Yellowstone and the Quiet Rumbling

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As we near the end of June, Yellowstone is quietly rumbling past a historical earthquake record. USGS has now recorded 1,041 earthquakes at the super volcano for this month, higher than any previous recorded month, including during the swarms of 2010 and 1985. What does this mean? Nobody really knows. But I do have a sense that there is a low level rumbling across the earth in many realms, a rumbling that will eventually lead to a higher level of shaking. I believe this rumbling and shaking in the physical realm is often tied to the shaking in the heavenly realms.

“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. 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. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘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 2:6-9 (NIV)

The Lord showed me in a series of dreams a few years ago, a connection between earthquakes and revival. For example, the Azusa Street revival and the historic San Francisco earthquake both happened in April of 1906. Tens of thousands of souls were saved and the impact went across the face of the earth and had great eternal repercussions. There was a connection there between prayer, fasting, shaking and the harvest of souls. Often the shaking is in answer to prayers, but leads to chains being broken and a great harvest.

“Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” ~Revelation 8:3-5 (NASB)

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” ~Psalm 107:13-16 (NIV)

At the same time that this increase in rumbling is happening, there is also a quiet rumbling of a new wave of prayer and salvations happening across the earth, especially in the last few years. Since the turn of the century, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of houses of prayer across the world. Some estimates are in the 10,000-20,000 range. I would also guess (based on a some recent large ministry reports) that we are seeing close to 100 Million people being saved every year, mostly in the global south and now in the middle east. Yes, we know that there is evil at work in the world. But, to me, that is just a reminder that our work is not yet complete. We know that Satan throws a fit because he knows that his time is short. But he will not succeed! We know that we will face difficulties in the meantime, but in the end Jesus’ Kingdom and His Saints take over. Consider the following scriptures by Jesus, John, Paul, Daniel (and the mysterious writer of Hebrews):

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” ~Matthew 11:12 (NASB)

“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” ~John 12:31 (NASB)

“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” ~I John 5:5 (NASB)

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” ~Romans 16:20 (NASB)

“No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord. ~Isaiah 54:17 (AMP)

“The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time [3 ½ years].

“‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’” ~Daniel 7:24-27 (NIV)

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” ~Revelation 12:11 (NASB)

When will all of this happen? According to Jesus, it will happen when the Gospel of the Kingdom is finally preached to every tribe, tongue and nation. Then, the end will come.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” ~Matthew 24:14 (NIV) (Also see Revelation 7)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For,

“In just a little while, he who is coming will come  and will not delay.”

And,

“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

~Hebrews 10:36-39 (NIV)

 

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The Reign of Cyrus

It has been prophesied of Trump that he would be a Cyrus. Who was Cyrus? Cyrus was a heathen king called on by God to set the people of Israel free from bondage. Isaiah 45 is the key chapter regarding King Cyrus (and Trump is the 45th President). In Isaiah 45:4 it says of King Cyrus, “For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I will summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, although you do not acknowledge me.” The heathen King Cyrus responded to God’s call and declared His glory and obeyed His commands, setting Israel free and helping them rebuild the temple.

What should we expect to happen at this time in history and how should we pray? Daniel was a key intercessor for Israel during their captivity. He didn’t just read the prophecies about Israel’s release from captivity, he aligned himself with God’s plan and purposes and helped pray them into existence.

I believe that it is a good time to sit down and review Isaiah 45 and ask for revelation from the Holy Spirit about God’s plan, and for current application. Ask for wisdom and discernment on how to pray. I think Psalm 45 (the return of Jesus to earth) is another good one to pray through as well at this time.

Just a few key verses in Isaiah 45 that I think are quite encouraging at this time refer to a great outpouring of the Spirit of God and great and mighty wave of salvation…a move that we’ve all been waiting for:

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
I, the Lord, have created it.”
~Isaiah 45:6 (NIV)

“Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.”
~Isaiah 45:22 (NIV)

“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
all who were incensed against him.”
~Isaiah 45:24-25 (NIV)

Let us pray these purposes of God into existence. Amen!

The Rebuilding of the Third Temple

Food for thought: If Trump is a Cyrus, then will the foundations be laid for the rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem under King Trump’s reign? Will there really be a physical third temple, or is it only spiritual, or both?

Reading again the last few verses of Isaiah 44 today, the wording is quite interesting. The Lord is prophesying about a King that would not arrive for another 100 years. Here is what the Lord says through the Prophet Isaiah about the heathen King Cyrus:

 

“It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd (ruler),
And he will carry out all that I desire—’
Saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall [again] be built,’
And of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall [again] be laid.’”
~Isaiah 44:28-29 (AMP)

 

Something to consider. What are you thoughts?

 

(Interesting recent CBN article about the Third Temple here: http://www1.cbn.com/…/is-it-time-to-rebuild-the-third-temple)

When Heaven Comes Down – Worship Warfare

This morning, as I was reading Isaiah, I was reminded of the connection between worship and warfare, especially in regards to the end of this age on the earth. There is a divine connection between worship, which brings heaven to earth, and the destruction of everything on earth or in the heavens that stands against Jesus!

What brought this back to my memory was Isaiah 30:32 (NIV), where it says “Every stroke the Lord lays on them with his punishing club will be to the music of timbrels and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.”

We may have a tendency in the natural to fear the things that will take place at end of the age. We fear the destruction. But why do we fear? As is the case with our own hearts, the only things that we can possibly lose by worshipping and following Jesus are things we were not meant to keep, or things we were not meant to be, in the first place. Every tower and principality and kingdom that will fall at the end of the age was not meant to remain anyway…these are only powers that stand in opposition to God’s Kingdom of Love (Isaiah 16:5). When heaven comes to earth (in response to our prayers…including the Lord’s Prayer), Satan’s kingdom on the earth doesn’t stand a chance. In Isaiah 24, there is a description of the destruction of the earth at the end of the age. Very few people, it says, remain. Yet what do we find the people of God doing in Isaiah 24? The answer is in verses 14-16:

They raise their voices, they shout for joy;
from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel,
in the islands of the sea.
From the ends of the earth we hear singing:
“Glory to the Righteous One.”

Perhaps, in the end, we will find that it is this very worship that God is using to destroy the oppressive kingdoms of the earth…

“Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing;
Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.

Let the godly ones exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations
And punishment on the peoples,
To bind their kings with chains
And their nobles with fetters of iron,
To execute on them the judgment written;
This is an honor for all His godly ones.
Praise the Lord!
~Psalm 149:1-9 (NASB)

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and establishes a town by injustice!
Has not the LORD Almighty determined
that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,
that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.”
~Habakkuk 2:14-16 (NIV)

The Bread of Affliction – A Dream of Famine

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Several days ago I had a dream. I can’t say that I know the full meaning of this dream, but I felt like I should share it. I will continue to pray into this for further revelation.

The Dream

I was in a line to get some food. The man behind the counter asked each person what kind of food they desired. However, it seemed that he only had two kinds of food to offer. Furthermore, both kinds of food seemed like some sort of gooey unleavened pita bread or tortilla. However, if anyone every called it pita bread, tortilla, or any other name than this man’s preferred name, he always corrected them saying, “No, it is Ram-ida!” That was the essence of the dream.

Now, “Ramidan” is a season of fasting in the summer in the religion of Islam. Ramidan comes from the word, “ramida” which means dryness or heat. So, my initial sense is that this was some sort of bread line where there were not many varieties of food left to pick from, and that the food was being rationed due to shortage. Perhaps this was partly due to “dryness” or drought, which caused a famine. Therefore, this seems to be a warning dream of things to come. We don’t know how fast vast changes can happen. These types of breadlines are already happening in Syria  (see picture above), all over the Middle East and Europe – any place where Syrian refugees (and other refugees) are now fleeing. For them it was a “suddenly.” These types of shifts and changes can happen in a single day. It could happen in the USA as quickly as it could happen anywhere else. I had another recent dream where there were convertible cars that were completely covered and filled with snow. To me, this indicated a warning to be prepared for sudden unexpected changes. These changes can happen in the weather, society, economy, spiritual atmosphere, etc.

We must always be vigilant and continue to watch and pray, as Jesus instructed us to do. We must pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that are now in distress. We must pray for the lost Muslim refugees that they would find refuge in Christ Jesus. We must prepare our hearts and ask that the Holy Spirit would highlight anything that would keep us from Jesus. We must be prepared for His return!

I found the appearance of unleavened bread in the dream interesting. The Bible says about the use of unleavened bread during the Feast of Passover, “Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste–so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.” ~Deuteronomy 16:3 (NIV) This may take further interpretation through prayer, but I do find it compelling that the unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, was made because the Israelites left Egypt in haste. We must be ready to listen and quickly obey the Holy Spirit’s direction at all times. When it is time to move…we must move! If He says stay, then we must stay! It is for our protection…and with our obedience comes great reward!

I pray that the Father would richly bless you and keep you in Christ Jesus at all times. Amen!

War is Coming to the Middle East: Isaiah 17, 19, 21 and 23 (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

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This morning (July 20th), as I was praying, I was impressed to read Isaiah 17, 19, 21 and 23. I didn’t remember at that moment exactly what those chapters were about until I read them once again this morning. As I was reading and praying through this, I believe the Lord was saying that we are entering a time of the greatest fulfillment of these four passages.

What are these four chapters about and have they already been fulfilled? Isaiah 17 and 19 have yet to be completely fulfilled, while Isaiah 21 and 23 have seen fulfillment, but I believe will see greater fulfillment in the near future. These chapters are primarily regarding Damascus, Egypt, Babylon (Iraq) and Tyre (Sur/Sour), Lebanon, respectively.

I will very briefly summarize the good, the bad and the ugly implications of these four chapters. I would encourage you to read and pray through these chapters as well.

 

Damascus, Syria – Isaiah 17

As you probably know, Damascus has been at a center of a war. Damascus is in the southern portion of Syria, near the northern border of Israel. I believe we will soon see an escalation of this conflict, resulting in the complete destruction of Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city

And will become a fallen ruin.” ~Isaiah 17:1 (NASB)

Damascus has seen conflict before, but has yet to cease from being a city. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. This time will be a tumultuous time of upheaval , war and conflict. However, there are good things that will come out of this time.

“And the remnant of Aram;

They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel,”

Declares the Lord of hosts. ~Isaiah 17:3 (NASB)

The remnant may seem small as these conflicts move forward, yet they will still remain.

“Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree,

Two or three olives on the topmost bough,

Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,”

Declares the Lord, the God of Israel. ~Isaiah 17:6 (NASB)

As these times continue into deeper times of distress, many will begin to look to the Lord their Maker.

“In that day man will have regard for his Maker

And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.”

~Isaiah 17:7 (NASB)

We must remember that our Lord God will have the final say in this matter and will tear down earthly kingdoms and set up His Kingdom here on this earth.

“Alas, the uproar of many peoples

Who roar like the roaring of the seas,

And the rumbling of nations

Who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!

 “The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters,

But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away,

And be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind,

Or like whirling dust before a gale.

 “At evening time, behold, there is terror!

Before morning they are no more.

Such will be the portion of those who plunder us

And the lot of those who pillage us.”

~Isaiah 17:12-14 (NASB)

 

Egypt – Isaiah 19

Egypt has recently been through difficult times. They have been through upheaval in their government. President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprising. The Muslim Brotherhood representative Mohamed Morsi was elected in 2012. President Morsi was then overthrown by the Egyptian military in 2013. President Adbel Fattah el-Sisi, the former military general who led the coup, was elected President in 2014. Egypt has since been fighting against both ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Where is Egypt headed? Even though Egypt has been fighting against ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, they are still in a period of relative calm and stability. However, the scriptures tell us that there will be an increase in conflict in Egypt. Nonetheless, there will be a remnant of believers that will survive in Egypt…and Egypt will end up being a blessing to the Lord!

“So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians;

And they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor,

City against city and kingdom against kingdom.

“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them;

And I will confound their strategy,

So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead

And to mediums and spiritists.

“Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master,

And a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

The waters from the sea will dry up,

And the river will be parched and dry.

~Isaiah 19:2-5 (NASB)

In the midst of very difficult and trying times, the Lord with visit Egypt and draw out of her His beloved inheritance.

In that day the Egyptians will become like women, and they will tremble and be in dread because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He is going to wave over them. The land of Judah will become a terror to Egypt; everyone to whom it is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the Lord of hosts which He is purposing against them.

In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord near its border. It will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. The Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

~Isaiah 19:16-24 (NASB)

 

Babylon (Iraq) and Persia (Iran) – Isaiah 21

Recently, Iraq (ancient Babylon) has been abandoned by the US, giving way to the influence of Iran (ancient Persia) in the government, and ISIS across its country. In 539 BC, Persia, under Cyrus the Great, and Media, under Darius the Mede, conquered Babylon. They subsequently released the Jewish people from captivity, allowing them to return to Jerusalem and reconstruct the Second Temple. In current times, we have seen Persia (Iran) regaining control of Babylon (Iraq). There will be further conflict in this region. We do know that once again Babylon will fall, as will ultimately the global Babylonian anti-Christ governmental, economic, religious ruling system. Jesus will return and rule on the earth!

Then the lookout called,

“O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower,

And I am stationed every night at my guard post.

“Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.”

And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;

And all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.”

O my threshed people, and my afflicted of the threshing floor!

What I have heard from the Lord of hosts,

The God of Israel, I make known to you.

~Isaiah 21:8-10 (NASB)

 

Tyre (Sur/Sour), Lebanon – Isaiah 23

Modern day Sur (or Sour, which is the ancient city of Tyre), located in southern Lebanon near the northern Israeli border, has seen many conflicts. It was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar in c. 600 BC and by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. It has seen conflict between Israel and Lebanon in the ‘70’s as well as in ’82, ’83 and ‘06. I believe we will see the even greater conflict in this city in the days and years to come.

“It will come about at the end of seventy years that the Lord will visit Tyre. Then she will go back to her harlot’s wages and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Her gain and her harlot’s wages will be set apart to the Lord; it will not be stored up or hoarded, but her gain will become sufficient food and choice attire for those who dwell in the presence of the Lord.” ~Isaiah 23:17-18 (NASB)

When Cyrus defeated Tyre, the plunder provided for the rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord. We see this pattern when the Israelites left Egyptian captivity (the plunder was used to build the First Temple) and when they left Babylonian captivity (the plunder was used the build the Second Temple). I believe we will yet see the greatest transfer of wealth for the purposes of the Kingdom of God ever, as we are being “released” from the clutches of this world’s ungodly system.

“But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” ~Haggai 2:4-9 (NASB)

Lord Jesus, we give our lives totally to You and for Your purposes. Please continue to reveal Your precious plans to us as time moves forward and help us to be led completely by Your Holy Spirit, Amen!!

Preparing for the Coming Tribulation

Corrie Ten Boom

I was in a prayer meeting several days ago, and I asked the Holy Spirit if He had anything specific to tell me. I felt Him giving me the reference Hebrews 11:37. So, I looked it up. It is not seemingly the most encouraging verse. It says, “They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…” (Hebrews 11:37, NIV). I then felt directed and moved to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ being persecuted around the world. For we are commanded to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

An estimated forty million martyrs have already given their lives since Jesus walked the earth. And persecution and martyrdom is dramatically increasing. But what about those of us living in relative comfort and ease? Are we prepared for the coming tribulation?

In 1974, Corrie Ten Boom made this statement, “I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.”

Today, forty year later, I read a recent statement made by Brother Andrew (God’s Smuggler) of Open Doors. He said, “seventy–five percent of the world’s population live in areas of severe persecution and restriction.” The Voice of the Martyrs stated that martyrdom doubled from 2012 to 2013. They also said that it increased tremendously from 2013 to 2014…and in 2015 it is off the charts!

Will persecution eventually reach one hundred percent of the followers of Jesus Christ around the world? The Bible virtually guarantees that it will. Jesus said, “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20, NIV). He also said, “You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matthew 24:9). The Apostle Paul made this statement, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted“ (2 Timothy 3:12).

But someone may ask, “Isn’t this time of great trouble just happening in Israel, or only in Jerusalem?” Jesus provides the answer. He said, “For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth” (see Luke 21:35). We also see further clarification in the book of Revelation. It appears that whole Bride of Christ—followers of Christ from every tribe, tongue and nation—will experience the great tribulation.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…

…Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’”
(Revelation 7:9,13-17).

The Word of God couldn’t be more plain about this subject. Yet, why are so many of us asleep, ignoring what is happening? The Day of the Lord is at hand. Yet, we are lulled into thinking that things will go on as they always have. Yet, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who will be found watching…” (Luke 12:37).

I pray that you prepare your hearts. I pray that the Lord Jesus would grant you great peace, grace and endurance. I pray that He would prepare you with the oil of joy necessary for what is coming, for what is about to happen in the years ahead.

“How do we prepare?” you may ask. I could not think of a better way to start than to read from a letter from someone who went through great persecution herself, a survivor of the Great Holocaust—Corrie Ten Boom.

I pray that you are encouraged and enlightened and filled with joy of the Lord as you read the following excerpt from one of her letters. And let us always remember,

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
(Psalm 23:4-6, NASB)

And,

“…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NASB)


“PREPARED FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION”

(Excerpt from a letter written by Corrie Ten Boom in 1974)

“The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.

Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.

We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said,

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.”

This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick.

“Yes, the Lord will heal me,” Betsy said with confidence.

She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

“We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes, – to stand and not faint.”

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart.

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” (I Peter 3:14)

I found myself saying, “Hallelujah! Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!”

In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.

Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered. The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking,

“Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?”

The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood.

“When I was a little girl,” I said, “I went to my father and said, “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”

“Tell me,” said Father,”When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…”

My African friends were nodding and smiling. Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing,

“In the sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.”

Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed.

I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.

But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.

How can we get ready for the persecution?

First we need to feed on the Word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.

Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.

In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.

But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.

The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life.

Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also.

But then I read the Bible and I am glad.

When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”, (Job 13:15) for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life.

Hallelujah!”

– Corrie Ten Boom – 1974