PROPHESY UNTO THESE DEAD BONES - JESSE DUPLANTIS

One time, I was invited to go preach at a church that I'd never visited before. I didn't even know the pastor, but a very well-respected preacher told me I should preach there. Now, usually I don't go to just any church, but I've always honored this well-respected preacher because he's such a fine man. He's a blessing sent from God, and since he suggested I go preach at this church, I went on his suggestion.

When he recommended it, though, I noticed he had a little smirk on his face. It was like he was laughing inside, Heh, heh, heh.

Well, I didn't ask him about that smirk. I just wondered why he said, "Jesse, you need to go preach at this church."

Later, when I was thinking about going to preach there, I called the pastor of that church. But like a big fool, I called the pastor before I prayed about it. The pastor told me he wanted me to come, and I agreed. I told him when I would be there and hung up the phone.

I should've prayed more about that before I just agreed to go, but I didn't. I took the word of the power-packed, Holy Ghost-filled preacher who told me about it. What a mistake that turned out to be!

So when the time came, I flew to that city, and the pastor of that church picked me up at the airport. He introduced himself, and we got into the car and drove off. As we were driving, I started to tell him how glad I was that the Lord had allowed me to come and preach. After I said that, he turned and said something that blew my mind.

"I'll tell you what," he said. "I want you to beat these people. I hate these people. I hate the people in my church!"

I heard that, and it shocked my socks off. I was thinking to myself, Goodbye. I'm out of here.

He kept going, "I hate them, and they hate me. I hate every one of them! I want you to beat them up. Beat them, man. Do you understand?"

I'm not exaggerating. I was thinking, Whoa, God. What did I get myself into?

And he kept on going. He said again, "I hate them all!" He even cussed a little bit. He said, "And blankety-blank, I hate 'em all!"

I thought, Oh, Jesus! What am I doing? Then I thought of that preacher with the smirk who told me to come. Ohhhhhh, God, I thought, what did he get me into? I started going, "Bububu-bububbububu," praying in the Holy Ghost. I was praying, Oh, Jesus, get me out of this. Translate me. Move me, God. Get me out. Get me out. Get me out of here!

When we got to the church, I saw something else that shocked me. No sooner had we pulled into the parking lot than we saw two of that pastor's deacons having a fistfight. They were really going at it, bam! bam! punching each other! I thought, Why does the pastor want me to beat up his people? They're doing a good enough job themselves.

"Those are my two blankety-blank deacons," the pastor told me. "I hate those deacons." He started screaming, "I wish they'd leave my church!"

I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And that's not the half of it. I looked over at the front door of the church. Coming out was a woman trying to drag a pew out of the church! She was saying, "I paid for this pew. My name's on this pew, and I'm taking it home!" I found out later that this woman lived in a mobile home. How was she going to put a pew inside a mobile home?

I was looking at all this, thinking, God, we have made a mistake.

God said, Jesse, we did not make a mistake.

I called Cathy and said, "Cathy, there are two guys fistfighting in the parking lot. And there's a woman dragging a pew out of the church."

That wasn't all! They also had to change the locks on the church because somebody was trying to get a piano out, claiming he had paid for it and wanted it back.

The pastor was cussing. He hated his congregation, and they hated him. I was saying, Oh, gloom and despair and agony on me. Oh, deep, dark depression excessive misery - GOD!

God said, You're on your own, Jess.

I prayed most of that night, "O, Lord, if it be Thy will - and I just know it has to be - I'll sneak out tonight. I'll leave the church door open so that man can get the piano if he wants to. I've got to get out of here, God! I can't stay here."

I'll never forget what happened that next morning. This church sat 1300 people - and it had only 45 people in it. The pastor stood up and announced he had a guest speaker from New Orleans, Louisiana. He told them that another minister had told him that if he could get Jesse Duplantis to come to the church, then Jesse Duplantis could help them.

I heard that and thought, Thanks a lot, guy. You're really helping me out here. Why don't you just shut up and give me the mike.

I looked out across that congregation and didn't see how any help could come to these people!

As I stood up there, I noticed I had sweat running down the backs of my legs. I was getting really ticked at these people. I thought about starting out by saying, "You've been weighed in the balances and been found wanting. You're all going to hell! You're going to burn, you bunch of honkies!"

And I wanted to conclude by saying, "I'll see ya. Bye!" Out the door is where I wanted to go. I'd had enough. I was getting mad just being in the place. You see, when you get around people like that, they can rub off on you.

But instead of saying any of that, I stood up before those people, and I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, Can these things be?

I went, What? You're asking me! Look at them. They're a bunch of heathens.
God asked me, Can these bones live?

I said, Only You know, God. It's not clear to me. These are a bunch of Draculas. This is the living dead here. They've been killing and eating each other, as far as I'm concerned. Oh, God!

He said, Prophesy unto these bones. (This is how I got my message.)

I thought, Prophesy? Prophesy what? I'm going to prophesy my getting out of here, that's what I'll prophecy. Bye-bye. I'm out of here. I'll say, "You understand, people, 'Thus saith Jesse, "Preacher get out of here."'" I'm gone. I'm out of here.

I wanted to leave. I was finished, but God was just getting started.

He asked me again, Can these bones live? Can these things be? And when I opened my mouth, I began to spit and prophesy for forty-five minutes. I mean, I prophesied, bless God! And when it was over, I stopped.

I stopped and said, "Now, who wants to get saved?"

I heard someone shouting over and over, "I want to get saved! I want to get saved!" It was the pastor!

Then his wife stood up and said, "We have sinned a great sin. We're full of bitterness and malice."

Before I knew what was happening, both the pastor and his wife came to the front and knelt down. And after they came up to the front, every single one of those 45 people in the congregation stood up and followed. It was the first time in my life the whole church came forward and got saved! That much harvest came from the simple words, Prophesy to these bones.

That church today is running over a thousand members.

I'll never forget that story as long as I live. I got back and called my minister friend who had recommended me to that church, and I said, "Hey, buddy, this is Jesse."

When he heard it was me, he just laughed: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Was that a hellhole, or what?" he asked me.

"Why did you ask me to go?" I asked.

"Jesse," he said, "I figured if anybody could bring revival to that place, you could. I didn't think there was any devil in hell who could wipe your smile off your face!"

"Well, it's gone right now," I told him.

I sure learned a lot from that experience. Those people were acting like spoiled little babies. They were having temper tantrums. They hadn't even gotten out of the diaper stage of Christianity.

I've seen babies right after they were born. Most babies are not very pretty right then. Their parents think so, but nobody else does. If asked about their babies, we all lie like dogs. We see a picture of a kid with his eyes swollen shut. It looks like he's been fighting with Mike Tyson or something. The baby's got blue bruises on its head where the forceps had to pull him out, and he's ugly. There's no other way to say it.

But the mother sees that baby and says, "Oh, look how pretty." The dad is standing there saying, "Uh, can we put this back? What is this?"

What am I trying to say? I'm saying that a baby needs help when it's young. You can't just neglect a baby like that pastor neglected his congregation. What good is it to have a baby if you're not going to parent it?

You're going to have to love baby Christians and show them lots of patience until they grow up a bit. That's what God was doing with that congregation. He was being long-suffering with them, and it paid off. They turned themselves around, and now they're growing in the ways of God.

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Oluwaseun John Oluwawalemi

I'm a believer, what I do best is believing. I'm a vessel of God's Grace to my generation.

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