A Kingdom Culture of Love and Honor

… or Love, Honor, and Watermelon Football!

This issue is in video form. The original title was Love, Honor and Watermelon Football, but I knew that wouldn’t make enough sense. This was recorded at Church in the Vine in Edmonton, Alberta. It is a message that seems to have had a powerful impact in the places I’ve given it. New Song folks who might be reading this, please know that this is more than you got at home! Please take time to view it and take the word to heart! Click HERE or click the image.

Isaiah’s Prophecy Fulfilled

This an excerpt from a chapter of my upcoming book “A VISION OF HOPE FOR THE END TIMES: Why I Want to Be Left Behind” to be released in December through Destiny Image Publishers.

Isaiah’s Prophecy

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. read more

The Coming Prophetic Shift

Something is about to shift in the prophetic world…

A cleansing is imminent and already under way. As this purification of much that has been impure takes root, it will also include a changing of the guard. While faithful patriarchs such as John Paul Jackson, Bishop Bill Haman and my own father, John Sandford (to name a few) have paved the way for reliable prophetic ministry, it seems clear that a fresh set of voices will now carry it forward. An older generation is passing away or simply fading from the spotlight while a fresh group of anointed prophets is just beginning to emerge.

While I am not saying there was anything less than godly in those now fading from the spotlight, or in those now gone home to glory, and while I am certainly not in any way minimizing the contributions they made to the body of Christ, I am saying that the generation now emerging carries a fresh heart for a new day. These will speak more from humble intimacy with Jesus and from a pastoral spirit than from a concern for gifting. Their words will flow more from the heart of the Father than from any felt need to prophesy, build a great ministry or stand on anyone’s stage. More than developing their gifts, they will seek oneness with Jesus and His nature. They will pursue rest in relationship with Him, more than being supernatural.

The aforementioned pioneers pointed the way with an emphasis on character, the cross and biblical grounding, but their foundational core messages were, in my opinion, too little heard by too many who needed to listen. In this coming generation, however, the call to integrity, character and solid biblical grounding has been heeded. The need to wow the body of Christ and tickle the ears of men is giving way to a hunger to bow before the King of Kings, broken by His love and faithful to His words, regardless of the fallout. As a result, these emerging prophets will release into the people of God a deeper level of life than we have known, as well as a sense of liberty in holiness that is both life-giving and free of condemnation.

We older ones whom God allows to remain – some of us perhaps late maturers in matters prophetic, hidden by the hand of God until now – inherit a calling to father the coming movement. The heart of a true father desires to see sons and daughters grow into greater things than he could ever attain. Those into whom we sow life and wisdom may therefore carry greater gifting and walk in a higher level of revelation than we who are called to be fathers have known, but so did Elisha exercise a greater level of raw anointing than did his spiritual father, Elijah.

What if those in this emerging generation become better known than those of us called to father them? What if their books sell more than ours? What if they stand before thousands as we merely watch and pray? Can we walk in the kind of humility that rejoices to see others gaining notice and recognition for their full-grown wisdom and the revelations for which we sowed the seeds in hidden places? Will our hearts swell with pleasure and pride in their advancement? Or will old wineskins and unredeemed elements of character, ambition and insecurity disqualify us and hinder us from delivering and releasing the fullness of the treasure God has entrusted to us for their sake?

When these younger voices confront abuses and imbalances in prophetic ministries, will an older, more established prophetic community receive and judge their words on the basis of the humble spirit in which they are delivered and the soundness of their biblical grounding? Or will there be rejection and backlash with cries of, “Who does that young guy think he is, correcting and rebuking major internationally known ministries?!” The apostle Paul exhorted young Timothy not to allow anyone to look down on him for his youth, but rather to exercise the gifting, anointing and authority imparted to him through the laying on of Paul’s hands. Will an older generation need to be exhorted regarding the flip side of Paul’s admonition so that, in fact, the older generation does not despise the younger for being what I might call “chronologically handicapped”?

The shift underway in the prophetic world has only just begun. It will unfold in two waves over time: 1) The passing and/or retirement of an older generation and the emergence of a fresh and mostly younger one, and 2) a cleansing of prophetic ministry to discredit and eliminate pollutions and abuses across a broad front. We need, and we will have, a more accurate flow of prophetic ministry in the body of Christ, faithful to the Father’s heart in Jesus. God our Father will see to it for the vindication of His own name.

Elijah Rain Ministries!

mark-and-maureen-sandford

Dear friends,

We’re on our way! After some much needed rest, we’re excited to be starting a new ministry. We’ve chosen a name, ELIJAH RAIN MINISTRIES, and are in the process of setting up our 501(c)(3). In our next email, we’ll explain the meaning of the name. Right now we’re busy arranging the business side of things and designing a logo. My brother Loren’s church, New Song Church and Ministries in Denver, has offered their state-of-the-art camera equipment to video our teachings. And there will be new books and articles, etc. Loren will be here the second week in July with Beth to help us create a new website!

CARRYING THE ELIJAH MANTLE
After Elijah’s departure, Elisha wore Elijah’s mantle and carried on the work he began. And he expanded it! My parents, John and Paula Sandford, passed their mantles to Maureen and me before going to be with Jesus. So, as an Elisha to their Elijah, here’s how we’re going to expand the work they began:

INNER HEALING
We want to bring inner healing more into the churches, so God’s people can learn to heal each other. To that end, we’ll share more about following the Holy Spirit and mastering the practical how-to’s through a greater number of hands-on practicums. In this day of increasing lawlessness, we’ll bring back a stronger emphasis on how the law of sowing and reaping affects our lives. There will be more on the resurrection side of healing — identity in Christ and walking in God’s original design. More on deliverance in this time of increasing demonization. More on how to walk out your healing . . . and so much more.

THE PROPHETIC
John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and his primary task was to issue a call to repentance. Since we accomplish that task one-on-one through inner healing, it makes sense that we should also “counsel” — prophetically — the Body of Christ. Maureen and I counsel persons from all over the world, so we have a unique vantage point on what God is doing in people’s hearts collectively. We’ll share those perspectives as God leads.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
It will take some financial capital to get things going, not the least of which will be a ministry website. Many of you have already told us of your desire to help support this new work. New Song Church and Ministries has graciously offered to take tax deductible donations and pass them on to us as soon as we have obtained our tax-exempt status. You can donate at New Song Church and Ministries. Just click the link for giving on the home page there, either at the top of the page or the icon at the bottom, and designate your gift to Elijah Rain Ministries. Be sure to mark it! If you wish to send a check instead, the address is listed at the bottom of this page. Make it out to New Song and once more, be sure to mark your donation as designated to Elijah Rain Ministries. God bless you all, and thank you for your prayers and support! We’ll share more with you as all of this continues to unfold.

Expecting miracles!

Mark and Maureen

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