A Prophetic Impression of the Church at Middle Mountain

mount_everest_by_kerem_barut

Sometime in 2005/06, I received an impression whilst reading a particular verse. I have chosen to call it an impression because it wasn’t exactly a vision. Today, this impression is still as vivid in my heart as when I first received it. Although I have shared this at different points of my ministry, I have never felt the need to post it on my blog. But this morning, after reading the post, “A Prophetic Vision of Two Rivers and a Strong Warning” by Josh Fontaine on charisma.com, I feel the time is right to release this…

“My people have been lost sheep,
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains,
They have gone from mountain to hill:
They have forgotten their resting place.”
Jeremiah 50:6

As I read this verse, my mind strayed to a scene much like the Swiss Alps – a breathtaking backdrop of beautiful snow capped mountains. Then, I saw many coaches approaching. As these drew closer, I recognised them as tour buses. These stopped at the foot of the mountain and tourists streamed out, chatting, laughing and full of excitement. The tour leaders waved their flags and group by group, these entered the cable cars. One by one, the packed cable cars made their ascent up the mountain.

Halfway up, the cable cars stopped, and once again, the tourists streamed out. They gasp at the sight and immediately dashed to pose for photos, to buy souvenirs, to collect postcards, and to enjoy steaming hotdogs and cups of delicious hot coffee in the crisp mountain air. The entire place was abuzz with activity, with chatter and laughter. Everyone was having a great time! And almost too soon, and too suddenly, the tour leaders waved their flags once more, the crowds packed the cable cars, went downhill, loaded up on the buses and off they went. And the mountain was quiet once more … until the next group of tourists arrived.

The entire scene happened so fast that I found myself asking, “What was all that about?” And I felt the Spirit whisper, “That’s church.”

“Week after week,” the Lord continued, “My people gather. There is lots of excitement and much activity. They talk, they laugh, and they have fun with one another. And then, as quickly as they came, they are gone. Yes, they had great fellowship and fun, nice photos, stories to tell, and beautiful postcards of mountain tops. But the truth is, they only came up half the way. They were easily satisfied with the hills when there is so much more up the mountain.”

After nearly a decade of having received this impression, I am beginning to understand more critically its significance. More recently, with more experience and maturity, I read the chapter for its context. What I discovered surprised me.

Jeremiah 50 is not exactly a favourite passage for the average Christian. It is actually a pronouncement of judgment against Babylon. As such, it is tempting to speed-read through this passage for something else more inspiring and motivating. But contained within this judgment against the enemies of God’s people are verses specifically directed at God’s people!

Without doubt, God will judge the world’s Babylonian system and Babylon will fall. In the midst of that, the warning is for God’s people to be aware that many have bought into this system too. Instead of coming up to the mountain of the Lord, the Church is satisfied to camp at middle mountain. Interestingly, the Latin words for middle mountain are medius and ocris respectively; from which we get the English word, mediocre.

To be sure, it is not that churches are not active or busy. On the contrary, most churches in Singapore are jam-packed with programme upon programme. However, have we settled for a mediocrity when God is desiring to take us higher and to show us even more? Have we settled for busloads of tourist-like Christians and broad selections of ministry packages, mistaking these as indicators of healthy and vibrant churches? Sadly, so many only have ‘postcards’ of what the mountain tops look like but no personal experience of having gone there. Believers claim to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and yet so many simply do not know Him at all. We are happy to go where the cable cars take us, but not willing to endure the climb to the top. It’s too difficult, I suppose, too much effort.

What about the leaders? Unfortunately, some of us have been guilty of only looking at numbers and resources. We talk about discipleship but too few are discipling and being discipled. We talk about sending people out but get threatened when the same are not seen to be serving in church. We preach the kingdom of God but may be as guilty as the next for building and protecting our own. We point people to methods when we should be trekking with them, showing them the way up the mountain. But that takes too much time and energy, resources that have become scarce in the modern church. In the end, as long as the church machinery is maintained week after week, we are happy and satisfied.

Jer 50:7 goes on to say that “All who found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, because they have sinned against the Lord…” May the Lord help us discern and respond accordingly.

Although this impression was received many years ago, its significance has become clearer and even more urgent. This has given me more understanding too as to why the Lord led me to start Archippus Awakening and how its message of awakening must be declared boldly and without compromise. I am also reminded that it will not be easy because many will refuse to be convinced of their condition to be awakened. As Fontaine notes, “The part that stood out the most about this encounter with this man [eyes whited out and zombified] was the fact that he was utterly convinced he was alive. He couldn’t be convinced of his condition.” What is worse is that these may take offence and respond negatively or nastily. Hence, the Lord’s exhortation and permission for hard-headedness! (Ezekiel 3:8-11) [Read “When Is It Right To Be Hard-Headed?”]

I am praying for myself lest I miss the plank in my own eye for it is so easy to settle in a comfort zone and miss the “more” that God has for me. The Lord showed Fontaine the requirements to remain in the pure river that flows from His mountain. May the Lord enable me in these areas too as I submit myself wholly to His inspection and correction:

  • Only say what He says with no fear of man
  • Honor Him and love Him more than the praise of man
  • Abstain from sexual immorality
  • Never prostitute the gift He has given me for money
  • Stay humble
  • Always be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my children

I love the Church and its various local communities and I am praying for the Body of Jesus Christ. As you consider this verse again, and its prophetic significance, may the Lord also grant you the discernment and wisdom to know how you should respond:

“My people have been lost sheep,
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains,
They have gone from mountain to hill:
They have forgotten their resting place.”
Jeremiah 50:6

Henson Lim is the founder of Archippus Awakening, a fresh initiative birthed in Aug 2014 dedicated to the awakening of the saints to know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments. To know more about the message and heartbeat of Archippus Awakening, consider ordering the book, SAY TO ARCHIPPUS.

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One response to “A Prophetic Impression of the Church at Middle Mountain

  1. Hi Rev Henson, Thank you for sharing this Prophetic Impression. Indeed, this brings further revelation and confirmation to me from the postcard picture of a snow capped mountain which I picked during the ‘Finding Your Strengths’ session. Reason for my pick is to stay connected. Stay connected with God and with man. It is a connection with God up in the mountain that enable me to bring forth his radiant to man around me while at the same time, I enjoy the beauty of the land created by Him. So it is – God, man and land. The scripture which I used to meditate came back to me, Psalm 27 particularly verse 4. This draws the inner part of me towards God.

    As I was reading the paragraph on ‘Halfway up’, I was asking myself – why do the tourists descend half way? Why don’t they continue their journey up to the mountain top to enjoy the serenity and the beauty of the scenery? Didn’t they pay full fare for the whole journey? is so sweet to buzz in that beauty up the top of the mountain, why do they want to miss it?Only when I continued reading your article then I understood why the tourists stopped half way.

    Shalom! Josephine Sent from my iPhone

    >

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