Clear the blackthorn, or it will take over the pasture!


A prophetic message for Wales and the Marches. Filling Station, Glasbury-on-Wye, April 28, 2017. The preacher was Phil Arnold.

The legacy of revival — and all that has been stolen, or deferred.

Isaiah 43:18–21 NASB
Do not call to mind the former things
Or ponder things of the past;
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert… to give drink to My chosen people.
The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.

What is the Father doing? A challenge to us to look beyond the ‘seen’ to the ‘unseen’.

The prophetic speaks of what is to come — but the prophetic word also speaks into the here and now, and calls into being what doesn’t exist.

Calling those things that are not, as if they are. So we proclaim what we are seeing in the Spirit — as watchmen on the wall shouting for joy.

We are not to be shut down by things that have happened, even if where we are, seems like a ‘hard place’.

The nature of the mountain is that the higher you go, the more you can see.

God can do again what He did in the early 1900s (Welsh revival, Sunderland outpouring)

Rivers in the desert, streams in the wasteland, brings transformation. This river needs to be released — the Ezekiel 47 river.

Question — how is that river going to be released?

The source of the river is in heaven. It finds its way to earth through us… welling up in us… streams of Living Water.

All that holds it up is OUR channels not being wide enough.

Each one

The Reclaim! word is from the picture of Phil’s sheep grazing a 10-acre meadow. Less than 10 acres grazing owing to encroachment by thorny scrub, so that even the boundary fence had become obscured.

A natural picture of what can be lost, and the need to reclaim it:

  1. TRUTH. There is New Testament revelation we hardly speak of, and which we need to revisit!
  2. EVIDENCE of areas of the work of the Holy Spirit has become encroached, so there is a low expectation of the miraculous. Places and people once alive in the Spirit are inactive and isolated.

The invasive weeds are seen in discouragement, division, and plain old apathy.

The clearing of the field involved cutting back blackthorn, which is tough and resistant. it leaves you scarred! In Scripture, thorns are equivalent to a curse, a curse being what keeps us from our inheritance.

Where are the people?

• Who will rise to the task?

• God has a prophetic strategy, for where we should be rooted and who we should partner with.

• Is there a readiness to embrace (that word again!) C-H-A-N-G-E? A new thing! Something I have not done before?

This calls for a willingness to push through discouragement and resistance.

Rather than asking ourselves how we feel, we need to TELL ourselves how we feel:

Micah 7:8
Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.

Determine this in your hearts. Pursue it.

Lost truth

Where areas of truth have been lost, commit to reclaiming them.

  • The miraculous — to be restored
  • The ministry of Jesus — to be restored

We are all called to a journey where we:

  • walk in the opposite spirit to what we encounter
  • dare to be different and stir up the gifts of God

This is a word coming out of heaven, a call for us to align ourselves with it. Not as commentators, but as proclaimers, speaking things that are not as if they are.

Waiting or declaring prophetically?

Not waiting for God to do something when He is waiting for US to do something.,

Isaiah 55:8–13
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Lost ground — one particular example

Read 1 Corinthians 12 on spiritual gifts. The understanding of ‘each one’ as having gifts for the benefit of all, has been all but lost:

1 Cor. 12:1, 7, 11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware…
…7 But to EACH ONE is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…
… 11 But One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to EACH ONE individually Just as He wills.
1 Cor. 14:26
When you assemble, EACH ONE has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation… (etc)
Ephesians 4:7 and 16
But to EACH ONE OF US grace was given, according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
16 …Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what EVERY joint supplies, according to the proper working of EACH INDIVIDUAL PART, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Phil ended his message with an allusion to Martin Scott’s ‘Wildfire’ prophecy for Wales, given in 1999:

“What I saw taking place were some major fires hitting Wales, but the fire that I saw I could only describe as wild fire. It is fire that will explode and a fire that is dangerous. It is fire that cannot be domesticated (we will not be able to say, ‘I will take some of that fire, put it in the hearth and it will keep me warm’ — no this is wild fire). And I saw that wild fire begin to jump across the border, because what is in England currently can be domesticated and will be domesticated and will be tamed and will be controlled, in fact it will come to where some will want to say ‘this is really under our jurisdiction’. And what it is waiting for, is for the fire that is wild to come and to impact that. In other words, England needs a Welsh revival. Not only England, for since 1991 I have been saying when it hits this whole thrust of the Spirit is in order that Europe might be saturated. This is Europe’s day and it is a long day -because at the end of this day it is the Islamic world that God is targeting. And beyond Europe there are targets. But I saw these fires rapidly spreading out to impact Southern Europe. But it will not come without a Welsh revival.”