Each One Has A NameBy Todd Bentley
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing" (Luke 15:4, 5)
I love the reformation that is upon the Church! One of the greatest joys in ministry is seeing that little light come on for a person--when you see someone who really receives revelation and it changes them. I pray everyday for this to happen in my life.
Growing in the Christian life is about coming into a greater knowledge of the heart of God. Many of us have surface knowledge about God, but until it becomes a living reality through revelation, we don't grasp the depths of Him. Often, these revelatory moments happen during worship, while we pour our hearts out to God through our present understanding. This stirs Him to release a greater understanding.
I recently had a light-bulb moment like that during a time of worship. As I lifted my heart to the Lord, I began to feel the presence of someone very close to my back. I swung around to have a look behind me, but only saw a church leader worshiping. I went back to worshiping God. The presence grew so strong, that I could actually lean against the divine power! I closed my eyes, and my spiritual eyes opened. I saw a heavenly being standing behind me. Often when I see angels this way, I only see their bottom half. In this case, it was actually quite amusing, because the angel actually stood behind me on my chair. Every time I leaned back, he'd push me gently forward again. I didn't quite understand why, but suddenly my thoughts were taken to a passage of scripture that the Lord had been teaching me.
THE HARVESTING ANGELS
In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus explains the parable of the tares. He describes the scene by saying:
"The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels" (Matthew 13:38, 39).
The Lord had been speaking to me about the release of those angels that gather the tares out of God's people, to prepare them to be harvested. I believe these angels have already been released in the earth, and in face, I've seen them a few times. There has never been a greater time for going out into the harvest! In fact, a recent statistic says that there have been more souls won for the Kingdom in the past fifteen years, than in the entire time since the coming of Christ! The Kingdom of God is truly advancing. This is a mark of the end of the age and the great harvest that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13:39. But, at the same time the parable describes the devil sending his angels to sow "all things that offend." Jesus will then send His angels to gather all of these seeds of lawlessness out of His Kingdom. It is a process of cleansing in much the same way that Jesus physically cleaned out the temple in His day. This is happening in the Church right now. I figured that this angel had something to do with harvesting and since I was preparing to do a series of evangelistic meetings within a few days, I was quite excited to encounter this angel.
A HEAVENLY VISION
Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, I continued to lean against the power behind me, and each time, I did it would thrust me forward. One of the pushes actually thrust me into a vision. I knew that I was still standing in the worship service, but what I saw was different. I was standing in a wheat field that stretched as far as the eye could see. I looked to my left and to my right and all I saw was wheat. It was amazing because the stalks actually were as high as my shoulders. There was a strong breeze blowing and I saw the stalks sway with the wind. As strange as it sounds, the wheat looked so glorious that I almost wanted to eat it right there. I felt so free in the field and it was so beautiful. I began to walk through the wheat and let it pass over my hands. As I continued to walk I saw a large oak tree. It looked very old and very strong. Immediately I knew this tree represented the Lord of the Harvest. From any place in the field you could see this Tree standing tall and strong in the midst of the harvest field. As I neared the Tree, I began to pick a few stalks of wheat and hold them in my hands. As I passed the Tree, I was startled by a voice in my spirit. It was the Lord. As I stopped and look down at the stalks of wheat in my hands the voice spoke. It wasn't a loud voice, but it thundered deep within me and said, "Each one has a name." I immediately came out of the vision and no longer sensed the angel behind me.
The encounter shook me, and God's voice resonated within me. This moment of encountering God changed me. It brought immediate revelation to what He'd been teaching me, and now, what had been in my head, was planted into my heart. Each stalk of wheat, that is, every soul who walks the earth in search of their destiny has a name, and God knows every one.
THE ONE IN A SEA OF A MILLION
Over a year ago on a trip to Mozambique we were at a crusade in a rural village outside of Pemba. I was looking over the crowd of people that had gathered to hear the Gospel. Many of them were Muslim and a few began to get a little rowdy! As I contemplated the assembled multitude, I thought how awesome it is that in these last days, masses of people are coming to hear the Gospel.
I remember when I first began to walk with the Lord, watching videos of Reinhard Bonnke's crusades in Africa. There were people as far as the eye could see. Wow! What a time of harvest we are having. As I was thinking about this, Heidi Baker walked over to me. I was sitting in a chair and Heidi knelt down beside me. In her voice full of love and compassion she said, "Craig, in the midst of a crowd of a million... you have to be able to see the one."
You see there is nothing wrong with having crowds. Jesus had the multitudes follow Him everywhere that He went. Many people will continue to come to Christ on a "one-on-one" basis, but the masses will continue as well and rest assured, those crowds will grow. It is at these times, in the midst of the masses, the multitudes, that we have to remember the "one." We have to see not a mass of people, but see them through the eyes of God. We have to look into the crowd and see each one as a child of God that is passionately loved by Him. Each and every person in a crowd has a name that is known by God. He knows even the hairs on every head. This is His heart: in the midst of a million, we can look out and feel the heart of God for one lost soul. Not everyone will preach to a million, but everyday we come across literally thousands of people. We pass them on the highway, line up with them at the grocery store, study with them at school, work with them in the office, bump into them on the street, and worship with them in church. God doesn't want us to see simply a city full of people; He wants us to see the one that He brings across our path, each day.
THE PLACE OF HIDDENNESS
Can you imagine the buzz surrounding Jesus during His time on the earth? Though misunderstood by most, He was the hottest thing going! Everywhere He went He drew a crowd. When you examine the Gospels, it appears that almost every time Jesus drew large crowds, He withdrew alone to be with the Father in prayer. Jesus stayed "hidden" from the earthly fame they tried to give Him.
The Gospel of John records one such instance. Jesus had just finished feeding the five-thousand with the loaves and fish. It was such an awesome miracle. Afterward, He withdrew to the mountain:
"Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world". Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone" (John 6:14, 15).
The people were so amazed by the miracles that they wanted to make Jesus an earthly king. The moment that He prophetically discerned what was about to happen, He withdrew in prayer on the mountain. When we begin to walk in the realm of miracles, signs and wonders, there will always be people who try and elevate us to a worldly status with fame. It was during these times that Jesus knew how important it was to be hidden in His Father. Why? When we stay hidden in communion with the Father, He reminds us of who we are in Him. You're a son of the living God! What status can man give to you above who you already are in Christ! To take a place of exaltation in the world before your place in God, is to actually downgrade who you are in Christ.
Jesus understood this. I do not think it is a coincidence that immediately after Jesus withdrew to the mountain, that He descended then and walked on water. Verse 19 reports: "So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid." Jesus was saying, "You are trying to make me an earthly King when I am already King of the entire universe, even the laws of physics!" It was the place of hiddenness from the crowds that Jesus would be reminded of His rightful place as King of Kings!
CROSSING THE SEA & CALMING THE STORM
Another one of Jesus' moments in the sea is recorded in Mark chapter 4. Jesus left the multitude to cross the sea with His disciples by boat. Jesus fell asleep, and then a storm arose. Jesus awoke to find His disciples scared, and immediately calmed the storm with a word (Mark 4:35–41).
This account is familiar to most of us. It is an amazing story of the authority of God and of His care for our lives. But do we know why Jesus was crossing the sea in the first place? Yes--and here's the answer:
"Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit" (Mark 5:1, 2).
You probably know this story too. Jesus freed the demoniac from a legion of demons and sent them into a herd of pigs. Everyone in the region heard about it, and then they asked Jesus to leave. So Jesus crossed the sea once more. When He returned to the other side, another multitude gathered.
Wow! Understand what I am saying. Jesus left the multitudes to cross the sea and calm the storm. Why? To set one demon possessed man free! Immediately afterward, Jesus crossed the sea and returned to the crowds.
Jesus preached and ministered to the multitudes all the time. He couldn't go anywhere without drawing a crowd. But when it was time to leave the crowd and go to the one, He wouldn't let anything stop Him from getting there. This is what He has done for every one of us. If you were the only person that would choose to accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, He would have still gone to the cross. Jesus would leave the entire flock of sheep, just to find you. Is your heart open to receive that revelation?
ALL OF HEAVEN REJOICES OVER THE ONE
The parables of Jesus were told by using natural means to describe the supernatural principles of the Kingdom. One such parable is found in Luke 15.
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!' Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents--Luke 15:8-10.
No matter how precious nine coins are, it's just not the same as having all ten coins. All of heaven will stop and rejoice over one soul who comes to Christ! Most people think of God as a little too busy to care about their problems. They see Him as far off in the cosmos and not too concerned about their problems. They can see Him taking care of the prophet or maybe speaking to the pastor, but never caring for them. I can tell you, that not only the Father, but also all of heaven cares about the events of your life. There's much rejoicing over one soul in heaven!
I want to share a story with you. I have a beautiful, wonderful, on fire, twin sister. As I write this she is traveling all over the world for a year touching and ministering in some of the darkest places on the planet. Some time ago she wrote an internet blog that I feel has such relevance to what the Lord is speaking to me. During her time in Thailand, she took a team to the "red-light district". I will post it exactly as she wrote it.
I don't even know where to start. I have to say...last night was the hardest thing I have EVER done or experienced in my life. As you know...from my last blog. This place has been on my heart and the Lord continues to break my heart for the girls that are here, that have been "pulled" into the sex trafficking.
It was heavily on my heart to go into the "war zone"...so last night a group of us went. The girls got "dressed up" (or down for that matter) so we would look as least attractive as possible, we got together as a group and prayed ourselves up...we then hailed 2 cabs and we were "off". As we were driving my heart was pounding so hard and I was so broken for these girls and we haven't even gotten there yet. Little did I know that was just the beginning of my feelings for the night. (Let me say this before I go any further...I will explain as best as possible, but there is NO way to try and paint the horrific picture.) As we get out of the cab a blanket of heaviness covered me and I did everything I could to stand up and hold myself together, my body was so weak.
The second we are out, there are guys on the street with a menu...YES a menu of what you want from the girls...anything that you can think of and anything that your mind does not want to think of is on this "menu". While they are showing you the menu they continue to "entice" you and pull you into the clubs...so we grabbed each other (literally) held on and we were off. We walked in and there are girls everywhere...YES...everywhere. They are on stage, walking around, sitting down, at the door with little to nothing on. Every one of them was wearing a number and the "pimps" were constantly saying take your pick, take your pick...special price 40-80 Baht. What? Yes...that is 1-2 US dollars. You can buy a girl for 1-2 dollars...you have got to be kidding me. The look these girls had in their eyes were completely hopeless. My heart has never hurt or been broken so bad in my life. Many would stand there on "their pole" and just looked at you dead. They had no hope, no feeling, nothing to be happy for. They would literally stand there and stare at you so dead because they would rather that be the case than the situation they are in.
As we go from club to club to club (I'm talking about 20-35+ clubs all in a row on 2 streets) the situations got worse and worse. The things they were making these girls do, the amount of girls in each club, the looks on the girls faces.
The first 2 clubs I was so sick to my stomach, but I was able to hold myself together, but as we got to the 3rd I lost it...I fell apart and could not stop crying the entire time we were there. The "heaviness" became harder and harder to stand. My entire body was in pain, my head felt like it was going to pound out of my head, and my heart was literally broken...it hurt, I couldn't breathe.
We continued to go into each club, constantly praying, walking around in a circle covering the places in prayer and rebuking the enemy for what he is doing here. Many times the girls would make eye contact with you and all I could do was smile when inside I wanted to grab them up and get out.
As I walked out of one particular club a pimp was outside talking to Chad and as he turned around his eyes were glowing red. (I am not exaggerating...they were glowing). Chad said..."go, this place needs it." I have to admit it was one that I did not want to go in...but I did. I walked in and it was the most crowded one of all. Inside there were probably 8-12 pimps trying to "entice" us...that's the thing, we are girls and they are trying to get us to partake. In these clubs, there were girls, boys, young men, old men, men with their wives...I mean...are you kidding me... all of these people "enjoy" this and take part in this. My immediate reaction to them was anger...then I was reminded and told the Lord...Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do.
...back to my story... as I walked through this particular club I touched every girl I could possibly touch as I walked and prayed. As I was leaving one of the pimp (a different one than the one outside) looked at me with his eyes GLOWING and said something in Thai. As he said it, I said "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus" and as soon as I did he looked at me in the eyes again and said "what did you say"...so I continued to say it as I walked out. I got on the street and went to Chad and told him how possessed these men were especially that one. As Chad asked which one I turned and he was glaring at us again. (Kim Kinsley, April '06)
The evil that is in this place is so heavy that you can see it people. I mean it is in their eyes, on their faces and the fact that people are so blind and cannot see it scares the crap out of me...for them.
The way these girls are treated like meat...like they are nothing...worthless...I can not explain to you the broken heartedness that I have. There were clubs that have some very vulgar names, but then there are clubs that say "50 Beautiful Girls...and A Few Ugly Ones"...what? are you kidding. They even had a club that literally looked like hell (this was the ONLY club they would not let us in) there was an all black steel gate, the inside was red lights, the outside had vulgar things...it was the "torture" club. I stopped in my foot steps, sat on the street and cried my eyes out even more. It was then that I felt like I could go no further, I couldn't do this anymore...It was all I could do to sit on that street and cry my eyes out for these girls. I have read books and watched movies, but I have to tell you that does nothing to prepare you or give you a picture to what this is really like.
After we had covered every club, we decided to go across the street to Starbucks and pray over the area as a group. As we walked into the Starbucks you walked through a wall and the heaviness was somewhat lifted. We all sit there and just cry. No one says a word to each other, we just sit there and cry and cry for what we just saw....what we just experienced.
EACH ONE HAS A NAME
Each of those young girls has a name. They are someone's daughter and someone's sister. God knows their name. He knows the hairs on their head and He knows the plans He has for their lives. I believe the Lord is going to bring mass deliverance to areas such as the sex-trade and He is going to use His Church. Are you willing to get a heart for the one? Maybe God isn't calling you to Thailand and maybe He isn't calling you to crusades, but there are hurting and lost people in every place you go. All it takes is a willing heart and God will bring them to you.
Father, I pray that you would allow us to see the one in the midst of the multitudes. I pray that in the midst of our busy schedules that we would make time to reach out. Raise up those that would be revivalist to the masses and those that would rescue the young girls of Thailand. Open our eyes to see the hurting. Use us to reach the lost and bring in the harvest! We ask for more of Your glory in the earth and for a heart like Jesus.