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2012: LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS By Rick Paris, Ph.

D Vision International

Arise, shine; For your light has come, And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you,And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light,And kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3) The shaking that has been going on for several years will continue. The increasing disintegration of the political, economic, and religious kingdoms that was prophesied for 2011 will accelerate in 2012. Darkness will cover the earth. Deep darkness will descend on the souls of people as violence and anarchy become more and more common place on the streets of the Middle East, Europe, and America. But the Sons of God can rejoice because the disintegration of the world's systems is preparation for the revealing of God's kingdom and God's government on earth in a way that has not been seen in our lifetime. In the midst of great darkness the light of God will shine ever brighter. The path of the righteous will become brighter and clearer as the darkness descends. The church in Western Europe did not recognize the day of its visitation. The doors for that visitation are closing even now. The church, therefore, will become increasingly irrelevant in European society. But God in his grace has not finished with Europe. Fringe Christian movements outside the mainstream are already building altars of prayer and worship. Their cries are ascending as incense to the altar before the throne of God. But these groups are not just worshipping the Lord with their music, they are also worshipping with their lives as they reach out to the people on the fringes, the marginalized, and to Muslims. This ministry to those outside Christian circles rises as the incense of worship before the Father and brings a smile to his face. You who are part of such groups, look for others who are building altars and connect with them around Europe. Do not get hung up on their theology or their methodology, but keep the focus on Jesus. Center on the work and person of Jesus Christ--focus on Christology. Within a few years these altars will be connected as one altar in the spirit and will provide a place for the fire of God to descend in Europe. Do not grow weary and do not focus on the darkness. Do not lament over what is lost. It is too late to do that. Turn loose of what is being shaken and judged. Arise and shine for your light is coming in the midst of the darkness. But know this, the most severe persecution you will face, and you will be persecuted, will come not from the world but from the mainstream churches that still exist and from those who measure things by doctrine and not by the life and the heart of the Savior.

In the United Kingdom many sons and daughters of God have had heavy hearts for several years because of the impotence of the church there and the darkness that has covered your land. Strangers have devoured the strength of the UK. But there is a remnant that has not given up. You have continued to believe and cry out to God. The Lord is hearing your cries and while you may not see an immediate response, he has registered you in his heart. Your cries are being mixed with those of the covenanters on the altar before the throne of God. Upon you the glory of the Lord will be seen once again. The Lord will honor the covenant he made with your forefathers. The Middle East will see more turmoil. The springtime is a time of storms but it is followed by the cold and dark of winter. Iran will be severely shaken and suffer a setback in its ambitions. This will further destabilize the region for a season and then an uneasy calm will return. As the followers of Jesus reach into the countries of the Middle East with an incarnational approach rather than a colonial approach, Muslims will have a chance to see the heart of the Father and the Holy Spirit will bring increasing revelations of the person of Jesus Christ to the hearts of Muslims. As Muslims have a genuine encounter with the Prince of Peace, then doors for peace will slowly open in the region. There is already a sufficient opening for peace to come to the Middle East, but political leaders on all sides must recognize it and step through it even at the risk of their own lives. In 2012 Christians around the world must cry out for and work in practical ways for peace in the Middle East. That peace will only come through the Prince of Peace, but Christians must take practical steps to make sure that HE--not politics, ideology, or theology--can be seen in their words and actions. A strong threat to worldwide stability is rising in the East. People of the world will try to encourage one another when this unfolds, but their fears will lead them into wrong decisions and down wrong paths. The Lord says to his people, however, "Fear not for I am with you, and will help you and strengthen you and cause you to stand. If you hide yourself in me, you will stand as victors in the crisis that comes from the East." The United States will draw closer to the edge of economic meltdown. Increasing frustration and anger will be expressed through increasing violence in the streets. Politicians of both parties will propose laws that will enable the President to label perceived anarchists as enemies of the state whose constitutional rights can be set aside for the protection of the United States. Those who do not stand against these steps will themselves become victims of these laws. Politicians will become fearful for their lives. Politicians, the media, and the Hollywood elite who have supported the Occupy crowd will come to fear them. The church in the United States must repent for putting its trust in the Republican Party. The Republican Party is as spiritually bankrupt as the Democratic Party. It is offensive to God when Republicans use the Bible to support their positions but ignore other clear biblical instructions that happen to go against their positions. This is religious hypocrisy 2

and manipulation. The hope for the United States is not in a political party but in the Lord and believers must not identify the Republican Party with the cause of Christ or the will of God. Yet for all the shortcomings of the Republican Party, there is a man in the Republican camp who could lead the United States back from the precipice. Yes, there is still hope for the United States and yes the problems can still be fixed. But if this man is to win the election and have success as President, Christians must confess and repent on behalf of the Republican Party just as Daniel confessed and repented for the sins of his nation even though he had not participated in those sins. Believers must then labor to have that attitude of repentance expressed in the conversation among Republicans. Specifically, they must repent of their attitudes toward two groups of people: illegal/undocumented foreigners and Muslims. With regard to illegal foreigners, Jesus never revoked the Old Testament admonition to care for the widows, orphans, and foreigners who live among us. If the United States is to walk in alignment with the Lord, then it must forgive the foreigners who came here illegally. It must close its borders, but it must forgive the illegals who are already in the United States. Jesus advocated mercy over the sacrifice required by the law. Anything less will put the United States in opposition to the Lord's heart. With regard to Muslims, Jesus clearly moved the church away from reacting with violence toward our enemies or those who have wronged us. The believers in the Republican Party must align themselves with the Lord's heart and have faith that the power of God to save is greater than the power of radicals and terrorists to destroy. The Lord is watching to see if Republicans really are the party that trusts in God or if that claim is simply an empty statement printed on our money. Genuine trust in God will align people with God's heart--and God cares for and loves Muslims. The Democratic Party in the United States has shown the compassion of the heart of God in some issues that confront the nation. The party's stance on abortion and moral issues, however, has grieved the heart of God. Its insistence on relativizing truth has undermined the foundations of the nation's existence. Its push to restructure the United States on socialistic principles is a dangerous trend that will stifle individual creativity and responsibility as well as produce class warfare and eventual civil war in the country. Those who vote for and side with the Democratic party on these issues will have not only the blood of aborted babies on their hands but also the blood of the nation. The Democratic party must repent and align itself with the heart of God. The government in the United States has become a government of politicians and not statesmen. Leaders, both elected and appointed, in every branch of the government must repent and lay aside their partisanship and labor for the long term benefit of the United States. Civility and truth must once again be brought into the public square. The attitudes and actions of politicians are sowing the seeds of destruction in the nation. The church in the the United States must cry out for repentant hearts in the nation's leaders. 3

Christians who are involved in politics likewise must repent for participating in and contributing to the vitriolic, negative, and hateful atmosphere that has come to characterize the political process in America. Christians must walk in the political realm manifesting the DNA of their Father who is in heaven. Anything less reflects the DNA of the prince of darkness and has been and will be judged. The church in the United States has been lulled to sleep over the last two decades by the popular prophetic voice. When unknown prophets a few years ago were preaching repentance because judgment was at the door, they were criticized and condemned by the popular prophetic voice. When insignificant prophets warned that war against Iraq would turn into another Vietnam and bring disastrous consequences to the United States, they were shouted down by the popular prophetic voice. The popular prophetic voice insisted on speaking beautiful, glowing words about the future of the United States and lulled the church to sleep. Now those same prophetic voices are warning of judgment coming to America. But their warning is too little too late. The disintegration has begun. These prophets are out of sync with what the Holy Spirit is saying. Now is the time for prophets to announce, "The time of the fall of the kingdoms of the world has come. But rejoice. We serve a happy God. And when the American dream seems unattainable, then God's dream for America will be revealed." Yes, the American century has ended but there is still hope. Years of darkness and hardship and sacrifice are ahead, but in the midst of it all God's light will shine and people of every subculture will run to that light. The church in the United States, however, must turn loose of American culture and embrace the culture of the Kingdom of God. Believers must be more ready to identify themselves as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven than as citizens of an earthly country. Saints, your values must be exchanged for the values of the Kingdom. The consumer mentality of contemporary Christianity must be exchanged for a missional mentality. You are either a religious consumer or a disciple. Decide where you are standing. Consumers, along with consumer society and consumer religion, are about to be shaken to pieces. Entitlement thinking in society, economics, and religion is now under the judgment of God. It is time to take up the cross and take up personal responsibility. All who refuse to do so will be devastated by the shaking of a consumeristic system that is under judgment. The United States will still be able to wield great influence if it repents of talking at its neighbors and begins to talk with its neighbors. The church in the United States must do the same. Believers must learn to talk with and engage with the over 50% of their countrymen who do not want to have anything to do with organized religion. Believers must learn to talk with and engage with Muslims. Believers must learn to talk with and engage with the people who are on the fringes of society just as Jesus did with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. This is His mission. And this is the only way that 4

these people will see the heart of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will then demonstrate his awesome power to bring light to the eyes of the blind. Those cultures, subcultures, and tribes will run to the light when they see it through the love of God being expressed through the saints. Believers must break out of their Christian bubble. The Christian bubble has isolated believers from the world and has done much to impede the fulfilling of the Great Commission. It is time for incarnational engagement with the world. The true church will begin to take the reality of God's world into the world of the unchurched. Revival is at hand. Heaven is waiting to kiss earth. An invasion of the Kingdom of God is at the door. Mexico, God has his eyes upon you. Continue to lift a symphony of prayer to heaven. Rebuild the altars that are broken down and raise up new ones. Your night will continue for a season more, but as you press in upon the Lord that night will shine as the day. The light is increasing in the midst of your night. But Mexico you must allow the Lord to change your paradigms. Your old wineskins cannot contain the massive harvest of souls that is about to come. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are set to be released in the streets and in house gatherings through even the youngest and most insignificant believers in Jesus. Miracles, signs, and wonders are about to be poured out on Mexico. Pastors, do not hold the people back. Release your people into their destiny and it will enlarge your own ministry. Mexico, where is your prophetic voice? Prophets have still not risen with a call for social justice. Because you were silent as the poor were being paid slave wages, those poor are now being paid better wages by the cartels. The oppression of the poor by those who have means has opened the door to the violence and death that is ravaging your streets. It is time for the prophets to raise their voices demanding righteousness in every domain and every level of society. It is time for worshipers to enter every domain of society and express the heart of God to those outside the church walls. As this happens the light will shine brighter and brighter in Mexico. Argentina, a new generation of leaders is about to arise within your borders. Continue to enlarge your altars. The heavens are pregnant with the fire of God over Argentina. Prepare the altars in hearts, homes, and congregations so that the fire will have a place to fall. As you enlarge your altars, enlarge your tents because there is a large harvest ready to be brought into the fold of the Lord. In this harvest you will see many subcultures that have been largely unreached coming to the Lord: the mega-rich, artists, the urban grunge, professional athletes, and politicians. At the same time, new venues must be opened. Think outside the box. Experiment. Try what you have not tried before. Allow the younger generation to dream and do and they will extend your dreams and ministries to new levels beyond what you have imagined.

Colombia and Venezuela you are standing at the front of the line for a new wind of the Spirit to blow. This wind will undo many of your systems and even ministries but will position you for your destiny. Many within your borders have hungered for God's presence and He is about to draw near to you with the kiss of heaven. Latin America you have ears but you have not fully heard what the Lord is saying to you. It is time to hear and time to rise to your place and destiny in the world. The geopolitical shift from the north to the south means that your time has come. Your day of destiny has arrived. Things can no longer be business as usual in your lives or churches. You have a divine mandate to hear God and carve out new paths for the body of Christ in the world. You have a responsibility to set a new standard for the church around the world. You must mark the way and set the rhythm for the church around the world. Latin America you are about to see the harvest of a new generation. People from every walk of life will come to your light. But you must resist the temptation to build your own kingdoms as ministries in the United States have done. You must resist the temptation to cling to the old way of doing things. You must resist the temptation to be pleasers of men. If you copy the self-centered, consumeristic, attractional church models you have learned from the northern hemisphere, you will shine brightly for a brief season but then your lamp will be removed quickly. The path and rhythm you are to mark is one of sacrificial discipleship and incarnational servanthood. Latin America, if you will do this, you will determine the direction for the church throughout the world for the next century. Latin America, arise and shine for your light and your time have come. The world is standing at the threshold of a great upheaval. Since the fall of the Roman Empire the world has experienced two great watershed moments that ushered in a new age in the history of the world. The first was the Protestant Reformation. The second was the Age of Revolutions that took place in the latter part of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. We are once again standing at such a moment in history. This upheaval will be disconcerting and frightening to those who find their security in this earthly realm. When the British army under General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, the British orchestra played "The World Has Turned Upside Down." Such will be the sentiments of many people in this hour. The great upheaval of our time involves a shifting of geopolitical power from north to south and from west to east. The light and glory of the Lord are available for the church in this hour of upheaval and shifting. The people of God can try to hunker down and wait it out until Jesus comes back, or we can rise up with faith and walk in heaven's atmosphere of righteousness, peace, and joy and become the shapers of this brave new world into which we find ourselves being thrust. Saints, the answer is obvious. It is time to meet the future head on and become history makers. God has positioned our generation to be the ones who mold the future and determine what the next two centuries will be if Jesus should tarry so long in his coming. 6

Yes, times will be hard and sacrifice will be required in the years ahead. Yes, the judgment and shaking will increase. But saints rejoice--your Redeemer is drawing nigh-the darling of heaven is about to invade earth like we have never seen before. Cast off your escapist mentality and rejoice that God has chosen you and privileged you to live in such a time as this. As you hide yourself in Christ and live in close communion with the Lord, then you live in this time as the children of Israel lived in Egypt. The plagues affected the Egyptians but not the children of Israel. Even when the plague of darkness covered Egypt, the people of God had light as it says in Exodus 10:23. Child of God, this is to be our finest hour. Arise, shine! Your light has come and will outshine the darkness. This is your opportunity to be the light of the world, and the nations will come to your light and to the brightness of your rising!