Report From The Tower
So, I finished up and put the garden hose away, and went for my bible.
I sat in my chair, and asked, "OK Lord, what is it".
"My words", He said. "The Book of John".
I said, "OK Lord, what chapter". After a few seconds of waiting for His voice, I heard a whisper within...EIGHT.
I turned the pages of the bible and when I reached the area in my bible near John 8, the first verse I saw was this one:
V54 "Jesus replied, If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him."
I looked back a few verses and saw something related, as I knew this was what the Lord was speaking to me from His word.
V48 "The Jews answered him, Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon possessed? I am not possessed by a demon, said Jesus, but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself, but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge."
Now, I am really reluctant to speak and to preach about this business of dying to self: my personal crucifixion. For, you see, I have known enough bible to preach about it for seventeen years. It is very easy to lay out the scriptures and quote them all. It is easy enough to intellectually understand these verses. Words are very easy to speak. But, the living out of them is a very different matter indeed! After seventeen years, I do not really want to self assess just how dead I am to myself and my aspirations, because the Lord might raise His eyebrows, and decide to test that confession of my lips to an even more severe degree, so let us just keep it to these two sets of verses that the Lord spoke to me this morning.
My Lord Jesus has been KILLING ME for years, and he continues to do so. It is Him doing it. Most of the time, it is just wasted breath and baseless praying to be rebuking demons. He has no use for me and my aspirations and my desire for glory. THEY MEAN NOTHING.
Jesus said "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing". Wow. That is the son of God, God in the flesh speaking. Wouldn't it have been alright for Him to glorify himself? No, IT WOULD HAVE MEANT NOTHING. Now, as for me, the same is truth. How much more is it true for me! I am not God in the flesh, as Jesus is. If it means nothing for him, how much less than nothing would it be for me to glorify myself? Whenever I take up a thing, and decide that I am going to gain glory for myself through any thing at all, it means NOTHING. God takes His hand off of it, and it is me, ALL ME, doing it. It is MEANINGLESS.
Let us say that I begin well, and minister in this place and that, at the Lord's direction, in Spirit and in truth. Then, it begins to be MY MINISTRY. Oh, my! Suddenly, it means nothing.
Ah, but there is one who wants to glorify me. He wants to speak through me, and write through me, and heal and deliver through me. But, it cannot be me doing it..it must be Him, doing it through a me that is dead to it all, and all aspirations for glory. If I begin to take it up, and regard it as mine, and as something that will lift me up.....
Some will say that yes, the Father wanted to glorify Jesus, but he doesn't want to glorify you, Mr. Stephen Bening. Well, that is alright too. Personally, I believe that God wants to give me everything that He gave Jesus, but if I am entitled to less, that is fine with me.
Only God brings me, and will continue to bring me to such a death that can be useful to the father. This is what He has been after for seventeen years. This is what I have so stubbornly resisted, pliantly coming back to life again and again and again, which has caused Him to draw back the arrow in the bow one more time and let it fly toward my bosom once again. For years, I could not figure out why the Lord was wounding me so much. Why was I not allowed to have anything go right in my life? Why did everything turn sour and burn when I asked Jesus into my life? I am seeing it now.
Call me a Samaritan if you wish. I will not seek any glory for myself if I can help it. God forbid please! They not only accused Jesus of being a mamzer (bastard), but here, there was the accusation that his unidentified father was a goyim (non-Jew) from the assimilated regions of Samaria, and therefore, as every good Jew knew, a demon possessed dog..a lower form of life..not even human..a mixed breed. In the midst of this unimaginable insult to the Lord and God, creator of heaven and all earth, he responded by humbling himself, and teaching about a glory that he did not prop up, aspire too, seek or attempt to bring about. He was trusting in an unseen Father to do it all, whatever that "doing" might be. One thing He knew: He knew that His Father is the one who seeks to glorify Him.
Faced with the temptation to defend his own ministry, and proclaim his glory, he took the opposite route, and took his hands entirely off of everything.
He showed us the way. He left us footsteps to follow.
Perhaps, what we are hearing about from around the world, reported by millions for whom everything has become vanity, is a massive preparation of the walking dead. When I read these things, I realize that I am not alone. Others are living out Lamentations Chapter 3 too.
To the extent that Jesus is successful in killing me, and those like me, we will have revival. It will be a revival like the world has never seen. It will be HIS revival.
This is what we are yearning for when we ask to be conformed to His image, and to His likeness. Help us to yield to your hand, oh Lord.
Stephen L. Bening
HUNDREDS OF CONFIRMING PROPHETIC VOICES
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"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" Matt 4:4
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