Is God still in the House?

Sep 27, 2019 | Flashpoints, INSIGHTS

Is God still in the House?

**Since publishing this article we have had a substantial amount of feedback – mainly very positive, but some as the result of people reading their own understanding into it. For the avoidance of doubt, please note that I am not making a comparison between Boris Johnston and Winston Churchill, and neither did I set out to unambiguously support either Remain or Leave parties in this article: I am simply attempting to provide some overviews, as well as sharing a few examples of what others have felt or sensed.

There are times in scripture when by our actions and indifference to Him we can ‘drive the Lord far from His sanctuary,’ (Ezek. 8:6) – a process which, in Ezekiel’s day led to the tragic example of the glory of the Lord actually leaving the temple. (Ezek. 9:3ff)  So far as proceedings in the House of Commons are concerned at the moment, is it perhaps fair to ask if we at some such point ourselves?

A young intercessor from Taunton who went to pray in the public chamber in the House of Commons became increasingly disturbed by what he was seeing and asked the Lord, ‘What are you doing in this chamber, Lord?’ The answer he believed he received was a sombre one. ‘I have removed my Glory from this place.’ Ouch!

No one is doubting the sincerity of the many who are praying for our nation and its government, and even within it. Or to deny the efficacy of this daily prayer that has been offered to Heaven in the Chambers since at least 1567:

“Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our Queen and her government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices, keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed. Amen.”

But if the atmosphere is too toxic for the Dove to remain in the chambers of Government as things stand at the moment, we can be sure that He is hard at work in other ways in our nation – and as regards His plans for our future. He knows full well how we have come to be in these chaotic waters, and He knows the means by which they can be stilled. In the meantime, the battle is intense.

As one person wrote recently, ‘perhaps the most important existential issue is over the inclusion or exclusion of the God of the Bible in our nation’s governance and democratic institutions. The EU deliberately chose, after much debate, to exclude God from its Constitution and institutions whereas the British still retain at least the acknowledgement of our Judeo-Christian heritage. I am reminded of Psalm 127:

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. (Ps. 127:1 NIV)

There is a lot here to ponder, and it is right that we take the time to do so. For the many who feel as though they do not have a strong enough handle on the subject to be able to pray with complete insight and effectiveness, we can be reassured that we don’t have to know and understand all the details to be able to pray in accordance with His will. His word teaches us how to pray. Therefore we can pray: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth – and in Britain – as it is in Heaven’. We can repent for the abuse that is going on, the failure to adhere to God’s word. We can declare His Lordship over the earth and all that it contains.

A crash of thunder and a very clear verdict from a very new court

“Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them. Pray in this way for kings and all others who are in authority over us, or are in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness, spending our time in godly living and thinking much about the Lord. This is good and pleases God our Saviour.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3, Living Bible)

About 4.30 on Tuesday morning there sounded over Malvern and the surrounding area the most almighty crash of thunder I have ever heard. It was unusual in both its intensity and the fact that there was only one such clap, and it crossed my mind rather forcibly that perhaps this was a sign of a startling decision to come, a heavenly shout to sit up and take notice of. Sure enough, the verdict of the Supreme Court found unanimously against the Prime Minister’s cavalier proroguing of Parliament – an action for which he was unable to produce much of a defence except to say that it lay within his power to order it, given that this has been one of the longest sittings of Parliament in history and that a Queen’s speech would be in order.

The verdict had been widely expected – but not even the prosecution itself had foreseen just how excoriating their judgement would be against the unprecedented length of this proroguing of Parliament at such a delicate time in the nation’s history.

The verdict was received not only with jubilation but also with considerable ‘bitterness against Boris’ by many on the Remain side. It also left many Leavers wondering about the constitutional implications, in that the court appeared to be overturning the Queen’s own authority given that she had given her consent to the prorogation. This most certainly did not go down well with ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ (Dr Adrian Hilton’s blog).

Our ever deepening union with Europe over 40 years (albeit by incremental stages) has integrated our constitution and institutions to such a profound extent that ‘taking back’ sovereignty is infinitely more complex than the phrase might suggest. In all the disorder of Parliament, (the girls of St Trinian’s appear positively well behaved by comparison!) many appear to have lost sight of the reasons why people felt concerned about the structure, nature and intentions of the EU itself in the first place.

What will happen to the Union?

What will be the fallout from all this? A friend sent me Zechariah 11 yesterday with this in mind, a chapter that contains sombre warnings.

Therefore I will no longer show compassion upon those who live in the land,” declares the Lord. “Look! I will deliver every single person into the control of his neighbour and into the control of the king. Even though they assault the land, I will not deliver it from their control.

So I became shepherd of the flock marked for slaughter, paying attention to the oppressed of the flock. I took two staffs—naming one “Pleasant” and the other one “Union”

[Other translations suggest instead of ‘Pleasant’: Favour, Delight, Beauty or Grace]

Then I took the staff that I had named “Pleasant” and broke it, showing I was annulling the covenant that I had made with all of the people.

Then I broke my second staff – the one I had named “Union” – breaking the union between the house of Judah and the house of Israel. I am now raising up a shepherd in the land who will neither search for the lost, nor care for the young, nor fix the broken, nor sustain the healthy. Instead, he will devour the meat of the best of the sheep, tearing off their hoofs.”

Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock!” (From Zechariah 11:6 to the end)

The Lord allows us to live by the decisions we have made, and that includes allowing the consequences of our waywardness to come upon us. There are two unions at stake so far as the British Isles are concerned – the one with Europe, and that within our own borders. Whilst I do not want to overstretch the point, I was struck to read the Orthodox Jewish Bible rendering of verse 10 which speaks off  ‘. . . breaking off my Brit (covenant) which I had made with kol ha’amim (all the peoples).’ (Zech. 11:10 OJB) As I say, stretching a point perhaps, but nonetheless a rallying call to pray into the future of the UK.

Leaders of nations

How does what is happening in Britain relate to the Lord’s desire to see His Kingdom come on earth? We do not want to suggest that Britain is a special case, or that God answers the prayers of British Christians differently to, say, those of Chinese or Indian believers who have likewise sought to see Him working in their nations – often with far more passion than in our own country. As Tréva Solanki put it, ‘God is in the appointment of ALL leaders, in the sense that all power and authority belong to Him – but it is down to the individual how they exercise it’ – perhaps especially in a country that has long seen itself as a ‘Christian’ nation.

If we believe that the Lord is the Lord of the nations then it is not unreasonable to consider the possibility that, as some prophets have suggested, He appointed Boris Johnson to this post for this time. After all, He raised up some pretty unlikely (and even unsavoury) people to be rulers of the nation during the days of the Judges, including Samson – a deeply flawed character. We do not have to look far to see the flaws in our own leaders today. The question is, have we, as a nation, driven ourselves into a ditch we cannot get out of?

Curiously enough, about an hour before the Supreme Court’s decision, Tim and Barbie Finch came across someone who really had ‘driven into a ditch’. Remarkably, the man emerged shaken but otherwise uninjured from his car – and seemed in no further need of help – he was about to get into a friends car to drive away!

A few minutes later, Justin also got in touch. He has two pet tortoises who have, for many years, spent their summers in their garden. Justin wrote that, for the first time ever, a fox had got in and taken one of them. The family were very upset but were then amazed to see that the fox had abandoned the tortoise (they are well armoured!) and he was plodding his way home, shaken but, like the man in the ditch, apparently uninjured.

Are these incidents simple curiosities, or genuine signs and symbols? Back in July, Veronika West posted a dynamic dream and prophecy she had had in which she spoke of a four-month period of great frenzy during which there would be intense opposition to Boris Johnson.

There will be those who will relentlessly oppose [Boris] both to the right and to the left.  Many will work tirelessly to cause great embarrassment for Prime Minister Boris Johnson both in front of Her Majesty the Queen and the nation.

But watch! There will come a sudden and severe shift once again in the nation and the government where we will see the hand of God’s divine intervention moving on behalf of our nation and for Boris Johnson and his government.

I believe we will see Prime Minister Boris Johnson stand in a general election and the very fragile chair that he first sat upon will be replaced by the chair of Winston Churchill.

I believe he will sit upon this chair, “the chair of Churchill” for a short time as he serves our nation under the watchful eye and favourable hand of the King of Heaven and Her Majesty the Queen of England. (You will need to read the fuller version to grasp all the nuances here.)

We can be sure that the Lord wants us to understand how to pray in these times. Veronika herself writes, ‘Please pray and weigh this word seriously and soberly before God.’ Whatever our standpoint, we certainly must do this.

There are various ways to view such a prophecy: everything from viewing it as the deluded and sentimentalised view of someone who hopes that things will work out in such a way (‘against the odds’) to it being a genuine word from the Lord – in which case we should respond to it prayerfully.

There are really good believing people on either side of the divide, which makes it all but inevitable that when we come across verses such as Jeremiah 21:12 entirely different interpretations will come to mind depending on which ‘end of the spectrum’ we place ourselves on. But we can all unite together in prayer despite that and say with the Lord:

This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:
‘“Administer justice every morning;
rescue from the hand of the oppressor
the one who has been robbed,
or My wrath will break out and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done.”’

A Divide and conquer Strategy.

Watching recent scenes in the Commons, prompted Tim Finch to comment on how the enemy loves to force people into ‘repellent’ (like a magnet’s two poles) binary positions so that he can divide and conquer. We are hearing the clashing noise of division throughout our land: ‘Parliament vs The People,’ ‘Government vs Rebel Alliance’, ‘Establishment and Anti-Establishment’ and so on.

I have never seen such baying for the blood of a political leader before . . . nor such an ‘alliance’ amongst the parties against the PM, together with such intense bitterness. There is no question that Boris Johnson has missed opportunities to speak more empathetically. But it was still shocking to witness the behaviour of Parliament following the return of MPs to the House on Wednesday. There has been a huge decline in mutual respect, and this is being reflected in Parliament, and is bringing no blessing to the nation.

If it is true that the Lord has withdrawn His staying hand (His ‘glory’) from the Commons, (for the time being we trust!) then we should not be surprised at such scenes. The focus of much hatred is directed towards Boris Johnson himself, of course, but if, as many believers who support Leave suppose, he is in a Samson like position (i.e. that the Lord has chosen to use him in this season to outwork a kingdom of heaven perspective) then it would be no surprise to find demonic powers rallying against him, and throwing as many ‘aces’ down on the table as possible to try to ‘trump’ his endeavours to leave the EU. (although that word does have rather different connotations these days . . .)

How far we are from the kingdom of love! It is right to be concerned. Does the Lord not note all such attitudes and thunder His warning: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls: when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove.” (Proverbs 24:17-18)

It was frankly naive of Boris Johnson to compare himself with the Incredible Hulk throwing off the manacles of any laws he doesn’t like – and discourteous in the extreme to remove the whip from long serving Conservative MPs by text.  Unsurprisingly, he finds himself beset on every side. The key question now is whether Boris Johnson’s present plight represents ‘driving into a ditch’ but emerging relatively unscathed (as he has done so far, in terms of his poll ratings, at any rate).

It is highly likely that Boris foresaw such an eventuality as this, and, given the all but complete parliamentary stalemate, determined upon the policy of forcing people to make clear choices one way or the other. This, of course, does not appeal to those who prefer to seek conciliatory ways forward, but it is understandable given the state we have reached. [To refer for a moment back to Seller’s and Yateman’s classic spoof on British History ‘1066 and all that,’ would you have been a Cavalier (‘rong but romantic) or a Roundhead (right but repulsive)!?

We are in uncharted territory now that the Supreme Court has redefined the relationship between judiciary, legislature and government. In particular, the decision has plunged the monarch into precisely the sort of embarrassment it has worked so studiously to avoid.

Sir John Major’s fear is that Boris will try to execute a so-called “Order of Council” to avoid implementing the legislation until after 31 October through the Privy Council, meaning that Parliament would not be able to block it. On the evidence of the Supreme Court having intervened once, however, to ensure that he does not succeed in thwarting and circumnavigating the will of Parliament, it seems highly unlikely that he would be able to get away with that.

Picturing Boris as the captain of a ship, Linda Entwistle sees him as no longer being a ‘sailing’ boat carrying many passengers but rather as a speedboat holding only him and a (relative) handful of others. As he pilots the craft, Boris appears oblivious to what has happened to his passengers, because, like James Bond, he is racing through high seas towards an impossible gap. He has only one goal in mind – to get through it.

The Prime Minister’s strategy appears to involve suggesting that the division in the country is between the Establishment, of which the Supreme Court is part, and the people; and making the assumption that he is on the side of the people. Remainers, of course, claim that it is they who are representing the people, and that the PM is showing all the characteristics of an irresponsible despot or tyrant. Everything depends on your perspective.

From a strategic point of view, Boris Johnson may consider it reasonable to fuel public anger against the Commons, since they are the perceived obstacle to permitting Brexit to unfold. But even this can never be an excuse for inflammatory language, and his signal failure to empathise with the death threats against certain opposition MPs it is stirring up and unleashing dangerous passions that are bringing out the very worst in people.

No wonder that all 118 members of the College of bishops of the Church of England have combined to denounce the toxicity of the language. It is rare to find the Church so united on anything!

Many of us were very aware that the chief effect of recalling Parliament at this time would be to turn it into a verbal bear pit. (And there are many bears there too!) We may not be quite in the domain of some of the uncouth language that the present President of the United States has used (which led the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church to release this condemnation, but we have strayed way beyond what is acceptable.

Lord have mercy! Protect all those who You can yet use to shape our nation along truer, better lines. Pray for Christian MPs and others who work in the parliamentary complex. What must it be like for them? Righteousness and justice are still the foundation of God’s throne. (Ps. 97:2) You are righteous with respect to all the deeds which You have done (Dan. 9:14), as Daniel declared, as he repented on behalf of the Jews in exile. We long for Your truth, righteousness and humility, Lord. We do not want not to take sides, but only to be on Your side.

We need to be aware that the enemy of our souls is unlikely to miss this opportunity to sweep in with demonic power on the back of all the anger, and to inflict real damage.

Rather than just ‘addressing the troubles,’ however, let’s be very sure to declare the righteousness of God and raise our voices in praise of Him, ‘for God is King of all the earth; sing profound praises to Him.’ (Ps. 47:7 BSB) in the midst of all this acrimony, may we be a sweet sweet sound in Your ears.

Lord, as we seek You in worship, we plead with You to create clean hearts and to put a right spirit within us. As Prince of Peace we petition You to overthrow the intentions of the massed forces of hell for the future of our country! (Ps. 51:10)

Remember the real High Court – Sôdh – where the decisions that affect events on Earth are made

Unlike the English High Court with its long history, the Supreme Court of the UK was formed as recently as 2009. But what is the authority even of our ancient parliament, or of the ancient Witan of the Anglo Saxons, compared with that of the High Court of Heaven? It is only from time to time in Scripture that we catch glimpses of this heavenly court, but it is more than enough to remind us that it is real, and that its verdicts cannot be bypassed or repealed.

The Hebrew word used for ‘council’ is a gem, sôdh, and refers both to the ultimate court in the universe and to the Lord’s counsel (Dan. 7:10). There is a suggestion here of a circle of friends discussing matters and determining policy.

This is where judgements are made and executed, and mercy released. In 1 Kings 22, and in particular from verse 19 onward, we are privileged to have a revealing glimpse of the work of God’s sôdh at work through the experience of the prophet Micaiah. By human standards, how utterly unexpected the Lord’s decisions can be – to say nothing of His ways and means! Why should we expect the God who made the intensely hot starry elements be naively sentimental, or flinch from making radical decisions?

We read in Psalm 25:14 that the ‘secret counsel of the LORD is with those who fear Him’, and that He ‘reveals the secrets of His promises to them’. (TLB) Jeremiah was such a man, and the Lord shared with him His sorrow that no one had come to stand ‘in the council of the LORD, to see and hear His word.’ (Jer. 23:18) May we who love Him come and stand before Him to watch and listen too. Sôdh is also used in Hebrew to describe an ‘assembly.’ May there be many powerful gatherings and assemblies (sôdh) to pray, whose voice will be heard in the courts (also sôdh) of the Lord! Churches in many regions are certainly reporting a rise of prayer as a result of the political deadlock.

The better we know and understand the One who sits on the throne, the more confidence we can have that we are equipped and able to partner with Him in outworking the establishment of His Kingdom on earth, and to receive the help of the angelic servants He commissions to send Heavenly help when it is most needed in order to bring about His will. (2 Chron. 18:18)

Yes, Lord, may we be amongst those who seek Your face with faith and urgency, and who turn from any disobedient way. (2 Chron. 7:14)

Keep our prayers focussed and to the point!

I am reminded that when the Jewish nation faced immense ‘constitutional’ and indeed existential threats in Scripture, the true prophets of God somehow managed to maintain the perspective of the sovereignty of God in short clear prayers that land a heavy punch!

Let’s not lose the perspective that the decrees of His court are righteous, decisive and absolute, whatever the shambles of our own government. He says, “if at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, but if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.” (Jer. 18:7) [See also 2 Chronicles 20:6-13.] Pray that the decisions of Parliament will fully align with those of the Lord’s sôdh.

Many are seeking God’s will and intervention earnestly; let there be a true and powerful answering touch from Heaven, Lord, that brings about that which is most pleasing in Your sight!

1 Comment

  1. Chris Riches

    Dear Robert,Many thanks for your erudite and helpful info andc insights concerning the weeks events in Parliament & Uk.About the 4.30am clap of thunder over Malvern and surrounding area, I was surprised today to review the evening CHS meditation for that day as including his thought that “a few claps of thunder would do us all  good”. Full text attached.

     Have you come across the Prophet Sadhu Sundar Salvarij who has recently held a conference in Berlin?What he brings to the table to warn the nations God takes him to, are preparations of prayer and life style changes for believers to prepare for what is to come, another Reformation, before the Lord returns.The teaching you posted this week about the Counsels of Heaven, he also teaches, and believes that it is the will of God for the  UK to be out of Europe, which will result in blessing for the UK and Europe.Not sure if he has yet been invited to speak in the UK or is already here?I have passed the Maschal on to others.Very many thanks for putting it together do faithfully.I appreciate your labour of love, and sure the Lord also must be at your fulfilling you Watchman calling.Shabbat ShalomChris.  

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