Vision - The Train

I was standing by a train track in a country setting. While there were many trees none of them obstructed my view of the length of the track to my left. Along the rails there was tall grass and summer wildflowers.

A very great distance away I saw a speck of light, which as it came closer was apparent that it was the headlight of a train engine. Steadily, the train approached, not moving with excessive speed and the light became almost blinding.

I stepped back a bit further from the track as the train began to pass me and I saw there were approximately a dozen cars and each one was a little like a cattle car except that the sides were more open than usual and enclosed only by metal bars. Rather like prison bars.

Each car was filled with people, not just filled but packed with people. The expressions on their faces ranged from fear to despair and the sounds of their cries was horrifying and heartbreaking. Arms extended from between the bars and when these people saw me they started calling out, “Help us. Please, help.”

I stood there in tears as the train continued its steady pace with the understanding there was nothing I could do to help these people.

This was the first part of the vision and as I prayed and asked the Lord what He was showing me, He replied, ‘You are seeing Luke 13: 25-28.”

“….but when the head of the house has locked the door,
 it will be too late. Then you will stand outside knocking 
and pleading, “Lord, open the door for us!” 
But He will reply, ‘I do not know you.” You will say, ‘But we ate and drank 
with You, and You taught in our streets.’ 
And He will reply, 
‘I tell you, I do not know you.”

The following day I received the second part of this vision.

Now I was on top of the train as it was arriving in some kind of terminal with the most awful feeling of dread as the train passed through a series of cement arches. However, as the train pulled to a stop at the terminal I was pleasantly surprised to see an ultra modern and very well-lit, clean area. There was something remarkably reassuring about the ‘ordinary-ness’ of this which looked very much like a modern airport. Glass doors were surrounded by chrome and the platform area was very bright in spite of the fact there was little colour other than cement grey.

The people in the ‘cage cars’ below me seemed reassured by this terminal as well. Their cries of fear had subsided to small, whimpering sounds that indicated to me that they felt there might be some hope after all.

Then from behind me I saw a truck approaching. It looked like an army truck with a kind of canvas covering. It pulled to a stop between the train and the platform and out of it came a man in a blue overall. He unloaded a folding table and chair and set them both up on the platform. When this was done, another man got out of the cabin of the truck. This man was dressed in dark slacks and a very crisp, white uniform-style white shirt with a dark tie. He was notably handsome with dark hair and moustache -- so handsome, in fact, that I was staring. However, when I looked into his eyes I was repulsed. A feeling of absolute horror and dread came over me as I watched him walk casually, but deliberately, over to the table. He was carrying a large, hardcover book.

He sat down, opened the book to the first page and took a pen out of his shirt pocket. Then he nodded to the workman who unlocked the sliding door of the first cage car and dropped a set of steps down so the people could file out. These people stood in a line in front of the table quite unsure of what was happening.

The first person to stand in front of this man was a woman and when she gave her name the man at the table looked at the book and put a checkmark by her name. She was then instructed to go through a glass door of the terminal. It was impossible to see what was beyond the glass door for it appeared to have a kind of film over it that darkened it.

I looked back at the people in the line as the next person came to the table and I saw some people with questioning expressions, others very worried but not as fearful as when I’d seen them pass by on the train and two or three who looked absolutely terrified. They were the ones who seemed to know exactly what was happening.

The vision ended there.

When I asked the Lord who the man was, He said, “Satan.”

“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. 
Test yourselves.” 
2 Corinthians 13 

Satan produced his book of death in a grim parody of God's Book of Life. As the people got off the train and lined up at the desk, their names were found and they were directed through the doors that led into hell.

This is a vision that expresses how serious it is to be sure our faith is genuine.  
There are many who call themselves Christians who have not truly given their hearts to the Lord yet believe they are safe in spite of the fact they have drifted far from what they know to be the Truth.  We are ALL exhorted to examine ourselves.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

Others May, You Cannot

Others May, You Cannot
by G. D. Watson

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature. The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. God will take you at your word; if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

Harmonious Dwelling

Feeding Frenzy

“If anyone says, ‘I am living in the light’, 
but hates a Christian brother or sister 
that person is living in darkness.” 
1 John 2: 9

Infighting, backstabbing and gossip. Any pastor can tell you the church is filled with these. A search of some Christian forums on the internet will show the same thing.

How in the world do Christians expect to show the love of Christ to an unsaved world if we can’t even be at peace with fellow believers?

The example of David and Jonathan is one that sets a wonderful example for us. These two young men made a covenant of friendship which bound them to protect and provide for one another. Neither of them took this agreement at all lightly either. It was Jonathan who had to face the anger and disparagement of his father, Saul, when he stood up for David. In fact, he was essentially risking his life for his friend. It was something David never forgot even after Jonathan’s death when he sought members of Jonathan’s family so he could bless them once he was king. The covenant of friendship was that serious.

In this day of easy communication via the internet it’s a simple thing for anyone to post vicious attacks against ‘fallen’ Christians and do so with usernames that make them anonymous. So we’ve come from ‘roasting the pastor’ over the Sunday beef to making our criticisms of the Body of Christ so public they can be seen by the entire world while we rattle off on our computers.

Is it discernment or a critical and judgmental spirit? What is the attitude of the heart when writing? Could it be pride?

The accuser of the brethren is Satan. That being the case, it’s logical to assume that Christians who see it as their ‘mission’ to tear down others may well have the direction of Satan to do so but certainly not the Holy Spirit for it’s His way to bind the broken hearted and forgive those who have stumbled.

A judgmental attitude is an enemy strategy. See it for what it is.

God’s plan is for believers to interact together in a loving and harmonious way. When two or more are in agreement in prayer, there is harmony which touches the heart of God. Satan’s ploy is to destroy the harmony of believers and the most efficient way to do that is to set them at war with one another. However, when we truly see with the eyes of our heart we recognize that we’re not really fighting people but the powers that control them…….or us.

Unbelievers have long looked at Christians, sceptically watching church wars and gossip, and then we wonder why they don’t want to get involved with religion. Quite honestly, with that kind of behaviour it’s very difficult to demonstrate our relationship with Jesus Christ.

When we see of someone who is genuinely in error our attitude is supposed to be gentle and humble; merciful and kind; tender-hearted and patient. In other words, we are to speak and act in a loving manner from a heart that has been transformed by the love of Christ. The apostle Paul tells us to stay away from anger and controversy, to avoid arguing and complaining; that we’re to make allowances for other people’s faults and forgive those who offend us.

There is a kind of feeding frenzy when a brother or sister falls and it often takes the form of pious gloating. It feeds the darker side of our personalities when our focus and efforts are much more productively and joyfully employed feasting on the glories and richness of God Almighty. It is only then when we find ourselves infused with love that forgives, love that grieves and love that views with compassion.

After all, we have all sinned and come short of God’s glorious standard and it is only He who declares us not guilty. Behold the splendour of the Lord and it become the lens through which others are seen--sometimes struggling with sin, filled with faults but always loved by Christ.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, 
He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, 
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
 ….If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, 
let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 
Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another,
or be jealous of one another.” 
Galatians 5: 22 and 25-26

Something For Nothing

Gifts are fun. Just look at the way a child opens her gifts on a birthday with a look of delight that warms the heart. Gifts are fun to get and just as much fun to give and the best ones are those that are given with the note that says “Just because I love you.”

When I think of giving my granddaughter a gift, it isn’t because I’m asking her to perform or work for it but simply for the sake of letting her know in a tangible way that I love her with the hope that she’ll find a bit of delight in it.

To me this is such a wonderful picture of the way God loves us and gives to us freely when we come to Him for the salvation of our souls. There we are, filled with imperfections, bad attitudes and some downright awful behaviour and the moment we express our sincere sorrow for them He forgives us. When we confess Jesus as Lord He then grants us the most extraordinary gift of salvation and places His Holy Spirit within us. On top of that He promises us eternal life in heaven.

Not a bad deal.

We give Him our faulty selves and He gives us “more than we can ask or think.”

And why is He so generous?

Just because He loves us.

‘When people work, their wages are not a gift. 
Workers earn what they receive. But people are declared righteous 
because of their faith, not because of their work.” 
Romans 4: 4-5

The gift of eternal life isn’t one He gives us because we’ve somehow earned it by doing good deeds or been a really nice person. God doesn’t require that we perform for our salvation any more than I require performance from my little granddaughter when I give her a gift. No, it’s not about earning His gift--it’s about understanding our need for it. The only condition on this gift of Himself to us is that we come to Him in faith with an attitude of humility and repentance regarding our sin; seeking and receiving His forgiveness; recognizing Jesus Christ is the way to God.

Salvation isn’t about crushing demands of religious performance. It’s simply about recognizing Jesus Christ died to atone for our sins, was resurrected, and this because God the Father and Christ the Son  loved each one of us.

“But then God our Saviour showed us His kindness and love. 
He saved us, not because of the good things we did, 
but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins 
and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. 
He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what 
Jesus Christ our Saviour did. He declared us not guilty 
because of His great kindness.
 And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.” 
Titus 3: 4-6

Good News

Who doesn’t love good news?

Apparently, quite a few people.

The good news of the gospel is something rejected by millions which is, of course, their choice. However, for many it hasn’t yet been a matter of choice because they haven’t really heard what the good news is.

What it isn’t, is a need to join a religious denomination. It’s entirely about a living and vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Imagine it for a moment if you don’t already have such a relationship. The ability to communicate with the Creator, to know His direction for your life, to have a sense of peace when your circumstances are overwhelming, to be connected to God. Most of all, to have the complete assurance as an eternal being that you will spend that eternity with Him in Heaven.

While people have often made the gospel complicated, it’s really a very simple message.

If we start from the point of man, it’s easy to see why the gospel is so necessary. Have you ever met a perfect person? I’m talking about a really perfect person--one who has never once lied, been proud, acted only out of self-interest, been greedy when there was an opportunity for generosity. You get the idea. You may have known some very good and kind people but would you consider any of them perfect?

“For ALL have sinned; ALL fall short of God’s glorious standard.” 
Romans 3: 23

It’s those things we do, so much a part of our basic human nature, which God calls sin. Sin isn’t a popular word and certainly most people don’t like to think of themselves as sinners. Or if they do, somehow their sins are excusable and justifiable.

However, that’s not the way God sees it. Sin, embedded in all of us, is a form of living death. Not only does it affect us adversely in our daily lives but it most certainly separates us from God without some intervention.

Thousands of years ago the answer was to offer a sacrifice to atone for sin. Men would approach the Temple of God with something of value and it would be a form of penance for their sins.
God had a better plan though and it’s based on His enormous love and mercy.

He decided to do away with such a system and instead sent a form of Himself, Jesus Christ His Son. The plan was that Jesus would be the final sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He would pay the price, or take the punishment, for the sins of humanity with His death. What was then required of man was to quite simply repent (to turn from) of sin and accept the offer of redemption given by Christ with His death.

“Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.” Romans 3: 24-25

Without getting bogged down in theology, that’s a pretty simple message:

I am not perfect, therefore, I am a sinner.

I confess this and with a heartfelt choice to be different, I accept the redemption (salvation, rescue, deliverance) of Jesus Christ.

This is the part of a relationship with God that’s a non-negotiable. He is the One who has made the standard and because He’s the One in charge of things, it’s up to us to consider and make the choice.

Think of it. With this choice made sincerely, you get life.

If a doctor told you an operation would guarantee your life, would the choice be all that difficult to make?

The offer Jesus Christ makes is even more guaranteed. With salvation comes eternal life. Not just a few extra years but eternal life.

It’s really pretty simple.

“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 
Romans 10: 9

Do The Small Thing

You’ve been praying. You’ve been following Christ on the narrow path, sometimes in step with Him and other times lagging behind or stumbling. You’ve experienced some of the most difficult situations of your life, ones that have tested your faith to the utter limits.

Through all of this tempestuous wilderness you’ve been through, you’ve been alone. Oh, you’ve known the Lord has been with you. After all, if it hadn’t been for His presence, His protection, His provision and His promises through these years you might not have had the strength to go on. But those around you really don’t understand those times when you’ve felt as if you’ve been pulled through a fence backwards.

During this season of preparation, you’ve read about David hiding in the cave as he was pursued by Saul and recognized the similarities, discovering the ‘cave’ has been your haven and your prison. A haven because it’s been there where the Lord has met you in the most extraordinary ways; a prison because there’s been no way out if you’re to remain obedient and abiding.

Now there is the sound of a gentle whisper and He is speaking to you, telling you to come out of that cave.

Just as the Lord told Elijah there were seven thousand other prophets, He has given you the ability via the internet to discover there are many others of the remnant that have been walking the wilderness path just as you have. And now the Lord is telling each of us our time of wilderness wandering and cave hiding/refining is coming to a close for there is work to be done.

Waiting has been incredibly difficult and you’ve done it with obedience but you’re probably so familiar with the sound of the Lord telling you to wait that a call to action is almost unrecognizable. Or perhaps like Moses, your time in the desert has humbled you to the point where you’re ready to step aside and allow others you feel are more qualified to fulfill the vision the Lord gave you.

The key word is ‘fulfill’. This is the time of fulfillment. Look at the ‘fields’ around you because they are ripe for harvesting.

You have a vision. The Lord gave it to you, He confirmed it and then He took you through a very long season when the vision withered almost to a mere memory. He is now renewing that vision with all the grandiose ideas you had of saving the world or thoughts of fame sifted by His winnowing fork. He is telling you in the whisper of a gentle breeze that it’s time.

Time for what though?

You know you can’t ‘make it happen’. You know you have not the slightest desire to ‘make it happen’ either. So what is the very small thing the Lord has indicated you should do? Ask yourself. There’s one thing so seemingly insignificant before you right now and it’s this which is your first step. It’s time to be faithful in this small thing in order to be given a greater responsibility.

He will give you whatever you need to do this small thing whether it’s people around you who appear to be very unlikely or the material necessities to fulfill His directive to you. Brace yourself though. It’s been relatively easy here in the west when it comes to sharing the gospel in the past. Now, it’s going to be different. But you changed while you were in your wilderness. Christ has been forming Himself in you and the enemy of your soul isn’t at all pleased. However, what you’ve learned, and more importantly what you’ve become, in your wilderness has strengthened your foundation so it will be able to withstand whatever comes against it.

There are rough times ahead for this world. The warnings have given people a great deal of time to get their lives ordered spiritually to provide a safe harbour in the storms to come. You won’t be immune from the difficulties but you will have the Provider and Protector steering your course and showing you exactly how to navigate. Many opportunities will present themselves in order that you will rescue the perishing.

Your task is now before you. It’s time to work and while you do you must be on your guard and remain protected by the armour of faith and love. The Lord is setting up His Kingdom and just as when Jesus came to earth the first time, it won’t look quite like we expect--expect the unexpected.

As you’ve heard so often, He is coming in glory and in fire. The glory will be utterly magnificent, beyond anything we’ve ever known. The fire is going to be very difficult for anyone who hasn’t surrendered to Him in all things. During the time of the wilderness there was the opportunity to fall on the rock and be broken. When He comes with His fire to those areas of our lives that we refused to change, His ‘rock’ will fall, crushing each of those areas and it’s a much more painful way to deal with them.

At all times, stay in His presence and fulfill whatever is required of you by Him in a precise way for He is leading you along the path He has for your life. He will give you explicit directions and show you each step you are to take, clearing the obstacles ahead in order to fulfill His purposes.

Keep the oil of your lamp filled with His Spirit. Trim the wicks with your obedience.

He'll be here soon.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

Refuge And Safety

They were terrified, but He called out to them, 
“I am here! Don’t be afraid.” 
John 6: 19-20

For those who are righteous God will be your refuge and safety.

In the difficult times ahead, the Lord is expecting us to help others who are in need, offering food or shelter or hospitality to those who are struggling in their travels. Whatever we have, we’ve been given in order to share.

There will be many dangers but just as the Lord protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, so the followers of Christ will be protected and this will cause many to turn to the Lord as they see the power of God demonstrated during such trials.

The Lord will preserve His remnant.

In spite of rampant confusion, the righteous will listen to the Lord and follow His lead. Some are being led to move their place of residence and others will stay where they are; each must know the Lord’s voice for their direction. ALL must turn to Him and walk in complete obedience.

So what can we do now to prepare?

If you don’t know Christ as Saviour you are in the worst possible position for not only what’s coming to the world but for eternity. Repent of your sin and turn to Christ for His forgiveness.

If you do know the Lord, examine yourself and ask the Lord if there is anything about which you need to obey or repent. Do not defile yourself with unworthy things.

If you haven’t received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, begin seeking the Lord for this.

Fast and pray. Consider a Daniel Fast because it may be a prolonged fast…but as the Lord leads you of course. Seek the Lord with all of your heart and do the spiritual warfare for your own life and the spiritual warfare over your country. Satanic forces have been unleashed but the army of the Lord is the most powerful on earth.

Be generous, now more than ever. It may be money to whatever person or cause the Lord puts on your heart but it may also be something with which the Lord has gifted you. All we have is His and that includes abilities as well as material things. Ask Him what He would have you do. The generosity you sow to others now will be something you reap during the hard times.

Will you need emergency supplies? Possibly. Probably. However, you must ask the Lord about it. Hearing His voice in all things is of the utmost importance. The timing of what’s to come is unknown and only the direction of the Holy Spirit will tell you what you need to do in this regard. The most important thing though is when and if you do begin to make preparations of this sort, it’s not for hoarding and only for yourself but in order that you can share with others in need when the time comes.

Educate yourself. First and foremost the Bible of course. Then start researching on your computer.

I believe it’s time to be a doer.

The Lord IS coming with signs and wonders. He will demonstrate His mighty power and glory. He will also demonstrate terrifying acts. Throughout all of this there is going to be the most extraordinary revival and many will turn to the Lord.

Pray that the land will be filled with His glory, that He will give leaders who are men and women after His own heart and the nation will honour the Lord and in turn be a blessing once again to other nations.

"Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely 
in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you 
your heart's desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. 
Trust Him, and He will help you." 
Psalm 37:3-5

"The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. 
He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, 
they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." 
Psalm 37: 23-24