WHAT THE LORD IS ASKING OF US IN THESE DAYS

A trusted prophetic friend of mine shared last fall that the Lord said there would be several things on many fronts happening from the fall through spring. That has certainly been the case, ranging from the Paris attack to world market gyrations to North Korea setting off a nuclear bomb and more.

He observed in January that Saudi Arabia had broken off diplomatic ties with Iran, which partially fulfills Ezekiel 38:13. When Russia/Iran invade Israel it says: “Sheba, and Dedan (this is modern day Saudi Arabia), and the merchants of Tarshish and the young lions thereof will say to you, ‘Have you come to take a spoil?’”

Sheba and Dedan will at least diplomatically and perhaps militarily, object to Russia and Iran’s invasion of Israel. So the setting of Saudi Arabia against Iran is another piece of the Ezekiel 38 puzzle falling into place. If this is so, we are drawing ever close to the coming of Jesus.

World economies will continue to stumble and crumble, political unrest and social upheaval will continue, and even nature will cause people to sense the teetering and tottering of earth’s natural systems. But what about the body of Christ? What is the Lord asking of us in the coming days?

The word is focus.

Up until the ministry of the apostle Paul the body of Christ was rather unfocused and undefined. They were born again and Spirit-filled, but had not grown much beyond that in terms of the revelation of the new creation realities and growth in Christ. There was no more than 2 years between Pentecost in Acts 2:4 and Acts 8:1 where it says the persecution was so bad every disciple left Jerusalem for Judea and Samaria except for the apostles.

As they resettled in Judea and Samaria, Acts 8 tells of Philip coming to Samaria to the newly resettled disciples, preaching Jesus to those who hadn’t heard, and confirming what these replanted disciples had been sharing about Jesus. And God poured out His Spirit so that many were born again, healed, and delivered, and ‘there was great joy in the city’.

The big picture of going into all the world and preaching the gospel was being seen, but they still lived in basically the new birth and baptism in the Holy Spirit experience and didn’t grow much beyond that. They had the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42), but not the Pauline revelation yet. The practical application of walking out their faith had not been taught to them. People were being born again, filled with the Spirit, healed, delivered, but they were entirely unfocused beyond that.

Who would lead them into maturity? Who would instruct them in growth as human beings and as disciples after being born again and baptized with the Holy Spirit?

Paul’s ministry largely resulted in causing the body of Christ to focus on the priorities of faith and the Christian life, to cut to the core issues of life in Christ, to take people beyond religion as merely being born again believers into maturity as disciples.

Look at each of his letters and the issues of the heart and practical life he wrote of. Issues of personal lifestyle and holiness; issues of walking in love, of sorting through personal decisions on what to believe about everything from eating meat sacrificed to idols – to if any day was considered holier than another – to thieves giving up stealing in order to get, so they would have money to give to those in need, and so much more.

This is a time when the Lord is saying some of these same things to many professing Christians – to focus us more on teaching practical truths and the application of our faith that we might go on to maturity. In large because we are at a time in world history and in the body of Christ, where many are wallowing in self-absorbed faith, of making God our servant instead of our Master, of rushing from this fad to that fad and to the newest ‘thing’.

The Lord is saying to His body to focus. Leave that vague, undefined ‘Yes, I’m a Christian’ and move on to exactly what you believe, why you believe it, and how you are seeking and knowing Him each and every day. It is time to stop following the pack, the latest fad or formula, the most trendy teachings of the most popular elevated teachers in Christianity today, and get your life and house in order. Focus.

Perhaps you’ve sensed this call to return to the bare and basic essentials of your Christian life, the practical application of your own faith, but haven’t been able to exactly identify what it is. It is the Spirit saying to the church – focus.

Many will have the opportunity over the next couple of years to either stay in the ‘babyhood’ and ‘carnal’ stage of their Christianity, and deal with things just as the world does, or go on to maturity and a deeper life in the Lord.

The Lord is calling His people to establish priorities which come from first experiencing a grace in their heart, that is rooted in personal revival. When we are renewed in the Lord the basics of our faith come alive. It’s almost like being born again, again.

‘Set your house in order’ is the word for the body of Christ. The ‘trickle down’ effect of that word is valid for each of us – organizing, tying up loose ends, getting cleared of our debts, strengthening the home and family – maturity.

Maturity is our destination, and many more this year will fall to one side or the other as things become exposed that were once hidden. Interesting months are ahead.

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CHRIST: OUR TREASURE, OUR COSTLY PEARL, AND OUR MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

The framework of this beautiful piece was taken from a letter David Wilkerson wrote toward the end of his life. I borrowed it and paraphrased some of it, adding many of my own personal words and touch to it. I loved it so much that I had it laminated to keep in my Bible. May this be our heart’s cry, too.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Mt. 13:44-46).

Let me tell you what these two short parables mean to me personally.

Christ is the treasure hidden in the field. In Him I have found all that I’ll ever need. To me, that means the following:

No more looking for the accolades of men and finding fulfillment in people. No more hiding behind a false projected image. No more pretenses. No more twisting words, events, and situations to place myself in the best possible light. No more positioning or posturing myself to gain a personal advantage or to court man’s favor. No more taking the higher seat. No more need to build something for God or be a success in the eyes of man. No more needing to feel useful. No more operating in a performance mode for the acceptance and approval of man. No more trying to keep up with my peers to prove my worth in life and ministry. No more searching for ways to please people. No more trying to think or reason my way out of hardship or difficulties.

I have found what I’m looking for. My treasure is Christ. I am in the process of selling everything I have to buy the field for the treasure therein. I am full of joy for the treasure that I am digging out.

I have found my one pearl of great price; He is my Lord Jesus Christ. This one pearl is precious and priceless, and I cannot live without it.

And all that the Owner asks of me is this:

“Bert, let me adopt you. I love you, and I have already signed the papers with my own Son’s Blood. You are now a joint heir with Him of all I possess.”

I’m still giving the Father my time, my thoughts, my will, my emotions, and plans. Yet I know I’m exchanging it all for treasure and for the pearl of great price. I’m trading it in to buy living water, the bread of life, the milk and honey of joy and peace. And I’m doing it all without money. The cost to me is all my heart, all of my love, my total trust, and utter dependence on His Word.

Yes, you can buy this treasure, this costly pearl with no money. You can pursue it without any earthly craft, talent, or ability. No one has a corner on the market. It is not a purchase exclusive to anyone above another. You don’t need popularity, influence, or friends. It is a treasure available to the poorest of the poor and the lowest status human being on the earth. It is purchased with your heart only. It is purchased with a spiritual hunger for the living bread, and thirst like a deer that pants for the water.

What a bargain! I give up my filthy rags of self-reliance and good works. I lay aside my worn out shoes of striving and working on mere natural strength. I leave behind my sleepless nights on the streets of doubt and fear. And in return I get adopted by a King.

Dear saint and fellow laborer, this is what happens when you seek the treasure hidden in the field. This is what happens when you seek the pearl of great price. Seek Him until you find Him. Pursue Him until you know Him. Jesus offers you everything He is. He brings you joy unspeakable and full of glory, peace that surpasses all understanding, deep satisfaction, and an unshakeable fulfillment in Him.

What is He worth to you?

To gain Him, it may cost you more than you’ve been willing to pay. I urge you: Start paying today.

WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TOUCH NEW REALMS IN GOD?

My number one goal in life is to be a man of prayer, to be a man after God’s own heart. Much of the unsanctified ambition that is common to youth has been stripped from my character. I don’t care to be seen and heard any more. The greatest satisfaction that I now have is just to be with the Father.

During an extensive season of prayer a number of years ago the Father put me on a schedule. I managed to stay on this schedule for some time. He told me how long He wanted me to pray. He also put me on an eating pattern. He gave me study assignments, and ministry assignments. Also, He gave me instructions for periodical fasting.

Specific instruction like has not happened in my life very often. Usually I just do my best to be led by the Spirit of God according to the inward witness that all believers have. Either way, when there is a consistency in carrying out what the Lord tells you to do, life is truly fulfilling. Everything just seems to work right.

Listen to the simplicity of the Father’s first counsel He gave me during this particular season:

1. Eat less.
2. Drink more water.
3. Pray much in other tongues.

When I obeyed this first set of simple instructions, something began to happen. I wasn’t as tired in the morning. I began to awaken at an earlier hour. I had more private time in prayer. Then the Father by His Spirit gave me further instructions.

1. Add periodical fasting to your life (one day on, one day off, two days on, two days off, three days on, three days off, and then back to one)
2. Incorporate intimate worship (The Spirit of God called it my key to victory and to the utterances of the Lord in both my writing and speaking).
3. Step up your diligence in the exercise of the meditation and confession of My Word. (He said that this would move me from the position of abasement to that of more abiding).

Obedience always equals success. Obeying the first set of instructions led me and prepared me to hear and obey the second set of instructions. Many who haven’t heard the Spirit’s counsel in a long time may have to go back to the last thing the Lord spoke to them.

If you are not walking in the light you presently have then no more will be given. This is a spiritual law and one of the main reasons for stunted progress or spiritual growth in the lives of believers.

The Father is calling many to step deeper into the waters of the baptism of mature sons. As you do, your understanding of the great heart of Jesus to please the Father shall increase. His great love for complete obedience to the Father shall be revealed to you and in you, and this love of obedience shall become your own. Your thinking will be elevated through this revelation of the secret place of the Son.

When are you going to get going and touch new realms in God that you’ve never touched before? In his elder years Smith Wigglesworth asked this question to a younger man. My own heart was pierced when I read it.

Ask the Father what He wants from you. Listen for His simple counsel. Go back to the last instructions He gave you. Have you fulfilled them? The Father’s commandments are not grievous. They come with grace and truth.

Grievous commandments would be those meant for the mature that are given to the immature. The Father is good and He will not put a yoke on any of His children that will create bondage. Yet He will discipline true sons and daughters. The instructions He gave me were for my discipline. At times they seemed grievous because I did not yet understand the degree of hindrance that my flesh had imposed on the life of Christ within me.

The counsel He gives you may be very different than what He gave me. I guarantee that there will be discipline required. But always the Spirit works with you and in you to will and to do of the Father’s good pleasure. Grace is always abundant for you to meet the demands of the Father’s counsel.

HARD QUESTIONS FOR THE CHURCH IN THE COMING CRISIS

The Holy Spirit continues to minister fresh revelation to our hearts as we seek Jesus. There is an ache and a hunger inside of us for a newer and simpler expression of Christ in our lives. In many ways, as some of you have also done, from the time of our new birth, we’ve had to leave the many traditions, structures, and systems of men to discover and re-discover Jesus. For us, the profession of ministry no longer has the appeal it had years ago, having been replaced by a purer desire to simply build His kingdom in a Christ-centered way in the context of God-ordained relationships, being rooted and established in Him alone.

Our heavenly Father is preparing His family and His army for that which is to come on the earth. “…As you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). In light of the coming gross darkness that is increasing on the earth, we believe the glory of the Lord will also increase that much more. In the days ahead the true Church will look vastly different than it does right now. We are longing for His glory and the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21) and praying earnestly: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

My wife and I feel like we’ve been going through a process of metamorphism of late. You could say that our personal constitution is being radically altered. We’re asking heart-searching questions that we were once afraid to ask. These questions may disturb some who have grown comfortable in their controlled habitats and predictable environs, but they beckon to be asked and answered.

This current journey began with one question and then many that subsequently followed. How did 3,000 new converts on the day of Pentecost move from their conversion to continuing steadfastly in their new found faith – from Acts 2:41 to Acts 2:42? Without buildings, without budgets, without paid staff, and without a head pastor how was the early Church able to function and disciple a harvest of 3,000 new people? Not 30; not even 300; but 3,000! Then two chapters later another 5,000 men were added to their company (Acts 4:4).

What if churches today lost their buildings could they still function as churches? If there was war, or a great crisis, or severe persecution against the Church, as there could very well be in the very near future of America, could they still function as a church? Would churches be able to continue meeting as a spiritual family and a body in fellowship, teaching, worship, and prayer and taking care of one another without a large facility? Would the believers throughout a city or region stay connected? Are our connections based on a physical facility or simply on relationship with the Lord and with each other? Or would the loss of a building mean the essential loss of the church?

What if a large church today lost its budget, or paid staff, or senior pastor? Would there still be shepherds to care for the sheep? Or would there be hirelings looking for professional “ministry” elsewhere?

What if a church lost its denominational affiliation, would it cease to exist? Or if a non-denominational church dropped their seeker-friendly philosophy or in-vogue style of doing church, or their various programs that attract people, would they still exist as a church? How much of our dependence have we placed on these things? And perhaps the biggest question upon which hangs all other questions is this: Without any of these things could the Church still have its identity in Jesus alone?

These are not easy questions, but here is the bottom line. How much of Christ do we have in our lives, our relationships, our churches, and our ministries? After all has been said and done, after we strip away all the props that are holding up these modern churches, how much of the Church’s identity and character is found in Jesus alone?

My point is not to be critical of any existing church or ministry. I have no axe to grind or bone to pick. There are many good churches doing wonderful things for the Lord and we are grateful for that. We should never criticize another man’s labors, but instead rejoice wherever Christ is proclaimed.

On the other hand, churches should be living extensions of Christ Himself, but too often they are extensions of pop culture, denominational traditions, or the leader’s personality. In these cases, they depend more on their own ability to keep the church going. In doing so, we are declaring that helpful things such as buildings and budgets become more necessary and essential to function than the workings of the Spirit of God and His people.

I am not saying that all the amenities aforementioned here are not helpful and useful, but if a church cannot exist without them then I would say that you have an inflexible wineskin that cannot contain the likely probability of an expanding national crisis and the anticipated outpouring of the Spirit’s richly condensed wine.

Let’s be honest. Many of our churches today have either become museums or monuments that celebrate the past, or Fortune 500-styled corporations that can too easily exert themselves without the power of the Holy Spirit. Peripheral factors have become so deeply engrained in our methodology that we cannot fathom doing church without them. We cannot even imagine Jesus doing His work without these amenities. It makes me wonder whether many of our churches today are really Christ-centered or consumer driven? I’m afraid we’ve substituted catering to people’s felt needs over catering to God’s demands. Keeping people happy has become essential, but the demands of Jesus have become optional.

Personally I believe we have begun to see a revolution of sorts in the Church. God is moving in an unprecedented way across the globe, but it is happening below the radar of the traditional church in a very quiet manner. Out of a deep spiritual dissatisfaction and a great hunger for God true followers of Jesus are leaving traditional church systems at an alarming rate across denominational and non-denominational lines. Many are not happy with their spiritual lives. The problem is not really their church, but it’s just “church” in general.

Even though we’ve been in ministry for many years we’ve sensed the same thing. There is a larger process of work God is doing in His people. He is bringing focus to Jesus and His kingdom. From all walks of life and church spectrums people are searching for something more, but most of them don’t quite know what that is.

Recently in prayer the Lord showed Carolyn and I two church worlds – a top and an underground one. The top had many limitations governed by the systems and structures of men, but the underground church was full of people hungry for the presence of God, relationship with one another, and training and discipleship in the ways of the Spirit.

In addition to some direction and instructions the Lord gave us, He also issued a strong warning not to be critical of other men’s labors, especially those within the traditional system, but to judge the fruit only.

Be much in prayer, beloved for everything that can be shaken will be shaken in this hour. May the Lord grant us much grace and wisdom for the times.

IT IS TIME FOR BOTH A SPIRITUAL AND A POLITICAL REVIVAL

Recently I had the privilege of listening to a stirring message preached by Pastor Rafael Cruz, GOP candidate Ted Cruz’s father. It was a call for the Church and the ministers of this land to reclaim America spiritually and politically and restore her to the values and principles that made her great. A portion of this article, and especially the historic facts were taken from his message and Wall Builders.

Many people think the American Revolution started in the 1770’s, but according to history, they are mistaken. The revolution started in the 1730’s with revivalists like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield and many others. The first great awakening led by such men was the fire that ignited the American Revolution. There was an overlap of both movements. First came the spiritual, and then the natural or political.

This unprecedented dual revival swept through the colonies and changed America. Churches were at the forefront of that movement for independence. For instance, included in the preaching of many pastors were the atrocities committed by King George of England that the British were perpetuating on the American people.

There were 20 grievances against King George written in the Declaration of Independence, as the great desire for religious freedom mounted in the hearts of the early American pilgrims, their armies, and their spiritual leaders. Every one of those grievances was preached from the pulpits a decade before the Declaration of Independence was even signed.

The pastors of that day were called, “The Black Robe Regiment” and they were feared by the British army. A story is told that early in 1776 a pastor named Peter Muhlenberg was preaching a message from Ecclesiastes 3:8, “There is a time for war and a time for peace”. At the end of his message he took off his black robe to reveal his colonel’s uniform in the Continental army. That day three hundred men followed him to fight for our independence.

This is a part of our heritage that has been erased from our history books.

As another example of how churches and pastors were involved in escaping the tyranny of the British and gaining our independence , do you know where Paul Revere was going when he was making his famous ride declaring, “The British are coming! The British are coming!?” He was going to the home of another pastor named Jonas Clark. In his home there were two patriots hiding, John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were the two most wanted men by the British army, which had orders to take them back to England to be hung for sedition. Men like these were part of the resistance.

The first battle for our independence was the battle of Lexington, which was fought right outside Pastor Clark’s church. Eight colonels died in that war and seven were members of Clark’s church. His church played an integral part in that battle.

We’ve come to a similar parallel in our nation once again as our freedoms are eroding. What the Church does now and how pastors respond will play an integral part in determining the outcome of both the Church and the nation in the next generation.

Our foundations are being destroyed. What will we do?

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3)

Here’s the deal. Many are finally waking up and realizing that the devil has overplayed his hand. Beginning with the re-election of Obama it has become clear to more of us that we are in a serious spiritual war. This president is ruled by a demonic principality.

As for those who voted for him, which includes many professing Christians, hopefully by now many have repented over their most foolish decision.

This president that so many professing Christians voted for has mocked our faith. He has kicked the living God out of the White House and invited the gods of the Philistines in. He has made it common to bash what is sacred to us. He has clearly shown his dark hand. Who knows, maybe there is worst to come.

It is common knowledge now that this president is the most anti-biblical and anti-Christ president in American history. I should add anti-American.

How does that last one sound to you? An American president that is anti-American. Doesn’t exactly conjure up any cozy warm feelings, does it?

I praise God because the Church is finally waking up and smelling the horrible coffee that the Obama administration has been brewing these past 7 years. One sip of it could inoculate you against all sensibility and reason and make you one of his adoring fans and even jump on the Trump suicide train now. When will the Church discern the righteous from the unrighteous?

If our sudden stirring now can lead us to action, perhaps many more of us will not only continue to pray, but hit the voting booths and vote for righteousness.

The last straw for many of us was the nightmare SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage. By now we should be realizing that this decision was not about equality, but about more religious liberties being taken from us.

That abominable decision is not even listed as one of the enumerative powers given to Congress. Therefore, neither the federal government nor the SCOTUS had any jurisdiction to rule on it. What they did was plainly unconstitutional. Doesn’t that just make your righteous blood boil?

As I said, there’s a silver lining to all this. This president has actually been used to catalyze the Church as more and more of us are being filled with righteous indignation over this man’s policies. If you’re not, something needs to be made right in you.

Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow laborers in the gospel, it is time to arise! It is time we draw a line in the sand and say, “No more! No more! We’ve had enough! We won’t take this anymore! We will not let you steal our children and grandchildren’s future! We will not let you steal any more of our religious liberties!”

Bonhoeffor said it best: “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

You see, much of this is our fault. We’ve been too passive. We’ve kept silent for too long. We haven’t educated our churches and our people on true righteousness and morality. We haven’t made enough serious disciples. Too much indulgence of the world and too little of true communion with God has made us dull and compromising. Evil has advanced because we did nothing and said nothing.

Now listen to Charles Finney expound on the heavy responsibilities of our pulpits:

“If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awakened to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

Let us repent and renounce our silence, timidity, and inactivity. It’s time to fight and rally to a cause that is greater than any cause – the cause for righteousness! Let our pulpits be set on fire with flaming tongues. Let us be men that can never be bought.

Let more of Finney’s words urge us on:

“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

We are on the winning side, ladies and gentlemen. The Lord is with us and always favors the cause of His righteous ones.

Let us unite!

SOLD OUT MINISTERS NEED TO STEP TO THE FOREFRONT AND START A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION

“In your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted” (Ps. 89:16).

“For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright” (Ps. 11:7).

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach (shame or disgrace) to any people” (Pr. 14:34).

The devil has overplayed his hand. Beginning with the re-election of Obama it became clear to more of us that we are in a serious spiritual war. As I’ve observed the countenance of this President over the now 7+ years he’s been in office I see a distortion. He is ruled and possessed by a principality. He is the devil’s puppet.

As for those who voted for him, which includes many professing Christians, they are even bigger puppets, and hopefully by now many have repented over their most foolish decision.

This president that so many professing Christians voted for has mocked our faith. He has kicked the living God out of the White House and invited the gods of the Philistines in. He has made it common to bash what is sacred to us. He has clearly shown his dark hand. Who knows, maybe there is worst to come. It is common knowledge now that he is the most anti-biblical and anti-Christ president in American history. I should add anti-American.

How does that last one sound to you? An American president that is anti-American. How do the high level forces, movers and shakers of this world, and other government officials put up with that? What dark sinister plan is at work? What kind of conspiracy to hijack an entire nation of people is lurking in the shadows of evil? How many have been paid off to keep from making waves and the boat from rocking?

These are questions I’ve asked myself. I’ve even had the thought of, if Trump wins the Republican candidacy, he’ll hand over the presidency to Hillary and she will make him Vice President. Sounds preposterous I know, but you can’t trust this unrighteous bunch nor the unscrupulous media that promotes them. They are all big fat liars.

But I praise God because the Church is finally waking up and smelling the horrible coffee that the Obama administration has been brewing these past 7 years. One sip of it could inoculate you against all sensibility and reason and make you one of his adoring fans and even jump on the Trump train now. If our sudden stirring now can lead us to action, perhaps many more of us will hit the voting booths and vote for righteousness.

The last straw for many of us was the nightmare SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage. By now we should be realizing that this decision was not about equality, but it was about religious liberties gradually being taking from us.

That abominable decision is not even listed as one of the enumerative powers given to Congress. Therefore, neither the federal government nor the SCOTUS had any jurisdiction to rule on it. What they did was plainly unconstitutional. Doesn’t that just make your righteous blood boil?

But there’s a silver lining to all this. This President has actually been used to catalyze the Church as more and more of us are being filled with righteous indignation over this man’s policies. If you’re not, something needs to be made right in you.

Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow laborers in the gospel, it is time to arise! It is time we draw a line in the sand and say, “No more! No more! We’ve had enough! We won’t take this anymore!”

But first let us all repent.

You see, much of this is our fault. We’ve been passive. We’ve kept silent for too long. We haven’t educated our churches and our people on true righteousness and morality. We haven’t made enough serious disciples. Too much indulgence of the world and too little of true communion with God has made us dull and compromising. Evil has advanced because we did nothing and said nothing.

Bonhoeffor said it best: “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Now listen to Charles Finney expound on the heavy responsibilities of our pulpits:

“If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awakened to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

As I stated in another recent article, pastors have been silent and that silence has allowed the enemy to gain ground. Many pastors have thought, “I don’t want to be involved in dirty politics. My job is to preach the gospel and stay out of politics. There must be a separation of Church and State…blah, blah, blah.” By now I hope you have seen by what I have previously written that this is wrong irresponsible thinking.

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3)

Let us repent and renounce our silence, timidity, and inactivity. It’s time to fight and rally to a cause that is greater than any cause – the cause for righteousness! Let our pulpits be set on fire with what thus saith the Lord. Let our mouths be loosed with Spirit-inspired utterance from flaming tongues. Let us be men that can never be bought.

Let more of Finney’s words urge us on:

“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree.”

So let us turn back the tide of immorality.

“If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

So let us put a halt to the decay of conscience.

“If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Therefore, let us hold them accountable and put their fat to the fire.

“If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Therefore, let us preach regeneration for holiness loud and strong.

“If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Therefore, let us fan the flames of white hot revival until Jesus is seen and heard.

We are on the winning side, ladies and gentlemen. The Lord is with us and always favors the cause of His righteous ones.

Let us unite!

All for one and one for all.
All for Jesus.
All for the gospel.
All for eternity.

VOTE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS: MORALS OVER MONEY AND PRINCIPLE OVER PARTY

One of the biggest lies the Church has swallowed is that politics cannot legislate morality. Yet on the watch of the last two generations politics has legislated prayer and Bible reading out of our schools, abortion into our clinics, and more recently, same sex marriage into our culture. Why was the Church so lame and silent?

Haven’t we learned that when the righteous abandon their responsibilities the wicked move in?

Yes, the Bible says that we are in the world, but not of it. But Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mk. 16:15), and to be salt and light to the world (Mt. 5:13-14). Mind you, this is a direct commandment from the Creator of the universe Himself. So why separate religion or the gospel from politics? Politics is a part of the world.

The ever increasing popular notion that the Church is to have no part in politics is absurd. The notion that presidents don’t need to be morally upright or spiritually-minded is delusional.

Why don’t you just vote for the village idiot then? Vote for the adulterer, the thug, the whoremonger and the like. I’ve heard it many times already in this election – “we’re not electing a pastor or a priest but a president!” And that lie keeps being repeated by robotic minds who are not thinking for themselves. This train of thought is so contradictory to Scripture and our nation’s history. More on that later.

Would you want your surgeon working on your heart if you knew he had lawsuits against him for malpractice?

Would you want a banker handling your money if you knew he was a thief?

Would you want a baby sitter watching your children who had been charged with pedophilia?

Does character not count?

Then why was God’s nation of Israel, when forming their own government, commanded to elect able men (yes, competence does matter, so don’t accuse me of throwing that out), such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness (Ex. 18:21)? And be mindful that this was not the flow of authority for church government but for Israel’s federal government. We’ve gotten that backwards in the church, too. Now we know that God’s practices in the New Testament have changed, but aren’t His principles the same?

It’s not that we’re trying to make our government an entirely Christian government or make every elected official a Christian, but when given a choice, why would a Christian vote for an unrighteous candidate over a righteous one? Why are there still so many in the Church who can’t see this and continue to vote for unrighteousness?

This is the very reason we’ve had a horrible spiritual and moral deterioration in our nation for the last 8 years. I salute my good friend Dr. Michael Brown for calling out those pathetic black pastors for laying hands on Hitlery Clinton, and praying blessing over her and declaring how God would anoint her and be a shield of protection for her.

How can these so called pastors bless a candidate who calls good, evil and evil, good – who is an aggressive pro-abortionist, and gay marriage activist, and who lies and cheats and kills? Why? And why do so many so called Christians continue to vote for such candidates of ill repute, election after election?

How many times must you vote for money over morals, competence over character, and party over principle?

I can hear the critics and their robotic babble now holding up their thou-shalt-not- judge card. Who are you to judge? In fact, I’ve been ordained by God to be a judge. Not just because I am a minister, but all God’s saints have this honor (1 Cor. 6:2).

God Himself has set up judges. There’s even an Old Testament book called the book of Judges where He did just that. How much more are we called to judge spiritual matters under the New Testament? This is another one of those lies that unlearned Christians pick up from the world.

In Mt. 7:1, is the verse that these people always quote.When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus Himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15). Is He telling us not to do something He Himself did? No. What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority coming from those who are guilty of the same sin or offense.

Back to my theme on politics and morality and voting for righteousness…

Our earliest presidents and politicians were godly moral men. Our earliest pastors were involved and engaged in politics. There was an overlap of church and state, government and spirituality.

For example, did you know that 29 of the 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence were seminary graduates, and a large majority of the rest of them were committed Christian leaders who spoke boldly about their faith?

The progressives and our humanistic government officials would like us to believe that the framers of the Declaration of Independence were a bunch of secularists and so called Deists, but it is such a distortion of history. The hijacking of our nation has resulted in many of these elements being removed from our history books.

Here are some quotes from early American Presidents:

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” George Washington

“The Bible is the sheet anchor of our liberties. Write its principles upon your heart and practice them in your lives.” Ulysses S. Grant

“All the food from the Savior of the world is communicated through this book. All the things desirable to man are contained in it.” Abraham Lincoln

Fellow Christians, please don’t make the same mistake that many professing Christians made in the last election. Hear me now and hear me well: It was not the lost sinners who determined this president we now have, but it was the Church that elected him and they are held accountable. And it shall be the same in this election.

God has taken note of those in the Church who have stood in favor of abortion and gay marriage and they are responsible for the apostasy that continues to spread across this nation. They voted for the voice of the deceiver whose smooth words fooled them. Don’t be fooled again. You see, when the Church votes for those who favor these abominations they are guilty of those abominations themselves.

God has been patient and merciful. Make sure you vote for righteousness this time around. As it was with the last election, so it is with this one. God has handed this upcoming election into the hands of the Church.

And finally, whatever happens, our trust must be in God and in His kingdom. But as long as we can make an impact for righteousness in this world, we should and are called to do so.

Affluenza among Christian leaders

and my heart weeps…

Mario Murillo Ministries

affluenza copy

Affluenza among Christian leaders

By Mario Murillo 

 Something crazy is happening to high profile Christian leaders.  They are saying and doing things that are bizarre and in some cases tragic. I will not name names because I am praying for them to repent.  There will be a time when I will name names .  The mission of this missive is not to embarrass any leader or to make myself look holier than them…and it is most certainly not an attack on God’s promises to prosper us.

Here is a list of things said and done recently that prove something has gone very bad.

-“God has told me…when our Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl, a time of major revival, awakening, moves of God are going to break out in America,” – Famous Pastor.  Well…now that they lost 24-10 is national revival impossible?  My real issue here is connecting football to…

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WILL THIS NEXT ELECTION CAUSE REJOICING OR MORE GROANING?

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Pr. 29:2).

Rejoice or groan? What will the coming presidential election bring? Many of us have groaned for the last 8 years because of wickedness.

“Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there” (Ec. 3:16).

This has been the sad song of this president’s rule.

But honestly, collectively as a Church, the entirety of the blame falls on us.

A George Barna survey revealed that in the 2012 presidential election 12 million evangelical Christians were not registered to vote and another 26 million did not vote – making a total of 38 million evangelicals out of an estimated 89 million who did not vote, or 40% of the body of Christ. What an inexcusable abandoning of our most basic civic and Christian responsibility! Shame on us.

With those statistics staring us in the face, how can we blame the moral and spiritual deterioration of our nation on Obama or the government or anyone else! The Church, especially our pastors, are clearly to blame.

Why don’t many evangelical Christians vote? For one, they are not educated as to their godly responsibility and stewardship to vote for righteous leaders. Secondly, since they don’t educate themselves, their pastors should educate them, but they don’t.

Isn’t it interesting that the first words of our American constitution say, “We, the people…?”

The government does not rule this land. We, the people, do. God has given to us the stewardship of this country, not to the government officials. But when the people neglect their civic responsibility to vote for righteous leaders, guess who gets the votes? You got it! The wicked. This is elementary, but Christians have deserted their post due to this ignorance.

One of the top excuses Christians use for not voting is Romans 13. They say, “If God appoints all authority, why vote?” This excuse portrays the sorry state of so many professing Christians today – their supposed super-sounding spirituality is just plain stupidity.

The second reason many evangelical Christians fail to vote is the big lie of separation of Church and State. They say that politics cannot legislate morality. Yet in this past generation politics legislated prayer and Bible reading out of our schools; they legislated abortion, which is murder, and same sex marriage, which is perversion of the highest degree.

Frankly, we have been sleeping. And of the many evangelicals that did vote for Obama in the last two elections, you need to repent because you are not righteous. It is true that we always vote for those who mirror our own values. I know it’s hard to swallow now, but the reason you voted for him is because you are just like him – wicked. You can’t vote right if you’re not right.

How can you be called righteous when you voted for the most anti-biblical president in the history of our nation? How can you be called righteous when you voted for a man who is pro-abortion? Who increasingly funds the baby-killing machine of Planned Parenthood?

How can you be called righteous when you voted for a man who defied the righteous Church by lighting up the White House with the symbolic gay colors on the night of the Supreme Court’s wicked and unconstitutional ruling to institute same sex marriage nationwide? How can you be called righteous when you voted for a traitor to the highest cause, who sympathizes with Islam and their anti-Christ agenda? How can you possibly call yourself righteous and have voted for Obama!

You are wicked! Repent!

And big shame on you black pastors who voted color over character, political correctness over biblical correctness, and money over morality! And don’t give me the old worn out accusation that I’m a bigot and a racist! God calls the wicked much worse names in the bible.

Please stamp this on your naïve soul: You are to be a Christian before you are an African American! You are to be a Christian before you are a Democrat! You are to be a Christian before you rally for so called social justice!

And shame on the many white pastors who failed to educate their people properly in the last election.

Have you educated your people on biblical principles relevant to our society and nation? Have you taught them about the sanctity of life and the traditional family? Have you educated them on sexual purity and the importance of abstinence until marriage and that fornication is not even to be named among us (Eph. 5:3)? Have you taught them about personal responsibility and not to mooch off government welfare programs and to have a strong work ethic? Have you taught them honesty and integrity? Have you taught them of their civic and godly responsibility to vote for righteousness? And do you practice these principles yourself?

Don’t make the same mistake in this election as you did the last one. And if you were duped and deceived, please repent right now and ask God to forgive you. If every evangelical Christian just votes right this time around our nation can change overnight.

Let us reverse this curse by voting for righteousness and watch this nation begin its path to exaltation.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Pr. 14:34).

 

EMPTY OR FULL: WHY BILLY GRAHAM SAID HE WAS A FAILURE

Shortly after Billy Graham’s 80th birthday, Larry King interviewed him and said: “It must be rewarding to you to look back on your life and not have to live with regrets…” Here’s Dr. Graham’s response:

“I am the greatest failure of all men. I was too much with men and too little with God. I was too busy with business meetings and even conducting services. I should have been more with God and people would’ve sensed God’s presence about me when they were with me.”

Let’s not wait until we’re 80 to say that. You see, in spite of all of Dr. Graham’s accomplishments, he sensed there was more. God has privileged my wife and I to do a few things in ministry and there have been certain accomplishments and achievements, but a new hunger has come into us for so much more of God than we presently have. The greatest thing man can still do with his time is to spend it in holy communion and solitude with God.

When the late Kenneth E. Hagin received a three hour visitation from Jesus in 1987 the emphasis of that awesome visit was on God’s people being filled with the Spirit. Think about that. If that is what Jesus emphasized the most, don’t you think we ought to pay attention to that and put an extreme emphasis on it ourselves? It is the key to God’s perfect working in your life.

Light and revelation must be guarded, but I’m afraid that the body of Christ is already in danger of losing that light Brother Hagin received from the Lord on being continually filled with the Spirit.

If we follow after the flesh and the natural things, it will keep us empty and un-usable to be the Lord’s workman. Paul said he would be a castaway and disqualified if he did not keep his body under subjection (1 Cor. 9:25). As your spirit gets filled with more of God, it will affect and touch everything in your life – your relationships, your health, your finances etc.

Being filled with the Spirit is a daily command. Don’t give yourself to something less than being full. Cast aside the things that stop you from obtaining His fulness. You will not live full of the Spirit by leading a busy and hectic life. God called you to a full life, not a hectic life.

Living tired will also keep you from being full and yielding to the Spirit of God. Busy and tired people don’t hear God well so they don’t receive well from the Lord. The price you pay for being full is time.

Living full of the Spirit is the cure for every flaw of man. Your love walk and your faith walk won’t be a difficulty when you’re full. Faith and love are not a difficulty to the full man.

Have you ever thought of the capacity of a man’s spirit to hold the life, power, and Spirit of God? I mean, is there a limit to what a man’s spirit’s can hold? In Mk. 5 the Gadarene demoniac had 2,000 devils in him. If a dead man’s spirit can contain 2,000 devils and survive, how much can a born again man’s spirit contain of the glory and power of God? Paul prayed for the Ephesian church to be filled with all the fulness of God (Eph. 3:19).

In Mt. 12:43-45 when the strong-man was cast out of a person, the devil went and got 7 other spirits and finding the man’s house (spirit) “swept and garnished” entered into him again, and the man’s condition was 7 times worse than the beginning. Why? Because the man was empty. After being delivered he didn’t get filled with God so he got more devils.

Here are some nuggets of great truth on a study I did years ago on differences between a full man and an empty man:

1. An EMPTY man focuses on himself and all his weaknesses and shortcomings and he sinks lower, but a FULL man focuses on the Spirit and rises higher.
2. An EMPTY man chases after provision, favor, and success, but a FULL man is overtaken by these.
3. An EMPTY man looks bewildered and baffled, but a FULL man is flooded with God and he knows the mind and will of God.
4. An EMPTY man has room for the things of the world and his own plans, but a FULL man has no room for anything else except the fulness of God and His plan.
5. An EMPTY man has room for other people’s opinions and input, but a FULL man only has room for the counsel of God and from men speaking in God.
6. An EMPTY man can speak the right words, but is still empty, while a FULL man acts off revelation and not borrowed words.
7. An EMPTY man has his defenses down and is not watchful, but a FULL man is prayerful and watchful and therefore diverts alot of unnecessary hardship and danger.
8. An EMPTY man lives only in the natural realm, but a FULL man lives in the supernatural realm.
9. An EMPTY man lives from crisis to crisis, but a FULL man lives from victory to victory.
10. An EMPTY man has room for a loose tongue, but a FULL man speaks out of God’s fulness.

How do we get full? Praying in the Holy Ghost…singing and speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs…praising and worshiping God on a daily basis and always being thankful.