Intro from Bill Yount:
Ray and Renaid Almgren are the founders of Fire for the Nations International, a teaching, equipping, and prophetic ministry based in Monroeville, PA (near Pittsburgh). They were catapulted by the Holy Spirit, with assistance from Reinhard Bonnke, into international ministry in December 1998, when God gave Ray a prophetic word for Finland.
I have known Ray and Renaid Almgren for many years and have ministered with them as our hearts were knit together. To me they are God's transmission specialists. I see the Lord using them to install a new transmission with upgraded gears into the Body of Christ so that all five gears (the apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and evangelist) can corporately shift together in God's synchronized timing.
Ray and Renaid have a global heart that discerns the heartbeat of nations. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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"So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." (Ezra 6:14, NKJV)
During the Feast of Tabernacles, our ministry group (The Gathering Place) came together to listen to Jesus' heart for the new Hebrew year. We heard God say: "It is time to build."
It's interesting that God would say to build when we are in a time of shutdowns, mandates, and Covid; also, at a time when the cultural and political structure is against the Church and the building of God's Kingdom. But wouldn't it be just like God to build in a time of shutdown and hesitancy about everything so that He would get all the glory?
I believe that this instruction to build is not just for the The Gathering Place, but for the global Body of Christ. God is saying: "Build My Kingdom."
At The Gathering Place, we have been reading about the builders: Nehemiah, Ezra, and the prophet Haggai. Haggai could easily have been a prophet of today—being in tune with the hearts of the people and the mind of God. The book of Haggai opens with a prophetic word from Haggai to Zerubbabel (the governor of Judah), and Joshua the high priest. Haggai addresses three problems and gives three solutions. I call the three problems the three "dis's."
The Three "Dis's"
The people returned from exile for the soul purpose of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. They got off to a good start building the altar really well, offering sacrifices, and then laying the foundation of the Lord's house. But everything stopped when the enemy stepped in and began to mock all the building efforts. They stopped building and became focused on building their own beautiful houses. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
But God had a solution: He spoke fruitlessness to them. He said that because they had focused on building their own kingdoms, they would be fruitless, and Heaven would "withhold the dew" (Haggai 1:10) until they obeyed the voice of the Lord to build; even calling a drought on the land. Once they were willing to obey, the Lord stirred up the spirit in Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people to build.
This is much like the situation we are in today. We, as the Body of Christ, are called to build God's Kingdom, but the building process has been stopped—not only because of Covid, hatred from the media, and cancel culture groups, but because of fear.
When I was praying about the need for leaders to come together, the Lord said, "They are too busy tending to their own gardens." It's the same as in the book of Haggai. Right now, there is a subtle disinterest in the Body of Christ, but that will shift as people begin to build God's Kingdom together. God will turn fruitlessness and drought into blessings and multiplication in the Body of Christ, as we they work together.
The older people who were with the group of exiles, as children, had seen the temple in its extravagance and beauty in the glorious days of Solomon. They were a discouragement to the younger people who were building the temple. Their negativity and expectations caused the work to cease after a month of building. But Haggai brought a message from the Lord to deal with the discouragement: "'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:9, NKJV).
Don't you love this? God settled everything by saying He was going to put more of His glory in this temple than He did in the magnificent, beautiful temple of Solomon.
In reference to today, God is looking for the older generation to always have hope and faith coming out of their mouths. The negativity coming out of the older generation over today's circumstances will affect the building of every temple for God, especially our own personal temples. (Photo via Flickr)
God is above every circumstance and needs all the generations coming together to build places and platforms for Him to come. Negativity and the loss of hope is affecting the building of His Kingdom today.
The people were working and expected an immediate turnaround in their lives, even though there were years of inactivity at the temple. Haggai spoke to the people for the Lord about the clean and unclean and how they affected one another. Holiness is not transferable; the people still lacked reformed lives. But in all their efforts, God, through His grace, bestowed a blessing on the builders.
Today we must remember: God does not change, nor has His Word changed. His Word is not bendable to fit the culture of the day, regardless of who preaches it. God is a holy God and expects clean hands and a pure heart in the lives of His people. Sin is contagious in any ministry or Church.
As we build together, what's important is obedience and God's will. We cannot allow ourselves to get dissatisfied about the results. We must stay in faith, without doubting, and do our part in building.
Many in the Body of Christ are disinterested, discouraged, and dissatisfied, which has immobilized them from doing anything. Countless numbers of people believe they are Christians but have left the Church and are satisfied with the cultural norms of today. But God is calling them back to help build. They are to be mobilized as a strong fighting force against the forces of darkness.
What was effective in accomplishing the huge task of rebuilding the temple was God bringing together prophets, governmental leaders, priests (the spiritual leaders), and a remnant of people in the building process.
Today, we need a synergy of the prophetic voices working together with government leaders, ministry leaders, and the people to help build His Kingdom. Every Believer has a place in the Kingdom. Start building!
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Ray and Renaid Almgren
Fire for the Nations
Ray and Renaid Almgren are the founders of Fire for the Nations ministries, an apostolic and prophetic ministry, as well as The Gathering Place, a Presence-based expression of the Ekklesia. They are based and reside in Monroeville, PA, near Pittsburgh. They are called to help equip the Body of Christ and have ministered in the U.S., Israel, France, much of Scandinavia, a number of western European nations, Jordan, Nigeria, Ghana, China, and Japan.
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