Feb 11, '11 3:25 PM
By Regner Capener
Longtime friend and former VP of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Jim Bramlett, sent me the following link to some pretty amazing footage out of Egypt. At about 1:19 into the piece shown on MSNBC (see the piece on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWQKOj9Sxkg) there is a very clear image of a pale green rider on a pale green horse appearing in the crowd, riding through the crowd and vanishing into thin air. As Jim aptly comments, “Has the Lord actually allowed us to see the horse and rider of Revelation 6:8, in Cairo? The word "pale" in that above verse is the Greek word chloros (Greek # 5515), which means green.”
The timing of this is absolutely fascinating since Della and I have been discussing this pale rider in Revelation 6 during the past couple of weeks with Mary Ellen Olnick – our close friend and sister in Red Deer, Alberta. There is another fascinating prophetic word which seems to be unfolding as we speak – and it is one you don’t hear much about among so-called “end-time” preachers – and it is extremely relevant to this day and hour. That is the ten-nation confederacy and conspiracy against Israel revealed by Asaph in Psalm 83.
When you understand the modern-day significance of each of the nations or tribes mentioned in verses 6 – 8, you literally have a picture of the nations or Islamic peoples that fill the Middle East, including (but not limited to) Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. I will try to do a specific Coffee Break on this prophecy in Psalm 83 in the days to come. The events revealed in this Psalm bear watching at this critical juncture in history.
In my entire lifetime, I’ve met one – perhaps two – people who’ve had similar experiences to mine of being in Heaven and having conversations with people there – especially Biblical characters. I’ve met or heard of many people throughout the years who’ve been to Heaven, but the experiences that the Lord gave to me seem to be fairly unique – so much so that there are folks who question the validity of the things I’m sharing. Nevertheless, my parents, my brother, an evangelist by the name of Homer Rugwell and a missionary sister named Harriet Brown were all present in our home the morning after this event and heard me share these experiences.
As already noted, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever put down on paper the details of my experiences – many of which are as fresh today as they were all those years ago. Throughout the years, I’ve shared bits and pieces with some folks – some of the conversations with Abraham, or David, or perhaps one of the prophets or the apostles, but never the complete experience.
Obviously my objective here is to encourage and to lift up brothers and sisters in the Lord. If there could be said to be a central theme to my encounters and conversations in Heaven, that theme would be the importance of hearing and responding to the heart’s desire of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have an assignment and a commission from the Lord as believers everywhere. That commission is to see the Kingdom of God rule and reign over the entire earth.
Our assignment is to see that Jesus Christ receives His full inheritance in us. We’ve been redeemed from the curse by the Lord so that He could have the family He started out to receive in the first place. Father sent Him here so the covenant first established through Adam could be restored. Jesus paid for it, folks, and He deserves to get what He paid for!
My experiences in Heaven cumulatively gave me a revelation of Jesus Christ in a dimension that has grown throughout the years. Every conversation, every encounter, every experience enlarged my understanding of the Lord Jesus, His plan and purposes, Who He is in us, and who we are in Him. In the years that have passed since these trips took place there has been increasing revelation of the whole purpose of creation and seeing the intent of the Lord to have for Himself a family of beings who are just like Him with His likeness and image.
Thus far we talked about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David – and now Moses. I will try to finish my conversations with Moses in today’s sharing.
My conversation with Moses now turned to Israel and his experiences in leading them in the wilderness. I won’t try to cover every detail because it would make this discussion overly long, so let me just cover two or perhaps three major points of my conversation.
I was, of course, very interested in the ten plagues that God brought upon Egypt when Pharaoh rebelled against the Word of the Lord; and I was likewise interested in the parting of the Red Sea. We had some discussion on those, but the three major things I want to focus on in this Coffee Break are (1) the return and reports of the spies when they were sent into the Promised Land; (2) Moses’ own disobedience to the Lord when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it; and (3) his personal reaction at seeing the Promised Land from Mount Pisgah, and not being able to enter.
Our discussions now turned to the period of time not long after Israel had left
Egypt. They were encamped near Kadesh (their first encampment there) in the wilderness of Paran.
“You sent the twelve spies to have a look at the Land of Promise,” I said to Moses.“When they returned after almost six weeks, they were bearing a gigantic cluster of grapes on a staff between two of the men. They all talked positively about the land as being a ‘land of milk and honey’ and showed some of the fruit of the land including pomegranates and figs. Yet ten of the spies were warning against going into the land because of the presence of strong, walled cities with giants. In fact, their statement was one filled with fear and trembling saying that they were grasshoppers compared to the giants, and that there was no way they could take the land.”
Moses’ face became stern as he thought back to the event.
I now put the question to him, “Why after being so recently delivered from Egypt by the hand of God with such a powerful demonstration were they so afraid to go into a land God had already promised? Did they really think the Lord would not deliver them from the giants?”
“You are looking at something that has baffled many people throughout the centuries – and yet it is a natural reaction for a people who grew up with a bondage mentality. Think about it for a minute!
“Here is a nation of people who had never had a land of their own.They had the promise and covenant that God made with Abraham that He would give them this land, but it really wasn’t real to them. Israel had prospered greatly in Egypt during the years that Joseph was Prime Minister and for many years thereafter under the Pharaohs who were part of that dynasty.
“When a different Pharaoh came to the throne of Egypt through a series of wars and assassinations who was not part of that previous dynasty, he had neither knowledge of Joseph nor any interest whatever in retaining any friendship with the Hebrews. They were leaches on “his land” as far as he was concerned and he was going to use them to create a name and memorial for himself.
“Israel became a worker class of people under him and his successors. For centuries they were systematically pillaged and used. Generations of people grew up being told daily that their lives were worth nothing. They were treated continually as the scum of Egypt.
“You don’t grow up being programmed daily like that and not have it affect your whole mindset – your way of thinking.”
“But,” I argued, “Israel had a Covenant with God that had to have been a constant remembrance for them. They had to have known that they were His Chosen People!”
Moses chuckled.“It’s one thing to be reminded of that heritage and another thing altogether to rise above that in the face of daily hard labor and bondage to a Pharaoh whose servants did everything they could to demean, to insult, to put down and to create in the minds of the people that the only reason they were alive was to serve him.
“The people had no self-worth, no image whatever of who God was, nor any life track record of God’s intervention and provision for them as a people. They still thought of themselves according to all they’d been programmed with under Pharaoh.
“Sure, God had delivered us from Egypt’s power with a series of breathtaking plagues upon the Egyptians! He had done the unthinkable and impossible by opening up the Red Sea for us so we could escape from Pharaoh. He subsequently destroyed Pharaoh’s royal armies as the waters rushed back over them when they tried to follow. It should have been enough, but for that generation it wasn’t.”
“Joshua and Caleb were certainly of a different mindset, then,” I answered.“How could they be so different from the other leaders?”
“If you talk to them, you’ll realize that they had a level of faith that exceeded the unbelief of their fellow-spies. When God began to show His hand on behalf of our people, both of them were filled with faith and courage and an unwavering trust in God. They were a different breed somehow. They were almost oblivious to the obstacles and dangers that lay ahead. They certainly were aware of them, but God’s Word and His promises to take us into a land and give it to us obliterated the obstacles as far as their thinking went. They were a joy to watch and be with!”
Perhaps one of the most fascinating things that took place during my discussions with Moses – and I have shared this as happening with some of the others – was the vision of seeing Moses in the midst of the actual circumstances that unfolded. In some cases those visions have stayed with me in more clarity than the conversations.
I saw the Red Sea open for the Israelites and then close over the pursuing armies. I saw Moses strike the rock in his anger against Israel’s rebellion. I was also able to see what he saw from Mount Pisgah. It was like being there in person in many instances. The conversations were often reinforced by the seeing of the events as they had unfolded centuries and millennia before. Many of those pictures are etched in my mind and in my spirit as though I had been a first-person participant or observer.
This discussion began with my question.“Moses,” I asked, “What provoked you to strike the rock after the Lord had instructed you to speak to it? You had done so well in leading Israel up to that point. From all I’ve read, the Lord was pretty happy with you.”
FYI, if you want to read about this event, take a look at Exodus 17 to begin with, and then read Numbers 20.
Moses’ eyes seemed to look off in the distance as he remembered the events.“Let me refresh your memory concerning the striking of the rock,” he said.“You’ll recall that shortly after we left Egypt, the children of Israel were a pretty angry and fearful lot of people.
“They became angry over not having enough food. Aaron and I took things to the Lord and He sent Manna from Heaven to feed them. They complained about not having meat and the Lord sent them the quail in abundance. Then they complained about not having water to drink.
“We were at Mount Horeb when the answer of the Lord was to strike the rock. Water came forth like a river out of the rock. It flowed down the hill and through the camp of Israel like a gusher. So long as we were camped there in Rephidim they had that water from the rock flowing continually. It was a perpetual miracle in their sight.
“Now,” he continued, “Let’s skip forward in time for more than 35 years. I had been through a lot with Israel. Despite all the miracles God had done for us in Egypt, leaving Egypt and our years in the wilderness, despite the fact that He had clearly demonstrated to the surrounding nations His Blessing on us and the fact that we were a unique people in the earth, there was still non-stop complaining, criticism and accusations against the Lord in our midst.
“Honestly, I’d had about all I could take! We had seen the nonstop provision of the Lord through all of our years of wanderings. We were nearing the end of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness while the generation that came out of Egypt died off. You remember what happened when certain of the fathers in Israel decided they were going to appoint for themselves a captain or leader and head back to Egypt because of the fear generated by the negative report of the ten spies? God had said to them that their generation would wander in the wilderness for forty years – that their carcasses would bleach in the desert while their children were taken into the Land of Promise.
“Just as God had said, that generation was dying off. In fact, most of that generation was already dead by this time. The nation had been watching as God’s Word was being fulfilled before their eyes. They were watching the judgment of the Lord upon a rebellious generation. Here we are now at Kadesh. My sister Miriam had just died and been buried.
“The place where we were encamped was quite dry and there was no ready water supply. Once again the grumbling and complaining started, and I was being accused of bad leadership. The same old accusation began making the rounds again that I had led Israel to this desert place to kill them off. My frustration level was at its limit as it was with Aaron, my brother.
“We went into the Tabernacle and fell on our faces before God crying out for answers. The Word of the Lord was clear and unmistakable. ‘Take the Rod of Authority and stand before Israel. Speak to the rock,’ He said. ‘Do this in their presence before their eyes. Watch me bring forth water out of the rock once again.’
“I really had no excuse for striking the rock. God’s Word was clear. ‘Speak,’ He said. Not ‘strike’ like He had the previous time. When I stood before the people this time, I was seething inside. Anger took hold and in that moment of emotional upheaval I disobeyed the Lord. Not just once, but twice I struck that rock – hard!
“God still showed His hand of deliverance for the people that day and water came out of the rock in abundance. My disobedience, however, and my moment of irritated rebellion cost me! The Lord immediately spoke to me and judgment was in His voice. That single act and emotional outburst had a prophetic significance I failed to see in that moment and it was going to cost me the privilege of leading Israel into Canaan.”
Implicit in Moses’ voice was a warning – not only to me but to all of us as believers – not to succumb to our emotions in times of stress, frustration and anger: particularly when we have heard a direct Word from the Lord which requires specific obedience.
“Those words from the Lord must have really sounded throughout your whole being from that moment until He took you to Mount Pisgah a couple of years later to see the land you could have and should have entered,” I said.
He nodded his head.“There was disappointment in me, of course. Standing and looking over the land, seeing the treasure that God had in this place for His people was awe-inspiring. At the same time, there was an indescribable peace inside my being. God was a Covenant-keeping God!
He had promised this land to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. He had instructed me to lead their descendants – His chosen people – from bondage and poverty to this wealthy place. He had kept His Word and I had been God’s instrument of promise to accomplish it.
“At one hundred twenty years of age, I was as strong as the day I left Egypt – perhaps stronger – and yet I knew that the assignment for taking this land and routing its wicked occupants belonged to Joshua, and the next generation. I was very grateful to the Lord for the privilege and the responsibility He had entrusted to me, and Israel was taking Canaan!”
That has to be it for today. There was more, of course, but I want to move on to one more individual whose life and calling made a huge impact on me as a young person – especially in view of how God had already been dealing with me.
Next: HEAVEN X: Samuel.
Though 2011 has already been a difficult year – and it is going to get even more difficult in the weeks and months ahead -- God is going to show His hand on behalf of His people, especially those who believe His Word and trust Him implicitly!
Blessings on you!
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