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A Message From God ~ by Joel Hemphill

Warning: "I am soon going to shake the nations. . ."

Jeremiah 3:12,22 (12) "Return,. . .saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful saith the Lord. . ." (22) "Return, ye backsliding children and I will heal your backslidings."

Early in 1986, in a time of spiritual weakness on my part, a desperate situation arose that was threatening to destroy our home, our ministry and my personal walk with the Lord. My wife LaBreeska, and other precious family members and friends prayed fervently and God in his mercy intervened in a very loving and dramatic way. The awesome intervention of God came in the form of visions, dreams and prophetic utterance, as well as at one point the audible voice of God. (For you who may doubt this please consider that God made every mouth so he certainly can and does speak). Charisma magazine told the story of our visitation in the July, 1988 issue in an article titled "A Family in Revival." In addition to what God said regarding our situation there were four specific messages to others.

God said that he had given me trust among my peers so that they might receive the warnings that I delivered at his direction. He said that I was not to point my finger in these matters because I was unworthy to do so. God said that the message is his and if I would deliver it he would "put the power behind it". Many people have heard some of this in the past as we shared a brief portion of it on every stage that we stood on as "The Hemphills" in 1986, including the Opryland Gospel Jubilee and other notable events. Also, we shared it one on one with many precious ministers and Gospel music friends. It has been several years now and I feel stirred in my spirit to say "Thus saith the Lord" once again.

To Our Large Christian Family

God said that many are careless and foolish, and their hearts are not turned toward him, but they are turned toward the world and they are playing near the darkness. God said, "Return to me and seek my face and I will stretch forth my healing hand and heal your wounds, for if you do not return to me I will soon stretch forth my hand in wrath."

My Comment: This was before the church experienced the wounds of preacher failure that hit the news media in early 1987. Of course God knew in advance of these wounds to "His Body" as well as our individual wounds which He so desires to heal. Again God says "return to me" as He said through the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea. America take heed!

To Gospel Singers

God said that many singers had said in their hearts, "We get paid and the people get blessed, so it doesn't matter how we live." God said, "It's not so." He said if we make our living by singing and testifying His name we are as the Levites, and we must offer an acceptable sacrifice of our lives to Him. He said that His anger had come up in His face because His body had been wounded by His people seeing that some of the singers sang one thing and lived another. He said if we do this we are as money changers in the temple or as foolish children who take up a pretty serpent to our bosom to play with it and we would be bitten by it.

Mv Comment: God answered once and for all the famous question "Is Gospel music ministry, or entertainment?" God said "ministry". There is certainly nothing wrong with preachers or gospel singers being as entertaining as possible, within the bounds of taste and "what seems good to the Holy Spirit." God said it is a serious thing when someone is given permission to use another's name and that "He had permitted us to use His name to make a living."

To Preachers

God said that many preachers had tried to package Him, and merchandise Him as the healer, or the solver of financial problems, or as the quick and easy way to success and prosperity. He had been portrayed as "someone to whom you could beckon to come do this or do that" and God said, "It is not so." God said, "I do heal, and I do meet financial needs, but I am the Lord God of the Mighty Hosts, the great King, soon coming back in majesty as the Bridegroom to receive a bride that has made herself ready," and He wanted to be presented in that manner.

Mv Comment: This seems to speak to the doctrine of "prosperity" or "name it claim it," which is spreading in some Christian circles. Again, this was spoken in 1986 when this doctrine wasn't as popular as it is today.

A Warning to All

God said "I am soon going to shake the nations with a demonstration of the power of my wrath." He said that, "Many will think that it is the end but is is not," it is just to show His power to the nations. God said that He did not want His church stirred by the shaking, but he wants us stirred by the Word, now, so that we will be able to reap the harvest of souls that the shaking will bring.

Mv Comment: We later found scriptural references to this shaking in Ezekiel 38:20, Haggai 2:6-7, Hebrews 12:26, 27 and Joel 2:31 and 3:16 where the prophet says it happens "before... the day of the lord comes."

The world seems to have a current fascination with monsters, dragons, demons, and fear. Note the popularity of Pokemon (which means pocket monster), "The Blair Which Affair," Dungeons and Dragons and other movies and fads that are flooding and polluting the stream of human consciousness. According to the Washington Post, in December, 1997, a Pokemon T.V. show in Japan sent at least 685 people from all over the country to hospitals with convulsions, loss of vision, and "seizures similar to those suffered by epileptics." Though officials identified 12,950 school children that suffered at least minor symptoms, victims ranged in age from 3 to 58 and two days later about 200 remained hospitalized. Wake up world! Watch Saturday morning cartoons with your children and notice how many times witches, demons, channeling, and forces are mentioned. And this may be only the beginning. Disney is set to release a series of Japanese made animated films called "Anime" that will take the American public further than they have ever been in violence, gore and demonic themes. Pokemon was the first of these "Anime" films to achieve blockbuster status in the U.S. but others soon to be released are "Princess Monanoke," "Devilman" and "Vampire Princess Miyu." They feature such things as "demon-rape," curses, gruesome battles, and witchcraft and seek to answer for children and young adults such questions as: "Who am I? What is my true purpose for being?" Could influences such as this upon young minds be one reason the Federal Center for Mental Health Services estimates "that 6 million children in this country have some serious emotional disturbance, and for some of them, right and wrong takes second seat to the voices in their heads." (Newsweek, November 29, 1999)

When Jesus told the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15, he drew a clear picture of America and where we are leading the world. The prodigal wandered away from the home and "wasted his inheritance with riotous living" and became hungry enough to "fill his belly with the husks that the swine did eat." I read with dismay in the June 9,1999 edition of the U.S.A. Today an article with the bold headline "Hungry Fans Fat Up "Hannibal". "Hannibal" is Hannibal Lecter, the serial killer in the 1991 movie "Silence of the Lambs" who makes "body suits from human flesh" and who likes to "dine on parts of his victims." "Silence" which grossed $130 million in the U.S. and Canada and received five Oscars, pales in comparison to the blood and violence in the new book. The author, who is said to be "weird" and sometimes makes "animal like growling noises" was given a $5 million advance for "Hannibal" and the movie rights have been bought by a top Hollywood producer for $10 million. The publisher printed 1.3 million advance copies and people lined up out into the streets to purchase it on the day of it's release, to go home and sit in cozy comfort and "read for fun and pleasure about the squeals human beings make when their ears are cut off." People who study nutrition tell us "you are what you eat" and this is true spiritually and emotionally as well as physically. With a mental diet of filth like this no wonder we have 2 million people in U.S. prisons, children committing acts of rape and murder, and our news programs show us scenes of teenagers running screaming from high school. Jesus said in Luke 17:26 and Matt. 24:37 "As it was in the days on Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the coming of the Son of man." Gen. 6:13 says "And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence and I will destroy them." We must be getting very close to that point again. Pray people pray!

The world is headed for an "Act of God" that will produce fear to eclipse anything that Hollywood has ever imagined. John describes this world wide "panic attack" in Revelation 6:12-17. (12) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; (13) And the stars of Heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (15) And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (16) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (17) For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? New England and neighboring borders experienced a foreshadowing of this in 1780 on a day that is called in history books "The Dark Day." The sun went black about noon causing the chickens to go to their roosts, the cows to come lowing to the barns. Annals of the time say that "at evening the moon appeared blood red and the earth was wrapped in impenetrable darkness." Thinking it was doomsday people prayed in fear who had never before bowed a knee. The poet Whittier wrote "With ashen faces we listened for the angel trumpets blast and watched the eastern skies for the appearing of the son of God".

Orson Welles produced a much talked about "panic attack" in 1939 with his radio broadcast "The War of the Worlds" during which the general public came to believe that New York city was under attack by beings from Mars. Again there were reports of widespread prayer and repentance before the announcement was made that it was only fiction.

One day soon dear friend it will not be just an unexpected solar eclipse or an Orson Welles prank but it will be "Gods day of wrath" on a world that has rejected the sacrificial death of His son Jesus. The good news is that God said His Church will "reap the harvest of souls" that a preliminary shaking will bring. He let us know that in it all His glory will be revealed.

God told the prophet Habakkuk 2:2-3 "Write the vision make it plain. . .that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come."

Let me say in love and all humility, as one who has made my share of failures, but also as one who has experienced personally God's love, patience, tenderness, forgiveness, restoration and healing, Let's stop playing games! Preach the Word, preach and sing Jesus! Let's let our walk match our talk. Stop looking at God as "our kindly old grandfather which are in heaven" and see Him as He is, awesome, majestic and glorious, the essence of love and caring, but also jealous, severe, and so righteous that He must judge sin. Romans 11:22 says "Behold the goodness and severity of God." 2 Corinthians 5:11 says "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men." Jesus said in Luke 12:5 "I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yes I say unto you, Fear Him." Psalms 9:17 says, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Solomon says in Eccl. 12:13-14 "Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing whether it be good, or whether it be evil." For those of us who receive Him, our sins are judged already through Jesus' death on Calvary - Return - repent - run to Jesus and in Him become one of those whom Hebrews 12:27 says "Cannot be Shaken".

In Christian love,

~ Joel Hemphill

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