THE MESSAGE OF
THE NEW COVENANT
A sermon given in Stavanger, Norway, on Wednesday 3 July 1991
On behalf of the New Covenant Church of God I would like to welcome all our guests here in the Pelle Cafe and hope that the message that I and my collegues will be presenting will be both interesting and of practical use to you in your daily lives. This is the first time that we have spoken publically in the city of Stavanger and so we are looking forward to meeting all seekers after truth here and getting to know you better.
My name is Christopher Warren and I am Pastor of the Oslo congregation of the New Covenant Church Church. With me today are several collegues from the Bergen and Oslo congregations who will be speaking later.
Those of you who are here today have probably come as the result of our leaflet distribution campaign in the city centre, have read about us in the newspaper or have heard us speak on the radio. Who are we and why are we here?
We are members of the New Covenant Church of God and are usually known as NEW COVENANT CHRISTIANS to distinguish us from other Christians. We are neither Protestant nor Catholic, neither do we have our roots in any churches though we have some things in common with many denominations. Many of you will have read our pamphlet, "Fundamental Beliefs" which detail our core doctrines. Copies of this can be obtained afterwards.
Why are we here? We are here to announce to the world, and tonight in particular to the city of Stavanger, that the heavens are open and that God is once again speaking to mankind as He did anciently through the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New. This is one of the commissions that God has given to this Church more about which you can read in our pamphlet, "The Five Commissions".
We are here to strengthen all Christians in their faith in Christ no matter what Church they belong to, to reveal to non-believers the salvation of Christ, to inspire all men and women of good will to live better lives, and to gather in to our own fellowship those who are willing to seek after, and live, the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. If you belong to any of these groups of people, or are simply seeking for more light and truth, then our message if for you.
I shall myself be giving two lectures today and tomorrow. In the first I will look at the state of the world and speak of a few of the prophecies that have been given through New Covenant Christians on the nations. In the second I will be examining a few of the revelatory keys that have been restored to the earth in the last three years which will enable you to either come to know Christ or to deepen your relationship with Him. Afterwards you will be given the opportunity to ask personal questions you may have. I shall also be sharing my testimony of how I came to Christ and what the Gospel has done for me in my life.
TUMULT IN THE NATIONS
I am sure that most of you have been watching current events in the world with interest. The last two years have seen extraordinary changes that will alter the way we see and live with the world for the forseeable future. Practically overnight the communist regimes in Eastern Europe fell one by one, some peacefully and some violently as in Romania. We are also witnessing the painful collapse of the Soviet regime which, though not dead, is undeniably dying. Since 1945 Europe has been divided into two ideological and military camps -- the western capitalist and the eastern communist. And symbollical of that division has been Germany in Europe and Korea (and until recently, Vietnam) in Asia.
It was the hope and belief of all noble men and women of vision that one day the iron curtain would fall in Europe. Communists hoped that capitalism would eventually collapse, and capitalists hoped that communism would collapse. In the end money proved more powerful that ideology and it was communism that gave way, and is giving way today.
So what lies ahead for the world? Are we now, as some suggest, on the way first, to a United Europe, and then, to a United World? Does this mark the beginning of the end of nation states and therefore mark the possibility of the end of wars and the famines and other natural catastrophes that these have brought? Many people think so. Indeed, when the communist regimes began to fall in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the other Warsaw Pact nations, was there not a sudden millennialist wave of euphoria in the west? Were not people saying that a time of peace and prosperity was on its way? And what has happened since?
New democracies are being born but they are being born painfully. All the former communist countries are in economic recession. Even the mighty Federal Republic of Germany has been unable to absorb its eastern half. East Germany is in economic ruin, unemployment is rising, and crime has become rampant. I give but one example. Other nations are far worse off. Meanwhile here we are in Norway supposedly going through an economic recession. This beautiful country, grown rich on oil, is going through similar processes despite its wealth and long history of democracy. My own country of Great Britain is also on the decline -- crime is up everywhere, housing is becoming a serious problem, morality is in tatters. And in the United States which in the eyes of many is the great star of democracy and freedom is itself in economic recession and experiencing an explosion in crime.
But here in Norway we are relatively well off and are insulated from the turmoil of the eastern nations, the immense poverty of the third world, the suffering of billions of souls. We see the cruel images of starvation and war on our television sets and in our newspapers, and though we dig generously into our pockets, we are still for the most part emotionallty detatched from what is going on in other countries. The reality is simply too far away.
I have seen great wealth in this city, more perhaps than in any other city in Norway, even though I know it has its poor and suffering people like everywhere else. Stavanger is, in many ways, typical of a properous city before its decline and fall.
I come from the city of Oxford, the heart of English university education with some of the finest buildings in our country. It is deservedly called the "city of spires". But it, like all other large cities the world over, is in decay. Violence on the streets in broad daylight is common place. It is not safe to walk outside at night. Unemployment is high. Beneath the facade of beauty and academic excellence is social and moral decay. Drug addiction and alcoholism is high.
About twelve or thirteen years ago I saw a vision of my home city. In the vision I approached from the east gate and lying on the street I saw the bodies of horribly diseased men and women. Their faces and hands were covered in ugly blisters. Most of the city had either fled or had perished. The streets were covered with rats eating dead bodies. The buildings were decaying. I was utterly appalled by what I saw and the image of that vision will never leave me.
There are others who have seen different cities in different countries in vision both from this and other Churches. In all the spirit of anarchy had swept through once great and prosperous nations like the United States and Canada. Once so-called civilised people were reduced to canabalism. In all these visions our Western civilisation was swept away. And by what? The reason is common to the fall of every great civilisation -- moral decay. And with few exceptions those falls came quickly and suddenly. Most of you will know something of the history of the Roman Empire and how that was swept away by invading European tribes from the north. Its heart was laid open by decadance, crime and immorality.
Is it possible that this will happen to our so-called "enlightened" and "progressive" civilisation? It is not only possible, ladies and gentlemen, but I am here to announce to you in the Name of God that IT WILL.
Those of you who know your Bibles well will know that it very clearly prophesies an apocalyptic end time when the nations will be swept away and a terrible evil will fall upon all peoples. Perhaps you have heard of references to an "Antichrist" or other similar characters. Though there are a large number of theologians who have tried to explain these scriptural references as allegorical, they are most emphatically LITERAL.
Many people have been shocked at the fall of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe, not least other communist nations like China and North Korea who refuse to go the way of Soviet perestroika. In more ways than one it was the fellowship of other communist nations that gave its members strength and a reason to exist. Now there are few left. China will hold out a while longer before it embarks on a campaign of military conquest that will take it westwards to the very heart of the modern state of Israel.
You are all, no doubt, familiar with New York and know well the power of the Maffia not just there and in the United States in general but in many nations in the world. This is one of the most powerful and rich organisations of moral corruptions in the world and will never be contained. Its criminal tentacles are everywhere, including this country.
Does this not all sound rather depressing? Is there not hope somewhere in the world? The answer is yes and no. There are people of good will eveywhere fighting against corruption, crime, drugs, famine and a whole host of other social evils. We ourselves, though small in number, run an orphanage in India for displaced refugees from the Sri Lankan civil war. There are many fine and noble organisations like the Red Cross, Oxfam, Unicef, and so on. But are they winning? Where is the tide of human civilization moving?
If you clear one slum in a poor city, five more will rise up in their place. Like the Lernean Hydra in Greek mythology which was able to sprout two more snakes heads everytime Hercules cut off one, each time man attempts to erradicate the world of one evil, something twice as bad comes along to ruin all that he has done. Why? What is the reason? And what is the solution?
The problem lies not with politics, philosophy, or even religious forms of worship, but with HUMAN NATURE. One high ranking Soviet politician bewailed a few years ago about the seeming impossibility of creating the communist MAN. Despite the socialist philosophy (much of which I, as a Christian, am in agreement with, though not forgetting that Marxism actually borrowed much of its doctrine from Christianity), it has not been possible to create the SOCIALIST MAN. Look what is happening in the eastern European nations! The once ideologically "pure" communists are racing faster than anyone else to make as much money as they can out of the capitalist system! What hypocricy! Yet there you have the crux of the problem -- HUMAN NATURE.
Human nature -- that dark beast within that is the worst in all people, great and small. The greedy, selfish and unscrupulous part of man that seems to resist all reformation. And don`t be deceived -- don`t think that because someone has fine manners, dresses beautifully, and is apparently an honest citizen that he can`t suddenly turn into the worst kind of animal possible. We have seen in recent decades, but also throughout history, how civilised people have descended into barbarity seemigly overnight. Look at the fruits of Naziism, Communism, and certain kinds of religious fundamentalism. Never make the mistake of believing that this contemporary civilisation cannot descend to the depths of barbarity, for it can, has, and will. And you will see it happen right here in front of your very eyes here in Norway. It occurs sporadically here and there and hits the newspaper headlines but is soon forgotten again. It is worse in some countries than others.
Stavanger's Violent Future
Beautiful Stavanger...I have been here many times and I admire its cobbled streets and picturesque buildings. Babylon was beautiful too -- it was famed for its hanging gardens. It was also exceedingly rich.
Ten years ago, in this very city, I had a vision in the early hours of the morning. I saw the city from the sea and in the background, towards the south, I saw rocks and lava being spewed up into the air and crashing upon the city and into the sea. There was a terrible earthquake that caused the whole city of be levelled and to eventually tumble into the sea. It was over in a matter of minutes.
I have not shared this vision very often and many have laughed because they say that Norway is free from the possibility of earthquakes, though some are now admitting that MAYBE all the oil being drained away will cause unstability here and there, but that the only risky region is far, far north in Svalbard. Well, I would'nt put too much trust in science, if I were you, speaking as a scientist, notwithstanding the enormous contribution of science to our civilisation. Stranger things than this have happened. Those of you who know your Bibles will know that it speaks of an early time in our planet`s history, in the days of the patriarch Peleg, when the continents were joined together. It tells how the continents moved apart. All this has been verfied by a branch of geology called Plate Tectonics, and the study of fossils. The Bible and other scriptures prophesy that the continents will move back together once again, not over millions of years but relatively quickly. Earthquakes and volcanos are not, therefore, so improbable in Norway or anywhere else where these are deemed "unlikely". I repeat, all things are possible.
I realise that many people look upon such prophecies as fanciful if not outrageous. And in some respects I do not blame them because of the numerous crackpots around nowadays. There have always been false prophets on the earth who have either been influenced by their own imagination or by demonic forces. But I am not interested in them for I have a sure testimony that God sends His Holy Spirit to true Christians and that what He speaks through them comes to pass.
There was a time that I believed that the Old Testament prophecies were all myth and that prophecies were written after the events they prophesied. But having spent many years studying the Bible I am in no doubt that these prophets were true and that their prophecies were not the mythological inventions of religious fanatics. Religious fanatics there will always be but that does not mean that there are not true prophets and prophecies. I remember being amazed many years ago when I studied a prophecy in the Old Testament that predicted not only the exact year but also the exact day and exact hour of the fall of Jerusalem to the British Army in 1917 to General Allenby. Such "coincidences", as sceptics of holy revelation would be inclined to call them, are totally beyond the bounds of all probability especially when you remember that many prophecies were written hundreds of years before the events they prophesy. The truly humble man or woman stands silent before the greatness of God.
Prophecy is for real despite quacks like Nostradamus, Jean Dixon and others whose numerous false prophecies disqualify them as witnesses of the true God.
But to end this discouse on prophecy let me tell you some of the things God has been telling New Covenant Christians. And I am here speaking of those things not specifically revealed in the Bible which is the subject of many other lectures.
The Future of Norway and EFTA
Norway and the other EFTA countries will all be swallowed up into the EEC before too long (NC&C 279) though I hope Norway will hold out for as long as possible. It is inevitable. Europe will indeed be united as a United States of Europe, sooner than you think, and will become the most powerful confederation of nation states in the world, rivalling the USA and Japan in the future. It will also become a dictatorship and be led by the Biblically prophesied Antichrist. His political vehicle will be Europe and his religious vehicle will be what is rather loosly known as the "New Age Movement". He is already known by many New Agers as the so-called "Christ" or "Maitrea".
Prophecies on Germany and Eastern Europe
This Church prophesied that Germany would be reunited three years ago but has also prophesied that Germany will acquire some of its eastern territories back from Poland and Russia, which those nations annexed in 1945, but that it will do so by purchase and not military conquest. Nobody believes this is possible, most of all the Germans, but it will happen. This prophecy was given conditional upon Poland not reforming itself morally and will therefore largely be decided by the moral path its people take. We have been told that Berlin will become the financial centre of Europe and that Germany will become the most powerful country in Europe, thus fulfilling, interestingly enough, a prophecy of Lenin which says that "whoever controls Berlin controls Germany; and whoever controls Germany controls Europe; and whoever controls Germany controls the world". We have also been told that there will be FOUR Baltic States created out of the Soviet Union, not only Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, but also a new "Republic of Königsberg" out of the present "Kaliningrad Oblast" which will once again be inhabited by Germans as it was before 1945 when it was detatched from East Prussia and incorporated into the Soviet Union.
Cataclysmic Changes to Come
We have also been told that the United States and Canada will eventually unify, that Yugoslavia will cease to be a nation (right now it is in civil war), that there will be no peace in the Middle East between Arabs and Jews before Christ returns, that there will be continuing turmoil in the Balkans, and so on. These can all be read in the revelations by those who are interested.
The world is an immensely complex place and yet history turns on small hinges. These "hinges" are impossible to predict. One such "hinge" is Mikail Gorbachov whose place in history is still not fully understood. We as human beings can sit down and make predictions based on what we see around us and sometimes we can be reasonably accurate. In my library at home I have books written by several authors predicting what the world would be like 10 to 20 years ahead of their time. They were all wrong. The finite human mind, however brilliant, simply cannot predict the Gorbachovs, the Hitlers, and other great men, good and evil, who have radically changed history. Only God knows these things. The existence of the modern state of Israel, for example, defies rational explanation, for "logically" it should have been wiped out forty years ago. Yet it is still here, and will remain here, not because I or anyone else predicts it, but because God has decreed it in Scripture.
We have been told in our revelations that many nations will yet disappear and appear in our time. We have also been told of several cataclysms yet to come. Jesus Christ, in the New Testament, warned that there would always be "wars and rumours of wars" before He returned, of earthquakes, famines, and other natural distasters. And all of these, we have been told by God in modern revelation, are the result of man`s own rebellion against the created order, whose equilibium he has upset by his own tampering with nature, both physically and spiritually.
The Only Safety
This planet is an enormously complex organism. Every thought, feeling and physical action we as human beings perform contribute to its well-being or sickness. Most people have now developed an awareness of the need to be environmentally conscious and organisations have grown up to protect wild life, the oceans, the atmosphere, the rain forests, and so on. Man is growing up and beginning to take responsibility for his planet not always out of a love for it but more often than not because he realises that he is killing himself. Man is still motivated by base instincts. This awareness is good, especially when it is motivated by a genuine love of people and nature and not just by economic self-interest. But what most people still don`t realise is that there is a spiritual dimension to this planet also. The global issues facing the world are not just a matter of chemical and nuclear pollutants and the exploitation of physical resources. For the planet, like human beings, also has a spirit, which is intimately connected to all physical things, living and non-living. This spirit is called the Light of Christ and it is about this I will be talking about tomorrow. It is principally the abuse of this spiritual dimension that is the cause of so many of the natural disasters in the world which man, in his ignorance and arrogance, calls "acts of God". And without a proper knowledge of this hidden, invisible dimension, no amount of ecological conservation, political action, or anything else can save the world. Indeed man on his own cannot. Only Jesus Christ can. We therefore come to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to you and in Him find eternal security. Amen.
This page was created on 6 July 1998
Last updated on 6 July 1998
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