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Prophetic Signs at Manassas -- Part One
We interrupt our series of studies on the life of King Solomon to bring you a special report on our Bible Conference at Manassas. This issue will be very different from what you are accustomed to in these FMS’s. Moreover, there was so much happening from the spiritual perspective in conjunction with the Manassas Conference that this report may require more than one issue.
It has been our practice to not announce or set any conference theme in advance, but rather to observe what the Lord brings forth when each minister is given a “blank check” as to what topic to speak about. The major themes which emerged from Manassas were centered around reconciliation, repair, healing and the prophetic ministry to the nations which is springing forth from these understandings. More on each of these later.
First, though, I must explain that in the course of this writing, I shall take the space to teach and clarify (or at least attempt to) concerning what we mean by, or how we use certain terms. Not doing so would result in many who “wouldn’t have a clue,” and would dismiss out-of-hand some phenomenal events which are transpiring in the spiritual realm and which we fully expect to manifest in the material realm in due course.
We are a “trans-denominational” ministry. Therefore, we have readers and supporters who either remain affiliated with, or who have come out of, all kinds of denominational backgrounds, and we also have some with “unchurched” backgrounds—praise the Lord for them. They have much less false doctrine to unlearn.
But since we do have readers with varying spiritual/religious backgrounds, it would be well for me to define and explain certain terms and processes which may already be well understood by some readers. To them, I ask forbearance for the repetition.
For example, what do we mean when we speak of “signs?” I realize that as I begin discussing the “signs” we saw surrounding the conference, that “seeing” such “signs” will initially be considered as silliness or delusion by some. To them, I ask forbearance also, in that perhaps our Father might wish to cause you to likewise “see”. So instead of judging us as silly or deluded, patiently hear it out and then put it on the shelf for a while and then revisit the idea in the months or years ahead.
Frankly, I, too, would think we had been deluded, were it not for the fact that events on the national and international stage have followed precisely the patterns set forth in various spiritual and prophetic works which I and others have been either observing or participating in over a period of nearly two decades now.
You see, once you “see” something, you cannot “unsee” it. Let me give you some examples: the church world is split regarding spiritual “gifts.” (See 1 Corinthians 12.) Some think the “pentecostal” gifts ceased with the apostolic age. I myself once leaned that way—before I had made a serious study of it.
Those in the pentecostal and charismatic circles obviously believe the gifts are for today. I was once intending to do a series of lectures condemning and blasting all those who were “deceived” by thinking they possessed those gifts. In my view at the time, it was all fraud, charlatanry, self-deception and delusion.
But the Lord hindered me from doing that series and about five or six years later I myself was “blown away” (astounded and humbled simultaneously) when He gave me the personal experience of “interpretation of tongues.” I was not seeking it; it came totally “out of the blue” and I was so shocked by it that I literally had to stop everything and just ponder what had just happened. The point being that once I “saw,” (i.e., experienced one of the gifts), it was no longer possible to “unsee” and deny their reality in Christian life today.
Another example: “…blindness in part is happened to Israel,…” (Romans 11:25). We have taught on that passage numerous times as it relates to Israel’s blindness to her own identity. Most of the church is totally blind to Israel’s identity in the world today, thinking that either (a) the church has been given all the promises and prophecies concerning national Israel, or (b) that the Jews and the Israeli state are all of Israel. Both are incorrect.
Again, once you are given by God’s Holy Spirit to see the truth of who Israel is in the world today, you cannot “unsee” it. It is as clear as seeing the sun in the sky. Ditto with God’s Plan to reconcile all to Himself. So if there are readers who do not see what we claim to see in what we call “signs,” then my advice is to be patient, and of course, you can always petition the Lord (pray) that He give you sight in this area.
In the matter of the pentecostal gifts, I was not praying or seeking that particular gift, it just happened. But we do know that the Lord promises the following: “Seek, and ye shall find.” “Ask, and it shall be given you.” “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Then, too, there are certainly some Christian brethren among my readers who might conclude that we have a serious Scriptural infraction occurring what with all our talk about signs all the time. He might challenge us on the basis of Jesus’ words in…
Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Uh-oh! Are we an evil and adulterous generation? That sounds on the surface as though we might be in hot water with the Father, … except, let’s look at Mark 16, verse 20. It is always important in Bible study to not take one verse alone, or a verse out of context, especially if you plan to use it as a basis for condemning someone with it.
Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
We are on a detour here from my main purpose, so I am not going in depth on these two verses, but only enough to point out that we believe we are in the latter category. Why? Because the context of the former shows that it was the evil and unbelieving scribes and Pharisees who demanded a sign from Jesus.
They were essentially saying that, we will not give you (Jesus) any credence at all unless you give us signs; and then we will determine if those signs are sufficient for us to give you our stamp of approval. They demanded signs before belief. Whereas in the latter case, the apostles and disciples already believed. Then, as they went forth witnessing the word, the signs followed and confirmed to them that they were on the right track.
And that is exactly is what is happening with us, and by “us” I mean to include any and all who believe the Word of God, and who are given to see these things. The world, of course, will certainly think it foolishness, but that is to be expected.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
We began to see these things many years ago. Stephen Jones taught us about The Secrets of Time (see end of this issue for further information) and many other concepts concerned with numbers and with God’s timing. Both are key to seeing the signs.
I met Ron Oja in 1997. I asked him to teach at our first conference in Philadelphia in April of ’99. Knowing how “different” and unique Ron’s manner and message were, I billed Ron as our “Philadelphia Experiment.”
I place Stephen and Ron in the same category insofar as they both work with the Bible numbers, timing and signs. Each has his own particular insights and giftings from the Father which they offer to the group, resulting in a synergistic effect from which we all gain understanding and edification. We give God glory for His marvelous power and wisdom to fit everything together perfectly in timing, in numbers, in all aspects of the universe, no matter what area one examines, it is all perfect!
So Ron began teaching us sign language, but it had nothing to do with us demanding signs from God. Rather, the signs are Father’s gift to us, as He confirms His word and reassures us that we are on the right path in our understanding of the times and what we ought to be doing. Many of us suspect that both Ron and Stephen must have some genetic inheritance from the tribe of Issachar because…
1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do;
Now, as we continue to deal with the preliminaries—I want to explain about the terms prophecy and prophesy and how we use them. First though, and in this connection, let me air a pet peeve. I am a trained journalist and writer and also have earned a Ph.D. in Theology and Biblical Studies. (Tongue in cheek comment: I didn’t know what I was doing when I decided on a major in journalism, so please forgive me. I claim no kinship with the journalism world-at-large as represented by the MSM [MainStream Media] elites and the fawning White House press corps. With very few exceptions, what a bunch of sycophant “journalists!”)
But one of my pet peeves is the deteriorating quality of writing with each passing generation. And were it not for automated spell-checking, spelling in journalism and the media would be worse than atrocious. (Not that I myself don’t make the occasional typo, but I am talking about where so-called “writers” show their ignorance of words.) Case in point: prophecy is a noun. To prophesy is a verb. I have actually seen in Christian books and in their promotional material the repeated use of prophesy when it should have been prophecy. I could give numerous other examples, but thank you for allowing me to vent. To prophesy can mean to foretell the future or it can mean to tell forth the Word of God. Anyone who does either is a “prophet.” The Bible says that …the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10) Therefore, anyone who, or anything which testifies about Jesus (God) is prophetic.
When we come to understand a “sign” in connection with the Word of God and what our Father is doing in the earth today, we can describe it as a “prophetic sign.” When someone is impelled to speak (such as I will relate later in this report, and allowing that the impulsion is by the Spirit of God), it may rightly be classified as a “prophecy” or “prophetic word,” even though the utterance may not be predicting any future events.
Likewise, when one is led (again allowing that it is genuinely by the Spirit) to perform certain symbolic actions (as I will relate later in this report), we can speak of those things as “prophetic” actions, or “prophetic works,” etc.
For months we had been publicizing and planning to hold our conference in the “upper room” of a restaurant in downtown Manassas called The City Tavern. As the time drew closer, I became more and more concerned about space. One option was to remove all the tables and just have the conferees sit theater-style, but that would not have been at all conducive for three days of teaching. We do allow abundant time for fellowship over meals but still that would have been uncomfortable for everyone.
So while the advance registration count was approaching fire marshal seating capacity, the Lord orchestrated events so that we He would put us exactly where He wanted us for this conference. And He used enemies of the good news to do so. Clearly in hindsight, He wanted us to “go through” The City Tavern for certain prophetic purposes (there’s that word, understand it?), but He intended for us to actually hold the conference at the Four Points by Sheraton, also in the Manassas area.
The City Tavern was prophetic by itself, but we could not have asked for a venue more prophetic than the Four Points by Sheraton. I will not be able to detail all of it in this report, but I have covered it extensively in my two-part lecture at the Manassas Conference. I encourage readers to order the entire set of conference recordings to get the complete picture.
(See Order Form on back of the cover letter of this month’s mailing. If someone passed this FMS on to you, you can always phone our offices and request the Order Form.) My two lectures are likewise different from what I normally present. In these two, I traced how the Lord has been at work—even through my ignorance—directing our steps from when we began holding conferences at Hagerstown, Maryland, then in Philadelphia, then Sweetwater, and now at Manassas.
Stephen Jones wrote in a recent letter: “I was the final speaker on Sunday afternoon [at Manassas], and I finished with a commissioning prayer for the Moses/ Elijah work that lies ahead...When we got to Sweetwater, TN last October for the Feast of Tabernacles, we discovered that the barley had been planted [that’s a long story in itself-JWB] but that we would have to wait for it to ripen before this ministry could actually begin. That meant we would have to wait until April 12, 2009, when the wave-sheaf of barley was to be waved before the Lord as the first of the firstfruits.”
One prophetic sign noticed by many of the men at our Manassas Conference was two (double witness) nicely-framed photographs which hung in the men’s room across the hall from the Four Points ballroom where we assembled. The photographs were of justharvested stalks of either wheat or barley; it was indistinguishable even to the three or four farmers who were at our conference. “Coincidentally,” in my lectures (which were prepared long before I knew of the photo décor), I had referred to the separation of the wheat from the barley companies now in process. And, as noted above, Stephen reports how the barley would be ripe on that very weekend, and thus we are grateful to Father for providing that “sign following.” (A sign in the dung room, no less!)
Along those same lines, another sign witnessed by probably half of assembly was actually in the lobby of the Hampton Inn. (A majority of attendees and speakers stayed there because we did not know we would be holding the conference at the Four Points-Sheraton). Background: The Sweetwater Conference had much to do with pressing on towards Tabernacles, i.e., the Promised Land. Imagine our delight then to find photographic art in the Hampton Lobby portraying in two separate photos...milk and honey! It would normally be “nice décor” with nothing particularly significant about it except for the timing—timing is everything! To us it signifies that the time for the barley overcomers to enter into the land of milk and honey (immortality) is nigh upon us!
Of course, since last autumn we have all witnessed the dramatic free-fall of the dollar, the “buck,” our economy, our money, our “dough”—again no space to detail it here, but we have been observing the fall in progress. The Four Points is located at an interstate interchange amidst numerous other commercial buildings and shopping centers. How stunned we were then, when on Saturday morning one of our conferees discovered and showed many of us a deer which had obviously been struck by a vehicle, had wandered to the Four Points parking lot, and laid down in the grass strip at the edge and died there. The next day, a second deer (second witness) was found similarly dead very close to the previous spot. The hotel staff had not recalled such a thing ever happening on their property previously. Before anyone had examined the carcass, one of our group declared “The buck stops here!” It was then discovered that it was a female, so the prophetic sign was the same: it signified “the end of the doe (dough)!” It has both a negative and positive significance, but we are out of space.
I have so much more to share from the conference, so next month I will tell of the “dung” signs at the U.S. Capitol and how God moved us from The City Tavern, of prophecies, and of all the Manassas signs of reconciliation, repair, and healing. Meanwhile, here are some resources to further your spiritual education and help you “see.”
Secrets of Time, S. Jones, 214 pgs., $20 + shpg.--see below.
The Laws of Wormwood and Dung, Jones, $3 + shpg.
The Barley Overcomers, Jones, $3 + shpg.
The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost, Jones, $3 + shpg.
Sign Language for the Spiritually Deaf, Ron Oja, 5 CD or Tape album, $20 + shpg.
God Paints by the Numbers, Oja, 6 CD/T album, $24+shpg.
No Sign Given but Columbia, Oja, 5 CD/T albm, $20+shpg.
The Ministry of Dung, Oja, 2 CD/Tapes, $8 + shpg.
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