From the desk of Steve Shultz:
This is a most important article and word by Chuck Pierce, C. Peter Wagner, and Barbara Wentroble. These are the days of team-playing when a word is given.
Not every reader will agree that it was wrong to drop the atomic bomb on Japan because they attacked us first. But America eventually demonized all Japanese people and many innocent were killed with those bombs. For that reason, it helped in the war but not all acts of war are the correct act. Just pray about it. I know that even as a child, born long after the war, I had hatred for the Japanese. That was wrong of me. For that I repent too!
Some ask us why we keep calling for prayer when they are already praying. But from our chair, many people ask us, "How should we pray?" and the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing. That would be a short answer. Always keep increasing your prayer life. And as for this time, especially for Japan.
Continue Praying for Japan!
A Word from Peter Wagner and Others for Japan
Dear Gap Standers:
Here is a strategic letter from Peter Wagner that will help focus your prayers for Japan. Further below is a prophetic thrust for Japan released on March 20, 2011 by Keith Pierce, me and Barbara Wentroble.
Chuck D. Pierce
C. Peter Wagner: Some Personal Thoughts About Japan for Informed Intercession
C. Peter Wagner
Three weeks ago, Japan suffered one of the most devastating natural disasters on record, and the end is not yet in sight due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Japan has been one of the nations that I have been quite deeply involved with for over 30 years, so I have been attempting to process these events with the help of numerous emails from friends who are praying for Japan, and most of them have been praying for Japan for a long time. In these days, God has spoken to many intercessors, giving them a renewed assignment to focus their strategic intercession on Japan. I believe that God spoke to me, indicating that I should circulate this paper expressing some of my personal observations.
Looking at the big picture, we can observe that Japan as a nation has been in serious decline, reflected in the stock market, the economy as a whole, and the standard of life. You can check the charts and see that the tipping point occurred in 1990, the year that Emperor Akihito performed the Daijo-sai ceremony which I will describe later. The Nikkei Index was in a rising trend until 1990 when it turned around and began a bear market that has not yet stopped. Since the 1990s, Japan's share of the world GDP has declined by half, and China has now replaced Japan as the world's No. 2 economy.
I believe that God has a Kingdom destiny for Japan, but the enemy has built seemingly impenetrable strongholds to prevent it from manifesting. God did not cause the natural disasters; satan and his forces did. They came to steal, kill and destroy. However, this time God did not choose to use His sovereign powers to prevent them from wounding Japan.
[Note by Steve Shultz: This is how I see it, too. God COULD cause any disaster, but normally He makes a choice not to intervene "as much." However, had He not intervened somewhat, many more would have perished.]
Peter Wagner: Most of the people I am hearing from believe that something like this earthquake and tsunami will ultimately be used by God to open the gates for Kingdom blessing.
? Cindy Jacobs says, "If we all pray and act in this crisis, I do believe that the Holy Spirit wants to breathe the wind of revival across Japan and bring a mighty spiritual awakening to the land of the rising sun with healing in His wings."
? Chuck Pierce says, "Now is a time to declare that old religious structures in Japan will fall and many will experience the freedom and reality of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
? Barbara Yoder says, "I feel we are in a very critical window where Japan can be turned."
? Ron Sawka says, "Let's believe for this earthquake to be a sign of the Lord shaking old structures that resist Him and, like Paul and Silas, we will see a massive turning to Him."
Let me give you some personal background information about my involvement with Japan. I could call it "The Great Japan Disappointment of the 1990s."
During the Praying Through the Window initiative of the 1990s, I suffered a disappointing defeat in Japan. I had become associated with David Yonggi Cho of Korea, and I joined his Church Growth International board in the mid-1980s. Among other things, I enthusiastically adopted the goal that he had set for the evangelization of Japan. Toward the beginning of the 1990s, Cho began visiting Japan once a month, he learned the Japanese language, and he projected a goal of 10 million born-again Japanese by the year 2000. This was a substantial risk, since, of all the nations of the world, Japan has been one of the most notoriously resistant to the Gospel. Of a population of 125 million, Japan had fewer than 1 million Believers, even though the Gospel had been freely preached for a century, and especially since World War II.
What did that have to do with me? I made the evangelization of Japan one of my highest priorities for the 1990s. I literally believed in Cho's 10 million. I wrote about it, I spoke about it in public meetings, and I visited Japan many times to help open the doors. One of those visits, I embraced an unforgettable spiritual experience on my part and on that of the Japanese Christian leaders I was ministering to.
A Prophetic Prayer
I was planning to minister in Japan with Yonggi Cho in August 1990. Just a couple of days before I was to leave, it so happened that Cindy Jacobs and I were among the speakers in a large conference in Indianapolis where I shared my passion for 10 million Japanese Believers by 2000. Unexpectedly, the leader of the meeting called Cindy to come forward and pray for my coming visit to Japan. Cindy's prophetic prayer said in part:
"Lord, I thank You that You are sending Peter Wagner to Japan. Father, it was the American people who caused great devastation when they dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lord, I thank You that You are sending back an American to undo the atrocity of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Father, Peter will be used like a nuclear bomb in the Spirit to break apart the darkness that satan has worked against the nation of Japan and the Japanese people..."
I didn't know how profound this prophetic prayer was until I stopped off at my home in Pasadena, California, for one day to repack my bags for Tokyo. While I was praying for Japan the morning of the day I was to leave, for the only time I can remember, I began to weep profusely for a nation! When I finally calmed down, the phone rang and it was my wife, Doris, who had stayed in Indianapolis on the prayer team. She said that her team had been praying for Japan and they sensed that the Lord wanted me to repent for the sins of dropping the atomic bombs in World War II. Such a thought had never previously entered my mind, but I had no choice and I took it as a divine assignment.
Immediately, I opened my Bible to Nehemiah where he confessed to God that his father's house had sinned (Nehemiah 1:6). Dropping the atomic bomb was a sin of my father's, not my sin, because I was only 15 when the war ended. But then Nehemiah went on to say, "And I have sinned." I didn't fight the war, but God reminded me that I deeply hated the Japanese people! Yes, I had sinned! Furthermore, He showed me that there were 15-year-old boys in Hiroshima who didn't fight either, but they were now dead or disabled. I started weeping again with twice the intensity!
The Congregation Melted!
When I arrived in Tokyo and it was my turn to speak, I had found two representatives from Hiroshima who had suffered and two from Nagasaki, and I brought them on stage. I taught on remitting the sins of the past through identificational repentance, then with more tears I repented to those who were on the stage with me. By the time I finished, the whole auditorium, seating 1,000 influential Church leaders, was filled with the noise of weeping, and handkerchiefs showed up from wall to wall.
Yonggi Cho himself came up on the platform and confessed his hateful feelings toward Japanese as a Korean. He was raised under the abusive Japanese occupation of Korea. Pastor Hiroshi Yoshiyama later wrote, "The congregation melted in tears and repentance. We have never had a conference like this before." In fact, a whole book about the event was published in Japanese. I have a copy, but I cannot read it!
This was not the only such event in Japan through the 1990s. Once, in a moment of excitement, I prophesied that pachinko parlors (gambling establishments) all over Japan would be turning into churches. Numerous prayer journey teams from several other countries traveled to Japan and prayed at key power points. They did warfare against some of the highest profile principalities and powers over the land. Cho continued to minister to large crowds every month, and I joined him from time to time. I was convinced that we had used the weapons of spiritual warfare properly on behalf of that nation and that we would literally see the 10 million before 2000.
However, it was not to be. Through the 1990s, the rate of Church growth in Japan remained unchanged, and the year 2000 saw fewer than 1 million Believers in the country ? the same number as in 1990 and far short of the 10 million goal! Later, Cho admitted publicly in his newsletter that he had set the goal of 10 million Believers in his flesh, not through God's revelation. Since I had associated with him so closely, I had to confess the same thing for myself.
People may rationalize this in one way or another, but I cannot join them. I set a goal, I did not reach the goal even with sincere dependence on God, and I admit that I lost! This, as you can imagine, was a major disappointment!
I once asked Cho why he thought churches grew so rapidly in Korea but not in Japan. His answer surprised me. Although recognizing that there are many reasons, one, he suggested, was the serious damage done to traditional Korean culture through 36 years of Japanese occupation and, subsequently, through communism from the north. Christianity grew relatively unhindered by the traditional Korean principalities of darkness.
On the other hand, Japan's culture has been virtually uninterrupted for 3,000 years. Paganism is deeply rooted in the warp and woof of the nation. The spirits over Japan have had their way and they are not prepared to allow Christianity more than a token presence.
The most serious setback for Japan's territorial spirits came during a seven-year period following World War II. Despite a Buddhist facade, Japan's most deeply entrenched spirits are the principalities controlling Shintoism, which is a spiritualized form of nationalism. The chief visible figure employed by these dark angels is the emperor. In the popular mind, the emperor was himself a deity. But as a part of the World War II peace process, Emperor Hirohito publicly denied this status and the Japanese government agreed to separate itself officially from any religious institution, including Shintoism. General MacArthur called for thousands of Christian missionaries, many went, and Christianity grew well for what are now known as the "seven wonderful years."
For more than 30 years it appeared, in the visible, that Japan was maintaining its status quo. But in the invisible world, the dark angels began regaining their foothold. The growth of the Church slowed to a crawl. Then Hirohito died and his son, Akihito, would become the new emperor. A crucial question revolved around the Daijo-sai ceremony, the spiritual component of the traditional inauguration of the new emperor.
Let me show you some of what Wikipedia says about the daijo-sai:
"The Daijo-sai or the Great Thanksgiving Festival is the...most important ? and also the most controversial ? of the inauguration rituals, because it is the one in which the emperor is united to his Imperial Ancestress in such a way as to share in a unique way in her divinity. The ceremony is not mentioned in the Constitution imposed by the American occupation forces, and so its present constitutionality was questioned at the time of the accession of the present emperor Akihito.
"First, two special rice paddies are chosen and purified by elaborate Shinto purification rites...
"Meanwhile two thatched roof two-room huts are built within a corresponding special enclosure, using native Japanese building style which precedes all Chinese cultural influence. One room contains a large couch at its center...
"After a ritual bath the emperor is dressed entirely in the white silk dress of a Shinto priest, but with a special long train. Surrounded by courtiers, the emperor solemnly enters first the enclosure and then each of these huts in turn from 6:30 to 9:30 PM in the first, and in the second [enclosure] from 12:30 to 3:30 AM..."
Notice that the only furniture in the second hut is a couch. The ceremony climaxes in an intimate encounter between the new emperor and the sun-goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, the chief spiritual ruler over the nation. It matters little whether the ensuing intercourse is physical (succubus) or spiritual. In the invisible world, the two ritually become one flesh and, through its supreme leader, the nation officially invites demonic control as long as he is emperor.
Unfortunately for Japan, as for Haiti, a foolish decision was made and Emperor Akihito decided to reverse his father's post World War II position and once again became, in the popular mind, "deified" through the Daijo-sai ceremony. Not only that, but the government paid the expenses of the multimillion dollar ritual over the vehement protests of the Japanese Christian leaders.
Since then, predictably, the overt participation of government officials, as national leaders, in pilgrimages and rituals connected with traditional Japanese paganism, have been on the increase.
Think of what Paul says: "For even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing [Isn't this a good description of Japan?], whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them" (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). In this case, the agent of satan, the god of this age, who has been delegated to blind the eyes of the Japanese, is the notorious queen of heaven, assuming the deceptive adaptation of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami.
A related description of the queen of heaven, referred to as the great harlot, is one "with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication" (Revelation 17:1-2). This is obviously played out in the despicable Daijo-sai ceremony.
Japanese people are good people and basically open to Jesus and Christianity. As an example, many more Japanese young people choose a Christian wedding over a Shinto or Buddhist wedding. Many Japanese pastors and expatriate missionaries enjoy a substantial revenue stream performing weddings which almost always require a session or two of "counseling." Japanese are not enemies of the Gospel ? they are simply blinded by the Sun Goddess and her occult Shinto trappings. It is almost too much to ask, but if the Emperor were somehow overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit to repudiate his vows to the Sun Goddess, in Japan we would surely see one of the greatest people movements to Christ ever recorded.
Remember what Chuck Pierce said? "Now is a time to declare that old religious structures in Japan will fall and many will experience the freedom and reality of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!"
Japan: Re-Alignment and Rearranging ? "Though Tragedy is Abounding, My Grace Will Abound More"
Here are some prophetic words for Japan from Sunday, March 20, 2011 from Keith Pierce, Chuck Pierce and Barbara Wentroble:
"Truly, Japan, do not fear the shaking nor the trembling that you are going to begin to feel, because this shaking and this trembling is a (re)alignment ? not just a tearing down. When you pass through the waters do not be afraid, because you will not be completely overwhelmed. When you pass through the fire do not be afraid, because you will not completely be burned.
"I saw the force that came, poured down and destroyed. But I AM a FORCE that is bigger than that force. I have come now to shake, align, rebuild and restore. Yesterday's history has brought destruction in your heart. But today's rain and water will bring restoration in your soul. As you align today, tomorrow, the next day and even the next three weeks, three months and six months, you will begin to sense Me. You will see Me and understand Me like you have never understood Me before. So even right now, bloom in your destruction, bloom in your despair. Arise with hope, because I have taken My place as Jehovah Shammah. Yes, I am there."
"This is the beginning of three and a half years of rearranging. Things I meant at the end and in the midst of 1948 that never came about now will come ? the rearranging of My purpose in your life. History will not repeat itself, but now history will begin in a new way. So enter in, even though the tragedy is abounding, My grace will abound more."
"For did I not say that the government would be upon My shoulders? Japan, I am causing an apostolic government to arise in a new way. For My government has higher authority than natural government. I am putting a governmental anointing upon My people in a new way so that they will align with Me and My covenant purposes for that land. Where there has been anti-Semitic government, I am now raising up My true apostolic government. I shall put a new authority on you to begin to shift that land into My covenant purposes. I always tear down that that is opposed to My government and I raise up that that will align with Me.
"So may the apostles of Japan rise up in this hour, and receive a new governmental anointing to shift that land in to My covenant purposes."
Submitted from Chuck Pierce
Glory of Zion International Ministries