Monthly Archives: March 2012

Remember The Prisoners (Part 5)

A friend of mine, who had spent seventeen years in prison for mainly drug related issues, asked for prayer. Even though he was a Christian and loved the Lord, he suffered depression and felt his life was hopeless. I laid my hand on his shoulder and began praying in the Spirit.

Almost instantly, a  short vision came to mind. In it, I saw my friend sitting on a cot in a prison cell and staring at a solid brick wall. I saw a closeup view of how his face and eyes revealed his desperation of facing one more day in prison. He appeared to be at the end of his rope.

Then, as I watched on, the vision panned away for a panoramic view of the whole prison cell scene. I saw him still sitting on the cot and staring at the brick wall, but I also saw the prison door, and it was wide open. All my friend had to do was stand up, turn around, walk out the door, and he would be free.

I explained to my friend what I had witnessed in the vision which then caused him to jump up and down with excitement. He felt free.

This experience happened fifteen years ago, and yet today, my friend still suffers from depression and dismal hopelessness. The initial joy was soon worn away by the day-to-day grind of life.

Why?

One of the problems with a calling like mine is that I have an anointing to set people free, but sadly, I do not have an anointing to keep people free. (And this is true of all callings for apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher.)

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Staying free depends on an individual developing his inner man (or spirit) and resisting demonic influence for himself through faith in the Lord. Yes, people can pray for the person and encourage him in many ways, but eventually, the person has to build his own relationship and trust in the Lord to overcome whatever hinders his growth in Christ.

So, today, I’m praying for those prisoners who are sitting in their own prison cells, staring at hopeless walls, and yet their prison doors are already opened and waiting for them to walk out into their freedoms:

I pray that the  glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, would give each prisoner the spiritual wisdom and insight so that each may grow in his knowledge of God and each heart may be flooded with light so that each can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called to be His children. Amen. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-18) 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity

Religious Spirits


 If I had not been there, I would not have believed what happened, not in a million years.

That particular Saturday morning was Farmer City’s annual Sidewalk Sales Extravaganza. Crowds of people filled the streets of the downtown business district. All checked out the sales bargains lining the tables in front of retail stores. Brown jersey gloves were three pairs for a dollar at Hesston’s Hardware. Dollar General sold Handi-Wipes for seventy-nine cents a package. Although the city was populated with nineteen hundred tight-fisted Norwegian and German-Americans, these blond-haired, blue-eyed conservatives liked nothing better than saving a buck or two.

My little concession trailer sat on the street in front of the court house. Snow cones, popcorn, and cotton candy were hot items for the first two hours. Then it slacked off around 11:30 AM.

I took a break and stood outside the trailer, smoking a cigarette, when I first saw the stranger heading toward me. And if ever a fish was out of water, it was this man. An African-American in Farmer City!

A four-day stubble covered his pock-marked face. Jagged scars stretched from the base of his neck to his left ear and he wore a black Oakland Raiders’ sweatshirt rolled up to his elbows, revealing gang tattoos on his bulging forearms. His eyes revealed the thousand-yard stare of an ex-con.

As he passed by, he nodded at me.

“Hi, how are you?” he whispered without breaking stride.

Being curious, I turned to watch him.

He walked over to a green bench in the city square and climbed up on it. Then, he cupped his mouth with his massive hands.

“Hey, everyone, listen up. I’m holding a healing crusade in Jesus’ name this morning. So, if you need a miraculous healing, come over here,” he shouted.

People stopped what they were doing and looked at him. They had to be wondering who he thought he was – an Oral Roberts or some other evangelist like that. But believe it or not, the crowd moved toward him as if he were a Pied Piper.

An eighty year old lady, with a heavily powdered face, scooted her wheelchair to the front of the group. She looked up at the stranger.

“Okay, sonny, let’s see you do your stuff,” she said with arched eyebrows.

A slight smile etched his chiseled face. He jumped down, and in one continuous motion, he grabbed her hand and flung her out of the wheelchair, saying, “In Jesus’ name, be healed.”

The crowd gasped as she flew through the air and landed on her feet. A big smile lit up her face. She lifted up her hands and danced on the sidewalk, praising Jesus for the miracle.

People quickly formed a line in the street. Some were young. Some were old. There were cripples, amputees, cancer sufferers, heart victims, mentally ill, and numerous others who were afflicted with some malady or another. They waited patiently for the stranger to pray for them.

As the stranger moved toward the first person in line, an arm reached out and grabbed his shoulder. The stranger stopped and turned around, looking into the face of a middle-aged man wearing a black suit.

“Yes, you wanted something?” he asked in a deep voice.

“I’m Reverend Adam Johnson, head of Farmer City’s ministerial board,” said the man with clear blue eyes. “We don’t believe you should be holding a healing crusade just yet. No one knows who you are accountable to. Allow us to check out your credentials. And if everything turns out okay – you can hold some healing meetings in one of our churches next week.”

The smile on the African-American’s face dipped downward.

“Who were you referring to when you said we?”

Reverend Johnson pointed to six men dressed in dark suits, standing under an oak tree just behind the bench.

“Those are the other pastors on our board. And like most pastors, we just want to protect our flocks from unknown strangers like you.”

The African-American put his hands under the armpits of Reverend Johnson, picking him off the ground. Then, he tossed him as if he were a basketball over the bench at the other six pastors. The clergy reached out their arms and cushioned Johnson’s fall to the ground.

The stranger stood there, clenching and unclenching his fists, as if he were deciding further action against the group. Fear crept into the seven pastor’s eyes. They stepped back away from him.

“Don’t you ever get in my way again! I came here to hold a healing crusade for Jesus this morning and people like you are not going to stop me. Do you hear me?” he proclaimed, pointing a finger at the pastors.

They nodded in agreement at the man’s words and fled the city square.

Then, the stranger turned around and began praying for people.

What happened next was unbelievable. It was as if Jesus Himself was holding a healing meeting in Farmer City. Everyone received his healing, no one was disappointed. When the stranger finished, he walked away. A few tried to stop him, but he shook them off.

“Just thank Jesus and give Him the glory, okay?” he said over his shoulder.

But as he walked toward me, he slowed down and stopped a few feet away from me. He eyed me up and down for a few seconds as I puffed a cigarette. Our eyes locked, but neither of us spoke.

Finally, I looked away.

The burning love and compassion in his eyes made me feel like I was standing naked in front of him. He knew the type of man I was and yet, he still cared about me. Why? I do not know, but I wanted to know.

When I looked again, he was gone.

 (Short story taken from Deceived Dead And Delivered, a soon to be published ebook from me.)

This short story was inspired by a vision which the Lord gave me in 1995. In the vision, the Lord showed me how America needs an army of black deliverers. These delivers will  come out of our nation’s inner cities and will help set us free from religious spirits. 

11 Comments

Filed under Christianity

How to Defuse the Upcoming Race War

In 1998, I had a vivid vision of an upcoming race war between African-Americans and white Americans. The war did not take place, at first, in the inner cities, but rather, it occurred in the suburbs, the bedrock of white America.

It began with bands of rage-filled black youths attacking suburban areas with AK-47s, grenades, bazookas, and other weapons, killing white people indiscriminately. I saw bodies of white children, mothers, fathers, and seniors lying on the ground, their blue eyes staring upward and blood oozing from wounds. The young blacks stood over the bodies waving their AK-47s in the air and giving each other “high fives” for their successful outpouring of wrath.

In the next part of the vision, I watched white armies and bounty hunters tracking down and slaughtering black youths. The African-American rage and hatred toward white America was finally appeased when that generation of black youths was buried and gone.

Could this really happen? The stage is now set for just such a war.

If you have any doubts, just check out the recent incident of racial unrest in the Trayvon Martin slaying where civil rights activists have weighed in. The media have done the same. The president and his administration. Senators. Congressional Representatives. Black Panthers. Celebrities. $10,000 bounties. Marketing of hooded sweatshirts and other goods. Florida high school students vandalizing a Walgreen’s store.

All of this has happened without a grand jury being summoned or the facts being known.

From my viewpoint, we are one small spark away from a race war and guess what? The people holding the burning torches, such as politicians, media personnel, celebrities, religious leaders, and so forth, are blind fools with personal agendas.

“Wherever we want to go, we can only get there from where we are. Not where we think we are, or wish we are, or where we want others to think we are, but where we are in fact right now.

But political spin and pious euphemisms don’t tell us where we are. After a while, such rhetorical exercises don’t even fool others.

If we don’t have the truth, we don’t have anything to start with and build on. (Thomas Sowell)

So,what can be done to defuse the upcoming race wars?

Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it (Hebrews 12:15)

Bitterness is unfulfilled revenge and the only way to remove bitterness is through forgiveness.

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15)

This is what I believe African-Americans must do to defuse upcoming race wars. I believe they must go to white Americans and ask forgiveness for their continued hatred of whites. This may mean whole black churches going across town to white churches and asking forgiveness. Or black leaders bowing their knees in front of TV audiences. Or whatever. But it will have to be a dramatic effort on the part of African-Americans to rid themselves of bitterness.

The alternative to doing nothing and continuing on today’s path of hoping for racial change without a dramatic act of repentance, could well end up with black bodies lying in the streets of America.

16 Comments

Filed under Christianity

Remember The Prisoners (Part 4)

What are the reasons Christians are imprisoned in North Korea, China, and other countries?

The logical answers: evil governments.

What’s the answer to setting these Christian prisoners free?

Once again, logic dictates that the evil governments must be toppled, but is it really that simple?

From a military viewpoint, our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have largely been successes. The Taliban armies and the Iraqi armies have been defeated on the battlefields. Both evil governments were then replaced with democratic ones and the citizens are now allowed to choose their own destinies.

Yet, would you consider the people in these two nations liberated so that they can enjoy their futures in peace? No, absolutely not.

In fact, when America leaves Afghanistan and Iraq, both nations may face civil wars, infighting, and good chances of evil governments being placed back in power again. Both nations could easily end up resembling Vietnam after we pulled out in 1974 – bloody messes, with the people suffering more than ever.

Why?

Those who see you [Lucifer or Satan] will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?” (Isaiah 14:16-17)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 5:12)

All earthly governments and people are influenced by the god of this world – Satan – and his governmental hierarchies. Although earthly governments can be toppled by humans (as in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq), Satan’s government cannot be removed by human efforts. Only Jesus can remove Satan’s government when He returns to rule His earthly kingdom.

Thus, the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq have been changed here on earth, but Satan and his governing hierarchy are still in power over the two nations and nothing has been done to lessen the powers of Satan. Therefore, little will change for the citizens as they will still live under these cruel demonic masters.

What needs to be done to set Christian prisoners and all of the people free in North Korea, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, and wherever?

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

Righteousness must displace evil in order to have an effect on Satan and his government’s ruling power on citizens of a nation. The more righteousness and godliness in a nation, the less influence Satan and his evil have on the nation.

So, I suggest the following prayer for North Korea, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all nations where Christianity and freedom are suppressed:


Lord, we ask You to open up the heavens, and pour out Your righteousness on North Korea, China, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Let these nations open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together in these nations. (Taken from Isaiah 45:8)

11 Comments

Filed under Christianity

Damaged Goods

In the mid-1990’s, I lived within walking distance of a Midwestern university. This proximity allowed me to interact with students in many unique ways.

One such happening occurred after I felt an urge to visit the LGBT campus group. Although I had never visited the group or even knew where it was, I figured it would be an exciting venture. So, to spice things up a notch or two, I wore my JESUS baseball cap.

The group’s office was located at the end of a hallway. The door was open and I walked in.

“Hi everyone, what’s happening,” I said to a group of seven or eight college students who had their backs turned away from the entrance.

They all rotated to look at me. Then, they noticed my cap and the discussions began.

“You’re a Christian, huh? Just what we needed on a Friday afternoon,” said a young woman, rolling her eyes.

“Do you believe homosexuality is a sin?” asked a muscular man who walked up  to me, his face just inches from mine.

“Yes, I do,” I said.

The man then recited a litany of verses which he believed proved that homosexuality was not a sin. I cut him off.

“Whoa! You can turn the Bible upside down, cut out verses, paste new ones in, and do whatever you want to do, but when all is said and done, homosexuality will still be a sin,” I said. “But then again, I have the same problem with my pride. God hates it and I love it. Yet, it’s still a stinking sin in His eyes.”

Then I added, “By the way, did anyone notice my sin of pride when I walked in here?”

“Yeah,” said a young man. “It certainly does stink.”

Everyone laughed and we introduced ourselves. The conversations proceeded here and there without focusing on anything in particular. The students were fun and likable to be around.

After a while, the group broke up, with some heading to classes and two going into another room for a closed-door meeting. Only one young man, named Sal, remained. As I stood there, wondering what would happen next, I had a quick vision of Sal.

“You’re a Christian, huh?” I asked.

“Well, I was,” he whispered. His dark eyes looked down at the floor.

“I just had a vision of you at a church with people laying hands on you and praying for you. One person prophesied that you were called to be a prophet. Is that true?”

“Yes, I attended a church with my mom and a person did prophesy that calling to me.”

“What are you going to do about your calling?” I asked.

Sal looked at me like I was the dumbest person on earth. “Hey man, I’ve committed an unpardonable sin. I’m a homosexual. My mama won’t even talk to me anymore.”

I smiled. “Sal, I have good news for you.”

Then, I proceeded to teach him about grace and how his salvation had nothing to do with his character, but rather on the finished work of the cross. In order for him to ever lose his eternal salvation, all of the works of the cross had to be reversed in Jesus, first of all, and then in him. In other words, it ain’t ever happening.

When I finished, Sal smiled. I shook his hand and left.

Over the years, I’ve wondered about Sal. Is he free of the homosexual lifestyle? Is he serving God? Has his relationship with his mom been restored?

I don’t have answers for these questions. All I have is a hope that the Lord who healed the lepers of His day would do the same today.

14 Comments

Filed under Christianity

Remember The Prisoners (Part 3)

In 2007, Gallup surveyed adult Americans on their opinions of the Bible. The survey discovered that 31% of Americans believed the Bible was the actual Word of God, to be taken literally; 47% believed it was the inspired Word of God, but not every fact was accurate or needed to be taken as truth; and 19% believed it was ancient fables, legends, and whatever.

Next, decide where you fit in the survey. Are you a part of the 31%? The 47%? Or the 19%?

Obviously, what you decide will determine whether you are a conservative or a more liberal Christian, right?

Now, picture yourself as a prisoner in a filthy prison cell in North Korea. No heat. No air conditioning. No TV. No computer. No Facebook or Twitter or blogs. Little food. Rats. Brutal torture. Sexual molestation. 16 hour work days. No hope of ever being released.

If you view yourself as being a part of the 47% or the 19%, how long do you think your faith would survive under these horrendous conditions?

 

6 Comments

Filed under Christianity

Remember The Prisoners (Part 2)

Persecution.com is the website for Voice of the Martyrs. The founders of Voice for the Martyrs were Richard Wurmbrand (1909 – 2001) and his wife, Sabina (1913 – 2000).

In 1945, the Wurmbrands’ lives changed drastically when both attended the Congress of Cults organized by the Romanian Communist government. Many religious leaders came forward to praise Communism and to swear loyalty to the new regime.

Sabina said, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.” Richard warned, “If I do so, you’ll lose your husband.”

“I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband,” she replied.

Thus Richard declared to the 4,000 delegates, whose speeches were broadcast to the whole nation, that their duty is to glorify God and Christ alone. (See full story here.)

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was a vessel chosen by Christ to open the eyes of us modern Christians to the pain and suffering which believers are presently undergoing in the world. For this, we thank you Lord.

So, today, I’m fasting and praying for this great ministry in the hope it will continue to be a voice of the prisoners to us.

5 Comments

Filed under Christianity