March 24, 2017
It probably seems like I’ve been really going overboard lately in talking about our grandchildren, but when we see the Covenant of the Lord being enacted before our eyes on an almost daily basis, it isn’t hard to get emotional about it.
A few days ago, I picked Trinity up after school (she’s actually in Pre-K). She started singing almost as soon as she got into our pickup. As usual, she was singing the scripture song from Isaiah 60:1 that Rich Warren did – Arise, Shine, For Thy Light is Come. We had hardly gone a quarter of a mile when she began singing it in tongues.
I just listened to her for a few minutes. Finally I said to her, “Trinity, do you know what language that is?” She shook her head, and then said, “Spanish?” I laughed and said, “No, Sweetheart! That’s not Spanish. You’re singing in one of the languages that the angels sing.” She nodded her head and started in again.
All I can say is, “Thank you, Jesus!” When kids this age (five) get this locked down in them, God is preparing them for something spectacular!
Today, we’re moving into one of the areas that develop in us – or perhaps it would be better to say, one of the things the Lord demonstrates to us as we walk through, and come out of, the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
David’s statement and declaration concerning our walk in the Paths of Righteousness through the Valley of the Shadow of Death becomes a complete statement when he finishes it like this:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou Art With Me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
We’ve taken a good look at the truth (and the adventures associated with) I will fear no evil, but today, let’s consider how great and how important God’s promise — and prophecy — “for Thou art with me” really is to us in this walk. Then over the coming weeks, we will take a deeper look at the significance of the rod and the staff.
You’ve heard me share how, beginning at age four, I began to awaken in the early morning hours to see angels in my room. The first few times this happened, my initial reaction was fear, and each time, the angel would say to me, “Don’t be afraid.” As the days and weeks continued, I no longer needed them to tell me that it was OK, they were there, and there was no need to be afraid. When my fear at their presence vanished, it was replaced by a sense of adventure and excitement. They began to show things to me.
The window of my bedroom would disappear and I would see angels that surrounded the place. Then it grew to seeing such things as a stairway into Heaven with angels ascending and descending. There were a couple of times when Heaven was much closer and I was a lot farther up the stairway seeing Jesus at the top. The peace that developed in my being, and the confidence knew no bounds.
There was a knowing that developed deep within that they were with me all of the time, that Jesus had sent them. My parents, of course, realized that the Lord was doing something very unusual in me and with me. My mother wanted me to see for myself how much of what I was experiencing was recorded already in the Word, and took great pains to teach me how to read by reading the Bible.
By age seven, the Bible had become my regular companion and a habit pattern had developed for me reading it both day and night. I woke up one morning very early to see Jesus standing at the foot of my bed. He didn’t have to say, “Peace, be still.” (smile) He didn’t have to tell me who He was. His presence was something I’d come to know as a result of the constant visits from the angels.
As He spoke to me, He gave me visions of events to come — both in the immediate future, as well as the distant future. He proceeded to lay out pictures and visions of His specific plan and purpose for my life. It would be foolish for me to say that I understood much of what was being revealed to me at the time but there was a settled peace in my spirit and a subconscious knowing that He would make everything clear as it became necessary and timely.
David had much of this same confidence developed in his being at an early age. From early in his childhood, a revelation began to unfold of who he was and what God’s purposes were for him. Consider what he writes in the 139th Psalm:
Psalm 139:13-18: For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
The confidence that had been bred into David in his early youth stayed with him. He knew that the Lord was with him. Even as a shepherd, tending to his father’s sheep on the hillsides, David faced danger from lions and bears, who wanted to take the sheep. When David’s brothers, who were warriors, went off to battle to face the Philistines, his father sent him with provisions for them.
David found the armies of Israel confronted by Goliath. Because of the confidence he had in God, and the absolutely engraved knowledge in his inner being that God was with him, it puzzled him that the armies of Israel were so intimidated, and he began questioning his brothers (who were resentful of the implications of cowardice), as well as other soldiers in the ranks, as to why they were so afraid of someone that was a nothing in the sight of God.
Take a look at the following:
I Samuel 17:31-37: And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
Saul spoke from a place of hope-so, think-so, but not a place of absolute confidence. David spoke with that certainty that comes from a life of walking in the paths of righteousness, following the Lord, and knowing that God was with him. From a purely natural standpoint, Goliath was intimidating.
From a spiritual standpoint, he represented a zero threat because of his status as “an uncircumcised Philistine” — one whose wickedness and evil had no power over the living God! David had certain revelation of the truth. As Dwain McKenzie once put it, Things are not what they seem to be, they’re what God says they are!
David saw past the natural circumstances. He saw the truth. He knew that the Lord was with him, and that being the case, Goliath was “bread” to be eaten by him. You all know the rest of the story. David let loose the mark of God against this antichrist spirit, and planted that mark in Goliath’s forehead.
You understand the picture, don’t you?
The mark in the forehead has always been a metaphor for the way a person thinks, their disposition towards things, the way they reason. Goliath’s entire mindset was hatred of Israel, hatred of the God of Israel, and a confidence in his own size, strength and military prowess. When that mindset encountered the mark of God in David’s stone, there was a collision of mindsets, and Goliath’s couldn’t stand against the mindset and confidence in the Lord God possessed by David.
David knew that the Lord was with him. It wasn’t theory. It wasn’t supposition. It wasn’t hope. It was the secure knowledge and the thinking that agrees with God that possessed David. The evil thinking and insanity of Goliath’s thinking that he was superior to the God of Israel came down with a bang when the mark of God hit it.
And it went beyond that for David. Just because Goliath fell to the ground unconscious didn’t mean that he couldn’t conceivably recover. David took Goliath’s own sword and chopped his head off. The mark of God finished that anti-God, anti-anointing thinking once and for all!
When that level of confidence and knowledge of the presence of the Lord dwelling within consumes a person, nothing is impossible! The enemies we face are nothings because of the presence of the Lord in us and with us. It goes beyond that! It isn’t simply that He is with us, or that He is in us: we are in Him!
John speaks of the “mark of the beast” in Revelation, and says the following:
Revelation 13:16-17: And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
When a person knows with absolute certainty that the Lord is with him, and that He is in Christ, the threat of not being able to buy or sell if one does not take that “mark” in their forehead or in their right hand has no power whatever. It isn’t intimidating in the least. One’s thoughts are not in agreement with the beast system. One does not think like the world or accept its mindset.
By the same token, one does not worry about conducting business (the mark in the right hand) according to the dictates of some individual, or some system, or some set of laws and statutes. Tell me something! What happens when you run out of money (the current medium of exchange) and face needs that would normally be met through financial endeavors and supply?
If “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” is the absolute confidence that fills your being, then you don’t fret with the natural circumstances. “Things are not what they seem to be; they're what God says they are” becomes your mindset. You know that the Lord is with you!
For Della and me, this has become our way of life. Other than a monthly Social Security check, we have no visible means of support. Neither of us draw a paycheck for our labors. We have no salary of any kind. You all know that an income from Social Security cannot in any way meet the needs of a household with four children.
Nevertheless, we watch with utter amazement the continuing provision of the Lord to meet every single need. Even when abnormal needs crop up or emergencies occur, the Lord is there to provide abundantly. I might normally call it, “miraculous,” but it’s not a miracle when you are walking with the Lord. This is normal living! We are not dependent on the world’s way of doing things.
Let me share something with you that happened years ago to enforce this kind of understanding and confidence in the Lord and His provision.
I was working with Dwain McKenzie in the early 1970’s at Long Beach Christian Center (California). LBCC was a growing fellowship, but the income from the church couldn't even begin to take care of one family, much less two. Because of my engineering background and inclination to develop various products and inventions for clients, I was able to earn enough of a living for a family of six (at the time).
Being self-employed has its benefits, but it also has its drawbacks. If you run out of business — and you are operating on a cash basis — you soon face the need for money to pay bills or buy food. I hit those dry times more than once.
We were in the midst of a dry spell financially. Most of the bills were paid, but we were running out of food. After putting the family to bed, I went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and the cabinets. There was enough food left for one meal, and that was it! I pointed to the refrigerator and the cabinets and prayed the following:
“Lord, you are the One who called us here. You’ve placed us in this ministry, so our needs are your responsibility. You’ve made it clear that you will provide abundantly above all we can think or ask. We’re on your payroll, and we need food for the family. I expect you to make the provision necessary, and I thank you for it.”
And that, folks, is where I have to leave it for today. We’ll pick this story up next week.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call normally takes place on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number is (712) 775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
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