Report From The Tower
I woke early today, at 4 A.M., and was thinking about the story of an old prophet from 300 AD, Arsacius, in Nicomedia Turkey. He was warned in a vision that his city would be destroyed. He told the clergy about his vision, was ignored, and so he left the church and returned to solitary prayer in his watchtower. His city was then destroyed on the following August 24 by earthquake and he was found, dead, on his knees in the crumbled watchtower. So it is with me. I wait. I have a desire in me to withdraw from many things, and avoid crowds and business as usual. I believe that the time of the indignation of the Lord is very near, and we must hide ourselves in Him.
Then, I began to reflect about a section of scripture in Hosea. In 1993, I was also awake early at 5 A.M., seeking the Lord, on September 7, reading Hosea 9:7-17, and I knew that God was speaking about this time period as being one of terror and trouble for the USA. That scriptural address: Hosea 9:7 through 9:17, was pointing to September 7 through 17 in future years. Back then, I was a reader of the NIV version.
HOS 9:7 The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac.
HOS 9:8 The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God.
HOS 9:9 They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.
HOS 9:10 "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved.
HOS 9:11 Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird--no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.
HOS 9:12 Even if they rear children, I will bereave them of every one. Woe to them when I turn away from them!
HOS 9:13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place. But Ephraim will bring out their children to the slayer."
HOS 9:14 Give them, O LORD--what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry.
HOS 9:15 "Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.
HOS 9:16 Ephraim is blighted, their root is withered, they yield no fruit. Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring.
HOS 9:17 My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.
And so, this morning, as I tumbled from one thing to another in my prayerful thoughts, I was remembering that Hosea 9/September connection from a decade ago, and I was led to look at the books in the bible that have 12 books: one per month. I often read the Proverbs in a “chapter for the day” method, as Proverbs has 31 chapters. There is a Proverb to correspond with each day. I do the same thing with Psalms, reading five Psalms a day. Today, for example, I would look at Psalms 13, 43, 73, 103 and 133. I have never before considered such a handling of a bible book in a “chapter for the month” way until today. Mind you that I was not in the midst of receiving some great prophetic revelation when this began. I was simply considering that I could study a few books of the bible in a type of one chapter for the month basis when I read Psalms and Proverbs in this way.
There are two books that have 12 chapters: Ecclesiastes and Daniel. As I rose to open my bible, I looked first at the 9th chapter of Ecclesiastes, which I was expectantly hoping would have some correspondence to September, and beginning at verse 11, the Lord began to speak to me regarding some things that were very similar to my former “September” passage in Hosea 9:
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
This time period in September is something the Lord will not let go of with me. I notice that the Ecclesiastes passage that the Holy Spirit highlighted for me begins with 911. Interesting, and it was not given to me until now, after the events of 9/11/2001.
I had thought that this little bit of revelation was personal, until something happened later, at about noon. I was looking at various websites on the internet and saw a picture of Hurricane Isabel from yesterday, September 12. The visible satellite photo showed what very clearly appeared to be a pentagram in the center of the eye of Isabel. I checked the source of the picture, and verified that the NASA website was still carrying the photo. If it had been altered in any way by Photoshop software, this had been done at the NASA level, and not by some internet site owner.
The website where I first discovered the photo, “Cyberspace Orbit”, made mention of a scripture in association with this picture of the hurricane. It had been quoted by George W. Bush in his January 20, 2001 inaugural address. That whole inaugural address may be read at:
President George Bush-Inaugural Address
The quote used by President Bush near the end of the address was as follows:
“After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson: "We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?"
The first part of that quote is the only scripture that President George Bush used in his inaugural address on January 20, 2001. It is taken from Ecclesiastes 9:11. Less than eight months later, the number 911 took on an entirely new meaning in the American vernacular.
Earlier today, I had thought that my little morning revelation regarding Ecclesiastes 9 was a private encouragement from the Lord. Later, I found that not to be the case.
The scripture I was given by the Holy Spirit this morning was also used in part by Kent Steadman, webmaster of “Cyberspace Orbit”, to describe a picture of Hurricane Isabel that displayed a cloud formed pentagram in the middle of the eye of the storm. Mr. Steadman’s website routinely deals with all types of paranormal and mystical phenomena. If he is prophetic, as he may well be, he certainly is more of a “Nostradamus type” of prophet. He is not an openly confessing Christian. Mr. Steadman’s “source” for the quickening of his spirit today is probably not the Holy Spirit.
This alerts me to the need for discernment at this time. When many sources are all saying the same thing, beware. We must pay heed to the Holy Spirit alone. We must exercise care if we make any conclusions regarding what the Lord is saying here, because Satan is likely spewing forth a message as well.
Then, what do we make of the use of Ecclesiates 9:11 in the inaugural address of President Bush? Our President is a praying man, who confesses that he is “born again”. I conclude that our President included that scripture as his ONLY SCRIPTURAL QUOTE in the inaugural address at the quickening of the Holy Spirit. Then, less than eight months later, those numbers 911 were involved in the disaster we all know about.
Regarding the appearance of a pentagram in the eye of a hurricane, I do not regard this as an impossibility. The gospels in Matthew 8 and Luke 8 record the actions of Jesus when he rebuked a storm. Jesus also rebuked Satan, demons and Peter. In short, rebukes are for creatures who possess a will. A hurricane is therefore not inanimate, according to the gospels, but it is something that may be rebuked and may in fact be steered by some power or principality. With the internet, however, it is always possible that photographs have been manipulated.
The Hosea 9 and Ecclesiastes 9 passages speak of prophetic rejection. The prophet is regarded as a madman and a fool, and the house of God is full of many snares just waiting to trap the obedient prophet. His words are not heard or heeded. If they are heeded, and the city is spared, he is forgotten afterward. Yet Ecclesiastes records that most of the time, “man does not know his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.”
Amerca’s cities and pastors have been warned. I have warned many of them myself. Currently, I have no invitations to speak in this country. The messages of warning have been ignored by most. A few have prepared. God is now silent, as are His prophets. The judgements will now ensue, and the rank and file will have it fall suddenly upon them. They do not know their time. For those who have ears to hear, it is as the writer of Ecclesiastes said in 9:17:
“The words of wise men are heard in quiet”
Stephen L. Bening
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