Prophetic Words for 2009

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Loren Sandford

Editor’s Note: The word below was shared by R. Loren Sandford, founder and senior pastor of New Song Fellowship in Denver, Colorado, with his congregation in early January as part one of a two-part sermon titled “Prophetic Words for 2009.” You can order both parts of the message on CD through the church’s Web site (newsongfellowship.org). Sandford is the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic People and The Prophetic Church (both published by Chosen). In the word, he encourages believers not to fear the future but to look ahead with hope toward all the good things God is going to do in our nation.

Prophetic Words for 2009

By R. Loren Sandford

We just came through a historic presidential election. Seventy percent of evangelical Christians like us voted against the man who won. Before the election—and now especially since the outcome became clear—I have read and heard prophecies of doom and gloom from many on the Christian right who don’t like the results. I want to begin by balancing and debunking some of that.

Despite the pronouncements of a growing number of so-called prophets, Barack Obama will not be our last president. He is not the Antichrist, contrary to some of the writings I’ve recently come across. I believe that he will actually undergo a conversion in his faith while in office as solid evangelical voices speak with him in love—voices that work with his faith to bless and advise him without promoting a right-wing political agenda. He will listen to such voices.

Furthermore, if we will pray, his current stances regarding abortion and gay marriage will change. If we will pray for him with love and respect, he will go down in history not only as the first African-American to win the presidency but as one of our greatest presidents. He has the gifts to inspire this nation to shed its crippling blanket of fear and rise again. He has already moved to a more centrist position than he held during the election. I say these things having not voted for the man. I believe this is the word of the Lord.

1 Tim. 2:1-4 [says], “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (NASB).

Despite a quickening stream of prophecies foreseeing doom and gloom, America is not going to fall, disintegrate or break up. What will happen is that the center of our national identity will fragment. It’s already happening. Historically, incoming immigrants have always been eager to become Americans in both language and culture. This is no longer the case.

Incoming ethnic groups will no longer be joining our national culture but will cling to their own, preferring instead to create islands of their own languages and cultures. This kind of diversity will shatter the centered national identity we once knew. As a result, politics will become increasingly splintered and we will find it more and more difficult to come to any form of national unity. Racial and ethnic differences will lead to escalating tensions. Some have seen and sensed this looming fragmentation and have misinterpreted it as the imminent breakup of the nation.

Churches like my own congregation will be called to stand in the gap. I don’t see a great number of multicultural churches springing up. Immigrants coming into the country now generally don’t want that, again preferring to create islands of their own culture in which they feel comfortable. But churches like ours can and will model interracial harmony in our own midst and we can and will speak prophetically into conflicts as they develop and as we are able.

The U.S. economy will not collapse, but a radical shift is under way that may take some time to fully emerge. I believe the Lord told me that six months after Obama takes office we would see a whirlwind of change. I saw in a vision a mini-tornado with papers swirling in it. Some of the whirlwind will be brought about as the economic base of this nation shifts and changes and as that change accelerates. Many of the papers I saw will be legislation for changes. Many changes. America as we have known it is at an end.

It will be a turbulent time but not necessarily a bad time. In November 2007 I wrote that we were about to enter a time of the rollercoaster—a time of fear, with many ups and downs—but that the believer need not fear. God is with us. Now the rollercoaster is here. As just one example, witness the wild swings in the stock market. What was once considered newsworthy has now become commonplace.

I read in the news recently that by mid-2009 economists expect the economy to begin to recover. That struck me because it corresponds with the six months the Lord told me about, that Obama would win, that there would be six months of delusionary hope and then a whirlwind of change. If we pray for our president, the delusionary nature of that hope can be changed into real hope. But we will certainly see a whirlwind of change to parallel economic recovery.

One of the things we must pray into is that historically recession/depression tends to produce wars. I warned more than a year ago that if the Bush White House didn’t redeem the Bush presidency, the 2008 election would be a backlash and that the result would not be good no matter what party you aligned with. And I said that our enemies would be waiting for someone in the White House that they perceived would be weaker and that then we would have war.

Especially in light of the current historic recession, war remains a significant danger. Pray for strength and wisdom for our leaders and for the Lord to disarm the spirit of war. It’s an old tactic of the enemy to send war to stop a worldwide revival. In 1904 the great Welsh Revival resulted in waves of young missionaries going out into the world. That was followed in 1906 by the Azusa Street Revival that ignited the Pentecostal Movement. Again, missions movements flowered. There was serious talk of being able to complete the Great Commission within their lifetimes and then the Lord would come in accord with Matthew 24:14, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

The enemy of our soul ignited World War I in 1914 and put an end to it by neutralizing a generation. World War II grew out of the Great Depression and again took out a generation. The Jesus Movement sprang up in the early 1970s and tens of thousands of young people came to Jesus. The Vietnam War and the culture of self largely neutralized the Jesus Movement in America before it could have its full impact. We’re on the cusp again. Worldwide revival is under way. Unprecedented numbers of people are coming to Jesus on every continent. The enemy would love to start a war to shut it all down. He would love start a war before the current younger generation in the western world can experience a revival of their own—something they have yet to see.

Prayer, not diplomacy, will head off war, but in all these calls for prayer we’re going to have to rise out of our own personal concerns, in which the current demon-inspired blanket of fear imprisons us, and choose to focus on issues larger and more significant than our own individual lives.

America’s strength vis a vis other nations will diminish in the days to come. Economics at home and the growth of other strong economies in the world will make it more and more difficult for us to function as the world’s policeman as we have done in the past. America will be forced to assume a much more humble position in the scheme of things and work more with other nations to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. A change of attitude and national character are needed and will be thrust upon us. This humbler attitude may serve to open up new nations for missionaries coming from the U.S. to penetrate previously closed cultures. Diminished hatred for America can only help the spread of the gospel.

Judgment is coming on nations that support radical Islam and its Sharia law. First, the Lord told me some time ago that Islam would collapse under the weight of its own lovelessness, having no real concept of the Father’s love. The judgment on Islam will come partly in the form of diminishing wealth. This will unfold as a revolution takes hold in the realm of transportation that will transition us out of an oil-dominated culture and economy. Other forms of energy will displace oil as the predominant fuel. [This trend] has already begun and will gather steam in 2009 and the years to follow. A whole new economy will be birthed—and I’m excited about it. It’s a huge part of the whirlwind of changes we will see developing.

As far back as nine years ago I was prophesying that mega-churches would be standing empty in this country, that a huge shift was coming and that God would take the sheep from shepherds who would not lead them into the things of the Spirit and the meat of Word and that He would give them to those who would.

[In the January issue of Charisma magazine, executive editor Lee Grady] wrote an opening article called “Holy Demolition.” (To read his column, click here.) He reported on three leading mega-churches that have all but collapsed. These are just examples of a broader trend. … Judgment has begun with the house of God. God is calling us to move to a new level of looking and being like Him. We are being called higher into our birthright.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6).

What an incredible privilege—and isn’t it time we looked like it?

It was 1999 when the Lord spoke to me about the move of God in the new millennium being a “season of tens.” I didn’t know what that phrase meant. The Lord therefore impressed me to look up the tenth chapter of every book of the New Testament that has a tenth chapter.

Every one of these chapters contains a strong theme or statement concerning some aspect of God’s people being sent out to gather a harvest of souls, or of people being sovereignly gathered in by some means. We are coming into the season of tens. Now. … God was confirming to me the nature of the new millennium for believers like you and me. As the first decade has progressed, these things have taken root and have grown worldwide. There has been an explosion of prophetic and healing evangelism. Even closed countries are being penetrated by the gospel.

In light of all this, here are some principles to live by in the days to come—prophetic summons from heaven.

Recent years have been a time of cleansing, repairing the foundation and learning. God has gently penetrated areas of sin and dysfunction in our lives and has taught us how to deal with them through an army of His servants teaching inner transformation and wholeness. We’ve seen major life changes. Hearts have come to repentance. Longstanding bitterness has been laid to rest. Marriages have been healed. The weak have grown strong.

Many of us who really understood the purpose for all that healing, and who were able to transcend the self-orientation that grips our culture, have grown from being self-centered into [being ready] to reach out and to live outside ourselves for the sake of the kingdom.

During this recent time, we’ve been blessed but not responsible. We were invited to come cuddle up with the Father and humbly receive. It has been a time of the revelation of the Father’s love through a host of great teachers like Jack Frost and others. It has been a season just for us, for refreshing, healing, adjusting and refocusing our lives.

We are now at a place of a shift in the seasons. If we were blessed but not responsible in past years, then we are now blessed to be responsible. We’ve graduated. Grown up. It’s time to begin to come into the destiny prepared for us, promised for us and prophesied for us.

Destiny and promise, Layer One: Because of the process of growth we’ve been through, God is going to release favor on us like we’ve never seen before if we will pick up what we’ve been given and move with it.

He loves each of us because that is the nature of grace, but to be entrusted with the exercise of real power is a different issue. When my children were babies, I hugged and loved them, but I didn’t give them guns for Christmas or access to the family credit card.

To be entrusted with real power requires a deeper level of the character of Jesus in us. This is why judgment has begun to fall and leaders are being exposed in their sin. Without the character of Jesus we inevitably become abusers. For a great many of us who’ve been in training through these last years, that process of character formation has been the focus of life. We’ve lived an extended season of preparation.

Now it’s time to move in the fruit of all those years of preparation. If we will do it, God will sovereignly gather to us multitudes of people who need a pure drink of the presence, grace and love of God. They’ll hear about the deeds of God among His people and they’ll stream to us to get it.

Destiny and promise, Layer Two: We have come to a season of prophetic fulfillment and prophetic release. What God has promised is coming to us and we are moving from the season of the refreshing anointing of the Lord into an anointing of promised power.

In Matthew 10 and Luke 10, Jesus gave His disciples authority, first the 12 and then the 70, and He sent them out to cast out demons and to heal the sick. The miracles drew the multitudes. The miracles declared to all the world, “We’re not playing games. This is more than just a theological proposition or a set of ideas. God is real!”

There are still sick people in the world, demonized people, lame, blind and more. God loves them just as much today as He did when Jesus walked the earth. That’s why He hasn’t stopped doing miracles. We’ve seen more miracles in my congregation in the last 8 months than in all the years since we started in 1992 combined.

But now we’re called to take it outside the walls of the church and do in the marketplace what has been prophesied. Prophecies don’t come to fulfillment by accident but usually because people acted on them.

Destiny and promise, Layer Three: We have come into a season of increase in the prophetic itself, when most of what we do by our actions and by what we say with our mouths will carry prophetic significance and prophetic impact. The prophetic word uproots what is not God and plants what is, breaks down what is not God and builds what is (see Jer. 1:10). We have been called to be a church that by its very existence causes things not of God to fall, and things that are of God to rise.

It’s time for those of us with prophetic anointing to carry that out into the world, the marketplace, the workplace, the neighborhood. When people know by the prophetic word that God has their name, address and phone number delivered by someone in love, then they respond. It’s time to overcome our fear and begin to cross the boundaries to touch those outside the faith. The culture around us is daily becoming more ripe to receive.

Destiny and promise, Layer Four: To spontaneously enjoy the presence of God without any other agenda. Worship is going to go places it never went before. God is going to engage us in deeper and more dramatic ways in worship. Already, during worship, people are being sovereignly touched and physically healed without human intervention in my own congregation and in other places. I expect other and greater manifestations of His presence in the days to come.

It is a time such as Jesus spoke of in John 4:23-24: “‘But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'”

We’re going to need those times at the well in worship in the coming years in order not to be consumed by the intensity of what God will be giving us. Times on the mountain or drinking at the well of His presence keep us simple and pure. We must stay close to the Source. Such times of true and deep worship will keep us refreshed and empowered in the long and exciting years ahead.

Finally, the only thing that can stop this season from being the greatest time of our lives and the most exciting move of God in our lifetimes is fear. That’s why I began this word by speaking against the things the fear mongers are trying to tell us while they claim to be prophetic. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).

Fear is a prison. It makes you emotionally self-centered and sucks the hope out of life. Fear paralyzes its victims and blinds them to opportunities. Fear blinds us to the needs of others. It consumes our joy. Fear is useless. Without cause.

Matthew 6 removes the need for fear. We have a Father who cares for us, who will care for us. He never lets us down. Because of that, we’re free to walk in the power of the kingdom of God. Why do you supposed that when Jesus sent the 12 out on their first missionary journey to heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead, He told them, “Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support” (Matt. 10:9-10). God would provide. No fear.

Trust Him in the days to come. They can be the best and most exciting days of our lives. We were born for such a time as this.

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