Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Messianic Soldier Explains the War in Gaza

Messianic Soldier Explains the War in Gaza

Monday, August 11, 2014 |  Israel Today Staff
Many Israeli Jewish believers in Yeshua were called upon to take up arms in the war against Gaza’s Hamas terrorist infrastructure, and one, Shai Kushnir, even paid the ultimate price in defense of this nation.
Another Israeli believer who fought in Gaza has created a YouTube clip in an effort to dispel some of the misconceptions regarding the war.
“I have a lot to say [about the Gaza war] as a soldier, a citizen [of Israel] and a Christian,” Hananya Naftali opens the video.
“The media around the world says that Israel is killing innocent people, that we bomb hospitals, mosques and lots of other innocent places. And that sounds horrible to a normal person, right? I agree. But because I know the whole picture, it doesn’t sound horrible to me,” he continues.
Naftali thanked believers around the world for their prayers, explaining that God saved his life several times while in Gaza, and concluded by asking fellow believers to also pray for those living under the tyranny of Hamas rule.
Watch the full video:
Want more news from Israel?
Click Here to sign up for our FREE daily email updates from ISRAEL TODAY.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

'Luke 9' Prophecy Reveals God's Heart for Backslidden America

'Luke 9' Prophecy Reveals God's Heart for Backslidden America

Can America still be "One Nation Under God"? (CreationSwap)
Have you ever wondered what God has called the U.S.A. to be? I want to share with you the prophetic name the Lord has spoken to me about the United States of America—"The Good Samaritan Nation," and the great hope He has in His heart for the U.S.A.
Jesus' outreach and ministry to Samaria is very instructive to us...especially in light of this revelation about how our Heavenly Father views the role of the USA in His purposes as "The Good Samaritan Nation."
In Luke 9, the Samaritans, who had the serious spiritual problem of mixing the Jewish faith with false religious notions, wanted Jesus to leave their region. Jesus' disciples were terribly offended for His sake: "When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?' But He turned and rebuked them, and 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 on to another village" (Luke 9:54-56 NASB).
However, even after being initially rejected by the Samaritans, in the very next chapter, Jesus uses them as a surprising symbol of God's kindness in sharing the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Later on, in the Book of Acts, the whole region of Samaria responds to Jesus.
God is calling the U.S.A. to show forth His kind and benevolent heart to other nations, and many will respond to the Lord of Reformation. God is calling us as a nation to get ready to go to these nations and reap a harvest.
God's Hopeful View of Cities and Nations
Jesus is not commissioning His followers to call fire down in angry judgment upon the U.S.A. when He has actually slated a second reformation of hope for our nation and many others places. The Lord spoke a new name to me over certain locations as well: "God as King" China, "Faithful" France, "Zealous" Zimbabwe; as well as cities such as "Caring" Kansas City, "Affectionate" Atlanta and "Beautiful Redeemed" Redding.
Remember that there was a whole village in Samaria that believed in Jesus through the testimony of the woman at the well (John 4:39-42). It was also the Samaritans that received the gospel and a great move of the Holy Spirit under the ministries of Philip, Peter and John in Acts 8:9-25.
No, our nation is not beyond the reach of God's good purposes. And, we will be surprised at some of the unlikely hope reformers that He will redeem and raise up as catalysts for this next great move of God. The U.S.A. will be known as the Good Samaritan Nation.
Bob Hartley is the founder and CEO of The Hartley Group, a conglomeration of five successful businesses. He is also the founder of the Deeper Waters, Inc. ministry. Bob has served as a youth pastor for the Metro Christian Fellowship and Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, later serving on the FCA/KC board. Bob is a highly sought-after and very popular speaker locally, in America and around the world.

Is Deadly Ebola Outbreak the First Bowl of ‘Revelation’ Judgment? - Jennifer LeClaire

Watchman on the Wall, by Jennifer LeClaire

Want to receive Watchman on the Wall by email? Sign up here

Is Deadly Ebola Outbreak the First Bowl of ‘Revelation’ Judgment?

Margaret Chan
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan addresses the media after a two-day meeting of its emergency committee on Ebola, in Geneva Friday. West Africa's raging epidemic of Ebola virus is an "extraordinary event" and now constitutes an international health risk, the WHO said. (Reuters/Pierre Albouy )
It's official. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa an international public-health emergency. Stopping the global spread of this deadly—and generally fatal—virus will demand a swift, mass response.
"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own," WHO Chief Dr. Margaret Chan said at a news conference in Geneva, according to an Associated Press report. "I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible."
Over 900 people in West Africa have died—and those are only the ones we know about. Ebola experts are warning of an African apocalypse in the face of an unprecedented outbreak that has left hundreds lying dead in the streets, The Daily Beast reports.
 "The disease is uncontained and out of control, the international response has been a failure," Ken Isaacs, vice president of Program and Government Relations for Samaritan's Purse, told The Daily Beast. He thinks the reported number of infections and deaths "represent just 25 to 50 percent of what is happening."
Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told the AP that the "situation is very critical and different from what we've seen before. There are so many locations with transmission popping up, and we just need more people on the ground."
Prophets Claiming God Sent a 'Plague'
Now, Liberia's church leaders are claiming the deadly outbreak is a plague God has sent to punish the nation for "immoral acts" such as homosexuality. Liberia's Daily Observer reports that more than 100 bishops, pastors, general overseers, prophets, evangelists and other ministers of the gospel who are part of the Liberia Council of Churches have resolved:
"God is angry with Liberia, and that Ebola is a plague. Liberians have to pray and seek God's forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society. As Christians, we must repent and seek God's forgiveness."
Are Liberia's prophets and pastors right? Is the Ebola outbreak God's judgment on the nation for immoral acts? And, if so, shouldn't we expect it to spread to the doorsteps of Europe, Asia and America, whose citizens are practicing many of the same immoral sins? Or is this just one small piece of the bigger end-times picture? Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 in context to the age:
"For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matt. 24:5-14).
Discerning the Signs of the Times
Let's look at the landscape as it compares to Jesus' words. Persecuted Christians are being run out of Iraq en mass. There is war in the Middle East, airplanes being shot out of the sky over Ukraine, drug wars south of the U.S. border, and, of course, culture wars over God's Word in many nations.
Meanwhile, a man-made famine is on the horizon in Sudan, an huge earthquake just hit Hawaii as it waits for two hurricanes to clobber its shores, an earthquake in China on Wednesday left nearly 600 dead. Earlier this week, earthquakes hit Johannesburg, South Africa; Indonesia; and Napa County, California. And an earthquake just hit Greece this morning.
A couple of days ago I asked on my Facebook page, "What are your thoughts on the Ebola outbreak? I am praying about this and its prophetic implications. Is God speaking to you about this?" I got hundreds of responses. Some think the Ebola outbreak is the first bowl of judgment in the book of Revelation. Others say judgment is coming. Still others think the news of the virus is just fear and propaganda.
How Should Christians Respond?
I don't think the Ebola outbreak the first bowl of judgment—but I don't think it's propaganda either. We need to rightly interpret the signs of the times (see Matt. 16:3). This is certainly not the first time we've seen deadly outbreaks of viruses, but we should take notice when experts like Isaacs make these kinds of warnings:
"I think we are going to see death tolls in numbers that we can't imagine. If we do not fight and contain this disease, we will be fighting this and containing this in multiple countries across the world. The cat is, most likely, already out of the bag."
No, I don't think it's the first bowl of judgment. Believe me, there won't be any wondering or speculation when the first bowl of judgment is poured out. But I do believe it's time for the church to rise up and stop playing patty-cake with pastor on Sunday. I do believe it's time for saints to hit their knees in intercession for the lost—and the living. I do believe we need to settle in our hearts the reality of Psalm 91 and refuse to walk in fear. I do believe that we need to recognize the signs of the times and respond accordingly. What do you believe?
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor of Charisma. She is also director of IHOP Fort Lauderdale and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive CHARISMA NEWS by email.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bobby Conner: Should I Concern Myself With The Legacy I Leave Behind?

Bobby Conner:
The Elijah List

Bobby ConnerA Good Man Leaves An Inheritance

Every person on earth has a legacy. Just as every human on earth has distinct fingerprints, so also each of us has a unique legacy. Legacy can be likened to the footprints of life. Just as footprints in soft sand reveal that someone has passed this way, so too your legacy is evidence that you were here on earth, and it points to your accomplishments. Legacy is the fragrance of your life, which lingers long after you have departed from the room.

How you live your life will have lasting consequences upon your family for generations to come. Scripture declares that you will leave an inheritance to your children and grandchildren: "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous" (Proverbs 13:22).

As a sharp chisel applied to stone leaves a mark, so the conduct of our lives leaves an impression for good or bad. We must never forget that we too have power to shape others' lives. That is the way legacy works.
Scripture states that we will reap what we have sown (see Galatians 6:7). One of the fundamental principles of sowing is that we will reap more than we have sown (see Hosea 8:7). For example, a farmer sows one kernel of corn and reaps a stalk bearing ears of corn filled with hundreds of kernels.

Upright, godly individuals will be encouraged to know that what they sow in the present will bring a harvest in the future. Just as a small pebble tossed in a pond results in ripples expanding across the pond, so it is with our lives. The events of our lives can and will have far-reaching results (see Hosea 10:12). (Photo via Pixabay)

With this in mind, we must make the noble choice and resolve that our lives will be a blessing and not a burden – that they will reflect the overwhelming grace and mercies of our loving Heavenly Father. 

The importance of legacy is revealed in the fact that it is mentioned over two hundred times in Scripture. We must not ignore its significance. Our goal must be to yield to Christ's leadership so that our lives will be bright beacons to others. We are called as followers of Christ to be bright beacons of light, radiating and reflecting God's wonderful redemptive love and light to a hurting world (see Matthew 5:14).

None of us want to become a stumbling block to a single person, especially not to our own families (see Philippians 1:27). We are best able to live as godly beacons when we start with our own families, setting forth a godly lifestyle (see Matthew 5:16). If we set the right example in word and deed, it will have lasting effects upon our children (see Proverbs 22:6).

True Legacy

Legacy is what we leave behind, even a bequest made in a last will and testament. But much more than words on a page, our legacy is how we have conducted our lives. The deepest desire of my heart is to conduct my life in such a manner that, in years to come, when my name is spoken, my family will not hang their heads in shame, but will be honored and blessed by the testimony and example of an upright, godly life (see Proverbs 22:1). Let this be your core goal also (see Titus 3:8).

Some synonyms for legacy are: inheritance, bequest, heritage, gift, and birthright.

However, our legacy is far more than just material possessions that we pass down to family members. True legacy speaks of upright values, godly character, and a good name (see Ecclesiastes 7:1a). True legacy is of a spiritual nature. The most valuable legacy is what we have stood for and how we have conducted our lives; this forms our reputation (see Colossians 1:9-10).

In case you're still wondering, Is my legacy significant? – the answer is a resounding yes! Jesus Christ asked a pointed, powerful question in Matthew 16:26: "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" At the end of a person's life, the thing that truly matters is not a huge bank account, but a life lived for the glory of God. Each of us should aspire to live our lives so as to hear these words spoken: (Photo via Pixabay)

"Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21).

In the most profound manner, our legacy has the power to shape and affect others and especially to influence many generations following us in our family lines. Through our love and loyalty to Christ, we have the power to transform not only our own lives, but also the lives of our descendants. How we conduct our lives will pass on wonderful, life-changing blessings or deadly, destructive curses to our family lines.

Depending on whether your lifestyle is virtuous or decadent, your legacy will become either a dangerous stumbling block or a delightful stepping-stone for your descendants. Start right now, this very day, by determining that your life will be a bright light that leads others to a deeper walk with Christ Jesus, not a dark shadow of despair and doom.

A Fresh Start - A Bright New Future

Even if you have made some wrong choices and have taken some detours, take heart. God's plans for you are good, and He always makes a way for you to repent and return in order to receive restoration (see Jeremiah 29:11). 

It is a true statement that God's ways are always better and so much higher than our ways (see Isaiah 55:9). It is never too late to restore God's blessings to your family name; God promises to give you the power of a fresh start (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) and to remove and cleanse your life from sin (see 1 John 1:9).
No matter how dark your past has been, when you respond to Christ Jesus, your future will be filled with light, love, and lasting hope (see Isaiah1:18). 

Don't let the failures of the past keep you from the victories of the future (see Philippians 3:13-14). God's promise is to remove your sins from you as far as the east is from the west and to remember them no more (see Psalm 103:12). Thank God that, in Christ Jesus, you can have a new beginning, and you can experience the power of God's mercies, which are new every morning (see Lamentations 3:20-23). As you think about this reality, ponder this promise from God in Joel 2:25(Photo via Freeimages)

"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you."

God is so good (see Nahum 1:7)! His tender mercies are fresh and new, waiting for you to avail yourself of them by simply asking for forgiveness and guidance. Truly, He is overflowing with loving-kindness and tender mercies. In Exodus 34:7, we discover the promise of God to extend mercy for thousands – forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. However, it also says that He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the family line to the third and fourth generation. The choice is up to us.

God is offering each one of us a fresh start, a clean slate. It is true that weeping might come in the night. However, overwhelming joy comes in the morning (see Psalm 30:5).Let's prepare to embrace the dawn of a new day, overcoming the pains and failures of yesterday so that we're ready to face a bright new future.

ElijahList Prophetic Resources

Psalm 86:5 pronounces, "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You." In other words, even if you have rejected God's good plan for your life in the past, now is the time to repent, to open your life anew to God. He will answer your cry and restore hope and peace in your life (see 2 Corinthians 6:2).

As the Bible clearly outlines, God shows abundant mercy to all who love and obey Him (see Exodus 20:6). The substance of our love for God is demonstrated when we honor Him and obey His Word (see John 14:21-23). Scripture declares that God loves righteousness and hates evil and wickedness because He knows what sin will do in our lives (see Psalm 45:7). He knows it will destroy us. Sin carries a high price; as the Bible says, the wages of sin is death – separation from God and His love, not just for the present, but also for all eternity (see Romans 6:23).

God's love for us is everlasting, and He does not want any of us to be eternally separated from Him. Thus, He draws us to Himself with tender cords of kindness (see Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:4). Thank God for salvation! And if you haven't yet, call upon Christ today so that you may experience this new life in Him (see Romans 10:9-13).

The Significance of Your Legacy

To understand the significance of legacy, let's first look at your value and worth, not just to humankind, but also to Almighty God. The world reached a milestone in 2012 – the population of the earth reached over seven billion people. Remarkably, not a single one of these seven billion people are just like you. You are extremely precious and special to God. You have heard the statement, "You're one in a million!" But that's not true. Actually, you're one in seven billion! (Photo via Pixabay/Tawny Nelson)

You are divinely unique, one of a kind. You were created by God for God, and you have value and worth beyond your wildest imagination. All the redemptive things that God has done, He would have done even if you had been the only person who needed them. The truth is, God's great plans started for you before you were ever born. 

Let the magnitude of this passage in Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT) encourage you: "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

"How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God! They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me."

Always remember that you were chosen by God for God; therefore, you have divine purpose. 

You were chosen by God in eternity past to live in the present, and to forge the future (see Ephesians 2:10).
When John Donne wrote, "No man is an island," he was telling the truth! Our lives have a tremendous impact on others, for good or bad, to help them or hurt them. Consider this little question with potentially big results – "If every person on earth was just like me, what kind of world would this world be?"

It is a massive mistake to underestimate your God-given potential. Stop thinking that you're not important, that your life is insignificant and does not matter. This type of misguided, erroneous thinking will rob both you and your descendants, and it can even devastate their spiritual destiny. Shake yourself, lift your head, and gain the courage you need to face each day knowing that you have been given divine purpose and will, consequently, have power. (Photo via Freeimages)

Never allow doubt and discouragement to grip your heart again. Doubtless, the devil is behind this type of attitude. He knows all too well that if you gain an understanding of your value and worth to God, it will change your whole outlook and transform your entire life. You will begin to live your life according to the way you think about yourself in your heart (see Proverbs 23:7).

Godly Character and a Good Name

God Himself has given you life, which means you are inexpressibly valuable and important to Him. You have "friends in high places" (see John 15:15). You might protest, "I have no great fortune or large inheritance to pass down to my descendants." But as I said before, the most valuable thing you can bequeath to your children is not gold and silver, precious stones, or stocks and bonds. Such gifts are good, but the best gift is godly character and a good name. This is the true treasure that robbers can't steal and rust can't tarnish (see Matthew 6:20).

The entire message of the Bible reveals that the greatest thing you can pass down to your children is not a huge bank account, but rather a godly lifestyle, a good name, and honest character.

Don't underestimate yourself, thinking that you're not significant. Nothing could be more distant from the truth (see John 3:16). You matter first and foremost to God. It was His plan to create you and to give you life, and He paid the ultimate price for your redemption (see 1 Peter 1:19). God's love for each person is evident in light of the sacrifice God provided to save us. Scripture affirms that the greatest display of love occurs when a person gives up his life for another (see John 15:13). That is what Jesus did for us. (Photo via Pixabay)

Second, not only are you valuable to God, but you matter to others, especially your loved ones. Even if you have not been aware of it, your life has bearing and influence upon people around you. Your life is an open book read by all people (see 2 Corinthians 3:2).

Clearly, you are important. God has a plan that only you can fulfill (see Ephesians 2:10), and you are perfectly tailored for the works that God has prepared for you to accomplish (see Philippians 2:13). You are not here by accident, but for a divine purpose. You were chosen by God for His lofty purposes. Again, I want to emphasize that, though over seven billion people inhabit this planet, not a single person is just like you. You are truly and divinely unique.

God has counted the number of the hairs on your head, and you can be confident that His plans for you are wonderful (see Isaiah 55:9). His thoughts toward you are simply amazing (see Psalm 40:5). In fact, Scripture reveals that God's thoughts toward you are more numerous than all the grains of sand in the entire world:
"My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end] I would still be with You" (Psalm 139:15-18 AMP). (Photo by Jennifer Page LIFE via elijahshopper.com)

I hope by now you are convinced of your value in God's eyes and the positive impact that He has created you to have on your own life and on the lives of many others. The power of proclamation is enormous! You have been given an outstanding sphere and scope of authority with people, especially your bloodline. My goal is to teach you to use that authority and help you learn how to speak and release divine blessings and break family line curses.

Bobby Conner
EaglesView Ministries

Email: manager@bobbyconner.org
Website: BobbyConner.org

Bobby Conner: This "Gentle Giant" is uniquely anointed with refreshing humor and razor-sharp prophetic accuracy, which has been documented around the world. Bobby's dynamic capacity to release outstanding demonstrations of the miraculous – healings, signs and wonders – reveals the very heart of the Father toward us! Surviving a dramatic abortion attempt by his mother, being rescued again by the hand of God from drug dealing and suicide, the story of Bobby Conner is a display of a man who now walks in his God-ordained destiny to set others free! Highly esteemed as an internationally acclaimed conference speaker, Bobby has ministered effectively to over 45 foreign countries as well as here in the States for many years.

To subscribe to The Elijah List go to:http://elijahlist.com/subscribe

Sunday, August 3, 2014

UNBROKEN - SIGN (c) Morris E. Ruddick

Morris Ruddick



(c) Morris E. Ruddick

"Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? For the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying 'let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.'"Psalm 2:1-3

While having a great love for understanding the times and uncovering the depths in the knowledge of God, I continue to be astounded by the power implicit in the simple things that God has given us to confound the wise.

Few books I have read in recent years have had more of an impact on me than "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. It recounts the story of an Olympian runner, Louie Zamperini, who died earlier this year at the age of 97. The story is uncommonly real and well-presented, written by the author of "Seabiscuit."

There's a message this story carries that relates to the times we have entered.

Having distinguished himself in the 1936 Olympics, Mr. Zamperini's chances at the gold were circumvented with the start of WWII. He became a bombardier and after many exploits in combat, was in a plane crash and lost in the Pacific. After an amazing survival story of 47 days drifting on a raft, he wound up as a Japanese POW.

During his captivity, he lived through two years of brutality and deprivation, many times believing, with cause, that he would not live another day. All this pervaded his upbeat, disciplined and resolute personality. Following the war, these experiences began severely short-circuiting his future, until his amazing encounter with the Lord.

During the sixties, for two years I served as a combat Marine. During the many battles I experienced, I had more times than I care to recount, that I thought I was going to die. Not unlike Mr. Zamperini, I experienced a defiance in the face of death. These deeply personal experiences became the very bedrock by which the Lord revealed Himself to me, leading to my commitment as a Christian.

Those experiences also have become common ground with a number of the Christian leaders I work with in Vietnam who have spent two to three years in hard-labor prison camps for their faith, with far too many instances in not knowing if they would see the light of the next day, yet facing the ultimate test without wavering. Not unlike the Pacific POW camps of WWII, there were many who did not survive these internments.

In reading Mr. Zamperini's story, I found myself re-living many of my own close encounters with death. Despite a number of decorations for my actions in combat, I've never had the desire to share these "war stories" with others. There's something very personal, to a degree almost sacred, about encounters that cheat death.

The story of this extremely disciplined Olympian is emotional, as it relates the struggles he had upon his return to "normal" life after the war. Despite being a war hero, he employed masks to deal with the grip he was losing on regaining what he once had.

While understanding his trauma, I've personally never related very well to masks, phoniness or the superficial. My tolerance for these factors in Christian settings is even less because, in my view of things, they not only fall far short of God's standard and the expectations He has for those called by His name, they are snares that distance us from Him. Reality is defined by the One who created it. His reality is the standard to bring individuals and societies into the balance and healing sought by all.

Unreserved, God-focused commitment and disciplined, ongoing spiritual maintenance will nip even the most traumatic experiences in the bud. On the other hand, masks are what perpetuate and keep emotional baggage fed and alive.

However, there is another graphic illustration that the Zamperini story portrays. It is the picture of the systematic stripping of dignity, honor and hope that took place during his time in the prisoner of war camp. It is an apt picture of the evil behind the world's system, bent on squeezing the life out of the multitudes and separating people from the goodness of God.

Distortions of Reality

This dynamic triggers the unchecked illusions and distortions that operate all around us. It feeds into the aims of evil which wields the power of destruction and death. We see its operation in seats of power -- as its cohorts attempt to define good as evil, and evil as good. Psalm 94:20 describes a throne of destruction which devises evil by law, which has absolutely no correlation to the goodness of God.

Those enticed with and who toy with special powers of death are bonding with and then establishing alliances with death. Death is at the very core of darkness. It is the last enemy to be abolished according to the Apostle Paul (1 Cor 15:26).

Jesus said even the very elect would face deceptive entrapments. The subtlety is that life and death are in the power of the tongue, with enticements that misuse the anointing and distort God's reality and power. The prophet wrote that: "Through deceit they refuse to know Me" (Jer 9:6). Only God, can remedy the entangled webs of evil designed to ensnare and bring down even those of an upright heart. Humility and fear of the Lord are the antidotes. Whereas pride and the ambitious pursuit of power will corrupt, the truly humble and contrite of spirit will never be turned away.

In short, as individuals known by His name, we are called to bless and not curse, to give life and not death. Jesus instructed us to bless even our enemies. The calling of Abraham explains that this is God's purview alone. Indeed, God will bless those who bless His own, but will also curse those who try to curse those known by His name.


Distortions of reality and alliances with death have resulted in a world rampant with spiritual defilements. Death has embedded itself in the cultures of the world and the traditions of men, albeit superstitions, to the extent that they are accepted and embraced as normal. Ever see a thirteenth floor on elevator stops of a tall building?

What took place in the Japanese POW camp with Louie Zamperini is the manifestation of evil resident in the world. It parallels what those I've already mentioned, in being persecuted for their faith have gone through. The evil one specializes in pathways of defilements that lead to brokenness.

King David, after his fall, understood the dynamics that God's people have to contend with. They involve not only sin, but the defilements, created by the cultural iniquities, which combine in their intent to divert and crush the progress of good. In Psalm 51 David cries out to the Lord to be washed from those iniquities which culturally crowd the righteous as snares and triggers of sin. Many have been the times I have returned from ministering and penetrating the lairs of darkness only to feel an overwhelming need for a "spiritual bath." These are the times in which priority needs to be given to getting alone with the Lord with immersions in His presence and truth.

God's presence and truth cleanses and restores. Yet this process demands a right heart, a heart of humility and a strong, continual dose of the fear of the Lord.
"Wash me from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. You desire truth in the inward parts and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You." From Psalm 51:2-13

Response to the Counterfeit: The Design by God

The story of Louie Zamperini is a story of the colliding -- between a life held in the bondage of masks and the superficial -- and the reality that only God can provide and bring into wholeness. It is a story of facing your fears. It is a story of becoming a true God-pleaser and embracing reality.

We live in a world of illusions. What we refer to as smoking mirrors is employed at the highest levels. The perception has been confused with the reality. Masks define identities. Superficialities drive priorities. Leadership is mistaken for who is in charge.

Jesus came to reset the way we look at things. He came to unmask the counterfeit. He unveiled the realities, which redefine the priorities. There's a major difference between brokenness and humility. Humility is the process of taking the steps to remove the masks and face the fears that the evil one uses in paths to brokenness.

In this upside-down world, the illusions warp true reality with the distortions intent on seducing the multitudes into pathways of destruction. Yet, from the beginning, God has had a design for His people.

Jesus described this design and raised the bar for what God gave to His covenant people. At its core is the purpose, which God gave to Abraham in calling him out of the world, that he might "be blessed to be a blessing." The model of economic community with God at helm also came from the way Abraham and then Moses organized community, which in effect, is as a light shining on a hill. He provided the foundations to operate as a culture within a culture, one that makes a difference.

God's design defines the pathway defining our lives. It is more, much more, than just the idle talk and the clutter which overshadows the world around us. This design is a paradox to the way the world thinks and perceives the realities. It is the way of the Kingdom.

God's design is the pathway that leads to Life, not a counterfeit or distorted illusion, but rather true Life. Jesus made it plain that it is a narrow and difficult path. There is a simplicity in entering its gates, but a steadfast resolve that is needed to overcome the seductive hurdles to maintain the focus and stay the course.

The reality is that within the world in which we live, what we are traversing is a narrow corridor between Life and death. Yet death and the fear of death, when the path is maintained according to God's design, has no grip on us. The Kingdom is distinguished by a simple strategy: the application of righteous power in corrupt settings.

Those who have been delivered from the occult recognize the realities between Life and death. At the crux of the occult are flirtations and manipulations with death. Evil is a magnet for death. So is pride, especially the pride behind quests for power. Destruction and poverty result when death rules.
"Can a throne of destruction be allied with Thee, one which devises mischief by decree? They band themselves together against the life of the righteous, and condemn the innocent to death." Ps 94:20-21

The story of Louie Zamperini illustrates how people, believers and non-believers alike, put God in a box. They establish their own order of illusions. They mask the realities of life with superficialities. Then there comes a time when the order established by human limitations falls short. Surviving both the plane crash and then the 47 days on a raft was a jolt to the former priorities of Mr. Zamperini's life.

The Fear of the Lord

Whether brokenness is the result of blindness created by prideful superficialities or circumstances beyond ones control or both, the Lord embraces such ones, who if they maintain the focus of genuine humility, He will then make whole.
"By humility and fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." Prov 22:4

The combination of humility and true fear of the Lord equip us to face the ultimate tests. Those I've worked with in Vietnam who were imprisoned for their faith understand this reality. For that reason, and having been refined by such fires, they are steadfast and unbroken. Yet without the dimensions of the fear of the Lord and genuine humility, the pathway leads to simply becoming "full of ourselves."

A consciousness of God's presence is evident among these former "prisoners for the Lord." It is tangible. So likewise is the anointing that defines their perspectives and priorities. It is not surprising that the fruit from their efforts represent the seedbeds for revival and the sparks that penetrate the darkness that is changing the spiritual climates of their domains.

The fear of the Lord is at the crux of being whole. Alternately, at the core of stumbling within Christian circles, even leadership circles, are the masks and superficialities that distort true identities and open the door for the defilements designed to short-circuit God-designed destinies

The psalmist got it. He wrote in Psalm 23 that the Lord restores our soul and leads us in a pathway of righteousness. Then even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death that we will fear no evil -- for the Lord will be with us. The Lord will comfort us. He will also prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies. In short, we can expect the demonstration of God's reality on our behalf, even as darkness covers the earth. It is then that we will shine the brightest.
"Arise, shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the people. But the Lord will arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you. Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising." Isaiah 60:1-3

Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the call of God in the marketplace since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God's Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program, Mr. Ruddick imparts hope and equips economic community builders where God's light is dim in both the Western and non-Western world. 

He is author of "The Joseph-Daniel Calling;" "Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;" "The Heart of a King;" "Something More;" "Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;" and "Leadership by Anointing," which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders called to impact their communities with God's blessings. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.comwww.BarnesandNoble.com and other popular outlets. 

Global Initiatives Foundation (www.strategic-initiatives.org) is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts are enabled by the generosity of a remnant of faithful friends and contributors whose vision aligns with God's heart to mobilize the persecuted church to be the head and not the tail. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to PO Box 370291, Denver CO 80237 or email us atsign@strategicintercession.org for access information on our secure web-site.

Likewise, email us to schedule a seminar for your congregation on the wisdom the persecuted church has for the times emerging in the West. 

2014 Copyright Morris Ruddick - sign@strategicintercession.org

Reproduction is prohibited unless permission is given by a SIGN advisor. Since 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors and leaders committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For previous posts or more information on SIGN, check: http://www.strategicintercession.org
Morris Ruddick
Global Initiatives Foundation