Report From The Tower
I have one article that I am "pregnant" with, but again, it does not seem quite the time for it just yet. I do want to write and I find that many times, I do a better job of writing when I am not doing regular radio. But again, I will not write just for the sake of writing: the Lord has to be putting something new inside me.
Then suddenly, yesterday, many things broke forth from the Lord for me, Him speaking to me about many areas and aspects of christian living. You see, it is too difficult to discern just how much time is in between the prophetic peaks. As prophets, we tend to gaze from peak to peak to peak. We know there are valleys in between each, but just how big...who can tell. There is a place driving South on I24, just north of Chattanooga, where you can see such a picture of three successive mountain ranges, one behind another. It is just like that in the spirit.
We just do not know how much time there will be traversing this present valley. Some say they are sure about 2012 being a terminus but I tend to not be very sure about it. We will see. My history with God is that things regarding this nation have tended to become drawn out in time, and I think that is because we still have many people in this nation who are praying. Do we expect that God will not hear and respond in some way to those who pray?
In the meantime, God is speaking, I am inclined to start what might become a series, so I'll entitle it Kingdom Thoughts and label this one #1. There will be a #2 if God speaks.
1) God has said that man shall not live by bread alone but that we shall live by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God. This rather clearly puts forth a premise that hearing from God is as necessary for sustaining spiritual life as water and food are for sustaining physical life. If we do not hear from God for a long period of time, we will spiritually starve. Paul stated that it was "woe to me if I do not preach the gospel of Christ". Paul did not preach for a salary, or because he wanted to. He preached out of necessity, in response to direct orders he had received from Jesus Christ. Now, in looking at our lives, are we doing anything, on a daily basis, that is like that? Are we "living" by some word that came from God's mouth? Or, does our daily life proceed forth from earthly and carnal lusts, along with the daily clutter of necessities?
2) "You are starving because you are spending too much time looking in the mirror". I heard the Lord say this, and I asked for the meaning. We spiritually starve and do not hear much from heaven when we become disappointed, and we look around us at the burned out wreckage of people who failed us or dreams that never materialized. We have our eye on "mirror stuff", while we are told by the Spirit and the word to set our minds on things above, and to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter, or finisher of our faith. "Mirror staring" can happen when we focus way too much on the troubles of others or ourselves and we worry about how we might fix them. In doing so, we take our eye off of the Lord, and His ways and His kingdom, and we begin to starve... As I was hearing and understanding this word, a vision came before me....a picture I saw some time ago of Richmond VA, just after the close of the civil war, in late 1865. Everything was a burned out hull in that panoramic view. I thought how quickly anyone might get depressed if he or she sat down for a few days in the midst of that and viewed only that wreckage. This can happen with our lives. Even when everyone else around us fails to respond to Christ as they should, Christ is enough for us if we will settle our minds on the stability of Christ and on His truth. When we walk too long in a starved state, disease can settle in and this can be difficult to overcome. I'll discuss some of that now.
3) Manic depressive prophets and prophetic people! How can this be Lord? Have you ever wondered why so many of God's people are taking anti-depressive medications? Why are God's prophets so given to manic episodes and fits of rage? Why are there so many people in the church today who are overtaken with various stages of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which is the modern day medical explanation for mental illness and demonic depression, possession and oppression? Do we think it has always been that way? I think not.
I remember the churches of my youth, in the denominational setting, while I was growing up in the 1960's. We spent much time in the Lutheran Church and in the Southern Baptist Church, and I remember all of those adult people as being very mentally normal and balanced. I don't remember one "crazy" person in the churches we went to. You might have been able to say that they were not very spiritually advanced, but there were many I remember who really loved Jesus. They walked with what they had from God, and many of whom I speak were devoted to prayer, and it seemed that they did well with it, and did not stagger mentally. Then, a prophetic explosion happened in this nation, and it seemed that wherever true prophecy came, the insanity and mental instability came with it. Why is this so? I have never heard or read about anyone who dared to look this issue in the eye? Why should this be so?
I have inquired of the Lord about it, off and on for years, and recently, the Lord said in answer to me, "Is not Saul also among the prophets". That set me on to the trail of a long bible study about the life of Saul, who, before he was crowned as a king, was found among the prophets..prophesying.
Let us examine the order of occurrence: Saul was 1)Chosen, 2)Anointed, 3)Prophesying Among the prophets, 4)Crowned King, 5)Led into battle, 6)Found in disobedience concerning worship, 7)Informed that his kingdom would not continue, 8)Found in disobedience concerning battle conduct, 9)The Spirit departed from Saul as it came upon David, 10)An evil spirit from the Lord descended upon Saul and 11)Madness, or mania, or, if you will, a bipolar disorder was the final result for Saul's life.
We will note from Saul's case that there was no chemical imbalance noted prior to his disobedience before the Lord. No mental instability was noted. He was chosen and judged perfect for the work. That disobedience came first; rebellion akin the the spirit of witchcraft. Multiple, repetitive disobedience, combined with exposure to the prophetic and to God's prophets, resulted in a Saul who became murderous one moment, and repentant the next, with a quick swing back to the breathing out of murderous intent at a moment's notice. And once, while on a journey to kill David, he was found, again, lying naked and prophesying with the prophets.
I believe this is what has happened in many of our churches today, where the prophetic anointing has been released, but people have held stubbornly on to their sins and have disobeyed the Lord about many things while continuing to seek for the fullness of the Kingdom of God that God was now willing to pour out upon all flesh. I discern by the Holy Spirit that the most dangerous areas of repetitive sinfulness have been found in the sins that involve the love of money, greed and covetousness and in the corruption of true worship according to spirit and truth, where men have longed for glory from other men, rather than labored in unselfish devotion to the service of God. Forms of worship, headship and eldership, clearly laid out in the bible, have long been perverted. Many it seems have also reaped corruption by the stubborn refusal to repent of sexual sins. So, the eventual and final result is the advancing form of schizophrenia among people who are otherwise regarded as believers. Perhaps still others stubbornly disobey by refusing to walk in continual forgiveness of others. These become bound up by a root of bitterness, and become locked up in demonic prison.
Much of this stubborn and repetitive sinfulness has been present in the church for nigh unto 2000 years, but it has only manifested into madness with the recent outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the release of the prophetic anointing and the coming forth of true prophets.
These madly bound people approach the altar over and over again, but they bring demons to the front with them and these demons simply will not leave because they have a right to be there. Some of them manifest with screaming and shrieks at the altar, and can only be told to "be silent". Others whisper about them in the church, but no one spends very much time talking about these cases, because they never seem to show any improvement.
We have this in the highest levels of that which we call church and ministry as well. Many of our five fold apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists are taking anti-depression medications. Many others refuse to partake of such chemical sorcery, but they swing in wild mood fluctuations and abuse those around them as they erupt in episodes of wild mania and swinging moods, under the control of various evil spirits and demons. Then, just as suddenly, they are back before us, once again, preaching under the anointing of God and prophesying, and it seems, for the moment, that they are the very oracle of God. How can this be Lord?
Many of you have been abused privately under such ministers. Most christians won't even talk about it; about the private things that have happened behind the closed church doors, but it is there, hidden away in the dark recesses of the prophetic halls of the so called five-fold churches and ministries just as assuredly as the Roman Catholics have for so long hidden their rampant homosexuality and child abuse away from the public eye. But know this: everything that is done in the darkness will find its' way out into the light. All of this bipolar ministry madness will eventually also have its' foray out into the light as well. Let us take a look at a collage of mania. It is the mania of many ministers of the cross. It is the quilt of bi-polar prophetic ministry. Can you see yourself when you gaze upon this quilt?
You will know it if the Lord is speaking to you. No, I will not use names. Many, many are living like this! How can you go on, caught up the insane jealousy over your spouse? When you travel, you cannot trust her to leave the car. You must go inside the filling station with her for her to use the bathroom. Oh, I know that the spouses have problems too that set you off. The jealous pastor attracted the flirtatious wife. It is a difficult struggle. Both need deliverance. God help us.
Another fears that someone is talking about him in a negative way, behind his back. He is forever anticipating the rejection of others, even when nothing of the sort has happened yet. He is always looking for the rejection, and then he lashes out, verbally and violently.
Problem people always attract others who have comparable, contrasting problems. But this has led to all sorts of compromises in your walk ....... compromises with the truth and with outright lies coming out of your mouth. This is getting worse. There is also the forgetting of promises you made and the wreckage of relationships. You find that you have few and fewer friends. Finally, you have no friends. You are alone. There are the accusations and the lies. There are the dozens of telephone calls to anyone who will listen, each and every day. Oh, you must surely know it and be aware of it when the mania has fully taken hold, but you simply cannot hold it back, can you? You get on the phone, and talk fifteen minutes without ever needing to hear a single word from the one you have called? When no one will listen any more, you make mp3 files, 2 hours long, talking to yourself. Can you recognize what is happening to you?
You are even lying to others to involve them in your mania; trying to enlist them as allies in the plans and schemes of your mind against anyone you have leveled your gaze upon. You will bend the truth to find an ally, even for a few hours. Still you persist on, having visions. Are they from the Lord? Some of them, perhaps. Who knoweth but God! Surely you have received from God before. After all, you are a prophet. You are in the pulpit! You have a radio ministry! Surely you are going to be just fine, right?
Only a few know about it, so far, but God knows about all of it. And then, there are the lies to cover your tracks, so that no one else will catch on that you have a problem. Who is the father of lies? To you ministers of the covenant who are caught up in this type of bondage, I say to you that you have a better covenant available to you than that which King Saul could avail himself of. You can be free. You can be healed. You can be delivered. And, you don't have to manage your demons with Lithium or Seroquel or Paxil or anything else if you can obtain sufficient anointing upon your life to destroy the yoke of the enemy. Some of you use alcohol, and some other illegal drugs to manage these things. No, you can receive a real healing, not merely a sorcerous management of your demons.
But you will never be free until you humble yourself........step down from ministry with no time limits or reservations attached .......confess your sins to a few other elder brothers who will fast and pray for your restoration.....wait until you are sure that the Lord has delivered you and given you orders to once again commence in the ministry.
You cannot continue on, ministering in a five fold public display of your God given ministry calling and then privately, walking in the manifestation of your bipolar mania. You will never be healed in this way. You will only damage others, and wind up in shipwreck yourself. Oh, I know. The enemy of our souls is very slick and seductive. He will argue so very persuasively about how "the ministry must go on". "Who else can do it but you", he will say. He is a liar! I do not care what ministry you think that you have. You must first have a Lord, and be obedient to Him. He is the head. We must be intimately connected with that head. Then, you can have a ministry.
For me, no other subject has bothered me like the subject of mental illness in the church, among the christians and, most particularly and most disturbingly, this topic of the manic minister.
God has led me from one encounter to the next over twenty four years as a minister, and I have even served on the board of directors of a mental health counseling center for christians where counseling and medication were both utilized. As I passed through each situation and walked out these relationships, I studied, prayed and learned more.
I do not by any means have very many answers for these disturbing things because these things always involve the most painful episodes of our lives. Certainly, there are mentally disturbed people who never encounter Christ. I suppose that I expect that to occur. But the bible promises us that the gospel, in the fully empowered form, should be sufficient to drive out and destroy all manner of evil and illness. I do not see that happening in actuality, and I must conclude that the thing that we call church must be diseased and crippled, unable to provide solutions for a great many because it is somehow disconnected from the main flow of the power source. So, I have devoted my life in the prophetic attempt to call the church back to biblical form and function, according to the plans laid down by the master designer of the church.
The difference between the unsaved counterfeit christian minister and a really saved, yet demonically oppressed christian minister may be impossible to sort out for almost all of us. I have certainly been tricked many times, and other times, as you note, I have been left wondering just "who is who" in these situations. I can only counsel that in the wake of the aftermath, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, for only He can deliver us from all the wreckage that surrounds our lives here in the last days.
Stephen L. Bening
HUNDREDS OF CONFIRMING PROPHETIC VOICES
(For example: Position your mouse cursor over California on the map, and click to see a page of California Earthquake Prophecies)
"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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