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Over the Threshold: Into the New Season

Author: Damian Stayne

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Over the Threshold: Into the New Season

In this article I would like to reflect upon a prophecy I gave which was published in Goodnews in May/June 2009 in an article called ‘On the Threshold of a New Season.’ This expressed my belief that we were about to break through into a new phase that would be characterised by humility, unity and faith for the miraculous, underpinned by deep prayer and purity of life. It stated that by 2012 we would be in a quite different spiritual environment and by 2014 established in the new season.

Let’s look at one or two things the Lord did in the 3 years from 2009. Firstly that autumn an astonishing 300,000 people visited the relics of St Therese of Lisieux as they travelled around the UK. This is a staggering number by any estimates in a country of only 1,000,000 practicing Catholics.

Papal visit brought the Catholic Church in England and Wales into a new place

Then in 2010 the Papal visit. Although I have written about this before (Signs of Revival issue May June 2011) it is important here to recall just how bad things were prior to his coming. Many had thought the visit ill timed because the Church was still reeling from the paedophile scandals. The celebrity atheists were on the crest of a wave and the government had to change the law because of the very serious threat from atheists that they would attempt a citizen’s arrest of the Pope. Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s most famous atheist, had described Pope Benedict as a “leering old villain in a frock”. Many joined the mockery and attack. Even Yahoo News featured jokes at the Pope’s expense, so confident was the media of the public’s bad feeling against him and the Church. However the visit was an astonishing success with more than 575,000 turning out to see him. The Pope’s humility and meekness simply sidelined his enemies. Following the visit Archbishop Longley of Birmingham said the visit “brought the Catholic Church in England and Wales into a different and new place...” The Home Missions desk of the Bishops conference stated that it has resulted in a “new mission era” in Britain.

During his visit Pope Benedict himself said that England and Europe “stands at the threshold of a new age” confirming the truth that we were “On the Threshold of a New Season.”

The coming of the Glory cloud

I have since discovered that William Seymour and Charles Parham, generally accepted as the fathers of the Pentecostal revival in the early 20th century, Independently prophesied a future revival. This revival would begin around 2009 and be characterised by the manifestation of God’s Glory Cloud and great miracles. Both of these manifestations would be seen not in one place but all over the world. What is remarkable is that this is now beginning to happen. In 2011 a Glory Cloud was seen by hundreds and filmed in Bethel church in California and is increasingly being witnessed at other Christian gatherings, even in Christian homes. It has also been appearing in England and two friends of mine have been present and witnessed it themselves. This signals a very significant shift in the manifestation of God’s presence among his people across the churches. Certainly these were historic breakthroughs and many across the world were sensing the spiritual atmosphere was really changing, but none of us were prepared for how God was about to act in the next two years.

Election of Pope Francis – a miracle of humility

Having become the scapegoat for the crimes of a tiny minority of the Church and bearing upon himself the widespread loathing and contempt aimed at the Church, Pope Benedict then by retiring outsmarted all God’s enemies in an outstanding act of humility. Like the scapegoat of the Old Testament, he disappeared from public gaze carrying away all the guilt with him into the desert of his now hidden life. This brilliant, selfless and humble act left the way clear for the explosion onto the world stage of Pope Francis whose first act was one of humility as he bowed before the crowd asking for prayer. He was instantly popular, throwing the Church’s enemies into confusion and injecting a remarkable new confidence into the faithful. Who would have believed within a matter of months that the Catholic Pope would be Time Magazine Man of the Year. Even Sir Elton John, certainly no friend of the Church, described Pope Francis as “a miracle of humility”.

Historic ecumenical breakthroughs

There have been great ecumenical moments in history but what we were about to witness was unprecedented. The presence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, (the ‘First among equals’ among the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Church) at the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis was one such event. This has not happened since the tragic split between Orthodox and Catholics in 1051. Not for a 1000 years! How beautiful were the photos of the two of them embracing. Not only this but many Evangelicals and Pentecostal leaders around the world also responded with joy at the election of Pope Francis. Furthermore the leader of the Coptic Church Pope Tawadros II met with Pope Francis and they agreed to have a day each year when both churches celebrate what they have in common. But historic breakthroughs have not only been with the Orthodox, Evangelical Pentecostal and Coptic churches but also with the Anglicans.

As we read in the last issue of Goodnews the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, invited Chemin Neuf, a Catholic Charismatic community with an ecumenical vocation, to live in his own home in Lambeth Palace! Next year Pope Francis will be meeting with the Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church of 150 million believers, representing about half of all Orthodox in the world. This has never happened before. Patriarch Kirill recently said “Never before have our churches had so many things in common”. These are miraculous events in the history of God’s people in the area of unity.

Great shift in faith for the miraculous

Not only has there been remarkable and miraculous manifestations of the Spirit in unity and humility but also in a great shift in faith for the miraculous. Even Pope Francis has exhorted us to pray for miracles. I have been attending an ecumenical gathering of leaders for around 10 years. Five years ago, I and another man, were asked to share our experience of healing miracles which at the time were considered very uncommon. When this same man shared again this year, there was general agreement among the group that God is now doing far more healing miracles. This experience seems to be recurring among many Christian streams even for some to the point of raising the dead. Resurrection miracles have taken place throughout the history of the Church. However there has been an extraordinary multiplication of them recently. One highly respected ministry, Iris Ministry run by Heidi and Roland Baker, reports 450 resurrections mostly in the last 5 years! This was verified for me in an email by Randy Clark, a close friend of theirs, whom I know is very careful about statistics. I myself know two people who have raised the dead. There is no record of so many resurrections in any other era of church history.

Prophetic consultation in Bethlehem – sign

It has been wonderful seeing these signs of the ‘new season’ in God’s Church but I did not feel that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal had yet crossed the threshold. For 10 years now I had been earnestly waiting for a sign that this had happened. I felt like Simeon in the temple watching attentively for the appearing of the Messiah. Then on November 15thlast year ICCRS held its Prophetic Consultation in Bethlehem which Michelle Moran reported on in the last issue. A friend of mine who was present sent me a text informing me that the leaders had repented and the Lord had given a word for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal “You have no more power - come to me” at which exact moment the electrical power, which had been lost for some hours, instantaneously burst into life. When I read this I knew immediately that this was the sign I’d been waiting for. We were no longer waiting but had stepped over the threshold. Like Joshua our feet are now on the Jordan and the waters are parting. And if to confirm this absolutely, in June this year Pope Francis will attend and preach at a huge event organised explicitly by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

So here we are 5 years on from 2009 and by God’s grace undoubtedly in a new season in the Christian Churches and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Like Joshua we will have new battles to come but I believe we can aspire to greater victories. I believe we will now see, as we commit ourselves to prayer and purity of life, a major accelerating increase of the manifestation of the Kingdom in humility, unity and faith for the miraculous as this New Season unfolds.

“Many prophets and kings longed to see what you see but did not see it, hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Lk 10:24.). What a privilege to be chosen by the Lord to be alive as a Christian today.

(C) Damian Stayne 2014

Damian Stayne is the founder of the “Cor Et Lumen Christi” Community and has an international preaching and healing ministry.

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