Monthly Archives: November 2016

Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 5)

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There are many of us believers who look at the Old Testament and wrinkle our noses. We somehow feel we should just study and follow Jesus’ red letter words in the four Gospels, but the Apostle Paul did not agree with that thinking.

Now these things happened as examples for us… (1 Corinthians 10:6)

With Paul’s admonition in mind, let’s look at an Old Testament example to learn more about San Francisco’s plight.

Most of us know the story of Jonah and how the rebellious prophet decided to take a hike to Spain rather than obey the Lord. His sea trip was then cut short by a storm and eventually Jonah was dumped overboard by the sailors into the raging Mediterranean Sea. There a great fish swallowed him.

Okay, what was it like inside the great fish’s stomach?

The protein-digesting enzymes, the strong hydrochloric acids, the constant muscular contortions causing the stomach to churn digested food and Jonah toward a sphincter muscle which opened into the small intestine. The smell. The insufficient oxygen. His whole body constantly being burned by acids. The never-ending churning. It had to feel like a living Hell without end for him.

In fact, Jesus Himself later compared Jonah’s seventy-two hours in the great fish’s stomach to His time in the heart of the earth or Hell.

What did Jonah probably look like when he walked through Nineveh preaching his message?

I assume Jonah obeyed the Lord and went directly to Nineveh from the Mediterranean shore. It was a five hundred mile trek through rough country and across the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

Thus, his skin, hair, and beard most likely still had yellow acid burns coloring them. And his clothing must have been tattered, stained, bleached, filled with acid holes, and smelly. He had to look and reek like Hell.

Jonah’s message, “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed,” would have gathered him a crowd in the Assyrian capital city, but even the heathen had babbling prophets in those days. So, why did the people listen and believe his prophetic words?

Jonah’s appearance and testimony about his three days and nights in the great fish had to be a powerful sign to the people of Nineveh of God’s mercy. Who could argue with him? The people quickly believed Jonah and his prophetic words, and then repented.

Jesus also referenced Jonah’s three days and nights inside the great fish as a sign to evil and adulterous generations. The message was loud and clear for all: “Repent at hearing the words of the Lord concerning judgments for sin or be destroyed.”

On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 AM,  a major earthquake struck San Francisco. A policeman who happened to be on duty said he heard a deep rumbling and looked up a hill. “The whole street was undulating. It was as if the waves of the ocean were coming toward me, and billowing as they came.” The earthquake lasted 65 t0 75 seconds.

Within seventeen minutes, fifty fires were reported in downtown San Francisco. Fire engines rushed to answer the calls, but the water mains were broken. The fires burned out of control.

Out of San Francisco’s population of 410,000, up to 75% were left homeless. Over 3,000 people died. 80% of the city was reduced to rubble by the earthquakes and fire.

At the time, San Francisco was the ninth largest city in America, and the largest city west of the Mississippi River. It’s port made it a banking, trading, and cultural center which gave it the title, “Gateway to the Pacific.”

The earthquake’s damage ended up diverting trade and population to Los Angeles which soon surpassed San Francisco as the most important and largest urban area on the West Coast.

Were there any prophetic warnings given ahead of time to San Francisco?

A woman named Ellen White may have had a vision ahead of time, but she did not publish or announce her vision until after the earthquake struck the city.

Frank Bartleman, an author and evangelist, was involved with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles at the time the earthquake struck San Francisco. Soon after, he noticed how most preachers announced that God had nothing to do with the earthquake. Even school teachers taught their students that God was not involved in the San Francisco Earthquake.

Barthleman sought the Lord in prayer and ended up writing an Earthquake tract. In it, he explained how God was grieved with the wickedness of San Francisco and that the earthquake was a judgment for the city’s sins. The tract specifically answered the question, “Did God do that?”

Thousands of tracts were distributed to Los Angles and San Francisco. Many people repented and others were upset by them.

So, how does this all play out for today’s San Francisco?

(Continued in Part 6…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2012, may be seen here.) 

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Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 4)

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Do you think there were any babies and young children in Sodom and Gomorrah when God rained brimstone and fire on the cities?

Yikes! This is the type of question that skeptics ask us Christians which causes us to stutter and stammer. We may even end up second-guessing God and His motives. After all, did God’s anger push Him over the edge so that He became a baby murderer?

Okay, take a deep breath and let’s study sin.

“Sin is sin,” proclaim many people who think all types of sin are equal in God’s eyes, but is that really true?

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:7)

The Bible separates sin into three specific types: sin, transgression, and iniquity.

Although the word sin can be used as a generic catchall word for all three types, its biblical definition really means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

Basic sin is disobedience to God’s commands and His word, but without willful intent. Examples of sin: losing your temper with your spouse; getting caught up in gossip with your neighbor; exaggerating your importance at work to a new employee; and so forth.

All basic sins can easily be taken care of by asking forgiveness of the Lord and the person involved.

The word transgression means revolt or rebellion and is willful disobedience of God’s commands.

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14)

Eve knew that God had commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil, but she rebelled and did it anyway. As with all acts of rebellion, Eve suffered consequences for her transgression.

Truthfully, we all have transgressed at different times in our Christian journeys and can probably give interesting testimonies about the consequences we have suffered. But as with sin, transgression simply requires us to ask forgiveness of the Lord and anybody involved. Then, we need to change our ways and not continue in the same transgression.

Yet, continuing in a transgression without repentance eventually leads to iniquity. The word iniquity means depravity (evil perverseness or moral corruption) and always carries within it the hatred of God and His ways.

Iniquity is not a voluntary or involuntary disobedience to the commands of God, like sin and transgression are, but instead, it is a second nature sin. It is a demonic stronghold within the individual which may have been passed on through one’s ancestors or the result of continued willful transgressions or the surrender of oneself to an evil principality over a region.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. (Proverbs 5:22 ESV)

Ridding oneself of iniquity is not as easy as it is for sins or transgressions. Because it is intertwined with the individual’s personality and attitudes, it requires acceptance of truth, God’s mercy, and the fear of the Lord to set an individual free. This often depends on a deliverance move by the Spirit of God upon the people.

…For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting [punishing] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me (Deuteronomy 5:9)

Iniquities are not committed in spiritual vacuums. They are committed before the throne of God and cry out to the Judge to be avenged.

So, when God acted against Sodom and Gomorrah, the people’s iniquity had reached completion. In fact, there were not ten people in the cities who were not filled with this horrible sin. This included young children which the parents had defiled by passing iniquity on to them through the bloodlines. It was then a part of the young children’s second nature and attitudes.

Now, I believe the Father foresaw the iniquity that would be committed by the babies and the young children. And because of His love, He removed the young people of Sodom and Gomorrah before they were accountable for their iniquities. By doing this, the children died in their innocence and not in full-bloomed iniquity.

Our God is a good Father who views eternity as more important for His creation than the present.

So, why San Francisco now?

(Continued in Part 5…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2012, may be seen here.) 

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Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 3)

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Two wars in the 1900’s transformed San Francisco into what it has become today.

During World War II, San Francisco was the main  port for the war in the Pacific. Supplies and hundreds of thousands of servicemen were loaded onto vessels heading overseas. Thousands of other men worked on the docks and in administration to keep the war machine well oiled and moving.

But because of the era, San Francisco was also the port where homosexuals were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, with more than 9,000 gay servicemen processed out during 1941 – 1945. Most of these gays, and others not pinpointed by authorities, stayed in San Francisco after the war and quietly thrived in the city’s liberal atmosphere.

John Brokaw labeled the Americans who fought in World War II as the “Greatest Generation” because of their patriotism and determination to do what was right for our nation. This generation then returned from war and built America into a Superpower nation.

Yet, the following generation was handed the Vietnam War. Unlike World War II, this conflict spawned anti-war groups and political activism, of which San Francisco and it’s sister city across the bay, Berkeley, ended up at the forefront.

One of the anti-war hippie slogans of the era – “Make Love Not War” – caused two events to take place in San Francisco.

The Human Be-In was held on January 14, 1967, at Golden Gate Park. Thirty thousand hippies, counterculture and drug advocates, anti-war and political activists gathered together for the first time on that day. Before that day, each group thought little of the other groups and each believed its views were the most important ones at the time.

But as they listened to Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, The Quicksilver Messenger Service, and numerous speakers, such as Timothy Leary, Dick Gregory, and Jerry Rubin, the groups melted together as one.

This successful one day gathering gave rise to the phenomenon which is now called the Summer of Love (1967) where one hundred thousand young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. These high school and college kids almost instantly changed the dynamics of the city with their attitudes on sexual freedom, creative expressions, and their political activism.

Among the hundred thousand young people were thousands of gays and lesbians who were radical activists. These were not willing to “go along to get along” as the World War II gays had done before them. Instead, these young people wanted to change America’s social system and had discovered how to achieve it from their anti-Vietnam War activism.

At first, these young gays lived in Haight-Asbury, but drugs and violence caused them to move into the Castro District. There they fixed up homes and opened businesses. The Castro District, also called the Gay Mecca, has  the highest per capita gay population in the world and is the center for the city’s gay politics.

One of the events birthed by the Castro District is  San Francisco Pride, a two day celebration for gays and their culture. This year’s event will be held on June 23-24, 2012, and attendance is expected to be more than 1 million people.

San Francisco’s gay, lesbian, and transsexual population is estimated at 15% of the city’s total, but its influence on politics is many times more than that. In fact, nothing really happens in California politics, and also in much of America, without San Francisco’s gay community’s endorsement.

So, what’s the big deal about San Francisco’s evolutionary change toward a tolerance of gay life styles? And who really cares?

(Continued in Part 4…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2012, may be seen here.) 

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Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 2)

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San Francisco is the tail that wags California and most of America.

Although only 46.9 square miles in area and 805,000 in population, San Francisco’s power rumbles throughout our nation’s political and economic corridors.

California’s three most powerful posts – governorlieutenant governor, and attorney general – are filled by politicians from the San Francisco Bay area.  Both U.S. senators for California, until recently, lived in San Francisco, and the U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader is also from the city.

The nation’s largest appellate court,  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,  is based in San Francisco. This court has appellate jurisdiction over nine states and two territories.

Silicon Valley, on the south edge of the San Francisco Bay area, has the highest concentration of millionaires and billionaires in America. Plus, if you add in the banks and financial institutions, San Francisco is one of the top producing cities in the world.

How did San Francisco ever achieve such a powerful status?

The Spanish first built a fort and a mission on what is now San Francisco in 1776. A nearby settlement was named Yerba Buena. The biggest problems for the new settlement was the scarcity of three necessities: water, wood, and food. These had to be carted into the settlement.

In 1821, after gaining its independence from Spain, the area came under the rule of Mexico. Twenty-six years later, Mexico then ceded the area to the United States at the end of the Mexican-American War. It was then renamed San Francisco.

At the time America took over San Francisco in 1847, it was a settlement of approximately five hundred people. Although the Bay was a strategic port and military base, the inhospitable geography and weather patterns of the area caused families to shy away from living there.

Then, in 1848, the California Gold Rush hit.

Ships from all over the world headed to San Francisco loaded with men who had gold fever. At first, San Francisco was itself a ghost town as shop owners and military personnel fled to the gold fields. But soon, new merchants set up shop and prospered in the city.

With the influx of people, the population of San Francisco jumped to 25,000 by the end of 1849.  The male-female demographics were extremely lopsided, in that there were only 300 women in the city, and of these, two hundred were prostitutes. It took many years for San Francisco to become a family oriented city.

As with most boom to bust mining towns, the social climate in the city was chaotic. Committees of Vigilance took over the city in 1851 and 1856 because of crime and government corruption. Each time, after the city was cleaned up, power was relinquished back to the people.

But one area that was not cleaned up was the Barbary Coast. This nine block area was famous for its prostitution, crime, opium dens, dance halls, and complete debauchery. Many lonely men, searching for love, ended up having bumps on their heads and their pockets picked. Or worse yet, they were shanghaied and woke up on ships heading overseas.

The Barbary Coast was almost completely destroyed in the massive 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Yet, within months, the bars were rebuilt and business continued as usual. It wasn’t until 1917, that the Barbary Coast was finally shut down.

San Francisco has always prided itself on its wild frontier spirit and ribald character, but it is these exact traits which have proved to be the city’s spiritual downfall, especially in the mid-1900’s.

(Continued in Part 3…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2012, may be seen here.) 

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (11/17/20160

A few years ago, I heard a Mike Bickle cassette tape where Bob Jones told about one of his visions. In it, Jones was watching a baseball game between the Lord’s team and Satan’s team. It was the bottom of the ninth with two outs.

Love was at bat and Satan threw his best pitch. Love hit the ball into the outfield for a base hit. “Love never fails.” Faith came to bat and promptly hit a base hit. “Faith works with love.” The next batter was named Godly Wisdom. Satan threw him four straight balls and Godly Wisdom was issued a walk. “Godly wisdom does not fall for Satan’s pitches.” The bases were loaded.

A player named Grace walked into the batter’s box. Jones noted the batter was not much to look at and wondered about his ability to handle the tense situation. Jones also noted Satan’s team relaxed when they saw the weak-looking Grace stepping up to the plate.

Grace swung at the first pitch and Jones said he had never seen a ball hit so hard. Satan’s center fielder, the prince of the air, leaped to catch the ball, but the ball went through his glove, hitting him in the head, and knocking him to the ground. The ball continued its flight over the fence for a grand slam home run. The Lord’s team won.

The Lord turned to Jones and said, “Do you know why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base, but they could not win the game for My team?”

Jones shook his head.

“If your love, your faith, or your wisdom could win the game for you alone, you would think you had done it. Your love, faith, and wisdom can only take you so far, but then you need My grace to bring you home.”

(An excerpt from Prophecy 101 by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers to stay small in our own eyes, allowing You to increase in our nation while we decrease. (Based on 1 Samuel 15:17 and John 3:30)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 1)

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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Because our minds are limited by space-time continuum thinking, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the simple truth that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never had a beginning. They always were and always will be.

This simple truth is the foundation for all of our Christian faith and belief in God. It is one which cannot be partially accepted, but must be believed in whole, in order for us to have a vibrant faith in God. Anything less than 100% on this truth will create doubts which will limit the work of God in our lives.

Okay, assuming we all accept this simple truth,  how did God create the heavens and the earth?

Then God said, “Let there be light; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

For years, I figured God spoke His words, wiggled His nose, much like Samantha on Bewitchedand then presto,  light and all the rest of creation appeared on the scene. But there are other scriptures which give us a clearer glimpse of how God created the heavens and earth.

Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20)

Our English word angel is translated from the Hebrew word malak which actually means messenger, representative, or deputy. Therefore  God has deputy helpers who perform His words, including the creation of our world.

The Bible gives the names for three angels: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer.

Gabriel (strength of God or warrior of God) is an archangel who was sent as a messenger with important messages for  humans, such as Daniel, Zacharias (John the Baptist’s father), and Mary.

Michael (who is like God) is a chief archangel, a protector of Israel, and the leader of God’s heavenly angel army.

Lucifer (light bearer or morning star) was also a chief archangel.  In Jude 9, Michael still respected Lucifer’s high level of authority, even though he had fallen and was now known as Satan.

Okay, now let’s do some digging.

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. (Hebrews 2:5)

For whatever reasons, God set up our present world to be in subjection to angels or under an angelic governmental system. God created this system to be obedient to His words, but obviously, angels, like humans, have a free will. The system was eventually corrupted with Adam’s fall.

Yet, God being true to His own system had the Law brought to man under the direction of angels.

Now, the idea of creating man and man’s home here on earth was always in God’s heart. It was His highest priority as He longed to share His love and fellowship with other beings. And it’s only natural to assume that His angels all knew about the importance of earth and how a being called man would eventually fit into God’s plan for His kingdom on earth.

So, who did God choose to be His chief angel over earth?

You [Satan] were in Eden, the garden of God… (Ezekiel 28:13)

You [Satan] were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. (Ezekiel 28:14)

Eden, the garden of God, and the holy mountain of God were on earth, not in heaven. Thus, it’s my belief that Lucifer (Satan) was chosen by God to be the head angel, or His chief ambassador, here on earth. Satan was actually created to be man’s helper and a minister to us humans, not our accuser and destroyer.

But because Lucifer (Satan) was proud of his authority over earth, he wanted to exalt his throne over all of all the other angels and to be like the Most High God. Then because of Satan’s iniquity, war broke out in heaven. Michael and the good angels drove Satan and his horde (a third of all the angels) out of heaven.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)

Who were Satan’s angels?

Most likely, Satan’s angels were those he had authority over here on earth, his underlings. Later, Paul referred to a part of Satan’s fallen angel horde as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Keep in mind that Satan is not a creator. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a usurper of God’s creation and His plans.

Thus, when Eve was deceived and Adam sinned in the Garden of EdenGod’s authority to rule on earth passed from man to the fallen angel, Satan. He became the god of this world.

And because Satan had authority on earth and in the heavens surrounding earth, Satan’s angels replaced God’s angels in the spiritual governmental system reigning over earth. Satan’s angels were already trained to do exactly that, but instead of obeying God, these fallen angels now obeyed the father of lies,  Satan.

The bad news is that we are stuck with this corrupted angelic system until Jesus returns. But the good news is that we have a new spiritual governmental system on earth, not subjected to angels. It is the Kingdom of God.

Are you scratching your heads and wondering what this has to do with California and San Francisco?

(Continued in Part 2…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2012, may be seen here.) 

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Asia (11/15/2016)

During a prayer conference call for Business Men’s Fellowship in late September of this year, I had a quick vision.

In it, I saw a large passenger jet taking off from a major international airport. As the jet lifted off the ground and began to climb upward, an explosion blasted the jet to pieces, destroying it before it ever reached its cruising altitude.

The vision troubled me, but I didn’t say anything at the time to the other men on the prayer line. I sought the Lord on its meaning and prayed every which way for it not to happen.

Last night, on another prayer conference call, I felt the Lord revealed the vision’s meaning:

Now, whatever our feelings may be about President-elect Donald Trump, I have no doubt the Lord caused or allowed his election to happen at this time in our nation’s history. We can all argue our differing viewpoints, but Scripture states that He removes leaders and sets up other leaders.

As I prayed along with the other men last night, I felt the Lord showed me that one of the main reasons He set Trump in place was to help heal our nation’s relations with Israel. These relations have been severely strained under President Obama’s leadership.

I believe the vision reveals how Satan desires to destroy any efforts by our government to change its present policies toward Israel and the Middle East before they have a chance to be set in place. You see, God wants America to stand with Israel!

We need to pray and fast for America’s partnership and alliance with Israel to take place according to the Lord’s plans.

My prayer today:

Lord, help America and its government to submit to Your will and Your plans for Israel, and therefore to resist Satan and his evil plans to destroy Israel. (Based on James 4:7)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.

6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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