Don’t let negative friends, the media, or critics rob you of faith in God. When a widow went out to gather wood to cook her last meal for her son before they died, she ran into Elijah who said, “Fix me a meal.” She responded in obedience. The next day, and the next week, and the next month, again and again, the oil and meal miraculously continued to flow because of her obedience.
There is a commanded blessing for obedience and generosity. It is time for you to be filled with faith and to have someone filled with faith to come into agreement with you that God will bless and favor your life in every way. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah will roar…and the whole world will shake and be amazed by what happens next!
When I began this ministry with my beloved bride, Carolyn, our first daughter was only six months old. We shared our vision for the first time in a tiny church in Indiana during a snowstorm. When we walked outside, our car had caught fire and burned. All we had was $725, and we had given it all to start the ministry.
A man named Gene Darnell approached us and took us home with him. The next morning, he handed me the keys to a new car. He didn’t have the money to buy it outright; he financed it and made the payments on it. He said, “The Lord told me that you are His chosen instrument for the Nation of Israel. Shiloh, Shiloh, Shiloh.” Gene Darnell had nothing to substantiate what he had said, but he was the first to sow a seed into our lives and ministry. God gave us a wonderful blessing through Gene, and He gave Gene a commanded blessing in return.
We climbed into that beautiful Buick Electra and started toward Texas. As we drove through Arkansas, I spotted a sign that said, “Bill Roetzell’s Motorhomes.” The Spirit of the Lord spoke to me, “Stop there and look at travel trailers.” It would have been as impossible for me to buy a travel trailer as it would to buy the Empire State Building. We had no money.
As I walked around the property, we noticed a trailer that was 35 feet by 8 feet and could be towed by a large car. Again, the Spirit of the Lord said, “Believe me for this.” I reached out, touched that travel trailer, and said a short prayer. I later learned that while I prayed, the owner of the company was in his office having his devotions. He looked out the window, saw me, and the Spirit of the Lord said, “This is a man of God. He is going to be My chosen vessel to the Nation of Israel. You are to give him a new travel trailer.” Bill came out and did just that. We hooked that travel trailer up to the back of the Buick Electra and towed it to Texas. Commanded blessing!
Many years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Corrie ten Boom. She told me that while she was in the Nazi prison at Ravensbrück for saving Jewish people from the Holocaust, God gave her a commanded blessing. It was the last verse of Psalm 91: “And with long life shall I satisfy you.” Corrie was 51 years old when God gave her that Scripture. Her commanded blessing was 40 additional years of life and a ministry that changed the world. What will your blessing be in 2021? I can’t wait to find out!
God sent us the prosperity of the 1920s to show that He loves us, but we didn’t listen, so He sent us the Depression as an increasing attempt to inspire us to “call on His Name, humbling ourselves and praying, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways.” But we did not. Thus, the world turned its back on the Jews, and Hitler’s genocidal extermination machine closed in on them. Few acted to help until it was too late. A third of the world’s Jewish population—six million men, women, and children—were lost with little hope of salvation.
Look around: We are going through much the same cycle today. The prosperity of the 1990s made us even more selfish than we were in the decades before. September 11th and its aftermath hit us far worse than the stock market crash on Black Tuesday of 1929. What was one of the main causes of the Depression? A new concept that had been introduced at that time called “buying on credit.” The entire nation had borrowed to buy things. The economy soared because of increased consumer spending, and when the debts were called in, too few had the cash to pay. America lapsed into the Depression, and then World War II.
America had enjoyed prosperity in the 90s, but terrorists struck on September 11, 2001, and then a recession followed. Since that time, our country has been drawn into conflict after conflict—Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, with the looming prospect of another Cold War with Russia and possibly a confrontation of some sort with Iran. And again, the Jews hang on the edge of a precipice as anti-Zionism arises the world over. As the U.S. and Great Britain have been the only nations with enough moral backbone to confront terrorism, so we are also the only nations that can stand up and defend Israel and the Jewish people. We didn’t in the 1920s and 1930s. Will we do it now?
Isaiah 24:6 declares: “Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.” Does God fight nations? Yes, He does. Zechariah 14:2-3 states that He will fight all nations that come against Jerusalem. Why would we not allow the only democracy in the Middle East to join us in fighting Iraq? It was simply because we feared the anti-Semitic nations in the area, those who hate Israel, and are afraid they will withhold the oil that lubricates our economy.
Just as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the Civil War was God’s judgment for the bigotry behind slavery, the Great Depression was surely God’s judgment for the bigotry of anti-Semitism that was buried in the souls of many Americans. Seeds of that same anti-Semitism that fed and fueled the Holocaust are alive and well in 21st century America, no matter how dormant they seem to recently have been.
Let no one mislead you about the times in which we live. If the parable of the fig tree and the signs of Matthew 24 are not enough, look at one last mile marker given by the prophet Daniel: the increase of travel and knowledge. Daniel accurately foretold the kingdoms and governments that would follow ancient Babylon’s disappearance from the world scene in Daniel 2:31–45. Many of his prophecies have been fulfilled, his writings constituting the cornerstone of biblical prophecy. Daniel described a key characteristic of the End Times, the period leading up to the return of Jesus Christ to earth, in terms of man’s pursuit of knowledge: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).
While Daniel’s prediction of “many shall run to and fro” could easily be interpreted as the “rat race” of modern society, most Bible scholars interpret it as the rapid increase and the speed of travel. Comparing today’s world with that of even 200 years ago, when travel by train at speeds of 60 miles an hour was an incredible feat, now we fly in jumbo jets that can reach perhaps 600 miles an hour—or even the now-sidelined Concorde that reached speeds of a mind-boggling 1,350 miles per hour. What would Daniel have thought of these modern conveyances if we could transport him here in a time machine? I think he would definitely be looking at the skies for Christ’s return!
The rate of man’s knowledge has grown beyond our comprehension, as well. Years ago, scientists actually set out to measure the rate of expansion of man’s “knowledge database,” to put it in modern technological terms. They assumed that all scientific knowledge accumulated by the year AD 1 equaled one unit of information. They estimated that the amount of knowledge man acquired had doubled to two units over the next 1,500 years. But it only took 250 years for man’s knowledge to double to four units. From 1750 until 1900, a period of 150 years, knowledge doubled yet again. And throughout the 20th century, the rate continued to increase, with the result that it now takes only one to two years for our knowledge database to double once more. Think about that for a moment: Everything we know about the latest scientific developments will double in less than two years!
Encyclopedias and textbooks are out of date almost as soon as they’re in print. Doctors, engineers, physicists, and researchers are forced to specialize, limiting their concentration to a narrow area of knowledge. Even in our own daily lives, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the current flow of information. Is it any wonder we often feel that we need an advanced degree just to operate the latest gadget: iPhone, laptop, or iPad, or some yet-to-be-developed device?
Not only does this knowledge explosion indicate that we are living in the End Times, but the type of knowledge man has acquired is absolutely mind-boggling. Things that were in the realm of science fiction only a few years ago are now a reality (think of wristwatch communication or pocket-sized computers or self-driving vehicles). Our government, not to mention the average citizen, is caught woefully unprepared to deal with the moral and ethical implications of some of these scientific advances.
The “brave new world” that science fiction writers imagined just a decade or two ago is here. It’s a world in which man has decided to be his own creator via the practice of cloning. Ironic, isn’t it, that millions of unborn babies have been cavalierly aborted while at the same time scientists are cloning human life in a laboratory?
I can’t help but think that at some point—perhaps soon—God will intervene to stop mankind’s mad pursuit of attempting to create life on its own terms. We are building nothing less than a technological tower of Babel. In place of ancient Babylon’s worship of astrology and the heavens, modern man worships science and technology. The end result is the same: mankind seems bent on usurping God’s role as Creator. And at some point, the Creator will say, “Enough!” and put a stop to man’s folly.
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen” (Isaiah 43:18-20).
I know the past year has been very difficult for many people. And because we live in a broken world there will be trouble in this new year as well. But I also believe it is going to be a year when God works in your life in a way that you have never seen before. I believe a commanded blessing will come your way because of your compassion for “the least of these” among God’s Chosen People.
As I was praying this morning, God spoke to me with these words from Deuteronomy 28:8: “The Lord shall command a blessing upon you….” The passage goes on to describe the amazing blessing that God has for you. This blessing rains down on every part of your life — your health, your family, your finances, and so much more. God wants to bless everything you touch!
This is what He did for my people, the Children of Israel, when they cried out to Him from their bondage in Egypt. Not only did God deliver them from slavery, but He protected them from death. On the night the Death Angel passed through the land, the Israelites put blood on the doorposts of their homes, and their firstborn children were spared. But as wonderful and miraculous as that deliverance was, there was even more.
God gave the Israelites favor with their Egyptian neighbors, and they left the land of their former captivity loaded down with gold and gems and possessions, blessed beyond their wildest dreams. That’s what the commanded blessing does.
This is the blessing described in Psalm 133. David talked about the anointing oil that was poured on the head of Aaron when he was consecrated as the high priest of Israel. It flowed down from his head, over his beard, across his entire body, and all the way down to his feet. It covered him completely! That’s what the commanded blessing does.
But notice with me what comes first. That beautiful Psalm starts with these words: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” The Hebrew word for unity literally means agreement. The commanded blessing comes when we come into agreement with what God wants to do in and through our lives.
Today I am asking you to come into agreement with God concerning His commanded blessing for yourself, your children and grandchildren, your finances, your health, and your dreams for 2021. As part of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, you are in a unique position to be blessed. The Word declares, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee”(Psalm 122:6). Many Believers have written to me because they are worried. I have good news for you! The Lord is your refuge. It doesn’t matter how great the storms, God will protect His people.
If the church worldwide will stand up as the light Jesus intended her to be, the politics of nations will right themselves. Legislation can’t change people’s hearts, but the touch of God can! It is more important to have a nation that prays, but it is also desirable to have a president who prays. We need those prayers because there is a spiritual war taking place in our world. America is under attack only because she is a Christian nation, just as Israel is under a never-ending attack because she is a Jewish nation. The Liberal Left mocks Judeo-Christian beliefs as simplistic and ignorant because these modern-day humanists do believe that evil does not truly exist; that even malevolent people are basically good, and that it’s better to talk and show tolerance than to take a definitive, moral stand.
Today, the battle of good versus evil is being fought from within this nation. Too many Liberals actually hate the thought of an America that turns back to God and takes religion seriously. Many despise Israel, the Bible, and Christians in general. They subject Conservatives to scorn, ridicule, and discrimination. There is no attack on American culture more deadly than the secular humanists’ attacks.
The dumbing down of America continues, and all in the name of political correctness and a new godless globalism. America, the noble experiment, is today under near-constant siege. A tidal wave of evil is sweeping across our nation. Self-injuring, spirit-destroying, conscience-searing practices are being supported by the Left as never before. One must wonder, then, if the liberal, secular humanists’ hatred for all things conservative could pass Natan Sharansky’s “town square test.” He wrote in his book The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny & Terror, “Can a person walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm? If he can, then that person is living in a free society. If not, it’s a fear society.”
Just as the fig tree blooms to indicate that summer is near, so the signs of the times we are seeing today indicate that Jesus is preparing His return, and soon! The biblical mention of the fig tree is the prophetic depiction of the flowering of modern-day Israel. As Jesus said to His disciples in the book of Luke: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. . . .But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:28, 34–36).