity to stand on his neck and crush him underfoot comes along….
SEIZE THE DAY, BOYS, SEIZE THE DAY…. Robin Williams, in ‘The Dead Poet’s Society’ – Rick Joyner, in his word, above…. SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY. I’m so brassed off (I’m being polite there!) with people who talk a good faith, who spout the namby-pamby ‘prophecies’, the people who don’t want to ‘go’ because of spiders/snakes/food/ toilets/ guerillas bullets/hardship/persecution…. I’m so angry at how the enemy has deluded the church for so many generations that so many are just nice middle-class social clubs….
Come on, Rick Joyner, I’m with you…a WHOLE NEW PARADIGM… Wow!!!!! Yes please, Lord!!!!