Prophetic impressions March18, 2011
In the article titled Days of the Judges Prophecy found in the menu listing above; the Lord showed me a vision of the scene from the song The Battle Hymn of the Republic. “I see the watchfires of a hundred circling camps, they have built Him an alter in the evening dews and damps …” This picture rolled out before me in the spirit as I was finishing that article. I saw watchfires spread across the United States of America but it wasn’t just a hundred. David Wilkerson said he had a vision of a thousand fires burning in New York City a few years ago, and he very well may have. I certainly would not dispute that this man of God was getting a warning from the Spirit of the Lord, regarding trouble in New York City. But this I saw, was not the fires of unrest or revolt. They were the watchfires of God’s men and women in meeting places with out walls, under the open heavens, and in the witness of star filled nights. In the spirit I truly believe this will be so; in the natural, it may also come to be, perhaps as a movement, perhaps of necessity …
The scene unfolded reminded me of the Festival of Booths. Where the children of Israel commemorate their plight in the wilderness, where God went before them in a pillar of a cloud by day, and a column of fire by night. It is a harvest celebration. A festival that memorializes (in good times) the supernatural provision of God, in bad times. A good reminder to fall back on when times get tough. In the Exodus of Egypt the pillar of God was always before the people leading them in the way that they should go. Except, for the time when Egypt was at their heels to devour them, and then the cloud went up and sat behind the children of Israel, to be their hinder guard against Pharaoh and his Egyptian army at the banks of the Red Sea. The cloud cast night upon Pharaoh’s army! The same pillar was to Israel “the day” on their side. I believe that as the spirit of Egypt rages against our land, God’s people will be in the light of the Lord’s impending day, in ever increasing glory, as the son rises in us. We shall arise and shine as gross darkness covers the earth, as it did in the land of Egypt in Moses’s day! A darkness will cover the people whose god’s are those of Egypt, whose leaders are the spiritual Pharoahs in the earth. This is how God’s people will shine like the stars in heaven.
It was early the morning of March 18th 2011, I was awakened by this verse (in the Battle Hymn of the Republic) rolling in my spirit, in the place between wakefulness and sleep, the song melted into images. I could see again, as I did once before, the outline of the United States of America in the dark of night. I could see these camp fires blazing, encircled, by those who were watching, and they were being warmed by the glow emanating from the fires, as their faces reflected golden light. More than anything I could feel the love of God burning in their hearts.The song was reconstructed in my mind- it was not a hundred circling camps but the watch fires of a thousand circling camps building him an alter in the evening dews and damps. Little did I know at the time that America was poising for air strikes against Libya that very moment. I could not get the song out of my mind, nor the image … Finally in the early hours of the morning around 5:00 am I got up and researched the song.
The lyrics were written by American writer Julia Ward Howe in 1861 exactly 150 year ago. I noticed right off-hand the similarities in the story pertaining to me personally. The lyrics were written in 1861, I was born in 1961. Both being the first year of two tumultuous decades in history, both eras dealing with the deaths of hero’s for civil rights. Julia was awakened with the lyrics on her mind so strong she had to get up in the early morning hours and write them down. As I was, with the words ” a thousand circling camps” instead of only a hundred. Our country, at that very moment was getting ready for its own battle over a civil war in Libya, in this first year of what already is beginning to look like a tumultuous decade before us.
I was also struck with the words proceeding the verse Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on. My mind went to the movie “The Grapes of Wrath” that told the story of an American family’s struggle during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. This also, added to my concerns for the American dollar in the wake of Japans tremendous earthquake and tsunami. Only days before, I was researching reasons why Japan would release its US treasury holdings into the world market. The answer was that a catastrophic disaster would be the likely culprit ,otherwise, Japan would not want to do anything to destabilize the dollar, and risk further turn down in the world economy that would affect their, already, struggling country. What ever trouble may abound, I see the glory of God abounding more upon His people. To be “away” from these “watchfires” is to be engulfed in darkness …
So there it is, I seen it, men and women across the land watching, and praying, dotting the nation with these vigils of an awakened sobriety in petition, intercession, worship, and praise. Gathering in the warmth of the presence and glory of God. A song written in a time reflected in history, when the warmth of God’s Spirit was the only true comfort from the dews and damps of a country whose sun had gone down for her hour of darkness, and season of winter, during the civil war. Regardless, of what the world is going to be facing, and how much it is we will have to contend with, God is marching on, His people will be a reflection of His glory forever. Watch, and pray, for you do not know in what hour your Lord comes.
November 18, 1861, Howe awoke with the words of the song in her mind and in near darkness wrote the verses to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Of the writing of the lyrics, Howe remembered:
“I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, ‘I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’ So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.”
As originally published 1862 in The Atlantic Monthly
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.