The purpose of this document is to record the prophetic history of 818 and lay the biblical foundation for this Black Nazarite prayer movement. It also serves to encourage and galvanize us as we carry the message of Isaiah 8:18. This is written by Will and I together, and when necessary, we let you know who is narrating for the purpose of sharing our collective history, which we are so glad that you are now apart of. Isn’t it great to know that we all have been called to the kingdom for such a time as this? First, we’ll share the prophetic history, then we’ll share the biblical foundation.
As a young woman, the Lord would grip me with a burden for intercession for America. In 2000 I began attending major prayer gatherings that were being held in the United States by a man named Lou Engle, and the name of the gatherings was called The Call. These gatherings would consist of people in the numbers of 70,000 to 400,000. They would pray and cry out for the ending of abortion, and revival in America. I can remember being there in the crowd saying, “Lord, if abortion is such an issue on your heart, and you are calling the church to pray, the burden and question on my heart is: “Where are the Christians in the African American community? And if we are being so affected because of the crisis of abortion, then why isn’t the black church praying in a focused way about this?” As I began dialoguing with God in prayer, and He showed me He wanted to raise up a prayer and fasting movement in America that would end abortion and send an awakening to America, that would impact our inner cities, as well as our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. God wants to release a historic move across the nation, thru a praying and fasting church.
It was 2007 that I heard Lou Engle prophesy that God wanted to release a mantle of justice and raise up those, likened to the civil rights movement, but would be voices for the voiceless: the unborn. When you hear God speak, its not enough to just hear the word of the Lord, you have to go into the place of intercession, and God begins to confirm His word to you.
Well, later on that day in Nashville TN, I went into a Wal-Mart and as I’m standing there in line, I see an African American young lady about 20 years old. I introduced myself to her and said, “Hey, there is a prayer meeting going on hear in Nashville. There’s about 70,000 people and they are praying for revival and the ending of abortion.” I then asked her, “What do you think about abortion?” She replied, “Well, its interesting that you say that, because my mother and my grandmother wanted me to kill my baby by aborting my child, and I knew that I couldn’t do it. I resisted them, went thru with my pregnancy and gave birth to my child. So, I decided to name my daughter Justice!”
What were the chances of me meeting this African American girl in Wal-Mart, in Nashville, as God was speaking this to me about justice for the unborn in the black community?! As she spoke, I felt as if a mantle was falling upon me. I stood in the Wal-Mart with the fear of the Lord on me, knowing that God was trying to shout something to America, and wanted to shout something to the black community. I knew God was revealing to me His heart on the crisis regarding abortion that we are facing.
As I carried this vision for prayer meetings for the Black community, over the next few years in intercession, I had the opportunity to meet with key leaders and share my heart not realizing that God was orchestrating something bigger. Within this time frame of prayer, I would see the number, 818, 818, 818, over and over again. I’d wake up at 818, and lay down and just happen to glance at the clock and it would be 8:18 am or pm. I began noticing 818 on license plates. I said, “God, are you trying to show me something here?” For several years as I carried this burden in prayer, I kept seeing 818, and others kept seeing it as well, but as we searched the scriptures, nothing stood out.
Later on in 2010, I went to a prayer gathering in Texas, and I ran into Will Ford, and I asked, “Will, do you have any insight on this…other intercessors and myself keep seeing 818 all over the place. Do you know what it means? “ He then replied, matter of fact-ly, “Well, Dehavilland, 818 has to do with Is. 8:18, which says, “I and the children the Lord has given me, are for signs and wonders in Israel…” and it has to do with the black community.” Suddenly, as Will began to explain, it became clear to me that the child in the womb is the sign. And that God was using Isaiah and his family as a prophetic picture of what God wants to do in the black family and church in this nation. (We’ll explain more of this later). Soon after, we had a conference call with several leaders regarding having a gathering on August 18, (8-18), where we would take 3 days to cry out and fast and pray, in a 2 chronicles 7:14 moment, which says, “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
So, a small band of us decided to gather together on August 18, 2010, (8-18) to pray for revival in America and the ending of abortion. Interestingly enough, in Atlanta, Ryan Bomberger and Catherine Davis put up billboard signs that read, “Black Baby’s are an Endangered Species”. This billboard was a sign from heaven, and God was trying to get the nation’s attention. This billboard began to stir a controversy, and we knew we were to go to Atlanta and cry out to God for mercy.
In 2006 and 2007, over and over, just like Dehavilland, I was inundated with 818’s all over the place. License plates, clocks, etc., I would see this over and over again. During a time of prayer and fasting, God revealed to me it was related to Isaiah 8:18, and He began to show me that just as Isaiah’s and his children were a sign or symbol in Israel, so the black community and it’s children are a sign in America. He then began to speak to me about doing fasting and prayer gatherings, African American led, to cry out for revival and the ending of abortion in America. When I saw Dehavilland in Houston in January of 2010, and she shared she was getting the same burden, and asked me what 818 meant, I was astonished and encouraged, and decided to come along side her to see the vision God had given us come to pass.
As Dehavilland mentioned earlier, the first solemn assembly was in Atlanta on August 18, 2010. We chose August 18th, (8-18), because it coincided with Isaiah 8:18, which another translation says, “signs and symbols.” We call these events “The Sign Gathering,” because we believe that the Black community in America has been used of God as a sign of the spiritual and moral condition of this great nation. We believe that the current plight of our children is a sign to America that is off course, and we need to fast and pray for a spiritual awakening. God began to confirm this for me in a most uncanny way.
I had fasting pangs while at the bank, though I’d been eating all day. I said “God if you want me to fast, speak to me,” thinking he’d confirm it in a few days. However, it was confirmed minutes later. As I was leaving the bank, I met the last customer who rushed in before it closed, and his name was Anthony Fast!
Perplexed, I told him about my prayer moments earlier, and he said he had a friend that fasted every Wednesday, the same day we were meeting, and also the day of the week of our solemn assembly, Wednesday, August 18th. Still trying to poke holes into the whole experience, I later looked up the meaning of Anthony and went to the first website that came up on Google’s search list. It was a secular website which said that Anthony was the name of an Egyptian Christian, a saint who lived in the desert, who was known for prayer, fasting and his power over demons! He is one of the first desert fathers and walked in signs, wonders and the miraculous. Needless to say, I started the fast.
I shared this with folks at my church, and a couple we had prayed for, shared something special with me. For the first six years of their marriage due to complications, they were told by doctors that they couldn’t conceive children. One Sunday, our pastor Craige Lewis and I prayed for them, and another couple that had tried for years to get pregnant as well, and couldn’t conceive children. God answered our prayers, and within weeks, both couples were pregnant for the first time ever! When I told one of the mothers, Ponn, of my fast, she said, “Minister, that is amazing, because we’ve learned I am pregnant with twin boys, and we are naming them after my husband Tony. One will be named Anthony, and the other one will be named Antonio.” I knew that these miracle babies were connected to my Anthony fast and Isaiah 8:18 and for me were sign confirmations that God was shouting to me, “I and the children the Lord has given me, are for signs and wonders….”
On the 10th day of my fast, I told the Is 8:18 team about the “Anthony” fast that I’m on, and Dehavilland, who is heading up this event, was blown away. I was awestruck as well when she told us why. Dehavilland said, “I’ve told no one, but I’ve been in the middle of a 21 day Daniel Fast for our event as well, and had an uncanny God “coincidence” while I was in a church in Michigan. I was drawn to approach and pray for a little baby boy and his grandmother. The grandmother explained issues regarding the child’s upbringing, and that an evangelist had prophesied he would grow up to do great things for the Lord. She then told me that the little boy’s name was Will Ford III! Shocked, I asked if they had heard of Will Ford III, author and speaker, and they said they had never heard of him before. They had no idea that Will Ford III was one of the leaders for our Isaiah 8:18 gathering!”
Dehavilland and I had no idea each other were in the middle of a 21 day fast at the same time, neither did we know that God would affirm her fast for our Isaiah 8:18 gathering by meeting, at random, an African American baby boy who shared my name. What are the chances of that?! I feel that God is shouting to us, that these solemn assemblies are His doing, and “I and the children the Lord has given me, are for signs and symbols” to America! This is not about us, but what God wants to do in America, and calling us to look at the crisis facing African Americans.
So, just what is 818 the Sign? 818 is a movement of holiness and worship. It’s a movement of prayer and fasting. And it’s calling forth signs in the earth. It’s calling forth a remnant in the black community to be the sign from the Lord of host in this generation and release the charge for the rest of the nation to follow. So, what is the biblical foundation for Isaiah 8:18?
818thesign: Biblical Foundation
Is. 8:18 says, Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
Isaiah actually had 2 children, and a wife who was a prophet herself. She and Isaiah gave birth to 2 sons, that were signs to the nation. One son was named Maher-shalel- hath-baz, which means, “Speedy to the spoil, swift to the prey.” Is. 8:1, God has Isaiah to release a prophetic word to the nation, and write it down. It says, “Then the LORD said to me, “Take for yourself a large tablet and write on it in ordinary letters: Swift is the spoil, speedy is the prey.” Then, in the next few verses, the Lord basically says “I want to birth this word, so go into the prophetess, your wife, and name your son the word I released thru you, “Maher-shalal-hath-baz” which means, again, “swift to the spoil, and speedily to the prey.” Then the Lord says that before this son can say, “My father” or “My mother” for help, swift destruction will come as Judah and other nations are preyed upon and plundered by Assyria. As you can see, God was using Isaiah’s son as a sign of the swift destruction that is coming upon Judah from the king of Assyria, which always represents Satan, because they walked in rebellion to the Lord. God was basically saying, “You are seeking the occult, and seeking the gods of the other nations around you and because you walked away from my protection, now swift destruction has come upon the next generation.”
I believe as Isaiah’s family was a sign to Israel; the black community is a sign to America, and the swift destruction of the black child, is a sign that America is off course.
African Americans: Catalytic Sign to America
African Americans have been influential in music, fashion, arts and entertainment and pop culture, and have been used as a major catalyst in America. More importantly, God has used the Black community to be a barometer and sign of the spiritual health and moral climate in this nation. God has used the black community time and time again in this nation, to be a prophetic sign of what he wants to do in America and the spiritual backbone of America as well. Much of this has to do with the rich spiritual legacy of those Christian Blacks who prayed through the suffering of slavery. As a result, we have also been used as a sign of the spiritual health of America. As we have cried out against injustices such as slavery and segregation, God has used us to subpoena the consciousness of America. Its been said that when Black America gets a cold, this nation gets the flu.
Consider the Civil War. If you combine all the casualties of war from the Korean War, the Vietnam War, World War I and World War II, the combined casualty count amounts to 619,107. But in one war, the Civil War, 623,026 people died, more than all the casualties of these four wars combined. That number is especially intriguing when you consider that no fighter jets with bombs or any nuclear warheads were used in the Civil War, of course, they hadn’t been invented yet. Nevertheless, how could bayonet’s, muskets and cannons, wipe out 623,026 people? It’s because the Civil War was God’s divine judgment against America, for the injustice of slavery. Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said,
“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
In other words, Lincoln knew that the blood of the sword in the Civil War was repaying the blood of the lash from slavery. He knew it was divine judgment for the suffering of Blacks during slavery.
We feel it is a critical time to cry out for Black America and our nation again. If Lincoln is right, and the Civil War was divine judgment for the atrocity of slavery, how much more should we be concerned when 53 million babies have been aborted in this nation, especially when its been well documented that abortion began as a targeted attempt to eliminate the African American population?!
That being said, we also know that much of our current plight in America today is much of our own undoing. Consider these alarming statistics:
In 2005, though blacks make up 13% of the population, we account for more than 37% of all the abortions in America.
According to the CDC, 50% of black teens have sexually transmitted infections. (Why is that? We believe it’s because of the lack of purity teaching in the church. What we demonstrate or allow from our pulpits, we will see acted out in our community. If we had righteous leaders who were committed to walking in holiness, that could be a sign to a generation, which would give them something to follow, then we would see righteousness raised up in our high schools, our colleges and our young adults taking stands for purity and holiness.
So we can’t look at this and go, “That’s just sin, that’s just how the world is.” No, beloved, its time for the church to walk in holiness, and become a demonstration of the power of holiness in the pulpits once again, and should cause us to pray). Here’s another statistic:
For black women, between the ages of 25 to 44, the leading cause of death for them isn’t heart disease or cancer, its AIDS, and has been the leading cause of death for more than 11 years.
40% of Black men drop out of high school. Of those, 72% are jobless, resulting in the likelihood of them being incarcerated jumping to 60%
In addition, 70% of black children grow up in a fatherless home, and many of them have a greater propensity to wind up in prison because they don’t have a standard bearer there in the home. They don’t have a father to affirm them and as a result it opens the door to rebellion and our kids being preyed upon and led astray.
If you look at the prison population, though black men make up 6% of the population, we account for 40% of the prison population. Let me help you understand how speedily we’ve been made a prey of in this area. In 1980, there were 143,000 black men in prison, and 400,000 black men in college. But 20 years later, in 2000, we had 600,000 black men in college, but over 791,000 black men in prison. For the first time, we moved to the place where we had more black men in prison, than we do in college. Now, unfortunately, that number has gone up and we have over 900,000 black men in prison! Much of this is due to fatherlessness, education and other things that are plaguing us as a people.
In addition to what was mentioned earlier regarding the abortion statistics for 2005, consider this. In that year, according to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, in 2005 for African Americans, though there were 587,000 live births, there were also 452,000 induced abortions! That ratio is 77%. In other words, for every 100 Black children born, 77 were aborted! (http://www.protectingblacklife.org/abortion_stats/pdf/cdc_nvsr58_10-14-09.pdf
Listen, when you kill the child, you kill the sign, and you wipe out God’s voice to a generation. Whenever God wants to save a nation, He does it like this, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Literally that is what happens when we see Immanuel comes on the scene as a sign in Isaiah 7. And we see that with Jesus Christ, Who is the ultimate sign, Who died on the cross for all of our sins. But now He is calling forth a remnant that will be the sign of His redeeming power. Incidentally, this scripture, Is. 8:18, is mentioned again in Hebrews 2:13, where it says, “I and the children the Lord has given me.” This is Jesus, speaking this over those that belong to Him. So, as members of God’s family, we are called to be a sign in the earth of His redeeming power and grace. As we apply Isaiah 8:18 to black America, we are, in a sense, once again being used as a sign to draw attention to where America is off in this nation, and the affect the rebellion of this nation, especially abortion, is having upon everyone. In addition, the crisis is a sign that our leaders have gone off, especially many in the black church.
In Isaiah 7, we see the prophets other son introduced in the midst of a major threat by other nations to install foreign leaders as rulers in Judah. In Isaiah 7:6, the Lord reveals to King Ahaz the plan of Judah’s enemy’s:
“Is. 7:6 “Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,”
Take note of two key words. Judah means “Praise”, and the word “Tabeel” means “Good for nothing.” Literally, they were going to set up the son of “Good for nothing” to rule over Judah, after they tore down their wall of resistance.
In much the same way that Judah was compromised thru breaches in their wall of resistance, and the son of Tabeel or “Good for nothing” ruled over them, the black church’s wall or resistance to the world has been compromised thru immorality, and the enemy has set up good for nothing sons as its leaders in many churches. The black church, known for its praise like Judah, is in a leadership crisis as many praise and worship leaders and choir directors are living sexually immoral lifestyles. Even worse, other leaders, have compromised their positions on life for political influence, and now support aborting the next generation thru their affiliation with Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion organizations. The good news is that in the next verse, Isaiah 7:7, the Lord says, ““It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.” God is going to fight against the enemy’s agenda, but not without raising up a remnant.
God has used us during the civil war and also in the civil rights movement to subpoena the consciousness of the nation in regards to injustice. Unfortunately, though African Americans have been the spiritual backbone thru prayer, because of the spiritual legacy of our Christian forefathers, however, unfortunately, right now African American community is off track spiritually, and the black church is not now, what it once was. Bottom line: This goes right back to the church being the moral compass of America. And now, swift destruction has come upon us. We have been preyed upon by the devil. Just as Isaiah’s son name meant “Swift to the spoil, speedy to the pray,” we have been spoiled and plundered, and we have been preyed upon by the enemy! And thru abortion, before the child can leave the womb and cry out “My mother “or “My father,” they are destroyed thru abortion. This son of Isaiah was a sign of the crisis in the land that was affecting the next generation. Yet, God gives us hope in Isaiah 8:18, because Isaiah had more than one son.
Raising Up A Remnant
In Isaiah 7:3, Isaiah is commanded by God to go to king Ahaz, and God says to him, take with you your son, Shear-jashub. Now, that’s another funny sounding name, but his name has significance as well. Shear-jashub’s name literally means, “And a remnant shall return.” What is God saying? Listen, yes, there is the one son that represents swift destruction, and being made a speedy prey, but God is also saying there is yet another son, and he represents the remnant that He’s raising up, that shall go after God with their whole heart. They will radically turn their hearts back to the Lord. They’ll return to the God of their fathers, and turn Israel in the right direction. So, yes, there was one son who was a sign of the nation’s crisis, but Isaiah’s other son is a sign of the remnant God called to turn the nation back to the Lord. One is a sign of the dilemma, the other the sign of its deliverance. One child is a sign of the turmoil, the other is a sign of the turn around. One child is a sign of the crisis, and the other child is a sign of the call. Powerful!
Now, as this word prophetically relates to the black community, God is raising up His remnant in this hour that will turn this nation in the right direction. Even in the midst of negative stats and turmoil, God is raising up the Shear-jashubs, and He’s raising up a remnant that will return to Him! He’s raising up those that will not only turn this nation around, but also usher in the return of the King of Glory. God is calling forth Christians in the African American community to be a sign of restoration in America.
We are getting stories from African American youth around the country who are becoming signs and witnesses to what God is saying regarding Isaiah 8:18. Dehaviland met a 14-year-old girl, who is on fire for God. She told Dehaviland that she must attend the first gathering we had on 8-18, 2010 after telling her we chose that date based Isaiah 8:18. She said, “My mother was gonna abort me, but my grandmother was told by God of my mothers secret plans. She grabbed a phone book, and God showed her exactly which abortion clinic my mother was going to. She called and made the worker put my mother on the phone. Frightened, and yet assured that God had a plan for my life, she left the clinic.” She then told Dehavilland, “My birthday is on 8-18!” This young lady once preached the gospel at her school by standing on the lunchroom tables in the cafeteria. She got in trouble, but many people got saved! For such a time as this, God is using this young lady’s birthday and life as an Isaiah 8:18 witness to say, “I and the children the Lord has given me, are for signs and wonders” to America!” Listen, God hasn’t forgotten about the black community. He has not forgotten about the prayers of our Christian forefathers that contended for our freedom.
Let This Be A Sign Among You… Joshua 4:4
I talk about in my family how we have this 200-year-old kettle pot that has been in my family. My slave forefathers used it. They used it for cooking, they used it for washing clothes, but secretly they used it for prayer. They were owned by an evil slave master who beat them if he heard them praying, because he didn’t want them praying for freedom. Nevertheless, late at night, sneaking into a barn, they turned this kettle pot upside down, propped it up with rocks, and prostrated themselves on the ground, and placed their mouths between the opening of the ground and the kettle, and prayed underneath this pot as it muffled their voices, as others looked out as they prayed through the night. And the story that was passed down along with this pot, is that they didn’t think they would see freedom in their time, so they prayed for the freedom of their children, and the next generation.
Hebrews 11:39, 40 says speaking of the great heroes of faith, says, “All these by faith, they were approved for their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, so that apart from us, they should not be made perfect.” In other words, they are not complete without you, and me, and a whole generation is looking over the balcony of heaven and saying, “Hey, y’all don’t mess this thing up, because God started something in us, that He wants to complete exponentially through you.” Jesus said it best when He said, “Greater works than these are you going to do, because I’m going to be with the father.” And he has called us, as my friend Sean Smith says, to not only release signs and wonders, but He is raising up a generation and releasing them, to be His sign and wonder. The question before us today is, “Who will contend for the freedom of the next generation?” The same God Who heard the whispered prayers of slaves under kettle pots, all the more hears the silent screams of babies being aborted in America!
So, what are we saying? God hasn’t given up on the black community. Yes, the stats are real, but God can do anything, and He is redeeming people and making them ex casualties, and ex statistics, who were ex sinners, who have become saints, raised up for such a time as this to turn this nation back to God. They are signs of His mercy, they are signs of His grace, and signs of His redemptive love poured out on the cross. True, the enemy is raising up those around us who are his signs like Lady Gaga and others, but God is also raising up His signs as well. Somebody is going to prophecy to this generation, and God wants His people to be the signpost that leads this generation to His Son. God hasn’t given up, because He is a good Father Who seeks and saves that which is lost.
As mentioned before, concerning the fatherlessness in the black community and how 70% grow up in a fatherless home, God reminds us in Isaiah 8:18 of the father heart of God. Remember, Isaiah said, “I and the children…” so he said not just his children, but Isaiah himself was a sign from God. What does Isaiah’s name mean? Isaiah literally means, “The salvation of God.” God is a Father to the fatherless, and He wants to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient back to the attitude of the righteous. God’s hand is not to short that it cannot save, and His ear is not to dull that it cannot hear, and He seeking and saving that which has been lost and stolen.
Joshua 4:6-7 says:
“Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” (Underline added, NASB).
When God saw those memorial stones, He didn’t see a pile of rocks. He saw the 12 great grandsons of His covenant friend Abraham, who left everything to follow Him. Those rocks were memorials and signs, which were reminders of people that moved His heart. Think of it: Your life can be a memorial to God, that becomes a sign, which introduces the next generation into the history of God’s faithfulness. From the William Seymour’s, to the Samuel Morris’s, the Amanda Smiths and Harriet Tubman’s of yesterday, God wants us to connect with their yesterday, today, so that future generations even yet to be created will praise the Lord.
Its time for you… its time for us… to be His sign.
Father, in the name of Jesus, we pray that you would raise up your signs and release your wonders. And yes, we ask for blind eyes to be open spiritually and physically, deaf ears to hear, spiritually and physically, and for demons to be cast out literally. Moreover, we ask that you would do this in order to raise up a remnant to be your signs in this hour. Make them signs of your power. Make them signs of your redemptive grace. Make them signs of your imminent return. Father, we cry out to you, that in this generation, that you would release upon African Americans the spirit of a Nazarite. God, that you would consecrate African Americans and raise up an army that would break the power of the decree of death over us.
Like those before us, we cry out for the freedom of the next generation. Father, we pray that you would raise up signs to be witnesses of the coming of Your Son. That the black church would return to her original design, which is to love the Lord her God, with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength. So we ask for the unfinished business of our forefathers. Let the commitment of our fathers become the calling of our time. We dare to believe, that the same God Who broke the power of Dred Scott, and ended slavery, He can break the power of Roe v. Wade and end abortion, and put an end to the death decree that is decimating our people thru an earth shattering awakening and revival. So we ask, raise up a remnant in this hour God, in every sphere of influence, for such a time as this, so that generations even yet to be created may praise you. In Jesus name, amen.