Heavens like brass

I’ve been in tears a lot recently. Not sad tears, but passionate ones. Every next second I’m awake the burden of the Lord lays more heavily on my heart as I continue to have my ‘burning bush’ experience with Him. He tells me he is using me to do something, I say ‘surely not me’ and He replies ‘of course, its you I’m talking to, isn’t it?’

I’ve just been to the UK Territorial Congress were only 3 or 4 people out of around 2000 responded to the call to ‘rededicate themselves to the Salvation War.’ That brought me tears. There were maybe 12 or so who had responded to a call on a different subject, but only 3 or 4 responded publically. The Commissioner invited people to come and be changed from glory into glory, to see Jesus, to live to please God and let our glory shine as we fight in our Salvation War and only a handful responded. Sure, people may have responded in their seats, but when the calls was to be bold and step forward as an act of spiritual declaration and intention, I struggled to understand why there was no response.

I came face to face again with something that reflects the spiritual temperature of the Army in Scotland and the UK. The ‘notion’ that resounded loud in my heart was simply ‘the glory has departed from this gathering.’ The response was spiritually flat, there was no or little glory to be had, sought or found in that prayer meeting after the message. The heavens were like brass and I cried out silently to the Lord. I was stuck to my seat, I couldn’t move and the response I wanted to make myself just sank into the pain of the lack of response from the 3/4 full hall.

Don’t get me wrong, there had been some good moments in the congress. The morning message was powerful and the response was good, but it was led, immediately, by the African Salvationists from Manchester Central corps who as soon as the call was given, responded to Jesus. I believe it would have been a tougher meeting if the Lord had not used those brothers and sisters to lead the way.

I just have had to spend the time coming to terms with the spiritual climate of the territory once again. To be honest, I briefly questioned whether I should remain an officer in this movement. To be even more honest, its not the first time I’ve considered it in this last year, but the one thing that keeps my is my covenant. However, even that can be difficult to work out in the context of the Army.

But no, no, no. I will not forsake my calling to the lost and to the Army. Instead, I’ve re-signed it. They lost and the Army both need saving! My heart is for the renewal of God’s Army, that he would restore to us the joy of our salvation that comes from humble repentant hearts before him. My heart is for the hope that when God has done that work, he will then move us in our compassion to seek and save that which is lost.

I must simply grasp the nettle of what God is asking me to do. He is asking me to speak words that people don’t want to hear from a kind of person like me and the only reason that I’ll do it is because God has promised to go with me and speak for me and because God has shown me again and again the ‘plight of my people’ and I’m moved to respond.

God gives us grace

Andrew

PS Keep praying for General and Commissioner Clifton

Rivers Prophecy and Study

Dream

I had a dream in which I could see a map of a land with several rivers and waterways. The rivers were covered with a sort of green thick liquid which was polluting the streams. I was scraping the green substance off of the rivers of this map. Someone came up and asked what I was doing, and I said ‘just cleaning up these rivers…do you want to help?’ The person said yes.

The Lord has instructed me to do two things. 1) study rivers in the bible. 2) invite people to offer to pray into this vision and work and live to see it happen.

Rivers in the Bible

As I’ve studied the passages concerning rivers in the scripture the Lord has reveal a few things.

a) Judgement
The Lord has, in the past, polluted rivers as a sign of judgement against the oppression of God’s people like he did with the Egyptians. The result of this is that the citizens are unable to drink, the livestock will die and be satisfied from their streams (Exodus 4:9; 7:18; Psalm 74:15).

The Lord has also dried up rivers and this is the more symbolic representation of spiritual drought. God brings judgement upon a spiritually dry church and they don’t enjoy the refreshing of the Lord or understand the hidden depths of God’s word to them. (Job 14:11; 20:17

God dries up rivers for forsaking covenant and selling our birth right and for doubt his power to rescue and deliver, and for failing to be God’s people (Isaiah 50:2) If we had followed in his ways and his commands, if we had kept our covenant, our peace would have been like a river and our righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:18).

b) Repentance
We are invited to stand in the Jordan. The Jordan River is symbolic of death and moving through Jordan is a necessary spiritual process. In the New Testament, it was the place of John’s baptism of repentance.

It’s a symbol of sin becoming righteousness, it’s a symbol of death to life, captivity to freedom. The Israelites saw the Jordan separate when the Ark of the Covenant was placed with in it. We are invited again to repent of our sin, waywardness and by the strength of covenant to see the water part so that we can move to rivers of plenty. (Joshua 3:8; 4:18; Matthew 3:6)

The hearts of people should cry out to the Lord. O wall of Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night, give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. (Lamentations 2:18)

c) Promise
The Lord desires that we would move from polluted streams to rivers of plenty. The Scripture talks of a river of abundance. Its spiritual foundation is from the very throne of God (Revelation 22:1) and in the Old Testament, Ezekiel sees it as coming from the threshold of the temple, the place where God dwelled. This is a river from the Lord that is promised.

The Lord desires that this river should flow freely through the towns and cities of our nation, refreshing everything that comes in its path. By its sides will be an abundance of life and health, much fruit because this river flows from the very presence of God himself and this fruit will become the healing for the nations. The river is a river of justice which will never fail. (Ezekiel 47; Amos 5:24; Revelation 22:1-2).

d) invitation

We are invited, as in the days of Ezekiel, to wade into the river. These prophetic utterances have end-time connotations as well as past and current.

“3As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” “

Some are only content to get into God’s river ankle-deep…just touching the things of God, staying at the edges of all he is doing.

Some are only content to get in knee-deep, willing to get in further, bit not at the forsaking of their dignity and comfort of getting completely soaked

But the Lord’s invitation is to get in and swim about in this river, to be come immersed in it…not simply pass through it like we do if we are content with a shallow understanding of God and his word. He wants us to plunge beneath the waters and be drenched. Late your feet of the bottom at float.
This river flows from the right (the east) Who is sitting on the right side of the Altar? Who is sitting on the right side of God and who had His side opened with a spear releasing blood (still fresh) and water (still flowing) Revelation 22:1-2? Jesus.
For those who desire it, there are waters to swim in. When you swim in a river, the river has control of you. But if your feet are on the bottom of the river, you have control and not the river.

Make it your determination today to be working for the lifting of the pollution in our nation by being immersed in the water of the Spirit. Live in the awareness of the Jordan, the waters that remind you of repentance and restored covenant. Bring an end to the parched land of the church by becoming a stream in the desert. Around you and the people of God will flow abundant fruit which will bring healing to the nations.

End Note:
I close again with words of the ‘Scottish Prophecy’ that the Lord gave me several months ago:

The Lord desires to move through you like a north wind, quickening, awakening, helping the church to realise that its time to reap a harvest before the winter. Put your boots on, grab your ploughs and head to the fields for the harvest will be plentiful.

The wind will bring floods flowing down from the mountains of the highlands into the lowlands. There will be streams of running water that will make even the cities polluted streams taste sweet. The streets of cities and villages will be blocked with streams.

Some will set barriers around the streams and mark danger, but clansmen will know no fear and follow the flow to the deep water where the invitation is to get in above the waist.

A song to chew on…

To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice

by Keith Green

To obey is better than sacrifice,

I don’t need your money, I want your life.

And I hear you say that I’m coming back soon,

But you act like I’ll never return.


Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet,

How you thrive on milk, but reject my meat,

And I can’t help weeping of how it will be,

If you keep on ignoring my words.


Well you pray to prosper and succeed,

But your flesh is something I just can’t feed.


To obey is better than sacrifice.

I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights,

Cause if you can’t come to me every day,

Then don’t bother coming at all.

Lah, lah,lah….


To obey is better than sacrifice.

I want hearts of fire, not your prayers of ice.

And I’m coming quickly, to give back to you,

According to what you have done.

A word from the Lord via Bale

A word of prophecy to The Army given to Nearly-Captain Andrew Bale. I add my amen to this message…it corresponds perfectly with what I believe the Lord to be saying to us at this time. Read and respond with repentance, prayer and positive action. This can be the Army’s finest hour…we press on into Christ.

_____________________________________

Comrades in Christ

Isaiah Chapter 1 – a prophecy for the western territories of the Salvation Army and for individual soldiers within the Salvation Army.

The following came to me today in prayer and I share it in humility – may God bless, redeem, sanctify and use the Salvation Army – Hallelujah!

“The Salvation Army is one of my favoured children. In your youth I gave you a multicoloured coat woven with a weft of marvellous signs and wonders, but over the years you have rebelled against me until you are no longer able to recognise the sound of my voice. It is bad enough when a parent and child refuse to speak but when one fails to recognise the voice of the other the situation has become tragic. I am speaking to you as much as I ever have done but you do not recognise my voice.

I am still calling you in the direction of the disenfranchised and friendless but you cannot hear me.
I will am still calling you to purity of living and holiness but you cannot hear me.
I am still calling you to stand between the oppressed and the oppressor but you cannot hear me.
I am still calling you to the mighty work of soul winning but you cannot hear me.
I am still calling you to poverty, persecution and victory but you cannot hear me.

The once covenanted warriors of my Salvation Army have become desensitised to my voice.

Like the early church you were born with a rush of Pentecostal fire and your early years were accompanied by salvation war and revival. You were persecuted because you made serious inroads into the devil’s territory and the narrow way that led to heaven was crowded with your converts. You found again the pearl of holiness and sold all that you had to possess it.

Now you have become a

“Sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! You have forsaken the LORD; you have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned your backs on him.” (Verse 4)

I have seen your suffering and I beg you to stop your wilful self-harm.

“Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted…” (Verses 5-7)

Your Corps are closing, your seats are empty, your halls are falling into disrepair and you have no money to rebuild them. Other denominations are trying to use the weapons I crafted for you – they are trying – but they are not you and their armour is ill-fitting and clumsy, they have not read the manual, they have not been properly drilled, your methods – the tactics designed for you are alien to them.

“Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.” (Verse 7)

Yet in spite of this breakdown in our relationship, in spite of your rebellion and your self-harm and poverty you continue with your religious ordinances. You march to deserted streets and preach to nobody. You feed the slave and clothe him but fail to break his chains. You polish your holiness tables but deny the possibility of purity. You hold music festivals that are nothing but concerts with an ‘amen’ at the end. You parade your good works like phylacteries ensuring that the world – along with your right hand – knows exactly what your left hand is doing. This offends me, I find it detestable, it is worse than the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah – I never asked for this.

“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your evil assemblies.” (Verse 13)

You are praying and even fasting but I have blocked my ears – Salvation Army I am not listening to you.

“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.”

Go and wash yourself, your hands are stained with blood for the road to hell is now crowded with the shuffling hopelessness of those I raised you up to save and their blood is on your hands – you think it is enough to feed them and clothe them and wash them but it is not enough. There is no greater contradiction than yours for your arrogant self obsession slaps a man on the back with a hearty ‘God bless you’ and then turns away as he falls into the fiery fissures of hell.

“Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.” (Verse 16-18)

Once you depended on me, you bought where you had no money, you attacked where you had no chance of victory and you opened fire on a wing and a prayer. Once heaven rang with the sound of your volleys and the angels wept at the audaciousness of your evangelism but now you have prostituted yourself. Now you have taken what is Caesar’s and failed to give me what is mine. You have taken Babylon’s money and bedded the heathen philanthropist. You have sacrificed your right to pray and preach for the chance to buy a building. Once you shouted ‘no compromise’ but now you are all compromise.

“See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her— but now murderers!” (Verse 21)

What is my judgement to be? How will I treat you? What is my response to your individual and corporate sin?

“Come let us reason together…”

I am looking and waiting for you. Like the prodigal I can see you now feeding on the scraps of this unclean world. It is in this mess, that you have created, that you must come to your senses. Dear Salvation Army come back to me for I have a robe and a ring and a fattened calf all waiting for you. It is time to come home!

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Verses 18-20)

I have left for myself a remnant and if they will humble themselves and identify themselves in repentance and sorrow then I will unblock my ears and clear my eyes and let the ‘revolution now begin’.

The cost is repentance.
The cost is a full renunciation of the values and standards of this world.
The cost is a new and brave exposure to total dependence upon me.
The cost is a full consecration of all you have and are to me (all I have ever asked is that you love me with all your heart, soul, body and mind – I am a jealous God and will not share your love with another!)

“I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.” Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness.”

The future of the Salvation Army will be settled in the next 10 years – it is a clear choice – repent and live or rebel and die.”

Yesterday’s War

Monday should be my day off really. I am always really drained on a Monday, especially more so depending on what Sunday has been like. But we try to corner off Saturday so we have a day altogether as a family.

Yesterday the battle was intesting. Tracy preached in the morning. As I often do, I don’t prepare a Sunday evening until Sunday afternoon. The main reason for this is that our evening meetings constitue a higher proportion of worship and prayer than message, so the message isn’t the main part…plus, the Lord is usually spot on with providing the word for the Sunday evening.

So, on the way home in the car the Lord confirms his plans for the evening meeting. I say ‘yes Lord.’ Then Tracy says ‘I have migraine coming on.’ I say to myself, ‘interesting.’ Needless to say Tracy’s migraine progresses quite badly to the point of being sick. I send her to bed and begin to prepare the message on….’taking back ground from the enemy!’

By this point I’m aware that my wife is sick because of my sermon topic. The Lord leads me to leave Tracy to work it out on her own. I go to the meeting, explain Tracy is sick and that isn’t a surprise because I’m preaching about the schemes of the enemy and announce that we’ll be engaging in some corporate repentance.

Meanwhile, Tracy is back home and the Lord reveals to her the source of her migraine as she is reading my message on the computer. He instructs her to raise her hand and the migraine dissappears.

Back at the hall, after the good and significant meeting, someone asks me to tell Tracy she hopes she will be better soon. I say to them: Tracy will be fine now…the meeting is over and the Lord will have taken the migraine away.

I get home, the migraine has gone, Tracy is now more advanced in the school of warfare, the corps have released some heavy duty sin to the blood of Jesus and rejoicing in a few more degrees of freedom today, and the enemy is pushed back a little further.

Thats the news from this front today. This evening is corps council – hallelujah!