What The Lord Said To Me Today
Deep Darkness Shall Cover The Earth

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Two important things happened yesterday. God gave me a Christmas carol, which I posted yesterday. Our band performed it for the first time on Friday night. It still needs a little refining in the instrumentation, but the words are set. The spiritual center of the carol is in the chorus, which begins: "The light is shining, out of the darkness". The Lord spoke that line to me as I was driving back from Dunklin Memorial Camp on Thursday. An interpretation of a tongue, received earlier in the day, had contained that message from the Lord. Now, as Paul Harvey says, comes the "rest of the story".

Dunklin Memorial Camp is located about 12 miles east of Okeechobee, Florida. The camp houses approximately 100 men, who come from the four winds to go through a six month ministry training program. The men who come here are usually struggling to be set free from some addictive form of sin in their lives. They come out and begin to minister to others. Some stay behind at the camp to minister to the new arrivals.

Dunklin has become my "Antioch". It is the place where many of the elders and senior men of God in my region congregate to share and meet. I travelled there to meet with one brother on Thursday morning, and wound up meeting with three. Mickey Evans, the founder of Dunklin and an apostolic man if I have ever met one, met us there, and did not feel led to let us go quickly.

I am always the baby of the group when I go to Dunklin. This time, I was, at 43, about 20 years the junior to the least aged of these three elders. As a result, when I go to Dunklin, something happens to me that, for me, is unusual: I keep my mouth shut and listen. I let the senior men of God do the talking.

Mickey wanted us to go to his office for a time of prayer, and that seemed good to us, so we hopped in his 4 by 4 and drove down to the office, which has a large 30 X 30 meeting room attached to it. This room is where the men of God in the ministry in our state congregate at irregular intervals. I have been blessed to attend a couple of these meetings.

This time, it was just the four of us. We sat in a circle, and waited for Mickey to lead. Now, remember, I almost never speak when I go to Dunklin. I met Mickey about 7 years ago, but I didn't think he even knew my name.

We were sitting under a huge map of the world, which is attached to the northern wall of the big meeting room. Mickey looked at me and asked me what the Lord had been saying to me. I took about five minutes, explaining a few things in detail, the sum of which can be found in summation in my word of 12/06/2000 and the details of which are contained in my posts from the past two months.

Then, Mickey asked Ray Concepcion, a born again, Sephardic Jew, to report. Ray is a missionary who goes to the poorest countries. He has just returned from the Phillipines, where there is revival and terrible persecution. Ray reported that the revival does not seem to last long and result in changed lives because it is evangelical in nature. The pastors do not take the converts into homes...the love of God is not poured out, and therefore the converts fall away and remain unconverted. The best report Ray presented concerned Guatemala.

A time of prayer followed. We prayed for one another, and I prayed last. When I finished praying, Mickey rose and laid both his hands on that huge map of the world. After about 5 minutes, he began to speak in tongues, out loud, and I knew in my spirit that there must be an interpretion of that tongue. I asked the Lord to give the interpretation to one of us. I began to feel the Lord speaking to me, drawing me to look at the deep ocean trenches on that huge world map. I could not figure out why the Lord would be drawing me to look at and consider ocean trenches at a time like this. I kept silent, not wanting to look foolish in front of these elders.

Well, we stopped praying, and took a brief break, and began a little fellowshipping, preparing to go. Suddenly, Mickey stopped us and told us to remain in an attitude of prayer, right where we were, and that the Lord had something more to say.

We sat quietly, praying in the spirit for about a minute. Then, I summoned my courage and opened my mouth, telling the men that God had told me that there would be an interpretation of the tongue that Mickey had spoken earlier. I then obeyed fully and disclosed that the Lord had been speaking to me about ocean trenches while Mickey was speaking in that tongue. I had now asked the Lord about the ocean trenches, and this is what the Lord said:

"Stephen, the ocean trenches are the deepest darkest places on the earth." I spoke those words to the group.

When I obeyed by speaking this to the group, the Lord told me that Ray Concepcion, the missionary, would be given the interpretation of the tongue, but I kept silent about that.

When I finished speaking, Roger Heim disclosed that while Mickey was speaking in the tongue, he had been thinking about the only time in his life when he had wanted to kill himself: he was in the Coast Guard, on a ship at sea in the midst of a great storm. The ship was being tossed by 45 foot waves relentlessly and everyone had been so sick for so long that Roger seriously considered jumping into the deep to end the misery.

At this point, Ray spoke, and this was the word of the Lord, and the interpretation of the tongue:

Ray told us to look at Isaiah 60:1-5, which I will close with below. Ray said that the Lord was telling us that deep darkness will cover the earth, but that the Lord will arise in glory in and through his church. The countries of the earth are going to fall to the Moslems or to communism as the darkness spreads. The word closed with the scripture, which is where I will close. It is the word of the Lord, the defining word, for our time and for this season:

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee."

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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