Posted by: Tom Graves | November 25, 2014

PROVING THE WILL OF GOD!

PROVING THE WILL OF GOD!

How does one go about proving the will of God? Is it even possible to prove what the will of God is in a certain matter? If it is not possible to prove the will of God in a certain matter, then why would God tell us in scripture to prove the will of God?

Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD.”  (emphasis mine).

According to Bill Johnson, “The renewed mind has the responsibility and privilege – two sides of the same coin – to demonstrate, to illustrate, and to prove God’s will, which is: on earth as it is in heaven.” [1] (see last week’s post, CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!)

The Greek word translated “PROVE” in Romans 12:2 is Strong’s “G1381 – δοκιμάζω – dokimazō – dok-im-ad’-zo – From G1384; to test (literally or figuratively); by implication to approve: – allow, discern, examine, X like, (ap-) prove, try.” [2] W. E. Vines notes that dokimazō is translated both “prove” and “approve” defining it as: “…to test, prove, with the expectation of approving…i.e., approve after distinguishing and discerning.” [3]

ILLUSTRATING APPROVAL!

I love the way Bill Johnson illustrated the meaning of this word. He began by saying, “The word ‘prove’ means much more, actually, to approve, to thoroughly examine until you come to the absolute conclusion that this is legitimate.” He then proceeded to illustrate this with the following story which I have paraphrased to some extent:

Let’s pretend that I am a Van Gogh art specialist. In reality, a Van Gogh painting was recently discovered in an attic. The experts thought this painting had been lost forever. It was worth tens of millions of dollars. Now, let’s say you inherit an estate and you are going through the paintings in the attic and you find one that has a Van Gogh signature on it. You need to have this painting verified as a real Van Gogh, because if it is a real Van Gogh, it’s worth tens of millions of dollars. If it is a copy, it may be worth ten dollars.

You want someone who is an expert on Van Gogh to actually validate what you have, so you bring it to me. I have spent my life studying Van Gogh, his style, his brush strokes, the age and type of canvas he used, his use of colors and so forth. After several weeks of study and testing, I call you and say, ‘You may want to sit down for this, but I have incredibly good news! You have an authentic Van Gogh painting! The expert approved the painting, i.e., he proved you had an original.” [1]

APPLICATION TO THE WILL OF GOD

Bill continued his story: “Let’s say you have two really solid good friends who have dreams about you. – The first one calls you and says, ‘I had this dream about you last night and I felt like the Lord wanted me to tell you that you are going through a season where you have horrible disease in your body, but God is going to use it to build great character in you and He is going to use this disease to bring your family members together and bring healing to your whole family line.’ – And you hang up the phone – depressed of course with the gospel of the Good News.”

“Two or three days later, the second friend calls and says: ‘Hey – I had this dream and the Lord spoke to me and I felt like I was supposed to tell you that the Lord is releasing a new measure of anointing on your life where you’re going to see the most impossible situations you’ve ever heard or faced in your life. Everyone around you, they are going to come to you because of this anointing you have and you are going to see breakthroughs at a level you’ve never seen before.” [1]

INTERPRETING THE STORY

Bill continues: “What do you have? – You have just been given in the same week, two paintings. – And the renewed mind takes a look at these two paintings and then goes to the originals” – at this point, Bill picks up his Bible and opens it and says: “Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. You look at every brush stroke. – You look at every word that Jesus spoke to an afflicted or tormented person. – You look at the end result – the end product – the finished work. The finished work of everything that Jesus ever accomplished. – And then you compare the two paintings that you were just given. – You look at them and you compare them to the originals – and you are able through a renewed mind to come to the conclusion – one is authentic and one was a nice try.” [1]

JESUS, THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF THE FATHER

Jesus declared in John 14:9: “…He that hath seen me hath seen the Father…” If you want to know how God the Father thinks and acts, look at Jesus. He came to make the Father known to mankind. It is through God’s Names that we know God’s nature and character, thus Jesus says in John 17:6a: “I have manifested thy Name unto men…” and John 17:26a:”…I have declared unto them Thy Name…”  John 5:30: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I SEEK NOT MINE OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF THE FATHER which hath sent me.” John 10:30: “I and my Father are one.”  Colossians 1:15, speaking of Jesus, “Who is the image of the invisible God…” This thought is repeated in II Corinthians 4:4: “…Christ, Who is the image of God…” Are you beginning to get the picture? Jesus demonstrated the will of God for earth. Hebrews 1:1-3 sums it up: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; WHO BEING THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY, AND THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

CONSIDER THESE FACTS

No one ever came to Jesus for healing or deliverance that did not get it! He never told anyone, this is for your benefit or to make you a better person. In fact we are expressly told that every person Jesus healed was made sick by the devil! Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL; for God was with him.” Jesus never encountered a problem that He did not have an answer for. He was never overwhelmed by the situation! Even when He was faced with feeding 5000 men plus women and children with only a few fish and a few loaves of bread, He knew what to do. (see Matthew 14:15-21).

Go to the originals, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Study the Gospels and Acts, learn the brush strokes, the colors, His attitude toward people. Discover and prove God’s will for your life!

Be Blessed, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1] Johnson, Bill, Curriculum, The Supernatural power of a Transformed Mind, DVD Set, Disc I, Session 1, “How To Think From Heavens Perspective,” Destiny Image Publishing Inc., 2014

[2] Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible. McClean, Va.: Macdonald, n.d.

[3] Vine, W. E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. New York: Nelson, n.d.

If you are interested in further study of this subject, the curriculum, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind which includes the 2 DVD set, a Study Guide, and the book by the same title is available from Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” at the following Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY2jBXTP448&index=2&list=TLG4KrwqBE8CI

Posted by: Tom Graves | November 18, 2014

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!

I saw a Tee shirt the other day that said, “NORMAL IS BORING!” In a way, I had to agree with it, but as I thought about, it was like the Lord said to me, “The reason normal is so boring is that my people live so far below what I intended for them.” Most of us would have to agree that church as we know and experience it can be pretty boring at times. If you think about it, however, when Jesus was leading the group, “Church” was never boring. It was exciting, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, demons were cast out and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was preached with power! But it didn’t stop when Jesus was crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven!

The same was true after the Day of Pentecost with Jesus’ followers. Jesus had declared, Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” And it happened just like Jesus said it would! They were baptized in the Holy Spirit and they received power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom! Read the book of Acts some time! That is what was normal for the early church, and should be normal in the church today. The exciting thing is that it is beginning to happen again, just like that! The sick are healed, the dead are raised, demons are cast out and the Gospel of the Kingdom is being preached with power. Souls are being brought into the Kingdom of God because people are discovering that “Church” does not have to be boring!

What is it going to take for signs and wonders and miracles to become the “NORMAL” in church again? Believers are going to have to change the way they think. When Jesus began his public ministry, immediately after forty days of fasting and being tempted by the devil in the wilderness, (see Matthew 4:1-11) He preached His first sermon, Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When repentance is preached today, the emphasis is “Stop sinning,” which is a major component of repentance, but Jesus had much more in mind!

The Greek word for repent in Strong’s Concordance is G3340 – μετανοέω – metanoeō – met-an-o-eh’-o – From G3326 and G3539; TO THINK DIFFERENTLY or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent. (emphasis mine). [1] W. E. Vines notes that it means “…to perceive afterwards…TO CHANGE ONE’S MIND OR PURPOSE…INVOLVING A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, an amendment…repentance from sin.” (emphasis mine). [2] Note that both definitions include the word “afterwards.” In essence, Jesus was saying, “From this day on, i.e. afterwards, things are going to be different because the Kingdom of God is invading earth. Things aren’t going to be the same anymore. Things that you used to think of as impossible are going to become common place! And then Jesus went out and demonstrated what He was talking about, Matthew 4:23-24: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.  And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.”

This should be the normal Christian life! Exciting, filled with signs and wonders and miracles and healings. But wait just a minute you say, that was Jesus. We can’t do that. That is exactly why Jesus said CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK! You can do that! Jesus said you could! Do you believe what Jesus said? Do you believe John 14:12-14? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; AND GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Powerful words! True words, even though they sound impossible, CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!

People today want proof! There are so many different religions around. How can a person tell which one is real? Where is the proof? Paul gave us the answer in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, THAT YE MAY PROVE what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  (emphasis mine).

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK and you will be able to demonstrate proof of the reality of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! I have been working on changing the way I think for a number of years and I have seen some results, a healing here or there, a salvation, or a deliverance, but I know I am not where I could be. To help me get there, I have begun to seek out those who are far ahead of me in the Kingdom of God. This past August, I spent a week in Orlando at the Voice of the Apostles Conference with men like Randy Clark and Bill Johnson among others. (For a link to miracle testimonies, see [3] in works cited). I have “attended” two other conferences on-line and am being blessed. The Holy Spirit is continuing to renew my mind to the possibilities that are available for those who are willing to ask, seek and knock, and keep on  asking, seeking and knocking (Luke 11:9-13).

Bill Johnson and Bethel Church in Redding, California are on the cutting edge of what God is doing in the church in America and have been for several years. People are traveling to this church from all over the world to experience the miracles of God. Consider this excerpt from Bill’s latest book:

“It had been an awesome Sunday night in the presence of God. When it was all finished – the prayer and praise, the teaching and the time of asking God for miracles – one of my staff members walked from the sanctuary into the hallway and saw a man jumping up and down saying, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!’ His pants seemed too big for him – he was holding them up so they wouldn’t slump around his ankles. He was puzzled, but knew God must have done something. When he asked around we learned that the man had been healed that night after receiving prayer. The tumors he’d come with had instantly disappeared. He’d come all the way from a neighboring state because doctors had given him only two weeks to live. In his mind, we were his last stop on the way to heaven or on the way to a miracle. He came into the sanctuary where he continued to jump up and down with great joy, very much healed and in need of a new wardrobe.

How did it happen? The Kingdom of God had come crashing into his infirmity and overwhelmed it. It was another great night and another great victory over the enemy.

That same weekend a woman drove to our church from two states away because she was having difficulty breathing. The doctors had found what they believed to be lung cancer. Her family had to help her into the building. After receiving prayer, she left pain free, able to breath without any restriction.

Again, Kingdom reality vanquished earthly affliction.

A NEW NORM

Is that normal? Absolutely! But is it common in today’s church? Not yet. But God is changing the way Christians think about the so-called impossible. He is teaching us to work hand in hand with the Kingdom so the reality of heaven comes crashing into earthly problems and overwhelms them. The results are astonishing miracles, great victories over the enemy, healing, deliverance revelation and more. It’s not hype; it’s not baseless hope or theory. It’s fact.” [4]

God is bringing a Great Awakening to America and it has already begun with men like Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. Why? Because they were willing to allow Holy Spirit to renew their minds and change the way they think. If God will do it for them, He will do it for me. And if He will do it for me, you can be sure He will do it for anyone who will ask, seek and knock and allow Holy Spirit to change the way they think!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1] Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible. McClean, Va.: Macdonald, n.d.

[2] Vine, W. E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. New York: Nelson, n.d.

[3] This is a testimony that was given in Orlando when I was there in August. It will encourage your faith and it will connect you to a number of other testimonies from Global Awakening.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PWpCD0bFj0

[4] Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Shippensburg, Pa. Destiny Image, 2014, pg. 23-24.

Click the link below to experience how the Body of Christ ministers and not just the Pastor at Bethel Church.

Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PzttaVImCY

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | November 10, 2014

GOD SENDS A SIGN!

GOD SENDS A SIGN!

The link below will take you to a Garth Brooks video that will touch your heart. Especially for those who may be battling cancer right now. God is Good!

Be blessed, Tom Graves

Link: http://www.mrctv.org/blog/heartwarming-video-woman-s-sign-brings-garth-brooks-concert-halt#.VGESFeryM8k.email

Posted by: Tom Graves | November 9, 2014

MIRACLE HEALING IN FLORIDA

MIRACLE HEALING IN FLORIDA!!!

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It is not often that the news media acknowledges a miracle healing through answered prayer to God. This story occurred on September 23, 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida and was reported in the Sun Sentinel newspaper. Here is the body of the article:

BOCA RATON:

Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro had gone 45 minutes without a pulse when doctors called her family into the operating room and told them there was nothing more they could do.

A team of more than a dozen doctors and nurses had been working desperately to revive her. But now they’d lost hope that the 40-year-old Deerfield Beach woman, whose heart had given out without warning after a routine C-section at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, was going to make it.

Devastated, Graupera-Cassimiro’s husband, mother and sister said goodbye to her just hours after they’d welcomed a healthy baby girl. The medical team stopped all lifesaving procedures. They watched a heart monitor, preparing to record a time of death.

And then the impossible happened: A blip of a heartbeat showed up. Then another, and another.

Within a few hours, Graupera-Cassimiro, a human resources manager and now a mother of two, was tugging at the breathing tube on her face and scribbling notes to family.

“There’s very few things in medicine that I’ve seen, working in the trauma center myself and doing all the things that I do, that really were either unexplainable or miraculous,” said Dr. Anthony Dardano, president of the hospital’s medical staff. “And when I heard this story, that was the first thing that came to my mind.”

In what hospital staff are calling the “Second Miracle on Meadows Road,” Graupera-Cassimiro has made a complete recovery. She was taken off the life-support machine a day after the Sept. 23 near-death experience.

It was caused, doctors say, by an amniotic fluid embolism. The rare, serious condition occurs when fluid that surrounds a baby in the uterus enters a mother’s bloodstream and heart, clogging it. Sudden and unpredictable, it creates a vacuum and stops circulation.

Doctors say it’s hard to put a number on the odds of Graupera-Cassimiro’s survival. In many cases, amniotic fluid embolism is not diagnosed until after death. But living through 45 minutes without a pulse is extremely unusual. And the decision to call in Graupera-Cassimiro’s family wasn’t made lightly. “Once we say that’s it, that’s it,” anesthesiologist Dr. Anthony Salvadore said.

Amazingly, doctors say, Graupera-Cassimiro suffered no complications. No reduced brain function from the loss of circulation. No burns from the repeated shocks doctors delivered in hopes of restarting her heart. No bruises, even, from the chest compressions they took turns giving her to keep her blood flowing. Within days she was back at home.

There’s something to these near death experiences. Too many of them recall similar stories of being greeted by Family Members who have passed, and being told, that it’s not their time. Keep the Faith! “I don’t know why I was given this opportunity,” Graupera-Cassimiro said, “but I’m very grateful for it.”

She was back at the hospital Tuesday for a tearful reunion with the medical team that fought to save her. She hugged the doctors and nurses — who cooed over her daughter, dressed head to toe in pink — and thanked them.

“God had the right people in the right place,” Graupera-Cassimiro said as she cradled the sleeping baby, named Taily.

The baby had just been delivered by obstetrician Dr. Michael Fleischer during a scheduled, “unremarkable” C-section when disaster struck the afternoon of Sept. 23.

Fresh from the operating room, Graupera-Cassimiro “went from talking to being unconscious,” while in a recovery room at the hospital’s Toppel Family Place, anesthesiologist Dr. Jordan Knurr said.

Doctors and nurses sprung to action, starting CPR, intubating Graupera-Cassimiro and calling in help from other parts of the hospital. Fleischer, on his way to other duties after the successful operation, hurried back. Anesthesiologists, intensivists and more nurses flowed into the room and spent over two hours trying to revive her.

“Suddenly,” Fleischer said, “the heart just stopped.”

They kept pumping Graupera-Cassimiro’s chest for 45 minutes, taking turns to avoid exhaustion. They repeatedly tried shocking her. Nothing worked.

A distraught Fleischer told Graupera-Cassimiro’s family she faced slim chances of pulling through, and brought them into the operating room. There, her mother cried out for God to “please take me instead.” Her sister grabbed and hugged her.

The family left the room with nurse Julie Ewing after saying their goodbyes. They held hands and prayed, Ewing on her knees. Then another nurse, Claire Hansen, came out of the operating room. “Keep praying,” she said, “because her heart just started.”

Screams filled the hallway as Graupera-Cassimiro’s family took in the news. They jumped up and down and cried. Her sister ran into the operating room. “It was a complete miracle of God. It was answered prayer,” Ewing said Tuesday. “We all were there. We all witnessed it.”

Graupera-Cassimiro woke up in the intensive care unit with no idea what had happened. She thought she was just coming to after the C-section and was bewildered by the voices she heard telling her to open her eyes. She wondered why they wouldn’t they let her sleep. When she did open her eyes, she saw her family was crying and relatives had come in from Miami. She realized something must have gone wrong.

In the next few hours, Graupera-Cassimiro said, she remembered something she thought had been a dream: what she described as an encounter with the spirit of her late father, who told her it wasn’t her time. It dawned on her that it may not have been a dream.

When Dr. Shawn Iverson, a resident from Florida Atlantic University, checked in on her the next morning, she gestured upward and nodded. And when Fleischer came to take off the breathing tube, Graupera-Cassimiro told him: “You don’t have to be afraid of dying.”

Ruby Graupero-Cassimira’s story is called by doctors the “Second Miracle on Meadows Road,” because hospital employees already refer to a prior event as the first: The building of the hospital itself.

Copyright © 2014, Sun Sentinel

Note that the Doctor acknowledged a miracle, “ ‘There’s very few things in medicine that I’ve seen, working in the trauma center myself and doing all the things that I do, that really were either unexplainable or miraculous,’ said Dr. Anthony Dardano, president of the hospital’s medical staff.”

Not only did God heal and raise her from the dead, God healed all of the damage from the entire episode! “Amazingly, doctors say, Graupera-Cassimiro suffered no complications. No reduced brain function from the loss of circulation. No burns from the repeated shocks doctors delivered in hopes of restarting her heart. No bruises, even, from the chest compressions they took turns giving her to keep her blood flowing. Within days she was back at home.”

God is good!!! God is a healer!!! God answers prayer!!!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Photo from Sun Sentinel

Posted by: Tom Graves | October 27, 2014

FAMINE IN AMERICA!!!

FAMINE IN AMERICA!!!

How can that be? America is the greatest nation that has ever existed. “In the realm of food, The United States remains at the top, unchallenged. The United States has the position of being the largest producer and exporter of food.” [1] That being the case, I still stand by my statement! There is FAMINE IN AMERICA!!! So what kind of famine am I talking about if it is not a food famine? What other kind of famine is there? Hear the Word of the Lord!  Amos 8:11: “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.”

Those days have come for America! America is reaping what she has sown. God has been “excommunicated” from official society in America. The Bible and prayer have been greatly restricted in our public schools, our military, and apparently our courts. The First amendment of our Constitution has been turned upside down. Do you know what the First Amendment of the Constitution actually says? Here it is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Do you see anything there about “The separation of Church and State?” If you would like to know how this phrase came to represent the meaning of the First Amendment in regard to religion, I highly recommend you purchase and read ORIGINAL INTENT, The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion by David Barton.

Our government and its courts have used this misrepresentation of the First Amendment to remove God from public life in America. This is never what our founding Fathers intended. “The entire foundation for America’s successful political existence was given by George Washington in his ‘Farewell address” when he declared: ‘Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.’ ” (Barton, p325). George Washington said, “RELIGION AND MORALITY ARE INDISPENSABLE SUPPORTS” but they have been knocked out from under us by those who would throw off God’s restraints! We are living Psalm 2 in America: Psalm 2:2-3, Amplified Bible: “The kings of the earth take their places; the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His Anointed One (the Messiah, the Christ). They say, Let us break Their bands [of restraint] asunder and cast Their cords [of control] from us.”

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Ravi Zacharias in his radio broadcast, “The Search for Absolutes in a Pluralistic Society: Part 1” explains:

“Somewhere in the middle of this century [the 20th century] the consciousness of western culture particularly, began to get radically transformed. You can gain that from the writers who began to express a sense of uncertainty in what was happening in our world, because we were well underway now into the bloodiest century in history. I’m not sure if you are aware that the twentieth century indeed has shed more blood than any other century in history, and by some counts may be more than the first nineteen put together”

“What is the principle idea then that has woven itself into our consciousness that has created such a cultural struggle in our time?”

Zacharias goes on to say that the idea of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) that “God is dead… has now woven itself into our social theory.” Quoting Nietzsche he continues “…God is dead and He remains dead and we have killed Him…must not we ourselves now have to become god simply to seem worthy of what we have done? …What are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of a dead God? …God is dead. We have killed Him!”

 Zacharias explains, “Nietzsche was speaking philosophically, of course, that philosophically God could no longer survive the metaphysician’s blade and that the twentieth century was going to be a century that came on the heels of an atheistic world view.” Because America has “…absorbed this kind of thinking… the culture is in crisis in terms of a loss of reason.” He goes on to say that America’s culture has become secularized which he defines as “…when religious ideas, institutions and interpretations have lost their significance.” [2]

How better to … break Their bands [of restraint] asunder and cast Their cords [of control] from us” than by declaring that “GOD IS DEAD!”

If you are familiar with the several great revivals that took place in North America at the end of the twentieth century you would know that laughing was one of the characteristics that was manifest in these revivals. I can remember being in a Rodney Howard Brown meeting in Columbia, South Carolina where the laughing was contagious. But there were protesters there who put down the laughter because they said, “God would never laugh at what is going on in America.” Apparently they have never read Psalm 2 because verse 4 says, “He who sits in the heavens laughs…” Are you aware that we are seated in the heavens with Him? Ephesians 2:3-6: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS.” Have you ever been around someone who is laughing? It’s contagious and besides that, we are His body in the earth, so if He is laughing, does it not follow that We would laugh also?

It is very significant to me that the early church faced similar restrictions from their government in their day. In fact, Peter and John were being commanded “…not to speak at all nor teach in the Name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18b). In fact, after they were let go, they gathered with the local church to pray and in that prayer they appealed to God on the basis of Psalm 2.

Acts 4:23-31: “23And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29And now, LORD, BEHOLD THEIR THREATENINGS: AND GRANT UNTO THY SERVANTS, THAT WITH ALL BOLDNESS THEY MAY SPEAK THY WORD, 30BY STRETCHING FORTH THINE HAND TO HEAL; AND THAT SIGNS AND WONDERS MAY BE DONE BY THE NAME OF THY HOLY CHILD JESUS. 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

God answered their prayer with a shaking and a fresh filling with the Holy Spirit. They went out and spoke the Word of God with boldness and He confirmed His Word with signs, wonders, healings and miracles in the Name of Jesus!

BREAK THE FAMINE!!!

Father, in the Name of Jesus, hear their threatening’s against your Church. Grant us boldness and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit that we might speak your Word with boldness. Shake your church to awaken us and then confirm Your Word, even as you did for the early church, with signs, wonders, healings and miracles in the Mighty Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have mercy on America and break the famine of hearing the Word of God. Thank you for another Great Awakening in our land!

Blessings,

Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1] Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_power

[2] Ravi Zacharias radio program,

Link: http://www.rzim.org/let-my-people-think-broadcasts/the-search-for-absolutes-in-a-pluralistic-society-part-1/

Barton, David, ORIGINAL INTENT, The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion, 5th ed. July 2011, Wallbuilder press.

Posted by: Tom Graves | September 29, 2014

BLOOD MOON TWO – OCT. 8!!!

BLOOD MOON TWO – OCT 8!!!

God declared in Psalm 104:19a that: “He appointed the moon for seasons…” We read the word seasons and have a tendency to think of the four seasons, spring summer, fall and winter. But that is not what God is talking about! The Hebrew word translated seasons, both here and in Genesis 1:14 is Strong’s H4150:

H4150 מועדה   מעד   מועד

mô‛êd mô‛êd  mô‛âdâh

mo-ade’, mo-ade’, mo-aw-daw’

From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): – appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed). (emphasis mine)

Notice that first of all it is an appointment with God. And those appointments are God’s feast days. Leviticus 23:2 says: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Both times the word feasts is used in this verse it is the same Hebrew word, H4150, used in both Genesis 1:14 and Psalm104:19!

So then, what is a BLOOD MOON and what does it have to do with God’s feast days? Have you ever had the privilege to observe a total eclipse of the moon? It can take a couple of hours from the time the shadow of the earth first falls on the moon until the shadow completely leaves the moon. Once the moon is totally in the earth’s shadow, something remarkable happens, the moon turns blood red, hence the term BLOOD MOON.

This is the second of four BLOOD MOONS that occur in 2014 and 2015. The amazing thing about them is that all four BLOOD MOONS occur on God’s Feast days (see Leviticus 23 for the seven Feasts of the Lord). This one occurs on the Feast of Tabernacles or SUKKOT which occurs on October 8, 2014. Each of the Feasts of the Lord is prophetic in nature. For example, Passover was prophetic of the Crucifixion and Pentecost was prophetic of the coming of Holy Spirit. The Feast of Tabernacles is considered by many to be prophetic of the Second Coming of our Lord.

I think God is using these BLOOD MOONS that occur on His Feast days to get the world’s attention. Joel 2:31 states: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” This is quoted by Peter in Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, another of God’s Feast days. (See my blog BLOOD MOON COMING for a complete discussion and dates of all four). For a great concise overview of the seven feasts, go to http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Introduction/introduction.html

It is very significant to me that since the first of these four BLOOD MOONS, which fell on Passover, April 15, 2014, Israel has been at war with Gaza because of Gaza’s continuing rocket attacks on Israel. This follows the pattern of significant happenings in Israel as I noted in the following quote from my blog BLOOD MOON COMING:

“This is not the first time in history that this grouping of BLOOD MOON events has taken place. ‘Such events have occurred only three other times in recent centuries, and each time they were linked to significant events for the Jewish nation…For example, when it happened in 1493 and 1494 Jews were expelled from Spain. The blood moons in 1949 and 1950 came right after the nation of Israel was assembled, giving the Jews a homeland for the first time in thousands of years. And in 1967 and 1968 it was linked to the Six-Day War.’ Look for some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.”

There are those who question whether these BLOOD MOONS actually have anything at all to do with Israel because the first two were not visible in Israel. The fact is, the fourth BLOOD MOON, which will also occur on the Feast of Tabernacles on September 28, 2015 will be visible in Jerusalem. It will be at its peak at 5:47 AM Jerusalem time [1], just before the moon sets and the sun rises on a new day! The Second Coming is certainly going to issue in a new day for the earth!

CAN I SEE IT?

It is significant to me that this is the same scenario for those of us who can see this second BLOOD MOON! Where I live In St Augustine it will be at its peak at 6:55 AM, EDT, just before the moon sets and the sun rises on a new day! To determine what time the BLOOD MOON occurs at your location and if it is visible to you, go to http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2014-october-8 and enter your location at “Eclipses viewable where you are .”

Please note! This BLOOD MOON occurs on the morning of October 8th and not the night of October 8th. If you wait until Wednesday night you will miss it!

Coupled with the fact that, on the Jewish calendar, we are in a SHEMITAH year, this should be a very exciting time. Watch for more significant events happening with Israel. If you would like to know more about the SHEMITAH year and what it signifies, check out my blog “SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?

May you have clear skies and good viewing and may the Lord quicken to you the reality that His Second Coming is very, very close, “…even at the doors.” (Matthew 24:33b).

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

[1] Link for the fourth BLOOD MOON visible at Jerusalem: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/israel/jerusalem?iso=20150928

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | September 16, 2014

“SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?

“SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?

SHEMITAH is a Hebrew word referring to a command of the Lord. It is a command that when Israel failed to carry it out, they were sent into exile for seventy years in the land of Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied that it would happen: Jeremiah 25:1-3 & 8-12: “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon…saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; BUT YE HAVE NOT HEARKENED… Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.  And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; AND THESE NATIONS SHALL SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON SEVENTY YEARS. AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, WHEN SEVENTY YEARS ARE ACCOMPLISHED, THAT I WILL PUNISH THE KING OF BABYLON, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”

Daniel read these words of Jeremiah while in exile in Babylon. At this point in time, (539 B.C. [1]) Daniel was an old man and Babylon had been defeated by the Medes (King Darius) and the Persians (King Cyrus) just as Jeremiah prophesied, so Daniel knew that release was near and he began to intercede for Israel, Daniel 9:1-3: “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” I would encourage you to read Daniel’s prayer in verses 4-19.

In this same year (539 B.C. [1]) God moved on The King of Persia to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, Ezra 1:1-2: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” Is not God amazing? He had Cyrus provide all the materials to build the temple and Cyrus also released all of the golden artifacts that had been taken from the temple (verses 7-11) and he also released the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:1-70).

WHAT IS THIS “SHEMITAH” THAT ISRAEL VIOLATED?

What was the command that when Israel ignored it, brought about the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and a seventy year captivity of Israel in Babylon? The command is found in Exodus 23: 10-11: “And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it REST (H8058) and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.” In Leviticus 25:1-7 God describes this seventh year as “…a Sabbath of rest unto the land.” In verses 8-24 God establishes the “YEAR OF JUBILEE” as the year following seven Sabbath years or once every fifty years. During the “YEAR OF JUBILEE” all land is returned to its original owner. “SHEMITAH” is further explained in Deuteronomy 15:1-2: “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a RELEASE (H8059). And this is the manner of the RELEASE (H8059): Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall RELEASE (H8058) it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S RELEASE (H8059).” Notice it is “…the LORD’S RELEASE.” What God intended to be a blessing when obeyed, became a curse when disobeyed!

Here are the Strong’s Concordance definitions noted above:

H8058 – שׁמט- shâmaṭ – shaw-mat’

A primitive root; to fling down; incipiently to jostle; figuratively to let alone, desist, remit: – discontinue, overthrow, release, let rest, shake, stumble, throw down.

H8059 – שׁמטּה- shemittah – shem-it-taw’

From H8058; remission (of debt) or suspension (of labor): – release.

From these definitions, we can see that God intended for “SHEMITAH” to be a time of rest and release from debt, a blessing. When violated the negative side is manifested, a shaking, a throwing down, an overthrow, a curse. God also further commanded in Leviticus

THE CAUSE: A VIOLATION OF “SHEMITAH”

How do we know that it was a violation of this “SHEMITAH” command that caused so much trouble for Israel? II Chronicles 36:15-20: “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: TO FULFIL THE WORD OF THE LORD BY THE MOUTH OF JEREMIAH, UNTIL THE LAND HAD ENJOYED HER SABBATHS: FOR AS LONG AS SHE LAY DESOLATE SHE KEPT SABBATH, TO FULFIL THREESCORE AND TEN YEARS.”

“SHEMITAH” IN THE NEWS TODAY!

“WASHINGTON – Why are so many Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere standing up and taking notice of an Israeli government action to set aside $29 million to encourage local farmers to observe an ancient biblical commandment to let their fields lay fallow every seventh year? Modern Israel hasn’t paid much attention to this ancient commandment – until recently. 

More and more farmers and consumers are expressing concern about fruits and vegetable[s] intentionally grown and harvested in the seventh year – also known as the Shemitah year, or Sabbath year. Now the Israeli government and Jewish religious leaders are hoping to work together to reinstate the practice. 

The next Shemitah year on the biblical calendar begins Sept. 25, 2014 – Rosh Hashanah, the civil new year.” [2] (For an explanation of the Jewish calendar go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar )

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, while studying the “SHEMITAH” has documented some very interesting discoveries connected with “SHEMITAH” years and “YEARS OF JUBILEE.” [3] 

For example, 1917 was a “YEAR OF JUBILEE” and on November 2nd of that year, Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which states: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” [4] In other words, God returned the land of Israel to the Jewish people in a “YEAR OF JUBILEE!” As if that wasn’t amazing enough, fifty years later, between June 5th and 10th, 1967 in what has become known as “The Six Day War,” Israel regained control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. More of the original “Promised Land” was returned to Israel in the “YEAR OF JUBILEE.”

DOES “SHEMITAH” ONLY APPLY TO ISRAEL?

Here is where it really gets interesting and a little bit scary. In light of the definition of the negative side of “SHEMITAH,” as “…a shaking, a throwing down, an overthrow, a curse,” Rabbi Kahn discovered that the September 11th, 2001 attacks that resulted in the collapse of the twin World Trade Towers, (literally, “a throwing down”) occurred during a “SHEMITAH” year. [3]

“In his book and movie works, Cahn, reveals that the two greatest financial calamities in American history occurred on successive Shemitah years following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks on the U.S.

September 17, 2001, six days after the 9/11 attacks, the stock market re-opened and suffered the greatest point loss in its history, to that date. The market dropped 700 points, or 7 percent in one day. In response, the Federal Reserve slashed the nation’s interest rates, ushering in a period of economic devastation for the U.S. Sept. 17, 2001, was the end of the Shemitah year – Elul 29.

Seven years later, September 29, 2008, would prove to be even worse! The days leading up to that date saw the government bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage companies in the U.S., in a bid to prevent the collapse of the two. Shortly thereafter, Lehmann Brothers once considered the pinnacle of financial firms, reported losses of 45 percent and filed bankruptcy rather than accept a government bailout. The stock market dropped 777.7 points or 7 percent, wiping out all gains of the past seven years. Thus making it the largest ever one-day drop in the U.S. stock market history. Sept. 29, 2008, fell on Elul 20, marking the end of the Shemitah year in Israel.

What followed was an implosion of the U.S. and world economies.” [2]

Are these simply coincidences or are they warnings from God because America has been consistently turning its back on God more and more each year since 1973 when Roe vs. Wade was passed, incidentally, also in a “SHEMITAH” year? What does the future hold for America?

As noted earlier, Rosh Hashanah, on September 25, 2014 marks the beginning of the new “SHEMITAH” year. This “SHEMITAH” year will end on September13, 2015. Since this will be the seventh “SHEMITAH” since the last “YEAR OF JUBILEE” that means September 14, 2015 will mark the beginning of the next “YEAR OF JUBILEE!” Couple that with three more “BLOOD MOONS” occurring during this time on the Lord’s Feast days; October 8, 2014, Feast of Tabernacles, April 4, 2015, Feast of Passover, and September 28, 2015, Feast of Tabernacles. Add to that, a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 which is Nisan 1 on the Biblical calendar. Nisan 1 begins the religious New Year as opposed to the civil New Year which is Rosh Hashanah.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

I believe it means we are living in the most exciting times that have ever occurred! Jesus is coming soon and He is going to fully establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. Luke 21:25-28: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.”

Hebrews 12: 26b-29: “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, LET US HAVE GRACE, WHEREBY WE MAY SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR: FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.”

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Repent of any personal sin and repent on behalf of our nation according to II Chronicles 7:14 and ask God to heal our land. Pray for a great awakening in America. Pray for The Kingdom of God to come on earth even as it is in heaven according to Matthew 6:9-15. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, according to Psalms 122:6. THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1] Dates from THE REESE CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLE, Bethany Fellowship, 1980

[2] Link to article:  http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/israel-rediscovers-shemitah-in-time-for-blood-moons/

[3] Link to video, “America’s Rise and Fall” – Jonathan Cahn  http://youtu.be/CmGDJ3kJqU0

[4] Wikipedia article: “Balfour Declaration”

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | September 8, 2014

“SHADES OF AZUSA…”

“SHADES OF AZUSA…”

I had the privilege of spending a week in Orlando at the Voice of the Apostles conference during the month of August. About 6000 folks were there. I got to sit under the teaching of Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Joseph Garlington, Rodney Howard Browne, Claudio Friedzon and others. It was a glorious week. There had been no “theme” set for the meeting and all of the speakers were invited to speak on whatever God put on their hearts. Almost every speaker spoke on the coming great awakening that God is bringing, not just to America, but to the world.

The speaker that impacted me most was Jack Taylor in a breakout session. I was trying to decide between 4 choices for this session and God made it plain that Jack Taylor was who I was to go hear. He is now 81 years old and is believing God for 20 years more in ministry if Jesus tarries! (He looks not over 70 – I’ll be 69 in October so he was such an encouragement to me that God is not through with me yet.) He spoke on the Kingdom of God – an eye opener for me, even though I have taught, preached and wrote about the subject! He made it come alive and set it in its relationship to the Church the world and the Gospel. He recommended E. Stanley Jones’ book, “The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person.” I got the book and have completed reading it already. It is opening up so much insight into the Kingdom of God. E. Stanley Jones was 87 when he wrote this book in 1972. It is based on his life experience of studying the Word and the Kingdom of God and in preaching the Kingdom of God all around the world. I would highly recommend this book to you. It will bless your heart.

Randy Clark taught mainly on healing and the use of the spiritual gift of Word of Knowledge in ministering healing. At the end of one session, he had his prayer team members pray for anyone who needed healing. In general, I consider myself a pretty healthy individual but I have had three different “growths” on my body that I have been praying against for a while. One was a spot on the shin of my right leg, just below my knee. It was a little bigger around than a pencil eraser and stuck up about an eighth of an inch. It was motely grey in color. About a year ago, I wore short pants to the doctor’s office for a regular checkup and the Doctor saw it. He didn’t like it and wanted me to have it removed. I told him it had been there for years and I wasn’t worried about it. The second is a mole on my chest, just below my collar bone. It had been getting a little larger in the last few months. The third was a spot on the back of my right hand that came up about six months ago. It looked like a pile of salt had solidified on the back of my hand. I decided to go to one of the team members and show them the spots and I asked for prayer for healing. The team member prayed what I felt like was a great prayer, cursing the spots and commanding them to fall off my body. Nothing happened! At least nothing that I could see at the time.

It has been a little over three weeks now, and two of the spots have disappeared. The one on the back of my hand is the one that disappeared first. One day it was there, the next it was gone. There is only a small red spot where it had been. Yesterday, I rubbed my hand down my shin, just checking for that spot. It was also gone. I have no idea when it fell off. There is only a small scar left where it had been.  The mole on my chest is still there as of today, but it is shrinking and beginning to dry up from the right side. I thank Jesus for my total healing and deliverance from all three of these spots.

There were literally several hundred people who received some form of healing “on the spot” during the ministry times. A number of them gave testimony. The link below will take you to the first of  many testimonies which you can watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJEMwtDdDjk&list=PL5FF2057F3A25EBEB&index=1

Each main session would begin with about 45 minutes to an hour of praise and worship. After the worship session on Friday morning – we sang asking God for His fire- the fire alarms went off! They later announced it was a false alarm, they were looking for physical fire – but it was a spiritual fire that fell! When I shared this with a friend right after I got back, he responded “Awesome awesome awesome! Shades of Azusa…”

Let it be Lord, Let it be!!!!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Posted by: Tom Graves | August 4, 2014

FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!

FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!

Or NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN! PART 2

Are you aware that what is going on in Israel and Gaza is nothing new? In fact, it is simply a continuation of an attempt to destroy the nation of Israel and the Jewish people that has been going on for several thousand years. Ecclesiastes 1:9&10: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs actually started as a feud between two half-brothers, both sons of Abraham. One is Isaac, the son of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah. The other is Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid. (see Genesis 16 for the story). It was prophesied by the Angel of the Lord about Ishmael and his descendants, Genesis 16:12: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Ismael is the father of the Arab race. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is his descendant. However, this is simply an extension of the conflict that begun in Genesis 3 when Satan, as the Serpent tempted man to rebel against God. Genesis 3:14&15: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The Hebrew word translated “enmity” in this verse literally means hostility and hatred. The hostility will be between Satan’s seed and the seed of the woman which is a direct reference to the coming of Messiah through the nation of Israel. The result of this hostility and hatred has been a continual assault by the enemies of God and His Messiah upon the nation of Israel, the Jews, in an attempt to eradicate them from the earth.

FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!

Psalm 83 expresses this very plainly. Psalm 83:1-8: “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, THINE ENEMIES MAKE A TUMULT: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, COME, AND LET US CUT THEM OFF FROM BEING A NATION; THAT THE NAME OF ISRAEL MAY BE NO MORE IN REMEMBRANCE. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites (these are the Arab nations of today); of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek (HAMAN was a descendant of Amalek, we will see him in a moment); the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre(these are the inhabitants of Gaza); Assur (this is the nation of Assyria which is modern day Iran) also is joined with them: they have holpen (helped) the children of Lot. Selah.” Is it simply an amazing coincidence that these nations and peoples who are today calling for the destruction of Israel were called out in this Psalm about 3000 years ago? This is no coincidence, rather it is the prophetic Word of God! Iran’s leaders have been repeatedly calling for the complete destruction of Israel as a nation. But that is nothing new. Some 2500 years ago the city of Shushan, which was the capital of the Medes and Persian Empire, was located in what is today modern Iran. There was a man that lived there by the name of HAMAN. HAMAN’S story is found in the Bible in the book of Esther which I encourage you to read in its entirety.

To set the context, about 100 years earlier, the Assyrian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled from ancient Babylon, conquered the nation of Israel and burned Jerusalem and carried away most of the well-to-do Jews. He took them into Babylon which was in modern day Iraq. Then the Medes and the Persians (Iran) conquered the Assyrians (Iraq) and that is where our story begins. (The same battles between Iraq and Iran are still being fought in modern times! There really is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!)

HAMAN had a hatred for a man by the name of Mordecai who was a Jew. But HAMAN’S hatred did not stop at one man. HAMAN’S hatred for the Jews was so intense that he wanted to see them all destroyed. HAMAN was promoted to second in command under King Ahasuerus and he saw his chance to get his diabolical plan put into action. Esther 3:8-10 &13: “And HAMAN said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, LET IT BE WRITTEN THAT THEY MAY BE DESTROYED: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto HAMAN the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy…  And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, TO DESTROY, TO KILL, AND TO CAUSE TO PERISH, ALL JEWS, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD, LITTLE CHILDREN AND WOMEN, IN ONE DAY, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” Sound familiar?

Listen to these excerpts from HAMAS’ Charter:

“1.) Hamas isn’t looking to negotiate a peace deal with Israel. It wants to destroy Israel. Quoting Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, the charter reads: ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’

“2.) Actually, Hamas’ charter goes beyond destroying Israel. It longs for Jewish genocide: ‘The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

“3.) The international community may love the peace process, but Hamas makes it clear in its charter that it doesn’t believe in peace conferences. As its charter states: ‘Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.’” [1]

The same demonic spirit that was ruling over the Persian Empire and that drove HAMAN is also driving the organization of HAMAS and is still ruling over and driving the nation of IRAN in calling for the extermination of the Jews. Thus my title is “FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!” The exciting part of HAMAN’S story is that God delivered the Jews from the order of extermination written by HAMAN, and Haman was ultimately hanged on the very gallows that he had prepared to hang Mordecai (you must read the book of Esther to find out how God did it).

Make no mistake about it, God is also going to deliver Israel from the threats of HAMAS and IRAN before it is all over and it is not going to be pretty! War never is!

Zechariah 12:2: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.”

Zechariah 12:8-10: “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: AND THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, AND THEY SHALL MOURN FOR HIM, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Romans 11:26: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Zechariah 14:12: “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Works cited: 

[1] Link: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/22/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-hamas-straight-from-its-charter/ There is a link in this article to the full charter of Hamas.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 28, 2014

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

Are you aware that what is going on in Israel and Gaza is nothing new? In fact, it is simply a continuation of an attempt to destroy the nation of Israel and the Jewish people that has been going on for several thousand years. Ecclesiastes 1:9&10: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs actually started as a feud between two half-brothers, both sons of Abraham. One is Isaac, the son of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah. The other is Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid. (see Genesis 16 for the story). It was prophesied by the Angel of the Lord about Ishmael and his descendants, Genesis 16:12: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Ismael is the father of the Arab race. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is his descendant. However, this is simply an extension of the conflict that begun in Genesis 3 when Satan, as the Serpent tempted man to rebel against God. Genesis 3:14&15: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The Hebrew word translated “enmity” in this verse literally means hostility and hatred. The hostility will be between Satan’s seed and the seed of the woman which is a direct reference to the coming of Messiah. That means Christians as well as Jews!

CHRISTIANS IN THE CROSSHAIRS!!

We see this conflict beginning to play out, not only against the Jews and the Nation of Israel but also against Christians. While the conflict of Israel and Gaza continues to make daily news, the murder of Christians in Iraq is being totally ignored by the mainstream media. Consider this report from Christianpost.com.

“The end of Christianity in Iraq could be ‘very near’ according to Canon Andrew White, the vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, as Islamic militants continue their attacks of Christians and the central government. ‘Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing,’ White said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 over the weekend. ‘We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off. Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near.’”

“ISIS militants had warned Christians in the northern state of Iraq that they need to convert to Islam, pay a tax or be put to death, forcing thousands of them to flee the region. The militants have also been painting the letter ‘N’ for Nasrani, the Arabic word for Christian, in Christian homes in Mosul. Watchdog groups like International Christian Concern have said that up to a million Christians lived in Iraq prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 against the government of dictator Saddam Hussein, but that number has dropped to less than half.”

“Other church leaders, such as Syriac Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, who last week traveled to Washington to speak with federal government representatives and members of Congress, have also condemned the ‘mass cleansing’ of Christians from Mosul by what he called ‘a bed of criminals.’ ‘We wonder how could those criminals, this bed of criminals, cross the border from Syria into Mosul and occupy the whole city of Mosul … imposing on the population their Shariah (law) without any knowledge of the international community,’ Patriarch Younan said, referring to Islamic State fighters, according to Catholic News Service. ‘What happened is really kind of a cleansing based on religion. You have heard about what they did: proclaim — they announced publicly with street microphones, the ISIS – there’s no more room for Christians in Mosul, that they either have to convert, pay tax, or just leave. And they have been leaving now since then with absolutely nothing,’ he added.”

“Patriarch Younan noted that ‘there is no more Christian presence’ in Mosul, which he described as ‘tragic’ because it had been the largest Christian city in Iraq, and a nucleus of Christians for many centuries. ‘And we have at least 25 churches in that city. All are abandoned. No more prayers, no services, no more Masses on Sundays in Mosul because no clergy, no people there that are Christian,’ he said.” [1]

ISRAEL –GAZA CONFLICT!

The main stream media has made much of the claim that Israel purposely fired on a UN school causing a number of civilian casualties. Consider the following:

While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, ‘The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people.’” “On Wednesday’s Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: ‘The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what’s going to happen. Kids will be killed and that’s going to be on television.’ Krauthammer also took the media to task: ‘The U.N. is so committed to the Palestinian cause, and in this case, the Hamas cause, that it doesn’t even care about appearances. And after all, who, but you, and a few other outlets, are gonna report it? How many have reported the rockets in the school?’ Baier responded: ‘I don’t know. But it’s not many, I guarantee you that.’ The answer is none when it comes to the Big Three networks.”

“Despite the nonexistent coverage of Hamas using U.N. schools to conceal weapons, Thursday’s network evening newscasts seized on the opportunity to lambast Israel over the school that was hit – though it remains unclear who was responsible. [2]

Well, now we do know who was responsible for the rocket that hit the school! It was a Hamas rocket that went off course, but have you heard that on any of the mainstream media? I don’t think so.

MAJOR NEWS OUT OF ISRAEL: It was an errant Hamas rocket that hit the UN school, ooooops! UNRWA has admitted that a Hamas misfired rocket hit a U.N.-run school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, according to Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari…” [3]

Christians should not only educate themselves as to what is really happening, they should not sit by idly when others are speaking without knowing what is going on.

Psalm 122:6-9: “PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (emphasis mine.)

Also pray for the Christians, especially in Iraq, but also all around the world where they are being targeted by the enemy.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1]  Link: http://www.christianpost.com/news/end-of-christianity-very-near-in-iraq-anglican-bishop-warns-123926/

[2] Link: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/07/25/networks-condemn-attack-un-school-gaza-ignore-hamas-hiding-rockets-sch?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Marketing&utm_term=Facebook&utm_content=Facebook&utm_campaign=Hamas-Schools

[3] Link: http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewsnews.co.il%2F2014%2F07%2F26%2Fmajor-news-out-of-israel-it-was-an-errant-hamas-rocket-that-hit-the-un-school-ooooops%2F&h=7AQGvLeSj&s=1

 

 

 

 

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