Category Archives: Gifts of the Spirit

Praying for Our Children (Part 2)

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“Lord, did I do something wrong?” I said aloud after hanging up the phone.

Almost instantly, I felt the Holy Spirit say to my heart:  “Don’t ever pray that way again for your son Scott and his girlfriend Liza. Pray for the two to get married and have a great marriage.”

This quick back and forth conversation came about one weekend in the 1990s because a few months earlier I had prayed for my son to break up with his girlfriend.  My prayer was not because Liza wasn’t a great girl because she was all of that and more. But according to my thinking, she didn’t pray or study her Bible or seem sufficiently interested in the Lord to meet my nearsighted standards. So, I figured she had to go.

Did my prayer work?

It seemed to work for a while as the two quit dating almost immediately after my prayer. This continued for a few months until I spoke with Scott on that weekend.

“Just want you to know that Liza and I are dating again,” said Scott.

“Oh…” I replied.

We said our goodbyes and hung up.

When Scott told me about dating Liza again, fear enveloped me. The fear shredded my hardened heart so that I could ask, “Lord, did I do something wrong?”

Upon hearing the Lord’s voice, I repented and began praying for the two to be married, which happened three years later. Liza and Scott now have two sons and a godly marriage.

Does scripture back up my experience?

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all My purpose.” (Isaiah 46:10)

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:15-16) 

The above verses reveal God has plans for our children before they are even born. We also know God revealed plans about children and grandchildren to various parents in the Bible:

Hagar about her son Ishmael. (Genesis 16:10-12)

Abraham about his son Isaac. (Genesis 17:19-21)

Rebekah about her twin sons −Esau and Jacob. (Genesis 25:23)

Jacob prophesied over his grandsons. (Genesis 48:15-20)

Jacob prophesied over his sons. (Genesis 49:2-27)

Manoah and his wife about their son Samson. (Judges 13:3-5)

King David about his son Solomon. (1 Chronicles 23:8-10)

All of Judah about Josiah. (1 Kings 13:2)

Zacharias about John the Baptist. (Luke 1:13-17)

Mary and Joseph about Jesus. (Luke 1:30-33; Matthew 1:20-21)

Maybe you’ve raised an eyebrow after reading so far. “Yes, God did this for Israel’s patriarchs, His kings, John the Baptist, and for our Lord Jesus,” you may be muttering to yourself, “but these were people especially chosen by Him to carry out His plans on earth. Why would He do this for me and my children?”

(Excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 3)

 

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Prayers for Israel (6/19/2018)

In 539 B.C., Daniel discovered that Jeremiah’s prophecy about Jerusalem being a desolation for seventy years was about to be fulfilled. What did Daniel then do?

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)

Instead of running out and telling everyone about his revelation, Daniel did everything he could to bring the prophecy into its fulfillment through his prayers and fasting.

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” (John Wesley)

One of God’s biblical principles is that He longs to partner with believers to bring forth His unfulfilled scriptural prophecies. We pray and fast and then God provides the miraculous power to bring forth the prophecy into its manifestation here on earth.

This is the reason, we need to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem now because the days are ticking off God’s calendar before Jesus’ return.

Lord, raise up American believers who are willing to partner with You and Your Word so that Your end-time prophecies for Jerusalem and Israel are fulfilled according to Your plans.

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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What’re Your Plans for 300 Years From Now? (Part 2)

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If we take a step in obedience, God will reward us with a mile of blessings. (Mike Bickel)

Jesus spoke a parable about a nobleman who was traveling to a far country. Before leaving, the nobleman called ten of his servants into his office. There he gave each a bag of silver worth about a hundred days of wages for a common laborer.

He told the ten men, “Do business with this money until I return.”

After a period of time, the nobleman returned. The man called for his ten servants to give an accounting of their business transactions.

The first servant had earned ten more bags of money for a 1000% return.

The nobleman said to the man, “Well done, good servant. Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)

Yes, Luke 19:11-27 is a parable, but Jesus used it to explain a truth, one that I overlooked for years.

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus told a similar parable about three servants who were given various amounts of money by a master while he went on a trip. One was given five 75-lb. bags of silver, another two 75-lb. bags of silver, and a third received one 75-lb. bag of silver.

Upon returning, the master settled accounts with the three men. The first man doubled the master’s investment by earning five more 75-lb. bags of silver for the master.

The master said to the servant, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21)

Once again, this is a parable, which Jesus used to explain a truth to us.

In the Book of Revelation, we read two interesting verses in the King James or the New King James translations that tie into the above parables:

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6 NKJ)

How can we be kings and rulers, right?

(Continued in Part 3)

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Do We Still Need Prophecy and the Spiritual Gifts?

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A commenter on Dr. Michael Brown’s recent column, Charismatic Movement Needs Some Self-Policing: “The fruit of the Charismatic Movement has not been good.”

Like many critics, this person could only see the thorns of the Charismatic Movement and not the beautiful rose blossoms that have blessed numerous lives, including mine.

On May 20, 1985, I decided to commit suicide. This decision was based on my failure to put together a farm publishing company. All of my financial sources were maxed out, with the only untouched asset being a $125,000 life insurance policy on my life.

Suicide was not a problem because I was an agnostic. My not believing in God relieved me of worrying about Hell and God’s eternal punishment for my unbelief. It seemed like a good business decision on my part.

For some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office that afternoon. Bill wasn’t my insurance agent nor was he a close intimate friend. Our relationship was built on my coaching his son for a teen baseball team the year before.

Bill invited me into his office. I sat down on a chair in front of his desk while he sat on the opposite side.  We talked about baseball, but in the middle of our conversation, he paused and stared at me. “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?” he said.

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept. “How did you know?” I asked.

“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me.

We continued talking for a while longer. He gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers. Bill stated how the small book had changed his life a few years earlier.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After finishing the first eighteen pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door, looked into the mirror and said, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. I bowed down on the tile floor and worshipped my new Lord and King.

How a reader views my salvation testimony probably depends on which camp of Christianity the person presently sits in.

Eight to ten percent of American Christians might pooh-pooh my salvation testimony because they’re cessationists who believe that prophecy and the spiritual gifts ceased at the end of the apostolic age.

Another fifteen to twenty percent of Christians might jump up and down, saying, “Amen, brother.” These are the Pentecostals, Charismatics and others who wholeheartedly endorse prophecy and the spiritual gifts.

That leaves a balance of seventy to seventy-five percent of American Christians who are not in either of the first two camps. They have heard about prophecy but have not seen the spiritual gifts functioning in their own churches. For the most part, they do not hold any opinions one way or another on prophecy or the spiritual gifts.

What does the Bible say about prophecy and the spiritual gifts?

Pursue love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

The Apostle Paul wrote the above verse in his first letter to the Corinthian Church around 55 AD. It explained the spiritual gifts and their proper usage.

The historian Eusebius pointed out the importance of prophecy in an event that occurred only ten or eleven years after Paul’s letter. A Messianic believer in Jerusalem prophesied that everyone should flee the Holy City to save their lives. The prophecy also reminded the believers of Jesus’ prophecy on the first Palm Sunday.

By early 69 AD, every Messianic believer had fled Jerusalem. Most went to a city in Jordan, named Pella, which was about sixty miles from Jerusalem.

In 70 AD, the Roman army led by General Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, slaughtering nearly a million Jews. This calamity fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Jesus on that first Palm Sunday.

The number of Messianic believers who fled Jerusalem were about sixty thousand in total. Those believers loved Jerusalem and their Jewish neighbors. They would have told everyone about the prophecy, but sadly, the Jewish army had won some battles against Rome when the prophecy was first spoken. Therefore, most Jews ignored the words of those Messianic believers and remained in Jerusalem. The majority of them died.

What if someone today prophesied that we should evacuate San Francisco or Chicago or New York City or Washington D. C. or wherever because the city was about to be destroyed?

Maybe you’re thinking something like this could never happen, right?

The Book of Revelation tells us about the horrific destruction which will occur in our world sometime in the near future. Half of the earth’s population will die during the seal and trumpet judgments. Most of the cities will be destroyed. If believers don’t take the mark of the beast, we won’t be able to buy or sell anything, including food and medicine.

So, how will believers survive without prophecy and the spiritual gifts?

Maybe our American-held belief of a pre-tribulation Rapture will be accurate. Maybe believers will be out of here before the bad stuff happens.

But just in case, it might be a good idea to develop an ear for prophecy and learn about the spiritual gifts now.

(The above post appeared as a column for WND.com on April 13, 2018 which can be seen here.)

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Praying for our Children (Part 1)

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The number one prayer request I have heard in my thirty-three years of being a believer is this one: “Pray for my children to be zealous for the Lord.”

Almost every Christian parent desires for his or her children to have fiery hearts filled with passion and zeal for God. But sadly, today’s world is filled with increasing levels of lawlessness, which causes many of our children’s hearts to grow cold. This lawlessness creeps into our children’s lives through the Internet, cellphones, texting, Facebook, TV, movies, music, and much more – all of it has the potential of chilling our children’s hearts toward God and His ways.

O offspring of Abraham, His servant, children of Jacob, His chosen ones! (Psalm 105:16)

God promised the descendants of Abraham numerous blessings because of the patriarch’s faith and obedience toward Him and His ways. Because of these promises, Abraham’s children and descendants are referred to as His chosen ones.

God’s plans for Abraham and his descendants are just as valid today for believing parents and their children. Thus, our children should be viewed by faith as His chosen ones, too.

Now, our children may not look like His chosen ones as yet. They may not even be saved and may be walking in the exact opposite direction.  But because our children are considered His chosen ones we have all of heaven backing us in our efforts.

…If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 It’s time for us to pray for the frozen chosen −our children −to walk in the destinies God has ordained for them.

(Excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)
(Continued in Part 2)

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Are Demons Responsible for Inner City Violence?

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My new weekly column entitled, “Are Demons Responsible for Inner City Violence,” can be read by clicking here.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can perhaps read it better by using the Chrome browser rather than Safari. Also, you can go to the app store and download a free app called: WND.

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Prayers for America (5/31/2018)

Two days ago, I had a vivid dream.

In it, my wife Carol and I were attending a church meeting. I sat in the front row of the sanctuary, next to the church’s pastor on my left and Carol to my right. The whole church was waiting on the Holy Spirit, hoping to hear Him speak to the assembly through prophecy.

All of a sudden, my wife spoke in tongues. I waited a moment to see if one of the pastors or another believer would interpret the tongues. Then, I started to interpret her tongues by saying, “The day of the Lord is coming quickly. Are you prepared…”

I continued speaking the interpretation until I felt my wife’s elbow hitting my ribs. My eyes must have been closed because I opened them to look at her, wondering why she had elbowed me. She rolled her eyes and nodded her head toward the sanctuary. Everyone had stood up and left. A few remained at the back of the sanctuary talking with each other.

End of dream.

Many of my dreams are weird, but this one felt so realistic.

When I awakened, I felt hurt because the pastor was one I knew from my past, a person who had respect for my prophetic words. Yet, the pastor and the congregation had paid no attention to my words because the prophecy was about the end-times and challenged them to prepare themselves. They already had everything figured out. They were leaving on the first bus out, as in Pre-Trib rapture.

Then, I knew the Holy Spirit was showing me through this dream that changing the church’s thinking from a Pre-Tribulation rapture belief into one that prepares itself for going through the great tribulation would be an uphill struggle. I had better prepare myself now!

My prayer today:

Lord, I pray the American believers will hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches and will be fair-minded like the Bereans so they search the scriptures to find out whether a Post-Tribulation rapture could possibly be true. (Based on Revelation 2:7 and Acts 17:11)

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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