After receiving the vision, I prayed and contemplated it in an effort to understand what God was communicating to me. I regard prophecy and the use of prophetic gifts as something to not take lightly. Those of us called to this sort of ministry have a huge burden of responsibility to always communicate what we are receiving from God as accurately as possible. I take this commission to which I was unmistakably called very seriously and am very careful in my observations and interpretations. So, what I present here is what I have become confident of over time. However, there may be areas which I do not understand yet. I will try do my best to be clear where these areas may be, as well as where I am stating my own opinion. These interpretations are by no means the last word on the matter, and I confess that I am a fallible vessel, and take responsibility for what I am communicating as well as correction from God as things continue to unfold.
Behold The Fig Tree
I initially wrote out this vision in order to record what I had seen as well as to open my heart and mind to whatever God wanted to communicate to me in regard to it at this time. While doing so, the phrase, “Watch the fig tree” kept intruding on my thoughts. As I went to look up the passage in John about the True Vine, I actually stumbled onto one of the passages in the gospels which uses the fig tree analogy. As I perused through the gospels I came upon this same passage in all but one of them. The previous persistent phrase running through my mind added to this passage popping up over and over again caused me to stop and take special notice. The fig tree passage which I am referring to occurs within Jesus' prophetic teachings concerning the end of the age. I had already been getting intuitive hunches that the pillar and vine vision had something to do with end times events. The passage being referred to is as follows:
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.”
This same passage also appears in Mark 13:28-29, and Luke 21:29-31 with only slight variations.
Interpretation Of The Vision
I now offer my conclusions regarding this vision, which, after careful consideration I believe to have been shared with me through the Holy Spirit:
The pillar is the Church as an institution. I believe it generally applies to Western Christianity, any and all denominations. The earthquake represents an event, sometime in the future, which I sense is not too far away. This event will shake the Church, exposing its weaknesses, and almost toppling it. The perception of the pillar as part of a larger civilization leads me to conclude that this event will also affect the surrounding society in a major way. The Church, as an institution, will survive this, but only structurally. It will be useful as a framework, but will lose its effectiveness as an organized ministry, and stand as an aged structure of the past. It reminds me of the old biblical illustration of the old wineskin which is unable to hold new wine. God's Spirit will be withdrawn from the Church as we now know it, but as it cannot be conquered, will reside mainly in a new “grassroots” sort of movement which will consist of a gathered remnant of true and committed followers of Jesus. These followers will be equipped to undertake the new work that the Trinity is about to do upon the Earth. The still standing institutional Church will be useful as a framework or support around which this work will grow over a period of time.
I have been sensing in my spirit for many months now, a quickening urgency that the time of the budding fig tree is upon us. The scenario for the coming tribulation has been set in motion and the pieces are being moved into place on the world chessboard. Satan and his minions have been loosed everywhere as never before and the events spoken of in the book of Revelation and others must be played out.
The Sleeping Church
What this means regarding the majority of the Church currently is that that they are largely asleep and blind to much of what is going on all around them, and are missing crucial signs and warnings. Most are like the foolish virgins spoken of in Jesus' parable, (see Matthew 25:1-13) who are not getting their supply of oil for their lamps together to get them through the coming darkness. They will be caught completely by surprise and be so unprepared and confounded by the events taking place that some will fall under the Great Deception, and some will be rendered ineffective against it for lack of education and understanding. (see 2 Thessalonians chap. 2)
The Gathering Remnant
There is hope in all of this, however. There are those believers, scattered all around at present, who are awakening; and who are seeing the signs and discerning the imminent implications of the events of our day. They are the ones who are gathering their oil in preparation for the coming darkness. This is being done through education, investigation, and analysis of the many odd and disturbing things occurring today. They are the ones who will come together in Christ before, during, and following the calamity, and will be prepared to undertake the new work that the Trinity will be doing. The nature of the calamity and resulting climate will require the way Christianity is now commonly practiced to change if it is to survive.
A Strategy For Today
It is my opinion that the strategy at this point needs to be to boldly educate widely about the events occurring around us, and a growing number of people here and there will begin and continue to awaken. I do not believe that this awakening will often, if ever, overtake entire Church bodies or take the form of any organized “ministry”, but will happen in discussions within small groups within and around churches, and possibly other venues as well.
In the next segment of this series I will share some interesting findings which bring a fuller understanding to the symbols in the vision, and what this movement will be like.
Ride The Vine.......
Links to the rest of the Ride The Vine series:
Part I: Riding The Vine
Part III: The Symbolic Snapshot
Part IV: The Rise of the Greatest Evil
Part V: As In The Days of Noah