God’s Direction During Times of Crisis


coronavirus

I have been praying much about what to say in my blog during this pandemic. I wanted to offer some hope, some true word of God, some comfort, some direction – but I have been drawing a blank each time.

It’s not that there isn’t hope, faith and comfort aplenty in the bible, but I wanted to share something relevant and specific, and not just general platitudes.

I’d like to tell you that, as Christians, we will be protected and spared from all suffering but (unlike some false teachers in the churches) I’m not going to lie to you and tell you you’re immune.

So today as I read a blog post on ‘Onesimus Files‘ I finally realised what I must post (his blog post can be seen below) but I want to preface it with my own strange experience that confirms what he wrote. I would not normally share these things, because I know people might misunderstand or worry that I have gotten into false teaching.

Nonetheless, I urge you to trust me, that I do know the difference between God and my own mind (or the devil).

My Experience

In mid January [before the universal virus panic] just as I woke up I “thought” or heard “Winter is coming” and a moment afterwards, awake, I also thought “night is coming when no one can work” (as Jesus said in John 9:4. While it is daytime, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.)

At the time it was just an oddity but it stuck in my mind.

Although I have never once watched ‘Game of Thrones’, I knew that ‘Winter is coming‘ was a phrase from that programme. Since it wasn’t a scriptural phrase I was inclined just to ignore it, even though it was confirmed by the scripture in John 9:4 at the time.

Anyway, later – after the coronavirus crisis hit the world – I decided to look up what that phrase meant, in the programme. Here is what one website said:

  1. Literal meaning in the TV programme. (irrelevant for me)
  2. In a wider sense, it refers to the need for vigilance, “be ready” for anything that might happen.
  3. The writer of the books on which Game Of Thrones is based explained a deeper metaphorical meaning. It means that even though things appear to be going easy and well (like “Summer”) this will not last for ever. There will come a dark period, a coldness, when events turn against us, which metaphorically is “winter”. The meaning is, don’t get too safe or comfortable in your present way of life, because it won’t last for ever.

I felt that was very apt, especially in light of what has happened since January. At the time, I took it to be a general statement, but now I think it was specific.

I do believe (as we see below) that God reveals to us what is coming so that we can prepare ourselves and others. That is especially true for those of us who have a method of sharing, online or offline.

My Preparation

In addition to these recent events, I myself have been undergoing a long (many months) reappraisal and time of deep repentance for ALL the things in my life from the beginning. God has allowed me to see myself “warts and all” which is not a pleasant experience I can assure you, and despite being truly saved for over 50 years I don’t think I’ve ever been put through God’s wringer in quite this way before.

At the same time, the devil (unusual for me) has been hammering away at my mind with doubts and questions – it made me angry at times. It has meant I have to know the difference between my human soul (thoughts, emotions, feelings, desires etc) and my inner spirit which communes with God.

My spirit can be faithful and calm, truly believing in God and his word, even while my outer soul is troubled or shaking. We all need to learn this.

God’s Training Camp

This also is a combat course, to learn the hard way how to distinguish between the devil’s voice, and God. And of course to learn to pay heed to God alone. I do not say I am all-knowing or immune, but I praise God for putting me though these months of boot camp, because I believe times are coming when we need to stay very close to the truth, and pledge our very lives to it.

Likewise, the writer of the blog below (Tim – who has had a cancer diagnosis) also testifies to his battles over the last year. He says:

In recent months I’ve occasionally woken in the morning with particular phrases stuck in my mind. The first time it was straight from scripture and related to a cancer diagnosis I’d been given: “To live is Christ, to die is gain”.

I’ve shared some of that on my blog recently, how I came to the understanding that God’s will relates to the first part – that life in service to Christ here and now is the preferred option, over the “selfishness” of going to be with the Lord.

The second time it was again scripture: ”God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. This led me to study the context, which took me into some realities of the new creation we have become, that requires us to take off the old and put on the new.

Most recently it wasn’t a phrase of scripture, but a simple and seemingly obvious statement, considering what’s happening in the world at the moment. “Things are going to change”.

To me there seems to be a flow – starting with something I personally needed, then on to truths applicable to the wider church, regarding our identity and God’s equipping of His saints for ministry. Then finally (so far) putting those things into a context of urgency.

I can only see my health diagnosis and the medical prognosis as part of a personal shake-up I needed to get me on track in preparation for wider change in the world.

[My Note: I can relate to this personally, as I have described above.]


From Onesimus Files
COVID-19 and “Prophecy”

Posted on March 27, 2020

I’ve hesitated to post this because it involves something I’ve not previously experienced, and something that I’ve seen abused and misused in the past by others who have made “prophetic” claims. I can only submit this for consideration, in the hope that I’m not going off track. I’ve also been reluctant to jump on the corona virus bandwagon, considering it’s been given more than enough publicity everywhere else.

In recent months I’ve occasionally woken in the morning with particular phrases stuck in my mind.

Most recently it wasn’t a phrase of scripture, but a simple and seemingly obvious statement, considering what’s happening in the world at the moment. “Things are going to change”.

The following morning, there was a “flood” of thoughts continuing on from that, the first was “things are not going to return to ‘normal’, along with the term “tipping point”.

I got out of bed to write these things down and the phrase “bringing down nations” was added.

Then finally, “revival has started, but not in the form expected” brought an end to the morning “flood” of phrases. I shared these things with a few trusted brothers and sisters to get their impressions.

False Prophetic Interpretations

It’s now a week later and I’ve come across a few claimed ‘prophetic views’ of the current virus situation. Most of them are predicting that it will “all be over very shortly” – prior to Passover, which is only about two weeks away.

That’s a message that seems to have been grasped by the US President too – looking at returning business to usual by Easter.

All of that in spite of what’s evident in the world right now, and particularly in the US which has just been reported as currently having the most cases of COVID-19 in a single nation. (63,600 as of March 26th)

False Miracle

An end within two weeks would clearly be a miraculous outcome. [My Note: I suspect that is just the kind of false prophecy that has led to the idea of “getting back to normal” by some kind of “Easter Miracle”. Yet as you see, the true word of God is that things are NOT going to get back to normal.]

Those ‘prophetic views’ have been expressed by several high profile individuals who all expect “revival” to come out of the current crisis. However their views of revival tend to focus on NATIONAL revivals – a turning around of nations (the US in particular since that’s where those expressing that “prophetic” insight are located).

I don’t share that optimism. One reason is that I find the “revival” they expect is based on a false hope. [and false doctrine!]

National Revival By Political Means is Unbiblical

I see no reason for expectation of national revivals in scripture – apart from the many clear prophecies about Israel turning to the Lord AS A NATION in the very last days. I suspect some of the expectation for revival in our own nations has been fuelled by a misapplication of promises made to and about Israel.

One example of this is the common reference to 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

That is a promise/directive given specifically to Israel, a people of God who actually HAD a land to be healed – a land given to them by God Himself.

While disciples of Jesus are God’s people, we have no land to which that promise can be applied – the nations in which we live are not ours.

We are part of God’s Kingdom and His Kingdom is not of this world. And can we really consider that anyone with current “wicked ways” could be thought of as a disciple of Jesus?

Bible Christians Are Persecuted, Not Raised to Power on Earth

In this world believers WILL have trouble, not acceptance and comfort, something that we in the west seem to view with aversion, having never really suffered in the way those in the early church did and those in other nations currently do.

It seems to me that the current emphasis on national revival is focused on politics and political outcomes. I believe that contrasts significantly with God’s focus on His Kingdom and those who claim to represent it.

And it is among those representatives that revival is needed – to stir up, experience and share the abundant life Jesus came to give, to encourage others to migrate from the world’s Kingdoms to God’s Kingdom.

There is no answer through worldly politics or politicians, and I suspect that the association of evangelicals with partisan politics will backfire as the sandy foundation of their political expectations are exposed.

Nothing Will Stay The Same

Things are going to change and will not return to “normal”, no matter how much some people may expect and insist that we’ll push through the current situation and get things back on track on the other side. Whether that change is in process now or not, scripture makes it clear that it IS eventually coming, and in a much more disastrous way than anything we’ve experienced so far.

As for the term “tipping point”, it’s one I came across a few times over the days following my own reference to it, I assume it refers to the earlier two statements regarding change.

There will be a bringing down of nations – whether politically, economically, or in any other natural way, I’m not sure – but hopefully it will mean a bringing down of nations in the esteem and expectation of Jesus’ disciples, redirecting their attention and hopes solely upon His Kingdom.

Revival has started but not in the form expected – I can only write from personal experience that my commitment to God has been significantly revived, ignited by the need to face adverse personal circumstance in my own life. Maybe others are being faced with similar experiences.

As for revival beyond the personal, and particularly regarding any expected “end time ” revival upon the earth, I’ve long seen that as being associated with the kind of intense persecution against the saints prophesied in scripture.

As persecution causes many uncommitted to fall away, this “pruning” of fruitless branches will lead to more fruitfulness in those branches that remain, those who are genuinely committed to Christ.

That increased fruitfulness will lead to a more genuine witness of, and bringing more people into, the Kingdom. But that kind of revival OF THE CHURCH is far different to the “glorious” nation-changing move of God that seems to be the expectation of others.


(End of reposted blog)

The idea of revival (for which we all long) has been gradually eroded and perverted by those who preach success, prosperity and world acclaim; revival has been turned into a desire for prominence in the nations.

False Revival

Instead of seeing troubles as an opportunity to help others and, if possible, share the gospel as the ONLY way of salvation, many now see the current shaking across the globe as the precursor to world revival, and they welcome a pandemic as “God’s cleansing” instead of a judgement on sin and self.

How different was the attitude of Luther during a time of plague:

In a letter to Rev. Dr. John Hess, found in Luther’s Works, Volume 43 p. 132, as “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague,” Martin Luther writes:

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Genuine Revival

A TRUE revival may stem from this, since we hope that it will stir up a desire for God’s help and rescue; it may also be a time for the few Christians left who are struggling to find fellowship or a good church to bond together with the common aim of presenting the Lord as the Saviour of the world and the Coming King.

Persecution and revival go hand in hand – never more so than in today’s greedy selfish blasphemous world.

No doubt the attempt to reach people will be met with disbelief, even hatred, in some quarters – as ever in the Church – but nonetheless God will be with those who reach out in love to share the true message of the bible.

Reject the false teaching! Reject false hopes of a “miraculous resurrection from God at Easter”! Reject the idea that we can sail through everything unharmed [because we somehow deserve it] and force the world to bow to God as a result!

God Closes His Ears

Remember that Israel made the same mistake. They fell away from God, worshipped false idols, put their gods into the Temple, indulged in filthy practises in their idol worship, and then when they were under threat they suddenly ran to God for help.

And the Lord said “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you multiply your prayers, I will not listen.” Is 1:15

Yet for those who avoid idolatry in all its forms (including the love of money, worship of self, desire for this world and its glory) there is help and healing, guidance and comfort.

Remember Laodicea:

You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent. (Rev 3:17-19)

9 thoughts on “God’s Direction During Times of Crisis

  1. After you wrote this I noticed that Rodney Howard Browne was arrested for keeping his church building open in defiance of Florida’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order. For years now I haven’t given much attention to the signs-and-wonders crowd nor those clamoring for a return to lawful rights as under the US Constitution, so I was a little taken aback to again notice how much they have in common. I’ve heard both conservative Baptists and Calvinists/Reformed speak unkindly of Browne and his peers while advocating for a return to constitutional rights, and now the signs-and-wonders people also want their right to freely assemble. It has to be this way to set a trap for those tempted in both ways to be humbled along with their leaders. I wonder how long it will take for them to consider themselves victorious, but I imagine it could start as people thank God that the pandemic is abating, that God heard our prayers and is now blessing our land, or perhaps after a favorable election, or some other struggle that brings conservative values to political power. (Apologies for spelling; I’m not British.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mike, I’ve seen that one area of common belief between the charismanics and the extremist anti-charismatics is their political allegiance.

      As I wrote on my own blog recently:

      Both “evangelicals” and “charismatics” kowtow to political forces in misguided hope of returning their nation to alleged past greatness, and especially to a mythical Christian past.

      Such hopes are a dangerous fantasy, that not only lead to false expectations of “national revival”, they lead to an unholy hybrid of politics and religion (NOT Christianity as participants assume) that hinders the gospel, leads to false prophetic expectations, and will ultimately pave the way for a future political saviour: identified by Paul as the man of lawlessness.

      Tim (Onesimus)

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      • Many events pave the way for the “man of lawlessness,” but perhaps not as directly as many think. Just looking at that description–”of lawlessness”–you might question whether a person or group qualifies if they are pressing for more recognition of God’s law. I realize they want only a convenient subset or interpretation of God’s law, asking God to bless them as they go their own way, which is true lawlessness from God’s perspective. But I think the political pendulum will again swing away from conservatives to the more inclusive spiritual-but-not-religious types. I’m not calling them liberals exactly since they have more in common with centuries-old conservatism, just as “conservatives” have more in common with classical liberalism. It’s a degeneration, not progress. The majority of people rebel against anyone or anything telling them they’re wrong. So imagine their rejoicing if a violent destruction were to come upon the visible conservative Christian leadership, as if God were setting the record straight that he does not approve of that haughty narrow-mindedness, that all we need is “love” for one another (by force of law of course). It’s not so unfathomable if you notice that the United States is a very good fit for a literal Mystery Babylon.

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      • Many events pave the way for the “man of lawlessness…”

        Yes, but not many that are as clear as the willingness to give devoted support to a lawless leader.

        At least that’s one thing that can be avoided by anyone with a heart for truth, to ensure they don’t get drawn in to accepting THE man of lawlessness when he’s finally revealed.

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  2. Hi Tricia, if I may I’d like to highlight this particular part:

    There will be a bringing down of nations – whether politically, economically, or in any other natural way, I’m not sure – but hopefully it will mean a bringing down of nations in the esteem and expectation of Jesus’ disciples, redirecting their attention and hopes solely upon His Kingdom.

    Sadly the obsession with nations is far too prominent among professing believers, particularly ( I have noted) those from the US. This is not only people promoting national political revival, but is also found among those who would oppose that false revivalist outlook.

    I recall a few decades ago, prior to the exposure of his moral fall, Jimmy Swaggart lamenting that the arrival of antichrist and his world government would mean an end to US sovereignty (paraphrased from memory).
    While I’m not sure how many would express themselves in that same way, I don’t doubt that many have the same kind of mindset.

    I regularly see or hear Christians express things that make it clear that their eyes are too firmly fixed on some kind of hope and trust in the nation where they were born, its politicians and its political systems. There is a disturbing tendency to favour AND PROMOTE one particular partisan political view above another.

    God will not tolerate that kind of attempted dual allegiance.
    We can only serve one Master and one Kingdom.

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  3. Hi Tricia,
    Thank you for the reference to my recent blog article.

    I’d like to share a few more observations about “Revival” that I think are pertinent.

    “Revival” is centred on God’s people bringing the church back in line with His Kingdom.

    “Revival” will lead to an awareness of who we are and what is required of us in Christ.

    “Revival” leads to a turning from other allegiances, whether to nation, politics and political solutions, or the pleasures and distracting entertainments of this world. We can only serve one Master.

    “Revival” won’t make the gospel more acceptable to the wider world, it will put us more at odds with the world, creating an increased contrast and greater conflict between the people of God and those who reject God.

    “Revival” will be an outcome of refining/pruning within the church to make it more fruitful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello, my friend. I noticed that you had been quiet and believed you to be in a time of prayer and reflection. I too have been going through one of the hardest times of my life and the Lord has provided in ways I never thought possible. I’ve had dreams and impressions and often come away with “seek the Lord’ scriptures in my mind above all else. It’s truly a strange time and I believe one of preparation of things to come.

    Good to hear from you.

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  5. Since these last few weeks I have found the same things as others, in that, the Lord has been putting me through a time of repentance. My ex husband died at Christmas abroad in his home. I still don’t know if he was born again, so I leave it with Him. In the tense used in the NT Greek, which we miss in the English translation, Jesus says ‘you must continually be repenting’. It doesn’t stop. This plague is from God, Jesus said that the time of the End had not been shortened even the very elect will not survive. The extra-Biblical prophecy about Britain losing almost everything but saved through the prayer of women and the glory of France coming to nothing has been at the back of my mind for over 40 years as I’ve watched things change. That as well as the message David Wilkinson was given.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Tricia, I wil share what He has led me to do. Three weeks ago, i was at North Manchester General Hospital having an Asthma check appointment (ps I am much improved) the consultant, a very caring Jewish lady who is also a member of an International reseach team into fungal infections. During the appointment I ststed to her, ‘You are going to be in the front line of what is coming”,. Her reply, “yes and we are very concerned”Then I asked her,”having you any objection if I pray for you. on regular basis”, She stated “No we would like it”. I have been do so since. Then a dayl later, Joan an I went aroumd the house annointing and windows in hHis name and the blood.

    This Morning I Recieved the following email from a known source you may find of interest

    Dear Dr Jones,
    I want to thank you for sharing this information. December 2015 I was given a prophetic dream which I shared with a breakfast prayer group at my church in Leicester United Kingdom. This was the dream.
    I saw thousands of people quarantined in tents. Majority of the people were dying and there were corpses rotting and piled up in heaps. I was working as a doctor and no medical solution was available. Suddenly an angel stood on my right and told me that this was the new Bioterrorist attack that was at work. He gave me a jug and told me to take a sip of the jug and offer it to the sick and dying. I did this and anyone who sipped from the jug was immediately healed.
    While still in the dream I fast forwarded to giving the testimony of the healing and the Holy Spirit told me that I should tell the church that not all plagues and disasters are the result of the Devil. Some are the works of the angels of destruction who are obedient to Gods instructions without discriminating.
    He reminded me of the angel that destroyed Egypt’s firstborn. The only thing that saved the children of Israel from the same fate was the Blood painted over their doorways. It did not matter if they were good and righteous or wicked bad people. Only with the covering of Blood were they safe from the destruction. He told me to tell the church to confess the Blood of Jesus over our lives and the lives of all around us whether they are Christians or not, as well as our neighbours, street, county, country, etc. By speaking his cover over us we are applying the Lambs blood against the Spiritual forces of destruction that have been sent.
    Now the dream has come to pass I have been instructed by the Holy Spirit to share with all that we should drink turmeric and milk twice a day morning and evening throughout this pandemic. I had an episode of dry cough and heavy breathing a week ago and did this and the heaviness cleared immediately.
    I shared the message with a few close friend and my church pastors. I also researched Tumeric as an antiviral compound and found there is so much research into the efficacy of tumeric and its active agent curcumin against many viruses. It also stabilises and helps build the immune system.
    I feel I should share this revelation from the Holy Spirit with you. God bless you and keep you safe.
    Your sister in Christ,
    L. E.

    Shalom Richard

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