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Prophecy: The Wilderness
May 27, 2018 Sivan (Mo 3) 13, 5778

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More than three millennia ago, The LORD God sentenced an entire nation of His people to wander in the wilderness of Sinai for thirty eight more years. That is how it worked out, but when the sentence was laid down, the terms were somewhat more indefinitely presented. Their total sentence was levied at forty years, but two years of it had already been served in their travels to that date, so thirty eight years remained, but they were not aware of that at the time. During that time, God promised in Num 14:29 that

"Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun."

Apparently, all those who were appointed to perish had done so by the time thirty eight additional years had passed, and so, Moses prepared the people to enter into the land of promise.

Precious little is known about what actually transpired during those thirty eight years. Numbers chapter 33 lists forty two stations where the Israelites wandered to as they were led forth by the movements of the Cloud of the Lord. Thirty three of those stations led up to the arrival at Kadesh, in the Wilderness of Zin. That record indicates they departed from Kadesh in the fortieth year. The entirety of the thirty eight years is discussed in Numbers 14, 16, 17 and 20, but half of that was spent in describing how God arose in wrath during the rebellion of Korah and again to establish Aaron as Chief Priest, the time of which events is not specified except that they both fell during the 38 year period. Therefore, the much larger part of the desert wandering is presented to us without any scriptural record. We know that a group, estimated to be in size between 1.5 and 3 million souls, spent thirty eight years in the area of the Arabah desert called the Wilderness of Zin. We know this nation possessed cattle at the end of the forty years of chastisement as we are informed at Numbers 20:4, prior to any conquests, and that cattle need grazing land, so this group must have wandered primarily in search of grass to feed their cattle during those thirty eight years. Therefore, their wanderings must have been to higher ground in the hotter seasons and lower ground during the cooler: for the sake of their cattle. We are informed in Deut 1:46 that they abode in Kadesh many days. Just how many days is left for all to question. I conclude that they were rather permanently centered near Kadesh during the final thirty eight years. To alter this view requires adding to scripture. Just where was this "Kadesh"?

I was quite surprised to find as I did my research for this article that ancient writers all agreed that Kadesh WAS Petra. Indeed, the Arabs believe this was the case, even to this day and the river exiting Petra bears the name of Moses. Only the modern day Jews and Christians have been hoodwinked. Modern map makers, many of whom are atheists and God haters, have moved the present day location of Kadesh Barnea on the bible maps to a place that is inside of the land area promised by God to the Israelites. Their reasons for doing so apparently center in their unbelief that such a large group of people could possibly find enough water to survive in the regions of Petra that Josephus and others have previously identified as the biblical Kadesh. My purpose here for writing is not served by arguing out that location, only to point out to you that this appears to be another important piece of knowledge that was long known and agreed to by Josephus, Eusebius and others that has been stolen from the Church during the last 150 years. No bible map after 1913 showed the location of Kadesh in it's proper, East of the Dead Sea position. These modern, Western shifted locations, throw the scripture into confusion. Modern commentators have added additional confusion to the record of the travels of the Israelites. They have introduced TWO visits to Kadesh: one in year two and one in year forty. Numbers chapter 33 lists only one visit to Kadesh and they would have us manually insert a second visit based upon their speculations, which I find to be spurious.

Nearly nine years ago, the LORD told me that He was sending His people of this generation into the wilderness of the Great Tribulation Final Words-Into The Wilderness-Iron Rod. I have been trying to wrap my mind around just what this means for that almost nine year period. Recently, I decided to embark upon an in-depth study of Israel in the wilderness, as that might offer some clues about what we are to expect during our time of chastisement which, the duration of which, is still as yet unspecified by the Lord. Hopefully, I as well as you can gain an understanding regarding this present time we find ourselves in. Nearly a month later, I wrote these words: "The era of predictive prophecy, uttered in advance of serious events is now at a close. Now, we will enter into the fulfillment of those serious events, and God will speak to a new group of believers as those events transpire." God has now, in this month of May, 2018, given me access to this new group of believers.

I can say, from the perspective of almost nine years later, that I find that the last nine years have brought forth no additional forth-telling of serious events; no new predictive prophecy and there have been several alarming events that tend to solidly confirm that we are on the road to the fulfillment of the serious prophesied events that were brought forth by me and several other true prophets of the Lord in the time prior to October, 2009. I conclude that based upon what I have seen during this period, it appears to me that I had "the word of the Lord" back there on October 20, 2009 and that we are simply going to have to deal with it. What are we to do now? God has continued to reveal details about events and we are right to seek Him for greater understanding about those events He has already told us are coming. What did Israel do when they realized that all of their attempts to escape from the wilderness were futile?

I said previously that God had recognized that Israel had MANY cattle. Those cattle needed food. God was providing the water, from the rock, whenever naturally occurring rock was not to be found. So, it is very clear that Israel had the duty of stewardship: to care for that which God had provided for them. Six hundred thousand Israeli men had the burden to provide for their wives and children as best as they were able. So, just as it is for us, they had to care for what they possessed: men and beast. They wandered in search of whatever extra was necessary, beyond the manna from heaven.

Spiritual life during the thirty eight years was in marked contrast to the first two years Israel spent in the wilderness. Those two years contained so many supernatural events and miraculous deliverances. God delivered the law to Moses and Moses explained it to the people. Israel saw fire on the mountain top and witnessed the shaking of the mount. Israel saw a calm sea divide into two parts. They walked through that parted sea on dry ground, where a naturally grounded mind would expect to find mud. They saw that same sea collapse on the Egyptian Army and kill them all. In short, they saw and witnessed an incredible amount of the things of God during those two years. Moses received the entire law and recorded it.

The thirty eight wilderness years were markedly different. Moses did not receive anything from the Lord, at all, during that thirty eight year period that he deemed to be worthy of writing down for posterity. Israel did not see anything either, as I believe they did not move by virtue of following the cloud for that thirty eight year period: they were permanently centered at Kadesh, near Petra and wandered to and from that area as their cattle needed new vegetation to subsist upon. They still had the witness present, from the Lord, in the fact that they were still gathering the daily fallen manna for their food and their clothes and sandals did not wear out, but beyond that, they had to physically care for that which they had physically and spiritually. They had been given the law: now they had to figure out how to keep it! They failed miserably at some point as Numbers chapter 16 and 17 attest and they saw God arise and threaten to destroy them in His wrath. That point settled, God once again settled down to silence. Those Israelites had to learn how to take care of that which God had given them: both spiritually and physcially, and root out all rebellion against God and His established authority from their midst.

I wonder how I will find you as you reach this paragraph! Have you looked around recently at that which passes for prophecy in the Christian Church? Where are you looking to find a real prophet in this hour? Let us say that you have identified one or two real ones....are they prophesying any new, serious future events? Or, do you see this thing as I see it? The false ones are marking themselves by their endless chattering. We have, each of us, responsibility to care for man and beast, just as Israel had, to whatever extent God has given these things into our hands. Many of us have been given abilities with machines that did not exist in the time of Moses: technologies that permit me to communicate with the world and you can read, free of charge, and determine whether or not I have the word of the Lord. We have to be good stewards over all of these and other resources. Israel had been given the Law: now they had to figure out how to obey it and teach it to their children and grand children. We have been given the gospel: we must preach it! We have been given the baptism of the Spirit: we must worship in Spirit and in truth! We have been given the gifts of the Spirit: we must stir these up in an appropriate manner for the benefit of all. We have been given prayer: we must pray with the understanding and without the understanding. We must prophesy toward the building up and edification of the saints. We have been given a tremendous legacy, even to be worked out and carried forward as these times of tribulation advance.

I will close by hearkening back to a time in my life, prior to 1992. God had not yet called me as a prophet to the nations, but I was seeing and understanding many spiritual things that had been hidden from my eyes up until and to that point. I worked to assist another prophet at that time who was working in our church and in our area. During 1991, he procured about fifty little baby dolls: each about three inches in length. He marked these little dolls up with red slashes and handed them out all over the church and in the area of South Florida. He delivered the word of prophecy at that time that "God was going to kill our children". The reason: this prophet said that each prophetic word that God had and would send through His prophets was, in fact, a prophetic baby. The church throughout the world had slaughtered those prophetic babies, so now God was going to arise to kill the children of the people who belonged to the churches. That prophet was laughed to scorn in those churches in 1991, but I can still see the image of those little three inch long baby dolls in my mind and I think of that prophet every single time I read of another school shooting in our land.

Prophecy is very serious business and the church, has almost without exception, treated it in a very light and malicious manner. The time of reaping is at hand. Like Moses, Joshua and Caleb, those of us who have been and are obedient with respect to prophetic things are going to find ourselves caught now in a time where things are not as we would have liked them to be. Even so, we have been given much by God and by His grace, we shall continue to write, sing and speak those things that give Him good pleasure.

The coming forth of revelation concerning the wilderness is something that was primarily triggered by the arising of these new people as God had promised. I have been waiting almost nine years to see them come forth. Once they came forth, I began to meditate on that 2009 word that perplexed me from the moment it was given. Equally perplexing was the addendum that God spoke to me three days later when He said: "Why are you so downcast? This is the hour of the prophet! You will wield the iron rod!"

Once I finished writing last night, I was thinking about the problems the Holy Spirit identified in those wilderness Israelites and how they have been our problems as well: 1) Unbelief that God can provide when there is no visible means where He might be able to do it, 2) Rebellion against God and against appointed messengers, 3) Refusal to worship God according to the authority structure He designed, 4) Overtaken by various lusts and 5) Failure to properly handle what they were given in the scripture.

Therefore, our wilderness responsibilities will in like manner be to 1) Figure out how God wants us to have and operate church, 2) Learn how to worship in Spirit and truth while we learn how to avoid holding services for dead people, 3) Preach a gospel that is properly balanced...that does not encourage sedition, 4) Learn what it really is to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill our fleshly lusts and 5) Believe that God is able to spiritually provide for us and for our children, wherever and whenever we might be led in order to obey Him.

When I speak of us having being sent into the wilderness of great tribulation, modern saints think I am talking about 3.5 or 7 years of it. The truth is there is no known time limit...only until we get it right or we edge up against one of God's appointed times.

Stephen L. Bening

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