I woke up the other morning and thought to myself, “It’s time for the 2’s and 3’s.” In the western church context there are a multiplicity of shapes of church and trends from traditional, denominational, mega-church, post-church etc, etc. I am aware of a groundswell amongst those who follow Jesus, both inside and outside the established churches looking for a more relational way of living out their faith. A stronger sense of community not built around attendance at meetings, centralised structures or hierarchy that lives authentic community in a way that is nearer the C1st expression that turned their world upside down with a counter cultural/spiritual expression.
I have been impacted recently by watching Sheep Amongst Wolves a documentary on the move of the Holy Spirit in Iran. Hidden, grass roots, with no centralised leadership, no building, no bank account and predominantly made up of and led by women (a split of 55% women and 45% men) where the living Jesus shows up in dreams of ordinary Muslims and saves a woman from suicide by lifting her out of the noose and laying her on the bed .
We face world changing challenges and I have found a few prophetic voices (from different backgrounds with a variety of language, context and emphasis) speak of a New Era being birthed.
Sue Mitchell – has long been recognised as a ‘times and seasons’ prophet. In March 2018 she wrote about the period of desperation/disruption 2016-20 and interpreting the unusual lunar eclipses in 2015 and 2018 as signs of two era/epochs vying for space in our world.
“It appears then, that the love impulse which prioritises care for the poor, the gentle, the outsider and the oppressed, is again growing to a fuller strength than we knew and is shining alongside this ageing world system. It was incarnated by Jesus, released ‘on all peoples’ in the spiritual outpouring of resurrected humanity, imitated by Paul and subsequent generations, and in this time of our lives is growing again like the day. Now that is worth waking up for!
Will we then, ‘at this time’ see the era of wealth and power again restored to the church and/or the good people of the Western world? This ironic question is the excitable disciples’ question to Jesus (in Acts 1) reworked for our ‘time’. The answer is the same now as then. If that is our expectation or our desire, we cannot know or discern rightly the times and eras that are ours to live in. To look back, hoping to restore what was comfortable for us reveals a ‘fixed’ or closed, culturally dominant worldview. But Paul reminds us that if we are alert and sober, not easily distracted in a season of confusion and good desperation, we do know “full well” about times and seasons (1 Thess 5:1). Stealthily and carefully a new day (era) is beginning to dawn, but it comes about through labour pains! The metaphor is of the night, and a darkened mind, being about false “peace and safety”, so don’t sleep, but labour for a new birth, for a new era.”
Chuck Pierce – has posted a video summary of words released over the last 18 months on his Facebook page in March 2020, peppered with phrases such as “We are in the New Era; ” no longer maintenance but “we have to get out of bed and conquer everyday”; A reset time; Divine supernatural creativity; awakening in the nations and a redrawing of boundaries and borders; structural reforms to man made structures; we are leaving the maintenance mentality and the next 10 years will be marked by a new era of warfare – Lion versus the dragon.
Jim Gol l– sees that we are already in the New Era but within a 50 day divine Reset that ends at Pentecost – May 31, 2020. He considers the phase we are in is a defining moment –
“That’s what happens in “defining moments.” That’s what entering a New Era is all about—we enter into a historic changing room and come out on the other side looking and acting different.
But revelatory keys for the New Era are being released.
An invitation on how to build an Ark of His Presence has been issued. Divine creativity and a call to entrepreneurship are on the rise. Insight for your life, family and sphere of influence is yours in Christ Jesus.
You simply have to rest around the ark of His Covenantal Presence, and you will receive the new. Ask and you will receive!”
Martin Scott – has reposted dreams he had in Oct 2018 which speak into this time and highlight the role of the body of Christ in shaping what happens in society, its values and norms. From the original post–
“Given that I consider Scripture calls the body of Christ to act priestly what takes place in the public square is our responsibility. There might be a battle, it might take time for a change to come, we might well also have ‘failures’ as we engage, but the point is we have to step up to our responsibility. We cannot control what happens there, but through our positioning in the world and our petitioning to heaven we can shift the spiritual atmosphere and create boundaries so that there is an opportunity for the growth of righteousness. In the light of that it is not surprising that in the dream it was the response of believers that short-circuited what was happening in the public square. There is evidently a time to sing, and there is a time not to. I say this as I am convinced that the façades are opening up again. We have to learn what the right response is in this season.” (13/10/2018)
He doesn’t use the phrase ‘new era’ but a time of Reset that hopefully will mean we do not return ‘normal’ – a possibility on a ‘level playing field’ (nothing to do with Brexit negotiations) where it is possible to see advances in Kingdom values against an oppressive and exploitative world system. He highlights the possible consequences of the body of Christ not responding to the opportunities –
“The inevitable result will not just be trade wars, but war. It will not simply be a major shift to extreme right wing policies (as we see rise in Europe) but the establishing of a neo-nazi totalitarianism that will eventually be seen not be favourable to faith, including that of the Christian faith.”(13/10/2018)
There is talk of a ‘new normal’ but what will that look like, hopefully “it is not a refreshed view of what we have currently. A new normal has to align more with the kingdom of God (a New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven) than with a Babylon (that rises up from the earth, seeking to make a name for ourselves).
The next two years are critical. Anything that just brings comfort through familiarity has to be put aside. We do not want things closed back down again.” (Scott 3/4/2020)
What resonates with me from them all is that we all have an opportunity in this reset and beyond to engage at a significant time in our history to effect change that at least slows down, halts or changes the course of the forces at work in our world that are negative, self-interested, self-preserving of resources and place to the detriment of the wider community. That will take creativity in all spheres of life with innovation and expression of values that show a different and more wholesome way. This will mean we need to choose to be open (if not forced to by circumstance) to do things differently, have our mindsets changed and value the small steps each one can make.
I don’t want to be crass or demean the loss of life or the impact the virus has had on people, families, livelihoods but I wonder if, much like the Coronavirus is threatening our current global economic system and societies’ norms the move of the Holy Spirit in Iran is a sign for us in the West – its both small, invisible yet growing exponentially through contact of the two’s and three’s. Here two opposites are true at the same time – that which is small, insignificant, unseen, (the mustard seed of the Gospel) is also powerful, grows exponentially and can bring about seismic change.
It’s time for the body of Christ to be released. It’s time for the two’s and three’s.