1988: "These Stones"
I was still living in Memphis, Tennessee, which symbolized my time of bondage in “Egypt.” Yet God had told me some years earlier that He would bring me back to the denomination in which I was raised in order to teach people how to pray and do spiritual warfare. So while in Memphis, God led me to attend the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (C&MA) located there. I had been attending there a little over two months when the Word of the Lord came to me on February 25, 1988, saying:
“Call My people to a prayer campaign against the Prince of Persia, who occupies many cities and towns and has many strongholds against you. The time has come to eliminate his power from off the face of the earth, for his cup of wrath is full, and I shall now move to throw him into the bottomless pit forever. My Word shall be thus extended to the Muslim world, for their eyes have long been blinded by Satan to My Word. It is My will to extend to these children My blessings of salvation and enlarge the stakes of My tent to include them.
“My people, draw not back, but press forward in victory, for I have empowered you by My Spirit to do this. Move in faith, and be ready to go with My Word to fill the power vacuum that shall be created when one so mighty is toppled.
“Let this be a sign unto you, My Word in Luke 3:8, for in this verse is My purpose and the name of this prayer campaign. Hallelujah! Thy God reigns over the kings of the earth!”
At this point, I looked up Luke 3:8 given to me by the Lord, and saw that it read:
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (KJV)
I knew from this verse to call the name of the prayer campaign, “These Stones.” I then asked the Father when to do this battle. He said,
“August 3 pray and fast and lead My people into battle, for the victory is yours. I give the Prince of Persia into your hands for destruction.”
As for the timing of this Word, I had just lost my job on Feb. 16, which allowed me time to prepare for this prayer campaign. But how was I to call anyone to prayer? I had been out of the ministry since 1981, and I was out of touch with most of the people I used to know. In praying about this with local Christian friends, we were agreed that I should begin a newsletter and call it “Foundation For Intercession.” It would be a bulletin that would lay the foundations of biblical teaching, by which people could be trained in the art of spiritual warfare and intercession.
This was how our publication started. Our first issue was dated April 1, 1988. In the first four issues I taught the basic principles the people needed to know, and then we went into that warfare with precisely 153 believers who had responded to the call. (I do love that number!)
Preparations for Warfare
As stated earlier, I was living in Memphis, Tennessee at this time, still in the midst of my cursed time discipline for not leaving the Net of Prayer (NOP) in 1986. Because I was still a part of that organization, I submitted this Word to the leader, and he was led to put a man named Al in charge of leading the prayer campaign. I realized later that God would not allow me to actually lead the campaign, because I was in a disciplinary mode under cursed time. This was God's way of keeping me out of danger.
One of the first things I was led to do was to tell this revelation to the pastor of the Alliance Church. His name was Samuel, and we had become good friends. I asked him to pray about this Word and see if perhaps he would like to have that Church participate in the prayer campaign. He prayed, and God confirmed it to him.
In discussing it further, we discerned that we had to present it also to the denomination itself, which was (at that time) based in Nyack, New York. We discerned that God was calling this missionary organization to be in simple agreement with us in the prayer campaign, and that if they would do so, the victory would be total. If not, however, the victory would be temporary.
Further, we discerned that if the denomination would help to lay this prayer foundation, the C&MA would be the primary force behind the evangelism of the Muslim world. This was their appointed time, their “day of visitation” to see if they really had a heart for God or not. So we looked in the books to see who would be appropriate to contact. The list of names surprised me, because, having been raised in the denomination, it seems that I knew all of the leaders. The President had come as a young missionary to the Philippines while I was attending the school for missionary children. The Foreign Secretary was my classmate at the same mission school. I even knew the Secretary, Treasurer, and everyone else. But I was not to write to any of them. Pastor Sam finally suggested Rev. David Moore, who was Vice President of the Division of Overseas Ministries, and so we wrote a joint letter to him on March 3, 1988.
A few days later the Lord showed me that we would hear back from Rev. Moore on March 19. He also showed me that Rev. Moore would say neither yes or no, but that his answer would reflect the heart of the church. I shared my discernment with Sam, and his reaction was, “No, the denomination will surely say yes to this, because this is precisely what they have been saying all along that they want to do—pray to reach the unreached people of the earth.”
I expressed my doubt, but as friends we decided to just wait and see the response. The response came March 19, of course, which astounded Pastor Sam considerably, because both the date of the response letter as well as its contents were exactly as I had told Sam about ten days earlier. Rev. Moore wrote:
“Thank you for your letter of March 3 with the proposal of a special day of prayer for the Muslim world, August 3, 1988. We in the Division of Overseas Ministries, do not have authority to set a day of prayer for the C&MA constituency in the United States. In addition, it should be noted that the calendar of events for 1988 was approved in March of 1987. Included is the Alliance Week of Prayer, March 20-27, 1988. It is rather late to promote a special emphasis on the Muslim world during that week.
“Your idea is a good one. However, in view of . . . May I suggest that you contact the Reverend R.P. . . The focus beginning next fall will be on unreached peoples. . . Your father and I grew up in the same church in Chicago.”
I was unaware that he knew my father, or that he had grown up in A.W. Tozer’s church in Chicago were my father was raised. So it seemed that I had connections with virtually every leader in the denomination. At any rate, he passed the responsibility to someone else, claiming he lacked the authority to do this. Perhaps he had no choice in the matter. It was God’s WILL that the denomination pray, but it was in the PLAN of God that they refuse. Why? Because God intended for the Overcomers to do the work. The Church (Pentecost) had already rejected the call to prayer from 1981-1986 to prepare for—and declare—the 120th Jubilee. Why would this be any different? Yet in order to fulfill all righteousness, God gave the C&MA opportunity to do that which they were called to do at the beginning when A.B. Simpson founded it as a missionary organization.
In praying about Rev. Moore’s letter, the Lord spoke to me a few days later, saying:
“They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me and My Word.” (March 22, 1988)
I certainly understand Rev. Moore's position. Hardly ever will a letter from a “nobody” turn the direction of a denomination. I believe he assumed that it would require a lot of time and expense issuing letters to all of the churches around the world. He did not realize that a simple letter of agreement in prayer from him would have sufficed. One does not need to make everyone aware of a prayer campaign, as long as those doing it obtain prayer agreement. The prayer agreement itself increases the empower-ment of those doing the work.
Even so, we know that God directed these events for His own purposes, because it was not yet time to fully overthrow the Prince of Persia. The year 1988 was still in the Age of Pentecost, and “King Saul” was still in power. It was God's WILL that the denominational believers do this, but it was God's PLAN that the Overcomers would do it when their time came some years later.
As the weeks passed, it was discerned that we still could do the prayer battle if we had at least 50 people in prayer agreement by July 25, 1988. This was precisely 5 months after the initial revelation (Feb. 25). I correlated this with the 5 months of Rev. 9:5, 10, during which time the locusts of Apollyon, the Prince of Persia, were allowed to judge the earth. Of course, there was also 5 months between my letter to Rev. Moore (Mar. 3) and the scheduled date of the prayer campaign (Aug. 3).
The Prayer Agreement July 24, 1988
We decided to send word to all participants in the prayer campaign that they should be in prayer agreement Sunday evening, July 24, 1988. As I mentioned earlier, we counted precisely 153 participants, including 40 from the Church in Memphis that were present at the meeting.
On the same day as our prayer agreement, Iran began to withdraw its troops from Iraq. They had fought a very bloody war for 8 years (since September 1980), and over a million men had been killed. The actual cease-fire came on August 7, and the two countries signed a truce August 20.
Years earlier, the NOP had received some revelation that the Iran/Iraq war would drag America into the conflict and that a half million troops would be sent to the Persian Gulf area, where they would be trapped and never return home. When we first began to prepare for the prayer campaign, we discerned that These Stones was designed to stop the war between Iran and Iraq to prevent American intervention. So when the war ended on the same day as our prayer agreement (July 24, 1988), we knew that the Prince of Persia had indeed been overthrown and imprisoned.
Apollyon’s Release: Aug. 2/3, 1989
The NOP called for a day of fasting on Aug. 2, 1988 and the actual spiritual warfare took place the next day, August 3. The Prince of Persia was taken prisoner. The Iran/Iraq war ended.
One year later, on August 2/3, 1989 we saw the Prince of Persia released. I am not free to reveal many details, as it affects other people as well as myself. Yet I will say that Apollyon was released because of my own disobedience to God, caused by my own heart idolatry. This occurred in the final months of my tenure with the Net of Prayer.
Back in July 1986 God told me that I was to write to the leadership in the NOP and show them where they had gone wrong earlier. If they did not correct the situation, then I was to leave the NOP. Well, I did write, and their response was that this Word was only “carnal.” At that point—August 2/3, 1986—I should have resigned, but out of personal loyalty and submission to men, I did not. The idol of my heart made me believe that the Word was really NOT of God. So I convinced myself to stay, and as I have written earlier, this put me on cursed time for 3 periods of 414 days beginning a month later (Sept. 2).
Three years later, my submission to men began to manifest itself, for I began to exhibit the same problems of blindness that had been evident in the NOP leadership. In other words, submission to men results in our taking on the problems of those to whom we submit. When we submit to men, we come into submission to their heart idols. This is one of the most important insights I could ever share with you. Take it seriously. That is why I want no one to be in submission to me. I want only to point you to Jesus Christ as your Head. I do not like pedestals. I’m afraid of heights.
And so, precisely three years after I had come into submission to men, I began to be led by the idol of my heart into disobedience. What I thought was the will of God was only the will of my own heart idolatry. This is what surfaced on August 2/3, 1989. This is what released Apollyon, the Prince of Persia.
All spiritual warfare is ultimately fought within ourselves. It is generally pictured as a fight “in the heavens,” or in the spiritual realm, but in fact, we participate in spiritual warfare by means of our own spirit that is within us. Our spirit is our door or window to the spiritual world, whether we use it for good or for evil.
God has called me as an intercessor to the Muslim world. Intercession is God’s training ground by which we receive spiritual authority to do the work we are called to do. For this reason, He has given me some insight into the spiritual causes of the rise of Islam and events in the Persian Gulf region. I am called to intercede for them and will later be sent to that area of the world as an ambassador to them with the Word of Conciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
Such a calling has a downside. I could not fulfill my calling until I had fully defeated the Prince of Persia in my own heart, for one must bind the strong man before one can spoil his goods (Mark 3:27). In 1988 we were able to bind the Prince of Persia temporarily, but because I had not yet dealt with my own heart problem, we could hold him prisoner only for one year. The reason my heart and actions were important in this matter was because I am one of the people whose calling it is to bind the Prince of Persia. With that authority also goes the authority to loose him, if my heart is not right. That is the brutal truth of the matter.
I resigned from the NOP on October 16, 1989 two months after loosing the Prince of Persia. This corrected the original problem from 1986 and freed me from submission to men, allowing me to deal with my own heart’s idols. Progress has not been easy over the years, but God’s purposes are steadily being fulfilled.
The Gulf War Begins Aug. 2, 1990
The following year, on July 24, 1990 Iraq accused Kuwait of oil overproduction and moved nearly 10,000 troops to the border between the two countries. This was precisely two years after the prayer agreement was put in place with the 153 participants.
In the early morning hours of August 2, Iraq invaded Kuwait. U.S. President Bush immediately began to mobilize a half million troops to send to Saudi Arabia in order to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. The peace ended precisely on the two-year anniversary of “These Stones” prayer campaign in 1988, proving that our intercession had given America a two-year grace period.
The United Nations ultimately set a deadline of January 15, 1991 for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. Of course, they did not withdraw. So on January 16 the Coalition’s warplanes began its attack upon Iraq called “Operation Desert Storm.” Ground troops invaded Kuwait on February 23. A cease-fire was declared on February 28. The war lasted 42 days.
Perhaps my biggest concern during this conflict was not knowing for sure if those half million American troops would be trapped and never return, as the head of the NOP had discerned many years earlier. As it turned out, Iraq killed very few American troops. But as of 1999, 489,400 Americans were treated for “Gulf War Syndrome.” Worse yet, reports indicate that 67% of the children born to Gulf War veterans have been born deformed.
Perhaps the nature of the “trap” was subtler than at first realized. Often prophecy is fulfilled in unexpected ways.
The Role of the Intercessors
Toward the end of the Gulf War, on Feb. 23, 1991, I was privileged to hear Lalo Cadona teach about Bible Chronology. Here I learned the basic concepts of cursed time (414) and blessed time (490). I learned that 76 is the number of cleansing, which takes us from cursed time to blessed time. (414 + 76 = 490) It struck me that my address at that time was Rt. 2, Box 76. This made me wonder if perhaps the date of my move to that address might be the end of a cursed time period. That is how I discovered that I had been on cursed time for disobedience from Sept. 2, 1986 to Jan. 27, 1990—the day I moved to Rt. 2, Box 76. The time was 3 x 414 days.
So I began to count the days from circumstances surrounding my resignation from the NOP and discovered that 490 days later matched the days of the Gulf War. In correlating the dates and seeing them in a cause-and-effect relationship, it became glaringly apparent that back in September and October of 1989, the head of the NOP and I had fought a spiritual battle which had manifested itself in the Gulf War precisely 490 days later! As an intercessor to the Muslim world (but disobedient, of course) my actions were reflected in the actions of Iraq. As an intercessor to America, the actions of the NOP head were reflected in all that America did in that war.
The steps leading to my resignation properly began on Sept. 13, 1989. Adding 490 days to this comes to Jan. 16, 1991—the beginning of Operation Desert Storm (the air campaign of the Gulf War).
While I resigned from the NOP on Oct. 16, 1989, I was not released emotionally and spiritually until a final NOP letter arrived Oct. 25, 1989. I set it aside and prayed about it until the next day. That was when the peace of God came upon me, and I knew that a major heart problem had been resolved by my resignation.
So 490 days later, on Feb. 28, 1991, the cease-fire took effect. There was peace.
There were about 30 dates in between that correlated precisely on a 490-day time cycle, but we do not have the space to go into such detail. However, there are a few things that you should know, because they teach us some valuable principles and insights of how such things work.
In 1989 I usurped authority that was not mine, and this caused the conflict. (Saddam Hussein followed suit in 1990 when he invaded Kuwait.) My offense brought me into conflict with the leadership of the NOP, and in the ensuring correspondence, God told him that I had been in disobedience and rebellion to Him for three years. I thought back to 1986 and suddenly realized that he was correct. I had rebelled against God by remaining in the NOP.
It was the height of godly irony to give the head of the NOP the key revelation by which I would know where I went wrong. Of course, he thought God meant that I had not submitted myself enough to him as head of the NOP, but I knew that the problem was precisely the opposite. In submitting to man, I had rebelled against God.
And so I received a number of interesting letters from him during the next few weeks, culminating with the one received Oct. 25, which I mentioned earlier. The letters were filled with strong accusations, even saying that he doubted if I were still a Christian. And certainly, he said, God was finished with me. Well, most of the accusations were utter foolishness to me, and yet God said, “Don’t fight back; if you do, there will be casualties.”
Later, in the Gulf War, I noticed that every time American planes mistakenly dropped bombs on civilians, it was 490 days after the date of these accusation letters. Further, Iraq hardly fought back at all in the Gulf War, surprising the entire world. It became obvious that America was following the lead of the NOP head, doing to Iraq what he had done to me 490 days earlier. The accusatory letters in October 1989 manifested as American bombs upon the innocent Iraqi civilians in February 1991. This showed that God had indeed given the NOP head a position of spiritual authority over America.
Conversely, the Iraqi side followed my lead, for God had given me a measure of spiritual authority over that part of the world as an intercessor. For the most part, the Iraqi soldiers did not attempt to fight back, and so there were very few American casualties. The one time American forces suffered the most casualties was when a SCUD missile hit the U.S. barracks, killing a few dozen soldiers. That event occurred 490 days after I complained to my brother David about my “ill-treatment.” Regretfully, I did not fully realize that God would define this complaint as fighting back. I should have accepted the discipline that I deserved as from the hand of God.
But at the time, I did not know that Iraq would soon follow my example. I could not really conceive in my mind that a simple complaint would actually cause real casualties in the world. At the time, I really had no conception of the reality of spiritual authority, or that its misuse would really affect other people in such a drastic manner.
Both our successes and our failures have an effect upon others according to our callings and level of spiritual authority. If you are an intercessor, take heed and learn to submit to the disciplines of God, not only for your sake, but for the sake of those entrusted to your care. Intercession is God’s way of teaching you by trial and by fire to submit to Him even to the death of the Cross. The final result of intercession is learning to love and pray even for those whom God uses to discipline you. It is not an easy path. No worthwhile goal is ever easy.