Yellowstone and the Quiet Rumbling

foundations-are-shaken-wo-movs-acts-16-1-638

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!

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

The Rock Eternal (Isaiah 26)

the rock eternal

A few days ago I was led by the Lord to read Isaiah 26. I believe it was partly in preparation for the difficult times that are coming on the earth. It is a reminder for us to keep our minds and hearts on the Lord. It is also an explanation of some of the reasons why these things are coming.

Today, I will cover some of the highlights of Isaiah 26 in Q & A format. I would also highly recommend that you read the whole chapter, asking the Holy Spirit for revelation as you read it.

Q: “I am tempted to fear by all of the things that are happening across the earth. Sometimes I want to just run and hide. What should I do? Where can I run?”

A: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. Feet trample it down – the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.” (Isaiah 26:3-9, NIV)

Q: “Why would a merciful God bring judgments upon the earth?”

A: “When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the Lord.“ (Isaiah 26:9-10, NIV. See also Daniel 2:44-45)

Q: “Will justice ever happen and will evil ever be thwarted? Will the Lord ever return?”

A: “See, the Lord is coming out of His dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer.” (Isaiah 26:21, NIV) “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.” (Isaiah 26:19, NIV)

Be encouraged! Despite what you may see happening all around you, don’t give up…don’t lose faith! “We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.” (Isaiah 26:1-2, NIV)

Watch and Pray

watch and pray

Have you ever noticed that in the Bible it says that when Jesus returns, He will come as a thief specifically to those who are asleep and are careless? Consider the following passages of scripture:

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” ~Revelation 3:3 (NIV)

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.” ~Matthew 24:48-50 (NIV)

Interestingly, in the parable of the ten virgins described in Matthew 25:1-1…ALL of the virgins were asleep and were alarmed at the coming of the bridegroom! However, by comparison, the five that were considered wise were the ones that were at least better prepared for His coming.

Paul aptly makes the differentiation between those who are asleep and those who are not in I Thessalonians 5:1-5 (NIV):

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”<br>

So, what should we be doing? Part of the answer we see in the Bible is that we should watch and pray. Jesus instructs us to watch and pray during these perilous times–just as He instructed the disciples during the perilous hours just before His death, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~Matthew 26:41 (NIV). It is interesting that He was asking for watchfulness and prayer during this hour of great travail before His death, and also during the hour of great travail of His return. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able [or strengthened] to escape [or flee away from] all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” ~Luke 21:36 (NIV). The prophet Zephaniah speaks of the Day of the Lord, “Gather together, gather yourselves together…seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.” ~Zephaniah 2:1,3 (NIV). Paul continues his instructions above by saying, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Jesus warns us about how difficult those days will be–he says, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Thankfully, He warned us ahead of time, told us what we should be doing and also shortened those days for our benefit! I like the simplicity of what He says in Matthew 24:25, “See, I have told you ahead of time.” But are we listening? How will we respond? Will we remain watchful? Or will we grow drowsy and careless?

I have heard someone refer recently to the house of prayer as the “house of the watchful and the wise”. I couldn’t agree more! Interestingly, in what appears to be a sign of the times, thousands of 24/7 houses of prayer have been popping up all around the world over the last 20 years! But, whatever the format or location we meet in, let us encourage each other to stay the course and continue to watch and pray!

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” ~Luke 18:7-8 (NIV)