On a recent morning, God downloaded a strong prophetic message to me as I read the first few chapters of Matthew. Then the morning I wrote this, I stayed home with the plan to write an article on this prophetic revelation. I planned on using the story of my niece, Jessica Zylstra, and her daughter, Samantha, as an illustration in the message.
To my surprise, when I checked my Facebook news feed, I saw Samantha's photo from when she was three days old. After I wrote a comment, I called Jessica and asked for permission to use her story.
Why the Enemy is Again Trying to Take Out Our Children
Matthew's second chapter tells the story of the magi, or "wise men," who came to worship Jesus, bringing their treasures appropriate for a king. I had memorized this chapter for a Christmas program when I was about 11 years old, so I am very familiar with it. However, my meditation quickly focused on the murder of all of Bethlehem's children two years old and younger.
Joseph had been told by the angel of the Lord that Jesus would be a Savior, or Deliverer. He would save His people from their sins. Like Pharaoh, in the days of Baby Moses, Herod felt threatened and felt his best option was to kill all the baby boys to make sure nobody could take away his throne. But as in Moses' story, God had a plan to preserve His chosen Deliverer. Through ministering angels, God directed Joseph and Mary to a place of safety.
Moses was a prophet, and he prophesied of Jesus, who would also be a prophet like him. Moses would bring forth the Law and the Old Covenant. Jesus would bring forth God's grace and the New Covenant.
No matter how thorough both Pharaoh's and Herod's henchmen were, God found a way for His baby deliverers to be protected from the assassin's sword. Whether His people were in slavery to Egypt, to the Romans, or to their own sinful nature, God always knows the plans of His enemy and He uses that knowledge (superior intelligence gathering) to thwart the enemy's plans to kill the deliverer and preempt the deliverance.
So therefore, people of God – His chosen, His elect, His Bride, His holy temple – take courage. When it looks like there is no way out and the forces of atheism, secular humanism, godless government agencies, corrupt business and financial institutions, and even more are all arrayed against you, against your nation, and against your people – do not despair.
Your Deliverer is alive and powerful, and He has heard your cries for help. He is moving in your direction and will use the power and authority at His disposal to bring you the freedom you have sought for.
As others before me have pointed out, the enemy today is desperately trying to take out those who would deliver a people out of his wicked hands of torment and slavery. We are well aware of the attacks on Christians by extremists of other religions, but one of the biggest weapons of our enemy is the "sword" of abortions.
They Will Live and Not Die and They Will Declare the Works of the Lord
This is where my niece and her daughter's story come in. Before Jessica's pregnancy had advanced very far, ultrasounds revealed some problems. They could see that a growth was forming on the side of the baby's face and neck.
Jessica writes: "It was hard on the ultrasound to always tell how big and where exactly the growth was on her. They knew it was on her face but couldn't tell if it went into her brain and/or covered her throat and went into her heart. The doctors thought at first it was Down Syndrome. They realized through the amniocentesis that it wasn't a genetic 'defect.' They couldn't tell if the growth was filled with only fluid or if it was hard also. They were concerned it was growing so fast that it would completely deform her or permanently damage her brain and she would not survive to full term.
"We were told the odds of her surviving were not on our side and we had the option to terminate the pregnancy. We saw that specialist a couple of times, and each time she made us aware that terminating Samantha should be a direction for us to look into. Another fear was she would make it to full term but not survive after birth, not knowing if the growth blocked her airway. None of the doctors/specialists we saw could give us an idea of her survival outlook. They said she could live for minutes, days, or months. They had no idea. We did know she would have many surgeries, some being life-threatening. After putting me on bed rest, they did another amniocentesis to make sure her lungs were fully developed and planned a C-section for a couple of days after."
Jessica and her husband, TJ, rejected the idea of an abortion. They knew that their baby was a gift from God and was not to be destroyed. They quickly sent us and others their urgent prayer request. We agreed and encouraged them to do what was right, while we prayed for miracles. As the baby grew in the womb, so did the growth. Jessica and TJ stood firm. We continued to pray.
On June 27, 2006, our precious Samantha (Sam for short) was born. The growth turned out to be a cyst, and although it was quite large, the doctors believed they could surgically remove it. There would be some other medical issues, but Samantha should survive after all. We were very excited and praising God for the miracle.
Jessica continues: "It was at the University of Washington. Dr. Jonathan Perkins from Seattle Children's did all of her surgeries. They had my doctors and nurses for my C-section and then had a team of doctors and nurses to be prepared to do surgery right away on Samantha. The C-section went well, and they decided after observation and a couple weeks in the NICU, that they would postpone surgery on Samantha since the lymphangioma wasn't life threatening.
"They had to do the surgery finally at two months old due to the lymphangioma starting to block her airway. That surgery also went a lot better than expected. She has had a total of four surgeries, including one last year, and will have at least another major jaw surgery in her preteens. Dr. Perkins is the specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital in the Otolaryngologist department. He works with this rare lymphangioma that Samantha has. He is the brother of a school teacher that taught TJ and I at Bellevue Christian. Such a small world! Samantha also goes to Bellevue Christian, but at the Woodinville campus. She is very talented in singing, art, and soccer. She has gotten on the Speech team and is far beyond her age group in reading. She is in third grade and reading seventh grade level books."
Today, our nine-year-old Samantha is a very lovely, smart, and gifted young lady with a strong leadership anointing. She is creative, athletic, and has a very outgoing personality. I believe the enemy wanted to take her out, because he knew she would be used by God to set people free and lead an army of her generation into spiritual battles that would devastate the kingdom of darkness.
Let hope arise, people of God! We have not been forgotten by our loving God. Like with Israel in Egypt, He has heard our groaning and has come to deliver us. Don't forget that He has made a new blood covenant with us. Also, many of the earliest settlers of America made a strong covenant with God. Most of the state's constitutions recognize God and confirm His covenant with His people. Our God is a covenant-keeping God, and when we ask for it, He will restore any covenant that we have broken.
This is the prophetic message I believe God wants me to proclaim. In spite of all the attacks on Christianity in America and around the world, God is raising up not just one deliverer but a whole army of deliverers.They have been born in various places and seasons since the beginning of legal abortion in 1973. Some, like Samantha, survived when doctors wanted to abort them. Others survived suicide attempts or thoughts, and have had encounters with God.
These fired-up lovers of Jesus will be sent by the Holy Spirit with strategic assignments. Some will go to individuals living in moral or spiritual bondage. Others will be sent to government officials and law-making bodies to change laws and regulations. Others will go to the various mountains of society and bring justice and righteousness to those spheres of influence.
We may, as a society and culture, have been conquered by a secular humanist philosophy or "religion," but the resistance movement has begun and the deliverers are being prepared to overthrow the invaders and occupiers. It's time to prophesy to and support the young spiritual soldiers who are willing to live and die for their King. Tell them how important their destiny is and how much God will bless and use them as His victorious warriors. Help them to get mentored and trained in spiritual gifts and War Room warfare. The Samanthas will live and not die and they will declare the works of the Lord.
Ben R. Peters
Kingdom Sending Center
Ben and Brenda Peters have said, "YES" to the call of God to challenge, equip and send dedicated lovers of Jesus into the harvest fields of the earth, including the seven mountains of society. Together they have ministered to tens of thousands of individuals in several countries of the world. After establishing churches and Christian schools for almost thirty years, they began a traveling ministry in 1999, under the name, Open Heart Ministries, speaking, teaching and prophesying in conferences, camps, churches, ministry schools (including Wagner Leadership Institute) and homes. More recently, they also founded an Illinois-based ministry, called, Kingdom Sending Center, after hearing from God during a Heidi Baker meeting in Chicago. Ben began writing revelatory books in 2000, and has published 22 of them since then, and his newest book is HOLY HOW? Holiness, the Sabbath, Communion and Baptism. Ben and Brenda have five children and 12 grandchildren.
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