In these last days the Lord Jesus is raising up a strong, overcoming and victorious church. Through tribulation, opposition, ridicule and persecution, the church is being shaped and refined to the beautiful bride of Christ.
One night, a number of years ago, I had a sense that God wanted to reveal himself to me in some way. As I looked up into the sky I saw the face of Jesus perfectly formed as the Lion of Judah. He was strong, noble and victorious – the King of Kings. The strength and majesty of his face was overwhelming and transfixing. Then, as I looked, the face changed to that of a man, so badly beaten and abused that it was hardly recognisable as a man. Jesus’ face was as if it might have been on the cross. I remembered the words of Isaiah who said that his face was more marred than that of any man – all swollen and bleeding. And in the midst of his suffering, I saw Jesus’ eyes sad but full of compassion and filled with sheer love. The exact same vision was confirmed two times later in a dream.
Later, as I was thinking about the meaning of the vision, my attention was drawn to Revelation 5, where Jesus is portrayed as the Lion of Judah who has prevailed, and, in the same context, is also revealed as the Lamb, having been slain.
Remember, Jesus had to first suffer on our behalf because of our sins before he could enter into his glory.We know that because Jesus suffered the shameful death on the cross, God highly exalted him and gave him the Name above all names. The Suffering Servant became the King of Kings and the Lord of glory. We also know that Jesus is coming back again soon, and he will come as the glorious Lord of the church and the righteous Judge of the nations.
The Lion of Judah
Drawing from these biblical insights, I was able to interpret and seek to apply the meaning of the vision. I believe it is a message to the church of Jesus. It is a message of encouragement giving us hope and confidence in these days. Jesus, the original and true Lion King, is our great messianic ruler and Lord over every circumstance and situation in our lives. The Lion of Judah is watching over you! Nothing has happened to you, or will ever happen to you without the loving provision and permission of God in your life.
Because Jesus is the Lion of Judah, he can break every chain in your circumstances and set you free. He has reversed the curse over you and has brought you into the full blessing of God. He has already fought the great cosmic battle for the souls of humanity and has prevailed over sin, death and the grave. He has totally conquered Satan and all the forces of evil and, the devil is defeated, destroyed, driven out and disarmed. Jesus Christ is Lord!
The Lamb of God
The second part of the vision was of Jesus as he might have looked on the cross – beaten and marred. I saw his suffering for our sins, but also sadness over his people who do not forsake the very sins that put him on the cross. He is longing for his people to turn away from their sins and to draw close to him once more. As we centre our hearts on the cross, we find it has a supernaturally magnetic pull, a strange spiritual attraction.
The Holy Spirit is lifting up the cross before our hearts and minds.When we focus on the Christ of Calvary, the sacrifice of Jesus, everything else seems of secondary importance. Our lives are reset on their true course and direction. Priorities become clear and our real purpose emerges. The Lamb of God is calling us back to himself
Let the lion roar
The tenderness of the Holy Spirit through the person of Jesus is extended towards God’s people in this season of grace. He calls us back to his heart so that, out of love, we may live for him in all righteousness, holiness and truth. And as we heed the call of the Holy Spirit in this hour, God gives another opportunity for the church of Jesus Christ in Britain and in Europe to rise up in the strength and power of the Lion of Judah. And, in that strength we can and will prevail upon the earth against all the forces of darkness. The Holy Spirit says, “Turn to me and I will vindicate you.”
Jesus wants to work through the saints in signs and wonders and in works of deliverance.We have yet to see the thunder of his power that he wants to display amongst his people in this hour.
Jesus says, “My children draw close to me, leave aside those distractions that have begun to creep in and have made your heart cold – the things that have taken your eyes away from who I Am. Put your eyes back on me. I want to do something new and special. I want your attention. I want you to focus on me because I’m about to reveal myself through you in a new way.”
The Lord Jesus wants to reveal himself through the church as the Lion of Judah. And when the Lion of Judah roars, Satan trembles! Hell’s foundations are shaken and the power of God is released. We are not here to please people, but to please God. The church’s finest hour is yet to be and God’s power will be manifested in unprecedented ways in our nations.When the lion roars, he will sound with such thunderous power that the nations that have already been shaken by the gospel can yet still be shaken again.We live in a generation of people who do not know God but it is still a generation for whom the blood of Jesus was shed. God longs to pour out his power on the proclaimed message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with signs and wonders and miracles and through powerful prophetic demonstrations of his glory. The church of Jesus Christ is going to be seen in this nation and across Europe.
Holy Spirit is saying, “Turn from your sins my people. Turn away from your wicked ways and then I will show myself mighty to save and deliver.”This is a new day bringing a new opportunity for the church to rise and conquer through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.We have fought battles in the past and frustratingly we have lost ground and don’t seem to be winning through, but in this new day, we will rise again and we will begin to conquer where before there was defeat, and we will begin to make effective what was previously ineffective. God wants to turn up the dial of his power! It’s as if he has drawn a line in the sand and says, “Don’t look back to what was, look to what is and is yet to come.”Stepping over the line we will find ourselves in new territory – a new season of occupation, a new place in the Spirit and a new standing in the things of God. “Do not consider the former things,”says the Lord, “Behold, I do a new thing.” Begin a new day and a new chapter in your life! In these last days it shall become very clear who is a disciple of Jesus and who is not. A true follower of Jesus does not just profess Christ, but is loyal, trustworthy and obedient to the voice of the Spirit.
God is giving the church in Europe and in the rest of the World a new opportunity to rise up and conquer through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.”We thank God for the cross. It’s there that we find healing and renewal. The cross removes blame. It does not enforce wrath and judgement, but does the very opposite. He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west and as we respond to that love, and surrender to him afresh, we are going to be amazed at the strength and power that’s going to come into our lives.
When the Lion of Judah roars there is a release of power and authority in the church.We’re going to hear the roar of the lion coming out of the church of Jesus Christ. God is going to raise the church as a powerful prophetic voice and we’re going to roar with the roar of the Lion of Judah. There’s going to come such an amazing release of victorious praise – watch for it you singers, musicians and songwriters! As you tune in to the things of the Spirit you are going to hear the lion’s roar and a new song is going to be released, with a new sound in which the lion’s roar is going to be heard through praise and it will have a totally different effect on the people of God. It’s going to bring the fear of the Lord; it’s going to strike terror into the hearts of our enemies. For the Lion of Judah is going to roar throughout the church.
God is going to draw outrageous sinners to himself and they are going to come weeping and crying. He’s going to sweep through the Muslim community with the revelation of the crucified Christ. He’s going to show himself supernaturally and he’s going to confirm his word miraculously. If God is for us then who can be against us?
The voice of the lion is going to be heard through a generation of preachers who will preach the word of God and roar from heaven with the anointed authority of God.We’re going to hear the lion roar through a generation of able witnesses – ordinary people who simply say, “Once I was blind, but now I can see; once I was lost and now I am found.”And God is going to speak through these witnesses. Then we’re going to hear the lion roar in spiritual warfare – real spiritual warfare which is the effective overcoming of evil in the name of Jesus by being salt and light in our society. We will herald a change in the spiritual atmosphere because a new day has come and it is an opportunity for the Servant King to reveal himself to us all.
Below, an article I read on the Christian Post, reminding us how much the Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has remained for supporters a shining example of a faith-filled Christian standing firm in the face of persecution.
According to Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Nadarkhani exemplifies a true Christian who is willing to sacrifice everything in this life on earth for his faith.
Nadarkhani, a married father of two, was arrested in Oct. 2009 for protesting the mandatory teaching of Islam at his children’s schools. He was then charged with apostasy and attempting to evangelize Muslims, charges for which an execution order was issued in Feb. 2012. He currently remains in Iranian prison awaiting further news on his execution order. Sekulow and the nonprofit ACLJ have been closely monitoring the evangelical pastor’s case.
The Iranian courts have asked Nadarkhani to recant his Christian faith in exchange for freedom numerous times. Each time, he has refused.
“The human response is any time we are in peril, is to save our human lives, rather than to think about our spiritual life,” Sekulow told The Christian Post. “[Nadarkhani] was given these opportunities to walk free from jail and renounce his faith. He was given three opportunities and he didn’t do so, that’s the example we hope to follow.”
“We hope that our faith remains strong and doesn’t waver, but in reality we know that is very difficult. I think that’s what highlights the story of Youcef Nadarkhani,” Sekulow added.
While the Scriptures perpetually teach about the trials and tribulations of the persecuted, Nadarkhani is a real-life example, said the attorney, noting that persecution is the core of the Gospel.
Below you can watch this video about Youcef Nadarkhani’s story: