Growing Addiction of Gambling — Betty Miller
Covenant Promise of Hope — R.S. “Bud” Miller
Purpose and Vision — Ministry Information
Share and Tell — Testimony of an Ex-Alcoholic
Spiritual Warfare — Dying in Order to Live
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Overcoming Satan’s Lies
End Times — The Bride and the Whore
Prophetic Voice To The Church — The Only Hope in The Coming Storm
What Is It Going To Take? — Special Guest, Chad Ross
Book Review — America’s Last Call
Poetry Corner — Prophetic Poem for the Overcomers
Personal Word From the Millers — Ministry News
By Betty Miller
Studies show that lotteries are the favorite legal gambling game for teenagers. Statistically, one of seven who play will become addicted. But teenagers aren’t the only ones affected. One out of 10 adults who gamble will become addicted too. In fact, gambling is the fastest growing addiction in America. Like alcoholism and drug addiction, compulsive gambling is costly to the economy. Families are the ones who suffer the most. Many people feel gambling is only a game that is fun, but the Bible tells us this evil is a terrible sin that will lead to poverty.
“He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him” (Proverbs 28:22).
Gambling in our nation is spreading as the number of states operating lotteries has more than doubled since 1980, making them the ultimate “get-rich-quick” schemes. As gambling spreads to more and more states, Christians need to have the Bible’s instruction about this money robber. The Bible declares that it is wrong to bet money on the possibility of becoming instantly rich.
“He who oppresses the poor to get gain for himself, and he who gives to the rich will surely come to want” (Proverbs 22:16).
States who legalize lotteries and gambling are oppressing the poor for gain. According to a 1988 study of the Michigan lottery, that state sells the greatest number of tickets in low-income and ethnic neighborhoods in urban areas. Lottery tickets made available in grocery marts and drive-in markets make it easy for people to purchase these “chances to win the big hit.” Some spend money on the lottery tickets instead of groceries for their families. Many compulsive gamblers wreck their lives and their families as they are encouraged to risk money that they usually cannot afford to lose. An estimated 15 million people are compulsive gamblers.
The lie that is used to promote this evil in our society is that legalized gambling doesn’t promote crime and will lower taxes. Actually just the opposite is true — gambling promotes other vices which attract the criminal element. This results in higher, not lower taxes as the cost for additional policing must be increased. Indian reservations and the big gambling centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City are taking in billions of dollars. Casinos rob those who play the games with them as the odds are stacked 80% to 90% in favor of the casino. Even those that do win big on occasion statistics have proven that within two years most winners have totally spent the money they won.
Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.”
People who gamble give to the pool of money that composes great wealth. This causes them to give to the rich and as Proverbs 22:16 says “…he who gives to the rich will surely come to want.” Our states are also reaping a type of “poverty” where gambling exists because it undermines the American work ethic. The result is lowered productivity, use of work time to gamble, absenteeism, high rates of business failure, and repeated non-payment of loans, mortgages and other financial obligations. Gambling is, to many, a scheme to escape labor.
Some Christians argue that gambling does no harm. However, the scripture is clear that this activity is sinful. Anytime someone is enticed to gain money at someone’s else’s certain loss, this is definitely not practicing the principals taught by Christ. Also, the practice of gambling takes away from the Bible’s principals of economics — working, saving and giving. Discipline and accountability for spending are ignored. Gambling preys on the weakness of others.
Let me mention here that entering free sweepstakes or drawings are not sinful as they are advertising ploys paid for by the sponsors. They use these to advertise their products while giving their customers a chance to win in a drawing. There is no gambling involved as the participants give no money for a chance to win the prize.
However, many Christians are guilty of supporting lotteries, bingo, horse racing, and even playing at the casinos. Video poker has become so popular it is now referred to as “the crack cocaine of gambling.” Some do not realize the gravity of their sin. They justify gambling simply because they have needs that cannot be met through their present earned income. The Lord desires to meet those needs for them and will give them a plan for becoming debt free if they seek him and His economic principles in the Bible.
The Lord can bring deliverance to those caught in this web of compulsive gambling. Through admission of this sin and repentance God will break the bondage of it in those who desire to be set free. Gamblers need love and acceptance but they must repent in order to be free. The Lord loves those who are addicted to gambling and will help all that call upon Him for deliverance.
By R.S. “Bud” Miller
Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest. See Table of Contents for Archives.
Covenant Promise of Hope
“…Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken” (Romans 4:18).
I want you to look at that word hope in Romans 4:18 above. The purest definition I have been able to find of hope is “desire accompanied by the expectation for fulfillment“ There is a lot of talk about faith, but we cannot have faith unless we first have a hope. That is why faith and hope work hand in hand. Abram is known as the “father of faith,” yet it is the hope he possessed that made him the father of faith. Abram’s desire for a son of his own body had been stirring within him for years. He had an expectation of what God would do, because God had promised, and Abram believed Him. His desire became rooted in hope, based on God’s promise. Paul wrote that we should have the same hope for the redemption of our bodies:
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:24,25).
Once Isaac was born, Abram no longer “hoped,” because he had that which he had waited many years with patience and expectation to receive. As God showed Abram the stars that night, He identified Himself, saying, “I am the Lord that brought you out of Chaldea to give you this land as an inheritance” (Genesis 15:7).
But Abram wanted a greater assurance that these things would come to pass, something by which He would know this invisible Being really would do what He said. Abram was not speaking in doubt or self-will, or God would not have honored his question. Your attitude when you ask questions of God makes a difference. John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, was struck dumb for nine months when he asked almost the same question. However, Zachariah asked his question faithless, while Abram asked in faith (Luke 1:18-20,63,64).
So God did the thing He had planned all along: He cut a blood covenant with Abram (Genesis 15:9-18). Abram believed the assurance of the covenant without the shadow of a doubt. He knew a blood covenant was the most binding contract or agreement that could be made. A blood covenant was more binding than being related by natural blood ties. In addition to assuring Abram, God wanted the covenant for Himself:
*He wanted it as tangible proof of His blood ties with a portion of mankind.
*He wanted this covenant as His first step in the redemption of man and creation.
*He wanted this covenant to exist as a witness of the blood covenant to come, the new covenant which was to include all men who would receive it.
In spite of the fact that Abram believed God already, and his obedience had been counted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), he wanted something tangible. After all, it had been a lot of years, and he was not getting any younger!
Can you identify with Abram in this? He wanted an “anchor” for his faith, so to speak. We do the same thing. Even if we know we have a promise from God, if it does not manifest right away, we begin to ask God for “signs,” for something tangible. Sometimes God has us wait, so He can test us in our faith. Why? He wants us to be stronger, to rely completely on Him. It is for our own good that we don’t always get right away everything God has promised us .
Christians are so notorious for asking God for “fleeces” that we really ought to go into the sheep business! [A “fleece” refers to a man named Gideon, one of the judges of Israel in the time before kings. God called him to do something, and he asked for a supernatural sign involving the fleece of a sheep (Judges 6:37-40).]
God can say, “I’ve already told you what I am going to do in a whole book (the Bible),” but invariably, we will ask for a “fleece” or sign from God.
Some people make such statements as “If the next car that comes by is red, God, I will know you are going to do such-and-such.”
The problem with fleeces is that the devil can get into the “fleecing” business as much as God. He could run fifteen red cars by you, and then you would have real problems! Today, as New Covenant believers, we have the Holy Spirit in us, and God wants us to go by His Word and be led by the Spirit, and not ask for “fleeces.” Sometime when we are baby Christians the Lord will honor our “fleeces” but it is not the way the Lord customarily speaks to His people.
In Abram’s case, however, God was setting into place a foundation for a relationship. When you were born again, God set the New Covenant into place in your life with Jesus as a foundation. No matter what happens afterwards, you can go back to that place and say, “Here is where I met God and became a “blood” child of His.” Even if you do not trust yourself, you can trust God and hold firm to His faithfulness. He is the One who will perfect His faith in you on a daily basis.
From then on, Abram and his descendants could go back to that night and say, “This is where the father of our nation became a partner of God Almighty in an everlasting contract. This is why we are able to inherit the promises of the covenant.”
The beautiful thing about God is that He never changes. He is today with us exactly as He was with Abraham. He entered into a blood-covenant relationship with him and He is still seeking today to have relationships with other men and women.
What is your hope today? Do you have a hope? Is there something that God has spoken to your heart? Have you waited years to see its fulfillment–or are you still waiting? God’s word to you is “Don’t give up!” As a child of God, you have been reborn into Abraham’s seed. You are a child of faith. Your old nature has officially been washed away under the blood of Jesus and you have inherited a new nature. Part of that new nature is the faith–and the great unswerving hope of Abraham. Hope does not rest in our visible circumstances. It is founded on something much stronger than that. Hoping, against all hope, Abraham believed God. Will you do the same?
(Excerpt from the book entitled: COVENANT God’s Guarantee for Victorious Living by R.S. “Bud” Miller)
THE OVERCOMING LIFE DIGEST is published for the purpose of strengthening the Body of Christ by furnishing teaching literature and a prophetic voice to the church in these last days. CHRIST UNLIMITED is helping and working with all Bible-believing Christians regardless of their church or denominational affiliations in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. CHRIST UNLIMITED believes the hour is late and we must fulfill the great commission. We, as Christians, desire to cooperate with the Lord in breaking down denominational walls, for a united front line against the kingdom of darkness and setting up the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Scripture Quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.
“O Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.”
Testimony of an Ex-Alcoholic
By Lola Motl Martinez
I was raised in what I thought was a normal family. My parents drank and were working people. I thought that was a normal family. My aunt and friends took me to church and Vacation Bible School through the years until I was a teenager. All through those years I learned of the church and God. My everyday life was one of helping my parents around the house and with their work.
I was such a naive, innocent and rebellious child. As the years continued I gradually learned all the bad things of the world. At that time I didn’t realize I was learning bad, worldly things because I didn’t know any better. I began doing what I saw the others around me doing, such as swearing, drinking, bad manners, and many other bad habits. There were all the seven sins that God hates around me everyday.
Proverbs 6:16-19: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren”.
By the time I was twenty-five, I was divorced and had given my two sons to my ex-husband to raise. This was a mistake that traumatized me greatly. I began to turn to my worldly friends to fill the void that losing my two sons had left inside of me. Soon I was on the path to drinking and greater heartache.
I drank to relieve the emotional pain of how life had been so bad to me. I felt I didn’t deserve all the bad things life had dealt me. I continued to drink, not yet knowing how badly it was affecting me mentally and physically. I was sick in mind and body. I felt God and man had deserted me. I was alone and nothing was helping me.
I knew that I wanted to quit drinking and living in sin, but I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for help. The devil had blinded me as to where I could find help. I made many bad choices in the things I did every day. Therefore, I began to reap bad consequences.
About this time it was all taken out of my hands, when I received a second DUI. I was angry and frustrated because of the DUI Intervention and Alcoholics Anonymous classes I was made to attend. I went through the DUI Intervention and slowly began to realize that these people were here to help me. Yes, someone really did care if I lived or died.
At this point, I had been in AA for six months and had also been going to an alcohol/drug treatment program for three months. Everything these people were teaching me was slowly making me realize that I had hit a bottom and my life needed a change for the better. I realized that it was possible for me to live a joyful, wonderful life–not one in sin and darkness of evil.
One day I picked up the booklet “Healing the Spirit, Soul, and Body” which had been written and given to me by my sister, Betty Miller. As I began to read it, I saw that it was a teaching aid that went right along with the things I had been hearing in the AA spiritual program and the alcohol counseling program I had been receiving at the treatment center. As I read the book, all of these things finally began to fit together.
It was such a miracle to me! I asked God to forgive me of my sins and remove the alcohol obsession in me. I was spiritually awakened. I was finally free to live as God wanted me to! God is great, God is good! I can’t tell you how good it feels to be free from all my fears and forgiven of all my sins. Now I have faith and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. I have been reborn, spirit, soul, and body.
Christ is unlimited in what He can do for you! Jesus is our Savior! Praise the Lord!
Note: Lola is Betty Miller’s sister. They share this testimony to encourage other families that Jesus does answer prayer as Betty had testified and prayed for her sister for many years. They both are rejoicing in what great things He has done!!
By Betty Miller
Dying in Order to Live
Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16: 24-25). Denial of self is a key to victory. Revelation 12:11 says the overcomers “loved not their lives unto the death.” This is contrary to the world’s thinking. While Jesus says one has to lose his life to gain it, the world says, “Look out first for number one.” The world says to be successful position yourself first, even if you have to step on others as you climb the ladder of success. God, however, says success comes through being the greatest servant, denying oneself and promoting, ministering to and thinking about others. God says we’ll thereby gain in His kingdom. We gain by losing.
Unfortunately, most couples do not apply this principle to their marriages. We see two selfish people refusing to budge, thinking, “I want things my way. You wait on me and do what I want.” Until they learn to serve one another, their marriage will be a failure. What a person gives, he receives. As the song goes, “Love is not love until it is given away.” We cannot expect to receive love until we give it out.
Good soldiers deny themselves and take up the cross daily. We need to know just what that cross is and what it is not. It’s not the unsaved spouse, nor the unruly kids, nor the financial pressures. These things are not our cross. Instead, our cross is self-will.
We have a choice: to keep our wills or to surrender them to God’s will. This is our cross, the point where our wills cross against God’s will. There we have to deny ourselves and say, “Lord, I yield to Your will.” Daily we take up our cross by yielding our wills to His, even when it’s not what we want to do. That’s where we die to self. Learning what God wants us to do is part of the cross.
Learning to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, minister yet again to someone we’ve helped a numerous times before. And what if the Lord asks us to go beyond the second mile. That cross is ours to bear so we yield our wills to His. When we take up this challenge daily, yielding our wills to His, we’ll be good soldiers.
Jesus said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19). Good soldiers are not popular. But we’ve been chosen to come out of the world and serve God. It’s a commitment the world cannot understand and a life style they even hate. But we’ve chosen to be good soldiers. I pray that we’ll ask God to strengthen us to be good soldiers for Him, to be strengthened to endure hardness and to overcome through Jesus Christ.
Excerpt from the book Personal Spiritual Warfare
OVERCOMING SATAN’S LIES
Not only is the devil a robber and thief, but a master liar. He is always attacking the truth of God’s Word. The people who fall for his lies are those that do not know God’s Word or choose not to believe it. Satan has no new lies, just new victims. The victims are the people who believe him. There are no temptations that others have not also experienced.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We must continually ask God to reveal Satan’s lies and temptations to us so that we may overcome him. Jesus wants to give us abundant life, while Satan seeks to destroy. We must be on guard so as not to be fooled by him because he does not come announcing himself as the devil, but instead appears as a sheep rather than a wolf. Matthew 7:15 says, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” We must seek God for discernment so that we will not be fooled by outward appearances.
Satan often poses as the Holy Spirit and speaks to us as if he were God. 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” In this verse, we see the devil comes as a roaring lion. Jesus is referred to in Scripture as the Lion of Judah. (Revelation 5:5: “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”) Because Satan imitates the Lord Jesus (trying to be like the real Lion of Judah); we are told to watch, beware, and be vigilant because Satan is the lion that seeks to devour.
Excerpt from the book Exposing Satan’s Devices
MARK OF GOD OR MARK OF THE BEAST
Much has been said on this subject of the mark of the beast, but little said about the mark of God. Will there be a literal mark tattooed on people’s foreheads and/or their hands in these end times to make it possible to buy and sell in a one-world monetary system that is being set up by an antichrist?
We can certainly see the possibilities of this becoming a literal reality in our day with the technology of laser beam tattoos and our president speaking of a “new world order.” Even now, pets can be tracked by tiny computer chips about the size of a grain of rice which have an identification number programmed into it that can be injected under the skin with a hypodermic needle. A special scanner generates a radio signal that reads the number through the skin of the animal when it is found.
This book is not disputing the possibilities of a literal tattoo, but rather exposing the spiritual implications behind that plan of Satan. How will this come about? Will it be one of the above new technologies or something yet to come? We don’t believe men are going to be tattooed or branded with a literal set of three sixes on their foreheads or hands, any more than we believe the letters J-E-S-U-S will be on the foreheads of God’s servants as spoken of in Revelation 22: 3-4: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
How will the beast mark those who follow him, and what is the mark of God set upon those who follow Christ? Let us begin with the mark of the beast, then look at how we are to receive God’s mark which protects us from destruction in these end times.
Throughout the Scriptures, the word beast refers to a system, and not to a man. The beast is a system that rules the world; it’s an antichrist system. Daniel 7 speaks of beasts and identifies them as earthly kingdoms. So the beast in Revelation is a beastly system that’s ruling the world (it’s a dictator beast). This beast is not just one human being, rather it is a system that has infiltrated every area whether it be politics, medicine, art or science; the beastly system is everywhere. This system is typically overseen by a powerful government with those in power making decisions that perpetrate the worldly system throughout mankind. When Revelation 13:1 speaks of the beast rising up out of the sea, what is meant by the sea? The Scriptures speak of the sea as “masses of humanity.” This beastly system is rising up out of humanity, out of all the people on the earth. When John, the author of Revelation, stood upon the sand of the sea, he was standing upon that which could not be numbered, among all the people of the earth.
The Bride and The Whore
By Betty Miller
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21: 1-3).
The bride spoken of here is the church; God’s people. The 144,000 virgins in Revelation 14 are the bride of Christ; they’re the fully obedient overcomers. By contrast, there is a false church called the whore in Revelation 17. “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17: 1-2).
Many of those in the false church are Christians who have into fallen into apostasy; many think they’re heading for heaven, yet they’re not. They’re part of the beast system that had “horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon.” This is the great whore who “sitteth upon many waters.” This represents masses of people, the great number of people that are involved in false religion. The false church is called a whore because she’s a seductress. She’s committed fornication. She’s having affairs with other gods; she’s full of people who’ve given their hearts to a false god. The false god behind this beast system is the love of money. “The love of money is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10a).
The Love of Money, A Snare to the Church
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13: 16-17).
This buying and selling is the monetary system of the world. The majority of people today are chasing after money. They’re seeking the things of this world, such as newer cars and bigger houses. They’re seeking what the gentiles were seeking in Matthew 6:31-32 (the things of this world). It makes no difference whether they’re rich or poor; the poor want it too, but simply don’t know how to get it. This beastly system has everybody seeking the wrong god. They’re buying so they can sell, and selling so they can buy. The stock market, the whole monetary system is filled with that. Those who’ve placed their trust in that system are marked with the beast.
As Christians, we buy and sell. But we’re not buying and selling our souls like the rest of the world. We’re in the world, but we’re not of the world (John. 17:14-16). We touch and handle the things of this world, but it’s not in our hearts; it’s not a part of us. We’re not marked with the system. As totally dedicated Christians, when God asks us to do anything, we lay everything down, leaving it behind as we go and do what He has asked. We’re able to forsake all because we’re not marked with the mark of the beast; we’re not caught up in the love of money. We’re not caught up in the buying and selling because we know our true riches are in heaven.
The beast system has infiltrated the church through carnal Christians. These carnal, worldly Christians are puzzled by other Christians not seeking after money. They’re surprised when some won’t sell out for money. Some people try to buy men even in the church. Those who are not of the true church will sell out. There are pastors who won’t deal with an elder’s sin because that elder has a lot of money. The beast system is ruling their hearts. Such pastors aren’t truly serving the Lord; they’re part of the whore system. Many ministries will sell out for money. They’ll go minister where they can receive the largest offering, rather than where God might ask them to go for nothing. They’re still in the whore system, rather than being led by the Spirit of God. The true church won’t have any part of that. She won’t sell out; she’d rather die than sell out for money. The love of money has been the downfall of many, many ministers. Such men never got the beast system out of their hearts; they never crucified their flesh so the enemy used money to defeat them and to cause them to deceive many other people as well. But those who have the mind of Christ and are doing the works of God with their hands are not going to sell out to the beast system. They’re worshipping the true and living God. They’re remaining in communion with God Almighty, rather than committing adultery by loving the things of this world.
Many Christians have sold out to the beast system by allowing its lusts and pleasures to consume their time and money. They have money for the things they desire, but don’t have the money to tithe and give to God. Although there have been abuses in the area of preachers manipulating God’s people to give (which is the beast system in such ministers), we still are not excused if we fail to obey God in the realm of giving. Some make excuses for not tithing. For example, they categorize tithing as being restricted to the Old Testament law. But in the New Testament Jesus said in reference to tithing, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matt. 23:23). I don’t see how we can escape the command to tithe unless we’ve been marked by beastly thinking. The true bride of Christ will love her God in all areas of her life and not be like an unfaithful whore who sells out for money.
(Excerpt taken from the book The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast)
As some may not be familiar with prophecy in the church, we want to share this short explanation of Biblical prophecy before we share an actual prophecy from God.
First, what is godly prophecy? It can be summed up as words that are spoken on behalf of God. A prophet or prophetess is one who is a spokesman for God. It is a divine utterance that comes from the Holy Spirit. (Note: Just as there are prophetic words from God, there are also false prophecies that the Lord warned us about in the Bible. In Matthew 7:15-16 Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits….” We must prove the source of prophecy before accepting it as coming from the Lord).
God is raising up many prophetic voices in the earth today. His gifts of prophecy are basically of two types. One is the “simple gift of prophecy” which every believer can express under the unction or direction of the Holy Spirit after they have been filled with the Holy Ghost.
The other is the “office gift” of the spirit which is given to a prophet or prophetess who is called to the “five-fold” ministry office as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:28 which says “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Ephesians 4:11-12: “And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
The basic difference between these two types is, the simple gift of prophecy is given to all spirit filled believers as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14:31, “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.”
It is for the purpose of edification, exhortation and comfort as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14:3, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”
The “office gift” of a prophet or prophetess is given to speak to the body of Christ at large. The ministers who are called to the office of a prophet or prophetess will deliver messages which include edification, exhortation and comfort, but their messages can also be directive in nature and futuristic in content as well (Ephesians. 4:11-15).
Presently God is leading His people with prophetic preaching and teaching. A prophetic movement is taking place in the world.
The Only Hope in the Coming Storm!
By Reverend David Wilkerson
GOD promised the prophet Zechariah that in the last days, he would be a protective wall of fire around his people: “For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about…” (Zechariah 2:5).
Likewise, Isaiah testifies: “For thou has been a…shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall” (Isaiah 25:4). “There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isaiah 4:6).
These promises are meant to comfort us beforehand – because all the prophets warn of a great storm coming in the final days, which will beat against God’s wall of protection with ferocity!
Indeed, Jesus says this coming storm will be so frightful and overwhelming, people’s hearts will fail them as they see it developing (see Luke 21:26). Now, if Jesus says this storm is going to be ferocious, we can know it will be an awesome moment in history. Yet, the Bible assures us God never sends judgment on any society without first revealing to his prophets what he plans to do: “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
This is a marvelous expression of our Lord’s great love for his people. And if you study the biblical prophets’ writings carefully, you’ll see that God acts this way consistently. Just prior to an impending storm of judgment, he always commands his prophets to warn the people to return to him: “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and…by the ministry of the prophets” (Hosea 12:10).
Moreover, God is faithful to speak in times of prosperity, just before the fury of his judgment strikes. While the storm clouds are still gathering, he raises up prophetic voices all over the land. And, according to scripture, whenever a sinful nation was prosperous and at peace, God told his prophets to warn that the good times soon would end: “…the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity…” (Zechariah 7:7).
At times God made his message so strong, he instructed his spokesmen to issue cutting, searing warnings: “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth…” (Hosea 6:5). In other words: “The word I bring will be so clear, it will smite you if your heart is open at all. It will cause you to fall on your face and repent!”
We always have to keep in mind, God’s only purpose in lovingly calling us back to himself is to protect us in such times of storm. Yet often in biblical history, when he gave these warnings, the people refused to listen: “He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear” (2 Chronicles 24:19).
Almost always, God’s people grew weary of these warnings. This was especially true if a prophet cried out about a coming storm over a period of years, but the society only continued to be prosperous and at peace. Over time, the people simply switched off the prophet’s voice. They simply didn’t want to hear it anymore.
We see this in the Israelites’ response to the prophet Isaiah. They told him: “…Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10).
Can you imagine ever falling to such a condition? These people knew Isaiah was telling the truth – that a great storm was coming – but they got tired of hearing about it! They preferred to hear “smooth things.” And the Hebrew word for “smooth” here means “pleasant, unperturbed.” They were telling Isaiah, in other words: “Don’t preach anything to us that will upset the status quo or make us nervous!”
This very condition is creeping into the church of Jesus Christ today. Believers who have been devoted to Jesus for years now turn on their television sets only to see more horrible reports of violence, disasters, hunger, crime, immorality. After a while, their minds become satiated with all the bad news, and their hearts become hardened to it. To them, even the worst news reports are “just another news story.”
I often wonder: Can anything move us anymore? We’ve already heard every type of bad news we could possibly hear. What disaster or calamity is left that could shock us?
Beloved, God is appalled by this kind of response among his people! We see this in the warnings of the prophet Ezekiel. At the time Ezekiel prophesied, Israel was prosperous and at peace with the surrounding nations. Yet the Lord told Ezekiel to give the people this message: “I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountain of Israel shall be desolate…because of all their abominations which they have committed” (Ezekiel 33:28-29).
The prophet went up and down the land, preaching God’s warnings over several years. But the people grew weary of listening to him. After all, over the years not one of Ezekiel’s words had come to pass. On the contrary, the nation only grew more prosperous!
Over time, Ezekiel’s prophecies became a source of entertainment for the people. They began calling him names behind his back – names that were probably similar to the ones I’ve been called over the years: “Doomsday preacher,” “The man who never smiles,” “Mr. bad news.” Finally, Ezekiel finally got fed up and said, “Lord, you’ve deceived me. Nothing you told me has come to pass. And now everyone’s mocking me!”
“…(Israel is) saying, “Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after covetousness…they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:30-33).
Let me ask you: Have you come to the place where you’ve said in your heart, “I’ve already heard it all! I don’t want to hear any more!” If so, beware!
As It Was With All Past Societies and Church Bodies,
The Church Today Is in No Mood to Receive Bad News!
The majority of churchgoers today soundly reject all prophetic warnings of a coming storm. Indeed, the American church today is the most blatant “feel good” church in all of history. But, like Israel, we’re only experiencing the calm before the storm!
While Moses spent forty days on the mountaintop, Israel indulged in a spirit of lawlessness. The people wanted to play and relax, so they abandoned all godliness. You remember the result: It ended in a drunken, naked orgy around a golden calf.
Likewise today, Christians by the multiple thousands are casting off the yoke of Christ, tossing aside all limits and restrictions. This attitude is prevalent in many of the books and magazines you find in Christian bookstores. It’s almost as if our leaders are saying, “Relax! God isn’t hard. He’s our Daddy, we’re all his kids, and we’re meant to have a good time. Don’t let anyone disturb your fun!”
A few years ago, three pastors of large charismatic churches publicly stated they believed God would use rock-and-roll and rap music to bring in the next great revival. One of these ministers even declared that God used the Beatles to open people’s hearts to the Holy Spirit. No – never! Those young men glorified sex and drugs. How could that ever be the work of the Holy Spirit?
One Christian magazine predicted that the next big movement in the church would be a “nightclub” approach – including services that feature dancing, “near-beer” alcohol, and comedians. One pastor told me this is already happening in churches throughout England and Europe. The churches can’t hold the people’s interest – so they turn them into nightclubs!
In addition, many “sinner friendly” churches in America now serve coffee during their morning services. The people sit with their feet propped up on chairs, never standing up for worship. At one such church, a visiting gospel singer was advised not to sing anything that mentioned sin or Christ’s blood, because it might offend the visitors. That church’s leaders were trying to create a “comfort zone” for sinners!
You may find it hard to imagine the Israelites dancing naked around a golden calf. But don’t for a second think the same thing couldn’t happen in the church today. Soon we’re going to witness lewd, sensuous, blasphemous forms of religion, straight out of the pits of hell. Indeed, the Bible says a time is coming when God’s people will no longer blush. And right now, the church’s blush is gone – because we’ve seen and heard so much already. yet this is just the beginning!
You may ask – why are so many ministers and believers being deceived? Why is there so little discernment in God’s house? Why do the most bizarre, worldly movements attract so many followers? I believe the answer lies in a prophecy form Amos:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). Notice, this verse doesn’t say there will be a famine of preaching. The fact is, God would never hold back his warnings from his church – because only his truth can set us free. That’s why he sends his prophets, teachers and evangelists to speak truth to us.
No, Amos’ prophecy is not about all the shallow, light preaching we hear today; it isn’t saying there will be a shortage of truth. Rather, what the church today is experiencing is a famine of hearing! There is an unwillingness to hear the true word of God. Instead, people are closing their eyes and ears, hardening their hearts, and saying, “I don’t want to hear any more!”
Editor’s Note: If you want to hear more we will be printing the last half of this prophetic word from Brother Wilkerson in the next issue of the Digest. It is entitled: Experiencing the Calm Prior to The Greatest Storm America Has Ever Suffered. Also, we have Bro. Wilkerson’s latest prophetic book called America’s Last Call available in our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE .
This word was taken from The David Wilkerson Times Square Church Pulpit Series which is sent out every three weeks free-of-charge by regular mail and by e-mail subscription. E-mail subscription instructions are available on the Subscription Instructions Page through the internet ministry of Times Square Church Pulpit Series. David Wilkerson’s ministry does NOT have an e-mail address for correspondence.
Send your request for the paper copy to:
P.O. Box 260
Lindale, Texas 75771
Copyright (C)1998 by World Challenge, Lindale Texas. The above data file may not be used without the permission of World Challenge for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations.
“What Is It Going To Take?”
By Chad Ross
He is stretched. He is pressed. He is molded, reshaped. He is taken where no man has gone before, or so he thinks. Sometimes, he cries for what seems no reason. Sometimes, he is angry for no reason. Sometimes, he questions everything. Sometimes, every little thing gets under his skin. Sometimes, he forgets things he normally wouldn’t forget. Sometimes, he can’t stand to be around his best friend. He asks, “Why? Why do things have to be this way?” He wishes things could go back the way they were two weeks ago, or two years ago?
He hears of God’s resting place, but sometimes can’t find it. He hears that the joy of the Lord is his strength, but he can’t find joy, so he thinks attaining strength must be hopeless. He cries out to God saying, “What is it going to take?” And God responds, “Everything.” He knows the Word of God and believes it and does it, but there must be something missing, something he has forgotten. He spends hours searching for answers, but can’t find anything. By this time he is ready to quit, give up.
The family seems to be feeling his failures. There is pressure from every side. Things are just falling apart. He feels like he is in a desert, alone. He feels dirty and sweaty. He can’t find people with answers, people who care. He can’t find the river, the river that brings life. The sun is beating down on his body. He can actually feel his body changing. What feels like sickness is entering. His stomach grumbles because it has no food. His throat is sore because he has no water. His head is aching from poor circulation and heat. There is no one around, so he cries with all of his might as loudly as he can.
He doesn’t know what he is saying, but he hopes that God does. Please, God, hear! Please, God, hear! Attend to his need. Meet him where he is. Touch him. Revive him. Give him what he needs so that he may not die. Give him the ears to hear You. If he’ll only hear your voice. If he’ll only get a Word for himself. Can he hear from You for himself? Look at the world. Look at the church. People are falling dead in the desert. They aren’t making it. Families are falling apart. People are losing their jobs. Ministers are losing their ministries.
The only way for anyone to survive is know what God is saying for them, not through another, but with their own spirit. People can often hear God for others, but sometimes they can’t hear for themselves. The Lord will give a word if we will listen. He will speak and strengthen. Sometimes we must wait in silence, but if we endure, we will hear. We must in order to live. All through the Psalms, David begins with anguish and turmoil in his prayers but ends with strength and joy and hope.
Psalm 27:7 says, “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me.” At the end of the chapter, his tone changes: Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and he will strengthen thy heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” It takes time and patience, but if we really desire deliverance, we will wait on the Lord so that we may hear His voice in our time of trouble. After the sheep has left the flock, it brings joy to his ears to hear his Shepherd’s voice.
Chad Ross is associate pastor of Living Word Christian Fellowship in Richmond, Indiana. His father, Stephen Ross is the senior pastor. Living Word Christian Fellowship is a strong Bible believing church with anointed preaching and worship services. They labor as a “Sister Church” with us in the Internet Ministry of prayer and counseling. You can be blessed by reading more of their teachings at their web site:
Chad Ross also receives e-mail at:email@example.com
America’ Last Call
“On the Brink of A Financial Holocaust”
By David Wilkerson
David Wilkerson’s latest book is a warning to America that this nation rests on the brink of a financial holocaust. Brother David, as a “watchman on the wall,” gives a prophetic warning to our country. His cry is based, not on any personal prophetic revelation, but rather on a sound scriptural basis as to how God has dealt with sinful and wicked nations in the past. This book states that although America is facing judgement for her many sins and abominations; as Christians, we can rejoice in God’s promises of faithfulness to His people in trying times. There is still time to prepare for the days ahead and this book will help all that are willing to seek God’s will in the hour of national judgement.
A cartoon appeared in a New York City newspaper picturing the Titanic leaving port. The ship was renamed The U.S. Economy. The caption above it read: “not even God can sink this ship!” Since we all live in this nation we are all on this “ship.” However, if you are a Christian there is a place of safety that is made available to all who will seek God for it. The Bible says in John 6:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
A quote from this book says, “America is receiving her last call to repent! The American dream is going to turn into the American nightmare. It will occur suddenly — without warning — and no one will be able to explain how or why it happened. There will be sellers only — no buyers. A majority of Americans have concluded, ‘Morals do not count. Let our leaders do as they please; just give us a booming economy. Let the good times roll. All that matters is prosperity!’ God is about to crush this abominable American mindset.”
This book will leave you with a burden for our nation and a desire to pray for repentance as the author discusses why these things are going to happen. Many people who have already read about his warnings are worried about their financial future. They are asking questions such as:
* Where can I put my money?
* What investments will be safe during the dark times ahead?
* Will there be any protective havens for my savings?
* And what about my Social Security and my retirement funds?
* What’s God saying about debt and mortgages?
* Will I lose my house in the coming holocaust?
* What will I do if I lose my job and can’t find employment?
* How will I be able to support my family?
* Should I store up food?
* How can I prepare for this awful event?
* If this warning is true, where can I turn for some answers?
The last chapter gives the answer and the secret to surviving the coming crash. I highly recommend all Christians to read this book so they will not be caught unaware. We have also printed a portion of one of Bro.Wilkerson’s prophecies in this same Digest as we feel the urgency of getting this warning out to God’s people.— Betty Miller
David Wilkerson is founder of Teen Challenge, Inc., the worldwide Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry. He is the author of The Cross and the Switchblade, The Vision, Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?, Hungry for More of Jesus, Revival on Broadway and many other books. David and his wife, Gwen, live in New York City, where he serves as senior pastor of Times Square Church.
The book, America’s Last Call, is available in paperback priced at $8.00 in our Chapel Bookstore catalog.
PROPHETIC POEM FOR THE OVERCOMERS
Given to Betty Miller by the Holy Spirit
Angels, Angels, Flying high over you,
My promise is to make all things new.
So you must refuse to allow alarm,
They are protecting you from all harm.
My Words they do perform,
As you to my will do conform.
Soon this day will pass,
And your blessings you will soon amass.
Be not troubled nor afraid,
You are secure in my shade.
Under the shadow of my wings,
Keep praying until your heart sings.
I’m preparing things in the unseen realm,
The ship your on has Me at the helm.
Rise up and keep walking in My way,
And soon you’ll see your new day.
Onward, Onward, Walk in My light,
Not in your strength, but in My might.
I have plans yet to unfold,
And things to share, visions untold.
Don’t grow faint, you have all at your disposal,
I will soon make known my proposal.
Praise and thanks are a vital key,
And prayer that draws you close to Me.
I love you much and soon you’ll see,
I haven’t forgotten one promise to thee.
So take courage, go on to victory,
I’m fighting your battles and you’ll soon be free.
Free from all bondage and limitations of the past,
Because I’m the wind blowing on your mast.
No, you are not drifting at sea,
Your lives are eternally guided by me.
Divine appointments are just ahead,
So just rest at night on your bed.
The “night stalker” will be gone,
And you will know my strength all day long.
I’m not far away, but always near,
That’s why you have nothing to fear.
The vision that’s now in your heart,
Is there because of a new start.
Yes, all things new, I make for you,
Your day of darkness is almost through.
My glory will cause this to be only a shadow faint,
My love and joy are yours, given to each saint.
But beyond these you will receive,
Because you’ve desired to be overcomers for me.
Dear Internet Friends:
First of all, we want to thank those of you who have signed up to be a partner. We feel most blessed to have your prayers and support. We do pray for you daily. If you are new to our site we invite you to read about how the Lord led us into this ministry.
The Lord is increasing the traffic to our PRAYER ROOM. So many people need prayer today and we are honored to be able to pray for the needs of others. We have also enlisted some other prayer warriors in our “sister churches” who pray with us with the many requests we get daily. We are also rejoicing that we are getting praise reports too. People are being touched, healed and blessed through this prayer ministry and we give all the glory to our Lord! Since this is our full-time ministry we do appreciate all who are supporting us with their monetary love gifts. We have tried to make it easier for you to send your offerings by redoing the donation page too. If the Lord speaks to you to help us you can go to the DONATION page to read about the ministry financing.
In closing, we realize there are some very “heavy” messages in this edition of the Digest but we are dedicated in this magazine to getting current news and prophetic messages out to people who want the truth. We truly seek the Lord as to what issues the Lord wants us to address. Pray for us as we continue to add to the BIBLE ANSWERS link also. We get requests all the time to address subjects that are not listed. We are working as fast as we can to get them up.
When you come back in the future, we should have something new on our index page. Look for our new face. The Lord is making a way for us to upgrade our web site. We appreciate your prayers and love and the Lord is answering them. Just don’t stop! Write us with your prayer requests and we shall be happy to stand with you for your needs.
His grateful servants,
Bud & Betty Miller
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