May 12, 2007

Gifts at Close of Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 10:36 am


The first quote above comes from a Quaker blog, EarthWitness Journal, maintained by my friend Marshall Massey, who was among other things co-founder of Quaker Earthcare Witness, the North American Quaker environmental organization. The second is from Rick Joyner’s book, The Harvest.

On the face of it, the two quotes are describing similar phenomena, and express a similar hope: as catastrophe approaches, extraordinary gifts may become available to us, and extraordinary actions may be possible.

I suspect that’s where the similarity ends.


I think the Quakers with ecological concerns view the gifts that might, in a religious view, accompany times of great tribulation (with g and t in lower case) as being of a pacific and quietly joyous nature, unlikely to include acts of violence, likely on the contrary to emphasize acts of compassion across all racial, social, political, religious and other lines.

The tone of Joyner’s expected revival, on the other hand, whether in preparation for or response to the Great Tribulation (G and T in upper case), is one of strident militancy.

The following two extracts from Todd Bentley’s Journey Miraculous: The End Time Healing revival will give you a flavor of the whole “Joel’s Army” concept:

As I climbed to the mountaintop I encountered Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His face was stern and set like chiseled stone. There was fire in His eyes. His grizzly beard and hair was silver-white like wool. I saw His breastplate with the imprint of a golden eagle on the front. He was so muscular; the breastplate took on the ripples of his mighty chest. His biceps were huge, like the size of my head; He had massive forearms and huge hands. Jesus was the mighty warrior God. He towered over me, three to four times my height – He was so tall that He had to bend down on one knee to communicate. Jesus’ sword and shield lay beside Him and without actual words being spoken I suddenly received this revelation…


I remembered how God would come down and visit Moses in the stormy tempest (Ex. 19:16-25). In the vision I saw other men and women on the mountain resting and refreshing themselves around campfires. They anointed their shields and swords for battle. The Lord said, “I have a hidden, secret army around the earth that I will enlist and uncover at My time. They are hidden away in the secret prayer closets, a generation of nameless, faceless nobodies. In My time, even in a day, I will uncover a new breed of apostles, pastors, prophets and teachers — a new breed of ministry. You are one of many first fruits of an entire army that I am equipping in these days.

Consider also the Phineas reference, in light not only of Numbers 25 but also of Hoskins’ use of the story as a metaphor and rationale for terrorist hate crimes in his Vigilantes of Christendom: The story of the Phineas Priesthood. Please note that I am not suggesting that Joyner is a racist or supporter of Hoskins’ Identity views, simply that the Phineas metaphor is a contested one with some severely problematic contemporary uses, and perhaps a less than wise one to use under present circumstances.


In the “Quakers and Gifts” and “Joel’s Army” quotes I have juxtaposed above, I believe we see the same concern and hope, diffracted in two very different ways: by love, I suspect, and by fear.



  1. Hi, Charles! Thanks for letting me know about your citation from my earthwitness journal.

    You left out an important part of John Edminister’s letter in your posting. So I’d like to point out that, right after John asked, “What would those spiritual gifts be? I couldn’t imagine,” he responded to his own question as follows: “…I could start to imagine what we might need…: Peacemakers. Healers. Warners. Relief workers. Hearers of confessions. False prophets would predictably abound, and we’d surely need true ones to offer clarity.

    We might need martyrs to model steadfastness as our more fearful and famine-driven neighbors stressed and tempted us….

    This is not the language of a potentially violent movement, is it? I don’t think it is.

    Early Friends (Quakers) spoke of their work as being “The Lamb’s War”. Despite the use of the word “War”, this was not a violent image, for the Lamb referred to was Christ, who overcame evil while not resisting it — as in his yielding himself up to be crucified — and a soldier in the Lamb’s War was one who worked toward Christ’s own goals by Christ’s own nonviolent, nonresistant methods. My personal feeling is that Friend John Edminister wrote his letter in that peaceable spirit.

    Comment by Marshall Massey — May 13, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  2. Well, this is an interesting interplay of ripples in the mind-pond! And the first time I’ve ever been shown an image of my Lord Jesus with rippling chest muscles and biceps the size of a human head! Thank you, Marshall, for posting my thoughts on the spiritual gifts that a righting of the Great Wrong, or the Great Imbalance (my terms for it) might call for. You’re right, I was not thinking of modern-day Phinehases. I emphatically discourage Phinehas fantasies. They are the kinds of unloving “imaginations” that Christians ought to make it their business to cast down (2 Cor. 10:5). I also discourage second-guessing God’s plans for correcting humanity’s severely stressed relations with the earth and her other creatures. We don’t know that God intends shortly to trash the whole planet after catching the “good guys” up into the air (and by the way, John’s advice that we ought to lay down our lives for one another, 1 John 3:16, not to mention Jesus’ own example of dying for sinners, would make me feel quite ashamed of gloating that I got caught up into the air while the other poor slobs got the Tribulation) – and neither do we know that God is going to allow things to go on as they are, with normal human niceness, democratic process and the free play of the market being sufficient to clean up our mess for us. Not knowing what God intends, knowing that we can’t possibly second-guess the Only All-knowing One, the only appropriate thing we can do is continue to listen closely for our Shepherd’s voice, and check out our discernment with the wiser sheep we find around us.

    Comment by John Edminster — August 27, 2007 @ 6:01 am

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