On our Sunday evening service our preacher finished off his sermon reading out the latest Lance Lambert “prophecy”. Now I must admit my ignorance, I had never heard of Lance Lambert and when I heard it read out I was left a bit stunned as to what to say (I know, I know very unlike me). So, to buy myself some time I got the musicians to play whilst I thought what I should say. I then got up and said that I thanked the speaker for his sermon but that the final “prophecy” left me uneasy and I am afraid that I disagreed with it and said a couple of reasons why I did.
Now, I am not against prophecy. I am happy to be described as a Happy Clappy or Charismatic and I have seen people really blessed and challenged through good prophecy. But I feel uneasy by prophecies such as this one that claim and easily frighten people but are actually less than accurate on a whole host of levels.
The thing about some prophecies is that they chime with feelings of alienation and exclusion and looking back to a “golden age”. So I thought I should “fisk” the prophecy to say why I felt uneasy about it and why there are problems with it.
So, he starts his prophecy:
Hear the voice of the Lord, O Isles that I have so greatly loved and favoured. I the Lord the Almighty, I took you when you were nothing, clothed with skins and woad, and through My saving power, I made you great.
Firstly, there is a direct claim that this is from God and that therefore it is a claim that all of this is from God. It also shows a rather limited view of history. The skins and woad seems to be a romantic vision of the early tribes that you would find in a ladybird history book. It seems to miss out the Dark ages, the middle ages etc.
When you were nothing, through My Word and your faith in Me, I lifted you and made you Great Britain. Through many awakenings and many revivals, stage by stage, I took you until you became a great power with the greatest Empire in the history of the nations.
Great Britain came about with the Acts of Union of 1707 with the merging of of the English and Scottish parliaments. it means Greater – Greater Britain. Greater meaning not power and glory but larger. In other words its pointing towards a united island.
Of course, greatness can be looked at in different ways. The largest was actually the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. Probably the most important was the Roman Empire which not only has continued to affect the modern world with language and culture but also controlled a high percentage of the world’s population in its time.
From you My Gospel and My Word went throughout the world, and tens of thousands came into an experience of saving faith! That Empire with all its many failings and weaknesses was still one of the most just and righteous Empires of history.
It was great that people went out and shared the Good News of Jesus and I have heard many Africans thanking Britain for that. The second part really needs challenging. How about the millions of slaves traded out of Africa? How about the genocide of some North American tribes? The hunting for sport of Aborigines? The divide and rule policies that led to many dying in places like India? I’m sorry Mr Lambert but your history wouldn’t muster a pass at GCSE let alone God’s divine view. Empires can be used by God (but even then he rails against them).
Those Isles of yours were soaked with the blood of My faithful martyrs and its soil received the burnt ashes of those who would not renounce My Name, My Truth, and My Word. I, the Lord have not forgotten those who gave their all for Me!
I think that he is referring to the martyrs under the reign of Queen Mary (the reference to burnt ashes seems to refer to those burnt and these were the major burnings of Christians in this countries history). We know that there are 284 recorded deaths of people for their faith in that period of time (fewer than those killed in road accidents each year in this country). That is NOT a soaking of these isles. If you look at France you find 1200 protestants killed in one incident in 1562 (at Vassy) or the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre in 1572 when tens of thousands of protestants were killed. France was far more soaked in blood.
But now the whole nation that I created and sustained has turned from Me.
Some 10% of people still go to church and more than that acknowledge the Christian faith in some way. 10% is a huge number. If you look at atheist and humanist societies they have a pitiful number active in them in comparison. The numbers going to church have fallen although that fall has levelled out and in many churches is on the increase again (such as in Springfield Church). So, not all and a good base to work from if we stopped spreading doom and gloom!
They paganise their land, state and institutions; there is no voice heard to warn the nation.
There are plenty of voices that speak up, politicians as well as churches and organisations. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled only this week that Phones4U had caused offence for Christians in their advert on Holy Week this year.
False religion, the work of world rulers of darkness, cover your Isles; A Laodicean church, neither hot nor cold, rumbles on like machinery. It is a church where I am outside of its routine; its organisation and its methodology. It is Christianity without Me: Religion without Me!
It’s always lovely to attack authority and structures but I have spent the past few years working within the Diocese of Southwark structures on Mission and outreach. There has been a real desire to reach out with the love of Jesus to all around us. Churches from all sorts of background are no longer prepared to accept “inevitable” decline. This is just a cheap shot.
My being is seared with pain, for judgement is determined against your land. I can do no other. I will destroy the vestiges of her greatness; I will return her to her first estate. I will wreck her economy, destabilise her in every way. I will change her climate, even her weather. I will prove to her that the way of the transgressor is hard and terrible. I will allow demonic forces held in check erstwhile by My Word and Gospel, and the living faith of so many, to become rampant in her social life, to the destruction of her society.
Of course, this is where we get to the scary bit. The bit that when things go wrong someone will point saying “look, see, he was right”. But lets look at this further. Great Britain has been a declining power for the past 100 years. From before the First World War. By the end of Empire in the ’40s and ’50s and especially after Suez there was a realisation that Great Britain would decline. None of this is new. This has been discussed for decades. But its far greater than that. The US (where 50% go to church) is in a huge economic mess as well. The Western world is seeing the rise of Asia and the BRIC countries. If it was Britain alone then he might be on firmer ground. As for the weather! Give me a break! How many times have we had news articles and newspaper articles about climate change – caused by humanities greed.
The riots of August can easily be seen to play into the “destruction of her society”. But these riots were small beer compared to some past riots of the “golden era” of Britain. How about the Gordon Riots of 1780 when nearly 300 were killed? How about the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 when hundreds were injured?
Social breakdown has always been a threat in this country. In the 18th century nearly one in two children didn’t make it to the age of two. Prostitution and crime was rife in places like London.
We face the breakdown on families and we need to be working to support and help and encourage good relationships and family life but don’t let us read back what we want onto the past.
Will you who know Me and love Me go blind and dumb and deaf into this judgement?
Well after what I have written, I hope not.
It is time for you who love Me, who are faithful to Me, to take action! Stand before Me and plead The Finished Work of My Son. At least cry out to Me, that there will be those who turn from darkness, from sin, and be saved. For whosoever shall call upon My Name in the midst of these judgements, I will save!
The call of the Church is the same as it has ever been. The Church was called into being for the sake of the world. To share the love of Jesus with all.
It will cost you everything to stand in the gap, but you will enter into My heart, and know deep fellowship with Me. Such travail conceived in your heart by My Spirit will cost your deeply, but it will end in My Throne and Glory.
What is fascinating is that the reading for this morning was from Mark 6 where Jesus returns to Nazareth and they reject him and he can do “no deed of power” there because of their unbelief. But he doesn’t rant at them or proclaim death and destruction to them or call down fire from heaven. It says that
And he was amazed at their unbelief.