A Horror of Great Darkness

“And when the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him” (Genesis 15:12).

Not many have had an encounter with God like that which befell Abram. The depth of the horror are not fully revealed, but the word of the LORD followed with a dire prediction of what would befall His Seed in Egypt. “And He said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13).

Preceding this encounter was a wonderful promise concerning his seed; indeed, that Abram would have a son in his old age and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven, saying “so shall thy seed be” (cf. Genesis 15:4-5). Furthermore, Abram was given the promise that the land of his sojourn in Canaan would be given him as an inheritance (Genesis 15:8).

What we witness here in the encounter of Abram with God are the ways of the LORD. Those ways can be described succinctly, as Promise, Death, Burial and Resurrection [see Land of Promise, Chapter III, Hebron–Death, Burial, Resurrection].

Abram was entering into Covenant with Jehovah (see Genesis 15:9-11, 17-21). In the midst of cutting the covenant, the vision of the horror of great darkness occurred. This is just as deeply a part of the covenant relationship, as the promise. It is the way of the LORD.

Are you going through something with God right now? Are you confused because things are not going smoothly? Things are not as glorious as the promise seemed to indicate they would be? Understanding the ways of God will eliminate a lot of the anxiety, fear and torment of the “horror of great darkness,” the death to the vision, the burial of plans, and the oppression of enemies, opponents, and contrarians.

Peace, my brother, my sister, mi pastor, mon ami. Peace. The Land of Promise awaits. The Promises of God will be fulfilled. Believe in the LORD. Your faith will be “counted unto you for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

The LORD also said to Abram, “that nation whom the seed shall serve will I judge; and afterward the seed shall come out with great substance. In the fourth generation the seed shall come back to this Land” (Genesis 15:14,16). Read the Book. It happened just as was foretold. God is a faithful God. His promises do not fail. None of His words fall to the ground. They all come to pass.

Be encouraged. Be strengthened in your heart. Let your heart find faith. Worship and praise the LORD in all things. The way of the LORD always goes through the Cross. The horror of great darkness was there on Mount Calvary (Mark 15:33). Let the LORD have His way. He is faithful to keep the Covenant and bring you out to your inheritance in Him.

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Please Raise Your Right Hand

“Do you solemnly affirm that the Testimony you are about to give is the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth, so help you God?”

This is the oath or affirmation given before a Judge in a Court, or before a Governmental Body when one is called to testify as a witness before that legal body.

The Testimony of a Witness. Think about that. Jesus said, “you shall be Witnesses unto Me” (Acts 1:8). A witness must bear true and faithful testimony; otherwise, he is subject to the charge of perjury. His testimony must be true, totally true and nothing but true. The question is, am I, as a witness, bearing true testimony to my LORD? Or, am I committing perjury? Am I being a false witness.

The commandment says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). Is my testimony true? Am I being faithful to the truth? These are questions relating to my life, my heart and my soul.

Jesus said, “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19). Is my heart right with God? What is proceeding from my heart? Is it true, noble, righteous, holy? Am I being a faithful witness to my LORD?

My life is a witness. My life bears testimony. Is my life a lie? Is my testimony a lie? I say I am a believer. I say I trust in the LORD. These are good words to say. Yes. Amen. Does what is proceeding out of my heart, what is proceeding from my witness and testimony match my confession? Is my testimony true? Is my testimony believable? Is it accepted, or rejected?

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobate” (II Corinthians 13:5)? Reprobate means it is rejected as false, corrupted.

Paul wrote to Titus: “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).

Raise your right hand. Affirm your faith. Be a true witness. Bear true and faithful testimony to Christ that it bring glory and honor to His Name. Let the nature of Jesus shine forth in truth, righteousness, beauty, holiness, loveliness. Let that hidden man of the heart shine. (cf. 1 Peter 3:4).

LORD, let my life be hidden in you, the One Who is Truth (John 14:6). As your witness, let my testimony be the truth, the whole truth; and by Your grace, nothing but the Truth, so help me God.

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The Shadow of Your Wings

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Your wings” (Psalms 17:8).

The wings of God are the overspreading of protection the LORD gives to His own. Being under the shadow is a hidden place of trust and refuge.

“How excellent is Thy lovingkindness O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings” (Psalms 36:7).

Trust is such a comfort to our hearts, minds and souls. In God we trust. We know Him. He will protect us, cover us, hide us, and lovingly care for all His children.

When David fled from King Saul he wrote, “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; for my soul trusts in Thee; yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast” (Psalms 57:1).

David knew his God in intimate communion. In the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1), or in En-gedi (1 Samuel 24:1-3), David knew the secret place, the hiding place of the Most High God, under the shadow of His wings.

Matthew Ward in his album, Even Now, sings a song written by Shannon Wexeberg, You Are My Refuge:

“I have found a place I can call my own. Here in Your embrace where Your mercy overflows. It’s here that all my doubt and fear just melt away. I lay my burdens down and I look upon Your face.

You are my refuge. You are my sanctuary. When I feel afraid, You’re my hiding place. You are my refuge and when the storm is raging, underneath Your wings I rejoice and sing. You are my refuge.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High God shall abide underneath the shadow, the shadow of Your wings”————–c1999 Maranatha Music

The wonder of dwelling under the shadow of His wings. It is such a place of trust, confidence, peace and rest. It is a place of rejoicing. “Because Thou hast been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice” (Psalms 63:7).

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust” (Psalms 90:1-2).

Abide, hide, trust, rejoice under the shadow of His wings this day. Go to that place you can call your own. Abide in that place where you will find mercy, peace, comfort, and rest for your soul. Hide under His wings. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart. Rejoice in the LORD evermore.

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The Appointed Time

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:3).

The LORD is a God of timing, a God of ordered things, a God who keeps His appointments. Sometimes we go through disappointments when we do do not like God’s timing, God’s order; but God keeps His appointments in His time.

The Prophet, Daniel, spoke much of God and His appointed times. Daniel wrote:

“And He said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be” (Daniel 8:19)

“And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white (in righteousness), even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed” (Daniel 11:35).

There are things known only to God, but God chooses to reveal these secret things to His Prophets. There are things God will make us to know; so we are prepared when they come to pass.

In Genesis God spoke to Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son” (Genesis 18:14). The LORD kept His appointment, and Isaac, the promised child, was born.

In Exodus God gave command to Moses, “Thou shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (thou shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it you came out from Egypt; and none shall appear before Me empty” (Exodus 23:15).

Psalms 81:3 states, “Blow the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed on our solemn feast day.”

The appointed time, the time appointed, the set time, the time known unto the LORD and established by Him. Are you keeping your appointments? Are you there at your set times? Are you punctual? Are you faithful? Are you on time, or always running late? Being late is not good [Dormez-Vous, 4/28/21]. Missing an appointment can be costly. Sinning, being unclean, being defiled may greatly hinder your destiny. It may set you back, and cause you much grief, cause you to miss your appointments with the divine. Be awake, be vigilant, be a good steward of those things God has placed in your hand for the appointed time.

You have a divine appointment with your Maker for God “hath appointed a Day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained; whereof He has given assurance unto all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Known to God, known only to the Father, but known, indeed. The appointed time draws near.

The writer to the Hebrews tells us “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Judgment at the appointed time, the designated day, at the precise hour. All rise!

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Are You Weeping?

“He that goes forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalms 126:6).

Are you weeping? Are you bearing the precious seed? Are you sowing that seed in good ground? Are you praying, crying, interceding over that seed, that good ground, that fertile field?

We are in just such a time. We are in a season of weeping, prayer, fasting, intercession, travail. We weep for souls, for nations, for peoples, tribes of every tongue known to man. We weep for souls who without salvation will be lost eternally. We weep for nations, who without the light of the Gospel will descend into darkness, chains, bondage and oppression. We weep for peoples and tribes who need to break from the bondage of idols, false religion, and traditions of men whose end is destruction.

Are you weeping? Do you discern the season? The times? The winds of change from one era to another? Are you weeping for our children, the next generation who need hope, light and promise? Are you weeping for those abused, oppressed, and down-trodden who need healing, rescue, and provision for the body, soul and spirit?

“For His anger endures but a moment; in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). People need to hear this. People need hope of a new day, a brighter day, a day of favor, blessing and love. Are you bearing this precious seed and sowing it into those who need to hear, need to know, need to understand; so they can move forward into the light of a new day?

The Prophets bore the burden of the word of the LORD. Jeremiah wept often over the burden given to him concerning Israel, Judah and the Nations. Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and over the people (cp. Matthew 23:27;John 11:35). David wept for Absalom, and Samuel for Saul.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep; and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. . .” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4).

Now is the time to sow, to plant. Now is the time to weep.

Are you weeping? Pleurez-vous? Oui?

You will doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing in your sheaves.

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Speak in the Light

Jesus said, “Fear not, there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak in the Light; and what you hear in the ear, that preach upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:26-27).

In our day there are many hidden deeds that people do not want known. These deeds are done every day in the government, in our assemblies, in the marketplace, in the media and in our homes. Secret things that the doers want concealed.

Consider this parable:

There was a man who did a deed; He didn’t want to know. He said he saw his neighbor friend do a what’s and so. The people, they were all a’rowe; and worked up to a tither. They sent the neighbor man away, down to a place called Thither. In the bye and bye another Mayor was now; and no one was the wiser, it was he who stole the cow.*

In the parable “no one was the wiser”; but according to the word of the LORD, the Wiser One knows all things, and sees all things and reveals all things. He will reveal these secret things to His prophets, and His dreamer of dreams, and to those who see visions, and to those who are discerning and have a word of knowledge, and have a prophetic word to speak in the light and from the housetops (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

Beware, you evil doers of secret things. Take heed, you thieves, con men, deceivers, liars and two-faced. You will be found out! The All Wise One, the Knower, the Seer of secret things, hidden things, deceptive things, He sees and knows. “There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hid that shall not be known.” Not just anyone said that; these are the words of the Master, the LORD; Jesus said that. Be warned, all you who think you can do evil and prosper. Your destiny awaits, your trial comes and your sentence will be swift and final.

Do you believe these things? Do you tremble at His word? Do you fear the LORD? Yes? Well, the fear of the LORD is a good thing. Solomon said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Now what are we to make of it? What are we to do? Repent! The Kingdom of God is here.

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*This parable was written in a dream. It was put to paper upon rising from sleep and is written here as a prophetic word for the edification of the saints.

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Sword, Famine and Pestilence

“And it shall come to pass that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the King of Babylon, that nation will I punish, sayeth the LORD with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand” (Jeremiah 27:13).

In the Books of the Prophets, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel; and in the Books of Job, Ezra, Chronicles, and in the Book of Revelation, there are three main judgments of the LORD: the sword, famine and pestilence. Each judgment is a direct result of disobedience to the word of the LORD.

Disobedience takes many forms: open rebellion, idolatry, immorality, corruption in the market place, corruption in government, in the priesthood, and in justice at law. When these things become part of the culture and become systemic in the nation; then the LORD intervenes with judgment, unless the people, the leadership, or those in authority take heed to the word of the LORD and call the people to repentance.

God does not just speak to us as individuals, God speaks to nations and kingdoms, tribes, peoples, cities, communities and families. God judged Israel and used Babylon as His instrument of chastisement. After he fulfilled His purpose, He judged Babylon and crushed them under the Medo-Persian empire. God has done this repeatedly throughout history.

The time is way past due to seek the LORD; it is time for us as a people to repent and take heed to the word of the LORD. If we refuse to listen, if we refuse to repent, surely war will follow as night follows day. If we continue in idolatry, immorality and corruption, famine will come inexorably, inevitably, and absolutely. Pestilence is already here. It is a judgment of our past failures as nations, kingdoms and peoples in the earth. Someone must lead the way. Someone must be the voice that makes the clarion call for repentance. Indeed, repentance it must be, or war and famine are not far away, but imminent.

The voice of the Prophets is speaking to us today. The voice of the Apostles must be heard. “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play’. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (I Corinthians 10:6-11).

Friends, it is the last times. The Day of the LORD is at hand. We are of the Day. We are of the Light. We are of the Truth. We are the people of God. Prepare ye the way of the LORD.

Maranatha. Even so, come LORD Jesus.

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While Men Slept

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way” (Matthew 13:24b-25).

While men slept opportunity for good was lost and opportunity arose for the enemy to do his work. The Kingdom of Heaven does have enemies: Lucifer, his minions, sinful men and sin in our own souls. “For many walk of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18). Enemies of the cross, enemies of the harvest, enemies of the Kingdom of God.

We live in the Kingdom of Heaven. In this Kingdom there is seed. Each seed produces after its kind. Good seed, bad seed. Good trees, bad trees. Wheat and tares.

Tares: (Gr. Zizanion; Lolium termulentum; darnel) As a young plant (in the blade) it is similar in appearance to wheat. It is not until the mature head of the grain appears, and the wheat is ready for harvest that a clear distinction may be recognized between the two seeds. Wheat is an edible grain; tares are a poisonous weed.

The Lord of the Harvest sows His field with good seed, but His enemy sows the tares to ruin the harvest and produce death.

While men slept falsehoods and deception were sown into the field. Only the discerning and wise know the true from the false. Teachers of falsehoods use the same words, the same Scriptures, the same Bible, the same doctrines and have the same order. But to gain their objective the meaning of words is changed; the text of the Scriptures is re-interpreted; doubts of Biblical authenticity are planted, doctrines are corrupted and the order is made to conform to trends that are in vogue. Jesus is re-invented with a new narrative, a new persona and a new identity. No wonder Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23b).

While men slept the enemy worked the field. It is the same soil, but a different seed is sown. Seeds producing discord, hatred, strife, division, rebellion and death. Different seed, different harvest. What is left to do with this harvest? “Gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them” And what of the wheat? “gather the wheat into My barn” (Matthew 13:30b).

While men slept. In the dark of night, the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. While men slept. The enemy works his evil deeds. “For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:7). While men slept. All manner of evil is revealed, while men slept.

Are you sleeping? Are you of the Day? Are you of the Truth? Are you of the Light? Beware, watch and pray, for many temptations and all manner of evil have come while men slept.

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Dormez-vous?

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques, 
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous? 
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines! 
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong. 

Dormez-vous? Are you sleeping? Are you awake? Are you aware?

Sleeping at the wrong time is not good, and may cause you to miss out on what God has planned for you. Consider the parable of the ten virgins. All ten were waiting for the Bridegroom. While the Bridegroom tarried they all slept. At midnight the cry went out, “Behold, the Bridegroom comes! Go out to meet Him!” (Matthew 25:6). Five of the virgins were not ready to meet the Bridegroom for their lamps were out of oil. When they finally were ready, it was too late. The door to the marriage banquet was shut, and they were left outside.

The LORD shared this parable with His disciples with this warning: “Watch (stay awake), therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 25:13).

Dormez-vous? Are you sleeping?

When Jesus came to the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night of His betrayal, He said to His disciples: “Pray, that you enter not into temptation” (Luke 22:40). Upon rising from intense prayer, Jesus went to where His disciples were assembled and “found them sleeping” (v. 45). He “said unto them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray lest you enter into temptation;” (v. 46). At the critical time of intense intercessions, groanings, and sweating great drops of blood, the disciples slept.

Dormez-vous? Are you sleeping?

Frère, Brother, are you sleeping? It is time to ring the bells and call the people to the matines, the hour of prayer. It is time to be awake, to be aware of what is going on around you.

“And, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11). “Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). “Wherefore, He sayeth, ‘Awake you who sleep; arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light” (Ephesians 5:13).

Dormez-vous? Frère! Brother, wake up! The LORD is coming! “The night is far spent, the Day of the LORD is at hand”! (Romans 13:12a). Be ready, be sober, be awake, be vigilant, report for duty. Ring the bells, blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm! Wake up!

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Living Epistles Read of All Men

“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men. Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ; ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” (II Corinthians 3:2-3). Thus wrote the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth.

Your life is a living letter, known and read of all men. You stand out in the minds of others. They have an opinion of you. They know you by your accent. When Peter denied knowing Christ at His trial, the people said, “Surely you are one of them (disciples); for you are a Galilean, and your speech agrees thereto” (Matthew 14:70). There must have been a Northern Israel (Galilee) accent that the people could recognize, and Peter could not hide it. When you are in Christ, your spiritual accent from the Holy will always give you away.

People know you by your scent, your fragrance. “For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life; and who is sufficient for these things?” (II Corinthians 2:15-16). To your Brethren you are a fragrance of the Life of Christ; but to the unbelievers you are the smell of death, because they are convicted of their sin.

People read you; not always by what you do, but by what you do not do. You don’t enter into their sin. Your speech betrays you. You do not gossip, you do not use profane and vulgar language, you keep your speech clean and wholesome. That’s very different than what you hear in the world. You are different, strange, other worldly, heavenly minded, perhaps?

You are a witness to and a Love Letter from God to the world. By your kindness, your gentleness, your love and mercy and tender care for others you show forth the fruit of the Spirit of Christ. Your humility, meekness and patience show the Nature of the Lamb. Your strength of endurance, your hope in the middle of a hopeless situation, your self control when everyone else is out of their minds with panic; yes, people notice. They read you like a book.

Keep being that “Galilean,” with your strange accent, keep giving off the fragrance of Christ, keep being God’s Love Letter to the world. Your story has a good ending; well, eventually. After you suffer awhile, endure hardship awhile, bear your cross awhile, suffer persecution awhile. . . you will live happily ever after. The End.

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