Branson Fall Bible Conference Report
Here is a long-delayed report on our Bible Conference held in late October at the lovely Chateau-on-the-Lake in Branson, Missouri. The audio recordings from the Conference are now available. Here is a link to the order form. Post-production of the videos takes somewhat longer. We will advise you here and in our monthly postal mailings when those are available.
Incidentally, as a heads-up for next year, we are tentatively planning to hold a Passover-Resurrection Conference somewhere in the Nashville, TN area. That will be next April. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
We received many words of praise that the Branson meeting at the Chateau was another wonderful Conference. I cannot recall receiving any negative comments about it. It was clearly a “Body” work with many contributing in their own way to bless the group.
Based on the registration sheets, we had 153 people in attendance! In Bible gematria, 153 is the numerical equivalent in Hebrew for “the sons of God!” And yes, it is the same number as we had registered at our Pentecost Conference last June in Charlotte! Looks to me like a double witness of the imminent appearance of the sons of God!
Although there was no negative feedback about the Conference itself, there were discernments by a number of participants that once again (as at Charlotte), the spiritual forces of evil were not pleased about this gathering of the saints of the Most High God, and therefore they made themselves known in a number of ways. To give all the details would require hours, but just briefly, here are a few examples.
First, several brethren were impeded on their journeys to the Conference. We usually don’t hear about difficulties of this nature in travel to/from the Conferences, so we know the evil forces were at work. But our Father was merciful in all cases. First, Arizona Mike and his son were involved in an auto accident wherein their vehicle rolled over into a ditch.
They walked away uninjured! The rental vehicle suffered $3,000 in damages (insurance will cover all but the deductible). Praise God! Oh, and along with the number 1,000, the number 3,000 also symbolizes the age of Tabernacles which includes the entire Tabernacle (2,000 cubic cubits in the Holy Place, plus 1,000 cubic cubits in the Most Holy Place = 3,000).
Then there is the case of California John, who is blind and who was determined to come to the Branson Conference for the second year in a row. Last year, he had his service dog to assist him, but the precious animal passed away a few months ago. We sighted air travelers are annoyed and inconvenienced when flights are cancelled, but it is much more of a problem and a real stranded feeling when it happens to a blind person.
John got from California to Dallas and then his flight was cancelled (due to thunderstorms, if I recall). He was rebooked on a flight to Springfield, MO which would arrive about four hours later than expected. I had arranged for Jeff to pick up John along with other air travelers, but the four-hour delay meant we had to scramble to find someone to pick him up. Tim graciously volunteered and graciously assisted John throughout the Conference.
At the Conference, our dear sister, Pat from Indiana, experienced a very painful foot injury. I spoke with her recently. She said x-rays showed there were no broken bones. She is doing much better now and healing well. She is so very grateful for Dr. Pettingill immediately ministering to her and relieving much of the pain. Pat marveled at how the Body all ministered to one another at the Conference in numerous ways. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26
Dr. Melinda Pettingill herself also had difficulty in traveling to Branson. She and Paula were driving from Texas. I believe I recall correctly that it was in the twisting highways of the Ozarks under heavy rain conditions when a truck in front of them lost some kind of metal cargo which plunked onto the highway in front of them and broke in pieces.
Melinda showed me the solid piece of metal about four inches long by one inch wide by an eighth-inch thick somehow got imbedded fully into one of the tires. They had to purchase a new tire. The tire shop personnel were astonished as to how this piece of metal could have been imbedded straight into the tire with only the tip of the four-inch length exposed!
Dr. Pettingill had shared with me that as they were getting a new tire, she phoned her cousin (I think she is), and knowing she is gifted with spiritual insight, asked her if the Lord might give her any word on this mishap.
Her cousin asked her what brand of tire it was. When Melinda told her it was a Bridgestone, her cousin told her the Father said, Why is a stake being driven into the heart of the bridgestone? When Melinda privately shared that Word with me at Branson, my face might have turned white as a sheet because I knew instantly it concerned me and/or SKM (because of the word “bridgestone,” which has personal significance to me). My first thought was, am I going to have a heart attack and die soon, as did my beloved wife six years ago? Incidentally, my cardio-vascular system is in excellent condition, to the best of my knowledge.
I did not dwell on that and it soon became clear to me that instead, this was a sign having to do with the Body of Christ being given “a heart to perceive” according to Deuteronomy 29:4. The end of the book of Deuteronomy is just before Moses dies. He is giving final instructions to the Israelites before they enter into the Promised Land.
Roughly 3,500 years later we are historically and prophetically poised on the threshold of entering into the Millennial Kingdom. It is time! The change is coming! Soon the world will witness the overcomers (not all Christians) having been changed into immortal and incorruptible bodies. Thereupon, they are enabled to serve under the returning King Jesus as (sub-)kings and priests, “and we shall reign on the earth!” (Revelation 5:10)
That my understanding of the Bridgestone sign was correct was confirmed in a most remarkable way later in the Conference. Dr. Stephen Jones and I and three or four others were engaged in some prayer and spiritual warfare in a corner of the big meeting room. Not having known at that time about the Bridgestone sign, one related about an ear problem he was experiencing. He said it had never happened to him previously. He thought perhaps it was a sign having to do with being given ears to hear.
Another related that he had been experiencing an eye problem of some sort—I cannot recall specifically, but again very unusual—and they wondered if this was the second part of the “trifecta” of Deuteronomy 29:4. I could scarcely contain my excitement as I shared with them the Bridgestone sign.
We all realized this was a Body work, and the signs applied to at least parts of the Body of Christ, if not the entire Body. Indeed, Father was confirming that the time had arrived for Christian Israel to be given ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart to perceive. (Deuteronomy 29:4).
Because, to our utter amazement, Carlos and Shelli, who were on the stage far across the meeting room and out of earshot, were just beginning to practice some songs for the next session. At the exact instant that we all realized the “trifecta” was complete, Carlos hit a chord and Shelli sang “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord!” We in the little group all looked at each other and began belly-laughing at our Father’s confirmation sign through Carlos and Shelli.
For Dr. Jones’ report on the Conference, see his blog dated October 29.