THE CRUCIBLE WITH RICHARD ARMITAGE AND HOW IT TOUCHED ME

THE CRUCIBLE AND HOW IT TOUCHED ME

Disclaimer: If you are here in the hope of reading a succinct, professionally, well written, well documented and informed review of The Crucible as currently performed at the Old Vic Theatre in London, you have come to the wrong place. This is the humble account given by a mere mortal of an experience which will stay with me forever for reasons that may not touch another person to the same degree or in the same manner.

On Saturday 26th of July I had the privilege of being able to see The Crucible at the Old Vic Theatre in London. My husband does not share my love for the English word or any of its manifestations and so I don’t go to the theatre as much as I would like. I am a 44 year old Spanish woman but have been living in England for 23 years. I studied English Philology at a Spanish University, a five year degree which covers subjects such as English history, literature, philosophy, linguistics amongst others, my favourite being: Literary Criticism. When I was at University, in my mind and in my heart I was heading to one day become a Literary Critic. That was my passion and I was very good at it. I always got the highest scores when I wrote my own review on a particular piece or book. I loved the power of words and how they convey different feelings and emotions to different people; how they can touch you in corners of your soul where nothing else can; how they can make the world go round and at times stop on its tracks. Life, however, often surprises us and veers us in a direction which we never suspected we might take or planned to take. I say life veers us, but in my own experience I now know it was not life but God closing some doors and opening new ones, protecting me from choices which may have made me happy for a time but in the long run would have driven me further away from knowing Him and from having a purposeful and meaningful life.

Going to the theatre and enjoying the entertainment industry in general can be an expensive affair, specially if you wish to get a decent seat where you can feel comfortable and actually be part of what is going on on stage, and so in order for me to make a visit to the theatre a regular ocurrence, I would have needed to sacrifice other parts of the family budget which seems like an indulgence to me in these days we live in. I tell you this so that you understand that this was for me a very special evening by the very nature of its rarity, and needless to say, by the prospect of seeing Richard Armitage act on a stage and of potentially meeting him afterwards.

Being the rare event that this was going to be and knowing it may not happen again for many months, perhaps years, I decided to make the most of the experience by actually getting up to speed with other people’s reviews, their take on the play, feedback and general impressions, which I find is a good way of getting the general gist of what to expect. Clearly, the best way will always be going to the source itself and so I also purchased “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller on my Kindle and read it over the course of a week prior to my visit to the Old Vic. American Literature was another of my favourite subjects at University, although this had more to do with gazing across the room at a very attractive teacher and not so much with the subject itself, but anyway, although we covered quite a lot, The Crucible by Arthur Miller was not amongst it.

Let me tell you first and foremost that I am a Christian or at least I try to be, I would like to be. It is a very tall order following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and unfortunately, I don’t even come remotely close to even his sandals, but He is my focus, my North, my rock and the compass I use in my daily life to guide me in everything I do, say and think. More often than I care to admit, I keep Him out of the equation, but when I look for Him afterwards, He is always there to pick up the pieces of my wrongdoing, my insecurities, my prideful and selfish actions; to pick me up so that I can try and make a better go of things the next time.

The reason I tell you all this is so that you understand that choosing to go and see a play that dwells in the “taboo” subjects of witchcraft, the power of the devil and the controlling power, firm grasp and devastating results that legalistic religion at the hands of proud, control-driven and weak individuals can have on a person or a collective, amongst many other subjects, was not an easy decision to make or one I was going to take light-heartedly. I knew I was going to experience very strong emotions in an enclosed, relatively small space, full of people, at a stone’s throwaway from the actors themselves and with nowhere to run mid-flow, should my heart begin to beat so fast that no one can hear or sense anything else but the fear and anxiety running through my veins. For an spectator who is an atheist, an agnostic or a Christian in word but not in deed, a lot of what goes on during this play would go straight over their heads, but for me personally, I knew beforehand certain things I might witness during the play would make me feel terrified, nervous and very, very uncomfortable. Indeed, seeing the plot unfold was no different at various points of the play than standing in front of a mirror at home and coming face to face once again with the unwelcome but familiar ghosts named disappointment, betrayal, fear, lust, temptation, pride, unforgiveness and a number of demons which I battle with in my own personal day to day existence.

For me and for all Christians, there are two very distinct dimensions which co-exist: the natural (what we see, hear, feel, touch, smell) and the spiritual (those things which we cannot see, but often sense may be taking place, the forces of good fighting the forces of evil in the world or simply put: God versus the devil). This is as real to me as life itself. I have met self-declared Christ followers and I have met self-declared ex devil worshippers and I tell you that at their worst either of them can become extreme and cause as much hurt, devastation and pain as each other. What I mean is that pride, fear and ignorance can be a terrible thing and whether you act driven by any of those three elements, be it in the name of God or of the Devil, the results can be equally devastating.

This is something which comes across very clearly in the play as enacted by the current cast at the Old Vic. A village torn apart by suspicion, lust, pride, deceit and the willingness to sell our soul to the highest bidder when we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. This awful darkness and sense of despair in a cruel and harsh environment such as it was at that time in Salem, Massachusetts, is beautifully contrasted by the light and tenderness, the redemptive thread that runs through and is brought about in the play so poignantly by the characters of John Proctor (Richard Armitage) and his wife, Elizabeth Proctor (Anna Madeley).

Both of them, but specially Richard Armitage, convey so vividly and humanely that moment in a person’s life most of us hope never comes when our integrity, our whole being, those whom we love, and care for, the God we worship, if any, and our very soul are at stake, that moment where the choice we make will bring either life or death, both in the natural and spiritual realm. Thousands of people around the world are being persecuted, tortured and murdered for their faith right now, and for them a moment like this which is so sensitively, intuitively, innately acted by Armitage and Madeley, is all too real. Indeed, for so many there is no choice to be made, because that choice has been taken away by those who play God to sustain and feed their greed, pride, fanatism, power, you name it.

This is a very timely play and a timeless one at that for the threads that underpin it are forces which the world has had to contend with for thousands of years, indeed the whole of humanity rests and has been built and developed upon the pillars of faith, good, evil, greed, world domination, control, lust, pride, integrity, freedom, love and so many other forces which are at war with each other and in a permanent battle to establish which one shall ultimately prevail.

As a Christian woman witnessing this play unfold, the final moments during the trial when Proctor has to make that choice as to whether to sell his soul in order to keep his life or to remain true to who He is, to those whom He loves and love Him and to God himself, is for me an all too believable, foreboding, almost prophetic moment in a society which is rapidly becoming secular and where the Christian Faith who was the Lion in the Human Kingdom is fast becoming the elephant in the room. There is a sense of acceleration around us made all too aware by how fast technology is developing, scientific and medical advances are progressing, and the sense of urgency and immediate gratification we all let our lives be ruled by. It won’t be long before as Christians in the United Kingdom we may have to be in John Proctor’s shoes and be wrongly accused of something we have not done, admit to something we are not by a society which is blinded by the power of evil, self-worship and a clear lack of a moral compass and integrity; we may have to make the impossible choice of saving our life by betraying our soul or confessing the truth and saving our integrity but signing our own death sentence in the process. For me, Richard Armitage, transmitted all these emotions in a spectacular fashion. He captivated the audience and not just by his manly, handsome presence but so much more so by the palpable dynamism in his performance of the co-existing traits in Proctor’s personality where love and hate, self-assurance and fear, aggression and sheer tenderness can co-exist in equal measure. This illustrates beautifully the peril the world is in today and has always been: good and evil in us constantly surfacing within us and battling each other, integrity versus conformism and resignation, honesty versus deception and betrayal, freedom versus bondage to others, our own passions or the devil himself.

Anna Madeley particularly captivated my heart on the night too. Not familiar at all with her previous work, I was deeply touched by her rendition of Elizabeth Proctor, a woman tormented by the suspicion of her husband’s betrayal and adultery and bound by the inability to completely forgive and cut the chains that hold him forever captive to guilt and a sense of failure, the chains that keep him walking on egg shells around her, extinguishing the flame of love one subtle but lethal blow at a time; a woman whose sheer loyalty, love and dedication has slapped her right back on the face and turned her heart into a heart of stone towards her husband, desperate to show him the love she still truly feels for him despite his betrayal, but selfishly holding on to the chains of guilt and conviction that bind him, in an attempt to protect herself from further hurt, destroying in the process the chance to rebuild complete trust between them and for unconditional love to resurface once again. Having personally experienced in my own life the betrayal and the lust for another within a relationship, I am all too familiar with how unforgiveness but also guilt can have a relentless grip on us to the point where we cannot function, where our freedom to be who we want to become is completely taken away and our every move, thought and word is nothing but the echo of the fear and the turmoil we are experiencing within. Again, from a Christian point of view, these are all incredibly relevant subjects which are dwelled into sensitively but very accurately in this rendition of The Crucible. I was truly moved by Anna Madeley’s performance. It was gentle, understated but at the same time confident and firm. Both Richard and Anna were in a league of their own and a Class Act!

Worth mentioning also is the role played by Jack Ellis who plays Deputy Governor Danforth. Great, powerful, utterly convincing performance as was that by Samantha Colley who plays Abigail Williams. Looking into Armitage’s eyes during his performance was almost an unbearable feat for me. His gaze and facial expressions so intense, his demeanour so full of underlying connotations of the raging battle going on under the surface of John Proctor’s imposing countenance but frail heart. But looking into Abigail Williams’ eyes was altogether a much more challenging experience for all the wrong reasons. She really put the fear of God into me by exemplifying so well how one can behave, the lengths a person can go to, how they can lose themselves when the devil and its minions get hold of your soul. Utterly bewitching performance and terrifying at the same time. Solid performance, unforgettable!

I could go on forever as it seems unfair to not mention the other actors and characters too for they were all so good as individuals and as an ensemble. I will just have to say that if any of what is written here has intrigued you in the least to go and see this play, then please follow that nudge and be truly entertained. I can assure you your mind will be stirred up and your soul in turmoil when you come out of that theatre, not to mention your heart will flatter and skip one or two beats if you have the sheer privilege of meeting Richard afterwards. He has one of those “beautiful” faces in the purest sense of the word, and eyes that can speak a thousand words and melt rocks with just one look. My kind of Lead man!

Richard and I

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A new wave of freedom from the Religious Spirit is at hand

This really blessed me today. I too believe things are about to get interesting. I recently had a dream where I found myself inside a boat that was being violently tossed and shaken by the fiercest of seas. It very much felt like I was all alone in there but I also felt  an urgency to tell people that staying  inside the boat was our only choice of salvation.  Not entirely sure yet what this dream meant as I have lost some of the details in the past few weeks, but dreams of terrible tsunamis are a constant in my life, and they are not waves of mercy or grace, but of judgement and the devastation they leave behind is of biblical proportion. If anyone can throw any light on a possible meaning for this dream, that would be appreciated. I am open to other people’s views with the exception of the notion that the boat represents a local church. The Holy Spirit led me out of the Church System a while ago now so I know with certainty that is not what the dream is about.

Be blessed!

Gross Negligence by Priscilla Van Sutphin

5/4/14

I want to talk to you today about gross negligence because so many have gotten distracted by all the things in the world so much so, that they only put me last, or give a few minutes of their day thinking about Me or the Word. Even in ministries, people get so busy due to demands on them, that they don’t set priorities rightly in putting Me first.

Have I not said, that if you put Me first, seeking MY righteousness, that everything you need will be taken care of? The darkness has been filling the earth and gross darkness the people around you, therefore I AM ARISING. I am arising to destroy their favor, their finances, their lies & all deception. I will uncover their skirts, that they may be seen for who they really are. Did I not say that I will humble the proud and arrogant in heart?

This is the day of MY HUMBLING of the WICKED, whether in the world, or in the church. As persecution has begun here, it has already been severe in many other places, but it will also expose the darkness in My church that is called by My name. For many are deluded into thinking that everything is ok, and everything will go on the same as it has, and they know not how to rely on Me and MY provision. They grovel at the door of mammon. They make their disciples every bit the sons of hell that they are, and I will no longer allow that to keep going. I am merciful and I am LOVE, but I AM ALSO JUST.

It will work to their salvation that I uncover them. I will see to it that they cannot continue to produce sons of hell with their religious spirits continuing to condemn the lost and continuing to condemn the righteous for what they cannot envision, or what they cannot understand. For MY WAYS ARE NOT YOUR WAYS. I AM GOD, and the enemy is only a counterfeiter, and phony. He tries to copy everything I do. If you truly understaand that, you will not condemn My Holy Spirit of kundalini, as if what I DO is the same as He. He may cause shaking, but when I come down the mountains shake and tremble. Thus can I not shake a man who is far less than a mountain?

If anyone confesses ME as LORD and Savior, not just I believe in GOD, but I believe in Yeshua; Jesus, Then they are a believer. Learning to trust me is a path of growth for every believer, and it takes longer for some than others, depending on the depth of hurt and ravaging of the enemy in their life. But the days are coming and indeed are at hand, when that growth will be SO spontaneous, and SUDDEN, that people will be changes magnificently by My Glory moving through you and around you.

You will go to the coffee shop, and people sitting next to you will get up and leave sometimes because they are so convicted, or because they are impenatrable due to hardness of heart. Others will start coughing out demons. Others will feel My power surging through them and be drawn to talk to you because they sense ME in you.

Don’t be afraid of shaking, or laughing or roaring in My people. Did I not say I would ROAR out of Zion ? Who is Zion but Israel and My church? YOU are the church. And you will find that those who Roar, ROAR in the sense of speaking out TRUTH, that brings deliverance to My people. For I AM THE DELIVERER, and I will work mighty miracles through My deliverers in the earth.

I will squash the kundalini witchcraft acquired by dabbling in witchcraft, Islam, sun worship, freemasonry, Mormonism, and other cults, and pagan religions in people, but as it manifests, be discerning, ASK ME what I am doing in them. For many in this nation are inhabited by these spirits due to freemasonry’s perversion. Many in the church have never been delivered and need to be. So don’t stop praying, for MY GLORY WILL COVER THE EARTH LIKE THE WATER COVERS THE SEA. I will use you to redeem many out of darkness, if you will only learn to talk to ME, to depend on MY opinion.

Understand that a religious spirit brings divination and will use scripture out of context and in condemnation and accusation. You are subject to these if who you sit under in the church moves in this. You must not agree with religious attitudes or you will be under the influence of these spirits of divination, rooted in pride, hating and condemning others, just as the pharisees of old condemned ME and crucified Me.

Jealousy is rampant in the hurt and abused. It makes one think & internally scream, what about ME, WHAT ABOUT ME? Bitterness is so rooted in many that are not healed from all the pain and rejection. My church is meant to be a hospital. And those who know how to heal broken hearts, will now be given AUTHORITY to heal and deliver such broken people from their bondages in greater measure than the church has seen for a long time.

So come aside with ME beloveds and spend yourselves on ME that I can heal any leftover brokenness in your heart, so you are ready to be filled with My Goodness, but know that even if you aren’t whole, when I come I will break all the chains that have bound you, and you will not have to STRIVE to do what only I can do anyway. GREAT GRACE is coming like a flood, and with it a TSUNAMI of My love, that I’ve told you about. It will change EVERYTHING in your lives. Hold tight to what you can hold in your heart, and not in your hands.”


I’ll crack open hidden understanding. Be wise as serpents!

This is a prophetic message given recently by Priscilla Van Sutphin (http://ft111.com/priscilla.htm) which I strongly feel links beatifully with my last two posts. I only read this a minute ago but I feel that Priscilla and I are always on a similar wavelength though her ability to see beyond what we see is far, far greater and much less clattered than mine. I hope the hidden gems this message contains reveal themselves to you as clearly as they did when I read it. Be blessed.

“I’ll Crack Open Hidden Understanding” 
10/20/13 

“I’m going to crack open the hidden scrolls that you and many others of my children can understand the unfolding of all that is before you. Many want to know truth but many still arrogantly think they understand it all. I WILL do amazing things to help My bride because of the tremendous wickedness that surrounds you.
Remember there are more of My armies than there are of their’s. Many of you will have your eyes opened to see what is going on spiritually in the unseeable realms. Manifest glory is increasing in the earth. This is what causes tremors in all realms! The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord of Hosts! Sounds of darkness stirring and earth trembling is now more common.
Shout from the rooftops what you hear in your ear! Shout it out on the air waves, on radio waves, in the church and outside the church walls.
Trumpets are sounding in the unseen realm, announcing the hour. I WILL OPEN BLIND EYES! I WILL! I WILL UNSTOP THE EARS WHO DON’T WANT TO HEAR! Scales will fall off eyes that have been blinded by the enemy! Veils of confusion and veils of deception and delusion will be torn off of people that will startle them to realize they have been wrong.
Conviction will fall on barren hearts, angry hearts, indifferent hearts, and they will see and perceive what they could not before! Look to My Word for I have many puzzles I will unravel for those with hearts & eyes to see! Ask and you shall receive of the hidden Manna! Come while there is yet time to come away. Be wise as serpents, innocent as doves in your dealings with men.
Come to Me when your heart is weighed down! I will help you put things in perspective!”

HE will slay the monster of the sea (the gliding, coiling serpent)

On watching the news this morning yet again I feel like I have had a nudge from God to pay attention to what is going on all around us currently in the world.  Believe me, I have had utter aversion towards anything to do with current affairs and the news all my life.  From a young age, I suffered daily nightmares about terrible earthquakes, and although I was born in a country, Spain, which as far as I am aware has not suffered, at least during my lifetime, any significant earthquakes, the mere vividness of my dreams made me shake to the core with fear and trembling at the prospect of ever experiencing such a terrifying circumstance.  Now, the nightmares about earthquakes have become fewer and far between (although they are equally terrifying and at a devastating scale when they come) and have been replaced by nightmares of engulfing tsunamis which leave behind equal death and devastation. Go figure! My parents, even into my adulthood years whilst I was still living at home, tried to instil in me a sense of duty to keep up with the papers, the daily news and to try to have a general understanding of current affairs, to be aware of what is going on not just in my own little bubble but at a larger scale in order to be able to have a grown up conversation and to feel able to mix in different circles and bring something to the table.

The more they went on about me reading the papers, the bigger my aversion towards them grew. Then I moved to the UK and after marrying my English husband, just when I thought I left behind the days of utter guilt for being such an ignorant individual who refuses to be concerned with the ills of the world, my in-laws began to pick up where my parents left off. That didn’t work either!

Interestingly, in the last few years as my faith in Jesus Christ has grown deeper, I find myself miraculously drawn to anything to do with current affairs, news, natural disasters and so on.  I know God brought this about because human effort failed before and no one has been able to make me do something I had such a clear aversion to. Now, when God puts something in your heart that no living soul has been able to imprint, you can bet your bottom dollar there is a clear purpose in it, a use, a function, a fruit that is to be nurtured, grown and harvested at the end of that process.

It is for this reason that when I felt the Lord’s nudge this morning to pay attention to the news again today, I knew better than to ignore it.  As I turned onto SKY news, I was struck by the image below of a giant serpent-like creature called an oarfish which has only recently washed ashore on a beach in California. In fact, another one washed ashore on another Californian beach I believe only days later. These hideous and hellish looking creatures do resemble serpents and we all know or should know what the serpent represents in Biblical terms.  Faced with that, I begun to think to myself: Can you imagine if on reading my daily portion of Scripture today, there is a mention of a serpent or something that may give me a spiritual dimension as to what it all means? What are the chances and if so, what is God trying to say to me, to us, to the whole world, if anything?

Rare: This snakelike oarfish measuring nearly 14 feet long was found on a beach in Southern California on October 18. Speculation is rife over whether the sightings prelude an earthquake

Together with the image shown on the news was given the commentary that many in the California area are terrified, because they see this oarfish coming to land as a sign that these creatures are fleeing from something they see coming, they sense is looming.  Whilst you may be laughing your head off at this point, know that similar occurrences took place  months prior to the Japan tsunami and earthquake of 2011. Now, we all know how prone California is to earthquakes and seismic activity be it at land or at sea, so then I begin to sense that this is indeed no laughing matter but more like a “sign”, like the signs and wonders God spoke off being so prevalent in the last days.

I turn off the TV and sit at my desk and open my bible where I left off yesterday and guess what?

Isaiah 27, 1

27 In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword—     his fierce, great and powerful sword— Leviathan the gliding serpent,     Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.

Some people look to the future, to scientific advance, to progress, to man ultimately trying to be God and finding a solution to all our problems. Truth is we will never be able to do this; we are human and imperfect and last time I looked, none of the humans I know were anywhere remotely near becoming perfect, faultless, flawless beings, starting with Moi. Yes, we find cures to diseases and we come up with awe-inspiring technological advances but parallel to all that progress is the sin that tails right behind us all creating a whole load of new challenges brought about by our own pride, foolishness and inability to learn from our mistakes. So you see, what we manage to achieve on the one hand with our smugness, we immediately render ineffective by the whole bundle of new problems we immediately have to face, having only just solved the previous ones, and more often that not these problems are the result of our own stupidity and inability to act responsibly towards our own selves, each other and the world around us.

But, fear not, for there is hope. We know that no matter how much tragedy or disaster comes upon us, and this is the message one has to walk away with from all of this, is that God is ultimately in charge of it all. That serpent-like fish that washed ashore may well be a warning of things to come in the natural realm, but we do well to hold onto God’s promise of what is also to come in the Spiritual realm: God will eventually kill “the serpent” or more poignantly to the news just reported, He will slay the monster of the sea.

Whether you believe in Him or not, Christ will ultimately reign victorious and the snake will be trampled upon and will exist no more, so don’t put your hope in your ability to run fast to beat the snake, the earthquake or the tsunami. Put your trust in the one that DOES HAVE all the answers, Christ risen, who overcame even death.  He sits victorious on his throne knowing how to get through it all, knowing that God is so much bigger and greater than any disaster or fear. Hold on to HIM in these uncertain times we live in, cling to Him for dear life. Only He will provide you with the internal peace, wisdom, grace and fortitude to face what the days ahead hold for all of us, whatever that may look like.

I leave you with an image which beautifully captures what God’s promise is to us regarding the serpent’s threats and its constant assailing and putting us down so that we cease in our striving to follow Christ.

Incredible: An 18-foot-long oarfish found dead in the water off Catalina Island near Los Angeles

“The earth dries up and withers”. Is God’s word fiction or the reality unfolding in front of our very eyes?

I have often been told that my outlook on everything is rather pessimistic and yes, that is true to some extent. I do however strongly feel that one has to have a certain pessimism built-in within them if they are ever going to have a genuine fear of the Lord, which we know from the Scriptures IS the beginning of wisdom. I think it is important in all areas of life to not be over pessimistic but neither over optimistic. I like to be real; I like to keep it real and I like to be realistic.

I know that our Heavenly Father is Love but I also keep close to my heart and spirit the certainty that God is a Just God in equal measure, a loving Father and specially the only ONE who knows it all, despite the fact that so many who are seen as men and women of God today think they too know it all. God alone can see the end from the beginning and the purpose in everything, the true “bigger picture”.

What we do know for sure, for those of us who accept the Bible as God-inspired and as the revelation of who Jesus is and why He came to the world and why He will come again, is the fact that there will be a day of Judgement. Many Christians shake in disapproval and with righteous anger when they hear such statement mentioned, because to them God is above all else love, and talking about judgement is something which in their eyes is non-sensical seeing as Christ has already paid the price for our sin on the cross and therefore what would be the need or the point of God judging men on that final day or even today? Personally, I feel that this type of Christian attitude does away with the need for ongoing repentance, contrition and the determination to go through a process of sanctification until the day we die; all absolutley vital and key steps in becoming more and more like Christ, which is ultimately what one would hope all Christians are striving for, even when we know we will never be like Him, not really. It is an attitude that brings forward countless of new converts, but the question we need to be asking ourselves at that point is: what are they really converting to seeing as the concept of God’s judgement and our need for repentance and humility are so paramount, clear and prevalent throughout the Scriptures?

Though we don’t know when the end will come, we know without a doubt that it WILL come and we have a pretty good description of what will happen when it does, both in the Old and the New testament. Listen for example to this fragment in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 24, 4-13) and ponder afterwards whether you see any similarities with what is going on in the world today:

The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.
7 The new wine dries up and the vine withers;
all the merrymakers groan.
8 The joyful timbrels are stilled,
the noise of the revelers has stopped,
the joyful harp is silent.
9 No longer do they drink wine with a song;
the beer is bitter to its drinkers.
10 The ruined city lies desolate;
the entrance to every house is barred.
11 In the streets they cry out for wine;
all joy turns to gloom,
all joyful sounds are banished from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins,
its gate is battered to pieces.
13 So will it be on the earth
and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.

A view from the International Space Station shows bushfire smoke clouds over southern Australia.

As I was reading these words this morning, the images of the fires currently devastating large areas of Australia and also recently in various States on North America immediately came into my mind. Fires of uncontrollable scale are raging, more and more landscapes are becoming desolate. “Earth’s inhabitants are burned up…” we read in Isaiah. It all seems far too immediate and current already! We are getting to the end of October by which time the weather in the UK has already turned nasty weeks prior, and yet this year we are enjoying spring-like weather at the moment. Temperatures are so much milder (17 degrees forecast for tomorrow) and you do get the sense as you are out and about that indeed the whole earth seems to be warming up at an alarming rate.

Lines of scorched earth and huge smoke plumes from wild fires in Australia were visible from the International Space Station on January 8, 2013. Credit: NASA/Chris Hadfield

Only today as I went out for a walk with my dog, I had to contend with fighting off wasps which themselves appeared disorientated and bewildered as the autumnal landscape which they are not familiar with surrounded them. Little did they know, it was them who did not belong in such a landscape at such a time and not the other way around. I think there is a hidden message in that somewhere, but it is not coming to me right now. I will ponder on that a bit later perhaps!

I am not deliberately trying to be a scaremonger, far from it, but one cannot deny that there is a general sense of inevitability and bewilderment amongst earth’s inhabitants today. We realise we have neglected our duty and responsibility of looking after our planet and everything that is in it: our marriages, our lifestyles, our children, our relationships, our morals or lack of, and yet we continue doing “business as usual” instead of actually trying to either repent and change our ways, instead of humbling ourselves and finally recognising that neither we are God nor will we ever be, instead of putting aside our differences and concentrating on what we have in common: our humanity and those things which are vital to our existence: our planet and everything that lives in it.

Christians, the people of God, above anyone else should lead by example by coming alongside each other in unity to encourage and bless each other as we seek to do God’s will, and yet, disunity, pride and a desperate need to stamp our own identity and validity above anyone else within the Christian world is only too apparent when one ponders on the dozens of different Christian denominations and church identities we see all around us. We brag about how good we have it in our own church, how our church’s vision is the one that clearly capture’s God’s heart for His people, belittling in this manner what any other Christian individual or group may be doing be it in their community, for each other or in the world, instead of joining forces as the Body of Christ should to compliment and enhance what each other is doing. The problem with that is the results would no longer point to how amazing WE are, but to the kind of God we claim we serve.

I also see Isaiah’s prophetic words coming to pass not only in the natural world but much more so in the spiritual realm, amongst all Christians, as a scattering of God’s people of biblical proportions is taking place in the world today. Whilst in times past during so called “revivals” Christians were known for their gatherings together and their fight for a common cause and purpose, there is today a great sense of so many individuals being scattered outside of the “Structural” and “Institutional” fold, individuals who are searching for the one and true God whose temple is not made with human hands. These people who are being scattered are also experiencing a tremendous and unrelenting time of draught but the difference is that their draught results from God’s mercy and not his judgement, as He seeks to remove from us anything or anyone who is not from HIM or who deviates us from our true purpose in Christ, anything or anyone who is stopping us from following HIM and from doing HIS will.

I think I should finish with another portion of Scripture which pretty much sums up what I am trying to say here:

Isaiah 26, 7-11

7The path of the righteous is level;
you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
8 Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,[a]
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 But when grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

Conflict in Syria: Just another war or the catalyst that will render the face of this earth unrecognisable?

I have been following Sermonindex.com now for many years. I find that the majority of sermons put on there are God inspired and absolutely led by the Holy Spirit. In these last few years going through the transition from being an integral part of a church and the church system to going it “alone”, Sermonindex together with the teaching of certain godly men in the United States has provided me with a source of great encouragement, perspective, Godliness and it has in effect become the rudder which steers me back into the right path when external, evil influences threaten with throwing me off course.

Sermon Index last weekend held a livestream conference entitled “Sleeping Virgins and the soon coming of Christ” which I believe carries great prophetic weight and importance not only for Christians but for every person on planet earth.

Today I listened to one of the brief talks given  during this conference by a man I have never heard of before called Dean Odle. He speaks of God’s judgement coming to America which is something I have also been talking about much on my own blog on various posts such as the one you can find on this link. https://anewcreation33.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/3692/

I have been heavily burdened lately with the Syria crisis and where all this is leading to. In my spirit I have strongly felt that this is not just yet another conflict which is going to divide the world’s opinion about whether we have a responsibility to act when faced with evil and injustice.  This is going to be a conflict which in itself will become the catalyst to much greater sources of pain, injustice and evil taking place on this earth. There is a sense in my spirit of helplessness as the days go by and events of such magnitude are beginning to unfold and there is nothing anyone can do any more. The dice has been cast, we have chosen whom we will serve and there is no going back. The only thing for it is to go down on our knees, repent and pray for God’s mercy on our souls, pray for courage as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, as we witness evil, hatred and hurt all around us, pray for guidance and anointing to be able to reach those who have not accepted Jesus into their hearts yet.

My spirit, as much as I hate to admit it and as much as admitting this fills me with fear and trembling, my spirit bears witness to what this man Dean shares in this talk. I urge you to at least listen to it. If your spirit does not bear witness to what he is sharing, please pray for all those suffering in the Syrian conflict, for the innocent victims of conflict in the Middle East and for God to show each and every one of us how to best be the hands and feet of Jesus to all those who are suffering so much directly and indirectly as a result of wars, injustice and natural disasters in the world.

Thank you.

“WHY DID I STOP GOING TO CHURCH? BECAUSE I WAS LOOKING FOR JESUS AND I COULD NOT FIND HIM THERE” – REVISITED

Well, it has been nearly two years since I wrote the post with the above title (to read it go to https://anewcreation33.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/you-are-always-on-their-lips-but-far-from-their-hearts/),  and it has consistently been in all that time the post that has attracted the most readers to my site. I cannot tell you the amount of people who have been directed to my site because they entered the phrase “why do people stop going to church?” in the “Search” box. Read what you will in that, but I know what I see and hear. I know what I sense in the Spirit when I pray and read the Scriptures.

Jesus said in Luke 5, 36-39:

No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, “The old is better”.

There are so many waking up today and smelling the bacon. The Spirit of God is releasing his called ones from the yoke of religion and tradition. The Spirit of God is doing without the old wine and the old wineskins, but the old wineskins are holding for dear life to generations of tradition and habit, to stubbornness and pride, to roots that have been watered, fed and controlled by men for so long, they have become deeply entrenched in the very essence of who these men and women are and without those wineskins, their life does not make any sense neither does the purpose of what they are doing. It is indeed the old wineskins that feed and give sense to their faith rather than the wine itself, and thousands of Christian leaders in charge of countless churches continue ignoring all the signs and evidence of the massive exodus that is taking place in front of their very eyes rather than do everything in their power to find out what is ailing a large member of the family called the Body of Christ:

1 Corinthians 12, 12-26

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.