Around mid-July, my wife and I separately felt a prompting from the Lord that we should go up to Muar House.
Muar House is the historic birthplace of the intercessory movement in Malaysia and Singapore in the 1960s.
We prayed and God confirmed the trip. So on Monday, 7th Aug 2017, we drove up.
Little did we expect the Lord would have a message for us to bring back to His church. This is an account of the events that happened.
– On 8th Aug (Singapore’s National Day eve), it was raining heavily at Muar. At about 2:50pm, there was a black out at the Prayer House (caused by a short circuit), followed by flooding at the Muar House. The last time it flooded was in 2014 (then 1997). So flooding at Muar House is rare, and there have been occasions where Muar is flooded but Muar House is not.
– The night before the flood, M’s great grand niece had a strange dream. (M is the caretaker of Muar House and she was also part of the intercessory team in the early days). She dreamt of M and the Muar House, and there was an earthquake! The scene then quickly changed to her and her family running for their lives. She was terrified! Just then, an angel suddenly appeared and caught her up to safety.
– This girl is only 7 years old and she probably does not have a concept of rapture. She does not attend Sunday school or services or any Christian meetings because of parental objection. However, she told me her heart is full of Jesus.
– This girl does not live at Muar House. Her mother brings her over occasionally. She hadn’t come at all the previous week, but on 8th August, her mum brought her there. So the little girl couldn’t contain her strange dream and shared it with M. Imagine the timing!
– At first, M didn’t take the dream seriously. Then the flood came. And as M surveyed the extent of the flood, she saw a snake right at the entrance of the Prayer House! It held its head upright, all ready to pounce. M tried to use a rake to crush its head but it escaped.
– My family and M ended up gathering at the Prayer House to pray (Singaporeans were gathering at Suntec City to pray that evening too). While praying, my wife heard ship’s horns sounding. She thought it might be from the ships at Muar Harbour. M said it was impossible to hear the ships as the harbour is too far from the house. We interpreted that as “the ship is moving.”
– What could God be saying to the Singapore Church?
Lightbearers: Repent and Shine
Singapore and Malaysia are intricately linked in our historical roots. Other than the prayer movement, Muar was also the last defended stronghold against the Japanese during World War II. When Muar fell, the Japs marched on almost unhindered into Singapore.
The timeliness of this encounter at Muar House is unfathomable, yet unsurprising. It is the message Voice of Wilderness has been trying to proclaim. Frankly, it is not the easiest message. Few people like warnings. Yet there has to be people to sound the call of urgency, of repentance, of alignment. “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near!” That was how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus to arrive as the Lamb. More so when He returns with a sword.
So don’t despise warnings. The nature of warnings is good. Warnings are biblical. God loves, so He warns.
The Bible is full of warnings. In the parable of the ten virgins (Mat 25:1-13), ALL the virgins went out to meet their bridegroom. All of them! But NOT ALL of them are prepared. We may ALL know that Christ is returning, but NOT ALL will be prepared.
When the bridegroom was delayed, ALL ten virgins got drowsy and fell asleep. All of them again! There comes a time when it’s night and we can’t work anymore. During that time, everyone will despair. Love will grow cold. Hearts will falter. Who can stand? Only the ones who are prepared with more oil. They have reserves. Oil is still burning in their lamps! There’s still light!
It’s the 11th hour! The players of Ezekiel 38 and 39 are in place and we are living right at the edge of the Armageddon showdown.
The 11th hour is a defining hour. The Bible describes that at the end of it, “the last will be first and the first will be last” (Mat 20:16, Mat 19:30). I believe this to be a time of sharpening such that those who are willing to answer His call will be enabled supernaturally to pierce into the darkness as His light.
On the other hand, those seasoned in ministry will need to reexamine our hearts and attitudes. Even the persevering church of Ephesus was warned by Christ for having forsaken their first love! (Rev 2:1-4) We need to repent and overcome – as per Christ’s warnings to the seven churches in Revelations.
For when the bridegroom arrives, even the virgins who were prepared, hardly have enough oil for themselves! (Mat 25:9) They are unable to help those who were unprepared. They themselves will feel like they are barely surviving. We will all be tested!
What foundations are we building our house upon? (Matt 7:24-27) Would we be one of those virgins who “went in with him to the marriage“? (Mat 25:10, KJV)
Consider Paul’s words regarding this,
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, IF, BY ANY MEANS, I may ATTAIN TO THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.“ – Phi 3:10-11. (emphasis mine)
Paul contended to be one with His Lord, not shying even from suffering and death, that he might ATTAIN TO BE AMONG THOSE RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD (Rev 20:6 terms this the “first resurrection”; ) at rapture (1 Thes 4:16-17 tells us first resurrection and rapture occur at the same event). If even Paul had not assumed to be automatically included among those in the first resurrection, I wouldn’t dare assert anybody, including myself, to be automatically included among those raptured.
Why did Paul strive so hard to ATTAIN TO THE RESURRECTION? Could it be these are the virgins who “went in with him to the marriage”? (Mat 25:10, KJV) In other words, this is the bride of Christ! And Paul strives to be!
Lighthouses: Turn on your Lights
The timing and manner at which the snake appeared at the doors of the Prayer House has great symbolism. The Prayer House is the most consecrated part of the whole Muar House. It represents the house of God. Snake often symbolises the devil. Remember the black out? The light of God’s house – the Church – has stopped shinning. Then, the flood came in. Water seeping into the house seems to signify that the foundation of the Church is being compromised. And the enemy awaits at the door, ready to ransack His people.
Water in the Prayer House
Prayer House corridor flooded
Many Christians have been taught erroneously that because we are Christians, by His grace, He will grant us salvation from all difficulties. No! Paul warns the church of how even Israel, whom we the gentile church has been grafted into, was rejected by God.
“Do not be arrogant, but be afraid, for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either.” Rom 11:20-21
Similarly, John the Baptist – called to prepare the way of Christ’s first coming – warns,
“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” – Luke 3:8-9
Jesus Himself said at the Sermon of the Mount,
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY he who DOES THE WILL of My Father in heaven.” – Mat 7:21 (emphasis mine)
So where have we failed? I believe it’s aplenty. But this is where I sensed is THE issue God wants highlighted.
M tried to crush the snake’s head but failed. She said it signifies that the enemy has been identified, yet the collective church is unable to overcome it. I believe the enemy will be allowed to test the church, because the church had compromised. (c.f. Judges 2:20-22)
The passage M perceives God to be speaking from is Isaiah 59. Isaiah 59:19 says,“When the enemy comes in like a flood..” Interestingly, Isaiah 59:5 mentions the viper too. The passage of Isaiah 59 would give us the clue to what’s wrong with us collectively.
In Isaiah 59, God’s people has lost His favour. He stopped responding because of our iniquities. What iniquities? The theme of justice and truth keeps repeating:
- v4 – “No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth”;
- v8 – “there is no justice in their ways”;
- v9 – “Therefore justice is far from us”;
- v11 – “We look for justice, but there is none”;
- v13 -15 – “In transgressing and lying.. uttering from the heart words of falsehood, Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. So truth fails.. there was no justice.”
The people of God are apathetic towards justice and lacking in love for truth. Instead, they became partakers of lies (v3- “Your lips have spoken lies”); partakers of murder (v3 – “your hands are defiled with blood”) and perversity (v3 – “your tongue has muttered perversity”).
I can’t help but relate these things to our time as well. Abortion. Morality. By our silence or apathy, we become complicit in supporting murder and perversion. And we are silent because we are apathetic towards truth and justice – the priorities of God’s kingdom. Landa Cope, Darrow Miller, Dutch Sheets, Myles Munroe etc, have all implied we have practiced a “reduced” gospel.
For example, when the Great Commission says, “make disciples of all nations.. teaching them to obey ALL that He has commanded us” – it is reductionistic to see “souls saving” as the end of church. Souls, when truly saved, is meant to be the means towards kingdom as the end.
And when Jesus taught, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” He is not expecting earth to be physically alike as heaven e.g. earth to be filled with gold-paved streets – if that’s what you imagine heaven to be like. Instead, He is calling for earth’s culture – a non-physical element – to be a reflection of heaven’s!
Culture is the ground zero reflection of a people’s values. God commanded us His salt and light to steward creation (Gen 1:28) i.e. transform cultures. We do this by carrying His image (Gen 1:26) which He made it into our nature. When we become Christians, we are transformed first of all in our nature to carry the King’s values, through which we together form a counter-cultural community that impacts communities and societies – with God’s partnership (Mat 28:18; c.f. Esther, Daniel who impacted pagan kings).
This is why the Great Commission says, to make disciples OF ALL NATIONS (Mat 28:18-20). It has a personal (becoming a disciple ourselves), communal (make disciples of others) and societal (disciple nations) component. Many churches misunderstand or forsake their mission in part or in full. When lighthouses have not shown for their communities, darkness sets in. Worse, some lighthouses become partakers of darkness against His truth and justice.
So in Isaiah 59, God judges His people that they will themselves live with injustice, unrighteousness, and darkness rather than light (v9) etc. To what extent? Isaiah 59:15 hints of the kind of evil that perpetuates the culture: “he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.” If an evil doer even “departs from evil,” he becomes a target for attacks i.e. “makes himself a prey”! We are talking about a totally fallen culture where being righteous comes at a heavy price!
15 So truth fails,
And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
– Isaiah 59
What would God do then? God’s nature couldn’t allow it. But because light bearers and lighthouses have abdicated their role to shine, God will take it upon Himself to restore justice.
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay,
Fury to His adversaries,
Recompense to His enemies;
The coastlands He will fully repay.
19 So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
– Isaiah 59
Which leads us to the verse about the flood,
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
– Isaiah 59:19
As the literal meaning here in v19 is unclear, and knowing that God also speaks allegorically or through parables (Mat 13:13; Luke 8:10), I am inclined to interpret this as possibly a prophecy of the rapture. When the enemy comes, God will “lift up” – rapture; “a standard” – the remnants who had lived according to His standard; “against him” – against the evil plan of the devil. Interestingly, the Hebrew root verb for “lift up a standard” is nus, which means to flee; escape. This befits the idea of rapture.
I remain open that I may be wrong, but it helps that I haven’t seen how this interpretation compromise Truth or right living. And considering the manner of how this message had come, remembering the girl’s dream of how she got raptured, I find impetus to share this interpretation.
God’s word says,
“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:18)
There are many interpretations for this. Interestingly, if you read the passage in context, it is about the assurance of a just God who will return for His “chosen ones” crying out in prayer against injustice – day and night! For that, it implies two things. First, that injustices are grave but His elect are not partaking in that culture, and are persecuted for it. Two, there’s such a hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice that it drives them to cry out to God day and night. Would God find such a community in times of grave injustice? Or might He find the churches compromising?
This is the 11th hour to pray that God in His mercy will wrestle with us, like how he did with Jacob, turning the “deceiver” into Israel, the “overcomer,” from the inside out. Jesus wants to come for a purified, spotless bride. If God is yet our King i.e. if our flesh still rules over His will in our life; we must start praying that God will not give us rest – until we become His bride!
Do we know of the God who is alive and still speaks today? Do we still have ears to hear Him? Would we be prepared and be among those who “went in with him to the marriage” if He comes back today?