While this great nation of ours is filled with moral decay, I believe that an awakening is on the horizon. We are indeed filling the bowls of Heaven with our prayers and supplications. Everywhere I go, I see God meet us with power and renewal. There is always a keen awareness of His presence and strength. We are truly on the verge of the answer to our prayers--poised for revival! Therefore, we must not give up or become weary in our well-doing. While He is sovereign, He limits Himself to act upon the prayers of His saints. We must push forward!
I believe that 07-07-07 will be a pivotal date in the history of our nation. I am calling all who will to join us for this strategic event and come to The Call at Titan Stadium in Nashville, TN. There we will pray, fast, and call out together for the turning of our great nation. Destiny is on this event.
Then on July 13-14, 2007, I will be hosting a Post-Call youth event, The Ramp Colorado. Joining us will be Lou Engle, Karen Wheaton and Chosen, Damon Thompson, with worship leaders Rick Pino and Eddie James. We are honored to have all of them come to Freedom Church in Colorado Springs. It will be an incredible conference! To see what The Ramp is all about, visit myspace.com/theramp. The Ramp is indeed the beginning of this youth/young adult awakening spreading across our land. You have to experience it! I truly believe that this gathering will be a strategic part of the coming revival! You can find out more information by going to www.dutchsheets.org.
Be part of the awakening that is beginning to shake our nation. Let us continue to fill the bowls of Heaven!
Dutch Sheets Ministries
Love and War
It was forty years ago this summer that the "Summer of Love" in San Francisco ignited the counter-cultural revolution, and with it began one of America's greatest identity crises. Some of her strongest foundations were shaken, eroding religious faith, morality, devotion to family, and basic integrity.
This great clash of cultures and ideas came at the very peak of the Cold War, the greatest confrontation between democracy and communism. It appeared as if the West had surely lost this confrontation, as the very fabric of its existence was melting down. Then, to just about everyone's surprise, the seemingly doomed ship of Western civilization righted itself under the simple, yet clear and focused leadership of President Ronald Reagan and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher. Such a confidence and clear vision was regained in the West that not only did the tide of the Cold War turn, but it led to a swift and resounding victory in that confrontation--so swift that many are still wondering how it happened and what it means.
First though, the great identity crisis ignited in the 1960s staggered America, but the ship righted itself because of more than just the leadership of Reagan and Thatcher. The foundations of America were well laid by the founding fathers, and it would take much more than the counter-cultural movements born in the 1960s to destroy them. However, they have suffered erosion, and the constant attacks on them since the 1960s have weakened them further. Likewise, there have been some great acts and movements to help shore them up from time to time, but like the World Trade Center buildings, America is vulnerable. Liberty itself is in jeopardy.
THE GREATEST WAR?
Consider this concerning the Cold War--no victory in any war has ever resulted in a faster and more profound change in the political landscape of the world than this one did. However, the Cold War was not like any war ever fought before. It was not a war of military battles with physical casualties and property destroyed. It was fought more with banks, currencies, and business strategies; yet, as stated, no war ever changed the map of the world as much as, or faster than, the victory in this one did. However, few really understood the true battle lines, even many of those who were on the forefront of them! It was generally understood that the economic strength of the West eventually wore down the communist bloc, and that was a part of it, but there was much more behind the West's victory.
This victory over communism and the tearing down of the Iron Curtain was prophesied by some, but its swiftness and completeness surprised even the prophets who had predicted it. The spiritual, political, and economic opportunities were so great that they left almost everyone paralyzed, not knowing where to start. The vacuum created by this hesitation was quickly filled by the less desirable or worse and has created some problems for those who lived under the communist yoke, causing some of them to wish for "the good old days." How could anyone do that?
THE PRISON OF FREEDOM
One thing that happens to a person who is imprisoned for more than a couple of years is that their "decision maker" begins to atrophy, and once released, it takes a long time to build it back up. I have watched someone released from prison be paralyzed by a simple menu, and become unable to even choose what they want to eat. Jim Bakker shared with me how, shortly after he was released from prison, it was impossible for him to decide even between two car rental companies at an airport, and he had to ask someone to just choose for him. Now consider this--the people living under communism had been in prison for their entire lives. Every decision was made for them, and they never had a decision maker to begin with.
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Totalitarianism is terrible, but lawlessness is even worse. As the authority structure of the communist states collapsed, organized crime filled the vacuum in many places and actually threatened to take over Russia and other former Soviet states. Many are decrying President Putin for swinging back toward totalitarianism, but he is probably reacting in the only way that this crisis of increasing lawlessness and crime could be addressed.
Seeing what was happening in the former Soviet states, China has much more gradually released economic freedom. Without question, once people experience freedom of any kind, they will ultimately demand more freedom of every kind; however, the changes will not be nearly as chaotic as people gradually learn how to make decisions and use their freedoms responsibly.
I remember watching an old movie in which some prisoners had been kept in solitary confinement in dark holes. When they were brought out, they had to be given sunglasses because they could hardly bear any light for a long time. Too much light for someone coming out of darkness is not illuminating, but blinding. For them the darkness is less painful than too much light. This is why ex-convicts often commit crimes in order to be arrested and taken back to prison; the security of the prison is actually more desirable than freedom that demands making decisions, which they just cannot make and are terrifying to them.
This same principle is true for mental or spiritual darkness as well. Someone who has been subjected to a controlling church will often have even more difficulty adjusting to one where there is a lot of freedom. Someone who has been in an abusing, controlling relationship will usually have a lot of trouble adjusting to one where they are given a lot more freedom.
It is understandable that many Russians started longing for the "good old days" of totalitarianism when they had to start dealing with choices, and then the even more terrible specter of lawlessness. The present chaos in some parts of Iraq was inevitable after the totalitarianism of Saddam, and considering the natural enmity between the Shiite and Sunni factions, it is remarkable that the conflict is not much worse there. We can expect it to get worse, however.
THE GREAT DANGER
It was also prophesied that when communism began to collapse, many of the former elements of communism would merge with radical Islamic forces to become a greater danger to world peace than communism had been. This has now come to pass. Not only Western civilization, but civilization itself is facing the greatest threat ever to its existence.
The "War on Terror" is not an adequate name to describe the present conflict. This conflict is already much more confusing than the Cold War, which at least seemed clearly political and economic, though it was of course a very religious battle too. Even so, the confusion of the Cold War only had to do with how to fight it, but most knew what the issues were. What we are facing now is more than a clash of civilizations, and it is not just a religious war either. There is a difference between a religious conflict, or the clash of religious ideals or doctrines, and a spiritual war. All wars are spiritual wars, as we are told in Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Many are seeing this as a clash between Christianity and Islam, but it is bigger than that. There are some aspects of the clash between light and darkness where Christianity and Islam are on the same side--such as the battle with secular and atheistic humanism. There may be some areas where Christians would likewise side with secularists against extreme Moslems or even Christian extremists, such as those who advocate stoning homosexuals.
THE ONLY TRUE VICTORY
This war is a battle for the hearts and minds of people. It is a spiritual war, and the weapons are spiritual, not carnal. This was actually true in the Cold War, too, as a main tenet of communism was to destroy religion. However, the communists declared for seventy years that God was dead, and then God in one day said "communism is dead," and it died, fast. Some nations have managed to keep it on a form of life support, but it is in fact dead. It was not just Wall Street that tore down the Iron Curtain, but it was the Word of God that brought it down.
The Word of God is far more powerful than any bomb, or than all bombs combined. When the Lord spoke, the heavens were created out of nothing. He can likewise speak a single word and make anything into nothing again. However, He limits His intervention in this world to what we ask Him for. Why? Because as He declared in Psalm 115:16, "The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; but the earth He has given to the sons of men." Therefore, He will not intervene in the earth's affairs until men ask Him to.
The positive side of this is that the Lord will intervene in our affairs if we ask Him to. Every human problem is basically the result of mankind trying to run this world without God's help, and therefore the answer to every human problem is God's help. Yes, it is that simple.
The key to getting God's help is for Him to find an intercessor. A true intercessor is more than one who just prays for the needs of the people; it is one who is in such unity with God that they pray according to His will. It is good for people to be in unity. But if anyone desires to do good in the earth, it is much more effective for them to agree with God than to be in agreement with other people. One word from Him can change the world more than any election, army, or war.
We will come back to this, but keep in mind that our main goal is to know and understand the Lord and His purposes so that we are aligned with Him. Human conflicts are a reflection of the spiritual battles that are raging for the souls of men, and we are commanded to not be ignorant of the schemes of the devil. Therefore, we need to understand what happened in the Cold War and the present war, which I will address briefly here.
THE BATTLE LINES
The Cold War did have some physical battles, such as in China, Korea, Vietnam, and on a smaller scale in a number of Asian, African, and European nations. However, the economic conflict was a much bigger and more important battlefield in deciding the outcome than these physical conflicts. The Soviet Union could not continue to compete with the economic power of the West, and simply collapsed under the weight of trying to keep up. Why? The power of personal liberty, personal responsibility, and personal ownership can never be matched by socialism for motivation and initiative, which directly factor into productivity.
This is the 400th anniversary of the founding of the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia. One of the most important lessons of economics, which helped to set the course of America was demonstrated there. For the first two years, the colonists had a communal garden. For the first two years, 50 percent of the colonists died each winter from starvation. The third year, they decided to give a plot of ground to every person, and let them each eat what they grew personally. No one ever starved at Jamestown again.
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The idealistic believe that this is an anomaly, and that people, out of the goodness of their hearts, will want to work hard for other people. The idealistic people who believe this are probably the kind of good-hearted people who would work hard for others. Since they only make up 1 or 2 percent of the people, this has not worked in history on any large scale. If it worked at all, it was in small, isolated cases, and most of the time it failed there too.
This does not mean that the people, who include almost all of us, are selfish because we need more personal motivation. We were made that way. God commanded Adam to "be fruitful and multiply" (see Genesis 1:22), and there is something in every human being that wants to be successful. This, of course, has been perverted because of the Fall and sin, but it was part of the nature that man was given. Anything that dilutes this will dilute the motivation and initiative of a person.
One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. History resoundingly testifies that the more common and diverse the benefits of our labors are, the less motivated we will be.
Rare is the person who will work harder for someone else than they will for themselves or their own family.
Drive through any neighborhood and the rented houses will stand out from those that are occupied by their owners just about every time. We can keep on trying socialism, and I suspect many will because those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but the results will always be the same.
This is why "the American dream" of owning your own home is important. It is not just about the house. It is about personal liberty and the need for personal responsibility that motivates us. This is why the most truly prosperous nations in the world are almost all found where Protestant Christianity took root. Why? Because the Protestant Reformation established that salvation was personal, not just institutional. You were saved by having personal faith in Jesus and His atonement, not by being part of an institution. This gave infinite value and responsibility to the individual. This gave birth to "the Protestant work ethic."
Without question, drive, initiative, and endurance will be multiplied when there are personal consequences to our labors. Creativity is also magnified. Here is another prophecy--though the European Union and the euro seem to be flying high right now, they will both collapse under the weight of entitlements. The EU in its present form would not be possible without German economic strength. Germany continues to carry the weight of the EU, and it is not likely that Germany will remain asleep to this much longer. I only share this here to show that those who are prone to point to the EU as an example of socialism working will have to change their story soon.
THE COMING KINGDOM
The kingdom of God will not be socialism, but a freedom even greater than anyone on earth knows at this time. At first it may seem like totalitarianism, as the Lord will destroy the antichrist spirit now dominating the world with "the sword of His mouth" and will shatter many nations like pottery. However, fundamental to His rule is II Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Instead of taking away liberties and becoming more domineering, the kingdom will move from a point of necessary control while people are learning truth, integrity, honor, and how to make decisions, to increasing liberty so that they can.
God created mankind to be free, and that is our most natural state, which is why He put the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden. It was not to cause Adam and Eve to fall, but there could be no true obedience unless there was an opportunity to disobey. Likewise, there can be no true worship unless there is the freedom not to worship. Otherwise, the Lord would have done better to have just created a computer instead of man and programmed the computers to worship Him! What kind of worship would that be? Freedom is required for true worship, true obedience, and true relationship.
The kingdom will start out necessarily authoritative in many ways, or in many areas, but will move toward increasing liberty--so do all true churches and movements that are advancing toward the kingdom. You may have to be very controlling of toddlers, but the older they get, the more they can be trusted, and the more freedom they should have if they are going to develop into true maturity, which requires personal responsibility.
Those who are here to help prepare the way for the coming of the kingdom, which includes all Christians who are alive now, can learn much from the fall of the Iron Curtain. The same lessons can apply in a local church when ministering to those coming out of a spiritually or emotionally controlling relationship or prison. However, we must start thinking bigger. The Great Commission is to make disciples, not just converts, and of nations, not just individuals. Those who are called to rule and reign with Him must start thinking much bigger.
THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON
Love and truth are divinely powerful weapons, greater than any earthly weapon. Both of these are contained in the anointed Word of God. When God speaks, it happens. And He can speak through anyone, at any time, about anything. However, He often speaks through world leaders, even though they may not even be aware of it. Those who are not spiritual will not understand this, but those who are spiritual discerned the prophetic anointing on President Reagan's proclamation to Gorbachev when he stood at the Berlin Wall and declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
Those who sensed that anointing, which was beyond Reagan's personal authority, knew from that point on that the wall was coming down, and Gorbachev would have a part in bringing it down.
Then Pope John Paul II sliced the thin garment of communism to shreds with a continual barrage of anointed prophetic proclamations, and the seemingly impregnable Iron Curtain melted. Those who knew the anointing discerned what was happening and began to proclaim the end of communism as it then existed and the opening of the eastern bloc nations to freedom. You did not have to be a prophet to foresee this, but just discern the prophetic word.
Christians believe in an unseen God and His unseen realm. Heaven is far more powerful and has far more substance than anything in the natural realm. In fact, it is of such greater power and such greater substance that you could drop the biggest nuclear bomb on the head of the smallest angel and not even mess up his hair! Christians, who are here to help prepare the way for the Lord, are here to represent that kingdom. They will be given increasingly powerful words which will shake nations to their foundations, removing nations that are on a wrong foundation, and helping to establish those that have been built on a good foundation. Some nations are to be shattered, and some will "become the kingdom of our Lord..." (Revelation 11:15).
Words are more powerful than armies. When Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, he said, "So you're the little lady who started this great war!" He meant the Civil War of course, and this was true of her. She had articulated the great issues of the time so clearly that they could no longer go unaddressed.
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Prophetic words from God are going to shake the world, set the course of many nations, and make the light and darkness so clear that everyone on earth will have to make a decision between them. These will come through various sources, including books, movies, art, music, and sermons. In fact, it will not be uncommon in these times to see sermons making front-page news. However, you do not have to be behind a pulpit to prophesy.
The power of such words has entirely to do with one thing--alignment. We only have true spiritual authority to the degree that we are abiding in the King. It is His word spoken through us that has power. It is for this reason that those who will be used in this way are learning the value of words. They know well that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." (Proverbs 18:21).
We are living in what is called "the information age," in which knowledge is now esteemed as the most valuable commodity. However, there is something far more valuable--the anointing. In John 10, we are told that His sheep know His voice, and they follow Him because they know His voice. That is true; we do follow Him to the degree that we know our Shepherd's voice. Now those who have learned this and have followed Him are going to be used as His voice.
We are all soldiers in the greatest war of all. Our most powerful weapons are love and truth, but we must also understand that we cannot expect to be loved in this world, even by those we are fighting for. That is why we must have the Father's perfect love, which does not love in response to love or in repayment for any good done, but just loves, even when rejected or treated unjustly.
The devil is trying to control the world through fear and terror, but the kingdom is coming because of love, and on a highway of love. It is tough love but it is in fact love, and one that will ultimately cast out all fear.
To be rejected as you are laying down your life for others is the cross that Jesus had to bear, and it is the one we are commanded to take up daily. We have to fight for love, even for those who hate us. We have to love even our enemies. We cannot fail to answer the call to this war. We do not have the option to remain at home or this war will certainly destroy our homes. True warriors always run to the sound of battle, not away from it. This is the time when the true soldiers of the cross are mobilizing. We must each take our place in His army. If you are not in your place, you will not hear the orders when they are given, and you will not be able to be used to give them. Get in your place!
The Call--Nashville 7/7/07
Also, if at all possible, join us at The Call in Nashville on July 7. That is 7/7/07, a significant date that I think could go down as another turning point in our nation's history. It will be held at the Titan's Stadium, and we are expecting at least 100,000 youth there for a day of prayer and fasting for the nation. This kind of thing can also greatly help your kids, as they get a sense that they are not alone, but part of something very big that is going on in the earth. Expect prophetic proclamations that will begin to shake this nation for good. I'll see you there.
When I was praying this morning, I saw a large ball of fire come out of heaven. It came right at me and I knew that there was no way I could avoid it, so I didn't even try. It hit me right in the chest. I was then shown the most beautiful bridal dress I have ever seen. It was truly from out of this world, supernaturally beautiful. Then the voice of the Lord came to me and said, "Help My bride put on this dress."
The fire of the Lord has been going through me in waves since this happened. I know with a supernatural knowing that the bride is about to get ready. I have always had a vision and love for the church, but never like I felt this morning. The church is about to be clothed with a beauty that is beyond this world. She is going to make herself ready and become the glorious bride our Lord deserves. Help her!
June 28-30, 2007
The Family Reunion Conference
MorningStar Fellowship Church
Fort Mill, SC
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August 19, 2007
The North Church
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September 27-29, 2007
MorningStar Fellowship Church
Fort Mill, SC
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