forge logo 2013 jan

 The FORGE Vision

"See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work." (Isaiah 54:16)

God has commissioned us to redeem the spiritural inheritance of Rees Howells and the land he once purchased and made the site of the Bible College of Wales, a place of intercession and training for the mission field.

Thankfully the Derwen Fawr site has been acquired by Cornerstone Community Church of Singapore rather than some commercial development enterprise. A local church has been established which is called LIBERTY church on the site since June in 2013 and a couple of buildings are being renovated. Meanwhile, the planning permission has been granted for the Sketty Isaf site of the property and it is still on the open market and a couple of groups are praying for the future plan of this site.

Now we, The FORGE, have been running an irregullar school of faith since December 2012. We are learning together the heart of God and the word of God for Israel and the nations; and also preparing workers for the mission field in these last days.

The picture God has given us is of a spiritual forge, where apprentices learn how to handle fire, water and metals and wrestle them into useful weapons, and where the apprentices are themselves forged through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's fire to become useful tools in His hands.

This is war and war changes everything in our lives. We need to understand that we are at war and we are called to fight. Our weapons are not physical weapons and are different from this world's: the love of God and the word of God (2 Corinthians 10:4). These weapons are unfailing and invincible. We have to prepare for war; we have to beat ploughshares into swords and pruning hooks into spears (Joel 3:9-11).

If we are deceived by our enemy's deceptive peace, we will be disarmed like in king Saul's time. There was no blacksmith in Israel, so on the day of the battle not a soldier had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them. (1 Samuel 13:19-22) Therefore we have to build The FORGE to make not only swords but also blacksmiths who know how to deal with iron, fire, water, air and ash in order to forge weapons of God.

forge logo 2013 jan

Forming the Vision

Losing the Word, Losing the Sword

When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they had weapons (See Exodus 13:18, 17:13). All through the era of Joshua and the Judges there was no shortage of swords (Judges 20:48, 21:10). But then they suddenly started to disappear. During the high priest Eli’s era the word of the Lord was ‘rare’ (1 Samuel 3:1), then the Ark of God was taken by the Philistines because they went to war with human ingenuity rather than with God’s instruction. First the word of God is lost, then the presence of God and finally they are deprived of physical weapons.

Losing the Blacksmiths
By the time Saul came to the throne, the situation was drastic: ‘on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and Jonathan had them.’ (1 Samuel 13:22) Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel at that time because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” Perhaps the Philistines were smart. Perhaps they had targeted the blacksmiths by providing cheaper services themselves ‘so all Israel went down to Philistines to have their plough-shares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened.’ (1 Samuel 13:19-21) Or maybe they had persecuted them more directly. Either way, the Israeli blacksmiths had disappeared. Not only did the Philistines offer a good sharpening services, but they may well have also provided entertainment with the local women while they were waiting for their tools to be sharpened (See Samson in Judges 16:1,4).

The enemy’s strategy is so subtle; it does not say they killed the Israeli blacksmiths, but possibly they provided cheaper services and some pleasures while they were waiting. While the Israelites’ tools were being sharpened, their minds were being dulled. Eventually there were no more blacksmiths, and they are the ones who know how to forge not only farming tools but also swords and spears.

Raising up Spiritual Blacksmiths
The blacksmiths are the ones who get up early, start the fire, and dirty their hands. Our war is not to do with the physical sword but the sword of the Lord. God is training his spiritual blacksmiths who know how to handle the fire of God, and to forge the sword of the word. If we prepare the place now, by restoring BCW as a training ground for such apprentice blacksmiths to develop and use their skill, then in the time of famine of the word we will not be left defenceless.

‘“See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.’ (Isaiah 54:16-17)

Four Craftsmen & Four Horns
Four horns scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem but four craftsmen will have come to terrify and scatter them (Zechariah 1:18-21). We are living in the war. We have to prepare for it and to wake up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. We have to beat our ploughshares into swords, and our pruning hooks into spears (Joel 3:9-10).

Note: In Hebrew the words for blacksmith and craftsman are the same: ‘Kharash’ (חר : a fabricator of any material: - artificer, (+) carpenter, craftsman, engraver, maker, + mason, skilful, (+) smith, worker, workman, such as wrought).