The true danger in the forest is not what you find around you, but what you find within yourself. You must therefore maintain a constant surveillance of your own heart. Any carnal (fleshly, worldly, self-satisfying) thing you allow entrance will consume you from within. You cannot afford sin. It is a deadly terror and an internal parasite; a flattering traitor. Keep your hand in Mine, our hearts entertwined, your spirit and Mine, mingled as one. Together we will best the forest within and the forest without.
The two figures are Jesus and His church (often symbolized in scripture as His bride). This means all who truly follow Him–not just those who claim to do so. They are glowing because the divine light and life of Christ lives inside His bride as well as Himself. Though they go into darkness, they will have the light of life to show them their way. The mountains they have crossed are unfruitful, and represent the recent years of decline and near-barrenness in the Western church.
The path ahead leads down, showing that humility and dependence on Christ, rather than self-confidence will be needed. The water crossing the path symbolizes baptism (itself symbolic of death and resurrection) and shows that the church must die to her own devices and live only to the plans of Christ. Our own efforts will not help us in the dark days ahead.
The dark forest is symbolic of those dark days, and though it is frightening, it is not sterile. Difficulties teach us that we need a helper and a savior. The bride is tasked with gently guiding seekers to her Lord. She also will learn to trust Him more as she depends solely on His light to get her through.
When God gave me the picture above, He also gave me a poem, which follows:
The Onslaught of the Bright
Here we stand at the edge
of the end of all the ages.
This is the moment the world
has for aeons trembled for.
This is the final gathering in;
the restoring of the Kingdom.
A time for bards to sing of,
for legends shall be written
once again upon the pages
of the annals of the ages
as the sons of God arise.
Let Him take your hand in His,
you children of the Kingdom.
Fear not to tread the path ahead
though darkness broods around you.
Great deeds have been decreed for you,
so shrink not from them, warlike sons.
Within you burns the very heart
of Him Whose name you carry.
Walk then in love of fearsome mien.
Take courage from your God and King.
All eyes upon the Lord of Hosts,
Who’s come to fetch the captives home,
and bids you, “Go. Release their bonds.”
For now the time of dread has come,
is standing at the door.
The wrath of God against the ones
who have offended little ones;
the children of the Kingdom
He has chosen for His own.
And durst the dark one touch them?
His days are at an end.
Henceforth the light has conquered night
and he no longer can defend
against the onslaught of the bright,
the holy, burning sword of righteousness,
the Son of God.
Unless you’ve studied Christian prophecy, parts of this poem may seem puzzling to you, so I’ll give a few words of explanation. As I’ve noted before, God speaks to me in ways that I understand–it doesn’t necessarily follow that anyone else will understand in quite the same way. Of course, sometimes I think I understand, though I don’t, but that’s another subject.
Judging from prophecies in scripture, many Christians (and Jews and Muslims and perhaps others) believe that we are living in the last years of the world as we and our ancestors have known it. Christian scriptures teach that the world is groaning under a curse which will only be lifted when the children of God come into their own–when God elevates them to the status of mature sons and daughters suitable to rule and reign with Christ. Hence, the world trembles in anticipation of the revelation of the sons and daughters of God.
Under His guidance and strength, His children will perform great feats of love and bring many to redemption and adoption by Him as sons and daughters themselves. Because of the darkness, His light will shine more brightly through us to the world around us. The troubled times ahead may be judgment, but they are also mercy because they will draw many to Him. Those of us who already belong to Him are commanded to “loose the bonds” of people who would like to be set free from the kingdom of this world. This certainly entails prayer and also sharing of our own stories with our friends and acquaintances so that they too may believe and be set free from sin.
The third stanza of the poem speaks of God’s anger towards evil men who have led others astray, and/or physically harmed the helpless (widows, orphans, the weak, the poor, the unborn, etc.) and failed to help them. God hears the cries of these who are harmed by people with more power than they, and at the right time, He will avenge these helpless ones. For all who love God and are called according to His purpose, the end of the world is actually a good thing–a time to be anticipated–though no doubt a difficult and challenging time. This is the time that God will restore His Kingdom on the earth. Satan will no longer rule, and we will have peace at last.
Great grace and peace to you,