Category Archives: Prophetic Themes

The Pope Steps Down

PopeBenedict1Last April the Lord told us that Pope Benedict was in the last days of his tenure as pope (See Watch the Pope from April 9, 2012). Today the Pope surprised the Church and the world by his surprise resignation. In his written statement, he states that he will step down on February 28th because his health is no longer up to the rigors of the papal schedule. His move is shocking because he is the first pope to resign in almost six hundred years.

I certainly applaud his deep humility, and his obvious concern that the sheep in his flock get the best possible care. This, perhaps, is why the Lord told us to watch for this event. It is a great example of a shepherd more concerned for the sheep than for himself.

When the Lord told us to watch the pope, he also told us to watch the stands that the pope would take. He has been a fierce advocate of the family, while also opposing gay marriage, abortion, and euthanasia. I look forward with interest to Pope Benedict’s remaining several weeks in office. I will be watching this pope, and listening carefully to what he says.
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Another Attack on the Prophetic

AttackLast week I had a disturbing dream and a disturbing experience. The dream involved a Lena Dunham look-alike starring in an advertisement mocking the prophetic. Lena Dunham is the creator and star of the HBO series Girls. I would not have known who she is, except that she did a rather sleazy commercial before the November election comparing voting for Barack Obama with losing your virginity with that “special guy.” It was a morally outrageous commercial aimed at a morally bankrupt subculture. You can imagine that I did not enjoy having someone who looked and acted like her show up in a dream that attacked the prophetic.

The advertisement in the dream mirrored the setting of Miss Dunham’s election commercial. The ad purposed to mock the prophetic by appealing to American independence and self-reliance. The Lena look-alike asked, “Who is more qualified to determine your calling and purpose, you, or someone you don’t know?” While the actress asked the question, the camera cut from her to some rather nondescript, and even slightly disreputable, looking people who represented those who walk in the prophetic. The clear inference of the advertisement is that those who walk in the prophetic attempt to control you, and they aren’t to be trusted.

Of course, there are wicked and evil people who try to control others through revelatory prophecies. That is the stock and trade of mediums and spiritists. However, this is not a picture of biblical prophecy. Biblical prophecy is for strengthening, comfort, and encouragement (see 1 Corinthians 14:3). While this type of prophecy certainly could encourage someone in their calling and purpose, it never attempts to violate a person’s will, nor does it attempt to replace a person’s ability to hear from God for himself or herself. In fact, that is one of the primary purposes of the prophetic, to help people connect with God for themselves.

You can understand why this dream disturbed me. It used a false question to paint the prophetic in a slanderous way, and it did so in a very slick fashion. The dream disturbed me so much that I woke up and could not get back to sleep right away. I meditated a bit on its meaning, and then just when I began to relax back into sleep, I had the disturbing experience. I saw a reddish colored mocking spirit. It was almost in the shape of a ball of fire. It spoke with absolute contempt in its voice as it summed up its feeling for the prophetic, “The prophetic, ha!”

These two things left me with the conviction that we are about to see a renewed attack upon the prophetic. I believe Satan’s kingdom is about to launch targeted strikes against the prophetic. His objective is to neutralize faith in the revelatory, and mock it in such a way that some of God’s people shy away from it. Satan does not want people to hear from God.

After I shared this revelation with my congregation last Friday night, one young man told me about a conference he heard being advertised on a national Christian radio network. The conference will not be held until October, but they are already advertising it today. That is an amazing amount of lead time to advertise a conference, and it reveals how important the conference leaders believe the topic is. When I investigated, I found that several nationally known evangelical ministries are joining together to host this conference. The purpose of the conference is to expose the charismatic movement as a theologically aberrant movement. As part of its advertising it states, “For the last hundred years, the charismatic movement has been offering a strange fire of sorts to the third Person of the Godhead . . . the conference will expose the dangers of offering strange fire—and what the church can do about it.”

As a member of the charismatic movement, I think that description of the conference sounds rather ominous. While the broad sweep of this conference reaches far beyond the prophetic movement, it certainly illustrates and informs the dream and vision that I had last week. Satan is going on the offensive once again, attempting to turn the Church against itself in a civil war.

I can only hope that the organizers of the conference are more moderate in their presentations than they are in their advertising—for their sake. We must remember that the only time that Jesus warned anyone about the sin against the Holy Spirit was when the religious leaders of the day began to describe the works of the Holy Spirit as strange fire (ascribing the Spirit’s work to Satan). This was among the harshest warnings that Jesus gave to the religious teachers and leaders of his day. I personally would be extremely nervous about participating in a conference that purports to look at an entire movement in the Church, and describes its activities as strange fire. If the Holy Spirit is the force behind the movement, or parts of that movement, then those who lead this conference are in an extremely tenuous position before the Lord. I trust that they will not make this grievous mistake.

Of course, conferences such as this are only a small part of Satan’s plan. He has also been specifically attacking the prophetic because so many prophetic voices appeared to prophesy incorrectly about last November’s election results. While we must acknowledge that even our most respected prophets could have been incorrect, we also must leave room for other explanations of this phenomena (see my post entitled The Curve). In the aftermath of the elections, many voices were raised against the prophetic movement in the United States. Satan’s plan is to press his momentary advantage in an attempt to deal the prophetic movement a setback from which it will be difficult to recover.

Fortunately for us (and thus, not so fortunately for Satan’s plans), God has no intention of allowing this to happen. Many of you who read these posts are intercessors. Your prayers will have an impact on Satan’s plans and strategies. While we may not be able to avert the actual campaign against the prophetic, we can provide the prayer support necessary for it to survive and flourish. We can also pray that those who walk in the prophetic, and all those in the charismatic movement, respond to the attacks that Satan is orchestrating with grace and compassion. When the attack comes from within the Church, we can certainly recognize that our brothers and sisters do not know what they are doing. Like Jesus we can forgive, and respond with grace to correct and bless those who curse us.

If we can do this, Satan’s plans will fail, God’s people will mature, and we will all begin to hear on even higher levels.
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Revival Tides Are Rising

6924078_mBack in May of 2010 a prophetic friend got a word for me. That word was that the tide of grace was coming in. His actual words were, “I heard the Lord say, ‘The tide is rising and it’s the tide of grace and great grace.'” He added, “It’s almost like in the past we could push so far and the tide comes so far and then it goes back and it just never quite breaks through.  It just never quite overtakes the boundary that we’re used to. I saw the Lord remove that boundary.”

The reason this word is important is that it wasn’t just for me, and it is a now word.

When my prophetic friend gave that word, he called me forward as the first one he saw it for in the room, but he saw it for everyone in the room. We were all part of the same ministry stream, but I believe the application spills beyond our stream to those who have experienced the same type of thing.

I also believe this is a now word. It is for this time. Let me tell you why I believe this.

My congregation is holding a regional conference next week. Rick Joyner, from MorningStar Ministries will be here, as well as other leaders in our ministry stream (information is available at www.revivaltides.com). When I was casting around for a name for the conference, I did not remember the prophetic word I received back in 2010. I was seeking a title to the conference that would encapsulate what the Lord was saying. I felt a release of grace was coming that would help revive us, but when I began to think of conference titles with the word revival in it, it seemed like all the good ones had been taken. Then the Lord dropped Revival Tides into my spirit, and I named the conference the Revival Tides Are Rising conference. I was happy I had found our conference name.

Then, on Monday of this week, the Crimson Tide rolled into South Florida and demolished Notre Dame in the nationally televised BCS Championship game. To say the Tide rolled in is an understatement. If you are were not an Alabama fan, the game wasn’t all that fun because there was no drama. Alabama took an early lead and built it into a 42-14 victory. They dominated the game.

A few days after the game, another prophetic friend let me know that she believed the game was a message to us. She said, “The tide is coming in.” Then she tied what she said to our conference next week.

I thought that was all pretty interesting, but didn’t put everything together until the Lord nudged my wife, Dawn, about this. He reminded her of the 2010 word to me. Of course, when she looked it up, we began to see that the Lord was up to something. Back in 2010 he gave us a word about the tide of God’s grace coming in and breaking through all the boundaries. We are holding a conference with that same theme, and this week Alabama, the Crimson Tide, punctuated it all with its decisive win in South Florida. I believe the Lord is up to something.

I am really looking forward to see what he begins to unleash. I know our conference is part of it, but I also know that the Lord is splashing his grace around on the body of Christ right now. It is an important time. If you have time next week (January 17th-19th), you may want to come to our conference. You might get wet.

www.revivaltides.com
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2012 Hurricane Season Recap

December 1, 2012

The hurricane season officially ended yesterday. However, this morning the National Hurricane Center has flagged a system in the Atlantic that has a forty percent chance of becoming a tropical storm. While the season is officially over, we may yet see some activity, but I can still say a few things about the season, and how the things that the Lord showed me appeared to have played out this season. If you have not done so, you may want to read South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season as a refresher.

The first thing that struck me this season, is how much more effect our prayers are having. When the Lord told us that Hurricane Irene was going to hit our area in 1999, he warned us over a year in advance. He called us to lead a prayer charge that started seven months before the event. He showed us that the storm would be a strong category four at minimum. We, and other area churches, prayed for seven months and the storm still hit us. Our prayers were effective; the storm was barely a hurricane when it hit. However, we prayed fervently for seven months (You can read an outline of how the Lord spoke to us about Irene, and even watch a video of a news report about our prayer effort that was made before Irene formed HERE). This year, few of the threats came close to our area of influence. That is a testament to our increased effectiveness.

Obviously, that doesn’t mean that there were not threats, or that all areas of the United States were unscathed. Hurricane Sandy is certainly one of the threats that the Lord began to speak about all the way back in January (see Watch the Northwest and Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?). He did not name Sandy, but warned that severe weather was coming to the United States. That, of course, has proved true throughout this year, and we certainly are not done with the year. I expect that we will have some intense winter storms to finish things off.

I did want to start this recap by admitting a mistake this season. When I published what the Lord had shown us, I should not have called it South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season. After I published it, and linked it to a variety of sources, I realized the title made it sound too regional in nature. It was certainly about far more than South Florida’s season. Hurricane Sandy, without a doubt, was the large storm that the Lord showed me. It threatened South Florida, but then did its real damage in the northeast. In the future, I will make certain that my article titles do not make it appear that South Florida is my only focus, or that the threats are only for South Florida (unless, of course, they are only for South Florida).

How did my predictions fare this year? I started out my 2012 report by writing,

South Florida has enjoyed a six year respite from significant hurricane threats. That respite is over. This year will see significant threats, not just to South Florida, but to many other areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

I think we can score this one as accurate. The 2012 Hurricane Season is currently the fifth (some say the third) busiest on record. We had nineteen named storms, and it may not be over yet. We saw many records broken by this storm season, and we saw many more threats than in the previous years.

The major part of what I said, though, was about three storms. This is what I wrote:

The Lord has shown us that three significant storms will threaten South Florida this year. That does not mean that all three of these storms will hit South Florida. God has given his people authority over weather systems. Like Jesus, his people can take authority over storms (see Matthew 8:23-27). I believe that when God’s people pray, the storms can be turned away, or their strength diminished. So, first and foremost, this article is intended to stir prayer among those who live in South Florida. It is time to man the walls of intercession.

Of the three storms that the Lord has spoken to us about, one of them will be larger than the other two.

I have great respect for the power of prayer when God’s people heed prophetic warnings. A prophetic warning is intended to stir prayer so that the thing that is prophesied is diminished in intensity or impact. In the case of a storm, they can even be turned away. As a result, when I write about storms, I will call for prayer so that they do not happen. That is the goal. However, I also know that the Lord knows how we are wired, and that we need encouragements about accuracy of prophecy and intercessory effectiveness. So, he will usually give us enough information to encourage us even when we have had spectacular success in prayer. This year was a spectacular success for South Florida. We have a lot of practice every year, so you would expect that practice would help us develop our intercessory prayer wall.

Before the season began, the Lord had shown me three whales that represented storms. One of them, which turned out to be Sandy, was huge. In the prophetic experience, all of them were a concern for South Florida in some way. At this point, I believe those three whales were Isaac, Patty, and Sandy. You may not have heard of Patty. She didn’t last long. But unless there is another event yet this season, she is certainly a candidate for one of the whales.

Isaac formed on August 21st and made a run for Florida. Isaac became known to us as the storm that thought it could, but could not. Virtually every forecast about Isaac indicated that it would strengthen significantly. All the conditions were ripe for it to strengthen, but it did not happen. I believe prayer impacted Isaac so significantly that it was held to a minor storm for most of its existence. Even when it became a hurricane, it remained a minor hurricane (though a destructive event) when it finally made landfall in Louisiana.

Patty formed on October 11th, and only had a short run. The only people that really knew about Patty were weather geeks and intercessors. Yet she was a threat to South Florida, but could not get past the wall of intercession. If you note the graphic for Patty, you can see that she was forecast to be a threat to South Florida, however, to the surprise of the Hurricane Center, she died before she could fulfill her threat. That is the way we like storms to behave.

I don’t need to say much about Sandy; she formed on October 22nd. As one forecaster put it, if Sandy had wobbled only slightly to the west as she passed South Florida, we would have gotten to know her way more than we wanted. South Florida experienced tropical storm force winds from Sandy, but again, the wall of intercession kept her about as far away as Patty.

In addition to the three storm threats for the South Florida area, I also mentioned that this would be a cleansing year. Both Isaac and Sandy fulfilled that aspect of the prediction. I am still saddened about the devastation and loss of life that Sandy brought to the northeast. Out of empathy for their continued struggle and pain, that is all I am going to say on this topic. For first time readers, you may want to read South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season, or SuperStorm Sandy for more information.

I had also mentioned that one storm had potential to accelerate in strength quickly.

I also believe that at least one of these storms will move from a minor storm to a major storm extremely quickly. In a dream, the Lord showed me a storm that was riding a motorcycle. While that could speak to a storm’s ability to turn quickly, in this case I believe that it emphasizes the ability for a storm to accelerate quickly.

Sandy went from a tropical disturbance to a hurricane in just two days and then slammed Jamaica. I believe she was the fast developing storm that the Lord showed me. However, Isaac had all sorts of potential to develop, but as previously mentioned, was smothered by prayer in such a way that it could not. In any case, I believe this prediction was also fulfilled.*

I believe these are the significant things that I prophesied about the hurricane season. I believe not only that the major thrust of the prophecy was fulfilled, but also that the individual parts were fulfilled. Even the warning against fear was necessary and important, as the hype surrounding the advance of SuperStorm Sandy became a breathtaking phenomenon in and of itself.

I am doing this recap because I believe in prophetic accountability. When I make prophetic predictions that are easily verifiable as time goes on, I believe it is important to weigh them. If Florida had experienced no threats, I would have still written this recap. While I would have still been encouraged by the amount of prayer that I stirred up by the predictions, I would have apologized that there was no evidence to offer that would encourage prayer for next year’s storm cycle. I would have owned the fact that I may have misinterpreted what the Lord had given me. Since that is obviously not the case this year, I am instead praising and thanking the Lord that he spoke so clearly about this season.

If there are further threats to note during this post-hurricane season, I will mention them in the future. However, at this point I am saying, “Thank you, Jesus” and “So long, 2012 Hurricane Season.”
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*In the future I will also be more precise with terminology. The word “major” when applied to a hurricane implies a category three storm or above. While the context and examples I used in the prediction clearly indicated the meaning was “weak storm” and “strong storm,” I could not fault someone if they believe I was speaking of a Category Three hurricane or above. That doesn’t change the application much, since we were praying against such an event, and prayer may have stopped both Sandy and Isaac from gaining major hurricane status. But precision is certainly desired in these types of prophecies.
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Tropical Storm Sandy

October 23, 2012

The weather has been wonderful for the past several days. Temperatures have hovered around the seventies, humidity has plummeted (by South Florida standards), and there has been a glorious breeze. All of this produces a siren-like influence that draws heat-and-humidity pummeled South Floridians out of doors to work and play. It feels like our glorious winter season has already slipped in the door. But just as we are beginning to plan our outdoor adventures, the National Hurricane Center delivers a dose of reality. Tropical Storm Sandy formed yesterday. Sigh.

The good news is that we are not yet in the cone of uncertainty. The bad news is that when a storm is this far away, it is a simple matter for the track to change in the next couple days to include us. Those of us who remember another late season storm named Wilma are not amused by this development. But we are not all that concerned either. We, and many others, have been manning the prayer walls.

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that the Lord began to speak to me about an active hurricane season already back in December and January (2011/12). The Lord had warned of extreme weather this year, something that we have seen all year. Although the hurricane season has, thankfully, not caused major stress, Sandy is the eighteenth named storm. The 2012 hurricane season has now tied for the seventh most active hurricane season on record. As the graphic to the right shows, it has been busy. However, those manning the prayer walls have been busier, and very effective.

I’m certainly not beginning my post-hurricane season celebration yet. But I have been very pleased about what has transpired this season. Let me remind you of what I posted in early June about this hurricane season (You can read the whole post HERE):

The Lord has shown us that three significant storms will threaten South Florida this year. That does not mean that all three of these storms will hit South Florida. God has given his people authority over weather systems. Like Jesus, his people can take authority over storms (see Matthew 8:23-27). I believe that when God’s people pray, the storms can be turned away, or their strength diminished. So, first and foremost, this article is intended to stir prayer among those who live in South Florida. It is time to man the walls of intercession.

Of the three storms that the Lord has spoken to us about, one of them will be larger than the other two. I also believe that at least one of these storms will move from a minor storm to a major storm extremely quickly. In a dream, the Lord showed me a storm that was riding a motorcycle. While that could speak to a storm’s ability to turn quickly, in this case I believe that it emphasizes the ability for a storm to accelerate quickly.

That second paragraph from my June post keeps me from celebrating the close of the hurricane season prematurely. A fast developing storm that has the ability to quickly change directions can really ruin your day. I don’t want to give Sandy a chance to be that storm.

Whenever the Lord shows us threats, he is showing us threats as they exist before intercessory prayer is applied. He shows us the threats so that we will thwart the threats. Like Jonah, a prophetic voice calls people to do something to change the outcomes that would have occurred without the revelation. The revelation is intended to inspire prayer, repentance, or change in direction so that the disaster/problem is averted.

I’ll give a full update and recap of the hurricane season, and what the Lord has shown us through it, after it is officially over. I will be watching Sandy this week. I will be praying for those in harm’s way, and will continue to stand on the intercessory wall protecting my area of influence.

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Update: With the formation of Tropical Storm Tony on Wednesday, October 24, this hurricane season is now tied for the third busiest since records first began to be kept in 1851.

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