On the night of June 18, 1978, I went to bed at my usual time with no advance notice that something was about to happen which would change my entire life!
About three o'clock in the morning, I was abruptly awakened when someone grasped my arms and sat me right up in bed! The room was dark because the shades were pulled, but there was just enough light from outside so I could detect the outline of a huge being.
To say the least, I was frightened because he was so strong I couldn't free myself from his grip. My fear didn't last, however, because I quickly became aware of a supernatural presence, and it didn't take me long to realize that this heavenly being was an angel from God. He confirmed this, turned loose of my shoulders, and told me not to be afraid! Then he told me that God had sent him because the prayers of God's people had been heard, and he was to deliver the message that their prayers had not only been heard, but had been answered! Hallelujah! I wasn't dreaming, it wasn't a vision, it was something very, very real!
As we continued talking, he spoke so loudly I was sure he was going to wake up my wife who was asleep next to me. He didn't, but I wish he had!
My dog, Queenie, comes into our room once in awhile when she gets lonesome, and sleeps beside the bed. She was there that night and was interested in everything the angel had to say. She was right beside me and I could feel her head turning every which way against my leg as first the angel spoke and then I answered! It was an unusual visit!
It sounds strange, and I imagine some people might question my credibility. This is not important; God's message is, and he had something he wanted me to bring to the world!
This unique conversation lasted for two solid hours as the angel shared magnificent truths from the Word of God with me. He discussed the unfolding plan of God for the entire world and brought me warm feelings from God's own heart as to the concern he has for people. His love for people is so great, he is a lot more interested in them than he is in procedure! He LOVES people!
The angel gave me information which went in many different directions, but there was a keynote which the Lord emphasized to me that followed all the way through, and at first I wasn't certain how to relate this message until one night three weeks later, he returned, bringing more beautiful truths from God on the same subjects. I wanted to see what he looked like, but again I could only see the outline of this heavenly being in the darkness of our bedroom.
The morning following the second visit, my wife asked me if we had another visitor during the night, because she said while she did not hear anything, she was aware of the real warmth of God's presence filling the room.
There is something so awesome about God sending these special messengers with words from heaven that I feel a tremendous responsibility in sharing this. We are living in a beautiful time and a great awakening is happening throughout the world. Along with the great move of the Holy Spirit, there are also renewed attacks by the enemy against the work of God.
In an effort to get at God and to try to hurt him, satanic forces are attacking the home, which is the closest thing on earth to God's heart. Homes are hurting and many times they do not understand why. This attack is more than just an attack on the home for every time you find a new chapter about to be opened in God's great work, you will find increased satanic activity. The enemies of God are following a practice that began a long time ago.
In talking about these satanic attacks, the angel brought to my mind the ways the enemy fought in times past. When Moses was born and the plan of God began to unfold so that the children of
Satan didn't know whom God had chosen, so he put it into the heart of the king to kill every child below a certain age so that he could get rid of the one baby who was going to have a definite part in the unfolding of God's plan.
Another time was when a decree was given in Shushan. The enemy knew that the time was almost here for the great deliverance of
When Jesus was born, the greatest chapter of all times began to unfold. Again the satanic forces said, "We have to stop him. He is God's own Son. We have to stop this deliverer, but we don't know where he is." They inquired, "Where is he? Where is he going to be born?"
If Satan could have read minds, all he would have had to do was to go to the shepherds or the wise men and read their minds, but they weren't telling! He discovered the general area, so that same satanic force went into operation. Once again all the babies were killed. But Jesus wasn't there!
In our day, there is a beautiful new chapter unfolding as God is bringing into focus families of the earth. He is letting them know that his plan of salvation, a principle he put into operation years and years ago, is not just a plan for a single person. He reserves a place for the whole family, but each member must individually be born again.
I thought, "That's strange theology! That doesn't seem right." But I discovered that God himself is the one who started this! It was in his beautiful plan that he gave to Moses in the tabernacle. The angel brought to my attention the fact that God wanted the name of every head of the house and his family included in the gate of the tabernacle; the silver sockets, which held the veil of the temple, were to be made out of the shekels of their redemption. These sacrifices of half a shekel of silver were made by each man as a ransom for his soul unto the Lord. The shekels were to be melted, and the gates were to hang on the very fact that God has included ALL in his plan.
This redemption plan for the families was so important to God that he required each family to give a memorial offering of half a shekel every year so they wouldn't forget. This is discussed in Exodus 30:12-16 and 38:25-28.
Do you remember when Rahab saved the spies who went into
God's plan is a family plan. All of the beautiful ties of home and family are eternal, and you are going to have joy such as you have never dreamed of when you get to heaven. Gabriel spoke to me over and over again about the importance of families to God, and that we can trust him, even though we cannot comprehend how he can accomplish a family relationship in heaven. "How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods!" (Romans 11:33 TLB).
The enemy wants to spoil God's plan by hurling heavy artillery into the homes, causing husbands to lose feelings for their wives; causing restlessness; causing things to fall apart; causing children and parents to hate each other. But God says Satan is not going to get away with it!
One of the most impressive things the angel told me was that God always has a back-up plan. God says his work will get done even if he has to call in someone else to do it - or he will do it himself!
This is beautifully described in the story of Esther, when Mordecai came to her and prophetically told her that God had put her right there at that particular time to get a job done. She could choose to do it if she wanted to, and be really blessed of God, but she could also be confident that his deliverance was not going to fail if she decided not to do it (Esther 4:14). God's plan will go through and he will raise up deliverance from another source if necessary. He will not fail!
God let me know that events which he has decreed HAVE TO HAPPEN! When he decrees it, an irreversible force is set in motion that nothing can stop. IT HAS TO HAPPEN! People he has included in his unfolding plan are not irreversibly stuck with that plan for themselves unless they want to be. God has predestined the event, but not the individuals. He said, "If you will link arms with me, there will be joy and happiness in it for you. I have FOREORDAINED you to be a partner with me in the great work that I am doing, but I will not hold you to it."
God is at work! The enemy is at work! These are the two opposing forces, but God has already decreed that he is the winner!
Many Christians have been praying for the unsaved loved ones in their families. When the angel brought me the message that their prayers had already been answered, I thought, "Does this mean they are already ALL saved?" "No, God does not mean he will violate the free right of choice he has given, but it means that he is going to do everything necessary to bring people to the point where it will be easy for them to make the choice to serve him.
I have heard it said, "It's a good thing to make it hard for people to come to God because that way they will appreciate Him." That isn't God's way! He wants to make it real easy to come to Him, and real hard to get away! His whole desire is for you. He loves you! He's not looking for some reason to cast you away. He is looking for every reason to hold you!
Since God has said that your prayers are already answered, those who have laid their loved ones before him in sincerity and in faith can stop praying right now! The angel said they can start praising God right now. He is on the job, and has released the forces to bring about circumstances which would make it hard for these people to resist God.
Then the angel said, "I am here right now leading a great band of angels in order to clear the way, to scatter the enemies, to move away the roadblocks, and to let people know that the heart of God is warm toward them."
He shared many beautiful truths with me, and on this particular visit as he spoke to me, I realized the angel was the same one who had appeared to Zacharias with an identical message, "Your prayers are heard!" (Luke 1:13).
This message that God brought to me through his angel was a little picture of the big heart of God and what He is doing today. The angel told me that God was interested in restoring homes into the kind of unit that would please him and that He could bless. He said his desire was to restore communication between children and their parents, and break down barriers of hatred so they could be buddies and have a wonderful family relationship.
God showed His keen interest in families by forming the home before he made the church. He wants that same wonderful unity, and that recognition of himself, which people expect to feel only in the church, to also be in the home.
He said, "I want the fathers to feel the hurts of their family. I want the children to know that when the enemy attacks, they can find a strong arm at home on which to lean. I want the mother's hearts to be opened and filled with compassion for the kids." I was certainly aware of the fact that God was interested in families, but to have an angel tell me this made it more real!
He said that God's purpose, His desire, and one of the things that he wants to accomplish in all that he is doing, is to reach the rebellious children. He wants to turn the hearts of fathers and mothers toward their children. He said, "I want to take those rebellious children, those who are disobedient, and bring them to a point of knowing how complete my forgiveness really is. I want them to know that when they obey me, there is not one thing from the past against them on their record up in heaven. When I forgive, I not only forget the thing for which I have forgiven them, but I even forget that I forgave!
When you come to God the next time and say, "God, I hate to keep coming, because I know this is the twentieth time you have forgiven me, but will you forgive me once again?" He will look at you and say, "What are you talking about? I do not have any record of that. I do not have anything in my memory about that. As far as I'm concerned, this is the first time you have come." Did you know that this is the kind of forgiveness God has?
I have heard many messages on how beautiful it is that God justifies the godly people, and I think this is wonderful! But God goes a step further, and says, "I want you to carry the message that I am ready to justify the ungodly" (Romans 4:5).
The word justify means "just as though it had never happened." God said, "Because of the snares and the attacks of the devil, I want my people to know how complete that justification really is! I want to go into their minds, their hearts, and into their well-being. I want them to be able to look up into my face and know that they do not have to hang their heads and be ashamed, because when I see them, I see them as first-class members of my family."
He told me that I could find a brief of this message in Luke 1:17. This was the time of another great unfolding of a chapter in His plan. I got out my Bible to read it to see if it really said it that way, and lo and behold, it says it just that way. He was speaking about John the Baptist and the anointing of the Spirit and how John was going to go out and do God's work. "He shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient (or rebellious) to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." He wanted to let them know experientially what justification really means. God wants you to know that he is not your enemy; He is your friend! He doesn't want to hurt you; He wants to help you!
Then he reminded me of something that happened in Acts 27:20 where Paul was shipwrecked. I really got excited when I read this! A terrible storm came up and all hope was gone. The crew gave up in despair, because they felt they would not be saved. But, in verse 22, Paul said, "I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship." How did Paul know this? "... For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: (God's plan was unfolding, and he was not going to allow anything like a storm to stop those plans) and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee."
To you parents, God is saying the same thing, "I'm giving you all those who are sailing with you."
When he said, "Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: (I've got good news for you) for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."
I shall be just the way the angel said it!
Paul told them to stand by, but many of the people didn't believe him. I'm sure some of them thought, "Man, this guy's had hallucinations. We have been in the storm area for too many days." They had seen men lose their minds before, because of the storms. They said, "We can hear the ground under the ship; we have sounded down." So with the guise of throwing some anchors over, they threw a boat over, and were going to get into it, but Paul said, "You had better obey. God has plans to save you, but you have to make the choice yourself." The soldiers cut the rope and the boat fell into the water.
God still had a plan, and he sent a host of angels and they took the back end of the ship, twisted it off, and broke it up into little pieces so everyone would have something to hang onto. The angel visitor said that he had led a host of angels in at that time to make sure each person got to shore. Each one of the 276 who were saved had a big angel watching over them!
I asked the angel, "Wouldn't it have been better if they had drowned, since they were a pretty rough bunch of characters? They were prisoners, many of them murderers, and humans of the lowest kind." No, the great miracle happened because God wants to save! Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, but that the world through him might have life!
I think of the reluctance I had in delivering the first message that was brought to me. I didn't know where it was going to go! I didn't know what it was going to do! I have spent twenty-nine years in my community endeavoring to share Christ with the people; the community recognizes my ministry; it is accepted, and I didn't want to destroy the work of a lifetime in one evening by telling an experience that would cause defenses to rise, and turn people away.
The angel told me to give the message, but I could not. I waited three weeks, and in the middle of the night, those same strong hands that had grasped my arms before, raised me up in bed and said, "You haven't given that message." I knew I was in trouble! I was still reluctant, so I asked the angel, "Since you are here, why don't I introduce you to the people and let you give the message to them?" He replied that God would not permit him to, so I had to give it myself.
I was especially cautious when I gave this message in church because the angel was there, making sure I gave the entire message. He said, "Even though I will not give the message to the congregation, I want you to know that I am here, and I have my whole army of angels with me right now." It really excited me to know that angels were in the service! Then he said there were more angels there that night than people! How I wish we could have crystallized them to make them visible.
Because God is rapidly moving forward to accomplish His plan on schedule, Satan is also working hard. He wants to spoil what God is doing, but God said he is not going to succeed.
In Numbers 10:35 we read that when the cloud moved, and the ark and the people were ready to move ahead, Moses said, "Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered." God showed him when to say it. There were a lot of enemies lurking along the way, and when Moses gave the signal, the angelic hosts of heaven swung into action and swooped out across the area where Moses and the Israelites would be traveling, clearing the way of all enemies, whether spiritual or physical.
Did you know that you are on God's special list because somebody in your family loves Jesus and they are asking God to save you? Even if you have not yet given him your life, a host of angels has already come! He has already given the cry, "Enemies be scattered!" There are angels working to bring you out of the enemy camp into God's safety. They are pushing things out of the way because God said that you are highly favored.
If you have been praying for a family member who does not know the Lord, and have sincerely laid them on the altar, stop pestering them! Quit preaching at them! They're getting enough pushing and pulling right now from the angels, and the Holy Spirit is doing a thorough job of preaching to them.
One of the big angels who later talked to me said he was the same one who was standing beside Joshua when Joshua said, "Are you on our side, or the enemies' side?" The angel replied, "You are wrong on both accounts, but I have come as the leader of another army and we are taking our orders from heaven. Your God, who is giving those orders, knows what the needs are (Joshua 5:13-15)."
There's an army at work right now. Wherever men and women honestly lay their loved ones out before God, those names are written on a very special list. This does not mean that God is going to stop only with those families, God is reaching people and drawing them in from all walks of life.
In Psalm 89:33-37 we read about that very special list where God said He would make an everlasting covenant with us, even the sure mercies of David. Then He tells us what the sure mercies of David are, that if your children drift away from God, they are going to get into trouble. "Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes" (Ps. 89:32).
They are going to have a rough time, but nevertheless, because I made a promise to you, "my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail." (Ps. 89:33). He is going to stay right on them, encouraging them to come back to his family.
I didn't ask this angel to identify himself, or to give any credentials. But, he said, "To set your mind at ease as to the authenticity of this visit, to erase any doubts from your mind, I want to give you some scripture references where I am referred to in God's Word, and it's settled there!" and that is what he did! He was the angel who was with Zacharias, with Paul at the shipwreck, with Moses to scatter the enemies, and with Joshua.
Again today I can hear the battle cry, "Rise up, Lord. Let your enemies be scattered," and already the angels have moved out for action!
When I gave this first message to my church, God gave me a confirmation that it was from Him! Someone took the tape of GOOD NEWS and gave it to a friend who was visiting here from
"We thought this would be the funniest thing ever, so we all got together and went to the saloon. We got our jugs of beer and sat around the table. We were going to play the tape over and over and just have a big time laughing! We thought it would be a real blast! We turned the tape recorder on, but none of us touched our beer! In about five minutes, a few of us started crying. There were seventeen of us together in the saloon. "We played it over three times and someone said, 'What are we going to do, we've got to do something!'" They couldn't figure out what to do. It was like they were in a daze. Finally one of them said, "Why don't we call him - that pastor." So they called the operator and got my number. When he related the story about listening to the tape, he pleadingly asked me, "What are we going to do?" I said, "God has followed that tape to
I had six calls the first week which confirmed to me that this message was from God and that I was to share it with the world. Not one of the individuals who called me knew who I was, and none of them had heard the tape except the man from
Another time the phone rang early one morning, and it was a man calling from
It was a real joy when another man stopped by who had been troubled about his sister who didn't know the Lord. When he heard about angels going out to bring people to the ones who would minister salvation to them, he got down on his knees and said, "Lord, I'm going to lay my sister and my family out before you, and I'm going to praise you for what you are going to do." That very week his sister found Jesus as her Savior and Lord, and now God is working on the rest of the members of the family.
Reports are coming in from all over that these angels are bringing people to the place where they can make a decision for Christ. God's messages and his salvation are snowballing around the world. The angel reemphasized the fact to me that these ministering angels were out working and bringing people to those who would minister salvation to them. Again he emphasized the fact that we must prepare ourselves and be alert to help those who will come to us. Then he said, "You have accepted the teaching that Jesus is the door and the way. You are bringing people to the door," he said, "but God wants you to know that you are also a door." When Jesus said, "As my Father sent me, so send I you," he dispatched us exactly as he is. We are a door to Christ, and he is the door to God.
Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). He has not only given us the Holy Spirit, but he gave us his job to do!
Jesus, as a human channel of God, was the door through which people found God. "And Christ became a human being and lived here on earth among us ..." (John 1:14 TLB). People who can't find Jesus in this world can find us! Today many people are going out and becoming a door, or a channel, through which others are finding Christ as their Savior.
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," in John 8:12, and in Matthew 5:14 he said, "Ye are the light of the world." This does not give deity to man, because we are not Jesus, but we are the human doors and "the light of the world" which he uses on this earth! He wants us to take this same kind of authority that these angels are taking and not listen to anyone's objections when they come to us.
As the Spirit draws and calls people, they often refuse to listen, and strenuously object, but the angels don't listen. They have orders to bring people to a point of either accepting or rejecting Jesus. If they refuse, the angels start the cycle over again, and again, and again as directed by the Spirit.
Not everyone who comes your way will be brought by the Spirit, but God wants you to be sensitive enough to hear the words they are saying, or sense their discouragement. We are to let them know the angels are at work and they cannot dispose of them just by turning away and refusing to listen. If they do, the angels will start the cycle right over again! And if they refuse again, the angels will start once more. Angels do not get discouraged. They are taking all their orders from heaven. Praise God!
We can speak in Jesus' name because we have His authority. When someone sincerely says, "Jesus, I accept you," it is our responsibility to let them know that God has accepted them. God has given us this authority through Jesus. We are his representatives! We can say this, because God will back us up in everything we do that is according to his Word. "Whosoever you free," he said, "I am going to free."
God's Good News for you today is that God is vitally interested in each person and in families, and that he is even sending angelic messengers to bring those who are away from him into his own family. He really loves people!