Category Archives: Christianity

Friday’s End-Times Bible Study (Part 10)

 

In Chapter 24 of Matthew, Jesus warned us twice about false prophets. His first warning was given for the time period before the abomination of desolation, which would be for the first half of the seven years of Tribulation.

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)

The second warning was given for the time period after the abomination of desolation or the second half of the seven years of Tribulation…also referred to as the Great Tribulation.

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)

Then Jesus seemed to reemphasize His warning about false prophets and false christs by adding–

Listen carefully, I have told you in advance. (Matthew 24:25)

Wait a second! All of Matthew Chapter 24 is a warning. So why did Jesus add these words?

I believe the forty-two months or one thousand two hundred and sixty days between the abomination of desolation and when the angel blows the seventh trumpet will have more people prophesying than any other time in the history of the world. How can I make this statement?

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)

The testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy, will be poured out on God’s people. All Christians will be able to prophesy.

Plus God’s two witnesses will be prophesying in Jerusalem.

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3)

But also Satan will counter all of this with his false prophet.

He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do…He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark… Revelation 13:11-17)

As we can readily see, there will be a war waged between true prophecy and false prophecy. Lives and souls will be at stake!

Most American believers will read all of this and say, “Oh Larry, I’m just going to trust God.”

Now, that’s good, but the over one hundred and fifty chapters in the Bible concerning End-Times prophecy are given to us so that we can prepare ourselves ahead of time. It’s up to each of us what we do with the resources the Lord has provided for us.

And those of the people who understand shall instruct many… (Daniel 11:33)

I want to be one of those who instruct others. What about you?

(Continued in Part 11…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for the Gifts of Healing and Miracles (5/23/2019)

Jesus said that in the last days, nations would rise against nations (or people groups versus people groups) and kingdoms against kingdoms. He said there would be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places.

So what are we doing? Are we preparing ourselves?

For instance, do we realize one in ten Americans are taking illegal drugs? Seven out of ten Americans are taking prescription drugs? Or one in four people have mental health issues? 

Can we even imagine what it will be like if people can’t get their drugs because of earthquakes or wars? It will be total chaos in our neighborhoods!

I know. I know. Many of us will answer all of these questions by saying: “I’m going to trust the Lord.” And that’s all well and good!

But Paul the apostle wrote to Timothy –

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. (2 Timothy 1:6)

We must do everything we can right now to stir up our gifts of healing and miracles to prepare us for the dark days ahead. If we wait until tragedy hits, we won’t have the faith or trust in our gifts to help the hurting people in our neighborhoods.

The old axiom – practice makes perfect – is also true with the spiritual gifts. So, let’s lay hands on and pray for every sick and hurting person we meet. Let’s not give up! Let’s keep on doing it and trusting God to perform the work of healing through us and our spiritual gifts. Eventually, we will reap a harvest of healing.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to hear Your voice, believe Your words and step out in faith to do Your works of healing in our neighborhoods.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for the Body of Christ in America.

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Hey, Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 2)

 

I signaled for a right turn onto CA-76, heading southwest toward Oceanside and the Pacific Ocean. Although the state worked on the highway every so often, drivers needed to stay alert to avoid potholes. A few were big enough to send vehicles to repair garages for thousand-dollar front-end suspension and alignment overhauls.

“Look at how beautiful the −”

“Shush,” said Jane, holding up her left hand in a stop sign manner. Her Pandora bracelet mirrored the sunlight. “Now it’s my turn.”

I nodded, knowing she wanted details.

“What do you plan on doing?”

“I don’t know.”

“The pastor will call and so will some of your friends, especially Phil and Vinnie.”

“I know, but I don’t have any answers. I walked out during the sermon because I looked at that young pastor and saw the beginning of another preacher’s ministry at Jedidiah Smith Community Church. Yet, I wondered to myself, what about me. What about my ministry? When will I speak the words in my heart?”

“That’s the reason you walked out?”

“Partly.”

“What else caused you to do such a silly thing?”

I sat for a few beats with my eyes glued to the road. A red Corvette convertible with its top down blew past us on our left. Within seconds, the sports car disappeared around the next curve. Our Honda’s speedometer stayed at sixty-five miles per hour, my normal speed on the highway.

Then I blew out a deep breath.

“The other day, I read a statement which summed up the philosophy of the U. S. Navy SEALS. It said, ‘I will never quit. If knocked down, I will get back up every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates. I am never out of the fight.’ Those words brought tears to my eyes.”

“Why should those words affect you so much?”

“What price have I paid over the years for the Kingdom of God? Not much. As far as I know, I’ve sat on the sidelines in a comfortable pew, far from any raging battles. Who knows if I would be willing to use every remaining ounce of strength to help my brothers and sisters in a spiritual battle? Only Jesus knows that answer, which I fear He may end up telling me at the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

Jane’s green eyes filled with tears. Drops streamed down her face while her lower lip trembled.

“How can you say that? You have faithfully attended church for over thirty years. You’ve always paid tithes to the church. You’ve prayed and studied the Word. You’ve been a godly husband, father and grandfather. Everyone loves you and thinks you’re a great believer −”

“Honey, that’s the least I should have done. The very least.”

“Is this about turning seventy last month and both of us arriving at the silver-haired years of our lives?” she said, reaching into her purse for a Kleenex.

I nodded.

“As soon as the young pastor opened his mouth for his sermon, a quick memory flooded my mind. It was when we gave our lives to the Lord forty years ago at that little Baptist Church in Murrieta. At the time, I had a deep impression that the Lord wanted me to do something for Him. Preach, teach, I didn’t know for sure what it was, but we had two young children, a new home and I had just started Foxfire Realty. So, I ignored it.”

“I vaguely remember you telling me about that,” she whispered, wiping her eyes with a tissue.

“I’ve had that same impression at various times over the last forty years, but I’ve always ignored it until today. ”

“Are you kidding? You plan on being a seventy year-old preacher, looking for a church to pastor?”

“I have no idea what the Lord wants me to do, but I felt that today was my last chance to obey Him. So, I stood up and turned my back on those things that seemed so important to me for the last forty years. From now on, I plan on getting up in the morning and proclaiming, ‘Here I am, Lord, reporting for duty. I’m still in the fight.'”

(Excerpt from an upcoming novel, Still in the Fight by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2019)

Somebody recently asked, “Why do you write novels?”

“To make a prophetic point,” I replied.

Does that mean I believe every senior citizen should walk out of their present  churches?

Read the rest of this series.

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Hey, Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 1)

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Thirty years ago, I attended a small church which would from time to time host traveling ministries for two or three nights of meetings. One time, a prophet held some meetings there. The prophet preached a message and afterward he pointed at certain people in the audience, had them stand up and then he spoke prophetic words to them.

One evening, he asked me to stand up and then spoke a long prophetic message about my calling and future ministry. I was absolutely floored by his words.

Afterward, a seventy-five year old woman walked up to me. “Many years ago, I used to get prophetic words just like yours for my life,” she said.

“Really?” I replied. “What did you do with them?”

“Oh, I wrote them down in a notebook,” she said.

“What else did you do with them?” I asked.

“I’m just waiting on the Lord…just waiting on the Lord,” she replied.

Two or three years later, she died.

I don’t know what happened to her notebook after her death, but I don’t think she ever walked one day in her divine calling. How sad, right?

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

There are many reasons why believers don’t ever fulfill the divine callings the Lord places on their lives. Sometimes, it’s bad teaching. Sometimes, it’s religious bondage. Or fear. Or doubt. Or maybe, the price was too high and the believer didn’t want to pay it. Or countless other reasons.

But whatever the reasons, if the Lord places a calling on a believer’s life, He has a plan on how the believer can fulfill his/her calling. We need to trust Him.

Are callings important to the Lord?

I had a dream many years ago in which I walked into heaven. It was glorious there, full of peace and life. But soon, I was met by a bronze-skinned little boy who looked up at me and said, “I died as a youngster and never made it into my calling because you did not fulfill your calling.”

All of sudden, there was a long, long line of bronze-skinned boys waiting to talk with me. Each one said, “I died as a youngster and never made it into my calling because you did not fulfill you’re calling.”

Finally, I cried out to the Lord. “Jesus, help me! I can’t handle this,” I said.

The dream ended.

That dream put the fear of the Lord in me about doing the best I can to fulfill the calling the Lord has placed on my life. You see, if you and I don’t make it into our callings, we may end up hurting the Lord’s plans for other people. I don’t want any blood on my hands when I stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. What about you?

So, why have I singled out senior citizens?

First of all, I am seventy-three years old. The largest part of my calling has not been fulfilled as yet. So, I’m still beating on the throne-room’s doors every morning, seeking Him. I refuse to quit and allow my calling to pass me by!

Secondly, I just attended a large church and discerned numerous callings for many of the senior Christians sitting in the pews there. And these seniors are not walking in their callings. This bugged me enough to write these articles.

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers… (Acts 13:36)

(Continued in Part 2)

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Friday’s End-Times Bible Study (Part 9)

 

The number seven is used over seven hundred times throughout the Bible, beginning with the creation week in Genesis Chapter One.

In the Book of Revelation alone, the number seven is used more than fifty times. Seven letters to seven churches. Seven Spirits before God’s throne. Seven golden lampstands. Seven stars in Christ’s right handSeven seal judgments. Seven angels with seven trumpets. And so forth.

Usually, the number seven in the Bible symbolizes perfection and completion. This is God’s number. He is the Perfect One.

Man’s number is six because he was created late on the sixth day. He is always less than seven (or God), just like “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Six is never greater than seven, nor is man greater than God.

Okay, all of the above prepares us for looking at the Millennium.

Most scientists believe the world is millions of years old, but who really cares what they say, right? The Bible reveals that the world is about six thousand years old. If the Word says so, I’m going to believe it. How about you?

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8)

The world is six thousand years old, but with the Lord, it is only six days old. That means the world is about to enjoy a Sabbath rest on the seventh day, or in this case the Millennium (or a thousand years).

The Millennium comes after the seven bowl judgments and after the battle of Armageddon. The armies of the Antichrist will be gone. The great kings and leaders of the earth will be gone. The Antichrist and his false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire and Satan will be thrown into the bottomless pit.

So, what will we believers be doing during the Millennium?

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.(Revelation 20:3)

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. (2 Timothy 2:12)

Believers will be reigning with Christ for a thousand years. What does that mean?

Let’s first do some figuring, okay?

As a guess, let’s say there will be 8 billion people living on the earth at the beginning of tribulation. The fourth seal judgment will kill a quarter of the earth’s population. That leaves the earth with about 6 billion people.

The sixth trumpet judgment will kill a third of the earth’s remaining population. That will leave the earth with about 4 billion people.

The seven bowl judgments are the worst of all the judgments because there will be no fresh water to drink. How long can people last without water? About three days and many won’t last that long because of the two bowl judgments beforehand. Plus, four more bowl judgments after the water is gone. And the battle of Armageddon will add tens of millions to the total.

So, as a guess, let’s say that there will be only 1-1.5 billion people left on the earth after all of the judgments and wars.

(Now remember: the various judgments are on the unbelievers, not believers, but we will suffer persecution.)

After the seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments and the seven bowl judgments, the earth will be devastated. The seventh bowl judgment will release an earthquake so mighty that all the cities of the earth will be destroyed.

There won’t be any homes. There won’t be any crops. There won’t be any transportation systems. There won’t be any economic systems. There won’t be any schools. All of this will have to be rebuilt for the 1-1.5 billion survivors.

Many Bible teachers – who I agree with – believe faithful Christians will manage the rebuilding of the earth under the guidance of King Jesus.

So, whatever we are going through right now is probably preparing us for our management positions in the Millennium. Let’s be faithful!

(Continued in Part 10…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers About Building Up Our Own Prayer Lives (5/16/2019)

 

Something happens in our lives. What’s the first thing we do?

Ask for prayer on Facebook. Call a prayer chain at a church. Call the pastor asking for his prayers. Call someone to pray for us. Right?

Now, asking for someone to pray for us is not wrong, but I remember Pastor David Yonggi Cho relating a story on how he handled Christians asking him to pray for their problems.

After a service at Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, a young lady approached Pastor Cho and explained how she had marital problems. She asked him to pray for her marriage.

“Have you fasted and prayed for your marriage?” asked Pastor Cho.

The lady shook her head.

“Okay, you fast and pray the next fourteen days for your marriage. If you still have problems after fasting for two weeks, come back and ask me to pray for your marriage,” replied Pastor Cho.

The lady nodded her head and left.

Can you imagine an American pastor saying this to a church member? I can’t see it ever happening. Maybe it does, but I have never heard of it.

But then again, no church in America has 300,000 believers show up for prayer meetings. Or one million believers per year going to a place called Prayer Mountain and praying for days at a time.

Maybe we need to change our ways and follow their example.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to trust You in all things and believe that whatsoever we ask You in prayer, You will answer us. (Based on Matthew 21:22)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for the Body of Christ in America.

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A Black River Flowing Out of America’s Inner Cities

I had another dream, which showed the importance of what I refer to as a black river of apostles and prophets flowing out of America’s inner cities to the other regions of our nation. I wrote it as a short story rather than as a prophetic dream:

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 bargains lining the tables in front of the retail stores. Brown jersey gloves were three pair for a dollar at Hesston’s Hardware. Dollar General sold Handi-Wipes for seventy-nine cents. Nineteen hundred tight-fisted Norwegian and German-American people populated the city, but these blond-haired, blue-eyed conservatives liked nothing better than saving a dollar or two.

My little concession trailer sat on the street in front of the courthouse. Popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy were hot items for the first two hours, but sales slacked off around 11:30 a.m.

I took a break and stood outside the trailer, smoking a cigarette when I saw the stranger heading toward me. If ever a person was in the wrong place, it was that man, an African-American in Farmer City. His pockmarked face was covered with four-day stubble. A jagged scar stretched from the base of his neck to his left ear. He wore a black Oakland Raiders’ sweatshirt rolled up to his elbows, revealing gang tattoos on his bulging forearms. His thousand-yard stare had the look of an ex-con.

He nodded as he passed me.

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

I turned to watch him walk over to a green bench in the city square and climb up on it. 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 on 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 to my surprise, the crowd moved toward him as if he were a Pied Piper.

An eighty-year old lady scooted her walker 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 the walker and flung it onto the lawn, saying, “In Jesus’ name, be healed. Now dance for Him.”

The crowd watched as she teetered there, her weak legs straining to hold her up. A man reached to grab her, but the black man slapped the Good Samaritan’s hands away.

“Don’t help her,” he said. “Let the Lord finish His work in her.”

A few in the crowd booed the stranger, but he paid no attention to them. He knew what he was doing.

Then, it happened.

A big smile lit up the little woman’s face. She straightened up, kicked one leg in the air, and then the other. She followed with a scissors kick, using both legs at once. Tears streamed down her face as she lifted up her arms and danced on the sidewalk, praising Jesus for her miracle.

People ran to form 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 one malady or another. They waited patiently for the stranger to pray for them.

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

“Yes, may I help you?” asked the stranger.

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

The smile on the black man’s face dipped downward.

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

Reverend Johnson pointed toward six men dressed in similar suits, standing under the oak tree behind the bench.

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

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

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

“Don’t you ever get in my way again! Jesus sent me to hold a healing crusade in Farmer City this morning and people like you are not going to stop me. Do you hear?” he proclaimed, pointing his finger at them.

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

The stranger turned around and began praying for people.

What happened next was unbelievable. It was as if Jesus Himself were holding a healing meeting in our city. Everyone received his healing. None was disappointed. When he finished, he walked away from the city square. A few tried to stop him, but he shook them off.

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

He slowed down and stopped a few feet from me. He eyed me up and down for a few seconds as I puffed on my cigarette. Our eyes locked, but neither of us spoke. I finally looked down at my feet.

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

He was gone when I looked up again.

(An excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

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