Rev Dr Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Toowoomba Church; Date: 30 January 2011
For more sermons and other writings check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org
Toowoomba Tsunami (Part 2)
According to the Bible – I am quoting now Amos 3:7 – “ … the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Every time that God is stepping in to shape our history, he makes his intentions known beforehand.
Thus, his servants prophesied the destruction of Israel by the Babylonians, the deportation of the Jewish people and the years of exile in Babylon (586-538 BC) and then also the return from Babylon –
Jeremiah 32:26-44: “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: ‘I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am about to hand this city [Jerusalem] over to the Babylonians … The Babylonians … will burn it down … The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil … They turned their backs to me … they would not listen or respond to discipline … [Jeremiah 29:10 (RSV): “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.] … I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them … I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety … I will never stop doing good to them and I will inspire them to fear me … I will rejoice in doing them good … As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them … ’”
Likewise, Jesus himself to prophesied the renewed destruction of Jerusualem in 70 AD –
Luke 19:41-44: “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’” Luke 21:20-31: “‘When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled … . There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
He told them this parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near … Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.’”
These two examples may be enough for us now but the Bible demonstrates many a time that God does nothing without revealing his plans first to his servants the prophets. Further examples are: the prediction of a severe famine across the Roman empire in the time of the first Christians (Acts 11:27-30) and the capture and imprisonment of the Apostle Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-11).
Why does God work this way? Why does he speak to prophetic people and – through them – reveal his plans to us? There are a number of reasons: 1) If we know what is to come, we can prepare ourselves. For instance, Jesus gave the following practical instruction: “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.” 2) Then, prophecies assure us of God’s wisdom and power. For instance, the destruction of Jerusalem was never evidence of random cruelty or abandonment by God. It was a consequence of sin and – finally – (after many years of long-suffering patience) – God’s discipline. Prophecies assured people that God was still in charge and, therefore, they could trust him when he also promised them restoration. 3) By revealing his plans to us – God invites a response from us and he honours us by not leaving us in the dark. By his prophecies – he wants to lead us into prayer, inspire faith, give hope and renew our commitment to obedience.
Now – and this is what we want to know this morning – did God speak through his servants the prophets and reveal to us his plans in the Toowoomba “inland tsunami” (10 January 2011) and subsequent further flooding of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria which was called – and is – a disaster of “biblical” proportions? This is where it gets difficult. There have been numerous prophecies but – at least before the downpour – it was difficult to sort through them.
I list a sample of the prophetic words which came to my attention and 1) maybe I begin with one of our own members. Kiara Briese (14 years) dreamt that water came right up to the back-fence of the house on their property. In the dream – dogs were upset and barking and Kiara did wake up concerned. However, her parents assured her that the creek would never rise that high but – within a few days – it did.
[Before the 10th of January – Pastor Ian Shelton from Toowoomba City Church dreamt that the church offices were empty (without any furniture) and there was some building work going on. Later, the Toowoomba downpour did cause flooding in the church’s offices which caused all of the furniture and carpets to be removed.]
2) The second testimony of prophetic foreknowing comes from Pastor Rosanne Steele in Chinchilla [abbreviate the prophecy]:
Rosanne and Brian Steele, who pastor Christian Outreach Centre Chinchilla, and who are members of the Australian Prayer Network, have proof that God’s voice can speak louder than even the raging Queensland floodwaters. Rosanne, who is an artist, recently decided to start painting again after some years, and in what she describes as a “burst of creative energy” went on to open an art and gift shop in the main street of Chinchilla.
She said: “The shop, which I called ‘Kabowd Kreations’ (Kabowd is the Hebrew word for glory, honour and abundance), became an important part of my life and ministry. It wasn’t for our benefit, but I used it to help others financially from time to time. It was in every sense a little ‘marketplace ministry’, allowing us to reach out beyond the four walls of the church into our community.
The shop became quite a popular gathering place for locals, and because we did it to honour God, it carried a special atmosphere which people often commented on – I often heard people walking out of the shop saying that it just had a ‘nice feel’.
Then just before Christmas, we started hearing about the threat of floods – and to be honest, most people didn’t really take the warnings all that seriously. Certainly I don’t think anyone even considered the need for evacuation.
Then on Tuesday Dec 21, it was raining, and I was driving home from the shop when I clearly heard God say to me that there would be a massive flood and so I determined to evacuate everything and get all the stock out. It made no sense to my natural mind – no other business owners seemed to be worrying. But I knew I had heard God’s voice.
So that night we made three trips to the shop and started to get things out – and the next day around midday, the police came and said a flood was definitely coming and to be prepared. So Brian and I with the help of others and SES immediately took everything else out of the shop and brought it home, leaving the shop completely empty by that evening.
Then nothing happened for two days – everybody else was trading normally in the lead-up to Christmas, and I was starting to wonder if I had done the right thing – missing out on all that Christmas trading. I actually spoke to a young lady in our church and asked her whether she thought I had heard right.
She said that she was sure I had heard God right, and that He would honour His Word to me – and it was only later that I remembered that I had a dream back in November that my shop was flooded.
Then on Boxing Day – December 26 – the flood came, inundating the district. Many businesses in the main street had shifted things up onto desks and shelves, but almost no one else had totally evacuated – many lost everything as the water rose and kept on rising. It felt a bit like Noah’s flood.
We started wondering if it would ever stop rising, but eventually it peaked the next day on December 27.”
But amazing as that is, according to Rosanne, that was just the start of the story: “The water stayed up for about eight days. When the flood eventually subsided, the Fire Brigade hosed the shop out, and the owner said he could fix the damage and have me back in within a week. But he needed an immediate reply, otherwise he would consider demolishing the building.
We needed guidance, and in my own human mind, with the time pressure for an immediate decision, I was starting to panic. I didn’t know what to do. But then the peace of God came over me, and I felt a clear leading not to go back into the shop. We told the owner, and that was the end of ‘Kabowd Kreations’.
I remember saying to God, ‘But Lord, where is Your Kabowd – Your Glory –now? It’s gone’. God then spoke to me very clearly and said that His glory was not in a building, but in His people – the Kabowd was in me, not the shop.
Then this month – on January 12 – a second wave of flooding hit Chinchilla, this time the flood went 20cm higher and more extensive damage was done to the shop and people in the town started saying to me, ‘You’re the smartest woman in town’. But it wasn’t me being smart at all – it was just me being obedient to the Word that God had given me.
Other businesses in the main street and in other parts of Chinchilla suffered huge losses – many lost everything. Yet all my stock is safe in our home, which praise God was untouched by the flood, and I can make a decision now whether to open another shop, or just sell the stock online.
It has not been a pleasant or easy time for us, but we are so much better off than many others. God has given us the breathing space to take stock of our position, and be able to reach out to others in the community who have lost much, much more.
God is faithful and His Word never returns to Him void – if I hadn’t listened to Him, and had instead listened to the wisdom of the world, I would have lost everything.” (From the Australian Prayer Network newsletter, 26 Jan 2011).
3) On Australia Day 2008 Pastor Barbara Miller from the “Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace” (Cairns) prophesied the following [abbreviate the prophecy]:
I believe the Lord would say – I’ve turned a new page in this nation. I’ve even turned a new chapter in this nation. The old things have gone. The new things have come. But I have set before you as a nation a choice, even as I set it before the Israelites of old in Deuteronomy 28. A choice – obedience or disobedience to Me and as they were obedient to Me, I would bless them and as they were disobedient to Me, I would curse them.
And I set before the nation of Australia this day a choice – choose this day whom you will serve and My blessings will fall upon this nation as you’ve not seen before if you will follow Me says the Lord. For I’m giving you a chance to choose again, as a nation, as a people.
The Lord says I would send a flood upon this nation such as you have never seen before. Even in those places dry and parched. Even where there have been dust bowls, I’m sending a flood. You will see it in the natural and spiritual as well. I am sending a flood on this nation says the Lord. I’m bringing changes upon this nation. I’m sweeping this nation clean. I would show this nation that I am the God of this nation.
I will bring a shaking and I will bring a shifting and the ground that you stood on before that you thought was firm ground will give away underneath you says the Lord. For you need to have your foundations on Me and not on any other thing. There are many foundations in this nation that are not of Me. I’ll pull the rug from under your feet says the Lord. I’ll shake those foundations. I’ll remove that solid ground under you so you will be confounded and not know what's happening says the Lord. It’ll be like shifting sands. You need to know that I am the rock of your salvation. Stand on that rock. Your feet will be safe. Your feet will be sure. But if you stand on shifting sands, if your foundations are other than Me, then this will be a time of trouble for you says the Lord. This is going to be a time of great shifting, of great difficulty, of much questioning says the Lord.
For I am going to bring an instability upon this nation. This is a nation that has known so much instability in the past but I’m bringing an instability. I’m bringing a shaking. I’m bringing a rocking to the foundations and try as the new government will to come in and fix those things, says the Lord, it’s not in their hands. It’s in My hands says the Lord. And if they will look to Me, if they will seek My guidance, their path will be sure. They can be sure-footed but if they do not follow Me says the Lord, it will be a difficult path for them.
Everything is shifting. Everything is shaking. I’m even bringing this nation to its knees. For I would have this nation call out to Me. I would have this nation to worship Me. I’m going to bring an unsettling. I’m going to bring a difficulty upon this nation. You’ve seen it already in the financial markets says the Lord and already in the flooding in the natural in places in this nation. That’s only the start of what I will do.
For times will become more difficult says the Lord but do not fear for you who are in Me will be safe. Your feet will be upon a rock, safe and secure but there are many who are going to go through difficult times says the Lord. Things will be changing. They won’t have the reference points they had in the past. They won’t know what to hang on to, and at that time, they have the opportunity to call out to Me says the Lord. For I am always there to save. I am always there to catch them. This is a time of opportunity says the Lord. It will be difficult for many but I am presenting a new opportunity to bow down and serve Me says the Lord and be the great nation I’ve called you to be.
4) Another prophecy is from Robert Holmes (chairman of the Prophetic Network of Australia) [abbreviate the prophecy]:
14th of May, 2005. When the rains come, it will rain and rain and rain, for many months it will pour until people cry out “Please stop the rain!” The ground will be water logged, and the creeks will overflow their banks, out back towns will be under water and the news cameras, which once visited towns that shipped water in by truck, will be watching water cover houses.
6th of June 2007. During prayer at the Apostolic Summit, in Rockhampton, QLD the spirit of the Lord provoked me with this question, “Robert, what would it look like if I gave authority to just one man, to bring and then to break a drought? I did so in the days of Elijah. I can find just one person to turn the tide in these events.”
10th July 2007. During prayer at a retreat in the Gold Coast, QLD the following word came to me in a kind of poetry: “Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. I hear the sound of rushing, mighty waters. Floods, gentle floods, ancient river beds flowing. Deserts blooming, red rock pouring, salt lakes filling. Rain.”
Then came the following stanza: “Icebergs floating, ice sheets melting, snow capped ranges dripping down. Glaciers receding, islands drowning, storm clouds brewing, lightning flashing.”
Interpretation: I think it would be safe to say that the drought, if not now broken, will soon be over. But when it does end, we need to pray for mercy, because by these words it will rain incessantly, causing flooding and great damage. The upside of flooding is that it washes the river systems clean and clear again. The Murray Darling needs it desperately.
There is a broader warning/ implication of this word, in that it would seem to give credence to the global warming phenomena and tells us that island nations will drown and coastal cities will experience it too.
Application: The signs to us of the end of the drought are clear.
· Ancient river beds flowing. Those river beds which are dry right now will flow again.
· Deserts blooming. When the rain falls in the outback the desert will bloom with wildflowers.
· Red rock pouring. This is an allusion to storms over Ayer’s Rock (Uluru) with water pouring off it.
· Salt lakes filling. There are many inland salt lakes, in SA, NT and QLD which could fill with water. [See www.stormharvest.com.au.]
5) Graham Cooke (prophet with international standing) prophesied the following in Sydney (DaySpring Church) on 21st of November 2010 [abbreviate the prophecy]:
[NOTE from the editor. This is an extract taken from a much longer address given by Graham Cooke. It was transcribed by Inkeri Dabson and sent to me. I have removed the general introduction and large portions that related specifically to DaySpring Church and her leadership. I have placed ellipsis (...) where that cut and paste has taken place]
I am fascinated right now by the spiritual atmosphere in Australia and by the spirit and the sense of promise over the nation. Last time I was here I said, the water level’s rising, and I feel that, constantly, every day that I’ve been here. That sense of imminence, that sense of breakthrough, that sense that Heaven is gathering in one place for something. And what I see over Australia is that I see a wall of water coming towards Australia. I would say it’s a spiritual tsunami, one that will go from the east to the west, from the west to the east, from north to south and south to north, and I really believe and a part of the feature of this tsunami , this wall of water, I believe it’s going to flood the country. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if, in every state and province, the water level in the natural doesn’t rise and the drought quits across the whole country, cos I believe that the Lord is going to make us all wet. I know Australian men don’t like being wet but, tough!
I really feel there is an outpouring coming and one of the features of it, I think, I believe is that we’re seeing the war starting to happen against what God is doing against the religious spirit that’s captured this country. Some of that probably came from the mother country, whoever that is these days, but I think there’s a violence being done against the religious spirit in our midst. A religious spirit is pretty much always angry about something. It’s negative, it’s angry, it’s judgemental, ‘cos a religious spirit can never understand love, grace, mercy or kindness. So it never features in those things. It always moves out of a place of negativity, judgement, harshness, hardness, anger, bitterness, resentment. So we’re going to see a violence done to that spirit which I think will be fun.
We’re going to see a lot of ministries repenting because they’ll have a change of heart, they’ll come under a wall of water and, I believe, God will give them a fresh encounter of His goodness and His kindness and His mercy. I see a time of refreshing that is going to precede it. What I feel I’m doing right now is I feel a little like John the Baptist saying, Prepare the way of the Lord. I see two moves happening. I see a move starting right now, it’s in the country right now, and it’s like a season of preparation to get ready for a move of God that is coming, ‘cos the move of God that’s coming is going to sweep across the country. And I would say that to take out your history of all your revivals and all your moves of this nation’s history, put them all together and what God does next will dwarf all of that. We’re seeing a move of God that will be talked about all around the world. We will see a move of God that will not only increase the value of this nation spiritually but materially. We’re seeing a move of God where all kinds of things will happen in the economy, in the spirituality of the nation, we’ll see things like crime drop, people getting out of poverty, we’ll see business increases, we’re going to see the Kingdom come and a move of God that will touch every part of culture and society in this country. We’re going to see a wall of water coming that will sweep all around the country. We’ll see a move of God that will attack that religious spirit in the church. It will overpower secular powers and overturn legislation to release the church into a stronger Kingdom dynamic in the very structure of our society.
It feels to me like the church is going to
be given a place in the country. We’re going to see a breakthrough spirit in
supernatural power. We’re going to see miracles happening in this country that
we normally associate with other places. And
people will come here because there are going to be breakthroughs against certain
kinds of diseases and doctors and hospitals around the country and medical
practices will be saying to people, the only hope for you is to go to
Australia. Because there is in this place and that place there are miracles
happening in this kind of disease and this kind of disorder. How about that?
People coming to the end of the world, to be set free! That’s funny. And what I
see is a move of God in key churches. I really believe that we’re in a move of
God right now, preparing for the move of God. We’re in a season of preparation
where the hand of God is upon us and I’m telling you, He really means
business. I see a grace of God but I also see a terror of God coming upon
us in the sense of, when God begins to move, in this season of preparation, there
is an awe and a respect and a Godly fear going to rise up in our hearts and
we’re going to stop the stuff.
know that in the natural and the political world the issue of sovereignty is
right there in the background for us in Australia, and that’s a cool thing, but
the issue over the Australian church is the same one. It’s the issue of
sovereignty, it’s the issue of who really has the power in this nation?
We’re going to see a rise in warfare because we’re going to see a rise in the
sovereignty, the supremacy and the majesty of the Lord Jesus. Everywhere we
look, God is going to commit us to a fight that we can win. And this season of
preparation is to get us ready for that time.
There’s a wall of water coming and we’re moving into a space in the Spirit that God has set aside for us. The water level is rising all across Australia and we’re learning a new buoyancy in the Spirit, we’re learning the joy, we’re learning about the joy, the pleasure and the desire of God. We’re learning about the passions of God for us. There’s an acceleration amongst us, an increase of momentum. God is redeeming time. It’s time for us to move quickly. It’s not a place for us to be splashing about in the shallows. It’s time for us to go out into a deeper place. There’s an increase in majesty around us. There are storms coming, too, into this nation. There are storms in the Spirit where we are going to take on the enemy in key high places and we’re going to win through. Because we have a war to fight in this country and it’s time we stood up and fought it. This season of preparation is so important because we get to defeat the enemy with joy and laughter. We get to hear the sound of Jesus laughing on the battlefield. We get to understand that there is a quickening spirit that’s going to allow us to break through on the left and right. The issue in the body of Christ is going to be the Lordship of Jesus. And the issue in our culture and society is going to be the sovereignty of God. Those two things are going together ...
There’s a power and a majesty rising up in the body of Christ, and Australia’s going to see the Bride standing in the midst of your own culture. And you’re going to see the power of the Bride of Christ in these days. You’re going to see what a woman in love really can do. Yeah? We’re going to see the power of that in the earth. There’s going to be a place in worship where Heaven will touch down. There is a Levitical anointing being released across the nation. Heaven is going to hear the sound of the Bride to be worshipping. It’s the sound of victory, it’s the sound of power, the sound of anointing, it’s the sound in Australia. And the sound of Australia is going to be heard around the world. And it is time within Australia’s borders, it is time for the voice of Australia to rise up. It is time for Australian ministries and Australian leaders to stand up, to rise up, and occupy a place in the Spirit. We’re not going to need imports. I’m even hoping that you’ll let me in the country so I can serve coffee at your conferences or something. The sound of Australia is rising up. This is our time. There are moments in history where God touches down in places and everything changes. We’re going to see one of those moments in history. It’s going to be a defining point for the contemporary Australian church to rise up, occupy a place in the Spirit. But you understand something. To whom much is given, much is going to be expected ...
I believe the Lord is saying to Australia these days, to the Australian church, the country that you’re in I am going to give it to you. I’m giving it to the body of Christ. Actually, I believe He’s saying I’m giving it to the Bride of Christ that’s emerging. This is a bridal issue. God is giving it to the Bride of Christ that wherever worship flows in this nation, wherever worship goes to a whole new level you’re going to see outbreaks of the Kingdom. We’re going to see a restoration of a Levitical anointing across this nation. And churches, communities that value worship, are going to see expressions of the Kingdom coming down, touching down that are going to be extraordinary. But make no mistake – if you haven’t made any growth in worship in the last couple of years you need to get your skates on. You need to do something in worship in the next twelve months that you’ve never done before. This is not a time for hanging out at the back, it’s not a time for reading the Bible when worship is going. It’s not a time for standing there, looking at your watch or your hands in your pockets. This is a time for engagement ‘cos that’s what happens when the Bride of Christ emerges. It’s about engagement. It’s about betrothal. It’s about coming into a place of worship and adoration and rejoicing and thanksgiving that you’ve never been in before. So, I’m calling every man, woman and child in this place. It’s time to get in a deeper flow of worship personally. It’s a time to worship God from the heart. This is not a place of engagement in worship in your head. This is a time for action. It is a time when you actually open your mouth and real words come out. We don’t just think about worshipping God, our body, our mouth, everything in our heart is fully engaged in worship. So there is a challenge from Heaven right now upon every one of us and the challenge is about engagement. So love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, your body, your mind and all your strength.[Reference: www.stormharvest.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2081:a-time-of-times-g-cooke&catid=156&Itemid=66.]
6) One last prophecy comes from Dr Owuor (Kenya) and was given on the 31st of July 2010.
“I have come to announce the controversy between Jehovah and the church in Australia, unless you repent it is going to be horrific. This is the eastern side of Australia … correct? I’ve have seen the ocean failing to stop. Around all these places. Yesterday He showed it to me TWICE. He and said “IF THEY DON’T REPENT, TELL THEM THAT THE OCEAN WILL FAIL TO STOP.” …
Dr Owuor taught on specific areas of repentance required for the Australian Church in order to prepare for the Lord’s soon coming:
· repent from all false prophecy, messages designed to make people feel good rather than deal with their sin
· repent from all types of sexual sin, including pornography, lust, and sexualised dressing
· repent from the abuse of God’s grace, and the complacency & compromise with sin and the failure of leaders to rebuke sin
· repent from preaching the prosperity gospel that focuses on an out of balance priority on money & riches now
· repent from postmodernism, not believing all the scriptures of the bible are for today
· repent from building the empires of men in the church, and build the Kingdom of God in the church
· repent from preaching focused on improving lifestyle now, rather focus on preparing the bride to be without spot, blemish or wrinkle for Christs very soon coming
· teach the centrality of God’s holiness, for without holiness no-one will see the Lord
· leaders need to mobilise God’s people in repentance
How do you process all of these prophecies? What do you make of them? If you want to be cynical, you could say that in Australia any prophecy that announces future flooding (or fire) is bound to be right sooner or later. This is the nature of our climate. (“I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.”) Then, apart from the more local prophecies concerning one’s own backyard or city centre, the national prophecies were lacking precision. None gave the date or even year of the downpour. None mentioned Toowoomba as the source of much of the water. Furthermore, the chairman of the Prophetic Network of Australia himself acknowledged that “we’ve taken a look back over the field of predictions relating to 2010 and especially … Australia and found that, by and large, people got it terribly wrong … the prophets claiming to speak for God also got large portions wrong too” (Robert Holmes: A View Of The Field – Pt III, http://www.stormharvest.com.au). [Abbreviate and retell in your own words.]
Robert Holmes: A View Of The Field – Pt III:
Humbling ourselves after we get it wrong
Danny Nalliah was in the news again last week, having linked comments made by Foreign minister Kevin Rudd to the flooding in QLD. Last year he hit the headlines for linking Victorian abortion legislation with the Bushfires in VIC.
However his reason for being included in this final article relates to a dream he posted on August 31st, 2010. Danny saw Julia Gillard, then Prime Minister of Australia, concede defeat in the upcoming October elections. He stated, “I heard the words ‘it is finished’.” On Saturday and Sunday at the services in Canberra Pr Daniel shared his dream with the congregation prophesied new government. He said, “I really believe with all my heart that this dream was from the Lord and I pray that it will become reality soon.”
But to his great credit, Danny showed humility and took responsibility for his mistake (Gillard actually got re-elected). Just a week after the election he blogged, “I personally want to apologize to anyone whom I might have disappointed by my dream regarding Julia Gillard conceding defeat... I honestly thought that the dream I had was from the Lord and so I have not given up hope on it as yet. It is very likely that the current Gillard Labor Green Government could collapse anytime... what I hoped for did not come to pass in this election at this time, so I am very, very sorry.”
This is exactly what I would be looking for if (when) we get it wrong!
I have such a great respect for Ps David Wilkerson, author of “The Cross and Switchblade” and retired pastor of Times Square Church in NY. He had stood the test of time as a man of God. But he has made some mistakes along the way and he is a shining example to us of how to handle error.
On March 7, 2009 Ps David Wilkerson issued a warning that “[an] earth shattering calamity is about to happen. It is going to be so frightening that we are going to tremble – even the godliest amongst us”. For ten years Wilkerson had been warning about fires coming to central New York – engulfing the whole megaplex – including Times Square. He cancelled everything on the church calendar for six weeks leading up to 9/11 to focus on prayer. David’s word was just a little off centre – Times Square and central NY were not affected by 9/11 directly, nor did it catch fire. But who is going to quibble? He got the rest amazingly right!
He had a recurring dream about 1,000 fires in NYC and that 100,000 angry men would march on Washington (Sept 7, 1992). Racially related violence has since occurred and the million man march also (October 16, 1995) but not in 1993 as predicted. Wilkerson was seeing trouble in the spirit, centred on racial tension and Islam, but concentrated on the fires aspect instead.
Wilkerson predicted that “in less than five years there will be no more so-called gospel TV networks.” (Dec 12, 1994) That this did not happen in 1999 is once again a signal to us that we should be VERY careful when adding timing to prediction. Christian TV networks underwent a huge overhaul in 2000 and many of them were bought out by secular companies. He was foreseeing a shake-up and a buy-out, but not the “end” of Christian TV and certainly not by 1999.
I love the humility expressed in the final example. On April 15, 2000 he wrote, “I have on my desk the headlines in yesterday's paper: “BLACK FRIDAY - BIGGEST ONE-DAY DROP IN HISTORY.” The Dow fell 618 points - the Nasdaq fell 355. I do not know what is coming in the next sixty days. If the market bounces back, I can assure you it will be temporary. THE CRASH IS INEVITABLE - NOTHING CAN STOP IT. The market then went on to reach a record high. Humbly, David confessed his error: “In prayer, I have told the Lord I am ready at any time to confess I am wrong - that I must have spoken from my own fears or that I have spoken unadvisedly. Recently, when the market reached record highs, I wondered if those calling me a false prophet were right.” (May 22, 2000).
What fantastic humility! As we all now know, eight years later his words came true, absolutely true with the GFC. Have I ever got it wrong? Yes and how!
My own experiences
After exploring the New Zealand political realm in 1996 (with a sense that Jim Bolger’s government would be re-elected) I shared a dream in 1999 about the upcoming election. In the dream I saw a whale and its calf coming into the Wellington harbor, rising up and kissing Jim Bolger then going back into the harbor. I took this dream to mean he would win, and said so publically at meetings. But in fact the animal represented a woman (with her calf) kissing Bolger goodbye. Helen Clark won that election. If it were not for my pastor at the time warning me, I would have made a much more public and embarrassing mistake.
At the Gathering in 2006 I shared a series of stories about failure (in a message entitled “Prophetic Redemption”). Included in these have been my own attempts at discerning the sex of children (wrong about 50% of the time); making the mistake of praying for one person and giving them a prophecy meant for the person behind them; marriage counseling mistakes (including mistaking a husbands issues and problems when in fact they were the wife’s issues); praying over people’s pets and saying they will live (when they died) or they would die (when in fact they lived).
In 2006 I worked with a group of six investors exploring price changes in the gold market. I gave them a graph indicating a series of changes: rising from $400 to $700; dropping to $620 then rising to $800; dropping again to $600 and rising again to $1,000; rising to $1,200 and ultimately $1,500. My understanding (and counsel) was that these changes would occur over eighteen months. This prophecy took over 4 years to develop! In this case, timing was the fundamental cause of my error.
The same thing has occurred with the GFC. Following the crash in October 2008 I saw a series of warnings that this was a “W curve” and that a second major crash was coming. By my understanding that crash should have happened around September 2010. Here we are in 2011 and we are still waiting.
Error can creep in subtly. The Lord can give you a simple sentence, and you can misunderstand what it means. I heard the sentence: “The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will not find what they are looking for (Higgs-Boson particles). This will disappoint those scientists... but they will happily discover new things (elements, molecules) they were not looking for. New theories will be developed as a result.” I took this to mean they would not find the Higgs-Boson, but in actual fact the Lord meant “they” (the scientists at the LHC) would not find it – it would be discovered at the US facility instead.
[Even the Bible knows prophecies which are not quite accurate to the last detail. In Acts 21:10-11 Agabus prophesies that the apostle Paul would be bound by the Jews who would then deliver him to the Gentiles. However, it turned out that the Gentiles would rescue Paul from the Jews (Acts 21:32-33). In Acts 27:10 Paul prophesies that if the sea journey were to be undertaken, the ship would be lost and everyone would die. However, in Acts 27:22-23 an angel announces that the ship would be lost but no one would die.]
Getting prophecies right is not easy. Immaturity, ambition, pride or personal bias can easily distort what we are hearing from God. Then, we may get an accurate impression, picture or dream but get it wrong in the interpretation. Dr Owuor prophesied that on the eastern side of Australia the ocean would be failing to stop. Immediately, someone put up the recording of this prophecy on YouTube with the word “tsunami” in the heading. However, the assumption of a “tsunami” was already an interpretation of the prophecy and – as it turned out – it was a wrong interpretation.
The Bible knows about these problems and – freely – acknowledges that even the most experienced prophetic people only “prophesy in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9). The complete picture – all wisdom and insight – is only known to God. Therefore, among us – according to the Bible – when two or three prophets speak, then “the others should weigh carefully what is said” (1 Corinthians 14:29). We are going to be humble about this. We submit our impressions to the discernment of the wider church and follow the Bible’s simple instruction – 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21: “Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.”
Finally – another challenge in prophetic interpretation – is the conditional nature of prophecy. Prophecies reveal the plans of God but these plans can change depending on how people respond to God’s intentions. For instance, the prophet Jonah announced the destruction of the city of Niniveh, but when the city repented, God changed his mind, forgave them and did not destroy the population (Jonah 3). The principle of conditional prophecy is spelled out in the Bible – Jeremiah 18:7-12: “ ... If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions ... ”
With all of this background knowledge – how are we now to receive all of these prophecies about flood waters coming to Australia? My feeling is that the prophecies do pick up on a common theme and seem to complement each other – revealing aspects of a bigger national picture. God is on the move – shaking things up with mighty flood waters but at the same time bringing life-giving water to a nation in drought. All of the national prophecies remark on the destructive side of the flood but also emphasize how the water will make the desert bloom. And this lines up with the Bible because when God comes, he is always releasing blessings and judgement at the same time (cf. Luke 19:28-44). When God comes, he is confronting sin and building his kingdom of righteousness.
Now – I want to make a further observation. All the national prophesies agree in their understanding that the natural rain – the actual water of the rising flood – the natural substance of water (which inundated the land) – points to a spiritual reality where there are rising flood levels of what God is doing in our nation through the Holy Spirit. In the Bible – the Holy Spirit is often symbolized by water (John 7:37-39: “rivers of living water”; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 16; Titus 3:5; Revelations 22:1: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb”) and – maybe for that reason – the national prophesies above make this connection: The natural flood correlates to a coming spiritual flood.
If this understanding was correct – if what is occurring in the natural, points to what is occurring in the spiritual – then the prophecies over our nation can be received by us with some excitement. They simply draw attention to the fact that the floods which have covered our land are not mere accidents of nature. The prophetic words encourage us and confirm that we can make a connection between the natural floods and the coming spiritual floods. God is getting ready for a spiritual downpour.
Even at Jesus’ death there were nature signs which pointed to the spiritual significance of his dying for the forgiveness of our sins – Luke 23:44-45: “It was now about the sixth hour and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.” [Matthew 27:51: “ … The earth shook and the rocks split.”] Darkness in nature – three hours without sun-light – pointed to the spiritual darkness of the onslaught of evil as Jesus was suffering on the cross and – at the same time – the torn – natural – curtain in the temple pointed to the torn spiritual curtain which had kept sinful people from their holy God. Many a time – there seems to be a principle at work which can be spelled out with these words – 1 Corinthians 15:46: “ … first . the natural, and after that the spiritual.”
As we look at the “inland tsunami” of Toowoomba and the flooding of our nation from this angle – and keep the previous prophecies in mind – what can we now discern about God’s intentions? I would like to submit four observations: 1) As the downpour was massive and unprecedented, so God may move among this nation in a massive and unprecedented way. 2) As the floods – especially our “inland tsunami” (and the inundation of Brisbane) – came suddenly and violently, so God may flood and rearrange the “spiritual landscape” [this includes leadership in the church and politics] suddenly and violently. 3) As the floods will heal the land of drought and restore river systems and underground reservoirs, so the flood of God’s Spirit will bring healing to our nation. 4) As our “inland tsunami” made Toowoomba the headline news in almost every country, so the spiritual “tsunami” of God’s blessings flowing out from Toowoomba will reach the nations.
Are you sharing this view? Do you have anything to add? Two examples from history which strengthen this interpretation are the Asian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 and the floods in Mozambique in 2000. Both times – people were swept into the kingdom of God by rising spiritual activity. I am not as well informed about the Asian tsunami but Pastor Les Holmes (former local COC pastor) told me that – for instance – in one part of India, which was fiercely committed to the Hindu faith, the tsunami killed all the parents and left their children as orphans on the beach. Christians came and cared for them. The Hindus wondered about this kind of compassion and today there are nine churches (seven of which are self-supporting), a school and an orphanage. In Mozambique the flood came with the birth of thousands of new churches – many of them among Muslims. [See the endnote for further information and references. Read with discernment.]
I close with the nature of the spiritual flood which is the ever-expanding message of Jesus Christ. He calls you to repentance and saves you. [Expand and explain the love of Jesus which he demonstrated on the cross.]
The Toowoomba “inland tsunami” – the flood waters everywhere – have caused great damage and trauma but they point us to God. He is on the move and – after the shaking – his spiritual flood will heal the land. Therefore – and I submit this to you – this is the time to rise up as a church. This is the time for being bold in faith. Stir yourself up. God will back us up with a downpour from heaven. Amen.
Appendix 1: This is a balanced assessment by Brian Pickering who is the leader of the Australian Prayer Network (newsletter, 26 Jan 11):
The significance of the impact that the events of the
past few weeks have had upon the people of Australia must not be
underestimated. The spiritual significance of that impact must also not be
Many have tried to interpret the events through spiritual eyes, and many have theorised as to the part that God did or didn’t play in those events, and what we may understand He would want us to learn from them.
In this editorial I will try and gather the consensus of thought that has been expressed in correspondence and phone calls that have come to us in their hundreds from people in every corner of Australia and from every stream of the Australian Church. I am sure you will find it very revealing even though there has been no clear “word from the Lord” confirmed in the way the Lord did when we sought Him as a Network regarding the drought.
It was interesting that even though the floods had been with us for several weeks no one really expressed a possible spiritual significance until the flash flood that hit Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley with the terrible devastation and loss of life that caused.
There was an immediate re-action to the images of people, homes and cars being swept away by the ferocious flood waters which swept through Toowoomba, down the mountain and through the valley below. Either out of shock, fear, or the awesomeness of the power of the flood itself, the first response was that this must be the judgement of God, not upon the people immediately affected, but upon us as a nation for the turning of our back on God and for the passing of ungodly laws passed by several Governments over recent years. A call for repentance was the common suggested method of dealing with the tragedy.
After a few days however when the floods that hit Ipswich and Brisbane itself peaked below expected levels, people appeared to change their mind and began to speak of it as the work of Satan (but then the unanswered question became “why then did God allow it”) or simply a natural disaster of the kind for which our country is known. Many recited the words of the poet (I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains) to substantiate that whilst more severe than most, this was simply another expression of the harshness of the land in which we live.
Once the recovery operations began and the amazing community spirit that swept the flooded areas emerged, the assessment again changed and people began to write of the grace of God releasing His healing, compassion and love to a broken and devastated community and of the Church having the opportunity to live out the second great commandment of loving our neighbours as ourselves.
It was a remarkable journey to see unfold as the tragedy played out over a week. It was also revealing that the initial re-action of God’s judgement was coming from people not directly impacted by the disaster but who were watching it unfold on television images or reading about it through written reports. It was not until the initial shock wore off and people who were actually affected by the flooding, or involved directly with those who were, began to input into the discussion that the consensus switched from the image of punishment to one of abundant grace and of the love expressed for those affected by a caring God.
Some also noticed that this was not an event unique to Australia but Brazil was also experiencing an even worse death toll from identical natural events of floods and landslides at the same time as us, and that northern hemisphere countries had only a few months earlier gone through similar disastrous floods. In each of those instances it was the people of God who were energised into front line action to alleviate the pain, give comfort to those who were mourning and provide, through money and provisions, for the needs of those who had lost everything.
As you can see from what I have written there have been many theories expressed but what was lacking in the whole exercise was a scripturally based and inspired “word from God” that addressed the situation. That of course does not mean that God will not speak to us and give us understanding of these events and how we should respond if we will ask, listen and discern.
What we do know is that in the beginning God created a perfect world. However because of the “fall” and the impact this had upon creation, the created order has been damaged and marred by the decisions of man and the sin of mankind. God gave us all a free will to make decisions at all levels of our existence, from the personal through to decisions that affect whole nations, and every decision we make, whether small or large, has consequences and determines the pathways of life. However the image of a God sitting waiting for us to do wrong and then sending havoc upon us is not biblical.
God has clearly spoken to us through His word of how He wants His children to live and has promised that if we obey, His blessings will pour out upon us abundantly, not as a reward, but as a consequence of our obedience. The opposite is also of course true. If we stray from his word and live according to our own desires He has clearly said the consequences of that, which He calls sin, will lead to death, not as an act of punishment, but as a consequence of our disobedience.
So therefore those who quickly called for us to repent as a means of escaping the wrath of God, are near the mark, but not on the mark. God does judge us but it is neither accurate nor helpful to assume His judgement is being expressed every time there is a natural disaster. In most cases where we experience God’s judgement we bring it upon ourselves by our sinful and/or disobedient actions rather than as a precipitace action on His part. .
So the decisions of the generations that have gone before us have coloured our world just as the decisions of our generation will colour the world for those who follow behind us. We cannot tell, nor do we know the direct correlation between any decision made by any person, corporation or Government and events that occur subsequently. To say that a specific event can be directly attributed back to a specific decision is dangerous and potentially misleading.
To say however that we are living in a broken world where past or current decisions can have a bearing on future events or occurrences, without attempting to be specific, is accurate and I believe inline with biblical teaching. In that context therefore the way of limiting the effect sin has upon our own individual lives as well as our corporate life as a nation, is to repent and turn back to God, not out of fear of His punishment, but in response to His love and as a recognition that He has shown us through the life and teachings of Jesus the right way to live in order that He can bless us abundantly.
In the absence therefore of any clear word from God in relation to this current situation I believe the past word that Gods spoke clearly to us as a nation through tens of thousands of intercessors who sought His face for 40 days in prayer and fasting at the height of the recent drought, is still the word for this hour.
That word was Haggai 1, and the specific instruction was that “It is time to rebuild the House of the Lord. Give careful thought to your ways - turn from the ways of the past and begin to build my house obeying the instructions I left with you to follow” If we do that we will have truly repented, not only with our lips (which we have done many times in what He calls confession), but with our lives (which we have not found so easy) which is what He calls true “repentance”. “Prove your repentance by your deeds” (Acts 26:20) gives us a clue that confession alone is not true repentance.
In referring to the 40 days of seeking the face of God, and the resultant National Solemn Assembly in Canberra attended by some 2000 people over 3 days and nights, as well as some 30,000 who attended local Solemn Assemblies in communities across Australia, I am mindful that many who have joined our network in recent times may not be aware of those events and the very strong and specific word that was given to our nation through that process. Therefore for those wanting further understanding of what we believe God has been saying to us as a nation through those times and events, which we believe is still pertinent in this current season, we offer the following resources:- .
DVD 1 - The official DVD of the National Solemn Assembly (One hour in length)
CD’s 2 & 3 - Must be purchased together covering in depth teaching on Haggai 1 (approx 2 hrs in total)
CD 4 - Revelatory teaching on repentance (approx 50 minutes)
Costs for the CD’s are the same as for the DVD’s. There is no CD of the National Solemn Assembly nor are there any DVD’s of the Haggai and Repentance teaching.
Teaching is given by Rev Matthew Bolte - APN Regional Coordinator for North Queensland and Brian Pickering National Coordinator of the Australian Prayer Network.
Purchase of only 1
DVD/CD - $15.00 (including postage
and handling to your notified address)
Purchase of 2 or 3 DVD/CD’s - $12.50 each (including postage and handling as above)
Purchase of all 4 DVD/CD’s - $40.00 for the whole set (including postage and handling as above)
To order please send cheque payable to Australian Prayer Network to PO Box 31, Epping NSW 1710 or if wanting to pay by credit card phone 02 9876.2419. When ordering please ensure you include the mailing address to which you want the DVD/CD’s sent. Please allow up to two weeks for delivery.
Australian Prayer Network
 Todd Bentley: The Reality Of The Supernatural World, Ladysmith: Sound Of Fire Productions 2005, p55-57:
As well, God is granting sings through weather patterns and earthquakes: On the first night of a conference in Birmingham, Alabama, I was caught up into the spirit and saw three major highways coming into Birmingham. I saw revival coming into the city from the North. I gave a specific word over the region. The Lord told me to tell the people that they will know my words are true when tornados and floods hit Birmingham. After we left, floods and tornados came to Birmingham.
In July 2004, I was in a meeting in Vacaville, California when I had an open vision. I saw a massive archangel (who was assigned over a continent), with one foot on Indonesia and one foot on Malaysia. Next I saw a tsunami wave rise up out of the sea and in the crest of the tsunami wave I read the word REVIVAL. Then I saw the wave hit Indonesia, Malaysia, and S.E. Asia. After I delivered the word, I asked if there was anyone from Malaysia and Indonesia in my meeting. Four Christian leaders from Malaysia stood up as well as a major leader from S.E. Asia who ministers widely in the region.
These five people took the prophecy back to Indonesia and Malaysia and printed it out. Many Christians and leaders read the word. So when Charlie Robinson (an associate minister of FFM and seer prophet) went over to Indonesia and Malaysia, they told him they believed every part of the prophecy I gave about revival coming to Indonesia, Malaysia, and S.E. Asia, except for one part: "natural disasters don't happen in Malaysia," they said. They told Charlie that they didn't believe the tsunami part of the prophecy for their region of Asia. So Charlie said, "God will judge the seas," because he had received a revelation from God about the seven thunders. (Rev. 10) and how God will judge the seven seas.
Then, on December 4th, in downtown Jakarta, the Lord showed Charlie that God would judge a demonic principality over the region which would cause a violent catastrophe in the ocean off the coast of Indonesia. He shared his revelation with on of the Christian leaders there, saying that this disaster would affect all of S.E. Asia. Then, in one of his meetings in Indonesia, Charlie felt led to have everyone roar. The congregation roared for a half hour!
Sometimes the Lord calls us to roar just as He does (Joel 3:16; Hos. 11:10). At God's leading, we can release a roar by fait just as we would a victory shout (Josh. 6:5). A roar like this often releases a holy indignation within our spirits, as a declaration to the enemy that "enough is enough!" Roaring no only looses promises that have been tied up, but it also tears down demonic principalities. When we roar like a lion, something happens in the spirit realm. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and sometimes He causes His Spirit to rise up in our hearts with a groan or a roar of judgment on principalities.
The Lord told Charlie there would be an earthquake after he left Indonesia. Six days after he left, on December 26, the earthquake and tsunami struck. God was judging the seas! They called Charlie and said, "It's true. Every word of the prophecy is true!" When the tsunami hit, the entire world said, "Destruction! Oh God, why? Why would God allow this to happen? Three-hundred thousand lost their lives." But listen! The crest of the wave in my vision said REVIVAL! Who would have thought revival would follow a tsunami and an earthquake?
First, we must realize that God does not cause natural disasters. However, when God wants to bring change or to release revival, there will always be spiritual war in the heavens as demonic principalities in the second heaven resist God's advancing plans. When there's war, there are causalities. We don't always understand why people get hurt. When Jesus cast the demon out of a child in Luke 9:42 [NAS], the devil threw him down, and tare him." In the same way, when God deals with demonic forces in the heavens, a tearing takes place in the spiritual realm which sometimes manifests in destructive ways on earth. The enemy desires to bring destruction and to prevent God's plan for revival. However, in spite of the battle, God's plans will always come to pass.
Today, in Indonesia and Malaysia, there is tremendous expectancy among the churches in the nation that God is about to do something powerful. God is sending sings of revival in Christian meetings in the form of gold dust, diamonds, and feathers, and the people are growing in the passion for the Lord as well as fait for the wave of revival that is coming.
When Charlie went back that February he said, "It is going to happen again." When he left the region, he was only in the air for one hour and the second earthquake hit. Also, not long ago I was in Long Island, New York and prophesied publicly, "The third earthquake will hit the Pacific." Two mornings later the island of Sumatra was hit with a 6.2 earthquake (aftershock). I was in Toronto, Ontario with two dozen people when I prophesied, "Mark my words. Japan will be hit with an earth an earthquake. It's the forth one coming to the Pacific." The earthquake hit Japan a few days later. It was a 5.6.
What does all of this mean? We need to understand that God's judgments are released as answers to prayer to ultimately bring blessing and to fulfill His promise. God reveals future events-secrets- to His friends and to His prophets (Amos 3:7). As a result of repentance and travailing prayer by God's people, the Lord will judge demonic principalities over areas. Often those supernatural judgments are manifest in the natural through disasters.
Let's remember that in the shaking-in earthquake in Japan and in the disaster in Indonesia- God is saying: "REVIVAL!" The Lord is making His name known against His adversaries and releasing blessings on His people in those areas. He wants us to have an idea about what He's doing, so He gives us signs on earth of what He is doing in the spiritual realm.
Interview with Heidi Baker (http://www.healing2thenations.net/news/03-04-16.htm): “ … it’s in the devastation and destruction that you see the great power and might of God. In horrific times, revival comes. The revival in China came in the midst of great persecution. The revival in Mozambique came in the midst of great floods. The greatest church growth is coming in the midst of famine. In the midst of famine, in the midst of flood, people are running to Jesus by the thousands … So we feed the nations physical and spiritual food. There’s always enough because He died. So I just believe Him.”
Newsletter by Rolland & Heidi Baker, 2 September 2000 (http://www.irismin.org/news/newsletters/view/crusading-in-the-bush):
Since the Floods. Our corner of Africa has opened up wide to the Gospel since the severe floods in Mozambique earlier this year. World-wide attention was focused on a nation that previously had endured decades of war, drought and economic disaster in almost complete obscurity. The flooding was savage, but Mozambicans learned their need for God. Christians around the world interceded for the nation and gave generously with open hearts and hands. Whole rural populations came together in refugee camps and heard the Gospel all at once. Tens of thousands came to Jesus in our meetings, and other missions saw rich fruit as well.
Our red-hot, Spirit-filled bush pastors, trained in our short-term Bible school, dived into the camps and ministered with energy from God Himself. As the numbers of believers climbed, we planted new churches, appointed new pastors and brought them to Bible school too. Spiritual fervor among the flood victims shot up. They found out Jesus could drive out demons, heal the sick, and replace witch doctors with grace, beauty and love. They wanted Bibles more than rice and blankets, more than anything. We’d arrive, and they’d cry, “Let’s have church!”
As the flood waters receded, the refugee camps dispersed. The homeless are trying to start over, many in new locations. But our churches are intact as pastors stay with their people and they continue to seek God together. As fast as pastors come through our Bible school, more rise up until now we have almost a hundred in our current three-month session. We also find that our pastors and network of more than four hundred churches in remote rural areas provide us with the best possible distribution system for relief goods among those who need help the most.
Five months after the floods, agriculture in Mozambique is still in crisis. Seed and farming tools are needed by hundreds of thousands. Replanting has been delayed by a long dry season, and the upcoming rainy season may disrupt travel on roads that are still barely passable. The Mozambican economy, already one of the poorest in the world, has lost hundreds of millions of dollars to flood damage. Food, clothes, tools and medical help are still needed as much as ever, especially in districts untouched by previous relief efforts.
Another newsletter by Rolland Baker (21 February 2001): Disastrous Flooding Again this Year.
God isn’t done with his drastic dealings with Mozambique. Almost ceaseless rain for the last month up and down the country has resulted in the overflowing of major river systems again this year. Last year’s incredible flooding, the worst in memory anywhere in the world, affected one million people. Already the current flooding is “affecting” 390,000, and the weather forecast is for much more of the same.
This time, however, because of our tremendous church growth over the last year, we are personally involved with many thousands and thousands of suffering victims because they are in our churches. They are isolated and cut off from food supplies by flooded roads in all directions, and whole populations of towns are going without eating for weeks. What little food there is a certain distribution points is not nearly adequate and does not reach the bush villages. The United Nations World Food Program had stored enough for 250,000 people for one month, but the current situation is much worse than anticipated.
Yet the Holy Spirit is moving, thousands are coming to Jesus, and scores of new pastors are getting ordained. We received a report from Quelimane, a northern town, that our pastors in a conference there were stranded and couldn’t get home. They had no food, and many were sick with water-borne diseases. There are only two doctors among hundreds of thousands of people. One of our pastors spent a week with his family on his dining room table, surrounded by muddy water. Most don’t even have a table. But new believers are being baptized, even in flood waters filled with leeches. The Church of Jesus Christ will not be stopped.
Iris Ministries is facing an awesome cry for help all over Mozambique. Rain is severe even in the south at our Maputo center. Our own house is soaking with leaks. Our one hundred twenty pastors in our current Bible school session are in constant intercession for their people and country. The Holy Spirit is falling on our worship meetings. And at the same time hunger and disease are spreading out of control. Fifty of our own children are in the hospital, and many more are overflowing our clinic getting emergency treatment. This is a major assault by the enemy, and so we share this with our friends in the Body of Christ.
Rolland & Heidi Baker: There Is Always Enough, Tonbridge: Sovereign World 2003, p92: “Jesus was jealous of everything. He was washing Mozambique clean – of idolatry, witchcraft, corruption, indifference, stealing, violence – everthing. The people in the camps knew as never before that Jesus was their only hope. The Lord wanted that rarest of human emotions, love for Him, to sweep over a land bereft of all else.”