The winepress revisited

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…” (Matt 24: 5-8)

The two short articles below were written in 2020, at the beginning of Covid; but they are even more relevant today as the pressure of the Winepress grows. The ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on the food supply chain, the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and of course Covid, all recall Christ’s end time prophesy quoted above. To these “signs of the times” we can add others. The “Great Reset” is one:  the world’s currency crisis is heading towards a “solution” that is being touted by politicians and economist the world over, where central currencies become digital, currency exchange becomes a thing of the past, and everything that goes in and comes out of our bank accounts can be monitored – and controlled – by government. Far from being an enigmatic spiritual symbol, the number of the beast of is becoming a reality that some governments are already working on, and where already, to a degree, No one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev 13:17)

Jesus warned us that many would come in His name, and false Christs abound. To name but three: Alan John Miller is gaining a following in Australia,; in Brazil, Inri Cristo lives in a secure compound with 12 disciples; and in the Phillipines Apollo Quiboloy has a following of millions. All three of them are claiming to be Jesus and are deceiving or have already deceived many.

Only the Father knows the day and the hour, but we can read the signs of the times; and if they aren’t pointing to the immanent return of Christ then either the Bible is wrong, or the Earth’s dwindling resources and overheating surface are going to last for centuries longer than appears to be possible. So if you read what I wrote three years ago, ask yourself this: how much have we learnt? Are our lamps trimmed and full of oil – are we walking in the righteousness of Christ and burning with the fire of the Holy Spirit?  Are we ready for the King to come for His bride? Are our hearts more attuned than before to His whisper, or is the clamour in our ears louder than it was? There are two seconds to midnight, and the clock is ticking…

The Winepress
Jesus has called us into His vine so that we bear fruit (John 15:5), and the purpose of that fruit is to make wine. The winepress may not be a very comfortable place for the grapes, but the wine is what we’re here for. Expect transformation, and even while we may be separated from one another physically during lockdown, I believe we can expect a Unity in the Spirit that we may not have known before. And when the restrictions are over and we can go back to meeting together again, don’t look for the old forms of things, because they won’t be there any more. The wind of the Spirit is blowing at the moment, and they will have been blown away.

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (Isaiah 43: 18-21)

So if you feel the pressure of the winepress, seek His presence and the peace that the World doesn’t know. Read Matthew 5 again. We really don’t have to worry about next week. And hold onto this thought: whatever comes out of the winepress, it’s going to be different to what went in, and it’s going to be good!

Boot Camp
Isaiah 55:6 exhorts us to “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.” Until the beginning of this year, the world was teetering on from crisis to crisis, but everything was more or less working. Now, three months later, all the shops in the UK are closed except for food stores, pharmacies and supermarkets; countries are closing their borders, and the word “plague” is starting to appear in the media – Christian and secular. We are all wondering where it will lead – is this indeed the “beginning of sorrows?” Of course there is only one answer to that: we don’t know. We just know that we are nearer the Lord’s return now than we were.

 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matt 24 36-39)

What is crucial in these times is not that we know what’s happening next, but that we are prepared for it, whatever it is. I don’t mean in the sense of building bunkers and filling them with provisions, but that we do indeed learn to hear the voice of the One who is returning. God is kind, and He is giving us a period of Grace while it seems that He is pressing the “reset” button in many of our systems, including in our churches, where at the time of writing we are no longer allowed to gather. It seems that there is less traffic on the road than there has been for fifty years. Nearly all centres of social interaction are closed. Many of us have time on our hands. What do we do with it?

We can fill it with social media, we can binge on box sets, or we can put these diversions lower down the list of priorities and we can learn to hear God. We can do all the things that we hear about on Sundays and read about in books but say we don’t really have the time for. Well, for a lot of us, now we do. The Lord can be found now. He has given us space to seek him now. Now, while so much is on “pause”, we can be like the wise virgins and make sure there is oil in our lamps. Now is the time to make sure our wicks are trimmed.

So, whether or not we are in the end times, this is certainly a boot camp for end-times training. The Lord wants His Church to learn to seek Him now, so that when life gets more difficult we are already used to hearing His voice and will be able to follow it readily. If we keep putting it off until real crisis comes upon us from which only He can deliver us, it will be too late to train our spiritual ears to get to know His whisper, because there will be too many other voices clamouring for attention.

(Written in March 2020)

One thought on “The winepress revisited”

  1. Such a very important message.

    I was listening to Christine Darg two days ago on the Jerusalem Channel and she was also talking about deception and her verse was 2 Thessalonians 2v11.


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