The Sons Of Thunder

by James Ryle

(Note from Sandi:) This story was given to me by my friend and worship leader at Northeast Assembly of God in Fresno, CA, Doug Gaither. It had a profound affect on him, as it did me, when I read it. I believe these are words of truth given by the Spirit of the Lord to someone who paid a price to hear them. It is written in a very practical way and is not related in a “high minded” fashion. It is lengthy, but worth reading, especially if you are involved in music ministry at all.

{Editor’s [Morningstar Publications] Note:) My wife and I are both musicians, and for many years I have been strongly drawn to, and inspired by, the example of the Revival “street-music” of the early Salvation Army (who transformed the pub music of their day into ‘battle’ and praise hymns – just like Luther and Wesley before them – which they took out onto the streets). In 1989 we formed our first street-band, though it became obvious that we lacked the vital ingredient:- the mighty Revival anointing that the early Salvationists had had. When I first heard a tape of this message by James Ryle, I just wept, as I had never before heard such powerful confirmation of all this. The anointing of God was so strong. There have been a number of stunning dreams and visions about this “new music” given in New Zealand also.

The following word was shown to me beginning in August 1990 as a
result of three dreams I had.

In August the Lord spoke to me through a dream. Prior to that
dream He gave me a scripture, Isaiah 21:6, which says, “This is
what the sovereign Lord says, ‘Go appoint a lookout and have him
report what he sees’.” When the Lord gave me that verse He said,
“I’m doing this in your life. I’m appointing you as lookout. You
will see things, and when you see these things, you report them.”
I am now reporting to you what I have seen.

The first thing I saw in the dream was a flatbed trailer with a
curtain behind it and two guitars on guitar stands sitting on the
trailer. It looked like a stage but it wasn’t a stage in a the-
atre; it was a mobile stage that could be moved into the streets
or parks. This trailer was at a carnival or at a fairground. The
two guitars were sitting on their guitar stands with the micro-
phones in place and the curtain was there. The colour of these
guitars was the most vivid, electric blue that I could imagine.
They were acoustic guitars and that caught my eye; you would nev-
er see an acoustic guitar that was electric blue.

I then saw that the curtain was the same colour, and it captured
my attention. As I stood and looked at it, two men came walking
out from behind the curtain with sheet music in their hands. They
were very excited as they looked at this, and they pointed out
the different notes and the different measures, cadences and all
the different features of this music. It was obvious that they
could not wait to play this music. I looked over their shoulders
and I could tell by looking at the music that it was a new song.
It was not new like someone had just written it, but it was new
in quality.

In the dreams my thoughts were, “This is new like the Beatles’
music was new.” When the Beatles appeared in the sixties it was a
new sound and it took the world by storm. Whenever one of their
songs came on, you would automatically turn it up; it had a spe-
cial quality that caught your ear – it turned your head. It was
the most arresting sound that our generation had ever heard. I
remember looking at that sheet music in this dream and thinking
that this music was going to be just like that, with one very
significant distinction – this was of Christ. I stood on that
platform thinking – “Wait ’til these people hear this song!” I
couldn’t wait to see this happen, but the dream ended.

After I had written the dream down, the Lord spoke to me and
said, “I’m about to release a new kind of song in the streets. It
will bring a revelation of the truth and it will usher men into
my presence.” I filed that away until about a month later when I
had another dream.

In the second dream, I was taken to a large church which had a
stage. There were rooms on either side of the stage. The room on
the right side was the equipment room – it had pianos, micro-
phones, speakers, cables, cymbals, and drums; it looked like a
garage packed with stuff. I looked around and saw a power ampli-
fier over in the corner. The amp was unplugged, the cord had been
wrapped around it, it was dusty like it had been sitting in the
corner for awhile. I dusted it off. What I then saw took my
breath away. I gasped with a sense of discovery but also dread
because of what I was holding in my hand. I held the power amp
that the Beatles had used. I knew in that moment that this box
was the source of their sound and their power.

I realized that people would do anything to have this amp. There
are bands who for years have been looking for that sound – and
for that power. They had been doing everything within their scope
of imagination to get that power. Here it was and I was holding
it in my hand. I felt hunted; I felt vulnerable; I felt that I
was threatened. I knew that I could be hurt by those who would
do anything for the amp. As I stood there holding it, I asked
aloud this question, “What is it doing here?”

Suddenly I was out of the equipment room and standing behind the
pulpit at this church, still holding the amp. The church had
grown to five times the size that it was at the beginning of the
dream. There was a balcony and the place was packed with people.
As I looked at all these people (they were oblivious to my pres-
ence), a woman stood up in the middle of the church, and a light
shone on her. She began singing a song of the Lord. Her voice
filled the auditorium, and all she sang was this: “In the name of
Jesus Christ the Lord we say unto you, be saved.” She sang it
over and over. She would turn to her right and sing, then turn to
her left and sing; then she would turn behind her and before her
and sing the same thing. As I watched her sing, it was like a
wind blowing on a wheat field. These people began to swoon in the
presence of God and men and women were collapsing in their seats,
converted to Christ, just by the power of that song. That was how
the dream ended.

When I awoke, the Lord said that there was going to be a new and
distinctive anointing and sound restored to music that will turn
the heads and capture the hearts of men for Jesus Christ… Sim-
ply singing the truth in the name of Jesus Christ, “We say unto
you be saved,” will release the power of His Spirit in such an
awesome display that men and women will collapse in their seats
and be converted to Christ. But the Lord said that a key to this
will be this new anointing He is about to give to His music.

The Lord said that in 1970 He lifted the anointing for that ex-
traordinary music that could arrest the attention of men, and for
twenty years He has held it in His hand. He is about to release
it again. He said that it does not belong to the world, it be-
longs to the church. That’s why it (the amp) was in the church’s
equipment room, because it is part of the church’s equipment. Mu-
sic does not belong to Satan, but he has stolen much of it and
seeks to use it for his own evil purposes. Music was given to
worship the Lord but Satan has turned it for self-worship, which
is the reason we tend to worship musicians, and they tend to re-
quire that people worship them. That is all part of the perver-
sion of the fall.

True worship and true music belong to Jesus Christ. They are giv-
en to His church to serve Him with. The anointing the Lord is
about to release on music is going to sweep the world in a manner
like the Beatles did when they first came out. It’s going to be a
music that is new in kind, new in sound, arresting in its con-
tent; it will stop traffic, and it will turn men’s heads and cap-
ture their hearts, but this time it will do it for the Lord.

In this dream I saw the balcony scene when the Beatles first
played on the Ed Sullivan Show. I saw the kids pulling their
hair, crying… That is what I saw – the same emotion, the same
devotion, the tears in the eyes and that earnest look of love and
adoration on the faces, but this time they were crying for Jesus!
When this anointing comes on the music He is about to give His
church, and His servants step forth in true service and worship
to Him with these gifts, He will display the Holy Spirit in such
a way that it will bring that kind of adoration to the Son of
God, not to the musicians or our own self-centredness.

I know that there can be some misunderstanding with this Beatle
connection, but that is how it was related to me in the dream and
I later saw this principle related in the Scriptures. Psalm 68:18
reads: “You ascended on high, you led captivity captive and gave
gifts to men – even among the rebellious …” “The earth is the
Lord’s and all it contains” (Psalm 24:1). It all belongs to Jesus
Christ… The Lord makes His sun to shine on the just and the un-
just. He makes His rain to come on the wicked and the righteous.
Gifts and talents are given by the Lord, even though we may use
them for evil.

We are now on the threshold of a prophesied new move of God which
will be precipitated by a musical revival that encircles the
world. God is going to bring praise into the streets. The choir
that preceded the army of Jehosaphat will once again lift up the
banners and strike the chords, only this time they will turn the
hearts of men to Jesus Christ and not to themselves. They won’t
be saying, “John, Paul, George, and Ringo,” or, “l’m of Paul, I’m
of Apollos, I’m an Evangelical, I’m a Baptist, I’m a Catholic, or
I’m a Lutheran.” This time the adoration will be to one person
alone – Jesus.

I was then given a third dream. Again I was taken to this large
church where I had seen the amplifier. This time the church was
empty except for one man. He was up on the stage playing a key-
board and singing to the Lord. It was a beautiful song, and he
was crying because of the tender exchange taking place between
him and the Lord. He was writing the song right there, just mak-
ing it up as he went. I was greatly moved by this song and the
man’s pure worship. I had a camera with me and I decided to take
a picture of this to remember it. I took two polaroid pictures
that came out immediately. When I looked at these pictures I was
stunned because both of them were glowing with a golden light. I
looked up and I then could see it on the man. The entire platform
around him was also glowing like gold. I knew that it was the
anointing of God.

I went up to this man and said, “Brother look at this,” but it
startled him. He quickly turned the instrument off and stepped
back. I said, “Look at this, look at the anointing of God that’s
on you.” He looked at the pictures only for a second, and
putting his hands in his pockets, he shrugged his shoulders and
started kicking on the ground shyly saying, “Oh, gosh I didn’t
know you were here, I’m so embarrassed.” As he was going on like
this I just looked at him and asked, “What are you doing? You
don’t have to apologize for this – this is the anointing of the
Lord.”

Immediately the dream changed. I had these two photographs in my
left hand and a parchment scroll in my right hand. I looked at
that scroll and it was a letter written by an unknown soldier of
the Salvation Army forty years ago. It was signed Unknown Sol-
dier. I read this letter and it was a prophecy. It said that the
time would come when the Lord God will release into the streets
an army of worshipping warriors known as the ‘Sons of Thunder’.
They will bring forth praise into the streets that will birth
evangelism and praise and give many children to God.

I was duly impressed with this prophecy but I didn’t know what to
do with it or the photographs of the man worshipping. Suddenly
the dream changed one more time. I was in the sky, about a hun-
dred yards or so above the ground and I was over a highway. The
highway was ten lanes wide and it only went in one direction. As
far as I could see in both directions the highway was completely
grid-locked, jam packed with Hell’s Angels, shoulder to shoulder,
wheel to wheel, just revving their motorcycles. I knew intuitive-
ly that this was the broad path that led to destruction; I knew
that I was looking at lost humanity.

Then I saw on the side of the road, in single file, a group of
motorcyclists who were the only ones moving. What caught my eye
was that they were in single file and were moving in single file
on the shoulder on this highway. They were headed towards a field
that was about a mile and a half away. In the middle of this
field there was a stone that was almost like the Washington Monu-
ment, but it wasn’t that tall. It was a monolith-like stone, and
I knew that these motor-cyclists were headed toward it. I also
knew that they were headed there for the purpose of touching it,
because when they touched it they would receive power to come
back and lead all of these Hell’s Angels to Christ.

I felt that I also had to get to that stone, and that I had to be
there when they got there. In the dream I was able to fly like an
eagle, so I swooped down to get a closer look at the motorcy-
clists who were in the single file. I could see on the back of
their jackets the words ‘Sons of Thunder’. I knew that this was
the army of worshipping warriors about which the unknown soldier
from the Salvation Army had prophesied.

I hastened over to this stone, but when I got there it was com-
pletely surrounded by officers of the law. They were locked elbow
to elbow in riot gear with clubs and masks waiting for a big ri-
ot. My first thought was, “Oh NO! These guys are not going to let
us get near the stone.” I was so grieved. Then I had the thought
that all that was necessary was for this parchment and these pho-
tographs to touch that stone; if they touched that stone the
anointing that this prophecy spoke of and the anointing that I
saw on that man of music would be released on these Sons of Thun-
der. They would then be empowered to go into the streets and
turn the Hell’s Angels to Christ.

So I started to walk past the line, but they wouldn’t let me
through either! Suddenly I got an idea – I took the parchment and
I folded it into a paper airplane, put the photographs down in
the crease in order to sail it over the heads of the officers in-
to the stone. I knew that I would only have one chance and that I
could not miss. The stone was so large that the only way I could
miss would be to fall short. This may be the most important issue
for us. The only thing that can stop us is our stopping. Will we
fall short or will we touch it?

I took the airplane with the photos and prophecy and let it fly.
It flew as straight as an arrow. Just when it was about one foot
from touching the stone the dream ended! I desperately wanted to
go back to sleep and finish the dream but I could not. Then the
Lord began to speak to me about it.

The Lord said that the stone which I saw was symbolic of Him
(“The stone which the builders rejected…”), but that it was al-
so symbolic of the monument that men have built to Him. These men
now feel that they must protect that monument from the very peo-
ple He is calling to Himself. The ‘officers of the law’ stand in
riot gear ready to defend the Lord from those that they don’t
think are worthy enough to come near Him.

The Lord then said, “Say this to the man of music. Stop submit-
ting to false humility. Stop apologizing for the anointing of God
which is on you.” There are many who in the privacy of their in-
timate times with the Lord sing the song of the Lord which is
glorious. But when they come into the church or into the pres-
ence of people they let the fear of man choke the song. The Lord
says “Stop it! You do not need to apologize for that anointing.”
It is the glory of God that rests on you and the Lord is saying
that it is now time for you to bring forth that which He has put
in your heart to do. Sing the song of the Lord for the salvation
of the lost. And your ministry in this will begin at the burial
site of the fear of men.

The Lord said, “Say this to the church: ‘Stand in the light, lift
up your voice and sing in the streets. Sing the simple message of
the gospel – in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, be saved. Lift
up your voice as a witness to Christ and the Spirit of God will
cause people to be converted’.”

The Lord said to the Sons of Thunder: “I’m not endorsing a motor-
cycle gang. That is not My point. These are symbols which speak
of the issues involved. A motorcycle is a quick, agile means of
transportation and represents those who rid themselves of their
excess baggage.It can go where other vehicles cannot go.” The
Lord is calling men and women into a ministry of evangelism that
will take them places where the churches cannot go. And like the
stigma associated with motorcycle gangs, there will be rejection
and misunderstanding associated with this ministry. Some will
not understand why they go into bars and associate with people
who look demonic (and sometimes are), just as the Lord Himself
was misunderstood for His associations. Even so, the word of the
Lord to the Sons of Thunder was be in the world but not of it!

Then the Lord said, “Say this to the officers of the law: ‘Put
down your clubs and stop defending Jesus from people who you
don’t think are worthy enough to touch Him. Open your doors and
let those people come in. Stop being so enamoured by the monument
that you take your eyes off the living stones’.”

Then the Lord said this, “The last call is a call to interces-
sion.” He said to me that the dream ended the way it did for an
important reason. He wanted us to know that while it is going to
happen, it is not happening yet. It’s about to happen, and be-
tween now and when it does there is a call for intercession. When
the prophecy of that unknown soldier of the Salvation Army of a
generation ago and the vision of the anointed man of music are
joined hand in hand by those who will intercede, and those two
things touch the heart of Jesus through intercessory prayer, the
anointing will be released on the Sons of Thunder. And the Sons
of Thunder will be released into the streets. We will then see a
worldwide move of the Spirit of God.

There are three groups that actually make up these Sons of Thun-
der. They are the musicians, the evangelists who are not musi-
cians and the musicians who are evangelists. Some who are musi-
cians are being called to be a Son of Thunder even though they
are not evangelists. Some are evangelists who are being called
though they are not musicians. Of course, there are some who are
both evangelists and musicians. In some cases there will be musi-
cians on a flatbed trailer, drawing the crowds for the evange-
lists. When the musicians who have dedicated themselves to the
Lord Jesus Christ begin to play this new song, the Spirit of God
is going to move in that crowd. The evangelists will touch these
people and explain what is happening to them. The Sons of Thunder
are both the musicians and the evangelists who work together.

‘The Sons of Thunder’, copyright (c) 1991 MorningStar Publications Inc. 16000 Lancaster Highway, Charlotte, NC 28277-2061, U.S.A.
This article can be found at the New Zealand Revival Bulletin – http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~revival

 Copyright © 2001-2002 Abba’s Heart Ministries       All Right Reserved

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