—MOApril 23, 1971LTA No.66
—Confession of a Shattering Experience!
(Recorded 1/30/71 in Cyprus—just after leaving Israel.)
THE SHATTERING OF THE DELUSION OF ISRAEL!
1. I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER BEEN AS WEAK AS I'VE BEEN A FEW TIMES LATELY. I've really had a battle! That has been my lifelong dream: to see Israel! And you know what we really did instead of seeing Israel? We sacrificed seeing the land of Israel in order to take care of living Israel—the Living Stones!
2. YOU COULDN'T UNDERSTAND HOW MY HEART HAS BEEN SET FOR YEARS ON SEEING ISRAEL and seeing the fulfilment of prophecy! It was a dream that I just knew was going to come true some day! And when it happened, I found out that the real Living Israel was far more important than a piece of land‚ a bunch of rocks! You just can't imagine! It's been almost a psychological wrench! If I hadn't been holding onto the Lord the last two days, I could have gone just like that! I don't deserve it, but the Lord answers the kids' prayers for me!
NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS—SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
3. NOW I KNOW HOW PEOPLE FEEL WHEN THEY HAVE NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS! Drinking all that coffee just exhausts your adrenaline system, so when you need it you don't have it, and it's too much of a strain on your heart burning up so much energy! Adrenaline opens the blood vessels so the blood circulates more freely and stimulates the heart action. Adrenaline is like the fuel and your body is like the furnace! You're dumping fuel on the fire immoderately and then all of a sudden you run out of fuel—and then when you need it for warmth and strength, it's not there! In sexual action you burn it up; in the stimulants of coffee and tea also. Alcohol is the exact opposite; it's a depressant and relaxes you!
4. EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEART AND FOR YOUR BLOOD AND BREATHING, if you don't push it too hard, because it takes part of the load off the heart; but if you overdo it, physical exhaustion sets it on top of the nervous exhaustion, and you have neither the nervous nor physical energy to keep you going! It's a funny thing; physical exertion will keep you going even if your nervous energy is gone, and vice versa! God has these energy systems to keep you going, but if you exhaust both of them you have no reserve!
5. IT'S A PHYSICAL AND NERVOUS THING, AND THEN THE ENEMY ATTACKS! The Lord has put the warning system in your body—that little feeling of apprehension that something is wrong. You're worried! You don't even know why! What's coming on is depression! You've a feeling of being very discouraged and depressed, morose! Under these circumstances, fears become phobias, and worries become hysteria, and depression can actually become demon possession if you don't know the Lord. Everything just looks like a mountain and you just almost become hysterical. Strain on your body, your mind, and your spirit! "Abuse not the temple of the Holy Ghost!" "Be temperate in all things!" "Let your moderation be known to all men!" (1Cor.3:17; 9:25; Phil.4:5)
6. THEN THE ENEMY DELIBERATELY ATTACKS AND TRIES TO MAGNIFY AND EXAGGERATE, and a little concern becomes a worry, a worry becomes a fear, a fear becomes a phobia, a phobia turns into paranoia‚ paranoia into hysteria, and hysteria into complete mental collapse!
7. IT'S LIKE BEATING AND DRIVING A TIRED HORSE BY WHIPPING IT! The horse may keep running for a while, but pretty soon he just completely gives out and collapses!
8. SO MUCH OF THIS PSYCHOLOGICAL STRAIN I'VE BEEN GOING THROUGH WAS NOT NECESSARY, BECAUSE I SHOULD HAVE KEPT MY MIND ON THE BRIGHT SIDE! I should have dwelt on what I'd gained, instead of what I lost!
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MISCONCEPTIONS OF THE JEWS' PLACE IN HISTORY
9. THE NATURAL JEWS DO HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT PLACE IN HISTORY and Bible Prophecy, but we have gone beyond the limits of just Bible prophecies and the predictions for natural Israel and the Jews‚ and we have been applying to them all of the promises and predictions God has made for Spiritual Israel! There's a fine line of distinction! Like the Concision‚ these Jewish Christians have been deliberately trying to de-emphasize the promises to the Church, and emphasize the promises to the Jews!
10. THE LORD BROKE THE NEWS TO ME ON THE BOAT, FOR THE SHOCK I WAS GOING TO RECEIVE when I got there, thank God for His Mercy! But I was shocked‚ terribly disillusioned and terribly disappointed! But then the Lord began to compensate! HE NEVER TAKES ONE THING AWAY FROM YOU WITHOUT GIVING YOU SOMETHING BETTER, and all these marvelous revelations the Lord was giving me about us‚ His children, began to take my mind off it! It was like the Lord was turning on a big searchlight. Like you saw through a glass darkly, and now you see everything so clearly!
11. ALL OUR LIFE WE HAVE SAID WE BELIEVED IN FAITH AND NOT WORKS, but all the time we were attributing Salvation partly to works! Of course, not for us, but for the Jews!
FAN THE SPARK OF FAITH WITH THE WORD
12. SO OFTEN IF IT WERE NOT FOR THAT SPARK OF FAITH, YOU'D JUST FLICKER OUT. But that spark of faith fans the flame. It's like God blowing on the little ember and bringing it back to life again! It comes so much through hearing the Word! Even encouraging words of one of His children‚ because you have faith in them and their word! As is told of the Woman at the Well and the men of Samaria in John 4: "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman which testified"; Then later "many more believed because of His own Word and said unto the woman, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ‚ the Saviour of the world." Like our babes, that believed first because of our word, but now they have met Him personally, and believed because of His Word. IN WINNING PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO INSPIRE THEIR FAITH IN YOU, BEFORE THEY CAN BELIEVE GOD. You are their link with God. You are a priest of God to them and their mediator.
13. THE LORD LETS US GO THROUGH EXPERIENCES LIKE THIS TO COMFORT OTHERS AND HELP THEM!
FOLLOW GOD'S FIRST IMPRESSION OR IT WILL FADE IF YOU HARDEN
14. WHEN I HAD THAT REVELATION IN THAT BLOCK, I HAD TO SEE THE THING IN THE SPIRIT! Looking at it in the natural was no good. When I first got the revelation on the boat, I was really under anointing! God was angry! Then later the Devil started telling me they weren't so bad! But first impressions are the right ones, if you're truly following the Lord! He said He'd have no other gods before Him! Then the Lord lets you be tested! Under the first shock of the first revelation, and the first inspired disillusionment, I saw things in the Spirit as they really were! Like the voice of conscience! And I saw things the way God really sees them! But then I began to be hardened to it! It's like sin! The first time you're terribly convicted and your conscience is really sensitive‚ but then they become hardened and darkened in their understanding, past feeling!
15. I GUESS THAT'S WHY THE LORD HAD TO GET ME OUT OF ISRAEL! I was getting hardened to it to the point that I liked it! I liked the land and the people, and I didn't mind too much their rebellion against the Lord! I should have continued to be infuriated, as God is! He is angry with the wicked every day! He doesn't finally get used to it and tolerate it and wink at it, and overlook it! God gets madder and madder, and boils and boils and boils, until finally He explodes!
16. THINK OF THOSE PEOPLE! TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST, AND THEY'RE STILL IN REBELLION! If any nation on earth is without excuse, the Jews are—like America! The thing that is wrong with Israel is also wrong with the Church. They both have had the truth, and know the truth, and both have rejected it! "Ye do always reject the Holy Ghost!" (Ac.7:51)
17. YOU SEE, THAT WRATH BEGAN TO COOL OFF: probably I should have picked up and left Israel then and there, after we had gotten there and God had revealed clearly the situation to me! A PROPHET OF GOD WHO HAS THE MESSAGE OF GOD EITHER HAS TO GIVE IT, OR HE NO LONGER HEARS IT OR FEELS IT, AND HE BECOMES GUILTY WITH THEM! To stay there and accept their hospitality and not tell them was wrong, but if I had blown my top and told them off, and given them the Message, I would have landed in jail, like Jeremiah, endangering the whole work! What God wanted me to do for His Work's Sake was to leave immediately and blow my top later—to you through the mail, instead of endangering everything by using the Israeli mails! It was only the mercy of God we survived! But because I stayed there, I had the obligation to tell them, to be true to the calling, and I was afraid to go anywhere for fear I would explode with the truth and endanger the whole operation! My sympathies were already so pro-Christian Arab, that in all honesty I had to confess to myself I was becoming anti-Israeli! And in all conscientiousness, feeling the way I did‚ I knew it wasn't right to accept the hospitality of this home and people, and to keep my mouth shut in order to do it. It was a sort of AGAGISM—a disobedient compromising for advantage! (1Sam.15)
CONFESSING MISTAKES AND GETTING INTO THE WORD BRINGS VICTORY
18. BUT CONFESSING THIS IS THE ONLY WAY I COULD GET THE VICTORY OVER THIS AGAIN! The Enemy has attacked me so much! Even before we left Israel, I thought, "O God, am I making a mistake in leaving? Have I gotten out of Your will? Have I been defeated?" Partly it was my physical and nervous condition. And the Devil tries to drown out the voice of the Spirit, especially when you're so embroiled in the material! So just at the time when I needed spiritual strength the most, we were busy packing and taking care of business‚ etc. That's why I just had to start this morning to get into that study (The Epistles of Paul). That really helped to turn the tide! There's nothing like the Word! Faith cometh by hearing the Word! I was down physically and nervously and almost totally embroiled in physical things and the Devil just tried to knock me for a loop! I've come closer to collapse physically and nervously and spiritually these last two or three days than I have in years. But it's not the Lord's fault! It's my own fault! I overdid! I abused my body! I didn't stay in the Spirit—and in this especially trying time‚ I should have lived more in the Word. I kept putting off these studies! We had to get the mail off. We had to be rid of everything else before I could make the study! The Lord showed me this morning that I couldn't put it off any longer, or I wasn't going to live. He showed me I had to start now to strengthen this conviction, or the Devil was just going to flood me with lies until he'd just washed me away! Just that one little chapter this morning really helped!
SPEAKING THE TRUTH IS DANGEROUS, AND SO IS COMPROMISE
19. ONCE GOD GAVE ME THE REVELATION AND THE MESSAGE AND MADE IT SO CLEAR, I EXPLODED it to the kids through the mail, and I could have exploded it to the Israelis. Jesus had enough sense to stay out of the limelight until His time to go! He didn't start telling the Scribes and Pharisees off until the last week, and then He let them have it! You don't blast them like that 'til you're ready to go, like Stephen did‚ 'cause they won't take it! I knew if I got to that Wailing Wall and saw all that phoniness, I'd blow it. When I heard that song of Miguel's‚ I could just hear myself blasting them in tongues, and they would have mobbed me and torn me to pieces!
20. I WANTED SO MUCH TO SEE THOSE THINGS, LORD FORGIVE ME! And I believe if I'd gone to Nazareth, they would have sensed that I was in [sympathy] with the Arabs! You know‚ the Devil gives his people wisdom, too! I can sympathise more with the Moslems—they don't study the Bible! They have the Koran! And here the Jews are with the Bible, claiming to practice it and believe it, and don't know anything about it. They are hypocrites, like the Church! The spirit got so strong on me‚ I was almost frightened, even when we went to George's (the Arab restaurant), that [they] would sense my spirit and my attitude, until I was almost afraid to go there, and downright afraid to go to Nazareth! What if the police were following our movements at all? Here we are! We don't go to any of the famous Jewish places! All we do is hob-knob with Arabs and visit their homes and go to Nazareth! What are they bound to think? (Footnote: 2/18/71—It wouldn't be the first time a visiting journalist was suspect! You may have just heard on the news that a 71–year-old Englishman was just tried secretly in Israel for collecting data and photos for the Arabs. He had lived there a year, and his secret trial lasted six months, although he pleaded innocent—so these things do happen! Writing you so often and sending you such a voluminous stream of material, along with what might have looked like pro-Arab activities, might easily have been misunderstood!)
21. Do you notice my voice coming back? AS YOU BEGIN TO OBEY AND FOLLOW GOD, AND CONFESS YOUR SINS AND OBEY, AND WITH YOUR LAST BREATH PRAISE THE LORD, GOD BEGINS TO STRENGTHEN AND DO HIS PART!
22. So I could either explode right there and expose myself, and to say the least, get deported, and a lot of other complications‚ if not actually killed. But I had the feeling that if I ever went to Jerusalem, I really would not be able to hold back! You see‚ it's like quenching the Spirit! TRUTH RESISTED LOSES ITS POWER OVER THE MIND. You keep quenching the Spirit and pretty soon He stops speaking, and if you don't give it, you lose it!
23. So I had to either do that or try to hold my hand over my mouth—either explode and sock it to them, or do what I did: compromise‚ which was really not even fair to them. It's like criticising your host while you're accepting his hospitality. I FELT GUILTY AND HYPOCRITICAL STAYING THERE, KNOWING HOW I FELT ABOUT THEM!
PASTORS AND EVANGELISTS—FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT
24. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE NEW PASTOR that comes to a church? He's like an evangelist: He doesn't know the people yet, and he blasts away the truth of God that he knows—letting the chips fall where they may! But the longer you stay and accept their hospitality and help and get to know and love them and sympathise with them more and more, you have a tendency to compromise and go easy and not be so hard on them and not tell them off—And pretty soon you aren't telling them the Truth at all! You're just preaching them little sermonettes about the birds and the bees‚ to keep you both asleep, 'cause if you woke them up they'd tell you off‚ and if they woke you up, you'd tell them off!
25. I WENT THROUGH THAT IN MY FIRST PASTORATE. I began to tone things down—take it a little easy after a while‚ to keep from losing my pastorate. Until you become one of them. You either have to let it out‚ or get out, one or the other! And if you try to compromise and pull your punches and tone it down, then God's Spirit tones the Voice of God down, and you don't hear it so much any more, and you're not so convicted any more, and you begin to get cooled off and hardened and calloused, and pretty soon you wonder‚ "Maybe I was wrong about it. Maybe they're not so bad after all."
26. WHEN YOU FIRST COME THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THERE IN ALL HIS POWER, AND HE KNOWS WHAT THEY NEED, AND YOU'RE NOT SO CONSCIOUS OF THEM! But after you know who needs it and what they need and why they need it, then you begin to get afraid to preach it! When you first come, they'll put up with it, because they know it's the Holy Spirit talking! They know it's not you, because you don't know them! But when you've been there months or years, then they think you're picking them out especially—you've a personal grudge against them, and that it's only because you know them so well! This is why the Alliance used to say that a man has delivered his best to his flock within two years, because then they get to know each other too well both ways, and FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT! And this is why people will take from an evangelist, what they will not take from the pastor, because they know it's the Spirit of God, and they're under conviction, and they try to buy him off, in a sense, by praise and flattery, and even confession at the altar! And a lot of times, it's exactly what the dear, poor pastor's been trying to tell them for years, but they thought it was just because he knew them and was picking on them.
27. BUT IF YOU STAY TOO LONG THEY GET USED TO IT AND TO YOU, AND YOU GET USED TO THE SITUATION AND TO THEM, SO YOU BEGIN TO RATIONALISE AND EXCUSE YOURSELF FOR NOT TELLING THEM THE TRUTH ANY MORE—for not exploding and blasting them, because you want to stay! Then, in order to excuse yourself for not blasting them, you try to think up excuses for them: "Well, they're not so bad after all; they're pretty good people. Look how friendly and industrious they are‚ and honest and hard–working. Look at how simple and frank they are. Look on the bright side—how wonderful they are." If you start looking only on the bright side, and deliberately ignoring the bad side‚ in order to be able to tolerate it so you can live with it, stay without a break or rupture or explosion or church split or a "Stephen's martyrdom‚" then you begin in your power of positive thinking, like the Christian Scientist, to totally ignore the evil, and just think about the good only, in order to be able to tolerate the situation so you can stand to live with it!
28. MY FIRST FEELING AND IMPRESSION WAS TO BLAST THEM, AND GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE! I couldn't even stand to be there any longer! I wanted to get out! But the longer I withheld, and held it in, and held back, and really compromised and tolerated it, and in order to do so, kept looking on the bright side and ignoring the evil, then the more my spiritual eyes got out of focus, where I couldn't see so clearly, and I began to wonder what I was so mad about anyway! "These people aren't so bad; they don't know any better! It's all the fault of the leaders!"
WHEN FACING A SITUATION YOU MUST DO SOMETHING
29. DID THE MOB WHO HAD SEEN THE MIRACLES OF JESUS and had eaten the loaves and fishes—did they have to cry, "Crucify Him; crucify Him"?—just because the leaders were doing it? But those were the people who heard themselves and rejected it themselves! So when it came to a showdown, they took their choice! They didn't have to follow those false shepherds! They could have followed Jesus like others did! But when you reject the Truth, then you have nothing left to believe but the lie! So you've chosen to believe the lie! And that last week I was in Israel, I had compromised so long and had rationalised so long, and kept quiet so long‚ and had stayed so long‚ that I didn't even feel like it any more! I wasn't mad any more! I tried to get up kind of a big mad at some of those spooks on the street, but I began to think they were even a little bit funny—kind of ignorant and stupid—and I was losing that righteous indignation to the point that when it came to the point where I had to make a choice, I began to wonder why I was leaving! Things weren't all that bad! They'd been good to us‚ and were much more righteous than the rest of the world—more honest and industrious! God was blessing them to some extent! It was to the point where I was literally forgiving them for hating Jesus!—And that's one thing you can't forgive people for, really! That's the one sin God won't forgive anybody for! He'll forgive you for every sin in the Book, except for rejecting Jesus—this is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost—the Spirit of Truth, which is Jesus! (Mark 3:28,29)
30. THEN WHEN THE LORD BEGAN TO GIVE US THOSE LITTLE WARNINGS—warnings about the international situation, warnings about our mail, our Arabic sympathies were becoming almost too well-known: (You can't face a situation without doing something about it, if you're conscientious! You can't just pass by the poor man on the road to Jericho! You take action like the Samaritan did! We're activists! The church is saying, "Oh‚ I'm so sorry, how sad!" But we put our compassion into action! That's the difference between pity and compassion! Pity just feels sorry! Compassion does something about it! Jesus had compassion upon the multitudes and healed all who were sick! You have to have conviction, or you can't live, and then you have to do something about your conviction, or you can't stand to live with yourself! You'll hate yourself, or you'll silence the voice of conviction and lie to yourself, and become totally deaf, dumb, and blind, so you don't even feel anymore!)
DOUBTING THE LORD'S FIRST REVELATION BRINGS DELUSION OF THE DEVIL
31. THOSE LAST FEW DAYS I KEPT ARGUING WITH THE LORD: "But why do I have to leave now? Isn't that foolish? Here I've come all this way. This is the land of my dreams—the "land of the dream"—and that phrase kept ringing through my head—"the land of the dream"! "I've gotten to the land of my dream, and I'd like to just drift along with it! It would be so much easier than waking up."—Until I actually began to doubt my revelation. "Maybe I was too stirred up about it emotionally at first. Maybe I overdid or exaggerated, or over emphasised the importance of the situation! Maybe it's not really that bad!" All these things began to go through my head! "Surely so many good Christian people couldn't be wrong!"
32. LOOK AT HOW THE WHOLE CHURCH IS IN THAT DELUSION—that God is still with and blessing the Jews and prospering them, etc.—going to restore them! Well, He's still merciful to them, that's true, but until they receive Him and change their whole attitude, He's not going to restore them. And from what the prophecies say, He's going to wipe out 2/3 of them [along with many unrepentant Gentiles] in the Last Days, and only those that believe and become Christians and are saved by the Blood through Faith in Christ‚ just like us, are going to be preserved‚ and they're not going to inherit a thing more than we are, or be any more blessed than we are! See? But the longer I lived with the situation‚ and kept my mouth shut and silenced the voice of the Spirit, then the hazier the conviction became, and the more the Devil had a chance to bring in his lies: "Oh, but it's such a beautiful country; it has such a lovely climate—and those gorgeous buildings! It's just so heavenly—and those wonderful people—even the Jews! And we haven't even begun to see it! How can I leave it? And after all‚ why am I leaving?"
33. UNTIL THE LORD HAD TO USE THESE OTHER THINGS TO WARN US, because we'd no longer listen to the real reason—the things that had first inspired us to leave. When I first had the revelation‚ I could hardly stand to be in Israel. I had an actual fear that I might be partaker of her judgements. But you know what began to go through my mind as time went on?: Well, why leave? This is a wonderful country, ideal place to be‚ wonderful people! Surely God's going to take care of them anyhow, in spite of all this, and He'll surely take care of us‚ too. Why not just stay here and live here for the rest of our lives? Why ever go back? Surely, after all, He'll open some door over here for us to bring over our kids. These people aren't as bad as I thought they were! They'll surely love us!—
34. ALL OF THIS TOTALLY CONTRARY TO THE FIRST REVELATION—WHICH WAS THE RIGHT ONE! Now this was all the Devil's lies trying to erase the first impression, saying it could have been wrong, or I could have been overexcited about it, or maybe I was misled! Maybe it was the Devil!
HISTORY OF THE DISOBEDIENCE OF THE JEWS
35. I HAD TO CONTINUALLY REMIND MYSELF. You go so far until you reach such a shocking conclusion, you know you must be wrong. I was arriving at the wrong station—like in "Dumps," when we began to see there was every indication that we should leave. If God can't get you to do something for the right reason—your willingness to obey—sometimes He scares you out, or almost forces you out. What was the matter with the Children of Israel down there in Egypt? God hadn't promised them Egypt!—He'd promised them Israel! How come they didn't go to Israel? They were only supposed to stay down there during the Seven-Year Famine—Jacob and his sons and Joseph! How come they didn't go back to Israel when the seven years were up? They didn't belong to Egypt! It's not so bad to be in Egypt when you have to be. It's that if you stay there too long, Egypt gets into you! They stayed there so long, they got to liking it! Why leave?—Until they became like the Egyptians. They liked the leeks and garlics and fleshpots, and undoubtedly they were probably even beginning to worship their idols. Look how quick they were to turn to idolatry when Moses stayed up on the mountain so long?
36. I HAD THE FUNNIEST FLASH JUST NOW! DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT ONE OF THOSE BABES WROTE ME: "I hope we don't make any golden calves while you're gone!" I started to think to myself just then: "They did!" That's exactly what they did in Texas. They went to work on the material instead of the spiritual. 'Till God had to raise up Pharaoh to persecute them, to drive them out! LOOK AT THE JEWS OF THIS MODERN DAY! They were rich and fat and increased in goods, in need of nothing‚ perfectly secure in the nations into which God had driven them—so God had to [allow persecution] and drive them out. If we don't obey, and God wants to get something done, He'll get it done one way or the other. He won't exactly make you do it, but He can sure make you awfully sorry you don't! You still have free choice!—You can have your head bloody, but unbowed. Look at the Early Church—with such great numbers, power, blessing, and provision and fellowship, they forgot what God had called them to do! So God had to draw out the sword after them so they'd scatter and evangelise!
37. THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO THE JEWS IN THE DAYS OF THE KINGS: They were supposed to be God's witnesses to the world, but instead they became such dandy bad examples, that God had to draw out the sword after them again and scatter them to other nations in the first Dispersion, where they repented in their bondage, and again God forgave them and brought them back, like He did from Egypt. Now He's done it the third time to the Jews. For the third time He's brought them back again! Think of that! They say the third time's the charm. But they don't seem to be any more charmed than they were before. They don't seem to be thinking any more about God or the Bible, much less Jesus—so it's obvious from prophecy that it's going to be the last time! God's fed up!
WHAT MISINTERPRETATION OF PROPHECY CAN LEAD TO
38. I COULD HAVE KNOWN IT SOONER IF I'D BEEN WILLING! But I didn't really want to know it! This was the land of my dreams—such beautiful dreams! This physical, literal fulfilment is such a lovely dream! My dad tried to tell me, but I didn't listen. But he went to the opposite extreme where nothing was literal—everything was spiritual! Boy, I don't know when I've ever been under such a cloud as I have the last few days—just like all was lost! The kids will all be disappointed—they'll think there was false prophecy somewhere. I know God is going to fulfill every last one of His prophecies, but not the way we thought! We misinterpreted. Just like Jeane Dixon says about some of her prophecies‚ "I know I'm getting them, but I don't always understand them!" God even revealed all this to the Apostle Paul in amazing clarity, with a tremendous legal analysis, so that he went on and on and on to explain it, but then it seems in some places‚ it was almost too big for him to handle—like there surely must be some advantage to being a Jew! (Well, I can't get into that now. Let me finish my confession‚ so I'll be strong enough to eat supper!)
39. SO I WAS NOT TRUE TO THE HEAVENLY VISION WHICH GOD SHOWED ME when I first arrived in Israel. I was disobedient to the Heavenly vision. And you know what happens to the disobedient prophets, even if they are true prophets with true prophecies! If they themselves do not obey, then they get in a lot of trouble. Sometimes God even slew them. I got under such condemnation and cloud, that I felt like God was killing me, but I was so blinded, I didn't even understand why. So‚ as you know‚ the last few days‚ I went through a battle royal with the Devil, and sad to say, with the Lord‚ too. That's the terrible thing about it. It's hard enough to fight the Devil without having to fight God, too. You know, a lot of times that's why you have to fight the Devil so much—because you're fighting God and the Truth. Wow! It's such a big thing! It's another of those big delusions—traditions of the church—traditions of man—that make the laws of God of none effect. And I'd gotten so I didn't even realise I was hung up on it! God had to take me all the way to Israel and bang my head against the wall to wake me up! Pretty expensive lesson!—But it was worth it! I know it now! I don't know it from the hearing of the ear—I know it from the seeing of the eye! And if that's the way God had to show me, that's the way He had to show me. He had to bring me over here and let me see for myself, or I never would have believed any other way. That's terrible—when God has to teach you through bitter experience!
40. BUT PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCY! HE EVEN "CAUSES THE WRATH OF MAN TO PRAISE HIM" (Ps.76:10). HE ALWAYS GETS THE JOB DONE! "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord" (Rom.8:28). He got me clear over here and shook me up and woke me up and got me to get a lot of other jobs done I should have been doing all these years, in the process. God really believes in getting His money's worth. So He killed a whole lot of birds with one stone.
INDECISION CAN TEAR YOU APART AND BRINGS DELUSION AND CONFUSION
41. BUT HOW LONG DO WE HALT BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS? (1Ki.18:21) A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Think not that that man shall receive anything from the Lord (Ja.1:6–8). There's nothing that tears you apart, and tears you down quicker than indecision—the most uncomfortable place in the world is on the fence, torn between the two. You even feel better after making a decision—even if it's the wrong one!
42. I GOT SO DOWN AFTER I GOT OVER HERE (Cyprus), the Devil almost had me convinced I made the wrong decision; but I was at least relieved at having made some decision.—And the Lord had to knock me flat on my back to wake me up and to get me to face it! You've been trying to get me to tell you, but I haven't been willing to face it!
43. BUT TO GET BACK TO WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY, AND WHEN THE GREAT DECISION CAME! I had become so torn apart by this indecision, because I hadn't obeyed God in the first place—and the longer you put it off, the harder it gets, and the more confused you become, and the more the Devil lies to you, because you're disobedient—until that last day, I felt almost like a zombie walking around in a daze.
44. WHEN WE GOT UP TO GO DOWN TO EITHER GET OUR VISA RENEWED OR TO GET OUR TICKETS OUT OF THE COUNTRY, I honest to God didn't know which direction to go, and I tell you, if it hadn't been for your encouragement, I wouldn't have made it. Apparently you were in tune, and the Devil wasn't attacking you as much as he was me, and you were simple and childlike enough to see the handwriting on the wall and all the indications that made it obvious that we were supposed to leave; but I was still fighting it. And although you were yielded and willing to stay, you knew God was showing us it was time for us to go.
45. BUT AS I WALKED DOWN THAT STREET IN THE RAIN—what a miserable, gloomy day—I felt about as dark and gloomy as the day, and I was so confused. If you don't receive and obey the truth when you first get it, you're about to be deluded by a lie, and wind up in utter confusion.
GOD ANSWERS THE DESPERATE HONEST CRY‚ AND, MAKING DECISIONS BY SPIRITUAL CONVICTION RATHER THAN NATURAL REASONING
46. BUT AS I WALKED DOWN HAMAGINIM STREET, AND I KNEW in the next block or two I was going to have to decide which way to go—to the right to the Immigration to renew the visa to stay‚ or to the left to American Express, to buy our ticket to go—I really got desperate and I really cried out to God. I REALLY GOT DESPERATE IN PRAYER AND I JUST CRIED OUT DESPERATELY TO THE LORD: "Lord, the time has come—the point of decision! Now, right now‚ I've got to know! We're on our way right now, to one place or another. It's got to be done today! I've got to know now, Lord!—Right this minute, which way to walk! Lord, now either I was misled and deceived and was wrong about all that‚ that I got, and we might as well go up to Immigration to apply for a visa to stay—and who knows: if I was that wrong‚ why ever leave? Or Lord, if I was right and that was the truth that You showed to me about the Jews in Israel, then for God's sake, and my sake‚ and Your work's sake‚ show it to me again like You did then! Wake me up and help me to see it again! I've got to see it in the Spirit, Lord! I can't go any more in the flesh! I've got to see it like You see it, Lord! Show it to me like You did before!"
47. AND THEN I HAD THE MOST HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE! I don't even want to tell you because it was so disillusioning, and it so stripped away all that glorious glamour that I was beginning to enjoy again. I said, "Lord, am I deceived about these people, or was what I felt at the beginning really true? What's right? What's wrong, Lord?" And I literally asked the Lord, "This thing has got to be decided on the basis of the spirit. I can't lean to my own understanding. I here and now acknowledge You. You've got to direct my path which way my feet are going to go, and You've got to show me the truth like it is, Lord! I've got to have a spiritual conviction about this whole thing! I can't just run because I'm afraid. It's got to be by conviction!
48. LET ME SEE IT AGAIN, LORD! Show me, Lord! Are these people good or bad? They look so good, so wonderful, so kind, so hospitable! They've treated us so well! If I judge them in the flesh, I like them—I want to stay! But how do they look to You in the spirit, Lord? It has to be a spiritual decision‚ based on the realm of the Spirit and the spiritual truth—not for any other reason—not on my natural liking of the people and the country or the natural reluctance of my flesh to leave!"
49. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THE PEOPLE I HAD BEEN LOOKING AT WERE [EVIL].—That if everything were suddenly clear in the spirit right now—if they could see me as I am, they would attack me right now, like they did Jesus and Stephen, and the rest of them! If right this minute they could read my mind and what I think, and what I believe—could see me now as I see them, they'd [attack]!
50. IT HAD TO BE CLEAR—JUST LIKE A PICTURE! I'd had that impression before! Wow!—if they knew what I was thinking, I'd be in danger! But this time it was just like a vision! I'll tell you!—It nearly scared the wits out of me! And I couldn't get to that ticket office fast enough!
51. AND EVEN THOUGH I WAVERED A FEW TIMES AFTER THAT, IT KEPT COMING TO ME, "Well, better to have that ticket and not need it, than to need it and not have it! But as the time drew near, the conviction got stronger and stronger! From the time I made that decision, I began to feel better, and things began to click, just like that! Everything fell into place! All the pieces began to make a picture! Even then, when the Devil did throw some doubt in me, I'd say, "Well, Lord, You've got to stop me! Do some miracle here‚ or some miracle there—and I threw out several fleeces, and the Lord answered every one of them—right down to the cabin on the boat! And we just sailed through Immigration and Customs like nothing—on both sides—and the hotel!—Just miracle after miracle!
52. THE MINUTE WE MADE THE DECISION AND BEGAN TO OBEY, GOD DID ALL THE REST! Praise the Lord! And today He just knocked me flat to make me see it even more clearly‚ and confess it‚ so you'd have the story!