Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
There is something about the expression used by the ancient cartographers “Here there be dragons” that stays on my mind.
I can picture the old maps, threads of faded ink on fragile parchment, outlining, intersecting, and defining this continent, that ocean, those stars (which were the first creations to be etched on parchment, clay, even ivory). Map making is a fascinating study.
But on those early maps, especially where so much was yet to be cyphered, to be known and named, at least “place holders” were indicated, often by the expression above, written across the space in an artistic hand.
It is a saying of several applications, however, as in many aspects of life, both literally and figuratively speaking, “dragons often be” in places uncharted, to use the early vernacular, as much as there is also treasure in the untried, untamed.
It’s the anticipation, holding onto the edge of the unknown, however, that prompts both going forward and staying back given what could be. This is true when it comes to the faith quest as well.
But go forward we must.
On Going Forward in Faith
Others by their calculations suggest that whatever’s to come, it won’t happen quite yet. Still others believe there is to be no such end time drama, but everything will pan out, just as it always has. This group is outside of mainstream Christianity, however.
But as we enter the thick of the twenty-first century, most people, religious or not, would agree the world has dramatically changed. And not only spiritually.
Even secular observors wonder what the increase of “wars and rumors of wars,” “nations and kingdoms rising against one another,” and the increase of “famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:6-7, NIV) portend–not to mention the advance of formidable technology little of which is moored by morals–all of which trouble the earth beneath an unprecedented, worldwide pall of ill will.
But that’s not all.
Belivers would add verse 5 to the Scripture referenced above on “end times” as described by Jesus: “For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
Certainly that is true as well, as cults and occult entities add to their numbers daily in a mad rush for conquests of their own.
On many fronts, our times are tense, to say the least.
The world at large will do what the world at large always does: compete, compute and conquer, the powers-that-wannabe tossing out the bait of some new Utopia luring yet more to another inevitable Dystopia. Only this time, with nuclear consequences (perhaps literally) as well.
But for believers, spiritual warriors, there are more resources. An infinite amount, you might say.
What I am referencing by way of assistance in this as of yet uncharted century of struggle is the substance of the next (re) post of my sister Claire’s series of prophecy charts, below: the power gifted us through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There are various interpretations of this among believers, but considering the times, may I invite you to consider the following.
To aid in comprehending the “weapons and tactics of the Spirit,” we have included a military strategy as a good analogy–and useful in all theaters of war.
On Divine Assistance
Prophecy Pattern, # 4 of 8: “The Holy Spirit (OODA) Loop?”
My sister, and researcher, Claire Gumbs, who developed the charts in this series, felt impressed mid-way through to address the topic of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Although the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not normally covered in series’ on prophecy, we believe the reader will see the reason—and the immediate need–to address it.
But what is an “OODA Loop?”
Survival experts teach a concept called the “OODA Loop”. The acronym OODA stands for “the decision cycle of observation (situational awareness), orientation (what should normally be going on, here; what is different), decision (how should I best respond), and action (proceed accordingly).”
The OODA Loop, developed by United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd for strategic military operations, is now used in many other facets of life where situational awareness and effective response is paramount. We believe there is also such a “loop” in the spiritual realm; such a source of strategic direction, if you will, powered by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And this set of strategies and empowerments is not just for contending with our real enemy (see next paragraph) but it is also essential for efficient day-to-day operations, whatever our “theater of duty”–home, work, school–and/or actual military TDY.
If what we “war against” is not “flesh and blood” but rather “principalities…powers…the rulers of the darkness of this age (and) spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” and if our “weapons” are not “carnal (wordly)” but are spiritual and “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds,” like military personnel familiarizing themselves with the directives/particulars of the OODA Loop, believers need to familiarize ourselves with the directives/particulars of the “Holy Spirit Loop,” if you will, specifically:
- What they are,
- How to access them,
- Who provides them, and
- How to use them.
The purpose of this [chart] on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is to address this source of “spiritual observation, orientation, decision, and action,” if you will, putting the information in both prophetic and historical context, citing both Old and New Testaments.
Tri-fold 4, click: Baptism in the Holy Spirit
This chart features:
- What the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is
- Who administers it,
- Where it is foretold in the Old Testament and revealed in the New,
- What the gifts, ministries, and fruit of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are, and
- How this relates to the “testimony of Jesus (as) the spirit of prophecy,” i.e., “discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving, and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; especially by foretelling future events.”
Claire and I encourage the reader to “do your own homework” like the Bereans who were praised for their close study of the Scriptures.
We also encourage you to resist the “normalcy bias” of believing things will always go on as they have always gone on.
If our God knows “the end from the beginning,” the thoughtful student of prophecy will consider that there are “ends” to epochs and eras in the spiritual realm even as such are evidenced in the natural realm.
May God bless and inspire you.
May we also impress upon you that the time may be very short until Jesus returns. If you have not yet received Him as your personal Lord and Savior, the time is right, now, for you. Ask Him into your life and your heart today.
The entire prophecy chart/trifold series can be accessed here. These posts are being featured again due to a significant uptick of interest in them.
*Matthew 24:6-7, NIV.
Image of old world map from Wikimedia Commons
Image of Holy Spirit from Wikimedia Commons