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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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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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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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What God Taught Me in My 310 Days at Walmart

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When I felt the Lord speaking to my heart about applying for a job at Walmart, I must admit that I scratched my head a few times. You see, I was nearly 71 years old and had a few physical issues: both knees are bone on bone due to long ago football injuries, back problems from climbing ladders and falling off a few of them, and weak wrists from gripping a paint brush and typing for hours and hours at a time.

I was certainly not a poster-perfect candidate for being a cashier at a high-volume Walmart Super Center, but yet, I knew the Lord was asking me to do just that.

I interviewed for a cashier position at the Temecula Walmart Supercenter on August 12, 2016, and was hired at that time. One of the questions asked was about any physical problems that I might have which might cause me problems in carrying out my duties as a cashier. I answered, “No.”

Did I lie about my physical problems? No, I don’t believe I did because it was my belief that if God called me to be a cashier, He would enable me to fulfill the job. The significance of my answer in writing was that I removed all liability from Walmart for any injuries to my wrists, knees, and back.

My first day was August 25, 2016. For the following two weeks, I worked with veteran cashiers who trained me. Then, I began working on my own in early September.

One of the lessons I have learned over the years is that when God calls you to do something, there is no use in being timid, just jump in with both feet, trusting that God will protect you. I call it reckless faith, much like Paul demonstrated in Acts 16:37. After being beaten, thrown in prison, and fastened in stocks, Paul refused to leave prison until the authorities came and apologized to Silas and him. That takes godly chutzpa!

So, I made up my mind to not protect myself in any way and to do every job asked of me as if I had no injuries. This resulted in some interesting situations, like trying to help a woman with a bad back put a heavy piece of furniture (150 pounds) into her vehicle. It so happened that a strong man walking down the parking lot aisle volunteered to help me. That was lucky, right? No, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in a heavenly Father who loves me so much that He will always be there to help in my time of need.

Did my hands, knees, and back hurt? Yes, so much so, that sometimes I had trouble sleeping at night.

In fact, if anyone would have noticed me stepping out of my car in the Walmart parking lot and walking the one hundred yards to the store’s entrance, they would have wondered how a crippled, one hundred-year old man could possibly work at Walmart. Or that’s what it seemed to me.

Yet, when I walked in the door at Walmart, His grace fell upon me and I became Larry, the cashier with a big smile for everyone. The pain was still there, but it was only on the surface. And as long as I trusted in His grace, which I was forced to do at all times, I could walk through each day.

If we want to serve God, especially us senior citizens, we can’t pray away every one of our problems. If we choose to wait, hoping miracles will heal or prosper us, we may miss our opportunities and if that happens, how many more opportunities can we expect to have in the future. But even so, we can always trust in this verse:

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

One experience, out of many, was worth every ounce of pain that I suffered while working as a cashier. It happened on a busy day when I first opened my register. An elderly man wearing a U. S. Marine veterans cap rode an electric cart up to the register and placed his few groceries on the conveyer belt.

I looked at him and said, “How are you today?”

“I don’t know,” he replied.

“What does that mean?”

“Well, to be honest, the old Sarge is not doing well today.”

“Would you like some prayer?”

“Yes.”

I walked around the bagging console, grabbed his hands, and prayed for him. The presence of God fell upon us. We both wept like little children who just opened the best Christmas gift ever.

“Wow, that was awesome!” he proclaimed.

“Yeah,” I said.

I walked back and became a Walmart Cashier at register 6, scanning items. Customers moved to the line and life continued in a normal fashion… or normal for Walmart.

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

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Prayers for Godly Leaders to Arise in America (5/9/2019)

 

Quite a few years ago, Carol and I attended Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City, at which the senior pastor was Mike Bickle. Today, Bickle oversees the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC).

Mike Bickle is a dynamic teacher, but what I remember most about him was what he did on the Sundays when he didn’t bring a message to the congregation of 3,500 people. He helped park cars in the parking lot. Rain, snow, sunshine or whatever, he was out there directing traffic.

Bickle’s teachings have blessed me, but none of them have changed my life as much as seeing him standing out there in that parking lot.

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up servant leaders in America who are willing to humble themselves and wash other believers’ feet just like You did as an example for Your disciples. (Based on John 13:3-17)

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

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Has God Given Up On Geezers?

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“Honey, the Lord told me on the way home tonight how blessed I should feel to have a godly husband like you,” said Carol as we slipped into bed at the end of a long weekday.

“That may be true, but I’m going to shoot Fern,” I said looking at the ceiling.

“Sweetheart, what?” she said, her green eyes blinking in unbelief.

“After I shoot her, I might hang her by the neck, and then drop her over a steep cliff.”

“Dear, that’s not like you at all. You wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially my mom.”

“After today, I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things. I just might shoot her right between the eyes.”

We rolled over and fell to sleep.

This conversation actually took place in Glidden, Iowa, when Carol and I stayed at her mom’s five-acre farm. Fern was seventy-eight years old at the time, but don’t go thinking her age caused her to be a weak link in the local farming scene. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything, she still resembled a pioneer woman ready to hitch up a Conestoga wagon with a pair of oxen and head over the Rockies to Oregon.

Everything had been great between Fern and me up until that week. Her humor and intelligence made her a joy to be around, but all of the warm fuzzies ended when sweet corn season arrived.

Now, let me set the stage, okay?

The late July temperatures hovered near one hundred degrees with the humidity approaching tropical rainforest levels. No air conditioning. Ten zillion, pesty, ornery farm flies, and two acres of sweet corn. Carol worked for a company in Carroll, Iowa, and I had just finished detasseling corn for a hybrid seed corn company.

“Larry, would you like to help harvest some sweet corn?” asked Fern one morning.

“Sure, of course,” I said, not foreseeing any problems.

The next four days were an absolute “hell on earth” for me. The heat, humidity, and flies took their toll, but what pushed me over the edge were Fern’s drill sergeant’s tactics.

“Do this. Don’t do that. Be careful. Watch out. Grab this. Let go. It’s not that hot outside. Can’t you go a little faster? What’s wrong with you?”

She counted the number of pints of corn already done on the fourth day.

“We’ve already done one hundred and twenty pints so far, which is a record for me, but I know we can do at least two hundred pints, maybe even more.”

Her eyes gleamed with the possibilities of being listed in the Guinness World Recordsand the Prairie Farmer. That night I spouted off to Carol about offing her mom.

The next morning, I crept out of bed at an early hour and tiptoed down to the family room. There I dropped to my knees on the carpet.

“Lord, what’s my problem? Why do I want to shoot a sweet, seventy-eight year old lady?” I prayed.

The Lord spoke to my heart after a long while: “You’ve given up on senior citizens. You think they just want to collect their social security checks and sit on porches, taking it easy until they die. You don’t believe I will use them in a move of My Spirit in America.” Then, He added, “I haven’t given up on them and neither should you. Repent of your attitudes.”

I repented before the Lord that morning.

Fern Fielder, a great mother-in-law (1920 to 2008).

(Taken from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

 

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