The Wedge Dream

Recently I talked about a dream that my friend had. Due to the post being about the name of my daughter, I didn’t want to go into the dream’s details or some things that the Lord had told him after he awoke. I talked to him and got his permission to write what he saw and heard. Both he and the people he saw in the dream will remain anonymous. For the sake of ease, I will write the dream in first person.

The Symbolic Dream

A great revival had broken out in the Church. It was a “passion for Jesus” movement and it was uniting people from many different streams of Christianity. The leaders of the movement were given a large field that could hold hundreds of thousands of people. They set up a stage and started worshiping and singing. There were national guardsmen all around doing crowd control. The government began setting up infrastructure like bathrooms, a clinic, an organized campground, etc. Soon it looked like Woodstock.

[An international Christian television company] came and started covering the “outpouring” on the second day. They hadn’t put a name on it yet, but were just broadcasting it throughout the whole world. (In this dream, there were always people coming from around the world to the field to be a part of the revival.)

A group of mega-churches all brought their worship teams and started taking turns leading worship between the preaching. There were members of every stream of Christianity and from every denomination represented. As I was listening to the preaching, I noticed that not a single preacher had preached from (or by using) the Bible.While most of what was being preached was biblical, they never once quoted the Bible. They preached through stories, jokes, and worldly wisdom. I even heard one pastor quote Confucius.

Then [a man of God] got on the stage. He had been called to preach his message, The Oil of Intimacy. He gladly took the opportunity to come and speak to those at the revival. He prayed and began his sermon. He said “Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 25. We’re going to talk about the parable of the ten virgins.” Immediately some teenage boys in the front row began booing him. [The man of God] is taken aback, but continues. He said “This parable is about…” but is cut off once again by more booing. The crowd starts yelling “Bring back [the last preacher]! We like what he had to say!”

Immediately, the spirit of prophecy fell on [the man of God] and he started prophesying:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). I tell you there is an overwhelming lack of the knowledge of the Holy in this generation. You walk before Him in the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. But I tell you the truth: God is coming in His holiness to judge the works of wicked men, and only those who dwell in holiness will escape His wrath!

At this point there is an uproar in the crowd. They boo him off the stage. He walked off the stage, and then walked right through the center of the crowd. As he walks, ten people to the left of him and ten people to the right of him fall down in travail because of the fear of the Lord. Before he can get to the back of the crowd, a great earthquake breaks out and the fear of the Lord falls on the back half of the crowd. The whole crowd begins screaming. The front half screams because of excitement while the back half screams because of terror.

Just then, [a famous Christian author] walked on stage to quiet the crowd. He starts talking in a mesmerizing voice. The front half of the crowd becomes transfixed on him and becomes quiet. The back half of the crowd start screaming louder because they can hear nothing in his voice but the shrieking of the demonic. Then, the back half of the crowd separates and goes to the far end of the field. [The man of God] sets up a portable PA system and begins leading the people in repentance, weeping, and mourning.

Once [the famous Christian author] had the crowd under control, he began to speak to them. He said “I would like to give a shout-out to my friends from the Unitarian church.” The camera pans over to a group of people in white t-shirts. The front of the t-shirt has a picture of the earth with the words “One Church, One Bride, One World, One Consciousness.” People go through the crowd passing out these t-shirts and all the people in the crowd put them on. “I’m glad to see such unity in the body of Christ. Isn’t it great when we can all lay aside our differences and gather together to learn from one another?” he said. “I apologize for [the man of God]. He didn’t understand what it is we are doing here. We’re here to get passionate for God and grow in unity with one another.” As I looked, I saw that there were Muslims and Buddhists coming into the crowd.

I was lifted above the field to see both camps at the same time. On the one side of the field, the people we still crying out for God. He was manifesting His presence with signs and wonders. People were being healed of many diseases and being set free of lifelong addictions. Tens of thousands of people were being saved. For hours and hours a day, they would read the Word of God over the sound system. People would sit to listen and weep before the Lord. In the other camp, the preaching became increasingly more humanistic and syncretistic. The people were like frogs being boiled slowly in a pot of water; because the water slowly heated up, they did not realize they were being boiled alive. The meeting broke down into drunkenness and lewdness. People were having their way with one another in mass groups in open daylight. Young women were being raped. Young men were strung out everywhere on illegal drugs. Again, it looked very much like Woodstock.

When both sides were at their peak, [a second man of God] stood up between the two camps. The Christian television company cut the power to both stage and only gave power to [the second man of God]. He began to cry out:

How long will you waiver between two decisions? If Jesus is God, then  worship Him wholeheartedly. If Jesus is not God, then don’t throw around His name to get more followers. God desires that you live a holy life. I tell you the truth: there is one way to heaven and it is through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.”

When he said this, the whole field was shaken and fire came down on the camp that had been crying out to God. They were consumed but not destroyed and they all began to speak in tongues. The rest of the people fled in terror.

Then I awoke. I was shaken at this dream and asked the Lord how this would practically look like in our city. I fell back asleep and had another dream.

The Practical Dream

I saw two women talking in the hallway of a church about a book that [the same Christian author] had written. The next week it seemed like all the women in the church were reading and talking about the book. The pastor took a copy of the book and read it that week as well. The following Sunday he preached on it. He declared it unbiblical and heretical. He said it was dangerous teaching that would tear apart the Church. The women got offended and stood up and left the church. They took with them half of the congregation and went next door to the Unitarian church. The church was experiencing “revival” and people were being added daily to their numbers but mostly from other churches.

The Word

When I awoke from the second dream, I asked the Lord how long would it be till this happens. The Lord answered:

“Within five years, I will drive the Word of God like a wedge in My people. Only those who revere My Word will stand in that day.”

He gave me five areas that this wedge would fall and separate believers from those who become deceived.

    1. The infallibility of the Bible
    2. The sanctity of life (abortion)
    3. Gay marriage and gay ministers in the church
    4. Universalism and Unitarianism
    5. The false grace movement

I felt the Lord tell me that the churches that stayed true to what the Bible says about each of the five areas would experience the power and presence of God, manifesting in signs and wonders, even if they didn’t believe in miracles. However, those who did not hold fast to what the Bible said about these five areas would become deceived and fall away from God. Though they would seem to meet, worship, and preach in His name, they would be worshiping a god that they made, an idol of their minds and hearts.

Personal Thoughts

My friend had this dream on the Day of Atonement, October 8, 2008. This coming October marks the end of the fifth year. It’s worth repeating what I said a couple weeks ago:

The thing that I find crazy is how prophetic the dream/word was. This dream wasn’t given a month ago. It was almost five years ago. Back then, there was no great gay marriage debate or serious problems with universalism in the church. Upon hearing the dream/word, it was an act of faith to believe that these, what were at the time, small issues would progress to be nationwide issues, particularly in the church. Who would of thought 5-10 years ago that we would be debating whether practicing homosexuals should be ministers and leaders in the church?

I was around when my friend had this dream over four years ago and I’ve seen this dream come true. I’ve seen believers led away, many by popular ministries that preach the thoughts of man rather than the Word of God. I cannot express this enough: doctrine (what the Bible teaches and says) matters! Get to know the Bible. Get plugged into a church that preaches boldly the Word of God. May a flag go up in your spirit if you are listening to a preacher and you don’t continually hear scripture in his/her message.

It’s time for the church in America to choose what side they will be on: the Lord’s or the world’s. The world is aggressively calling Christians to forsake what the Bible teaches us to do and believe. There’s a Unitarian, Universalist, state church that’s been born and is growing in this nation. Choosing the Lord’s (and the Bible’s) side may cost us our comfort, but we will not be moved when the Lord starts to separate the wheat from the tares.

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30, ESV)

You may want to read the rest.

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UPDATE: It seems like others have had the same dream and warning. Read Steve Hill’s article about the coming “avalanche”.

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The Christmas Bear: 10 Years Later

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The year was 2000. I was 16 and had just come back from the original CallDC rally a few months earlier. There were a couple dozen of us who went and came back truly transformed. It wasn’t hype or a spiritual high, it was a complete spiritual overhaul. We came back changed and longing for God.

That Christmas, I decided to make a prophetic statement and pray a prayer of faith. I went to Walmart and bought over 20 of their $5 Christmas bears (see picture). With no explanation of what it meant, I gave a bear to each of my friends that year who were close to me and who were seeking God passionately.

My prayer (and what the bears symbolized) was that 10 years from that time I wanted to see everyone that got a bear still passionate after God. I didn’t want them to *just* still be going to church or saying they’re a Christian. I wanted them to still be as on fire (if not more) as were were 10 years ago around Christmas.

As the years went by, some friends moved away and some stayed. Some became rooted in ministry and some waned in their spiritual walk. But every year I would look at that Christmas bear (which I never packed away but kept in my room) and prayed and believed God that my prayers and desire would become true.

So here we are, 10 years later. I forget some people who I gave the bears to and others I remember. It’s been a beautiful time remembering these people and friends and seeing them with God even after a hard decade. I am truly grateful at God’s love and mercy, cause it’s only His grace that has kept us. Even the ones that are away from God right now, no one has died from the group. He is still merciful cause there is still time.

So if you have a bear, take a moment and (1) thank God for keeping you regardless of your spiritual place with God and (2) think of your bear and let it move you closer to Him.

I love each of you and thank God for you. The light is always on and the party inside is always going…come what may. 🙂

First Assembly DeLand and the Place of Prayer

“The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.” (James 5:16)

I’ve been in awe these past weeks regarding what God has been doing in the midst of our church. For those of you that are unaware what I am talking about, the presence of God has been very strong and there has been a great stirring among many to pray. Prayer times accompanied by strong movings of the Spirit have spontaneously broken out at different times, services and in different groups.

I felt stirred to give a word of encouragement and summary to what I believe the Lord is doing right now corporately. The calling of our church is to pray, reach and teach nations (which also includes our city and nation). This calling is from God and has been confirmed over and over many times. The Lord knows that we will not be spiritually (or financially, physically, etc) prepared to handle the responsibility of reaching and teaching nations unless we are rooted deep in prayer, where everything we do (to serve or minister) flows out of time in prayer between us and God. I would say that our calling has not and will not come to fulfillment until we are literally a church of prayer.

I believe THAT is what this movement of God is about. This time is a season of grace from Him to stir us to enter into the place of prayer. Prayer that is not a duty, but delight. He spoke to me the other week and said:

“This time is not about splashing in the river but to stir you to pray.”

During the last week there have been multiple prophecies and encouragements given that the Lord is saying “ask me cause I long to give it to you.” One prophecy literally felt like the Lord was saying “I’ve made much power available to you in the place of prayer…start using it!” Recently, one of our deacon’s son-in-law became deathly ill. He was on a ventilator and a medical induced coma and no one knew if he was going to live. The next church service, we stopped everything and cried out corporately for God to break in with healing. THAT NIGHT HE WAS HEALED! It was the Lord who healed him but the Lord was (and is) looking to partner with us in prayer, to cry out for Him to move in these situations.

The Lord has called our church to great things, things that will require deep long persistent prayer. He knows we are not going to corporately get to that place overnight, but He is a good Teacher. I believe we are in a season where God is answering prayers quickly and powerfully to stir and boost our faith. He desires our first reaction to be prayer. When we are presented with an issue, situation or a need, He desires that our natural response would be to ask Him to move, break in and provide what is needed. We have prayed quick prayers during our services recently for people to get jobs and be healed only to hear the next day how God sent the answer quickly! Oh how God longs to answer us!

I encourage you that if you have a need, let the Lord move you to pray for it. We were praying Monday night and felt that the Lord wanted us (corporately) to ask for lost loved ones cause He wanted to save floods of them. I encourage you to pray for wayward family members, that the Lord would reach out and save them. For parents of rebellious children, begin/continue to ask God to bring them back to Him.

He hears us everytime we pray and He longs to answer us! He desires to do signs and wonders among us to boost our faith. I encourage you to enter into this place of prayer the Lord has set before us and let’s see Him do powerful things all for His glory!!!!

Help For Hearing God

i’ve had a few friends who i’ve talked to recently who have been struggling regarding whether they are hearing from God and if what they’re hearing is true and correct. i gave them some of the things that i pray when asking God for answers and i decided to post them here as well.

when i pray for a serious issue regarding my life (calling, ministry, relationships, school, etc) i ask God to send me the answer in four different ways. the root of it all is being still enough to hear God’s voice, but i ask for these other things so that in the future i will not be able to doubt the Word He gave to me. this is just my method of asking God and is not to be interpreted as requirements of prayer. yet, through years of experience, i have found that God LOVES and enjoys answering each of these four requests. so i hope these four prayers can help your prayer life as they have helped mine. 🙂

  1. “i ask You to answer me out of the blue
    the very first thing i ask for when i am petitioning God for wisdom or answers regarding a particularly serious issue (calling, ministry, relationships, school, etc) is to NOT tell me the answer right away. i know that when i pray my mind is trying to come up with a solution. there have been many times where i’ve thought i’ve heard the answer only to find out that my own mind/flesh came up with the response. therefore i ask God that when He does answer me, if it pleases Him, that He would answer my question out of the blue, when my mind is thinking about something completely different. it helps me know that my own mind/wisdom didn’t come up with what i “heard”.
  2. “i ask You to answer me with many verses and chapters of Your Word”
    the last thing i want (like mentioned above) is that the answer would rest in my own wisdom and knowledge. my words and opinions mean nothing to God and mean nothing in the reality of my life. the ONLY thing sure and sound is His Word. therefore i ask that when He answers me, He does it by giving me revelation of His Word. God is incredibly good at tying real life questions and answers to scriptures written millenia ago. there are verses that never may of made sense, but God breathes life into the page and it comes alive to my spirit. yet i desire that the answer not be founded in one verse that could possibly be taken out of context, so i ask that God give me a multitude of verses…even chapters proving what He is speaking to me.
    an example of this is when i asked God to reveal to me my calling. about 21 days later (out of the blue…lol) He came and gave me the answer and then said “now turn to 2 Kings 2” and for the next 30 minutes He opened to me the scriptures and what it means for my life and the times i am living in. He used other scriptures as well and since that day, my calling has not been rooted in my desires or my wisdom but in the Word and revelation of God.
  3. “i ask that Your answer is bigger (of a wider view) than my question”
    i think one of my greatest setbacks to hearing answers from God is that my response to His answer becomes increasingly limited and self-focused. that is why my third request is that God would answer not only my question, but also show me what He is going to do on the earth during those times. i don’t want to know how His plans fit into my question/answer, i want to know how my question/answer fits into His plans and heart. when God gives me a bigger worldview (regarding His plans and heart) along with the answer, it reminds me that the answer is not about me and my life…but about Him and His plan for His glory. it also helps me (if i do start  to doubt His promises) when i look at the worldview and see that His Word has remained true. it encourages me that if He did not lie concerning His global plans that He did not lie regarding my situation. it encourages me that i did not hear wrong, but that my promise is close at hand.
  4. “i ask for several confirmations”
    the last thing i ask for is that when God does answer me and open my eyes to His world and His worldview is to reveal this situation (both question and answer) to people i trust who are bluntly honest with me. many times after hearing an answer i’ll ask those i trust with blunt honesty to pray regarding a situation and after they have done so i will ask them to speak into my life concerning the issue. although this is the last of the requests, i take it very seriously. the Bible stresses that “there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. yet at the same time it is not a thing you should ask just anybody to speak into your life about. i ask the people i am asking to confirm or deny to seriously fast and pray about the situation. i ask them to take as long as they need, many weeks or months if need be. i desire them to be absolutely sure before they speak to me (sidenote: some of those people will do these four steps to be the confirmation for my answer).
    when they come and speak to me, no matter what i have heard, i open myself for correction and instruction. although i MUST hear God for myself, opening myself up for correction protects me from being deceived.

Desiring Mercy To Become My First Reaction

I have been desiring to be merciful and compassionate to people in a greater way recently than I ever have before. I have realized that the Lord desires mercy more than the things we give or “do” for Him. In Matthew 12:7, Jesus speaks to the pharisees and says:

And if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice”, you would not have condemned the guiltless.

I am realizing that many times I think I have a right to judge or condemn, in reality, those who are guiltless. I compare my life to others and selfishly and arrogantly look down on them with contempt and pride. I judge their motives and lives thinking that I am somehow better than they are. Although I do none of this on purpose, it is my first and natural reaction.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. – Matthew 5:7

Last christmas, our youth pastor and his wife took all the youth leaders on our annual christmas trip where we ate, had a scavenger hunt (stories to tell on that one) and opened presents. The presents were small things they had bought at a dollar store and wrapped up. The presents weren’t labeled so they told us each to pick a random present, open it and tell everyone what they thought it meant. The presents were to symbolize what God would be focusing on in our lives during that next year. We’ve done this for years and, strange as it sounds, it has a remarkable track record for being true and deeply spiritual. Anyways, when I opened my present, I saw that i had gotten (what the package called) “Lip Leash Lip Gloss”. It was a travel lip gloss container with a mirror on the back. After opening it I harbored a guess what it meant (“I think God’s telling me to watch my words”) but I didn’t know the fullness of the meaning until a few nights ago.

The present represented that God wanted me to “stop judging and start giving mercy to others (deserving or not) in view of my need for mercy”. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus starts out with the Beautitudes (Matthew 5:3-11) and the very first one is:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3

Being “poor in spirit” is simply to realize where you’d be without the mercy and grace of God. It is a realization that you cannot save yourself and you are forever doomed without God intervening into your life. The next step is to mourn that you are living for far less than what God wants for your life (Matthew 5:4). After that happens, when you realize who you are apart from God and you mourn consistently for all the things you do apart from God…true meekness and humility set in (Matthew 5:5). Something comes over you that you realize that there is no judgment or consequence you don’t deserve. That causes a hungering and thirsting for God to start in your life (note: the true realization of weakness always draws us closer to the Sufficient One) and you start desiring God above all else (Matthew 5:6, 6:33) and then because of the hunger and because of the true humility…you are compassionate towards people. You feel for them. You desire mercy for those in the struggle and you pray and long for mercy for those who don’t want to struggle anymore.

In my life recently, I have been more acutely aware of my frailness. It’s not an overexageration of “how terrible I am” but a honest glimpse of who I am in my flesh and without God. This realization (through the Sermon on the Mount process) is now starting to stir up in me compassion and mercy for people. I see other people’s weaknesses, failures, strongholds and issues and I am reminded of my own. This pushes me to pray for them, in the same way as I would cry out for help for myself.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. – Matthew 7:1-2

The beauty of have mercy on others is that you are promised mercy back. If i refain from judging, I will not be judged and if I give mercy to others, Jesus promises mercy and grace for my needs in return. Ever since that night, it seems my world has gotten a lot more frustrating. It seems people are doing all they can to get me to judge them or critize them and I have to admit, my first thoughts and sometimes my first words are harsh and judgmental but then God reminds me of my need for change and mercy and I am overwhelmed with compassion.

Yet that is not enough for me. I am fighting to become a man where my first reaction to offense, frustration and things/people that would try to get me bitter is to give mercy and compassion. I desire that before I ever understand the issue, before an apology comes, before the Lord stops me and reminds me of my weakness…I want to give mercy. That’s what I want God to know me for…that “he desired mercy like I (Jesus) desired mercy”. It’s a fight and a struggle that not fun to the flesh (cause sometimes you really want to lash out) but in the end, it will make me a peacemaker (Matthew 5:8), someone God can trust and entrust power to, to make wrong things right in this world. So until the end of my life and even in the age to come, I desire to be a person of true humility, passion and mercy…cause I know that is what Jesus wants from my life.

(LINK) Keys To Spiritual Warfare

my friend tim wrote a great post with a few keys regarding spiritual warfare:

1. Pick your battles, pick the battleground. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in this. (I got this rule from studying natural warfare and reading about Lee’s mistake in not choosing the battleground at Gettysburg).

2. He who studies evil is studied by evil. Spock quote. I never study or give myself to too much study of the the spirit or principality. If I know God I will know my enemy and the Holy Spirit teaches all things.

3. Never beam down to the planet when staying on the ship is an option. I never want to intervene in a situation unless expressly told to by the Holy Spirit.

although i am not a die-hard star trek fan, i thought his star trek example (later on in the post) was priceless. good job tim!

i honestly believe that this is 90% of what someone must know regarding spiritual warfare. there are other things to know, but many times we simply do not communicate with God and follow Him where He leads. many times we are found trying to pick a fight…and we wonder why we lose or experience a lot of “backlash”.

what did you think of the post? what other things have you learned regarding spiritual warfare? how often does God take care of the issue without involving you?

Come To The Keep: Trust (Part 4)

to read all posts from the conference, click here.

we started the afternoon/final session with a amazing worship session. i realized that something happens when God comes to you and asks you a question. many times God declares His will and desires to us…but sometimes He comes to us and asks us a question. it is a very scary and sober thing. God asked job questions about His sovereignty, Jesus asked His disciples who He was…and He still comes and asks us things that cut right to our hearts and exposes what is inside. He came to me in the middle of worship and asked me:

what do you want?

the question scared me. it wasn’t a prosperity question, it was a satisfaction question. He was saying:

since you are not fully satisfied in Me…what else do you want? what else do you need to be satisfied? do you think anything will help?

it was another breaking time for me this weekend. i cried out for help. i wanted the Lord to help me be more satisfied in Him. i desire to be 100% faithful to Him…and only He can bring me to that place.

after worship, my good childhood friend michelle tepper spoke. she rocked! she spoke on unconditional love and trust…when it comes to God and our physical relationships. here are some of the things she said that really shook me:

the world says that you can’t love someone until they earn your trust…
but the Bible sets a standard of unconditional love…love based on His character.

the two biggest things that keep us out of the keep is fear and pride.

i find myself doubting the only One who truly loves me, who truly DOES have my best interest at heart. what a sad irony.

we can’t make trust happen. we have to grow into it. but we can look to Jesus. that is how trust is developed.

you can listen to the whole message here. i highly recommend it.

what questions have God asked you that have cut to your heart? what was your reply? do you have a hard time giving to others the same love and trust that God gives you? what in the message spoke to you?