The Sons of Thunder – James Ryle (Short Version)
The following insight occurred to me in August 1990 as a result of three dreams. In the first dream I saw a flatbed trailer with a curtain behind it. This trailer was parked at a fairground, as if a concert was about to happen. There were two guitars on the mobile stage. The color of these guitars was the most vivid, electric blue that one could imagine. What impressed me most was that the guitars were not painted, but stained. It had obviously taken time to make them blue. The curtain was the same color as the guitars. Two men walked from behind the curtain with sheet music in their hands. They were very excited, and could hardly wait to play this music. One said to the other, "Wait till they hear this. It's going to be just like when the Beatles played their music!" In the dream I also became excited.
I turned to see the crowd that was gathering at the stage and the scene changed before my eyes. The audience became a vast body of water, like a lake, and as the musicians played the new song I saw fishing lines cast out into the water. The dream ended. My waking thoughts were that God is about to release a new kind of song in the streets. It will bring a revelation of the truth and it will usher people into His presence. The anointing of the Lord will be with musicians who have spent time in God's presence "behind the curtain" receiving a deep love for the lost. The lyrics of their songs will be as "fishing lines" cast into the hearts of men and women needing Christ.
In the second dream, I was on the stage in a large church. There was an equipment room on the right side of the stage. It had microphones, cables, amplifiers and other kinds of things that collect in closets. In one corner of the room I saw a power amplifier covered with dust. The cord was wrapped about it, and it had not been used for a long time. When I looked closer I saw written on the front, "The Beatles Power Amp." I knew in that moment that this box was the source of their sound and their power. I knew that anyone could plug into this box and, in effect, have what the Beatles had—an incredible ability to mobilize masses of people to a single thing.
As I stood there holding the Beatles power amplifier, I asked aloud this question, "What is this doing here in the Church's equipment room?" Suddenly I was out of the equipment room and standing behind the pulpit at this church, still holding the amp. The enormous church, throughout the main floor and all about the balcony, was packed with people from every nation. A very beautiful woman, radiant with a glow of glory, stood in the middle of the church and began singing a song from the Lord. A light shone upon her and her voice filled the auditorium.
All she sang was: "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. The people began to swoon in the presence of God and then collapse in their seats—converted to Christ! God's power was moving through the music. The dream ended.
My thoughts upon waking were clear. There is going to be a new sound and distinctive anointing from the Lord upon music that will turn the heads and capture the hearts of men and women for Jesus. The reason the Beatles power Amp was in the Church's equipment room is because God meant for it to be a part of the church's equipment in reaching the lost for Christ. Music does not belong to the world, but to the Church. Music does not belong to the Devil, but to Christ. Satan has indeed stolen the hearts of musicians and their gift of music to use for his own evil purposes. The Church in many cases has unwittingly surrendered this to the devil without any fight at all.
Music was given to worship the Lord but Satan has turned it for self-worship, which is the reason people tend to worship musicians. But true worship and true music belong to Jesus Christ. They are given to His church to serve Him with. I truly believe the anointing the Lord will release on music is going to sweep the world in a manner like the Beatles did when they first performed. But instead of drawing attention to themselves (like the Beatles did), the anointed musicians of the Lord will draw attention to Christ alone and give Him all the glory.
In the third dream I was again in the large church where I had seen the amplifier. This time the church was empty except for one man. He was up on stage playing a keyboard and singing to the Lord. It was a beautiful song, and he was crying because of the tender exchange taking place between him and Jesus. He was writing the song right there, spontaneously making 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 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 then I could see it on the man. The entire platform around him was also glowing like gold. I knew that this was the anointing of God.
I showed the man, but it startled him. He looked at the pictures for a second, putting his hands in his pockets he shrugged his shoulders and kicked the ground shyly. "Gosh, I didn't know you were here, I'm so embarrassed," was all he could say. "You don't have to apologize for the anointing," I replied. The dream changed. I still had the two photographs of the anointed worshiper in one hand, and in the other I held a parchment. I looked at the scroll and saw it was a letter written by an unknown soldier in the Salvation Army. It said, "The Lord will release into the streets an army of worshiping warriors known as the Sons of Thunder. They will bring forth a witness of worship and praise for the Lord Jesus Christ that will bring many people to God."
The dream changed once more. I was floating over a wide and long highway that headed in one direction. All lanes were completely grid-locked, jam packed with motorcycle gang members, revving their engines and stirring up dust. It was a graphic picture of lost humanity. Then I saw a group of bikers moving in single file along the service road. They were headed for a field in the distance where there was a monolithic stone. This stone, I knew in the dream, represented the power of Christ and would empower those who touched it to go back to the highway and turn masses of lost people back to God. I looked closer at these motorcyclists as the sped toward the Stone, and saw on their jackets the words "Sons of Thunder."
As the Sons of Thunder approached the Stone to touch it, a barricade of law officers stood arm to arm in riot gear, opposing the motorcyclists—assuming they were intent on defacing the Stone. At that moment, I took the parchment in my hand and folded it like a paper airplane. I then placed the photographs inside it and tossed it over the heads of the officers. I knew that if the pictures and the promise were to touch the Stone, then the power would be released upon the Sons of Thunder. When the paper was one foot away from the monument, just before actually touching the Stone, my dream ended.
I believe this portrays the role of intercessory prayer in helping the Church get past the barricades of legalism, and open the gifts of God for reaching the lost with the message of Christ. The Sons of Thunder, represented by motorcyclists on the service road, illustrate the servant-heart of ministry. They also show the agility and decisiveness necessary in reaching the lost. The fact that they were in single file shows, in my opinion, the unity we must maintain as Christians in order for our message about Christ to have credibility.
Now, I extend to you a prayer that God will capture your heart and bring you into full devotion to Christ Jesus. That your passion for music will be equaled by your love for the lost. I pray that you will receive an anointing from God to minister with artistic creativity that is so compelling in its quality, and in its message—that thousands of unbelievers who are lost in darkness will see the light and turn to Jesus to be cleansed and born again!
© James Ryle
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The Sons of Thunder – James Ryle (Long Version)
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.
At The Fair
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 theater; 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 microphones in place and the curtain was there. The color of these guitars was the most vivid, electric blue that I could imagine. They were acoustic guitars and that caught my eye. You would never see an acoustic guitar that was electric blue.
I then saw that the curtain was the same color, 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.
A New Sound
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 special 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.
In The Streets
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.
“What I Saw Took My Breath Away!”
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, microphones, speakers, cables, cymbals, and drums. It looked like a garage packed with stuff. I looked around and saw a power amplifier 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?"
She Sang It Over And Over
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 presence—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. Simply 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 extraordinary 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 belongs to the church. That's why the amp was in the church's equipment room, because it is part of the church's equipment. Music 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 require that people worship them. That is all part of the perversion of the fall.
It Will Stop Traffic
True worship and true music belong to Jesus Christ. They are given to His church to serve Him. 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 content. It will stop traffic, and it will turn men's heads and capture 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. 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-centeredness.
Turning Hearts To Jesus, Not To Themselves
I know that there can be some misunderstanding with this Beatles 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 unjust. 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 Jehoshaphat 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, "I'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.
“Making It Up As He Went”
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 keyboard 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 making 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."
By An Unknown Soldier Of The Salvation Army
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 Soldier. 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 worshiping 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 worshiping. Suddenly the dream changed one more time. I was in the sky, about a hundred 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 intuitively that this was the broad path that led to destruction; I knew that I was looking at lost humanity.
To Touch The Stone
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 Monument, 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 motorcyclists 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 worshiping 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 completely surrounded by officers of the law. They were locked elbow to elbow in riot gear with clubs and masks waiting for a big riot. 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 photographs 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 Thunder. 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 into 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 Stone Which The Builders Rejected Protected By Lawmen
The Lord said that the stone which I saw was symbolic of Him—"The stone which the builders rejected"—but that it was also symbolic of the monument that men have built to Him. These men now feel that they must protect that monument from the very people 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.
No More False Humility
The Lord then said, "Say this to the man of music. Stop submitting to false humility. Stop apologizing for the anointing of God which is on you." There are many who in the privacy of their intimate times with the Lord sing the song of the Lord which is glorious. But when they come into the church or into the presence 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.’"
Being Rid Of Excess Baggage
The Lord said to the Sons of Thunder: "I'm not endorsing a motorcycle 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 enamored by the monument that you take your eyes off the living stones.'"
The Last Call To Intercession
Then the Lord said this, "The last call is a call to intercession." 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 between 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.
Sons Of Thunder – There Are Three Groups
There are three groups that actually make up these Sons of Thunder. They are the musicians, the evangelists who are not musicians and the musicians who are evangelists. Some who are musicians 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 musicians on a flatbed trailer, drawing the crowds for the evangelists. 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.
© 1991 MorningStar Publications Inc.
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