Friday, December 28, 2007

FASTING & PRAYER for 2008

Dear Raven Leaders & Friends of Jesus,

I wanted to send this email out to invite and encourage you to join with us in a season of fasting and prayer before the Lord Jesus in preparation for 2008. I believe that the things that we will face in this coming year will demand a consecrated heart towards the presence and holiness of God and a dedicated mind in regards to being dilligent in the Word of God.

As a ministry we are scheduling a period of fasting and prayer to commence at 12:00 AM on January 1st (That would be midnight on Monday the 31st) and will conclude at 12:00 AM on January 8th (That would be midnight on the 7th). This is a period of (7) full days of consecration before the Lord Jesus. Melanie and I have actually already begun the fast and will continue for a full (14) days--- we are in desperate pursuit of Jesus like never before and feel the need to make this commitment to Jesus to end 2007 and to begin 2008.

Many times the word "fasting" is met with resistance from our "Old Nature." The flesh often bristles at anything that would demand its submission to the Spirit man--this is why it is so very important to make the time to seek the face of the Lord Jesus to a greater degree during these set-aside-times of consecration. Paul the Apostle said in:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

This time of prayer and fasting will DEMAND discipline--but the reward for discipline is always breakthrough.

When Melanie and I fast, we typically go on a "non-solid" food fast that consists of water, dilluted juices, and broths. I "personally" beleive that this most represent the Biblical fast and have seen this type of fast yield some of the most incredible results. (But) I encourage you to choose the type of fast that you feel the Spirit leading you in (not the flesh leading you in), while considering what type of sacrifice that you want to make to yield the degree of breakthrough that you are seeking.

Remember: "The measurement that you choose to meausre out is the same measurement that will be measured back to you." (Mt. 7:2, Mk. 4:24, Lk. 6:38)

This is one area in which YOU are given the vehicle in which your promise is carries back to you. I suggest "pressing deeper and climbing higher and standing firmer" than you ever have before. You are going to need it in 2008.

I do want to say this and I say so very soberly: There are some of you that will refuse to pay the price in 2008 and will neglect the demands and sacrifices that God is calling you to (and I am not just talking about this season of fasting--this is just a very small part of it) and you will reap the consequences of this refusal.
The Holy Spirit has been speaking emphatically to me in the past few months that this is the most critical hour in which we have lived. This coming year is going to present issues and obstacles that without the mind of Christ and the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit operating in your heart life never before---you will fall.

I believe that God is giving us the "heads up" so that we can make preparations. Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."There will be some that head the call and there will be others who will once again make excuses and take God's warning with a grain of salt.

Matt 25:1-13 says,

"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."

I plead with you to harken unto the voice of the Lord in this late hour and respond to His voice. With the incredible opposition that is coming there is even a greater opportunity--but it will require faithfulness, humility, and holiness.

HERE IS WHAT I AM ASKING FROM YOU:

Let me know if you are committed to this time of prayer and fasting by emailing me at PastorTroy@BigGrace.com

Let me know specific areas that you need God to move in your family, your ministry, and in your personal life. **Do not send me prayer requests for others at this time---I am asking about YOU.

Also-- I believe that there is about to be one of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit that this Nation has seen---and this is going to be the "real deal"--not some "showy", manipulative, weirdness---but rather a bona-fide, unmistakable, HOLINESS-BASED, power-filled impartation upon His Body. I beleive that we are going to see what the Word said we would see:

Mark 16:15-20 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

Also consider this:
1 Cor 12:31 "But earnestly desire the best gifts....".

1 Cor 14:12 "Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."

I believe that God wants to empower His Church in this critical hour like never before and this is going to be seen as those who earestly seek Him will see the manifest presence of God moving miraculously in and through their lives. I beleive that we are going to see miracle healings like never before. I belive that words of wisdom and words of knowledge will accompany your witness to people--that the Holy Spirit will "read their mail to you" and that tongues and interpretaion of tongues and prophecy will be seen in unprecedented proportions.

My question for you as we are praying--- What "gift" is it that you are earnestly desiring the Holy Spirit to measure out in your life to make you more effective in edifying the Body and reaching the lost?

1 Cor 12:8-10 "for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues."

Email me these things as I stand with you in faith believing for God's outporing on your life like never before.

***Our weekly RAVEN NATION program will be on MONDAY NIGHT this week instead of Tuesday. This will be a special "watch night" service that will begin at 9:00 PM and last until Midnight (The New Year). We will be having special worship and intercessory prayer and a time for the Word as well. **If the Holy Sprit is dropping something in your spirit that you want to share--then write it down and email it to me. If you have SKYPE, it may be that we can put you on LIVE so that you can share it directly.

***I will also be posting times that we will be having LIVE intercessory prayer during the fast as well. If you are set up to BROADCAST through Stickam---let me know and we may have you host a prayer time as well using my log-in.

I love you all and look forward to seeing Jesus move in all of our lives so that we can impact others for His Glory!

Blessings,

Pastor Troy D. Bohn
Raven Ministries International, Inc.
P.O. Box 1897Daytona Beach, Florida 32115
(386) 682-4141www.BigGrace.com

Monday, December 17, 2007

Please keep the Montano family in your prayers

Please be in prayer for Brother Max Montano (pictured above during and outreach in New Orleans) and his family. This past Satruday he lost his mother, Rebecca Montano (74) after a lenghthy battle following a stroke.
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Bro Max and his wife, Kimber, are awesome soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ and have ministered with us on the streets of this nation from coast to coast. May the Lord Jesus bring the comfort to he and his family during this great time of loss. The furneral will be held today in Dalhart, Texas.

NEWS FROM THE TRAINING CENTER

We are blessed to welcome Christy King from Amarillo, Texas here to Daytona Beach for a period of training and discipleship. Christy is very much a "Daughter in the Gospel" to us since we have known her since she was in grade school!
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Christy is the daughter of Pastor Ken & Wanda Fowler, who served as one of my associate pastors at The Dayspring Dream Center in Amarillo for many years.
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Please keep Christy in your prayers that this will truly be a powerful time in her life and in the things that God is preparing her for in the future. She is one of our first residnets here at the Raven Ministries International Training Center and will be residing in the new "dorm" that some of you helped us construct with your generous giving!
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Below is a video of Christy that was shot while we were in New Orleans four years ago when Christy came to help out during an outreach there during the Sugar Bowl. She expressed an interest to come and be a part then..but it has been worth the wait to be able to invest into her life!


video

Friday, December 14, 2007

Its Time to WAKE UP!

Ephesians 5:14-16 tells us, “...Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Did you spiritually “sleep through” this past year? Are you spiritually groggy and are your eyes matted together by complacency, lack of passion, prayer and purpose?

It’s time to WAKE UP! This could be it for you– and all of us! There is a voice calling out to the hearts of those who know Him to “Arise from the dead!” Arise from the deadness of fear! Arise from the deadness of unforgiveness! Arise from the deadness of wrath and jealousy! Arise from the deadness of religion!

Ouch! No NOT my religion! Not the “I’m okay and you’re okay religion” that I have grown so comfortable with! Not the one-hour-of-no-power ritualistic expression that I have so faithfully accounted as my way to heaven for so long! NOT THAT!

Not the covenant that requires no cross! Not the palatable-pink wide-gate gospel that always considers my feeling above my eternal destiny.

WAKE UP! And Christ will give you LIGHT! Not Jesus-lite, or Lo-Cal (Lo-Cost) Conversion— but TRUE LIGHT!

This is the “light” that the Greek translates as “to pour upon you the divine truth as the sun gives light to men aroused from sleep.”

THAT is how I want to be woken up in 2008! Rested from my sleep and slumber by the sudden blast of last days, blood bought,

RHEMA Word, power-filled, life changing, Holy Spirit breather TRUTH.

THIS COULD BE OUR LAST OPPORTUNITY. In the past month people were gunned down in Churches and in Shopping Malls!

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NO ONE ever wants to think that their LAST CHANCE is coming up too soon. We all live with some level of invincibility or denial! 2 Corinthians 6:2 tells us, “...BEHOLD NOW is the accepted time, BEHOLD NOW is the day of salvation.”


When is YOUR salvation going to really “kick in” so that you are walking in victory and not making excuses for your lack of faith, lack of fire and lack of foundation? WAKE UP! If you do...He will pour upon you His TRUTH and His presence like never before!

“See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools!” To walk “circumspectly” is to walk in accuracy
and not unwisely.

Your STANDARD OF ACCURACY for the year 2008 is the Word of God! All of it this time! Not just those “plucked out of place” passages that cater to the modern-day easy-believisms being widely circulated through the modern church.


WAKE US UP LORD JESUS! Like being drenched with a bucket of water drawn from a cold stream!


“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24

Let this be the year that we are shaken from our slumber, searched in our hearts and minds, and led into our way or destiny God has prepared and purchased for us with the Blood of His Son Jesus!

This could be the year. Let’s make the MOST of it this time instead of doing the least and hoping for the best!

THE TIME IS NOW TO REDEEM OUR TIME! That is to recover fro the power of another that which has been taken from us.

How many of your yesterdays would you like to “do-over?” Sorry—– it just isn’t ever going to

happen. But, you can REDEEM your time NOW, by making the commitment that 2008 will be YOUR YEAR of realized promises, manifest miracles and unwavering faith!
Let’s not think that we can “do the same things this year” and expect “different results.”

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good
unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Gal 6:7-10

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Mormon in the Whitehouse?

The coming Presidential election is once again heating up as “faith” or more accurately religion takes the stage as a major issue in many of the contender’s campaigns.

One of the Republican candidates, Gov. Mitt Romney, recently gave a speech reminiscent of former President John F. Kennedy wherein he attempted to diffuse the criticism surrounding his Mormon faith. In the speech he sought to equate questioning his beliefs with intolerance and bigotry.

Another candidate, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, came under fire for bringing up specifics of the Mormon faith in an interview with the New York Times. In the interview he made the remark, “"Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

Huckabee has since backtracked and stated that he was not trying to challenge Romney’s beliefs and that his comments “were taken out of context.”

I wonder if people would be talking “tolerance” if Romney represented any other religious cult (which Mormonism is). What if he had been a Jehovah’s Witness (who don’t run for office), or perhaps a Christian Science, or Scientology? Would there have been such an outcry for tolerance then?

Mormonism is plain and simple a non-Christian and non-Biblical cult that utilizes Biblical terms but does not teach or preach the Jesus of the Bible. I have included a short dissertation of a few of their beliefs. Any person with a basic understanding of the Scriptures will see that this is not a belief system consistent with the Christian faith.

Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another world and that he became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on his home world. He brought his wife to this world, a woman he had married on the other world. She is, essentially a goddess.

In his present god-state, he rules our world. He has a body of flesh and bones. Since god and his wife are both exalted persons, they each possess physical bodies. In their exalted states as deities, they produce spirit children that grow and mature in the spiritual realm.

The first spirit born was Jesus. Afterwards Lucifer was born along with the rest of us. So, Mormonism teaches that we all pre-existed in the spirit realm having been produced from the union of god and his goddess wife. Therefore, we all existed in spirit form before coming down and entering the bodies of human babies that are being born on earth. During this ‘compression' into the infant state, the memories of their pre-existence is 'veiled.'

God the father, who is called Elohim, was concerned for the future salvation of the people on earth. In the heavenly realm, the Father had a plan for the salvation of the world. Jesus endorsed the Father's plan. Lucifer did not. Lucifer became jealous and rebelled. In his rebellion he convinced a large portion of the spirits existing in heaven to side with him and oppose god. God being more powerful then they, cursed these rebellious spirits to become demons. They can never be born in human bodies.

The remaining spirits sided with God. Since they chose the better way, when it comes time for them to live on earth, they have the privilege of being born in races and locations that are relative to their condition and choice made in the spirit realm.

In the Mormon plan of salvation there needed to be a savior: Jesus. But Jesus was a spirit in heaven. For him to be born on earth, Brigham Young the second prophet of the Mormon Church said that instead of letting any other man do it, God the Father did it with Mary. He said that the birth of our savior was as natural as the birth of our parents. Essentially, what this means is that Brigham Young taught that God the Father came down and had sexual relations with Mary, his spirit daughter, to produce the body of Jesus.

Though many Mormons will not entertain such incestuous thoughts about God and Mary, this is what Brigham Young taught and as far as we know, this has not been denied by the Mormon Church.

Nevertheless, Jesus was born, got married, and had children. He died on the cross and paid for sins -- but not on the cross only. According to Mormonism, the atonement of Christ was not only on the cross. It began in the Garden of Gethsemane before he went to the cross.

In Mormonism, men and women have the potential of becoming gods. President Lorenzo Snow said, "As God once was, man is. As God is, man may become." In order to reach this exalted state of godhood, a person must first become a good Mormon, pay a full ten percent tithe to the Mormon church, follow various laws and ordinances of the church, and be found worthy.

At this point, they receive a temple recommend whereupon, the Mormon is allowed to enter their sacred temples in order to go through set of secret rituals: baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, and various oaths of secrecy and commitment. Additionally, four secret handshakes are taught so the believing Mormon, upon entering the third level of Mormon heaven, can shake hands with god in a certain pattern.

This celestial ritual is for the purpose of permitting entrance into the highest level of heaven. For those who achieve this highest of heavens, exaltation to godhood awaits them. Then, he or she, will be permitted to have his or her own planet and be the god of his own world and the Mormon system will be expanded to other planets.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Go..and Destroy Everything!

“Now GO, and attack the Amalekites and destroy everything that belongs to them.
Do not allow anything to remain alive.”


The above quotation is taken from 1st Samuel 15:2 and is dealing with God’s instructions to King Saul in regards to dealing with King Agag and the armies of the Amalekites.

The orders were very precise and left nothing to speculation: “Go and destroy everything. Do not take prisoners. Do not take a spoil. Nothing is to remain.”

Recently the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me in the prophetic sense concerning issues relating to the Church in preparation for what will be unfolding in the coming year. I believe much of it is described in this 15th chapter of 1 Samuel and I will attempt to share with you some of the things that He has been revealing to me.

“When the Prophet Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel--but his sons did not walk in his ways, but instead they turned aside from dishonest gain, they accepted bribes and perverted the established ordinances of God.” 1 Sam 8:1-3 (PTE)

Because of the actions of his sons, this led to the elders of Israel coming together and demanding that Samuel make a King to judge them “like all the other nations” 1 Sam 8:4-5

Samuel was totally displeased with the request of the people—so he sought the Lord in prayer—and the Lord answered Him saying,

“Go ahead and do what the people have ask of you, because it is not you that they have rejected, but it is ME who they have rejected as King” verse 7

God then told Samuel to let them know the type of King that they would have. It would be a King who would “take.”

“He will take your sons” verse 11

“He will take your daughters” verse 13

“He will take your best crops” verse 14

“He will take your servants” verse 16

“He will take your tithe.” verse 17

Even after this solemn warning from the Prophet, the people refused to obey and said, “NO, we will have this King to reign over us.” verse 19

In Chapter (9) this new King is found and appointed over Israel. He is described in verse 2

“Saul was choice and handsome. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.”

It is interesting to note what was said about this young man:

“He had the look” and

“from his shoulders up he was taller than” everyone else.”

The exact same trap that Israel fell into is the same trap that has ensnared the modern Church!

There are several things that we need to take note of in regards to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us through the Word of God and through this message. First of all, while this situation speaks of God’s dealing with Israel during the Old Covenant—there are striking parallels that are now being repeated by the Church in this New Covenant.

They had rejected God as their King and sought to look somewhere else for their leadership.

The Church has rejected Jesus as our King and has looked to the World to provide our examples for ministry and leadership.

They were warned that this “King” would TAKE from them the very best of what they had, to use for himself.

The Church has fallen into the same trap and allowed these self appointed “Kings” to take the very best in order to make themselves rich.

They boast of their mansions, jet planes, fancy cars, and mega-churches—yet all of those things are the testimony of taking from the Body of Christ and robbing the resources meant for the Harvest Fields of Souls!

They chose a King who “was more handsome” than anyone else. (He had the look)

The Church swoons over “Kings” who spend thousands on cosmetic surgery and image consultants.

They chose a King who from his shoulders up was taller then everyone else.

The Church has also chosen those who from the shoulders up are taller than everyone else—this speaks of pride and arrogance!

Because the Church, just like Israel, has chosen to follow these types of leaders—we have set ourselves up for the 1 Samuel 15 situation that I want to share with you.

*Many may say, “I don’t follow them or I don’t listen to them,” but I would say to you that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump, so purge out the old leaven.” 1 Cor 5:6-7


We have ALL be affected by the things that have been allowed to go on in the name of Christianity—just as the whole of Israel was affected by their desire to have another King besides God.

This week, we met a pastor of a small church in the ghetto who can’t afford to pay his building insurance—and he belongs to a wealthy denomination that won’t step in to help them—so we offered to help them pay it each month!

“Now GO, and attack the Amalekites and destroy everything that belongs
to them. Do not allow anything to remain alive.” 1 Sam 15:3


As clear as that directive was—King Saul found it too easy to divert from it and to incorporate his own ideas into God’s battle plan. Instead of destroying everything, “He took King Agag alive...and everything that was good.” verses 8-9

What has happened in Christianity today is that Jesus called us to “die daily” (1 Cor 15:31) , yet we “take hostages of our sins” and “hold on to those good things that cater to our flesh.”

To “die” in this passage is apothnesko which is to be slain—yet they preach a Gospel that demands neither holiness or self-denial and promises “the very best now” yet only TAKES!

TAKES our testimony!
TAKES our victory!
TAKES our boldness!
TAKES our compassion!
TAKES our obedience!


How long will you allow the adversary to take from you the very things that Jesus bought and paid for on the Cross of Calvary?

How long will you take hostages of the King of the Amalekites (unrepented sin) and utterly destroy those things that you think are good (carnality)? Or will you continue to follow Saul?

“The word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as King, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." 1 Sam 15:10-11

How long do you think it will be before the word of the Lord comes to the Church just as it did to Israel through the Prophet Samuel?

“I greatly regret that I have set you up...because you have turned your back from following Me and have not performed My commandments.”

Do you think that we have a “free pass” or some type of “spiritual immunity” from such thing? If you do—then you may want to look at what the Word of God declares:

1 Pet 4:17 says, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

(and) Rev 2:1-5 “Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write...I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.”

(and) Rom 11:21 “For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israel), He will not spare you either.”

King Saul was rejected because he “turned back from following” God and because he refused to “perform the commandments” of God.

Have you turned back from following God? Have you refused to obey His commandments? Have you made excuses for your actions? Have you said, “I have done most of what God has told me to do?” Do you think any of those excuses will hold up on the Day of Judgment?

Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matt 16:24

“Following” Jesus is to imitate Jesus or to do the things that He did. What was it that Jesus did?

In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus stood up and said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

That is what He did and this is what He commanded US to do as well in Mark 16:15.

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature...and these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Notice that the command that He has given us starts with the same word of the command that He gave King Saul in 1 Sam 15:3 “GO.”

Yet Saul (like the Church) immediate began to make excuses and justify his sin:

"But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal."

The problem Saul had was that He thought he had a better way of doing things than God did! The Church has largely adopted the same mentality. We think that God’s ways are “out dated”, or “unfair”, or “irrelevant” and so we profess to be followers of Him, while in reality we are in abject rebellion against His desires.

Verse 19 “Why did you not obey the Lord?”

We may suppose that our efforts or our way of doing things is somehow going to be pleasing unto God—even though they are not according to HIS instructions. We may think that our success equals HIS favor or that our great ideas can somehow make up for our turning back from the things of God—–but God does not change.

“And Samuel said, Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, like he does when we obey the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” Its time to repent!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Miami Outreach Footage

This is one hour of uncut/raw FOOTAGE from the recent outreach in Miami's Notorious Wynwood beighborhood. Pastor Sergio "Streets" Iglesias hosted this event. He conducts a Thursday Night Street Church evey week in this area best known for drugs, gangs and violence. Brother Ivan Itskowitz Jr. of "Walk for Christ" Ministries handled much of the commentator role for me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Team Headed To Miami

WE WILL BE BROADCASTING LIVE
BEGINNING AT 6:00 PM SATURDAY!
Pastor Troy & Pastor Terry are taking a team to Miami, Florida today for a Street Outreach and Block Party with Pastor Sergio and the brother and sisters in Christ there in South Florida.
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Pastor Sergio emailed me a message that said, "The block party is going to be so big that the police called me and asked me to shut it down. They even threatened to arrest me. We are going to continue with the party and if the police shuts down the party, we are going out to the streets to preach."
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Please keep the team in prayer as we take Jesus to the streets. We will be staying in Miami overnight and will be returning to Daytona Beach on Sunday. If you would like to make a donation to help offset the expenses, that would be much appreciated.

What would happen if the Word was NOT enough?

In Colossians 2:6-8, the Apostle Paul warns, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through empty and hollow philosophy, which depends upon the traditions of men, in accordance with the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

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What if the time came when the Church begun to function as if the truths, examples and revelations provided for us in the Word of God (the Bible) were not enough or just simply outdated for use in a modern society?
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I intentionally use the word “function” when asking that question, because few would ever be willing to actually admit that they thought the Word of God was outdated or needed a more modern spin on things.
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But many churches (and individuals as a result) do function as if the TRUTHS revealed to us in this inerrant and infallible Word of God, somehow needed help from the “principles of this world” and the “traditions of men.”
In an effort towards being “relevant” to the world, they have become “powerless” in their message as it relates to seeing lives changed and transformed for eternity.
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Should any of this come as a major surprise to any of us though? Is this not exactly what the Apostle Paul warned the Church of and is this not the description of the Last Days “False” Church?
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Most serious students of the Bible agree that the last days will be marked by a rise in attempts to unify all religions under the guise of “cooperation and unity.” This ecumenical movement is a designed to promote a universal unity among religious groups. Yet, Amos the prophet asks, “Can two walk together, if they are not in agreement?”
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Most reading this would certainly confess to a belief and faith in the Lord Jesus and most would say the Bible is their standard of belief. It is easy to think that one would never get mixed up with some obvious cult or false religion. That is the appeal of false religion and error– it does not come across as obvious! If it did then
nobody would fall for it.
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Paul again warns the Church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) that there will be those who are false apostles who masquerade as teachers of Christ. He goes on to say,”...no wonder, Satan himself goes around masquerading as an angel of light!”
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If the enemy (Satan) can merely cause the Body of Christ (the Church) to cease in our total dependence and faith upon the Word of God– he has succeeded in drawing us away from our source of faith, hope and power.
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The enemy is not looking for people to join Satanist cults or Wiccan covens. His desire is simply to keep people from the truth. If he can accomplish this through “empty and hollow philosophies” or the “traditions of men in accordance with the principles of this world” then he will.
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It is imperative that we, as believers, dedicate ourselves afresh and anew to the study and the preaching of the Word of God without fear and without compromise. Consider this passage of scripture in light of this topic matter:
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“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 You may ask yourself, “In what way is this relevant to the topic matter?” The answer is clear. First of all– He (Jesus speaking) reveals the temporal nature and futility of looking to anything created. That holds true whether that thing is from heaven or from earth. God’s Word is not something that was created. It is what creates! Many would claim that their desire is to find more creative ways to reach people with the Gospel. Now I can agree with that
to an extent. But, I want to emphasize "to an extent."
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Methods are not sacred, but the message is! It is when we abandon the power of the message for the influence or attractiveness of the method– that we are in error. Methods will never save anyone. In reality, they are mostly our response to fear. Fear? Yes, fear! The fear of having to simply share the truth! The fear of simply asking someone if they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Fear of not drawing a large crowd. Fear of having to believe that it is still the TRUTH that makes men free!
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I have utilized block parties and neighborhood cookouts to draw crowds together. I have set up sound systems and utilized music and rappers to draw a crowd. I have given away bicycles to children and hot dogs by the thousands— but at the end of the day— the message had to be delivered: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”

Sad to say, in many churches the words (that Jesus said “would never pass away) have been eliminated from sermons because they are deemed too negative!
Words like repent, sin, and die to yourself have been replaced by things like, “God has an answer for all of your problems.” YES HE DOES! “Repent and believe the Gospel!” Mark 1:15
Back to Matthew 24:35. What is this text so significant for us today? Let’s examine the context for a minute.

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Verse (37) says, “As in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the Son of man be (Jesus’ return!).
He is giving the warning that the hour is upon us that we cannot look to any other source BUT His Word! Good ideas, idealistic techniques, plans borrowed from successful businesses, or books on the New York Times best-sellers list will be of no use in transforming lives in these last days.
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“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
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Unless the Church returns to a faith in the Word of God to change lives and to transform cites, we will continue to be “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” and will fall victim to any deception that may just “look” like the truth.
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Should we question everything that we hear come from Christian television or radio? Absolutely! I’ll take it even further than that. We should question everything that we hear from the pulpits that we personally sit before each Sunday as well! Acts 17:10-11 tells us, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
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These “Bereans” listened to what was being said– but they took it upon themselves to search the scriptures to make sure of what was being taught! And Paul the Apostle was one of the teachers!
There are two final things I want to leave you with to ponder.
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2 Tim 4:3-4 says, “...the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead,
to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (or something not true).”
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(And) 1 Tim 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
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Friends, we are living in THAT DAY and must be more aware than ever before of the enemies attempts to draw us away from a total trust in the Word of God. I exhort you to be “Berean-like” in your search of the scriptures.
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Galatians 1:9 “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Friday, December 07, 2007

Days of Infamy

"Yesterday, 7 December 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
This was the opening statement on this date sixty-four years ago as President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood before the congress of the United States of America asking for a declaration of war against the nation of Japan, who a day earlier had attacked the naval station at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

160 aircraft were destroyed. 18 ships were sunk or severely damaged and the US suffered 3,581 casualties in this surprise attack on our nations soil. Or was it a "surprise attack" at all?

We know from history that the War had already began years earlier. We just chose to call it someone else's war. Just as long as it didn't effect us, we chose to honor a "neutrality agreement" to stay out of the fight. German tanks had already rolled into Poland and Eastern Europe.
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Many Jews had already been detained in Nazi concentration camps and many had perished in the gas chambers as well. Japan meanwhile was terrorizing the South Pacific and building an imperial juggernaut that would soon be emboldened to take on a world super-power on its own turf.
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But, weeks in advance of the first Japanese Zeroes strike on the unsuspecting, early morning servicemen and women of Pearl Harbor, an encrypted message had been intercepted and delivered to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. for examination and determination. On January 27, 1941 Joseph C. Grew, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, wired Washington that he had learned information that Japan was planning a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
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No one in Washington believed him and most thought that if Japan was to attack any US interests that it would be in Manila, Philippines to disrupt naval routes. They were obviously wrong--even though they were rightly informed.History often has a way of repeating itself. While many in the US Military and government would acknowledge that their was the "potential" for an attack, their actions or inactions certainly told an altogether different story.
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They failed to listen to the warnings of the man, Joseph C. Crew, whom they (the President and Congress) had appointed and confirmed as their Ambassador to Japan. His job was to know what was going on their in the land of the "Rising Sun" and report back from the vantage point of one on the "front lines."His pleas and warnings fell on deaf ears and the end result was the loss of nearly 4,000 US lives needlessly to a power who had already "tipped their hand" to their intentions.
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We sometimes feel like Joseph C. Crew as well. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says that we are "Ambassadors for Christ." We have been named, appointed, and commissioned as His "front-line" representatives in a very hostile environment. From our vantage point on the front-lines of the City of New Orleans and various other places that we regularly take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to--we have intercepted "data" that reveals (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that the enemy has planned a full-out aerial assault on our "soil."Yet, there is no urgency still.
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The "Church" at large continues in its lackluster, mundane and often indifferent approach in winning people to Jesus Christ in these "last days." Maybe they have forgotten that these are the "last days."2 Peter 3:2-4 says, "I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

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First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."Much of the Modern-Church has adopted this same mentality--just as it was prophesied that they would!
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"If we ignore it, it might just go away" is the attitude that is prevalent in many circles. "That is such a negative message" is another common perspective as well.THIS AMBASSADOR has news for you though: The enemy has devised a plan to attack YOU and take YOU out once and for all.
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The US thought that they were somehow out-of-reach and untouchable by their adversaries--and it took a catastrophe to wake them up to the realization that an invasion force desired to defeat them on their own turf.
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We have got to get ready and launch a PREEMPTIVE STRIKE against the works of the devil BEFORE he invades and claims more lives! You can believe it or not--but from my perspective "on the front lines" there is an attack fast approaching on the horizon.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Raven Ministries International
P.O. Box 1897
Daytona Beach, Florida 32115
(386) 682-4141

Dear Friends,

These are the most exciting times that I have ever experienced as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ! That is saying a lot because I have experienced and lived through some extremely exciting times in regards to the Kingdom!

What makes these times so exciting is that it is so very clear that these are the days that the prophets of old longed to see—yet could only defer the experience to you and I in the closing hours of this Age of Grace.

The world is most certainly experiencing the birth pains of the last days. Global conflicts, political unrest, economic instability, and the obvious separating the “sheep from the goats” within His Church are sure indicators that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is near.

This is exciting because it truly allows you and I to pursue His will and desire for our lives with reckless abandon! The days of “being careful” are gone! These are the days in which we should seek Him with all of our hearts and press towards the mark for the prize of the HIGH calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The fields are indeed ripe and ready to be harvested and we are seeing things now that we had only hoped and dreamed about a few years ago. People are being healed, set free, and transformed as we take the Message of Hope for the last days out into the streets where a world longs for real answers from a real Savior!

God is calling our ministry to an extended period of consecration as we approach this New Year. We will be fasting and praying as an International Team with a desire to decrease personally so that Jesus can increase spiritually in our lives. We know that the challenges and opportunities that will be presented to us in 2008 will demand a renewed urgency and heightened sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

We invite you to join us during this time by sending us your prayer requests and vision for 2008 so that we can stand with you in prayer and expectancy. God has some amazing things in store for each of us, but it is up to us to position ourselves for the miraculous. I recently said that “access doesn’t necessarily mean entrance.” We have got to GET UP in order to GET IN—and we are determined to get into everything that Jesus has for us in the coming months.

I have probably spent more time teaching, preaching, and discipling in the past six months than ever before in nearly twenty years of ministry. I preach and teach the Word of God more in a weeks time than most pastors do in a months time—and I am loving it!

We are now hosting ministry times here on the local level each week in preparation for the launch of the Raven Training Center in March 2008. During these times we are casting vision and getting the team ready to establish what will be the flagship ministry center for Raven International.

This will be a place where people can come and spend extended periods of time being equipped to do the work of the ministry through study in the Word of God and through practical and extensive hands-on training. We are still believing Jesus for the facility and financial resources in order to see it come to pass—and we know that He can do it!

Also—if you have not had the opportunity to listen live each morning to the Raven Institute of Ministry & Biblical Studies expository teaching on the Book of Romans, you have been missing out.

I began teaching this class last May and we are now on class 110 (and are just now in Chapter 8). These classes have served as a catalyst for thousands of people who have taken advantage of this time in the Word of God. Pastors from as far away as India, Pakistan and Africa have contacted me and are using these classes to teach and train their people and have invited us to come and spend a week “on location” teaching hundreds of indigenous pastors the Word of God.

Our classes have been downloaded as many as 10,000 times each! There is really no way of determining the impact that this is having around the world for the cause of Jesus Christ. Here are links that you can “click” to listen to the last three classes (if you do—you will be hooked and will want to listen to them all!)

Class 107
Class 108
Class 109

These are all being made available for FREE download in MP3 format to be copied and distributed in any way that you desire!

You can catch the class LIVE each day at from 9-10:00 AM (EST) by going to http://www.biggrace.com/ and then clicking on the RAVEN TV button which will take you to the interactive live video feed. I would love to have you “in class” each day!

Thank you all so much for your love prayers and encouragement in regards to the work of the ministry. Your faithfulness strengthens us and enables us to take the message of Jesus further and to more lives each day.

Our team will be traveling to Miami this weekend for an outreach in “the hood” and we are believing Jesus for a great time of soul-winning. Your prayers are very much appreciated. The outreach will be broadcasted LIVE from 6:00 PM to ? on RAVEN TV as well. Log on and check it out yourself in real-time!

As we enter into a fresh new season of ministering to the lost and dying we need your support more than ever. These are traditionally very “lean” months financially and this year has held true to form. While God ALWAYS meets the need—we find ourselves limited in many cases in what we are able to do and where we are able to go for Him.

What we need are partners to stand with us in the next year like never before. If there ever was a “faith based” ministry—Raven Ministries is one! We have to depend upon Jesus every single day to meet the needs of reaching people for Him.

Please pray and consider making a (12) month commitment to Raven Ministries as your Missionaries to the Nations! You monthly gift or $25, $50 or $100 would go far in allowing us to feed more hungry people, respond to more disastrous situations, take more people to the streets with the Gospel and train more people to do the same.

Many blessing to you and please continue to send your prayer requests into us so that we can believe for your breakthrough in 2008! Send them to Pray@BigGrace.com (we pray for them LIVE each week during our RAVEN NATION program—Tuesdays at 8:30 PM (EST) on Raven TV)

Love,

Pastor Troy D. Bohn
Director: Raven Ministries International, Inc.
http://www.biggrace.com/