Category Archives: spiritual warfare

God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness or Else (Part 1)

 

43-438624_united-states-map-vector-pngDuring the mid-1990s, while I was a member of an inner-city ministry, I had a dream that showed a black river flowing out of the inner cities to every city and town in America.  The dream zoomed in for a closeup of the river, revealing it not to be a river but an army of black preachers. These men of God had scars and tattoos covering their arms. Many were ex-cons. Their message was the same that John the Baptist preached two thousand years ago: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

I somehow knew these men were not seminary trained, but were taught by the Holy Spirit. Their faith had been forged in the brutal fires of inner-city life, but it was their eyes that captured my attention.  Their eyes burned with a love for Jesus, a love not matched by any other generation of preachers before them. I felt these black men were sent to deliver the rest of America from false religious views.

Before you reject my dream as a pizza-induced fantasy, let me share another one from the same time period.

In this particular dream, I saw a race war between black Americans and whites taking place in our nation. As most know, dreams can be weird, but it was not the case for this one. It was a straight forward, four-color documentary of possible future tragic events.

The dream opened up with a large army of inner-city black youths marching into upscale white neighborhoods. The youths carried AK-47s, AR-15s, Glock pistols and knives. They went from house to house, slaughtering white men, women, children and babies. None of the victims defended themselves nor did anyone attempt to stop the youths in their thirst for blood. When they finished, the youths torched the homes and danced in the streets, firing their guns in the air.

The next segment of the dream showed politicians attempting to handle the outbreak of racial hostilities with words, committee meetings and new laws. Although the leaders of both major parties condemned the violence, all worried about losing votes in their upcoming elections. Therefore, a political stalemate arose with nothing concrete being done.

The final portion of the dream showed white Americans hiring trained mercenaries to hunt down the black youths. The mercenaries went into America’s inner cities, killing young black males and filling the streets with their dead bodies. I knew as I looked at the bullet-riddled corpses lying on the asphalt that a whole generation of black leaders had been wiped out.

If both dreams are actually from the Lord, how can they be such polar opposites?

Okay, I wrote the above 439 words as an opening for an article to be published on WND.com. Then I wrote another four hundred words of blah, blah, blah and more blah.

Thank God, they chose not to publish the article because it stunk. Period!

Hopefully, this series will provide a roadmap for our prayers and for our ministry efforts in America’s inner cities. But to do so, we need to heed some wise advice:

Whatever we wish to achieve in the future, it must begin by knowing where we are in the present – not where we wish we were, or where we wish others to think we are, but where we are in fact. (Thomas Sowell)

(Continued in Part 2)

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Filed under America, black people, Christianity, Deliverance, Intercession, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prophecy, Race wars, spiritual warfare, Uncategorized

Prayers for American Churches (7/25/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

How does the Kingdom of God fit together with the church?

Most who have taught on the kingdom of God over the last fifty years have made a dramatic separation between the church and kingdom of God. In other words, they’ve said the kingdom is totally different from the church. That statement is true and also false.

It’s true if you define church as a Sunday morning service or you define church as a building or you define the church as all of the believers in the world. Then the church is not the kingdom and the kingdom is not the church. Those two things are completely separate.

BUT if you define the word “church” as it appears in the English New Testament as ecclesia, which is the Greek word for it. And ecclesia meant a local body of believers that lived in face-to-face community that had a shared life together and took care of each other and loved one another and knew each other in the sense that they saw themselves as family despite racial divisions, despite economic divisions, and despite sexual divisions (meaning men and women). It you see it as that – a living, breathing, close-knit extended family – all of whom were living by the life of Jesus Christ.  Then that was the kingdom of God on this earth.

You see, a kingdom refers to the king, his domain and the people ruled by the king.

In 30 AD, if you wanted to see the kingdom, you needed to find Jesus. He embodied the kingdom. After Jesus ascended, the corporate followers became Christ on the earth – His kingdom.

So, if you want to see the Kingdom of God now, we need to find a group who expresses Christ living in and through them. (Frank Viola, Insurgence Podcast)

My prayer today:

Lord, You promised that You would build Your church on a rock so that the gates of Hell would never prevail against it. So, we desperately ask that You build Your church in America now. (Based on Matthew 16:18)

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

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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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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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Prayers for Businessmen (5/14/2019)

My rusty 1975 Chevrolet pickup soon needed brakes so I asked Wayne, a mechanic friend, to fix them. He did me a favor by fixing them on his lunch hour. Afterward, I drove the truck around the block, pressing on the brakes at each corner. Everything seemed okay.

I then moved out onto busy 1st Avenue South, heading toward my apartment. I hit the accelerator, the 350-engine roared to life as the truck quickly picked up speed. The upcoming light changed to red. I stepped on the brakes. The pedal went to the floor. No brakes! I pulled on the emergency brake. Nothing happened!

My hand hit the horn. I swerved out into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid slamming into the stopped cars ahead of me. The oncoming cars swerved out of my way while honking their horns and shaking their fists at me. I somehow missed everyone and turned into a parking lot with an uphill grade. The truck coasted to a stop. I shifted out of gear.

I sat there with my heart beating like a base drum inside a cave. The Holy Spirit then whispered to my heart: “Just like your truck was out of control, the American economy is also out of control.”

The Holy Spirit certainly had my attention at that moment, but was the American economy really out of control at that time in the spring of 1992?

The year 1992 was not a bad economic year. Dow Jones averages bottomed out at 3,137, inflation was a paltry three percent, unemployment stood at 6.8 percent, and gasoline cost $1.13 a gallon. The year ended up marking the beginning of an economic boom in America, which continued through the year 2000 with the Dow Jones rising to 11,750, inflation bottoming out at 2.1 percent, unemployment dropping to 4.5 percent, and gas inching up to $1.17 per gallon.

Even after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the American economy continued in a boom cycle. Houses, commodities, and stock markets skyrocketed.

But yet, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in the present tense back in 1992. What’s with that?

Our Lord is a now God. He sees the future, just like He sees the present. It is always now to Him. Thus, when He speaks prophetic words to us, we must consider His present tense words may be for the future, and not for the present. This is why we need discernment when we judge prophetic words.

Oh yes… What happened to my brakes, right?

Wayne forgot to put the cover back on the brake reservoir. The first few times I stepped on the brakes, the brake fluid sprayed onto my engine, emptying the reservoir. There was no fluid when I hit the brakes at the red light.

Wayne felt bad, but I told him an angel held a hand over his eyes so he would not notice the cover missing from the brake reservoir. He laughed until he realized I was serious about the angel’s handiwork.

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

It’s my belief this prophetic word will soon occur. Let’s prepare ourselves now.

My prayer for today:

Lord, I pray You give businessmen the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You and Your ways. I also pray that the eyes of their understanding are enlightened so they may know what You’re really saying with all prophetic words.” (Based on Ephesians 1:17-18).

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the marketplace.

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Friday’s End-Times Bible Studies (Part 8)

There is an underlying story between the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation. That story revolves around God’s love for humans and how determined God is to redeem them.

In Genesis Chapter One, the first man –Adam – was created in God’s image and was given dominion over all of the earth.  Adam was created to walk and fellowship with God and then rule the earth as God’s ambassador. This was Adam’s birthright and therefore all of mankind’s birthright through Adam.

But soon, Eve was deceived by Satan and then Adam committed sin by rebelling against God’s commandment about not eating fruit from the tree of knowledge and evil. Adam’s sin cost him his birthright and therefore all of mankind’s birthright at the same time.

With his sin, Satan usurped Adam’s (and our) birthright and became the ruler of this world and the god of this age.

But here’s the good news: God created the heavens and earth. He also created the laws by which Satan and mankind must follow, concerning birthrights. These laws allow a male relative to buy back a birthright.

Now, all of mankind since Adam would have qualified as male relatives, but the male kinsman redeemer had to be without sin because of Adam’s sin of rebellion. This disqualified every man except one: Jesus, who is the last Adam.

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. (Revelation 5:1)

The scroll is a legal document because only these were written on both sides. I believe it is Adam’s lost birthright, the title deed to the earth. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the only Man who will be found worthy to open the seven seals so that the scroll will be totally opened.

In simplistic terms, I believe the opening of the seven seal judgments by the Lamb of God (Jesus) and then the resultant seven trumpet judgments are the acts our Kinsman Redeemer must perform to buy back the earth from Satan.

At the seventh trumpet, loud voices in heaven will proclaim:

The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

Question: Who sets the buy back terms for a birthright to be redeemed by a kinsman?

Answer: The owner of the birthright.

Thus, Satan set the terms by which the seven seal judgments and seven trumpet judgments are required to buy back what Adam lost in the Garden of Eden.

(Continued in Part 9…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for Businessmen (5/7/2019)

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Alfred, an owner of a company with one hundred employees, read the above verse and decided to act on it. He told his employees, “I attended a seminar that changed my life, and I’d like to try to share with you what God is teaching me. So once a week I’m going to shut down our plant for an hour, and I’m going to share what God’s Word says I should be doing for you. The meetings are voluntary, but everyone is welcome. From this point on, I want you to hold me responsible to be the kind of Christian employer that God expects me to be.”

The next Monday, when the plant stopped for the meeting, every one of Alfred’s employees was there. He began to share what he should be doing as a Christian businessman. Sometimes he would say, “I can’t implement this immediately or it would ruin our company, but eventually I am going to do this to the best of my ability.”

One of the programs Alfred wanted to implement was a benevolence program to help employees with special financial needs, such as medical bills, family crises, or special education expenses by providing company- sponsored grants.

To do this would first require reeducating the employees so that those who didn’t receive this benefit would not resent those who did. It also would require establishing an employee committee to oversee the fund and evaluate the candidates. But Alfred was determined to get it started.

About a year after the meetings began, Alfred asked me [Larry Burkette] to speak to his employees. At one point in my talk I asked, “How many in this room have personally accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?” Out of more than 100 employees, about 25 hands went up.

A year later I went back. This time I asked, “During the last year, how many of you have personally accepted Jesus Christ as a result of the influence of your boss?” Hands went up throughout the room. In one year, more than 60 people had come to the Lord through Alfred’s influence, and he didn’t even know it. Evangelizing his employees hadn’t been his goal. His goal had simply been to become more Christlike in his business.

The apostle Paul tells us we reap in the measure that we sow. Alfred learned that truth when he ran into some business and financial difficulties.

During an economic downturn, business got so bad he needed a large infusion of money in order to continue operating. The high interest rates at that time made borrowing out of the question. Word of the company’s financial problems spread to Alfred’s employees, several of whom got the idea of banding together to lend Alfred the money (almost $300,000) themselves. They raised the needed funds from among the other employees and provided Alfred with an interest-free loan.

Alfred was simply reaping what he had sown. When he began following God’s principles, he didn’t know that more than half of his employees would accept Christ as their Savior through his witness or that his employees would decide to lend him $300,000 interest free. He had simply sown biblical principles such as “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” and he reaped the benefits of those principles.

Employees, especially unsaved employees, have the tendency to believe what they see rather than what they hear. If what we do doesn’t match up with what we say, they will usually discount our words.

(The above powerful excerpt is from Business by the Book by Larry Burkett, © 2010, Thomas Nelson or you can read a free PDF of it here.)

My prayer today:

Lord, help Christian men who work in the marketplace to be doers of Your Word and not just hearers only, so that we do not deceive ourselves into thinking we are following in Your footsteps. (Based on James 1:22)

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the marketplace.

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