There is something very powerful and
awesome going on in the world today!
God is at work doing something hidden and quiet -- and it is so supernatural, it's beyond human comprehension. Yet what He is doing right now is going to affect the whole world in these last days.
God is preparing a small but powerful army of Christians! This army is going to be the most dedicated on the face of the earth. And the Lord will come forth to command them to do exploits and shake hell. He is going to close out the ages with a pure, devoted, fearless remnant!
All my life I have heard stories about our godly forefathers who hated sin. These were men and women who spent hours, even days, in fasting and prayer. They knew God's voice. They prayed unceasingly. And they had the power and ability to successfully stand up against immorality in their day.
These forefathers have long since passed. But God is in the process right now of raising up another army -- only this time His warriors will not be made up only of elderly, gray-haired fathers and mothers of Zion. This new army will be composed of believers both young and old -- ordinary Christians who lay hold of God! A whole new realm of ministry is about to come forth!
The denominational church system appears to be in the throes of death. It has almost no influence in the secular world, no mighty power in Christ. Growing numbers of ministers are falling on all sides -- to adultery, covetousness, pride and perversions of all kinds. Pastors of evangelical churches are bringing in entertainment and showmanship. One pastor boasted,"We want to give Broadway to our people." I know of evangelical congregations in which at least 50 percent of the couples are divorced. In some areas, that figure is as high as 80 percent, according to church members who write me.
Adulterers, fornicators, people involved in the occult and witchcraft-- it's all creeping into the church of Jesus Christ. Some accuse me of being "hard" on pastors. Not so -- because I am in touch with many godly pastors who grieve as I do over the backsliding in the ministry today. There is a holy remnant of godly pastors in the land, and I thank God for every one of them. Yet it is still a fact that more and more ministers are racing down the road of compromise and corruption. And right now the world is mocking the house of God! The devil is swaggering about, claiming victory through legal abortion, rampant homosexuality, drugs, alcohol, Satanism and an Islamic invasion.
Yet the Bible says we are not to fret! God has a plan, and His plan is being manifested. It is put forth plainly in the Scriptures. In fact, every demon in hell knows about it!
Much of God's Plan Can Be Found in the
First Four Chapters of First Samuel.
The prophet Samuel is a type of God's holy remnant. The Lord chose him amid the worst of times and hid him away in training until it was time to bring forth His new thing. God told Samuel,
"Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle" (1 Samuel 3:11).
This new thing was going to amaze and startle all who heard it. Yet what was it? It was the judgment of God on the old, corrupt, backslidden religious system -- and the training, raising up and anointing of a new, holy remnant!
Now keep in mind -- what God did in Samuel's day, He does in every generation. Whenever the organized church backslides, compromising and growing cold, God gives up on it and raises up another. Indeed, in every generation there has been a remnant, a praying people after His own heart.
Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, represent the dying, corrupt church that has forsaken the Lord's way. The Bible tells us,
"Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial [the devil]; they knew not the Lord" (1 Samuel 2:12).
These young men mocked the holy things of God. They committed adultery at the very door of God's Tabernacle! When women came there to serve the Lord, Eli's sons picked them out and seduced them. These men had no fear of God -- they simply went through the motions of the sacrifices.
Worst of all, their father winked at their sin! Eli was now more than ninety years old, and he had grown fat, comfortable and stiff-necked. He had become addicted to the choice, red cuts of meat his sons took from the Temple offerings. Eli knew this meat was abominable -- but he did nothing to stop his sons from stealing it. He winked at their adulterous indulgences.
This is a picture of the evil way to which the organized church has turned to today. Whole denominations now are pushing to ordain homosexuals-- bringing an abomination into God's house! Eli and his sons also represent the dead, cold, formal priesthood that has grown soft on sin. Like Eli, many pastors today are cowards when it comes to naming sin. They merely go through the motions of the ministry, having a form of godliness but no power. It is because they have grown comfortable in their positions! They have lost the touch of God and no longer hear His voice, because they wink at evil!
God said, "For I have told (Eli) that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not" (1 Samuel 3:13).
Because Eli refused to judge and correct the evil, God removed his spiritual authority. And that is exactly what is happening in the church of Jesus Christ today!
Some time ago I talked with several Pentecostal pastors who visited our church. When I told them of my concern about all the corruption creeping into the church and the lack of godly reproof, the leader of the group merely hung his head. Another pastor confessed: "Brother Dave, I'm afraid if I speak out, half of my congregation will leave." Every man in that circle was easy on his people -- afraid to offend them!
I can honestly say I don't know of ten gray-haired ministers with the courage to cry out against sin. Most older warriors for the Lord are either spiritually dead or dying -- parked in front of their TV, sucked dry of all power because their minds have been vexed by the spirit of this world. They are weary Eli's -- rocking themselves into oblivion, growing fat and prosperous, afraid to deal with sin!
God Was Fed Up With the Eli Generation!
The Lord sent an unnamed prophet to warn Eli: "Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house" (1 Samuel 2:31). God was saying, in other words, "I am quitting this house -- I am removing My presence. I will make you powerless, and I will judge your wicked pastors. I am going to turn this old system over to the enemy!" "And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation..." (verse 32).
Right now, much of the National Council of Churches' so-called discretionary funds are used to support Communist guerrillas around the world.
And we wonder why the church in America doesn't have any spiritual power or influence! Many denominational churches have turned into mausoleums, funeral parlors. They have no life, no strength -- because God has walked away from them!
Eli's church -- the church at Shiloh -- is an example of this. The Lord severely judged and abandoned that church, and it all came down in one day:
"...and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain" (4:10-11).
God said, "Enough!" And in one day the ark of the Lord was captured, symbolizing the removal of His presence. The glory had departed -- Ichabod was born -- and God quickly moved in judgment against the ministry! When Eli heard the news about the ark being captured, "...he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy [fat]" (4:18).
This is a vivid picture of what is happening to much of organized religion in America today. The system is under judgment -- its ministers are falling left and right, its leaders are spiritually dead. The glory of the Lord has departed -- and the church has been turned over to the enemy!
It is just as it was in the days of Jeremiah. The people in his day said, "We're safe -- we're in no danger. We're not going to lose our salvation." But God spoke through Jeremiah:
"Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely...and walk after other gods whom ye know not:
and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? ...But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel" (Jeremiah 7:9-12).
In every generation God warns cold, corrupt churches: "Go back to Shiloh -- go back to the church of Eli. See what I did to Hophni and Phinehas! See what happened when I took My presence away. My glory will depart wherever there is sin in the camp!"
Yet while the church of Eli was under judgment, the Lord was busy raising up a remnant! Samuel represents this holy remnant - - a prepared body of believers that rises out of the ruins of the old, decadent church.
I want to show you what goes into the training and preparation of this last-day remnant:
1. The Remnant Is Always Birthed in Prayer and Intercession!
Hannah birthed her son, Samuel, through bitter tears and much prayer: "And she was in bitterness [grief] of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore" (1 Samuel 1:10).
Try to imagine the scene: Hannah is at the Temple every day, on her knees before the altar, crushed and broken because she's childless. And as she weeps, her adversary -- Peninnah, her husband's other wife -- makes fun of her. "And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret..."(1:6).
There are three important things I want to point out from this passage: First, the remnant that Samuel represents is born in grief and intercession. Second, those who pray and grieve after God's heart will be provoked by adversaries.
And third, God's remnant is always going to be misunderstood!
Note what happened to Hannah as she prayed:
"And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth [watched her].
Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved...therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee" (1:12-14).
Eli was so out of touch with God -- so dead in his spirit -- he thought Hannah was drunk! He said to her, "Woman, how long are you going to come in here this way? Put away the bottle!"
This is amazing to me! Eli wouldn't correct his own sons for their open drunkenness and adultery -- yet he mistook a great woman of God for a drunk! Nothing has changed today. Dedicated Christians give themselves to prayer, walk holy and separated unto Jesus -- and yet pastors often become their adversaries, ridiculing and persecuting them!
When Hannah was at the altar, she was filled with grief, burdened for the birth of a son. All she could do was move her lips because of her groaning in the Spirit. She prayed, "...if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me...(and) wilt give thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life..." (1:11).
If you're going to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, then like Hannah you're going to feel the pain and grief of God for His church. Yet God heard Hannah! That is what Samuel's name means: "God heard my prayers!" And likewise today, God is hearing the prayers of those who yearn for the birthing of a holy, new work of the Spirit.
These believers want to see God move in a special way -- and the Lord is going to hear their cry! Out of the spiritual womb of an unknown but small army of intercessors, a body of believers is being birthed -- a Samuel Company, who have given themselves totally to God!
Here are two distinguishing marks of God's holy remnant:
1. They pray like Hannah. Their burden is deep and their heart is stirred because of the wickedness in God's house.
2. And, like Hannah, they give themselves to prayer every day of their lives. They're not up and down, hot and cold. No -- they are wholly given to God! They go to Him and pour out their soul: "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him..." (Psalm 62:8). "When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me..." (Psalm 42:4).
Samuel became a great man of prayer -- so much so that Israel never asked him for counseling. Instead, they asked him to pray for them! Scripture says that when the people wanted a king, "...the Lord sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not..." (1 Samuel 12:18-19).
Time after time we read of the people urging Samuel, "Pray for us." Itwas because they'd learned to trust his prayers! And in these last days, there is going to be a praying remnant whom people will seek for prayer as well. People will run to find them, crying, "I know someone who touches God!"
Counseling in itself will not meet the need. Rather, it will be the power of praying people who know the mind of Christ.
Dear saint, God wants to make you that person! He wants you to be able to touch Him and hear from Him. He wants to give you a ministry to others who will come to you with their burdens and trials. And as you pray for them, His Word will come forth!
2. The Remnant Is Trained To Know the Voice of the Lord!
God was not speaking to Israel at this time because of the sinfulness of the priesthood and the people. The Bible says:
"And the word of the Lord was precious [rare] in those days; there was no open vision" (3:1). Yet, in the middle of this famine of the Word, the Lord appeared to Samuel: "...the Lord called Samuel...Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him"(3:8,7).
Samuel was only twelve years old at the time. And although he was a devout child, he didn't yet know the voice of the Lord. So God came to Samuel's bedside and called to him plainly. At first Samuel thought it was Eli speaking. He didn't know he was being trained to discern voices -- to hear directly from God!
Please note here: God was not speaking to Eli! In fact, it seems that up till now only one prophet was hearing from God -- the unnamed man who warned Eli God was about to cut him off. Yet even this was a man's voice, the only voice Eli could hear -- because he had grown deaf to the voice of God!
And so it is today! An Eli ministry, spiritually dead and full of compromise, has lost all discernment, all authority, all touch of God. What is needed in the church today are men and women who can stand up with spiritual authority -- because the word they preach is backed up by a life of righteous! So many preachers today aren't able to stand before the people and say, "Thus saith the Lord!" -- because they are not tuned to God's voice!
Hearing from God takes more than quiet time alone. It takes more than simply saying, "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears!" No, there isn't a formula for hearing God -- there aren't ten steps to follow, You see, before you can hear God, He has to be talking to you!
Eli could have spent months alone, shut in with God, crying, "Lord, speak to me!" But he had no chance of hearing God's voice -- because God was not speaking to him. God wanted to talk to Samuel. He talks only to those who have prepared their hearts to hear!
You can forget about evil-minded preachers ever hearing God's voice. Forget about any congregation possibly knowing God's voice if they continue promiscuous divorcing, fornicating and overindulging in sports, entertainment, pleasures. The only things God will speak to them are one-word sentences: "Repent! Turn! Weep!"
Samuel had no deep theological knowledge of God when the Lord first spoke to him. But he had a tender, pure, devoted heart that was open to the Lord. So, what do you think was the first thing God taught Samuel after speaking to him?" I will not put up with sin in My house! I will not wink at unjudged sin in my servants."
In essence, the Lord told Samuel, "I'm going to judge Eli -- because he knew his sons were wicked, but he did nothing to restrain them! They should have been stripped of their robes and told, 'You can't go near the holy place!' Now, Samuel, I want to show you My hatred for sin in My house. I want to show you what it's going to take to hear My voice and walk with Me!"
Samuel must have shuddered at the Lord's next words to him:
"Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle" (3:11).
Samuel realized God was going to leave Eli, whom he had so admired. And how the boy must have grieved when God told him, "I'm going to destroy these wicked, vile ministers. And I'm going to raise up a people who yearn after Me!" The holy remnant in these last days know that right now God is judging His church. And they know what God's plan is. They know He is going to pull down and destroy unholy ministries!
It is no wonder the Bible says Samuel spoke such sure words -- he had heard the voice of God! He'd spent much time praying, seeking the Lord, shut in with Him -- and God spoke clearly to him at all times.
There is also a holy people right now who have been trained to know God's voice. These praying saints pour out their hearts to Him -- and in turn He pours out His to them!
3. The Remnant Will Be Trained in True Deliverance.
-- Through the Knowledge of the Ways of God!
I have warned in many previous messages: America is headed for chaos and a collapse! Hate-spewing Louis Farrakhan has become more popular in the black community than any other figure except Jesse Jackson. (Farrakhan is now better-known among blacks even than Martin Luther King!) And many white talk-radio hosts, some of them here in New York, are stirring up hatred against blacks.
You may have read or heard preached my message about the coming race wars. As of now, it may not look as if this will happen. But very soon, when economic chaos comes, watch out! There will be "race armies" -- whites against blacks, blacks against Jews, Koreans against blacks.
We are facing such a time of judgment that the word deliverance will take on a whole new meaning! In the past, Christians have thought of deliverance mainly as physical healing -- eyesight restored, crippled limbs healed. But soon there will be such wrath from heaven poured upon us the greatest deliverance will be from fear and terror!
Deliverance at that time will mean having "a sure word from heaven. "Jesus said men's hearts would fail them for fear as they see the awful things coming on the earth. And indeed, people will clamor to know what God is going to do next. They will turn in all directions, wanting to hear the voice of someone who is calm, peaceful, not going crazy. They'll cry, "Tell me -- is this God's judgment? When is it all going to end?"
And who do you think is going to have the answers? You -- the ordinary Christian who has been shut in with God! You'll be full of calm and peace while everything is falling apart -- because God is with you, and you're hearing from heaven. He warned you all this was coming -- and He promised to protect you!
I have a vision in my mind that I believe is from the Lord. It is of hundreds of cars fleeing New York...of auto camps in New Jersey and Pennsylvania...of people sleeping in their cars for weeks at a time, just to get away from all the chaos. The same will happen in other cities too. It's going to be beyond anything we can imagine. But God is going to have ready His holy remnant -- a group of people who are steadfast, sure, unmovable! Like Samuel, their words will not fall to the ground!
Samuel had the answers for Israel; he offered them true deliverance. More than fifty thousand people had died because they peeked into the ark. Everywhere the ark was carried, people died like flies. The whole land was in chaos -- nobody knew what to do!
The people said, "This judgment has to be from God! Who shall go before Him for us?" So they sent for Samuel. And he told them, "I want you to gather at Mizpeh with me. There I will show you the way out!" Samuel had the right word for the crisis hour:
"And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away
the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will
deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines" (1 Samuel 7:3-4).
The answer wouldn't be found in praying for anybody and everybody, no matter their sinful condition. There was no blanket promise of deliverance for all who wanted it. No -- Samuel cried, "Get your heart right! Judge your sin! Prepare your heart before the Lord!" First, sin must be reproved, judged, forsaken.
"Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord" (verse 5). So the people fasted and humbled themselves before the Lord: "And they gathered together to Mizpeh...and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh" (verse 6). He judged them -- he exposed sin in the camp! A revival of genuine repentance followed Samuel's powerful reproof.
God is telling us His Samuel Company will bring to pass great deliverances through the power of intercession:
"...and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the
Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel" (7:9-10).
There was thunder from heaven, followed by a great slaughter -- and God's people won the victory! It all happened because one man knew the answer. Samuel knew what to do -- because he'd heard from God!
I believe God is going to use His holy remnant in these last days to stir multitudes, revive pastors and awaken churches. This army will turn people's hearts back to God by bringing them to repentance -- through the power of prayer and godly reproof for sin.
Your neighbors and coworkers are all going to want answers. They already know you by your peace and calm -- and one day they'll come running to you, crying, "What's the word of the Lord? What is God saying?"
When I speak of a holy remnant in training, I do not mean an army of preachers, evangelists and missionaries. I'm talking about ordinary saints-- lovers of Jesus who themselves will be signs and wonders to the world, full of peace and calm. God doesn't want a professional army trained in man's methods. He wants men and women who are trained in prayer by the Holy Ghost! He is seeking believers who are shut in with Him, preparing their hearts before Him, learning to hear His voice.
Does this describe you? Is your life right now a witness to a scared and shaken world? I urge you -- get alone with God and let Him begin to speak to you Ask Him to reveal the sin in your life. Forsake all that the Holy Spirit convicts you of. And make yourself available to Him by giving yourself to prayer. Then you will be a ready soldier in His great, last-day remnant army. Hallelujah!
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This data file is the sole property of World Challenge. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice [i.e., "Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge"]. This data file may not be used without the permission 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. Please give the following source credit: Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge, Lindale, Texas, USA.
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