What The Lord Said To Me Today
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I'm writing my article for the 11th on what is now the 15th. Now, don't get me wrong: I know
what God has said to me for each of the days up to today, but the enigma of the 11th has sort
of paralyzed me.
Some of the more important things God has revealed to me He has done immediately after
waking me up from a sound sleep and causing me to look at a digital clock. This happened
to me on the 11th, and I've been praying and asking the Lord about it, waiting to write about
it until he unravelled the enigma for me. Until tonight, when the Lord led me to sit down
to write. I still don't know why He spoke it to me....I just know He wants me to write about it
and tell all of you about this ENIGMA.
Early on the morning of the 11th, I awoke, and immediately knew the Lord had done it. I
looked at my clock and it read 4:44. As I saw the time, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me:
"For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country."
Now, I don't really know why the Lord spoke this to me...I just know that He spoke it. It's not
that I disagree with the scripture: I have found it to be true. But, why is it important to me
right now that the Lord would tell me this.
The context in this area of John is that Jesus was beginning to be recognized in public
ministry in Jerusalem as having made a lot of converts. This recognition was rising to the levels
of the halls of the mighty Pharisees, so Jesus determined to go to Galilee, but through
Samaria, to get there. He stayed in Samaria for two days (symbolic of 2000 years). When
he departed, he did not go to Nazareth, but to Cana of Galilee, because of the reason
cited: that he had no honour in his home country.
I know that the first thought I had on that morning of the 11th after the Lord spoke it to me
is that "well maybe God is calling me to another country". That is also the first reaction my
fiance had when I told her about it. That may be so...I'll file it away.
In any event, I'll never forget the confluence of all the numbers: receiving a word at 4:44 A.M.
on 1/11. Look at all those ones and fours. God has had me working on the "fours" lately two.
Twice, in the last two weeks, he woke me up at 4 A.M. He led me to do a study on the number
4. And, it just so happens that I turn 44 on 1/20, so the 4's are definitely in play in my life
right now and I don't really know what my glorious Lord is up to, except that He is speaking
Experience has taught me that one of two things are happening: either He is putting something
into me that I will remember a long time in the future when the fulfillment happens that
brings clarity, or He wants me to study or pray or fast or do something else to bring the answer.
Tonight, I thought that writing might bring the answer. It might yet. We'll see. In any event,
my obedience to write has broken my writers paralysis since hearing this word from the LORD
on the 11th.
So, what about the number 4? Fourth book: Numbers! Appropriate for tonights article.
Scripturally, the number indicates completeness. 4 Rivers of Paradise-Gen 2:10, 4 Winds of
Heaven-Ezek 37:9, 4 Corners of the Earth-Isa 11:12, 4 Beasts arise-Dan 7:3, 4 horses, chariots,
spirits-Zech 1:18-21, 4 Living Creatures-Ezek 6:1-5, 4 horses/seals-Rev. Four also occurs
frequently in the measurements of sacred buildings, such as the tabernacle and Solomon's
And now, regarding the scripture itself, I have some thoughts. I have always thought that
this scripture implied that the prophet should examine himself when he begins to be accepted
and honoured by everyone around him in his home church/circle of travel. To me, this
scripture implies that, with the prophet, familiarity will breed contempt, or at least, a lack of
appreciation for the words of the Lord that come through a particular man or woman.
The other thought I have with respect to this is that it seems to parallel the great commission.
There we are told in one place to preach the gospel to every "ethnos" race, and in another
place, to preach to every person in every geographic area on the Earth. This "honour" that
is spoken of in the scripture translated, in Jesus' case, into what he was able to do in the
realm of the miraculous. He was not able to do any great miracle near Nazareth, because
unbelief was so strong. Hence, the honour accorded Jesus affected the degree to which God
could honor any prayers for miraculous healing.
In my own limited experience, I have seen God move in the miraculous in my ministry when
I have ministered in the ghetto and the prisons among members of other ethnic groups. I
have not seen this level of anointing for the miraculous working through my ministry when I
have stayed at "home" in my home church. There is therefore the sense that God is pressing
me, and you, out of our comfort zones. In order for us to really "experience" God, we are
going to have to minister to people who are different from us...and we may have to go to
countries other than our own if the Lord so leads.
We have a peculiar blessing, here in the US, that we do not need to leave our country in order
to fulfill half of the great commission, for almost all the world's ethnic groups live here within
I have heard it said that the most segregated hour in America is 11-12 on Sunday morning,
but this is NOT God's fault. God has set up His whole ministry system so that more of His presence
is poured out as segregation disappears.
So, if you want to see God move in your church, witness to some people who are of a different
race from you. Invite them to church. Make them feel welcome. God is the one who came
up with the idea....it must be a good one!
Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ
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