Thursday, September 30, 2021

Role of Prophets in New Zealand

In an article called Prophets and Rulers, I explained that prophets have quite a limited role in speaking to political leaders who have chosen not to follow Jesus. This is the situation in New Zealand.

There are almost no Christians in our government, so they are not really interested in God’s wisdom, so prophesying to political leaders will mostly be a waste of time. Key political leaders believe that they were persecuted by the church in the past, so they are angry with Christians and do not want to hear from them.

Prophets should mostly be speaking to church leaders to explain what is happening in the spiritual realms and what they should do to prepare for the inevitable future.

New Zealand has a mixed history, sometimes good, sometimes not so good, and sometimes really bad. However, for most of our 170-year history, a sufficient number of people have trusted in God and served him. This has released tremendous blessing in the land.

Unfortunately, in recent years the faith that sustained the nation has declined. In the past, a significant portion of the people trusted God, and those who didn’t trust him still honoured Jesus. Now there are far fewer people who trust him, but far worse, most of those who don’t trust him do not honour him either. A significant number now hate Jesus and those who follow him.

This change has given the spiritual powers of evil a stronghold in the nation. Because the people of the nation have not been taught about spiritual things, they do not even know what that means.

We live in a multi-dimensional universe in which the spiritual dimensions exist in parallel to our three-dimensional physical world. The spiritual realms operate in continuity with the physical/natural world that we observe. Most humans cannot see into the spiritual dimensions, so we can only observe the physical side of existence. However, events in our physical world are shaped by activities in the spiritual realm. When we look at the physical world in isolation, we miss much of what is happening in the universe (Kingdom Authority p.28).
A war is going on in the spiritual realms that most people in New Zealand are not even aware of, and many do not even know which side they are on. Much of what happens here on earth is the consequence of events in the spiritual realms, and what happens here, has a significant effect on the relative strength of the two sides in the spiritual struggle.

Over the last few decades, the people have squeezed God out of New Zealand because they thought that we did not need him, and they did not want him messing with our lives, but without realising it, they have given his place to the spiritual powers of evil. These forces are full of hatred, anger and violence. They love to kill, destroy and steal. By shutting out the God who was restraining them, we have strengthened their position here on earth. They held back for a while to give us a false sense of security, but now they are flexing their muscles and having a go to see what they can do with their power.

The situation in New Zealand is not as good as it once was because we have chosen the wrong side in a serious spiritual battle, and the good side is losing, while the bad side is winning. Therefore, we should not be surprised that anxiety, distress and fear are becoming more common. The reason that both personal pain and economic troubles are getting worse is that we have unwittingly placed ourselves under the authority of the spiritual powers of evil. Not surprisingly, they are doing what they always do when they get an opportunity. Until they are put back in the box, we can expect that they will continue to surprise us with more and more of their evil tricks. Things are likely to get worse before they get better.

The people of the nation have put their faith in political power to solve social and economic problems, but unless the spiritual problem is solved, the efforts of political leaders will fail. People who have trusted them will eventually become disillusioned.

The role of prophets in this context is to explain to church leaders what is happening and how to prepare their people for what lies ahead.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021


I have been reading through Jeremiah. God’s people had been ignoring God’s requirements for them. Their disobedience allowed the spiritual powers of evil to attack them and bring powerful nations against them. The thing that struck me in reading Jeremiah’s challenge was that the leaders of the people understood God’s requirements and knew that they were being ignored by the people, but they assumed that it didn’t matter that much. Without coming out directly and say it, their behaviour suggested that some of God’s requirements could be ignored without harmful consequences.

These leaders were wrong, of course, and their corrupt behaviour opened the door to the spiritual powers of evil and invading nations eventually pushed them out of their land and into exile.

In some ways, the situation is similar today. Numerous things that are the heart of the way the modern church functions cannot be supported from the scriptures. Some are contrary to the teaching of the New Testament. Yet the leaders of the church (without saying it directly) seem to assume that this failure to comply with God’s requirements does not matter. This failure to comply with God’s requirement is far more serious than they realise.

Here are four fairly straightforward examples.

  • Most modern churches are led by a professional senior pastor. Yet the role of the senior pastor is never mentioned in the New Testament. In the numerous churches that Paul planted, he appointed elders. He never appointed a senior pastor.

  • Jesus prayed that the church would have the same unity as he and the Father (John 17:11). Paul wrote that there is “one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord (Eph 4:4). Yet church leaders are quite happy to split the body up into denominations, as if what Jesus requires is not important.

  • Modern churches usually buy a church building to meet in on Sundays. Yet there is no instruction in the New Testament to buy buildings. No church in the New Testament owned a building to meet in. The New Testament teaches that followers of Jesus are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so God does not need a temple to dwell in, yet these buildings are described as the house of God.

  • Jesus said that his followers would be known for their love for each other. However, the modern church supports a lifestyle where Christians live in isolation and drive to a meeting place, so the world usually does not see their love.

These four modern practices do not fit with the requirements of the gospel. Yet, most Christian leaders are not even uneasy about them, but they are far more serious failings than they realise.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Trade Routes

The United States is building billion-dollar nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers to keep its trade routes open, but something seems to have gone wrong at the other end.
See Pile up.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Revival Prophecies (7) Honest Voice

An honest prophetic voice would be warning that New Zealand is going into a season of relative darkness (not intense persecution or tribulation) when the resistance to the gospel will be stronger gospel, and hostility to Christian values will intensify. Pastors who speak out on social issues from a Christian perspective could be strongly criticised in an attempt to silence their voice.

An honest prophetic voice would be explaining that the spiritual powers of evil have seized territory throughout the nation and without facing much opposition. They have gained control of places of authority without any resistance.

In the face of this intensifying spiritual struggle, the church is floundering and confused, doing the same old things over and over again, but hoping for better outcomes this time, but knowing that it probably won’t work; knowing that they need more of the Holy Spirit, but unwilling to totally obey his voice.

At the same time, government leaders have been given more power than they have ever had, because they are expected to deliver us from evil and restore our lives to blessing, but they lack the wisdom to do what they promised.

An honest prophetic voice would be warning that the darkness rolling down on the land will be deeper and darker than anyone expect and it will take a long time for the light to penetrate and break it up. They should be warning that the opportunity for a traditional revival has passed and will not come back for some time. The spiritual powers of evil have entrenched their stronghold over the nation and they will not be pushed out easily.

At this time, an honest prophetic voice would be challenging God’s people to stop sitting around and waiting for revival prophecies to be fulfilled and use the time to get prepared so they can stand strong in a season of adversity. It would explain how they can position themselves in a place of strength, so they can share life and hope with those who are lost in the darkness.

Standing alone is the most dangerous place to be during an intense spiritual struggle. A church meeting and sermon once a week will not be sufficient to sustain Christians when they come under pressure. The Covid experience confirms that driving to a large church meeting on a Sunday to listen to teaching by a pastor might be a luxury that is not sustainable. The best possible protection during tough times is to be living close to other followers of Jesus who can provide emotional, spiritual and physical support when it is needed, not when the next meeting is due.

Followers of Jesus who live in close proximity to each other in a neighbourhood can stand together in prayer to establish an evil-spirit-free zone where the Holy Spirit is free to operate. This should not be a place to hide, but a base from which the kingdom of God can be expanded as the gospel is shared with those living around them who see the difference that the presence of the Holy Spirit makes. If these believers heal the sick and cast out demons in the power of the Spirit, the name of Jesus will be lifted up.

As these small kingdom communities grow, God will raise up elders from amongst them with balanced giftings, who will love one another and submit to each other to establish unity in the body. If one is taken out, or falls away, the others will continue to support each to watch over the flock to ensure that everyone is kept safe from evil and growing to maturity.

These kingdom communities will expand further by sending out their best elders as apostles (as others step up into their place) in a team with balanced giftings to establish a new community in another neighbourhood. They will carry on loving and serving each other, while listening and obeying the Holy Spirit, and he will keep doing what Jesus did.

An honest prophetic voice would explain that God’s plans for New Zealand have not changed. He still wants his people to take the good news of his Kingdom into the nation with sign and wonders following. He still wants us to show the world what Jesus meant when he said that his disciples would be known by their love for each other. God still wants New Zealand to be a light to the nations by demonstrating the fullness of his Kingdom by transforming society. He still wants Jesus to be acknowledged as king of New Zealand as the people freely choose to serve him and live together in obedience to his Spirit.

The main change is timing. Because opportunities have been missed, and the spiritual powers of evil are much more deeply entrenched in the authority structures of the nation, the spiritual struggle for the heart of New Zealand will be much tougher, and will take much longer. However, the outcome will be better and stronger, because it will it is established on a stronger foundation by being refined by fire.

For this to happen, God’s people will need strong prophetic guidance about how to deal with the pressure, and how to establish and grow kingdom communities, not vague promises about a coming revival that never comes.

This full series can be read at NZ Revival Prophecies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Revival Prophecies (6) Real Community

During the 1970s, there was a massive buzz about real community. People were thinking seriously about Jesus new commandment and what it means to “Love one another as Jesus loved us”. They realised that this meant more than a meeting once a week. People were thinking about how the practices described in the first few chapters of Acts could be applied in the modern world.

This interest in developing real communities accompanied a hunger for deeper relationships, as the Holy Spirt inspired people to connect with and support other people. Various strands supported this interest.

  • Teaching about body ministry was popular.

  • Many Christians read Edith Shaeffer’s book called “L’Abrie”. While the nerds were reading Francis Shaeffer’s books about Truth and Reason, others were inspired by the story of their community in Switzerland.

  • Speakers from overseas were sharing at conferences in New Zealand about their experiences in developing intentional communities.

  • People were reading books about Christians who had developed a deeper community in their homes. One example was Love is an Open Home by Bill Bair.

  • A friend had a vision of four houses close together with Jesus standing above them and shining his light upon them. This type of vision was common.

I am certain that the Holy Spirit was the inspiration for this interest in community.

Quite a few people tried doing something different. Most found it too hard and eventually gave up. Their struggle is not surprising because they were pushing hard against the world and the spirit of the age. The eighties were a very materialistic decade when everybody seemed to be working hard to get ahead.

Unfortunately, there was very little prophetic guidance or encouragement about how the people of the Spirit should live. One reason is that despite Ephesians 4 being studied assiduously during this season, the prophetic ministry was not really nurtured. Churches that were touched by the Holy Spirit continued to be pastor-centric, so it is not surprising that the movement did not get the prophetic guidance it needed.

Inspiration and guidance for the future came mostly from books and visiting international speakers rather than from a home-grown prophetic voice.

When the Charismatic renewal petered out, the prophecies about revival coming soon kept on coming. Looking back, it seems like they had missed a season of opportunity.

Part of the role of a prophet is to interpret the events of history and explain to the people what was happening. However, when the Charismatic Renewal slowly died out, no prophetic voices examined the move to understand what had gone wrong because they still believed revival was coming. No one asked seriously why such a wonderful opportunity had been missed.

I believe that the hunger for a deeper community back then was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but it is gone now. The buzz about community has died. This is a serious obstacle to revival coming at this time.

The next generation is watching The Block and other home renovation programmes on television and thinking about how they can progress up the property ladder. They are not thinking about what community means for those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

There is a lot of noise about the Kingdom of God, but it is mostly ephemeral, and there is no understanding that a kingdom is a social order, comprised of communities.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Revival Prophecies (5) What Went Wrong

In the 1970s, New Zealand was ripe for revival. The Holy Spirit was moving and touching people lives in dramatic ways. People were approaching friends and asking them to pray for them. They were asking them about the Holy Spirit. People were asking friends to tell them about Jesus.

It seemed that revival had started. Yet it didn’t kick on. It seemed like the revival was choked before it could get started. Recently, I have been thinking about why. The following are a few of the reasons.

  • The move of the Spirit started in people homes with people praying for each other for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Many leaders tried to shift the life of the Spirit away from people’s homes into church meetings, but the gifts of the Spirit had to be managed to avoid disruption, but this control tended to suffocate spiritual freedom. Gradually, as the decade progressed, the life of the Spirit was sucked up by the church and the move suffocated.

  • When church leaders tried to take the gifts of the Holy Spirit into their church meetings, things sometimes got unruly and important people got upset, so they were forced to establish control over the release of spiritual gifts in the church service. This eventually quenched the moving of the Holy Spirit, so the gifts of healing and deliverance became the prerogative of travelling ministries praying for needy people at the front of the church meeting, because they could be trusted to behave safely.

  • People with potential leadership spread themselves too thin to be effective. Things that had happened when they were together, stopped happening when they went out on their own.

  • Many of the leaders of the movement trained to be pastors and moved in the leadership of existing churches. They often had to compromise to keep everyone happy, which limited their freedom to follow the Holy Spirit and release his presence.

  • The move was too quickly captured by the church growth movement. The church started to rely on technique and good organisation rather than on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit. This brought order out of the disorder but probably dulled the move of the Spirit.

  • The influence of the megachurch movement in the United States created a sense that big meetings were of more value than house meetings.

  • The energy of people of the Spirit was put into worship in seeker-friendly services.

  • Many people who had been active in the renewal moved into Pentecostal churches. Their emphasis on leadership by a pastor reduced the ability of these lay people to continue what they had been doing to share the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and many ended up being frustrated.

  • Some laypeople tried to invigorate their established church, but this proved to be a hard slog, and the life of the Spirit was sucked out of them. There was no prophetic guidance about what was happening and what they should do; just the prophecies that revival was coming. Those who struggled in their dead churches assumed that these prophecies applied to their churches, so they kept trying, but with very little success.

  • Some existing church leaders saw the success and jumped on the charismatic bandwagon, without diving in and learning to walk in the fulness of the Spirit. They found it hard to keep churches that had experienced the life of the Spirit moving forward.

  • The spiritual powers of evil got up to all their usual tricks to weaken leaders with exhaustion in to disable them by pushing them into immorality. Some leaders were distracted into inappropriate roles. Others fell into adultery, and a few got caught up in sexual abuse. Some followers of Jesus were sucked into false teachings about end-times and political powers. The evil powers worked hard to bring division between people who should have been working together. The spiritual powers of evil do all they can do to snuff out a revival.

  • The leaders of the movement were over-confident and did not take spiritual warfare seriously enough. Too many key leaders were taken out in various ways. A controlling and manipulative spirit wiggled its way in some places, mostly where leaders were insecure. This spirit choked the life and the gifts of the Spirit.

  • Hunger for deeper community life was slowly stifled by the trials of life and gradually died. Failure to nurture this hunger and bring it through to fulfilment is one reason why we have not received the revival that was prophesied (more on this in my next post).

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Revival Prophecies (4) NZ 1970s

Looking back, the situation in New Zealand during the 1970s seemed to be ripe for revival.

  • Many people had attended Sunday School as children or had learned about Jesus and God in Bible and Schools programmes. So they already knew something about the truths of the gospel.

  • Many Members of Parliament were Christians. The leaders of some of the parties openly attended church. Christians had a voice in the government of the nation. This had a restraining effect on the spiritual powers of evil.

  • Churches were generally well respected.

  • Church ministers conducted most funerals and weddings, and they were often the counsellors people went to for advice when they were in trouble. They were generally respected and trusted.

  • People trusted the social support provided by Chrisitan organisations.

  • Most people still held a residual Christian worldview.

  • The Charismatic Renewal had refreshed many Christians. A large number were reinvigorated in their faith and stirred for action.

  • People who had come to faith during the Billy Graham crusades in 1959 were renewed by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • People were being healed when believers in Jesus prayed for them.

  • The effectiveness of deliverance from evil spirits was rediscovered.

  • Inspired by the Jesus Movement in the US, young people here were sharing their faith with their friends, and many were choosing to follow Jesus.

If there was going to be a revival in New Zealand, this was the time when it should have happened.

The conditions seemed to be right, but revival did not come. I will discuss some of the reasons in the next post, but getting an opportunity for revival like New Zealand received during the 1970s is a huge privilege. Having not taken the opportunity God offered during that season, we cannot just assume that another opportunity will happen again soon.

What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered (Matt 21:28-31).

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Revival Prophecies (3) Fifty Years

I have recently been thinking and writing about the numerous prophecies that revival would come to New Zealand. I first started hearing them when I became a Christian during the 1970s. At that time, the nation seemed to be far more open to the gospel than it is now (I will say more about that in a future post). The prophecies about revival have kept on coming since then, despite the situation in New Zealand becoming much more difficult for the advance of the gospel than it was when I first heard them. The difference between that season and now is striking. Winning the nation for the gospel has become much harder over the last fifty years.

  • Clergy are now openly mocked on television. If they appear in entertainment shows, they are made to look weak and foolish.

  • Most weddings and funerals are now conducted by secular celebrants. Christian content is mostly gone from these ceremonies.

  • The news media frequently report on sexual and physical abuse of children and women by church leaders and staff of Chrisitan organisations. Christians see these incidents as having nothing to do with Jesus, but that is not how the people of the world see it. They see Christian organisations condoning abuse. Christian leaders have lost respect, and some of the hostility attaches to Jesus.

  • Mainstream media readily publish articles mocking the church.

  • The culture has become increasingly secular. Many young people do not even know who Jesus is, and they know nothing about his life and ministry.

  • People now get their ideas about life and the world from television and social media. The influence of the church as a thought leader has declined dramatically.

  • People are used to listening to snippets on television and social media, so they don’t know how to listen to a sermon unless they are trained by church attendance. This means that preaching has become an ineffective tool for evangelism.

  • Many people see church services as strange events that they would be frightened to participate in. They are scared of being embarrassed because they would not know what to do.

  • Covid is going to limit the ability of the church to function in the way that it has in the past. It might be a long time before seeker-friendly services are practical.

  • Many people see the church as an institution that attempts to control people, not set them free. It is seen as desperately clinging to outdated and repressive values from the past.

  • When many people think of the church, they see an organisation that takes money off people who cannot afford it.

  • Many people now believe that all religions are valid and people should be free to choose which one they prefer. Some believe that eastern religions are better than Christianity because they are less violent.

  • When crises occur, people no longer look to God for deliverance. They look to friends and family, and government-funded social services.

  • Pressure from social media makes living a Christian life increasingly difficult.

  • The spiritual powers of evil have entrenched their authority in all aspects of the life of the nation.

  • There are very few Christians in parliament. A significant number of MPs are really hostile to Christianity, and many hate the church. The church no longer has a serious voice in the political world.

  • The current government is passing laws against Hate Speech and Conversion Therapy. The new laws do not define these concepts very clearly, so they have to be interpreted by judges. As social attitudes change, these laws could be used to silence outspoken pastors.

These changes make a revival that will transform the nation much less likely than it was when the prophecies of revival were first shared. So prophesying that revival is just around the corner, when it clearly wasnt when these prophecies were first made, doesn't make sense.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Revival Prophecies (2) Rare

Revival is rare, because it is not very easy for God to deliver. Getting the Holy Spirit to do his will is easy, but to bring a powerful revival in a nation, he has to get a whole lot of people doing what he wants them to do at the same time, and that does not happen that often. His people have to share the gospel when he wants them to. They need to pray for the sick when he wants them to. At the same time, he needs those who hear the gospel to respond quickly and gladly. It sounds easy, but he has made people free, so he cannot force people to do what he wants them to do.

For a crowd of people to do what God wants at the same time, they first of all need to hear what he is telling them to do. Unfortunately, God’s people are not always listening when he speaks. And even when his people hear what he is saying, they don’t always jump to obey it. Even if God has told people to do things that will trigger revival, there is no guarantee that they will be done.

I know that God often finds it hard to get me to do something important, so I presume that it is the same for most other Christians. Therefore, getting the followers of Jesus in a nation to unite and participate in revival is more difficult than we assume.

This difficulty is confirmed by a study of Christian history. Revivals that touch an entire nation and transform it have been relatively rare. The early church took off with the massive revival recorded in Acts 2. But it was not long before the church in Jerusalem was struggling with heresy. Paul received a great response when he preached the gospel and established churches in Asia Minor. However, not long after, he was struggling with opposition from political powers and people who wanted to shackle the gospel with Jewish traditions (2 Cor 11:23-27). By the time that John was writing his letters at the beginning of this Revelation, many of the churches that Paul had planted had slipped in lukewarmness.

Revival is not a normal condition for the church, not because God does not want it, but because he finds it difficult to obtain the level of obedience to the Holy Spirit that he needs to achieve a massive outworking of his blessing. For most of Christian history, the work of the church has been a hard slog, with a few people heeding his calling to move in the power of his Spirit to share the good news of Jesus with a hungry world, while many others have struggled to do what God wants them to do.

The other difficulty with revival is that the spiritual powers of evil fight against it tooth and nail. They work hard to weaken leaders with exhaustion and to disable them by pushing them into immorality. They work hard to deceive the followers of Jesus with false teachings. They try hard to bring division between people who should be on the side. The spiritual powers of evil do all they can do to snuff out a revival before it gets underway and becomes impossible to stop. I presume that far more revivals are smothered by the powers of evil than flow on to fulness in the power of the Spirit.

For a church and a nation to be ready to receive revival is relatively rare. So those who do experience it are relatively privileged and should appreciate the opportunity.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Revival Prophecies (1)

Soon after I became a follower of Jesus nearly forty years ago, I heard Christian leaders declaring that God would send a massive revival to New Zealand. This message of hope has continued to be proclaimed right up to the present day. Visiting speakers who flew into New Zealand would speak of seeing visions of angels, or bright lights, or something similar. They often declared that New Zealand has a special place in God’s eyes and that revival is just around the corner.

I have always believed in these promises, as they made sense in terms of my experience. I had been living as an atheist when God reached out and grabbed me with the gospel and prompted me to chose to follow Jesus. A year later when I was spiritually hungry, the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me and gave me a heavenly language to enlighten my prayer and praise. I have seen people healed and broken lives restored by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I do not consider myself special, so I have always assumed that if God could do these things for me, he could do them for other people just as easily. Consequently, I have always expected that God would visit us soon and bring revival to our nation. I have trusted the promises of revival given by the prophetic people and recommended them to others.

For the last forty years, this has been axiomatic for me. Humans are invigorated by hope, so we naturally cling to promises of hope. The hope of revival inspired much of what I did for God.

No Longer
After forty years, I still trust God as much as ever, but I am no longer convinced that the prophecies of revival will be fulfilled. I see no signs that revival is getting closer; in fact, it seems to be further away than ever (I will explain why in a future post).

Instead of just assuming that revival is coming soon, I am pondering why these promises have not been fulfilled, especially if they reflect the heart of God. I am certain that God is not the problem. I still believe that he is capable of sending revival if he chooses, but it has not come. If he is not the problem, it must be us. I assume that God’s people are the problem, not God.

I have now arrived at the conclusion that most of the promises/prophecies about a move of God were a true reflection of his heart, but he has been unable to achieve his purposes because his church was unwilling to do what needed to be done.

To contain a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit on their nation, the church would have to make significant changes to the way that it operates. But the church and its leaders have not been willing to make those changes, so the hoped-for move of God has not come.

I see no end to his chokepoint. God knows what needs to be done to bring revival to the nation, but he can’t get his church to do what needs to be done first. I have very little hope that the situation will change soon, so the promised revival is probably further away than ever.

One role of the Old Testament prophets was to explain why promised blessings did not arrive as expected. When things went wrong in Israel, people wanted to know why, and the prophets were expected to provide the answers.

I am not very attentive to prophecies that restate the same promises of revival that have been repeated over and over again for the last fifty years. After all this time waiting, I am looking for prophecies that can explain why they have not been fulfilled.

I believe that repeated prophecies of revival are distracting God's people from hearing what he is really saying to them.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Technical Mangerialism fails in Afghanistan

Alistair Crooke has written one of the best explanations of the failure of the US military intervention in Afghanistan (read the full article here). He says that the war intended to demonstrate the success of technical managerialism.

Afghanistan turned into a testbed for every single innovation in technocratic project management – with each innovation heralded as precursor to our wider future. Funds poured in: Buildings were thrown up, and an army of globalised technocrats arrived to oversee the process. Big data, AI and the utilization of ever expanding sets of technical and statistical metrics, were to topple old ‘stodgy’ ideas. Military sociology in the form of Human Terrain Teams and other innovative creations, were unleashed to bring order to chaos. Here, the full force of the entire NGO world, the brightest minds of that international government-in-waiting, were given a playground with nearly infinite resources at their disposal.

This was to be a showcase for technical managerialism. It presumed that a properly technical, and scientific way of understanding war and nation-building would be able to mobilize reason and progress to accomplish what everyone else could not, and so create a post-modern society, out of a complex tribal one, with its own storied history.

Of course, these efforts turned into a disaster. The consequences will be far-reaching. Crooke quotes the Swedish intellectual Malcolm Kyeyune, who explains why managerialism is failing.
Western society today is openly ruled by a managerial class...

Our managerial leaders deserve to rule us, because managerialism as a world ethos is the only means of effecting functional rule in the context of a modern, international, post-national, information driven, knowledge economy, rules-based… well, you probably already know all the familiar buzzwords beloved by this class of people.

Put plainly: managers, through the power of managerialism, were once believed to be able to mobilize science and reason and progress to accomplish what everyone else could not, and so only they could secure a just and functional society for their subjects...

I suspect we are currently witnessing the catastrophic end of this metaphysical power of legitimacy that has shielded the managerial ruling class for decades...

It is not just that the elite class is incompetent; it is that they are so grossly, spectacularly incompetent that they walk around among us as living rebuttals of meritocracy itself...

To make the situation worse, the current elites seem almost serene in their willful destruction of the very fields they rely on for legitimacy...

In modern America, it is the meritocrats who now openly lack any merit or ability to rule, quickly undermining the ability of the average person to believe in the very foundational claims behind the managerial order...

Still, it is quite obvious that the epoch of the liberal technocrat is now over. The bell has well and truly tolled for mankind’s belief in their ability to do anything else than enrich themselves and ruin things for everyone else...

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Deferred Hope

I chose to become a follower of Jesus in 1974. Soon afterwards, I began to hear/read prophecies that God was going to send revival to New Zealand. Similar prophecies were common right up to the present day. Many visiting international speakers would say that God is going to do something big in New Zealand. For all of my life as a follower of Jesus, we have had this promise in front of us that revival is coming soon.

Humans need hope, so when we get a message that gives hope, we naturally cling to it. The hope that we have in Jesus gives us purpose for life. A hope that is true, strengthens our faith.

On the other hand, trust in a false hope can sustain us for a time, but because it does not deliver, a false hope eventually leads to disappointment. The well-known proverb says,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Prov 13:12).
A hope that never comes weakens the faith of those who trust in it. In contrast, a hope that is fulfilled strengthens their lives. A hope of imminent revival has been around for most of my adult life without being fulfilled. I have been wondering about the effect of a hope that is promised continuously throughout a lifetime, but is also constantly deferred. I presume that many Christians would say that it has inspired them to keep going in serving Jesus.

However, there is another side to this issue. The message to the church has been that revival is coming soon. The hope that has been declared is that a visitation of God is near. A hope that better times are coming soon can cause us to put off doing activities that are demanding until our situation improves. We can unconsciously slip into the habit of deferring tough changes that are urgently needed until the time when the visitation of God comes, because they will be easier then.

I cannot help wondering if the prophecies that revival is coming soon prevented Christians from doing some of the things that God was calling them to do, because they assumed that it would be easier to do them when the revival had come.

We can’t know the answer, but what would have happened instead, if we had had prophecies for the past forty years declaring that we are going into a tough season when hostility to the gospel would massively increase, our society would be increasingly secularised and that many of the common activities of the church would cease to be effective. Would some Christians have given up? I doubt it. Maybe it would have inspired those who were serious about the gospel to work harder at sharing it? Maybe it would have inspired those who were interested in becoming a real community to strive harder to love one another as Jesus loved us.

The prophecies that a visitation of God would bring a massive revival very soon were not really totally true. Maybe they lulled the people of God into a false sense of security that everything would be fine, although they were not. We still assume they were good because they were encouraging, even though the expected fulfilment did not come; but maybe they did more harm than good.

In 1974, a prophecy that revival was not coming soon but was a long way off would have been truer than what we got. That might have spurred people on to greater zeal for Jesus than a hope that seems to have been repeatedly deferred. If I had known in the 1980s that the promises of revival would not be fulfilled during the next thirty years, I might have done some things differently.

This is also a challenge to prophetic people making declarations about what God is going to do. Timing is important. If their promises are for a distant future, they should be careful not to give the impression that the fulfilment is close, because they could be creating a hope that will soon be deferred. Repeating the promise again is not the solution to a deferred hope.

The modern church needs a more realistic diagnosis of the current situation. It needs a prophetic voice that will stop talking about what God is going to do soon and focus instead on what God wants his people to do now.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Testing of Time

Jeremiah did not sit down and write the book of Jeremiah. Isaiah did not sit down and write the book of Isaiah. They both gave prophecies at various times during their lives, and they or someone wrote them down. At a later time, they or some of their disciples (Baruch in the case of Jeremiah) compiled them into a book (Jer 1:1-3; 36:1-7,37;51:63; Isaiah 1:1).

In each case, various words would have been assessed for inclusion decades after they had first been spoken to the people. Some would be discarded because they had been fulfilled and were no longer relevant. Others would not make the cut because they no longer seemed relevant to the situation in Israel. I presume that the words included were chosen because they still had a ring of truth (despite not yet being fulfilled) in the situation as it had developed in the nation.

A similar process of testing would be useful today for dealing with the prophecies not yet fulfilled many years after they were spoken/released. Prophets and discerning friends should review their prophecies and decide if they are still correct and relevant for the season as it has developed.

Testing prophecies is not something that should be done once, and then assumed to be settled forever. A word can be tested again if many years have gone by without it being fulfilled to assess if it still seems to be true and relevant.

Time tests prophecies in two ways. Some are confirmed when they are fulfilled. Others continue to be relevant to the situation that has developed in the church or nation (despite not being fulfilled). Others that have not been fulfilled might be exposed as no longer of value if they are not relevant in the new situation that has emerged.

Humility is the key. Letting go of words that fail is not easy, but we need to do it to grow in the prophetic.

If God has warned of troubles through a prophecy, he sometimes changes his mind if the people concerned repent and change their ways. However, he does not change his mind when he has promised to send blessing (unless his people have wandered from the true path).

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Testing Prophecies

When I first heard these prophecies by Cindy Jacobs and Ben Hughes, my heart was stirred, but my second thought was, "I have heard this before; many times." Then I began to wonder.

How much do these people really know about the spiritual state of New Zealand?
I have heard dozens of words like these over the last forty years
many from overseas speakers,
but none have been fulfilled.

I realise that some prophecies take time to be fulfilled,
but I never heard any prophets saying,
“Hunker down and get prepared because revival is still twenty years away”.
Maybe it is time for some accountability
or at least an explanation of why.

I worry that these words talk about what God is going to do
(telling God what to do is a mug’s game).
I would take them more seriously,
if they had told God’s people what they need to do,
so that he can do what he wants to do here.

Some prophets are saying that their prophecies were not fulfilled because the people have not prayed enough. But my observation is that there has been more intercessors, prayer, intercession, and crying to God in the last thirty years than ever before, so the “Not Enough Prayer” explanation is beginning to wear a bit thin. I note that most of the prophets who have spoken to New Zealand sounded definite about what they were promising. I don’t recall any saying, “God will send revival if people pray enough,” and none said how much prayer would be enough. Prophets don’t have the right to dump the “You did not pray enough” excuse on the people when their prophecies are not fulfilled.

I am not dumping on prophetic ministry, and I am not anti-prophetic. I want the ministry to develop and mature so that God can speak clearly to his people. When I became a follower of Jesus, I was delighted to discover that the prophetic gifting and the ministry of the prophet had been restored to the church. The first book that I bought on the prophetic ministry was published in 1976. I am an early adopter. I wrote a book to help young prophets grow in their ministry. Most of that material is available free at the Ministry of the Prophet.

I have taken a keen interest in the development of the prophetic and have always wanted to know what God is saying about the situation in New Zealand. I have a folder, an inch thick, full of prophecies that have been spoken about New Zealand. The first one is dated from 1952. I also have a folder on the hard drive of my computer with some of the more recent ones, which I received in electronic form. I even typed out a couple that came on MP3 so I could study them more carefully.

I have lived my life in the light of the hope these prophecies provided. I have believed that these words reflected God’s heart and what he wanted to do.

I note looking back at them that a few of the prophecies that I have collected were conditional, but the conditions got lost in the presentation, as the prophet focussed on the promised blessing and played sown the condition aspects of their word.

I understand that some promises of God are for a time way in the future and that we often have to wait patiently for him to act. Daniel had to wait for seventy years for Jeremiah’s prophecy to be fulfilled. The difference is that Jeremiah declared that the nation would not return for seventy years. He prophesied the waiting time precisely. No prophets said to New Zealand that we would have to wait for 30+ years for revival. They always made it sound imminent. One prophecy released in 2020 used the word “imminent” repeatedly. Others have said, “This is the time”.

The scriptures say that we should test prophecy and hold fast to that which is good (1 Thes 5:20). We should do that when a prophecy is first released, but that might not be enough. When a prophecy is given as if it is for the current season, and it has not happened after twenty years, the prophet should be asking why for their own learning. More important, the need to be able to tell the people who trusted their word what is going on, given that their word has not been fulfilled.

I believe that prophets also have a responsibility to ask "Why?” if thirty or more years have gone by without their prophecy being fulfilled so they can learn how to hear God better. Being defensive helps no one. And those who have received prophecies that have not been fulfilled after many years should test them again in the light of how history and the current situation have changed.

The accountability of the prophetic became a big issue last year after the kerfuffle over the prophecies about Donald Trump’s re-election, but the issue is far wider than that. The prophetic movement has been going strong for at least forty years. This is great, but there is a massive number of prophecies lying around that people received in good faith and trusted, but which have not been fulfilled. Maybe it is time to review some of these and clear away the junk, so we can hear clearly what God is saying this season.

Friday, September 03, 2021

Battle of the Elites

Charles Hugh Smith has written an important article called The Elites' Battle for the Future America. He writes,

The most dangerous elites are the ones clinging to the perverse but compelling faith that the Federal Reserve and Treasury can conjure endless trillions of U.S. dollars without any consequence other than continued global hegemony, the faith that the Federal Reserve has god-like powers to tweak the dials so that 1) the U.S. dollar remains the pre-eminent reserve currency 2) but not so strong that it sinks the emerging market economies and 3) magical enough that there are no limits on how many can be absorbed by global stock, bond, debt, risk and commodity markets and 4) remains the primary method of limiting the global financial leverage of geopolitical rivals. Uh, sure. No problem, the Fed is all-powerful, right?

The fundamental problem for the Imperial Project is the dollar must serve both the domestic elites profiting from Federal Reserve expansion of asset bubbles and the global markets that rely on a stable dollar for reserves, credit and transactional liquidity. While America's billionaires are cheering the Fed's endless largesse to the already wealthy, those tasked with maintaining hegemony are looking ahead and seeing the debauchery of the U.S. dollar as the Fed and Treasury spew trillions, very little of which is actually flowing into productive investments, i.e. the ultimate foundation of hegemony.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Clever Virus

All the experts are saying that the delta variant is extremely clever. The evolutionary biologists said that viruses like Covid generally mutate to become less virulent over time because the sickest people die, and their version of the virus dies with them. The reality has been the opposite. The delta version is more infectious, spreads to children and possibly has worse symptoms for those who get it. That is very clever.

However, a virus is non-living molecular material, so it has no capacity to be clever. So, we need to think about where the cleverness comes from. A better explanation is needed.

  • Obviously, our God did not create this virus, so he is not the cause of the cleverness.

  • It is very unlikely that the cleverness comes from malicious humans because humans are not that clever.

  • The cleverness behind this virus comes from the spiritual powers of evil.

I assume that the latter is the explanation. I see this disease as a spiritual attack on the people of the earth, that does what the spiritual powers of evil love to do; kill, rob, and destroy.

Humans are using vaccines to try and roll back a spiritual attack, because they no longer trust God, but they are up against an enemy that is cleverer and more powerful than they are. So, it is not surprising that this solution is producing problems.

In a post back in September 2020, I wrote the following words.

Over the last fifty years, there has been a massive decline of faith. Things still seem to be OK on the surface, but as God has been squeezed out, the spiritual powers of evil have been inadvertently allowed in. They are getting greater freedom and ability to work evil in this part of the world, so they are unlikely to stop.

Unfortunately, the spiritual powers of evil are not content with distracting people from God. They love to steal, kill and destroy, so they will have a go at achieving this whenever they get an opportunity. They were behind the GFC and the coronavirus, and have noticed how effective these events were for hurting people and disrupting society. These were not by any means their best efforts, so I expect that if there is a return to “peace and security”, it will not last long, because they will have another crack at destruction and harm.

From their perspective, the coronavirus has been really successful, so they will try it again when the time is right. They might try something different first, but they will try an epidemic again sometime, and it will probably be worse.

Whereas most viruses fade over time, the Delta variant of covid seems to be much worse than what went before. This version is more infectious, spreads to children and possibly has worse symptoms for those who get it. This suggests that the spiritual powers of evil are upping the ante.

Nothing big happens on earth by accident. If we don't understand that, we will fail to understand what is happening in the world.

  • A secular materialistic world view assumes that all events are the result of physical causes.

  • People who believe in meticulous providence assume that every event is totally controlled by God.

Both of these views result in a distorted understanding and confusion. All serious events are the result of interactions between the spiritual realms and the physical world that we see.