After receiving and recording this vision, I did some online research concerning its two main symbols, the pillar and the vine. The intriguing information which I found adds meaning and depth to this message.
The pillar which I saw in the vision was what is known as a Corinthian column. It was fluted and had an elaborate capital. Interestingly, this type of column was mainly used in Roman architecture. What this says symbolically, coincides with my original interpretation of the column representing Western Christianity.
All Western Christianity is descended from Roman Catholicism. Many traditions and doctrinal beliefs of Catholicism were still retained by Protestants after the Reformation. Some of these beliefs include: the celebration of Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, the doctrine of original sin, the subordinate position of women in church leadership, and the dichotomous view of the things of this world being divided into one of two categories, either sacred or secular, just to name a few. This is NOT to say that Roman Catholicism is the “one true church”, but only to say that all of Western Christianity is descended from and still connected to in many ways, the Roman Church. A study of Celtic Christianity reveals the views of the Roman Church as differing in many ways from the early Christianity of the British Isles. Christianity there developed separately from Roman Christianity, especially after the fall of the Roman Empire. This was especially pronounced in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, which were never occupied by the Romans. But this is an interesting and enlightening diversion that deserves its own discussion which I may tackle in the future.
Before describing the different characteristics of the vine, let me amend that description slightly. Actually, as I revisited what I saw as I was doing research on vines, I realized that what I had actually seen in the vision was a kind of ivy, specifically of a type called English Ivy (Hedera helix).
A look at the characteristics and history surrounding this common plant, gives a good picture of what this new movement within Christianity might look like.
It is an evergreen plant with the ability to grow in the shade.
It grows well in areas where nothing else does.
It is a good ground cover which crowds out weeds.
It is a climbing plant, conforming to objects around which it climbs.
It is aggressive, invasive, and non-native to the New World.
It has no natural (environmental/biologic) controls.
It has rapid growth and low cultivation requirements.
In ancient times, it was associated with the Egyptian god Osiris, whose role was as judge of souls entering the afterlife. He is depicted holding an ivy covered staff. Ivy in this context represented life, death, and renewal.
In ancient Greece, an ivy crown was awarded for athletic achievement. This is probably what the Apostle Paul was referring to when he said that if we ran the “race” we would not receive a corruptible crown, but an eternal, incorruptible one. (1 Corinthians 9:25)
In the Middle Ages, ivy was believed to have the power to reveal witches and the use of ivy covered crosses for this purpose was common.
In the Victorian Era, ivy was a common decorative plant and was also carried in bride's bouquets as it symbolized fidelity.
Ivy has long been a symbol of eternal life across cultures.
In America, ivy has become a symbol of higher learning, as in the prestigious universities considered “Ivy League”.
From this information, we can get a pretty clear picture of what this new move of the Trinity will be like. It will be a movement that will start and grow by the power of the Holy Spirit, primarily, and not by human effort. It will be aggressive and invasive through society, needing little outside support. It will flourish in cultural and subcultural areas where traditional Christianity has failed to make a significant impact. Nothing will be able to conquer it. The dynamic Spirit led nature of it will crowd out the “weeds”, represented in the bible as infiltrators into His community as the agents of Satan. (See the parable of the wheat and the weeds: Matthew 13:24-30) It will meet people at the point of their need and understanding, conforming to them instead of forcing them to conform to a human version of Christian observance or culture. It will grow and flourish through all “seasons”, and through dark times.
I find it significant that ivy is associated with Osiris as the judge of the dead. It is no accident that God chooses this plant prophetically. He is saying that he is the One true God and judge of the living and the dead. As ivy is symbolic of eternal life, renewal, and fidelity, so these are all characteristics of our relationship with God through Christ Jesus. If ivy is considered to possess power over secret dark forces, so through the Holy Spirit's enabling, can we. Just as athletes of old received ivy crowns as awards, so we will also win an eternal “crown” if we commit to fight for the cause of Christ in a dark world. Last, but not least, as ivy symbolizes scholarship, the Trinity are the ultimate teachers of truth and wisdom, guiding us into all knowledge.
An Important Clarification
I was raised in a gnostic, pagan cult who taught us throughout our lives that Christianity was destined to fall and be replaced with the true version of Christianity which has been suppressed by powerful Church politics over the centuries. They look to a time in the very near future where a rightful king will ascend over all, and correct the lies of Christian doctrine, freeing people to move into a New Age of enlightenment and evolution.
I want to make it quite clear that the prophetic vision brought before you and its interpretation have nothing to do with these teachings. This is not a prophecy in accordance with this view of the future, nor in agreement with gnostic teachings. The new movement of God through Jesus will be a move more to back to the basic, orthodox teachings and their applications as described throughout the scriptures, specifically the New Testament. It will probably be closely patterned after the church as described in the book of Acts, and also what is known of the practices of first century Christians. These Christians met in small groups, mostly within homes. Their worship and teaching was more participatory in nature, in contrast to the modern practice of “spectator” Christian worship gatherings. They also had all possessions in common, giving of their abilities and resources to the group, and providing for group members who could not provide for themselves. They incorporated beliefs in a very real spiritual realm populated by Celestial beings and demons, and the practice of spiritual warfare against these “spiritual forces of evil”. (see Ephesians 6:10-18) All of these characteristics will be necessary for the survival of Jesus' Church after the kind of calamity and ensuing Great Deception, which is coming.
In the next installment of this series, I will be offering my conclusions regarding the nature of this coming Great Deception, as well as discussing key events which I believe make this generation unique; pointing to the probability that we are indeed living in the last days, the time of the budding fig tree.
Until then my friends,
Ride The Vine.........
Links to the rest of the Ride The Vine series:
Part I: Riding The Vine
Part II: The Signs Of The Times
Part IV: The Rise Of The Greatest Evil
Part V: As In The Days Of Noah