From beyondthebrook.blogspot.com – Andrew Bale….A powerful word…… I’ve bolded the stuff that jumped out at me…and bold italicized the stuff that really smacked me upside the head….
Comrades in Christ
Isaiah Chapter 1 – a prophecy for the western territories of the Salvation Army and for individual soldiers within the Salvation Army.
The following came to me today in prayer and I share it in humility – may God bless, redeem, sanctify and use the Salvation Army – Hallelujah!
“The Salvation Army is one of my favoured children. In your youth I gave you a multicoloured coat woven with a weft of marvellous signs and wonders, but over the years you have rebelled against me until you are no longer able to recognise the sound of my voice. It is bad enough when a parent and child refuse to speak but when one fails to recognise the voice of the other the situation has become tragic. I am speaking to you as much as I ever have done but you do not recognise my voice.
I am still calling you in the direction of the disenfranchised and friendless but you cannot hear me.
I will am still calling you to purity of living and holiness but you cannot hear me.
I am still calling you to stand between the oppressed and the oppressor but you cannot hear me.
I am still calling you to the mighty work of soul winning but you cannot hear me.
I am still calling you to poverty, persecution and victory but you cannot hear me.
The once covenanted warriors of my Salvation Army have become desensitised to my voice.
Like the early church you were born with a rush of Pentecostal fire and your early years were accompanied by salvation war and revival. You were persecuted because you made serious inroads into the devil’s territory and the narrow way that led to heaven was crowded with your converts. You found again the pearl of holiness and sold all that you had to possess it.
Now you have become a
“Sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! You have forsaken the LORD; you have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned your backs on him.” (Verse 4)
I have seen your suffering and I beg you to stop your wilful self-harm.
“Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted…” (Verses 5-7)
Your Corps are closing, your seats are empty, your halls are falling into disrepair and you have no money to rebuild them. Other denominations are trying to use the weapons I crafted for you – they are trying – but they are not you and their armour is ill-fitting and clumsy, they have not read the manual, they have not been properly drilled, your methods – the tactics designed for you are alien to them.
“Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.” (Verse 7)
Yet in spite of this breakdown in our relationship, in spite of your rebellion and your self-harm and poverty you continue with your religious ordinances. You march to deserted streets and preach to nobody. You feed the slave and clothe him but fail to break his chains. You polish your holiness tables but deny the possibility of purity. You hold music festivals that are nothing but concerts with an ‘amen’ at the end. You parade your good works like phylacteries ensuring that the world – along with your right hand – knows exactly what your left hand is doing. This offends me, I find it detestable, it is worse than the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah – I never asked for this.
“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your evil assemblies.” (Verse 13)
You are praying and even fasting but I have blocked my ears – Salvation Army I am not listening to you.
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.”
Go and wash yourself, your hands are stained with blood for the road to hell is now crowded with the shuffling hopelessness of those I raised you up to save and their blood is on your hands – you think it is enough to feed them and clothe them and wash them but it is not enough. There is no greater contradiction than yours for your arrogant self obsession slaps a man on the back with a hearty ‘God bless you’ and then turns away as he falls into the fiery fissures of hell.
“Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.” (Verse 16-18)
Once you depended on me, you bought where you had no money, you attacked where you had no chance of victory and you opened fire on a wing and a prayer. Once heaven rang with the sound of your volleys and the angels wept at the audaciousness of your evangelism but now you have prostituted yourself. Now you have taken what is Caesar’s and failed to give me what is mine. You have taken Babylon’s money and bedded the heathen philanthropist. You have sacrificed your right to pray and preach for the chance to buy a building. Once you shouted ‘no compromise’ but now you are all compromise.
“See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her— but now murderers!” (Verse 21)
What is my judgement to be? How will I treat you? What is my response to your individual and corporate sin?
“Come let us reason together…”
I am looking and waiting for you. Like the prodigal I can see you now feeding on the scraps of this unclean world. It is in this mess, that you have created, that you must come to your senses. Dear Salvation Army come back to me for I have a robe and a ring and a fattened calf all waiting for you. It is time to come home!
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Verses 18-20)
I have left for myself a remnant and if they will humble themselves and identify themselves in repentance and sorrow then I will unblock my ears and clear my eyes and let the ‘revolution now begin’.
The cost is repentance.
The cost is a full renunciation of the values and standards of this world.
The cost is a new and brave exposure to total dependence upon me.
The cost is a full consecration of all you have and are to me (all I have ever asked is that you love me with all your heart, soul, body and mind – I am a jealous God and will not share your love with another!)
“I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.” Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness.”
The future of the Salvation Army will be settled in the next 10 years – it is a clear choice – repent and live or rebel and die.”