April 30, 2011

What to do about conflicting prophecies

Prophets, prophetic people, often disagree on what they see and hear.  Sometimes apparently conflicting prophecies or visions may both happen through complex workings and timings of the Lord.  Or the differing prophecies may be alternative outcomes that are conditional, such as depending on intercessory prayer.  For example, both Moses and Hezekiah appealed to the Lord and God changed His mind regarding the outcome for those situations, see 2 Kings 20:1-6 and Ex 32:9-14 below.  Or sometimes the visions or words are simply inaccurate and either wholly or partly not from God.

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life.
2 Kings 20:1-6 (NIV)

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.  Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “O Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’“ Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Ex 32:9-14 (NIV)

If you read my blog you know I have prophesied positive, grace-filled, merciful outcomes over the U.S. economy, the stock market, California and our political leadership.  A large number of my prophecies have been very specific and not general.  Thus, they can be measured for accuracy in the future.  And because they are specific, what I am saying and believing may be the opposite of what others are saying.

I sometimes intercede against those prophecies and visions which I don’t believe are the “higher good” that the Lord intends (my description for a positive, grace-filled merciful outcome as opposed to a destructive, judgment outcome).  Perhaps the judgment or devastating outcome that others see will happen without prayer.  But I want to pray for the abundant, undeserved grace that I see and hear will occur. 

Perhaps I am biased towards undeserved grace, mercy, and restoration because Jesus was a friend to sinners first and foremost.  It was His unusual, overwhelming love that drew sinners, whereas the religious leaders of the day eschewed them.  In fact, Jesus rebuked the self-righteous and judgmental Pharisees who thought they were holier than others and didn’t admit that they, too, were sinners and were thus woefully incapable of saving themselves.  I want to look at others the way Jesus looked at me with love before He saved me.  I desperately needed to have His light shine into my darkened mind and heart but didn’t know at the time I needed His infectious goodness.  That is the brilliance of the moment of salvation:  the light of Christ flashes on with intense brightness so you can see what you couldn’t see about yourself before.  I want to love others because Jesus counseled us to love even our enemies.  Jesus wins people over with love. Here is a key passage:

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. And he said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went to another village.
Luke 9:51-56 (NIV)

Notice the phrase, “the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”  Whenever I have found myself praying for justice or even harsh judgment when I have been severely injured or wronged, I will always find the Lord persistently correcting me until I change my heart to sincerely pray for salvation and abundant grace for that person or persons, not always in that order.  The Lord sometimes heals and blesses before the person comes to know God.  God will, of course, bring judgment at times.  But the above scripture in Luke shows the extreme loving heart of Jesus, a bias towards love and patience rather than judgment.  “The Message” Bible captures this love of God beautifully as well:

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
Matt 5:43-48 (MSG)

Regarding what I’m interceding against in the spirit realm, most of the time it’s taking authority through my prophetic sight and hearing over a “less desirable”, “less good”, even “darker” vision that could happen unless a “more desirable”, “higher good”, “more redemptive” prophecy were seen or heard.  Although I believe what I see or hear will likely happen unconditionally without intercession, I will usually emphasize my agreement with prayer, even declarations.  Again, it is not that destructive outcomes of judgment will not happen in some situations, they will.  But if I see or hear a “higher good” of a positive, grace-filled, merciful outcome and I believe what I see or hear is from the Lord, I will both believe as well as pray in agreement with my prophetic sight and hearing.  My prophecies and intercession for the US stock market since early 2009 were just that, a prophetic sight of and agreement with financial restoration from the Lord for America and many Americans.  The prophecies were not just about the stock market going to 10,000 and then 12,000 but also health returning to American companies because God’s people work in those companies.  Health has returned and is continuing to return to American companies.  My prophecies came to pass while many opposite prophecies from others did not.

Maybe it took someone who dared to disagree to be emboldened by His Spirit and prophecy a different outcome for the Lord to then honor those prophecies by the fact they came to pass.  If it means not “coming into agreement” with others regarding their prophecies, I believe that is not only acceptable but also prophesying a vastly different outcome may be the Holy Spirit’s leading to do so.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love or respect those brothers and sisters in Christ, I do.  It simply means I don’t feel called to align with those prophecies they uttered.  Yes, I believe some of those prophecies to be wrong.  And in other cases I believe they may be potentially accurate but changeable through a different bold prophecy and/or intercession.  In summary, to the best of my ability I will speak out prophecies boldly and intercede if I believe the prophecies the Lord has given me are truly from His heart. 

All of this can be described as “standing in the gap”.  From the scriptures I’ve cited above, which are just a few, God is moved by prophetic sons and daughters who pray for redemption and grace, what I call a “higher good.”  To some it may seem arrogant, but I believe it’s the opposite.  It takes a lot of exposure of the person going against the flow of popular prophetic opinion (particularly utterances from nationally-recognized prophets), a lot of courage to muster up, and a lot of self-sacrifice of time and pleasure in intercessory prayer over the prophecies.  It is, honestly, not pleasant most of the time.  It is a great labor and not light-weight.  Your flesh sometimes resists because it can be tiring, time-consuming work. But you can’t not do it, your spirit is pulled by His to prophesy, intercede and even declare to the heavenlies.

And then you discover, while you are laboring in all this, He is also working on your character so that you die increasingly to yourself.  Being gold refined in hot fire is not a comfortable place for most people.  Prophetic experiences carry over into the deeply personal as well, and a great cleansing takes place over and over in you like wash and rinse cycles that don’t stop.  For example, as I prophesy certain positive outcomes and grace for various situations in America, so I find I must pray for positive outcomes and grace for those who have greatly injured me with wounds still raw and sliced deep.  There is no choice but to allow those shadows of your soul to be revealed in their numbing darkness, that you have set yourself up in that regard as a Pharisee and a judge in the place of the one and only Judge.  Then you choose to remove your Pharisee robe from concealing those dark areas, and let them be illuminated by Christ’s embrace of light and love.

Note: This blog post was completely revised on December 24, 2011 as I felt the previous blog post was confusing because it did not express my views as clearly as it could have.

April 17, 2011

Coat of Golden Mail

Last night I had a very vivid dream. I was standing before a large man and his breast and stomach consisted of overlapped gold coins so that only thick gold appeared, like a coat of mail. But I was aware his body was partly composed of the gold coins, his being blended with the gold.

I stood there half-curious inside myself, not certain what the message was. The Lord asked, “What do you feel?” I don’t remember saying anything, but after He asked I was aware I felt an atmosphere of death, deadness, lifelessness.

This morning the Lord reminded me that only love leads to happiness. Without love there is no happiness. I read 1 Corinthians 13 as if it were the first time I ever read it. There was abounding life and happiness in what I read, in the heart oozing out love and not covered by gold. Not that there aren’t rich people who are very loving and generous. Just that this vision was of a man placing his trust in gold to protect himself from the world. The happiness and love I was feeling as I read 1 Corinthians 13 was like a fountain pouring up and freely out of me.

“If I give all I possess to the poor… but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (NIV)

The Lord also reminded me you can’t love money, thus be overly focused on it, and love God at the same time. Focusing too much on money, and thus loving it, causes death, lifelessness. Focusing on love yields overflowing life, the abundant life Jesus describes. If you put your trust utterly in God and follow Jesus, He will take care of your needs, which the Bible proves time and time throughout.

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

Christians are in a spiritual war of Money versus Love as perhaps never before. Not until recent years has the “prosperity gospel” been taught so widely. Part of the teaching is victory in Jesus Christ means you are prospering in all areas of your life just as your soul prospers, and this includes financial wealth. We are exhorted to “sow a seed of faith” into a ministry. “Seed faith”, meaning giving specifically money and not giving of yourself through volunteering or helping those you meet, is a taught recipe for personal gain so we “reap the harvest” in the future. The flock has been fleeced by their naivety in how to handle money properly with clever, wise decisions. “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?” Luke 16:11-12 (NIV) And the flock, including myself in past years, has given to wealthy ministers and churches with expensive buildings who consider it acceptable to live exceedingly richly off of Christians they teach, much like self-help gurus do.

The apostle Paul gave us his example to follow, which was to work to provide for his own needs and those who needed financial help, and not rely on those he taught to provide for him: “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:34-35 (NIV)

Jesus’ appeal to all His disciples was to not love money and not seek worldly riches, but rather seek the Kingdom of God and you will be sufficiently provided for, “So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV) And Jesus also taught, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19-21 (NIV)

The giving of money in the Lord’s new covenant of grace (the New Testament) was to help the poor, not to make the apostles wealthy. Yes, a Bible teacher is worthy of receiving compensation but the theme is one of moderation. Paul writes, “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” Galatians 6:6 (NIV) And Jesus instructed, “As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.” Matthew 10:7-10 (NIV) A minister or gospel worker is worthy of compensation for personal living expenses, but there is no indication a worker’s keep is lavish in nature.

One may argue there is nothing wrong with a minister becoming rich from the ministry (I am not commenting on making wealth through shrewd business dealings and investments not associated with the gospel), much like the CEO of a non-profit charity can become rich. But I ask, really, there is really nothing wrong? Why is it ok to deviate so sharply from what both Jesus and his apostles clearly taught and the examples they set? Why not use the money flowing to the ministry to help the poor even more and further the gospel and His kingdom even more, as the apostles did, rather than personally enrich the overseer of the ministry? Ministries may be non-profit companies from a legal standpoint, but does that mean the guideline is no longer the New Testament but rather secular CEO compensation? I’m not implying that the Lord doesn’t use wealthy ministers, He certainly does. I am just questioning whether their decisions regarding personal gain from ministry line up with the word of God.

I have been prayerful as I wrote all this associated with my vision of the coat of golden mail. I then went on a prayer walk to pray over what I wrote. I hope this blesses you and, perhaps, helps you to be on guard against those with a coat of golden mail who want your money, and, perhaps, your cooperation with them. To love others, love God, believe in Jesus whom God sent, and provide for the weak according to our abilities is what Jesus and His apostles taught us to do.

April 3, 2011

All... In

A prophetic friend, Ignacio, shared with me he thought this past weekend was going to be a very deep time with the Lord for me. And another prophetic friend, Eagle, sent me a half a dozen articles that spoke of intimacy with Christ and the price He paid to allow us to live freely in and for Him. It was a very deep weekend for me. First, there was no electricity at my home in the Sierra Nevada for the whole weekend and I lit fires to keep the home warm and burned candles. On the night of April 2, with the fire crackling, candles burning and a blanket over me, I started seeing Jesus very close, a few feet away. He was bent over towards me so I could see His gashed back, jagged and deep wounds full of warm blood. His back appeared almost three times wider than the size of a normal man. All that filled my field of vision was just His back with the many deep gashes. I kept looking at His back. I was in a very somber, weighty and reflective mood, drawn close to His sacrifice. He paid my debts, all of them. That was His choice to be flogged and tortured mercilessly. His was the final sacrifice on the eternal altar of God for me, being God Himself, the fully divine Son of God. He was the offering of all offerings, the sacrifice of all sacrifices, the King of all kings, the tithe of all tithes, the fulfillment of all Moses’ law which no man can fulfill, the cancelling of all debts held against us. All I fixated on for many minutes, I think perhaps fifteen minutes but I had no track of time, were those long, deep, bloody gashes. And that His back was three times the size of a normal man’s. Of course this is a vision and not reality. His triple-sized back in the vision represents the fact His back and wounds were wide enough to cover me entirely, to cover all my shortcomings and sins.
I believe I started falling asleep because this time was so heavy and somber. So I threw a couple more logs on the fire to have a half-warm house for another hour while I went to bed. Still fixated on His back, still drawn close to His deeply ripped and torn flesh, I heard, “Allen! Allen! Allen!” Allen is the street I turn on before I get to the street my Sierra Mountains home is on. I thought, “Allen? Allen? Lord, I don’t understand. What about Allen?” Then, deep within my spirit and very slow, I with His Spirit pronounced, “All… In. All… In.”

I thought in prayer to Him, “Lord, I am all in!” I’ve committed every last penny to KATX and one other private company I invested in and also bought further stock in that private company on the grey market. Yet I really didn’t want to think of money at all. I was so transfixed by just looking at Jesus and His gashed, bloody back. But my mind, I hope it was my spirit and not an unholy imagination but I do not now, saw myself pushing a fairly large pile of chips on a black jack table towards the dealer. But as I was pushing I noticed the dealer was demonic. He even had a couple little horns, red shirt, black tie and the hint of a black cape to add to the effect. But I saw behind Him was Jesus, all in white linen. But the dealer didn’t know Jesus was behind him.

So I pushed my chips, like a trusting sheep seeing Jesus as well, and the dealer’s demonic eyes lit up with greed. He was going to scoop up all my chips and hoard them to himself. But then Jesus tapped the dealer’s left shoulder a few times. The dealer’s head spun around, great fear were in his eyes as he recognized Jesus, and he released all the chips on the table, which seemed to inflate a bit to perhaps double, towards Jesus. Then the dealer left quickly and simply vanished in a haze. I knew my chips were safe. But I really didn’t want to think about money, it turned me off given the intimate time with Jesus before, so I wanted to stop this very brief vision and return to looking at Jesus and what He did for us. Thus, I don’t know if this brief vision was also of Him or was simply my emotions-based imagination. So I returned to looking at Jesus and focused again on His gashed and oversized back. All the punishment that should rain down on me actually hit His back instead. Not to make light of it, but His back is like a holy and impenetrable umbrella, taking all the force of the vicious storm and hail and, thus, protecting me and all of us who believe.

Then the scene changed and Jesus was walking on a dusty road as if 2000 years ago. I don’t know how to describe this, it sounds a bit odd, but my very human person and soul got closer and closer – face to face – to Him (being fully God). If you have any hesitation, Jesus is completely and wholly God and the brilliance of His being thoroughly God Himself was awesome and extremely humbling to me. He wanted to engulf my little soul so I could see as He sees. So, I hope this does not sound too odd, but my weak and puny human soul was there inside of Jesus Christ, as if a passenger in a vehicle to see the world as He does. Then there was a leper in front of us and Jesus prayed and the leper was immediately healed. I felt so small and insignificant, even though I was there inside of Jesus. As a side note, being inside of Jesus – His Spirit on earth in believers - is actually scriptural, although know what I experienced was a vision, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” John 14:19-20 (NKJV)

So I told the Lord, “You can heal the leper”, emphasizing, “You.” But I didn’t think I could, even though in the past I have prayed for some serious illnesses and those I prayed for received healing. But in this vision I was feeling so powerless. Jesus said, “This power is from the Father,” which is true. The Father sent the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, to Jesus Christ when He walked the earth 2000 years ago. In the vision Jesus prayed for someone else and I, the whole time in this vision, was extremely uncomfortable actually being in Jesus, His divine person, and watching His perspective. He sensed that and let me out, if you will.

In the next frame of the vision I was either in the Apostle Paul or Peter, also as if in the passenger seat. They, too, were praying for people and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ risen and Lord of all creation. I was uncomfortable seeing from their perspective, but since they are humans, I felt a little easier seeing from their perspective and being in the very same Holy Spirit who was in and on them (I hope this is making sense, this is a spiritual matter and simply a vision and not reality, because there is no way would I actually be in reality in either of the Apostles, this was just to give me perspective to their perspective).

This was all very weighty and somber and deep for me. I simply felt so humble and small. The apostles would have been weak as well without being in Christ and having His wisdom and power of His Holy Spirit enabling them to do His work. I then fell asleep.

The next day I told this vision to Eagle. Immediately he said to the Allen being All-in, “That means All Into Jesus, we are to press even more into Him.” He has been getting a similar message from the Lord.

All I know is I am fixated by Jesus now. I was before but now I am much more. All I want is to know more of Him. To be all-in Him. To enter all in and withhold nothing back. This evening I could feel myself shuddering a little as I committed myself even further to Him, to be clothed by Him rather than clothed by the trappings of the world. When we think we enter into Him, we realize that there is always further to go, further to commit. I don’t know where this will end up. But I do know, it is always worth casting off the vestiges of this world, the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh, and step into His very Presence, into the magnificence of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself. His Presence needs to be our clothing, we are commanded to make this a pattern in our life. We are not worthy by our deeds. But He, through His laying down His life for us, names us as worthy through our belief and trust in Him. So I want that gift so desperately. I want to be as fully in Him as I can be. I feel although I passed through the door, the depth of His Presence is very deep indeed.

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans 13:14 (NIV)

All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal 3:27 (NIV)

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear.” Rev 3:20-22 (NKJV)