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In early December of 1995, about six or seven weeks after I saw Peniel, I was sharing the Word of the Lord with a group in Portland, Oregon. Because I had written a report in October about Peniel, a missionary named Ginny had driven from Roseburg to Portland to hear me and also to share her own experience.
She reported that she had just recently returned from Japan, where she had had an interesting experience at the U.S. Marine base there. A group of about 40 U.S. Marines wanted to hold "revival" meetings there, but the chaplain was apparently opposed to the idea and would not allow it. So they decided to fast and pray for seven days from Oct. 1-7, 1995.
At the end of the seven days, the chaplain still would not allow them to hold special meetings. So on Sunday, October 8, after the meeting, they went out to the “sea wall” to pray further. In their prayer, they asked God what was the dark spiritual force that was over the base.
Suddenly, a voice out of the heavens spoke, which they all heard audibly, saying, “Its name is Evil Report.”
The Marines continued to pray and praise God, and then the voice came again, saying, “Whose report do you believe?”
They all responded that they believed God's good report.
The voice came a third time, saying, “Blessed are those who believe all that the Lord has spoken will come to pass.”
Isaiah 53:1 poses the questions, "Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" It is in the context of people not believing in the Messiah who would give His life for them in that great 53rd chapter of Isaiah.
But it is also connected to book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. This is the story of the 12 spies who gave their report after spying out the Promised Land. Ten of the spies gave an evil report, saying in Num. 13:32, 33,
32 The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size . . . 33 and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.
Two of the spies, however, gave a good report that was full of faith. Num. 14:8 says,
8 If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land.
But the people nearly stoned them for giving this good report. As a result, God said that He would not allow them to enter the land. They would have to wait 40 years to enter, after that generation had died.
When Ginny told her story of what had occurred in Japan on that Sunday morning of Oct. 8, 1995, I realized that those 40 U.S. Marines had broken the curse of the Evil Report that had affected the world since the time of Moses. They had also broken the effects of the golden calf and released Peniel to complete the work that he has been sent into the world to do.
A few hours later, as the sun rose over the mountains in North Carolina, I saw Peniel standing there. I did what biblical research I could at the time, but I had no idea what had transpired in Japan earlier.
Japan is the "Land of the Rising Sun." In types and signs, we see it referenced in the story where Jacob wrestled with the angel Peniel. Genesis 32:31 says,
31 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.
The wording of this verse told us that Japan would some day provide for us a sign of the Feast of Tabernacles, because Japan was “the Land of the Rising Sun.” Of course, until 1995 I did not know that the angel Jacob wrestled was named Peniel.
When Ginny gave us this good report in Portland a few weeks later, it amazed us how God works independently with different people in different parts of the world, but yet it is the same Spirit that works in all of us. We all are working together in the same vineyard to establish the Kingdom of God.