Prophetic History of Nov 21-29: Part 1
Nov 20, 2006
On November 21, 1947 the United Nations was presented the Palestinian Resolution. It was debated and then passed on November 29, 1947.
Forty years later, on Nov. 29, 1987, I was led to move from Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee, beginning my so-called "Egyptian bondage experience." At the time, I did not connect it with the events in 1947, because I did not yet know that part of history. But Memphis was "Egypt" to me, because the city is named after the ancient city in Egypt, which is also its Sister City. While I was there, they built their sports stadium that was in the shape of a Pyramid.
By the end of 1988, I was weary of the various jobs that I had held in Memphis. I had also recalled the word I had in 1985, where the Lord cryptically told me, "When you leave Egypt . . ." I now recognized that this was a reference to leaving Memphis, long before we even thought to move there.
On Sept. 29, 1988, I was working the evening shift at the House of Typography in Memphis. I went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant about 8:00 p.m. While I was waiting for my order, I went into prayer to ask the Lord when He might move me out of "Egypt." At the time, the only revelation I had on this subject was that He would move me "West." But I had no sense of timing for this move.
I asked what I should do. He told me to hold fast to His Word. "It shall be manifest when the time is right. Has it not always been so?"
"Yes, of course," I responded. "You know I have put this situation into Your hands. Yet I need to hear from You."
At that point, the waitress came with my order, and so I pondered as I ate. At the end, she gave me the bill and a fortune cookie. I wondered if perhaps it would contain a word for me, but the Lord said, "Definitely not My word."
I opened it and read it, "Any rough times are now behind you." Strange how "not My word" was His word in reverse! So I was not encouraged by this word at all.
"Well, Lord, do you want to talk about it?"
"My word can try men's hearts severely, as you know. I told you to hold fast to My word, for it may be all you have for seemingly long stretches, as I remove you from this world and its understanding.
"You are to move back to Arkansas now very shortly. You will know the time, for I will send you My servant who shall be led of Me to offer you a job. You shall take it, though it seem strange to you. . . .
"Now go back to work here until the time is right. Be watchful, for it [the new job offer in Arkansas] will appear to be very unusual to you and will come from a quarter you are unfamiliar with. Yet watch how I will work all things out for good and prepare the way before you." [Sept. 29, 1988]
Because I had often seen His word fulfilled on the same dates a year or two years later, I thought perhaps His word would be fulfilled on Nov. 29, 1988. This would have been one year after we moved to Memphis (in 1987). By this time I had found a new job, because I wanted to get out of the typesetting business. The training for my new job was set to begin on Nov. 30, so I figured that it was possible that God would do something the day before that would allow me to decline the new job.
So on November 21, I prayed about this, and the Lord seemed to indicate a new calling at that time. Then He gave me Luke 9:28 as confirmation of His word. It read, "And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings." Eight days from Nov. 21 was Nov. 29. This appeared to confirm the word, yet everything depended upon the fulfillment of His word of Sept. 29. Obviously, He had not removed the uncertainty.
So two days later, on November 23, I settled into prayer again, this time in my office at home. I asked Him again if He would take us out of "Egypt" on Nov. 29, 1988. This time, instead of answering me directly, He said,
"Call your son, and I will give you the word through him. I will give him two numbers, by which you will know My word, chapter and verse beginning with the book of Joel."
My eight-year-old son, Ryan, was home from school that day, because of a stomach ache, which promptly went away after the school bus had come and gone. So I called him to my office, and he came with some trepidation, wondering if he had done something wrong. I explained the word of the Lord to him, prayed for him, and then he gave me the two numbers: 54 and 40. I thanked him and sent him back out to play.
Then I began counting 54 chapters beginning with the book of Joel. It came to Matthew 1. Next, I began counting 40 verses. Well, there were 25 verses in the first chapter, so the 40th verse was Matt. 2:15,
"And was there [in Egypt] until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son."
The word was clear. "Call your son," was followed by "Out of Egypt have I called My Son." He was certainly going to take us out of Egypt, but even as Jesus could not leave Egypt until the death of Herod, so also I could not leave Memphis until an inner "Herod" had died. Nothing happened on Nov. 29, 1988, and so the next day I began training for the new job.
I know that many of you have wrestled with the word of the Lord and have had many disappointments on the way. Why does the word seem to fail? Timing is one of the key issues, and God views time not only as linear but also as having depth, like a three-dimensional image. Each time a revelation comes, I always date it, because its date has something to do with its fulfillment. But there are often multiple fulfillments in later years. Each time a word is re-cycled, it takes a new form, rather than simply repeat what has already been fulfilled. Its multi-dimensional quality gives it depth.
A year later, on Nov. 29, 1989, I received my phone call offering me a job in Arkansas. It came from a "quarter" (of the state) which I was unfamiliar with. As soon as the offer came, I knew that this was the job God had in mind for me. I began that new job on December 4, and on January 27, 1990 we physically moved to Leachville, Arkansas. You may recall that Jan. 27 was the end of my Cursed Time period (3 x 414 days from Sept. 2, 1986). It was also the day that we fully "left Egypt."
The word was fulfilled at the appointed time. It was fulfilled shortly after my own personal "Herod" had died. This "Herod" was the reason why I had been put on Cursed Time (discipline mode) earlier. In 1986 I had refused to leave my previous calling and enter into the new calling that He had given me. This again put me in a calling that was no longer mine, and it became a "Herod" to me. I resigned from that previous calling on Oct. 16, 1989, and the following month is when I received the telephone call offering me the new job.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 22, 1988 the Lord spoke this word, which I will share, because it may speak to you:
"Abiding in Me is coming to the place where a man or woman loves Me and wants to remain in My presence, not to seek reward or favor or a fulfillment of things I have promised, but to seek Me with a deep abiding love that cannot be shaken when it appears My promises have come to naught.
"This is my goal. This is why My promises often seem to fail. This is why I allow the promises to die before raising them up. This is why I allow so many--indeed, all who seek Me--to undergo frustration and draught of understanding. It is not the promises that are the goal. I want a relationship with My people. The promises are always secondary to that and serve that goal."
This is the first part of a series titled "Prophetic History of Nov. 21-29." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones