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Activated magazine: God Still Speaks

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Activated magazine: God Still Speaks

  1. 1. God still speaks Featuring
  2. 2. 2 Activated! Issue11 Editor: Keith Phillips Graphic Design: Giselle LeFavre Illustrations: Hugo Westphal, Max Belmont, Ana Fields Production: Francisco Lopez © 1999 Aurora Production, Ltd. All Rights Reserved Unless indicated otherwise, all Scriptur are from the New King James Version of the Bible, © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. Personally Speaking Can you imagine really caring about someone—your spouse, your best friend, your child—and never talking with him or her? Of course not. Love is built on communication, and so are all of the most important relationships we are blessed with. So if Jesus wants to be both Husband and best Friend to us, as the Bible says (Isaiah 54:5 and Romans 7:4), and if God is our heavenly Father, then isn't it only logical that They would want to talk to us? If Christianity were merely a philosophy or code of ethics or even a religion, those might simply be clever analogies—husband, friend, father—to try to explain our relationship to God and Jesus in a philosophical sort of way. But true Christianity is far more than any of those, thank God! It's more than rationale and rules, rhetoric and ritual, morals and ethics; it's a living, loving personal relationship—a relationship that grows richer and deeper and stronger through honest, open communi- cation with our Creator. The means of communication that God has provided is prayer, which means not only talking to God, but listening to Him too. He wants us to tell Him our needs and desires, our problems and fears, our innermost thoughts and our secret dreams. And it works both ways. He also wants to answer our questions, help solve our problems, encourage us when we feel down, and share our victories and joys. Most of all, He wants to help us understand and experience His love in a very real and personal way. If you haven't yet discovered how to hear directly from God, to receive His personalized messages of love, encouragement, instruction, guidance and more, this issueofActivated! explainshow. Keith Phillips FortheActivated! family Activated USA P.O. Box 4307 Orange, CA 92863-4307 USA E-mail: activatedUSA@activated.org Tel: (1-877) 862-3228 (toll-free) Activated Europe Bramingham Pk. Business Ctr. Enterprise Way Bramingham Park Luton, Beds. LU3 4BU ENGLAND E-mail: activatedEurope@activated.org Tel: (07801) 442-317 Activated India P.O. Box 5215 G.P.O. Bangalore - 1 INDIA E-mail: activatedIndia@activated.org Visit our Web site at: www.activated.org
  3. 3. A c t i v a t e d !Issue11 3 God isn't dead! He's alive and well, and still ready, willing and able to speak to His children—and He wants to speak to you! “How can that be?” you may ask. In order to comprehend the answer to that—how the great God and Creator of the universe could com- municate directly with you, or why He would even want to—you must first understand how much God loves you. He loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for your sins so that you could be forgiven and receive God's gift of eternal life in Heaven, simply by believing in Jesus and receiving Him as your Savior. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but He would have died for you alone. He and His Father love you that much! In His love, God also gave you the Bible, through which He tells you how to live in love and harmony with Him and others. God's Words in the Bible are an inexhaustible source of faith, comfort, encouragement, instruction, wisdom and strength of spirit. But God didn't stop there. He loves you so much that He not only wants to communicate with you through His written Word, but directly! He takes a loving personal interest in you, and wants to be involved in your life. He knows that you have questions and problems, and He wants to give you the answers and solutions. He also wants to speak personal words of love and encour- agement to you, to boost your faith and reassure you during those rough times. Most of all, He wants you to know how much He loves you personally. So He created a means of two—way communication, a channel between Him and you, so that you can talk to Him in prayer and in reply hear words He gives specially for you. But what if you don't consider yourself very “spiritual” or close to God?Well, you'll be happy to know that God will speak to anyone who has a little childlike faith—and He wants to speak to you, to give you a chance to experience His infinite wisdom and boundless love. He wants to lead you step by step into a closer relationship with Him and a greater understanding of His will and ways. Why is it when we talk to God we are said to be praying, and when God talks to us we’re said to be schizo- phrenic? —actress Lily Tomlin
  4. 4. 4 tivated! Issue11 God may speak to you in a number of ways: As you read the Bible, He may cause a particular passage to stand out to you and show you how it applies to your situation or how it answers a ques- tion you may have. He may not even use words—He may just give you an impression or inner conviction, a sort of intuitive knowledge about a particular situation. He may speak to you through vivid dreams or visions. He may speak through others— godly counselors, whose wisdom and experience you can benefit from. But of all the ways God is able to speak to you, perhaps none is more wonderful or of greater practi- cal value than the gift of prophecy. Did you know that the principle dictionary definition of the word “prophecy” is not “a prediction,” but rather “a divinely inspired utter- ance”? In other words, prophecy is receiving a message directly from God. Whenever you hear words in your mind that you believe are from God and you say them or write them down, you are prophesying. You can hear from Heaven! Put God to the test! See if He will not open to you the windows of Heaven and pour out such blessings on you—the treasures of His Words for you personally—that you will not be able to contain them all! 1Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you've received Jesus as your Savior, you've already met the first and most important requirement. When you opened your heart to Jesus, you began an intimate rela- tionship with Him not only as your Savior, but also as your friend, teacher and counselor. 2 Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples shortly before He was crucified that after He was gone, He would send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to teach them all things and guide them into all truth (John 16:7,13–14). He has promised to give the Holy Spirit to you too, if you ask for it (Luke 11:9– 13). 3Pray for the gift. The ability to receive messages directly from God—commonly referred to as the gift of prophecy—is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. God is more than willing to give you this or whatever other gifts of the Spirit you ask for (Mat- thew 7:7–8). (See God's Gifts, from the Get Activated! series, for more information on the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the spirit.) 4Talk to Jesus. Prayer is not meant to be a religious ritual, but a living relation- ship. Jesus wants to speak to you as openly and freely as your best friend or spouse would, but it's a two-way street. It may be awkward at first if How Prophecy WHow Prophecy WHow Prophecy WHow Prophecy WHow Prophecy WorksorksorksorksorksOnce you’re open to the idea that God can speak to you, what next? Here are the basic ground rules:
  5. 5. Ac Issue11 5 able to hear from Heaven. You need to realize that you are weak in yourself, that you don't have the answers and therefore need God's answers. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels”—lowly clay pots— “that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). 9Ask God to override your own thoughts while hearing from Him, and to help you submit your will to His. To receive God's messages, you need to have an open mind and heart. You need to be ready to accept whatever He gives, even if it's not what you were expecting, not completely to your liking, or you don't understand it fully. Your own ideas and desires may be good, but His will prove better. 10Now you’re ready to begin. Start by finding a quiet place and taking a few minutes to talk to the Lord. Tell Him what's on your heart. Thank Him for His blessings in your life. If you have a specific question you'd like to ask Jesus, go ahead. Then be still and focus your mind on the Lord. Closing your eyes will help you shut out distractions around you. Do your best to concentrate and patiently listen with your spirit. Then take in whatever comes to your heart, mind, ears, or eyes, and accept that as the Lord's message for you. As you speak or write down the first bit you get, the Lord will give you more! When you've sincerely asked the Lord to speak, and your heart and mind are open to Him, He will! you aren't used to speaking to Him personally, but it gets easier once you begin to do it regularly. He understands and loves you as no other can. He wants you to tell Him your deepest thoughts, your inner- most feelings, your secret dreams and longings. 5Read God’s Word. In order to correctly apply the words that Jesus speaks to you personally in prophecy, you need a certain understanding of God's already recorded Word. Knowing the Word also helps you to have faith that the message you are hearing is from the Lord. The Bible is your foundation. Read it, study it, memo- rize it; let it become a part of you. 6Have faith. The Bible tells us that having faith is being certain that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it right now. How do you get faith? Simple! Faith comes from reading theWord of God (Romans 10:17). As you read the Word and commit significant passages to memory, your faith will grow. 7Ask! This may seem pretty obvious, but in order to receive something in prophecy, you first have to ask the Lord to speak to you. “Call on Me, and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Place your tele- phone call, and get His reply! 8Be humble. Your mindset, your attitude of heart, your motives—all this helps determine how clearly you will be (For more explanation of the gift of prophecy and how to use it and benefit from it, read Hearing from Heaven, a booklet in Aurora Production's Get Activated! series.) Activated! Issue11 5
  6. 6. 6 A c t i v a t e dIssue11 IT'S NO SECRET BUT, YES, there is a key: love—your love and God's love! It would be impossible to cover the topic of parental love thor- oughly in this short column, but here is a brief list of some of the most important ways that parents can show their children love—and they're all within your easy reach, with the Lord's help. 1. Give them Jesus. Jesus wants to guide your children through life. Receiving Him is so simple that even a two- year-old can do it. As soon as you have taught your children who Jesus is, you can explain: “Jesus wants to come and live in your heart. He loves you, and He wants to be your best Friend.” 2. Give them God'sWord. Teach your children to love God's Word and how to apply it personally, and they'll know where to find the answers, faith and conviction they'll to your ?uestions... Answers QQQQQI love my children and want to be a good parent, but I feel very incapable. Is there a secret to raising happy, well-adjusted children? need to not only make it through childhood, but also to become happy, productive adults. 3. Give them your time. As much as your children may need and appreciate the material things you provide, they'd rather have you! 4. Teach them by your own example. Don't try to be perfect, but be someone your children can look up to and trust. Try to be what you want your children to be. 5. Give them discipline and training—a clear standard of right and wrong. Children are happiest and feel most secure and confident when they know what's expected of them. Set clear boundaries and rules as to what your children are allowed to do, and set reasonable punish- ments for crossing the bounds or breaking the rules. 6. Promote honest, open communication. Give them your undivided attention when they're trying to com- municate. Be a good listener. Show sincere interest. Try to see things from their point of view. 7. Give them praise and encouragement. All children thrive on praise. It's more important to praise children for good behavior than it is to scold them for bad behavior. Always try to accentuate the positive. 8. Have faith in them for what they can become. Ask the Lord to help you see their potential as He does. 9. Express your love. Children need reassurances. Put your love into words and actions. (For more tips on parenting, see the Keys to Parenting series of booklets from Aurora Production.)
  7. 7. Activated Issue11 7 Olga Kristensen spent forty years in China as a missionary. One night toward the end of her stay, she and her co-workers received news that a gang of bandits was heading toward their mission station, burning, killing and pillaging. Before long, they heard shots being fired at the end of their street.Ms. Kristensen later recounted that night: “I went into my room and asked God for a word to calm me and the others, and a passage I had often read before came to me:‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught’ (Proverbs 3:24–26). “I shared that message with the others there and told them to go get some rest.Then I went off to bed myself and slept soundly. “The next morning, bodies lay in the street outside our premises.There had been fighting and murder, but no one had so much as knocked on our door.” Charles Spurgeon, the famous evangelist, and George Mueller, the thief-turned-Christian who founded and directed five orphanages, both lived in 19th- century England. Once Spurgeon worked hard to collect 300 pounds in donations—a lot of money in those days—that was urgently needed by the orphanage he supported.When he had gotten the last of the money, he went to bed that night a contented man. But before he could go to sleep, the Lord said to him,“Give those 300 pounds to George Mueller, for his orphanages in Bristol.” “But Lord,”Spurgeon pro- tested,“I need that money for my dear orphans in London.” Again he heard,“Give those 300 pounds to George Mueller!” Spurgeon finally agreed, and went to sleep. The next morning he made his way to George Mueller’s home, and found him praying.“George, God told me to give you these 300 pounds,”he said. “I have just been asking the Lord for that exact amount!” Mueller exclaimed. When Spurgeon returned to London, he found a letter on his desk. It contained 300 guineas (each worth one pound and one shilling).“The Lord has returned my 300 pounds,”he shouted out for joy,“and with 300 shillings interest!” Virginia Brandt Berg once told how the Lord used the verse Psalm 46:10—“Be still and know that I am God”—to save the day and demonstrate His ability to give her specific, immedi- ate guidance as she listened to Him in prayer.There was an emergency, and she needed to find someone who had recently moved, whose new address she didn't have. “Every part of my being seemed to throb with anxiety because that person had to be reached, and reached at once!” she later recalled.“Suddenly a paraphrase of Scripture came to me.'Just be still, get quiet, and know that I am God.' So I sat down and quietly asked to the Lord to do something to avert disaster, and the Lord spoke to my heart. 'Just write a note and take it to the apartment where they lived before.Maybe they will have some reason to go back there.' ”So I wrote the note and went over to the apartment to deliver it. Just as I arrived, note in hand, up drove the very person I had wanted to reach but couldn't!” Acti Issue11 7
  8. 8. 8 Activated! Issue11 different Aworld-famous nonconformist named Jesus, while exhorting His disciples to leave their old lives in order to follow Him, warned them that they would be “as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16). “If you were of the system,” He said, “the system would love its own. But you are not of the system, therefore the system hates you” (John 15:19 paraphrased). Dare to be different, He was saying. Venture to vary from the norm which the systematic system addicts have established to conform to their own Establishment behav- ior, and they will hate you for daring to challenge their authority to tell you what they have decided is right and wrong. Just you dare to be so bold as to think, act, live or teach differently from the vast robotic, narcotic, conventional, pretentional, con- formist, performist, zombie bombie, so-called silent majority of the supposedly average worldlings, and you will soon discover that they are not so silent, and you will hear them too, for it is the hit dogs that howl! And if you learn to run with these to bedare BY DAVID BRANDT BERG wolves, you will learn to howl too, especially when someone dares to say and prove that the “normal” way of life is not the only way! Hero or Heretic? History has proven time and again in every age that the majority is usually wrong. As Jesus said, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it: because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13,14). When any courageous icono- clast becomes so presumptuous as to dare to smash the idols of the generally accepted behavior of the vast and wrongful majority, or if some brave pioneer of spiritual matters or of science is so fool- hardy as to even suggest that society could possibly be wrong on some things, he is often hooted down as a maniac, denounced as demented, persecuted as a departurist, and sometimes even
  9. 9. Activated! Issue11 9 bore him Ishmael, forefather of the Arabs (Genesis 17:1–21; 18:1–19; 21:1–5). When a lowly shepherd from lonely Sinai claimed he was going to single-handedly deliver six million Hebrew slaves from the greedy clutches of their all-powerful Egyp- tian oppressors, Moses' own people made fun of him. But it was he who later had the fun as he led them miraculously through the Red Sea on dry ground! (Exodus 3:1–10; 14:8– 30). The people of Jericho jeered when Joshua jogged his Jews seven times around their impregnable walls, but it was really a blast on those tiny trumpets when those walls came tumbling down! (Joshua 6:4–5,15–16,20). The Midianite army of thou- sands must have really cracked up laughing when most of Gideon's army departed, and he was only left with three hundred men. But it was the Midianites' turn to flee when Gideon's paltry party pelted them with pottery in the middle of the night! (Judges 6:11–14; 7:1–23). The mighty lords of the conquer- ing Philistines sneered when Samson, the proverbial Israelite strongman, stood blind before them as their captive. But when he pushed the pillars of their temple apart, it was his turn to snicker as he slew more of his enemies with his death than his life! (Judges 16:23–30). The giant Goliath ridiculed the little lad with the slingshot, but when David cut loose with just one honest bit of rock, the Philistine phony fell flat on his face and the children of God danced for joy! (1 Samuel 17:1–10,42–51). condemned as a criminal, hanged as a heretic, or crucified as a menace to society! Why? Because the darkness cannot stand the light, and the wrong cannot bear the right, and the big lie cannot tolerate the truth, and those who are bound bitterly resent the freedom of the free, because by all of these the wrongful majority are exposed for their sins of darkness, deception, greed and the enslavement of the ex- ploited. They must therefore furiously endeavor to smother the light, say that wrong is right, attempt to shout down and drown out the voice of truth, frustrate and bind the free, and exterminate those who would expose and terminate society's hypocrisy. The Last Laugh When Noah built his big boat on dry land and said there was going to be a worldwide flood (when it had never even rained before), he was laughed at by the vast, vocal majority of his day who were later to drown in that very same flood, while Noah and his family had the last laugh! (Genesis chapters 6–8; Hebrews 11:7). When Abraham, at the age of 100, claimed that he was going to become the father of many nations and that his descendants would be as numerous as the sands of the sea, his own barren wife, Sarah, laughed him to scorn. But Abraham was soon to laugh last, because Sarah, herself in her nineties, bore him Isaac, the forefather of the Jews. And Sarah's handmaiden, Hagar,
  10. 10. 10 A c t i v a t e dIssue11 The prophets who predicted the doom of the dominant dominions of their day were derided as daft and demented, but when each power fell in its time according to their rhyme, they were no longer found to be fanatically funny! When Jesus told His religious foes, the Pharisees, that their proud temple would be pulled down, they denounced Him in derision. But forty years later when the Romans burned it to the ground and pulled it stone from stone to get at the melted gold in the cracks, Jesus' prophecy wasn't so funny any more (Luke 19:37–44). When the early Christians prophesied the fall of the Roman Empire, Nero exiled, beheaded and crucified them, burned them at the stake and fed them to the lions. But Nero died a perverted, raving maniac, and Rome burned and her empire eventually crumbled—and the remains were joyously taken over by the Christians themselves! Fools for Christ Nearly all the prophets and leaders of God throughout the Bible and past ages were thought to be crazy by the rest of the world— dreamers and visionaries who hallucinated, heard “voices,” and were pretty well “flipped out” over religion. They lived in fame and died in flame, but nothing and no one could stop them, because the others didn't know how to handle it; they didn't know where these pioneers were going, because nobody had ever gone there or done that before. The rest just weren't prepared for it, so it took them quite a while to catch up with them. Of course, the majority usually managed to smother the flame by overwhelming it with the sheer num- ber of their dead bodies. But they have never been able to put out of the memory of mankind that here were those who stood out from the rest, outstanding for their achievements! They dared to be different and did what every- one told them not to, or what others said couldn't be done, because they thought it should be done and they could do it, no matter what anybody said.— And they did it, and the world heard about them! Beaten paths are for beaten men! Burning the candle at both ends may look crazy, but it sure gives a better light! You may not last long, you may wear out fast, but you'll generate a lot of heat! And when this life is over and the angels beckon you, the world will remember you. If what you did was right, God will never forget it! You'll shine as the stars forever, and you'll hear Him say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant ... enter into the joy of your Lord”—you and all the rest who dared to be “fools for Christ's sake!” (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 4:10). (The above was excerpted from Dare to Be Different, available from Aurora Production.)
  11. 11. Acti Issue11 11 Biblical examples Numbers 9:8 1 Samuel 3:9–10 1 Kings 19:11–12 Jeremiah 1:9 Ezekiel 3:27 Luke 2:26 Acts 10:19–20 Acts 13:13 God still speaks Malachi 3:6 Amos 3:7 Acts 2:17 Hebrews 13:8 The Holy Spirit connection Mark 13:11 John 16:7,13–14 1 Corinthians 2:9–10,14 The Lord will guide and instruct Psalm 25:8–9,12 Psalm 32:8 Jeremiah 33:3 Isaiah 30:21 Isaiah 42:16 Daniel 2:20,22 Get quiet and take time to listen Psalm 4:4 Psalm 143:8,10 frequency upon which God is broadcasting, and suddenly His great broadcasting station booms in with tremendous positive volume and power, and the messages come through loud and clear! If you concentrate and wait with faith and patience, without distraction, you'll receive some of the most powerful, thrilling and amazing messages that will stir you to action! The messages you receive from Him minister faith, joy, hope, love and praise.The vibes you get from the Lord are all good things.They just totally renew you and give you new vision, fresh inspiration, new strength, rest and peace and joy! You'll dance to His tunes; you'll move according to His signals, His directions; and you'll know you're fulfilling His will, the purpose for which you were created. —D.B.B. G & on in od is like a broadcasting station, broadcast- ing all the time. Just like the radio waves that are unseen in the air all around you this very minute, God's Spirit is ever present,waiting for you to make contact. And much the same as a simple little transistor radio, you have been designed by your Creator to receive those signals. God's power is always on.The message is always there.But in order to receive it, you must turn on and tune in to His frequency! Compared to the tremendous power and complex operations of the broadcasting station,you,the operator of the receiver, need not have much power and only the simplest of skills. Prayer is the hand of faith that flips the switch and turns on what little power you have. And then the hand of hope tunes with expectancy, feeling for the HEARING FROM GOD
  12. 12. 12 Activated! Issue11 When He came to Earth nearly 2,000 years ago, the leaders of His own people rejected Him and His message of love and salvation. Yes, they wanted a savior, a messiah, a great king, but not one who was born in a barn and raised by a poor carpenter, and who chose humble fishermen, tax collec- tors, drunks and prostitutes as His friends and followers. Few of the rich and powerful of His day were inter- ested in the freedom of spirit He offered to all who would receive the truth He spoke. They only wanted freedom from Rome and Roman taxes. Nor did they desire the eternal treasures and rewards He promised to all who would believe in and follow Him. They wanted an earthly messiah, a king who could make them a wealthy and powerful material kingdom there and then. This Man, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Creator of the universe, said, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth” (Matthew 28:18). He could have taken over the world and made Himself its king in one day! He told the Roman governor before whom he was tried, “You could have no power against Me unless it had been given you from above. Don't you realize that I could ask My Father for thousands of angels, and H e would send them instantly?” (John 19:11; Matthew 26:53 TLB). When His naked body hung dying on the cross where He was crucified, and the religious leaders taunted, “You saved others. If You're really the Son of God, save Yourself” (Mark 15:29–32), He could have done that. But He chose to die for us! After He rose from the grave, He could have shown Himself to the high priests, the governor or Caesar himself and proved to them and the world that He was indeed the Son of God, the Messiah, and He could have forced them all to worship Him. Instead He appeared only to those who already believed in Him and loved Him, in order to comfort them King’s Return The
  13. 13. A c t i v a t e d !Issue11 13 and encourage their faith. For 2,000 years He and His kingdom have remained unseen by this world, manifested only in the hearts and lives of those who love and receive Him by faith. This is the mystery that many of His own people in His day couldn't understand, and that many today cannot seem to grasp: He offers each of us a choice to receive or reject Him. This is still the Age of Grace, and it's up to each of us to make the choice to believe His Word and receive Him by faith. But the day is coming very soon when this present age will be over and all the world will “see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29–31). For He has promised to come again, and according to numerous fulfilled prophecies describing world conditions imme- diately before Jesus returns, the time is close at hand. We are now living in the final Last Days of man's cruel and destructive rule on Earth! From all indications, the last seven years of man's rule will be upon us soon. This period will begin with the rise of a godless One-World government that will be led by a Devil-possessed dictator, the Anti- christ. This imitation messiah will at first bring peace—but peace at a price: enforced worship of himself during the second half of his reign. This final three-and-a-half years is known as the Great Tribulation (Daniel 8:23–25; 9:27; 11:21–45; Matthew 24:15,21; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12; Revelation chapter 13). Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days ... the sign of the Son of Man will appear in [the sky], and then all the [wicked] will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Mat- thew 24:29–30). This time He's not going to come as a meek and mild babe in a manger—God in the hands of man—but as the almighty King of kings. Then it will be man in the hands of God! The trumpets of God will sound, and Jesus' mighty voice will thunder from the heavens, “Come up!” Then all of His saved children will be caught up together with Him in the clouds, rising in immortal victory over the forces of the satanic Anti- christ. This is the miracle that takes place when Jesus returns: the resurrection of the saved! The bodies of all those who had received Jesus as their Savior and had since died will be instantly resurrected and come bursting out of their graves in new heavenly glory, and all of us believers who are still alive will be instantly transformed and raised with them to meet Jesus in the air (Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17; Revelation 11:12). Then we will all fly away with the Lord to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in the Heavenly City (Revela- tion 19:6–9). It will be the greatest party ever held—a wonderful reunion with the Lord and all of our loved ones, our victory celebration. Meanwhile, the Antichrist and his followers will be left to suffer the wrath of God, hell on Earth, until we return with the Lord to finally take over the world in the Battle of Armageddon and set up His king- dom of love here on Earth—the happy new beginning! The trumpets of God will sound, and Jesus’ mighty voice will thunder from the heavens, “Come up!”
  14. 14. 14 ated! Issue11 Vijay was 31 years old and had spent over half of his life on drugs. For the last ten years he had been a heroin addict. He was in a drug rehabilitation center in Bombay when he met Mary, a Christian missionary from the Family who did counseling and other volunteer work at the center. The two became friends, and after Vijay was released from the rehab center and returned to his home in northern India, they kept in touch by mail and phone. About a year later, Mary received a letter from Vijay, in which he told how Jesus had done what doctors and therapists hadn't been able to do—broken his addiction! Vijay wrote: Dear Mary and all, Hi! Thanks a lot for your last letter, which came at a time when I was thinking about giving up the fight. It gave me courage to hold on. Now I reread that letter whenever I'm feeling low. As I wrote some time ago, after leaving the center I kept clear of drugs for a while, but then started taking them again. I just couldn't find any motivation to carry on. Life again felt empty. About that time, I got a phone call from James and Rajesh [two of Mary's co- workers from The Family]. They explained that they were coming to visit some schools here, and I invited them to stay with my parents and me. For four days, I drove them to many schools, where they met the principals and offered them the Treasure Attic series of educational and character- Delivered! building videos for children and teenagers. We also visited some people whom Rajesh and James knew from previ- ous visits. My mom and dad also enjoyed their company. It was as if two members of our own family, not strangers, had come to visit. Unbeknownst to James and Rajesh, I was using drugs at the time. The first couple of days I just barely managed to get dressed in the morning, take them around, and then come back in the evening and crash out. About the third day I started to feel that I wanted to quit using drugs, but I was afraid of the painful withdraw- als. The fourth day, before driving them to the station to catch an evening train home, we all had tea with my mother. Rajesh asked if they could pray for her, then turned to me and asked if there was anything I would like them to pray for. I said I wanted to get off of drugs again. Rajesh prayed for Mom, and then James prayed for me. Tears started flowing from my eyes, and soon I couldn't stop. James was also in tears. At that moment, I wished that time would stop. I was in a different world. I felt very relieved—and determined that I would quit taking drugs. For the next three days I stayed in bed. On the first day I got your letter. It was really great reading it in the middle of this experience. I also started reading the various publications and listening to the cassettes you had sent me. I did not eat anything for three days, but had no withdrawal pains and felt great. Jesus was with me for the duration. I cried a lot, but they were tears of relief and gratitude. Every- thing was coming together! I
  15. 15. A Issue 11 15 ” “felt Jesus' presence all around me and in everything. I won't forget those days as long as I live. Only God's love could have done that! I wanted to stay there with that experience forever, but life goes on. I picked up where I had left off, but this time with renewed faith and strength. I knew that God loved me and would look after me and guide me, if only I would follow His direction. I finally understood that He had created me and had a purpose for my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help. All this was only possible because I met you. I now understand what real love is. “God works in mysterious ways, His miracles to per- form.” He took me to the drug rehabilitation center to meet you. All this was a part of His grand scheme. With love and prayers, Vijay Note from Mary: The above was written nearly four years ago, and Vijay has stayed off of drugs all this time with the Lord’s help. “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Thots Prayer for the Day Dear Jesus, Thank You for Your gift of hearing directly from You.It is like a special, magical door into the realm of endless possibilities, beautiful and fitting word pictures, words of love from You to me. Passing through this door brings discoveries of every kind: from the joys of Heaven to the depths of Your comfort; from a touch of Your love to explanations of the mysteries of life; from encour- agement after disappointments to clear, sure-fire guidance when I don’t know what to do. It's easy to get messages from the Lord: You just have to have faith. When you ask the Lord to speak, expect Him to answer and take the first thing that comes. If you really believe and ask the Lord, and you want to hear or see, you won't be disappointed. That thing you see or hear with the eyes or ears of your spirit, that's the Lord. Just open up your heart and let the sunshine in! —D.B.B. Most Christians don't pray Samuel's prayer, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:2–10). Most of them pray, “Hear, Lord, for Your servant speaks!” They expect the Lord to hear them, but they don't really expect to hear anything from Him. Isn't that sad? A large part of prayer time is meant to be spent listening. —D.B.B. The Lord wants to be your personal Shepherd (Psalm 23). When you feel alone, when you need a shoulder to cry on, someone to understand, a word of sympa- thy and encouragement, He is always available! —Maria David
  16. 16. 16 ated! Issue11 From Jesus with Love In the Secret Chambers In the quiet chambers, as you take time with Me, I will speak to you.At first it won't even be in words. I'll just give you the peace that you need. But as you take this time with Me more and more faithfully—always coming in faith, believing that I'm there, waiting for you, that I enter with you into the secret, quiet chambers of your heart—as you do this more and more, you will begin to hear Me more clearly. It's something that you need to make a habit of, something that you have to prac- tice.You have to attune your spiritual ears so that you can hear My voice. It's just like learning any- thing new. At first you have to concentrate, really make an effort. It's like someone learning to tune a guitar.At first it's very difficult.Musicians have to really con- centrate to be able to tell which notes are off key, which strings need to be tightened and which need to be loosened. But after a while, it becomes second nature to them, and they can do it almost without thinking. So it is with learning to listen to Me and hear from Me. Come regularly, step into the quiet cham- bers of your heart and tune in to hear My voice. Little by little you will begin to hear Me clearer and clearer, until pretty soon it won't be such a big effort.You'll be able to hear Me loud and clear.You won't even wonder if it's Me.You won't even have to strain to hear it, but My still, small voice will just be there, clearly instructing you in your heart.

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