As I watched the CBN recorded video, there was a phrase the woman used that caught my attention– “an army is rising.” She was speaking of the need for revival in the church in Germany and of the weakness of the church there; but the phrase she used gave me one of those “aha” moments, those moments when you know that God has just spoken and He has spoken to you.
The context for the CBN video follows:
CBN Reports. “On November 10, 2013, a Muslim imam was invited to give the Islamic call to prayer inside the Memorial Church of the Reformation in the city of Speyer, Germany—a church dedicated to honoring Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. When the brave German woman, whose real name is Heidi Mund, heard about the event, she prayed,” reports CBN News. Not sure what she would do upon arrival, she grabbed her German flag emblazoned with the words “Jesus Christ is Lord” and headed for the concert.” (Read more here.)
Apparently, Memorial Church of the Reformation was hosting an ecumenical gathering of many faiths of which Islam was one. For some reason, opening the service with the Muslim call to prayer was thought to make a strong statement for peace. When Ms. Mund heard that an imam would be uttering the call to prayer, she understood what that meant. The Muslim call to prayer includes the words, “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is greatest). As she puts it, when she heard those words, something began “rising up insider her.”… “I would call it a holy anger,” she recounted. “And then I rose with my flag and I was calling and proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord over Germany. … And she repeated the words of Martin Luther in 1521 after he refused to recant his faith in scripture alone: “Here I stand. I can do no other” and “Save the church of Martin Luther!”
Renowned author and Middle East and Islam specialist, Raymond Ibrahim, explains succinctly the meaning behind the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar.” (Read more here). Essentially, “Allahu Akbar” means that Allah is greater than all other “x”; and, in the context of ecumenical peace at Memorial Church of the Reformation, Allah is greater than all– including God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus the Christ. Thus, the imam’s declaration may have been made in the pretense of ecumenical peace, but peace is hardly the result when Islam seeks to reign supreme among all others. This is the same Arabic phrase that was shouted by Islamists when they claimed the lives of 2,976 men and women on September 11, 2001, all to the glory of Allah. (Read more here). It is the same phrase that an imam declares when a church, previously dedicated to the worship of Almighty God, is converted to a mosque, whether that church is claimed by conquest or abandonment of the ground upon which the church rests. When Constantinople (now Istanbul), the “Jerusalem” of the East, was taken by the Muslims on 5/29/1453, the first place Sultan Mehmet II went was the famed Hagia Sophia Church, the grandest church of Christendom for almost 1000 years and the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople for 900 of those years. Upon taking the city, Sultan Mehmet is reported to have declared, “Allahu Ahkbar,” from the Church and thereby claimed the Hagia Sophia to be no more for God but for Allah (to those who are wondering if Allah and God are the same, why would the declaration need to be made if they were the same?). In the Sultan’s actions, he desecrated the Church and rendered it an abomination by his proclamation to the glory of Allah and his messenger, Muhammad. To many, the Sultan’s acts were much like those of Antiochus IV Epiphanes when he desecrated the Temple in 167 B.C. by the sacrifice of a pig on the altar of burnt offerings in the 2nd Temple, and thereby rendered it unclean for Jews and the continued practice of Judaism.
How then might we explain the significance of the bold stance taken by the woman from Germany, and why has it gone “viral”? And what do the actions of this woman have to do with the Church in the modern time?
Just a few weeks ago, my church closed our Sunday worship with a song that contained the phrase, “an army is rising.” My message that morning just happened to be about the need for spiritual revival in the church in America. Having recently returned from India, I had seen the readiness of the people of India for a spiritual awakening; and, so I believed God wanted to do the same for the church in America. (Read recent post here). The church, however, must rediscover, the power of God which has somehow gone missing. 2 Timothy 3:5. On that Sunday morning, the phrase from the song so spoke to me that I asked our Minister of Music to sing it one more time. All I could remember about the song was the one phrase, “an army is rising.”
Last night in my church’s Wednesday night prayer time, one of those in attendance stood up and began singing a song. She began singing softly but the longer she sang, the more passionate her voice became. Others joined her and the same thing happened to them. It was one of those times when the Holy Spirit takes over and you either join in or get left behind. I joined. As I sang, I realized we were singing the same phrase — an army is rising, an army is rising, … there is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain, to break every chain, to break every chain ...
I saw the video of the woman’s stance this morning– I heard the same phrase, again. What does it mean?
I believe God is speaking– to the world. A spiritual awakening is coming, an army is rising– in the end-times. Acts 2:17-21. God said it. I interpret Scripture that we “pray down” His will on earth as it is heaven. I pray you will join me.
Jesus come quickly.