I heard the Lord say this on Saturday, Dec. 5: “You have to press into change rather than resist it. That’s the perspective you need. To everything there is a season. Embrace each season as it comes but be ready to embrace the changes as it ends. The trouble many face is in the transition from one season to the next. Instead of searching for My will they allow fear to cause a stumbling block in what should be a time of great progress and growth. Change, great change, takes place during transitions because during these times your faith is stretched. You have to let go of what’s comfortable before you can see the greater thing ahead. But faith is a rest and the Comforter is there to lead you and guide you from the former glory to the next glory. Embrace the change. Look for ways to better yourself and be ready to receive the blessings I have for you in the next place.”
Here are some observations as I was praying about this. Peter resisted change, and when he did he was out of God’s will. There’s no grace to resist a God-inspired change. You just end up worn out and frustrated. When you resist a God-inspired change, you are resisting God. So how do you embrace change? You look for God in it, and embrace Him through it. God is always there. He’s a very present help in times of change. He never changes.
If the Prophet Isaiah were with us today, he might repeat a declaration from the 43rd chapter of the prophetic book he penned. Since he’s among the great cloud of witnesses, I’ll make this Spirit-led declaration instead. Behold, the Lord is doing a new thing! We need to move forward with His Spirit so we don’t get left behind in the desert.
Interestingly, Isaiah was the same prophet who announced John the Baptist’s day, another time when the Lord was doing a ‘new thing.’ John was a voice crying in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3). The Bible says he was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb, and when he launched his ministry – to prepare a way for the Lord – he was visibly anointed.
In fact, despite his less-than-luxurious meeting place, his uncouth exterior and his fire and brimstone message, the Baptist probably drew some of the largest crowds since Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal hundreds of years earlier. The Bible says people went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
Jonah’s experience in the belly of a whale may be a kid’s church favorite, but there are serious warnings here for New Testament prophets. While the Book of Jonah tells a familiar story, deeper examination demonstrates two spiritual death knells for prophets: rebellion and stubbornness. The Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against the wickedness of its society. Jonah’s immediate response was to run away from the Lord and board a ship that was headed in the opposite direction toward Tarshish. Jonah rebelled against the word of the Lord because he wanted Nineveh to experience the wrath of God instead of the mercy of God. Jonah knew that Jehovah would forgive the people there if his message brought them to repentance.
This is where Jonah’s woes begin because rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). Prophets who operate in rebellion are in danger of tapping into a spirit of divination and perverting the voice of God. Divination is foretelling the future by occult means and Isaiah Chapter 44 declares that the Lord makes fools of diviners. Rebellion made a fool out of Jonah, who brought danger to himself and those around him. The Lord even sent a violent storm upon the sea in response to Jonah’s disobedience.
The Bible tells us that the ship was about to be broken into pieces and the sailors were terrified for their lives. Meanwhile, Jonah was down in the hold of the ship taking a nap. Who could take a nap in the middle of such a violent tempest? Is it possible that Jonah’s rebellion opened up a door for a spirit of witchcraft to attack him? Spiritual witchcraft is the power of satan and fatigue, weariness and slumber are some of its manifestations. When witchcraft attacks, its victims may feel tired, oppressed or depressed. What could have caused Jonah to remain fast asleep in the midst of such a life-threatening situation? That’s exactly what the ship’s captain wanted to know.
The widespread Internet belief that Dec. 21, 2012, will be doomsday for planet Earth because some astronomical event will destroy or decimate our planet is a complete hoax, according to NASA scientist David Morrison. His concise summary of the claims and the scientific response is being published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as a public service at: http://www.astrosociety.org/2012
For several months, NASA and many astronomers have received increasingly worried letters and e-mails from members of the public about the possibility, widely touted on the Internet, that the world will end in 2012. Many mechanisms for doomsday are being proposed, including a collision with a fictional planet called Nibiru, deadly activity on the surface of the sun that lashes out at Earth, alignments with the center of our galaxy, etc. David Morrison has coined the term “cosmophobia”—fear of the cosmos—for these concerns, and has seen a huge increase in the phenomenon this year.
Dr. Morrison, a world-renowned expert on the solar system (and asteroid impacts), also serves as the public scientist for NASA’s “Ask an Astrobiologist” service, where he answers questions for the public. He has received so many questions about 2012 and the end of the world, that he felt he had to investigate and set the record straight.
About this time last year I had a somewhat perplexing dream. In this dream, I was about five months pregnant. Now, for starters, I’m not married and had no reason to be pregnant. I was trying to deny it, but my mid-section was clearly swelling and it wasn’t from too many tasty empanadas from the corner Cuban café. In my dream, I asked a trusted friend what she thought. To my dismay, she said, “You’re definitely pregnant!”
To say I was none too happy would be a monumental understatement. A flood of thoughts rushed at me in my dream state. “How will I get all my work done with a newborn baby to care for? I’m too busy for this! My life is challenging enough as it is. This is certainly no time to complicate things with a baby!” I thought to myself. Even still, I knew there was no way of escape on this one. I had a sense that I really didn’t have a choice in the matter. This baby was coming in about four months whether I liked it or not.
Then I woke up…perplexed. Of course, I’m not spiritually dense. I understood the overarching meaning of the dream. God was birthing a new thing in my life. We were a little more than halfway through the incubation process, and I needed to align my will with His in a hurry. My fellow prophets chimed in as to what this “baby” could be. Some said it was a new ministry. Others said it would ultimately be a good thing though times were likely to get rough over the next few months. They were all right.
A newspaper reporter called me the other day to solicit my opinion on an elderly woman’s so-called “divinely inspired concoctions.” Her little shop of mystic wonderments peddles oils, herbs, sprays and candles that claim to bring love into your life, and even get others to obey your every command.
As the reporter described the woman’s mixtures, supposedly potent enough to solve any problem known to man, I couldn’t help but see mental images of the Apostle Paul wrestling the beast at Ephesus. But I digress…
The elderly woman has 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and a divination sanctum littered with statues and images of various saints. A necklace adorned with charms of the tools each saint works with dangles from her neck, according to the reporter’s observations.
Just like Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, the time is coming when God’s New Testament mouthpieces will confront modern day merchandisers. The true will defy the false. The holy will challenge the unholy. Until that day, spirits of divination, with a little help from the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, are working overtime to woo God’s true prophets to the side of err.
Some merchandising prophets, with their miracle water, prophetic soap and prosperity oil, are catching naïve Christians hook, line and sinker. Other Gospel gainsayers are profiting with urgent announcements that God will heal the first five people who run up to the altar with $100 bill in hand.
But perhaps the most dangerous merchandisers are those who use their gift to tap into divination. These prophets announce what the believer wants to hear in order to sow a false seed of faith in his heart and reap an improper financial reward, inappropriately earned position or wrongly received recognition. No matter the merchandiser’s brand of deceit, it is a practice that stinks in the nostrils of God.
My new book is being printed and will be available within days. It’s called A Prophet’s Heart: Avoiding the Doorway to Deception.
Have you ever wondered how false prophets become false prophets? The enemy seeks to pervert prophetic voices at every turn – but he can only use what’s in us. Serious character issues left unaddressed can lead the true into the realm of the false.
In this companion book to “The Heart of the Prophetic,” I exhort prophetic people to examine themselves for specific character flaws that open the doorway to deception. In this book, I offers practical guidance on:
It’s time for the David’s to arise with prophetic warfare strategies that bring God’s will to the land.
Ezekiel was a patriotic prophet. He proved his love for the nation of Israel over and over again in ways that were sacrificial, uncomfortable and downright humbling. In utter obedience to the word of the Lord, Ezekiel, for example, married an unfaithful prostitute. In total submission to the Spirit of God, Ezekiel laid on one side of his body then the other for months on end.
In fact, in an effort to demonstrate the heart and mind of God, Ezekiel executed some of the strangest prophetic acts in the Bible. Ezekiel wasn’t the only patriotic prophet in the Word of God, though. There are many nationalistic nabis in the Word of God. Indeed, prophets who were loyal to God and country at all costs mark the annals of the prophetic ministry. I pray that this same spirit will sweep over every prophet in every nation today.
Guest article by Marc T. May
International economic crisis demands that prophets prepare themselves to move beyond personal prophecy into marketplace authority.
Recession and economic uncertainty is all around us. Wall Street panics every time The Dow Jones Industrial takes a deep dive. The value of the US Dollar is also at an all time low and declining. The unrest in the middle east is driving gasoline prices sky high world wide. All this while liberal socialists promise to eliminate vital tax cuts that would strengthen the economy to fund their earmarked projects instead. But God’s people need not fear because there is no recession in heaven. God knows where the provision is – and He tells secrets to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
Whatever they are, stop wishing and get determined. See, the difference between hoping and wishing is significant. A wish is a desire for something that seems unattainable. (But nothing is impossible with God.) Hope, by contrast, is desire with an expectation of attainment. Hope expects with confidence. Hope cherishes a desire with anticipation. Hope breeds faith – and faithful determination generates grace.
Put your determination where your desire is. Now, if your desire is for your household to be saved, or for your spouse to abandon some annoying behavior, your determination is bound to prayer. James 5:1 says the effective fervent prayer of a righteous person makes tremendous power available. You can’t change people no matter how determined you are. But you can pray for them with a sincere heart and open the door for God to move in their lives – and you should.
But I’m not talking about other people. I’m talking about you. Put your determination where your desire is. Put your determination behind the desires that God has put in your heart. But Jennifer, doesn’t God’s Word say to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart? Indeed, it does and that is undisputable. Does that mean we should hang out on a glory cloud worshipping the Lord and expect Him to send an angel to hand deliver the desires of our heart in an express mail envelope? We both know the answer to that. (The answer is “no” in case you are just catching up.)
What do you do when you hear the devil's voice? How do you respond? I received a message from a dear one in Christ who flows in the prophetic. This one experienced a situation during a prayer meeting and needed advice. Let's listen in:
"I've had an experience about a week ago (well actually I've had several lately) that seemed weird. We were in our cell group. I was leading the group in prayer when I felt a resistance and began to pray in tongues louder. Then suddenly I began to hear thoughts. I knew it was thoughts and I said so out loud. I did not repeat what I heard they were negative thoughts. I encouraged everyone to press in. The week after I had such an assault on my mind telling me I've tapped into divination and things of that nature. Last night one of the attendees said they needed to confess and they said the very words I was hearing. Maybe I over analyze and I have to deal with that because it stems from my past. What if I'm not overreacting? It's just that I've seen so much false stuff in the past that subconsiously I did not want anything to do with anything like that. But I do realize I am prophetic like it or not I just do not want to be erroneous."
Praise the Lord for people who will ask questions. I know if this precious one had this experience, others of you out there probably have similar stories. In fact, I've lived through this one myself. I remember when the devil tried to convince me in the early days that I was flowing in a spirit of Baal. I exposed it to a prophetic mentor and learned a lot in the process. So let me respond to this dear one's question. This was my response:
Remember when Jehu was anointed king of Israel? Can you tell me who anointed him? You can’t remember, can you? That’s because the Bible does not record the name of the prophet who accepted this important assignment: “The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, ‘Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of oil with you to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!” (2 Kings 9:1-3 NIV).
This unnamed prophet obeyed Elisha’s command. He sought out Jehu, anointed him as King over Israel, and commissioned him to destroy the house of Ahab. This unnamed prophet went on to deliver a powerful prophetic word about the fate of Jezebel – dogs would devour her in Jezreel – and then he opened the door and ran, giving no one an opportunity to applaud his powerful prophetic announcement or pat him on the back for a job well done. Jehu would ride his chariot furiously to Jezreel. Jezebel’s fate was just as the unnamed prophet had announced. Jehu gets all the recognition, but it was the unsung prophet’s faithfulness to complete his mission that sparked a major turning point for Israel.
There are other examples of unnamed prophets who accomplished important works in the Bible – and there are hundreds of modern day prophets following in those humble footsteps. Thank God for the prophets who seek to honor the One who sent them instead of vying for self-glorification.
I was reading about a book that suggested the president of the United States should be looking for a prophet to get God’s instructions to run the nation.
This didn’t sit right with my spirit and here’s why: Believers need to be equipped to hear from God themselves. In the Old Testament, prophets spoke to kings and advised them. But we’re in a different time now; a time when Ephesians 4:11 lays out a new mandate for five-fold ministers to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.”
Here’s the issue: I receive e-mails from people all over the world asking me to “go before the Lord’s throne of grace and get a word for me.” I understand that most of these requests come from people who are probably desperate to hear from God. I don’t blame them. I pray for them. But I don’t prophesy over them. They need to seek spiritual counsel from their own church. That’s their covering.
On April 21, 2007, the Lord woke me up at midnight to offer up the words in the next paragraphs below. It appears we didn’t move fast enough. What will we do now? The answer to all of the world’s woes is for the sleeping giant that is the Church to rise up and take its place in society, and bring true hope, true change.
Here is the prophetic word:
There is a great awakening coming to this nation. For I have heard your cries and I long to heal your land. I am a covenant God and I will not forget the covenant I made with your founding forefathers. Yes, there will be a shaking, but the foundations will not crack and they will not crumble. Only those things which can be shaken will be shaken that the sin in the land may be laid bare.
When you read the Word of God, do you see it as a practical guide to living out His perfect will for your life? Do you look at it as God’s expectations of you? Prerequisites to inherit His promises? Do you take God’s Word literally? Or is it merely an ideal?
Although it’s true that we are all progressing from glory to glory, it’s important that we don’t use Scripture as an excuse to make God’s expectations merely a set of ideals. God’s Word outlines His standard of living, so to speak. God’s Word gives us plenty of examples of what happens when people meet those expectations and what happens when they do not.
Men of God like Kenneth E. Hagin took every Word of the Bible literally. In his teachings, Hagin explained how he made a promise to the Lord while on the bed of affliction as a teenaged boy. He told God as soon as he read and understood any passage of Scripture, He would be a doer of that Word. He would apply it to his circumstances; he would live by it.