Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mark's Vision of the Tilted Cross

First, I would like to apologize for not posting last month.  I have been wrapping up my ordination process to become a priest in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.  After two and half years of study and finishing a lengthy Canonical Exam, my "anam cara" Kirk and I were ordained in the great tradition by our beloved Bishop Wayne of the Diocese of Saint Patrick, in Sparta, Tennessee yesterday at the Crossroads Cathedral at Bryn Athyn!

This morning, somewhere between sleep and wake (what I have come to call another "thin place" wherein the veil between heaven and earth seems to be stretched thin) I heard these words in an internal audible voice:  "The cross in the earth will tilt, and many will fall from it."  Then I had a vision of a three-dimensional cross tilting or leaning over on its side at about a 45 degree angle.  As I looked closer, I could see tiny people all over the cross; many had fallen off, others were sliding, some were dangling by one hand, and still others were embracing it and clinging to it with all their might.



I sat up from my resting position and I began to ponder what the Lord was speaking to me in the morning hours.  The dream's content was very sobering to say the least and as I inquired the Lord in my spirit, I was reminded of a few Scriptures that I will share in a moment.  Then, i heard Him say that "when the cross tilts, the only way to remain on the cross will be to lean into it, and to embrace it fully."

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 the apsotle Paul gives us a glimpse into the things that must soon take place before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  "Now bretheren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to soon be shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ has come.  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first..." 

Beloved, it is not difficult to perceive that we are living in the last days.  One must only watch the nightly news to discern the difficult days that draw nigh.  However, while most Christians in the West are putting all of their escahtalogical eggs in the rapture basket, they are doing very little to prepare themselves for the Great Falling away that both Paul and Jesus prophesied would take place BEFORE "the gathering together". 

Let us look closely at what Jesus says about the Great Apostacy or falling away.  In Matthew 24:7-13, He says, "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All of these are the beginning of sorrows.  Then they will deliver YOU up to tribulation and kill YOU, and YOU will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.  And then MANY will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures until the end shall be saved."

I encourage you to read this again carefully and insert yourself into the story (note the added emphasis and bold lettering as you ponder this passage).

Here we find that Jesus is clearly talking about Christians in the last days.  He is talking about YOU and me.   What we are seeing in the earth today is "the beginning of the sorrows".  Nations are rising up against nations, famines are occurring all over the globe, the number of diseases and pestilence is more wide spread than any time in human history, and there have been more earthquakes recorded in rapid succession in the last decade than ever before!  We are seeing the sorrows mount before our very eyes!   Yet we Westerners tend to think that we are somehow exempt from the plagues mentioned in this book.  While so many Christians are focused on being swept away, just in the nick of time, from any prospect of having to endure the terrible times to come, we are  becoming more and more ignorant and grossly ill prepared for what is coming upon the earth within the next decade.

Notice that Jesus says, "...and many will be offended..."  He said this very thing after John the Baptists' disciples came to ask Him if He truly was the Christ or if they should be looking for another.  Remember the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 11:6 "And blessed is he who is not offended because of me."  If we look at this passage in Matthew, we can see that John the Baptist, the forerunner and baptizer of the Messiah, the one who proclaimed, "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!", was offended with Jesus.  Here was this great desert nomad, prophet of God, bold and fearless before man, who was asking Jesus if He was really the Christ!  Why would John begin to question Jesus' leadership? Why did he send his disciples to ask such a faithless question?  Especially after all that he had seen and witnessed?

John was offended.  He was offended at the leadership decisions of Jesus Christ.  And Why? John was in a prison cell awaiting execution.

When the stuff hits the fan, when the economy collapses, when we loose our jobs and livlihood, when our loved ones die or are taken captive, when our homes are destroyed, and our bodies are beaten, when we find ourselves rotting away in a prison cell, will we too ask the Lord Jesus, "Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?"  Those who are offended will be prime targets for the false teachers and prophets who will arise in the earth in those days.

When the cross is tilted, will we be counted among those who fell from it? Will our love grow cold?  Will we be offended?  Will we be numbered with those who fall away?

The Bible clearly warns us of the things that are coming upon the earth (and this does not exempt America!).  In Hebrews 12 the author quotes a passage from Haggia, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven."  Now this "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain."

Beloved, with all fear and trembling I exhort you to ammend your lives and embrace the cross of Christ.  For there is coming a shaking to our land, yes America and the West! Let us lay aside every weight that hinders and every sin that entangles so that we will not fall from Grace when the cross is tilted for us to bear. 

Let us not be ignorant of the things to come by foolishly exempting ourselves because of our current prosperity and Olympic success.  Rather let us position ourselves as wise virgins so that we may cling only to Jesus Christ and not be offended at His leadership in these last days.

My heart is saddened when I think of the possibility that my country may represent the largest portion of those believers who fall from faith in the Great Time of Testing that will soon come upon the earth.  May God have mercy on us and may we begin to act soberly in the days in which we live.  May you and I be counted among those who cling to the cross and endure until the end.

In the Lion, In the Lamb,


fr. mark

P.S.  i have never done this before to my knowledge, but I ask you to please share this message with as many people as possible.  Feel free to cut and paste it on your own document or email.  i am not asking for credit or for traffic to my blog.  There is a tremendous burden in my heart to release this word to as many as will have ears to hear it.  And i thank you for helping to get it out there in a timely manner. Blessings and love to you.

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