At this time, the Lord is bringing closure to what was begun in many previous seasons. He is fulfilling promises and He's being very generous with validation for those that are not yet being fulfilled. He gave Aaron and I the promise that power and glory would flow in abundance, and we have begun bearing witness to His faithfulness.
In this installment, I'm going to share an overview of the “opening of the scroll” to me, from a timeline perspective. Before I do, however, I want to share something with you about how we got here doing what we do, something that most of you will find very familiar.
Don't forget what the Lord has done for you. This practice has been an anchor for me, and Aaron, too, has this as a steadfast habit. Make the time to recount the Lord's personal interventions and those you've witnessed on behalf of others, His kindnesses and His disciplines too, the token of His receiving us as “sons.” Remember the miracles, the gifts of healing and provisioning of every kind, with fresh expressions of gratitude. Reflect upon the revelation insight granted, most particularly when He has revealed Himself, personally manifesting Himself to you; His incomparable character, His mind and heart, His sternness and His sense of humor. Bring into rememberance those people and circumstances when He was acting through others on your behalf, those you know and those you don't, but whom the Lord did truly engage. Remember and don't forget that it has ever been about His good pleasure and not your own ability or quality. Yet, how awesome that He has chosen to allow you and I to be partners together with Him! How awesome that we who now labor together will share in each other's reward!
This chronicling of The Open Scroll is about the way of salvation, with the Bride of Christ, of Y'shua haMashiach, as a key agent. It's about the development of character and worthiness, and about being uniquely privy to the Bridegroom's scheduled appointments. I've told many aspects of my story already, logging and publishing impressions and revelation insights online in various writings. There is no time left to read through the entire body of work, but let me encourage you to seek the Lord about where your focus must be, for both the getting and giving.
When the chronology of the end times began to be opened to me in 1991, it was in the wake of extraordinary transitional season. At the time, I couldn't tell you what exactly it was that had happened to me, but much later I came to learn that I had received an apostolic anointing in 1988. This prompted a dramatic retraining according to this calling. So far as milestones go, this ranks pretty high on the list! The Lord had appointed a release of apostolic anointing for the preparation of the church becoming glorious. He brought it about through the agency of brother Henry Gruver and the assembled “Strike Team.” You can read more about it and hear the testimony Henry gave in this post, Release of the Apostolic Anointing in 1988, Henry Gruver, Translation and “Because of the Elect”
Here's the account as he tells it: “We are here by the divine commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the estate that you have bound of the apostolic anointing since the days of the Apostle Paul - that you have bound here since the days of the Apostle Paul - are now loosed to the Body of Christ worldwide for the preparation of the church becoming glorious.”
How many others might have been the recipients of the anointing, I don't know, but what I do know is that the Lord does not constrain Himself to doing things according to our expectations. In my recollection, no open vision, dream or word of prophecy was involved in my experience, and neither was there the appearance of a supernatural being or striking phenomenon; and no man or representative of any institution was engaged for the carrying out of the ordination. I couldn't identify a particular moment of time with the action, but it became apparent that the Lord began to do a new thing with me. He took me to his feet as a student in a very personal way as I was being detached from the religious influence of former associations.
That represented the second major turning point in my life as a saint. It was not unlike the first, in many ways.
By the end of 1979, I had become a broken man. Ruined and with hope of improvement finally snuffed out, the season was capped off with the suffering of a debilitating case of mononucleosis. I was bed-ridden for a month while my dear mother cared for me. I was 22 years old, which seems fitting since I have come to recognize the number as signaling the division of or cutting of the flesh, a number of judgment. My pursuit of a life driven by the flesh nature had been brought to judgment. You can read more about that here: Our Lady of the Bicycle, Playing Cards, Time-Space and the Euchre Miracle. I came to pray the following simple declaration, “I don't know who you are, but if you want me, come and get me, because I'm done.” I was honestly done running. Finally. He wanted me, and He came and got me. This proud fool had to get to the place of being done with the striving of a rebel. Of course, the pride just doesn't go away in one pass through the purifying furnace, but that was my start, in early 1980. Through a health crisis at the end of a long season, I was humbled.
And, that's how it was once again, 8 years later. Eight: a new beginning. Through a health crisis at the end of a long season, I was humbled.
I married in 1986. I had grown a lot since the failed first marriage of my youth, when I was but 19 years young. My daughter Lindsay was born in January of 1988. This picture on the right was Lindsay's first outing, one of my very favorite pictures. It was taken overlooking Folsom Lake at the end of the Dam, just upstream from Folsom Prison. My son Louis was born in 1983, but I didn't meet him until he was turning 2, when I met my wife. I legally adopted her son from her first marriage another year or so after Lindsay was born. As a new husband and father, it should be obvious that my life was in transition, yet there was a lot more going on in that pivotal year, 1988.
My failing health had come to crisis. I was due for another humbling and reset. I always reflect back on such matters with a lemonade kind of perspective. The Lord takes a chosen vessel, adds plenty of sour lemons, then adds just the right amount of sweet sugar and pure water to make it awesome, according to His good pleasure!
In 1980, in the process of how the Lord “came and got me,” He led me in an undeniable way to a home church movement that was considered by some at the time to be the #1 cult in America. The Way International is still around to this day, and I know there's at least a couple offshoot organizations branched off it. I know many of you can relate when I reflect back and call it a nursery school experience, basic training, a springboard and stepping stone. It was the Lord's provision for a season, and I took away from my experience both positives and negatives. All the lessons learned were valuable in some way, because, as with the seasons before and after my involvement, I recognize and acknowledge the Lord's fit provision.
The institution of The Way International kind of crashed and burned, starting in 1985 when the founder died and scandals broke out, and two of the leaders fought over the remnants in 1986. Lots of folks went belly up in the wreckage because they were focused on the flesh. Plenty could be said about all that, but what is expedient is that I convey to you how this was an important factor in that transitional season. I maintained some association with people involved with two of the remnants for a little while after, but I was led in a direction that didn't involve the conflicts of interest that manifest in maintaining such relationships.
The freedom and confidence that came with the apostolic anointing in 1988 began to manifest as the Lord improved my health to the point where I could resume reading and studying the Bible. What a relief that was!
In that crisis, I was confronted by the Lord with my failure to discern the difference between faith and the operation of wishcraft/witchcraft. Following where I had been led, and had been leading others, my reasoning told me that I should not have been sick. When I could no longer live in denial of that reality, I was brought to see very clearly that the problem was in one of two places. I knew with full conviction that I had been strictly faithful to do according to my theology. I had done my part. The only other point of failure could logically be in my God's failure to do His part. When I came to those two options, I took a hard look at what that meant. My conclusion was that, yes, I had silently been blaming God, and I could not deny that. As much as I didn't want to admit that I had been deceived, there it was. When I was confronted and humbled, I consented that I had indeed been deceived, and I was convicted that the very best I could do was to only ever be deceived, with reliance on my own intellect, wisdom , strength of will and sincere effort. There was just no bluffing my Lord. Taking me then to His feet, with mercy and much favor, He put me through a rigorous curriculum to instruct me, correcting my theology and bringing me to a right understanding and practice.
You can read what I learned in these three studies.
Keys to Developing a Hearing Ear (Pt 1 of 3)
Faith Beyond Duty (KDHE Pt 2 of 3)
Appendix of Idiomatic Usages (KDHE Pt 3 of 3)
The insight gleaned was instrumental. It has borne fruit. I gained an understanding about figures of speech that has been leveraged in no small way. I will identify one of the lessons as what I have come to call the Hear-Do Cycle. For the other valuable lessons, read what I already wrote.
A really big milestone followed. I had been prepared for this. It was in May of 1991 that the Lord led me to discover the celestial sign of His return in judgment. That would be the anchor point for the unfolding of the chronology of the end times. What He showed me about the sign that would come in the Fall of that year was positively transformational. My thinking changed about our hope as saints, and certainly too, about my personal role in what was coming. The way things appeared to be sure didn't make much sense, from most perspectives, but it was undeniable that the Lord was in charge and that He was leading me on an epic adventure. It didn't enter my mind that I would still be here now doing this.