As a prophetic intercessor, I am often on “high alert” around the end of October because I am aware of the defilement to neighborhoods, cities, and regions coming from those who practice works of darkness. I usually see “street sweepers” come through the morning after October 31st, cleaning up all of the garbage and clutter in the spiritual atmosphere that results from the sacrifices to demons and curses uttered the night before. These “street sweepers” are holy angels and holy people working in tandem to declare the Father’s will and advance the kingdom. It sometimes takes time to break through, depending on the level of prayer and unity in the Body. However, this year, I saw something totally different.
The street sweepers are coming tonight. The angels of God are coming to release the power of Holiness and the pure white light which flows from the face of Jesus Christ. They are coming in response to faithful intercession and there will be many conversions of satanists, witch covens, and even those trapped in “harmless” New Age practices, beginning throughout this weekend. This may sound like an unbelievable promise, but it is similar to what has happened in the Muslim world, as Jesus has appeared to thousands of Muslims in dreams and encounters, leading to fully redeemed and transformed lives. Just He has often appeared in the Muslim world in response to intercession, the living Christ is now going to show up in the darkest places and times in our nation in response to the continual worship, intercession, and declaration of His people.
It is true that we must do our job to evangelize others and spread the gospel (see Acts 1:8). However, we must also remember that Jesus Christ himself appeared to Saul in a pure bright white light. Jesus personally dealt with Saul because He took Saul’s persecution of Christians as an attack on Himself. This is why He said, “Saul, why do you persecute me?!” (See Acts 9:1-18 for the full story) Likewise, many believers have been oppressed or struggled for many years from the witchcraft and curses spoken against them. The Lord has taken these years of attacks personally and He is now going to deal with them personally.
Even some of the “highest level” satanists and witches are going to supernatually and sovereignly encounter the light, life, and love that flows from Christ. As a result, many will have their hand restrained just before the moment of sacrifice. Others will be left on the ground weeping, as Jesus sovereignly delivers them from all of the years of abuse, pain, and hardship that has led them down a darker path. Just as Saul was struck blind, many of those who have practiced demonic arts such as astral projection, remote viewing, and other dark practices will find themselves “spiritually blind” and unable to perform these tasks, for Jesus Himself will blind them to what they once saw and did.
This is not a “one time event,” but the inauguration of a special time of harvest for those who have been lost to darkness. The breakthrough that is beginning tonight will continue through all of 2017 and we will see “waves of Harvest” coming from the darkest places. The Lord specifically revealed this to me as a year to “tear down the high places” with the power of holiness and the light of Jesus Christ, so I expect Him to reveal new strategies for reaching groups we usually dismiss as “too lost” to bother with. (see Numbers 33:52) A good example is the attack at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida this year. The devil orchestrated this terrorist attack because he smells what is coming and is terrified by the harvest about to unfold from the gay community. This attack revealed that the Father has also inaugurated a time of harvest from those bound to the devil through sexual defilement. If we pray, God will expand and increase the harvest, giving us unprecedented strategy to “tear down the high places” throughout the next year.
A few are called to partner with the Lord in intercession and prophetic declaration concerning this word. However, let’s let the Enochs and Elijahs handle the mountain-top encounters (see 1 Kings 18 and Enoch 13-14, an extra-biblical text confirming the truths of canon scripture). The best way for us to be prepared for the coming Harvest is simply to obey the Lord’s instructions in the small and simple areas of life. Live holy. Forgive quickly. Love deeply from the heart. Draw close to Him. Read the Word and pray daily. God will “show Himself faithful to those who are faithful.” (Psalm 18:25) Psalm 18 is also an excellent psalm to pray and declare in response to this word.
This is not a “one time event,” but the inauguration of a special time of harvest for those who have been lost to darkness.
Jesus personally dealt with Saul because He took Saul’s persecution of Christians as an attack on Himself.
"...so shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." --Isaiah 55:11
We are entering a season of FULFILLMENT now. It is time to re-read prophetic warnings and promises. It is time to dust off the ancient scrolls and read their golden words again. It is time to pray and declare all that has been spoken because the fulfillment of many decades-old and even centuries-old prophecies is now at hand.
Above all, it is time to press in for a greater knowledge of the Lord, to allow His heart and mind to captivate us, that we may fall in love with Him again. A great acceleration for the Kingdom is beginning now and many other things will be shaken to make way for it. Our communion (common-union) with Him is the primary thing we need to strengthen and sustain us for what is coming.
"Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39 The enemy's plans for this summer and autumn are to "stir up" the waters of humanity with hatred, fear, violence, suspicion, and pride.
Our job is to remember that we have the Prince of Peace living inside of us. We have the authority to reject the evil seed the enemy is attempting to sow in our hearts. We have the authority to speak, "Peace, be still!" over our nation--and expect His weighty peace and order to rest upon it.
The turmoil arises out of soulish strife. The enemy plants seeds of darkness in thoughts and emotions. However, when we live as a "New Creation," we carry a great peace that comes from the eternal realms, where Christ is seated in perfect supremacy. This is why we have power and authority over everything else. This is why we can speak "Peace, be still!" with the confidence that we are priests who rule and reign on the earth.
Right now, it feels like the darkness is gathering. But unless we also see the Captain of the Hosts gathering His army of light, then we are spiritually blind. Let us reject every lie and every shadow of darkness, and fix our eyes on the one who conquered every power of darkness when He said, "It is finished!"
Take a break today. Turn off the screens. Fix your eyes on the Lord of Glory until His peace floods your soul. Then, rise again, high over our nation and speak the golden words of our Lord: "PEACE, BE STILL" All things are subject to His rule and reign for He is still Supreme over all.
See Revelation 5:10, Colossians 1, 2 Kings 6
AN INTERESTING CONFIRMATION... Less than one minute after I released this prophetic word publicly on this blog and on Facebook, I lost electricity in my home. A great storm swept through Charlotte, NC that night (July 8, 2016) and 170,000 homes in the area lost power. This storm brought heavy winds, thunder, lightning, and hail. I believe this was a confirming sign for this important prophetic word.
Last night, I dreamed that I was teaching at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) again (I taught there for two years when I first came to Charlotte, North Carolina). In the dream, the school I was at had about 1200 students and it had very rigid policies that kept all the students under strict control. There were two lines of students queued up to enter the cafeteria. As I was waiting in one of the lunchlines, a teenage girl stood next to me. She was dressed in a long flowing white gown, which looked like the white gown that Kathryn Kuhlman wore in her miracle services, with long flowing sleeves and wide cuffs.
Someone in the line asked, "Who wants to pray?" Several students raised their hands. I raised my left hand. However, the girl raised both hands and said to me, "If you raise both hands when they ask, you can use this as an opportunity to bring the spirit of worship." When we raised our hands up, the glory of the Lord came between the two lines of students. It was like a line of demarcation, but many students began to move from one line to the other. As they moved to the other line, the line became filled with pure white light.
In the next scene, I was in the staff parking lot, which had hundreds of cars in it. Each car had a weasel in the engine and make-up in the glovebox. Sometimes, in dreams, you simply "know" facts that you wouldn't normally know. In this dream, I knew that the make-up was used by the staff when they went out to bars and clubs. I also knew that the weasels could take control of the teacher's cars when they wanted to, often leading to chaos or causing them to crash.
The Lord is going to raise up youth leaders in the Charlotte region who are anointed with power because they are fully consecrated as "Holy Unto the Lord." (See Exodus 28:36) This is primarily what Kathryn Kuhlman walked in. The Lord trusted her with great power and miracles because she "died a thousand deaths" before every service, which speaks of fully consecrating her heart, mind, spirit, and body to the Lord.
The youth movement that will rise in the public schools--and in the Charlotte region--will be driven by anointed worship. This worship has a cyclical affect. The worship will be powerful from the beginning because it is led by consecrated youth. However, it will be so holy that it will serve to bring many from darkness to light.
The worship and prayer movement that is coming among the youth will erode denominational walls. When Jesus spoke to the women at the well and said, "God is Spirit and He is seeking worshippers who worship in Spirit and in Truth," it was within the context of God favoring one mountain over the other. Jesus' point is that the Father is looking for sincere and passionate worshippers, with no regard for their tribe or affiliation. (See John 4:19-26)
A great awakening is beginning. Timing is also important in dreams. In this dream, it was early dawn when all of this was happening. This is a time to wake up to the rising glory the Father is beginning to reveal. This scripture comes to mind: "But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:13-14)
A line of demarcation is coming among students. It will become very easy to tell who is living in the Light of the Lord and who is living in darkness. For this reason, conversion will be like a holy virus that quickly spreads. This is because students will be drawn to the Light of the Lord they see in their classmates.
The Lord will expose corruption, dark agendas, and sin in the CMS school district. Don't be surprised if multiple scandals, corruption, unholy agendas, and sin is brought to the surface in the beginning of the next school year. As the light of the Lord floods into the schools, darkness will be fully exposed. This is so that it can be removed. In addition, many teachers who have resorted to the sins of this world to deal with the very real stresses of the job will be given the opportunity to be set free to live a life of holiness.
Forerunners of a great move of God which is beginning in Charlotte, NC. As we prepare for a season of great awakening and harvest in Charlotte, I believe that the youth are going to be the 11th hour workers who will lead the way.
Every revelation from the Lord is like a "data point" in a massive grid of revelation He wants to give us. Please pray into this vision alongside other important words being released right now for this region, especially Rick Joyner and Lou Engle's recent exhortations concerning "Azusa East" and the move of God beginning this September in the region.
Great miracles often happened in Kathryn Kuhlman's services because of her holy consecration to the Lord.
The Lord is going to raise up youth leaders in the Charlotte region who are anointed with power because they are fully consecrated as "Holy Unto the Lord."
This dream also points to an expansion and increase of the kind of student-led revivals that have already started to happen in West Virginia and other places.
I just watched a video where a young man who lived through the terror attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando begged the nation, “just keep praying.” In the aftermath of this attack, thousands of people are now posting “Pray for Orlando” or “Praying for Orlando” on social media sites. However, unless we really know what to pray and how to pray, we are simply offering a few words of bland comfort.
The reality is that the atoning work of Christ gives us complete authority to bind the powers of darkness and release angelic ministry to bring healing and restoration. When we say we are “praying” it is not simply to offer comfort. When we say, “we are praying” it means that we are about to pick up the priestly mantle Christ left behind when He ascended. It means that we are about to bind the powers of darkness and bring healing to the heart of man on the basis of what He accomplished through His death, resurrection, and ascension. When we pray, we pray as people who hold the keys to close--and lock--the gates of death and hell.
The Keys of the Kingdom: During His earthly ministry, Jesus told the apostles: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Notice that Christ said this in the future tense—“I will give you the keys…” This is because He had yet to acquire them through His atoning work. However, several decades later, when He appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos after his death, resurrection, and ascension, the same living Christ said: “I am the Living One; I was dead, but behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and hell.” (Revelation 1:18)
Here, we see Christ is firmly grasping the keys of authority in His hand. Through His atoning work, He now has the power to restore all things. It is this fully victorious Christ who abides in us right now. When events around us shake the world, it is our sacred responsibility to seek the face of Christ and allow Him to exercise His authority through us. When we do this, we step into the greater authority described by the prophet Isaiah: “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (Isaiah 22:22)
As believers, we can no longer afford to be reactionary. We must discern the plans and plots of the powers of darkness…and effectively shut them down through pre-emptive prophetic intercession. Whether or not we take up this mantle of prayer will determine our future as a nation.
On that note, here is a list of of specific prayers we can pray in the aftermath of these events, in order of urgency and priority: Prayer Points for Orlando
Pray for Victims’ Grieving Families: As a kingdom of priests, the primary power we have been given is the power to bless others. Each victim has left behind brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends who love them. Pray and release angelic ministry to bring words of healing, comfort, and salvation to all those involved.
Pray for Recovering Survivors: Over fifty people are still recovering from major and life-threatening injuries. Pray for swift healing, pray for the medical staff caring for them, and ask the Father to release a wave of healing power over them.
Bind Confusion, Hatred, and Divisiveness: The enemy’s plan is often to use attacks like this to fracture our nation even more. Politicians and zealots use these tragic events to promote their agendas, leading to confusion and inaction. Let us bind confusion, hatred, and divisiveness—and resolve to search our own hearts until the calm, quiet love of the Father is all that remains there.
Release Clarity, Unity, and Wisdom: Pray for our law enforcement, our governmental officials, and other leaders. Ask the Father to remove the blinders and release total clarity on what happened, unity in a common-sense response, and wisdom in how to discern and prevent future attacks.
Prayers to Expose and Eliminate Threats: Current intelligence reveals that this horrific attack is only a foretaste of what the enemy wants to bring to our shores. Let us pray that the Lord will expose every Islamic terrorist threat and domestic terror threat before it happens, so that we can eliminate as many as possible.
Pray for the Body of Christ: Unless we have salt and light, our nation will only decay more and turn darker. Pray for a spiritual awakening that will begin in the Body for Christ and quickly accelerate to bring in the greater Glory and Harvest the Father has promised.
Pray for a Harvest from the LGBT Community: Many of those who are currently desperate and lost in the LGBT community have powerful callings and anointings from the Lord waiting to be unlocked. The Father is getting ready to draw them back into the fold, wash them with His love, redeem them with Christ’s blood, and consecrate them to be His “Most Holy Ones.” We need to get a vision for the great harvest that is coming and begin to reach out much more to those who are hurting
Survivors gather during a vigil, from the Orlando Sentinel website
When we say, “we are praying” it means that we are about to pick up the priestly mantle Christ left behind when He ascended.
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." --Acts 4:31
This watchword will require some back story. Leading up to March of 2014, I received an urgent warning from the Lord about an impending earthquake in California. This was something I prayed about with close friends, but kept private. Others were receiving similar warnings. That year, I believe the Lord turned what would have been a "big event" into a small event through prayer: a 4.4 magnitude earthquake did come on St. Patrick's day of that year, followed by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake on March 28, 2014.
I also had a strange prophetic experience in March of 2014, which I believe may apply to this month. As I was in my kitchen, washing the dishes, I was earnestly praying for the West Coast in response to the words the Lord had given at that time. I was suddenly filled with holy boldness and declared,
"Don't let the enemy decide when this earthquake happen. Don't even let the angels decided. Let your holy people decide, as they gather in holy counsel."
As soon as I said, "...let your holy people decide," I heard a sound outside of my window that sounded like crystal shattering and an explosion. At the moment this sound erupted, all the power went out in the house for two minutes. My dog began barking at the place where the sound came from. My boys ran to me and asked what had happened. What happened is that I tapped into something on the Father's heart, and power was released as a result. There was no natural explanation for the power outage or the strange explosive sound.
The reason I share this story is because when this happened, I also saw something which I believe may apply to this month. In March of 2014, I saw this great earthquake held back and split up into smaller ones. However, I also saw a great cloud of glory positioned over the Pacific Ocean, signifiying a wave of unprecedented glory, signs, wonders, and a harvest of souls which would have to wait until the saints gathered in holy assembly to decide that it was time. When I saw this cloud, I realized that the earthquake was delayed...but so was the cloud of glory and harvest that will accompany it. When I saw this, I felt that the Father was longing to bring the shaking and the glory I saw unfolding, but He is waiting for us to agree with Him. I am posting these words now because I believe these things are now at the door.
I want to be clear in prophesying that a major seismic event is coming to the West Coast very soon. I would not be suprised if this is even timed with the Azusa Now event, although the exact timing is not clear to me. The Acts 4 earthquake happened when those who experienced Pentecost the first time gathered again in holy consecration to call forth a second wave of glory and harvest. When they did, a "glory quake" shook the whole place where they assembled in holy counsel. Likewise, the purpose of this "glory quake" is to announce the greater glory. Its purpose is not to bring death and destruction, but to serve as a demarcation line between the "early house" and the "latter house" of Haggai 2. The prophet Haggai wrote:
"And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ 6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LordAlmighty.9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”--Haggai 2:5-9, NIV
The first thing this "glory quake" will do is shake down the walls man has built. The "former house" of denominational walls and religious culture cannot hold the greater glory. The walls that man has built to keep the Spirit of the Lord out of the church and to separate different streams in the Body are about to be shaken to the ground. When this seismic event occurs, it will shake off ungodly prohibitions and restrictions that man has set in place to limit how, when, and where God can move. This second wave of Pentecost will flood even more places than the movement that began in 1906 or the charismatic renewal--it will release a wave of glory and harvest that will transform the Body of Christ as we know it and begin to flood through major cities, bringing glory, harvest, and awakening.
I believe that now is the time for us to let the glory came in such a manner that the "whole region" is shaken. This will not bring death and destruction, but the inauguration of the greater glory, harvest, and unity that we have longed for.
Get ready for a massive move of God, beginning on the West Coast.
The Acts 4 earthquake happened when those who experienced Pentecost the first time gathered again in holy consecration to call forth a second wave of glory and harvest.
It is good to be aware of what prophetic watchmen are saying about these times. However, we must each learn to hear the voice of the Living Christ for ourselves. The Christ that we serve is the same One who walked among the golden lampstands in the book of Revelation, giving encouragment and correction to those He loves. He is still living and active in us, waiting for us to step aside from our busy lives to hear clearly from Him. Sometimes, He will give us the encouragement and strength we need to carry on. Other times, He will give us the harsh words or rebuke that our soul deeply needs. Both kinds of prophetic insight are designed to cause us to mature and grow. In order to reach spiritual maturity as children of God, we must learn to embrace the rebuke of the Lord just as much as we embrace His divine favor. This is why the Psalmist said:
"Let a righteous man strike me--that is a kindness; let him rebuke me--that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it..." (Psalm 141:5 NIV) We will be blessed to the extent that we receive the Lord's rebuke and recognize that His chastisement is actually a form of supreme love. However, if "our head refuses" to accept His rebuke, we will remain immature and infantile in our relationship with Him.
We are each His handiwork. Encouraging words are an aspect of "adding to" His work in us. We receive new infusions of life, love, light, and peace as we drink in the Spirit of the Lord. In contrast, words of rebuke lead us to a different aspect of the Master Sculptor's work, which is a process of subtraction.
When we properly respond to His rebuke through repentance and obedience, we allow the master sculptor to conform us to His image by removing the hindrances from our lives: This is a work of subtraction that removes the dross and makes us holy. For this reason, we should actually seek to "judge ourselves" and actively search out what needs to be removed from our lives, so that we can look more like Him more quickly (See 1 Corinthians 11:31).
Everything that God does (or allows) is for a greater goal and purpose which we often cannot see at the time it is unfolding. When the times of shaking come, keep your eyes on the prize. For even the worst "birth pangs" that Jesus prophesied, such as earthquakes, famine, and war are merely signs that the Kingdom of God is being "birthed" on the earth to a much greater degree (see Matthew 24) For this reason, we can actually rejoice when shaking comes because it signals a time of rising glory. Words for 2015, 2016, and 2017
For the last two years, the Lord has repeated made it clear to me that 2017 will be a "golden year" when the glory of the Lord is poured out beyond what we dreamed was possible and remarkable doors of opportunity are opened. This will be a year of unprecedented acceleration for the Kingdom of God in the earth, especially in the Americas and Europe. It will be a year to establish new ministries, acquire new property, and advance on every level. Every time I see 2017, I see remarkable doors opened, made of solid gold. This will be the year that the King of Glory inhabits His Body again because it will be the year that we actually open the door for Him to come in (see Psalm 24). When He "comes in the door" we open, He will teach us how to rule and reign from a place of communion with Him (see Revelation 3:20-21).
2015-2016 are designed to prepare us for these unprecedented opportunities by removing the hindrances that stand in our way. It is wise to prepare both spiritually and in practical ways for the shaking of the next 15 months. The economic shaking that has already started to unfold is only one kind of shaking--expect other kinds of shaking to begin in February and continue through March and April of 2016, including significant earthquakes and volcanoes. This will be like when the Israelites were surrounded by plagues and told to make bricks without straw. It will be harder to do things and we will see judgements around us. However, just like the Exodus, the Lord is allowing these things for the ultimate purpose of showing Himself strong and crushing Pharoah's power.
Expect a quick turnaround towards the end of 2016, as the Lord begins to raise up His army and His architects. They will receive marching orders and blueprints for unprecedented victories that will begin at the end of 2016 and continually increase through all of 2017. The central aspect of these marching orders and blueprints will be the key of David from Isaiah 22:22, which will open up every door (also see Revelation 3:7-13). As we learn to use the authority we have been given and apply it to worship, intercession, evangelism, and prophetic declaration, we will begin to see the kind of outpouring and harvest that many have dreamed about and prophesied for centuriues.
I believe that the reason the Lord has given me these promises for 2017 now is because some people will need to see the "light at the end of the tunnel" as they move through the next 15 months. I generally do not give words that are this specific, but I felt prompted to share these things for your benefit. I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments either on my blog or on facebook.
Many blessings, Michael
For further reflection: Matthew 24, Haggai 2:6-9, Isaiah 60, Exodus
Words of rebuke lead us to a different aspect of the Master Sculptor's work, which is a process of subtraction.
For the last two years, the Lord has repeated made it clear to me that 2017 will be a "golden year" when the glory of the Lord is poured out beyond what we dreamed was possible and remarkable doors of opportunity are opened.
It may seem absurd to discuss food scarcity in a nation with a serious obesity problem. However, unless we change our direction soon, our system of food production may collapse in the near future. Before we examine what the Bible tells us about food scarcity, let’s consider a few facts taken from recent headlines: Today, the average farmer in America is sixty years old and there are not enough young farmers to replace them. Our weather patterns are demonstrating unprecedented and unpredictable shifts: We are seeing a dramatic increase in droughts, floods, and extreme weather. Genetically modified (GMO) seeds are now the foundation of the global food supply, but these highly efficient seeds make our food supply more vulnerable to a blight which could lead to global food scarcity overnight.
Most of the experts who analyze our food supply are not even considering more dramatic events that could impact our food supply and distribution, such as wars, infrastructure problems, or economic instability. However, the most disturbing fact is even if we managed to have no wars, perfect weather, no blights, and an increase in production from new technologies, the world’s population could sill rise as much as 3 billion people in the next 30 years. At some point, we are going to have to deal with food scarcity. The good news is this may be the greatest ministry opportunity in history.
A Biblical View
The Bible makes it clear that food scarcity will be central to what happens at the end of the age. Jesus himself said famines would be one of the signs of the end of the age (See Matthew 24:7). Likewise, when John saw the black horseman holding a pair of scales, a voice from the throne announced:
“A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:7 NIV84)
In other words, the voice from the throne was announcing there would be hyper-inflated food prices and luxury food items would be highly valued. However, the Bible offers us much more than this terrifying warning. If we read its golden pages carefully, we can find patterns for turning the coming food scarcity into an unprecedented opportunity to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
When Joseph was shown a time of famine coming, he did not bury his head in the sand. He mobilized the nation to steward their resources more effectively so that Egypt could become a refuge and a blessing to all of the nations around it. As Christians, food distribution is one issue where we have the wind at our back. Many generations of believers have organized food pantries for the needy and given generously to missions work that distributes food overseas. Today, missionaries are digging new wells and working to turn deserts into farms in third-world countries.
Despite our past successes, our food distribution plans suffer from the same malady as our plans for evangelism and discipleship: Our vision is too small. We currently do not have an adequate structure in place to disciple the multitudes who are going to give their lives to Christ when the great harvest of souls begins in North America and Western Europe. Likewise, we do not have an adequate structure in place to feed the hungry when the global food supply collapses. We need to begin incorporating food production, storage, and distribution into our long-term plans.
The best way to for church leaders to show leadership on this issue is to identify and empower those who are called to lead in this specific area. The answers to food scarcity will probably not be preached from the pulpit on a Sunday morning. However, you may have someone in your congregation who has a desire to organize a farmer’s market, a seed exchange, or a long-term storage and distribution plan. You may even have a teenager in your youth group who is destined to work the land or develop new technologies that will solve food or water scarcity.
Adam was placed in the garden and told to tend it. This capacity for effective stewardship was the basis on which God entrusted him with dominion over the whole earth. However, food scarcity is a natural consequence of man’s failure to perform this mandate.
Intercession is the most important kind of stewardship that we can exercise. When Christ died on the cross, he did not redeem man alone. He also redeemed all of creation because creation was cursed along with man.The sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ is the basis on which creation will be restored. Therefore, our stewardship of the earth must always begin with our administration of Christ’s redemption as a priests under the New Covenant. Paul explained how creation longs for us to step into our ultimate purpose:
“The creation waits in eager expectation for sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:19-22 NIV84)
When we see drastic shifts in the weather, droughts, floods, or blights, we need to be confident in the authority that Christ has given us. He sprinkled his blood over “all things in heaven and earth” (See Colossians 1:15-20). Now, we are called to release that redemption over the earth itself through prophetic declaration and fervent intercession. We can apply the blood of Jesus Christ to stop a blight. We can prophesy to a storm and stop it in its tracks or call forth an unexpected rain-storm to break a drought. It is time for us to start practicing and using this authority so that we will be fully equipped when we have an even greater need to use it.
We also need to learn to love creation as much as the Creator does. It is much harder to prophesy to the weather if you never bother to look out the window or watch a sunset. We are most effective at praying for others when we have learned to love them as the Father does. Likewise, we will be more effective at stewarding creation and releasing Christ’s redemption over it when we learn to love its beauty and appreciate its complexity. If we develop this love, then we will develop the right kind of stewardship. We make thousands of decisions that impact creation everyday, ranging from what we buy and how we eat to what we are growing in our backyard. What would happen if every one of this decisions was guided by the Father’s love for His creation?
Distribution and Hospitality
In Acts chapter six, we see a meeting of all twelve of the apostles for the sole purpose of appointing a team of seven elders to organize food distribution. This is because food collection and distribution was an essential ministry for the early church. In the early church, there were some impromptu outbreaks of the Holy Spirit’s power in public venues, where thousands would commit their lives to being followers of Christ. However, the actual discipleship took place in believer’s homes, where they would gather to spend many hours eating, worshipping, teaching, prophesying, and taking the Lord’s supper together. Likewise, there will be millions streaming to the light of the Lord as the next move of God unfolds. They may choose Christ in large public meetings in stadiums, in churches, or on street corners. However, our homes are where they will actually be discipled to become a New Creation and do the works of the kingdom. Our churches and our religious infrastructure are simply not sufficient to contain or disciple the harvest that will come in. This is why it has been so long in coming.
For several decades, some church leaders have been strategizing how to best disciple the multitudes who will stream to the light of the Lord. Now, imagine how this time of harvest would be different if the grocery shelves were empty or if a loaf of bread costs a day’s wages. Some churches may be called to appoint teams of elders to oversee food production, storage, or distribution—just as the twelve did. However, most churches will not be able to meet his demand. The answer is in the simplicity of the New Testament model.
The Bible gives us simple instructions: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13). I was raised in small churches that had weekly “potluck dinners” and fellowship. We frequently had friends and families over to share meals. We gave to food banks and held barbecues in impoverished communities. However, the role of food in the next move of God is about much more than nostalgia. God is calling us to a much higher level of faith because the need will much greater than we can anticipate or prepare for.
When Jesus feed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, he asked the twelve apostles to distribute this food to the needy. As a result, there were exactly twelve baskets left over. This was first and foremost a sign that confirmed Christ was the promised Messiah. However, it also signified that those in apostolic ministry should be able to multiply and distribute resources effectively. This was also the pattern that we see in Joseph’s life and one that will become increasingly important as we enter seasons of greater shaking.
Note: If you're interested in beefing up your personal and community preparedness, follow the "homesteading" link at the top of this page.
Genetically-modified (GMO) seeds are only one of the challenges that is currently threatening the global food supply.
At some point, we are going to have to deal with food scarcity. The good news is this may be the greatest ministry opportunity in history.
Above: Crowds wait in line for food and water after the devastation caused by Hurrican Katrina in 2005.
Despite our past successes, our food distribution plans suffer from the same malady as our plans for evangelism and discipleship: Our vision is too small.
Over the past few weeks, I have had a recurring vision of a Native American kneeling down to the ground with his ear pressed to the soil. From this low position, he can hear and feel the vibrations in the ground from a massive train that is quickly approaching, but is still out of sight or hearing for most.
As Christians, we usually expect the Lord to move in ways that are really easy for us to identify and understand. It is not wrong to seek or ask for clear evidence that the Lord is with us. Jesus himself said that, "signs will follow those that believe." (Mark 16:17) When the 120 waited on the Lord in the upper room, the Presence of God that came was unmistable and undeniable. When Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, a literal fire came from heaven that proved the Lord was with him. This kind of manifestation of God's presence and power is not what we're currently walking in: However, it's on the way and coming down the track.
The other mountain that Elijah climbed was called Mount Horeb. (See 1 Kings 19) On this mountain, the Lord was not in the fire, the earthquake, or the wind. He simply spoke in a "still, small voice." God's voice was so quiet that Elijah had to wrap his face in his mantle to hear it at all. However, this is no less significant: Elijah was still hearing the voice of Almighty God.
We are in a season where we know there's a lot of things coming down the track. We expect an unprecedented outpouring of God's Spirit and multitudes coming to the Lord. We also expect increasing shaking and turmoil to the economic, political, and environmental systems that man has corrupted.
The Lord is calling us now to be like Elijah. We need to wrap our faces in the mantle of the Lord and shut out all other distractions. The answers we seek are not on television or the internet. The answers are not at our favorite shopping center. They answers may not even be at large meetings and crusades. The answers are only found in the Lord himself, who is a shepherd that faithfully watches and guides his flock. Jesus said,
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)
This is a time for us to humbly return to the Lord and learn to hear his voice more closely. Our goal is to "hear" Him so accurately and "follow" Him so closely that He will be able to acknowledge that He "knows" who we are.
Use this summer to draw closer to the Lord and prepare for what's coming down the track. This "preparation" will be different for each one of us. Some may be called to start a home group, pick up a paintbrush, or begin writing. Others may simply be called to press in to wait on the Lord or intercede for others. Some might be called to take some practical "prepping" steps that they've been procrastinating on. The important thing is that each one of us learns to humble ourselves, shut out all distractions, and listen for the still small voice. If you listen closely enough, you can even hear what is coming down the track.
Above: A movie still from "His Last Game," a short film from 1909.
Our goal is to hear Him so accurately and follow Him so closely that He will be able to acknowledge that He knows who we are.
The blueprints for what is going to happen in the Middle East cannot be found in our favorite cable news networks or political commentaries. Usually, all that media outlets have to offer is a toxic stew of fear, despair, and hopelessness. It is time to wash our eyes of this defilement and gain a fresh, new perspective from the Father. This kind of renewal comes through heartfelt, searching prayer and a resolve to search the scriptures until we find the Father’s blueprints for restoration. If we do this with a whole heart, then the Father will gladly give us His roadmap for restoration in the Middle East.
Most Bible teachers focus exclusively on the negative role of the Middle East in end times prophecy. I have listened to hundreds of teachings about Armageddon, Gog, Magog, and the various wars and conflicts that the scriptures specifically warn us about. Some of this teaching is helpful because Jesus made it clear that we should know the signs of the times and be aware that there will be “war and rumors of war” just before He comes (See Matthew 24). The problem is that we have approached the end times with an attitude of panic, paranoia, and despair because we have not yet seen the Father’s redemptive purpose for the nations of the Middle East.
One basic principle of end-times prophecy is that catastrophic events are only the “birth pangs” that signify that the Kingdom of God is invading earth to displace man’s kingdoms (see Daniel 2, Matthew 24). I fully expect many international and ethnic conflicts to become even worse at some point, because Jesus prophesied that they would (see Matthew 24). However, He also made it clear that these are simply “birth pangs.” Even in the midst of unprecedented turmoil, we must look for the new things that the Father is birthing in the heart of mankind.
This series will not focus on apocalyptic end-time prophecy. There is already plenty of this circulating throughout the Body of Christ. Instead, this series is designed to instill a Biblical sense of the Father’s plan for the Middle East. My goal is to replace fear, despair, and hopelessness with faith, hope, and love. We will know that we have the Father’s perspective on the Middle East when we have faith for Him to move there, hope that creates new possibilities, and genuine love for the people in each nation there.
This first installment will focus entirely on Psalm 87, which I consider to be the most important road map for what the Father desires to do in all the nations of the Middle East. This Psalm was written by the sons of Korah, who were given the specific task of being prophetic gatekeepers in the temple. These men were warriors, prophetic minstrels, and guardians of the temple (see 1 Chronicles 26). This is also what you will become if you take these prophetic promises to heart and dedicate significant time to pray according to these ancient promises.
Psalm 87 1 He has founded his city on the holy mountain. 2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are said of you, city of God: 4 “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me-- Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush-- and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’” 5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.” 6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.” 7 As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”
The places mentioned in this Psalm coincide with what we currently consider to be the “Middle East.” Rahab is a poetic name for Egypt. Babylon coincides with modern Iraq. Philistia encompasses many of the nations that surround Israel, as well as the Palestinian people. Tyre is in Lebanon. Cush encompasses several modern African nations. In other words, this Psalm applies specifically to the region of the Middle East, encompassing every nation there.
At some point, the Lord is going to actually write down that these nations were “born in Zion.” This refers to multitudes from these nations being born again. According to Hebrews 11, all New Covenant believers are actually grafted into Israel. This Psalm applies that reality to the nations of the Middle East and promises that enough people will be redeemed from these nations that the Father himself will be able to record these nations as being “born in Zion.”
As a second witness to this promise, when John prophetically saw the harvest of souls at the end of the age, he proclaimed that it was a “great multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language.” (See Revelation 7:9) There is no nation excluded from this promise.
We often focus on praying for Israel because the Bible specifically instructs us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). The problem is that we have only seen Israel’s purpose in end-times prophecy as one of constant embattlement and turmoil. The battles that Israel is facing today—whether they be about territory, morality, or religious conflict—are only birth pangs that identify the importance of what the Father wants to do there.
The promise of Psalm 87 does not end with the redemption of the nations that surround Jerusalem. It also leads to a movement of worship that celebrates the God of Israel as the source of all life. The sons of Korah prophesied that all of the nations of the Middle East would have a large enough body of believers to be considered righteous nations. Then, these righteous nations would proceed to sing out to the God of Israel, “all my fountains are in you…” I want you to glimpse this vision in your spirit—I want you to see a restored Middle East where worship, love, and affection is continually being offered up to the Lord of Glory.
In the 1990’s, the Body of Christ was mobilized to pray for the 69 nations in the “10/40 Window.” During this time, many Muslims throughout the Middle East received sovereign visitations from the Lord in dreams and visions which led to their salvation. The problem is that we have become so distracted and polarized by the War on Terrorism that we have forgotten the authority that we have to ask the Father for “the nations as our inheritance” (see Psalm 2). It’s time to re-open the 10/40 window to bring in fresh air and light.
Action Steps to Consider:
Print out a map of the 10/40 window or a map of the Middle East.
Ask the Holy Spirit for two or three specific nations that you can pray for regularly.
Proclaim the promises of Psalm 87 over the nations that you were given.
Ask the Father to begin a movement of worship and evangelism throughout the gentile nations of the Middle East.
Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
One of my army buddies took this photo of two young Iraqi boys when we were on patrol on the streets of Baghdad in 2004. One reason that I care about the Middle East is because I have invested significant time there.
We will know that we have the Father’s perspective on the Middle East when we have faith for Him to move there, hope that creates new possibilities, and genuine love for the people in each nation there.
Above: Thousands of Egyptian Christians gather to worship the Lord in Cairo.
Above: A fund-raiser for Iraqi Christians featured worship leaders from throughout the Middle East.