Tag Archives: Church

Can the American Church continue to ignore Jesus’s and Paul’s warnings?

Eusebius, an early Church historian, stated that Matthew wrote his Gospel in 41 A.D. If this is true, then maybe the Apostle Paul had already read Matthew’s book when Paul wrote his second letter to the church in Thessalonica in 52 A. D.

At the time, the Thessalonians were facing severe persecution and needed to be encouraged by Paul. But also, the apostle wanted to derail a false teaching that the day of the Lord had already come. This false teaching undermined Paul’s words in his first letter to the Thessalonian believers.

Paul countered the false teaching by stating:

            Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of  the Lord had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 NKJ)

Paul gave two specific events that had to occur before the day of the Lord occurred: (1) the falling away of professed Christians from their faith and (2) the Antichrist is openly revealed for all to see.

Now, where did Paul get this information? Did he receive it solely through the Holy Spirit or was he also inspired by Matthew’s Gospel?

It’s just an interesting possibility that we’ll probably not know until we arrive in heaven. But look what Jesus said in Mathew’s Gospel:

            And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 

            Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place—let the reader understand (Matthew 24:10, 15 NASB)

Even though Jesus and Paul warned us about the great falling away, what is the American church doing to prepare their congregations ahead of time?

90 – 95% of America’s Evangelical churches are not teaching on the end times or the Book of Revelation. This becomes even sadder when one considers that Jesus admonished us to understand the end times in Matthew 24:15.

In the weeks ahead, let’s take a look at what we can do to prepare ourselves for the end times so we do not end up being casualties in the “great falling away.”

(Continued in Part 2) 

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Why are our healing prayers so ineffective?

The female pastor walked to the pulpit and began her eulogy for my friend Brad. I have no idea what she said because the Lord chose that moment to speak to me.

I felt Him whisper to my heart: 

“My church is a bunch of nice losers. They lay their hands on the sick and pray for them, but when they die, they aren’t mad at all. They don’t check themselves out to see what happened or what they may have done wrong with their prayers and actions. They accept defeats and don’t think any more about them.

“Now, Major League baseball teams are all filled with good players. Each player has to be one of the best in the world to make it to the Major Leagues. Losing teams have good players on their rosters, too. But after a while, losing teams’ players don’t mind losing because after all, they still receive their Major League paychecks and bonuses.

 “But winning Major League baseball teams are different. They hate losing and will do anything and whatever it takes to win. They hate losing.

“I want My church to hate losing!”

This time the grief, which hit me, measured a ten on the Richter Scale. (Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who)

            These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” (Mark 16:17-18)

I have prayed for numerous sick people in the last few years. What have been the results? Many have died and others have continued on in their ailments. I’m not exactly a ringing endorsement for the truths of Mark 16:18.

Finally, I am fed up and angry about my efforts!

You see, I mirrored what the Church as a whole has been doing. Like them, I’ve gone through all of the traditional motions. Anointing the sick with oil. Laying hands on them. And tossing prayers out there for their healing. Maybe even fasting a little. But I failed to ask myself some tough questions: why are the sick still dying after my prayers? Why are they still ailing and crippled? What am I doing wrong?

I have become like the losing Major League baseball teams. I didn’t hate losing…until now.

Recently, I sought the Lord on what I was doing wrong.

The Lord showed me that my healing efforts were centered on the hope that one of my gifts – gift of healing, gift of faith or the gift of working of miracles – would show up and the sick person would be healed right then and there on the spot.

Yes, I have seen healing miracles through these gifts over the years, but to be honest, these gifts have not been consistently working through me in the last few years. And from my observations, these gifts haven’t been working that well in the Church as a whole.

You see, the Church and I have been guilty of trying to walk in the gifts used by Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, William Branham, Jack Coe, Paul Cain, A. A. Allen and others during the healing revival of the 1940s and 1950s. But the problem is that healing revival is over and the next healing revival has not arrived here as yet. We are living in the in-between time period.

So, what changes am I planning on doing in the future?

            But Jesus turned around and when He saw her, He said, “Be of good cheer, your faith has made you well…(Matthew 9:22)

            Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you well… (Mark 10:52)

            And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19)

            This man was listening to Paul as he spoke. Paul looked at him intently and saw that he had faith to be made well (Acts 14:9 NASB)

I plan on giving a short teaching to each person that I pray for. Something like this:

“Listen, I am going to anoint you with oil and lay my hands on you according to James 5:14- 15 which states that my prayer of faith will heal you. Do you believe that? If you are instantly healed, we will both rejoice. 

“But if you aren’t instantly healed, do not despair because instant healing is not always the Lord’s way. Instead, it will probably be through your faith. My anointing you with oil and praying a prayer of faith will be your point of contact to activate your faith in the Lord for your healing. Our belief is that the Lord will eventually say to you, ‘Your faith has made you well.’

“Do you believe that?”

Healing by faith works. We need to learn how to walk in it and also teach people how to receive their healing through faith.

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Our unfulfilled promises from God may be our parachutes during America’s freefall into calamity if we only…

https://thechart.blogs.cnn.com

“You have six months to a year to live. Not much can be done for you. Sorry!” proclaimed a surgeon to his cancer patient.

None of us ever want to hear these words, but Glen, a close friend of mine did hear those words just a few days ago. 

What Glen did after hearing the surgeon’s message was a game changer for him and can be a valuable lesson for all of us.

            In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are going to die and not live.’” (2 Kings 20:1 NASB)

King Hezekiah was the King of Judah who did what was right in the sight of the Lord, much like King David did. He would have been about 39 years old when Isaiah prophesied these words to him.

Isaiah was one of the most accurate prophets in all of the Bible. So, his message was a death sentence to Hezekiah. It would have been understandable for Hezekiah to give up, lie down and await his impending death.

But Hezekiah did not do that!

            Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Please, Lord, just remember…and Hezekiah wept profusely. (2 Kings 20:2-3 NASB)

King Hezekiah humbled himself and asked the Lord to remember his journey with Him. 

His prayer was answered almost immediately.

            “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David says: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I am going to heal you…And I will add fifteen years to your life… (2 Kings 20:5-6 NASB) 

By putting the Lord in remembrance, King Hezekiah added fifteen years to his life. Not bad, right?

What did Glen do?

Glen’s first words were: “That’s the doctor’s report, not God’s report!”

Then, Glen reminded the Lord of his near-death experience with COVID in January of this year. Glen was in the hospital for over a week, hovering close to death, but it was at this time that the Lord spoke to him, giving him insights and promises for his life. Glen wrote pages of stuff about his experience.

“God is not going to allow me to die after speaking to me in January,” Glen proclaimed.

What Hezekiah did and what Glen did and is doing, we can do the same!

If you are like me, we have promises from the Lord that are not fulfilled as yet. So, we can remind the Lord of His promises for our lives. It’s up to Him to make His promises come to pass, not us. 

And trust me on this: God will bankrupt heaven – if He needs to do so – to fulfill His promises for our lives. COVID, other diseases and pestilences, famines, earthquakes and whatever are nothing compared to His faithfulness.

            And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon…and it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus…then he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now, Lord, You are letting Your bond-servant depart in peace, according to Your word…” (Luke 2:25-29 NASB)

God will make our crooked ways straight for our lives if we walk with Him and remind Him of His words, just as He did for King Hezekiah and Simeon and Glen.

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Let’s Be Political Dropouts

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/02/08/if-youre-indifferent-about-reading-this-article-it-may-be-genetic/

I had a vision in the first month of 2021 in which I saw a train speeding across the plain states. Somehow, I knew the train represented America. 

My perspective changed in the vision and I saw hundreds of miles ahead of the train. There I saw a deep gorge, but the bridge over the deep chasm was out. The train was heading toward disaster!

My perspective changed again in the vision and I was inside the train. There I watched Christians preoccupy themselves with attempting to change the train’s engineer and crew to their viewpoints or if that didn’t work, to set in place a new engineer and crew. It was loud and competitive! A few people had divine insights about the disaster lying ahead of the train and attempted to warn the Body of Christ, but their seemingly mere whispers were drowned out by the louder voices concerned with the engineer and train crew.

I then felt the Holy Spirit ask me: “Do you want to board the train and attempt to warn people? Or do you want to spend your time preparing for the upcoming disaster?

I chose the latter.

The vision ended.

            “Politics is one of the Church’s worst problems. It is her constant temptation. The occasion for some of her worst disasters. It is a trap set for her by the prince of this world.” (Jacque Ellul)

Whether we like it or not, America’s government and political system is a part of the world system which is under the rule of Satan. This system is fueled by lust, greed, pride, selfish ambition, contentions and idolatry. To ever think that we could somehow clean up this system is foolhardy for us believers to even consider.  This won’t happen until the seventh trumpet is blown and the angel announces, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and He shall reign forever and ever!”

Yes, we should vote for good, moral men/women to represent us. This is our civic duty and I believe the Lord endorses our efforts in carrying out these obligations.

But…

I believe the Church needs to wash its hands of ever endorsing a political party or any candidates. Let each believer make up his or her mind without any judgmental attitudes from churches or its leaders. Period.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are not called to be cheerleaders for political parties or politicians. Their callings are to help equip believers for service in the Body and to help bring us into maturity so that we are able to walk in unity and full knowledge of our Lord.

Most unbelievers think Christians are nothing more than Trump supporters and Republican voters. They can’t see Christ in us because our political clatter and partisan stances overwhelm them.

Let’s return and do the simple words of Jesus:

             But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… (Matthew 6:33)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 4)

Spiritual warfare? How did it come about? And why?

Before the creation of man, God set up earth under an angelic form of spiritual government. The governing angels − or principalities − were located in the heavenly realms over earth, but still underneath God’s heaven, which Paul referred to as the third heaven. 

The head over this angelic government was God

We have no clue what Satan did at first when he and his horde of angels were cast out of God’s third heaven. My guess is that the Devil’s hatred for God and His works caused him to continuously seethe at how God had treated him unfairly. After all, the evil one felt he could have been just like God. 

Satan and his horde became a government in exile. They had no authority and no subjects to rule over.

Let’s fast forward to the first man: Adam.

God formed a new kingdom government on earth with His creation of man, giving dominion over all the earth to man, through Adam. God was the King, the King’s angelic spiritual government was set in place in the second heaven, and His flesh and blood ambassador on earth was Adam. 

All worked well until Adam sinned.

Adam’s act of treason overthrew God’s kingdom government on earth and also God’s angelic spiritual government. Satan became the god of this world and his demon hierarchy of angels took over the principality sites in the heavenlies. Man and creation were no longer connected to their King and under His direct reign and protection.

Also, because Adam forfeited his face-to-face position before God, Satan regained a position before God in which he accuses the saints day and night. 

Through Satan’s coup d’état and by default, Adam and all future subjects on earth, were placed under the reign and authority of Satan and his angelic government.

Spiritual warfare has been fought between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness since the Garden of Eden. The King desires to reclaim His subjects under His righteous reign while Satan hopes to continue his government of enslavement, depravity, and sin. The battles still rages today.

For us believers, we are dual subjects while we live on earth, in that, we are royal sons of the King, but still live in a world ruled by Satan. Our dual citizenship poses daily problems for us.

(Excerpt from Storming the Kingdom by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 5)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 3)

Let’s check out our spiritual adversary: Satan. Scripture gives us a little insight about the evil one and a few other conclusions can be drawn through biblical reasoning.

Satan was created as a covering cherub or a type of angel. Angels are spirits and not flesh and blood creatures like God created on day five and day six in Genesis. Therefore, Satan is a spirit.

Scripture doesn’t state when God actually created Satan, but I believe we can deduce that Satan and the other angels were created before the end of the fourth day or Genesis 1:16. (Maybe even as early as the first day.) Why?  Because His angels perform God’s word and the angels rejoiced when the foundations of the earth were laid. They may even have been the ones who helped to determine its dimensions.

God created Satan to be perfect in wisdom and beauty. But Satan’s pride corrupted his wisdom and caused him to rebel against God. 

When did Satan rebel against God?

Jesus stated that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, never stood in the truth, and was the father of lies. Thus, by deduction, I believe Satan must have rebelled soon after God created him along with the other angels. 

Where did all of Satan’s fellow demons come from? My answer will seem a little roundabout, but bear with me, okay?

Prophecies in Scripture may have an early and a later fulfillment to them. Usually, the early fulfillment is a partial one whereas the later one is a complete one.

For example, Jesus referred to John the Baptist as the “Elijah who is to come.” His words referred to the prophecy in Malachi 4:5. Yet, John did not fulfill all the words of the Malachi prophecy. We have to wait until the time just before Jesus returns to earth for the complete fulfillment.

Another example, Jesus answered the disciples’ questions about when things would happen by prophesying in Matthew 24: 4-31. The disciples would have thought Jesus was referring to the destruction of the Temple. Yet, when Roman soldiers destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D., not all of the scriptures were fulfilled. The complete fulfillment will occur during the tribulation.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So, the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelations 12:7-9)

If you read Revelations Chapter 11 and all of Chapter 12, the only conclusion you can reach is that this will happen during the tribulation. But I believe an early fulfillment of this prophecy happened when Satan and a third of God’s angels rebelled against God and were cast out of God’s third heaven. I believe these angels then became Satan’s demonic hierarchy in his kingdom of darkness.

One scripture that backs my theory was when Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” His words did not refer to the tribulation, but something He saw while He was in heaven, before His birth to Mary.

There are other scriptures, but this should give us a basic understanding about Satan and his demonic horde.

(Excerpt from Storming the Kingdom by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 4)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 2)

I watched various students crisscrossing the Campanile Esplanade on their way to classes. They looked normal, wearing typical college apparel. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My spiritual eyes then kicked in, and what appeared normal in the natural realm was not so normal in the spiritual one.

Have you ever seen pictures of a flying dinosaur known as a pterodactyl? It has a long, slender head with a mouth of sharp teeth, scaly-like body, web-like wings, and talons for feet. This sort of resembles the creatures I saw, sitting on the shoulders of almost every student walking below me. Each creature was the size of a large crow and had wolf hair on its body and a slender rat’s tail. They constantly whispered into the ears of students while holding a wing over the students’ other ears. The creatures also defecated and vomited on the students so that each person dripped with slop and sewage. It was ghastly and I yearned to warn the students.

“Follow those two over there,” said the angel, pointing toward two guys.

I focused on the two students. They continued talking to each other as they walked into a free speech area where a street evangelist preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Both stopped and listened. I watched the pterodactyl-like creatures use their beaks to snatch the seeds of the gospel out of the twosome’s hearts with swift surgeon-like precision. The two students walked away after a few minutes, none the better for their experiences.

I wanted to shout and warn everyone. Someone needed to do it. Why not me?

The angel touched my shoulder again with his hand. I turned toward him.

“Now, it’s time for your spiritual ears to be opened.”

He reached up and touched both of my ears with his hands.

Wouldn’t you think it would be quiet in the spiritual realm over the University of California, Berkeley? Well, it is not. There is constant clamor, reverberating throughout the whole atmosphere, most of which comes from the ruling principality. But what really shocked me was the demonic principality’s words mirrored the liberal attitudes on the campus, from the deans down to the professors, and then, to the students. The religious principality constantly spewed out proclamations like: 

“All white Americans are racists… All wars are immoral and wrong… Homosexuality is not a sin… Pro-choice is a woman’s right… Same-sex marriage is morally acceptable…Traditional Christianity is irrelevant, mean, hateful, judgmental, and dogmatic…Jesus never said anything about homosexuality…Jesus is the Way which is open to other ways, such as Hare Krishna, Buddha, and Mohammad…God is a God of love and not judgment… Satan and demons are fictional beings, thought up by fundamentalist nuts…The Bible contains no more authority than the Koran, Buddhist sutras, Veda, and other spiritual writings…Creating social justice is the main emphasis of the gospel…Global warming is a Christian stewardship concern…”

I stood there with my mouth open, drool running down my chin.

“Hey, many of these statements I agree with,” I muttered aloud, not realizing I had done so.

“And that’s why you are deceived.”

“Deceived? Me?”

“Yes, you and most liberal Christians who believe such garbage.”

“But, but –”

“Not only are you deceived, but your faith is dead when it agrees with Satan’s agenda. He’s always a liar, even when his words sound like truth. Your faith, in order to have life, must be based on what the Lord has stated in Scripture and is presently saying to His church.”

I kept quiet as his words ripped my theology apart.

He paused for a beat or two.

“Not only is this IOU collection day, but it is your deliverance day,” he said in an authoritative voice. “Your past deception, your dead faith, and your deliverance from all of it will give you an understanding of the spiritual battles taking place on America’s college campuses, beginning with the University of California, Berkeley.”

His eyes locked on mine.

“But how –” I stopped myself. How could I complain when I did not know what I was talking about?

The angel almost grinned.

“Now, you’re starting to learn.”

He pointed down again.

“Look.”

There just below us, was a student resembling a fluorescent light bulb walking across the esplanade. She lit up the whole area around her as she hurried on her way. Unlike the others, she did not have a creature sitting on her shoulder, but instead, one hovered around her head, trying to alight on her, but for some reason, the creature could not land. Deep frustration etched a gully in the creature’s face.

“Listen,” said the angel.

My ears adjusted themselves to only listening to the girl. Her footsteps and the movement of her arms came through loud and clear, but also something else.

“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae,” she whispered over and over.

She spoke in tongues as she walked along.

“Your message to Christians on college campuses is very simple,” said the angel. “It’s the same one Paul gave to the believers in Ephesus when he said, ‘Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Then he added, “In case you have forgotten, these scriptures are located in Ephesians 6: 17-18.”

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 3)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 1)

The angel reached over and grabbed my left hand. We took off at the speed of light. I looked down as Albert disappeared quickly into a black dot and heard a faint “wolf” fall out of his mouth.

The dome of the San Francisco City Hall appeared directly ahead of us. It looked like we would crash into it. But before I could scream aloud, we passed through it and landed in the Supervisors’ meeting chamber on the second floor. A wooden bench somehow telescoped out of the wall, up near the ceiling, which he motioned for us to sit down on it.

The eleven supervisors sat in leather swivel-chairs down below us. Each had a laptop computer on the desk in front of them. They talked and carried on. It was the weekly San Francisco Supervisors’ meeting.

The angel turned toward me. His robe whispered softly as he pivoted around. 

“Open your eyes and see,” he said with a quiet power filled with heavenly authority.

I looked down again. This time my spiritual eyes opened.

There I saw grotesque creatures sitting on the right shoulder of each of the eleven supervisors. The chimpanzee-size beings had a mixture of what looked like reptile, dragon, and wolf-like body parts with stubby tails, talons for feet, scale-covered wings, web-like hands, and misshapen faces which protruded into long snouts and were filled with sharp teeth. They resembled dingy, gray gargoyles.

Each creature held its right wing over their assigned supervisors’ eyes. Their right hands were curled into a megaphone shape so they could speak directly into the supervisors’ ears. Their left hands looped behind the supervisors’ heads and covered their left ears.

The creatures never rested. When they were not speaking into ears, they looked up, around and at each other, their heads constantly moved about, their eyes searching to and fro. They seemed to be driven by a deep dread, almost as if a cruel slave master’s power instilled a fear in them about possible future punishments.

What is this? I thought. Why am I here?

“Today is show and tell day, preparing you for your first assignment next week,” said the angel.

“First assignment, next week?”

“Quiet, I’m the teacher. You’re the student. Understand?” he whispered a stinging rebuke at me. 

His voice contained no anger and love cushioned the blow, but yet, I felt the power behind the rebuke. I shuddered and nodded. 

“Earlier today, you had a vision. In it, you saw yourself being used as a sword by the Lord Jesus against a brass gate. The brass gate you saw was a gate of Hell over this city. It must be attacked so the truth from heaven can be heard in San Francisco. You are His chosen weapon for the undertaking.”

I bit my tongue, but my brain continued to be plugged in. I wondered if His weapons ever suffered pain, especially with the vigorous way the Lord swung the sword against the gate. O Lord, will it hurt? I thought.

He paused a beat before continuing. 

“Your spiritual eyes have only been dialed up two notches, but that’s more than enough for you to get an idea of what’s happening in the Supervisors’ meeting room,” he said. “As you can see, demons sit on the supervisors’ shoulders, blocking information that is contrary to Satan’s agenda. At the same time, evil ideas are constantly spoken into the supervisors’ ears.”

He pointed a finger at me. 

“Remember: our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the hordes of Satan.”

I nodded.

He pointed at the supervisors. 

“Look again.”

This time I saw words streaming through the ceiling on what looked like hologram ticker tapes carried on laser beams. These words flowed to the ears of the creatures, the supervisors, and everyone in the room. I read them: “Alternative life style.” “Pro-choice.” “Gay pride.” “Toleration.” “Christians are bigots.” “Abortion is a woman’s right.” “Separation of church and state.”  “San Francisco Pride.”  

With each new message, the creatures spoke into the ears of supervisors. A source from above orchestrated everything.

The angel pointed up. 

“Look.”

The ceiling and roof opened up, allowing me to see into the second heaven. My eyes took a few moments adjusting to the spirit realm, but then, I saw a creature sitting on a large brass throne, blocking a portal coming out of the third heaven. Light rays attempted to flow through the portal, but only a fraction of the rays was able to pass by the large creature.

The creature’s appearance alternated between looking like a beautiful angel dressed in white and that of a gigantic monster version of the dingy, gray gargoyles, sitting on the supervisors’ shoulders. Like the smaller demons, the creature never rested. It caused fear in the hierarchy of demons below it and, at the same time, seemed fearful of its own cruel masters in the ranks above it.

The words I saw, streaming through the ceiling like hologram ticker tapes, emanated from this creature. I saw additional word streams coming out of the creature’s mouth, heading toward Sacramento, Hollywood, Washington, D. C., New York City, newspapers, television networks, movie studios, publishers, corporations, and thousands of other places.

The angel interrupted my thoughts. 

“What you are seeing is the spirit of depravity. It is a ruling principality over San Francisco and guards a gate of Hell over the city. This spirit is so powerful that its wickedness is spread throughout the nation.

“The reason the spirit switches back and forth between appearances is it is creating confusion by this maneuver in the minds of people, whereby good is called evil and evil good.”

(Excerpt from Jonah by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

Obviously, the above is a fictional story on how I perceive the demonic realm may influence our earthly realm.

(Continued In Part 2)

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A Dream for Today

It was only a dream, but it seemed so real:

I stood on a starting line waiting for a race. A man dressed in a long white robe stood off to my left, wearing leather sandals on his feet. His dark beard and long hair framed his bronze face. He held a starter’s gun in his hand and nodded at me.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

I pulled up my red track shorts, yanked my white athletic t-shirt outside my shorts for more freedom of movement, and checked to see if my shoestrings were tied tightly on my Nike running shoes. Everything seemed ready. I nodded back at him.

“Now remember,” he said, “you need to go as fast as you can. This is a timed race. You only have a limited amount of time to finish it, okay?

I looked over the racecourse. In the distance, I saw the finish line with healing, deliverance, prosperity, miracles, wonders, peace, and joy awaiting me on the other side. Between the starting and finishing lines stretched an obstacle course. Posts sticking out of the ground. Fences. Brick walls. Quicksand pits. Mud bogs. Trees. Rivers. Water falls. Railroad tracks. Highways. Tunnels. Dangerous cliffs. A narrow path zigzagged its way through the course like a switchback jungle road. It looks easy enough, I thought, just stay on the path and run as fast as I can.

I nodded again to him.

“Get ready.”

I got down on my haunches.

“Get set.”

I rose into a sprinter’s position. My feet and legs strained, set to slingshot my body forward.

“But first, you’ll need this,” he said before firing the gun. 

He walked over and covered my eyes with a black blindfold. Not one ray of light touched my eyes. I could not see a thing, not even my feet.

“Now, don’t forget, you must go as fast as you can.”

I heard a faint whispering behind me, a soft voice saying something. I paid no attention to it.

BANG!

I took off like an Olympic sprinter, running as fast as I could.

BAM!

I hit a post and fell to the ground. My nose felt like it was broken with blood gushing from it. The warm wetness soaked through my t-shirt. It hurt so much I wanted to just lie there and quit.

The dark haired starter walked over and stood above me.

“Now, don’t forget this is a timed race. You need to run as fast as you can.”

I struggled to my feet. As I did, the same soft voice whispered words behind me. But again, I paid no attention and took off running.

YUCK!

I fell into a quicksand pit and found myself sinking under the heavy glop. The more I flailed my arms and legs, the faster I sank. The sandy goop soon reached my neck, not far from my nose.

“Help me, Lord,” I shouted.

My body relaxed and I floated over to the edge, crawling out of the pit. I flopped down there. It was all I could do to catch my breath from the all-out physical effort of trying to survive. I wanted to quit.

“Don’t forget. This is a timed race. You need to go as fast as you can,” the starter exclaimed.

Why I stood up, I don’t know. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment or possibly a modern day Don Quixote searching for futile endeavors to joust against. I brushed the sand off my legs and attempted to clean my shoes. I once more heard what sounded like soft whispers in the background, but like the earlier times, I ignored them.

My sense of direction was completely out of kilter. I could not figure up from down, let alone north, south, east, or west. However, I gave it the old college try and took off running.

SPLASH!

I fell into a deep river with fast-moving waters rushing over me. The hurtling rapids sent me flying downstream in a haphazard manner, smashing my body against rocks and floating logs. I attempted to swim toward shore, but the full force of the current battered my body, flinging me about like a rag doll in a typhoon.

“Lord, help me!” I screamed.

My hand reached out and grasped a tree limb. I pulled myself across the stream, hand over hand on the limb, and climbed onto the shore. This was the end. I couldn’t handle anymore.

I heard the soft voice whispering to me once again. This time I gave it my full attention and listened.

“Stand up,” said the gentle voice.

I obeyed it.

“Okay, now turn to your right ninety degrees.”

Again, I obeyed.

“Walk four steps ahead and stop.”

I walked ahead and waited for the next command.

“Turn forty-five degrees to your left.”

I turned.

“You went too far. Turn to your right five degrees.”

I adjusted myself in accordance with the instructions.

“Walk ten steps forward and wait.”

I stopped after walking ten steps.

“Won’t this take a long time to finish the obstacle course,” I said.

The gentle voice laughed.

“My system is the fastest way through the obstacle course. However, you can always choose to return to your running blindly method, but as you have learned, that can be extremely painful. What do you want to do?” the voice said.

“Lord, what’s Your next instruction?”

Then I awoke with a Bible verse on my mind:

“Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:21 NLT).

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

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Over 60? Is it too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 4)

praying

Along with our friends, Tony and Janelle, Carol and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 1997 to join The Watch of the Lord prayer ministry and to attend All Nations Church. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda headed both ministries.

Each of us felt the Lord directed us to move there. Our billfolds lacked money and credit cards, but faith filled our hearts, believing God would somehow supply our needs.

We pooled out money together and rented a room with two double beds at the Charlotte Residence Inn. The room contained less than two hundred square-feet of floor space with a kitchenette, two beds, four chairs, table, and a bathroom.

A mortgage financing company hired the four of us as telephone sales reps on our second day in Charlotte. The company paid its employees on a biweekly basis, which meant our first paychecks arrived two weeks later. This posed a problem because we only had enough money for one week of rent at the motel.

Each morning the four of us gathered together and prayed for our finances, as in, “Oh Lord, help! HELP!”

We introduced ourselves to the church and ministry as soon as it was possible. The members said we were the answers to many prophecies spoken to the group about people moving from different parts of America to be a part of the ministry. Their words encouraged us, but our money still dwindled daily because of food and gas.

A couple from All Nations Church invited us to their home for a small group meeting and Christmas party on the last night of our motel rental. The four of us agreed not to mention our dire financial needs to the group, but instead, we were determined to trust the Father, according to Matthew 6:6 −

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

The married couple lived in a beautiful new two-story home located in a picturesque area with tall pine trees. It had a large living room, three bedrooms, fireplace, two bathrooms, and large kitchen. A perfect place for four needy, soon to be homeless, believers like us.

The meeting began with Christmas songs and prayers, with the group then waiting on the Lord to hear His voice. The group leader broke the silence by turning to Tony and Janelle.

“Do you guys need something?” he asked, looking at them.

Tony and Janelle shook their heads.

“Not really. The Lord is taking care of us,” said Tony.

The group returned to waiting on the Lord, but the leader was not satisfied and again turned to Tony and Janelle.

“I just don’t feel good about your answers. What do you need?”

Tony and Janelle answered again in the same manner.

“The Lord is taking care of our needs. Thanks for asking.”

The leader would not quit. He continued to ask them what they needed.

“Okay, here’s the story,” Janelle finally said, “we’re out of money for rent and groceries starting tomorrow morning. We don’t know where we shall go or how we’ll survive until we get paid next week.”

How do you think these joyous, Christmas celebrating Christians replied to her statement? And remember: it was December and cold outside.

The group’s leader digested Janelle’s statement for a moment. He motioned with his hands.

“Let’s gather around these two couples and pray for them.”

Tony, Janelle, Carol, and I stood in the middle of the living room while ten Christians placed their hands on our shoulders and prayed. They cried out to the Lord with passion for our circumstances.

I cheated a little by keeping my eyes open and watching the group. Oh Lord, I thought, this looks like the sum total of their aid for our needs. If so, I feel like puking all over their carpet for their level of Christianity.

The rhythm of their prayers reached a crescendo and backed off, waiting for someone to speak.

“I see the Lord raining drops of gold on the four of you,” prophesied a woman. “And all you have to do is reach up by faith and grab what you need. Just reach up right now.”

The prayers ended and we sat down again.

What a convenient prophecy, I thought. They actually believe they don’t have to help us in our time of need because of the woman’s prophetic words. Shouldn’t someone ask how much gold we were able to cram into our pockets during the prayers? Why did the Holy Spirit unmask our financial needs? To reveal our lack of faith or to reveal the group’s hypocrisy?

Various types of Christmas cookies, fudge candy, sandwiches, chips, and potato salad kept the four of us busy after the prayers. We stuffed ourselves and then graciously said our goodbyes and left.

The four of us did our best to pray blessings on the group and forgive them for their lack of hospitality on our drive back to the motel.

We checked out of the motel the next morning, packed our cars, and went to work. After our phone sales shift, we drove to a large shopping mall and stayed there until it closed at 9 p.m. We then drove both cars behind a large motel and slept in our cars.

How we handled the cold December temperatures was out of necessity rather than comfort. We only started our engines when the cold became unbearable. As soon as they warmed up, we turned the engines off to conserve fuel.

This routine continued for days.

I now wonder about the what if’s, such as, what if we had been four fluffy Golden Retriever puppies abandoned by a cruel master on the couple’s front steps. Would the small group have ignored our pleading eyes and whimpering yelps, allowing us to freeze to death outside in the cold weather? I don’t think so because that’s too inhumane, right?

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth (1 John 3:17-18).

If we want to build our prayer lives, we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might end up being the answer to someone else’s prayers. If we don’t want to do that, why even pray, right?

(Continued in Part 5)

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