Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
February 2, 2012
Understanding the Times
On December 12, 2010, the Lord cautioned me that nothing is as it seems .
I keep pondering these words, for they mean that we cannot trust ourselves to clearly understand the times and
how God is going to bring about His plan for these times. What we think could happen might be way off the mark,
and what we think could never happen might be right on the mark. Of course, we have scripture to guide us;
however, let's face the fact that we can easily misinterpret scripture, especially where it is veiled in symbols, as is
much of Revelation.
For those who hear words or have dreams and visions from the Lord, it could be a rather unsettling thought that
nothing is as it seems. But we must keep in mind that words, dreams, and visions truly from the Lord are given for
a very specific purpose, such as for exhortation and encouragement. The challenge that many face is how to
interpret these things from the Lord. Unfortunately, He does not give a 101 lesson on how to interpret them,
although there are those who do teach such a thing.
In my experience, it is important to ask the Lord for an interpretation, and He is faithful to give one. Mind you, He
does not necessarily do it instantaneously. I have had some interpretations come that very same moment or day,
others have come months or years later, and some have yet to come. However, lately, the interpretations are
coming much sooner than later. I suspect this is because we are nearing the end of the age, and many things are
about to fall into place.
The interpretations that I find most encouraging and supporting are the ones that relate directly to scripture. When
the Lord gives a word based on scripture, then I know that this is important, and there is a vital lesson to be learned
or message to be delivered. For example, I received the word Engedi during the one year, and this became a
teachable moment for me personally. I wrote on this.
I must admit that when predictive words, dreams, or visions literally happen, it is exciting, for this truly confirms
that you have not lost your marbles, so to speak, and the Lord is revealing things to you. But let me be clear that if
it is from the Lord, it must and will happen, for His word does not return to Him void.
Those who experience the Lord in this way are encouraged to journal everything; leave nothing out and then
periodically review it periodically, looking for patterns. I have learned to make a record of every day, even if there
is nothing relevant to record. If a major event occurs in the world, I jot it down as well, for I have come to see
patterns in these. I have had the Lord refer me back to these events as a result of something He speaks to me.
A word of caution; in my early years, I treated these things more as novelties that I simply recorded. As time passed,
I began to realize that they are not novelties. The Lord is not in the business of entertaining us or boosting our egos
with things we might think others have not seen or heard. I am thankful I made journal entries of many things early
in my walk with the Lord; otherwise, I could have missed some vital messages from the Lord. I can look back now
and see that the Lord has been faithful to repeat certain things to be sure I did not miss the point.
Another thought: When it comes to the prophetic, especially as it relates to people, we must have a heart of love
for those to whom it relates. Again, we need to be clear that the Lord gives us these things for encouragement and
exhortation, but even exhortation must be given in love, not with a big stick that beats up on others or those not of
our camp.
Well, what does this have to do with this matter of nothing is as it seems? Frankly, everything!
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Understanding the Times
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It is an exhortation from the Lord designed to drive us into His council. There are far too many voices and influences
in the world and in the public church that are all trying to persuade us to think certain ways. For example, if we pay
attention to the survivalists who are stocking up on food, gold, guns, and bullets, we will interpret what the Lord
shares with us, whether in words, dreams, or visions, as if the world is about to come to a violent, catastrophic end.
By the way, if we follow the pre-tribulation rapture school of thought, we might come to the same conclusion.
Consequently, as I look back on my journals, especially the word about a great cataclysmic upheaval coming, I have
to ask myself what this means. If nothing is as it seems, then surely God could be about to do something that none
of us ever considered. What if this upheaval is a direct judgment of the corrupt ones who have been deceiving the
world and keeping all of us in bondage to their system of greed? What if this upheaval is an overturning of the elites
that have been deceiving all of us? What if the upheaval is the kingdom of God itself? If so, perhaps the earth will
not go into some sort of near destruction. We will know soon enough.
The bottom line is that we need to be like the sons of Issachar who understood the times.
Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs
were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command. (1 Chronicles 12:32 NASB)
However, we have a challenge in our day that they did not have in their day. They were not bombarded with a
countless number of voices expressed through a vast array of media. Daniel was told that knowledge would increase
in the end (Daniel 12:4). How are we to work our way through all these voices and knowledge? There is only one
way. Stand in the council of the Lord to hear the one voice and tune out all the other voices! But how are we to do
this? Consider a few verses.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is
hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2-3 NASB)
Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the
heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named,
not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21 NASB)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in
our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with
Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…. (Ephesians 2:4-6 NASB)
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ…. (Romans 13:14 NASB)
We come into His council by coming into the place of our Lord. It starts with knowing that we have died and our
lives are hidden with Christ in God. Where is Christ? He is seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenlies,
far above everything, including every name, and, I might add, by extrapolation, every voice and word. To make sure
we understand this truth, Paul adds that we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. When we put on the Lord,
we are seated with Him in the heavenlies.
Dear beloved in Christ, we need to stop listening to the lies that tell us otherwise and by faith stand in this truth as
we seek to come into the council of our Lord. He calls us into His council and into the intimacy of His presence. This
is the way to understand the times and to interpret words, dreams, and visions. By faith, let us stand in His council.
For more on the council of the Lord, please see this article:
Who Has Stood in the Council of the Lord? http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art36.pdf