“Warning and Hope”- A Teaching
Original article published February 26, 2013 and edited and redone April 14, 2014.
This was originally written more than a year ago and I see the significance of this theme more than ever. We continue to live in a time when we hear news around us and read prophetic words, that make it sound like we are living right upon the precipice of the last days, and this assessment is actually very true.
My intent in writing this is to point out that while there is such an obvious disparity between some of the prophetic messages that we read today, it actually shows the depth and width of God’s counsel to His people.
When we read a prophecy from one of God’s people that encourages us and comforts us and we are lifted up, we are still viewing the same God who speaks of judgment and wants to warn us of imminent danger ahead.
When we hear or read about how God leads His people like a shepherd and gently guides them along still waters to feed them through His Spirit, we should not dismiss the words that speak of division in the United States in such a way that the earth will split open at some point and time. While it is true that we are not to fear for what lies ahead for us as a people or land, God as a loving Father also wants to warn us of what lies ahead.
There are messages that come from a place of dispelling fear among the brethren, and we would be wise to know and discern these things. But again, let us not mistake fear for warning, and let us not dismiss the counsel of God that would speak in truth to us in preparation for what lies ahead. And let us also rightly divide the word of God to know the truth of scriptures that speak of the days that we are living in, what has come to pass in them, and what is yet to come.
It seems to me that there is more and more, a dividing line in the prophetic —– We all have different functions and ways of receiving what God has to say to us in this hour.
There are voices that almost always speak of our promises and encouragement that we can access through the Holy Spirit. Thank God that we do have this; it is needed and necessary. For where would we be without hope in this world? We know that hope does not disappoint us.
“1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” Romans 5:1-5.
We also have those voices that are warning us and preparing us for what lies ahead. We need to know what is around the corner… If one were rowing in a boat or a canoe, wouldn’t they want to know that there were rapids ahead, or something dangerous around the next bend in the river? The same is true in the prophetic. Without those prophetic voices that warn us, we would not be prepared, and we would be blind to what is ahead of us.
There have been moments when the Holy Spirit has given me words of judgment and warning, and yet there are other times when He has spoken words of encouragement and comfort.
But when I begin to think this way, I am reminded that even in the midst of catastrophes and deluge, there is always that voice that also says, “I will provide a way for those who trust Me and keep my word.”
Even in great calamity and danger, the children of Israel found that the pillar by day and the cloud by night were guiding and protecting them. However now, we have that same spirit, that same guiding force “inside us,” rather than outside us and “upon us.” His Holy Spirit now dwells in us.
We have but to look at the prophecies of Isaiah. For here we have judgment, mercy, and hope mingled together like a fine wine:
AS SEEN IN JUDGMENT: Isaiah 28.
“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. 3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: 4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. 14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place” Isaiah 281-17.
AS SEEN IN MERCY AND HOPE: Isaiah 25
“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. 2 For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. 3 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. 4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. 6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. 11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. 12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust” Isaiah 25:1-12.
We just must not forget that our Father warns us because He loves us. An earthly father would warn and tell his young child to not venture out into a nearby busy street to protect them. So we must remember that it is out of love that God tells us even about the dark days that are ahead… He wants us to be prepared and ready.
Can we pray and intercede so that these things won’t come? I believe that we must continue to pray and intercede for our nation and world of course. I however, truly believe that we’ve gone past the point where those prayers would change what is coming. The safety net has been lifted, and judgment has begun.
A WORD FROM 2011:
ABOUT THE SAFETY NET BEING LIFTED
“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” 2 Peter 1:19.
(The spirit of the Lord showed me a man who was riding upon a horse and he then took what looked like a spear and placed it in the ground and he lifted up a huge net and took the net off of from where it had been.)
The Lord then said to me:
“I am taking off the safety net that has been held in place over the nation of the United States. For no longer will there be a wall of protection for you. No longer will I continually tell you what you must do.
For you have gone your own way. You have ignored the warnings of those prophets that I have sent to you. The safety net was held in place by many generations, but now it is being released.
For the sounds of distant drums are being heard. The drums are rolling out their message upon the earth. For all around the globe the sounds of bloodshed and violence are heard and seen upon your TV screens.
But I can gather them all up in the palms of my hands. I hold the world in a balance. I see the end as I see the beginning. And just as Israel was taken to Babylon, so at a certain point and time your nation will be besieged by an outside force.
But put your hope in me my people. Continue to lift this nation up to me. The handwriting is written upon the wall, and just as Nebuchadnezzar saw this so now it is plain for all to see.
For I would long to not come with a whip. I would rather not turn your waters to blood, but you are a rebellious people.
I had to treat Israel my own just the same way. They sacrificed on every hill. They laughed at my prophets. They endured through many long, long winters; and yet they are my own. “
I believe our prayers will help others to know the truth of the hour, but that hour will still be dark and will come. But in that hour of darkness that is coming, and that has already begun, we can know that the comforter, the building light of the Father’s spirit, will indwell “in us.” And He will lead us down roads of preparation of these things.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?