Table of Contents
8. The Covert Remnant
9. Judgment that Overcomes
10. Two Eras Marked by the Passing of Billy Graham
12. Redeeming the Time
The Covert Remnant
By Lanny Swaim
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Joel 2:32 (Emphasis added)
Hidden in the Secret Place
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
There is a remnant today, marked by the intense and severe tests and trials they have endured, who are being positioned to be at the forefront of the greatest spiritual awakening the Church and the world has ever known.
However, for what seems to have been a long time, and even now, they appear to be hidden from the world and the Church, having been taken out of the greater Body of Christ (Church) and separated from the world.
But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been actively involved behind the scenes, interceding as they are being prepared, already making a major difference in the affairs of the Church and of nations.
Their process of preparation has been one of coming to a much deeper trust in the Lord than they have ever known, finding that place of rest and peace that remains elusive to most of the Body of Christ. And through this time of transition in their lives, their relationship with the Lord has become much more intimate; to the point that they not only positionally but experientially dwell in the secret place of the Most High God, hidden under His shadow.
But they won’t remain hidden for long, because theirs is not a walk that can remain hidden.
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: and hid, that shall not be known.
Jesus in Matthew 10:26
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation [revelation/unveiling] of the sons of God.
In the Hebrew culture of the Bible, a son was a mature child, ready to receive all his father’s inheritance, and to operate in all the authority of his father’s name. So it is with this remnant that has been matured through a process of intense and severe tests and trials.
While we may not be 100% there yet, we are closer than ever before, having tasted of the fulness of the Godhead indwelling us fully, enabling us to walk in greater authority than ever before, having the assurance that we are in Christ and He is in us; that literally we are an extension of Him.
Not only have we been prepared and positioned for the time at hand, we are about to and even currently being revealed/manifested/unveiled to the Church and the world, taking our rightful place of authority as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. Even though we face much opposition from the religious community and from the political and financial entities that think it is their destiny to rule the world, we cannot and will not be overcome; but rather will reign with the King of kings and Lord of lords, ultimately and literally bringing the Kingdom on/in Earth as in Heaven.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw, blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The Book of Revelation is not a chronological order of so called, end-times. Rather, it reveals Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Hence, it is synonymous with the manifestation of the Sons of God. It is the unveiling of a people, filled with all the fullness of the Godhead, taking their rightful place of authority and power on Earth; literally becoming an extension of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and, as a result, paving the way for a convergence of Heaven and Earth, unlike anything known from the time of the creation until now.
And it all begins with a remnant. Since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, God has been in a process of restoration, reformation, and transformation, with each new step toward those goals starting with a remnant. At times that remnant was one person or one family, such as Noah and Abraham. Then there was the nation of Israel, a remnant of all the peoples on Earth at that time. Out of Israel came the remnant of the Jews, and out of the Jews came another remnant, the Church.
Coming out of the Church today is yet another remnant, whose purpose and destiny is to be at the forefront of the greatest awakening the Church and the world has ever known. This remnant is the manifested/revealed/unveiled Sons of God; hidden for a season but about to be made known.
This covert remnant is not only laying the groundwork for a great awakening, they are preparing the way for a total reformation of the Church, taking the Church far beyond the bounds of the Protestant Reformation of 500 years ago. But it doesn’t stop there. They are paving the way for a total transformation of planet Earth, ultimately resulting in the nations of the world becoming the Kingdom of God (see Revelation 11:15). And this will lead to the restoration of everything that was lost at the time of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
What a glorious future we have! What a glorious time to be alive on planet Earth!
Surely we were born for such a time as this!
Judgment that Overcomes
By Lanny Swaim
For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God.
1 Peter 4:17
Judgment is not condemnation.
A thorough study of Scripture reveals that judgment, at least where the believer is concerned, is for the purpose of redemption and reconciliation rather than condemnation. Judgment exposes that which stands in the way of our becoming like God (which entails possessing His character, enabling us to be fully equipped for ministry).
Often, this exposure is brought about by rather intense and severe tests and trials in our lives.
Several years ago the Lord put me through four years of the most intense and severe tests and trials I had ever experienced. For the first two years I rebuked the devil, constantly taking authority over him in the name of Jesus, to no avail.
I confessed the promises found in the Word of God concerning my situation. I continued to study the Word, attempting to appropriate the faith needed to overcome. But nothing worked.
Finally, at perhaps the darkest point of my desperation, I was lying on my couch at 4:00 AM on a Monday morning, praying in the Spirit and crying out to God for relief when I heard Him say, “Put the ball back in my court.”
It was the first time He had ever spoken to me in a cliché. My immediate response was, “God, I didn’t know I carrying the ball but I put it back in your court. I quit. I’m not doing another thing until you do something.”
By 7:00 that morning things had begun to turn around and from that point on I began to realize that even though I was doing many good things, my motivation was wrong. While I had a genuine desire to minister to and help others, I wanted to be accepted and look good in the process. I wanted recognition with a little wealth and fame for icing on the cake.
In other words, there was a lot of self in everything I was doing. And the sad thing is, I had no idea. I thought I was okay.
The tests and trials showed me that I was in the way of what God wanted to do in and through me. Self is the enemy of God. Self cannot be fixed or rehabilitated. The only solution that deals with self is death. Self has to die. And more often than not, dying to self is accomplished as the result of tests and trials, which is the judgment that begins at the house of God.
A Season of Judgment
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.
Revelation 14:6-8 (Emphasis added)
Judgment has always begun at the house of God, but I believe we have entered a time in history when there is an acceleration of that judgment, which will ultimately bring the Church much closer to its destiny; that destiny being perfection (maturity) (see Ephesians 5:25-27). While a remnant of the Church has been experiencing this acceleration for several years, I believe we have now entered a time when this acceleration will begin to affect many more.
We are now in the beginning hours of the twenty-first century, which began with the year 2000. Twenty in scripture is representative of a period of waiting for completion, which is synonymous with perfection or maturity. Jacob waited twenty years to receive both his wives and freedom from their father, Laban (see Genesis 31:38-41). Solomon spent a total of twenty years building the first temple and his own house in Jerusalem, providing a dwelling place for the presence of God and for the King of Israel, which he intended to be permanent (see 1 Kings 9:10).
Twenty in scripture also represents righteousness, which we see in Abraham’s bargaining with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham ask God if He would spare the cities if forty righteousness could be found in them. Forty is twice twenty. Then he asked God if He would spare them for only twenty. Lastly, he asked if only ten could be found. Ten is half of twenty.
The purpose of judgment, which often manifests as tests and trials, is to produce righteousness in our lives and ultimately in the Church as a whole. And righteousness (being right and doing right) enables us to overcome.
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:7 (see also Revelation 2:11, 17 & 26; 3:5, 12 & 21)
When we submit to God’s judgment and allow the process to move us toward righteousness/completion/perfection/maturity, we become overcomers. Overcoming is not about ridding our lives of the challenges we face but rather about overcoming in the challenges. Ironically, we overcome by going through.
When God told me at 4:00 AM that Monday morning to put the ball back in His court, the intense and severe tests and trials I had been enduring for two years didn’t immediately cease. In fact, they continued for two more years. But for those next two years I responded to them differently. Instead of continuously rebuking the devil, I began to see God’s hand at work in the tests and trails. I came to an understanding of the reason for the tests and trials, which, as I have already stated, was to rid me of self, making room for the Lord to live His life in and through me.
You see, Kingdom living is not about us. It is all about Him. And it is only when we are out of the way, that He can live His life in and through us.
The apostle Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20) (Emphasis added).”
Again, it’s not about us because it’s not even our faith. It is the faith of the Son of God!
May you realize the necessity to completely submit to the judgment that begins at the house of God, and in doing so, become the overcomer He created you to be.
Two Eras Marked by the Passing of Billy Graham
By Lanny Swaim
The Era of Personal Salvation
Many are called, but few are chosen.
Billy Graham was definitely one of the chosen few. Like John the Baptist, Jeremiah and others, his destiny seemed to be sealed before he exited his mother’s womb.
There is a catch phrase that has become somewhat of a cliché among Christians, “In God’s perfect timing.” But I am convinced that everything does actually happen in God’s perfect timing. The birth, life and passing of Billy Graham is perhaps one of the greatest examples in modern history.
His simple message of personal salvation was probably the main catalyst that brought into existence a Christian mindset that transcended denominations, establishing a block of Christianity known as Evangelicals; who have not only been influential in the Church at large but also in the American political arena.
Graham was a man born on the timeline of history to dominate an era that took Christianity beyond the advances the Protestant Reformation brought about, sparking what became the fulfillment of the Great Commission, as recorded in Mark 16:15:
Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
The Transition from One Era to Another
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all the things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world [age].
Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20
The Great Commission as recorded in Mark 16:15 seems to emphasize the personal salvation message that Billy Graham preached. Perhaps Jesus was not only giving a command, but prophesying a future time when this evangelical aspect of the Great Commission would be restored to the Church.
However, Matthew’s account of the Great Commission seems to focus, not so much on personal salvation, but on the nations.
While personal salvation is extremely important, it’s really not the message that Jesus preached. Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, which focuses more on changing the world than on personal salvation. Actually, personal salvation is but the means to bring the Kingdom on/in Earth as in Heaven (which Jesus taught us to pray), literally changing the nations of the world, therefore changing the world.
John focused on this aspect of the Great Commission:
For God so loved the world…
John 3:16 (Emphasis added)
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus in John 3:3
The Amplified Bible adds to see the Kingdom – experience the Kingdom. This makes it clear to me that the primary purpose of being born again is not necessarily personal salvation, but to gain an understanding of and experience the Kingdom of God.
While the personal salvation message has as its main focus the concept of going to Heaven when the believer dies, the Gospel of the Kingdom focuses on bringing Heaven to Earth; literally a convergence of Heaven and Earth.
The fulfillment of this aspect of the Great Commission will change the world, bringing about the reality of Revelation 11:15:
The kingdoms [nations] of this world are become the kingdoms [Kingdom] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
It has been revealed to me by the Spirit of God, that the passing of Billy Graham prophetically signifies a shift in the focus of the Great Commission, from the personal salvation message to reaching entire nations with the gospel message, ultimately changing the political landscape of the world.
The Beginning of a New Age
I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world [age].
Jesus in Matthew 28:20
The Amplified Bible makes it clear that Jesus wasn’t referring to the end of the world but rather, the end of the age.
I am convinced that a thorough study of prophetic scripture indicates that we are now transitioning from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age.
Billy Graham was a forerunner, and his life and ministry represent an era that opened the door to more than a new era. Like John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, I believe Billy Graham prepared the way for the coming of a new age, the Kingdom Age.
Jesus said He would be with us (believers) until the end of the age. I believe that, as we transition from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age, Jesus is not only going to be with us, but is becoming fully formed in us, (see Galatians 4:19 AMP), enabling us to live the Kingdom lifestyle that will change the world.
I also believe, that as many are prophesying, this changing of the world begins with the greatest spiritual awakening the Church and the world has ever known. And, as has been prophesied by numerous prophetic voices for several years now, the passing of Billy Graham marks a line of demarcation on the timeline of history, when this greatest of all awakenings begins.
Saints of God, the time just ahead is going to be the most glorious time in all of history so far! Surely we were born for such a time as this.
By Lanny Swaim
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying…
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither…
In chapter one and chapter four of Revelation, John head a voice, which sounded like a trumpet. In the verses that follow Revelation 1:10 the Voice identifies Himself as the Son of Man, who of course is Jesus. Then, in the second and third chapters, He addresses issues concerning seven churches in Asia.
After this initial experience, John says he looked and saw a door open in Heaven, and the same voice told him to come up there. Then John says something interesting. In Revelation 1:10 he had said he was in the spirit, but here in chapter four he says that after hearing the same voice again he was immediately in the spirit.
Why do you suppose he differentiates between these two experiences of being in the spirit?
Could it be that the first spiritual experience was concerning earthly things (problems and situations in seven churches)? He was in the spirit but seeing from an earthly, time/space perspective. Then, in verse four he was invited to come up to Heaven and see from the heavenly perspective.
An Earthly Perspective
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
1 Corinthians 13:9-10
In John’s first experience of being in the spirit in the Book of Revelation, he was told to write letters to seven churches. Those letters contained recognition of the good things they were accomplishing and admonition to change that which was not so good. There were consequences if the changes were not made, and rewards for those who overcame the problems and made the necessary corrections; the implication being that there were choices to be made by the churches corporately and by the individuals within those churches. The outcome was then determined by the choices made.
These letters were dictated and written from an earthly, time/space viewpoint, where the outcome appears to be uncertain.
So it is with believers whose primary focus is from an earthly, time/space perspective, more so than from an eternal perspective. What they hear God saying to them personally or in a prophetic capacity, is limited by their perspective. Therefore, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:9, they know in part and prophecy in part.
In other words, what they are hearing is incomplete; meaning it is not 100% correct.
This in part view of everything also effects their understanding of Scripture. The revelation they receive while reading Scripture is incomplete and not 100% correct, limiting their effectiveness as they walk out their lives as believers.
I believe this is why prayer for most believers is a hit and miss proposition. Sometimes their prayers get answered, sometimes they don’t. This tends to propagate explanations as to why certain prayers didn’t get answered, which are really no more than excuses; the real reason being that they were praying from the wrong perspective.
Ultimately, this in part perspective causes them to fall short of their potential, unless their earthly, time/space viewpoint changes to an eternal perspective.
An Eternal Perspective
Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Jesus in Matthew 6:25 & 33
Those with an earthly perspective focus on earthly things. As a result, they spend a lot of their time and energy on providing and/or appropriating the physical needs that living in a physical world necessitate.
But those that see from an eternal perspective aren’t all that concerned about physical needs. Theirs is a perspective that sees the bigger picture. Theirs is a perspective that sees the end from the beginning (see Isaiah 46:10). Theirs is a perspective that realizes the eternal plan of God is much more important than the finite, physical world our mortal bodies function in. Theirs is a perspective that understands whatever it takes, whatever it costs us to gain eternity, is worth it.
John’s stay on the Isle of Patmos was supposed to be a death sentence. There was no fresh water or food supply on Patmos. Physically speaking, John should not have survived Patmos. But John seemed to be a believer that had more of an eternal perspective than perhaps any of the other original twelve apostles. Maybe that’s why John was later released from Patmos, and died of natural causes around the age of 105, according to historical accounts; while all the other original apostles met violent deaths of martyrdom, except for Judas who committed suicide.
John lived in and had to deal with the physical world, but his eternal viewpoint enabled him to receive the Revelation of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, to be passed down through the generations to us. In order for that to happen, he had to be released from Patmos to publish what has become the last book of our Bible.
I have found, that as I have continued to die to self and mature in the Lord, I too am seeing much more from the eternal perspective rather than from the time/space perspective. And that is not only changing my viewpoint, it is literally changing my life.
We don’t know how John survived on Patmos. Perhaps God supernaturally provided for his physical needs, or maybe God showed him where there was fresh water and a food supply, hidden from the Roman authorities and all those previously sentenced to Patmos. But we do know that God’s plan for John was not to die on Patmos, but to be released and live out the rest of his life in Ephesus, publishing the Revelation of Jesus Christ and continuing to minister in whatever capacity the Lord desired.
So it is with us. If our focus is from an eternal perspective, our walk through this life will reflect that reality, and we will accomplish all God has purposed for us to accomplish. Not only will we accomplish all He intends, we will see the Kingdom as He sees the Kingdom, which will ultimately cause us to move on to perfection, no longer being limited by an in part understanding of Scripture and life in general.
Redeeming the Time
By Lanny Swaim
Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9 (See also 2 Thessalonians 3:13)
Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:14-16 (emphasis added)
Redeem is translated from the Greek verb, exagorazo, which means buying up the opportunity. Time in Ephesians 5:16 is referring to the Greek word for time, kairos, or a time in which something is seasonable (a specific time as opposed to chronological time as days on a calendar). It can also mean a specific time pregnant with destiny.
The implication in Ephesians 5:14-16 is that we have been asleep, as if dead, which describes the Church for most of the last 2000 years, at least from the fourth century on until the awakening that became known as the Protestant Reformation, and then more recent awakenings (which restored the baptism with the Holy Spirit accompanied by the gifts of the Spirit) that took place in Wales in 1859 and 1904 and then the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angles, California in 1906. (I should note that these are the better known awakenings. There have been others.)
Then, in the mid-twentieth century many believers received the baptism with the Holy Spirit in a move of God (known as the Charismatic Movement) that crossed all denominational boundaries, not only in Protestant Churches but in Catholic Churches as well.
But even then, with the restoration of the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, in a very real sense the Church as a whole still remained asleep. Even those who accepted the baptism with the Spirit accompanied by the gifts of the Spirit, didn’t fully embrace the fruit of the Spirit, which is being filled with the fullness of Christ as we take on the very nature and character of God, literally becoming perfected love as He is love.
Today there is a remnant of the Body of Christ that is beginning to experience the fullness of Christ, having been subjected to an intense and severe process tests and trials, emptying them of self (dying to self), enabling them to become more like God in nature and character than ever before.
This remnant has been obsessively walking out the various missions they have been assigned by God, seemingly to little avail. While they have experienced a measure of success, major success has eluded them.
But that is about to change for many of this remnant.
Those of us who are a part of this remnant have been busy with well doing, during a season of preparation, as the Lord has been maturing (growing within us the character of God/the fullness of Christ) and positioning us for that which lies just ahead. Prophetically speaking, the Lord is now saying that a new season is upon us, when that which we (of this remnant) have decreed, declared, prophesied and prayed for is about to burst forth in our lives and ministries and onto the world stage.
At times during this period of maturation and positioning, we have become weary to the point of desperation, and yet we didn’t faint or give up. Now, as the season is changing, we are about to buy up the opportunity before us (redeeming the time), and the currency we will use to make the transaction is our overcoming nature born out of the intense and often severe tests and trials we have endured.
Very soon we will find it hard to keep up with all God has us involved in. We will have to day by day and hour by hour listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, in order to determine what the priorities are each step of the way.
We will see things that have been hidden in our hearts for a long, long time suddenly come to pass, with little or no effort on our part.
Instead of going from test to test and trial to trial, with hindrances always appearing to hold us back, we will suddenly find ourselves going from glory to glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Surely, we were born for such a time as this!
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and sitteth me upon my high places.
They that wait upon [serve] the lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Absolutely, without a doubt, we were born for such a time as this; all glory to God!