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FSM 327       CM/FM       Lessons in Hearing from Heaven!

Copyright © by The Family--2/98.

Table of Contents:
       Lessons in Hearing from Heaven       1
       The Faith of a Child for Specific Answers       5
       Our Friends Hearing from the Spirit World!       5
       Amazing Supply When We Let Him Lead Through Prophecy!       6
       Prophecy in Our Everyday Lives!       7
       Blasting Out the Doubts!       9
       Getting Songs from the Spirit World!       11
       How the Lord Confirmed to Me that I Have the Gift of Prophecy       12
       Learning to Use the New Spiritual Weapon of Prophecy       13
       What His Personal Words Have Done for Me!       14
       Through Prophecy, the Lord Drives a Hard Bargain!--And It Works!       16
       Changing Our Lives       16
       Ministering to Our Friends with Prophecy       17

By Darren, Mama's Home:
       When I came to the Folks' Home, the first thing that stood out to me was how much emphasis there was on the use of prophecy, or hearing from the Lord. Not that people were constantly prophesying or always having big prayer and prophecy meetings. In fact, I was surprised to find out that united prayer and prophecy meetings were somewhat rare, since for most requests Mama would just ask one or two people to pray and hear from the Lord about it, rather than take everyone's time. (Of course our situation here is a little different than field Homes, where a lot more decisions have to be made that affect the whole Home, in which case it's nice to have the whole Home gather together to hear from the Lord on the subject.) Prophecy here is just a part of everyday life, and as normal as having Word time or prayer vigil.
       One of the first things Mama asked me after I arrived was if I had the gift of prophecy. Well, I was unsure what to say. Yes, I had received things from the Lord here and there in the past. But now, having come to the "Home of the prophets," those who received all of the great and flowing prophecies that were published in the GNs, I was a bit unsure whether I had a real gift of prophecy or not.
       Most of the things I had received in the past were in private, just between the Lord and me. Whenever I did muster up the courage to give what I was getting in a public prophecy meeting, it usually came with a good deal of heart-pounding and sweat, and was rarely any longer than a paragraph. So I didn't know, really, if I had the gift of prophecy.
       But guess what Mama had to say? (And I have since come to realize that this is a standard answer for her.) "Well, why don't you ask the Lord about it, and see what He has to say?--You can just ask the Lord if you have the gift of prophecy." It seemed so natural for her, as she has such faith that the Lord can speak through anyone, that it seemed the most normal thing for me to just do what she suggested and ask the Lord--so I did.
       The Lord came through, and told me that of course He had given me the gift of prophecy, but that I simply hadn't used it much yet. He said that that was something He had brought me here to learn--among other things.
       That was all Mama needed to hear, and she was so excited about that prophecy that it seemed she believed it more than I did. "That's wonderful! I knew you had it!" (Before I came here, I had sent in a small prophecy that I had received when I was asked about joining WS, which Mama had heard. So either way, I couldn't have gotten out of it by saying that I didn't have the gift. Ha!)
       "Okay, we're going to have to give you some things to start practicing on!"
       It wasn't long after that that I got involved in the Heaven's Library project, and that was where prophecy really started coming into play for me. This was a new project, so there were a lot of questions and things to be prayed about. On top of it, I was new to pubs work, and so I had a lot of questions from that point of view. For this project I was in close contact with Mama via an intercom. In the beginning, it was kind of like this:

       "BEEP BEEP!"
       Me: "Mama, this is a good story, but there's one little point that doesn't quite seem to make sense here. Can we change it to this?"
       Mama: "Hmm, that's a good question. Well, why don't you ask the Lord and see what He has to say about it?"
       "BEEP BEEP!"
       Me: "Mama, I was thinking that this story might fit nicely with that other story."
       Mama: "Okay, well, why don't you pray and ask the Lord which stories should go in that book?"
       "BEEP BEEP!"
       Me: "Well, Mama, when I prayed, the Lord said to ask Him about each story, and where it should go."
       Mama: "Well, then I guess you should ask the Lord again about the stories you have planned for that first book," etc., etc.

       After awhile, I learned to take my questions to the Lord before contacting Mama. Ha! And that's how I got used to using prophecy more. Once I got started, it really wasn't such a big deal. One thing that made it easy was Mama's simple, trusting faith in the Lord and His ability to speak through anyone who is yielded to Him, and the way she would say, "Of course you have the gift. I know you do!"
       Another thing that made it easy was that I was getting these prophecies in private--and in writing.
       Let me backtrack here a bit to some of my earliest experiences with prophecy. One of the first "flowing" prophecies I got that was longer than a few paragraphs came completely unexpectedly. (This was before I came to Mama's Home.) I was writing in my diary, and as I was looking over the events of the previous few months, the Lord started to speak to me. It wasn't unlike other times that I had heard Him speak to my heart or through the Voice of the Word (see ML #829:34-36), except that I happened to have a pen in hand, and a blank page in front of me.
       So I started to write what He was telling me, and by the time I finished the first sentence, lo and behold, there was another. This continued until I had filled up a couple of pages. When it was over, I looked back over what I had gotten and thought, "Wow, if that is prophecy, it sure isn't as complicated as I had thought it to be!"
       For the most part, my prophecies have continued to come in this manner, although I also occasionally try with a dictaphone. This has worked for me, but I personally found that I had a much easier time writing than speaking what I was getting. Besides, that's the way many of the Old Testament prophets recorded what they received from the Lord. (See Exo.17:14; Isa.8:1, 30:8; Jer.30:1,2; Rev.1:11b,19.)
       Then after awhile, instead of writing the messages and typing them up afterward, I started getting accustomed to recording what I was getting right at the keyboard of my computer. It was all pretty exciting, and it seemed so easy.
       When Mama asked me to write up my lessons about learning to use prophecy, I was thinking about how it didn't seem like that big of a deal after all. Once I got used to getting things from the Lord this way, it came pretty easily. It was almost too easy, and I wondered about that, too: Why, when all was said and done, wasn't it more difficult?
       In answer to this question, the Lord reminded me about all that has been said about these gifts, and how they are the new weapons for this New Day. I got a picture of a machine gun and a sword. It takes a great deal more skill to fight an opponent with a sword than it does with a machine gun. Although it may take some time to learn the ins and outs of using a machine gun--the safety procedures and all--once you learn to use it, it is not nearly as difficult to use in combat as a sword. You just have to get used to it. The Lord showed me that learning to use the gift of prophecy had been much this way for me.
       Of course, getting used to it, and with such apparent ease, wasn't without its battles. As many can testify, once you start exercising the gift of prophecy more and it becomes easier, at some point you get hit with the question, "Is this really prophecy? What if these are just my own words? What if it's not really the Lord? Maybe I'm just making all this up in my own mind."
       If you get hit with these battles, rest assured that you are not the first one the Devil has used this trick on. All the "prophets" and "prophetesses" here (who are ordinary people, mind you, just like you and me) have been hit with these same doubts--lies of the Enemy, really--at some point or another.
       The GN about "Believing Prophecy" (ML #3130, GN 740) contains a lot of good counsel and answers to such questions. In the long run, it all boils down to faith. You either believe the Lord exists or you don't. If He does, then surely He must be able to speak, right? And why should we think that unless we hear a booming, audible voice thundering from the top of Mt. Sinai, or unless we see the throne of God in the midst of an emerald sea with a rainbow round about, we are not really hearing from Him?
       The "still, small voice" came neither in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire (1Ki.19:11,12). David's Messianic prophecies came in song. Jeremiah dictated his message of woe to the king, and Baruch wrote it "upon a roll of a book" (Jer.36:4). God Himself wrote down the Ten Commandments with His Own finger (Ex.31:18).
       Of course, it is still important to judge prophecy and make sure that what you're getting is of the Lord. There are many ways to do that, which are covered in the pubs. I have found the prophecy GNs to be a great help in learning and growing in the use of this gift. Once you get over the hump, it just gets easier and easier. As long as you don't try to figure it out with your carnal mind, or be too analytical about it, it actually can come pretty easily.
       Hearing from the spirit world, including quite a variety of departed saints, is now quite easy for me, and a lot of fun. Working with the Spirit Stories project, there are sometimes stories that are missing certain details, or that we have questions about. So we go to the Lord with these questions.
       Sometimes the Lord answers Himself, but other times the person who originally told the story--perhaps to someone on the other side of the world--comes to answer and give more details to the tale they've told. So I've had quite an interesting retinue of "visitors" coming to tell me things, from children to American Indians to medieval princesses--and even a Heavenly dog. Ha!
       Now, none of these prophecy sessions were anything spectacular. Most of these people spoke only briefly, answering the various questions that we had about things they had said in their story.
       Perhaps some of you reading this may remember the article in years past about the lady who had all these "dead" composers come to visit her and pass on their new musical compositions. This lady could see them, sense them, and they would even sneak in on her while she was in the bathtub or getting ready for bed and things like that. (See "Spirits of the Past!" ML #1410.)
       Well, it hasn't been like that for me. I'm not a psychic.--In fact, I've always been a bit more on the logical and analytical side. So it was quite a surprise for me that I could get messages from these folks--and creatures--up There so easily.
       But I just open my mind, and the Lord fills it. I write, type, or speak--as the case may be--whatever comes. Who am I to wait until I hear an audible voice, or see some apparition or have an angel appear in front of me and say, "I have come with a message from the Most High God!" I think precious few of us would survive that anyway. Ha! (See Judges 13:8-22; Daniel 8:15-19,26,27.) Besides, "blessed are they which have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29). So the Lord uses what He can, if we'll just let Him.
       I know that I still have a ways to go. I still have a hard time getting prophecies in public. Maybe this is because when it takes place in public, I think of "prophecy" in the sense of a "prophet," which can be a bit intimidating. I get this mental image of a man with a beard, in a flowing robe (he looks quite cool, actually), standing atop some mountain, thundering out, "THUS SAITH THE LORD!!!"
       But when I'm alone, I see it more as "just" hearing from the Lord, which is a bit less awesome. In actuality, however, it is not, because anything that we get from the Lord is really awesome, when you consider that these are Words from Heaven, messages from beyond the veil from the unseen world of the spirit. But sometimes it helps me if I try not to think of it at all. It's like the bumblebee who doesn't even think of figuring out why it can fly. It just flies!
       All we have to do is open the channel and let the message pour through. If we ask for bread, the Lord will not give us a stone. He has promised this, and He has also promised that He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh. So it all boils down to having the faith to trust His promises; to walk by faith and not by sight; to ask, that we may receive; to seek, that we may find; to knock, that the doors of Heaven may be opened, and so that the great cloud of witnesses around us can come down as ministering spirits, whispering to us the things that we need to know.
       They are all out there, waiting to come to our aid! We just need to tune in--and that may be easier than you think, if you have the faith!

       "BEEP BEEP!"
       Me: "Mama, we needed some more details on this story, so I asked the Lord about it, and So-and-so came to speak. He told me all about such-and-such."
       Mama: "Wow, that is really neat! Be sure to add those details to the story. God bless you for having the faith to get that. How would you like to write something up about how you've learned to use your gift of prophecy?"
       Me: "Sure, Mama, right away."

The Faith of a Child for Specific Answers

From Mercy Helper, Ukraine:
       Hearing from the Lord is so exciting that even the young kids like it and are excited about it, praise the Lord! One of our kids wears a brace for her teeth which she has to take out every time she eats, and one day she misplaced it. We looked everywhere but could not find it.
       She suggested we get together and hear from the Lord about it. I felt that was brave of her, and I wondered if she was really ready to hear what I thought the Lord wanted to say about her not being so faithful with her things. I did not expect to get anything myself, since it was such a specific question, and I have had a hard time believing that I could receive specific answers from the Lord--others yes, but not me.
       But lo and behold, I got, "With the orange peels, in the garbage can." I didn't share it at first, because it was just so unbelievable, so I waited for others to share what they had received. No one else received anything though, so I said, "This sounds crazy, but I got 'With the orange peels, in the garbage can.'" My daughter looked--and there it was! Praise the Lord! He gives direct answers!

Our Friends Hearing from the Spirit World!

From José, Glory, Faith, Maria, João and André, Brazil:
       In a retreat we had with 23 of our closest friends, we had a class about prophecy and things that hinder us from hearing from the Lord, like our pride, doubts, lack of submission, etc.
       Then the Lord gave us a very special time together. We put on the tape "Open for Love" and I prayed for the Lord to send us spirit helpers and angels. It became a real spirit trip! All of a sudden we were invaded by spirit helpers and angels! Several people had incredible experiences, like hearing a message for a specific aspect of their lives, or seeing a vision, or literally traveling in the spirit. One friend couldn't hold his tears back while he shared his spiritual experience.
       After that, we heard from the Lord and we felt led to ask Dad to come and speak to us. As soon as we started, I had a vision of Dad in the room. Shortly after that, one of our friends was the channel for him to speak. It was shocking! Even this man's voice changed, and it was exactly the way Dad used to talk.
       Afterwards, this dear friend was telling us what a heavy experience it was for him to be a channel for Dad to speak through. He said that at the beginning he had resisted, and the Enemy had lied to him, telling him that it wasn't Dad and that it was just his imagination. But then he literally saw Dad's face right there in front of him and he started to repeat the words that were in his mind. After that he just kept repeating the words, without stopping to think or analyze them. It was a real liberation for him!
       Another friend who was having doubts about prophecy said in tears that she felt that Dad was speaking to her, convicting her that he indeed was talking. That took away her doubts.
       We can say that this retreat liberated our precious friends in the spirit and we all felt so much lighter. Praise the Lord!

Amazing Supply When We Let Him Lead Through Prophecy!

From Paloma Apostol, Russia:
       Here in Russia the financial situation is very difficult, especially in faraway cities like the one we live in. The following testimony proves once again the Lord's goodness and care for us.
       It seemed that our finances were going from bad to worse, and with 14 children in the Home, four adults and one YA, we felt more than incapable of doing it ourselves. I came down with an intestinal infection and couldn't go out or do fund-raising, as I was so sick. I couldn't do anything but pray. My faith was really tested with my sickness, along with the fact that every day we were borrowing more and more just to get by.
       When I got well, I was still weak, and I had to pray and decide if I should go out or not. I didn't want to go if I was just going to get little results, so early that morning I asked the Lord for a prophecy to lead me. He spoke so clearly and said: "Don't worry, My child. Go, and I will supply abundantly." Armed with this promise from the Lord, even though I felt weak, I decided to go.
       My son Samuel (18) and I left early, as we wanted to meet a man in his office at nine. Transport here is pretty bad, and we waited some time for the bus. Finally we got a ride by paying a little bit for a car that stopped for us. (Here in Russia this is very common, as the economy is so bad that people use their cars to provide an inexpensive taxi service.) We arrived at the office late, and guess what? Although the man was about to leave, he received us. Right there he decided to sponsor some videos and gave us a $100 donation. Here in Russia, a donation like this is a real miracle.
       Praising the Lord, we went to another office and tried to provision linoleum and wallpaper for two rooms in our Home. We knew it was going to take a miracle, as what we were asking for was expensive. After waiting for one hour, we met the boss, who agreed to help right away. Praise the Lord!--Just like that--totally by grace! All the materials are in our Home now, and the boys are working on putting up the wallpaper.
       The next day I was feeling tired, and I asked the Lord if I should go out or not. He said, "Go, for I would do unexpected things!" So we went by faith.
       During this season, fruit is expensive and we are usually not able to get much of it. We knew of a fruit storage place, so we arranged a meeting with the boss and asked if he could donate two boxes of fruit per week. He said, "Two boxes, no. I can help you with three!" Thank You, Jesus! It is so neat to see things like this happening, because we know it is the Lord Who is doing it.
       We had also been trying to meet the manager for e-mail services in the city for two weeks. Sure enough, that same day we met him and he agreed to give us an account for free! Normally it costs $150 to open one here, but we only have to pay $10 per month for the on-line time. Praise the Lord!
       David and Eva went by faith to provision sand and gravel for our driveway, as when it rains it gets so muddy that it is almost impossible to walk on. The same morning, the Lord supplied 20 tons of sand and gravel and 1,000 kilos of cement.
       The Lord was supplying so many goods, however, money-wise we were still borrowing nonstop. But when some Home support came in, to our amazement, we found we were able to repay all the money that we had borrowed! The miracle was that we had received exactly the amount that we had borrowed--to the dollar!
       It's been very encouraging to see all these miracles happening so easily, just the Lord doing it! The most beautiful thing is how the Lord led and guided us through prophecy, an amazing and powerful weapon. Thank You, Jesus, for Your faithfulness!

From Christina, U.S.A.:
       We had a Home Council meeting, and since we have new personnel, there were lots of new decisions to be made. After discussing things together for some time, we came to a stalemate. It got a bit tense, with half of us holding to one opinion and half to another. We decided that we should stop and hear from the Lord, because although a vote would have settled the matter, it probably would have left discontent on the "losing" side.
       The Lord spoke so clearly! It was amazing to hear Home members prophesying against what they had been speaking for just a few minutes prior to that! After the prayer, we all looked at each other and said, "Well, that settles that!" Everyone was united on the matter and there was nothing more to say!
       At the next meeting, we again came to a stalemate, prayed, and it was so clear what He wanted us to do, even though the Lord's counsel seemed contrary to logic. It was so faith-building!
       I had had some battles with the New Wine and prophecy, but I learned that the reason was that I wasn't exercising the gift enough, and hadn't seen the power of it in my daily life. Taking things to the Lord together as a Home more often is reinforcing my faith in prophecy.

From Steven and Rose, Switzerland:
       This month we had a follow-up revolution! In prophecy, we received messages of encouragement for some of our sheep and contacts, which we gave to them. The fruit of this was super inspiring, as it gave us a much closer link with our sheep. We were able to break away from our previous outreach/fundraising routine, through the Lord's guidance and encouragement in the prophecies He gave us. Our witnessing is so much more inspiring now!
       Receiving messages for our particular situation has helped us to implement the counsel in the Letters, and follow them much more closely. It is still a step of faith for us to major on feeding and spending time with people, as well as hearing from the Lord for them. But the Lord confirmed to us personally, as well as through the counsel given in the latest GNs, that if we put Him and His sheep first, He will bring in the needed finances.

From Joshua, Brazil:
       We have a new disciple in our Home named Rebeca. She is helping with the children of Paulo, whose wife Ana Lua went to be with the Lord recently. Rebeca was sharing with me some worries she was having about getting too attached to the kids, etc. All of a sudden I received from the Lord that Ana Lua wanted to say something!
       I invited Rebeca to pray right then. I felt Ana Lua wanted to talk, but since I did not know how much Rebeca knew about departed loved ones talking from the Other Side, I was a little hesitant to give the message Ana Lua was trying to pass on.
       After resisting a while, I felt a spirit body entering mine. It reminded me of one of the Heaven's Girl stories, when the spirit helpers could not get through by whispering, so they just entered the person they were trying to talk through. That was exactly what I felt. Ana Lua then talked for a few minutes with Rebeca. She encouraged Rebeca that her special love for her kids was engineered in Heaven, and that she was very happy that her children could have the special love of a mommy. Thank You Lord!

From Andrew (20), Thailand:
       It was very inspiring to put prayer into action on our recent road trip. We would have prayer and then listen to the Lord in the morning and He would come through and tell us where to go, such as "the small roads" or "narrow streets." This guidance turned out to be the key when our time was almost up and we thought we had hit every spot there was. When we obeyed, the Lord helped us get out the tools in some places where it didn't seem likely we would get anything out.
       Listening to the Lord for specific things like this was very encouraging for me. When I took the first step to give what I was getting, the Lord would come through and finish it. It was so cool to be able to hear about things so specifically.

From Aaron and Flame, Poland:
       One of the main things we are learning now is to use prophecy more in our daily lives. We both have the gift, but we have not used it very much. We were encouraged to use it more and started practicing after the class Peter gave on "Hearing from the Lord/Using Prophecy" at the recent meetings, as well as by reading the "Mama's Surprise" GNs (see GN 742, 743, 749). Terrific counsel! The Lord supplied the dictaphone, and so now we are making it "official"--sitting down, praying, hearing from the Lord, and then going over the prophecy afterwards.
       We would like to encourage anyone who doesn't have a dictaphone (or another means of recording the Lord's messages) to really pray and do everything you can to get one. We waited for a long time before getting a dictaphone, and during that time the Lord gave us some very precious prophecies which unfortunately are gone. We regret very much that we can't go back to them for guidance and comfort. Of course, the good part is that He can pour out at any time, according to our hunger and desperation to hear from Him. Thank You, Jesus!
       On the subject of prophecy, it was mentioned somewhere that Dad is now more involved with the work than ever, because he is able to communicate personally with us. It is so true! We want to testify of his help to us personally.
       I had never received a prophecy from a departed saint until one night while I was on a road trip, sleeping in a wet tent. The rain was pouring during that particular trip; I woke up cold, discouraged, and down. Suddenly I felt Dad's presence so strongly, just as if he was there, lying by my side in the cold, wet tent. He started to talk, and was so sweet, telling me about his life on the road, encouraging me to keep fighting and keep going for Jesus, etc. Well, that was quite something for me!
       He came a few more times after that, giving us specific counsel and guidance. Thank You, Lord! So it is true that Dad is there for us, and is helping us personally more than ever. Hallelujah!

From Julia, BRALIM:
       I enjoy reading prophecies immensely; they're a pleasure and I deeply believe in them. However I did have some doubts when Dad first began talking to you, Mama, from the spirit world, and later about the King Peter revelation. Actually my doubts were pretty much gone, though, by the time I finished reading those GNs.
       A few years ago, I learned to do something about doubts that still always helps me. These doubts came little by little and because I never really fought them, before I knew it they were a real big thing. The thing I learned to do in fighting them was to be honest with the Lord and say, "Lord, I'm doubting. I don't want to doubt this, but I can't shake this feeling and these doubts. Please take them away and help me not to doubt." Also I'd read over the things I was having doubts about, sometimes several times, asking the Lord to build my faith while I read. Doing these things has helped a lot--especially reading and rereading the things I may have trials with.

From Paul and Lily, Brazil:
       I have to admit that at first I was a little skeptical about getting messages from departed spirits. The idea was fantastic, and I could see it was going to win souls, but I was a little shaky on the prophecies themselves. But the Lord led me to do something that really convinced me of their veracity. I knew of some of the people who spoke from the Other Side, and was familiar with their speech mannerisms. What I did was read the prophecies out loud, imitating their voices, and it made my hair stand on end! It was eerie, almost like they were speaking through me and were in the room with me! When I read the prophecies silently they were a little dry and didn't seem that convincing, but when I dramatized them, they really came to life! Hallelujah!

From Joy (24, of Ben G.), Hungary:
       Though I have the gift of prophecy and have been using it quite a bit for over a year now, just lately I began to get a little discouraged about it and began to wonder if, since often my prophecies sounded the same, maybe it was just me coming up with words. Plus it seemed that the prophecies confirmed what I was already thinking, so I thought there must be a lot of "me" getting in when I prophesied. It had gotten to the point that I didn't really want to participate in PPMs (prayer and prophecy meetings) much, as I'd get hit with these thoughts every time I began to get something from the Lord in a meeting.
       Since reading "Mama's Surprise," however, I've been very encouraged in this area, as she shared similar battles. Hearing the Lord's answers to her gave me the faith to keep going no matter how I "feel" about my prophecies. One part of a prophecy that really helped me from that Letter was: "If you stop and you ask Me specifically to speak on any subject, and you specifically ask to hear My voice in prophecy, then it is prophecy that you are receiving, because that is what you are asking for. I have promised to speak to you in prophecy. I have promised that My children would hear My voice in prophecy. So when you get quiet and you raise your antennas, when you sit still and you thirst and you hunger and you're sucking for My Heavenly seeds and listening for My Heavenly whispers, then you can be assured that those whispers are My direct, straight, pure voice of prophecy" (ML #3134:57, GN 743).
       I've also seen that with prophecy it really helps to keep it up regularly. If I have a lull or a time where I'm not using it much, when I start again it's harder to get back into it and I seem to get hit with these doubts more than when I'm using it often.

From Consuelo (of Jeho), Brazil:
       It's funny--I could get prophecies if I was with someone else or with the Home, but I had certain fears about hearing from the Lord alone, for myself personally. I was afraid that I would get way off track and there wouldn't be any safeguards, or that the Lord would say something to encourage me and love me up and it would be difficult for me to receive it and believe it. Mama's testimony gave me the faith to go ahead and give it a try. It was so sweet that she said she could take baby steps, and that was one of the most motivating things I have read.
       Dad said in "Believing Prophecy," another tremendously helpful Letter:" If the Lord wants to speak to you through prophecy and you're not yielding, well, that can drive you away from Him--not because He wants to be away from you, but because your unyieldedness causes you to doubt, which then causes you to be separate from the Lord. But you can get back to Him real quick and real easy by just yielding and being willing to do what He says and follow where He leads" (ML #3130:182, GN 740). I found this jewel after reading "Mama's Surprise" and it made so much sense. I knew that getting prophecies for myself, and even alone, was what I needed, and that not doing it was keeping me from Him, so these things gave me the desire and faith to step out, thank the Lord!

From Marie Fighter, Kazakhstan:
       When reading about how Mama sings to the Lord in tongues, my first reaction, Lord help me, was, "That's something I could never do!" But I felt so wonderfully warm in the spirit after reading "Mama's Surprise," and when Praise Time came around, I decided to try it, since I was alone in the room. And guess what? It worked! I was actually amazed to be receiving a very clear and beautiful melody and tongues accompanying it, which sounded like I was speaking in a foreign language. I didn't get the interpretation, but it sure was a thrilling experience. I still have too much pride to do it in public, but it's been a very special thing to do in my private Praise Times with the Lord. Thank you so much, dear Mama, for continuing to teach us new ways to express our love to our dear Husband and King.

From Joe, SACRO:
       I was reminded of the following verse about Elisha the other night, who, when he was asked to hear from the Lord, said, "Bring me a minstrel." The verse goes on to say, "And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him" (2Kg.3:15). Here's another one I thought was pretty far-out, concerning music and getting songs in prophecy, as it says that certain musicians would actually prophesy with their musical instruments: "Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals" (1 Chr.25:1). Music definitely is a vehicle for getting in the Spirit!

From Ariana (17, of Andy and Maria), Colombia:
       I was flipped out about how Mama would sing in tongues and how the Lord would give the interpretation, so as soon as I finished the GN, I decided I would do it too! I started singing to the Lord in tongues and it was so liberating! I was getting a distinct tune over and over, so I asked the Lord for the words to the song, and they came out wonderfully! Then, for fun, I started singing the words to the tune I was getting and they fit perfectly! Wow! It was so far-out because as I was putting the tune and the words together, I felt as if I were getting specific instructions from the Heavenlies on how to do it! The Lord in His love had given me a song!
       Though I am a music-lover, I can't say I know how to compose music. But I didn't have to know anyway, because Jesus and the spirit helpers did it all for me. I was just a channel. I'm getting more and more addicted to the thrills and ecstasies of the spirit world. They're far better than anything else the world could feebly try to offer.

How the Lord Confirmed to Me that I Have the Gift of Prophecy

From Ruthie Virginia (of Baruc Peruvian), Romania:
Dearest sweet Mama,
       ILYSM! Thank you for sharing those beautiful lessons on how the Lord is giving you the gift of prophecy in "Mama's Surprise" Part 2.
       I've always had a little gift of prophecy, and every now and then in united prayer meetings, I would get a few verses or short messages. But I was always very careful to wait first for what other people were getting, and I wouldn't open my mouth until I got something that would go along with it. I never had the faith to venture out and get real specific things unless someone else had gotten something specific before me; then I would have the faith to give something that would confirm it.
       But for the past year or so, I would occasionally have to hear from the Lord for difficult decisions, where I knew that my own understanding, knowledge of the Word, and past experience would not be enough. However, I still was quite hesitant and lacking in faith about it.
       So your lessons in this GN, and especially the prophecy at the beginning where the Lord is explicitly telling us all to really work on our gift of prophecy now, gave me the conviction to dive in. Since then I have been trying to practice every day with my dictaphone. I have already received a few prophecies for different people that I sent to them by faith. I felt I should share with them what I had received for them, but I would still get little doubts that these prophecies were not so pure, and maybe it was not all really from the Lord.
       Then I was asked by the media spokeswoman for our country to get something from the Lord about whether or not she should send a pro-active mailing out to various government agencies. She had been asked by the CROs to hear from the Lord about it, and she herself had already gotten something; she wanted some confirmation. I got real excited about the idea, but then kept postponing it. Finally I just got my dictaphone, and ventured out.
       When I handed my prophecy to her, I apologized for the fact that I'm just getting started with this gift. Although my prophecy was kind of specific, I said she should not worry if it contradicted hers, but I felt she should just go by whatever the Lord had already shown her. I didn't have the faintest idea what she had received, so I was a little afraid I was running the risk of being proven a false prophetess!
       The encouraging thing is that all the things the Lord gave me were exactly the same points that she had received! My prophecy was short, just two paragraphs, but it covered six or seven of the exact same specific points she had received in a longer version. I find this amazing!
       It reminded me of what Dad said way back in the Letter "Faith" (ML #73), that it's just as easy for us to get things from God as it was for him, because the Lord's power is always on, like a station that's broadcasting all the time, and all we have to do is turn the switch and tune in! It's so sweet, so simple, and so true!
       Love, Ruthie

Three different answers - but all were right!

From Emmy (19) and Daniella (21), Mideast:
       During the recent festivals here, the Lord showed us to take a trip to a neighboring country. It didn't seem possible for Marianne to come along, due to other things that she had to take care of. The day before we were to leave, the question came up again as to whether Marianne should come with us or not. It seemed we really needed her, since she speaks the language, and we didn't have any nationals or very fluent speakers on our team.
       Four of us stopped to hear from the Lord individually about the situation. We weren't really sure what to say when we read our prophecies and found out that two of us got that she should go, and the prophecies were very clear, saying that she was needed for the CTPs especially. Someone else got that she should stay, because she was needed here for different reasons, and the other person got that it was mainly her choice and that she was needed in both situations!
       Needless to say, some of us were left asking ourselves if that was really the Lord or ourselves speaking. We were wondering if we were false prophets and starting to doubt whether we really had the gift of prophecy, thinking that maybe we shouldn't be using it, since we obviously didn't seem to be so in tune.
       Meanwhile Marianne was waiting for some reply on what was happening, so she was told that she had her choice in the matter. Even though she really wanted to go, she felt it better to stay for the sake of the people she was ministering to. Discouragement and defeat set in once again for those of us who had received prophecies saying that she should go.
       The next day we all left and basically forgot about the whole experience, until a few days later when the Lord told the shepherds on the team that He wanted her to come. She was able to take care of everything back there and then arrived in the country where we were. She made it for all the CTPs and the festival, to do the MCing, etc.
       So it turned out that all the prophecies were fulfilled; it was just a matter of timing. The Lord wanted her to take care of those things first and He also wanted her to be there for the CTPs on our trip (which she made it there for), and it was also her choice.
       I'm writing all of this is to say that the Lord never fails, and when you pray and ask Him to speak, what you receive is indeed the Lord speaking. It's not our place to question or doubt what He's said, because there's always a reason. I think it's very easy to start to wonder if you're on the right track, or if it's your place to be hearing directly from the Lord, but the Lord wants to speak to everyone. We just have to have the faith to believe that it's of Him. Even if it seems a bit mysterious now, the plan may unfold further down the line.

From someone in Russia:
       I feel that I've had such a narrow view of prophecy, thinking that I'd only use it when making big decisions such as marriage, going to a new field, or some such thing. But, wow! Now I see how I can ask the Lord about every little thing, and I can go back to the Lord however many times I need to when things change or appear different or when I need a further clarification. It's really amazing and so true that His fresh Words are today's "lamp unto our feet" and without'm we're not as powerful or as focused on our personal or Home goals and plans, etc. It seems that I--and all of us--beat the air a lot, trying to figure things out with our own wisdom and ideas, when instead we could get it straight and much more clearly from the Lord Himself, if we'd just ask!

From Ruth (17), Thailand:
       One thing that really impressed me when reading "Mama's Surprise" was how yielded you are, Mama. It's so convicting to see your good example of yieldedness, and it makes me want to be much more like that. Every morning I try to stop and hear from the Lord for the day, but usually the hardest part about it for me is implementing what He says. Recently the Lord's been bringing out the importance of listening to Him and obeying what He says, and I've been seeing the need to do that more. Another added incentive is the fact that the Endtime is soon approaching and we'll need this close, direct communication with the Lord.

From Charity (reaction to a meeting, US):
       The prayer meeting last night was thrilling, when we went around and prayed for each person separately and received prophecies for them. When we first got together and looked around at each other, we realized that none of us really had a big gift of prophecy. So we started the meeting by saying that if we didn't get a lot for each person, then we shouldn't feel bad.
       Lord forgive me for my lack of faith, but because they were going to pray for me second to last, I thought that I wasn't going to get anything, as maybe the momentum would have been lost by then. Well, the Lord just poured it out for each one of us! It was so beautiful and all I could do was cry! It was just so encouraging and wonderful to be sitting in a group of my peers, all of us hearing so beautifully together from the Lord for each other.
       It's completely changed my outlook on prophecy. It's so wonderful to open up your heart and let the Lord speak through. I don't think that I have a wonderful talent in prophecy, but a little while ago I prayed and asked the Lord to give me the gift. Then about a month ago we had a meeting for someone who was going to a conference, and the Lord gave me my first prophecy ever. It was a bit of a long, slow one, though, and I had battles thinking that maybe it was just me.
       But last night I knew that it wasn't just me, but that it definitely was Someone else. It gave me so much faith! It's so precious of Jesus to give us such a wonderful gift.

What His Personal Words have Done for Me!

From Victoria 23, Russian national), Russia:
       It was easy for me to receive and believe in prophecy when it first started being emphasized, maybe because at the time of Dad's Homegoing I had only been a few months in the Family--a brand new on-fire babe, ready to gulp down everything new! So for me it was the most natural thing that Dad started speaking and leading the Family from the spirit world, and that we started getting direct messages in the GNs from various people on the Other Side.
       I thought, though, that the Lord was probably speaking only through the most spiritual people--like Mama, WS leadership, and maybe some other spiritual giants! I remember praying, "Lord, please keep and protect our leaders," because I was afraid that if something happened to them, the Family wouldn't get any more prophecies or instruction from the Lord!
       I would get Bible verses in Russian sometimes while praying, but I never considered that prophecy. I was sure that in order to get a "real" prophecy from the Lord (not only verses), you would need to have been at least 10 years in the Family and really prove yourself deserving!--Ha!
       So when we had some prayer and prophecy meetings in our Home on prayer day and asked the Lord to speak, I was expecting to hear only verses. But when one of the Home members suddenly started giving a very clear message on the problem, I knew it was the Lord speaking through him! He was giving a real prophecy! I was just flipped!--A normal guy about my age received a prophecy!
       After the meeting I went to my room and prayed, asking the Lord for the gift of prophecy. I was really praying and claiming verses, because I wanted so much to be able to hear from the Lord myself and to get something for myself or for somebody else personally.
       The Lord answered my desperate prayer and I started receiving short prophecies in English--sometimes only one line--in united meetings and also while praying by myself. It was very encouraging and such a proof of the Lord's love for me, because during that time I was battling with negative thoughts about being a second-class citizen in the Family, comparing myself with the very gifted, talented, and outgoing Family-born teens and YAs. I was thinking that I probably never would be able to attain to their level or really become one and be good friends with them.
       But as time went on, I started praying more and getting things from the Lord for different people. The Lord miraculously used that to bring me closer to them and even become good friends with some of them! Thank the Lord! That was the answer to my secret prayers!
       Something else very inspiring happened to me recently. I was going through some difficult times, feeling that I'd lost the vision for my work and wondering if maybe I was out of the Lord's will and it was time for me to move on or change ministries. So I asked a Family friend of mine who has a beautiful gift of prophecy to pray and hear from the Lord for me. I said I had a question to ask the Lord about, but I didn't tell him what the question was. (I wanted to be sure that the answer he got was from the Lord and not colored by his own opinion or feelings, as we were working together in a team.)
       So after a couple of days my friend told me that he had prayed and gotten a prophecy for me. "It's kind of a strange style," he said, "so you don't necessarily have to take it as from the Lord." But the prophecy was just beautiful! I'm sure it was Jesus speaking! It was very personal, and it's true that the style was different compared to other prophecies. Jesus sounded like a Family YA, talking about how much He's in love with me! It was so sweet and touching that I couldn't hold back the tears as I was reading it! The Lord specifically answered my question, saying:
       "It is My will that you continue on here in the place that I have for you for now. There will come a time when you shall be able to go out and seek new territory and break new ground, but for now I need you to stay here. And hey, if I'm here, where else would you rather be? I'm the Guy that's important, right?"
       Isn't that cute? I fell in love with Jesus even more after reading this prophecy, because it made me feel that He's so close, just right here, and He loves me so personally! Now I wait for new prophecies with anticipation, as they are letters from the Person Who is the dearest to me in the whole world! Praise the Lord!

Through prophecy, the Lord drives a hard bargain!--And it works!

From David, Susana and Vida, Paraguay:
       The Lord showed us in prophecy that we should tell our landlord we were going to move to a cheaper place because the economic situation here had gotten quite hard and we could no longer continue paying US$750 for rent. In reply, the landlord told us that he would lower the rent by US$200, making it US$550. That seemed like a pretty good deal, but still we told him that we'd need to talk it over with the rest of our family.
       When we told everyone else they thought it was great, but we wanted to hear from the Lord again about it. When we did, we were a little surprised that the Lord told us to offer the landlord even less, to bring the price down even lower! We really wouldn't have had the faith to offer him US$300 if the Lord hadn't told us to, but we went ahead and did it.
       The result was that he finally let us have the house for just US$400, nearly half of what we'd been paying before! Praise the Lord! He's the best Bargainer there is, and if we take the time to listen to Him, He'll take the time to solve our problems. Thank You, Jesus!

Changing our lives

From Gideon and Victory, USA:
       This has been an exciting time for us, mostly because of our new "secret weapon" of hearing directly from the Lord! We had never really gotten together as a family and asked the Lord to speak, because we had never thought we had the gift, and felt that that was a job for "leaders" or "more spiritual" people. But, Mama, you gave us the faith to step out and try it, and the Lord answered wonderfully.
       Shortly before this, the Lord had put the burden in our hearts to come back to full-time service (we are FM). When we asked Him what He wanted us to do, He said He wanted us to go mobile first, and this would build up our faith to go to a foreign mission field.
       On Prayer Day, we decided to pray for an outpouring of the Spirit, and all our kids got filled with the Holy Spirit! We also asked the Lord to give us all gifts of the Spirit, and He came through wonderfully with prophecies and visions. He even told all the kids why He had inspired us to name them what we did, what their names meant, and how He would use them in the days ahead. Everyone has a greater hunger for the Word now; we're taking more quiet time and memorizing the Set Card together.

Dishonest businessman exposed by the Lord!

From Sara A., Brazil:
       Here's a testimony about the veracity and efficacy of prophecy. We have a sweet friend who helps us faithfully with meals at her restaurant, and also cashes our checks for us. About 10 months ago she got involved with a broker abroad who guaranteed he would be able to get a loan so that she could expand her business. Months went by, all the needed documents were provided, trips abroad were made, a lot of money was spent, yet the business transaction was never completed. The broker assured her that everything was going very well and it was just a question of waiting.
       In the meantime our friend, who knew we were praying for this whole deal, asked if any of us had the gift of prophecy. We told her yes. She asked us to pray and ask the Lord for insight about this broker, specifically if he was an honest man.
       We did and the Lord spoke about her business, telling us interesting facts which shed a bad light on this man's character. It took a lot of faith to pass this prophecy on to her, and we battled with questions like: "What if the prophecy is wrong?" It was quite a responsibility.
       The person who got the prophecy asked the Lord for a confirmation, and the Lord showed us to go ahead and give the prophecy to our friend because she was depending on it, and it would get her out of big trouble. We obeyed.
       The result? Because of the details received in prophecy, our friend investigated this broker and found out that he was a deceiver who had robbed a lot of money not only from her, but from other business people in Brazil and other Latin American countries!

The Lord's Words bring a major change in our friend!

From Paul, Maria, Happy, Victor, and Ana, Romania:
       We have been getting specific prophecies for our close friends, and these have helped them grow and draw closer to Jesus and the Word. One of our friends thought that the prophecy we gave him consisted of Bible verses that could be found in a certain chapter of the Bible. When he realized that it was a direct message from Jesus for him, he was amazed. He read it over with us, studying every word carefully and religiously, taking it very seriously. Receiving this message has been a major step in his life which has helped him to make a lot of progress spiritually and in his everyday life.

He knows what we don't--and He tells us!

From Gosia (25, Polish), Russia:
       In the "Instant Witnessing" GN (ML #3137, GN 747), Mama wrote about receiving prophecies for our sheep. We know a Chechen businessman with whom we lost contact six months ago, when his office closed and someone else occupied his apartment. We decided to pray for him and when we did, the Lord said that our friend was in great danger, and that we should send him a letter and pray for him.
       The idea was great, but we didn't know his address or even his full name! People we asked didn't seem to know anything about him. Another question was what to write in the letter, as we had never fed him through the mail. So we prayed again and the Lord gave us the wording for the letter. We also prayed to find some way to send the letter, even though it seemed impossible for us at the time. We almost gave up, Lord help us! But then we thought that if the Lord had told us to do it, He definitely must have a way.
       The Lord said that it was to be a step-by-step operation, and that at every step we had to come to Him. Two things were stretching our faith: We had never sent a prophecy to someone outside the Family, and we had never directly told this man about things like prayer or faith. If he was really in danger, he needed to do the things that the Lord had told us to tell him to do--pray and read the Word--but we thought it might be too much for him to receive all at once. At that point we knew nothing about what was happening with him; we just had to believe that what the Lord was saying was reality, and have the faith to do all He told us to do.
       The next step was to find out how to send the letter to this man. The Lord told us to ask people, and we managed to locate a secretary who had worked for him four years before. From her, we found out his full name. Then we were able to locate a man who used to work with him, who told us that he was indeed in great danger, and that he was not in the city. The prophecy was true! After a series of events, we found his close friends who said they would take the letter to him the next day.
       We still can't meet with him, but it was very encouraging to find that he was safe. The most important lesson we learned from this was to go to the Lord every step of the way and hear from Him, just as He said.

The Lord's Words touch a well-known musician!

From Michael, Europe:
       We have some well-known singers and musician friends--among them, A. and M., a young couple with three children. I met them about six years ago when I was first going on FM status. At that time, I stayed at their house for over a month, during which time they got saved and A. and I became good friends. I translated some songs for him, and wrote the lyrics to one song he only had the music to. With these songs he hoped to switch from French radio, TV, and records to English, which up till then had not worked so well. He finally went to England, got an all-English band together, and was scheduled to do a live performance for some other famous record companies this month.
       As this was an important event for him, his wife loaded a bus full of all his friends to go see the concert as an encouragement to him, and she asked others to send him a fax wishing him luck. She phoned me to ask if I could send him something too, saying that he would really appreciate something coming from me. So Maggie and I got together and heard from the Lord for this dear friend, and ventured to send him what we got in prophecy. It took a lot of faith for us to send the prophecy to him, but we figured if Mama had the faith to give prophetic messages to near strangers, we could do so to this friend, too.
       The result was amazing. After returning home from the concert, A. called me right away to say thanks. He said that our letter carried him through the whole event, that he had started praying again and that as a result, things went smoothly. All his musicians thought the concert was magical, which A. said was because of our letter (which contained the prophecy). Afterwards the owner of one record company came backstage in tears, telling A. that for sure they should do something together.
       A. also showed the prophecy to his lead guitarist, who is his good friend and whom I have met. This guy is very sweet but an atheist, yet A. said he was very touched by this message. A. invited me to meet all his musicians at his next concert near us. We sent this family some of our tools, among them a local language song tape for their kids. A. and his daughter know every one of these songs by heart--better than me--and the tape is so worn out you can hardly hear it properly anymore.

A friend encourages us that he's also heard from a departed loved one!

From Rufus and Dulce Reuben, USA:
       At one of our morning devotions in our closed-in tent room outside our trailer here in the RV park, we read the GP compilation on the scriptural precedents for our beliefs in communicating with the departed ("Communicating with Heavenly Messengers," ML #3048, GN 678). We were very inspired about it, as it was a clear explanation to the kids on what we believe, and we made it into a class so they would be able to answer whenever asked about it.
       An hour after devotions, our neighbor who lives in the trailer to the rear of ours came to me and said that he had been listening in on our devotions and found it extremely inspiring. He wanted to encourage us that many people have had experiences in communicating with the dead, but are probably afraid to talk about them. For example, he said that he had communicated with his deceased mom.
       We had been wondering how it would go with the distribution of such a hot item, so the Lord wanted to encourage us that there must be millions out there who are just waiting for this message to help them understand the spirit world better.

Secrets of the heart revealed!

From Romanian Sam:
       It's been amazing and inspiring to see the effect that using the gift of prophecy has had on our sheep.
       Some time ago I went to a nearby city. It was nice to see a few friends and sheep whom I had not seen for a long time. One of them had just gotten separated from his wife; he had a lot of questions and was asking us why this had happened. He was a bit bitter and confused, and didn't understand why God had allowed it. He wasn't open to what we were telling him and was pretty unreceptive. After talking with him for a while I didn't know what else to say, so I asked him to meet with me the next day.
       I prayed and asked the Lord to give me something for him, and the Lord answered with a very specific explanation of why He had allowed this separation to happen. After we showed our friend the prophecy, he totally changed, and since then he has been very receptive to the Word we've shared with him. He believed the prophecy and was very touched by it.
       This experience was like witnessing a miracle! I was already used to the gift myself, but seeing somebody turn around and change from being cold and tough to sweet and totally turned on about prophecy was incredible. Our friend wanted to receive the gift of prophecy right then. Praise the Lord!
       There was also a big breakthrough with one of our catacombers. She came for a class and was telling us all about her problems and her situation with her parents, who are not so favorable to the Family. First we prayed about what to do and thought of having a class about her problem, but when we started reading, she was not that receptive.
       After talking and talking, trying to answer her questions and doubts, I got fed up. Since I didn't really know what to do anymore, I decided it was time to ask the Lord for something about her situation. So we started to pray together with her, and the Lord spoke to us in a wonderful way. This girl started to cry and said that she felt she was in another dimension, seeing her problems in an entirely different light. She said that she felt released from all her problems.
       Simon is a teacher of religion. A while back when we were on a faith trip to his city, another teacher from his school invited us to sing and to talk with the teenagers of his class. When Simon heard about this, he became very antagonistic. He had completed five years of study in Orthodox doctrine, so being knowledgeable in this area he began asking us a bunch of questions, trying to get us into a doctrinal argument.
       One year later we met him again, and he started to ask about our relationship with the Lord and our prayer life. He had specific questions about how God is guiding us and how we can know the will of God. I started by telling him about the seven ways to know God's will, then finally we explained more about the gift of prophecy. In the beginning he was just listening without saying much. Then I pulled out my notebook where I keep my personal prophecies, and I started to read some of them to him. I explained a situation I was in when I asked the Lord to speak, how the Lord answered me, and how the prophecies had been fulfilled. After we finished the discussion he asked me if I could give him the notebook when I'm finished with it.
       A week later he came to visit us again, and he had a lot of questions about the Endtime. We showed him the Endtime video and read a few things about prophecy. When I took him back to the train station, he told me that that day at our Home had been one of the best days of his life.

[EDITED: "End"]

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