The Remarkable Replacement Army
Stan Firth is a retired school teacher and church pastor. In a new book entitled 'The Remarkable Replacement Army' he uses a period in Norway's history as a model for survival when denominations fail.
article first published 01/05/2011
THERE will always be 'Christian' denominations. Humans are religious creatures, and religion finds its expression in organisations with tangible features defined by buildings, staff, roles, assets, rituals and artefacts.
However we are living in an age when we see many of these institutions collapsing, fragmenting or dying of attrition. In this context many are asking "Where do I go?" and "What do I do?"
The following prophecy is taken from a book entitled 'The Remarkable Replacement Army' and the author describes it as 'an allegory from the past - pointing to a vibrant Christian lifestyle for the future'.
Using the history of the Norwegian Resistance Movement which was born following the collapse of the Norwegian Army during World War II and the exile of Norway's king, Stan Firth applies the lessons and models of survival under threat and persecution and fighting-on in a radically different environment.
Prophecy from 'The Remarkable Replacement Army'
I prophesy that the existing regiments of the Army of the King-of-Kings (the various denominations and "streams" which currently make up the Church) are going to disintegrate, sooner or later, during the 21st Century.
Already I see many signs of that. Furthermore, although there are individual churches, and groups of churches, which at the moment are, to all intents and purposes, "fighting well", I suggest that even they, in the long run, will all but disappear from the scene. I prophesy that the days of the Institutional Church are drawing to a close. I do not believe, however, that the King-of-Kings is discouraged - even though many Christians view the deteriorating situation with dismay. I am sure that He has known all along that these organisations are not constituted to withstand the end-time onslaughts of the forces-of-evil.
At the same time, there is no way that He will leave Himself without a body of "soldiers of Christ" to further His cause on Earth. My prediction is that, as the 21st Century unfolds, the King-of-Kings will come to be represented by an Army of a radically different style from the Army which has previously represented Him. I prophesy that He will replace His formal Army (His formal Church) with an informal network of dedicated believers - a veritable "resistance movement" of committed Christians.
This 'Replacement Army' will have its beginnings in the many faithful 'soldiers-in-waiting' who have already moved away from their institutionalised churches and are, at this very time, eagerly looking to see what their Lord and Commander wants of them next. As time goes on, they will be joined by more and more of their fellow-Christians from within the declining churches, and also by new Christians drawn from among the so-called 'unchurched'.
In this new set-up, there will be no church buildings, and no division between "clergy" and "laity"(or whatever you like to call that very real two-tier system which always seems to develop in church circles). Such a change will not, however, result in believers who refuse to be 'under authority' - people who are just 'doing their own thing'. It will result, rather, in believers who have discovered, in depth, what the Bible means by its frequent references to Christians being "led by the Spirit". God will, without question, continue to use role-models, and people of helpful influence. Nevertheless, I prophesy that Heaven's own "Special Agent" – the Holy Spirit – will be the key figure in every locality.
As with the Norwegian Resistance, the Church of the Future will be something of a "Secret Army" - low-profile but high-achieving. It will not have the public visibility which the Church has enjoyed in many parts of the World in past centuries. Nevertheless, as with the Resistance, fellowcitizens will quickly realise that earnest followers-of-the-King are in their midst.
The work of Christ's "Replacement Army" will be done almost entirely in 'undercover operations', by individuals or by small groups, normally working just where they are, within the setting of their everyday lives. But I prophesy that it will be effective work - work which will bring joy and satisfaction to the Lord, and much blessing and deliverance, of one kind or another, to many needy people.
In due course, the glorious day will come when, backed by a mega-force which is beyond our imaginings, the Lord of Hosts will return to His World. Then, at last, Evil will get its final come-uppance, and the 'Restoration of All Things' will be accomplished. I do not know when that will be, but my over-all prophesy is this: whether it be long or short, the closing era of the history of the christian church will be the era of the "replacement army".". Note
The Remarkable Replacement Army book is available on-line as a download in PDF form, but for easier reading it is also available at an affordable price in traditional form. Experiencing the workload of responding to questions put to him after publishing the booklet 'Custom and Command', Firth has now developed a web site to handle questions and responses to his most recent publication.
The above article is part of a developing series of articles designed to answer some of the questions that Christians are asking, and address some of the issues that they are facing in the 21st century.
Stan Firth is a Scot, married and now living in the south of England. Prior to retirement he worked as a school teacher and also as a church pastor. He has experienced 'church' both in traditional and non-traditional forms.