It is a New Year and so much has happened in these last months that we want to update you on! Before anything else, however, Randolph and I want to tell you all how profoundly grateful we are for your prayers, encouraging messages and generous support this past year. Your faithfulness has allowed us to continue in ministry and we want you all to know how very grateful we are to the Lord for you. May God find us faithful in the work He has called us to!
But, as Randolph and I look forward to what the Lord has ahead in 2017 with hope and expectation, the loss and sorrow of the past year burns deep. The Lord took home two irreplaceable warriors and friends ~ Ray Yungen and Caryl Matrisciana.
Ray was a brilliant, implacable researcher and author. He had a deep love of Biblical Truth and followed leads on trends and deception in the Church with the determined, single-minded tenacity of a Pinkerton detective…or a really big Pitbull. I spoke to him a day or so before he entered the hospital for treatment for a rare form of leukemia. He didn’t seem particularly concerned about his illness or the impending week-long intensive chemo which unexpectedly took his life. What he really wanted to tell me about were his latest findings about how many men are now practicing yoga! “You know you can’t talk to Ray Yungen without getting some new statistics!” he said to me with a distinct chuckle in his voice after briefly telling me about his cancer diagnosis. “Did you know practitioners of yoga have gone from 20 million to 37 million in the last 4 years?! In 2012 there were only 4 million men into yoga… there are over 10 million in 2016! The stigma is gone…” Ray lamented… “Even athletes are into it!!”
Ray had an enviable photographic memory, the ability to step back and see “the big picture,” and the gift of communicating his insights and connections in an unforgettable way. You really should take a look at Ray’s brilliant explanation of the effects of mysticism and Eastern spirituality, regardless of intent, on Page 86 of A Time of Departing!
“For example, if you were to jump off a cliff with the intent to fly saying the word “fly, fly, fly’ as you jump off and someone else jumped off the same cliff with the intent to hit the bottom saying, “fall, fall, fall” as he jumps off, in either case both will hit the bottom. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in contemplative prayer, although the intent may be to honor Christ.”
My copy of the 2006 edition of his book A Time of Departing is heavily underlined and bristling like a multi-colored porcupine with dozens of colored tabs and book marks. I have learned much from this brilliant, gentle man and will miss him dearly. I am so grateful that David and Deborah Dombrowski of Lighthouse Trails were with him as he entered eternity.
His sudden and unexpected passing on October 16, 2016 was followed less than six weeks later by the passing of our dear friend Caryl Matrisciana.
Caryl was a video-journalist with, as best I can recall, over 80 films to her credit. She was a world-renowned expert in the cults and the occult, an author, and a communicator of uncommon insight and clarity.
I first met her around 1983 when our husbands were starting a church in Southern California with Hal Lindsey. I had the privilege of being included in Caryl’s first video project, “The God’s of the New Age” and then 30 years or so later, in her last project, a 3 Volume multi-part DVD series called “Wide is the Gate: The Emerging New Christianity.”
We became especially close friends over the last 15 years, traveling together to conferences and just “hanging out” when she’d come down to visit us from Menifee from time to time. On one of those visits late in 2015 Caryl asked if we’d be interested in leading a Discernment Teaching tour of Israel with her. “Certainly!” we responded, never seriously thinking it would happen. Next thing we knew, we had a busload of pilgrims signed up from around the world and the funds were miraculously and unexpectedly provided to cover the major portion of our travel expenses.
From November 8-20th of 2016 Randolph and I found ourselves in Israel leading “Caryl and Friends” and teaching on various aspects of spiritual deception, albeit briefly, through many of the most breathtaking and significant sites mentioned in the Bible.
The tour was life changing for us. We saw sites that were not even discovered or open to tourists when we were last in Israel in 1991. We had sudden insights into the Word as we stood in the synagogue where Jesus taught in Magdala and as we stood on the bedrock of the deep dungeon in Caiaphas’s House where Jesus was kept overnight before His crucifixion.
I certainly gained a new insight into the meaning of hypocrisy as I stood in the ancient church of the Nativity in Bethlehem at the spot where Jesus was born and watched an arrogant, officious priest loudly berate a bewildered young pilgrim who inadvertently desecrated the holy site by placing the sole of his foot in the wrong place…and then watched as that same priest piously placed a basket carefully seeded with money to receive offerings right by the sacred spot.
We participated in the Temple Mount Sifting Project and, under the watchful eyes of archaeologists, picked through debris of millennia ignominiously removed from underneath the Temple Mount during illegal excavations conducted by the Muslims in the 1990’s. I actually found a tiny tile covered with pure gold that was identified as coming from Solomon’s Temple!
Randolph conducted a wonderful Baptism service at Qasr el Yahud at the Jordan, likely the original site of Jesus’ Baptism, under the attentive gaze of armed Jordanian guards on the other side of the river.
We made wonderful new friends and know some of them were “divine appointments.” The only thing missing was Caryl. The pain of her cancer had become increasingly unbearable and it was impossible for her to lead the tour she had spent so many months lovingly planning. She went home to be with the Lord early in the morning of December 2, 2016.
Caryl’s Celebration of Life Memorial Service was held at Calvary Chapel Cypress Church on Saturday January 14, 2017 at 12 noon PST.
The service was live-streamed from the Church website. It is my understanding that the service will also be kept in their archives:
To read the rest of this update:
We had about a week after we got back from Israel to realign ourselves and get over jetlag, sort of, before Randolph had major surgery at John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica on November 28. His oncologists wanted to make certain that the recurrence of a malignant melanoma on his left temple had been totally removed… which it was! His plastic surgeon initially left him with a vast multitude of stitches on his forehead that looked rather as though a demented pigmy railroad track layer had gotten hold of him in the middle of the night, but the scars are already fading and will be virtually undiscernible in the coming months.
NEW YEAR’S CONFERENCE
Randolph and I spent an intense but wonderful New Year’s weekend at the Embassy Suites in Napa, California. I was invited to be the keynote speaker at a yearly Spiritual Enrichment Retreat and was given well over six hours to speak on The Beautiful Side of Evil, Testing the Spirits, and The Means of Freedom! It was truly a privilege and joy for us to be with fellow believers who understand the times in which we live and who have a heart to warn and equip their congregations about the importance of testing all things against the Word of God.
Since at least September of 2015, we have conducted a bi-monthly Non-Denominational Communion Service for the Residents and families at the Belmont Retirement Village in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
We started this ministry in the hopes of being a blessing to the residents there, but the truth is, they have been a profound blessing and joy to us! Christmas Day was especially fun with the extra visitors and family members joining in!
As many of you know, I had the pleasure of working with Lighthouse Trails Publishing to release a modified chapter from my second book, Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult, on the subject of Halloween.
The booklet, entitled “HALLOWEEN: What A Christian Parent Needs to Know,” was released at the beginning of October 2016, in time for parents to consider a few of the many reasons they need to seriously rethink their participation in this “Holiday” that for millennia has celebrated the occult, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, necromancy, violence, idolatry, Spiritism…in short, everything God has repeatedly called “abomination” in His Word.
Cf. Deuteronomy 18:9ff, etc.
We were blessed by numerous positive and encouraging responses from readers around the country. Thank you for taking the time to write! Your kind words, helpful comments and continued prayers and support are truly appreciated.
The booklet, “HALLOWEEN: What a Christian Parent Needs to Know,” is part of Lighthouse Trails Publishing’s excellent collection of Booklets on a multitude of subjects of importance to the Church. I highly encourage you to look through them!
Even though Halloween is, for now, in the rear view mirror, like the ghosts from the movie “Poltergeist,” it will surely be “Baaack…” next October, if the Lord tarries. Be prepared!
So. Halloween is far behind us and so, more or less, are the 2016 ELECTIONS.
Or, as Tolkien might have referred to them in his The Lord of the Ring trilogy, “The long dark of Moria…”
Moria, you may recall, was the once glorious kingdom of the Dwarves. They lost it to a Dragon, vicious Orcs, Goblins, and a terrible demon from the ancient world because of the Dwarves’ arrogance, greed and reckless inattention. Sounds very much like the condition of our country…and Church.
Regardless of who sits as President in the White House, we are in desperate straits on every level. As a Nation we have for decades deliberately and with stunning calculation increasingly and systematically turned our back on God and His Word. As the Church, we have abandoned sound doctrine and the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ for a counterfeit “unity” based on Eastern mysticism and occult experience.
As a result, we are now living at the beginning of what Paul called “terrible days” (2 Timothy 3); days in which everything God in His Word clearly and repeatedly called “evil” is now the law of the land, and those who dare speak a word of concern or opposition are decried as bigots, racists and worse. While God may, perhaps, have given us a short reprieve, prophesy makes it clear these days will surely grow darker as the time for His return draws near. God has a very different perspective from the socialist, politically correct view of the day:
20” Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And clever in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21
Many of us have watched the deliberate, systematic devolution of the Constitution of the United States of America, and the foundation that once made us a unique, good, and truly great Nation. Now, it seems, we are well on our way to becoming
Were all that not enough, we have watched with dismay and horror as the outgoing administration, in their last few days in the White House, has evidently taken its’ revenge on Israel in its’ promotion of the most recent vicious anti-Semitic UN Resolutions. Keep your eye on the so- called “Peace” Meeting of 70 Nations scheduled to gather on January 15, 2017 in Paris to decide Israel’s fate. Regardless of their intentions, these Nations are inadvertently contributing to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 12:3, 8, 9:
“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it….In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem… And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
The temptation for many of us is to despair. Don’t!
The hope of those who trust and love the Lord is NOT dependent on circumstances or on who ultimately sits on the throne of power in Washington, or any other Nation.
5 “Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 “For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8
The terrible things happening in the world and in America, do not catch our sovereign Lord by surprise. As He told His disciples in Matthew 24, all these signs of the end of the age are but the beginning of sorrows and must take place. Nevertheless, remember Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:1-14 and Luke 21:28
“This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…” 2 Peter 3:1-14
“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!” Luke 21:28
In His service and peace,
Randolph and Johanna Michaelsen
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