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HEART Christian newspaper | August 15, 2020

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Light at the end of the tunnel

Dr Clifford Hill

It’s time to tell our friends and neighbours why God has sent (or allowed) this pandemic to hit every nation in the world

We are in the middle of summer, but already there is a lot of talk about a second wave of the pandemic hitting us in the winter. With more people wearing masks out in the streets, we are constantly reminded of the plague that has hit us.

Older people, especially, are nervous about going out and about in case they catch the virus. It is likely to be a long time before we are back to normal, although the Prime Minister says he hopes we will be clear by Christmas.

Nevertheless, it’s time to look for some light at the end of the tunnel. Regular readers of this page will know that for many years we have been warning that God was going to do something to shake all nations.

We started publishing these warnings in the magazine ‘Prophecy Today’ back in 1986, following a conference in Jerusalem where we had been drawn to a prophecy in Haggai 2:6-7:

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: in a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations…”

Signs

Of course, we didn’t know the detail of what God was going to do, but we knew that it was something that would shake all the nations around the globe – which is exactly what is happening through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 is what the Bible describes as “a sign”, which is an event, either natural or of human origin, that everyone is talking about, but which also has a spiritual meaning. When a tower collapsed in Jerusalem and 18 people died, everyone was talking about it, so Jesus used it as a sign to give a message from God to the people of Jerusalem (Luke 13).

Covid-19 is what the Bible describes as “a sign”, an event that everyone is talking about

Signs need to be interpreted, so we can be sure that God is requiring Bible-believing Christians to be witnessing to our friends and neighbours, telling them why God has sent (or allowed) this pandemic to hit every nation in the world. The Bible tells us the things that God hates are idolatry, injustice, oppression, violence and immorality (Jeremiah 7). These are things we see all around us.

God hates idolatry, injustice, oppression, violence and immorality

Repentance

But God is also a loving Father who is more ready to forgive than we are to repent of our sins. In Jesus’s parable of the ‘prodigal son’, the father hurried to his son’s side as soon as the son repented (Luke 15:20).

God is a loving Father who is more ready to forgive than we are to repent of our sins

When King David repented from having boastfully counted his fighting men which was followed by a plague and many people died, immediately the plague ceased (2 Samuel 24).

Back in the 1980s when we heard the first warnings of the great shaking that would come upon the nations, those who were listening to God also heard that the shaking would be intense, but there would come a time when even unbelievers would be crying out to God for help. At that time there would be a new openness to truth which would be the time for Bible-believing Christians to share their faith and boldly to declare the Word of God in the nations resulting in multitudes accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We may not be far away from that day!

Dry bones

It was at one of the worst moments in the history of the people of Israel when they were in exile in Babylon that God gave a vision to the prophet Ezekiel.  He promised an outpouring of his Spirit to bring new life to his people (Ezekiel 37).

Ezekiel was shown a valley full of the bones of his countrymen who had died in conflict with Babylon. God said, “Can these bones live?”

This was followed by the command, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!” (How we long to hear that command in our nation today, to wake up the Church!)

Immediately after this came the promise, “I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.”

Our English translations say that there was “a rattling sound” as the bones came together, but this is a terrible translation! The Hebrew literally says “there was a thunderous noise”.

This vision represents a colossal miracle taking place as the power of God swept over the mountains descending into the valley of death, bringing new life into the dry skeletons. Only the English could be so polite (or pathetic) as to call it “a rattling sound”.

Thunderous noise

I believe this vision of new life coming into the dry bones has great relevance for us today. We may not be far off that day when ‘the thunderous noise’ will once again be heard, when the Spirit of God descends upon the faithful remnant – breaking the silence of the Church! And re-energising and equipping God’s people with the boldness to declare the Word of God to the nation – and then multitudes will hear the truth and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour!

“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgements” (Revelation 19:1).

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