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PROPHETIC WORD

WATCH AND GET READY

Previously, I mentioned what theologians call the “law of first mention.” This refers to the general rule that the first time a major subject is mentioned in the Bible, significant facts are introduced concerning it that will remain consistent and relevant throughout the scriptures. The first mention of the serpent – satan – is in Genesis 3:1:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’” (emphasis added)

It is easy to see this law at work here, as the verse speaks of satan’s subtlety or craftiness. God is informing us of one of the most important things we must remember about satan: He is far more dangerous to us as the crafty serpent than the roaring lion. 

“Crafty” is the Hebrew word aruwm, taken from aram, which means “to be bare or smooth.” We actually use the same concept in our English language – someone who is crafty or wily is often referred to as  “slick” or as a “smooth operator.” Such is the case with satan. He is very cunning, and we must be wary of his attacks and deceptions. He is always seeking to steal, kill, destroy (see John 10:10) and grab the bigger portions – and he does it with great skill.

Adam was not wary enough of the crafty serpent in the garden. He heard and saw him, but was unaware of his plans. Because of this, satan was successful in invading and violating his garden.

This same word, crafty, is used in Joshua 9:4, to describe a plan the Gibeonite people used to deceive Israel: “They also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended” (emphasis added). The Gibeonites were one of the Canaanite tribes Joshua and Israel were supposed to dispossess. This nation, however, deceived the Israelites into believing they were from far away and had made the journey to form a covenant with them. Joshua and the people neglected to pray about this – always a part of satan’s subtlety – and were therefore deceived into entering a binding, covenantal agreement with these people.

It must be said that the Israelites were not without warning. In Exodus 34:12, they were told. “Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going or it will become a snare in your midst” (emphasis added). The Israelites failed in their responsibility to watch, and just as the verse warned, the crafty snare was laid.

We can conclude from the Israelites’ suspicion of the Gibeonites that God was obviously trying to alert them. Joshua 9:7 says, “The men of Israel said to the Hivites [Gibeonites], ‘Perhaps you are living within our land; how then shall we make a covenant with you?’” Rather than heeding this caution, however, they acted on what they saw. The Israelites were not watching. We must remember things are not always as they appear. The following story illustrates this:

A traveler between flights at an airport went to a lounge and bought a small package of cookies, sat down, and began reading a newspaper. Gradually, she became aware of a rustling noise. From behind her paper, she was flabbergasted to see a neatly dressed man helping himself to her cookies! Not wanting to make a scene yet wanting to let him know that they were hers, she leaned over and took a cookie herself.

A minute or two passed, and then came more rustling. He was helping himself to another cookie! Finally, they came to the end of the package.

There was one cookie left. She was so angry she didn’t dare allow herself to say anything. Then, adding insult to injury, the man broke the remaining cookie in two, pushed half across to her, ate the other half, and left.

Still fuming sometime later when her flight was announced, the woman opened her handbag to get her ticket. To her shock and embarrassment, there she found her pack of unopened cookies!

How disheartening it is to discover the error of wrong assumptions!

Though Israel “ate the wrong cookies” and was subsequently taken advantage of, there is an incredible and positive ending to the Gibeonite story. God used the “craftiness” of the Gibeonites to picture satan’s craftiness. He told Joshua to make them “hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord” (Joshua 9:27, emphasis added). The altar of the Lord was where the blood of atonement was shed, and as such pictured Christ’s Cross. Just as the “crafty” Gibeonites were used to prepare items for the animal sacrifices, God used satan, the “crafty” one, to make preparations for the ultimate sacrifice – Christ’s crucifixion. One can only imagine satan’s excitement as he “hewed the wood” (prepared the Cross) for Christ’s sacrifice. How crafty must he have felt as he orchestrated the making of the Crown of Thorns, watched the spikes being driven, and the spear being thrust into Christ. But his joy turned to terror when he learned he was aiding in his own destruction. God had turned the tables on the crafty one! 

The outcome of the Gibeonite story is an incredible assurance that God can reverse the subtleties of our adversary, the devil, and use them to bring about good. Through His amazing wisdom, which always supersedes satan’s subtlety, our mistakes can actually become the instruments of God’s redemptive purposes. The Cross is God’s ultimate proof that He can turn your circumstances around and even bring good through evil.

God intends to do this for America. Satan has deceived many in our nation. Some believe we simply don’t need God. The devil has convinced others that there are many gods and/or many ways to God. Others have been deceived into outright rebellion. God, however, is going to save millions of deceived Americans. There is coming a strong revelation of his son, Jesus, and His salvation. The presence of the Lord will be heavy in our land, opening the eyes of many. Do not doubt this. He is coming with a tidal wave of love and mercy to the lost and hurting. 

Get ready!

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (or craftiness) of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13 NKJV)

Pray with me:

Father, there is no one in our nation that has not been fooled by the serpent’s craftiness. But I hear Holy Spirit saying You are releasing a spirit of discernment into the church that will cause us to be much more skillful at recognizing satan’s activities, so we ask You for this. Train us to be alert. If we are alert, You are faithful to make us aware of satan’s schemes.

Raise up effective watchmen and women to protect us from satan‘s schemes and plans – at personal, as well as corporate levels. Give us government watchmen. Raise up city watchmen. Give congregations watchmen. And train us to do this for our families and homes.

Forgive us for allowing so much ground to be taken by the deceiver in our nation. Forgive us for allowing the crafty one to take over our education system, our government, our media, and other segments of our culture. Forgive us for allowing him into the church. Even after this past election, when the church should be rallying together for prayer and strategy to stop the hideous plans of darkness, we find many leaders preferring to fight with other believers. Forgive us. You have told us the greatest of all spiritual traits is love – not sound doctrine, not theology, not the gifts of Holy Spirit – but love. And yet, we allow the crafty one to deceive us into causing disunity and strife. This must break Your heart. Please forgive us and deliver us from this deception.

In spite of this, Lord, You are going to reverse the strongholds of darkness over America. You are going to take the crafty one in his craftiness. You will use satan‘s own plans and strategies against him. Like they did at the Cross, his plans will backfire. Therefore, we ask You with fervent prayer: Bring it! Turn the tables! Work his evil for our good! We know You can do this, for Yours is still the Kingdom (the rule), and the power, and the glory…forever!!! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our decree:

We decree that a higher level of discernment is now being released to the church. The prophetic anointing (that brings this discernment) will not be despised; it will be celebrated.

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PROPHETIC WORD

WATCHMAN ON THE WALL

Satan takes advantage of us when the watchman concept of prayer is not operating, as is made clear in the following verse: “So that no advantage be taken of us by satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). The context of the verse is forgiveness, but a general principle is also revealed, which is very applicable to our subject. Let’s analyze the verse more closely.

The word “ignorant” is from the Greek word agnoeo, which means to be “without knowledge or understanding of.” Our English word “agnostic” is derived from it. Technically, an agnostic is not a person who is unsure if he or she believes in God, although we now use the word in this way. In actuality, however, an agnostic is a person who does not know or understand, regardless of the subject. We also get the word “ignore” from the same root. In this verse, we are urged not to ignore or be an agnostic – without understanding – where the devil is concerned. 

“Schemes” is from the word noema, which literally means “thought.” The verse is essentially saying, “Don’t be without understanding of the way satan thinks.” Noema came to also mean, “plans, schemes, plots, devices,” because these things are born in the thoughts of the mind. For greater insight, let’s insert all of these concepts into the verse: “Don’t be without understanding of the way your enemy thinks and operates – of his plans, plots, schemes, and devices.” There is also a subtle promise in this command. If God says we are not to be ignorant of satan’s schemes, obviously He is willing to reveal them to us. He doesn’t want us to be caught off guard.

What happens if we ARE unaware of satan’s schemes? The verse says he will take advantage of us. The word “advantage” is derived from pleonekteo, which is a compound word meaning literally “to have or hold the greater portion” (pleon – “the greater part;” – echo – “to have or hold”). It is easy to see why this is a word for “covet.” It also means “overreach.”

In boxing, the person who has the longer reach has the advantage and usually gets in more blows. The word pleonekteo is also translated “make a gain;” satan makes a lot of gains on those who are unaware of his ways. The Greek scholar, Bullinger, says pleonekteo means “to make a prey of, to defraud.” Let’s put all of these definitions together: “To the degree we are ignorant of the way our adversary thinks and operates – of his plans, plots, schemes and devices – to that degree he will gain on us, prey on us, defraud us of what is ours and have or hold the greater portion.” Wow!

The next obvious question is, the greater portion of what? Whatever! Our jobs, marriages, families, communities, money, government, nation, and more. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Church in America was without an understanding of what satan was planning, and he got the greater portion of our schools. The same could be said of our arts and entertainment, our government, and many of our churches! 

Paul was taken advantage of in 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Satan “gained” on him in the ongoing war over spreading the Gospel: “For we wanted to come to you – I, Paul, more than once – and yet satan hindered us.” We know Paul won more battles than he lost. He was human, however, and at times satan succeeded in thwarting his plans. Please notice it does not say God changed His mind about where Paul was to go. It clearly says that satan hindered him. Those people who would have us think that satan can do nothing except what God allows and therefore, we can simply ignore him should reread these two verses. God does not ignore the devil, and neither should we. And satan certainly does a lot of things God does not “allow” him to do.

The only sense in which it can be said that God allows everything which occurs on earth is that He created the laws and principles governing the earth – sowing and reaping, cause and effect, and the free will of humans. We, humans, however, implement these principles and in so doing, determine what we reap and experience. 

As we stated yesterday, in the 1960s the Church in America was not watching – she was asleep. Unaware of what satan was doing, he grabbed the bigger portion of American society and culture. The demise has been shocking. But watchmen on the wall are sounding the alarm – “There is a serpent in our garden! And it’s time to run him out.”

And we shall! Through the blood of the Lamb, the victory of the Cross, and the name of the Creator and Owner of the earth – Jesus – we shall overcome and expel the serpent.

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

Pray with me:

Father, our ignorance of satan and his thinking, schemes, and plans, has been costly. He has certainly taken advantage of us and gained the bigger portion of America. He has outmaneuvered the church and overpowered unbelievers. It looks as though a generation has been lost. 

Yet, You are the God of resurrection power. You are the God of grace and the Giver of mercy. Your mercy triumphs over judgment, and Your love and grace triumphs over the serpent. You love to redeem and restore. You’re the Great Physician, the Giver and Sustainer of life, the Friend of sinners and Lover of humankind. And You are coming to America!

So, we boldly ask for this appearance. Come with strength and power, come like a rushing mighty wind, come like the rain, flow like a river. Come to the poor and the rich, to black and white and yellow and brown, to the city and the country, to the young and the old. Come and heal this nation of the serpent’s bite. Free us from his deception and blindness, his lust and perversions, his hatred and murder. 

Come to this nation – come quickly and come with a hurricane-force wind! In Jesus’ name, we pray this…Amen!

Today’s decree:

The serpent has bruised America’s heel; but through the victory of Calvary, we shall crush his head!

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PROPHETIC WORD

WATCHMAN

Today’s post is about being a watchman (or watchwoman – for continuity’s sake, we will refer to the watchman which will mean either or both). It is an extremely important aspect of prayer, taken from the secular concept of a sentry, guard, or watchman. God wants you to be one spiritually. Students of scripture speak of a principle called “the law of first mention.” It simply states that the first time an important subject is mentioned in scripture is significant: God “introduces” it. He gives us important details or facts regarding the subject, which will, of course, help us understand the person or thing introduced, much like we do when “introducing” a guest lecturer, for example.

The first mention of a watchman in the Bible is in Genesis 2:15 where God told Adam to “keep” the garden. “Keep” is the Hebrew word shamar, which is one of the three Old Testament words used for a watchman. The main concept of the word shamar involves protection and preservation.

Adam was told to protect the garden, watching for attacks from the evil one, the serpent. Why do I assert this? Because first of all, it is much in keeping with the nature of God to have warned him. To have done otherwise would not have been consistent with God’s character. Second, neither Adam nor Eve seemed shocked when a snake talked to them! It evidently did not come as a total surprise. Third, what else could there have been before the Fall to guard, keep, or protect themselves and the garden from? Only the serpent. In keeping with the law of first mention, the first responsibility of watchmen is to keep the serpent out of their God-given gardens: home, family, city, schools, government, nation – our “garden” can be many things.

The watchmen in America (the church) were asleep in the 1960s and the serpent wreaked havoc in our garden. He spewed his poisonous venom in our government, schools, courts, media, families, entertainment, and even our churches. America bought it as surely as Adam and Eve did 6000 years ago. How bad is the venom?

  • We believe we evolved from monkeys…or a big bang.
  • We kill our babies.
  • We mock those who fight for them.
  • We don’t know the difference between males and females.
  • Truth no longer matters – only the results. In fact, to many, truth no longer exists. They’ve embraced relativism, the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.
  • We now have a government whose political party boo’s God and won’t say His name in our pledge of allegiance.
  • We have churches that won’t preach the Cross and don’t believe the Bible.

We could go on, of course, but we need not. The point is obvious: there is a serpent in our garden – and it’s time to expel him. That’s why we appeal, and it’s why we must function as the ekklesia, enforcing God’s will on the earth. The blood of Christ is the only antidote for the serpent’s poison, and the name of Jesus is the only force that can expel him. We must use both – this we shall do!

“Then the sentry cries out, ‘I continually stand on this watchtower day after day for you, O Lord. I’m stationed at my post throughout the night.’” Isaiah 21:8

Pray with me:

Father, just as Adam did, we have allowed the serpent into our garden. He has spewed his poisonous venom into every part of our nation. Our government is defiled; they call evil, good and good, evil. They have eliminated You from their function and expelled You from their gatherings. Many of them want to expel You from this nation You founded and called according to Your purpose.

Our universities and colleges teach beliefs and philosophies that ignore You, mock You, and propagate doctrines of demons. Our entertainment industry promotes filth, perversion, and violence; our media is the voice of leviathan, promoting lies and suppressing truth. Much of the Church has become lukewarm, biblically ignorant, and powerless.

Yet, You have the antidote for this poison – the blood of Jesus and the gospel of the Kingdom. You are coming to bring the greatest revival America has ever experienced. 

America shall live and not die! And the coming revival is not only for America, it is to benefit many nations of the earth. And even now Your angels are preparing to distribute this healing serum. Holy Spirit is overseeing the endeavor and preparing to make it available to a billion people around the world. Millions in America will receive it and be saved. And though many hate this and will try to stop it, they fight against You in vain. You are coming and You will not be stopped! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Our decree:

We decree that the poison of the serpent will not be lethal for America! Jesus is coming to save her!