by Gwen R. Shaw
I was sitting at the kitchen table in our beautiful House of Peace in Jerusalem, conversing with some of my friends, talking about the Church in general. My soul was grieved at its spiritual condition worldwide. As I stood up to walk across the room to the piano I heard the Holy Spirit say loud and clear, “It’s time for change!”
I felt that God was weary with our lack of love and our lukewarmness, and that He was going to have to shake up His Church. Many of the churches were in a spiritual rut. They had lost the Holy Ghost fire and zeal. Many of the churches were under the leadership of man, instead of the Holy Ghost. In my heart I suddenly knew that mighty things were going to take place, and everything would change!
I felt that the Holy Spirit was saying to me, “You must prepare your heart for what is about to take place very shortly all over the world, and particularly among My people, the Church, that I love.” As I sat down at the piano to begin to play, the Holy Spirit gave me a new song:
It’s time for change! It’s time for change!
Things will never be the same.
It’s time for change! It’s time for change!
Prepare your heart for change!
Since that day I have watched and seen many earth-shaking events take place. After September 11, 2001, everyone has agreed with what the Lord spoke to my heart; wherever I go I hear people say “Things will never be the same!” And they aren’t!
But the evil that was released on that day is not the only change. There also are positive changes taking place. Thank God! The Almighty is still on the throne, and nothing can happen which He does not permit. He even stands in the midst of our tragedies, and brings something good out of our sorrows and heartaches. We may not see it now, but we will bye and bye. Never have a doubt!
WE CAN PREPARE FOR CHANGE BY SANCTIFYING OURSELVES
Sometimes it seems to take forever before we see God move on our behalf. The Children of Israel wandered in the Wilderness for forty long years. At times it seemed to them that God had forgotten them, but He had not. The day finally came when their leader, Joshua, commanded the people, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).
Some of the changes are going to be so horrible, or terrific, that it will only be as sanctified saints that we will be able to cope or to accept them. The changes that are coming are not just something in the future, they have already begun. They began with the third millennium from Christ and the seventh from Creation.
Things will happen that have never taken place in history. Joshua said to the people that they must not only sanctify themselves, they must also follow the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant as they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. He said that they had to keep their eye on the Holy Presence of God and His ordained and anointed leadership. They dared not break away for a little “swim” in the Jordan. It was to be an orderly march. He told them, “You have not passed this way heretofore” (Joshua 3:4). The Hebrew Interlinear Bible renders it, “You have not crossed this way in time past.”
Prepare your heart! You too will cross rivers which you have never crossed before. You are going where you have never gone before. You will see things your eyes have never seen before; your ears will hear things they have never heard before.
ON THE THIRD DAY
In Joshua 1:11 it says that when they arrived at the Jordan they all lodged there for three days. During that time the officers went through the host and told them how to prepare for the crossing of the Jordan.
The Lord is raising up His “officers” to prepare the nations of the world for change. Everywhere I go I hear anointed preachers and teachers of the Word warning and exhorting that, “This is the Third Day,” or “We are entering the Sabbath Millennium.” Which means that 6000 years since Creation have passed, and the Day of the Sabbath has come.
IT IS DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT CHANGE
Most of us do not like changes. Change often brings persecution. The most unpopular man is the one who wants to change things. We cleave to our old traditions, our old memories, our old forms of worship. When we visit the old scenes of childhood and places which bring back happy memories, we hurt when we see the house we used to live in is no more; instead, a big apartment building stands in its place. The garden where we used to walk is overgrown with weeds, the flowers are long gone. The church we attended as a child is empty, no one uses it any more; in fact, it is rapidly deteriorating. All the old church members and friends with whom we used to have such wonderful fellowship have either died or moved away.
If you are in charge of a ministry that has a large mailing list, you soon notice that every time you do a mailout it results in many letters being returned to you with the envelope stamped by the post office, “moved” or “deceased” or “refused.”
And the older you get the more changes you will have to experience. Sometimes it can even be humorous, for example:
“We who were born before 1940 were born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, videos, frisbees, and ‘the pill.’ We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams, ballpoint pens, dishwashers, tumble driers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes, and before man walked on the moon! We were before disposable nappies [diapers], FM radios, tape decks, electric typewriters, word processors, instant coffee, and women preachers!” (Author Unknown)
Many of our changes are for the better, but some are also for the worse, e.g. illicit drugs, fast foods, the loss of our Sabbath day of rest, the Bible and prayer removed from our schools, sex education in the schools, government-approved abortions, increase of promiscuous and homosexual life styles, couples living together without marriage, witchcraft, crime, wife and child abuse, and deadly weapons of warfare, and other evils.
THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SHOW US WHAT GOD IS GETTING READY TO DO
But I do not want to emphasize only the negative changes. Instead, I want to emphasize the good changes that are coming to the world and God’s people. Yes, life will never be the same after September 11, 2001, but we still must live in expectation of a change for the better because we are “moving into the Promised Land” and we are going to see God do things for us that He has never done before — things that will amaze us, for does He not promise us this, both in the Old Testament and the New? In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied concerning these days, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him” (Isaiah 64:4). Paul, in his first epistle to the Church at Corinth, quotes from Isaiah, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). But he doesn’t leave us with only the promise of changes that are to come; he goes on to encourage us that we who walk in the Spirit and can hear the voice of the Holy One, will know about these things before they happen, for he says, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak” (1 Cor. 2:10-13).
Only the Spirit of God can reveal to us the changes that are about to take place. And it is only as we live a sanctified life, follow the Holy One across today’s Jordan, and walk in the Spirit, that we will understand what God is about to do in all our lives. We must have faith that God is in control. We must step into the river, even before its waters have stood still in a heap, because it is only as we step out in faith that we can accept what God has begun to do now, and will continue to do in even more significant and mighty ways. We will see “the walls of Jericho,” the devil’s strongholds, that stand at the gateway to the Promised Land, fall before us, for the Power of God will shake everything that can be shaken [Hebrews 12:26-28] until it lies in rubble at our feet. We are about to start marching into the Promises of God, claiming territory we have never claimed before. I am crossing rivers I have never crossed before, and going where I have never gone before; and as a result I will become the possessor of properties that I have never possessed before, because this is the Third Day; this is the Seventh Millennium, and my time has come!
FIRST WE REDEEMED THE LAND,
NOW WE WILL POSSESS THE LAND!
Some years ago God told us to “redeem the land.” We preached the message, despite persecution. Soon men and women of God received the same revelation, and they too began to “redeem the land” and wrote books on the subject, but they called it “spiritual warfare.” Then a great army of warring saints rose up all over the world. And devils and demons trembled as they lost ground which they had possessed for millennia of time. The Words of Jesus came alive, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The Greek Interlinear reads “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of the heavens is forcibly treated, and forceful men seize it.”
God Almighty created the heavens and the earth. This world belongs to the One Who created it. It does NOT belong to His enemy, Satan. The devil has tried his best to rule the kingdoms of this world. He believes they belong to him. He even promised to give Jesus the power to rule over the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:10). He is a deceived liar!
The trouble with the Church, and the reason it has been defeated all these years since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is that we have allowed the devil to be in control. We have not contested him. The message of “redeeming the land” has been so strongly opposed because Satan doesn’t want to give up territory that he has controlled. I want to serve him notice that he not only has to surrender his illegal squatter’s territory to us, but we are going to take possession because we are the rightful owners, and we have become violent soldiers of the Cross who will take it by force. We may only be “David’s motley crew” or “Gideon’s three hundred” chosen men, it doesn’t matter. We are moving on to land that we have redeemed. After redeeming it, we become the rightful owners.
THE TRANSFER OF WEALTH AND WHAT TO DO WITH OUR NEW “POSSESSIONS”
After redeeming the land and vanquishing the enemies of the Lord, the Children of Israel took possession of their property. While they were still in the desert the Lord promised them, “And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full, then beware lest thou forget the Lord…” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12a).
The day has come when there is going to be a great transference of wealth. It will be beyond our capacity to imagine. But we must always be careful of two things:
1. That we do not forget the Lord who gave it to us. That we honour Him and worship Him, and never love the “wealth” more than we love Him.
2. That we do not consume this wealth upon ourselves. It will be given to us for the Kingdom of God. We are only the Lord’s stewards and accountants. Nothing He puts us in charge of is our own. We dare not touch the gold nor the glory.
There are only two things that we may do with our God-given inheritance:
1. We must use the finances to propagate the Gospel. We must support the work of God in every way possible, both at home and in the nations of the world. We need to help the servants of God to do the work of God by sending them to the mission fields, supporting them, and financing their God-given mandates. The money is not to be used to build great cathedrals here in wealthy countries. We sit in our plush seats while God’s children gather together in the hot sun or in freezing, unheated, broken-down sheds. Many do not even have walls or a covering over their heads! Others have to walk many miles in order to gather together with other saints for worship because they have no vehicles to transport them, or cannot afford the fare. Pastors walk miles to their flocks, scattered out in remote areas. They need scooters, bicycles, vans, etc. The day is coming when we will be able to help them get the job done. The Bible and Christian literature in foreign languages must be made available to those who still do not have the printed page.
2. We must organize a Mercy Ministry to the poor of the world. We will be called upon to feed the hungry and the starving people of the world — even those who are of other religions. Whole nations are on a starvation diet right now. It is terrible how they are suffering and dying by the millions from malnutrition and lack of medical care. God will enable us to have both: missionary funds for the propagation of the Gospel, and mercy funds for the poor.
God is not blessing us so that we can live like the maharajahs of India in the days of the past. He is giving us this wealth so that we can use it for Him. Apostle John records in his Gospel that Judas did not care for the poor, even though he carried the Lord’s money and could have used it to help the poor. Instead, he stole from it for his own personal use. (John 12:6).
In Deuteronomy 17:16-19 the Lord commanded that the king of Israel dare not acquire a multitude of horses or wives, nor may he amass a great deal of gold and silver, instead he must write a copy of the Torah, and “it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes to do them:”
When the transference of wealth takes place and God’s children will be entrusted with great finances, many will be just like Judas; they will misuse the Lord’s wealth. They will consume it upon themselves. It is a dangerous thing to suddenly be entrusted with large fortunes of wealth. It is a temptation to the soul. Not a few will “sell Jesus” for their personal gain, only to destroy themselves in the end.
THE LOVE OF MONEY
Greed, or avarice, as it is often called in the Bible, has destroyed the souls of many good people. Jeremiah warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
The Lord warned the Children of Israel that when He would bless them they should guard their hearts from evil lest their riches turn them away from God. Perhaps that is one reason the Church has never been taught prosperity (until recently) — the shepherds saw what wealth did to people, and they feared lest God’s people be destroyed by the love of money. Very few of the wealthy and powerful people in history lived holy and godly lives. Very few gave to the poor. Too many have been like the “rich man” of the Bible who was “clothed in purple…and fared sumptuously every day” (Luke 16:19-31). He did not come to a good end, for Jesus said, “In hell he lifted up his eyes.” When he closed his eyes on earth, he opened them in hell!
Most of us have seen how greed can tear a family apart when someone passes away, and the family disputes over the possessions that have been left behind. If you are like that, never ask God to entrust you with His finances when the great wealth exchange takes place. It could destroy your soul in hell.
But there is no doubt that there will be a great change in the money system of the world. Already many of the wealthy are losing their riches. Even people of moderate means are suffering from lack of finances. Sad to say, most of them never invested in the Kingdom of God. They never gave the Lord their tithes and offerings. He owes them nothing. If you have been faithful to give the Lord His tithes, and the poor and needy your offerings, you have a right to trust in the Lord to meet all your needs, for as my daddy used to say, “God is no man’s debtor; He will give back to you more than you gave to Him, because He has a bigger shovel.”
THE THIRD DAY REVIVAL
The greatest promise of God concerning the Third Day, one that is greater than the transference of wealth, is the great worldwide revival that has already begun to take place. Hosea says, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hosea 6:1-3).
We have come to The Third Day, the day of healing. We are going to see greater miracles of healing and creative miracles on people’s bodies, such as we have never seen. Resurrection miracles will take place as God restores the limbs, the bodies and the lives of people. The dead will rise again. The cycle of aging will be reversed, and elderly people will be renewed to live and serve the Lord with great joy, and when their time is over they will announce that they are “going home,” lay their bodies down on their beds and fall asleep in the Lord without pain or shortness of breath. They will die in “Bible style,” like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, and many will be translated, like Elijah. In fact, that has already begun.
In July of 2001, in the city of Taichung, Taiwan, a godly Chinese intercessor told her three sons that she was going home to Heaven on the 23rd day of that month. They laughed at her and accused her of joking. But she insisted that the Lord had told her that He was going to take her on that day, and they must be there to see it happen. Two of her three sons were Christians. The middle one was a prodigal. On that day she told her oldest and youngest that they must find their brother and bring him home to see the miracle. He came very reluctantly. Suddenly she began to be raised up from the floor. When that happened, he began to weep and repent, confessing that he was a great sinner. She said, “Look at me!” And as they all looked, her skin was transfigured in front of them and her face shone as bright as the sun. She rose up through the ceiling and disappeared. She hasn’t been seen since. This testimony was told to me in Peter Snyder’s house in Jerusalem during the Passover season of 2002 by a young Chinese Christian from Taichung who vouched for its voracity. If I understand correctly, he was related to her.
When miracles, signs and wonders like this begin to take place in front of them it will turn nations to the true God. They will forsake their pagan idols and false gods. India will bow their knees to Jesus. The Golden Temple at Amritsar will echo with the praises of God. Mecca will be empty, and Handel’s great oratorio, The Messiah, will be sung in the great mosques and Temples of the world.
I stood one day in one of the great mosques in Istanbul, and as I prayed, the Lord spoke to my heart, “The day will come when men and women will sing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in this place.” And I believe it! I believe it with all my heart.
THE LAST CENTURY BROUGHT GREAT CHANGE FOR AND THROUGH WOMEN
The revivals of the last century brought many changes. One of the greatest was that the Holy Spirit anointed the handmaidens of the Lord to preach the Gospel and teach the Word of God. Many dedicated their lives to missionary ministry and spent their entire lives in foreign nations, where they preached the Gospel in foreign languages. Many became evangelists in their own nations, and not a few have been pastors of churches. Today many of them are authors of famous and well-loved books; they compose music, play instruments, found orphanages, schools, colleges, Bible Schools, homes for widows, drug addicts and prostitutes. Women are doing a great work for God in the whole world.
One day I asked the Lord, “How did this happen? How could You begin to use women when for nineteen hundred years we were silent in the Church?”
The Lord answered me, “Revival! When the men of God were themselves filled with the Holy Spirit, their eyes were anointed and their minds were enlightened to stop seeing My daughters as ‘women,’ and instead to see them as anointed vessels of God who, in My eyes, were equal to them. They then opened the door for them to minister My Word at their side.”
I want to remind you, I was born and raised in a German Mennonite church in Canada where the men sat on one side of the church and the women sat on the other. Husbands and wives never dreamed of sitting together. Even the children were separated. The men had one door to enter the church and their wives another. It was tradition. It wasn’t a religious doctrine. There was no antagonism towards the women, they were just silent observers. The women never expected nor dreamed of speaking publicly except during prayer meetings, testimony times, or when they recited a poem. They could sing before the congregation, play the organ or piano, and teach Sunday School to the young ones. But preach? Never!
It was the same, or almost the same, in many other denominations. What brought the change? The anointing! And the anointing will continue to bring changes. The mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit will bring a mighty change. And all who oppose God’s new move will themselves be moved out of the way.
Then the Lord told me something else that day. I will never forget it. He said, “Ever since the Asuza Street outpouring a new door has opened for my daughters because of the work the Holy Spirit did in the hearts of My sons; but a day is coming when My sons will lose their Pentecostal anointing, and then they will turn against My anointed daughters and persecute them for preaching My Gospel. Even men who are prominent in Full Gospel Ministry will turn against women preachers. People will believe them and follow their teaching. But, when it comes to pass, you must remember what I told you; they are NOT anointed, even though they appear to be so, and are famous and accepted by the Church as great men of God.”
I thought that the Lord was referring to some time in the distant future. But I was shocked to find that only about two years later, when I returned from the mission field to America, I came face to face with the false “Discipleship and Submission” teaching which forbade women to have a voice in the Church. Many women laid down their mantles for fear of men, and never preached again. Souls went to hell because of this false teaching, but I thank God He had warned me. It was at that time, when the heresy was its strongest, that the Lord spoke to me through an angel and a true prophet and told me that “I was raised up of God to call out the End-Time Handmaidens.”
It says very clearly, both in the book of Joel, and in the book of Acts, that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (male and female) and His sons and daughters would prophesy (Joel 2:28-29). Acts 2:17-18 repeats the prophet of the Old Testament, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
The Holy Spirit brought the changes to the Church through the Revival in Wales and the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles in 1905 and 1906, and He will again come down in a greater and mightier way, and bring about the great changes that will take place in nations, religions, churches, denominations, finances and in unimaginable ways.
One of the changes that I feel we must get ready to accept is that the Holy Spirit will raise up children to preach the Gospel. These anointed children will have God’s authority to preach the Word with signs following, for the Lord will work with them in a mighty way. I have heard one such twelve-year-old boy preacher in Kerala, India. I heard him preach under a mighty anointing for over an hour. People were weeping as they listened to him. He was not even able to read when he began his ministry, and his parents were not Christians; they did not want him to go out preaching about this Jesus; they tried tying him up; but he would get free and run away so he could preach. God had chosen him to be His evangelist through a vision in the night.
One of the greatest things that has already begun to take place is the manifestation of angels. They are appearing to people all over the world. The more demonic activity takes place, the more we will see the angels of the Lord and begin to understand their ministry, but many will not be able to receive it because they have been taught against the ministry and manifestation of the angels by the Church.
CHANGE BRINGS PERSECUTION
Every revival, every great move of God, brings changes. It also brings persecution. The last revival persecutes the new revival. We must, each of us, be careful that we are not so set in our ways that we cannot accept it when God does something new. The “Revival of Joy,” also called “The Laughing Revival,” which came through the ministry of Rodney Howard Brown was a beautiful time of refreshing, but it was persecuted even by many Pentecostals. Yet, I remember in the old days, when the Spirit moved upon us in times of refreshing in Canada and the Spirit of Laughter would fall upon one of the saints in such a way that it caused a Spirit of Laughter to fall on others, soon it was transferred to the whole church.
The Revival of Joy was followed by an outpouring of the Spirit in a Vineyard Church in Toronto. Some called it “The Toronto Blessing,” It was rejected by many of the Full Gospel denominational churches in Canada, but was received with joy by God’s people who came from all over the world to receive “The Blessing.” That was followed by “The Pensacola Revival” which brought revival into the lives of the Assembly of God young people. That was followed by the manifestation of the Gold Dust which was seen by many of us in the End-Time Handmaidens and Servants Convention when Rev. Robert Shattles preached to us. But God took both him and Ruth Heflin (who also had the manifestation of the Gold Dust) Home to Glory. The last I heard, Silvania Machado, from Brazil still has this manifestation when she preaches. This last manifestation was one that never was very wide-spread. It was not a revival, rather it was a sign and wonder.
What will the next move of God be like? George Otis Jr., in his heart-moving videos, Transformations I, Transformations II and Transformations III, tells of great revivals among the Inuit people in Canada’s far North, the revival of the New Hebrides in the 1940’s, and the great revival now taking place in Uganda — all through the saints of God crying out in mighty travailing prayer.
“PAY DAY” IS COMING
Yes, change is coming, even world-wide change, but it will only come through the mighty intercessory, painful, travailing prayers of the saints of God. We have the power to bring the change. It will not come automatically. God promises, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Healing of the land will bring change to the land. The curse will be removed; life, joy, healing and prosperity will be restored to the land.
But if the wicked continue to be wicked, the Almighty will lift His blessing off of them and give it to the righteous. The Lord Jehovah told Abraham that He could not give him the land of the Amorites at that time because their “cup of iniquity” was not yet full. He was going to give them four more generations of time to repent, and change from their evil ways, and after that He was going to bring Abraham’s children back into the land.
For four generations the Children of Israel lived in Egypt. The last two generations began to suffer greatly from the cruel kings. They became a nation of slaves, working long hours at back-breaking slave-labour under Egypt’s burning sun without pay. Then they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their prayers. He sent Moses to bring them out, and He gave them their back wages — all of it. While Moses was still in Midian He promised him, “And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians” (Exodus 3:21-22).
When it was time to leave Egypt, just before Passover Night, God gave the orders, “Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold” (Exodus 11:2).
The Bible says, “And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:35-36).
THE TRANSFERENCE OF THE WEALTH
One of our End-Time Servants, Ray Jelinski shared with me a dream he had on June 5, 2002.
“I dreamt I was standing and listening to a man, a businessman, very influential, and whom I felt represented a strongman in the financial markets. The man had a pleasant appearance, quite handsome, and was boasting over the fact they were going to come into tremendous wealth because of two major industries, milk and oil. Quite arrogantly, he said that the wealth was for them. Although he didn’t hear me, I said, ‘The wealth is for the Christians.’ He then made a statement over the microphone to the multitudes that were present, that with this wealth they would be able to oppress the Christians and push them further down. A boldness and anger rose within me, and I walked up to him, pointed my finger into his chest, and confidently said, ‘You will milk the cows, and we will take the milk; you will drill for the oil, and the Christians will take the oil, because the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the righteous’ (Proverbs 13:22). I continued to say, ‘Your wealth will be transferred to the Christians.’ I then said to him, ‘However, if you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour right now, you can partake of the wealth.’ But he refused. I then said to him, ‘We will once again come face to face with one another, and you will remember this day I spoke these words to you.’”
There is a promise of prosperity for the righteous; Psalm 72:7-10 says, “In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.”
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Change doesn’t often come suddenly. There usually is an overlapping from the old to the new. For example, when runners in a relay race “pass the baton,” the one who hands over the baton, and the receiver of it run together for a while until the new runner has a firm grip on it.
For example, in the Navy when the Captain, or the Officer of the Bridge, hands over the command of the ship, the new Officer needs to be there earlier to receive a briefing. At that time he is told to watch for icebergs (if there were any present), the presence of an enemy, such as a submarine or any other threat, or needed information in connection with problems with the ship. He would even be advised if an important visitor, such as an Admiral was expected to visit them. All this is so that he has the adequate intelligence needed to carry out his mission for the protection of the vessel and its crew. When the last Officer has finished his debriefing the new Officer says, “I relieve you.” The last officer replies, “I am relieved.” In respect for the last man at the bridge he keeps the same heading for fifteen minutes before making any changes.
We have come to a time of the “changing of the guard.” Old soldiers of the Cross (and some not so old) are passing the “baton” (or mantle) on to younger men and women just like Moses passed it on to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, David to his son Solomon, and Paul to Timothy. We need to be ready to accept the new leaders whom God is raising up. Be careful that you do not oppose the man or the woman of God whom the Lord is sending as His replacement.
ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU A VISION
Ask God to give you a vision, even His vision. You cannot accept change if you do not have the vision of the Lord. There are new horizons, new enlargements in the near future, but they will only come about if we have an enlarged heart. We must have open arms before God can fill them with good things.
Walk softly before the Lord lest you sin against the Lord and grieve the Holy Spirit. If you cannot understand what God is doing, just wait and see. Do not criticize; it could be dangerous for your soul.
Some people are so set in their old ways, cultures and traditions, that they are blinded to new horizons. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, “…Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6). The Greek Interlinear New Testament renders it, “Ye annulled the word of God on account of the tradition of you (yours).”
This is “The Third Day.” The Almighty always did marvelous things on The Third Day. Moses announced to the people, “Be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai” (Exodus 19:11).
The Holy Spirit is warning us to be ready because the Lord is coming down, and every eye shall see Him, and the nations of the world shall behold Him. When that happens there will be a great harvest of souls such as has never been since time began. Every soul-winner, every intercessor, every child of God who has a burden for the lost, will suddenly find themselves conscripted for Holy Ghost “military service” in the King’s army.
In Israel every healthy young man must serve three years in the army, and every girl two years. Hence, all of Israel is an army. Everyone can handle a gun. Everyone is trained for warfare. That is the way it should be with the Lord’s people, spiritually speaking. We should be trained for instant combat. We should live a sanctified life, know the Word of God and “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15).
GOD USES WOMEN TO CHANGE THE WORLD
When God says its time for change He often uses a woman.
JOCHEBED: (Exodus 6:20, 2:1-10) When it was time to bring Israel out of Egypt the Lord raised up a woman from the tribe of Levi who dared to give birth and hide her son from the king’s “baby killers.” Without her great courage, there would have been no Moses. Israel would have been extinguished in Egypt; our Saviour would never have been born.
THERMUTHIS: (Exodus 2:1-10) Thermuthis is the traditional name of the daughter of Pharaoh who dared to defy her father’s (Pharaoh’s) orders to kill all Jewish boy-babies. When she found one in the river, she adopted him as her own child, and raised him to be a mighty man of courage. She even gave him his name, Moses, which means “saved or rescued from the water,” or “one who moves out,” This last interpretation of his name became prophetic: he not only moved out of Egypt, he took all the Children of Israel with him! Thermuthis is what the Jews today would call “a righteous Gentile.” Through Thermuthis’ act of kindness she saved from death the deliverer of Israel.
RAHAB: (Joshua 2:1-21) By faith Rahab received the spies that Joshua sent to spy out the land, protected and hid them from the soldiers. By her act of faith and kindness she opened the door to the Promised Land for Israel.
HANNAH: (1 Samuel 1:2-2:11) Hannah, through the travail of her soul, became the mother of the prophet Samuel, and a line of prophets such as Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and John the Baptist, all of whom had his same powerful anointing.
RUTH: (Ruth 1-4) Ruth, the Gentile from Moab, became the mother of a dynasty of kings. She gave birth to Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David. Ruth, therefore, was King David’s great-grandmother. After coming from Moab, she lived all the rest of her life in Bethlehem, David’s birthplace.
ELIZABETH: (Luke 1) The wife of the priest Zacharias, in her old age, through her prayers and righteousness, gave birth to the forerunner of the Messiah. Her son, John, prepared the people for change. He sealed up the Old Covenant.
MARY: The virgin maid from Nazareth, through her willingness to submit to the will of God, gave the world Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Her Son changed everything at His coming into the world, and He is soon returning to change everything one more time.
Each of these women’s lives impacted the world in a positive way. But each of them paid an extreme price. Change is costly. Are we ready to pay the price?
The following beautiful message comes from a book called, Reflections by Cathy McNamara:
MARY’S VIEW FROM THE CROSS
The cries of the people fill my ears. The laughter and jeering abuses, my senses; the dust, the heat and smell of human perspiration. I look into His eyes. Blood drips down His forehead; dirt clings to His body, blood encrusted on His hands and feet. I know that here He dies.
My mind flashes back to that night so long ago, of the angel, and the promises. I am the handmaiden of the Lord. The ride to Bethlehem, the babe in the manger. It was so much easier to protect Him then. The scraped knees and banged fingers, growing up in the carpenter’s shop. All those little hurts—I could help Him then. But now, Oh Father, Why?
I stand here, and can do nothing. I want to tear Him down from the cross. Why are they doing this? He has done no wrong. Can’t they see? I want to fight, but taste the bitterness of defeat and anger in my mouth.
Where are the ones He healed? Where are the ones that followed? There are so few here who love Him. Where have they gone? What is this all for? A sense of aloneness fills my soul.
He speaks: “Woman, behold your son.” His eyes, dark and fathomless, are full of love and compassion.
Again He speaks, this time to John, “Behold your mother.” Somehow, someway, peace fills my heart.
It is the end, and yet, it is the beginning. I have no idea what the future holds. But I am the handmaiden of the Lord (Luke 1:38).
— Cathy McNamara, Australia
The prophet, Simeon had prophesied to Mary when she and Joseph had stood before him in the Temple long before, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)
Mary’s life and her Son’s death changed the world. It brought salvation to man. But the price cost both God, Who gave His Son, and Mary, who gave hers, a terrible price.
Change is coming, God is looking for “Marys” who will be willing to allow the sword to pierce their hearts so that healing can be brought to a stricken, sin-sick, suffering, God-rejecting world. Are you one of them? Will you be one whom God can use to change the world. Will you be an Abraham, a Moses, a John the Baptist, an Abraham Lincoln, a Martin Luther King?
It’s time for Change! Change is coming! Will you be a catalyst for change? A change for good? A change for God?
Copyright 2002 by Gwen R. Shaw