The Gift of Prophecy: 15

I can’t count the number of times in the past 20 years when people asked the question, “How can I tell if it’s me, the Lord, or the enemy when I’m moving in prophecy?” This is, of course, a legitimate question. We are human beings, subject to pain, disillusionment, hurts, dreams, aspirations, longings and desires. All of these can conspire against us and color the prophetic word in a different way than God intended. It is possible for a frustrated person to speak their own thoughts and opinions, which mix with the words that God is really speaking to the situation.

We are capable of hearing words from other people, angels, demons, God, or self. – Kris Vallotton

1 Thess. 5: 19-20 – Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good

1 John 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God

We know when a prophecy is from God, because the words He speaks will line up with scripture, and His character as outlined in scripture. God’s Holy Spirit will only reveal His good plans for you–plans that bring an abundant life.

This is one of the biggest differences between prophecy through the Holy Spirit and working with tarot cards, ouija boards, or other dark arts. All the dark arts are driven by demonic spirits which can only speak death over you, or direct you toward the enemies plan for your life. Some have received words from fortune-tellers that have come true, but this wasn’t God’s good, pleasing, and perfect plan for their lives; instead it was a settling for a less abundant life than God had for them. The Bible is clear that the dark arts have power, and advises us not to seek after them.

Deuteronomy 18:9-15 – When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, don’t learn to do the hateful things the other nations do. Don’t let anyone among you offer a son or daughter as a sacrifice in the fire. Don’t let anyone use magic or witchcraft, or try to explain the meaning of signs. Don’t let anyone try to control others with magic, and don’t let them be mediums or try to talk with the spirits of dead people… The nations you will force out listen to people who use magic and witchcraft, but the Lord your God will not let you do those things. The Lord your God will give you a prophet like me (Moses), who is one of your own people. Listen to him.

The Bible calls this divination. This is not what the Bible would consider a False Prophet, which will be another topic of discussion in an upcoming blog. Notice that although God tells us not to use diviners, He also tells us that He wants us to consult Him through prophets:

Isaiah 8:19 – When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?

God is more powerful than anything else though. Christ drove out demons with merely the finger of God and He gave us the ability to do the same. If you’ve been to a fortune-teller and are afraid of what was spoken over you, you don’t have to be. You have the choice to cooperate with God’s plan for you instead, and watch His power overcome the enemy. Your first step should be to ask Jesus to come into your life and guide you.

1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because the One in you is greater than the one in the world.


Below is one instance where the Bible talks about the power of the dark arts. Notice that the Spirit that rises from the dead only speaks death over Saul, and leaves him with no strength; whereas the Bible says prophecy through God’s Holy Spirit will strengthen, encourage, and comfort us (1Cor.14:3):

1 Sam. 28:7-20 – Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her… “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”… “Bring up Samuel,” he said. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.”…  (David said:) “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.” Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.” Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone

This scripture is meaty. If you go read the full passage you’ll notice that Saul says, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’, meaning knew God was alive, but still chose to consult the dead instead of the living God. Saul also mentions, ‘God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams’. Since God hadn’t spoken through a live prophet, Saul now sought a dead prophet. Saul had become so disobedient to God that he could no longer hear His voice. God had nothing extra to say to him since Saul had ignored His previous messages.

Samuel was a true prophet while alive. However, demons watch us on earth. It’s not hard for demons to portray what they’ve seen and know about us. They are not all-knowing like God, but they can observe the present and remember the past. They knew what Samuel looked like, what he wore, and what he’d said while on earth, so they disguised themselves to look like Samuel. In this way, they were able to deceive Saul. The spirit, disguised as Samuel, told Saul that the Lord was his enemy and would kill him tomorrow. While this could be true of the Lord’s plans, it only spoke death over Saul. This word did not empower him, strengthen him, or comfort him that he was still able to change because of the Lord’s compassion. In this passage Saul wants to fast and pray for the Lord’s forgiveness, and if he had indeed done that and turned away from his sin, the Lord would’ve saved him from dieing in battle. Saul could’ve crowned David as king to cooperate with the Lord’s will, instead of continuing in his position as an enemy of the Lord, thwarting His plans. Saul was an enemy of the Lord, not because of the Lord, but because of his own choices to disobey God. Had he turned from his wickedness, instead of turning toward even more sin, God would have saved him from the Philistines and death, and spoken to Him again through prophets and dreams.


In short, yes, demons have power, but God’s power is greater. God is love and life and will speak love and life over you. The power God wants to give you is released through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Demonic powers bring death or will try to get you to settle for less than God’s best for you, so don’t go seeking them out through fortune telling, ouija boards, automatic writings, readings (tarot cards, palms, rocks), etc.

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What Kind of God Sends People to Hell?

Q: What kind of God sends His son to die for others?

A: God was not abusive to His son. His son willingly laid down His life for you, because both He and the Father love you so much

John 10:17-18 – The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.

Q: What kind of loving God sends people to Hell?

A: An unloving God? I don’t know, because my God doesn’t do that. In fact you’ll have to step over Christ’s body to get there. My God did everything in His power to save people from Hell. If you end up there it’s because you refused His free Love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

For those who never had the chance to hear about Him, He is a righteous Judge taking that into account. For those who know and refuse His love, stepping over Him, He is a righteous Judge taking that into account. A lot of people in America who refuse Him have met a self-righteous ‘Christian’ who hurt them, in which case He is a righteous Judge taking that into account. He knows all, even the hidden secrets of every person’s heart. He knows us better than we know or understand ourselves. He is the only righteous Judge.

Rom. 5:5-10 – For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Reasons for Suicide

Matt. 27:3-5 – When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Judas was torn up over his wrongdoing. He went to church leaders who he thought could lead him to God, but they didn’t do their job. Judas should’ve taken a second step, going to his brother (Jesus) to make amends. If he had, he would’ve realized that Jesus would forgive him for the betrayal:

Matt. 5:23-24 – if you… remember that your brother has something against you… go and be reconciled to your brother

Instead Judas believed what the wicked church leaders had said. He accepted the lie that it was solely his responsibility, and right there he judged himself. We are not responsible for the final evaluation of anyone’s character, including our own. ‘He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes (1Cor.4:4-5)’. When it comes to judging a person’s inner personality, the only One who knows all the truth is God. And without knowing all the truth, we are not able to judge accurately or fairly–not others or ourselves. Only the Lord knows our motives. ‘He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives (counsels) of the heart (1Cor.4:5).’

Judas clearly stated that his motive wasn’t to see Jesus condemned, because he called that ‘innocent blood.’ The counsels of his heart were from church leaders, Judas perhaps thought he could trust, who deceived him with lies, and trapped him into their wicked ploys. Judas could not see clearly, making it the worse time to make a life altering decision. Sometimes we just need some time to sort things out and get a fresh perspective.

The whole point of Jesus is that we can now go directly to Him instead of to church leaders, who may have become corrupt, but in every case are sin prone humanbeings. We now have the Holy Spirit who comforts and counsels us. A leader who is close to God will be a great help however.

If you feel suicidal tonight, or are burdened by the weight of your own wrongdoings, have been deceived, have perhaps hurt or betrayed a loved one, or are suffering from a broken relationship–choose not to judge yourself. Accept what is wrong as wrong, and leave the judgement to God. Embrace God and He will forgive all your sin; ‘None of the sins that you have committed will be remembered against you (Eze. 33:16).’ With this clean slate, follow God’s lead in choosing not to remember your sins anymore. When we embrace God, accepting His son Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, we stand before Him on the day of judgement and the Bible says, ‘The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight (Ps.18:24).’ In HIS sight we are pure and His judgement is not to condemn, but to reward. Stop condemning your sins, and start asking Jesus to wipe them away, so you can focus on rewarding your righteousness.

Eze. 36:31 – You will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations

Step 1 to being free from self hatred is: choosing not to remember what God chooses not to remember–your sins.

Eze. 36:33-36 – On the day I cleanse you from all your sins… the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins… are now fortified… those around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed

Give Jesus a chance before you give up. And if you’ve already accepted Jesus, keep trusting Him to bring you through by restoring and rebuilding you.


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The American Dream: Early Retirement

The american dream is to be able to live without working. Aren’t we all trying to figure out a way to retire early? Don’t forget to work generosity into your living expenses both now and during that retirement:

Luke 12:15-21 – … I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

What if retirement looked more like helping homeless people as a full-time missionary in Hawaii, instead of sitting alone in your lake house deteriorating? Having a purpose helps keep you alive, happy, and blessed. Remember to be rich toward God by helping others.

My friend summed it up better: Retirement doesn’t have to be a selfish time devoted only to our personal pleasure. It can be the time of our life when we have more free time to volunteer to help others, spread the Gospel, and make the world a better place.

However, I’m not telling you to spend everything you have, or stop saving for retirement:

Prov. 21:20 (NIV) – The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

Prov. 21:20 (NLT) – The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.

It’s wise to save for retirement. God wants you to do that, but we have to remember who gave us the ability to store up that wealth, and remember those who might not have the same opportunities.

Those who store up and never give, will lose everything; but those who store up to give, God blesses with even more:

Mal. 3:10 – Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

God has the biggest storehouse of all. It fills all the heavens! So it doesn’t matter how big your storehouse is, or how much money you have, as much as what you do with it. God is always giving and blessing us!

Deut. 28:12 – The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.

Be wise and start saving.
Be wise and start giving.

Luke 12:15 – life does not consist in an abundance of possessions

Matt. 6:19-20 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 – As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

The Price of One Life

This scene should shake us all, as this man looks back on how many people he could’ve saved from the Holocaust. How many people could we save by giving up one dinner, buying used instead of new, giving up a simple want to provide for someone elses need? When we get to heaven and see the full picture, will we look back with this same regret?

The price of one life. I threw away so much money. I didn’t do enough. This car could have saved 10 people. This pen, 2 people.

Consider giving up one meal this month, and donating the cost to water282.org. My friend Jacob started this non-profit in 2011 after a heart-wrenching divorce. He felt the pull of God, and left everything to go build water wells for those in need. He has successfully given clean water to over 38,451 people.

He keeps finding villages in need, who have little water that is polluted, and often also treated as a bathroom. He gives sanitation and well maintenance training to each village. These wells not only cut down on deaths due to waterborne diseases, but also sparks economic growth as people can easily access water, hold a job (due to time saved from traveling to their last water source; often miles away by foot), and water crops.

Water282 continues to take situations like this:

water282 water well africa nonprofit

And transform them into situations like this:

water282 water well africa nonprofit

Consider helping by giving $10 in lieu of one evening on the town. At the end of our lives, we don’t want to feel like we didn’t do enough. Consider the price of one life.

Prophecy: Forgery or Fulfillment?

God made a promise (prophesy), and you better believe that Satan was going to take advantage of it. Long before Jesus was born of a virgin, God told us that Jesus would inherit the nations of the earth.

Satan can quote scripture too you know? He spent a lot of time at God’s right hand before the fall. His whole outfit is based on taking the Word of God and twisting it into something different. He creates a cheap, deadly counterfeit for every rich and life giving original from God.


 

Jesus was getting baptized, and the second Satan heard the words ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’, it struck a cord. He remembered David writing something about that. He remembered what came next. Oh, this is when God promises to give the earth as an inheritance to His son… so he snuck on ahead. Since he knew what God had to offer, and what Jesus desired, why not try to beat them to the punch? ‘Surely, if I offer Jesus the gift first, He will take it from me?’, Satan snared.

Ps. 2:7-8 –  I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

Matt. 3:16-17; 4:1,8-10 – When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil….  Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

The enemy will try to create confusion about your future. If you’ve received a prophecy and ever wondered what to do with it, then know that it can find it’s fulfillment through two outlets: 1) Gods way or 2) the enemies way.

A lot of times when we receive a prophecy, Satan himself will show up and say ‘All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.’ It just won’t be as blunt as that. It’ll come by tempting you to do even the tiniest thing that you know is wrong. He’ll cause you to question some scripture, and coax you away from God. It’ll be so deceptive that you might even think that it is God leading you into the promise.

When God is pleased with us, He likes to give us gifts. He is pleased with you! We don’t have to earn His love; it is freely given too! But what better tactic could the enemy have, but to eavesdrop into a conversation between us and God? ‘What if I can glean what it is they truly desire from Him?’, he plots.

God is a good Father and knows our desires inside out; anything He desires to give us will be freely given. Satan, on the other hand, will use what you desire most as a temptation and a trap for you; it’ll always come with a price: your relationship to the Father. Satan will offer you anything to keep you from the Father; he’ll even give you the desires of your heart, but at a moment and a way that it will cause the most destruction.

Jesus knew what was prophesied over Him; He knew that it was God’s will to have him inherit the world. However, when His Father’s promise seemed to be finding it’s fulfillment through Satan instead of through God, Jesus wasn’t deceived.

Unfortunately, we aren’t going to see the image of the devil, a snake crawling on the ground, or a voice saying ‘worship me and I’ll give you’,  when we come to this place of temptation in our lives. We aren’t going to know for sure whether it is Satan or God, because satan can come as an angel of light, and God’s route could take us through a desert. How then can we know which is God’s way? How can we look at the prophecies that we’ve received and know the right path? After all, Jesus would’ve been set over the world if he had followed Satan too. Satan’s route didn’t require death on the cross. It was easier, but it came with strings attached: ‘Let me fulfill your desire,’ Satan tempted him.

Prov. 16:25 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death

More so than the fulfillment of any desire, we want you God.

Maybe it always looks like a desert route?  We have to desert every counterfeit fulfillment of the desire, then wait for God to give the real mccoy.

We need to make sure that we are always receiving our gifts through a relationship with God. Outside of a relationship with God, there is no good gift or good desire. God repeatedly tells us to ask Him for what we desire:

Ps. 2:7-8 – He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will

Matt. 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


 

There are 2 ways to skin a cat, 2 ways to go at the fork in the road, and 2 ways to fulfill a promise. The first story of the Bible is there to remind us, we are all faced with a choice. Will we honor God’s ways? God isn’t keeping anything from us, He simply wants us to ask Him for the things we desire instead of going to a tree, a snake, an idol, a person, or alternate route that would lead us away from Him:

Gen. 3:1-6 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Stay in God’s will and His ways, always looking to Him and asking Him to fill your desires and bring about the prophecies:

Ps. 138:8 – The Lord will fulfill his purpose for you

Predestination & Prayer

2 Kings 20:14-19 – The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”

God had just told King Hezekiah that he would die from an illness, earlier in this chapter, but when Hezekiah prayed, God used his prayer to change the outcome of his life. He added 15 more years to his life. (2 Kings 20:1-7)

After just going through that–watching God change what He had decreed, based on a single prayer–why didn’t Hezekiah pray for God to save them from Babylon too? His one prayer could’ve saved all of Israel.

Our prayers, or lack of prayers, can change the outcomes of nations. We should be praying for the coming generations, even in times of peace; and especially when the coming generations are reaping what we’ve sown.

#Pray #PrayForParis

God doesn’t change, nor does He think like us. He doesn’t change His mind, as if He can learn of some better way to do things. He has a plan that has been in place since the beginning of time. His plan includes your prayers. Your prayer is a tool in the hand of God. When you pray, His will comes on earth as was planned in heaven before the dawn of creation. Don’t water down the power of prayer. Every prayer is important, and every prayer changes the course of history.

Predestination & Prayer