Age-turners & frailty

On July 17 of 2015, the jealous God (Exodus 20:5, 2 Corinthians 11:2) declared, “These young people are Mine”. He claimed His right (1 Corinthians 6:20) over hundreds of college students from North America and all parts of the world through their open, public consecration (1 Timothy 6:12).

This past week, I’ve had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the National College Training. We were ~1300 students gathered at the U of Illinois Urbana-Champagne campus;

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we gathered daily in the Foellinger Auditorium for 4 sessions of intense divine infusion;

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and we received a direct call from God to turn this age.

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These are the somewhat outward things, of course. The inner transactions with God of those touched by His speaking were the true profit. I won’t say too much — you can see for yourself with the updates at ageturners.com. (Try to find me in the photos from days 3, 5, and 6). This week, the Lord began to answer the prayers of His Body, and Satan suffered loss.

Satan, of course, is not happy with this.

Along with ~40 others, I started on a blending (“churching”) trip in the vicinity of Chicago. We hadn’t even made it to the highway… when the unthinkable happened. We heard a hideous screech behind us and quickly pulled over, and I thought, “there must be an accident”. Before I could comprehend that the smoking car we saw in the rear-view mirror had been following us — i.e. it was in our caravan — I heard sobbing as I hadn’t heard in a long time. We ran over and wrapped our arms around our sobbing, shaking sisters. I looked at the car, didn’t see the point of impact on the other side, and took probably a minute to realize that the pillow-like things in the windows were airbags.

Oh Lord Jesus.

About 2 hours later, when the four sisters were confirmed to be largely safe and sound, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the mercy the Lord extended to us. For preventing what could have been much more serious injury. For that being the only vehicle with just 4 occupants. For separating our caravan into two packs of 3 and 4 vehicles so as to not throw the entire trip off course. For the ready accommodations at the ILUC campus for the 9 of us who headed back. For gracing the families of the four sisters with forgiving spirits. For the mutual comfort afforded by being fellow members of the Body. Most of all, for turning the sisters immediately to prayer — in beseeching that the enemy would gain no ground in their being, in exposing Satan as the source of this pernicious attack, in praising Jesus as the One still on the throne, even in renewing the consecrations they had made the day before.

I can do nothing except worship Him.

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Now has come…

Revelation 12:10 says

And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ, for the accuser of our brothers has been cast down, who accuses them before our God day and night.

This “now” comes when the woman travailing in birth (v.2) brings forth a son, a man-child (v.5). This “now” comes when the stronger part of God’s people, consisting of the overcomers, is brought forth from the church. This “now” comes when the “great dragon [has been] cast down, the ancient serpent, he who is called the Devil and Satan, he who deceives the whole inhabited earth” (v.9). Hallelujah! What a “now” to look forward to!

The obvious question: how do we get from the present time to this “now”?

It appears that warfare is involved. The woman aforementioned was not peacefully travailing in birth, you see. Verse 4 tells us that “the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bring forth, so that when she brings forth he might devour her child.” There’s a serpent-become-dragon seen from Genesis to Revelation who will do everything he can to delay the “now” — to delay the execution of the death sentence that Jesus Christ gave him on the cross (Hebrews 2:14). Hence the necessity and even inevitability of spiritual warfare.

We might know about swords, canons, A-bombs, bioterrorism (yes, I’m in microbiology), etc., but it takes a whole different set of weaponry and skill to fight when

our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies. (Ephesians 6:12)

  1. Be in full obedience to God under His ruling. Satan is the source of rebellion, so whether we end up in his camp or in God’s camp depends on whether we obey.
  2. Believe in the facts revealed in the Word of God. Isaiah 25:8 and 1 Corinthians 15:54, for instance, tell us that death has been swallowed up unto victory. Hallelujah! We must believe this, and we must declare this!
  3. Be properly positioned in the heavenlies with the ascended Christ (Ephesians 2:6). We fight from above! We’re positioned to tread on the principalities!
  4. Refuse to fight an individual battle. We need to refuse because Satan will tempt us to engage in battle alone. He knows that the moment we do is the moment we’re defeated. We stand no chance alone. That’s why the Lord placed us in His Body! Our fight is a corporate fight — “because we are members of His Body” (Ephesians 5:30).
  5. Be empowered in the Lord. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to “be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength”. Colossians 1:11 tells us to be “empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory”. 2 Timothy 2:1 tells us to “be empowered in the grace which is in Christ Jesus”. I’m always telling the Lord that I’m weak, weak, weak. But the Lord is telling me, “Be strong, don’t be weak! These are not times to be weak!” Well, my flesh is still weak. But there’s power in Jesus who is in my spirit!
  6. Put on the whole armor of God and leave no part unguarded. The warrior in Ephesians 6 is so well equipped. (That’s the corporate warrior, by the way.) Equipped with what? With all the aspects of the all-inclusive Christ!
  7. Fight by standing. The aforesaid warrior takes up the whole armor of God to “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (v.13). We must keep standing. Unmovable.
  8. Receive the sword of the Spirit. That warrior has one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God (v.17). The Lord Jesus withstood the tempter by the word of God (Matthew 4:6,7,10). This is what Satan’s afraid of.
  9. Pray in spirit. The warrior receives the helmet and the sword “by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit” (v.18). To pray in spirit is to really pray in the name of Jesus (as opposed to just adding “In Your name we pray” as a kind of P.S. to our prayers).
  10. Claim the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 12:11 tells us that “they overcame him (the accuser in v.10) because of the blood of the Lamb”. The blood answers before God all the accusations of the devil against us, therefore the blood should be answer to Satan.
  11. Declare the word of our testimony. The same v.11 tells us that “they overcame him…because of the word of their testimony”. What is our testimony? It is the fact that the devil has been judged by the Lord!
  12. Fight without caring for our soul-life. Revelation 12:11 continues: “they loved not their soul-life even unto death”. The scariest soldier is one who fights with no expectation of coming out alive. No wife and kids to return to, no fortune to make, no future bright to live out. No reservation. No backward glances. Daniel was such: he prayed with the full knowledge that he would be thrown into the lion’s den for it (Daniel 6).

Lord, teach us to cooperate with You in Your warfare. Grant us faith to stand upon Your victory. Gain Your mighty warrior for the bringing forth of the man-child. Father, Your name be sanctified; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth. We look forward to the triumphant shout of “Now has come”.