Having studied under Elijah House Ministries, I have had the opportunity to learn under Loren Sandford's teachings back in the mid-90s. He comes from a spirit-filled family and ministry that ministers healing through prayer counseling, where repentance and forgiveness are key. He, of course, has moved on to become a pastor and called into the prophetic ministry.
As the book covers states, "R. Loren Sandford is internationally respected for his integrity, accuracy and insight, casting a poignant, detailed, Biblically grounded prophetic vision for the future." However, he considers his role as a pastor who loves people and longs to see them live well in the Lord Jesus Christ comes first over being a prophet. But he uses his prophetic gifts to prepare his people to grow, mature and be ready for what is coming next.
I will say I definitely have some issues on his interpretation of some of the events/people involved, but that is not the crux of the book. There are many different interpretations, and he states that he does not claim to have absolute accuracy. All he asks is that we have an open mind, which I've done.
What Loren does do is the exciting part of the book! He exhorts, corrects, disciplines, and teaches about what we need to do to be ready for in the coming days-the times before Jesus returns. He knows difficult times are coming, but he also points out the great opportunities we have to witness and bring others to Christ.
Loren seems to be â€˜hard' on the America churches, but after reading how many churches are going astray from the cross of Christ, His resurrection, repentance, and salvation through Jesus alone, I can understand his pointing out heresy and false prophets. And he doesn't even touch the tip of the iceberg.
His loving heart is like a father's heart (actually the Father's heart) in wooing us back to the Lord. Repentance and humility with love seem to be the dominant themes for us to return to and seek God's heart.
He sets out three different parts in his book. Some of the titles sound easy to figure out, but Loren has deep, rich, meaty concepts that he shares. You won't want to miss any of them:
Setting the Tone: Having God Heart; God's Heart Revealed; Toward a Genuine Revival
The Days to Come: The Days of Amos Revisited; Five Years to Prepare; Repentance; Revealing the Sons of God; the Final Invitation: Revelation; Signs of the Baal Spirit; Strategic Prayer Fire; The Cloud of Glory Has Moved; The Great Apostasy; The Samson Generation; Revelation Events Foreshadowed
Short Themes: Islam; A New Jewish Exodus; The Looming Threat of War; More on America
He charges that the Church at large needs to wake up and be ready to help others when the difficult times arrive. To do that, some repentance is in store, as well as moving out of our self-centered mode of thinking. I prefer him â€˜saying it as it is' than beating around the bush. Sometimes we need that charge to get us up and moving.
Loren's book, Visions of the Coming Days, is not a hyped up, cataclysmic book to tickle our ears and instill fear. Knowing the background of Loren, he is one to listen to and learn from. His message of getting prepared is real and necessary today. Prayer will be a vital part of how things transpire, and the Body of Christ needs to get in touch with the Father's heart and will for each of their lives through prayer. Time is short.
I did find parts of the book hard to understand, with the cohesiveness shy of making sense. But the meat of the book came across in a very clear manner.
This book was provided free of charge by E. Hollister of Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
This is an important and timely book, which I hope many will read and take to heart the rich teaching contained in it. This is a book with a prophetic edge to it and the author does not claim infallibility but in a refreshing way sets forth what he believes God is saying, the whole style of teaching encourages us to test everything by the plumb line of the Holy Scripture. I think it would help at the outset to say that I have been reading this book with the apostle Paul's injunction in mind,
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but examine all things; hold fast to what is good. (1 Th 5:19-21).
We ned to be open to the Holy Spirit at all times but we must test everything and only hold onto what is good. At the moment some of the predictions found in this book cannot be confirmed it will be a matter of waiting to see what happens.
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised that I say that the Preface to the book by John Paul Jackson is of high importance, his warnings and his call to us to test everything by the Word is much appreciated. His call to have the right relationship between Word and Spirit is to be applauded. I found the preface so encouraging it was worth paying the price to just read that.
In the first part of the book Loren Sandford lays the foundation of all that is to come, the first chapters are about having the Father's heart and this is vital teaching for the present moment. It moves us beyond the self -centered focus of much renewal teaching. If we have the Fathers heart, we will hear what he is saying and we will want to renounce self. It is time to move away from concentrating on the gifts of God to really worship the Lord himself. We are reminded that our God is a gentle God, yet an awesome and majestic one at the same time. As we read this book we need to do it wwith an open heart to what God will say to us through these pages. the importance of repentance is highlighted at many points throughout this book.
Chapter 3 Toward a genuine revival, is spot on it analysis of where the renewal movement is at the moment ( This applies as much to the UK as to the USA, this is not just a book for the American church but it applies just as much here in the UK) We need to remember the teaching here because it faithfully reflects Biblical teaching and calls us to a greater understanding of the purposes and glory of God.
Part Two introduces us to Amos and the close parallels between our days and the days of Amos, these are not the preacher reading back into the text but rather a reminder of the relevancy of this part of the word of God. This may be strong medicine to take but we need it. In this section we are challenged to how we are going to live in these troubled times. The chapter on Repentance is of vital importance. The chapter on the revealing of the sons of God, is one of sober teaching and full of vital truth. I was so glad here to see the clear warning about William Branham's false teaching which has ensnared so many people in the renewal movement. The teaching about the revealing of the sons of God is challenging and edifying. This section also contains important teaching about the spirit of Baal as well as a call to strategic prayer. Chapter 11 needs to be read carefully, with the question in our minds are we following the cloud or are we stagnating?. We are here challenged to follow the Lord our whole heart. This book challenges and equips at the same time if we are willing to receive both.
Chapter 12 deals with various false teachings that threaten the renewal movement, I agree with all that is said in this chapter and I believe that others will be called to expand on these critiques for the benefit of the body of Christ.
Chapter 13 shows how a generation has given up its revolutionary passion but also hold out the hope of recovery.
Chapter 14 deals with some of the themes from the book of Revelation,such as natural disasters, pollution of the environment,sexual immorality and the increase of demonic activity but we also given the hope of our god's way way of equipping us to minister in the midst of darkness.
Part 3 of the book deals with several short themes such as Islam and the Looming threat of war.
This book is one that repays careful reading and should also call us to prayer and action. It is highly recommended.
As in the days of old, revival is a necessary element for Christians. Creating the right environment for revival will require the dedication to unite believers to grow churches.
Some key points of the many discussed in length include (in my own words): How history will be reintroduced and play in a part in the days to come. How practices in the age of ancient cults are being implemented today. How the modern church abandons scripture. How does the book of Amos relate to our world today? A host of many other topics and prophecies are introduced and backed up with bible verses. Some exposure, with the authors prophecy, to the book of Revelations and what heaven is like.
This is an eyeopening, thought provoking, realistic and not to be overlooked read that is backed up with scriptural references. With vision, understanding and grace the author discusses historical facts coupling with what he knows of the coming future. The more I read the more I wanted to continue. About midway through the book it was impossible to put down. Answering some of the questions I have recently thought about ie: what is universalism and who goes to heaven, and also the mark of the beast. Reading this book challenged my faith and I became more aware of different signs to look for in the times to come. I would recommend this book to others. I received this book for free from Chosen Books for my review.